The Artistic Beauty of Truth

A Personal Commentary

Featured Photo: Purely Zenn Art

Gemma Magazine is an online magazine about artists, their talent, and the comprehensive story of their struggles and accomplishments. Overall, it is about their journey (within themselves and towards reaching their professional goals). On behalf of Gemma Magazine, writing upon artists and attending events of all types is about the facts. Yes, the form is creative and artistic, however; the actual structure of representing someone and their talent needs to be stated in the factual form, while still producing a sense of inspiration and creativity. Trust me, as a writer, there is nothing worse than having the artist let you know that they were not portrayed correctly. Well, here it is — Gemma does not always get it right, even when we think we do. On a personal note, (and as the Editor), I take that to heart. It even takes me a few days to understand what went wrong. Why? It’s simple. We are completely inspired by every artist that we feature.

Artist Daniel Winn


We could post Instagram photos on the daily with one sentence. However, that is not the vision of the magazine. I’m attracted to artists and feel an obligation to them because that is the goal of Gemma Magazine. However, it’s also the vision within my heart. Portraying the artists correctly can be compared to raising kids. If you have more than one, they are all different and as a parent, you should let them thrive based off of each child’s innate personality. You might want to mold them based off of your standards — but that usually doesn’t work. There is also so much to discover and be in awe of by watching them grow into their individuality.

Why is representing someone correctly so important? The answer lies somewhere within me, but I rather not look. It’s more appealing to keep my eyes on them. Maybe I feel I’ve been categorized incorrectly and need to get the artists right. The vision has meaning, value, and importance. Mostly, it resembles integrity and emotion (all in one).

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In the end, we will continue to produce, represent, and write the right way — with heart, objectivity, and a lot of inspiration. Nothing will be swept under the rug. Actually, looking at the painting, performer, and designer dress, is a fantasy that tells a truth. Just listen carefully.

Filmmaker/Photographer Kelly Needleman

The Walter Collection (LAFW)
Bonnie Strauss Clothing

Revealed

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

 

 

 

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!


 

 

 

 

 

 

La Jolla Fashion Film Festival 2018 ~ Is Fashion Dead or Not

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Once again, the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival 2018 is prepping for its annual festivities. This event is the first international fashion film festival founded in North America. The dates this year are July 19-21st. Gemma Magazine will be attending and we are thrilled to participate. The #LJFFF is considered the Cannes of the fashion film world and the world’s largest gathering of fashion filmmakers. It’s basically creativity from all elements: fashion, film, filmmakers, actors, and beautiful cinematography with stories to tell.

Hundreds of fashion filmmakers from around the world will be in attendance as they are mesmerized by the top 1% of fashion films produced worldwide at the upcoming 9th year of LJFFF. The La Jolla community will gather together once again to network, make deals, attend seminars & panels, screen films, go to press receptions, participate in After Parties, and win awards.

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The films that make it into the final program will represent some of the most brilliant and creative directors in filmmaking today. If you have happen to viewed various clips throughout the year, the talent is stellar. Curated from the fantastic and exploding world of fashion film, are a glimpse of what’s trending in the minds of the world’s top fashion houses, designers, and stylists interpreted through the lens of their filmmaking counterparts. Creativity and on trend styles that will forshadow what’s to come on a high fashion level.

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Max Vogue is an integral aspect of the festival, and Gemma Magazine has had a crush for awhile now. Antonio Contreras Aviance created the concept, stories, and art. Antonio plays Max Vogue and so perfectly. Fred Sweet produces the series. Antonio is also a multiple international Fashion Film Award winner (5x). This year, the festival will pay homage to Gianni versace by featuring the Versace Collection in a wonderful episodic series and musical. also, for the 2018 Fashion Film Festival, Max Vogue The Musical highlights the question of whether fashion is dead or not!

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Max Vogue, a time traveling, gender bending, angst filled Fashion Historian and Detective has come to the conclusion that fashion has stopped changing since the 90’s. Max only envisions revivals and “comebacks.”How is this possible?? During the chaotic madness of a Versace fashion show, Max takes a fatal fallandhis guardian angel, “La Catrina”takes Max to what seems to be the “Fashion Purgatory Salon” where he gets his chance to meet iconic personalities of Arts and Fashion. The costumes are pure fantasy and based off of history. Costume designer Zandra Rhodes created the gorgeous creation for the character of Diana Vreeland.

The musical is inspired by the 2012 Kurt Andersen article “You want a Devolution” in Vanity Fair, the 1944 play “Huis Clos” by Jean Paul Sartreand the 1992 film Twin Peaks by David Lynch.

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Much more to come on this fabulous fashion festival, Max Vogue, and the winners.
In the meantime, you can follow Max Vogue and The La Jolla International Film Festival at the following platforms:

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Antonio Contreas

 

 

Shining Bright–Actress Ava Justin

Ava Justin is one motivated teen. She is a teenage actress but has been in front of the camera since the age of three. She’s beautiful — but more importantly, Ava is kind, grounded, and respects her craft.  There is an immense amount of competition when it comes to teen actors, but Ava Justin takes it all in stride and has an incredible support system. She has 53.4K Instagram followers and a great fan base. Ava started young and is now growing into more mature roles. We cannot wait to see her shine!

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Ava is based out of Minnesota but travels for booked gigs all over the country. “I’ve filmed a pilot in Florida and Chicago and filmed three projects out in Los Angeles.” “California is my second home,” says Justin.”I feel very blessed for the opportunities I’ve had so far and looking forward to what’s to come. God is good.” After speaking with Ava (as young as she is), I have deep respect for how she focuses upon the work instead of the “Hollywood game.” Ava is an authentic artist.

 

Recently, Ava has featured in several feature films currently playing on the National and International film festival circuit. You’ll spot her on the big screen side-by-side with Hollywood actors Brian White, Monica Calhoun, Loretta Devine and Sharon Leal on their feature film No Regrets which just premiered in New York. Ava just wrapped another excellent feature film playing a younger version of the very talented Hollywood actress Aurora Perrineau on the feature film Virginia Minnesota. Ava has a maturity and sense of composure beyond her years that is an asset on film sets while appreciating the priceless advice of prestigious talents.

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In addition to the light that shines from within, Ava can memorize scripts quickly. She has had the opportunity to work with some of the most requested and sought-after directors and producers. Being bi-racial (Kenyan and American roots) has enhanced her unique range of looks. Her exotic looks combined with her extraordinary acting ability allows her to play multi-ethnic roles. Ava continues to excel in her academics as well. She’s also very athletic while participating in Fast Pitch Softball as a pitcher. Though she has a gorgeous look, she exhibits a unique Tom Boy trait as she tops her class in nearly every athletic event. Without a doubt, Ava Justin is busy but made time to talk with Gemma Magazine!


GM: Hi Ava! We are super excited to have you chat with Gemma Magazine. You have been acting from a very young age. How did this creative process start for you?

You are very welcome! I knew Acting was for me when after auditioning for many national commercials with many talented kids my age and I would get that call “Ava, you’re booked.” I started auditioning for bigger gigs around age 4. I believe because I started young, I got the feel of it and even though I still get nervous depending on the projects, I feel it helped me toughen up more. That helped me know I need to do my best, leave it all there and move on to the next.

GM: What was your first project?

I booked a pretty cool Halloween national project for Target, and that gave me hope and the confidence that I can do this, that I’m capable of booking great jobs. And yes, I started booking modeling gigs for different Toy catalogs than to commercial and films. I was booking many gigs before taking acting classes than when I started getting more into movies, that’s when I started doing acting classes, I say I was around the age 7.

GM: When are you not acting or auditioning how do you spend your time?

When I’m not acting, I’m busy taking photos for different photographers as a social media influencer and brand representative; I have been getting many cool opportunities to represent different brands which have been super fun. I also love sports, and I play softball. I’ve been the pitcher for my team now for the last three years.

GM: Who are some of your favorite actresses?

My favorite actress that I look up and Zendaya, Storm Reid and Lena Waithe. I love seeing people like me are represented on Television. It gives me a lot of hope, you know. Representation matters!

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GM: You have a fantastic support system. Can you expand?

Both my Mom and Dad are such supportive people. There’s no way I’d be where I’m if I didn

GM: What is your current project?

I just wrapped up filming a very cool scene on the upcoming feature film Brother’s Keeper right opposite the Oscar-nominated and Emmy award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne. It was such a surreal moment that I’ll never forget. We got to talk after our scene, and the gave me amazingly inspirational wisdom. He’s a class act. I’m also in pre-production for a film that I’m incredibly excited about called Betta Fish where I’m playing one of the lead roles. I really can’t wait to get on set for this one.

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Ava also has a business side to her. She recently created her brand of lip balms “Ava’s Luxury Cosmetics.”  She sells the lip balms on Etsy! Make sure you check it out.

I would like to thank Ava Justin for chatting with Gemma Magazine. She has such an exciting future and we will be watching.To follow Ava on Social Media:

IG: https://www.instagram.com/actress.avajustin/?hl=en

Website: http://www.avajustin.net

Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/actressAvaJ/

 

 

 

 

 

The Complexity of Artists

Fashion and Film are a constant creative force in motion. They never stop, which is inspirational. It’s intriguing, exciting, and at times, intoxicating. These creative venues are beautiful and provide a healing form of self-expression as well as a sense of fantasy. As a writer, it can be a very fulfilling experience to enter the “world” of the artist, learn everything one can about their creative process, and genuinely observe the dedication it takes. Ultimately though, it’s about representing the artist correctly — whether it’s a fashion designer, visual artist, filmmaker or actor. There is a sense of integrity. Telling the story correctly is just as important as the story.

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Laurel Dewitt Custom Made Crown

The details of the designs and can appear as a mystery at first. Usually, it’s quite personal. Additionally, The persistence factor: Did this immensely talented person naturally “fall into it” or was it a conscious choice that originated from a burning desire to create, and in turn, unable to live without their art. The same concept applies to filmmakers and actors. They are working in an intensely competitive industry. However, as hard as it can be; many are not able to let go. They are telling a story… It sustains them and takes on an inner journey.

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Bjorn Van Den Berg Jewelry

 

Personally, I enjoy all artistic differences — the diversity, the interpretation, and the risk factor.  Whether it’s a couture designer for musical artists, visual artists making a difference in the world to promote compassion, a jewelry designer on the rise whose work tells a story, or an incredibly talented actor/actress, it provokes thought.  Some artists are fearless, and for others, there is a restlessness that comes with it. It’s tricky; sometimes the tension can drive the creativity and passion into action. However, most successful artists have a common trait: consistency with an element of surprise and a touch of edginess.

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James Bressack (Indie Filmmaker) Photo: John Collazos

 

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Cleo Anthony “She’s Gotta Have It”

In many instances, there are personal and/or professional setbacks but a strong mindset (it is essential) pushes through. On a recent photo shoot, I was interviewing a famous actress. I was diligent and stayed on script, yet it started to feel highly impersonal. We began to talk further, and I noticed that she happened to be incredibly shy (which shocked me) and unbelievably down to earth. During a break, she expressed how hard she has worked, how many times she has fallen, and the motivation to get back up. I had to ask her, “How did you stay motivated?” “I could not live a peaceful life without acting,” she said. Of course, there were side jobs in the beginning, but she knew she would make it because there was no other choice. Her art was not just an expression of herself, it defined and sustained her.

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Kelly Marie Beeman (Fashion Illustrator)

So yes, there is talent and passion but, intense determination and persistence go a long way. True art evokes emotion and starts a conversation. If you genuinely love what you are doing and setting your intention, the rest will come together. It takes a lot of strength to put oneself out there creatively.

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Brandan Odums – (New Orleans Artist)

I also observe many young kids (my children’s age) embracing their artistic passion at such a young age. I think that is amazing if it is something they genuinely want. One of the greatest lessons we can teach our children is to never give up on their dreams. When I talk to my kids about musical artists or films that inspire them, I love getting their take on it. Sometimes adults even envy the younger generation since they do not question their decisions as much as we do. In the end, it comes down to the artists that genuinely produce good work that ends up making a difference. It is always much easier to criticize when we are not engaged in life and not taking risks, but if you are giving your work every ounce of you, then that is what counts. You are taking chances and most importantly, embracing the journey. As I have found personally, as a writer, there is an enormous amount of richness in the journey.

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Jonathan Augustino (Photographer and Indie Filmmaker)

 

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Cheryl Koo Fashion Designer an Choreographer

 

To Be Noted: All Artists Above, I have featured previously but separately for various websites.

Laurel Dewitt, Bjorn Van Den Berg, James Bressack, Brandan Odums, Cleo Anthony, and Cheryl Koo