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Monday, July 31, 2017

'IDENTITY' Short Film Pemiere

There is a quiet strength to Actor, Writer, and Director Toi'ya Leatherwood when it comes to her approach of her short film IDENTITY. There was a mystique to the roll out of the film, an homage maybe to the silent film era, with very little detail on the synopsis. As audience members ushered in going to there seats the lights dimmed, the film was about to begin. The first scene you saw Toi'ya slumped in a chair with a ominous figure, a man almost dressed in all black having her in a hypnotic state over her while you hear haunting music play as the scene goes. Then I realize it's not a man, it's her conscious well the the dark side of it having a grip on her. This makes for a chilling optic. As the short film progresses the main character 'Rose', played by Toi'ya, is screaming silently for help on the ground with white substance in her mid-section. Another symbolic take - Rose's innocence has been ripped away from her. I slowly realize as a writer & Director of the film Toi'ya is creating a narrative of Rose's struggle with the light and dark of her consciousness after a traumatic ordeal. Relying on color pallets to tell the story the war between the light and the dark still is drawn out. In the end the light wins with Rose finding peace.

After the lights raised Toi'ya came out to a resounding applause from the audience. Toi'ya had said that her character in the short Film she portrayed, Rose had went through the horrible experience of being sexually assaulted and she wanted to depict a victim of assault in an honest way. Some audience members asking Toi'ya what prompted her to choose this subject matter and how she portrayed it. Toi'ya said she was sick of people not seeing sexual assault, rape, and traumatic experiences through the eyes of the victim. She said it isn't an experience you get over, it's constant battle in the victim's mind and through self healing is a way to cope with the pain and their is light in the midst of darkness. Utilizing her dance experience, her acting ability, and thorough writing skills Toi'ya made a short film in IDENTITY that people can relate to and it was sobering look at the aftermath of an assault.    

Project Pit Mixer

The Project Pit Mixer held at the Nate Holden Center in Los Angeles, California was filled with very good performances, an engaging panel of entertainment-forward thinking moguls, and most notably millennials mingling and having a good time. This wasn't the first time I've heard of Project Pit - a company progressively combining community efforts through events involving entertainment figures. Carlton Roberts created this venture years ago and his outlet even had the opportunity of interviewing me about this very own online magazine Young,Bold, And Regal. See Carl recognizes himself in the people he features and the people he associates with when it comes to building his brand of Project Pit. The genuine nature of himself and his team was exhibited at the first official mixer they had held. The vision of that night came to life because like-minded people believed in the company line. When it comes to Project Pit it's all about moving forward, how can we strengthen the community, and how can we better ourselves while simultaneously being better for our circle. The connective tissue of that night was conversation. Everything that night from the drinks at the bar, the spoken word performances, and the informative panel sparked necessary discussions. We're looking forward to the next event by Project Pit because you might meet a potential business partner, you maybe will have an open discussion that generates a brilliant an idea, and above all you most definitely will have fun.   

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

5th Annual Cali HBCU & GREEK Reunion

Every July at Loma Alta Park in Altadena, California you can expect a couple things to happen. It will be very hot, being in the dead heat of summer, and the Cali HBCU & GREEK Reunion is going to be lit!! As I eagerly approached the park grounds with sounds of bumping music getting closer and closer I noticed a difference this year when it came to this event. The crowd is a lot bigger, it's growing - I loved that. My friend George, a UC Riverside alum, professed he had not seen this many Black people commence since his Black Grad at UCR. I had first attended the Reunion in 2015, stumbling upon it and enjoying every aspect. The litness of this event comes in many forms. From the food trucks that smell heavenly, the DJ on the mic spinning classic cook out & summer joints, the Deltas and AKA's friendly rivalry to continue, to alumni and current students to represent their HBCUs.

My favorite part this year was the step competition. While the Kappas were doing their dance they enthralled the crowd with their red and white candy cain canes twisting in the air. The DJ jokingly, purely based off of reputation, said 'Ladies if you don't want to be licked stand back' as the Omegas stomped the yard to do their dance. The AKAs showed out first to a melody of Bruno Mars and YG you had OGs with the young bucks and nothing could be more entertaining. Connecting with those in GREEK life and those who have attended HBCUs felt good. It was a real familial atmosphere and events like these need to be highlighted and we need more of this. The Cali HBCU & GREEK Reunion is here to stay and we're all ready for next summer.    

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

All For The Love Of Fashion: Kisha Waters Interview

Kisha Waters and her K.Waters Style Lounge have cultivated a fashion empire with being a stylist to the stars, a hands-on designer with her own fashion line, the Creative Director of Luxe Kurves Magazine, all while keeping that same passion for style. Kisha's knack and insight about the fashion industry is the main reason why she is so successful. After our interview I was in awe of her stories and the life experiences that shaped her perspective. She knows the pitfalls of starting a fashion line, she's worked as a day-to-day stylist, and one day she wanted take ownership of her lifelong dream. She's turned her passion into a reality all while keeping her personal mantra "God's Got It" at the forefront.

Kisha Waters On Diverse Body Types In The Industry 

Kisha Waters On Her Love Of Fashion & Advice To Those Starting Out

Kisha Waters Speaks On Her Boldest Move

Kisha Waters On What Makes Her Regal & Her Upcoming Fashion Show

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Anime Expo 2017

Every summer there is fervent rush for the Anime Expo at the LA Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. A collection of die hard Anime fans, Draon Ball Z cosplayers, video game aficionados dressing as heroes of their favorite games, and first time convention goers come together to celebrate Anime. One of the most outstanding displays was the larger than life 'Attack On Titan' inflatable head. Turning the corner I would see people running to the display with whispers of "Is that?!" while others hung back refusing to take a picture. I'm guessing the wildly popular anime characters brought to life was eerily too real.  

Feel Young, Be Bold, Live Regal

Feel Young, Be Bold, Live Regal