Tag Archives: YouTube

Pop Life

Everyone wants to be a celebrity. Unfortunately, many people are willing to do any and everything to get to that goal, except working hard for it. These same people often mistaken being famous for being popular and don’t understand the responsibility that comes with being a household name. They want the flash, bang and pop of celebrity status, but fail to recognize the sacrifices that are required and the expectations that people have. Most of the celebrities that exist, didn’t initially set out to become famous. Hard work and talent mixed with decisions, situations and opportunities resulted in the outcome of celebrity status. Many of them even regret being famous because they have lost their privacy, some relationships and have been under a microscope the entire time.

Being a celebrity was once a result of talent. Now it’s a result of over exposure and nudity, with a dash of who you’re sleeping with. It’s getting to be ridiculous. And it’s happening more and more. With all the reality television shows featuring women with no particular talent at the helm, earning million dollar checks because of the man they are connected to, being a celebrity is no longer what it once was. Being a celebrity has become too easy. Everyone is doing it…or trying to. From minor children posting videos of themselves fighting on YouTube and WorldStarHipHop.com, to adults fighting and bullying each other like children on television – everyone wants face time with lights, cameras and action. But no one wants to raise the bar, be accountable for their behavior and actions, or set a real, positive example for someone else to look up to. 

In entertainment, lately everyone wants to be the most popular kid in school, because it’s easier than being the kid who gets straight As. There are lots of women (in particular) taking their clothes off for money, bent over and spread eagle in an effort to become famous. There are many men who think their good looks don’t require that they have any skills and their goal is to become a 40 year old rapper. What happended to becoming educated, starting a business or becoming an inventor? Remember the most popular kid at your school? Where are they now? Remember the kid who got straight As? Where are they now? I bet if I did a poll of all the popular kids in school compared to all of the hard-working kids in school, the kids who worked hard and got good grades (even if they weren’t straight A students), probably have had the most longevity and success in their lives and careers. I’d bet money that the ratio would be staggering. The same holds true in the world of entertainment. Longevity requires hard work.  

Hard work trumps doing things the easy way any day. Everyone I know in entertainment has paid their dues. They studied under someone more experienced when they began, they practice their craft in between performances, they are constantly seeking to learn new things and about new developments in their field, they have a mentor in the industry, and most importantly, they don’t take any of it for granted. They have longevity, many awards and accolades, but are still humble. They are humble because they know what the fly-by-night-I-wanna-be-famous-because-I-don’t-have-anything-better-to-do-celebrity seekers don’t know.

Hard work pays off and lasts longer than anything else.

Reality television stars come and go. Tabloid talk shows are more about getting ratings for the show to remain on air. Very few people who are on these shows today will be around twenty years from now and still have us talking about them. The most many of them can hope for is to be featured on a “Where Are They Now” or “One Hit Wonder” thirty minute documentary on cable five to ten years from now. The desire to become a celebrity causes many people to resort to doing almost anything because they have stars in their eyes. Often people overlook the business side of the entertainment business. They jump in head first to accept the first offer that comes their way, completely clueless to how things actually work in the entertainment business. They have convinced themselves that how good they look is the deciding factor across the industry so they don’t work  to enhance their talent or skills. This opens up the door for opportunists and predators to walk right in.  

I’m going to use the following true story as an example of an attempt by a predator:

Recently a man, who has apparently been ogling over me online, sent me several messages telling me how beautiful he thinks I am. Each time, I either didn’t reply or I said ‘thank you’ and kept it moving. A compliment is just a compliment to me. A man giving me a compliment will never get more than a ‘thank you’ from me. Hearing “you’re so beautiful“, NEVER leads to an invitation to my bedroom because I hear it all the time. The next time I received a message from this man, he asked me to video chat with him. I told him ‘no‘ [sidenote: I don’t know him from a can of paint and he was begging. Begging is a very unattractive quality in a man to me, and it is a signal that a man is obsessive and even a potential stalker. I’m always leery of men who beg to see me and meet me. It’s creepy]. Then he escalated from asking me to video chat with him to asking me to make pornography with him. I’m so serious right now. Common sense would dictate that if I wouldn’t want to video chat with him, I also wouldn’t want to have sex with him or make pornography with him either. Alas, common sense is not common. 

At this point I know that this is his “line“.  Again, I told him ‘no‘ and went back to what I was doing, thinking he would give up. I was wrong. His next message said “I can make you a star. If you want to be a star I can pay you $10,000 and even get you in Playboy. You have the best body“. I fell out laughing at this point. Obviously, this idiot uses this fuckery yes, I said fuckery – on women regularly. He has no idea who I am, what I do and his only interest is in what I look like for the sake of his personal pleasure. He thinks that because I’m an attractive woman, that I’m desperate for his attention (or anyone’s) and that I need him to make me a star. I told him, “I’m already a star and you can’t do anything for me“. Then I used my blocking software to make sure he couldn’t contact me again.

Now, maybe this man’s “line” works on women without any self-esteem, who believe it necessary to objectify themselves at the request of a man in order to become “stars“, but I don’t allow anyone to pimp me, but ME. Anything using my image will be controlled by me. I don’t care who he claims he is, or what he claims he can do. I don’t care if he was President Obama, Hugh Hefner or Calvin Johnson. Ten thousand dollars is not enough money for me to sell out, lower my standards or objectify myself at the hands of any man. That’s the devil all day. Particularly when I know that my talents will make me a millionaire one day. Plus, let’s be honest, if he had the money or the connection, he would’ve approached me in a more professional and official capacity than sending me a message like that. He was just a creepy pervert looking for a woman to victimize. Unfortunately, the next woman he tries that “line” on, might actually fall for it and put herself in a compromising position to become a “star” because it’s easier than working towards it the right way. How do I know this to be true? I see it everyday. 

That’s why I decided to facilitate the Social Networking Etiquette and Safety Workshop at the I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference on August 18, 2012 at H.Y.P.E. So that I could use some of my own experiences to teach women how to handle and avoid these types of situations. And encourage them to turn towards their talents, versus their physical appearance and who their man is as the only way to succeed in this world. My workshop won’t be just for the 11 to 18 years olds either. A lot of the women falling for the okey doke are grown women also. Being the next stripper turned basketball baby mama should not be a career goal of any woman. Being a forty-year old drug dealer turned rapper should not be a career goal of any man. If that is all a person has to aspire to in life, they need to reassess and refocus their life quickly or they will wake up and have wasted a lot of time and energy desperately seeking fame the easy way with minimal positive results. There’s more to life than being famous. God-given talents should be used productively and everyone has one. How you choose to use yours can make a difference in the quality of your life and those around you.  

Prince wrote “Pop Life” years ago, about the desires and disappointments that people feel when they seek fame and fortune the easy way, and the chorus alone still rings true today. 

Everybody needs a thrill
Pop life
We all got a space 2 fill
Pop life
Everybody can’t be on top
But life it aint real funky
Unless it’s got that pop

~ Becoming instantly famous has become the new hustle for those without talent. Many of whom are hustling backwards.  – Super Woman

 

Are We There Yet?

To answer my own question…not yet. This is an unknown journey that I’m on. Many of my mornings start as early as 4:30 am now. My alarm goes off an hour later. I’m tired a lot of days and fall asleep with my laptop or notes on my lap many nights. I awaken only to turn the television, that has been watching me while I sleep, off. Everything feels like it’s moving at the speed of light lately. My fan base is growing, which is noticeable in the amount of hits this website receives, as well as how many views I get on my YouTube Channel. I have more LinkedIn connections than I know what to do with and Twitter has introduced me to people who I didn’t even know knew I existed. I’m getting so much love and encouragement from already successful people, and even celebrities, telling me to continue pressing forward. People in the entertainment industry that I’ve been a fan of, are now apart of my support system. Just like you all are. I don’t consider you fans anymore. You’re my supporters. Fans are the people who only like my pictures, but have no idea what I do.

It’s almost the end of February 2012 and I’ve already seen my business begin to shift into a more positive, and potentially profitable, direction ∞. But I’m still not there yet. Creatively, ideas are flowing, but I lack time. There are only 24 hours in a day and eight of those I give to Corporate America daily. Unfortunately, I can’t leave Corporate America yet. Bills still need to be paid and like many other people, I require consistent income. Super Son is in college and tuition isn’t cheap. Plus, I feel God telling me it’s not the right time to leave Corporate America – yet. When He tells me differently, I’ll bolt for the door, and I won’t ever look back. That’s, after all, one of my many motivations – to develop financial security doing what I want, what I love and what I am talented in.

But I’m still not there yet. That’s the burden of an overachiever. I want, need and strive for more. Bigger, better, faster, harder, stronger, smarter…

I hired one employee this year. That’s quite an achievement for me. I hired a Personal Assistant. She’s valuable to me and I hope that I can teach her enough about business that she will have a foundation towards her future career. I don’t expect her to stay with me forever. I expect her to grow and evolve into her own dreams and career. And I’m going to try not to get on her nerves too much. I know that I can be difficult to work for because my standards are extremely high. When you’re a one woman show, there’s a lot at risk involved, therefore the standards should be high because it’s your shoulders that carry the weight.

But I’m still not there yet. I want to be in a better position to hire additional staff and provide additional opportunities, so that my business can eventually grow to become nationally recognized. Detroit is home base so I’m beginning here.   

Opportunities are coming. FAST. Some of which I have to continue to keep under wraps for a little while longer, but I promise it will be worth the wait. One opportunity I can share now is that I’ve been asked to become a permanent on air radio personality (aka Co-host) on the Kelly’s Kitchen Radio Show. If you’re not familiar with it, Kelly’s Kitchen is a internet-based radio show that I’ve been on a few times as a guest and as a host. It was started by Kelly White and Kalu Jones, here in Detroit on WHPR (Highland Park) a few years back. The show is Kelly’s dream child. I am now the First Lady on the team. If you haven’t listened to the show before now, I hope that you will become a regular. It airs every Saturday night at 9 pm EST on www.svmixradio.com. You can also listen to it on your smart phone.

But I’m still not there yet.

But this is a good start. Even though I lose a lot of sleep, I struggle with dating (which is going to make a great novel one day soon) as a result I come home to an empty house, I still have a great deal that I’m thankful for. And I appreciate all of you who take time out of your days to keep up with my crazy world.

The best part about getting there is still unknown to me now. But I’m really looking forward to finding out. I hope you will continue to lend me your support along the way.

Smooches!

 

The WRONG One

In this economy people are willing to do a lot of things they normally wouldn’t do to make ends meet. Some people look for creative ways to make money. Some people look for enterprising ways to make money. Some of those things may even be considered morally wrong. Some people even stoop to doing things that are illegal. Some people are predatory and offer “options” to people and take advantage of their need to make more money. A person’s individual boundaries are their own to live with and so are the ramifications of their choices. My boundaries are firmly set. Regardless of how much I need money, there are just certain things I’m unwilling to do. I will not rob an old lady of her social security benefits. I will not attempt a Nigerian bank scam (why do they even continue to try?) and I will not take my clothes off for men I don’t know. I have the tendency think about my future goals and aspirations and how doing certain things can deter those goals and aspirations. That allows me to keep a reasonably cool head even in the face of stupidity.

The last boundary I previously mentioned, is the subject of this blog. This week, I received a message from a man on Facebook asking me if I’d be interested in burlesque dancing with a blues shows in a downtown Detroit bar. Instantly, I was offended. I didn’t know this man from Adam. He wasn’t a Facebook friend, an acquaintance or anyone that I’d had any interaction with at all. He obviously didn’t know anything about me. I replied to him, “Nothing on my Facebook profile, or website says I’m a burlesque dancer, a stripper or exotic dance, so why would you ask me that?” That question was actually rhetorical. I already knew that he assumed I would “strip” for money because of whatever his misogynistic ideas are related to women, along with the stereotypical belief that an attractive woman  doesn’t have any brains. He also believed that women in general are willing to take our clothes off for money because times are hard. Therefore, anything he said, would definitely not surprise me.

His response was “I apologize if that sounded rude. Burlesque is classy entertainment. I thought you were affiliated with modeling or some form of entertainment”. To me that was hilarious. Here’s why. Of course asking a woman you don’t know to take her clothes off for men she doesn’t know is RUDE, I don’t care if it’s burlesque or ballet. Secondly, being ‘affiliated with modeling or some form of entertainment’ doesn’t mean getting naked for men you don’t know. We don’t all have to resort to that and many of us don’t. I told him that what I found “rude” was that for some reason he assumed that the entertainment I’m involved in relates to taking my clothes off at a bar. Obviously this small minded man thought that in order for a woman to be involved in modeling or entertainment, she must either be naked or nearly naked, in order to be considered a “model” or “entertainer”. Last I checked serious models and entertainers don’t have “I will take my clothes off in a bar” on their resume.  

I told my boyfriend about this exchange. His first response when I told him the man’s initial words to me was “Uh, oh. He picked the wrong one”. What my boyfriend knows is this; I’m not that caliber of woman and I don’t accept men saying offensive and disrespectful things to me, simply because they think they can. I don’t believe what a woman is wearing defines her character or her worth. It’s that woman’s actions that matter most. Therefore, if a woman isn’t behaving like a hooker, you can’t call her a hooker because you think she’s dressed like one. It might be Halloween or a bad fashion choice, not a profession that she’s exhibiting in her attire. The truth is, as women, it doesn’t matter what we wear or don’t. There’s always some idiot who thinks women are only good for what’s between our legs because that’s the limitation of their braincells. Yes, there are pictures of me that are sexy and sensual related to the marketing of “The Goodie Bag“, but I could have been completely covered up from head to toe in a  berka and that man would’ve still sent me the same message. Because that is what he thinks women are worth – dancing at bars without clothes for men that they don’t know.

By the way, I also told him had he done his due diligence prior to sending me that message in the first place, he would’ve discovered that I am an entrepreneur, publisher and author and the picture he was looking at was related to “The Goodie Bag” and nothing more. But that would’ve been too much like right. I think he knows I’m the wrong one. Maybe he learned his lesson. Maybe not. I do know he won’t be sending me anymore messages. After all, he wouldn’t have sent that message to Oprah and gotten away with it. There are a lot of women who would’ve been offended that probably never would’ve responded to him at all. So I spoke up for them. And there are probably some women who gleefully signed up to burlesque dance for him when he messaged them. They will probably make $250. In this economy he can’t afford to pay a woman thousands of dollars to take her clothes off. And he knows that some women don’t have the boundaries I have. That’s what makes him a predator; lurking and waiting for someone to become desperate.

Lastly, I told him he can’t afford my rates so I’ll gladly burlesque dance for my boyfriend in the privacy of our bedroom. At least I know what I’m getting into and what I’m getting out of it. I also know, it won’t deter my goals, cause me to be posted naked on YouTube or give him anything to sale to the Enquirer when I become the next Queen of All Media. That’s a boundary I can live with –  and that is priceless.

Evolution…

One definition of evolution is a pattern caused by movement. Another is the gradual development of something into a more complex or better form. There are many stages to evolution for an individual. Some people evolve slowly and consistently, others have spurts of evolution. Evolution can take place in our minds, our hearts, our bodies, our finances, our careers, and our relationships. We are ever-changing as people. How you accept and adapt to those changes make the difference in the quality of your life.

If we do not evolve, what is the alternative? What happens to people who do not evolve? We all know someone whose life is stagnant and depressing. They have been saying and doing the same negative, unproductive things for years. Some are in abusive relationships; some have addictions but do not believe in recovery or redemption. Some have extreme financial problems, or are not growing in their careers or improving their personal relationships. They have been unhappy for years. Yet, they don’t make changes in their patterns of behavior or accept changes that occur naturally that can make their lives better. They are constantly complaining about what they don’t have, but they aren’t working towards changing their circumstances. They are waiting for someone else to come along and “rescue” them from themselves. The best evolution is not a forced evolution by others, but one that is initiated by self.

Ted Williams is a recent example of this to a degree. The man has had a tremendous amount of hardship in his lifetime. However, some of it he is personally responsible for. No matter what anyone does for him at this time in his life, he has spent many years of his life not evolving. He has not been the best example of a father or husband. He also has suffered from addiction. He’s been homeless for a number of years and was “discovered” singing while panhandling on a street corner.

Prior to the World learning of Ted Williams, he worked in radio in Columbus, Ohio for a period of time. I’m sure people in and around Columbus, Ohio may remember him and have even wondered what happened to him, not realizing that they were driving past him as he stood on the street. But how much was Ted Williams working to do on his own to change his situation? Why hadn’t his family welcomed him back home if he was clean and sober? Would he still be on that street corner if Doral Chenoweth hadn’t spotted him and pulled out his Flip Cam? These are just a few questions that come to my mind. A lot of people are talented. They work very hard to get to where they want to be and never receive the types of “offers” that Ted Williams has. Why do we celebrate him, more than he celebrates himself? We love an underdog, but isn’t a young man struggling to pay for college on his own, also an underdog?

The reality is this: Until Ted Williams wants to evolve, all of the job opportunities, television interviews, accolades and compliments will not change his life for the better. He could easily regress back into his addiction (allegedly he already has) and go back to panhandling on that same street corner. We can sit in awe of his amazing voice as much as we want to. We can pray for him daily, offer him opportunities, money and support. However, until Ted Williams prays for himself, and becomes self-motivated to change his life for the better, then takes the steps necessary himself, he will soon be forgotten about and be replaced by the next “discovery”. While the young man struggling to pay for college, will graduate and become successful because of his self-determination and the World won’t even notice.