Kids Page: My Celebrity Dinner Date

Sources: NJ.com | Edited By – All Things Michael

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Some kids were asked to name a famous person they would eat dinner with. Michael was listed as a favorite as well as others.  The kids gave some very funny and very impressive answers.

If I could have dinner with one famous person dead or alive, it would be Michael Jackson. I chose this person because I like his music. 
Russell Hyland 
Franklin Township School
Grade 2

I would have dinner with Michael Jackson because he was a good musician. He was good at making songs and dancing. 
Kelsey Thompson
Spruce Run School
Grade 1

Of course I would want to have dinner with a famous person, that famous person would be Michael Jackson. I chose Michael Jackson because he made a song I thought I would never hear. And that song is Scream. And he made cool dance moves that I can’t do or other people can’t do.

Next we would go to an awesome restaurant. The food there would be so awesome everything would taste like tater tots. The place would be so beautiful it would look like a beautiful waterfall. Lastly we would have so much fun. We would dance, laugh and sing together. Finally I would sing with Michael Jackson and have fun with a famous person.
Ava Mcdougall
Round Valley School
Grade 6

Other mentionables:

If I could have dinner with any famous person it would be me! No just kidding it would be The President of the United States of America, Yep! That’s who, I could look all around the White House, I would like to play bowling. We would have pancakes for dinner and cake for dessert. I would stay all night. 
Madilyn Thompson
Franklin Township School
Grade 3

I would like to have dinner with Helen Keller! She grew up in the early 1900’s, blind and deaf. Helen Keller learned how to read, type, and even speak. She helped so many people who were blind learn how to live a normal life. It would be great to sit down to dinner to meet such a unique person!
Rachel Meza
Copper Hill School
Grade 4

Jack the Pumpkin King because he’s skinny and needs to eat. 
Sophia Roman
Spruce Run School
Kindergarten

I want to have dinner with President Lincoln because he is very important. He stopped our country from splitting in half. 
Erin McCool
Spruce Run School
Grade 1

If I could have one famous person have dinner with me, it would be Leonardo DaVinci. He would teach me about the ancient scientist ways I would also like to learn to make astronomically incredible gadgets. I would like to learn from this master. I wonder if he was as mysterious as the Mona Lisa!. 
Bennett Fog
Copper Hill School
Grade 4

I would have dinner with Jeff Foxworthy. Jeff Foxworthy is one of my favorite comedians, and I know that dinner with him would probably consist of some kind of wild game. I think that Jeff Foxworthy is as funny as a squirrel falling out of a tree, and I like the fact that he is an outdoorsman also. Not only does he hunt, but he has a hunting show on TV, and can sustain a good food source by hunting. That is why I would like to have dinner with Jeff Foxworthy.
Austin Tarby
Franklin Township School
Grade 8

I would like to have dinner with Walt Disney! I would ask him if he rode any rides at Disney World. I would tell him that I love Disney World and thank him for making it!
Leah Ciarlante
Patrick McGaheran School
Grade 2

The person I would have dinner with would be George Washington. I want to meet George Washington because I want to know how he fought in the Revolutionary War and crossed the Delaware River. He made it possible so the USA would be free from England.
Ian Grenda
Patrick McGaheran School
Grade 2

If I could pick anyone in the world that I would have dinner with it would be the creator of Legos. The reasons why are because ever since I was a child I have been in love with Legos and I thought they were really fun to build. Another reason is that I think it would be really nice to get to know him. Also, he could help fix some of my Legos. I wish I could have dinner with him just once.
Sean Agaronin
Patrick McGaheran School
Grade 3

 

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Talent Show Video Helps Teen Land The Role Of Michael Jackson

Sources: MY San Antonio – By Jeff B Flynn | Edited By – All Things Michael

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While his classmates are busy picking out Halloween costumes, Nathaniel Cullors is busy slipping into his costumes. But his garments aren’t for a holiday — they are for Broadway.

Nathaniel, 13, an eighth-grader at Kitty Hawk Middle School, is starring in the Broadway production of “Motown the Musical,” where he plays roles as young Barry Gordy, young Stevie Wonder and young Michael Jackson.

Nathaniel landed the role after a pair of auditions earlier this year. His mother, Fredrecia Cullors, found out that “Motown” was holding auditions.

Nathaniel has been in commercials before, and even had a role in a movie, “The Red Cape.” His mother inquired about parts in the “Motown” production through the talent agency that handles Nathaniel’s appearances.

“They said, ‘You can send a video in,’ so I sent in Nathaniel’s sixth-grade talent show video, ‘Who’s Loving You,’ by the Jackson Five,” Cullors said. “In literally seven minutes, the agent called back. He had the casting director for ‘Motown’ on the other line, and he wanted to know if we could come to New York.”

In February, the day after Super Bowl XLVIII, Nathaniel arrived in New York City and was one of four boys to sing for Barry Gordy and his creative team.

“They were looking for people for the tour, the traveling show … unfortunately, they only picked one,” his mother said. “They said they really liked him, and would keep him on file.”

In April, Nathaniel was invited to take part in the four-day Michael Jackson Boys Camp in Chicago. “It was like another audition; four boys, and they taught them choreography, they went over the songs, and one day was strictly voice lessons.

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“When we were leaving, they were offering him a one-day contract, in New York City. He was the top replacement for either the tour or New York,” she said. “Then, in May, they called and said they wanted him to come to New York.”

June 25 was his first performance. Motown is staged at the 1,501-seat Lunt Fontanne Theateron West 46th Street in the Theater District. The show runs through Jan. 18.

“Who’s Loving You” is Nathaniel’s favorite song to perform. “It’s the moment where Michael Jackson had his audition, and it reminds me of when I was auditioning, in that little auditioning room for all those people.”

He first hit the stage as young Barry Gordy, a moment he said he’ll never forget.

“There’s a number right before the scene I have to go out for. They take their bows after their number, and as soon as they hit the downbeat for that, my stomach just kind of dropped. I was like, ‘Uh-oh,’ but all I can remember is how confident I was,” he said.

There are eight “Motown The Musical” performances each week, but child labor laws keep his participation to two nights each week and a Sunday matinee. He is tutored, as are his brother,Demetrius 16, a junior at Judson High School, and his sister, Steffanie, 8, a student at Rolling Meadows Elementary.

He and his parents, Demetrius and Fredrecia Cullors, and the family live in New Jersey and take the bus into NYC each day for rehearsals and shows.

Being on stage takes a lot of getting used to, but Nathaniel said he’s had no problems making the adjustment.

“I like to see the audience. I get nervous when I don’t see them,” he said. “The light hits you, so you can see the first two rows, but behind that, it’s darkness.

 

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Thousands Gather For Lexington’s Annual Recreation Of Michael Jackson’s Thriller Short Film

Sources: Kentucky.com – By Jack Brammer | Edited By – All Things Michael

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On a dark but not stormy Sunday night, 1,000 zombies danced in the streets of downtown Lexington.

An estimated 20,000 observers gasped and groaned as they watched the Thriller Parade, the fright night spectacular that USA Today calls a Top 10 Halloween destination in the United States.

It was the 13th annual re-creation of Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video. The 13-minute video, voted the most influential pop music video of all time, premiered on MTV on Dec. 2, 1983, and has become a cult favorite.

After a Halloween parade that featured 15 entries ranging from Ghostbusters to a Day of the Dead altar float and a host of ghosts, ghouls, superheroes, villains and other costumed characters, seven Michael Jackson imitators led the army of “zombies” down the Main Street.

There were seven people impersonating Michael during the parade

There were seven people portraying Michael Jackson during the parade

The “zombies” included Judy Bongard of Lexington with her 12-year-old nephew, Nick Stecht of Erlanger, and a niece, Olivia Neltner of Newport.

Bongard said she was enjoying her fourthThriller. It was a first-time experience for her relatives.

Judy Bongard said her daughter did their makeup.

“It’s fun,” Bongard said. “Michael Jackson was my age. “I loved his ABC‘s song with The Jackson 5.”

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Before the parade began, “doctor zombie” Eryn Dailey and “cowgirl zombie” Calista Case, 10, both of Lexington lay in pseudo slumber in front of the Metro Government Center.

Although the evening’s zombies were told to grunt, not talk, Dailey said that in real life she is Calista’s nanny. “This is a chance for us to laugh together and have good girl talk,” she said.

Among those in the large crowd were Doug and Kirsten Winkler of Winchester.

They were celebrating their third wedding anniversary in a Beetlejuice sort of way.

“We love Halloween, so we thought we had to go to our first Thriller,” he said.

The event was a ghastly production of Lexington Parks and Recreation, Mecca Live Studio and WRFL, the University of Kentucky’s student-run FM radio station.

 

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Manchester And Jackson: Two Debtors In Neverland

Sources: San Diego Reader – By Matt Potter | All Things Michael

The late pop superstar Michael Jackson, celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, and U-T San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester don’t appear to have that much in common.

Now, however, they share a famous source of cash — Los Angeles distressed-lending king Thomas Barrack, billionaire proprietor of Colony Capital, who got a law degree in 1972 from the University of San Diego.

On October 24, Manchester’s paper announced that his long-proposed convention hotel in Austin, Texas, believed by many to have been stalled by issues of financing, is finally going to break ground.

“The combined equity contribution of the developer and the financing from Colony Capital will allow construction to get under way Nov. 3,” said the story. “Colony is a private international investment firm that has made investments in some 4,300 hotels in more than 100 countries.”

The piece continued with a quote from Barrack:

“‘Having had the privilege of working with both “Papa” Doug Manchester and the Manchester Group for over a decade, we see this as a continuation of a great and valued relationship,’ Thomas J. Barrack Jr., CEO and founder of Colony Capital, said in a prepared statement. ‘We are looking forward to yet again working with “Papa” Doug, his son Doug and Fairmont [Hotels] in the dynamic, growing city of Austin.’”

In what other ventures Barrack has worked with Manchester was not disclosed, nor were details of the Texas hotel’s financing, but the Colony chief has long made a name for himself by bailing out so-called distressed celebrities. In November 2008, he took over the financially troubled Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

“Barrack built his fortune making deals, and in some ways, Neverland began as just another one—a contrarian bet on a troubled asset, an operating business backed by real estate,” wrote New York Magazine in October 2010 .

“Only in this case, the operating business was a person. Colony would bail Jackson out of his substantial debt; in return, the firm would assume ownership of Neverland, and Jackson, after a thirteen-year hiatus, would go back to work to generate new revenue.”

According to the piece, “The inaugural Colony transactions mined the S&L crisis by buying packages of bad loans from the FDIC at bargain prices….

“As a rule, Barrack is drawn to distressed situations. One of the adages in a list of ‘rules for success’ that he sometimes distributes to employees is ‘befriend the bewildered.’ And when you start applying the thought process of a vulture investor to pop culture, suddenly the world can seem dizzy with opportunity.”

In the case of celebrity photographer Leibovitz, Barrack came up with a $40 million bailout. “Leibovitz got the rights to her photographs back; in typical Colony fashion, her real estate would serve as the collateral on the new loan,” the story says.

“Whereas her previous lender was set to make money foreclosing on a loan gone bad, Barrack saw profit potential in facilitating a longer-term turnaround.”

According to his online biography, “Mr. Barrack also served in the Reagan administration as Deputy Undersecretary of the Department of the Interior.”

What all this means for Manchester, a San Diego political celebrity of sorts, remains to be seen. The Republican kingpin is reportedly wrestling with the notion, initiated by local financier and real estate mogul Malin Burnham, of donating the U-T to a non-profit foundation, which would run the paper, trying to wring whatever profits can be had from the diminishing operation.

But giving up the paper would evaporate much of the real estate and hotel mogul’s political clout when he is still battling the state California Coastal Commission over plans to develop a massive office and commercial complex on Navy-owned land at the foot of Broadway.

Whether or not the U-T is currently running in the black is unknown, but a distressed asset moneyman such as Barrack could ultimately turn out to be a key Manchester friend in need.

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Here’s Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ Sung In 20 Different Styles In 5 Minutes

Sources: Billboard – By Joe Lynch | All Things Michael

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What if we told you someone could perform Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” in 20 different styles in less than 5 minutes? Would you scoff and say, “It can’t be done”?

Probably not, because you’ve likely encountered the viral sensation 10 Second Songs aka Anthony Vincent before (his take on viral Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” as Kurt Cobain, Frank Sinatra and others was classic).

Now, just in time for Halloween, Vincent has reimagined the spookiest pop song in history (sorry, “Monster Mash”). While doing dead-on impressions of everyone from Stevie Wonder to Ozzy Osbourne to Busta Rhymes to Jack Skellington fromNightmare Before Christmas, Vincent performs “Thriller” start-to-finish in nearly two dozen styles.

You kinda have to see it to believe it. Because as Casper the Ghost (the movie) once said, “Seeing is believing.”

 

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Top Ten Tracks To Listen To When Feeling Poorly (Poll)

Sources: Daily Mail | Edited By – All Things Michael

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Forget paracetamol or honey and lemon. Listening to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is the best way to feel better when unwell, according to a new survey.

As part of a new poll, almost 90 per cent of people agreed that listening to a good tune can make people feel better when they are sick or facing difficult times.

More than 80 per cent said that in the past, music had made them personally feel better when they were sick or feeling low.

Bohemian Rhapsody, from British rock band Queen, is the nation’s favourite song for listening to when struck down by illness, or the blues, the poll revealed.

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The 1975 hit is almost six minutes long and moves through several sections, including a ballad segment ending in a guitar solo, an opera passage and a hard rock section.

It was written by lead singer Freddie Mercury for the band’s Night at the Opera album, the most expensive single ever made at the time it was recorded.

Out of a choice of ten songs, Bohemian Rhapsody was the most popular for male Britons (29 per cent) but was less popular among women (23 per cent)

Dancing Queen by Abba came second, as it was the most popular song for women (28 per cent).

Only 16 per cent of men named the Swedish pop group’s 1976 hit as their favourite.

Pharrell Williams’ 2013 hit Happy – which was number one in 25 countries – came joint third with ‘classical music’ generally.

The upbeat soul track was most popular for younger people aged 18 – 34 (30 per cent), while classical music (39 per cent) and Dancing Queen (31 per cent ) were voted most popular for over-65s.

Almost 70 per cent of people agreed they like to listen to music when they don’t feel well, and only 36 per cent said they prefer listening to speech than music when they don’t feel well.

Other favourite  tracks include Let it Be by the Beatles, Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and Angels by Robbie Williams.

Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, Elvis Presley’s The Wonder of You and Frank Sinatra’s My Way were also a favorite.

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The ComRes survey – of 1,000 people – was carried out to mark the BBC’s Faith in the World Week whose theme this year is the ‘healing power of music’.

Previous research has found that listening to sad but beautiful songs by the likes of Johnny Cash or Leonard Cohen can also help you beat the blues.

University of Kent psychologists found that depressed or sad people prefer to listen to beautiful music that triggers important memories, and choosing music identified as ‘beautiful’ was the only way to stop them feeling glum.

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Young Dancers’ Recreation Of Video Routine Is A Real Thriller

Sources: Kent Online – By  Lewis Dyson | All Things Michael

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Do you Remember the Time 203 dancers blamed it on the boogie and performed Michael Jackson’s Thriller routine at Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey? It wasn’t Bad.

Adults and children from across Swale recreated the iconic ‘80s music video at the school’s site in Minster Road, Minster, last Wednesday.

Sixth-form dance students Fleur White and Demi Planson came up with the idea to showcase the talents of local youngsters and engage the community as part of a Youth Dance Platform Project.

Children from Eastchurch, St Edward’s, St George’s, Richmond Academy and Elliott Park learned the steps in their own schools and joined the final performance dressed as zombies.

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Entertainment was provided by a staff band, Star Academy Stage School from Sittingbourne and year 13 pupil Jordan King who warmed up the audience with a drum solo.

Mayor of Swale, Cllr George Bobbin and mayoress, Brenda Bobbin, verified the number of people taking part and helped to judge the best costumes.

Alongside the dancers, a further 200 members of the public attended the evening.

Head of dance, Chantelle Crofsky, said: “I am so proud of what we created. I have had the pleasure of working with a talented team of staff and students at the academy who together have created a thrilling and inspiring event.

“We were delighted that five primary schools were able to join us and it was a pleasure to have danced with so many talented and enthusiastic children.”

A total of £250 was raised for the Swale Youth Development Fund through donations and fundraising ideas created by candidates from last year’s Academy Apprentice competition.

Students Abbie Jane Barnes, Keely Smith, Kacy Brend, Keely Riches, Ocean Ratcliffe, Ivanna Aitkin-Thompsett, Caitlin Claringbold, Maddison Drake-Barnett and Chelsey Claringbold looked after the guess the weight of the cake, bobbing apples, hide ‘n’ shriek, lucky dip and raffle stalls.

Executive principal David Millar said: “How wonderful to see so many of our community come together to have fun and raise money for charity.

“The standards of costume and dancing were excellent and everyone had such a great time. Thank you to everyone involved – I can’t wait for next year.”

The academy is looking to create a collage and film about the night and anyone who took photographs or videos can email them to: thrilltheisland@oasisisleofsheppey.org.

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Vinyl Halloween Figurines

Sources: The Mary Sue – By Carolyn Cox | All Things Michael

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A Large Evil Corporation previously gave us Cornetto Trilogy figurines and a vinyl Jareth the Goblin King, but they have really outdone themselves with this Halloween set. Click through for a pocket-sized zombie Michael Jackson, Carrie, and dancing Christopher Walken. If you dare!

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