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Cast of Paramount Film, Mighty Oak and Author of Never Sit If You Can Dance, Jo Giese

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Empowerment
Cast of Paramount Film, Mighty Oak and Author of Never Sit If You Can Dance, Jo Giese

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SAG/AFTRA member Cynthia Brian continues Wednesdays with Writers and Performers on StarStyle® giving authors, actors, artists, and entertainers who have had their live performances and events canceled due to Covid-19 a platform to shine. Find out how brilliant our world talent is right here on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!

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MIGHTY OAK tells the story of Gina (Janel Parrish, “Pretty Little Liars,” To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before), a band manager who struggles after losing her brother/lead singer (Levi Dylan, 12 Mighty Orphans) in a fatal car accident while traveling to a gig.  A decade later, Gina meets a 10-year-old music prodigy named Oak, played by newcomer Tommy Ragen, a real-life prodigy whose music inspired the screenplay.  Oak seems to possess the same qualities as Gina’s late brother, inspiring her to pull her life back together and try to reunite the band with Oak as its new front man. Directed by Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer), guests to be interviewed by Cynthia Brian include Tommy Ragen (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock Broadway Musical), Rodney Hicks (Rent, Come From Away) Gianna Harris (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock Broadway Musical), and Ben Milliken (Bosch, Blue Crush  www.mightyoakthemovie.com

Official Trailer: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ba40pACGBZ0

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At a turbulent time in America, when personal connections are fleeting and shared values rare, award-winning journalist and author Jo Giese offers uplifting lessons in old-fashioned civility in her memoir, Never Sit If You Can Dance: Lessons from My Mother. The lessons are wisdom from a mother of the 20th century for a daughter in the 21st century. www.jogiese.com

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Bio: Tommy Ragen

Tommy Ragen is a 12 year old musician, songwriter, producer, and actor. He has released three albums “9, Rocket, and Heart Emoji”. He played the lead role of “Oak” in the Paramount Pictures movie Mighty Oak. Mighty Oak features eight original songs co-written by Tommy and Caroline Corn. He was, also, a cast member on the First National Broadway Tour of The School Of Rock the Musical.

  www.mightyoakthemovie.com

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Bio: Rodney Hicks

Rodney is a longtime New Yorker, originally from Philly who now resides in Colorado. He is an Award winning Black Gay

Male Artist. His play FLAME BROiLED had its World Premiere at Local Theater Company in Boulder, CO in the Fall of 2019.

The play was awarded the 2019 Eulipions Fund on behalf of The Denver Foundation. Previous versions of his plays MS.

PEARL’S CABARET and JUST PRESS SAVE were a 2019 and 2018 Semi-Finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Conference.,

respectively. Rodney was last seen on Broadway as Bob & Others in Come From Away; Clarence Norris in The Scottsboro

Boys, Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar (2000 Revival) and the Original Cast of RENT. He currently has a supporting role in

the newly released Paramount Studios film ‘Mighty Oak’ at Drive in’s and movie theaters. Rodney is a peace and love

practitioner/meditator as well as a playwright and actor. www.rodneyhicks.net/ Follow on instagram: @rodneyhickshere Facebook: Rodney Hicks     

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Bio: Gianna Harris

Gianna Harris is a 15 year old singer, musician, actor and dancer. She plays the guitar, piano, bass and ukulele. Gianna discovered her love for performing in 2015 and as an amateur she performed at MSG during the Knicks half-time show and Apollo Theater. Gianna’s professional career started in March of 2016 when she got her first big role in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s School of Rock on Broadway. In 2017 she graduated from Broadway and joined the touring company of School of Rock. Her most recent role is Emma Biggs in Mighty Oak. When Gianna is not acting she is either writing and recording music, reading or riding her skateboard. Her favorite color is lavender and her favorite dessert is choc chip cookies. Gianna is a huge advocate and voice for Mental Health Awareness and LQBTQ+ Equality. Insta: @thegiannaharris

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Bio: Ben Milliken

Born in Manchester, England, Ben was raised in Bilgola Beach located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Ben, then moved to Los Angeles where we quickly began landing roles in multiple film and television projects, including Universal’s “Blue Crush 2”. Most recently, Ben landed a role in season 5 of Amazon’s hit show “Bosch”.   www.mightyoakthemovie.com

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Bio: Sean McNamara

Sean Patrick McNamara is an Irish-American writer, director and producer of the break out hit “Soul Surfer” (Tri-Star Pictures). “Spare Parts” from the Wired Magazine article “La Vida Robot” (Lionsgate), “The Moon and the Sun” (Paramount Pictures), “Raise Your Voice” (New Line Cinema), “Hoovey,” “Field Of Lost Shoes” and many more Feature Films and Television shows have been Helmed and produced by Sean. He is the director of Mighty Oak. www.mightyoakthemovie.com

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Bio: Jo Giese

Jo Giese is an award-winning radio journalist, author, teacher, community activist, and former TV reporter. As a special correspondent, she was part of the Peabody Award–winning team at Marketplace, the most popular business program in America. At Marketplace she won an EMMA for Exceptional Radio Story from the National Women’s Political Caucus and a GRACIE from the Foundation of American Women in Radio. She has contributed to Ira Glass’s This American Life and is the author of A Woman’s Path (St. Martin’s Press) and The Good Food Compendium (Doubleday). She has written for many top publications, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Vogue, the LA Weekly, European Travel & Life, BARK, Montana Outdoors, and The Malibu Times. An intrepid and enthusiastic world traveler, Jo has visited more than 50 plus countries. She lives in Southern California and Bozeman, Montana, with her husband, Ed Warren. www.jogiese.com, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjogiese/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/giesejo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jogiese7

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Listen at Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel: 

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/124732/cast-of-paramount-film-mighty-oak-and-author-jo-giese

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When you are looking for upbeat, life-changing, and mind-stretching information, you have come to the right place. Host Cynthia Brian takes you on a journey of exploration that will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to make positive changes that offer life-enhancing results. It’s party time on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®. And YOU are invited! Join us LIVE 4-5pm Pt on Wednesdays or tune in to the archives at your leisure. Come play in StarStyle Country. Catch up with all broadcasts on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/starstyle-be-the-star-you-are!/id669630180?mt=2

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Sweet, Savory Summer

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Empowerment
Sweet, Savory Summer

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Digging Deep with Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian

Sweet, Savory Summer

By Cynthia Brian

“Steep thyself in a bowl of summer.” –Virgil

Summer! Just saying the word puts a smile on my face.

Since I was a little girl, the months of July and August were times of great joy, working as a laborer picking or cutting apricots, peaches, and pears in neighbors’ orchards or fruit shed to earn money for college during the day, followed by unwinding with evening baseball games in the fields. Sundays were spent with cousins and relatives swimming in the pool at my grandparents’ vineyard. Our parents would prepare a feast for dinner after harvesting whatever vegetables were ready in the garden while the kids braved the thorny brambles to find the juiciest berries for dessert. In the station wagon on the way back to our ranch, we’d fall blissfully asleep, our hearts filled with happy memories and our bellies pleasantly satiated, except, of course, for my Dad, the driver. 

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Summer boasts a sweet and savory story with harvests of corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, pears, apples, plums, prunes, eggplants, zucchini, berries, peppers, and other nutritious treats that will grace our dining tables. Although this summer I won’t be hosting any barbecue buffets, I still enjoy picking fresh fruit in my orchard and eating my home-grown vegetables. Pink cherry plums are plump and especially delicious this year as are the deep dark purple prunes. Prunes and plums come from the same genus, prunus, yet they are not identical. Plums are usually round, red or yellow, whereas prunes are oval-shaped and purple, almost blackish with a pit that dislodges easily. Plums and prunes are also related to cherries, peaches, and almonds, all in the family prunus. This season my cherry plums have a distinct flavor of peaches. My peaches aren’t ripe, but they are planted close to the plums. Every year the taste varies. Because cherry plums are the size of cherries and quite crunchy when not over-ripe, I freeze a few and eat them like a popsicle. Sometimes I add the frozen plum to my beverage for an enlivening alternative to ice. I plan on dehydrating some of the prunes or drying them for future use.

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My girlfriend, Nora, is a huge fan of black currants, also known as cassis. Over thirty years ago her dad gave her a cutting from their family currant shrub to plant in her garden. Harvesting the currants brings a sweet memory of the times she spent with her doctor dad. This year’s crop was profuse. She’ll freeze a few cartons of these tasty, complex, and medicinally useful fruit for her family’s winter enjoyment. My black currant flowers were prolific, yet my berries were disappointing. A handy tool for harvesting is a Scandinavian berry picker that eliminates having to pluck single berries one by one. 

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It wouldn’t be summer without the sweet and savory ingredients of fresh-picked corn, cucumbers, and heirloom tomatoes. If you are not growing any, farmer’s markets have bushels ready to buy. I soak the ears of corn with the husk on in a bucket of water for an hour, then, pull back part of the husks, lather with a basil-garlic butter, and steam them on the barbecue. Yummy!

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My mother’s tomato salad has been a family tradition for ages. Slice heirloom tomatoes, red onions, and cucumbers.  Add chopped garlic and red, orange, or green bell peppers. Dress with olive oil, wine vinegar, and balsamic. Season to taste. Voila! A beautiful and scrumptious summer salad. 

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Finally, don’t forget to cut a few stems of “pretties” to add to a vase. Right now, the crocosmia or firecracker plant is in full bloom and makes a fantastic cut flower. Leave several in the garden for the hovering hummingbirds. Don’t forget to refill fountains so that our bird friends can have a refreshing drink or bath.

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Fire season is ramping up and with the recent winds, wildfires could easily ignite. Make sure to cut any tall grass or weeds, trim low hanging branches, clean gutters, and remove debris from around your property.

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GardenComm: Garden Communicators International just notified me that I won the 2020 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement for a Journalism Newspaper Article, presented by out of 160 entries for my Lamorinda Weekly article, Scary, scary night. I am honored for this major award and encourage you to have another look at that winning entry because it will help you prepare your landscaping for fire resistance. With this Covid-19 pandemic, the smoke from wildfires has the potential to be extra dangerous or deadly.  Read Scary,scary night at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1318/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Scary-scary-night.html

Read about the award here:

http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/cynthia-brian-receives-silver-medal-of-achievement-in-the-national-2020-gardencomm-media-awards-1296930.htm#

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May you enjoy a sweet and savory summer of social distancing and wearing masks.

Be healthy, hopeful, and positive. Steep thyself in a bowl of summer.  I am!

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Happy gardening. Happy growing.

Photos and more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1411/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Sweet-savory-summer.html

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach, as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

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Cynthia is available for virtual writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

 

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