July 06th, 2020 | Deneen White | music
Welcome to the VIP Ignite blog, your source for tomorrow's talent today.
Hear real life stories of models, actors, and musicians breaking down barriers, launching careers, and sharing their stories of overcoming obstacles and finding real success.
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Deneen: Hey everyone, my name is Deneen White and I am the host of the VIP Ignite Live blog.
This is a special series of interviews being held during the quarantine due to the Coronavirus.
Our purpose is to create inspiration for our listeners.
Second of all, we encourage the planning and building of what's needed to continue pushing forward in a career as an actor, model, or musician.
I am here with Kenny Flores coming in live from California.
Kenny, what are you doing to keep yourself occupied during the craziness that's going on with this pandemic?
PRACTICE YOUR CRAFT AND THE EFFORT WILL SHOW
Kenny: Well, two words: acting and music!
Deneen: That's awesome!
What are you doing with your acting and music right now to keep yourself busy?
Kenny: I've been doing some monologues just to kill time, and that's for acting.
For music, I've just been playing piano and vocalizing.
Doing covers, doing improvisations on the piano, stuff like that.
Just to give me some time to be myself in my home.
I like to have some peace, because music is peace to me.
Deneen: Since you brought up the subject of music, you performed at our VIP Elite Talent Academy variety hour last Friday night, which was our first one.
In case anyone is listening and wondering, “What is this?”
How can you have a variety hour during social distancing?
At VIP Ignite, every Friday night from 8:00 to 9:00 PM Eastern standard time, we're having a variety hour where people who are a part of our Academy come together.
They're performing, they're doing music, they're doing monologues, they're singing, and they're doing all kinds of things because we want them to be able to showcase their hard work.
So Kenny, you were a show stopper on Friday night with your piano playing.
Can you talk a little bit about that please?
Kenny: I set my camera down and I performed a song called Maple Leaf Rag.
It's a ragtime song by Scott Joplin, from back in the early 1900s.
And what I did was I just showed what I practiced for years.
It was a hard song too, because you have to move your hands, especially your left hand.
It’s a lot of going back and forth, left to right, right to left.
Ever since I was 14, I always dreamed about at least passing the whole song.
I think by the age of 16, I could only go to the half point of the song, and just cut it to transition into the ending.
But by the age of 18 or 19, I got it.
I got all the way through the end, but it wasn't as perfect as it should be.
I just kept on practicing, and practicing.
By the time of age 19 or 20 (I'm 20 right now), I just perfected it.
And that's what I've been practicing for years and years.
That's the only song where I practiced for that long.
The next song I'm planning to do is the Turkish March, Rondo Alla Turca by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Have you heard of that song?
Deneen: I believe I have.
Kenny: That's one of the songs that I've been practicing for a long time.
You just need some patience, some time and dedication to do that.
It's not easy at first.
You're going to think, “You know what, I'm going to give up, and I'm gonna just do something else.”
But you have to go back and finish what you've started.
You think that you're not going to be able to do it because it's hard, but you really need to because it's going to bother you.
It's going to bother you that you're not going to be able to do it because now you're a quitter.
You don't want to be a quitter.
Deneen: I had a pastor who used to say “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.”
So definitely don't be a quitter.
REFLECT ON YOUR PROGRESS, AND LEARN FROM YOUR GROWTH
Deneen: So what does it mean to you as a musician and a performer to be able to perform your music now to an audience, even though we're not really allowed to gather?
What was that like for you?
Was that something that was important to you, to be able to do that?
First, I liked acting, and after that I started getting into music.
My goal is just to entertain people, really entertain and show them what I’ve got.
Show off the talents I have been working on for years.
Whether it is acting, which is more than five years of work, or music, which is several years, it’s about your ability and your own experience.
If you have good experience in acting, show them what you got.
Even if it's your first year of acting, it's all about progress.
I post videos on my Instagram, like my piano videos.
They're not perfect.
I'm just showing them progress, and that's what matters.
I'm showing progress on what I need to work on, and hopefully they'll be able to make videos about progress so that they can look back and say, “This is the mistake that I just made.”
I should fix it, make it something better and implement it.
Make it better.
Deneen: I love what you said right there.
It doesn't matter if you make mistakes, just get it out there because you're showing your progress.
Something I love to talk about in the VIP Elite Talent Academy is that sometimes you just have to take imperfect action.
Even if you have a monologue that you've been working on but it's not perfect, still put it out there and keep working on it.
The more that you work on these things, the better that you're going to get.
Like today, I went on my first bike ride in 15 years and let me tell you something, my legs really hurt.
But I was also really excited because I know that as I do that more, I'm going to make progress and my legs will get stronger.
My lungs will get stronger.
It's the same thing for acting and music.
The more that you do it, the stronger those muscles get.
Kenny: It's so good for you to look back on the old videos and see how far you've come.
That's what I did.
I looked back to my piano videos and it stunned me how far I've made it through.
I’ve survived the tough two hour a day practices, or sometimes three hours a day practice.
It really amazed me to see how far I've come through.
Deneen: So Kenny, what made you join the VIP Elite Talent Academy?
Kenny: First I saw an ad.
I remember back in 2019, that was my first time attending Alicia's webinar.
What really amazed me and made me join the group is hearing success stories from Alicia.
Her telling other people's stories so that I can relate to them mattered a lot.
And hearing the scam or no scam content.
I also liked the success story from this guy, I think his name is James.
Deneen: From South Dakota!
Kenny: South Dakota.
That's the kind of story that I can relate to.
I live in Rialto, which is not that bad.
I can kind of relate to him, because he likes acting and modeling.
My brother loves modeling.
I don't really like modeling.
I just do it to do it.
I like acting and music.
I can relate to him because of his path, like him joining the group and then following directions.
He did the challenges and believed in himself.
That's what successful people really need to do.
I want to be successful in life, you know?
SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY AND PUSH YOURSELF WITH THEIR FEEDBACK
Deneen: Well, you're in the right place, my friend.
If you want to be successful, you're definitely setting yourself up for success by being a part of the VIP Elite Talent Academy.
So here's a question for you.
What has been your favorite part of being a part of our group?
You joined a couple of weeks ago, which is amazing.
We're so excited to have you as a part of our group!
What has been the best part for you?
Kenny: Honestly, the whole environment on the page.
I’ve made a lot of great friends, and they're all so friendly.
When you post something, they can give critiques, but that's what families do.
They critique each other and they're trying to make you better.
Not only do they work on themselves, but they also work on others to make them better.
We're all family and that's what I like about this group.
We're all friendly.
We give critiques to each other and we help strike each other.
It made me feel welcome.
Deneen: That's been our goal since day one.
We've realized even before this era of social distancing that a lot of people who are creative don't have a solid community around them.
I know where I grew up, I don't know anyone that went on to act model or be a musician full time.
So what we realized is that we wanted to create a community of like minded people that could go in and be supported.
We wanted to make sure that you're being coached by some of the most amazing people in the world.
So who's been your favorite coach so far?
Kenny: I would have to say Antoinette.
Deneen: Antoinette Stratton!
Kenny: I just love her soothing voice.
I love how she talks about peace, and how you can meditate on your own and calm down to take some time to work on your goals.
It isn't a rush.
You just need to take some time and patience.
Deneen: Antoinette Stratton is one of our favorite people.
For anyone who is listening and wondering who she is, she was Terrence Howard's manager.
She is a talent manager now for her husband, Richard Stratton, who has done a lot of different movies.
They work with people like Sean Penn and Oliver Stone.
That's one of the people that you're being coached by, who's teaching you.
How amazing is that?
Kenny: Way beyond amazing.
Deneen: I know!
Sometimes I have to sit back and think about this.
I think about how that's mind blowing.
The people that we're able to come into contact with are amazing.
So Kenny, what has been your favorite challenge so far?
YOUR DREAMS AREN’T JUST DREAMS--THEY’RE GOALS
Kenny: My favorite challenge?
Probably what I just did about listing 10 actors and musicians that I would like to work with, and why.
I liked doing that because most of the actors and musicians I listed were from my childhood.
I've watched them act or seen them since I was a child, and I wrote about that.
I want to work with them because they inspire me so much.
They inspire me and shape who I am today, and what I want to do in the future.
I want to inspire people too.
They inspire me now, so I want to inspire other people in the future.
I really loved that assignment because it really took my time to just reflect on what my future is going to be like.
Maybe I will work with one of them!
Maybe there's hope; it just takes some time.
It's just like using social media through screens.
I just write and write, and that's about it.
Deneen: Writing is fantastic.
I think writing is very cathartic, and I love that you went through with writing down the list of people that you want to work with and why.
So can you give me a sneak peek?
Who's one of the people that you want to work with and why?
Kenny: The top artist I would like to work with is Ed Sheeran.
I’ve got to say he's one of the best artists in his generation.
He makes so much good music.
Whether it is contemporary folk music or R&B, he attracts people to listen to his songs.
It's just science.
They like his vibes in his songs, and he's just so great.
I have no other words, but he's just so great at making music.
I like his ballads.
I think another artist that I admire is Andrea Bocelli.
He's the greatest, or one of the greatest tenors.
I don't know if you've heard, but Celine Dion said that if God has a voice, it would be Andrea Bocelli himself.
Deneen: I can attest that his voice is phenomenal.
I would say he has the voice of an angel, but I like what Celine Dion said better.
It's much more eloquent than what I said.
Kenny: He has a great, powerful volume in his singing.
It's like singing in the opera.
He doesn't even have to use his mic.
He can just project his voice.
Deneen: That's pretty insane, right?
Kenny: That stunned me.
Also, I can never pronounce his name for the first time, but Luciano Pavarotti.
He had a powerful voice and he was the greatest of all time.
He shared the same legacy as Andrea Bocelli.
And we're grateful for that.
For the actors, I was about to write down Robin Williams, but sadly he passed on.
I gotta say Jim Carey, because he has a great face.
Whenever he's impersonating someone, he just becomes this character.
Whenever someone says “Lights, camera, action”, he just becomes a character.
He makes his acting choices that are not always on the script.
He can make his own.
That's what I like about him.
He's a comedian.
He makes the audience feel engaged with his jokes.
That's so powerful!
Deneen: I think any comedian who is able to make you laugh just by looking at you is someone who totally embodies what a comedian should be.
I was watching the end of Caddyshack with Rodney Dangerfield and he was another one who could make a face and the whole room would burst into laughter.
He didn't have to say anything, but just the face would do it.
You can't help but laugh.
Kenny: I believe he did a lot of mirror work.
I don't know if you've heard about that.
You go in front of the mirror and just practice.
You're making facial expressions and forming an opinion about it.
Just judge yourself.
You're looking at the mirror and critiquing yourself basically.
BE YOUR OWN SUCCESS STORY
Deneen: So Kenny, I like to ask this question of everyone.
Are you excited that you're a part of the VIP Elite Talent Academy family?
Kenny: I am very excited, ever since day one.
Deneen: Well, we're excited to have you.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to be on the podcast today, and thank you for being such an amazing member of our community.
I can't wait to see you perform!
Are you going to perform this Friday on our variety hour?
Kenny: Yeah, I'm going to be performing a monologue.
I can't wait to see your acting skills now that I've seen your fingers.
For anyone who is listening, you should have seen when Kenny performed his song.
It was like something out of a movie.
It was amazing, but I can't wait to see you perform a monologue now.
I'm really excited!
Kenny: Thank you so much Deneen.
It really means a lot to me!
Deneen: You're welcome!
I can't wait to do a podcast again in a couple of months.
I have a feeling that you're going to be one of those people who becomes successful.
You said that you really enjoy success stories and that you're super inspired by them.
I can't wait for you to be a success story that I tell so that other people can be inspired by you.
I can see that happening in the very near future.
Kenny: I can see that too.
It's all about believing in yourself and doing what you need to do.
Do what you love and that's what matters to you the most.
Deneen: It's going to be awesome.
Again, thank you so much for being a part of our community.
Thank you for doing this podcast, and I can't wait to see you around the interwebs on some training calls.
I can't wait to see you do your monologue on Friday.
Kenny: Thank you so much!
Deneen: You're welcome.
You have a great day.
Kenny: Stay safe!
Deneen: Stay distant and apart, but together all at the same time.
We're going to make it through.
Deneen: Have a great day.
Kenny: All right, you too.
Deneen: Thank you for reading the VIP Ignite blog.
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