Life Passages XVII-Knowing Her Own Heart

“No, no, no. God, No!” Madeleine sits at the edge of her bed hiding from her parents, the world, and most certainly, Devon. “God, I don’t need this right now.” She whispers, trying to keep her argument with God private. “Do I…Did I feel…What the heck was that?” Madeleine covers her mouth with both hands, startled at her own abrupt outburst.

“I mean, I didn’t see this coming. God did You…wait! What am I asking? Of course you did.” Madeleine allows herself to fall back on to her bed, and covers her face again. Like thoroughbreds racing for a prize, her heart trots at record speed. Her hands slowly slip off of her face. For what seemed like an eternity Madeleine stares at the off-white ceiling. She doesn’t see the ceiling though. Not really. The image of Devon’s face and mannerisms fill her imagination. Her lips curve into a smile. Her mind conjures up images her and  Devon at his Grandfather’s antique book store, walking along side him from school to her home, at the pizza shop with his friends. Suddenly a picture of Samantha, Devon’s friend who Madeleine deems out-of-this world gorgeous, surfaces immediately quashing Madeleine’s other pleasant thoughts.

Madeleine gags then jerks upright so not to choke on her own saliva. Shaking her head furiously she stands, and begins to pace her woven beige and grey carpet. “Exactly why this can’t be happening God! Clearly there is something between them.” She massages her forehead. “Yeah, Devon…Samantha. There is definitely something there.” Madeleine shakes her head vigorously, trying to reset her mind. Commanding it to reboot.

Madeleine speeds walk over to her Monarch White Corner Desk. She slides her novel of the week out of her red and black plaid backpack, and in two skips lands on her bed again. With her legs crossed like a pretzel, Madeleine begins to read, and it is not long till she gets lost in the mystery book.

Buzz…buzz. After thirty thought free minutes Madeleine’s concentration is broken. Creases line her forehead as she focuses on the direction of the sound. Buzz…buzz. Madeleine leaps forward and retrieves the white and silver cell phone on her desk, underneath her backpack. A text message is waiting for her. Her chest expands in an exaggerated motion with every breath. It is a message from Devon. Hey! Hope you got home okay. Madeleine’s eyes grow large, absorbing the message when a second one rapidly follows it. Are you alright?

Argh! After all the effort Madeleine put into shoving Devon out of her thoughts, this Saturday afternoon, this sure does not help. Madeleine’s hands tighten around her phone, almost suffocating it. She peaks at the message once more. Her breaths pick up speed. She walks the width of her room hoping to calm herself down. At the very least to think. After what seemed like five minutes, Madeleine settles back down on to her bed and lays across it. This time on her stomach, she mumbles another prayer. “Am I really alright, God?” A long sigh rises from her belly to her lips “I’m not so sure that even I know.” Madeleine turns over allowing her head to hang off the bed. “So much I want to explain, but I’m not sure that I should.”

Madeleine raises her body into a sitting position, her legs extended straight in front of her. She pulls the phone closer to her, along the length of her knees to her hips. She begins to type. “Yup. I am home safe. Thanks.” She reads the message again, three times before she hits send. Releasing the mobile gently on to her sheet, she looks upward. “Please help me figure this out…if I’m really alright.”

LifePassages17B (3)


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Life Passages XVI – A New Feeling

Madeleine can’t help herself. She knows that it is impolite to stare. Even down right creepy if its overt. Still, she uncontrollably gazes at all the teens, and young adults laughing, chewing at pizza slices and taking turns at sharing one funny story after the other. Everyone had been extremely cordial, and  welcoming toward her. Quite frankly, Madeleine had never met such a friendly bunch of young people in her whole life. What was even more peculiar was that they didn’t seem to want anything from her but seemed to genuinely want to know who she is. She really is. Hmmm…

She also couldn’t take her eyes off of Samantha. The lean eighteen year old with thick caramel brown curly locks, darker than her own intense auburn hair, appeared to have a special bond with Devon. They seemed to almost finish each other sentences. Madeleine’s eyes are repeatedly drawn to the young woman. She carried herself as though she didn’t have a care in the world, and easily made conversation with the diverse group of individuals. Madeleine deduced that there were at least six different cultures represented there. Still, here attention kept meandering back to Samantha. A tinge of jealously began to surface. She felt it pricking at her, like small pins being used to hem the edges of her soul. Madeleine shakes her head hoping it will dispel any negative thoughts, and feelings, all at once. Suddenly, Devon slips in next to her after animatedly telling a story on his feet. “Hey! You okay?” Devon stared into her eyes searching for her true, and immediate feelings. “I know that this bunch can be overwhelming, but they are harmless.” His grin warmed her, filling in any spaces of loneliness amidst this group. Surprised by her own new feelings she shifts her body ever so slightly away from Devon. Her heart racing, she gestures to stand up.

“Um…Devon, I…um…should get going.” Madeleine is half way up from the community bench, her knees bent, with an apologetic look on her face. “I am having a good time…It’s great to meet your friends, but you know how my parents are about um…punctuality.” She is fully standing at this juncture, using her body language to petition to Devon to let her pass him.

Devon stands and faces Madeleine, blocking her from slipping pass him. “See! I knew something was up. Too much too soon, huh?” Devon is playful, grinning from ear to ear.  “At least let me walk you home.” Devon’s voice couldn’t have sounded any kinder right then, and there as far as Madeleine was concerned. “Oh Com’on! Okay. I am not taking no for an answer, you know?” Devon cleared the way, and let Madeleine by. She slips out easily, gently waving to the others who one by one began to notice that she was leaving. “Are you leaving already?” Samantha jumped up and drew closer to her from the other side of the communal table in the pizza shop. “You just got here! So, when are we going to see you again?” Samantha smiles broadly, radiating a natural beauty that makes Madeleine want to fade into the background.

Somewhat intimidated, Madeleine attempts to present her case to Samantha. “Um…I just have lots to do. You know?” Madeleine begins to feel the words coming more easily. “Not sure when I will see you guys again. We’ll see.” Madeleine forces a smile at Samantha, the young adults seated, and then at Devon on her left, hoping she’s sold her position well. “So…I’ll see you guys. Thanks again. It’s been great! Goodbye.” Madeleine waves at the crowd, and starts moving toward the door, still unable to make a clean getaway. Devon stares at Madeleine, almost sympathetically. Eventually he stands aside, allowing Madeleine to slip by.

“Alright then, if you must.” Devon relents shaking his head, unable to get it straight as to what else it would take to convince Mads that she can trust him. She can trust his friendship. “So like I said, I’m not taking no for an answer.” Devon begins to follow Madeleine out of his group’s popular hangout spot. She looks back over her shoulder. Her stomach turns just a bit. She keeps walking forward. When she clears the store’s entrance she turns around to face Devon on the sidewalk.

“Seriously! I’m good. I can make it home alone.” Madeline didn’t mean to sound as firm as she did. “I mean…please go have fun with your friends.” Madeleine hopes her second attempt worked to accomplish her, now very familiar, escape. She held her breath waiting for him to respond. “Here’s the thing Mads, I get it. Maybe I should have had you hang out with just Sam and I at first, then introduced you to the larger group.” Madeleine swallows hard. Her suspicions are being confirmed by the second. Samantha is someone special to Devon.

“It’s cool.” Madeleine is anxious to leave. “I got to go. Bye Devon.” Madeleine smiles sweetly at the young man whose brilliant brown eyes she’s grown fond of looking into now. She begins to twist her shoulders, motioning to walk away again. This time Devon tugs her left wrist, with his right hand. “Mads, I think you should chill with a bunch like this. They don’t mean any harm. Seriously.” Devon is sincere. He is intent on selling her the idea of friendship again.

Madeleine can’t help but search Devon’s eyes for what seemed like a very long thirty seconds, or even a minute. She had to know if he was really as nice as he seemed. Can he be trusted? Can she let her guard down? Can she let him in completely? “Oh really?” Is all she could manage to respond. Ahem. Madeleine clears her throat. “Devon, I don’t know…um, can I think about it?” Her eyes are wide. They’re pleading with Devon to understand her position. Pleading with him to give her the space she needs. Devon studies Madeleine closely too. His faith dictates that he look out for the opportunity to guide the loss back home. He terribly hoped that Madeleine could see he has no schemes up his sleeves to hurt her, in the least bit. “Please.” She makes one last effort.

Devon takes Madeleine’s two hands into his, and stares empathetically into her jade green eyes. “I understand. You think about it.” Madeleine’s stomach makes a complete flip. Ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum. Her heart races, the sound growing louder, and louder filling her ear drums. She can’t take it. The sound of it, as though her chest was near exploding. She pulls her hands away with a strong force, and stares at her feet. A somewhat startled Devon pauses and watches the young woman across from him for a long while. Madeleine’s eyes are fixed on the ground. She can’t bear to look up at him just yet.

Like a message from the heavens, it dawns on Devon that he has perhaps gone too far? He takes one step forward to present his case. Madeleine immediately takes one step back barely looking up at Devon. Devon stops. His eyes are still fixed on Madeleine, carefully observing her body language. Not quite sure what to say or do. He makes an attempt anyway. “Um…Mads, are you okay?” Madeleine desperately wants to run away, as usual, but this time the touch of Devon’s hands has left her somewhat paralyzed. She takes her time, trying to calculate the correct reply or next move to  make. She swallows long, and slowly.

“I am okay. I just need to head home. I…I think I may be coming down with something. Don’t want to spread it.” Her words are calculated, accompanied by strained laughter. Eventually she looks straight into Devon’s eyes. “Got to go Devon. I’ll see you…Thanks. Bye.” She’s assertive but with kind. She inches away still facing Devon for a few seconds, then turns and walks away briskly leaving Devon staring on, transfixed. He isn’t quite sure what he should do. He genuinely wants to help Madeleine. He wants to help her to break down her walls, and let community in. The right sort of community. Individuals who acted out of a sense of purpose, rooted in faith. But had he gone about it the wrong way? He truly…truly wondered. Madeleine is fun. Madeleine is intelligent. Madeleine loves graphic novels, just like him. Madeleine is lonely. As he stood watching her walk away alone, he strongly considered whether his intentions for gaining her friendship were purely to help a lonely, and hurt girl find true friendship again, or whether it was something else.

LifePassages16 (2)



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Life Passages XV – The Fruit of Patience

“Sshh” Mrs. Walcott, the High School Librarian walks by and hushes Madeleine and Devon. They are seated in the back of the fiction section. They thought that they were properly hidden, at the end of the last row of book shelves. Clearly that is not the case.

Devon found Madeleine. She had made up her mind that she was going to experience the remainder of high school her way-alone. However, Devon is also determined. He is convinced that she needs a friend-and soon. He can identify with being a loner. To add to that, the words of his grandfather, and the faith teaching his parents instilled in him, from a small child, has led him to be tuned in to Madeleine. He knows that her behavior is only a symtom of something deeper. Directly after his last class, he jogged off to the school library hoping he would find her there, and he did.

“You’re going to get us kicked out” Madeleine teases Devon.

“Me? You’re the one with the big mouth.” Devon chuckles.

Madeleine shoots him a meancing look. “Excuse me?”

“I’m just teasing Mads…just teasing.” Devon smiles sweetly, and pats her awakardly on the shoulder. Madeleine slowly looks down at Devon’s hand on her shoulder, and then up in to his sparkling brown eyes. She feels a slight twinge in her stomach. Gulp! Madeline looks down in to the book on her lap. The one she and Devon had been poring over. The novel provided them with much entertainment as they read in tandem.

“Want to keep reading?” Devon stares at Madeleine. He is extraordinarly upbeat. Madeleine is silent. She ponders the question. Hmmm. She soon slides her back pack closer, and extracts her cell phone from the outter pocket, and checks the time.

“I have to go. Um, my mother wanted me to help her with something, or the other.” Madeleine begins to stand. Devon mimicks her motion.

“Ok. Cool. I will walk with you.” Devon smiles broadly as he stands. Madeleine freezes. She looks up at Devon, and studies his face. Why? Why is he so darn friendly? Madeleine studies Devon’s face a moment longer. “It’s okay. I’m sure you have stuff to do with your b-ball buddies.” Madeleine spits out, and slings her bag over her right shoulder. Devon bows, then shakes his head.

“That again? Really Mads, you really need to come up with something original.” Devon keeps in step with Madeleine. They exit the library, and enter the hall way. A few students are wondering through the halls, going to and fro to extra-curricular activities.  Madeleine and Devon weave in and out of the students on the way out of the main doorway. Devon is on Madeleine’s heels.

On the steps of the school, Madeleine stops abruptly. “Okay. Really? You’re really going to walk with me?” Madeleine is genuinely surprised. “Yeah! I don’t have anything better to do.” Devon is playful. He laughs at his own attempt at a joke.

“Figures! You’re conveniently hanging out with me cause there’s no practice today. I don’t need your charity, you know?” Madeleine is a bit frustrated. Her patience with people attempting to be her friend is very short. Madeleine and her family have moved four times in the last five years due to her father’s high profile job. Each time she tried hard to fit in, she attracted less than authentic school mates. The troublemakers she attached herself to at her current school, before meeting Devon, even  caused her a few hours in jail. Now Madeleine figures the best way to remain out of trouble is to walk through life alone. Besides, who knows when her father will be re-assigned again.

“What’s up with you Mads? You hang out alone-like all the time-and you’re bent on turning me away. What’s the deal?” Devon is prepared to get to the crux of the matter.

“What’s my deal? What’s your’s Devon? You don’t need to hang around me. What’s your agenda?” Madeleine refuses to back down.

“Ok. That’s fair. Well, I think you can use a friend. Besides, I like hanging out with you. In case you didn’t know, you’re pretty cool!” Devon is brutally honest. He’s come to really enjoy his time with Madeleine, even when she is being a little snippy. He finds it entertaining.

Madeleine’s face is warm. She raises her left hand to her cheek. Oh God, please don’t let my cheek be noticeably red! She is somewhat affected by Devon’s words although she has not quite grasped why yet. She looks straight ahead. Madeleine does not dare look at Devon.

“Whatever Devon! All  ‘words'”. Madeleine raises her hands, gesturing quotes.

Stay focused Mads, stay focused! You don’t need any more trouble from people pretending to be your friend. Oh so she thought. Madeleine increases her pace. She hopes to be rid of Devon, but his long legs remain in pace with hers. After about a minute of trying to outwalk Devon, Madeleine takes a deep breath, and slows her pace, then eventually stops. She turns slowly to face Devon, contemplating her next words.

“What do you really want, Devon? I don’t need any friends. The books, and the comics are cool but I do better alone.” Although Madeleine speaks slowly and thoughtfully, her tone is sprinkled with agression.

“Aw com’on, everyone needs friends. If even just one.” Devon remains upbeat. He hopes to be a source of encouragement. He understands a bit about her ‘inner torture’.

“I don’t!” Madeleine is emphatic. “Been there, done that. It’s not worth it. Everyone wants something from you, and it ain’t all good.” Madeleine’s mind reaches back, and almost like someone pressed play on a stored video in her brain, the memories coming flooding back. The memories of her moving from one city to another. The memories of beginning friendships that were pleasant and having to be torn away from them, to just plain falling into the wrong crowd and getting into trouble, all for the sake of  being accepted, and feeling important. It was all too much. Madeleine shakes her head and blinks, trying to shake the bad memories away.

Madeleine’s eyes meet Devon’s. Kindness is radiating from his. Madeleine is slightly embarassed. She is also curious. What’s his deal-I mean really? The more I push him away, the closer he gets. “Like, I said. What do you really want Devon?” She is blunt, almost harsh.

“To hang out. What’s the big deal?” Devon continues to flash a wide grin. He is determined to be patient with Madeleine. My fatih in action. Patience is the fruit that needs to bloosom right here, right now. He gives himself a pep talk. Madeleine studies Devon’s face. She is trying to find some fault in him. A chink in his armor. Just before she gets lost in the brilliance of his brown eyes, and the curls of his wooly-like hair, her wall goes up again.

“Um, I have to get home. It’s like a thing with my parents. See ya, when I see ya.” Madeleine adjusts the strap of her school bag on her shoulder, and begins walking again, at a normal pace. Devon walks alongside her.

“So see you tomorrow at the library then?” Devon’s tone is still chipper. Madeleine shakes her head. A smile begins to curl around the edges of her mouth.

“I don’t quite get your persistence. What are you up to?” Madeleine is still looking straight ahead. She doesn’t want Devon to notice that she is amused at this point.

“I am just being friendly. You know, to make a friend. Duh!” Devon’s delivery is comical, and they both erupt in to laughter. Madeleine, and Devon laugh heartily for close to one minute. Devon tries to talk in between laughs. “It’s like this Mads. Everyone needs a friend, and I know that you do too. High School can be rough. It isn’t safe to go through it alone.”

No comedy now. This time Devon’s tone is kind, almost compassionate. For the first time Madeleine wonders whether God had placed Devon in her life. Every friend she tried to make before either hurt her, or she was prematurely seperated from them. Things seemed to be going well for her father at the International firm he worked at. He was shaking things up, from the ground up, and it appeared that he would be needed for the long haul to make things thrive. Perhaps God had heard her heart’s cries.

She was content with going through the remainder of high school alone. Still, she hadn’t been truly happy in quite some time. Beyond her parents, she hadn’t been able to really trust anyone in a while. Madeleine stares at Devon, almost trying to read the notes of his soul. “Alone saves me from a whole lot of junk. It works.” Madeleine is not ready to let her walls down.

“Does it Madeleine? Does ‘alone’ really work? Look, whatever you’ve had to deal with in the past, everyone is not the same.” Devon’s compassionate tone begins to take anchor. It is almost as though he can read her mind. “I know a group of young people who are quite different. We work to bring out the best in one another. We meet every other Saturday night at the Pizzeria downtown. Want to join this week?”

Madeline’s lips part, and her mouth drops open. She stands staring at Devon amazed. Is Devon…is he different like me? Her eyes widen. They grow as big as saucers, fixed on Devon. God, is this You? Is this my answer?

….To be continued.


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Life Passages XIV – Breaking Ground

Madeleine sits on a wooden bench, under a humungous tree. It has foliage so thick that it provides ample shade for reading. Madeleine has taken her favorite past time-actually obsession, to the park two blocks away from home. She throws herself  into the graphic novel she purchased at Solomon’s bookstore. It is her third go at the book, since she purchased it two days ago.

She looked forward to escaping school, and sitting at the park all day. It has been quite a feat to avoid Devon though. Aside from several text messages, and  a few missed calls, he near followed her around the school halls-besides during classes-today. The evening following Madeliene’s odd departure from his grandfather’s store, the day before yesterday, Devon spent a great deal of time processing what occurred. He eventually gave up working things out on his own, and had a talk with Solomon the next evening.

“I get the impression Madeleine was startled Devon.” Solomon begins to offer his opinion.

“Startled at what Grandpa? I told her I would meet her here after basketball practice. She knew I would show up.” Devon interjects.

“Yes, but did she expect your posse?” Solomon says with a smile.

It’s as though a light comes on in Devon’s 17 year old brian. He pauses. He ponders. “No…no she didn’t.” Devon hangs his head, almost ashamed that he wasn’t more in tune to that. “I forget…Mads likes to get lost in books. She’s not big on crowds.” Devon sums up. He begins to recall how he met Madeleine. It was while he, himself escaped to the school library to parttake in his love of reading, in private. Devon works hard to live in between two worlds-and keep them seperate. He took great lengths to not let his basketball buddies into his “book sphere”, but that infamous day, when they scared Madeleine away, they had pestered him about where he was running off to, where he goes when he suddenly disappears, and some more taunts. He couldn’t shake them.

Devon eventually gave in. He thought, Well it’s only the comic books, and they’re cool, so why not. Still, he forgot that the Madeleine he met, that day in the library, was more like the book nerd side of him. As a matter of fact, while speaking with his grandfather, he realizes that he had not really seen Madeleine hanging out with anyone else at school. “I guess my first thought to keep my ‘two worlds’ separate was the right one.” He concludes. Solomon chuckles.

“Don’t worry too much, son. Give Madeleine a call…straighten everything out. I’m sure she’d understand.” Solomon begun to advise. “But Devon, I sense Madeleine had a reason, bigger than you, for walking out. Be patient.” Devon nodded.

Today, Devon tries his very best to catch up with Madeleine, to explain his side of things to her. She eludes him so well, you would think she’s had expert training in covert ops. Devon doesn’t give up. He’s quite crafty himself. He foregoes one afternoon of practice, and manages to follow Madeleine’s seemingly evasive trail to the park.

“Hey!” Devon says apprehensively to Madeleine, looking down at her sitting on the park bench.

Madeleine lifts her head slowly. “What are you doing here?” She says surprised that Devon was able to catch up with her.

“Um, I…What’s up? You left Grandpa’s store in hurry the other day.” Devon answers, working to regain his confidence.

Madeleine rolls her eyes, and shakes her head. She just wants to be left alone. She hasn’t known Devon that long, and severing whatever friendship they were building now, is for the best, as far as she is concerned.

“Just forget about it, alright?” Madeleine insists.

Devon grows impatient. “What do you mean, forget about it!”

Devon’s tone startles Madeleine. She looks up at him to find a genuinely confused expression on his face. She looks down at her book again. Then makes a second attempt to shake Devon off. “I needed to leave. I had somewhere to be. It’s not a big deal, so don’t make it one, okay?” Madeleine tells him. Then before Devon can utter one other word Madeleine quips, “Besides you had tons of company, so what difference does it make?”

“There it is! I knew it!” Devon stands directly in front of Madeleine now. He is still looking down at her. “You had a problem with my friends.” Devon delivers.

Madeleine looks up at Devon. She is upset, but refuses to invest any more emotion in to the situation. Well, at least not demonstrate any for Devon’s benefit. She slowly stands to her feet. Still not quite eye to eye with Devon, she looks into his radiant brown eyes. “You’re interrupting me. I’m trying to read. So, I’m going to leave.” Madeleine says nonchalantly, and begins to step away from Devon.

“So that’s it? I’m interrupting your reading? That’s all?” Devon says with a chuckle, then leaps forward toward Madeleine, and begins to walk alongside her. “What’s really going on Mads?” Devon recalls his Grandfather’s intuitive suspicion.

“What’s really going on is that you’re bothering me.” Madeline says firmly. For some reason, Devon thinks Madeleine’s attitude is hilarious.

“Ok. Well, since I am already bothering you…For the record, I couldn’t shake those guys the other day. They were hot on my heels, and all up in my business.” Devon explains.

Desperate to be left alone, Madeline softens her tone. “It’s cool, okay? You have friends. It’s done. See you at school.” Madeline speeds up. However, Devon stops in his tracks bewildered.

“So, wait! That’s it? We’re cool?” Devon shouts after Madeleine. She doesn’t respond, or look back at him. She keeps walking, and fast. As a result, Devon jogs a bit to catch up with her. He doesn’t speak right away. He looks down at Madeleine’s hands clutching her book.

“That book is dope! I’ve read it like five times myself.” Madeleine looks down at her hand, grabbing firmly on to the book. She swallows hard. She remembers that books are what brought her and Devon together in the first place. She stops abruptly, and turns to him. Devon halts, turns toward Madeleine, and smiles. He observes a few strands of her reddish brunette, blunt hair blowing into her greenish brown eyes. He smiles. He assesses that just like her personality, she also possesses a unique appearance. “So do you like it?” He eventually asks about the book.

“Yep!” Madeleine says quickly. “Again, thanks for introducing me to your Grandfather’s book store. I guess I’ll see you whenever you ‘escape’ to the library again.”  Madeline says politely, and resumes walking home. Devon takes a large step, with his long legs and catches up again. “Aw, C’mon! You have to visit Solomon again. He’s going to miss you.” Devon says playfully.

Madeleine can’t help but laugh. For some reason, Devon knows how to make her do just that, even when she doesn’t want to. “It wouldn’t happen again! We can meet there on the days I don’t have practice, and you can go on the days I do, and I wouldn’t come.” Devon says, determined to regain the friendship. Madeleine thinks for a few seconds.

“It’s not a big deal Devon. Really! I’m glad for the reading material, but the library is fine.” Madeleine says thoughtfully. Devon gives Madeleine’s words some thought as well. “What are you so afraid of Mads?” Madeleine stops walking again. She turns to look at the young man, who has now turned around to face her. Her face becomes warm, and noticeably red. “I am not afraid of anything! I just want to be left alone!” Madeleine says, and stomps off. Devon shakes his head. “Here we go again.” He mutters to himself “Well, it’s obvious something’s got you spooked.” He shouts after Madeleine. She doesn’t look back. Madeleine walks on for a few more paces. Suddenly, Madeleine turns around. She is surprised to see Devon still standing there, just looking at her. “What are you doing?” She hurls at him. Devon shrugs his shoulders. He’s convinced now that his grandfather was right. To add to that, he fully understands the life of a loner. The life of an introvert. However, his love for sports is what drew him out of it.

Devon slowly walks toward Madeline. She doesn’t move. When he almost reaches her, about three feet away, he slows, and stops. “I didn’t always have friends at school. My grandfather was my only friend for a long time. Loving sports broke that but…” Madeleine interrupts Devon’s speech. “I don’t need friends. I’m happier alone.” She tells him passionately, and stares at him with wide eyes. “Are you really?” Devon replies, trying to stifle a laugh.

“Yep! Uh-Huh!” Madeleine retorts then continues on her way home.

“I don’t believe that for one-second Madeleine! You’re not going to shake me that easily! See you in the Library tomorrow!” Devon shouts after Madeleine as she exits the park and walks on to the neighborhood streets toward home

To Be Continued…


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Life Passages XIII – Everyone’s The Same

“OMG! Mr. Solomon, these novels, and comics are outrageous!” Madeleine tells the store owner, and Grandfather of her new friend, Devon.  Solomon laughs boisterously. “Well, I think they’re okay, Madeleine.” Solomon eventually says once he is able to catch his breath.

“I can’t thank you enough for letting me hang out here, and…and just read! I promise I will buy something. I just can’t decide what?” Madeleine says ecstatic. Solomon begins to laugh out loud again.

“Please, take your time Madeleine. My payoff is seeing young people enjoying themselves with the material. So, don’t fret. Just enjoy!” Solomon says jovially, and returns to the cash register counter to continue working on sorting new, and second-hand inventory.

About thirty minutes elapses, adding to the hour Madeleine has already been in Solomon’s bookstore. She’s made herself comfortable within a deep corner of the store. She is seated on an aged wooden chair, with her head buried in a graphic novel. This is as good as watching a movie. Madeleine smiles, as the words cross her mind.

All of a sudden, the store’s front door opens. Madeleine is immediately distracted. The store’s threshold is cluttered with noisy teenagers. Devon is leading a pack of what looks like a few of his basketball teammates, and—wait a minute?— Girls? Urgh! Thought I was free from catty girls! Madeleine thinks. She expected Devon to be alone. So much for believing I’d made a unique connection, with someone just as weird as I am. Instead, he’s just like everyone else!

Madeleine jumps up from her seat, and hastily walks over to meet Solomon at the cash register. “I’ll take this one…” She begins to say to Solomon, when she is interrupted. “Hey, Mads! There you are!” Devon says with a huge grin. Madeleine doesn’t respond, or change her focus. She remains facing Solomon, waiting for him to complete the transaction. “Hey Madeleine…what’s up?” Devon makes a second attempt at obtaining Madeleine’s attention. She continues to ignore him.

“Thank you Solomon! You have an amazing store. I am really glad I met you. Goodbye” Madeleine tells Solomon while clasping the brown paper bag, containing the book she began to enjoy.  “You’re very welcomed Dear! Goodbye”  Solomon says in a parental tone. Madeleine smiles, nods then turns to leave the store. However, her exit is a little tricky.

“You’re leaving?” Devon immediately blocks Madeleine. He is surprised she is preparing to walk out. Especially, now that he’s arrived. Meeting up at the bookstore was the plan-Right? That’s what Devon believed anyway. Oh well, plans change. “I just got here!” Devon continues. Madeleine looks around at the other six teenagers in the space. “I see.” She eventually says, nonchalantly. “Well, I’m leaving. Goodbye Devon!” Madeleine walks around Devon, cuts through one of the book aisles, and out the store.

Devon’s mouth gapes open. “What was that?” He turns to say to his grandfather. Solomon shakes his head, and walks in to his back room office, located through an entry way behind the register. “I don’t get it!” Devon continues, speaking out in to the air. “You don’t get what, man?” Sean, one of Devon’s basketball buddies, shouts back at him. “I thought you wanted to show us some cool comics, man. Let’s go!” Sean continues. Devon doesn’t really hear Sean. His thoughts are with Madeleine. I thought…I said…We were meeting here. Devon struggles to comprehend what transpired. Why would Madeleine leave?…We said we’d meet… Devon’s thoughts are whirling. Eventually, he gives up. Trying to understand Madeleine, and the way her brain works, becomes tiresome. Devon joins his friends. He half-heartedly talks, jokes, and  shows the group, the cool comics he promised. Nonetheless, his mind drifts to Madeleine repeatedly. He can’t help but wonder what’s up with her.

Meanwhile, Madeleine walks home clutching the brown paper bag, containing the prized book, under her arms. It would be absolutely more convenient to place it in her book bag, but somehow holding on to it soothes her in that moment. Why am I so unlucky when it comes to making friends. God, am I destined to be  alone for the rest of my life? Madeleine ponders, and prays during her walk home. Once at home, Madeleine walks straight up to her room, saying no more than a “hello” to her parents. She drops on to her bed still clutching the brown paper bag, and cuddles it as she drifts off to sleep.


To Be Continued…



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Life Passages XII – Revelation

Madeleine wonders aimlessly through the halls of her high school. She thought she had finally met someone who is more like herself, and unlike the “fake friends” she’d made previously. Yet Devon appears to be another disappointment…a HUGE disappointment. Well, at least according to Madeleine’s current estimation.

Devon stands at the other end of the long corridor. He is surrounded by his basketball team mates, who in chorus, excitedly recount their exploits from the afternoon before. “Man, you missed it!” said the burly, Sean. “Yeah, Dude!” The lanky Chase added. “Where were you anyway?” Chase continued.

Just as Devon is about to answer, he catches a glimpse of Madeleine walking up the crowded hallway. He ignores his team buddies, and begins to move toward her. “Hey man! Where are you going?” He hears the words being hurled toward him. Devon is severely distracted.

“Mads!…Madeleine!” Devon sprints to catch up to Madeleine before she turns the corner down a narrower walkway.

Madeleine hears her name wafting through the air, and slowly turns around in response to it. She notices Devon jogging toward her, and turns again to walk away. “Mads…I…I mean, Madeleine wait up!” Devon calls after her. Madeleine pauses, and slowly swivels toward him. She observes him briefly and tries not to laugh. She thinks the athlete’s  breathless running is sort of hilarious “What Devon? …What is it?” She says, portraying displeasure, and trying to stifle her laughter. “Oh c’mon! Are you still mad at me?” Madeleine shoots Devon a sharp look. “What do you think, genius?” She tells him forcibly. Devon’s eyes widen. “Madeleine, I said I was Sorry! What else do you really want from me?” Madeleine is surprised at how flustered Devon is becoming.

Madeleine thinks quickly. “Is Devon really getting upset about my not ‘surrendering’ to his apology?” Madeleine analyzes Devon’s face. Devon then realizes that Madeleine has stopped speaking, and is staring at him. This somehow calms him. “Mads, look…I…uh…I am not used to having a…um, a Girl for a friend.” Devon spits out awkwardly. “I may hang with the Jocks fine, but deep down I’m a comic book nerd whose trying to balance it all, and just make it through High School without any drama.”

Madeleine bursts out into laughter. Devon is flabbergasted. “What the heck is so funny?” Madeleine laughs harder. Devon continues to question her, even plead with her to explain but her laughter grows uncontrollable. Eventually Madeleine talks through her spastic giggles. “I’m sorry…I see it now…” Madeleine begins. “You come across as this tough jock, but there’s someone else hiding in there.” Devon bows, then shakes his head. “Umph! Well, at least you’re laughing…even if it is at me…it’s an improvement on your previous attitude.”

Madeleine laughs harder and turns again to walk down the narrower hallway to her class. Devon follows, then walks alongside her. “Meet you at Solomon’s bookstore after school?” Devon asks. Madeleine ponders briefly, then asks. “What about B-ball practice?” Devon smiles broadly in response. “I figure, you’ll get so caught up with the leather backs, that you’ll still be there.” Madeleine stifles a giggle, and straightens her expression. “We’ll see…” She tells Devon casually, and appearing aloof. Devon smiles confidently. “See you after school Mads!” Devon tells Madeleine, nods,  then tears apart from walking alongside her to head to his first class for the day.

To Be Continued…


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Life Passages XI – The Fall Out

“Mads! Wait up!” Devon calls after Madeleine while running out of his Grandfather’s Collector’s Bookstore. “Oh Come On Madeleine!…Please!”

Madeleine continues walking briskly ahead. The sound of Devon’s voice rings in her ears. After a few more paces, Madeleine halts to a stop, and swivels around. “What do you want Devon?”

Devon takes a deep breath. “What’s wrong with you? What’s made you upset?”

Madeleine stares at Devon curiously. “You seriously don’t know what you did?”

“No. I don’t Mads.” He says in a calm tone as he draws closer to her. “What did I do?”

Completely heated, Madeleine fires off. “You embarrassed me back there. How could you allude to my being some spoilt rich kid?”

Devon chuckles. “Allude, huh? I see you use big words when you get angry.” Devon laughs out loud.

Madeleine stomps her foot, turns and walks away.

“Oh Come on Mads! I was just joking. Come O-N!” Devon shouts after Madeleine and jogs to catch up with her.

Devon comes alongside Madeleine. He breathes a brief sigh. “Look, I’m sorry Mads. I didn’t mean anything by what I said.” Devon sighs once more. “I think that my Grandfather was right. I am jealous that you get to soak up all those books any day of the week that you want.” Devon takes a third breath. “Are we cool?”

Madeleine continues to stew a little longer, and walks beside Devon in silence till they hit the city’s main street then halts abruptly. “Are you following me home now?”

Devon smiles. He’s relieved that Madeline has finally spoken to him. “I can.” He offers sarcastically.

Madeleine rolls her eyes. “I don’t think that is a good idea Devon.”

Devon’s eyes widen. “What, you don’t want your parents to see me, or something?”

Madeleine’s mouth gaps open. “What is with your diarrhea of the mouth today? Geez! …You know what? Thank you for taking me to your Grandfather’s amazing store. I can get home all on my own. So, GOOD-BYE!” Madeleine says forcibly with one hand in front of Devon’s face as though stopping traffic. She then speeds forward a few steps, turns down a side street and disappears.

Devon stands still, almost paralyzed at the events that occurred that afternoon. “What just happened?” He thought to himself. “How did I get here? I’ve made a girl apocalypse-sized angry…AND, I’ve tried to stay clear of them all year, to focus on basketball!…Absolutely weird!”

Devon bows his head slightly, shakes it, then turns around to head toward home.

To Be Continued…

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 11.13.11 AM


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Local Independent Film Spotlight: Jyoti Singh

This week’s Local Independent Film Spotlight highlights a one-of-a kind, local to  global acting, and filmmaking talent. Everyone, meet Jyoti Singh. I was drawn to Jyoti through her acting work in the short film, “Samosa”. The film was insightful, and entertaining. This led me to further discover her wider scope of talent and work, and I was drawn to her involvement with creating work here and abroad. Being a huge Bollywood fan, who has come from a tradition of watching one Bollywood movie per Sunday with my Dad, naturally I wanted to learn more about Jyoti’s current film in the works, “The Dignified Princess”. 

Jyoti thinks big, and her approach to getting the job done, and realizing her dreams is inspiring. Let’s get the conversation started.

Sit back, relax, even grab a snack if you like, and Read On to learn more about the impressive Jyoti Singh.

Hello Jyoti, I am truly excited to have this opportunity to speak with you. I have seen you in the role of actress, and loved it. However, please give us a detailed break down of your skills in the film industry.

Hi Diane, Thank you so such a wonderful opportunity. Thank you for watching “Samosa,” our short film. When I started in this industry after moving to Midtown Manhattan around 2009, I didn’t aim to perfect any single skill in particular. I was just so passionate that I enthusiastically jumped on any project that struck my fancy and boy, there were so many! My presence, accessibility and interest allowed me to explore the roles of writer, voiceover, critic, Producer/Manager, promoter, director and even, cinematographer. But most of all, I consider myself an actress. In front of the camera is where I feel most at home; portraying the emotions of a character…that’s where I get most fired up!

Where did your passion for performing, and film work begin?

My passion for being an actress goes pretty much back to the time I was a child. I started acting in school plays from nursery to about 4th grade; this was in India. Then a huge obstacle presented itself when I was asked to be partially nude in a role as Eve in “Adam and Eve,” a middle school play. In response, I opted out and actually just skipped school the day of the play. In hindsight, I guess it was my conservative upbringing and my effort to preserve my “Indian family dignity” that kept me home that day and pretty much ended my streak of acting. Until I reached college – in America, that is. I led several college dance performances (Indian folk dancing) and took part in talent shows. When asked to choose a major, I told my parents I instead wanted to move to NY and join acting school but of course, they were shocked and wanted me to focus on Academic career. It wasn’t until 10 years later that my life journey thankfully brought me to NY, where my childhood passion of acting actually started to blossom into real gigs.

What variety of projects have you been involved with up till now? What is your Bio, if you will?

I have worked mostly in Independent Cinema, student films, short films, hosting in Indian TV, some featured background work in TV shows like Gossip Girl & Monsters Inside of Me, industrials, commercials, voice-overs, theatre, Internet TV, music videos, reality chef in a cook-off TV show, supporting roles and by now 3 lead roles in feature films. Most recently, I had a Principal role (Pharmacist) in “The Slap,” the NBC mini series.

I was born in India and raised there until 1987. I have lived more of my life here in America. My father was an Army engineer and my mom an Assoc. Prof. of English Literature and also belonged to a famed royal family (daughter of King of Maihar, Estate of Madhya Pradesh).

I wanted to act when I was young, but was encouraged to more conventional career choices by my family. Since my deepest desire had always been to help people in need, I chose nursing and worked for American Red Cross, then with a psychiatrist. Meeting a man who was also dedicated to altruism and humanitarianism, I got married and moved to NY and slowly found myself in a position of complete financial freedom after my diligent husband met his career goals quicker than expected. With all the time in the world, I could do anything, go anywhere and that was about when the bad news of the 2004 tsunami hit. So I went to volunteer at a hospital in India. This facility was run at no cost to the poor by a great spiritual leader named Amma, better known in the USA as The Hugging Saint. During down time from volunteering, I started reading some of the books there and actually ended up having an unexpected, pretty profound spiritual awakening.

When I got back to NY, refreshed with a new self-knowledge, stronger sense of direction, I started singing classes, acting classes, and met a working actor who allowed me to write his scripts for his weekly TV appearance. I put my heart and soul into that every weekend and acted in a few student films. I slowly crossed the challenges of the shyness everyone feels in front of a quiet camera and the vulnerability an actor feels during an audition.

I then got a big boost when I enrolled in a course with Bollywood’s most well known acting coach Professor Taneja here in NY. That is the first time I realized acting was being true to who you really are in an imaginary situation or character. When I asked for feedback on a certain sobbing performance of mine, I was taught “It’s not about the actual crying, it’s about feeling the moment. You don’t always have to cry, your emotions will show. You can cry before you come to the scene. Give yourself time, be in the moment.” That was some valuable stuff I’d never forget. By the end of the course, Professor Taneja told me I needed to stop taking classes and now just jump into working as an actor. That surprised me but gave me tremendous confidence.

Then I auditioned for a lead role in the feature film 9 Eleven and truly did a fantastic job. But the film didn’t go far financially and remained independent and relatively unknown. I recalled the lessons I had learned: “prove yourself…know your craft.” I knew by far my best work up till that point in time had been 9 Eleven. So with my own personal money, I took the leap to submit it to as many film festivals as I could. Somewhat surprisingly, it became recognized, receiving 10 awards, and my work was applauded. This opened doors and I got numerous supporting roles as well as a lead role for feature film, On Golden Years with prominent Indian Actor, Ranjit Choudary. I played his wife, a 55 year old lady. The movie’s about immigrants who worked hard to achieve the American Dream and now find them retired, elderly, reminiscing about their country of birth.

I followed this work with my own short film Samosa and submitted it to film festivals. We ended up winning 5 awards and I won the Best Actress award at The People’s Film Festival. So in my lifetime, I have accomplished two of my major goals: one as an actress and other as a humanitarian.

Thanks for sharing your background Jyoti. I have also seen the trailer for your upcoming film; “The Dignified Princess”. Please fill us in on the full details of this film. How was this feature conceived? What is it all about? What is your specific role in the production?

Yes, that teaser of course was made by Vick Krishna himself. “The Dignified Princess” was my sister’s (Gauri Singh’s) idea. She always wanted to make a film on my grandmother’s life. It is basically a story about her journey as a woman in 1930’s and her struggles. So my sister wrote the screenplay, and then the script. All I wanted to do was act in this film. Never really intended to produce or direct or to work as a production manager. But as time went along, about a year and half, the project seemed stuck, and nothing was moving along. Since I intensely wanted to act in it, I pushed for it. So, I decided to finance it, even with a low budget.

Where is the film being shot? Is any of the film being shot in the United States?

Since this film is about an Indian royal family, to shoot in the USA was not possible. To get that palace setting here would be so expensive…the money we didn’t have. We knew a majority of the film would have to be shot in India. Since we come from Maihar, Madhya Pradesh, where my ancestors and relatives still own the palace, we decided to shoot in India. I had spoken to my cinematographer and that was it ! We jumped in & found ourselves at the palace. But one of our Uncles, whose son is a major TV producer in India, told us to come and check out his son’s shooting sets, close to Mumbai. We told him we only had limited funds, probably just enough to pay the crew. When we actually saw the sets, our mouths dropped, they were beautiful ! So our many thanks to Contiloe Entertainment for giving us access to such a wonderful royal location.

There was one particular scene, which we had planned to shoot in the US, so that scene will be shot here, otherwise the entire shoot in India is finished.

Have you had any unique challenges with this production?

Yes, it was unique indeed. Firstly, I have actually never worked in India. I am Indian, but lived more of my life in US. So of course I don’t understand the system. There is a hierarchy system present, which I learned pretty fast. So knowing I have little control as a woman and knowing how people were ripping me off, I faced obstacles everyday. Secondly, it is not easy for traditional Indian men to handle orders from a woman, often younger than themselves. Thirdly, it was a challenge to work with different teams who were simultaneously shooting other TV shows on the same sets…to arrange the schedule. We had to work around their schedule, that was a pain. Getting actors, arranging their travel, managing everything, accounting/money, directing and acting…boy, my plate was more than full !

I remember I hardly had any sleep. I am glad I had my cinematographer, Jigme Tenzing, and my sister, Gauri Singh, Vibhu Raghav who helped me immensely in this journey. Gauri did costumes and sets and was also assistant director. The crew was good, which was so helpful. They saw us struggle and saw our motivation and did their best to help us.

Can you tell that I am extremely thrilled about this? What are your plans for the release of this movie?

Well, interestingly I hardly went in with any planning besides motivation to shoot. I still have to shoot connecting scenes, which we are doing soon. After that we work on music and dubbing. It will still be few more months. Probably close to end of the year the movie will be ready. Then the hopes are to show the film to some investors, in hopes the film will be picked up. I do believe it should release in theatres. If not, there are always film festivals.

 How are you getting the word out about “The Dignified Princess” film?

We will definitely focus on marketing, once we have the product. So far what we are doing is giving out little bit of information every now and then. Some will say the movie loses steam, others will say, it keeps people interested. But yes, when the time is right, we will go all out.

What is your ultimate goal for the movie? What is the extent of the reach that you would like it to accomplish?

It is an international film. I do want to gain back the money I used for the film. At least even out. Film is a risky business, I am not a producer. Short films are easy in the sense, you know the market for it. Full features on the other hand can go either ways. God willing it will do well. At least in my mind I will never have regret, the “what if?” thought. At least I took the chance. Rest is up to the viewers to decide. Not just for me, for all the people who have worked hard on this project. It is never one person, it is the whole team together who wins when the film does well.   So good luck to all of us.

How can everyone learn more about “The Dignified Princess” today?

Well right now I have not created a website. But we do have a Facebook page where we regularly add updates as things get closer to release time and we will soon also have an IMDB page and website. Everyone can also check out “The Dignified Princess” teaser here on YouTube. 

So what’s next? What are you “cooking up” for the near future?

Well that is one thing about me. I take it as it goes. Next, is finishing “The Dignified Princess”. Wrapping up the film and then postproduction.

The other thing is I will have to join the union (SAG) soon, as I acted in a TV serial “The Slap” as principal role of Pharmacist. Since it had speaking lines, the next time I work on SAG project that is requirement.

Good for you on snagging that speaking role on a national TV show! Please share your thoughts on the Local Independent Film Industry? Do you think that it is a well-oiled machine, or can it stand some tweaking?

Well, I am from NYC, where yes things are done. I have shot stuff locally in this area for a while now. In fact my career pretty much picked up from here. I have worked with several independent film directors in this area. Of course the person I closely work in this area with is Vick Krishna. I think the industry is getting bigger in this area, with more filmmakers and fimfestivals coming up. Glad the market for independent cinema is more accessible, but being international actors, and being in independent cinema, I think what is lacking is the distribution of independent films. We have film festivals, but what after? –  that is the question!

I hear Ya! Which national and international filmmaker, and/or screenwriter, and/or actress has been an inspiration for you?

I have always looked up to Mira Nair, as I had seen her films growing up in the international market. It was inspiring. Because when I started acting, I hardly got any auditions in 2009. I think Slumdog Millionaire opened doors for Indian Actors. Then Deepa Mehta, also has made inspiring films. Water is one that stays close to my heart. And as an actor, Birdman…what an artistic work, go Alejandro González.

So, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years as it pertains to filmmaking?

Well as an actress, I feel I can play any kind of role. To me acting is a passion. Filming…I was never a filmmaker, I only intended to act. As for the future, I was never a person who planned things, I take it as things come to me. I like the balance between life and work. I believe in staying positive, but I never did this for name and fame in the first place. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to be able to accomplish my goals. Thankful for my Husband, my family, and some friends, who have supported me whole-heartedly. What I have learned is, we never know where life takes us, so best is to stay focused, positive, and hope for the best. Life is short, I rather stay humble, and hope my talent is recognized only if I deserve it. Hopefully, my work can touch people in some way or the other.

What are your long-term goals in this industry?

I just plan to act, when time permits. I have been lucky to attain what I have in such short time. Hopefully, I am able to work in projects that inspire people, touch their hearts and soul so they can laugh, cry, or feel something when they watch my work.

What advise would you give to others with a similar talent, and desire to make their mark as an actor and/or filmmaker?

Know your craft. Some people are gifted, others have to work hard. Stay positive, because challenges will come, and so will disappointments. Also, never forgot, be humble. “Never forget who you meet on your way up, because you will meet the same people on your way down.” My cousin, Chandrachur Singh, a highly respected Bollywood actor, taught me this.

Jyoti, I am inspired by your talent, creativity, and drive. What else would you like to share with us about Jyoti Singh that may surprise us?

Well, as I’ve said, my second passion is helping people, so many less fortunate, so many in need across the world. So I am a Co-founder of a non-profit we call RVP Charitable Organization. I need to spend more time in it.

As a hobby, I also train in Hindustani classical music & love to sing.

I love to cook and experiment while I cook.

That is some good stuff! Thanks for taking the time to speak with me. Any final words?

First of all,  I wanted to thank you. Also want to thank my teachers, directors, My Parents, Husband & my Sisters. All the people who have supported and believed in me. Want to thank all my fans, I never thought I would have them, but I do and all the 200 people waiting n Facebook to be accepted as friends. Thank you for looking me up and for supporting my work. It takes courage to make a fool out of yourself in front of people, I have been there a lot, so all I will tell people is “never give up; there is always something better out there. Life is short, so follow your dreams if you can.”


Peace to you too Jyoti. I wish you much success with “The Dignified Princess” and everything that you put your hands to. Your non-profit work is admirable, and I hope that it makes a tremendous difference in the lives of those it impacts. Thank you for being an inspiration today. 

Everyone I hope that you enjoyed this story about yet another phenomenal talent. Thank you for viewing this article. I look forward to welcoming you back next week.

Jyoti Singh




On Set – “The Dignified Princess” 



Jyoti Singh 





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Local Independent Film Spotlight: Vick Krishna

Welcome back friends! This week I would like to introduce you to Vick Krishna. Once again, I am thrilled to present  another local filmmaker who is making an indelible mark on the local – and even international – film industry.

I came into contact with Vick’s stellar work on Valentine’s weekend. I had the opportunity to view his recent romantic short film “onLove: A Modern Love Story”. I was immediately impressed with the acting, the production quality, and the story telling. I was drawn into the mini-movie from the get-go. For those who haven’t seen it I don’t want to give it all away and spoil this treat for you, but there are pleasant surprises that make it all that much more enjoyable.

Furthermore, I am going to let Vick tell you more about this film, himself, and his career as a whole. So please go ahead, and read on to learn more…

Hello Vick, so I just had to talk with you after viewing your short film, “onLove: A Modern Love Story”. It was engaging, and visually appealing. Tell us how you came up with the concept.

Thank you Diane! The concept came to me noticing how we can interact with our friends and families pretty much anywhere as long we are connected. That sense of true loneliness is gone these days. We are always “in-company” despite being digital.

I thought that you did an excellent job of going from reality, to “life online”, and back — Did you have any challenges producing this short? If so, what were they?

The challenge is always time as we shot the weekend before Valentine’s and I had only 2 shoot days and about 3 days to edit in order to release before Valentine’s Day. Some of the editing techniques (transitions) used are ones I have never attempted, so it was learning and executing all at once.

For those who haven’t seen “onLove” just yet, where can they view it?

They can see the film at this link . .

 Let’s go on to talk about your body of work. I have seen a variety online. Please fill us in on your resume — on your work overall.

So far I’ve been avid in making short films. I’ve directed/written/produced/edited 6 short films of my own. Along with that I’ve freelanced on several projects from being a production assistant, editor, assistant director, and even acting.

Where, and when did it all begin?

I’ve always loved movies from a young age. Around high school I was part of the Morning Announcements team and that exposed me to cameras and filming. I was also active in my high-school theatre, which got me into acting. Both of these solidified my interest behind and in front of the camera and I began making videos for fun trying to learn the craft.

Do you have a favorite film that you have worked on—a “passion project” if you will?

All of the ones I’ve worked on have unforgettable experiences. It so hard to pick a favorite. Each film is an adventure for me, where I get to be part of a family with the crew and actors. They all have their special moments in my life.

What is your favorite aspect of filmmaking? Is it directing, writing — tell us more?

My favorite aspect would have to be directing. It is at that stage where you finally see everything you had in your head and envisioned, in real life. It’s a great feeling to see the words come to life and you can begin the action.

What’s the ultimate goal, that you would like to attain to in the global film industry?

My goal is to simply tell a great story. Stories can do many things. They can motivate, inspire, make you cry, make you laugh, excite, scare, teach and feel something. I want to do those things well with my stories.

That is fantastic Vick! What are your thoughts about the local independent film enterprise? – Where is there need for improvement?

I think the local independent enterprise is thriving with new talents, and it’s so great that the technology to make films is now affordable so we can participate. The need for improvement might just be to continue to learn.

Personally speaking I don’t have any film school background. I learned by watching and making films. You don’t want to rush into something you don’t know anything about so take your time to learn so you can do it right. I still have so much I want to learn about visual graphics/cgi/animation, all of which could help me tell my story better.

Well your work is a fabulous testament of what self-motivation can do. Tell us about some other local filmmakers whose work you admire.

There are several great filmmakers here and some those I would like to mention are, Mike Kravinsky (Geographically Desirable), Anthony Greene (The Henchman’s War), Venu Nakshathram (The Otherside), Cisco Davis Jr. ( Zordon of Eltar: A Power Rangers Fan Film), Manan Katohora (Public Relations).

Do you have a favorite national, and international, director and/or screenwriter?

National: Spielberg & Tarantino

International: Manirathnam & Miyazaki

Screenwriter: Tarantino

Did you have a favorite on Oscar night?

“Birdman” all the way!

Which film, and actor were you pleased won an Academy Award?

I’m very pleased with the “Birdman” and Patricia Arquette winning.

Were there any disappointments for you that night?

Perhaps for Best Sound Editing if at all anything.

I gotcha! Now back to you, and your wonderful talents…What are you working on presently?  

Presently I’m working on editing a feature-length movie currently titled “The Dignified Princess” produced by Jyoti Singh.

Oh! I can’t wait to see that, and talk to Jyoti Singh about that project. We’ll fill everyone in on that soon but, how do you usually showcase your projects. Is it mostly online?

I usually just put it online. I just want to share my story with as many people as possible.

Vick, I am so happy that I got to talk with you. Thank you very much. You are the reason, I do the “Local Independent Film Spotlight”. Any final words?

Keep making films and telling your stories. And thank you Diane and the Local Independent Film Spotlight for taking the time to appreciate the local talent. We new filmmakers thrive on your words of encouragement to keep going.

 Awe! Thank you! How can everyone keep abreast of all the imaginative, and creative work that you’re doing?

They can subscribe to my YouTube Channel    

This was absolutely my pleasure Vick. The local filmmaking, and acting talent is rich…very rich. I sincerely get charged up to enlighten our community about the wealth of performance and entertainment treasure it possesses.

Thank you for joining us today. Stay tuned for another remarkable feature next Wednesday, right  here!

Vick Krishna


“onLove: A Modern Love Story” Poster




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Local Independent Film Spotlight: Karen Elle

I know that you’re going to enjoy reading about this gifted young woman. The first time Karen Elle grabbed my attention was when she stood up at one of our church group meetings and read a monologue she had written about her real, relatable and down-to-earth interactions with God. This was not your usual religious exchange. Oh No! Instead, Karen personalized her communication in a manner that was comparable to blatantly chatting with a close friend. It was gritty…it was candid, and I loved it!

Anyway, my take-away was that Karen Elle was someone special…unique, and “outside-the-box” – in a really good way. I later learned that Karen was an actress, and that we had much in common as we pursued careers in entertainment arts.  Naturally, this drew us closer, and it is my honor to present Ms. Karen Elle…

…Read this descriptive interview to learn  everything about this show-stopping talent.

Hello Karen, it is GREAT to get to talk with you, and chat about your growing prowess as an actress in the DMV. Please tell us where it all began — How old were you, and how did you know you were destined to be an actress?

I don’t remember the exact moment, but it happened at a young age. My first love was writing. I’d always loved to write stories. But somewhere along the line the acting bug bit me, and I’ve been in love with it ever since.

What was, and where did your very first acting experience take place?

Picture it: Dayton, Ohio. Early nineties. I was huddled in a makeshift brick house, trembling in a pink turtleneck, pink jeans, and a pig mask. I was trembling not from fear of the Big Bad Wolf, but from the excitement of being in the moment. Nah, it wasn’t that deep. I was only in second grade and when I had my first stage role as Pig #2 in some school play adaptation of The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. That was my first formal acting experience. But I’d had plenty of practice before then—like the times I’d break something or eat cake I wasn’t supposed to, and act like I didn’t know anything when my mom asked me about it.

You’re currently involved with a stage play at the Silver Spring Stage, and we really want to hear all the details in just a few moments, but tell us about the acting work you’ve been involved with.

Well, my most recent show was Amrika Chalo! (Destination USA) with Ajoka Theatre Company, a very reputable theatre company in Pakistan. Georgetown University’s Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics brought the company here to do two performances (another was added because it sold out like milk before a snow day). I and four other local actors had the privilege of being in this production. That experience was so enriching. I learned a lot about Pakistan, about US-Pakistani relations. I learned some Urdu, and I made some great friends.
Also, I had the opportunity to be in DC Yuppies, a web series about seven friends who live, work, and play in DC and the drama that ensues. That was a lot of fun. I’ve done mostly theatre, and the only film experience I have done a couple of short student films, so with DC Yuppies I learned more about acting on camera. including advice from my cast mates, who had more film experience. You can watch the series at or on the B.E. Cre8ive channel on YouTube. New episodes drop every Wednesday.
I have been in two other productions at Silver Spring Stage: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot in 2011. I played St. Monica, Simon the Zealot, and one of the centurions. Even though St. Monica was fun, my favorite character was Simon the Zealot. I gave the character a Tinidadian accent—well, I attempted to. I met with a Trini friend who said I sounded more Antiguan, and everyone else thought I was Jamaican. But it was cool to do that. I also played Perfect Love and other characters in Arabian Nights last spring. That show was a beast. I had to dance, and I was supposed to have a solo. I ended up singing so low so the audience couldn’t hear me. Ha ha.
I was a part of the Hope Operas (2014), Capitol Fringe Festival (2010, 2012), the Delaware Fringe Festival (2011), the DC Black Theatre Festival (2011, 2012). I wrote and produced my first stage play in the 2011 DCBTF. That was awesome. I was in DC’s inaugural One Minute Play Festival that premiered at Roundhouse Theatre last summer. That was really cool. I’ve been in a couple of productions of the Vagina Monologues. The first time I did that show I felt empowered and proud to be a woman and unashamed of my lady parts. I’ve been in a few play readings.

Now please fill us in on your current project coming up at Silver Spring Stage.

The production I’m currently rehearsing for is 33 Variations. It is a very interesting show. It takes toggles between present day New York and 19th century Austria and mainly focuses on Katherine Brandt, an esteemed musicologist and Beethoven aficionado. She is struggling with a paper she is writing on him and also suffering from ALS. She has a daughter who tries to connect with her and spend time with her, but Katherine is hard to love. Then in 19th century Austria, Beethoven is experiencing the denouement of his own career and health. He grapples with his own demons and his musical genius.
I am enjoying working on this show, even though it has its challenges. The director, Natalia Gleason, has a big vision for it. A unique vision, and I think it will make the show work beautifully.
The show opens Friday, February 27th (with pay-what-you-can previews on Thursday, February 26th) and runs through March 21st. There are two Sunday matinée performances on March 8th and 15th at 2:00 p.m.

What’s your role in this on-stage drama?

I play Clara Brandt, Katherine’s daughter. She wants to love her mother, but her mother pushes her away. This role is particularly challenging because there are some moments that require me to be emotional. I haven’t really had a dramatic role before, but I appreciate the challenge, because it stretches me and helps me become a better performer.

How can we get tickets to see this enlightening performance?

Tickets are $20, and you can get them online at You can also buy them at the door. has discounted tickets for $10.

Moving forward, what future acting gigs are you preparing for?

I am working on a TV pilot about Capitol Hill. I’m praying for success with that. I am looking forward to Season 2 of DC Yuppies. I’d like to participate in Monologue Madness this year. I do want to go to an acting conservatory, so I’ll be preparing to apply for programs that begin next year. Other than that, I don’t have anything lined up for the moment. I’ll just keep my eyes peeled for auditions and other opportunities as they come. I want to do more film projects, so I’ll be auditioning for those. Oh, and I will prepare for the future unknown acting gigs by taking classes to help me become a better performer.

What is your dream role. What character, if it became available to you – anywhere in the country – you would just have to be there to audition for?

Well, one of my dream roles is to play Grown Nala in the Lion King on Broadway. Last year I could’ve auditioned for that, but I’m not a singer or much of a dancer, so….However, I’ll risk making someone’s ears bleed to audition for the role of Carmen Jones. I would love to have that role.
If there is a reboot of A Different World, I’d definitely be in the number for that! I’ll audition for any character—especially one like Freddie Brooks.

How do you view the local independent film industry?

I’m learning more about the industry itself, but I love independent films. I’m excited about those filmmakers who churn out masterpieces on small budgets. To me, some of the stories told seem more substantial and genuine. Also, there seems to be more opportunities to see people who doesn’t fit a particular aesthetic. I aspire to be in independent films someday.

Do you have a favorite local independent film?

Sons of the City, directed by Marcus Richardson.

You’re a very creative individual who also pens scripts for others, personal monologues, and so much more. Do you have plans to write a film, documentary, stage play or other?
There are a couple of plays I want to write, one of which I’ve been wrestling with for years. Maybe when I finally sit my hind parts down I can churn them out. I have an idea for a web series that I’m working on.
I do write some scripts and monologues for skits at my church, as you know :) . I enjoy using my gift in that way.

Yes, we work on video and stage performance scripts together at The Bridge DC. Now, please share your ultimate dreams and aspirations as an actress, and writer.

I would like to win a few Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, and Golden Globes, but overall, I desire to create awesome work. I want to be the best actress I can be, and bring such truth, talent, and power to the roles I have, that they resonate deeply with anyone who watches. Same with the plays I pen. I want to tell powerful stories that create a positive force in this world.
I would love to work with Ava DuVernay. I heart her work.

Now to a more national focus; as the 2015 Oscar Awards approach this coming Sunday, do you have a favorite film, or actor, or actress that you are rooting for?

Oh yes. I’m rooting for Selma. It was fantastic. I love Birdman, and I hope Michael Keaton and Emma Stone walk away with the little golden man.

There has been lots of controversy around “Selma” director, Ava DuVernay not receiving the best director nomination for this film, although the film was nominated “best film”. As a woman in “The Biz”, what is your opinion on the full matter?

I wish I could let my facial expression answer this question.
Selma was a great film. Ava is a fantastic director—I’ve seen some of her other films. While an Academy Award is a great honor, it is not the only honor one can receive.. I think her talent speaks for itself. Just because she’s not in the running for best director doesn’t mean she’s not a great director. It doesn’t mean she won’t stop making great films. There are other spaces where she can win an award like that.
Furthermore, there have been talented directors, actors, crew members, and great films that didn’t get nominated or win an Academy Award for whatever reason. They don’t need validation from the Academy to prove that their work is magnificent.

Well said! Karen you are a fascinating young woman with immense talent. It has been such a joy speaking with you. Any final words?

Thank you! I am humbled that you wanted to interview me. Even though I am not where I want to be in my acting career, I am grateful for the journey, and I look forward to what’s to come!

That is what Local Independent Film Spotlight is all about! How can we keep abreast of all the remarkable work you’re doing as an actress, and writer?

You can follow me on Twitter–@actrizkarenelle. I also am in the process of setting up a Facebook Page, Karen Elle and a Twitter account. I will launch a web site later this year.

Thanks again Karen! It’s been fun, and enlightening! 

There you have it everyone; another remarkable Local Independent Film Spotlight individual. You wouldn’t want to miss more stories about other phenomenal talent residing, and creating, right here in the DMV area. See you next Wednesday!

Karen Elle




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Local Independent Film Spotlight: Aimee Schlectman

This week  I am  excited, and  proud, to introduce you to Aimee Schlectman.  Who is  Aimee Schlectman, you asks? She is a self-driven, highly talented, quite interesting, and loads of fun to work with, kind of Gal. I worked with Aimee on the acclaimed “City of Lost Souls” crime drama. I observed as she meticulously combed over each scene in the script, cataloged each item needed to dress the film’s characters, and the indoor, and outdoor sets alike, into her huge binder.

You see Aimee was our Wardrobe and Props expert. Beyond the glamour of the lights, camera and accomplished actors, there is a person (or team) who feverishly works to pull the minute details together. Aimee led her eager team, to do just that.

Stick around to learn more about this unique movie professional…

Hello there Aimee, you have a very important role in the film industry. How do you precisely describe what you do?

I do Wardrobe/ Prop Styling for film & TV.  I interpret scripts and convey the words into the actor’s wardrobe. I assist bringing the Directors/ Writers vision to life through wardrobe.  After I break down a script, I visualize the characters wardrobe from jewelry to the handbag/brief case they carry.  From the smallest detail of name initial necklace to an Over the Top Gold Encrusted Diamond Jesus Pendant a Pimp would wear. It  becomes an extension of the characters’ persona.

Within the last 5 years, I have added Prop styling to my repertoire.  Prop styling allows me another opportunity to design scenes that are more realistic and believable.  Not only do Props assist the actors into character it is extremely creative.  From; faux ice cubes to watered down coffee (used as scotch), duffel bags filled with Cocaine and briefcases stuffed with faux Money. It is the art of making it look credible and genuine.

How long have you been fitting actors for costumes, and dressing film sets?

The film industry is my Second career.

I studied Fashion Design in college and have a Degree in it. I worked in the fashion industry after college in NY/LA. After realizing, it was not as creative as I thought it would be-I switched gears and entered corporate America. After many years of Grey business suits and smart practical shoes, I realized I was not fulfilling my creative dreams.  I began classes at FIT (In NYC). After a few classes at FIT, I landed an intern position on an indie feature film with some named talent. It was not a glamorous position. –I kept fire watch on the back of the Wardrobe truck in the middle of summer and ran errands for The Costume Designer. I saw and experienced a lot, got my first taste of movie magic – I was hooked.

Why do you love doing what you do?

This industry is not for the faint of heart. The days are long; they start early and end late. I love doing this job – I remind myself especially on days when the alarm is set for 4:00 a.m. A day on set always trumps a a day in the office.

I love being a wardrobe/prop stylist. Its SUPER artistic, I get to hang out with other misfits like myself and get opportunities to work with talented accomplished folks… No one does this job for the glamour or Money. You do it because you love making movies

Ain’t that the truth! Please describe the type of projects, you have worked on.

I have worked on Feature films, commercials, music videos, TV series, short films, training videos and a few print ads…

What has been your most memorable or favorite project thus far?

My favorite project was an 80’s period Feature Film. It was based on a female DJ starting her career out in NYC in the early 80”s. I had a crew of 3 and we did tons of extensive thrift store shopping/hunting ,borrowing from up and coming designers and creating custom made logo T-shirts.  We had a small budget and that added to the creativity. Unfortunately, shooting stopped mid-shoot because the Producer embezzled the funds, BUT the Wardrobe was amazing.

What are you working on right now? What great creations are you pulling together for the project?

Currently I am in talks with a couple different Directors about my next project… I just finished some commercial work. It was an ad for Washington Gas.  I was privileged to work on their new rebranding ad campaign. If you ride the metro, keep an eye out for the posters!

Nice! I will be sure to do that Aimee! Where does your motivation to do what you do come from?

I remind myself that I am doing exactly what I want, and love to be doing… Lawyers do not get that excited telling you about their latest case -do they?

Do you have a film whose costuming, and/or set design was particularly impressive to you?

“Casino”, “American Hustle”, the “Wrestler”, the “Sopranos”. I love the opulence and the tackiness!

Do you have a favorite film among this year’s Oscar nominated films?

“American Sniper” and “Whiplash” are my two favorites

Why are those your favorite?

I loved “American Sniper” for its superbly subtle critique, made by Mr. Eastwood. I admire our brave soldiers so much and this film salutes the honest work of all soldiers. It is also an interesting twist to see what happens to these brave men and woman when they return home.

What are your thoughts on the local independent film industry? Do you believe that it is growing…thriving?

I do not think there is enough local independent work for the DC/MD area. I know Richmond gets a fair amount, but I do not want to travel 2 hours (from Bethesda) to a film set. I wish they would shoot more local shows here. We have “VEEP” and “House of Cards” but something right here in DC would be fantastic. Perhaps “Law and Order” – DC Style. That would be awesome! Do you think Dick Wolf is reading this?

I sure hope he is! If you could adjust the independent film industry in the DMV area, so that it is a well-oiled machine, where would you make those adjustments?

My suggestions would be; to shoot more movies here and use local crew. We need the work and we are very talented.

We are indeed! What advice would you give to someone who has a desire to break into the movie business with similar gifting to your own?

It takes a long time to get a steady amount of work. You need a second job or live at home. The money ensues but not for a while. If you do not love the craft or do not love being on a film set (they are not all indoors and warm) this is not the industry for you!

Please describe yourself in three words?

Energetic, Professional and Creative. (Does not have to be in that order)

How can we keep abreast of all the fabulous work you are doing?

Most of my work is on IMDB…Just check me out HERE! 

 Aimee as usual, you have been a blast! Any final words?

 Thank you for the interview… My final last words… Stop having the Hair and Make-up crew do WARDROBE!

Loud, and clear Aimee, we – and filmmakers everywhere – hear you loud and clear.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiences with us. We have learned a great deal. It only gets better from here. Onward, and Upwards. Cheers!

Well there you have it. – Another engaging story from a local talent in the film industry. Thanks for checking in, and be sure to return next Wednesday for another “Local Independent Film Spotlight”! 


Aimee Schlectman “Dressing” a Scene of “City of Lost Souls”


Aimee Schlectman Hard At Work



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Local Independent Film Spotlight: David Walsh

It is great to have you back for another installment of “Local Independent Film Spotlight” (LIFS). This week I am pleased to present David Walsh.

I was very impressed with David the first time I witnessed him in action at the table read, led by filmmaker Eulonda Kay Lea, for her impending feature film. I had read the script ahead of the event, and David matched the lead character impeccably, as he brought it to life. When I met the affable gentleman following the reading performances, I said to myself; “That David Walsh is going to be a headliner someday”.

Read on to get to know David, and you will see what I mean. I can already guess, that you wouldn’t be able to help being swept up by his self-possessed charm and talent, not to mention learn a great deal from his experiences.

David, how are you doing – having a busy acting life?

I am well, not terribly busy on the acting front, but am in the process of launching a career doing voiceovers.

Voiceovers huh? That’s a special sort of performance in itself. How long have you been acting professionally?

Well there was about a 10 year gap that I wasn’t acting at all—just had a demanding day job that didn’t allow me the luxury. But I would say I have spent 10-15 years doing stage work, both paid and unpaid, professional and ‘non-professional’.

What inspired you to get involved with this craft?

I think it was a combination of a few things: 1) an affinity for foreign languages and cultures, resulting in a curiosity about people in general; 2) a love of films; 3) I couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t want to know what it was like to “walk in someone else’s shoes”.

Where did you secure your performance training?

I took a few acting classes in college and then just started doing theater, whether it was paid or not. Work is work, experience is experience, and that’s the best training you can get. I would also say that doing as much Improv work as possible really helps free me as an artist and helps build confidence.

I agree! Nothing compares to “hands-on” training. Please fill us in a bit on your resume. 

Most of my experience has been on stage. I’ve done a lot of character parts and supporting roles, a fair amount of Shakespeare, some chorus work in musicals ( not a triple threat here, but can carry a tune, I guess ;-)) Love to do ensemble work and am a big supporter of “the supporting actor”, as I feel they have less of the script to rely on in developing character.

What is the most memorable performance of your career?

I think that’s a toss up between a comic role I had many years ago on stage as Leon in “The Wake of Jamey Foster” and a role that I performed last year in a reading of a dramedy screenplay by a local screenwriter.

Do you have a future dream role that you desire to get the part for?

That role I mentioned for the dramedy screenplay—I just feel I empathized, understood and loved the character, even though on the surface we aren’t that similar.

What is it about the local, DMV independent film industry that you absolutely love, and applaud?

I think that although that market had grown in this area, it is still fairly friendly and not cut-throat. I think more and more people are participating and this ultimately only be a good thing as far as diversity of cultures and viewpoints.

Do you have any criticism about the local film industry? Where is there room for improvement?

I think that whatever red tape can be eliminated and incentives given to production companies, while maintaining the security that many landmarks require should be encouraged.

If you had the opportunity to pack your bags today, and fulfill your acting career, for the remainder of your life without any gaps, in Hollywood, would you leave this area?

Well I’ve been in DC for half my life and have established community here. That said I am not ‘married’ to DC and would consider all options if such an opportunity arose.

Do you have a specific genre of film that you enjoy acting in the most? Comedy? Suspense? Horror? Romance? Other?

I think my favorite genre would be comedy, but good comedies are hard to come by and sometimes I feel I have the right timing, and sometimes I’m off.

What acting performance are you gearing up for these days?

I have an audition on Tuesday for a group that will be doing performances in various media—on film, voice overs, and stage.

Do you enjoy writing, and developing projects as well? If so, are you currently working on one?

I do dabble a bit, procrastinate a bit and pick up the laptop again. I have both a comedy and a dramedy love story I am working on.

What advice would you give someone just starting out as an actor in the DMV area, and has big hopes and dreams to make a name for themselves.

I would say to join The Actors Center, Women in Film and Video (not just for women!) and join any open Facebook group for actors/filmmakers that you can. To take whatever work you feel would be worth your time—paid or not. Take as many classes as you can, particularly Improv. One can never learn enough.

As we draw near to Oscar night on February 22nd, do you have a favorite film, and actors whom you are rooting for?

Of the nominated films I’ve seen, so far I really loved “The Grand Budapest Hotel”—it was my kind of quirky, and ‘everyone’ one was in it. I also loved “Birdman” and the way it was directed—Keaton and Emma Stone, and Edward Norton were great. I haven’t seen “Still Alice” yet but Julianne Moore deserves an Oscar in general. If Patricia Arquette were not in the supporting actress category, I would give the award to (Meryl) Streep for “Into the Woods”—there’s virtually nothing she can’t do.

Please describe yourself in 3 words.

Sensitive, Curious, Funny

How can readers connect with you, and keep up with your wonderful accomplishments?

As of now, Facebook, but will be relaunching my website soon.

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me David. I’ve always enjoyed working with you. Any final words?

Thank you, Diane! Keep fighting the good fight and always use your creative side!




















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Local Independent Film Spotlight: Alicia Beth Dawson

When I met this week’s Local Independent Film Spotlight (LIFS) candidate, Alicia Beth Dawson was reading lines with actors who were auditioning for Jason Baustin’s crime-drama “City of Lost Souls” – which I also assisted on. Little did I know then that Alicia’s talents did not stop at acting. While working on the film, Alicia was also professionally beautifying our actors with make-up. As we got to know each other further, I learned that she was also a qualified hair stylist, and had screenwriting projects in the works.

Clearly I was fascinated, and impressed. I later got an opportunity to work with Alicia on one of her short film projects, directed by her acting coach, and mentor, Manuel Poblete. It was ridiculously funny, and intelligent…but I won’t give it all away now. Read on to learn about this interesting lady, and her diverse range of skills in the independent film industry.

Who is Alicia Beth Dawson in a nutshell?

In a nutshell…a complete nut! a complete control freak! a definite workaholic!

Whoa! I can imagine. Hairstylist, Make-Up artist, Actor, Writer, you are a quadruple threat in the film production world. With respect to your goals what is your chief focus, of those disciplines, right now?

Right now my chief focus is being a mom, I have a 5 year old son. It is the hardest job I’ve ever had and the most rewarding. Hair is my main focus in the quadruple threat right now. I’m a veteran in the industry and I’ve loved every minute of it. My clients have been very supportive of all my other projects. I even run new movie ideas by them, they all volunteer to be in them! lol.

Alicia, that is very interesting, and cool! I enjoyed working with you on the short film, “Just Listen”, which you wrote, produced, and held the lead role. However,  you’ve also written an outrageously hilarious feature with Manuel Pobelte. Tell us about that.

“Just Listen” came about from a conversation I had with my parents. In my casting notices, an audition came through for “Orange is the New Black”, I’m a huge fan, so I wanted to submit for it. I was talking to my mom about it, telling her that I would have to be naked if I got the part. My mother begged me not to tell my father, as he walked in, and the rest turned into “Just Listen”.
Manuel and I have written a hysterical feature length movie that is centered around 5 friends who get themselves into tons of crazy situations…want to say more but I won’t, for now. ;)

Ok, can you at least tell us what your plans are for getting the feature produced?

My plans for getting the film produced… beg! lol. I’m hoping the story and script will draw tons of investors. Manuel already has people interested in the film just by telling them about it. I can’t wait!!!

Sounds good! What are the long term goals for the project? Wide theater release? Straight to DVD? Otherwise?

My goals for the project?..Wow, umm…I would say theater release.

What are your thoughts on film festivals? Do you have interest in taking your on-screen work the film festival route, toward notoriety?

I love film festivals! There are are so many talented filmmakers. It’s a treat to be able to see just a hand full at a festival.
I definitely have an interest in producing on-screen work. As far as notoriety, I love this industry and I love entertaining, so if one person likes my movie then I did my job and I’m a happy girl.

Do you have a specific genre of film that you enjoy writing, and creating the most? Comedy? Horror? Romance?

I love movies, all movies. What is my favorite?..depends on my mood. My dream movie would be the one that I get to incorporate horror, comedy, and romance all in one.

Now that, I can’t wait to see! What passion project are you working on right now?

The passion project I’m working on right now, is one that combines horror, comedy, and romance! lol.
This project is actually the first complete story I wrote. I am also in the middle of a horror story about a hairstylist, it’s taking me a long time to write..I keep scaring myself ;)

That’s hilarious Alicia! What advice would you give someone who has diverse skills like yourself, and wants to break into the entertainment industry?

What advice would I give someone?..Oh my!..I am a complete control freak. I write the scripts, draw the story boards, do hair and makeup, produce the project, act in the movie, and laugh at myself everyday. The only way I can do all this and be Mom is having a positive attitude. I was once at a hair show in Las Vegas. While there, Robert Cromeans made a profound statement; ‘There are no mistakes in hair just discoveries’. I dropped the ‘hair’ and added ‘life.’ I apply it to everything. Of course some discoveries are easier than others, and some are less expensive, but you get the idea…lol.

That truly is inspirational. If you could live out the rest of your life just focusing on one of your gifts, which one would it be, and why?

One gift I would focus on would be writing. I started writing when I was 11, I was fortunate as a child to travel with my Nana. In the airport before our first trip she gave me a journal and said, “this is to write down all your stories from our trip, you can add pictures to it when we get them developed.” That journal became a gateway into my imagination. I have so many journals. I’m not a huge fan of writing on the computer. I would love to be able to sit and write all day.

I can definitely relate. With regards to the local film industry – In your opinion, do you believe that it can prosper outside of L.A. or New York?

I love local independent films. If the stories are good, the acting is strong, and the film has great quality, how could it not prosper. My wish would be for more people to watch independent films, and give them the credit they deserve.

As we seek to know you more Alicia, any final words?

Oh! I’m just getting started!

Alrighty then! Well how can we learn more from you, and stay abreast of all your creativity, and “power moves”?

If you’re in the Elkton, MD area, please feel free to stop by “Envy Spa and Salon” located at 707 north bridge st. Elkton, MD 21921, for a remarkable, and unforgettable hairstyling experience. You can also communicate, and stay abreast with me on Twitter (@aliciabdawson), and/or Facebook (

Alicia, chatting with you has been fun! I don’t know how you do it all. We will delve further into that one day soon. In the interim, all the very best with achieving your goals. The good times, have only just begun. Go for the Gold!

Everyone, thanks again for checking in for another Local Independent Film Spotlight. Be sure to return next Wednesday to learn about another interesting and creative individual in our local film world.

Alicia Beth Dawson


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Local Independent Film Spotlight: Chad Eric Smith

Welcome back for another Local Independent Film Spotlight. Today I am elated to feature Chad Eric Smith. He is a talented, and brilliant local actor, as well as thrillingly imaginative story teller. After learning about, and viewing his recent short horror comedy film, “Dark Therapy”, I just had to learn more about Chad, and bring his story to you. You would understand what I mean after you’ve seen the witty “Dark Therapy”.

Stay tuned, and read on to learn more about the film, and its upcoming screening on Saturday, January 24th. I am confident that, like myself, Chad’s experiences, and drive will further inspire, and stir up your passion for theater and film.

Chad, how did you get involved with the world of acting, and filmmaking?

When I was 12, my Grandmother took me to the Arena Stage in Washington, DC to see my first play “Oak and Ivy,” which chronicled the loving but strained marriage of two early-20th-century poets, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore. I left the theater mesmerized by the actors’ performances. I also left determined to perform at the Arena Stage one day. A little while later, my grandmother took me to New York City to see my first Broadway musical, “Annie Get Your Gun.” I was again awestruck. While in High School, I became a member of Children’s National Medical Center’s theater troupe, Teens Against the Spread of AIDS (TASA). It combined improvisational theater, poetry, and hip hop, to educate our peers, parents, and health professionals about important teen health concerns. All these experiences made me interested in acting once I got to college, and ultimately pursuing acting professionally.
After college, I performed in several short films and at many community theaters throughout the Pittsburgh Metropolitan area. I also was an extra in the big-budget Hollywood films “She’s Out of My League,” “I Am Number Four,” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” My first big role in a feature length film was as the mild-mannered and slightly socially awkward reporter Pete Henderson in the superhero comedy “Squid Man,” by writer/director Charlie Cline.

How long have you been acting?

I have been acting for a little over 10 years. I’ve been in a total of 18 stage plays, over a dozen independent films, a couple of web series, and a music video.

Wow! What bit you first; the acting bug, or writing and telling stories?

The acting bug bit me first. The first play I performed in was “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” by Steve Martin, during my freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. The experience of performing in front of a live audience was exhilarating. So, I just kept doing it and loving it more and more. Writing and telling my own stories happened much later.

You have performed a wide range of characters. Your acting wheelhouse is pretty vast. Do you have a favorite character which you have acted? Please fill us in on your acting experiences.

In 2010, I enjoyed playing Walter Lee Younger in the Kuntu Repertory Theatre production of the musical “Raisin” and was awarded an Oynx Award for ‘Best Leading Actor in a Musical’ by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the African American Council on the Arts (AACTA). That same year, I also won an Oynx Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Musical’ for my role as Wilson Pickett in the New Horizon Theater production of “I Gotcha! The Story of Joe Tex and the Soul Clan.” Those two are a couple of my favorite stage roles because, on top of acting, they both challenged me to sing and dance, things that aren’t necessarily easy or comfortable for me. In film, my favorite, most gratifying role so far was as a mysterious drifter named Ahmad in the upcoming horror feature film “The Suffering,” by LA based filmmaker Rob Hamilton. It was by far my most physically demanding, complex film role. My character is a mix of charisma, madness, and danger. Check out the trailer at

Fantastic! Well, let’s delve into your recent film, “Dark Therapy”, about a vampire with an irrational fear of blood, and seeks psychiatric help as a result. How was the idea for this short horror comedy conceived?

In the summer of 2013, I met local actress Devin Nikki Thomas at a table read for a script by filmmaker Harold Jackson III. Right away, she and I clicked. I thought she was funny. We had a very similar sense of humor and I was impressed by her quick-wit. So, we did what all strangers do right away: We became Facebook friends. We then decided to collaborate creatively. For me, it was an exciting and empowering opportunity to bring to life the type of quirky character I’m attracted to as an actor, and for Devin to be executive producer of her first film through her production company, Unitivity Productions, LLC.

You possess the main role of the Vampire, which was brilliantly performed. However, what was the writing process like? Did the ideas, and dialogue flow naturally, or were there instances of struggle?

Thank you! The idea and dialogue definitely came easy and a lot of it was improvised during filming. I knew right away that I wanted to create a cinematic-looking comedic skit with an improvisational flair, similar to Comedy Central’s “Key and Peele,” which I’m a big fan of. I’m also a big fan of Johnny Depp because of his knack for playing flamboyant, eccentric characters and I had recently seen him play a vampire in Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows.” So, that was my initial inspiration. When I started brainstorming ideas for the first rough draft of the script, I first thought about a skit about 2 vampires who give up blood because they become Jehovah Witnesses. Then, the idea of a vampire with an extreme, irrational fear of blood popped in my head like a lightbulb and Devin was like, “I’m game.” I began writing it in November of 2013 and then sent it to Devin and she added to it.

Those are great places to find inspiration. How did you prepare for your role as the Vampire?

I named my vampire character “Erebus” because it is the name of the primordial deity who personifies darkness in Greek mythology. I liked the idea of his name representing something opposite of his harmless, apprehensive, and constantly mortified demeanor. I liked that juxtaposition and irony. I sent the script to Carl Randolph and Robert “Bob” Yoho Jr., who were the special effects/make-up artists for “The Suffering,” and they really liked it and came on board to help bring Erebus to life. Bob designed realistic-looking, custom-fit fangs for me and Carl did my make-up, nails, and gave me white eye contacts. Devin purchased my blousy shirt and lace front wig. Transforming into Erebus took a little over an hour in the make-up chair and really helped inform my mannerisms and voice.

In the film, it appears that the “fantasy world” collides with the “urban world”. Was this intentional?

Yes. Even the fact that my vampire character is wearing jeans in the film was a conscious choice to collide fantasy with urban. I remember seeing an interview by director John Singleton in which he said that when a filmmaker is very specific culturally, it becomes universal and special. Not to be all deep, but I really like the idea of universality being found within cultural specificity. So, I thought that having urban references, especially references that were very specific to the DMV, with a black vampire as a lead character, would be funny and relatable to many.

The role of the psychiatrist is played by Devin Nikki. She was a natural. What was the approach to this character in the planning stages?

Devin is great as Dr. Anne Rice! Her name is a nod to the popular author of the series of novels The Vampire Chronicles. Devin decided for her character to have a southern accent to make her character quirkier. She was also very meticulous about her character’s appearance, as well.

There is certainly comedy throughout the short, but the horror portion certainly does peek through, including a twist. It is a fair balance. How was this accomplished?

It was certainly a collaborative experience. The original script had a simple comedic ending. When Devin made edits to the script, she added a darker ending and I loved it. It accentuated another idea I was trying to present, the idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Omar Juarez (Bad/Splice), our awesome Director of Photography, also edited the film and did some cool color correction that really hit the nail on the head regarding my vision. He was assisted by Manuel Santos. My father, Jonathan Bey, is an Emmy award-winning producer and composed the film’s original score, making it sound simultaneously quirky and ominous. I told him to think of the music of composer Danny Elfman. Audio engineer Michael Balasia further enhanced the sound of the film and added a few really funny effects. The wonderful performances of actor Niko Tarlay and actress Honey St. Dennis definitely helped emphasize the comedic/horror balance, as well. Everyone really elevated the project superbly, in my opinion, especially considering that we shot the film in a single day.

The comedy film premiered at the West End Cinema in Washington, DC, in October 2014, and later went on to receive awards for the film work, and acting performances. Please tell us a little more about that.

Yes, it premiered at the West End Cinema as part of the 2014 Reel Independent Film Extravaganza. It was a thrilling experience and the audience loved it! There was lots of hearty laughter. The following month, at the National Press Club, the Television, Internet & Video Association of DC (TIVA-DC) awarded Unitivity Productions, LLC a Bronze Peer Award in the “Independent Short” category for “Dark Therapy” and awarded me the Gold Peer Award in the “Acting on Camera – Fiction Male” category. It was a very exciting and gratifying night!

“Dark Therapy” will also be featured at this Saturday’s (January 24th) Rosebud Film & Video Festival, at the Artisphere in Arlington, VA. What is the significance of that for you?

I’m just really happy that it’s continuing to be accepted into film festivals so that people can see it on the big screen. In fact, on that same evening, it will also screen at the Indie Night Film Festival at the world famous TCL Chinese Theatre on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame! I’ll be flying to LA, for the first time, to participate.

How can fans, and avid movie-goers get tickets to attend this weekend’s screening?

Folks in the DMV area can purchase their tickets for the Rosebud Film & Video Festival at Ticket’s are $10. If they are in the L.A. area, they can RSVP for the Indie Night Film Festival at

What are the extend of your plans for “Dark Therapy”, moving forward?

We have submitted “Dark Therapy” to several film festivals all over the world and expect to get responses throughout the remainder of the year.

In your opinion, what is the forecast for the Independent Film climate in the DMV area? We’re not L.A., New York or even Toronto but do you think that the independent film industry can thrive locally?

Yes, I think the independent film industry can thrive in the DMV. There certainly are lots of talented people in the area. As a DC native, I would like to see more and more filmmakers and producers capturing the images of the diversity and historic landmarks that make the city so great. I do think, though, that DC officials need to do a better job at creating economic incentives to attract more film and TV production companies. From the things I read and hear about, I feel there’s too many jurisdictional and bureaucratic hurdles in DC, which dissuade filmmakers. That in return makes it more challenging for local actors to find high quality, paid gigs to audition for. That’s also part of the reason Devin and I decided to produce our own project.

What advice would you give to budding actors, and storytellers in this area, seeking to recognize their dream of performing and filmmaking?

I would tell actors to be selective about the type of work they choose to be part of. Don’t compromise your personal integrity just so you can add a credit to your resume. Being an actor is as much about your brand as it is about the craft. And your brand is made up of both what you choose to do and what you choose not to do. I recently saw an interview with actor David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Selma,” and he said something that really resonated with me. He said, “You erode your talent by being in things that are lesser than your talent. You are only as good as what you subject yourself to by way of the material, the people you work with, and the parts you accept.”
I, also, definitely recommend doing theatre. I believe theatre is the best training an actor can receive because it truly is the actor’s medium. It’s where the actor has the most say as to how he or she portrays the character he or she has been entrusted with. Plus, the energy one receives from a live audience is an amazing feeling. If you are a film actor, arrive on set on time, know your lines, listen and react to your scene partner, and be cognizant of continuity so the editor will love you. With regards to technique, well, as the late, great comic George Burns once said, “Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

Priceless advice! So what’s next for Chad Eric Smith?

My upcoming roles include me as a restaurateur in the feature length romance “Last Night,” by writer/director Harold Jackson III, a distraught artist in the feature length drama “Secret City Bluz” by writer/director Ambessa Jir Berhe, and a werewolf suffering with alopecia in the feature length comedy “Zombie Ted,” by writer/director Anne Wells. I’m also currently writing a new original comedic screenplay.

How can we stay abreast with your actor, and filmmaking work?

The best way to keep updated on what I’m doing is by “Liking” my Facebook fan page at People can also follow me on Twitter @ChadEricSmith and Instagram @Chad_Eric_Smith. In addition to being an actor, I’m also a musician. Some of my music can be heard on SoundCloud at

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me Chad! I would like to wish you much success with “Dark Therapy”, and all your future endeavors. Again, your story is inspiring. I am convinced that the your limitless imagination, and purposeful drive will transport you to your goals, and even further.

To everyone, I highly recommend securing your tickets for this Saturday’s screening of “Dark Therapy”. It is a entertaining treat!
To reiterate: Tickets for the Rosebud Film & Video Festival at Ticket’s are $10. If they are in the L.A. area, they can RSVP for the Indie Night Film Festival at http:/ 

Chad Eric Smith


Dark Therapy Poster


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Local Independent Film Spotlight: Lauren Cash

Welcome to the new Local Independent Film Spotlight. Each Humpday, aka Wednesday, Ladydewriter will feature the interesting personalities which make up the Local Independent Film industry in the DMV.

Today, I am tremendously pleased to introduce Lauren Cash. I first met Lauren at an acting workshop, at Bello Talent Management, in Takoma Park, Maryland which I was assisting with. Since then I’ve admired how she’s made inroads toward accomplishing her goals as an actress, and real player in the independent film world.

Follow my conversation with Lauren below:

Lauren, where are you originally from? 

Originally, I am from Maryland which is where I currently reside today.

What got you interested in acting…where did the inspiration come from? 

I got the role of Dorothy in a summer camp play and I just kind of fell in love with the craft of entertaining. It was so fun and just a great way to interact with other people, the whole experience just really inspired me.

How long have you been acting professionally? 

I have been acting for about 5 years now. This is my first time I can fully say that I have a better chance to ‘go for it’ in a long time since I graduated from Howard University last year. I have proudly put a lot of time into school and I believe education is important.

Did you receive formal acting training? If so, where from?

When I went into acting seriously, it was during college and I didn’t really have any formal training, aside from improvisation groups when I was younger. College is where I started taking classes within Howard University’s Theatre Department, such as Creative Drama. Now I have completed scriptwriting and media production classes via the Communications Department at HU. Currently, Manuel Poblete assists me in acting training within his company, Bello Talent. I am in the works of receiving training from John Pallotta as well.

What are your ultimate goals or aspirations within the world of acting? 

My ultimate goals in the world of acting would be to get recognition and use my talents for the greater good. It would be nice to be able to use my name to further promote campaigns that mean something such as anti-bullying or domestic abuse. Overall, I want to be able to help and communicate with many people.

What roles have you done in the past? 

I’ve played Dorothy from ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ a Hispanic bartender, cocktail waitress, assassin, hotel clerk, car buyer, and the girl next door. I’ve also played a drunken girl for a play titled Abandoned as well as the lead in music videos by artists Pro’ Verb and Heron Gibran.

Which one was your favorite role? 

All of these roles were so much fun to play, especially an assassin where I got to hold a prop gun and feel super bad ass! However, my favorite role would have to be Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz because of that initial feeling of being bitten by the infamous acting bug.

What are you currently working on? 

Currently I am working on my acting skills, and gathering opportunities – through classes and networking events – as well as writing my own script. We also just wrapped up shooting for that cool, assassin role, for the film Self Control which was a lot of fun! I will be headed to New York for the upcoming Manhattan Monologue Slam as well, which then turns into a networking event. Can’t wait!

Tell us more about the script you’re writing. Are you looking forward to producing your own film?

I think it’s always been in me to be a writer and I would love to produce my own film (aside from the 3 minute short that I wrote and produced for my media production class).

Growing up, I always loved to write. My friends and I used to bring a book to school and write in a story, passing it along to the next friend to read the new part and continue the story with our own style. You never knew what the person before you was going to write, but we did this for a long time throughout middle school. It was refreshing and an experience that would be too cool not too remember. As for the book… we didn’t always write during the most appropriate times in school. Definitely a great experience.

So what current personal project idea are you working on?

I have a project in mind but I can be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my personal work so I have been grooming this script for two years. It is a drama with a suspense feel to it, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

What advice do you have for someone longing to, but doesn’t know how to break into acting in this area? 

I would tell that person to get great headshots because that is the first thing that these casting agencies see when you submit for a role. There are sites also, such as Dragonuk and Pat Moran & Associates which is a great start. Also, don’t be too good to take on an extra role just to see how film shoots are run on a highly, professional level. The hours can be long but it is a great start to get the feel of it all! It is also a great time to network with the fellow actors and sometimes even the production crew!

Rejection is also going to come but it is important to pick your head up and keep it moving. Sometimes we are our worst critics. It is important to work on your craft and find ways to improve because no one is perfect and there is always room for improvement. If you don’t work on your craft, then chances are rejection may know you more than you want it to.

Keep focused, Have confidence and the rest is history!

Thank you Lauren! This is fabulous advice.

I am grateful to Lauren for talking with me this week. Her story is certainly interesting, and I can’t wait to see her grow further. The sky is the limit for Lauren as she strives to use her talent to give back to the community. Cheers Lauren!

Tune in next Wednesday as Ladydewriter highlights another fabulous personality in the local independent film industry.


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Life Passages X – New Places

Madeleine slowly gazes at the entire quaint book store with intense curiousity. “Um, Did we travel to another time zone, or what?” Madeleine thought to herself as she concentrated on every graphic novel, with weathered covers, and every antiquated, and used book, and dated magazines.

“Earth calling Maddy, come in Maddy!” Devon says while waving his hands in front of Madeleine’s face.

“Uh?” The startled Madeleine quickly utters.

“You’re back from outer space?” Devon asks in a jovial tone.

Madeleine smiles “Haha. Funny!” She replies. “Where did you find this place?” She asks Devon as she gave the shop another full look over.

“Well Mads…Is it cool if I call you Mads?” Devon asks with a smirk.

“Um…sure.” Madeleine replies eagerly awaiting the rest of his story.

“Cool! This is actually my grandfather’s store.” Devon begins to explain. He’s been collecting graphic novels for a very long time, illustrating and writing them too.”

Madeleine’s eyes opens widely. “You’re telling me that your grandfather is famous?”

“Ahhh, I didn’t say that.” Devon quickly interjects. “He’s always been an artist, and worked for a well known company to help publish kids books for some time, but always wanted his own shop.”

“Wow! This is…this is something.” Madeleine responds.

“Right? Hey, Come meet my Grandad.” Devon says quickly, then grabs Madeleine’s hand to lead her over to meet his Grandfather.

“Hey Grandad!” Devon greets his grandfather who is arranging comic book memorabilia behind the cash register.

“Hey, hey, hey there little Devon.” Devon’s grandfather, Solomon replies, while greeting his grandson with a huge smile and warm hug. Looking up from his embrace, Solomon notices Madeleine. “So who’s this?” He asks Devon.

“Oh! Grandad, this is Madeleine.” Devon introduces her with broad arm strokes resembling a game show assistant.

“Hello Madeleine.” Solomon says as he draws closer to her. “You’re one of Devon’s school friends?”

“Yes sir!” She begins “Well, we go to the same school, but we just met.” She continues.

Solomon chuckles. “Ok. So you’re new friends then.” He announces. “What are you kids up to, today?”

“I wanted to get Mads into some exciting novels Grandad. The ones at the school library have got nothing on these.” Devon proclaims.

Solomon lets out an enormous laugh. “Well let’s see what we can find to satisfy the lady.” He utters, as he gestures Madeleine, and Devon to follow him.

Madeleine continues to gaze around the store in amazement. “I didn’t know a place like this existed!” She thought. “I can certainly get lost in a place like this.”

“So here’s the retro Sci-Fi, Fantasy section…” Solomon interrupts Madeleine’s thoughts. Solomon pauses, smiles, and looks directly at Madeleine. “Madeleine are you with us?”

“Yes sir!” Madeleine quickly replies.

Madeleine continues the tour with Solomon, and Devon fully engaged with Solomon’s stories, including offering up questions of her own.

“Mr. Solomon, so uh, Can I come here everyday after school?” Madeleine asks shyly.

Devon jumped right in; “Everyday?…What, are you a rich kid or something?”

“Oh hush now Devon!” Solomon immediately responds to his grandson. “It’s none of your business what she does, and when!”

Devon retreats, while Solomon encourages Madeleine. “Feel free to visit me here anytime young lady!” He says to the slightly shaken young woman, who took some offense to Devon’s words.
“You can come by, and just read if you like.” Solomon continued. “You don’t have to buy something. Devon is just jealous anyway. Basketball practice takes up most of his week, but he wishes he could consume books everyday.”

Madeleine nods, and puts out her hand to shake Solomon’s. “Thank you very much Mr. Solomon, but I have on intention of being a freeloader.”
After a firm handshake, Madeleine stares at Solomon, and continues. “Thanks for everything. I will be back”. She then walks toward the door as though Devon doesn’t exist.

Devon looks at his Grandfather puzzled. “Go after her Junior. What’s wrong with you?”

Devon staggers for a second then runs out after Madeleine.

To be continued…



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Life Passages IX – Common Interest

Like studying a book, Madeleine takes every opportunity to observe Devon all while searching for some new and exciting literature in the science fiction section of the school library.

“Hmmm…” Madeleine thought to herself. “He’s a cool jock who’s hiding out in the library, and he even seems nice…What’s he’s story?”

“Found something?” Devon interrupts Madeleine whom he notices clenching a book and gazing in his direction.

“What?…Huh?” Madeleine looks down at the book in her hand. “Um, well it’s…a consideration” She finally manages to say with slight embarrassment.

“Which one is that?” Devon asks as he jumps to his feet and saunters toward Madeleine. He puts his hand out, gesturing for her to pass the book over.

Madeleine awkwardly releases the book she had casually selected. “Oh…ok. Sure.”

“Ah, this one is okay but if you like I can recommend a really good series?” Then he paused. “But it may be a bit heavy if you’re just getting into this stuff.”

“What is it?!” Madeleine asked excitedly. “I’m up for the challenge. I’m all for getting lost in books right now.” Her voice lowers, as though having a side conversation with herself “Clearly, I have no life!”

“What’s that?” Devon looks at Madeleine with a puzzled expression.

Madeleine focuses on Devon again. Her eyes light up. “So what’s this book series?”

Devon laughs softly. “Are you sure you’re ready?” He asks.

“I was born ready!” Madeleine responds with a tone she perceives as a “tough guy” from the movies.

Devon laughs out loud. Madeleine joins in with him until they are hushed by other library patrons.

They look at each other and continue giggling softly

“Let’s get out of here!” Devon eventually says, in a whisper.

“What?…” Madeleine responds

“You didn’t think ‘the best book series’ ever would be in this excuse for a library did you?” Devon interjected immediately.

“Um…I guess not.” Madeleine replied “Ok, let’s do it!”

Devon drops his books and the pair leave the library, just as the end-of-school bell rings, almost in a jog.

To be continued…



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Life Passages VIII – New Friendships

“What haven’t I read yet?” Madeleine thinks to herself, as she restlessly walks through the isles of the school library. “I haven’t read just for fun in a while…Hmmm…Let’s see.”

Looking up with her eyes fixed on the section titles, Madeleine stumbles, trips and falls to the Library’s carpeted floor face down. She turns to see what caused her fall and stares directly into the face of Devon.

Devon is a Junior at Madeleine’s high school who takes pleasure in sitting on the floor of the Science Fiction section of the Library. He’s also an atlethe on the school’s track, and basketball teams, but reading is his secret passion.

“Ah, you alright?” Devon asked feeling somewhat ashamed that he was partly responsible for Madeleine’s fall.

“I…I’m alright…I think.” Madeleine slowly responds as she begins to pick herself up and find her balance.

Devon awkwardly begins to stand himself, when it occurs to him that he should probably be helping Madeleine up.

In the process of Madeleine trying to stand and Devon working his way across to her, the two awkwardly clash and find themselves on the floor again.

Madeleine feeling terribly embarrassed immediately, chimes in: “I’m so sorry…Oh my gosh! Why can’t I get it together?”

Devon starts to laugh out loud. “It’s all good…Let’s try this again on 3…1-2-3.”

They both stand, and face each other. Madeleine’s face begins to turn red.
She nervously extends her hand. “I’m Madeleine.”

Devon looks down at Madeleine’s hand, chuckles quietly then extends his own. “I’m Devon…Looks like you crashed my secret hide-out.” He says jovially.

“Oh!..I did? I didn’t mean to…Wait! This is your hide out?” Madeleine continued with a confused look on her face. She did recognize Devon from a school basketball game, she had been dragged to by her former “cool friends”.

“Something like that.” Devon responded. His alethic counterparts have no idea Devon is a closet bookworm. “What got you so distracted anyway?”

“Distracted?…Oh…yeah…I wasn’t quite looking where I was going, was I?” She said with a smile. “I was just looking for something different. I need a book that’s going to transport me somewhere far away today!”

“Oh, ok…Have you seen anything to sink your teeth into?” Devon asked, intrigued.

“Duh!..No! I fell before I could!” Madeleine replied. They both broke into laughter, only to be followed by “Sssshhhhh!” from the Librarian.

The two looked at each other and laughed quietly again.

“Ok, I wouldn’t stand…or sit in your way. See if you find something you like…And, ah…um…if you need…if you need recommendations, I’ve pretty much read about half the books in this section.”

Madeleine looks at Devon as though studying him. “Um, ok…I will…ah…let you know.”

“Cool.” Devon replies. He then returns to his original position on the floor of the library while Madeleine slowly surveys the bookshelves all while intermittently gazing at Devon.

To be continued…


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Life Passages VII – Enough is Enough

“So are you coming?!” Lila eventually screams, after repeatedly asking Madeleine whether she’d join herself and a group of classmates preparing to bail from school after second period.

“You know, I was thinking…” Madeleine finally replied.

Lila rolls her eyes. “What the hell were you thinking, and why?”

“Well I was thinking, cause I was trying to picture 2 futures. One where I leave with you and “the gang”, and another where I remain true to who I am, and what I know, and stay here and go to class…” Madeleine began to reply

Lila interrupts Madeleine. “You know what Chica, I don’t have time for this, and quite frankly I’m getting really tired of your constant weirdness.” She said in a mocking tone.

Madeleine carefully thought then said flippantly; “You know what? I don’t want to waste anymore of your time…and anymore of mine.” Then looking Lila squarely in the eyes she continued; “Have a great life Lila. See you on the other side of High School. I hope it all works out for Ya!”

With her mouth gapped open, Lila stares at Madeleine as she turns and walks down the school hall way to her next class.

Feeling a sense of pride, and confidence; immediately following her class, Madeleine made an appointment with the school counselor to discuss the best track toward the best colleges, and scholarships. Still she felt as though something was missing. She missed being a part of something, and having companionship. Feeling distracted by this issue, she wondered how to fix what she considered a problem.

Madeleine marched off to the school library with no real solution in sight. For now, she’ll return to her old friendship with books…


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It Takes More Than Talent…Rhimes vs. Heigl

The historic Latin writer, Publilius Syrus coined the saying; “A good reputation is more valuable than money”.

This appears to be evident as we witness the reported tension between prime time television leader, Shonda Rhimes and actress Katherine Heigl – a former cast member of Rhimes’ initial hit: Grey’s Anatomy.

There’s been lots of talk about how difficult Rhimes found Heigl to work with. How could this be? Heigl appears so approachable, and all her on-screen characters so believable…even adorable, not to mention she’s the quintessential attractive actress.

Nonetheless her character, from all these reports, is being presented as just plain ugly! Luckily for Heigl, she’s joined the primetime television arena once again with State of Affairs, on NBC. Though her so-called “beef” with Rhimes may not affect the success of the new Fall show in anyway, it will be interesting to see how her reputation transpires on the new set.

All these happenings surely reminds me that success requires more than just talent, and skill.

Learn more about the Rhimes vs. Heigl fiasco HERE!


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Life Passages VI – The Confrontation

“I don’t know what I was thinking?” Madeleine admits to her father; Robert while riding with him, in his car.
“I think I know.” Robert calmly replies.
“Dad, I know…I know! Can I not get a major speech this second?” Madeleine tells her father in a frustrated tone.
“A Speech?..Who said anything about a speech?” Robert responds scarcastically. “I mean this is the highlight of my life. I’ve dreamed and longed for this moment – to get the long-awaited call that my 16 year old daughter has been arrested.” Robert replies.
“Detained Dad!…Detained, not arrested!” Madeleine intensely informs her father, then rolls her eyes.
“Oh! Excuse me for my incorrect choice of words Madeleine!” Robert glances disapprovingly at Madeleine, then back at the road and shakes his head.
“Can I ask you a question Mads?” Robert eventually says after brief silence between them. “Are you afraid to be different?…Does the idea of standing out scare the crap out of you?”
Madeleine glances at her Dad and rolls her eyes yet again.
Following a lack of response from his daughter Robert looks at Madeleine briefly.
“So does it?…Does it frighten you to raise the standard?” Robert repeats.
Madeleine sighs heavily “Dad…” She breathes in deeply. “I have no idea what you’re talking about?”
Madeleine begins to mumble under her breath. “I’m just trying to enjoy my life…fake IDs – Big Deal!…Geez!”
“What’s that?” Robert chimes in loudly.
“Nothing Dad!” Madeleine quickly screams trying to match her Dad’s volume.
“So you’re happy right now – this second – about how your life is shaping up Mads?” Robert interrogates.
“Dad!…Please!…Chill out!” Madeleine buries her head in her hands.
“Ok, I will “Chill out”…Just remember fun ends some time and “cool friends” move on…You better know what you plan to do next!” Robert asserts.
The two continue the remainder of the ride home from the police precinct in silence.





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Life Passages V – The Dilemma

“Did you hear what I said, Mads?” Lila exclaims.

“Huh? …What?” Distracted Madeleine replies.

“Are you coming or not?” Lila quickly responds, in a frustrated tone.

“Coming? …Where again?” Madeleine asks as she mentally resurfaces.

“To the “Hip-Ball”…You know, the hottest underground party of the season?” Lila says excitedly.

“Yeah…Um…Don’t we have to be 18 to get in?” Madeleine asks with a confused expression.

“You know I’ve got that handled Girl!” Lila asserts. “Jonas is already working on the outrageous phony IDs.” Lila roars with laughter.

Madeleine silently ponders for a brief moment. “Ahh…Yeah, I don’t know about that Lila.”

“Huh? Why the heck not Mads?” Lila asks flabbergasted.

Madeleine pauses to consider her next move. Her mother’s caring, though preachy words, begin to fill her mind, blended with the burning desire to seamlessly fit-in at her new school forced upon her by her Father’s periodic work assignments. She catches Lila’s glaring gaze.

“I…I think that’s cool!” Madeleine manages to get out. “So does Jonas do this type of thing a lot?” Madeleine inquires.

“Yeah, of course…It’s his thing!” Lila replies spiritedly.

“Ah, ok.” Madeleine responds thoughtfully “Well…I guess it’s all good then!”  She exclaims with forced merriment.

“You know it is!” Lila responds as she puts her arms around Madeleine’s shoulders and leads her out of the high-school female bathroom.

To Be Continued…





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I am moving.
I am drawn away.
Things are moving forward.
Things are moving away.
Which way should I follow?
Which way should I take?
I sit and wonder…
I act, and still wonder.
Which way should I take?
How long will I wonder?
How long will I sit and consider?
I’m making moves.
I am moving forward.
It is time to move forward…
Forward to a place of tranquility…
Let’s move forward to a place of peace!
I’m moving forward…will you come with me?
I’m moving!



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Life Passages IV – The Stand Out

“What do you want me to do?” 16 year old Madeleine asked her mother; Ellen.
“I don’t want you to anything that your conscience is not already telling you to do.” Replied Ellen
Madeleine takes a deep breath and sighs
“Well I don’t see what the big deal is…everyone does it!” Madeleine snapped back at Ellen.
“Really?” Ellen shakes her head “That’s your justification?” She continued “Look Madeleine, reputation is everything so however you play this will solidify your reputation or break it.” Ellen explained.
Madeleine looks down at her feet. After about 5 pensive seconds she confronts her mother.
“I hear the words that are coming out of your mouth but why do I have to be the lonely “Freak” in the entire school?…It’s bad enough that you named me Madeleine!” She rolls her eyes.
Ellen smiles gently, she finds Madeline’s choice of words somewhat amusing.
“Well lonely “Freak”…” Ellen gestures air quotation marks. “You may be the “freak” now but later on you’ll be the trusted leader of industry, or even political office…or whatever you choose. Can you handle a promising and successful future Madeleine?”
Madeleine rolls her eyes
“Mom, not that future stuff again!”
Madeleine slowly takes a few steps back from her mother.
“I’m glad we had this very boring conversation but I have homework to do.”
Ellen chuckles softly as she watches Madeleine walk away.
“That’s my Scholarly Future Leader!”
“Whatever Mom!” Madeleine shouts back as she continues up the staircase.

…To Be Continued


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Life Passages III – The Exit

“I’m Leaving!” Kyle anxiously announced.
“What?…No!…Kyle, what do you mean you’re leaving?” Beverly responds in disbelief?
“Huh?…What do I mean?!” He scoffs. “Seriously…You really think I should stay under these circumstances Beverly?!”
“It’s not that bad…right?” She tries to placate him. “What can I do to make you stay?”
“At this point Beverly; Nothing!” He proclaims emphatically. “I’ve tried to ignore the problem, I’ve tried to come up with my own creative fix but things
keep getting worse.”
“I will deal with it right now!” Beverly endeavors to assure Kyle.
“You had too many opportunities to do something…” Kyle peers at Beverly. “Sorry, I’m leaving!”
As Kyle turns to walk out the door, Beverly jumps to her feet.
“Kyle, wait!…I’m making the call now…I will report the CEO’s shady dealings.” She said with a stern face.
“We can’t afford to loose you – such a valuable employee!’


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Life Passages II – Bon Voyage

“Sandy can you believe Charlie is gone?!” Melissa said with heaviness in her voice.
“No…no I can’t believe it!…I mean who would have ever thought…” Sandy struggled to get the words out.
“I know…I know…” Melissa interrupted her. “This is just too much to take in. He’s just gone way too soon!”
“I’m sort of crushed on the inside.” Sandy confessed. “I mean he’s so young. How can he leave us now?…It’s just too soon.”
“I guess that’s what happens when you’re the smartest kid in 10th grade in the entire school district.” Melissa said soberly.
“Yep! He gets to start college way, way waayyyy too early!” Sandy bellows out solemnly.
“And in Europe!” Says Melissa.
“Way too early!!” They uttered in unison.


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Life Passages I – Commitment

“Why are you here?” She asks.
“I’m here…I’m here because I have something to say.” He stumbles to communicate.
“Well, what is it then?” She requests adamantly.
“I want to say that this does not make any sense. I don’t need to leave…” He began “I know how I feel and…we can do this. We can most certainly do this. It will only take us hanging in there.”
She sighs. “That sure sounds like a “different tune”” She illustrates with by signing quotation marks. “I have been waiting for you to get it together. I have been waiting for you to show me that you care. Clearly…”
He cuts her off. “I do care. I care very much and we are going to get through this. We are going to get through this together…We just are!”
She pauses and stares right into his eyes. “I hear you…I see you but this better not just be talk. I need to see action.”
He smiles smugly with confidence. “You will see action. You will…I can promise you…”
She interrupts his speech. “Well let’s get to it now…I can’t hear one more word…not one more.”
He takes her hand and the pair walk back into the study room, in the University library and re-join their study group.
In the end he made good on his promise. He remained committed to the remainder of the study time before the start of their semester mid-term exam the following morning.


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The Fall of POMPEII

I had the opportunity to attend a free screening of the soon to be released movie; POMPEII last evening – and in 3D at that. As I scanned the cast list on my trusted IMDb App I was somewhat underwhelmed.

However, one name stuck out to me. Kiefer Sutherland is cast as the villain in this on-screen picture. Yes that’s right – the villiain. It was difficult for me to rationalize initially since I am a huge fan of his on “24” and the compassionate nature of his character on “Touch”. But it is what is and that is acting.

Did Sutherland perform brilliantly as a villain in this movie? Well, you be the judge. I do recommend going to see this film when it opens on February 21st. On a scale of 1 to 10, POMPEII gets an 8. The entire cast did their part to make the film enjoyable to watch overall.

For more information about POMPEII click HERE.


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‘Person of Interest’ finds traction by killing off character | Toronto SUN


As I watched Taraji P. Henson’s character fall to the ground – in horror of course – I cried out; “Why-Oh-Why are they killing her character off?!”

Then I read the following review via Jim Slotek at the Toronto SUN regarding the aftereffects of the CBS show’s plot twist, and began to get a small grasp as to why the show’s writers took this path. Still it hurts not to see Taraji on the screen.

Read more below…

“For a series that’s been spinning its wheels, Person of Interest sure managed to find traction last week…A series that, I’ve always felt, squandered the Earth-rattling implications of its central premise – the all-seeing Machine – turned to the old tactic of killing off a regular character to re-inject a sense of urgency into the show…”

See the full Toronto SUN review HERE.




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‘Almost Human’ theory: Karl Urban a robot | Inside TV |


Karl Urban is a not a human being. Not in the technical sense of the term. Oh, sure, he might look human. He might walk and talk like a human. He might even like to think he’s human. But Karl Urban would be wrong! For Karl Urban is actually an extraordinary machine that has been programmed to think he is Karl Urban. Karl Urban does not know this, though sooner or later, he will, and when he does, Karl Urban will be very sad. Poor Karl Urban!

No, we speak not of the real-world Karl Urban, star of Star Trek andDredd, but the character that this fine actor plays on the new sci-fi buddy cop drama Almost Human, which premiered Sunday night on Fox….See the full EW story here: ‘Almost Human’ theory: Karl Urban a robot | Inside TV |

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Almost Human™ review: This Sci-Fi show is almost perfect – Zap2it


“Almost Human” does one of the hardest things on TV: make a futuristic, science-fiction world seem relevant and familiar to audiences. It helps that the show is, at its heart a buddy-cop story….

…Read the Full Zap2it Review here:

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What’s the SCORE? – A Week of TV Premieres


I know, I know it has been a while since I have posted.  …Life! …Oye!

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?

Well I am here to report on my observations about the first week of  new television premieres for those brand new series which caught my eye, and one Sunday favorite which has returned.

I have given – those I was able to watch thoroughly –  a score between 1 and 10 with 1 being “I don’t plan on ever watching again” to 10 being “I totally LOVE this show!!!”

Take a look at these scores, and pitch in with your own opinion. Give a score of your own, your thoughts about this list or add some other programs you would like to weigh in on.

Here goes:

  • Monday, September 23rdHostages (CBS) – Score: 7
  • Tuesday, September 24thAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D (ABC) – Score: 8,5
  • Wednesday, September 25th –  Lucky 7 (ABC) Score: 6.5 
  • Thursday, September 26th –   Michael J Fox Show (NBC)  Score: 9
  • Friday, September 27th Master Chef Junior Edition (FOX) Score:
  • Sunday, September 29th Once Upon A Time (ABC) Score: 7.5
Since no program scored a “1”, I watched them each again to determine whether their initial score would stick. They all pretty much did.
So this is my #TVWatch2Cents, what’s yours?

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Michael J Fox Returns to NBC This Fall


Michael J. Fox returns to television this Fall!

Is anyone else as excited as I am?

Ok, so the thing is Family Ties was actual appointed family television viewing in my house as a kid.

I was a huge fan of the character, Alex P Keaton played by Fox on the sitcom. Alex was unapologetic about his unique beliefs, as a teenager, and had the most entertaining approach to all his passions…and shenanigans. Though it appeared that he throughly annoyed his siblings and was at times tolerated by his parents, who could resist falling for this one-of-a-kind, and outspoken character of that television period.

Although his Family Ties character stands out most prominently for me, Fox is also memorable for movies – Back to the Future anyone? –  and other television progams like Spin City where he also served as Executive Producer. There was also much talk about his appearances on The Good Wife recently.


Despite his personal battle with Parkinson’s disease, since he was diagnosed in 1991, Fox continues to be a brave face of activism for the illness. He is unashamedly outspoken, and not afraid to laugh at himself. This is quite evident in his upcoming series; The Michael J Fox Show scheduled to premiere on NBC on September 26th.

The sitcom will be based on Fox’s own life. The premise is:

“After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Mike Henry had to give up his career as a news anchor and focus on his health and his family. Five years later, Mike decides to get back to work and struggles between family and career.”

From what I have seen thus far, it appears that the program will provide organic and an authentic belly-full-of-laughs.  Please see a video trailer, photographs and more about the upcoming series here: The Michael J Fox Show | A Family Comedy | Pics & Videos | NBC. ….And be sure to check it out next month!



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The Return of “Suits” | USA Network


I have this sneaking suspicion that USA Network does this to folks like me on purpose. I have been anxiously waiting for what seems like an entire year – pardon my dramatics – for the return of Suits on USA Network.

In terms of breathelessly sitting at the edge of my proverbial seat to see what happens next, Suits comes pretty close to ABC’s Scandal in my book. The show revolves around the relationship of a savvy lawyer and his highly intelligent associate whose fraudulent based employment may totally unravel this season….But, I maybe getting ahead of myself.

Suave, Class, Elegance …are just a few words I use describe the overall feel of the show. Unlike the somewhat more down-to-earth and people-friendly atmosphere of another one of my favorite “lawyer programs”; Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime TV, Suits is perched from a fancy high rise law firm with cutting edge deals and high-stake opportunities. Moreso, to match its name, the lead characters; Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams simply look good doing it!

With that said, I eagerly await the new season opener tonight at 10pm. Until then check out this clip from tonight’s broadcast: Suits | USA Network.



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Paula Deen Challenge: Hit Me With a Rock And Kill Me |

Paula Deen Speake Out!

With a very tearful declaration Paula Deen spoke to the Today show’s Matt Lauer about how the controversy over her accusations, of offensively using the “N-Word”, has affected her and defined “her truth”.

She even proclaimed that she has received the support of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and that anyone whose said anything in their lives that they wish they could take back should simply stone her – reminiscent of the biblical lesson where Jesus urged a crowd ready to punish a woman caught in adultery; “He who has no sin, cast the first stone” (paraphase).

What are your thoughts on Paula’s response to this rather contentious issue?

You can view the very emotional television appearance via the following link:

Paula Deen Challenge: Hit Me With a Rock And Kill Me |


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Relentless – A Short Story


Meet Flora Gerber….

Flora grew up in a large extended family but everyone in her family had to work very hard to maintain the very basics – shelter, food, water, clothes. “Everyone” included Flora. Flora began working at the age of 13. Back then she helped to organize the local Grocer’s stock in the storage room.

Now 23, and a mother to a 5 year old girl named Rebecca, Flora was anxious to give her daughter a different life than what she experienced. Flora barely made it through High School. There were so many distractions around her. From having to miss school to work extra hours at the Grocery store, and even as a maid, in order to bail her brother out of jail at least once every 3 months.

College, though a dream was not on the schedule for Flora following High School. There was no money to pay for it and Flora’s family automatically depended on her to keep cash flowing through the home just to keep up with the bills.

Flora found herself sinking into depression. She couldn’t afford to attend her prom. Her family did congratulate her on graduating from high school with a special meal one night but the occasion soon turned into a send-off for her brother’s – what seemed like – 50th arrest. It was actually the 4th time George had been in trouble and the family worried that he would not just get a “slap-on-the-wrist” this time.

Flora thought to herself, “Is this what my life will be about? – “Will I continue to work hard yet not really accomplishing anything?”

She was certainly discouraged at this point. She figured it was pointless to continue to walk a straight-line when all her effort was unappreciated and going to waste.


Flora began to keep the wrong company which led to corruptible habits. She also began to receive attention from a lowly and notorious individual. Ralph incited rebellion and mischief among the young people in the neighborhood. He also owned and managed the only night spot in the small town. As a result of becoming frequent at Ralph’s “night club” and being entertained by his attention, Rebecca was conceived.

However, after 5 years Flora still struggles to see Ralph truly accept responsibility for his daughter. Legal action has also been futile in the small town where “money talks”.

Flora knew that something had to change. She knew that she could not continue to live in her neighborhood for her daughter’s sake. Something had to change, and change soon!

Flora then took a chance. She persuaded her mother to watch Rebecca at nights and took a night shift as a waitress in the city nearby. She was determined to earn the resources needed to begin evening classes, also in the city. Of course she twisted her mother’s arm to watch Rebecca for more hours each day. Whatever was required, Flora was determined to find a solution to improve her own, as well as her daughter’s life.

Naturally distractions worked their way in. Manuel constantly found ways to extend Flora’s time at the small grocery store. It didn’t seem to matter to him that she started her shift at 6am and needed to leave promptly at 2pm in order to travel to collect Rebecca before heading off to school and a late late shift at her new gig, at a new upscale bar and club in the city.

This was Flora’s schedule most days of the week. She did have break from classes 2 nights of the week since she made a Saturday morning class and arranged a later Saturday shift with Manuel. Manuel also harassed Flora. He consistently told her that she didn’t have to work so hard. He was prepared to marry her and give herself and Rebecca a home. Flora comes close to vomiting every time she hears this. She finds even the concept of Manuel’s offer reprehensible. After all he is old enough to be her Father and isn’t the best kept or best smelling man. It was utterly Gross in Flora’s opinion. Still, Manuel didn’t let-up. Flora heard his offer at least 3 times a week.

Flora persevered beyond the obstacles, beyond the criticism and beyond any set-back, which tried to wedge its way in and serve as a detour.

Flora’s unrelenting focus led her to earn a scholarship. This meant she could quit one of her jobs. To Manuel’s and her family’s dismay – who also agreed that Manuel’s marriage proposal was a good one – Flora quit the Grocery job and spent time seeking day-time work in the city. This did make her feel immensely guilty, since this meant relying on her family more to the detriment of her daughter’s mental health, in her mind’s eye. Still Flora knew it was temporary and a necessary sacrifice.

Then she did it! It was a small step but Flora scored a day-time job as a bookkeeper with a small business in the city. Flora eventually worked hard enough and studied ferociously enough to acquire an affordable place of her own in the city. Now Rebecca could be with her full-time, with the exception of the time spent at the jovial Mrs. Lowrey. Mrs. Lowrey is Flora’s neighbor who routinely watches the children in the building. Since her husband past away, the sixty-something Mrs. Lowery welcomes the company of the children of the many hard working parents at the housing unit.

Flora is on her way to becoming a certified accountant. Her time as a cashier led her to fall in love with numbers. She has successfully completed a year of night classes and is prepared for the possibilities on the road ahead.

Where that road would take her? Stay tuned for more about what lies ahead for this relentless Flora Gerber.


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The Official, Unofficial Start to My Summer


Yes! May 3rd finally arrived and I am anxiously awaiting the moment when I surender to that comfy theater chair and take-in the much anticipated Iron Man 3.

No, I didn’t go see it on opening night (S0 please don’t spill any details). I can’t enjoy it quite as much with throngs of individuals packed into the cinema.  I will be there however…strategically at the right moment.

The film already attracted $15.6 million in North America, on it’s Thursday night opening. Collectively, with its  internationally releases, the blockbuster has already earned $361 million. The number is expected to increase by approximately another 100+ million by the end of the weekend.

Nothing new, right? Each year flashy, big budget, action packed films rake in the dough like clockwork. While many scholars of the art form don’t take too kindly to this, movies like Iron Man 3, the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness, The Wolverine etc offer adrenalizing fun through fantasy. After all, isn’t that what the warmer months are synonymous with? – Fun, Escape, Get-Away….?

So while my body takes a break from frigid and uncomfortable temps, I look forward to launching my mind into the world of super heroes, super intelligence, super strength and Super Fun!

Don’t get me wrong, I have my sight set on the artistic and story driven films as well – we’ll discuss those in another post. The Great Gatsby, among others, is also on my list!

Now Let My Official, Un-official Summer Begin!



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Getting Up!

Once again, the timely, instructional and revelatory Life Sucks series at The Bridge DC  is having a profound affect.

It is clearly evident, as life evolves, that there is always more to learn. One thing I have learned for sure is that the degree to which one “suffers” is the degree to which one grows.

I am aware that I am in no way alone in experiencing adversity, as there is nothing new under the sun (although recently it has launched me into a sphere I had not been previously).  Still, being broken down is necessary in order to be built up, to be restructured, to be refined. I have concluded that pain has its purpose. Therefore, in response to this revelation, via the weekly Life Sucks series and inner reflection, the following emerged:

Ladydewriter-Get Up-4-30-13


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Dreaming…Believing… “Girl Rising”


I can never do this film justice with any of my diagnosis – In short, to all Mothers, Fathers, Godparents, Teachers, Mentors etc, Girl Rising is a Must-See and I encourage you to expose the beloved young women in your lives to this film.

The documentary reveals the stories of 9 girls in varied parts of the world who are faced with what seems like insurmountable, even painful circumstances but acquire strength from their dreams and their belief that there must be a better life than their current reality.

I left the theater inspired by each of the young women. Each story resonated with me and renewed my “child-like” faith that the Sky-Is-The-Limit!

I can watch this film again and again. I’m elated that I was able to catch the special 1 week re-release on the big screen, but identifying a DVD copy will defintely be the next step in order to share with as many Girls as possible.

In the interim, please see the trailer of Girl Rising Here.

Still, beyond this film there is a cause. The movie is just the beginning. It is also a movement to ensure that Girls everywhere are provided with the opportunity to get an education thus leading to a changed and improved world. Learn more about the movement to Educate Girls Here



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Feeling A Little “Defiance”?


I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the premiere of the Syfy series, Defiance last Monday evening.

They say that the first 10 minutes of a film is crucial and the first ten of the 2 hour series opener, of Defiance, sure did what it was supposed to do. Now it’s Monday again and I have high exceptations of the 2nd episode.

Hopefully for the show it won’t lull, and keeps up the momentum.  I will be watching and be back with more thoughts. However, if you’re watching too, don’t hesitate to chime in! I would love to learn what you think about the television program!

Defiance airs each Monday on the Syfy network at 9pm ET. The cast is led by Grant Bowler (fondly remembered from the ABC series, Ugly Betty) and Stephanie Leonidas. Their characters direct us through the experience of a new world developed as a result of a war which arose when a collective group of aliens, called Votans, came to earth several years prior. “After decades of war, a ceasefire is declared when both sides realise they must focus on survival on this new almost alien planet.” Presently we meet Grant Bowler’s character – Jeb Nolan – serving as Cheif Lawkeeper of the town of Defiance and working to protect its community from deviant humans, aliens, military scvangers and whoever else poses a threat to Defiance.



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Life does Suck…But There Is Hope

I was inspired to pen some short verses following the first installment of the series, Life Sucks at The Bridge DC on April 7th. 

I then decided I would post it here for all to see, particularly in light of the recent unfortunate events in Boston. 

Life does Suck sometimes, and it just does not seem Fair!

However, I am of the opinion that there is Hope…there is a Light where a connection can be made and the opportunity to thrive from the inside-out. The circumstances around us may not change but there is great comfort in being able to call on a Great Friend to walk us through it. 

My sincere thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives, and all of the injured from the Boston Marathon Bombing on Monday, April 15th, 2013. 

Here is what came to mind: 



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A Salute To A Personal Hero


I was half way through another post when I learned about the death of Film Guru, Roger Ebert. I tossed and turned about posting my original story or listening to the rumbles in my mind to honor a personal hero.

I have admired Roger Ebert for many, many years. As a child, when the movie bug bit me, I would hang on his every word on the television program, “Siskel & Ebert”. Ebert’s diagnosis of film was gospel, in my book.As we both grew older and his life drastically changed, I admired his willingness to fight on and persevere. Despite being diagnosed with Thyroid cancer in 2002 and follow-up surgeries – through 2008 – which resulted in his inability to speak and to eat, Ebert didn’t miss a movie opening. His platform changed from television to article posts online, but his trusted voice was still heard and carried just as much weight as it always had.

Oprah Winfrey is quoted as describing the passing of Roger Ebert as the “end of an era”. I am in full agreement with that sentiment. I cannot envision anyone else who can fill his shoes at the moment. Maybe because it is too soon to tell, or simply since I am overcome with prejudicial bias.

Even President Barack Obama commented on Ebert’s passing. The president said; “Roger was the movies … [he could capture] the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical … The movies won’t be the same without Roger”.

Oh how right POTUS is! He has described Roger Ebert and his talent perfectly! As I read his final review, completed 2 days before his death, I was once again whisked away to “somewhere magical”.

I would like to go on a limb and declare that we would be hard-pressed to find someone like Roger Ebert again. But the wounds are still fresh and I am certain that there is similar talent in the world today, equip to fill Roger Ebert’s large and eloquent shoes. I can only hope to come close.

Cheers Roger!



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NOC Recaps Supergirl: Strength in Numbers

What have you thought of Super Girl thus far? The TV program shot out of the television programming gates a ratings winner on its debut night. Personally, I am not completely in love just yet. I am not sure if it is because it is a girl hero, and I am still too busy swooning over the male heroes like The Flash or having a tad bit of a crush on Agent Coulson, on Agents of SHIELD. What? What can I say, he has a charm, tone of voice, and one liners that is hard for this woman to resist.

Anyway, back to Super Girl. I will continue to watch. Calista Flockhart is giving me so much “Devil Loves Prada” essence, and quite honestly, Kara is growing on me. What is more, is her tough, yet endearing older sister, Alex Danvers is well cast in Chyler Leigh.

So! Tell me. What are you thinking about the CBS Super Girl series thus far? Weigh in, in the comments and click on the following link to learn more about this superhero series.

Source: NOC Recaps Supergirl: Strength in Numbers 


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Reston To Ceremoniously Change Name to ‘Hill Valley’ Starting Oct. 21

How cool is that?

Kudos to Fairfax County, VA for this innovative way of celebrating filmmaking, and marking their impending film festival. Check it out…

Fairfax County has passed a resolution to ceremoniously change the name of Reston, Virginia to “Hill Valley” from October 21 to 25.

Source: Reston To Ceremoniously Change Name to ‘Hill Valley’ Starting Oct. 21


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[VIDEO] New Jungle Book trailer slammed by critics for ‘glorifying gang violence’

DAVE WEASEL HOLLYWOOD, CA – The Jungle Book trailer released today has been met with heavy criticism by critics for excessive violence. Take a look for yourself.

Source: [VIDEO] New Jungle Book trailer slammed by critics for ‘glorifying gang violence’

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Comedian Samantha Bee Calls Out ‘Vanity Fair’ For Lack of Women In New Photo

Bee responded to being left out of the article in the most perfect way.

Source: Comedian Samantha Bee Calls Out ‘Vanity Fair’ For Lack of Women In New Photo

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