My belly is still bubbling at the unknown and – for now – the numbers aren’t adding up. Still, I am stepping powerfully into my NOW! Though still steadily being dispatched for assignments here and there (An interview with Tommy Hilfiger here [www.tommy.com/]. A behind-the-scenes of “The Color Purple” (now with Chaka Khan and BeBe Winans) there www.colorpurple.com/), I have been attracting a mix of work that will keep me afloat (some network morning TV assignments) and further promising work that compliments my brand and is placing me in the zone of pop culture and possibilities. And I love it!!! You’ll recall a shoot I did as on-camera personality earlier in this month at my favorite boutique “N” ( www.nharlemnewyork.com/ ). “The Hugh Thompson Show” (www.techchannel.att.com/) assigned me to upgrade two “geeks” (sweet folks who spend lots of time in the math and sciences vs. fashion and style). Fast forward a couple of weeks to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we revealed the new looks in-studio for the show’s taping. Ant styled me for the field shoot and this studio reveal as well – pulling our look-of-late “American Chang” (www. americanchang.com/ ) and “R. Scott French” ( www.rscottfrench.com/ ) – both of which will unveil their new Fall 2008 gear on the runways of Fashion Week next week ( www.mbfashionweek.com/newyork/ ). (And we’ll be front and center). According to Ant, I did a great job – feedback I welcome as I do more on-camera work. Moreover, this show is taped in the New York City-based “Maury Povich” studio [www.mauryshow.com/] and Adam the director, who is loaned over from “Maury” said “You are great on-camera! We could use you at ‘Maury’!” Don’t worry! Not for any of the ‘paternity dramas’, but when they do features and makeovers and may want a fun and unique energy in the mix. That’s me, he says. So, I’m excited at the possibilities before me.
While backstage at “The Hugh Thompson Show”, Ant and I met someone from whom we’ve been receiving lots of joy. His birth name is Adam Bahner. His stage name is Tay-Zonday. He’s known for “Chocolate Rain” on www.youtube.com (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwTZ2xpQwpA). With lyrics like “Chocolate Rain.
Some stay dry and others feel the pain. Chocolate Rain. A baby born will die before the sin. Chocolate Rain. The school books say it can't be here again. Chocolate Rain.
The prisons make you wonder where it went… and four-more-minutes into the song, you experience these abstract-yet-symbolic lyrics pouring bombastically and deeply out of the mouth of this cute kid (who – by the way – is really 25 years old). With his brother/manager Damon in tow, Ant and I enjoyed our waiting time in the green room as we all chatted about the significance of us preparing to do some cool TV – in front of the camera - on Martin Luther King’s holiday.
Though we four brothers were in the house, we were watching our wallets and man purses when these three white people – in particular – walked into the green room. It was Ryan Oakes, Dani Marco, and Apollo Robbins – the team of “con artists” who demonstrate on their new TRU-TV show “The Real Hustle” (www.trutv.com/shows/real_hustle) how easily we can be relieved of our assets when they or someone who means it maliciously are around. Before they went on to talk to Hugh, they did a few quick tricks for us. Very impressive! And they are the nicest folks you'll ever know. Lots of fun! (But I still kept my wallet in my hand!).
As other shows that support my branding as personality, “Our World with Black Entrprise” hosted by Ed Gordon ( www.blackenterprise.com/mediacenter/ourworld.asp ) has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Best Television Talk Series category. I’ve weighed in as a pop culture pundit on the show, which is booked by my “Amazing Grace” Nichole and dear friend C.J.. It features news, entertainment, roundtable discussions, and everyday heroes from all walks of life -- from Hollywood to the corporate suite and everyone in between (including me). CONGRATS TO ALL OF YOU!
I too am excited for my friend Herve (who I’ve referenced often in the blog - http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2006/11/15/tired-of-me-talking-about-dreamgirls.html) has a new single “The Seven Seeds of Love”. Its video follows: http://youtube.com/watch?v=M2_64T3-AsI KEEP INSPIRING, HERVE!!!!
Meanwhile, my friend Barney Bishop (www.augustbishop.com/) is working with a program that is INSPIRING young men all over New York City . “TIED TO GREATNESS” (www.tiedtogreatness.com) is an important organization changing the lives of inner city high school young men through the power of positive male role models and fashion. It’s an initiative designed to reconnect young Men of Color to their rich history of men who dressed well, carried them selves with dignity, and accomplished great things in society. Under the guidance of its founder Alexis Ellis, “TIED TO GREATNESS” is launching a national tour beginning February 1, 2008 at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem . It starts with the Pass It On Tie Ceremony. Each young man is presented a tie, and is taught, by an older man how to tie his own tie. Each tie is donated by sponsoring corporations and businesses. Thus far Brooks Brothers and Men's Warehouse are on board. They’ve asked me to participate as a mentor for the ceremony and I’m excited to be a substantive difference via the prism of style.
For the “grown and sexy”, responsible man who these boys may one day become – appreciating a luxurious aperitif (in moderation, of course), my friend Lamar has signed me up with Remy (www.remy.com/), the world’s leading producer of Fine Champagne Cognac, to find the “mavericks” on the streets of New York City – men who live a full and eventful life in style. They (or we) work hard and play hard and will love to partake of a spirit that pours out of a Limited Edition bottle that is designed by celebrity photographer David LaChapelle ( www.davidlachapelle.com/ ). We’re looking for this type of guy on Monday, January 28th. Hit me up on my BB, if you fit the bill and would like to be interviewed. We’re in the Harlem/Uptown area in the morning and in SOHO/Downtown in the afternoon (email@example.com).
Ant and I saw a lot of these guys the other night at our friends Collin and Austin’s party to promote the new pop-cultural-inspired images on their line of novelty T-shirts “MINORITEES” ( www.minoritees.com/ ). As you know, we’ve been wearing these great Ts for over-a-year now and more-and-more are catching on. The SOHO Grand was the elegant and popular (of late) locale for the set ( www.sohogrand.com/ ). In the house: my friend Scott Nevins ( www.scottnevins.com/ ) – who can legitimately claim many of our favorite divas i.e. Liza Minelli, Melba Moore, etc. – as his personal friends (or – at least – associates). Check out his site as he’s always promoting and hosting some great events for those of us who love music and drama. And Ant and I were excited to walk out with our new “MINORITEES” which we are even more excited to wear. They are HOT!
Well, great to share with you – as always! I have to pull myself together and hit the streets. WHAT WILL I WEAR? Oh yeah!!!! One of my MINORITEES!!!!!!!
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