Monday, June 30, 2014

A Taste of The Venetian's brand All-Women Stand-Up Revue, "Lipshtick." Jon Lovitz emceeing. Heather McDonald & Loni Love Headliners.

By Laura Medina

"Lipshtick" at The Venetian, headlined by Heather McDonald & Loni Love. Hosted by Jon Lovitz.

This scribe was fortunate to be invited to this intimate industry-only tidbit of a taste to The Venetian's brand new, upcoming stand-up comedy revue, the all-women, no-holds-barred, bawdy "Lipshtick," comedy from real women, grown-up women's point-of-view, in the private upstairs lounge of Morels French Restaurant and Lounge at The Grove.

Men, if you really want to know what women want and what they really think, go attend "Lipshtick" at The Venetian.  Hopefully, this will make you a better husband.

Think of the dinner preview as a debutante cocktail for THE VENETIAN® LAS VEGAS announcing the first Women Comedy Series on the Las Vegas Strip.  

The emerging full line-up for this is...

 ·         July 11: Wendy Williams
·         July 18 & 19: Heather McDonald and Iliza Schlesinger
·         July  25 & 26: Rita Rudner
·         August 1 & 2: Caroline Rhea and Wendy Liebman
·         August 8 & 9: Lisa Lampanelli
·         August 15 & 16: Whitney Cummings
·         August 22 & 23: Joy Behar
·         September 5 & 6: Susie Essman
·         September 12 & 13: Natasha Leggero and Jen Kirkman
·         September 19 & 20: Jennifer Coolidge
·         October 3 & 4: Lisa Lampanelli
·         October 10 & 11: Loni Love
·         November 28 & 29: Whitney Cummings
·         December 26 & 27: Lisa Lampanelli
"Lipshtick" is the major of the top women comedians from stage, film, and tv.

If you're suffering from Chelsea Handler withdrawal, you have an excuse, now, to jet a jaunt over to Las Vegas to watch "Chelsea Lately" writer and performer, Heather McDonald joke and make comments on what's it is really like to be a mom, a wife, and the realities of marriage and motherhood.  This certainly ain't for the girly faint-of-heart but real women, moms, and wives will laugh in relief and support.  Now, this is real girl talk.

This industry crowd sipped fresh, ripe, and juicy Strawberry cocktails (remember, it's Strawberry bumper crop season) through-out the entire set.

After Heather McDonald-wife & mom-ended her comedy set with tales of scooping her son's favorite Hot Wheel toy car out of the toilet after he dropped it, with a soup ladle, Loni Love followed up with her "real women have curves and we eat" routine.

While the audience laughed about Loni's biting commentary on "skinny bitches" and equally skimpy Subways sandwiches and that women like her eat filet mignon,..guess what, her wish is her command.  Loni was presented by Morels French Restaurant's filet mignon.

We guest audience have to settle with endless rounds of platters and trays of burger sliders, open-faced "Animal-styled" cheeseburgers, stuffed endives, ahi poke tuna on won-ton strips, and pot stickers.

This "Lipshtick" tasting comedy preview whet this scribe's appetite to hit the Las Vegas to get the full revue, go to or or calling The Venetian Box Office at 702-414-9000 for ticket prices ranging from $37.50 to $97.50, not including tax and handling fees. A limited number of suite packages that include a meal at select Venetian and Palazzo restaurants, as well as VIP packages that include preferred front-row seating and a meet-and-greet with the comedienne, will be available. 

The new dinner and a show.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Young, Hip-Hip-Hooray for Hillary Clinton at Madera Restaurant in Hollywood..,of course.

By Laura Medina

When it comes to grassroots campaign, nobody does it better than Hollywood, why do you think, Republican or Democratic president, always makes a pit stop for cash and tie up traffic.

Unaware by Hillary Clinton herself or her committee, young Hollywood showed her some love by early fundraising for her potential 2016 presidential bid at Madera Restaurant last night.

"The Apprentice" Omarosa Manigault used to work for Ms. Hillary when she was First Lady.
Now, she wants to return the favor by campaigning for her by hosting "salon parties for Hillary."

What a better way than utilizing a young restaurant's than three months young Madera Restaurant's Happy Hour where young Hollywood can nosh on innovative cuisine while doing "win-win," helping a young business when raising funds for Hillary.

Hillary campaigners raise funds through very affordable and yummy,  half-priced Happy Hour meals.

Still, this fashionable foodie went for the regular-priced Grilled Oysters stuffed with Black Kale, Golden Raisin, Pine Nut Breadcrumbs then settled down with the Happy Hour Bacon Flatbread consisting of Tomato Jam, Smoked Mozzarella, Green Garlic.

Imagine that, funding Hillary's presidential bid while feeding yourself.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Andrea Fletcher Gets "Real" on her Web series, "Adventures with Angie."

By Laura Medina

After losing her job, being dumped then being nearly homeless, run over while biking, and having her grandma died, Andrea Fletcher was living a country song's Toronto, Canada's blistery weather.

So, chatting with a scribe on a perfect, California sunny day out on a restaurant patio seems like a dream come true.

Andrea met up with this scribe to chat her new, emerging web series, "Adventures with Angie," about a single woman searching for love in the City of Angels.

In a mere year and an half, she had been here, she peels off the veneer of "fun in the sun" to shine a light on...and make fun of the challenges of dating and mating that is unique in LA.

Following the lead of Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler, "I identify with that strong female voice, but also with that element of comedy, to be able to laugh at yourself because that's all you can really do, especially in L.A."

"I think L.A. is more challenging because it's more spread out, therefore you are forced to meet people in the same area.  In other words, it's more challenging to date someone in Hollywood when you live in Malibu.  It's almost a long-distance relationship because it's so vast out here; and also, I find that, because of that, it makes people more aloof.  It's all done electronically, the text messages, the emails..;and they're not as personal; and I find people to be more flaky out here."

Andrea puts a finger on the pulse on why dating in L.A. is challenging...

Commenting on L.A.'s mating and dating scene, Andrea notices a class system.  It's not like the Established East Coast of New Money versus Old Money.  According to her, in L.A., it's the Newly Arrived Transplants being snobbed by Established New Money...

"I do noticed is there is a large percentage of people who reached a high level of success; and because of that, it does give them a very negative air where they do look down on people who don't have what they have.  It's really sad because that's not what it should be about.  It should be about basic human decency.   It's definitely lacking out here, at else.  I haven't found a large majority of people to be (decent)."

"I haven't given up hope.  So, I think there are nice, decent people out here; and they just needed to found." 

Then this scribe asked Andrea how this particularly L.A. class system affect online dating...

"Absolutely.  Someone can seem so nice in profile then you meet them in person.  You can also feel, that sense that vibe.  Just the way they talk about themselves.  Their mannerisms.  You can be a better judge of a person by meeting them in person rather looking at their profile and reading a few text messages." 

This L.A. Class System Dating Ritual is the basis of her comedy web series, "Adventures with Angie."

"I haven't given up hope, I still believe in love.  Like my character in my show, that is her driving force.  She is that Old School Dreamer who really believes in true love."

Andrea and this scribe both how career priorities rules over personal endeavors and commitments. 

She absolutely feels that the thirties are the new twenties...

"You look back in the 1950's.  If you were in your twenties, that's when you were getting married and having kids.  Now, the times have changed.  You have more options.  We don't have to be wives and mothers.  We can actually have a career and have the option to have kids later in life in our forties.  I think that's great, very liberating; or you don't have to have kids or don't get married at all which is perfectly normal now a days."

As for where you can watch Andrea's "Adventures with Angie," she has partnered up with Mechaniks, a production company based out of Venice, CA. 

"They partnered up with me; and we're about to shoot the pilot, so that's really exciting."   

What Andrea is doing is reminiscing of what Chelsea Handler is doing immediately, moving onto NetFlix.

"Yeah, there's where it's going right now.  A lot less people are watching cable TV or network TV.  If they do, it's all online.  I definitely think it's cost-effective to have something on the web.  I don't know if what I do compares to Chelsea Handler...I write more of a situation-sketch comedy.  I used to do stand-up comedy but not so much anymore; but, definitely (Chelsea Handler) she's a strong female voice I do look up to.  I guess our shows are completely different but similar if this makes any sense."  

 "Each webispode, I've written 10 episodes for a little over a season.  Each episode runs between 5 to 10 minutes. We're still polishing off the scripts...start small.  Eventually, if we start having a following, then they can be longer, depending where it goes."

From transiting from writing for stand-up to writing for a 5 to 10 minutes web sitcom, what's the difference?

"I think you have more freedom writing for a sitcom because you can take the characters then develop them.  You can actually build your audience, to actually have a relationship with the characters.  Stand-up is completely different because the audience is right there in front of you.  You have a mic for 5 minutes or whatever, the time you're allotted.  You have to perform.  You have to get them right away.  Stand-up is definitely more challenging.  At least with a sitcom, you have that opportunity where you can build your audience through your characters through their situations."

Andrea absolutely thinks it is important for women comedians to do stand-up.  

As for young girls who want to be comedians, would Andrea recommend they should try and train in stand-up comedy, "Absolutely, yes.  How would you know unless you try?"

"When I started doing stand-up, it wasn't because it was hilarious.  It was actually more of therapy.  I went through serious stuff, horrible things.  One awful after the next.  I lost my job.  I got dumped.  I was on the verge of being homeless.  My grandma passed away.  I got hit by a car when I was riding my bike.  Horrible things that happen in a span of a couple of weeks.  I was super depressed.  One day, a friend of mine took me out to see her perform; and I just started laughing.  I thought, 'You know what, you can control the good things in your life.  You can control how you react to it."

This is the turning point where Andrea learned the basic thing about comedy, turning lemons into lemonade...
"So, for me, I love the fact you can take control.  I write about all these awful things happening.  I started turning them into jokes.  A week later, I got up on stage, I did my first comedy set which killed.  For me,  it gave me that confidence to just continue on, get out of my depression and write.  It's a real powerful thing to be able to laugh at yourself, to be able to laugh of those horrible things happening.   It's easy to become a victim, to be down and depressed,  'why me?' but take that and spin it then turn it into something positive.  It's very empowering; and it's definitely I recommend anyone tries."

After surviving all these mishaps, Andrea, surprisingly, on a restaurant patio on sunny California day, is really grateful that all those things happened or else, she wouldn't be here where she is today.

Actually, those incidents can become a show, joking.

Some of my favorite comedians are female.  A lot of them do come from Canada."

What is it with Canada and so many comedians from there?

Jokingly, "We're slowing taking over L.A. We love the weather.  It's nice to get away from the cold."

"The thing with Canada is...actually Toronto...part of the reason why I left Toronto is that I found it is a city that is filled with ridiculously talented people and not enough work opportunities."

"At least, out here, (in LA) it's a much bigger pond with more food to go around.  I think the talent can rise to the top.  If you don't have talent, you'll learn pretty quickly you will crash and burn pretty quickly out here.  So, this is why so many people are attracted to L.A, for the opportunities."  

When Andrea first moved here, obviously she missed the comforts of home.  She discovered the Redondo Beach Cafe,, a Canadian restaurant owned by a couple of Greek-Canadian brothers.  It's home away from home for her.  "I'm a big Toronto Maple Leaf fan, love hockey."  They show all the hockey games.  For every Canadian holiday, they throw a big party.  They have their own mini version of Britweek, it's "Canada in California."  It's a really cool spot in the South Bay. 

As a Canadian, how does Andrea feel about the L.A. Kings winning the Stanley Cup?

"I am beyond excited.  I became a Kings fan, see I love hockey and I love rooting for a winning team.  The fact they won the Cup is super exciting.  I was really grateful to follow them through each game and the play-offs.  I was actually lucky enough to go to some of the play-off games which is the dream come true for me, having never gone to a play-off game in my life."  

She believed if the Toronto Maple Leafs did what the L.A. Kings, they would had shut down the whole city.  Los Angeles isn't as big hockey as Toronto is.

"The L.A. Kings winning the Stanley Cup...I love it!"


Monday, June 23, 2014

Mayer Hawthorne & Models celebrating TASTE at Fig at & 7th, where Food Trucks land.

By Laura Medina

Mayer Hawthorne DJing in front of City Tavern

June 19th's Grand Opening for Fig At 7Th's gourmet food court, TASTE, was a feast.
It was economic re-development at its best.  It's not every night you get retro-Soul/Hip-Hop artist, Mayer Hawthorne DJing your new upscale outdoor mall/foodcourt but Fig At 7th did.

What this savour scribe notice on the gourmet feast is that some of the restaurants and cafes in TASTE used to be or still are hip roving food trucks, such as decadent grilled cheese sandwich truck, The Melt.  It now landed at TASTE.  Instead of you chasing down the food truck, it'll stay put for you.  No more scheduling your lunch schedule around Twitter...for now, sometimes.

Mayer with Economic Development Official and FigAt7th Executives,

Downtown Los Angeles' (a.k.a. "DTLA") economic development officials and the mall's executives such as: Edward Hogan, National Director of Retail of Brookfield Office Properties, Executive Vice President Bert Dezzutti, Senior Vice President John Barganski, Vice President of Operations Robert Cushman, Vice President of Marketing Tara Goldstein, Retail Marketing Manager Tara Laney and Regional Director of Marketing Patrice Hopper, all joined Mayer Hawthorne on the "blue carpet" as did Ashley Tisdale and E!'s fashion commenter, George Kotsiopoulos, and a fleet of women and male models modeling Summer White emsembles from Zara which is one of Fig At 7th's retailers. 

Ashley Tisdale and beau, fiancé Christopher French, celebrated the grand reveal last Thursday evening. E!'s George Kotsiopoulos showed his support for George's Greek Grill,

Servers offered platters and trays of hor d' oeuvres from all the cafes and restaurants were enough to fill out a feast of: New Moon Contemporary Chinese Chicken Pot Stickers, Juicy Lucy Burger Sliders, Loteria Grill's contemporary Mexican black bean & corn salad, Oleego by Park’s Korean Barbecue and BBQ ribs, The Melt's Mac n' Cheese Grilled Sandwich, and The Flying Pig Café's eclectic steamed bun sandwiches.

 A troupe of women and male models decked out in Summer Whites outfitted by Zara, one of Fig At 7th's retailers joined Mayer Hawthorne as his "Mayer Muses."  MAC, another Fig At 7th's retailers, did the makeup which they include the makeup diagram in the good bag.

 Champage for All,
 For desserts, Sprinkle Cupcakes Buffet,

If you feel you missed out on all the VIP fun, don't worry.  Fig At 7th has been doing a slew of DJ-driven feasts for the past month and will do more this July through Summer,    DJ Rhettmatic (of Beat Junkies) and DJ Monalisa, food and drink specials will be available from City Tavern - DTLALoteria Grill and The Melt. $5.00 parking at the FIGat7th parking structure starts at 4pm with validation.  
For the whole month of July, FOR FREE, you can party and feast every Friday night with...
FIGat7th Downtown Festival IS BACK! Every Friday Night
July 18-August 22
FIGat7th | Plaza

The FIGat7th Downtown Festival returns this summer to LA’s premier shopping and dining destination with free outdoor concerts featuring performances by leading Pop, Rock, Jazz, Soul and Alternative artists.
4-7pm EAT, DRINK and LOUNGE with DJs at TASTE
7-10pm DRINK at City Tavern’s Festival Bar & Beer Garden on the Plaza
8-10pm EXPERIENCE great music at the Festival
10pm PARTY at City Tavern’s Afterparty

FOOL’S GOLD August 15

For a mere change of $5, you can park there for a flat "PARK & PLAY" rate after 4pm on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday.

Dance and shop 'til you drop at downtown destination FIGat7th!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Free All-Day Concert This Saturday the 21st at Santa Monica Place Mall

By Laura Medina

Summer Scene @ The Place continues to heat up the summer with an afternoon of free concerts held at Santa Monica Place. The concerts are presented in collaboration with the county-wide initiative Make Music Los Angeles (MMLA), a non-profit organization that celebrates the cross-cultural influence of music and art. Santa Monica Place is one of the featured locations in Los Angeles County to host a public music event of this kind.
MMLA will present a line-up of talented musicians from various music genres ranging from acoustic to alternative rock. Featured artists include: the acoustic sounds of Michael Greenberg (accompanied by Cameron Tyler) and the alternative rock band Belmont Lights.
Inaugurated in 1982, MMLA is based on France’s Fête de la Musique, a national musical holiday recognized on the Summer Solstice (June 21). The non-profit organization engages all communities of Los Angeles in an annual cross-cultural celebration of the power of music and art to enrich lives through education and musical performances in neighborhoods across the county. MMLA takes place simultaneously with similar festivities in more than 700 cities around the world. For more information, please visit
Summer Scene @ The Place is held on select weekends in June, July and August providing great live music, outdoor sports and fitness activities, art, kid’s events and more. All concerts are FREE and open to the public. To get the latest news on Summer Scene @ The Place and Santa Monica Place, please visit or follow them on Facebook at, on Twitter @SantaMonicaPlc, YouTube at or search #SummerSceneSMP.
WHEN:  Saturday, June 21
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Michael Greenberg & Cameron Tyler (12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
  • Belmont Lights (3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
WHERE: Santa Monica Place (Center Plaza)
395 Santa Monica Place
Santa Monica, CA 90401

OK! Magazine's Body & Soul Fitness Event 2014 to be Fit & Fab.

By Laura Medina
Chris & Heidi Powell,

OK! Magazine is well-known in Hollywood for throwing some smashing parties in the hottest spots then stocking them with celebrities they actually do profile in their magazines.  This scribe ain't complaining about that.

But washing down cute cupcakes with vodka concoctions can take a toll on your system...and you really want to live the next day to go party the next night.

OK! Magazine felt the same way too.  This is why they expanded their parties into a new angle, celebrating and highlight the fitness/personal trainers to the stars who become fitness celebrities in their own right.  Say hello the second annual "OK! Magazine Body & Soul."

Now, it is officially "Bikini Season," can't think of a better time to do some intense bursts of different varieties of work-outs on the beach, specifically Santa Monica Beach in front of the historically elegant Casa Del Mar Hotel.

The magazine is nice enough to throw, what is essentially, a fitness expo in the hotel's ballroom displaying the different work-outs and gear that celebrities actually use and wear while exercising.  If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us mere mortals.

And what mere mortals we guests are, they started Saturday morning with the toughest work-out, Box n' Burn.

Thank God it was in the sand, out on the beach.  The throwing punches toned the arms and twisting tones the abdominal oblique muscles, aka, "the corset."  The "crab crawl" was unforgiving for this back-aching scribe but everything else burns,...burn baby burn.

Each fitness segment comes in intense 30 minutes of intense bursts.

The following segment was actually the most gentle and wished it was the first exercise segment.  Heidi Powell, Chris Powell's fitness instructor wife, led a very gentle-as-a-lamb warm-ups which precede their book signing.

The third segment was "Get SWOL."  A partner-involved exercise program for couples when one is the weight on top of the push-up then holding other's legs while doing another set of push-ups.

The fourth and last one was Buti Yoga, a sexed-up version of yoga that this scribe did not participate at all, not ready for thigh-slapping out in public.
                                             Eggs Florentine & Caramelized Grapefruit,

After two hours of burning calories and getting dehydrated, the restaurant staff watched me from afar then served me protein-packed Eggs Florentine for lunch then decadent but healthy Caramelized Grapefruit with a dollop of Lime-Mint Creme Fraiche.

Fit and Fab, Fueled,...and Fed, no dried-up anorexia here.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chris Duke, of Motorz TV, Recommends Cars for Women & Girls at Beverly Hills' Concours d’Elegance on Father's Day.

By Laura Medina

Chris Duke of "Motorz TV"

Whenever Beverly Hills does something, it does it spectacularly, especially on Father's Day.

Now a Beverly Hills tradition, Concours d’Elegance, the upscale exotic car show, is always thrown on Father's Day as a gift to all dads, displaying the best of the best in cars, blocking Rodeo Drive from Wilshire Boulevard to Santa Monica Boulevard.

Two years ago, it was the best of Italian cars.  A year ago, it was the best of British cars. Now, it's the 100th birthday of Beverly Hills and the history of film and television and the cars that played in our All-American culture and history.

This year's honorary VIP guest is Chris Duke of Motorz TV, his automotive improvement show.

Chris being interviewed by Spencer Owens.

It was heart-touching to see and meet up with Chris...and family in tow and seeing his two daughters watching their dad being interviewed by this scribe then by Spencer Owens.

Knowing that his daughters will come to age soon and he runs a car maintenance and improvement show, this scribe picked Chris' brain for the best cars for the different stages in a woman's life: teenage/young adult, professional, and established.

Here are his picks for a woman's different stages in life...

For the teen who just got her driver's license who wants to keep it well into college and early pay check, the Ford Taurus.  Other than its obvious affordability, it's easy to take care of and reasonable on gas mileage

For the professional woman who out-grew her teen/college/assistant salad days Ford Taurus, the professional BMW for the woman who finally earned that head job title.  The suspension are easy on the bumps and potholes of life.

Finally for the woman who did it all and done it all and is ready to pounce on fresh young meat and can afford the up-keep, the Maserati (which always dots Beverly Hills' Concours d’Elegance every year without failure).  Sure, it's the most expensive to maintain but nothing says established and sexy all in one sentence like a Maserati.

After chit-chatting with this scribe, Chris and his daughters enjoyed celebrating Father's Day the way dads like to spend their days...browsing exotic cars that span the globe but always at top-tier.

If you want a sample of the Concours d’Elegance, watch this Tastemade video,

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Real X-Men...& X-Women, Super-Natural Talent, Skill, & Audacity, AMC'S "Freakshow" & The Dancing Fire

By Laura Medina

Left, AMC's "Freakshow". Right, "The Dancing Fire"

Whenever this scribe watches the "X-Men" movie series, this scribe is constantly reminded it is God-given talent that makes these individuals special.  It is also this talent that also makes these talented people, "freaks" in average, conventional society where the majority don't have the talent, much less skill.

General society puts these people down out of lack of understanding or jealousy due to the lack of talent and skill...and audacity.

In these past two months, this scribe had encounter two remarkable troupes or in AMC's case, "Freakshow," a family, like the X-Men.  A month before at the L.A. Travel Magazine Spring Issue Launch party ("Time to Hit the Road, Check Out LA Travel Magazine's Launch Party.",, up sprung The Dancing Fire, a stunt troupe.

If Professor Charles Francis Xavier is the father figure and coach of The X-Men in fiction then, Todd Ray of AMC's "Freakshow" is close to the real-life version.

This ex-College of Charleston student, this man knows talent when he sees it.

He rose up the ranks of hip-hop and rock, producing and mixing hits and comebacks for Santana's "SuperNatural,"   Jack Johnson, Nas, Mick Jagger, House of Pain, The Beastie Boys, G. Love & Special Sauce, Cypress Hill, Santana, 311, Audioslave, Artifacts, and Ozomatli.  He helped Ozomatli break out in the music scene and made them Latin-Hip Hop-Rock stand-bearers that they are today.

Then, he got burnt out and lost that fire.

Once he got everything the music cred, the social establishment, and the family with a wife and two kids, a boy and a girl, Todd decided to reach back to what got him into the entertainment, people with deformities or disabilities or handicapped.  Yes, Todd Ray's childhood was the last era when it was social acceptable to shun the misfits into the circus' in-politically correct "sideshows."  What repels most people is what attracts Todd and making do with their limitations is what made him admire these "freaks."

A man with a bone disease that paralyzes his limbs, who had to make do with rolling cigarettes with tongue and mouth amazes the young, impressible Todd Ray in Lancaster, South Carolina.  This sideshow performer told this young, able-bodied boy that if he can apply his same energy and focus with his healthy body, he can achieve anything.

From that, Todd Ray told his wife, that he's gonna quit the music business and start his very own old-fashion freakshow on the Venice Beachwalk.  She said he was crazy.

He made sure his kids know the value of hard work from building a business from scratch.  His "Freakshow" is going to be a family business.

His son, Phoenix, works as his assistant, especially on the popular and profitable weekends.

His daughter, Asia Ray, dove right into it,  training herself on several stunt disciplines.  Dad Todd even got her training early.  Whenever she wants to sun-bathe, he built her a bed of nails for her train on while tanning then he had her tan on a bed of nails as the family's attraction on the Venice Boardwalk.

Unlike most teen girls her age, she would practice sword-swallowing by defying the automatic gag relax by easing unfurled wire coat hangers down her esophagus.  

Warning***Mind you all readers, just because this scribe is describing the training techniques of these talented and bold performers doesn't mean anyone can death-defying stunts for fun.  According to Natalia of "The Dancing Fire," it takes a certain personality with talent and focus to undergo the training to become a stunt performer.*** and

Asia moved onto mastering sword-swallowing, fire-eating, and being the only female to withstand bolts from an electric chair.
Even as the "Rubber Girl," (this is the most gentle of her skills because it's similar to advanced yogis), Asia plainly stated it's all about conditioning your joints and ligaments.

She is skilled enough that she and dad are proud enough to claim she made a man peed his pants when Asia performs her stunts.  

You don't have to be born or married into Todd Ray's "Freakshow."  Remember, he's a talent-spotter/manager.  He knows it when he sees it.

He discovered The Morgue (actually, The Morgue is a very polite gentleman) when he was a mere street performer being hustled by the cops.  At that time, Todd politely told the young gentleman, he didn't a space for him at that time but he does now.

Interesting, that The Morgue and Asia Ray, being in the same age group, represent the latest and newest generation of stunt performers.

Todd was really impressed that The Morgue took his time honing his skills as a traveling street performer. 

There is a real reason why The Morgue is named, "The Morgue."  Anyone else doing the exact same stunt work would die and end up in the morgue.  "The Morgue" is only person to live and perform these stunts many times over.

Sword-swallowing along side Asia Ray is the tamest of skills.  Oh by the way, whenever these performers swallow a sword, the sword is one-eighth away from the heart.  Not for the faint of heart...pun intended seriously...

The Morgue has several death-defying specialities that only he can do.  He injured himself mastering this peculiar craft, mouth-stretching with meat hooks.  He is the only person who does this..."And yes, this does hurt."  This involves manipulating and stretching the cartilage.  Again, not for idiots.

Here's another talent not for amateurs and idiots but only the most dedicated and the boldest and bravest can do what The Morgue does...drilling holes into his nose and still live to tell and describe the tale.  Again, not for the conventional "Bell Curve."

What the majority of normal society call "freaks" are what Malcolm Gladwell call the tail ends of "Outliers," exceptional people who master a craft, a discipline then push it to beyond the limits.  Again, not of the frivolous or the faint of the heart or the half-hearted.

In lieu of yesterday's Father's Day, this scribe's dad said this, "Go all the way or don't do it at all."

If you want to watch more of these death-defying stunts and performance while watching The Rays being a family, abet, a real-life versions of "The Munsters" or "The Adams Family," catch them on AMC every Tuesday at Midnight or at 11pm Central Time,

AMC's and Todd Ray's "Freakshow" isn't the only show in town.

The equally fierce and fiery "The Dancing Fire" troupe of fire-eater/breathers/dancers, aerialists, acrobats, and glow dancers literally had this scribe dropped her jaw watching them twirl LED displays with logos and designs as glow dancers at L.A. Travel Magazine's Spring Issue launch party.  They were thoughtful enough to "set the place on fire" without actually setting the Ebano's Crossing Bar on fire.

Natalia, performer and spokeperson and manager, said she can company logos and images in their LED displays if safety issues about fire are a concern in an enclosed environment.  Ah, brave and brainy, this scribe's type of lady.

Natalia went into depth describing what it takes to be a Dancing Fire, much as a specialized stunt performer such as Asia Ray, and some extent, like The Morgue.

Basically, it's mastering the fundamentals such as rudimentary hula-hooping, baton-twirling or string-twirling, belly-dancing, acrobats, circus-training, and aerialists. 

Natalia, "If they can't master that (the basics), how the hell they're gonna perform the more advance stuff, such as working with fire."

She went deeper and more straight-up, learning the basics weans and filters the candidates out.  They're the ones who don't have patience to learn and master the craft.  They're the drop-outs, "Gotta love it for you to do it."

Every Dancing Fire wanna-be starts out learning the props without the fire, hula-hooping sans fire or LED imagery.  You learn to spin and coordinate your body.

Natalia said it takes a certain type of personality to be a fire-eater/acrobat/performer.  "Fire isn't for everyone."

Once mastering the basics, the filtered out candidates can move onto more advanced skills such as fire-eating/breathing, hula-hooping with fire, and the advanced technology of LED Glow Dancers.  "We'll  put the fire on later."

If you're comfortable with hula-hooping with fire and got your Polynesian/Tahatian/Belly-Dancing dance moves on with fire and twirling customized LED designs for upscale corporate parties like Google, then you're an highly in-demand Dancing Fire to make journalists' drop their jaws.

You don't have to under-go death-defying do to gain the tight abs of a Dancing Fire.  For the softies, they offer FITNESS HOOP DANCE and FITNESS HOOP DANCE WORKSHOPS,

Their fitness hoops are different from childhood of yore.  They are weighted to tone and sculpture while having fun and being silly all at once.  It is important to have a hula hoop customized to your height, because a too small or too large hoop will affect your workout and your hooping. They will make sure you have the right hoop for you. You also get to choose your own colors for your hoop, because your fitness tools and dance props should be what you want. Our professional dancers and hoop artists will make sure your workout is never dull- we add belly dance to our hooping class to get you in on the hottest dance moves. If you have any questions about hooping, please email them anytime.

A lot of their Hoop Dance private workshops take place in Runyon Canyon in Hollywood, CA - if you wish to have your hoop dance workshop in this beautiful park location. 

Again, as a reminder, stunt performers such as "Freakshow" and The Dancing Fire are dedicated, highly skilled and talented performers who love their craft seriously.  Don't perform or copy these stunts on your own.  Taking these stunts casually will kill you.   If you are intrigued and want to learn more, please visit and talk to Todd and Asia Ray and the Freakshow troupe and The Dancing Fire to see if you have what it takes to learn the BASICS!