Thursday, December 13, 2012


December 13, 2012


To say I have been busy is the understatement of the year.  I feel comfortable saying this as there aren't that many days left in 2012.  And, if I believe in what the Mayans tell us, maybe we are near the end.  Personally, I don't think so.

As far as humanity goes, we haven't reached the level in what God has set out for all of us to accomplish.  How do I know this?  I have too many new and creative ideas roaming in my brain.  Therefore, the lights going out for all of us isn't going to be this year as predicted by the Mayans.  Of course, if I'm right, I look really, really super-intelligent.  On the other hand, if I am wrong, nobody will be around to tease me about it.  So, in essence, I am in a "Win! Win!" situation.  I like my odds.  And, besides all of that, at least today is on a Thursday and not a Friday.

Helen and Bill Ray 1969
New Year's Eve
Speaking of December 13th, today is the wedding anniversary date for my mother and my father.  They married in 1953. I am really very fortunate to have had my parents stay married. My heart and prayers go out to my Mother on this glorious day, as my Dad went to heaven several years ago.  So, this time of the year is especially difficult for all of us as Christmas day nears.  

Celebrating Christmas in my family includes many family traditions.  Also there are lots of memories with family and friends who aren't with us.  This year, as my family and I began to decorate our homes and our Christmas trees, my Dad's presence was still with us.  My niece pulled out a box of old Christmas ornaments and found a family treasure - an ornament with a picture of my Dad, her Grandfather, with his voice recording telling everyone "Merry Christmas."  With today's technology, she was able to share the recording with all of us allowing us to hear my father's voice.

Then, by now everyone knows that I bought a new Jaguar XJ8L, indigo blue with all of the latest technology.  To my surprise, when I was cleaning out my old car, stuffed in one of the side pockets were eight, 3x5 prints.  The photographs were of my Dad as he sat by the Christmas tree.  Each picture was different.  There was one of him and my three girls when they were very young and another one of me with him.  Wow!  I had no idea those pictures were in that car so I was rather surprised.  The list goes on how my Dad  may not be with us physically, but he is more than with us.  He lives in our hearts and our memories.

However, since today is a special day for my Mom and Dad, I want to give tribute; and of course to help my Mother celebrate their anniversary, to not only hear my Dad's voice, but also to see him as well. I am going to share with my "Blogging Family" a special memory from one of our family's Christmas traditions we celebrate.  

You see, we have several traditions, one of which includes exchanging "Dirty Santa" gifts at our family Christmas gathering.  Another, includes getting around the piano and singing Christmas songs.  But, I have to admit, one of my favorite traditions and memories is our Family Christmas Talent Show.  It doesn't matter what your talent is going to be.  It can be good or bad.  Think in terms of the television show, America's Got Talent, where an act that is really bad can get X'd out.  We do the same thing without the X's or the constructive criticism.  We usually just laugh.

In honor of my parent's anniversary, and as a special gift to my readers, I am going to share one of my Dad's talent show acts which is in reality one of our family's favorite all time award winning COMEDY SKIT  performance.  I hope you enjoy it.  Watch it below.

Thank you Mom and Dad for being wonderful parents and setting the example for my children, thier children, and many generations to come.  And, Mom, Happy Anniversary.  I hope this brings the laughter into your home again.

More News from Dr. Mel

I have to say I am not bored.  How can I be?  I have shopping to do, presents to wrap, a house to decorate, and...I still am working on revising the A.D.A.M. script, and now a slight revision to the script for The Keystroke Killer.  I have to narrow down the first three episodes into a two hour feature film.  As it was, it was the first two episodes which comprised the pilot film.  But, the powers at be, thought it needed to move just a little faster with the introduction of one of the characters.  Like I said before, writing a screenplay is re-writing.  It really is.

I also got to go to Comic Con with Robby and two of her sons and one of her sons friend.  We had so much fun.  Going to Comic Con has always been a dream for me as I am a Treki.  Yes, a true Treki fan.  My only disappointment was not being able to meet Patrick Stewart as he had to cancel.  How sad.  However, I did get to sit in the Captain's chair from the Enterprise.  It made my day along with being able to wave hello to Stan Lee, the famous creator of some of our most glorious comic book characters, as he was going up the esculator.  And, if that weren't good enough, I purchased 10 collectible comic books to add to my collection and a new book, Sci-Fi thriller from an author selling it.  I think next year, I need to write KSK into a novel and sell it Comic Con.

Stan Lee on the left at Comic Con 2012

Haunard Uribe
And to top off the week, Hanuard ,my son-in-law came in from Los Angeles, and spent great quality time with Mike, my hubby, and I.  We also got to meet his entire family from Columbia.  What a site, as we all went bowling as we met each other for the first time.  Keep in mind, they are Columbian, and don't speak English, and we are American and don't speak Spanish.  But, you would have never of known there was a language barrier as we all had such a great time speaking "Spanglish."

One of my favorite moments was with my two-year-old grandson bowling for the first time.  OMG.  It didn't take him long to get the hang of it and each time after throwing the ball down the lane, he'd strike a pose and froze to watch the ball hit the pins.  When he actually knocked down a pin, he'd give it a high five.  Such innocent excitement.

Also, while Hannuard was home visiting, I played Paparatzi and took 315 pictures of him.  This was his first-time behind the camera, but he did awesome.  Here is one of my favorite pictures.

It's Time to Dispel the Myth About "I Nailed It...WHT!!"
By Jack Curenton

OK, so you walked out of that audition, felt elated because you electrified the “Powers that Be” with your acting talents and they asked you to re-read it 3 different ways (always a good sign that they want to see if you can take direction and determine if you can alter your game face) …but you still may NOT GET THE PART!

Try to understand, it’s not “Negative” to try to determine “Why” you didn’t get the job, it’s just natural to question their totally Illogical Approach to NOT CASTING YOU…arrrrrgggghhhh!!!

OK, I got that off my chest….let’s get back to this article because it’s good to know so that you don’t allow the “Demons in your head” to mess with your psyche and get you down when you finally realize you didn’t get the job. And even more importantly….IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYWAY!

Allow me to impart a bit of my own personal trials/tribulations recently as an example… the past few months, I’ve been on many auditions…gotten a fairly good number of callbacks and booked several jobs…..HOWEVER, I also had a brief period of getting put on “Avail” (which means I can’t consider another job during the “Avail” period…because they supposedly “Wanted Me”) ….without them booking me for the job…Four (4) Times In A Row. Yep, 4 times…In…A…ROW a Bride’s Maid…but no ring! (I will admit, I did change deodorant after that)

This is one question that actors ask me and themselves and many times they allow it to throw them into a spiral of Negativity!! Based on my years and years of experience as an actor/director/casting director on Stage and film projects, here are some of the reasons you didn’t get the part.

1. You’re too tall.
2. You’re too short.
3. You’re too pretty.
4. You’re not pretty enough.
5. You’re too fat.
6. You’re too thin.
7. You’re too blonde.
8. You’re not blonde enough.
9. You’re too old.
10. You’re too young.
11. You’re too serious.
12. You’re too funny.
13. You look too much like the lead.
14. You don’t look enough like the lead.
15. You’re taller than the lead.
16. You’re shorter than the lead.
17. You remind the producer of his Brother-in-law, and he hates that SOB.
18. You are too ethnic.
19. You are not ethnic enough.
20. You were the first one to read that day.
21. You were the last one to read that day.
22. You’re more like the best friend than the lead.
23. You’re more of a lead than the best friend.
24. You’re too character-y. (I’ve heard this on more than one occasion!!)
25. You’re not character-y enough.(I also heard this….but only once!)
26. You look like the director’s wife and he had a fight with his wife right before he left the house this morning.
27. The casting decision is not done by the people in the room you auditioned for….the “Powers That Be” are back in East Armpit Arkansas, or Crap Hole West By Gawd Virginia….and they are totally clueless about Acting…they are the Bean Counters. (See my point above about getting put on Avail 4 times in a row by the local Casting Director…to only be left out in the cold when the parts were cast!)

All righty then….this is a very limited list of a bigger list of reasons you didn’t get the job. I’d bet you’ve even been told some of them after an audition you didn’t get the part for. Guess what this, and the larger, list have in common….it’s really easy to see it….NONE OF THESE REASONS FOR NOT BOOKING THAT JOB IS IN YOUR CONTROL….NONE!!!

Worrying about these is like taking credit for the Sun coming up this morning, blaming yourself for the lack of PEACE in the Middle East or not stopping us from Going Off the Fiscal CLIFF. 

Actually, you may have had something to do with the last one…depending on who you voted for!!! 


Rule # 1….Stop Worrying About What You Can’t Control
Rule # 2….Start Taking Control of the Things You Can Control
Rule # 3….Oh, Right!! You already ALL know that one!!!!

The “Things You Can Control” are: Preparing for the Audition, knowing your lines, being on time (which I refer to as being 15 minutes early!), dressing for the character and simply BEING PREPARED TO SUCCEED!! Attitude is important…. You know that they need you…and pretty soon, they know they need you… Confidant, not Arrogant.

Being prepared allows you to free yourself from your insecurities and to be the Best YOU that you can be at that moment and at that audition. Your job at this point (you ONLY JOB) is to audition with the best work you can give them. Nothing else is within your power to change.

The role you are reading for is one piece of a puzzle. Or to paraphrase from Johnny Cochran, “It Must Fit….Or They Won’t Commit” The casting director, producer, and director are trying to fit pieces of the puzzle together all day long. Be the best “piece” you can be. Whether or not the edges of your piece fits the puzzle….is not up to you.

Just go to your audition. Do your best and let it go. If you’re good, they will remember you. I just did a VO for a commercial spot this week and got that job from a previous audition that the CD remembered me from (which btw, I didn’t get that original part!) The next time you hear one of those things: Be Like A Duck…let it roll off your back….give a little smile, and go enjoy your day! As I always say, “FWN” …Forget’em, Who’s Next?


Mark is doing very well after having a stent put in his heart last Monday.  He still isn't home from the hospital because he has a continual low-grade fever.  The doctors aren't extremely concerned, but are very cautious because they have to avoid infection in the area.  Continue to lift Mark and his wife, Rebecca, up in prayers.  They have meant a great deal to them as have all of the cards and letters you have sent him his way.  "I have never been associated with such wonderful caring people in project," Mark said.  "I can't wait to meet everyone of my KSKers."

Mark truly feels the love and support from the KSK Family.

So, that's my news from the home front of New Orleans.


I have some exciting news about one of the films I worked on last year.  I was so excited when I received the phone call and told that the film, WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED:  ON THE 7TH DAY, has been nominated for the 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards for Independent Motion Picture of the Year.  OMG!  This is truly a proud moment for the cast and crew.   

Here are the nominees for best independent film:
On the 7th Day

Independent Motion Picture

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

"Chico & Rita" (GKIDS)

"Red Tails" (Lucasfilm)

"Unconditional" (Harbinger Media Partners)

"Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day" (Codeblack)

I can't begin to state how important this nomination is and the impact of being nominated.  First, this independent film is up against a Lucas Film and Fox Searchlight Pictures.  And, just to be nominated in this category with these films is astonishing.  I am not surprised because I have been talking about how good this film is since it first hit the theaters.  If you haven't seen this film, it is available on DVD on To watch the trailer, click on the image below.  Also, this film was shot in New Orleans, La, the new film capital for the film industry.  

I want to personally congratulate a dear friend of mine, Neema Barnette, who directed the film.  Neema is also my co-executive producer on our web-series 40 and Leroy.   Neema isn't new to receiving awards as she was one of the very first African American to receive an Emmy Award for her directing.  Neema sets high standards and paves the way for women everywhere.  She is my idol.

My congratulations don't stop with the director as I also have a personal relationship with some of the cast and crew of this fantastic T.D. Jakes film.  I'll start with my own Daughter, Jamie Alyson, who played the "White Trash" girl in this film.  She had the honor of being on screen with the fantastic Pam Grier, AKA fame of Roxie Brown and Clyde Jones.  Take a look at the clip with Jamie here.

Also, our very own Robby Cook Stroud, was the Transportation Coordinator for this film, and several of my friends are in this film including the fabulous actress, Jacquelin Fleming, Nicoya Banks, and Reed McCants.  

Then, if all of this wasn't enough of a connection, my other two daughters, Kelly and Erin, received photo credit because their pictures were used. 

Take a look at a clip from the movie here featuring Blair Underwood, Sharon Leal, and New Orleans own Nicoya Banks.  To watch this clip, click on the Icon below.

Here are this year's 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards nominees.
Motion Picture
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
"Django Unchained" (The Weinstein Company)
"Flight" (Paramount Pictures)
"Red Tails" (Lucasfilm)
"Tyler Perry's Good Deeds" (Lionsgate)

Actor in a Motion Picture

Denzel Washington - "Flight" (Paramount Pictures)

Jamie Foxx - "Django Unchained" (The Weinstein Company)
Morgan Freeman - "The Magic of Belle Isle" (Magnolia Pictures)

Suraj Sharma - "Life of Pi" (20th Century Fox)

Tyler Perry - "Alex Cross" (Summit Entertainment)

Actress in a Motion Picture
Emayatzy Corinealdi - "Middle of Nowhere" (AAFRM)
Halle Berry - "Cloud Atlas" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Loretta Devine - "In The Hive" (Eone Entertainment)
Quvenzhan√© Wallis - "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Viola Davis - "Won't Back Down" (20th Century Fox)

Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

David Oyelowo - "Middle of Nowhere" (AFFRM)

Don Cheadle - "Flight" (Paramount Pictures)

Dwight Henry - "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Lenny Kravitz - "The Hunger Games" (Lionsgate)

Samuel L. Jackson - "Django Unchained" (The Weinstein Company)

Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Amandla Stenberg - "The Hunger Games" (Lionsgate)
Gloria Reuben - "Lincoln" (The Walt Disney Studios)
Kerry Washington - "Django Unchained" (The Weinstein Company)
Phylicia Rashad - "Tyler Perry's Good Deeds" (Lionsgate)
Taraji P. Henson - "Think Like a Man" (Screen Gems)
International Motion Picture
"Chico & Rita" (GKIDS)
"For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada" (ARC Entertainment)
"Special Forces" (eOne Films)
"The Intouchables" (The Weinstein Company)
"The Raid: Redemption" (Sony Pictures Classics)


Documentary - (Theatrical or Television)
"Black Wings" (Smithsonian Channel)
"Brooklyn Castle" (Producers Distribution Agency)
"First Position" (IFC Films)
"Marley" (Magnolia Pictures)
"On the Shoulders of Giants - The Story of the Greatest Team You've Never Heard Of" (Showtime)

"Glee" (Fox)

"Modern Family" (ABC)

"The Game" (BET)

"The Mindy Project" (Fox)

"The Soul Man" (TV Land)

Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson - "Guys with Kids" (NBC)
Damon Wayans, Jr. - "Happy Endings" (ABC)

Don Cheadle - "House Of Lies" (Showtime)

Donald Faison - "The Exes" (TV Land)

Hosea Chanchez - "The Game" (BET)

Actress in a Comedy Series

Amber Riley - "Glee" (Fox)
Cassi Davis - "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" (TBS)

Kellita Smith - "The First Family" (Syndicated)

Tatyana Ali - "Love That Girl" (TV One)

Wendy Raquel Robinson - "The Game" (BET)

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Aziz Ansari - "Parks and Recreation" (NBC)
Craig Robinson - "The Office" (NBC)
Donald Glover - "Community" (NBC)
Lance Gross - "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" (TBS)
Tracy Morgan - "30 Rock" (NBC)

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Anna Deavere Smith - "Nurse Jackie" (Showtime)
Gabourey Sidibe - "The Big C" (Showtime)

Gladys Knight - "The First Family" (Syndicated)

Rashida Jones - "Parks and Recreation" (NBC)

Vanessa Williams - "Desperate Housewives" (ABC)

"Boardwalk Empire" (HBO)
"Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)
"Scandal" (ABC)
"Treme" (HBO)
"True Blood" (HBO)
Actor in a Drama Series
Dulé Hill - "Psych" (USA)
Hill Harper - "CSI: NY" (CBS)
LL Cool J - "NCIS: Los Angeles" (CBS)
Michael Clarke Duncan - "The Finder" (FOX)
Wendell Pierce - "Treme" (HBO)

Actress in a Drama Series

Chandra Wilson - "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)

Kerry Washington - "Scandal" (ABC)

Khandi Alexander - "Treme" (HBO)

Regina King - "SouthLAnd" (TNT)

Sandra Oh - "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Clarke Peters - "Treme" (HBO)
Dev Patel - "The Newsroom" (HBO)
Omar Epps - "House M.D." (FOX)
Rockmond Dunbar - "Sons of Anarchy" (FX)
Rocky Carroll - "NCIS" (CBS)
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Archie Panjabi - "The Good Wife" (CBS)
Joy Bryant - "Parenthood" (NBC)
Loretta Devine - "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)
Lucy Lui - "SouthLAnd" (TNT)
Rutina Wesley - "True Blood" (HBO)

Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
"Abducted: The Carlina White Story" (Lifetime)
"Hallmark Hall of Fame's FIRELIGHT" (ABC)
"Raising Izzie" (GMC TV)
"Steel Magnolias" (Lifetime)
"Sugar Mommas" (GMC TV)

Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Afemo Omilami - "Steel Magnolias" (Lifetime)
Cuba Gooding, Jr. - "Hallmark Hall of Fame's FIRELIGHT" (ABC)
Michael Jai White - "Somebody's Child" (GMC TV)
Rockmond Dunbar - "Raising Izzie" (GMC TV)
Tory Kittles - "Steel Magnolias" (Lifetime)

Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special

Alfre Woodard - "Steel Magnolias" (Lifetime)

Jill Scott - "Steel Magnolias" (Lifetime)

Keke Palmer - "Abducted: The Carlina White Story" (Lifetime)

Phylicia Rashad - "Steel Magnolias" (Lifetime)

Queen Latifah - "Steel Magnolias" (Lifetime)

Actor in a Daytime Drama Series

Aaron D. Spears - "The Bold and the Beautiful" (CBS)

Erik Valdez - "General Hospital" (ABC)

James Reynolds - "Days of Our Lives" (NBC)

Kristoff St. John - "The Young and the Restless" (CBS)

Rodney Saulsberry - "The Bold and the Beautiful" (CBS)

Actress in a Daytime Drama Series

Angell Conwell - "The Young and the Restless" (CBS)

Julia Pace Mitchell - "The Young and the Restless" (CBS)

Kristolyn Lloyd - "The Bold and the Beautiful" (CBS)

Shenell Edmonds - "One Life to Live" (ABC)

Tatyana Ali - "The Young and the Restless" (CBS)

News/ Information - (Series or Special)

"Ask Obama Live: An MTV Interview with The President" (MTV)

"Judge Mathis" (Syndicated)

"Save My Son with Dr. Steve Perry" (TV One)

"Unsung" (TV One)

"Washington Watch with Roland Martin" (TV One)

Talk Series

"Don't Sleep!" (BET)

"Oprah's Lifeclass" (OWN)

"Oprah's Next Chapter" (OWN)

"The View" (ABC)

"Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" (FX)

Reality Series

"Dancing with the Stars" (ABC)

"Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" (HBO)

"The X Factor" (FOX)

"Tia & Tamera" (Style)

"Welcome to Sweetie Pie's" (OWN)

Variety Series or Special

"Black Girls Rock" (BET)

"Oprah and the Legendary Cast of Roots 35 Years Later" (OWN)

"Oprah's Master Class" (OWN)

"The First Graduating Class: Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls" (OWN)

"Verses & Flow" (TV One)

Children’s Program

"Degrassi" (TeenNick)

"Kasha and the Zulu King" (BET)

"The Legend of Korra" (Nickelodeon)

"The TeenNick HALO Awards 2012" (Nick@Nite)

 "The Weight of the Nation for Kids" (HBO)

Performance in a Youth/ Children’s Program - (Series or Special)
China Anne McClain - "A.N.T. Farm" (Disney Channel)
Keke Palmer - "Winx Club" (Nickelodeon)
Loretta Devine - "Doc McStuffins" (Disney Junior block on Disney Channel)
Nick Cannon - "The TeenNick HALO Awards 2012" (Nick@Nite)
Tyler James Williams - "Let It Shine" (Disney Channel)
New Artist
Elle Varner (MBK / RCA)
Gary Clark, Jr. (Warner Bros. Records)
Lianne La Havas (Nonesuch Records Inc. / Warner Bros. Records)
Melanie Amaro (Epic Records)
The OMG Girlz (Pretty Hustle / Grand Hustle / Streamline / Interscope)

Male Artist

Bruno Mars (Atlantic)

Lupe Fiasco (Atlantic)

Miguel (ByStorm / RCA)

Trey Songz (Atlantic)

Usher (RCA Records)

Female Artist

Alicia Keys (RCA Records)

Elle Varner (MBK / RCA)

Estelle (Atlantic)

Missy Elliott (Atlantic)

Tamela Mann (Tillymann Music Group)

Duo, Group or Collaboration

Chuck D, Johnny Juice,, Herbie Hancock (Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment)

fun. feat. Janelle Monae (Atlantic)

Lupe Fiasco feat. Guy Sebastian (Atlantic)

Mary Mary (Columbia)

Ne-Yo, Herbie Hancock, Johnny Rzeznik, Delta Rae, Natasha Bedingfield (Forward Song, LLC)

Jazz Album

"Bone Appetit [Vol. 1 and 2]" - Jeff Bradshaw (Hidden Beach)

"Dreams" - Brian Culbertson (Verve Records)

"Renaissance" - Marcus Miller (Concord Jazz)

"Seeds From The Underground" - Kenny Garrett (Mack Avenue Records)

"The Preservation Hall 50th Anniversary Collection" - The Preservation Hall Jazz Band (Legacy)

Gospel Album - (Traditional or Contemporary)
"Best Days" - Tamela Mann (Tillymann Music Group)
"Go Get It" - Mary Mary (Columbia)
"God, Love & Romance" - Fred Hammond (Verity Gospel Music Group)
"I Win" - Marvin Sapp (Verity Gospel Music Group)
"Le'Andria Johnson The Experience" - Le'Andria Johnson (Music World Gospel / Music World)

World Music Album

"Ayah Ye! Moving Train" - KG Omulo (KG Omulo)

"Country, God, Or The Girl" - K'NAAN (A&M / Octone Records)

"Diversionary" - Brother B (King Chero Records)

"Wonderful Life" - Estelle (Atlantic)

Music Video

"Adorn" - Miguel (ByStorm / RCA)

"Girl On Fire" - Alicia Keys (RCA Records)

"Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars (Atlantic)

"This Christmas" - CeeLo Green (Elektra)

"You're On My Mind" - KEM (Universal Motown)


"Be Mine for Christmas" - KEM (Universal Motown)

"Glorify the King" - KEM (Universal Motown)

"I Look To You" - Whitney Houston and R. Kelly (RCA Records)

"Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars (Atlantic)

"You're On My Mind" - KEM (Universal Motown)

"Bad - 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" - Michael Jackson (Legacy / Epic)
"Girl On Fire" - Alicia Keys (RCA Records)
"I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston" - Whitney Houston (RCA Records)
"On the Shoulders of Giants - The Soundtrack" - Chuck D,, Herbie Hancock, Nikki Yannofsky (Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment )
"Perfectly Imperfect" - Elle Varner (MBK / RCA)


Literary Work - Fiction

"A Wish and a Prayer: A Blessings Novel" - Beverly Jenkins (HarperCollins Publishers (William Morrow Paperbacks))

"Destiny's Divas" - Victoria Christopher Murray (Touchstone / Simon & Schuster)

"Silent Cry" - Dywane Birch (Strebor Books)

"The Reverend's Wife" - Kimberla Lawson Roby (Grand Central's Wife)

"The Secret She Kept" - ReShonda Tate Billingsley (Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster)

Literary Work - Non-Fiction

"Fraternity" - Diane Brady (Spiegel & Grau (Random House))

"Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation" - Deborah Davis (Atria Books / Simon & Schuster)

"Power Concedes Nothing: One Woman's Quest for Social Justice in America, from the Courtroom to the Kill Zones" - Connie Rice (Scribner)

"The Courage to Hope" - Shirley Sherrod (Atria Books)

"The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court " - Jeffrey Toobin (Doubleday)

Literary Work - Debut Author

"A Cupboard Full of Coats" - Yvvette Edwards (HarperCollins Publishers (Amistad))

"Antebellum" - R. Kayeen Thomas (Strebor Books)

"Congo: Spirit of Darkness" - Mayi Ngwala (Genet Press)

"Nikki G: A Portrait of Nikki Giovanni in Her Own Words" - Darryl L. Lacy (Darryl L. Lacy (iUniverse))

"The Sister Accord: 51 Ways To Love Your Sister" - Sonia Jackson Myles (The Sister Accord, LLC)

Literary Work - Biography/ Auto-Biography

"Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change" - John Lewis (Hyperion)

"Interventions: A Life in War and Peace" - Kofi Annan (The Penguin Press)

"The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo" - Tom Reiss (Crown Publishers)

"The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities " – Will Allen (Gotham Books)

"The One: The Life and Music of James Brown" - RJ Smith (Gotham Books)

Literary Work - Instructional

"12 Ways to Put Money in Your Pocket Every Month Without A Part Time Job; The Skinny Book That Makes Your Wallet Fat" - Jennifer Matthews (Pickett Fennell Publishing Group)

"Formula 50: A 6-Week Workout and Nutrition Plan That Will Transform Your Life " – 50 Cent (Avery (Penguin Group))

"Health First: The Black Woman's Wellness Guide" - Eleanor Hinton Hoytt, Hilary Beard (SmileyBooks)

"It's Complicated (But It Doesn't Have to Be): A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love" - Paul Carrick Brunson (Gotham Books)

"The No Excuse Guide to Success: No Matter What Your Boss or Life Throws at You" - Jim Smith, Jr. (Career Press)

Literary Work - Poetry

"Hurrah's Nest" - Arisa White (Virtual Artists Collective)

"Maybe the Saddest Thing" - Marcus Wicker (HarperCollins Publishers (Harper Perennial))

"Speak Water" - Truth Thomas (Cherry Castle Publishing)

"The Ground" - Rowan Ricardo Phillips (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

"Thrall" - Natasha Trethewey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Literary Work - Children

"Fifty Cents and a Dream" - Jabari Asim (Author), Bryan Collier (Illustrator) (Little,nBrown Books for Young Readers)

"Harlem's Little Blackbird" - Renee Watson (Author), Christian Robinson (Illustrator) (Random House Books for Young Readers (Random House Children's Books))

"In the Land of Milk and Honey" - Joyce Carol Thomas (Author), Floyd Cooper (Illustrator) (HarperCollins / Amistad)

"Indigo Blume and the Garden City" - Kwame Alexander (Word of Mouth Books)

"What Color is My World?" - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Author), Raymons Obstfeld (Author), A.G. Ford (Illustrator) (Candlewick Press)

Literary Work - Youth/Teens

"Fire in the Streets" - Kekla Magoon (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)

"Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons - A Dialogue With America's Young Leaders" - Gregory Reed (Amber Books)

"Pinned" - Sharon G. Flake (Scholastic Press)

"The Diary of B. B. Bright, Possible Princess" - Alice Randall (Author), Caroline Williams (Author), Shadra Strickland (Illustrator) (Turner Publishing Company)

"The Mighty Miss Malone" - Christopher Paul Curtis (Wendy Lamb Books (Random House Children's Books))


Writing in a Comedy Series

Karin Gist - "House of Lies" - Mini-Mogul (Showtime)

Marc Wilmore - "The Simpsons" - The Spy Who Learned Me (FOX)

Michael Shipley - "Last Man Standing" - High Expectations (ABC)

Prentice Penny - "Happy Endings" - Meet the Parrots (ABC)

Vali Chandrasekaran, Robert Carlock - "30 Rock" - Murphy Brown Lied to Us (NBC)

Writing in a Dramatic Series

Cheo Hodari Coker - "SouthLAnd" - God's Work (TNT)

Janine Sherman Barrios - "Criminal Minds" - The Pact (CBS)

Shonda Rhimes - "Grey's Anatomy" - Flight (ABC)

Shonda Rhimes - "Scandal" - Sweet Baby (ABC)

Zoanne Clack - "Grey's Anatomy" - This Magic Moment (ABC)

Writing in a Motion Picture - (Theatrical or Television)

Elizabeth Hunter - "Abducted: The Carlina White Story" (Lifetime)

John Gatins - "Flight" (Paramount Pictures)

John Ridley, Aaron McGruder - "Red Tails" (Lucasfilm)

Keith Merryman, David A. Newman - "Think Like a Man" (Screen Gems)

Ol Parker - "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)



In the tradition of the great New York City comedic movie duos from Abbott and Costello to Seinfield and Costanza, or Comedy Central, comes the contemporary slapstick team of 40 and Leroy.  

The web series, 40 & Leroy, currently in the third season, is gaining momentum as Blip TV picked up the series for broadcast.  The series follows cousins 40 and Leroy and a host of diverse characters as they explore what is the highs and lows of the life of everyday urban youth living in the city.  The two stars, Lorenzo Eduardo (who plays 40) and Horace Glasper (who plays Leroy) are  at their best in the comedy.  Joining the cast are Janus Yvonee (Lanet), Denzel McCants (Diesel), Rafael Correa (Ralphie), Eleven Ego Crusher (Fake 40), Jamie Alyson Uribe (Seven), J. Latif (Cable-Man), and more.

Executive producers, Tom Karl, Neema Barnette, Reed McCants, and Dr. Melissa Caudle are excited as they are preparing to take the series beyond the Internet and announce another independent film project 40 and Leroy Save the World.  And, on set this week were four of LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP very own - Bobbie Lee, Stephen Beal, and Armando DuBon Jr who portrayed "Men in Black" as day players and Jamie Alyson, series regular, who portrays Seven (aka Deep Nostrils).

Take a look at how much fun they had while filming in Los Angeles.  

Bobbie Lee, Jamie Alyson, and Stephen Beal

Stephen Beal arrests Jamie Alyson in the web-series.
The questions is why?

Armando Dubon Jr. and Jamie Alyson

Jamie Alyson and Lorenzo Eduarado, who plays 40
40 and Leroy

Jamie Alyson, who plays Seven (aka Deep Nostrils)
40 and Leroy
Bobbie Lee, Armando Dubon Jr., and Director Reed McCants

Armando Dubon Jr. and Jamie Alyson
Armando Dubon Jr., Stephen Beal, and Bobbie Lee
"The Men in Black" in 40 and Leroy
Bobbie Lee, Jamie Alyson, and Stephen Beal

You may watch the current season of 40 & Leroy by going to our the site at:

 Be sure to subscribe to the series to watch new episodes as they are posted.


This week I am spotlighting Stephen Beal as LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP actor of the week.  He is more than deserving, especially after listening to director Reed McCants rave about his performance on 40 and Leroy.


Gallery Photo

Stephen is an experienced actor who can tap into his previous experiences to deliver compassionate and strong characters.  He was drawn to acting at an early age and began vocal and dance training while in high school.  Having majored in theater in college, he has numerous stage performances under his belt.  It was here, that Stephen honed a very special talent - magic.  Using his comedic timing with grand illusions, he is able to not only capture the attention of an audience, but keep them wanting more.  His transition to film and television was natural as he eased into roles.  He is the perfect actor to portray a professor to a doctor.  And, of course any role that requires a magicians touch.

Special Skills:  Skiing, Sailboat racing, Shooting, Hiking, Swimming, Balloon tricks, Magic tricks, Illusions.  


My new book is finally here.  I received my proof copy on Tuesday and I am currently making the last updates to the book.  So, be sure to put this book and the other companion books on your must have Santa list.  Invest in your future and your acting career.


Are you an actor without representation?  If so, we are interested in taking a look at what you bring to the table.  We have openings in all categories.  We have a particular need for children actors, and Hispanic actors of all ages.     If you are interested go and complete the Actor's Submission Form.  If you have any questions, call Robby at 504-301-8000.  We are also looking for actors who want to serve as readers for other actor's auditions.  Again, go to the website and submit the Actor's Submission Form.  If you need a reader for one of your auditions, we can connect you with our current list of talented audition readers.

By Robby Cook Stroud

Dear Diary:

I know I need to stop burning the candle at both ends, but I don't see this pace slowing down at all. I'm still working for FEMA and all of my new family trying to get them auditions, WHEW!!  

Between getting up at 6am first inspection at 7am till 1pm, then to the office from 1-7pm then home to work 7-10pm.  Like I always say"I'll sleep when I'm dead.  

Anyway back to what I love to do best. Helping People better their lives. That's why both of my jobs are perfect for me and I love them.  

Today I came across the happiest guy I have ever met.  It was like he was surprised that he woke up and loving every minute of it because he didn't know if he would wake up tomorrow. He truly made each day a special day. He is 96 yrs old and lives alone.  He said he gets lots of visitors. 

I am reminded that we don't have a guarantee on tomorrow, So try and touch the hearts of as many people you can with your kindness. That's how I live and just think if everyone started passing this on, we would have an epidemic on our hands. And one day maybe world peace.  

Happy Holidays to you and your families. 

Love and peace