In 6th grade, when Rotten Tomatoes Senior Editor Grae Drake was arranging movie outings for all her friends, she picked the movie. Through the years studying film at the University of Texas at Austin, being honored by Sundance and the Director’s Guild of America, and working as a filmmaker in Los Angeles, she realized how terrible she was at keeping her opinions to herself. The Popcorn Mafia podcast was born, and led to her becoming CNN’s movie critic. She also has dished the dirt with stars on HLN’s Showbiz Tonight, Fox News, G4’s Attack of the Show, and is a regular at the TV Guide Network and the Reelz Channel. Her passionate thoughts can also be heard on terrestrial radio all over North America. And just to note, she still won’t let other people pick the movies.
Movies this week:
- Hail, Caesar!
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
- The Choice
Manika will host a new TLC show “Global Beauty Masters” which starts airing in March, along with “Manika’s Love Line” on DASH (DJ Skee’s new interest) and a similar love advice column in HYPE Magazine
Purchase the single on iTunes here
Manika is an American singer, rapper, songwriter, producer, reality TV-show host and published author. She was discovered by Michael Jackson’s long-time manager (music exec Frank DiLeo). Manika toured with One Direction on their North American tour. She also performed at KISS FM’s Wango Tango, the Hollywood Style Awards, the nationally-televised Hallmark Hollywood Christmas Parade, headlined the Girl Scouts’ 100th Anniversary Tour and headlined Pepsi’s Shop Til You Rock Tour. Recently Manika was the headline performer to 200,000 people and 650 movie theaters (streamed through Fathom Events). This performance was also nationally and internationally televised (via Discovery Network). Manika is currently in filming as the host of a new reality TV-show (“Global Beauty Masters”) to air on the TLC Network in March. Manika also recently headlined Light nightclub in Mandalay Bay Las Vegas and Hakkasan nightclub in MGM Las Vegas. She also performed on the main stage at MGM’s “Wine Amplified” music festival with 50 Cent and Panic! At The Disco. Manika’s last single (“B.Y.O.Bugatti”) charted number 12 in the United States on the Billboard Sales Chart. Manika wrote and co-produced her new single — “I Might Go Lesbian” featuring Tyga, which has been released to Top 40 and Rhythmic radio (charting at number 15 in the United States on the Billboard Sales Chart). Manika’s music video with Tyga has also been released. You can watch it here.
Also a published author, Manika donated the proceeds from her first book to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), served as their spokesperson and gave inspirational talks to inner-city schoolchildren and visited young cancer patients. She is completing her second book now.
Dan Schachner is a television host and announcer celebrating his fifth year as the PUPPY BOWL “rufferee”. Riding high from the success of last year’s event, Dan is even more assured that he has the skills and stamina to officiate the biggest game in animal sports. Dan lives in Manhattan and has two boys, ages seven and nine, and a foster pup named Buster, who might just be PUPPY BOWL’s biggest fans.
Dan Schachner hometown is Oceanside, NY. As a huge dog lover he hosted shows for Animal Planet before. When he first found out Animal Planet was on the hunt for a new PUPPY BOWL ref, he knew his true calling in life had come. He submitted a ridiculously long audition video showcasing his puppy refereeing skills and a heartfelt campaign speech. Responsibilities of the Puppy Bowl Ref is to make sure the puppies play a safe, clean game (the “clean” part is the hardest to regulate). Dan calls puppy penalties, which can lead to expulsion if necessary, and he also calls the touchdowns – just like any other football referee. And, of course, there are always puppy “messes” to clean up.
While nothing is better than being in the middle of a puppy-pile up, a close second is promoting the event. Dan is like a Puppy Bowl ambassador, or better yet, the mascot. Think about it: human sports leagues have animal mascots, why shouldn’t dog leagues have human mascots?
Dan can also be seen in guest-starring roles on various TV shows including “The Mysteries of Laura”. He is the announcer for “The Meredith Vieira Show”, the voice of Navy Federal Credit Union, Puff’s Tissues and WWE commercials, and promo announcer for Spike TV, Showtime and Sony’s Crackle TV network.
His interests include officiating animal sports, sports trivia (human and non-human), voiceover work, running, cycling, pop culture, coaching little league, fostering dogs.
With over three decades of hands on experience, Jon Taffer is the world’s top bar and nightlife consultant. He is also an internationally-recognized, award winning concept developer. Jon is one of the first inductees into the Nightclub Hall of Fame and also holds such distinctions as “Pub Master” in the UK with multiple honors as “Operator of the Year” and “Property of the Year”. His management methodology, Reaction Management, has become the gold standard of the industry.
Jon is best known for his ‘in your face’, no holds ‘barred’ style of turning failing bars into profitable businesses on Spike TV’s number one hit show “Bar Rescue”, which is currently in its fifth season and over 100 episodes. In addition to frequently serving as an expert on national media outlets, offering advice and insights for small businesses and entrepreneurs, Jon often comments on breaking news and provides stock market analysis related to the food and beverage industry. He is also a coveted keynote speaker at major industry conventions and events.
Jon recently announced an exclusive partnership with the National Restaurant Association, which hosts the largest annual restaurant convention in the world and is the leading business association of the industry, to elevate the organization’s hugely important ServSafe Alcohol and BAR (Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants) programs. For over 40 years, ServSafe has long been considered the leading authority in food and safety training worldwide. In 2010, Jon was appointed President of Nightclub & Bar Media Group where he oversaw the Nightclub & Bar Convention Trade Show. He also sat on its board of directors and serves as a consultant and development advisor to major restaurants, nightclubs and hotels worldwide.
Earlier this year Jon launched Taffer Virtual Teaching, an exclusive online program designed to provide businesses with tips and tools for success, while participants interact virtually with Jon in a fun and educational way. Jon is also credited with creating the NFL Sunday Ticket package while serving a three-year term on the board of NFL Enterprises. In November 2014, he debuted his all-inclusive bar and nightclub management app, Jon Taffer’s BarHQ, to industry acclaim and five-star reviews. He’s also a best-selling author having penned, Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reaction.
Jon currently resides in Las Vegas with his wife Nicole, and his dogs Moxie and Winston.11:15AM (PST) – Amy Banks, author of “Wired to Connect: The Surprising Link Between Brain Science and Strong, Healthy Relationships”
Amy Banks, M.D., was an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is now the director of Advanced Training at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women. She has a private practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, which specializes in relational psychopharmacology and therapy for people who suffer from chronic disconnection.
Jeff Ward has always known he wanted to be an actor. Born in Washington D.C. and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ward fueled his creative passion by participating in theatrical productions where he honed his acting technique. While Ward was in the first grade, he was cast in Tom Thumb in the Toy Room, an original play written and directed by his teacher, in which he played the lead, Tom Thumb Sr. At the tender age of eleven, Ward’s grandmother founded a theatre camp called “Stagedoor Manor” where he spent six whole summers perfecting his craft. Ward’s passion for cinema and love for acting was affirmed and he knew that pursuing a career in the entertainment industry would require him to leave the comfort of his home in Philadelphia. In an effort to further learn his craft, after high school Ward headed to New York City to enroll at the prestigious Tisch Drama at NYU, where he graduated in 2009. As a Freshman, Ward was in the Stella Adler studio program for two years before switching to the Experimental Theatre Wing, where he worked with Kathleen Turner, Moises Kauffman, and workshopped a one-man show that he had written with Sam Shepard. He continued his studies abroad in the International Theatre Workshop program in Amsterdam. During his time in Amsterdam, Shakespeare played a huge part in his training, which ultimately varied between that and the styles of Stanislavsky, Adler, Grotowski and Strasberg.
When Ward finished school, he began working in New York with various film, theater and television projects. He understudied for Ben Foster in the Broadway hit “Orphans”, also starring Alec Baldwin. Ward continued to be casted in productions at such performance halls as The Public, Manhattan Theater Club, Skirball Center and The Working Theater. Continuing his success in theatre, Ward ventured to Los Angeles where he joined the world premiere of “Marjorie Prime”, a production by Jordan Harrison, a writer on “Orange is The New Black”. He played, “Walter Prime”, the new technological incarnation of Marjorie Prime’s late husband, played by Lois Smith. The play was shown at the Mark Taper Forum and was runner up for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize.
As his rise to the top continues, Ward will play Charles Manson in the highly anticipated film “Manson’s Lost Girls” alongside next generation stars Greer Grammer, Eden Brolin, Christian Madsen and Mackenzie Mauzy. The latest adaptation about the muchtalked about notorious killer brings a new take on the girls who worshipped Manson and lived with him on Spahn Ranch. The film is set to air on Lifetime February 6th. Aside from his new role as Manson, Ward is no stranger to the small screen with his guest roles on “The Mentalist”, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”, and “Rosewood” just to name a few. He is also set to star alongside Zosia Mamet in the upcoming film “The Boy Downstairs”. Ward is accomplished outside of acting as well. He enjoys writing and directing, having recently directed a played called TAPE by Stephen Belber, for the Aquila Morong Studio as well as for College Humor. Ward grew up with five dogs and has a younger sister who teaches third grade. He enjoys snowboarding, playing video games, and sports, especially the Philadelphia Eagles, his hometown football team.