Interview with super producer “Focus…”

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Whats good Focus…! How is everything in the music production world?

– It’s been amazing! With the release of “Compton”, everything has been incredible…

I always like to ask, what would you say to a stranger if they came up to you and asked “What do you do?”

– I’d say that I do my best to make the people around me stronger and happier. I’m corny, I know…

I know it may sound “cliche”, but what was that real MOMENT in your life where you said, “Damn I gotta do music, there is nothing else I want to do!”?

- I knew I wanted to be a music producer from the age of 8. My father was in the music business and I idolized my father. I wanted to be just like him. I never put a B plan in place so I had to make this music career of mine work…

I have read a lot about you and your career as a producer. You have worked with R&B artists and hip-hop artists that people would dream to work with! Knowing that R&B and Hip-Hop are two different styles of music, how do you approach working with these different types?

- It’s funny. Music is music! Your approach is what dictates the outcome. Listening to a Drake track, or a Kendrick Lamar track, without the vocals, you would swear you were listening to R&B. I never approach one or the other differently. I just make music and present myself to whomever it is I will have the honor of working with…

Tell me more about career? How long have you been in the game? How big of an influence was your father, Bernard Edwards founder of the legendary “Chic”? What have been your biggest accomplishments? Biggest setbacks? How did you overcome them?

- I have been professional since 1991 so that’s 24 years, if i’m not mistaken. My father was the reason I busted my behind in my career. I always wanted to show him that my music was good and my main goal at the time was to get an ‘I’m proud of you, son’ from my father. I never had the chance to show him due to his passing in 1996 but, he was and STILL IS the drive behind my work ethic. My biggest accomplishments are regaining a relationship with Jehovah, 5 years of blissful marriage, 5 beautiful children, and somewhere in between all of that, I’ve won 2 Grammies, an ASCAP award and have been on 35-38million records sold worldwide. My setbacks were needed. I left the game in 2008 to get my life in order spiritually, mentally and physically. I lost a lot of momentum and that did hurt my career but me and my wife got very close during that time, I got to watch my kids grow up and be a present father instead of a Skype dad or a hangout pops, and I found peace of mind. I overcame everything through faith and prayer. My wife and my bro, Tyhiem Cannon, were my biggest support, throughout, as well as my management team, iStandard…

You just produced and mixed on Dr. Dre’s critically acclaimed “Compton” album. I know that you were apart of Aftermath in the early 2000’s then you left to do your own thing, how did it feel to re-unite with Dr. Dre and work on such a needed album for the hip-hop culture? Can you take us through the creative working process for “Compton”?

- This has been nothing short of incredible! Dre gave me the chance to work with him instead of for him and that is the greatest experience in itself. I never really hung around Dre. I would go in to the studio and cook up, then bring him what I worked on. Our interactions were short and sweet. This go-round, I have had the honor of being present throughout the entire process and I have got to say, this was way more rewarding than the way we worked prior. Dre put together an infallible team and gave me a spot in that team. I never collaborated in my career so that was a challenge but the guys I work with are amazing. Trevor Lawrence, Jr., Eric “Blu2th” Griggs, Theron Feemster, Curt Chambers, Andre Brissett, Sly Jordan, Cardiak and Dem Jointz really showed me the up-side of collaborating. Each song was a different process but, they all pretty much started out as jam sessions. Tyhiem (Aftermath’s A&R) brought in a lot of music that was undeniable so we would build on those as well, under Dre’s direction…

I know that all of the greats have a constant thirst for success and like Bruce Lee said, “If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” I have to ask, (because you have reached many plateaus) What is next for you?

- I am happy making music. I am here for mentoring, teaching and showing the new comer how to exist in this climate as regards to the music industry. I no longer want to be a label owner and I don’t see myself throwing my face out there too much longer. I spoke to my team and I may start branding myself as a mixer for future projects. I will definitely keep working for Dre as long as he will have me there…

We have a saying here, “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you have and are doing with your production career?

– It means EVERYTHING! I really sacrificed a lot to get where I am. Some of the sacrifices were necessary, some were not. I am learning from my past and doing my best to stop the regret regarding who I was. I was a knucklehead but it all got me here…

How can we find out more about you and your production online? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Website?

- I have a website in the works, www.focus3dots.com. My Instagram is my most active social network, @focus3dotz and that goes through my twitter @focus3dots. I house my music either on my Bandcamp page, focus.bandcamp.com or my Beatstars page, www.beatstars.com/focus … No Facebook…

Are there any last words of wisdom or advice?

- Each situation is different so me saying one thing may not be the one thing needed to say. If anyone wants advice or guidance, hit me anytime on those social networks and let’s build… SALUTE

Focus…
twitter : focus3dots
instagram : focus3dotz
www.focus3dots.com
“Sound without Focus… is just Noise!”

Interview with the ultimate creative business man – Troy Pryor

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How is everything in the business world?
The entertainment business is always a roller coaster, but staying true to who you are and focused on your goal will keep you on the right track.

Ok, I always like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do?”
I make your life easier, whether I’m in front of the camera or behind. I’m an actor, producer, exec, and thought provoker.

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What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Boredom. I got tired of waiting for other people to give me a chance and the novelty of what was coming my way began wearing off.

Tell me more about your career? How long have you been in the game? What have been your biggest accomplishments? Biggest setbacks? How did you overcome them?
I’ve been at it for about 8 years, started with print and runway, to stage and TV/Film, now producing, writing, and directing. My biggest accomplishment would be not quitting and discovering what I actually wanted. If you don’t love what you do, you’ll end up quitting at some point. Everything else seems to fall in place when you commit and surround yourself with the right energy. The biggest set back was not taking charge earlier in my career. I reached a point when I realized and I didn’t have to right people in my corner and missed out some great opportunities.

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You founded Creative Cypher, can you tell us more about it? What inspired its creation?
I was blessed to be on both sides or the camera, and I would network like a monster until I became the person with the connections. Eventually people began coming to me, so I created an infrastructure to support those networking opportunities. We produce live experiences that attract the most talented people around and quite naturally like minded people begin to attract one another. We then provide guidance so the potential projects are properly developed for production and distribution. We have other companies for the later.

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You have an event, #CYPHERLIVE – which has been desciribed as late night meets “Def Comedy/Poetry Jam”! That sounds quite interesting, tell us more Troy!
Yes, we do this every other month with our partners Blue 1647, an amazing tech incubator in Chicago, which is now expanding into other markets! Our goal here is to provide a platform for filmmakers to showscase and pitch their projects but we also incorporate, comedy, spoken word, live music, and special guest interviews. We attract the people we want to work with and lay the path for collaboration. Our last event’s special guest was Golden Globe winning actress, Regina Talyor and on August 8th we’ll have Oscar and Grammy winning song writer, Che, “Ryhmefest” Smith. We just did another event with Che and Sway Calloway 2 days ago.

Who are some of the other creatives that you have worked with?
I’ve been on several covers and ads , so tons of amazing photographers. The first project I ever worked was with Tyler Perry. A lot of great ad agencies for commercials and my last role was on NBC’s Chicago Fire.

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Can you tell us about new projects that you are working on?
Some of them…lol. I’ve got a film called “Intersection” heading to Puerto Rico next week. It’s been screening around the country for the past year. We’ve got another show up for a 13 episodes deal, 3 films in post and 6 in pre-production, in addition to the live events….so not too much going on.

We have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your company?
“Man know thyself” You have to know who you are, what you want, and your worth. Then execute a game plan to achieve those goals. That’s what we do.

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How can we find out more about you and your pursuits online? Facebook? Twitter? Website?

www.troypryor.com
@troyopryor
@creativecypher

Are there any last words of wisdom or advice that you have for our readers?
Nope…I’m still trying to figure it out myself. lol

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Interview with photographer Dino Black

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Whats good Dino! How is everything in the photography world? 
Every day is truly a blessing. I am so thankful for what I have accomplished. It’s really an indescribable feeling, I mean there’s not a second that goes by where something does not remind me of creation. I see potential in so many things. Ideas are constantly running through my head. It’s an unbelievable feeling. There is and will always be inspiration. I’m always filled with ideas and passion. I mean the passion and confidence is constantly and most definitely always oozing through my ears, through my nose and out of my eyes. But hey, it comes with the territory.

Ok, I always like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do?” 
If someone were to come to me and ask “what do you do?” I would say.. I live life, I have fun, I stay humble, I work hard, and I create. I love it because each small thing for the most part has a powerful meaning below its surface.

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What inspired you to become a photographer?
The thing that inspired me to become a photographer… totally when I was a kid, I was toying around with my father’s polaroid camera. And said to myself, wow, not bad, pretty cool. That was when I was around the age or 5 or 6. But seeing the photo made me so happy. It made me so happy that I kept taking photographs from the Polaroid camera. But no one told me that the camera stopped spitting out photos after a little while. I was so confused and baffled. But it was all great!

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Tell me more about career? How long have you been in the game? What have been your biggest accomplishments? Biggest setbacks? How did you overcome them?
Ever since I was a small child I’ve always had an interest with cameras. I really got into photography and found it even more amusing when I took my first photo class. And I took another class and another class. Before I knew it, I had my own business.  I’d say one of my biggest accomplishments was before I went to college. I was in the advanced placement studios arts course in high school (Marquette University High School). And I was really happy with what I shooting and creating. At the end of the course I had to submit a portfolio to a board of judges and I ended up getting a perfect score. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but it is definitely something that was attainable for me. It was a confidence booster, and it helped make a major difference in my style of artwork today. Another huge experience I had was in 2014. I took a trip down to where my father and his huge family were from; the historic state of Arkansas. I mean it truly was an eye opening experience. Going down there and seeing where part of my family came from was such an eye opening experience. I was able to really understand the meaning of poverty. There was nothing there, remnants of what was, and what had been. Seeing what I saw made me appreciate life so much more, and I’m already a really humble and appreciative person.  This was a major turning point for me in my life. Seeing Arkansas made me even more ambitious and even more humble about all that I have been blessed with in this beautiful thing called life. It was such an overwhelming feeling that I went through very high and low points. I was grateful, yet very depressed. It was a lot to take in. But over time I became stronger and more passionate from the experience. I’ve been through some pretty hard time, but one in particular was when I got my first DSLR camera and I broke it. I don’t know how it happened, but I learned a valuable lesson. It was a tough period because I didn’t have the camera that I needed or wanted for a while. I was a spiritual test and journey for me. It acquired me to do soul searching. It made me realize that if you take things for granted and are not responsible, undesirable things can happen. So ever since then, I’ve tried to be even more careful with everything, even myself. Tough times do not last, the person who has the will powerful and faith does though. I’ve always kept this in mind, because it’s so true.

What would you describe your style as? In your words.
If I were to describe my style, I would say that it’s very humble and sophisticated, elegant and edgy, but it’s all about perception really. It’s open for interpretation though always is, always will be. I leave that kind of thing for those who follow me, and view me.

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You shoot very interesting images with men and women. In my opinion, you are One of the few male photographers who can shoot them with an eye for fashion and with an appeal for women as well. How do you approach shooting men vs. women?
When I photograph men and women, it’s simple. I just go with my gut feeling, my brain does the rest, along with my fingers and eyes as well I suppose. Going with what feels right is truly something magical. I see beauty in men and women, because essentially in they are in front of my camera, they become a piece of artwork. To me, art is so many things. I don’t approach men or women differently; it’s essentially based upon the individual in particular because everyone is different.

We have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your photography?
In my business and in my personal life, doing what I desire it so important. Doing what feels right is important to me. Being an intuitive spiritual being, I follow my heart and my passion. I make decisions based on what is best. “Best” to me, is a multitude of things. But a few prevalent things are being humble, happy, and humorous, coinciding with ethics.  Because in reality, you have to be the best you can be and do what truly makes you happy.

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How can we find out more about you and your photography online? Facebook? Twitter? Website?
I have work on Instagram, my page is DinoBlackStudios, and my Facebook is Dino Black.

Are there any last words of wisdom or advice? 
My advice to anyone everyone is, be positive, be happy, surround yourself with uplifting and positive people who genuinely support you.

Pete Mac and Guys

Interview with hip-hop artist Dizzy!

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Whats good Dizzy! How is everything in the music world? 
Everything is good. Busy but good.

Ok, I always like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do?” 
I would tell them I make music.

What inspired you to become a artist?
Honestly when I first tried writing out lyrics, I had no intention of being a rapper or an artist. What motivated me to continue was the people around me who told me I was good at it. So, I continued to write raps and piece together songs for a while. However, it was when I started to take my life experiences, my pains and joys, and speak out on them through song…thats when I became an artist. So I guess what inspired me to be an artist was life and loving the fact that I had my music to help me through it.

Tell me more about career? How long have you been in the game? What have been your biggest accomplishments? Biggest setbacks? How did you overcome them?
I’ve been writing for about 10 years now. I’ve been really dialed in on being an artist though for probably the last 7 of those. My biggest accomplishments would have to include: Touring with Krayzie and Wish Bone (BTNH), Dogg Pound and Big Heff (Def Jam), recording songs with Ace Hood, Krayzie Bone, Kurupt and Kevin Cossom, appearing on AllHipHop.comTheSource.comJackThriller.com and other serious hip hop sites, shooting music videos in LA and Cleveland (and hopefully an upcoming one in New York), performing at SXSW and at a festival in Rotterdam (just south of Amsterdam) and the list goes on. I’ve been blessed man. My biggest setback is I’m not where I want to be yet – I’m working on it though.

Who are some of the artists and other producers that you have worked with?
Artists – Krayzie Bone, Ace Hood, Kurupt, Kevin Cossom, Caine, Digmata, Justina Valentine, Rome Angel, Cursive, Deuce Fantastick, and Young Tox to name a few.

Producers – White Hot Productions, Downtown Music, Diamondstyle Productions, The Cratez, PS Beats

Can you tell us about new projects that you are working on?
Yeah I’m currently working on a couple things. I’m currently in the process of dropping a single off of my upcoming mixtape Been Dizzy. It’ll be the first installment in the series and is hosted by my homie and Nerve Dj member Dj Grizz. We are hoping to drop the single in the next few weeks and the mixtape will be out early-mid August.

I’m also working on the next single off of my upcoming album Still Dizzy which should be out late August. The complete album is scheduled to drop late Fall. Still Dizzy will pick up where my last release U Feelin Dizzy Yet? left off. Its shaping up to be a very honest, polished and versatile project with crazy production and the best songs I’ve written to date.

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I saw that you have been on your with Bone Thugs, Tha Dog Pound Gang and more! You are also going to have a slot at SXSW and you will be touring with TY Dolla $ign! Can you tell about these experiences? What did you learn?
I learnt that you can never stop learning. As much as the game evolves and changes over time, there is so much you can learn from people who have done it before you. Also, networking! Networking is probably the 2nd most important thing to be doing with your time as an artist, aside from creating music. Straight up.

We have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your music?
I feel that I am an embodiment of that slogan. I left school to do this. Ive pushed off relationships to do this. I’ve held down countless meaningless jobs to do this. I’ve hustled and grinded to do this. I ventured the road less traveled to do what felt right and do what I desired to do.

How can we find out more about you and your music online? Facebook? Twitter? Website?
Website: www.itsdizzy.ca

Facebook: @itsdizzy1

Twitter: @itsdizzy1

IG: @dizzyboi780

Youtube: HeresDizzy

Soundcloud: soundclud.com/itsdizzy-1

Are there any last words of wisdom or advice? 
1.Never assume that just because you’re an artist you dont need to know certain aspects of this music business. Today’s artists have to be able to handle almost all aspects of their business.

2.Understand that you are a business, you are a brand. Don’t leave someone else in charge of representing your brand unless they see the same end product as you.

Amerikas Addiction – “P.DIDDY” DJ Twenty Three

Interview with artist Baby Bugsy

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What’s good Baby Bugsy! How is everything in the music world?
Everything is great, I just think its time for a break thru!

Ok, I always like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do?”

Wow! I wear many hats Im an artist, producer, ceo, and a barber

What inspired you to become a artist?

Just the love of all types of music.

Tell me more about your career how long have you been in the game?

It has been a alot of up’s and down’s but I have been rapping for about 20 years now

What are some of your biggest accomplishments?

Meeting DJ Whoo Kid and having a conversation with him on the set of his rewind dvd right before he really blew up!
Biggest setbacks and how did you overcome them?

My biggest setback was taking too much time off and I overcame it by learning that I need to stay consistent!

Who are some of the artist and producers that you have worked with?

I recently worked with Polyrob and OFB Yung of Cali swag District on my record “I Cant Change It”. Before that I did some work with with Bay Area Legend Black C of Rbl Posse and Moe tha Hustla of NOH Mafia.

 

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Can you tell us about any new projects that you are working on?

I’m going to release a mixtape called Bugsy Slaps Vol 1 first, then an album that I haven’t titled yet soon after!

We have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your music?

I desire to continue to work hard in the studio while staying in my own lane! I am going to incorporate some of the new styles of music out now with my own twist.

How can we find more about you and your music online Bugsy?

You can follow me on twitter @reptout5 on Instagram @babybugsy and FaceBook under Baby Bugsy Johnson Harper. You can also find my music and videos on You Tube, Sound Cloud, I-Tunes and everywhere music is sold online.

Any last words of wisdom or advice?

To everyone pursuing any kind of dream, don’t give up! Follow your dreams! Stay focused and REPTOUT!

Interview with Brew City Cigar Fest co-founder Beth Borst

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If a stranger came up to you with a Brew City Cigar Festival flier in their hand and asked you, “Why should I go to this”? What would you say?

Because it will become one of the best experiences of your life. Imagine an evening of pure fun and indulgence – where you’ll feast on great food, unlimited samples of whiskey, beer, wine and other spirits, enjoy live entertainment in a relaxed environment, smoke cigars and walk away with literally handfuls of premium cigars. Gorgeous cigar girls will cut and light your cigars. And the camaraderie with hundreds of men and women who enjoy cigars is unforgettable.

 

What inspired you to create The Brew City Cigar Festival?

It was pure impulse – and a little inspiration from Cigar Aficionado, the high-end magazine about the cigar lifestyle. CA hosts a large cigar event in Las Vegas and New York every year. I’ve been a faithful attendee for 10 years. One night in Vegas, 4 years ago, I decided that Milwaukee needed a big cigar event – and the rest is history.

 

Tell me more about The Brew City Cigar Festival! What is going to be there? Is this an event for only cigar aficionados? Or can newcomers learn something here to?

Imagine a big speakeasy with all the elements of music, lots of libations and food, mixed with a trade show of premium cigar manufacturers who are there to give you a free sample. We have about 50 companies offering drinks, food, cigars, cigar accessories and luxury items. We have over 15 cigar manufacturers who participate and love talking with cigar smokers. Center stage is a live band playing Rat Pack type music. A fan favorite is our cigar roller; you can watch Francis roll cigars at the event, which are available for sale. We limit the event to 600 people so we can provide a personal and relaxed environment. This is an event for newcomers to cigars AND aficionados. For newcomers, there are countless opportunities to learn about cigars (we even do demonstrations and pairings), and for aficionados, they can try cigars they’ve never tried before!

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Who are some of the cigar manufacturers who will be in attendance? Ar there any special guests or surprises?

We attract premium cigar companies that are the largest in the world like Monte Cristo, Romeo y Julietta, Padron, EPC, Ashton, Rocky Patel and Drew Estate as well as boutique cigar manufacturers like Kristoff and Villiger and even brand new cigar companies. We even have our local favorite brand called Pablo Martin who is in attendance. They are all high end premium cigar companies. The owner of Kristoff Cigars, Glen Case, one of my favorite cigars, is attending and we are working on a few other famous owners and family members that I can’t reveal quite yet.

 

I know that you donated a portion of the proceeds to charity and community organizations in the past, which I commend! Can you tell us more about the charity involved with The Brew City Cigar Festival?

We have an affinity for military and veterans’ causes; cigar smokers are typically very patriotic and generous. This year we’ve selected two great causes – The Fisher House Wisconsin who provides veterans and their families a place to stay when seeking medical treatment at the Milwaukee VA Hospital, and Camp Hometown Heroes, another local cause, who provides children of fallen soldiers a weeklong camp experience with other children who have experienced a similar loss. Coming together like this for a week helps them heal, get support and most important know that they are not alone.

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Can you tell us some of your cigar recommendations? How about any specific Cigar and Spirits pairings? Educate us!

I am going to be honest and maybe lose all my credibility. I love cigars – probably smoke three a week, and I love wine, whiskey and craft beer. I have no problem mixing my favorite drink with a good premium cigar. I am still in the stage of trying new combinations every week. I have my go-to cigars – especially love creamy smooth Connecticut wrapper cigars, but will try anything once. I haven’t found a drink and cigar pairing I didn’t like! At the event, we have pairings, demonstrations and Cigar 101 activities. I should probably sign up for one of them!!

 

We have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with the Brew City Cigar Festival?

OMG, I had an instant connection to you when I saw your motto #DWYD! That’s what cigar smoking cigars and BCCF is all about. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the moment alone or with others. Our motto is: Smoke. Drink. Eat. Play. Maybe I should add, DWYD. ☺

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How can we find out more about the Brew City Cigar Festival online? Facebook? Twitter? Website? And of course, how do we buy tickets?!

You can find us online at www.BrewCityCigarFestival.com. You can buy tickets online and sign up for our email program to stay updated about all the latest news about cigars and the event. Friend us on Facebook too at https://www.facebook.com/BrewCityCigarFestival Or if you prefer Twitter, you can find us at: https://twitter.com/brewcitycigars Are there any last words of wisdom that you may have learned while enjoying a good cigar that you’d like to share? Take time to smoke a cigar – life slows down and worries disappear quickly. Add your favorite drink and life becomes beautiful!

Beth on red carpet with cigar girls

Interview with RaceStart

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Good day Antonette! I always start off every interview with this question, If a stranger walked up to you and asked, “What Do You Do?”, what would you say?

I change lives…I make what once seemed impossible, possible.

 

Can you tell us how you got into Personal Training? What inspired you to follow this is as your passion?

Ever since I can remember I have been competing in sports and have kept a very busy schedule- Naturally this has had an effect. I was raised to never give 100%, but rather always give 110%.

When I graduated from college we were entering the recession. I can remember a time not so long ago that a job upon graduation was guaranteed- I quickly learned that there are no guarantees in life. I am a firm believer that if you work hard when you are young that your future will be successful.

I was in my senior year of college, taking 21 credits, working 3 jobs, and quickly approaching the real world. That’s when the recession hit, something they don’t prepare you for in college.

I had my shiny Bachelor degrees with nowhere to go. I can remember asking myself, “what truly makes me happy?”.I kept finding myself at the gym to clear my head. As it turns out, my answer was right in front of me all along. I had been an athlete my entire life. There is nothing that I am more passionate about than health, fitness, and helping others to live a healthy lifestyle.  Since that moment I never doubted my decision to pursue a career in health & fitness.

 

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So, people out there want to know (me included) how do we find the motivation, the drive to be physically fit? What are your methods or philosophy that you use for your clients?

#1) 110% commitment! I can’t want this more than my client- they have to want it. It’s one thing to show up to the gym and go through the motions and it’s another thing to MENTALLY PREPARE YOURSELF for the changes that have to take place.

#2) My motto is, “ You can’t expect change if you continue to do the same thing”

#3) Stay positive and have fun with it! Our bodies are smart- If you are bored during your workouts then your muscles are bored too. That’s when you stop seeing results. Have fun, after all this is YOUR time. If you need help getting started come in for a free consult, I’d be happy to help!

#4) Love your body! We tend to be our worst critics. When you look in the mirror, give yourself a compliment. Often times we are quick to see our “flaws” and focus too heavily on what we don’t like.

#5) KEEP TRACK of your workouts; your reps, your loads, and the time of completion.

After a few weeks or months, pull out a workout that you previously recorded and try to beat it… Focus on the “now”, not the “where you think you should be”. Sometimes that can be overwhelming. One day at a time…focus on that 1 goal that you set. Once you have achieved that goal, then get ready to set a new one…and keep going :)

 

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I am not an expert, nor do I have a six pack, but I believe mental toughness and tenacity is a big part of everything we do in life. How important is it in achieving personal fitness goals?

“mental toughness”- many times we are our own bully or worst enemy. Be positive!

If you set a goal thinking that there’s no way you can achieve that, then you are just setting yourself to fail. Write down your goal and make it concrete- then make a plan of attack!

It’s not until then your goal becomes real. Our society is fixated on instant gratification- There are no shortcuts in life, there are goals that need to be set and choices that need to be made. Keep track of your progress along the way. This way you can continue to see how far you have come. There will be ‘slip ups’ from time to time and it’s important to realize that is okay.

 

Pain is a part of life, and as they say, “no pain no gain” so I can imagine you have experienced your share of pain and success. Can you tell us and potential clients about a time you overcame and achieved a goal in your life?

When I graduated high school it’s safe to say  that I didn’t have a plan going into college. I followed in my mother’s footsteps and  was highly encouraged to pursue advertising/design. It was very difficult to inform my parents that their dream for me was no longer my dream.

I have a wonderful family, who has always encouraged me to chase my dreams- However, my new career path came to them as a complete shock. Over time they came around and learned to trust, and believe in my new quest. This drove me to where I am today…I knew I was taking a big risk starting over and taking an entirely different career path…it was time to prove myself.

To answer your question, starting over was painful, but so rewarding! Totally worth it!

 

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We a have a mantra, “Do What You Desire” or simply “#DWYD”. Can you explain how that applies to you and what you do?

“Desire: to strongly wish for or want something”

I have always been a strong believer that if you want something bad enough you will make it happen. I told myself at a very young age that I wouldn’t settle for working a job that didn’t make me happy…I wanted my own gym, a positive, healthy environment where like-minded people could gather together and cheer each other on…so I made it happen…you only fail in life if you give up…and I’m not a quitter.

 

How can we find out more about you and what you do? Websites? Facebook? Twitter?

We just finished our website, www.racestarttraining.com, which ended up being a much bigger project than anticipated, but well worth it! I would like to give a big shout out to my web designer, Justin Staples of JS Interactive….Justin and his team are amazing to work with. As a new business owner, hiring JS Interactive was the best decision I made!

You can also find RaceStart Training on:

Or visit us inside of the Lincoln Warehouse, 2018 S.1st Street #305 Bay View, WI 53207

 

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Are there any last words of advice that you’d like to share with anyone reading?

Move more, sit less ;)…

I feel that as we get older our natural tendency is to put everyone else before taking care of ourselves. Ask yourself the question, “ How can I keep up with my kids or live my life to it’s fullest if I’m not healthy?”

I strongly believe that fitness if the best medicine…

If you are ready and committed  to make a positive change in your life, please visit RaceStart Training. Contact Antonette Race, founder of RS, at #262-497-1844. Let us help support and encourage you during this exciting time!

Your body will thank you!”

 

“P-DIDDY” Single Coming 7-1-15!

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“P-DIDDY” COMING 7-1-15!

Interview with Renaissance Woman, Jenny Marie Christian

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Hello Jenny! How is life treating you? 
Joshuaaaaa!!!! Hiii!!! I love your name by the way. Great biblical name for a great guy… Lol Life’s trying to toss a few mountains in my way right now, but I know it’s a test to prove that they can be moved. So I’m doing my best and staying in the fight.

If a stranger walked up to you on the street and asked “What do you do?” what would be your response?
I tell people I’m a dreamer, a writer, media correspondent, an activist, a pageant queen and an aspiring actress.

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Can you tell us about how you got involved in modeling? What were your influences to pursue it?
Well when I wrote my first book back in 2008 I had a photo shoot for the cover. After I had chosen my cover photo and released my book, I posted the other outtakes and miscellaneous images on social media. They received good feedback and at that point photographers and makeup artist began contacting me to work with them. I actually had no plan or intention to pursue it. It sort of just happened and I’ve met some amazing people and learned so much. Modeling is a craft that goes far beyond just standing for a snapshot, but capturing the essence, the energy, the mood, the vision of the client. I’m still a student of the industry and pull inspiration and influence from everywhere.

You are very driven, creative & passionate. Where does this energy come from?
Thank you so much! I think a lot of it comes from my parents. My father was a blues singer that had to endure so much for the dream. My mother is an educator and the strongest woman I know and hasn’t had an easy life by far. We didn’t have much money. So they had to be creative and resourceful to ensure we as a family had everything that we needed. While also remaining passionate in the pursuit of other goals that made them happy. I guess it kind of comes to me naturally because nothing as ever been easy or handed to me.

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I follow you on Twitter/IG/Facebook and I have to admit and applaud you for being very outspoken about your beliefs. Where do you find the courage, especially in today’s fickle and soft society, to speak your truth and experiences, at the expense of being ridiculed?
Growing up I was always taught to be sweet, be kind, be respectful, be docile, and be a lady. So I thought that stating my peace would make people in return perceive me in a manner in which I didn’t like. I’d be seen as a bitch. So I kept a lot to myself. Problem with holding things in is it will slowly build, build and build until you explode. It was stressful. It filled me with rage. It had me lashing out from so much built up anger and resentment of never stating how I really feel. I decided then that I will not put my voice, my thoughts, my concerns, or my opinions on mute to appease another person or make them comfortable. I have the right to respectfully use my voice and my platform to express myself. I have the right to openly discuss what I care about and my truth. If it offends another that’s not my problem. My words and theories can either challenge an open mind or offend a weak one. I’ve learned to be ready to face both.

Let me get even deeper…cause, you can’t judge books by their covers. What are your thoughts on the media’s portrayal of black people/African Americans? Too much negative and not enough realistic and empowering stories?
First let me give you my thoughts on media in general. The media will air, promote and exploit anyone and anything that will bring them ratings and money. I can’t fault that. What I can say is as viewers, we have the power. it’s our job to demand to have more positive broadcastings, family oriented programming, diversity in the programming. I’m more from the camp of “don’t waste time bashing what you hate, promote what you love”… You won’t see me voicing an opinion on love & hip hop, but I’ll tweet and post about a great book or documentary. My point is I can’t blame the media’s portrayal. I blame us for continuing to allow it and support it. The media is doing their job, we must do ours and demand and create the images of African Americans that we want to see.

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What are your thoughts on how women are portrayed in society? Over sexualized? Not celebrated for being what women are? 
Saying there’s a “lack of respect” for women in today’s society is an understatement. I truly feel as though many men don’t even like women. Women are looked at and treated as objects versus being treated like human being with feelings. For example how men refer to women these days. The majority of the time you’ll hear and read “bitch”, “thot”, “hoe” and when men are attempting to be “respectful”, they’ll refer to women as “a female or females”… Like we’re animals .. A female what, kangaroo. We’re women. We’re queens. We’re the mothers of your children. We’re you’re protectors in a world that hates you. We’re your shoulder to lean on, when the weight of life is heavy. We’re your confidant when you can’t rely on another soul. We’re on the front lines protesting for you when you’re being shot down like dogs. Where’s our respect? Where’s our honor? Where’s our pedestal? Instead of being treated royalty we’re being treated like cattle. It’s disheartening. If the men you go so hard for don’t value you, how can the portrayal in movies, music and videos get any better? It’s a challenge being and raising strong women in a world that tells us we are hoes and that it is a compliment to be a “bad bitch”. Isn’t that crazy?!

What are your thoughts on the media’s reaction to Caitlin Jenner and the lack of coverage of say, Akon’s impact in Africa, or the Patriot Act?
Lol.. Good ole Caitlyn. Well you know how I feel, we have the power. Media is only going to give us what they know we’ll react to and run with. I’m more disappointed with how many of us were so caught up in Caitlyn instead of Akon. We must do our part. Shout out to Akon for that by the way. So admirable. I’ve ranted before about how I feel celebrities and public figures should use the influence to empower, do positive things and speak on issues that directly affect their fan base the way Talib Kweli does with #BlackLivesMatter .. Don’t just look out for fans when an album drops. That’s another rant for another day though. Lol

You once mentioned that today’s men lack gentleman qualities, what has been your worst experience? Why do you think today’s men lack common courtesy towards women?
My worst experience was once I was on the phone with this guy I liked right. I was discussing with him how it’s very inconsiderate of him to disregard my messages for days at a time and then get back to me whenever. After that disagreement he was informing me of his friends in town. So I interject with how I know already because he’ll post everything to Facebook before he responds to me. Immediately his friend chimes in the conversation (because this rude boy got me on speaker) and starts going in on me with profanity about how wasting time talking about Facebook bullshit.. Blah blah. I was so appalled because 1. Who has a private conversation on speaker phone. 2. What grown man lets another grown man chime in on their call. 3. What kind of man is so comfy just freely being rude and profane to a woman. 4. What kind of man lets another man disrespect a woman he supposedly likes. I mean I was in such disbelief. These are the times we live in. Women are treated horribly, but still expected to be so sweet and kind at all times. If not she’s a bitch. I wish I knew where the lack of common courtesy and being a gentleman went, but I don’t have an answer. Most men just haven’t been taught how to treat and lady and about chivalry.

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What have been some of your greatest achievements in your career, in pursuing your passion? Give us some inspiration, that, in the words of Les Brown, “It’s Possible”!
My greatest accomplishment this far is actually something so small, but yet so important. That’s simply finding my courage. I’ve found my courage to pursue my dreams. Fear and rejection had me stuck in a rut and complacency. Now I’m finally taking the necessary steps and risks with faith to get me to my destiny. For that alone in proud. Because it took me a while to move beyond fear to find courage.

We have a mantra, “Do What You Desire” or simply #DWYD, how does that apply to you and your lifestyle?
It fits perfectly with my lifestyle because I feel as though everyone should live life doing what they desire and with who they desire. That’s my goal. No more listening to what others think I should do. I’m going to live my life, my way.

Are there any last words that you’d like to give to anyone that is pursuing their passion and living the Do What You Desire lifestyle?
Keep pushing. The journey is going to have its high moments and it’s going to have some low moments. Trust that everything will work out as it should and know that a path without obstacles probably wouldn’t lead you anywhere.

Are there any shout outs that you would like to give?!
I’d like to shout out the #DWYD for always being a place for positivity. I’d also like to shout out all of my family, friends and acquaintances that believe in me, support me and encourage me. You’re the real MVP.  Lol

Where can we find out more about you and what you do? Websites? IG? Twitter? FaceBook?
Instagram: jennymariechristian
Twitter: jennymchristian
Also follow @RockitConvo