Spotlight feature

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Irina Maleeva, a true multifaceted international performer, joined me Monday at 9:00am!

Did you miss Irina Maleeva on today's show?
Listen to our conversation here.

Irina Maleeva is a true multifaceted international performer.

Born in Bulgaria, the daughter of a famous stage actress and an aristocratic Italian statesman, Ms. Maleeva, who speaks seven languages, first established herself as a child performer in Italy.

At the age of 15 she was discovered by the great Federico Fellini and performed in three of his movies.

With degrees in painting and set design from Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, and studies at the Cinecitta Drama Film School and RADA in London, she received the training that propelled her into a successful worldwide career in films, records, television, stage and cabaret.

Her motion picture roles have been with the giants of the film industry, including a lead with Orson Welles in “The Merchant of Venice,” Fellini’s “Satyricon,” “Spirits from the Dead” and “Roma,” as well working with Visconti and Rossellini. She has had over 30 leading roles in European and American movies, starring opposite James Mason, Valentina Cortese, Therence Stamp, Anthony Franciosa and Charles Grodin.

She was honored with a supporting actress award at The Toronto Film Festival for her portrayal of the “Demented Contessa” in the film “Union City” opposite Debbie Harry and Pat Benatar. Most recently in Los Angeles, she played a role in the film “Wasabi Tuna.”

In addition to her film achievements she was the lead of the Italian-French co-production TV series “Poly in Venice” and “The Girl without Identity.” In the USA she has been a guest star on “Days of our Lives,” “The Gilmore Girls,” “Pensacola,” “Just Shoot Me,” “Six Feet Under,” “Angel” and “Threshold.” She was a principal recurring actress on the TV series “Cracking Up” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” She then Guest Starred on “American Body Shop” and the TV hit series “Heroes,” as well as the role of Ruba in “Twelve Miles of Bad Road.” Most recently, she co-starred opposite Susan Sarandon in Sony Classics’ “The Meddler” that opens April 22nd and guest starred in the NBC TV series “Aquarius” with David Duchovny.

To fulfill her insatiable desire to perform, Irina has added to her acting ability a unique singing voice, which has enabled her to travel the world with her one-woman musical comedy shows from New York to Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo. Her hits include “Passion, Pain and Occasional Vodka Tonic” and “Irina A-Broad.”

Her passion is flying, cruising around the world performing, playing with her beloved dogs and sharing quiet times with her husband, Nate.

In keeping with the Valentine’s Day spirit, Irina launched her CD “Illusions” featuring several classic love songs, including Irving Berlin’s “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” and Amanda McBroom’s “Crimes of the Heart.”

More about “Illusions” at:

Listen to her song Illusions.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Amanda Haas, author of THE ANTI-INFLAMMATION COOKBOOK and Williams-Sonoma Culinary Director, joined me at 9:30 AM PT

Amanda Haas

Did you miss Amanda on today's show?
Listen here!

Williams-Sonoma's Culinary Director
Author of The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook (2/2/16)
Founder One Family One Meal

Recent research reveals that inflammation has a negative impact on general wellness and can worsen many common health conditions, including migraines, diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, arthritis, and gastrointestinal disorders. The good news? Eating certain foods and avoiding others can be a highly effective way to diminish and manage inflammation. In The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook, professional cook and inflammation sufferer Amanda Haas joins forces with Dr. Bradly Jacobs to explain which foods are beneficial and why and to share 65 delicious, simple inflammation-busting recipes. Sometimes good food can be the best medicine

Amanda Haas is a cookbook author, professional recipe tester and developer, and the Culinary Director of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Her passion for improving people's lives through food has culminated in two cookbooks. Her first, Cooking Light Real Family Food, focuses on cooking delicious, simple meals the entire family will love. Her second book, The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: the Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy (Chronicle, Feb. 2016), combines her pursuit of wellness through food with her desire to bring her family together around the table.

Since graduating from Tante Marie's Cooking School in 2001, Haas has contributed to over 2 dozen cookbooks, including Chef Todd English's Cooking in Everyday English; the James Beard Award-Winning book A16: Food + Wine; and SPQR. Haas continues to encourage families to cook at home through her blog One Family One Meal. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two sons.

About the Author
Amanda Haas is the culinary director for Williams-Sonoma. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dr. Bradly Jacobs is an integrative medicine physician who is focused on helping people optimize their health, sense of well-being, and vitality. He lives and practices in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Jeffrey Moore, advertising exec and founder of Nutripy, joined me Monday at 9:00am

If you missed Jeffrey Moore on today's show, listen here!

About Jeffrey Moore

After graduating from the University of San Diego, Jeffrey Moore joined sales for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals and quickly advanced into brand management in the New Jersey Headquarters. Here he learned about the business model for treating chronic and acute conditions with the techniques of western medicine.

After 5 years with Sandoz, Jeff returned to his roots in California and took advantage of the creative success he experienced on the client side to open The Moore Group; an advertising agency refined in creating effective solutions for companies in the Medical Device, Aesthetics and Pharmaceutical marketplaces. He soon became established for his breakthrough strategies and creative solutions, growing to the 5th largest healthcare agency on the west coast.

After 17 years as The Moore Group, new ventures took him back to the client side of things in start-up capacities that needed innovative positioning. He returned to advertising ten years later as 3v07. Started in a trailer, his goal was to simply focus on the greatest creative product he could accomplish without generating any staff, allowing him personal attention with every client. But water seeks its own level and he soon had many working with him. He did limit 3v07 to 4 clients and kept that personal touch he brings to business each day.

The markets Jeff has served, along with his lifelong commitment to fitness, gave him a front row seat as nutritional supplements and fads took money from hopeful people’s pockets. His new purpose is to make better nutrition and support of the personal goals possible in every lifestyle. To take what he has learned about western medicine…and put in front of it a more interactive, consultative and preventive approach based on the hard science his career has required. And so there is

With Nutripy, Jeff addresses the vast majority of Americans that don’t know why or what they are taking in their nutrition supplements. Nutripy meets the need to bring consumers to the better & right nutrition & supplements. So offers a professional assessment that matches nutritional support with superior supplements, only available through healthcare providers, to match member goals and lifestyles.

Jeff has won over 180 advertising awards, and built the 50th dot-com address. He has been involved in innovating for the Internet space ever since.

He is a father of 4, Eagle Scout and focused on continued personal growth through using humility and the truth as a source of power.

Second half of tomorrow's show, featuring the 48 Film Project with Founder Francesco Vitali and Marco Santi, Director of Clara, which just swept all top 6 prizes!

9:30am pst
Francesco (Franko) Vitali, Founder - 48Film Project - 
Franko is based in Los Angeles

Did you miss Franceso Vitali on today's show?


Marco Santi, the Director of “Clara”
which swept all the top 6 prizes 
2015 Winner, 48FILM Project for “Clara"
*6 Awards

Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Production (Producer), 

Best Original Music, Best Editor

Did you miss Marco Santi on today's show?
Listen here!


Guests of the #48FILM Project

Francesco Vitali
Francesco has many years' experience identifying and nurturing gifted performers. Starting his early career in Athens Greece as a journalist and eventually become a very successful manager to the Stars. After completed his Master's Degree in Communication Studies and Marketing, he relocated to the USA to study acting and directing at the most prestigious institutions in New York including: Lee Strasburg Institute, Herbert Berghof Studio, Gene Frankel Actor's Studio & Stella Adler Conservatory. He was at one time Artistic Director of the historic Tamarind Theatre of Los Angeles. 2011, Mr. Vitali return to Management and production, which proved to be his biggest passion and with business partner Chris Siametis established 48 Projects inc.

What makes this festival unique is that it is the ONLY short film festival to offer a $100,000+ production budget for a feature film. Moreover it is one of the only festivals to have a jury of industry leaders.

For many global filmmakers this is a very unique opportunity to not only have their work seen and considered by some of the top star-makers in Hollywood, it is an opportunity to compete to make a feature film!

About Marco Santi

Marco Santi, 25 years old, is a young Italian director, born in Brescia on 17 June 1990. He was inspired by cinema at an early age; he took its first steps with the camera filming bizarre stories acted by his friends. During high school he continues with this passion: at the age of 18 he did a large projection of his first amateur  feature film of 50 minutes dedicated to a friend. He enrolled at the University of Economics in Brescia and at the same time he works as videomaker. He does  experience making videos even for companies such as Canon and Nintendo, and music videos including '' The Unheard '' by  Fabryka. Later he starts traveling the world and creates a series of mini-documentaries called ''Backpackers ''. The project takes hold and visibility and is sponsored by BoreasGear, a backpacks company. Meanwhile he participates in some film festival, winning in 2014 the Bagnolo Film Festival with '' I will no longer stay with you'' and ‘FilmLabFestival - Brescia da girare’ with '' Jusqu'à ce soir ''. In July 2015 he directs ''L'Autre'', short film of 10'.  Untill now, this, finished in October 2015, has 5 selections in national festivals and won one of them for Best Dramatic Short.

Why you selected the 48FILM project to participate in:
This was the second time I partecipate to a 48Film Project. The first was a local small festival that I join in late 2014 and won it. The experience I did was a real heavy challenge against time, but I really enjoy the contest. So in 2015 I was looking for an international competition because I wanted to compare with more people from all over the world. I choose the best 48hr short movie competition, which is the 48filmproject.

What inspired you to make Clara:
The idea of Clara was born in my head when I was thinking, some days before shooting, what I could shoot in this little time. I imagined the story of this actress with a lot of human relationship problems that disappear every time she was on set because of her professionalism and her being a bipolar star. The first Idea was a bit different to the final result: when I started the competition I modify the story to fit all the 48filmproject requests, that were a character, a line of dialogue and an object.

The making of the film:
While making of Clara we had a lot of trouble! To make a short in 48 hours you have really to run and unforeseen is always where you cannot imagine. I want to tell a little story: the day of shooting we spent so much time in waiting to have no noises, because (we of course didn’t know before that day!) close to the house we filmed, there was a construction site working. So every time they were drilling or hammering, we had to wait doing nothing. This was funny and frustrating at the same time. Anyway at the end we succeeded to secure all the takes and nothing goes wrong.

original 48 FILM Project

Thursday, January 28, 2016

OMG! I am so thankful to The New York Times for publishing the story I wrote about my father.

My father passed away from cancer December 4th, 2015. I wrote his eulogy on two planes, scribbling and crying in a notebook, until I felt I was done. When I returned home to California, I noticed on twitter the New York Times mentioned a section called "The Lives They Loved." Here is the piece I submitted. I am so thankful to
The New York Times for publishing the story I wrote about my father; this was pretty close to the eulogy I read at his funeral last month. My father was a huge influence in my life and having grown up in Manhattan, I am just so happy to be able to share some of what he taught me, in a newspaper I love.

"Who can make the silliest face? I won!"
Janeane Bernstein with her late father, Sam

My father, Sam, was my biggest cheerleader. He taught me the power of humor, hard work, and instilled in me that I could achieve anything I set my mind to. His heart was huge and he had an infectious sense of humor filled with creativity and mischief. (He put the wipers on if I sneezed in the car and had the best repertoire of silly character voices.) And then there were those words he made up. No one knows what “Pha-nur-bin” and “Ga-nu-bus” were, but we loved how he inserted them into sentences. And when he saw a car with one headlight working, he yelled “PA-DITTLE!” and leaned in to kiss his beautiful wife/best friend, Marjorie.

When I combed his hair at age 5, while he slept, the comb got stuck. Tearfully, I woke him and he calmly cut the comb out, and used me as an excuse for his premature baldness. He was my first driver’s ed teacher at age 13, instructing me how to operate his big old Cadillac and wacking me on the leg when I needed to brake more. Later, he bought me my first electric guitar and tolerated my rendition of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” over and over.

When I think of Dad, I always admired his work ethic. He was constantly challenging himself, whether it was owning and operating his clothing business in Manhattan or building homes throughout New England. Dad valued hard work, drive, education, integrity and the ability to try things that challenged you and switch gears in times of struggle.

Dad was tough, but loving, generous and kind to strangers. Although you wouldn’t want to walk next to him during rush hour in Grand Central. He elbowed and banged into more people than I could count, as I raced after him to catch the train and dodged expletives.

It really should not be a surprise that Dad fought cancer the only way he knew–with humor, strength, and devotion. He never wanted to give up, never wanted to miss a moment, and as much as we all miss him, we are fortunate he stuck around to see 83. His strong beliefs, family and the ability to laugh in the face of adversity is a lesson for all of us. So, the next time you see a car with one headlight, yell “PA-DITTLE!” and think of my Dad.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Writer Clara Bensen joined me Monday at 9:00am to talk about her first book, No Baggage!

Did you miss Clara Bensen on today's show? Listen to our conversation here!

When Clara Bensen arranged to meet Jeff Wilson on the steps of the Texas State Capitol, after just a few email exchanges on OK Cupid, it felt like something big was going to happen. Picture it: Jeff is a wildly energetic university professor with a freewheeling spirit. Clara is a sensitive, reclusive writer just recovering from a quarterlife existential breakdown. Within a few days of knowing one another, they decide to embark on a crazy travel experiment: 21 days from Istanbul to London, with zero luggage, zero reservations, and zero plans.

Donning a single green dress and a small purse containing a comb, a toothbrush, and a credit card, Clara travels through eight countries in three weeks. She finds herself on an old train chugging along the Turkish coast, taking a giant ferry across the Aegean, and on a cramped bus in the Balkans. Along the way, she ruminates on the challenges of traveling unencumbered: Though she gets better at facing her fears and navigating the unfamiliar, she knows that when it comes to falling in love, you can never really travel without baggage.

NO BAGGAGE is a memoir that will resonate with adventurers and homebodies alike—it’s at once a romance, a travelogue, and a bright modern take on the age-old questions: How do you find the courage to explore beyond your comfort zone? And can you love someone without the need for commitment, or any expectations for the future? It's a story that will appeal to anyone who has harbored fantasies of traveling with no end destination in mind –or longed to throw caution to the wind when embarking on a new relationship.

“Bensen's story of an unexpected—and unexpectedly meaningful and at times magical—romance that developed from a chance online encounter is charming. Yet it is also insightful for the author's observations about the conflicting desires for freedom and commitment that are the hallmarks of modern romance. An engaging memoir of travel, love, and finding oneself.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Readers intrigued as much by modern romance as by world travel will appreciate this thrilling travelogue of an erratic relationship and the landscape of ancient and modern Europe.” –Booklist 

Clara Bensen’s 2013 article entitled “The Craziest OKCupid Date Ever,” was read by more than half a million people. The story of her luggage-less adventure attracted major national and international attention, with coverage in USA Today, and appearances on The View, Fox News. No Baggage has also been optioned by New Line cinemas.

Clara and her partner Jeff have made four subsequent no baggage trips, to South America, the Caucuses, Scandinavia, and Japan. She lives in Austin, Texas.Clara Bensen is a writer living in Austin, Texas. NO BAGGAGE is her first book and has been optioned by New Line Cinema. Rights have sold in 7 countries (Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Taiwan, and the Netherlands). For more information you can visit her at or on twitter @clarabensen.