Here’s What it Took for Idris Elba and Jennifer Lopez to Raise Their On-the-Job ‘Hit’ Average to Become A-Listers in Showbiz

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Just about a year ago many were excited about the wedding of the century. It was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle whose fairy tale story had Hollywood royalty in attendance. There were other close friends among those sharing the moment. Idris Elba was one of them and now he’s got next.

Then there was news that Jennifer Lopez said yes to Alex Rodriguez. Their public romance and recent engagement now put them on deck. Elba is set to tie the knot next month while for J-Rod it might not be too far out. Theirs could be the next wedding of the century for all the fashionista that would be there.

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They’re clearly A-listers and have come a long way since their days behind the scenes. Elba remembers those times when acting roles were hard to come by. But after landing a gig on HBOs the wire, his market appeal began to rise. He’s got so may projects in the works that even Saturday Night Live came calling.

Both get high marks for building a brand around being a triple threat. They’ve put out music albums, starred in big screen movies and varying TV show roles. They share a kinda of hunger for their craft that keeps them on top of their game. It’s not something you can teach as it is that which makes them reach.

They are good at what they do. But they’re also good at the business of doing what they do. That’s the difference between being on top of your game and being a top performer in the game. It’s in how they’ve gone about raising their on-the-job ‘hit’ average to become A-listers that gives them an edge as:

  1. Creators

If you’ve ever had to make something from ‘scratch’ you know the feeling it brings. It’s an ‘inner genius’ feeling of accomplishment in going from nothing to something. That’s probably the feeling Lopez gets watching the many acts on her latest World of Dance episode. The performers are artistic dance creators.

  1. Producers

Elba would prob give props to Lopez who’s turning out projects on many artistic fronts. He’s looking at more than just acting roles to add to his ‘hit’ list. He started a production company to develop projects around his other passions. That means turning his creative genius into a broader development process.

  1. Promoters

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Not many people knew that Elba was the DJ at Harry’s wedding. He says he got the job after working as a DJ at prior events for Harry’s Dad’s (Prince Charles) social events. As if life’s imitating art, now Elba is promoting his new comedy project on Netflix based on a struggling DJ who becomes a male nanny.

  1. Collaborators

Beyond their many production efforts, the big-time success has also come from working as collaborators. Lopez shows what that looks like with the judging panel of her show. She’s teamed up with other showbiz players to make the overall production even more widely appealing.

We’re yet to see what will come when Lopez and A-Rod join forces not just as a family but as an enterprise. For Elba, maybe there’s something in his future like the James Bond franchise that would bring together creators, producers, promoters and collaborators on a project to light it up!

Tip: Creators and producers are good at what they do. They become like promoters and collaborators by being good at the business of doing what they do.

Talkback: Will J-lo and A-Rod put on the next wedding of the century?

Tracks: Major Lazer – Light it Up – https://youtu.be/r2LpOUwca94

Chaka Khan – Like Sugar – https://youtu.be/RecY5iZn6B0

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Here’s What John Legend and Iyanla Vanzant Reveal About Being ‘Hired for Looks or Wired for Success’

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Well Spike Lee finally won at the Oscars and it was celebrated by one of his homeboys. When Samuel L. Jackson realized he’d be announcing Lee as the winner for Best Adapted Screenplay, he gave out a big shout. It wasn’t Lee’s first Academy nomination, but it took almost 30 years before he’d finally won one.

John Legend is also looking for his first, not Oscar but Voice winner. He’s the newest coach on NBCs singing reality show. Speaking of reality shows, how about Fix My Life, with the no-nonsense queen herself. Legend and Iyanla Vanzant reveal more about being ‘hired for looks or wired for success.’

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For Legend it’s been one of going the traditional route in earning his college degree from an Ivy League University. No one might know since he’s so down to earth and easy going. He’s been strongly influenced by the musical background of his family which helps explain why he feels at home belting tunes.

Vanzant works with folks who’re trying to get a handle on some facet of their life. Sometimes it’s personal, relational or even professional. Each week she shares bits and pieces of her story along the way on her OWN Network show. She’s even taken steps to bring her message to fans on her Get Over It tour.

Legend’s one of the few who’s an EGOT, for winning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards. For Vanzant, her show recently received two NAACP Image Awards nominations. But what we see on the outside doesn’t tell the full story of the journey. Before the success, they were on the R.O.A.D. of:

  1. Rejection

Legend says he learned a lot about music from his grandmother who was a church organist. Over the years he’s worked with many music artists who’re Grammy winners themselves. But Legend remembers those times when he was rejected by every major record label before getting his first music contract.

  1. Omen

Maybe the rejections helped him work harder. Maybe the setback on her first Talk Show helped Vanzant become wiser about showbiz. They, like others who’ve been on the R.O.A.D. might point to a certain time or situation that proved to be like an omen. It was a kind of prophetic tell-tale sign of things to come.

  1. Advice

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Vanzant’s become a sought-after personality for advice and counsel. She embraced advice she received in her own life when things weren’t ‘in order’ as they are now. She knows that there’s advice people give that might discourage or tear you down, while others give advice to encourage and build you up.

  1. Destiny

Now that Legend is a coach on the Voice he’s helping emerging artists live their dreams. He’s walked the walk in the music business. Vanzant is offering folks some ‘reality check’ advice because as she like to say ‘she’s done the work’ as well. They’re fulfilling their destiny as they help others do the same.

Whether or not they were hired for goods looks, they have personal experience of what it means to be wired for success. Vanzant might say when you do the work on your inner self, you’ll achieve the worth of your best self. Legend knows rejection paves the way for your selection and also saying ‘hello happiness.’

Tip: The road that success travels is one that might take folks from rejection to selection and also saying ‘hello happiness.’

Talkback: Since they’re so good, what can Legend not do as an artist or Vanzant not fix in life?

Tracks: Chaka Khan – Hello Happiness – https://youtu.be/JG6D59k9U8Q

Khalid – Talk – https://youtu.be/Y1QZOprK7PQ

Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson Describe What They Did to ‘Bring It’ Which Helped Them Move into the Spotlight

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The Forbes list of ‘Top 400’ richest people in America is out. Guess who’s again #1? It’s not someone in real estate. Instead you might be reading this from a Microsoft-powered gizmo he made famous. Then there’re those on the list who’ve made their names in the retail, media, and financial services sectors.

Going from ‘loss to boss’ is something they may have experienced. Along the way they figured-out how to find their power, turn the tide, shift their stride and rock a new pride. That’s true for Gabrielle Union & Taraji P Henson as their careers and dreams look to celebrate with a toast; wine or champagne anyone?

They describe what they did to ‘bring it’ which helped move them into the spotlight. Union is on a book tour talking about going beyond the bumps and stumps. For Henson, it’s been a journey of believing and delivering the goods in ways that when she looks back she might say to self “I always knew I could.”

It’s kinda like now you see them and then you see them even more. They’re in a zone for sure that has something to do with more than their celebrity. They’re bringing it like an athlete who’s got things working in his or her favor. The ball just responds to their every move. The effort seems to roll in a good groove.

Their stories of ‘pomp and circumstance’ are the lessons that got turned into blessings. Union spent her early years as a modeling agency intern. That helped open the doors to her passion and ‘sista girl’ appeal. While it seems to some like they’ve taken us by storm, they’re really becoming a market force.

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At times it took meeting the right people and getting the right breaks to move them into the spotlight. But in between those times, it took powering their game the way we charge our devices. They made themselves plug-compatible to career situations that would either make that money or break that barrier.

Union has been sharing her personal take on some of the social issues of our time. But she’s also been giving us a peak into her infertility struggles. Henson spent some time sharing the loss of her long-time pet. But it’s the parts of their stories that hit dead center that can be a charging source to push us further.

I remember years ago when a co-worker shared feedback that hit me dead center. It took a while to get what they were saying with these words: ‘You’re good at speaking to and speaking through people.’ That comment was a great charging source on my journey. Since then I’ve been using it to power my dreams.

Plus, the feedback put things on a course where I’d ‘bring it’ with a new flow. I’d see how going through the motion wasn’t enough for a promotion. There’s a time for going through the motion just like there’s a time to blink. But Union and Henson saw how to turn their flow into a source, a force and showbiz course.

They might tell us what work, play and everyday are about. It’s starting off sexy, keeping things alive and doing their best to strive. When it’s all said and done we may remember a line from their movies. But the things that tend to move us most are people’s storylines of doing something brave or achieving the rave.

Tip: Making work, play & the everyday come alive is about doing something brave or achieving the rave.

Talkback: What’s the part of their story that hits you dead center?

Tracks: Chaka Khan – Keep Your Head Up – https://youtu.be/88DS-T7Ypa4

Neyo – Champagne Life – https://youtu.be/gqayCgvI_uI

J.K. Rowling and Bethany Mota Used Social Media to Spill their Guts on Living the Dream – #WUWECAST

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?


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Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

Some of the big names in entertainment went from Vegas to New York. First they watched the big fight on Saturday and then were at the Met Gala on Monday. Their private jets were parked on the runway ‘wing to wing.’  Meanwhile, J.K. Rowling and Bethany Mota have been spilling their guts on living the dream.

Rowling has been responding to her Twitter fans about characters on the Harry Potter series. She wishes she hadn’t dropped a few of them from the plot. She looks back on her own journey and might relate to words from Maya Angelou who once said “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story.”

This fits with how the Harry Potter series came into being. Rowling was stuck on a train during her commute and decided to start writing. After getting home she spent the next five years building the story. Since that travel delay Rowling has developed her unproven writing skill in creating a mega-force empire.

While for Rowling there was also the pain of depression, it was the pain of bullying that helped Mota forge ahead. She saw Youtube as a way of expressing herself through fashion, beauty and spreading hope to teens. If not for the support from family and friends they would otherwise have been unsung stars.

One of the more recent milestones for Rowling is the Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios in Orlando. She’s also released a novel and is working on a screenplay. Moto has a teen fashion line and a new music single. They’ve turned their pain into gain, skill into thrill and guts into glory.

Groove-Track: J-Lo – ‘Live it Up ft. Pitbull’ –

Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

Some big names in entertainment. Went from Vegas to New York appointment. Watched the big fight from the front row. Then to the Met Gala for Monday show. Private jets parked ‘wing to wing.’ Fashion statements wearing ‘bling to bling.’ Meanwhile J.K. Rowling and Bethany Mota keep doing their thing.

Rowling responding to Twitter fans. About Harry Potter series and future plans. Wishes she hadn’t scratched a few. From the plot for others that are new. Looks back on her journey and might relate. To words from Maya Angelou’s slate. Saying there may be no greater agony. Than bearing an untold story.

Good point when one thinks about the series birth. And how much Rowling is now worth. After being stuck on a train commute. Decided to start writing, just couldn’t refute. Spent next five years building the content. So for some the books are heaven-sent. Turning unproven skills into dollars that pay the rent.

For Rowling there was pain from depression. For Moto a matter of bullying confession. Saw Youtube as a place of expression. Sharing fashion, beauty and memorable impression. Spreading hope to many a teen. Building brand and clothing line green. So if not for family and friends. May have had different ends.

Recent Rowling milestone that says bravo. Is Harry Potter ride in Orlando. Her writing pen’s ready for more pay. Having released a novel and screenplay. Moto with fashion line and new music single. With little time as a teenager to mingle. Pain into gain, skill into thrill. And guts into glory that’s their fill.

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Tip: Winners know how to turn pain into gain, skill into thrill and guts into glory for a top story.
Talkback: So who really won the ‘fight of the century’ or was the best dressed at the Met Gala?
Groove-Tracks: Bruno Mars – ‘Liquor Store Blues’ –

Chaka Khan – ‘Keep Your Head Up’ –   

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST