Boy Meets World: All The Wrong Lessons

My first dose of escapism

Growing up, my favorite show outside of anime, was Boy Meets World I absolutely loved it. I always found closure in the adventures Cory and his friends would go on, and the lessons they would learn. I binged watched it again and again, through high school, college, and my early twenties. I even have a tattoo of the paper airplane used in their logo. I watched the Girl Meets World spinoff and loved it, but only now, four years after GMW went off the air, do I realize why I loved Girl Meets World.

Boy Meets World was a big ol’ lie. Or, at the very least, it was a suburban fairy tale I could never actually relate to. While yes, I was a young kid growing up in America, my life was very different from everyone in that show. But escapism is a really powerful drug, so I immersed myself, fully believing that I could live my life the way Cory did. Looking back, a lot of my more self-destructive tendencies were born from the exaggerated moral situations of that show. Cory’s tendency to throw all sense of reality or responsibility out the window if it meant something good for his friends, or the way he never really had to work to maintain his lifelong relationship with the far too perfect Topanga. Cory Matthews was a man of words, hardly ever actions. Any conflict that entered his life was either resolved within a twenty minute episode, or two to three episodes after that. The only characters with lasting consequences and story lines, actually, the only character with that, was Shawn. That, in all honesty, played a huge part in why, looking back, I was a spectator from 19-27. I spent most of that time connected at the hip of my friends, focused entirely on them and not doing much for myself outside of looking for love, a mistake I am still feeling the consequence of. Life doesn’t work that way, at least not for most people. I don’t regret being a good friend, however I do regret not focusing on my own life more, putting myself in the back seat. Expecting everything to work itself out as long as my friends were happy with me, or even worse, expecting my friends to always be my friends. While it’s true I have maintained many friendships throughout my life, the people I’m closest to now, at 29, are not the same as the people I was closest to at 26. Because my life isn’t a scripted show, and the cast changes every few years. In that same fashion, life is not dependent on dating, nor can every problem in your life be solved with simply expressing your feelings. Relationships are hard work and need to be maintained, no one is going to make life altering sacrifices for you and you shouldn’t expect them to, and even if you find the perfect partner, that doesn’t mean you won’t have real obstacles to face. In seven season of Boy Meets World, Cory and Topanga faced only two challenges that were handled, in any way, realistically. Everything else was handed to them, or solved in a way that would only happen on a TV show. I don’t fault the show for this of course, that’s the point, I fault myself, for believing life would be like this.

In hindsight, Girl Meets World was actually better than it’s predecessor, or at least, had the potential to be. Had Disney executives not forced the writers to focus on making Sabrina Carpenter the star of the show (since the show’s creator refused to actually cast her as the star) Sabrina Carpenter is a wonderful talent, but Disney’s focus on trying to create another pop icon instead of letting a quality show be made, stifled the growth of Girl Meets World. The best episodes, undoubtedly, are the ones focused on Riley, the protagonist, because unlike Cory, she had her own stories to tell. Also, the story of a young girl growing up in a big city is far more relate-able. While some aspects are complete far fetched, many of those elements are carried over from Boy Meets World (like having the same teacher for most of your life) and outside of that, the show is as realistic as a Disney Channel show with a mostly all white cast about decently financially well off people can be. Most of the lessons I learned in Girl Meets World, I still carry with me, because one of the biggest things that show did, was actually tear down the delusions that Boy Meets World was built on.

At the end of the day, Boy Meets World is an iconic sticom, with the same level of unrealistic nonsense as every other sitcom. I don’t fault it for being what it was, nor am I blaming it for my mistakes as a fan. No sitcom should be deeply invested in, or taken as a reflection of reality. Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Seinfeld, all of them, and every show like them, are ridiculous, meant to impact our lives by entertaining us for twenty two minutes once a week, and that is all. They aren’t a reflection of our reality, and they should not be treated as such. Laugh, enjoy the escapism, but that’s all. Personally, I don’t think I’ll watch Boy Meets World in the future, simply because I’ve outgrown it. Not much I could get from a 500th viewing I think. I still give the show a 7.5/10 as a overall review of it (8.5 if you skip the first 2-3 seasons for continuity problems)

Why I Prefer the Anime

I love anime. Most of my favorites are shorter, more easily summed up stories like Banana Fish, Your Lie In April, and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. However, like most people who grew up with Dragonball or Naruto, a good Shonen can grip me for years! Seriously, I saw the first episode of Naruto in 7th grade, and finished the manga a year after dropping out of college. It’s insane to think that a show held my interest for that long. There’s something truly magical about a long running Shonen’s ability to make us care about a character’s journey from adolescence to adulthood. For Dragonball fans, we watched Goku go from a baby to a grandfather, and Naruto fans have watched our favorite knucklehead all the way into Ninja Presidency. Think about this, Game of Thrones ran from 2011 to 2019. The first episode of Naruto, debuted in 2002, and the story is still ongoing in Boruto. That means Naruto, the series, is old enough to move out, smoke cigarettes, and has been driving for two years. One aspect of long running Shonen that is both amazing, as well as incredibly frustrating at times, is it’s ability to have a new episode practically every week, for all those years. As a kid, I loved that I could always count on my Shonen, sometimes, on a daily basis. That is absolutely incredible from a production standpoint. In the case of a show like Dragonball or Dragonball Z, it made 4pm my favorite time of day every weekday. However, this production miracle was made possible by three things: First, the overwork culture in Japan. Second, the fact that most anime adaptations of a manga don’t begin until at least a year after the manga’s debut, so the anime team has plenty of source material to work with, given that most Shonen manga are released in weekly chapters. Lastly, and this is the biggest one I think, filler episodes.

If you’re an anime fan, you might have cringed a little reading that word: filler. If you were raised on Dragonball then you have fond memories of Goku and Picollo driving cars for a single episode, and annoying memories of Garlic Jr and some ridiculous zombie apocalypse knockoff story arc. Unpleasant to be sure, however if you watched Naruto, then you’re likely triggered, remembering 90 episodes of random filler between the end of Naruto, and the beginning of Naruto: Shippuden. For me, it was this filler that changed everything. I watched every single episode waiting to see something of substance, but was let down every week. The side stories felt incredibly flat and side characters rarely grew at all, because they weren’t allowed to. Growth of any kind would potentially alter the character and mess up events in future canon stories. Near the end of that insane filler, a friend of mine showed me a manga website, and I abandoned the anime, gleefully ingesting the year’s worth of canon story available until I was up to date and reading a new chapter every week upon release. At the time, this felt like the smart choice. The manga was good, vastly entertaining, but most of all, it was consistent, and canon. I did the same with Bleach, until I gave up on it.

I don’t know a single anime fan that genuinely enjoys filler, at least not that kind. When I would hear my friends complain about filler in Bleach or Naruto back then, i’d just ask why they don’t read the manga. They’d always offer an excuse about not having the time for that, but in all honesty, in the days before Hulu, Netflix, Vrv, and Crunchyroll, finding quality subbed anime was far more difficult than going onto a well known manga site. Truth is, my friends, like me, were creatures of habit, and simply didn’t want to change their routine. Back then I didn’t really understand that, but now as an adult, I’m the same way they are. Currently, I only watch two anime that are considered long running Shonen: Haikyu, and My hero Academia. Unlike their predecessors, these shows release in seasons rather than putting out an episode every week for years. This means that most of what I’m seeing is canon, and even if it’s filler, it’s probably something the manga creator would have included, but didn’t have time. For example, MHA uses filler scenes to showcase members of the main cast outside of it’s main protagonist, so we get to see characters grow, and that growth matters. In that way, MHA’s filler, isn’t actually filler. It’s relevant to the story overall, it’s simply referred to as such because it’s not in the manga. With something like that, I would honestly feel cheated if I strictly read the manga, because I’m not getting the full story. I’m getting the main dish, but not the sides. While I could read and watch, I see no point in that. It’s the same story, so why would I consume a stripped down version, when in due time I’ll get to enjoy the full experience, with wonderful animation, voice acting, and a beautiful soundtrack. As far as Haikyu goes, I’d be shocked if you were to tell me it has filler. For over four seasons I’ve seen nothing that looks even slightly out of place, or irrelevant.

If I’m being honest, the biggest reason I don’t read manga anymore, is because I don’t have to. Like I said, most of the anime I watch is either short, or releases in seasons. I actually like the break between seasons because I’ll go back and re-watch certain moments and catch something I missed, rather than reading for plot points week to week. Also, with these stories being action based, the animation is one of the best parts of the experience. Why settle for still images when I can see full, brilliant motion? It’s the same beautiful art, but more of it. Also, the anticipation for the next season keeps me excited, rather than feeling overwhelmed by fillers or chapters I may miss because I’m busy.

There is really only one situation that would cause me to read manga, and that’s if the anime is cut short. I absolutely hate when studios cut a series off early and create fake endings, like with the original Fullmetal Alchemist, or Soul Eater. In all honesty, a story cut off before it’s completion is far more upsetting than a series dragging itself out with filler. As long as I get the intended story, that’s what matters most to me. In reality, the argument between reading the manga and watching the anime, is basically the same as the argument between watching the anime subbed or dubbed, it all comes down to quality, and how well the story is delivered.

Breakfast with Jamee

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Do you remember the age-old story? The story of the musician who performs in coffee shops, struggles in hotspot clubs and bars to try and meet someone who can get their foot in the door at the music industry? Managers and corporations exploiting their talent?

That world is dying. We’re on the cusp on a new era, the age of independence. Artists like Kina Grannis, Icon For Hire, and of course Chance The Rapper, are changing the way we see the music business. Even in the major label pop world things are changing. Grammy winner Alessia Cara just released her sophomore album and is crediting as the sole writer on each song. Ariana Grande dropped an iconic single while promoting an album that was only a few months old, and has just announced her new album is coming and is using the power of Twitter to urge her label to release it soon. Slowly but surely we’re inching toward a world where talent controls talent. Singer/Songwriter/Producer Jamee personifies this ideal. She is a talented producer making a name for herself in Atlanta and as an artist just released her debut project “I Guess I’m Good” a few months ago.

What song made you fall in love with music?
I’ve always been in love with music ever since I was little but a song that stands out that I would sing with my friends when it came on the radio is Roses by Outkast. I was always recording music off the radio onto tapes.

When did you know you wanted to make music?
I had a moment at a Kid Cudi concert in 2011 when I was like THAT’S what I want to do.  2016 was when I seriously decided to start making music. I was in college doing something I didn’t like and dropped out to pursue music. I was already making music/playing instruments but being around other artists made me realize it was something very possible for me to do.

Did you start out producing or writing for yourself?
I started doing both. I would make cover songs or original songs with my own lyrics and vocals on it. Then I started collaborating with more people and other people on my music more than myself. Nowadays it’s a balance between both.

Do you ever see yourself going the Timbaland, Benny, or Khaled route where you mostly produce but you put the songs out as though your the performer?
I could do that but I see myself as an artist now so why make someone else some dope music when I can make it for myself.

Top 3 artists you’d love to produce for?
Kid Cudi, Tommy Genesis, Willow Smith

Top 10 artists on your playlist right now?
Tommy Genesis, JABS, Willow Smith, Jorja Smith, Joji, Metro Boomin, xxyyxx, gobbin jr., XXX, Jhene Aiko

3 breakfast must-haves?
Waffles, grits, bacon

Describe your album in 3 words
Mellow, a vibe, loveJame
Jamee’s album “I Guess I’m Good” is a wonderful collection of songs that compliment each other and are wonderfully cohesive. It’s the perfect EP for someone who clearly refuses to be bound by genre. Chill vibes throughout with extremely relatable lyrics.


What inspired the name of your album?
Sometimes even if I don’t feel like I can do life I don’t have a choice, so I Guess I’m Good is me sucking it up and living my life to the fullest that I possibly can without admitting my brokenness.

When do you know a song is done?
A song is done when you release it. I can nitpick a song to death and it’ll never be done. Once it’s uploaded though you just gotta let it be.

If you could be signed to any label, which one would you pick? Or would you stay independent?
I would probably want to be a part of a label and it would be Awful Records if I could choose. But I’d also love to be independent.

In this age of realized potential and a more level playing field, I can’t wait to see where Jamee’s talents take her.

Find her @trapkittybeatz on Instagram

Breakfast with The Wicked Lady

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Every day we see social media influencers, as well as anyone with a social media account, talk about how fake everything is. They rant about how everything is curated, modified with photoshop or facetune, and how no one is showing who they really are. This stance has always frustrated me because the way we present ourselves on social media is often times the same way we present ourselves in the real world when we want to make a good impression. This idea of trying to be our best selves, or even something as ill-conceived as “fake it ‘till you make it” was not born on social media, it’s something nearly everyone on the world does, while simultaneously craving something real. Michelle, a.k.a thewickedlady is one of the most real influencers I’ve ever encountered. Sitting with her via video chat, I feel immediately at ease because she’s normal. There’s no performance, no hyped up mess, just a really cool girl.

Where did Wicked Lady come from?

Growing up watching Anime and Sailor Moon, I felt like I related very closely to the character Chibiusa, who is Usagi’s daughter who comes to visit Usagi from the Future. There’s a part in Sailor Moon R, where Chibiusa is convinced she is unloved by her friends and family, and she’s told that she is alone. This puts her in a really dark place and Wise Man turns her into the Wicked Lady. Growing up, I had a hard time finding myself and feeling very alone. I felt really unloved and I was in a dark place. But light was shed on me eventually and I realized that all these negative thoughts were not necessary and I should live my life to the fullest and be happy, and that’s also what helped Chibiusa return to her small lady self.

What got you into modeling?

It really wasn’t my initial plan to get into modeling, but I started when I was 18 and got serious when I was 20. I just started taking pictures when I had my pink hair, and my favorite hair dying brands started working with me. I started taking more pictures with my friends who were photographers and I grew from there. I did not do this on my own, I had a lot of help from my friends who helped me grow as an influencer and as a model and a person. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them.

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Despite her modesty, Michelle is an amazing model. From the outfits she puts together to the poses the photographers capture there is pure magic in every image, even the silly ones that may or may not have been accidents. In my own personal modeling career, I pull inspiration from her work, because it’s not only beautiful but also carry an oddly perfect balance of elegance along with badass. Though from what I’ve gathered I’d say greatness with modesty is a fairly accurate way to describe Michelle. She’s absolutely incredible but doesn’t use her energy demanding you to tell her, or even acknowledge it. She’s just herself, just a girl with dreams, goals, and gifts like every other human being.

So along with everything else you have going on, you’re also a college student, what are you studying?

Currently studying Psychology, on route to receiving my bachelors, and eventually my PH.D. PSY.D in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.  Psychology has always been my favorite subject, especially growing up in an unstable home environment, I felt it would be best to learn more about mental health to help myself and my loved ones. People tend to forget that mental health is extremely important in living a healthy, and happy life. But because we can’t physically “cure” mental illness as we do with the common flu, I feel like it’s left unattended, or not taken seriously. We’ve all heard the term, “It’s a phase”, and in some cases, it really isn’t and leaves us more bruised and broken.

Mental health is one of the number one things we’re dealing with in today’s world. From loud, known cases like Kanye West, to the closed-off kids in the back of hundreds of classrooms who are feeling overwhelmed with anxiety, depression, or anything else. However despite overwhelming evidence of this challenge people still act like it doesn’t exist. People poke fun, or minimize the importance of mental health, but scream about mental health every time someone is taken from the world. It needs to be taken seriously, and taken care of.

What is the goal for you?

My main goal is to figure out myself, and create a path for myself in a way that is healthy and happy for my family and I. I don’t want to live a life dependent on money but I do want to live comfortably. In general, I would love to be able to make a difference and help people when they are feeling alone or in the dark. I know at times people feel really hopeless and let down and I want to set a reminder that people feel the same way and we should all be there for each other as a support system. (Enough serious time I also want to be the greatest pokemon master ever YAAAGGAA)

The minute she makes this joke I break and can’t stop laughing. The fact that she can go from completely serious to completely ridiculous is so comforting. I find myself laughing not only at the joke, but at how nervous I felt when I was preparing for this interview. I’m laughing at myself for being nervous, for worrying that the real person would be different from the person on instagram, or from the Twitch streamer who will randomly stop playing a game and instead let her audience watch her bake cookies at 2am. We’ve become so used to the endless performance of content creators, that seeing someone who, it seems, is completely herself, is honestly disarming at first.

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3 Breakfast must haves?

PANCAKES WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS. (All time favorite food), Roasted Potatoes or anything with potatoes, and blueberry muffins!

Describe your perfect day

Honestly, waking up on a rainy day with my significant other and Goku(my cat) . A full 8 hours of sleep.  Not having to worry about drama or struggles. Staying in binge-watching the LOTR/ Hobbit Trilogy, drinking Hot Cocoa, eating everything and anything that I can that has potatoes and corn. (I’m a mess but I’m a SLOOT for Elote). and not having to worry about work/homework assignments in college. I’m a simple lass.

Rave or mosh pit?

Considering I used to go to a lot of concerts and got used to being swiftly kicked in the head in mosh pits, now I would prefer raves mainly because it’s a more loving and sweet environment and it’s a lot more affectionate.

Top 10 songs on your playlist right now?

Sunflower- Post Malone

IDWK – Dvbbs

Girls – The 1975

Kamikaze – MO

Take me As You Please – Story So Far

In Bloom – Neck Deep

From the Outside – Real Friends

Disrespectin’ – 88Rising

Bright Pink Tims – BlackBear

Ocean – Martin Garrix / Khalid

This playlist is available through Google Play on our blog!

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What advice would you give up and coming models to help avoid scam businesses/shady photographers?
– Be cautious for red flags, pay attention to their “creative” ideas such as import/lude/ implied. If they don’t allow you to bring a friend during shoots. Check in with others who may have shot with them to get their input with their experience. Also – always meet in a public area and do not shoot with them in a private area. Try to shoot outdoors first, to see how they vibe during the shoot, and FOLLOW YOUR GUT FEELING. If something is off about them, cut the shoot short.

What got you into Twitch streaming and what do you enjoy most about it?

I used to work for a shady ass stream house with 10 other girls, and those girls turned to be the sweetest and most loving girls I’ve met. Although the work itself was garbage, it was the people who worked with me who motivated and inspired me to continue twitch streaming. I met such amazing and wonderful people within that house. ❤ I love being able to get personal and talk to my viewers one on one, and I love making them laugh. If you’ve watched my twitch streams, I do dance parties in onesies because I know as much as it makes me look like a fool, it makes my viewers laugh and happy, and that’s all I want for them ❤

If you could live in any Studio Ghibli movie which one would you pick?

Kiki’s Delivery Service or Mary and the Witch’s Flower ❤

You’re very open about mental health and your struggles with it. Was that always something you were open to sharing or was there a moment where you decided to do that?

I used to shut everyone out. I bottled up all of my emotions because I grew up being afraid of them. I was told to keep my head held high and never let my guard down. Showing sadness meant a sign of weakness to me growing up, but it just felt so inhuman to me knowing people feel the same way too and I couldn’t express it. I had a really bad experience back in middle school that completely destroyed me and my mindset. It was all because of social media. It tore me down and turned me into this monster who couldn’t learn to love herself. It stressed me out and brought so much anxiety. I figured, if ever I came back to social media, it would be to help others who felt the way I did. I don’t want anyone to feel like they were alone in life. I get it, suicide hotlines and phone numbers and therapists are provided for those who feel like they want to talk to someone. But in all honesty, it’s hard to find it within myself/yourself to talk to a complete stranger about your problems. It’s better to even talk to someone who you feel like you can trust. As a young adult, I feel like it would be better if I had open arms to those who need it.

So I have to include at least one question about FBE and I have just one, important question: when they finish filming Try Not to Eat do they give you free rein?
NOPE, WE CAN’T EAT JACK SHIT AND IT MAKES ME UPSET BECAUSE IT’S THE ULTIMATE TEASE. ( I love me some honey glazed HAM)

If you haven’t watched the Try Not To Eat Challenge videos from FBE I highly recommend them. They’re hilarious, and Michelle is in most of them.

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Do you know how dope you are?

God No. I honestly think I’m way too dorky sometimes. I like having this persona on Instagram but being able to be myself and be goofy and fun as well. I don’t like to be serious, I really don’t. But I do have a feisty side when I see something I’m not okay with. I’m not really afraid to snap back if something doesn’t feel right.

Whether she becomes a therapist, psychologist, model, or anything else Michelle is destined for even greater and more amazing heights than she’s already reached. The world could benefit from someone not only as amazing as she is, but as honest and she is. I’m excited to see what’s next for her!

Breakfast with Smiling Eyes Media

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Before it was an advertising tool, before it was selfies, a photograph was a moment in time, captured forever, a still display of the universe in a state of existence it would never be in again. Family photos, historical records, a photograph has the ability to take a moment in time, and make it iconic, inspiring, and unforgettable. This is especially true in concert photography. We love seeing photos of legends in their prime when the world was at their fingertips, they remind us that anything is possible. But these photos aren’t taken by random fans with a smartphone, they’re taken by professionals, photographers who are legends themselves. Stephanie Heath, of Smiling Eyes Media, is a legend in the making.

What got you into photography, and what led you to take up concert photography as a specialty?

I actually wasn’t into photography until I started going to concerts. I went to a lot of shows and couldn’t get very good photos with my phone back then. I thought it was fun and decided I would just do it as a hobby, I didn’t know it could be more back then. So, I went and got a basic camera and starter kit and went out to multiple shows a week. Eventually, I got pretty good and started meeting the bands.

What was your first concert?

My Chemical Romance and Muse

Festivals or singular shows?

It depends on the lineup. Festivals give me an excuse to travel and there’s more time to connect with people but local shows are great. Both are opportunities to discover new music, which I love.

Favorite concert experience?

That’s difficult cause I’ve seen so many amazing artists, but when I first moved up here I saw Third Eye Blind and it was amazing. There were lots of technical difficulties, the sound was off, and they kept going. When the sound just kept failing they did a very intimate acoustic show and told us the backstory behind some of the songs. It was incredible.

Number one band you wish you could’ve seen live?

Janis Joplin, I have her lyrics tattooed on my arm. Second would be Spice Girls, I love Scary Spice.

Top songs on your playlist right now?

Angel Haze- Battlecry

Without Me- Halsey

Explain the meaning behind Smiling Eyes?

I was just thinking of the word smize and the fact that it means smiling eyes, and I was already looking to change my business name. Luckily when I looked it up no one had it. It was the first step to becoming a real business.

When did you realize you wanted to make a career out of this?

When I moved to Atlanta. I just got tired of obstacles blocking me from what I wanted to do.

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When Stephanie first came across my timeline, she seemed very nomadic, almost like a wanderer, searching for something. There was passion and adventure, but now there’s somehow peace, as well as focus. In my opinion, a working artist is born twice. The first time is when they discover their passion, the second is when they discover that passion could become a career. It’s truly remarkable to witness that growth in a person, to see the way they change when they find the true power of their passion. Stephanie isn’t wandering anymore, her road is clear.

Walk me through your first gig as a concert photographer.

This band from my hometown Spread the Dove was playing. My photos were terrible, but the band was really nice to me.

3 Breakfast must haves?

Biscuits

Bacon

Avocado

You’ve just been given all the power in the world to create the tour of your dreams. Pick 2 living and 2 dead to perform

Dead: Janis Joplin & Jimi Hendrix

Alive: Cage The Elephant and to be honest there are so many bands I love I can’t pick a fourth.

ALT Press? Rolling Stone? Kerrang? Or Rocksound?

Rolling Stone for sure

Shaky Knees, Coachella, AfroPunk, or Warped Tour?

Warped Tour is dead for now, and I feel like Shaky Knees has the strongest lineup I’ve seen this year.

You have a very unique style. I love concert photography and whenever I’m scrolling through Instagram I can always tell your work from others. For you, what makes a perfect photo?

I’m extra when I edit, cause I’m super critical and like to outdo myself. I like to capture life, and it can be pretty sporadic

Mosh pits or crowd surfing?

Crowd surfing

I’ve seen you travel with a few bands here and there, what’s tour life like?

Definitely not glamorous, but lots of laughs, priceless moments, and there’s a great bond formed through the experience. I love that I’ve been able to build that sense of trust and friendship with some of the bands I’ve traveled with, it gives us a chance to collaborate and experiment more to make things more unique.

1 band you’d pack up everything and go on a world tour with if you could?

Medicine For The People or Cage The Elephant.

Do you realize how dope you are?

Man stop

Stephanie may be too humble to say it, but she’s definitely a legend in the making. Her work has already showcased defining moments for the artists she’s worked with, and she’ll continue to capture them as she moves forward. No doubt about it, Stephanie is going to be just as iconic as the artists she photographs. 

DragonBall Super: Broly Review (SPOILERS)

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“He’s so cool. He’s so cool, but he’s so goddamn dumb”- Team Four Star Broly Abridged.

That was the consensus Team Four Star gave the original depiction of the massively powerful and massively popular villain, Broly. In his original origin story (NOT written by Akira Toriyama) Broly was neighbors with Goku when they were babies in the nursery and Goku’s constant crying traumatized Broly so much that Goku’s name became a trigger word that would ignite a power inside Broly. The power of the Legendary Super Sayain.

Yes, Broly fans, your favorite movie villain is literally a crying baby with god-level power. 

The original origin of Broly was weak, and the introduction of him as a monster who wiped out an entire galaxy was, like most things back then, so overblown it didn’t make sense. He was only capable of saying one word, Goku’s name, and was basically a ridiculous concept. 

Now he’s the second best-written character in the history of Dragon Ball (Vegeta is #1)

In this new film we see, for the first time, what life on Planet Vegeta was actually like, we get a glimpse at their culture, and we’re even given the chance to see the moment Freeza took control. Honestly, I loved this movie from beginning to end just because of how much we got to see. Much in the spirit of Super, this movie is far more focused on the story, and not just the battles. The context we’d lacked before about their planet, the way Sayains lived, we have it now. But I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum.

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Some of the pieces haven’t changed, Broly is an incredible power, even as a baby reading higher than most adults and definitely higher than Vegeta, however in this story King Vegeta doesn’t attempt to murder the baby himself, but exile him to a place he couldn’t possibly survive in. This leads to Broly growing up mostly feral, starved of any interaction save his abusive, vengeful father, and the wild monsters of the planet they’re trapped on. I won’t go into detail, but Broly is no longer just some Goku obsessed nutjob, he’s a victim, starved of anything good in the world, and fashioned into a weapon by a madman. His story is compelling, and even when he’s up against our favorite heroes you’re rooting for him. You don’t want to see him fall.

The battles in this film are AMAZING, the dialogue and plot overall are the best I’ve seen since Battle of The Gods.

9.5/10 

Breakfast with Chelsea

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It seems crazy to think about in the age of social media, smartphones, and streaming services, but the internet is still new. Do you remember a time before Google? Do you remember dial up? Do you remember the first smartphone? All of these advancements have taken place very quickly, but there are entire generations who have never lived in a world without iPhones, while some, like myself, have the annoying noise dial-up internet made drilled into our memories forever. Now we live in a world of almost endless possibilities through technology. We’ve gone from growing up with our favorite sitcom actors to growing up with our favorite YouTubers. Nowadays most YouTubers are self-taught, but in the beginning, a lot of the big names on the platform were the underdogs of traditional media. Names like Casey Neistat, of course, come to mind, but also Benny and Rafi Fine, who went from filmmaking to YouTube juggernauts with their React series. Last week I got to sit with one of the first ever teen reactors Chelsea, who has threaded the needle between traditional and digital media entertainer for years. From voice acting commercials to web skits and react videos, Chelsea has left her mark in so many projects and in so many forms you may not have realized she was there. Now she streams on Twitch and has amassed a beautiful, supportive community she calls The Walker Horde, based off her love for The Walking Dead.

So how did your entry into traditional media happen?

I’ve been dancing since I was six. A friend of mine asked me to come with her to an audition for a singing role, and I could audition as a backup dancer. We both auditioned and we both ended up getting the part. So, since we’d be doing music videos we decided to take an acting class. Funny enough, my first acting teacher was Adrian R’Mante (Esteban from Suite Life of Zack & Cody.) I fell in love with it, I saw a chance to pursue a career in something I really love. So I got an agent and just started auditioning and going for whatever’s next.

3 Breakfast must haves?

Potatoes of some kind

Pancakes, French Toast, or Waffles?

Coffee

What is the source of your obsession with The Walking Dead?

It’s the story. I’ve always loved horror, but TWD has this amazing story that is about the people, not the zombies but set in a horror scenario. There’s never been anything like it done this well. I was twelve when it came out and was transitioning out of dance so I wasn’t seeing many of my friends. It kept me happy and excited for each week with new episodes. Later when I found the fandom online, everyone is so loving and supportive, it gives a strong sense of community. It helped me through my teenage years.

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Ok so I have to ask at least 2 questions about FBE, so first, I know you’re from the era when they used casting sites, so how did all that go down, what was on your mind when you first joined?

I’d just started getting into acting, seeing if I liked it, and there was a casting call. So, I originally auditioned for kids react but didn’t hear anything for a little bit. Later on I got an email inviting me to be on teens react. Before that, YouTube was barely on my radar. I was so into movies and tv that I never saw it as a creative platform.  

Second, which 2 reactors and 2 Walking Dead characters would you select to help you survive the zombie apocalypse?

Rick, cause he just doesn’t die. Carol is really loyal. Norah is super smart so she’d be helpful with medical and engineering needs, and then Dionte, cause he’d be a fun person to have to keep your morale up at the end of the world.

So, the zombie apocalypse is here and you only have 3 songs to keep you going. Which songs are they?

Never Let It Die- Watsky

Phoenix- Fall Out Boy

Cold Cold Cold- Cage The Elephant

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How did you go from doing the voice of Barbie commercials to taking down villains on Twitch?

I’ve been doing voiceovers for a while, whenever they pop up. I have two sides to my personality cause I love horror but at the same time I like cute, happy girly stuff. There’s so much to look at and enjoy in everything. Crazy special effects gore, happy endings that warm your heart, I love it all.

What’s your goal? Or your dream?

It sounds cliche, but happiness. I keep my dreams big but my goals small. I like to focus on each step. I just want to make people happy and leave the world better than I found it.

As someone who’s worked on both sides, what, for you, is the key difference between digital and traditional media?

Both are really different depending on the scale. In a major picture, everyone has a schedule and a place and you have to stay there. It’s a little more stressed and high pace. With digital, there’s nothing really set in stone cause you’re your own boss and you don’t know if it’s gonna take off or if you’re getting anything out of it. At the end of the day, regardless of platform, you’re creating content.

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Your journey is absolutely mind-blowing, how do you process the roller coaster you’ve been on?

I’m still figuring that out. I wake up most of the time in awe. I never thought of Twitch as a job, but now I focus on it and do it multiple times a week. Sometimes I sit and start happy crying cause I don’t understand everyone’s love and generosity. I don’t know what I do that makes people happy, but I’m going to keep doing it. As an actor, you face rejection every day, so to come into this much love is amazing. I’m in awe of it.

Would you ever go full traditional or full digital? If something called to me in traditional I would definitely give it my all, but I’d never fully stop streaming or creating content in other ways. I love interacting with the community there, it makes me so happy. I could never just drop it like that.

Do you know how awesome you are?

No, that’s not a word I would use to describe myself.

Chelsea may not think of herself as awesome, but the multitude of people who tune into her streams and get excited when she pops up in YouTube videos definitely do. In a way, the societal shift from traditional to digital media is a huge piece of her story. Who knows, she could’ve been the next coming of age teen movie actress, or the single survivor in a b list horror film, instead, she’s our digital zombie loving hero, and so much more. She’s bringing joy to so many people every day. For most of us, she entered our lives six years ago through React, and now we watch her freak out when people donate in Twitch, we donate to charity streams, and we even make jokes about her gaming chair and it’s plans to take over the world. Chelsea is a genuine person and a genuine entertainer. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Breakfast with Ms. Marvel

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By now most of the country has seen and raved at Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse. Between that, web warriors, and the comics themselves, people have fully embraced Miles Morales, the black webslinger in a black and red costume. Miles is one of the two most popular characters to come from a new age in comics, an age of diversity and change. The other standout star of this era is Ms. Marvel aka Kamala Khan, a young Muslim-American girl whose latent Inhuman Powers activate, and she becomes the hero of Jersey City. Kamala is Marvel’s first Muslim hero, and despite a slow start, she has become one of the most popular characters, starring in the new cartoon Marvel Rising, and even joining the Avengers for a moment. Just like Miles, Kamala has inspired people and shown them what they’ve always wanted to see: a hero who looks like them. I got to sit down with journalist Anisah Jabar, a Muslim-American woman who identifies so much with Kamala that she has actually become Ms. Marvel.

What inspired you to pour so much of yourself and your career in this character?

I think what inspires me about her character is how much I relate to her. I grew up Muslim American. My parents were just as strict as Kamala’s – I find it funny when I’m reading what she’s going through because I reflect and think back to when my parents treated me the same way growing up. Growing up in a protective household and also being reminded I looked different in high school relates almost exactly to what Kamala goes through in the comic.

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In the comics, Kamala deals with her powers and her sense of identity almost immediately. Growing up in a world where super-heroes exist, she’s actually what you think the nerds of that world would be like. Her sense of self and self-worth as not only an ordinary human but also a Muslim-American girl growing up around mostly white people is in shambles, and actually plays a huge part in the development of her powers to begin with. Unlike Miles, whose story has nothing to do with race, or RiRi, whose origin has some base in black hero tropes, Kamala’s origin is completely respectful to her faith as well as her culture.

What led you to this project?

I spoke to my mentor who is a film director – he opened the acting and improv school I take classes at. I expressed that I would like to audition for the role of Kamala when she enters the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He explained from what he had heard that they would most likely look at actresses who are established in Bollywood. The fire immediately sparked in me. How could Kamala be played by some who isn’t from America!?!? He said why don’t you put something up on youtube. We live in a different world now. I was inspired in that moment to create my own comment based off the series. I reached out to a friend who cosplays Super Boy – her insta is @projectkr. I did my first Ms. Marvel photo shoot with her. That’s how Ms. Marvel NYC was born.

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3 Breakfast must haves?

I LOVE breakfast!

French Toast

Scrambled Eggs

Hash Browns

If you were given complete creative control, how would you introduce Ms. Marvel into the MCU?

I would introduce Ms. Marvel in the next Avengers movie at the end of the movie similar to how they beeped Captain Marvel in the Infinity Wars. Or in a Young Avengers movie!

Thoughts on the new cartoon series that pairs her with Squirrel Girl and Spider-Gwen?

I LOVE it. Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors stole my heart. I’m pretty sure I cried a few times. Representation is so important. I can’t remember the last time or if I’ve ever seen an American Muslim lady as the main character in a cartoon. It warmed my heart.

What would you consider her theme song?

Unstoppable by Sia

For many African Americans such as myself, Miles Morales was a game changer in superhero representation, and, in my opinion, ushered in this new age. Judging from its status as a best seller Ms. Marvel has clearly had the same impact. Online we see a lot of people complain that characters like Miles, Khamila, and even Silk should be their own new heroes rather than taking up the mantle of classics. Do you think it hurts or helps representation for these characters?

I love the idea of these characters having mentors. In life, it’s important to have a mentor someone who you can trust to give you guidance and advice. We see this play out in Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse. It helps these characters tremendously. Miles and Kamala are kids. No kid can do it on there own – we all need leaders.

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Do you think Ms. Marvel survived the Thanos snap?

Yes, I think she did.

Do you see yourself doing this with any other fictional characters?

So I actually love to sing. I’m new to musical theater, but I’ve fallen so hard for it. I can envision myself playing Pocahontas or Moana in a musical.

Do you realize how awesome you are?

This is humbling and a good reminder to take a pause, breathe and reflect on everything I’ve accomplished/ I AM doing. Thank you

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Follow anisah @msmarvelnyc on Instagram

DBZ Kakarot & DB FighterZ

Why we don’t need any more DragonBall Games

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot was a major success and a fairly great retelling of the iconic anime. While it’s definitely not perfect, most reviews consider it the second best DBZ game ever. The best is of course, Dragon Ball FighterZ. FighterZ has a detailed and fluid combat, and gameplay that both a casual button masher like myself, and a more meticulous master gamer, can have fun with. In many ways, FighterZ has the one thing Kakarot lacked, which makes these games perfect in tandem. For that reason, as well as a few others, I firmly believe that no more DragonBall Z games should be made.

Now let me be clear, I grew up with DragonBall Z. I saw every episode as it was released on Toonami, I remember how I thrilled watching Goku and his fellow Sayains overcome every threat and obstacle they faced. I have a great love and appreciation for DragonBall Z, and the undeniable influence it had on my life and the person I’ve become. However, as a gamer, I have played every Budokai, suffered through Sagas, and even played some of the handheld titles. We’ve played through these stories so many times, in so many different ways, that they’ve grown somewhat stale. In fact, many people complained that certain iconic moments weren’t captured well enough in Kakarot, and while I may agree to an extent, I also firmly believe that no re-hashing could ever capture the magic of the original. Partly, because we’ve seen these moments done, a LOT. How many times can we see the Goku vs Vegeta, or even Goku vs Frieza, before it’s gone at least a little bit stale? In my opinion, it already has. For the future of this series, or rather, for it’s future in gaming, I believe Kakarot should follow the wave of modern gaming: DLC. For examplle, had the original Kakarot game used it’s budget to make the Sayain, Frieza, and Cell sage perfect, developers could have later sold the Buu saga as DLC, using the new funds to make it perfect as well. Every moment, small or large, could be pushed to it’s maximum potential with the increase in funding, which would of course, only promised even more profit upon release. In a way, this is similar to the FighterZ method, releasing new characters, as well as updating current ones, in these “seasons” DLC packs. With this, Kakarot could offer perfect gaming adaptations of every story arc, while FighterZ could continue to be the perfect fighting game for DBZ fans.

Just please…please….don’t try to sell another re-hashing. No new games. Period.

Breakfast with Deseri Rice

11/16/2018
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In today’s social media world, there’s two types of art that, in the eyes of many, are oversaturated. In the city of Atlanta a phrase I’ve heard often, and have even used: “throw a rock in any direction and you’ll either hit a photographer or a soundcloud rapper.” But while I was sitting there, scrolling through her instagram, I felt nervous, because the woman that was about to sit down with me isn’t just any photographer. I was sitting down with Deseri Rice, one of the best photographers in Atlanta.

To me, Beyonce, Solange, Yara Shahidi, Zendaya, Janelle Monae, Ava DuVernay, Lupita, and Deseri Rice, are top of the list when I think of the phrase Black Girl Magic. Each of these women are trailblazers, visionaries, and undeniable talents. For anyone who ever modeled for Desi, the feeling of being in front of her camera is completely different from other shoots. Normally you’re focused on giving a look, or appearing to follow a certain aesthetic. Desi frees you from that, and is one of the few photographers who truly captures you as you are, as your truest self. After a friendly hug I decided to dive into some questions.

What got you into photography?

I’ve always been into the fashion ads in magazines and editing my profile pics for myspace. It wasn’t until my Intro to Photography class that I discovered it as my passion. After learning the controls I took it and ran with it.

How do you pick your people? Ever turn anybody down that got mad about it?

I feel as if everyone has their own uniqueness about them. It may not be as evident as some but I take it as a challenge. I haven’t really turn anyone away. If it’s not one of my concepts then it’s a paid gig and usually that filters out the ones I’m not creatively connected to. Honestly if my models are passionate about the project and really into it, it always works out. I will say I’ve had a few that aren’t on the same creative plane and I just let that dissolve on its own naturally. But I encourage everyone to find themselves in front of the camera.

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Your tag is deseritheartist but every time I hear people talk about you they say “Desi The God”. Why not take that handle?

I’m honored of the title honestly. I don’t mind others calling me that but I rather not call myself a God for personal reasons. I played around with the spelling and still felt uneasy. Also I don’t want others that don’t know me the wrong impression of me calling myself that.

I honestly find this part fascinating. Myself included, ego has always played a major role in the world of entertainment, from the justified confidence of Grammy winners, to has beens like Bow Wow and his lies about private jets. The concept of “fake it ‘till you make it” and showing out for an audience has always seemed extremely important, but from what I can see, faking anything is beyond Desi. She’s real, she’s honest, and she’s kind. That’s a major breath of fresh air, one I think everyone who meets her appreciates. As usual, I start to lose focus after my strawberry pancakes arrive, so I went back to asking questions so I wouldn’t have to do much talking.

At what point in a shoot do you look and go “Oh shit, I did that!”? When do you know you’ve taken the perfect shot?

During photo sessions I get this high feeling like mid session after me and the sitter(s) have warmed up and I just let go. This feeling doesn’t happen every session which doesn’t mean those shots weren’t good but some of my best shots comes from that feeling. It’s like I’ve caught the photo holy ghost lol.That feeling man, I can’t explain it. After i see the result from that feeling, that’s always my reaction. I really be in awe sometimes while editing, that’s when it hits me the most.

Top 3 models/celebrities you’d love to shoot?

There’s not many I follow. But i find Kiko Mizuhara, Luka Sabbat, and Kwollem style very intriguing. There’s more but definitely my top three.

Desi laughed when I passed on my idea that a collaboration between herself and Zendaya would probably snatch every wig in existence.

Top 3 magazines you’d love to do a cover shoot for?

There are a few that I’d like to work with like Blanc, MODZIK, and Pause Magazine. I’m actually working on my own, AU COURANT, be on the lookout.

Desi has recently announced that AU COURANT is still in development but a release date has not yet been chosen. Check her social media for updates on that via her instagram @deseritheartist

Cosmo? Essence? Or Vogue?

It would be cool to have a spread in all of these.

For your IG followers, your story is always lit. Seems like you always find the dope events and shows. In Atlanta there’s an event every 10 feet, so what’s your secret to avoiding wackness?

I really love these questions lol I’ve had several people come up to me like “Yo, Des what’s the move?” There’s tons of things to do in Atlanta just gotta be plugged in. If the vibe isn’t right I leave immediately. My secret is follow the DJ’s lol the ones you really like have a following with similar taste and you can never go wrong with the crowd.

One example of this that any follower of Desi’s knows is her friendship with an incredible DJ known as Thrice Groove. Thrice is slowly but surely taking over Atlanta, and Desi has been there to witness the way he dominates a room with his amazing sound.

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Top 10 songs on your playlist right now?

Out of a trillion? I flip flop a lot between decades and genres so I revisit a lot like the song just dropped.  Lol in no order.

Blossom Dearie – Ravyn Lenae

Supposed to Say Goodbye – Etta bond & Raf Riley

Pick it Up – Famous Dex

Dam Girl – Frills

Vogue -Full Crate

Mi Gente – J.Balvin & Willy William

Due to Me- Jean Deaux

Distractions I: The opposite sex – Kilo Kish

Hold It Down – Mia Gladstone

Get Money – Michael Da Vinci

Despite my extensive music library I feel a tinge of shame for not recognizing a single name listed, and make a mental note to download every single artist later. Aside from a great photographer’s eye, Desi also has an amazing ear for music, so anything she reccomends is usually dope.

So in today’s social media age, there’s photographers who literally get paid to live with and follow influencers. What’s the dollar amount you’d do that for? Or never ever?

Depends. If i really f with that person’s vision and I have full creative flexibility then I’d do it as long as my living expenses are taken care of. I’ve actually never heard of this.

At this moment I pull of my phone and show her my favorite example, a talented guy out of LA known as Brendan North, who until a few months ago, would follow Logan Paul. With a simple “oh, cool” she goes back to her food.

3 breakfast must haves?

Eggwhite Omelette, all the veggies and pepper jack cheese. Breakfast potatoes with veggies. My mom’s grits with cheese (very particular about my grits)

I laugh a little because while she works her way through her healthy omelette, I’m still waging war on the Colorado Omelette, which is the exact opposite of healthy. If I wanted to I could probably come up with some correlation between her talent, incredible vibe, and responsible eating, but I’d rather pretend there’s unrelated and not give up my Colorado Omelettes.

Last month Desi put on an amazing event called Only On Thursdays. She did one last year that went amazingly well, and this one also did not disappoint. In fact, Lilac Sky had the honor of being one of the vendors. It was the perfect place for artists to represent themselves on an equal, and supportive, playing field.

What is “Only On Thursdays”? Only On Thursday’s originated from me wanted to showcase my work gallery style but also involve the music scene in Atlanta that I want to share with my friends. Also to bring back that portfolio review feel from college. I felt like I lost my creative mojo once I graduated because projects aren’t forced on me anymore. My main goal is bring together everything I love and give local photographers and artist a platform to present their work. Many are scared to take that step. This event is for everyone to get inspired and take that leap. So far I’ve helped maybe 4 artist showcase their talents for the first time and hopefully it doesn’t stop there.

How do you decide what artists to put in your show? I do not do open calls for artist. They are carefully picked by what I believe will flow well with the collection and from whom I gain inspiration. They aren’t super famous artist, they might not have a collection by the time I contact them. Really just your everyday artist coming together for something awesome.

You have this crazy soulful element to your photos, it’s like, you can identify a Desi shot out of a group. So, my last question: Do you realize how dope you are? Lol i’m just me.

I believe with all my heart that someday, Desi herself, and the world, will realize her greatness.

-Amelia