Patrick Riley: Photo by Frank Ishman
 By Sharee Silerio

With almost 30 years of experience in-front-of and behind-the-camera, Patrick Riley is a force in media and entertainment. As an independent personality, pop culture expert, producer and writer, his know-how has landed him clients such as BET, NBC and HBO; and opportunities to interview many power figures, specifically President Bill Clinton, Diana Ross, Beyoncé, Master P, Quincy Jones and more. Riley, who graduated from Atlanta’s Morehouse College with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, believes that the digital era has leveled the playing field for aspiring on-camera personalities, and that anyone can be anything they want to be if they put the work in.

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Using apps and platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook, everyone from the nanny, college kid, makeup artist, hairstylist, poet, actor or comedian can build an entertainment career on her own terms, in her own time, and being in front of the camera is a great way to do it.

If you dream of chatting with your favorite celebrities or creating video content that makes you stand out, keep reading for multi-media giant Patrick Riley’s tips!

Study the Best
I recommend that you study, not necessarily through college, if that is not your thing. However, study what is in the marketplace that looks like what you think you want to do. Then mimic it, until you can make it your own.

Connect With a Mentor

It’s necessary to have someone in the industry to help you prepare for your future, steer you where you want to go, and secure once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. For me, it was the National Association of Black Journalists. It could be anything from the Society of Professional Journalists, to Black Girls Rock.

Practice Makes Perfect 
Just do it. Not only will you have the opportunity to strengthen your muscle, because you will make mistakes, you will ask the wrong question, and you will have someone who even walks off from an interview because they didn’t like what you said. But you’ll also, over time, have the benefit of seeing yourself having improved. And because many of these things can live on social media, you'll also get the benefit of feedback. You'll be able to take a look at what people responded to, not just from who you were being as a talent, but from who you were interviewing and how you interacted with your interview subject.

Lead With Confidence
Sometimes we aren’t as sure about who we're going to talk to, where we're going to talk to them, or what the backdrop is going to be. I always recommend that my talent lead with confidence from the minute they walk in and interact with the handler, to the minute that they're placing that mic before the mouth of their subject.

Use Your Instincts & Do Your Research
I interviewed Janet Jackson once, and she wasn't in the mood. But my research and preparation had me know that her birthday was the next day. It was unrelated, and I didn't know that I would even use it. But because she wasn't in the mood, I said, ‘This must feel like an early birthday gift.’ The instinct of me having that intel, and knowing when to use it, would have Ms. Janet Jackson open up and be a dream interview.

Don’t Assume Anything
Assumptions usually come in the spur of the moment, and I don't think they work well. I'll just give this as an example. You read that someone is married. You're interviewing them now. They don't have a ring on. Are you going to assume that they're separated? You shouldn’t because the ring could be being, in the words of Angela Simmons, ‘resized.’

Don’t Bring up Anything They Told You Not to Bring Up
Always follow this piece of advice, but consider the exception to the rule. Sometimes the subject will open the door themselves. If they do, you now have another beat to consider if you want to go any further. But again, don't do it before they do.

Build The Career You Want Now
Use the tools you have to demonstrate what you do, what you can do and what you hope to do. Before you can get the dream job, establish your platform on YouTube, establish your platform on Snapchat. Build your audience and following through the realm because now we don't need permission to be any of this, but we do have to take the time to build it.

Patrick Riley on the set of Arise Entertainment 360 with singer Tamia and host Lola Ogunnaike

To keep up with multi-media journalist Patrick Riley and his career, follow him on Twitter or Instagram.


Do you dream of a life in front of the camera?
 https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MblxtY6vhN4/WabW_0OC8RI/AAAAAAAA-zU/OdaRoqTAo4YRgGmDf1F00tiUxqzqYinMACLcBGAs/s1600/Sharee%2BSilerio.jpg
 Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for SincerelySharee.com, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at ShareeSilerio.com then connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
LL Cool J. & Nina Simone
By Nikki Igbo

Last Thursday, 19 nominees for induction into the 2018 class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame were announced. While the list included such well-known musical acts such as Bon Jovi, Depeche Mode and Radiohead, here are the five acts of whom you definitely should be aware because of their ridiculously important contributions to music history and Black music history specifically. 

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If you’d like to make sure that one or all of these five artists are indeed inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, you have until 11:59pm EST on December 5, 2017 to cast your vote. Using a Facebook account or your email, you can submit one ballot per day each day leading up to the deadline. The list of 2018 inductees will be announced in December with the induction ceremony being held in Cleveland on April 14, 2018. To place your vote, click here.

Marc C. Nappy.co
By Erickka Sy Savané

“I've been friendzoned,” said my friend L.
“Oh, no, how did that happen?” I ask.
“When we first met I wasn't really ready for anything so I didn't step to her in time,” he explains. “Now she's all booed up with a new man.”
“That's too bad,” I say.
“But I could get out of it if I want to,” he says, confidently.
“How?”
“Patience,” he says. "First, you have to believe there's a chance, and then you have to be willing to be her friend despite the new man. Then when there's an opening, you pounce."
Hmmm...I want to be optimistic, but this is tricky. Past experience says once you've been friendzoned, that's it.


Most women know within seconds of meeting a guy if he can get it. So I'm not sure that L. ever really had a chance. Women don't throw a good guy with potentially good D in the friendzone. And what if patience doesn't work? He sits around waiting for a time in the future when she and her man break up so he can wiggle his way in, just to realize that she wanted nothing but friendship all along.

But at the same time, I'm reminded of an earlier relationship...
He was a wealthy banker, and I was modeling. He wanted to date, I didn't really see him that way. Maybe it was the Michael Jackson Beat It jacket in his closet. I began dating someone else, and he acted fine. He even listened when my man and I were having problems. But all the while, he was wining and dining me and my girlfriends at fancy NYC restaurants. He turned up the heat when my boyfriend and I broke up. Eventually, my girls started asking me if I was crazy, and out of fear that one of them would snag him, I decided to give it a go.

It was wonderful. We toured Le Louvre museum in Paris, gained 10 pounds in Jamaica and listened to the most beautiful ocean waves outside of our bedroom window in the British Virgin Islands all in one year. Yet I was still not physically attracted to him. Sex was always a chore, and we eventually broke up. No amount of money or fun could pull him out of the friendzone. In the end, his patience won me, but did he ever really win?

In what could be perhaps the worst case of #friendzoneship ever recorded, is my friend who I recently discovered friendzoned her husband for the past 10 years. She said she realized less than six months into their marriage that he was not a lover, but her best friend. They talk, laugh and kee-kee like nobody's business, and she trust him with her life, yet he is in the #friendzone. Sometimes I think about the fact that he can't get none from his own wife, and I wonder if he's being patient? #nowinsituation

But then again, I can't act like there aren't any cases where the #friendzoneban was lifted. In fact, one of my besties married a man who had #multiplefriendzone bans going against him. To explain, he was that dude who would come to all the get-togethers by himself- no date. After a while, we all assumed something was wrong with him- nobody wants the guy nobody wants. Well, it just so happened that he was there for this friend when her mom died, giving her the most solid rock to stand on. From there, a deep friendship developed, and the next thing you know we were all at their wedding. And let her tell it, their sex life is the best, made even better by the closeness of their friendship.

Come to think about it, there’s even my own case where my husband was put into a temporary #friendshipholdingzone when we first met. By that I mean, I was always attracted to him, but I had to put that aside to see if there was a real friendship. I had grown weary of dating dudes who would come and go. So, I got to know him, he got to know me, and before long a friendship developed that brought us close. That friendship has sustained us through 10 years of marriage and I have no complaints in the bedroom or otherwise. It's kind of  backwards the way may of us view the friendzone. We blame it for killing a potential relationship when it's really the best shot we have for a relationship to actually work. Think about it, she's not putting on a show for you and since you've already been zoned the pressure is off of you too. You can actually be yourselves. We should start calling the friendzone the #inzone because that's where all the real moves are made. 

So in this case, L. is right. He just might make it out of the zone after all. 

 Have you ever gotten out of the friendzone? 

Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or  

@kayke_k
By Winnie G.

Everyone has their way of contributing some good to the world. @kayke_k, a doll artisan, does this by painting eye-catching dolls that reflect the diversity we have. You can check our her work and see how amazing it is. Well, one of her creations has completely taken the internet by storm. She’s created a vitiligo Barbie like doll. You’ve probably seen it doing the rounds on the internet especially on Instagram and if you haven’t, now you know! The doll bears a striking resemblance to Winnie Harlow.

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Hi Ladies,
I’m back with another video! Today, I’m sharing a few tips on growing long natural hair with little-no effort! I’m quite the lazy natural and over the years I’ve had to come up with ways to maximize length retention with little effort. This is also perfect for those naturals that don’t have a lot of free time.
I hope you enjoy it!
Best Wishes,
Zara