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So, it’s been a busy few weeks. But ALL IS WELL! I’ve been on the road a bit. And of course, I've been missing my home of NC/NJ and all of my peeps! But I am in the end zone. In fact, on this particular assignment, I put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. It was all worth it in the end. And Chicago rewarded me with more social time from my friends. That said, I'm coming home soon! I look forward to being wrapped in the embrace of my NYC!


TO my beloved ALL-STAR KARAOKE THURSDAY NIGHT peeps: this Chicago work has kept me away from you for what was to be our last two Thursday nights of good vibrations at NATIVE in Harlem. This, before NATIVE puts ALL-STAR KARAOKE THURSDAY NIGHT on a summer break. Upon my return, I’d like to see if we can put an ALL-STAR KARAOKE SUMMER-SEND-UP NIGHT together. STAY TUNED as I’d love to see you all before summer kicks in... and if we find another spot during the summer, we’ll let you know. We must keep the momentum of our ALL-STAR KARAOKE going!


http://theview.abc.go.com/video/sherri-visits-chevy-auto-show ... so if you missed it, here is the piece I produced on Sherri Shepherd at the NYC Auto Show! ENJOY!  My Chicago client assigned me to co-field-produce a behind-the-scenes piece at "THE VIEW". From there, "THE VIEW" folks asked if I would consider freelance producing a segment or few for them. The first one ran last month and has repeated once:

PART 1 – http://theview.abc.go.com/video/wheres-my-car-contest-winner

PART 2 - http://theview.abc.go.com/video/new-car-surprise-phillips-family

The ABC integration marketing folks asked me to participate in the local affiliate's behind-the-scenes chronicle of the shoot - featuring me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYcbwpTXbWU


The BIG “YOU ARE THE POWER” Concert at THE APOLLO took place last week to much success! You recall, the American Stroke Association hried me to be red carpet reporter for the event (in addition to promoting the stroke awareness campaign: www.powertoendstroke.org). What a great night as headliner Chrisette Michelle testified about her own mother (and manager) having a stroke two months prior. Chrisette’s mom (and her dad) were able to attend and Chrisette’s mother – herself – spoke to me about the dangers of stroke. Also, she spoke of the blessings that exist for her to be recovering well and walking AND talking! Anthony Anderson was the host with the most. My girlfriend Sidra Smith produced the magical night. BIG SHOUT OUT to the American Heart Association’s Pamela Garmon-Johnson to whom I was introduced about this project (from Chicago friend Kevin Gist). I referred Sidra and others to be a part – including my cousin Ronald Golden (www.focusedmarketinginc.com) who did many of the promotional materials. The evening was star studded including a host of stars and my own friends. To see many pix from that night, click here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150172635893737.298489.662073736&l=d8787713de.


Afterwards, an after set at the Intercontinental capped off a fun night including a run-in to new friends TWILIGHT 4s Toni Trucks and Tony-award-winning Karen Olivo who won for the “West Side Story” revival on Broadway. Now, she stars opposite Sanaa Lathan in Lynn Nottage’s “By The Way, Meet Vera Stark”. We also got to see on this weekend (THINK: Where “Sunset Boulevard” meets “Gone With The Wind”) – www.2ST.com. Shout out to Marcia Pendelton for the tix.


Check out https://www.facebook.com/patrick.l.riley#!/LIVEfromFrontRow for some details on Mary J. Blige's FFAWN event. I produced last year's gala... (http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2010/6/19/postcards-from-the-edge.html)... and had to miss it this year. But I hear it was off the chain. FFAWN (Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now) was established in 2007 by Mary and Steve Stoute (www.ffawn.org). The goal of the organization is to inspire young women to achieve higher goals. The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City was the setting this year. Mary was joined by Queen Latifah and Elle Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers as hosts. The event featured appearances by the likes of Christina Aguilera, Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson, Corinne Bailey Rae, Lala Vazquez Anthony, Ellen Pompeo, Kerry Washington and Evan Rachel Wood. The FFAWN foundation sent 25 young ladies to college last year with full four-year scholarships. Proceeds from the FFAWN Mary J. Blige Honors Concert go to FFAWN's scholarship fund.


We popped down to Philly last weekend with friends Nicky, Eric, and Mara for our buddy Caleb’s cookout. Fun afternoon of eating, drinking, and – even – balcony singing! Even met ‘Cultures Clothing’ designer Alloyius and other cool entrepreneurs. I recently directed a pilot project for Caleb via COMCAST.


Shout out to Carl Nelson who was on the Host Committee for Lotus Music & Dance GALA 2011 – 21 yrs of Multicultural Programming. Several friends were in the house – including host Tetiana Anderson; my Morehouse brother Dr. Raymond Swainson; Loida Lewis; Kamala Cesar; fellow journalist Walter Greene; & many more (www.lotusmusicanddance.org/gala2011). Next up: Carl’s DRUMS ALONG THE HUDSON: www.drumsalongthehudson.org/. I’ve co-hosted parts of this event in the past. I plan to attend this year. Please come and join us!


My harlem buddies Stacie J from Donald Trump's Apprentice: Season 2 and her sister Richelle Jones (of WE TV fame) launched their new venture: The Jones Agency recently at Opia Restaurant and Lounge. Stacie J's Apprentice colleagues Kwame (from Season 1) and Dr. Randal Pinkett (Season 4 Winner of Donald Trump's Apprentice) were in the house among many others. Colonial Voluntary Benefits products and services are offered by the Paul Revere Company. The business will provide a wide selection of insurance options for their company and employees.


Lady Gaga in Newark! Part BDAY festivities for Ant and part chaperoning my buddy Zach (his first concert) and his BFF Cami. And word has it my nephew was in the house as escort to Morehouse BFF Michael K. Watts and LIVE! FROM FRONT ROW: https://www.facebook.com/patrick.l.riley#!/LIVEfromFrontRow. GAGA brought it... and EXCLAIMED to us all that we are “...born this way...” And she did so BRILLIANTLY! She also brought us together with strangers who became fast friends – including members of Hello Radio (www.HelloRadio.net).


I didn't realize until something I read today that the legendary Richard Perry (Jane Fonda's beau) is not only the producer of one of my fav Miss Ross albums "Baby, It's Me". He too is the producer of our current Broadway fav's cast recording: "Baby, It's You"... and that's why we ran into them the other night when we went to see the new Broadway show. LOL!


My friend Will is a model here in NYC. He's currently in a Verizon billboard campaign among others. I keep running into him in subways; tunnel entries; sidewalks; phone booths; etc. Wilhelmina Models is his agency here in New York and he’s been modeling for ten years. He has worked with publications such as GQ, Cosmo, Maxim, Paper, Savoy, V Magazine, Source, XXL and many others. Check his stuff out: http://www.wilhelmina.com/EcompNY.cfm?mid=102636 and http://www.wilhelmina.com/EcompLA.cfm?mid=108077. GO WILL!


I got a glimpse of the Oak Ridge Boys outside Ameritania Hotel on Broadway and 54th St. In the time it took me to re-navigate back to them, they were gone! :-( "Getty-up!....Elvira!" Love those guys!). It sparked a burst of Savannah nostalgia (for me) as they were “Hee Haw” fixtures... and during that era of my pop-culture-rearing, country music and TV specials were on the menu.  


Raphael Saadiq performed at Webster Hall in NYC recently and he – as always – took us down memory lane - in present time but with a sound older than his catalog of modern-day classics. He performed many tracks, including "Stone Rollin'" from his upcoming CD project which gives more '60s sounds. He was in GREAT FORM!



I have yet to see THE VOICE, but have only heard great things. And of course, will be catching up with it soon! Congrats to Frenchie for her return to the spotlight where she belongs! Can't wait to sing along!


A recent assignment in Arizona had me getting my kicks on Route 66 - including Flagstaff, AZ and Phoenix. I was just a stone’s throw from the Grand Canyon. And there’s always Sedona. Though work, the scenery was awe-inspiring!


Of course, I’ve been in Chicago for work. But I get fun times in as well.

  • On one night, my Morehouse BFF and musical soul-mate Eddie pulled out the "cassette" of a Diana Ross anthology that he and I co-produced in NJ (circa 1995) - so when we hung out, he only had to listen to the tracks he liked. Of course, I introduced him to more tracks than he knew...and it made for an awesome set (both sides. LOL!). SING ROSS!
  • Eddie and I also got to connect to a blast from our past MARK WALKER - in Chi-town for business as well! We all had such great times in NJ during the mid-to-late 90s. In fact, I sang at both of their weddings. Always good to see dear friends - doing well! Great memories! LOVE U GUYS!
  • Then, Eddie took me to Stanley's Kitchen & Tap for karaoke. He chose "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys for me to do. The enthusiastic bunch loved it along with my Chicago Carl who joined us.
  • My Itika is my social networking soul mate. So of course, she kept me more than busy during my time in Chicago. Often her spokeswoman/marketing duties for Hennessey Black informed our events. One night, it was Underground. Another couple of nights, I joined her at J Bar. Another night, I got to join Itika and her fiance Datari Turner.    On one night, they enjoyed a meal with my buddy Jamie Foster Brown (from “Sister 2 Sister). Afterwards, they scooped me up from my temporary Chicago digs. We went to Lumen. I hadn’t seen Datari since he, Itika, Ant, and I double-dated on vacation in Maui. That was in 2006. But of course, we are both very present to each others' respective lives via our Itika. We had a blast and are due another getaway. Was GREAT to catch up with Datari and all he's working on - including Lisa Raye's TV-ONE reality show & a host of other big-ticket feature film projects starring Demi Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Ruby Dee, & the like.

 The list is quite impressive (just from 2010 to present):

Happy Holidays, Katherine Sloane (co-producer) (pre-production)

2013 - Learning Uncle Vincent (producer) (filming) 

2011 - Dysfunctional Friends (producer) (post-production)

2010 Video Girl (producer) (post-production)

2009 BitterSweet (short) (executive producer) (completed)

2011 Salvation Boulevard (co-producer)

2011 Another Happy Day (co-producer)

 2010 LisaRaye: The Real McCoy (TV series) (executive producer)

2010 A Gang Land Love Story (co-producer)

2010 My Girlfriend's Back (co-producer)

  • CHICAGO also means great times with CHICAGO CARL. One night, we did PLUSH with our girlfriend Arlene. Though they didn’t provide the best customer service, we still made the best of our time and enjoyed each other’s company (and running into family friend Tameka Weathersby). And with Carl, I finally saw "Jumping The Broom"! Congrats to my buddy Salim Akil! BEAUTIFUL WORK! & to Mara Akil & Salim: CONGRATS on your new BET deal! GLAD to have been your personal guest at GAME re-launch. Your CHI-TOWN FANS ADORE U! On another day, it was a haircut at "This Is It" hair salon; dinner & drinks at Zapatista with my other work wife Jakki; Chicago Carl; Cory; & Pierre. "Cocktail" in Boys Town. And I think there’s some soul food in our near future. Well, actually it ended up being  J. ALEXANDER, a Chicago favorite that I liken to my all-time fav Houston’s  - so I’m happy Chicago Carl and Cory took me. Afterwards, another quick night-cap in Boys Town at “Cocktail” at which I ran into a familiar face from my beloved Harlem, Miss Eboni!
  • Did a FUN brunch with work BFFs Alicia; Teri; and Ray at HUB 51.
  • One night – on a Walgreen's run – I stumbled into actor/comedian George Willborn who is one of the spokespeople for the American Stroke Association's Stroke No Joke campaign.
  • I interviewed him on the red carpet this past Friday at the "You Are The Power" Concert.
  • So good to bump into my "Sweet Honey in the Rock" girlfriend Carol. She and the women were performing here in Chicago the other day. Coincidentally we both are NYC-area based and were last together at her birthday party in NYC; I was working in her beloved Philly today; and on not-just-any street, she happens to pass me while I'm waiting on a cab to leave client for hotel. Carol is a founding member of Sweet Honey In The Rock. LUV YA, CAROL!
  • A few months back, I got to collabo (as actor/singer) with my friend Keith Josef Adkins. He's a playwright and actor. If you're in Chicago, check out his play "The Last Saint on Sugar Hill". It's being performed at the Greenhouse Theater in Lincoln Park. http://www.greenhousetheater.org/ From the workshop we did together (including his writing & performing), I can say: HE'S GREAT! Thu-Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 3pm. 80 minutes w/o intermission.


Shout out to one of my NABJ brothers and CNN anchor Don Lemon for being "Transparent" in his new memoir of the same name. CONGRATS! What a ROLE MODEL you are!


My ROSSES - Rhonda Ross Kendrick; Raif Ross Kendrick; Ross Arne Naess; Chudney Ross; Tracee Ellis Ross; Diana Ross; and Evan Ross - attended the Grand Opening of Chudney’s Books & Cookies. Chudney mentioned this to me when we chatted at her mom's NYC concert last year at Radio City Music Hall. This is the first children's bookstore, cafe and event space in Santa Monica, held at Books and Cookies.


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Reader Comments (3)

Greetings Patrick,

This is Kevin Robertson aka Victor Yates Morehouse 02'. We met at the Oprah Suprise Spectacular show. It was a pleasure meeting you and I have to say I love your blog. I feel like I've been on a trip with you to these events and places.

My book, The Taste of Scars, comes out at the end of June. I will definitely send you a copy.

Have an amazing day

May 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVictor Yates
Came to your site through an would like to sign up to your rss feed. Thanks alot.
July 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjayon07's Profile
Modeling is a diverse aspect of the fashion industry. Modeling means more than just being able to take a pretty picture. A big part of modeling is participating in fashion shows. Being in a fashion show may look easy but it isn't. It takes confidence, stage presence and practice to be a good runway model.
August 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHair Extensions

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