BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Demetria McKinney shows her talents in three projects

Demetria McKinney is having one of those streaks entertainers dream of. The singer/songwriter/actress has three projects being unveiled this weekend that showcase her many talents.

Up first is the release of “Officially Yours” on the eONe label. The album, executive-produced by McKinney, award-winning artist, producer and personality Kandi Burruss and industry powerhouse/beau Roger Bobb, has already spawned a hit single, “Easy” and the sure shot track “No No No.”

Additionally, McKinney will star in actor/director Mario Van Peebles‘ new supernatural SyFy series “Superstition,” with his daughter Morgana Van Peebles and Robinne Lee (“Til Death Do Us Part”), premiering Oct. 6.

She also portrays the late music legend Whitney Houston in TV One’s biopic “Bobbi Kristina,” starring Joy Rovaris as the only child of Houston and singer Bobby Brown, which is scheduled to premiere on the network Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.

McKinney is widely known for her role as Janine Payne on the hit TBS sitcom “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” which has taped more than 250 episodes and received five NAACP Image Awards for Best Sitcom, now airing on syndication on BET. She will revive the character in the new Tyler Perry show The Paynes, debuting on OWN in 2018.

With recurring parts on Bounce TV’s breakout hit “Saints & Sinners,” and BET’s “The Quad,” the beauty has quietly become one of the hardest working triple threats in the biz.

IRIE: The 40th anniversary of one of Bob Marley’s landmark albums will be celebrated with Exodus 40 Live, an all-star concert event set to take place Nov. 1 at the Orpheum Theatre. Music director Don Was will be joined by Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, Tom Morello, Gary Clark Jr., Jim James, Citizen Cope, Aloe Blacc, Cyril Neville and Terence Higgins, with additional artists to be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets are now on sale via Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster locations, at (800) 745-3000, or at the Orpheum box office.

CLASSIC SPINS: The centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birthday has been celebrated throughout this year and is culminated with the release of “Someone To Watch Over Me,” featuring digitally remastered vocal tracks from Ella’s original Decca and Verve recordings paired with newly orchestrated and arranged performances by the London Symphony Orchestra. Among the highlights: Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter duets with Ella on the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, “People Will Say We’re In Love” from the Broadway musical “Oklahoma;” and the beloved duets with Louis Armstrong.

On “Johnny Mathis Sings The Great New American Songbook,” the legendary vocalist tackles 11 current songs with his indelible touch. Among the songs produced by Grammy winning music greats Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and Clive Davis, are Adele’s “Hello,” Pharrell’s “Happy,” Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are,” and “Run To You” (featuring Kenny G), originally recorded by Whitney Houston.

INDIE WATCH: A whimsical look at marijuana culture yesterday and today is presented in Peter Spirer’s documentary “The Legend of 420,” available on VOD and iTunes and opening in theatres Oct. 6. Famed talking heads Tommy Chong, W. Earl Brown, Henry Rollins, Michael Del Barres, Melissa Etheridge and various experts provide amusing testimonials and scientific info on the herb. Did you know about the cocoa connection? You’ll never look at that confection the same again.

CLIPPETTES: Maxwell with Raphael Saddiq and Jazmine Sullivan bring the hits to the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 6; while Jeffrey Osborne woo woo woos with Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers at the Newport Beach Hyatt Regency

Lupita Nyong’o is rumored to be joining Kristen Stewart as two of “Charlie’s Angels” in a movie reboot

Jazz at Drew is set for Oct. 7 with Earth, Wind & Fire, Sheila E, Kamasi Washington & the West Coast Get Down, Eloise Laws and others on campus. Later that evening, Raekwon headlines Panic in L.A. at the Globe and Sean Kuti & Egypt 80 are at the Novo DTLA

LisaGay Hamilton (“House of Cards”) has landed the part of Condoleezza Rice in “Backseat,” a Dick Cheney biopic

Leon Sylvers III, Dom Kennedy and Matt Martians are representing three generations of L.A. musicians at Glydezone on Oct. 10 as part of the Red Bull Music Academy Festival

Rising soul singer Phillip Brandon will headline Soulful Cabaret (with Elijah Rock) in support of his debut album, “The Story Begins” on Oct. 12 at the Colony Theatre.

TC ON TV: Oct. 6 – “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” (Netflix): This documentary looks for the truth behind the mysterious 1992 death of the black transgender activist and Stonewall veteran. “Harry” (Syn): Queen Latifah, Ledisi “The Real” (Syn): Idris Elba, guest co-host Keyshia Cole. “Broke and Famous” (Reelz): TLC “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Taraji P. Henson, Desus & Mero, Miley Cyrus.

Oct. 8 – “Startalk” (NGC): Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Oct. 10 – “Live with Kelly & Ryan” (ABC): Tracee Ellis Ross, Jackie Chan “2017 Hip Hop Awards” (BET): DJ Khaled will host performers T.I., Travis Scott, Gucci Mane, Lecrae, Young M.A, Dead Prez and more.

Oct. 11 – “Ellen” (Syn): Sean “Diddy” Combs, French Montana, Gina Rodriguez “Empire” (Fox): Teyonah Parris (“Survivor’s Remorse”) joins the cast in this episode featuring more flashbacks from Cookie’s jail house years. “The Story of Us” (NGC): Morgan Freeman presents more answers in this spinoff of his popular series “The Story of God.”

Oct. 12 – “The Comedy Get Down” (BET): A behind-the-scenes scripted series following tour mates George Lopez, DL Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin and the late Charlie Murphy.

TASTY QUIP: “Praying for the cities after the fact is great but what we really need to be praying for is gun control.” – CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD on Twitter

 

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to tastyclips@yahoo.com or via Twitter @tastyclips.

HEALTH MATTERS: The Falicia Blakely story is about power and control

Making her directorial debut, actress and acting coach Tasha Smith gives audiences a “fly-on-the-wall” perspective into the tragic journey of Falicia Blakely from exotic dancer to mother and finally a convicted murderer.

The true story feature film strikes an all-too familiar chord as it graphically illustrates the power and control wheel pattern, intent and impact of domestic violence.

It struck a chord with Smith in a direct way.

“When I was 14, I dropped out of school,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know that. By the age of 16, I was bartending in a strip club, by the age of 20 I was stripping. … So I understand how Falicia got there.

“By the grace of God, I ended up here, but Falicia ended up in jail for the rest of her life.”

Studies report that females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence. Blakely was an under-aged exotic dancer with a young child when she met Dino, who would later become her manipulating boyfriend and the reason for her downfall.

Within two years of the start of their relationship, Dino’s power and control over her life led her to sex work, robbery, and the murder of three men (one of the victims played by boxing champion Floyd Mayweather) in cold blood for the sake of her delusional love for him.

In 2002, Blakely, 19, was arrested in Georgia and her crimes made national headlines.

The National Domestic Abuse Hotline outlines a number of abuse tactics used against sex workers, such as taking a percentage, cut or withholding the survivor’s earnings from sex work, punishing them for not earning enough, or denying them the right to use the money they earn as they choose, all of which are forms of financial abuse; sexual coercion based on the survivor’s employment; denying them needed medical care, including sexually transmitted disease testing, access to birth control, abortion or prenatal care; and minimizing their feelings about a negative experience in their work or blaming them for abuse they’ve faced from clients.

In the chapter, “Pimp Subjugation of Women by Mind Control,” by co-authors Harvey Schwartz, Jody Williams, and Melissa Farley from “Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada: Making the Connections,” there are three references to a style of pimping and mind-controlling techniques.

One style in particular is called the Bait-Switch-Hook pimp or a “gorilla pimp” in the sex industry who is a violent, take-no-prisoners type of pimp. They target young women who are below average intelligence, who lack education and most importantly, who lack fathers.

The power and control wheel was developed in the early 1980s by Ellen Pence, Michael Paymar and Coral McDonald in Duluth, Minnesota, to address the battered women’s movement. The wheel has been translated into at least 40 languages worldwide. Source: The Duluth Model

One of the mind-control techniques used by this type of pimp is called “future story-building.” The pimp talks about how great life could be together and how they’ll use the money they make from this horrible life and put it to good use in the future. The pimp has previously extracted from her what she most wants and he feeds that dream back to her as something that is truly possible through prostitution. In the TV One movie, the technique is used by Dino’s character, played by actor Lance Gross.

“The interlocking systems of drugs, prostitution, mind control and economic exploitation of those trapped in prostitution are mind-boggling,” said Farley, a research and clinical psychologist who has written 32 peer-reviewed articles on prostitution and trafficking and two books. “One snapshot alone can be deceiving.

“Only by taking a panoramic view of its entirety can the public become educated about this system of modern-day sexual slavery.”

Farley says the mental domination and control is still misunderstood or not known at all, even by people in mental health and law enforcement.

The Prostitution Research & Education, a nonprofit, was founded in 1995 by Farley. Thousands of researchers, legislators, survivors, activists and advocates in the U.S. and around the world have turned to PRE for carefully researched facts about trafficking and prostitution.

To drive the important message home about safety and awareness for girls and young women, TV One partnered with Saving Our Daughters, an organization that helps girls overcome many obstacles such as bullying (cyber, gossip, face-to-face), dating abuse, domestic violence and other esteem slayers.

“This film is a cautionary tale about everything love shouldn’t be in our communities,” says TV One Senior Vice President of Marketing Lori Hall. “We want this film to be a wake-up call for young people and families and we hope it will start a lot of dialogue in homes around the country.”

“We look forward to the positive impact on working together to encourage and change the girls’ lives we serve,” said Saving Our Daughters Co-Founder amd Chief Executive Officer Curtis Benjamin. “TV One’s original movie cast, directors and producers of ‘When Love Kills’ have truly developed a tool for our girls to help create empowering conversations about date abuse, domestic violence and healthy mother and daughter relationships.”

Since 2009, Benjamin and his wife Debbie made it their mission to empower girls of multicultural backgrounds through film, television, theater and music in the memory of their youngest daughter Iliss Marie, who lost her battle with cancer at 12.

“Research shows that helping victims of date and sexual abuse and trauma is rooted in helping them to regain control over their bodies and then their minds,” said Dr. Alduan Tartt, a clinical psychologist and Saving Our Daughters life coach. “Researchers and therapist previously would simply focus on talk therapy with the belief that unlocking the mind would then unlock the body. In essence, if we deal with the emotional trauma mentally then victims could release the physical symptoms in their bodies.”

Tartt added: “Now we know that the link is actually reversed. This means that the body unlocks the mind. So therapists are now encouraged to refer all trauma victims to yoga, music and the arts to help the victims regain control over their physical body (since the body was violated by the abuser) which then helps therapy be more effective.”

Tartt also serves as a frequent psychology expert for CNN, HLN, and Intelligence For Your Life.

The top seven interventions that, according to research and Safe Horizon, help end domestic violence are: domestic violence shelters, orders of protection (restraining orders), advocacy, legal representation and advocacy, hotlines, counseling and economic Empowerment.

Along with the implementation of the afore-mentioned interventions, Safe Horizon provides other safety and healing options. The agency believes that helping survivors make their own choices enables them to feel empowered and more likely to follow-through with their better decisions.

In 2016, the National Domestic Violence Hotline and its Love is Respect project for teens and young adults responded to 323,669 calls, chats and texts.

“The goal is not to glorify or make light of the heinous crimes that Falicia committed for the sake of love, but to shed light on why she did it,” said Leah Daniels Butler, the casting director for “When Love Kills.” “Her desperation to want to be loved so badly, that she would do anything to keep it, not without conscience but because she had never been shown love before.”

The award-winning Butler is known for casting big budget studio films and launching the career of stars like Gaborey Sidebe, star of the Academy Award winning film “Precious,” did not want to cast in a traditional way.

“I was attracted to the script and did my own research on the real Falicia Blakely,” she said. “When casting a biopic, I like to learn as much about the real subject matters so I can get a better a sense of who I think can play the roles.”

Admittedly, casting Facilia or the role of her absentee mother were not easy tasks and the producers needed a little push to see Butler’s vision.

A New Way of Life Re-entry Project will host the fifth annual Justice on Trial Film Festival and open the three-day festival with a red carpet screening of TVOne’s “When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story” and panel discussion on Sept. 15 at Loyola Marymount University. Image Design: Ken Jones

“I want somebody to look at my situation,” Blakely told journalist Mara Shalhoup in 2004. “I’m 20. And, according to many, I’m never going to touch ground again. And I’m infected with a virus, which of course means I probably will live half of my years.

“People are looking at me like I’m just apathetic. I don’t have no heart, no feelings, and I didn’t have a motive. And that’s not true. And I don’t want it to go down in history that that’s the type of person I am. I don’t want people to think that I’m just evil.”

Today, Blakely who is serving a life sentence without a possibility of parole, is 33 years old and HIV positive. Her child is 16 years old.

If Blakely had known about a life-saving, round-the-clock hotline, she may not have ended up in a prison cell for life. The “love of her life” was never prosecuted for his crimes against Blakely or his role in ordering the killings.

Currently, Michael “Dino” Berry is serving time at the Georgia State prison for possession charges. He is approximately 47 years old.

A New Way of Life Re-entry Project founder Susan Burton, Loyola Marymount University, and TV One will host the fifth annual Justice on Trial Film Festival and open the three-day festival with a red carpet screening of TV One’s “When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story,” followed by a panel discussion on Sept. 15 at Loyola Marymount.

For more information, go to www.justiceontrialfilmfestival.net.

Resources:

Abuse and Relationships – www.abuseandrelationships.org

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence – www.cpedv.org

Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs – www.theduluthmodel.org

Jenesse Center, Inc. – www.jenesse.org

Justice on Trial Film Festival – www.justiceontrialfilmfestival.net

National Center on Domestic & Sexual Violence – www.ncdsv.org

National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence – www.dvalianza.org

The Prostitution Research & Education – www.prostitutionresearch.com

Safe Horizon – www.safehorizon.org

Saving Our Daughters – www.savingourdaughters.org

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – www.ncadv.org

The National Domestic Violence Hotline – www.thehotline.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Dr. Alduan Tartt – www.drtartt.com

TV One – www.tvone.tv

 

Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA, a public relations consultant, is the owner of Platinum Star PR and can be reached on Twitter @PlatinumStar or Instagram @PlatinumStarPR. Send “Health Matters” related questions to healthmatters@wavepublication.com and look for her column in The Wave.

 

SIMPLY JESSICA: Teen actor hosts Toys for Tots drive

Diallo Thompson loves Christmas. It is one of his favorite holidays.

He jumped at the chance to make a movie about Christmas. His latest film, “Christmas Swap,” just aired on TV One.

It is the story of a down-on-his-luck single father who begins to question his decision to give up his dreams to take care of his ailing mother. A Christmas miracle gives him a glimpse of what his life would have been like if he had made a different choice.

Another way Thompson is showing his Christmas spirit is by partnering with Art 8 Productions to host a toy drive with the children at the ActingUp! Acting Agency.

Students will act as Santa’s helpers collecting toys for less fortunate children. Thompson will answer questions about how to be a professional as a kid and the importance of giving back.

“I am extremely excited about the Toys for Tots toy drive with the students at ActingUp,” Thompson said. “Toys for Tots’ message of hope can be passed from generation to generation and that’s what I am aiming to do.”

Thompson wants to spread the message of believing in yourself and following your dreams no matter your circumstances.

His goal is to donate 100 toys to the program. The U. S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots Program collects unwrapped toys during the holidays as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children.

Be yourself! I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com