Interviews

David Arthur + Laura Long of David Arthur Vineyards

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Soon after that event, I ran into David at the Pacific Wine Food & Wine Festival. The one thing you should know about David is he is one of the nicest men you’ll meet and he is a sheer pleasure to talk to. He has this uncanny magnetic draw that makes you want to stay and talk about wine, life, and really, anything as long as possible! He invited me to join him and his group of travelers and friends at Newport Beach’s 3Thirty3 and I happily did. I arrived and was sat inside with David and Antonello’s Sommelier Steve Ebol, a familiar face, Thaddeus Forret, and a group of David’s friends and colleagues. We all enjoyed wines that David graciously brought and poured because to him, what is the point of being around friends if you don’t enjoy wine, share stories and just live in the moment?!

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Stacey Wells – An Artist with Abandon

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Stacey’s art is unapologetic, which is why she has been commissioned by so many and continues to be a name no one can forget: both in and out of the art world. In every stroke of color and every intended line, the complexity of story is ever present. Whether she is painting a bottle, canvas, immortalizing a rock star or Hollywood icon, there is a caveat of feeling: sexuality, strength, vulnerability, and exhilaration.

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Comic Rajiv Satyal

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The first time I met Rajiv Satyal was at the Eat Your Words Event at the Standard Hotel Downtown. When Greg Walloch introduced Rajiv, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Up until this point, I hadn’t had the wonderful fortune of seeing him on stage. But when I did, it was clear I had to interview him. He stood up in that Cactus Lounge and didn’t give some overly comedic performance. Instead he actually gave us a look into a part of his life that was honest, relatable, and oh so real: Dating, falling in love, and things not working out. It begins with a candid and endearing tale of him being interviewed by a journalist in India. She is beautiful and intelligent and, as luck would have it, agrees to go out with him after his friend oversleeps for their dual interview. They hit it off and their relationship begins.

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Garrett Backstrom and Collin Ford

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I had the pleasure of sitting down with two of what I believe will be the actors to keep your eye on in the coming years: Garrett Backstrom and Collin Ford. Invited to attend the Red Carpet DVD Release Event of Michelle Danner’s “Hello Herman”, I was asked if there was anyone attending I’d want to interview. While the list is always interesting, I wanted to interview someone I felt hadn’t really had an opportunity to be seen outside of their realm. For the first time ever, I interviewed two, under 18, rising stars in Hollywood. Both 17 years-old, both with a rather successful career already under their belt, and the endless potential that will no doubt make them household names very soon.

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Sitting Down With UB40

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The story of UB40, and how this group of young friends from Birmingham transcended their working-class origins to become the world’s most successful reggae band is not the stuff of fairytales as might be imagined. The group’s led a charmed life in many respects it’s true, but it’s been a long haul since the days they’d meet up in the bars and clubs around Moseley, and some of them had to scrape by on less than £8 a week unemployment benefit. The choice was simple if you’d left school early. You could either work in one of the local factories, like Robin Campbell did, or scuffle along aimlessly whilst waiting for something else to happen.

By the summer of 1978, something else did happen, and the nucleus of UB40 began rehearsing in a local basement. Robin’s younger brother Ali, Earl Falconer, Brian Travers and James Brown all knew each other from Moseley School of Art, whilst Norman Hassan had been a friend of Ali’s since school. Initially, they thought of themselves as a “jazz-dub-reggae” band, but by the time Robin was persuaded to join and they’d recruited Michael Virtue and Astro – who’d learnt his craft with Birmingham sound-system Duke Alloy – the group had already aligned themselves to left-wing political ideals and forged their own identity, separate from the many punk and Two Tone outfits around at that time. The group had nailed their colours to the mast by naming themselves after an unemployment benefit form. Their political convictions hadn’t been gleaned secondhand either, but cemented in place whilst attending marches protesting against the National Front, or rallies organised by Rock Against Racism.

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Tastings with Chef Shawn Cirkiel PART 1

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Wearing his special order bright pink VANS with black eyelets, a soft pink button up, jeans, and a smile that seems to extend to you, Chef Cirkiel is your every day guy with impeccable taste, a hands-on approach to his craft, an eagerness to experiment, a calling to push himself further, a willingness to encourage his staff to be proactive and innovative, and a charm that allows you feel as if you’ve known him for years. Jane readies her camera and we dive right into conversation…

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Andrew Zimmern

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Andrew Zimmern (born July 4, 1961) is an American television personality, chef, food writer, and teacher. He is the co-creator, host, and consulting producer of the Travel Channel series Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World. For his work on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern he was presented the James Beard Foundation Award in 2010. He also hosts the show Dining with Death, which explains some of the foods that could cause death.

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William Pilgrim

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But at the same time, I found it very therapeutic. Ish and Phil from William Pilgrim take songwriting and making music to its essence. It seems as if they do not do it for others, but still do to put their art out there for others to hear. Although it may sound selfish, their music is not selfish. They create it for themselves and for others at the same time; that is a truly non-selfish act. I listened to their album prior to the interview, and I listened to their album after the interview with a whole new perspective…

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Mathieu Bitton

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There is a striking honesty that moves through every image and it’s apparent fearlessness really does incite a rather beautiful curiosity. With images of iconic entertainers like Bono, Lenny Kravitz, Mos Def, Sean Lennon, and Quincy Jones blended with nude that show you the vulnerability, strangeness, fear, sensual prowess, and uncertainty in each of his subjects allows for a familiar raw and primal undertone…

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Pato Banton

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To further honor his commitment to music and community, Pato was inducted into the Reggae Hall of Fame alongside UB40 and Steel Pulse in 2002. Despite all the achievements, Pato “constantly searches for the truth.” That search for truth led him to the Urantia Book. That is not to say that Pato was not a spiritual person prior to the Urantia Book, but the Urantia Book changed his life because he feels he has found the truth he seeks within the book. His spirituality reveals itself with each answer. And Pato does not hold back from answering any question posed to him…

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Sebastian Junger

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We talked for an entire hour delving into everything from the Arab Spring, Serbia, war, politics, elections, family, truth, hope, and touched on his assignments as a contributing Editor of Vanity Fair. It was an hour that opened my eyes, informed me, and awakened my political passions. We talked about Tim Hetherington, but above all the hour gave us all insight into why Sebastian is the journalist, writer, filmmaker, and man he is …

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Shana Halligan

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Imagine a voice that stirs the very essence of song, incites so much emotion with a single note, embodies strength, sensuality, and sweetness, and writes some of the most exquisite songs I’ve ever heard. That is Shana Halligan. Introduced to her music 4 years ago, the minute I heard her I knew she was someone entirely authentic.

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Looking Back on Love – LENNY KRAVITZ

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Directed by Artist, Photographer, Producer, and Music Man, Mathieu Bitton, every shot is honest and gritty – no concealed perfections. Told in a fragmented voice that embraces the moments caught through the lens, the poetic narrative strung together by raw moments not only tell a story in a way that I find refreshing, Matthieu – an artist in his own right – propels us into a world both dynamic and real. He shows us the many sides of a man. A musical icon. A dreamer that captivates the gentle hum buzzing within us all – that need to find love in everything.

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Ryan Spencer Reed

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Ryan Spencer Reed (b. 1979) is an American photographer whose journey documenting critical social issues began shortly after college when he self-financed a move to east Africa. Working in that region and covering the Sudanese Diaspora for nearly 7 years, Ryan has entered Sudan a half dozen times in addition to covering the mass exodus of refugees to Eastern Chad and Kenya. In late summer 2004, he returned from covering the War in Darfur to produce that body of work for distribution. This work was widely exhibited in the States and abroad. The Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute awarded him with the Documentary Photography Project’s Distribution Grant in 2006 to help this work reach additional audiences. While exhibiting and speaking internationally on the subject of Sudan, he has begun a long-term project on the hubris of power and the twilight of the American industrial revolution. A chapter of this work on Detroit is currently being distributed.

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Dolly’s Cotton Candy

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With a gourmet feel and a campy spark of retro, Dolly’s is nothing short of sugar-spun fun. I first came across Dolly’s at Sunday Funday at Rancho Las Lomas. Dressed in a cute white apron, pink shirt, and black shorts standing gleefully behind a very pink cart was Krista. The love she has for what she does is apparent from the jolly spirit she oozes to the sweet scent of sugary goodness you can’t help but be drawn to. She is just like her creations: Sweet and Fun.

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