by Joshua J. Pinkay | Jan 30, 2021
With production at a halt during COVID-19, we’re running out of Netflix content to binge! The good news? There has been a ton of great new digital content in the form of podcasts, IG Lives, made for Youtube series and more! One such show produced by SoCal natives is “Major Minors.” The streaming series stars internationally famed, award-winning dance music artist, BP Major, as he mentors youth talent Gia Pater and Danika Hemmer. Think “Dance Moms” meets modern day “Mickey Mouse Club!” Speaking of, “Dance Moms” star Melissa Gisoni is actually a special guest co-host for several episodes in Season 1.
The first half of the season focuses on Gia Pater, a 10-year old diamond in the rough starlet with a great big voice! It’s BP’s job to create just the right conditions to help her shine. Her first music video, a cover of Aretha Franklin’s Respect, garnered 1.6M views in its first two weeks! Danika Hemmer joins the cast in Episode 7 and BP mentors her to become the next big Youtube star. Viewers take a peek inside Danika’s Dreamhouse- a life size doll house- which features videos in every room including cooking, science, comedy and more!
Season 1 also includes special guest appearances from BP’s closest celebrity friends who surprise the youth talent at rehearsals and teach them the skills they need to become a star from performing, to makeup and wardrobe, to how to walk the catwalk or red carpet with confidence!
What makes Major Minors such a special show and why is now the right time for a Youtube original series like this?
Major Minors is special because it’s something the whole family can watch together. It’s inspirational to watch the growth and development of a young person’s life, personality and career. I’m tough but I prefer to inspire my kids to be the best they can be through encouragement, lot’s of hard work, discipline, dedication and a lot of fun training techniques. Whilst a lot of the entertainment industry is shut down from production right now, I have been able to create and share an alternative to perhaps your usual streaming content as I have been filming my content over a long period of time and before the isolation rules came into effect.
Both youth stars are CA locals. What makes California such a special place for talent?
California is such a wonderful place to create content in as we have such a diverse group of talented people from all over the world. Because of the geography here, it’s possible to discover and develop strong local talent literally in your backyard! My backyard just happens to be Hollywood. There’s also a wonderfully unique energy here in California with a feel of “anything is possible.” This creates an environment of people open to growth and development.
You’ve brought on a lot of celebrity mentors to help coach these two young girls. Tell us what peaked their interest to support the show and share a bit about these special guests?
We’ve had so many talented celebrity guest mentors. Melissa Gisoni from “Dance Moms;” International recording artist and Judge on shows like “America’s Got Talent,” “The Masked Singer,” and “X Factor” Dannii Minogue; Miss J from “America’s Next Top Model;” Celebrity Red Carpet host, Dean McCarthy; Brian Justin Crum from “America’s Got Talent;” Professional dancer, Sage Rosen; Brandi Glanville from the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and more. All the guests were so incredibly generous and supportive but also loads of fun. I had a huge laugh when Brandi Glanville told the girls to “learn from her mistakes.”.Brandi is very honest and open about her career highs and lows and having the girls hear from model-turned- reality star on what NOT to do on camera was priceless! Miss J from “America’s Next Top Model” asked
Gia if she knew how to “walk” and Gia said “yes.” I near belly laughed as clearly J meant walk like a model, and innocent Gia thought he just meant walk. She now knows how to “walk.”
We heard that Gia did a collaboration with Drag Celebrity Minnie Cooper that launched during PRIDE. How did this come about and why is it important or significant?
I treat my kids as if they were my own kids, and as such, I want them to understand all cultures and appreciate and understand the importance of inclusion. I teach my kids to be accepting and knowledgeable. We discuss so many different topics – but now as it’s Pride month Gia teamed up with Australia’s celebrity Drag Queen Minnie Cooper to do a duet. It’s fabulous on so many levels. I was impressed and surprised to discover the girls know more about drag culture than I expected; they love hair and make up and what girl wouldn’t want to do a duet with Drag Queen! I think Gia may be the first 10 year old to do a duet with a Drag Queen. This was extra special as the duet was a tribute to Australian star sisters and Major Minors mentor Dannii Minogue & Kylie Minogue. The Minogue’s did this duet back in the 80’s on Dannii’s TV show “Young Talent Time” which I grew up watching. Originally the song was recorded by Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox. So I have Gia learning about the history of music, social movements and Drag Culture, all while doing what she loves most.
Gia’s first music video had over 1M views in a week. What can you tell us about that and what’s next?
Yes, we are so overwhelmed with the response to Gia’s cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” The follow up single is also another Aretha Franklin cover of “Think.” It is just as adorable! Gia plays 6 different characters in 6 different colors. 2 of which pay tribute to the movie “The Blues Brothers” as well as Aretha Franklin. I creatively direct all of Gia’s work but also encourage her to work with me in creating the overall aesthetic of her work. I’m teaching her to use her imagination and inspirations to create her work. It’s obviously important that I take the lead, but I want to raise kids that know how to “Think” for themselves and also have the tools to do so.
Danika Hemmer recently joined the cast. What can we expect to see as her talent develops?
Danika is so adorable, I literally cannot cope! She is so incredibly energetic and intelligent. I have her playing the piano and singing. She is also discovering the things she really loves to do and is passionate about, and creating organic and fantastic content around that. So, I’ve given her something I think all little girls might dream about, it’s a life size doll house called “Danika’s Dream House.” Inside Danika’s Dream House she will create nursery rhymes, science projects, arts and crafts, and more. She’ll hold a book club from her library and unbox her toys and play with her wigs in her closet. It’s been an undertaking that’s for sure. We are creating all this in her home and will film between “Major Minors” studio and her home in Temecula. On “Major Minors,” we will see her development and growth from an energetic yet shy little girl into a very confident, humble and talented all round performer.
What is your goal or hope with the show?
With my kids, I strive to create an environment where I can make their dreams come true. “Major Minors” is not about finding the best singers or dancers, it’s about discovering what it is inside you that you are truly passionate about. It is about working on those skills and bringing out the absolute best in my kids while keeping them humble, creative, expressive and aware.
My main hope with the show is to express how important it is to nurture, inspire and teach our youth. Yes, I would love “Major Minors” to be globally successful but not for my ego, but because it would mean that the message of bringing out the best in people and raising our youth correctly would be getting out there. We are going through incredibly uncertain times right now, and we need to keep our kids aware and also on point with a clear guide towards creating a healthy future for themselves. I grew up without any real role models or specific direction. I had to learn everything about the industry on my own and was lucky enough to have parents that were supportive and protective, even though none of us had any idea as to what we were doing in the entertainment industry.
I’d love “Major Minors” to become so big that I could just focus on inspiring and training my kids, as right now it’s literally just us and a few iPhones making things happen!
Be sure watch the complete first season of “Major Minors” starting with Chapter 1. || “Humble Beginnings”
Major Minors || Chapter 1. || “Humble Beginnings”
by Joshua J. Pinkay | Jan 29, 2021
When the pandemic began, VAST, an LA-based surf and lifestyle brand, knew they wanted to make a difference in the Los Angeles community. That is why Founder, Sam Yang, set out to create a product that would be beneficial for Angelenos and the environment. Knowing that one-time use masks, would eventually pile up on the beaches of SoCal, he began looking into creating a mask that is durable, water repellant and made with antibacterial fabrics and ways to partner with local hospitals to help frontline workers. The Vast FM and cozy clothes program is what emerged! We sat down with Yang to learn more about the brand’s mission and what’s next.
We love featuring brands here in SoCal. Can you share what makes VAST special with our readers?
We speak to a wide range of topics while surfing serves as the connective tissue to these different interests. Over the years, we’ve created friendships with car builders, music producers, artists, and chefs through surfing. We blend different perspectives and topics to surfing which is refreshingly different.
What are some of your best sellers to date and what sets VAST apart from other surf options?
We have a few baseball jerseys that are selling, our Primary Tye Dye tee is doing well, and so are the VAST FaceMasks. I’d say our aesthetic and items we offer would be the biggest difference. Aesthetically, we lean towards streetwear/sportswear, positioning ourselves as a surf/lifestyle brand based in the concrete jungle of LA.
What are the environmental impacts to SoCal beaches of the recent use of one time masks and how is VAST trying to combat this?
Not only in Southern California, but ocean conservation agencies around the world, have been discovering an alarming amount of face masks in the ocean. Single use masks are made of polypropylene which is a type of plastic with a lifespan of approximately 450 years. The harmful impact that this could have on the marine ecosystem here in SoCal is scary. At that point, it was a no brainer to us, we need to make an effective mask to keep people and the ocean safer.
What makes the VAST masks a good option for both personal protection and eco-concerns?
The exterior shell of our mask is highly water repellent, which is optimal for blocking contagious moisture droplets. We used AquaTerra for the inside liner, its non-clinging and antimicrobial properties, made from hundreds of deconstructed Vast surf tees. There are 2 straps for a comfortable and secure fit. We also used leather stoppers versus plastic ones for its decompositional properties. Finally, the mask fits securely around your nose and mouth, minimizing entry points. All of the above makes this mask really effective. Not only that, the mask is reusable, so please wash, and reuse.
Is there a charity component with VAST during the pandemic or as part of the brand ethos?
We are going to be supporting the essential staff at various LA hospitals. For every item purchased online, we will donate a cozy item to the essential staff of various hospitals in LA. To encourage donations, the site will also be 40% off. We believe being comfortable is key to resting and recovering after a long shift. (Cozy items: sweatpants, sweat shorts, tees, tanks, long sleeves, socks) So far we’ve donated 300 units to Martin Luther King Hospital in Los Angeles and we look forward to doing more.
What are your personal fav surf spots in SoCal?
I enjoy surfing at El Porto in LA, Huntington Beach Pier in OC, and Trestles in San Clemente. Each zone has a different energy, and the waves are fun.
Outside of the waves, what about SoCal inspires you be it landmarks, food, music etc.?
I often find myself inspired by people and the environment. The variety of everything in LA. It’s Vast. Hahaha. LA is such a melting pot culture, and it’s represented through fashion, food, music, art, and sports. It’s never a dull moment in the city.
Can you tell us about what to expect from your upcoming Winter line?
For this collection, Vast is utilizing red and yellow as it symbolizes good fortune and wealth. The line takes on classic cuts with modern tweaks, featuring key pieces like the signature Block Crewneck Sweater, Puffy Sherpa Jacket, 2-Button Pullover Hoodie, and No Collar Jacket. These intricately designed pieces will keep all men covered this winter. You can find Vast “elements logos” embedded into the red paisley print anywhere it shows up in the line, as well as find “Yogi” the chill spirit mascot on Vast’s cotton tees. With prices ranging from $28-$135, the Vast collection with prominent red pieces is perfect for celebrating the New Year and upcoming holidays including Chinese New Year (Feb. 12th) and Valentine’s Day (Feb 14th.)
Anything else you want our readers to know about VAST’s plans in SoCal? What’s next?
We’re working with key retailers to bring VAST products to SoCal stores. We’re proud about the pieces we design and develop. The hand feel, quality, and tech we’ve implemented is a thoughtful design difference you’ll notice. We’re also looking to develop more community programs including surfing classes for hospital and essential workers to help with mental stress and physical exercise. Stay tuned for more on that!
VAST FM masks for the public currently available online ($30 in Khaki with Black, Coral, Teal,
or Navy trim.)
by Jennifer Landis | Jan 21, 2021
8 Reasons You Need to Take Time for Yourself and Your Kids Do, Too
2020 was the year of many things. Among others, it may go down in history as the year of family togetherness at home.
However, as much as you love your spouse and kids, sometimes, a little too much closeness can grate. Everyone needs to be alone with their thoughts occasionally for multiple purposes. Here are eight reasons you need to take time for yourself — and so do your children.
1. You Lose Focus Without It
You might think the only way to complete an arduous task is to put your head down and bulldoze your way through it. However, you could be hindering your productivity, not helping it, by grinding too hard.
Human beings perform best and are most productive when they alternate between intense focus and intermittent renewal. That statement sounds like a mouthful, but it boils down to this: you work better when you take breaks away from everyone and everything.
2. You Can Decompress From Stress
Stress causes hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to flood your system. Short-term, these chemicals improve your energy and focus — they’re the substances that kept you alive in the days when bears were daily threats.
However, when you become accustomed to elevated stress hormone levels, you become numb — it’s similar to how an alcoholic needs more and more drinks to feel any effect. The only way for you and your kids to hit the reset button is to step away from obligations and schoolwork to think about nothing but engaging in fun activities.
Taking time for yourself, therefore, is vital to keeping your reaction times sharp. Providing the same for your child helps their hormonal and nervous systems develop as they should.
3. You Can Figure Out What You’re Feeling
Understanding your emotions is critical to taking positive action to resolve negative feelings — if you don’t know why you’re sad or “off,” you can’t fix the problem. However, too often, folks hide their genuine reactions under a fake veneer of positivity instead of taking the time to process.
Taking time for yourself lets you learn to deal differently with negative feelings. Instead of avoiding or trying to control them critically, you can take a curious, loving-kind attitude and listen to what your intuition is telling you through your emotions. Once you understand the source of your distress, you can figure out how to make things better.
4. You Can Work Through Conflict
“Wait a second,” you might be thinking, “if I have a conflict, don’t I need to address the other person?” The answer to that question is both yes and no. Think back to your high school English class — remember how some forms of conflict are internal? You might need time alone to decide things like whether to accept a promotion if doing so means more time away from home.
Furthermore, you tend to react with anger when you feel threatened, attacked, frustrated or powerless. Understanding this phenomenon doesn’t stop your hostile words from hurting those you love. Time alone lets you calm down first and approach the conflict from a “how can we both win,” instead of a “you hurt me, and I want revenge” perspective.
5. You Activate Your Imagination
If you want imaginative children, you need to give them time for their young minds to run free. Think of Locke’s tabula rasa or blank slate theory of child development. If your little one’s mind is indeed a canvas, you want it to include their unique artwork, not a haphazard jumble of other people’s overlapping brush strokes.
Start your children with active playtime from an early age. The trick is not associating the phrase “go to your room” with punishment, but rather, reward. As your toddler starts outgrowing naps, continue to put them down, but let them play in their crib if they prefer not to sleep.
6. You Find Ways to Self-Soothe
Self-soothing is a vital skill. Without it, your stress levels can spiral out of control, causing significant health problems — and children aren’t immune to these effects.
Everyone’s routine looks different. Active sorts might self-soothe by going for a run or taking a challenging Ashtanga class. Others might lose themselves in an engrossing novel. Only the freedom of unscheduled time lets your child discover what works best for them.
7. You Have Time for Mind-Body Care
Everyone needs self-care that encompasses both mind and body. However many folks put off treats like giving themselves a pedi or taking a bath, given today’s hectic lifestyles.
In this lifetime, you only get one body and brain — you owe it to yourself to care for both. Please don’t consider your teenage daughter’s grooming routine as vanity. To her, it might be necessary self-care. Please let her indulge — at least until you need the bathroom to prep for your shift.
8. You Improve Your Overall Health
Finally, heart disease remains the number one killer of men and women. Researchers from the State University of New York at Oswego and the University of Pittsburgh analyzed a 9-year study of over 12,000 men at risk for coronary heart disease. They found that those who took an annual vacation had a lower risk of death than those who skipped them.
With COVID-19, it’s understandable if you don’t take the family to see the famous Florida mouse this year. However, skipping the travel portion of your holiday doesn’t mean going without taking time for yourself — and giving your child the same.
You and Your Kids Need to Take Time for Yourself for These 8 Reasons
The eight reasons above show why it’s vital to take time for yourself and let your children do the same. You’ll enjoy a healthier, happier family as a result.
by Anthony Stafford | Jan 21, 2021
The Habit Introduces the new chars & bites bundle!
The pandemic has brought on a new way of life for all of us. Some of it we love, and some of it, not so much. What’s not to love about your favorite food spot introducing a new family bundle, though?! Fan-favorite, The Habit Burger Grill, just launched an exciting new family bundle for the new year: the Chars & Bites Bundle ($25). The deal is inclusive of four Charburgers with cheese grilled over an open flame, four golden fries, and a 10-piece order of their NEW Double-breaded Crispy Chicken Bites available with the choice of house made ranch or BBQ sauce. It’s the perfect meal to share with the whole family.
Guests can always count on freshly-made, handcrafted quality served alongside The Habit’s genuine hospitality. Take a night off from cooking this month and treat the whole family to this delicious meal at an unbeatable value. Available for convenient & contactless curbside pick-up on The Habit Mobile App, online at habitburger.com, or in-store for take-out. Download The Habit Mobile App via Apple and Google Play.
About the habit
The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast-casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and handcrafted sandwiches featuring USDA choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade ahi tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it features fresh made-to-order salads and an appealing selection of sides, shakes and malts. The Habit Burger Grill was named the “best tasting burger in America” in July 2014 in a comprehensive survey conducted by one of America’s leading consumer magazines.
The first Habit Burger Grill opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969 and was recently named in Thrillist’s list of “Underrated Burger Chains that Need to be in Every State!” The Habit Burger Grill has since grown to over 275 restaurants in 13 states throughout Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington as well as seven international locations. More information is available at www.habitburger.com.