Tyler Perry & Issa Rae Took Different Paths but Have a Similar Message on Turning Fed-Up into Step-Up

There’s a kind of hazy cloud hanging over people and places these days. In some parts of the country there’s the cloud of forest fires. With millions of acres burning during this ongoing dry season, we see news reports of damage and destruction. In some parts, the whole town has been wiped out.

Then there’s the cloud hanging over people trying to take next steps. For some who’ve lost everything due to the fires it’s about figuring out where to lay their heads. For others who’ve lost their job due to the economic calamity caused by Covid-19, it’s a case of wishing and praying that things turn around.

While Tyler Perry and Issa Rae haven’t seen this kind of devastation in their lives, they have a similar message on turning despair into emergence and fed-up into step-up. Perry who was once homeless when he first started on his dreams, was the recent recipient of the Governor’s Award at the Emmys.

For Rae, it’s been a tug-of-war in emotions as she creates a path in her Hollywood career. She remembers having a meeting with an industry exec who liked what she was doing but missed the point of her work. The rub was in the exec not seeing her work for its worth but for his exerting power and control.

They know the feeling of having a hazy cloud over their heads. But they’ve also seen what can happen when things clear with peaks of sunshine. It’s those glimmers of light that have helped them build their showbiz following and business acumen as actors. They used that time of clearing to build on the:

1. Moment

Perry spoke in his acceptance speech about his grandmother’s quilt and how he realized he took it for granted. He visited an antique store and saw a similar quilt for sale. It was then he got the power of the message in grandma’s quilt. There’re moments in life when we realize the power to work our magic.  

2. Motivation

In the meeting Rae had with the exec she realized that it was a moment for motivation and change. She chuckles about how “someone got fired” in that meeting, but she turned the moment into motivation to build her brand cred. Now she’s known for her own HBO series and select roles in big screen movies.

3. Journey

Perry says he looks back from time to time to appreciate from whence he came. The advice he once got from Oprah to start a journal has now been turned into a journey. Fast-forward to where he is now in receiving the Governor’s award and you’ll find stage plays, movies and TV shows in his portfolio. 

4. Story

The magic and magnetic attraction Perry and Rae bring comes from the stories they tell. Sometimes it’s a fictional story made for TV sitcoms and acting stage. Sometimes it’s a real-life story adapted to a movie role. And sometimes it’s their own story of momentary digest, passion quest and dream conquest.      

As the fall season of TV shows take shape, there’ll be retuning favorites and newbie projects. Things might be a little different where shows won’t have an audience or have to comply with social distancing. But when the haze clears there’s always a bright light or spot for those who make hay while the shines.   

Tip: Good times come when life’s moments get turned into motivation that leads to a journey for your comeback story.

Talkback: Was Schitt’s Creek really waiting in the wings over the years for this many Emmys?

Tracks: Hill St Soul – One Life – https://youtu.be/9TL3rOzxU5g

Angie Stone – No More Rain (In This Cloud) – https://youtu.be/UgG0Hu_FeiA

Serena Williams & Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Working on Getting Back in Stride to Make that Move and Secure the Bag

The back to school season is really upon us now as pretty much most students across the country open their Zoom window. With Covid-19 still an issue, school districts are working on getting students back in stride for the upcoming year. Some started off with in-person classes while others do remote learning.

The Labor Day holiday is seen as the unofficial end of the summer and the first ramping-up of normal life. Kids return to school and parents wrap-up on vacation time. As to how normal things will be in the first few weeks is still a question. Whether at work or play, some feel being in lockdown mode is getting old.

In sports and showbiz, there’s some glimmer of hope in trying to get back on the regular. There’re events happening in a bubble, or at least without fans. Serena Williams is back on the tennis court at the US Open in NY while ‘The Rock’ surprised NY-area first responders with special props (or rather ‘kicks’).

Johnson recently announced a special giveaway of his sneaker-line to members of a local firehouse for all the work they’re doing on the frontlines. During this week of 9/11, he especially wanted to shoutout those who were impacted by tragedy as many reflect on what it means to serve your community/country.

Williams and Johnson are working with different motivations. For Johnson he’s bouncing back from being Covid-19 positive. For Williams, it’s her ongoing quest to hit that 24-mark in grand slam wins. No matter where we live, whether we’re trying to make that move or secure the bag, we can get motivation by being:               

  • New York Tough

As the song reminds us, “if you can make it here (in NY), you can make it anywhere.” Many (including the Governor) might say that’s a dream confession of a ‘NY Tough’ state of mind. There’s a certain kind of ‘grit & grind’ that makes NY a place people love to live and others want to visit as a global attraction.

  • New Jersey Strong

When Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, there was loss of life as in 9/11 but there was also more widespread damage/loss in property. The strength that people showed in bouncing back became known as ‘Jersey Strong.’ No matter where things are career-wise or in life we can up our game with resilience.         

  • California Dreaming

There was a time when heading west meant reaching new lands. Plus, there was a period of ‘California Dreaming’ as seen in the Gold Rush. Well, after Labor Day might be a good time to think about reaching new heights. But to make that move and secure the bag these days is a different kind of ‘gold rush’ and life dreams.  

  • Colorado High

The CBD business has taken off across the country. One of the first places it started was in Colorado where recreational use was legalized. The State isn’t only known for the ‘mile high’ city of Denver. It also represents a kind of ‘Colorado High’ on figuring out new streams of opportunity for success.     

This week, NY Governor Cuomo gave a blistering readout on hometown rebound due to Covid-19. He thinks the Federal government has a silly vendetta against NY. Well, for the economic situation to get back in stride where folks get to secure the bag, it will take leadership that’s more than just a ‘sugar high.’      

Tip: To get back in stride and secure the bag takes adding ‘NY Tough’ to ‘California Dreaming’ from coast to coast.

Talkback: What other State slogan gets you going?

Tracks: Maze ft Frankie Beverly – Back in Stride Again – https://youtu.be/waSM0rXDLys

Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar – https://youtu.be/E07s5ZYygMg

Daymond John and Sophia Popov Show How to Get Dreams Moving from the Background to the Headlines

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This week was Mamba Day at the NBA! The league remembered Kobe Bryant on 8-24 to honor his game and the numbers he wore. There was a kind of mamba spirit at work as LA sports teams had lots of success in their games. Both the Dodgers and Lakers won big with players showing love to their icon.

For different reasons, folks gave props to Daymond John and Sophia Popov. Both made news recently for their ‘hustle and flow’ credentials. For John, it was a program feature to honor Dr King’s famous words, “I Have a Dream.” John is known as a ‘Shark Tank’ personality but his biz skill came from the streets.

Popov made history winning the Women’s Golf British Open. Her rank in the world was somewhere in the 300th range. It’s only happened once before where someone with such a junior rank wins a golf major. She placed 10th in the qualifying tournament, providing her a chance to play among the game’s stars.

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The backstory told by John is he learned from watching his parents about what it takes to ‘rise & grind.’ They’d work their regular jobs and then after that did stuff with their side hustle. For Popov, it’s been about believing in herself and her game and knowing that she could perform among the best of them.

Their success is an example of what can happen when you give your dreams a ‘shot of r-u-m’ by putting it in ‘roll-up mode’. It’s not what you have in a beverage sense but in the way you mix skill, talent, passion & mojo. That means we get our dreams moving from the background to the headlines by how we:

  1. Work it

John realized he wanted to be a ‘bid-ness man’ after selling baseball caps on the street corner. He had borrowed money from a relative to make a few caps for himself. People started to like them, so he made some extra ones. He hung-out on the corner and made $800 selling them. That was his ‘work it’ moment.

  1. Play it

Popov went from relative unknown to becoming a golf champion. Some might say timing was everything because Covid-19 prevented few of the ‘regulars’ from playing in the tournament. But she showed how you ‘play it’ is just as important. This comes by maintaining poise and not being distracted by life’s noise.

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  1. Build it

John then started with the brand FUBU and was able to ‘build it’ from the ground up with help from friends & fam. When you build it, things might start out as a ‘proof of concept’ and end up being your ticket to the big time. So that means staying on message or on track to build momentum for a breakthrough.

  1. Change it

At times we might have to tweak things in our game to get better results. Plus, when things get stale or feel stuck, we might have to ‘change it.’ John sees that happening now with the public unrest. He’s frustrated that we’re still ‘stuck on stale’ when it comes to dealing with social justice issues.

It’s still hard to fathom that Kobe was ‘here today, gone tomorrow.’ As players send love to his family, we can live our best life in honor of his story. Some go the entrepreneur route by how they ‘build it’ while others worry during Covid-19 if they’re gonna ‘play it.’ But no matter what, let’s ‘change it’ or ‘just work it.’

Tip: You get dreams moving from the background to the headlines by how you work it, play it, build it and change it!

Talkback: Will this win for Popov be a career one-off or a dream jump-off?

Tracks: Pharrell Williams ft Jay-Z – Entrepreneur – https://youtu.be/bTOoY5MIkvM

Missy Elliott – Work It – https://youtu.be/cjIvu7e6Wq8

‘Career Dreams 101’ From the Old-School to the New-School: Eva Longoria and Tamron Hall Have Turned Theirs into Media Ventures and Breakout Productions

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Who remembers the days of Desperate Housewives on TV? It was one of those shows that gave daytime drama a new primetime feel. It was like “As the World Turns” meets “The Bold and the Beautiful.” One of its stars, Eva Longoria has gone on to do big things including her new project Grand Hotel.

Then there’s the music biz. One of the pioneering rap groups, Boogie Down Productions would fuse dancehall with hip-hop. A group member back then known as D-Nice, is now doing ‘Instagram Live’ parties he calls Club Quarantine. Longoria and D-Nice are also doing their own virtual graduation events.

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Of course, who can forget Tamron Hall as a former NBC ‘Today Show’ co-anchor. She left the scene, started a family and now hosts her own talk show. They have turned their career dreams into media ventures and breakout productions. They’ve all had to make a career shift that gave their dreams new lift.

For Longoria, she got to a point of memorizing her lines, taping the show and going home. But it felt as if she was short-changing her full potential. For D-Nice, the changing music landscape made him shift gears. And with Hall, her earlier hopes of having a show were pre-empted by TV Network execs.

There’s lots to learn from them for our own next steps. As high school grads make college decisions and as college grads prepare to enter the workplace, there are a different set of circumstances. Add in the Coronavirus crisis and there is more stress. But the road from here to there, from 0 to 60 is about your:

  1. Start

The Desperate Housewives series lasted for about eight years. Longoria became a staple on the show. In a Forbes interview she shared that while she was playing her role on the show, she was also taking notes and learning about showbiz. The show was a start that she has since turned into her own production gig.

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  1. Stairs

In a line from the poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes are the words “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stairs.” That’s what D-Nice and Boogie Down Productions were basically telling/selling in music, based on life in the Bronx, aka the ‘Boogie Down.’ Since then he’s climbed those stairs to new heights.

  1. Storm

The storm that today’s generation might best relate to happens on social media. A tweet-storm is when someone just goes off on a rant. But there’s a different kind of storm that can happen in life where it feels like things go off the rails. Hall had her moment in feeling passed-over but she’s handled it with class.

  1. Story

No matter the start, the stairs or the storms that come our way, career achievement isn’t simply about our status as much as it is about our story. On social media, your status is kind of a running update. In pop culture, your status might give you more swag. But your story is the difference-maker on the road to glory.

These days, almost err’body’s going through a shift in their environment. Some working from home while others try to restart their livelihoods. The next few months will see new efforts to bounce-back or reboot the game. So, hold on to the memories and godspeed in your journeys when life feels like a hard place.

Tip: The ‘stairs challenge’ on social media might be about how to dance up the stairs as something you do for the culture. But in the workplace, it’s about how to reach new heights in skills and thrills as something you do for the glory.

Talkback: Who remembers the days of Desperate Housewives, Boogie Down Productions and Tamron Hall on the ‘Today Show’?

Tracks: Buju Banton ft John Legend – Memories – https://youtu.be/t9pMjc0-Vlk

H.E.R. – Hard Place – https://youtu.be/zfHbuTG8IHE