Hollywood Hair Stylist Dr. Boogie Captures The Ultimate Merger Look with Toccara and Opens New Salon “The Beauty Parlor by Boogie’s Secrets”

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Hollywood, CA – As the fabulous super model Toccara makes her debut on Season 2 of “The Ultimate Merger” on TV One, you better believe she will be bringing her “A” game. With fourteen eligible bachelors vying for her attention, a girl has got to look her absolute best. For hair that speaks volumes, there is only one doctor in town to call, and Toccara called the one and only, Dr. Boogie.

As the man known for his defining signature styles, Dr. Boogie sets the pace for a season of high fashion and fun with Toccara’s trend setting tresses. With an image best described at ‘couture pin-up’ Dr. Boogie keeps her mane fierce, fabulous and funky. Having developed Eve’s hallmark platinum short cut, creating Kimora Lee’s sexy glam look and defining Lisa Raye’s signature style, Dr. Boogie now brands Toccara with an illusion that will set a new tone in salons around the country.

The Universal Domino League and Actor Omar Gooding Present “Dominos After Dark” at Dave & Buster’s Hollywood

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Los Angeles – Starting Monday, August 31, 2015, at Dave & Buster’s Hollywood the Universal Domino League will feature it’s one of a kind professional domino league to add to the excitement of Dave & Buster’s magnificent brand. With over 200 games under their roof, the eatery and mega arcade will add one more game when the Universal Domino League (UDL) brings their “Dominos After Dark” event to the party.   Reigning UDL champion, actor Omar Gooding will stake his claim joining 64 players as they compete for a chance to take home over $3,000 in cash and prizes. The tournament begins at 7:00 p.m. and ends at 10:00 p.m. Registration starts at 6:00 p.m at the door or in advance online at www.universaldominoleague.com. Dave & Buster’s is located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood CA. Universal Domino League “Domino’s After Dark” will continue every Monday Night at Dave & Buster’s Hollywood beginning August 31, 2015.

Founded by Harold Moret, the Universal Domino League consists of over 50,000 domino players worldwide and is the first official gaming association dedicated to the game of dominoes. UDL’s “Domino’s After Dark” Domino League at Dave & Buster’s is the organization’s effort to establish a weekly home base location for domino lovers as the UDL continues to build and grow the brand. Past tournaments have included the Universal Domino League Football Classic Domino Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona, Universal Domino League LA Open Domino Tournament in Los Angeles, California, Universal Domino League Boxing Classic in Las Vegas and the Universal Domino League & The NBA Retired Players Association presented Universal Domino League’s Play with the Pro’s Event at the New York, New York Hotel & Casino.

haroldpicMoret’s vision is bigger than just a game of dominoes. A 20-year industry veteran, who worked closely alongside Dr. Dre at Aftermath Entertainment, Moret, conceptualized the league as similar to the World Boxing Association with domino opponent pre-tournament weigh-ins, championship belts and world-class domino tournaments.

Dominoes, is the first game ever invented and provides an arena where the playing field is leveled. Players can participate, regardless of gender or physical prowess and test their skills, gain recognition, and even earn a living playing professional dominos. UDL’s host tournaments and head to head high stakes domino matches for major cash and prizes nationwide.

Players use UDL scoring chips to keep score and a tournament format comparable to the World Series of Poker. The players are marketed, promoted, ranked, sanctioned, and governed by UDL. Moret also stipulated the UDL had its own official gaming mat and game clock, which insures fast-paced action, similar to the NBA’s shot-clock. In addition, Moret has created a charity facet of the league, UDL Kids, a program that helps at-risk youth and visits children’s hospitals teaching arithmetic using dominoes.

“I’m happy to see the UDL plant some roots here on Monday nights in Los Angeles,” offers Omar Gooding. “I am personally challenging any and everyone who loves dominoes and also all my celebrity friends to come out and support the Universal Domino League “Dominos After Dark” at Dave & Buster’s. “Let’s Make History!”

“We are excited to bring “Dominos After Dark” to Dave & Buster’s,” adds Moret. “With their emphasis on creating a playground environment of fun mixing food, drinks and games, they are a perfect fit for our brand and our league.”

For additional information on the Universal Domino League go to http://universaldominoleague.com/ . “Like” the UDL on Facebook at Universal Domino League.

Zakiya Hooker, Daughter of Blues Icon John Lee Hooker, Serenades “Live” and “In The Mood” With Jazzy New Music Releases and Video

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Atlanta – Blues legend John Lee Hooker is best remembered for his iconic hits, “Boom, Boom” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.” But perhaps his greatest legacy is found in the seductively supple vocal stylings of his daughter, the jazz-inflected, bluesy recording artist, Zakiya Hooker. Zakiya last showcased her brand of the remarkable Hooker inheritance with her 2009 CD release “Keeping It Real,” an unbridled presentation of sassy melodious seduction. Her return to rhythm’s landscape is now powerfully noted with her fifth and sixth releases, the consummate “In The Mood” and the outstanding performance production “Zakiya Hooker Live at the International BluesFest Eutin, Germany.”

zakiya new Front Cover.1“In the Mood” is one of Zakiya’s most diverse efforts to date. With the music actually recorded in Argentina and Zakiya’s vocals laid down in her current home state of Georgia, the project boasts eleven tracks drenched deep in the muddied Delta waters. A defining contribution establishing her own legacy as a woman who intimately dances the blues, Zakiya, like her father, displays no notion of loudly belting the genre. Poised, regal and confident, instead she just pours the blues all over you. Like warm massage oil penetrating the skin, her songs simply seep inside the pores, tingling to the core.

When she opens with “Receipt to Sang the Blues,” her ‘proof of purchase’ is a matter of fact, not notion, as her smooth vocals lusciously ride a rollicking blues train of testimony. Zakiya then simmers in a delicious serving of jazz flavored serenade on “Drowning,” a lover’s ode that gushes with tender surrender. “Look Me Up” offers up some seventies styled R&B while the title release “In the Mood,” along with “One Step,” reminiscence signature Hooker swag with amplified electric guitar over a steady, heavy blues trodden beat. The finger poppin’ “Protect Me” swings hard marrying jazz and blues with regrets and remorse. Then Zakiya seals all deals with the closing track, her beautiful, serene lullaby “Sweet Baby J,” a tribute to her son that she lost in 1991.

The video for the title track, “In the Mood” languidly lays out the blues for all to see. Romeo Wong Henderson, a native of Peru who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, directed the video via his production company, RW Estudio, traveling to the states to shoot a portion of the scenes in Zakiya’s home and neighborhood. Henderson then traveled back to Buenos Aires to finish and shoot the remaining scenes there. The resulting reel mixes southern comfort with South American heat for a visually stimulating treat.

Video for “In the Mood” Zakiya Hooker:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEvP21HP_lU

“Zakiya Hooker Live at the International BluesFest Eutin, Germany,” transports the listener overseas and right beside Zakiya onstage as she charms a live audience with her jazzy blue interpretations. Performing blues classics as well as material from her vast catalog and John Lee Hooker originals, Zakiya proves she is live and ‘not Memorex’ with a voice that is smooth as silk and steadies the course under any conditions.

Zakiya made her debut performance in 1991 with her dad, John Lee Hooker, in Oakland, CA. She has since gone on to perform and record internationally. She has performed at the world famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City as part of the Blues Series by Martin Scorsese, graced the stage of the famous Fillmore Auditorium, The San Francisco Blues Festival and The Monterey Jazz & Blues Festival and covered several magazines including Billboard Magazine. Zakiya’s voice has highlighted advertisements for Lexus and AIWA and award winning movie soundtracks. The Bay Area Blues Society, South Bay Blues Society, KCSM radio station in San Mateo, CA and the city of Oakland have honored Zakiya with numerous awards and she has received the key to the city of Oakland, CA, her former home.

Ollan & ZA native of Detroit and longtime resident of Oakland, CA, Zakiya now lives in Atlanta with her husband, producer and recording artist, Ollan Christopher aka Chris James. Ollan and Zakiya work as a wonderful musical team with him overseeing and producing all her musical ventures. Ollan’s history includes forming the 1970’s soul group, Natural Four. His group was with Curtom Records for seven years and appeared on American Bandstand, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, Wolfman Jack’s Midnight Special, Soul Train and performed at the world famous Apollo Theater. In 2003 Ollan had the honor of producing “Face To Face,” the final recording of John Lee Hooker.

“The blues is one of our last national treasures. I am happy to do my part and keep it alive and nourished. I know that’s the way my daddy would have wanted it. His music contributions continue to impact pop culture to this day, and I know he is in the studio with me every time as I continue to keep his legend alive,” offer Zakiya.

Get “In the Mood” with Zakiya at www.zakiyahooker.com .

Connect with Zakiya on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/zakiiyahooker .

Inside Ferguson Author Devin S. James Urges Leaders to Acknowledge Systemic Racism and Listen to the Voice of the Community

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inside_ferguson_cover_hires_half200Ferguson, MO – Despite angry protests and national outcry after the police killing of unarmed Michael Brown, Jr., a year ago Aug. 9, the police shootings of Black citizens and ensuing uprisings continue to occur across the country. Diversity expert and author, Devin S. James, warns the tragedies and conflict will continue until government leaders make a real commitment to cultural sensitivity training, diversity recruiting, and accountability. In his new memoir, Inside Ferguson: A Voice for the Voiceless, James offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges he experienced while working with Ferguson city officials and leaders resistant to change.

When protests turned violent after Michael Brown was killed, St. Louis County leaders called upon James to help bridge the gap between Ferguson’s all-white leadership and its outraged Black community. They thought his background made him the perfect for the task. James has firsthand experience of the ambiguity of the criminal justice system, making him a very unlikely success story. An abused child, high school drop out, victim of gun violence and former gang member, his transformation as an astute, educated communications professional speaks volumes about his intellect, character and integrity.

Inside Ferguson is James’ chilling account of the hypocrisies of Ferguson’s leadership and the consequences he suffered when he tried to do his job and dared to become a voice for the voiceless. “The mentalities displayed by leadership in Missouri demonstrate how devalued Black people are in America,” states James, whose expertise includes crisis management and community engagement. “The leaders pretend to be concerned about the issues impacting the black community however, they refuse to listen to the needs of the community or make any significant changes. Rather than acknowledge systemic racism exists and try to understand why residents were offended by their actions, the leaders often defended their actions and denied any wrongdoing,” adds the CEO of The Devin James Group.

Inside Ferguson explores the City Council’s inability to address any real issues, and the subsequent character assassination that occurred when James refused to play along and pushed for real change. The book details shocking, yet insightful, conversations based on memories, experiences, e-mails, text messages, audio recordings and transcriptions of events as they unfolded according to James.

Despite the tragedies and challenges evident during his time in Ferguson, James still remains hopeful about what can be done: “Ultimately, it’s my hope that my book can help put the focus back on what really matters: why racial inequality and discrimination is still a major crisis in America today. In the wake of Ferguson and similar tragedies occurring nationally, government officials across the country must examine the racist laws and policies that foster an environment in which the killing of Black men and women is acceptable.”

Inside Ferguson: A Voice for the Voiceless is an explosive missile of truth from a man uniquely positioned to uncover the real mechanics of damage control and race relations. The insider game he reveals is gut wrenching as he exposes the Black community as pawns in a war that rages deeper than the death of one victim. James’s account will make you question the progress America has made in the quest for racial equality and reflect upon the true meaning of “Black Lives Matter.”

Inside Ferguson: A Voice for the Voiceless will be available Friday, August 14th, 2015 at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. Please visit www.insideferguson.com and connect with Devin S. James on www.facebook.com/insideferguson, Twitter: @Devin_S_James, and Instagram: @devinsjames.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Devin James is available for interviews contact Edrea Davis edmedia at dogonvillage.com.

Former Playboy TV Producer Ken Francis III Inks “Buckwild” YouTube Deal with Fullscreen, Inc.

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Snoop Dog and producer Ken Francis III
on the set of “The Buckwild Show”
photo credit:  Joel Payne

Los Angeles – Former Playboy TV producer and CEO of BuckWild Entertainment, Ken Francis III, has signed a deal with Fullscreen, Inc., one of the largest YouTube multichannel network operators. Fullscreen Inc., will promote and monetize Francis’ YouTube channel, “The Buckwild Show,” an archive of exclusive behind-the-scene footage Francis has secured filming, interviewing and documenting the biggest names in hip hop over the past two decades, including Snoop Dogg, Run DMC, Black Eyed Peas, Pharrell, Bobby Brown, and Outkast. Francis’ channel will feature classic episodes of “The Buckwild Show” as well as his new show, “In The Lab.” The signing marks a milestone feat for Francis who was just released from federal prison less than a year ago.

An original and groundbreaking hip hop music video program, “The Buckwild Show” presents top name artists with sexy models. The series originally aired on Playboy TV in 2005 and has now been revamped for YouTube programming. Francis’ other show, “In The Lab,” goes behind the scenes of music productions, featuring footage of studio sessions with various top recording artists. Episodes also showcase the home studios of famous as well as up and coming artists. There is a “Check The Technique” segment where music producers reveal some of their recording tips and Francis’ vintage footage of various celebrities in the studio is highlighted in the “Classic Clips” segment of the show.

“The Buckwild Show” channel will also incorporate current celebrity news into Francis’ funny “Qwik Clips,” a ‘talking heads’ spoof on topical subjects and current events like the Blake Shelton /Miranda Lambert and Ben Affleck/ Jennifer Garner relationship battles. There is exclusive archival footage of various artists like Kim Kardashian and Ray J, Quincy Jones, Jamie Foxx, Paris Hilton, Russell Crowe, Justin Timberlake and more. Additional content also includes history-making footage such as the attack on Dr. Dre at the Vibe Awards and other historic music events.

Francis’ personal adventure in the hip hop industry is urban legend status. The television and video producer once captured and documented Hollywood’s most intimate hip hop scenes with his lens. A pioneer underground video veteran, Francis’ early productions included the now cult classics “Buckwild Beach Week,” “Buckwild in Brazil,” and “Buckwild 2001″. These DVD productions were the first to showcase the beauty of women of color back when the popular “Girl’s Gone Wild” series was ignoring them.

It was also Francis who introduced hip hop programming to Playboy TV with his original series “Buckwild.” The shows highlighted uncensored videos and interviews from the likes of Busta Rhymes, Lil’ Jon and the Eastside Boys, the Ying Yang Twins, Jadakiss, Loon and Treach from Naughty by Nature. Real hip hop heads still own the Playboy TV DVD masterpiece “Snoop Dogg’s Buckwild Bus Tour” a project directed and produced by Francis.

A 20-year entertainment industry veteran who worked his way up from an ambitious intern at Polygram Records to owning and operating the hip-hop industry’s most sought-after video vixen modeling agency, Dimepiece USA, Francis furnished countless models for the music videos of superstar artists like Jay Z, Usher, Eminem, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Nelly, Missy Elliot and many others. It was the operation of Dimepiece USA which saw his eventual demise however when he was convicted for the agency’s involvement in an international drug smuggling ring. Francis maintains his innocence to this day.

“My ordeal with the Feds and subsequent imprisonment was a very humbling experience after having such broad access to Hollywood’s elite hip hop community,” reveals Francis. “I believe the journey has enlightened me and given me the answers to some of life’s hidden secrets. I have literally sat in a prison cell and dreamt of days like this.”

“While incarcerated, I spent much of my time writing my memoirs and reading tech and business magazines. Once I realized the Internet was taking over the industry and moving toward original content, I knew I was sitting on a vast catalogue of prized footage. I am more than thankful to be aligned with Fullscreen, the number one content provider in the marketplace. Securing this deal with them is a huge affirmation for me and a tremendous boost as I work to secure and reposition myself again.”

New episodes of “The BuckWild Show” air every Tuesday on YouTube and new airings of “In The Lab” premiere every Thursday. Check out “The BuckWild Show” Channel on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_XgcVn4D1HMisRjXG9euug .

In The Lab – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neauwlJ_HSs
The Buckwild Show – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvM3MlVJZM4
Qwik Clip with Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert, Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner – https://youtu.be/ie_OmJ0yuEg

Congressman John Lewis, Dr. Joseph Lowery, Ambassador Young, Mayor Kasim Reed, and Rev. Jesse Jackson Discuss Fight for VRA

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vra1sm480
Atlanta, GA – Sitting alongside three generations of civil rights leaders, the dean of the civil rights movement, Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, told an intergenerational crowd at historic Wheat Street Baptist Church that “the black spirit” was the key factor to their success in getting the Voting Rights Act (VRA) passed in 1965. The rare gathering of leaders was part of a day-long event commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act last week.

Hosted by The Peoples Agenda, led by Helen Butler; and Realizing The Dream, led by Martin Luther King III; “The South and the 2016 Elections: Overcoming Contemporary Challenges to Political Participation” featured sessions outlining current barriers to political participation, voter education and voter registration training. Co-sponsors of the event include: NAACP National Voter Fund, African American Human Rights Foundation, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, among others.

The luncheon discussion recounted the struggle for the 1965 VRA and outlined what citizens need to do to make sure key provisions of the VRA struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013 are restored. Joining Lowery in the dialogue were: Congressman John Lewis (D-GA); Ambassador Andrew Young, the nation’s first African-American Ambassador to the United Nations; Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., founder and president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell; and Wade Henderson, president, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Congressman Lewis, who recently joined a group of Senate and House lawmakers to introduce the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015, urged the crowd to “get in the way, in good trouble.” He said, “I think we are too quiet. We need to get up there and make some noise. Bring the Bill to the floor and we will pass it and President Barack Obama will sign it into law.”

“Back then coming together was not about us,” said Ambassador Young. “It was about us moving the society forward…. We understood that God brought us here to give leadership and vision to this one nation. We have to move forward with black and white together, rich and poor, together. Hold on to the plow and keep on keeping on.”

Rev. Jesse Jackson added, “We’re on the back of legislature like we were on the back of the bus. The South Carolina flag come down, but the agenda did not come down. We need an amendment to the constitution.”

“We have to fight on two fronts,” offered Mayor Reed. “We have to fight on the intellectual level and we have to take it to the streets and punish any politician that does not sign on to the reauthorizing of the Voting Rights Act.”

A proclamation from the Atlanta City Council was presented by Mitchell to The Peoples Agenda and Realizing The Dream for their commitment to keeping the dialogue alive on issues related to voting rights and their work in the community. Mitchell commented, “It’s great to celebrate the work of the ages but when we leave here the work has to continue in our neighborhoods.”

Henderson, a civil rights attorney, pointed out that President Barack Obama would not be president today if leaders had not fought for the VRA in the 60s. He said, “Demand your rights as full Americans. If you don’t vote, you don’t count.”

Lowery, founder of The Peoples’ Agenda, closed the program preaching, “I shouldn’t be out but I couldn’t stay away from this meeting. I want to thank all of you who came out and I want to thank the spirit in which you’ve come; that’s the key to Black progress, the Black spirit.”

The co-founder with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of SCLC continued, “They can’t keep us down because of the Black spirit. We must keep the spirit alive. Don’t let anybody tame that spirit, it’s loose, it’s unbridled, untamed and uncontrollable, and it’s the key to the future.”

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Contact Edrea edmedia@dogonvillage.com

PHOTO CAPTION: Civil rights leaders of the past and present stand behind the dean of the movement, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery after a conversation on the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Standing (L-R) – Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell; Rita Samuels, GCBW; Ambassador Andrew Young; Martin Luther King III; Rev. Jesse Jackson; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; Helen Butler, The Peoples’ Agenda; civil rights attorney, Wade Henderson; and Congressman John Lewis and Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery seated.

PHOTO CREDIT: Clyde Bradley

Dance Instructor Selenia Logan Opens PinkPoleParty.org Pole Fitness Mega-Center to Benefit Breast Cancer Cure Campaign

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Burbank, CA – When Selenia Logan founded PinkPoleParty.org (P.P.P.) five years ago, her goal was to organize and inspire women to dance for a cause, in an effort to raise donations for the American Cancer Society’s (A.C.S.) Making Strides to End Breast Cancer Campaign. Her passion and commitment, fueled on by the loss of her best friend to the deadly disease in 2013, now finds her owning and operating PinkPoleParty.org Pole Fitness Mega-Center, a newly opened pole-fitness, aerial arts, and multi-style dance facility located in the heart of Burbank, CA. PinkPoleParty.org officially opened its doors in May at 2422 West Victory Blvd. and is the largest facility of its kind in Southern California.

Logan is dedicated to engaging the community and dance world at large with her vision to “Dance for the Cause, so we can Donate for the Cure.” PinkPoleParty.org is 4600 square feet of dance and aerial playground. Creating what Logan calls the “Pink Experience,” P.P.P. is designed to add a sense of ease to the workout experience: ease of location, parking, space, finding classes, and availability. The state-of-the-art mega-center boasts three separate studios featuring incredible Sonos wireless sound, a private practice dance room, a spacious lobby, snack-kitchen, merchandise boutique, multiple locker rooms, bathrooms, showers, and amenities.

The 1100 square foot “Studio A” houses 17 “Pole-Away System” X-Poles, professional “sprung” hardwood floors, and dual LED monitors that feature the instructor on screen during classes. The 1150 square foot “Studio B” aerial-fitness room is home to five 10 foot X-Pole “A-Frame” rigs for Lyra (hoop) and silk training. It has padded carpeted floors ideal for self-defense training, tumbling, stretching and other activities. 950 square foot “Studio C” serves as a warm up/cool down social lounge for members before and after classes. It features wall mounted stall bars; mirror mounted ballet bars, and a 65-inch T.V. for entertainment. The center offers free multi-filtered oxygenated water and free internet to complete the packaging toward offering a unique, profoundly comfortable and immersive work out experience for all women.

“The idea behind PinkPoleParty.org began with team ‘Racheal’s Roadies’ that I formed in 2010 in support of my cancer battling best friend Racheal Brooks. I organized team walks for Breast Cancer at events such as the Los Angeles Revlon Walk, the 3-Day Avon Marathon Walk, A.C.S Relay for Life, and committed annually to the American Cancer Society Making Strides to End Breast Cancer walk. Because I was a pole dance instructor it also just made sense to put on “Pink Pole Parties” to ‘Fun!raise.’ This grew into what it is today, the pole-fitness mega-center,” expresses Logan.

Adds Logan. “The studios are available for private parties, private lessons, a variety of pole classes, aerial arts classes, and a wide range of “workshops” such as belly dance, hip-hop, self-defense, contemporary, salsa, and more. Most importantly, the center will serve as a creative space for fundraising events to support breast cancer research.”

Jordan Buskirk, community manager, A.C.S Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, California Division states, “Selenia has been so supportive of our breast cancer initiatives and community outreach. That even a portion of her fundraising proceeds will go to our patient programs and research is amazing. She genuinely cares about breast health; health living and living life. We can’t wait to see our partnership with PinkPoleParty.org grow!”

Selenia Logan was a full time event planner and executive assistant in the corporate world for years, and a part time pole-fitness instructor during her down time. She has since become a certified personal trainer, certified in BarreVite instruction and most recently a Silver medalist at the 2014 Pacific Pole Championships in the Masters Level 3 Division. Her students lovingly know her as “Miss Selenia”.

True to her original concept, PinkPoleParty.org will uphold its commitment to support a cure for breast cancer by donating time, instruction, and facility space to Pink Pole Parties, with a portion of all profits donated to American Cancer Society’s Making Strides to End Breast Cancer Campaign. PinkPoleParty.org is hoping to build relationships throughout the community and around the country, in a continued effort to support the fight against breast cancer. To support this cause “LIKE” them on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/PinkPoleParty.org

PinkPoleParty.org Pole Fitness Mega-Center has applied for a $100,000 grant from Chase’s Mission Main Street Grants ® to help further it’s cause, and needs support to be moved on to the next step by receiving 250 certified Facebook votes to complete its eligibility for the grant. Support can be shown by voting at: https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/b/5337 using Facebook Connect.

For class offerings and more information go to: http://www.PinkPoleParty.org, email at info@pinkpoleparty.com or call (818) 736-5601.

Soulful Songbird Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley Still Believes with New Music Release

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New York – When Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley sings, every ear in the room listens. She has the kind of sultriness that seeps underneath every nook and cranny in the listener and grips with a firm hold. It’s one of the reasons why famed director Tyler Perry has continued to cast her for over a decade now in his many productions. With her new music project, “Still Believe,” on her independent label, SodaFace Records, Riley has delivered a true showstopper. “Still Believe” is a faith filled, heart drenched conviction of love persevered and Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley delivers sweet dominion with each pumping note.

Passion packed with 12 tracks, penned by Riley and her writing partner, Luke Austin, “Still Believe,” reverberates with silky soul, rhythmic R&B, dreamy jazzy undertones and bluesy thunder. “Still Believe in Love,” the single release, is a powerhouse declaration of defiance in the face of love gone wrong. Showcasing Riley’s scintillating vocal ability, the track is a melodious stampede with righteous fervor. On “Just Can’t Stop,” another selection, Riley dives in deep and serves up down home, blues trodden angst amid unrequited lust. “Work in Progress” reveals the songbird rocking hard in an anthem for trust-shattered hearts.

Many remember Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley from when she first burst on to the music scene in the late ’80’s with her torching classic “Thanks for My Child.” She has since continued to propel her career and remains a formidable force on today’s musical landscape. “Still Believe” is her second independent release since her CD project “Let Me Be Me,” four years ago. Her fan base has grown exponentially via her exposure in numerous Tyler Perry projects, including “Madea Gets A Job,” “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Class Reunion,” “Why Did I Get Married?” and most recently her starring role in “Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned.”

One of the Brooklyn native’s proudest accomplishments to date is her homegrown vehicle, “Black Velvet Mondays,” a musicians’ and singers’ jam session and showcase at New York’s legendary Village Underground venue. The Monday night event has been going strong for almost 10 years now and streams live at http://www.TheVillageUnderground.com nurturing an international audience.

“I am so thrilled to be releasing this project right now. I know my audience has been waiting for some new music from me! This project further expresses who I am as an artist and where I am as a being,” offers Riley. “We included a few of NYC’s most phenomenal musicians and there is a song included which is an ode to my Black Velvet Monday’s weekly event and all the artists who participate, titled “Trust Your Gift.”

“‘Still Believe’ is an absolute treasure,” adds Riley. “You can press play at the beginning and just let it go. It flows and feels good and you will absolutely want to listen and repeat. I’m excited for everyone to hear this music and look forward to performing it for the world! I still believe that music should be as much about how it personally moves you while listening as it is about how it sounds! With “Still Believe” the songs go beyond your ears and straight to your heart and soul. My prayer is that “Still Believe” touches everyone as a full experience, sounding great and feeling greater!”

“Still Believe” is available on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/still-believe/id993083098 .

Celebrity Hairstylist Dr. Boogie Presents Butter Entertainment’s Chocolate in Studio City – Male Exotic Experience”

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Featured performer, exotic dancer Addiction from "Chocolate City" starring Vivica Fox, Carmen Electra, Tyson Beckford, Richard Ri'chard and Michael Jai White

Featured performer, exotic dancer Addiction from "Chocolate City" starring Vivica Fox, Carmen Electra, Tyson Beckford, Richard Ri'chard and Michael Jai White

Studio City, CA – Celebrity hairstylist Dr. Boogie will be offering the ladies a taste of chocolate with the fourth installment of his “Butter Entertainment Male Exotic Experience” series. “Chocolate in Studio City” will be served Thursday, May 21, 2015 at Serra’s Dine and Dance. Featured performer Addiction (Brian Massey), from the new movie, “Chocolate City,” starring Vivica Fox, Carmen Electra, Tyson Beckford, Richard Ri’chard and Michael Jai White, will highlight the show.

Reality TV Star Sundy Carter from "BasketBall Wives L.A."

Reality TV Star Sundy Carter from “BasketBall Wives L.A.”

Reality star Sundy Carter from “Basketball Wives L.A.” will host the evening and dance troupe B.More Production’s “Wet Dreams” will open the show. The night is sponsored by PinkPoleParty.org Pole-Fitness Mega-Center, a newly opened pole, aerial and dance fitness facility dedicated to raising awareness and funds for breast cancer prevention and cure. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. and the show starts at 9:30 p.m. Serra’s Dine and Dance is located at 12449 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City.

With major film releases like “Magic Mike,” “Chocolate City,” and “American Bad Boy” propelling interest in male exotic dance entertainment, Dr. Boogie has successfully created an atmosphere where women can enjoy themselves in a safe, comfortable and upscale location. “Los Angeles is riddled with gentleman’s clubs and bikini bars,” cites Boogie, “but the women have no place to go. After listening to hundreds of my clients express their needs as I was doing their hair, I knew it was time to change the game. I am taking ‘ladies night’ to an entire new level!” states Dr. Boogie

Dr. Boogie

The “Butter Entertainment Male Exotic Experience” will take place monthly and explore different themes. Next month will celebrate the release of the Lionsgate film “American Bad Boy” and will feature the film’s star, Stallion (Antoine Cleveland).

For more information check for Butter Entertainment on Facebook at “Butter Entertainment,” on Instagram at @butter_ent and on the web at http://www.butterentertainment.com/ . For private parties and booking information email butterentertainmentinfo@yahoo.com .

Check out the promo here: Butter Entertainment Promo

Black Girls Tech! Computer Wiz Erica Austin Revolutionizes the Way Comics Are Read with New “Against the Grain” App

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Erica Austin pub photo
Chicago – When Erica Austin was a child traveling around the globe with her family, comic books were her refuge; and like most wildly imaginative children, her mind’s eye saw the characters leap from the pages and come alive. Now an adult, Austin, a former IBM employee and computer tech, has created her own comic book series, “Against the Grain,” and the heroine, Leslie, makes her childhood dreams a reality by leaping from the screen and coming alive via brilliant animations. Austin’s innovation, one of the first of its kind, comes in the form of an app she has created from her company Slightly Off Productions. Her “Against the Grain” app, named for her comic series, is destined to revolutionize the way comics or graphic novels are read.

The app bundles the entire “Against the Grain” comic series into an online store and offers readers a totally immersive experience. Boasting a clean, crisp interface, bursting with amazing artwork and incredible two-dimensional and three-dimensional animations, Austin’s comics transcend the standard read. The app also allows users to preview new issues before purchasing and watch animated trailers so they know exactly what they are going to get.

“Against the Grain,” takes you beyond mere words, weaving different stories together into a single, exhilarating narrative. Each of the comic books spring to life after several pages, bursting into brilliant and vibrantly dramatic movie shorts that advance the storyline. The user reads a portion of the tale, then gets to watch their favorite characters run, fight, jump, and crawl across the pages before returning to reading. The experience is totally captivating. The two current issues include nearly 200 illustrated pages and six unique animations.

Leslie, the heroine of “Against the Grain,” is a tomboy with a vivid and wild imagination. An outcast of sorts, she is a free spirit coming to terms with herself, the world around her, and the world in her head. With a target audience of teens to young adults, Leslie’s ongoing saga is captured in two current volumes, available in the app, with many more to come.

“After writing and going to a few comic conventions to conduct research, I realized that I was a bit out of touch with my target audience. Personally, I still like the feel of a good book in my hands but the younger generation wants digital downloads and they want them ‘now.’ So I decided to change my market entry strategy and create an app for my comic that would not only be digital, but more interactive,” explains Austin.

Austin worked for IBM for seven years before launching her own consulting practice and production company. With a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, graphic novels might seem an unlikely career choice. Austin, however, found herself with more free time on her hands after leaving IBM and felt compelled to write. Her first thought was to pen a novel about her childhood, but the images that filled her head needed a bigger, more colorful home. She knew comics were the remedy.

“My childhood was not the norm,” reveals Austin. “I was born in Germany, lived in England and then in Nigeria, traveled Europe, vacationed in Amsterdam, and went to high school in the states. I was a fifth culture kid. I had to mix the German, with the English, with the Nigerian, with the American to form my own culture. I didn’t really fit in anywhere and neither does Leslie in, ‘Against the Grain.’ It was great growing up around the world, but because of the different accents and customs I picked up along the way, I was constantly made fun of for it. It is my hope that Leslie inspires young girls and boys to realize that it is alright to be different and you are fine just being who you are!”

The “Against the Grain” app is an innovative platform that will change the way comics are viewed and read. Austin, along with her team of dedicated illustrators and animators, are changing the landscape of the comic industry and turning the rules inside out. Every reader has yearned to see the pages come alive and the “Against the Grain” app finally makes that possible!

Watch the “Against the Grain” trailer at \”Against the Grain\” trailer

“Against the Grain” featuring Leslie and her journey is available now, only at the Apple app store at https://itunes.apple.com/app/against-the-grain/id968736696.

For more information on the, “Against the Grain” series and its creators, go to http://www.slightlyoffproductions.com.

Follow them on Facebook at “Slightly Off Productions,” and on Twitter at @slightlyoff99.

Chandra Currelley Breaks Out in Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse” on OWN with Expanded Role

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Atlanta – Powerhouse performer Chandra Currelley breaks out in the fifth season on Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse” in an expanded role capacity with more laughs, more lines and more wisecracking hilarity as the beloved Ms. V. Ms. V is the down-to-earth housekeeper for the show’s central characters Marcus and Angela, played by Michael Jai White and Tasha Smith. Currelley appears on the season premier show, in the episode “Healing Hands,” airing on OWN, Friday, April 10th at 9:00 p.m. ET and rambunctiously returns throughout the season.

Currelley has become a fixture in the Tyler Perry imprint. A veteran entertainer, she has roots in several of Perry’s productions, both plays and films, including “Madea’s Big Happy Family,” “Diary of Mad Black Woman,” and “Tyler Perry’s A Madea’s Christmas.”

Many of her recent television fans are surprised however when they realize Currelley boasts a musical legacy that positions her squarely in the realm of old school R&B, jazz, gospel and even funk. As a singer and songwriter, Chandra Currelley has enjoyed a fascinating career. She was the former lead singer for funk legends the SOS Band and also a former lead singer for master vibraphonist Roy Ayers. She actually propelled the SOS Band’s string of top twenty Billboard hits with the CD’s “Diamonds In The Raw,” and “One Of Many Nights,” where she wrote several songs, including the single “Broken Promises.”

Currelley is also an independent recording artist with three CD’s under her belt including “The Real Me” and “Love Songs,” which contains the hit song “Love Again” from the film, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” Her latest CD is “Relationships.”

Tyler Perry originally hired Currelley to play Ms. V in 2011 during the first season of “For Better Or Worse” when the show aired on TBS. The series is a spinoff of the characters in the movie, “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married,” which was released in 2007. The television show is the longest running scripted series on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. Ms V’s expanded role in season five gives Currelley additional episodes and more interaction with the original cast. Twenty more episodes are currently in production for the fall season and are being filmed now at Tyler Perry Studios.

“I’ve done a lot of things, but a sitcom was not one of them,” reveals Currelley. “Starting in season one, Tyler Perry graciously groomed me into the role of Ms. V. and now I believe she is one of the funniest characters on television! I am just having so much fun with her and viewers are going to love her even more in this fifth season. Tyler Perry has this incredible gift of being able to take you out of your comfort zone to a place where you feel free and uninhibited. This is what he has done for me when it comes to bringing Ms. V to life. He’s a genius. I’m just so blessed to know and work with him.”

Currelley’s loyal fan base loved her as the singer in the nightclub “Chandra’s” in the “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” and as “Shirley” in “Madea’s Big Happy Family.” Most recently, she performed in Kandi Burruss’ (“The Real Housewives of Atlanta”) “A Mother’s Love.” Currelley is the 2014 recipient of the Lady Soul of Jazz award and has starred in the world premier of “Jesus Christ Superstar Gospel.” The Gospel Choice Award nominee has performed at The White House, toured Europe and Asia and has appeared in numerous theatrical plays directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon and Debbie Allen.

Chandra continues to dance to her own beat with two nominations at the upcoming 2nd Annual Black Women In Jazz & The Arts Awards on April 12, 2015 in Atlanta. She is also currently in rehearsal for the stage play “The Strength Of Love,” opening April 18 in the metro Atlanta area.

Actress, singer, songwriter and yes, former funkster, Chandra Currelley always does it her way. Tune in to OWN’s “For Better or Worse” and get with Currelley at http://chandracurrelley.com/ .

“For Better or Worse” promo:\"For Better or Worse\" Promo

Dick Gregory, Kym Whitley, Luenell, Joe Torry, Shang to Bring the Funny at Hope Flood’s 4th Annual Comics Rock! Convention April 23-26 in Los Angeles

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All-Star Comedians Forfeit the Funny for Fashion
at Convention Highlight
“Comics On the Catwalk 4a Cause Fashion & Comedy Show”

Hollywood, CA – What do you get when you mix a room full of comedic talent? Comedians that rock, that’s what! Funny lady Hope Flood is taking over the stage once again with her 4th Annual Comics Rock! Convention, April 23 through 26, 2015, in the comedy capital, Los Angeles! The Comics Rock! Convention (CRC) will gather a diverse group of professional talent, from up and comers to veteran stand ups, with the intent of discoursing all things related to the industry of funny and beyond. Workshops and seminars will be held at comedian/radio personality J. Anthony Brown’s JSpot Comedy Club, located 5581 W Manchester Boulevard in Westchester, CA. Master comic, social/civil rights activist and humanitarian Dick Gregory will be the keynote speaker at the convention on Saturday, April 25, during a luncheon held at The Mavericks Flat Bar & Grill on 4225 Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles. A legendary octogenarian, Gregory was recently feted with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Industry experts such as Kym Whitley (OWN TV’s “Raising Whitley”), Luenell (“Katt Williams: American Hustle”), Mother Love (LA Talk Radio’s “The Mother Love Show”), Rodney Perry (BET’s “The Mo’Nique Show”), Shang Forbes (BET’s “Comic View”), Joe Torry (“Def Comedy Jam”) and The Mooney Twins (sons of comedy legend Paul Mooney) are only a sampling of the talent slated to conduct workshops and seminars over the course of the four days. Workshops including “Social Media & More,” “The Art of Stand-Up Comedy,” and “Intro to Voiceovers” will assist comedians with conquering every aspect of the business. On Saturday, April 25, KJLH radio host Tammi Mac will also lend her comedic flair with her “On the Radio” workshop.

“Comics On the Catwalk 4a Cause Fashion & Comedy Show,” featuring a special musical guest and after party, promises to be an added event highlight. A co-production with Los Angeles’ premier event host, Kevin Rouse of Rouse House Entertainment, comedienne Cocoa Brown (Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse”) and comic and New York’s KISS-FM morning show host, Talent Harris, will preside as comedians temporarily forfeit stand-up for fashion on the runway. The affair will benefit The American Diabetes Association and A Nickel of Hope, Inc., a non-profit founded by Hope Flood that helps mentor at-risk girls in the inner cities ( www.anickelofhope.org ). “Comics On the Catwalk 4a Cause Fashion & Comedy Show,” will take place Sunday, April 26 at 3:00 p.m. at OHM Nightclub, 6801 Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood. Tickets for this fundraising event are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/comics-on-the-catwalk-for-a-cause-2015-tickets-16368124501 .

As the founder of Females in Comedy Association (FICA), Flood originally launched her comedy convention a few years ago as the “Females in Comedy Convention,” but has since expanded her vision to embrace both genders. With FICA however, she continues to offer female comedians tools for networking, mentoring, and collaborating as well as fueling awareness for comediennes in the entertainment industry. Comics Rock! will honor females in comedy with a special day of gifting and pampering.

“Comedy on stage and in life is a crucial component for happiness,” cites Flood. “This year’s convention is particularly special as we acknowledge all things funny but also all things crucial to survival in this ever changing business. It is especially heart warming for me to pay tribute to pioneer and icon, Dick Gregory. As a guide and mentor, it is his work and dedication that drives me to continue to present this convention year after year.”

Hope Flood has always made waves with her humor, reaching beyond the stage to influence and motivate. Early on in her career she was not only producing weekly showcases that served to propel the career of many comedians, but also publishing her own magazine, “Comedy the Magazine,” the first nationally distributed comedy magazine. She has served as an on-air radio personality on Dallas’ KRNB 105.7 radio with BJ & The Morning Show and has appeared on the Russell Simmon’s HBO All-Star Def Comedy Jam, Comedy Central’s “Comic Groove” hosted by Tracy Morgan, and “Comics Unleashed Hot Chocolate with Byron Allen,” to name a few. Hope has been a semi-finalist in the Old English 800 Women’s Comedy Crunch and a two-time semi-finalist in the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition.

For registration and more information regarding sponsorship, vendors or attendance, go to www.comicsrockconvention.com. The Comics Rock! Convention is going to seriously shake up the funny.

Soap Star Chrystee Pharris is the Queen of Drama with New Faith-Based Indie Film, Film Fest Tour and POP-TV Docu-Series

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Atlanta, GA – Soap star Chrystee Pharris has successfully positioned herself as a true ‘queen of drama’ in Hollywood. Not only is she starring in the family faith-based film, “Steps of Faith,” with Ted Lange (“Love Boat”) and Irma P. Hall
(“Soul Food”), Pharris will also impact the small screen as part of an all-star cast on POP TV’s new reality docu-series “Queens of Drama.” “Queens of Drama” will air right after the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on April 26, 10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT.

The former soap star, who played Simone Russell on NBC’s hit daytime soap “Passions,” is also busy touring her new film, “Steps of Faith,” at film festivals around the country as well as conducting her highly successful “Business of Acting” seminars at several of the festival events. After years of dedication, persistence and patience, work efforts are finally paying off for the funny, driven and sophisticated talent.

In “Steps In Faith,” directed by M. Legend Brown, Pharris plays the lead character, Faith, and stars alongside Ted Lange, Irma P. Hall, Charles Malik Whitfield (“One Life to Live”) and Tracey Ross (“Passions”). The film is about a young woman who is not a church girl, but feels like she hears God tell her to move and work with children and animals, neither of which she likes. When she shares her vision with family they mock her. In the feature, we witness her fighting through her own fears to complete the mission God has called her to do.

“Steps of Faith” has been accepted into 16 film festivals and is available on DVD. With her “Business of Acting” workshop she is presenting at several of the screenings, Pharris teaches participants how to get work without an agent, how to build relationships with producers and directors, and how to market oneself.

With TV Guide Network re-branding and launching as POP, their new docu-series “Queens of Drama” is sure to have all eyes glued to the new network. With an all-star cast of former soap divas, including soap stars Lindsay Hartley (“All My Children”), Crystal Hunt (“One Life to Live”), Vanessa Marcil (“General Hospital”), Hunter Tylo (“The Bold and The Beautiful”) and special appearances by Donna Mills (“Knots Landing”), Pharris joins the crew as its only African American cast member. Cameras follow the beauties as they work together to produce, direct and cast their own primetime TV drama. Following its premiere, “Queens of Drama” will begin airing in its regularly scheduled time slot on Wednesdays, at 8:00 – 8:30 p.m. ET/PT, starting April 29.

Pharris, originally from Las Vegas, can also be remembered as JD’s love interest Kylie in “Scrubs,” as well as for her stint on “General Hospital.” She recently toured her hilarious one-woman show, “In Search of O,” which is about waiting until marriage at the age of 27 to have sex, and the fantasy verses the reality of that experience. She has hit the stage in Ted Lange’s “Let Freedom Ring” with SNL’s Garrett Morris and will again be performing in Lange’s “Lady Patriot,” production October 2 through October 4, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee at Fisk University.

“I have always known that I wanted to be an actress since I was four years old,” divulges Pharris. “My experience in Hollywood has been truly a blessed journey. I credit three people with giving me the knowledge that I still use today. First is Steve Harvey who I met years ago as an intern while working on the set of “Young and the Restless.” He gave me a 45-minute lecture about sustaining my integrity in the world of acting. Second is Brad Lemack my professor at Emerson College who taught me the business of acting that has served me to this day. And lastly is

Dr. Kenneth C. Ulmer, my pastor at Faithful Central Bible Church. He directed me on the importance of being a blessing and encouraging others on my journey as an actress.”

“Understanding my calling in the business is what has taken me far as well,” Pharris adds. “Bishop Ulmer helped me to realize that I was on set to be a blessing, to encourage others. And that is what I have done over the years. I now work with actors around the world teaching my “The Business of Acting” workshops at colleges, seminars, and to individuals. I want the next generation to have more wisdom and confidence and to be fearless. I hope to use my current film and new television series as vehicles to continue to inspire others.”

Chrystee Pharris is a faith filled queen of drama. Keep up with her at www.ChrysteePharris.com, take a leap of faith with “Steps of Faith” at http://www.stepsoffaithmovie.com and check her out on POP’s “Queen of Drama” this April. Interact with her on Twitter @ChrysteePharris; Instagram @ChrysteePharris and on Facebook: Fan Page Chrystee Pharris.

View the “Steps of Faith” trailer at trailer for \"Steps of Faith\" .

View the “Queens of Drama” trailer at trailer for \"Queens of Drama\" .

Note the “Steps of Faith” film festival schedule:

NC Black Film Festival – Wilmington, NC
Saturday, March 28
5:30PM – Steps of Faith Screening

Charlotte Black Film Festival – Charlotte, NC
Saturday, April 11
9:00 a.m. – The Business of Acting Workshop
3:30 p.m. – Steps of Faith Screening

WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival – Houston, TX
Sunday April 12 – Steps of Faith Screening (Time TBD)

Langston Hughes Film Festival – Seattle, WA
April 11-19 (specific date TBD for Screening)

Barebone Film Festival – Muskogee, OK
Friday, April 17
6:00 p.m. – Steps of Faith screening
Nominated for Best Actress – Chrystee Pharris
Best Romance/Drama/Dramedy
Best Christian Film
Best Family Film

The Attic Film Festival -Austin, TX
Saturday, April 25
11:00 a.m. – Steps of Faith Screening

Las Vegas Black Film Festival – Las Vegas, NV
April 25 (specific date TBD for Screening)

Women’s International Film & Arts Festival- Miami, FL
June 3 – Steps of Faith Screening (Time TBD)
June 4 – Panel discussion (Time TBD)

Roxbury International Film Festival – Boston, MA
June 17- June 28 (specific date TBD for Screening)

The Narrow Way Festival – Philadephia, PA
July 17-19
Business of Acting workshop (Specific Date & Time TBD)
Steps of Faith Screening (specific date TBD for Screening)