Category: Interviews

Ethan Paisley – remarkable teen auteur shares his passions, inspirations and more

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If you haven’t heard about Ethan Paisley, take note. This 18-year-old filmmaker has already had two films selected at Cannes Film Festival, given a TED talk, and won the “Best Young Director” award at the Young Entertainer Awards. These are just a few of his accomplishments, which you can read more about on his website.

As evidenced by the Q&A we did, which you can read below, Ethan is thoughtful, well-spoken and driven…and it is great to see a teen with such passion for his work. If he keeps it up and manages to avoid Hollywood’s many traps and vices, he undoubtedly has a very bright future ahead of him as a creative force in this industry. Excited to see where his talents and persistence take him!

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Now onto the Q&A.

1. Hi Ethan, nice to e-meet you! Before we get into your work as a filmmaker, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello! I’m an 18 year old writer, producer, student, wannabe dancer, dim sum connaisseur, and all-around freakshow. I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay Area but now I’m based in LA. I currently produce for PaperChase Films, one of the minds behind The Kindergarten Teacher (available on Netflix), and I’m also pursuing a BFA in Creative Producing at Chapman University.

2. Great. For people who don’t know you, tell us how you got into making movies.

I started as an actor when I was really young. I was also exposed to YouTube when I was really young. So when I was competing to book TV shows, I gave up and decided to make one of my own online. This is where I self-taught filmmaking and augmented my talent for pairing creative thinking with marketing and public relations strategy. After I harassed every production company and student film production in San Francisco to let me be an extra, PA, whatever, I decided to make my first feature film The Art of Escape at 14 years old. The failures and successes that came from that project, and how I handled them, helped me identify my passion for working in the capacity of a producer.

3. Which film of yours are you most proud of, and what makes it stand out to you most?

Today, the slate of content I’m working on is extremely diverse in terms of genre and story which is very exciting to me. I will have a better answer in six months … that said, to date, my baby is my short film Indelible. Indelible stands out because it is the most distant from my personal life experience but also the most personal at the same time. It’s a film about a PTSD stricken war vet who time travels back to the war front to overcome his trauma. I have no relationship to the military, PTSD, or the sci-fi genre, but I do have experience self-isolating based on my fears of what others will think. This is what the protagonist in my film does, and the consoling message that comes from this in the film is that there will always be people who care. Further, this film was made by 50% women and men, and there is a ratio of 3:1 people of color we see represented on screen. It was a really rewarding experience!

4. Is there anything you have created which makes you cringe a little? What is it and what’s cringey about it?

Cringe is my middle name! My friends tell me I’m too hard on myself but I disagree. Every film is a learning experience, and it’s important to embrace the cringiness everytime as painful as it might be. The best example is a movie I made in eighth grade called Saladcide, and yes you read that right. I made a movie about salad getting revenge on America for it’s obesity crisis. My goal was to make the worst movie possible and hopefully grow some sort of cult following around it. I was going through a time when I was really into parody movies and bad comedies, because they demonstrated that filmmaking was possible from any angle. This was a great learning experience in putting something out there and not caring what anyone would think, which is a practice I still take very seriously today.

5. Why exactly are you a filmmaker? It is very tough work to make films…so what is the payoff for you personally?

I’m a filmmaker because I revel in the process. As a producer, you have to love people, organizing people, and leading everyone towards something greater than themselves. I find great community in this process. Personally, I have to live, breathe, and die on community if it means being happy. That’s the payoff: it makes me happy!

6. What’s your overall goal – like what do you want to achieve long term as an artist?

I just want to keep doing what I’m doing now and continue to tell better and better stories. I’m still finding my voice as an artist and that’s what I want to focus on doing. Hollywood moves so fast and success is so temporary. What excites me now is getting to know myself better as an artist. I just started college. Who knows what kinds of stories I’ll be telling four years down the line and what my goals will be then!

7. Which is your go-to camera to shoot with? Why?

As a producer, that’s something I discuss with my director. I don’t go near cameras unless it means renting or returning them to a facility that lends them out. Anything around tech intimidates me.

8. What’s your favorite “bad” film (like Plan 9 from Outer Space)?

On Rotten Tomatoes it’s bad but in my heart it’s gold: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is really one for the books in my opinion. Everything about it is so extra and fabulous. It’s set in New York City. And Lindsay Lohan sings, dances, and acts in it. What’s not to love?

9. And favorite film overall?

It’s a gamble between Rosemary’s Baby and Howl’s Moving Castle. I love stories that are fantastical, surreal, and challenge societal norms.

10. Which filmmakers or creators do you look up to most?

Sofia Coppola, Frederico Fellini, Roman Polanski, Hayao Miyazaki, Ingmar Bergman, and anyone behind the latest HBO mini-series’ or Black Mirror.

11. What does your production company name, Take18, represent?

This is the production company I made in high school, and Take18 was meant to represent how everyone who worked within the company was under 18. Now we’re all over 18 doing different things but the name still sticks! On one of our feature films Point 453, we actually had a party during one of our shoots for hitting 18 takes on one of the shots.

12. What’s the biggest challenge you have faced so far in this industry?

Staying on your own path, not comparing yourself to others, staying patient, and being selective about what you work on. In other words, slowing down. Especially now with social media, everyone is always sharing something, and it really adds to the pressure of the grind that Hollywood promotes. It’s not always true that hard work pays off, and it’s much more important to me now to create one good thing that yields a large effect rather than a bunch of little things that may or may not do anything in the world. These are the lessons I’m learning everyday.

13. And your biggest accomplishment?

Learning the distribution process and connecting four films to worldwide distribution is definitely my biggest accomplishment. My two feature films The Art of Escape and Point 453 are available for streaming in 86+ countries worldwide on platforms including Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Google Play. Two of my shorts Indelible and Wilted were recently acquired for distribution by KQED and Distribber. It’s an arduous, painful process but I got to travel to Cannes, LA, New York a lot for sales meetings last year. Next year I might be going to Hong Kong for FILMART and I’m thrilled but also daunted.

14. If you had the power to write, direct and star in your own movie with an unlimited budget, what would you call it and what would it be about?

I really want to work on Big Little Lies or anything written and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. So when he wants to make his first feature he should hit me up!

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

I’m an introvert and I crave my alone time. I’m also a cross country runner and I run about 3-5 miles everyday. I’m getting into meditation lately and taking more time for me.

16. Biggest pet peeve?

Too many to count. People repeatedly kicking the seat in class, people who make weird noises when they sleep, leaving me on read, the list goes on …

17. Favorite food?

DIM SUM! Or Sushi. I love Asian cuisine with a burning passion.

18. Secret fear?

That everyone secretly hates me and that I will never be as successful as I want to be, and that I will be single for the rest of my life 🙂

19. What’s the last movie you watched, and give me a review…but you can only use TWO WORDS for the review : )

A Simple Favor: Beautiful Joke.

20. The one thing I cannot live without is__________.

My phone. Yep. I said it.

21. Most embarrassing moment IRL you wish you could do over?

Everyday is an embarrassing moment! No for real, I’m a total mess. I wish I could redo everytime I’ve messed up in a meeting or on a date because obviously that might change the course of my life for the better. But I have faith that everything happens for a reason.

22. What else are you working on or have coming up next?

Right now I’m pitching two hilarious TV Shows with some fabulous writers attached, I’m in pre-production for a couple features, and I’m developing some really exciting scripts with PaperChase. I’m sworn to secrecy on most everything but follow me on social media @ethanbpaisley for more updates as they come!

23. Could we get a selfie of whatever you are doing at the moment? It’s something we ask to keep it real for the fans!

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Follow Ethan Paisley:

http://instagram.com/ethanbpaisley
http://www.facebook.com/ethanbpaisley
http://www.twitter.com/ethanbpaisley
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ethanbpaisley/
http://imdb.me/ethanpaisley

Beautychickee Christina Marie TEENA Skincare Launch Party Exclusive Interviews!

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Popular YouTube beauty guru Christina Marie, better known as @Beautychickee, has just launched her skincare line with her “Clar-i-ty” facial cleanser. To celebrate, the 19-year-old threw an exclusive party at the posh Mondrian Hotel in L.A. for a few of her friends and fellow influencers.

TWK’s Keira Pena got the exclusive scoop, interviewing Christina and a few of her VIP guests. The vibe was amazing and so was the food, with passed crab cakes, flatbread, and cucumber slices topped with hummus complementing a robust charcuterie spread (that’s a fancy word for sliced cured meats, like salami). There was also a great dessert table with dipped strawberries, raspberry-topped cupcakes, macarons, and pink gummies and M&M’s, among others. Pink was definitely the theme!

We are looking forward to seeing what’s next for BeautyChickee!

Appearing in the vid besides Christina Marie: Ally Hardesty, Kiara Marie, Olivia Cara, Adyel Juergensen, Isabel Bina, Alara Bowsher, Brian Frank

Follow Christina Marie (BeautyChickee)
https://www.youtube.com/user/BeautyChickee
https://twitter.com/beautychickee
https://www.instagram.com/beautychickee/
https://www.facebook.com/BeautyChickee

Follow TEENA Skincare
https://teenaskincare.com/
https://www.instagram.com/teenaskincare/
https://twitter.com/TeenaSkincare
https://www.facebook.com/TEENAskincare/

Ava Cota: Former Dance Moms Star Builds Her Own Empire at Age 16

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Ava Michelle Cota (@avamichelle2002 on Twitter) seems to be on a mission. At just 16 years old, the “Dance Moms” veteran is absolutely killing it on the creative front as not only is she a professional model and dancer, but she also has a forthcoming EP as well as a sporty/chic collaboration clothing line, “AVA x JMS” with talented designer Jonathan Marc Stein. She also has plans to tour the US teaching master classes at various dance studios that will be open to all levels of dancers. This is a lot for an adult to take on, let alone a teenager!

All hasn’t been roses for Ava however. Standing 6 feet tall, she’s experienced extensive bullying because of her height, and was even dropped from Abby Lee Miller’s squad because she was “too tall.” She is committed, however, to turning this into a positive by spreading the message of self-love and body positivity wherever she can.

We got the chance to interview her so you get to know her a little better and hopefully get motivated to pursue your own dreams with as much passion as she does. Scroll down for our exclusive Q&A with Ava Cota!

ava michelle cota dance moms2  All images: Ava Cota

Hi Ava, nice to e-meet you! Before we get into your new projects, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hey! I am a 16 year old, dancer, singer/songwriter, model and actress! I grew up in a really small town in Michigan but just recently relocated to Los Angeles! I absolutely love what I do and love my fans so so much!

Okay! So you are widely known as a dancer from Dance Moms of course, but not many know you sing also, and will be releasing your debut EP soon. What made you decide to transition to singing, and are you nervous about how your music will be received?

I have actually been singing since I was very little but it was something that was always kind of on the back burner. I always loved to sing but songwriting is really new to me! It was amazing to find another way to express myself. These songs are very personal to me and I cannot wait to share!

Tell us about the EP and what the process of writing it and putting it together was like.

Like I said songwriting is something that is new to me, but most of my songs are about what I have gone thru in the past year or so. Most of them came when I was just overflowing with emotion and needed a way to get them out. But now being able to hear songs that I wrote become a whole production that could be on the radio is so rewarding!

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As if that weren’t enough to keep you busy, you also have a new clothing line coming out right? Please tell us all about it!

Yes I do! I am collaborating with Jonathan Marc Stein, a designer I met at LA fashion week a couple years ago! It is a sporty/chic line, kinda my everyday style mixed with a little more couture!!! I cannot wait for everyone to see it!

Did they come to you with designs for you to approve, or did you draw stuff yourself for the line? How does that work?

Jonathan and I sat down and made many sketches and mood boards, I’ve gone to the fabric store and have been a part of the entire process! Whenever I’m collaborating with someone I want to make sure that I am hands on. I have learned so much during this process, it has been an amazing experience

Do you still talk to the girls from Dance Moms? If so, who do you chat with the most?

Yes I do! It’s awesome because a lot of us moved out to LA together. I talk to Nia, Maddie, Mckenzie, and Jojo probably the most! I am so happy for them and proud of all of their success! I’m so glad we can be out here supporting each other!

Are you still carrying any bitterness from being cut from Abby Lee Miller’s dance squad for “being too tall?” To get hit with such a negative blow regarding your appearance at such a young age must have been terrible—so what helped you deal with it?

I have definitely grown a lot as a human since then. I do not have any bitterness towards Abby and honestly wish her well. Yes, it was very difficult hearing these things at a young age, but social media was probably the worst. I had a lot of people attacking the way I looked but also just attacking me in general because I was a competitor. This was really hard to go through, but I found that self-love was the thing that helped me through it all. Also finding the people that love you and support you and surrounding yourself with them has been a huge game changer!

What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being on that show?

If you love something then go for it and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, are not good enough, or don’t fit into the mold they have created in their heads. If you love something enough you can do anything. The experience on Dance Moms made me so so strong.

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And the most rewarding part of the whole experience?

I am so thankful for the experience! It really opened my eyes to what is out there. Being from a small town I didn’t really understand what I could do with my talent and the things I love. I would not be where I am at all without the show.

You are a crusader for anti-bullying causes and self-acceptance. What do you think is the single best way for teens to guard themselves against the negative effects of bullying—because let’s be honest, there will always be mean people around and you cannot really stop the whole world from saying hurtful things.

I totally agree. It’s hard, because a lot of people say block out the haters but from my point of view that is impossible. As humans we take in every word that someone says about us and blocking them out is just not dealing with them. The thing that helped me get through this was finding self-love. It is an amazing thing, once you have this you are confident enough in yourself to know that those comments don’t matter because you are perfect just the way you are.

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

I absolutely love to cook and I am a complete foodie!

Biggest pet peeve?

Fakeness.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to and why?

I actually haven’t been out of the country yet, which Is something I really want to do! But some of my fav places here are Catalina Island, San Diego and Boston!

Favorite food?

Sushi!!!!

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Favorite TV show?

Friends, Orphan Black, Marvelous Mrs. Mazel, The 100 and Vampire Diaries! Can’t pick lol

Most attractive thing in another person?

Humbleness.

Most embarrassing moment IRL you wish you could do over?

I went to a dance competition and competed when I wasn’t feeling that good and puked on stage. Could prob do without that incident lol

Besides all we already talked about, what else do you have coming up?

Hopefully some new acting projects 😉

Could we get a selfie? 😍

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Follow Ava Michelle Cota:

https://www.instagram.com/ava.michelle
https://twitter.com/avamichelle2002
https://www.facebook.com/AvaMichelleofficial/
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6433012/

Que 9 and Brooklyn Queen Interview and Try Not to Laugh Challenge

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Detroit has two rising teen stars you need to check out. Rappers Brooklyn Queen @brooklynqueen03 (“Keke Taught Me How to Do It”) and her best friend Que9 @que9bmb (“Sophomore EP”) are currently performing together on the FACTS Tour and stopped by TWK to ask some questions they’ve always wanted to know about each other — and play the TRY NOT TO LAUGH CHALLENGE! Guess who wins, lol?!

Brooklyn Queen

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLAu1llKtsTNzhZ9QP7Tr-A
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrooklynQueen03
Instagram: http://instagram.com/BrooklynQueen03
Facebook: http://facebook.com/BrooklynQueen03
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/brooklynqueen03
Website: http://brooklynqueen03.com/

Que 9

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeWutlS03NLLt61su4br07A
Twitter: http://twitter.com/que9bmb
Instagram: https://instagram.com/que9bmb/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Que9BMB/

Paxton Booth from Coop and Cami Ask the World Interview

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Paxton Booth (@Paxton_Booth on Twitter) stars alongside @RubyRoseTurner @LotusDakota and @OliviaSanabia on Disney Channel’s new show Coop and Cami Ask The World. The show is about two siblings who have a popular streaming channel that crowdsources opinions from millions of followers to help them make most of their day-to-day decisions.

Paxton plays Ollie Wrather, the younger sibling of the duo. He started acting at around 2.5 years old, and loves to perform his own stunts. He also does BMX tricks and boasts a 1000-strong Hot Wheel collection! He is a David Bowie fan, and also makes time to support animal rescue organizations as well as numerous other charities.

We asked this 8-year-old rising talent about his background and his role on Coop and Cami Ask The World. Read on for the Q&A!

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Hi Paxton, nice to e-meet you! Before we get into your role as Ollie on the Disney Channel series Coop and Cami Ask the World, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started acting.

Hello! Great to be here! Well, I’m 8 years old, and born and raised in Southern California. My mom and dad said I started talking at a very young age and was never shy, so they thought it was a good idea to try to book some commercials. It snowballed from there into about 30 national commercials, many co-star roles, a few films and now a series regular on Coop And Cami Ask The World – and I’m still going!

Thank you! Now, please tell us what the show is about, and about your character Ollie.

Coop and Cami Ask The World is a fun family show about a single mom and her four kids growing up in today’s digital world. The two middle kids, Coop and Cami, have a live stream show called “Would You Wrather” where they ask their followers for help with everyday problems or which silly stunt they should do.

I play Ollie Wrather, he’s the youngest of the family. He’s a super fun character to play because he says whatever is on his mind. Ollie has no filter! He is also the “test pilot” for the Would You Wrather show, so that means I get to do a bunch of fun stunts!

What’s the best part about being on the show so far?

Definitely working with some really cool people! Not just the cast, but the crew too. We also got to shoot some promos at Disney World and that was super rad. My family got to go too, so we spent a ton of time riding rides and eating delicious food when I wasn’t shooting.

Can you tell us any funny behind-the-scenes stories that have happened while filming Coop and Cami Ask the World?

Without giving too much away, there was a birthday scene where there was a pink cake in the living room. I had to ride a large animal named Peanut into the living room from the kitchen. Instead of stopping on his mark, Peanut went right for the cake and started licking it! I didn’t try too hard to stop him because he was so cute and was really enjoying it.

You have been riding BMX bikes since age three, and you have performed some of you own stunts as an actor. Where do you get your adventurous personality from?

My dad is the one who pushes me to try dangerous stuff and my mom is the one always trying to get me not to do anything dangerous. Sometimes she just walks away shaking her head when we are trying new tricks out on our bikes.

Who would you most like to work with in show business and why?

There are so many people I’d love to work with, but number one on my list is Tim Burton. He has such a creative mind. I love the way he twists stories and the way he shoots them makes you feel like you are part of the story.

If you had the power to write, direct and star in your own movie, what would you call it and what would it be about?

Wow, that is a lot of responsibility! But I would love to have that challenge someday. Maybe something like ‘Son of Beetlejuice,’ kind of like Son of Frankenstein. You can’t remake such a classic movie like Beetlejuice, but you can always add on to it. I would love to play the part of Beetlejuice junior, but Michael Keaton would have to come back and play the dad for sure!

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

I don’t know if this is a big surprise, but I have a big shoe collection. Shoe shopping is so much fun! I’m not talking about just tennis shoes, but different and unique shoes. When I’m shopping I like to think outside the box. Lately I’ve been into creepers, but they only really make them for girls. But that doesn’t matter to me. I don’t think fashion should have genders, it should all be universal. I’ll rock pink shoes any day!

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Biggest pet peeve?

I’m only 8, but I spend a lot of time in LA traffic. People who drive slow in the left lane drive me crazy! I watched this show on YouTube called Canada’s Worst Drivers and I learned some of the traffic laws. The left lane is for passing!

Favorite food?

I really like dark chocolate, but my favorite food of all time is chicken pot pie. Not just any kind, it has to be my mom’s homemade chicken pot pie.

Favorite video game?

Right now I’m super into Forza Horizon 3. I can’t wait to get the new Horizon 4! Car racing games are my favorite.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Slappy from Goosebumps has the power to bring things to life, but he uses it in a bad way. That would be an awesome super power to have, but of course use it for good. I would love to make all of my Hot Wheels come to life and start racing around the house!

The one thing I cannot live without is__________.

It’s hard to pick one. When I go out of town for just the weekend I have several bags, because I have lots of things I can’t live without, like chapstick, hand sanitizer and my stuffed animals. But if I had to choose just one it would be my robe. On my days off I spend my mornings doing school work in the kitchen in my warm, comfy Scooby Doo robe.

Most embarrassing moment IRL you wish you could do over?

I don’t get embarrassed too easily. I think that is part of acting. Being a good actor is being able to laugh at yourself.

Selfie time!

paxton booth coop and cami ask the world instagram

https://www.instagram.com/paxtonbooth/
https://twitter.com/paxton_booth/
https://www.facebook.com/PaxtonBoothOfficial/
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7397445/

Watch a complete episode of Coop and Cami Ask the World here:

High School Nation Tour’s Mimi Saballa Q&A!

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Teen singer Mimi Saballa, is headlining the 10th annual High School Nation Tour (@HSNTours #highschoolnation on Twitter) along with rapper @TheRealSilento (“Watch me”) hitting various cities throughout the month of November. For those who don’t know, the High School Nation Tour is a traveling music & arts festival that travels to  high school campuses across the country providing students with free entertainment.

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Mimi’s got an album coming up in spring ’19 from Empire Records. and cites Cardi B. and Bad Bunny as musical influences. Her video for “Crazy” with Krayzie Bone and NomaD has over 700k views on YouTube (scroll down to watch), and she has just released another track called “Light Weight” availble here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/lightweight-single/1437467149

She’s busy, but we got the chance to email her a few questions for a quick Q&A while she’s on the High School Nation Tour. Here’s her answers!

Hi Mimi, nice to e-meet you! Before we get into music, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

Hi my name is Mimi I’m eighteen and from Hawaii, and I’m a singer. I’ve been singing for about two years, I started off singing island music, I’m just now making my transition to more main stream music.

Thank you! Now tell us about the High School Nation Tour and how you got involved?

I’m currently on the High School Nation Tour and we’re doing 25 shows in 13 cities. Through some good connections I got a spot on the tour.

Where will you be travelling to – and which city are you most excited to visit?

I’ve been to Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, Virginia, and South Carolina. I’m most excited for Atlanta and Texas.

I know you just started the tour—but what’s been the best moment so far?

The best moments on tour is meeting all the students.

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Who would you most like to work with in show business and why?

I would like to work with Drake because I’m a big fan and his music is very popular with the culture.

If you had the power to write, direct and star in your own movie, what would it be about?

I would make a documentary of where I’m from featuring other local people, letting others see into our lives where we’re from.

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

I think people would be surprised to know all of my ethnicities: Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Filipino, and Portuguese.

Biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is little sounds, like tapping or shaking.

Favorite food?

I love noodles any type of noodles.

Secret fear?

I’m deathly terrified of lizards.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Teleportation because I would like to get places quickly.

The one thing I cannot live without is__________.

my family.

Most embarrassing moment IRL you wish you could do over?

During my first label meeting with Interscope and Universal Music Group I ripped my pants.

What else are you working on or have coming up?

I just released my new single Lightweight and, I have my EP dropping soon and my first show back home in Hawaii.

high school nation tour mimi saballa light weight

Could we get a selfie of whatever you are doing at the moment? It’s something we ask to keep it real for the fans!

high school nation tour mimi saballa

Mimi Saballa Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mimimusichawaii
For more: https://mimimusichawaii.com/

 

Meet Sophie Thatcher – Interview plus Gunpowder & Sky’s DUST “Prospect” film review

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Sophie Thatcher is the star of Gunpowder & Sky’s DUST new film, Prospect, slated to open November 2nd. The film follows the path of a father-daughter team as they search for riches on a dangerous, toxic planet — and whose mission turns deadly very quickly. We got the chance to ask Sophie a few questions about her role in the movie — check her answers below — but first a quick Prospect film review.

The film opens with young Cee, played by Sophie Thatcher, and her father Damon, played by Jay Duplass (“Transparent”), preparing to descend to the planet they are orbiting in their rickety space pod. The father’s plan is to collect extremely valuable amber-like gems known as Aurelacs. These gems are found in large root- or termite mound-like structures, and have to be carefully extracted lest they self-destruct in a bath of acid. The pair set course for the mother lode — a large deposit of Aurelacs known as the “Queens Lair.”

After they recover one stone at an old dig on the way to the main site, two ne’er do wells (one played by Pedro Pascal of “Game of Thrones” and “Narcos” fame) happen upon the father and shake him down for his treasure. A couple of bad decisions later, and this encounter changes from a scavenging  expedition to a quest for survival and escape — one where teenage Cee has to use all of her wits and determination to try to make it back to her shuttle and rejoin the mothership.

This movie is, atmosphere-wise, like no other film I have seen before, truly otherworldly but grounded in reality — if that makes any sense. Production design is fabulous, from the realistically-lived in capsule whose rickety instruments are covered in gritty, grimy breath, oils from fingertips and palms, and who knows what else. Wardrobe, hair and makeup convey a feeling that everything and everybody in this film needs a good hot shower. There’s plenty of little details to appreciate, especially in the space capsule. Particles of dust float around and there’s a barely perceptible layer of ice on the window which they could have skipped, but didn’t. The 8-track aesthetic of just about every switch and mechanism further lends credibility to the world created here by the filmmakers.

The film is described as a sci-fi western, but it also has a strong steampunk vibe. None of the weapons fire lasers, but projectiles from rather primitive-looking weapons. This coupled, with the flimsiness of the suits everyone wears in order to breathe on the alien world, raises the stakes of every shot discharged and every step taken for that matter. Little protects the characters from a tear or rip which would lead to a quick death — and when you compound with bullets and high speed foot chases through an environment full of brambles poised to ensnare breathing tubes –you end up on the edge of your seat.

My biggest complaint is the off-putting poetic dialogue used by a few characters. Its hard to follow and a bit melodramatic and goofy, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Other than that–this is a movie I definitely recommend and I hope it finds its audience as a cult hit.

As evidenced by her acting in Prospect, plus her unique personal style, Sophie Thatcher has the potential to be absolutely huge. Excited to see where her career takes her!

Now let’s get to the interview! p.s. Is it just me or does she bear a resemblance to Emma Watson?

sophie thatcher prospect film review

Hi Sophie, nice to e-meet you! Before we get into your role on Prospect, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an actor, musician, artist and a Chicago native!

Thanks! You have an extensive theater background, having studied since age 4 and with performances in The Diary of Anne Frank and several others in Chicago. How was this, your first film, a different beast?

It took me a while to transition from stage to screen because I was used to the repetition of doing a full show every night. In contrast to theater, film is shot scene by scene and I never realized there was so much time waiting around on set! Ahh! But this process helped me to grow with the character. I was drawn to the natural aspects of the film world.

What helped you manage the pressure of being a newcomer, yet carrying the film as the lead character?

The whole cast and crew were very kind and made me feel safe and that if I made a minor mistake, it wasn’t the end of the world. Everyone was so warm and made me feel comfortable. Zeek and Chris trusted me with the character and that helped me gain confidence.

How did you book the role—traditional audition process or something different?

I was sent the sides from my agents and manager and put it on tape, then recorded the callback myself. After that, they flew me out to Seattle to see the workspace, meet the directors and work through a couple different scenes. I remember feeling like I had bombed the audition somehow, but an hour later they invited me back to the workspace to tell me I was cast. I remember feeling relieved and tremendously excited.

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

I think it’s rare to have such a powerful young female lead in a film. I hope that young women, or any outliers in society can be inspired by Cee’s character trajectory.

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What was the most memorable part about filming it?

Definitely the night shoots. It really messed up everyone’s sleeping schedule so we were all suffering together. I was exposed to a bunch of the cast and crew’s looney side and we all formed a tight bond.

What was it like to wear that space suit and helmet – any claustrophobia? Was it crooked on purpose or did it just slip to the side like that?

The first week of filming was stressful because they were still working on the helmets, and I felt like I could barely breathe. Of course they fixed that and once the helmet was on, it helped me dive into the Prospect universe. I fully became Cee.

The clothes you and your dad wear on the ship look very lived in, almost like you guys were directed to sleep in the clothes for a couple days and show up to set without doing your hair. Am I close to the mark—or were the hair and wardrobe people that good?

The hair and wardrobe people were exceptionally talented! They often kept to a very minimal makeup look on me- or sometimes they would add under eye circles as the story progressed and Cee’s circumstances became more difficult.

Why do you think fellow teenage girls are going to like your character, Cee?

I think a lot of teenagers can relate to a bunch of different aspects of Cee. First, I’m sure kids can relate to the feeling of being an outsider in one way or another. Also Cee uses music and books as an escape. I, and I’m sure many other people my age can heavily relate to this.

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

I have a twin sister who’s an artist! I also make music too and someday would like to focus on that more.

Biggest pet peeve?

People pleasers and wishy washy people.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to and why?

I adore New York City and all the possibilities and artists that live there. I would love to move there one day to work on music and art.

Favorite food?

Sushi or any kind of Japanese food.

Favorite book?

Just Kids written by Patti Smith (my biggest inspiration) and Heart of Darkness written by Joseph Conrad.

Most attractive thing in another person?

Creativity and individuality.

Most embarrassing moment IRL you wish you could do over?

The first time I was kissed I couldn’t stop laughing because I was so nervous, so he ended up kissing my teeth.

What else are you working on or have coming up?

I have a few projects up in the air! Would love to focus more on music and art too and put some stuff out there into the world!

Could we get a selfie of whatever you are doing at the moment? It’s something we ask to keep it real for the fans!

Me, drinking my morning coffee

sophie thatcher prospect gunpowder and sky

Sophie Thatcher Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/soapy.t/

Watch the original short film on which the new full-length movie is based:

 

Teen author Carrie Berk does her part to help end bullying in America

carrie berk bullying in america influencer feature

Carrie Berk is a bestselling teen author, influencer, and @NoBully_org Ambassador (#nobully) who has already published 21+ books by age 15. Her first book series, The Cupcake Club, was published with her mom’s help in second grade! One of her personal passions is to help stop bullying in America. To that end, her latest book series called Ask Emma deals with her personal experience being cyberbullied and sheds light on the damaging effects bullies can inflict on their targets. The first book in the Ask Emma series was published earlier this year, with book two due January 2019.

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Carrie experienced what bullying in America was like when she received hateful comments on, and was made fun of for, her online social platforms. Through her writing, she wants to let teen readers know they are not alone in dealing with these issues. The book even includes an appendix on cyberbullying resources as an extra support.

Since October is National Bullying Prevention Month, we decided to conduct a Q&A with Carrie to inspire you and also give you some advice if you are being bullied in person or cyberbullied. We can stop bullying in America if we continue to raise awareness and take effective action — like Carrie is doing. Now onto the Q&A! ❤

Hi Carrie, nice to e-meet you! Before we get into your book series Ask Emma, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I have always loved to write—the day that my second-grade teacher taught me about realistic fiction, I came home and wrote a book proposal. The paragraph I put together was about four girls who are misunderstood at their school; they come together to form a cupcake club that combats bullying. My mom sent the idea to her literary agent because I nagged her to, and surprisingly, we got a call at sea when we were on a Disney cruise saying that there were three publishers interested!

I would have never imagined that The Cupcake Club would turn into a 12-book series and sell 400K copies around the world, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to spread such important messages to young girls through my writing.

Thanks! Now, please tell us where the idea for Ask Emma came from, and what’s it about?

The bullying in The Cupcake Club was inspired by the cruelty I witnessed as a peer mediator in elementary school. I never really knew what it felt like to be bullied until I started middle school, when I, myself, was cyberbullied. Others spread cruel rumors about me that left me feeling helpless and hurt.

There are not a lot of books out there that depict bullying from a teen perspective, so I felt like I had a responsibility to make one. My mom loves Jane Austen’s Emma, so we decided to combine our interests into Ask Emma, a modern day take on the 19th Century novel where a middle school advice blogger faces cyber bullies. The response has been incredible from readers; they are really connecting to Emma, and I know it’s because the words are written straight from my heart and soul.

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What can readers expect from the second book coming out in January 2019?

The first book set up the characters and the early issues Emma faces in launching her blog. The second book, however, depicts the challenges in the relationships between the characters, specifically Emma and her best friends, Izzy and Harriet. All tweens and teens are familiar with frenemies, so I wanted to show how to handle yourself in that type of situation. You will also see Emma and Jackson’s relationship continue to grow 😉

Looking at your Instagram page and your website, it doesn’t seem like you are the typical target for bullies. What sort of bullying have you experienced and how did you deal with it?

Everyone is an easy target for bullies, no matter how extreme or subtle that harassment may be. Some bullying is quiet, such as the eyes that roll when you wear your favorite glitter sneakers to school, or when you’re squished at the end of the lunch table because no one wants to make room and include you. I have been made fun of my fashion sense for many years now; people tell me that my style is too “out there,” or bluntly state “What are you wearing?” in the school hallway.

I have learned that my style is my superpower, which turned into the slogan for my style empowerment blog, Carrie’s Chronicles. The goal of the website to empower others to embrace their individuality through fashion, beauty, fitness, food, etc. Being different is what makes you beautiful, so own who you are!

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What do you think is the difference between bullying and just plain criticism – which we are all subject to and is a normal part of existing?

Constructive criticism is when others make recommendations that are genuinely out of concern for your best interest and are meant to lift you up. For example, when someone points out that you have chocolate smudged all over your face or that you have toiled paper stuck to your shoe. Bullying, however, makes you feel broken and belittled. Girls at my ballet school used to tell me that I was not talented or pretty enough instead of giving me constructive ways to improve my skills. That’s the difference.

What tips can you give to other teens out there who are being bullied?

It gets better. Don’t let bullies bring you down. They strike solely out of self-hatred and insecurity—it’s not your fault. As soon as you’re being bullied, don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted adult and tell them what’s going on. You’re not a tattletale, you’re simply being smart. As a teen ambassador for No Bully, I am currently helping encourage tweens and teens to practice empathy and respect each other. The more we become aware of the issue, the closer we’ll be to a bully-free world.

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

I love boxing! I’ve done ballet for 14 years, and boxing allows me to break my perfect dance alignment and release stress.

Biggest pet peeve (apart from bullying in America)?

People who are ungrateful for their circumstances. My mom has taught me to stay humble and always be thankful for the opportunities I’m given. Those who forget to stay grounded are not truly worthy of success in my opinion.

Secret obsession?

I love watching One Tree Hill! I’m such a fan girl…lol.

Favorite food?

Sushi.

Favorite song ever?

“Breathe” from In the Heights.

One thing I always carry in my purse _______________.

Are Ice Breaker Mints.

Most embarrassing moment IRL you wish you could do over?

I’ve dropped my clutch on the floor at so many fashion events, I can’t count. I’ve got to be less clumsy, although my mom tells me that they are total Carrie Bradshaw moments.

What else are you working on or have coming up?

In addition to my new Ask Emma book coming out in January, I am redesigning the Carrie’s Chronicles website this December for its one-year anniversary! But overall, I want to continue to use my writing as a platform to spread positivity and empower others. Whenever you’re feeling down, remember this: You are unique. You are beautiful. You are enough. I believe in you.

Could we get a selfie?

bullying in america carrie berk activist

Instagram: @carrieberkk 
Website: https://www.carrieberk.com
Blog: http://www.carrieschronicles.com
To Purchase Carrie’s Books: Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com and at bookstores nationwide.

Confessions of a Teenage Meme Queen

Funny memes make our day. These mini works of art, in a million categories from #PSAT memes to Pepe to moths and made by taking bits and pieces of our culture (mostly screenshots of copyrighted stuff) and slapping the perfect caption on them, capture how we feel about life at any given moment better than just about any other form of communication. Funny memes are also big business, with many meme account admins on Instagram and Twitter making decent livings by promoting brands alongside their viral posts.

We wanted to find out what makes a meme account tick, so we reached out to a rising Instagram funny memes account owner about how she got started and some tricks of the trade.  Meet Caissy, a 16-year-old highschooler who runs the @caissyspams account on Instagram.

Hi Caissy! Nice to e-meet you! We literally wanted to interview you simply because we follow your account and you got good taste in memes. So with that out of the way, tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Caissy Chase. I’ll be sixteen in a few days and I’m from Florida.

Why did you start the @CaissySpams account?

I started my account three years ago because all of my friends had a spam account and I felt the need to make one as well. That’s where I got the username from because it was originally a spam account that then turned into a meme page.

Your main account has about 1,000 followers…yet your meme acct has almost 17,000. How did you grow your followers—or did it just kind happen? (like did you use hashtags strategically or anything like that?)

It honestly kind of just happened. I never used hashtags and the only people I asked for shoutouts were my friends when I was first starting the transition into a meme page. I haven’t spent money on the account to grow it, it’s just posting the right stuff at the right time and hoping they do well.

Do you ever create your own funny memes, or do you always post from other sites? 

I usually just repost from other accounts because I’m not the most creative person and I don’t have the time unless an idea pops in my head and I’ll make it into a meme.

What is your personal favorite meme you have posted ever?

My personal favorite meme at the moment is probably the moth meme. I don’t really have a reason I just find them funny.

Do a lot of people at your school follow you? (on Instagram, I don’t mean around the hall or down the street)

A lot of people from school do follow me, that’s basically how the account started.

Which meme on your acct has gone the most viral/most likes, and why do you think so?

The meme that went the most viral was the one linked below. It reached over a million people with almost 90,000 likes, 720 comments and 27,500 saves.

Have you ever had to remove a post because somebody got offended or complained?

When someone does get offended, depending on how bad of a backlash I get or how much it offends them, I will usually just turn off the comments but I have had incidents where I’ve taken stuff down. Once, out of the three years of having this account, a post has been reported and taken down.

You post a lot…how much time would you say you spend doing this on a daily basis?

I do post a lot, I have a friend who helps me by sending me memes every day which is @crispy.riley. I feel like she deserves some credit too because it’s not just me making it happen. I would say that I do spend 2+ hours a day going through posts, posting, reading comments and such.

Are you looking to turn this into a business, or do you just do it for fun?

As of right now it’s just for fun, but I would like to start promotions for small businesses in the future.

What are your long term goals for the account?

My long term goals for the account are to keep it how it is and never change how it’s ran. I would also like to have 50K followers but that’s a lot to ask so we will just see what the future holds.

If you had to break it down, what do you think is the trick for a good meme? Like does including a cat make it funnier…or what’s the secret sauce?

In my opinion the trick for a good meme that will do well when you post it, is to post what’s popular. See what everyone else is posting but also post what you think is funny because there’s no fun in just posting what everyone else is. Uniqueness is always a good quality to have when posting or making memes.

What do you do besides share funny memes…any other talents? : )

I don’t really have any talents but I do show and work with pigs from September to January and then the rest of the year is school and running the account.

What other accounts do you recommend people follow for good memes?

@pablopiqasso
@memezar
@deadroses.spam
@puncrastination

Caissy rarely shows her face on her funny memes account, but here she is!

confessions of a teenage meme queen selfie

D’Ambrosio Twins Interview and Twin Telepathy Challenge

bianca & chiara d'ambrosio twins

J Money Kix (@official_JMoneyKix) gets to know Bianca and Chiara D’Ambrosio, best known as the D’Ambrosio twins (@dambrosiotwins), and then puts them through TWO twin challenges — the Twin Telepathy Challenge and How Well Do You Know Me Challenge. Do you think the girls are psychic or not?

13 Year Old Twins Bianca and Chiara D’Ambrosio’s new projects:

  • “Day In The Life” YouTube series
  • Collaboration on the Brooklyn and Bailey’s ‘Squared’ YouTube channel for twins,
  • Starring roles in the TigerBeat TV original series “Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm” (starring alongside Hayden Summerall, Madison Hu, Brooke Butler, etc.).

Check out TigerBeat’s exclusive BTS look at “Sage Alexander: The Dark Realm” here

Watch Bianca & Chiara’s “Young and Free” Music Video

(Feat. Hayden Summerall / Co-written by Marko DeSantis of Sugarcult)

Bianca and Chiara began acting at just 3-years-old, with their breakout role as Summer Newman on The Young and the Restless (CBS). They continued with Feeding Mr. Baldwin (2013), and then a role opposite renowned actor Ray Wise in Reflections (2014). They have also made appearances in Nickelodeon’s Game Shakers and ABC Family’s Freak Out, as well as Nickelodeon’s Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn (2018).

Musically, the D’Ambrosio Twins starred in Bon Jovi’s music video “What Do You Got” and have also released their own music videos plus an album of cover songs called “Got You Covered” with somgs by The Ramones, Twenty One Pilots, Weezer, The Clash, and Bay City Rollers.

Listen to Bianca & Chiara’s “Got You Covered” Album here

The D’Ambrosio Twins are also passionate about animals and anti-bullying, being Youth Ambassadors for the Boo2Bullying Organization and even releasing a song around this issue called “Let Your Light Shine.” The accompanying music video was screened in over 30 international film festivals and garnered them a Gracie Award win.

Follow the D’Ambrosio Twins:
https://www.instagram.com/dambrosiotwins
https://twitter.com/Dambrosiotwins
https://www.facebook.com/BiancaAndChiaraDambrosio/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnOqSsxgfWypQ0I3Ms4O4SA
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3090925/
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3090922/

Follow J Money Kix (Jaydyn Price):
https://www.instagram.com/official_jmoneyxix
https://twitter.com/jmoneykix
https://www.facebook.com/jmoneykix/
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9362748/

Follow Teens Wanna Know:
http://instagram.com/teenswannaknow
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bianca & chiara D'Ambrosio Twins