Introducing– Mrs. Patricia Neely-Dorsey

14 Feb

 

First of all, my apologies in the lack of posting.  I’ve been under the weather, but now I’m back in action (hopefully!).  Now, back to our regularly scheduled interviewing!  To kick-start this initiative back, I am ecstatic to be introducing Mrs. Patricia Neely-Dorsey to you all.  Mrs. Dorsey was introduced to me through a close family friend, Mrs. Sandra Ashby!  I was extremely excited to get the chance to talk with an author, as I believe they sometimes have the best insight on life its philosophies.  It is also good to get a perspective and fresh take on those older than us, who have made a difference in the world.  Mrs. Dorsey is an author, from Tupelo, Mississippi.  As you many of you know, I am also from Tupelo, Mississippi, so this is a special interview indeed. 

There has always been negative connotations associated with Mississippi, and this lovely author took it upon herself to try to “clear the air,” about it all.  She has been a positive influence in the community, and I believe you will thoroughly enjoy reading her interview!
Tell us about yourself. 
My name is Patricia Neely-Dorsey. I am from Tupelo, Mississippi. I am a 1982 graduate of Tupelo High School. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. I lived in Memphis, Tennessee for almost 20 years, working in the mental health field, before returning to my hometown in August 2007. I have been married for almost sixteen years to James Dorsey and we have one child, Henry.
 
 
When did you begin to realize you liked to write?
 The poetry writing was really a surprise to me. I have always liked to write all kinds of things but never for any particular purpose and certainly never with a book in mind.  I woke up on Valentine’s Day 2007 with this poem swirling around in my head. I got up and quickly scribbled it down. After that day, many more poems followed.  A friend was very instrumental in encouraging me to “get them out there”.  on February 2008, my book, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia , was published. 
How long did it take you to write your poetry? 
 

I always tell people that it probably takes only about 5 or 10 minutes for me to write a poem, maybe 15 minutes for the longer ones because the poems come fully in my head and I just write them down. Believe it are not, I would say at least 75% of the poems have come to me in my car. I call it my own personal “think tank” (smile) 

How did you come up with the title of your book, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia?

That was a natural choice for me. The book is basically reflections on my childhood and my life in general. I am from Mississippi and the state flower is the Magnolia.  Women in Mississippi are often referred to as Mississippi Magnolias. So,
Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia just felt/sounded right to me. I had named the collection of poems long before there was any thought of a book. 
  
Tell us about your book. 
 
Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia is a true celebration of the south and things southern. There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south in general. In my book, using my childhood memories, personal thoughts and dreams, I attempt to give a positive glimpse into the southern way of life. The book is very upbeat, playful, humorous, at times, uplifting and syrupy sweet. (smile)   
 
 
What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia?
 There is MUCH more to Mississippi and the south than all of the negatives that are most typically portrayed.

What was your greatest challenge in self-promoting your book?
I have been told many times, by people in the industry that a book of poetry is a  very “hard sell” and is so often seen as the step-child.
 
I didn’t really know what they meant until I started running up against brick walls in getting reviewers to even consider reviewing the book. So many people told me that they had “no poetry” policies in reviewing books. That was very surprising to me. Of course, I didn’t take no for a final answer and some of those same people who said that they did not review poetry eventually gave in and I received some glowing reviews from them. On top of that, self-published authors can, in many cases, are given so little respect. I have been told, again, by reviewing sources that they did not do self-published books. I have been told by some venues that they didn’t have self-published authors on the roster for even giving a book presentation. Of course, again, I didn’t take no as a final answer. My motto is always: If you can’t get in through the front door, go in through the window. Needless to say, some minds were changed and some policies were broken.

 
Using your own experience as a guide, what advice would you give others who are thinking of birthing their own literary work?
  I always emphasize what I call Patricia’s P-Attitudes. 1) Positivity-be positive, believe in yourself and your book, 2) Persistence-Be relentless. Never take “NO” as a final answer. Keep knocking. If you can’t get in through the door, go in through the window. 3) Perseverance-Never give up 4) Patience. Hold on. Hold tight. Sometimes, the answer or outcome that you seek might take a minute (days, weeks or months) but keep the faith. It will come.  
 

As you can see, keep the “Patricia’s P-Attitudes” close to heart, and your success may also come as well.  Thank you Mrs. Patricia for an inspiring interview to all people, and the great advice.  I also hope you all learned a thing or two about Mississippi.  As you can see, intelligence comes from ALL places, and to decrease negative connotations, all you need is a little bit more light shined on a particular situation.  I encourage everyone to grab a copy of this book, and support Mrs. Patricia Neely-Dorsey. 

 Kudos to you, and good luck on your future endeavors!

Sacia

*questions taken from Press Kit

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Introducing- Mrs. Danielle Roche’ Hall-White

8 Feb

This is a very special interview to me, because this is a very special lady. Mrs. White, known to many as “Auntie Danielle,” has made an impact on not only myself, but many people in North Carolina, especially Asheville. Working with Auntie Danielle was my second job, as a salon assistant, and I enjoyed every single minute of it. She has a spirit that you can’t find anywhere else, and faith beyond belief. It wasn’t until I started working there that I realized how important it was to be grounded in you faith, and “well-rooted.” her family has made a huge impact on my life, and I couldn’t think of anyone else better to interview this month. You all will see the wonderful lady she is through this interview, and hopefully she will make an impact on you as well!

Give us a little bit of background about yourself. Where did you grow up, education, etc.?

I was born in Asheville, NC 1/8/1973, this is also where I grew up. I was educated through public education; Asheville City Schools system. I started my career in the cosmetology industry at the age of 15. My Granny’s/ Mom’s kitchen were my make shift beauty salons. I’ve been licensed in the beauty industry for twenty years this June(11). I’ve been blessed to work with and be mentored/trained by some of the best in the area.

  1. Where did you complete your formal training?

I completed my cosmetology training at Asheville High Schools vocational education program; under the direction of Mrs. Louise Edington and Miss Carolyn Trexler. These women helped save my life and keep me focused. I had the awesome privilege of speaking with Ms. T just last week. I still keep in touch with her as much as I can. She really encouraged me and helped me see my gift. She always entered me in competitions against other schools in the area. I always won! Not bragging, I’m just saying. Mrs. Edington passed away in 2005. She was a Diva of Divas! Both of these women are extremely talented and beautiful.

If you wish to answer, what race would you classify yourself as?

I am proud to be classified by my own and America’s standard a Black Woman, African-American, Negro, Brown Skin…..more importantly I Am A Human! I get asked my ethnicity quite a bit by people of other races other than my own because they’re not sure about my ethnicity. I used to be quite offended, but now I proudly declare I am of African descent. Both my parents are too! However I do come from a lineage of Indian and Caucasian.

I’ve worked with you, but you’ve also shared with me your love of hair and the art of styling. How exactly did you become interested in this field?

My aunt had taken cosmetology in High School (Asheville High), and she used to take care of my sister and I. She also took great care of our hair too. She was my hero and so I knew I wanted to be like her when I grew up. She started letting me experiment on her hair when I enrolled in Cosmetology. She was the real source of my inspiration. I always thought we would go into business together once I completed my training.

Tragically she passed away at the age of 29 and my senior year of high school. Needless to say I was crushed, but I knew I had to keep going. If for no other reason, to become a success to honor all the golden seeds she had planted in me as a child. I had other dreams and aspirations beyond becoming a cosmetologist; Believe it or not I was convinced that I was going to be a singer…off in New York or Hollywood. My wake up call came when I attempted to perform at a school talent show (the sound guys had the music turned up too loud-covering my voice) needless to say I was booed off the stage. My boyfriend at the time was a great source of comfort, cheering me on and telling me to go back and try it again. I refused to suffer humiliation again. We left and cried my eyes out! This crushed me because I really did have an awesome voice. I performed all the time, but what I realized is that I could not handle the pressure of performing in that capacity. That was what I call my “epiphany moment”, if I couldn’t sing loud-my hands sure could. My talent would shine through my client’s hair! And I’ve been singing with my hands for over 20 years now. By the way, my clients get a FREE concert every time they come in! (laughs) Sacia you know I still love to sing!

Who all have been your greatest inspirations?

I’ve been blessed with several. I’ll try to cut the list down.

Now you’ve got me all teary eyed! First I would have to say my Grandmother. She reared seven children on her own (grandfather left her for someone else after 24 years of marriage). After that she reared five grandchildren (myself included). With no high school diploma my Granny was able to turn stone to bread and brick into straw. She went back to school and became a nurse. She also became a brick mason. Wow! This woman was absolutely amazing. She bought a three-story home to raise us in. Worked third shift as a nurse and came home EVERY morning and cooked us breakfast from scratch, and dinner from scratch after school EVERYDAY! She took us to church, played the piano (taught us how to play too), taught us how to Pray, read, write, count and save money. Her wisdom was amazing. To this day I stand in awe of her strength. I am her! Wouldn’t you agree? ….. (laughs)

Next would be my Aunty who helped raise me. She was a single mom with three children and she still managed to help my granny raise my sister and I. She was very young herself. She grew up fast after becoming a mom at 15 years old. Yet she persevered and graduated from high school. She also became a nurse. As I mentioned previously she passed away early.

Deborah Johnson was my mentor when I started working in a salon. She gave me my first job as her assistant in her salon- New Images. She took me under her wing and taught me so much. She was also like an aunt. She loved me and helped me heal from losing my aunt. I embody who she was a professional. Through her I learned the importance of customer service and satisfaction as well as being a good listener. Deborah always had a smile and a word of encouragement for everyone! We were very close…She also passed away at the age of 36. This was another crushing blow. But I took the tools she gave me and I’ve used them to help me become a better professional, person and stylist.

My sister was also my inspiration. Sherry had to be mom when our mom wasn’t able to. She was my right arm, my prayer partner and my shoulder. She would always say “I’m so proud of you!” I felt like I had a personal cheerleader through her. She bought me my very first prom dress and paid for my junior prom. (…tears. Pause……) She showed me that I could excel and succeed no matter what we were going through growing up. She pushed me into the next level. She also passed away in 2005 at the age of 36 in a car accident. Leaving behind a daughter who is also my inspiration and one of my reasons why I have to succeed and keep pushing.

My late Pastor Elder Smith and his beloved late wife Missionary Beverly Wells Smith both died very young. He was 54 passing only two and a half years ago, she was 46 (passed away 12 years ago). They helped me overcome childhood abuse, rejection and overcoming being an abused wife. They helped me see the beauty in myself and taught me how to stir up the gifts within me.

Oh my the list could go on! Lastly, my inspiration is YOU and all the young ladies and gentlemen coming up behind me. You guys Christian, Simeon, Nyah, Micahela, Gracie, Aubry, Dee Dee, Doug, Deonna, Tiera, Ariel, Siera, Corie, Marquise, Dustin, Karell and so many more of you, inspire me more than I can ever tell you. I want to see you guys excel and be successful. You guys are our future, and one day we will be dependent on you. As I’ve always told you “Sacia in all you do, have a spirit of excellence!” “Do all you do as unto the Lord” and “Only what you for Christ will last!” I’m sure you remember our “Power Talks”. By the way,I miss having those with you. Nevertheless You guys help create that inspiration in me, because you are my babies!

What has been your hardest point in your career?

The recession was the hardest part of my career. I am still trying to recover. Several clients had to make the decision to stop receiving hair care services because many of them lost their jobs. My family and I were not exempt, my husband lost his job too. It was truly a test of faith. But, I have trusted God through it! He’s never failed me yet! I had days where the salon was like a ghost town. I would walk through and pray through. Some days I wondered if the doors would stay open. Yet, we’re still here. As a matter of fact we have a new stylist! Andrea Greenwood, we’ve been friends since middle school. So you see, God is up to something.

Who has helped you get through your career so far?

The Lord through my family and my beautiful clients have helped me get through. Without any if these people there would be no me or Salon Roche’.

Where are you trying to take your career in the next 5-10 years? What has been the highlight of your career so far?

My vision for the next five years is to start and educational program for new stylists, giving them the skills and tools they need to build a strong foundation. I also have plans to start a Day of Beauty for abused women and girls. To better help them learn to take care of themselves and to show them the beauty God has placed inside of them. Basically I plan on helping to restore what was lost due to abuse. As a survivor I believe it’s my responsibility to give back. Lastly but not least, expansion for Salon Roche’…..Can’t go into detail here but look out Asheville and beyond, Here We Come!

What is your favorite thing about your career? What is your favorite or most creative hair “tip or trick” you know/love to do?

My favorite thing is being able to encourage every woman who sits in my salon! As women we tend to be hard on ourselves and one another. Every woman or person for that matter has a story or an issue. It’s not necessarily our job to judge but to encourage and lift up instead. I may not agree with you or what you do but one thing for sure I’m not going to tear you down. I will be the one to lift you up. I love to do that! Growing up as a child who was abused and having survived and abusive marriage, God has turned my pain to power, my struggle to strength and misery to ministry, so see I have no choice but to build others up. I may not have a pulpit or Reverend behind my name, but I have the ministry of encouragement!

This may seem simple or not so profound to some, but I believe in trimming the hair every four weeks, this is a tip, creative or favorite which ever you deem it to be because the secret is that hair grows about half an inch each month. The ends of your hair are the oldest parts of your hair, so they have been exposed to so much more than the hair closer to the scalp, so in pruning or purging you allow the hair to flourish by process of elimination. Some might say hairstylists are “Scissor Happy” but there is a method to the madness. Trust me it really works!

What was the journey like going from cosmetology student, to now business entrepreneur/ business woman, maintaining a down to earth demeanor, and keeping up day-to-day responsibilities as “mom” and wife?

You’re right it was a journey! Moving from one phase to the next has been scary because of the uncertainty that exists the what ifs-the fear of failure. I was semi-prepared for ownership because of my internship with Deborah and my ten years at J.C. & Company. I had a lot of responsibility, so I was able to learn the ins and outs. I have to say that experience is the best teacher. This has been a hand’s on learning experience. I’m still learning, and I always will be. One can never know all there is to know. Life is about learning. You should never be closed to allowing yourself to learn even if it’s at the expense of failure. Failure always gives you another opportunity to try again.

Sometime it’s hard to balance wearing so many hats but it’s what I do. I give out some days and have to recharge by getting that “Me Time”. Thank God for a patient and understanding husband and a patient four-year old. Being in this industry is hard work contrary to some beliefs. I believe when you’re the owner you’re supposed to work just as hard if not harder than anyone else. Because you understand that this is your business and no one cares about it like you do. My husband and baby know that at the end of the day that “Mommy” is coming home to them and that most of my sacrifice for our family.

Do you think that it’s important to talk about the passions and skills of just “everyday people” in our community during black history month just as much as those of Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and why?

Yes I do. It’s just as important to highlight or make mention of regular everyday people because just about everyone needs a little recognition from time to time. Especially when you’re working hard to live up to the dream of Dr. King and all the forerunners who set the tone and pace for us. It’s also important because our children need to see that there are people who work hard every day to make ends meet. Everyday people are heroes too. With all the negative media profiling blacks, it would be beneficial to provide some kind of forum in cities and towns recognizing the men and women who are working hard, taking care of their children, parents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews’ what have you. Don’t know if this will ever happen but it’s a good place to start. What you’re doing is commendable Sacia! I’m sure you’ve made someone’s day just by considering them important enough to do a feature on them. I know I feel special.

Would you agree in saying, it doesn’t take an “extraordinary person” to have a passion for something that could be life changing? For instance, you’re a successful cosmetologist, who owns her own salon in Asheville, N.C., but you could one day inspire someone else to carry out their own career in cosmetology. How would that make you feel?

Actually I’ve had the privilege of training one young lady in the area, who has excelled and exceeded me! I’m laughing. This young lady is doing awesome things in the city of Asheville. Ms. Stefanie Williams is my very first assistant. She owns her own successful salon in the area and I am Godly proud of her. I have also trained others…Ms. Andrea Greenwood and Ms. Aeriel Austin work for/with me, so they’re both in training, in specific Ms. Greenwood-Hamilton. I love teaching and giving back so I welcome any opportunity I’m given to plant seeds and reach out. We often heard the phrase growing up “reach one- teach one”. That’s one of my philosophies that I cling too.

What advice would you give to young students who are still developing their own passion for cosmetology?

Be consistent and persistent! Always have a spirit of excellence! Without these key ingredients you cannot make it. This industry can chew you up and spit you out. So you must develop the characteristics if you don’t have them in order to survive.

What advice would you give to young students who feel like they don’t have the resources to take up a career in cosmetology?

Reach out! Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you know of who are in the industry. It’s important to link up with those who are where you’re trying to go. You may be able to get the help you need!

As you can see, this is an amazing lady with a tremendous amount of passion for not only the work she does daily, but her friends, family, and of course the Lord. Anybody who ever is in the Asheville, NC area should really visit the beautiful and quaint Salon Roche’. You will not only find a sassy hair-do, you’ll be lifted and encouraged as well. You might even get to hear some Maxwell (Auntie Danielle’s favorite!). It was my honor to interview you, Auntie Danielle. I wish you luck and blessings on all your future endeavors!

To contact Danielle:

Salon Roche’ 1085 Tunnel Road Suite 2B

Asheville, NC 28806

828.298.4503

Salonroche.com

Myprivatesap.soulpurpose.net

Salon Roche’ on FB

Introducing- D. “Party King” Grayson

8 Feb

Known as “Party King,” D. Grayson, from Wilmington, Delaware, is a man on a mission. While throwing events may be his calling, it is clear to see through this interview that he also loves his family, friends, and most importantly has a relationship with God. He has two sons, and is now running Empire Events, Inc. I thought interviewing Grayson would be a cool switch up from some of the other interviews we’ve done and I was right. He’s well spoken, and articulate. He also has a strong message to send out to the youth today, including find a dream, and stick with it.

It was a great honor to be able to interview Grayson, I think you all will really enjoy this interview!

Give us a little bit of background about yourself. Where did you grow up, education, etc.?

MY NAME IS D. GRAYSON, IM THE C.E.O. AND FOUNDER OF EMPIRE EVENTS INC. WHICH IS A DELAWARE BASED PROMOTIONS AND EVENT PLANNING COMPANY. I AM 29 YEARS OLD WITH 2 CHILDREN :CAMERON (3 YEARS) AND MAKAI (5 MONTHS) GRAYSON. I GREW UP ON THE WESTSIDE OF WILMINGTON, DE. WHICH IS ONE OF THE ROUGHEST AREA’S IN THIS CITY. I GRADUATED FROM CHRISTIANA IN 1999 AND WENT TO PA CULINARY INSTITUTE IN PITTSBURGH,PA WHERE I LEFT BEFORE RECEIVING MY DEGREE IN CULINARY ARTS AND RETURED TO DELAWARE IN THE SUMMER OF 2000

If you wish to answer, what race would you classify yourself as?

AFRICAN AMERICAN

You’re into the nightlife in Delaware, and I know you didn’t get the nickname of “Party King” for nothing, so what got you into this career of event planning?

I HAVE BEEN PROMOTING EVENTS FOR THE PAST DECADE IN CITIES SUCH AS PHILADELPHIA, PA, BALTIMORE, MD, AND WILMINGTON, DE. MY COMPANY HAS BEEN BASED IN WILMINGTON, DELAWARE FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS. I GOT STARTED IN 2000 WHEN MYSELF AND A GROUP OF CLOSE FRIENDS STARTED DOING SECURITY AT LOCAL PARTIES. AT THE END OF ONE OF THE PARTIES I REALIZED THAT RISKING MY SAFETY TO KEEP A PARTY SAFE FOR OTHERS AND RECEIVING $50 A NIGHT FOR IT WASN’T WHAT I WANTED TO DO. BESIDES, I FELT LIKE I COULD THROW BETTER PARTIES THAN THE ONES I HAD BEEN WORKING AT.

THAT NIGHT ME AND MY FRIENDS FORMED THE NOW DEFUNCT, BLOOD BROTHERS ENTERTAINMENT AND BEGAN DOING HUGE FIRE HALL PARTIES IN THE AREA. OVER THE NEXT 2 YEARS THE BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP STARTED TAKING A TOLL ON LONGTIME PERSONAL FRIENDSHIPS SO WE ALL AGREED TO SPLIT ALL THE BUSINESS SAVINGS 4 WAYS AND ALL GO OUR SEPARATE WAYS BUSINESS WISE. I CONTINUED TO PROMOTE AND GROW AND ESTABLISH MYSELF AS ONE OF THE YOUNG UP AND COMING PROMOTERS IN DELAWARE UNDER MY NEW COMPANY (EMPIRE EVENTS INC). IN 2005 A CLOSE FRIEND DEEMED ME “THE PARTY KING” AFTER A COUPLE BIG EVENTS THAT YEAR. IT WAS LIKE I HAD FINALLY ARRIVED LOL. 6 YEARS LATER AND HUNDREDS OF PARTIES AND EVENTS LATER I STILL HOLD THE TITLE “PARTY KING” AND I AM STILL STRIVING TO REACH NEW LEVELS OF SUCCESS.

Who all have been your greatest inspirations?

MY LATE GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDFATHER JOANNE GRAYSON AND WILLIS L. GRAYSON. THEY INSTILLED IN ME THE MORALS AND VALUES THAT HAVE GOTTEN ME THIS FAR IN LIFE. VALUES SUCH AS SPIRITUALITY, FAMILY, LOYALTY, KINDNESS, AND HAVING LOVING AND CARING NATURE.

What has been your hardest point in your career?

I THINK THERE HAS BEEN NUMEROUS HARD POINTS IN MY CAREER. IN THE BEGINNING I HAD TO WORK LONG HOURS AND PUSH MYSELF TO THE LIMIT TO GAIN RESPECT AND BUILD RELATIONSHIPS IN MY FIELD. I ALSO DIDN’T HAVE A MENTOR SO I LEARNED LESSONS FROM THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS WHICH CAN SOMETIMES BE EMOTIONALLY, PHYSICALLY, AND FINANCIALLY HAZARDOUS. ONCE I REACHED A CERTAIN LEVEL OF RESPECT AND CREDIBILITY, IT WAS EVEN HARDER BECAUSE NOW I HAVE TO MAINTAIN A CERTAIN LEVEL OF QUALITY AND CONSISTENCY WITH EVERYTHING I DO

Who has helped you get through your career so far?

GOD HAS HELPED ME THE MOST. ALONG THE WAY THERE HAS BEEN COUNTLESS PEOPLE I HAVE CROSSED PATHS WITH BUT A COUPLE REALLY MADE A MARK ON MY LIFE AND CAREER. MY OLDEST SONS MOTHER ANIKA WATSON, MY CURRENT GIRLFRIEND AND MOTHER OF MY YOUNGEST SON NATASHA ROYAL, CLOSE FRIEND ODAI MORGAN AKA DJ MEGA SKILLS, SAMUEL VAUGHN THE OWNER OF SAM’S MUSIC CONNECTION IN BEAR DE (FORMER BUSINESS PARTNER AND CLOSE FRIEND. JAMAR TAYLOR AND NEWDY FELTON 2 PROMOTERS AND CLOSE FRIENDS OF MINE, AND SHORTY WRIGHT A WORLD CLASS PHOTOGRAPHER AND CLOSE FAMILY FRIEND WHO HAS 30 YEARS IN THE NIGHTLIFE INDUSTRY. WITHOUT THE HELP AND SUPPORT OF THESE PEOPLE I DON’T THINK I WOULD HAVE EVER REACHED THE LEVEL OF SUCCESS GOD HAS BLESSED ME WITH.

Where are you trying to take your career in the next 5-10 years? What has been the highlight of your career so far?

IM TRYING TO MAKE EMPIRE EVENTS INC THE PREMIER NIGHTLIFE & ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY IN THE ENTIRE TRI-STATE POSSIBLY THE ENTIRE NORTHEAST. THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY CAREER IS EVERYDAY WHEN I WAKE UP AND I SEE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING ME SINCE THEY WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL WHO ARE NOW IN THERE MID AND LATE 20’S GET JUST AS EXCITED ABOUT THE EVENTS I HAVE COMING UP AS THEY DID WHEN THEY WERE JUST KIDS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DO ON THE WEEKEND.

What is your favorite thing about your career? Have you had any experiences or a single experience that makes you think “man, I love my job”?

I LOVE INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE. I LOVE THAT ON ANY GIVEN DAY I CAN RECEIVE A CALL FROM ALMOST ANYBODY ABOUT A BUSINESS VENTURE OR EVENT. I HAVE ALSO MET NUMEROUS ATHLETES AND CELEBRITIES, AND GENUINELY GOOD PEOPLE THROUGHOUT MY CAREER.

What has the journey been like and continuing to be as a promoter a planner for these events?

ITS BEEN A HARD AND LONG JOURNEY. LONG HOURS, SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, STRESS, CRITICISM, LOSING FRIENDS, MAKING ENEMIES, LOSING MONEY, AND TRYING TO MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE IN A INDUSTRY THAT HAS DEFINITELY SEEN ITS BETTER DAYS. PEOPLE ONLY SEE THE UPSIDE TO THIS INDUSTRY BUT THERE IS DEFINITELY A LOT OF DOWNSIDES BUT WITH THAT SAID…..THE HARDER THE JOURNEY, THE GREATER THE REWARD AND I WOULDN’T TRADE MY JOB FOR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD

You’ve told me that your also a father, how do you balance the entertainment life with your family life?

ITS HARD, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE AROUND YOU, IT MAKES IT EASIER TO HANDLE. MY GIRLFRIEND DEFINITELY SUPPORTS ME AND UNDERSTANDS WHEN I HAVE MY BUSIER DAYS OR WHEN I CANT BE HOME AS MUCH OR WHEN IM GONE ON THE WEEKEND. THE KIDS ARE YOUNG AND THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND AS MUCH, BUT I TRY TO MAKE AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE AND I AM WORKING ON BEING A BETTER FATHER EVERYDAY.

Do you think that it’s important to talk about the passions and skills of just “everyday people” in our community during black history month just as much as those of Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and why?

YES I DO. IT SHOWS THAT THE LESSONS AND HARD WORK THAT MLK, ROSA PARKS, AND OTHERS TOUGHT STILL INFLUENCE US EVEN GENERATIONS LATER. MLK’S COME ALONG ONCE IN A LIFETIME. HE WAS AN AMAZING MAN AND HIS CONTRIBUTIONS WILL REMAIN TIMELESS AND PRICELESS TO THE HUMAN RACE BUT EVERYDAY PEOPLE PLAY A HUGE ROLL IN THE WAY THE WORLD CHANGES AND GROWS AND THOSE PEOPLE WILL BE THE INSPIRATION FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.

Would you agree in saying, it doesn’t take an “extraordinary person” to have a passion for something that could be life changing? For instance, you’re a promoter/event planner, and you have the skill of bringing people together to an amazing event, but it probably just started off as something to do on the side. If someone said they wanted to follow in your path, what kind of impact would that have on you?

I HAVE HEARD THAT FROM A NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE. IT’S A GREAT FEELING. ITS HUMBLING. IT MAKES ME CHOSE MY WORDS AND ACTIONS A LOT DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY IMPACTED AND INFLUENCED BY WHAT I SAY AND DO. ITS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO SHOW THE YOUNG KIDS THAT WANNA BE PROMOTERS AND EVENT PLANNERS THE CORRECT WAY TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS AND GIVE THEM LIFE LESSONS THAT I WISH I WOULD HAVE HAD WHEN I WAS 19 BREAKING INTO THE BUSINESS. OUR DUTY AS A SOCIETY IS TO TEACH AND SHARE INFORMATION THAT WILL HELP THE NEXT GENERATION

What advice would you give to young people who are considering a career in this field?

STAY FOCUSED, STAY HUMBLE, BE IN-TUNE TO WHATS GOING ON IN THE BUSINESS AND THE COMMUNITY, DON’T PLAN ON SLEEPING AND STEAL WITH YOUR EYES…..MEANING LOOK AROUND AT THE TRENDS, IDEAS, AND EVENTS THAT YOUR PEERS AND PREDECESSORS USE HAVE USED AND FOLLOW THEM JUST LONG ENOUGH TO STAY RELEVANT, THEN ADD YOUR OWN CREATIVITY, FLAVOR, AND IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR OWN IMPRINT IN THIS FAST PACED CONSTANTLY CHANGING INDUSTRY.

What resources must have to get this career started?

An IDEA, A PLAN, AND DETERMINATION AND THE SKY IS THE LIMIT

What advice would you give to young people who are considering a career in this field?

STAY FOCUSED, STAY HUMBLE, BE IN-TUNE TO WHATS GOING ON IN THE BUSINESS AND THE COMMUNITY, DON’T PLAN ON SLEEPING AND STEAL WITH YOUR EYES…..MEANING LOOK AROUND AT THE TRENDS, IDEAS, AND EVENTS THAT YOUR PEERS AND PREDECESSORS USE HAVE USED AND FOLLOW THEM JUST LONG ENOUGH TO STAY RELEVANT, THEN ADD YOUR OWN CREATIVITY, FLAVOR, AND IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR OWN IMPRINT IN THIS FAST PACED CONSTANTLY CHANGING INDUSTRY.

As you can see, this is a talented man, with a humble message. He’s socially aware, and more African-American men and women should take some of the advice Grayson gives in his interview. Don’t wait for you’re oppurtunity to happen, create it yourself. As you can see the reoccuring theme with all of these interviews, is these people are making their dreams come true self-handedly. That’s the message behind every interview I post. Too many of us wait for someone to hand us the key to success, when all we have to do is rise to the occasion, and attain it. Kudos to you, “Party King,” and good luck with all your future endeavours!

Check out the next post on Salon owner, who has a strong message for all young people, and also some updates on Egypt and the economy as well!

Until then,

Sacia

Super Bowl Sunday!

6 Feb

Photo courtesy of Mun2.

Well today’s the big day! Even though my team is not in this year, congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.  I’m personally going for the Steelers, just so the AFC will have that win under their belt.  It’s also safe to say I have a slight crush on Troy Polamalu (sigh).

The White House is hosting celebs, as previously posted, and other dignitaries but they take the fun out of it! No jerseys allowed? Well, Well, Well?  I got this information from Roland Martin, CNN contributor.  He was tweeting away earlier about his “Superbowl Rules.”  Here’s a few I found funny:

@rolandsmartin I have a Bose system.  If u choose to question every play call, i’m turning it on full blast & bust yo ear drums! #rolandssuperbowlpartyrules

@rolandsmartin Today is about the Super Bowl.  Not Glee.  Don’t watch Glee.  Don’t give a damn about Glee. #rolandssuperbowlpartyrules

@rolandsmartin If u don’t like football, DO NOT bring your hatin’ ass to the SB party! I’m not listening to your BS today! #rolandssuperbowlpartyrules

Hahaha, these are hilarious.  He also threw in some about whiny wives and ADD kids, but in order to not offend anyone I left those out (; 

I’ll be posting two interviews today! So make sure to look out for those after the Super Bowl festivities end!  Have a good day, and may the best team win!

Sacia

A new look on extreme!

3 Feb

Devin Pointe, pictured here, lives in Charlotte, NC and loves all things skateboarding

 

Extreme sports are not prevalent in the black community, and it’s really unheard of.  So when I thought of doing these interview installments Devin Montreal Pointe was one of the first people to come to mind because he posses a skill that most African-Americans don’t embrace. 

Pointe, from Middleton,  loves to skateboard, and will openly admit it.  For years and years skateboarding has been plagued as a “white people sport,” and as politically incorrect as that may be, Devin is another reason why these interviews are serving justice this month!  He is living proof that it’s okay to do things outside of the norm, no matter what people may thing about you, especially when they are more positive than other things you could be into.  The culture of skateboarding has always been a mystery to some African-Americans, because it’s not a part of our culture, however it is making its way into our culture, and it’s time that we embrace it as such.  That being said, Devin’s interview sheds light into his passion for skateboarding , and after reading this you’ll see why it holds such a special place in his heart, and maybe it will inspire some of you to go out and try a few tricks your self!

  1. Give us a little bit of background about yourself.  Where did you grow up, education, etc.?

Well I was born in Middletown, Ohio, and lived there for six years, and then I moved to Charlotte with my grandma, and I’ve been here ever since. I went to four different elementary schools, including a German school, so I know some German, and I graduated from Independence high.

 

2. So since I’ve known you, you’ve always been into skateboarding.  I commend you on doing something outside of the usual.  What got you interested in skateboarding?(good detail here)

Thanks! I really have been into skateboarding since I was young. I never really got into it though, since I was into other sports, and plus when I was like six, I chipped my tooth on my uncles skateboard and my mom didn’t want me to skate for a while (laughs). The reason I’m probably interested in this sport is because it takes dedication, creativity, and a little bit of style, not necessarily fashion wise, just a “self” kind-of style.

 3. Who all have been your greatest inspirations in the skateboarding world?

Chaz Ortiz, Lizard King, Chris Cole and Mike V have been big to me.  They all have different skate styles but it is all dope to me. Lizard King especially, just because he makes things happen nobody else thinks of.

 

4.  What has been your hardest point in your skateboarding passion so far, if any?

Just keeping up with it, sometimes I get busy and don’t do it for a couple of weeks and that’s where I mess up

5. What are your favorite tricks to do? Is there any kind of release emotionally to skating?

I’m trying to get this trick called a “day dream flip” [varial heel double flip] down.  There is some release to skating, that’s the creative aspect to it.  You make it your own, you can tell a story.

6.  Have there been any accomplishments or highlights in your years of skateboarding so far

Just getting everything done.  I started off slow, and had a big burst of productivity. Now I’m in the process of getting all my skills back since I stopped for a while.  It’s a process but I love it.

7.  What is your favorite thing about skateboarding? Is it the culture? The boards? The people? What really grabbed your attention?

I love everything about skateboarding.  The people I’ve met, the places you see skating and finding new spots. The style I got from just hanging around fellow skaters.  It’s just a great thing all together.

8.   When you first started skateboarding did school or skateboarding take up more time?

 Well it was 50/50, and then school killed it for a minute. Now it’s back on skateboarding, which I love.

9.  Do you think that it’s important to talk about the passions and skills of just “everyday people” in our community during black history month just as much as those of Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and why?

Definitely!  Black history month to me is a way to show progression as a race in America, and talents and passions qualify to me as progression, as long as it’s getting us positive recognition.

10.  Would you agree in saying, it doesn’t take an “extraordinary person” to have a passion for something that could be life changing?  For instance, you’re a skateboarder, but your also just a regular kid.  What impact would it make on you if a kid told you he wanted to take up skateboarding just because of you?

I agree because honestly anybody can change a life, and if some kid wanted to skate because of me I would  feel honored but I would tell him: be your own person, pick your own style, never let somebody change you, but take advice when necessary.

11.  What advice would you give to young people who get frustrated easily with skateboarding because maybe they can’t land their stunts right or maybe their balance is off, or whatever kind of problems you “borders” have ?

“Keep ya heard up bro!” Just practice, because honestly it won’t make perfect, but it will get you that trick. As Bruce Lee said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” I’m not saying’ you should practice that flip 10,000 times but….you get the point. (laughs)

With a final laugh, Devin says, “All I have is my skateboard, hands, and feet!”  With that, Devin has found a love for something great that’s a release for him, and has created an amazing concept of the world in his eyes.  He is actively pursuing a career in photography, which he is highly interested in.  He tells me he has high hopes of moving to California within year.  Pointe loves to shoot city scenes, so he loves to spend time uptown admiring the views.  He’s a lover of art, and very intuitive.  Pointe is making his own history in the world, and for this we commend you!  Good luck on all your future endeavours, Devin!

“I consider skateboarding an art form, a lifestyle and a sport.”
Tony Hawk

 

 

Feel free to follow Devin on Twitter @DukeShellington!

J.Lo and Marc Anthony headed to the White House!

3 Feb

Photo Courtesy of Dyfuse-- Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony

Every year for the Super Bowl, Presidents invite a wide variety of guests, ranging from celebrities to family and friends, political figures alike. This year, Jennifer Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony were invited to the White House celebration, this coming Sunday. Lopez, who is a judge on American Idol this season (replacing Paula Abdul), told Extra in an interview on Wednesday that “she can’t believe it.”

“I don’t know, maybe that’s why I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t even feel like it’s real,” Lopez said.

I’m sure she’ll have much more to say on Monday after the Super Bowl, and I’ll be here to let you know (; ! Until Then!

Sacia

Egypt’s prime minister apologizes for violent attacks!

3 Feb

 

(Courtesy of USC) Protests continue to grow in Egypt

So, this is straight out of Cairo, Egypt.  The prime minister apologized today for the violent acts that took place yesterday on protesters.

“This is a fatal error, and when investigations reveal who is behind this crime and who allowed it to happen, I promise they will be held accountable and will be punished for what they did,” Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said on state-owned TV. (CNN)

Now, as I mentioned earlier that the military has had to step in to assist with these protests, but let me bring you up to date, on what’s been going on.

Basically, the simplest way to explain it from where we left of, Mubarak said that he would have a political reform, and step down from office, but not until re-election time, which would be in September.  Well, this did not appease protesters too well, and that being said, they formed an even larger protest in Cairo’s Tahrir Square,  and it resulted in death for five people, and 836 injuries (CNN). However, due to the lack of communication and disconnect Egypt is experiencing, it is hard to verify those exact casualties at this time, but they could range as HIGH as 300. The source of the attacks have not been exactly identified.  It is being reported that Egyptian military entered the square with tank squads, but did not intervene.  

The next 24-48 hours are extremely critical to Egypt.  President Obama also stressed this yesterday.  This is beginning to place an extreme holt on the Egyptian economy, and that’s not ever good. Schools and basic functions of government aren’t running, as well as banks, down to simple markets, so now people are desperate for food.

A lot of you have also been asking me, “Why won’t the U.S. step in and help? Why won’t Pres. Obama do anything to help?”  Well, the easiest way to break it down for you is this, the world revolves around money and allies.  We are finally on “okay” terms with the middle east, particularly Iran and Saudi Arabia, and they are watching every single word we say to Egypt quite carefully because Egypt and the middle east are not exactly on great terms.  Egypt and Iran have conflicting views on the Nuclear Program, which has often caused friction in their foreign relations since 1978.  Peace has relied HEAVILY on the stability of the Egyptian government. If the White House issues a statement saying that they support President Mubarak, they risk getting slack th

at our interests are in defending the middle east.  If they issue a statement saying they support protestors, that means they are defending democracy (not a bad thing, considering that’s the principle we were founded under, that’s for another blog).  But by defending the protesters, there’s several different scenarios that could exit out of that…

The fear is that what if the president backs the protesters and then Mubarak leaves, only to be replaced by a new Muslim extremist group.  Now we’re talking HUGE problems.  Now we’re talking a full chapter in history books about how Egypt was lost in the matter of diplomacy.  If he backs the protesters, and Mubarak survices, he shows that he can’t handle democratic movements/foreign policy well, and that will hurt his campaign.  President Obama is truly stuck in a hard spot right now.  This is his biggest foreign policy issue he’s ever had to deal with to date, and he needs the best help he can get right now to make an accurate decision. 

We’ll just have to see how it plays out, and it will play out, sooner than we think.  Let’s just hope everyone makes a solid decision that’s in the best interest for all people.  Until then.

Sacia