SHARON BLYNN CHATS ‘CAPTAIN MARVEL’, ‘BALD IS BEAUTIFUL’ & HER ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ACTORS 0 326

Currently on screen in the latest Marvel blockbuster Captain Marvel alongside Brie Larson, Sharon Blynn has an impressive resume of work to her name having appeared in several hit TV shows and movies. As an individual who has fought and beaten ovarian cancer, she’s also the founder of Bald Is Beautiful, an organisation which supports ovarian cancer programs and raises awareness. With a number of projects “in development”, ThisIsTheLatest spoke to Blynn about her fond memories of her time on the CM set, the one role she’s the most proud of and what the future has in store.

TITL: Prior to becoming an actress, did you ever have any other career plans or ambitions? 

Sharon Blynn: Before I started Bald Is Beautiful and pursuing acting and modeling. I worked at a record company in NYC, specifically in jazz. My dream at the time was to eventually have my own record company or do artist development (Berry Gordy-style) to help bring gifted artists to the world. I spent many years collaborating with incredibly talented artists, forging lasting friendships, and hanging out in the legendary New York City jazz scene into the wee hours every night! Soon after leaving the music biz, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and that journey inspired me to create my Bald Is Beautiful movement, which encompasses ovarian cancer awareness advocacy, motivational speaking and community outreach, as well as acting.

TITL: What is it about acting and performing that you love so much? Now that you’re a well-established actress, could you ever envisage yourself doing anything else? 

SB: Ironically, before my cancer journey and starting Bald Is Beautiful, I could never have imagined that I would first of all remain bald much less become an actor! What I love about performing is what I love about LIFE — digging into emotion, honest self-reflection, connecting to another person, listening to people share their stories and holding space for them to feel safe doing so, telling stories that cultivate empathy and understanding, and expand our perspective about people and the world around us. Before I began acting, it terrified me, frankly, but I very quickly caught the “acting bug” from my first time performing on stage in a very special interactive, immersive theatrical show called Off the Muff (conceived, produced, and directed by my twin sis Elisa), and have found a true passion for it. Bald Is Beautiful is still the fuel behind my acting fire, so what I do in terms of acting always goes beyond performing and delves into passionate (and compassionate) activism and advocacy.

TITL: You have a varied resume of roles that span several genres including drama and comedy, and have appeared in ShamelessBody of Proof, and Lie to Me along with many other shows. How important to you is it that you’re able to take on a wide variety of roles and genre styles in the work you do, and is there one you prefer over the other? 

SB: I thoroughly enjoy exploring characters in a wide variety of roles and styles, because in the end. It comes down to telling story from an authentic and grounded place. Working across genres and styles also gives me the opportunity to explore different parts of myself, and I love digging into all of those rich emotional layers. I can be a complete goofball and also a sensitive and intense woman, and I can draw from all of that for every kind of role.

TITL: Which of your past performances/roles might you say you’re most proud of and why?

SB: One of my favorite roles was a 12-minute one-woman performance piece I wrote and presented called “How Are We Feeling Today?” I originally wrote it as part of an event called “The Big C”, for which all of the featured performers were cancer survivors sharing their stories through this artistic avenue. This was the first time I’d made a scripted-sculpted representation of the full emotional arc of my ovarian cancer experience, and the director I was paired with helped shape my story into a unique expression that I would like to someday develop into a full one-woman show.

TITL: If you could appear in any other TV show past or present, which would it be and what kind of character would you like to play?

SB: This is such a tough question! There are so many shows of all genres that I have loved watching throughout my life — the first thing that actually popped into my head was to be the guest star – aka the killer – on an episode of Columbo, especially one of the longer-form 90-minute or 2-hour episodes! I think that’s because I just recently happened to catch both the Johnny Cash and Leonard Nimoy appearances in the wee hours of my insomniac cable-surfing! If I’m looking to what’s happening now, I am excited about the bold and compelling stories being told through the limited series or anthology series formats, like Big Little Lies and Sinner or True Detective, and also woman-helmed productions from powerhouses like Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon, Ava Duvernay, Gina Rodriguez, and others with whom I would love to work. I relish the opportunity to explore a variety of character types, from sensitive and soulful to sinister and dark to quirky and offbeat.

TITL: How did you hear about the audition for the role of Soren in Captain Marvel and did you consider/audition for any other parts? What can you recall of your audition itself? 

SB: The audition for the role of Soren came through my rep, and there was actually very little information provided at that time as far as the project and the character, and even the surrounding storyline. There was no dialogue in the audition scene, all I was given was a couple of sentences generically describing a complex scenario, so I had to create an emotional arc just using that information. It was an exciting challenge to bring a scene like that to life; in some ways more challenging than having lots of dialogue to prepare!

TITL: As a huge fan of Marvel, how does it feel to now be a part of such a huge and globally loved, brand/Universe? 

SB: As an MCU and Stan Lee fan and as an actor, it still feels a bit surreal, and I think I will always be over-the-moon giddy about it. Being in such a special role and compelling scenes, and in particular to be part of a Marvel movie that has its own landmark qualities — first female superhero lead in a Marvel movie, first female director in the MCU — is especially rewarding and meaningful as it relates to my Bald Is Beautiful message to empower women to find and define their strength, courage, beauty, and the womanity of it all!

TITL: Do you have any favorite moments or memories from your time on set that you can share? 

SB: Every moment on set for this shoot is a favorite memory for me! Genuinely! Of course, connecting and working with Ben and Brie in particular was a joy. They both have an ease and warmth that helped make the scenes feel present and relatable. Also, I adored working with Auden and Harriet as my daughter. I’d never worked with children that young who therefore had to shoot in alternating shifts, so working with the two of them was fascinating, both personally – I’m an identical twin myself – and as an actor!

TITL: Captain Marvel is smashing it at the box office on both sides of the Atlantic. Aside from the fact it’s a Marvel film, and has huge support behind it for that reason alone, what do you think it is about this film that fans and critics are loving so much? 

SB: I think the wide appeal of Captain Marvel comes from a few different angles for existing fans and newcomers alike. There is the nostalgia of the ’90s setting, the boldness of the futuristic sci-fi elements, the engaging action sequences and cool visual effects, and the combination of humor and heart. The fierceness and power of the feminine underpinning the movie at its core gives the movie an added layer of appeal not only for female viewers, but also speaks to male viewers – younger and older – in showing how balance and respect help us all rise to our highest potential.

TITL: The film has been championed by many for the way in which it – and Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers – empowers women, reminding them that they are just as strong and capable as any man. Given the recent MeToo movement and all the attention around the way women are treated in the business, just how important and timely do you think the film and this message is? 

SB: The messages of this film have always been important. The timeliness of it comes from the renewed groundswell of momentum and awareness for issues that impact women all over the world, and people are more activated and engaged in the social and political significance of it all. I like to think that the worldwide theatrical release of Captain Marvel occurring on International Women’s Day was both purposeful and magical!

TITL: Away from acting, you founded the organization Bald Is Beautiful after successfully beating ovarian cancer, with the platform helping to raise awareness and support charities and programs. Given that 1 in 2 of us will be affected by cancer in our lifetime, would you like to see more people in the spotlight, and those affected by cancer and other such diseases, speak out in support of those people and organizations working tirelessly to help beat it? What can people do if they want to get involved with Bald Is Beautiful? 

SB: Actually, my acting work began specifically as part of my Bald Is Beautiful organization’s message. It is the visual component of engaging the print, TV, and film industries in expanding how beauty and femininity are depicted. There are many ways to be of support of people and organizations in the cancer trenches, and everyone has their own comfort level with sharing about what is a very private, intimate experience, be it their own or that of a loved one going through cancer treatment. My main hope, then, is that those who do have visibility or are in a position of influence use that platform in whatever ways they feel willing or able.

As far as involvement with Bald Is Beautiful, I always invite people to share my site www.baldisbeautiful.org with anyone for whom they think it can be of comfort, inspiration, resource, encouragement, and hope.

TITL: How do you feel about social media and the impact it can and does have on industries/professions such as yours both personally and professionally? Do you think we as a society are too attached to the likes of Twitter and Facebook or is it simply another tool that for the most part is beneficial to people and projects looking to reach an audience?

SB: As with most technological advancements, there are pros and cons to what those developments bring to our personal or professional lives. It seems to always depend on the users and their intent. Social media can be refreshingly connective, and in some ways it can certainly level the field of play in terms of self-generating and disseminated our art. It can save cost and time, while also eat away at that precious time, because so many people are getting lost in their devices and not engaging with humanity and nature that abounds and surrounds us. It’s vital to have a sense of awareness around both the benefits and potential pitfalls, and be mindful about it all.

TITL: Actors often have very demanding schedules what with filming and press tours etc. How do you unwind after a busy period or hectic filming schedule? 

SB: I cherish spending time with people who are dear to me. I equally appreciate times of quiet solitude to decompress. Exercising is a form of release and reinvigoration that I do often – daily if possible – including the gym, hiking, going for a bike ride or just walking around the neighborhood. I also thoroughly enjoy diving into a Law & Order marathon! I’ve probably seen every episode, most of them more than once, but it doesn’t matter . . . that show, original and SVU, is a sort of mental “soul food” for me.

TITL: Are there any upcoming projects in the pipeline you can tell me about? 

SB: I have a couple of exciting things in development and, in the meantime, continue with the Hollywood hustle of auditioning and “working out” in classes, and enjoying Life!

TITL: What advice would you give to any aspiring actors and actresses out there who are looking to make their way in the industry? Is there any advice you were once given that you would pass on?

SB: I would encourage aspiring actors to understand both the creative and the business side of the industry. Take classes, connect with other actors, do the discipline and work to hone their acting skills. And then . . . live life! One of my acting teachers stressed the importance of living a full life in order to be a full, embodied, and authentic actor and human being. That insight still holds true for me, and I strive to do that in some way every day.

TITL: Finally then, looking to the future, what’s the long-term ambition for you, both personally and professionally?

SB: Professionally speaking, I hope to continue building my acting repertoire and I’m excited about all the possibilities of what’s to come. The same goes for Bald Is Beautiful and reaching more people through this medium of TV and film work or in other ways. Personally, I hope to maintain good health, enjoy my relationships, and overall continue learning and evolving — mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – and experience unconditional joy and love in all areas of life.

Captain Marvel is in cinemas everywhere now. For more information on and to keep up to date with Sharon Blynn, follow her on Twitter. Header photo credit: Alexis Dickey.

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CEO FIELDS UNVEILS THE VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE “DIVIDENDS” 0 50

Ambition is a powerful thing and perhaps no-one in the music industry knows this better than CEO Fields. As he struggled to find his path in life, he endured several months of hardship that including having to live out of his car, but he never once stopped believing that he would get to where he wanted to go.

Fast forward a few years later and Fields had launched his own business and made several wise investments meaning he had the positive and comfortable life he had strived for, but he wasn’t done. Wanting to combine his financial knowledge with his passion for music, he embarked on a music career which continues to go from strength to strength. Following hot on the heels of his previous single “Yours”, Fields has now dropped “Dividends”, and ThisIsTheLatest are delighted to premiere its video.

Asked about the creative process regarding the video, Fields says:

“Dividends was another high energy shoot with my bros. I rented out the office building of a tech company down in the OC for this one, where the vibe is a bit different from the one in LA, a little more relaxed. I hired two of the most beautiful IG models I could connect with and made it a super vibe when the drinks and snacks came through. It was definitely one of my more favorite shots, really just homies being silly and enjoying the moment.”

Check out “Dividends” below and for more information on CEO Fields, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

FAB THE DUO TALK “I WANT A MAN”, SOCIAL MEDIA & FUTURE PLANS 0 31

Fab The Duo aren’t your average band. The pair, Greg and Brendan, first met on Tinder, became a couple and then, realising they had similar musical ambitions, united to share those ambitions and passions with the world. They recently released their version of Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” and have dropped the video for their latest single “I Want A Man”, which features two stars of Broadway. With a growing following of fans, or “Fabbits” behind them and having enjoyed an incredibly good year so far, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Fab The Duo to talk upcoming performances, favourite artists and plans for 2020.

TITL: What would you say most makes the two of you work as a duo?

Fab The Duo: We honestly have no idea, but it’s probably because we’re so opposite from each other. Our personalities could not be more different but we both bring something unique to the table. Above all else, we love and trust each other completely. 

TITL: What would you each say the other brings to the music you make?

FTD: We’re pretty much Yin and Yang. In performance, Greg brings the big rock baritone while Brendan brings the smooth pop tenor. In terms of the songwriting process, Brendan writes a lot of the songs and then Greg arranges them to make the music alive.

TITL: Has music always been the career goal for you both or were there other paths you considered at some point?

FTD: Yes, but we’ve both considered a career as actors as well.

TITL: Which four bands or artists – two each – might you say most influenced and inspired by? What do each of those artists bring in terms of their impact on the music you make?

FTD: For Greg, it’s Harry Styles and Pink. For Brendan, it’s Green Day and Elton John. All of these artists are glam, genre-bending, and never afraid to speak their minds. 

TITL: You’ve just released a cover of Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts.” What is it about the song that made you choose it out of the thousands available to you? 

FTD: Lizzo is our favorite artist right now. She is always unapologetically herself – she is a big black woman who is not afraid to be big and black. Her message is inspiring and her songs are all bops. She is “100 percent that bitch”. We’ve had requests to cover “Truth Hurts” for a while, and it feels good to make that song our own while still respecting Lizzo. Plus, her fans are called “Lizzbians” while our fans are called “Fabbits” so we’d definitely get along. 

TITL: You’ve also got a new single out called “I Want A Man.” Is there a particular story behind it?

FTD: Growing up gay can be lonely and isolating. There were very few examples of happy gay couples in the media and in our lives, to the point that it seemed like having a real relationship was impossible. We know there are a lot of LGBT people who are feeling this way, and we wanted to write a song letting them know that we’ve been there. 

TITL: The video features two stars of Broadway, Ez Menas, who will also soon be seen on the big screen in West Side Story, and his girlfriend Gaby Gamache. How did you come to meet and work with the pair and can you talk me through the concept for the video and its creative process?

FTD: Greg met Ez Menas at a 54 Below show. We wanted to show a happy queer couple dancing together and Ez and Gaby couldn’t have been more perfect. As they are both better dancers than either of us could ever dream of being, we let them create their own choreography for the most part. The result was authentic, genuine, and beautiful. 

TITL: There are so many great and classic songs out there, spanning several decades, but if you had to choose which, in your opinion, is the greatest ever written, which track would it be? 

FTD: “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It’s a masterpiece, and to this day no other song compares to its epicness. It is quite possibly the best song ever written. 

TITL: Are there plans for an EP or album in the near future?

FTD: Absolutely! We’re already working on our next single and you can expect an EP from us this spring. 

TITL: Do you have any performance or tour plans in the works? Where in the world would you most like to play? 

FTD: We have a big New Year’s Eve show coming up at The Bitter End. Our dream would be to do a Pride tour this summer, performing at all the important Pride events across the world. 

TITL: Although critics often have considerable say/impact on the success of an artist through their comments and reviews, do you pay much attention to what they say, or are you someone more concerned with the thoughts and opinions of their fans instead; the people who listen to and support you because they want to and not because they have to or are paid to do so? 

FTD: Due to the fact that we’re openly gay and not afraid to express ourselves in unique ways, we know that not everyone is going to like us. We’re a lot, and you’re probably either going to love us or hate us. However, we are always blown away by the love and support of our fans and supporters, our “Fabbits”. 

TITL: What’s the nicest/best thing someone could say/write about you and your music? 

FTD: That we’re changing history. We heard LGBT activist and influencer Ari Fitz give a talk at a YouTube Pride event the other day, and they said that queer history is being made every day. There is no one out there like us, so we’re in uncharted territory. To be recognized as helping shape queer history would be the most amazing thing in the world. 

TITL: Given that you met on Tinder and how reliant so many of us are on technology and in particular social media, are you big Twitter/Facebook users? Do you believe it’s at all possible for bands and artists to achieve success without being socially interactive these days? 

FTD: To be successful as a band in 2019 you have to be constantly on social media. Our favorite platform is Instagram but we’ve been working on staying engaged on Facebook and Twitter. What is cool about social media is how one can gain fans from all over the world. Some of our fans who follow us on socials live in countries where it’s still illegal to be gay, so being able to connect online can really make a difference. 

TITL: Finally then, with the end of the year fast approaching, what might you say have been your top three moments of the year, and how do you plan to ‘top’ them come 2020? 

FTD: 2019 has been a year of incredible highs and lows. This year we both had the opportunity to play shows in our hometowns, and to come back home after having grown so much was a wonderful feeling. Our single release show at The Cutting Room, with a full 9-piece band, was also pretty damn incredible. Oh and performing at Austin Pride? Pretty damn cool. In terms of “topping” 2019, we’re expanding our team, recording the rest of the EP, and planning some big tours. 2020 is going to top 2019 so hard! 

Check out the video for “I Want A Man” below and for more information on Fab The Duo, visit their website, give their page a like on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.