Friday, December 21, 2012

Interview with Celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis
Renowned cookbook author and Food Network star, Giada De Laurentiis, whose expertise in Italian cuisine has made her into a superstar in the cooking world. Best known for her television show, Everyday Italian, and for regular appearances on the Today show, Giada continues to build a household name for herself as a celebrity spokeswoman for various brands, and has even launched her own cookware and kitchen supplies that are directly sold at Target.

In an exclusive interview with, talented chef, Giada De Laurentiis, talks about holiday entertaining, her recent partnering with Clairol, and the importance of empowering women that lead busy lives but still want to look and feel sexy. What advice would you give for holiday entertaining/

Giada: When it comes to holiday entertaining and hosting, the number one thing you want to do is make sure you are well prepared and relaxed. The last thing guests want to see is a frantic hostess. It makes them a little bit uncomfortable. Secondly, try to see if you could have other guests bring food or drinks, kind of like a potluck. Or you can mix and match by making one or two items and then buying something already prepared, just decorate it on a beautiful platter.

TCC: You also stress the importance of healthy indulgences during the holidays. What would you define as a healthy indulgence?

Giada: It is something that is guilt-free. It’s good to be healthy, but in order to maintain that you have to, in my opinion, indulge once in awhile. Otherwise it can get kind of boring. So a healthy balance would be using healthy ingredients both in your food and the way you take care of yourself.

TCC: But what if a person is on a diet? How can they avoid feeling deprived at a Christmas party?

Giada: It’s best to not go to a party starving because when you get there you’ll want to feel like eating everything in sight. It’s good to have a little snack or eat something at home first. Then at the party you could taste a little bit of everything if you want and not feel deprived. Usually hosts don’t serve more than three or four dishes at a holiday party.

When it comes to drinks, you could have a glass of champagne, which is the lowest calorie alcoholic drink to have. Or, if you don’t feel like drinking, have a sparkling water with some lime and lemon to make it festive.

TCC: What are your most favorite holiday dishes you make for guests?

Giada: Dessert-wise I love making my almond cornmeal cake. It’s a dessert you can make ahead of time and is baked in a bundt cake pan. I top the cake off with sweet syrup made out of pomegranate juice that’s reduced down until it has a thick, jelly-like consistency. The ruby colored pomegranate syrup gives the golden colored almond cornmeal cake a beautiful look that fits well with the holiday season.

For savory items, I usually offer three different things. One is my red pepper hummus in a cucumber cup, which I make two days in advance and then put it together before the party. Second, I make mini smoked salmon pizzas. It’s another dish I make ahead of time and then assemble together before guests arrive. And lastly, I make beef skewers served with a tomato relish. All these dishes are fun, tasty, and festive.

TCC: Does your little girl ever help you out when you’re cooking?

Giada: Well, Jade is almost five and she loves being in the kitchen with me. I’m hoping that she will still feel the same way about cooking later on in life. But you never know, either she’ll love to cook or will absolutely hate it. But for now she adores being in the kitchen, not just for the time we spend playing and laughing, but the fact that she gets to taste everything, especially when it comes to desserts. That is the most joy she gets.

TCC: Since you are a spokesperson for Clairol, in what way has their hair care products become part of your beauty routine?

Giada: I’m extremely honored to be working with Clairol’s Natural Instincts because no one in my field has ever been given this opportunity. Also, I’m a busy mom and I work a lot. Being on television I have to look my best. What Natural Instincts has personally given me is the ability to color my hair within 10 minutes while I’m tending to work-related matters or when I’m taking care of my daughter. What I also love about Natural Instincts is that it is ammonia-free and contains ingredients that leave my hair soft and shiny. I feel this partnership with Clairol has really given me some tools of empowerment as well. I hope it can help a lot of other women as well feel good about themselves.

TCC: Are there any types of food you eat that are part of your beauty regimen?

Giada: I always use olive oil when cooking because it’s good for your body, skin, and hair. I also eat avocados whenever I can. It’s amazing for your skin and contains lots of nutrients. Another food item I eat most often are almonds. They contain good fat that’s great for your hair and skin. It’s important to eat healthy, organic food you like and that makes you feel good.

TCC: By any chance is there a particular show on Food Network you like watching?

Giada: Other than my show? (Laughs) I’m just kidding! Yes, I do like watching Barefoot Contessa. Ina [Garten] and I are good friends. I always say to her that I hope to be like her when I’m her age. Of course, our age differences are not that far apart. But she is such a wonderful human being, truly, in every sense of the word. She is so giving and loving. Those qualities are well presented on Barefoot Contessa and that’s why I really do enjoy watching her show.

Giada is debuting her new shade - Clairol Natural Instincts in Navajo Bronze. To see what shade is right for you go to the Clairol website.

Written by: Bridget Campos

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Interview with Angela Kinsey, co-star of ‘The Office’

Actress Angela Kinsey from the hit television show, The Office, has over the years kept fans both annoyed yet entertained by her character, Angela Martin, an uptight, belittling accountant who only shows any ounce of happiness when it comes to talking about her cats.

Of course, Kinsey’s television character is a far cry from who she is in real life, a cheerful and caring person, especially when it comes to parenting her four-year-old daughter, Isabel. spoke with the actress about her next TV project following the ending of The Office and her work as an ambassador for Citrus Lane, a care package company that specializes in delivering various kid-friendly products to families with infants and toddlers. What are your thoughts about The Office coming to an end after nine seasons?

Angela Kinsey: Oh my god, Bridget, it is very bittersweet. I love so much the group of people that I’m working with. They really are like my extended family. We are all very close. I’m going to miss them so much. On that end it’s kind of sad. It’s been a lot of fun playing Angela Martin, no matter how weird and persnickety she is. But at the same time for the integrity of the show and the storyline, I feel it is time to say goodbye.

TCC: What is the one thing you will miss about playing your Office character, Angela Martin?

AK: Well, it’s always fun to play the bitch. I personally have sort of a hard time telling people off. So it’s nice to play someone who is very bold and could care less what others think about her.

TCC: Do you know what can fans expect from the show’s very last episode?

AK: We’re still halfway through the show. I actually don’t know what the final episode will be. They’re still working on that. But I think this season is turning out to be really great because there are a lot of characters having these big crisis moments in their lives.

My character just figured out that Oscar is sleeping with the Senator, which is going to unravel Angela Martin’s world. Jim and Pam are at a crisis because Jim is getting this job in Philadelphia. Andy is also going to have a big break in his life and so is Erin. All these characters are having these huge moments that are going to play out. I think the show is going to have a great ending.

TCC: I know some former cast members of The Office have left to do their own shows. Even you have one coming up, a sitcom on FOX called Dirty Blondes. What inspired you to create this show?

AK: My show is based off the friendship of my friend, Rachael Harris, and I. We have known each other for 16 years. The show is about two women that are starting over later in life. It’s all about new beginnings, the trials and humiliations, but also the small victories in life.

TCC: When is the pilot expected to air?

AK: I’m not sure. I imagine we’ll shoot the pilot the beginning of next year.

TCC: Aside from working on television projects, you are also a very dedicated mother. What would you say is the most challenging part of being a single parent?

AK: I would love to sometimes have an extra set of hands to help around the house. I don’t know what people’s perceptions are of TV actresses and if they have tons of help around, because I don’t. I sometimes wish my mom or my sisters lived right across the street from me, so they could come over and help me out at dinner time. It’s those kinds of moments that as a parent you really would like to have a little extra help. I think all parents want that.

TCC: So you want your daughter to grow up in an environment just like any other regular family?

AK: Yes, I really want to do it myself. I want it to be my daughter and I. But I do have a lady help us when I’m working and when Isabel’s dad is working. We don’t have an entourage of nannies taking care of everything. We don’t live in the glitzy part of town. We are kind of out in the suburbs. Our neighbors are not actors, but are mostly lawyers, accountants, and school teachers. That’s what I want. I think even in a big city like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago you can still find a community that feels like a small town. I wanted my child to grow up in that type of environment.

TCC: What advice would you give on how to have cooperative co-parenting during the holidays?

AK: My ex-husband and I have a really great relationship because our daughter is everything to us. I would say we co-parent very well not only on the holidays, but all year round. We just made this a part of our foundation that will be forever. We do activities together every weekend as a family, just the three of us. Often during the week we take turns helping each other take Isabel to school or picking her up. We’ll even have lunch or dinner together. In fact, we are going to have Thanksgiving together. And we’re planning of doing some activities for Christmas, like going to go see Santa as a family at the mall. This is a choice my ex-husband and I have made and we tend to keep it for the sake of our daughter.

TCC: But what if a person doesn’t get along with their ex? Is it still possible to co-parent for the sake of the kids?

AK: I feel every person’s situation is different. But what can really help the partnership is if you can keep it about your child then it helps smooth everything out.

TCC: Tell me about the holiday care package you created for Citrus Lane.

AK: Yes, I designed a special edition care package for preschoolers between the ages of three to six. I did create the holiday box based on items my daughter likes, but I think boys might like it too. The care package contains items like a tea set by Green Toys. They are a company that makes items out of recycled material. Also, the box contains an Ivy and Bean paper doll set by Chronicle Books. These dolls have clothes that are removable stickers so your can constantly change their outfits. It’s great for traveling because you can easily fit them in a bag. There is also a Sparkle Hearts gift set, which are lotions. My daughter is pretty girly so she’s into this type of stuff that has glitter in it. And it’s also non-toxic. Fruit and veggie snacks are also included in the box from Plum Organic. They are really yummy and chewy. It’s a sweet treat that parents can feel good about putting them in your kid’s lunch box. You also get a cute penguin cookie cutter, which was donated by one of my favorite non profit organizations, They help in protecting the world’s oceans. It’s good to tell your little ones about ocean conservation and what small steps we can take to help keep marine life safe.

I love being the Ambassador for a great company like Citrus Lane. This group, consisting of moms and parents, research these really good products, making sure they are organic and safe for the environment, and then put these items in a box and ship them to their subscribers every month. These are great care packages that parents will love because they will be getting quality products that their kids will enjoy.

Angela Kinsey's Special Delivery courtesy of Citrus Lane

Written by: Bridget Campos


Originally posted on Nov. 22, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Interview with Comedian and Radio Personality Adam Carolla

Not much of an introduction is needed for the outspoken, unapologetic radio host, Adam Carolla. Love him or hate him this controversial star has over the years built a career on never holding back anything when it comes to speaking his mind. After co-creating two successful television shows, The Man Show and Crank Yankers, Carolla returned to radio in 2009 by creating his own podcast show, The Adam Carolla Show, which is currently a Guinness World Records holder for being the most downloaded podcast ever. spoke with the former co-host of MTV’s Loveline about his view on politics and why he doesn’t consider himself to be a part of Hollywood. Since the election happened this week, what are your thoughts on President Barack Obama being re-elected?

Adam Carolla: I really don’t expect a lot. The President’s re-election is good news for everyone that thinks he is going to do something different the second time around. But it’s going to be more of the same thing.

TCC: Do you feel he just delivered the same promises he made during his first campaign?

AC: I figure he’ll do what he did the first time around just because I know human nature. But then again I could be wrong. I’ve been kidding everybody that Obama has been softening up the body for about four years, and now he’s going to throw that haymaker. But, remember when people expected a whole bunch of stuff the first time around?

TCC: Yes, I remember, but what about “Obamacare”? You don’t think that will change things for the country?

AC: I don’t know for whom. What people nowadays are not able to get medical care?

TCC: Mostly people that are out of a job because they can’t afford it.

AC: But why is that my problem if you don’t have a job and can’t afford health coverage? Whenever I got f**ked up I would just go to County USC hospital and get treated.

TCC: Usually in County hospitals you could be waiting 12 hours or longer to be treated, depending on how serious your emergency is.

AC: Yeah, it sucks to have to wait in line, but that is what you do when you don’t money. I know because I used to be poor and not have any medical insurance.

TCC: Do you believe political correctness has taken over freedom of speech?

AC: Of course, the public has always been in support of living in a land where free speech is accepted. But I would say we are experiencing free expression suppression, which means you literally won’t be beaten up and have your rights to free speech be taken away, but instead you will be beaten up, as it were, on the internet and through social media by being taken out of context. You will be suppressed or punished for not being politically correct. Eventually people wise up to that and say f**k it. That is what most of Hollywood does.

TCC: You’re known for being brutally honest, which causes the public to get upset at you…

AC: I don’t give a sh*t! It’s not like I’m running for office. You know what I mean? I don’t work for anybody, so there are no repercussions. It doesn’t matter how upset anyone reading this article gets. I will still have a successful broadcast and live shows.

But there can be drawbacks that can turn you into a pariah, like with Michael Richards. I would argue that if Michael Richards had a successful podcast, and had enough white supremacists that listened to him, he’d still be doing fine.

TCC: In the case of other celebrities, do you think the public likes honesty but to a degree when it comes to famous people speaking their mind?

AC: In general, everybody likes honesty only when they are in agreement with you. With a group that agrees with your honesty, you are called courageous or maybe even a hero. But when they disagree with you then you are called homophobic, misogynistic, or any other discriminating words.

Now with celebrities it’s all about saying the right thing or telling people want they want to hear. When the mic is in front of them it’s all a lot of talk about the Occupy Wall Street movement, helping poor people, and disenfranchised minorities. They do this because they are smart. They got a business and that business is them. They want to make sure that even though they are rich, mostly white, send their kids to private school, fly in private jets, drive expensive cars, and live in houses with lots of security, or even gated communities, they will never talk about that. It’s like they want to win this sort of poor man-popularity contest. That’s why not many celebrities talk about how rich they are or even how much money they make.

TCC: You have stated before that you hate Hollywood. But isn’t it a contradiction to hate something you are a part of?

AC: I’m not really a part of Hollywood.

TCC: But didn’t you become a celebrity after having two successful television shows?

AC: Yes, because I created those shows alongside with Jimmy Kimmel. We wrote them and did everything. As soon as we left those shows went away. I continued writing my own work just not on television anymore. I left Hollywood to be my own boss. I am not saying everyone in the industry is awful. It’s just that some make bad decisions and you realize that you don’t want them for a boss anymore and want to go your own direction. When I did this it gave me the opportunity to say what I want to say, which some people in Hollywood would like to say the same stuff I say but can’t, because they have to answer to these idiots.

TCC: So you are much happier doing your podcast show rather than being on television?

AC: Yes, I am. I was never really much of a TV guy. I’m more of a radio guy.

TCC: Could you also tell me about your tour dates in New York?

AC: One of my shows will be at Town Hall in New York this Saturday (Nov. 10) at 7:30 PM. It’s going to be stand up/an evening with Adam Carolla. The show will be a mixture of jokes, rants, a little improv, and motivational speaking woven in as well.

TCC: You also have a new signature wine on the market called Mangria. Does it really contain a mixture of red wine and vodka?

AC: Yes, it does. Mangria taste like sangria but also has a little bit of orange, grape, and a couple of other secret ingredients. It contains 20% alcohol, so it has some kick to it. But it is unbelievably good!

It’s only available online at So far it has been a huge success. We’ve already sold over 10,000 bottles and are looking to have Mangria sold in-stores soon. I’m very excited about that. It’s delectable and you would really like it.

To purchase tickets to Adam Carolla’s live show on November 10th, please go to his website at:

Written by: Bridget Campos


Originally posted on Nov. 9, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Interview with Indie Pop Artist Kat Parsons

"Her breathy, sweet vocals and catchy hooks draw in even the most casual listener." "Her songs possess a fiery folk-rock spirit." She truly is an "artist that sings straight from the heart."

These are a few of the many praises given to pop singer, Kat Parsons, from both fellow artists and critics alike. She’s won several singing competitions and has had success touring internationally, as well. Due to her father being an opera singer and her mother being a musician/singer, it is no wonder why this Austria native has impressive singing ability and has been called one of the most ‘influential emerging artists.’ spoke with Kat about her latest albums and what advice she would give to aspiring singers that want to make a record. What can fans expect from your new album, Oh!?

Kat Parsons: This album is different from my others albums, because I have some happy love songs on it. Oh! shows a different side to my music that has more bouncy, fun, toe-tapping songs on it.

TCC: Who would you compare your musical style to?

KP: Gosh! I would have to say I have been compared to a modern-day Carole King. She is one of my favorite comparisons.

TCC: Do you think because of your parent’s musical background that you were bound to be a singer too?

KP: I think so. Because there is so much love for music in my history, it makes sense that I would be interested in pursuing it as a career.

TCC: With the help of your fans you were able to promote your most recent albums through an internet based company called Kickstarter. What exactly is Kickstarter about?

KP: Kickstarter is a website where people, such as artists, can have their fans participate in funding their projects. Even filmmakers and inventors use Kickstarter. What’s cool about it is that it works for everyone because you are offering people, that like what you do, exclusive access to events and stuff that they will hopefully want.

TCC: Did fans have any say on your Kickstarter campaign project, since they helped fund your albums?

KP: I only asked my fans to help with funding post recording endeavors such as art work, manufacturing, and PR advertising. Most artists spend their entire budget on recording and then have nothing left to get their work out there to the public. Creating this campaign project really helped in getting others to know about my music.

TCC: Would you recommend others to use Kickstarter in order to jumpstart any project they have?

KP: Yeah, but it’s important to have a clear idea on what your project is so others can see that you are serious about your work, because you have invested time and effort on it. Then get it up there and let people know about it. Hopefully it will be something people will want.

TCC: Why didn’t you make just one LP album rather than 3 EP’s?

KP: I was really inspired to experiment with my music by trying out different sounds and working with a different producer on each album. So that’s why I divided it up into five tracks per EP and let each one of the albums have its own vibe and energy. My last album, Talk To Me, was more commercial pop. Oh! has more acoustic instruments to it. And my third one, It Matters To Me, is more singer/songwriter style and contains full instruments. Creating three albums ended up working out very well.

TCC: Since Oh! is coming out Oct. 9 when will the next album be out?

KP: It Matters To Me doesn’t have a set date right now. But it’s looking like sometime in January 2013.

TCC: What advice would you give to a new artist that wants to make an album? Should they self-produce it or try to go with a record label instead?

KP: For my albums, I did not go to a record label. I did everything independently and I really liked that path. It has been very rewarding. I get to interact with fans in a way that have a direct impact on my career. It’s fine working with a record label, but it really depends on what they are offering the artist. In general, I think it is best to go ahead and do what you want to do instead of waiting for someone to grant you access. I just really like the idea of going for it by creating your own work and getting it out there. And if that means recording in a garage band than I think that’s cool. Everyone has to start somewhere.

For a free download of Kat’s new single ‘Love Changes Everything’ from her latest album Oh! you can go to her website at:

Written by: Bridget Campos


This article was originally posted on Oct. 9, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Craig Hurley: Interview with former child actor & Author of ‘27 And All Washed Up’

Actor Craig Hurley writes a tell-all book about his career in Hollywood and the many stars he came into contact with along the way. From legendary film directors: John Hughes and Oliver Stone to former teen idols: Rob Lowe, Shannen Doherty, and Luke Perry.

Craig also made appearances on various TV shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation and 21 Jump Street. He is also best known for his role as Kent from Life Goes On and as Danny Larsen from the short-lived TV series, Nasty Boys. spoke with the former child actor, whose career first started at the tender age of four after appearing in a Chevrolet commercial, about the harsh truth of working in the entertainment business and how young hopefuls can learn from the experiences he went through in his acting career. How many celebrities contacted you regarding the uncensored, candid statements you made about them in your book, 27 And All Washed Up?

CH: I had a couple of celebrities call me and they were all very happy that I even mentioned them in the book. It didn’t really matter what I said or didn’t say about them. They were actually happier about the things I didn’t talk about. I took a lot of things out that I think wouldn’t have been good for anybody to hear. But, so far, I have gotten great reviews on 27 And All Washed Up. Everybody liked it.

I originally never intended to write this book. The idea all started a few years ago when I was in the play, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” at the Wheaton Drama Playhouse. My co-star, Zak Wilson, always wanted to hear my stories about what it was like working in Hollywood. He would ask me, ‘Can you tell me about Luke Perry? Or, what was it like meeting Adam Sandler or Johnny Depp?’ There were 18 cast members in that play and inevitably all the cast members would be standing around listening to every story I was telling them. Zak would say to me, ‘You have to write these stories down in a book.’ But I was adamant on not doing that. He followed me around for three to four months bugging me about writing a book. So then he thought of the idea to interview me and transcribe it into a book, which I finally agreed to go along with it. During the three years we got together about 20 times recording the interviews and about a year to transcribe them. The book also includes various images that I collected throughout the years as an actor.

TCC: In regards to the title of your book, 27 And All Washed Up, why do you think it is difficult to go from being a child actor to now a grown up actor?

Craig Hurley: Mostly because people don’t accept child actors as they get older. Part of it has to do with the transition not working for some. When I hit 27 and realized I wasn’t going to be on film anymore, I shifted gears and got into another facet of the entertainment business, doing voice over work in radio and television.

TCC: Like you mentioned you haven’t work much in movies or television in the past decade, was that intentional or was it just more difficult to find work as you got older?

CH: For the entire lifespan of my career, I have been on 10,587 auditions. But as I got older it was more difficult to find work. I wasn’t booking any on camera jobs so I was like, ‘I can’t continue to go through with this. Artistically speaking, I’m wasting my talent.’ So that is when I started to do voice over work for about 506 commercials.

TCC: Do you believe the old saying is true, ‘It’s who you know that makes you more successful in the entertainment industry’?

CH: It definitely helps to travel in a circle or pack in the entertainment business. It helps to hang out because this person knows that person and that person knows this person. There are literally zero degrees in separation when you’re in the industry. I can contact anybody I want just from being a part of it.

But then again it also depends on how talented you are. For example, if you wanted to be a director and in film school you shine, there is a strong likelihood your career will take off. That’s when it doesn’t matter what connections you have, but rather the amount of talent you have. So it’s good to pay attention to the people around you that are particularly really good because they are going to be working in the entertainment business.

TCC: Do you think there’s a point when a person should stop pursuing an acting career after they have tried everything and now consider it a waste of time?

CH: If an individual ever gets to a point like me when I was 27 and realized I wasn’t going to be in film anymore it’s best to find something else that you would love to do in the industry. My girlfriend, Katie Barberi, once told me, ‘If I never made it as an actress, I would love to have been a casting director.’ In her heart she loves the casting arena, but fortunately she never had to go down that avenue because she is doing well in her career path as an actress. In fact, she was recently nominated Best Supporting Actress on Telemundo. So that is the best advice I could give, just go into another facet in the entertainment business.

TCC: In your book you encourage actors to embrace stereotypical roles in order to be remembered. But don’t you think that cuts both ways because you can be a typecast by always playing the same type of roles, or maybe you’ll get limited roles because of playing a memorable character?

CH: I say take any role that is offered to you, but up to a certain point. When I was doing commercials, I just didn’t like pitching products I did not believe in. But as far as stereotypes are concerned I’m sure Christian Bale loves the fact that he’s known as Batman and thus stereotyped into that character. I personally would have loved to have been stereotyped into something. Everyone should accept exactly what they are given and then move on from there. But if you are talented enough you can move out of whatever stereotype role you’re put into.

TCC: Lately stars that have been in the industry for decades have stated in interviews that Hollywood has dramatically changed and it isn’t what it used to be. Some are even considering retiring because of this. Do you agree with them that Hollywood has changed?

CH: Yes, and I think reality shows have a lot to do with that. First of all, these types of shows like Jersey Shore are not real, in fact, not one cast member is even from Jersey - I mean, what the hell is that? To me that’s fake. The only exception are reality shows that involve helping people like the Dr. Drew show, now those shows I get, but if your going to be sitting there letting the cable T.V. wash over you for half an hour at least watch something that is real. People that are on these shows become famous so quickly like Snooki nobody knew who she was a couple of years ago and now she has become a household name. I’m like, ‘Who is she? She’s not talented. There is nothing to her.’ These types of shows only focus on building drama that is just fake.

I can see why people think Hollywood has changed because you can be a celebrity almost instantly but you can drop out just as quickly. Look at the show The Bachelor. Nobody remembers the names of the people on the first season of that show and they were huge 10 years ago. In a few years no one is going to give a sh*t who Snooki is, but they will give a sh*t about (excuse my language) Robert Downey Jr. Even if he screws up again, even if he starts taking crack again and does something stupid people will care because of who he is and how talented he is. So I could understand the frustration that talented actors would experience when they have to work along side someone with little to no talent at all. They would be like, ‘This really sucks that I have to be in a movie with this person that pretty soon won’t even be relevant anymore.’

TCC: I agree, but I also think there is more popularity for bad behavior rather than actual talent.

CH: Yes! (Laughs) though bad behavior has always been publicized in Hollywood, it’s more about who’s throwing which glass of wine in who’s face. It’s gotten pretty lame how someone can spark a drama that makes no sense at all and for no reason. That is something I just don’t understand.

TCC: If you had to do it over again would you have still continued to pursue an acting career as a kid?

CH: I believe so, but I had other passions besides acting. Growing up I was really into singing and playing drums. Which is why I’ve have been so busy focusing on the soundtrack of an independent film, Crazy, which my production company, Scrappy Co. Productions is right now editing. To me, the music in this film is so important. That is why I would highly recommend actors to rely on their other talents so you can use them at any time in their career.

For information about ‘27 And All Washed Up’ as well as Craig Hurley’s other film projects please visit his website:.

Written by: Bridget Campos


Book Cover
Image Courtesy of Scrappy Co. Publication  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sarah Lee Guthrie: Interview with the Granddaughter of Legendary Folk Singer Woody Guthrie

Iconic folk singer, Woody Guthrie, defined the depression-era through the songs he penned and the stories he wrote. As a political activist, his clever outspoken words exposed social injustices and challenged the traditional viewpoint of the American Dream. Guthrie's lyrics set the standard of speaking up for the average Joe and thus redefined the genre of folk music.

Many artists, including legendary singers Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Joan Baez praise Guthrie for paving the way for them in their music careers. But Guthrie’s real legacy comes from passing down his musical talent to his children. His son, Arlo Guthrie, better know for the 1967 song, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” is considered a legendary folk artist in his own right. Even Woody’s granddaughter, Sarah Lee Guthrie, along side her husband/music partner, Johnny Irion, have built a strong fan base by defining their own musical style of country-rock, while still respecting the Guthrie family’s strong roots to folk music.

Though Woody passed away in the late 60s from a debilitating illness, known as Huntington’s disease, his fans to this day still attend various festivals and museum exhibits each year to commemorate the life and music of the singer/songwriter. For this year, the Guthrie family has come together in a special tour across the U.S in celebration of the centennial year of Woody Guthrie’s birth. spoke with Sarah Lee Guthrie to give us a glimpse of what it is like being part of “folk music royalty.” Since the Guthrie Family Reunion tour kicked off last month, how is the tour going along so far?

Sarah Lee Guthrie: It’s going along very well. We actually had a few shows that are close to home (in California), which is really nice. It feels good to get back on the road with the family again.

TCC: Is there anything special your family has done to celebrate Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday, besides the tour?

SLG: Since we have a big family each member plays at different places, but it’s only Johnny and I that make records and go out on the road. It seems like every festival or event we’ve done this year has celebrated Woody’s 100th birthday. We first started out in Scotland at the Celtic Connections festival. Then we did a show at the Nokia Center featuring Jackson Browne, Crosby & Nash, Tom Morello, and many others. After this family tour, Johnny and I will be going on a six week tour in Germany to celebrate Woody over there. It’s really incredible to see the impact my grandfather has, not only on Americans, but everyone around the world. People are still receptive to the spirit of Woody.

TCC: How does it feel to be born into a legacy that your grandfather has left behind?

SLG: I feel a lot of times like it is really overwhelming. [Laughs] As a third generation singer/songwriter of this family, there are people that have these high expectations of me. As if they want me to be like Woody and in the past I had a tough time with that. But I’m not like my grandfather and I don’t think anyone should expect that from me. However, when I step back and look at the big picture, I feel like I have been blessed with a gift of music and having a grandfather who made such an impact on our culture. So I intend to do the best I can with this gift of mine.

TCC: Are there any interesting stories about Woody you would like to share?

SLG: Though I never met my grandfather, since he died years before I was born, I would listen to stories about him from my dad whenever he would do interviews or talk to the audience during shows. There was this one story when Woody was at a store and there were these black children that came in, and at the counter of this store, drinking sodas, were two Ku Klux Klan members. Woody knew they were such and so he made a big fuss about how beautiful and smart these kids were and was being as loud as he could. The KKK members were so mad at how he was elevating these children that they chased Woody out the store. During that time the war on racism was a big issue. But Woody loved all people and that is why he would poke fun at this racist group. What I admired so much about Woody was the guts he had to stand up to people.

TCC: Do you follow the same songwriting skills like Woody or more like your father, Arlo Guthrie?

SLG: I have my own way of writing that is different from the both of them. I think if anything I was more inspired by their lifestyles rather than their song writing skills. In fact, I think I am more influenced by Johnny when it comes to song writing. That is one of the reasons why I fell in love with him. He sings beautifully and writes wonderful lyrics. That’s what I admired the most about him when we first met in Los Angeles and started making music together, because during that time I couldn’t do that. But I’ve learned how to over the years.

TCC: How would you describe the music style of you and your husband, Johnny Irions? Is it similar to your family’s musical background?

SLG: Johnny and I are very different and so we make different music. We’ve been influenced by just about every single musical talent such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, and many others that have come before us. And so here we are in 2012, there are a lot of different things that have evolved over time, including melodies and how music is recorded. It’s a different generation with a different melody. It’s just the way the world has turned.

TCC: A couple of years ago, you released a children’s album, Go Waggaloo, featuring unreleased songs from your grandfather. How did it feel using his lyrics for your album?

SLG: The experience brought me closer to him and his creative process. Woody lyrically works with words so well. By reading his lyrics and the rhythm of them, I anticipated where he might go with the melody. The songs are very traditional sounding because the way the tune goes; they mostly contain three cords and are very simple. So I loved the experience of singing these songs with my kids and they loved it too. It was like sitting down with my grandfather in a way and uncovering a piece of him that nobody has seen before. That was a bit of a revelation for me looking through Woody’s archives.

TCC: Are your children interested in singing? If so, would you like them to carry on the family legacy of folk singing?

SLG: Yes, my five and ten year-old perform on stage with the family and they are amazingly poised. I sometimes can’t believe it. They, as well as my nieces and nephews, are serious about music, but also have fun with it. In fact, my little 10 year-old girl just recently got a real guitar, since she has outgrown her old Harmony toy guitar that we first bought her in Nashville when she was two. Woody would always say, ‘Never get a child that’s serious about music a toy guitar.’ So she now has a beautiful little guitar that was made for her and she loves it.

But I don’t know what musical path my kids plan on taking. My dad never pushed me into having a music career, so I’ll just let them figure it out themselves.

TCC: On your grandfather’s famous song, “This Land is Your Land”, he gave permission for anybody to use that song regardless of the risk of copyright infringement. Lately, quite a number of people are quick to sue artists for sampling their music w/o permission, or even accusing them of stealing their song because the melody sounds remotely like something they created. What do you think about this?

SLG: I think that is totally absurd! [Laughs] I don’t think melodies belong to anyone. In Woody’s case he never made a penny in his life, so it didn’t matter to him whether people copied his music or not. He just wanted to get the song out there and have people sing it no matter what. If you look back in the beginning of recorded music, it has only been around for more than a hundred years. Before that time people were for generations after generations singing melodies that didn’t belong to anyone and nobody got paid for it. I tend to think that as far as folk music goes it is a melody that belongs to the people. When I write a song I don’t expect to keep it. It is not my song to keep. Woody believed that too. He copied music all the time. That is what you did with folk music. You copy old melodies, and then you put new music to it, then you evolve it and then change into something else. In fact, there is a great quote from Woody. He said, ‘I never made an original melody on purpose.’

I think the music industry started booming around the 50s and through the 70s. It changed a lot about how we think about music or at least used to think about it. For me, music is so much more than a paycheck or a copyright that you can sue people for something you think is yours. It has the power beyond what we think it does. Music is magical because it moves people and at times can help them cope with life.

For more information on the life and music career of Woody Guthrie, please go to his official website at:

Written by: Bridget Campos                                                     

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Interview with Hip-Hop Artist Jared Evan

New to the hip-hop scene, Jared Evan, has taken the music industry by storm with his mixing of various genres, including rock, soul and R&B into one unique sound that has many expecting a promising career for the 22-year-old native New Yorker.

This has lead the young artist to work alongside several heavy-hitting musicians and producers, which include Pharrell, Timberland, Polow Da Don, and Dr. Dre just to name a few. The multi-talented singer/songwriter talks with about his diverse musical background and the recent release of his first EP album, The 4th Chapter. First of all, what made you want to have a career in music?

Jared Evan: Ever since I was little I always loved music. That’s really the only thing I ever wanted to do. I’m naturally gravitated towards it.

TCC: How would you define the music style in your new album?

Jared Evan: The sound of the album is definitely fusion - kind of like a hybrid sound that covers both hip-hop and soul. The production is also heavy in alternative pop, which I think is a relatable sound that everyone can feel.

TCC: A while back in your career you started off as a drummer. Was it a tough transition to go from being in a rock band to now being a hip-hop singer/rapper?

Jared Evan: Actually, no it isn’t. You would think it would be because they are completely two different aspects of music. In order to be a drummer in a rock band it takes vigor and passion because you’re playing an instrument. The same can be said about being a singer (or rapper). But your voice is the instrument.

Starting off as a drummer was a real advantage for me. It gave me a head start when I started writing songs and singing, because I developed a rhythmic sound. Using my voice alone I still feel like I play the drums though not on an actual drum set.

TCC: Do you miss being a drummer or do you like being center stage as a performer?

Jared Evan: I’ve always wondered where my career would have taken me if I had continued being in the background as a drummer. But it was hip-hop and rap that really helped me become a lead vocalist and brought me to the forefront of the stage as a solo artist.

TCC: Do you think some listeners might see this transition to another genre as a form of reinventing yourself rather than evolving as an artist?

Jared Evan: Some people might think so. When I started off in my music career, I went back and forth between hip-hop and rock. As I matured as an artist, I felt hip-hop was the style that stuck with me. But this album shows me evolving as an artist, taking every genre I’ve ever done in the past.

TCC: In the single, “4th Chapter,” you basically give the history of your music career w/ each chapter (from 1 to 3) referencing artists from the past that have made you the artist you are today. What does the song’s final verse (chapter 4) refer to?

Jared Evan: Each verse, or chapter, talks about the melting pot of diversity in music. The “4th Chapter” is the album itself. But in the song, I also explore my musical background. By the end of the song people will understand that I’ve created a new chapter of music. My album is that new chapter.

TCC: Are there any current artists you are influenced by?

Jared Evan: Yes, most definitely Drake and Kanye West. I also like Riff Raff. He’s pretty interesting.

TCC: What would be your dream collaboration?

Jared Evan: For any artist that’s ever lived, my dream collaboration would have to be John Lennon. Drake is another artist I would like to work with. He’s dope.

TCC: Now that the album is out, what are your plans? Will you be going on tour?

Jared Evan: I’m really focused on getting The 4th Chapter out to as many people as possible before going on tour. That’s why I’ve done a couple of shows in L.A. and New York to promote the album. But yes I’m planning on going on tour in the fall (Sept.) for a month or two.

TCC: By any chance are you working on your next album? If so, can you talk a little about it?

Jared Evan: It’s funny because when The 4th Chapter came out I was in the studio working on my next album. I don’t have a title and the album’s concept hasn’t been formulated yet. But I’ve already recorded a few songs for it. This will be my second EP album. I’m really looking forward to putting that out in late September or maybe early October.

I’m also working on a collaborative album with a really dope hip-hop producer. He’s worked with everyone from Jay-Z to Eminem. That album is a separate project. So fans can expect a lot more of my music coming out pretty soon.

To purchase Jared Evan’s new album, The 4th Chapter, click on the link here.

Written by: Bridget Campos