Chit Chatting with Actress Sarah Grey

Written by:  Jill Sheets

“Allison Taylor Creative”

Recently I had the honor of interviewing up and coming actress Sarah Grey.  This talented young actress is in the movie “Power Rangers,” which opens on March 24th. Continue to read on about her, what people may not know about her and her hidden talent.

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting?

S: Well, I grew up on Vancouver Island B.C and initially wanted to be a singer! I didn’t really comprehend that acting could be a job when I was young, so it wasn’t on my radar. I fell into an acting class by a random series of events, and immediately fell in love with it. I have always had a strong curiosity for people. I think my love of performing and interest in people is the mix that got me hooked!

 

R:  Tell us about your TV movie “Story of a Girl” and about your character Caitlin Spinelli?

S: This film is based on Sara Zarr’s award winning novel “Story of a Girl”. It’s a powerful coming of age story, following the character “Deanna” who, at 16 is still dealing with the ramifications of a video with her and an older boy, that was leaked when she was only 13 years old. My character, Caitlin, is a popular cheerleader at school who takes pleasure in insulting Deanna, and receiving attention. Our director, Kyra Sedgwick, was absolutely lovely, as well as the rest of the cast. It was always good vibes on set! It made it challenging to play such a mean girl.

 

R: You are also in “Power Rangers” and “Last Night in Suburbia.”  Tell us the movies and your character.

S: “Last night in Suburbia” is an ensemble comedy about a group of friends spending their last fun night together, before they jet off to their various cities for College. All the while being followed around by a hilariously terrible undercover cop. I play “Hailey” who is dating “Spencer”.. another member of the friend group. They are kind of like the married couple of the group because they’ve been together since the beginning of highschool. They all get into a bunch of shenanigans but the movie can be quite touching and relatable at times. 

I also appear in “Power Rangers” which hits theatres this month (March 24th)! This film is based on the Power Rangers franchise that I think many of us have heard of/seen. I play the role of Amanda, another popular cheerleader type. ( I know it seems like a trend but I swear it’s just the two, laughs)

 

Picture source:  Allison Taylor Creative

R: What was it like being a Power Ranger? Did you have to do your own stunts? What was the hardest part when filming this movie?

S: It was fantastic being in Power Rangers. I was very excited because I would watch the T.V show with my sister when I was young (the odd time I actually woke up early on a school day). I didn’t have to worry about any major stunts. I think the hardest part was, again, having to be mean to the sweet Naomi Scott who plays the pink ranger. Playing a mean girl does not come naturally, which is a good thing I guess!

 

R: Our readers can also catch you on “Legends of Tomorrow.”  For those who have not seen then show yet, tell them a little bit about it and your character. 

S:”Legends of Tomorrow” is a DC Comic Series, that follows a team of time-travelling heroes and villains trying to prevent an apocalypse from happening. My character “Stargirl” shows up in season 2 with her “ Justice Society of America” squad. The two teams eventually start working together for the sake of good against evil. It is a blast to play a Superhero. The stunts were so much fun, and I can die happy now that I’ve flown- even if it was on wires. You can catch Stargirl in Episodes 1,2 and 12 of season 2.

 

R:  What are some of your future goals?

S: I’d love to travel for filming. Everything I’ve shot has been near or in Vancouver, which is nice and convenient, but I’d really like to see more of the world, and be earning an income while I’m at it! I’d also really like to be a lead on a T.V series. Writing for T.V is better than ever.

 

R: Do you have any hidden talents?

S: I can do the moonwalk.

 

R: What has been your favorite memory so far?

S: I have many favorite memories and inside jokes from filming “Last Night In Suburbia”. We would crack each other up constantly. Mackenzie Cardwell and I would improv rap songs on set. I’m still friends and keep in touch with many people from that cast.

 

R: Name five people you would like to work with.

S: Off the top of my head, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore,  Charlize Theron, Gary Oldman, and Kevin Spacey.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

S: I would have to go with my entire family. I can’t pick just one person! If it weren’t for them I don’t know if I’d be pursuing this career. They instilled in me the desire to follow my passion. I have an extremely inspiring, supportive family that has led by example.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

S: I have an extreme love of hot sauce that is teetering on the line between delicious and dangerous. In elementary school, I could do a series of back walk overs that made me look like a slinky, so that’s what everyone started calling me, including teachers. Friends and their families still call me slinky to this day.  I play guitar and sing. I went on stage and did an impression of Cher for my moms 50th Birthday. I played Sandy in Grease in my first and only theatre production at the age of 13.

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager.  What advice would you give them in general?

S: Try to love yourself more and care less about what others think. Knowing who you are is overrated, people are constantly growing and changing anyway. Try new things, do more of what makes you happy, and believe in yourself! 

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

S: It must be this one because I don’t think I have one!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which one and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/or youtube page?

S: Yes! 

Instagram @ sarah_grey8

Twitter      @sarah_grey8

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

S: Thank you for your support and love. I deeply appreciate it. 

 

R:  Sarah, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

S: Thanks for having me! Xo

Meet Singer Kaylee Rutland

 

Recently, I interviewed Belmont University senior Kaylee Rutland about her budding career in country music. Keep reading to find out what inspires her to write as well as her plans for the future.

 

R: Tell us a little about yourself.

K: I’m Kaylee Rutland, a singer, songwriter, and student living in Nashville, Tennessee. I am driven by my faith and am very close to my family. I’m currently a senior at Belmont University majoring in Music Business. I like to write and sing about positive messages with an encouraging vibe even if it’s about a tough subject.

 

R: Who are your biggest inspirations?

K: My biggest musical inspiration is Reba McEntire. Her vocals are incredible and her energy is contagious. She’s the queen of country in my books and I’ve always admired her talents, even when I was really young. I’m also inspired by my mom and my grandparents. They’ve been a huge part of my journey with endless encouragement and I can go to them about anything.

 

R: Do you have an album or EP out?

K: Over the last few months, I’ve been writing a lot of new material with the plan to release a more extensive body of work, whether that’s an album or EP, in the future. Both of my latest releases, “Pick Me Up” and “More Of That,” will be included on the full-length project. But for now, they are available as singles on iTunes.

 

R: What is your single “Pick Me Up” about?

K: “Pick Me Up” is about breaking through the everyday routine and enjoying the day that the week ends. It’s fun and upbeat and almost a weekend anthem. It serves as a reminder that whatever your week might have been like, it’s never a bad day to plan a good time!

 

R: What are some of your plans for the future?

K: The first plan is to graduate from Belmont University. I will also continue to make and share new music with y’all this year. Then, I plan to work as hard as I can to achieve my dreams, one of which is to play at the Grand Ole Opry one day.

 

R: What advice would you give to other young singers?

K: Perseverance — if it’s something you aspire to do and it’s the love of your life, you have to keep doing everything you can. Nothing can stop you. 

Check out Kaylee’s official website and her YouTube channel, and go follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

 

By Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Kaylee Rutland press photos

 

Interviewing Actress Lindsay Lamb

 

Meet Lindsay Lamb, a talented  actress who has done it all: horror, comedy, stage productions, even superhero films! You can see her in Emma’s Chance, Apple of My Eye, Range 15, and again in Blue Line, which is soon to be released this spring. Read on to learn more about her.

 

R: When did you first get into acting? How did you get to where you are today in the business?

L: I first starting acting out when my younger sister was born and I was desperate for attention. But professionally, I started acting when I was 10 years old in a theater production of Annie. I performed in Florida theatrically and commercially until I was 18, then decided to move to Boston, Massachusetts for reasons that I’m still unsure of. I didn’t know anyone and definitely didn’t know what I was doing, but I ended up interning at Boston Casting and working on countless sets. I learned very quickly that I had a lot more to learn! Then I moved to New York where I worked for 3 years and went to Pace University before transferring to the University of Southern California and majoring in theater. I have been in LA ever since. 

 

R: What kinds of movies have you done in the past? Do you have a favorite film you’ve done? What is your favorite genre to act in?

L: I’ve done a variety of films, everything from family films to horror films to superheroine films. I think my favorite film thus far has been Apple Of My Eye because of everything I learned and being able to work with my best friend and favorite director, Castille Landon. My favorite genre in general is psychological thrillers. I love a good murder mystery that keeps you guessing!

 

R: Tell us about Blue Line. 

L: Blue Line was the first film that I booked after graduating from USC. It was such a great experience and definitely another one of those wow-I-have-so-much-more-to-learn times in my life, which is always very humbling, to say the least. We filmed in Cromwell, Connecticut in the dead of winter and I played Bunny Abbott, a cheerleader who gets held hostage by the two leads. The entire town and entire crew were so incredibly wonderful and it was an experience that I am forever grateful for. I’m so excited to see the final product when it’s released this spring!

 

R: What do you like to do besides acting?

L: I’m actually outrageously boring; there’s a rumor going around that I do a lot of fun things, but I really just hang out with my dogs and experiment with different food combinations in my kitchen! I also love a good vanilla latte and going to the Sleep Number bed store with my fellow weirdo Alana to see if my sleep number position has changed.

 

R: What are your future plans?

L: Career wise, I really want to get into television, so I’ll just put that into the universe! Personally, I plan on continuing to travel. As of January 1 of last year, I had never been outside of the US and I decided that that needed to change. So far I’ve been to six countries and I want to try to double that this year. I definitely caught the travel bug and I’m not mad about it!

 

R: Are there any charities or causes close to your heart? Tell us about them.

L: I adopted both of my pups, so really any charity having to do with saving animals is close to my heart. But more specifically, Bark n’ Bitches, where my family adopted our pup Winnie, and Wylder’s Holistic Pet Center and Rescue where I adopted my little girl Jovi (and since I mentioned Jovi, I have to mention my little cub, Scotch. He was found on the streets in downtown LA but now sleeps in a tempedic bed so he’s not complaining!), and of course the ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society.

 

R: What advice do you have for young aspiring actresses?

L: I think the most important thing that I’ve learned is to find your “people”— likeminded individuals who are on your team. I think it’s so important, especially in this crazy industry, to have a core group of people who you can depend on to be consistent. With that being said, always make sure you are that consistent person for someone else. It goes a long way!

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Ryan West

 

Interview with Mason Ashley

It’s been several dry months for me, musically wise.  I’m listening and absorbing, but there hasn’t been much interest in writing about any of it.  So, the second an email piques my interest, I’m all over it, quick, before I lose the motivation.  Fortunately, though, I love “Paper Planes” so much, I am as excited to share this with you now as I was three weeks ago when I first heard Mason.  Straight up great lyrics and lovely voice with no flash and no gimmicks because there isn’t any needed.  Seriously, it’s so refreshing.  And this interview hints at a sense of humor that made me smile; I am as eager to share her responses as I am to tell everyone about her music.  Read on. And then go listen. I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

 

Relate:  First memory of music:

Mason:  I grew up watching the VH1 Top 20 Video countdown every Saturday since I was really little. I used to dance around the living room and reenact music videos and sing along with every song my parents would play in the house. The first song I wrote was on a hotel notepad when I was seven years old about being late for school…. I was homeschooled at the time. 

 

R:  Name one song you wish you had written and why?

M:  “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan is a song I always wish I’d written. It is the greatest break up song of all time in my opinion. It totally encapsulates the feelings at the end of a relationship. Each verse takes you through the different emotions; the “who cares” somewhat sarcastic attitude, the feeling of giving up, and the hint of sadness in the last verse. It’s genius. 

 

R:  Favorite song of yours that you have written and what makes it special to you?

M:  I think my favorite song I’ve written is the title track of my new EP, “Strangers”. That song title was in my phone notes for about two years and I just never found lyrics that lived up to the title until last summer. The song just kind of poured out of me and it has some of my favorite and most personal lines in it. It’s about a very complicated relationship I was in last year that taught me a lot about myself and how I deal with different situations. “Strangers” is special to me because it is the song I had always wanted to write and it ended up exactly the way I wanted it to in production. It captures the feeling of getting to know someone, losing them, and realizing maybe you never really knew them at all… and in the end you end up exactly how you started: strangers. 

 

R:  I’ve read that you have traveled a lot. How has meeting new people and seeing different places helped you become a better songwriter and musician?

M:  I always get very inspired when I travel. Something about seeing parts of the world I’ve never seen before for the first time makes me want to capture that feeling in lyrics. Meeting new people is the same kind of inspiration for me.. it’s a reminder of how unique everyone is and how everyone has their own story. 

 

R:  Have you ever been afraid to share a song and did you get over that fear?  If so, how?  And if not, do you think you will always have songs that you keep to yourself?

M:  When I first started writing, I was terrified to share any of my songs. When I started performing my songs, I would hide all my feelings in metaphors in my lyrics to make sure nobody knew how I was feeling. I had been writing a few years when I finally realized that all the songs by other artists that I loved were songs that told a brutally honest story. From then on, I felt confident being honest in my writing…it’s much easier.  

 

R:  What goal do you have for yourself that is so big that it frightens you?

M:  My biggest, most terrifying goal is probably to have my song in a movie. It is a dream of mine and if it happened, I think I would freak out. 

 

R:  Best advice that you have ever been given?

M:  Growing up in church with my pastor being my grandfather, I always have great advice. One of my favorite pieces of advice is actually something my grandpa said about God and how He is in everything in our lives, even the rough times. “He’s the designer of the storm. He doesn’t just get you through it… He is in it.” Those words always calm me down and remind me that there is a plan for my life better than I could ever design for myself. 

 

R:  When you aren’t singing or writing music, what do you like to do?

M:   I’m in cosmetology school right now so when I’m not doing something music related I’m normally doing someone’s hair. I’m a coffee-addict so I’m also usually found in a coffee shop after or before school. And I’ve also started doing a lot of yoga lately. 

 

R:  Tell us about something that has made you laugh in the last twenty-four hours.

M:  Well… I was watching The Office earlier (for the billionth time) and laughing with every episode I watched. 

 

R:  Name one song on your iPod that your friends would be surprised you own.

M:  I normally have pop, rap, or indie music playing when my friends are with me so I think they’d be most surprised at the amount of Jackson 5 songs I have on my phone.. They are probably my guilty pleasure band. 

 

R:  Just for fun-choose one:  Beach or the mountains?

M:  Beach BY the mountains. 

 

R:  T-shirts and jeans or sweaters and skirts?

M:   T-shirts and jeans.

 

R:  Taylor Swift or Beyonce?

M:  T-swizzle.

 

R:  Pizza or Cheeseburgers and fries?

M:   Pizza! (Barbecue chicken pizza specifically)

 

R:  Chocolate or potato chips?

M:  Chocolate chips all the way.

 

For more information about Mason, please visit:  http://www.masonashley.com/

Written by Ellen Marie Hawkins

 

Chit Chatting with Actress Kelsey Scott

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently I had the honor of interviewing actress Kelsey Scott. She plays Sierra on the webisodes of  Passage, which is in its second season. Not only is she a talented actress, but she is also a writer. Read on and learn more about her, upcoming projects, and what the strangest question she has ever been asked is.

 

R: Tell our readers about yourself and how you got into acting.

K: I fell in love with performing very early, and spent the greater part of my childhood on the stages of my hometown, Atlanta, from theater troupes to community choir, even a performing arts high school. Although I’m the only person in my immediate family who chose a career in entertainment, my mother sang and played the piano, my sister sings and plays eight instruments, and my grandmother was a passionate writer. I was always surrounded by creative energy and my family was fully supportive of my aspirations.

 

R: You are in the TV series Fear the Walking Dead: Passage. Tell us about the show and your character, Sierra.

K: Passage is the second season of the Fear the Walking Dead webisodes. It follows two women in a post-apocalyptic world who begin as strangers and are forced to become allies in order to survive. The series begins with my character, Sierra, who’s a shrewd and resilient survivor. She’s still reeling from an immense, personal tragedy that she refuses to talk about. As she’s making her way through an abandoned military camp that was bombed after being overrun with Infected, she encounters Gabi. Timid, injured, and barely surviving on her own, Gabi is Sierra’s polar opposite. Sierra has no desire to be responsible for another person. But when Gabi tells her about a tunnel that can get them both out of San Diego and into Mexico, Sierra reluctantly agrees to help her. Over the course of the trek, they face all manners of danger – in the wasteland the world has become, and inside themselves.

 

R: Where can people watch this series?

K: The episodes air Sundays on AMC, during commercial breaks of The Walking Dead. You can also find them online on the AMC website and through the AMC app, where you can watch the first eight episodes as one, uninterrupted broadcast.

 

R: How did you find out about Fear the Walking Dead: Passage?

K: My agent sent me in for, what I thought, was a commercial audition. The script seemed uncharacteristically dramatic for a commercial, though. So I figured it was probably a PSA. Even when I went to the callback (a second audition) none of the actors had been given details about the project. It wasn’t until I booked the role and received a call from the wardrobe department of Fear the Walking Dead that the truth came to light! It was a beautiful surprise. I’d been itching to do a gritty, action role and this was a perfect fit.

 

R: Do you have any other projects that are coming out?

K: I’m excited about a psychological thriller I shot called The Dark Red. I play a psychiatrist whose patient insists that her unborn child was stolen by a cult. I’ll also be making a couple of guest appearances in a juicy web series about actor-life called The Process, and I have a recurring role on How To Get Away With Murder.

 

R: What is the best thing about acting and the hardest thing?

K: They’re one and the same. You have the opportunity to become someone completely different from yourself, to step outside of your own set of experiences and embody a different individual. Living someone else’s narrative is not easy. Authenticity requires craft and consistency and public vulnerability. For me, it’s a delicious brand of difficult. I love it.

 

R: You are also a screenwriter. Tell us about that and what are some of the films you have written?

K: I think I caught the writing bug from my mother and grandmother. My mother was an English professor for thirty years and taught me the power and beauty of words. My grandmother loved to write and showed me that I could use those words to design worlds. I received my formal screenwriting training at Florida State University’s College of Film. Two of my more popular films are Motives and its sequel Motives 2: Retribution. I continue to write films on both assignment and spec, as well as provide feedback to writers and producers on existing projects.

 

R: What are some of your future goals?  

K: I’d love for my next role to be as a series regular on an hour-long drama. It was exciting to work on so many episodes of How To Get Away With Murder and have the opportunity to dive into the character over several weeks. My ideal scenario would be working on a series and then on eclectic films, between seasons. As a writer, I also have some “favorite” scripts I’m eager to see on screen.


R: It is hard being a teenager. What advice would you give them in general?

K: Trust yourself. It takes time and it requires that you listen to that small voice in your head – especially when outside influences want to drown it out. But I’ve found that the right answers are more obvious than complicated. If you err on the side of doing what’s right and what’s right for you, finding answers to significant questions becomes a smoother journey.

 

R: What is your favorite project you have done and why?

K: I have two. The first is How To Get Away With Murder, for the reasons I mentioned above. I also loved working with Viola Davis. It’s important to put yourself in the company of people who challenge you to be better. Some people challenge you just by being themselves and doing what they normally do. It’s even better when, like Viola, they’re genuine people with open hearts. The second project is a play I did in Atlanta written by the indomitable Pearl Cleage, titled What I Learned in Paris. Because it was the premiere production, I was the first actor to present this character to the world. I’d never had that honor before on such a large scale and I understand the importance of being chosen by the playwright to breathe inaugural life into her creation. Additionally, the character is nothing like me. I relished the challenge of finding her and then really being her, performance after performance.

 

R: What is the best thing a fan has ever said or done for you?

K: I’m a big believer in the majesty of words, so I try to be very deliberate with mine. I’ve been most flattered when someone reveals that something I said impacted him or her in a meaningful and memorable way, especially when it drives them to push forward in ways even they might not have known they were capable of.


R: Tell us about some of the causes that are close to your heart like WriteGirl and Kids in the Spotlight?

K: Art is a superpower. It is emotional and cathartic, medicinal to the spirit and melodic to the heart. Any time I have the opportunity to encourage people, especially young people, to discover and explore their creative side, I’m first in line. WriteGirl matches professional women writers with teenage girls. The women volunteer their time to help these young ladies find their voices and express themselves. Through workshops, mentorships and events, WriteGirl promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills for a demographic that, in my opinion, is too often hushed. Kids in the Spotlight is a beautiful organization that enlists professional filmmakers to train foster care youth in writing, casting, and starring in their own short films. Each season concludes with an Academy Awards-like event in which the kids walk the red carpet, see their films on the big screen and connect with professionals in various aspects of the entertainment industry.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question that you have ever been asked?

K: Someone once said to me, “You were a child actor. Why aren’t you messed up?”

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

K: My website is www.KelseyScott.com and social media gurus can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @MsKelseyScott.

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

K: Achievement in the entertainment industry often requires a cocktail of time, resilience, and consistency. The same can be said for just about any career path. But success is still possible. For anyone. Unfortunately, it’s become a cliché to tell people to believe in themselves and follow their dreams — that they can do anything they put their minds toward. So I’ll leave you with a more tangible grain of advice that my mother always told me: “Never take a ‘no’ from someone not empowered to give you a ‘yes’, in the first place.”

 

R: Kelsey, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

K: It has been my absolute pleasure.

 

Photo credits: AMC Stills: Ron Jaffe, Publicity Photo: Scott Price

Meet Puerto Rican Singer Isabella

 

My name is Isabella. I’m a singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I love music, theater, and art. Relationships are one of my biggest inspirations for music. Check me out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Spotify!

 

I first got into singing when I was four years old. I really loved it! I’ve been passionate about singing for my whole life. I also started playing the piano because I love classical music.

My biggest inspirations are my family, friends, and the kids of the world. My family inspires me to be better, for myself and for future generations. My friends are a constant source of inspiration for me to be encouraging and to learn from them.

I want to achieve certain goals so I can help women and kids in need. I want to be involved in mission work helping orphans. I want to be active in charities for kids and build a space for them to study, or possibly a performing arts school. I also want to continue to do music as well as pursue acting.

I’m wishing everyone a great 2017. I hope your dreams come true this year! I’m looking forward to sharing more music and videos with you all. I’m very excited!

 

 

 

As an artist, Isabella has created a unique, international sound, combining pop music and Caribbean Latin rhythms with passionate lyrics in English, Spanish, and French. In 2016, she collaborated with Capitol Records artist BJ the Chicago Kid on the single “Love Inside” on his Grammy-nominated R&B album “In My Mind.” Isabella recently released a new single, “All Of My Life,” in January. It will be featured on her upcoming EP, as well as her leading single “Ole,” available now on iTunes. Links to purchase her music, as well as her YouTube channel, and official website, are below.

 

Ole – iTunes

All of My Life – iTunes

Isabella Musique – YouTube

Official Website

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Caesar Osiris

Singer Nikki Yanofsky is Bringing Jazz to a New Generation

 

When you think of jazz music, you might think of really old classics sung by really old singers–beloved, but a little obsolete. That’s not what 23-year-old Montreal native Nikki Yanofsky thinks. This rising star is bringing jazz to a new generation with her fresh blend of jazz and pop. So far she’s performed at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, worked with artists like Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock, and has recently released an EP. Read on to meet her!

 

R: Hi Nikki! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

N: Hey! I’m Nikki Yanofsky, I enjoy long walks on the beach (preferably with like, five dogs), painting and a good book!

 

R: When did you first get into singing?

N: I’ve been singing since I could talk…I started to put on little shows around my house for my family as far back as I could remember. I started performing for a real audience (that weren’t obliged to tell me I was good) at twelve.

 

R: Who are your biggest inspirations?

N: Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse, and Bruno Mars. My favourite songwriter is Rod Temperton.

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

N: I want to bring jazz to a younger generation.

 

R: What’s your favorite song?

N: That’s very hard. I don’t have a favourite song! I would feel too bad singling one out. Songs represent snapshots of different moments for me. That’s like picking a favourite moment in my life. And when you think about it, life is just one big collection of moments, you can’t have one moment without the moment that came before or after it.

 

R: Where can people get your music?

N: Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, etc. Pretty much everywhere.

 

R: Do you have any social media, and if so, what are the addresses?

N: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter: OfficialNikkiY
We Heart It: NikkiYanofsky

 

R: Is there anything else you’d like to add or say to your fans?

N: Without you there is no this. I mean that. So thank you so much for listening to my music!

 

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Alchetron, Donna Hopper

Chit Chatting with Pastor/Author Tabitha Caplinger

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently, I had the honor of interviewing an amazing pastor, author, and overall wonderful woman, Tabitha Caplinger. She is the author of the TCO3 trilogy, which I cannot wait to read. Read on and hear her advice if you have walked away from God, her books, and what #LiveChosen means.

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

T: I don’t want to just ramble out my standard bio, so…I’m a wife, mom, youth pastor, and author. I’m also a confessed TV addict. I spend most days in Tabitha Caplingermy pajamas, writing and drinking coffee. Also, I like to think I’m pretty awesome (I tend to think everyone is pretty awesome in their own way).

 

R: How did you decide to get into student ministry? What is the best thing about it?

T: My dad was a pastor. I’d like to say that I had this super inspiring calling experience, but in reality, I didn’t want to have anything to do with vocational ministry, so I pushed the idea of it out of my mind and ran away to a secular college for two semesters. God, being patient and gracious, kept speaking to my heart and showing me His purposes for my life. Eventually, I realized nothing outside of His will was going to make me happy and fulfilled, so I relented. The cool thing now is looking back and seeing how God redeemed those two semesters and is currently using them in my ministry (I was a creative writing major, though I had never once thought of being a writer prior to college. Now I’m a pastor and an author!).

 

R: You are also an ordained minister. How did that come about?

T: The moment I really yielded my will to God’s and began to walk out the call to student ministry, I knew I wanted to be credentialed as a minister–not for the title, but the training. I am ordained with the Assemblies of God. The classes involved in getting ordained are challenging, but they teach you so much about ministry and about God’s Word. I am also so thankful to be part of a fellowship that values women as equal so that I could become ordained. It was a super cool experience. My husband and I were ordained at the same time and my father surprised us by getting to be the minister who prayed over us at the service.

 

R: It is not easy being a teen. What advice would you give a teenager who has turned away from God and Jesus?

T: I would say to give Him another chance. I’ve been doing student ministry for a lot of years and those that started out with Jesus and turned away either went through something difficult and grew angry at God, or they never really had a personal relationship with Him to begin with (I’m not trying to cast everyone in general categories because our struggles and situations are all unique, but I think a lot boils down to these two arenas.). But while we may walk away from God, He never walks away from us. He is right there, waiting for us to just see Him, to reach out a hand for him. So give Him another chance, a real effort, ask Him to reveal Himself, to speak to you. I believe with all my heart that He will. And don’t confuse people with Jesus. Often we limit God by only seeing him in the light of other Christians. Look for Him, the real Him.

R: Tell us about your book The Chronicle of the Three: Bloodline.

T: Basically, it’s some pretty cool and sassy girls who fight demons and are trying to save the world. There is also a stoic angel and pie.

 

R: How did you come up with the ideas for your books? What is your writing process? 

T: This book was a dream. That might sound clichéd, but it’s true. I woke up with this idea. Actually, it started with a vision of The Chronicle and the story just went from there. As for the writing process, I am an outliner first. My initial outlines are pretty broad and basic, and then as I go they get more specific. I do like to be flexible, though. More than once, my characters have gone off-script, and that has led to some of my favorite scenes.

 

R: Where can people get your books?

T: Amazon is a good place to start. Bloodline is available to order in both paperback and digital in other places online. You can even walk into your local bookstore and they can probably order it for you. I am waiting for the day it makes the Barnes & Noble shelves.

 

R: What advice do you have for someone who wanted to become a writer?

T: Write. Sit down and do the work. Even if you don’t have the whole book laid out, it’s okay–just start somewhere. Also, do your homework on the publishing and marketing process. There is a lot I have learned along the way that I wish I had known earlier. Writing the book is just the beginning.

 

R: Tell us about the book The Chronicle of the Three: Armor Bearer. When will this book be released?

T: Armor Bearer is the continuation of the TCO3 trilogy. It picks up a little while after Bloodline ends and we get to dive a little deeper into Claire’s history and Zoe’s present. Some new characters appear, too, which is always fun. And you don’t have to wait for it because Armor Bearer was released February 7, 2017!

R: Do you plan on writing more books?

T: Yes! I am finishing the third book in the TCO3 trilogy right now but I have two other book ideas that are swirling around in my brain. I can only focus on one story at a time, so as soon as Book Three is sent off to the publisher to get the process started, I will being outlining the next book, which I am really looking forward to.


R: Tell our readers about your blog.

T: My blog is like my brain, a little all over the place. I write about what’s on my mind that month. Some posts are funny and some are serious. Some are about writing or my books. Some are about my kids. Some are about Jesus. It’s a good way to get to know me because it’s just me, my thoughts on the page.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

T: This might be it! I get asked what my favorite type of pie is a lot…or how I like my tacos. Doing an interview in character as Claire from Bloodline, I (or she) was asked what shoes she was wearing.

 

R: What is #LiveChosen?

T: For over 15 years of youth ministry I have discipled young women. After writing Bloodline, I put together a devotional resource that is its companion, Daughters Arise. But I didn’t feel like it was enough. I want the stories I write to open conversations about our relationship with God. I was reading Girls with Swords by Lisa Bevere one day and praying about how I could take the ministry part of all this one step further and #LiveChosen flashed in my mind. My TCO3 characters get branded with the word “chosen” after slaying their first demon. While we won’t slay any physical demons, we do have purpose–we are chosen. #LiveChosen is my initiative to help young women learn to live for their purpose on purpose. I have some resources on my website for girls and leaders and I have several #LiveChosen videos on my YouTube channel. (If you don’t mind watching me talk about Jesus in my kitchen or bedroom.)

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? Which ones and what are their address? Do you have an official website?

T: I am on all of them. Probably not really but a lot of them.

My website is tabithacaplinger.com and it links to all my social media.

 

R: Anything else you would like to add or say to your readers?

T: Just that you are chosen, powerful, loved, and never alone.

 

Say Howdy to Up-and-Coming Country Singer Carly Pearce

 

Hey y’all! I’m Carly Pearce and I’m a country singer and songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee. I can’t wait to share “Every Little Thing” with country listeners everywhere and I’m so excited for people to learn more about my music!

 

R: When did you first get into singing?

C: My parents say I was singing before I could talk. Growing up in Kentucky, music was a huge part of my life. I naturally gravitated to country and really, I have never known a day when I didn’t want to be a country artist.

R: Who are your biggest inspirations?

C: On a personal level, my mom is a huge inspiration; she keeps me grounded. Musically, I love really amazing female voices with a lot of character like Alison Krauss, Trisha Yearwood, and Faith Hill.

R: What are some of your future goals?

C: I would love to have a number one hit on country radio, be nominated for New Artist of the Year at the CMAs or ACMs, and one day become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. I’ve got work to do!

R: What’s your favorite song?

C: Ah, it’s so hard to pick a favorite song! One song I always say I wish I had written is “Born To Fly” by Sara Evans.

R: Where can fans find you on social media?

C: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.com/CarlyPearceMusic

R: Where can people get your music?

C: Right now, my debut single “Every Little Thing” is available for download on iTunes and streaming on Spotify!

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Carly Pearce Press

Meet Dance Moms Choreographer Gia Martello

 

If you’ve watched Lifetime’s hit TV show Dance Moms, then you’ve probably been amazed by these talented young dancers and their spectacular performances. Behind the crazy dance moves and beautiful choreography is Gianna Martello, who has worked with the Abby Lee Dance Company for years and is the main choreographer for the show. Find out how long she’s worked with Abby, her favorite styles of dance, and what inspired her to pursue it as a career.

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

G: My name is Gianna, but most people call me Gia. I don’t have a middle name. I’m twenty-seven years old and a Gemini. I am bi-coastal; I split my time between Los Angeles and my hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. I am currently the choreographer on Dance Moms, but I grew up dancing at the ALDC under Abby Lee Miller, so that’s how it all fell into place.

R: How long have you been dancing?

G: I have been dancing since I was four years old. I started in a church basement taking only ballet and tap, but I wanted to take all styles, which is why I switched to dance under Abby. The rest is history!

R: When did you decide you wanted to be a choreographer?

G: I started teaching and assisting Abby when I was sixteen. She trained her older students to teach her lesson plan and pass it on to the younger dancers. Once I went to college, I started coming home on the weekends to teach and choreograph, and I knew that this is what I loved to do.

R: Tell us about Dance Moms. How did you get involved with the show?

G: I grew up dancing for Abby and started working for her while I was still in high school. Some of the girls on the show were the first students I ever had, when they were very young. I was teaching and choreographing dances for the girls way before the show started. I used to go to competition with them, get them ready, warm them up, and make sure they were stage ready, so it was only right that I did the same on the TV show.


R: What’s your favorite style of dance?

G: My two favorite styles are lyrical and contemporary. I grew up as a strong lyrical dancer, and contemporary became more popular as I was older.

R: What are some of your other interests besides dance?

G: Shopping, makeup, fashion, music, sushi, massages…y’know!

R: What advice do you have for young dancers?

G: I wasn’t always the best dancer in my group, but I know I was the most passionate. Dance was the only thing I cared about when I was growing up. If it is your obsession, being the best doesn’t matter. Stick with it!

 

Check out Gia on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Ryan West