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We all know about the Bengals, Reds and Bearcats, but what about kick-butt women’s sports? Emily Joy, aka "Sk8 Crime," is part of one of those teams – the Cincinnati Rollergirls – and she still finds the time to lend a serious helping hand in the community. This jammer not only talks the talk, but walks the walk (and can do it in skates).

Cincy Chic How long have you lived in Cincinnati? Anything keeping you here?

EmilyJoy.jpg Joy: I was born at Good Samaritan Hospital in the summer of 1982 and have lived in Cincy my entire life. I grew up in Norwood, graduated from Norwood High in 2000, and then moved to Oakley. I started working on my Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at the University of Cincinnati in the fall of '01… Six years, four apartments and many relationships later… I am now living in Clifton, sculpting my senior thesis project, working part-time as a security guard, singing with MUSE- Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir and becoming a badass roller derby girl. As for the future…it’s all up in the air. I had planned to move to Portland, OR after finishing my degree, but then I met the most amazing woman and fell head-over-heels in love. This is not to say that I won’t move eventually, but for now…my plans have definitely been postponed.

Cincy Chic: How did you become a member of Cincinnati Rollergirls?

Joy: Near the beginning of last year, I heard from a friend that a roller derby league was starting up in Cincy. I remembered my dad telling me about how he used to watch roller derby as a kid, and always thought that if I had a chance to play, that I would have to take it. When I was younger I wanted to be a speed skater or an X-skater and that passion for skating has stayed with me, so when I heard a league was starting up, I e-mailed the organizer for more information. Up until that point, I had always skated on roller blades, so a week before the first practice, I bought a pair of quad skates and taught myself how to skate on them. Now, I am starting my second season as my alter ego "Sk8 Crime," a jammer with the Cincinnati Rollergirls.

Cincy Chic: What is the roller derby all about?

Joy: Essentially, derby is about skating fast, scoring points by passing other players and using your body to block the other players from scoring. Jammers are the speed skaters who have to maneuver their way through the blockers and back around again and again in order to score points. Meanwhile, the blockers are knocking around the jammers so that they can’t score points. So you take some awesome women, add cute uniforms and attitude, then put them on a fairly small track with very little protective gear and tell them to skate their hearts out… that’s roller derby.

Cincy Chic: What do you like about being part of Rollergirls? Any future plans for the team and league?

Joy: I love being a rollergirl because derby is an amazing sport for women of all ages, sizes, athletic abilities, backgrounds, etc. All you have to have is a little bit of determination and you can play…Ok, so balance is good too, but we can teach you that. I also love the fans. I get e-mails from women who have been inspired by my skating skills and want to join a league, men who recognize and appreciate my talent for taking women down, but mostly children who love my signature mohawk, squirt-gun and the Sk8 Crime stickers that I hand out. Maybe someday I will be able to be a professional rollergirl, but until then, I am just excited to be skating at the Cincinnati Gardens this season (May-September).

Cincy Chic: Besides the derby, what else are you involved in?

Joy: Outside of school, work and derby, I somehow find the time to sing soprano with MUSE, go to local protests against social injustices and organize drives for the YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter.

Cincy Chic: When you get a chance to take off your skates, where is your favorite local spot to “hang out”?

Joy: When I’m not busy with my own stuff, I either go to Dirty Jack’s (5912 Vine) or Arlin’s (on Ludlow). Those are the bars that my girlfriend’s band, PIKE, plays at most frequently. Since I am her biggest fan, you will often catch me rocking out in front of the stage, or selling merchandise…depending on the night.

Cincy Chic: How you like to use your Fine Arts and Women’s Studies degrees?

Joy: Right now I am working on my senior thesis project for DAAP. I am incorporating all of my feminist theory from Women’s Studies into the large-scale sculpture that will be shown at DAAPWORKS in June. The sculpture part will be about 20 sets of breasts, cast in rubber and mounted on the wall. All the breasts will be different because I am taking molds from actual women, and 1 in 8 of the breasts will have a ceramic piece embedded in the rubber to represent the statistic of how many women will get breast cancer in their lifetime. In addition to the breasts, there will be a video documentary of women talking about their experiences or issues with having breasts. It’s my goal to counteract the objectification of women’s breasts that we see in the media, and to show women that they are beautiful and wonderful no matter what their breasts look like.

Cincy Chic: In your words, what is the beauty of being a woman?

Joy: I find beauty in how I redefine what it means to be a woman. I create my own standards of beauty and femininity, and in return, I have a better self-esteem. So, essentially, beauty is really about loving yourself the way you are and not compromising to make other people happy.

Cincy Chic: If you could get one message to every woman, what would it be?

Joy: Join Roller Derby! Kidding. Seriously though, just love yourself and find strength in the diversity of women around you.

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Mosaics seem really difficult, but are actually very simple to create. You can mosaic just about anything with a flat or nearly flat breakcraft.jpgsurface, for example: mirrors, picture frames, vases, chairs and anything else you can think of! The fun of doing a mosaic is that there is no wrong way to do it. To start, just pick what you want to mosaic, and then select the materials.

To get started, here are the basics: broken glass, mosaic glue and grout (optional). Most craft supply stores have a large variety of pre-broken glass and even ceramic tiles. You can also buy glass bottles, plates, tiles or mirrors to break yourself. If you do break these pieces yourself, it’s best to wrap them in a towel so the broken pieces stay contained and do not fly up and cut you (make sure to protect your eyes with safety glasses).

Choosing pieces to break yourself is a great way to get really creative with the project. For example, going to garage sales or flea markets to find old dishes with ornate designs can turn an already fun design into something uniquely your own.

Do not be afraid to play with different textures, colors and sizes of the pieces you are applying; the typical mosaic has a smooth surface when finished, but your mosaic doesn't have to be typical.

Leaving the final piece rough can create depth and make it more interesting. A great way to generate this look is to use sea glass, which is not uniformly smooth and even. Pair the seabreakcraft2.jpg glass with any combination of the previously mentioned materials, or use all of one material. The point is: have fun with it!

Once you have the pieces laid out where you want them, glue them all in place using mosaic glue. You want to use this glue because it is stronger than regular glue, and it can be purchased at most craft stores. Once you glue the pieces in place, give it 24 hours to set before moving on to the last step.

If you opted to use pieces that are not uniformly smooth, resulting in an uneven surface, you will probably want to skip the grout step. Keep in mind that the initial surface to which you applied these pieces will be visible, so if you want the background to be a certain color, you might want to begin the process by painting it.

 

If you do use smooth, even pieces, using grout to fill the gaps is the final step. This grout is made specifically for mosaics and is also available at craft stores. It comes in just about any color and is extremely easy to use. Just follow the instructions on the package and you are done. You have produced a beautiful, easy and fun work of art that would even impress Martha Stewart!

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Where else can a woman over 60 display her hidden talents of being an aging stripper? I did just that as I portrayed a character in the Broadway show, "Gypsy."footlighters_intext.jpg

 

I have been one of those women since 1965, when I made the best decision of my life and joined Footlighters, Inc. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I would perform for Princess Grace in Monaco, because I was a part of a community theater group and won a competition.

There is nothing like the excitement of performing onstage, especially, if what you do for a living, never gives you that thrill. Belonging to a community theater group has given me the opportunity to meet hundreds of terrific people from all walks of life who come together, like a family, and produce a comedy, musical or drama in the theater. If you want to learn to design costumes, be a stage manager, be a lighting designer, design or build a set, the opportunity is at Footlighters. You just need the desire and interest to visit our theater. Our welcome mat doesn't lie. Everyone is welcome in our theater.

Footlighters, Inc. is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization and is supported by nearly 200 members, all of which represent a broad spectrum of the professional, demographic and geographic community served by the theatre. The group was founded in 1963 in Cincinnati and has been very successful in producing over 40 major musicals such as "Hello Dolly," "Music Man," "Oklahoma," "South Pacific," "Company," " Man of LaMancha," "Jesus Christ Super Star," "Fiddler on the Roof" and many others.

In 1985, the group bought the Salem Methodist Church, built in 1865, in Newport, which is on the National Historic Register. The Footlighter membership tackled the daunting task of renovating the church into a theater, with the help of $150,000 in grants. The Footlighters continued their rich history by opening the new Stained Glass Theatre, with the production of "Annie." Since then, Footlighters has produced three shows a season and has approximately 600 season subscribers. Each production has 12 performances for three weekends. They not only produce well- known musicals, for their spring production, they will also present a premier production of the award-winning, dramatic musical, "Parade," which has never been presented in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky.

If you want to have the best time of your life, commit your time to theater. You will never regret it! Look at the Footlighter's Web site, www.footlighters.org, for a variety of shows that you could be involved with. The next season begins October,2007 and ends in May,2008 with the productions of "Ballroom," "Daddy, Daddy, Who's Got the Will" and "Children of Eden."

Don't hesitate to call Footlighters at (513) 474-8711 for tickets to one of our productions or e-mail Dean Rettig at rettigcd@fuse.net for information about joining the group. If you just want to talk, woman-to-woman, you can call me at (513) 708-0213.

But whatever you do, "Break a Leg"!

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Freedom Writers
Featuring Hilary Swank, Scott Glenn, Patrick Dempsey and Pat Carroll

"Freedom Writers" is a movie starring Hilary Swank as an ambitious newcomer to the staff of an inner city high school. She is a teacher who chooses to teach at risk students in Los Angeles. Against her father’s approval, her spouse’s wishes and the naysayers' within her own faculty, she prevails in making a difference in the lives of her students.

"Freedom Writers" is the true life story of Erin Gruwell who succeeds in motivating her students to outperform expectations. She teaches them tolerance, empathy and self realization of taking responsibility for their lives rather than living behind hate. In Gruewell’s classroom mistrust no longer holds captive these young, hardened people.

Gaining this social metamorphous was hard won. Repeated attempts are made by the naive Gruwell to encourage her students to move out of their deep rooted ethnic groups. She is consistently met with disdain. She finds studying “required” literature to cultivate social awareness pales to the students’ own true life stories. Begun as a personal exercise in writing, an opportunity for change is born when Gruwell gives each student a notebook to keep as a journal.

In their writings grow lessons on integrity, diversity and the commonality of the human experience: We hurt when someone judges us because of our skin color; We anger when someone justifies violence in the name of righting a wrong; We devalue life for all when we refuse to see the similarity of our experiences; We cultivate prejudice and hate when we allow ignorance and long rooted vendettas dictate our actions.

In the exposure of their written experiences we are privy to realities wrought with questions of family loyalty, gang betrayal, commitment to graduating and changing the course of their "at risk" life. They are forced to ask themselves can they forego the expectation of being high school drop outs, pregnant teens, absentee fathers, drug pushing dealers or gun carrying gang members.

This movie is graphic. Hollywood did not make a candy stripe story with a picture perfect outcome neatly tied up with sanitary “closure”. We have seen many teen inspired movies of triumph overcoming diversity and ethnic difficulties. Rarely do we see one of this caliber.

Patrick Dempsey as Swank’s husband gives a bland performance that matches the paucity of spine his film character lacks. Scott Glenn as Swank’s father portrays a man with lofty ideals that go to the wayside when his daughter’s safety and future are so affected by her work.

Hillary Swank gives a top notch performance. And in a crucial addendum to the film Pat Carroll gives an Oscar worthy performance as a woman who lived the injustice of social cleansing.

This movie is not recommended for the faint of heart. It is recommended for all those who are comfortable with the status quo. For every blind eye turned away from the problems of our children’s youth, the complacency will have consequence.

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Theme

Cincinnati Flower Show, presented by Edyth and Carl Lindner, runs April 21- April 29 on a beautiful Lake Como, at Coney Island. It traditionally attracts more than 55,000 visitors from all over the country and abroad, and it is recognized as one of the country’s top events of the year. It is the only show in North America to ever receive the official endorsement of Great Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the only show in the world to feature awards from both the RHS and the American Horticultural Society. In celebration of its 18 years of unparalleled horticultural success, the Cincinnati Horticultural Society looks into the future with this year’s new theme, “Play in the Dirt.”

Exhibits

In all, the show will feature over 40 exhibits, presenting outdoor gardens, such as landscaping, hedging ponds, professional floristry and dramatic table settings. Visitors will be able to view and to experience the different displays and to participate in various events during the show. In addition, there will be panel of horticultural experts available for the “Askflower_a.jpg the Experts” program that will answer questions about the challenges or goals you face in your personal garden. Visitors will find inspiration among the myriad of gardens, plants and floral arrangements. Many new varieties of plants will fast become the new favorites for your own garden, front yard or patio. Designs form miniatures to grand landscapes.

What’s New in 2007?
Going Green: Sustainability is on everyone’s lips this year. In 2007 Cincinnati Flower Show will take one more step into the future and will undertake the environmental challenge. Six highly renowned Ohio organizations will come together to create an outstanding backyard garden
exhibit that will inspire an audience embracing the elements of a sustainable lifestyle. This “Garden of the Future,” in tune with nature, will include a façade of a “Green House,” with a green roof, that offers a unique opportunity to recreate a natural habitat with a highly practical function of planning for a flower_c.jpggreener future.

Fine Food Show: On the other side – just imagine – crispy bread sprinkled with specialty oils, savory and fine gourmet cookies, rich and exotic chocolate bites, golden honey and a delicious cup of coffee. Yummy. No, you won’t be sitting in the top restaurant of the world; you will be at the Cincinnati Spring Flower Show. A unique journey into the world of international cuisine, this fantastic event will run concurrently with the first three days of the Show, on April 21, 22 and 23, 2007. During these three days, the visitors will be amazed to discover the specialty foods available to consumers around the world and the cornucopia of food arrangements, from meats and cheeses, to preserved fruit and vegetables, from pasta and desserts, to olive oils and wines will sure to tempt every food coinsurer out there to try some of the bites.

DIFM

We’ll show how it’s done, while introducing those who know how to do it best – check out our “Do It For Me” exhibition that has ideas you’ll want to see.

To get more information about the show dates and times, visit the show's Web site at www.cincyflowershow.com or call 513-872-9555.

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“Why aren't men more courteous with us women? Whatever happened to opening doors and helping you with your coat?”
— Danielle, 31, Lawrenceburg

Dear Danielle,

What you're describing is known as "chivalry." Although the word sounds like something you do when it's cold outside, it's actually a term with which men should become more familiar.

The word "chivalry" comes from an old French word chevalier, or "knight." The American Heritage Dictionary defines "chivalry" as "The qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor and gallantry toward women." Still waiting for your "knight in shining armor"? That's where the phrase comes from. Unfortunately, instead of showing up on a magnificent white steed and professing his unconditional love, today's man seems content on pulling up in a tricked-out Honda Civic pumping out thousands of watts of misogynistic crap.

And for whatever reason, many of you women fall for it.

I'm not saying it's your fault, entirely. But it makes me cringe when I hear women cranking up the "booty music" in their own cars, blissfully ignorant of the song's defamatory lyrics, all because they like the "beat" of the song. As long as it's funny, or you can dance to it, many women don't seem to mind being referred to as a sexual truck stop. To some of you, it doesn't matter that you're being called names so degrading I can't even repeat them. It's all just one big joke. Funny stuff, right? That is, until one day, you grow up and realize that, to a lot of guys out there, guess what? It’s no longer a joke, and they really will think you’re just another, well, insert synonyms for female dog and garden tool here.

 

Today's music tells guys that, hey, you know what? It's hard out here for a pimp. Livin' large and in charge. And dudes eat that stuff up. Why? Because in all reality, they have no clue what it means to live that kind of life. Wanna see how glamorous "thug life" really is? Visit your local prison on any given Sunday. Kinda puts things into perspective.

Look, don't get me wrong here. I'm a musician myself, and don't believe in censorship. Ok, not in extreme levels of censorship. Society has to have some kind of moral standards. And so do women. If you want men to respect you, ask for it. Better yet, demand it. And if you can't seem to find a guy who's willing to treat you like a lady, maybe you're looking in all the wrong places.

There are plenty of "gentlemen" out there – regardless of their taste in music. Guys who do things like open doors and send flowers. Not to toot my own horn here, but I've done that kind of stuff my entire life. Why? Because I was taught that that is the proper way to treat a woman.

Granted, no woman wants a doormat. But if you want respect, start by respecting yourself for the truly wonderful being that you are. You deserve nothing less. Then, one day, you and your gallant knight can ride off together into the sunset – in his Civic that he helped you to get into. And just maybe, live happily ever after.

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Cincy Chic: Where in Cincinnati did you grow up?

Mia Sears: I grew up in North Avondale. I attended Seven Hills grades 1-6 and Walnut Hills High School grades 7-12.

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Cincy Chic: Where did you go to college?

Sears: I received my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Florida A&M University and my MBA from Xavier University here in Cincinnati.

Cincy Chic: What’s the main thing about Cincinnati that brought you back?
Sears:
When I finished my undergraduate studies, the only job offer I had at the time was here in Cincinnati (although I did not accept that offer) and I had the opportunity to go straight into grad school. I moved back in with my parents for a couple years and worked full time while a full time grad student.

Cincy Chic: Where do you reside in the Cincinnati area now?
Sears: I bought a house in College Hill about three and a half years ago.

Cincy Chic: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Sears:
Getting my business up and running takes up most of my spare time nowadays. I am also pretty active in my community. I am currently the second vice president of the Cincinnati Queen City Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., a public service sorority; and also advisor to a local collegiate chapter of the sorority. In addition, I was recently appointed as a member of the Cultural Diversity Committee for Mayor Mark Mallory’s Young Professional Kitchen Cabinet.

Cincy Chic: Where your favorite hang out spot in Cincinnati?
Sears:
There isn’t one. That is a main reason for the existence of Posh VIP – to help make Cincinnati a more livable place for young professionals, specifically minority/diverse young professionals. In an attempt to answer your question though, lately I have been attending happy hour Fridays after work with a group of other young professionals. We visit a different location every week. In recent weeks, we have gathered at places such as Chez Nora, Boca and Palomino.

Cincy Chic: Is Posh VIP your full time occupation?
Sears:
No, I am currently employed full time in Corporate America. However, with all of the ideas that I have and things I would like to accomplish I could very well see my business becoming my full time occupation by age 30.

Cincy Chic: What gave you the idea to start Posh VIP?
Sears:
My vision when originally creating Posh VIP Ltd. was an attempt to make Cincinnati a more livable place for young professionals with the primary focus on minority and diverse professionals. So often we see the influx and then quick exodus of these individuals. Cincinnati is not able to offer the entertaining and upwardly mobile environment for this group that many other cities can provide. While it will take some time, and more than just my efforts, I hope that Cincinnati will one day be a city that can compete with other large metropolitan areas.

Cincy Chic: What’s the “posh-est” thing you’ve ever done in your lifetime?
Sears:
Still working on that! (smile)

Cincy Chic: What’s the least “posh-est” thing you’ve ever done in your lifetime?
Sears:
(laughs) That’s funny because I was just discussing this with my happy hour crew a few weeks ago. I would definitely have to say my car in high school! I think I am a good driver. Actually, I know that I am a good driver, but my luck back then in this area just wasn’t all that great. By the end of my senior year I was driving around a jacked up car with one headlight, a tied down hood/bumper and a bass tube in the truck that would go in and out every time I turned a corner. Definitely not posh.

Cincy Chic: When did Posh VIP start? How’s it going?
Sears:
Posh VIP Ltd. was officially formed in the summer of 2006. My first event, in which I helped with promotions for a particular event, took place in January. My most recent event took place on Feb 19 and was a speed-dating event. Check out pics here on Cincy Chic.

Cincy Chic: What do you hope Posh VIP will do to for Cincinnati?
Sears:
If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. This is my effort in being part of the solution for what I see as a deficiency here in Cincinnati. I already explained who my target market is and what part I hope to provide in meeting the demands of that market. Another side of the company that I plan to grow will be the opportunity to serve as manager/agent/publicist for certain clientele. My hope for this would be to start shedding national light on the talent that we have in Cincinnati.

Cincy Chic: How challenging was it to start your own company?
Sears:
The hardest part for me is just trying to hone in on what to focus on. I have so many ideas of things I would like to do, but I am only one person.

Cincy Chic: What’s the one piece of advice you’d impart to another young woman in Cincinnati starting her own company?
Sears:
I would suggest that they try to link up with an individual that is already doing something similar to what they want to do. Ask this person to be a mentor. They should hopefully be able to provide insight on the steps they took to get where they are and be able to offer suggestions on how to get there.

Cincy Chic: Who/what is your biggest inspiration?
Sears:
Inspiration is all around us. Sometimes we just have to take time from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and listen to what is going on around us. You can learn something (whether good or bad) from every single person you encounter. What you decide to take from that experience is what helps you get to the next level.

As far as individuals, many people have in some form or fashion inspired me but I would have to thank my mom for teaching me persistence – to never take “no” for an answer, my dad for teaching me the importance of “integrity,” and my brother and sister for allowing me to be the classic middle child. I also hold a special place in my heart for a friend of mine who I affectionately call my other “big brother,” Mr. Perry Simmons. I feel that God places certain people in your path at a certain time for a certain reason. That certain person at a certain time, for a certain reason was very inspirational in the establishment of Posh VIP.

Cincy Chic: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned in starting Posh VIP?
Sears:
Your personality, your character, your ethics and your integrity will carry you a long way in the end.

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As an introduction, I am a 50 something obstetrician and gynecologist. I have been practicing in Northern Kentucky for 20 years. I am married with two wonderful sons.

 

Three years ago, I was a perimenopausal, overweight, out of shape, overstressed physician struggling to cope with my life’s schedule. I was full of advice and instructions but not the example needed for my patients.

 

One morning while racing from rounds and surgery at the hospital to the office, I grabbed the “typical” doctor’s breakfast from the doctor’s lounge – two donuts and three cups of coffee. Later while seeing patients, I became lightheaded, dizzy and nauseous. I felt horrible. A random screen of my glucose revealed it to be significantly elevated – a clear sign of diabetes. What a wake up call for me! So began my journey back to a healthy life style and fitness.

Taking the advice I had been giving my patients, I seriously changed my eating habits. After losing the first 15 pounds, I found the energy to exercise. I joined a local gym and health club, but found myself horribly intimidated by the many machines, weights and strutting bodybuilders. I signed up for a group exercise class called spinning and found my niche.
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Soon thereafter, I discovered the Fusion Studio in Fort Thomas. It has since turned into “my oasis.” It’s a small, local, group-oriented exercise studio with no high-pressure solicitation, and no memberships – just a fun and friendly place for fitness. They also offered the early 6:00 am classes, which fits my schedule.

Over the last two years I have built serious and lasting friendships with colleagues, clients and the remarkable instructors – Matt, Jamie, Scott, Sharon and all. At 6:00 am, there is no strutting and pretentiousness, but bed head, sans makeup and wrinkled shirts – just honest people with a dedication to fitness.

Last year, I moved my spinning to outdoor cycling with Fusion’s personal trainer, Jamie Hoffpauir. Jamie was the first personal trainer to design my workouts to my specific goals. Problems I found in the large gyms with personal trainers were the generic weekly workouts, trainers gossiping with everyone else, while I pushed out my reps, missed workouts and new trainers every other week. Jamie took my goals and training seriously, giving me the personal attention and encouragement to succeed.

Last May, with Jamie by my side, I accomplished one of my first major goals. I rode a century (100 miles in one day). And not just a century but back-to-back centuries – 210 miles in two days! Presently, she is working with me on one of my lifetime goals of riding across the USA, a transcontinental ride, maybe in 2008 or 2009.

I owe a lifetime of gratitude to my “friends in misery” and instructors at the Fusion Studio.

— Jackie Hanson

 

Click on the play button below to view a Webcast with Hanson at her oasis, Fusion Studio.

 

Tell us about your oasis at info@cincychic.com.

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Music and Lyrics
The movie “Music and Lyrics” makes a delightful composition. Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore star in this charming story of an 80’s pop rock star (Grant) and his unlikely muse, Drew Barrymore.

Grant plays a talented musician who can’t afford to rest on his laurels of past stardom yet it is past success that keeps him living comfortably in New York. He’s not so much a “has been” as a very popular “still been” performing his hits from the eighties at reunions, county fairs and amusement parks.

Through a quirk of fate, Alex Fletcher (Grant) has an opportunity to revitalize his career if he can write a song – complete with music and lyrics – in three days. His strength has always been writing melodies. The lyrics were his downfall. Barrymore as Sophie Fisher is a temporary employee hired to water Fletcher’s plants who ends up making a permanent mark on his career.

Barrymore delivers what she does best and that is to play a mild, nurturing, unpretentious woman seeking true happiness. We meet her character as a recent castaway from a failed relationship. Mindlessly watering plants in Fletcher’s apartment as he is working with a professional lyricist, she hums the melody and completes two stanzas of lyrics. An unlikely collaboration ensues.

The amiable supporting cast makes for a fun movie. Kristen Johnson plays Drew’s older sister who transforms herself from a tired, irritable housewife to an energized knockout in minutes as she accompanies her little sister to see Alex perform. Brad Garrett as Alex’s manager plays an affable friend and confidante.

The story line is familiar. This film has a feel good component that works because of the likeability of its two main characters. Barrymore doesn’t look like a glam starlet, any more than Grant looks like a teen idol. Perhaps what is so appealing about this movie is Grant’s willingness to show his age and never once apologize for it. He makes the most of his swiveling hips and his swooning fans. The cheesy rock video from the heyday of Grant’s fictitious eighties band is hysterical and it is worth going to this movie to see that alone. If you do go, stay for the credits. Music and Lyrics is a fine tune!

The Heart of the Game
“The Heart of the Game” is a movie about a Seattle Girls High School basketball team. It is a documentary that chronicles six seasons of the Roosevelt Roughriders’ history as a mediocre team propelling itself to becoming a state finals sports phenomenon.

At the heart of this game is the story of a mild mannered Superhero, Bill Ressler, who by day is a tax professor at the University of Washington. By night, he transforms into the same mild mannered human being who has no real offensive strategy and limited coaching credentials. Bill Ressler manages to whip these girls into ferocious, disciplined athletes.

Ressler uses unorthodox methods of strength training, guided imagery and the creation if the Inner Circle (a sacred circle void of parents and adults to allow teammates to air and negotiate frustrations, and commiserate). In the process, he convinces these women they are a calculating pack of alpha female wolves who begin every game in the huddle with a war cry of “draw blood!” and a resounding cry from Coach Ressler to remind the girls to “have fun!”

Sounds charming? It is and more. The director, Ward Serrill, does a superb job of giving the audience the feel of a team identity. He also takes the film a step further by accentuating a few of the girls’ stories concerning some of life’s ugly realities; child abuse, teen pregnancy, class distinction and gender discrimination.

One need not be a sports fan or knowledgeable about point guards and fouls to be keep up with this movie. The story has so much heart in showing issues of adolescence, doubt, acceptance and facing adversity while rising to become a better person because of its challenges.

This movie surpasses any feel-good commercial films in its ability to engage the audience in not only being a spectator of the Seattle Roosevelt High School Girls Basketball team but becoming a cheerleader for them as well.

SCORE!

For Your Consideration
“For Your Consideration” is Christopher Guest’s latest production and collaboration with Eugene Levy. Both as writers and actors, these two men showcase their talent in this comedy. Christopher Guest departs from the film venue of “mockumentary.” Yet the movie has the familiar mark of Guest combining lunacy with reality and coming up with one cerebral comedy.

Once again the talented cast of myrmidons from previous Guest films gather together to spoof Hollywood and all the hoopla that surrounds the Oscar Awards. Four actors filming a movie set in the South in the 1940s are all vying for an Oscar nomination after hearing that lead actress, Marilyn Hack, played by Catherine O’Hara, has been favored as an Oscar contender.

The film, Home For Purim is a hokey pretext to introduce these self-absorbed actors. It also serves to introduce us to the rest of the ensemble cast who so naturally caricatures all the beautiful “it people” who sell a Hollywood movie.

It is fun to pick out the ingenious veterans of this film. Jane Lynch as a TV “Hollywood Now” anchor gives an understated performance that balances the over the top antics of Now co anchor Fred Willard. A testament to the chameleon talent of these actors speaks for itself as Jennifer Cooleridge conspicuously plays a clueless blonde with power. Sporting a cropped haircut Larry Miller, as Syd Finkelman plays a studio exec whose job it is to convince the movie’s production company to tone down this epic film’s “Jewishness.”

In the span of this film Catherine O’Hara goes from mature film actress to playing an aging, Jewish, dying matriarch on film and then revealing her hip Hollywood botoxed self while promoting the film on all of the talk show circuits; only to be seen the day after the Academy Awards as a drunken disheartened Oscar less actress who later turns Acting Maven using her superior “acting chops” to enlighten younger, hopeful underlings.

Harry Shearer is the superannuated actor who hopes Home For Purim will revitalize his meager film career and save him from being the pitch wiener (ahem, pitch man) for a national hot dog chain. Ed Begley Jr. convinces us he’s a heterosexual happily married Hollywood gay make up artist; as does Parker Posey present herself as a marginal comedienne trying to crossover into films.

Anybody who is a fan of any of these actors will enjoy this movie. If all this sounds crazy enough to be plausible, then this farcical film is certainly for your consideration.