SPOTLIGHT TUESDAY-IYESHA JENKINS

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

13934949_235218583540350_5363812510471657369_n

We had the opportunity to sit down with the amazing, courageous woman of strength, Iyesha Jenkins. On the brink of suicide, Iyesha tells us how she fought back with the help of family and friends. She tells us how each day is a struggle and how she takes it one day at a time. I commend her for speaking out and revisiting the day, a year ago when she sat with a gun ready to kill herself.

It is important to get the conversation going and to keep it going. Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US, 43.8 million, or 18.5% experiences mental illness in a given year. African Americans and Hispanics used mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasians in the past year and Asians at about one-third the rate.

HOW TO SEEK HELP:

NAMI
http://www.nami.org
http://www.naminorthsideatlanta.org
Helpline: 800-950-6264 (Monday-Friday 10a-6p)

Georgia Crisis and Access Line:
800-715-4225
http://www.mygcal.com

Peer Support “Warm Line”
888-945-1414

Iyesha welcomes you to reach out to her if you are experiencing the same the feelings.
Facebook: Iyesha Tykuru Kucera (TK Kucera)
Instagram: tk_kucera

IMG_2442

 

SPOTLIGHT TUESDAY-BRIANA STARKS

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

I had the honor and extreme privilege to meet and speak with the amazingly talented and humble actress Briana Starks. I first encountered her on Instagram when she reached out to us about her upcoming play The Hole Runs Deep coming this Labor Day weekend. I admire her for being bold enough to do that, everyone wouldn’t put themselves out there like that. After speaking with her she is definitely a natural actress for sure.

Originally from Sacramento, California, Briana relocated to Atlanta over 10 years and has been going full force with her acting for 6 years now. She has always had a love for the arts beginning as a cheerleader and a dancer in California. She auditioned for Grease but the funny thing about that is you need to know how to sing for a big role and she’s more of a shower singer, but she was cast as a background dancer.

13310616_10155052121505620_817607855552744258_n

Listening to her talk about her craft, the story that sticks out is how she was cast in HBO’s Bessie starring Queen Latifah. Briana was working as a nanny at the time and was at Piedmont Park here in Atlanta where she ran into Monique who she later discovered was also in the film. That was enough confirmation for her to leave the fear behind and submit for the supporting role of Ma’s Dancer. That Friday she watched Queen Latifah’s talk show and she mentioned her name “Briana” randomly and she knew it was meant to be. So after a hectically crazy week and thinking, she didn’t get the role she got an email from her agent saying she was booked. So it just goes to show to not ignore the signs and don’t doubt yourself.

Briana also makes sure that she does get her training in by working with the best, including Nick Conti at the Pro Actors Studios and currently with Dwayne Boyd at the Premier Actors Network among others. In addition to acting, she does possess a special skill in dancing specifically hip-hop.

Upcoming for Briana is a stage play by Natalie Simone titled The Hole Runs Deep Labor Day Weekend where she plays the lead role of Genine.

13880280_10155243973190620_5534286149247428465_n

ABOUT THE HOLE RUNS DEEP:
Genine is getting older and feels it is time to settle down. I know all about that. She wants the fairy tale family with the white picket fence and she knows Robert can give that to her. Unfortunately, Genine just can’t seem to cut ties with her high school sweetheart Dexter- a bad boy with good looks and good loving that’s all he can ever offer because he already has a wife, an ex-wife and three kids.

Robert wants a good and wholesome girl, and he thinks he found it with Genine who is doing her best to be that girl to him. Too bad Dexter is making it so hard for her to play that part.

On How She is Similar to Her Character Genine:
She likes hard, but definitely not the type to sleep with a married man. But she is like most of us women when we hold onto to someone too long and have a hard time letting go.

Also on the horizon for Briana is her directorial debut in a short film that is already cast and will start production at the end of September. Managed by Acuity Entertainment and represented by J Pervis Talent Agency, this woman is definitely on the rise and our next leading lady. Be sure to check her out in The Hole Runs Deep, Sept. 2-4 at Mark Squared Studios in Tucker, GA. (Tickets sold at http://www.theholerunsdeep.com) and follow her on social media as we watch her continue to rise to the top.

“When I act I love being able to affect and inspire people.”

Instagram: starbri
Facebook: Briana Starks

J Pervis Talent Agency
949 Image Avenue, Suite C
Atlanta, GA 30318
404-688-9700

Acuity Management
Gail Tassle
gail@acuityEM.com

A Talk w/ In The Cut’s Dorien Wilson and Ken Lawson

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

I had the opportunity to speak with Dorien Wilson and Ken Lawson via phone about In The Cut and what we will see this season.

ABOUT IN THE CUT:
Jay “The Dream” Weaver (Dorien Wilson) is a barbershop owner and staple in his community. Jay’s life is turned upside down when he meets Kenny Clark (Ken Lawson), who turns out to be his 31-year old illegitimate son from a short fling. Together, they are learning what it means to be adult men: living, working and learning alongside one another.  Making trying to date a little challenging.

InTheCut_Dorien

DORIEN WILSON
Has had a successful career on both stage and screen that spans over 25 years. He is best known for his role as Professor Oglevee on The Parkers. That role earned him a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Does the role of Jay anyway mirror your own life?
Not really, in the sense that he has a relationship with his two daughters and has been in their lives since they were born. But he draws from his relationship with his daughters for the role.

Thoughts on the show and being on Bounce TV:
This network is great for the African American community, it gives us a chance to watch our reflection and see people of color on television.

Evolution from Season 1 to Season 2:
Jay and Kenny are still getting to know each other and learning how to operate as a father and son. Now the writers are writing specific storylines for the characters. The writers are written more for us as people and they focusing on our strengths.

Upcoming Projects:
Weekend with the Family (with Wendy Raquel Robinson, Marques Houston, and Clifton Powell)
Chi Nu Legacy (He plays a coach accused of rape)

Instagram: dorienwilson_

InTheCut_Ken

KEN LAWSON
He is an actor and a rapper best known for his role as Thaddeus Radcliffe on The Parkers. He has been in numerous TV shows and films. Since The Parkers, he has divided his time between his acting and musical career.

Does the role of Kenny anyway mirror your own life?
He is not too much like Kenny Clark. However, has experienced lady problems and used to be a player back in the day.

Upcoming Projects:
He is currently writing scripts and writing songs. Working with his groups.

Instagram: iamkenl
Email: RebelOMuzik@gmail.com
Music: itun.es/us?UXk-r
Twitter: IamKENL

In the Cut can be seen on Bounce TV on Tuesdays at 9 pm. Bounce TV is the nation’s fastest-growing television networks designed for African American audiences. The channel is available over the air via an antenna or on demand online.

INTERVIEW W/CINDER PUMPKIN’S STEPHANIE AND TRAVIS

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

We attended a Get Connected event here in Atlanta which is held on the last Thursday of each month. Get Connected is an event where those in the film industry can come together, screen short films, network, and learn from industry professionals. At this event, we saw an amazing short film Cinder Pumpkin written and directed by Stephanie Dieter and starring Travis Brown. This short film puts a modern twist on the classic Cinderella. We got a chance to sit down with Stephanie and Travis and dig deeper into the short film that has been in over 20 festivals and has won several awards.

As they mention in the interview they are always looking to collaborate with new people and loves diversity, so if you have any projects or ideas contact them and also check out their website for the services that they offer. You can also view Cinder Pumpkin and Stephanie’s other projects on their website for free.

MV5BMTAxODQ5ODU2NTZeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDYwNTcwMDEx._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,666,1000_AL_

http://www.tapehaus.com
Facebook: Stephanie Dieter and Travis Brown
Instagram: cinesteph

RED PHONE BOOTH

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Red Phone Booth Media Preview Party this past Thursday night. I had never experienced a prohibition experience before and when I tell you I was blown away beyond words, and in awe of this first-class experience. Beginning with the entry as I dialed the secret phone number into the old school London phone booth to the amazing customer experience I will never forget and will definitely return.

IMG_2266

The Red Phone Booth will open to the public on August 20th and Amalfi Pizza will open in early September in the over 12, 000 square foot iconic Dailey’s located at 17 Andrew Young International Drive Boulevard NE in the heart of Downtown Atlanta. This 100-year-old building had been closed for years but a complete renovation has taken place over the last nine months and has a new look thanks to Casie Davis of CDM Interiors, LLC. Amazing job done on the renovations, every detail has been finely tuned. On the ground floor, the cigar lounge Red Phone Booth is housed in the 4,000 square feet area. On the second floor, Amalfi Pizza, a traditional Neapolitan trattoria, occupies the remainder of the building.

This is the first of a multi-location rollout, Red Phone Booth is a prohibition experience featuring an extensive classic craft cocktail and cigar program. Customers will experience the finest attention to detail that provides for exceptional cocktails including 100% fresh squeezed juices such as blood orange, mango, and cranberry, hand chipped double-reverse osmosis ice, garnishes cut to order, a collection of some of the largest liquors available and over a dozen tinctures, bitters and flavoring agents to help breath new depth.

Small plates will include fresh seafood, carpaccio, and beef tenderloin. Neapolitan pizza and house made desserts including a rotating selection of signature desserts courtesy of former Daileys owner and current President of the Georgia Restaurant Association, Karen Bremer are also available.

Inspired by the 1920’s speakeasy theme, the venue features restored original brick floors, have a honey onyx bar, intimate fireplace, custom Italian leather couches, and hand-painted ceiling with back lighting. Also featured on the ground floor is a private “mob-style” kitchen complete with poker and pool tables available to rent for private events.

Finally, in true prohibition style guests enter by securing a secret phone number and dialing it into a restored antique London red phone booth entryway.

This is experience and a place that you will definitely want to be apart of.

IMG_2258

Premium Cigar Locker Membership is $40/month, billed $480 annually.

Associate Membership is $10/month, billed $120 annually.

**However, you do not need to be a member to enjoy the prohibition experience.**

Had a great time with the owners of this great new establishment!

CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: http://www.redphonebooth.com

BRONZELENS MEDIA AND VIP RECEPTION

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

 

Hosted at Davidoff Geneva

7th Annual BronzeLens Film Festival

We had the opportunity to attend the BronzeLens Film Festival Media and VIP Reception this past Monday. This was a true first class event. During the event, we were not only able to meet some of the filmmakers and hear their great stories but get an inside glimpse into what the festival will entail.

The mission of BronzeLens is two-fold: to promote Atlanta as the new film mecca for people of color and to showcase films and provide networking opportunities that will develop the next generation of filmmakers.

The 7th Annual BronzeLens Festival will take place August 25-28 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Tickets prices start at $30. Get your tickets today! This is not a festival to be missed.

There are 3 different themes for each day of the festival during the weekend starting the 25th.

THURSDAY:

Filmmaker’s Lounge (BronzeLens)
All Shorts-All Day (Sponsored by BET)
Workshops
BronzeLens Opening Night Screening

FRIDAY:

Filmmaker’s Lounge (BronzeLens)
Workshops
Webisodes Screenings
Women Superstars Luncheon
Documentary Screenings
UP-CLOSE THROUGH THE BRONZELENS: A CONVERSATION BETWEEN ROGER BOBB AND JULIE DASH
First Glance Screening

SATURDAY:

Filmmaker’s Lounge (BronzeLens)
Student Track
International Screenings-Short Films
Family Film Festival
Features Screenings
Producers Roundtable
International Screenings-Documentary
Student Film Screenings
UP-CLOSE THROUGH THE BRONZELENS: A CONVERSATION WITH MATTHEW CHERRY: Shooting a Feature on Your Cell Phone
BronzeLens Awards Show

SUNDAY:

Sunday Brunch with The Brothers
Olympic Pride Screening: Cinema and Social Justice
Closing Night Screening

You don’t have to attend all sessions. But make sure that you are in attendance to experience some part of this festival.

VISIT BRONZELENS WEBSITE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND TO PURCHASE TICKETS!!

http://www.bronzelens.com

SPOTLIGHT TUESDAY- LESLIE BARNETT

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

I had the pleasure of being introduced to Leslie during a trip to the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) this past Valentine’s Day weekend through a mutual friend. That day we just clicked and we have been in constant contact ever since. What inspires me about Leslie is her drive, determination, willingness and her ability to not give up on her dreams.

Leslie began in this industry about 5 years ago. She began acting in the community theatre and from there she fell in love with the craft. Every person has a different excitement and a drive for this industry, for Leslie, it’s the possibilities. “Now more than ever, doors are being opened for all actors and more stories that reflect the honesty of human nature are being told.” While Leslie does focus on acting, she is multi-talented and loves to sing, dance and create art. She is also venturing into the world of fashion design as well. She began sketching designs at the young age of 8 and has rediscovered her passion for it just recently.

She gets her training the traditional and non-traditional way. She has participated in acting workshops in the DMV, as well as attended a Master Class with Kevin Spacey. Non-traditionally she attributes her acting experience as a great teacher and a great preparation tool for her next role.

Leslie just wrapped a run of Prince William Little Theatre’s Cabaret and she is preparing for her next role as “Teresa” in an original play by God’s Boo called True Worshippers. Outside of the theatre, she has some film projects coming up, and a Webisode series In Love with Lory that is still in production.

I look forward to seeing what else this amazing beauty is up to in 2016. Follow her on social media for more of her journey.

“I strongly and passionately believe in going towards your dreams. Do your best and God will take care of the rest.”
-Leslie Barnett

12670161_10205799084522401_3192505734056680443_n

Imdb: Leslie Barnett

Instagram: msshine28
Facebook: LeslieMsBtou

SPOTLIGHT TUESDAY-ZOIE RAE

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

I had the honor and privilege of meeting Zoie Rae at the premiere of Karmin’s Selfie, a comedy horror short film done by the participants of Dwayne Boyd’s Summer Film Camp where she played Ditra. This amazingly talented 10-year-old captured me as she jumped off the screen and worked the premiere like a pro with such confidence. She is a natural entertainer for sure.

Zoie is multi-talented and a straight A student. To be the best you have to train with the best which she does. She trains with Dwayne Boyd’s Premier Actor’s Network which prides itself as being one of the best acting schools in Atlanta. In addition to honing her acting craft, she studies at the Kameo Production Dance Studio where she has mastered tap, jazz, and hip-hop. In order to become the best and be the best, it’s important for her to be trained in several areas.

Zoie began her career shortly after she was born in December 2008 in a print aid for PB & J Magazine as a principal. Since then she has taken on not only print but also commercial, stage, web, TV and film projects. In 2016, Zoie has done 3 short films (Karmin’s Selfie, Smoke and Mirrors, and Defending Daddy) and a stage production (“A Conversation with Living Legends”) already. Managed by Acuity Entertainment and represented by J Pervis Talent Agency, this young lady is definitely on the rise and our next big kid star. Be sure to follow her on social media to follow her journey to the top.

Facebook: Zoie Rae
Instagram: iamzoierae

Acuity Entertainment MGMT
gail@acuityem.com
310-614-2372

J Pervis Talent Agency
http://www.jpervistalent.com
404-688-9700

IMG_2028