Taraji P. Henson & Terry Crews Reveal Why Nothing Compares to the High They Feel in Their Careers These Days

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The hype is over! With another Superbowl in the books, some in biz are counting their wins and maybe even losses. Whether it was the low-scoring game or the low-lights from the halftime show, the game saw a dip in viewership. The crowd-favorites were the pre-event concerts and post-game after-parties.

As the cross-talk in sports circles about the game and the culture gets heated, folks wonder if there’s a message for the NFL brand. As a former NFL player, Terry Crews might have something to say from a sports point of view. While Taraji P. Henson might let ‘Cookie’ say her piece as an ‘Empire’ cultural icon.

But beyond that, they might reveal why nothing compares to the high they feel in their careers these days. He’s the newest host of America’s Got Talent World Edition while she just got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They both remember a time when they had to flip the script in their careers.

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Henson says she started out doing sitcoms in the early days, thinking that comedy would be her thing. Crews shares how he had to turn his playing days into stage plays as a new form of ‘hustle-love.’ Now it feels like with major roles coming in that they could share tips on being a ‘go-to’ person in the workplace.

If there’s one good reason why they’re doing their best work or getting the best assignments it might be in how they traveled the road to excellence. They developed their craft, project by project. It’s like the ‘got milk’ campaign for building strong bones, their career might have its own 4-part slogan for strong game:

  1. Got Made?

When you think about how milk ‘got made’ there’s a process of going from raw grass to pure milk. For Crews & Henson the journey has been a process of going from raw talent to pure gold. How they got made hasn’t been about getting there fast, even-though their careers now seem to be on a fast-track.

  1. Got Trade?

They spent time learning the ropes as they played the roles. There was a time when having a skill meant applying it to a certain trade. This way folks often made a living with their hands. But these days ‘got trade’ might also be about developing your brand as a trade and making a living with all ‘hands on deck.’

  1. Got Paid?

Henson finds herself doing Empire on the small screen and breakout movies on the big-screen. Crews is also wearing many hats in a similar way. They use their skills and build their brand to create ‘got paid’ money moves. That means they turn their off-season in one area into their on-season in another area.

  1. Got Praised?

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Crews tells the story of hosting a talent show back in high school. It was his way of getting his mom to support his early showbiz dreams. Now things have come full-circle in hosting AGT as a worldwide TV franchise. Maybe the way he ‘got praised’ back then was a sign of how he’d rise to doing big things today.

Henson shared how she got more serious roles after early days in sitcoms. She adjusted her ‘flow and style’ to land those gigs. The same is true for Crews in going from the football field to a different field of dreams. Some say watching them ‘hustle-love’ in their career lanes gives us a certain kind of high.

Tip: When it comes to being one of the ‘go-to’ persons at work, it takes developing your craft project by project to the point where you bring a certain kind of high to the marketplace.

Talkback: What kind of high do you get watching Henson and Crews do their thing?

Tracks: India Arie & Musiq Soulchild – Chocolate High – https://youtu.be/3F8R-vBB4O4

Ledesi – High – https://youtu.be/MEiM2iokvFs

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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

Tyler Perry & Jamie Foxx on Becoming a Hollywood High Roller and Holly-Hood High Achiever

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The end of year awards season is about to jump-off and it seems GQ Magazine got things rolling. They named Colin Kaepernick their Citizen of the Year. He’s been a trailblazer for social justice issues. There’s also Blake Shelton being named Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine. Fans are spreading the love.

Tyler Perry and Jamie Foxx might find themselves on a different list. They’d at least get honorable mentions in discussions around Funniest Man Alive. A few other names might depend on the ‘type of funny’ category. Perry & Foxx certainly have cred as Hollywood high roller & Hollyhood high achiever.

They’ve been in the public eye for a while but for Perry the road to Tinsel-town wasn’t always a song and dance. He describes his story as one of always believing that Higher is Waiting. This mindset helped him in getting through the dark times, appreciating the good times and celebrating those high times.

It was more about chasing the dream than chasing the fame. This balancing act started with a showbiz project that kinda got them in the game. Some will remember Foxx from his In Living Color days. But for Perry it’s been a journey that got started with his urban-styled stage plays.

Some teary-eyed times are usually when talking about special people in their lives. For Foxx it was a grandmother who took care of him after adoption. With Perry there were folks who helped him connect his faith to hopes for a brighter future. They’re grateful for the advice and support they got along the way.

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Their road to success was first nurtured by close family members or friends. But it seems there’re moments in life that are set aside on our journeys where people show up as strangers. Sometimes their presence is about getting to the next point. Other times it’s about getting the point in life’s journey.

It’s like when I first read the book of a famous media personality. It describes his journey of going from average kid to getting a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Two particular factors mentioned in the book related to certain aspects in my own journey. It’s the kind of thing that’s used as a bookmark of life.

Well if not as a bookmark then there’re those situations that are more like milestones. We appreciate milestone markers on a long road trip. One reason for those markers is letting us know where we are on the highway stretch. But another is to let us know how far we’ve travelled since the starting point.

Foxx and Perry are making the most of the journey by turning their bookmarks into a grander sense of purpose. They’re also turning milestones into ways for helping others get to the next point. That’s the balancing act they try to manage in chasing the dream without getting distracted by chasing the fame.

So let’s get back to the idea of Funniest Man Alive. In terms of being among the super funny, it probably takes having a certain punch to the flow of funny. Then the punch-line will be more than just scripted. Well in chasing the dream it takes having a certain punch to the flow of whatever makes us razzle dazzle.

Tip: In chasing the dream it takes having a certain punch to the flow of whatever makes us razzle & dazzle.

Talkback: Who’d be on your short list of Funniest Man Alive?

Tracks: Empire Cast ft Terrence Howard – Dream On With You – https://youtu.be/XNkmI8nnMVY

Joyful Noise Soundtrack – Higher – https://youtu.be/VShyvXuJBQ0

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

Octavia Spencer & Felicity Jones: Leading the Way and Lifting Doubts in Hollywood #BigTimeUniversity

#BigTimeUniversity – “Small Talk, Street Dreams, Next Level”

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” 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 ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (Old-School Flava)

It was another weekend of NFL playoffs and Dallas got the boot. Many hoped this was their Superbowl year. Meantime, the women’s club was in full effect at the movie box office with Hidden Figures and Rogue One. Octavia Spencer & Felicity Jones are leading the way and lifting doubts in Hollywood.

In describing Rogue One to reporters, Jones said These characters are all vulnerable. They’ve all had difficult times in their lives and they’re all finding strength in each other. It feels very appropriate for the times that we’re in.” Jones & Spencer show how real people pour out their hearts on making dreams fly.

The theme in a movie’s ‘leading lady’ role is well worn. Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae play strong characters that experienced some scorn. The power in their roles isn’t merely in the beautiful sexiness they bring, but in that vulnerability thing. Plus, they add some extra mustard to their mojo.

Jones who plays a breakout part in Rogue One confirms that the Star Wars franchise is as appealing to women as men. So whether a movie, job task or community project if it has visionary legs it will go places. There’s the kind of ‘it-factor’ that’s useful for turning up big crowds or making people reach for big things.

After a Hidden Figures White House screening, First Lady Michelle Obama said “They didn’t listen to those doubters. They did not listen to the haters — because they’re always out there.” The strongest voice we should be tuned to is where God speaks to and through us in a way that lines up the blessings.

Groove-Track: Charlie Wilson – I’m Blessed – https://youtu.be/dG_BWKHRx8s

Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (New-School Flava)

Another weekend of playoffs set. Some folks are making bets. Last week Dallas got the boot. See who’s left after the burning soot. Meantime, women’s club staying hot. Rogue One then Hidden Figures in top spot. Octavia Spencer & Felicity Jones making good. Leading the way, lifting doubts in Hollywood.

Saying to reporters about the flick. That’s it’s not just about a hot chick. Characters vulnerable through difficult times. Finding strength in their primes. Speaks to where some are today. As they wake-up and take time to pray. A case of maybe when doves cry. As people pour out their hearts and make dreams fly.

‘Leading lady’ theme roles well worn. Spencer, Henson and Monae not phased by scorn. Playing characters that makes your proud. And even shout out loud. Power not only in sexiness they bring. But in that vulnerability thing. To add extra mustard to their mojo. Just like any dude or regular Joe.

Jones plays her own breakout part. As Rogue One heroine that’s smart. Confirms Star Wars guys & gals appeal. As a perennial box office steal. Whether work, play and fun with visionary legs. Will go places like water and the dregs. The kinda ‘it-factor’ for turning up big. In growing crowd numbers and dream gig.

White House screening had Michelle Obama preaching. About making moves that are far-reaching. Not listening to doubters and haters. They’ll be part of the see ya laters. Always there for holding folks back. Pointing out what people lack. Voice most important to hear. Is God who lines-up blessings beyond fear.

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Tip: Sometimes it takes an unsung story to inspire us to find the will and make a way to new glory.

Talkback: How’s the Hidden Figures story playing out in different parts of town?

Groove-Tracks: Mali Music – Beautiful – https://youtu.be/rxNO3KBQfmU

Arlissa – Hearts Ain’t Gonna Lie – https://youtu.be/uibj0hg4Yww

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

Welcome 2017: “The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!” #BigTimeUniversity

#BigTimeUniversity – “Small Talk, Street Dreams, Next Level”

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‘New year, new you,’ that’s what folks like to say. For some, the dawn of 2017 came into view with fanfare and a little leftover hangover. Others were turning the calendar from old to ‘got next.’ Whether reaching for the bottle or shooting for the stars, the new year is good for opening the door to hopes and dreams.

That’s what Hollywood could be thinking with the release of the movie Hidden Figures. It tells the story of unsung dreams that were behind the scenes as the NASA space program climbed to new heights. Well, that might have been true then and could be just as true now. So it’s time to move fresh dreams forward.

Welcome 2017: “The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!” This year’s theme brings a cool way for flexing style, game and soul in how we roll. It means being on point with everyday stuff and on the move with real gutsy stuff whether in taking it to the streets, achieving new feats or dropping hot beats.

We’ll see this play-out as Hotsteppers in Washington by way of moving Dr. King’s dream forward. This will mean keeping tabs on the going downs in politics, civics and economics. Plus, there’re four things our Purposeful Living blog is sure to ‘Let the People Know’ before & after President Obama drops the mic.

Throughout the year we’ll share highlights of how purpose and passion give life an easy breezy groovy feeling. So think of this year as another ‘start now’ game opportunity. In some sports it takes two halves to play the game. In others it takes four quarters. Either way what happens on the field builds-on the score.

Those who’ve followed this Blogcast over the years might realize it has grown into a kind of Hotsteppers Weekly. It’s where we connect with ‘aha moments’ from celebs, change-makers and other trendsetters. It has uplifting stories from uptown, downtown and cross-town; from Hollywood & Hollyhood.

It’s also where we might learn, earn and discern. This makes us better by doing ‘homework’ + teamwork = dreamwork at #BigTimeUniversity. At times the blog is a reminder or refresher for everyday living. It’s a place where just like cars, we stop every so often for a refill or service-check to keep running well.

No matter our normal duties, job tasks or smart goals, along the way we might find ourselves in the thick of it for a time or the whole damn year. This could be a phase that feels like the walls are caving-in. But once we figure things out, after a while we’ll have every reason to jump and shout. (Been there, get that!)

So we’ll keep bringing some of those favorite music hits to just not quit because what’s worth doing is too legit. That’s how we get jiggy and woke in the end. Thanks Grooviacs for the feedback and support in the past and looking forward to making it last. Just remember we’re now part of the Hotsteppers Cast.

With the right blend of music, social uplift and lifestyle content, maybe this year’s theme will feel like you’re turning-on Hot Steppers Radio. So let’s make a deal and do 1 for the money, 2 for the show, 3 to get ready and 4 to go. Or in the spirit of the new year countdown, “4,3,2,1…let’s rock and have some fun!”

Yours in Da Groove,

Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham

‘The Island Guy’

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Groove-Tracks: Ini Kamoze – Stepping Hotter This Year – https://youtu.be/fuYyR2imtUY

Mary J. Blige – Thick of It – https://youtu.be/8KcdZZnBfRA

Taraji P. Henson, DJ Khaled: Two Among Many Who’ve Had a Career Year For Sure #BigTimeUniversity

#BigTimeUniversity – “Small Talk, Street Dreams, Next Level”

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 ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine with Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (Old-School Flava)

Lamar Jackson takes the Heisman award for contributions to his Louisville team. He beat-out four other finalists to join football’s best-in-class. Then there’s DJ Khaled & Taraji P. Henson who’ve been white hot this year even before the Christmas special. They’re two among many who’ve had a career year for sure.

According to Yahoo Celebrity Khaled told ET earlier this year “I feel like people can relate to me because we all go through wins and roadblocks and passion and pain and it’s a vibe.” Khaled and Henson might have different experiences but they could share their 4 keys on going from hidden figure to six figures.

For Henson’s latest role in the movie Hidden Figures she plays the true story of Katherine Johnson, a math whiz who worked behind the scenes at NASA. It reminds us of times we’ve had to go from scared to bold. The long-and-short of it is being able to fess-up our truths before we can bless-up the world.

If Khaled’s Instagram tells us anything, he did it with an eye on having more life. It’s the way we step-up to a cause or live-up to our dreams. He’s been busy raising his rap impresario game while sharing his keys for success. Even Drake gave Khaled props with gold plated keys for him and his new born son.

So Henson’s missing from the Golden Globe nods. Was it a snub or a slight rub? Khaled’s got his first #1 album Major Key on the Billboard 200. Their journeys line-up with the quote “Things are going to get in your way but whatever you do never stop showing-up.” Keep runnin’ since God can save the best for last.

Groove-Track: Will Smith – How Da Beat Goes On – https://youtu.be/s435h8Xc-wE

Theme:–The Year of ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine With Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (New-School Flava)

Lamar Jackson takes Heisman award. That’s big and makes him man-a-yard. Louisville teammates gotta be happy. Teasing him kinda feels sappy. Beating-out four other jocks. As college football’s best-in-class stocks. There’s Henson & Khaled who’ve been white hot. Before Christmas special or career top spot.

As told by Yahoo Celebrity note. Khaled on ET that he’s not yet GOAT. But feels like people can relate. With wins, roadblocks and things on the slate. Passion and pain has its own vibe. Khaled & Henson might pitch their own tribe. Giving 4 keys on going from hidden figures. To top billing and major six figures.

Henson’s latest role you see. Movie Hidden Figures history. Plays true story of math whiz. Who was part of NASA biz. Reminds us of what it takes. When fear gives us the shakes. Go from scared to being bold. Like winners of days old. Long-and-short is simple to say. Fess-up your truth, bless-up the world any way.

If Instagram is where he lives. Snapchat is where he gives. Wanting to have more life. For him the fans and cool wife. In how he’d step-up after a pause. Or live-up to dreams and a cause. Busy raising his impresario game. Then came more fortune the same. Even Drake gave props with gold keys in his name.

So Henson’s missing from Golden Globe list. Snub or slight rub the gist? Khaled with first #1 album reach. On Billboard 200, listen for his speech. Their journeys taking different roads for sure. But lines-up with idea close to the core. Things get in the way but no matter what. Keep runnin’ as God has your lot.

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Tip: The key in moving from hidden figure to top billing is making sure your work and life make a killin’.

Talkback: No Golden Globe for Taraji: Snub or a slight rub?

Groove-Tracks: Kim Burrell – I See a Victory – https://youtu.be/zM_ngicKTqU

Pharrell Williams – Runnin’ – https://youtu.be/96kIL2GV27I

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