By Popular Demand A 2nd Show Has Been Added
“The UNNAMED” Movie ENCORE VIEWING
Based on the book “THE UNNAMED” By Elva NelsonHayes, Author/Playwright
Sunday, March 1, 2015 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM (PST)
Elva Nelsonhayes is an author and a playwright. Her works include the books, The Unnamed and The Island Love Song. She is currently working on a full feature film based on The Unnamed. She is founder of The Oakland Pageturners Book Club, owner of Ms Lva’s Books & More, creator, producer and host of the TV talk show, Today’s Community Spotlight.
Article written by Karen Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org
3 local women and how they are building their businesses in the Lower Hudson Valley
Who hasn’t said they’d like to quit working for the man?
As it turns out, lots of women have, and that number is growing, especially among women of color.
A recent Center for American Progress study shows African-American and Latina women are a driving force behind entrepreneurship in the United States. From 1997 to 2013, the number of female-owned businesses in the U.S. grew by 59 percent — 1 1/2 times the national average. The study says women of color are the catalyst behind this growth: African-American women-owned businesses grew by 258 percent in that time; Latina women-owned businesses grew by 180 percent. Today, women of color are the majority owners of nearly one-third of female-owned firms in the nation.
Women say that being their own boss and controlling their own destiny are natural draws of entrepreneurship but they also seek a work-life balance and personal satisfaction from their businesses. Here’s a look at three local women and how they are building business and community in the Lower Hudson Valley.
Dionne Bell, make-up artist
Dionne Bell always loved to do makeup but felt there wasn’t a way for people to learn how to put it on without feeling the sales pressure to buy. Bell saw the gap, and decided to build a business.
“I’ve always loved what I do. Empowering women to look better and be more confident is my motivation.” Bell, who is 26 and was born in the Bronx, has been in the makeup industry for almost seven years, working for outfits like Bobbi Brown and as a makeup artist for New York Fashion Week. She branched out on her own a year ago and opened a space in Mamaroneck.
Belle Make-up NYC in Mamaroneck is cozy, decorated with touches of light gray and purple with a chandelier at the entrance. Guests are offered wine, champagne and something tasty to eat. “The atmosphere is relaxing talking girl to girl, with no pressure,” she laughs.
Bell offers individualized and group makeup instruction, event makeup and her own invention: makeup wardrobing. As part of this service she goes through the client’s makeup and lets them know what works and what doesn’t. “In my group classes, some women would have makeup for 10 years, and you can’t (keep it that long) — its makeup.”
She says becoming an entrepreneur hasn’t been exactly as she expected. “There’s no time off, and working consistently to bring in money is a challenge.” Along with chasing the dollars she is traveling about 70 percent of the time for clients, she says. But even with all this, she understands the appeal of business ownership for women and being in control of your schedule. “The challenge for me is that people always underestimate my ability because I’m young.”
In her business, pushing a luxury service is a challenge. She’s had to convince potential customers this is more than just an occasional need, and she’s constantly networking. But she says she’s in it for the long haul, “it’s nice now having a home base in Westchester.”
Regine Coombs, hairstylist
Regine Coombs was born to be an entrepreneur. “I knew at a very young age I was going to be an entrepreneur because I saw my dad do it,” she said. Her father ran several retail businesses in Rockland and Orange counties, and Coombs knew this was what she wanted to do. “I remember the goal was getting my name on a building.”
And she has. Coombs, a Nyack native, has had three successful businesses since 1991: two beauty salons and a restaurant. Currently she owns Regine’s International Beauty Salon in Nanuet. “I had conventional jobs but it was never enough,” she says. They were neither lucrative enough nor gave her enough personal satisfaction.
After training with Vidal Sassoon in the 1980s and working in London, she developed a clientele who kept her first Nyack salon, Regine’s, in business for 14 years. In that time she opened a restaurant called Southern Comfort that she ran for eight years. “There were a lot of 18-hour days,” she remembers.
Now on her third business, she says she’s motivated more by her control over her schedule than the money. “When you get older, it’s quality of life.” It’s also giving back, as Coombs has mentored other hairstylists in her 30-year career and says the next chapter for her is opening another franchise.
Coombs says being good at your craft is just a part of the puzzle to running a successful business. “There’s no handbook to being an entrepreneur, it’s about drive and knowing business.”
Kenyatta Jones-Arietta, real estate broker/owner
Kenyatta Jones-Arietta was an interior designer in Manhattan, but living in Tappan and commuting to the city was taking its toll. “I wasn’t happy with the quality of life with my children.”
So though she had two mortgages on her home, Jones-Arietta quit her job and became a real estate agent. “I sold 12 properties that first year and didn’t look back.”
That was in 2005; she was working for a franchise broker. Then in 2013 she went out on her own, launching R2M Realty. “It was amazing, as if I should be doing it all along,” Jones-Arietta says.
R2M Realty means “Ready 2 Move.” “When you are ready to move, we are ready to help,” she explains. Jones-Arietta says the Nyack boutique firm is hands-on with clients. “The sellers and buyers can tap into me anytime as if they are my own personal clients.”
She says she handpicks her agents, and they all have been closing deals within the first year of business. With about 12 agents and not the usual franchise fees as with bigger agencies, they’ve been able to give back to the community. “We give back 3 percent of our commission from home sales to our sellers’ or buyers’ local charities of choice,” Jones-Arietta says.
She credits her family with helping: her husband with emotional support and her mother for a financial boost (the mom loan). She also dipped into her 401(k) to start the business. “I didn’t think it was necessary at the time to get more financing.”
Jones-Arietta says she understands the appeal of entrepreneurship for women of color but says it’s really a life people should aspire to. “I’ve learned a lot. I am never bored at work. I get up excited about the day, and that’s the way life should be lived.”
The 42-year-old admits the balance between work and family is still a challenge, and she really only turns it off when she’s at the spa or on a family vacation. But she says she’s never going back. “I can see the big picture. This is what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.”
I wanna take this time to personally thank Vanessa Green for her service to the African American Community and her tireless dedication to the fight against Police Brutality. She has taken a stand and given a voice to those who have been murdered in the Black Community. While some choose to “Remain Silent” and others choose to “Riot” she has chosen to lift her voice and confront the system and LawEnforcement to let them know we stand united in our struggle to hold them accountable for their actions.
We salute you my sister and support you and others like you. Congrats Vanessa Green on being Honored at The Nyack Center’s “Black History Month Celebration” last night in Nyack,NY *Photos courtesy of Jeff Gatsby Wilson & WB Media Group (WBMG)
It was a pleasure meeting Arleen Fabio & Jennifer Cephus *Chair of the Youth Council & Director of the play the kids performed. The play was the most significant performance of the evening and it was brought to us by the beautiful and talented children of “Naomi’s Program Of Excellence”. They performed a Play in which they reenacted a critically acclaimed TV Show “Like It Is” which was hosted by Mr Gil Noble a world famous ABC News Anchor & ABC News Program Moderator.
The cast of 4 boys and 2 girls discussed the cases of police brutality and the murder of unarmed black men that has rocked the nation and spawned protest across this nation. *Photos courtesy of Jeff Gatsby Wilson & WB Media Group. #TeamGatsby @WBMediaGroup
“The Unnamed” Movie Poster
*Designed by WB Media Group (WBMG)
Congrats to my friend Elva NelsonHayes on turning her book “The Unnamed” into a movie. I’ve know Mz Elva for a few years and she is one of the most focused & driven people I have ever met . The sacrifices that she has had to make this movie may go unnoticed or unappreciated. But her love and passion for Books, Authors, Movies & Actors will live on forever in this film and her writings.
Congrats to the Cast & Crew who were working on the Independent film “The Unnamed” (based on the book by the same name) Written & Produced By Author Elva NelsonHayes and Directed By Jessica Brown. They just wrapped up filming yesterday & everyone did a fantastic job on the film. The project was the dream and vision of Elva NelsonHayes, Jessica Brown brought it to life, the actors gave it wings and it is destined for greatness.
WB Media Group gives you the first look at the Director and the star studded cast of the ” The Unnamed” an Independent Film written and Produced by Author Elva NelsonHayes from Oakland,CA. The film is Directed by Jessica Brown who also doubled as “Screenwriter for the project. The movies boast’s a list of talented actors that have years of TV & Movie experience. The Main characters of the film are Alani Simone (Young Opal), Barbara Bowman (GrandMomma), Maleena Lawrence (Momma), Princess Washington (Older Opal), Tina Gilton (Ruthie) & Marcus D. Spencer (George).
Jessica Brown – Director / Screenwriter
Jessica says, I got my start in musical theatre, participating in main stage productions, campus clubs and a few classes in film-making. Currently in production with “The Unnamed” as the director, screenwriter, camera operator and editor. Future projects, this next year, I’d like to get back into my theatre roots. Something stage related be it acting, directing and/or singing. My soul misses that feeling. As well as, put more focus into my screenplays and become more active in the community.
Alani Simone – Actress
Alani Simone is an 11-year-old Bay Area Native. She’s a model/actress with representation in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Alani Simone serves as Northern California Ambassador for Zolie Zi Anti-bully Campaign. She has walked in runway fashion shows, and appeared in films, television, and magazines such as Glamour Uk, Pottery Barn Teen, Earnshaw’s, and has graced the Covers of Texas Child Model Magazine, and most recently It’s A Kids World Magazine. She is currently starring as Opal in the Film “The Unnamed” by Elva Nelson Hayes. She is working on various upcoming projects in television, film & print work.
Barbara Bowman currently resides in Oakland, CA. She is an Early Childhood & Elementary Educator. She is also a community children & youth advocate. Barbara brings her life experiences and passion to the role of “GrandMomma” which she plays in the movie The Unnamed.
Actor | Producer | Writer| Activist | Host
Born and raised in Smyrna, DE, Maleena Lawrence is a proud HBCU graduate from Norfolk State University where she received her B.A. degree in Psychology with a personal minor in Theater Arts. Immediately after college, she relocated to the Bay Area and later to Los Angeles, CA. Maleena Lawrence is best known for her work on the PBS based show, Tavis Smiley Reports, an empowering docu-series and prominent brand that she helped launch and produce. In addition to her work in television, Maleena is a freelance journalist, red carpet reporter, featured contributor for The Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper and co-author of the relationship book, “JustFriends”?. She is the Founder ofDeep Rooted Entertainment, a multi-media production company specializing in content development and TV & Film production services. When Maleena is not advocating for justice or behind the lens she is adorning the screen interviewing cecelebrities, thought leaders, new faces and drawing you closer in her portrayall of characters. Currently, she can be seen playing the role of Momma in the independent feature film, The UNNAMED and upcoming web-series The Constituent.Previously, Maleena was seen on Investigation Discovery network show, Wives With with Knives episode Battlefield of Love and has been a regular Host on Lipstick Radio and featured in commerciall ads for: Intel, HP, Sony VAIO, Google, Clorox, 140Proof and much more.
I am a 2011 graduate of the Solano College Theatre’s conservatory ATP. I am signed to Marla Dell Talent, one of the premier talent agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have appeared in a handful of stage productions and commercials. My main focus has been to build my film resume, all of which I have had a leading role. My future projects include the short film “Vagabond” which I begin in February and the original play centered around sex/human trafficking “Cold Piece of Werk” debuting in Oakland in March.
Tina Gilton – Producer/Actress/Televison Host
Tina Gilton is an experienced actress with broadcast television host experience, and has representation with JE Talent Agency. Tina trained and performed at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles with accomplished actor/producer Robert Miano, studied at the SF Norcal Conservatory, Pan Theater, and also trained at Voice One in SF, CA. She was recently awarded for her excellence as a producer at The Equality International Film Festival in 2014. She is the Creative Producer of “Someday She” the series which costars Reggie Stephens, formerly of the NY Giants. She worked as a casting assistant along with Toni Staniewicz of Toni Staniewicz Casting and cast youth talent on The Unnamed. She starred in the feature films Stripes, The Unnamed, A Hundred Blocks, and costarred in Superpowerless and Family First: The Marshawn Lynch Story. She was also featured in the films Domino and Kicks. She starred in the web series An Argument, Someday She, Shadow Games, and 8 The Series, and also made appearances on popular television shows such as Murder in the First, Looking, Wives with Knives, I Almost Got Away With It, LAX, and Nash Bridges. She worked as a stand in actor on Nash Bridges and Netflix series Sense 8. She has broadcasting experience with interviews airing on MTV, KOFY TV, and CBS Black Renaissance.
During her pastime, she enjoys watching boxing and competitive sports live or on television, and has an affinity for classic Black and White films.
In 2006 Marcus D. Spencer decided to try his hand at acting. Marcus had started off earlier at the age of 16 doing print ads for Pepsi and Sobe, but in 2006 his first big break came with working on the set of Pursuit of Happyness with Academy award nominee Will Smith. Standing 6’2″ tall, weighing almost 300 pounds, Smith took a liking to Marcus’ big personality; after checking him out he dubbed him ‘Big Spence’. Months after Pursuit of Happyness had wrapped Marcus landed his first Guest Star role in the San Francisco based show, The Evidence (Orlando Jones).
Meanwhile Spencer has never stopped acting. Marcus has continued to be cast on several T.V. shows such as “Californification”, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, “Key and Peele”, “I (Almost) Got Away With It” and others. Marcus has a strong film resume as well, having worked alongside such talent as Forest Whitaker, Al Pacino, Vince Vaughn, Omari Hardwick and Philip Seymour Hoffman.The name ‘Big Spence’ stuck with Marcus. His acting career took off and by 2008 he was a full-time SAG actor. In 2009 Marcus started exhibiting his writing skills; in 2010 he started producing, formed his own company,”Touch The Heart Productions” and also had his son. In 2010 Big Spence was awarded the ‘Be That Kid Award’ for his contributions to helping and mentoring Bay Area youth. By 2013 Marcus D. Spencer decided he wanted to try his hand at directing. Having previously written two films, “The American Dream” and “Milk Money”, Marcus put pen to paper once again and wrote the screenplay, “Set Me Free”. “Set Me Free” was inspired by the many facets of Marcus’ own life. The film was a big success having landed Marcus’ several awards including ‘Best Dramatic Feature’, ‘Best Narrative Feature’, ‘U.S. Rising Director’ and several ‘Best Director’ awards.
*This film which is based on the bestselling book “The Unnamed” is Produced by Author Elva NelsonHayes of Oakland,CA
The Unnamed forces us to look at how we overcome adversities, how we handle moments of loss, betrayal and pride. This movie holds us responsible for our actions. Most importantly it’s told from the perspective of the child often caught in the middle of family infighting and drama.This story is universal because it has a lesson for every member of the family.*Attend the premier of the movie The UNNAMED and support local authors, moviemakers, and actors.
*Buy your advance tickets for the premier of the upcoming, groundbreaking film, The Unnamed. The movie is based on the novel of the same name, written by and inspired by the life of the author, Elva NelsonHayes and directed by Jessica Brown.
WB Media Group wants to introduce you to the cast of the ” The Unnamed” an Independent Film written and Produced by Author Elva NelsonHayes from Oakland,CA. Marcus D. Spencer an accomplished Actor with a number of films to his credit plays George “Opal’s Father” in the film “The Unnamed” by Executive Producer Elva NelsonHayes
Actor Marcus D. Spencer
On January 24th, 1984, Marcus D. Spencer was born third of six sons in Oakland, CA to Arlette (Tarvins) and Malichi Spencer. Although he was born to Arlette and Malichi, Marcus was raised by his step-grandmother, Erma Tarvins. At the tender age of 3 months, Marcus was put in to foster care and became a ward of the court. It was then, grandma Erma took him in and raised him. Marcus learned the importance of education as he grew up In Oakland, Richmond and Albany, CA. All through his school career he earned good grades. Marcus earned good enough grades to make it to UC Berkeley where he majored in Social work. During his time at UC Berkeley, Marcus played semi-pro football for the Bay Area Assassins out of Richmond, CA where he won a championship in his first year.
Marcus moved in with his mom and his youngest brother Michael when he was 16. Due to some family issues, Marcus left his moms’ care at 17 to move to Sacramento with his brother (half brother) Victor and his family. Sacramento is where Marcus spent his senior year in high school. During his senior year he learned that his biological mother was ill and had little time to live. Marcus gave up a scholarship to play college football so he could move in with his mother whose health was declining due to emphysema. He also took on the task of caring for his younger brother Michael. In 2002 Marcus graduated from high school, became a manager at IHop and buried his father. 2006 changed Marcus’ life in many ways. His mother, Arlette passed away. Being just 22 years old Marcus took sole custody of his 13 year old brother Michael. During the same year Marcus was blessed with the birth of his daughter, Mariah J. Spencer. 2006 was also when Marcus D. Spencer decided to try his hand at acting. Marcus had started off earlier at the age of 16 doing print ads for Pepsi and Sobe, but in 2006 his first big break came with working on the set of Pursuit of Happyness with Academy award nominee Will Smith. Standing 6’2″ tall, weighing almost 300 pounds, Smith took a liking to Marcus’ big personality; after checking him out he dubbed him ‘Big Spence’. Months after Pursuit of Happyness had wrapped Marcus landed his first Guest Star role in the San Francisco based show, The Evidence (Orlando Jones).
Meanwhile Spencer has never stopped acting. Marcus has continued to be cast on several T.V. shows such as “Californification”, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, “Key and Peele”, “I (Almost) Got Away With It” and others. Marcus has a strong film resume as well, having worked along side such talent as Forest Whitaker, Al Pacino, Vince Vaughn, Omari Hardwick and Philip Seymour Hoffman.The name ‘Big Spence’ stuck with Marcus. His acting career took off and by 2008 he was a full time SAG actor. In 2009 Marcus started exhibiting his writing skills; in 2010 he started producing, formed his own company,”Touch The Heart Productions” and also had his son. In 2010 Big Spence was awarded the ‘Be That Kid Award’ for his contributions to helping and mentoring Bay Area youth. By 2013 Marcus D. Spencer decided he wanted to try his hand at directing. Having previously written two films, “The American Dream” and “Milk Money”, Marcus put pen to paper once again and wrote the screenplay, “Set Me Free”. “Set Me Free” was inspired by the many facets of Marcus’ own life. The film was a big success having landed Marcus’ several awards including ‘Best Dramatic Feature’, ‘Best Narrative Feature’, ‘U.S. Rising Director’ and several ‘Best Director’ awards.
*Marcus D. Spencer resides in Los Angeles, CA but continues to support Bay Area charities such as G.L.I.D.E. and 21st Century Mentors.
DJ Gatsby Book club wants to share a post about the late Author Gwynne Forster, While i had never heard of her or read any of her books i found out during my research that she was adored by her fans. She was a very successful writer who has won many awards for her writing and i feel the African-American Literary community has lost a very talented Author who will be missed by all who were touched by her life and her books .
*Biography below is reposted from the Gwynne Forster “Amazon Authors Page”.
Gwynne Forster is national best-selling and award-winning author of twelve novels of general fiction, thirty-three romance novels,eight mainstream and romance novellas, and one self-published e-book collection of short stories, Fire Down Below. All of her mainstream novels and several of her romance novels have been featured in Black Expressions Magazine. When Twilight Comes, her first mainstream novel, was featured on the magazine’s cover, and it also remained on the Essence Magazine list of best sellers for several months. Her latest mainstream novels,When The Sun Goes own and Breaking The Ties That Bind, published in 2000 and 2011, respectively, received rave reviews. Publisher’s Weekly called A Different Kind Of Blues, published in October 2008, “An ode to life…wise and wonderful…”
Among her many awards and forms of recognition, Gwynne is most proud of her election in 2006 to the Affaire de Coeur Magazine Hall Of Fame,and of the Life Time Ahchievement Award conferred by Romantic Times Magazine in 2007, and the RT Magazine award as best multicultural mainstream novel of 2011 for Breaking The Ties That Bind. The following novels were nominated by Affaire de Coeur Magazine for ‘Best romance novel of the year with African-American Hero and heroine: Ecstasy, Obsession, Naked Soul, Fools Rush In, Swept Away, Secret Desire, Scarlet Woman. Winners of the award were: Beyond Desire,Ecstasy, Naked Soul, Fools Rush In, and Swept Away. Readers of Affaire de Coeur Magazine named Gwynne one of Top Ten Favorite Authors for the years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2006, and one of five outstanding achievers (1998). Rendezvous Magazine voted Secret Desire “Rose Bud of the month” for November 2003. The 2001 Gold Pin Award from Black Writers Reunion and Conference went to Gwynne’s Beyond Desire.
Double Day Book Club and Literary Guild selected Beyond Desire and used the book to start the Black Expressions Book Club. Romance In Color internet site gave its 1999 Award of Excellence to Against The Wind and voted Gwynne Author of the Year. The site voted Flying High runner-up to best romance of the year 2003 and gave it Honorable mention. Romance Slam Jam 2000 nominated Gwynne for the Vivian Stephens Lifetime Achievement Award. Romance Slam Jam 2001 gave Gwynne an Emma Award for her novella, “Learning to Love” in the anthology, Going To The Chapel. Romance Slam Jam 2003 nominated Blues From Down Deep for an Emma Award as best mainstream novel. Gwynne lectures extensively on fiction writing, and on making the first sale.
A native North Carolinian who grew up in Washington, D. C. , Gwynne holds bachelors and masters degrees in sociology, a master’s degree in economics/demography and has additional graduate credits in journalism. As a demographer, she is widely published. She is formerly chief of (non-medical) research in fertility and family planning in the Population Division of the United Nations in New York and served for four years as chairperson of the International Programme Committee of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (London, England). These positions took her on official business to sixty-three developed and developing countries.
Gwynne sings on her church choir, loves to entertain, and is a museum hopper, gourmet cook and avid gardener. She enjoys classical music, opera, jazz and blues with her husband with whom she lives in New York City.