My Interview with Mary C

Written by Suzanne on August 10, 2008 – 2:16 pm -

mc_1_dress-goldvine-vibe2textcopy_copy.jpg About a year ago, I was searching MySpace for new music and luckily I found Mary C. I’ve been grooving to her music ever since, rocking with the beats and rolling to the vibe of her melodic voice. The best of soul, R&B and pop are harmonized with her unique style. As a songwriter she taps into urban pop, while her sultry voice brings a soulful sound to her catchy lyrics.

At a young age Mary started writing, singing and made her film debut in The Breakfast Club alongside her brother Anthony Michael Hall, playing the sister to Brian Johnson, aka The Brain. Their mother was cast as Brian’s mom. These days she performs to sold out shows throughout New York City and she’s putting the final touches on her upcoming album “UnExpected.”

I wanted to find out more about this talented singer and songwriter. Here is my interview with Mary C.

HIH:  When did you decide being a vocalist was the path for you?

Mary C:  I grew up around music my whole life. My mother is a Jazz recording artist- Mercedes Hall.
My mom had me singing scales at the age of 5- from there I went on writing my own songs, playing Piano and singing!

HIH: You’re a native New Yorker and you play to sold out clubs like Joe’s Pub, and The Bitter End. You also performed at the ING New York City Marathon to a crowd of over 40,000 runners and participants. Do you have to perform differently in an intimate setting compared to such a massive crowd?

Mary C: I love playing intimate sets- you really get to connect with your audience that way. Because I’m a songwriter, it’s important for me to really have my lyrics reach each person in the audience. And I love to see in the moment reactions & responses from my performances.

HIH: Your mother Mercedes Hall is a jazz singer, and vocal coach. How has she influenced your singing career?

Mary C:  My mom really layed down the foundation of musicianship for me. She exposed me to all genres of music at a young age. Which has been an integral part of my growth as a singer/songwriter.

HIH:   You were a little girl when your older brother Anthony Michael Hall was having such success with all the John Hughes films like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Weird Science. What was it like growing up with a famous teen brother?

Mary C: My parents did a great job of keeping BALANCE in our house. For both my brother and myself. So even when Michael was in a hit movie- he was still responsible for taking out the trash!

HIH: I love visiting your MySpace page and grooving to all your profile tunes but is there a place I can buy an album or mp3′s?

Mary C: Currently I’m finishing up the recording and mastering of my debut penned album, ‘UnExpected’. I’m hoping to have it out by the fall. But keep checking back on my Myspace page for more details! I also post new songs monthly!

HIH: What are some of your favorite recording artists past and present?

Mary C: There are sooo many! And because I’m truly inspired by all types of music, it’s beyond difficult to just name a few. But I’ll do my best! Christina Aguliera – for her amazing vocal range and control. Joss Stone for breathing new life into an ‘old’ sound. The Roots- for bringing LIVE Hip Hop to the fore front & showing that Hip Hop can have musicality. James Brown- for the soul! Prince- for the PURE funk and forward thinking of music. I love risk takers… and of course my mom, Jazz singer Mercedes Hall – her vocal phrasing is untouchable!

HIH: Do you have any other passions besides music?

Mary C: I love to write. I grew up writing in my music journal. Not only songs, but stories, poetry.
I’m a HUGE Movie lover. I grew up around the film business- so that’s always been an interest of mine.

HIH: I read that you are also a songwriter. How many of your songs do you write?

Mary C: I write all of my songs- I sometimes collaborate with other songwriters which can be a cool experience too. You get a different perspective on a lyric or an idea. The blending of two worlds musically can be great if it clicks! But for the most part, I write alone.

HIH: What are your influences besides R&B and Jazz?

Mary C: Anything SOULFUL I’m influenced by. And that’s not just rooted from ‘R&B and Jazz’. Although that’s where a good portion of my influence is from. I’m also influenced by Funk, Hip Hop, Classical, Folk (love Jack Johnson!) and even some country. Country music has some of the best songwriting you will hear!

HIH: You live in New York but where else do you like to perform?

Mary C: My base is definately in NY. I’m a true NYC girl! But I do try and extend my reach- it’s all about sharing the music as widely as you can! So, if anyone wants me to perform in your town or city… LET US KNOW!! :)

“Why You Blamin Me”

www.myspace.com/marycmusic

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5 Reasons I Like MySpace

Written by Suzanne on August 7, 2008 – 12:00 pm -

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This might be a controversial topic for some because I’ve met more than a few people that despise MySpace. Mention you have an account and they’ll shake their heads at how stupid they think you must be. If you’re over 30 you might even get more than a good head shaking.

Logging into MySpace is one of the first things I do every morning and here are some reasons why.

5 reasons I like Myspace:

1. Music

I’ve found so many great new artists, like The Rayees, while hopping from friend to friend, or searching for music through MySpace listings. You can find out more about The Rayees under my Interviews Category. Adding songs to my profile is one of my favorite things to do on the web, besides hearing songs on my friends profile pages of course.

2. Visuals

Adding photos from my Photobucket account, or videos from YouTube makes my MySpace, my space. Photographers, and artists can use their profile page like a window to an internet art gallery. My alter ego and great logo was designed by an artist I met through MySpace named George Davis.

I found Mario Della Casa, the celebrity artist and Jeannie bottle maker, while I was looking at  his friend Anthony Michael Hall’s  MySpace page. Go to my Interviews Category to read more about Mario.

3. Networking

Before having my own site I never understood the concept of networking through a social network. Now I can see how amazing it can be. I make a friend with you, you make a friend with me, your friend tells their friends, my friends tells their friends, and we do it so effortlessly while listening, viewing and reading information about one another. Sort of like the old Faberge commercial remember… you’ll tell 2 friends and they’ll tell 2 friends, now you got it, and so on…

4. Bulletins

These are a nifty MySpace feature that many of my friends use daily. It’s a great way to tell everyone what you are up to, what you are going to do and anything you want to shout out. John Cusack uses bulletins quite often to let War, Inc. movie fans know the latest news about the film. Check out my review of War, Inc. under my Reviews Category.

5. Blogging

The blog section is a great place to share ideas, thoughts, and information with people. I use it to let my MySpace friends know what’s been happening on Housewife in Hollywood.com. For people who don’t want their own blog site it’s a nifty way to have the blogging experience without having their own site to manage.

I’m on Facebook but it’s not visual enough for me and the drop down menus drive me a bit nutty. Not to mention all the little applications that can be added, I just can’t keep up. I do have an account but if I had to choose I’d go with MySpace.
Check out this Facebook song by Rhett & Link.

Suzanne Hamilton's Facebook profile

Visit me at myspace.com/bippityboppityblog

So how about you? What’s your social network preference?

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Message in a Jeannie Bottle: My Interview with Mario Della Casa

Written by Suzanne on July 19, 2008 – 6:34 am -

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I grew up watching re-runs of I Dream of Jeannie, wishing that I lived in that lavish bottle, and could bob my ponytail and make wishes come true. Come to think of it, I still wish I could do that.

Jeannie’s bottle was not only comfy and fun on the inside it was stunning on the outside, with ornate designs and mystical colors of purple, pink and gold. I know I can’t magically poof my way into one of these beautiful bottles but I found out I can own one of them. Thanks to Mario Della Casa, I can purchase my very own Jeannie Bottle. You can too!

I wanted to find out more about Mario Della Casa, the Jeannie Bottle maker. Mario is also an amazing artist, creating exclusive paintings for celebrities and anyone looking for their own elegant painting.

Learn more about Mario and his artwork by reading my interview with him:

HIH: I loved and still love watching re-runs of I Dream of Jeannie. I imagine you are a fan of the show since you create intricate Jeannie bottles. Can you explain how you went from being a fan of the show to making official bottles as custom artwork?

Mario: One of my fondest and earliest memories is watching the show while it was originally aired in black and white. Some things just stay with you for life, and Jeannie is one of them.

From that day on, I was hooked!!! I Loved Jeannie, but even more…. I JUST HAD TO HAVE THAT BOTTLE!

I knew that I probably wasn’t the only one who might want a Jeannie bottle of my very own, so I decided to make other fans’ dreams come true by making them! The look of amazement when friends and family would walk into my home and discover Jeannie’s Bottle sitting right there on my fireplace mantel is something I still get a kick out of every single time it happens! It’s truly unbelievable.

As a fellow I Dream of Jeannie fan I am sure you can understand that there will be no better feeling than to hold your very own Jeannie bottle for the very first time, pulling off the top and making that first wish! It’s a major rush!

I believe the world would be a better place, if everyone’s wishes came true. I believe in my own small way I am helping dreams & wishes come true when I create this stunning magical bottle. As an artist I find it a very rewarding challenge to be able to create such a masterpiece. A lot of time, thought, dedication and LOVE goes into making each one, its truly a work of art.

My Gallery Bottles are handcrafted and created in BRASS so they will last forever and will NOT BREAK! They really are truly outstanding, and even Ms. Barbara Eden, Mr. Larry Hagman & Mr. Bill Daily Own My Collection.

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On a personal note, what I do is more than just making a bottle. It’s all about having you hold it – making all those childhood dreams and heart filled wishes you ever wanted to make. To have your mind and soul slip back in time and actually re-live those happier days.

Most of all, I want to bring back Magic into your lives. My reward is watching that smile appear on your face, believing that wishes DO come true. If this is accomplished, then one of my own wishes have come true.

Professionally I wear many hats, Not only am I am an Artist of The I Dream of Jeannie Bottle and the owner of www.JeannieBottles.com I am also a Celebrity Artist and the owner of www.ElegantPaintings.com and if that weren’t enough, I am also a celebrity booking agent :)

There’s a video online that you can see that will show you more about me, which is at
http://www.elegantpaintings.com/index_video.html

HIH: What does the cast of I Dream of Jeannie think of your bottles?

Mario: The Cast loves my Bottles, I am the only Artist in History ever awarded the license to create The Authorized I dream of Jeannie Bottle, Barbara is a Classy Lady, and Larry & Bill are very close and dear friends of mine, so I am very lucky to have the endorsement of the cast of I Dream of Jeannie.

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HIH: I believe that retro television has its own artistic merit because it can evoke many feelings in a person. It can also have somewhat of a social commentary. What are some of your favorite television shows from decades past that spark your emotions?

Mario: Bewitched, Nanny & the Professor, I Love Lucy, The Munsters, Lost In Space, Every one of these shows had Magic, Fantasy, and fun in them and it really allowed me to explore my inner-self. If it were not for these shows I would have definitely taken another path in life I’m sure.

HIH: You and your Jeannie bottles were featured on the TV Land Awards. That would be a great show to attend, especially for a pop culture junkie like me. What was your experience like?

Mario: My bottles did not only feature on TVLAND, but I was the Artist for the award bottle. Every person that won the award and all the actors that attended the show also received my bottle. It’s always a wonderful & magical experience, to attend red carpet events, I have been to many.

Not only has my bottle been featured on TVLAND but I have shared my unique expertise of Hollywood art with a truly exclusive clientele that includes Hollywood superstars, Major players in the motion picture and television industries, chief executive officers of U.S. and international corporations, authors, judges, legislators. My work has been exhibited in the United States, throughout the United Kingdom and Australia, as well as having been featured on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, A&E BIOGRAPHY, and on the TV Land Television Network. I have also created unique art pieces for numerous national commercials, magazines and currently appearing on LifetimeTV’s “Life among the Dead” Staring Lisa Williams.

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HIH: I’ve read that people who receive your paintings think you have tapped into the memories & spirit of the subjects you paint. Do you feel a spiritual connection while you are painting?

Mario: I wouldn’t call it spiritual connection, but I do enter a ZONE while I am painting, and I am not happy until the painting is pure perfection.

HIH: At what age did you realize your artistic talent?

Mario: All my life

HIH: Talent doesn’t always go along with passion, when did your enthusiasm for painting begin?

Mario: Since I discovered I could make my own coloring books as a child

HIH: What can you say to the aspiring artists out there about forging ahead with their own ideas?

Mario: That they should NEVER say “I am not as good as this person or that person” You don’t need to be as good as someone else you just need to be as good as YOU are. To be able to have a creative mind is a gift and not to use it is a SIN, and this world NEEDS artist to make it a more colorful place, its more than our duty, it’s our responsibility to share it, and make this world a brighter and more colorful place to be.

HIH: Your IMDb resume says you were on an Italian soap opera for years. Tell us about your acting career. Do you have the same excitement for acting as you do you art?

Mario: I was very very young I really have no memory of the show

HIH: You seem very close to your mother Pina Della Casa. of www.PinaDellaCasa.com She is the author of a book called The Littlest Book for Acid Burning Relief. She seems like an extraordinary business woman. How has she influenced your artistic talent?

Mario: My mother is the best mother in the world and has always stood by me telling me how proud she is of me, I am Proud to say that My mother is “Beauty” in the purest form inside and out. A strong and an amazing woman. She has always inspired me to be ME, and all she wants in return is for me to be happy. I am lucky to have her nearby, and I count my blessings and thank God for her each and every day.

HIH: Many celebrities endorse your photo realistic artwork and Jeannie bottles. Anthony Michael Hall has your artwork banner on his MySpace page. When did you meet Anthony Michael Hall?

Mario: I have known the Hall Family for years. “The Hall Family” are my extended family actually. I love them very dearly. They are all Talented and wonderful and beautiful people AMH’s mother is one of the BEST singers in the world, his Father Tommy is a Brilliant Entertainment manager and His Sister Mary is just like her mother when it comes to talent. Believe me, the fruit didn’t fall far from the trees in that family that’s for sure! I am lucky to know them and they are a huge part of my life and family. We are as close as family can ever be, so yes to answer your question, I’ve met him lol! As far as Celebrities, My clientele list of famous clients is impressive, including Anthony Michael Hall,  Oprah, Lisa Williams, Pamela Anderson, John Edward, Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Charlene Tilton, Linda Grey, Linda Blair, Kate Mulgrew, Penny Marshal and Cindy Williams are among those that own or have his work. The Late Aaron Spelling, The Late Christopher and Dana Reeve,  Laurence Fishburne, Gina Davis and the Museum of Television’s James Comisar and many other Hollywood notables.

HIH: What artists do you admire most?

Mario:   All The Masters work. But I admire the common artist more, because its the fresh ideas that will keep us going!

HIH:   Are you involved with any charitable events?

Mario:   I am uniquely committed to assisting those who struggle with the present, having raised money for Project Angel Food, Make a Wish Foundation, and numerous Pet Saving Organizations. I have donated my art specifically for Christie’s, Sotheby’s and the Hollywood memorabilia department for Butterfields, so they may auction my artwork to raise funds for those in need. On October  12,th 2008, I will be at the Beverly Hills Hilton selling my best works so I can help with The Event VOICE LOVES MUSIC. This event needs your support, it is charity event that is battling Domestic Violence Against Woman. I ask every woman to go to this website, http://voiceslovemusic.com/dv.html  and get your tickets, and come support this wonderful organization. I will have my artwork at the event where you can see it and purchase it at a discounted rate. Make no mistake, Every sale I generate I will be donating monies back to this very important and wonderful charity.

In Closing I ask that MySpace members please add www.myspace.com/beautifulwonderwithin and www.myspace.com/voiceslovemusic to show your support, and while you’re at it add me too www.myspace.com/mariodellacasa
 

 

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5 Bat Inspired Characters

Written by Suzanne on July 18, 2008 – 6:55 am -

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With all The Dark Knight hype this weekend I’ve been thinking about bats lately. I pondered all the exciting Batman related topics I could come up with. From 5 Cool Batman Gadgets to 5 Supporting Dark Knight Actors but for some reason my heart just wasn’t in it. Don’t get me wrong I’m excited to see a film based on the comic book character from Frank MIller. The much talked about outstanding performance by Heath Ledger, along with the amazing visuals and direction of Christopher Nolan, with supporting roles by Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Anthony Michael Hall, but I had to come up with something a bit more Housewife in Hollywood and less Entertainment Tonight. Let’s face it, doesn’t everyone know how great the movie is going to be and how cool Batman’s Batcycle (Batpod) is?

With all the Batman ideas on the brain, I was reminded of my cute little bat Bootsana. Yes I adopted a bat! I am one of the many other people who want to help these wonderful creatures with the help of the Bat World Sanctuary, a place for orphan, and injured bats to heal and live up to their full bat potential. You can help a bat without having to keep one hanging in your living room.

Here’s a pic of Bootsana. Isn’t she cute?

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You can adopt a bat too at Bat World Sanctuary. Find out more about bats and reasons why they should be protected at www.batworld.org

So here they are:

5 Bat Inspired Characters

1. Stellaluna, children’s book character also starring in the movie of the same name.

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2. Rouge the Bat, from the Sonic the Hedgehog Gaming Series

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3. Fu-Fu, from the animated series children’s series Sagwa on PBS Kids.

4. Dracula, of course I’m talking about Bela Lugosi’s version:

5. Batman, no not The Dark Knight, this one:

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