Monday, August 31, 2009

Dee Foster Theriault: Dear Dee Dee

For the average gymnastics fan, the sport comes around every four years with the Olympics. For the rabid gymnastics fan, the sport is alive with excitement from recreational gymnastics to elite gymnastics to the burgeoning NCAA women's gymnastics teams each and every year. Unlike football or baseball, there really isn't a gymnastics season, so there is very little downtime. For an athlete that reaches the Level 10, Elite, and NCAA level, the talent pool dwindles down to a few gymnasts, not only at their club, but also across the country. That can lead to some isolation in the gym with the added pressure of trying to make the Olympic or World teams, or even obtaining a coveted NCAA scholarship. The athlete may start to compartmentalize all of their goals and take the stress of the sport into all aspects of their young lives, so that is where Dee Foster Theriault steps in.
As a former National and NCAA Champion, Dee understands the pressures of rising gymnasts whether their goals are in recreational or elite level gymnastics. She knows what it takes to make it to the top and she knows how to handle those obstacles that turn up along the way.
Dear Dee Dee is the first-ever mentoring program for gymnasts of all levels by establishing a relationship with the athlete and offering advice, not as a coach, but as a mentor. This is an important part of her philosophy to being "committed to the athlete and not the outcome." She states that she is "an outsider with a lot of insider information" and after over a decade away from the sport, she is ready to give back to a sport that gave her so much for 17 years.

The crucial part to her mentoring program is establishing parental involvement so that they can see the importance of their child's physical health, mental health, and see all perspectives of the athlete's life. Her parents were heavily involved in her development not only as a person, but also as a gymnast. As a result, she has a positive view on the sport and the famous coaches she trained under including Bela Karolyi, Don Peters, and University of Alabama coaches, David and Sarah Patterson. Dee knows that the Elite gymnast is going to have different needs than the NCAA gymnast who knows their body better, understands their physical limitations, and feels more confident voicing their opinion because they are older and competing every weekend. For the NCAA athlete, it is a job where you have to balance schoolwork, your behavior, your activities, and the sport that gave you a scholarship, gymnastics. So while the elite gymnast may need more mental health management, the NCAA gymnast may need more work on time management. The bottom line for Dear Dee Dee is delivering "healthy, fruitful gymnasts".

Her philosophy was hard at work this summer at the recent 2009 CoverGirl Classic where she mentored a young gymnast to great success. The mother of the elite athlete even sang Dee's praises in a testimonial saying, "When she started working with Dee the change was almost immediate. My daughter respected Dee right away, knowing that Dee had been there before and could totally relate to everything she was going through." Even more vital to the mentor program is the fact that the gymnast's parent felt she "no longer need concern myself with day-to-day gymnastics issues; I can just be a mom." This is all just the beginning for Theriault as she sees her program expanding to partnerships with NCAA and USA Gymnastics and even utilizing her website's forum to "evolve into gymnasts helping each other." Her hopes also include guest mentoring with former Olympians and NCAA champions.

While Dee does have big goals for her program, there is one athlete she has set her sights on. When asked who it was, Theriault replied without hesitation, "Alicia Sacramone." Sacramone was the incredible team captain of the 2008 Women's Olympic Gymnastics team for the US in Beijing who, unfortunately, did not have the meet of her life there. It is Dee who believes that Alicia has "yet to tap her potential and with her natural instincts as a team leader, she needs to learn to lead for herself." With Sacramone's recently announced comeback, it seems that Theriault is ready to scoop up one of USA Gymnastics most talented athletes for some Dear Dee Dee love and inspiration.

For more information on Dee Foster Theriault, Dear Dee Dee, and her book series, click here: Dear Dee Dee.

**For full disclosure, my testimonial is also up on Dee Foster Theriault's website. She is a true role model as well as a friend.**

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dance Channel TV "Can't Miss List": Episode 6

The "Can't Miss List' continues to be one of my favorite pieces to shoot. I am finding that our fantastic writer, Suzanne Jolie, is writing it with more and more snark each episode. Who wouldn't love that? With dance really hitting its stride in mainstream media with shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars, it is ripe for ribbing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Feel free to comment on what you are looking for on our next "Can't Miss List"!

PS You have to love my crazy eyes in image above. Thanks,, you know how to make a girl look good. ;)

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Buzz

Here we are 8 weeks into The Web Files and the show has grown quicker than we ever imagined. We appreciate all of the support from the web series community. We hope to serve you well in our upcoming shows. Here's some of the buzz on The Web Files:

1. Named a "Web Series to Watch" by Jeff Elwell: Web Series 2 Watch.

2. One of my favorite Web Files supporters, Mathieas McNaughton, who kindly posts our show on his blog each week. Find out about short couches and a Christina Applegate reference: LG15 Today.

3. There's nothing like a happy talent, so thank you to Shanrah Wakefield for our shout out in her blog this week: Shanrah Wakefield.

4. Finally, we wouldn't have an Episode 8 without the show, Oz Girl. I'm telling you now, this cast and crew are going places. Make sure you are following the careers of Sophie Tilson, Shaun Crawford, Shanrah Wakefield, and Nicholas Carlton. You can find all of their Oz Girl work here: Oz Girl.

So, if you have had fun with us the past 8 weeks, I think you will truly enjoy our Fall offerings. We have some big names and series coming your way.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Episode 8: Oz Girl

The whole gang with purple bookends........Another interview wrapped!................
My favorite photo of tall Shaun Crawford and our petite makeup artist, Marybeth Bagonghasa....
Guess I wasn't ready for this shot..........
Ah, much better............

I cannot believe I let a week slip by without a post! I was off doing a corporate host gig and I completely fell off of the grid. With that said, I am thrilled we are at the two-month mark with "The Web Files" and that our 8th episode features the talented cast of "Oz Girl". What can I say? This interview fell into our laps on the red carpet at iTVFest in July. We were interviewing them on the red carpet and before you know it, we had to scramble to find a location to shoot our episode with them in 3 days.

The cast and crew, comprised of Sophie Tilson, Shanrah Wakefield, Nick Carlton, and Shaun Crawford, were the hit of iTVFest where the show won Best Web Series and Best Acting. Everywhere they went, people stopped to congratulate them about "Oz Girl". They came in all the from Melbourne, Australia and they were rock stars that week. The show is fresh and funny. The cast is young and so cute! The crew is just genius. When Nick told me he began posting short films on the web in 2000 when he was 10-years-old, I started thinking this episode of "The Web Files" will be pulled out of the archives for E! after his wins his first Oscar.

I noticed an online comment that we needed a bigger couch for the episode. I laughed and I totally agree. We normally plan interviews about a month in advance, but with only 3 days to scramble to assemble our crew and equipment, we took advantage of whatever we could. So, we had a small couch, but a fabulous suite donated by the Ramada Plaza Hotel in West Hollywood. So, many thanks to them for making our show with "Oz Girl" a reality.

I recommend everyone reading this to bookmark, "Oz Girl", and watch one of the most addicting shows on the internet. The story is compelling and Shanrah Wakefield's (AKA Megan) one-liners are hilarious. Beyond being a group of young actors, writers, directors, and producers to watch, they are a fun gang of people to hang out with. Now, hurry with Season 2!!
(And come back to LA soon!)

Check out Episode 8 here: Oz Girl.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dance Channel TV: Gotta Dance!

Everyone always wants to see the behind the scenes photos of the sets I work on, so I think this one has to be my favorite. I was able to bring my puppy, Indy, to set with me while I shot the opening to my piece on the new documentary, Gotta Dance! She doesn't like to leave my side, so we let her sit at my feet because the shot was from the waist up. So, working in my industry does have its benefits from time to time......take your puppy to work day!

If you haven't had an opportunity to see Gotta Dance!, well, it's time to put it on your list. The documentary by Dori Berinstein follows the inaugural season of the NETsationals, the senior hip-hop dance team for the NJ Nets. I think you will find this movie incredibly inspiring. It truly proves that dance is for everyone! I had the opportunity to interview Dori and several of the dancers including my favorites, Betty and Claire. I sat next to Betty's husband at the premiere in LA and they have to be the nicest couple ever. He really enjoyed his wife's superstardom! I also tried to convince him to take his wife on a date to the Hollywood Bowl while they were in town, I wonder if they ever made it?

For those musical theatre geeks, like me, be sure to check out director Dori Berinstein's other documentary, Show Business: The Road to Broadway. It follows four Broadway shows from the inception of 2003-2004 season all the way to the surprising outcome at the Tony's. Happily, I even caught a glimpse of one of my favorite friends, Denny Downs, in the documentary as he accompanied Kristin Chenoweth to the Tony's that year.

Finally, see my Dance Channel TV report here: Gotta Dance!
By the way, Indy thought I did a good job, she gave me a high five when I was done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Behind the Scenes of Dusty Peacock

After the shoot, makeup artist Marybeth Bagonghasa, Gary Valentine, KB....
Doug Cwiak and Perry Payne, setting up the shoot....
Perry hard at work......
Setting up the interior shot on the scooters......
Gary in the middle of the interview answering a question or two.....
Hanging on the bike.........
The game that started a Twitter obsession......
Sandra Payne, EP, snapping a pic. Can't wear that wardrobe twice.
Safety gear on, it's going to be a bumpy opening to the show.......

This episode of The Web Files truly was an eye-opener for me. We had yet to interview someone who truly had some name recognition, success as a series regular on a long-running sitcom, and who dove right into the web world fully funded. Must be nice, right? I tried really hard to get underneath the surface of why Gary Valentine was delving into the web series world, but I think his mission is to get the show on network TV and this was a way of showcasing his talents. Yet, he still talked about shooting Season 2. So, I walked away a bit confused and unsure that I got those particular questions answered. For so many of us, web series is a passion project, self-funded, staffed for pizza and donuts, so I would really love to hear your feedback on this episode.

Gary was a lot of fun to shoot with as he is really funny and totally game to sit on a scooter to be interviewed. Come on, Dusty Peacock would love to do some crazy stunt on a scooter! It was a fun, colorful environment to shoot, so for all of your scooter needs, please check out Noho Scooters. They were extremely helpful with all of our production needs. This is also the episode that our cameraman, Doug Cwiak, learned of my PacMan obsession since the scooter shop has a series of old school video games. He has kindly set up a PacMan account on Twitter and has sent me every link possible about PacMan merchandise. So be sure to find more PacMan merchandise and send it Doug's way. I also want to thank Jenn Bobiwash for letting me borrow the fantastic necklace that she made. I wore it with the domino side up, but on the back are vintage pin-up girl magazine covers. Please visit her website and tell her The Web Files sent you: Angry Chix.

I wish Gary luck with his web series as I know he is ready to take "Dusty Peacock" to the next level. I also want to thank him for his courtesy call when he was running a few minutes late. Trust me, this is not done often and it was appreciated by everyone on the crew. Actors, take notes, as your career ascends, so should your manners. Oh, the red carpet stories I will tell when I retire. And ummmmm, yes "Bust A Moove" really is my Karaoke song. I have 80's taste, what can I say? If you missed the show this week, you can check it out here: The Web Files: Dusty Peacock

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Web Files Weekly Update

The Web Files Executive Producer, Sandra Payne, with Gary Valentine of "Dusty Peacock".

We are plugging away here at The Web Files and already planning our fall episodes. I am pretty excited by the shows that have said "yes" to us so far, you will see some familiar faces from past web series who are about to launch big shows within the next few months. So, be sure to check out The Web Files in September and October.

In other news, thanks to Demi Delia for her shout out in her recent blog post. I was happy to hear that she enjoyed our interview. She is taking her career to a more mainstream level, so look for Demi to make a splash in 2010 with product launches and Season 2 of Mommy XXX on Check out here blog (and The Web Files mention) here: Demi Delia

For those of you following the web world carefully, make sure you are watching Nick Carlton's work. He is one of the young creators from "Oz Girl" and we look forward to showing you the "Oz Girl" interview for "The Web Files" launching on August 26th. I had the opportunity to read the pilot script from his new web series called, Stitch. If you want to check out the pilot, click here to contact Nick and find out more about his next project, "Stitch". You will see a few familiar "Oz Girl" faces on the "Stitch" website as Shanrah Wakefield, Sophie Tilson, and Shaun Crawford are all involved both in front and behind the cameras. Shanrah wrote a great blog on her week at iTVFest and a few encounters with The Web Files: Shanrah's Blog. Thanks, Shanrah!

Our next episode of The Web Files features Gary Valentine from's, "Dusty Peacock" I can't wait to hear everyone's reaction to this interview. He is a former series regular on his brother's sitcom, "King of Queens". Yes, his brother is Kevin James, who is producing "Dusty Peacock". So, what do expect out of your web series when it is fully funded, on a high profile portal, and you have name recognition? Find out on Wednesday, August 19th, when we launch our next episode of "The Web Files".

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Behind the Scenes of Mommy XXX

When I originally contacted the Sony PR department looking to interview Demi Delia from's Mommy XXX, I wanted to find out more about the woman behind the fun, Osbourne-like reality show. I thought it was interesting look at working mom's life, raising two kids, and oh, by the way, she works in the adult industry. Once we got approval for the interview and all of the details were worked out, we headed to Demi's compound which is featured in the show. It turns out that Demi lives in my neighborhood, right around the corner. In fact, I had been jogging past her home for months with my puppy. The house is a former child star's childhood home, complete with a guard house and a fantastic pool and veranda in the back. I guess I should not have been surprised as that street is filled with celebrities, entertainment lawyers, and agents.

I have to say, I was a little more nervous for this interview versus others since Sony did send a publicist to monitor the taping. She asked for the questions ahead of time, but I didn't offer them up. Anyone that watches The Web Files knows that I am not interested in tabloid journalism, no matter what the subject. I want to understand the process of each individual show because each creator, actor, or crew member has a story to tell and it should be heard. That was our mission when we started the show and that mission will continue, no matter what the subject involves.

We had a fantastic time with Demi and her super cute puppy, Louie (be sure to check out his cameo at the end of the show.). Demi is personable, kind, and very open with her home life and her life in front of the cameras. I know the entire Web Files crew that day walked out of Demi's home feeling as though they really understood the person behind the show....and we liked her.

Fast forward a few weeks later, our show is still being edited for an August 10th launch at this point, but I see Demi make a comment on Twitter about an unfair interview with a Mommy Blogger. If you aren't familiar with Mommy Bloggers, they are considered a powerful group by advertisers to influence other mommies with their product reviews and endorsements along with writing about their daily lives. There is a lot of debate going on right now with the ethics of Mommy Bloggers and you find many interesting articles on the subject on the internet if the topic interests you. Anyway, Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil, posted an article about her interview with Demi and a call to advertisers to pull their ads from the show on We are talking about big companies like Kraft and Nabisco. Well, I piped in with my comments about how we cannot really judge someone unless we walk in their shoes and try to understand their lives and where they are coming from. I truly feel that it is important to get to know the person behind the public face. Well, it turned out to be quite an interesting debate. I don't want to rehash it all here as I know Lindsay feels a little beaten up about the issue, but I think it is important that all sides should be heard. My opinion was not changed by the discussion, I prefer to live a more open-minded existence, but I always appreciate rational debates. So please hear the other side, you can find Lindsay's posts here, here, and the follow-up here on the subject.

In parting, Kraft did pull its ads from the show.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Episode 6: Mommy XXX

I will have a behind the scenes look with Demi Delia by tomorrow because her show, while done in the genre of "The Osbournes", has caused quite a ruckus amongst Mommy Bloggers. I will give you the scoop because I opened my big mouth and found myself smack dab in the middle of the controversy. Meanwhile, enjoy the show: The Web Files: Mommy XXX.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dance Channel TV

Besides The Web Files, I also host a biweekly show called, the "Can't Miss List", which highlights the latest scoop in dance news. I love hosting the show because we provide a one-stop location to hear what is happening on all of your favorite dance shows, Broadway, and even concert dance. This week's episode features all of the Paula Abdul news you can possibly imagine plus, some interesting comments about Shakira's choreography in her new video. Let me know what you think......good? Bad? I am not a fan of HiHat's work in this video, but I am open to discussion on this.

If you haven't heard the scoop on "Dancing With the Stars", well, they are going to have 16 contestants in the next season. The season will not be longer, just more brutal for the celebrities participating. They will have to endure 3 back-to-back double eliminations, so they will lose a good percentage of the cast in 3 episodes. Do you think this is a good way to shake things up?

Finally, we will be doing a lot of coverage on this movie, "Gotta Dance"! The new movie documents the auditions to the season finale performance of the NETsationals, the senior hip-hop dance team for the NJ Nets. You haven't seen anything like this before. It's a fantastic reminder that dance is for EVERYONE. The movie is already open in NYC and it opens July 21st here in LA.

If you missed our latest "Can't Miss List", click here: Dance Channel TV
Feel free to comment below, we want to hear your feedback for Dance Channel TV!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wrap-up of iTVFest

Congrats to the winners at iTVFest, we are thrilled that the cast of "" won for Best Comedy! The Web Files will be interviewing them later this month to catch up with some of the cast and creators. They have had a big summer and it should be enlightening to all to learn about the path they have taken for their web series.
Of course, this cast took LA by storm while they were here. The cast of "Oz Girl" not only won Best Acting, but they also won in the Best Overall Web category. I expect big things from this group and I can't wait to watch it all unfold. We were so lucky to interview them while they were here. Look for their episode to appear on Wednesday, August 26th.
The entire crew of The Web Files worked overtime to deliver not one, but two videos about iTVFest's red carpet.
Part one can be found here: Red Carpet, Part 1
Part two is short, sweet, and hilarious. It offers everyone "Wisdom from the Red Carpet": Wisdom

We also want to thank Mathieas McNaughton for a really nice feature article on The Web Files and our coverage of iTVFest. He has been really supportive of the show and I can't wait to show him our Oz Girl show. Click here for Mathieas' article: Mathieas McNaughton.

And finally, we took tons of photos of all of the web series entries on the red carpet where you will notice a lot of familiar faces. If you missed them, start here: Photos, Part 1. Each entry will lead you to the next page, it is 3 parts of red carpet excitement! Until next year, The Web Files coverage of iTVFest is now closed.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

ITVFest Opening Night Gala: Part 3

Here they are, the remaining photos from the Gala. I chose a few of the absurd, fun, and caption-worthy for my last post. Starting right off with the "After Judgment" crew, Stephanie Thorpe and Mike Davies, as we discuss their future interview with The Web Files while I interview them on the red carpet. What a great way to do business.....
Who are going to interview next? Me and Shira Lazar looking for our next interview. Anyone? Anyone?
This was one crowded red carpet! We moved over further and further until we gave up and parked ourselves away from the red carpet to finish up the interviews.
What are you wearing? Checking out the red carpet fashions with the hosts.
Yes, I am pretending to pose in a photo with Felicia Day where I just end up looking crazy. There she is!
One of my favorites from the paparazzi, please!
The cast and creators of Dark Room Theater, I am not sure if they look bored during my interview or just dying to hit the bar. And a big thanks to Keith Blaney, who was concerned about my level of hydration during the red carpet.
Watch out, it's the "Dangerous Women" from! Originally conceived as a web series, it is entered in iTVFest as a television pilot showing the versatility of the web format. The series also has a fantastic tag line, "This ain't your mother's PMS".
Shhhh.....worst kept secret for The Web Files. We are excited to interview this talented bunch on Monday.
Finally, I want to give a shout-out to several of the other web series we interviewed including, "Imaginary Bitches", "2012", "Operation Midnight Climax", "Johnny B. Homeless", and "House Arrest". I didn't charge my camera, so the old batteries were exhausted by the time we got to them. We didn't forget you, look for your clips in the next episode of The Web Files on Wednesday!

For those of you who were not able to attend, here is a 30-second behind the scenes look at all of the noise and excitement: iTVFest Red Carpet

PS Did you miss Parts 1 and 2? You can find Part 1 here: iTVFest, Part 1
And Part 2: iTVFest, Part 2

ITVFest Opening Night Gala: Part 2

More photos from iTVFest Opening Night Gala:

Tim Street of APE Digital and Drew Baldwin of Tubefilter giving the lowdown on the state of web series. The best part, it's good news!
Looking very focused on the red carpet........
The cast and creators of MERRIme. I have had my eyes on this series for awhile, all thanks to the Stagedoor network of alumni. Yes, Kaily Smith and I went to the same theatre camp--musical theatre geeks unite! The Web Files has an upcoming episode with them, so you might catch a glimpse of jazz hands and highlights from Jack Romano's Cabaret.
Congrats to Stephen Leonard for making a second consecutive appearance at iTVFest. This year his entry is "A Guy and His Beaver" in the animation category. Be sure to check out his work during the festival!

Another one of the international entries is from France with a suspenseful look at an American tourist caught up in an evil web of CCTV. Creator Laurent Touil Tartour has a fascinating series on his hands that he hopes to take to the big screen.
Tomorrow will be the final round of photos as a prelude to Monday's Web Series Day at iTVFest. So, come on back and check out the photos of a fun night on the red carpet.

PS If you missed Part 1, look here: iTVFest, Part 1

Part 3: iTVFest, Part 3

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