Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Writer Says Goodbye: And Ode to Crandon Boulevard

Artist Franz Klainsek tentatively put pen to paper for the very first time in 2010.  This little story was his first exercise in a creative writing class we both attended, taught by prolific writer, producer, actress, Fielding Edlow.  He wasn’t sure that writing was for him or that he had any actual talent for it. He just knew he wanted to be able to tell stories.  Upon hearing his reading in class, every person in the room nearly fell off their seats.  It was so special, so nostalgically beautiful and painful at the same time. I had to share it.
Sometimes, a person’s work is so heartfelt that one can only give it away to the world.  And so with his permission I post the writer’s poetic goodbye, a powerful remembrance of his childhood stomping ground.
The Street I Grew Up On
by Franz Klainsek
The street I grew up on is Crandon Boulevard a street I know like the back of my hand.
It is filled with all you need from pizza at a Dollar and a quarter to a bookstore for that book that will guide me thru that freakin science project.
The Street I grew up on couldn’t get rid of my bicycle tire marks even if it was cleaned daily from now til the day I die.
Ah those rides down Crandon with a smile that makes my cheeks hurt just thinking about it.
The street I grew up on.
Hmmmm that left turn I remember it as if it was yesterday.
Ah if I could go back I’ll be more patient with you red light.
Palm trees Palm Trees and more Palm Trees. Give me that coconut.
Coconut I still love you til this day.
Ah I think of the transformation they have done to you but I will never forget your natural beauty. Real beauty.
Those mangrove trees with all who live there some not my style but even you I miss.
You are all trapped in my heart just like I trapped you Mr. Racoon that day with the Milky Way bar. Haha.
The street I grew up on. Tattooed in my heart as permanent as the Truth on my arm.
Ah now I am filled with the pain I’ve felt on that street I grew up on.
But to you I hold no harsh feelings.
You were there for me to share all my experiences good, bad and all the rest.
From Death of my grandfather to life of my brother the street I grew up on has seen it all.
Blood Tears Drama drama drama. Oh Im sorry you’ve had to see such horrific sights.
Blood was never the intention love is my truth.
Thru and thru I love you Crandon Blvd I truly do I will never stop Loving you.              Love is all I feel for you.
Although you were the setting for much more you have no blame.
I love thee I love me I love that I was destined to experience all that I did on that Crandon Blvd.
Crandon Blvd not sure what Crandon means but rest assured I will soon find out.
I love and respect thee always.
Bye Crandon Boulevard.

Early and Often at Open Fist Theatre, Los Angeles

Screwball comedy takes the stage at Open Fist Theatre in the west coast premiere of Early and Often written by Barbara Wallace and Thomas R. Wolfe.

Set in Chicago 1960, democrats, republicans and everyone else will stop at nothing to compete for votes, power and a political code of honor in this tumultuous, zany, murder-mystery filled with whodunits, real estate scams and plenty of illicit affairs all around.  It should have been hilarious and at times, is.  But Early and Often has difficulty finding its way through the gags, setups and style as good guys do bad things to prevent the bad guys from having their share of the “goods” when suddenly there becomes a vacancy in the state assembly.  Unevenly written and directed, there is never-the-less, an interesting show in development.

READ THE REVIEW (click here)


Now playing at Open Fist Theatre                                                                                        6209 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038

For showtimes and tickets visit:

April 7-May 26th                                                                                                                     Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm                                                                                             Sundays @ 2pm                                                                                                                              Tickets $25.00

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo

Sign Language Inspires Chanel

T, The New York Times Styles Magazine stopped by this morning to share one of the most incredibly inspired and exclusive videos on fashion I have seen to date. 

T Exclusive Video | A Polished Look by Chanel

Video Link:

When Peter Philips, Chanel’s creative director for makeup, wanted to showcase the latest collection of Chanel nail polish on film, he called upon Ruth Hogben, a London filmmaker known for her work with Gareth Pugh and Louis Vuitton. The inspiration to use sign language came shortly after.

In this video, the Dutch model Saskia De Brauw manually conveys some of Coco Chanel’s most famous quotes; while her hands do the talking, her fingernails show off an array of chic Chanel lacquers.

Eighth Annual Cheap Chic Weddings Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest Rolls Out

Can you use toilet paper to make a beautiful wedding dress? If you can, you just might win $2012!

Wedding dress shopping.  Lining up at favorite designer ateliers for hours on end on sale days.  Agonizing over styles, fits and price tags.  The insanity of wedding preparations.  All those flowers!  The dress.  The single most expensive item more than a few girls will at least once in their lifetime, break the bank for.  It’s a big investment.

Well, everyone likes to save money here and there. And for some, saving money on weddings is more than a hobby, and a little less than an obsession. Laura Gawne, Roxie Radford and Susan Bain operate the popular website

The Eighth Annual Cheap Chic Weddings “Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest” is sponsored by Charmin.


Winners will be announced at an event hosted by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square Odditorium on June 27, 2012. Cheap Chic Weddings also welcomes new sponsor Life In Mobile, Inc. to this year’s contest.  All photos and video are to be submitted to Cheap Chic Weddings at by June 1, 2012 at 11:00 PM EST. There is no entry fee. The Judging Panel at Cheap Chic Weddings will judge the digital photo entries.

The Grand Prize winner will receive $2012, the second place winner will receive $1000 and the third place winner will receive $500.

Here’s How to Enter:

First: Plan your design.

Second: Enlist a friend’s help (optional – but seriously, you’re gonna need some help putting this all together!)

Third: Grab some Charmin Toilet Paper, Tape and/or Glue and/or Needle and Thread (that’s all you can use)!

Fourth: Make the dress on your model or mannequin and take some digital photos (front, back and side). Video clips are welcome but not necessary.

“Each year, the contest gets better and better. We are all excited to see the fantastic entries!” said Laura Gawne of Cheap Chic Weddings.

View top and winning entries: contest rules along with lots of other wedding cost saving tips and information can be found at

Last year’s Grand Prize winner Susan Brennan created a playfully sophisticated dress, which was inspired by her love of flowers.

Happy 448th Will! The Black Women’s Playwrights Group Celebrates the Bard’s Birthday with 12Tweets@12Noon

12Tweets@12NoonOn Monday (today) April 23, in honor of William Shakespeare’s 448th birthday, the Black Women Playwrights’ Group (BWPG) of Washington, DC, will launch a new series of play excerpts called 12Tweets@12Noon.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from April 23 until May 18, the writers of BWPG will deliver thought-provoking, spicy scenes via Twitter, each in twelve consecutive lines.

Follow 12Tweets@12Noon 


The Twitter community is invited to comment on characters and plot, and to add their own twist to the 12Tweets@12Noon series — in 140 characters or less, of course — at @BLKWMPLYWRIGHTS.  Their followers can also suggest a theme song to fit each espresso shot of a scene!

The series is created by the Black Women Playwrights’ Group; a service and advocacy group for women writers of color nationwide. BWPG Executive Director Karen Evans observed, “We are looking for a way to share our members’ work with a wider audience, while creating stories that would maintain our presence in the cyber world, and that’s how 12Tweets@12Noon was born. When we thought about Twitter as a platform, the challenge was on. Not only are we able to hit the 140 character mark, but also tell rich stories from the soul that hold together, even in this succinct form.”

12Tweets@12Noon is not the first cyber adventure from BWPG.

In February 2012 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC, BWPG officially launched the BWPG Cyber Narrative Project, a project that partners technology students at Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center – Global with playwrights of color. This is the first comprehensive project in which regional theaters nationwide explore how the dynamic of live performance can be extended to online audiences.

For this project, BWPG gathered theaters around the country, which, in turn, chose top-notch playwrights for productions in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. Playwrights include Pulitzer Prize and McArthur award-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, and Kristoffer Diaz, The New York Times Playwright of the Year. The playwrights are creating digital bonus materials for the theater productions. Online, theatergoers will interact with the plays’ characters and themes before, during, and after the performance. Content developed so far includes a video game, text messages from the characters during the performance, and interactive web sites on which the audience can continue the conversation with the characters.

There are ten partners in the BWPG Cyber Narrative Project: Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center – Global, Pittsburgh; About Face Theatre, Chicago; Dallas Theater Center, Dallas; The Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles; The Goodman Theatre, Chicago; Hip Hop Theater Festival, New York; Intersectin for the Arts, San Francisco; The Movement Theatre Company, New York; Penumbra Theatre, Minneapolis; Victory Gardens, Chicago; and Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington, DC. The project is made possible by the generous support of Bloomberg BNA, The Dreyfus Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Bill and Louisa Newlin, and Nick Olcott.

For more information, contact Karen James Cody of the Allyson Group

(301) 452-4469.

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

by Tracey Paleo ~ Gia On The Move

Well…Everything!  If you are looking…

This weekend everyone whose been looking for love in all the WRONG places will finally get some relief and an excellent helping hand from Melanie Mar, Featured Life Coach on Housewives of Beverly Hills Life and Co-Owner of Millionaire’s Club International Matchmaking Agency (with Pattie Stanger), a self proclaimed Love-a-holic when it comes to finding the right woman to fit the right man.

You will have to go no further than the LOVE EVENT taking place at, The Sheraton Gateway at LAX this Saturday and Sunday (April 21-22). Super  keyed up for women to learn about how to get or keep the relationship of their dreams  a world-wide team of female and male celebrity experts are offering their services and advice in earnest.

Melanie, who is also a dedicated afternoon tea and crumpets, fashionista Brit turned Angeleno is one of the many professionals set to speak at the two day LOVE ‘affair’ , graciously got on the phone with me yesterday and talked a little bit about being a sort of uber beautiful turnkey solution for wealthier singles, mostly men, who really need a helping hand occasionally in finding the woman or man of their dreams.

Gia: So what do you love about the LOVE EVENT this weekend?

Melanie: They brought me in to talk about fashion and how to attract a man.  I do style and image makeovers so I’m am glad to be talking about that.  But I am happy to be a part of it because it’s known as the LOVE event geared for women and empowering to women.  It’s a nice event.  When you take away the money and beauty you have your integrity and character.  The people who are coming are regular people looking for love – looking to find a mate. I’m not going to be talking to wealthy people. I’ll be talking to normal people.  I’m here to celebrate love.

Gia:    Why do people come to you in the first place and what do they really want? And what exactly happens in this situation? Especially with your millionaire men?

Melanie:  My entire existence is spent managing people’s expectations. When you have money or beauty you think you can have it all. There is always someone with more.  For me it’s lots of things.  I turn clients away if I think they won’t listen and are not willing to receive.  If you come to me you’re looking for love.  If you are looking for playtime – no.  You want something serious, a relationship for quality not quantity.  But there is always that underlying notion with a client that who he is looking for has to be this or that.   It’s a lot of,  “I don’t know if you will date women that height.”  Sometimes, it’s exasperating.

Gia:  How do you handle that?

Melanie: Last night [for instance] I had to tell a potential client, ” Go away and think about what you really want.  You are setting your sights too high.”

Gia:  So then how DO you get your clients to “come around” to your idea of finding a mate for them?

Melanie:  I just say, let’s work with what we’ve got.  When the match making kicks in I am constantly trying to say,  “Do you want to be in a relationship? If you do you are going to have to change things to be more open.  It’s about modification and compromise.  If you continue with the same thought patterns you will be single forever.

Gia:  What do you think makes for a successful match?

Melanie:  Three things – Compatibility, Communication, Chemistry.

Gia:  What’s your special gift?

Melanie:  I’m certified in transactional analysis in date coaching and matching.  I coach my clients through pre dating, preparing clients to start dating or during.   Everything I do with my clients is geared for love and making or sustaining relationships.  My background actually is fashion. It’s my first love personally.

Gia:  What are these guys looking for?  Can any woman really attract a millionaire?  What does it really take?

Melanie: Men are visual of course, that’s the initial thing that any man wants.  What she looks like. Is she beautiful? For a woman I always say you simply have to make what God gave you the best you can possibly be.  It means looking feminine. Get a mani-pedi, put on makeup, coif your hair.  Let’s start off with what you’ve got and make the most of it.  Creating a wardrobe that really suits you.   Don’t reveal everything.  Keep a little mystery.

The men I encounter want a lady who looks like a lady.  Someone who he can take into any room and who can talk and socialize.  He doesn’t want to have to worry about her saying something or doing something awkward.  These men feel  like they can have that.

Gia:  Is LA different from anywhere else when it comes to finding the right mate?

Melanie:  In a cosmopolitan city like Los Angeles, it is more intense.  We are surrounded by beauty.  There’s always a bigger better deal.

Gia:  At the end of the day, what’s the real “pay-off” for you, investing your self, your time, your insights and experience entirely into helping other people find love?

Melanie:   I admit it’s exhausting. I often feel so emotionally drained because I take on so much.  But for me, I go above and beyond. I am always the person saying if you need me call me or text me any time of the day.  I truly care from my heart. I am heart-driven. I can’t bear to hear about anyone breaking up or divorcing.  I see both sides of the coins.  You know, no one is perfect.