Monday, August 14

Interview With Sara Serena

Sara Serena
Sara Serena
Jodi Jackson introduced us to  Sara Serena by sending us a press release,  introducing her to us to her as her (Jodi's) "new client," and offering us an interview with her (Sara).  

We accepted the offer and were astonished by how promptly Sara obliged.  Very gracious of her!

La Libertad:  Where were you born?

Sara:  In the city of Zaragoza, Spain.

La Libertad:  Where do you currently reside?

Sara:  In Valencia, Spain, and Los Angeles.

La Libertad:  What is your occupation?

Sara:  I am a full time artist.

La Libertad:  What do you love most about your work?

Sara:  My favorite thing with my work is that I can show people how I feel music, and how I want them to feel my music.  And, of course, I love to travel the world, and meet people - experience different cultures, et cetera.

La Libertad:  What is your favorite thing about performing live?

Sara:  I love to make people feel with my music, and, when you see that, you really get to the people; that's when you realize why you are in this business.

La Libertad:  What talents and hobbies do you have?

Sara:  I started playing the piano at the age of eight, and then I studied guitar and accordion.

I love to do sports; I swim a lot.
Sara Serena

My hidden talents are drawing, and I love to cook.

La Libertad:  Who are your music mentors?

Sara:  Andrea Bocelli, Freddie Mercury

La Libertad:  How did your parents influence your singing career?
        
Sara:  I always listened to great music at home.  [Neither] of my parents are musicians, but they always supported me [and encouraged me] to pursue my dreams.

La Libertad:  What do you do for yourself, to keep your voice in shape?

Sara:   I drink tons of water; I avoid sugar and nuts and lactose products.  I don´t expose myself [to] air conditioning or direct air, and, of course, I warm up my voice every day with my practice routines.

La Libertad:  What inspires you?

Sara:  My biggest inspiration in life is my experiences that I have had before, and, of course, my closest people.

La Libertad:  What is the hardest part of your job(s)?

Sara:  The hardest part of my job is that you have to be perfect all the time; you are being judged by people who don´t even know you, and, also, that you have to be far away from your family and friends.

La Libertad:  What foreign languages, if any, do you read, write, and/or speak?

Sara Serena
Sara:  I speak Spanish, English, and French.

La Libertad:  Where have you traveled?

Sara:  The two past years I have been traveling a lot. I have been to Sweden, United Kingdom, France, Germany, U.S.A. (New York, Florida, New Jersey, California, Nevada, Arizona), and all over Spain.

La Libertad:  What are your career goals?

Sara:  My goal in my career are to establish myself as a top international artist.

La Libertad:  What projects are you working on?

Sara:  I am currently working on the promotion of my album in U.S.A. and Latin America, and we are planning my tour next year.

La Libertad:  What upcoming events, if any, do you intend to participate in?

Sara:  I am invited to participate in the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in Mexico and Colombia. There are a few major events in California this coming fall that I will be part of, but [I] cannot disclose anything yet.

La Libertad:  What links would you like to share?

Sara:       

https://youtu.be/35HiYxDEq-o

https://youtu.be/9sD3ro5X0GM

Facebook.com/saraserenamusic

Instagram.com/saraserenaofficial

La Libertad:  What else, if anything, would you like to tell our readers?

Sara SerenaSerena:  [My favorite charities are] World Vision, U.N.I.C.E.F. [United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund], Oxfam Intermon, [and] Red Cross.

La Libertad:  What would you tell new singers starting out?

Sara:  They should fight for their dreams and believe in themselves, because, with hard work, you can get it.

I would tell young people that they should believe in themselves and not believe the people saying that Millennials are a lost generation.

Introduction by William Mortensen Vaughan

Photos courtesy of Mike Karlsson




      




Saturday, August 12

Press Release: Sara Serena

Publicist Jodi Jackson tells us that her "new client Sara Serena...is quickly becoming the new Pop Sensation," and that "Nexar Recording Artist Sara Serena’s Single 'Chasing Dragons' [reached] #9 on [the] Billboard Hot 100 Single Sales Chart."

Ms. Jackson also tells us that Ms. Serena is a "Spanish import" in "Hollywood, California," and that "'Chasing Dragons,' [was] written by The Kennel, [which has] more than one hundred #1 hits in the world."  Ms. Jackson adds that, besides reaching #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 Single Sales Chart, it reached "#79 on [the] Mediabase Radio Chart."

According to the International Music Festival Wikia, Sara was born in Zaragosa, Spain, in 1998.

Ms. Jackson claims that Sara went from being unknown to being Spain's "#1 international female star in less than a year.  Her first single 'Asylum' became the #1 song [on the] radio in just three months, and [her] debut album Skyline went straight up to #4 on the sales charts...beaten only by Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, and Ed Sheeran."  Apparently, Sara Serena’s debut album Skyline was recorded in Stockholm, London, and Los Angeles, with some of the top writers and producers in the music industry, including RedOne, Martin Wiik, Emile Ghantous, and Zayn Malik.

Ms. Jackson alleges that Sara Serena is signed to Nexar Music whose team of songwriters, producers and choregraphers support Beyoncé, Justin Beiber, and Lady Gaga, and that Nexar Music’s creative team includes JaQuel Knight, choreographer for Beyoncé; Chris Grant, choreographer for Beyoncé and formerly for Michael Jackson; Jason Woods, vocal coach and singer with Michael Jackson and Beyoncé; Jono Hart, who worked for Jason Derulo; Little Mix; and Rafa Sardina, a producer with thirteen Grammy's and forty nominations from his work with Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Alejandro Sanz; and Vice President of the Latin Grammy, Emile Ghantous, producer and songwriter for Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, and Charlie Wilson.

Ms. Jackson further alleges that Sara Serena has "extensive opera training" and has "performed in every major concert in [Spain], sharing the stage with...Megan Trainer.  Sara opened [a] national festival in her hometown of Zaragoza, where she performed for one hundred forty thousand [audience members].  With creative director JaQuel Knight and choreographer Chris Grant, she struts her stuff on stage with six top dancers and always sings live.

"One of the stars of Coca Cola’s Music Experience and Pop 40 (concerts organized by Los 40 Principales, [a] major radio network in Spain and Latin America), Sara Serena’s songs are...deployed in heavy rotation in the U.S.A., Columbia, Guatemala, and Argentina.

"Sara Serena is the first winner of a new global talent contest, Aim2Fame where the finalists get to come to Spain to be part of the Game Academy where Beyoncé’s creative team are the coaches. The winner gets a long-term artist contract and is launched worldwide. Sara won the competition with contestants from 43 countries; the auditions for the second season of the show have started.

"Sara Serena is the first Spanish female artist ever to have a #1 hit on American radio stations; considered one of the best singers in the industry, she has taken America by storm.  Walter Afanasieff, says, 'Sara Serena is the next Celine Dion'; he would know, having produced all of Celine’s top albums.

"Sara Serena is self-taught; she plays three instruments, (accordion, piano, and the guitar); she has perfect pitch and a photographic memory...[and] is wise beyond her years, which she attributes to her three grandparents," whose initials she has tattooed, [Ms. Jackson says] on one of her arms.

Speaking about her music, Serena says, “Everything is like a heartbeat; it starts in you and goes through your body; the important thing is to make people feel something.”

You can follow Sara on:

Facebook - Saraserenamusic

Instagram - Saraserena

Twitter – Saraserenamusic

YouTube

Press release by Jodi Jackson
Edited by William Mortensen Vaughan

Thursday, August 3

Interview: Director Josh Mitchell Pays Us a "Hard Visit"

Josh Mitchell
Hard Visit, Josh Mitchell, Director
By the time Josh Mitchell of Wickid Pissa Publicity first granted us an interview in December, 2013, he had already proven to be perhaps our greatest source of interviews, referring more interviewees to us than anyone else.

At that time, Josh had a mere half dozen Director credits on his filmography:  "Siphoned"; Helen Keller Had a Pitbull; "The Corruption of Kidiya Kitts"; "The Sacred Incense of the Drinking Man"; "Out For Buckner"; and "Pick N Roll."  He has more than tripled his filmography since then.

He recently wrote, directed, and starred in Hard Visit, a feature film about a down-on-his-luck actor who is rescued from obscurity by his wealthy, sports bookie brother, but is forced to use his best performance skills to escape the clutches of a female con artist.  You can watch the official trailer at:


www.vimeo.com/picknroll/hardvisittrailer

In addition to his prolific film-making career, Mitchell’s public relations company, Wickid Pissa Publicity, has become one of the most in-demand firms in the entertainment industry, offering services ranging from marketing, branding, event production, and social media management.
 

Fortunately for us, Josh took time out of his busy schedule to give us "the 411" on the inspiration for his work, and what lies ahead of him in the last half of 2017.

La Libertad:  What was the impetus for creating Hard Visit?

Josh:  Hard Visit was born at last year's Sundance Film Festival. I met a few ambitious actors, and we discussed the importance of creating and controlling your own content.  We all threw our resources  together... work-shopped some scenes, and carved out some characters, and the script began to take shape.

During production and a few pick-up days after, we molded and caressed the nuts and bolts of the story so it all made sense in the end.

La Libertad:  Did you use a drone to make this film?

Josh:  We bought a new drone and the latest GoPro 4K camera for this production because we knew we wanted to bring the viewer into the sprawling world of where these characters dwell.  The opening credits focus and foreshadow the dusty desert and windmills of Palm Springs, and we outline the challenges of an actor's life by showcasing Hollywood Boulevard, casting call auditions, and the iconic landscapes of Los Angeles.

La Libertad:  This film seems to glamorize gambling.  Are you an avid bettor in real life?

Josh:  No!  Not at all!  I'm a huge sports fans, though, and some of my family and friends are passionate gamblers, so I was able to pull from real life experiences.  The biggest element that fascinated me... which I tried to utilize in the conflict of the film, is the idea of old technology versus new technology.  When I was growing up, if you wanted to place a bet, you simply called a local bookie.  In today's world, the bulk of it all is computer-based, so skilled techies can place bets 24-7 without ever having to speak with anyone.

La Libertad:  What do you hope audiences get out of watching Hard Visit?

Josh:  The number one goal of all of my films is to entertain. This is a rock-and-roll, high adrenaline piece that has sexy girls, guns, expensive cars, a thrashing soundtrack, a cameo from a decorated character actor, and a big finale that will leave you thirsty for more!

La Libertad:  Who are your biggest creative inspirations?

Josh:  The iconoclasts who have influenced me in no particular order are Henry Miller, Keith Haring, Eminem, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Soderbergh.  I like artists who lift up the random rocks of the world, and unveil a universe we would have never known existed if it hadn’t been for their inventiveness.

La Libertad:  What initially convinced you to move from Boston to Los Angeles?

Josh:  I left Boston and moved to L.A. because I knew you had to be in the belly of the beast to truly maximize your chances of success in the film and T.V. world.  There is a reason why all the studios are in Hollywood, and why all the movie stars live here:  Because this is where the magic happens. 

La Libertad:  Was it difficult adjusting to life on the West Coast?

Josh:  I recently celebrated my three-year anniversary on the West Coast, and the things I miss most are my family, friends, lobster, and Fenway Park.  You can watch my feature film Helen Keller Had A Pit Bull to truly learn about my transition and some of the shady characters I have had to endure in the process.

La Libertad:  What is the most rewarding aspect of your work with Wickid Pissa Publicity?

Josh:  The thing I love best about Wickid Pissa Publicity is the diversity of talent and companies I get to work with on a daily basis.  I specialize in elevating buzz, branding, and exposure for unique brands, so most days I am working with a female actress, a TV producer, a new energy drink, a T-shirt line, a Kickstarter campaign – it runs the gamut and keeps everything fresh and exciting for me.  I also get to attend a surplus of red carpet events and networking parties, which usually have delicious food and open bars.

La Libertad:  What are you working on next?

Josh:  I’m shooting an inventive and endearing kids' movie I wrote, called Harry Head, next month, and I just finished the script for an action-zombie piece called Dirty Water.

After I execute these two thrilling projects, I hope to direct and star in a provocative new T.V. series called "NoHo District," which I plan to pitch to Netflix and premium cable channels.

La Libertad:  What links would you like to share with our readers?


Josh:  You can watch all of my films on Vimeo Pro, at:

www.vimeo.com/picknroll

Introduction by Josh Mitchell and William Mortensen Vaughan



Tuesday, May 9

Interview With Cuddy D

Cuddy D
Cuddy D
Steve Perri introduced us to himself as "Cuddy D," after his publicist, Josh Mitchell, from Wickid Pissa Publicity, referred him to us.

La Libertad:  Where were you born?

Cuddy:  Long Branch, New Jersey.

La Libertad:  Where do you currently live?

Cuddy:  Middletown, New Jersey.

La Libertad:  What do you love most about "The Cuddy D Show"?

Cuddy: What I love most about The Cuddy D Show is our unique perspective on the topics we discuss, I never know what to expect from my co-hosts.

La Libertad: What would you like to tell our readers about your co-hosts?

Cuddy: My brother Jim "J-Dawg" - the wit and genius of J-Dawg in the house. The master of hilarious one line quips, love and peace... Vicki Lee - she might be the quietest one on the panel, but loves to throw in some witty zingers, showing us her unique perspective on the topics. She packs a real punch. Courtney - singer/songwriter, she also has years of public speaking
under her belt, on the topic of sexual assault. Courtney believes most anything can be overcome by humor!

La Libertad: What inspired you to create your unique format?

Cuddy: As a fan of television talk shows, I had grown tired of the same old format: one host monologue, one perspective. This is why I created a show that offers multiple points of view, where our audience can perhaps relate to us better than other shows, where we say the things that people at home are thinking in their minds, but don't say; we become their voice.

La Libertad: What is the hardest part of coordinating each episode?

Cuddy: Getting everyone onboard for the same date and time in filming new shows, considering we all have our own private lives.

La Libertad: Where would you like the show to be in five years?

Cuddy: Airing on a major television network.

La Libertad: What has been the most memorable moment on your show?

Cuddy: Getting kicked off Public Access television for three weeks for saying the word "ass" on one of our episodes. And then, having to kiss ass in getting the show back on the network.

La Libertad: What are your career goals?

Cuddy: My overall career goals are to be the best host/producer I can be where I continue to hone my skills and evolve with the times so our audience continues to watch and love "The Cuddy D Show."

La Libertad: When can fans expect your latest edition?

Cuddy: Fans can expect new shows in the Fall of 2017, as we presently are promoting our show's trailer.

La Libertad: What links would you like to share?

Cuddy:

www.thecuddydshow.com

Facebook.com/thecuddydshow

YouTube.com/CuddyDShow

La Libertad: What else, if anything, would you like to tell our readers?

Cuddy: My message to your readers, of La Libertad magazine is this:

If you are interested in watching a stimulating talk show where we tell it like it is in our topics, and keep it real in an unbiased manner, while invoking humor, then tune in to "The Cuddy D Show."



Model Pictorial: Summer Crosley

Summer Crosley

Summer Crosley

Summer Crosley

Summer Crosley

Summer Crosley



Model: Summer Crosley
Photographer: Mary B
Wardrobe:  Helmut Lang

Sunday, April 30

Interview With Justine Johnston Hemmestad

Justine Johnston Hemmestad
Justine Johnston Hemmestad
Justine Johnston Hemmestad tells us that "Alexander the Great’s efforts toward world unity reflected his spiritual journey, in which [she (Justine)] drew from ancient religions and world views to paint a uniquely vivid picture," and that "Alexander’s relationships with his fellow man knew no restrictions, nor did his love of the sublime."  Justine is, apparently, the author of Vistions of a Dream, a book about Alexander the Great, which she made available this month, on Amazon, at: 

https://www.amazon.com/Visions-Dream-Justine-Hemmestad/dp/1543030327

La Libertad:  Where were you born?

Justine:  I was born in San Diego, California – at the same hospital that I was taken to when I nearly died in a car accident nineteen years later.

La Libertad:  Where do you currently reside?

Justine:  I live in central Iowa with my husband and our four kids who are still in school.  We have three older kids too, who have graduated and moved on (but, thankfully, not too far away), as well as one grandson.

La Libertad:  What would you like to tell our readers about your new book?

Justine:  Visions of a Dream focuses on Alexander the Great’s spiritual journey set against the backdrop of his military conquests, which serves to reveal the origins of his motives. In order to conquer the world, he [had to] first explore and conquer his own mind. He [had to] also overcome his overbearing mother and his competitive father, and the impact they left on his life. He seeks answers to life’s greatest questions amidst a world of
war, with his two most intense relationships. He believed all Gods were one, and he lived that belief, and he continually evolved. Regardless of the distance he traveled, physically, spiritually, and mentally, his army [ended] up mutinying because he adapted the ways and religions of each culture he came into contact with and his men wanted him to spread Greek ways.

La Libertad:  What do you love most about writing?

Justine:  I love the degree to which writing has healed me. In 1990, my car was hit by a city bus and I sustained a severe brain injury, was in a coma, paralyzed, and the doctors said I would never recover. Within a few months I was walking again, and my husband and I moved to the Midwest; we had been married for three
months at the time of my accident. I began writing to cope with my severe P.T.S.D. [post-traumatic stress disorder]; then I began [writing] Visions of a Dream a few years after we moved. I studied Arrian’s history which had some of Alexander’s actual speeches as reported by some of his officers that were with him, and his character, as I wrote him, radiated out from those words. Through his words, I studied him rather than his contemporaries’ and later historians’ opinions of him.

After my T.B.I. [traumatic brain injury], I was devoid of a personality, I had essentially lost all of myself, and so I adhered to the personality of those whom I admired, Alexander being the main one. I admired his perseverance and his persistence, which I felt I needed to recover, and I loved his sincere interest in all cultures and wisdom. I loved his inclusiveness, even to the point that he adopted the family of his arch enemy when they were left behind. My injury has given me the blessing of learning about Alexander, and in the twenty years that I’ve written about him, I felt that I’ve been able to honor the spiritual side of him. Since I’ve been writing so ardently, I returned to college in the mid-2000’s, part time through distance learning, and I’m currently working on my Master’s Degree in English Literature through Northern Arizona University. I truly don’t believe I would have had the inner drive to do that if I had not written about Alexander and been so in tune with his spirit, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that if not for my severe brain injury and near death.

La Libertad:  What other talents and hobbies do you have?

Justine:  Learning about the historical world and it’s people is my life-long hobby. I also write [about] Alexander as learning through his dreams (the Seer Aristander traveled with his army), which is also something that has helped me to expand my mind in my own life as well, and I continue it. I also love to continually learn about world religions and experiences.

La Libertad:  What inspires you?

Justine:  My seven children inspire me in everything I do and in each breath I take, as does my new grandson. The ability to overcome such a huge struggle as was set before me is also inspiring to me because I’m so grateful and so in awe of my higher power.

La Libertad:  What was the hardest part of completing your book?

Justine:  Writing my book was such an essential part of recovery for me that there was nothing hard about completing it. Afterward, though, it was incredibly hard for me to proof-read and edit it (which was part of the reason it took so long to write). After my brain injury, I had to learn to read again, but I was never able to easily until recently. To read and to be organized in my thoughts are the biggest things that returning to college has helped me with.

La Libertad:  What foreign languages, if any, do you read, write, and/or speak?

Justine:  I know beginner-moderate German. I took four semesters of it through The University of Iowa; however, I haven’t had the opportunity to use it. The very reason I learned it, though, was because I knew it would be a great challenge since I still struggled with reading my native language.

La Libertad:  Where have you traveled?

Justine:  I’ve lived all over the Southern United States as well as California as a kid, and I’ve traveled to Mexico, as well as New York and New Jersey in high school. I hope to visit Arizona again soon; I also lived there for a short time as a kid. I would love to visit archaeological ruins in Central America as well as
the Middle East some day.

La Libertad:  What are your career goals?

Justine:  I would love to be a well-read author, and I would love for Visions of a Dream to some day be made into a movie, and for it’s message to help people in the world see that we must be sincerely fascinated with each others’ way of life to progress as people.

La Libertad:  What projects are you working on?

Justine:  I’m currently studying for my Master’s degree in Literature, wherein I’m specifically working on a scholarly paper about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in relation to Disability Studies. I would also like to teach creative writing and literature, and I have a few more books started.

La Libertad:  What upcoming events, if any, do you intend to participate in?

Justine:  I’m involved in my Daughters of the American Revolution chapter, but my time is mostly devoted to my kids, writing, and my studies. I also love to be involved with projects for charity, if the opportunity arises.

La Libertad:  What links would you like to share?

My author site:

jhemmestad.wixsite.com/justine-j-hemmestad

My amazon site:

www.amazon.com/Justine-Johnston-Hemmestad/e/B01DHSLN0M

The Visions of a Dream book trailer is on my son’s webpage at:

www.maxgraphics.studio

and it’s also on YouTube:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFMe1DFLyRs

La Libertad:  What else, if anything, would you like to tell our readers?

Justine:  My amazingly talented son Bradley Hemmestad is the graphic designer who creates my book covers and my book trailers...

Thursday, April 20

Interview With Louise

Loise introduced herself to us by telling us that her "name
is Louise," and she works at Artsy.  She apparently discovered us While "researching Pablo Picasso," when she found our interview with Gregory Blair.  She determined that we might be among "certain website and blog owners that publish content in line with [Artsy's] mission to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone."  She also apparently "hopes to continue promoting arts
education and accessibility with [our] help.

"[Their] Pablo Picasso page provides visitors with Picasso's bio, [more than eight hundred] of his works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Picasso exhibition listings. The page also includes related artists and categories, allowing viewers to discover art beyond [their] Picasso page."


La Libertad:  What links would you like to share?

Louise: 

www.artsy.net

www.artsy.net/artist/pablo-picasso

Friday, April 7

Interview With William Mortensen Vaughan

William Mortensen Vaughan
William Vaughan
We interviewed our Senior Editor, William Mortensen Vaughan, three years in a row, starting in 2012.  His Fiftieth Birthday  Interview Issue is still available, by request, and the ones he granted us in 2013 and 2014 are available online.  Now there's this one, approximately two and a half years later.

La Libertad:  What's new in your life?

William:  I'm hosting a give-away on my new website:

www.AChristmasCarol.US

La Libertad:  What are you giving away?

William:  A copy of A Christmas Carol, on D.V.D., starring George C. Scott.

La Libertad:  What would our readers have to do to enter?

William:  They can follow me on Twitter and Facebook, for extra points, but the main thing they need to do, is e-mail me a pic of an Ebenezer Scrooge look-alike, at:

WilliamMortensenVaughan@yahoo.com

La Libertad:  When is the deadline?

William:  The deadline for this, my first give-away, is midnight, April 30, 2017.  However, I will be continuing to have give-aways indefinitely, in a quest for pics of people who look like characters from A Christmas Carol.

I'm also going to start awarding points for scoring points on my Dickensian Christmas Carol related quizzes.

And the prizes will become more and more lucrative.

La Libertad:  So, it's a contest - not just a random give-away?

William:  That is correct.  I'm using RaffleCopter to track all of the contestants, but it allows me to personally pick the winner, so, on or about May 1, 2017, I will pick the contestant who submits the pic I think most embodies my concept of the character, Ebenezer Scrooge.

RaffleCopter lets give-away creators tailor give-aways an infinite number of ways.  It allows you to assign different numbers of points to different things participants may choose to do, and it allows you to make some things mandatory in order to qualify for the prize.  So, I could assign five points for maxing one of my quizzes, four for scoring eighty percent, and so on.  And only one for following me on Twitter, which wouldn't need to be mandatory.

This is my first RaffleCopter give-away, so I'm still learning, but it seems fairly simple, and I'm looking forward to giving away some prizes to worthy carolers in the months and years ahead.

La Libertad:  What would you like to tell our readers about the last two and a half years of your life?

William:  I sold my home in southern California for enough money to pay off my mortgage, and buy a bigger home, outright, on more land, in Virginia.  No more mortgage or rent for me!  Except when I rent hotel/motel rooms on vacation, of course...

La Libertad:  What is your current occupation?

William:  Primarily, it seems, I am my wife's photographer.  With rare exceptions, I take all of the pictures you see of her at:

www.libertadgreen.com

www.instagram.com/libertadgreen

lookbook.nu/libertadgreen

chictopia.com/libertadgreen

I still work for her as the Senior Editor of this magazine, too, of course.  It's interesting to continually interact (and get acquainted) with creative people from all over. I don't think a month goes by that someone doesn't submit something for us to publish.

Recently, I bought the rights to www.AChristmasCarol.US, so I am now the Webmaster of that site.  That's my favorite job now-a-days.

La Libertad:  Why is that? 

William:  Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol premiered on television two months and thirteen days after I was born.  It seems as if I saw it every year, throughout my childhood.  My mother gave me a copy of the book by Charles Dickens, too, which I read.  We also watched live-action adaptations on television.  I don't remember any particular adaptations that I saw as a child, other than Mr. Magoo's, but I remember that the general story was familiar to me more or less all of my life.

Then, the U.S. Army sent me to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, where, in the winter of 2006-'07, I saw a live performance of A Christmas Carol, at the Base Chapel, performed by fellow Service Members and D.H.L. [Dalsey, Hillblom, and Lynn] employees.  I was so impressed, that I became obsessed with A Christmas Carol.

While serving with the Tenth Mountain Light Infantry in Iraq, during Operations Iraqi Freedom VI and Cast Lead, in the winter of 2008-'09, I started collecting copies of adaptations of A Christmas Carol on D.V.D. [Digital Video Disc], which I ordered from various websites - mostly from Amazon and eBay.  I was so retarded about it, that I ended up with multiple copies of some adaptations, some of which I gave to fellow service members and civilian employees who, like me, worked at Task Force Mountain Headquarters, on Victory Base Camp, adjacent to Baghdad.  By the time I left, I had a collection of approximately fifty different adaptations of A Christmas Carol - some, on V.H.S. [Video Home System] tape, but most, on D.V.D.

La Libertad:  How many adaptations do you own copies of now?

William:  Sixty-nine.

La Libertad:  How many are there?

William:  I've seen a list of more than two hundred, but I doubt that many are available on video.  I imagine I will have a hundred, by the time I die, and that will be due, in large part, to the fact that more adaptations are produced every few years, it seems.  I recently acquired several which were released since 2010.

La Libertad:  What is the oldest adaptation, and do you have a copy of it?

William:  I think the first film adaptation of A Christmas Carol was released in 1901; it was called Scrooge (or Marley's Ghost), and no, I don't have a copy of it.  What's left of the  35 millimeter footage has apparently been converted to a video file, and uploaded to YouTube:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILDHYYsC-g0

La Libertad:  What are the oldest and newest adaptations you own copies of?

William:  The oldest I own a copy of, was released in 1910, and produced by the Edison Film Manufacturing Corporation - yes, a company owned by Thomas Edison, the man who invented the light bulb.  He also filed for a patent on the film camera in 1891.

The two newest adaptations of which I am aware, and which I also own copies of, were released in 2015:  Thomas' Christmas Carol, and another adaptation, starring and directed by Anthony D.P. Mann.

By the way, D.V.D. copies of a Hallmark made-for-T.V. film, It's Christmas, Carol!, starring Emmanuelle Vaugier and Carrie Fisher, recently became available at Amazon, after Ms. Fisher's demise, apparently.

La Libertad:  Which adaptations are your favorites?

William:  Modernized adaptations, such as Ms. Fisher's, as well as Tori Spelling, Vanessa Williams, and Bill Murray's are fairly good.

Mr. Magoo's is still one of my favorites.  My mother and I used to watch any of his cartoons we could on television, which would have been re-runs, because they initially ran from 1960 to 1961, and I was born in 1962.  I was also a big fan of "Gilligan's Island," starring Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III, so the sound of his voice as Mr. Magoo is very nostalgic for me.  It has original song and dance routines, albeit animated, which are humorous, heart-warming, and/or reverent.

I also find The Muppet Christmas Carol immensely entertaining, as well as Maxine's, Mickey's, Bugs Bunny's, and Jim Carrey's.  I think Mr. Carrey's takes the cake for the best, most intense, nap-of-the-earth and aerial footage.  It's also the only adaptation which I've seen in 3D [three-dimensional].  My wife and I saw it at the IMAX [Maximum Image] theatre on the River Walk, in San Antonio, Texas, and it was amazing!

A few others I find very amusing are Albert Finney's, Blackadder's, George Burns', and Rich Little's.  "Thank You Very Much!" and "December the Twenty-fifth" are now among my favorite Christmas carols.  Blackadder and George Burn's adaptations ask (and suggest answers to) the question:  What if Scrooge decided not to be such a push-over?

I consider Rich Little the most talented actor to have ever portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge.  He portrays W.C. Fields in the role of Ebenezer.  He plays virtually all of the other characters in the novel, but being played by other actors, such as John Wayne, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Stewart, Paul Lynde, Jean Stapleton, George Burns, Truman Capote...

La Libertad:  What are your least favorite adaptations?

William:  Scrooge and Marley (2012), Frank De Lima and Don Ho's (1985), and Sid James' "Carry On Christmas" (1969) are the worst and most offensive adaptations I've ever seen.  Scrooge and Marley is so offensive, I never even finished watching it.

La Libertad:  What do you love most about your work?

William:  The thing I think I enjoy most about my work is essentially being my own boss, and not having an actual boss who can fire me for whatever reason, such as not showing up on time, or wearing the wrong clothing, or saying the wrong thing to the wrong person, or refusing to do something I don't want to do.

Every time I wake up, I'm overwhelmed by gladness I'm not in the military anymore.  There were so many people in the military who can kiss my a** so hard!  From supervisors I couldn't stand, to insubordinate subordinates, to people who were just plain stupid and unpleasant.  I often really hated being subordinate to someone who outranked me by Pay Grade and position of authority over me, but who was obviously inferior to me, at least in my opinion.

I spent five years working entertainment gigs in California, and that was very similar, although not as life-encompassing, time-consuming, and soul-sucking, nor as lucrative - at least, not in my case.  I'm done with all those kinds of gigs, too.  I refuse to even apply for another one.  It's too humiliating, and I just don't need the money that bad, thanks to my pension.

I had subordinates in the military, at different duty stations, who expressed concern for what would become of me when I retired.  One promised to hire me.  Another suggested I could work as one of those old people who greets you on your way into Walmart.

Luckily, I never had to have another job after I retired from the U.S. Army, in order to buy a house and a truck outright, and I'm doing just fine without a "real" job, so those people who thought so little of me can especially kiss my a**!

La Libertad:  What talents and hobbies do you have?

William:  I still like to make seamlessly tileable, plaid Wallpaper for Windows Desktops, which I'm adding to AChristmasCarol.US, since plaid can seem so "Christmasy"!

I still like to play Chess, and collect Chess sets.  I received two half sets of pieces today [April 4, 2017]; one set is pink, and the other green, reminiscent of Roswell, New Mexico.  I'm expecting a Queen in the mail, this week, to replace the one the wind or an animal apparently broke on my porch; I used to have a complete set of the Avon perfume bottles which look like Chess pieces.

I also have a Mandarin Chinese and a Peter Ganine set.

My favorite softcopy version of Chess is Toon Clash Chess.  Unfortunately, I am not always able to beat the lowest level.  On other Artificially Intelligent Chess applications, I can usually beat about a half dozen levels, but not on this one!  It only has four levels, but that seems to be more than enough to challenge me.

My father-in-law is the only person who likes to play me in person; he beat me twice today, with my new pieces.

I also enjoy playing Dragon Soul Game, on a phablet my wife gave me.  It's a strategy game which involves team building, and team and time management.  When you sign up for a free account, you are somewhat randomly assigned a team of several Heroes with unique sets of abilities.  Some are healers.  Some are essentially infantry, while others are more like artillery, and others, special forces, going behind enemy lines.  There are various arenas with slightly different rules in which you can send your Team to compete.  As you complete different levels in different arenas, you acquire possessions and experience, with which you build your Heroes and your Team.  Eventually, you acquire more Heroes.  eVaughanezer has collected sixty-one of the sixty-two Heroes available.  (As game updates are released, new Heroes and Enemies become available.)

But you are only allowed to send one to five Heroes into battle at a time.  It's up to you to decide which five to team up, based on the scenario.  Sometimes it's best to send in Heroes who perform magic; sometimes it's best to send in Heroes who inflict more physical damage.  Some situations call for heavy Heroes, and others, tasty.  Some situations call for Heroes who remain in place while shooting or launching projectiles; others require the ability to knock foes backward; yet others, the ability to pierce; and others, the ability to bash, or poison. 

All of this is done with a lot of tongue in cheek.  One Hero is the Centaur of Attention, a centaur archer who shoots arrows with boxing gloves for arrowheads.  Another is a Golden Genie, who turns one of his hands into a cannon from which he rapidly fires chickens.  (No real animals are harmed during the course of this game, unless you get frustrated and throw your smart phone of phablet at one of them, perhaps.)  One Hero, named Cosmic Elf, looks suspiciouly like Mr. Spock on Star Trek.  Instead of a Werewolf, there's a Were Dragon.  (Only Dragons are allowed to compete in one of the arenas; there are fifteen Dragons to collect and choose from, including one named King Kaiju, who looks suspiciously like Godzilla.)  Items you can acquire and enchant include a Healthy Dose of Skepticism (in pill form), Shots of Knightcodene, Dead Eyes, and Jars of Kitten Tears.  (Again, no real animals are harmed...) 

When certain Heroes are promoted to Orange (from Purple Plus Four, not to be confused with Blue Plus Three, or Green Plus Two), they can complete three Legendary Quests to acquire a Special Skill.  Each Hero has an avator in a colored frame, which indicates their rank (or "Rarity"); if there's a Diamond in the upper, lefthand corner of the frame, they have completed their Legendary Quests, and acquired their Legendary Skill.  One quest for the Shadow consists of acquiring and sacrificing Jars of Kitten Tears.  (For the third time, no real animals are harmed...)  Snap Dragon needs Bunny Slippers.  Magic Dragon is a hoarder, who hoards My Pony Keychains.  (For the fourth time, no real animals are harmed...)

Team building can also include other players.  In order to enter the Guild Wars, you have to belong to a Guild with enough players at a certain level, who are willing to participate; they can "opt out."  In the Temples, you can only only fight one of several battles, so you are obliged to "invite" (or beg) your Guildmates to fight the other battles for you.  There is also a job board, from which you can hire Heroes which are potentially more powerful than any of yours, and where you can post one or two of your Heroes to earn extra pieces of Gold.

The game has its own market places, with various currencies, including virtual Gold coins and Diamonds (not to be confused with the Legendary Quest Diamonds), as well as Tokens won in the various arenas, as well as Soul Stones.  Virtual Diamonds and grab bags of items are available for purchase with real money, but I have never purchased any; I see that as a form of cheating.

I have more than a half dozen Dragon Soul accounts, and my best account (eVaughanezer), on Server 4 of 11, is ranked in the top eight thousand.  According to Google Play, this game has been installed between ten million and fifty million times, which would mean that there are an average of, at least, almost a million players per server. It has been rated almost three hundred forty thousand times (Five of Five Stars by more than two hundred forty thousand raters), or an average of about thirty-one thousand times per server, the point being, I'm definitely in the top three percent of the players on Dragon Soul - perhaps in the top one percent.

La Libertad:  Where have you traveled?

William:  I drove my cargo truck back and forth between Virginia and California twice.  Perhaps the most interesting place we stayed was Nashville, Tennessee., where I had a belated birthday dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.  I miss having two Rainforest Cafes as close as I did in Los Angeles County.  The nearest ones to where I live now are in Nashville, Tennessee, and Orlando, Florida.

La Libertad:  What else do you miss about living in southern Califronia?

William:  I miss certain restaurant chains, such as the Claim Jumper, El Pollo Loco, Barney's Beanery, the Elephant Bar, and BJ's.  I can still go to McCormick and Schmick's for a free meal on Veterans' Day, but the nearest ones are in Virginia Beach, Virginia; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Washington D.C. [District of Columbia].

We still have Olive Garden, Chipotle, Subway, and Sweet Frog fairly close.

New favorites I've discovered are the Red Monkey in Raleigh, Mi Carreta in South Boston, and Macado's, in Farmville.

I'm still looking forward to eating the Fishin' Pig, near Farmville.

La Libertad:  What are your career goals?

William:  I'd like to accomplish two things before I die:

First of all, I want to have perhaps the most impressive Dickensian Christmas Carol related website on the Internet.

Secondly, I want to have the world's largest collection of seamlessly tile-able, plaid Wallpaper for Windows Desktops.

I have a lot of work to do, though, writing reviews and adding wallpapers and other content to my website.

La Libertad:  What links would you like to share?

William:

AChristmasCarol.US

AChristmasCarol.US/Tartan.htm

www.facebook.com/AChristmasCarolUS

www.twitter.com/DickensianCarol

La Libertad:  What else, if anything, would you like to tell our readers?

William:  If you have any Christmas Spirit, or would like to feel the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come more closely, please visit my new website, read a review, take a quiz, and/or participate in one of my contests!

Interview by Libertad Green


Monday, April 3

Interview With Jason Henry

Josh Mitchell of Wickid Pissa Publicity referred Jason Henry to us, and he introduced himself to us as the "Director of Media and Public Relations for AllSportsMarket."

La Libertad:  What would you like to tell our readers about
A.S.M.?

Jason:  AllSportsMarket or A.S.M., is about teaching finance
through sports, and creating socially beneficial financial
instruments through the trading of sports stocks.

La Libertad:  How is it different from conventional sports
gambling?

Jason:  AllSportsMarket serves a purpose, but outside of that,
AllSportsMarket is not "sports betting" or "sports gambling." 
When betting on sports, your bet expires when you lose; on a
market, like A.S.M., when a team loses your stock doesn’t
expire.  A.S.M. is like the N.A.S.D.A.Q. [National Association
of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations System] for sports,
not a casino for sports.

La Libertad:  What do you love most about your work?

Jason:  Harnessing the passion tied to sports and the interest
people have with money, and creating something that will help
people, and not harm them like "sports gambling," is something
that we all take great pride in.

La Libertad:  Who is your favorite sports team?

Jason:  [My favorite] baseball team is the Toronto Blue Jays;
hockey team is the Washington Capitals; football team is the
Denver Broncos; and basketball team is the San Antonio Spurs.

La Libertad:  What inspires you?

Jason:  Working for social change.  Utilizing a market like
A.S.M. to bring about jobs and educating the public on finance
through sports is a very powerful thing to be a part of.

La Libertad:  How long has A.S.M. been in business?

Jason:  A.S.M. has been in the works for fifteen years. This
isn’t due to anything other than the fact that creating a new
global economy isn’t something that happens overnight.

La Libertad:  Where have you traveled?

Jason:  All over North America; [I] haven’t made it overseas yet,
but that time is coming.

La Libertad:  What are your career goals?

Jason:  I’m constantly trying to educate myself in the world of
finances; the overall goal of my career is getting into micro-
lending, and help as many small business owners as possible.

La Libertad:  Who are your heroes?

Jason:  My mom and dad are my heroes.

La Libertad:  What links would you like to share?

Jason:  A great site to check out to become better informed [about] the concept of sports stocks is:

www.AllSportsMarket.com and


www.TheNewSportsEconomy.org


Introduction by William Mortensen Vaughan

Tuesday, March 28

Interview With Robert A. Trezza

movie poster:  By Deception

La Libertad:  Where were you born?

Robert:  New York.

La Libertad:  Where do you currently reside?

Robert:  Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

La Libertad:  What is your occupation?

Robert:  Film-maker.

La Libertad:  What do you love most about your work?

Robert:  Creating characters, and bringing them to life with the help of
others.

La Libertad:  What talents and hobbies do you have?

Robert:  I am a creative writer/storyteller with a love of the macabre and paranormal.

La Libertad:  What inspires you?

Robert:  Being able to get a reaction from the person or person(s) reading or watching my projects.

La Libertad:  What is the hardest part of your job(s)?

Robert:  Pleasing everyone...  It's kinda in my blood to do so, and it's a struggle for me.

La Libertad:  What foreign languages, if any, do you read, write, and/or speak?

Robert:  Just English-it's hard enough. 

La Libertad:  Where have you traveled?

Robert:  I tend to stay local.

Robert:  I live in New York, so between the boroughs and the island, there is a lot to do and see.

La Libertad:  What are your career goals?

Robert:  To be able to make films full time until I'm too old to recall what my goals were.

La Libertad:  What projects are you working on?

Robert:  I just finished The Purging Hour film and we are just about to wrap... a psychological thriller called By Deception

La Libertad:  What upcoming events, if any, do you intend to participate in?

Robert:  Sleeping...it has been a busy few months.
movie posster: The Purging Hour

La Libertad:  What links would you like to share?

Robert: 

thepurginghour.com

deckofcardsent.com