Monday, May 30, 2016

Continue to Dream

I’m down to my last 4 days here in Atlanta and I’m still attending advance screenings right up to the end!  I sure hope the West Coast PR Reps from the various studios and film festivals are as generous to me. Not sure though because there aren’t as many premieres and advanced screening events in the Bay Area. But anyhoo let me tell you about my latest adventure.
On Wednesday, evening I head over to the Landmark theatre to attend the advance screening of Presenting Princess Shaw, and as with all of the shows that I am allowed to attend an advanced screening for, I do a bit of research on the movie before I go. While I was at Starbucks, saying goodbye and working on a new project with one of my sisterfriends, I took a peek at the trailer. It looked really interesting it seemed to be a modern day Cinderella story about a youtuber of color!  Sound familiar? Well we’ll see…
Anyway since they gave me two tickets and I’m down to my last few days in Atlanta, I decided to ask this younger guy who I think is totally hot and haute to accompany me, and as always he said, YES!  
Unfortunately, though I lost track of time when I was working on my project with my sisterfriend and there was no time for me to go home to make myself younger than I really am (GG’s quick ginger, lemon, hot pepper scrub, normally does the trick).  So instead I’m in the ladies’ room pouring ice from the concession stand into my hand and holding my freshly washed face into it.  It helps some, the shine is gone and those bags under my eyes (stayed up too late packing) are now easily covered with makeup.  
Finally, it’s 7 and my friend has arrived. He smells sooo good that I can barely focus.
Anyhoo, the movie is starting so we grab a couple of seats and as we do this great husky yet very soft and feminine yet powerful voice, is filling the theater. And even though Princess Shaw has an awesome voice I’m totally distracted because this man smells so freakin good and he’s leaning in so we can talk about the movie like Black people do (focus Diva focus).
Meanwhile on the screen the story of Princess Shaw and her amazing voice is unfolding, her journey to reaching her dreams of becoming a famous singer. We see her struggling to keep a roof over her head and the lights on as so many of us do here in the good ole US of A, especially those of us with a creative artsy spirit.  Princess Shaw has such a calming and uplifting spirit through-out her journey, most often than not she is very positive and keeps chasing her dreams no matter what happens. Through the disappointment of family and friends not supporting her by coming out to hear her sing or dealing with hurt from her past, she keeps pressing forward, unaware that her world is about to change!

You know, my pastor is always saying that we should not lose sight of our dreams and to dream bigger, because if we do not grow weary and give up we will achieve all our dreams (Galatians 6:9)! And Princess Shaw is doing exactly that! Even though she was growing weary, especially after not making it as a contestant on the voice and then they took the tires off her car and left it sitting on blocks. She kept pushing on. As I get ready to move back across the country this story resonates with me…as the time is fast approaching where I just may find myself in a dead end job waiting to die….anyhoo enough about me. Back to the movie. The best part about this movie was as the viewer, we shared a happy secret about what was going to happen next for Princess Shaw with Kutiman, who Princess had yet to meet! When Princess Shaw is finally made aware of her guardian angel, I wanted to cry.  I’m not going to tell you all of it but I strongly encourage you to watch the trailer below and check it out at your local theater.

This story was amazing!

Ta-ta for now I’m off to chase my next adventure.  

O, yeah remember to dream and chase your dreams feverishly… 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Kids That I Met Last Night Were Sooo


These kids at Hack'd Mini, were truly amazing!

What's Hacked Mini you ask? Well, it was a really cool event put on by 100 Girls of Code organizer Danithea Ward, put together this past Friday.  And I had the honor of being a judge! 

The night started off with a Pizza party .....never knew how good Mariano's pizza was! So anyway once we'd pigged out on the pizza the kids headed into the classrooms with their coaches to get some basic training on how to develop a basic app using "made with code" lessons by google.After 30 minutes of learning the basics for creating a "flappy bird" type of game. The children were set free to design a similar game of their own! There would be two winners one boy and one girl.

About an hour later myself and the other three judges ventured throughout the auditorium to get a sneak peek at what the participants were working on. After checking in with various participants like Jayla and Justin who took the time to explain what "flappy bird" was and why it was being used as the template for the children to pattern their games off.  For those of you who are not familiar with "flappy bird" it was a fairly popular and addictive game that launched in 2014, the object of the game is to guide the bird through a set of pipes and if you run your bird into a pipe you lose.

Now it's time for the judging to begin and the young people are assembling in front of the judging table to present their creations to us. First up were the young y'all I must admit I thought this was going to be a breeze but yeah NO!   It was very challenging because our task was to give each competitor a score from 1-10 for the following Functionality/Completion of the game; Creativity/Originality(This was the hard part all of the games had the same underlying premise...or so I thought!) Presentation.  Anyhoo back to the judging. So the first young man was an 8 yr old Seth who created a game called Rocket Rush that functioned similarly like "flappy bird", Seth did a great job! He changed the basic "flappy bird" background to look as if you were in space and changed the avatar to be a rocket. Boy, was I impressed, so initially I gave him a 27! But as more boys presented to us one after another the games became fancier and fancier.And the way that they were presenting and explaining what they had developed and why, I was blown away.  Some had added music and background noises that coincided with the theme of their  projects.  And then the girls came and  HOLLLY GOODNESS!! These girls are going to take Silicon Valley by storm when they are finished acquiring their coding skills! Let me tell you about Jayla, this little lady was a precocious 9 yr old who'd created a game called Honey Bee, she's turned the columns into flower stems. Her avatar was, of course, a bumble bee and she had added the buzzing sound. Her game would deduct points the 1st and 2nd time the bee ran into the flower stems.If you hit it a 3rd time your bee died. Jayla did a great job functionality and creativity but a few of the other judges felt that she could have done better on her presentation. Sidebar ladies if you are reading know what we have to do....that's right start prepping our girls to look people right in the eye and tell'em what they want!

Ok back to the story, so by now you're probably like come on, girl, who won, already! Well, the winner was a young lady named Torie, If you ask me Torie had an unfair advantage as her mom was one of the coaches. Anyhoo Torie had designed the game to look like the seascape from the upcoming movie Dories Adventure and titled her game as such. Torie had included all of the bells and whistles that were available in her game.! It had music, ocean sounds and the sound most games make when your avatar dies. She's also set it up so that her columns moved when your avatar moved. And goodness could she present. Torie started her presentation with why she made the game, then how she made it and why she choose to include the elements that she did. She also explained how to play her game and got one of the other judges to play the game and asked the judge, how did he enjoy the game! Like I said before those kids were amazing! For most of the kids who attended the hack, it was their 1st time attending this type of event. They all had a great time and were looking forward to the next event. And let me tell you something so where the judges.


I guess the theme of last week was about doing things that are sometimes uncomfortable and finding yourself having an amazing time! With that being said head on over to, and download the instructions and the templates to try building your own "flappy bird" game.
Cheers to a great weekend and now to a busy week of packing and preparing for the next chapter in trying to make lemonade out of the lemons that are being thrown my way.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Even A Diva Is Unsure Sometimes

Alright y’all a few days have passed and now I’m wishing that I would have went to go see Queen Katwe this interesting show that Disney is about to release! Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo star in the movie and the initial quote that goes across the screen is totally awesome and inspiring!  Also, I love how they chose to open the movie with this quote and then a picture of the beauty of Uganda.

The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. Ellen Sirleaf Johnson President of Liberia

Maybe one day I’ll have enough followers or I’ll have launched my digital media company and can have the film sent to me to screen and review at my leisure…but today I’m not there! Shoot I’m just happy that I get to go for free right now.

Anyhoo take a look at the trailer the trailer

I also love the quote, “Sometimes the place you have become used to, is not the place that you belong.” Meaning that in order to reach your goals at times you have to make uncomfortable decisions and move around to position yourself for greatness.

 And so I’m going to share it here first, that my time in Atlanta has come to an end! Yes, y’all!! Yes!! Unfortunately, I was unable to break into the Silicon of the South! Everyone believes that Atlanta is the “Black Mecca”; that it’s easy for African American’s to reach their goals here, well unfortunately, I must admit to myself and everyone else that while I’ve had some highlights since moving here. I can’t quite call my time here successful and as Kenny Rogers (No relation), says, You gotta know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em, know when to walk away….. So the doggy diva and I are preparing to move.

And I have to ask y’all does this ever happen to you that when you finally decide to make a life changing move that things start to appear as if they might actually work out where you are? Yep as the time closes in on me packing up the Blessed Pearl (my totally connected Ford Fiesta) and hittin the road… seeds that I planted last year are coming to fruition but thankfully I paid attention to what my de facto mentors were saying and I set it up so that if anyone was listening and decided they would finally give me a chance to get my Sassie and Techie dreams off the ground, I could achieve them from anywhere!
So please keep comin back y’all and enjoy more stories as I keep chasing my dreams!

Leave a comment from time to time and please do share your Sassie adventures with me.      

Laughter, Really Is The Best Medicine!

Y’all, as I prepare to drive across country, just me and the doggy diva I've been feeling a little melancholy. Not really sad but just a bit funky and could really use a pick me up. And as luck would have it I got an e-mail from a fellow PR (public relations) professional inviting me to attend the screening of Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. So I grabbed my keys and headed to Atlantic Station to claim my free ticket, popcorn and soda.

While I was on my way to the theater, I got a text message from another PR friend who invited me to Queen of Katwe, so at the stoplight I googled the film (because I'd not heard of it). While, the movie produced by Disney looked to be an extraordinary thought provoking story being told about the African Diaspora and I have to admit I'll end up buying a ticket for if I'm not invited to another screening of it. But sometimes you just need a laugh sooooo I texted back that I had a previous engagement and I would have to pass but please keep me in mind for future screenings and to please send me an e-mail with as much info as possible about Queen of Katwe to include in a future post.

So I pull into the parking garage at 5:45 and as I get out of my car and head to the elevator a group of young People of Color (Indian to be specific) almost ran me over the young lady who was driving apparently had watched too many stereotypical movies of African Americans and became aggressive with me!  I was like JEEEZUZ take the wheel. I'm on my way to "work" technically... don't let this Chile kill my vibe!  

 So I take a deep breath and get in the elevator and continue on to the theater. When I get upstairs there's a line for screenings and I give my name and the theater rep says, Ms. Robinson which movie will you be reviewing tonight? You're on the list for both! I have to be honest I almost switched from the comedy to the thought provoking Queen of Katwe....but y'all I really needed to laugh!  So I asked what perks came with the Queen of Katwe vs Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising. Stop laughing y'all!! Yes, it does matter if you're getting free popcorn and a soda when you're reviewing these shows! I mean come on, you know it makes for a better experience!   Anyhoo the rep advises that the best perks come with the original movie I was invited to review Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising.  I tell the theater rep, Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising it is! Don't judge me, but the popcorn & soda were gonna help with the viewing experience and the healing of the melancholy.   

All of a sudden there is a lot of yelling & cursing behind me as I head toward the concession stand and guess who I see running into the theater acting like a bad stereotype? That’s right the young ladies from the parking garage! And its true God don’t like ugly! They were ushered right on out of the theater! Isn’t karma great?  Anyhoo back to Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising! So the crew from Dish Nation was in the house to open up the show Da Brat and crew really got the party started.

And then the show started… no previews straight to the opening…y’all I never stopped laughing! I laughed from the time the movie started until the credits rolled! Take a look at the trailer and get your laugh on y’all and if your soul needs a pick me up….go see Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising this weekend.

For those of you wanting to know more about Queen Katwe check my next post! Alright Tahtah for now....

Friday, May 13, 2016

Buzzing about Legends And Legacy

Seems like it was just the 1st of the month, when I received my invitation from the Center for Civil and Human Rights to attend the screening and Q&A of the History Channel's reproduction of the mini-series Roots.  As I reserved my ticket and tried to figure out what I would wear as I walked the red carpet, I couldn't help but think why on earth were they making a new version!?! I mean after all the awards and records that the original won and still holds (i.e. most watched mini-series of all time! 37 Emmy nominations)

Anyhoo the days flew by and it's the night of the screening...turns out it was business casual attire, so I threw on a simple t-shirt dress & heels... then I made my way to the "Center".

I'd watched the trailer (watch it below) and it did look good but I kept wondering, aren't there other African American stories that could be told?  Still a bit miffed as to why they were doing the remake...I followed everyone into the auditorium the lights were dimmed and we were about to watch the re-make of ROOTS.

                  Whew what an awesome adventure that was! 

I know after watching the trailer, you kinda know what I'm talkin about.... but baaaaby wait until you watch the first episode.  

So after the screening, there was this fantastic panel that was hosted by Jeff Johnson from BET; with producer Will Packer, Ambassador Andrew Young, T.I. and Phaedra Parks. There were also quite a few Bravolebrities in attendance as well as a handful of social influencers such as myself. But the real "stars" were the millennials who were present!

These young people ranged from our talented 10th as the saying goes, to the extremely street savvy youngster and they had a ton of great questions for the panel. By the time they’d taken the third question though it was revealed to me why it was important for the History Channel to partner with Will Packer and do a re-make of the series. While each of the millennials (all born & raised in Atlanta), asked some pretty poignant questions of Jeff and the panel, all three said that they had never watched the original, read the book and only one had heard of the story before! I was flabbergasted!

In 1976 when the book came out I was 9yrs old and I had read the book,before watching the series! Not because anyone forced me to, but because I read about it in Ebony Jr. and my older cousins were reading it…shoot, they were even reading it at church!

I was confused as to how so many African Americans had yet to read this story!

My son had read Roots and The African before he started school (truth be told, we took turns reading pages from those 2 books the summer he turned 5) I used reading those books with him as quality family time! A distraction for the fact that he wasn’t going to be watching TV in the evenings, that summer, since he did so much of that at his grandmother’s during the day.  And then it was also a requirement for him to read Roots in high school!

I’ll say it again, Will Packer did a phenomenal job of adding a back story of realism and truth to the series; a truth, that the world wouldn’t have been able to handle in 1977! 

Frankly with all that is happening in the Race for the White House, this re-make was right on time. Hopefully people will watch and conversations will be started, that will get people fired up and registered to vote!

So have a viewing party this coming Memorial Weekend and start a conversation about race and legacy, because as GG and Big Mama Relf always said to me, to know from where you and your people come from is a road map to your destiny!

Go ahead start a conversation with your family and leave them with a legacy of wanting to know from whence their people came.

Alright I gotta get back to work!  It's aMays-ing how quickly the month of May is buzzing by, smooches!