Sunday, November 29, 2015

Award-winning writer/director, actress and musician Catherine Dudley-Rose joined me today on Get the FUNK Out!

Did you miss Catherine Dudley-Rose on today's show?
Listen to our conversation here!

About Catherine Dudley-Rose
Catherine Dudley-Rose is an award winning writer/director, actress and musician. She has taught at the NY Stage & Film Program, the Broadway Theater Institute, and been a guest artist and performer internationally. She is a National Film Challenge winner - “Best Fantasy Film”, and assistant dir. of the Lawrence Kasdan Award for best Narrative Film. Her feature length screenplay, Parallel Chords, (which her short film is based on) received a grant funded by the NEA. It is loosely autobiographical. The film recently won BEST SOUND in St. Louis, JURY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN MUSIC in South Dakota, and BEST SHORT FILM at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival in Vermont, and will tour New England with other winning films.

Additionally, Catherine has created music for MTV, done string arrangements for Platinum selling Kate Nash, has performed on violin for an audience of 80,000, has recorded and/or performed w/Grammy artists, and numerous musicians of different styles. She has worked multiple times with favorite Theater World award winner, and recording artist Nellie McKay in NYC. As an actress, she has been in dozens of films, TV, and stage productions in New York and Internationally. She has been commissioned to write three other screenplays.


Autobiographical film picking up steam on festival circuit

LOS ANGELES - “PARALLEL CHORDS (OVERTURE)”, the award-winning short film produced, written and directed by Catherine Dudley-Rose will screen at the LA Femme Film Festival, Thursday, October 15, 12PM at Laemmle’s Music Hall Theater, 9036 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills. Now in its 11th year, the festival is a premiere film festival celebrating, supporting and advancing content creation by Women Producers, Writers, and Directors from around the world.
Fresh off a recent win at the Middlebury New Filmmaker’s Festival, the highly-acclaimed movie most recently won the Jury Award for Excellence in Music at the South Dakota Film Festival, the Curator’s Award at the prestigious Post Alley Film Festival in Seattle, and screened at the Reno Tahoe International Film Festival and Hudson Valley Film Festival, among others. It will also screen at San Pedro Film Festival (October 9 -11) and the Oscar qualifying St. Louis International Film Festival (November 5- 15).

“PARALLEL CHORDS (OVERTURE)” is the true story of a young violinist struggling to assert her individuality amidst the intense pressure of her pianist father and the formidable weight of her own musical ability.

Dudley-Rose says, “Although we've had the film screen in Tahoe, the upcoming west coast screenings will be the first in the LA area. This makes me so very happy because we have a number of integral people who worked on the film in the LA area who have yet to see it on the big screen. Our violinist Emerson Joy Millar, our poster artist Susanne Longo, our editor Patrick Lawrence, who moved from St. Louis, and of course, our amazing lead actor Bjorn Johnson."

The film stars Rachel Ann and veteran actor Bjorn Johnson, with cinematography by Hannah Radcliff.

Today at 9am, accomplished actor of stage and screen, Dan Woren called in to Get the FUNK Out!

Did you miss Dan Woren on today's show?
Listen to our conversation here!

About Dan Woren
An accomplished actor of stage and screen, Dan Woren is currently starring in the World Premiere of the new one-act play God: The Early Years,  produced by Emily O'Meara and the Renegade Theatre, written and directed by six time Emmy nominee Saul Ilson. He also starred in the LA Premiere of Mark Fink’s Smart People and the New York stage premiere of Behind Closed Doors: The Musical, a visionary tale tied politically to the controversial California Prop 8. Along with his numerous television roles, Woren has also appeared in films such as Star Trek: First ContactBeastmaster II and The Amazing Charleroux, an International award-winning short film.

A successful voice over artist for over 20 years, Woren has been the spokesman for such brands as Pacific Life, National Realtors Association, and Robinson's May. His anime credits are extensive, including leads in numerous series including Bleach, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Durarara, Fate Zero, Persona IV, Digimon, The Batman, and Robotech. His video game credits include: World of Warcraft, Dynasty Warriors, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, Wild Arms 4, Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Red Faction Guerilla.

Adept at many genres, Woren is an award-winning audiobook narrator with currently over 75 titles to his credit. Among his forays into non-fiction are: America's Bitter Pill, by Pulitzer Prize winning author Steven Brill, The Billion Dollar Spy, Robert Weintraub, No Better friend: One Man, One Dog, and Their Incredible Story of Courage and Survival in WWll. by David E. Hoffman, and Toms River, by Dan Fagin. His forays into fiction include So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger, Trader of Secrets, by Steve Martini,Under the Baseball Moon, by John H. Ritter, and This is How You Die, by Matthew Bennardo. In December of 2014, Woren won 2 more prestigious Earphone Awards and was also selected by AudioFile Magazine as a “Best Voice of the Year” - an award given to the year’s most celebrated narrators.

More about Dan Woren:

God: The Early Years Burbank Examiner review:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Too much fun today chatting with Jennifer Jiles, an Emmy award-winning host and comedic actress!

Did you miss Jennifer Jiles on today's show?
Listen to our conversation

Jennifer Jiles is an Emmy award-winning host and comedic actress who's worked with such stars as Tim Conway, Tom Poston, Samantha Eggar and Carl Reiner. She is also perhaps one of the best known Ex-Radio City Rockettes because of her critically-acclaimed Off Broadway solo show, "KICKING & SCREAMING, The Musical!"

Ms. Jiles acts in film and on TV, in numerous commercials, narrates audio books, and is the “Mother of the Week”, the title role in the short film of the same name, conceived, co-written, co-produced, cast and starring Ms. Jiles.

Jennifer Jiles is a New York-based actress and comedienne. Her acting credits include the National Tour of The Odd Couple, starring Tim Conway and Tom Poston, Mame, starring Samantha Eggar and Shani Wallis, and the role of Portia in The Merchant of Venice. As Agnes Gooch in Mame, she was praised by the New York Times as "pleasantly believable and welcomely less exaggerated than the usual misfit in her orthopedic oxfords," and as Portia, "her glittering intelligence added great depth to her work." She is the star of the short comedic film Mother of the Week, conceived, co-written, co-produced and also cast by Ms Jiles.

She has also performed in the Workshop productions of Cy Coleman's musical, Exactly Like You, directed by Pat Birch, in Hal Hackaday's musical Empty Pleasures, and in a development project with Carl Reiner at Westbeth Theatre Center. Jennifer was published as in the original cast of Karin Baker's The Melody Lingers On, an Irving Berlin review, and most recently performed with soap stars Martha Byrne (As the World Turns) and Liz Keifer (Guiding Light) in The MOMologues, An Original Comedy on Motherhood. She even played a fish in The Holiday Inn, Manhattan, rooftop pool!

She has appeared in many commercials, and makes much of her living doing voice-overs (Wicked, Wendy's, Lifetime, Discovery Channel, Hallmark Channel, TLC, Nickelodeon, 9 Lives, Colgate, Burger King, Dannon, Pizza Hut (w/ Queen Latifa), K-Mart (w/ Martha Stewart) & more). Hear voice samples on Voice & Video Page. She has been seen in corporate shows for Canon, IBM, and Astrazenica, on CBS' David Letterman, As The World Turns, and Guiding Light, on A&E's 100 Centre Street, and can be seen in Eric Bross' film Restaurant starring Adrien Brody.

In Jennifer's one woman show KICKING AND SCREAMING, The Musical!, she exhibits both her versatility and vulnerability. Jennifer steps out from behind the kickline and brings 21 original characters to life for 115 minutes of sparkling, big-hearted musical fun. KICKING & SCREAMING, The Musical! is the true story of one Ex-Rockette. Jiles has been featured in New York Magazine, USA Today, The New York Observer, Time Out New York, The New York Times, the Poughkeepsie Journal, The Jewish Forward, The Wall Street Journal, and many more, as well as on TV on GoodDay NY, NY1, the WB11, Fox News Channel, Metro Channel and more.

For four glorious years (1993-96), during the "off-season" as a Rockette, Jennifer was perhaps best known in the sports world as the Emmy Award-winning host of SportsChannel's DYNAMETS!, a weekly New York Mets baseball show for kids that the New York Daily News called "ahead of the pack". The show allowed Ms. Jiles to display her tremendous enthusiasm, wit, creativity, and intelligence. Dynamic and versatile, she is equally at home with children and adults alike, and it's this chemistry that made DYNAMETS! a successful children's program. She also counts singing the National Anthem at Shea Stadium as a highlight.Daily News

Ms. Jiles was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York. After graduating with a B.F.A. from S.U.N.Y. Purchase School of Arts, Jennifer moved to New York to pursue her dream of being a professional entertainer. Her success as an actress, singer, and dancer is not her only driving ambition, however. Ms. Jiles is also a humanitarian who is actively involved in several charitable ventures benefiting children, including: Make A Wish Foundation, Abilities! in Albertson, New York, the The Valerie Fund for which she is Celebrity Emissary, and records Entertainment Weekly for the visually impaired on Gatewave Reading Service (

The Mother of the Week trailer is here: 

Great start to the week! Kate Black joined me Monday to talk about her new book, Magnifeco: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-Toxic Beauty!

Your Head-to-Toe Guide to
Ethical Fashion and Non-toxic Beauty
by Kate Black

Did you miss Kate Black on today's show?
Listen to our conversation

Kate Black joins me Monday to talk about her new book, Magnifeco: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-Toxic Beauty.

Ever since the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh—the worst garment industry accident in recorded history—the words "fashion disaster" acquired a new and more sinister meaning. Kate is on the forefront of a huge shift in an industry that is not-so beautiful behind-the-scenes, and has many of us are questioning our buying habits.

Kate is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, the digital source for eco-fashion and sustainable living. She is also the Founder of EcoSessions, a global platform bringing together designers, industry, and consumers to discuss change.

In the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh—the worst garment industry accident in recorded history—the words "fashion disaster" acquired a new and much more sinister meaning. Commentators suggested that the tragedy was completely predictable in a sector with a shocking track record of rampant environmental damage, the use of toxic chemicals, and chronic human rights abuse.

Now the industry is undergoing a shift, and many of us are questioning our buying habits. The rise of socially and environmentally responsible retailers like Patagonia and The Body Shop has led to dramatic changes in the eco and ethical fashion landscape. Magnifeco is the Fast Food Nation of the fashion world—your guide to making a difference too. In this guide, author Kate Black:
Examines non-toxic beauty and ethical fashion
Recommends a multitude of ways for consumers to make better decisions
Introduces the brands and designers leading the way along this socially responsible path.

With this complete head-to toe guide covering everything from hair and beauty products to shoes and footwear, you can feel better about everything you put on your body and be— magnifeco!

Kate Black has lived and worked in the major fashion centers of the world and written over 1,000 articles about designers and ethical fashion from her decidedly global perspective. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of, the digital source for eco-fashion and sustainable living. Kate is also the founder of EcoSessions, a global platform bringing together designers, industry, and consumers to discuss change. She is regularly featured on the Huffington Post and is highly in demand as a speaker on ethical fashion at regional and national green living events.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rachel Reenstra, actress, comedian, and host of the Emmy nominated ABC TV show “The Wildlife Docs" joined me Monday at 9:30am pst!

Did you miss Rachel Reenstra
on today's show? Listen


Some people try to do it all. Others actually do. One such person who manages to do so is the multi-talented Rachel Reenstra, who has thrived in a number of creative outlets including acting, television hosting, stand-up comedy, and voice-over performances. What sets her apart from her counterparts is her instinctiveness and unwavering tenacity to achieve her goals. Early on in her acting career her drive even earned her a guest starring role on the Tea Leoni led sitcom “The Naked Truth” despite being told her appearance was too similar to that of the lead actress. That didn’t stop her from convincing one of the writers to search for a creative mechanism to work her into the show.

It’s this type of spark that has defined Reenstra’s career and it’s apparent the word “no” doesn’t operate in her vocabulary. Her ability to seamlessly transition from one type of performance to another is nothing short of brilliant. Television acting is one thing, but tackling the emergence of voice-over acting in video games is an entirely different beast. She voiced Eva in “Grim Fandango,” an adventure-noir game by LucasArts that conquered new terrain in computer graphics, received universal critical acclaim, and even claimed several awards after its release, including Best Adventure Game of the Year by IGN. Reenstra continued her work with LucasArts by appearing in the Star Wars video games, “X-Wing Alliance” and “Battlefront II.”

And while it’d be easy to continue on with Reenstra’s success in acting, that’d be criminally selling her achievements short. She’d be the first to tell you how difficult Hollywood can be and how taxing the daily rejection gets for an aspiring artist. But while some would be quick to list the hurdles that stand between them and their goals, she’s determined to create her own destiny. After years of television shows, video games, and stand-up comedy she envisioned her real future and realized what she truly wanted to do was “host a show where I traveled the world.” She would get that chance soon enough.

With her idealized life taking shape in her mind, Reenstra used her life savings and began traveling around the world documenting everything she did, placing a large emphasis on the animals and wildlife she crossed paths with. Her lucky break would come soon after when she learned that Animal Planet was searching for their next great adventure host for a television show on their network. It became easy for her to connect the dots and see the perfect opportunity in front of her. Using clips from her travels she produced and edited her audition tape, sent it off to Animal Planet, and was soon announced as the new host of “Ms. Adventure.”

Reenstra calls herself lucky, but there’s more than luck involved when a talent is paired with the perfect project. It’s fate. She’s called “Ms. Adventure” her dream job and why wouldn’t it be? A large portion of it as host was for her to point out and provide commentary on the similarities and differences between animals and humans. A subject she says is ripe with comedy. Reenstra was able to combine her deep love of animals, quick-fire wit, and astute observational humor to thrive as the show’s host.

Television hosting seemed to be a natural calling for Reenstra, as she followed up “Ms. Adventure” by hosting HGTV’s “Designed to Sell” during 2008, where she continued to satisfy audience interests and curiosities. Later in 2013, she would experience another career breakthrough when she became the host of ABC- TV’s Emmy Nominated series “The Wildlife Docs,” a documentary show chronicling the fascinating lives of the veterinarians at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. The program gives viewers a behind the scenes look at everything they don’t get to see at the popular tourist attractions and Reenstra is their dependable guide through it all.

Reenstra comes from a family of missionary doctors and nurses who spent their lives setting up hospitals and caring for the sick in underprivileged countries. Her family was a huge influence on her life and her childhood has direct connections to how her career would later take shape. By age seven, Reenstra had already traveled the world. She was surrounded by wildlife at a young age, which provided her with the passion for animals she would later utilize as an adventure host. Along with that, Reenstra was inspired by her mother’s groundbreaking radio show “Interfaith Dialogue,” a program that connected religions together and one that would be a dominant factor in Reenstra earning her Master’s in Spiritual Psychology. Her mother showed her that blazing your own path can be accomplished and encouraged her to follow whatever she dreamed of doing. Finally, Reenstra has said that her father was a charmingly goofy man, and making him laugh was a sublime accomplishment. This continuous challenge forced her to hone her comedic sensibilities and engrained in her the desire to make people laugh.

All of these examples prove that Reenstra’s upbringing directly prepared her for the diverse career she would later enjoy. And while her current show “The Wildlife Docs” allows her an outlet to share her interest in wildlife conservation with a broad audience, she isn’t just stopping there. She’s committed herself to being a part of the movement. Reenstra is on the board of directors on the NSEFU Wildlife Conservation Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving and protecting imperiled species in Southern Africa. She understands the importance of humans and animals co-existing and hopes to use her educating ability to foster real change in the anti-poaching movements. Recently, she hosted segments on TV’s “The Insider” where she educated on the shift in culture around big game hunting, and the impact Cecil the Lion has had on the mainstream.

Never one to rest, Reenstra has explored other facets of her skill set, using what she’s learned over her career to help others make their dreams come true too. It’s undeniably apparent that she wants to help enrich the lives of people she meets. Whether that’s through her acclaimed E-book Get Lucky, her blog Love Your Wildlife, classes where she teaches hosting techniques, or her willingness to step out and protect the animals we share this planet with. She’s doing what she always wanted to do: forging her own path and showing the world how much she has to offer. She embraces challenges and is always searching for the best way to make an impact. Nothing will stop her from creating her own destiny and that’s what makes her so captivating. Reenstra has stated that when people hear her name she wants them to think of comedy and animals. It’s difficult not to think of so much more, though.


New York Times best-selling author, a gifted actor, a vocalist of incredible depth and passion and a licensed pilot...Deana Martin joined me on today's show!

Did you miss Deana on 
today's show? 

Deana Martin is a world-class entertainer equally comfortable with a celebrated symphony at a legendary concert hall or on an intimate cabaret stage with a swinging jazz quintet. She’s a New York Times best-selling author, a gifted actor, a vocalist of incredible depth and passion and a licensed pilot. When talent is part of the family pedigree it can sometimes be difficult for an artist to forge an individual path, but Deana Martin has successfully navigated that tricky terrain.

Deana’s latest album, Destination Moon, is a loving homage to the Great American Songbook that features her distinctive take on such classics as “I Love Being Here With You” and “Beyond the Sea” as well as four new gems written for Deana, nestled among her longtime favorites. “Where Did You Learn to Love Like That,” “Stuck in a Dream With Me,” “Read Between the Lines” and “Paradise” are finely crafted new tunes that fit perfectly alongside the timeless hits on Destination Moon. The album closes with “True Love,” a duet with her father Dean Martin that demonstrates where Deana gets that talent for bringing a song to life.

“There is just something so timeless about these songs and they can be interpreted in many different ways. The words have meaning and the music can be a little complicated,” Deana says. “We have such a mix on this album. We have “G. I. Jive” by Johnny Mercer and “Stuck in a Dream with Me” that was written by my friends John Proulx and K.L. Dunham, and “Break It To Me Gently,” which I loved the minute I heard Brenda Lee sing it years ago. We’ve put all these different songs on this one album and they fit beautifully.”

Destination Moon is Deana’s fourth album, following her 2006 top ten hit CDMemories Are Made Of This, her acclaimed holiday collection, White Christmas, and Volare, which entered Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums chart at No. 22 and Billboard’s Heatseeker chart at No. 7. Deana brings her recorded repertoire to life with an engaging stage show that keeps the busy entertainer on the road 280 days a year performing in a variety of venues from major Las Vegas showrooms to intimate jazz clubs to symphony halls accompanied by some of the country’s most prestigious orchestras.

“The most important part is to feel the song and to connect with the audience,” Deana says of her approach to performing. “There are a lot of incredible singers out there with beautiful voices, but you have to be able to grab the audience and make them feel it. Hopefully that’s something that I have. There’s that feeling you get on stage. It’s just so great when you are up there and the music is just right and the audience is just right and you are singing a great song with a fabulous arrangement. There’s nothing better.”

It’s easy to see where Deana gets her passion for performing. Her father is among the world’s most iconic entertainers and has left a lasting legacy treasured by his family, friends and fans. As chronicled in her best-selling book, Memories Are Made of This-Dean Martin Through His Daughters Eyes, her father grew up in Steubenville, Ohio and worked hard to parlay his God-given talent into a multi-faceted career. His daughter has done the same. In addition to her acting and recording, Deana is a savvy businesswoman whose interest in health and fitness grew into the successful Bodies By Deana company, which spawned the top-selling workout video “The Deana Martin Total Body Workout.” She’s also a licensed pilot, radio show host, noted philanthropist and respected entrepreneur. Among the projects she’s most passionate about these days is seeing her book become a movie. Joe Mantegna is slated to direct the film with Jennifer Love Hewitt set to star as Deana. Actress/writer Bonnie Hunt is writing the screenplay. “My dad would always say ‘Deana, when you dream, dream big, because dreams do come true. There’s nothing you can’t do honey if you really set your mind to it and work hard.’ And that’s exactly what I do, because knowing that he believed in me has always given me the strength and determination to shoot for the moon … Destination Moon.” Armed with an abundance of talent, a dedicated work ethic and a buoyant personality, Deana was determined to step out from her famous father’s shadow and launch her own successful entertainment career. Though she grew up learning from her dad’s legendary pals like Uncles Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Jerry Lewis (who penned the foreword to her book), Deana also received a formal education from Dartington College of Arts in the United Kingdom. She’s amassed a wealth of stage experience including roles in Romeo & Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Six Rms Riv Vu and The Tunnel of Love. Her first major break was in the Neil Simon play The Star Spangled Girl. “I was staring in the National Touring Company with Jimmy Boyd and George Hamilton,” Deana recalls. “The play was a great success and it was a wonderful experience to work with such talented actors. I knew I was on my way.”

Deana’s acting career expanded into film with the 1968 western Young Billy Young co-starring Robert Mitchum and Angie Dickinson. Her movie career continued with staring roles in Strangers at Sunrise with George Montgomery and A Voice in the Night with Vitto Scotti. In addition to her work as an actress, Deana also signed a contract with Reprise Records and scored hits singles with the “Girl of the Month Club” and “When He Remembers Me” produced by Lee Hazelwood.

For many years, Deana’s recording career took a backseat to raising her son Mickey, but she continued keeping in contact with her devoted fans through live concerts around the globe. And they were thrilled when she returned to the recording studio with Memories Are Made of This in 2006. Deana has a beautiful, evocative voice that brings out the best in a song and she puts that amazing set of pipes to good use on Destination Moon. “We record the music at the Hit Factory in Miami because my arranger/conductor Charlie Calello and a lot of my favorite musicians live there. Then we go to Capitol Records in Hollywood, CA to lay down the vocals, do the mixing and mastering. It’s my favorite place to record because I get to work with my dear friend and brilliant engineer Al Schmitt. He’s the man with the golden ears and I believe he’s the greatest engineer on the planet.”

Destination Moon was produced by Deana’s husband John Griffeth, and they recorded the vocals in Studio A at the legendary Capitol Records in Los Angeles where her father recorded many of his best-loved hits. “You can feel the electricity in the air the moment you walk in,” Deana says. “I just feel cloaked with the energy of the great artists that recorded there before me. You can hear their voices as you walk down the hallways lined with huge black & white photographs. It gives me goose bumps walking by my dad, Peggy Lee, Bobby Darin and Uncle Frank [Sinatra]. They’re all there. The first studio you come to is Studio A and that’s where everyone loves to record. When I was a very young girl, I remember sitting in Studio A with my mom, watching my dad record “Memories Are Made of This,” which became his first very #1 hit. Those are memories indeed that I will never forget.”

Returning to the famed Studio A as an artist in her own right was special to Deana. “It was an amazing feeling,” Deana says. “I was using my dad’s microphone, recording in the same studio and using his same chart. John found the original hand written Nelson Riddle arrangement of Cole Porter’s ‘True Love’. I was standing in the studio with my headphones on, listening to all the beautiful strings and then … my dad’s voice. I could barely sing it was so overwhelming. For me to record a song with my dad was an incredible highlight in my life and another dream come true. It was just perfect. A few minutes later we listened to the playback I was thrilled to hear how beautifully our voices blended together and how we sounded so much alike. It’s an unbelievable memory that I will carry with me forever.”

It’s the perfect close to an album by an artist who lovingly brings a contemporary freshness to a collection of songs that will forever stand the test of time, and it’s just the latest in an impressive discography that continues to grow. Martin has a passion for keeping alive the Great American Songbook and her smooth, silky voice combined with her passion for those classic lyrics and melodies make her the perfect torchbearer to keep these songs alive for today’s generation. Whether reviving “Mack the Knife” on her inimitable Volare album with verve and sass or sweetly crooning “Love Me Tender” on that same great album, Martin brings fresh life to popular music’s best-loved gems. On her holiday collection, White Christmas, Martin delivers a lively, elegant take on such timeless fare as “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow” Let It Snow!” Whether she’s serving up Christmas favorites or bringing her own distinctive style to her dad’s signature “Everybody Loves Somebody” on Memories Are Made of This, Martin is a superb stylist whose skill and charm bring out the best in every song she sings.

Like her esteemed father, Deana Martin loves to entertain people and she knows the power of a great song. She wields that power on stage as someone who has a true and abiding love for the music and respect for the legacy she carries on. Whether writing a best selling memoir, touring the world or working on a new record, Deana Martin approaches every endeavor with the same commitment to excellence and passion. She could easily rest on her laurels, but that’s not something she ever plans to do. “I love entertaining people,” she says. “It’s what I was born to do.”

Deana and her husband John Griffeth divide their time between Beverly Hills, CA and Branson, MO.

Visit Deana's website:

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Award-winning filmmaker and director Varda Bar-Kar joined me Monday at 9:30am pst!

Great show today featuring award-winning
Varda Bar-Kar! 

If you missed Varda Bar-Kar
on today's show,
listen here!


Uplifting Film Chronicles A Year in the Life of  Santa Monica High School's Choir Director Jeffe Huls

BEVERLY HILLS, CA –BIG VOICE the new musical feature documentary that follows a year in the life of a demanding high school choir teacher who pushes his students to become “one big voice," will make it's hometown festival debut at the 11th Annual LA Femme International Film Festival on Saturday, October 17 at 10 am at the Laemmle Music Hall Theater in Beverly Hills. (The official World Premiere will be the following day at the Heartland Film Festival.)

 BIG VOICE, directed by award-winning filmmaker Varda Bar-Kar, chronicles a year in the life of Santa Monica High School choir director Jeffe Huls striving to create his dream ensemble. Following a series of competitive auditions, Mr. Huls assembles what seems to be the most ideal combination of voices he’s ever had - but he soon discovers that these 32 talented teenagers are also the most unwieldy group he has ever taught. Mr. Huls must convince his students to set aside their egos, conflicting styles, and teenage angst to achieve the artistry he knows they are capable of.

When Varda Bar-Kar first attended Samohi’s Winter Concert she was moved to tears by the beauty of the choir’s voice. “I wanted to find out how Mr. Huls did it. And I realized that BIG VOICE could be an opportunity to tell the story of a dedicated teacher who makes a profound difference in his students’ lives and to reveal how valuable arts education can be,” said Bar-Kar.

The award-winning filmmaker has screened her work in major festivals and networks. Her accolades include Heartland’s Crystal Heart Award, Silver Telly Award, YouTube’s Most Innovative Non-Profit Video Award, NewFilmmakers/LA Grand Jury & Audience Awards, and SHOOT magazine’s 2010 New Director’s Showcase.

The BIG VOICE production team also included Co-Producer Marina Viscun, Executive Producers Deb Love, Carol Coote, John Beug and associate producers Dennis Leight, Karen Lavender & Robert McFalls.

More information on Big Voice can be found on the BIG VOICE facebook page (, YouTube ( and the official film website at The trailer can be seen at

Tickets can be purchased at or prior to the screening at the Laemmle Music Hall located at 9038 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills.

For more information on the LA Femme International Film Festival screening or to arrange interview with the director and stars, please contact Deborah Gilels, LA Media Consultants, at 818-758-6509.

# # #

Friday, November 6, 2015

ANNOUNCING the KICKSTARTER campaign for NANA, (the feature transgenerational documentary on Serena Dykman's grandmother who was an Auschwitz survivor and activist for tolerance) is now live at

The filmmaker retraces her grandmother's Auschwitz survival story, and investigates how her life-long fight against intolerance can be passed on to new generations in the 21st century. 

And link to the campaign 

Serena Dykman
Adleek USA, Inc. 

Amy Guittard, a fifth generation chocolate maker at the Guittard Chocolate Company, and author of the Guittard Chocolate Cookbook: Decadent Recipes from San Francisco's Premium Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Company joined me Monday at 9:00am pst!

Great start to today's show
featuring special guest Amy Guittard
of the Guittard Chocolate Company
(I kept craving hot chocolate during our conversation!) 

If you missed Amy Guittard on today's show, listen here!

Amy Guittard joined me this morning from the amazing Guittard Chocolate family. She is a fifth generation chocolate maker at the Guittard Chocolate Company, and has written the Guittard Chocolate Cookbook: Decadent Recipes from San Francisco's Premium Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Company . Founded almost 150 years ago in San Francisco by Amy's great-great-grandfather Etienne, Guittard is America's oldest continuously family-run chocolate company and has been making artisan chocolate for home bakers, pastry chefs, and confectioners alike.

Amy is the first Guittard woman to join the family business and this is going to be a great conversation about her role and how she decided to become part of the family biz!

Not only does she oversee marketing (including the company's brand refresh) she has taken an increasingly larger role in sourcing and sustainability efforts visiting and collaborating with growers, buyers and chefs. In August, she traveled to the Ivory Coast with John Kehoe, Guittard’s Director of Sustainability, as part of their ongoing effort to engage with their supply chain. Amy met with various partners, farmer groups, and government entities regarding the Ivorian market, their work with World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), and their sustainability and sourcing efforts.

The 60 recipes in the book share the story of the Guittard family and friends and chocolate traditions all while connecting the reader with chocolate's history, culture, and artistry.

Amy’s photos are on Guittard’s Instagram.

See the tantalizing book trailer here:

Amy Guittard is a fifth-generation San Franciscan who oversees marketing and is increasingly involved in sourcing and sustainability measures at Guittard Chocolate Company, the company her great-great-grandfather founded in 1868. She is often traveling the globe to meet with farmers, buyers, traders, and chefs. Amy is an avid surfer, runner, farmers’ market shopper, and photographer. Amy is a board member of Creative Growth Art Center, a non-profit that serves adult artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities. She lives in San Francisco.

Coming up 7/17/24 9:00am - Janeane chats with Producer Jay Silverman about his latest film CAMERA, starring Beau Bridges

‘CAMERA’ starring Beau Bridges, centers around a young mute boy who uses an old film camera to express his point of view, with the help of ...