From Child Actor To All Grown Up
In Her Role On Games People Play
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EDITOR IN CHIEF
Layla Abdeljabbar, Danielle Canniff, Ali Gay
Jamie Gerhartz, Justin Grant, Zayna Palmer,
Evan Quinones, Erick Sanchez, Gabriela Silva,
Rose Wang, Marin Hamataj,
John Martinotti, Mark Jared Zufelt,
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
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The latest stories from
78 30 88
NATURAL HAIR IS
Why you should love your hair
as it naturally is.
We take at look at the fashion
brand Lâcher Prise by Marine
OLD HOLLYWOOD MAGIC
We go behind the scenes of
how actress Brooke Lewis
planned her "Old Hollywood"
Tasya Teles talks her experience
working on The 100 and
how she connects with her role
on the show.
Sharon Blynn discusses
beating cancer, her Bald is
Beautiful foundation, and her
role in Captain Marvel.
Parker McKenna Posey chats
about being a child actor and
the grown up role she now has
on Games People Play.
WISE BEYOND HER
Baby Ariel tells us about her
music, acting, and how she's
taking a stand against bullying.
NOTES ON THE
2019 MET GALA
Fashion Director Gabriella
Saitta explores the 2019 Met
Gala and its theme of "Camp".
Take a look at how SZA and
Justine Skye have evolved their
SAYING A LOT
YouTube star Sophie Michelle
talks her channel and her music.
CONQUERING IT ALL
Britney Sarpy discusses getting
involved in acting and her roles
on General Hospital, The Young
and the Restless, and The
Haves and the Have Nots.
Michael Tow talks overcoming
the stereotypes Asian actors
have to deal with and his role in
Mary Mouser chats about her
role on Cobra Kai and more.
for Cliché Magazine
WHY YOU SHOULD
Tells Us About
Her Music, Acting,
Activism PG 108
FEEDING HIS SOUL
Ian Verdun talks his passion for
acting and his role on Siren.
FINDING A VOICE
Veronika Slowikowska tells us
about working on What We Do
In The Shadows and more.
SO YOUNG, SO WISE
Sarah Abbott talks acting roles
and her upcoming series V-
GOT YOUR BACK
Adam McArthur chats about
getting into voice acting and
working on Star vs. the Forces
for Cliché Magazine June/July
Photographer: ISAAC STER-
Hair: GUI SCHOEDLER
Make-Up: MERAV ADLER
Stylist: ENRIQUE MELENDEZ
GIVE HER A STAGE
Jordyn Curet lets us know about
Life Hacks for Kids and more.
Tucker Meek chats his role in
Little and being an actor.
SET THE FIRE
Spencer Trinwith discusses
battling a health condition while
pursuing his career as an actor.
Nikki Leigh tells us about acting,
modeling, hosting, and what's
next for her in 2019.
COMING IN HOT
Hassie Harrison talks her role in
the comedy series Tacoma FD
BEING A VOICE
Al Harrington discusses going
from the NBA to his new venture
Kyle Thousand talks his role as
Roc Nation's Managing Director
Kat Tat tells us about her experiences
as a tattoo artist.
Atlas the Plug talks hosting
BlapChat and his advice for up
and coming producers.
KNOW THE REAL ME
ALAENA discusses going solo
and her single "Paranoid".
Gavin Haley talks going from
cycling to music.
NOTHING COMES EASY
Ben Hagarty tells us about his
career and helping creators
through Black With No Cream.
Sage Charmaine talks about
developing her personal
musical style and her EP Don't
Your favorite summer activity:
My favorite summer activity is going to the
beach. I live in Madrid, the capital of Spain, here
there is no beach and it is very very hot. That's
why the beach is so special for me. When the
summer arrives, I like to travel to some beautiful
city where I can be a tourist, because I am a
lover of art and also take the opportunity to go
to the beach. What I like the most is reading a
romantic book while I am listening the sound of
the waves of the sea and feeling the breeze. I
also love taking walks along the shore at sunset
and feeling those little details like water wetting
my feet; and of course seeing dawn without
noise, listening to the sound of nature, it makes
me feel peace. I know that is weird but I also
enjoy a lot when the sea is not calm, riding in
the bow of a small boat and going very fast. In
those moments is when I feel the most free. I
love the summer and do many activities, as I
said before traveling is one of my passions, and
especially if I go with the love of my life.
Something you're loving at the moment:
Something that I love at this moment is that
I can combine my work perfectly with my
personal life. I am a very sensitive person who
needs stability and peace and thanks to my
fiancé, I have it both. We have parallel lives
and I love that. Something that I also like a lot
at this moment is the point of view from which
I work. In the world of fashion, there are many
superficial people who do not treat others
well. When they treat me badly, I try to learn
from experience. A wonderful designer, Fosca
Bertrán, one day told me, when bad things
happen to you, you have two options: to get
revenge or learn from it. I decided to choose the
second option. I prefer to try to make the world
that I live and see a better world, and for that
we must start being an example of behaviour
and respect, something that is very necessary
in today's society. I like to apply this to my work
and make the whole team feel comfortable.
Another thing that I love about my job is to try
to mix fashion photography, not showing only
clothes, but giving to my images a message,
so that a part of my soul is left in them.
Tell us about your contribution to the
This editorial is part of a great project that
I started in April. This project is currently
composed of 6 shootings in which in each
session I collaborate with an emerging
designer with the intention of giving visibility
to young talents that do not have an easy
way. In this case, the designer Nacho
Gamma, a great professional and a better
person, lent me some pieces from one of his
collections called Resilience. This designer
won a contest and was able to show it at the
Madrid Mercedes Fashion Week Runway.
The looks of this editorial are very special
because they are unique pieces. When
Nacho agreed to make this collaboration, I
got in touch with Ana the wonderful model
that you can see, and Iria the fabulous make
up artist, through Instagram. I did not meet
them until the day we shot the photos. I really
like to meet new people who are starting
in this industry like me, and give us all the
opportunity to collaborate and create such
incredible things as this editorial. People
don't know the hours behind a photograph,
and in the end everything goes well because
we are people with the same love who work
with passion to fulfill their dreams. This is a
team effort and we all contribute something
that makes a better result. The publishing
house is made in La Quinta del Duque del
Arco, a beautiful palace in Madrid, that very
few people know. Thanks Ana, Iria and
Nacho, because this editorial belongs to
everyone. And I will continue with this project
to continue giving visibility to young talents
that we are the future of this industry.
To see more work from Marta:
At this moment I am creating a website
where people can see my work, but it is not
finished yet. The best place to follow my
work is Instagram @laluita_photo. I am also
a very outgoing and friendly person, they can
always contact me and ask me what they
want. I will be happy to answer them.
→Want to contribute to one of our issues? We’d love to work with you! Visit our Submissions
page on ClicheMag.com or get in touch at email@example.com.
THE CHUNKY WHITE
SNEAKER AND HOW IT
WILL HELP YOU STAY IN
STYLE WHILE GOING ON
ALL YOUR SPRING/SUMMER
We have all been through
it and cried about it;
we have all seen it and
laughed about it: that
painful walk that happens after wearing
uncomfortable shoes all day for the sake
of fashion. Sacrificing comfort for a pair
of shoes seems stupid until you’re put in
that position. It sounds ridiculous, but for
most of us, it’s a true story! I one time
had a bartender cut me off at a sweet
sixteen because I appeared too intoxicated.
Not sure which was a greater loss of
dignity, I decided not to tell her that my
walk was due to my new black, velvet
heels. Instead I just rolled my eyes and
walked like I was shot in both kneecaps
to the other bartender standing at the
opposite end of the bar. Those shoes sure
did elevate me to a new level of class.
Anyway, the gods and goddess of fashion
have blessed us with a trend that will
allow us to keep our style while keeping
feeling in all of our toes. I present to you
the chunky white sneaker and how it will
help you stay in style while going on all
of your spring/summer adventures. Now
we can spend our spring and summer
traversing the wonders of the world one
easy step at a time without sacrificing
the desire to keep a presentable outfit
Not only is the chunky white sneaker a
miracle for comfort, but it goes with just
BY GABRIELLA SAITTA
Image Credit: fila.com
about anything. Any outfit you decide to put
on will most likely look just as good with a
chunky white sneaker rather than an anklebreaking
You don’t believe me? Surely these dad-like
sneakers can’t be worn with simply anything.
Just check out Olivia Culpo looking clean,
professional, and stylish while remaining
comfortable in her chunky white sneakers. She
demonstrates that a chunky white sneaker can
still help you dress to impress.
Visit clichemag.com to continue reading this
Photo credit: Netflix
WHY BEYONCÉ’S HOMECOMING
IS A MASTERCLASS ON
BY LAYLA ABDELJABBAR
When Beyoncé hit the Coachella stage last
year, many of us expected amazing live vocals,
her iconic hits, and memorable choreography.
Instead, when she hit the stage, the
audience at Coachella and those watching
online were left in awe when Beyoncé delivered
more than just a regular performance.
In a 105-minute set, Beyoncé presented a
statement on Black culture and history. No
one could’ve guessed one of the many songs
she performed would be The Black National
Anthem. No one expected Beyonce to have
a full marching band (from Historically Black
Colleges and Universities) to help lead her
performance. And of course, no one expected
a Destiny’s Child reunion.
Beyoncé’s Coachella performance was not
only celebrated because of her amazing
talent, but because it was a tribute to Black
American culture. In the film, Beyoncé said
she “wanted every person that has ever been
dismissed because of the way they look to
feel like they were on that stage.” And that
night, she did just that.
Visit clichemag.com to continue
reading the full article.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT FOR
BLACK ACTRESSES TO HIRE
MEN AND WOMEN OF COLOR
TO DO THEIR HAIR AND
BY KEMBERLIE SPIVEY
This year, an important discussion has come up in Hollywood
reflecting how black women in the industry
need women and men of color to do their hair/
makeup. Model Olivia Anakwe sparked this discussion
on Instagram about on-set hair styling; venting that hair stylists
at shoots, generally, are clueless when it comes to working
with Black hair/natural hair. This is why it is important for
black actresses to hire men and women of color to do their
hair and makeup.
It is an important topic because many women and men of
color in the entertainment business do not have the opportunity
to have black stylists do their hair or makeup as some do.
Black hair has different textures and thus has to be handled
carefully or it can be damaged PLUS it is styled differently (in
dozens of possible fun hairstyles) and non-people of color may
not know how to style certain hair. There are many black actors
like David Alan Grier that have brought their own barber to
set rather than take a chance on another barber who may not
know how to deal with his hair. For some diverse shows like
The Flash, many of the hair stylists are not black and may not
know how to do black women or men’s hair the way a black
stylists does. Recently at the SXSW panel in Austin, Candice
Patton, actress from The Flash, discussed feeling less beautiful
because the stylist does not know how to style black hair. “I do
not want to be labeled a diva for asking for a stylist who knows
how to do Black hair, knows how to do Black makeup,” Patton
said. “I want to be able to call up my producers and know that
they’ll have my back.” An actress or actor should not have to
feel less than anything because of how the person styles their
hair or makeup. Whenever they come on any set, they should
know someone is styling them greatly in order to shine on
screen. There are many Black hairstylists and MUAs who are
very good at doing their work and can be hired on sets.
Whenever I’m watching shows, I can tell the difference in a black
women’s hair and makeup based on her edges or the lighter
makeup they used to compel a person skin tone. Men and Women
of Color’s skin comes in different hues, and those hues
require different foundations and makeup styles that
people not used to doing their make-up won’t know.
As a Women of Color, I feel it’s truly important to have
someone who looks like me have the opportunity to do
ethnic hair on black actresses. For those who are not
People of Color, it’s important to get the proper training
instead of trying to figure out how to style someone hair
or makeup when they first get in the chair. Black actors/
actresses should not have to bring their own equipment
or have their hair done when coming to set because
they are not sure who will be styling their hair/makeup.
More makeup artists and hairstylists with experience in
black hair/skin tones need access to unions in order to
open doors. But also, remember there are stylists who
know how to style every race hair/makeup and can bring
people who can assist with the process.
Photo credit: @olivia_anakwe on Instagram
Creative Director/Fashion Editor: NAZ AFSHAR
Producer: JOHN MARTINOTTI
Photographers: JOHN MARTINOTTI | MARK JARED ZUFELT
Marketing | PR: TONY VINCENTE
Photo Assistant: SAINT SAUNDERS
Designers, wardrobe designs and accessories provided by ZARA and GUSTAVO APITI
HMUA: TRACY SAUNDERS
Model: RICHARD ANSONG
BY ZAYNA PALMER
SZA is an American singer and songwriter
who is signed to Top Dawg Entertainment
Records. In 2017, she released her first
album Ctrl which her fans love. Sza embraces
her unique style and she is known for her
beautiful curly hair. Many of her fans can relate
to her music because she is honest and shares her
personal story through her lyrics. She is a natural
beauty who wears minimal makeup and continues
to be herself.
Image Credit: refinery29.com
Image Credit: stylecaster.com
Justine Skye is an American singer, songwriter,
actress, and model who is passionate about music.
She was born in Brooklyn, New York and represents
her hometown. She was originally famous from
tumblr and began her music career signed with Atlantic
Records. In 2012, she released her first mixtape called
Skye High, and her first album, ULTRAVIOLET, in 2018.
Justine is known for her beautiful purple hair that makes
her unique. She isn’t afraid to be herself and she embraces
her confidence. She continues to grow and shine as an
artist through her vocals and classy style.
Image Credit: press.atlanticrecords.com
Image Credit: @JustineSkye on Twitter
NATURAL HAIR IS
Women of color have natural curly hair that makes
them unique. Our hair stands out because it is versatile
and strong. Don’t be afraid to wear your hair
out because it shows who you truly are. The media
celebrates natural hair and the community has grown stronger over
Natural hair expresses your personality and your self confidence.
You may have gone through the big chop in the beginning, but
your hair will grow as fast as you think. Shrinkage is just a reminder
that your hair is healthy. Protective styles will be your best
friend because they will protect your hair all season.
Not sure of what products to use? Visit your local beauty supply
store and take a look at the different hair products that cater to
natural hair. Kinky, coily, and coarse hair textures are all created
beautifully and you have the power to express yourself.
Never give up on your hair because we all know that the struggle
is real. Instead, take your time and allow your hair to nourish and
shine just like you! Remember that your hair is beautiful and don’t
let anyone tell you otherwise. BY ZAYNA PALMER
Brand Spotlight: Lâcher
Prise by Marine Delmau
That’s the French phrase for “to let go”, referring to the physical
movement of relinquishing one’s grasp on some sort of object,
but is even more often used to convey the idea of easing one’s
so-human desire to control. Put more simply, it’s about relaxing --
freeing oneself from high expectations and standards, and instead
moving as water does: smooth; adaptable; peaceful; consistent.
It’s also the name of the ready-to-wear label launched by Frenchborn
and New York City-based designer Marine Delmau in 2016,
as well as the philosophy at the heart of not only her artistic approach,
but also her lifestyle. This notion of “letting go” is what
Delmau sees as the ideal way of tackling our hectic modern lives
-- “not holding onto grudges or taking things too personally” –
as she explains, that in turn allows us to maximize enjoyment
and minimize stress. A meditator, yogi, and practitioner of music
healing and tarot, just to name a few of the creative’s mindful habits,
Delmau’s spiritual perspective, coupled with her long-time
love of fashion, fueled her to make her own mark in the industry.
Born into an entrepreneurial-spirited family and inspired by her
mother, an accomplished businesswoman, Delmau always knew
that she, too, wished to create a brand of her own one day. Like
many young French girls, she found that she had a natural, if not
traditional, appreciation for fashion and the creativity that comes
with how we dress ourselves. She spent a lot of her time as a
child playing dress up, mixing and matching pieces in front of
her mirror. The designer concedes that her upbringing in France
undeniably impacted her creative sensibility -- it being the wellknown
“fashion capital of the world” -- and cites her homeland as
a major reason for her love affair with fashion. This passion eventually
led her to cross the Pond to New York City to pursue an Associate’s
Degree in Fashion Marketing at the esteemed Parsons
School of Design in 2011, which allowed her to marry her interests
in both the quantitative and qualitative sides of garment design.
Upon her graduation, the Parsons alumna further built upon her
design cred at various respected fashion houses, where she served
as an emerging designer. Delmau quickly became well-acquainted
with all aspects of what it takes to create a clothing collection,
from start to finish, as well as how to get it into the closets of today’s
choosy customers. Yet, one aspect of the business never sat
right with her: the all-too-common superficiality of it all. While
fashion design of course prioritizes aesthetics, Delmau noticed
a void in the market with regard to the emphasis on the spiritual
power of dressing -- how a piece of clothing makes us feel as soon
as we put it on -- and why we choose our garments in the first
place. For Delmau, an easygoing soul drawn to that effortlessly
elegant look synonymous with French women, this lack led to her
aha moment: a versatile ready-to-wear line meant to evoke the
feeling of comfort and liberty, while remaining easily chic and
suitable for a variety of activities. Hence, Lâcher Prise was born.
The Lâcher Prise concept draws its aesthetic from Delmau’s
original “Liberté” design, which adheres to the four pillars of
her approach: freedom, simplicity, comfort, and style. This
minimalist silhouette can be worn in a multitude of ways – as
an infinity scarf on an unexpectedly chilly day; a luxe take on
a hoodie; a cocktail dress for an elegant date night; or even a
wrap skirt while traveling on a summer getaway. How we
wear it is up to us, and that’s really the core intention of her
collection – dynamic, genderless designs that adapt to the lifestyle
of the wearer. The line’s pieces are meant to “feel good on
the skin,” and function like “a protective layer,” as she puts it,
so the wearer can look good and feel good, at the same time.
Textile selection is, for this reason, of paramount importance in
the designer’s process, because not all fabrics are created equally, or
are able to achieve the same tangible and visual effect. Known for her
softly-draped, body-skimming styles, Delmau’s preferred medium
is stretchy jersey, composed of botanical fibers such as MicroModal®
and TENCEL® lyocell. These fibers are employed for their
unparalleled softness, but also due to their eco-friendly nature, nodding
to another one of the brand’s critical core values: sustainability.
Hand-in-hand with her spirituality comes Delmau’s fervent
connection with nature and its elements, and unsurprisingly, this
has guided her to join many other modern designers in their quest
to purify fashion manufacturing and create chic clothing while
remaining kind to Mother Earth. Delmau similarly believes in the
necessity of reinvigorating New York’s fashion economy in the
name of keeping production local and prioritizing quality over cutting
costs, partnering with local manufacturers to create her pieces
in place of outsourcing production as many companies do. This
way, the company’s carbon footprint is kept as small as possible.
This deep bond with the natural world largely influenced her most
recent collection, as did her own Mediterranean roots. With her
family history rooted in the ruggedly beautiful lands of Southern
France and sandy expanses of Northern Africa, Delmau selected one
special landscape to inspire her Spring/Summer designs: the desert.
At once stark and mysteriously gorgeous, the desert setting functions
as the perfect vehicle for the contrasts she explores in her line.
Photographed by the masterful Duncan Mellor against the stunning
backdrop of the California desert, the brand’s latest lookbook illustrates
the effortless elegance that defines the designer’s collection.
Softly-draped jackets romantically cloak the body, accented
with shawl lapels and elongated straps dangling at the sleeves
and hem. Breezy button-front blouses offer a comfortable
yet polished staple essential to any classic wardrobe. Lusty,
semi-sheer versions of the designer’s iconic Liberté tops expose
some skin for a more daring look while still retaining sophistication.
Paired with the model’s sensual smoky eye, this series
of styles whispers quiet danger, the kind that comes disguised
in breathtaking beauty -- reminiscent of her muse: the Sahara.
The particularly fickle nature of today’s fad-driven fashion
landscape makes another facet of Delmau’s designs especially
worth noting: their timelessness. In an era obsessed with
constant change and shock value -- think of those neon hues,
the “logo mania” craze, and the extreme shredding detailing almost
anything these days -- Delmau’s easy silhouettes reflect on
a necessary return to the kind of clothing that truly never fades
from favor: soft, simply-chic pieces meant to be worn anytime,
anywhere. In other words, clothes that make us glow from within.
BY ALI GAY
NOTES ON THE 2019
The 2019 Met Gala may have just been the epitome of everything fashion. Worshipers of fashion, art, literature, design,
and even social revolution found their fulfillment this past May. The vindication of every step towards appreciation for
the pleasures of basic and wonderful humanity was displayed right on our New York pink carpet at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art. For all of you who took the deepest breaths of your life on May 6, I hope you can appreciate the magnificent
stories we’ve gained from such a night of elegance and freedom. For those of you who feel like you’re missing the hype, I
hope I can help you gain some insight on everything the Met Gala represents and how it relates to our very unique humanity.
“Indeed the essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and
exaggeration. And camp is esoteric—something of a private code, a
badge of identity even.”
~ Susan Sontag Notes On “Camp” published 1964
For those of you who thought “camp” meant tents, bonfires, canoeing, and secret games of truth or dare after curfew, you
were certainly wrong, but certainly not alone! Many celebrities joked about how they had to do their research and assumed everyone
would be dressed up in sleeping bags and badges. Trevor Noah even jokes on his late night show about the Met Gala’s “dirty
little secret,” which is that no one really knows what the theme is. He says “imagine if everyone got invited to an event and got a
different dress code. That’s the Met Gala.” So what exactly was the theme? Well, this is the perfect opportunity to say that it’s up
to your interpretation. “Camp,” according to Susan Sontag’s piece Notes On “Camp” is simply an exaggeration on everything you
Image Credit: today.com
Image Credit: bookandfilmglobe.com
are. The idea of “camp” is to tell the story of who
you are and whatever makes you unique. It means to
take an oath to live out loud with no bounds. If there
is anything actors, actresses, musicians, designers,
and all other artists know how to do, it’s to exaggerate.
It only seems fitting that the hosts for such a historical
theme were none other than Lady Gaga and
Harry Styles. These two musicians are true devotees
to not only music, but to entire concepts of art and
individuality. You can hear it in their music, feel it in
their voices, and of course, see it in their fashion—
trust me, I’m a Taurus; I know a great artist when I
From the start of her career, Lady Gaga
was all about individuality and exaggeration. She
has repeatedly wowed us with one esoteric ensemble
of fashion choices after another. Who could forget
her music videos for “Judas,” “Born This Way,” and
dare I bring it back up, her meat dress from the 2010
MTV Video Music Awards. If anyone was going to
pay tribute to Sontag’s Notes On “Camp” with the
fullest intent on exaggeration and art, it had to be
Lady Gaga arrived on the pink carpet with
enough material in theatrics and fashion for an entire
sub-gala of her own. She began her act with large
pink dress that gained most of its volume through the
seemingly endless train, all held together and guided
by a group of dancers with black umbrellas. Just as
everyone was gawking and cheering, she quickly
stole the crowd even further by removing
the tent-like garment to reveal a
long, elegant black dress which she
revealed with smug smiles and laughter.
Little did everyone know that Gaga was
only halfway done. After tantalizing
the crowd with some umbrella twirls
of her own, she then peeled away the
black dress to reveal a hot pink dress
that climbed down each of her gorgeous
curves. She pretended to cover herself
up and act embarrassed as if the entire
act was a wardrobe malfunction. One
of the dancers ran to her and threw on
large black sunglasses and handed her
a large black cellphone which she mocked
obnoxious conversation on. Her
performance finally hit the peak when
she threw away the third dress to show
off an entire look of lingerie with a
glimmering black bra and high-waisted
undergarment completed with sheer
black stockings and high boot heels.
She proudly posed and danced along
the stairs as she made her way inside.
She really didn’t let us breathe!
Harry Styles is one of the
greatest, yet underrated artists of our
generation. His talent, dedication, and
artistic eye set him apart from hundreds
of other musicians in the last
century. Emerging from the beloved
boy band One Direction, Harry Styles
has completely redefined who he is as
a pure artist derived from his ability to
compose music of any genre, develop
wholesome concepts for shows and
albums, and create some of the best
fashion statements in such a delicate
Harry Styles graced the Met
Gala with a much different approach
from Gaga. His Gucci sheer top definitely
made a statement of itself. Through
its centered, unique ruffle, we were able
to get a taste of each brilliant tattoo
and brought a whole new meaning to
“free the nipple.” Each frill and lace
surrounding the top did not disappoint.
His pearl earring and black heels were
the perfect touch to create an all around
boundless approach to the idea of
Both Lady Gaga and Harry
Styles swept eyes away through their
own unique style. Perhaps the most important
aspect to understand in the light
of “camp” is that no look was more
“campy” than the last—that would take
away from Susan Sontag’s message
all together. This year’s Met Gala was
arguably one of the most significant
themes to date because it absolutely
screamed the need of acceptance and
boldness to be who you are in the most
exaggerated way possible.
I could quite honestly go on
and on for pages, for novels about each
and every look that sent chills up the
spines of artists everywhere. To name a
few, Zendaya went as Cinderella, light
up dress and all. Celine Dion’s dress
weighed over 20 lbs and Cardi B’s
dress took over 30000 feathers; imagine
the dedication to carry so much extra
bulk with so much extra grace! Jared
Leto carried a replica of his own head
while Billy Porter was carried over the
carpet by six shirtless men in a throne
where he laid wearing golden wings.
Kacey Musgraves went as Barbie and
Katy Perry went as a chandelier. Ezra
Miller displayed his wisdom with extra
eyes tattooing his entire face. Janelle
Monae, to absolutely no one’s surprise,
stole breaths away with a Pablo Picasso
inspired piece completed with a winking
Why? Why in the world
is this relevant enough to talk about,
let alone dedicate hours and hours to
create? Often times, art is linked to a
culture’s current political state. While
politicians scream to have their voices
heard, artists use images and rely on
shattering sensitivity to spread their
ideas. One of the most prime examples
of this method was seen through Lena
Waithe’s suit designed by Kerby Jean-
Raymond who is no stranger to using
fashion as a platform for a political statement.
From far away the suit seemed
to be decorated with pinstripes, but was
actually the lyrics from “I’m Coming
Out” by Dianna Ross while across the
back wrote “Black Drag Queens Inventend
Camp” (and no, “Inventend” is not
a typo). Standing proudly and courageously,
Lena Waithe was wearing
the epitome of the theme in relation to
its relevance to the American culture
There is a colossal amount
of pressure today to suppress who you
are for anyone who isn’t a rich, straight,
white, Christian, cis-man. Falling into
Image Credit: thecaviarplaza.com
any one of those categories is a golden ticket to privilege. For centuries, the rest of America have fought
hard and tirelessly for equality while only achieving baby-steps due to incredulous discrimination had by
those in power, just to have even that ripped away in a matter of a couple of years. There is an ominous
counter-revolution that is engulfing imperative progress towards equality.
Lena Waithe chose to represent a culture that has had exceptional bravery for centuries and
even more so in recent decades. The culture behind Black Drag Queens is to live boldly despite the, quite
frankly, dangerous hatred towards them. It is an innate part of our beautiful humanity to want to live
with distinction. Denying someone the freedom to be who they are, no matter how loud, no matter how
different, is denying them as human. This year’s Met Gala theme, even if only for a moment, has come to
the rescue for many losing their humanity over the ever present ignorance and hatred that has plagued our
country since the dawn of America. That same ignorance and hatred that is being outwardly praised and
reinforced by our leaders.
Fashion has always been about adorning your unique body with an outward explanation of who
you are. Whether that taste is subtle or grandiose, that taste deserves, at the very least, acceptance. Susan
Sontag’s Notes on “Camp” was the theme we all needed to see in the midst of such a dismal time for the
sake of individuality. For fashionistas, for artists, for the passionate, this was a small glimmer of hope
flashing back at us that the revolution towards equality still marches. It may not be winning at the very
moment, but not a tired soul is throwing their white flag. Burn it. And then wear the ashes in the most
exaggerated way your guts know how.
BY GABRIELLA SAITTA
Photographer: MARTA JIMÉNEZ DE LOS GALANES DOCTOR
Stylist: MARTA JIMÉNEZ DE LOS GALANES DOCTOR
Retoucher: MARTA JIMÉNEZ DE LOS GALANES DOCTOR
Make Up: IARA C. LLEDÓ
Model: ANA GARCÍA
Designer: NACHO GAMMA
Clothes: RESILIENCIA COLLECTION BY NACHO GAMMA
Shoes: JIMMY CHOO
There’s no better place to have
a joyous wedding than at a
magical wonderland like The
Houdini Estate. So who is the
next person to bring the magic of Old
Hollywood back to life with a super
fancy soiree? It is none other than the
gorgeous award-winning actress and
Scream Queen, Brooke Lewis, who is
having her marriage soiree at the famous
Hollywood landmark. The night will
kick off with a private family ceremony
before the red carpet opens up and the
celebrity performers take the stage for a
Dance Party USA. We chatted with the
soon bride to be, Brooke Lewis, about
how she feels the wedding theme fits her
and her fiancé’s personality, the most difficult
detail of her wedding to agree upon
and what she is most looking forward
to on her wedding day. BY JUSTIN
Cliché: Can you describe the emotions
and feelings that you got once your
boyfriend Mark proposed to you at
Brooke Lewis: Let me start by saying
that I knew that Mark was going to propose
to me, but what took me by surprise
was the fact that he decided to ask to
marry me on my birthday. It just so happened
that day was the hottest day of the
year in Hollywood on September 1, 2017
– and with that said – the old Cadillac
limousine that he rented to pick me up
and take me to Griffith Observatory, well
as it turns out the air conditioning broke
inside the car due to the extreme heat.
At one point when we were in the car I
thought we were going on some yacht
or cruise ship for dinner, but little did I
know that Mark was going to propose to
me at the Griffith Observatory. He proposed
to me right next to the James Dean
statue and across from the Hollywood
sign; it was magical. It is one of the most
memorable nights of my life.
Photo Credit: Greg Doherty
Why did you choose the wedding theme,
‘Old Hollywood’? How do you feel the
wedding theme fits you and your fiancé’s
Mark and I love everything about Old
Hollywood, and we thought what better
place to transport our guests into Hollywood
than an old famous Hollywood landmark
from one of the most notable entertainers in
the world – Harry Houdini. We envisioned
Old Hollywood movie posters everywhere,
black and white dance floors and Old Hollywood
I feel that it’s the undying love that we have
for one another. He pursued me, which
made me fall madly in love with him and
then I stayed by his side through a lot of
tough times, and here we are, almost four
years later, and we feel like our life is a
How would you describe the style of your
As much as I want it to be a super fancy
soiree, we also want everyone to dance with
us like it’s a rockstar party. At the wedding,
there will be two big red carpets and a ton
of talented celebrity performers. We chose
not to make it black tie on purpose but
instead we made it “Dress to your Oscars
Best...of any kind! Taylor & Burton and Rat
First, I want to shout out to our celebrity DJ,
Jon Gosselin, who is a friend of mine and
my family in Philadelphia. He is a reality
TV star of Jon & Kate Plus 8, and on top
of that, he was voted last year as the No. 2
celebrity DJ in the country. He’s known for
playing at clubs in the Northeast as well as
Atlanta, but I don’t think the West Coast
folks know how badass he is. He was the
first person I reached out to when Mark
and I decided that we were going full force
with this marriage soiree and I said to him,
“Dude, I beg you to come out. All I want
is my dream for you to spend time at our
wedding.” He responded, “I’m in.”
Another celebrity performer who will be
the MC for the evening is none other than
the veteran actor Kyle T. Heffner. Kyle and
I had worked on a film project years ago,
and I’ve always known him to be funny and
talented. When I thought who could handle
such a challenging job at this incredible
long event and who can understand and
embody that Old Hollywood vibe, it was
Kyle. As for Kyle, he was discovered by
Garry Marshall, who put him to work in
Young Doctor’s in Love which led to his
portrayal of Richie Blazik in Flashdance.
Also, he appeared in other films such as
Runaway Train, The Woman in Red, and
When Harry Met Sally.
The next person I would like to shout out is
our officiant Mitra Rahbar who has been a
spiritual guide and a friend of mine for 18
years. She got praise from Jennifer Aniston,
Gisele Bundchen, Sheryl Crow, and spiritual
leader Michael Beckwith. She was one of
the officiants for Brad Pitt and Jennifer
Aniston’s wedding as well as one of the
officiants for Tom Brady and Gisele’s wedding.
When Mark and I got engaged, she
offered us to do a blessing at the wedding,
and we were grateful and shocked.
I also would like to shout out the
officiant guy for the wedding, and
that is Chris Robinson. He has
become a dear friend of Mark and
me over the years, and he is the top
non-denominational Wedding Minister
in Southern California. Not
to mention that he did the marriage
ceremonies for Hugh Hefner, Gene
Simmons, Tori Spelling, Gordan
Ramsay, and The Real Housewives.
Last but not least, Mark and I were
looking for a perfect Rabbi to do a
blessing for my dad, but the truth is
that I didn’t know where to go and
we found Rabbi Craig Wyckoff
whose the Rabbi at Congregation
Tikkun Olam in Studio City, California.
After we found him, I soon
discovered that he was the owner
of the first Talent Agency that
signed me in Los Angeles 18 years
ago. We are honored to have Rabbi
Craig Wyckoff doing a blessing for
How many people are expected
to attend? What is the order of
events at your reception?
There will be 500 guests attending
my wedding on June 1. Recently,
I have been receiving messages
and DM’s daily on Instagram from
fans telling me that they are going
to climb the gate at the Houdini
Estate and crash my wedding and
then take me away so that I won’t
marry Mark. I felt that even at my
level that I had to get a full security
team and bodyguards to stand
by the gate and I’m counting on
my Public Relations team to stop
people who try to crash our marriage
soiree. The reason Mark and
I are pretty open about the wedding
is that everybody already knows
about it and we need to protect
everyone in every way.
Since we are expecting so many
guests, who will be coming in
from all over the world, we will
have a private family ceremony.
Afterward, all of the performances
will open up, and then the soiree
will open up, starting with the red
carpet. Following that, there will
be another small ceremony with
the officiant Chris Robinson, and
we will have a performance by the
Frank Sinatra impersonator singing
“Once Upon A Time.” Later on,
Mark and I aim to have DJ Jon
Gosselin come in to spin for the
I think having to create a balanced relationship
with Mark and understanding each other’s
emotions. There were nights where I cried all
night because I wasn’t sure if we can pull off
this marriage soiree and on top of that we had
a lot to deal with emotionally and financially.
Also, Mark has put up with a lot of my
emotional crying and challenges, and I think
the most beautiful thing is that it has given us
both insight into one another as well as the
strength that we need. I feel that if we can get
through this wedding, then we can get through
anything. Lastly, we are incredibly grateful for
all the support our families have given us.
Can you talk about some of the most important
moments leading up to your wedding?
I think some of the crucial moments leading up
to my wedding has been the simple moments,
emotional and heartfelt moments and the
challenging moments which have shown our
strengths as a couple and it has shown that
if we can get through the wedding and not
give up, it will show how strong we are as a
couple. Hopefully, the rest of our lives will be
easy-breezy from here. The other thing that is
magical to me is that I feel reconnected with
some of my closest friends from childhood,
college, and New York.
soiree before we dance to the song “I’ll
Be” by Edwin McCain and then I’ll be
dancing with my dad to the song “Just the
Way You Are” by Billy Joel.
The schedule is as follows: From 8 p.m.
to 10 p.m. we will have a Dance Party
USA, and then from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
we will have our dessert display and cake
cutting and cocktails. Following dessert,
we will have an incredible acoustic guitar
player Dani Vargas performing a few
What’s been the most fun detail of your
wedding to plan? What’s been the most
difficult detail of your wedding to agree
One of the most fun details of my
wedding to plan was picking out a bridal
gown. I remember walking into the
Jovani store and instantly falling in love
with their dresses, and Jovani is styling
my bridal gown in New York. Another
incredible and magical thing that I could
ever dream of is the other gown that I’ll
be wearing made by one of the most
famous Israeli designers – Inbal Dror.
What are you most looking forward to on
your wedding day?
I am looking for it to be over. The last year
and a half has been so stressful about production,
and I’ve been under a lot and also not
living a fun life. Mark and I chose something
bigger than us, and it has blown into something
enormous. I decided not to have a bachelorette
party and a bridal shower because we just
wanted to focus on this big event and have everyone
with us. We are looking forward to our
love and taking our vows, and I can’t believe I
will be calling somebody my husband.
Is there anything you would like to add or
I want to shout out my team at Katz Public
Relations and Allison Noelle who has done my
hair and make-up. I couldn’t even imagine not
having her by my side, and she will be doing
all my glam, hair, and makeup. I also want to
shout out to Eddie at Universal Print and Copy
and to our incredible invitation designer Judith
Campbell who has a company called Hott Mutt
Creative. Lastly, I want to shout out to SHAN
Social House, where we will have our family
From making funny YouTube
videos to releasing her first
Sophie Michelle has had
quite the year so far! She never
would have thought her channel,
Sophie Michelle Says, would reach
over 1 million views after releasing
a video on her experience getting bullied
and choosing to encourage her
fans through positive messages. Now,
she’s making herself known in the
music business with her new single,
“Imperfectly Perfect”. Sophie talked
to Cliché Magazine about her inspiration
behind creating her YouTube
channel and inspiring young girls and
boys not to give up on their dreams.
BY KEMBERLIE SPIVEY
Cliché: Where did the inspiration
to create a YouTube channel come
Sophie Michelle: I started my
YouTube about 2 years ago and to be
honest I really didn't have a big plan
in mind. I just told my mom I wanted
to make videos and she said okay. I
grew up watching lots of amazing
creators on YouTube and thought to
myself I wanted to somehow become
one of them.
What is your endgame for your
I don't have an endgame for my
YouTube channel. I love posting my
video for my Sophienatics and I'm
so grateful to each one of them. I see
myself making YouTube videos as
long as I have my audience watching
them. I don't see myself putting an
end on my channel any time soon.
Photo credit: Karina Michelle
Why is it important for young girls
to be inspired? Who inspires you the
I remember growing up and watching
TV and YouTube and how much the
creators, actors, singers influenced me
in a very positive way. I feel like having
positive influences and role models are
extremely important to young girls and
boys out there looking for ways to make
a difference or just by having a positive
approach to life in general.
What have been some of your favorite
videos you’ve made so far?
I really enjoy making routine videos, but
I must say my favorites are usually the
funny ones. I really like the "how teens
get ready" video. I had a blast filming
it and I'm really happy with the way it
turned out, I think that one is probably my
favorite so far.
Can fans expect more music from you in the
Oh yes!! Definitely! Singing has always been
a huge part of who I am and also my YouTube
channel. I've been posting cover song videos for
a long time now and I love to interact with my
fans through music. I recently released my very
first single, "Imperfectly Perfect", which had such
an incredible response with my fans and I'm so
excited to announce that I'm coming out with a
couple of new songs soon and there are really
awesome projects that are currently in the works
and I'm super excited to be working with some
amazing and extremely talented people. I can't say
too much right now other that it's worth the wait!
Beside YouTube, what do you like to do when
you have free time?
Like I said I love singing! I take voice lessons
and I'm also planning to start taking some guitar
lessons too. I also have a passion for acting! I've
been taking intense acting lessons and participating
in improv workshops. It's so much fun!
What are some of the
challenges you’ve faced
in starting your channel
and growing it to where it
When my YouTube channel
hit about 10k subscribers
I started getting bullied in
middle school, I was about
11 years old and it was
tough. I learned a lot from it
and I shared my experience
on my channel on a video
that got over 1 million
views, "why I left school".
I encourage kids to believe
in themselves and don't give
up on their dreams.
am most fulfilled when I
take care of myself, eat
good, and feel loved,”
proclaims Brytni Sarpy.
She’s the 31-year-old star in the
making who currently portrays
Elena Dawson on the number one
rated daytime soap opera, The Young
and the Restless. Born in Southern
California, Sarpy attended the University
of California, Santa Barbara,
graduating in 2008 with a Bachelor’s
Degree in Fine Arts. She is what
some may call an “exotic beauty”, a
mix of Creole (French, Italian, and
African American), Native American
(Apache and Cherokee), and
Filipino descent, and she wears that
Photo Credit: Raen Badua
“I was a really shy kid,” Sarpy says as she recalls
her childhood. “I think that’s what essentially got
me into the arts, having an opportunity to express
myself, which I really wasn’t able to do outside of
Her parents, Mel and Kim were engaged to be
married. However, they never made it down the
aisle, ending their engagement when Sarpy was just
six years old. As one of three kids at the time (now
one of five), she does not recollect the reason why
the breakup happened, but does remember living
with her mother for a brief period before settling
in with her father permanently, whom she is very
Sarpy credits theatre for being the catalyst for her
deciding to pursue acting. “I always knew that I
was going to end up doing something in the arts,
but didn’t know it was going to be theatre per se.
I thought I would major in dance. I didn’t go into
theatre until my sophomore year of high school.
My first acting performance was in the Scottish
play, MacBeth, where I played a witch, and that’s
really all it took. I had a lot of fun doing it.”
unaware that Jordan was going to be a
mother to a high school boy (originally
played by TeQuan Richmond). Sarpy was
too young to play the role as she is only
several years older than Richmond. The
role ultimately went to Vinessa Antoine.
In addition, the role of Taylor DuBois
was looking for an actress younger than
After this, Executive Producer, Frank
Valentini and Casting Director, Mark
Teschner kept her in mind for another
character. That role was Valerie Spencer,
who was brought in to add a little fire
and drama to the marriage of Dante and
Lulu Falconeri, her character’s cousin.
She also had the honor of being a part
of Anthony Geary’s exit storyline as he
departed the role of Luke Spencer.
Not long after the debut of Valerie Spencer,
the character, a biracial woman, mentioned
being racially profiled. Sarpy says
that while she personally never had to
deal with any racial discrimination, both
sides of her family certainly have. So the
concept of racial profiling and discrimination
was not foreign to her at all.
For those that are unaware, the filming
schedule of daytime soap operas, as well
as the amount of dialogue that must be
memorized, is beyond comprehension.
On average, daytime soaps film seven
to eight episodes per week, and 110 to
140 pages of dialogue, way more than
primetime television and film. Despite
this, Sarpy credits soap operas to being
an amazing acting training ground. “It’s
really aggressive and competitive. If you
can excel in the soap world, grasp the
material, and do it in one take, then you
can basically do anything in this world."
The transition from General Hospital to
The Young and the Restless was a really
smooth one Sarpy says. “From the screen
test, I felt really comfortable and relaxed.
I think that came from having a very
Upon graduation from college, Sarpy began
auditioning for professional acting gigs, while still
working other jobs to make ends meet. Aside from
acting, her most favorite positions she ever held is
a tie between bartending and working as a personal
trainer. “The last thing I did as my normal job was
a personal trainer at Equinox. Fitness has always
been a big part of my life and something that I’ve
been interested in, so that was really fun for me.
Before that, I bartended and served for years. I
have a very soft spot for the service industry.”
Photo Credit: Tiziano Lugli
Sarpy mentions the very first professional acting
gig that she booked. The 2010 film You Again that
starred Hollywood heavyweights Kristen Bell,
Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, and Betty
White. “You cannot go wrong with Jamie Lee
Curtis and Betty White!” she says.
Five years later, Sarpy found herself taking
residence in the fictitious city of Port Charles on
the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital,
where she portrayed Valerie Spencer, the niece of
legendary character Luke Spencer. She says that
that role was the first acting gig she booked that
“allowed me to not have to work in anything other
than the arts.” She recalls initially auditioning for
two other roles on the soap, Jordan Ashord and
Taylor DuBois, before finally landing the role of
Valerie. “I auditioned for Jordan and, at the time,
the age they were asking for varied - late 20s to
late 30s. They pulled in a lot of people and I ended
up screen testing for it.” She explains that she was
similar environment under my belt. The people there are great. It
always helps when there’s good energy that you’re walking into.”
She mentioned Kristoff St. John, the actor who tragically passed
away earlier this year. He portrayed Neil Winters on The Young and
the Restless for nearly three decades. He passed away a couple of
days before Sarpy screen tested for the role that she currently portrays.
She remembers the mood on the set still being very somber
by the time she started filming.
Sarpy is also set to appear in the next season of The Haves and the
Have Nots, the primetime soap opera created, written, produced,
directed by Tyler Perry for Oprah Winfrey’s channel OWN. Sarpy
says that she’s been on Tyler Perry’s radar for a while now. This
role fit really well and it worked out. As far as the role itself goes,
Sarpy did not reveal too much about the role, not even mentioning
the name of her character. But did say that viewers are going to
be in for a real treat. “It’ll be interesting to see who this character
interacts with. It’s going to be an explosive season for sure.”
Working with Tyler Perry was an amazing experience for Sarpy. “It
was awesome. He’s a Virgo so I understand his work ethic. He’s
tough and knows exactly what he wants. He’s incredibly detailed
about what he wants and really runs the whole show. It’s incredible
to see someone produce, write, and direct literally every scene of
the show and keep it all together. It’s really impressive. I happened
to be shooting around his birthday so he was in a pretty good
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Sarpy has been very
open and honest about her struggles with anxiety and depression.
She believes that creating more awareness is the key to erasing
the stigma surrounding mental health in our society. “I think we’re
definitely in the age of awakening in a lot of ways. We are becoming
more aware and sensitive to the things that plague us. I think
mental health days at work are important. I think therapy should be
a bigger part of our healthcare system and our education system.
We’re taking mental health more serious now, but there’s still a lot
of work to be done.”
Sarpy reveals that she’s always been aware that her own personal
mental health was something she ought to be paying more attention
to. “I think I’ve always been aware of how my mind operates, just
being very analytical. I think a lot and overthink and I know where
that can lead a person.” She says that taking steps to address it and
seeing what works for her is still a relatively new process for her.
Within the last four to five years, she has done a lot of self-work.
“I think we all get to a gradual point in our journey where it’s not
about the minutiae; it’s not about what career you want, what school
you want to go to, or how many kids you want. We start worrying
ourselves about the important stuff which is who we are, and why
we function the way we function."
Sarpy’s father is living with Parkinson’s Disease, but she says that
it didn’t stop him from having a good time, partying it up with the
rest of the Daytime community. “I actually just took him to the
Daytime Emmy Awards after party. That was his first outing in quite
some time and he did okay.” She emphasizes the aggressiveness
of Parkinson’s Disease and how it can really deteriorate a person’s
daily life. But through all of the hardships, she and the rest of her
family still find a way to see the glass half full. “It’s a constant
battle. For me personally, I think that was definitely a trigger for
the anxiety that I deal with. As for him, depression is a big part of
Parkinson’s because it essentially is the lack of serotonin and dopamine
which are your happy receptors. I think if I didn’t have such a
strong, positive, caring, and kind person dealing with this disease,
it would have been a little different. My dad is incredibly strong.
He doesn’t feel sorry for himself. He keeps pushing and has great
work ethic and just keeps going. It’s inspiring for me when I’m
complaining about traffic or something stupid, to know that he’s not
complaining. In short, it’s about perspective.”
Because Sarpy is full of positivity and optimism, to say she’s lived
a hard life would not be appropriately representative of who she is.
Instead, we’ll say she’s lived of colorful life of obstacles that she
has destroyed and will continue to overcome whenever they arise.
So what would she tell her 10-year-old self if she had the opportunity?
“I would tell my 10-year-old self to just stop worrying and
have fun. It’s all going to work out.”
“I would love to play a superhero or villain,” says Sarpy when
asked what dream roles she currently has. “I don’t have one in
mind in particular right now, but that’s always been a goal for me.
Eventually I’m going to dive into directing, which is a scary thing
that I’ve been wrapping my head around.”
Whatever she ends up pursuing, there’s no doubt that Brytni Sarpy
will knock it out of the park. At 31, the sky 's the limit for this
beautiful and talented woman. We sincerely thank Brytni for taking
time out of her busy schedule to speak with us, and look forward to
seeing the evolution of her amazing career!
BY EVAN QUINONES
If you would like to stay updated on all things Brytni Sarpy, check
out her Instagram @Brytni, and her Twitter @_Brytni.
Photo Credit: Raen Badua
Photo Credit: Christopher Huang
Hollywood’s representation of Asians has been through
stereotypes for a long time, and that can kill the passion
of an actor. But not Michael Tow, who has overcome
those kinds of roles and has seen the slow growth that
Hollywood has made. His latest role sees him taking on the part of
antagonist in the film Lucky Grandma. When Michael is not busy
acting or working, you can find him spending quality time with his
three daughters. We chatted with him about the experience working
on Lucky Grandma, the inspiration behind starting his production
company and more. BY JUSTIN GRANT
Cliché: How did you first get involved in acting?
Michael Tow: My journey on becoming an actor began when I was a
kid playing the lead in school plays. I loved acting but never thought
of it as a career so I stopped acting after elementary school. But after
I stopped I would still have these actor dreams where I would wake
up in the middle of the night and be sweating because I forgot my
lines. That all changed when I was in my 30s and I decided to pursue
acting again because I wanted to show my three daughters what I
loved doing as a kid.
What was the experience like working on Lucky Grandma?
My experience working on Lucky Grandma was pretty amazing. I am
the main antagonist in the film and being able to work with Tsai Chin,
who is a Hollywood legend and two-time bond girl, was like taking
a master acting class. To me, it was such a joy to have gotten that
experience working on set with her – especially since I worshipped
her as an actress for a long time.
Can you describe your character, Little Handsome?
Little Handsome, and my partner are a low level gang members. We
are the gangsters that are sent out first and they aren’t the smartest
guys on the block. I play the slower, but crazy bad guy with definitely
a few screws loose. We spend the movie trying to hunt down
In addition, it was so much fun doing all the action and stunt scenes
throughout the film.
What was your favorite part of playing him?
My favorite part of playing him was when my partner and I were
threatening ‘Lucky Grandma’
while I was holding a knife
and we wanted to show her
that we mean business and to
intimidate her so she can tell us
where all the money’s at.
What’s the message of the
film and what do you hope
viewers take away when
watching the film?
It's great that the film has a
main character who is not only
elderly but a minority woman
in such a nuanced and demanding
role. Lucky Grandma
goes on this crazy wild ride
and I was extremely honored
to be a part of it.
What was the biggest challenge
or obstacle that you’ve
faced in your acting career
and how did you manage to
The biggest obstacle that I
faced was overcoming stereotypical
roles and not always
playing characters who were
just one note. It wasn't that
long ago that Ken Jeong in
Hangover and Gedde Watanabe
in Sixteen Candles, these
cringey weird uncool male
characters were the only type of
Asian male characters that we
saw on screen. I knew I had to get
Hollywood to see me beyond just
What have been some of your
favorite experiences in your
It’s been amazing to get the chance
to work with some great actors
like Jeff Bridges, Dave Franco
& Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.
Actually, Mastrantonio was one
of my favorite actors growing up
and I remember watching her in
Scarface with Al Pacino as
well as The Color of Money
with Tom Cruise and Paul
Newman. Working with her
on NBC’s Blindspot was an
honor and Mary Elizabeth
actually complimented me
on my acting which made me
What was the inspiration
behind starting your
production company, Tow
There was a thing on Bill
O’Reilly on "Watters' World"
on the Fox News Network
and he did a segment in New
York Chinatown where he
made a political joke referencing
Hillary Clinton and
Republican nominee Donald
J. Trump before the presidential
elections, but Jesse used
it in a way to make fun of
Chinatown in a horrendous
way. Jesse was doing horrible
stereotypes of Asian females
in massage parlors and
poked fun at the way Asians
speak. He also showed in the
segment people doing martial
arts but with the wrong
ethnicity. I felt so upset about that particular segment and there was no response so I decided to do something visually
back and I did a parody going against what Jesse did.
What are some things you enjoy doing when you’re not acting or working?
Whenever I do have free time it’s trying to spend more quality time with my family. My three daughters are growing
so fast so I enjoy watching their tennis matches or swim meets. They've done acting as well so sometimes we get to
do acting projects together!
What are you working on next?
I have two films coming out towards the end of the year called Jungleland and Sound of Metal and I’ll be acting
alongside Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal and Charlie Hunnam in Jungleland. I am also filming a television show called
Defending Jacob with Chris Evans and that show will be streamed on Apple TV. Last but not least, next summer,
I will be in a movie with Ryan Reynolds called Free Guy that will be released on July 3, 2020.
Mary Mouser stumbled on to acting at the
age of five and never looked back. She
currently stars in YouTube Premium's
Cobra Kai, a nostalgic successor to The
Karate Kid. Mary plays Samantha, daughter of the
original Karate Kid himself. Samantha struggles to
find her identity while navigating generational tensions
with her father and attempting to reestablish her relationship
with karate. The second season follows her
trying to find inner peace – but instead she finds a new
rival. Season 2 of Cobra Kai is currently available for
streaming (and binge watching!) on YouTube Premium.
BY ERIN TATUM
Cliché: When did you first realize you wanted to
Mary Mouser: I happened upon acting, a family
friend suggested we give it a try while visiting them on
vacation when I was 5 years old. I ended up as a photo
double in the movie Signs, and from that moment
forward I begged my parents to let me continue.
Luckily, they let me, and I’ve been in love with it ever
What's the biggest challenge you've faced as an
actor so far?
There have been challenges in so many different ways.
Struggling with difficult characters, or with balancing
a normal life and my career. The most difficult, I
would say, has been the physical challenge of Cobra
Kai. But it has also been the most rewarding.
Tell us about Cobra Kai and your character, Samantha.
Samantha is the daughter of the OG Karate Kid,
Daniel LaRusso. She’s going in to her junior year of
high school. She’s just like any other teen, struggling
to find where she fits in and what she believes in, but
add karate dojo wars into that mix. Sam learned karate
from her dad, and possibly Mr. Miyagi, at a young age,
but took a long break. Now she’s come back to karate
as a means of bringing balance back into her life, but
things don’t exactly go to plan.
Cobra Kai is an extension of The Karate Kid universe, checking in on the original
characters' lives 34 years after the film took place. Were you apprehensive
about carrying on the legacy of such a beloved franchise?
It’s definitely a big pair of shoes to fill, but with the incredible actors from the
original movies to work with, I feel more so inspired and excited by that legacy,
rather than intimidated.
In what ways is Cobra Kai faithful to the film? Conversely, how does it reflect
more modern day themes and challenges?
The characters stay true to who they were and still are, Johnny is pretty clueless
about being politically correct or polite about sensitive topics in today’s world,
that clash of cultures is fun to watch, knowing that it helps educate
both sides of that generational gap. The show also retains the magic
in many aspects of the show, but adds in new aspects with the younger
What's happening in season two? What is Sam up to?
We last saw Samantha performing a bit of karate awesomeness at
the end of season one, which leads into her arc in season two, which
revolves around her coming back to karate as a way to find balance
and peace after the emotional chaos of last season. She’s struggling
again to find where she fits in and who she wants to be, and uses
martial arts as a way to connect to her inner self and figure that out.
Of course, drama ensues, as always. She meets a new girl, Tory, who
is a member of Cobra Kai and they have instant tension, which leads
to an epic showdown throughout the season between the two.
Why do you think there's so much tension between Sam and her
I believe it’s typical of any teen to pull away from their parents in
their journey to distinguish themselves as a new individual personality.
That is hard for Daniel, who used to be Sam’s best friend as she
grew up. And it’s hard for Sam too, as she works to navigate friendships
and relationships without her father as her compass. I think
season two, in many ways, helps them come back together through
karate, but where it ends off offers new tensions going forward.
I would say that it’s okay to be confused, we all learn at some point.
I think it’s important to keep in mind that the people you surround
yourself with are a reflection of you. I like to keep people around
me who help me to grow and be a better person, my own compasses
and teachers, even though I have definitely struggled in the past with
balancing what I truly believe in with what everyone around me is
saying is okay.
All 10 episodes of season two were dropped simultaneously on
YouTube Premium. Is it any different working on a show that's
meant to be binge watched immediately as opposed to a show
that's released over a span of several months?
The biggest difference is really once it comes out, that I’ve noticed.
The blow up is crazy fast, I know I binged it that night and didn’t
sleep until 4am, which is how a lot of people watch. Therefore, the
responses I get are more immediate and more passionate even, I
guess. I’ve really loved it so far, it’s so fun to see people watching
and re-watching the show!
Have you learned anything about karate through your time on
Yes! I knew NOTHING going in, so I’ve learned quite a lot about
martial arts and now I’m totally in love with it all. I even enjoy
working out! That’s something that my teenage self would NOT
In the previous season, Sam struggled a lot with figuring out
who her true friends were and getting into trouble because of it.
What advice do you have for kids who might have friends or be
trying to fit in with people who are making the wrong decisions?
Creative & Photography: MK McGehee @mk.mcg
Lighting & Digital: Alexander Fenyves @fenivision
Styling: McCall O’Brien @styledxmccall
Hair: Matt Fugate @forwardartists @mattshair
Makeup: Jessie Maranda @jessiemaranda
Location: Concrete Studios @concretestudiosla
Los Angeles native Ian
Verdun is making a
splash in Hollywood,
starring in Freeform’s
SciFi thriller Siren as Xander
McClure, a deep sea fisherman on
a quest to uncover the lost secrets
of Bristol Cove, a coastal town
known for its legend of once being
home to mermaids. When the
arrival of a mysterious girl proves
this folklore all too true, the battle
between man and sea takes a very
vicious turn as these predatory
beings return to reclaim their right
to the ocean. Ian stars alongside
Alex Roe, Eline Powell, Fola
Evans-Akingbola and Rena Owen.
Oddly enough, Ian was out on the
open ocean when he received the
news he’ll be staring in the series,
which is perfectly fitting considering
Ian’s character Xander is a
small town, salt-of-the earth, deep
sea fisherman. After witnessing
something unexplainable in the
open ocean, Xander finds himself
embroiled in the bizarre events
surrounding a mysterious woman
who comes to town, ultimately
putting him on a dangerous path as
he hunts for the truth.
Ian knew he wanted to be an actor
from a young age. His mother
was an art major, so being raised
around comic books and art he had
a passion for the arts early on. It
was then Ian knew he wanted to
become an actor and quickly dove
Photo credit: Ryan West
into stories of high school theater and playing the
emperors assistant in Mulan. He joked about it not
being the role he wanted, but completely fell in love
with acting right then and there.
This passion for acting took Ian to CAL Arts and
eventually London where, after graduating from
the British American Drama Academy in 2007, Ian
found himself walking into a challenging time in the
industry for two prominent reasons. “The Writers’
strike happened the year I graduated,” he said. “It was
before the diversity conversations had really taken
place. People would look at me with just confusion.
Not all black people come rewired as thug. The black
experience is very multi-faceted”
Despite initial struggles, he landed various guest star
roles on TV series such as Lost, Greys Anatomy, and
Hustling. To fill time between the audition process, he
started writing and producing his own projects which
helped him develop a positive mentality to keep busy
instead of waiting for the phone to ring.
“I can’t wait for these opportunities. I need to diversify
and see how I can create stories that I really want
to be in. Having something on your own where you
can nurture your creative soul. Feed your soul. Create
what makes you happy as an artist and the other stuff
All of those years work have seemingly paid off as the
2018 premiere of the mermaid drama drew Freeform’s
strongest ratings in years for a drama series launch,
setting records in total viewers (1.54 million).
Be sure to check out the first season of Siren currently
available on Freeform and the first half of season 2
aired earlier this year. For more exciting updates and
witty captions follow Ian on instagram @ianverdun
BY CHELSEA MURPHY
Veronika Slowikowska is
the newest addition to FX’s
What We Do In The Shadows
playing the role of Shanice,
Jenna’s college roomate. Based on the
2014 film by the same name, What We
Do In The Shadows is a mockumentary
following the lives of four vampire roommates
in the modern age. Slowikowska is
also a part of an improv group that forces
you to think outside of the box in the
moment. She is going above and beyond
in the world of entertainment on and off
screen. BY GABRIELA SILVA
Cliché: You originally got into acting
because of theatre courses to overcome
your shyness, how does acting help
people come out of their shell?
Veronika Slowikowska: I think for me
it was pretending to be someone else
and finding my own voice through that.
Playing pretend until I gained the confidence
from the characters I was playing.
What were some of the prevailing
issues in Degrassi: Next Class
that were important to teach its
Degrassi covered a lot of important,
relevant issues. Anything from
bullying, to sexuality to racism. I
think Degrassi does a great job of
bringing light to issues big or small.
How different is the television
version of What We Do In The
Shadows compared to the original
Completely new cast and storyline,
but with the same original humour
The show breaks the fourth wall
of television, what does breaking
the fourth wall bring to the
viewing experience that makes it
It makes the audience a character.
It gives the audience a secret, like
they're in on something. I think
that's why Jim from The Office is
such a liked character because he's
like your best friend from work or
school who would give you that sort
of look and you know exactly what
they're thinking. The talking heads
interview style gives you an exclusive
look on what the characters
actually feeling. I think all around
it makes shows more grounded and
Why do you believe that a mockumentary
show like What We Do
In The Shadows is important to
Well the movie is one of the greatest
comedy films of all time. So
why not continue with making a
killer show? No pun intended.
What was it like being on set with
actors like Kayvan Novak (Four
Lions) and Matt Berry (The IT
Very cool! I'm a big Matt Berry fan
so that was super cool.
Do you believe that the age of
vampire film and television
should come back? Why?
Sure! Vampires are just like you
You are currently a part of Bad
Dog Theatre’s Featured Players,
why is important to have a
theatre company that specializes
in improv and unscripted
It's a whole art form in itself. With
improv you get to create any world
and any character that exists in that
moment and for that moment only.
Anything goes! It's an impressive
art form that's so creative and collaborative,
I think everyone should
Why is improv an important skill
to have as an actor?
It makes you a team player. Gets
you out of your head and makes
you an amazing listener.
Photo Credit: Connory Ballantyne
The mini web series A Boy’s
Memoir is about three students
who go above and beyond to put
on a performance, what attracted
you to be in this project?
I grew up in a smaller town in Northern
Ontario, so when we created
the series it was so personal to our
experience growing up, it felt like
it had to be done. I also work with
some of my best friends on the
project. We can't wait to see where
Sarah Abbott. Write that name down somewhere,
remember it. At just 13 years of age, Abbott is
taking on the world and is showing no signs of
slowing down. Hailing from Whtiby, Canada,
Abbott has been a performer since the time she could
form words and stand on her own two feet without
holding onto the coffee table. Her family had the distinct
honor of witnessing Abbott as she performed songs, dance
routines, storytelling, and acting. Since starting her acting
career, she’s had the opportunity to be a part of telling
the iconic and tragic story of Marilyn Monoe, playing
young Marilyn in the Lifetime Miniseries The Secret
Life of Marilyn Monroe. She’s also been directed by the
legendary Jodie Foster on Black Mirror and will soon
be acting alongside heartthrob Ian Somerhalder in the
upcoming Netflix series, V-Wars. So much in such a short
amount of time. We can only imagine what’s to come!
We chatted with this firecracker about life as a young
performer, her career thus far, her activism for animal
rights, making her friends jealous, and so much more!
BY EVAN QUINONES
Cliché: Hi Sarah. First off, I want to thank you for
taking time out of your day to answer these questions
for the next issue of our magazine! I want to start out
by congratulating on all of your success in your career
Sarah Abbot: Thank you very much. Thanks for asking
to interview me for you magazine, it looks amazing.
I understand that as soon as you can walk and talk,
you started performing for your family at home by
putting on shows singing, dancing, storytelling, acting
and playing instruments? Tell me more about that.
What are your earliest memories of those times?
I guess the earliest memory I have of doing this is at
Christmas time. I would find a Christmas song and memorize
it and ask the family to come sit down and I would
sing my song. Also to be clear, this was done AFTER we
opened the presents, not before. I couldn’t wait to see
what Santa brought me!
Your first big break came when you were cast as
young Marilyn Monroe in the Lifetime Miniseries,
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe. Tell me about that
That was super exciting. It was my first time with lots of
lines. I think my parents were more excited than me to be
How familiar were you of Marilyn Monroe and her
impact on the world when you booked the role? Did
playing her leave a lasting impression of her with you?
I wasn’t too familiar with her. My mom and dad brought
me up to speed on her amazing but tragic career in Hollywood.
There is a 50’s style restaurant by our house, so it has lots of
pictures of her in it. I was really proud that I got the role and
actually told the waitress I was going to play her in a movie. That
was neat. As for a lasting impression, it was just so sad to see such
a beautiful person inside and out have her dream come true and it
ends so bad for her.
Since then, you appeared in a number of television film productions
such as Lavender, Slasher and Heroes Reborn. What
can you tell me about those experiences and what did you learn
about yourself as an actress when you took on those roles?
Each role has its own challenges because they are all so different
and a little more intense. I’m learning as I go. I have never had
any acting lessons but what I’m doing seems to be working. I've
worked with a lot of amazing actors and directors who have taught
me so much.
You also appeared in the fourth season of Black Mirror. Your
episode, in particular, was directed by the legendary Jodie Foster.
How did it feel to have someone like Jodie Foster directing
you? Did she give you any advice as an actress that you still
hold onto to this day?
To be directed by her was exciting. She started out as a kid like me
and has had such an amazing career. I could only dream to be as
good as her. The advice she gave was a saying she said. “Let’s just
keep it real”. It was so simple. She was this Hollywood legend but
she was just a regular person. After that it was so easy to just talk
and be with her.
Coming up, you will be seen in the highly anticipated new
vampire Netflix Series, V-Wars, where you star alongside Ian
Somerhalder. What can you tell us about the show and your
The show is about what happens to civilization when a disease
infects a large part of the population and turns them into Vampires.
Now the two side battle each other for control. I can’t really say
too much about my character without giving anything away. So
you will just have to watch the show to find out. I don’t want to be
Why should fans check it out?
Ian Somerhalder and Vampires. I don’t think I need to say anymore!
Photo Credit: Lilly K.
competitive dance for about seven years now.
Do you see yourself starting a professional singing career, like recording
an album and going on tours perhaps?
When I was younger I just wanted to sing all the time but now I would
love to get into being a Fashion Model. I always show my dad my
Runway strut and asking him what he thinks. He just rolls his eyes!
Speaking of Ian Somerhalder, I know you were very young
when The Vampire Diaries first aired on television. Now that
you are older, have you gotten the chance to binge-watch it as a
way to prepare for the role and for working alongside Ian?
I loved The Vampire Diaries. I’ve watched every episode. When I
told all my friends at school I was going to act with him, they were
so jealous. The first scene I was in with him , I was so nervous. I
guess I was a little starstruck.
I understand that outside of acting, you enjoy writing stories,
art, music, dance, and skiing. What kinds of stories do you
I have a lot of things on the go outside of acting. I would have to
say the biggest one that inspires me the most is dancing. I just love
showing my emotions and getting into the song. I’ve been doing
You’re also a very strong and passionate advocate for animal
rights. When and how did your activism begin? Was there a specific
moment in time where you felt strongly to be a voice for animals?
Our family has always had pets. I’ve been surrounded by them my
whole life by them. We have two cats and two dogs. When one of my
dogs passed away, my parents decided to go to a rescue organization
which gets dogs that are abandoned and put in to High Kill shelters. I
never knew anything like this even existed. When my parents explained
this to me, I was horrified. From then on, when anyone talks about
getting a Puppy or Kitten I tell them about all these beautiful animals
waiting to be saved and placed in a forever home.
To stay up to date on all things Sarah Abbott, be sure to follow her on
GOT YOUR BACK
After growing up wanting to work on cartoons, Adam McArthur has made that dream come true, becoming a
voice actor, and landing a role voicing one of the lead characters in the Disney Channel/Disney XD animated
series Star vs. the Forces of Evil, which just concluded its fourth season. When he’s not busy acting or working,
you can find him doing martial arts or exercising. We chatted with the charming actor Adam McArthur about his
voice-over tips that he learned through his career, the process for recording his lines for Star vs. the Forces of Evil and his
upcoming projects. BY JUSTIN GRANT
Cliché: How did you first get involved with
voice acting? What have been some of the
voice-over tips that you learned through
your career? What is your secret to success
as a voice-over actor?
Adam McArthur: I started acting at an early
age and always wanted to do cartoons. When
I was 16 years old, my parents put me in an
acting class in San Francisco that was owned
by Judy Berlin. She had a wealth of voice
acting knowledge and ultimately helped me
land my first job.
The biggest tip I can give anyone looking to
get better is to do improv. It’s a great way to
loosen up, get comfortable, and learn to play.
It’s also a great way to explore new characters
and have fun.
I don’t know if there’s a secret other than
having confidence, being patient, and staying
in LA long enough for it to happen. I think
perseverance is the most underrated quality of
What’s the experience been like working on
Star vs. the Forces of Evil?
The experience working on Star vs. the Forces
of Evil has been incredible. Everyone from
the casting department to the crew, to the
executive, to my castmates, to the fans, have
all made the last five and a half years and 77
episodes an amazing journey for me. It’s been
such a blast laughing and creating this amazing
story with so many talented people. I’m beyond
lucky to have been a small part of it.
Photographer: Ryan West
Grooming: Laura Arango
Can you describe your character,
Marco Diaz? How has your character
evolved from season 1 to season 4?
Marco is the ultimate best friend. He’s
loyal, down for an adventure, and always
has your back. He started the series more
as the “safe kid.” He liked to follow the
rules and took it upon himself to make
sure Star was taken care of. On his journey
to season 4, we’ve seen him grow
up, make mistakes, and grow into an
adventurous, butt-kicking, and fun little
guy. We’ve even seen episodes where we
get glimpses at what he’ll be like when
say most of my favorite experiences are fan
involved, but I did love getting to work with
Eden Sher, Rider Strong, and Esmé Bianco.
What are some things you enjoy doing
when you’re not acting or working?
I enjoy martial arts and exercising. Whether
it’s a judo class, stunt class, or a high intensity
interval training (HIIT) class, I enjoy
getting out and moving. I’m also a bubble
tea aficionado. I love trying new boba places.
What are you working on next?
I’m excited about the new independently
produced animated series that I’m working
on called Salem: The Series. You can find
some shorts online for it already. The cast is
incredible, the creator is very talented, and I
can’t wait for more people to learn about it.
Why should people watch Star vs. the
Forces of Evil? What is it about Stars
vs. the Forces of Evil that has made it
last four seasons?
There’s something in it for everybody!
There’s dimension hopping, monsters,
dragons, adventure, comedy and heart
all wrapped up in one amazing storyline.
Speaking of, it’s not just for kids! Star
has a through line plot and the story is
amazing. Everyone should definitely
watch! I think the fans love for the characters
and seeing them on their journey
has made it last so long. People truly care
about Marco and Star and they want to
What's the process like for recording
your lines for the show? How do you
prepare yourself? Do you usually
record with others in the cast or alone?
A typical recording session for Star is
between one to two and a half hours
per episode. For about 95 percent of the
season, all of the actors recorded solo.
The sessions are so much fun. It mostly
consists of me in a booth being directed
by two or three people and us laughing
the entire time. I always say, there’s never
a bad day in the office.
What have been some of your favorite
experiences in your career so far?
Many of my favorite experiences have
come from San Diego Comic Con.
Whether it’s doing panels for shows or
organizing unofficial fan meet-ups at a
local boba shop, SDCC always makes
me incredibly happy. I think it’s fair to
GIVE HER A STAGE
Jordyn Curet has quite the impressive resume for a 10-year-old. Performing since the age of two, the actress and
model is already at the heart of the industry. She is one of the hosts of DreamworksTV's popular series Life Hacks
for Kids, has walked multiple Fashion Weeks, and has a new Netflix film coming out. She also recently joined
SAG/AFTRA. In spite of her busy life, Jordyn is still your typical kid who enjoys hanging out with her friends
and her dog. Helping others is incredibly important to Jordyn and her nonprofit foundation, Jordyn's Joy, focuses on
bringing hope and happiness to underprivileged kids through small acts of kindness. When she grows up, she hopes to
be a business owner and a fashion designer in addition to continuing her acting career. BY ERIN TATUM
Cliché: What is your earliest memory of performing?
Jordyn Curet: My earliest memory was singing and dancing at the age of 3 years old for my babysitters. I used to
watch Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music daily and would recite the songs to them. Give me a stage, and the show
Photo: Olesja Mueller
Make Up Artist: Lisa Truong
prior, so when I got the audition for Life Hacks
for Kids, I was beyond excited. I have been
watching Life Hacks for Kids since I was six
years old and was a huge fan of Sunny. She
inspired me to create things and I was beyond
honored when the hosting offer was presented.
It truly has been a fantastic experience. Each
episode allows me to try new things as well as
the freedom to bring some of my personality to
the set, it's the perfect project to be a part of.
Have you learned about any new cool or
helpful life hacks from doing the show?
One hack that I felt was really cool was the
'Hacky Cotton Candy' segment. Super fun hack
and it tasted so yummy too. It's on the 'Sugar
You just joined SAG/AFTRA and you're
only 10! How do you balance working with
being a kid?
I find being a SAG/AFTRA actress is similar
to being in club sports, dance/cheer competition
teams, science club or others that many
kids my age are involved in. My passion just
happens to be acting/performing and keeping
balance with other activities is something that I
keep in mind and find time to hang out with my
friends and family, travel and learn new things.
Tell us about your new films coming out!
I am very excited for the release of my
first Netflix film. It was directed by Noah
Baumbach and featured Scarlett Johansson,
Adam Driver and several other incredible
actors and actresses. I had the opportunity to
play a supporting role, Molly, and was truly
inspired by the entire cast and crew. Be sure
to watch for the 'Untitled Noah Baumbach'
film coming soon!
You've walked at Fashion Week a few
times. What was that experience like?
Which do you like better – performing or
Yes, I truly love the experience of bringing a
designers vision to life on the Runway. From
NY, LA and Miami, each experience was
truly magical. I do enjoy both, but I would
say the opportunity to perform would be my
On set DreamWorksTV/ Life Hacks for Kids
How did you first hear about Life Hacks
for Kids? Were you excited to get involved
with the program?
I had auditioned for DreamworksTV a year
What do you like to do for fun?
I really love playing tennis with my dad, going
to the mall with my friends, and taking my
puppy to the park.
You also have a nonprofit foundation,
Jordyn's Joy, which helps underprivileged
children. Why is giving back to the community
and helping those less fortunate so
important to you?
I feel it is very important to do what we can to
impact others. I especially wish to help those
less fortunate and bringing a smile to a friend's
face, giving someone a sense of hope and to
just pass a hug...these are acts of kindness we
can all do to make a difference in someone's
If you weren't an actress, what other career
would you like to have?
I would be a fashion designer. Fashion, designing,
creating and having my own business
are aspirations I have as well. Stay tuned....I
hope to continue being an actress and a future
Tucker Meek is making a name for himself
as he stars as Devon in this year’s
comedy, Little. Little has a star-studded
cast, which includes the youngest executive
producer in Hollywood, Marsai Martin, who
Tucker think is pretty cool! Tucker even works with
a non-profit organization that he works with called
Learning Ally, dedicated to making audiobooks
for kids with visual impairments and dyslexia. If
he’s not filming movies/shows or helping with
Learning Ally, you can find him simply hanging
out with friends. He spoke with Cliché Magazine
about working with Learning Ally, why his dad
is his biggest inspiration, and working on Little.
BY KEMBERLIE SPIVEY
Photo credit: Brandon Showers
Cliché: When did you know you wanted to
get involved with acting?
Tucker Meek: I’ve been quoting commercials
and movies for as long as I can
remember. When I was in Kindergarten, a
family friend asked if my brother and I would
like to be in a commercial. I was fascinated
by the filming process and every moment of
my time on set. As soon as we got in the car, I
asked to go back the next day. So, my parents
registered me for an acting class. I feel pretty
lucky because I got to start auditioning and
working at seven when I met my agents. So, I
guess I knew I wanted to be an actor before I
really understood what that even meant.
What has been your favorite part about
being an actor?
I love creating characters and thinking
through their backstories. If the script doesn’t
explain one, I make it up. I think that helps
give characters a reason to relate to one another.
I also really like working with actors my
age - you end up wrapping a project with a lot
of new friends. Oh, and also maybe crafty…
I love snacks!
How was your experience working on Little
with Issa Rae, Regina Hall, and Marsai
It was awesome working with actors who are
masters of comedy. They were funny even
when the cameras weren’t rolling. It was also
exciting to be a part of such a historical film.
Marsai is the youngest Executive Producer in
Hollywood. That’s pretty cool!
What would you say is the message of
The overall message is: Don’t be a bully!
Whether you are an adult or a child, bullying
isn’t an effective strategy. You can always
accomplish more by just being nice, ya know!
I also think the movie teaches that you have
to be brave, take risks and support your
What do you think people should take
away from the film?
The movie is funny, but I really hope people
learn that it’s important to believe in yourself.
Little reminds you that you don’t have to
change who you are to be great!
What has been your most memorable
moment working with Learning Alley?
Why is it important for kids to read?
Learning Ally is a nonprofit organization
dedicated to making audiobooks for kids
with visual impairments and Dyslexia. I think
my most memorable moment was when I
received an email from one of the kids that
listened to me narrate Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
Finding out that he loved the book and how
grateful he was to be able to listen to the
same book his friends were reading, meant
the world to me. Reading has always been
one of my favorite things to do. I tend to get
lost in stories and lose track of time. I also
believe books increase your vocabulary and
help you see things from other perspectives.
Who is your biggest inspiration and what
is your dream role?
My biggest inspiration is my Dad because he
is nice to everyone he meets. He is also super
funny and has always taught me the value
of hard work. As an actor I look up to Will
Ferrell. I think it’s awesome that he can laugh
at himself and his comedic timing is amazing.
My dream role would be to play his son.
Can fans expect to see you in more projects
Absolutely! Be sure to check out Schooled
on ABC. I am also in the animated Netflix
movie, Klaus. It will be out this holiday
season. I have a couple other projects in the
works, too, so stay tuned!
Besides acting, what is something that you
like to do in your spare time?
When I’m not acting or in school, I’m usually
hanging out with my friends, playing video
games or attending Youth Group at my
church. Sometimes I can be found running
around in an inflatable dino suit. Basically,
I just try to have fun & not take myself too
seriously. I also really love creating character
voices and special effect vocalizations for
In 2015, Tasya Teles went from living life in Toronto to becoming a fearless warrior set in a post-apocalyptic
world on The 100. The 100 is one of The CW’s most talked about hits, thanks to its ever growing fan base
and a boost from Netflix. The 100 was even recently renewed for a seventh season a week before season
six aired. The show has been on the air since 2014 and has gone into its current sixth season promising a
big return. Tasya Teles plays the warrior and royal guard, Echo, who has become one of the show’s protagonists
known for her unfaltering loyalty to her tribe and King Roan.
If you’ve been under a rock and haven’t seen the show yet, Teles described the show as “Lost meets Lord of The
Flies.” It’s difficult to even find someone who hasn’t watched The 100. Due to its popularity, details about every
season are so confidential that Teles jokes about being terrified that she might accidentally leak spoilers in interviews.
An important component of The 100 is the many strong women that are the center of the story. The variety of
female characters and their complex stories is something fans, critics, and even Teles herself has found empowering.
The series has shown itself to being committed to showcasing women as multifaceted beings who find
strength in their own ways.
“What I found interesting
about the show is the many
different ways in which they
explore female leadership and
the different ways it manifests
into each of the female
characters. They each have
their own leadership style,
their own demons, and ghosts
that they fight with and their
own limitations,” she said
proudly. This varied examples
of women’s strength shown
on screen have meant a lot to
diehard fans, but also to Teles
herself, who said, “Exhibiting
that is amazing. Working
off each other as we come
together on the show is really
After joining the series in its
second season, Teles told me
she had no clue Echo would
grow into a series regular.
In fact, she was so sure her
character would meet an
early demise. “That was such
a surprise,” she laughed. “I
actually wrote Jason [Rothenberg]
this long letter after season
six because it still baffles
me. I so was convinced that
I was going to die every
time I turned the page [in the
scripts]. I was just shocked! I
screamed and stood there in
total shock. When my agents
called about joining them as
a season regular, I was like,
‘What? No! I’m supposed to
be dead!’ It was so joyful and
such a surprise.” Soon after
becoming a series regular,
Echo would become a fan favorite.
In the five seasons that
we have gotten to know Echo
and witness her tremendous
growth, it’s hard to imagine
the show without her.
As season six kicks into
gear, Teles is excited for
fans to get a more nuanced
look at Echo’s background.
“One thing I love that [the
writers] are doing is they are
peeking into her backstory to
understand where she comes
from because Echo is one of
the characters that we don’t
really know much about.”
Fans of the show aren’t the
only ones who will be excited
to finally get some answers
to questions that have been
swirling about Echo’s backstory.
The continued mystery
about Echo’s past previously
led Teles to come up with her
own answers while playing
her, “I originally had my own
story for her and I was never
sure if I was making [acting]
choices that were in alignment
with how the writers saw her
or with what her actual backstory
Obviously, with many details
about this season under wraps,
Teles struggled to hint where
this season is taking Echo
but described her evolution
in this season as courageous
and showcasing more of
her selflessness. She hopes
the biggest take away from
the audience this season is
more understanding of Echo.
“There are some personalities
in Echo’s past that the fans
will be excited to see,” she
said. “There are some familiar
faces [that show up] that will
help explain where she comes
from and why she is the way
she is. I hope the audience
likes it and that provides an
opportunity to connect with
her a little more.”
Connecting with Echo has
never been an issue for
Teles. When asked in what
way they connect, she said
she identifies with Echo’s
own emotional struggles.
“As I was working on her, I
found that it was mirroring
things in my own life. Echo
has gone through so much
since we first met her. She’s
experienced a lot. In her time,
she’s lived through a lot of
different worlds and gone
through the pressure cooker
a lot and that's something
I’ve gone through myself.”
Most of all, Teles said she
can identify with the idea of
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growing and changing while
trying to forgive yourself for
She also offers advice to
others who are going through
similar struggles. “The idea
of forgiveness, growing,
changing and being misunderstood
is something a lot of us
can identify with. You have
to forgive yourself before
you can go through a growth
spurt of change. You have
to look at the things you’ve
done to others, to yourself and
to the people you love and
care about and say, ‘This is
what I did and this is who I
am and I'm not perfect. I am
trying to grow and I am trying
to change and I'm doing my
In previous interviews, Teles
has described the set of the
hit show as “the Olympics
of show business” due to its
fast-paced and often grueling
shoots. Filming consists of
long hours and frequent harsh
weather conditions. With
the fast-paced schedule and
the dark theme of the show,
one might wonder how the
actors maintain their strong
performances while dealing
with difficult time constraints.
Teles’ professionalism and
dedication are apparent when
she describes how she survives in that environment. “It is
really chaotic,” she said, recalling an insane day on set. “I
remember we had to film this really crazy fight scene. It was
really cold that day and everyone was freezing. It was five
in the morning at that point and I was sitting there for three
hours. I was falling asleep and all the sudden they were like
‘Ok! They need you!’ I was like ‘What? Okay!’ and I just ran
The reason why she refers to the set as “the Olympics of show
business” is how much they accomplish in one day. Each day
is filled with stunt choreography and emotional scenes that
are done back to back. Teles said she’s gotten accustomed to it
over time and it has made her a better actress. “One thing that
I’ve learned is that in those few moments you’re given to get
ready, you need to stop and ask questions so that you’re clear
on what scene you’re getting and what’s required in that take.
Because things move so quickly! When I first started acting,
I would just do something and hoped that it worked out. Now
I’ve learned to take 30 seconds or an extra minute to be clear
about what trying to execute. With the more experience you
get, you start to learn exactly what you need to give your best
Landing a hit show like The 100, especially as a series regular,
is no small accomplishment. It’s even more surprising when
realizing Teles’ road to Hollywood is not your average come
up story. Teles originally went to university in Toronto and
studied commerce before jumping head first into the world
of acting. The leap of faith she’s made into acting came from
her own fearless ambition. She described her love of acting as
something that’s always been there, but she just needed to take
After taking a theatre course in college, she decided she had
to pursue her passion. “It was something that was nagging at
me my entire life. After I took that class I couldn’t ignore it
anymore.” Making the jump into acting was not a safe choice,
especially as a college student so close to completing her
degree. Teles recalls her mom sounding apprehensive when
she called to tell her decision, but she couldn’t shake the feeling
she got when walked out of that theatre class. “I walked
out of that class and into the sunshine and it felt like the best
day of my life! I was like, ‘It’s sunny and the birds are chirping
and I love acting!’” she said. “It was like my whole world was
Of course, she still had some fears about getting into acting
— she remembers being worried she was starting too late in
life — but Teles had a dream and a timeframe for achieving
it. This is something she says everyone should have no matter
their goal. “People should give themselves a time frame and
say ‘this is my goal and this is the amount of time I have’ and
see what the universe says back to you. I believe any dream
is worth exploring but it has to be a
thoughtful process.” Teles also stressed
learning from people around you and
finding good mentors and teachers. She
warned that the people around you can
make or break your success.
The devoted fan base of The 100 has
grown with every season. The fans not
only tune in to watch every episode,
but they line up at conventions all
around the world to connect with the
cast in real life. For Teles, she said the
passionate fan base adds an important
layer to her job as an actress. “It’s so
much more profound than just playing
a character and telling the story. It’s
incredible to connect with everybody
and hear how the stories and the characters
affect them and what they take
Fans of the show not only tweet about
and watch every episode obsessively
but they contribute to many good
causes on behalf of the cast. For
example, The Unslaved, an organization
started by Tasya Teles and a friend
of hers six years ago, works to bring
awareness to human trafficking. The
epidemic of human trafficking was
brought to Teles’ attention when her
mom handed her the book Half The
Sky, which detailed all the ways women
around the world struggle. Teles was
always interested in feminism and that
book changed the way she viewed the
world. “That was 10 years ago, once
I read the book I said to myself I have to be
a part of this movement.” The work that the
organization does has shifted over the years
when Teles realized her platform comes with
fans eager to also participate in work to benefit
a good cause.
“When we go to these conventions, we’re
connecting with people. There’s a lot of growth
and positivity there,” she said, noting the
countless fan projects over the years that were
done out of love for her. “I thought to myself,
‘What happens when the show ends? How do
we keep the longevity of these human interactions
and connections to do good in the world
and support one another?’ My answer to that
was doing something like The Unslaved!”
The organization will collaborate with fans and
supporters to design bracelets to be purchased
to raise money to fight against human trafficking.
“Every year we are going to release a
bracelet that the fans and I design together. The
design that wins will be connected to a person’s
story of how human trafficking affects their
country or city. It’s for people to learn about
how human trafficking exists everywhere,
even in their own backyard,” she said. “I think
through the collective awareness in just talking
about the issue there will be a change that is
Tasya Teles has a strong presence on screen, a
passion to fight for causes off-screen, and even
ambitions to work behind the camera. As her
star continues to rise, it’s clear the brave leap
she made to become an actress has paid off.
“Acting is everything I anticipated but it’s way
more work than I imagined. I am a one-person
business and there is always work to be done,”
she said. Her IMDb page currently has her
listed as part of three upcoming projects this
“There is always work to be done. It’s a lot of
hard work and it's something you can never
stop working at. I look at it as a sport, you’re
always training and developing different parts
of your craft to continue to be the best person
you can be.”
BY LAYLA ABDELJABBAR
New episodes of The 100 premiere every
Tuesday at 9/8c on The CW. If you’d like to
stay updated on Tasya Teles, follow her on
Instagram and Twitter @tasyateles or visit her
SET THE FIRE
Photo Credit: Brian To
While battling a serious health
condition, Spencer Trinwith
felt becoming an actor was
something of a pipe dream.
Nevertheless, he stayed true to his craft and
never gave up on his dreams. After landing
some guest roles on TV, he will next be seen
in the film Wonder Woman 1984, set to be
released on June 5, 2020. When he’s not
busy acting or working, you can find him
playing guitar. We chatted with Trinwith
about his experience working on Wonder
Woman 1984, how he felt overcoming
degenerative disc disease made him stronger
mentally as well as physically, and his upcoming
projects. BY JUSTIN GRANT
Cliché: What inspired you to get involved
Spencer Trinwith: First of all, when I was
young I was surrounded by parents and
siblings who were in the theatre world. As
for me, it was only a matter of time before I
would put my hat in the theater world – and
once I did I didn’t necessarily realize that
this was something that I was going to be
doing for the rest of my life.
What was the experience like working on
Wonder Woman 1984?
My experience working with Director Patty
Jenkins was just a real honor and getting
to work with Gal Gadot was amazing. Not
only is Gal acting in the film but I think she
is also one of the executive producers of the
film. I really admire how much work it is
to make this film because I honestly don’t
know how you sleep at that point. Sometimes
when you are filming your role you are
up until 4 a.m. and then you have an 8 a.m.
shoot the next day. The whole thing kind of
set the fire under me even more.
What have been some of your favorite
experiences in your career?
Even just getting to write down something in
a tiny black box theatre there is always something
kind of magical about the medium
because there was something that was so
awe-inspiring being in Wonder Woman 1984.
It was also pretty amazing how effective
theater in a tiny space can be and I always
go back to a play that I did in Washington
D.C. called Suicide, Incorporated. The play
was an obscure, dark comedy, and addressed
a lot of issues on suicide. We would always
have these talkbacks at the end of the per-
formances and it was amazing how brave the
audience members were by opening up to us
and sharing their stories or experiences.
What was the best advice that you’ve
received about the acting industry and
who was it from?
The best advice that I received was from
my father. He told me, “You just got to stay
on the bus.” I mean, let’s face it, there is so
much rejection in this industry, and after a
while, somebody is probably thinking, “Is
this for me?” or “Is this not for me?” The
more perseverance you have and you keep
doing your thing then you’re going to find
When looking back on the years that you
were battling Degenerative Disc Disease,
how did you feel overcoming that challenge
made you stronger mentally as well
I mean, it is equally mentally as it is physically,
and that whole experience really
showed me how intertwined those two things
really are. It’s weird for me because I’m back
in Washington, D.C. where I’ve been going
through a lot of these issues and dealing with
a disability. It’s so strange to be walking
down these same streets that I once struggled
to walk down or sometimes couldn’t walk
down. I think because I was so young that I
can’t necessarily put in fault on any of the
positions that I saw.
You have been involved in a number
of charity events and foundations and
you believe that there needs to be more
funding towards congenital orthopedics.
Can you describe your overall relationship
with some of the foundations that you’ve
worked with in the past?
I learned when I was very young that you
don’t have anything if you don’t have your
health. I saw firsthand what that could
look like. I feel very fortunate that I got an
opportunity to have a healthy life and that
spurred me on to want to give back. Project
Angel Food is a charity that I volunteered for
and it has prepared 6,000 yokes annually for
people who are afflicted by serious ailments.
I was down there on Thanksgiving and it was
awesome to be there. The atmosphere inside
was incredibly positive and it was such an
honor to be a part of it.
What are some things you enjoy doing
when you’re not acting or working?
When I’m not acting or working, I am
playing guitar as soon as I get that day when
I don’t have a place to run off to. I will
sit in my place and wail on the guitar and
hopefully not bother my neighbors too much.
I also stay away from video games.
What are you working on next?
I have a number of films in post-production
right now like Wonder Woman 1984 which
comes out in 2020. I also have a film called
Really Love with Kofi Siriboe and that
should be coming out this year. Last but not
least, I’m looking forward to an awesome
thriller called Eye Without a Face and that
will also be coming out this year.
I am also writing and working on my own
project which is a political comedy called
The King of K Street and we will be filming
that over the summer.
What is your number one goal in 2019?
I always have these creative ideas in my
head and I’m taking the what-ifs and then
I’m actually acting on them. I hope that I
can continue to do that because there are
awesome things that are coming.
Cliché: For the audience out there that isn’t too
familiar, who is Nikki Leigh?
Nikki Leigh: Oh gosh, who is Nikki Leigh? I ask
myself that everyday! haha. Well, I am a California
born Actress and Model. Although I knew that my life would
somehow have entertainment be a part of it, I had no idea that
I would have this life. I am so blessed. I grew up in Orange
County, California and was very serious about school. Education
is so important to me. Therefore I studied a lot and achieved high
grades. Out of college I started modeling and kind of fell into
acting. I started with a cameo in the movie Snake and Mongoose
and from there I was hooked. I have had many appearances on
TV shows such as Two and a Half Men and even more lead
roles in feature films. I have a movie out right now on Netflix,
Amazon, iTunes, etc. that is called Silencer. Silencer is an action
film and I am super excited about that because action calls to me.
I love working out and being physical so this was super fun to be
You graduated with B.A. in sociology from Cal State and
also graduated Cum Laude as a member of the “Golden Key
Honor” society. Was sociology something you always wanted
to do or did it just kind of fall in your lap?
I had many majors in college because I just couldn’t decide
what I wanted to focus on. I just wanted to keep learning,
but I couldn’t stay in school forever. I felt I needed to choose
something and Sociology was a subject I always enjoyed. I love
people. I want to understand them. And I had no idea how helpful
my Sociology and Psychology background would help in acting.
That was the real blessing. Everything happens for a reason.
My first literal commercial was
actually in Thailand. I was flown over
there to shoot 3 different commercials
for a beer company called Leo. That
was one of the best experiences of
my life! Police escorts, fancy dinners,
amazing locations to shoot, and even a
great big party. I was one of the hosts
of this party and it just so happened
to be on my birthday! I couldn’t have
wished for anything better! Everyone
was so sweet. They presented me with
flowers and a cake on stage. I lost it.
Tears of gratitude just kept flowing.
You went on to host an hour long show
on Sirius XM, can you tell us a bit about
that experience, and who are some of your
favorite interviews you have done?
I love hosting. When I was able to have a
daily hour long radio show on Sirius XM I
truly felt fulfilled. This allowed me to get to
know so many accomplished people within
the entertainment industry. Being able to
really have meaningful and driven conversations
fed my love for people. I interviewed so
many up and comers, established musicians
and comedians, as well as some real veterans
of the game. Looking back on it now one of
my favorite interviews had to be Michael
B. Jordan. It is just so satisfying seeing the
success he has accomplished now and having
been able to really get to know him before he
blew up. Congrats Michael!
After a little while you went into modeling,
what was your first big commercial as a
We discovered a fun fact, that you
had to learn Turkish for a movie
you acted, can you tell us what movie
that was and how the experience
of learning Turkish was as well?
I always say that life will serve you
what you want through an experience
you could have never even imagined.
And that experience of learning
Turkish for a movie was exactly that.
I remember at the beginning of that
year I said that I wanted to learn a language
and I wanted to shoot a movie
on location. And this is what manifested
from that! First of all, I have
to give a little background story. I got
this self tape audition on a Thursday
night and was asked to tape 3 scenes
and have it in by noon on Friday (the
next day). Then had a skype interview
on Sunday with the director. By Monday
at 2pm I got a call saying I got the
part and I was on a plane to Turkey
by 9pm that night! It was so sudden.
When I got there I met up with people
from the movie and was told that I had
to learn Turkish because Ay Lav Yu
Tuu was a Turkish film. I was shocked
because no one told me I had to learn
anything, I auditioned in English!
Thank god I had a wonderful language
coach, Cag, but I only had 1 week
before we started shooting and she
was only paid to be around for a week
and a half! Oh and did I mention I was
the lead?! I have no idea what they
were thinking, not having her with me
the whole time but she was awesome!
I had to start with the basics of
learning the alphabet and how to read
Turkish because I was going to be on
my own after this intense crash course.
But through it all I found a love for language
and the movie was a success! I
got to fly back for the premiere and we
did a press tour. Dreams do come true!
What is next for Nikki Leigh in 2019
I started 2019 with my Calendar for
sale. I always have such a great time
making these calendars. This year is
based on natural in nature. The setting
is in Lake Havasu, Arizona with some
of the most gorgeous and vivacious
sunsets I had ever seen. The reason for
this setting is because I was there filming
a movie. The movie is called Hot
Water and is either out the end of this
year or early next. I am super excited
for this movie because it is about the
competitive Jet Ski world! Which is
bigger than I could have ever imagined.
Hot Water is a sports action film
with a lot of heart. People are really
going to enjoy this one. We have some
great stars a part of it including Trevor
Donovan from 90210, Max Adler from
Glee! To top it off, it was great to be
apart of a film that brought out my
athleticism. I am all about action!
Where can people reach Nikki on Social
I would love to hear from people via social
media. You can find me on Instagram through
my only account (@missnikkileigh). Or you
can find me on Facebook under Nikki Leigh or
Twitter (@nikkileighxo). All of these profiles
are verified with a blue checkmark. So please
make sure that you find the verified account. A
lot of fake ones out there. But you can also find
me on my website www.missnikkileigh.com
Always look for updates of what I have coming
out and what I am up to.
Photo credit: Marin Hamataj
In May, however, I have a movie called
Roads, Trees and Honeybees coming
out and I couldn’t be more excited for
this heart warming movie! It is written
and directed by Stephanie McBain,
who I really enjoyed working with. She
really knew what she wanted from this
film and that is always a real blessing
when filming a movie. The stars of the
movie include Chris Mulkey who you
might recognize from the Oscar and
Golden Globe winning film Whiplash,
Mark Krenik who will be in this summer’s
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and
Other than those things I have been
visiting the Veterans Home of California
this year and I think that has been
one of my biggest highlights. I feel we
can not do enough for these Veterans
and I love going to hang out with them.
I have some really amazing and hilarious
memories of these Vets that I will
always hold dear to my heart.
Sharon Blynn likes to call herself an ‘actorvist’ and the title
fits her to a T. Blynn started acting later in life after being
diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 28 and successfully
beating it. She created the foundation Bald is Beautiful
to empower women. To Blynn, acting has given her a new outlet
to change the view society has of beauty on and off screen. Of
course, she is also a phenomenal actor.
“I didn’t crave the stage, I wasn’t the kid who was constantly
putting on a show for people, or the class clown; I was quite the
opposite, actually. Very introverted, shy – still am – but it’s more
internal shyness in a strange way,” she said.
Before going into acting, Blynn was on a completely different
career path. After college, she went into the music business. Her
first job was at Verve Records in the marketing department. She
worked her way up the ladder to being a marketing manager, learning,
as she says, “from soup to nuts” how the industry works. But
after long hours and years in the business, she needed a change.
“I decided that the commerce side of the ‘art vs. commerce’
dichotomy was winning too much, so I left my job — without a
real plan for what I would do next!”
Later that Fall, Blynn learned that she had ovarian cancer. The
diagnosis changed her life and would become one of the strong
motivators as she pursued a new calling.
Since then, Blynn has taken the acting world by storm. She has
appeared in hit shows such as Shameless, The Detour, and many
more. With her role in Captain Marvel, Blynn had a real opportunity
to geek out. It was the best of two worlds seeing as she is
a huge Marvel fan. She was very excited to be a part of the first
female lead Marvel Cinematic Universe film and the first to have
a female director.
In the film, Blynn plays the character Soren, a skrull and wife of
Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). The character, despite not having a hefty
role, has an important message.
“Soren’s story and her courage and strength represent the power
of love and community to help people survive and move through
trauma. She represents hope, especially in the face of the stark
reality of the unknown, and the importance of allowing that hope
to carry us through, even when everything around us might
seem very grim. I actually drew from my own experience
facing late stage ovarian cancer and the incredibly bleak
odds of survival (just 30%) for this role”.
Through acting, Blynn has drawn strength and inspiration
to create the foundation Bald Is Beautiful. Their motto is
“Always smile from the inside out!” and it’s a mantra every
woman should live by no matter what they may be going
through in life.
“My movement and message is inspired by ovarian cancer
and wanting to empower women to feel beautiful and
whole while our bodies are experiencing these challenging
and traumatic changes.”
Going through ovarian cancer has shown Blynn aspects of
herself she never knew about. She never expected to fall in
love with being bald. She describes her long luscious hair as having
been her trademark jazz chic look. For many of us, our hair becomes
a safety net to hide behind and a societal idea of what beauty is.
Blynn hopes to break that stigma of beauty through her foundation
whether it is through on screen representation or in the real world.
Women, whether going through a serious illness, going through
different stages of life, or even those struggling with what is deemed
‘beautiful’, should feel comfortable in their skin.
“Being bald can be normalized in the sense that we don’t feel obligated
to conform to someone else’s idea of beauty and can instead
choose how we want to present ourselves in the mirror and out in the
world, and that doesn’t require hair of a particular length, style, color,
and so on.”
Unfortunately, being bald carries a certain stigma. For as long as
many of us can remember, baldness has been associated with individuals
battling various forms and stages of cancer. The same can be
said for women who are diagnosed with alo-pecia areata, a medical
condition that causes hair loss. When it comes to television and film,
baldness always meant looking sickly, frail, and having no strength.
Before becoming an actress, Blynn saw this as an issue that needed to
Photographer: Birdie Thompson
Makeup: Allison Noelle
“I never saw myself on TV or in movies or magazines when I was
going through surgeries and chemo. I was young and everything I
saw on screen was old, sickly, and covering up. It all made me feel
worse about what was happening. And it didn’t reflect how I was
moving through it all. So, my thinking was/is the more we can see
images of a joyful and empowered bald gal, whether or not she is
going through cancer or just prefers to have short or no hair, the
more women can release the burden of having to conform to these
arbitrary and rather narrow – although expanding in recent years –
standards of beauty and femininity.”
Blynn, a self-proclaimed ‘actorvist’, has always been engaged in
world events and believed in speaking out against injustices even
before going into acting. She explained, “Not all actors are activists
and that's okay.” After going through cancer and subsequently
going bald, she volunteered to be a part of a meeting where she
and others spoke about their feelings and experience with cancer
to a group of actors who had to portray a similar look and role. A
lightbulb went off in Blynn’s head and she saw a new purpose and
passion combining her activism with acting.
“I blazed my own trail having no prior experience with acting or
modeling and how to begin to build a career in those fields. I was
fueled by a visceral and urgent sense of purpose, and I couldn’t
NOT do it!” BY GABRIELA SILVA
COMING IN HOT
Hassie Harrison's career is on fire in more ways than
one. The actress plays Lucy in truTV's immensely
popular comedy, Tacoma FD. Lucy holds her own as
the first female firefighter, keeping the guys in check.
The show is packed with hilarity, both in the show itself and
among the cast off set. No prank or premise is too ludicrous (a
marijuana dispensary catching fire is only the tip of the iceberg).
Hassie hopes that Lucy will soon evolve into the hero she's destined
to be. In the meantime, she thoroughly enjoys her costars and
staying fit. Down the road, she has her sights set on the fantasy
genre, much to her inner geek's delight. BY ERIN TATUM
Cliché: What inspired you originally to take the plunge and
make the move to LA?
Hassie Harrison: I think I always had a curiosity and fascination
with acting, ever since I was a little girl. And I remember one day
watching Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth and being so moved by her
performance. I think I just liked the idea that you could experience
such a full life by becoming these different characters. I
mean, why live one life when you can live thousands?
How did you first hear about Tacoma FD?
Like most things, it came as an audition. I was already very
familiar with the Broken Lizard guys and loved their work. So I
figured if I was gonna get this role I was going to have to go all
out and really rob the bank, so to speak. And that’s what I did.
Brought my A game.
Tell us about your character, Lucy.
Well, she’s the first female firefighter at the station and the
daughter of the Chief. She brings this fun, feminine element into
a very masculine environment and challenges a lot of gender stereotypes.
Lucy is super smart and highly capable and I think the
audience will really enjoy watching her razz the guys and keep
them on front street.
The show deals with a lot of humorously
unglamorous aspects of working in a fire
department. What's been the funniest
scene to shoot so far?
I think in the season finale, one of the last
scenes was my favorite to shoot so far. All I
can really say is it has something to do with
a marijuana dispensary catching on fire. So
you can just imagine all the shenanigans that
You've mentioned that your costars often
poke fun at you on set. Have you learned
how to dish it out as well as take it?
Oh, I came in hot. I’ve been dishing it out
since day one.
Why do you think audiences respond
so well to hilarious or absurd situations
happening in traditionally serious settings?
Do you think part of it has to do with the
fact that we generally wouldn't associate
an intense place like a fire department
Yeah, sure. I feel like the truth is, most
firefighters are pretty jovial, fun-loving
people. My experience has shown me that
when these people aren’t fighting fires,
they are usually trying to have a laugh and
enjoy life. And pranks are a big part of
that too. So yeah, I think it actually feels
pretty realistic and people usually enjoy
looking at the comedic sides of life so that
all plays to our benefit.
What would you like to see Lucy do in
I am excited to explore her personal life
and her relationship with her dad more
(selfishly because I just love shooting
scenes with Kevin Heffernan). I’d also
love to see her get promoted and do some
heroic ass shit!
You've also explored your creative side
through starring in music videos. Would
you like to participate in similar creative
projects down the road?
Of course! I'm a total music enthusiast
and felt really lucky to be in Hayley
Kiyoko’s music videos. We’ve been close
friends ever since. But yes, I imagine I'll
always be drawn to that sort of creative
collaboration. I mean, most of the time I
dance around the house and drive around
listening to music I pretend that I'm in a
music video anyways so...haha!
You're very invested in health and
fitness. Why does fitness constitute such
a fundamental part of your life?
Because fitness is cool, friends. And
yeah, I think there’s a direct correlation to
well-being and happiness. Gotta do your
Is there a certain type of role that you
would love to play that you haven't
gotten a chance to play yet?
I am deeply in love with places like
Middle Earth, Asgard, and Westeros. I
have always been drawn to fantasy and
science fiction. Other worlds. Places and
characters that are foreign and exotic. So
one of those roles would really appease
my inner geek.
Photo: Hudson Taylor
Hair: Ryan Richman
Styling: Nicolas Bru
Makeup: Katelin Gan
Cliché: From a former well
known NBA player to now a
well known Cannabis owner.
Can you tell us how and why
you made the transition?
Al Harrington: How I made the transition
was the way cannabis helped my grandmother,
it inspired me to start reading more
into the benefits of cannabis. The way I was
raised, I was always told and believed that
cannabis was a getaway drug and it was
pretty much the worst drug you can get on,
that and crack are the same sickness all the
time. When I saw it help my grandmother
overcome her sickness issue, and she felt
like she was cutting from having to suffer
the rest of her life, it changed me, it made
me start educating myself to the point
where I realized I want to be a voice. I want
to tell my grandmother’s story to the world
to let people know that they have been lied
to for a very long time about cannabis in
general, being that it’s classified the way it
is, and I just want to help people. It made
me want to transition because the one
thing with my basketball career, I was very
Photo Credit: Marin Hamataj
passionate with everything that I did, I was
always raised to have sharp focus. I was
able to take what I learned in basketball and
do this in the cannabis industry and I am
having just as much fun.
For the people that aren’t aware of
where the name Viola came from, can
you please elaborate a bit on how the
name came about?
The name came about from my grandmother.
Viola is my grandmother, and you
know she gained the benefits of cannabis
like to turn into business ventures?
I like to snowboard. When I get done
with this business at some point and
start making bigger investments in real
estate, I want to invest into a mountain,
so that we can ski and snowboard.
Most of my hobbies revolve around
real estate and franchises. That’s the
kind of thing that would interest me
the most, just pretty much entrepreneurship.
for glaucoma. She tried it, and
an hour and a half later I went to
check on her, she was downstairs
in the room, crying, reading the
bible, and she told me that pretty
much it was the first time she was
able to do that in over 3 years. So
that is what inspired us to take
this journey and we just wanted to
honor the person that pretty much
opened our eyes to the significance
Former NBA Commissioner
David Stern waged a war against
Cannabis for a particular time,
but in the end, how did you
manage to convince him that
cannabis has its good perks and
I was able to change David Stern’s
mind just through educating him to
some of the things he already knew
and what athletes go through on
a daily basis. We all are recommended
prescription drugs, and
opioids, and different things just to
go out there and just have to cope
and live the professional lifestyle
and continue at a high level all the
time. Just telling him that there
was benefits in cannabis that can
actually do those things and it’s all
natural so it’s hard to get addicted
and it won’t have that many side
effects. Once I explained to him
that a lot of athletes use liquor for
anxiety and different things like that. What
if they use cannabis instead, and just not go
through what we go through when we drink.
There is no way an athlete can be able to
compete after he spent all night drinking just to
be able to unwind. Compare that to an athlete
that was exposed to cannabis and adds some
CBD and being able to sleep like a baby, and
he agreed that you would be a better athlete on
Being that you have an entrepreneurial
mind, what are some hobbies that you would
What is some advice you can give to
other athletes that are on the verge
of becoming entrepreneurs?
I would tell them just read, learn as
much as you can on the industry that
you are going in, take your time.
When you first start making small
investments, best thing is that if it went
away in the middle of the night, you
would not lose any sleep. Until you are
actually running a business and know
the point that you can start making
Finally the golden modern question,
where can people find you on social
People can find me on social media at
@alharrington3, and you can find my
Photo credit: Marin Hamataj, Samuel Lippke, Megan Abrigo
Cliché: Growing Up in Sioux City, Iowa, what
were some of your early passions before creating
a love for baseball?
Kyle Thousand: Spending time with family and
friends has always been important to me. My family still
lives in Iowa, and it will always be home. I’m often on the
road for work, but I do manage to get back home a few times
a year. Baseball has been a passion of mine for as long as I
can remember. I played it growing up in Sioux City and then
at the University of Iowa where I earned my undergraduate
degree. Playing at Iowa allowed for my family to see a lot of
my games. Having my support system close by throughout
my baseball playing days meant a lot.
Who are some of your favorite Players in Baseball
My favorite player growing up was Ken Griffey Jr. I really
enjoyed how he played the game – his sweet swing, his
defensive prowess and his instillation of style into the game.
I tried to emulate everything he did as a player, including his
backwards hat style off the field. I even named my childhood
dog - a black Labrador Retriever - “Junior”.
How major was the transition from legal attorney to
being a Sports Agent for Roc Nation Sports?
Any career change requires a transitional period, but I had
an advantage because I worked on the Sports and Enter-
tainment side of business when
I was an attorney. Some of the
clients I worked with included the
Chicago White Sox and Chicago
Bulls ownership groups, so I had
experience working within the
sports industry. I enjoyed my time
working in the legal field, but
becoming a sports agent has been
one of the most fulfilling decisions
I’ve ever made in my life.
As Roc Nation’s first Managing
Director of Baseball, what are
some of your favorite moments
I¹m lucky to have come into an
agency that has provided some
incredible experiences and
moments, but a few stand out.
Most recently, being at the game
when CC Sabathia recorded his
3,000th career strikeout. It was
an incredible moment being there
with his wife Amber, their four
kids, CC¹s mother and many other
family members and friends. What
an accomplishment - to be just
the 17th pitcher in major league
history to reach 3,000 strikeouts.
No doubt CC will well deservedly
be elected into the Hall of Fame.
Being a part of CC¹s final season
this year has been and is going to
be very bittersweet, as well. Another
would have to be Robinson
Cano hitting a home run during
his first at-bat with the New York
Mets, and his return to New York
as a whole. It¹s also special to be
a part of the moment when guys
get their first major league call-up.
The latest of our young players to
be called up is Mike Shawaryn, a
pitcher with the Boston Red Sox,
who just got the call at the end of
May. This industry is non-stop
and can be taxing, but it also provides a
lot of great memories and moments.
What is in store next for Kyle Thousand?
Roc Nation Sports already has a dynamic
group of athletes that we’re proud to
represent, but my main goal is to build
our baseball division to be the best in the
game. In just a few short years, we’ve
done so much – from multiple record
setting contracts for Robinson Cano and
Yoenis Cespedes to CC Sabathia’s strong
career finish with the Yankees to signing
some of the best young players in the
game. We’ve got an unbelievable team
over here, and I’m excited to continue the
momentum we have going for us right
Photo Credit: Mark Gumbs
Cliché: What were some
of the early passions
you had that lead to
being a tattoo artist?
Kat Tat: Growing up I would have
never imagined becoming a tattoo
artist. I have always been very
artistic. It’s something I inherited
from my mother, she used to draw
pictures of my brothers and I and
they would turn out amazing. I
always took art classes for my “easy
A” and when I got a little older and
familiar with tattooing I knew it was
something I wanted to try out.
How did the experience of being
on Black Ink Crew: Chicago come
about and what was that experience
The producers of the original Black
Ink Crew were looking to do a
spinoff and heard about our shop in
Chicago “9Mag”. They contacted us
and came into town and filmed us in
our own element for one weekend.
About 8 months later we got a
phone call that we had gotten a
green light and would have our own
TV show. It was a great experience
for me because I had worked really
hard to become a great tattoo artist
and I was ready to show the world
You recently opened your tattoo
parlor in Beverly Hills, why did
you name it Enigma?
The meaning behind the name is
actually a really long story, but to
sum it up, it’s based on the song
“Principles of Lust” by the band
Enigma, it's one of me and my
mother's favorite songs and we
decided on it together.
To honor the late great Nipsey
Hussle, you paid homage by offering
tattoos in Enigma, in return
you gave the proceeds to Nipsey’s
favorite charities, what was that
experience like for you?
It was an amazing experience to
honor Nipsey’s legacy and give
back to his community. The amount
of people that came out to support
was so amazing.
And finally, the question of
questions in the social media age,
where can people reach out to you
in the social media platforms?
You can reach out to me on Instagram,
Twitter, and Facebook at @
Photo Credit: Marin Hamataj
WRITTEN BY ERIN TATUM
Photographer: ROSE WANG
You could say acting runs in
Parker McKenna Posey's blood.
"My mom was an aspiring actress
and just like any little girl I wanted to be just
like my mom."
At 23, the actress is already a 17-
year industry veteran, initially melting hearts
as cherubic Kady Kyle on My Wife and Kids.
Growing up on set, Posey recalls having a
surprisingly traditional childhood.
"Being a child actor didn’t really
seem like a job to be honest. It was more of a
family dynamic being on set every day. I did
miss being in regular school to a degree as I
didn’t always have to go to school, but I had an
on-set teacher that I loved. So, I definitely had a
sense of school and work."
The experience left her well-equipped
to deal with the challenges of navigating
the profession later in life.
"Being raised in the entertainment
industry I feel like I’ve seen a lot, I’ve heard a
lot, and I’ve gone through a lot. So as an adult
I’m not as fazed by most BS that comes with
the industry. I definitely have thick skin!"
Posey always intended to evolve her
profession beyond childhood novelty. After
taking a brief hiatus to complete her education,
there was never a doubt in her mind which path
she would take.
"I have always wanted to pursue
acting for as long as I can remember. After My
Wife and Kids, I did take a break from acting to
finish school. I always had the love to act so
once I became 18 it was never a question of if,
Her next big break came in the
form of a sleek and glamorous drama, Games
People Play. Posey plays Laila, a struggling
actress determined to flaunt her sex appeal on
social media to gain a competitive edge in the
industry. Needless to say, the role is certainly
a dramatic departure from Posey's previous
"Well firstly Laila is grown, so
that within itself is definitely a change for me
coming from a child actress character. When
I first read the script for Games People Play
I felt that the character Laila was relatable
to my generation with social media being so
prominent in everyone's lives today."
Posey is glad to shed light on the less
than illustrious side of trying to make it as an
"I can really relate to her struggle.
I’m happy to portray the reality of a struggling
actress. It’s not always glitz, glam, and
everything nice. So I’m happy to represent the
She even confessed that some of her
professional failures provided strong fuel for
understanding Laila's perspective.
"As an actress you have to be able
to pull from experiences to bring life to the
character you’re playing."
Laila's insatiable hunger for validation
on social media reflects the reality of so
many young women in today's increasingly
image-obsessed digital landscape.
"There are so many people showing
so much on social media. It gives other young
women the impression that it's ok to do that
for the 'likes' and attention," Posey muses.
"It’s very sad but extremely true! But the fact
remains that you don’t need to do that, just be
yourself. Not conforming to what anyone else
thinks is always the best way to go!"
Ironically, she herself boasts a
colossal Instagram presence with over 1 million
followers – but she's careful to keep her social
media notoriety in perspective, choosing
instead to view it simply as a fun snapshot of
her personal life.
"Honestly, I like to live in the real
world. I don’t use social media as my say all,
be all. I try to always surround myself with
positive and supportive people who keep me
motivated to stay true to myself and keep going.
Comments and likes don’t pay my bills, so I try
not to give that too much of my attention. I just
use it as a fun way for people who follow me to
get a glimpse of my life."
And she doesn't sweat other people's
"At the end of the day we are all
human. With that being said, I hope that people
aren’t judging me for my every move. I try to
live my life by no one’s standards other than my
own! That’s probably something that I’ll have
to battle throughout my career. Based off my
Instagram people think I’m probably walking
around all glammed up 24/7 and every second
of the day, but that’s just not my reality at all. I
just like to be lowkey and live my best life!"
Honestly, I like to live in the real world. I don’t
use social media as my say all, be all. I try to
always surround myself with positive and
supportive people who keep me motivated to
stay true to myself and keep going.
In fact, Posey laments society's
correlation of self-worth to their social media
"I think people care too much about
'likes' and 'followers'. It’s sad that people care
more about that than the important issues going
on in the world. The reality is that none of
anyone’s likes are going to matter at the end of
the day when people are out here in the world
facing real life problems."
Regardless, she remains optimistic
that social media can be a force for good.
"I do believe social media is a great
platform to build your following, showcase the
things you care about, and bring to light the
issues that matter most to you. It’s great if it’s
used it to make a difference in the world."
Laila unapologetically embraces her
sexuality and has no qualms about using it to
advance herself professionally, something that
Posey is keenly aware might not endear her to
the audience right out of the gate.
"I think people are quick to judge
women in general. Women will constantly be
fighting this double standard. When guys do
the same exact promiscuous behavior they are
perceived as being the man, but when women
do it they are quickly referenced as a ho. I don’t
necessarily agree with some of Laila’s ways
like many of you don’t, but as the season goes
along you will get a chance to see why she
makes some of the decisions that she makes.
It’s always best to not be so quick to judge a
book by its cover and realize that we are flawed
in our own ways."
In spite of the scrutiny, Posey felt
no hesitation about playing such an intensely
"I’m very comfortable in my own
skin. It was just a new fun experience that I not
only went through, but helped to bring Laila
more to life."
Her flawless execution of the
role has led some to assume that she's also a
seductress in real life, but Posey insists that that
perception couldn't be further from the truth.
"It’s funny because a lot of people
think that I’m naturally sexy or that I’ve got this
sex appeal. but in reality, I actually view myself
as a big dork. I am an actress at the end of the
day, so I’m able to channel sexuality into Laila.
Of course, it’s awkward being basically naked
in front of a room full of people. This is my job
and I’m able to use my confidence in myself to
help me with my performance."
She recognizes the familiar former
child actor albatross of attempting to reinvent
your image with more mature themes, but
refuses to allow it to slow down her career
"I think a lot of people view me as
a sex symbol and the other half of people still
view me as the little girl from My Wife and
Kids. It’s a blessing and a curse, as I’m forever
grateful for the opportunity I got from the show
as a little girl, but I hope with my current and
future roles people accept me as a full adult
Posey hopes the future is bright for
both her and her fictional counterpart. With
regard to Laila, "I hope she gets some friends
and a nice solid team around her," Posey
laughs. Ultimately, she wants Laila to be seen
as a flawed but human character.
"I hope that people realize that this is
a young woman that is trying to make it in this
crazy town, but in reality, she’s just like you and
For herself, Posey still has plenty of
things to cross off her professional bucket list.
"I would love to work with Leonardo
DiCaprio, Halle Berry, of course, my girl Kerry
Washington, and the great Denzel Washington
just to name a few."
And she has her sights set on much
more than just acting: "I see myself working
on more film projects, even producing my
own. I’ve been writing a few things myself, so
it would be good to see that come to fruition.
I would love to get in the studio and record
some music! I also see my clothing line taking
off and spreading more globally. I would like
to continue to evolve my line of swimwear,
making it the best line for women all shapes
and sizes, making them feel confident and
If Laila is any indication, the latter
should be no problem at all.
WRITTEN BY EVAN QUINONES
Photographer: ISAAC STERLING
Hair: GUI SCHOEDLER
Make-up: MERAV ADLER
Stylist: ENRIQUE MELENDEZ
“Love comes at all
times in your life. It comes in all shapes and
all sizes,” says Baby Ariel.
Maybe you’ve heard of Baby Ariel or maybe
you haven’t. But one thing is certain: at just
18 years old, she’s making moves to ensure
her legacy in the entertainment world is
solidified. Time Magazine recognized her
as one of the most influential people on the
internet. She also made the Forbes’ 2017 list
of top entertainment influencers. The list of
accolades goes on and rightfully so. Born
and raised in Pembroke Pines, Florida, the
singer, actress, and author says that, aside
from having a relatively normal upbringing,
performing and creative expression was
around her since the beginning.
“I think I did have a pretty normal upbringing.
My family is super artistic, so I grew
up in a world where everything was music or
movies or acting. I would go to dance class
or singing class or piano class.” She says
that she stopped going to public school in the
9th grade. However, her family and home
life was nothing out of the ordinary.
In May 2015, Ariel began contributing to the
social network Musical.ly, which is known
today as TikTok. This is arguably where
her career exploded. She gained a huge
following, and as of 2019, has well over 29
million followers. In fact, she is on the top
10 list of the most followed accounts on the
app. She says that she had no idea she would
get this kind of attention from posting these
videos but that she’s very much grateful.
“I started with zero intention of getting
famous or getting a following. I really just
did it for fun. It was over the summer and
my house was actually flooded so we moved
into my grandparents house. The only thing
my brother and I had were our phones. We
downloaded Musical.ly and started making
these lip syncing music videos with hand
motions and facial expressions, and people
just really liked them and gravitated towards
them and I started getting a following.” She
says that because people were enjoying her
videos, she decided to continue making them
in hopes of entertaining people and bringing
Gaining a huge following on the internet
virtually goes hand in hand with attracting
online hate from internet trolls. Because of
this, Ariel started her anti-bullying campaign
called #ArielMovement, something she has
a lot of pride in and takes very seriously.
“When I started social media, a lot of kids
started to say mean things to me at school
and online, and I didn’t understand it because
I was just doing what I love to do. But
instead of ignoring it, I wanted to address it.
I made a video online talking about all of the
hate, why it’s not necessary, and why people
shouldn’t do it. After the video, I got tons
of DM’s and comments from my followers
talking about their stories and what they’ve
been through in regards to bullying and
cyberbullying. From there, I wanted to create
the campaign to give them a platform where
they can all talk to each other, support each
other, and lift each other up.”
Music has always been a passion of Ariel’s
ever since she enrolled in singing and piano
lessons as a little girl. From the following
she gained on Musical.ly, it almost came
naturally that she would begin her music
career, releasing a number of singles such
as “8 Letters”, “Gucci on My Mind”, and
“Perf”. She says that she prides herself on
creating music that people can relate to. “I
want to give to people who follow me fun
music that they can listen to when they’re in
their house, for when they’re sad or happy.
I want to give them songs that they can find
themselves in and they can listen and say:
‘she understands what I’m going through” or
‘I’ve felt that emotion before.’ When I create
music, it all comes from my heart and from
real experiences. I only hope that when they
listen to my music, they can feel the same
and find themselves in my music.”
Talking specifically about the song “8
Letters”, which is inspired by the band Why
Don’t We, and the song of the same name,
she wanted to create her own version that
speaks about what “I Love You” means to
her. She says that it’s difficult to express
what those three simple, yet huge words
represent for her. “It’s about really deeply
caring for someone, caring for their soul and
the good and bad and everything.”
She says that while love can represent all of
I want to give to people who follow me fun music that
they can listen to when they’re in their house, for when
they’re sad or happy. I want to give them songs that
they can find themselves in and they can listen and say:
‘she understands what I’m going through’ or
‘I’ve felt that emotion before.’
the happy moments, it’s also about loving
someone even with their flaws. It’s about
overcoming the hardships and tough times
that every loving relationship endures.
While Ariel is not personally in the
music video for “8 Letters”, she instead
highlights different people who hold up
signs that say what love means to them.
She says that creating the video in this
particular way allowed her to show love in
its many forms.
In her book “Dreaming Out Loud”, Ariel
speaks about your journey thus far by providing
personal anecdotes. She talks about
the process for deciding what to share with
the world, allowing people in and letting
them know they are not alone. “When I go
on social media, a lot of the times I try to
hide when I’m super sad or emotional. I
don’t want to put that on people 24/7. I’ve
been through a lot. So, in my book, I really
wanted to share some of my harder stories
and certain things that I wouldn’t normally
share on social media, and give people a
book they can take anywhere with them at
all times and flip to a certain chapter and
say ‘Okay, she understands what I’m going
through’ or ‘she’s been through what I’ve
In January of this year, Ariel starred in
Nickelodeon’s Bixler High Private Eye
alongside Jace Norman. She portrayed
Kenzie, a school reporter who helps Xander
(Norman) find his missing dad. She
speaks about the role and how she sees
herself in Kenzie. “Kenzie reminds me of
me a ton. She’s a super passionate, driven
girl with tons of heart who cares about her
friends and family more than anything. No
matter what I do, I try to put my heart and
soul into everything. I can relate to her in
that way. Even though we’re very different
people on the outside, on the inside, I think
feel a lot of the same feelings.”
It’s no secret that being famous can get
to be overwhelming for a lot of people,
especially young stars. Ariel has been able
to avoid the scandal and drama that comes
with such fame. She credits her ability to
remain grounded and humble to her family
and by surrounding herself with people
who genuinely care about her. “It’s really
easy to get caught up in everything. But
luckily, the people who are around me are
the best people on the planet and are there
for me 24/7. They’re caring and loving and
What makes Baby Ariel fulfilled? It’s
simple: “When I’m doing what I love
while making other people happy.”
She’s doing it all. She’s has her music,
acting, writing, all of these awards, accolades,
and recognition. Not to mention,
she’s and anti-bullying activist. So what’s
next for Baby Ariel? What does she see
herself doing going forward? “Everything
that I’m doing right now I adore and love
so much. But I only hope to continue and
move further in those areas, like with
acting for example. I love to act and I hope
I can direct or produce or write my own
movie one day. I also want to continue
singing and do a full album. I only want to
dive deeper into those worlds and see what
happens. She wants people to be on the
lookout for more music coming out in the
Ariel is currently filming Zombies 2 for the
Disney Channel, where she is portraying
the role of Wynter. To stay up to date on all
things Baby Ariel, follow her on Instagram
and Twitter @BabyAriel.
Cliché: You Co-Host a show with
!llmind called BlapChat. What
is the primary focus of the show
and where can people reading this
check it out?
Atlas the Plug: BlapChat is a weekly podcast
focused on the production side of music
creation. I’m fortunate enough to be part of a
panel including some incredible music creators
like !llmind, Glam, and Perfection. Each week
we dig into the side of the music industry not
everyone gets to see. My counterparts offer
their experience and insight from the creative
aspect, whereas I feel I offer more of a business
and networking perspective. As my name would
suggest, I’m all about the networking and creating
of relationships. We’ve had plenty of guests
throughout our near 100 episodes. They’ve
ranged from names you know, to names you
should know, and to names you will know. It’s
just an open forum that would appeal to all
music producers, from novice to expert. We
even offer an interactive segment called “Blap
or Crap” where we listen to beats submitted by
listeners and offer constructive critique. You can
find BlapChat on YouTube, SoundCloud, iTunes
or most other podcast sources.
Photo credit: Marin Hamataj
For the up and coming music producers
out there, what is some advice you can
give as far as placements and getting
your music out there?
The first thing you have to realize is that
the music game has changed. Producers
out there now are looking to get noticed so
they can get placements with the big artists.
The problem is the market is saturated
and let’s be honest, you have about the
same shot at hitting the lottery. Those big
name artists have already developed their
relationships. My advice to that producer
sitting at home, hungry and hustling, is
to be your own A&R. Go out and find
that artist, that diamond in the rough that
nobody knows. Find someone who’s
creative energy matches your own and
create together. Make the music you love,
and put that out there. You’re going to miss
more than you hit, but along the way you
will learn and hone your craft. Also, don’t
forget to diversify. As you build your brand
you can create other revenue streams by
selling drum kits, or sample kits, there’s
TV licensing, DJing, or even creating your
own event. Just make sure that no matter
what you do, you’re networking. Your biggest
success will come from the relationships
What is True Masters and how can
people get involved?
True Masters is a three way tournament
style competition for Producers, Rappers,
and Dancers celebrating all aspects of the
Hip Hop culture. Now we’ve all seen the
basic beat battle, Rap Battle, and Dance
Battle formats. True Masters is anything
but that. To start off, teams are selected
at random. A team consists of a producer,
dancer, and rapper. The producer has
prepared a 3 minute track. The first minute
is the producers time to shine as we’re
focused on what they created. In the second
minute, the dancer has their opportunity to
impress dancing to that same track. Finally, our rapper is up and ready
to do their thing. When two teams have competed, it’s up to the crowd
to determine who advances. At the end of the night, one producer, one
rapper, and one dancer are crowned True Masters of their craft. The
show has continued to gain traction and has now become a monthly
residency at Drom in Manhattan. If anyone is interested in competing,
they can submit their entries either by reaching out on social media @
TrueMastersShow or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You hold a studio sessions across the country with this event called
Respect The Engineer, Can you elaborate on that?
Respect The Engineer is another amazing networking workshop for
recording engineers and producers alike who want to learn more about
tracking and mixing. I’ve teamed up with Anthony Cruz “Turn Me
Up Cruz”, engineer to Meek Mill among others, to start a nationwide
series of interactive workshops. It’s great to see how involved Cruz
gets and inspired me to help curate the workshop for him. Attendees
have an opportunity to play some of their music and get feedback
on vocal chains, plug ins, as well as tips and tricks. Our first RTE
workshop was a huge success. It was held in Miami at DJ Khaled’s
WeTheBest Studio. In L.A. we were blessed with some wisdom from
Jay Z’s engineer, the legendary Young Guru. Puma, Slate Digital, and
Sound Toys were nice enough to supply some of the attendees with
gear and other products, so shout out to them. We also hit up NY, ATL,
and Philadelphia. See other cities and dates at www.RespectTheEngineer.com
Where can people find you on social media?
People can reach me on social media at @AtlasThePlug on all platforms.
While she’s been a part of a few bands, there was
always something missing there for ALAENA.
She always joined after they’d been founded, so
they were never really her thing, and didn’t give
her the platform to truly express herself musically. But now, as
she ventures out as a solo artist, she’s giving fan a deep look
into the real ALAENA. This is especially evident on her single,
“Paranoid”. It didn’t take long for fans to happily embrace her
openness and, in turn, open up themselves about how much
they could relate to the real ALAENA. BY MICHAEL BOY-
Cliché: What inspired you to get involved with music?
ALAENA: I always have loved music and singing since I was
a little kid, but none of my family members were musically
talented whatsoever. I taught myself a bunch of songs on piano
and guitar by ear, then decided to take some lessons when I
was like...10. From there I kind of just had the bug and I really
wanted it to make something out of this. I loved how it made
me feel. Although my family wasn’t musical, my dad was a
great role model for me because he always preached about
being a hard worker and when you want something you have
to work hard for it, which inspired me to go after my music
dreams while my mom was my biggest cheerleader, making me
feel comfortable about the decisions I was making at a young
age instead of pushing me away from them. I joined a band at
15, was touring by 17 and moved to LA and started on my solo
music a few years after that.
How did you come to the decision to embark on a solo
career? Is there anything you miss about being in a band?
All the bands I had been in previously (The Breathing Process,
Abigail Williams, and Winds of Plague) were all bands that I
had joined. None of them were something that I had created,
that I had grown to watch succeed myself. I felt like I had a lot
to say and a mind filled with ideas created from everything I
have gone through in my life. I really wanted to accomplish that
goal. I have always loved pop and alternative music, I grew up
on so much of it, but it wasn’t until I heard that Britney Spears
album where she started introducing parts of dubstep in her
songs where I was like “OMG I want to
create in this world.” I felt like a whole
new lane opened up back then and I was
ready to drive full speed on it. I worked
with a producer and made more of EDM
sounding songs, got signed way before
I was ready, never released any of the
music and was dropped two years later.
I then met a producer who really helped
develop me as an artist which kick-started
ALAENA, broke off and started producing
myself - and I finally feel like I’m
actually back on that road to accomplishing
that goal again.
What is your creative process for writing
My favorite and my best
songs come from when
I wake up in the middle
of the night and dreamed
of a song I was singing
live but it wasn’t a song
I had already made. I’ll
wake up, grab my phone
and sing the melody into
the voice memos and
then go back to sleep,
but that is rare. Usually,
when something substantial
happens in my life I
take to my note pad and
start writing my feelings,
which in turn... leads to
nothing. But I’ll later sit at
my piano and start writing
chords and a melody and
subconsciously that writing
comes to mind and I
create a whole new song
from what I had already
written about. Then I’ll
start to produce out a
track. It seems backward
but it kind of works for
What was the inspiration
"Paranoid" is like a
confessional. I’m kind
of telling everyone about what has been going on
with me in the dark places in my head. I struggle
with intrusive thoughts and images that are not
real, but obsessive, which have
made every day a real battle to
even just go outside. I really
hid it from everyone, including
my family, until this song came
out so it’s definitely been lifechanging,
to say the least.
What kind of response have
you seen to the song? What
do you hope fans can take
away from it?
I really wanted fans to be able
to know the real me, and how
I felt, in hopes that it would
help some of them with their
mental struggles. The response
has been amazing. I honestly
did not think that other people
struggled with the same exact
thing until the song came out
and I was receiving messages
from fans talking about their
experiences. The love and care
are so amazing. It has given
me a sense of accomplishment
because if I feel what I
intended to make others feel,
then there has got to be some
people on the other end happy
to know they are not alone.
What are you working on
I am about to release my next
single!! New music every 5-6
weeks! GET READY!
I miss touring. I miss playing live to amazing
people every night. It’s my passion.
I promise an ALAENA tour is coming one
way or another!
How would you describe your sound?
I love saying I am the unknown love child
of Britney Spears and Marilyn Manson.
Mom and Dad ILY.
From Olympic Cycling to gearing up youthful,
heartwarming songs, Gavin Haley has
had a very unique path to where he is today.
All of it has amounted to who he is today as
a person, as well as musically. BY ERICK SAN-
Cliché: How would you describe yourself as an
Gavin Haley: I think I’m something that makes
things feel good. That space is created through music
in headphones or at shows sharing energy. I feel like
the music takes you somewhere nice.
Where did you grow up? Has that had any
influence on you musically?
I have a lot that’s influenced my music. I’ve moved
quite a bit the last few years but I mainly grew up in
the Midwest. Louisville, KY. Cycling took my friends
and I around the world, so even if I didn’t have
proper music development during those years, I still
found myself having so much to write about over the
years because of those experiences. I feel like every
life experience gives you something to say!
I read somewhere that you were really into
cycling. How did come about?
That was just what I did. From like age 2-3, I was on
a bike. At least from what I remember haha.
Even while cycling, did you always know that you
wanted to make music, or is it something that
I knew that I liked the way music made me feel. But
I didn’t foreshadow this to happen, it just sort of
Are there any similarities in how you approach music compared
I’d say so, yes. I’m always optimistic for myself & I’ll work
hard. I think that’s the main thing. I just believe things will
work out for me so they do. Other than that, it’s a different
Did a specific situation inspire your latest single, “96”?
Specific situations happening around me my whole life.
It seems like a recurring theme in your music deals with
relationships and managing that. How has that played a
role when it comes to you making music?
I write about my feelings in current or possible situations. I
write about everything, my music is an open book. I want the
listener to take away what they feel.
Do you ever have trouble deciding exactly
what you want to share about those
I normally flow quite well but some can be
different than others.
Who are some of your biggest influences,
cycling or musically?
Muhammad Ali was my hero growing up.
I didn’t box but I learned how to believe in
myself. Musically, there are too many to
name right now, but a few are Frank Ocean,
Ed Sheeran, and soooo many more! I feel
like you can get inspiration from everything
the kids are dropping. It’s like this big shift
all the sudden!
Cliché: How did the passion for
cameras begin with you?
Ben Hagarty: I was always into
skateboarding and snowboarding
as a kid, once we got our hands on one of the
cameras from school, we started filming everything.
I wasn’t really focused on editing yet,
it was more about documenting what we were
doing. It got really addicting.
What was your first camera you ever bought,
and what is your favorite one?
I had several DV cameras, like the sony handycams
with a fisheye, when I was younger. As
I got into college I was able to use their gear,
but they still were capturing on tape and I knew
the digital era was coming. The 5D and 7D had
come out, so the first true camera that I ever
purchased was the Canon 7D in 2011 with a kit
lens. I was blown away by the video ability.
What was your first major gig as a creative
Once I moved to Los Angeles, I was able to hop
on several projects as a shooter and an editor.
My first time ever truly directing my own project
was for EA Sports Madden NFL 17 doing a
campaign with rapper Lil Dicky and NFL stars
Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, and Von
Miller. The videos were hilarious and def the
most intense first directing job I could have ever
chosen for myself, haha.
Where does Black With No Cream come
While I was touring with Schoolboy Q and
working with other major artists like Chris
Brown, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar…
I started to notice an outpour of questions from
other creators. They were asking about how I
got my start, what gear I was using, advice on
their work, etc. etc. etc… I decided to
start a private group on Facebook called
Black With No Cream to become the
home for creators of all kinds. The goal
was to build a space that could help
creators find a home, educate others, get
motivated, and find work. We currently
have 5,000+ members based all over the
world and the activity in the community
is insane. My goal is to build the biggest
educational platform for creators that
How was it working on OTR II?
It was insane. Beyonce and Jay-Z are
the greatest of all time. That tour was
massive. We toured the world, played
in stadiums that sometimes filled up to
over 100K people a night…. I was able
to be fully creative and work with the
most insane talent in the world. It was
You also have a Podcast on Spotify,
can you tell us a bit about the Podcast?
My podcast is also on iTunes and
YouTube and every other platform you
can listen to a podcast on ;) but yes, the
Black With No Cream Podcast is an
extension of the private group I had mentioned
earlier. I wanted to start recording
the conversations that I have every day
with leaders in the industry so I could
package that and give it back to the creative
community. I hear so many powerful
stories of success… It only makes sense
giving that to the world.
Photo Credit: Marin Hamataj
You graduated from Northern Iowa University, with a degree in
communications, then moved to LA to pursue a career in Creative
Directing, can you tell us a bit about that whole transition?
I was trying my hardest to be as creative as possible in my hometown
(Cedar Falls, Iowa). I had graduated college with that degree and was
focusing on making music, videography, and photography all at the same
time. I knew I needed to relocate to Los Angeles in-order to “make it”.
I eventually worked really hard to save up some money and make the
move. It wasn’t easy. I spent almost 15 months sleeping on blow up mattresses
on the floor and couches until I was able to get paid enough that I
could afford my own studio apartment in LA… I said yes until I was able
to say no… Super key.
What is some advice you can give up and coming creative, especially
the ones from small towns trying to make in the big cities?
Don’t stop learning. We are continuing to learn every single day and will
continue to learn in this industry as it is always changing. Nothing comes
easy. Focus on the long game and if you really really really want to take
your shit to the next level… then you need to join BWNC and listen to
every episode of the podcast. It will change your mindset 100%.
Where can people find you on social media?
@benrealvsworld on IG & Twitter. @blackwithnocream on instagram.
BWNC.com/JOIN if you want to join our creative community. You
Sage Charmaine may have been
singing her whole life, but when it
came time to start her music career,
she wasn’t ready to lock herself into
just one genre. After going through a few
phases and trying out different things, she
came to her current sound, which blends
R&B, pop, and alternative elements. It’s
what listeners can expect to hear on her
latest EP Don’t Leave Me. But don’t expect
that to mean she’ll stop experimenting and
evolving her sound any time soon. BY
Cliché: How did you first get involved
Sage Charmaine: I first got involved in
music when I was 4, singing at my grandpa's
church. After I got the hang of performing, I
knew it was something I wanted to do for the
rest of my life.
What made you want to pursue it as a
As I got older, I kept singing and performing
as a hobby and never seemed to shut up. I
started playing piano more and writing songs
at age 7 and I think that’s when I really started
to feel like this is something I’d wanna
do for the long haul. I started learning more
instruments and perfecting my songwriting
and voice before finally making the big ass
jump from TX to CA to fully start pursuing
my music career.
How did you develop your sound?
It took a lot of trial and error. Since I started
my music career super early on in my life,
I was going through lots of phases and I
experimented with this in my music for sure.
At first, I thought I wanted to be an alt-emo
girl like Paramore, but as time went on that
phase slowly withered away. Then I thought
Photo Credit: Cameron Jordan
I wanted to do something like Grouplove,
but that only lasted a few months. When I
was about 13, I started experimenting more
with R&B and pop and these past few years
I’ve been blending these genres with more
alternative elements, which led me to the
sound I have today. However, I’d definitely
say I'm still experimental with my sound -
most recently, I’ve been playing around with
indie and lofi.
What’s your creative process like?
My creative process varies, but typically I’ll
go into a session with some jotted down ideas
and channeling how I’ve been
feeling emotionally the past few
days. Whatever producer I’m
working with on that day will
either pull up either a completely
blank track or one that just has
the “bones” so far, if you will.
Then we’ll just start vibing and
I’ll start writing and organizing
the song accordingly.
What can people expect from
Don’t Leave Me?
People can expect a whole array
of emotions and feelings for sure.
The whole EP is kind of like the
different effects that “love” can
have on an individual, who in
this case is me, so I hope you
guys enjoy tapping into my crazy
ass thoughts and expression.
What was the experience like
going out on tour last summer?
Are there any plans for another
Last summer, the tour was super
fun! I brought my best friend
with me so we both got to meet
and hang out with lots of cool
new people, as well as hear some
stories about other teenagers in
the industry. We went all over the
US so we saw a lot for sure, and
I also got to sing in front of so
many cool audiences in so many
different cities. This summer,
I definitely have some tours in
mind, but nothing is completely
solidified yet. (stay tuner tho hoe)
What kind of response have
you seen from fans? What do
you hope people take away
from your music?
I’ve seen a great response from
my fans! They're super involved
with anything I put out which
I’m super grateful for, and they're
also super supportive and always
make sure to give me their feedback.
I hope that people ultimately can
relate to my songs and feel what I
feel through my lyrics and voice,
and I also hope that listeners find
joy in my music at the same time,
while not being able to get it out
of their heads lolol.
What are you working on next?
At the moment, I’m working on
a new project with my producer
Nick, which is gonna be more
experimental with hip hop LoFi.
So far I’ve made one song, but
I’m really excited to finish it up
and get it out there - I’m hoping
to have it done by the Fall! (;
126 www.cliche- www.clichemag.com mag.com