Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Animated Adventure EPIC Out On Blu-ray!

LOS ANGELES, CA. (July 23, 2013) – From the creators of Ice Age, the year’s funniest, most exhilarating animated adventure comes home as EPIC debuts on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Deluxe Edition Blu-ray, and DVD this August 20 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.  Directed by Chris Wedge (The Ice Age Franchise) and featuring an amazing voice cast including Colin Farrell, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Pitbull, and Beyoncé, the blockbuster film comes home just in time to help families become one with nature and end the summer in Epic style.

Transported to a magical world, a teenager (Amanda Seyfried) is recruited by a nature spirit, Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles), to help the “Leafmen” save their existence – and ours – from evil warriors. The whole family will love this fast-paced thrill-ride, with its astonishing animation and all-star voice cast that includes Colin Farrell, Oscar® Winner Christoph Waltz, and Steven Tyler!

Every Blu-ray and DVD comes with the Epic Coloring and Storybook Builder app. The app will allow kids to create their own Epic story and share it with family and friends.

The EPIC Blu-ray combo-pack includes Blu-ray, DVD and DigitalHD and comes complete with exclusives that will have kids both engaged and learning about the environment, just before heading back to school.  With special features including an overview of what life as a person two inches tall would be like, to discovering all of the different bugs from the film, EPIC is the perfect gift for families to enjoy from summer to the holidays!

EPIC 2- disc Blu-ray Combo Pack - BD/Ultraviolet/DVD & DC
  • Mub & Grub Intro - Join Mub and Grub for an EPIC tour through the special features of this Blu-ray!
  • Birds, Bugs and Slugs: Forest Explorer - Journey into the forest to meet the real-life counterparts of the EPIC world!
  • Rot Rocks - Mandrake might be the bad guy, but his world of rot benefits ours in a number of ways, let’s discover how!
  • Bugs of Camouflage - Join us to find out how bugs use their environment to hide right under our noses, just like the Leafmen!
  • The Epic Life At Two Inches Tall - How would your life be different if you were only two inches tall? Aside from being small, there are some surprising and amazing benefits!
  • Mysteries of Moonhaven Revealed - Meet the incredibly talented filmmakers, artists, and animators at Blue Sky, and learn all about the making of EPIC!
    • The World
    • The Leafmen
    • Queen Tara
    • Mub & Grub
    • Nim Galuu
    • The Stompers
    • Finding Moonhaven
  • Epic Coloring & Storybook Builder App – Color your own EPIC story with exclusive pages on your iOS or Android devices. Then become the story teller by recording your own voice and share on your television with family and friends
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Mub & Grub Intro - Join Mub and Grub for an EPIC tour through the special features of this Blu-ray!
  • Rot Rocks - Mandrake might be the bad guy, but his world of rot benefits ours in a number of ways, let’s discover how!
  • Bugs of Camouflage - Join us to find out how bugs use their environment to hide right under our noses, just like the Leafmen!
  • Epic Coloring & Storybook Builder App – Color your own EPIC story with exclusive pages on your iOS or Android devices. Then become the story teller by recording your own voice and share on your device with family and friends
  • Theatrical Trailer

EPIC 3-Disc Deluxe Edition BD3D /BD/Ultraviolet/DVD & DC
Includes feature film on Blu-ray 3D and all of the features of the Blu-ray combo pack.

In addition, inside every Deluxe Edition Blu-ray, families will find 3 Epic Seed cards—so you can grow your own Epic Garden!

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and DigitalHD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

CTG Announces 2014 Season At The Mark Taper

            A new season rich with laughter and compelling drama was announced today for the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum by Michael Ritchie, CTG Artistic Director.
            The Taper’s 2014 season, the 47th season at the Music Center of Los Angeles, will begin with the deliciously witty 2013 Tony Award-winning play “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang, directed by Nicholas Martin; and continue with the world premiere production of  Daniel Beaty’s illuminating play with music about Paul Robeson, “The Tallest Tree in the Forest,” directed by Moisés Kaufman; the United States premiere of a play filled with Vatican intrigue – Roger Crane’s “The Last Confession” starring David Suchet and Brian Bedford, directed by Jonathan Church; Michael Urie featured in the off-the wall, off-Broadway hit comedy of Jonathan Tolins’ “Buyer & Cellar,” directed by Stephen Brackett; the world premiere of Jordan Harrison’s fascinating play “Marjorie Prime,” directed by Pam MacKinnon, and featuring Lois Smith;  and the classic Joe Orton farce “What the Butler Saw” directed by John Tillinger and featuring Paxton Whitehead.
            In addition, Mark Taper Forum season ticket members will have priority access to “Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty” and Christopher Plummer’s “A Word or Two,both playing at the Ahmanson Theatre.

The Actors' Gang Presents Hélène Cixous’s Oy!

Culver City, CA, August 26, 2013…The Actors’ Gang, the critically acclaimed Los Angeles based ensemble theatre company, presents Hélène Cixous’s Oy! Directed by Georges Bigot, Assistant Directed by Christiane Georgi opening Saturday, September 21 at 8pm. Show runs Thursday and Saturday evenings at 8pm and Sunday Matinee’s at 2pm at the company’s home theater at the Ivy Substation in Culver City, California. Tickets are available by phone 310.838.4264 or online at
Through Oy!, playwright Helene Cixous interrogates the question of forgiveness, the work of memories and transmission to new generations, and the state of modern racism throughout the world. Oy! is the story of two German Jewish sisters, Selma and Jenny, who in 1995 in their late eighties are some of the last remaining witnesses to the period of Nazism in Europe. They return to their home in Paris after a trip to the German city of their youth. Upon their return to Paris, the sisters try to make something of the swirl of emotions, opinions and memories that have surfaced and all the things they were not able to express in Germany. Through their simple, flavorful work together, they begin to unravel the complexities of a society’s internalized racism – the broad anti-Semitism that so darkly colored their past.  Based on close family members of the playwright, the interaction between these fictional sisters is honest, emotional, humorous and compelling.  
Mr. Bigot says of this production, “Hélène Cixous is for me a kind of contemporary Shakespeare.  Like him, she places her writing desk in the human heart.  Her play, Oy!, is a theatrical ceremony, a memory resonating with our present.”
Director George Bigot has a long and rich history with The Actors’ Gang.  In 1984, Los Angeles was home to the Olympic Arts Festival, which brought Le Théâtre du Soleil and Mr. Bigot to Los Angeles, where they performed the Shakespeare cycle.  This was a watershed event for The Gang. Several Gang members including Artistic Director, Tim Robbins, took acting workshops with Mr. Bigot, based on the style of Theatre du Soleil and the spirit of working in ensemble. Mr. Robbins has said of this moment, “Working with Georges was a seminal moment for The Actors’ Gang.  He introduced a form and a discipline that respected the traditions of theatre and brought great passion to our commitment as an ensemble to produce theater that is vital and relevant.”
 About the Director, Georges Bigot
Georges Bigot is an internationally acclaimed actor and director and has been a lead actor at the Théâtre du Soleil since 1981. Under the direction of famed director, Ariane Mnouchkine, he appeared in Richard II, Twelfth Night, and Henry IV by William Shakespeare; The Terrible but Unfinished History of King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and L ' Indiade  by Hélène Cixous; Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides; and Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers by Aeschylus.  He has performed the pivotal roles of King Richard II, the Duke Orsino, Prince of Wales, Prince Sihanouk and Pandit Nehru. 
In 1986 he received the National Union of Critics award for best actor for the role of Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Some recent work as an actor include Ciels written and directed by Wajdi Mouawad created in Avignon Festival; Penelope O Penelope written and directed by Simon Abkarian ; The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, directed by Philippe Adrien ; Titus Andronicus, by Shakespeare, directed by Simon Abkarian, Life of Galileo by Bertold Brecht, directed by Christophe Rauck ; and Le Cid by Corneille directed by Declan Donnelan.
As a director, for over the past two decades, Mr. Bigot has staged productions such as Kalo by Maurice Durozier; La Dispute by Marivaux; Ambrouille (a collective writing of the le Petit Théâtre de Pain in French Pays Basque); The Return of Bougouniéré and Ségou Fassa with Atelier of Bamaco Mali ; and The Seagull by Anton Chekhov at The Actors’ Gang.  Recently, he translated and directed Embedded by Tim Robbins, (presented for the first time in France).  After long development, including a period of four years in Cambodia, Mr. Bigot directed the first part of The Terrible but Unfinished History of King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia by Hélène Cixous in Cambodia (created in December 2011 in Festival Sens Interdit from Lyon and at Le Théâtre du Soleil in Paris).  The second part of this creation is still in development and will premiere in 2013 in France, with plans to tour to the United States and beyond.
Mr. Bigot has directed theater and theater workshops throughout the world (Cambodia, Los Angeles, El Salvador, Brazil, Singapore, Chicago, Chile, Lebanon) and in many French national drama centers, theater companies, and the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Paris.  He taught acting at the University of Bordeaux from 1993 to 2001, and directed the theater festival "Les Chantiers de Blaye" for six years. He continues to expand his work both as an actor and a director, in France and around the world. 
About the playwright, Hélène Cixous
Hélène Cixous is a professor, French feminist writer, poet, playwright, philosopher, literary critic and rhetorician. Born in Algeria in 1937, Ms. Cixous received French nationality at birth, but in 1941 her citizenship was revoked by the anti-Jewish laws of the Vichy regime.  In 1955 she moved to France and began a long career examining concepts of nationality, feminism and human interaction.  She holds honorary degrees from Queen's University and the University of Alberta in Canada; University College Dublin in Ireland; the University of York and University College London in the UK; and Georgetown University, Northwestern University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA.  
Helene Cixous is best known as a playwright for her epic work with Le Théâtre du Soleil. She has published over 70 works; her fiction, dramatic writing and poetry, however, are not often read in English. Ms. Cixous’s inimitable writing style has been described as ”not simply translatable.”  Literary critic Eric Prenowitz says of her work,” A translator of Cixous is never a fixed monument, but a smuggler, a furtive border-crosser, and a witness.”  In 2008 she was appointed as A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University until June 2014.  In 2000, a collection in Cixous's name was created at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France after Ms. Cixous donated the entirety of her manuscripts to date. They then were featured in the exhibit "Brouillons d'écrivains" held there in 2001.  “Cixous's work as a playwright - working mainly with Le Théâtre du Soleil and their director Ariane Mnouchkine - establishes her as a participant in some of the most adventurous European theatre making of the last 40 years.” – Psychology Press, 2004

The Actors’ Gang
For 32 years, The Actors’ Gang has received international acclaim for presenting over 150 new, unconventional and uncompromising plays and dynamic reinterpretations of the classics in Los Angeles, throughout the United States, and on five continents. Guided by Founding Artistic Director, Tim Robbins, and Co-Artistic Director, Cynthia Ettinger, the company was founded in 1981 by a group of like minded artists looking to create theater relevant to the society we live in and restore the ancient sense of the stage as a shared sacred space

The Actors' Gang has presented the work of innovative theater artists including Georges Bigot and  Simon Abkarian of the Theatre du Soleil, Bill Rauch and the Cornerstone Theatre Company, Culture Clash, Oskar Eustis, Tracy Young, Charles Mee, Roger Guenver Smith, Eric Bogosian, David Schweizer, Danny Hoch, Beth Milles, Brian Kulick, Stefan Haves, Namaste Theater Company, Jason Reed, Michael Schlitt, and Tenacious D.

The Actors' Gang ensemble has included accomplished actors such as Jack Black, John Cusack, John C. Reilly, Helen Hunt, Jeremy Piven, Jon Favreau, Kate Walsh, Fisher Stevens, Ebbe Roe Smith, Brent Hinkley, Kate Mulligan, Lee Arenberg, Kyle Gass and Tim Robbins. 

The Actors’ Gang began touring its productions throughout the world in 1989, representing the US at the Edinburgh Festival with Carnage, a Comedy before moving to the Public Theater in New York. Since then the company has toured in Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America and throughout the US with productions such as 1984, The Trial of the Catonsville 9, The Guys, The Exonerated and Embedded. In 2004, The Actors’ Gang performed its anti Iraq war satire Embedded to four months of sold-out houses at New York’s Public Theater and in 2001 Bat Boy: The Musical won the Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics awards for best new musical Off-Broadway. 

Performances of Oy! Begin Saturday, September 20 at 8pm and run Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sunday matinee’s at 2pm

The Actors' Gang is located at the Ivy Substation at 9070 Venice Blvd. (near the intersection of Culver and Venice Blvds.) in Culver City.  Two hours free parking is available throughout downtown Culver City; the Ince Parking Lot (corner of Culver and Ince) is directly across the street from the theater. Several restaurants are only a few blocks' walk from The Actors' Gang and offer a variety of dining options before and after the theater. Show your ticket stub at Akasha, Kay N’ Dave’s, Rush Street, La Rocco’s Pizzeria, and City Tavern to receive 10% off your meal. Show your ticket stub at Ugo Café to receive a free gelato. 

The Ivy Substation is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible.  For reservations and information, call The Actors' Gang Box Office at 310-838-GANG (310-838-4264) or visit

Good Ol' Freda Opens September 6

Freda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big. Though she had no concept of how far they would go, Freda had faith in The Beatles from the beginning, and The Beatles had faith in her.

History notes that The Beatles were together for 10 years, but Freda worked for them for 11. Many people came in and out of the band's circle as they grew to international stardom, but Freda remained a staple because of her unfaltering loyalty and dedication. As the Beatles' devoted secretary and friend, Freda was there as history unfolded; she was witness to the evolution – advances and setbacks, breakthroughs and challenges – of the greatest band in history.

In GOOD OL’ FREDA, directed by Ryan White, Freda tells her stories for the first time in 50 years. One of few films with the support of the living Beatles and featuring original Beatles music, the film offers an insider perspective on the beloved band that changed the music industry.

Rating: Unrated; Running Time: 86 minutes
2013 SXSW Film Festival- World Premiere (Official Selection)
2013 Cleveland International Film Festival (Winner, Best Film)
2013 Nashville Film Festival (Official Selection)
2013 Dallas International Film Festival (Official Selection)
2013 Atlanta Film Festival (Official Selection)
2013 hotDOCS (Official Selection)
2013 San Francisco International Film Festival (Official Selection)
2013 Boston Independent Film Festival (Official Selection)
2013 Maryland Film Festival (Official Selection)
2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (Official Selection)
2013 Sarasota Film Festival (Official Selection)
2013 DOXA Documentary Film Festival (Official Selection)
2013 Nantucket Film Festival (Official Selection)
2013 Berkshire International Film Festival (Official Selection)
2013 Martha’s Vineyard Film + Music Festival (Official Selection)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

MTV Video Music Awards Winners

Following is a list of winners at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, which aired live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Video of the year: Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”
Best female video: Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble.”
Best male video: Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
Best pop video: Selena Gomez, “Come & Get It”
Best hip-hop video: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton, “Can’t Hold Us”
Best rock video: Thirty Seconds to Mars, “Up In the Air”
Best collaboration: Pink and Nate Ruess of fun., “Just Give Me a Reason”
Best video with a social message: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert, “Same Love”
Best song of the summer: One Direction, “Best Song Ever”
Artist to watch: Austin Mahone, “What About Love”
Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award: Justin Timberlake
Best direction: Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” (director David Fincher) Best visual effects: Capital Cities, “Safe and Sound”
Best choreography: Bruno Mars, “Treasure”
Best art direction: Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu, “Q.U.E.E.N.”
Best cinematography: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton, “Can’t Hold Us”
Best editing: Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dorian Missick Secures Comedic Lead In HBO Pilot

(Los Angeles, CA) Actor Dorian Missick lands his first comedic lead in the untitled HBO comedy pilot written by former Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writers, Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin. Missick will play Jay Favors, a Harvard educated African-American male who is exceedingly bright, likable and strategic.

Missick’s character is rival to Riddle and Salahuddin who play thirty-year-old reporters attempting to make it big in the burgeoning black mecca of contemporary Atlanta while trying their best to dislike the classy, successful and humble Favors. Riddle and Salahuddin, Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live) and Dave Flebotte are Executive Producers with Jamie Babbit (Hot in Cleveland, Rizzoli & Isles, Drop Dead Diva) on board to direct the half-hour pilot. 

What a busy and exciting year for Dorian Missick! He plays the lead role of “John” in the independent film “BIG WORDS” which has become a film festival favorite and now distributed by AFFRM, owned by publicist-turned-film director Ava DuVernay. Recently he wrapped on Jerry Bruckheimer produced thriller film, “Beware The Night” in New York City where he joined forces with Eric Bana and Joel McHale as “Gordon”, a Bronx cop who attempts to solve strange crimes with mysterious surroundings.

Dorian is represented by Todd Eisner at Innovative Artists, Myrna Jacoby at MJ Management and Attorney Richard Genow of Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson and Binder.

No stranger to the stage, film or television, New Jersey-born, New York raised, Dorian Missick is a true Renaissance man. This multi-tiered actor burst onto the entertainment scene where he starred alongside Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant in Two Weeks’ Notice.  Currently, he plays Detective Ruben Robinson in TNT’s hit cop-drama series “Southland.”  Missick also had worthy appearances on NBC's "The Cape" as Marty and ABC/Touchstone television drama, Six Degrees where he played the role as Damien, Lucky Number Slevin and alongside Denzel Washington in “Manchurian Candidate.” 

For more information please visit: and follow him on Twitter @TailwindTurner

Friday, August 23, 2013

Robert Christopher Riley Is Living His Dream


By Darlene Donloe

When you talk to Robert Christopher Riley, you get the distinct impression that he and Success are the best of friends. 

In short order the hunky actor’s career has taken off, putting him on a meteoric path to stardom. The 32-year-old star of VHI’s Hit The Floor is quickly becoming the one to watch in Hollywood.

If you ask the Brooklyn native with Caribbean roots (his mother is from Trinidad and his father is from Barbados), he’s the first to admit that dreams have come true for him that he didn’t even know he had.

It’s probably because he has a good heart, a sincere spirit, an immediately likeable personality accompanied by loads of talent. Ok, he’s also about as sexy as they come!!

While attending Lehigh University in 2003, Riley was cast in the role of Walter Lee in Lorraine Hansberry’s iconic play, A Raisin in the Sun.  That same year he co-wrote, along with Kashi Johnson (his professor and mentor), Untold Truths: Why We Always Sit Together. The play was about the minority experience at predominately white institutions of education.

After graduating from Ohio University in (’03) with a MFA in the acting program, Riley was cast in several independent films, commercials and print ads.

His career ramped up even more when, in the winter of 2006, Riley landed a role in August Wilson’s, Fences, which included a six-month, three-city tour (Hartford/Dallas/Portland). In 2007, he was cast as ‘Jeremy’ in Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at Baltimore Center Stage.

In 2008, Riley landed on Broadway in the production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  He was cast to play the role of “Brick” as an understudy for Terrance Howard. For 23 shows he played opposite James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Giancarlo Esposito and Anika Noni Rose.

In 2011, Riley was cast in the Broadway production of Lombardi to play Hall of Fame linebacker Dave Robinson.

Riley’s career has been diverse and, he says, satisfying.

I recently caught up with him to talk about how it all came together.

DD: Talk about the dreams that came true that you didn’t know you had. 

RCR: Well, for sure it’s being on Broadway. I never thought about that. I never had that as a dream. But, once I was there, it was awesome.

DD: Why did you want to be an actor?

RCR: I went to school to be an accountant or football player. Math is my favorite subject. I was going to be a football playing accountant (laughter). I played safety and wide receiver. Anyway, the school was doing a production of A Raisin In The Sun.  They needed more black actors to fill it out. I was in an intro to acting class. They begged me to audition. I refused. Then I decided to audition as a sense of obligation. They cast me in the lead role – Walter Lee.

DD: Had you seen the movie before you auditioned?

RCR: No, I had never seen the movie. I had no exposure to Raisin when I did it. I didn’t see the movie until years later. I think Sidney [Poitier] is brilliant. I’ve seen 80 percent of the films he’s been in.


DD: Who are some of your favorite actors and why?

RCR: I loved Val Kilmer in Tombstone. That was one of my favorite roles. I was a big fan of the movie, Desperado and Antonio Banderas. I’d have to say my favorite actor is Don Cheadle. It’s the fact that he does film, tv, theater, big budget and  independents. I’ve loved him since I saw him in Devil In A Blue Dress.

DD: What was your first professional gig?

RCR: My first pro gig was probably a dramatization on the History Channel for a show called Honor Deferred in 2005. It was about the seven or nine African American soldiers who received medals of honor. I played one of them.  

DD: You did a show with Kashi Johnson, someone you consider a mentor. It was called, Untold Truths: Why We Always Sit
Together. What did you learn from that project?

RCR: The artist role is to pose questions, not answers. I played 14 characters, she played 12. I realized theater had the power to change the world. People can walk out feeling different about themselves and their neighbors. It’s also pure entertainment. If I can create, produce and direct something so poignant that it helps the world become a better place, I’d be happy.

DD: Any obstacles in achieving your dream?

RCR: Yeah, making enough money to survive and not lose sight of your goal. You can get caught up chasing the money if you’re not careful.   There are just so many roles for African American men, especially ones that aren’t stereotypical.

DD: You have a crystal ball. Where are you 10 years from now?

RCR: I’ve probably directed a handful of films and television. I probably have one or two children. I’m married in a nice, comfortable home that is quiet and removed from most people. I teach from time to time. The roles will get bigger, paycheck larger and my profile will increase. I wake up everyday and I’m grateful everyday. I have a roof over my head and food in stomach.

DD: Talk about working on Broadway in the production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

RCR: It was surreal. Being on Broadway wasn’t a dream of mine. I can sing and dance, but I don’t specialize in musical theater.  For my first role I’m understudying Terrence Howard. My character was Brick, which is one of the most coveted roles in literature. My first day, James Earl Jones at 77-years-old had his lines memorized before anyone. Being across the table from Mrs. Huxtable. Someone I watched all the time. Lou Myers from A Different World. Giancarlo Esposito is on Breaking Bad. Anika [Noni Rose] had just come off Dreamgirls, Terrence was nominated for an Oscar. I got to play Brick 23 times. That’s 23 master classes. James Earl Jones and I would meet before the next performance and talk about what happened the night before. That teaches you what you should do when you get to that point. Phylicia Rashad took me aside and talked about what it means to be an understudy. The things I learned, it’s all invaluable. I’m taken aback at being in that position.

DD: What is your preference, theater, television or film?

RCR: I love them all for different reasons. I lean toward the theater because you work six days a week, and I like to work. When doing a play I’m sharing that moment in time with audience members, and my cast members.  We have devoted this two or three hours to telling this story. A year later a film comes out. In theater, I walk out 10 minutes later and I shake your hand and you let me know how you felt about it. Immediate responses are genuine and most rewarding. It wouldn’t be the same without you being there. No show is the same.

DD: Talk about why you’re most proud of the role as Hall of Fame linebacker ‘Dave Robinson’ in the 2011 Broadway production of “Lombardi”.

RCR: Because of what Lombardi meant to so many different people. I was a football player. I played for eight years. I didn’t have aspirations of going to NFL. I didn’t have a letdown. Here is this Italian man, white man in late 50s, early 60s in America who was colorblind and didn’t care about sexual preference. He had an insane commitment to winning and an incredible work ethic. You just don’t see that. We received standing ovations every night.

 DD: Talk about how you came to be Terrence Wall on VH1’s Hit the Floor (  Talk about your character.

RCR: I came and auditioned. I was in Atlanta doing Single Ladies. I got an audition for the role of Derek. I taped the audition in my  hotel room, just me and a lamp. I sent it to the folks at VH1. They asked me to come in and read for Terrence.

DD: What do you think they saw in your audition?

RCR: I’ve heard it was because I went for it. The scene began with an orgasm. Terrence and Jelena were having sex. Lets just say I showed my commitment to the role.

DD: What do you like about Terrence?

RCR: I love Terrence. I think he’s amazing. We have a lot in common. He really loves Jelena and uses the gift he’s been given, the money, fame and position – to do good things. It seems like he’s doing the right thing with it. He used his money to open a restaurant and named it after his girlfriend instead of making it rain in a nightclub. He understands who he is. He’s an African American athlete and is portrayed as a stand up gentleman. I don’t take that lightly. I support his decision of leaving Jelena in season one. I don’t think you can stop loving someone who did something horrible. I would have done the exact same thing.

DD: As a teacher/mentor you worked with the Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in South Central, LA. Why?

RCR: I remember being a kid. I’m not that old. I’m 32. I was one of these kids. I grew up in the inner city. I was raised by my mom and my grandmother. My father was a philanderer. I grew up in the 80s. I know these kids need a positive role model. I’d like to have a hand in changing the fate of their situation. They need to know things are positive so they can shoot for it.

DD:  Lets get personal. I understand you love to cook. What’s your best dish?

RCR: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. I’m notorious for my breakfast. My cheesy eggs are the best. Bacon has to be there, too. I usually have a smoothie of some sort. I try to have one everyday. I know my way around the kitchen. I could also make rice and peas and curry chicken. I learned how to cook because I was a picky eater as a child. From the time I could reach the stove, I learned how to cook.

DD: What did you expect from this business and what did you get?

RCR: I expected to have fun telling stories and to be able to give people some insight on things they didn’t know. I expected to provide entertainment. I like putting smiles on faces.  I’ve been entertaining folks for about eight years professionally.  I’m literally living my dream.

Twitter: @RobRileyNYC
Facebook: Robert Christopher Riley – Hit The Floor

Tyler Perry's 'For Better Or Worse' Comes To OWN

Third Season Debuts on OWN with Two Back-to-Back Episodes
Wednesday, September 18 at 9 PM ET/PT

Jennifer (Cocoa Brown) and Angela (Tasha Smith) 
comfort Leslie (Crystle Stewart) 
at the hospital on “For Better or Worse”
Photo Credit: Courtesy of OWN 

Los Angeles – Tyler Perry’s popular sitcom “For Better or Worse,” following three couples as they navigate the ups-and-downs of dating and marriage, makes its OWN debut with the premiere of its third season on Wednesday, September 18 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT (two back-to-back half-hour episodes).     

In the season premiere, Leslie Norris (Crystle Stewart, Miss USA 2008), rushes to the hospital on her wedding day after finding out Joseph Jetson (Jason Olive, “Raising Helen”) has been in a serious accident, leaving her pending nuptials to fiancé Chris (Eddie Cibrian, “CSI: Miami,” “Third Watch”) in question. 

To view a promotional spot for “For Better or Worse” (with embed code), please click here:

Written, directed, executive produced and created by Tyler Perry, “For Better or Worse”centers on successful salon owner Angela Williams (Tasha Smith, “Why Did I Get Married?,” “Why Did I Get Married Too?,” “Couples Retreat”) and her husband of 13 years, former professional football player Marcus (Michael Jai White, “Why Did I Get Married?,” “Why Did I Get Married Too?,” “Spawn”).  Marcus is partnered with Richard Ellington (Kent Faulcon, “American Beauty”) and Joseph Jetson (Jason Olive, “Raising Helen”) on a new sports news program called “C-Sports Now.”  Marcus’ business relationship with Richard and Joseph is complicated, however, by the fact that Richard is married to Keisha (Kiki Haynes, “Nora’s Hair Salon”), Marcus’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his teenage daughter.  In addition, Joseph’s ex-girlfriend, successful real estate agent Leslie Norris (Crystle Stewart, Miss USA 2008), is Angela’s best friend.  More often than not, the friends and couples find it impossible to keep their business and private lives from mingling.  “For Better or Worse” is produced by Tyler Perry Studios.

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand – and the magnetism of the channel.  Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable.  Depth with edge.  Heart. Star power. Connection.  And endless possibilities.  OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications.  The network debuted on January 1, 2011 and is available in 85 million homes.  The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform  For more information, please visit and

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The HBFF Unveils Its 2013 Official Artwork


Hollywood, CA (August 22, 2013) – The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) has unveiled its 2013 official artwork designed by London-based visual artist, Vince Fraser.  The design was commissioned to illuminate HBFF’s brand identity and audience appeal. 

Fraser is a first generation British born artist with Jamaican parents who has worked as a digital illustrator and visual artist for 15 years. 

“We selected Vince to design our official 2013 artwork because after one look at his aesthetic, we knew he was the one that would bring the flair and creativity that represents the Hollywood Black Film Festival,” said Tanya Kersey, HBFF's founder and executive director.  

Fraser has designed for brands such as Coca Cola, Guess Jeans, Toyota, L'Oreal, Bloomingdales, Tiger Beer, Hugo Boss, DELL computers, T-Mobile, and British Airways.

“I would best describe my style as being both illustrative and decorative with special attention to detail transforming it into something quite eye catching," stated Fraser. "A lot of my work is heavily influenced by intricate line work and by applying manipulation techniques. My philosophy is to create something unique for every project."

Vince says he tries to create work that is visually interesting but also has a message behind it, giving the work depth and purpose.  
The finished result for the 2013 HBFF artwork consists of controlled chaos, abstract female forms and geometric shapes with seductive tones and contrasting hues in hopes it will create a whole new identity for the festival which is instantly recognizable worldwide, and appeals to a wide audience on a global scale. Fraser’s goal was to showcase the new wave of emerging black talent within the industry. The artwork symbolizes how black filmmakers have become more progressive and creative in their approach to filmmaking.

Fraser also felt it would be a great opportunity to combine the two elements of bold colors and graphic shapes to showcase something more futuristic and surreal for HBFF.  

Fraser is currently working on a sizeable mural in London as well as a project for Warner Music.

He feels honored to be collaborating with one of the leading black film festivals in the world. 
About Vince Fraser

Vince Fraser is a freelance digital illustrator / designer based in London who has worked for various clients including British Airways, PC World, BBC and T-mobile. 

With ten years experience in the field of digital arts he is one of the most sought after image-makers working today. Having originally come from an interior design background, the progression to digital arts was a natural one. 

Specializing in digital illustration ranging from 2d vector work, photo-montage, image-
manipulation and 3d modeling, Vince's work has continued to develop and inspire creative, vibrant, innovative and evocative artwork. Implementing a variety of elements from photographs to typography and vector illustration his compositions conceal a broad palette. Having a great eye for detail he is always pushing the boundaries and describes his style as contemporary but with a twist of retro. 

Vince's highly versatile work can be found anywhere internationally from mobile phone
screensavers, VIP lounges through to luxury apartments and is starting to get the recognition it highly deserves.

His work is regularly featured in design and industry publications such as Advanced Photoshop, IDN, Computer Arts Projects and Digital Arts.

For more information about Vince Fraser visit 

Sundance's 'A Teacher' "Back To School" Contest

With summer coming to a close, what better way to celebrate than getting some of your student loan paid for!  Oscilloscope is using a new and interesting method to promote their Sundance film A TEACHER, directed by Hannah Fidell starring Lindsay Burdge and Will Brittain. They have created a “Back to School” contest where they are offering to help pay down those pesky student loans to celebrate the release of Hannah Fidell’s Sundance and SXSW racy debut "A Teacher.” And now, we want to get the word out about it!

The film opens theatrically in select theater September 6th, and is now available to watch on iTunes and on demand. Oscilloscope productions will be giving $1,000 towards someone’s student loans (or whatever you want to spend it on). This contest is to promote the film on VOD and its theatrical release!

The film explores the tabloid-ready story of a female high school teacher engaging in an affair with a male student…but rather than a steamy exploitation or overwrought melodrama, the film is a skillfully observed psychological tale. If the long-followed saga of Mary Kay Letourneau is any indicator, America’s twisted fascination with attractive women school teachers having affairs with their younger male students is far from over--Enter A Teacher. Coming off of a successful Sundance premiere, the film shines light into the psychological profile of a woman who ends up having sex with her student and how easy it could be to potentially cross that line.  
There are two ways to enter their 'A Teacher' back to school contest:
  • E-mail O-Scope a story of your most memorable teacher crush to Teachers can also take part by e-mailing a story of your hottest student crush. They'll be sharing some of their favorite stories on their Facebook and Twitter pages leading up to the film's theatrical release. They promise to keep your stories anonymous. Or if you'd prefer that they don't post your story, just let them know and O-Scope will respect your privacy -- you can still be in the running without having your story posted.
They'll also be giving away five (5) O-Scope prize packs to their favorite stories.
Haven't had a teacher crush? Or just extremely lazy? That's OK!
  • Just tweet this and you'll be in the running: I’m hot for @ATeacherMovie – now available on demand & digital; in theaters Sept 6!
You can only choose ONE method of entry, and must do it by the end of Wednesday, September 4th to be eligible to win. Spread the word!

A TEACHER-- A young Texas high school teacher’s (Lindsay Burdge) affair with one of her teenage students (Will Brittain) begins as a seemingly innocent fling.  But as the relationship continues, what started off as something simple becomes increasingly complex – and dangerous.  Freshman feature director Hannah Fidell takes us on an emotional roller coaster, as the once-confident teacher’s psyche begins to unravel, revealing the warped emotions that drive her to bond – and attempt to keep – this unusual relationship.  Burdge’s stirringly realistic performance takes us inside the mind of an adult driven to form a taboo connection, but just can’t stop.   
It’s human, and it’s wrong.  And it’s human.

That's Voiceover! Speaks To Industry Hopefuls

By Darlene Donloe

Hundreds of hopefuls interested in achieving success in the voice-over business attended That’s Voiceover, a full-day voice-over career expo held recently at the Directors Guild in Hollywood.

Becoming a voiceover actor in Hollywood has long been a coveted profession.  However, entree into the business is anything but easy.  The That’s Voiceover event brought together some heavyweights in the business to not only dispense information, but to actually give attendees an opportunity to talk to agents, teachers, casting directors and actors who are already making a living doing voice-overs.

One of its mandates is to launch new voice-over careers and inspire new heights and success for voice-over pros. 

That’s Voiceover is considered a national showcase for meeting the buyers, agents, and creative directors who generate the work and the excitement that motivates positive outcomes. One of the many issues experts discussed was how to refine talents and how to target specific marketing strategies.


The brainchild of Executive Producers Rudy Gaskins and Joan Baker (Secrets of Voice-over Success: Top Voice-Over Actors Reveal How They Did It), the event, now in its fifth year, was chalk full of priceless information.  The event encourages everyone, regardless of their level of experience, to take part in the workshops, which are held in a different state each year.  It will soon travel to London.

"The importance of this event is to provide a fertile and vetted resource for accurate career information, real-world job opportunities and a meaningful means for assessing the status of one’s career and how to take steps to improve it," said Gaskins. 

He added that the feedback his team has received is overwhelming and enthusiastic. 

"Most of it has to do with the success of our mission to provide the above," said Gaskins. "Everyone was delighted to meet the top Hollywood pros and to know that they were once in the same place as the newcomers. Speed Dating and the audition spotlight was a once in a lifetime experience for the lucky few who were able to do it."  


This year's events included several workshops. Be The Mic demonstrated how the microphone can b a powerful extension of a performance. It also showed the tricks, tips and techniques to give someone an edge in the booth. Life From The Red Carpet was a how-to workshop on live voice announcing for major events like the Oscars and Emmys. There was a seminar on Making A Living With Audiobook Narration.  There were several opportunities for attendees to audition. Advance ticket-holders were give the opportunity to meet one-on-one with agents, casting directors and creative directors for feedback on their demo reels, audition technique and career goals in a seminar called Speed Dating & Your VO Demo.  
Participants were given a chance at one of three paying jobs awarded by NBC 4 and the Audiobook Creation Exchange. Proceeds benefited the Alzheimer’s Association of Southern California.

According to Gaskins, Christina Kelly won the NBC Audition Spotlight and will do a promo campaign for NBC 4 Los Angeles, trial representation with a TGMD (Hollywood voiceover agency), and a studio microphone from Neumann Microphone Company.   

"Of course it doesn’t hurt that she won all this before an audience full of casting directors, agents and producers," said Gaskins. "But the success is what such an opportunity does for one’s confidence in pursuit of a dream to compete in a highly competitive market. Last year in Chicago, we learned four people were signed to agents as a direct result of the Speed Dating event. We suspect the same will happen this year."

"The immediate success stories are that two people actually won book narration contracts with Audiobook Creation Exchange," said Gaskins. "These two (Anne Johnstonbrown and Steve Marvel) will each narrate a classic novel."

Robin Robertson, 51, who flew in from the Bay Area for the event called That’s Voiceover “rewarding and inspiring.”

“I’ve wanted to do voice-overs since the 90s,” said Robertson. “Getting to know the people who are involved, being able to network with people with similar interest is fabulous. Some people have told me my dream would not come true. I don’t listen to them. Events like this let me know anything is possible.”


Shelley Sykes has been in show business for 25 years. The writer/producer/director, who owns B.U.A. Media Group, said events like That’s Voiceover are priceless.

“There is so much information under one roof,” said Sykes.  “I’m ready to take it all in, and then put it to work.”

In addition to the workshops, there were several presentations throughout the day.


Tamara Tunie (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) hosted the evening presentation which included remarks from Joan Baker and Susan Galeas (president and CEO, Alzheimer’s Association, Southern California Chapter) and a special tribute to voice-over legend Don LaFontaine, who died in 2008.

Actor Keith David, who recently voiced The Bible and also voiced Ken Burns’ The War on PBS, was honored with the Voice Arts Award for his body of work.   David was presented the award by That's Voiceover! Executive Producer Gaskins. A Q&A session involving Keith was then moderated by voice-over teacher and performer, Patrick Fraley.


“I’m humbled and pleased,” said David, accepting his award. “I’m humbled when someone recognizes my work. I don’t do it for you. But, I don’t do it for you not to say something either. It’s nice when someone says you did OK.”

David said he liked doing voice-over work because he doesn’t have to dress up or brush his teeth.

“A friend told me I was the most famous, obscure actor in America,” said David.

In accepting his award, David acknowledged the voice-over work of the late actors Percy Rodriguez, Ossie Davis, William Conrad and John Forsythe.

“They were all wonderful actors,” said David. “I would hear them and I believed then, that’s when I knew this is what I wanted to do. If you’re doing what you say you want to do, you are living the dream. I’m living the dream. If I leave the planet tomorrow, I can say to St. Peter, I had a good time.”