Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Interview in Profile Magazine

Greetings Family!

Be sure to check out my new interview in the latest issue of Profile Magazine.

PROFILE is an new online magazine founded by Nicole M. Stevenson.
Thank you for your continued support!

"We just have to go at 100 miles an hour in all our businesses, be they television broadcasting, be they magazine publishing, be they subscription television, be they online, be they gaming. We just have to go at one hundred miles an hour.."

Cocktails & Conversation with Cynthia Bailey

Well family, I think I told you all in an earlier blog that I ran into top model Cynthia Bailey at Deborah Gregory's Catwalk Book Launch party and that she invited me to a very special dinner party she was having the next day....

I was introduced to Miss Cynthia by our mutual friend Plus Model Angellika as we decided to have some munchies after the "Cover Girl Queen Collection Model Search" at BB King's a few years back. After listening to me run my mouth for a while she looked over at me and said "I really like your energy and your vibe...what sign are you?" I told her I was born on the cusp of Aquarius & Pisces but I consider myself to be a Pisces and she asked me my birth date...which I told her was February said "I KNEW it was something....that's my birthday too!!!"... and we have been "kewl" ever since ya'll!!

As it turned out tonight was to be a VERY busy night for The Runway Diva....with Cynthia's invitation....I wound up with a total of 4 events that I was scheduled to make....I decided to start with Cynthia's Party first - mainly because it was over on the East Side and the rest of the events were on the West Side - the invitation I got from Cynthia said that we would start PROMPTLY at 7pm, which was the SAME time that the next event (The Bleu Magazine 2nd Anniversary Party at The Time Warner Ctr) AND it was a Dinner Party/Interview/Photo Shoot - I figured I could duck out at around 8:15 and jump in a taxi and catch the tail end of the Bleu party.......

But alas, it was not meant to be - I arrived at around 7:10pm and as luck would have it - several of the other participants arrived late, so everything was thrown off schedule.

The event was called "Cocktails & Conversation With Cynthia Bailey" (Sounds like a talk show doesn't it?) and it was held at her home on the East Side of Manhattan and it was being photographed for fall 2008 issue of Uptown Magazine (,
as I said earlier I arrived at around 7:10pm all dolled up in a Douglas Says wrap dress (because the dress looks great on AND it was just too damn hot for anything When I arrived the first familiar face I saw was that of Menswear Designer Renaldo Barnette (I met him at the Catwalk party the night before) he greeted me just as warmly as he had done the night before and I gave him a big ol' hug in true "Runway Diva" As I looked to my left and I recognized designer Epperson immediately and I noticed that he was talking to an EXTREMELY HANDSOME Chocolate colored man - I found him and his beautiful gap-toothed smile most captivating, so YOU KNOW I walked over and introduced myself (Cuz, that's just how I do!!!)...he told me is name was Omar and he was also a menswear designer ( former Brooklyn resident but currently residing in Harlem ( hates, we're gonna work on that though!)....the four us began chatting as the remaining guests began to arrive and I began to have MEAN hot

Cynthia, who was absolutely breathtaking in a white dress and was styled by another fabulous brother (who joined us for dinner but I didn't get his business card and his name escapes me...forgive love), suggested that I move my position closer to the air conditioner (which I normally HATE but really needed at that moment!) to try and cool that moment the servers (yup! There were servers there too!) began to bring out the featured cocktails of the evening....chocolate & vanilla martinis....both were WAY too sweet for me so I opted for a glass of white wine and took a seat near the air conditioning vent.

Omar & Epperson were kind enough to join me and we got into a lively conversation about the pros & cons of Project we talked delicious trays of appetizers (Beef Negamaki, Coconut Shrimp & something on an Endive I politely passed on) began to circulate around the room....meanwhile the photographer, who was there when arrived...was busily taking photographs of the entire scene.

As I was chatting I looked up and saw my girl, former fashion editor of VIBE magazine & Style Maven Beverly Smith
walk through the doors all done up in a sexy red dress with some red/leopard printed cha-cha pumps that were absolutely TO DIE FOR!!!! (Miss Bevy has a WICKED shoe game ya'll!)...She was followed by beautiful top model Janine Green (also at the Catwalk party!) and her handsome husband Phillipe K. Doh (who is the President of MAKE Creative Talent Advisors

the centerpiece of the shoot was the beautifully set dining room table where we'd be having dinner. As the "Cocktails, Appetizers & Conversation" began to flow...the remaining guests arrived and Cynthia made an announcement to all take our seats as dinner was about to begin. I found out that Norma Jean Darden (former Wilhelmina Model & Owner of the Spoonbread Restaurants in NYC) was responsible for catering the event. The Chef...(Unfortunately I cannot remember his name at the moment) emerged from the briefly to tell us about the dinner that was about to be served....

The first course was a mixed salad with goat cheese rounds, fresh pears & a light vinaigrette (it was for the goat cheese....yuck! not a personal favorite of mine). More wine was served with dinner and the conversation turned to the topic of the evening.....FASHION of course! I found myself seated between Kyle Hagler (Mgr, Women's Division IMG Models)

Kyle is the brother in the middle of the above photo and legendary fashion photographer Keith Major ......(Uh...Keith is on the right in the photo you didn't know that already)We talked all through that salad about the disappearance of er...."Color" on 7th Avenue and all through the fashion industry. Of course I continuously interjected about the total omission of plus sized women on 7th Avenue....the salad plates were cleared as the convo continued the main course, grilled sea bass atop a mound of mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus and some sort of sauce on top....absolutely yummy!!! We went around the table and introduced ourselves to the table and briefly explained what we did for living and what our plans were for the course as I got to MY story....folks got a little sidetracked as Miss Norma Jean was leaving and I had to (in my own special way of bring the focus back to the table...

The photographer was shooting away and a writer for Uptown Magazine was doing one on one interviews in another room.....

As the dessert was served (a beautiful strawberry tart) the conversations had gotten really lively and we were quickly running out of the event was scheduled to end at 9pm and I looked at my watch and it was already AFTER 9pm...

As my cell phone began to buzz....I went to another room to take Jacqueline's phone call because I had already missed one event and after I finished the phone call...I realized I was well on my way to missing another (Jacqueline was already there and said not to worry...there was nothing happening I emerged from taking my phone call I saw that Cynthia's young daughter had come home and as I introduced myself we sat for a moment and waxed poetic about the game of Jacks.....okay, I waxed poetic....she pretty much just

Anyway, as the dinner and the photo shoot wrapped, I said my goodbyes exchanged phone numbers and business cards and headed out the door with Miss Bevy, Omar & Epperson and we decided to share a cab up to Harlem, since we all lived uptown. We dropped off Epperson 1st and Omar second and then headed crosstown...Bev and I began to talk about me and my lil' career and she suggested we stop off and have a nightcap so that she could talk to me further.

We had the cab drop us off at Revival but found that it was closed so we decided to walk a few blocks over to Perk's. Of course as soon as we walked through the doors Bev saw some brothers that she knew (I SWEAR that girl knows some of Gary & Zachary (who I stopped talking to once he said he felt like I was "Interviewing" if?). I got up and headed downstairs to the bathroom and when I returned a woman and her male companion (who were seated next to me stopped me and asked me where she knew me from....(lol...people ask me that ALL the time now...)

It was funny because the moment, I looked at her...I felt she looked familiar to me to but I couldn't really place her....she introduced herself...she said her name was Hope and then I remembered that I had seen her on TV....she is currently on TV Land's new show for aspiring models over 30 called "She's Got The Look"!!!! Then she realized where SHE knew me

Well not only is Miss Hope beautiful she is an absolute doll!!! We talked for a long while and we exchanged information and promised to keep in touch! That child has enough energy for three people....I think she's gonna do well in this business....You GO Girl!!!!

Finally after one last glass of wine (now you just KNOW a sista was a lil tipsy at this point) we decided to head on home it was very late and I had missed ALL of the other events that I was scheduled to attend that evening...Gary was kind enough to drop me off at home and I said my farewells and headed upstairs to my apartment.

I KNOW that I am missing a few names from this particular the staff of Uptown Magazine and I do apologize for that.

Make sure you keep a look out for the Fall 2008 Issue of Uptown Magazine Family!

Thanks Cynthia for thinking of me....I had a really great time!

And Miss Bevy??? You KNOW we must TOTALLY do it again real soon! I learned so much from you in the short amount of time we spent together.....thank you!

And one more thing....the ONLY reason there is no slide show to accompany this post is because for whatever camera absolutely refused to couldn't even turn it on...but it worked JUST FINE the next day!!

"With every new step I create a new me."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rasheeda Wallace at The Shrine NYC

Okay Ya'll

After leaving Deborah Gregory's Catwalk Book Launch party, Jacqueline and I decided to walk over to 7th Avenue and catch the #1 train back uptown to Harlem to catch Rasheeda Wallace's set at The Shrine on Seventh Avenue. The show was a benefit to raise money to fight domestic violence. As we exited the train on 135th St & Lenox Avenue, I happened to look behind me and saw that my beloved "Pan-Pan Restaurant (They used to have the BEST fried chicken & waffles ya''s also where Alicia Keys shot her "You Don't Know My Name" video) had been completely leveled. I reminisced for a few seconds before the light changed to green and we began to cross the street. As I reached the other side of Lenox Avenue, 3 young ladies recognized me and asked if I had a moment to take a few photos (I did). I chatted with them a few moments and then we continued our walk to the next corner...
After a slight miscommunication with the door person, Rasheeda's sister came outside and brought us in. Miss Rasheeda's set was already in progress and she was absolutely KILLING IT!!! The first person I saw when I entered the place was her manager JV. Who greeted me with a hug and a big ol smile! The place was crowded so we hung out by the bar for a little bit until some seats became available. As we chatted by the bar, I looked up and saw an old neighbor of mine named Billy. He lived upstairs from me when I lived on 131st Street with Karen Newman.
The Shrine is a really cool spot where they have lots of different shows for up and coming acts. It's walls are covered with old album covers and beautiful african art.
The food LOOKED (lol...cuz I didn't eat...I just smelled everyone else's food) good enough to inspire me to come back and have a meal sometime.
I met Rasheeda Wallace here in NY when she was an aspiring contestant for Mo' Nique's F.A.T. Chance Season 2. Mama is a TOTAL diva so I was immediately drawn to her look and her presence. We connected almost knew that she wasn't going to get cast for the show....home girl was just way too strong for them....she LOVES herself...ya feel me?
Anyway, after about 30 found some seats and rested our tootsies while we watched her do her thing....I found out that Jacqueline was a fan and even had her first CD! Well, I know mama bills herself as the "Queen of Street Soul" but I gotta tell you family....this child is a STONE COLD ROCKER!!! She was awesome and she even pulled up some of her guests on stage to sing with her and they sang their butts off too!
After her set was finished, I quickly got over to her to tell her how much I enjoyed her show and that I wanted to interview her (Still do and still am Rasheeda). Then Jacqueline and I both got out of their because it had been a really long evening and we were both tired. The weather was still nice so we walked to 125th St & Morningside Avenue where I put Jacqueline on the bus and walked the rest of the way home.
I had a great time Rasheeda....I will definitely be in touch!

"Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best."

Deborah Gregory's Catwalk Book Launch Party

Whew Family!!!

A sista is T-I-R-E-D!!!! Last night was the official launch party for Author DeBorah (The Cheetah Girls) Gregory's new book Catwalk!

In Catwalk (Delacorte Press), the newest novel from bestselling "Cheetah Girls" author, Deborah Gregory, Pashmina Purrstein and her posse--Angora, Felinez and Aphro--are poised-ready students at Manny Hanny's famed fashion central--Fashion International High School. These four friends blessed with feline fatale attributes vie for entry into the Catwalk competition where the winners really will take all. We're talking college scholarships, modeling contracts with Snooty Inc., and a trip abroad with all the trimmings of la dolce vita (that's the sweet life to all you non fashionistas) . But first, Pashmina and her friends have to assemble the ultimate fashion street team--while four other "houses" are struggling to do the same thing. Will the House of Pashmina earn their purr points? Wake up and smell the catnip--they're gonna rip the runway...
The event was held at Laboratory Institute of Merchandising on East 54rd Street and was scheduled from 6pm to 9pm with a special show beginning at 7pm. I had never even heard of the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising but I knew how to get there because it was in my old NY Magazine stomping grounds. Jacque and I agreed to meet at the venue at around 6:30pm and I was also supposed to hook up with IPM Models Owner, Fallon Sinclair as well. As I exited the subway station on 53rd & Madison at around 6:45pm (yup...I was a little late) my cell phone was buzzing like I reached the venue, I saw Jacqueline in front of the venue and Fallon was across the street ringing my cell phone looking for me. The place was packed and folks were dressed in wonderfully vibrant colors. The big girls were trying to take it to the next level ya'll....I was simply LOVING it!!!!

Fallon & her entourage were having drinks and snacks across the street as they waited for the show to begin....I decided to pass on the drinks and told her I would meet her inside. Also standing outside was 3/4 of singing quartet The Glamazons,

who were all done up in beautiful bejeweled bustiers that I was SERIOUSLY They told me that they have a new reality series about to debut on Oxygen and that things were going really well for them! (Congrats Ladies!)......

We decided to go inside and see what was going on....I passed two young ladies at the doorway all done up in pink T-Shirts with Cheetah printed head bands with cat cute....holding poodles on leashes! They pointed us to the check in area just inside the door and I got my little VIP wristband and made my way inside.

The place was more long than wide and as I said was absolutely PACKED!!! Miss Deborah had a phenomenal turnout, (I was taken aback for a few seconds at the number of children at the event but it made perfect sense to's a children's author....of COURSE there would be children there.)

The first familiar face that I ran into was that of my girl Plus Model Angellika, who was there with her new protege beautiful chocolate diva Kemi Lyles. It was a little warm inside so I chatted with Angellika for a few moments and then made my way to the bar where they were serving the "cocktail of the day" an alize rose martini. On my way to the bar I also greeted Couture Cake Designer Margo Lewis (, who I had just seen a few days ago while I was attending The Female Success Factor at BAM. I quickly got a pink (the color of the day) Martini and made my way to the main room where the show was about to begin.

As I reached the insanely crowded main room, Nole Marin of America's Next Top Model, took the stage to announce the beginning of the show. As my eyes scanned the room, I began seeing folks that I hadn't seen since my early days as a newbie model, Menswear designer Shaka King ( and fashion show producer Terrance Taitt. The room was literally filled with all a veritable list of "who's who" in fashion and entertainment, among them were:

Former Plus Model-Makeup Artist Kim Baker, Stylist Kimberly Suggs, Plus Model Shellie Bivins, Celebrity fitness trainer Voltage, Supermodel Beverly Johnson (She's Got The Look) and her beautiful daughter Plus Model Anansa Johnson, Director/Actor Melvin Van Peebles, Menswear Designer Renaldo Barnette (who came over and introduced himself to me - and told me he was told by my old friends Craig Bannister & Bruce Bowens to say hello if our paths ever crossed), PR Mavens Renee Foster & Yvette Hayward, Managing Director of Mars Model Mgmt Melody W., Author Terri McMillan, Yvonne Forbes (Miss Full Figured 2008), Actress Lynn Whitfield, Supermodels Janine Green & Cynthia Bailey, Corrine Corbett (Real Simple Magazine).....the list was absolutely endless.....EVERYONE came out for this event.

Anyway, as I chatted with Terrance & Shaka the show began with Voguing legend Benny Ninja & The House of Ninja taking the stage with a group of young people....who proceeded to "Vogue" their behinds off!!! After a few minute of the madness of people standing on chairs trying to check out the show ( was THAT crowded ya'll) Terrence, Shaka & I decided to head back to the now empty bar for refills on our cocktail (lol...we are all children of the Voguing inspired fashion scene from back in the day and the show wasn't anything new for us....we're used to it!)....and it was really hot in that room!

I decided to go outside for some fresh air and I was quickly joined by Fallon & Shellie (I guess we all got hot at the same and when we reached outside we realized we weren't the only ones with that we sat outside talking and taking pictures (a lot more folks began to come outside for a smoke) I saw an old friend of mine emerge from a taxi, it was Demetria Jennings (her mom and I went to...gasp! elementary school together!) and she and I talked as she waited for a friend to arrive. She was rushing to get here to catch the show but unfortunately as her taxi pulled up - the show had just ended.

We must have been outside for a good 15-20 minutes talking and I decided to go back in and find Jacqueline - who I lost sight of right before the show I re-entered the venue, my phone started was Jacqueline.....looking for me. We met at the bar, where I secured my third and final cocktail for the night (yup! they were quite tasty ya'll!!) and grabbed something from a passing food tray and popped it in my mouth..............

Well, from the moment that appetizer hit my taste buds, I knew I was in trouble....I don't know what it was but it was er....deadly? I went to say something to Jacqueline and I swear to you her eyes crossed as she said to me:


When I told her she said something real close to:


(okay, that line above is me "Flat lining" from her nearly killed me- for real!)

So after that I was on a mission to find some gum, a breath mint or SOMETHING!!! I wasn't trying to play myself here...

So I made my way over to Model Cynthia Bailey

who had tried to flag me down earlier...but before I could get to her...I made a general announcement to the group she was with:


Well, after they recovered from the peals of laughter that my statement brought, a young woman gave me a piece of nice minty fresh gum - which I hurriedly popped in my mouth and chewed on until I felt like it was "safe" enough to talk to I hadn't seen Miss Cynthia in a long while and she looked beautiful as always....she invited me to a dinner party that she was having the next evening and sealed the deal with "I REALLY think you should be there" if you KNOW me then you KNOW that I was already altering my schedule in my head to fit her event in.

As the evening came to a close a spoke briefly to Deborah, who was absolutely mobbed with adoring fans and made my way towards the exits....on the way out we were treated to a beautiful patent leather pink bag compliments of Alize Rose. (I walked in the doors carrying the same bag - I had acquired it at another Alize Rose party a few years back, it's one of my favorite you KNOW I wasn't turning down another!)

But the night wasn't quite over for me, Jacqueline and I walked across town to the #1 train and headed uptown to catch Rasheeda Wallace's event uptown at The Shrine on 7th Avenue....more on that event later.....

Mary Moore - You missed a wonderful event, I was looking forward to seeing you...I miss you - let's get together soon busy woman!

Continued Success Deborah!

For more info on Deborah Gregory check out her website


"Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as you mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Female Success Factor at BAM NYC

What's happening Family!

So yesterday afternoon I attended an event called "The Female Success Factor" at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) in Downtown Brooklyn. The event was sponsored by Rolling Out ( an Atlanta based publication that's similar to a few of the free entertainment publications found around NYC and boast that they are the largest chain of free African American weeklies) and The Cover Girl Queen Collection. This particular invitation came by way of Joy Doss of East West PR, who I think was doing PR for the event, Jacqueline had called to ask me if I wanted to attend and since my morning/afternoon was free....I figured what the heck!

It was a BEE-YOO-TEE-FULL Saturday morning and my arrival time was set at 11am and I have taken the D train to Pacific Street a million times and it generally takes about 30 minutes from 125th St....So I hopped on the train at 10:30am convinced that I would get there right at 11am if not, no later than 11:05....really......

So why did I look at my watch when I got off the train and the time was 11:30????? lol.....So needless to say I was running up the block because I thought I was late....

I entered the main entrance to BAM and to my event hadn't begun yet. Shortly after I inquired about Joy's whereabouts, she appeared by my side....pregnant and absolutely glowing (Joy is a beautiful dark chocolate doll)....she apologized profusely told me that they (the organizers were waiting for Chilli (Rozonda Watkins of TLC fame) to arrive before they could start (Chilli was a speaker on the panel). I told her it was no problem and I would be outside enjoying the weather until it was time for photo ops and seminar to begin.

There was also another event going on at BAM on the main was some sort of parenting function and after about an hour (yeah...I was outside running my mouth for a minute) the steps of BAM began to be flooded with children with painted faces and their parents.....and let me just digress here for a moment family......

I have noticed a new trend in parenting where white couples are adopting black children - "Harmony Children" I am told they are called.....and don't get me wrong...I am NOT against it - EVERY child deserves a loving home but I swear if I see ANOTHER LITTLE BLACK CHILD LOOKING LIKE A PICKANINNY because her newly adoptive parents don't know what to do with their hair....I SWEAR to you, I'mma SCREAM!!!!! ROFLMAO - If YOU know you can't do little Sheneneh's hair - PAY FOR SOMEONE TO DO IT FOR YOU!!!!! Don't just let the child's hair matte and lock up like that - it ain't cute.

Now back to the Female Success Factor........

I waited outside on the steps of BAM enjoying a cup of coffee and sharing dreams and aspirations with Denitra Lewis and her friend Shavonne Nash who is the Supervisor for SMG Multicultural. I sat outside until Joy came out to let me know that Chilli was 5 minutes away and it was time for the photo ops to begin. Chilli arrived looking dewy & youthful, carrying a beautiful purse that had a picture of her son on the front of the bag. I took photos with Chilli, Munson Steed (Publisher of Rolling Out) and panel speakers Actress Caryn Ward (CW's The Game), Urban Blog Priestess Necole Bitchie ( & Cover Girl Queen Collection finalist Laureen Delance.

With the photo ops out of the way, we all began to make our way upstairs to the main room where the seminar would be taking place. On my way upstairs I decided to my girl Yvette Hayward (Founder of the African American Literary Awards), who I had chatted with briefly while I was waiting outside for Chilli to arrive. We took seats down front and the room quickly began to fill, I decided to run to the ladies room before the seminar started and when I returned to my seat I was pleasantly surprised to see knitwear designer Michi had taken the seats next to mine. Michi was dressed in a purple hand knitted number that was her own design with some matching purple strappy heels. I talked with Michi until RO Publisher Munson Steed took the stage and signaled that the seminar was about to begin.

The event was billed as "An entrepreneurship seminar" designed for women. Mr. Steed opened up the seminar by speaking about Success, Money & How to get it. He said a lot of things that moved me but the thing that stuck out the most was the statement:

"Your NETWORK is your NET WORTH".

In short: If you hang people who are making money inevitably you will make money as well....and if you hang around broke people you will continue to be broke yourself.

Makes perfect sense to me.

He also made another statement that made me applaud and practically scream out loud....

"DON'T call your children DUMMIES".....this statement really hits close to home because I see it all the time and it absolutely makes me cringe because parents usually are not aware of the damage they cause when they do this to their children consistently!

As he continued to speak and try to amp up the crowd....It seemed that he would look directly in my face during certain points of his speech....he definitely had my attention. He then began to introduce the speakers for the seminar......

First up was Caryn Ward (, who is an actress, dancer and motivational speaker. She has a recurring role on a new television show on the CW network called "The Game" but she got her start on the popular tv show FAME ("I'm gonna live forever"). The crowd was like putty in her hands as she spoke about her life and the ups and downs of her career. Let me tell you family - this chick is BAD!!!! I was enthralled watching her, she spoke very eloquently, passionately and brilliantly but also had the ability to make me feel as if she were talking directly to me. I felt her words resonating through me (it was like she was talking about MY current situation) and I was so moved by her speaking that I had to tell her how I felt as soon as the seminar wrapped (she told me that she felt my energy as well). I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her and you all can check her out at

Next up was law student Laureen Delance, who was one of the four winners of the CoverGirl Queen Collection "Every Woman is a Queen" online model search. Laureen, who is Haitian told us her story as well as her interest in changing the US Immigration policies, which she feels are discriminatory to Haitians.

Laureen was followed by "Urban Blog Priestess" Necole Bitchie, who shared with us an extremely moving story of her rocky journey on the road to success. Necole broke down several times during her story as she relived difficult pieces to the audience. We were so moved by her story that by the time she finished most of the crowd was on their feet.

Munson took the stage once more to open the floor to questions (seminar participants were given question cards to fill out earlier and he had now collected them and began asking some of the this point another sister, who is currently on Broadway I think (I will print her name here later) entered the room and took a seat behind Yvette and I. Mr. Steed stopped the Q&A to acknowledge this sister and introduce her to the audience.

It was at this point that I began to get um...."slightly" annoyed with Mr. that brief interruption, he then brought on Chilli who also shared her story of success and the struggles that she has encountered in life as well as the lessons she's learned. She also told the crowd about a new business that she has started, selling custom made "photo" purses, just like the one she carried with her son's photo on it.

After the seminar wrapped there were some more photo ops and lots of mingling. Quite a few women in the audience recognized me and stopped me as was heading down to the VIP reception to talk and take photos with me....(if you know me at already know where this is going) Anyway, I get down to the downstairs lounge where the reception was being held and saw where the bar was because I truly needed a drink AND I was starving! I had a glass of champagne and began to work the room. I met lots of people and the food was heavenly (lobster spring rolls, shrimps, artichoke hearts.....absolutely lovely. I also met a beautiful 13 year old who, when I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, told me that she wanted to work with food on the Food Network (one of my favorite networks)....the minute she told me that - I said "okay then...we gotta start working on that palate of yours" and I had that little one trying one of everything on each tray, and then asking her what her thoughts were......Her mother loved it and so did I!

I looked at my watch and realized that time had absolutely flew by and I needed to start heading back to Manhattan. I decided to go to the bathroom (located on the 3rd floor) and was making my way there when I stopped to talk to a handsome brother who had stepped in my path. We were talking about the event and I think he may have asked my thoughts, so I used this opportunity to say why I was a little the LACK of acknowledgement that I got from publisher Munson Steed. I mean, I was at your event EARLY and you never made mention to the crowd of who I was and what I do.....but you STOP what you are doing to acknowledge someone that you DO recognize, even though she arrived late (no disrespect to her...just trying to make a point here). My thoughts were this - I knew from the moment that I looked in his eyes and we started taking pictures together that he didn't have a clue as to who I was or what I did - now my problem wasn't that he didn't know who I was - my problem was that he didn't make an attempt to FIND out. I mean YOUR PR Company invites a person to your event and if you, as the publisher of this magazine are taking photos with folks and someone is unfamiliar to you - it would behoove you to ask or have one of your minions find out who the heck the person is, so that you DON'T slight them....ya know? At first the brother that I was talking to tried to give me a few reasons but ya'll know me fam....I wasn't trying to hear Anyway, I said my piece and I think the last thing I said to him was "I know that as soon as I walk away from you - you will go and tell that brother what I just said to you.....he gave me his business card and I put it in my purse, said goodbye and headed to the bathroom.

As I was making my way outside, I stopped on the steps of BAM to retrieve my flat shoes out of my bag, when I looked up Mr. Steed was standing right in my face.....So I very calmly looked up at him and said "ah...your friend must have told what I said huh"? To make a long story short - we talked for a moment and he apologized for the slight and I went on my merry way.

I must tell you family, it was a wonderful event and I am SO very glad I attended....there were many things that I really needed to hear and I found the whole event to be quite theraputic for me.

To the beautiful Joy Dodd of EastWest PR, Thank you so very much for thinking of me and a special shout out to Yvette Heyward, thanks for looking out for me mama! Love Ya!

Oh more thing family....the brother that I spoke to about feeling slighted....I looked at his business card when I got said:

Randy Fling C.O.O., Rolling Out Magazine.

Can I pick em' or what? lol.

Thanks for all of your help Randy, I really appreciate it!

"Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us."

And The Daytime Emmy Goes To...............

Special class series: "Made," MTV

We did it family!!!!!

We won that 2008 Daytime Emmy!!!!!

What does that mean for ME you ask? lol.....

Absolutely nothing, except the satisfaction that comes with MY knowing that it was OUR (everyone who had a hand in producing that segment) work that secured that Emmy win for MTV.

I can live with that.

Thank you family for your continued support.

If you STILL have not seen my episode of MADE yet (GASP!!!) you can still check it out online here:

Congratulations and a special "Runway Diva Shout Out" to my "MTV Road Dawgs" :
Team Kauffman
Anne Alvergue
Michael Isabell
Krystine Kauffman
Rocco Castellano
Little Milo (yeah...he was a part of it too!!!)

We DID the damn thang ya'll!!!!

Continued Success!!!!
"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress;
working together is success."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Real Men Can Cook NYC

On Father's Day, I attended an event in Harlem called Real Men Can Cook was a glorious summer day (even though it wasn't "officially" summer) temperatures had to hover near 80 degrees, so I pulled out an long Orange sleeveless number and painted my face and headed over to 141st St & Lenox Avenue where the event was scheduled to take place. As a veteran of these cooking events (NY Magazine used to hold them semi annually), I was looking forward to attending an INDOOR event with AIR CONDITIONING at The Minisink Center. my surprise when I arrived and found that the entire event was situated er....OUTSIDE!

The event had more of a "Block Party" feel to it, which I loved. My invitation as a "Celebrity Taster" came by way of Roz Nixon, who I have known since I was a newbie plus model on the scene. Miss Roz was all done up in Orange too, complete with an Orange Patent leather bag that I was TOTALLY coveting. I see that Miss Roz is running crazy as usual so I greet her quickly and she hands me an VIP wristband that allows me to go to each vendor and sample their wares. As you know, my list of food issues seems to get longer and I was very leery of sampling anything from folks I don't know....(see my previous blogs). But I did break down at the sight of a Sweet Potato Pie from my girl, Melba Wilson's restaurant!

I was supposed to be escorted by my oldest nephew....but lo and behold...he never showed up, never called....and to date...has NOT apologized for his rude behavior....(I will deal with you later Darren..I promise), digress....

My day was going absolutely perfectly, I roamed the crowd and took pictures of proud fathers & grandfathers with their children. I greeted, hugged and took photos with any and everyone who recognized me and wanted to chat. I ran into old friends like Dawnna, who I haven't seen since my boy Ronn Thornton passed on....I checked out the live WBLS Sunday Morning Classics broadcast with Hal Jackson...and I chatted for a while with legendary WBLS DJ Vaughn Harper (who let it slip that my boy Tony Blades had snuck in and out of town without telling me!!) and his beautiful daughter. Actress & Producer Debra Byrd was in the house too! There was a stage set up and Showtime at The Apollo host, comedian Capone, was the host for the show....Allyson Williams was on hand to perform as was Johnny "Just Got Paid" Kemp......Allyson and I sat outside with two ladies that were at the tables with us (one told me her story of how she lost 100lbs and was much happier and I think the other sister had lost like 75 lbs) and sipped Orange Fanta's (courtesy of the Coca Cola sponsors) and got caught up.

Upstairs in the lovely air conditioned VIP room, I sat and talked for awhile with former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields & a brother that's a photographer (who I see and talk to at a bunch of events but for the life of me can't remember his name...please forgive me) about the pros & cons of the NYPD's use of tasers in lieu of er...50 shots - Interesting Convo ya'll....for real. It was upstairs where I got my hands into that freshly delivered

All was going well for me and as the evening began to get late I realized I needed to get over to the Bronx and spend time with my Mom & stepdad for Father's I went over to say my good bye's to Roz & her partner Dawn and then the plan was to walk over the bridge to the Bronx.....but Roz apparently had other ideas....she asked me to get up and say a few words to the crowd (something I REALLY dislike doing without advance notice....I like to have time to formulate my thoughts and say something that is both meaningful and informative...that's just me...ya know?)...I had been there all day, walking around greeting people & talking, so I didn't really see the need for me to take the stage to talk (politicians do that and it gets on my nerves...)so I tried to back out gracefully, and say that I wasn't prepared but home girl just insisted.

As I walked on stage with Capone and he introduced me from "MoNique's FAT Chance"....Something just felt wrong to me....the response from the crowd (MY OWN people mind you...) was quite er...Lukewarm? lol...yeah, that's a good way of putting it....and I really didn't get where it was coming I said my few words and my Happy Father's Day....and was trying to get off that stage quickly....but before I could make my exit....

Capone comes back on stage and says something like this:

The reason you probably didn't get the response you were looking for is because....

Uh...You ain't really fat.

Well, Har-dee-har-har.....really? You Think?

At what point did I ever say I was fat and why on earth should that matter????

Well, needless to say, I was so disgusted for him throwing me under the bus like that...just to get a damn laugh....that I was fuming all the way to the Bronx. He ruined my entire day with that sh#t!

But what hurt me the most is that THIS is the crap that I get all the time from women who meet me on the street - and I try to be nice in my responses but I am reaching my breaking point here....It should not matter what size I am NOW - the fact is that I HAVE been what is considered a FAT GIRL MOST of my life (I topped out at 260 lbs before I chose life over death) and trust me when I tell you those were MY only options....

But the ongoing fight over the discrimination of plus size women is an issue that I have devoted my life to. It doesn't matter that I am no longer as big as I was -

My Mother is a plus sized woman,
My Sister is a plus sized woman,
My Niece is a plus sized woman,
My best friend is a plus sized woman,
The majority of my friends and family are or have been plus sized women....

I lace up my boxing gloves and fight the good fight for them and ALL of my plus sized sisters - EVERY DAY OF MY DAMN LIFE!!!!

If all YOU are doing is eating Doritos and complaining about who's fat enough to be in the "big girl club" and who isn't, but YOU aren't willing to fight to change things.....

then please don't step to me about what size I am cuz quite frankly:

I don't want to hear it.

The choices I make for ME are mine alone to make and I am secure in who I am. If YOU are NOT fighting right alongside me - your opinion matters little to me.

Whew! And now that I have gotten that off my chest.....(believe me I needed it was eating me up inside).

Thank you Roz Nixon for inviting me and congratulations on another successful event!

"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Congratulations Ranfis Lara!!!

What's Up Family!!!

This is my special shout out to my neighborhood "Cutie" Ranfis Lara, who just graduated from John Jay College with a degree in Criminal Justice! Ranfis is a handsome Dominican young man with some very sexy bedroom eyes (one of my weaknesses). His dad owns a bodega in my neighborhood and we bonded over my MANY cups of morning coffee. If I were 20 years younger........there might be a problem

Congratulations and continue on the path to success! I am quite proud of you!

Congrats are also in order for Diondra Young, daughter of my ex and longtime friend Darien Young who graduated from John Jay as well! You GO Girl!!!!

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Brunch With Lawrence Axmith

Hey Family!

I had brunch with my old friend Lawrence Axmith a few days ago. Lawrence was my old theater director during my New York Youth Theater days. He lived in NY during out theater days but he moved back to his hometown of Toronto, Canada a few years ago. Occasionally he comes to NY to visit and lol...mostly shop. We always try to hook up when he's here and this time was no different.

We decided to have brunch in his old stomping grounds in Chelsea and we met at a restaurant called The Dish on 20th Street & 8th Avenue. It was ridiculously hot this morning but beautiful nonetheless. As I walked down 8th Avenue I couldn't help but notice how much the area has changed in the last few years....gone are all the eclectic little restaurants with the great food and the little shops that added so much character to the area. Of course the rainbow flags are still proudly hanging everywhere but that was one of the few things that were still familiar to me.

Anywhoo....The dish is this cute little restaurant with a diner sort of feel to it and I was a little early arriving so I took advantage of the lovely little bench they had right in front of the place. The awning was down as I read the paper but it didn't still felt like a roast goose by the time Lawrence arrived.

I was so engrossed in the paper I was reading that I didn't even see him approach me. When I looked up and I saw him standing there a big ol' smile crossed my face....I hadn't seen him since out last shopping trip a few summers ago. He looks good and more importantly he looks happy to me. We quickly got out of the sun and took a booth in the back of the restaurant, I immediately ordered a cup of coffee for myself as we both took a look at the long and varied menu.

We both decided to have The Dish's version of a "Grand Slam Breakfast"...Eggs, Pancakes, Bacon, Ham & Sausage (yeah..I KNEW I shouldn't have been eating all of that damn pork...but I did it As we waited for the orders to come, we sipped out coffees and got caught up on each other's lives. Lawrence has a new girlfriend and she's a cutie!!! He also showed me photos of his nephews who are absolutely gorgeous and growing so quickly.....

By the time our food arrived I had brought him up to speed about the Daytime Emmy Nomination for Made and all of the other happenings in my life. The plates were loaded with steaming hot food and I realized immediately that my "eyes were bigger than my stomach" but I gave it the old college try DID however, eat all the damn meat that came on my plate!! After having 12 cups of coffee (lol...just kidding) and taking a bunch of photos, Lawrence called for the check and after bidding good bye to the ENTIRE'll know how I do fam.....we decided to walk over to the East side so Lawrence could stop at a few stores.

By the way DO know that all that pork made me sick as hell right?? Yup. It did.

We hit Steve Madden, Calvin Klein, Aldo, Banana Republic and a few other stores before I bid him adieu near the Empire State Building. He bought some great slacks and a white jacket that I thought was FUNKY AS HELL!!!! I love being the style critic when I shop with him!!

He also gave me copies of some of the shows we had performed together at NYYT and I promised him he'd have them back before he left town on you KNOW I rushed home and burned copies of every last one!!! (yeah...I know...I'm a collector) and then I burned him some copies of some of my work that I knew he hadn't seen yet.

Thanks for the Brunch and the "Walk & Talk" my love!!! You know that I always enjoy your company and I truly miss the input you had in my "theatrical life" cannot wait to get the opportunity to work with you again.

I will see you soon....maybe next time...I will come to YOU!!

**MUAH!!!** Love you Pookie!! Continued Success in ALL that you do!!!

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."

DeVoe Signature Events Presents The Summer Network Series

What's up family!!

I just got back from attending the first "Summer Networking Series" hosted by Gwen "Diva" DeVoe of DeVoe Signature Events (DSE for short). The events theme was "Be Lucky" and it announced a return to the promoter's forum for Gwen (when we first met she was a very successful promoter in NYC's party scene - and judging from the last couple of parties I have been to of late.....her presence is SORELY needed

Anyway, the event was held in midtown at the Latitude Bar & Lounge and was scheduled to begin at 6pm with a fashion showcase of designer Qristyl Frazier's new "Size Sexy" Collection, followed by a sample sale. There was also a contest sponsored by Plus Model Magazine ( which offered a free listing for 1 year in the PM Directory.

I arrived at the bar close to 7pm (you KNOW I wasn't trying to miss the fashion show) and was directed to the steps to the right, I realized that the bar was on the 3rd floor and there was NO ELEVATOR and after cussing inwardly for a moment or two (I hoof it up 5 flights every night so I am actually used to it but it doesn't mean I have to like I reached the third floor I was greeted with peals of laughter from my home girl Jeannie Ferguson - who was at the front door with Tiffany Braxton and Lakia Tribieand nd looked at my face after I reached that last step....

As I entered the room, I saw immediately that the response was overwhelming to this event. The room was absolutely filled with beautiful plus sized women (and a few skinny ones and quite a few handsome men. I didn't take half a step before I started recognizing all of my "girls" - Plus Models Mia Amber, Tonya Giddens, Rocky Grate, Chante Gordon and quite a few new faces as well.

I immediately whipped out my camera and began taking photos as I stopped, hugged, kissed, greeted and met folks as I tried to get through the room to Diva. I also ran into designer Just Raymona, Plus Model Editor in Chief (I just like how that Madeline Figueroa (who I think is in her 6th month of pregnancy now and is absolutely glowing) and her husband photographer Luke Jones (who shot my most AWESOME signature headshot!!!)...also in attendance (and co-sponsors I think) were Curvesity Entertainment founders Sonia & Josephine (who shared a MEAN Margarita with me....I swear it put a lil hair on my

I finally made my way over to Diva who was busily holding things down with a microphone in her hands. She announced that she was holding on camera auditions because she was looking for hosts for her new venture "DSE TV". Rosamund Fife was on the scene looking beautiful and helping the "auditionees" ( that a word?) get through their auditions effortlessly! I caught a quick glimpse of Qristyl (who was rocking the yellow number that I wore for her in Rip The Runway 08) but I didn't bother her because I knew she was readying herself for the show and she was busily getting her racks prepared for the sample sale.

Shortly afterwards, Diva made an announcement that the show was about to begin and I quickly made my way back to where Mia & Tonya were sitting so I could check out the show from there. I wound up sitting next to Chante Gordon's fiance' Tony who was also taking photos of the events. Btw...Chante...I don't think I have ever seen you look more beautiful than you did this evening the photos I took of you are stunning mama!

The show began and lol...before you could say "Poof!" it was over.....She only showed 5 to 6 pieces at most (but they were beautiful pieces ya'll) and the show went pretty quickly. The sample sale began immediately after the show and let me tell you family....there was a LOT of networking going on!!!!

I met some beautiful ladies who had nothing but wonderful things to say to me and one young lady (yeah...I'mma put you on blast even shed a few tears for me....needless to say my plus sized sistas sent me home with a "warm & fuzzy" feeling inside when the event ended.

As the evening died down and we began to pack up to head back to our homes, On the cab ride uptown (thanks Diva & Al) I thought about how necessary it is to have events that promote "Unity in the Plus Community"....I am SO about that now....more than ever. It's time for the infighting about who gets a "fat girl membership card" and who doesn't to STOP right here and right NOW- the struggle is about so much MORE than that! The discrimination is across the board - it affects us all!!!! It's time to Encourage and not Discourage - Ya Know?

We HAVE the power (our spending dollars have already proven that) - it's time we learned how to use it to get what we want!

Yo D! It was an AWESOME event and you will most definitely see me at the next one!

Rock On Mama!!!

"Be the change you wish to see in your life!"

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Lonie Cisco Collection at the GLBT Center NYC

Last night I attended a showing of designer Lonie Cisco's new collection. I have known Cisco for at LEAST 10 years (I know it's WAY more than that though), back in da' day when I was a newbie model, I did MANY shows with Cisco (see below) needless to say I am more than familiar with his work. In case you can't find me in the am 2nd on the bottom left with the long flowing hair.......

The show was held at the LGBT Center on 13th Street in Manhattan. I scooped up my girl Deb and we caught the train downtown. I decided to wear a Tuesday Connor original outfit which was a triplicate of Blues in was an off the shoulder, floor length number and I got nothing but compliments on it on the way downtown.

Showtime was scheduled for 8pm and we were running late, but fortunately when we arrived the show hadn't started yet... I was greeted at the door by Cisco's mom, Dr. Dolores Boyce, who quickly showed us to two available seats down front. The room was packed and we quickly took our seats. As I looked up I saw my girl Patricia who pointed out her daughter Ashley, who was sitting in another section.....Ashley is a beautiful lil chocolate thing, who I have known since she was a little girl and she's all grown up and expecting her first child - I looked up and gave her the "Two Black Eyes, I'mma See You in the Schoolyard at 3 O'Clock" sign and blew her a baby is not what I would have wished for her just yet but she told me she was happy and if she's happy - I'm happy.

After a brief wait, there were some announcements made and an award was presented to a long time assistant. Shortly after that the show began with the introduction of the host....who turned out to be none other than Kyle Abercrombie, who I co-hosted a few of the Miss Full Figured NY/NJ pageants with in the past. I was both surprised and glad to see him because the last time we spoke, he had injured himself and it took a moment for him to recuperate....He must be back at full strength because he looks AWESOME now!!!

Anyway, Kyle comes out and immediately begins bringing up folks from the audience to walk the runway. I love to watch this part of the show.....people love to "carry-on" on the's always a Ki-ki ya'll....

Well I thought I had escaped scrutiny because Kyle had almost finished with his impromptu runway models and he hadn't mentioned I KNEW he hadn't seen me sitting there....I was counting off the moments till the last person walked.....I was so busy talking to a brother sitting behind me that I didn't even hear him talking about me until Deb nudged me in my

Dang! I thought I had gotten away.....but Kyle wasn't having it....he made me get up and walk the wasn't wearing my "runway shoes".....but I did my thang anyway...As my eyes scanned the room, I caught a glimpse of Miss Sophia Davis (BTE Television), and even a brother named Billy (it was his shop that I walked into the morning of Dec 24, 2005 when I decided to cut all of my hair off!) all began in that little barber shop on 125th street!

After the last audience member walked, the lights went down and the show began....I lost count of how many models were actually in the show but I saw a LOT of familiar faces....

Plus models Damaris, Tessa, Yvette Bennett (I sat next to Yvette's daughter who's all grown up and quite the beauty now!), Lynette Pilgrim, Yvonne Forbes (the current Miss Full Figured 2008) and longtime runway veteran.....Phyllis Spencer Who absolutely turned it OUT on the runway.....the crowd ate her up each & every time she made an appearance on the floor.

The collection was a beautiful mix of daywear, evening wear, beautiful gowns complete with florals and prints of vibrant colors and fabrics for all seasons. Deb & I both saw quite a few items that we were both salivating over!

As the models lined the runway for the final collection walk, Cisco himself took the stage and he took it so damn fast that if you would have missed him...(lol...some things NEVER change and Cisco has always done some of the quickest designer walk & waves that I have ever seen)....anyway after a little pressure they persuaded him to come out and say a few words to the words were even shorter than his walk...and as he tried to exit a few of his girls attempted to block his way to keep him from leaving the was hilarious.

After the show, I talked to people and took LOTS of photos and even did an interview with BTE TV before I scooped up Deb and headed back uptown home. I decided to stop off at her place for a quick nightcap and as we walked through her building people were shouting me out all over the place...the were absolutely LOVING that Tuesday Conner Original ya'll....

And it couldn't have come at a better time....I kept all that love with me for the remainder of the weekend and it brought a smile to my face every single time I thought about it. Thanks Ya'll!!

Cisco - Great Show! Thanks for inviting me - we'll talk soon - cuz I'm SURE i'mma need some clothing shortly! I'll Holla!

I was supposed to head over to the east side to catch author GL Henderson's book signing/reading...but alas the show ran overtime and I was unable to make it....I owe you one GL....

"Patience and perserverence have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."

Juicy Gals are doing it and doing it and doing it well!!!!!

What's Poppin' family!!!!

I have an important question for you all.............

Is it a great time to be a big girl or WHAT???
My juicy ladies are absolutely doing the damn thing!!!!! Here's an case you DON'T know...
Rece Steele from the "Boogie Down" becomes the first"Miss Rap Supreme"!!!! You GO Girl!!!!
All jokes aside family....I swear this chick reminds me of Kid Capri....I wonder if they are related?
Jill Scott & Ashley Stewart introduces The Butterfly Bra and my girl Mia Amber is selected as the "face" (or lol...body) of the brand!!! Rock On Mama!!!
Stephanie Izard of Chicago, IL makes history as the first female to win the title of "Top Chef"!!!!

I just LOVE it when the big girls make their dreams come true IN SPITE of the obstacles placed before them.
These sisters ROCK and I just felt the need to pay homage to them all!
Continued success ladies, keep kicking those doors down!

"You just don't luck into things as much as you'd like to think you do. You build step by step, whether it's friendships or opportunities."