Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Casting Call: Black To My Roots

I am currently casting a new pilot and would love for you to forward on the casting notice to anyone who may be interested. ALL ENTRIES must be received by Friday 1/30/09.

A diverse group of African Americans are united on a trip to Africa to explore the Homeland. From townships and shanties to modern cities and skyscrapers, watch what happens when African Americans come face-to-face with the real Africa. Black to My Roots is a pilgrimage of personal and cultural discovery.

We are searching for a diverse group of applicants (lawyers, doctors, writers, hip hop artists, teachers, actors, nutritionists, fashionistas, etc).

Please email a paragraph describing yourself and what makes YOU the ideal candidate for this opportunity, essentially what makes you UNIQUE. Also, attach a photograph and your contact phone number. All entries must be received by 1/30/09.

Best Regards,

Talia M. Parkinson

Friday, January 16, 2009

Seeking Booking Agents for Two Artists

Atlanta-based Indie Nubian Soul Artist seeks Booking Agent/Booking Manager familiar with Soul/R & B, Indie/Underground Music, and a relationship venues to book performances in Atlanta, New York, and The Bay Area.

Artist has a following with deejays in the UK, online, and will soon release single followed by full album later this spring/early summer.

Please send cover letter, resume, and a list of past or current clients.

Looking for an immediate start.

* * *
Entertainment group with celebrity clients is looking for a booking agent for a new Hip Hop/Pop trio based in Baltimore that wants to break initially into NYC market before a national marketing campaign.

Looking to book trio in small to moderate venues, festivals, and as opening acts for local performers in the metro New York City area.

Please send cover letter, resume, and list of past and current clients.

Thanks in advance.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Seeking Part Time Media Intern

Keneritz Media, LLC, and Morningside Writers Group seek a twice-weekly part-time virtual assistant for administrative, editorial, research, marketing, and commission sales tasks. Minimum of eight, maximum of ten hours.

Ideal assistant types at least 60wpm, has legible handwriting, takes good written notes and dictation, and able to work with minimal supervision. Seeking an intern with an interest in media, publishing, marketing/publicity. Must have wireless-enabled laptop and cell phone. Must be pet-friendly as working environment is a home office with animals.

Send cover letter with availability and résumé. Opportunity to earn commissions and work with emerging artists and writers:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Book Contest Giveaway - Faith, Lifestyle, Writing

Hachette Book Group and Harlem Writer are hosting a book contest giveaway celebrating a New Year and New You from January 15th -February 15th, 2009. Five winners will be chosen. Each winner will receive a set of the books.

Contest Rules:
1. The contest is open to US or Canadian residents only with a valid mailing address. No P.O. Boxes.
2. Applicants must use a valid e-mail address and home or cell number.
3. The top five essays will win.

Format: Please submit responses using the following guidelines (Courier New, 12 pt, double –spaced, 1” margins on all four sides). Word count: 750-1000 words

Select one category and answer one of the questions below.

Submit response as a .doc or .pdf attachment by midnight on 02/15/09, to, Subject: HBMWG Contest Giveaway.

Books will be mailed to contest winners courtesy of the publisher.

Rediscovering Your Faith
1. When did you discover the meaning of faith, and how do you express your faith in your daily life?
2. Please describe the last time you were tempted, and how you overcame the temptation(s)?
3. When did you last have a spiritual experience, and how did it manifest itself?

Available books:
1. When did you first fall in love, and was it memorable? How has the experience shaped the rest of your love life?
2. What is your most memorable cross-cultural experience with someone different from you?
3. What is the importance of cultural awareness and heritage on a changing national stage?

Available books:
1. Describe the power of words and how your life has changed as a result? (Ex: a daily journal or exchanging letters with a pen pal)
2. What was the last good fiction book you read and why? What was your connection to story and characters?
3. What was the last good memoir you read and why? What was your connection to the story and characters?

Available books:
Good luck!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Things We Do For Money

My first job was babysitting my younger brothers while my mother and aunts would go to see The Commodores, Stephanie Mills, or Teddy Pendergrass in concert. A few years later, my sixteen year-old frame was pushing a wet mop that weighed more than I did at McDonald's. I can't remember how long that gig lasted, but the next in a series of odd jobs was busboy at a chain restaurant because my mother knew the manager. I was the youngest and only black busboy, surrounded by a sea of Mexicans, who felt I was encroaching upon their territory.

I learned the fine art of marrying ketchup bottles, diluting floor cleaners, and saw how much food Americans wasted daily. I think I worked there for an entire summer before I came to my senses and found a retail job in the swanky Galleria Mall in River Oaks.

I transitioned from bleach and gift bags to auditioning for a modeling class, and shortly thereafter booked local anti-drug commercials/public service announcements for a grocery store, followed by two national 30-second commercials for McDonald's with a then unknown Renee O'Connor, who'd later star with Lucy Lawless on Xena, Warrior Princess.

I remember an Italian named Aldo who schooled us on the skincare and healthy living. This was long ago, before metrosexual was added to a global lexicon. Back when men were supposed to be men, and any guy who put green mud on his face was thought to be queer. Armed with my new buzz words: exfoliate, scrub, moisturize, and Borghese Fango, I continued to audition for commercials and plays, and landed a small role in To Kill A Mockingbird at a local Houston theatre.

The next stop on my chameleon's journey was as a credit authorizer and then credit collections agent at a then major department store. Talk about schizophrenia. I initially approved and set credit card limits, and then however many months later, my role was to demand payment on delinquent accounts that I'd probably previously approved.

(sounds of harps playing)

I relocated to the East Coast and continued my work with the same parent company as a credit authorizer/collections agent for about a year, and then (spiraled?) through a series of odd jobs: sample and fragrance model, curbside promotions in the middle of a NY winter (hey, I should've been discovered by an agent or producer), food runner, rollerskating host in an outdoor café, but the creepiest job of all that I refused to take was a personal assistant/caretaker for this Jabba, the Hut-type man on Fifth Avenue. What was I thinking? If didn't know then, but know now that I've guardian angels.

He wanted someone, preferably male, to cook, clean, and bathe him. All three hundred plus pounds of his hairy, mole-covered body. He was gracious enough to offer said guy Friday to climb into the tub with him (where would one fit?), swimsuit if shy, otherwise nude, in order to thoroughly bathe. The nooks and crannies under the folds of his arms and belly. I fled that interview as other would-be boy toys filed off the elevator. I'd be better off hosing down elephants at The Bronx Zoo.

With wit, acting skills, and determination, I was hired as a traveling software trainer teaching MS Office, which was my foundation and motivation to increase my earnings and keep my feet on the ground as a helpdesk agent at Lehman Brothers, followed by a dual stint as a helpdesk agent/desk side trainer at a Dutch Bank.

All told, every job I've had has taught me valuable customer service, marketing, and technical skills. Those past gigs made me realize I'm meant to be self-employed, even if I have to scrape by a few weeks or months eating cereal and tuna sandwiches. I work best as a team leader, not a subordinate. This isn't to say that I'm rebel without a cause, just that I've accepted that God has had better things in store for me all along, and I've ignored or been afraid to embrace my true self: entrepreneur, community organizer, and mentor. What some might view as reckless, was in fact necessary for me to be exactly where I am today.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Is Confession Good for the Soul?

In this age of blogs, blooks, and what appears to be instant online notoriety, what purpose does a public confession serve? My Granny, may she rest in peace, would say to us, "If you ever get into trouble, do it by yourself, there'll be no one to tell on you." Barring a guilty conscious or hidden cameras, a person could get away with a few things.

If no harm befalls the receiver of said confession, is it wise to reveal? There are bound to be consequences if the information was intentionally withheld: a cheating spouse, a truant child, a lingering medical condition. In each scenario, someone's life may be altered either way.

I discover that a friend is cheating on her spouse, yet remain silent because her intimate life is no concern of mine. I could live without consequence, perhaps until her husband deduces that she's having an extramarital affair and takes upon himself to rectify the situation. How does it end? Will he tail her to the secret rendezvous and wait until they're disrobed, storm in, and beat the guy to a pulp? I'm not my friend's keeper, however, I might feel a tinge of guilt because the situation could've been avoided. My friend's husband is tried and sentenced to prison because of her inability to communicate that they were disconnected, and I sit, head in hands in the back of the courtroom, wondering.

What do I do if I see my youngest brother skipping school during my lunch break from work, as I pull away from the drive-through at the fast food restaurant? Do I pretend not to know him, fearing he'd be more embarrassed by his disapproving oldest brother calling him to task, and do my best to forget? Of course I couldn't forget. But do I call our parents and rat him out, or hope it was first and last time and remain quiet? Fast-forward a few weeks, and he's no longer skipping school, but has started doing things a fifteen year-old should not. He's bowed to peer pressure and started shoplifting to prove he's cool even though he attends class daily. The dreaded phone call. One of the ruffians has implicated him in their string of robberies, and mom calls me, perplexed, tearful: "Where did I go wrong with this child?" Is it my fault that I didn't tell our parents I saw him framed through my windshield in the strip mall parking lot?

I walk in on a relative taking prescription medicine, and think nothing of it until she realizes I'm standing in the kitchen with her and reacts poorly. She swears me to secrecy, stating that it's something simple she can handle, and not to involve any other family members. I'm concerned because of the hereditary illnesses that plague us. Do I take it upon myself to monitor her condition, or trust that she's telling me truth, and leave it to her own devices? In this scenario, my cousin will soon graduate from college, and her energy is split between a fulltime job and evening classes.


African American family populating five rows of folded chairs in large auditorium. In what should be a joyous celebration, none of the assembled appear to be of good cheer. Most wear a somber expression, while others are tearful.

What do you think happened? What would you have done differently?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Kenertiz Media, LLC

Keneritz Media, LLC, is a multidisciplinary publicity/marketing and booking agency based in New York City. We represent mid-career artists, entertainers, musicians and small business owners seeking promotion, marketing and brand building.

We strategically position our clients within their target demographic to transform and sustain their career using established techniques and social media.

Some of our services include writing press releases, creating and distributing press kits, media placements, and cross-promoting with other with vendors for collaborative efforts.

Keneritz Media is a creative solutions provider for singers, writers, actors, musicians, and entrepreneurs who are ready for the next logical step in a rewarding career.

For more information or personal interview, feel free to contact us

Friday, January 02, 2009

Seeking Sci-Fi/Spec Fiction Moderator

I'm seeking a published writer or writing instructor to moderate and participate in a new Morningside Writers Sci-Fi/Spec Fiction Workshop.

There are currently three female writers in the Commercial/Literary Fiction Workshop that would migrate into the new workshop. Ideally looking for three male writers (including moderator), but flexible as long as there is a gender balance.

Each workshop has a maximum of six writers who are workshopped twelve times a year, in addition to writing exercises and career guidance lectures.

If interested, send a cover letter, resume, and writing samples or links to writing samples:

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Writing Goals 2009?

Greetings NYC Writers -- Stopping by to wish you all a blessed, productive, and prosperous New Year 2009 that includes agents, staged readings, productions, and bylines.

What are your writing goals for 2009? Do they include joining an online or local writing workshop to help push you to the next level in your writing career?

If so, I urge you all to check out Morningside Writers Group, heading into our sixth year, as a strong and reputable writing workshop for writers in the metro NYC area.
There are seats available in the Fiction, Memoir/Creative Nonfiction and Screenwriting/Playwriting Workshops. Visit the website for application information and procedure.

Happy New Year!