A Dollar & A Dream

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A week and a day later.

So a couple of years ago I got this bright idea to start an entertainment company and i didn’t sit on the idea very long before diving in head first. No seriously, like a month or two after forming this thought with no convincing needed I began sharing my new venture with loved ones and was already in the midst of licensing TWO companies with an acquired partner in tow for one of them.

Now I know what you’re thinking. TWO?! Recipe for disaster…

What can I say, i like to live dangerously.

Now this world is brand spanking new to me and i am learning as i go through lots and lots of trial and error and extensive reading research.

Because i want this to be a success and not being above education, I attended the Rico Love Music Conference with an open mind ready to take in all that was available for me to absorb.

Day 1 was an ordeal which actually started the day before but because we (the partner and I) were determined to get there, we arrived 2 hours late (fuck you Safari Maps) with notepads and ears perked up as if we been there the whole time taking in the stories and guided advice.

Day 2 was amazing.

the beautiful thing about it was that there weren’t only aspiring musicians, mangers, writers, and track masters there. You had potential A&R’s and other startups. Gospel artist. People from the UK, California, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Chicago, DMV, Georgia, & Canada just to name a few.

That day has been playing in the background of my mind since i left.

There are a lot of things that i want to do.

Learn.

Explore.

Build.

I am not a singer. I am not a rapper. I created the companies with the intent to create a platform for women to navigate this tough male dominated industry. I want to see multiple female MC’s at the top simultaneously. I want to be instrumental in making this happen amongst many other things. I want to write films. I want to see if i can be any good at producing a track. I want to know if i can switch my story telling skills into writing a song. I love to paint pictures with words and unique images.

And I also want to share this space with others  looking to define themselves artistically.

Quite ambitious.

I know.

like i said, i live dangerously.

To say i was elated when Rico Love spoke on the difficulty of women breaking through the entertainment industry is downplaying my heart.

The fact that he stressed repeatedly to the guys that ‘this is not a dating service. This is not Tinder.’ Heavily promoting this as a safe space took the respect that I already had for him as an artist to the stratosphere as Rico Love the Man.

It also further drove home why I even started doing this in the first place and why its so important for me to continue with what i am building.

From the networking segment to Rico Love & Bryan Michael Cox talking on

Women in Music

Humility

“Only choose purpose driven friends.”

Professionalism

“There’s value in compromise.”

Consistency

Writing styles to study

Reflecting on the ideas to develop

& Close Ones perception of you as you grow through changes.

“Be prepared for the fallout”

I took from all of that an outline on what to build on in the next 365 so WHEN i return next year there will be visible growth.

Im not too bothered by my lack of preparedness this time because like i said I’m learning as i grow. i went with an open mind ready to take in whatever knowledgable guidance was at my disposal.

Until next time, every morning i will continue to tell myself,

“THE GIFT IS IN YOU”

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Thirtysomething

Various thoughts & discoveries on my 31st birthday…

Today is my second year being a thirty something and I experienced this birthday with a greater calmness than the last. Last year I became riddled with anxiety and disappointment after feeling as if I had failed to accomplish any real substantial life goals. With another 365 under my belt, most of those goals are STILL not accomplished but i have grown to understand and accept that as long as I continue to work towards meeting them with genuine effort that is all that matters.

Today i share a birthday with Denzel Washington, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek), Gayle King (Oprah’s homegirl), John Legend, Joe Manganiello (True Blood), & Miles Brown (youngest son on Blackish).

Putting a quality business together is hard as F-U-C-K…that is all.

Lose all inhibitions.

Its time to do some adult things like open myself up to a love like Tracy “Mahogany” Chambers & Brian Walker. I think I have grown too comfortable with being by myself.

As with all past years I look forward to the start of a new year…which simply symbolizes a fresh beginning, but if i can be honest, I began working on 2016 goals some time ago.

Goals on Goals on Goals.

MOHNA LYSSAA & REDLIPSTICK will be properly introduced in the 2016 year.

new friends. new energy. positive vibes.

I’m ready to move…seriously.

I want to go to Harpo’s and hear Shug Avery sing.

I love and value my Black people that are constantly made to feel inadequate even by other ethnic groups that are only one historic horror away from being treated the same as us.

Happy Birthday Beautiful and please please please continue to catwalk in love and light. Your destiny awaits you…its simply up to you on how long it takes you to get there. Just make sure you remain honest and dignified along the way.

LOVE,

Melissa/Mohna Lyssaa

Love’s Fine Print

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We Humans love for things to be black and white. We seek clear defined answers. But the reality is that life is really anything but black and white. These areas are what I refer to as Life’s fine print. The exceptions to the rule. Most of us don’t like those. Some are better at accepting them than others. This is more so true when it comes to Love….

There is  a storyline in one one of my upcoming projects that is very interesting for me. I had to step outside of my own personal opinions in order to write it.

See, I am very much a believer in being faithful within your marriage. And if you are not happy within your marriage you need to get out of it. Deceiving your spouse is unacceptable. But what if there is this other side…the gray area. Love’s fine print…

I explore this idea that two people of opposite sexes  meet and what started out as an innocent enough friendship somewhere along the way turns into genuine love. But one of the two is married. What if the person you married is not your soulmate despite all things going well. You are happy and content within your union until you meet this other soul that makes you feel things you have never felt before. All those feelings you have for you spouse are more along the lines of contentment, familiarity, attachment and this other person awakens that “this is the one” inside of you. Its not a lustful thing. Its not a matter of wanting to have your cake and eat it too. And you weren’t even looking for extramarital activities. Because you never felt it before you perceived the love you felt before as being that “this is the one.”

I do believe, although rare, but possible that some get married thinking they are marrying their soulmate but not really. See this is the scary shit about love and marriage. Making a mistake and giving too much of my time to the wrong one…and potentially marrying the wrong one. Now true enough there are signs but what if those signs are simply overlooked as just one of relationships ups and downs.

Any who, getting back on track, i  explore the idea that without meaning to sometimes a person finds their soulmate after having already entered into a union with someone else. And they are then left with this huge decision to walk away from this soulmate and continue life with their spouse who they will continue to love but not as wholeheartedly as they would their TRUE love. Or…walking away from life as you know it and building a new one with your TRUE love.

Now, I’m not saying leaving a spouse for another is right….but Im also not saying its wrong either.Most who do are foul. But what I’m exploring is that small group where the unexpected happens.

Do you believe in Soulmates? Or being with your Soulmate at all cost? What do you think of these gray areas of love? Do you find this to be wrong no matter the situation?

Well stay tuned as I explore this very dynamic in one of my upcoming projects….

Where being the side chick was totally frowned upon….until you became one.

 

 

With Love,

Mohna Lyssaa

 

 

CARTOONS & CEREAL

The best TV time was as a child waking up on a Saturday morning watching cartoons and eating bowls of cereal. There was not a care in the world. As we got older we graduated from cartoons to quality sitcoms like The Cosby Show, A Different World, Boy Meets World, Family Matters, Sister; Sister,  Living Single, and Martin just to name a few. Now its “reality” EVERYTHING. You know the scripted unscripted shows much to so about nothing of substance. I grow tired of watching tv sometimes and  then one day…..I’d say sometime last summer I stumbled upon Issa Rae’s “Misadventures of An Awkward Black Girl.” From there I dove into a whole new world of programming. WEB SERIES. I now spend more days watching these series on YouTube and browse through  webserieschannel.com or blackwebseries.com. I like the originality of these shows. The are refreshing and a switch up from major network television. They are a lot more relatable and its amazing how many independent production companies there are. I get a rush when watching them… and that is because I get inspired. They give me energy and while I spend time writing my own I will be sharing with you some of the ones that I particularly enjoyed….

This is Smoke and Mirrors by Christmasinjuly1982 Productions

Description in Bio about series:

Too often in love, people are not straight shooters. Enough of the time people don’t simply lay their cards on the table and let the other make an educated decision. With no “carfax” you are left to take people based on what’s in front of you but that’s not always their real selves. It’s an optical illusion. “Smoke and Mirrors” is a humorous look at the life of newly single, filmmaker Sonny”Dixon” Richard, who must reacclimate himself to the complexities of male and female relationships, just when he thought he had it all figured out.

I think the fellas will enjoy this one. I encourage you to at least watch one episode and I am almost sure you will be interested in watching the rest…

This is The Method of Love by a production company based out of the UK. The pilot premiered on Valentine’s Day and there hasn’t been any new episodes to follow up yet but I am eagerly anticipating more from this series. I think this is one the fellas will enjoy just as much as the ladies. Check the website periodically for more  and for the full synopsis of the series at http://themethodoflove.com/

This is one of my absolute favorites. Rommieloverfriends by Issa Rae Productions and Black&SexyTV. Two of my favorites have come together to produce this series.

Description in Bio about series:

What happens when you sleep with your roommate? Discomfort and drama! Check out the website www.issarae.com and http://www.blackandsexy.tv/ for more…

2014: ART COCKTAIL

Every year I find that I become bolder and bolder in the things I want to partake in. Every new year I get ecstatic with what is to come throughout the new year. This 2014 year in particular I look forward to really getting into some amazing projects and adventures that will require me to really step outside of myself and lose all inhibitions. Over the past year and a half I have done an extensive amount of research, planning, and prepping and FINALLY ,  I am ready for implementation. That is my theme for 2014. IMPLEMENTATION!!!!! I mean, whats the point in talking about it and planning if you dont plan on doing anything with it???? Anywhoo, I have composed an ART COCKTAIL of things that I plan on engaging in this year. I love ART in allllllll forms and I’m tired of fantasizing and daydreaming about these things. 

Here is my ART COCKTAIL of things that I have been working on and finally ready to start on, and other things I have always had a love for but never imagined myself doing due to being too timid. Now don’t get it twisted I am still a work in progress as far as being soically outgoing but with this blog and all of my new adventures I will be embarking on I am on the road to being the most socially confident being ever…

ART COCKTAIL:

FILMING…

a Docu-series and Dramedy which is slated to begin this summer. I am so excited about this and actually cant wait to start on this project.

WRITING…/PERFORMING…

I have always had a love for poetry but found myself often times intimidated with writing it. I am going to step out and just write and if I get good enough maybe by the end of the year perform it.

I have talked about writing a book for years. Since this is my year of implementation, I am going to write a book this year.

ACTING…

I never had thoughts of being an actor until recently. I am interested in knowing if with the right training am I capable of being a fairly decent actress. This year I am to take some acting classes to test the waters.

MUSIC…

I have a production company I have started with a couple of partners and it includes music as well as films, etc. This year is about getting some music out.

CLOTHING…

Hopefully this summer, the t-shirt line with some accessories will be available to the public.

DANCING….

I would like to actually learn A hustle (Don’t judge me). No, i dont know a single hustle. I want to also get into working with a choreographer and learning some dance routines.

I sooooo look forward to this year.I am truly stepping outside out and getting into some things I have NEVER even expressed having an interest in.  I have so many things lined up and I just cant wait to share these projects with you as they develop.

I hope all of you have a prosperous and positive 2014! Anything that you have in your mind that you want to do. JUST DO IT!! Stop talking yourself out of it and at least just try.

—-With Love,

                                                                                                                                                                     Mohna Lyssaa

IS REALITY TV ON THE BRINK OF FADING OUT???

“if you notice every five years music changes and every 10 years the decade previous is completely unrecognizable. Everything is cyclical. Hip Hop is music so its the same thing. Everything changes.” —Pharrell Williams

I find this to be very true. ‘Everything’ goes through a cycle. I believe this holds true for television as well. I ‘m going to be bold and actually predict that the form of programming will be noticeably changing in the next 2-5 years. I am starting to see it and I don’t know if too many others are noticing but the whole reality tv is starting to lose its thrill. People are getting more and more fed up with the cheesiness of the formula from one show to another and just went to think they cant come up with a worse storyline…they come up with a worse storyline. I mean Basketball Wives for whatever reason is still hanging in there but Gossip Game was cancelled and I’m not really surprised. I was disappointed in that show. I wanted to see more of the hustle for each of the woman and how they survive in that industry as women but unfortunately, they fell victim to the formula. And with us getting to a point of creating petitions to block certain shows from airing, I think reality tv is on the brink of a decline in the near future.  A lot of independent companies are starting to pop up and particularly African  Americans wanting to bring a different dynamic to entertainment and show that we are more than throwing drinks and meeting up for lunch to hash out our differences in front of the camera. Some of the production companies that I am particularly feeling right now and currently on the rise are…

Issa Rae Productions

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Issa Rae started out with her web series, Mis-adventures of the Awkward Black Girl. Pharrell Williams took notice of her and began featuring her web series on his I am Other channel on Youtube. She then collaborated with Shonda Rhimes creating a comedy series I hate L.A. Dudes.  Currently collaborating with Black&SexyTV on RoomieLoverFriend amongst some other series such as Ratchetpiece Theatre.

Black&SexyTV

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I have fallen in love with their programming. They have five series which includes RoomieLoverFriend in collaboration with Issa Rae Productions. Be sure to check out their Youtube channel for That Guy, Hello Cupid, The Couple, and The Number.

Valdean Entertainment is another one that has Lenox Avenue.

More and more people are starting to take notice of web series and more and more aspiring actors are going this route in getting exposure. I am noticing some of these networks stepping into scripted series again and I’m really loving it. MTV is kind of an exception because they have been doing the original series thing for some time now but now you have BET trying to go more that route and succeeding with…

The Game

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Let’s Stay Together

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And the highly anticipated, Being Mary Jane

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I thoroughly enjoyed the movie part of the series that premiered last week. I see a lot of relatable aspects to her character and a separate entry will be addressing this but I really look forward to this show. Its def a good look for BET. Now if they will finally just do away with 106 & Park.  

Now we have Fuse TV that just came out with their own scripted series, The Hustle

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I’ll admit while watching the first episode, I rolled my eyes like, “Ugh, another show trying to damn hard.” But after watching the last four episodes since it premiered I actually really like the show. It kind of gives you some insight into the grind artist and record execs go through in the entertainment industry. I look forward to seeing more of this show. There are a lot of celebrity appearances as well. Thus far Chuck Inglish, Keyshia Dior, JadaKiss, Freddie Gibbs, and Red Café to appeared on the show. I think its worth checking out.

Hit the Floor

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This series on VH1, I am really digging. Its about the dancers of an NBA basketball team and the drama and treacherous behavior involving all the people associated with the league. Some thing def worth checking out.

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And if things go the way I am grinding for them too…..who knows what other series may fill this spot.

I look forward to the coming changes in television. Maybe I’m speaking prematurely. Maybe I’m not. But we shall see…..

With Love,

Mohna Lyssaa

p.s. do you see a change in the cycle of television? Do you think reality programming will soon be on a decline? Comment below. I wanna hear your thoughts.