Posts tagged with "grandfather"

Vaughn Lowery illustration by Allison Christensen for his book Move Like Water x Be Fluid produced by 360 MAGAZINE

Move Like Water × Be Fluid

By Katrina Tiktinsky

Vaughn Lowery, founder and publisher of 360 MAGAZINE, pens poignant prose. Move Like Water × Be Fluid is a stunning memoir documenting the author’s journey from a childhood in the Detroit’s subsidized, section 8 housing to a successful career in fashion and media. The arc of this remarkable passage twists and turns in surprising ways, ensuring readers will believe in the concept that this life truly is what you make it. The text will debut as an exclusive multi-volume installation within 360 MAGAZINE and marks the inception of the brand’s foray into publishing.

This provocative coming-of-age story explores the power of branding strategy, a technique the writer developed at an early age and carried with him throughout his lifetime. Lowery, from the time he was a young child, is able to comprehend that one’s innate, individual self is their greatest commodity in life. Through the highs and lows that inform his experience, he stays true to that ideal. Lowery puts forward a raw and compelling narrative of a child, and later a man, who repeatedly picks himself up, reimagines his life, and finds innovative ways to move forward. The self-empowerment so emblematic in Lowery’s character and story promotes readers to adopt the author’s tactics in their own lives.

The influence of prominent civil rights leader Joseph Lowery, the writer’s grandfather, is prevalent in this work. A beacon for both hope and progress during the Civil Rights Movement, the legacy of Joseph Lowery weighs heavily on the narrator. This, along with his upbringing and existence as a black man in America, make Lowery both introspective and contextually aware when it comes to race. Moreover, draws parallels between the movement his grandfather championed and led, and the Black Lives Matter movement of today, exposing the failures of our system and calling for meaningful, systemic change. Both Joseph and Vaughn Lowery are members of the first intercollegiate historically African American organization Alpha Phi Alpha. Lowery simultaneously considers the work he can do, as a singular human being, to forward social justice causes in his day-to-day life and interactions with others. 

In 1920, his grandmother, Agnes Christine Moore Lowery (the little girl in the blue dress, also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha), came with her grandmother to become the first black to vote in Tennessee. The kids’ book, The Big Day, depicts their journey the day she voted, now available on Amazon here.

Photo of LaJUNE by Armon Hayes for 360 Magazine

Photo: Armon Hayes, Talent: LaJUNE

360 Magazine is also now selling one of a kind home goods via Chairish, a curated marketplace for the best in vintage and contemporary furniture, decor and art. Check out this piece designed by 360’s founder Vaughn Lowery.

In the year 2020, which has been afflicted with an overwhelming amount of change, there has never been a timelier moment for insight from a man like Lowery. As mentioned, Lowery’s deep ties and connections to racial justice in America feels incredibly relevant, as do his thoughts on digital media, something Lowery pioneered years before COVID-19 forced the world hurriedly online. Constantly at the forefront of social change, Move Like Water × Be Fluid offers an understanding of the current moment, yet looks forward to the possibility of an evolved, cosmopolitan world. One that Lowery aspires to through all his works, including this installation and 360 MAGAZINE.

As we follow the author through grade school, high school and on through Cornell University, we collect advice from a myriad of powerful secondary characters. From all walks of life, these secondary support systems offer Lowery the push he needs to continue on striving towards something better. We watch Lowery model the work ethic of his admired older sister, gain confidence from an encouraging teacher, change the trajectory of his life due to a neighborhood mentor, and learn from the critique of a Residential Advisor. This self-help-book stands apart for never failing to appreciate the importance of an individual’s support system. Fittingly, while the book catalogues Lowery’s journey to success, it inspires and encourages readers in the same way Lowery’s community uplifted him – to take action towards a meaningful life.

Comparable titles to Move Like Water × Be Fluid include other stories of individuals who later turned to publishing their experiences in self-help books. Numerous celebrity examples include Becoming by Michelle Obama, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, or The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey. These titles, as well as Lowery’s first book, all feature introspection and explanations regarding the course of the authors’ lives. 

The following descriptions outlines the chapter-by-chapter journey within Move Like Water × Be Fluid.

Chapter 1: The beginning of Lowery’s journey is marked by his complicated childhood in Detroit, distinctly connected to his sense of place and community. Financial struggles and surroundings reminiscent of the song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” as well as the author’s early experience with assault contextualize the course of Lowery’s life.

Chapter 2: A childhood mood, coupled with the realization of his intelligence, swiftly changed the direction of Lowery’s life. Following a move to New Jersey to live with his older sister, Lowery’s early experiences of racism shine a light on his passion for racial justice today. The opportunity to participate in an honored education program again changes the trajectory Lowery follows.

Chapter 3: This chapter offers insight into the ups and downs of high school, a narrative many are familiar with. Yet, Lowery’s poised observations throughout the chapter reflect his early understanding of the world.

Chapter 4: After a remarkable yet complex journey through high school, Lowery achieves the first of many dreams by gaining the chance to attend Cornell University in New York. At Cornell, he is able to expand his understanding of self and what he hopes to accomplish.

Chapter 5: Saks Fifth Avenue recruits Lowery to work in their corporate office, marking Lowery’s first foray into the world of economics and fashion. The advice he gains from mentors in the field prompts him to shift towards a career in acting and modeling, supplemented by working in the Medicare Department of U.S. Healthcare.

Chapter 6: New York, in all its hectic nature, pointed Lowery west towards California where he could further capitalize on his talents in the entertainment industry.

Chapter 7: This chapter details one of the events in Lowery’s life for which he is best known: his commercials as “Joe Boxer Guy” that overwhelmed the nation. Following ups and downs in Los Angeles, this success cemented Lowery’s understanding of his own talents as well as his ties to L.A.

Chapter 8: Following an offensive home invasion, Lowery pivots to continue embracing what life throws at him with appearances on NBC’s “Scrubs” and “America’s Next Top Model.”

Chapter 9: With plenty of capital and the space to complement his next steps, Lowery founded 360 MAGAZINE in 2008, powering through the tidal wave that was the recession all due to his own brains and the belief in his product and brand.

Chapter 10: After another painful reminder of the inadequacies of the justice system in America due to an unjust prison stay, Lowery’s comprehension of what is truly important is once again realigned. Despite his negative experiences, his magazine is able to be on the cutting edge of the Los Angeles scene.

Chapter 11: The number 360 is ubiquitous to Lowery – one embodies the other. His appreciation for both his own capabilities and expertise, as well as the ones of others, assures his magazine and brand are constantly evolving. 

Chapter 12: Thinking on the future following the tragic death of a friend, Lowery is nowhere near finished and is more than ready to continue is many metamorphoses. He now exists in a space where he strives to empower others, all around the world. 360.

Move Like Water x Be Fluid, by Vaughn Lowery, is available this month exclusively on the 360 MAGAZINE’s website. 360 MAGAZINE has received numerous accolades, and has recently been featured on Dancing with the Stars. Stay in touch by following both Lowery (@vaughnlowery) and 360 (@360magazine)

Additionally Vaughn has an audio book titled, “Say Uncle: The Story of Vaughn Lowery” which loosely based on his childhood. It is available for here on Amazon Music. For additional info on Vaughn Lowery visit Wikipedia and IMDb.

Now available in all formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Blurb, Walmart and Audible.

Signed copies of Vaughn’s memoir, Move Like Water × Be Fluid, are available in our shop.

Nickelodeon star Savannah Lee May speaks to 360 MAGAZINE

Savannah Lee May

Savannah Lee May (born August 12, 2000) is an American singer, dancer, and actress from Los Angeles, California. Leo is Savannah’s zodiac sign and she is known to be loyal, generous, and protective.

The young artist has appeared in several series, however, she became known when she played Buttercup in Knight Squad. She started out as a teenager and now, barely twenty-one years old, she has become the talk of the town again thanks to her TikTok videos in which she not only dances but also sings and acts.

Savannah Lee May speaks personally with Vaughn Lowery not only about her rise to stardom but also about her commitment to hospitals like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or The Michael J. Fox Foundation in order to donate part of her incomes to research and treatments for Parkinson’s disease, which her grandfather is still suffering from for many years.

Listen to her interview HERE.

Q: How did you first get into acting and has it always been a passion of yours?

A: I started off dancing when I was 3 1/2 and instantly fell in love with performing. So, I guess you could say that was my first passion. I really didn’t start getting into the acting and singing side of it all until I was 11 when auditioned for a musical theatre academy in Houston. Once I started training with them, I quickly realized that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I truly couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Q: What has been the biggest change or adjustment you’ve had to make when moving from Houston to LA?

A: The weather was definitely one of the major changes haha! But I think being so far away from family was the biggest adjustment we had to make. Growing up, we were all so close and saw each other almost every day. I mean, my cousins were basically like my older brothers, we were constantly together. The furthest we had ever lived from any of them was about 15 minutes, so to move to a completely different state is something that we are still trying to get used to.

Q: Which kinds of characters do you enjoy playing the most and why?

A: Definitely ones that come with a challenge. I’ve always been the kind of person who was down to try anything and as an actor, you can’t be afraid to fail. It’s better to give it everything you got instead of holding back because you’re scared of not being perfect. So, playing characters that are really far from myself or ones that really push my limits are always the ones I enjoy playing the most.

Q: Why do you think the fine arts are such a crucial part of society and why should everyone appreciate them?

A: I think they’re incredibly crucial! The fine arts are such an amazing outlet for people to really express themselves and to share their passion with the world. I know from personal experience, it’s the best escape for anyone going through a tough time. It’s definitely something that is under appreciated, especially in schools. You know, it’s a proven fact that students who are in theater, drama, dance, etc. have higher test scores than their peers who are not in the fine arts and are less likely to drop out. It makes me so sad to see schools that continue to cut their fine arts programs for budgetary reasons when the fine arts have helped so many people in their personal lives.

Q: What has been your favorite production that you’ve worked on, and why?

A: I’ve been very lucky to have a career where I have loved every project that I’ve been a part of. Knight Squad” was my first job and I learned so much while working on it. I made lifelong friends on that show and I think it will always have a special place in my heart. With “Secret Lives of Cheerleaders,” that was the first movie I ever did and it was my first leading role. It was such a wonderful experience. Then with “Julie and The Phantoms,” it’s everything I could’ve ever dreamed of rolled into one! The cast is unbelievably talented, working with Kenny Ortega is a dream and I feel really honored to be a part of such a beautiful show.

Q: Have you branched out or thought about branching out into other forms of art, such as singing or dancing, and why or why not?

A: I definitely have! Like I said, dancing has played such a huge roll in my life so I know that’s something I will continue to do and honestly, it’s the same with singing. I’ve written a couple of songs just to play around with a few ideas and I’m still very new to it haha! Coming out with original music sometime in the future is definitely something I could see myself doing.One thing I’d really love to do is also branch out into becoming a choreographer. I constantly make up choreography to different genres of music just as another outlet to create. Even though being in front of the camera and performing myself will always be my number one focus, I’d love to have that chance to choreograph one day.

Q: What has been the best part about playing Carrie in “Julie and The Phantoms”?

A: There are so many that it’s hard to pick just one! You know, I’ve never been given the chance to play the “mean girl” before so Carrie is a whole new ball game for me. I’ve always wanted to play this kind of role so I’m excited for people to see me do something different. Also, with Julie and The Phantoms being a musical series, being able to go through the process of recording the songs in the studio, learning the choreography and putting it on camera was such an incredible, new experience. One of the best parts is for sure our cast. I can honestly say that these are some of the most talented and kindhearted people I have ever met. They all bring something so incredibly special to the show, so I feel extremely lucky to get to work with each and every one of them.

Q: To anyone pursuing acting as a career, what would be your best piece of advice?

A: Never forget why you wanted to become an actor. I see a lot of people who enter the industry because they genuinely love to act, and they want to pursue it. Then as time passes, they begin to lose sight of that love and start focusing on wanting the fame. I honestly think social media plays a very big hand in that. People can get so wrapped up in their follower count that they forget why they started acting in the first place. If it doesn’t come from your heart and you’re not passionate about it, then why be in it at all?

Q: Who has been your greatest source of inspiration or support as you have risen up in the entertainment industry?

A: There’s a lot of people that have inspired me in this business and I look up to tons of different actors, directors, choreographers etc. So, I don’t think there’s one main source but there is definitely a mix of sources haha! As far as support goes, that is without a doubt my family. They all completely changed their lives to help me achieve my dreams and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them.

Q: How do you plan on growing your acting career in different directions?

A: I don’t think there is a set plan, but I definitely want to continue to challenge myself with new types of characters. Expanding your abilities in different ways is something I think every actor wants and hopes for. I do have some dream roles/projects that I still have on my bucket list so I guess we will just have to see what happens next!

Savannah plays the lead in the independent feature film Keep Moving allowing her to utilize years of dance training. Keep Moving is a dance/drama about Lex, played by Savannah, who moves from Detroit to LA with hopes for a fresh start. After an unexpected turn of events, she enters the LA dance scene and destiny leads her to teach dance and compete, but can she do both at the same time while falling in love? Keep Moving is an original screenplay written by Jimmy Summerall and directed by Nayip Ramos who is known for creating eye catching creative music videos and filming for clients including Disney, and Brat TV. Keep Moving will premiere TBD 2022.

Previously Savannah could be seen leading the cast of the Lifetime original movie, The Secret Lives of Cheerleaders opposite Denise Richards.  Savannah is best known for her roles on Netflix’s series Julie and The Phantoms created by Kenny Ortega and Nickelodeon’s seriesKnight Squad” where she played the series regular role of“Buttercup” for two seasons. 

Savannah is a supporter of the fine arts. She regular supports the River Performing and Visual Arts Center in Texas, amongst others. Currently she resides in Burbank, California

Nickelodeon star Savannah Lee May speaks to 360 MAGAZINE

*Photos: Sarah Krick