The Rise of Riza Santos: The Inspiring​ and Stunning Influencer — Gemma Exclusive

Riza Santos (Riza Racquel) is on the rise: Fashionista, Influencer, and Making her mark within the music world as a DJ. Riza is also from Canada and expressed her sentiments about her heritage by saying, “As a Canadian, it always warms my heart when people from other countries tell me about their positive experiences with Canadians. Canadians take pride in having a true identity, and we love our hockey!” said Santos. Riza is incredibly ambitious about being a Global Ambassador, becoming a refined DJ, and most importantly; giving back. She’s well spoken and highly professional. Riza also served in the military and highly values her family.

Riza is also an experienced actress and dancer who is vocally trained in music theater and opera. Her additional dance skills include jazz, hip-hop, salsa, and traditional Filipino dance. Riza aspires to become an entrepreneur in order to help students with financial resources who do not have the funds to obtain a post secondary education.

Riza started in pageants because she knew it would lead to the next positive step — which it did. Santos does not take her good fortune for granted. She works hard and with integrity. Riza’s schedule is hectic, so Gemma was so thrilled that she took a moment to speak with Gemma Magazine.

Tell us a bit about growing up in Canada and how you decided to enter pageants and what is your personal view on them?

Canada is an incredible country with a mosaic of cultures. That being said, pageants are not the first thing you’d associate a Canadian with. I entertained the idea of joining a pageant through the influence of my mom and grandpa. My mom is gorgeous and so glamorous. However, my grandma wanted her to focus solely on her chemical engineering degree. I was encouraged to try out pageants as part of an extracurricular activity.

I view pageants as a stepping stone and also to advocate a cause that I’m passionate about. Also, I wanted to see the world, but I was a university student with a limited budget working in retail. Winning pageants gave me opportunities to travel internationally and to see the world through reputable organizations. The pageants I have participated in team up with charitable causes; they have personal meaning. I’ve volunteered nationally and internationally. Pageants were also a gateway to modeling, and that opened up a lot of doors and opportunities for me.

It’s incredible that you have won 3! What has pageant life taught you that you have been able to incorporate into your daily life?

Pageants provide unique experiences that can be transferred for personal development. At the same time, I don’t believe anyone should join a competition without the intention to win. I am a very competitive person; I think the process itself of preparing for arenas of competition–where one has to be self-motivated to produce the best version of themselves–should apply towards everyday life.

The reality is that as humans, we can be both competitive and cooperative. Pageants are competitions, but through them, I’ve made lifelong friendships that have outlasted the competition. Most importantly, I’ve learned that this journey of life is about the people you cross paths with, putting your best foot forward and showing up. People will remember you after the competition. It’s not always about winning.

You are an advocate for environmental protection. Can you please expand?

I think everyone can be an advocate for environmental protection. Just educate yourself and do your part. Lower your carbon footprint, and a be a responsible consumer. For example, I like to ride my bicycle or carpool as methods of transportation. I recycle, carry my reusable bags and utensils, and I love my metal straw. I encourage other people to do the same. Substantive change begins with you.

Can you please tell us why this is valuable to you?

It allows me to speak, and for people to know me behind the image and the persona. I have the real opportunity to be influential, and that being said: I’d like to advocate for a life of principle. The best way I know how to do accomplish this task is to be principled in my own life.

I was on the phone with my sister and niece on the way to the grocery store, when we came up with the acronym #GIFTED. We spoke of our family legacy and what we genuinely practice. Traditionally people think others are born #GIFTED. We want to introduce a new viewpoint. I think it encompasses a mindset that I was brought up with

G is for Generosity starts with being grateful and abundant wherever you’re at in life. It’s also empathetic toward others, seeking to understand them, and having compassion for them.

I is for Integrity. Trust is foundational and valuable because it is the foundation of all relationships in life. My father taught me that you’re only as good as your word and it should be ironclad. My word is my honor, and my courage Geis my life. I aim to live a life of integrity regardless of who is looking.

F is for Focus. Goals can only be achieved through focus and small shifts in action and focus cause people to succeed.

T is for Tenacity. Tenacity is making strong efforts and focusing on purposeful action. It’s not just about working hard but making sure what you do is purposeful. It’s not easy, but I do find that when I stay purposeful in what I do, feelings remain in perspective.

E is for Education. It’s not just about formal education, but learning from experience–and not just the bad ones. You may not always win the battle, but never lose the lesson.

D is for Dedication. Anything worth doing isn’t going to be easy. There are still setbacks, and it can be so easy to not see things through to the end. But dedication is about commitment.

I believe anyone can make the world a better place with these values, because it’s the foundation for a grounded person, and what is society other than the people who comprise it?

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My dad lost his father when he was 17 years old, but thankfully he had his siblings to help support him, and he completed his post-secondary education. My family has taught me the principles of living with integrity, having a self-motivated work ethic, and doing my best. They are conscious of leaving a legacy and creating a better future not only for self but for future generations as well.

“My family inspires me. They have a compelling story to tell, and I see my own life fitting into this larger narrative. My extended family immigrated to North America using education as a vehicle. I have uncles and aunts that earned both MD and Ph.D.’s. One of my uncles had seven degrees and was also a summa cum laude at UP, educated at Harvard Law School on a Fulbright scholarship, and was the first Filipino elected into Canadian government.” (Riza Santos)

Tell us more about some of your hosting jobs and your You-Tube Channel?
I have had excellent opportunities to host various international competitions as well as the Asian Poker tournament in Macau. My You-Tube channel focuses on my international travel, as well as beauty and make-up tutorials.

What are your current goals and aspirations?
I love music, and I am looking forward to DJing. I’m a mezzo-soprano vocalist and musician at heart. I studied Classical Music under a dramatic soprano who studied at the Moscow Conservatory of Music and worked at an Opera house in Paris.

What does music mean to you personally?
I love how music brings people together. I grew up in a home where someone would always be playing guitar, piano or singing. Music moves people and can invoke deep emotions one can’t express in words. Music has always been a big part of my life, and I’m excited to get more involved and share my music on a more general level.

To follow Riza Santos on her social media platforms: https://www.facebook.com/msrizasantos/

https://www.instagram.com/riza.official/

Musical Talent Terrell Sass: Finding Fulfillment through his Passion for Music: A Gemma Exclusive!

Terrell Sass is a multi-talented and multi-instrumental artist with so much to offer. He’s a music producer, drummer, and composer. Music is his life, and he could not be a kinder person. Terell is a true collaborator, and this characteristic has contributed to his success. We were honored to interview him. He’s ultra-professional (questions answered in a day)?!?! and always captions his Instagram posts with the tagline: “PURSUE YOUR PASSION.” Sass is super inspiring and it’s also why he’s a true ‘gemma.’

Terrell has been interested in music since he was a child. He’s an incredible combination of raw talent and strategic execution. He produces for musical talents, plays drums, and composes. Sass also has an entrepreneurial side with his apparel company., ‘Drumman Apparel.’ More importantly, Sass inspires others to pursue their passion and achieve fulfillment. When he had a brief moment, Terrell sat down with Gemma to talk.

Have you always been interested in music and what attracted you to drumming, specifically? Did you have a mentor or you “just knew?”

I had an affinity towards music, practically since my birth. My older brother and I were always turning everything we could (Ideally spoons, hangars, and pencils into drumsticks)!!! Drums weren’t Only the loudest instrument; Drums was the most visually stimulating instrument to me. Growing up I had a few musicians that I would watch at the church I was attending. (My father was very active at every church we visited) so that jump-started my “tutoring.” I definitely “knew” that music was something that I was exceptional at and was something that I wanted to do! I eventually got to study with Craig Harbor and Tom Knight at the Atlanta Institute of music and media!!

What was your experience like at the Atlanta Institute of Music? Is it true you got your friend to drive you (while missing a midterm)? That’s a great story. 

My experience at the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media was nothing short of phenomenal!! Being able to learn from some of the best musicians and minds in the music industry. My experience definitely helped mold me into the musician, person, and entrepreneur that I am today. That Story you are referring to is very true! Unfortunately, (But fortunately, )I was not focused on making good grades like I should have been during my two-year stint at Colombus State University. I did consider dropping out and moving to Atlanta, but I knew my parents would not let that happen without a plan. Therefore, I began to research and I found out that one of my favorite drummers (and now a good friend of mine), CHRIS COLEMAN, was doing some work at The Atlanta Institute of Music. Since I didn’t have a car, I became discouraged when I found out that I had to physically audition by a certain date to start the next quarter. When I was telling a friend of mine about it, she said, “Don’t let the little stuff stop you from doing what you have to do… I’ll take you.” I knew she had a midterm the day of my audition and I told her to not worry about it but she was not havin’ that!! She said, “Don’t worry about me, I’ll make it work.” That was a true blessing!!!

You produce for many musical artists. Can you please explain why you enjoy producing for others and what characteristics go into it.

There is absolutely no greater feeling than watching an idea and a concept turn into a full-blown song! You definitely have to be a visionary and have a clear idea of where you want to take a song, which makes everything run so much smoother (In my Opinion). You also have to have good communication skills and also understand the talent you are working with– that’s key.

How did you get to produce for Mya? Also, it must have been thrilling to have been instrumental (both as a producer and musician)  in “Smoove Jones” being nominated for a Grammy

I was working in the “D-Room” at D.A.R.P. WAS WORKING IN THE “D-ROOM” AT D.A.R.P. (Dallas Austin’s former studio) with a producer friend of mine named Orlando Williamson. We would just take turns playing music for each other. One day I played some music from my Live Production folder. He asked for a copy of the few compositions that I played. After a little touch from Orlando and an acquaintance of ours named “YOUNG YONNY,” the song that I gave him became “One Woman Man” ON MYA’S “SMOOVE JONES” Album!!! (Networking is Important!)

How was your most recent experience with Alvin Garrett? Can you pls. expand upon the creative process

Alvin is great! He is one of my favorite singer/songwriters to work with! We collaborated on three songs for HIS Upcoming album “THIS HILL”. For me, it makes sense to create in bulk when I’m feeling a distinct vibe. It also makes sense to create in bulk when I feel that a unique musical aesthetic since there is no guarantee that the sound will be retrievable in the future. With these elements in mind, I then created music for “Have a Good Time” “Time” and “What I’ll Do.” Therefore, I sent him the idea, amazing lyrics and jump-started to the compositions! “Love is Still the Answer” was an idea that he brought to the table. He sent me an acapella voice note of the melody. I got inspired and created the music around his overall sound. Then he went back and recorded his vocals… AND WA-LAH!!! Now you have a finished album.

Do you consider yourself a “true collaborator?”
I consider myself a true collaborator!!! If I’m working with you, it’s because I respect what you do and respect what I do. Furthermore, you must recognize what I do. I genuinely believe the iron sharpens iron!

Tell us a bit about who you have toured with and how the experiences impacted you?

I’ve done tours and performances with Tyler Perry, 2 Chainz, Rich Homie QUAN, Jennifer Holliday, Danny Gokey and currently Liv Warfield to name a few. Outside of exposing me to different places, touring and doing live shows also gives me a front row seat to what the public reacts to positively and even negatively! I then apply the knowledge that I gain from those observations to my production! It’s actually an amazing learning experience.

There is ABSOLUTELY no greater feeling than watching an idea and a concept turn into a full-blown song. You definitely have to be a visionary and have a clear idea of where you want to take a song, which makes everything run so much smoother (In my Opinion). You also have to have good communication skills and also understand the talent you are working with– that’s key. (Terrell Sass)

You have an impressive work ethic. Do you ever need downtime?
I don’t think that I do!! Since music is my hobby that I’m blessed enough to get paid to do!!! (I do make sure that I go to the gym daily)

Who inspires you in the music industry? Both R&B as well as Rap?
My music industry inspirations are Quince Jones, David Foster, Rick Ruben SIir George Martin, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Pharrell, Sean Combs, and Dr. Dre!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into the music industry?

NETWORK!! BE PERSISTENT!! Always be professional and do your best because you never know who’s watching. PRAY! Most Importantly — The Internet is your friend!!! Don’t be afraid to do ‘it’ on your own. The industry has turned into a “Venture Capitalistic” environment.

How do you stay so motivated? Your mindset is incredible.
It’s effortless for me to stay motivated because I’m passionate about what I do. Music is my job and my hobby!! Playing and creating music gives me a feeling that nothing on earth could give me!

Tell us a bit about the t-shirts you wear and new apparel that you offer.

I wear my merchandise line called “DRUMMAN APPAREL™” (If Michael Jordan can be the “JUMPMAN,” THEN I CAN BE THE “DRUMMAN”)!!!! I started this merch line as a Birthday gift to myself. My goal is to get every drumline in America wearing it. We’ve been selling hoodies, t-shirts, and dog tags. We are preparing to release some new products and designs shortly.

I love how you always say “Pursue Your Passion.” It’s Very inspiring. Do you feel this is the path to true fulfillment?

I believe that pursuing your passion is a path to fulfillment. If you are passionate about what you are doing when you can and as much as you can, you are enriching your soul. Whether you are making $0.00 OR $1,000,000. Things we are passionate about get our endorphins going and that’s always a good thing.

Lastly, any upcoming projects that you would like to mention
I’m back with a few artists now!! I’m not sure what songs are going to end up where but stay tuned!!! Also, if you see that Liv Warfield drummer is doing a show near you — Come on Out!! Be sure to check out my website and order your drummer friends some fantastic drummer merchandise!! Also check out Alvin Garrett’s new album, where we collaborate for three songs. Tthe upcoming Alvin Garrett album will be awesome!

Terrell Sass was a pleasure to speak with — An amazing example in going for your dream. On behalf of Gemma, I would like to thank him. Very, very inspiring!!! You can follow him on the following social platforms:

www.terrellsass.com

@terrell.sass(Facebook)

@terrellsass (instagram)

GBK Productions and Mosaic PR: Grammy Gifting Lounge Exclusive

 

The biggest names in music came out to celebrate their 2019 Grammy nominations at the world’s premiere celebrity gifting lounge, GBK Productions’ Annual Pre-Grammy Luxury Lounge. Held this year at the elegant STK Restaurant, inside the W Hotel Los Angeles-West Beverly Hills, past winners, nominees, and many other celebrities were on hand to congratulate their peers and pick up some of this year’s hottest items and trips during the stylish soiree. Grammys Biggest Names (Including 2x Grammy winner H.E.R. and Grammy Winners Opium Moon & Sam Moore) celebrated Grammy Weekend with Two Days of Exclusive Gifting of This Year’s Hottest Items.

For the exclusive event, GBK partnered with STK and the W Hotel (www.marriott.com) for a private two-day celebrity gifting lounge party. STK is a unique concept that artfully blends the modern steakhouse and chic lounge into one – offering a dynamic vibe dining experience with the superior quality of a traditional steakhouse. W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills is a modern urban retreat with highly personalized service, high energy interiors, and luxury amenities.

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STK Steakhouse – Photo Credit: John Collazos

The premiere list of invited guests that attended included 2019 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Sam Moore, 5x nominee H.E.R., 2x nominee Chole & Halle, William Duvall & Mike Inez from Alice In Chains (Rock Album), Ashley McBryde (Country Album), the band Halestorm (Rock Performance), Koryn Hawthorn (Gospel Performance), the band Trivium (Metal Performance), the band Cha Wa (Regional Roots), Tia Fuller (Jazz Instrumental), Yiddish Glory (World Music), Opium Moon (New Age), Raul MIdon (Jazz Vocal), Ian Fitchuck (Album of the Year), 3x Grammy winner Terri Lyne Carrington and Grammy nominees Rapsody, Jeff Hamilton and 9th Wonder. Other talent included musical guests, celebrities and influencers such as Alex Sparrow, Loni Love, Bebe Coronel, American Idol winner Maddie Poppe, Kaila Methven, Lexi Jayde, Shannon K, Luenell, The Ochoa Boys, Prince Amukamara (of the Chicago Bears), Malcolm Kelly (MKTO), Pardison Fontaine, Emma Hunton, Aretha Franklin’s grandchildren Victorie & Jordan Franklin, Yella Beezy and many more.

GBK & STK At The "W" Hotel Pre-Grammy Lounge

Grammy Winner H.E.R. Photo Credit: Rachel Murray

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Wander & Ivy – Photo Credit: John Collazos

The nominees and guests, who attended GBK’s Grammy luxury lounge were treated to gift certificates from STK, The W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills, Icebox Watches and Diamonds and Morrison Hotel Gallery. Pashion Footwear convertible high heels were gifted as were Wander & Ivy organic wines, Ruby-Cell USA gifted cosmetics from their Stem Cell Conditioned Media Extract, Kahuna Chair LED Mask, Dulce Vida Organic Tequila, Marathon OG (by Nipsey Hussle) vape pens, Equality Goods clothing with a purpose, Fortune & Frame jewelry, Framed Tweets (art gallery for tweets), Seraph clothing, Lucky Soul CBD water and products, Story Electric Bikes, 1More headphones, Silverite pillows as well as trips to Jamaica through Caribbean Living and Italy through La Corte dell’ Astore and more. The energy of the Luxury Lounge was fantastic and here are some of the featured vendors.

Icebox Watches and Diamonds (www.icebox.com)

Icebox Watches are stunning. They are the nation’s premier boutique for diamonds and watches, located in Atlanta, GA.

Morrison Hotel Gallery (www.morrisonhotelgallery.com) is the world’s leading fine art music photography representing over 125 of the most highly acclaimed music photographers.  The featured collection for the GBK Grammy event was lovely.

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Photo: morrisongalleryhotel.com

Pashion Footwear made an impressive stiletto showing! (www.pashionfootwear.com). Known as the world’s convertible high heel, Pashion footwear features stylish stilettos that can be transformed into comfortable flats with the easy removal of the stiletto heel itself. They represent a smart and beautiful woman.

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Koryn checking out Passion Footwear – Photo Credit: Kirsten Moore

Wander & Ivy organic wines are truly delicious (wanderandivy.com). Wander & Ivy’s mission is to elevate the single serve wine experience by offering high-quality wines in convenient and premium packaging while promoting organic and sustainable vineyard practices and giving back to the community. It’s an innovative and unique concept.

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Wander + Ivy Organic Wines – Photo Credit: John Collazos

Ruby-Cell USA is a Korean Cosmetic brand which uses Stem Cell Conditioned Media Extract to lighten wrinkles and the effects are usually seen within 15 minutes to one hour (www.rubycellus.com). They are a fantastic brand and were highly helpful.

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Ruby-Cell Serum Application – Photo Credit: John Collazos

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William Duvall (Alice in Chains) Photo Credit: Kirsten Moore

Dulce Vida Organic Tequila (www.dulcevidaspirits.com) is an organic tequila from Los Altos that is handcrafted and made with 100% Blue Agave.

Equality Goods clothing with a purpose (www.shopequalitygoods.com) featured a lovely presentation. At Equality Goods, their goal is to be the change we wish to see in the world. Through their alliance with THE INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE (IRC.), Equality Goods hires refugees resettling in America to assemble the bracelets. The brand proudly pays above minimum wage, provides transportation, meals and accounting services. One by one making a tangible difference in people’s lives. Equality Goods produce every one of their bracelets locally, making a direct impact on our community.  Equality Goods is fueled by women who believe in building a culture of compassion and community – both inside and outside of the office.

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Equality Goods – Photo: John Collazos

Fortune & Frame Jewelry (www.fortuneandframe.com) is an NYC brand that creates meaningful jewelry and accessories to protect and honor the messages that inspire you.

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Fortune & Frame – Photo: John Collazos

Framed Tweets is the world’s first art gallery for tweets (www.framedtweets.com). The don’t just frame Tweets—the company makes Art, with a capital A. Framed Tweets use the best quality materials for everything they make.

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Photo: John Collazos

Kahuna Chair Kahuna LED Mask is described as the world’s best 4D gravity chair (www.kahunachair.com)

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Chloe x Halle – Photo Credit: Chris Carlisle

Seraph Clothing (www.seraphdesign.com). Seraph creates trending fashion clothing from the highest quality materials, designed and manufactured in Los Angeles.

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Photo Credit: John Collazos

Lucky Soul CBD Water and Products (www.luckysoul.com) –Lucky Soul is an inspirational apparel brand — A Luxe, athletic-influenced brand to elevate your casual and active lifestyle. Washed to Perfection and Made in the USA. A Lucky Soul is Someone who personifies the heart of a champion. A person who lets nothing stand in the way of reaching their goals and dreams in life. The Vision of Lucky Soul soon became reality from plenty of hard work, dedication, and drive. Lucky Soul was born and founded on the mission of creating a worldwide movement of promoting social good. Synonymous with Hope, Success, and the Power Of Collaboration; they create expressive products that are life-affirming and help define one’s soul. The brand’s capsules serve a purpose more significant than just fashionable apparel items; they open the way for us to create real and lasting changes in the way people see themselves and others.

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Opium Moon – Photo Credit: Thomas Chowder III

 

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Lucky Soul Lifestyle – Photo Credit: John Collazos

 

Story Electric Bikes (www.storybicycles.com) Story Electric Bikes get you where you want to go quicker and with less effort. Even better, for every bike sold, Story Bikes donates a traditional Buffalo Bike to students in Zimbabwe.

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Story Bicycles – Photo Credit: John Collazos

1More headphones (www.1more.com).1More is an award-winning headphone offering premium quality headphones at a consumer-friendly value.

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Grammy Winner Sam Moore checking out 1More Headphones  – Photo Credit: Thomas Chowder III

 

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Halestorm: Photo: Tracy Cahill

Silverlite – (www.silveriteglobal.com) offers an innovative healthy vegan pillow with functional fabric technology. The pillows are infused with silver for continued protection from surrounding bacteria, viruses, and fungi. No foam, no down, and no chemical material. Instead, the pillows are filled with kapok tree, referred to as “natures cashmere.”

 About GBK
GBK Productions, is a luxury lifestyle gifting and special events company, specializing in entertainment marketing integration. Formed in 2000 by Gavin Keilly, the company’s Founder and CEO, GBK consists of five divisions: GBK Celebrity Gifting, GBK Special Events, GBK Weddings, GBK Charitable Consulting, and GBK Marketing & Public Relations. Widely known in the entertainment industry for bringing that little extra something into the Luxury Lounge environment, GBK offers its clients a full range of marketing services. For more information on Gavin B. Keilly (CEO) or GBK please go to gbkproductions.com.

It was an amazing event and on behalf of Gemma Magazine, I  would like to thank both GBK Productions as well as Mosaic PR for the informative fun!


 

Powerful Producing with Writer and Producer Kate Pazakis

Kate Pazakis is an actress, producer and artistic director for the Rockwell: The Table & Stage. It’s a quaint and cozy theatre house that feature musicals of bold talent and meaning. The entire concept itself is fantastic. Located in the heart of Los Feliz Village, Rockwell: Table & Stage offers Angelenos a truly unique experience by staging live, musical performances while serving unwavering cuisine (Chef Wayne) with seasonal alternating menus. Baroque chandeliers and a dark rustic vibe fashion a warm indoor eatery and performance space. So, who makes the Rockwell “rock”? Producer and Writer Kate Pazakis and her talented team, especially producing partner Bradley Bredeweg (who also directed “Edward Scissorhands”).

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Specifically, Kate Pazakis is responsible for the concept development and artistic vision, with a strong influence on script and song selection. She hires and oversees a director, musical director, casting director, technical director, and stage manager to evolve each show from creative concept to final production. In many instances, high profile personalities perform as recurring lead roles or surprise guest stars, creating substantial buzz around each show, which makes it very appealing.

img_8760Kate and her team produce 25 plus original in-house shows per month as well as lead and motivate a production crew of 15. Pazakis has also created her unique niche within Rockwell: the UMPO, which stands for (Unauthorized Musical Parody Of) and represents productions that Kate feels will resonate strongly with the audience.
Recently, Gemma was extended an invitation to see “Edward Scissorhands,” the musical. It was incredible and makes you realize how exciting theatre is in Los Angeles. Furthermore, when, you have an excellent showrunner like Kate Pazakis, the productions at The Rockwell are going to be high quality, filled with authentic talent and deliver a great story. When Kate had a moment to speak with us, we were able to get insight about her creative process and what inspires her.

How were you introduced to the Theatre World? I know that you were a performer before becoming a producer/writer.
I started doing musicals in first grade. I was hooked from that moment.

Being Artistic Director requires many details and tasks. What motivates you (since you are also responsible for motivating cast and crew members)?
For me, it would be the reactions of the audience members, how excited they get when they see live theatre — especially in Los Angeles. It’s very inspiring.

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What made you want to start UMPO (which stands for Unauthorized Musical Parody Of)? It seems like an incredible combination of creativity and sharp business skills.
Rockwell hired me as the artistic director of the space and part of my job was to bring in outside shows. I did not like the shows that were being brought in and decided to create them myself. Furthermore, I do feel that I’m in a great space for a venue that mixes creativity and business skills.

Can you please describe the audition process? Strong Vocals would have to be at the top of the list. Vocals are first. And then acting is just about as close. It must be a robust double threat.

You and who else are the core members of UMPO?
I have a group of about 30 actors that tend to do a lot of the shows. It is not a company per se, but people always want to return.

What do you love most about the theater world?
I love being able to play pretend as an adult with no holds barred. It’s life, the feedback is honest and immediate.

It’s interesting that you choose certain favorite cult films to parody
Is there a common thread that stands out?
I usually pick a property that is quotable or very current. Being a relevant production that will resonate with the audience and initiate a discussion.

“Edward Scissorhands is phenomenal.” The cast is so talented and the writing is superb! The production was directed by Bradley Bredeweg There were light and heavy moments. Do you feel that you are given a powerful platform to shed light on particular social issues? For Edward Scissorhands, police brutality stood out as well as the fear our country has of someone they perceive as different.
Thank you! I feel it is a great platform to discuss the terrifying politics in our world today.

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Do you ever perform in any of the productions?
I played the T-Rex in J”Jurassic Park” and loved it. It was my return to the stage after many years. It’s interesting because, after such a long break from performing, you get to look at the process with fresh eyes. Who knows. Maybe I’ll do it again soon. LOL.

Lastly, you’re a mom and how do you balance that with all your responsibilities?
I’ve made sure that I’ve set strict boundaries with my time so that there is a healthy balance between family and work. I’m an organized person, but delegating is crucial.

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We want to thank Kate for speaking with us. Edward Scissorhands has been extended until the 30th, and we highly recommend you see it. You might even shed a tear.
Tickets: Rockwell-LA.com
www.rockwell-la.com

 

https://www.facebook.com/katepazakis

https://www.instagram.com/pazakattack/

 

 

 

Staying True to his Craft: Actor Spencer Trinwith Talks ​Upcoming Projects and “Wonder Woman 2”

The decision to pursue acting is always a brave one. Of course, many artists feel it is their life passion and must fulfill their dream. The fact is the industry consists of handling rejection, competition, and hard moments. However, certain artists learn to lean into the struggle (setbacks and all), and channel that energy to become even more passionate and determined. Sometimes, there is even an art to learning how to adapt. Such is the case with talented actor Spencer Trinwith, who always knew from an early age that he wanted to be an actor. Spencer is within his authentic element when working on a film set. He’s on the rise and applies a smart and insightful approach to his craft. Spencer has also experienced an enormous health challenge but tapped into other forms of creativity to stay focused. Trinwith knew acting was his life purpose and that would not change. “There is something so special about how collaborative acting is — all of these different parts moving in unison and working toward a similar goal. Not to mention, it’s darn fun,” said Trinwith.

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Trinwith explained his desire to act as a career became very clear in High School. He expanded by emphasizing that he was not into academics. Spencer wanted to focus on the arts. He attended the University of North Carolina for the Arts and lived in DC for a while. He comes from actor parents and due to his innate interest in the arts combined with the family exposure to creative endeavors inspired his ambition even more. He was even named after Spencer Tracy. Trinwith has quite an impressive resume. He has appeared on television in “Law & Order: SUV” alongside special guest star, Sharon Stone as well as the television show “VEEP” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Hugh Laurie. Spencer’s professional theater credits are extensive. He played Norm in “Suicide, Incorporated” in Washington, DC to stellar reviews. He also starred in an adaptation of the Stanley Tucci film “Blind Date” titled “The Personals,” for the stage.

After a health setback at the age of 21 that left him viewing life from a different perspective, his mindset had to shift to keep him healthy and focused on healing as well as still inspired to accomplish his future goals. Spencer has made a full recovery and even worked on five films this past summer. He’s excited about his short film (about to hit the film festival circuit), Saved by Grace, which required intensive physical stuntwork. Spencer happily took on the challenge. He is also starring in Wonder Woman 2 1984, which is “set for July 5th, 2020 Warner Brothers worldwide release. His story is inspiring, and when he had a moment, the thoughtful and passionate actor took the time to speak with us.

Tell me a bit about your childhood. Your parents are involved in the acting world, correct? It’s always great to have that support.

It is wonderful! I get to have a scene study partner pretty much on call 24/7 between the two of them! I grew up in the Bay Area and Washinton, DC. My parents have always been incredibly supportive of me pursuing this career.

You recently went through a challenging time with degenerative disc disease. How did you stay so strong mentally? Did you feel there was a time that you might not be able to act again?

Music. Most of the time playing guitar would be too difficult for me. But I got into producing on my computer. I would spend hours while on bed rest. Sometimes days. I would compose music — everything: hip-hop beats, electronic, rock, metal, soundtrack, EVERYTHING. I have a gigantic catalog of music from my time before my surgery. I’m very proud that despite everything, I was still able to find a way to be creative. I never stopped creating!

You have had the opportunity to work on many film sets over the past summer. What was the film shoots like for Saved by Grace and Really Love?

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Saved by Grace was particularly exciting for me because I got to perform all of my stunts. From hand to hand combat, to falling out of trees. They had me doing just about everything, and I welcomed it! Mud and everything! I had a blast working on Really Love. My scene with Kofi Siriboe and Yootha Wong-Lou-Sing was virtually all improvised. It was such a fun give-and-take!

Regarding your acting process, you had mentioned that you try to approach from a simplistic approach versus “doing too much.” Can you elaborate?

Yes, the age-old actor dilemma of: “What do I do with my hands right now?” We can easily fall into the trap of feeling like “we are not doing enough” and because of that: we can run the risk overcompensating. Trying to push for a result. For me, I try to keep it to a few steps — Know what your character wants, commit to your character’s circumstances, listen to your acting partner, respond to your acting partner and your hands will follow after.

 

spencer outsideAlso, you are always challenging yourself to step outside your comfort zone with your roles. Is this your nature concerning risk-taking with specific roles?

I feel it’s a bit of a mutual attraction! I enjoy working on roles that are a far departure from myself, or extreme circumstances. To let my imagination run wild with the thought of “What If?” It’s certainly a rush and a difficult task. But I love it.

What does acting bring to you personally as well as your life?

I cannot live without it. There is something so special about how collaborative acting is — all of these different parts moving in unison and working toward a similar goal. Not to mention, it’s darn fun. When I was on bedrest, it was very isolating. Yet I did have a deep, burning desire for acting and knew that is where I belonged.

After living in DC, which is a gorgeous city, what do you think of L.A. now that you are after living and auditioning here?

DC And LA couldn’t be any more different! Both have a lot to offer. I will say though, the first time I ever flew into Los Angeles, (considering I have no family here or relation to this city), as soon as my plane touched down at LAX, I had this overwhelming sense of belonging. I knew this was going to be my home and when you are in a new home its best to create a network of friends and associations that make you honestly feel “at home.”

You have been working so much. Did you take a Thanksgiving break?

I did not spend Thanksgiving with my parents this year. I volunteered with “family” at Project Angel Food in Los Angeles, bright and early at 6 am on this holiday, prepping meals in their kitchen for those in need. It’s a fantastic charity in Los Angeles County which provides free meals for men and women too sick to shop and cook for themselves, and it’s been doing this for almost 30 years.

Everyone is super excited about WW2 1984! Can you please expand upon your character a bit?

Due to NDA (non-disclosure agreement), I can’t speak about my character or the film. However, I’m so excited for its release as I’ve been a lifelong fan of DC comics and characters!

On a final note, please click the link below to hear Spencer speak on a recent podcast from KTLA!

https://ktla.com/2018/11/26/spoken-dreams-spencer-trinwith-actor/


Gemma Magazine would like to thank Spencer Trinwith for joining us. We can’t wait to see all of his upcoming projects. Hopefully, we will have the opportunity to do a followup. For now, Spencer is happily traveling due to nonstop work and living out of a suitcase. He would not have it any other way.

To follow Spencer on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/spencer.trinwith.3

https://www.instagram.com/spencertrinwith/

 

Photos by Brian To / Styling by Victor Hugo Guevara

 

 

 

DORIS BERGMAN’S NINTH ANNUAL STYLE LOUNGE & PARTY, HONORING TELEVISION’S BIGGEST NIGHT, #Emmys2018

Glamour, Giving Back, and Style took place on Thursday, September 13, at Fig & Olive – THE Hollywood Hotspot on Melrose Place. The newly renovated venue opened its doors to Bergman’s Style Lounge and Party – in celebration of the upcoming 70th Annual Emmy® Awards. Over 100 of Hollywood’s most excellent turned out to celebrate and honor the television industry’s Emmy® Nominated actors, former Emmy® winners, presenters, stylists, and industry VIPs. This highly anticipated invitation-only event, hosted by Green Horizon and presented by Precious Vodka.

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Doris Bergman hosts the chicest events in the city, and once again, she did not disappoint. The Style Lounge and Party featured an incredible array of fashion for him and her including couture gowns, grooming products, the finest in beauty, skin & hair care, stunning jewelry collections, gorgeous accessories, fashion-forward luggage, Napa Valley wines, premium luxury coffee, innovative teeth whitening, chic chapeaus, fabulous fragrance, everything for the pampered baby, gourmet cuisine, unique spirits, delectable sweets and much more!

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A new vendor this year was Green Horizon (www.greenhorizen.com). The Utah based company is so lovely and helpful. I sampled the calming CBD oil and it was quite relaxing. The sponsors were highly informative. The founder of Horizon, Jeannie Carlson, had a vision of Greatness: A desire to make real change in the world. They offer great products and are changing the world to a healthier place.

GLEB SAVCHENKO WITH TITLE SPONSOR GREEN HORIZEN

GLEB SAVCHENKO WITH TITLE SPONSOR GREEN HORIZEN

 

MICHAEL IRBY WITH PRESENTING SPONSOR PRECIOUS VODKA

MICHAEL IRBY WITH PRESENTING SPONSOR PRECIOUS VODKA

Precious Vodka always adds a splash of fun. (http://preciousvodka.com/)
Precious Vodka combines style and quality taste. It’s considered a classy vodka company who takes pride in all business aspects. The company was founded in 2010 with the goal of giving consumers a unique, high-end experience. Produced by one of the oldest distilleries in the eastern European region, Jewel Lines introduced the world’s most Precious Vodka. Initially launched in Europe and Australia to rave reviews, it is now in over 40 countries worldwide, Precious Vodka has achieved elite status. In 2016 Precious Vodka was recognized as one of the best Vodka’s in the world, winning a gold medal in the 2016 ‘San Francisco World Spirit Competition.’

 

In beauty news, Heather Marianna is an actress and spokesperson initially known for creating Beauty Kitchen, (https://beautykitchen.net), a show that teaches women how to create fantastic spa products in their very own kitchens. She now creates natural organic products of her own that are loved all over the world. The Emmy gift boxes provided by Beauty Kitchen were incredible!

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Beauty Kitchen

Nicole Freiss started the beautiful apparel company Lollies and Lace Couture Baby Clothing, which was new to the Doris Bergman Style Longe Soiree this year (lolliesandlaceboutique.com)with sweet treats of clothing and accessories for your little girl. Her presentation brought out your inner child. Sizes range from 6 months to 8 years and select fabrics that are soft and not constricting. She has studied the latest trends and patterns to come up with unique designs. “I learned as a mother what fabrics are easy to maintain and wash without doing a lot of ironing or maintenance,” said Nicole. Overall, the look is modest, yet playful and fun.

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Actress Kelsey Scott with Lollies and Lace Founder Nicole Freiss

A signature statement and always gorgeous look is Twisted Silver Jewelry. (https://twisted-silver.com/shop/ ). They were back with their gorgeous jewels. Deb Mitchell has created an incredible company with Bracelets, Brass Jewelry, Mixed Metals and much more! The creativity never stops at this table.

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Deb Mitchell (Founder of Twisted Silver) and Diego Valdez (Influencer )

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Also back with many sweet blessings was the Jewelry company, My Saint, My Hero. Their bracelets always give off good vibes. (https://mysaintmyhero.com)

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My Saint, My Hero

PortoVino, (https://porto-vino.com/products/portovino-crossbody-bag), made a strong statement at the #Emmy18 Style Lounge! They have a strong commitment to exceptional quality, cool designs, excellent service and to help you celebrate life! The handbag company also prides themselves on offering their customers the best quality and service possible.

DIEGO TINOCO WITH VIP SPONSOR PORTO VINO

DIEGO TINOCO WITH VIP SPONSOR PORTO VINO

SÜNDER ( https://www.sunderusa.com) is an award-winning premium mixer. The beverage consists of exotic fruits, and their blend provides an extra hint of sweetness with a touch of bitterness. Sourced from all natural ingredients with no caffeine or taurine. Sunder’s refreshing carbonated beverages are perfect to drink over ice or with your preferred cocktail.

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Sunder Mixers

With the September heat in LA, it’s essential to stay hydrated and Hint Water (https://www.drinkhint.com) always helps. Hint water- a delicious, unsweetened flavored water is still refreshing and healthy. Hint started by taking boring old water and making it delicious without sugar or sweeteners.

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John Brotherton with Hint Water

Sue Wong Fashion always makes a statement, and it was lovely to see her again. (https://www.suewong.com). Her designs are compelling, romantic, and poetic. Sue Wong understands this power. In her outlook, her vision, and her designs, she honors the goddess force — the universal feminine energy that allows women to transcend their time and place.

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Sue Wong Fashion

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Sue Wong

Nourish Modern Wellness Skincare (nourishmodernwellness.com) was informative and inspiring. Hosted by Nourish Modern Wellness founder, Dr. Orie Achonwa, Orie has a passion for plant-based nutrition and beauty that began in her formative years. Her company has grown tremendously and is now focusing on the consumer health market, creating products that encourage people to take healthcare into their own hands.

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Nourish Skincare Line

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Dr. Orie Achonwa (2nd from left) with her Nourish Products

Chef John from Emporium Thai (https://www.ethaicuisine.com) and VIP Sponsor, offer the most refreshing and decadent iced tea. One of my favorite stops for sure. Emporium Thai was voted one of the 100 best Thai Restaurants in the US. Family-owned and operated, they have shared the beautiful flavors of authentic Thai food with our customers since 2000. Its authentic cuisine and cooking are in the genes!

KELLY JENRETTE WITH VIP SPONSOR EMPORIUM THAI

KELLY JENRETTE WITH VIP SPONSOR EMPORIUM THAI

Mobile White (https://beamingwhite.com/business/supplies/mobile-teeth-whitening-system) Mobile White’s mission is to enable teeth whitening professionals to provide the most effective teeth whitening products and services for a reasonable cost.

MICHAEL CAMPION WITH VIP SPONSOR MOBILE WHITE

MICHAEL CAMPION WITH VIP SPONSOR MOBILE WHITE

Kamshield, (https://kamshielddirect.com), was a great vendor. Kamshield LLC is a woman-owned company founded by Kameron Miller. Kameron’s interest in online security stemmed from her experience of being hacked several years ago. Wanting to find a solution and prevent others from enduring the same violation, Kameron saw her vision for online security come to life with the Kamshield Webcam Cove.

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Kamshield.com

Buywine (buywine.com)is always one of my Style Lounge faves. The wines are truly delicious. Lihjt with a smooth finish. The company is so knowledgeable and passionate. The creation of BuyWine.com was conceived out of necessity that we all have a longing for wine and a thirst for knowledge, but do not always know where to look. Not only did the innovative company set out to build a complete worldwide directory of vineyards and wineries, but they also listened to their customer. BuyWine.com also features hotels and restaurants, which helps complete your travel needs.

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BuyWine Founder Alma Callan (M) with Kelsey Scott

Goldinger’s Print Tees (https://www.goldingersbrand.com/pages/about)
The Third Generation Authentic Vintage Inspired Lifestyle Apparel features the coolest t-shirts. Their Mission is Creating Cool Premium Collectible Quality Apparel. Simultaneously, the company strives to adhere to highest disciplined printing, design, fabrics & fit. All apparel is created with passion & integrity with the most top skilled Craftspeople “BUILT TO LAST & MADE To WEAR.”

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Lou Ferrigno checking out t-shirts

Let’s Cake specializes in setting up “Do-It-Yourself” Cake or Cupcake Decorating Stations. It provides an activity as well as a way to send your guests home with something special. Peronally, I hd a blast at this table. Let’s Cake (https://www.letscakeevents.com/)

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Let’s Cake

Diamond Veneer – (http://diamondveneer.com) features beautiful jewelry with a flawless finish. Diamond Veneer introduces using the revolutionary process of treating Cubic zirconia with a veneer of carbon diamond particles, crystallizing around the entire
stone resulting in a flawless “G” color on the diamond color scale. The durability of the CZ as a real diamond at a fraction of the cost.

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Mind In Sole Insole Foot Massage always is a relaxing effect. (https://www.mindinsole.com) – Partnering the long-standing tradition of ancient medicines with scientifically proven innovative technologies, MindInsole brings you holistic and natural solutions to everyday problems

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Michele Weaver with MINDINSOLE

In the spirit of giving back, (and one the most poignant) of the event), is ‘Wednesday’s Child.’ Guests & sponsors made monetary donations and donated unwrapped gifts for young adults (ages 13-18) for a Pre-Holiday Gift Drive benefiting ‘Wednesday’s Child’ — a weekly segment airing on KTTV FOX 11 News, Los Angeles, with Anchor Christine Devine. ‘Wednesday’s Child’ highlights ‘harder to place’ young adults in the LA County foster care system who are in need of adoptive families. “In Los Angeles County, alone, there are over 30,000 children receiving child welfare services,” says social worker, Dr. William Wong. Bergman always invites at least two foster children to join in on the festivities and experience what it feels like to receive the VIP treatment, http://www.foxla.com/wednesdays-child

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Miles Tagtmyer supporting “Wednesday’s Child”

Emmy’s Hope Dog Accessories (https://prettyfluffy.com/trends-shopping/editors-picks/emmy-inspired-dog-accessories) were on hand for all the pet lovers featuring the best of pet accessories.
Other exciting vendors gracing the Style Lounge for #Emmys2018 were Rhonda Sheer Aah Bras (rhondashear.com), as well as Rock Your Hair (https://www.rockyourhair.com) with their fabulous hair products.
Zangu Language App (http://www.zanguapp.com) which is so much for kids. ZANGU helps children master pronunciation through a series of creative challenges and an engaging storyline.

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Emmy’s Hope Dog Accessories

Bitmar Streaming was present. (https://bitmar.com/about.htm) – BitMar Networks is the firm behind the BitMar streaming platform. In essence, BitMar is a streaming portal; that connects you to millions of movies, TV shows, channels, games, music and more (from different sources, throughout the Web.)


2018 Emmy Nominees Kelly Jenrette (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), Lee Garlington (“Broken”), Miles Tagtmeyer (“Broken”), Melvin Jackson, Jr. (“This Eddie Murphy Role is Mine, Not Yours”), Naomi Grossman (“Control Alt Delete”),Sam Sokolov (Executive Producer “Genius: Picasso”), Sharon Bialy and Sherry Thomas (Casting Directors for “Handmaid’s Tale” & “Barry”) joined Former Emmy Winners Kim Estes (Best Actor “Dicks” 2017), Patrika Darbo (Best Actress “Acting Dead” 2016, Former Emmy Nominees Kelsey Scott and Khandi Alexander, Grammy Winning Bonnie & Anita Pointer (“Pointer Sisters”), Lou Ferrigno (“The Hulk”), Michael Irby (“Mayans M.C.”), Michael Campion (“Fuller House”), Gleb Savchenko (“Dancing With The Stars”), Diego Tinoco (“On My Block”), Joely Fisher, Khandi Alexander, John Brotherton (“Fuller House”), Matt Cedeno (“Power”), Lisa Vidal (“Being Mary Jane”), Michele Weaver (“Love Is”), to name a few, who were among the cadre of celebrities and industry VIPS who were treated to the best of the best!

Subscriptions; Filam Luxury Coffee; Junkless Granola Bars (https://junklessfoods.com); “Shark Tank” Winning BeatBox Portable Party Punch (https://beatboxbeverages.com); Planet Beauty (planetbeauty.com); Popsockets phone accessories (https://www.popsockets.com); The Hollywood Trinity (thehollywoodtrinity.com) and Popcornopolis (popcornopolis.com)

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VIP Gift Bags were provided by Emmy’s Hope and Kam Shield.

The Doris Bergman Style Lounge and Party 2018 was a wonderful way to celebrate the Emmy’s and it was an honor to attend. Gemma Magazine can’t wait to attend next year!