Posts tagged with "entertainment industry"

Audience illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

How Important Are First Impressions in Modern Entertainment?

Artistic design has become one of the most crucially important features in the modern entertainment industry. This is thanks to the rise of online libraries for everything from television to games. People are likely to make snap judgments about the pictures they see on the thumbnails in front of them and, if these designs don’t immediately grab the attention, the entertainment choice stands to lose out to a rival. Online entertainment providers need to be aware of just how important first impressions are, and design their offerings accordingly.

Audience Attention is More Discriminating Than Ever

There has been a vast amount of research into whether people’s attention spans are getting shorter, with some studies suggesting that the average human is nine seconds. However, others have been quick to point out that it is a vague statistic and something that isn’t perfectly measurable anyway.

Perhaps what is more likely is that the modern generation of internet users have much more selective attention than those who existed twenty years ago. What all researchers can agree on, though, is that online businesses and entertainment options only have a limited amount of time to grab someone’s attention before they move on to something else.

Users Know They Have an Abundance of Choice

The fact that there is just so much out there to choose from has led to this need for online businesses to capture audience attention instantly. Users are well aware of the abundance of choice in every industry. One of the biggest factors towards this has been the library model in entertainment, which was made famous by Netflix. This involves users scrolling through long lists of films and television shows, looking for one that catches their eye. The picture used here is so important, as it needs to stand out from all the others on the list.

Netflix has inspired numerous other streaming services, and the concept has also spilt over to gaming as well. Online casinos have been using this model for some time, as it is the best way to display the vast lists of games on offer. This is especially true for slots, where abundant choice is the best way to pull in players. At Vegasslotsonline there are hundreds of games to choose from, and developers probably have less than a second to capture players’ attention. This is why the thumbnails need to be bright, colourful, and instantly appealing. Some examples of this can be seen with offerings like Starburst, which has large font and multiple colours, and Mega Moolah, which also has bold writing and a scattering of gold coins in the image.

The library model is set to become ubiquitous in other sections of the gaming industry in the years ahead. This is thanks to the rise of cloud-based subscription services on consoles and PC. Options like Google Stadia allow players to pay a monthly fee to have access to a wealth of games, rather than having to buy individual titles. This means that players will spend less time deliberating on what they are going to play, knowing that they are not making a large investment for that game. With this in mind, developers need their titles to stand out, and this will all come down to the design of the thumbnails shown on screen.

How Important is The Design of The Thumbnail?

Because of the seemingly endless options on offer in the entertainment industry, the design of the thumbnail of a film, television series, game, or YouTube video is so important. It needs to serve multiple purposes if possible. This includes an image that is going to catch the eye of users immediately, a brief description in some cases, the name, and something that conveys the genre.

Going back to the slot game example, it seems that developers here have managed to master the art of incorporating these things into a tiny square on a screen. Book of Dead, for instance, shows a picture of a rugged explorer, a striking gold artefact, and a background of ancient tombs. It also has the name of the game in large, visible writing. From this, players can easily gather that it is an adventure offering set in Ancient Egypt.

Film posters need to give viewers the facts they need to sway their decision as to whether they want to watch. This includes names of popular actors or directors or a reference to a famous title from the same filmmaker. When it comes to thumbnails on streaming platforms, however, there is even less room available for these things. Therefore, designers need to be selective in what they show. Superhero offerings on Netflix are a good example of making use of limited space. For example, the Spider-man titles show the hero pitted against the main villain in each film.

There is no doubt that first impressions count when it comes to modern entertainment. Designers of thumbnails have a split second to capture the attention of users, who are well aware that they have a lot of options to choose from. Those who can master these designs will enjoy success in the modern age.

Heather Skovlund Music illustration 360 Magazine

The Don Was Motor City Playlist

Music Icon Don Was to Launch Weekly Show, “The Don Was Motor City Playlist,” on Detroit’s NPR Station, 101.9 WDET-FM and streaming worldwide beginning 10 pm, April 16, 2021.

“The Don Was Motor City Playlist,” hosted by Don Was and WDET Music Host Ann Delisi will feature playlists curated by Was and tales from his more than 30-year career as a musician and producer.

Blue Note Records President, six-time Grammy Award Winner and music industry powerhouse Don Was is launching a weekly broadcast program Friday, April 16 in his hometown of Detroit. On the new two-hour show, The Don Was Motor City Playlist, Was will dig deep into his music archives to curate playlists and share personal stories about the artists whose songs he features. The show will pay homage to the Motor City and artists with whom he works and loves. It will be broadcast on Detroit’s NPR station, WDET 101.9 FM and available to stream on WDET’s website, the WDET mobile app, and on smart speakers.

The show will air every Friday from 10 pm–midnight and will be hosted by Was along with producer and co-host, Detroit radio personality Ann Delisi.

“This show is really different in that it is completely freeform,” says Was. “The format will be an old school stream of consciousness; diverse with songs that I love and want to share with listeners. It’s been really fun to make the playlists. I get to do this show from my birthplace of Detroit with the great Ann Delisi. You will hear stories about The Stones. Stories about Dylan. Stories about Bonnie Raitt and Iggy Pop. Stories about Detroit.”

The name of every playlist will be inspired by Don Was’ history in Detroit. As listeners tune in from around the world, they will hear commentary about the Motor City and its rich musical and cultural histories. Dubbed, “the most exciting city in America” by the New York Times, Detroit is the birthplace of Was, Jack White, Big Sean, Alice Cooper, Eminem, Elvin Jones, Pepper Adams, Marcus Belgrave, James Carter, Carl Craig, Alberta Adams and many others.

“Don Was is a genuine and fascinating storyteller who will give listeners intimate insight into music makers. Don is a Detroit treasure and so is Ann Delisi. We are thrilled that Don and Ann will be teaming up to create The Don Was Motor City Playlist on WDET,” says Mary Zatina, General Manager of WDET. It’s a perfect trio — “Don’s energy and talent in the music industry is in a league of its own. Ann, whose ear is to the ground in music of every genre, both share the ability to deeply engage listeners as they narrate stories and anecdotes about music making. The third leg of the formula is WDET — a one-of-a-kind radio station known for innovation and eclectic offerings that inform and delight audiences in metro Detroit and around the globe.” WDET, which has been on the air for 73 years, is Detroit’s flagship National Public Radio Station.

Delisi has been a Detroit broadcaster and producer for more than 35 years. Her show Essential Music is a treasured go-to for listeners to discover new music as well as look back at landmark albums, musical moments and the musicians who created them. She has interviewed everyone from David Bowie to Adele to White House Photographer Pete Souza. Dedicated to exploring the creative spirit that drives artists, Delisi said the idea to partner with Was came up in one of their many conversations over dinner.

Ann recounts the story of how the Don Was Motor City Playlist came about–“We were having dinner in Detroit when he was in town for the Concert of Colors global music festival. He talked about listening to WDET and the late night show “Jazz Today” hosted by Bud Spangler. He said that his dream was to do a show like that and play songs that were his personal favorites – from any genre and from era. Months later, I suggested to my WDET colleagues that Don should host a show on WDET and everyone loved the idea.”

WDET Program Director Joan Isabella says, “Don and Ann have a deep love of music and reverence for the artists who create it. Ann is a savvy interviewer and as his co-host, she will ask questions about his work that listeners will relish. The Don Was Motor City Playlist provides a platform for Don to share his life experiences as a musician, producer and record label president. Having heard many of Don’s stories throughout the years, I know it’s going to be a blast for the listeners.”

A pivotal moment in developing the show’s potential occurred years ago when Was visited WDET to be interviewed by Delisi, only for the show to be preempted due to a national emergency press conference.

“Back in 2012, our live interview was preempted, so we ended up recording a lengthy interview in a small studio sharing stories and talking about music. In the years that followed, I began working with Don on the Concert of Colors and we would always talk about music. Little did we know that all of those conversations were preparing us for this show,” says Delisi.

“I’ve been going through my record collection, music from Detroit and beyond, on and off Blue Note,” says Was. “Maybe some music that hasn’t been released from Was (Not Was), but I’m modest with this show, I haven’t decided that part yet.”

Fans can hope.

For more than 70 years, from our Midtown Detroit location on the campus of Wayne State University, WDET-FM 101.9, Detroit’s NPR station, has delivered a unique mix of news, conversation, special programs and music programming. Our 48,000-watt broadcast signal reaches a 70-mile radius across all of southeast Michigan, northwest Ohio and southwest Ontario. It expands nationally through our live stream, website, mobile app and podcasts. WDET-FM 101.9 is a community service of Wayne State University. Support for WDET comes from Wayne State, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, local foundations, and through private donors and corporate underwriting.

Award illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Best Culture & Fashion Lifestyle Publication – USA

360 MAGAZINE has been selected as Best Culture & Fashion Lifestyle Publication – USA

Awarded by the 2021 Global Business Insight Awards, which celebrates business leadership, innovation in finance and investment and sector success across all seven continents of the world, 360 Magazine is honored to receive this prestigious title. Global Business Insight has ranked 360 Magazine at the “pinnacle of its peers,” recognizing our magazine’s commitment to continued success and innovation.

What are the 2021 Global Business Insight Awards?

“The 2021 Global Business Insight Awards are an exact illustration of the very best this essential and competitive industry as to offer. By concentrating on a wealth of disciplines, our awards will endeavor to identify and celebrate those individuals and businesses within the Business Insight umbrella. From Financial Services and Technology to Construction and Healthcare – all sectors and company sizes are welcome, including individual recognition for outstanding achievements. Using our far-reaching and intense research process, we guarantee the selection of only the elite for our prestigious honors.”

How is the 2021 Winner List Formulated?

“The 2021 Global Business Insight Awards are a celebration of business leadership, innovation and sector success across the globe. Nominated through a legitimately independent process, each of the winners is carefully selected by the corporate community, raising the kudos of these annual awards. Business leaders are recognized across a full spectrum of sectors, from Financial Services and Technology to Construction and Healthcare and then judged in a range of categories.”

“Ensuring that the award evaluation process is neutral and valid, is a key priority and as a consequence votes are gathered year-round via a number of digital channels and then evaluated employing a transparent and dynamic framework. For each of the awards programs we utilize quantitative and qualitative studies which have been conducted by our experienced research teams and by measuring each business against a precise set of appraisal criteria, we have created a unique model which assures the validity of our results.  The criteria and sub-criteria offer a robust set of requirements that are then used as the methodology to not only benchmark but also create a depth of understanding amidst the participating businesses, ultimately allowing us to ensure that we capture different dimensions of the same phenomenon.”

Who Judges the Awards?

“The judges of the 2021 Global Business Insight Awards are highly experienced and diverse; the panel are made up of transnational and multi-lingual appointed individuals whose backgrounds span a host of different disciplines such as European languages, journalism, history, media and not least business. Headed up by an experienced academic leader of international schooling, who boasts years of coaching practice and is well-informed in research practices and the verification of facts and facilitation, the panel are able to run efficiently and dependably, ultimately ensuring the weight of these awards.”

Award illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

BESLA Honored by Recording Academy

THE RECORDING ACADEMY HONORS THE BLACK ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS LAWYERS ASSOCIATION AT THE 23RD ANNUAL ENTERTAINMENT LAW INITIATIVE EVENT

Today, the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) earns recognition by the Recording Academy at the virtual 23rd Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Event & Scholarship PresentationBESLA stands out as a nationally recognized leader in legal education and professional development for lawyers and professionals in entertainment, sports, and related industries.

During a historic GRAMMY® Week among the nation’s most prominent entertainment attorneys, BESLA proudly received the 2021 Entertainment Law Initiative Service Award. This achievement highlights leading entities that have demonstrated a commitment to advancing and supporting the music community through service. Additionally, BESLA celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2020 and commemorated the founding group of attorneys in Philadelphia during the First Annual Black Music Association Conference. Their actions sprung from a need to create a continual learning and networking environment for underrepresented attorneys in the entertainment industry, one that today reflects the incredible tenure adopted and developed over 40 years ago.

To continue elevating the trajectory for professionals of color, BESLA has recently committed to establishing an endowment that will support future generations of aspiring executives. This endowment serves as an acknowledgment of BESLA’s commitment to empowering and uplifting its community through service.

On the honorable mention, BESLAs Chairwoman Khadijah Sharif-Drinkard said, “We are honored that the Recording Academy has selected BESLA to receive the ELI Service Award for our commitment to creating an equitable, inclusive and diverse industry. While this award is in recognition of what we have accomplished to date, it is also a reminder that we must continue to create pathways for people of color to gain entry, access, and opportunities to excel in entertainment, media, and sports.”

As part of their mission to support and advance the excellence of professionals in entertainment and sports, BESLA has consistently opened doors for members via annual conferences, regional events, key initiatives, and most recently through the establishment of their endowment. Today, it continues to build on a 40-plus year legacy to advance people of color in the entertainment industry, as recognized by the 2021 ELI Service Award.

BESLA was founded by like-minded professionals who saw the need for an organization where collective experiences and knowledge could be shared for professional development, networking, and the advancement of people of color. Before BESLA, artists, athletes, lawyers, and professionals of color in the sports, entertainment, and legal professions were anomalies– exceptions to the rule. Black professionals like Muhammad Ali, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Thurgood Marshall, and Hank Aaron all fought uphill battles for fair and equitable treatment and the rights of others, like themselves, who did not have the celebrity, platform, or voice to call attention to their respective struggles. They were agents of change. They challenged the status quo and forced society to reevaluate their preconceived notions of the skills, capabilities, and ‘place’ of people of color.

As a result, the Black Entertainment Lawyers Association (BELA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was formed in 1980. To incorporate growing opportunities in the sports arena, the name was changed to the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) in 1986.

Keep up with BESLA on Facebook and Instagram

Alondra Delgado shot by Tim Schaeffer, Makeup/Hair by Johnna J. Perez, Styled by Sean Dylan Perry. For use by 360 Magazine

Alondra Delgado Q&A

By: Javier Pedroza

From acting out telenovelas scenes on “The Island of Enchantment” to Hollywood, California…

Say hello to actress Alondra Delgado, born in Mayaguez and raised in Arecibo Puerto Rico. Ms. Delgado is very proud of her Latina heritage and can currently be seen as Vanessa Montes on the CW football drama , ‘ALL AMERICAN’  ’, which follows the journey of star player Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) as he is recruited away from his homeschool to play for Beverly Hills High. Vanessa is the daughter of the new head coach and the confident new girl at school who has a history with one of her classmates. The cast also includes Taye Diggs and Samantha Logan. The third season is airing now. While Delgado has guest starred, wrote, and produced other shows and short films, this role has introduced the young actress to an exciting new level of stardom. Here at 360 Magazine, we dished with Delgado about her role on All American, upcoming involvement in the film Safe House, her Puerto Rican heritage and Latinx idols, and more.

  1. How was your upbringing in Puerto Rico?

My childhood in Puerto Rico was beautiful. I love Puerto Rico. It involved a lot of dancing, since that’s what I started with first when I was two and a half years old, going to the beach, studying in a bilingual school, and acting on feature films when I was seven years old. It was great! 

  1. What are some of your favorite things about your community / culture?

I love the people and the warmth and passion we all have; and of course the food!  We always have a party in every activity. We are loud, passionate, and very prideful of our tiny Island! 

  1. What attracted you to begin a career as an actress?

Growing up I never liked cartoons that much. I was always fascinated with the Telenovelas and would play out scenes and act like the mean characters. My mom saw my passion so she put me with a talent agency. I did my first feature film when I was seven, and I fell in love. 

  1. Where were you and what was your reaction when you received the call from CW confirming your role as Vanessa Montes?

I was at my mom’s house with all my family decorating for Halloween. My manager and agents called me and I screamed and jumped and hung up the phone three times by accident. I was so excited! And it was great that my close family was there because we got to celebrate right away.

  1. How has your experience been, so far as the new girl at school on All American?

It’s been great! I’ve had a lot of fun and have learned a lot. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.

  1. Can you describe how you feel working alongside Taye Diggs and Samantha Logan?

It is amazing. At first I was a bit scared and nervous to be on set because this is a great cast. But once I was there, they were very nice to me and I’ve been learning a lot about them. 

  1. Will we see more writing & producing any time soon?

I’ve been writing some things recently so that is definitely something that will come soon, hopefully. 

  1. Who are your role models in life?

There are many Puerto Rican figures that always inspire me, like Rita Moreno and Benicio del Toro, who have had a great career in Hollywood and always represent the Island. Someone I always look up to is Roberto Clemente, who had a huge passion for baseball and loved helping others. That is something I would love to do!

  1. With the lack of Latinx talent representation (in front and behind the cameras) in Hollywood, how would you advise “the industry” to move forward?

I think lately there have been a few more Latinos out there, but we definitely need more. I would say that we need to stop writing characters that are specifically Hispanic rather than giving roles to Hispanic actors. There is always this mindset that the character has to be this or has to be that, rather than hiring people because of talent and not looks. So many people have started to watch All American and are excited because there is more Latino representation now. We need to change our mindsets and hire because of talent! 

  1. Any advice for teenagers who dream of writing, acting and producing?

Go for it! If you have a passion, you have to try it. You have to have a positive mindset because it will not be easy and you’ll face rejection, but you have to learn how to trust and believe in yourself and your talent. If you work hard enough, you’ll make it. 

  1. What is one of your top acting tips?

I love to learn the lines and then just play with it. Read it with different people and you will find different things from each read that will help you create a character with more depth. 

  1. What can you tell us about your upcoming film Safe House?

I am so excited for this one! It’s an action film. I play Carla and she is the lead character. She’s a strong female lead with a lot of stunts and drama. People will love her! 

Alondra Delgado shot by Tim Schaeffer, Makeup/Hair by Johnna J. Perez, Styled by Sean Dylan Perry.

Tech illustration by Sara Davidson for 360 Magazine

Tech Industry Billionaires

70% of the Top 10 Billionaires Generated Their Wealth from the Tech Industry.

Data researched by Trading platforms UK indicates that 70% of the top ten richest people amassed their wealth from the technology industry as of March 1, 2021. The top ten wealthiest individuals control a fortune of $1.14 trillion in total, with tech players accounting for $855.9 billion.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest person globally with a fortune of $181 billion, followed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk at $174 billion. Microsoft founder Bill Gates ranks third with a fortune of $135 billion.

The report explains some of the underlying factors leading to the tech sector’s dominance of the top ten rich list. According to the research report:

“The dominance of the rich list by the technology industry figures also points to the sector’s resilience in times of crisis. Technology rose to prominence due to its ability to offer solutions to help people cope with the coronavirus crisis. For instance, during the health crisis, most billionaires in the sector like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos amassed more wealth as more people leveraged on e-Commerce platforms amid the lockdown and stay at home measures.”

The U.S. and China together host 49% of the top 500 billionaires globally.

Additionally, the findings reveal that the United States has the highest number of billionaires globally at 156, while China ranks second at 86. The two countries, therefore, account for 49% of the top 500 billionaires globally.

Germany is third with 28 billionaires followed by Russia at 24. Hong Kong and France follow, with each having 17 billionaires. The United Kingdom and India each have 16 billionaires. Canada is ninth with 15 billionaires while Sweden is tenth with 11 billionaires.

The analysis also shows that the tech industry has the highest number of billionaires globally at 84. Industrial ranks second with 56 billionaires followed by diversified at 50 while the consumer has 43 billionaires. Finance has 37 billionaires, while entertainment has the least billionaires at 10.

For further statistics and information, please visit this website.

resort illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for 360 Magazine

Mallory Weggemann – LIMITLESS

Mallory Weggemann is a record-setting, two-time Paralympic swimmer for Team USA. She has set fifteen world records and thirty-four American records, and is also the recipient of an ESPY Award, a 15-time World Champion, and a Paralympic gold and bronze medalist. Weggemann has also served as a commentator on NBC for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games, the first female reporter in a wheelchair ever to serve in that capacity. Weggemann has established herself as a leader outside of the pool, as well; she is an inclusion advocate serving on the Advisory Board of Disability for Delta Air Lines as well as a cofounder and co-CEO of TFA Group, a social impact agency and production studio. A highly sought-after motivational speaker, Weggemann has presented at numerous Fortune 500 companies, including Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Comcast, PepsiCo, Northwestern Mutual, Aetna, Accenture, and Delta Air Lines.

In her upcoming book, LIMITLESSTHE POWER OF HOPE AND RESILIENCE TO OVERCOME CIRCUMSTANCE LIMITLESS (3/2/21), Mallory shares her remarkable story and the lessons she learned by pushing past every obstacle, expectation, and limitation that stood in her way, and she helps readers to discover how, they, too, can choose to rewrite their own stories to overcome the challenges they face.

Besides being a gold medalist, Mallory Weggemann is also an ESPN ESPY Award winner, TV Sports Commentator, and founder of social impact agency, TFA Group. She knows firsthand that the words and images we use, and how we use them, impacts how society perceives everything.

a

Context to the void that currently exists:

Whereas nearly 20% of the US population is disabled, fewer than 2% of characters on TV are disabled.  This disparity in representation for the disabled community is apparent across the entertainment industry. In 2020, Mallory was a TV commentator at the Golden Globes and didn’t see one person who had a disability the entire day — one of the largest gatherings of the biggest names in Hollywood. In fact, she had to be lifted three steps when she reached the end of the carpet because no one had thought to create an accessible path for a wheelchair.

a

A few misconceptions & truths about Mallory’s identity are:

On 1/27/21, Twitter labeled her image in a wheelchair as ‘sensitive content’.  TRUTH: her image is one of empowerment – one that happens to be of a woman living with a disability.

Her image is ‘imperfect’ and she is ‘confined’ to a wheelchair. TRUTH: her image shows strength & the wheels beneath her don’t confine or limit her; they give her the freedom to not only chase her dreams, but live them.

Her body is broken. TRUTH: Her body has taken her to the top of the Paralympic podium, it is the body that has broken countless world records throughout her career and above all, it has proven time and time again the power it holds to adapt & become stronger with each perceived imperfection.

Being scared is limiting. TRUTH: Being scared allows Mallory to gain confidence & she advises: “Scare yourself – put yourself out there in a way that “success” isn’t a guaranteed outcome. We don’t grow by playing it safe, taking the easy wins or just going through the motions – we grow when our minds want to say, “I can’t” but instead say, “why not?”

TRUTH: Our society can do better – our next generation deserves better. “We all deserve to be seen – not covered up by a disclaimer. And most of all, we deserve to know that we all belong in this society and that starts with representation,” shares Mallory.

In 2008, when Mallory was paralyzed at the age of 18, she yearned to see representation. When she looked at the world around her, she felt isolated by her differences. It was then that Mallory learned it is hard to become what you don’t see. For the past 13 years she has made a conscious decision to do her part to fill that void, so our next generation never has to ask, “what about me?”

a

To learn more about Meghan’s incredible story and pre-order her book, please visit this website.

Dance Your Dance – Laurieann Gibson

Thomas Nelson/W Publishing (a division of HarperCollins) today announced the pre-order for Emmy-nominated choreographer, creative director and entrepreneur Laurieann Gibson’s debut book Dance Your Dance: 8 Steps to Unleash Your Passion and Live Your Dream, set for release on February 16, 2021. The pre-order bundle includes access to exclusive video content from Laurieann and a first look at chapter one of the book. Additionally, the first 500 to pre-order will receive a limited-edition promotional item. Pre-order Dance Your Dance here.

Dance Your Dance highlights Gibson’s evolution from a young dancer training in New York City to a well-respected and in-demand creative visionary with an eye for cultivating music artists from the ground up. The book unveils the ultimate blueprint to achieving your dreams—a blueprint she’s implemented countless times to develop some of the world’s greatest superstars including Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Diddy and The Jonas Brothers, among others. Packed with personal anecdotes from her 20+ year career in entertainment and messages of empowerment, Dance Your Dance speaks to the dreamer in you: the artist, the singer, the writer, the entrepreneur, the mogul, the mover, the shaker, the thinker.

Reflecting on the power of the book’s message, Laurieann shares, “Dance Your Dance is an explosion of inspiration, passion and empowerment—an entertaining and transformative unstoppable ride to your greatness. I can’t wait for people to start reading it. I believe it can be life-changing.”

ABOUT LAURIEANN GIBSON

Laurieann Gibson is one of the most important pop culture influencers in entertainment today. Having served as creative director and choreographer for numerous international superstars, Gibson’s expertise in developing artists’ performance skills earned her an Emmy nomination for directing Lady Gaga’s HBO concert special Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden. Laurieann also directed and choreographed Nicki Minaj’s sold out “Pink Print World Tour” and Diddy’s “Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour.” More than a choreographer, Gibson is a business force whose presence is felt across TV/commercials, film, gaming, and now publishing. She can currently be seen as a judge on FOX’s hit show So You Think You Can Dance and will serve as creative director/choreographer on MTV’s highly anticipated return of Making the Band. On top of film appearances and commercial work (previously choreographing for the likes of Pepsi and Google), she is producing a number of television projects that are currently in development. Laurieann lives in Los Angeles, California, with her doggie “son,” Samson. Connect with her here.

 ABOUT THOMAS NELSON

Thomas Nelson is a world leading publisher and provider of Christian content and has been providing readers with quality inspirational product for more than 200 years. As part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the publishing group provides multiple formats of award-winning Bibles, books, gift books, cookbooks, curriculum and digital content, with distribution of its products in more than 100 countries. Thomas Nelson is headquartered in Nashville, TN. For additional information, visit here.

QxA with Akeem Mair

This holiday season, actor Akeem Mair took the time to speak with 360 Magazine about his craft, his inspirations, how his career has been impacted by COVID-19, and more. Movie star Akeem Mair is the entertainment industry’s up-and-coming icon. In his career as an artist, he has appeared in several movie productions including All About Money, A Wonderful World, Limbo, Life of a Villain, Red, Fine Line, Silent Love, The Kidnap, etc. He’s worked with many production companies, including the Columbia College of Hollywood Production.

Akeem has signed with two agencies: Commercial Talent Agency (under Sarah Angeli) and Minc Talent (under Mariko Ballentine). At 32, Akeem is in his prime. With his noteworthy work ethic and passion, he is destined for greater heights. In fact, he has over 5 million views for a single video alone – the time when he appeared for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which Ellen described as “the best episode she’s ever seen.”

Besides this feature with 360 Magazine, Akeem appears in many publications such as NY Wire’s Top 25 Individuals, US Reporter’s Top 15 Entrepreneurs, LA Wire’s Top 20 IG Accounts to Follow in 2020, and many more. Read on to hear 360’s interview with Akeem below.

What do you love most about being an actor?

I found a strong love of being in front of the camera with everybody watching. It’s like my escape from my own reality, which is refreshing to me. I get the opportunity to pour myself into different characters and experience that person’s life. How they see the world and how different their life experiences are from mines. I love to learn how they think, how they would react in certain situations, the way they talk and walk, the way they dress, etc. Then, you can take what you learn from playing that character and use it to make your own life more complete. Meaning if you like how that character approaches life, then copy and apply it. At first the camera scared me – I’m not gonna lie. But a director once told me that the fear I show in front of the camera robs the audience of their entertainment. Once I broke out of that, my understanding of my own craft changed. Acting is my life!

Did you always wanted to be an actor, or did you have other ambitions?

Actually, believe it or not, I wanted to be a financial banker. I watched Michael Douglas in the film called, “The Game,” and became hooked after that. I saw the 2000 BMW 740 I, the designer suits, the excitement of winning their clients’ money in the office, the personal maid that lives at his house, and I always loved crunching numbers in a calculator. But as I was working at Ralph’s grocery store when a loyal customer ending up changing my whole life. I was a cashier, and she came into my line with a sad demeanor. I could tell something was troubling her, so I tried to brighten up her day with my personality. I said “Hi, it’s good to see you again, did you find everything ok?” She said softly, “Yes I did, thank you!” I said, “Usually I see you smiling, but whatever you’re going through I know God will not give you more than you can handle! He has something better for you!” After the transaction I said, “Have a Blessed day! I hope to see you again soon.” Immediately she paused and finally looked up at me for the first time and I could tell she had been crying. She asked me, “Are you an actor?” I said, “No. Why do you ask?” She said, “Because your energy is filled with so much positive energy. You move people by it. You lifted up my spirits after I just lost my house in a foreclosure. Thank you!” Her reply shocked me. After she left, I went home that day and wondered, What would my life look like if I was a successful actor? I thought about how I would be able to help my family so much more and how I can infect millions of people with the same positive energy. That night, I searched ‘how to become an actor’ and it said most start as an extra on a movie set. The next day I reached out to Central Casting in Burbank for their free introduction and here I am today! I am more than satisfied and really love what I do!

How has COVID-19 impacted your industry?

My industry has changed a lot! At first, the acting classes I would attend would be at different acting studios across Los Angeles and held in person. Same as the auditions I would get. And I would have to deal with sitting in the heavy traffic, busy freeways, hoping to get to where I need to on time. Now it’s crazy to think everything is happening on my iPhone 11 Pro! My auditions are either through Zoom or I would have to submit a self-tape that would record off of my phone’s camera and be edited in the iMovie feature. All of my classes have been online through Zoom. So, the coaches now email you a link to jump on when class starts. The biggest issue now is not the heavy traffic, it’s the internet connection. If you have bad WiFi, it easily destroys your Zoom live audition and costs you the job. So, it is extremely important now to have amazing WiFi connection.

Do you have other passions besides acting?

I love writing poetry; it really soothes my soul. I like to write out all the emotions and experiences I go through like in poems and lyrics. 2pac was the one who really inspired me to use my pen as an outlet.

I appreciate Vaughn and 360 Magazine

For allowing me to tell my story

It was a journey to chase my dreams

And stayed away from things ain’t for me

I would sit in the movie theaters

And picture myself reaching glory

I knew could take care of my family

If I stop feeling sorry

By working hard building my legacy

It creates an attraction

Sending me blessings of opportunities

I would of never would of imagine

I had to escape from my reality

By following my passions

I can’t be worried about anybody else

I constantly take action

When I’m finished grinding everyday

I die as a legend

What is the biggest life lesson you learned?

You have to decide to go after your dreams because that’s what you want to do. There’s going to be so many people in your ear telling you different things and most of the time, it’s family because they want to protect you from failing. The only problem about that is it takes you away from doing what you love and moves you closer to a life of regret. So, take your time and really think about your dreams and how you want your life to be. Take out a piece of paper and write what you want out of life. I am an actor today because it’s my dream. I wrote it down, I proclaimed it in front of the mirror, and I tell my friends and family all the time what my dreams are and that I am going to achieve them.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge is balancing my money and time. Because let me tell you, I’ve invested a lot of money to strive as an actor. Dreams come with lots of sacrifices. This is the one side of dreams that is not so glamorous. I can’t watch television when I get home because I have to practice, do auditions, or attend classes. Before I can even think about buying the latest technology, clothes, or shoes, I would have to also think about classes, camera equipment, printing, headshots, costumes, etc. You have to be willing at any moment to sacrifice for your dreams and it’s the hardest part. I’m giving up sleep most days because I’m so busy, but I love it!!

Who are the people who are your biggest influences and why?

Tupac Shakur, Denzel Washington and Eddie Murphy are my biggest influences. Everyone knows why Eddie Murphy is so big of an inspiration to me. It’s how I got my name! His character, Akeem, from Coming to America made my parents fall in love with the name due to his performance. As I’m older now and have watched it for myself, it’s crazy so much of my personality has rubbed off of him and into me. He possesses a sense of humor and radiates authority, yet he remains humble, practices kindness and self-sacrifices for the people around him. Denzel Washington is my next inspiration. I always love how Denzel approaches his game. The confidence, swag, fearlessness, and mental toughness he possesses in most of the characters he played, you can just feel his presence through your television. His Oscar performance character Alonzo Harris in Training Day was unbelievable. You felt the selfishness, greed, carelessness, ruthlessness, and his betrayal. I would love to ask him, “how do you get to that place in a character and stay there?” Finally, 2pac! His wisdom and his work ethic are what really blow my mind. I love how he was able to captivate a crowd of people and get everyone to follow him around. To be so young and so ahead of his time is crazy. He inspires me to think ahead always and to do more than what you think your capable of doing. And stop taking breaks! I remember how upset he got when his team took breaks and reminds them how time is short.

If you could change one thing you did at the beginning of your career, what would it be?

I would go back to tell the younger me to keep track of your day. Stop worrying about your yearly resolutions and worry about your daily resolutions. Because if you can’t take care of a simple day, how on earth are you going to conquer your year? It’s going to escape you every time. I always hear it in people’s voices when they talk about what they are going to be or going to have. I’m like, wait a minute, what are you going to do today? And people are usually confused or haven’t thought about it. See, it’s that’s answer right there that’s gonna kill everything you just told me.

IMDB

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK

BACKSTAGE

LINKEDIN

TWITTER

YOUTUBE

ACTORSACCESS

CASTING FRONTIER

PINTEREST

Has eSports Become a Part of Pop Culture?

A couple of decades ago, when video games burst into the mainstream audience for good, everyone could have guessed that gaming would soon become an important part of the entertainment industry. But what no one could have predicted is just how popular it would become not to play video games yourself, but to watch other people play. So popular in fact, that competitive video gaming, i.e. eSports, has slowly but steadily grown to become an important part of pop culture. But how and why did eSports gain so much momentum?

eSports expand their reach into the mainstream audience

When the first organized competitive gaming tournaments emerged where professional players vie for a prize, analysts very aptly dubbed the new practice “eSports”. And research reported by the Influencer Marketing Hub reveals that this new industry has quickly expanded its appeal and gained unprecedented growth. In 2017, eSports reached an audience of 335 million viewers, which climbed to 380 million in 2018. It is now estimated that until 2021 that number will reach roughly 557 million, exhibiting an annual growth rate of 14%. Out of those, 250 million will be regular viewers but another 307 million will be casual spectators. This means that casual viewers will constitute the majority of the eSports audience.

Furthermore, according to the same source, even people who do not watch eSports have still heard of them. In 2015, an impressive 800,000 people were aware of the industry. But a year later, over a billion people have reportedly heard of eSports – a jaw-dropping growth. In 2019 alone, eSports awareness was estimated to have reached 1.57 billion people around the world. The combination of these two facts, i.e. the number of casual viewers and the tremendous growth in awareness, lead us to the conclusion that eSports has now become an important part of pop culture.

How eSports became a part of pop culture

But if you want even more proof, just take a closer look at eSports betting. That’s right: betting sites now consider eSports as a sub-category of the traditional realm of sports betting, and punters can place wagers on the biggest eSports tournament just like they would on the NBA finals or the Super Bowl. It is no surprise, when you consider the hype surrounding the biggest eSports competitions. In 2019, the League of Legends World Championship gathered an audience of almost 4 million viewers, and the Fortnite World Cup Finals amassed an impressive 2.3 million. Speaking of Fortnite, it is perhaps the game that best encapsulates how video gaming and eSports are now part of pop culture in their own right.

Who could forget the iconic and hilarious scene in Avengers: Endgame that saw Thor compete against “Noobmaster69” on Fortnite? Just like people are still not over the live concert series that now takes place within the Fortnite game. Travis Scott was the first to take the leap of faith and performed virtually to raving reviews. Now, the digital concerts continue, with J Balvin reportedly set to headline the Fortnite Halloween Concert series, in a perfect blend of these divergent strands of pop culture that has had audiences going wild. Much like the music industry, other sectors have realized the potential of eSports and gaming that allows them to reach to a wider audience and are jumping at the chance. For example, Oakley has already announced that they would launch a new type of lenses specifically designed for gaming.

If we want to understand better how eSports have so quickly become a part of pop culture, we also need to look at the channels that enabled them to connect with their audience. Millennials are now in their 20s and 30s, and they have grown up in an increasingly digital world. Watching their favorite gamers play live on Twitch or YouTube, and interacting with them on chat or social media was an organic way for them to connect. Steven Spielberg’s recent blockbuster Ready Player One took the concept one step further. In a dystopian future, taking place in a VR gaming tournament has become the one shot its protagonist has at fixing everything wrong with the world – competitive gaming has somehow turned into something more real than real life itself.

For the young adults that are right now the driving force behind market trends, and are shaping pop culture, eSports are an integral part of life and culture.