On yesterday I was on set filming with BET for their new reality show From The Bottom Up. The scene captures client, Kimberly Smedley and I discussing her book. I have worked behind the scenes of some of today’s most talented writers and publishers and this experience was completely awesome. Look out for the show to premiere on Dec 5th.
Synopsis: Cheryl Cartwright is a beautiful woman with a successful career. She wears designer clothes, drives a luxury car, lives in a lavish home and has an attractive husband with a six figure salary. Michael gives Cheryl everything she wants except for one little thing; monogamy. Even though he has been unfaithful to her since their college days, she thought that marriage would end his promiscuity. Unfortunately he never turned in his player card. His position as a top marketing executive makes it all too easy to conduct pleasurable business with his associates of the female persuasion. After suffering a miscarriage at the hands of one of his mistresses, Cheryl decides to leave Michael for good and sets a plan in motion to have her happily ever with a man from her past. Isaac is the perfect man. He is loving, loyal and honest. Just when it seems like Cheryl will finally have her fairytale ending, Michael throws up a major roadblock. He discovers a secret that Cheryl has hidden from her new beau and threatens to use it against her. The actions he takes to try and hold on to Cheryl cause him to make several enemies. More secrets are exposed and now his enemies want the ultimate revenge……….murder! But which one of them is relentless enough to go through with it?
Ivory Taylor was riding her new beau straight to Heaven when her flow was interrupted by the incessant ringing of her doorbell. Derrick, a running back for the Raiders had a bye week and Ivory was taking full advantage! She had cleared her schedule and the two of them had been holed up in her townhouse all week long.
“Who the Hell is that?” Derrick was getting pissed and beginning to think that Ivory had another man on the side since she was so reluctant to answer the door.
“Who gives a fuck?” she moaned. “I ain’t getting up off this dick for Jesus!”
The ringing wouldn’t stop and it was destroying the mood so Ivory finally excused herself at Derrick’s insistence and went to the door. Looking through the peephole in her pink satin robe, she was incensed by the image of Michael on the other side. She cracked the door open slightly just enough to give him a piece of her mind. “What the f–?”
Michael barged right into the house without an invitation. “Look, I told you on the phone that we needed to talk, but you wanted to act ignorant so you left me no choice.’’ Michael stopped talking when out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Derrick staring at him. He had gotten out of bed and thrown on a pair of sweatpants to get a glimpse of Ivory’s unexpected guest. Derrick stood in the bedroom doorway with his arms crossed over his bare chest looking from one to the other waiting for an explanation. Ivory offered none, so Michael spoke up to introduce himself.
“Hey man what’s up?” he said nonchalantly moving toward Derrick with his hand extended so that Derrick could observe his wedding band. “I’m Michael Cartwright. Ivory and my wife go way back. College days. Anyway, wifey and I are having some problems and I just need to talk to Ivory real quick then I will let you guys get on with your … ah…business.”
Ivory looked at Michael incredulously and then went over and whispered something in Derrick’s ear that made him smile and return with her into her bedroom. She came out a few minutes later wearing jeans and Derrick’s jersey with a pair of white Nikes. Without saying a word, she brushed past Michael and walked outside, so he followed her.
“Let’s get this shit over with,” she shot him an infuriated look. “What the Hell do you want?”
Michael went right into his spiel. “Look, you know Cheryl has had a really rough time since the miscarriage and she has just shut me out completely. I need to know what’s up with her, so I can help, so that we can get through this.”
“So, how am I supposed to help?”
“Tell her that she needs to open up to me or that maybe we could go to counseling or … Hell, I don’t know! You are the lawyer. You convince people of shit for a living. Just help me fix it!”
“Obviously, I’m not that good at convincing cuz I haven’t been able to convince her to leave yo’ ass yet!”
“Listen, I didn’t come here to trade insults with you. Just talk to Cheryl for me,” Michael replied sternly.
Ivory tilted her head to the side looking perplexed. “Excuse me? You don’t come over to my crib, interrupting my groove, and then start making demands!”
Michael looked down on the pavement and ran his hand over his low fade. He shook his head before looking back up at Ivory. “Man, I can’t believe after all this time that you are still jealous of your girl. You just don’t want to see her happy do you?”
“That’s right,” Michael continued. “You took her under your wing in college like she was some little social rehab project for you. Then once the caterpillar turned into a butterfly, you began to envy your own creation.”
Ivory rolled her eyes at Michael. “You sound crazy as Hell!”
“Whatever, I’m not trying to go down memory lane with you tonight, as I’m sure you got better things to do,” Michael motioned towards the house and cracked a smile. He moved in closer to Ivory and caressed her shoulder. “If memory serves, you like to ride a brotha into the sunset. Can you still ride it like a rollercoaster Ivory?”
If looks could kill, Michael would have been six feet under. Ivory pushed his hand off her shoulder. “You need to leave. Now!”
“Not until we have an understanding,” he replied. “Now, I played it off in front of your little boyfriend earlier, but I won’t hesitate to tell Cheryl what went down between us back in college if you don’t get on my side and help me.”
“Yeah – right,” Ivory said trying to call his buff. “You would be a damn fool to tell her that shit.”
“Maybe so,” Michael replied casually. “But me cheating on Cheryl isn’t really anything new to her. She is used to it, but what about you? How would she feel if she knew that her best friend was fucking her man back in college and smiling in her face at the same time?”
“That shit only happened once Michael, and you know it!”
“Yeah, but it won’t matter to Cheryl if it was just once, or one hundred times. It still happened and you hid it from her for all these years.” Michael started rubbing up and down on Ivory’s shoulder again making her cringe. “Yes, she will hate me of course, but right now, she already does anyway, so the way I see it, I have nothing to lose. You on the other hand, well you stand to lose your best friend. Are you willing to take that risk? Nah, I don’t think so, Michael answered for her. You don’t want to lose your old shopping buddy, so you will help me, right Ivory?”
The tears welling up in her hazel eyes gave him the answer he was looking for.
“Good lookin’ out,” Michael patted her on top of the head like an obedient dog and went to his Navigator. Ivory just stood for a few moments in the cool night air cursing Michael Cartwright as she wiped the tears from her eyes and watched him drive off. As she turned to go back inside, the Jeep Cherokee slowly drove past her house.
On Kindle this Wednesday
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Synopsis: In part four In Part 4 of She Was a Friend of Mine, after surviving the bullet her ex-best friend Vicky put in her head, Shi returns from a near psychotic break with the help of Dr. Richards. An unwanted trip to Jamaica opens Shi’s eyes to a lot of things, one of them being a mysterious and wealthy young man named Josh. Shi is soon seduced into the bed of L.A.’s top drug dealer.
Realizing she too deserves happiness Shi dreams of the perfect life with Josh. But something is stopping her; the lies she told in Jamaica.
Meanwhile a new Queen starts to rises in the streets. And she’s coming for Shiesty Shi.
Can she leave it all behind? Will Shi get the normal life she wants? Has she found true happiness with Josh? Will she tell him about her past before her past finds them? Or will the lies she’s told catch up with her first?
Get your copy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1W1DEdF
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When you’re hot you’re hot, and right now Ava DuVernay is one of the most sought after people in the movie business.
On the heels of her box office success directing the Academy Award winning Selma, DuVernay is retooling her film company, AFFRM (African American Film Festival Releasing Movement) into something much larger and more expansive called Array.
Array will focus on giving a platform to more films by minorities and women. The plan is to increase the number of films it releases beyond its past output of two per year.
“I’ve always felt as if there were so many films that get made but not seen,” DuVernay told Variety. “The real focus of our company has always been distribution. What we’re doing now is opening our arms a little wider and enlarging our mission.”
DuVernay already has Array’s first few projects in motion as the company recently teamed with Neflix to stream Tina Mabry’s Mississippi Damned on the platform and has plans to release two additional films this fall: South African director Sara Blecher’s coming-of-age drama Ayanda and the Mechanic and Takeshi Fukunaga’s debut feature Out of My Hand.
“It’s a definite evolution of what we were doing at AFFRM,” says DuVernay. “When I was out promoting Selma, I became aware of so many other films that ought to be getting distribution. And this is a problem I can do something about because of my experience.”
DuVernay says she plans to utilize both theatrical arthouses and streaming platforms to distribute films.
For more information on Array, please visit www.arraynow.com
Earlier this week, the lead cast was announced for VH1’s upcoming original movie, The Breaks. Now the hip hop drama adds a legendary rap figure into the mix — casting Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man as Darryl Van Puten, Sr.
The M-E-T-H-O-D Man reunites with fellow actors from The Wire, Mack Wilds and Wood Harris, for the drama currently in production. Check out the press release below for more info.
NEW YORK, NY (June 4, 2015) – VH1’s next original movie “The Breaks” adds rapper Method Man to the cast. “The Breaks” will chronicle the journey of Nikki, David and DeeVee, three friends united by their love of hip-hop, as they work to make their big mark in the music industry. The film will travel viewers back to the summer of 1990 in New York City where the music industry’s artists and hustlers intersect in the dance clubs and the street corners of the still crime-ridden city. But they will all soon discover lives can be broken as fast as legends can be born.
Method Man joins the cast as Darryl Van Puten, Sr, DeeVee’s (Mack Wilds) perennially irritated father. He is a stern, solid man who is unimpressed with DeeVee’s efforts to break into the music business. He believes his son needs to be treated with tough-love and give up this rap-thing if he’s ever going to get his life together. Method Man is repped by CAA and Smart Girl Productions. Wood Harris, Mack (Tristan) Wilds, Afton Williamson, David Call and Antoine Harris were previously announced as leads in “The Breaks,” which is currently in production now and will premiere late Fall 2015.
“The Breaks” is written and directed by Seith Mann. In addition to Seith Mann, Dan Charnas. Maggie Malina will also serve as executive producers. Darren Goldberg will executive produce for Atlantic Pictures. VH1 executive producers are Susan Levison and Bill Flanagan.