Taraji P. Henson & Tyler Perry Give It Their All to Produce an Epic Movie Project like ‘Fatal Attraction’

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Who was that little girl at the recent Art auction? The viral video showed Blue-Ivy Carter sitting with her celebrity parents Beyoncé and Jay-Z at a charity event. She placed a bid on a picture of Sidney Poitier that had folks laughing. It even caught Tyler Perry’s attention since he wanted to have that picture.

Perry told the story during media rounds for his upcoming movie Acrimony which stars Taraji P. Henson. The movie’s title turns out to be one of the most online-searched words this month. Perry teamed-up with Henson for this epic project because he envisioned her as the ‘black Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.’

You can imagine what it was like filming this movie in eight days. Word has it that the universe was created in seven days so this project may be of epic proportions coming on the heels of Easter. Henson also returns to the TV screen as Cookie on Empire for which she’s still about doing big things.

What it takes to be epic is a story Perry and Henson know well. In the professional world it’s about knowing your ‘main thing’ and supporting it with your favorite ‘sides’ or side-hustle. Think of it the way you enjoy a meal. There’s the main thing you’re good at and the supporting side-skills to round-out the work.

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Perry and Henson have used their talents to land bigger roles, raising their market appeal to a higher level. In addition to working with the OWN Network, Perry has signed production deals with other outlets. It’s like an alphabet soup of TBS, OWN and BET. Their inspiring stories are rich in the success mix of:

  1. Faith for the next mountain to climb

Perry recently shared how the Black Panther movie was one of the many showbiz projects shot at his Atlanta studios. The site was an old military base that’s been transformed into ‘Hollywood South.’ How do you go from ‘dead to alive’ in any aspect of career, biz or life? Perry might say it takes mustard seed faith.

  1. Passion for the next road to travel

There were times life presented Perry and Henson with options for the next road to travel. It might be a new project assignment, a new lane in business or a new lease on life. They’ve found the passion for the next road to travel and even for the road less travelled. That’s a choice people make to become epic.

  1. Savvy for the next dollar to make

Perry shared how he was watching TV news and heard the word ‘acrimonious’ used in a certain context. He decided to look up the meaning. Then the light bulb went off in his head to put a different spin on the word for his movie title. Professional savvy is about using a skill or applying a concept in another context.

  1. Smile for the next advice to give

Sometimes when comedians tell jokes they do it with a straight face. There’s a certain seriousness that adds to the punch line. There’re also times when the impact is best made with a smile. Perry and Henson have a way of doing the same when sharing their stories with a little advice thrown in for good measure.

Maybe that’s what was memorable about Blue-Ivy placing her bid. From the looks on her parents’ faces and hers as well, folks weren’t sure if she was serious or playing. But Perry had his mind made up. Like his Madea role, he was seriously-funny about getting his hands on the picture and landing it with a smile.

Tip: When it comes to doing big things in 3 days, 8 days or the rest of your days you might need a mix of faith, passion, savvy and a smile.

Talkback: So who was it that bit Beyoncé in the face?

Tracks: Kirk Franklin – Smile – https://youtu.be/Z8SPwT3nQZ8

Stokley – Level – https://youtu.be/phOiiWL_Ljg

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Wendy Williams & Charlamagne tha god Share Their Success Truth in Plain Speak

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They say don’t judge a book by its cover. That’s something that could be said about Wendy Williams and Charlamagne tha god. Williams returned to her nationally syndicated TV show this week after fainting on set. She’s been dealing with Graves’ disease since that scary moment. So she’s on a new health kick.

Those who’ve followed her career remember her days on NY radio. She would pull no punches when interviewing some guests. That seems to be a model that has worked well for Charlamagne. It’s something he might have learned from his days working with Williams. But then again he’s his own man.

Both seem to have moved beyond their initial ‘shock radio’ style. For Williams the change might have been driven by her shift to television. For Charlamagne, it might have been his desire to be seen as having more class than crass. Both have made their ‘hot topics’ chats a pop culture favorite.

How they ended up sitting pretty in their game may be part of their appeal. Their success truth is made real to those who don’t mind (as Charlamagne likes to say) ‘getting medicine in the candy.’ In other words, there’s usually a takeaway in what they have to say. Some see it as down and dirty life lessons.

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It’s easy to think that their dream journey was all smooth sailing. But the story is out on the career run-ins they had along the way. What they’ve both done is in one sense cutting-edge but in another sense meant to be. How they appear today is the sum total of setbacks that became comebacks by having to:

  1. Break the mold

Growing-up in a small southern town could have easily been all there was for Charlamagne. He had some trouble with the law and realized if things were to change he’d have to break the mold. This meant having a different lifestyle than what he had come to know. It meant being open to evolve has a person.

  1. Build their profile

One of the first things with a new social media account is the creation of a profile. This is where you list the things you want people to know about you. Williams and Charlamagne have been in and out of many professional situations. But over time they’ve also been able to build their pop culture profile.

  1. Sense the moment

Sensing the moment could mean hoping for the ‘luck of the Irish.’ It’s where things come together just like clockwork. But other times it could be about taking a step back in order to make a leap forward. In the case of Williams feeling weak or down, it could also mean knowing when to use instinct over impulse.

  1. Tweak their brand

Both have had ‘make or break’ life moments. Whether it’s in Williams’ recent health scare or in Charlamagne’s many job firings. He’d have others know a success truth for better career days is to tweak the brand from smart-ass (that’s smarts with an ego) to being witty (that’s smarts with an edge).

Whether folks tune in for ‘hot topics’ or the interview guests, something keeps them coming back for the next show. Charlamagne might say it’s his love for the culture. Williams might say it’s her take on ‘celeb dish.’ But maybe it’s in how their life dreams or passion for the game can make our hearts beat triple time.

Tip: The great ones ‘go get it’ by defining their life dreams, raising passion for the game and having hearts beat triple time.

Talkback: Is the ‘shock jock’ thing something Charlamagne got from Wendy?

Tracks: SWV – Weak – https://youtu.be/976b8TPPFJU

Mary Mary – Go Get It – https://youtu.be/ADGnIi9KrLQ

Hoda Kotb & Lionel Richie Make the Dream Stage Look Like a Place Where They Belong

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The stage has been set with the return of American Idol’s rollout. A new slate of judges hit the road for the audition tour. Lionel Richie joins Katy Perry and Luke Bryan to give their two cents on making it in the music business. Richie as the elder of the bunch seems happy to share a hug with the contestants.

The Today Show studio was also set for the return of Hoda Kotb from the Winter Olympics. While doing the show from South Korea the studio got a makeover as they moved on from headline-making changes. Kotb got the nod as co-anchor, rising up the ranks from correspondent to guest-hosting duties.

Kotb and Richie make the dream stage look like a place where they belong. These days it’s where they’ve landed as they keep getting better at their game. It’s a kind of coming together of fate and focus that has helped to make them a force. Kotb even has things falling in place for her as a new mother.

The dream stage is where passion and style can leave us speechless for a while. The stories of Idol contestants create room for Richie to show some love. Plus, the performances are often reminders that it’s not just how they sing it or wing it but also how they bring it. Kotb can relate even for Olympic athletes.

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Some industry watchers weren’t sure if Idol still had cred in the marketplace. Others weren’t sure if the Today Show would have staying power after the shake-up. But Richie and Kotb are showing young and old otherwise. Their stories of longevity and bounce-back-ability in the business are a case of turning:

  1. Talent into a unique identity

Richie first gained popularity as one of the Commodores. The group became a smash with R&B audiences. He later left the group for a solo career. He knows bringing it in your game means turning talent into a unique identity. In biz they call it USP – Unique Selling Point. My own USP is about ‘bringing more flow to life, putting more life in flow.’

  1. Timing into seizing opportunity

Kotb might not have been expecting to be named new Today Show co-host. She already had a hosting role in the ten o’clock hour where she’d be seen sipping on wine. But when the door came open she was ready to seize the opportunity. Timing isn’t just about the clock but also about delivering the right stock.

  1. Talk into more life-learning ability

Some Idol contestants show up ready to seize the opportunity. Some may be there to checkoff a bucket list item. Others are just there to get 15-seconds of buzz. But in any effort for going to the next level, the ones who move from unknown to making it on the dream stage are those who up their life-learning ability.

  1. Test into rising star-quality

When you hear the backstory of these contestants you get a sense of them taking-on life’s tests. It’s as if life was trying to separate the ‘men from the boys or the women from the girls.’ Making it on the dream stage is about using those tests to shape your unique identity and rising star-quality.

The numbers are in and Idol’s season opener pulled 10 million+ viewers. It seems the Today Show is also keeping its numbers strong. Most people start the dream journey unaware or less learned in some area of the game. But they push, pull or tear as they stretch their sail towards good times that never felt so good.

Tip: Making it on the dream stage is about how we push, pull or tear in stretching our sails towards good times that never felt so good.

Talkback: Which Singing Competition Show has created some of the best rising-star moments?

Tracks: Commodores – Sail On – https://youtu.be/Bt95h5yKyYE

Allen Stone – Unaware – https://youtu.be/o4uYo7lRgqA

Jordan Peele & Iyanla Vanzant Take Audiences on a ‘Sharp Turn, Best Life’ Ride that’s Filled with Ooh’s and Aah’s

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The countdown is underway for the next big events on the pop culture calendar. Some fans can’t wait for the NCAA March Madness team selection. Others are looking forward to the iHeartRadio Music Awards. But in the meantime there’s Jordan Peele and Iyanla Vanzant taking fans on a ‘sharp turn, best life’ ride.

For Peele it’s in the success of his movie Get Out which won at the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. It’s the first time that’s happened for an African-American. The movie is part horror, part thriller and part comedy. It starts out with a car making a sharp turn on a local street as the plot unfolds.

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It was a different kind of March Madness in the season opener for Iyanla’s ‘reinvention show’ on OWN. Things didn’t work out the normal way where the guest accepts the chance to find a path towards their best life. Peele and Vanzant generally put their gifts to work on their first audience.. which is themselves.

They know the road to redemption or achieving aspirations usually starts on ‘Self Street.’ Oftentimes how we reach higher is an extension of our comfort with self. Peele and Vanzant turned what appeals/reveals to self as a formula for a successful movie or unscripted TV show that could have been counted out.

In a recent ‘Oprah at the Apollo’ interview Peele gave an inside look into the steps he took in moving his dreams in the right direction. Vanzant often shares hers by saying that she had to do the work to achieve the healing before her place of shining. Their first audience of success started out by taking:

  1. Preparation Steps

Before celebration there’s always preparation. That’s true whether planning a party or going after your dreams. Before becoming a computer engineer I took preparations steps in college. Before going after my dreams in business I took preparation steps as a novice-in-training. These steps help put us in the game.

  1. Production Steps

It’s been said that people can have beginners luck when playing a game for the first time. Things kinda come your way even without trying hard. Where beginners luck ends is where production steps begin. It can be a surprise to do things well the first time. But you build production value doing it again and again.

  1. Breakout Steps

We expect to eventually have breakout steps along the way. The ‘Get Out’ movie is a sort of breakout step for Peele after leaving his Comedy Central gig. Vanzant had her breakout step when she first hosted a daytime talk show. They’ve used breakout steps in taking a risk or setting out as a trailblazer.

  1. Comeback Steps

They’ve also shown they can turn setbacks into comebacks. It’s something we’re teaching our daughter who’s been dealing with a leg (hamstring) injury. Each time it seemed like she was ready to return to her sport she’s had to pull back. Comeback steps help us with raising our game and elevating our dreams.

The journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step. Whether we choose to walk, run or drive there can be lots of oohs and aahs on the ride. Steve Harvey reminds us that things might go south or get rough as part of God’s plan. But those who get back up keep things moving because they have dreams to celebrate.

Tip: The dream journey of a 1000 miles starts with preparation steps that might set us on a path as trailblazers taking breakout steps.

Talkback: Is it drama or trauma that makes things come alive in Get Out or on Vanzant’s TV show?

Tracks: Drake – God’s Plan – https://youtu.be/xpVfcZ0ZcFM

T.I. ft Chris Brown – Get Back Up – https://youtu.be/B9qZz-m6BL4

Michael B Jordan & Chloe Kim Have Fans Under a Spell of Excitement from Seeing Their Dreams Go Big

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This year’s Sports Illustrated cover model has been named and guess who’s smiling? Yes, Danielle Herrington is smiling from the beach to the bank. She’s not the only one with a wide grin. So is Michael B. Jordan who got the chance to congratulate Herrington. So is Chloe Kim who won gold at the Olympics.

Jordan is also smiling as he gears up for the grand release of the Black Panther movie. He and his acting cohorts are excited that the movie is already breaking pre-sales box office records. Kim is getting her smiles on for being the first ever female American winner in the Olympic event of Snowboarding.

Jordan and Kim seem to have fans under a spell of excitement from seeing their dreams go big. Everywhere you go people are talking about the movie and about Kim’s performance. Not to mention that Jordan put on muscle-mass for the role and Kim’s achievement celebrates the American Dream.

Their success reminds us of how dreams can go big with a fresh sense of purpose and a refreshed surge of passion. Jordan has been steadily building his cred with acting roles in Fruitvale Station and Creed. Kim waited four years at representing the U.S. since she was too young to make the last Olympic team.

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They’ve got us feeling like a nation under a dream that comes with its own storyline. Maybe that’s one reason why so many are looking forward to seeing the movie. Whether it’s about the story of rising to power or the power in their stories fans want to keep a winning feeling going or find their own groove.

The movie buzz isn’t just about action spots but also about the Black Panther Challenge. Celebrities and everyday people are pulling together to get as many kids to see the movie. They hope something rubs off that’s more than a spell. We learn from Jordan and Kim that going from small roles to tall goals means:

  1. Leaving something behind.

The story behind their success is one of focus and perseverance. They kept at it even when things took a hit. But it’s also one of leaving something behind. Jordan left his hometown of Newark for the Tinseltown of Hollywood. Kim’s parents left South Korea so that she’d have opportunities beyond her wildest dreams.

  1. Preparing for something ahead.

In leaving something behind, they were also preparing for something ahead. It’s sometimes said that luck is where preparation meets-up with opportunity. Sure they might have had some lucky breaks along the way. But preparing helped them leave their comfort zone in order to experience their mojo zone.

  1. Taking skills to the next level.

During the waiting period between Olympics, Kim kept working on her game. She worked on some things to get her performance moving closer to perfection. Jordan has also been working on his skills as a Director through his own production company. Taking skills to the next level helps make us built to last.

  1. Making the dream yours.

The Black Panther character first appeared in comic books in 1966. Kim first appeared on the Olympics radar in 2014. Here we are in 2018 and there’s a movie built around the character and an Olympic feat tied to Kim. Things take longer for some compared to others but making the dream yours is real.

These days some folks have more reasons to smile. Some are smiling about Sports Illustrated’s cover and inside pages. For Jordan it’s in upcoming roles already lined-up. Kim has lots of Olympic years ahead of her. When things get stressful they help us turn-up the happy seeing their dreams go big or go legend.

Tip: When things get stressful, successful people turn-up the happy with fresh purpose, refreshed passion and seeing dreams go big or go legend.

Talkback: Which character in the Black Panther movie could have its own spinoff some day?

Tracks: Ashanti ft Ja Rule – Happy – https://youtu.be/MrCsubL_OSQ

American Authors – Go Big or Go Home – https://youtu.be/dUZoK20_KYQ

Cardi B & Simone Biles Explain How Their Dreams Came Together Even Through Stormy Weather

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Superbowl LII is in the bag and the Philly parade is set. The game might be over but it seems Cardi B and Simone Biles are just getting started. It’s hard to say which one’s the bigger pop culture icon right now. One’s getting ready to tour with Bruno Mars, the other’s back to training for the 2020 Olympic team.

Both have adoring fans who just can’t get enough of their style and story. For Cardi B it’s a case of “don’t judge a book by its backside until you get the backstory.” For Biles it’s a case of “when a dream is in you it’s gotta find a way to come through.” Then again maybe we can say the same thing for both.

Their journeys are somewhat similar in skipping out on college. Cardi B made it through two semesters and had enough. Biles chose to skip out on a UCLA scholarship and instead go pro to fulfill her dreams. Fast-forward their stories and you find them becoming their best by having a ‘no limit’ mindset.

Both did some ‘firsts’ in their game. Cardi B as the first rapper to have her first three singles in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100s. At the Rio Olympics Biles became the first female gymnast to win four gold medals in the same games. Now they’re both working on not being a one-time wonder or passing fancy.

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Biles’ weakness is the uneven bars. She’s much better at gymnastic routines that use the power in her legs. But her electric personality fits well with her performance stick-ability. Cardi B turned her weakest times into breakout moments. Now her music career seems to be on a path of going all the way up.

Their road to glory also came with some ‘stormy weather.’ Biles had to bounce around in foster care until she was adopted by her grand-parents. Cardi B dealt with the separation of her parents and the challenge of finding it hard to get by. They showed courage to stay the course and soar by how they would:

  1. List the dream and make the hit list.

One year after barely missing out on making the National Team, Biles decided to regroup to do whatever it took to bounceback. She soon became a hit on the gymnastic circuit and went on to become three-time world champion. Then she decided to list the dream of making the Rio Olympics and the rest is history.

  1. Learn the ropes and trust the process.

Cardi B didn’t initially set out to be a rapper. But to move past her show-girl days, she began paying attention to some of the big stars in the game. She remembers thinking that she could do that by bringing her own swag and then some. Things went from there, after starting from the bottom and now she’s here.

  1. Bring the funk and raise the roof.

The funk for Biles is how she became a force on the floor. She’d find the zone where passion was just rolling towards perfection. The funk is that feeling of being in a good groove. It’s something fans can sense when it happens. The funk for Cardi B has her becoming a force where she gets to raise the roof.

  1. Spread the love and live the life.

Recently Biles shared that she was also the victim of sexual abuse. She kept those feelings repressed for years but now her healing comes from being able to tell her story and spread the love. Beyond a new boyfriend to talk about and fiancé to have and hold, these ladies are in a good place to live the life.

When you look at their life, your life or my life you see what you see. But after a while things seem to turn out fine. Biles and Cardi B’s stories remind us that even if you’ve had some downside, you can still reach the upside. These ladies are doing it big, making their mark and owning their place in the showbiz game.

Tip: When you have a dream in you it finds a way to come through by learning the ropes and trusting the process.

Talkback: Does Cardi B have it in her to be more than a one-time wonder?

Tracks: Usher ft Young Thug – No limit – https://youtu.be/3w0yqAdJ1iY

Mary J Blige – My Life – https://youtu.be/6DLZc97nWf0

Chadwick Boseman and Beyoncé: Their Personal Expressions for How Hopes and Dreams Can Find the Path to Greatness

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The Year of ‘Got Shine?’
Where The Things You Know and How You Flow Bring More Star Power for Sure

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The anticipation is building for the next release from MCU – Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s the latest Super Hero character known as the Black Panther. Lots of celebs got to see the first screening in person. The reviews have been filled with superlatives as if it’s a preview for going from block to blockbuster.

Then of-course there’s Beyoncé and her Grammy-chic appearance. She wasn’t up for any awards but as usual made an iconic fashion statement. Boseman plays the role of king in the upcoming movie. Beyoncé rocks the title of queen in pop culture. But it’s their personal expressions that deliver creative excellence.

The Black Panther storyline has themes that make each character’s greatness come alive. Whether it’s in action-moves of a super hero, amazing plays in the Superbowl or breakthroughs on the field of dreams, the path to greatness comes alive in two success modes, Lifestyle and Lifetrack. They make things pop.

Boseman and Beyoncé have used these on the path to greatness. For Boseman it’s taken a few roles that weren’t crossover but were a stepping stone. For Beyoncé, it’s in her creative relevance and how she goes from ‘nothing to something’ artistically. Their amazing work sends chills or makes you wanna chill.

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Who they are, what they do and how they flow are the sum total of how they express themselves. It’s the combination of their creative excellence and creative relevance that make them special. When things come together it’s like magic which might explain how their success keeps rising to the ceiling.

Over the years my dream has gone through a few climbs from sun-up to sun-down. Feedback from others has helped to tighten things up. The magic for writing this blog has gone from good to better. But the playbook that Boseman & Beyoncé have used on becoming their best seems to go something like this:

  1. Conceive and go from zero to breakout move.

Boseman and Beyoncé have different stories for how they’ve built their movie/music careers. One thing common to both is first seeing themselves doing what they’re doing now. They conceived it in their minds-eye and visualized it in their imaginations. Then after a while, things went from zero to breakout move.

  1. Believe and go from a ‘nobody’ to a rising ‘somebody.’

The space between what they visualized and what they delivered is in how they believed in themselves and in what’s possible. This helped Beyoncé go from singing in her living room to performing on the world stage. Not every dream goes that big. But dreams take you from a ‘nobody’ to a rising ‘somebody.’

  1. Achieve and go from bottom-stack to top-rack.

Every time you achieve something there’s usually a lesson and a lift. The lesson comes from looking at the ups and downs to get there. The lift comes from seeing where you are compared to where you once were. Maybe that’s why Boseman’s big screen roles and Beyoncé’s showbiz journey are so exciting.

  1. Receive and go from nomination to coronation.

Beyond the obvious star power, some think the movie should get nominations for the creative costumes, special effects or music soundtrack. Well just like in the movies, character development and creative genius have meant a lot to Boseman and Beyoncé. It’s taken them from nomination to coronation.

We celebrate them for making us want to sing, dance or feel like kings and queens. We emulate them in striving to better our game or biggup our name. Their hopes and dreams have found the path to greatness not by chance but by a playbook for creative brilliance that has helped make them famous.

Tip: Creative brilliance in your career grind and life dreams needs creative excellence to make you awesome and creative relevance to make you special.

Talkback: How will Boseman’s new role in Black Panther help better his game or biggup his name?

Tracks: Kanye West – Amazing – https://youtu.be/PH4JPgVD2SM

French Montana – Famous – https://youtu.be/LNHkxOU7zz8