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/

The Beauty of Divine Art Producing Global Work

Celebrate the exceptional “Existential Surrealist,” Artist, and International Curator, Sir Daniel K. Winn,” as he features his exclusive artwork at Art Pier 94, NY, NY May 2nd – May 5th, 2019, presented by Art Pier Miami (Booth 312). Winn is a leader and mastermind in the art world with combining elements, ideas, and textures into one fantastic story. Daniel Winn is the founder of Winn Slavin Art, Head of Masterpiece Publishing, and a Philanthropist.

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Artist and International Curator, Daniel Winn, developed the artistic style known as “Existential Surrealism.” Winn’s artistic style is self-curated due to his innovative and innate talent. Winn has a unique eye for details that may go unnoticed by others. His specific style is two-fold. Philosophically, the technique involves contrasts and examines the dichotomy of existence. Visually, Existential Surrealism uses a surrealistic style and subject matter to invite the viewer to explore the nature of reality. “Translucent figuration in my paintings is a reminder that the distinction between our physical and spiritual selves, is merely a matter of perception,” says Daniel K Winn.

Winn’s work is primarily figurative as it is inherently focused on the human experience, but also incorporates abstract and even mythological elements to communicate the divinity of creation.

Beyond Enigma

Like his artwork, Daniel Winn’s life has been one of many contrasts. Fields of abstract and surreal backgrounds depict the dichotomy which defines existence. Winn was born into a country at war with itself. His family, once among the wealthiest in Vietnam, were evacuated to the United States when Saigon fell on April 30th, 1975 with little more than the clothes they were wearing. Daniel worked immensely hard and has excelled in everything he has taken on. Daniel Winn always knew he wanted to be an artist. However, he went to medical school and excelled there as well. Daniel eventually followed his passion for art and committed himself fully by taking on won numerous accolades.

Beyond

Besides his passion for his art and his business, Daniel is an avid philanthropist. In 2001, Winn put his connections to good use to establish The Academy of Fine Art Foundation, a public charity dedicated to using the art for the benefit of humanity. He’s also active in raising funds to provide badly needed medical services as well as basic necessities to underprivileged children and families in the U.S. and Vietnam.

Can art imitate life? Winn’s work prompts this question. Daniel’s concept of life is the idea of a universal creative divinity against the concept of free will and self-determination. This is accomplished by acknowledging divinity as the seed of autonomy and recognizing our responsibility for global action. Within his work, the frequent use of partially translucent figures is a metaphor for the physical/spiritual duality which is at the core of the style.

Revealed

Overall, Winn draws upon his own life experiences, surreal in themselves, his ancestral culture, and the contemporary influences of the U.S., which he has called home since escaping war-torn Vietnam in 1975. To learn more about Daniel, you can follow him on the following social platforms:

www.winnslavin.com

https://www.facebook.com/WinnSlavin/

https://www.instagram.com/sirdanielwinn/

Daniel Winn

Storytelling Through an Unfiltered Lens: Filmmaker Kelly Needleman

Kelly Needleman is a creative force and an inspiring one at that. He is an accomplished landscape photographer and an aspiring filmmaker. He’s motivated, only seventeen, and his work is stunning. He’s prepping to start filming his first feature this summer. “I feel grateful that I have found a passion for creating movies. People search their whole life to find what they are destined to do. I am self-taught in photography and film, but I know I have so much more to learn and I am looking forward to the journey ahead,” says Kelly Needleman. At such a young age, Kelly has already produced beautiful work in both photography and film and you rarely see someone his age with such a strong vision and work ethic.
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However, sometimes talented filmmakers see life through a lens — with the film playing in their mind — it’s part their daily creative process. Needleman is one. Kelly Needleman is a Director, Actor, Producer, Photographer, and Entrepreneur. He’s compelling in his calling to create films, especially in a culture where many teens are not sure what they want to do, especially with so many options. Kelly’s passion and discipline consist of filmmaking told through artistry, nature, and meaningful storytelling.
At a young age, Needleman had a creative eye. Growing up with his cousin, David Needleman, who is a professional photographer that shoots celebrities, influenced him to pick up a camera. Kelly was attracted to the beauty of nature and started taking images and time-lapses of landscapes. His strong ambition to create resulted in being published in various publications and awards, such as National Geographic and Canon. Actually, he’s been published 7 times in National Geographic YourShot. (https://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/profile/1460193/#awards)

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Photo: David Needleman

His pictures became viral on social media resulting in a celebrity status following.
Needleman’s passion for landscape photography was a natural progression into the film industry. He formed his own company called Needleman Productions, where he showcases his movies. He has made numerous shorts and experimental films. Kelly has been recognized locally as a student filmmaker and has recently won a prestigious award (Best Young Director) for his documentary, MY IDENTITY, in the Hollywood International Independent Film Festival. His goal is to make beautiful movies by utilizing the natural elements of nature, fog, sea, and sunlight as tools in an outdoor studio.
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We were stunned when we saw his work. His photos are beautiful, enticing and eclectic all at once. It took me somewhere else, which is the point. When an artist evokes emotion or makes you leave your thoughts for a while; it’s real art. Needleman has a gift, and the only mistake would be if he did not utilize it to his full capacity. It’s incredibly inspiring when someone this young takes the risk and doesn’t hesitate. When Kelly had a minute, he spoke with Gemma.
How did you become interested in taking photos of nature?
My love for nature developed by exploring my surroundings in Northern California. I am fortunate to live in an area where beauty envelops the atmosphere. I started traveling with my family at a very young age and visited unbelievable locations such as Iceland and the Dolomites in Italy which inspired me to share my experiences through film and photography.
Do you sometimes feel like an “old soul?” Your vision is very mature.
Yes, I do feel I am an “old soul.” I feel grateful that I have found a passion for creating movies. People search their whole life to see what they are destined to do. I am self-taught in photography and film, but I know I have so much more to learn and I am looking forward to the journey ahead.
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What was the inspiration to transition into film?
I do love photography and always will — Yet, as a storyteller, I felt the medium of film was more engaging. A movie can create a mood, develop characters and share a point of you. It takes people out of their everyday life to experience something new. It can also make you a different place mentally, which is very powerful.
How did you find the process of screenwriting? Creatively Challenging?
Screenwriting was something entirely new for me. As a director and a visual person, the mood of the film was essential to me. I set the scene in my mind, and the dialog flowed from there. It comes with challenges of course, but I seem to thrive off of that.
Do you feel driven to create?
I do! I always like to try something new and authentic. It is easy to create something that already exists, but I strive to be as original as possible which fuels my ambition to be the best I can.

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Photo: David Needleman

Who are some of the directors that you admire?
I admire directors such as Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese for their mastery of storytelling. I appreciate when a director displays their style throughout the filmmaking process. I also respect the careers of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as student screenwriters/actors to directors.
How do you balance being an HS student, working in photography, and now, making films? (Not to mention, the business aspects)?
I thrive on the energy of always being busy. I am a very organized and disciplined person, but at times it does get a little bit crazy.

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Photo: David Needleman

I know you are working with Gigi Cesare on your upcoming film “Lost Visibility.” We covered her, and she’s so confident, talented, and fun.
Yes, I am incredibly excited to be working with Gigi for my upcoming feature. She is a very talented actress, and I love her passion for the film. She is a beautiful addition.
Can you please expand upon your upcoming feature film, “Lost Visibility?”
The logline for my feature film “Lost Visibility,” is: Maybe they were not as close as they thought they were. Three friends share intimate dreams that bring their secrets to reality. The film is in the genre of Psychological Thriller, Teen Drama, Mystery, and Horror. I am currently in pre-production and plan to shoot during early summer of 2019. The film will most likely be released at the end of 2019.
I also really enjoyed your short film, “Lucid Visions.” Again, visually, it’s gorgeous. Can you explain your personal experience?

“Lucid Visions” was a unique film for me because it exposed me to an exciting genre. I loved the concept of dream versus reality. This short film led me to the idea for my feature film.

You do act as well. How do you like acting?

Yes, I do act, and it’s an entirely different experience from directing. I feel being in front of the camera helps me connect and have a better understanding of the actors when directing a film. In my opinion, it’s essential to learn both aspects of acting and directing to create the best possible film.

Kelly Needleman has an extremely bright future ahead of him. We hope to report upon him again (Part 2) when his film is released. After graduating from High School, Kelly is planning on majoring in Film Production (specifically directing) and minoring in business around LA.

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Photo: David Needleman

You can follow Kelly on the following social media platforms:

Some Like it Hot: An Evening with Funny Girl Sarah J. Halstead

(All Exclusive Photos by John Collazos)

Sarah Halstead is an actress who is authentically inspiring. I admire her — both as a person and an artist. We met at a fashion show (5 years ago?!?) by chance and have kept the connection strong. She’s kind, beautiful, smart, and genuinely funny. As an actress and comedian, Halstead is talented, quite the chameleon, and seamless in her delivery. Sarah J. Halstead is rare and we love that about her. Recently, Gemma was lucky enough to catch her for a photo shoot and an interview. She definitely has that “girl-next-door” look in regards to certain aspects of her personality. However, there are many layers to Halstead and that’s where it gets interesting. We loved that Sarah could pull off the sultry 1940’/50’s “Old Hollywood Glamour look” at the shoot, and yet, speak about her craft corporately. Halstead is the ultimate multi-tasker and has a sharp business sense. I interviewed her a few years prior and she’s busier than ever — blending all her creative talents into one beautiful brand: Sarah J. Halstead — Actress and Comedian!

Sarah J. Halstead is an actress, comedian, and writer from Flint, Michigan who decided to follow her dream. Sarah started her training in NYC and eventually made her way to Los Angeles. Personally, nothing inspires Gemma Magazine more than meeting someone who takes on the challenges that come with fulfilling one’s purpose. Halstead is also an incredibly passionate person who brings a fire to every creative endeavor that she is working on. We have enjoyed watching her star rise. Sarah can be both sarcastic and forthright within one setting. She is versatile in her craft and never misses an opportunity for growth as an actress or comedian. Her late mother was the biggest supporter of her acting and I’m sure she is proudly watching.

Sarah is currently doing standup comedy, producing a comedy show, hosting a podcast, filming a lot of commercials and auditioning for television. Sarah is quite busy, so we really appreciate her taking the time to speak with Gemma.

What is a new project that you are working on?

Currently, I’m co-producing a comedy show titled Casual Monday Comedy and Champers. The lovely Allegra Riggio (who is a talented TV Host/Comic), produces with me. It’s a two-hour show and we hand-pick the comics who we feel would be a great fit. Our debut was amazing with a crowd of creative luminaries! And unlike a lot of popular comedy clubs in Los Angeles, we treat the comics with respect and don’t require them to each bring “eight people or more”. Ultimately, it should be the producer’s job to fill the room and the comics should only be responsible for being funny.

Do you still film a lot of commercials?

I do! I have booked 89 commercials to date (this includes infomercials). It consists of a bit of everything: hair, skin, makeup, a national car commercial, and some banks. It’s gone well, and I’m very grateful for this.

You are so busy, productive, and creative. Do you ever miss corporate life?

I do. I miss the structure and consistency. It’s nice to get up in the morning, go to work, come home, and play. I’m a very structured person and miss doing just one thing. I currently feel a bit all over the place. Previously, I worked for sixteen years at a wine and champagne company. Ultimately, my dream would be to have one job where I can work hard, get creative, and know my daily tasks. My life might not be the exact schedule I desire at the moment. However, I’m still thrilled about all the creative projects that I have going on.

You do so much performing and auditioning (even though you have only been in the business 3 1/2 years. Do you ever still get nervous?

I get butterflies and a sense of excitement. In the beginning, I was way more nervous. Now, I love a “flutter” and the sense that you “Don’t know if you’re going to sink or swim,” says Halstead. However, I think that I thrive upon that.

Do you feel Hollywood is embracing older women in terms of acting roles? 

No. It’s been my experience that there’s a lot of ageism and the roles for older actresses really emphasize the fact that they’re older. I am working, but I’m booking role descriptions such as “former town beauty who’s best days are behind her.” Or “tired mom of young adults”! I’ve even been offered Grandma roles, which I suppose is possible if I had kids at 15. It’s actually funny and I use it in my bit. The badass roles for older women go to the very established A-list actresses and it doesn’t appear that any network would consider a new face for that role. I shall remain optimistic though because there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing and I’m simply grateful for any work.

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Tell me a bit about your new podcast 

It’s called Jimmy and Sarah on the Sunset Strip. Previously I tested the waters with a smaller podcast titled “Drinking During Business Hours.” It was received well. Recently, The Comedy Store approached me about this exciting project. My co-host is Jimmy Shin, and we have a good vibe, so it works well. The format is fantastic because all production elements are already in place. It airs every Monday on iTunes and Stitcher. We feature established comics, comedic actors, comedy writers, comedic voiceover stars and talk about their underdog moments. It’s an exciting look into the comedic world.

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In terms of acting, what have you worked on recently?

It’s called “I am The Night” for TNT and it’s produced by Patty Jenkins. I play a scantily clad chain-smoking working girl in Episode 1. It stars Chris Pine and takes place in the late 40’s/50’s, which I seem to book that particular time period quite often. The series is based on “The Black Dahlia,” a murder mystery in LA, which has still not been solved.  I’ve also just completed a pilot called Broken Somm. It’s a talk show about wine and I play the transgressive, irreverent host while interviewing high profile winemakers. We’re pitching to networks now.

I Love the way you function famous authors’ books on your Instagram with a selfie of you holding the book. It’s such a savvy idea. How did that come about?

At first, I just wanted to give a shout-out to my favorite authors, and then it took off. Individual authors have messaged me or sent me autographed copies of their books. I genuinely love to read and don’t have the time for it anymore (in the capacity I used to). When I do have a free moment, one of my favorite things is to curl up and dive into a good book.

Do you feel you do get typecast a lot (outside of the comedy circuit)?

It’s funny you ask because I was just interviewing John Pirruccello on my podcast and he said: “being typecast’ can be a good thing because that means people see you as something”. John is the quintessential working actor so I’m going to follow this advice.

Who is your favorite actress/comedian?

I love Tig Notaro and saw her recently at Largo. She’s funny, smart, and such a confident performer with a slow and precise delivery. I also find her very honest and vulnerable which is the recipe of any great comic.

On behalf of Gemma, I appreciate Sarah speaking with us. It was a creative collaboration with a talented woman who we will continue to keep up with. She’s a “gem” in every sense.

All Photos: John Collazos: https://www.instagram.com/john_collazos/

Hair and Makeup: Ash Ortiz: https://www.instagram.com/mua_ortiz/


You can follow Sarah on the following social media platforms!

as well as catch her new comedy show (information below)…

https://www.facebook.com/sarahjhalstead?epa=SEARCH_BOX

https://www.instagram.com/sarahjhalstead/

Twitter: @sarahjhalstead

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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

 

 

 

Talk Show Host Harry Howard Talks Life Goals

If you have not heard of Harry Howard, you will soon enough. Harry is the infectious and standout online talk show host of HarryHowardTalks from Focus TV Network (www.focustv.com), America’s First Streaming Video Talk Show Network. Howard knows how to make others laugh and motivate his audience while making it look so easy. His talk show airs every Wednesday, and we love watching him! Harry hosts creative and eclectic guests and he’s so natural with a great energy. Howard is also focusing on his main passion — becoming an actor. Harry is focused, positive, and professional and it shows in everything he takes on. Harry also has the gift of taking the knowledge he learns from each experience to his next challenge. Not to mention, he’s already young but looks even younger than he is. This is a plus in the entertainment industry.

So, how did Harry get started in the entertainment industry? While working with actors and comedians as an assistant to a manager, he realized that he wanted to be a client rather than become a representative. Growing up in LA, Harry always wanted to be an actor but thought it would have been too competitive and risky. He eventually left the business side and started taking classes at UCB and Ivana Chubbuck Studios. Since then, Howard has been in a couple of videos for Buzzfeed as well as booking various tv and film roles in addition to hosting Harry HowardTalks. He realized that being on camera as opposed to being behind it was always his real passion. He has an incredibly busy schedule but took the time to speak with Gemma Magazine.

Where did you get your drive? Or, would you consider yourself self-motivated?

My parents always told to follow my passion and never to fear rejection as long as I tried my best. My grandfather has an incredible rag to riches story, which has inspired me to work hard. Ever since I saw Empire Strikes Back when I was, 8 years old, I knew instantly that I wanted to work in the film industry. I originally was obsessed with running a studio, but my strongest passions were to be on camera. I love the creative process and am a gifted editor as well, which I have been doing since high school. I eventually landed a job in the mailroom at CAA when I graduated due to a lot of luck and ferocious hard work. I am self-motivated but am blessed to have parents and friends who support and root for me to succeed.

You mentioned that you highly enjoyed your time at UCSB, where you studied Film and Media Studies. Also, you completed 6 internships your senior year. How is that possible?

I would do 3 to 4 internships a week during my summers in college. My first internship ever was at Warner Bros. Pictures in the creative development department. After that, I wanted to get experience working for as many production companies possible during my summers in college. I was aggressive when I was in college about getting internships over the summer to the point where I would l leave class every 20 minutes to make a phone call. I made a tremendous amount of relationships doing this. They were the best summers of my life, partying at my Fraternity on the weekends at UC Santa Barbara to interning in Hollywood on weekdays.

Was there a point when you considered managing talent? What made you know that you wanted to be in front of the camera?

I always wanted to be in front of the camera, but growing up in Los Angeles and seeing all the rejection, definitely made me fear going down that path. It is so hyper-competitive to become a working actor, not to mention, just getting major auditions and then going up against 50 people for the same role. However, at 28, I realized I didn’t want to run away from pursuing my dream before it was too late. One thing I have learned is that it is never too late. So I left the film business to become an artist. Since becoming an actor, I have learned that this whole business is difficult on all sides and it’s the people who work the hardest who survive.

To expand on this, you mentioned that you would not be where you are now without your CAA experience. I’m sure you learned invaluable tools from your experience there. Can you share some of those life lessons?

Working at CAA taught me how to set meetings, deal with talent, and put on the best face regardless of the emotions that are running through my head. Working at an agency has taught me how to be super confident when communicating with others and remain persistent in the classiest way possible. I learned to always to be professional when I worked at CAA and to act the same way when dealing with my guests. Every great agent is super proactive and keeps going without stopping to close the deal. I’m very grateful for CAA because I now apply it to my talk show hosting. I learned you have to be persistent and nonstop booking guests as well as interviews. I wear a suit like an agent and act professional like an agent, but use my quirky, artistic personality to become a talk show host. Combining everything I learned at CAA with my acting lessons and creativity, I was able to evolve in to being a talk show host. Since confidence is a crucial characteristic at CAA, it all comes down to being the consummate professional. The combination of valuable traits has transferred to being a comedic and confident artist as an actor. I am beyond thankful for that experience at CAA.

You are a natural at hosting and it shows. How long does it take you to prepare for each show for HarryHowardTalks?

It takes me 20 minutes of research before I interview a guest. I read vital points that are going on in their careers and improvise the rest. The audience enjoys listening to the interviews that are the most natural.

Do you feel like that you learn (or are empowered) from particular guests?

Yes, a lot of my guests are very insightful, positive people who are successful. They have incredible mindsets, which have allowed them to achieve endless success as artists. I always find this fascinating.

What has made your show so successful?

It is amusing and informative. The key to my talk show hosting is making my interviews funny but also inspiring others at the same time. Motivating people is significant to me, but of course, my favorite thing to do is to make them laugh.

You are very passionate about acting. What does it bring to you versus hosting?

Acting allows me to go deep into my soul and explore my creative energy and become someone else. Hosting is sort of like an actor and a talent agent combined. At least for me, it is, because of my experience at CAA. With acting, I can be on set and be part of the filmmaking process. I have always loved movies, so acting has become an enormous passion of mine.

You like to make others laugh. Where does this originate? Were you continually cracking your family up as a kid?

I have always enjoyed watching people’s reactions and to see how far I can go to affect someone else’s emotions positively. I was the kid in school who always tried to entertain everyone. It stems back to my childhood I guess where I felt the need to have to get the attention of my peers. There was always something about making people laugh that gave me the biggest adrenaline rush. Making other people smile makes me smile the most.

Any upcoming projects in acting/hosting that we should look for?

As of now, tune in to HarryHowardTalks!

For fun, tell me when your interest in Beatboxing began and why you are a natural at it?

I started listening to people do it when I was in 5th grade and immediately got hooked and began to imitate them. My brain has always been more creative than logical. Therefore, when it comes to listening to sounds and imitating people, it has been natural for me. I can use my mouth to emulate this music, and I can’t explain how it works. I do it. It is something that one has almost to be born with. Beatboxing is pure creativity without overthinking things. I was able to naturally pick up on it without having to learn how to do it. I have gotten better and better the past 20 years through practice.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? You have a lot to offer.

In five years, I see myself hosting talk shows on multiple platforms and being on a sitcom on a TV Network or some skit show. My dream is to act in TV and film and host on every media outlet that exists. The biggest goal of all is to star in an action comedy summer blockbuster. I have to stay positive and am prepared to face a lot of rejection as an artist until all my dreams come true. We would like to thank Harry Howard for chatting with Gemma Magazine.

You can follow Harry on the following social media links! https://www.instagram.com/harryh0ward/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10138409

https://focustvnetwork.com

#harryhowardtalks

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Event Planner Extraordinaire: Chad Hudson of Chad Hudson Events

Chad Hudson Pic IMG_3528Firstly, if you get invited to a Chad Hudson event, Go! It will be creative, memorable, and something you have never seen before. Chad Hudson — event planner to the stars, the studios and more, encompasses the rare talent of combining his astute business skills and endless creative resources in order to execute events on an epic level (chadhudsonevents.com).  He is the ultimate Creative Entrepreneur.  “CHE,” aka Chad Hudson Events, has grown to enormous proportions and keeps getting better. Hudson and his highly talented and trusted team have produced countless spectacular soirees with the goal of carrying out the client’s vision as their trademark signature style.

Since starting his company, Chad Hudson Events has become a nationwide full-service event production, design, management, special projects, and lifestyle services company. CHE emphasizes the relevance of developing unique ideas and implementing a creative design process that adheres to a strict aesthetic. CHE’s staff is divided between NYC and LA and has planned and executed more than 2,000 events to date, ranging from small receptions to the largest premieres in the world.

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Kingdom Premiere 2016

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Kingdom Premiere 2016

Coinciding with the 10 Year Anniversary of the Legendary Twilight Premieres LOS ANGELES — Chad Hudson Events is coming up on their iconic Ten Year Anniversary of putting on the most exclusive and beautifully designed events for some of the biggest premieres and parties in and out of Hollywood and around the world. Hudson has remained dedicated to his work and he has reason to celebrate! He started his company in 2008, after working in the event department at Warner Brothers. Giving back to the community is also a priority for CHE; which is why Chad started CHE’s favorite WeHo Supperclub dining nights out, where 10% of our patrons’ bill gets earmarked to a deserving Los Angeles based charity. To celebrate this special anniversary, CHE will be hosting their most significant #WeHoSupperClub night ever, at the seven thousand square foot Farmhouse, on Wednesday, November 14. This special event will be benefiting The Trevor Project National Suicide Hotline.

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Some of CHE’s notable events range from numerous Super Bowl parties to the legendary Twilight premieres (the largest-ever SoCal film opening, at L.A. LIVE, Microsoft and Regal Theaters), private celebrity events for Beyonce and Jay-Z, Kate Winslet, Bobby Flay and many more. Hudson is inspired by various creative resources such as art, architecture, travel, and even the fine details.

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Breaking Dawn – Part 2

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Breaking Dawn – part 2

After speaking with him, it’s very inspiring to see the time and commitment he has put into building his company. The pressure can be high-level, but also something Chad seems to thrive on. When Chad had a quick moment to stop, he took the time to speak with us.

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ComicCon 2015

You were an event producer/manager at Warner Bros Pictures. That is a fantastic experience. Did your work there inspire you to create your own Event production Company, especially being able to foresee possible areas where you could change the game a bit?

Yes working at Warner Bros Pictures for seven years with the incredible event team there helped me learn all aspects of producing a successful event both from the client and planning side. My mentor at WB Courtney Saylor taught me a lot about logistics and budgeting, and I did a lot of our event design work in-house at WB and wanted to do more of that.

Did Chad Hudson Events start with smaller and more intimate events? Also, I’m assuming that the goal was to always go to a higher level? It seems like you have created a niche like no other: “An Event Production Company that can handle any talent.” That is quite the accomplishment. Can you please expand?

Yes when I started my company we took on a lot of pro bono charity work, smaller independent film premieres, birthday parties and such. But we then were able to prove ourselves and were awarded larger jobs. Regarding the talent – We have handled talent on many aspects – inviting them to events, managing their guest’s lists on the red carpet, booking travel, star and hand and footprint ceremonies on Hollywood Boulevard, private events at their homes, etc.

Chad Hudson Events has a perfect approach, yet there are so many details involved. You have an incredible team. How do you keep them motivated and what are your expectations from them?

I am very grateful to my amazing team. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded not only by the most talented event team in the business but that we are also friends outside of the office and that makes work fun. As far as expectations go, I trust them to get the job done. I try, and they’re great about running everything by me for feedback, and our relationships work great that way.

Netflix Bloodline Premiere 2016

Bloodline Premiere (Netflix)

Netflix Bloodline Premiere 2016

Netflix Bloodline Premiere at the Landmark Regent in Westwood

Do you thrive off of pressure? Event production (at your level) can be very stressful. What is your perspective on the event production industry? Also, do you consider yourself an “out-of-the-box” thinker? Some of the smartest business people are very adept to finding alternative solutions. 

I thrive off of pressure. I think when we are in one of our super busy stretches or rushing up against a deadline there is an excitement in the air of all that we are accomplishing together. I do consider myself as an out of the box thinker. I like to look a different way to accomplish the same goals for our clients. Some tend to get stuck in a pattern of doing things just because they work, so we try to mix things up a bit, so they don’t get boring.

How do you keep coming up with innovative ideas? I would imagine it takes a solid combination of business and creativity.

Creativity is the key. I like to find inspiration in unique ways. Depending on the event nature, we brainstorm innovative ideas from art, architecture, the event venue, lighting, etc. Sometimes if it’s a film or television premiere, the theme is evident from the synopsis.

Divergent Premiere in Westwood CA on March 18th, 2014. Sean Twomey/ 2me Studios

Divergent Premiere in Westwood CA on March 18th, 2014. Sean Twomey/ 2me Studios

You were quoted as saying, “Every step of the CHE experience focuses upon flawless guest list management and personal experience for all filmmakers, talent, executives, and guests.” How do you make this happen?

We have learned from trial and error over the years of how to successfully manage the front of the house and guest list for events. It’s a juggle and depending on the nature of the event frequently takes a lot of my team to get it done. But the bottom line is communication. We have a team who is in constant phone and email contact with the client, guests, filmmakers, execs, talent, etc to make sure they’re taken care of. We then translate that to talent letters with allotments, seating charts, confirmation letters, transportation booking, etc.

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Breaking Dawn – part 2

What do you do in the small amount of downtime that you have?

I love to travel when I can. That’s my favorite way to escape. Because I’m continually working from wherever I am via phone, it helps to be somewhere without WiFi or cell service haha.

How do you handle your “promotional services” differently than your
“event productions”?
It depends on the promotion type. My first company was Chad Hudson Presents, and I did a lot of promotional events from Halloween, to nightclubs to product promotions, etc. So we have an extensive contact list of different demographics to promote to depending on what the client wants. For our promotions, we usually are working off of more selling tickets or driving guests to a product or service.

Stoli's Most Original Bartender Competition

Stoli’s Most Original Bartender Competition

How do you manage the logistics of both NYC and LA?

We have our main office in LA and a satellite office in NY. Most of our staff is in LA, but we have a few members of our fantastic team in NY who have been with us since our NY launch seven years ago. We travel back and forth quite a bit. We were there for two significant events last month for over two weeks.

ANY hints for the future of Chad Hudson Events?
We have to keep you guessing about something! 😉

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CHE has produced countless events at the highest level. As you can see, the proof is in the photos. Gemma Magazine would like to sincerely thank Chad Hudson for taking the time to interview with us. Congratulations to him and his team on their 10 year Anniversary! In celebration of CHE’s 10 Year Anniversary, we have included the link to The Trevor Project: www.thetrevorproject.org

 

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Food Network Emmy Consideration Party at the Television Academy in North Hollywood on March 26th, 2014. Sean Twomey / 2me Studios

To follow CHE on Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/ChadHudsonEvent/

https://www.instagram.com/chadhudsonevents/

 

 

 

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