New Year Thoughts

 

It’s a brand new year, and you’re all ready to go with your resolutions (that is if you didn’t break them yet). Each new year is filled with a chance to start over, new adventures, and discovering more about yourself. Throughout the years I used to get all fired up when the new year hit and make resolutions for myself, and some years I accomplished sticking to my resolutions other years not so much.

The point is to not sell yourself short if you break your resolutions or goal (s) that you’ve set for yourself. Last year was a tough one for all of us (in my opinion). Whether you were upset about our new president or just overall unhappy with the way 2017 went for you, don’t get yourself down. I’ve discovered (through trial and error) to not let outside distractions dictate my future or mood. It sounds so simple, right? Usually, the best advice offered in the world is incredibly simple but following the information is the hard part (for all of us I believe).

All you need is a starting point and small victories. What I mean by that is gaining momentum each and every day. So how do you go about getting small victories? By starting with anything. No really. Pick something that you would like to accomplish such as exercising more. Exercising can be done in minutes (check out various apps on your mobile device) and get started. Even with just minutes of working out, you’ve captured a small victory. The trick is to not beat yourself up if you’re unable to exercise for a day or if you’re unable to work out for an hour or so. Do some pushups, crunches, or stretches. As long as you do something you’re on your way to creating momentum. It really is as simple as that. Do what’s best for you and your lifestyle don’t pay attention to what other people are doing. Just focus on you and you alone.

You’re probably wondering right now where is this going? What does all this mean? Well, what this all boils down to is learning. Constant learning will get you to point A to point B. To gain small victories each and everyday knowledge will get you there. Learn something new and apply it to your life and you’ll soon see your small victories add up in no time. It can literally be anything new that you learn: i.e., change the way you think, acquiring a new skill, managing your time and money. This year is the new you and new possibilities. Be open to new things and don’t get discouraged by outside distractions (family, friends, TV, etc.) you’re in control of you and your thoughts. It’s time to step up to the plate and show the world who you are and what you have to offer. Cheers to you and your new endeavors that you seek upon.

Be sure to keep a lookout on my blog. I’ll be interviewing more people, and hopefully, you’ll be able to gain new information and apply it to your life.

Persevering Through It All: Lauren Ashley

Ice QueenEach person I interview is exciting for me. I get to learn more about them, and how they live their lives. There are moments in our life when we meet somebody in our lives, and come away astonished at how much stuff they have gone through and are still joyful and happy in their life. Interviewing Lauren, and hearing about her story was inspirational and moving. Lauren was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and it held her back from her modeling career. She was also a victim of Hurricane Sandy, which happened two weeks prior to the date of a photo shoot Lauren had for a billboard ad. She lost almost all of her personal belongings from furniture to childhood pictures, but it did not break her spirit or smile. Her family’s two homes were damaged as well as her family’s business. Still, Lauren did not give up, and she volunteered for a local church, where she cooked, and fed those were less fortunate. Lauren is still continuing to chase her dreams, and I’m honored to tell you a little bit more about her.

 

Justin Marroquin: How did you get into modeling?

Lauren Ashley: As a young girl I always dreamed of being a model. While in NYC one day, I was approached by a talent scout for Wilhelmina and joined “America’s Next Top Model” contest. I was unable to sign the contract due to being on mind altering medication since I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and was just starting treatment. I then just did promo modeling. Last summer I did a hair ad for my hair stylist mentor, Michael Miller. During the photo shoot the photographer asked if I would like to pursue my modeling career. I then made my portfolio, and did some editorial work. Then, my first paid job for an ad wound up being on a billboard in Las Vegas. I always said “one day I’m going to be that girl” while pointing at a billboard ad, while walking through Manhattan. Well, that dream came true!

 

602999_4133374467235_1894832724_nJM: Describe what you went through when you were diagnosed with Lyme disease?

LA: I became ill in 2004-2005. I was extremely fatigued, suffered from joint pain, small seizures, mental fog, aches all over, and was so weak at times, my father had to carry me into my doctors. Being I was young and did not look sick, it was a tough battle. I was blood tested at least once a month, or sometimes twice a month for over a year. Doctors and nurses did not believe me because I did not appear ill. I was told I must be on drugs by pediatrician’s nurse because of my age and the symptoms I had. It was a very difficult time for myself as well as family and friends. Everyone close to me knew there was something wrong, and knew that I was not under the influence. In 2007, I tested positive for the western blot test and began treatment. About six months after treatment, I began feeling all the symptoms again. My infectious disease doctor had said “there is no way possible you could have Lyme disease again. You must have HIV or some type of lymphoma.” That being said with no significant reason broke me into tears. I had just been tested one week prior, and was negative for HIV and my blood cell count was 14, which is only slightly elevated. There was no medical signs or reasons as to why the doctor would say that. A month had went by, and I was tested for Lyme disease again, and had a new stain of the Lyme bacteria, and when through treatment again in December of 2008. This was the worst thing to go through, and I do not wish Lyme disease on anyone. I hope someday they will find a cure!

 

JM: After going through that, how did your life and modeling career change?

AL: After becoming ill with the Lyme disease, my life changed a lot. I have to make sure I eat healthy, and get as much rest as I could. I couldn’t go out with friends and celebrate being 21. I couldn’t keep up with my friends and a social life because I was always so tired. It also caused complications between my boyfriend and I. We soon broke up after he said I had no chance at being a model, and no one would ever love me because I was sick. Everything consumed my mind in a negative way, and I no longer tried to pursue my dream career. I kept track of everything I ate and every symptom I felt. Doing that was supposed to help me keep track of what to stay away from to feel better. I soon realized that I was focusing on what was wrong instead of what was right, and positive in my life. I stopped keeping track of every little thing in late 2010, and began meditating and Reiki therapy. I’m not saying it’s all in your head, but sometimes as a complex as our lives are now, we tend to forget how powerful our minds really are. I focused on getting healthy mentally and physically for a year. Then when I was to pursue my dream career!

 

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JM: You are a strong, positive woman. How do you stay that way?

AL: The saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is true and is something I live by. I have friends who also have Lyme disease, and I help them out by sharing advice, books, and self-experiences. Helping others cope, and making them feel like they are not alone like I did, really makes me happy. I have to stay positive not for myself, but for them as well. “Being positive is contagious, smile without a doubt, laugh without a care, live your life with no remorse. Make others smile, and live the positive life just as you are. Your strength will grow to overcome every obstacle you face in life while mentally blocking out negativity.”Lauren Ashley

 

JM: What are some of your beliefs and values?

LA: I believe that you have to be strong and independent to get what you want in life; you just have to work for it. You can achieve anything you wish if you believe in yourself. I value my family, friends, and my strength. Without family and friends, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

 

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JM: Going through so much in your life, how do you keep moving forward?

AL: I set goals for myself and write them down. Your past is history, and you can only learn and grow from it.

 

JM: What is your advice on how to accomplish a dream or goal?

AL: Write down your dreams and goals; hang it somewhere you will see it each day. Then as you achieve each one, cross them off.

 

JM: You were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Describe what you went through?

AL: I live in the Jersey Shore area, and we were mandatory evacuation October 28, 2012. My family and I went to my grandparents a few miles inland. Our pets were freaking out, and kept looking in the direction of the ocean; the dogs were whimpering, and the cat ran right in his carrier! While driving there I was almost struck by the lining of a truck bed that was at the stop light across from me. The wind was so strong it was hard to control the vehicle. I felt like I was in the “Wizard of Oz” and it was something I have never experienced before. The power went out around 9 p.m. that evening, and all cell phones had stopped getting service. The sounds of the storm were like something from a movie, I couldn’t sleep. I had a feeling that something bad was going to happen, and was scared and sick to my stomach. I was scared for my life! My cell phone would get one bar of service every so often, so I was able to send and receive text messages while I had service. My family and I returned to our homes the next day. On the way home stuck in traffic, seeing all fallen trees and telephone poles had already made me nervous to return home. The main road was still flooded with a foot of water in some areas, including where I had lived. My parent’s street wasn’t as bad; we were still without power and it was dark, so we couldn’t really see the damage. In the morning we went to where I had lived, the home flooded with three and a half feet of contaminated flood water. I had to throw out everything I owned. Furniture to childhood photo albums. I didn’t lose hope or my smile, and my family was there to help me. I just kept thinking that I had my photo shoot for my first paid ad coming up in two weeks, and things could’ve been worse. My parent’s two homes were damaged as well as our family business. Being I had to toss my belongings to the curb, I arranged some so that the neighbors would smile. The National Guard were on almost every street corner in my town for over a month; it was certainly not a pleasant time. I helped volunteer at a local church on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons to help prepare meals for those that lost everything, and had nowhere to live. Doing so, made happy knowing with all I lost personally, I could still help out others.

 

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JM: Is there a certain goal you are trying to achieve right now?

AL: Currently, I am in Playboy’s Miss Social contest, so I hope that I will soon win. I also wish to be a Guess model.

 

JM: What do you think the meaning of life is?

AL: There is no exact meaning of life, it is self-belonging. No two people have the same opinion on what the meaning is. I believe the meaning of life is creating yourself, finding what makes you happy, having an open heart to love, and living your own life. If you keep searching for the meaning, you will not be living your life; just as if you keep searching the meaning of happiness, you will not truly be happy.

 

A note on modeling and the mind: It’s not all about what you see, but what you don’t see. It’s not just about looking good and being pretty. It appears that way to the eye. What is the real emotion hidden behind the beauty? How do we hide the true emotions we feel? We do it with our minds, escape reality, and get into “character.”Lauren Ashley

 

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Follow Lauren on Twitter: twitter.com/LaurenAshley0X0

Like her page on Facebook: facebook.com/x.Lauren.Ashley.x

Vote for her on Playboy Miss Social: playboymisssocial.com/laurenromanowski

Check out her website: xlaurenashleyx.com

See her photos on Instagram: instagram.com/x0laurenashley0x

Photo Credit: JAMills

 

Backstage Pass: Charlie Jacks

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The music industry is filled with people who have great talent, but there is only a select few that can engage people, and make them feel the music. One of the few people who can do such things is Charlie Jacks. She is a UK music superstar, and has a massive following in Japan (and soon to be US) with six number one albums, and nine singles at the top of the Japanese iTunes charts. Charlie took time out of her busy schedule to tell me about her music career, achieving goals, and what inspires and motivates her.

Justin Marroquin: How did you get interested in music?

Charlie Jacks: I’ve always been a bit of an entertainer. I loved singing in school and my mum noticed how much I danced around the house singing as a kid, so she put me in classical music lessons. I think it really kicked in at a Chinese restaurant. We went for a family meal and there was a performer singing with a piano and mic this particular time. My family managed to persuade me(with a $8 bribe) to go and ask if I could sing. I sung “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette. It was the silence of the room and the applause after that—made me want more. The feeling that you can acquire someone’s emotions with your voice, and impact them just a little really moved me. And that my friends is where it began.

JM: Where do you seek inspiration and motivation to write songs?

CJ: My motivation is simple—literally, life. If it makes me emotionally happy, sad, hurt, angry, I write about it. The same with my friends; if I see something I can relate to, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to capture in words and replay as a song. I find if people can relate to your story, they want to listen.

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JM: What do you enjoy more: writing songs or performing?

CJ: Performing songs I’ve written. It’s a beautiful moment when you see someone join into a song you’ve written.

JM: Do you set goals? If so, describe how you go about doing it.

CJ: This is tricky. My goal when I started music (in Japan) was only ever to release one single, that turned into six and nine albums. Now I have the same goal, but in the UK and US.

JM: How do you handle negativity?

CJ: IGNORE it. How does negativity ever benefit anyone? It doesn’t, so the best option—cut it out.

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JM: Do you have any plans to come to America?

CJ: Yes, I do all of my writing and recording in the states. I’ll be back soon to start the new EP.

JM: What is the best part about the music industry?

CJ: Achieving goals—meeting and working with creative people. Two creative people in the same room is a recipe for magic.

JM: What’s the worst part about the music industry?

CJ: There a huge amount of no’s. You have to be thick-skinned and willing to be turned away a lot to survive the industry. But if you are persistent and believe in yourself enough, you’ll get there.

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JM: How do you want to be remembered?

CJ: I just want to make a little impact on some people’s lives. “That song helped me through hard times” or “That song reminds me of summer” that kinda thing.

JM: What is one piece of advice that has helped you in your life?

CJ: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

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Follow Charlie on Twitter: twitter.com/charlietoons

Like her page on Facebook: facebook.com/OfficialCharlieJacks

See her photos on Instagram: instagram.com/charliejacks

Read her Tumblr: charliejacks.tumblr.com

Listen to her music on SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/charlie-jacks

Check out her website: charliejacks.com

It’s Always Sunny In London: April Summers

April Summers 1There are girls in this world that will leave you speechless. April Summers is that girl. Actress. Model. TV Presenter. Playboy Playmate. April is lighting up the UK with her beauty, and she plans to do the same here in the US. Without a doubt, I think April will not only have the UK and US speechless, but the rest of the world as well.

Justin Marroquin: How does it feel to be a Playboy Playmate?

April Summers: Fantastic! It is a real joy to have been given the title of a Playmate.

JM: Did you always envision being part of Playboy?

AS: Oh yes, very much so. Playboy had always been my inspiration for modeling. I used to buy everything from clothes to jewelry with the Playboy logo on them! I have always admired Playboy for celebrating beautiful, and curvaceous women at their best and keeping the ideal women form in focus. None of this skinny clothes horse Vogue rubbish. The only reason fashion models are all skinny and flat chested, are because the designers for the clothing lines are all gay, so therefore they want the models to look more like men, with no womanly shape to them.

DSC_6258JM: Who do you admire and look up to?

AS: I admire quite a few talented people, but I don’t look up to anyone.

JM: What type of action did you take when you decided that you wanted to be a model?

AS: I had a friend take some studio shots of me for the fun of it, and then we put them on a social modeling network, then before I knew it, I was lucky enough to have been selected for my first professional shoot. I was only 16 when I started to model, and the first job I had was for an online boutique selling rock ‘n’ roll type of clothing.

DSC_4358bwJM: Describe some setbacks that you have had, and how did you learn from them?

AS: The hardest setbacks are always the ones you give and manifest yourself. I believe only you can hold you back from whatever it is your heart truly desires to do.

JM: How do you deal with negativity?

AS: The only way to deal with negativity in this industry, is to brush it straight off. People will always be out there to have something negative to say. The truth is, if they have any negative response to you, it can only be to do with the fact that is a reflection on how they feel towards themselves. Positive people only have positive things to say, so the rest isn’t worth even listening to.

DSC_2799JM: Do you believe in setting goals?

AS: I do indeed. One must always set goals so they have a point to work towards and work out the mini goals you must set yourself in order to reach the bigger ones.

JM: What do you do to get through a tough day?

AS: I whistle while I work.

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JM: Any plans on coming to the US for modeling, TV, or movies?

AS: Yes, I will be making my first visit to the Playboy mansion this fall, so I am very much looking forward to meeting other lovely Playmates, and of course the man himself ‘Sir Hugh Hefner’ oh, and his new bride. With regards to work, I will explore all my options for TV and film while I’m out there.

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JM: If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

AS: Always follow your heart. As dreams really do come true.

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Follow April on Twitter: twitter.com/april_summerz

Like her page on Facebook: facebook.com/aprilsummersuk

The Coolest Magician On Earth: Rudy Coby

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What name comes to mind when you think about magic? Houdini, David Copperfield? David Blaine? Criss Angel? They are all great magicians, but the first name that should pop into your mind should be Rudy Coby. His magic will leave you scratching your head, and his comedy will have you laughing throughout his performance. He’s also a close friend of Marilyn Manson, and has helped him devise his props and sets for Marilyn’s stage shows. As an amateur magician myself, I was thrilled to interview Rudy, and getting to know more about him and his magic.

Justin Marroquin: What got you into magic?

Rudy Coby: My mom bought me a magic set after seeing Alice Cooper cut off his head on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. I was nine. Questionable parenting.

JM: Did any particular magician influence you?

RC: Mark Wilson, first, because he was on TV. Doug Henning. David Copperfield. Jeff McBride. Even to this day—just an extraordinary talent. Many others. Too many to mention.

Rudy Coby 2JM: How do you keep being so creative?

RC: Because that’s what I LIVE for. Creativity is life. Creativity is oxygen. If it’s not your own, it’s not worth doing.

JM: When did you know that you’ve made it?

RC: I had three goals. Crazy Horse in Paris. Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. Rudy Coby Primetime TV Special. Johnny retired—I missed him by one year. The others I achieved in spades. Plus, about 80 other countries.

JM: How do you handle setbacks?

RC: I LOVE setbacks. They build character and they are 50% of what you remember. Without setbacks, there are no achievements. And, I have achieved everything x100 I have set out to achieve.

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JM: What is the best part about being a magician?

RC: You’re a fucking MAGICIAN. That’s like being a cowboy or an astronaut—you don’t have a REAL job.

JM: What’s the worst part about being a magician?

RC: Copycats. But, I am learning how to destroy them with lawyers and gang members with pipes.

JM: Do you have a favorite illusion/trick?

RC: Four legs. Nikki Terminator. Puppet Boy. The Nail. Plus, about 15 hours more. I love my material.

Rudy Coby 4JM: Describe your best memory as a magician?

RC: Many, many. But, the Swiss Surrealist H.R. Geiger—who invented the Alien in the “Alien” movies—seeing Nikki Terminator from close-up from the side of the stage during a Manson concert—and STILL believing it was a real robot, well, shoot me in the face and kill me right now—I’d have died happy.

 

JM: What is the best advice you have ever received?

RC: “Done date your assistant.” That was from Fielding West. “Don’t work for cheap. Charge what you’re worth.” That was Channing Pollock.

 

Follow Rudy Coby on Twitter: twitter.com/rudycoby

Check out his site: rudycoby.net

Friend Rudy Coby on Facebook: facebook.com/rudycoby

View Rudy Coby and his magic on YouTube:

Positive Beats: Angelica Caporuscio

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Vocal artist, Techno & House Producer, and inspirational beyond measure. All of the previous mentioned describe the insanely talented, Angelica Caporuscio. I had the great pleasure of talking to Angelica, and getting to know more about her and what she plans to achieve with her music.

Justin Marroquin: How did you get into music?

Angelica Caporuscio: My manager got me going with it. He heard some of my stuff, and encouraged me to do it. I started making music, and haven’t looked back since.

JM: What does it feel like when you create music?

AC: It depends on what I’m going through. Different emotions can affect me in a variety of ways, and how I create music for that day.

JM: Who has influenced you the most in your life?

AC: My dad. He’s always been supportive of me and my dreams and aspirations.

JM: How do you deal with negativity?

AC: I don’t deal with negativity. I kick it out of my life. Life is too short to put up with that.

JM: Give your definition of success?

AC: I believe in little successes. Working on something, and getting better at it each time you try it out.

JM: Do you set goals?

AC: No. I know the end result of what I want, and I work hard to get there.

JM: Where do you seek inspiration?

AC: Everywhere. I’m a huge people watcher, and I listen to everything around me. Inspiration is everywhere.

JM: Any favorite books?

AC: I don’t have a favorite book. I read whatever interests me through the internet.

JM: What do you love most about your music?

AC: That it has the ability to inspire people. It can also help people in a certain situation that they are going through.

JM: What is one piece of advice that has served you well in life?

AC: It was one of my friends. He told me to lose my expectations, and just work hard, keep doing what I’m doing, and let myself be astonished and surprised by life.

Follow Angelica on Twitter: twitter.com/gelicapp

Like her page on Facebook: facebook.com/AngelicaCaporuscio

Check out her music at: reverbnation.com/AngelicaCaporuscio