Previous month:
August 2012
Next month:
October 2012

September 2012

My gushing review of "@craigslistjoe" doc - BRILLIANT! MUST SEE! @KTLA @LAWeekly @THR @Variety

By Joy A. Kennelly

Real quick, because I must continue working on what I'm doing, but I just have to share I saw the most amazing film last night during Social Media Week LA called Craigslist Joe. CLJ_posterIf you've never seen, you must! It's a brilliant slice of humanity as "Joe" the real-life protagnist decides to spend one month trying to survive off the kindness of strangers he meets through Craigslist.

When I heard Zach Galifianakis was the Executive Producer I didn't know what to expect although I loved him in the first Hangover and some of his Between the Ferns interviews. I thought for sure it would be comedic and since my friend who drove us wanted to see it and has good taste, I thought it must be good.

It was far better than good!

It's a heartwarming, touching, poignant, hilarious romp across the United States with all the wild and sweet characters you tend to meet on Craigslist. Zach isn't seen onscreen once and it's all about the main protagonist, Joe, a sweet, unassuming, Jewish guy who decided to take a month away from all his friends, family and creature comforts to see if he could survive solely on the kindness of strangers.

When we heard him speak after the screening, he explained he'd actually met Zach working on The Hangover, kept in touch over the process and Zach supported the film financially towards the end (if I remember properly.:)

He also explained he had an idea for the film back in 2008 when the economy seemed so dismal and there wasn't much hope going on. (Again, excuse me for paraphrasing. Wasn't planning to cover it professionally, it was just that good!)

Joe wasn't sure it would even work, but found a cinematographer from Craigslist (who is really talented and has a great eye) to accompany him and he was off for a month.

It was fun to see him grow and change as he went through the experience. I believe it was filmed three years ago with 80 hours of filming which was cut down to 12 hours which Joe said his closest friends sat through to help whittle it down even more. The editor did an amazing job of finding the heart and soul to this story.

There are so many touching, moving stories from the people Joe met along the way I was often tearing up, choking back tears right along with him it was so inspirational. Then, on the flip side, there were hilarious connections he made with some really crazy people (dominiatrix anyone?) which you could just see on his face he didn't know what to make of either!

It was very cool to see Craig Newmark, the guy who started Craigslist, explain his philosophy of community in an interview he held with Joe at his home too.

I think the part of the film that inspired me the most was to watch Joe volunteer as a way of saying thank you to all the people who were helping him. Joe has such a big heart and it was especially evident when he visited an aging actress dying of cancer to help her with horribly cluttered apartment. Such a moving scene!

I walked away so encouraged and inspired by the generosity of strangers (which I have often experienced over the years too) this film, Craigslist Joe, made me want to become a better person. Have to admit, I was crying right along with him at the end. 

What an amazing experience and testament to the goodness of Americans.

Here's the trailer:

  And the official blurb: "In a time when America's economy and sense of community were crumbling, one guy left everything behind--to see if he could survive solely on the support of the 21st century's new town square: Craigslist.

It was in this climate that 29-year-old Joseph Garner cut himself off from everyone he knew and everything he owned, to embark on a bold adventure. Armed with only a laptop, cell phone, toothbrush, and the clothes on his back--alongside the hope that community was not gone but just had shifted--Joseph began his journey.

For 31 December days and nights, everything in his life would come from the Craigslist website. From transportation to food, from shelter to companionship, Joe would depend on the generosity of people who had never seen him and whose sole connection to him was a giant virtual swap meet. Would America help Joe? Could he survive with nothing, apart from the goodwill of others?"

You can see it for only $3.99 on iTunes here:

Here's some people's feedback who saw it last night too from the official Facebook Fan Page: - like it! Since I encouraged people to see it after the screening it's been fun to see over 1,000 new fans added overnight because all of us have been talking it up so much. 

Bonita R Hill "How inspiring! This documentary made me think about my own perceptions of people and just how much I can help in my own community. Craigslist is the best thing ever invented!"

Charley Grossman "Just watched the movie. I was moved by it greatly man. Here I am up at 9:30 on a school night with homework to do, but I am not stressing about it because I just feel at peace with the world for the night. This feeling may fade when I get up, but I am going to try hard to keep it going. You had an entire month of this feeling, I hope it stays with you a lifetime."

Lady Danville "To all our Philly friends: Craigslist Joe is coming to your town on 10/2. Tickets presale only, check it out!"

Barrysentials Wine Blog "Extraordinary film. Truly. Loved it - can't wait to see it again. Thanks for your courage."

I could create a whole blog just of positive comments for this film!:)

So, that's all for now. I hope you rent it, ask them to bring it your town, vote it up on iTunes and otherwise, experience this extraordinary film. If you're media reading my blog, please consider covering it. It's that good!

Even if Zach wasn't involved it would be fantastic and would stand on it's own because it's a story all of us can relate to. I just had to quickly share.

I promise to share my fashion show experiences asap and the really fun supper club experience soon too! I'm in a very creative mood after yesterday's experiences at the Social Media Week LA panels.

Thanks for stopping by!

My Interview with Hollywood Talent Manager/"Queen of Hosting" Coach, Marki Costello

By Joy A. Kennelly

I grew up watching the Abbott and Costello comedy team and loved their brilliant sense of comedic timing. As a result, when I learned Hollywood Talent Manager and "Queen of Hosting" Coach, Marki Costello, was the granddaughter of Lou Costello after reading a review of her new book in the New York Post, I knew I wanted to talk to her.

Plus, her 20 year successful career in the business was so impressive I knew I would learn from her because I always love hearing strong women's experiences of making it in Hollywood.

For those unfamiliar, or too young to remember Abbott and Costello, here's a famous sketch they did entitled, "Who's on First?" to share why they were so popular back in the day. Although, maybe they were so popular because they were also the first ones to start the "wrap" party at the end of a film production according to their fan website:


Marki has distilled 20 years of Hollywood experience into her new book, Become A Host: The Inside Secrets Used by Every Successful Television Host, and if you click the link here, you can read the New York Post review as she covers all the celebrities you see listed in the pic here and more. Very interesting perspective and right on the money.


I had planned to attend Marki's "Sweet and Greet" book signing where she was donating the proceeds from the sale of the book launch party to her favorite charity, Alexandria House, to interview her there, but covering Fashion's Night Out that same night was too all-consuming and we just couldn't fit it in.

Here's a pic though of Marki in action that night. It was a huge success and a friend who attended said he had a great time. They're still tallying the amount raised from the book sales as they're waiting on online sales, but I'm sure if what he estimated as crowd attendance is correct, it will be a healthy amount!

Marki at Sweet and Greet

It was a pleasure to have a one-on-one phone interview with her a few days later when everything had calmed down and I knew I would be able to focus.

Have to admit, when I first spoke to her I called her a "Ballsy Broad" because I had been watching quite a few of her previous video interviews to see what had, and hadn't been, covered already.

She is definitely a force to be reckoned with! A producer friend of mine agreed with me when I mentioned I was going to interview her, saying she is a "presence." 

I believe it now!

What I love about Old School Hollywood people who have grown up around movie stars and Hollywood like she has, is the fact nothing and nobody fazes them. When you have a step-father like Craig Martin, the older brother of Dean Martin, and have Hollywood royalty in your lineage, it's just natural to feel comfortable in any setting with anybody. 

That's why I think she's so successful in her Become A Host trainings, her management and casting career as well. Nothing fazes her! She just goes out and gets the job done! Did you know she casts 30% of every hosting job in Hollywood? May want to take her class and get noticed!:)

I was very curious about what it was like to be raised in the world of Hollywood and asked her about being related to Lou Costello to start off my interview. She explained, "It didn’t affect me in the way kids are self-entitled now, I learned hard work pays off. Work your ass off. Everything is fleeting. I’ve created a huge niche for myself – I manage, cast, and teach host talent in the hosting genre. I reinvent myself every four years."  

Before her Mother died, she told her to go to college and Marki briefly attended UCLA. However, once her mom passed away, she knew her Dad wasn’t supporting her and she needed to work. "My very first job was working for Chuck Barris. One season was 365 days a year from 9am – 9pm. I worked on all his shows, The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show, and The Dating Game."

When I asked her if she agreed he was a spy, she agreed, without hesitation, very quickly "Yes!" Confessions of a Dangerous Mind PosterFor those of you have never seen Charlie Kaufman's film on Chuck Barris called, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which was directed by George Clooney, you really must rent it. Actor Sam Rockwell is brilliant and funny as Barris. 

Marki continued on with her experiences with Chuck and how she got into the business of hosting. "He created reality shows. He was wonderful at making sure people on the show knew how important they were. I started out doing cue cards, but always would be talking to the audience."

Chuck told an associate, "She’s terrible with cue cards, but great with the contestants." After that, Marki was the last person contestants would meet before going on the show and never did cue cards again. She's always been great with people. 

After working for Chuck, she opened up own casting company, Creative Management Entertainment Group and never looked back. A friend had approached her about managing her career and soon she was managing talent too. "I realized I had a gift for coaching people," she said. She knew what the networks wanted, she knew how to teach people to do it, and after starting out with 20 actors and 1 host, she now represents 1 writer and 30 hosts!

When she started in the business of hosting, only one or two people were trying to do hosting. "People have tried to copy me," Marki freely admitted. "I realized how flattering it is, but it’s taken me 20 years to get here." Needless to say, no one else has had the longevity, the credibility, or the success Marki has had.

Just ask E! News Host, Jason Kennedy, The Voice/Musician, Jason shotCeelo Green, or Game Show Host, Todd Newton who won an Emmy last year who have all gone through her program, and/or are managed by her.

Emmy on Red Carpet










Marki realized she needed to speak the language of actors and studied with the famous acting coach, Sandy Meisner, who told her, "Marki, you should be in front of the camera."

Marki Headshot

Perhaps you remember seeing Marki as the take-no-prisoner casting agent on a reality show which is where I first saw her, or her appearance on the Real Housewives of Orange County where she coaches Gretchen Rossi?

I'm telling you, if she can make Gretchen seem less wooden, then you know she's a miracle working coach.:) Remember this scene from the Real Housewives of Orange County?


I like Gretchen, don't get me wrong, but damn! If she can make it, so can you! See what the power of a good coach can do? (As a little aside, I attended a Super Bowl party years ago in the OC and Gretchen was there with Slade. Both very sweet, low-key people.:)

Where was I? Oh yeah, Marki and keys to successful hosting...:)

I was very curious to hear what she thought made a host successful and here's what Marki told me in her no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is manner:

"Hosting is a very visual medium. You need to be visually appealing in this medium. You can’t be 700 lbs, with pimples. You have to clean up your look. Otherwise get into radio. "It" factor is what makes you want to watch that person. You want to hear what Chelsea Handler and Howard Stern have to say. He is very aware of his audience. Oprah Winfrey also puts her audience first. When I watched her Behind the Show episode, it was all about 'my audience, my audience.' It’s not about Oprah, it’s about her audience. Her final show was a love letter to her audience."

On the flip side, she gave this little story on Piers Morgan which totally explained why I dislike his interview style so much and now know why.

"If you don’t put the audience first – what they want, what they need, and balance it by your point-of-view, you're not going to be a good host. Piers Morgan is so worried about himself – kissing the celebs butt, when he was interviewing Beyonce, she wanted to tell him about the pregnancy and he didn’t even pick up on what she was alluding to. I was so pissed I changed the channel."

I was very curious to follow up on her impression of Khloe Kardashian as a new host and Marki told me. "I would hope Khloe comes to me. Talent thinks hosting is so easy – I can just be me. Hosting is the great balancing act. You need a strong sense of self, must be super comfortable with yourself, and understand you’re not going to make everyone happy so let it go. You have to recognize the elements."

I wasn't familiar with that term and asked her what elements she was referring to. She responded, basically it's the need to co-exist with the co-host, connect to your audience, read the teleprompter, and still have a relationship with your audience. "Intellectually, it's easy to grasp, but you don’t want to practice on the show," Marki continued as she explained her view of Khloe hosting. "The single most important thing is putting her audience first."

I also asked Marki what she thought about ageism in Hollywood and if older people have a shot at hosting at all:

"Every advertisers want the average demo 18-34. They want to hire talent their audience relates to, but in this day and age it's more open. For example, there's now a host for a show called, Sex after 60. You have to build your brand, tweet daily, blog, and buyers will find you and come to you. Very cool thing about the internet is you can showcase your talent."

And as she's fond of saying, "If you build it, they will come, and when they do, you better know what to do. You only get one shot for a first impression."

I was very surprised to hear the internet was a place where networks are finding talent and inquired more into that because of all the videographers I've seen over the years on red carpets who I never thought had a chance at doing anything beyond their little internet shows.

"Tons of people are breaking from the internet. The Networks tell me all the time, 'Find me people from the internet.' Here’s what I say. I don’t think you need  a lick of talent to be a great host, but you definitely do as an actor. It’s hosting. You have to have a strong sense of self, strong point of view, get the media’s attention, put your audience before your ego and BS. That’s 100% trainable."

She added, "You have to have a strong work ethic. Work on building your brand. There are hosts on the air today making a million a year. Check your ego at the door. Hosting is about asking me to be me, but also why do people want to hear what I have to say?"

Great advice, wouldn't you agree? She has been leading "Hosting Boot Camps" for over 17 years and actually has a free seminar open to those who have never attended before happening on September 28, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA.

Click here for all  the details:

Here's what one professional has to say about Marki and her classes: "Marki Costello is one of the Marki teaching classmost revered leaders in the world of television hosting and casting. 

Her off-kilter sense of humor, her dedication to her clients and her widespread relationships throughout the entertainment industry are just a few of the qualities that make her so wonderfully unique and special..." 

-Lisa Germani, TVGuide Network

Marki definitely knows what she's talking about. Everywhere I looked, all I saw were positive comments and that's impressive. You can find out more about all her programs here:

When I asked her why she had written her book, Book Cover (1)which you can purchase here: Become a Host: The Inside Secrets Used by Every Successful Television Host, she explained by saying, "I was having people fly in from NZ, NY, everywhere and not everyone can travel. I wrote the book for them." She told me her book has sold 10,000 copies in three months which is unbelievable numbers for a first-time author.

Just goes to show you, build a brand and those who like it, will buy it!:) Part of her brand is giving back. Here's what she had to say about why she donated the proceeds of her book sales from her Sweet and Greet book launch.

"I am very passionate about giving back. If you don’t give back, you shouldn’t be living," Marki said assertively. "Say thank you, care about the answer to the question, 'how are you?' Help a homeless person. Think of all the women in the world who don’t have something. Give back. It takes very little to be kind to another human being."

And with that admonition, I will close out my interview. Big thank you to Marki for her time and hope you enjoyed the read!

I have so many more events to share and hope to have these stories ready soon too! 

Announcing our @SXSWedu Creative Leadership - What it is and Why it Works panel w/@MichaelSB, @RichRedmond and The Joy Writer - VOTE!

By Joy A. Kennelly

I've been working behind-the-scenes with two of my favorite music experts, Michael Brandvold of Michael Brandvold Marketing, and Drummer, Rich Redmond of the award-winning Jason Aldean Band,211154_56760346946_1740338402_n to create an informative, interesting panel for the educational component of SXSW called SXSWEdu.

Here's the official blurb: "SXSWedu supports innovations in learning for education practitioners, industry leaders and policy makers who share a passion for modernizing learning from early childhood to higher education in both formal and informal environments. Join the SXSWedu community March 4-7 in Austin, Tx, for four days of compelling presentations and events."

After researching business books and trying to find leadership topics related to the creative fields, I created this panel because of the lack of information available. I felt my colleagues and I could add value to colleges, policy makers and institutions seeking diversity in business learning and leadership because entrepreneurship crosses all disciplines. 

Please vote for our panel here: < 

Our audience: Educators in Business, Music, and Liberal Arts, university professionals looking for unique speakers to come talk to their students, industry leaders, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in learning from experts in music marketing, promotion, branding, social media and creative leadership.

Focusing on music due to SXSW's overall emphasis on music, and my working on a book for musicians, I invited two of my book contributors, Michael and Rich, to participate because I liked the mix of rock-n-roll and country perspectives.

Here's our bios in case you're not familiar with our names and background:


Michael Brandvold is a freelance music industry consultant based in Northern California. He launched Michael Brandvold Marketing to leverage his years of experience to provide direction to large and small clients in the areas of online & social marketing, as well as, e-commerce and customer acquisition and retention.

Gene Simmons of KISS first tapped Michael’s skills as a pioneering online marketing strategist to launch and manage all aspects of’s multi-million dollar enterprise, including their ground-breaking VIP ticket program.

Michael has also managed the online efforts for Dream Theater, Andy Gibson, Greg Kihn, Motley Crüe, Rod Stewart, Madonna,Ozzy Osbourne, Madonna and Britney Spears to name only a few.


Rich Redmond has toured/recorded/performed with  a 'who's who' of recording artists including Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Lit, Ludacris, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Keith Urban, Bryan Adams, Jewel, The Pointer Sisters, Rushlow, Pam Tillis, Gene Watson, Doc Walker, Deana Carter, Jedd Hughes, Trace Adkins, Hank Williams III, Mindy McCready, Robbie Nevil, The Stellas, and Doc Walker to name a few.

Currently the drumming powerhouse behind country superstar Jason Aldean, Rich plays to millions of fans per year and has appeared numerous times on such shows as American Idol, Ellen, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, The Late Show with Jimmie Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, among others.

Rich recorded all the drums and percussion on Jason’s 5 records, selling millions of units and producing 11 #1 hits. Rich’s ‘song-friendly’ drumming style, infused with a true rock-n-roll spirit has led to these records being regarded as a unique voice in Nashville’s musical landscape.

Joy A. Kennelly is an Award-Winning Social Media Strategist, Producer, Personal Publicist and Founder of The Joy Writer. Using her expertise in social media on such platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Hootsuite, etc., she has successfully integrated and incorporated over one hundred additional regional online social networking sites into publicity for numerous clients.

Her marketing efforts have also successfully enhanced search engine optimization (SEO), increased attendance at events and developed business and media opportunities on behalf of clients in entertainment, travel, technology, and fashion, as well as, in promoting and supporting numerous political candidates and social causes. 

Joy has presented classes and produced seminars on social media at The Musicians Institute, American Cinematheque, and at conferences throughout the US.

Now that you know who we are, please vote to help us be selected:  < 

All the details are available once you click, but here they are again too:

Expert music industry professionals, Michael Brandvold of Michael Brandvold Marketing, and Rich Redmond, Drummer in the Award-Winning Jason Aldean Band, discuss strategy, creative leadership, branding, online marketing and secrets to success with moderator/ participant, Joy Kennelly of The Joy Writer.

With personal examples from their successful careers running creative businesses in the music industry, each panelist will share what being an entrepreneur has taught them and how they would pass that information on to future generations; how they learned how to lead a team of creatives; and how musicians use their creative leadership in bands. They will also discuss how they developed the out-of-the-box strategies that guide their careers and those they work with, and what they do to teach others those same skills.

Questions it will answer

How do creative people lead? What makes them successful? How do they appeal to a creative audience? What sets their style apart from traditional leadership styles? What do they do differently in branding, marketing and social media than other business professionals? 

Doesn't this sound cool?:) Wouldn't you want to learn what we will present? It's cool to see one of my goals moving forward which I hope you will support by voting.

Please vote here to help us be selected:  <

Thank you! Marki Costello interview and everything else coming up next!:) 




Six Week Workshop Teaches/Encourages Women to

Set and Accomplish Goals

Los Angeles, CA Joy Kennelly, of the award-winning The Joy Writer PR & Digital Marketing firm, launches The Goal Gals Group, a six-week bi-monthly workshop which teaches and encourages women to set and accomplish goals, tonight, Monday, September 17 at 7pm with a free mixer at La Piazza located at The Grove across from the fountain.


The Goal Gals Group is designed to encourage women to find their true passion, accomplish goals they’ve harbored in their hearts for years, and have support doing so.

Past participants have launched successful small businesses, balanced their professional and personal lives, learned how to stand up for themselves and their goals, and sharpened their career focus.

Goal Gals venue determined by participants.

The Goal Gal Groups meet over a period of six weeks through December 3, 2012 to achieve a manageable set of goals participants decide on individually, while working on them within a group setting. The group meets every other week for two hours. The group is limited to six to eight people to allow everyone plenty of time to share and is closed to new members once it begins.

Goal Gals 2007

“Joy is so inspiring and helpful. The way she has structured the group and its process, there’s no way not to take steps toward achieving your goals,” adds Amy Jurist, Owner of the award-winning Amy’s Culinary Adventures and past participant who launched her business in a Goal Gals Group. “Some take smaller ones, but I was at the precipice and with the encouragement and accountability I got out of the group, and from Joy in particular, I made huge leaps in my career and changes in my life.”

The Goal Gals also meet informally in “Study Halls” where participants work on their goals individually while sitting with Goal Gal members in a casual environment, either at a home or a coffee shop. Study Halls provide an opportunity to deepen friendships and can happen whenever any member suggests holding one.

Vision boarding, a visual representation or collage of your heart’s desires, also lead by Kennelly, will be offered as part of the group to help women visualize their success. A final party to celebrate the success of all Goal Gal members will be held at the end.

 “Women who join her group may lack the confidence to believe they can become successful entrepreneurs or whatever their specific goal is,” says Kirsten Resnick, El Camino College Professor and past participant numerous times. “Joy creates an environment which greatly encourages and shows women specific steps to achieve far more than they originally hoped.”


Kennelly’s first introduction to goal setting was in college when her father gave her motivational books to read and paid her to write book reports to help pay for college. Kennelly took those lessons to heart and expanded her reading to other authors including Jack CanfieldNapoleon Hill, Deepak Chopra, Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Sark, Chellie Campbell, Barbara Sher, John Maxwell, Seth Godin, Dave Ramsey, among many others.

To deepen her knowledge, she has also taken courses with Motivational Speakers, Chris Howard, Zig Ziglar, and numerous others; completing Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Signature Program and Stephen Covey’s Leadership Foundation Workshop a few years back. 

Carrying on her desire to help women learn how to set and achieve goals and work on some of her own goals in a supportive setting, Kennelly began The Goal Gals in the summer of 1996 while working a 50-hour work week. She began running three different goal groups of ten women simultaneously and launched her successful film festival career from one such group.


She started more groups in 2004 and lead them to great success before stopping to focus on her PR & Digital Marketing business. Kennelly re-launched The Goal Gals while living in Atlanta, GA in 2011. Now that she’s back in Los Angeles, she is re-launching The Goal Gals here on September 17, 2012.

For more of Joy A. Kennelly’s award-winning credentials and experience, review: or

For more information on The Goal Gals Group, please review: and follow @GoalGalsLA on Twitter. To register, please sign up here:

Come join other success-oriented, motivated, smart women tonight at La Piazza Restuarant located at 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036 at 7pm for the free kick-off mixer. For more information, please call 310 714-2077.

#Fashion's Night Out & Kristi Yamaguchi's interview wrap-up for your reading & viewing pleasure

By Joy A. Kennelly

Sorry for the delay in posting my Fashion's Night Out wrap-up and Kristi Yamaguchi interview. My hands have been hurting since I'd been working so much six days straight and needed to take a quick break from the computer to allow the nerves to calm down. Back to normal now.

Moving right along.

What I admire about the famous people I'm having the privilege to personally interview lately, and what I've found true in any famous person's autobiography I've ever read, is the importance of giving back.

Years ago I represented Script Consultant, Dr. Linda Seger and her book, Web Thinking: Connecting, not competing for success, Books and the basic premise was those who are relationship-oriented and share control and power, are much more successful in life than those who aren't. 

That's why I was more curious about Kristi Yamaguchi's decision to donate a portion of her new activewear line to her foundation, Always Dream, vs. the actual designs when we spoke. Learned a lot and will share some with you now.

But as I always say, since you've been so patient, here's some designs to showcase her cute clothes before I get started. This jacket was one of my favorites. Don't you love the inner lining? 

Fin6816And notice the attention to detail on this other cute jacket too. Now if only the diamond ring came with it!:) Kristi has a very supportive husband who actually works on the line and is responsible for all the licensing agreements. Good job landing Lord & Taylor! That's where you can pick up these cute items and more from her Tsu-ya line.


If you want to read a great article on her activewear line as a whole, check out her recent interview in the new Los Angeles Fashion Magazine. I picked up an issue during Fashion's Night Out and was impressed.

428632_10150638904198401_579650860_nWhen I asked Kristi why she started her charity, Always Dream, here's what she had to say:

She started it when she was 16 years old. She was inspired by Make a Wish Foundation and worked closely with them to start off. "I saw the power of giving and the ability to make a difference in children’s lives," says Kristi.

She has always been focused on children’s needs and is now focusing more on children’s literacy. "We want to create something positive to help close the gap where children don’t have access to books or to help with reading, or start school at their grade level," she continued.

Launching in kindergarten classes in CA, with six schools in Northern CA, as they see success there are plans to expand. She has a great Board of Directors and Advisory Committee in education who provided a lot of research and help designing the program.

"A big part of our motivation was to bring in technology with the younger generation by partnering with Raising a Reader, who are nation-wide, with a book bag program at the preschool and kindergarten level and give them tablets with books online to help children experience books in a new way," adds Kristi. "Times are moving so fast, there’s so much more curriculum provided online, tablets are smaller, easier and more intuitive for them to use."

She joked her kids find more things online than she knows. "Children are very good at adapting. Our 2nd program launching in schools is a language arts program to supplement the reading curriculum already in the schools to help with reading comprehension and vocabulary."

You can learn more about how you can get involved, or what it's really all about, by reviewing: 

I also asked her, "What would you say to those who want to achieve what you’ve achieved?" She answered, "Sometimes I feel like doing absolutely nothing, but always do better with a challenge to focus on. My priority is my girls and making sure they’re looked after. I will always stay involved with my foundation because it’s exciting to give back in the community."

What I liked hearing is the activewear line, Tsu-ya, donates a portion of the proceeds to Always Dream with the broader picture to create a lifestyle brand with other types of products that will fit under the Tsu-ya brand. Just think, when you buy a piece of her clothing, you're also helping children. 

In closing,  she said, "I like what Apollo Ono says, 'No regrets.' As an athlete your results are directly affected by the work you put in. As an athlete you set a goal and use it to motivate you and in the pursuit of your dream. Continue to believe in yourself and keep your ultimate goal in sight. It’s not instant gratification, but the work that leads up to it will be worth it in the end."

Isn't she inspirational? I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed speaking to her and sharing her thoughts with you.

Now, to wrap-up Fashion's Night Out in Los Angeles, here's a quick recap video, my friend/colleague, Nelson Brann of Film-Alchemy shot and edited, and I produced, for your fashion viewing pleasure.

If you look below the video, I've posted a map of everywhere we went and additional places we included in our video are the Beverly Hills Porsche fashion event and the over-the-top Beverly Center events too. 

Enjoy! If you watch closely, you may even see some people you recognize.:) Kris Jenner, anyone? 



While Kris was here in Los Angeles, Kim was busy at Lord & Taylor in NYC launching her new fragrance. Here's a video highlight. Just click the link: Kim Kardashian Reflections perfume launch at Lord & Taylor or simply enjoy her pic here.

Kim Kardashian

I just finished an amazing interview with everyone's favorite hosting coach, Marki Costello, and plan to bring that to you soon.

Also, had the best time at the Los Angeles Supper Club last night which I'll share later as well.

Thanks for popping by. Gotta run.

#Fashion's Night Out! Lord & Taylor launches Kristi Yamaguchi's new activewear line & hosted Project Runways' 10 Year Anniversary too!

By Joy A. Kennelly

Just in case you've been living under a rock, or will be sitting at home tonight wondering what to do besides watch the DNC, here's a little sneak peek at what is going on tonight all around the world - FASHION'S NIGHT OUT! Watch this very cute video with the adorable guy from Glee to see what I'm talking about!

Here's the website where you can find out all you ever wanted to know about this fantastic event in your city:

And here's the written overview to help you understand why this is going to be fabulous here in Los Angeles!

"Fashion's Night Out turns 4!

Join editors, stars, models, fashionistas, and designers on September 6, 2012, as they flood stores in cities across the country and around the world for fashion's most iconic extravaganza.

Last year's bash featured events in eighteen countries and more than 4,500 events here in the States. With special limited-edition products, celebrity appearances, and unforgettable performances, FNO 2012 is promising to be even bigger and better than before!

See you on September 6!"

Now if you fondly remember the Olympics, read books to your children or love learning about new fashion, then you'll love my interview with Kristi Yamaguchi as she told me about her life after the Olympics, raising her family, running a successful charity and now launching a beautiful activewear line called Tsu.ya (which is her middle name), for busy moms who want to look great and feel comfortable.

Kristi Her new line launches today at Lord & Taylor's during FNO!

Lord & Taylor celebrated FNO a little early by hosting the Project Runway Season 10 “Wrap Party” at its Fifth Avenue flagship store to celebrate the show’s first-ever capsule collection, created exclusively
for the retailer by both past and present Project Runway designers.

Here's a little sneak peek from last night before I move on to my interview with Kristi ok? Here's Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, and President of Lord & Taylor, Bonnie Brooks (wearing red.) And Heidi Klum wearing not much of anything.:)

151307272 Bonnie Brooks & Nina Garcia
Bonnie Brooks & Tim Gunn


Now, back to Kristi...

She's just as gracious and humble in person as you'd expect. It's a little refreshing to realize someone who so proudly represented America actually epitomizes all that is good about America!

Ingenuity, creativity, discipline, entrepreneurship, humbleness, humor, love of life, love of family, and more.

Isn't she cute in this outfit? This is just one of the many cute styles you will be able to buy today! 8JeekPipcJMmLvxgZJZw47Ckol6igtI_438scKP0fYM,IAr85TGXBo3ncaEFjPMFWiKBMNcAHMk4RgYnRVrksmw Her line is inspired by her figure skating days. Aren't you glad it's not inspired by her stint on Dancing with the Stars? LOL

Although I did enjoy watching her compete and win on that show too. I mainly remember growing up watching her as she competed in the Olympics with such ease and poise.

And how her kilowatt smile always made it seem like she was just happy to be there doing her thing even though it was such a grueling regimen to get there.

I was very curious how difficult it was to transition from training every day to regular life after winning the Olympics and asked how she fits in exercise now that she's a busy philanthropist, entrepreneur and mom.

AboutIt was very cool to speak with her knowing she is an Olympic Gold Medalist and NY Times Best Selling Author.

And a mom.:)

She said, "I wish I had more of a regimen, but now I work out at least two to three times a week, even if it’s just elliptical, light floor weights, a TV program to get a quick work-out at home, or otherwise meet a friend at the gym. Believe me, I do not train like an athlete any more, I work out to feel good to keep my energy levels and eat the things I want. It’s more to burn some calories, do some cardio, nothing too overwhelming."

That was encouraging to hear because it made me think I could do that too.:)

I asked her what her favorite Olympic moment was from the summer to which she answered, "So exciting to see the US team was so strong and see all the inspiring stories that came out of it. Gymnastics is one of my favorite summer Olympics and to see the women’s team win the Gold." I had to agree since Gabby stole my heart.

Since Kristi's a former Olympic athlete I asked her if her new designs were something women competing in the Olympics could wear, or who she envisioned wearing it. She acknowledged they probably could, but she really designed it for the busy woman who likes to be active and has a fashion sense.

The whole look and feel came from Kristi, who worked very closely with the main manufacturer to design and they helped with color trends, fabrication, textiles to use, but she worked very closely on the details of the design.

“My lifestyle is demanding.  As a mother, as an author and as an athlete, the clothing that I wear needs to be functional as well as fashionable.  Up until now there wasn’t an activewear line available to me that met those needs so I created Tsu.ya to fill the void. Moms like me know that our attire needs to live up to our standards and to our activities and Tsu.ya does just that - and with style,” said Kristi.

I'm going to receive more images today and will upload them as soon as I receive them, I promise!

Here's the official description courtesy her publicist:

"Kristi's new line, Tsu.ya, provides a variety of designs, some fun and flashy (inspired by her figure skating days) and some more modern and chic, with comfortable fabrics tucking you in where you need it to and accentuating your figure where you want it to. The line will be available at select Lord and Taylor stores and via the retailer’s website in September of this year with a limited 18 piece edition for fall with yoga pants, leggings, jackets, T’s and tops.

A portion of Tsu.ya sales will go to Kristi’s Always Dream Foundation ( which funds programs that empower children to reach their dreams through education and inspiration."

Now her charity work really intrigued me too and we talked quite a bit about her inspiration for this endeavor. I'll share more of my interview and more images from her line (which are super cute and unique) in my next blog post later ok?

Right now, gotta run! Stay tuned!

Why I Blog and Cover What I Do - relationships, politics, entertainment, fashion, travel etc

By Joy A. Kennelly

I've noticed a lot of people seem to be finding my blog by the Michael Crowley letter I posted awhile back which got me to thinking about who my reader is and why they come here. If you've been a reader for any length of time, you know I first started blogging on MySpace way back in the day before moving to Typepad.

When I first started, I was shocked and delighted to find people actually read what I wrote.

I had started it as on online journal (which is very common) and was spilling my guts about the differences between living at the beach vs. living in Hollywood where I had been living for years prior to moving back to the South Bay, my hometown.

I shared the most intimate details back then and for the first few years because it was a release and blogging was like having a good friend listen. It was therapeutic, fun, and entertaining. However, I discovered guys I dated didn't like being written about, people were judging me, it felt weird people I didn't know knowing things I hadn't personally told them in person, and I began to pull back.

I also discovered I didn't have the 3-5 hours time it took to write up each red carpet event I attended with my actor client because we would jump from event to event, often hitting 3-4 red carpets a night. That was a lot of fun and great for branding because eventually all the photographers recognized us. When I began representing other actors and actresses the photographers would shoot those clients too knowing I only represented good people, even if they had lesser credits.

My "red carpet branding" personal publicity career came to a complete stop when I was in a car accident and it became too painful to drive from the beach to Hollywood to attend events with my client. It was heartbreaking to stop working together because he had also become a close friend. I sobbed all night after we ended our working relationship because I knew I was ending something special.

That was over five years ago, and I'm so happy he's gone on to producing and is doing so well. I know I played a small part in moving his career forward in the right direction and we're still friends despite our "break-up." He's doing everything he wanted to do and has the respect he always wanted from Hollywood which makes me happy.

So, if you see a few red carpet events thrown into the fashion, food, entertainment and travel press release blogs I post, know it used to be my evening ritual and how I got my start blogging on a regular basis.

I have evolved and my blog has evolved right along with me.

As far as politics go, I was sharing with a friend my political experience and realized I have volunteered on six local and state-wide campaigns. It's one of my passions. I repeat, one of my passions. I have many.:)

What people don't realize about me and my family, is we really enjoy talking politics. My parents watch political news almost incessantly unless they're watching their religious shows like Pastor Hagee, or crime shows like NCSI, or my Dad's favorite, Cops. lol

(I hate that show, but he loves all the stupid people. When I asked him about it I learned he wanted to be a cop when he was younger, but my grandma talked him out of it.)

Don't get me started on political talk radio! My youngest sister listens too! Cracks me up, but I also can't stand it. However, they are very well-informed on issues as a result which is why we always have lively political discussions when we talk polotics. I get a lot of my politcal information from Facebook and Twitter and we enjoy sharing our different thoughts on what is going on in the world.

Now if you've also been reading for awhile, you know I have blogged about politics. I bet it's about something you haven't heard or read in the mainstream media which is why you come back too. 

Trust me, you will never learn about the real truth in politics by watching the news on TV. You just won't. What is sad about today's journalism vs. what I was taught in school, is that objectivity has flown out the window because there's so much group think going on, the media actually believes having people who all think the same still allows for objectivity. It doesn't. It's like living in Communist China and thinking you're actually expressing an original, fresh thought that someone hasn't already thought for you.

Did you hear MSNBC edited out every minority speech of the RNC? Well, they did. Google Artur Davis and Mia Love if you want to hear some dynamic African Americans speak. Artur's speech was one of my favorites of that night. And yes, my parents and I watched every night.:) Will probably watch the DNC too. 

Did you hear the White House edits every article a reporter writes about Obama and what they've covered? It's true. Even the NY Times finally admitted it. Now I'm a publicist AND a journalist. I was taught in school when covering a story, you never show your story to the subject because they ethically don't have the right to change anything because they agreed to the coverage.

But who cares about ethics in this day and age, right? It's all about the messaging.

Unfortunately, discrimination comes in many different forms other than just race or gender. Living in CA, a very liberal, progressive (and now economically dying) state means that those who claim to be open-minded often are the least, otherwise Michael Moore's documentaries wouldn't be the only one they watch for political information and more of my liberal friends would have the intellectual curiosity to watch 2016: Obama's America, but they don't or won't.

How much you want to bet this film produced by the same guy who produced the award-winning Schindler's List won't even be considered by the Academy come Oscar time. I am willing to bet money on this. Too many people like living in a bubble, like only being around people who think the same, and don't want to hear or see anything that would cause them to question their core beliefs because it's too scary and would rock the boat. They would admit this too, if they had the intellectual integrity to do so, or knew themself well enough.

But they don't which is why they continue to discriminate against those who actually are open-minded.

That's the thing about me. You may not agree with what I write, or what I believe, but you will always be able to trust that what I say is true and honest. I like the fact people tell me this all the time. I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. I try to live my life by the adage, let your yes be yes and your no be no.

It's why I hated living in the South. Not my thing. Too many people trying to act one way to your face while stabbing you in the back, lying and gossiping about you behind your back. Men too, go figure. Not everyone, but enough to make me miserable.  Much happier now being back in Los Angeles. 

Now if I can only get Democrats in general to stop judging me by my difference of opinion politically, we may actually get along.:) Don't worry, I'm only vocal politically in writing occasionally and if you don't like reading that, skip it.

Or not. 

And who knows? We may actually open each other's minds in the process.:) I've gotta run. Hope you're enjoying your Labor Day weekend as much as I am!