Ready4Air (TV) | (VIDEO) Actress Taraji P. Henson Turns 45, Talks About #Fashion Week In The Caribbean, And Cookie Lyon’s Style

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September 16, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Taraji P. Henson

Fox’s Empire star Taraji P. Henson at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI
Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Well, Happy Birthday to Taraji P. Henson a.k.a Cookie Lyon. The Academy and Emmy-nominated actress is having a banner year, having just celebrated her 45th birthday on September 11, and gearing up to possibly make history at this year’s Emmy Awards ceremony. Henson–nominated for her over-the-top, edgy character Cookie Lyon from the Fox series Empire–could take home the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series, making her the first African-American to win it.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | 5 Minutes With Fox’s ‘Empire’ Star Taraji P. Henson: What Would You Ask Her?

Taraji P. Henson

Fox’s Empire star Taraji P. Henson stars as Cookie Lyon

As ghetto fabulous Cookie Lyon, Henson has taken her career to the next level, with viewers quoting her famous, sassy one-liners. The much-anticipated sophomore season of Fox’s Empire will bring more family feuding, with patriarch Lucious Lyon–played by Terrence Howard–fighting to keep his family power from behind bars. His ex-wife, ex-con Cookie Lyon, is on the outside with their three sons, Andre, Jamal, and Hakeem scheming on how to get control of the family’s music business, Empire Entertainment. Reports have the new season featuring a few big celebrity guest stars, including actress Vivica A. Fox, who will play Cookie’s sister. The two of them should cause major fashion fireworks on the small screen.

Speaking of fashion, as New York’s Fashion Week wraps up this week, Henson revealed to the New York Post that she will be wearing Alexander Wang to the 67th Emmy Awards which, airs on Sunday, September 20 at 8:00 p.m. EST/7:00 p.m. CST on Fox. When it comes to fashion, Taraji P. Henson is not one to shy away from shaking things up and neither is Cookie.

During my conversation with Taraji at the fashion and lifestyle event Summer Sizzle BVI over the summer, a soft-spoken Henson talked about having a Fashion Week in the British Virgin Islands, Cookie Lyon’s style for season 2 of Empire, and Henson’s desire to live in the BVI.

Click below to watch our full exclusive interview.

And check out this trailer for season 2 of Empire, which premieres on September 23 at 9:00 p.m. EST/8:00 p.m. CST.

With the Emmy Awards and her show’s season premiere only days apart, the next week is going to be a busy one for Taraji P. Henson.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | Why Fox’s ‘Empire’ Star Taraji P. Henson Loves The British Virgin Islands

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) Stop wasting time, especially when it comes to social media

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell – Graphic Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) | (VIDEO) Taraji P. Henson Talks About #Fashion Week’s New Destination | Shooting TV In The Streets Of NYC

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September 14, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Taraji P. Henson

Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Happy Monday, All!

Hope you had a beautiful weekend. Speaking of beauty, if you are in New York City, then there is a good chance you are already on your way to today’s shows for New York Fashion Week. As you may already know, the week-long celebration of all things fashion began last week and runs through September 17. Unique highlights of this year’s show include a collection called “Ground Zero” by Hong Kong-based designers Eric and Philip Chu. These young designers want “Ground Zero” to be seen as a sign of hope. Eric and Phillip told the New York Daily News that their designs were inspired “by Chinese street style and include striped sweaters, bright orange pleather pants, funky fishnet tops and cargo pants.” A bright light as New York City observed the 14th anniversary of  the September 11 tragedy this year.

Since I sprained my foot during Labor Day weekend, I am lying low and sitting this Fashion Week’s festivities out, but I will live vicariously through you.

Also, the television fall premiere season is in full swing with many shows premiering last week. I will have my sprained foot propped up with ice as I watch the premieres continue to roll out. Which shows will make the cut and which ones will be canceled? Stay tuned…

Related Post: Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) | Happy Labor Day | Taraji P. Henson On Fashion Week Caribbean Style | The BVI: A New Home For Fashion Week?:

As New York Fashion Week wraps up on Thursday, we gear up for 67th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, which is set to air on September 20. The Primetime Emmy Awards will honor the best in primetime programming over the past year. The Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series category includes Academy Award-nominee and star of Fox’s Empire Taraji P. Henson. She is up for her role as the edgy ex-con and ex-wife Cookie Lyon.

This week on Ready4Air (TV), watch my full video interview with Henson in the British Virgin Islands, where she talks about Cookie Lyon’s new style for season two of Empire and the BVI as a new destination for Fashion Week.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Lifestyle) | The British Virgin Islands: Creating A New Fashion Week Destination (VIDEO)

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CBS Show Madam Secretary shooting on Riverside Drive and 89th in NYC
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

There are a few things that I enjoy about New York City summers, and that includes shooting productions and watching them being taped in the streets. The actors and crew become one with the viewers of their shows when they set up taping or filming on location. If you are lucky, you might see your favorite celebrity and get a selfie. As a television producer, seeing the production crew out in the streets never gets old.

This week on Ready4Air (TV), on my morning bike ride I spot the big television trucks and crew on Riverside Drive setting up to shoot a scene for CBS’s Madam Secretary starring Téa Leoni and Tim Daly. Of course, I had to stop and take a few pictures, which I will share in the post “A Summer Moment: Shooting TV On The Streets Of New York.” 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Photo Credit: Pixabay

And finally, do you find yourself wasting time when it comes to social media? Social-media management can be a big time suck. Just think about how quickly hours go by when you read through Facebook posts. And that’s just one social-media platform. As entrepreneurs, we don’t have time to waste.

This week on Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers), read our tips on having a plan and being organized so that you can save time, money, and even your happiness.

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) Stop Wasting Time, Especially When It Comes to Social Media

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell – Graphic Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (TV) | 5 Minutes With Fox’s ‘Empire’ Star Taraji P. Henson: What Would You Ask Her?

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August 25, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Taraji P. Henson

Fox’s Empire star Taraji P. Henson at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI
Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

If you’ve ever been to a press junket, then you know that your celebrity talent is at your disposal for a limited amount of time–anywhere from four-to-five minutes on a good day. As the interviewer, your goal is to get the most interesting content in that time. In some cases, the interviewer is told the maximum number of questions allowed to ask in that time frame. When I sat down with Fox’s Empire star Taraji P. Henson in the British Virgin Islands for our exclusive interview in July, I was told three questions was the maximum. Henson was hosting and putting her support behind this year’s 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI fashion lifestyle event.

So what three questions did I ask? Better yet, what three questions would you have asked?

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | Shooting The MOS: Man On The Street Interviews

Taraji P. Henson

Debbie Mitchell with Fox’s Empire star Taraji P. Henson at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI
Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

The Academy Award and Emmy nominated actress has a lot going on these days. She was just nominated for her role as Cookie Lyon on the hit Fox show Empire. If she wins, it will be the first time an African American actress wins an Emmy for lead actress in a drama. Cookie Lyon is outrageously over the top in both her fashion sense and storyline. Dressed in her island chic, Henson was wearing a fabulous maxi dress and yellow fringe shoes. Definitely more Taraji than Cookie. Speaking of Cookie’s style, it was recently announced that Saks will be launching an Empire collection in a couple of weeks, featuring the wardrobe of several of the ghetto-fabulous characters. Now we can all channel a little bit of Cookie Lyon. Right now, Henson is devoting her time to the small screen as she gets ready for the second season of Empire, which premieres on September 23.

Taraji P. Henson

Producer Debbie Mitchell with Fox’s Empire actress Taraji P. Henson in the British Virgin Islands at 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI
Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

 

Taraji P. Henson

Darryl Harrison and producer Jacqueline Farmer with Fox’s Empire star Taraji P. Henson at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI
Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Well, as you can see, Henson had a good time with the questions and answered more than three. Then she stuck around to take photos with the DMMA crew. We are still editing the interview, so stay tuned. It will be ready soon.

Tell us, what three questions would you ask Taraji P. Henson if you had a chance to sit down with her?

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | 5 Tips For Writing And Asking Good Interview Questions

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Music) Who would be in your fantasy rock band?

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell – Graphic Design: Nay Ayache

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) | #AFROPUNK: A Fashion Feast For The Eyes | What Questions Would You Ask Taraji P. Henson? | America’s Top Fantasy Bands

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August 24, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

afropunk

2015 AFROPUNK at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, NYC
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Happy Monday, All!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! The weather was beautiful and all the colorful people–including artists, designers, musicians, and folks ready to celebrate–were at this year’s AFROPUNK Festival. It was only my second time attending the festival; the first one was in 2013. In its eleventh year, the lineup was major, including Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, and Lenny Kravitz performing into the night. This year, the once-free event cost anywhere from $45 to $75 for both Saturday and Sunday. I was disappointed when I first read that there was a cost, but once I got there and saw the crowds, I was happy to see folks spending money to support the growing community event. Reports today say there were over 30,000 people in attendance each day.

2015 AFROPUNK attendees at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, NYC  Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

2015 AFROPUNK attendees at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, NYC
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

My personal posse this year was three strong, with newbie blogger Marian Rivman, creator of the site Countdown to 70 and New York Times reporter Ruth LaFerla. Ruth covers fashion for the paper, and extraordinary fashion was everywhere we looked. Yes, we were listening to music, but we couldn’t take our eyes off of the fashion. We were photographing and shopping, and I was periscoping a fashion feast for the eyes. Brooklyn was representing and folks let their creativity lead them. Look out for Ruth’s write up in the New York Times.

Related Post: #TBT Ready4Air | Fall Fashion Favorites For Every Closet

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2013 AFROPUNK featuring Vernon Reid and Living Colour
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell/ Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

AFROPUNK continues to expand it’s music lineup each year. When I was there in 2013, rock guitarist Vernon Reid and the Grammy Award-winning band Living Colour brought the house down with their performance. It was a classic night for the Brooklyn group.

Keeping with the theme of rock music, this week’s Ready4Air (Music) will reveal the results of a survey listing America’s top fantasy bands. The survey has this to say about the most critically-acclaimed musicians: “Guitar legend Jimi Hendrix edged out three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Eric Clapton and Latin American guitar frontman Carlos Santana.”

Stay tuned to see if your favorite musician or rock band made the list.

Debbie Mitchell with Fox's Empire star Taraji P. Henson at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Debbie Mitchell with Fox’s Empire star Taraji P. Henson at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI
Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

And finally, if you’ve ever been to a press junket, then you know that your celebrity talent is at your disposal for a limited amount of time–anywhere from four-to-five minutes on a good day. As the interviewer, your goal is to get the most interesting content in that time. In some cases, the interviewer is told the maximum number of questions allowed to ask in that time frame. When I sat down with Fox Empire star Taraji P. Henson in the British Virgin Islands for our exclusive interview in July, I was told that three questions was the maximum. So what three questions did I ask? Better yet, what three questions would you have asked?

This week on Ready4Air (TV), with only a few minutes or just three questions to ask, how does an interviewer decide what questions to ask the celebrity?

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | Why Fox’s ‘Empire’ Star Taraji P. Henson Loves The British Virgin Islands

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Music) Who would be in your fantasy rock band?

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell – Graphic Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (TV) | Why Fox’s ‘Empire’ Star Taraji P. Henson Loves The British Virgin Islands

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August 4, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Taraji P. Henson

Debbie Mitchell with Fox’s Empire star Taraji P. Henson at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI
Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

When I first heard that Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson–star of Fox’s hot new series Empire–was hosting this year’s Summer Sizzle BVI Global Runway Fashion event, I knew I was heading back to the British Virgin Islands. It was the Fashion and Lifestyle weekend’s seventh annual event. Empire character Cookie Lyon was going to be there, and so was I. For those of you who haven’t jumped on the Empire bandwagon yet, the show was a ratings juggernaut for Fox and its creator, Lee Daniels. It has been described as a mashup of hip hop meets the series Dallas which ran from 1978-1991. Weeks before the Summer Sizzle BVI event, Henson’s career got another boost when she received the Emmy nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Cookie Lyon.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Social) | The Emmys’ Social Media Red Carpet #FAIL We’re All Talking About

Taraji P. Henson

Fox’s Empire star Taraji P. Henson at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI
Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

In Empire, Taraji stars alongside Terrence Howard (in the role of Lucious Lyon), the ailing patriarch who runs a successful music business and has to choose one of his three sons to take over when he dies. Newly-released convict Cookie, Lucious’s ex and mother of his children, returns to claim what is rightfully hers in the family business empire. With her over-the-top insults and sassy no-nonsense attitude, the edgy and fashion-forward Cookie Lyon has taken off, earning Taraji P. Henson the 2015 Emmy nomination. Henson, who is nominated along with Viola Davis for How to Get Away with Murder, could make history this year if she wins since an African American has never won an Emmy for lead actress in a drama.

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Empire fans are excited and of course rooting for Cookie! The 2015 Emmy Awards ceremony is on September 20, and the premiere of the second season of Fox’s Empire is on September 23. Before Henson headed back to work, she took a little timeout to support Summer Sizzle BVI on one of her new favorite places in the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands.

Taraji P. Henson

Debbie Mitchell with Fox’s Empire Star Taraji P. Henson at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI
Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

When we sat down minutes before the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI Global Glamour Runway Fashion Show, I asked Taraji what she loves about the British Virgin Islands. She told me in the first part of our interview, “It’s a beautiful place. But I guess for me it is the people, it is the culture, the sense of pride that African Americans don’t have. When I learned the rich history, when I found out that slaves freed themselves 100 years before American slaves, it dawned on me: I love it, I love the people, it’s just gorgeous, and I want to live here. I want that sense of pride.”

Taraji P. Henson

British Virgin Islands, July 2015
Photo Credit: Darryl Harrison/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

When friends of mine, who are longtime residents of Mahoe Bay on Virgin Gorda, first introduced me to the British Virgin Islands in 2003, I was hooked. The island is filled with natural, lush, green beauty surrounded by sparkling blue waters and white sandy private beaches. Most people know about the US Virgin Islands: St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. However, with a passport, a stop through immigration, and a short ferry or plane ride through the US Virgin Islands, you can be in the British Virgin Islands.

The British Virgin Islands consist of four main islands–Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with more than 50 other smaller islands and cays. About 15 of the islands are inhabited, including Necker Island. Sir Richard Branson put the BVI on the mainstream map years ago with Necker Island, his private getaway for the rich and famous. And if you are a diver or sailor, then you may be a fan of the BVI.

Debbie Mitchell with Paul Thomas at The Baths on Virgin Gorda, BVI / July 2015 Photo Credit: Darryl Harrison/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Debbie Mitchell with Paul Thomas at The Baths on Virgin Gorda, BVI / July 2015
Photo Credit: Darryl Harrison/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Related Post: Ready4Air (Travel) | Decades Later, Hong Kong Is Like New York On Steroids

Taraji P. Henson

The Baths on Virgin Gorda, BVI, July 2015
Photo Credit: Darryl Harrison/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board recently expanded the existing BVI tagline with the “Keep It To Yourself” campaign–an extension of their “Nature’s Little Secrets” campaign. Taraji is right; there is something about the place and people that leaves you wanting more. Until recently, my last visit to the BVI was in 2o10, but being back in July felt like being home again. The DMMA team was in the British Virgin Islands for a week, so stay tuned for more about our fun work trip, coverage of the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI, and my conversation with Empire star Taraji P. Henson.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) Catching up with Awesomely Luvvie Ajayi in the British Virgin Islands

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell – Graphic Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) | Why Taraji P. Henson Loves The British Virgin Islands | A View From Hog Heaven | Catching Up With Blogger Luvvie Ajayi

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August 3, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

British Virgin Islands

DMMA crew (from left) Darryl Harrison, Lora Wiley-Lennartz, Jacqui Farmer, Debbie Mitchell, and Paul Thomas at Hog Heaven on Virgin Gorda, BVI, July 2015
Photo Credit: Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Happy Monday, All!

It’s hard to imagine that just a week ago, we were wrapping up our trip to the British Virgin Islands for our first Summer Sizzle BVI event. In its seventh year, the weekend was four days of fashion and lifestyle events, topped off by an interview with Oscar and Emmy nominee and star of Fox’s Empire Taraji P. Henson, the event’s host.

In true television style, the DMMA team worked hard during the week but made time to have some fun, especially on our last full day, which included lunch at the BBQ joint Hog Heaven on Virgin Gorda. A few minutes from where we were staying at Villa Del Sole & Piccolo Sole, Hog Heaven has the best ribs ever. If the ribs, coleslaw, potato salad, and Painkiller drinks don’t get you, then the view will. Looking out as we ate and behind us in the photo above, we could see Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Eustatia Island owned by billionaire Google co-founder Larry Page, Prickly Pear Island, a few other treasures of the British Virgin Islands.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | DMMA In The British Virgin Islands At The 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI

British Virgin Islands

Darryl Harrison heading out to sea on Mahoe Bay, Virgin Gorda
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Once lunch was over, it was time to hit the water for one last swim. Our photographer and cameraman, Darryl Harrison, was new to snorkeling but took to it like a fish, after a few tips from veteran SCUBA diver Lora-Wiley Lennartz.

Lora Wiley-Lennartz and Jacqui Farmer ready getting  ready for one last swim in Mahoe Bay, Virgin Gorda Photo Credit: Darryl Harrison /Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Lora Wiley-Lennartz and Jacqui Farmer getting ready for one last swim in Mahoe Bay, Virgin Gorda
Photo Credit: Darryl Harrison/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Lora was doing double duty as teacher since Jacqui also needed a few tips after being out of the snorkel waters for a couple of years. I swam too, but nobody took a photo. Lol!

British Virgin Islands

Ferry ride from Tortola, BVI to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Pictured from left are Darryl Harrison, Debbie Mitchell, Lora Wiley-Lennartz, Jacqui Farmer, Paul Thomas
Photo Credit: Selfie courtesy of Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

The next day, we were on our way home.

Related Post: Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) | 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI | Exclusive Interview With Taraji P. Henson | ‘Ice & Coco’, A New Talk Show

British Virgin Islands

Producer Debbie Mitchell with Fox Empire actress Taraji P. Henson in the British Virgin Islands at 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI
Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

This week on ReadyAir (TV), you’ll read an excerpt of my television interview with Taraji P. Henson. She talks about why she’s fallen in love with the British Virgin Islands. I also caught up with a few bloggers, including Luvvie Ajayi of AwesomelyLuvvie.com at the weekend’s event. In upcoming weeks, Taraji tells DMMA readers what to expect from Cookie Lyon in season two of Empire, and we find out just how the British Virgin Islands is using social media to share “Nature’s Little Secrets.”

Finally, the funny thing about any television shoot–especially remotes–is that when they are over, I always think about what I would have done differently, the questions I should have asked, and the shots I should have taken. Oh, well, there’s no time for, woulda, coulda, shoulda on this trip because I’m already planning to get it all next year!

I am sending a special thanks to Terry Donovan, Founder and CEO of Signature By Terry Donovan Events and Summer Sizzle BVI; Christina M. Rice CEO | Founder
LuxeLife Media Inc.; Perla George, General Manager, North America Marketing & Operations, BVI Tourism Board; and our home away from home, Villa Del Sole & Piccolo Sole on Mahoe Bay, Virgin Gorda. Thank you, Joan and Mario.

Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by!

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) Lessons from four unique female celebrities to make your brand stand out

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell – Graphic Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) | 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI | Exclusive Interview With Taraji P. Henson | ‘Ice & Coco’, A New Talk Show

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July 27, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Summer Sizzle BVI

2015 Summer Sizzle BVI White Fashion Gala (from left) Darryl Harrison, Paul Thomas, Debbie Mitchell, Jacqueline Farmer, Lora Wiley-Lennartz
Photo Credit: Ricki Richardson

Hi all, Happy Monday!

We hope your weekend was a good one! The DMMA team is still on the road and is wrapping up our last day in the British Virgin Islands, where we attended the 7th Annual Summer Sizzle BVI Fashion and Lifestyle Weekend. Last week, I traveled with cameraman Darryl Harrison; two producer girlfriends, Lora Wiley-Lennartz and Jackie Farmer; and artist and chef Paul Thomas to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands to cover the event.

Summer Sizzle BVI

A ferry ride to Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Photo Credit: Darryl Harrison

The four-day Summer Sizzle BVI event put the spotlight on emerging and established fashion designers as well as the beauty of the BVI. It is truly a beautiful place that is renowned for its sailing and diving. I’ve been traveling to Virgin Gorda for over a decade, always staying with friends at the fabulous Villa del Sole and Piccolo Sole on Mahoe Bay. I was happy to head back to cover this weekend.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Social) | Periscope: Watch And Tweet To Us In The British Virgin Islands

Summer Sizzle BVI

Producer Debbie Mitchell with Empire star Taraji P. Henson in the British Virgin Islands at 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI
Photo Credit: Paul Thomas/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

The opportunity was made even more special when DMMA was granted an exclusive interview with this year’s event host, Oscar- and Emmy-nominee Taraji P. Henson, who stars as Cookie Lyon on the hit Fox series Empire. Anyone who watches Empire knows that Cookie Lyon is a force to be reckoned with and has style for days. In Cookie Lyon, Taraji has created a sassy and edgy original character, who has viewers anxiously awaiting her return for a second season, which begins on September 23.

This weekend, I sat down in Tortola British Virgin Islands with Henson–who also loves the BVI–to talk about the islands, what’s next for Cookie Lyon, and what inspires her when it comes to fashion. So stay tuned–when I get back to New York, I’ll have more to tell.

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From left: Debbie Mitchell, Lora Wiley-Lennartz, and Jackie Farmer on Virgin Gorda, BVI at Dive BVI
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

In the meantime, coming up this week on Ready4Air (TV), we’ll give you a mini-preview of our work time and play time in the British Virgin Islands leading up to our interview with Taraji  P. Henson as she prepares for the new season of Empire.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | Is TV Drama ‘Empire’ A Game Changer For Black Films In Hollywood?

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Cordelia Bowe, co-executive producer of the new daytime talk show Ice & Coco
Photo Credit: Cordelia Bowe

This week on Ready4Air (TV), we bring back our series “My Life In Television” featuring an interview with Cordelia Bowe, the co-executive producer of Ice & Coco, a new daytime talk show debuting this summer. Hosted by 57-year-old rapper/actor Ice-T and his dynamic and beautiful wife Coco Austin, who recently announced they are expecting their first child together, the show will premiere on August 3 on select Fox-owned stations.   

I am a longtime fan of Law and Order: SVU, where Ice-T plays cop Odafin “Fin” Tutuola, so I can’t wait to see how he makes the transition to a daytime talk show host! 

Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) 2tvchicks: One Perfect Moment In The Morning

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (TV) | Is TV Drama ‘Empire’ A Game Changer For Black Films In Hollywood?

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April 14, 2015 | Posted in Pros Talk TV And Social Media, Social TV | By

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In March, film critic Mike Sargent moderated a panel discussion on film distribution for the Socially Relevant Film Festival, which included panelist Beth Portello VP, Marketing & Business Development at Cinema Libre Studio. Sargent and Portello agreed that it is becoming easier to get studios to consider foreign distribution for black films. Portello specifically emphasized, “Empire is changing all that.”

Sargent–also the host of Arise On Screen, the movie review show I executive produce–breaks down the success of the show and its effect on black films in Hollywood.

Mike, how is Fox’s new drama Empire changing the game in Hollywood for film?

It’s been long said that black films don’t travel overseas, that they are a hard sell, that the international market is not interested in films with a primarily black cast. And as famously quoted in leaked Sony emails about Denzel Washington: “No, I am not saying The Equalizer should not have been made or that African-American actors should not have been used (I personally think Denzel is the best actor of his generation),” the producer stated in the email. “I believe that the international motion-picture audience is racist—in general, pictures with an African-American lead don’t play well overseas.”

So how can a hit television show change global perception and the ability to sell black stories overseas?

The answer is simple: Black culture fascinates worldwide. There isn’t a country you can visit that doesn’t have its own hip hop music. If you listen to it, it sounds like African-American hip hop, just in another language. Gospel music is huge in Japan and many other countries. Black style, fashion, and lingo have often traveled to other countries and helped define American culture to the world. And historically, jazz is an art form that for many years was more respected by countries like France. They treated the creators of jazz better than America, where the artist came from.

The Empire phenomenon has changed the game in a number of ways. It has shown the industry that the viewing habits of the television audience has changed. Empire logs an estimated 10-16 million viewers upon first airing but has an equal amount of viewers who watch it on demand, on DVR, or on FOX NOW, the network’s streaming service. It is a show that has grown with each passing week to become the unprecedented success that it is today. This has not happened for a black TV show since The Cosby Show in the 1980s, and that was the first African American-themed TV show to really go global. As a result, Empire will only increase the interest and appetite for black-themed stories.

As Empire penetrates foreign markets and foreign audiences become more accustomed to having a taste for black drama and black stories in general, the demand will increase. Even in a country that has as much racism going on as America, the latest slate of TV pilots has the largest amount of casts with people of color in the history of television.

Related Post: Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) |”Empire” Stars Head To The BVI | Meet SAG-AFTRA Coordinator Meachun Clark | Is TV’s “Empire” A Game Changer?

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Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson plays Cookie Lyon in Fox’s Empire

 

Why is Empire different from any other show?

The music from the show has itself become a phenomenon on the music charts. As with any film or television show, if the music becomes popular, then its audience and interest in the show increase exponentially. Black music is clearly universal, accepted, and consumed globally. Also, the ways in which people have access to this TV show didn’t even exist five years ago with on demand and streaming services and mobile devices.

Let’s face it: TV was forever transformed with the invention of the nighttime soap. Continuing storylines and cliffhanger endings are what made those mega-hits of the 80s, including Dallas, Dynasty, and Falcon Crest. Gone are the days of the stand-alone episode. There is always a continuing storyline to keep you hooked and enough melodrama to keep you talking (blogging, tweeting, posting) about it with others during the week.

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Some people have criticized Empire as being a stereotypical “ghetto fabulous” program. What’s your take on this criticism?

I understand the criticisms, and Dr. Boyce Watkins makes some valid points in his assessment of Empire and all it encompasses. But people would rather watch bad guys than good guys. The pleasure of watching a bad guy is that bad guys get to do the things we normal people cannot do. It’s much more fun to watch a criminal than it is to watch a hero. Not only do characters with flaws make us feel better about ourselves, but they also open the door to our own fantasies of what we’d like to do but would never dare. When The Sopranos came on, Italian Americans objected, and rightfully so. When the reality show Jersey Shore came on, they also objected. Both went on to be huge successes. Entertainment and TV often have hits that will offend. Some of those who are depicted in them are not pillars of the community, but they’re fascinating and fun to watch. It is why gangster films and crime dramas will always be a popular genre and why Darth Vader will always be more popular than Luke Skywalker.

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Jussie Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon on Fox TV’s Empire, is interviewed at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI launch party.
Photo credit: Debbie Mitchell/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

 

Will we be seeing Empire knockoffs?

We already are seeing Empire knockoffs. Not so much the concept but the idea of stacking your shows with black cast members because now it is obvious that African-American audiences are a large part of the success of Empire. According to Nielsen, 33 percent of black homes tuned into Empire every week. Networks will have to cater to an audience that will help make them a success.

Will this open the door for more African-American storytelling?

There’s no way you couldn’t open the door for African-American stories because Hollywood always follows the money and television always follows its own trends. Whenever a type of show becomes popular, by the following season–and sometimes by midseason–there are half a dozen knockoffs of that concept. So far, the closest show is the untitled Empire-inspired gospel drama produced by Columbus Short for Bounce TV. Having so many African-American faces on TV in major roles represents the diversity of the country and, more importantly, the viewership out there to consume it. Those who want to watch Duck Dynasty will continue to watch Duck Dynasty, but those who are looking for fare that resembles their day-to-day lives will find that.

Does Empire have a long television shelf life?

That remains to be seen. Like any show, it’s only as good as the writing and acting. With the cast they have, the acting will always be good. Can the producers and writers keep the storyline interesting without retreading or jumping the shark? That often depends on what the initial vision for the show is. Sometimes a show changes as it goes along–it tweaks and re-tweaks and new ideas come about. Some things work while others do not. Reports are that for the next season, Empire is going to go back to the roots of some of these characters. Some of the glitz and glam may be gone, and that could be a good thing or a bad thing. Many shows have a history of taking a radical departure, but the audience will hang in there to see where it’s going or to see if it will go back to its former glory. Empire is a solid concept and a lot can be mined out of it. Hopefully, the producers are up to the task.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | Marathon Television Viewing: Do You Binge-Watch TV?

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Thanks, Mike! Also, check out Mike’s weekly movie reviews on the Arise On Screen YouTube Channel.

Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) Meachun Clark explains the responsibilities of a SAG-AFTRA coordinator

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) | ‘Empire’ Stars Head To The BVI | Meet SAG-AFTRA Coordinator Meachun Clark | Is TV’s ‘Empire’ A Game Changer?

Jussie Smollett, stars as Jamal Lyon in Fox's Empire

April 13, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

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(Clockwise from top left) Jussie Smollett being interviewed at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI launch party. Debbie Mitchell and Smollett. The artwork of Lucy Jones was on display at the launch party as the crowd mixes and mingles.
All photos by Debbie Mitchell

 

Stars of the hot Fox TV drama Empire were out and about New York City last week. After watching singer and actor Jussie Smollett in several TV interviews, I caught up with him at the 2015 Summer Sizzle BVI  private launch party  at the Ricco Maresca Gallery in Chelsea.  Smollett , a co-host of the event, talked about his hit show and the upcoming trip with costar Taraji P. Henson to support the 7th Annual Summer Sizzle BVI fashion and lifestyle event, taking place July 23-26 on one of my favorite islands–the British Virgin Islands.

 

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(Left photo) Terry Donovan of Signature by Terry Donovan Events, creator of Summer Sizzle BVI with Alvina Alston of Arise TV and (right photo) Patty Hughes and Perla George, Director of Sales, North America at BVI Tourist Board (in gray suit).
Photos by Debbie Mitchell

The upscale destination event of sun and fun profiles new and established fashion designers. Launched seven years ago, Summer Sizzle BVI is the brainchild of Founder & Executive Producer Terry Donovan of Signature by Terry Donovan Events. Smollett, a fan of fashion, was sporting a powder-blue Calvin Klein suit during his meeting with press and fans, but joked that he would be spending his BVI holiday in bathing trunks, only getting dressed for night events. Something for the DMMA team to look forward to.

Related Post: African Fashion in the City | Africa Fashion Week Sashays Into NYC

 

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Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson plays Cookie Lyon on Fox’s Empire

While I had a chance to meet Jussie, I missed meeting Taraji by a few minutes and hear she was as charming as ever.  We hope to have her on Arise On Screen–the movie review show I executive produce–sooner rather than later. The actress recently discovered the British Virgin Islands and is excited to introduce her island secret to the world. Henson went on to have a great weekend, bringing her Cookie Lyon success to NBC for the first time as host of Saturday Night Live.

Henson and Smollet are red hot coming off their debut season of Fox’s Empire, a show some are saying is a game changer–both on television and in Hollywood. This week on Ready4Air (Film), film critic and Arise On Screen host Mike Sargent shares his take on how Empire may be a game changer in the world of film.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | Living In Television Limbo: When A Show Goes On Hiatus

Meachun Clark

Meachun Clark, SAG-AFTRA Coordinator
Photo credit: Meachun Clark

In this week’s installment of “My Life In Television,” we get to see the true meaning of the saying “the devil is in the details.” SAG-AFTRA Coordinator Meachun Clark has worked on incredible live event specials such as The Academy Awards, President Obama’s Inaugural Neighborhood Ball, and the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. Meachun shares her story of going from working, early in her career, at Red Lobster to now working the red carpet.

This week in Ready4Air (TV), we find out exactly what a SAG-AFTRA Coordinator does and why Meachun Clark’s job is so important to a show.

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Sunset Sunset Georgedog and Greatdog, British Virgin Islands
Photo Credit: Joan Massel Soncini

As always, stay tuned and thanks for stopping by! By the way, to enjoy this sunset and join Taraji and Jussie on their British Virgin Islands getaway, click on Summer Sizzle BVI.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) 3 ways to stay motivated to lead your business

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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