Saturday, January 30, 2021

Watch Janeane's conversation with Brendon Scholl and Constantine Venetopoulos as they discuss DRAW WITH ME, Official Oscar entry for Documentary Short Subject about the trans youth journey of Brendon Scholl, featuring Jennifer Lopez and President Joe Biden. Jennifer Lopez and Trans Nibbling Star in Doc Short as Official Oscar Entry Oscar Entry for Doc Short Runs Theatrically Jan. 12th Through Feb. 9th. Janeane speaks with Director Constantine Venetopoulos and Brendon Scholl

Draw with Me just launched its national virtual theatrically
release at ArenaScreen through Feb. 9th,
and was the subject of the first-ever
panel at the United Nations on Transgender Health. 

Trailer Here


Jennifer Lopez and Trans Nibbling Star in Doc Short as Official Oscar Entry Oscar Entry for Doc Short Runs Theatrically Jan. 12th Through Feb. 9th

“Their message was clear.” - Oprah Magazine
“An important and timely film.” - Harper’s Bazaar
“An incredibly brave story.” - Good Morning America
“Brendon is going to light the way for so many kids” - New York Post

Los Angeles: January 12, 2021 - Ithaka Films and the Onassis Foundation are proud to present the theatrical release of the official Oscar entry for Documentary Short Subject, DRAW WITH ME, about the journey of trans youth - Brendon Scholl - who uses their art as an important outlet while navigating life's challenges with their their family, featuring a special introduction by their aunt Jennifer Lopez. The film runs theatrically now at ArenaScreen through Feb. 9th.

Watch Trailer

DRAW WITH ME is the story of talented teen artist, Brendon Scholl, who identifies as trans non-binary and whose art has been a vital outlet for self expression. From coming out as trans and consequently attempting suicide, to becoming an advocate…this intimate portrait of Brendon and their supportive family's trials dives deep into what was endured and overcome in this heartwarming journey of acceptance.

“Talking about your identity as a person - sexual preference has to do with who you go to bed with, and your identity is who you go to bed as,” shares Brendon’s mother, Leslie Ann Lopez.

DRAW WITH ME was created in partnership with The Trevor Project (the leading suicide prevention line for LGBTQ+ Youth) and powered by the Onassis Foundation. The film has had a wonderful impact on the LGBTQ+ movement having been presented at Tribeca Film Festival with the support of GLAAD, having been the subject of the first-ever panel at the United Nations on Transgender Health, and having screened at numerous high-schools in conjunction with the New York Department of Education. National Coming Out Day, October 11 2020, marked a milestone for the film when President Elect Joe Biden supported the LGBTQ+ movement in an award show that screened DRAW WITH ME and honored Brendon with the Revry Visibility Award presented by Jennifer Lopez.

“The film is important and timely in its story and message, and can have a huge impact, ” says Jennifer Lopez in the film. “It’s a story that is very close to my heart, because it is a family affair. It’s about accepting change and challenges with love, and that knowing when we do, everything is possible.”

“Although I knew that telling this story came with a lot of responsibility, I felt ready and the family truly made me feel safe and comfortable in doing so,” shares Director, Constantine Venetopoulos. “The entire family joined as one in supporting Brendon and the film.. What I truly believe drew me to the story, though, was Bredon’s confidence in knowing who they were at such a young age, and being ready to use their experience as a tool for other youth who were struggling with their identity and coming out. I thought ‘I wish I had someone like Brendon to talk to when I was struggling in the closet as a kid.’

Brendon has expanded their artistry beyond drawings and painting, and is now a sophomore in college studying acting. An advocate for acceptance, Brendon’s message for all those whose family, friends or co-workers may be trans is simple and clear, “Believe us when we say who we are.”

The full 24 minute film is available to the public at: ArenaScreen.

Full Director’s Comments Below:
When I first heard about the Trevor Project I remember thinking “I wish there was something like that for me when I was struggling in the closet as a kid in the small suburbs of Greece”. Fast forward a decade later I would find myself at the United Nations sitting on a historic panel on Transgender Health on the 50th anniversary of the Stone-Wall riots, with the subject matter being our film and its impact. People see a short documentary, but what they don’t see is the series of events that led to it. One of my earliest childhood memories is that of observing my toy action figures examining their anatomy while wondering who I was. What would follow would be a long journey of self-acceptance from marrying a woman (though I was a gay man deep down), to coming out of the closet and pursuing my dreams as a filmmaker in the United States. At the first opportunity I joined the Trevor Project as a volunteer of the chat life-line and have since done my best to support many youth going through their own coming out journeys and struggles with suicidal thoughts.

A lucky turn of events connected me with Leslie Ann Lopez, a talented opera singer set to perform in my first feature film MAN IN THE ATTIC. Through Leslie Ann I met her child; Brendon Scholl, a youth with whom I clicked immediately. It was friendship at first sight. I remember walking into Brendon’s room enamored by it being filled with art, covering every crevice of the wall and ceiling. Brendon was very open about their art and what it meant to them, and they shared the story behind some of their drawings and how art had saved them. My coming out journey was not easy either, so Brendon’s story spoke to me in a profound way, though being gay and being trans are vastly different journeys. As our friendship continued to unfold the CEO of the Trevor Project who was also a friend mentioned that it would be an honor to have Brendon as a speaker in one of their events. When sharing the invitation with the family, I also shared my wish to document the family’s story and Brendon’s transition and coming out story in a film preceding their speech. Brendon and their family joined with excitement, ready to share their story in order to support other youth going through similar journeys. That was when all the dots connected, becoming the beginning of DRAW WITH ME.

Although I knew that telling this story came with a lot of responsibility, I felt ready and the family truly made me feel safe and comfortable in doing so. The entire family joined as one in supporting Brendon and the film, from their loving grandmother to their aunts Lynda and Jennifer who both joined the film; Lynda by using her voice as a journalist asking the right questions and Jennifer with an educational introduction shared with millions of her followers. What I truly believe drew me to the story though, was Bredon’s confidence in knowing who they were at such a young age, and being ready to use their experience as a tool for other youth who were struggling with their identity and coming out. I thought “I wish I had someone like Brendon to talk to when I was struggling in the closet as a kid”.

Since then the film has screened at The Trevor Project, has been selected by GLAAD and has been the topic of discussion in panels at TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL during PRIDE and the United Nations among others, and has been employed as a tool of diversity education by organizations such as Esteé Lauder and JP Morgan. A personal highlight was when DRAW WITH ME screened at my school in Greece with an audience of teachers, parents, and my own family. There were many feelings in the room. One thing that stood out was when my older brother asked one of the counselors “What should a parent advise their child if they come out to them as gay or trans?” The reply of the counselor has stuck with me: “It’s not about what you should tell them, it’s about just listening to them”.

So listen to us… and as Brendon says so well, “Believe us when we say who we are.”

Born in Athens Greece in 1980 -3rd generation in a lineage of ship builders- Constantine Venetopoulos graduated from London’s CASS Business School with a Master’s Degree in Marketing, embracing his family's cruise line heritage while staying faithful to his passion for poetry, literature, and the film world. In addition to publishing two novels, his films have premiered at Tribeca Film Festival among others. His most recent work ‘Draw with Me’ created in partnership with 'The Trevor Project' about Brendon Scholl a youth in transition, featuring Jennifer Lopez amnd President Elect Joe Biden -the leading suicide prevention line for LGBTQ youth- made history at the United Nations, commemorating 50 years from the Stonewall riots and has been presented to schools world-wide including NYC’s Department of Education, as well as being deployed as a resource for diversity by organizations such as Esteé Lauder and JP Morgan. He has directed ABT’s prima ballerina Luciana Paris and actors Bill Skarsgård, and Ian Alexander among others. HIs first feature film MAN IN THE ATTIC, a psychological thriller featuring Emma Hepburn Ferrer Is anticipated to hit the cinemas in 2021. He is the founder of ‘Kuntaur Film Festival’, a children’s film festival in the remote village of Kuntaur in West Africa lacking access to electricity, sharing the cinema experience with the youth by deploying mobile generators and he is the creative director of The Lamin Koto Super-School Prototype for which 2020 marked a milestone when a mass scale photo posting was installed in collaboration with French artist JR’s INSIDE OUT social impact platform. Constantine was recognized by JR as the face of Greece in a PHAIDON educational publication in 2020, is supported by the Onassis Foundation, and is a frequent speaker at Tedx Talk events. Constantine Venetopoulos has been an author, filmmaker, and advocate for human rights since 2010 is fluent in German, English, and Greek and his plans for the future involve further narrowing the gap between social impact initiatives & film, while currently developing a film that will document the first ever venture by a disabled person into outer space, among other projects.

Brendon Scholl is a visual artist and college sophomore majoring in theater arts. Their art has been an integral part of their life since childhood, as evidenced by the crayon compositions covering the heating units of their room, followed by mural artworks around the walls. Their entire room is an expression of their artistry, in a 360º art gallery of their inner world. As they continue to evolve as an artist, they simultaneously carry this passion into their activism and advocacy. They were one of the leaders of their GSA in their high school and marched proudly this past spring in the Black Lives Matter protest marches. 

Brendon was honored by the Trevor Project -the leading suicide prevention line for LGBTQ+ Youth- during their annual fundraiser in 2018. Soon thereafter Brendon made history when a documentary about their life of advocacy was screened at the United Nations, in a special anniversary commemorating the 50th Stonewall riots. Brendon led the first ever United Nations panel on Trans Health matters, as the voice of the youth. Brendon hopes to continue with their activism and their art throughout their lifetime and to see the changes necessary for this country to live up to the promises made to ALL Americans, by setting a world-wide example for equal rights and opportunities without exception.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

THE WAKE OF LIGHT Written, Directed, and Produced by Renji Philip


Written, Directed, and Produced by Renji Philip


"A film from the heart. Beautifully told and beautifully acted - a touching rite of passage."

-- Thom Noble - Academy and BAFTA Award-Winning Editor - THELMA AND LOUISE

“A film of immense charm, humor and hope with powerhouse performances across the board.”

-- Logan Taylor - Film Programmer - SXSW

In this timely, heartfelt film, a young woman has to choose between caring for her aging father or a chance at love.

Mary (Rome Brooks) has spent her entire life caring for her widowed father after he suffered a stroke when she was a little girl. One day Mary meets Cole (Matt Bush, from TV's "The Goldbergs"), a young man passing through her small town on a cross-country road trip, who falls for Mary and asks her to join him on his journey. Now Mary must choose between her deep-felt responsibility to her father or a chance at love.

THE WAKE OF LIGHT has won over 20 Film Festival Awards during its festival run. The film is written, directed, and produced by Renji Phillip and stars Rome Brooks and Matt Bush (“The Goldbergs”). The film has a running time of 80 minutes and will not be rated by the MPAA. The film will have its virtual theatrical release on January 15, 2021 by Laemmle Theaters. It will open on digital platforms on February 15, 2021.

Laemmle Virtual site:

For more information or to view the trailer, go to:

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

My Divorce Party - The Movie Comedy feature about lifelong female friends helping their BFF through divorce! Janeane speaks with Executive Producer and Lead Actress, Desiree Staples

Invest in My Divorce Party - The Movie:
Comedy feature about lifelong female friends helping
their BFF through divorce! | Wefunder

Executive Producer - Divorce Party: The Movie

One of the Producers of "Take Me To Tarzana." Producer of episodic short film selected in Tribeca Film Festival's N.O.W. Showcase 2020. Desiree has acted in multiple award wining and distributed projects, and is a respected actress in the Industry.

Logline: Future divorcee, Xan gathers her closest friends in Joshua Tree to celebrate (or more appropriately sulk in) her impending split. Chaos ensues when she reveals she brought her divorce settlement money to the party with the intention of blowing or burning it all by the weekend’s end.

Synopsis: On the eve of finalizing Alexandra 'Xan' Lynch’s divorce, she decides to gather her closest comrades in Joshua Tree to relax, celebrate, and more appropriately, sulk. The gang arrives at their less than tranquil lodging, an RV park in the middle of nowhere (no, it isn’t a ‘low-key’ chic one). They meet their neighbors Ezekiel, a pansexual hick, and Amara, and an Instagram bohemian hippie (neither are low-key chic either). That evening, Xan drunkenly spirals out of control. She pulls out a bag and begins taking out large amounts of money, throwing it into the fire. Her equally inebriated friends quickly get over their shock and confusion to stop her from burning her entire life savings. She reveals half will be going to her cheating husband come Monday in their divorce settlement. Lines are soon drawn as every friend has a different opinion on what Xan should do with the money.

Samantha, always practical, wants her to invest in a conservative long-term mutual fund. Jasmine, three years in recovery, wants her to selflessly donate all of the money to different women's shelters and nature preserves. Isabella (who is trying to hide her own recent engagement) thinks Xan should use it for her own self-care and Wendy, every group needs a wildcard, just wants her to piss it all away on strippers and drugs. Xan decides to split the cash evenly between each of her friends, with only one caveat: they must spend it all this weekend. They each get to live out their ideal way of helping their friend through this heartbreak. As they spend their way through Joshua Tree the group learns that maybe Xan is not owning up to the whole story and tensions begin to rise. As Xan and her friends’ tensions come to a head, Ezekiel and Amara plot to steal the rest of Xan’s savings. Luckily, like Ezekiel and Amara, the plot wasn’t too deep and the gang quickly sabotages them. Although they were able to band together and dupe the couple’s scam, the damage Xan has done to her friends is irreversible. Xan’s only goal now is to get the few relationships that matter back on track.

Comparable Films:

Divorce Party is a female-driven, fresh, exciting, and hilarious feature film in the same spirit of BRIDESMAIDS, GIRLS TRIP, BOOKSMART, RAISING ARIZONA, ROUGH NIGHT, and more! We think this story is extremely marketable to all women, and our goal is this film be not only relatable to millenials and Gen-X, but women of all ages!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Mike Peters of The Alarm talks about The Love Hope Strength Foundation Announce February 4 “Love Hope Strength Big Night In” - an evening of entertainment on World Cancer Day.

Mike Peters and The Love Hope Strength Foundation Announce 
February 4 “Love Hope Strength Big Night In”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 14, 2021

As part of a day of action organised by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to reduce the global impact of cancer, the Love Hope Strength Foundation (LHS) has announced the “Love Hope Strength Big Night In,” an evening of entertainment on February 4, World Cancer Day.

This hour long special of live and recorded musical performances and inspiring interviews will premiere February 4 at 9pm GMT (4pm EST / 3pm CST / 1pm PST). Mike Peters of The Alarm and other special guests will celebrate progress made in cancer control whilst shining a spotlight on urgent challenges that need to be overcome in the global fight against cancer. Mike himself is a cancer survivor.

A Silent Auction with music memorabilia will be open online for the weeks leading up to the Big Night In, and Love Hope Strength supporters will be encouraged to organise their own Big Nights In to raise money too.

“I live with leukaemia and my wife Jules recently underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy following a breast cancer diagnosis, “said Mike Peters. “Having received excellent care ourselves, we’ve long been advocates of working to ensure that people in low-to-middle income countries can access better cancer treatment, and we remain committed to this. 70% of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle income countries. Less than 30% of low-income countries have cancer treatment services available compared to 90% in high-income countries. This has to change.”

Mike established the Love Hope Strength Cancer Care Foundation (LHS) in the UK and the USA over 15 years ago. LHS has gone on raise over $1 million for cancer programs across the globe and has helped save over 4,500 lives by registered people to become potential blood stem cell donors at gigs and festivals.

“We want to raise money through the Big Night In, so we can collectively support some fantastic hospitals and grass-roots organisations which we know really need help so their patients stand a chance of receiving effective treatment when they receive a cancer diagnosis. We also want to use this opportunity to highlight what we can all do to help stop those preventable cancers from being killers.

“The Big Night In will be fun, and it will be relevant to everyone. We very much believe that cancer isn’t just a critical health issue, it's a human issue that touches all of us.”

“February 4 is World Cancer Day, and it's a special day to us, especially with Love Hope Strength Big Night In," said UICC CEO, Dr. Cary Adams. "Uniting voices, taking collective action, raising the profile of cancer globally for prevention and treatment, patient support, palliative care remains a global priority. Despite Covid pandemic, cancer is still a massive global crisis. At UICC, we are working every day to reduce cancer deaths, promote equity and to ensure that cancer control remains on the global health agenda and the agendas of national governments.

For more information, go to
Follow Love Hope Strength on Twitter @LHSF.

Karishma Muthukumar, a third-year undergraduate at UC Irvine studying cognitive science, talks about her project, Patience and Pandemic

Four months into the stay-at-home orders and campus-wide shift to remote learning, we invited university students to reflect: How do you interpret patience in a pandemic? What is it like to live in suspense? How has staying at home changed your sense of space? Of time? From memories of a different yesterday to plans that were indefinitely postponed, students at the University of California, Irvine share the real experiences of young adulthood during a pandemic. Up-and-coming creatives express their perspectives on a theme that holds space while challenging the reader to urge onwards: to find strength in patience.

Patience and Pandemic Editorial Board, photo taken at the cover launch event
top row (L-R): Dinelli Jinadasa, Karishma Muthukumar, Caitlin Yee
bottom row (L-R): Jazmin Viayra, Meenakshi Chandrasekaran, Anganette Cisneros

Karishma Muthukumar is a third-year undergraduate at UC Irvine studying cognitive science. As the 2019-20 Dalai Lama Scholar, she founded the Patient Project at UC Irvine. Karishma is drawn to the art of stories and the ways in which conversations can heal.

Patience and Pandemic features student reflections on time and space in the context of suspense. Students from all corners of campus respond to the theme. Caitlin Yee, Meenakshi Chandrasekaran, Dinelli Jinadasa, Anganette Cisneros, Jazmin Viayra, and Victoria Sweeny compose the editorial board.

The project was supported by the XIV Dalai Lama Endowed Scholarship Fund and Strauss Foundation.


UCI students publish book about life under quarantine

Patience and Pandemic is a collection of photos, essays and poems

Irvine, Calif., Jan. 7, 2021 – Students from the University of California, Irvine are self-publishing a book about their lives during the COVID-19 crisis. Patience and Pandemic, which is set to be released this month, is a collection of photography, essays and poetry solicited during the summer of 2020 as a way for Anteaters to express themselves during the stay-at-home order.

The organizers originally came together in late 2019 as part of the Patient Project, a UCI compassion-in-action initiative centered around the concept of alleviating anxiety in hospital waiting rooms. Undergraduates aimed to promote conversation and community by waiting alongside patients in healthcare centers. When the pandemic hit, they pivoted to chronicling life under quarantine and its similarities to waiting.

“It’s challenging to be in a waiting room, a place where people often find themselves anxious and alienated, so we wanted students to reimagine what it means to be a patient,” said project founder Karishma Muthukumar, UCI’s 2019-20 Dalai Lama Scholar. “But then COVID-19 happened, and the whole world became a waiting room. So we decided to focus on the experience of being in quarantine.”

In June of 2020, four months into the stay-at-home order and the university wide shift to remote learning, Anteaters were invited to submit artwork and prose on the theme of patience during a global pandemic.

An editorial board made up of seven UCI students pared the 165 entries down to about 50. The resulting book reveals the voices and vulnerabilities of both undergraduate and graduate students, including those from the medical and law schools.

“What they shared for this project is truly remarkable,” said Edgar Dormitorio, UCI’s assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. “The book memorializes the experiences of this generation during the pandemic and conveys their remarkable resiliency despite the challenges.”

Patience and Pandemic launches this month in print form, edited by Muthukumar, a junior in cognitive sciences and biological sciences, and designed by Caitlin Yee, a sophomore in biological sciences. The student editorial board hopes to follow up with an interactive, digital community journal later in the year.

The book is supported by UCI’s XIV Dalai Lama Endowed Scholarship Fund and by the Strauss Foundation. The Patient Project, which became a campus organization in December 2019, will serve as a means of community engagement around Patience and Pandemic.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Coming up at the SHE ROCKS AWARDS, the MAD SKILLS Winner, Ann Mincieli, GRAMMY-winning recording engineer, studio coordinator for Alicia Keys and co-founder of NYC-destination studio Jungle City Studios

Ann Mincieli, Mad Skills Award - GRAMMY-winning recording engineer, studio coordinator for Alicia Keys and co-founder of NYC-destination studio Jungle City

"If you focus on being great, then no matter who you are
and what you want to achieve, your success will follow."

WATCH Alicia Keys on Making 'ALICIA' with Longtime Collaborator and GRAMMY Winning Engineer, Ann Mincieli.

A sought-after recording engineer, Ann Mincieli fell in love with the idea of engineering around 1990. Since then she has worked on albums for the likes of Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Drake, Mariah Carey, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, and Whitney Houston.


Serving as the regular engineer for much of Keys' work, Mincieli earned her first career GRAMMY for Best R&B Album as the engineer on The Diary Of Alicia Keys at the 47th GRAMMY Awards. She earned a second career GRAMMY in the same category at the 56th GRAMMYs for Keys' Girl On Fire.

Mincieli is the co-founder of Jungle City Studios in New York. Thanks to her skill as a sound engineer and her large collection of vintage gear, including a vintage Versatone Bass amp played by the Wrecking Crew's Carol Kaye and 20-plus '70s and '80s era drum machines.

Did you know? According to an interview she did with Atlantic Records, her favorite piece of gear is the Telefunken M16 microphone.

In 2018 Mincieli was featured as part of the Recording Academy's "We Are Music," campaign, which was designed to showcase the creators the Academy represents.

About Ann Mincieli

Ann Mincieli is a renowned Engineer, Mixer, Collaborator and Album Project Manager for Alicia Keys. Since 2018, Mincieli has been involved with She is the Music, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women working in music across all levels. The 2x GRAMMY® winner has worked with some of music’s biggest acts including Mariah Carey and Jay-Z, among others. Mincieli is the owner of Jungle City Studios, which is one of New York’s most elegant and best equipped recording facilities in the world. As a prominent leader in the music industry, Mincieli has been at the forefront of the movement to restore Manhattan to its former prestige as one of the world’s top recording destinations.

Liz Atherton, Founder of CASTVOICES, chats with host Janeane Bernstein


Liz Atherton is a veteran of the talent business with more than thirty years experience as the founder of one of the top talent agencies in the industry, as well as a tech entrepreneur.

Liz started her professional career as a project manager for a Fortune 10 company with world-wide engineering and product reach. However, she was always drawn to the entertainment industry having been raised by arguably the top jingle producer ever, Jodie Lyons. And while her dad would pull her into the studio now and again, Liz’s real interest was in streamlining the business behind the business.

Living in Austin during the heyday of Texas TV and Film production, Liz took her love of talent and technology and founded The Atherton Group (TAG) Talent Agency. TAG grew into one of the top boutique agencies in the U.S. (and one of the first in the world with an online presence). With operations in California, Texas, and Louisiana, and bookings worldwide, TAG consistently appeared in the top 1% list of IMDB’s “power” talent agencies.

Liz sold her interests in TAG in 2018 and founded EANK, Inc., an enterprise business-to-business system comprised of CastVoices, CastActors and ProductionJunction – soon to become the trifecta for securing work in the Film/TV and VO industries. CastVoices, the first vertical, is set to launch this spring as the new “home base” for VO talent, Agents, and Casting Directors.

Liz attended the University of North Texas graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Management with a major in Personnel Management and Organization Behaviour, and minors in Math and Psychology. She currently lives in Austin, Texas, and is the proudest mom of 4 amazing children who have grown up into successful, philanthropic adults, and a dog named Fish!

Liz Atherton - LinkedIn


Excited to share my conversation with Cherie Currie, lead singer for The Runaways, and now a solo artist collaborating with Slash, Brie Darling, Billy Corgan, The Veronicas and more. Cherie will be honored at the 2021 SHE ROCKS AWARDS Friday January 22, 2021!

Cherie Currie’s extraordinary life reads like fiction. From her time as a teenage rock star to becoming an accomplished Chainsaw Carving artist, Cherie has always taken the road less traveled. Cherie was just 15 when she became the lead singer of The Runaways, and within a month the band secured a deal with Mercury Records. After leaving The Runaways, Cherie began a lengthy solo career that includes collaborations with Slash, Brie Darling, Billy Corgan, The Veronicas and more. Her most recent solo album, Blvds of Splendor, touches on her retro appeal while marking the strong foothold Cherie has cultivated in modern mass appeal.

Photo credit: Robert Sebree

Cherie Currie released a new solo album produced by Matt Sorum (Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver). Blvds of Splendor via Blackheart Records in April 2020. 

Click here to watch "Behind The Scenes" footage of Cherie & Matt during the making of the album:

Blvds of Splendor features guest collaborations with Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, Slash and Duff from Guns N’ Roses, as well as Juliette Lewis, Brody Dalle, The Veronicas and drummer Matt Sorum,

Consequence of Sound

Rolling Stone

The special digital only release features three bonus tracks (including a remake of The Runaways classic “Queens of Noise” featuring Brody Dalle, The Veronicas, Juliette Lewis and Matt Sorum paying homage to late Runaways drummer Sandy West). "Queens of Noise" is offered as an instant grat track when you pre-order the album:

View the Queens of Noise Recording Session

Cherie Currie Returns with New Star-Studded Solo Album
“Blvds of Splendor”Set For Release Via Blackheart Records April 28, 2020

Billy Corgan, Slash, Matt Sorum, Duff, Juliette Lewis and more make guest appearances
Digital-Only Release Features Remake of The Runaways Classic “Queens of Noise”

Click here to view In-Studio footage
of “Queens of Noise” Recording Session

Click here to watch "Behind The Scenes" footage of Cherie & Matt during the making of the album:

Los Angeles, CA – April 8, 2020 - 70’s Icon and Ex-Runaways singer Cherie Currie has confirmed a release date for her latest solo project which features a bevy of rocks finest on the new album, Blvds of Splendor. The album is set to be released digitally on April 28, 2018 via Blackheart Records Pre-Order Link and features guest collaborations with Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, Slash and Duff from Guns N’ Roses, as well as Juliette Lewis, Brody Dalle, The Veronicas and ex-Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum, who also produced the set. “Cherie’s voice tells it all, she is the real deal. And now more than ever that voice tells the story of where’s she’s been in her life. This record is about who Cherie Currie is now. We’ve waited a long time to hear this icon of Rock N’ Roll do what she does best. I’m very proud to be a part of this album by one of the best female singers of all time.” said Matt.

Photo credit: Robert Sebree

Blvds of Splendor has been a labor of love as Cherie & Matt originally began work on it back in 2010 when Cherie was promoting The Runaways movie (currently streaming on Netflix) which stars Dakota Fanning as Cherie and Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett. The tracks languished in the vaults for years while Cherie went back to work on her chainsaw carvings (see here: CNN) and did other studio work for 2015’s Reverie release, which features some of the last works of legendary Runaways manager/producer Kim Fowley.

In 2016, Cherie was set to release Blvds of Splendor when she had a near death accident while chainsaw carving falling over 12 feet to the ground off of a hilltop scaffolding. The accident left Cherie with partial facial paralysis and severe head trauma for over 10 months. After her recovery, she met and went in the studio with Fanny drummer & vocalist Brie Darling and in 2019 they released their critically acclaimed The Motivator album via Blue Elan Records. Cherie is back to chainsaw carving again and is ready to finally release Blvds of Splendor. “I’ve never had so much fun making a record before. We all looked at each other and went, ‘Oh my God, there’s magic happening here” Cherie said.

Blvds of Splendor was released on 180 Gram Translucent Red Vinyl for Record Store Day in 2019 with a limited run of 3000 copies. This will be the first time the album is available worldwide digitally for the fans. The digital release features three bonus tracks (including a remake of The Runaways classic “Queens of Noise” featuring Brody Dalle, The Veronicas, Juliette Lewis and Matt Sorum paying homage to late Runaways drummer Sandy West) that were not included on the Record Store Day vinyl release. "Queens of Noise" will be offered as an instant grat track when you pre-order the album: View the Queens of Noise Recording Session

Blvds of Splendor full album track listing

1. Mr. X
2. Roxy Roller
3. You Wreck Me
4. Black Magic
5. Blvds of Splendor
6. Force To Be Reckoned With
7. Bad and Broken
8. Rock & Roll Oblivion
9. Shades
10. Draggin' the Line
11. Breakout
12. The Air That I Breathe
13. What Do All the People Know? – Bonus Track
14. Gimme – Bonus Track

15. Queens of Noise – Bonus Track



American Songwriter Magazine Interview HERE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCTOBER 1, 2020 - Former Runaways vocalist Cherie Currie has released one of her all-time favorite songs with “What The World Needs Now Is Love.”

You can watch the video HERE featuring Cherie and an all-star band all filmed separately in quarantine. Pre-save the single HERE & HERE which will be released Friday, October 2.

This timeless classic written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David and originally recorded by Jackie DeShannon exudes the hopeful message of spreading love into the world with its signature lyric: “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. No not just for some but for everyone.” A message that couldn’t ring more true in these current times.

Cherie says – “Driving back from my sister Marie’s house in Henderson NV over July 4th weekend I was listening to the Forrest Gump soundtrack Marie had gifted me. When “What the World Needs Now Is Love” came on I put it on repeat to sing along. I was struck with how prevalent this song is, especially today. Right at that moment Dave Schulz called me and I shared my thoughts on the song. “Let’s do it!” and Dave set off on making this possible. His talent as a producer and player are so obvious as to why he has had the successful career he has. Dave Schulz brought in wonderful players! Even the violinist who worked with Burt Bacharach. The final key was reaching out to my long time friend, vocalist Julie Ragins to complete the chill factor on the end of the song. My dear friend and publicist Ken Phillips was onboard from the start stating this was a timeless song in a time where what we REALLY need is love. Love created this. From our hearts to the world. Love really is the answer!”

The track was produced by keyboardist /vocalist Dave Schulz (Goo Goo Dolls, Berlin, The Sweet, Wang Chung), who selected a few of his supremely talented A-list musician friends for the occasion.

“During the lockdown, I have been producing an entertaining and quirky series of "quarantine style" songs/videos for my youtube channel and had randomly said to Cherie "Let’s do a duet!" She immediately got excited because she happened to be driving along at that exact moment ...and had heard "What The World Needs Now Is Love" (Jackie DeShannon's version of the Burt Bacharach classic) in her car and thought what a great message that would be for our times. Of course I was ecstatic at the idea. I'm a HUGE Burt Bacharach fan and couldn’t agree with her more. I immediately enlisted a few of my favorite session musicians / friends. It truly was a blast to create and I think it’s great for Cherie, especially, since it’s not something her fans will expect from her. We're so excited about it...we may even do an entire album like this! – says Dave

Bass - Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, John Lennon)

Drums - Randy Cooke (Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart, Five For Fighting, Colbie Caillat)

Strings - Eliza James (Burt Bacharach, Paul Anka)

Backing Vocals - Sharlotte Gibson (Nine Inch Nails, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey) and

Julie Ragins (Moody Blues, Queen Latifah) with strings recorded by Matthew King Ross (David Foster, Barbara Streisand). Audio mixed & video edited by Sammy Burke

Follow Cherie Currie:



Cherie Currie Official Website:

Learn more about Cherie and her chainsaw carving here:

Album cover photo credit: Robert Sebree

For interview opportunities with Cherie Currie and Matt Sorum

please contact: and

Friday, January 22, 2021

Janeane speaks with Starr Parodi, an innovative solo artist, pianist, multi award-winning composer and producer. She is also an honoree in the 2021 SHE ROCKS AWARDS!

Starr Parodi first entered the public eye playing keyboards as part of the house band on the hit late-night Arsenio Hall Show and has played, toured or recorded with a wide array of artists including Carole King, George Howard, BB King and Mavis Staples. Since then she has become a vibrant part of the Los Angeles composing community, scoring hundreds of episodes of TV & film as well as being a passionate and innovative solo artist, pianist and producer whose work has been featured on NPR, The BBC, KCRW and iHEART Radio. 

As a multi award-winning composer, Starr has had her symphonic works premiered at Lincoln Center, received a gold record for her production/arrangement of the James Bond Theme and is the first woman to have her compositions performed in the 87-year history of the Festival of Arts-Pageant of the Masters where she is currently a featured composer. Starr is also currently president of the Alliance for Women Film Composers and champions opportunities for women in film and TV.

READ her full bio here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Laura B. Whitmore, Founder of The Women’s International Music Network™ (The WiMN) and the SHE ROCKS AWARDS - Coming up January 22, 2021! RSVP NOW!

Laura B. Whitmore, Founder of The Women’s International
Music Network™ (The WiMN) and the SHE ROCKS AWARDS 

The She Rocks Awards honors women in the music & audio industries.

Join the event live on Friday, January 22, 2021
Pre-show: 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET Awards begin 6:30pm PT / 9:30pm ET

The Women’s International Music Network™ (The WiMN) brings women from all facets of the music industry. The organization produces events, creates opportunities for performance and networking and works to bring the conversation around diversity in the industry into the forefront. The WiMN seeks to create a hub to connect women in all facets of the music industry and works to expose role models, events and educational opportunities that focus on women in music.

Founded in 2012 by Laura B. Whitmore, a veteran marketer of the musical instrument and audio industries, the Women’s International Music Network site ( hosts interveiws, news, events, and a community forum for women from all walks of the industry. In 2020 they will launch the new She Rocks Podcast, featuring interviews with women in music.

SHE ROCKS 2021 Honorees! See the LIST!


Founded in 2012 by the Women’s International Music Network, the She Rocks Awards honors trailblazing women from all areas of the industry– from educators, to label execs, manufacturers, non-profits, media, performers, engineers, and more. Past honorees include Melissa Etheridge, Gloria Gaynor, Tal Wilkenfeld, Nita Strauss, Pat Benatar, The Bangles, Suzi Quatro, The B-52s, Colbie Caillat, Sheila E., Linda Perry, Chaka Khan, Ronnie Spector, Lita Ford, Esperanza Spalding, Shirley Manson and many others. A complete list of previous honorees is here.

Each year, the She Rocks Awards attracts music icons, artists, industry professionals, fans and media for a one-of-a-kind event that shines the spotlight on women who stand out in the industry, and offers a high energy evening of performances, networking opportunities, giveaways, a silent auction and more.

Questions or comments? Contact us at

Laura B. Whitmore is a graduate of Hofstra University with a B.S. in Music Merchandising and an M.B.A. in Marketing. As the marketing manager for Korg USA for 20 years, she was instrumental in marketing, PR and artist relations for the Korg, Marshall, and VOX brands. She was also editor of Korg’s ProView Magazine. Prior to that, she worked in the Direct Marketing department of CBS Records.

In 2008 Whitmore left Korg USA and founded Mad Sun Marketing, a boutique agency that specializes in marketing, PR, artist relations, event production, graphic design, and more for music and audio companies. Past and current clients of Mad Sun include Positive Grid, ArtistWorks, 108 Rock Star Guitars, Academic Superstore, Acoustic Amplification, Agile Partners, Breedlove Guitars, Colby Amplifiers, Dean Markley USA, Korg, KVRaudio, MusicFirst, Muse Research, NewBay Media, Notion Music, Peavey, SIR Entertainment Services, SIR Stage37, SoundTree, Sterling Audio, Take Me To The River, and more.

Today she is the Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, an innovative, forward-thinking music industry hardware and software company.

Whitmore was the editor of Guitar World’s and the creator of the featured blog series, Guitar Girl’d. She writes regularly for industry media outlets including, Guitar World, Acoustic Guitar, MI Professional, In Tune and more. Whitmore has hosted and moderated many workshops and panels at events such as NAMM, Digital Hollywood, and SXSW on the topics of women in music, marketing, PR, apps and music making, songwriting, and more.

In 2015 she and Brad Tolinski (former editor of Guitar World) launched a live event series called BackStory ( that is streamed live with major media partners like Guitar World, and Guests have included Ringo Starr, Andy Grammer, Paula Cole, Orianthi, Colbie Caillat, Amy Lee, Ace Frehley, Roger Waters, Zakk Wylde, Tom Jones and many more.

Whitmore is a also a singer/songwriter and acoustic guitarist. She and her co-writer Jenna Paone will be releasing an album in 2020. She currently lives in Massachusetts and has two amazing children, Emma and Cole, and two sweet little dogs, Zillie and Luna.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

RSVP TO WATCH THE SHE ROCKS AWARDS This Friday, January 22, 2021 Sponsored by Positive Grid

The She Rocks Awards honors women 
in the music & audio industries.
Join us live on Friday, January 22, 2021
Pre-show: 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET Awards 
begin 6:30pm PT / 9:30pm ET

Register to watch it live:

This Friday, January 22, 2021

Sponsored by Positive Grid

The 9th Annual She Rocks Awards is just days away! Our honoree and performer lineup includes Nancy Wilson of Heart, The Go-Go’s, Cherie Currie; drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, Evanescence front woman Amy Lee, comedian Margaret Cho, and many other amazing female role models. Join us for this year's fabulous online show hosted by Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), pre-show hosted by Lyndsey Parker (Yahoo Entertainment/ SiriusXM) with opening act Magnolia Boulevard sponsored by PRS Guitars. Plus, we have a few surprise guest appearances in store! 

The She Rocks Awards will stream live on Friday January 22, 2021. The event begins with our virtual red carpet at 5pm PT/8pm ET hosted by John Stapleton of M.A.C Cosmetics, followed by the pre-show starting at 6pm PT/9pm ET. The awards ceremony begins at 6:30pm PT/9:30pm ET on Believeinmusic.TV, and AXS.TV. Click below and RSVP for the link to watch the show!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Author Abbey Lee Nash joins host Janeane Bernstein on KUCI 88.9fm

Born to parents with a serious case of “wanderlust,” Abbey Lee Nash has lived in some pretty interesting places, including on a Christian farming commune in rural Georgia, above a third-world craft store in Kentucky, and on a Salvation Army retreat center in the Pennsylvania mountains. She currently lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, two daughters, and one very rambunctious Australian Shepherd. When she’s not writing, she loves talking about writing and reading other people’s writing—especially contemporary YA. Abbey is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. LIFELINE is her first novel.

Abbey Lee Nash debuts with a new voice along the lines of Jennifer Niven, Sharon M. Draper, and John Green, in Lifeline, a gorgeously written tale that plunges the reader into the life of popular high school senior Eli Ross who has everything...

...until an overdose at a party takes it all away.

After nearly dying in the ER, Eli agrees to go to LakeShore Recovery Center, an inpatient substance abuse treatment program where he'll spend the next 28 days.

It's there that Eli meets Libby, the sharp-edged artist, whose freshly tattooed scars mirror the emotional scars Eli tries his best to ignore. Eli soon learns that if he's to have any chance at a future, he'll first have to confront his past.

Abbey skillfully weaves a tight story and unforgettable characters together to create a novel that is honest, raw, funny, heartbreaking, and hopeful and will ultimately have you turning pages throughout the night.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Coming up on KUCI 88.9fm -- Matchmaker/Dating Coach, Julia Bendis, talks about her business ‘Match by Julia,' her NEW book, and how her traditional approach to dating has brought love to so many lives

No Smiling Allowed: Growing Up in Soviet Russia
and Other Funny 
Stories from a
Jewish Immigrant
by Julia Bendis

No Smiling Allowed is a comedic take on life in the former Soviet Union, as an immigrant in America. Julia Bendis has compiled many years of funny stories about her old-fashioned and traditional Russian parents, their understanding of how life works in the United States, their hilarious adventures, and her own younger generation's view of what it was like to blend in as a weird-looking kid from Russia. The audiobook follows Julia and her family from their life in Riga, Latvia, which was part of the former Soviet Union, through their move to California and all the adventures in between. Who knew that assimilation in a new country could have so many hilarious twists and turns? "Grandma started running around with a metal pot, asking all the neighborhood kids to sit and pee in it. That's a sight I will never forget. She was a tough Ukrainian Jew that survived the war, so no kid wanted to ask questions. They just sat on it and peed in that pot".

Visit Amazon

Julia Bendis shares her backstory

I was born in the Former Soviet Union, and moved to the U.S. in 1989 when I was 13 years old, which was also right before the fall of Communism. I still speak and write fluently in Russian language. I'm also Jewish, so this makes me a true "Fiddler on the Roof" Matchmaker :)

Growing up in Communism was difficult not only because you didn’t have personal freedom, but also because we lacked many things. Food was hard to come by, waiting in lines only to find out they ran out of things was a daily struggle. Even though life wasn’t easy, my family was still able to enjoy the little things like each other and bringing people together. As long as I can remember the women in my family did two major things: cook and introduce people to one another. My Mother matched people up back in Russia as well and have counted numerous weddings and babies as a result. Once we moved to the U.S. her Matchmaking took a back seat in order to help my Father provide for us. That’s when I took over in a way. My first match was when I was in high school, and the couple went out for about 3 years.

I’ve always known that I had a keen intuition of who would be great with whom, and my ability to read people only developed even stronger as I got older and living in a whole new country. This intuition and my Grandmother’s wisdom has guided and helped me over all these years, and I continue to use her wise words and advice to this day.

The History of Match by Julia and Matchmaking in general

Matchmaking has been a huge part of Russian and Jewish culture for many generations, and in my family in particular. Jewish women in Russia and Poland have always gathered together in villages to bring single men and women together. In the beginning it was definitely something that was arranged by the parents and grandparents, and most people had arranged marriages. Over time as the culture and religion evolved, single people wanted to give their input in what type of partner they wanted. So these so-called Matchmakers would sit down with the families to share their “files” on who was single in their town or village, and give information about their families. Once people started to move further away from their families, the art-form of “Matchmaking” started to die down. And of course with new technology, people didn’t want outside help when it came to their love-life. However, these days more and more people find themselves not only too busy to go out and meet people, but are overwhelmed with the amount of choices when it comes to online dating, bars, night-life and the lack of time to be able to pursue the different avenues of meeting a partner. That’s why old-world Matchmaking, with a new and revised traditions are even more helpful today. Instead of people meeting strangers online, seeing pictures and profiles that could be completely fake and wrong for them, I meet with every single person and screen them prior to setting them up on dates.

There’s a big difference in meeting someone in person versus behind a computer looking at touched up pictures, and written profiles that may only be words and not reality.

How Match by Julia works and relates to today’s dating scene

I bring my culture, my upbringing and my realistic view on life and relationships to the people I work with.

My style is very unique since I don't try and change people like other so-called Matchmakers on TV, I don't yell or berate people. However, I do tell every client to be realistic in their search for love and more importantly open-minded to any and all possibilities. I teach them to forget their list of must-haves in a partner, and open their eyes to all potential matches.

I have a realistic view on relationships, dating and what work and what doesn't, which is something I help my clients learn and understand. I love talking to and helping people. I live for love, and think everyone deserves to be loved and have a partner in life, no matter what age they are. My clients range in age from 23 to 84.

I founded Match by Julia and after many years of fixing people up for fun, and satisfaction of seeing people happy and in love. I started bringing people together as a teenager, and continued all the way until I got married and had my own kids. After many years I realized that I was spending more time bringing people together than any other job I had, and it was the most satisfaction that I’ve ever known as well. Matchmaking has not only been my work, but part of my daily life as well. I have always taken the time to make a deep connection with every person I’ve come in contact with, making it a priority to remember each one. With every new client, I get to know them on a personal level, their needs, wants and desires for their future mate. After the initial meeting, start researching, interviewing, and screening people that are either in my database or by meeting and recruiting new clientele.

Match by Julia is a traditional and personalized matchmaking service that caters to anyone wanting to find their other half. Every match is hand-picked, through a one-on-one process that pays great detail to your specific needs. I work with both female and male clients in Orange County.

How to contact Julia:

Julia Bendis
matchmaker I author I relationship coach
949.648.4300 Tel

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

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