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