PATRICKRILEYHEADSHOT2.JPGWELCOME to "The Life of Riley" which will include periodic chronicles of pop culture and possibilities that flow out of Patrick L. Riley's day. That's me!!! Through blogging (and soon some other technological features on which I'll keep you posted as they launch), I will pull experiences from my busy life to entertain and inspire all of you. Through this site, I will share my observations and insights. 

Some features to look forward to:

1.) "PATRICK'S POP UP(DATES)" will feature stories from pop culture, music, theater, fashion, and the entertainment industry at large. 

2.) "The Life of Riley" will also introduce a "take-a-look-at-your-life" section (READ: sort of an advice column), where I will help readers come up with their own questions and answers around what "ways of being" are working (or not working) to have them acheive their respective goals and live their best lives. This section is called "WHO YOU BE?".

3.) Additonally, there will be a free-flowing, organic section called "TESTIFY" from which I will pull from my own life's journey to share and hopefully inspire. Some of the fare may be new musings and experiences. Other times, I may pull from my journals and past sharings to shed light on some uncomfortable truths that I've experienced and that may perhaps play a role in healing someone else's wounds as the real-life experience did for me. From my experience of covering 9/11 as a freelance journalist to courageously coming out (as gay) to my family, "TESTIFY" promises to move those who choose to read it.

4.) And a section titled "PR" (like my initials, but also like "public relations") will include press clips from any coverage I get. 

5.) And anytime pictures or video can support an entry (in the blog, and perhaps in the subsequent podcasts, my space, and website), those visuals will keep things aesthetically enrolling. That section will be called "MY TUBE".
Patrick L. Riley


Entries in BRANDY (5)

Life of Riley talks and pops

Hi folks!
In the world of #LifeofRiley, I always say "One [Booking] at a time, sweet Jesus!". 

1. This next, well-timed one is FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC: I am giving a KEYNOTE TALK (Think: Ted Talk) on how I have navigated my decades-long career as a gay Black man; the LGBT community I faced in the 90’s versus the present; the changing face of the LGBT household; and more. It all goes down Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Kiyo Hall – Prudential Tower 655 Broad Street Newark, NJ RSVP:  ALSO on program: FIRESIDE CHAT with the DEBT FREE GUYS David Auten and John Schneider and MODERATOR/GMA Journalist T.J. Holmes steers a panel that will discuss findings from the 2016 LGBT Financial Experience study and tour, and will review the concerns regarding wealth, legacy, society, and protection within the LGBT community. Stay tuned as things develop in the #LifeofRiley and I am vetting new opportunities (to further book up my Summer 2017 Calendar), so let me know. #PruLGBT #splashthat

2. I just hosted CUTTING FOR A CURE'S CELEBRITY FUNDRAISING DINNER at CHERI RESTAURANT in Harlem....and Humanitarian Award Honoree John Quinones who said "You are GREAT at hosting events! Wow!" I retorted "You are GREAT at ABC News' "What Would You Do?" (which is why you must get into the new season's launch in June 2017. For more information about the show, visit

 Plus, my friend, the amazing Monifah and Jessica Betts and Diamond V serenaded the generous crowd with Supreme Vocals...and Miss Jessie’s helped power the goody bags AND the Auction! Whew! And we were all their to support Marsha Bonner and Denny Moe's movement to which you can all support:
3.Memorial Day Weekend is coming up and I'll be on HOSTING duties for LGBT music fest XSCAPE Puerto Rico 2017 (I'm hosting the VANGUARD AWARDS and co-hosting CELEBRITY KARAOKE --- with Miss Jessie’s Goody Bags).

4.  Sun June 4th, HOSTING afternoon stage for Drums Along The Hudson (Honorees including Rhonda Ross).

5. Mon June 5th, Gala Host Committee member for Brooklyn Community Services' 150 Anniversary Finale. The evening is hosted by actress and activist, Debi Mazar who I got the chance to interview recently for recurring client OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network's "Where Are They Now?":

6. So my dear friend and colleague Derrick Hemphill is Artist Representative for Jessica Strahan (no relation to Mr. GMA Michael Strahan). She's one of three artists represented in Mirrored Migrations which hosted a discussion on its closing day at Brooklyn's Corridor Gallery with a talk between one-third of the women artist troika LaToya M. Hobbs (Arkansas) and the curator, New Orleans' own Sharbreon Plummer who brings together these artists - Lovie Olivia (Texas) also featured - reflecting stories of survival and preservation often lost in the folds of history. Sharbreon Plummer is an administrator whose research centers on Black Visual Culture. She currently serves as Program Associate for Community Engagement at the Joan Mitchell Center. For further information about where this exhibition is going, please contact or via phone 845-480-1258. Mirrored Migrations confronts a conversation of the national and global influences of the South on contemporary Black Womanhood. Featured artists LaToya M. Hobbs (Arkansas), Lovie Olivia (Texas), Jessica Strahan (Louisiana) study their personal multifaceted journeys of womanhood and perspectives of the world while reflecting on the traditions, communities and magic that exists. Subscribe to Jessica Strahan's newsletter:  #MirroredMigrations #LifeofRiley — at Corridor Gallery.
7. Happy #SilverCelebration #Classof1992 #Morehouse And #Spelman #LifeofRiley

8. Have you been keeping up with Miss Jessie's Co-Founder, CEO, and Creative Director Miko Branch? She's been on the road promoting her national best seller "Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch - Naturally" (Harper Collins/Amistad)...and she's booking up press; product donation synergies; budgeted speeches; hosted book signings; etc. I'm on Brand Ambassador duty to vet anything. Please let me know!



purple reign or shine

money minute

I just hosted the 2ND SEASON of WELLS FARGO's NEW ADVOCATE MONEY MINUTE. It runs on-line on Those will roll out at the end of August through December 2015.

forest whitaker

My NBCBLK INTERVIEW WITH Forest Whitaker just went HOT! CHECK IT OUT: My last NBCBLK assignment was with Miss Aretha Franklin: Have had two LEE DANIELS impressions published as well – from Aretha Franklin’s birthday party. and a Q&A at the beginning of EMPIRE’s first season: On the NBC tip, I also recently Executive Produced NBCU's "The More You Know" Campaign for 2015-16 (L.A. and NYC shoots as well as the preps for post): AS ALWAYS, THANKS FOR YORU SUPPORT! #SOUTHPAW #FORESTWHITAKER #JAKEGYLENHAAL


Got to CELEBRATE Brandy’s UPTOWN Magazine cover with the DIVA herself and Editor in Chief Isoul Harris. IT and the STORY and the SUBJECT and the EDITOR are nothing short of FABULOUS! Read the cover story at

culture club

Went to the Beacon Theater to meet Morehouse brother Michael K Watts for my belated birthday gift: Culture Club WITH BOY GEORGE! IT’S A MIRACLE!!!! Get the latest concert tour news, tour dates, information, reviews, videos, and more at

amazing grace

Two of my sentiments and endless praise from others on Amazing Grace Musical:!! #amazinggracemusical

miss harlem shake 2015

I’m missing Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE already! But the Miss Harlem Shake 2015 pageant gave me a host booking for the second year in a row. Last year’s 1ST ANNUAL was a blast! LINK: .. and THIS YEAR was even more FABULOUS! Special shout out to Musa Jackson whose Musa Jackson Productions booked me then, asked me back this year, and organized this event and a number of other grand fetes in Harlem and throughout NYC. And a SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to the Harlem Shake TEAM plus ALL-of-the behind the scenes team-members – most pointedly, owner of Harlem Shake: Jelena Pasic. One more CONGRATS to Ljeoma: the 2014 Miss Harlem Shake… and we look forward to meeting #MissHarlemShake2015 from #Top6 come September!

frenchie davis

Frenchie Davis came by Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley TWICE during our SPRING 2015 SERIES. So, Ernest Maynor and I had to support The Frenchie Davis Experience at The Metropolitan Room... She's AMAZING! GIVES VOICE FOR DAYS AND INTO ETERNITY WITH ELEGANCE, VULNERABILITY, AND A SPOT OF RATCHETNESS TO BOOT! LOVE ME SOME Frenchie Davis!!! THAT'S ALL! YOU'RE WELCOME! #allstarkaraoke #billiesblack

fellowship and fabulosity

Been great to catch up with friends and NYC family of late:

1. My dear friend Sidra Smith invited an impressive group of tastemakers to her client Janet League-Katzin’s Sphatika – the 100% Natural Sphatika Skincare & Spa on Madison Avenue between 68th and 69th Street: Instagram: @Sphatika_nyc and Twitter: @Sphatika The room included industry friends: GMA Correspondent Mara Schiavocampo; recording artists Gordon Chambers and – from The Voice: THROATRESSES Amanda Brown and Kimberly Nichole; style experts Emil Wilbekin and Tai Beauchamp; Lisa Bonner, Esq.; artist Dianne Smith; and so many more! The Sphatika concept is based on the awareness that the true nature of every individual is divine, radiant, and joyful. We honor and connect with that inner reality by offering the highest quality treatments and products possible. Through a unique combination of deep sleep, sacred elements from the earth and powerful natural healing modalities one experiences the body’s innate ability to repair, renew and rejuvenate itself.

2. Got to spend some long-overdue, quality time with my Mara and her husband Tommie and ALL OF OUR GANG recently for a BLACK MOVIE NIGHT at their home!

3. My people in Mount Vernon are always up for a great time… and we had game night and some karaoke to boot with Derrick, Kiana, Neal, and the gang out there! ALWAYS A PLEASURE!


Though LIFE OF RILEY can be FAB, it only beats one booking and one check at a time, so when folks in my life are the difference to me (as I aim to be for so many), I have to SHOUT it out! SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to MY FRIEND, Miss Jessie's Founder Miko Branch and Miss Jessie's for SPONSORING ME to attend this year’s National Association of Black Journalists’ Convention – a bit of an off-shoot of my “Harlem open mic night” as I’ve been invited to HOST “#NABJ40 Night at the Apollo” (but it’s in MINNEAPOLIS on Opening Night of the Convention in August). Everyone knows NABJ is "my annual therapy". And my "annual therapy" is about to meet my "daily therapy" (karaoke) at the pass. LOL!  The release reads: "Battle it out on stage with your fellow NABJ members as you compete in the ULTIMATE Apollo talent competition hosted by none other than Patrick L. Riley! Bring your costumes, props, and song choice to the convention center after the opening reception. Solos, duets, and group performances are welcome! Become the 2015 #NABJ40 Apollo Night Champion!" If my NABJ fam is registered for the convention, coming, and going to be there and want to get in on the fun, PLEASE FILL THIS OUT and SUBMIT: #NABJ is a FAMILY REUNION and ALWAYS a good time! See LIFE OF RILEY's capture of NABJ over the years: Once-NABJ “Emerging Journalists of the Year” Michael Feeney (NYABJ President); dear friend Mara Schiavocampo (GMA Correspondent); NBC4 Anchor Shiba Russell (and the NBC 4 crew);  and one of Ant's and my favorite couples Nikita Stewart Henderson (New York Times) and consultant Brian Henderson frequent our night! Also, NABJ President Will Sutton and NABJ's own Garry Howard brought their Dow Jones Business Reporting Internship students out. And they came two Tuesdays in a row at this Spring 2015's "Billie's Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley". So, I’m excited to bring KARAOKE to NABJ!  And to see what our FABULOUS MEMBERS are going to sing! #WEAREFAMILY


Derrick Hemphill and I did a drive by the New York Association of Black Journalists’ pre-convention mixer to find out who is going to be participating in #NABJ40 AT THE APOLLO. Great to see NABJ and NYABJ fam… as always!

RIP Bobbi Kristina and Michael Masser and Whitney Houston 

"Didn't We Almost Have It All"


full plate

all star karaoke

We never know who will pop by – so please come out and EXPERIENCE Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley at Billie's Black Gourmet Soul. EVERY TUESDAY. 7P to 10p. RESERVATIONS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 212.280.2248. We're up until MID-JULY 2015!#billiesblack#allstarkaraoke #motownmay

Trying to maintain my CALM and SANITY amidst a perfect storm of LOTS OF PROJECTS and BOOKINGS…. LOTS OF PENDING ACCOUNT RECEIVABLES… LOTS OF TO-Dos…. LOTS OF PROJECTS TO WORK ON…. LOTS OF ISSUES TO WORK THROUGH.  AND ON TOP OF THAT? POP CULTURE and POSSIBILITIES are on FIRE! Another JUSSIE SMOLETT run-in on the streets of NEW YORK CITY(OMG!!!! LOL!)! My heart keeps dropping! LOL! And he's always THE NICEST! LOOKING FORWARD TO "EMPIRE" - SEASON TWO! After just interviewing him at Aretha Franklin's bday party, did CLIVE DAVIS just happen into Harlem’s Cheri as we all gathered for my NABJ buddy Brian Henderson’s birthday party? Running into him has become a regular thing! LOL! AND WAIT! Did everybody see ALL OF QUEEN LATIFAH in the BRILLIANT “BESSIE”? AND DID SOMEBODY SAY JANET JACKSON IS COMING OUT WITH NEW MUSIC AND A WORLD TOUR!???? And is that an invite to Insanity’s own SHAUN T’s birthday party? WHEW! OH! I just wrapped working with recurring client BET on a 35-YEAR tribute that ran at The Paley Center tribute to African Americans in Entertainment last week at Cipriani. Also, I am doing a week of guest co-hosting at ARISE 360 this week. YOU can watch (and me from time to time) - now on Time Warner, Verizon Fios, and On Demand via As always, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! #arise360 #allstarkaraoke#billiesblack  #maintaining sanity

black men can

VIDEO LINK:   Thanks to Founder and CEO of Learningateway Education, Candis Best, for an invitation to participate in a celebration of Black males headed to college in 2015. This interactive event allowed other esteemed panelists and me to share experiences and insights to Black males committed to obtaining a college degree. #rmgsigningday. For more information on how you can get involved: Special shout out to my dear friend Kelly J Welborn and her team at  for their care in managing this booking for me! AS ALWAYS, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT… and PLEASE DON’T HESITATE to remind our young brothers that BLACK MEN CAN… and do…GRADUATE!


Shaun T and Ryan Tarpley

Shout out to Harlem's own SUPER-producer Musa Jackson for invite to Shaun T aka Shaun Thompson and Ryan Tarpley's Harlem BDAY set at Gin Fizz - guests including Ernest Maynor, Anthony Harper, Derrick Hemphill, Jamar Dunn, Savoy Walker, Mark A Forrest, Wardell Malloy, Angelique Miles, Morehouse brother UPTOWN Magazine Editor in Chief Isoul Harris; GLAAD-award-winning Monifah Carter and Terez Mychelle; Bravo Fashion Queens Bevy Smith - host and muse for the FAB gathering; iconic LABELLE diva Nona Hendryx; and more! PLUS in the house: Empire's own Jussie Smollett! We'll all soon gather at Billie's Black Gourmet Soul for Billie's Black presents All Star Karaoke with Patrick L. Riley. #billiesblack#allstarkaraoke #motownmay


Harlem on my Plate

Thanks to Perspective PR’s Joseph Babineaux and his team for coming by Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley this past Tuesday! Fun TIMES! And as the video I produced for recurring client BET played at Cipriani Wall Street for The Paley Center’s TRIBUTE to BET’s 35 years and – in general - African Americans in TV, I accepted Joseph’s invite to attend the world premiere screening of the new documentary short film, Harlem on My Plate, written, directed and produced by Rochelle Brown and Sonia Armstead of Powerhouse Productions. This amazing project, celebrating Harlem's rich culinary history, is presented by Citi in partnership with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. FUN ROOM! GOOD FOOD! Anthony Harper, Derrick Hemphill, and I attended… and were excited to see our Harlem fam – including my BFF/NAACP Image Award winning producer (“Free Angela”), Sidra Smith; Patrik-Ian Polk(whose Blackbird (2014 film) has a few more days to be seen on the big screen. Just today at 4p in NYC at AMC 23); Grammy divo Gordon Chambers; Bumble & Bumble creative exec Dwight Allen O'Neal; art connoisseur; creative consultant; designer; and comedian Rahsaan Gandy; TV Chef Mark Anthony Bailey; and a host of others – out to enjoy this project; food from Harlem’s The Cecil and Melba’s Restaurant; and host with the most: Miss Bevy Smith, Founder of “Dinner with Bevy” and HOST of Bravo’s Fashion Queens. #billiesblack #allstarkaraoke #motownmay


Out with the BOYZ for Mario Ephriam's Thursday night Harlem Happy Hour event: Nabe Underground - Nabe Harlem - including my NYC fam: my Ant; Derrick Hemphill; Jamar Dunn; Jason Johnson; Randall Isaacs; and more! We'll all be at Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley! #allstarkaraoke#billiesblack #motownmay

Brian bday

Shout out to friend Nikita Stewart Henderson for inviting Ant, his Denver buddy Justin, and me out for her husband/my NABJ BFF Brian Henderson's BDAY set which took place at Harlem's Cheri - including a fun guest list of friends - including Proteus Spann, responsible for the staging of E Lynn Harris' "Invisible Life" at The Apollo in June; my Morehouse brother/fellow pop culture expert George Alexander; "Motown the Musical"s own dance diva Dionne Dadrinelle Figgins; Project1Voice Founder Erich McMillan; and - guess who happened upon Cheri? THE Clive Davis whose high school program Brian's step-daughter Ella just completed at NYU and my BFF Sidra Smith happened in too! Happy Birthday, Brian!

Another great week of ALL STAR KARAOKE

WEEK THREE of Billie's Black presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley TOTALLY ROCKED! Our ALL STAR KARAOKE FAITHFULs came out in FULL FORCE! Thanks to FRIENDS – including celebrity hairstylist (Kerry Washington; Jada Pinkett Smith) Carla Bone; #theboss choir director Mario Ephriam -;  Broadway writer Ephriam Walker (; Monifah’s management and marketing team from SavvyMarketing Entertainment Group LLc: Savoy Walker, Mark A Forrest, Ulysses Carter, Cynna Gorham, et al! My Spelman sister Adrianne C. Smith ( Southern Chefs Executive Producer and Host); platonic boo Carl Nelson (Producer, Drums Along The Hudson -Inwood Park which is Sunday, June 14th here in NYC. I'm hosting the afternoon stage alongside Mara Schiavocampo at Drums Along the Hudson): :; MAKEUP by MERRELL’s own Merrell Hollis (working a FAB cover today – STAY TUNED!); Perspective PR’s own Joseph Babineaux; #motownmay GRAND FINALE WINNER/singer Husain Mello Deas Williams; Jamar Dunn; Musa Jackson; Ry Tarpley; Angelique Miles; and filmmaker extraordinaire Andre Robert Lee who is responsible for introducing Miko Branch to me, hence Miss Jessie's is our weekly sponsor! Always great to have Miss Jessie's: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch-Naturallyin the house! Well, folks! We’re up every Tuesday from 7p-10p --- through mid-July. We never know who will pop by – so please come out and EXPERIENCE Billie's Black Gourmet Soul presents ALL STAR KARAOKE with Patrick L. Riley. RESERVATIONS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 212.280.2248.#billiesblack#allstarkaraoke #motownmay

swept away



Thanks to all of you for your WELL-WISHES & concern. Hopefully by the time you read this, I will have power. But for now, I am among the 2.6 milliion New Jersey households without it. And our town of Ridgefield Park flooded something terrible, though there's no damage to the interior of our home. Cabin fever is getting the best (or worst) of me, but neighbor BFF Ernest Maynor, Ant, and I are joining forces to stay fed and as comfy as possible. Dear friends Mara Schiavocampo & Tommie Porter opened up their home to us - so we got our hot food & water; cocktails; great chat; and Nina on! Just a few days prior, The Porters were The Carters (with Blue Ivy AKA Nina in tow) for a Halloween Party! Another day had me hanging out at a friend's office - for recharging; computer use (hence this note); etc. To all who have lost - property or loved ones, I'm CLEAR my situation could be a lot worse and I extend my PRAYERS of comfort and speedy recovery your way! One friend, publicist Rachel Noerdlinger, tweeted while we were at CAMP PORTER (@Mara Schiavocampo & Tommie Porter): “I'm in a house full of serious journalists stranded from #Sandy. Are we watching the news? Nope. @patarack wants to watch the Voice. SMH (NOTE FROM @PATARACK: I'M MISSING ALL MY SHOWS! "The Voice", "RuPaul", "X Factor", "Life After", Marvin Gaye's crime file on TV One, Toni Braxton's "Behind The Music", and SO MUCH MORE as the days go on I.E. “GLEE (GREASE episode)”; etc.! LOL! I'll catch it on demand or whenever... but IJS! LOL!)


The New York Association of Black Journalists, Essence Magazine and Black Employees @ Time Inc. came together to honor former WNBC anchor Sue Simmons in a special award ceremony. The spirited evening took place at the Time-Life Building and felt like a family reunion - between my best buddies from the current Board of the New York Association of Black Journalists - including NYABJ Prez Mike Feeney, Dwight Oestricher, and the evening's host Cheryl Wills (NY-1); my NYABJ friends-for-life - including Essence Editor-in-Chief Constance White; WABC 7's Sandra Bookman (Anchor/Reporter/Host, "Here & Now"); fashion writers Robin Givhan and Walter Greene; another NBC legend Al Roker who (like Sue) I produced in the late '90s via NBC 4's special projects division; and a couple of my friends and icons from the arts: well-known writer/producer/NYC socialite Susan Fales Hill (known for "A Different World"); writer/producer/NYC socialite Susan Fales Hill (known for "A Different World"); Tony-award-winning choreographer George Faison (Owner, Faison Firehouse Theater in Harlem) and Miss Valerie Simpson who serenaded Sue with a beautiful, self-accompanied rendition of one of the classics co-written by Valerie and her late, great husband and songwriting partner Nickolas Ashford, "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing". Sue was as happy to see me as I was to see her. In the words of the invite, she 'truly left an unforgettable mark during her more than 30 years on the New York City station," A host of other NABJ family members were in the house - including NABJ Executive Director Maurice Foster.


Before heading home from the Sue Simmons event, I went by M Bar in Mansfield hotel to catch up with another NABJ sister friend Nicole Childers. Her client, Divorce Court's Judge Lynn Toler is in town to promote her new book, "Making Marriage Work." You may know that she's been the Divorce Court judge since 2006 and in the course of the past month has appeared on Dr. Drew's HLN show and MSNBC's "The Cycle." And while here, she was on some fun and familiar airwaves here in the city - including 'Wendy Williams' and her weekly HOT TALK panel. My Morehouse BFF Michael K. Watts, Ant, and others were in the mix - holding court with the very lovely, engaging, and funny Judge Lynn. Great night in NYC! (Good to see my Morehouse brother Mario Ephraim’s aunt back on the tube via an installment of “Life After” (Divorce Court) on TV One:! We ALSO LOVE Judge Mablean… and Judge Lynn Toler does too! I asked her!).


BRANDY was in town recently for a $32.00 concert at Best Buy Theater in Times Square (right across the street from my recurring client BET). Ant, BFF since 7th grade Ern, and I attended along with a sold-out crowd that included many of our friends - including Morehouse BFFs Mario and Michael K. Watts, who covered the event for his concert review and highlights site "LIVE! From Front Row" which shot Brandy's Whitney Tribute: and so much more that you can enjoy here:  

Courtesy of "LIVE! From Front Row":

 FINAL Brandy set list;


 What about

 Full moon

 Top of the world

 Sitting up in my room

 Medley: Best friend/Baby/I wanna be down


 Whitney Houston Medley: I'm your baby tonight/How Will I Know/I wanna dance with somebody

 Have you ever

 Almost Doesn't count

 Wildest Dreams

 Put It Down



 FOR MORE INFO on BRANDY's NEW RELEASE: that day, it’s worth noting that one of my colleagues from Chicago-based Harpo, Caroline Ziv, popped into town on business. She’s one of the BEST producers I know in the business! Of course, between her meetings, she dedicated some time to catch-up and break-bread with me at Serafina! Great to see you, ZIV!


Shout out to Marcia Pendelton and Lauren Tobin - both of whom have been asking me to come out to see "WILD WITH HAPPY", a world premiere written by and featuring Colman Domingo ( I've sung his praises from his tour de force performance in Broadway's "Passing Strange" ( Then, I penned his hosting words at one of Black 2 Broadway's Tony Awards events ( Now, Colman is in previews at the Public Theater and what a wonderful piece. And this time, it's a work that also features my Morehouse brother Maurice McRae in a BRILLIANT performance. Maurice is my MOREHOUSE BIG BROTHER; he directed me in several staged productions at Morehouse; we were in the glee club together; etc. GREAT FRIEND!!!

 Here is a description of the work:

World Premiere


 By Colman Domingo

 Directed by Robert O'Hara

 Featuring Colman Domingo, Korey Jackson, Maurice McRae,

and Sharon Washington

 October 9 - November 11

From Colman Domingo (a Tony Award® nominee for The Scottsboro Boys and an Obie Award winner for Passing Strange) comes a deeply imaginative and utterly outrageous new work that explores the bizarre comedy that lies within death and healing. Gil, an actor who's struggling to carve out his own new life, finds his worlds colliding when his mother dies and he decides to have her cremated. But where should he scatter the ashes? And can he make a fairytale ending for her in the one place that made her WILD WITH HAPPY? Domingo leads a cast of four. And directing is Obie winner Robert O'Hara.


Our friend Michelle Sanchez Boyce inspired an ENERGY OF LOVE – ALL FOR HER – at a birthday party she and her husband, our buddy Nelson Boyce hosted. It was a fun set at their New Rochelle home which features a back-deck patio – ripe for poet Mums and Grammy-award winning Anthony Hamilton to wax poetical; philosophical; political; psychological (and everything else). And also, a house full of GREAT FOOD and our New Rochelle (and Bergen County) favorites – including my Amazing Grace Nichole and a host of other festive folks!

Shout out to Ant’s cousin Taricq! We celebrated his birthday last night at ReCoup and Fat Buddha Bar! Taricq and his Multi Vision team performed at the first set (  and what a FAMILY REUNION it was!

Ant’s Denver BFF and art soul-mate Manivone’s birthday was yesterday. We toasted my Scorpio sister at Clinton Hill’s Speedy Romeo. Then, we continued our hang in Brooklyn. Always good to be in the BK with our peeps!


We’ve still been getting some casual karaoke in when we can. Popped over to Astoria to join Ant’s cuz Shantay for some fun! While at One 7 Karaoke recently, I stumbled into one of my karaoke buddies Javier Millan. He excited me with the news that he is a contestant on "IDOLOS de la cancion" - an "American Idol" for the Latin audience in which participants impersonate a Latin music icon or current superstar ( Check him out: Congrats, Javier!


You all read about my ‘Amazing Grace’ Natalie in my CNN piece a few months ago ( Well, she’s family! Her brother-in-law Tavares is family too…and I’m excited to tell you about something this Atlanta-based artist is doing. It’s all here on his webite: But let me wax proud for a moment. He’s been working on a praise and worship music project/CD titled “The Ascension Project”... and it is something to behold. Again, you can find it at

It is a five track EP that is a fusion of contemporary praise and worship and spoken word poetry. Tavares wrote, executive produced, and co-produced the CD. He says it's truly a unique offering that can make a difference in the way it will minister to people's hearts. The project is an independent project; so, please check it out; buy it; share it; spread the word! In addition to being able to hear the music on his site, you can also watch video clips of live performances (like this one: MEANWHILE, a pop into Hillstone to use the restroom and to then have a glass of iced tea turned into a quick bite with my friend Shareen (Uber-Producer at “The Bill Cunningham Show”) and her husband, the most awesome musician Kenny Carr who has some new music coming out soon. I can’t wait to share! (You’ll recall, Shareen and I worked alongside each other in 2009 while producing reality shows “Monica: Still Standing” and “Frankie & Neffe”. LOVE THAT COUPLE & THOSE TWO INDIVIDUALS!). But back to Kenny: He is a Composer, Producer, Singer, and Musician. I know his trombone playing from the United House of Prayer for All People - my family church. He and I still have many mutual peeps from that common ground. But Kenny is now internationally renowned as one of the world’s premier soulful jazz trombonists and shout band recording artists. He's apepared on Grammy nominated recordings, Dove award winning projects, and has been named the Best of North Carolina Music Artist. The Charlotte native has performed with and shared the stage with the likes of Ramsey Lewis, Wycliffe Gordon, Jonathan Butler, Al Green, Gladys Knight, and the late Ray Charles. His talents extend across genres, allowing Kenny to share his talents with gospel greats Vickie Winans, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Bishop Ronald Brown, and John P Kee. Kenny has toured and shared his musical expertise internationally with his solo project “Sound the Alarm” (2003). He has also broadened his repertoire to include Executive Producer of the amazing masterpiece, “The Seal Breakers” (2011). And Kenny’s latest gift, “Amazing Love” (2012) will certainly secure him as one of the best musicians of all times. That's the one I'm excited to share with you when it's time! CONGRATS, TAVARES & KENNY: pop culture and possibilities at their BEST!





My first assignment for 2012 required I hit the ground running in L.A. for recurring client BET!

In addition to producing TONY ROCK on the red carpet at the new-season premiere party of "The Game" & "Let's Stay Together" (, I too interviewed the cast members and their Hollywood friends at the casino-style after party - excerpts from which will run on BET through the night the show premieres. Both casts were so gracious. And I really enjoyed meeting some of the "Let's Stay Together" 'folks.

Don't forget to watch both hit shows Tuesday, January 10th at 10pm/eastern...and every Tuesday after that!

MEANWHILE, while in L.A., I got the chance to see one of LA's installments of FELA! (attended also by my industry buddy Tichina Arnold who discovered I was there during intermission...and what a FUN reunion that was as we normally see each other in NYC! ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE HER!).

Outside my temp digs for the week, The Hotel Roosevelt, I went on an errand down the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

While snapping my favorites, I stumbled into NABJ/AABJ (black journalist) mentor Vic Carter - in town on business.

Small world, huh? And though work kept me most occupied through most of my time in L.A., I did manage to see some friends - albeit too briefly:

Itika T. Oldwine; Derek Lafayette;

V Scott Hamilton; Stacey Antonio; Will Miller;

Jocelyn R Coleman;

Melora Rivera (who brought me my biggest surprise. I produced her mom, FOX 5 Atlanta anchor Amanda Davis in the mid-'90s on "Good Day Atlanta". After our newscast, I'd take Melora -- in 4th grade or less at the time - to school while her mom did teases for the NOON newscast which she also anchored. I'd take Melora to Chick-fil-a for a breakfast sandwich and drop her off to her school before I'd head back to either help write the NOON news or before I'd head home. Melora is now a WOMAN and working in Hollywood for my friend Salim Akil. CONGRATS, MELORA...and I'll be looking for your cameo in "Sparkle". MUCH LOVE TO YOU --- and your mom. HAPPY TO BE BACK IN TOUCH!); Zabrina Horton;

Loren Lillian;

TheQuan Lateef;

and a host of others that remind me I have some awesome friends who I consider family in L.A. not to mention my BFF (from high school) Maurice Marable who brought me on to do this gig for BET.

Was great to hang out with Mo and Mrs. Karen Good Marable, who - of course - is quite a joy.

Oh! One person I actually met for the first time and have adored from RuPaul's Drag Race (a recurring diva): Shangela Laquifa Wadley.

 He will be featured on "Toddlers & Tiaras" - dropping the science of being fierce on the little ones. LOL! GO! THANKS L.A. & BET!

And special shout out to my friends Mara Brock-Akil and Salim Akil for creating "The Game" and continuing to take their Hollywood game to the next level: Look for their "SPARKLE" remake in August of this year!


I had to get back from L.A. on a red-eye that got me back to NYC Sunday morning because industry buddy Myrdith Leon-McCormack invited me to be shot by photographer extraordinaire Frank Ishman ( Frank also happens to be my Morehouse brother. The shoot is a part of a collective campaign that features portraits and brief write-ups on each participant’s legacy. Today, Artist/Philanthropist Danny Simmons; WNBC’s Kym Hampton; film director Dominga Martin; and FFAWN philanthropist Latonya Blige were shot. Also in the house: Justiin Davis (HBO Boardwalk Empire): And a special shout out to THE GLAM SQUAD: Makeup-- Francesca B; Hair---Moet Stewart; Stylist--Janine Linton! GREAT JOB, LADIES! And GREAT WORK, FRANK ISHMAN! XO


On the eve of New Year’s Eve, some friends did inspire me to come out and play (amidst a week of partial-work & partial-relaxation). NYC friend Sharon Nelson and her family hosted a holiday gathering which allowed me to toast some near and dear for the season: Carl Nelson; ABC 7 Anchor/Reporter Sandra Bookman (industry buddy from our Atlanta days); Gilda Squire; Marie Raxy; etc. Then, a pop down to Snack Dragon to hang with BFFs Jamar Dunn; Ryan T Hall; and Ryan’s cool-EST mom Donna. She proved herself a stellar vocalist as we found a little karaoke to get into, after enjoying delicious tacos and sangria. Our hosts Cindy and John threw an awesome HAPPY NEW YEAR set! We had a BLAST! HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY!


Christmas in my hometown of Savannah with family and friends! GREAT TIMES! And a dose of Atlanta makes it all right for the holidays! XO Here are more pix: 

P.S. R-I-P

You may recall that while I was in L.A. - post-producing "Monica", I got to see the L.A. premiere of the documentary Kodjoe was working on before he died. I found out while I was in L.A. -- as I was going to see FELA in L.A. at the Ahmanson Theater - right next door to where Claudia's film screened that September in 2009: & - we found out that Claudia passed away. Her awarding-winning work as a producer with ABC, NBC and PBS has made her a recipient of numerous awards including 11 Emmys, a duPont and a Peabody. Here is a beautiful tribute written by David Guilbault, a former ABC executive producer, who worked with her on her important HIV/AIDS documentary "Why Us? Dying and Left Behind" (after Kodjoe passed away in March 2005: Claudia will be missed but her legacy lives on.