First Black Cinderella On Broadway

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Congrats are in order for the lovely Keke Palmer! She will have the amazing honor of playing the first Black Cinderella on Broadway.

Palmer recently became the youngest talk show host,  so it seems that she sees no boundaries when chasing her dreams (as it should be).

She recently took to Twitter to express her excitement stating:

I’m sooooo excited to be doing broadway for the first time, as Cinderella!! DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!”

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Michael B. Jordan is Breaking Out On the Scene Once Again!

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Michael B. Jordan is by far one of the best young, black actors in Hollywood.  He is best known for his breakout role in the hit series, The Wire.  He most recently stole hearts in the gripping film, Fruitvale Station where he depicted Oscar Grant; a young black man who was wrongfully shot and killed by transit police in the Bay Area.  GQ has honored Michael as Breakout Man of the Year; a very well-deserved honor.

The GQ article describes his iconic work and the pain felt around the world when his character was killed off in The Wire.  It states:

Now, again, a few earnest souls in our film industry are taking steps from the beaten path to present the human-scale cost of our racial pathology. And the right actor is again required to take a bullet in such a way that we will feel the loss in all of its intricate detail.

No surprise who gets the call. Now Michael B. Jordan, an actor honed by a decade of meaningful work, turns in a performance that surrounds the doomed Oscar Grant, making him seem idiosyncratic yet average, ordinary yet precious. That’s the power of Fruitvale.

Click here to read the full article.

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Source: GQ

Mari Morrow Catches Us Up on Life After “How to Be a Player”

Source: Craig Mac Tumblr

Source: Craig Mac Tumblr

Of course, we all saw this beautiful specimen in the hit movie, How to Be a Player, which starred Bill Bellamy and Lark Voorhies.  She’s carved a path throughout Hollywood with appearances in Family Matters, Baywatch, Living Single, Soul Food, The Parkers, and  One Life to Live, to name a few.  Growing up in Miami, FL, Mari made her way to the Big Apple where she perfected her acting skills, before setting off for the City of Angels (L.A.).  I was lucky enough to grab a few moments of her time and pick her brain about her journey thus far.  Check out what she had to say about the current state of acting, what she’s been up to and how she decided to make that big move to Los Angeles.

Source: Cuts Central

Source: Cuts Central

You’re originally from Miami, what made you move to the West Coast?

I live in L.A., but right after high school I went to NYU and studied theater.  From there, I moved straight to L.A. when I finished.

What was the deciding factor to get you to move to the West Coast?

Well, New York is more theater and I really wanted to make money.  I figured T.V. and film were where I was going to make money, as opposed to hard work in the theater.  Theater is nice, but I figured I needed to get my fame while I was young and L.A. was the best place.  All of the shows were shot in L.A…back them we had a bunch of black shows so that was the place to be.  Back then I think the only thing that New York had was The Cosby Show.  Plus I was tired of the cold and me being from Miami, I wanted the warmth and I wanted to be able to drive.  While I was in New York, NYU sent me out to an actual theater school so I was in Stella Adler Studio of Acting and I didn’t really like it…I didn’t care for the kids in there.  So, I checked out some of the other ones and this one school, Circle of the Square was more like me…less smoking (lol).

With all of your training and relocating, what do you think has been the hardest part about having fame and succeeding in the industry?

The hardest part is maintaining.  I got out here and I did pretty good!  When I think about how hard it is, there’s so many actors trying to make it and I was pretty lucky to get my foot in the door and hang around a bit.  But then, once the reality shows came in, it just knocked all of the little T.V. shows and the black T.V. shows out…a lot less work.  But, luckily I was able to make some money and let my money make money!  I try to instill that in people.  If you do get a job where you make some good money, you have to use that money to try and make more.  In this business, you just never know where your next job is gonna come from.  I used my money to develop properties.  That helps me to where I don’t really have to get out there and try to find so many jobs because I’m actually covered, which is a good thing.  I try to tell people, don’t go out there and spend money on cars, try to invest it somewhere…actually, what I do now is sell real estate as well. My mom always said to have a back-up plan, so that’s my back-up plan that I actually enjoy.

Do you still pursue acting?  Do you have any upcoming projects?

I have some projects, but I haven’t been focusing all or putting all of my energies in it.  Luckily since I’ve been in the business for a while, I have people come after me and ask me to be in this or that.  I’ve been lucky in that way.  I just did a pilot; hopefully that will get picked up!  I also did an independent film called The Good Life.  Social networking has helped me too.  I’m not really into it, but it helps.  I have a Twitter account (@Mari_Morrow) so people can get in touch with me.

I think it’s great that you had a back-up plan, but do you think it takes away from why you went to L.A. in the first place?

I don’t think it takes away.  I think it’s good because, as an actor, we do have a lot of down time when there’s no auditions going on.  So, that gives me a chance to do something else.  Other people may have other creative outlets or they take acting classes.  I’m older and I have a kid and I don’t have time to go with my son, but every now and then I take an improv class.  That’s a new trend that people are looking for if you’re good at it.

A lot of people remember you from How to Be a Player, what do you consider to be your big break?

A lot of people remember me from How to Be a Player, but then again not a lot of people knew my name back then.  I think they learned my name from the T.V. show called Oh Drama!.  They got to see me everyday and I got to say my name everyday so it resonated.  I think after that, it helped me out a lot.  I was also on One Life to Live, that was my first show where I was a regular so that helped me out a lot also.

When you go on auditions, what techniques do you use to prepare for a role?

I have to go over and over because my memory is not the greatest.  I have friends come over and run lines with me or I’ll tape my lines at night and I’ll put it on a tape recorder and I’ll play it as I sleep.  The more I know my lines, I can just drop it and I can actually be the character and play with it.  For me, it’s rehearsing over and over.

Outside of saving money and techniques, what other advice can you offer actors trying to make it?

Try to always be learning.  Take different classes because in acting, the more that you know, the better actor you will be.  There was one time I started taking sign language classes, I want to take spanish classes, I want to take juggling classes also.  I saw Zoe Saldana in Colombiana and I was like “alright now!” she brought the black girls back and it made me want to go and take some martial arts.  It’s all about being ready; you just never know what’s going to come up or what you’ll need for a role so it’s always good to be prepared as opposed to trying to get prepared.  So, training and always look to try something new.

What is your ultimate goal for your career?

I would still like to do some acting, but I would like to do some producing.  I don’t mind stepping in back of the camera.  That would be pretty nice and fulfilling.  I don’t have to do the job and I can actually critique it or help the actor.

What’s one funny/quirky thing that fans may not know about you?

I can be a little weird.  I will wash dishes and then put them in the dishwasher and then wash them again because I want them in hot, hot water!  What’s it called? OCD? I’m a little weird like that (lol)!  I have to have it clean, I don’t trust everything.  I’ll come over your house and you tell me “oh no, it’s OK don’t wash it…” and I’m like “OK” and then try to sneak and wash it (lol)!  I don’t want to offend anybody, but I’ll ask, “Can I please clean it?!”

Source: Cuts Central

Source: Cuts Central

 

It was such a pleasure speaking with Mari and I can’t wait to meet her in person.  You can tell she has a great spirit!  She gives some good advice for up-and-coming actors; I hope everyone took notes!  Thanks for visiting the Dreamworld!

Dysfunctional Friends…A Film You Need to Support!

What if you were rich and larger than life…you died unexpectedly…all of your closest friends came to your funeral…and you left each of them a piece of your estate?  Furthermore, what if the only way your friends could cash in on their piece of the pie was for them to grant you your one last wish?  Want to see how a story like this ends?  You and me both!  This is the plot of Corey Grant’s new independent film, Dysfunctional Friends.

Hailing from Illinois, Corey graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. receiving his Master’s in Film.  Shortly after graduating he relocated to Hollywood to immerse himself in the hub of the entertainment world.  He has a couple of films under his belt, Hip Hop Task Force and Hip Hop Task Force vol 2, but his new project offers something different.  He explains, “This is the first film where I had an all-star cast, had to worry about overtime and union permits…it was also the first movie I’ve done which was strictly character driven so it was a very unique experience.”  For such a big project, I was more than curious to know how he was able to gather his all-star cast.  He held nothing back in letting me know the magical formula:

The lead producer, Datari, reached out to his friends and they reached out to their friends.  I already knew Tatyana Ali and Wesley Jonathan, Essence Atkins and Christian Keyes from another project I had in development that they were attached to, along with Meagan Good. Plus our Casting Director, Phaedra Harris, reached out and it all came together…

It seems like the perfect story thus far, but his journey to getting this film backed by a major studio was nearly impossible.  Dysfunctional Friends is an independent film, meaning that every ticket sale counts!  The film was released in select theaters in NY and LA, so if you want it to come to your city, you must demand it!  I asked Corey how the DMV can show support to ensure the film gets released right here in D.C.and here’s what he had to say:

Spread the links to the trailer online, blast it on Twitter [and Facebook], demand it and show up the opening weekend. The reason we have self distributed this movie is because all the major studios didn’t want to put the promotional money behind it because they believe our audience is unreliable unless it’s Tyler Perry.  I love and respect what Tyler is doing, but it also hurts us because studios only want to put money behind formulas.  To them, Tyler is the formula.  [Nothing] else has enough value for them to gamble promotional dollars on. That’s our audience’s fault for not supporting other quality films and only we can correct that.  Dysfunctional Friends is a different kind of movie and people are responding to it.  Prove the studios wrong and go see this movie and if you like it, tell a friend.

To come back to D.C. with his new project would add another notch under his belt, being as though his story somewhat began here.  Corey lets me know, “Oh, it’s going to be major coming back to the DMV. My time at Howard was what inspired me to write the script.”  His Director of Photography, Richard Vialet, has the honor of being a Howard alum as well.  He adds, “This is where we both started so you can imagine how excited we are!”

If you’re an aspiring writer or simply want to break into the film industry, Corey offers some advice:

You have to learn the craft.  If you don’t respect the craft you won’t be able to make quality products.  Also if you are trying  to get in it for the money, DON’T.  It takes a while to start making money and it’s a hard business filled with ups and downs. You have to love it to stick it out.  Be persistent and don’t give up.  Also, at some point you have to make that trip to Los Angeles. This is where the industry is and there is no way around it if you want this as a career and not a hobby.  Believe in yourself when no one else does.  I’m proof that it can happen because nobody let me in the game.  I had to make the industry take notice of me and then the doors opened.  Confidence, Persistence, Patience, Integrity, and Talent is what it takes.  If you have that you can’t lose.

As if he hasn’t given great insight to his world already, he ends our interview on an amazing note.  When asked what he thinks his God-given purpose in life is he said, “To touch people and spread love.  I love people and positive energy and I feel that if I exude that in my work and life, I have fulfilled my purpose.”  Despite the doors that may have closed on him, another big one certainly opened up.  Dysfunctional Friends seems like it will not only be the next big independent film to keep your eye on, but it just might give any Tyler Perry film a run for its money. Support, support support!

*Check out the movie trailer here:

*Full Cast: Stacey Dash, Reagan Gomez-Preston, Wesley Jonathan, Persia White, Jason Weaver, Stacy Keibler, Terrell Owens, Datari Turner, Hosea Chanchez, Christian Keyes, Tatyana Ali, Vanessa Simmons, Essence Atkins, Keith Robinson, Meagan Good

He’s a Man With More than Just “Love Games”

When you hear his name, you may not recognize it unless you are an avid Love Games fan, but he’s certainly on his way to stardom.  After I saw one episode I was hooked and not because the show was the best on television, but because he grabbed my attention.  That person was Matthew Goodman, a.k.a. Matt.  Of course some would see his handsome look and pretty smile and think the obvious, but there was a feeling of genuine charm that couldn’t be ignored.  He stood out from the others and I knew I had to get a deeper peek into what he was all about.  I took a chance and requested an interview with the young man and of course, in true southern gentleman fashion, he agreed to give his fans a sneak peak into his world.

Native to Atlanta, GA Matt knew at a young age that he wanted to be in the lime light and show the world what he was made of.  So far, it looks as though he is succeeding with his goal!  He’s been seen in films such as, Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming and 5 Days in the Day “A”.  He was also featured as a cast member on BET’S College Hill Atlanta Season 5, as well as, BET’s 106 & Park and Spring Bling.  You may have also seen him showing off his skills on Showtime at the Apollo’s Dance Competition in 2006, where he won over the crowd 3 times!  Matt’s most recent camera time has been captured on Oxygen’s Love Games, where he was chosen as the winner who found love with Bad Girl’s Club voodoo vixen, Judi.  He explains, “Love Games was a more intimate, personal level that people were able to view me in.  I feel that it was an exposure platform for what is to come in the near future…”

Not only is he making his way through Hollywood, but he’s also making his way through Atlanta by helping out local organizations and foundations such as, the Ludacris Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club.  He spends his free time helping out and giving back; something that is becoming very rare among those finding success.  When asked what he wanted the first thing people thought of when they heard his name he said, “Real, Ambitious, Intellectual, Gentleman, Humble.  Evenly spread across the board, these words best describe me as an ever-evolving individual.”

His answer alone is unique, therefore it seems only fitting that his career take the same mold. Matthew isn’t just interested in being on the big screen, but he also has musical aspirations that include rapping, writing, producing and performing across the globe.  He is slated to release his EP by Spring 2012.  My main goal is to always uncover what inspires someone to keep pushing and the things that keep Matt pursuing his music and television are simple. In his words:

The love and passion for music, as well as television and film, is what continues to drive me to pursue my career as I do. Secondly, the support and feedback that I receive from people everyday plays a huge role in where I’m currently at in my career.

With dreams of success in mind, Matt is charting his own territory in the industry, but inquisitive minds may wonder how he won’t be sucked into the world of being just an ordinary reality star.  Let’s face it, it’s the new fad for young people making their rise to fame, but if you are one of the individuals left to wonder if he will fall victim, check out how he plans on NOT allowing this to happen:

I plan on making sure that reality T.V. success won’t niche me as a typical “reality T.V. star” by constantly reinventing myself and who I am as a person.  You’re not the same person you were a year ago, not even a few months ago.  With that being said, there is always room for growth and improvement. I have lifelong business, as well as, personal goals I’ve set for myself and being young, complacency is not an option nor an excuse.

Well, there you have it.  He just may be as unique as he seems and driven to go against the norm.  My interview is just a small peak into the world of someone who is clearly destined for something big, but the glimpse may inspire others to stick with their goals and attain their own success, such as Matthew Goodman.  So, what is his God-given purpose in life?  He tells his fans:

I feel that because I am still alive and breathing, I have not yet fulfilled my ideal God-given purpose.  Nevertheless, I  feel that I have a special gift in communicating with people.  I’m a people person and I would love to reach different ethnicities and cultures, through music and artistic expression.

His journey is picking up speed and I can’t help but be excited for what’s to come of this young, humble, intellectual and ambitious young man’s life and career.  One thing’s for sure, the right attitude goes a long way and for that alone, greatness is definitely in his future.

If you want to learn more about Matthew, visit his website: http://www.matthewdgoodman.com/

 

You can also check out this clip of the Love Games Season 3 Finale: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3ZBXSbRpu8

As always, another story of hard work and dedication proves to have a pay off.  This is just another sign that there are plenty of dreams to be had in the Dreamgirl’s world!