Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Finally! An article About Guyana Fashion Week 2007

Okay family!

If you TRULY know me then you must know that I "google" myself to see what (if anything) folks are writing about me. I was dismayed at the lack of coverage on Guyana Fashion Week, So I kept "Googling" for the last few months and actually managed to find a flattering article WITH a photo! lol...you KNOW I put the paragraph about Moi in BOLD LETTERING!


GWF final night: Graceful, cute, daring, sizzling
By Iana Seales
Saturday, September 1st 2007

Like a cool breeze blowing on a hot August evening, the graceful designs of Pat Coates kicked off what was a glamorous and statement-filled finale of the inaugural Guyana Fashion Weekend (GFW).

Willowy models floated across the catwalk in pieces so heavenly it set the tone for an evening of timeless displays, although not all the collections could claim that blissful appeal.

If fashion is defined as sexy, daring and wickedly stylish, then the opening night set the tone, with designers such as Olympia Small-Sonaram and Vashti Harlequin feeding us designs so tasty it made the food at Buddy's International Hotel seem less appetizing. But in keeping with traditions everywhere, they saved the best for last, which made the finale a night of triumphs.

Sticking to her established territory and obvious obsession with light colours, Coates opened with a series of chic shirts and skirts, offering a fresh new taste in short, long and cuff sleeves, as well as slender dresses that accentuate curves and compliment a figure that has very few. Known for minor details in cuts, she delivered many well-tailored pieces that all looked as though they belonged in the glossy pages of a top fashion magazine. It would be a sweeter reality, however, if the designer challenged Guyanese women to start a fashion purity craze by stepping out in her pieces.

There was one off-white shirt-skirt in particular that looked like a mixture of silk and linen and just stood out. It was the perfect fit on the petite model, but was so good that maybe it would look just as perfect on any woman. If one word sums up Coates's collection it's quality, because that is exactly what she dished out in her collection of cream, gold, white and off-white pieces.

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But shortly after taking us into a dream, compliments of Coates, the organizers changed the atmosphere and shifted gears to a steaming hot, bewitching collection from Nadine and Nikisha Telford who were the break-out designers of the event - new, but gifted and certainly up and coming. With a touch of sex appeal and gothic flavour mixed with some innocence, the sisters spiced up the rather ordinary looking runway.

Cute and daring

Under their Climax label, they offered cute little puff pants, daring corset tops, pencil skirts and midriff jackets, in addition to playful jersey dresses and hooded tunics. And as if the clothes were not hot enough, they stacked up on big platform shoes, wedge slippers and chunks and chunks of accessories. A few of the models working it for the Telford sisters sported huge handbags and stylish clutch purses. At first it seemed like a music video shoot for one of the US rappers, maybe 50 cent or Ludacris, but as the pieces kept coming it got more interesting and the feel of something greater started to emerge.

Climax had a sort of Baby Phat/ Rockawear appeal to it, but with a Caribbean flava with richer colours and cooler fabrics. The pieces which can be considered hip were mainly spandex and silk. It will probably take a few more showings and additional exposure for the Telford sisters to stamp their approval as the youngest, hottest, hippest designers out of Guyana, but they are on their way. Shabeau Magazine presented them with an award for best new designers and have committed to featuring their line offering them an entire year of free advertising, which means the Caribbean is about to get a little hotter with every new Shabeau issue.

Sizzling collection

By the time the programme was nearing an end, Dereck Moore's sizzling collection of silk and georgette dresses, shirts and blouses had claimed bragging rights on the catwalk, and Sonia Noel was preparing to set off a finale so big and breathtaking that tongues were wagging long after the show had wrapped up. Moore who continues to re-invent himself with chic pieces that celebrate femininity in the way it should be - loud and proud, went for a mature look and revealed his take on how a classy woman who is fashion conscious dresses.

His collection was a mix of black, fuchsia, azure and white, often fused into one. Moore's plus-sized pieces made big look hot, something many designers who do not often venture to cut pieces beyond a size six cannot do. What was particularly good about his collection was the classic touch it had, and the potential to survive scrutiny from critics locally, regionally and we dare say, internationally.

Ruffles and roses

Who begins showing a collection with a chic two-piece, tailored white pants suit that looks like it has been ripped off the back of a model in a Parisian fashion show? Why Sonia Noel of course. And from the minute her first piece hit the stage the tempo was set for a grand finale. It started off with a parade of gorgeous white pieces, pants, skirts and dresses that carried her signature look of ruffles and roses. Then Noel mixed things up with tangerine, cream, black and gold pieces - some cascading off curves with the splendour of water tumbling down falls. And she also gave us sexy, 'in,' daring new looks that combined tube dresses and body-hugging skirts.

Noel incorporated matching hats and handbags into her collection of linen, spandex, cotton and silk pieces. Every look she presented had a sense of totality to it - a particular skill of hers that sets her apart from the crowd. Her designs showed class, an eye for detail, some amount of boldness and a creative flair that stands out every time.

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Plus-sizes and sexy bald-headed models

As the night progressed and the designs kept coming some amount of boredom stepped in given that some of the pieces on show failed to ignite interest, but during such moments the audience was able to see who has modelling in their blood and who was merely walking the catwalk, because when the clothes are not interesting, the models at least should be.

Sharon Quinn, a hot plus-sized model out of New York literally stole the show every time she took the stage. Whether it was her playful smile or inviting stare or the sexy sway of her hips, Quinn worked it. The crowd couldn't get enough of her and the designers recognizing as much used her for nearly every collection.

Another face that kept showing up on the catwalk was that of the reigning Miss Guyana Universe, Melessa Payne who was rocking a sexy bald-headed style with three long braids. Payne whose height, slender frame and well-toned complexion resembles that of former international model, Alec Wek, had a presence very few of the models could boast of. There was something simple yet appealing about her, and she stood out in every piece she strutted down the catwalk in.

Sensual and hand-painted designs

Sanola Forte and Rhonda Dunbar were among the new names on the big stage, and of the two, Forte made quite a statement with her Bumblee collection of flowing, knee and ankle-length dresses mixed with skirts and blouses. Using silk, drill and cotton the young designer focused on a more sensual look and pulled it off. Dunbar, on the other hand, showed a mostly grey collection that had a dated look and the styles all seemed overly emphasized. But she also showed promise which means that by this time next year she is likely to mature into a classier designer.

Undeniably Lou-Ann Jackson and Andrea Braithwaite rocked the stage with their signature hand-painted pieces that showed originality in its truest form. They offered form-fitting pants and skirt-suits to dresses and flowing tunics. The natural fabrics used by both women gave their designs appeal, and their clothing has come to embody the essence of cool, classy and comfortable. Jackson treated us to quite a feast when she outfitted the male models in stylish pants and shirts that left uncovered some of those interesting body parts they are allowed to show on stage.

The overseas designers, Donna Dove and Dominique Laroche brought a different kind of fashion that revealed their passion for unconventional clothing - mostly hand-painted designs of male pants and shirts as well as dresses and skirts. It is as if Laroche's collection said, 'Wearable Art.' Both collections were impressive and beautiful with Laroche going for a more strange stage presentation outfitting his models in black net veils.

Guyana Fashion Weekend 2008 has quite a name to live up to, but given the pool of talent locally it promises to be one heck of a show.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving & My Black Friday Story

Happy Belated Thanksgiving Family!!

I hope that everyone is enjoying their holiday! I spent the night before cooking AND sipping on Pinot Grigio and then a bottle of Prosecco while I was doing it. I was so drunk by the time I got to the turkey...I had to go take a nap before I could put it in the oven...LMAO!! Anyway, the next day after finishing up the cooking for my house...I walked across town to the east side to make my "stop off's" before heading to my sister's house, where everyone was gathering. 1st stop was on the block that I grew up on to see Mr. Brock, who has been like a surrogate dad to me ever since I can remember (his son Tommy and I were thicker than thieves most of our lives). I found out that he'd be leaving out shortly to have dinner with one of his grandson's and his family. We talked for a moment then he wrapped me up some fried chicken that he had made earlier (Dad's a widow now and all of his children are either grown or deceased), I gave him a kiss and headed further east.

My next stop was to my cousin Steve's mom's house...his mom Emma makes some of the BEST POTATO SALAD ever!!!! I knew I couldn't pass her house without getting some. She was waiting for me too!!! Fixed me a lovely plate...with LOTS of Potato Salad!!!She gave me a slice of sweet potato pie too!!! (Which I managed to lose...long story). I chatted with my cousin Lorraine and her son Joshua for a little while and then I had to keep it moving cuz it was getting dark already.

I was supposed to make one last stop to holla at my boy Shawn who was having dinner nearby but the hour was getting late and I decided to just head on into the Bronx (Please forgive me Shawn) before my mom's started blowing up my phone. I made it to 176th Street and even braved the...like...six flights of steps necessary to get to her block! I had a sweet potato cheesecake that I had ordered from Eileen's Cheesecake Co. and I was ready to celebrate with my fam. My sister and her children had a lavish spread and lots of dessert and er...cocktails? I hung out with my nieces & nephews for a long as I could get them to stay in the house....lol..not long and then hung out with my mom, my sis & my step dad. We drank Polka Dot Riesling, listened to music and talked about old times.

At around 8:30pm I ventured even FURTHER in the Bronx to stop by and say hello to my home girls Eda & Becky, Brutus (their dog) and their roomies! They had a rather lavish spread laid out as well and I couldn't eat another bite....er...except for the shrimp that Dede had prepared...couldn't turn those down. I hung with them until about 9:30pm and then I announced that I needed to leave in order to get back home because my neighbor was gonna check out the Midnight Madness Black Friday Run at Woodbury Commons.

I got home, dropped of my bags, checked on my monster and headed back downstairs to my neighbor Glenda's house. We left NYC at approximately 11:15pm to head upstate....it usually takes about 45 minutes to get there...the ride was cool and the convo was great....we needed to get off at exit 16 on the NYS Thruway and all was well....

Until we passed exit 15.

As we passed the exit before ours AND the last rest stop before our exit, I noticed a flashing sign that said "Slow Down - Heavy Traffic Ahead". Didn't really pay it too much mind...I'm figuring traffic's gonna be slow because EVERYONE is going to try and catch the sales....

Well baby, "slow" was a genuine understatement....we were trapped in that friggin traffic for HOURS!!!! I have never in my life seen so many people pull over their cars and run in to the forests to pee!!!

Well, needless to say, AFTER we got off on our exit...there was STILL another hour wait to get through traffic getting in and out of the parking lots.

Time on my watch when I finally reached the Nike Outlet: 5 AM.


Although I did managed to snag some sneaks and boots for me and my boo....I will NEVER do that dumb sh*t again. Never Ever. Ever.

It was almost 11am the next day when we got back to Harlem.

And I am still looking for my damn sweet potato pie! It literally just disappeared.

Happy Holidays!

Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My MADE Diaries & Life After Made on MTV!

Happy Holidays Family!

By now I know that most if not ALL of my friends and family have already checked me out on MTV's MADE. So now I am free to post my thoughts AND my "scrapbook" of photos from the er....THREE MONTH SHOOT!!!! I had to watch the show twice to process everything and I thought the end result was absolutely phenomenal!!!!

It all began with a phone call......I got a phone call from my manager Greg saying "I just got a call from MTV, they want you to come in and audition for a show that they're casting". So I went in the next day and interviewed with Tori the casting producer for MADE (the show I was auditioning for). She taped me talking and clowning around for what seemed like forever and then told me that the next step was that she had to show it to the execs and she'd get back to us with the results. We left the offices feeling good...because it was a really good audition and it just "felt right" ya know?

Well, I got another call from Greg the next day...."They LOVED the tape and they LOVED YOU....But.....(and somehow I just knew there'd be a but ya'll) But what? I asked.... BUT they want you to wear a wig. There was dead silence on my end of the phone....I had to really pray on this one ya'll because I'm the one who is always saying to never compromise yourself at the expense of others....and that's pretty much how I live. But I also knew that this would be a REALLY GOOD look for me if I got it right. So after much hemming & hawing and discussing it with my loved ones...I decided that the benefits from doing this show pretty much outweighed the drawbacks. So I went back retaped my audition with a wig and that was pretty much it...as soon as that interview was over I got down in the lobby of their building and "Flipped my wig" literally. I took it off so fast it made your head spin..AND it had to be 90 degrees out that day....hell! YOU try wearing a wig in 90 degree heat!!!! NOT FUN!.

To make a long story short....I booked the gig and found out that we'd be shooting the bulk of the storyline in Cincinnati, OH where the young lady was located. They'd shown me a short clip of her audition tape so that I could get a feel for what I was working with.

I didn't think she was an ogre or anything...lol...but in actuality she reminded me quite a bit of myself when I was her age. (Total Jockette - Popular but definitely NOT a girly-girl). But I thought she was pretty immediately....I just knew she was hiding herself under all of those sweats and tee-shirts she'd become comfortable in....I knew it could be done...but I also knew it would be on her and her level of commitment and focus on her goal to get the job done.

The first few weeks of shooting were the craziest weeks ever....I would be in Cincinnati for 5 days and then I needed to fly to Guyana for 5 days for Fashion Week and the BACK to Cincinnati for another 5 days of filming...so I arrived in Cincinnati with like A HUNDRED BAGS!!!!...it was ridiculous. I got to my hotel and got settled in for a moment before I headed out to meet Krystine. I came downstairs and met the "crew" lol...there was only two of them...producers, Michael Isabell & Anne Alvergue, who were also married to one another. We hit it off immediately and after a quick briefing we drove to meet Krystine.

Our first meeting occurred at a thrift store called "Plato's Closet". This is where I met Krystine and her sisters for the very first time. I am sure I must have been a sight to them at 6 ft tall, Giraffe print long dress, with matching yellow accessories....I am sure they didn't know WHAT to make of my big behind...lol. Over the following 5 days, I learned about Krystine's personal style (er...she thought she was into this whole "Rocker Chick" thing but she really hadn't found her niche at that point). After going through her closets and talking to her for a while, I knew we BOTH had our work cut out for us. I gave her some basic model tips, some pumps and some things to chew on while I was away in Guyana stressing that It was all on her to be committed to "Krystine...The Model Project" while I was away...i.e. I could "want it for her" all day long but in the end...She had to want it more!

When I returned from Guyana...cranky with a busted knee (see my Guyana fashion week blog). I didn't see much improvement from when I had left her last week so I had to turn up the heat on my training. The hardest things in the world was going to be teaching her how to be a lady....at all times and being comfortable in her own skin. I taught her the 3 "P's"...Poise, Posture & Personality and told her that this would be the lynchpin in her training....she had to think those 3 P's throughout our weeks together...she had to live it, eat it, sleep it and breathe it...or it would never take hold. Then we went to downtown Cincinnati to meet her new personal trainer, Rocco Castellano. Rocco is a trip ya'll....I liked him almost immediately! I recognized his last name immediately (Cuz a sista reads ya'll) and we chatted about it for a moment...(I swear I had a "Sopranos" moment during our chat...lol) He has this real NY vibe about him and he has a sarcastic sense of humor that I absolutely love!!! Over the next few weeks we worked constantly on her walk, her self confidence and learning how to "Fill up her model bag of tricks"....in addition to her training with Rocco. We set her up with Salsa dance classes, Pole dancing classes, voguing classes and of course...runway training with The Runway Diva!

We had lots of activities crammed into my time in Cincinnati that didn't make the final edit...Like:

Our trip to a real vintage thrift store where we met fashion stylist extraordinare, aptly named..."Hollywood" and he got Krystine to start looking at fashion from another mindset as well as teaching US how to change a blah outfit into something fashionable by doing something as simple as turning a dress backwards and trying it from that angle (Don't laugh ya'll...it actually worked and it would have NEVER crossed my mind to do that in a million years!). This vintage store was fabulous ya'll and I don't usually check out vintage stores because there is usually nothing in my size...(we all know that FAT girls don't give away the really fly stuff cuz...those in the know...already know that TRULY classic pieces NEVER go out of style!!!). Anyway, I was impressed because there were quite a few FABU things in my size and that made it a joy for me to shop....I gotta go back because Hollywood told me that REAL Gems are keep upstairs and it's by appointment only. I copped a really fly mink beret from there...so you know a sista is gonna go back as soon as I can!

We also got the pleasure of hanging out together a few times and we wound up at a Gay Club in Downtown Cincinnati....cuz EVERY BIG GIRL NEEDS A GAY MALE FRIEND....TRUST me when I tell you this! They will NEVER let you step out of your house looking anything BUT fabulous!

That scene in itself was hilarious because I just KNEW that Krystine had never been to a gay bar before...and it would be interesting to see how she'd react if someone hit on her. As it turns out the whole scene was cool and they loved her on site....and there was this one chick in particular who was positively DROOLING when she saw Krystine! She proceeded to follow her all night long...She handled it well but it was the funniest thing in the world to me watching Krys run from this chick all night!!!! But we had a blast anyway...and my girl held her own all night long. She even danced with a group of people for a while...And more importantly...she made a new friend, named N8 (pronounced..."Nate"...get it?) I was very proud of her...She seemed to be moving along nicely.

So you can only imagine my frustration when weeks later...I saw that Krystine wasn't where she needed to be as a model or where she was supposed to be weight wise. I realized that old girl was giving me the okey doke and wasn't applying herself like she should have been. I personally had begun to voice my opinion that she didn't really want the goal as badly as she said and most of the time she was going through the motions....after weeks of training, talking and rehearsing....I still wasn't seeing any thing close to a plus sized model.

And then I got pissed off.

It came down to us finally having to have a "sit down" so that I could figure out what was REALLY happening here. I knew she was competitive as hell and I just didn't understand why she wasn't applying a winning effort here. Well, our "Sit Down" turned out to be a nearly two hour, tear filled conversation...that was absolutely imperative to her turning things around. We talked about her dreams, her family, her pain and her need to please everybody. The last thing being her achilles....in trying to please EVERYONE....she had nothing left for Krystine. Krystine was never pleased. Once I got her around to seeing that and accepting herself AS herself...it was smooth sailing after that. By the time I got back to Cincinnati....my girl was ON FIRE!!!! She was looking good, feeling good and committed to being in "Model Mode" most of the time. I was really pleased with what I was seeing as we got closer to the competition.

I fell in love with her family....they are very close knit and I LOVE That! It's how I grew up. They have a magnificent home (they really do ya'll!), a cute little dog named Hercules, 2 cats and her dad, made sure to have an ice cold beer waiting for me after taping wrapped for the day. And her mom, Mary...was just a joy to be around...lol..she cried a lot. I gave her sisters my own personal nicknames based on what I saw in them or something they either said or did. Her oldest sister Elizabeth was christened "Soccer Mom", middle sister Michelle, was christened "Waffle Girl" (lol...she knows why!) and baby sis Kathleen was christened "Mascara Girl" and Krystine....well...I didn't really give her an "official" nickname but I called her "mama" most of the time! I even had an opportunity to meet Krystine's Uncle Jim...he was a blast as well. I met a lot of KK's friends and family and I think I tripped most of them out with my "disappearing-reappearing wig" act.

I think the highlight of my time in Cincinnati was taking my rental car and driving to Kentucky in search of a "Joe's Crab Shack"! I had been seeing those commercials in NY about the sweet, sticky, garlic crab legs and I was determined to have some. So on a whim I went and I must tell you....Those were the best crab legs I have had in a long time!!! I had that sticky sauce all over my hands and I was licking it off like I was in heaven. I know I must have been a sight like that. My crab came with parslied, garlic potatoes and ear of freshly steamed corn on the cob!!!! OMIGOD!!! I thought I had died and gone to heaven...I was so into my crab legs that I didn't see the waitress approaching me. She rolled up on me in mid lick and said "Aren't you that woman from FAT Chance?" I just laughed and said "yes, but if you tell anyone that you saw me licking my hands...I'mma hafta kill you!"...she hadn't walked away good before I resumed diving into my food. It was so good that I allowed the waitress to con me into leaving her a REALLY BIG TIP! (The bill was only like 20 bucks!). So good that "Team Kauffman" (Anne, Michael, Rocco, Krystine & myself) had our last dinner in Cincinnati back there....complete with the most AMAZING desserts!

Finally, it was time for us to leave the city of Cincinnati...where they eat spaghetti with chili & cheese on top....to head out to the West Coast where the forest fires where still raging. We arrived at the madness called LAX in the early afternoon. We headed straight for the car rental place and the line was RIDICULOUS!!! It was like waiting to ride in Disneyland to get a car. When I finally got to the window....I was told there'd be a wait until a car would be available. Which was fine...didn't really bother me too much. I never travel with wig on and this time it worked in my favor. A sister called me over to her counter and asked "Are you still working with Mo'Nique?" I told her the show was on hiatus but yes, I was still working with her...meanwhile she was typing in her computer the whole time. When we finished chatting, she said "You can go pick up your car now". I walked to the lot and home girl had hooked me up with a white convertible!!!! Now I know that probably doesn't sound like much to most of you all....but I HAVE NEVER DRIVEN A CONVERTIBLE BEFORE AND I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO DRIVE ONE!!!!!!!! So needless, to say I was Giddy when I pulled up front. Anne, Mike & KK got their SUV and I followed them to our hotel. We spent the next days with KK as she finished her various steps in the makeover process. Krystine got new eyelashes (Fierce!!!)that took like 2 hours to apply, she got her brows waxed and she got a "fake tan"...lol...I wasn't really feeling THAT idea until I saw it. We shot on Rodeo Drive the night before the competition and it was fabulous...I knew in my soul that my girl was ready!

Ummm...the next morning...I got a monthly "visitor" and was an absolute crank box. Anne was in her sixth month of pregnancy AND her laptop had been stolen from her hotel the night before to boot....so she wasn't in the best of moods either. I had to go back to my room and say a brief prayer to get through the day because I knew it would be a long one. She had a makeup artist come by the morning of the competition and by the time I got back to her room...Mama's face was "Beat for the Gods!!!" I mean she was DONE! We got outside the Galleria Mall and BABY!!! There were a million sisters out there on that line...they had been lining up since 3am. There were women of all ages, the youngest contestant on line was 13..and I didn't have the heart to tell her she was too young....but she was already a beautiful juicy girl at 13! I also ran into the ALWAYS DONE Sara Barrios (Mo'Nique's FAT Chance - Season 2 Top 10 finalist)and her beautiful mom. There were beautiful women in all shapes, sizes and nationalities. Different looks and different mindsets...you could tell who came there to win....lol...I also saw a man on the line too....although he looked a little crazy to me and I don't know how he made it to the final line without anyone stopping him....but he did. We were outside on that line for AT LEAST 2 hours before we got inside...but I gotta say...my girl definitely stood out from the pack. We got to chat outside with David Hasselhoff and his daughter Haley...they were good sports about the whole shooting thing.

We got inside and their was STILL at least another hour wait before she could walk. I was surprised that quite a few folks recognized me and without my wig. But photographer Michael Anthony was running the show with his mohawk and energetic personality. We also found at that American Idol finalist LaKisha Jones, was one of the celebrity judges. The Torrid folks went out of their way to make ALL of the ladies feel special that day and that's mad cool ya'll.

So if you saw the show then you already know the results...Krystine made it into the top 10 finals...as was here goal. So now it's up to you all...go to the Torrid Website (www.torrid.com) and place your vote for my girl Krystine Kauffman to become the new face of Torrid!

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Check out what we COULDN'T fit into the final edit on "Life After Made":

And if you DIDN'T catch the show on TV...you can catch it here...Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

10th Annual African American Women in Cinema Festival

This weekend I attended the 10th Annual African American Women in Cinema (AAWIC) festival. African American Women In Cinema is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support minority women filmmakers by providing resources in the film industry.

Incorporated by the Organization's President, Terra Renee, in 2000, the objective of AAWIC is to improve cultural understanding and overall social welfare through the promotion of diversity in all filmed content in both dramatic and documentary formats.

Their Mission is to expand, explore and create opportunities for minority women filmmakers within the entertainment industry through:

To publicize and increase various resources leading to the development of the practical skills necessary to advance in the business of filmmaking and offer them to minority women seeking self-expression through the medium of film.

To encourage, promote and support talent, individual expression and diversity for the good of the individual and society as a whole.

To showcase the work of talented minority women filmmakers through the production of film festivals, script readings among other developmental projects.

To produce industry panel discussions, workshops, seminars that foster continued learning and nurture growth.

To develop a database of contacts within the film and television industry consisting of writers, producers, directors, actors, tech people and general information that would be accessible to aspiring and working filmmakers.

I attended this festival for the first time last year and I thoroughly enjoyed myself...In particular I thought the panel discussions were extremely informative and the whole "networking" aspect of the weekend...simply put...was not to be missed. On Friday evening I attended the opening reception...which included a salute to Director Kasi Lemmons and a screening of her latest project..."Talk to Me", which is the story of local DC radio DJ Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene starring Don Cheadle and the ever beautiful Taraji P. Henson. I hooked up with Timikal Bobo & Melody Louisdhon, both from Oxygen...we found some seats and chatted briefly before the movie began. I had already seen the movie on a flight from LA to NY last month but to see it on the big screen made it even more enjoyable for me. If you haven't seen it you should definitely check it out. I said my goodnights to Timikal & Melody and headed downstairs. It was rather cold and rainy on this particular night...but as I left the HBO building rocking my mink hat (thanks Hollywood!), I found myself getting excited about the next morning's workshops.

The next morning I arrived on 50th St at the New World Stages Theater for the 9am workshop called "Upclose & Personal with the Actor" which covered The Art of the Audition and how to learn what casting directors are looking for. This was the one workshop that I EAGERLY anticipated...on the panel were casting director Winsome Sinclair, acting coach Tracy Moore-Marable and Ugly Betty actress Funmi Desalu.

I overslept (Go figure.) and wound up arriving at around 9:15am. The workshop was already in progress so I quietly took a seat and proceeded to "be a sponge",lol...trying to absorb all that was being taught. The conversations and the Q & A were priceless and although I enjoyed the intimacy of the small group of us...I was dismayed at the lack of attendance at this workshop. Anyone who calls themselves an actor be it working or aspiring...should have been in that room!

I also attended the workshop that followed that was moderated by producer Crystal McCrary Anthony...the subject was "The Day in the Life of a Producer - Understanding the process of securing financing. Attendance at this one was better than the previous one...lol. I had to make some appointments uptown so I missed many of the films being screened. I made it back in the middle of the screening of the very last movie entitled "Deceitful Storm". As interesting as the movie was what intrigued more was the reaction of the audience throughout this movie. THAT was REALLY interesting to me..lol.

Their was a reception following with Bombay Sapphire hosting the bar with Bombay Sapphire based drinks...along with a Q&A with the producers of the movies screened. The Q&A was hosted by the beautiful Abiola Abrams and the discussion flowed well and the audience was lively. And after a amusing discussion with Timikal, Melody, Neferiti and myself...I think I managed to try most if not all of the different signature drinks...and probably created a few of my own..lol. I finished my cocktail and walked to Columbus Circle and caught the train home.

I was up early the next morning to get ready to attend the Closing Awards Ceremony Brunch at 11am. I wound up having to take a taxi from 8th Avenue (because the D train was rerouted to the 8th Avenue line...THEN my taxi and I ran into traffic because of the Veterans Day Parade...it was ridiculous people! I got to the restaurant at around 11:15am and managed get one of the few tables left..near the window. The brunch was a really nice display of blueberry pancakes, stuffed french toast, lox & bagels...(with all the works!!!!), fried potatoes, assorted fruits & pastries...along with Bombay Sapphire holding down the bar again. After coffee, juice & conversation...Denise Richardson of WNET, the host for the day...took the mic and welcomed us all...with a "getting to know you/introduction of all of the folks in the audience...it was a great ice breaker. The special honoree of the event was the gorgeous Tasha Smith (Why Did I Get Married). I got a chance to speak with her for a moment and take a few photos and let her know that I took one of the best acting classes EVER with her twin sis...Sidra. She is very beautiful, poised and polite but makes you feel like she is very much at home in YOUR presence...ya know? She gave a very moving speech on how she came to be the woman she is now and the turning point for her was turning it over to God. She was awesome ya'll. She also made an announcement about her upcoming workshop in NYC for more info check her out at www.tsaw.com.

The entire weekend was beneficial to me and I am very glad that I participated. Congrats to Terra Renee on her 10th Anniversary....may you have many more!

Timikal - Thanks for everything! Now let's get it on & poppin mama!

"Until the lion tells his side of the story, songs of the hunt will always glorify the hunter."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Paula's Party

Hey Ya'll

I just happened to be up at like 12am last night (this morning?) and I was channel surfing and caught a glimpse of Paula's Party, the Food Network Show featuring southern cook Paula Deen.

Miss Paula was dipping an already baked cake in batter which she then proceeded to DEEP FRY in a pot of hot oil.......

Then she politely added some orange flavored and tinted frosting AND some fresh orange slices (to add a "healthy" element..I suppose) to both cakes and as disgusted as I was at the very thought of deep frying a cake....it had the NERVE to actually LOOK really good when she finished it and I found myself wondering what it tasted like!

We are all going to hell in a handbasket for even THINKING of eating it.


"A man is fed, not that he may be fed, but that he may work."

Friday, November 9, 2007

Goin' Home: An Evening Honoring Fats Domino and the Music of New Orleans.




What: Goin' Home: An Evening Honoring Fats Domino and the Music of
New Orleans.
A benefit concert to preserve the musical heritage of New Orleans.

Who: Tipitina's Foundation and Pink Elephant

When: Thursday, November 8, 2007 @ 8:00pm

Where: Pink Elephant
530 West 28th Street (Between 10th and 11th)
New York City

Artists performing include: Ivan Neville, Leo Nocentelli (The Meters), Eric Krasno (Soulive), Adam Deitch, Olu Dara, Toots Hibert of Toots and the Maytals, special guest Lloyd "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" Price, Robert Randolph and special surprise guests.

The Tipitina's Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving the cultural legacy of New Orleans through music education for the youth and providing programs that support working musicians of New Orleans and the Gulf Region. Since Hurricane Katrina, the Foundation has donated over one million dollars worth of instruments to New Orleans Area schools as well as programs that benefit musicians of all ages.

Rock and Roll pioneer and New Orleans music legend Antoine "Fats" Domino is making his first trip to New York City in over 20 years to celebrate the release of Goin' Home: A Tribute To Fats Domino (Vanguard Records) compilation CD. An all-star cast of musicians will assemble on Thursday, November 8th at the Pink Elephant for a concert honoring his life and benefiting the Tipitina's Foundation, a New Orleans based non-profit that Mr. Domino works closely with to preserve the musical cultures of New Orleans.

My dad was kind enough to drop me at the venue at around 7:45pm. I walked up to the venue to meet up with Syncere...my escort and photographer for the evening. Before I reached him I passed actor Rueben Santiago-Hudson (Shaft, Lackawanna Blues) outside waiting for someone as well....I rolled up on him...greeted and introduced myself and then kept it moving. Syncere was right out front and we got our wrist bands and made our way inside. There was a cocktail hour before the event so we hung out at the bar and just chilled until showtime. I was dismayed to find that I would have to er...STAND for the entire event...now ya'll know my shoes generally have a limited warranty on how long I can stand in them...lol.

We caught a few songs from the band and then Mayor Bloomberg took the stage to speak briefly about Fats and then present him with an award. And then the man himself sat down at the piano and began to play "Blueberry Hill". He played and sang all of one verse and the chorus and then was like "Thank You!! Good Night!) and he went right back to his VIP Table on the balcony....lol. THAT'S how you do it!!!!!

Anyway, my evening wound up being cut short after a brief phone call from my Mom, I needed to get up town and tend to a family situation.

Syncere and I quickly made our way to the coat check (where I got some great shots with the staff...Thanks ya'll!!) and made my way outside.

I never did wound up personally thanking the woman who was responsible for my invite (I think she was running like crazy) So I'd like to take a moment and say thank you now!!!

Smootches Fam!

"Greatness comes by a thing seen, heard, read or something inside and then God wraps it and presents it to society."

New Article on The Runway Diva at TheIndustryCosign.com!!!

And the movement continues family........

Check out coverage on The ORIGINAL Runway Diva on TheIndustryCosign.com!


Okay...so I was trying to insert an ACTUAL LINK above so you could just go directly TO the article...but for whatever reason...I can't get it to work here...lol.

So just copy and paste the link and it will work fine!

Thanks as always for your continued support!


Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Oh What A Night!-A Linda Scott 1426 Inc Production

What's up fam!

I just returned from Fort Lauderdale, Florida...where I was a special invited guest to a fashion event aptly titled "Oh What A Night!". The event was produced by Linda Scott, the CEO of Linda Scott 1426 Inc...who I met initially at the Miami casting call for Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance season 2. I arrived in town on Saturday evening with Greg Lassiter and his camera equipment in tow. After a slight miscommunication about the transportation to the hotel we got checked in and hit our rooms to freshen up.

I was summoned down to the ballroom about an hour after my arrival to personally meet the models & staff for the show. After a quick chat, a little Q & A and some hugs...I chatted with Linda Scott and she introduced me to my "escort" for the duration of my stay in Ft Lauderdale...her husband, Jerry Scott. Well Mr. Jerry didn't disappoint me in the least....he gave me a moment to catch my breath and then graciously took both myself and Greg out for a bite to eat. On the quick drive to the restaurant I found out that Jerry, at 6'5" inches was (is) a retired fireman and is also a Florida native. He loves to talk and got me caught up on his city quickly, pointing out different landmarks as we drove on. He took us to a restaurant in Broward County called Mango's AND it had a live band to boot! I initially felt a little under dressed because I still had on my "travel" clothes...jeans, v-neck shirt & sandals and folks were dressed to the nines on this particular night. But ya'll know me...I don't feel uncomfortable for very long and I quickly found my groove. The band was kicking this particular night and after a brief wait for a table...we got seated and took a look at the menu. Jerry went to the bar to get us some drinks and since I hadn't eaten since I snarfed down a turkey sandwich at LGA waiting to board my flight...The first thing that caught my eye on the menu was a wonderful sounding appetizer of Tuna Tartare...one look at Greg and Jerry and I knew I'd be eating that appetizer by myself..lol. And that's exactly what I did...and baby let me tell you (particularly to the more ADVENTUROUS diners)...that was the BEST TUNA TARTARE that I have ever had...it was fresh yellowfin tuna, cut up in chunks with some sort of a dijon dressing, with capers and an herb that I couldn't put my finger on....it was served with a few slices of toasted bread and it was absolutely delicious...I was trying to eat it slowly and savor all the tastes...lol..but it um...wasn't really working. I inhaled it and it was gone before you could say boo! and I just sat there with a really satisfied look on my face...I also had a really tasty steak for dinner...but it wasn't nearly as pleasing as that Tuna was!

Jerry returned with our drinks and I knew something was up immediately...my drink was supposed to be a lovely shade of hmmm.."Peach"? and this drink was a very pale "PINK"..I asked for a Grey Goose with Cranberry & Pineapple juice and a twist of lime...one sip sent me running back to the bar exclaiming "Jerry! You're trying to KILL me!!!"...all I got in my first sip was a MOUTHFUL OF VODKA!!!..lol..I am sure Jerry had a good time laughing at me as I returned with a glass of pineapple juice to try and dilute that drink...needless to say...I was sipping it all night! We hung out and listened to the band for a little while, hit a few more bars and then we dropped Greg off back at the hotel and Jerry and I went driving "across the tracks" to the "hood" lol. We knew we were in the hood because there were no more tall buildings and the first things we saw were, chicken places, liquor stores, check cashing places & churches...lol...that's how WE do ya'll. Anyway, by the time Jerry dropped me off at like 1am??? A sista was TOTALLY ready for bed.

The next morning I slept until Greg rang my phone about breakfast...and that had to be at like 11am. I met him in the lobby and we took some seats in the hotel restaurant and proceeded to check out the menu. They had a buffet as well as items that could be ordered individually...I decided to pass on the buffet because I have found in my travels that for some reason...HOTELS DON'T HAVE THE GOOD SENSE TO PUT A NON-PORK BREAKFAST MEAT ITEM ON THE MENU!!! (hello people??? Turkey Sausages?? They've been around for sometime now) anyway... THIS totally kills the whole appeal of a buffet for me...French Toast or Pancakes WITHOUT sausages....sigh...just doesn't have the same irresistible appeal to me...lol.

Well, with my limited meat options, I decided to have steak & eggs and it was delicious! I was having my third cup of coffee and dreaming about a leisurely afternoon sun bathing by the pool....when Jerry showed up and decided to whisk me off....again...lol. This time Jerry took me to the beaches of Fort Lauderdale and THEN to the Bentley Dealership. I had never really been interested in owning a Bentley UNTIL I saw a jet black convertible that made me SALIVATE!!! I AM GETTING ME ONE OF THOSE YA'LL!!!! Mark my words! Jerry dropped me back off at the hotel in just enough time to spend about an hour and a half laying out in what was left of the peak sun time....and it only takes me about 15 minutes before my color starts to change....so I ran upstairs to my room to change into my bathing suit and hightailed it down to the pool. I picked a sunny spot nestled between the pool and THE JACUZZI!!!! Greg joined me poolside, we ordered some frozen cocktails and just chilled until it was time to get dressed for the show. (and YES...to those of you wondering...YES!!!I DID get in the jacuzzi....lol...it was lovely!)

After a little confusion about my outfit for the evening...I got dressed in a black and white evening number from the new Dana Owens collection (thanks Susan!) and headed down to the ballroom. It was fairly early and the room was pretty much empty, so we headed down to the hotel bar for a quick pre-show cocktail. As I ordered my Mojito I started a convo with a gentleman a couple of seats down from me. I found out that his name was Vito and he was a pilot for Air Tran Airlines. We chatted for a while and I reminded him that he had met me earlier at the pool and it was very funny to me that he didn't recognize me...after all how many 6ft tall bald headed women were walking around this hotel???? lol. I finished up my drink and returned to the ballroom which was now packed. I quickly took my seat next to Arena and waited for the show to begin.

The show opened with a lively dance number and the crowd was very enthusiastic. The first few designs I saw were from a Queens, NY based designer named Bryan...and his stuff was really nice...I saw some very original looks from this brother and found myself coveting quite a few of them. The commentator did an excellent job of filling up space when necessary and keeping us all entertained. After a brief intermission there was a bridal scene and raffles for door prizes as well as moving speech by the producer of the event...Linda Scott. She also made some heartfelt presentations and thanked me for the impact that my performance on FAT Chance had on her life.

And just like that...it was over.

After the show, I took pictures with just about EVERYONE and then we (Linda, Jerry, Greg, Marco, Bryan, Arena & Myself) all headed out back to Mango's to get a late night meal. The dinner convo was hilarious and we sat there laughing & talking for what seemed like hours when I looked up and saw Linda's eyes about to roll back into her head....I realized that she must be exhausted and suggested that we head back to the hotel...heck I realized that I needed to be up at 4am to make my flight and I need to get SOME sleep prior to that. We took our cars back to the hotel, exchanged hugs and numbers, promised to stay in touch and the broke out to our rooms...except for er...Greg & Jerry...who disappeared to God only knows where....

I managed to hook up with Mr Vito the flight attendant in the van back to the airport at 4:30 AM!!!! After a brief wait..we cleared security and made our 6am flight with no problems...I wish I could say I slept through the flight home...but my behind was WIDE AWAKE!!! lol...after Greg dropped me off in a taxi...I went home and went straight to sleep.

Thanks Linda Scott! The hospitality was amazing....Thank you for sharing your family and your friends with me..and a special thank you to Marco Mays for always making me feel special whenever we're together!

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Runway Diva in the Nov 12, 2007 of JET Magazine

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Greetings Family!!!

More good news on the horizon....Please go out and pick up the latest issue of JET Magazine, dated November 12, 2007 (On Sale THIS Monday ya'll) and you'll find a photo of yours truly with the legendary Audrey Smaltz, Owner & CEO of The Ground Crew and a former Ebony Fashion Fair commentator on page 68.

I've heard that the newsstands are getting their issues delivered as early as today...so you might actually find it if you are out and about this weekend!

I also wrote a personal blog on my site (www.sharonquinn.com) about Ebony Fashion Fair 2007 at The Apollo Theater...complete with slide show..if you'd like to read it.

Thanks as always for your continued support!

Peace & Blessings!


Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Catch The Runway Diva on Sunday, Nov 18, 2007 at 12pm (EST) on MTV's MADE!!!!!

Greetings Family!

Be sure to set your TV's, DVR's, TIVO's & VCR's to record on Sunday, November 18th. 2007 at 12pm (EST) on MTV when I make my debut as a "Made Coach" on MTV's Emmy award winning reality makeover show...."MADE"

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I have been traveling back and forth between New York, Cincinnati and Los Angeles for the last 3 MONTHS shooting this episode lol...and I am anticipating a really wonderful show.

Now you KNOW I have tons of photos from this 3 month shoot...but I won't be posting them until after the show airs....So check back here to see my slideshow at say...3pm on November 18th..lol...But let's just say I am VERY happy about the results!

Hope you all can check it out!

Thanks as always for your continued support!


Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

PrivacyWear Fall 07 & Spring 08 Preview Event

Tonight I checked out the Fall '07/Spring 08' collection of PrivacyWear at their showroom at 1410 Broadway. The show was to be hosted by 106th & Park's host Rocsi. Now you know I love me a good fashion show, so I was actually kinda of excited to be attending. I arrived in Leather Pants wearing a mink beret. I took the elevator up and headed to the showroom. The first thing I noticed was that the place was already crowded and I really didn't see any space where you could have a show. The event was nice though....Cocktails courtesy of Nuvo Vodka Sparkling Liqueur & Iceland Spring Water & FABULOUS appetizers....They had grilled lamb chops on the menu as well as prime rib served on a waffled potato chips, Crab cakes, shrimp, seared tuna (you know I was losing my mind at this point....and then:

They brought out the Goat Cheese.....Yuck!

Anyway, I ran into an old friend of mine, Grace Henriquez from MTV and she kept me company for most of the evening. The clothing was on display so I killed time checking out the line and of course...as I had suspected...there was nothing in the house for the juicy gals. The line was mostly denim and t-s and quite nice if you like that whole "urban wear" thing. Throughout the evening I got reacquainted with Frank Lucas Jr (I had met him the evening before when we were both guests on the "Thermal Soundwaves" Show with Kev Lawrence & Cee Truth. He's nicer than he appears and has a magnificent smile. I also met Treach from Naughty By Nature....cutie and a flirt to boot...but very approachable. He was there to support rapper Nikki D. who was on the design team of PrivacyWear (I think). I did the red carpet/Photo op thing and it was fun....I also ran into DJ Jonathan Doncker (we go WAAAAAAAAAAAY back), and The Thermal Soundwaves crew was in the house too! The last person I met before I left was Remy Ma....who is quite beautiful but also as tall as I am!!!! I don't know why I thought she was short.

After a while, it got really hot and crowded and I decided it was time for me to head back uptown.

I had a great time though and I got a goody bag to boot! Check out their website ya'll (www.privacywear.com)

Smootches....Enjoy the slide show...lol...I always do!

Thanks Lisa & Harry!

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.