THE GAME - 1/11/11
So EVERYONE is ABUZZ about the PREMIERE of "The Game" on BET.
This entry was to be more of a P.S. But before its 1/11/11 DEBUT on BET, I stumbled into the opportunity to CONGRATULATE BET's President and CEO Debra Lee with tidings of high-ratings and quality entertainment. This, while I was on a quick shoot at BET's NYC headquarters in Times Square... and she just happened to be in the office.But also, I have to shout out creator of "The Game" (and "Girlfriends") - my friend Mara Brock-Akil and her husband and professional partner Salim (who is running this show which shot in Atlanta). They are actually in NYC for the big 1/11/11 PREMIERE... and I got to SHOUT THEM OUT in person as well. More acurately, Mara and Salim are friends of two dear friends (Nichole & Carl), but we all are quite fond of each other.
In fact, Nichole was gracious to ensure my face was in the place to watch "THE GAME" with everybody at Butter in Downtown Manhattan (just as the snow storm began). Nichole truly understands that this story is a GREAT EXAMPLE of where "POP CULTURE" and "POSSIBILITIES" meet at the pass in "... THE LIFE OF RILEY...". It's always a further pleasure to be able to communicate NOT INTO THIN AIR, but often to MARA and SALIM DIRECTLY, my praise and criticques of their AWESOME WORK.
First things first, I got to meet all of the cast members. Each of them was so nice. And all of them are so happy that BET has picked up the show. At one point, Salim (whose Uncle Rick is a dear friend of mine) gave a speech that celebrated the "powerful women" in his professional world (and - of course - his personal world: MARA). Then, Mara took everybody to church as she "testified" on how she felt - as show-runner for the "The Game" that was canceled by CW - that she had let 'the team' down. And speaking through the emotions, the suddenly tear-filled cast (and me) assured her she did the best she could. And as Mara put it, inside the stillness and the crossroad, BET stepped up to the plate and reminded them all that they are loved and worthy. But it wasn't all crying. When we all sat down to watch the premiere of "The Game", it was like watching a movie in the theater. Our mouths dropped and our eyes were wide open during various parts. It was fun to see the cast-members watch themselves... and shout out to my friends Mara and Salim for their stellar script-writing. And it was so cute to see Wendy Raquel Robinson (Tasha Mack) trying on "The View"s Sherri Shephard's Donatella Versace heels. Also, a shout out to my friend Ron Donovan - shoe designer with the most. Coincidentally, the episode of "Mo'Nique" that came on after "The Game"s follow-up "Let's Stay Together" featured its host in Ron's shoes. GO RON! Afterwards, we all shared a car back to our respective snow digs. Mara and Salim - who say they respect my opinion about their shows in particular - asked what I really thought... no chaser! And in addition to celebrating them for how well they light "Black folks", I told them I was sick to my stomach as if I had been on a treacherous rollercoaster ride. "... and I loved it and want to go on the ride again!" LOL! I also "begged" Mara and Salim to consider a "Girlfriends" finale on "The Game" (perhaps if there's an additonal season on BET?). To remind you, "Joan" - Tracee Ellis Ross' character on "Girlfriends" - is Melanie Barnett's first cousin (as played by Tia Mowry-Hardrict).
So, my thought is Melanie could leave San Diego for a weekend to attend and participate in her cousin Joan's wedding in L.A. During the wedding, Toni and Joan reunite. VOILA, right? BUT FOR NOW, we'll all just bask in the UNPRECEDENTED EXCITEMENT of a show we LOVE getting resuscitated on an iconic network that will take care of it! WIN-WIN!!!
20-11 IS HERE!!!!!
Upon my return from Savannah and Atlanta, I stumbled into enough to keep me entertained – including a welcome reunion with my Chicago-based Morehouse brother Eddie. We went to Nectar Wine Bar in Harlem. Then, my buddies Jamar, Ryan, Mario (also a Morehouse brother), and I hung out. Ultimately, we all ended up at friend Nathan’s Wednesday SPLASH set.
The next night – as in the eve of the eve – was to simply be ALL-STAR KARAOKE THURSDAY NIGHT. But as soon as I scooped Ant up from his Denver travels, I received a call from NBC’s TODAY SHOW – asking me to participate in a brief interview – excerpt of which would be included in a piece my friend Mara Schiavocampo, NBC News’ Digital Correspondent was filing for New Year’s Eve day on the ball drop in New York Times Square. Though a link (to share with you) has still evaded me, it ran all day – between two hours inside TODAY and several rounds on MSNBC. Though a brief sound-bite of my pop culture analysis was used, it counts as my "debut" on THE TODAY SHOW! I've been a recurring presence on NBC's air for a couple of years now - including:
* "NBC Nightly News w/Brian Williams" (on-line) - OBAMA'S POUND: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXc6x5JlJuw
* "NBC Nightly News w/Brian Williams" (on-line) - THE LAST DECADE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pYKZBjEx40
And I'm hoping to do more with MSNBC and NBC-owned WWW.THEGRIO.COM - which has expressed interest in re-purposing some of my content - here in 2011! STAY TUNED! The plan is to build on my TV personality work this year! http://220.127.116.11/PRiley/PatrickGeneralReel.wmv
ALL-STAR KARAOKE THURSDAY NIGHT
“CONSIDER IT DONE”
You folks know how much MOMENTUM (www.momentumeducation.com) means to me. It’s some awesome work! Well, one of my friends from Momentum has just written a New York Times’ Best Seller (or – at least – with your help, it will be). Her tome: “CONSIDER IT DONE” – a how-to on accomplishing 228 of life’s trickiest tasks. February 1st is when it comes out! Please check it out. http://consideritdonebook.com and http://consideritdone.com and http://facebook.com/consideritdonebook and http://twitter.com/juliesubotky
JUST AS WE ARE
So, I write all the time about our good friend Charlie T and all of her amazing photography. She and her partner Danielle often host us for special occasions i.e. Thanksgiving; The Grammys; The Oscars; etc. I've also told you about her "Just As We Are" Project - a traveling photo exhibit and campaign that highlights the positivity and diversity inside LGBT culture. She shot Ant and me for it (http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2007/12/3/i-have-a-dream-today.html). Well, Just As We Are is on fire in 2011. They've launched a new and improved website that is more interactive and user-friendly. Also, it showcases the subjects (www.justaswearetour.org). And Charlie T is hosting the first fundraiser for "Just As We Are" 2011 in conjunction with the first out NBA former player John Amaechi. Please come, if you can. We'll be at The National Arts Club, January 18, 2011.... and SPREAD THE WORD! It's gonna be FUN & FULFILLING!
TEENA MARIE REMEMBERED FOREVER
My girlfriend Sidra knew Teena Marie well. She's personally heartbroken from her passing. She generously shared this with me... for you: "...Teena was the sweetest, most gentle, sensitive, loving, caring soul I've ever encountered. Everything about her was so sincere. I’m so happy to have called her my friend and I’m gonna miss her dearly...."
My friend Terrance Russ was to set up a dinner with RuPaul Drag Race winner BeBe Zahara Benet this week. This, as RUPAUL's DRAG RACE: CYCLE 3 is getting ready to take off (later this month - featuring guest judges like Vanessa L. Williams and Latoya Jackson). Due to the weather, we had to postpone. But in the words of MISS ROSS, I'M STILL WAITING... What a treat BeBe was when we met last summer. I will look forward to learning more... STAY TUNED!