Like nearly everyone I know, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to cut back on certain unhealthy elements in my diet and life, with excess sugar and far too much stress being two of the worst offenders. Early this year I spoke with Donald Hensrud, executive director and author of The Mayo Clinic Diet who put our nation’s recent obsession with sugar into perspective. Since private consultations at the Mayo Clinic for health and lifestyle evaluations are hard to come by, I was thrilled to speak to two of their top doctors for advice on how to cut down on sugar and stress.
Dr. Hensrud refers to sugar as a “quadruple whammy” because it:
In other words, “It’s really a problem in our diets,” he says.
Don’t despair if it all seems a bit overwhelming to begin with. “People underestimate their ability to change,”Hensrud says. “If they have a good strategy, people can change what they eat and enjoy it and make it a lifestyle more than they realize.”View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
When I was younger, my friend had an old stuffed animal that used to say, “Raawrr! I’m a tiger!” when you squeezed it because that’s what tigers say. In retrospect, it really undermined the strength and danger tigers can present, but for years after, we would jokingly repeat that line to each other. It got one thing right, however: tigers sure can be cute. Launch the gallery to see ten tiger photos that don’t have to make a noise for you to know exactly what they are and how adorable they can be.
Click here to see “National Tabby Cat Day!” and check back every weekday for a new Daily Cute! If you would like to submit cute photos which you took, please send them to DailyCuteParade@gmail.com. You will be credited if they’re used in a future Daily Cute.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
NCIS: New Orleans airs the first of the final three episodes of its second season tonight, and it takes us to the French Quarter, where things are cooking!
It all begins when a Navy culinary specialist is the target of an explosion while visiting her family’s restaurant, a French Quarter staple for more than 100 years. As part of the investigation, Special Agent Dwayne Pride (Scott Bakula), Special Agent Christopher LaSalle (Lucas Black) and Sonja Percy (Shalita Grant) will meet up with real-life, renowned New Orleans chefs John Besh, Susan Spicer, Leah Chase and Sue Zemanick
“We have been talking for a long time about wanting to take advantage of the backdrop of what New Orleans provides from a food standpoint,” showrunner/creator Gary Glasberg tells Parade.com. “It is a huge part of what that city is. This was an opportunity to come up with a storyline — a crime — set against the backdrop of the kitchen of some of our restaurants there. We have renowned chefs appearing. We are constantly trying to expand as much as we can in representing the city appropriately. We’ve done a lot this season.”
Meanwhile, Special Agent Meredith Brody (Zoe McLellan) heads to Washington, D.C. to track down the individual who leaked info on Army General Owen Matthews (John Goetz) in the April 19 Collateral Damage episode, and meets Homeland Security Agent John Russo (Ivan Sergei), who appears in the final three episodes.
But just because Brody is headed to D.C., it doesn’t mean that she will be doing a crossover episode with NCIS. Glasberg says, “There is nothing planned at the end of this season at all, but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out for next year.”
Then on May 10, the NCIS team partners with Homeland Security after the murder of a Navy Master Diver is linked to chatter of a foreign attack on the city. And we wrap up the season on May 17 when the NCIS team uncovers a mole in the ranks while working with Homeland to locate 900 missing pounds of explosives posing an imminent threat to New Orleans.
In our chat with Glasberg, he also talked to Parade.com about Pride’s decision to take on General Matthews, what’s up with Brody and LaSalle personally, and why NOLA works with Homeland more than NCIS.
Talk a little about how you think Pride had the chutzpah to take on a 3-star general? I was thinking he had to be pretty confident in his years with NCIS.
That is a good question. At the end of the day you have to remember that this is an investigative service, a police organization within the ranks of the military, and similar to what Internal Affairs does within our police department. There is a certain responsibility that NCIS has to the Navy and the Marine Corps, as do their counterparts in the Army and the Air Force. I think, especially for a storyline like this, at the end of the day, the officer who seemed to be involved was involved in a different way. It wasn’t what we initially thought. Pride had a job to do and NCIS had a job to do and that’s the direction that he had to go in.
So the story involving General Matthews isn’t over. It will continue on tonight’s episode because Brody is going to be investigating the leak?
Yes. It definitely carries through in terms of setting up a dynamic between the office in New Orleans and the office in Washington, D.C., and how that carries over, not only to NCIS, but to Homeland Security. It opens up to a much bigger storyline that carries through to the end of the season.
As part of that, there is a character that Brody connects with, played by Ivan Sergei. So Ivan comes in with a terrific 3-episode arc that carries all the way to the end, and we are really excited to have him. Brody gets wrapped up in a personal relationship that snowballs and blossoms into much more.
Brody’s not sleeping, even though she now knows the truth about her sister’s death. Is there going to be healing? And LaSalle seems to have more of an edge to him these days. Is that because of the death of his girlfriend, or is there something more to it?
It is not easy being an NCIS agent. There is a lot of weight on one’s shoulders. They are all dealing with their own demons and issues. What starts off seeming as a bright spot for Brody may turn into more. And LaSalle, like you said, has things he is dealing with. Not to mention Pride, who has been stretched thin by work, the politics of what I just described with Washington, managing the bar, and there is the stuff with his daughter Laurel [Shanley Caswell], so there is a lot.
It seems as if in New Orleans, the NCIS team is working more frequently with Homeland, especially in these last three episodes Is there more terrorist threat there?
It is a port city and that definitely comes into play. It has been really important to us to demonstrate the constant communication that is going on between agencies and organizations. It is honestly the way that crimes and threats are thwarted daily. To be able to portray that as realistically as possible is important to us. Is it accurate that NCIS and the FBI are working in conjunction with Homeland and local authorities as well? Absolutely. That’s the way this works. They can’t handle it single-handedly. This is an instance of a small office in a city that has to rely on other people, so going into this season, we did talk about that. It is a big part of how we have been discussing storylines.
NCIS: New Orleans returns with a new episode tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
If you want to audition for Season 11 of The Voice, what better way to prepare than to take a MasterClass from Christina Aguilera?
The Voice coach found so much enjoyment in working with her teams on the hit NBC series that she joined with MasterClass, an online education platform that creates classes from world-renowned instructors, to share her knowledge through a program that she designed to help up-and-coming singers prepare for a professional career.
Even if trying out for The Voice isn’t your ambition, Aguilera’s class has a lot to offer. It focuses on vocal performance and technique, it teaches students breath control, vibrato, growls, and how to expand their range. She’ll also break down her biggest hits, sharing with students the lessons she’s learned.
Registration for Aguilera’s class is now open at www.masterclass.com/ca, but first, read the interview below in which she shares what the class offers, how it can benefit voice students, and, of course, Parade.com had to ask her about this season of The Voice!
What was the inspiration for you to be a part of MasterClass? Did it have anything to do with your coaching on The Voice?
Working so many seasons on The Voice made me realize the passion I had for mentoring fellow singers and helping artists to grow and further themselves in their craft. I know I speak for others when I say that there is always that one person in your life, be it someone that your worked under or someone that inspired you, who said something that changed your path, that made you believe in your hard work. I wanted to be that person to someone else.
When I learned about MasterClass and the other teachers who they had worked with, I knew I wanted to be a part of this program. Teaching a class online offered me a chance to mentor in a way that would be accessible to everyone. No matter if you are working days and nights or going to school, you can use these courses in your free time, at your own pace, and my goal is to give back to my fans and inspire singers everywhere.
You are an inspiration to so many hopeful singers. What will your class offer them?
I really wanted to cover those vocal techniques and performance skills that I’ve seen singers typically struggle with or want to improve on. Like how to hit that super high note at the end of a phrase, or how to control your breathing, or use vibrato and growls. There is really something for everyone in this class, whether you are just getting your start or have been singing for a while, there is always more to learn!
The program is divided into more than 20 topics. How did you come up with the different elements of the course?
I first sat down and thought about the questions that I frequently get asked, things that singers often struggle with, and things I work on with my teams on The Voice. I then also thought about the elements of singing and performing that I wanted to learn more about. Sometimes as artists we innately do something without even realizing it’s a technique or a style. I started outlining all the elements I felt were important to the basics of singing, but also added in the subtle elements that help an artist to be unique. Also asking myself: What is the most important thing an aspiring singer wants to learn? Once we had that down, we incorporated all of those elements into the class. I’m really proud of what we ended up with and think the class truly covers what we set out to achieve.
In addition to vocals lessons, do you also talk about stage presence?
Absolutely! We actually dedicated a few chapters to overall performance, going over how to deal with anxiety, differences between singing in a studio vs. singing live, and overcoming mistakes during a performance. As an artist, it was important for me to incorporate not only the vocal aspect of singing but the performance aspect as well, which to me goes hand in hand.
You can teach technique, but talent is something else. Will your class help people assess their abilities to be realistic?
I think what’s unique about my class is that it provides something for everyone at any level. When it comes down to it, it’s really more about enjoying what you’re doing and learning something new. It’s not about being the best in the class, it’s about being the best you can be.
You have some students with you in the videos that you are actually teaching. How did they get so lucky to be your guinea pigs?
Actually, MasterClass went through a casting agency in L.A.! We wanted to make sure we gave everyone a chance to participate. I loved working with the students we found, they were all amazing!!
Is paying it forward something that is important to you at this point in your career?
Absolutely. After the birth of my son, I really knew that I had to use my voice for good. Be it mentoring on the show, with a course like MasterClass, or traveling around the world to developing countries to help with the United Nations World Food Programme and ensuring people everywhere don’t go hungry. It’s important for me to give back and also to set an example to my children.
This looks as if it is going to be the year of Team Christina on The Voice. When you get someone as obviously talented as Alisan Porter, how can you help her as a coach?
Ha! Don’t jinx me. I am really proud of my team this year and Alisan, she’s an example of not only a natural talent but someone who knows how to perform. I always say I push my button when someone touches me in a place deep within. It’s not always about the perfect huge note – which Alisan has no problem hitting – but also about how you connect with the song and, thus, with the listener. I know big things are in store for her.
How did it make you feel when Adam Levine said you have the winning contestant?
Adam and I get very competitive, but at the end of the day this journey is about the contestants. We all turned our chairs for Alisan.
What does it mean to be a winner?
I tell everyone on the show that when I was on Star Search, I didn’t win. I came in second. Yet that experience, and everything that came from it and not being discouraged, that’s what led me to where I am today. If you try and do your best, you have won.
When will we have new music from you?
Yes, I know it’s been taking a while but I am really proud of the music I have been working on and I don’t want to just push it out in a rush. I want to take my time and give my fans the album they have been waiting for. It will be worth it.
Watch Aguilera tonight when The Voice airs at 8 p.m. on NBC. Then check out her MasterClass online. It’s available starting today.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Will Hamilton, the Broadway juggernaut that many say saved the first treasury secretary’s position as the face of the $10 bill, sweep top honors at the 2016 Tony Awards? It’s safe to say very few folks were surprised that Hamilton garnered a record-breaking 16 total nominations, including best new musical and best original score.
Tony Award winner Nikki M. James (Les Misérables) and nominee Andrew Rannells (The Book of Morman) revealed the complete list of nominations this morning live from the Paramount Hotel in New York City.
King Charles III
School of Rock—The Musical
Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Best Revival of a Musical
The Color Purple
Fiddler on the Roof
She Loves Me
Best Book of a Musical
School of Rock—The Musical
Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
George C. Wolfe
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Music: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Lyrics: Edie Brickell
Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda
School of Rock—The Musical
Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Glenn Slater
Music & Lyrics: Sara Bareilles
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels, Blackbird
Frank Langella, The Father
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Alex Brightman, School of Rock—The Musical
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Reed Birney, The Humans
Bill Camp, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off
Richard Goulding, King Charles III
Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Andrea Martin, Noises Off
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Christopher Jackson, Hamilton
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Beowulf Boritt, Thérèse Raquin
Christopher Oram, Hughie
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
David Zinn, The Humans
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Es Devlin & Finn Ross, American Psycho
David Korins, Hamilton
Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
David Rockwell, She Loves Me
Best Costume Design of a Play
Jane Greenwood, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Michael Krass, Noises Off
Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
Tom Scutt, King Charles III
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Justin Townsend, The Humans
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Howell Binkley, Hamilton
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho
Best Direction of a Play
Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
Best Direction of a Musical
Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
Thomas Kail, Hamilton
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan
August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
The 70th annual Tony Award ceremony, hosted by James Corden, will be broadcast live June 12 on CBS from the Beacon Theatre in New York City.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
We always knew they were coming back. Nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force in Independence Day: Resurgence. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.
Independence Day: Resurgence is coming to theaters June 24, 2016, but you could win a chance to attend a red carpet event on June 20, 2016, in Los Angeles!
Prize package includes:
—Airfare from anywhere within the 48 contiguous states
—Hotel accommodations for 2 nights
—Two tickets to movie/red carpet event
—”Attacker Edition” Blu-ray set of the Independence Day original film
Enter your information below for your chance to win!
All entries must be received by June 1, 2016.
We will use one of the methods above to contact the winner.
Must be 18 years or older to win. No purchase necessary to enter.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
“What is your secret to happiness?”—John H.
John, this is THE question, isn’t it? The one every marketer hopes to solve for us by selling us their cars, clothes, beers or makeup. What a day it will be when we finally discover THE product that will allow us to drive our happiness, wear our happiness, drink our happiness or earn our happiness…once and for all!
And yet, as we both know, the new car eventually gets a ding, the clothes fall out of fashion, the beer leaves a hangover, the makeup washes off.
The problem with happiness, John, is that it is dependent upon something going our way and it’s attached to someone, someplace or something else…and is ultimately fleeting.
My encouragement to you is to realize what we really long for is something more profound and enduring.
What you truly want is joy.
Joy is not at all dependent on things going our way. It’s not reliant on getting what we want. Joy is the ability to be lit up each day regardless of challenges, setbacks or struggles. Joy is a choice.
It may not sell the next new thing, but it will fill your heart, bring a smile to your face, and become your secret to leading an inspired life.
John, today is your day to stop chasing happiness and to start surrendering to joy.
Want to know how to choose to be joyful each day? Here’s the four things the most joyful people I know have in common: http://johnolearyinspires.com/2015/03/better-happy/
View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
T. King in Charlotte, North Carolina, writes:
Are “ravel” and “unravel” actually synonymous? What are other examples of seemingly contradictory, yet synonymous words?
Oddly enough, the words “ravel” and “unravel” are both synonyms and antonyms. Other seemingly contradictory words are indeed just synonymous. For example, “flammable” and “inflammable” do mean the same thing. (However, “flammable” is the preferred word because “inflammable” might be misunderstood.) Other examples are “press” and “depress,” “caregiver” and “caretaker,” and “bone” and “debone.”
View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Just in time for a double elimination, the judges awarded double perfect scores. But even after all of that happened, the future was no clearer for head judge Len Goodman.
After both team dances had been performed, the veteran judge declared, “I have no clue who’s going to take that mirror ball. The competition is just fantastic.”
With such a close pack of scores, it truly is anyone’s to win (or lose) at this point in the competition. Did your favorite stars make it through tonight’s surprising double elimination? Find out below!
Round One: Individual Dances
Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe: 26 + 25
The Fuller House star tackled Stevie Wonder‘s “For Once in My Life” with a Quickstep that was bright and cheery, if not a bit boring. Goodman thought Sweetin performed the routine with “no holding back,” but noted that she and Motsepe lost body contact at times during the dance. Bruno Tonioli also noticed some minor errors, but said her “freedom of movement was really good.” Carrie Ann Inaba was impressed that when Motsepe missed a step, Sweetin was the one to stay on top of the choreography and the music.
Kim Fields and Sasha Farber: 27 + 25 Eliminated
Paying tribute to late icon Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five, Fields schooled the ballroom with her glow in the dark Samba. Tonioli said she was “glowing in every sense of the word” and thought Fields even brought a bit of Mary J. Blige to the routine. Inaba said Fields “killed that routine top to bottom” and called her wig “sassy.” Goodman reminded viewers that there would be a double elimination, but called this Fields’s best dance thus far.
Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd: 28 +28
DiMarco and Murgatroyd went back to basics with their Foxtrot to a U2 hit in order to really impress the judges and to get their groove back. And their plan worked! They delivered a technically sound and visually stunning performance that Inaba called “amazingly free.” Goodman pointed out that DiMarco stuck his “bum” out while in hold, but still praised the routine. Tonioli marveled at how DiMarco and Murgatroyd can turn side-by-side and in hold: “it defies belief.”
Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess: 24 + 28
After a strong turn last week, Brown tackled a Tango to a Rolling Stones hit and brought the drama. Goodman noticed some mistakes throughout the routine, but liked that he came out with determination. Tonioli said that Brown “awakened [his] dramatic persona” but also pointed out some footwork errors. Inaba said Brown has “magic,” but wants to see him finish the moves. She thought the nuances of the individual moves was lacking.
Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold: 27 + 28
Despite some scheduling woes, Morris and Arnold performed a beautiful and lyrical Foxtrot that enchanted the audience and judges. But the judges weren’t completely bowled over by the routine. Tonioli thought it was “as wholesome as apple pie” and called it “full of goodness.” Inaba said it was really good, “but it wasn’t like, YEAH!” Goodman echoed their feedback and said it was “full of whimsy and joy.”
Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy: 30 + 25
After channeling Janet Jackson‘s funk, Zee went softer with her Viennese waltz to a Whitney Houston ballad. And as it turns out, that’s just what this pair needed. Inaba started her review with one of her signature giddy screeches and then called the performance “perfection.” Goodman called it “refreshing” and said “it had just the right amount of everything I want to see.” Tonioli said it was “impeccable.”
Von Miller and Witney Carson: 24 + 28 Eliminated
Taking on the king of rock n’ roll, Elvis Presley, Miller bounced back from jeopardy last week with a character Salsa. Goodman likened this number to a pizza: “it was a bit crusty on the base, but tasty up top.” He also noted that the “lifts were spectacular.” Tonioli thought the routine was different, but “very, very effective.” Inaba said it was “rough around the edges,” but loved that Miller plays along with the campiness.
Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas: 30 + 25
After earning high scores last week, but landing in jeopardy, VanZant wanted to really impress the judges and the audience with her Jive to Tina Turner‘s “Proud Mary.” The UFC fighter got rave reviews from the judges. Tonioli said it was “almost illegally hot” and added that “the speed was insane.” Inaba thought the routine was “ridiculous” and “incredible.”
Round Two: Team Dances
Team James Brown (Male): 28
They may have had some obstacles, but Team James Brown got funky and soulful to a medley of songs by their namesake. The dance was cohesive as a unit and the individual portions had their own flare and flavor as well. Goodman said that the dances all night have been amazing. Tonioli loved how each star managed to bring their own personality to the icon’s music. Inaba was blown away by the teamwork when everyone noticed Nyle step ahead of the music and they met him rather than staying on beat.
Team Beyonce (Female): 25
The women absolutely brought the Beyonce spirit to their team dance, but they also had some missteps here and there. Tonioli noticed some moments where they lost sync, but said the overall effect was “hot.” Inaba loved that they challenged themselves and showed difficult choreography and different styles of dance.
If it’s Monday night at The Voice, it’s time for the live performances, and this week the Top 10 turned in some outstanding numbers.
But before the entertainment began, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden took the stage in honor of the fifth anniversary of Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans and their families and support them through wellness, education and employment opportunities.
Mrs. Obama said, “We are so excited to be kicking off our anniversary at The Voice, and with all the military families in the audience. Over the past 5 years through Joining Forces, we’ve been traveling across the world to meet our veterans and military families. We are in awe.”
Dr. Biden added, “This is personal. We wanted to show them how we appreciated their service.”
Then the Top 10 took to the stage and in honor of the military families everywhere performed Dierks Bentley‘s “Home.”
Last week’s Twitter Save, Daniel Passino from Team Pharrell Williams was up first. His song choice was “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith.
Adam Levine pointed out that the song he sang was Aerosmith’s first No. 1 song and it was late in their career. It’s like Pharrell told Daniel, it doesn’t happen overnight for everyone. For some people, it takes 20 years. He should consider everything an up until the end. Christina Aguilera told him it was obvious he had passion. He laid his heart and soul out there. He did have a few pitch issues, but they were overshadowed by his passion and his presence. Pharrell agreed that there were pitch issues, but he kept thinking to himself: Is Daniel thinking about what we talked about — living in the moment? In the middle, that very big note he hit, he pushed it so he got it to where it needed to be and that showed that he was definitely living in the moment.
Team Adam’s Shalyah Fearing was next. Adam compared her to Mary J. Blige because she sings with her heart. She performed “My Kind of Love” by Emeli Sandé.
Blake Shelton complimented Shalyah on going back to the kind of performance that he likes from her. There is something when she is raggedy and edgy that he feels makes her thrive. Pharrell said it was so cool to witness her passion. She was so on fire and she shared it with us and it came out in the big notes. It was cool to hear her runs. Adam told her she did an excellent job. She has the thing everybody wants. If she makes it through, he wants her to sing Mary J. Blige next week.
In third place, Nick Haeglin from Team Christina decided to push himself out of the box he put himself in by singing Michael Jackson‘s “I Can’t Help It.”
Pharrell said Michael Jackson’s shoes are big shoes to fill, but he likes what Nick stands for — not only what he just did, but his entire stint on this show, especially since he came back. He loves the idea that Nick represents that things can change. A lot of people are looking for a second chance and Nick has made the most of his. Blake said he thought that Nick sounded a lot like Michael with his vibrato. The song is outside his wheelhouse, but he thought he did a good job. Christina was happy that Blake made a nod to the fact that he sounded like Michael. She thought he killed it.
Pre-school teacher and Team Pharrell member Hannah Huston took on Adele‘s “Rolling in the Deep.”
Adam said he has been a fan since the beginning. She keeps getting better. The only thing that he was slightly critical of was her sliding into the first note of the chorus because he is so locked into the original, but it was 99 percent amazing. Pharrell said from his assessment that was 1000 percent amazing. He said in his estimation, it is like healing and growth. That was so sick.
Team Adam’s Laith Al-Saadi followed Hannah Huston. He talked about how grateful he was that Pharrell asked people to check out his music on iTunes. It pushed his songs up the charts. For this week’s bluesy song, he selected BB King‘s “The Thrill Is Gone.”
Blake said he can’t say enough good about Laith’s guitar playing. Having said that, he is also a fan of his voice, and he would caution him moving forward, not to underestimate what a good singer he is. That was almost 50/50 guitar and singing. Adam responded to Blake saying that Laith just performed the best show of musicianship on the show. He feels that the guitar and his voice work in tandem make him more extraordinary. Laith is quickly becoming his favorite.
Paxton Ingram set the bar high last week when he sang Tasha Cobbs‘ “Break Every Chain.” He not only heard from Tasha on Twitter, but Kelly Clarkson also tweeted him about his performance. So this week, to prove it wasn’t a fluke, he challenged himself again performing Céline Dion‘s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.”
Christina really enjoyed it. It took her back to her audition days. She loved how dramatic it was. He made it his own and she was pleasantly surprised. Blake told him he can’t look at him without smiling. He is in the zone. Artists like Paxton are the reason he does this job. He loves to watch people grow as artists.
The Voice continued with its only remaining female country artist: Team Blake’s Mary Sarah, who returned to her roots with “Stand by Your Man” by Tammy Wynette.
Adam told her she was amazing. That is a major song and a difficult song. You don’t need to be a country expert to know that. This was very much in the zone of who you are. He said it was her best song since the Blinds. Blake told her she had no idea how she just engaged the entire country music audience. She’s only 20 and singing a Tammy Wynette song and blowing the roof off. It was a good night for her.
Team Christina’s Bryan Bautista took a risk by singing in Spanish, but he did it in honor of his mother – just a few days before Mother’s Day. The song he chose was “Promise” by Romeo Santos feat. Usher.
Pharell said he was so awesome that he thinks the Dominicans and Puerto Ricans are losing their minds. The idea that he did it on the show while competing and that it showed his vocal range was amazing. Adam said the second half of the song really clicked. Bryan is one of the most gifted singers in the competition. It wasn’t his best, but it is a direction he could pursue. Christina said he consistently comes out and does such a phenomenal job. This time he brought his own personal background into it. He is the only person representing for the Latinos.
Team Christina’s only female artist Alisan Porter sang a song that reminds her of struggles with substance abuse: “Let Him Fly” by Patty Griffin.
Adam told her he thinks sometimes with the show they focus so much on the voice, but it is a mark of someone who is an artist to use everything in their lives in their music, which Alisan did that night. It is a defining thing that she brought to the show. Christina said she was so proud that she was brave enough to show her vulnerability and tell a heartfelt story. Sometimes it is easier to hit the high notes than to pull back the curtain on her truth. It is commendable.
The final artist of the night was Team Blake’s Adam Wakefield. He dedicated his song choice to his girlfriend Jenny Lee, who is also a country singer and the reason he moved to Nashville.
Pharrell told him he can’t wait to hear the album he makes for Big Machine — Southern rock, country, and so much soul. Adam is the next one! Also, he felt that his piano solo in the middle was amazing. Blake said, “Unbelievable, dude! You literally just blew my brains out. My favorite performance of the night.”
The Voice returns Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Monday and Tuesday – 16 givens, Wednesday to Sunday – 4 to 15 givens
To solve online, copy the puzzle between the delimiters (including the date and the nine puzzle rows), then click here for where to paste the copied puzzle. (Thanks to Kenneth R. Whitaker.)*** May 3, 2016 __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ 20 __ __ __ __ __ __ __ 74 __ 18 __ __ __ __ __ 72 __ 04 __ 16 __ __ __ 70 __ 06 __ 02 __ 14 __ __ __ 68 __ 08 __ 12 __ __ __ __ __ 66 __ 10 __ __ __ __ __ __ __ 64 __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ ***
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I could close my eyes and still pick Person of Interest actor Michael Emerson’s voice out of a crowd. It doesn’t hurt that he has been hanging around primetime in my house for years (Lost, The Practice). And DVR hasn’t hurt. My husband binge-watches POI every 5 seconds (despite watching it unfold at its regularly scheduled time). So I was thrilled to catch up with the Emmy Award-winning Emerson on my podcast before the premiere of the final season of Person of Interest.
Person of Interest premieres Tuesday, May 3 on CBS 10 p.m. ET.
Michael Emerson may be a familiar face in the acting world, but compared to his peers, he was a little late to the game. The man who scared us to death as serial killer William Hinks in The Practice and kept us tuned in to watch cold-blooded island dweller Ben Linus on Lost, didn’t hit his full professional acting stride until 30.
Explains Emerson, who always wanted to be an actor, “I moved from small town Iowa to New York City. And it just knocked the wind out of me. I could not—I had not been prepared to figure out how to make a business of it—how to find an agent, or do auditions, or anything like that. By the time I was able to collect myself and get an apartment and a job, I guess I just set it aside. I put it on a back burner. And I worked retail for a couple of years. And then I was taking weekend illustration courses at The New School…I’d always been able to draw pictures. And I fell into that line of work and I did that for about 10 years. And you know, it’s not really an easier racket than acting is. For some reason, I guess the rejection of an illustrator’s life is less penetrating than the rejection of an actor’s life. So I was able to manage that.”
Listen to the interview with Michael Emerson on iTunes.
Fortunately, Emerson didn’t ignore his dream vocation. “I still nursed that old dream of being an actor—so much so that I found it hard to go see plays and stuff in New York. When I found myself high and dry in North Florida in my middle 30s, I thought, ‘Well, now I have to start over. I might as well do what I want to do.’ So I worked day jobs…I was a housepainter, and a landscape nursery man, and all these various odd jobs I had, and started doing community theater…I wasn’t a kid anymore—so it was starting late,” Emerson says.
In many ways, being a seasoned adult may have given him an edge in show business.
“As an actor, I’m not sure what I had to offer the world of tragedy and comedy when I was 21. I hadn’t lived a whole lot. By my middle 30s, you know, I had been knocked around a little bit,” admits Emerson. “You know, I’d had some tribulations and some exaltations and I knew what they felt like and what they looked like on a human face…so I was much better prepared.”
And jumping into a field without any guarantees didn’t fluster Emerson. “When I settled on what I knew I was supposed to be doing, it was the best realization, the most relief I think I ever had in my life. I thought, ‘Well now, come what may, I’ll be fine. I don’t care if I make money. I don’t care if I’m famous’…my calling became clear to me. And it was such a relief.”
Emerson has enjoyed a career that has included plenty of fascinating roles including his Person of Interest alter ego—billionaire and brilliant software geek Harold Finch. POI and CBS seem to have ticked all of the boxes for Emerson when it comes to taking on a role that includes great teams, tension and cool locations. “I like the things every actor likes—I like great, intense duet scenes with good actors,” he says. “I like being in a confined space with someone very dangerous, and having a conversation that could blow up at any minute. I like shooting on location in New York City. I love being on the top of tall buildings, and being out on piers on the Hudson River at dawn, and Chinatown in the evening…you know, we go everywhere.”
He may love his acting partners, but Emerson says he wouldn’t have jumped to play John Reese (portrayed by Jim Caviezel). “It’s too non-verbal. I hardly know what to do if I can’t talk. But also, I think I’m past the age where I want to do combat that much. I had enough combat on Lost. I was five years on Lost and I think I got beaten by somebody every second episode….I want the role where you dress up and you drink a martini and you talk to people. That’s the kind of drama I want to do,” laughs Emerson.
Emerson will now be bidding farewell to Harold Finch after five seasons playing POI’s mysterious billionaire. While goodbyes on great shows may be bittersweet, the actor seems satisfied with how the show wraps. “I have to say I’m happy with the ending. And I think Harold is, or would be, happy with the ending.” Emerson believes few fans will be able to predict the outcome. “I’d be surprised if many of them come up with what the writers have come up with.”
Will Michael Emerson be taking a little bit of Harold Finch with him as he exits POI— maybe the ability to troubleshoot high-tech home and office problems? Emerson doesn’t even pause. “I’m the worst at a computer. I need to ask my wife (actress Carrie Preston) to help me solve really simple computer operations. I’m terrible with tech. But I’m good with jargon. I can sound like I know what I’m doing,” chuckles Emerson. Of course he can— which is a big reason why we’re going to miss that lovable, billionaire computer geek.
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Prolific best-selling author Jude Deveraux has a new series. The Girl From Summer Hill is the first book in the series and hits bookstores on May 5. Set in a small town, the book is a fresh new take on Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.
In The Girl From Summer Hill, Casey Reddick takes on the role of Elizabeth Bennet. She’s a chef that has had it with men, arriving in the small town of Summer Hill, Virginia, leaving behind a demanding boss and a breakup with a boyfriend jealous of her success. She just wants a fresh start but her idyllic getaway is broken (or is it improved?) when she finds a gorgeous naked man on the porch of her cottage.
Our Mr. Darcy in this story is Hollywood heartthrob Tate Landers, who mistakes Casey for a tabloid reporter. Their run-in makes for a very bad first impression by both parties, but despite all the surface tension that surrounds them, there’s a very visceral attraction that lies beneath.
As the author of over 40 New York Times best-sellers, Deveraux indulged the aspiring romance novelist in me by answering a few questions.
Enjoy an exclusive excerpt from the book after the interview.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Before I was born, my parents were members of all the book clubs. Every month they received the current bestseller and filled a big bookcase with them. I grew up reading them. In elementary school I was reading Frank Yerby. The plotting, the drama of all those bestsellers are still in my mind.
Do you find that you “binge-write” or do you let an idea stew for days before putting anything down on paper (or computer)?
I write all the time. Every day. If I’m stuck for “what happens next” I sit down with pen and paper and write “Now what the hell do I do?” I follow it with more questions until I figure it out.
Why did you decide to rewrite Pride & Prejudice?
It’s a perfect romance story: hate each other; love each other. I wanted to see if I could bring it into the 21st century. Writing it was a thousand times more difficult than I thought it would be. I was crying and cursing most of the way through it.
I always wondered what happened to the twins that Nicole (The Counterfeit Lady) became somewhat a surrogate mother to—will you ever write their stories?
There are lots of dangling stories that I’d like to finish but with the moratorium on historicals, I doubt if I’ll do that particular story.
How do you think the world of social media has helped the romance novel industry (or has it)?
I think it’s introduced writers to new readers so that’s good. On the other hand, it’s opened us writers to criticism that we’d rather not hear. We have fragile egos. It’s difficult to keep writing after some troll has said you should retire.
Do you have any advice to aspiring romance novelists?
Write. Don’t talk about it, don’t worry about social media or agents, don’t make excuses. Write.
If you weren’t a published author, what would you be doing today?
Probably an elementary school teacher.
Do you prefer coffee or tea?
I’ve had one cup of coffee in my life. I hated it so much that I never drank another one. I’m a tea fanatic.
Do you have a favorite place to read a book?
Wherever it’s quiet.
What’s your favorite travel destination?
I’ve done three around-the-world cruises. I’m the most comfortable in Egypt since I used to live there.
What’s your favorite meal?
Afternoon tea with little sandwiches.
Is there a movie you can watch over and over again?
Anything romantic that has a happy ending. Any movie that makes me groan, “I wish I’d written that.”
What was the last show you binge-watched?
Who is your favorite author? Do you have an all time favorite book (or book you can read over and over again)?
No favorite author but I read Cold Comfort Farm often. I love the idea of a sane person walking into a romance novel.
What’s your go-to song to sing in the shower?
I can’t sing, can’t carry a tune at all. I tend to plot scenes in the shower. Sometimes I get so involved in a scene that I laugh with them.
What is your favorite word?
Read a Parade exclusive excerpt from The Girl From Summer Hill.
Act One, Scene Two
Elizabeth doesn’t tempt Darcy
An hour later, Casey arrived at the Big House—as everyone in town referred to it—with food. She’d used some of what she’d already prepared for Kit’s group, then added a few things. In an insulated container she had strands of slow-roasted, honey-glazed chicken and sweet—potato hash with fried eggs on top. She’d buttered freshly made bread and grilled it.
It wasn’t easy to think about what she had to do. Apologize profusely, explain that she didn’t know about the showerhead on her porch, and—No! She wasn’t supposed to know that he’d taken a shower. Her story was that she was in bed, heard the phone ring, and ran down the stairs.
There was an old brick path between her cottage and the back of the Big House. Most of the land was too overgrown to walk around, but during the past snowy winter, she’d explored the area near the house. She’d grown to love the uneven surface of the path, had even memorized the places where the bricks stuck up, so she wouldn’t trip on them.
But right now she wasn’t enamored of them. The big case was heavy and she was so nervous she was afraid she’d drop it. If she did, she was sure she’d be told to vacate the house. Then where would she stay? The lake people were beginning to open their houses in preparation for the summer, which meant that all the service personnel for the restaurants and shops were arriving. One-bedroom apartments would be packed with about six college kids each, all working in shifts.
Casey couldn’t help shuddering at the thought. No, she liked where she was and wanted to stay there.
She’d never been inside the Big House, but during the winter she’d tried to look in some of the windows. They were mostly shuttered or curtained, but she knew where the kitchen was and that next to it was a glassed-in breakfast room.
She saw lights in the room and, like her, Mr. Landers had all the windows and doors open to the screens. As she approached, she saw him sitting at a white table, his head down. She halted. He was dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt and he looked . . . well, rather forlorn.
Casey stepped out of view. Please tell me I didn’t do that to him, she thought. Poor guy probably came to sleepy little Summer Hill for some peace, but he was greeted by what he thought was a paparazzo taking photos of him au naturel.
She glanced at the heavy container she was holding. Maybe, possibly, this food would cheer him up—and make him forgive her. And later she could introduce him to some people so he wouldn’t be so alone.
Putting on a smile, she turned back to the door. Would he welcome her or call the sheriff?
She shifted the container to free a hand so she could knock, but then she froze. Walking into the room was the actor Jack Worth, and all he had on was a pair of very low-riding sweatpants.
Casey flattened herself against the wall, and for the second time that morning her heart started pounding in her ears. She’d seen Jack Worth on the big screen, blown up to epic proportions as he tore through streets on a motorcycle, ran across buildings, rappelled down mountains—and saved the girl while doing it. His movies were nonstop action.
Whatever could be imagined, Jack Worth had done it onscreen—and usually while wearing the bare minimum of clothing. And she was one of his biggest fans! Meeting him had always been a dream of hers.
I must get myself under control, Casey thought. Calm down. No gushing or staring, or making a fool of myself.
But she wasn’t succeeding at being calm. Two nude, or nearly so, drop–dead–gorgeous men in one day. Was the angel who’d been assigned to look over her a sweetheart or a sadistic devil?
She took a deep breath, straightened her shoulders, then turned toward the door.
But then Jack spoke. His voice seemed as familiar to her as her own. He was no smooth James Bond. Jack’s voice was deep and gravelly, rough. Kind of dangerous-sounding.
She crept back against the wall. He really sounded like that! No sound adjustments—that was his actual voice.
“What are you so grumpy about?” She heard Jack’s voice fade as he went toward the kitchen.
“Kit put some girl in my guesthouse.”
Casey froze, her breath held. She was now going to hear her fate.
“That’s good,” Jack said as he returned to the breakfast room. “You need somebody to look after the place when you’re not here. This refrigerator is empty.”
“That’s what happens when you leave your cook at home.”
“Any hope for delivery?”
“In rural Virginia before full daylight?” Tate said. “Quit dreaming. There’s coffee, so have some.”
Jack poured himself a cup from the pot on the table and took a drink. “This is good. Who made it?” He glanced back at Tate. “What’s on for today?”
“I made the coffee. Kit wants me to . . .” When Tate looked up, his eyes were bleak. “He’s going to put on a play, even bought a big building and built a stage.” Tate paused. “His first production is Pride and Prejudice, and he wants me to read with the women who audition for the role of Elizabeth.”
Jack laughed. “Since you’re the only Darcy who’s been able to knock Colin Firth off his pedestal, I’m sure you’ll attract a lot of would–be Lizzys, Janes, and all the others.”
“I guess so. Kit said he wants to boost town spirit and to bring the people who have houses on the lake back to town. Seems they’ve started driving to Richmond to do their shopping, and local sales are falling. Since the proceeds from the play go to charity, I couldn’t say no.”
Outside, Casey suddenly realized that she was again spying. What was wrong with her today? She started to leave but then Jack said, “Think they’ll have food at the auditions?”
“Yeah, and I think it’s being cooked by that girl in my guesthouse.”
Casey could no more walk away than she could have flown.
Jack gave a grunt. “What in the world happened to turn you into something like one of your characters? You look like you’re about to draw a sword on somebody.”
“She was spying on me.”
Casey’s heart leaped back into her throat.
“Oh. That’s bad,” Jack said. “Was she hiding in the bushes? Did you take her camera away from her?”
“No bushes,” Tate said. “And no hiding. I don’t think she took photos. But I believe she watched me take a shower.”
Jack drew in his breath in horror. “She sneaked inside your house? We need to call the police. She can’t—”
“No!” Tate said. “She was in the guesthouse and I used the shower on the porch. But I wouldn’t have done it if Kit had told me someone was staying there.”
Jack took his time before he spoke. “She’s living in a house she probably pays rent on, you were naked on her back porch, and she saw you? So tell me what she did wrong.”
Casey’s heart settled. She had a champion! I love you, Jack Worth, she thought.
“It was just the way she did it that got me, that’s all,” Tate said. “Why don’t you put some clothes on and go to this thing with me?”
“To a local play? No thanks. I think I’ll fly back to L.A. tomorrow. This is about all the rural delight I can take. Empty refrigerators hold no appeal for me.”
“You’re getting soft. But I think I’ll go back with you tomorrow—after I do those damned auditions, that is.”
“So what’s this girl like? And how old is she?”
Casey held her breath. What would he say about her: “She had jam in her hair but she looked good”? That would be nice to hear.
“Late twenties, I guess,” Tate said. “She had on kid pajamas, so who knows what she looked like. I was too angry to see much.”
“A grown-up girl in pajamas. I like it,” Jack said. “And she cooks?”
“Either that or she’s brilliant at making a mess in a kitchen. Pans and bowls were everywhere. And bread. From the smell of it, she’d been baking.”
Jack groaned. “I think I may be in love with her. Pajamas and baking bread. Where is this guesthouse and what’s she look like? Good face?”
“Okay, I guess. Nice eyes, but I wasn’t tempted.”
Yet again, Casey felt deflated. That’s what she got for snooping. Okay, so she could stand to lose a few pounds, but other men liked her curves. But not this snooty movie star. As Jack pointed out, Tate had no right to be angry at her for being in her own house, but that didn’t matter to this so-called celebrity!
Casey pushed away from the wall. She thought about leaving the container on the step, but she didn’t. As snotty as Tate Landers was, he’d probably throw the food out. It wouldn’t be good enough for someone so grand and glorious.
Jack was standing by the table, frowning down at his friend, when he saw movement outside. He went to the door and looked out.
A young woman carrying something in a wide container was quickly walking away. And from her pace, she wasn’t happy.
She had on jeans and a T-shirt, and he liked her shape. Her backside curved roundly, and when she turned slightly, he saw that she was quite full breasted. He was glad to see a normal, healthy woman. So many of the starlets he worked with were emaciated. But then, the camera added pounds, so they were under pressure to be very thin.
Her dark-red hair was pulled back into a swishing ponytail and the early-morning sun glinted off it. Jack couldn’t see her face, but if it was half as nice as the rest of her, he’d be pleased. All in all, he thought he should visit the guesthouse.
He looked back at Tate, who was glowering down at his cup of coffee. What in the world was wrong with him? In public, Tate was a very private person. When he had to attend something, he usually took his sister.
But when he was with his friends, he was nearly always relaxed and laughing. Jack knew Tate had planned to stay in Summer Hill for at least a month. Tate liked the company of his cousin Kit, who was old enough to be his father, but then, maybe that was why Tate liked him so much. And he’d talked about how he had other newly found relatives moving to the little Virginia town. It had all been good.
So why was he sitting at the table looking miserable? Why wasn’t he out exploring the place? And why was he dreading going to some local auditions? Tate was great with the armies of squealing females who followed him around.
Jack watched the girl disappearing into the trees. “What color hair does she have?” He purposely didn’t say who “she” was.
“Kind of red. I think it was natural.”
“Yeah?” Jack said. “Anything else natural about her?”
The glower left Tate’s face and he smiled a bit. “From the way she jiggled when she ordered me out of the house, I’d say her upper half is quite natural.”
Jack raised an eyebrow. “What were her pajamas like again?”
Tate smiled broader. “Very thin and half unbuttoned. And crumpled up from being in bed. She didn’t have anything on under them.”
Jack was working to keep from grinning. “Are you sure you want to leave here tomorrow?”
Tate gave a full smile, something only his friends saw. “Go get dressed. I have a script to read and Kit doesn’t want me there until after lunch.”
“I think I’ll meet you there.” As Jack went up the stairs to his bedroom, he was chuckling. “Not tempted, huh?”
Excerpted from THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL by Jude Deveraux Copyright © 2016 by Jude Deveraux. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Mind Your Body with Stephanie Stephens features celebrities and high achievers age 45+ who share their latest projects, healthy living secrets and more.
Janis Joplin. When you hear those two words, certain others immediately come to mind:
Rock n’ roll. Legend. Icon. Emotional. Complex. Uninhibited. Addiction. The ’60s. Cultural revolution. Gone too soon…
Whether you remember Janis or you got to know her and her music after her death at age 27, you’ll be riveted by American Masters—Janis: Little Girl Blue when it premieres Tuesday, May 3 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS. It is about Janis, by Janis. How, you ask?
“Exploring her childhood, struggles with addiction, active role in the musical and cultural revolution of the 1960s, surprising rise to stardom and untimely demise, Joplin’s own words tell much of her story through a series of letters she wrote to her parents—many of them made public for the first time—and read by [Chan] Marshall,” the network explains.
Chan is also the indie rocker, Cat Power.
The Human Need
One of Janis’s letters reads: Dear Family: I managed to pass my 27th birthday without really feeling it…After you reach a certain level of talent—quite a few have that talent—the deciding factor is ambition, or as I see it, how much you really need, need to be loved, and need to be proud of yourself.
The film is the work of Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg. It brings the singer back to life with archival footage and photos, plus those poignant letters that reveal the “real” Janis Joplin. It took seven years to complete.
The dichotomy between what Janis presented on stage, and what she wrote when baring her soul, makes for a presentation that engages and enthralls from the get-go. Enjoy surprising interviews with her family, her former bandmates from Big Brother and the Holding Company, Dick Cavett, Clive Davis and more.
Thanks to PBS for connecting me with Janis’s sister, Laura Joplin, who tells us things about Janis that we surely didn’t know until now. Laura earned a master’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in education, and was formerly an education consultant. She shares accurate and touching memories.
What do you think of this tribute to your sister?
I love it. The first time I saw it I was ecstatic. I feel it really brought Janis back in a way that was very genuine. I could not be happier.
What’s the one thing we may not know about Janis that you want us to know?
She had a very tender, gentle side that’s a contrast to Janis on stage. She was well read, considerate of people around her, and fascinating to talk to. We were a reading family from our earliest days. Our father took us to the library once a week and everybody read everything. I remember Janis being fascinated by painters. At the library, Janis would be in the adult section, with two-inch-thick books, reading about Rembrandt.
What is one thing Janis said to you that you’ll never forget?
I do get a picture that doesn’t necessarily come with words. It was the morning after her 10-year high-school reunion. She was in the kitchen making Eggs Benedict for everyone—we’d never had it before. It was the style of her chatty, jaunty, festive attitude and her familiarity with the kitchen that I remember most.
What would she say to you now if she was standing there with you?
She left everything that she needed to say in her legacy. She left us her personal letters, a great treasure trove of how she felt going through the process of life. She said to “be true to yourself, and if you let yourself go, you can be more than you ever thought.” Those philosophical things are evident in her quotes. A lot of the woman I knew is still there in them.
When we think of Janis, we do think of sadness. She is missed.
She had challenges with some people but she was very loved at home and enjoyed the family a lot. It was clear she had a thrill when she was on stage—especially when you see those photos of her smiling at the audience. Those thoughts are keepers to freeze in the mind and hold on to. There is sadness in the fact that she died so young.
Yours was a creative family, wasn’t it?
Yes, our father put up playground equipment that he had designed and built himself. Mother made most of our clothes, and she was a needlepoint artist. My brother, Michael, is a glassblower.
Creativity and thinking were encouraged. Our parents talked to us as equals at the dinner table. We commented on current events and what we were reading.
Mother didn’t give us board games with rules. She gave us blank paper and crayons, and pieces of wood to use as blocks. We were taught to be deliberate and use our minds to make decisions.
Let’s talk about health. What role did being healthy play in your childhood experiences?
Food was a focal point, with three square meals a day. Our parents had grown up on a farm, and were in love with the convenience of “modern life” then. The best thing: Pepperidge Farm frozen bread! Mom did make meals from scratch, and dad was a great cook too. Mom even made our lunch meat from leftovers, and put it into a meat grinder. Our parents were definitely into what they thought was healthy.
And we have a clip. Here’s an exclusive interview with Big Brother and the Holding Company drummer Dave Getz, Laura Joplin and filmmaker Amy Berg.
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Cute doesn’t take weekends off, so this past Saturday was National Tabby Cat Day. Wikipedia says that, “A tabby is any domestic cat that has a coat featuring distinctive stripes, dots, lines or swirling patterns, usually together with a mark resembling an ‘M’ on its forehead. Tabbies are sometimes erroneously assumed to be a cat breed.” (Presumably because of inaccurate information also published on Wikipedia…). Launch the gallery to see 25 tabby cat photos celebrating their stripes and patterns.
Click here to see “April Showers…” and check back every weekday for a new Daily Cute! If you would like to submit cute photos which you took, please send them to DailyCuteParade@gmail.com. You will be credited if they’re used in a future Daily Cute.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Happy birthday, Princess Charlotte! This day last year the world was introduced to the latest addition to the royal family, who was photographed for the first time less than 12 hours after she was born.
No one knew whether Prince George would be getting a brother or a sister, but on May 2, 2015, it was revealed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had welcomed a daughter to their growing family.
Since then, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana has only been seen in public once—at her christening—although now and again Kensington Palace have released photographs of her as she grows, usually taken by her mother.
Now four new photographs have been released to mark the princess turning one year old today. The pictures were again taken by the duchess at home in Amner Hall.
The princess’s face is full of character in the snapshots, for which she was dressed in either a pink or a blue dress, with matching tiny cardigans and hair bows.
One picture shows Charlotte playing with a baby walker on the lawn, smiling at her mother behind the camera, while the others are beautifully-shot interior portraits.
Kensington Palace tweeted the pictures from their official Twitter account (@KensingtonRoyal), along with accompanying captions.
“The Duke and Duchess are delighted to share new photographs of Princess Charlotte,” the first tweet reads.
“The Duchess took these pictures of her daughter in April at their home in Norfolk,” says another.
Is there a definite resemblance to her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II in Charlotte’s blue eyes, or even to her uncle Prince Harry? Let us know who you think Charlotte most resembles!View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Following in the footsteps of Nicholas Sparks’ books-turned-into-movies The Notebook and Dear John comes The Choice, starring Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer in a love story that begs the question: How far should you go to keep the hope of love alive?
Travis (Walker) is a fun-loving bachelor who’s managed to avoid commitment until he meets and falls in love with his new neighbor Gabby (Palmer). But what looks like a forever-after love is threatened by forces outside their control, and Travis must make a choice that will alter their lives forever.
Just in time for the Blu-ray and DVD release of The Choice on May 3, Parade.com got the chance to talk with its creator about love and romance, his love for North Carolina, his favorite non-Nicholas Sparks romantic movies, and more.
I have seen most of the movies made from your books. I was thinking about why, and the reason I came up with is they’re human stories as opposed to special effects, robots or superheroes. Is there a common theme that you try to have in all of your movies to make them relatable?
One of the requirements I have for any story, and it’s a threefold requirement, whether we’re talking about the plot as a whole, or any individual element within the novel or film, or any of the characters, they all have to meet three criteria. They have to be interesting, they have to be unique, and they have to be universal.
It’s very easy to do two of those three in anything. For instance, you can be interesting and unique, and come up with a superhero, or a Hannibal Lecter, but they’re not very universal, and you don’t relate to them. The challenge is to take someone that could be your neighbor, your sister or yourself and make that person both interesting and really unique.
That is the challenge, and that’s why, for instance, Noah Calhoun in The Notebook is very different than John in Dear John. They’re both interesting, but they’re very distinct.
Another goal of mine is any character throughout any of my novels tends to be more glass half full, than glass half empty, and they tend to do the right thing most of the time. They try to do right by their friends and family, I say most of the time, because nobody’s perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Then they’re able to communicate what they’re thinking or feeling, or what their hopes and dreams are for the future.
What made Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer the perfect choices for Travis and Gabby?
We’ll start with Benjamin Walker. He was raised in Georgia, so he understands the South as a Southerner does. He wasn’t someone coming in with misperception, or an idea of the South as formulated by books, movies and media. He was from there.
Of course, he’s immensely talented in a lot of different ways. He’s currently in American Psycho on Broadway. He can sing, he’s a stand-up comedian, he plays musical instruments, this is a young man who’s extraordinarily talented across the board.
When we’re talking about Travis, we’re talking about someone who really knows how to enjoy life, who’s got a sense of humor. He can tease and be teased. Those are wonderful qualities and Benjamin can do that in his own life. He was, of course, the right age, and he understood the character, and so we have all of those things.
Now, Teresa Palmer, when we saw her, she has this unbelievable ability to just act with her facial expressions, without even the tone of her voice. She doesn’t have to use any words at all, you could see exactly what she’s going to say or think, or how she’s feeling just based on her facial acting and her body language. I think it’s really extraordinary. The closest comparison would be Rachel McAdams. She would do the same thing in The Notebook. So when we saw Teresa Palmer, it just made sense that she would be able to play the role of someone who life suddenly throws her a curve ball. She had her life all imagined out in one way and all of a sudden it’s changed, and that uncertainty and the questioning of what should I do, it just plays out so beautifully.
You walked away from the studios to make this film on your own. Was part of that having to do with how close you stay to the novel?
No, I don’t do it that way. In producing, my goals is always the same. I say, “Look, we want to catch the spirit and the intent of the story, and make the best film possible,” because they’re very different mediums. A novel is a story told with words, a film is a story told with pictures. Some things work much better in words, like, introspection; and some things, no matter how good a writer you are, they just work better on film, like fires, car chases or arguments. They’re just more arresting on film, so you try to catch it with the strength of the different mediums.
This movie is also a love story to North Carolina. The locations are just gorgeous. Can you talk a little bit about how you chose where to film?
We wanted to capture North Carolina and figured they have good crews and everything, so it was a good choice on a number of levels, but I love to film in North Carolina, because it’s a way to introduce people to the area where I live, and it looks different than almost anywhere else.
The coastal plains where I live in North Carolina don’t look like the coastal plains of South Carolina, or anything like Florida. It’s just the geography. It’s flat, so you’ve got these wide, slow-moving rivers, and you’ve got islands off the coast, there’s no place like it. So for me, people want to know why I live here, and I get to show them on film.
Do you know what your next movie is going to be?
Right now, we’re working on a script for The Guardian, so there’s no tentative start date or anything like that. We’re in the early stages, but that would be the next one.
What’s your favorite romantic movie, excluding yours?
I’ve got five. I think there are five that top the charts. You’ve got to go with Casablanca, why? I think that’s a classic. I think Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore was beautiful. I thought Dirty Dancing was fabulous. I just watched Dirty Dancing the other night with my son, and it works after 30 years. It holds up and it’s just fabulous. I think Titanic was an epic love story, and, even though I don’t know that it classifies technically as a love story in the vein of these others, I still think Pretty Woman works very well.
These are all good, but I thought you’d pick more classic movies, like An Affair to Remember.
I love that one, but they’ve also got to really hold up for me. These are the ones that, I think, will hold up and they’ll be equally watched for a long time from now.
Are you working on another book?
I am working on a novel, Two by Two, and it will be out this fall.
You’ve talked about your great love story in the past, but since your divorce, have your feelings changed at all when it comes time to sit down and write about love?
No. No, not at all. I’m a big believer in love, and just because Cathy and I are no longer married, that’s not the end of our story. We have five children, we live a couple miles apart, and we’re still very good friends. No one ever knows what the future will bring in anything, but absolutely not.
The Choice is currently available on Digital HD, and arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) on May 3 from Lionsgate.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
NCIS is back with an all-new episode Tuesday night — the first of three that will take us to the May 17 Season 13 finale and Michael Weatherly‘s departure from his role as Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo — featuring a very special guest.
First Lady Michelle Obama appears as herself in the Homefront episode as she welcomes Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and the wife of a Marine (Reiko Aylesworth) to the White House for a Joining Forces roundtable with military spouses. Joining Forces is a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans and their families and support them through wellness, education and employment opportunities.
“Initially, she was going to come and film with us here in Los Angeles, and then her schedule didn’t allow that,” executive producer Gary Glasberg tells Parade.com. “They literally said, ‘Would you like to come and film at our house?’ We jumped at the opportunity. We are the first production to actually film inside the White House ever. The West Wing filmed outside, but we were given the opportunity to go in and the First Lady was fantastic.”
Glasberg says that the staff at NCIS has been aware of Joining Forces for a while and wanted to build a story around the initiative. In doing their research, the opportunity came up for the First Lady to be a part of it.
“I can’t tell you how it started,” Glasberg says, when asked if he called the White House or they contacted him. “It is just an organization that we always have been aware of because of some of the stories we tell. Then literally through conversations, it turned into, ‘Hey, what if we could have the First Lady?’ Again, it’s been pretty cool, and again, more than being about that, it’s about what this organization does, what they provide for military spouses and families.”
The Joining Forces initiative calling all Americans to rally around was launched in 2011 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, so it is currently celebrating its fifth anniversary.
Also in the Homefront episode, the through storyline of the manhunt for escaped former MI6 agent Jacob Scott (Vince Nappo) continues when Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) and Senior FBI Agent T.C. Fornell (Joe Spano) travel to London to meet with their British counterparts.
NCIS airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+
Adam Levine already declared that Alisan Porter from Team Christina Aguilera is the obvious choice to win Season 10 of The Voice, but the former star of Curly Sue isn’t the only member of the Top 10 to make it onto the iTunes Top 10 list. Adam Wakefield from Team Blake Shelton also has that honor, which keeps him in contention as a possible winner.
“It was definitely a first for me,” Adam tells Parade.com. “It’s a crazy feeling. Honestly, the biggest, wild moment for me was when I was talking to Blake about it. It sat at 11 forever. I was, ‘Come on. One spot. That is all I need.’ I am sitting there watching it, lying in bed at 1:30 in the morning waiting for this thing to go up one more spot. Then I was talking to Blake and he was saying, ‘Every time I got up to go to the bathroom or go make a drink, I was watching iTunes for you.’ It was cool to know that Blake Shelton was checking his phone to see if my song is up there.”
The Top 10 return tonight with their next performance to see who will advance on in the competition. But first, check out the rest of the interview with Team Blake:
When do you start shooting daggers at each other?
Paxton Ingram: If you decide to do that, the fun gets sucked out of it. We are artists, so there’s room for all of us. So if we have that mentality, to give … this guy (pointing to Adam) making charts for us if we need help, he’s the one we go to. That’s a winner’s heart. That’s a champion’s heart.
Mary Sarah: Anybody on Season 10 deserves to win. They are so amazing. All of us completely agree. We can’t pick a winner right now. We think each of us could be the winner. It is so amazing we support each other so much, it’s a beautiful thing.
Adam Wakefield: It is a karma thing, too. You don’t want to mess with your juju. The supportive atmosphere has been good to us. Why mess with it?
Mary Sarah: I think the one thing you take out of this is friendship, relationships. We will know each other the rest of our lives. We’re going to be, “Remember when we were on Season 10 of The Voice?”
How many copies of your songs do you buy yourself?
Mary: To be honest, I only buy one.
Paxton: I broke my phone, so I couldn’t buy it.
Adam: Actually, it’s funny. My Blind Audition song, my first song, I didn’t have enough money in my account to buy it, so I had to get my buddy to gift it to me. I had cash on me. I was, “Here’s $2. Send it to me.” That was pretty funny. I am just not good with my money. [Since making the iTunes charts], I can afford my downloads now. That’s the bonus.
Tell us something about yourself that we may not know.
Adam: I am kind of a nerd, so I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy. I was jazzed last night. I made the production people turn off all the lights, so I could watch Game of Thrones in the production office.
Mary: Something you may not know about me is I used to figure skate and I won a gold medal [not for the Olympics], and I quit right after that. I won my gold medal and that was all that I wanted. Literally, my goal was a gold medal. I got it and I was done.
Paxton: A fun fact about me is I need like five shots of espresso each day to get me going. Only because I am from Miami and we have Cuban coffee there.
I heard Bryan Bautista cut your hair? Isn’t that a fun fact?
Paxton: You found out about Bryan cutting my hair? He did cut my hair in the bathroom. It was awesome. He hooked it up. I was pleasantly surprised. He was good. I was looking rough, like Buckwheat from the Little Rascals and Bryan was my savior.
Did you get to talk to Pharrell since you performed an inspirational song as he suggested [Paxton sang Tasha Cobbs’ inspirational “Break Every Chain.”]
Paxton: I didn’t talk to him today but as I walking off, I made sure I told him thank you and he acknowledged me. It was really cool. I have to thank him because he nailed it for me.
The Voice returns tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC when the Top 10 perform.View the original at Parade or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+