Sunday, May 11, 2014

Michael Sam: NFL's First Openly Gay Player

It's official, history is made: Michael Sam is the first openly gay man to be in the National Football League! 

Photo Credit: CBS Sports

The news came to Michael on Saturday evening as he sat with his boyfriend looking courageous despite not hearing his name being called as the seventh round picks began being named. Although he looked confident and strong, I was getting worried. Why was the SEC co-defensive player of the year in 2013 not chosen in the second or third round? He's all the things you'd like to see in an NFL player: talented, respectful, classy, motivated, multi-dimensional, and smart. This was very obvious to me when I met him a few weeks ago in Los Angeles, California with his adorable boyfriend, Vito Cammisano.


Yes, his name was called late but the important thing is that Michael Sam made it into the NFL! The St. Louis Rams are lucky to have such a great football player. I know coach Jeff Fisher will handle the situation with dignity and grace.

Congrats, Michael Sam!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

KingBach: The Set of "Happy" Parody with Bart Baker!

Get ready, peeps, because two celebrities are coming together to make a hilarious video and I guarantee it's going to go viral! 

Andrew Bachelor (#KingBach)

and

#Bart Baker

Bart Baker is known as the King of Parodies and recently had his parody of Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" go viral. Andrew Bachelor is known as the King of Vine and also stars in several television shows. They are teaming up to a parody music video of Pharrell's huge hit song, "Happy". I was on set to film behind-the-scenes footage of Andrew Bachelor for his fans. Here are a few pictures I captured. Make sure to watch out for their video, which will be out this Saturday. Links are at the end of this post!

 
Andrew Bachelor signing a picture for one of his fans.
         
Bart Baker during a break.  
Andrew Bachelor thinking about his dance moves.
 The set!
 Some of the actors from the video.
 Andrew Bachelor during a break. The man never stops working!
 Andrew Bachelor dancing for the camera.
 Bart Baker as he thinks about the next scene.
Me looking like a dork. 




Links: 





Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lauren Hamilton Featured at UCLA's Career Week!

I'm excited to say that I will be a part of UCLA's Career Week in April! I will be at various events as well as on a panel with other industry professionals. 


This is an honor for me and I'm excited to be a part of the panel. My book, How to Get Real About Dating, is also being sold in UCLA's book store. Feel free to join me at the event and also pop in and purchase a book.


You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lauren Hamilton at LAweb Fest March 26-30, 2014!



PRESS RELEASE

Lauren Hamilton ("Single_Never_Married") Creator-Writer-Producer Joins the LGBT Panel at the LAweb Fest March 26-30, 2014




Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/21/2014 -- Lauren Hamilton will be featured on two panels at the world's largest and oldest web festival, LAweb Fest. The first panel, Fight the Power, takes place on Friday, March 28th from 4-5PM. It will focus on how talented writers, directors and actors in the LGBT community are using web series to tell their stories in ways television and film are not. Women Warriors of the L.A. Web Series Scene is the second panel Lauren will be a part of and takes place on Sunday, March 30th from 5-6PM. Lauren will discuss topics relating to her web show, Single_Never_Married,and answer questions from the audience. 

Both panels will be held at the Radisson Hotel at LAX. Screenings of Lauren's web show, Single_Never_Married, take place on Thursday, March 27 at 6PM and Sunday, March 30 at 12PM. For a full list of events and more information about purchasing tickets, please visit the website at LAwebFest.com. 

Lauren said, "I'm excited to share my experiences as an African-American lesbian woman who has a passion for making original web content. The LAweb Fest is celebrating its 5th year and people from all over the world will be in attendance to share their work. I'm honored to be a part of the prestigious event." 

Single_Never_Married is inspired by the book Lauren co-wrote with her father, William Hamilton, entitled How to Get Real About Dating: A Father and Daughter's Guide to Finding Love at Any Age. Books will be sold at both panels where you can get a signed copy from Lauren Hamilton.

About Lauren Hamilton
As a young girl, Lauren had a love for story telling and knew she wanted to inspire people with her words. After attending New York University and participating in the Chris Rock/Comedy Central Writing Program, she co-wrote a book with a father about dating that landed them on The Ricki Lake Show. Now Lauren spends her time creating web content and blogging for various websites and companies.

LAweb Fest
Established in 2010 by Emmy-winning producer and playwright Michael Ajakwe Jr., LAweb Fest has grown to become an international destination spot for the web series industry as thousands flock to Los Angeles each year from all over the world to showcase, study, and celebrate great web shows.



Link to Press Release.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Single_Never_Married Official Selection in LAweb Fest.

My original web show, Single_Never_Married, is an official selection in the largest web series festival in the world: LAweb Fest.

LAweb Fest will be later this month and I will post all of the details as soon as I know screening times. I am very excited about having the opportunity to network with people from all over the world as well as see awesome web shows.

Thank you everyone for your support!

#WillP TV

Friday, January 24, 2014

Rescue A Dog!

Training a dog can be challenging.

video


But, having one is the greatest thing in the world! Violet is my best friend. Want a dog? Consider rescuing one instead of going through a breeder. There are a lot of amazing dogs in shelters, such as mine.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

10 Tips to Moderate Your Event Successfully.

I will be moderating a panel at UCLA called, Images in Blackness. It's featuring Lena Waithe and Justin Simien. I am very impressed by these two individuals and can't wait to learn more about them! I was asked to moderate this panel after the director saw that my web show, Single_Never_Married, was announced as an official selection in LAweb Festival. If you haven't already seen the show, here's the first episode:



The process of preparing for this panel discussion has been a long and arduous task, but I feel ready. In order to moderate an event well, you have to have a strategy in place and excellent time management skills. Since I didn't have anyone to help me the first time I moderated, I wanted to write this blog post to help those of you who may be doing this in the future.


10 Tips to Moderate Your Event Successfully

1) Research the Panelists
On average, I start to research the panelists 2-3 weeks prior to the event. In the beginning, I only lightly read the things I find to slowly familiarize myself with them. After that, around two weeks before the event, I go deeper into their work and professional experience. I also start to take notes using Word, which I will incorporate into my outline for the actual event. When it's a week before, I already have pages of notes about each panelist and can easily--off the cuff--tell a stranger their biography. Yes, I know it sounds like it may be too much, but you want to over prepare rather than under prepare. Why? If you're at the event and don't know anything about the panelists, your credibility is immediately destroyed. 

2) Know Your Audience
The first thing I research before agreeing to moderate an event is the audience. Luckily, you usually know what the audience will be like once you know the venue and event. For example, as I prepare to moderate the event at UCLA, I can automatically assume that there will be college students, professors, and faculty members in the audience. So, with that information, I am now able to shape my questions and content. I urge you to take time to really think about your audience and what you want them to get from the panelists. My goal at the UCLA event, since the panelists have a lot of web experience, is to ask various questions about how young individuals can get started making online content. I also have a set of questions geared to the professors and faculty members. You must know who is sitting in front of you!

3) Prepare Questions
Prepare more questions than you'll need. I often practice in front of my father who was a SVP of a major company back in the day and has experience public speaking. When I was getting ready for my first panel I said, "It's a short discussion; I won't need a lot of questions." My father said, "If you have twenty questions, you should have forty ready to ask." That was some of the best advice ever! Coincidentally, the audience wasn't talkative or asking questions, so I would have been in a tough situation if I only had twenty questions prepared.
How many questions do you need? For every hour of the event, write out at least 15 questions. So, if the event is from 7-10, have 45 questions prepared. That way, if something goes wrong or if you have extra time, you aren't thrown off your game. 

4) Type Everything Out 
Please do this. I don't care if you've practiced five hundred times in front of your dog; you will need this paper because we all are capable of forgetting. Sometimes when I get on a stage, my nerves get to me and I blank out. But when I remember I have that piece of paper, I feel relieved. Sometimes I still need to bust it out, but usually I don't. There's something about knowing you can fall back on it that helps. Anything you can do that'll make you feel more at ease, do it!

5) Practice, Practice, Practice 
Practice even when you feel like it's perfect. Then, practice again and again and again. If you're new to moderating, I would say going over everything from top to bottom in front of 5-10 people is best. If you're experienced, still do it. No one is immune to mistakes, nerves, and needing a little support.

6) Get to the Venue Early
So, you live only five miles away and know the venue like the back of your hand? That doesn't matter; still plan on arriving an hour early. You never know what may come up.
Since I live in Los Angeles, parking is always a challenge. For a recent panel I was moderating, I left an hour and a half early to go 6 miles. I arrived at the location over an hour early but couldn't find parking. After an hour and on the brink of being late, I finally found a space. If I didn't have that cushion, I would have missed the event!
Also, being there early allows you the chance to get used to the room. Where's the nearest clock? How big is the room? Is it too hot or cold? How many people are in the audience? Do you have a projector or any other equipment you can utilize?

7) Be Cool and Be Real
Be yourself. Don't try to act or be someone you're not. Just know that who you are is perfect and that you were hired to moderate because you're awesome. I know that is can be nerve racking and sometimes you may wonder if you can do it. You can. Remain relaxed and calm. If you need to meditate, chant, or take a shot before the event, go ahead and do it. I guarantee the audience will respond better when you let your guard down and act as you normally do.

8) Stay on Schedule
It's easy to start the event and get lost in what the panelists are saying, or simply lose track of time. You won't always have the director of the event to keep you on schedule, or some random intern. So, that means as you practice, you must practice with time in mind. Yes, use a stop watch. Make sure you have an idea of how long a panelist gets to speak for each question. 
That's why getting to the venue early is so critical. If you don't see a clock nearby, you'll have time to find one and place it in a good area.

9) Don't Force it
Sometimes you'll be moderating an event and the audience won't give you anything! Meaning, you will hear silence. You can't yell at them and say, "Ask a question!" That would be rude. So, you have a few options: start asking questions or create a new conversation with the panelists. I would recommend going into questions when the audience is silent; usually, they will feel inspired to eventually say or ask something. 

10) 'Thank' Everyone
When the event is over, offer your gratitude to the panelists and the audience. Go up to the panelists and express this, and also e-mail each one after the event. Also, make sure to e-mail the person who asked you to moderate the event. Professionalism is key. That's how you stand out as well. When you do a great job moderating plus you're professional and humble, people want to work with you again. Make contacts, network, and be gracious. It can lead to more work and more money. Who doesn't like money?

I hope these tips helped! Have you ever moderated an event? If so, how did it go? Share your stories and experiences. I'd love to hear them! And if there's anything else you want to add, feel free to do so!