Category: Features

Gigi & J Money Kix (Jaydyn Price) Whisper Challenge & Interview

Actress & singer Gigi Cesare sits down for an interview with J Money Kix (Jaydyn Price) and a hilarious round of the Whisper Challenge!

Follow Gigi:
https://www.instagram.com/gigicesare/

https://www.facebook.com/gigivcesare/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4NPXGuaRdFFWi90eFgfD-A
https://www.iheart.com/artist/gigi-cesare-31938930/

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5272041/

Follow J Money Kix:
https://www.instagram.com/official_jmoneykix/?hl=en

https://www.facebook.com/jmoneykix/
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9362748/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Gamer World News founder Gayle Dickie talks eSports in interview with TWK!

The eSports gaming industry is growing at a massive pace. What many don’t know is that about half of eSports players are female. We’ve covered this before, with our interview with Hearthstone player Rumay Hafu Wang, and we continue our coverage with an interview with TV exec and entrepreneur Gayle Dickie.

Gayle just launched last month an online channel called Gamer World News that’s completely devoted to video game news and in-depth stories and features two female hosts who co-host a segment called “Girls of the Game.”

Lets find out more about this growing industry!

Hi Gayle, before we get into the topic at hand, tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.

I’m a California girl, started as a paralegal in the music business.  I set a world record for bent knee sit ups in 1980 (13,104 in 12 hours on ABC-TV) and my life changed dramatically.  I became what’s known today as an ambassador for Nautilus Sports Medical Industries and trained the Olympic Australian swim team in mind control in 1981.

I came back to the US and worked for heads of studios (Orion Pictures and 20th Century Fox Film Studios) and then became a TV syndicator selling domestic television series and movies and first-run shows in the top 100 markets in the US.  I’ve sold millions of dollars’ worth of television shows and produced films from $1 million to $10 million.  One of the more memorable was finding “DragonBall Z” and syndicating (‘selling’) that in the US.  I had an eye for good story and quality of story driven entertainment.

Five years ago I saw the push on the digital content side for all the various platforms that we are most familiar with today.  And I loved the idea of gamers having their own news, information and entertainment.  I see it as the future for sure.

How has eSports grown over the past five years?

Great question.  It’s important to keep in mind that eSports is the professional competitive side of video game competitions.   It’s really 1% of the total games market but it’s the fastest growing business in recent history.

Five years ago, the top games were Counter Strike, Halo 3, Starcraft2 and WarCraft3. Now we have moved to more team-oriented games like League of Legends, Dota2, and Overwatch, although people like to debate the Overwatch FPS (first person shooter vs. multiplayer online battle arena) and now especially, we’ve all undoubtedly witnessed the  phenomenon of Fortnite.  The most recent announcement was $1 Billion dollars in in-game purchases which is astounding.

eSports is now in over 1100 colleges and universities in North America with multiple teams and leagues.  High schools are catching up which is very exciting for all the gamers who have grown up with a console or pc game as early as 3 or 4.   That means some high school seniors have already been gaming for 14-15 years!

Five years ago the eSports revenues were some $194 million at the end of 2014.  That’s when they really just started measuring eSports. Now It’s a bona fide business with estimated $906 million this year and an overall $180.1 billion for the global market with major sponsors, advertisers, game publishers, media rights going to ESPN and tickets and merchandise both online and in stadium competitions.

We are working on a new project to allow high school gamers the ability to get ranked and to turn pro but more about that in the coming months on www.gamerworldnews.com.

What impact have females gamers had on eSports thus far?

Female gamers are almost half of the global game population.  They’re being recognized more and more in the global market. They are taking a stand that they can play all the genres of games in play today. They are getting recruited professionally.  I found one of the first girl gamers to get an eSports scholarship to play Overwatch!

I believe girl gamers have gone through significant changes with so much banter about bias and bullying around the world, so this year in particular, we are seeing more recognition given to girls who play professionally and competitively than in any prior year.  There are great girl gamers on Twitch playing a variety of games from League of Legends to Witcher3 and StreetfighterV.   We strive to find girl gamers and do profiles on them and push their brands to continue to fight any stigma that might arise with our “Girls of the Game” channel.

Encouraging more girls to get involved in pro eSports needs to start young where we can further guarantee and inspire the spirit of competition and community.

What do you predict their impact will be in the near future?

I think in the next few years, we will see more eSports scholarships for girls and see more and more girls go pro and be involved behind the scenes as game developers, marketers, social media managers, analysts, promoters and hosts.  There will be a further development of the entire economics for eSports and it will definitely bring more female players and global competition.

What would you say the major differences are between male and female gamers?

Probably the major difference is the platforms on which they play games.   Both like mobile almost equally with a slight edge for females and yet more males play on PC and console.  However, I think it is rapidly changing and equaling out.  FPS are slightly more popular for males and I think the RTS and story driven are really of interest to female gamers.

How is sports gambling changing eSports?

It’s going to change it immensely.  Esports will undoubtedly have real time betting at exhibitions and online (it has already begun) and I think it will bring millions more into the sport.   The biggest challenge betting on eSports has is the regulations and security that needs to be put in place just as with traditional sports.

One important difference from traditional sports leagues vs. eSports leagues is the owners are in the power position when it comes to eSports and the traditional sports leagues/teams are controlled by the owner of the franchises. So eSports owners have all the control.  And eSports betting on TV and various platforms available will bring even more money to the sport.

Tell me about Gamer World News.

Gamer World News is the future ESPN  and CNN global news, information and entertainment platform for eSports, competitive and casual gamers offering the latest technology in video storytelling and news.  We do news in quick ‘potato-chip’ style segments and offer 13 channels of content.  We launched late April 2018 to a flurry of media attention.

We are available at www.gamerworldnews.com, (www.gwne.com), Roku, AppleTV, AndroidTV and AmazonFire, YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitch.  We’re coming soon to mobile and android.  We are in discussions to partner with many recognizable entertainment savvy companies.  We have had over 25 news stories and radio interviews in less than 90 days and will soon be featured in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Fortune Magazine, and have a strategic relationship with ‘Eyez.gg’ where we can syndicate our content to potentially 1 billion eyeballs over the course of the next few years.

And we are getting ready to reach out to middle school and high school players in the US and Canada for an exciting new project so stay tuned.

What do you feel is the most exciting recent development in eSports?

Probably the significant audience growth and monies related to Fortnite.  It’s a global phenomenon and I personally know kids from the age of 7 to 70 who have enjoyed playing the game –or let’s say ‘attempting to stay alive’ in the game!  And I have to say the attention that the video game world in general is getting from around the world is a welcome indicator of things to come.

What’s the biggest misconception about eSports or gamers in general?

I still think people have a hard time believing the 42% of the global games market are spectators who love to watch eSports.  It’s no different than 40 years ago when ESPN started showing traditional sports.  It’s fun and even exciting to watch. And we are slowly moving away from the idea it’s that nerdy kid in a basement shut off from the world.

Anything else we should know?

We’re always looking for contributors and storytellers at Gamer World News so send your 1-minute story to contributors@gamerworldnews.com or feedback@gamerworldnews.com

Subscribe to Gamer World News on YouTube, FaceBook and Twitch as we’ve only just begun…and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @GWNeNOW! …Thank you!!

Are you addicted to porn and/or social media? New book teaches how to break free.

One of the problems with our always-connected lives is that many of us are becoming addicted to stuff on the  internet. Porn is easier to access than ever before, and even small kids can come across content which was once unavailable to anyone under 18 years of age. Even for those who stay away from porn, social media presents a different, but just as addictive trap which people cannot stay away from (hello Snapchat streaks).

Author A.N. Turner shares his story of digital dependence and how he broke free in his new book, Breaking the Feedback Loop: How I Liberated Myself from Internet Addiction and How You Can Too. The “digital diet” Turner talks about can be put into practice by anyone who is suffering from their social media or porn habits. The goal is to create healthier habits and help people reconnect with family, friends, school and other parts of “real life.”

We got the chance to interview the author about his experiences with porn and internet addiction. Read on for some fascinating insights into how companies get us addicted on purpose, plus a real person’s struggle and recovery.

Before we get into your book, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I went to the University of Pennsylvania and played varsity squash. I interned at a partner of Facebook working on advertising technology, then did similar work at Overstock, and soon will be starting again at an advertising technology company in New York. I researched and wrote the book during my junior and senior year at University, and I also worked on it while working in tech. I took a semester off my senior year to focus full time on it. I wrote it while I was correcting my own behavior and relationships with my devices.

Thanks. You worked on software used by some of the largest companies in the world in order to convince people to buy stuff. Could you explain in layman’s terms how this technology works, and what are the potential pitfalls for the end user?

Facebook offers software called Power Editor that any individual or business can use to run ads on Facebook (look it up!). However, some of the largest companies have needs that warrant their own software. For example, because they run many ads across Facebook and it’s other platforms, they look for tools that streamline the creation of ads. That said, Facebook’s out of the box software has been catching up with features offered by its partners and is increasingly better and better able to be used by large companies.

The software allows companies to quickly create, manage, and measure advertising campaigns on Facebook and it’s platforms. In no other advertising system is there the reach, the precise reach, that Facebook has. It lets you precisely target a large number of people who have characteristics relevant to your product or service. Those characteristics are determined through the data that you share as you use the service as well as the data that, at least in the past, has been acquired from third party data brokers. These data brokers are people that sell data on you, to Facebook, that you didn’t give to Facebook when using it, but that helps advertisers target people more effectively. The idea is to optimize the exchange of information between businesses and individuals.

This has tremendous economic value. But it has a cost in that, rather than with a monthly subscription model, with an advertising business model there is every incentive to hook users. This lets more ads be sold, and lets more data to be collected to make the ads more valuable.

What is your book Breaking The Feedback Loop about and why did you write it?

My book helps people understand the costs of things like social media, how those costs are connected to the business model, and how they can change their relationships with technology to improve their lives. There are a lot of economic resources dedicated to hooking people, and so it’s difficult to free yourself and warrants understanding in order to break free. This is told through the first person: through my journey realizing I was hooked, realizing that social media and digital entertainment has every reason to hook you, and realizing that my life would be better if I withdrew from that.

I made changes to my life that I share. The results were amazing, and I highly suggest people wake up and do the same. However, it’s not just about withdrawing from digital abuse. It’s important to improve the quality of your real life. For me that involved spending more time with other people, spending more time on work I enjoyed, and spending more time in nature, among else.

While in the short term you get a burst of pleasure from this digital entertainment, there are underlying costs like subconscious peer comparison and paranoia of surveillance and meaningless and fleeting external validation that NEED to be considered and factored into the time spent. Most people don’t factor in the costs, because they are not aware. I have tried to make people more aware of the costs. There are 100 citations in the book alongside the personal story.

What is the biggest takeaway you would like teenagers to have from the book?

What’s scarce is attention span and confidence. This is the currency of the future. Digital entertainment wears these down. It’s worth spending energy resisting these temptations in order to have the greater benefit of being free from them. It’s important to be able to focus on singular things for sustained periods of time.

And instead of turning to social media and porn and video games when lonely, relationships need to be nurtured. This is what’s going to be best in the long run.

Unfortunately sexual disability is not uncommon among young adults due to the “environmental” influence of porn. The research suggests it wears down dopamine receptor sensitivity, which screws up your ability to have meaningful sexual relationships. This is why drugs like Cialis have become very popular among young adults. The stats make it even more clear. The emergence of free porn tubing sites were easily abused by young adults and have changed the numbers of erectile dysfunction cases drastically.

The greatest competitive advantage you can have is to understand and control these things. Be confident that the energy spent is worth it, because it is. It is really hard as a teenager to do that. Almost impossible. Which is why I think schools and parents need to be involved in regulation. You will be the stars. Find other more productive outlets like real relationships, self reflection, and interests.

Teens are literally addicted to their devices. They go everywhere and check them constantly. What are some of the effects of this addiction?

The effect is reduced life satisfaction, reduced mental health, and reduced physical health. This was suggested recently in a paper related to social media use. However this likely extends to other use cases as well. That said, social media is particularly bad. It gets people hooked on the fleeting high from an artificial external validation of likes and hearts. And there’s the subconscious peer comparison underlying the dopamine hit from seeing information from your friends on the news feed. It’s so concentrated, it gives you a rush. But the concentrated peer comparison is harmful. You now want more external validation, or you want to buy some clothes from ads you see on the side.

Attention spans have reduced, and many young adults turn to drugs to combat that. Many academics believe this is a product of environmental change. Meaning, now our environment — what we interact with — is digital. It’s constantly updating, constantly distracting us, in a powerful, and completely unpredictable way, like the slot machines.

Again, your attention span is everything. It’s what’s going to let you do great things, and have great conversations. This is what’s important for the rest of your life. Don’t sacrifice it with this stuff. The medication is a temporary fix, and will leave you irritable and anxious and also addicted. What are the consequences going to be for these young adults using it so often? Time will tell.

How do companies manipulate us to get us addicted to social media?

Social media companies want you to be hooked. They make more money that way, and the shareholders want them to make more money, so they literally have somewhat of a fiduciary responsibility to do so. They do this through the cycle I reveal in the book, which has never been identified before.

The cycle is streamlined peer comparison on the news feed, which leads to insecurity, which leads to the desire to upload content for validation, or the desire to purchase products in the ads. The validation from the likes and hearts is meaningless and fleeting, and often leaves you more empty than before. So now you’re seeking that next hit, or trying to escape reality through the dopamine from the news feed, which only leads to more peer comparison.

You are not connected. You are alone. What you need to do is see people in the real world and as minimalist a life as possible on social media. Sorry, I said it.

What do you think the danger is from watching porn online?

The danger is really large. You can get a massive dopamine spike from the novelty you can browse through. You can watch multiple videos in one sitting. You can fast forward and rewind. You can toggle between videos in different tabs at once. This is not natural. But this is easy to do, and hard to avoid. So then your receptivity to sexual stimulation reduces and you become more apathetic.

Your consumption of novelty may escalate to support the constant dopamine highs you are expecting. All of a sudden now you are watching content you may have previously found disgusting and this is really tough for people. The difficulty is it’s easy to escalate, difficult to resist, and thus needs to be completely resisted.

I think it also messes up your relationship with your computer, a source of productivity. Don’t excessively deplete your energy. Save it for what’s important and keep the ability to have real relationships. You may not be able to have an erection or ejaculate as a young adult if you continue to use it.

If you had the power to regulate the Internet to prevent some of the bad effects you talk about, what would you suggest?

I think education is important. To be prepared for life as a young person you need to understand these issues. Integration in curriculum would be helpful. At a certain point, people will always have opiates and similar versions of opiates, and the important thing is to be able to moderate them if you think it’s worth it for your life to do so. My belief having reviewed the research is that it is for the vast majority of people.

How did you break free personally?

I broke free by gradually reducing the digital stimulation in my life while making my real life more meaningful. So, gradually reducing use of social media and porn, among else, while also having more relationships, going out more, and spending more time on interests. It has been invaluable.

Now I use social media moderately, in complete control. And I haven’t watched porn in over two years. One of the things that helped most with social media, and sorry I haven’t mentioned this yet, is stopping checking notifications. No more notifications. They are random, unpredictable reward, which leads to obsession. You reduce anxiety over who interacted with your profile. The benefit isn’t worth getting hooked.

Make your profile more private by changing your settings so you have less obsession about this. Have less photos and friends. Only real friends.

Where can people find out more or get help for their own social media or porn habits?

Your Brain on Porn by Gary Wilson is a great resource. He reviewed my book after publishing and he is quoted multiple times.

There is not much else on social media. Reading Hooked by Nir Eyal can help you understand why you feel addicted, which can help you escape. Mary Anne Layden at UPenn has done great research on this topic. The forum NoFap on Reddit has 300K+ subscribers posting about the topic of porn specifically. Your parents may not understand these issues, and your friends may not talk about them, but you are not alone.

What do you have coming up next?

I’m promoting this work so that people who need it will see it. I soon start working again and will no doubt get new perspectives. I pursue my interests and focus on being social to offset these addictions.

Could we please get a selfie so our readers can get a better feel for the real you? : )

Kelsey Leon from ‘Chicken Girls’ Interview with Teens Wanna Know!

Chances are you have heard of the ‘Chicken Girls’ web series on Brat Network. Its full of young social media influencers and deals with the usual dramas of high school life. So of course its got a massive following among teens!

One of its stars Kelsey Leon, a 15-year-old actress, dancer and model that is known for her role as ‘Kimmie & Power Surge Dancer’ in the show, as well as appearances in Nickelodeon’s “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn” and Amazon’s “Just Add Magic.”

With Season 3 of Chicken Girls under development, we got the chance to get to know Kelsey a little better, Check out the Q&A below!

Photographer: Mario Barberio, Makeup: Robert Bryan, Hair: J Michael, Stylist: Cat Wright
Top: Lottie Moss x PacSun (@pslottiemoss), Jeans: Levi’s (@levis)

Hello Kelsey, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions! You play Kimmie, one of the Power Surge Dancers in Chicken Girls. Why do you think the show has become so successful?

Hi! Of course. In my opinion, the reason “Chicken Girls” has become so successful is because majority of the cast are social media influencers that have a huge fan base, which makes viewers want to watch. Also, the show is about high school drama and normal high school relationships. That being said, it’s relatable to kids our age and younger.

What can you tell us about ‘Kimmie’. How are you similar to her? How are you different?

‘Kimmie’ is one of the PowerSurge Dancers. The PowerSurge Dancers are rivaling against the opposing team, Attaway. I’m similar to her because I’m a dancer. I’m different from her because I’m not that mean in real life, haha. 🙂

Who do you hang out with most from the cast?

Awh, this is a hard one. We’re all usually in the same place- either in the hair and makeup trailer or doing school work together. All of my cast mates are super sweet, so I couldn’t pick just one. Outside of set, we usually all hang out together.

What can you tell us about the upcoming third season?

This upcoming season is definitely going to have a lot of plot twists and things you’ve never seen before in season one or season two. Get ready and stay tuned.

Top: Lottie Moss x PacSun: @pslottiemoss, Jeans: Levi’s @levis, Sunglasses: Zac Zac Posen @baxterandbonny, Cuff: Soon @soon.space

You appeared in Nicky Jam’s music video “El Amante.” Tell us what he was like in person and what that whole experience was like.

Yes! Nicky Jam was super fun to work with and so personable. The whole experience was so surreal. It was my first working job as a dancer, so being on set with such a powerful artist in the music industry was absolutely incredible.

What’s Feeding America about and how do you contribute to that organization?

There are millions of children and adults who do not get the meals they need to thrive. The team from Feeding America work to get nourishing food from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers to people in need. Every day, more than 46 million children and adults can’t afford food due to underemployment and rising costs of living.

I contribute to the organization as I help sort, clean, and bag produce. The produce then goes into the paper bags we design and gets delivered to the people who need it most. Every time I go, we always get the opportunity to do a different activity (whether it’s a different produce or an entirely different project). I love anything charity related, so being able to work at this organization in my community is amazing.

Most awkward experience you’ve had IRL?

When you see your crush waving at you, so you wave back…and you realize he was waving to his friends behind you.

Biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is when people slurp their drinks.

Favorite musical artist?

My favorite musical artist is Dua Lipa. All of her songs are so unique; I love dancing and singing to them.

Dream role?

My dream role is to book a lead acting role in a movie or a series regular role on a TV Show.

Favorite donut flavor?

My go-to donut is definitely a Glazed Donut from Krispy Kreme. They are the best!

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?

People might be surprised to know that I’ve been singing recently. Stay tuned. 🙂

What are you working on next?

We are shooting season three of “Chicken Girls” this summer. 

Can we please get a selfie of whatever you are up to at the moment?

Links:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9123085/
https://www.kelseyleon.com/
https://www.instagram.com/kelseyleonofficial
https://twitter.com/kleonofficial
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqlRxbkm-DDniYY8QSQpwJw

Watch some Chicken Girls below!

Interview with Bella Shepard “Alice” on Brat Network’s “A Girl Named Jo”

Brat Network’s newest series “A Girl Named Jo” launched this week, and we got the chance to do a Q&A with one of its stars, Bella Shepard. She plays Alice — who isn’t exactly BFF material. The series is a teen mystery set in 1963, starring Annie LeBlanc and Addison Riecke as two characters who become unlikely friends from opposite sides of the tracks and uncover the community’s complex history.

Let’s meet Bella!

Hello Bella, nice to e-meet you! Before we get into your role on Brat Network’s “A Girl Named Jo,” tell us a little about yourself.

Well, I’m originally from Michigan and moved to LA 3 years ago. I am very sporty, I was a former gymnast, before I started acting. I wakeboard, ski, figure skate, and surf. I also am a huge animal lover and I have 4 dogs and 2 guinea pigs.

Great. I watched the trailer for “A Girl Named Jo,” and it seems pretty intense! Tell us about the show and your character “Alice.”

Alice is a proper, seemingly innocent, popular girl from the 60’s. She causes a decent amount of trouble, but deep down, I think she struggles with how horribly she treats people. I believe Alice will have a lot to show about what motivates her if there are additional seasons! Crossing my fingers that I can explore more sides of her.

Why do you think teens are going to want to watch this series?

It’s very different. It gives more credit to the younger teen audience by giving them more than slapstick comedy. It has mystery and an intriguing storyline to follow. It was great fun to film.

What’s been the best part about working on that show so far?

As an actor, it’s always my favorite part to create a character that comes alive outside of a script. I get to breathe an entire person to life and I love it. Besides that, making friends with the cast, and working with such a talented, professional team, has been really fun.

How did you get the role?

I auditioned. As an actor, you go on hundreds of auditions, so it’s just a way of life for us. Funny story though, my house is a “working actor” too! We film a lot of tv, commercials, films at our house. “Chicken Girls the Movie” filmed at our house way back in January. When I went in to audition for “A Girl Named Jo,” in late April, I recognized Annie. We didn’t really know each other, but I had seen her at our house! I don’t know if she remembered me though! It’s great to know her now. She’s very sweet. It was so nice to get to know her better.

What do you like the most about a) Annie b) Addison?

Annie is down to earth, very open and kind. We were both gymnasts so I understand her work ethic. She works very hard and I feel protective of her. She’s so sweet and easy to be with. Addison is so funny! She’s incredibly professional as an actor and so very talented. She is a giving scene partner and I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her. And, seriously, she’s just so funny. She makes me laugh so hard. I love them both.

Your hair is naturally dark, but is now pretty blonde. Does having blonde hair change anything…like is it true that blondes have more fun? : )

Haha! I gotta be honest, it was a SHOCK to go blonde. But, it IS fun. More fun? I don’t know, haha. But, I really believe that it’s ok to have fun with hair and makeup. You shouldn’t feel pressure to have your hair or makeup any specific way, just have fun and do what makes you happy. Super short, really long, dark, light, curly, straight!? You will never please everyone and you don’t need to. Just be the best you, you can be.

You have worked on notable films/shows such as “Oz the Great and Powerful” as well as “Grace & Frankie.” What single moment in show business stands out most in your mind so far?

Wow. I have had so much fun, I can’t pick just one! Meeting Sam Raimi as a child was so incredible. He wore a suit everyday and was so confident. He gave me a line, and changed my life. I’m in LA because of that moment. Holding hands with Michelle Williams was so comforting, I love her so much. She doesn’t even know how that little moment made me feel. Meeting Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda was the BEST. Lily is from Detroit too, and I totally vibed with her. But, to have Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin just come up and introduce themselves to little old me??? Oh my gosh! It completely solidified how I want to be in this buisness. Respectful, gracious, hard-working, and of course ICONIC!! 🙂

If you could “do over” one thing as an actress, what would it be?

Everything I have done continues to lead me to where I am meant to be. All of my setbacks have given me an opportunity to be stronger and better. There are roles that I have lost, but you have to embrace that it wasn’t yours if you didn’t book it and know that something better is coming. On a wishful “do over” note, I filmed for 21 days in Hawaii and I’d love to do that over!!

Dream role?

So I swim in a silicone mermaid tail, it’s been a hobby forever, and I watched Splash a million times as a child. To remake that?? Major dream. Of course I dream of working with an amazing actor like Timothee Chalamet, or landing a theatrical role in a Scorsese, Spielberg, or Tarantino film. Kill Bill Volume 3?? Yes please!

Favorite YouTuber

It changes a lot, but right now, Hailey Sani. She lives in the area and gives great shopping tips.

Biggest pet peeve?

Loud chewers. Haha.

Favorite dessert?

I bake a lot. My Chocolate Chip cookies and our super secret family recipe for No-bake cookies are two favorites. Another major favoite, birthday cake. My mom and I buy birthday cake for no reason! Like, Happy Wednesday, let’s buy a birthday cake! Yellow cake, white frosting only.

Most awkward experience IRL (not related to acting)?

Well, I do this weird thing where I dance and sing when I’m eating really good food. Haha. I’ve been caught more than once in my own food world, not even realizing I’m dancing and singing to myself, out of happiness. I’ve done that since I was a little kid!

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?

I play the drums. I also can play several other instruments by ear. I just pick them up and can usually figure out how to play. I don’t put enough time in to be super proficient at any of them, except the drums, but I love to play guitar, ukelele, keyboards etc in my room.

What are you working on next?

I am taking a break to enjoy summer, probably a month off. My best friend from home and my cousin are visiting, and I want to surf!

Can we please get a selfie of whatever you are up to at the moment for the fans?

Sure, attached! I’m just hanging with my friend Layla, shopping and laughing. 🙂 Thank you for asking these great questions. It was so fun!

https://www.instagram.com/bella.shepard/

Lexi DiBenedetto “Prudence” from Knight Squad Interview

Fans of Nickelodeon’s new hit series, Knight Squad know Lexi DiBenedetto as Prudence, the knight-in-training who’s heart is as big as her strength — being as she is part giant.

What you might not kow is that she is a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. We asked Lexi a few questions about both Knight Squad and DAR — read her answers and get to know her better below!

Hello Lexi, nice to e-meet you! Before we get into your role on Nickelodeon’s Knight Squad, tell us a little about yourself.

Nice to e-meet you too! Well, I grew up on an island off the coast of North Carolina, so the beach is my happy place. I got involved with community theater when I was pretty young so acting has always been my biggest passion and a huge part of my life. When I’m not acting, I love to spend time with my dogs or go horseback riding!

Great. Now tell us about Knight Squad and your character, Prudence?

Prudence is one quarter giant her mother’s side. She has giant strength and a giant heart. I love that Prudence is loyal to her friends and simply wants everyone to be happy. When there’s a problem she always tries her best to fix it. I also really appreciate Prudence’s love for food.. she never turns down a good snack and I can respect that!

Most memorable moment from working on that set so far?

A very touching scene between Prudence and Ciara toward the end of the season. I can’t share details because it hasn’t aired yet, but I think everyone will love it!

Who do you hang out with most from the cast?

I work so much that when I have time off it is refreshing to spend it with my friends outside of work.

You are a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Can you tell us a little about that, the relative who was part of the Revolution, and the role he or she played?

Of course. Being a part of the DAR means you can directly trace your ancestors back to a relative that fought in the Revolutionary War. My relative was Solomon Johnson. He was born in 1757 and served as a Privet in the 10th North Carolina continental line, continental army. 

Sometimes patriotic people get criticized for being old-fashioned or bigots or whatever. What do you think is the biggest misconception about the Revolution and being patriotic?

This a complex question to fully answer in a few sentences. However, I think it’s unfortunate that being patriotic has become confused with being a bigot. I come from a military family going many generations back, including my dad, who was a marine for 20 years. I think that being patriotic, to me personally, is having respect for the veterans that risk their life or lose their life every day for our freedom.

Any other causes you are involved with?

Several animal shelters and the LA mission.

Dream role as an actress?

Ideally, I’d love to just continue working and doing what I love for the rest of my life. I’d love to be Supergirl if they make a movie and just transition into film in general. I’ve always admired the films that tell powerful stories and I want to be a part of something like that.

Favorite Youtuber?

Whitney Simmons. I love her workout videos and positive attitude! 

Biggest pet peeve?

LA Traffic and fake people!

Favorite musical artist?

I love so many different types of music I can never pick a favorite! I love anything classic rock or reggae. I also love Shawn Mendes and Charlie Puth as well as Lady Gaga!

Most awkward experience IRL?

I would say waving back at someone only to realize they weren’t waving at me!

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?

I love classic cars and have to sleep in socks!

What are you working on next?

Something very exciting! I unfortunately can’t talk about it yet.. but when I can I will be sure to update all of my fans and Instagram followers.

Can we please get a selfie of whatever you are up to at the moment for the fans?

Of course! 🙂

Laurie Hernandez Interview – Olympic Gold (Gymnastics) & DWTS Winner!

We spoke with vivacious and inspiring gymnast, author, and now clothing designer Laurie Hernandez about winning Olympic Gold, finishing first on Dancing With the Stars, body positivity, and more!

Interview sponsored by: http://dailies.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/teenswannaknow
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Business inquiries & bookings: info@teenswannaknow.com

Stuck on a Feeling – Carly Peeters Release Party Red Carpet & Performance

Live performances! Fun red carpet interviews! Miss Teen International 2017 Carly Peeters debuted her new single and video for “Stuck on a Feeling” at Cherry Soda Studios in Los Angeles, and reporter Keira Pena covered the action.

Interviews: Carly Peeters, Pynk Le’monade, Bryce Xavier, Elizabeth J. Cron, Grayson Thorne Kilpatrick, Asia Aragon, Serena Laurel, Jacob Hopkins, Kash Hovey, Kathy Kolla, Terrell Ransom Jr., Savannah Kennick, Sheldon Bailey, James Ryan, Griffin Morgan, Madison Deaver, Orli & Arielle Gottesman, Somalie Inez.

Watch “Stuck on a Feeling”

Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2rPA5zF
iTunes – https://apple.co/2INJ6TM
Google Play – https://bit.ly/2ISShCA
Amazon – https://amzn.to/2rTfcDV

Connect with Carly Peeters:
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/carlyonsugar
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carlyonsugar
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/carlyonsugar
Website: http://www.carlypeeters.com

Host: Keira Pena
http://instagram.com/keirapena

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Instagram: http://instagram.com/teenswannaknow
Twitter: http://twitter.com/teenswannaknow
Facebook: http://facebook.com/teenswannaknow

Visit our Café Press store for merch http://cafepress.com/teenswannaknow

Want your party covered? Business inquiries & bookings: info@teenswannaknow.com

Nickelodeon’s Star Falls’ Jadiel Dowlin Chats with Teens Wanna Know!

Have you watched Star Falls yet? It’s the new Nickelodeon show starring Siena Agudong who plays a teen that convinces a Hollywood star to move himself and his family into her rural house in order to set him up with her mom. Hilarity ensues as cultures clash.

One of its other leads is Jadiel Dowlin, from Toronto, Canada. He is an actor and scriptwriter (for Dino Dana) born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Jadiel started his career modeling and appearing in
commercials at the age of 12, followed up by a run on popular children’s television game show series Zoink’d and then a lead role in the Japanese-produced DVD series GrapeSEED. In 2013, he was cast in Annedroids, which earned him a 2016 Daytime Emmy Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Performer in a Children’s or Pre–school Children’s Series for his role as Nick Clegg. He has also won a 2015 Joey Award for Best Actor in a TV Action Leading Role and a 2015 Young Artist Awards for Outstanding Young Ensemble in a TV Series.

Other film and television credits include Rogue (DirecTV), Dino Dana (Amazon
Prime), The Swap (Disney Channel), The Stanley Dynamic (YTV) and Super Why! (PBS Kids).

Outside of showbiz, Jadiel loves comic books and playing soccer. He has also broken records as a sprinter in running events including the 4 × 100 metres relay.

Whew! This guy is talented and busy. Let’s get to know him better in our interview below!


Hi Jadiel, nice to e-meet you! Before we talk about Star Falls, tell us a little bit about yourself.

It’s great meeting you as well so we can talk about Star Falls and lots more. I’m a Canadian actor, writer, comic enthusiast, and I love track and field. It so happens that I’m fluent in Spanish as well and I fully embrace my Hispanic Afro-Caribbean heritage – thanks to my Panamanian parents.

Tell us about Star Falls and your character Phoenix Brooks

Star Falls is a unique TV series on Nickelodeon that airs on Saturday evenings. It’s about a celebrity movie star dad that has to move to a small town to shoot a movie and decides that he wants to take his three Hollywood kids with him. The local veterinarian’s daughter decides to perform some schemes to have her mom meet her idol, Craig Brooks, the movie star. Phoenix is Craig’s oldest son, and he’s not a typical teenager; he’s very wise beyond his years. A total philosopher! And with his quirkiness he provides a different element to the show.

What has been the most rewarding part about working on this show so far?

There have been so many rewarding experiences but since you asked for one… I would have to say working with the cast. I’m an only child so being able to perform a role that entails having a younger sister and little brother was very different and enlightening. It’s given me the opportunity to act as a role model and leader for them, while also keeping me on my toes since Bo and Diamond (Phoenix’s siblings) are a handful. Watch the show to experience the shenanigans and many adventures.

And the most challenging?

I don’t see situations as challenges; I’m the type of person that sees situations as an opportunity to learn. There’s one thing I’m glad that I won’t have to do any longer now that I’m 18, and that’s two hours of school time per day for each day I’m on set. That was difficult to juggle because young actors performing time has to be cut short by mandated schooling. So I’m definitely glad that’s over! But it’s a bonus because now that I’m 18, I get to play younger roles so production companies love it!

Funniest moment on set as an actor?

That would have to be scenes that involve animals. Those are the most fun because animals (like babies) bring a different energy to the set, and although they are trained, sometimes things don’t go as planned. I’ve experienced snakes, tarantulas, skunks, donkeys, dogs, birds, cats and many others. But there’s one scene in an upcoming Star Falls episode where we had a goat. Well, it so happens the goat decided to go the bathroom during a take! It simultaneously defecated and urinated at the same time, and I was inches away from it! We had to clear the set and it took a while to have everything cleaned.

You are a scriptwriter as well as an actor. How did you get involved writing for Dino Dana?

I became close to the creators and writers of Annedroids, which is produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment. Although it’s been a few years since the TV series, we’ve kept in-touch and I was provided with the opportunity to pitch episodes for Dina Dana, and I’ve written several episodes so far. I loved this experience because I’m able to learn another aspect of the film industry, and create art through another medium, e.g., production, writing, directing. I’m excited to keep growing and produce my own content.

Your parents are from Panama. What part of that culture are you most proud of?

I would have to say that I’m so happy that I’m able to speak Spanish because it opens up the world to me. It makes travelling a joy, and bilingualism allows you to connect to more people, cultures etc. Plus the flavourful Panamanian/Hispanic food and the variety of upbeat music gives me a sense of vibrancy and culture I can imbue in my acting. Like my favorite saying is: “Oye, que pasa?!” (Hey, what’s happening).

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Gosh, that’s an easy one! When people give spoilers about TV shows, movies, books. That drives me crazy. I actually mute my alerts and stay off media to ensure I don’t read anything by accident. Because it’s always best to experience climactic events firsthand in the cinema, not on your twitter feed!

Biggest guilty pleasure?

Being huge in the world of comics, I enjoy collecting these action figures called Hot Toys. Only thing is that they’re super rare to get and a tad expensive!

If you could do over one embarrassing moment on your life, what would it be?

That would be the time I tore my uniform pants in elementary school. It was a track and field day and of course there was a lot of running and jumping involved. I came in first for many of the events and was feeling pretty good about myself. But after the long jump event my friends starting laughing at me, and I turned and realized I had split my pants. My boxers were in full view of everyone! It was embarrassing to say the least.

Favorite movie?

Well, you know it has to be a comic book movie, so I’ll go with The Dark Knight. It’s able to tell a compelling story using interweaving subplot devices. It’s actually more than a movie; it’s an analysis of the criminal element, and juggles concepts like order/chaos, justice/injustice. It’s very ambitious and entertaining film.

Dream role?

Hmm I would like to do more drama and thriller roles. They’re lots of fun, and allow you to portray a different/darker side of characters. Superhero and Supervillain roles would also be on the list.

Favorite musical act?

My go to music is instrumental and my favorite composer is Hans Zimmer. He’s the composer for many terrific films, including Man-of-Steel, and The Dark Knight Trilogy, Interstellar, Gladiator, and many more. His usage of drums is bombastic and immersive.

Favorite book?

My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but it’s a great read that takes the reader on a journey. It offers insight on what ones life purpose should be, and has an awesome twist. Everyone should read it at least once.

Most unique or surprising thing people don’t know about you?

People are always surprised that I’m fluent in Spanish, that I have the natural ability to wiggle my ears, and that I obtained Ryerson’s University President’s Entrance Scholarship, which is a “full-ride.” I’m pursuing a double major in Philosophy and Film studies.

What are you working on next?

Be on the lookout for three episodes I wrote for Dino Dana Including: Growing Up Dino, Dinosauroid Dana, and Flying Expectations. I have many other projects in the works, but unfortunately I’m not able to share the details as yet. Stay tuned!

Where can your fans follow you?

They can follow me on many social media sites:
Instagram: @jadiel_dowlin
Twitter: @jadieldowlin
Facebook: @jadieldowlin
IMDb: www.imdb.me/jadieldowlin
Website: www.jadieldowlin.com

Selfie time!

Ava Cantrell from Lights Out and Haunted Hathaways Interview with Teens Wanna Know

If you have attended any Young Hollywood red carpet or charity events in the past few years, you no doubt have come across the very energetic, bubbly personality of Ava Cantrell. This teen actress, who turns 17 next month, has been in the biz since 2008, appearing on such hits as The Haunted Hathaways and Lights Out. She has also earned several industry awards, from the La Femme International Rising Star to a Young Artist Award to, this year, a Young Entertainer Award.

While we have interviewed Ava on the red carpet a couple of times in the past (check out our Youtube Channel for the vids), we wanted to get a little more in-depth. She is a well-spoken, creative person who is a perfect example of perserverance and hard work — two qualities which are sure to help her climb to the top and which will hopefully inspire you, the reader, to keep striving toward positive goals. Without further ado, let’s get into the Q&A!

photo: Alikay Photography

Hi Ava! Nice to chat with you again! Tell us a little bit about yourself for those who are unfamiliar.

I am so happy to be chatting with you! Love what you guys do.

Professionally, I am an actress and have been working in the industry since age 8. My career has definitely been slow and steady. I started working in the industry with short films, commercials and music videos. I booked Nickelodeon’s “Haunted Hathaways” then Warner Brothers’ “Lights Out” and most recently “Young Sheldon.” I have also been getting recognized for my work as Amelia Voss in the feature film “One Under The Sun” as the La Femme International 2017 Rising Star and a Young Entertainer Award for best actress in a feature film. I feel blessed to be able to work in Hollywood and live a pretty low key life in San Diego.

I am legal 18 and passed the CHSPE but I am staying in school and graduating early with honors. I danced for many years, love to surf, love photography and enjoy the really simple things in life like sunsets and hanging out with my family and dogs.

What sort of training have you done in the arts?

I was a trained dancer when I was young and spent many years competing. I have many overall titles and crowns in dance. I don’t spend much time in studios anymore dancing, but trust me if the right role comes along that has dance, I am so ready for it. Just like Natalie Portman stopped dancing at age 12 to focus on acting, then picked it up for Black Swan. I will always be able to incorporate dance into any role but now adding other things into my repertoire like being a better surfer, martial arts, boxing and more stunt-type training. As actors we need to have more than a few physical skills in our bag of tricks.

I have studied acting with many great people in Hollywood as well as took classes for many years. Now I coach one-on-one with my manager/coach Sharon Lane. We work on issues that I have, as well as scripts, which I love. It is not just about the audition you are going in for but who you are as an actor. Finding yourself in the character but always being able to switch it up fast when casting asks. I love Sharon because she is hard on me. I want to know the truth and I want to be my best self.

You recently appeared in Young Sheldon alongside Jason Alexander (Season 1, Episode 16). Tell me about that experience and what stands out most! 

It was so amazing working on Young Sheldon. That cast and crew is brilliant. Working on one of the top rated shows in Hollywood is incredible, but the people on that show made the experience. Iain Armitage is one of the most gifted young actors in Hollywood. It was a joy working with him. It is truly one of the nicest sets I have worked on.

My scenes were all with Jason Alexander and he is not only an incredible human being but also one of the most giving actors I have worked with. In one scene the camera was only on him, but he kept turning to me and pulling me in. I got an extra scene in the classroom, that turned into more lines, and that turned into Jason calling me Ava in the scene. It was really funny because people were asking me why I was called Ava in “Young Sheldon” but I am credited as Molly. Basically, that was Jason saying that my character is Molly in Annie, but in his class I am Ava. To make it simple, when Jason is doing his thing you go with it and I was so lucky to get to be able to improv with him. That scene was so fun to shoot and was not in script.

Filming the Annie scene with Jason is probably the hardest thing I have have had to do to date. I mean he is hilarious and kept changing it up each time and not laughing was almost impossible! At one point he stuck his rag in my face, so I just went along. We totally got each other, and the compliments he gave to me in between takes will forever be close to my heart.

What do you consider your biggest break so far and what made it so special?

Everyone still knows me as Penelope Pritchard on Nickelodeon’s “Haunted Hathaways.” It is still running all of the time and is what kids get excited about when they meet me. It was my first break-out role to be recurring on that show, but working on Warner Brother’s “Lights Out” was the break that made me realize that I could work in a big Hollywood movie. I hope I have a few more of those to come in my career.

Tell me about the time you were most nervous as an actress and how you got through it.

I know this sounds crazy but I am not a really nervous-type person. As an actress you have to give it your all and being nervous or hesitant would just hold me back. When I am auditioning I don’t get nervous because it is so out of my control. Either I am right for the part or I am not. When I am working the part is mine and I can’t let nerves get in my way or diminish my performance. You want to know what I get nervous about? It is speeches and going live! That is the scariest thing to me.

Most rewarding moment as a performer?

My role as Amelia Voss in “One Under The Sun” has been most rewarding. It was a lower budget feature, and I was so happy to accept the role. I knew that role would change me as an actress forever and it did.

Playing the role of a girl with terminal cancer was pretty heavy. To see myself on the final day of my life after battling cancer, as well as reunite with my mother after three years apart was so emotional. It was my last scene filming and I am really glad we filmed that last. It was authentic to my emotions.

The movie has a powerful message that we are all one under the sun. Why our world still struggles with this is so sad to me. I loved being able to accept the award for best actress for this at YEA Awards and address the topic in my speech about there needing to be more strong women roles in Hollywood. I said it WILL be our generation to change that, and I believe it.


photo: Alikay Photography

You were recently nominated for a Young Entertainer Award. What was it for…and what was the outcome?

I was recently nominated and won the YEA award for Best Actress in a Feature Film. It was surreal. I knew when I finished “One Under The Sun” that I was really proud of my work. I walked away knowing I left it all on the table and had no regrets. I feel really blessed that YEA recognized my work. Moments like that carry me through the difficult times that I question if this is actually something I can continue doing.

What was the best part about attending?

I loved being with all of my peers. I’ve been attending for three years. Some of the speeches had me in tears. It warmed my heart to have some younger actors and actresses come up to me and tell me that I’m their role model. One said “Nice girls win.” That really made my heart happy!

Looking back on what you have done in showbiz so far, if you could do one thing over again and change it, what would it be?

Looking back, I got caught up in normal teen stuff. I thought I needed friends or relationships in the biz. I would see groups of Hollywood kids and think, it would be great to have a group like that.

What I realized is that, first, when I am not working I hate to talk about auditions or work. I want to to talk about things outside that. If its always a topic of conversation it becomes reptive and boring. Second, Hollywood friendships don’t get you work. Talent and being right for the role gets you work. Last, actors and actresses staying professional is so important.

I think the usual teen drama when played out with celebrity friends on Instagram is just distracting and unnecessary. I have a few people I love to run into that are awesome people in the biz, but for the most part, my friends are all people I have known for years before all of this stuff took off.

photo: Alikay Photography

Most awkward experience IRL?

I am a pretty awkward person so on any given day you can catch me in an awkward experience. The important thing is to laugh those moments off and not take yourself too seriously.

Biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve….Nosy people and gossips. Come on people, find something constructive to do with your lives rather then worry about others or talk about others.

Favorite musical artist?

I have a ton of favorites, but my all time favorite bands are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, and Cage the Elephant.

Dream role?

I want to film an action type movie because I haven’t done that yet. I want to show the world my fiesty and strong side. I have had limited stunt training and am training now in boxing. Oh yes, and can I surf in it as well? That would be a dream for sure.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Although I’m a huge Star Wars fan, I think I’m going to say Star Trek. I love watching the old classic episodes, and as a science nerd I love that everything is scientifically accurate. Star Trek even inspired a lot of real life technology, even the flip phone came from the show!

Chocolate or vanilla?

I love chocolate bars, but vanilla cakes, cupcakes, and ice cream for sure.

What do you find most attractive in a person?

I definitely look for humor in another person. I like people that are funny, and I can laugh with. We need to get each other’s sense of humor. If I am with someone and 4 hours feels like 10 minutes, I am attracted. I am not a hipster type girl so I am not looking for that. I like cute, sweet, classy, funny and smart guys.

What are you working on next?

I am super excited to be starring in a feature film called “The Fostered” the end of this summer. I also have two projects in development right now. One is a pilot/series and the other is a comedy spy movie. My Dad and I wrote both and both are optioned. You have to get out there and create your own work. At this point of my career and after 9 years it is just the progession of things.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?

I think people are surprised at how much I love science. I spend a lot of my time listening to science podcasts, reading books, and watching shows on science. I would rather discuss black holes, evolution or new palentology discoveries than my outfits.

Can we please get a selfie of whatever you are up to at the moment?