Mikki Jay: Living Her Dream

Sources: The New Indian Express – By Aditi R | All Things Michael


CHENNAI: Six years after Michael Jackson’s death (on June 25, 2009), Mikki Jay, one of his most popular impersonators, enthralled the audience by paying tribute to the late king of pop at the Phoenix City Mall in Chennai on Saturday. This was the first time Mikki visited the city, and she seemed all thrilled about it.

Dream Come True

Performing in India is a dream come true for me. The outpour of love from fans has been wonderful. Unfortunately, I am here just for two days. So what I’ve seen has been limited. But everything I have seen, I loved wholeheartedly. The people of India are very loving and special. I hope to come back to India in future. Hopefully next time, I’ll be able to spend a bit more time in this wonderful country, and absorb more of the culture and cuisine here.

Time Crunch

I am in Chennai for just a day. The schedule involves a lot of flights and travelling. I flew in from England, did a show in Bengaluru, flew here in the morning, performed in the night and I am flying back to England tomorrow morning.

The Turning Point

I have been listening to MJ’s music since I was a toddler. I was entranced by his music and magical energy. I was about 12 years old when I decided that I wanted to be like him, but had no direction. One day when I was at work (as a biologist), I realised that I wanted something else. So I quit my job, told my family about it and went ahead, pursuing my dreams. They were stunned for a moment, but were very positive when they saw how serious I was. They have encouraged me ever since.


Getting Fans Hysterical

Initially, whenever I visited people, or performed in front of them, their reactions took me by surprise. It happens even now. For example, a few days ago, after my performance in Bengaluru, I went to an orphanage to donate books. The kids there went hysterical, as they thought I was Michael Jackson. Even though people know that I am Mikki J and not MJ, they enjoy my performance, as they are Michael’s songs. It is actually wonderful to know that MJ’s persona and music continues to live on.

Face-to-Face with MJ

He was very very sweet. Usually not many are comfortable having impersonators, but he was different. In one of my earlier performances in the 90s, he came backstage and congratulated me and told me to keep going. That was probably the best moment of my life. Since then, I have also performed with him a couple of times, he is just great. If I were able to talk to him now, I would show him all of the positive effects his charity and humanitarianism still had on the world today, and that his love helped so many people.

Bitten by MJ Bug

It is tough to replicate anything that Michael does. When you learn Michael’s dance moves, it’s not just learning the move that is important, but also adding his character and energy. Every Michael song is special, but I am a big fan of Keep The Faith from the Dangerous album. Michael has hundreds of songs and I have performed many of them, including a performance for Michael himself, which was the best performance of my life.

Message for Youngsters

While one must always follow one’s heart, one must also be absolutely sure about what one wants to do. Don’t become an impersonator just because people around are doing it. But if you truly want to, go for it. There is no harm.


Read more here

Award Winning Nail Artist Kirsty Meakin Talks About How Michael Jackson Has Been The Biggest Inspiration In Her Life

Source: Stoke Sentinel


“YOU made me who I am from the words you sang”. Kirsty Meakin’s tattoo reflects the importance she places on Michael Jackson, the man who, when the pressure was on to conform, to give in to the bullying, to blend, spirit crushed, into the background, encouraged her to be herself – to be different.

Jackson has been a constant source of inspiration to Kirsty. As a girl, his lyrics would both console and cajole.

When she was miles from home, partaking in some of the toughest competitions, his picture sat on her table.

And in her constant urge to change direction, his inventiveness was the exemplar she followed.

No wonder then that when he died four years ago, her first instinct was to jump on the next plane and head for LA.

“Michael’s a massive inspiration for me,” she says. “Without him, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”


The person she is can be best described as one of the leading nail artists in the world.

And ‘artist’ is the right word, for in this miniaturised arena she daily creates images that would grace a canvas a thousand times bigger.

Kirsty’s worked with the world’s top fashion designers, astounded TV hosts, and her Burslem base groans under the weight of 100 trophies. Not bad for a 35-year-old mum-of-two who uncovered her creative prowess on a Youth Training Scheme.

Heading back almost two decades, nail art wasn’t the big business it is now.

Back then, most women, for example, wouldn’t dream of having a bespoke Christmas scene painted across five fingers before they headed to the works do. But as Kirsty’s reputation grew, working the salons, so did that of the industry.

Nail art is now as familiar a part of supermarket fare as the baked bean. And to be top of the tree really is quite something.

Kirsty’s leap into the big time came when she began entering international nail art competitions, a world she encountered in typically off-the-wall fashion.

“I was doing a theatrical course at Stoke-on-Trent College,” she says, “and I was doing a lot of body art. I’d enter these body painting competitions and I’d just wipe the floor with everyone!

“I had this idea of combining it with the nail art, the whole all over look – basically all they’d be wearing would be nipple covers, and a thong.

“I suppose I got renowned for being a bit different – for thinking outside the box.”

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Having started off with lower end British competitions, Kirsty’s talents were unleashed across the globe, from the U.S. to Finland, not easy when you’re a single mum – Kirsty has two young children, Allycia, aged eight, and Cassidy, four.

“Time away from them isn’t easy,” she says, “but it’s beneficial in the long run.”

Nowadays, having stepped back from competition, she still travels abroad. Forever looking to improve her business, she’s developed her own range of high quality yet time-saving nail products, manufactured in China, another rapidly growing part of the market.

Kirsty recently revealed her knowledge and prowess in Hong Kong, and when she travelled to Shanghai, was able to take her children with her.

“That was great,” she says, “for them to see what I do, and to see the world as well.

“So much of what I do is about them – building for the future, so there’s something there for them when I’m old – even when I’ve gone!

“I haven’t had an easy life,” she adds. “Everything hasn’t come to me easily. I’ve had to work hard for what I’ve got.

“I don’t know what my children will do when they grow up but I hope I have shown them what’s possible if you try your best at something you’re good at.”

But setting a simple example that it’s OK to be yourself is as important to her as anything.

“I feel like I wasn’t allowed to have a lot of self expression at school,” says Kirsty, who grew up in Packmoor. “The idea was everybody should be the same.

“But I think, within reason, it’s important to allow children to be different, and not to force them to be somebody else, to stifle individuality like that.

“It’s amazing how many people you hear who were told they wouldn’t amount to anything at school. That can’t be right. Hopefully it’s changed.

“Surely it should be about finding what children are good at and encouraging them.”

One thing’s for sure, having long since slipped such shackles, Kirsty’s not one to hold back on letting the world know her true character now.

“The fact I’ve got lots of tattoos,” she says, “that’s about self expression. I enjoy the reaction I get from looking different, where it takes you, the people you meet.”


Michael Jackson, then, was an obvious idol – a superstar who revelled in being different like no other.

“He has played a huge part in my life,” Kirsty reflects. “From a very early age, I had an obsession with him – he just connected with me like no-one else.”

During competitions, she’d keep a photo of the singer on her desk for luck.

“Those things can be pretty tough,” she admits, “the most stress I’ve ever encountered in my life. Everybody has such high expectations – the positive side of which as a nail artist is it really helps to make you better.

“Having his picture there would keep me going when it got tough.”

Inevitably, Jackson’s untimely death hit her hard.

“I got on the next flight to LA,” she says. “All those ‘crazy’ Michael Jackson fans and there I was as well!

“I’m glad I did it – I just found it hugely comforting to be there.”

She added the ‘MJ’ sign from the singer’s Dangerous album to her tattoo collection, as well as the aforementioned quote – all part of managing her grief.

“It felt like losing a very close family member,” she says. “Thankfully, I had a lot of support from those close to me. It was a great loss to the world – he inspired so many people.”


Thankfully, the ups of recent times outweigh the downs.

Kirsty was hugely honoured, in recognition of her freehand and 3D nail art skills, to be commissioned to provide a piece for the Power Of Making exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, a cabinet of curiosities ranging from a life-size crochet bear to a ceramic eye patch and gorilla coat hangers, representing “a snapshot of making in our time”.

“Even being asked was unbelievable,” she says. “I never in a million years thought I’d have something in there.

“I went down to the pre-opening and I really felt quite overwhelmed. So many amazing people – but they were so welcoming.”

To be included in the exhibition wasn’t just a personal triumph but a chance to beat the drum for her home city. “I take a lot of pride in being from Stoke-on-Trent,” she says. “Not many people even know where we are.

“I find what’s happened in the pottery industry heartbreaking. My mum worked in the potbanks and so did aunties and my granddad too – he always said I should have been a designer in a potbank.”

Kirsty’s based her business, ranging from nail products to individual sittings and tuition – she also talks at seminars and judges competitions – in the heart of Burslem, where she also lives, at the enterprise centre at Vale Park. “I love the Vale,” she says. “I’ve been coming here for 29 years. And now here I am – I even teach in the corporate boxes!”

Clients travel to enjoy Kirsty’s expertise from as far as the Isle of Wight.

Bespoke designs include anything and everything.

A dog groomer had Kirsty paint a range of canines across her nails, changed to a safari theme when she went on holiday.

Invited on to both ITV’s Daybreak and C4’s Sunday Brunch, Kirsty has also provided nails for such fashion luminaries as Vivian Westwood, Charlie Le Mindu, and Paul Smith.

The detail, in such a confined space, is barely imaginable.

“I’ve thought about doing my own paintings,” she says, “but having worked so small for so long, I’m not sure I’d be able to – even if I did have the time.

“Hopefully the eyes will be OK for a while – a few years before I need varifocals.”

And are her own nails always looking at their most tip-top? “That’s the idea,” she laughs, “but it doesn’t always happen! At the moment, one hand’s done and one isn’t.”

Ladies, relax – even the land’s leading nail artist is human.

Michael Jackson’s Legacy Continues with Moondancing In Vietnam

Source: Marketersmedia

Tu Michael was a quiet, shy kid who kept to himself. Then, upon discovering the music and dancing of Michael Jackson, he broke free of his inhibitions and is now busting moves as an internet sensation.


Hanoi, Vietnam- December 7th, 2013

For one young Vietnamese boy, the answers to these and many of life’s other big questions were found at the most unique source: the unmistakable dance moves of none other than The King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

Tu Michael began to emulate Michael Jackson’s dancing at age 11, while in the 6th grade. Three years later, he performed for the first time at his school’s English Festival. Then, while attending the Institute of International Relations, he formed a group called “Moondancers”, who began performing frequently at clubs, parties, and corporate promotional events.

Tu Michael’s story, however, is not one merely of a child who begins to dance and perform publicly. His childhood was quite different from his current stage persona. Tu grew up as “the quiet kid,” a shy young boy who lacked the confidence and motivation to do anything beyond merely attending school.

Then came the music and dancing of Michael Jackson.

The rhythm. The moves. The passion. As young Tu heard MJ sing and watched him dance, he felt a new energy course through his being. He had found inspiration, motivation, and purpose, and began to channel those feelings into his own dance moves. He has even developed his own motto, mantra he lives by:

“I am not Number One, but I will be the Only One” and “Dance by the feet, feel by the heart”


When asked about his goals, Tu Michael is quick to point out that he does not seek fame or fortune, nor does he obsess over becoming a Michael Jackson imitator. “I do not want to live my life in showbiz…I would like my story to inspire others. There are hidden talents in everyone, but you may not dare to recognize it.”

Beyond dancing, himself, Tu Michael has begun to teach others. His aim is to show students the true meaning of dancing. “It’s not about skills or technique,” he says. “It’s about the passion in dancing…it’s the spirit.”

Apparently, his students are learning very well. In 2011, a 12-year-old pupil of his named Dang Quan won the television show/competition Vietnam’s Got Talent. The hard-to-please judge akin to American Idol’s Simon Cowell, musician Huy Tuan, praised, “You convince us with your every single dance move.” Having a young student receive such a mature evaluation is a testament to Tu Michael’s “beyond technique” philosophy.

From quality standpoint, Tu Michael is not up there with the renowned Michael Jackson impersonators, nor does he claim to be.  Instead, it is Tu Michael’s normalcy, his every-man persona, that audience find most compelling.


The moves and grooves of Michael Jackson have inspired a guy in Vietnam to dance in the public eye. Then taking it a step further, the world at large is taken enough by Tu Michael’s dances and his incorporation of those into short videos, that Tu Michael has made himself into a bit of an internet sensation.

Inspired by the energy he feels when dancing, Tu Michael has taken his Moondancing to global levels via the web. After reading about making money online he stumbled upon Fiverr.com, a website that allows Sellers to do most anything for a standard fee of five dollars. Tu thought of his passion for dancing and posted a Gig stating that he would “dance like Michael Jackson for $5.” He forgot about Fiverr until, two weeks later, he received a request for his dancing Gig.

After a some revisions and a more direct sell toward commercial promotions, with extra money, Tu now offers to dance to the song of your choice (MJ or otherwise), in various costumes, in multiple settings, or even against a green screen backdrop, and offers a variety of upgrades.

Tu Michael does not perform for the money, however, whether it is a large corporate paycheck or an internet customer’s USD. By day, Tu Michael works at Vietcombank. He earns a comfortable living and has no intention of setting aside his career to pursue his Moondancing full time. But when the workday is over, you are likely to find Tu dancing to the music that has inspired him since childhood.

Only time will tell what Tu Michael’s next steps will be. For the time being, we know he will dance, teach, and spread his story, hoping that his own life experiences will inspire others. He is hopeful other “quiet kids” similar to himself will find their own passion, be it dancing, singing, or something altogether different.

Visit http://tumichael.com for more information.

Contact Info
Name: Tu Michael
Organization: Vietcombank
Phone: 084904063468
Email: tumichaelshop@gmail.com
Address: 198 Tran Quang Khai, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam

Source: http://marketersmedia.com/michael-jacksons-legacy-continues-with-moodancing-in-vietnam/27323

Thank you, dad…By Tu Michael


I remember

When I was only a small kid

My father taught me English by pointing at many colorful pictures

“Follow me, read out loud, alright?”

He taught me basic grammar and pronunciation


I remember

When I was only a small child

My timetable was full of extra-classes

English, Math, and many others

After class, it was self-study time which is instructed by my father, though


I remember his strict rule

“No meal, no break time

Until you finish it all”


I remember his strict words

 “Study well or you will become nothing than a beggar”

I remember I often wondered

“What’s the meaning of living?

To do a routine like a machine?”

I remember I often asked myself

“What’s my freedom and happiness?

Is it making my parents happy and proud by study well

Although I am bored, tired and not happy at all?”


Then came the Moondancing

I found a new world

In which I expressed my emotion to the fullest

I found a new “me”

Who was confident enough to walk in his own way


“Stop it and focus on studying!” shouted my father

And for the first time in my life

I disobeyed!


How many times had I quarreled with my father?

How many times had I ran into my room, slammed the door?

Before he passed away?..

I don’t remember…


“Prove to me, son

Prove that you can balance your life

Dancing is your PASSION, I cannot stop you, fine..

But having a job, which is as stable as possible, is your DUTY

Please, don’t earn a living by only dancing

And whatever you do, take a good care of your health

Cause you have a family to take care

As soon as I pass away”

And for the first time in my life

Totally hopeless and helpless

I cried in vain



Thanks to your strictness, I become stronger

Thanks to your words, I become more determined


I will keep that in mind

Father, look at what and how I have been doing

Once again,

I don’t know how far I may go

But one thing is certain,

I will never stop!


Rest in peace…


Tu Michael



Adminstator’s Note: Tu Michael’s story reminds me of a sign I have seen hanging at the Jackson Family Havenhurst compound: “Follow your dreams whereever they may lead.” Cutie Pie ♥


Beautiful Story: Unique Entertainer Aims To Boost Kids’ Confidence! (Video)

Source: KSL.com – By Shara Park


SALT LAKE CITY — Music, funny faces, impersonations — it’s the way one Utah man is changing how kids feel about themselves.

Entertainer Jason Hewlett travels the world making people laugh, but recently his focus shifted to helping kids.

Hewlett makes a living doing funny faces and impersonations of people like Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. He even does a great Elton John.

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Hewlett is a confident person now but that wasn’t always the case.

“I grew up in Park City and I found out I was the weird kid on the bus the very first day. Everybody kind of made fun of me because I had a big mouth, and I showed them the big mouth,” he said.

As a 5-year-old, that big mouth made Jason feel awkward and bullied. But over the years he learned to use it and other talents to make a career.

However, after December 14 , 2012, it wasn’t just about making people laugh anymore.

“When Sandy Hook happened, that just blew my mind,” he said, “thinking I have to go help kids. I have to give them a shot before they’re 5 years old and hearing a message that can actually change their life.”

Hewlett began sharing a message called Signature Moves, which helps kids find what makes them unique. He then teamed up with Johnny Covey to share a new message of getting kids out of their heads and into their hearts.

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“Instead of thinking I’m ugly, I don’t want anyone to look at me, I started (making faces). Now I was living in my heart. That’s where it came from me,” he explained.

“The feeling of being in your head is so awkward because we are awkward,” he continued. “We are so constantly concerned with what others think.”

He and Covey also connects with kids through jokes, impersonations, music and dancing. They get even the shyest kids out of their heads and into their hearts.

“By the end they realize they have a choice. They can choose to sit back in life and be stuck in their heads and never get out and make a difference, or get in their heart and dance. That’s the coolest thing in the world,” he said.

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In his own home, Hewlett lives his message, teaching his four young children to do the same.

His 7-year-old son Redford said, “We go up to people and say, ‘Do you want to be our friend?'”

“I can entertain them,” Jason Hewlett said, “and I can make them giggle. But if I’m not making them walk away with something tangible, with something they can use, what’s the point?”

See video at:  http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=27779446#aEZAbCcr0FUlYjwJ.99


Bad Breaks Can’t Keep Green Down

Source: Insider ESPN – By Tom VanHaaren


The first thing ESPN Junior 300 linebacker Chris Green (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) will tell anyone about himself is how much he loves to dance and sing. That he does a mean Ray Charles impression on the piano. That Michael Jackson was a big influence on his interest in music.

He talks about the juxtaposition and hilarity of being a big, burly linebacker in his high school’s glee club. He also gets a laugh out of the fact he’s the guy in his school’s “Lucky the Leprechaun” mascot suit for volleyball and basketball.

He doesn’t mention that he attended seven different schools from kindergarten to eighth grade, or that he had a rough childhood.

Green glosses over the fact his mother has been in prison since last November for identity theft. For a short period, he was unsure of where he would live.

“I like to keep it positive. Everyone has a story or situation, and I think mine is minor to what it could be,” said Green, who changed schools seven times between kindergarten and eighth grade. “Some people don’t have moms or dads or people that would take them into their house. My mom would always tell me that things could be worse.”

Before Green’s mother went to prison, she made sure he would have a safe home because staying with his father wasn’t an option. The first choice was Dawn Taylor, Green’s grade school counselor. Taylor had grown close with Green, but it ultimately didn’t work out.

Taylor then recommended her brother-in-law and his wife, Jeff and Ginger Duhaime, who live roughly 20 miles outside of Toledo in Perrysburg.

Green, his mother and the Duhaimes sat down and spoke about what this all meant. That Chris could be a part of the Duhaime family, but there were expectations to be met.

“We have a 10-year-old son, so that was the first question. … We wanted to make sure Chris was going to be a good role model,” Ginger said. “We welcomed him into our home because he’s a really good kid and if you meet him, you’ll know. He’s outgoing, fun, silly, bright, affectionate.”

Everyone agreed that moving in with the Duhaimes was the best plan for Chris and his future. That meant moving to their home in Perrysburg, farther away from Toledo Central Catholic, the school he grew to love.

But because he was part of the family now, he would be treated as such. The Duhaimes made sure he would still attend the same school to keep some consistency in his life.

The longer he was with the family, the closer they became and the more that Ginger and Jeff were amazed by his outlook on life and his care for others.

“He has a very good sense for right vs. wrong, even though he should have more experience with wrong and justifying that as right. I drive him to school every day and there is sometimes a homeless man we pass on the way,” Ginger said. “One day Chris was talking aloud and I asked him what he was saying. He told me he was praying for the homeless man, and that speaks to his compassion and character.”

Green recognizes the sacrifice the Duhaimes have made to bring him into their home. He refers to them as his second family, but also knows they aren’t trying to replace his mom or dad. They are trying to fill the gaps and ensure he has a normal childhood. The transition has been a welcomed, positive change, but it hasn’t always been easy.

Naturally there are times when he misses his mother and wishes she could still watch him play. He reflects on her presence at all his games and how she used to drive him to practice.

Mother’s Day, his birthday and his team’s championship game have been the most difficult days so far. He calls them his breakdowns, when he lets the sadness take over the positive.

Although his mother is unable to watch him play, there is no doubt she is proud of his accomplishments. He currently holds offers from Bowling Green, Kentucky, Toledo and Western Michigan and is starting to pick up major interest from other programs.

“I hope that he is serving as a role model for people,” Ginger said. “I’m excited for him to get this kind of attention, because maybe it will cause another kid that grew up like Chris to make better choices.”

Green knows that it’s not goodbye with his mother, either. Because of the scholarship offers, it won’t be her last chance to watch him play. On good behavior, she would be released in July 2014. But she also has asked that the Duhaimes see him through to his transition into college.

While many kids his age would dwell on the bad breaks, Green pushes forward and keeps reminding himself that things could be worse.


♥ Neverland 2013 – The Proposal ♥

Source: Michael’s Heart – Betty (MJBliss) Published With Permission of the Author

I love you to the moon and back cropped

Bittersweet June… a time of reflection. This seems to never change… like the peeling of the layers on an onion different levels appear as the years tick by without MJ here on earth with us. 

Seems odd to some, who haven’t taken the time to know Michael Jackson, that so many around the world still love him so deeply but to us who have delved into this most interesting and beautiful man’s life and work… who are inspired by the life he led… who have embraced him, his philanthropic heart and his musical artistry deep in our own hearts… to those of us who live his music and his words… it makes perfect sense. 

I have tried to shake this feeling about Michael… telling myself, “It’s been four years now. It’s time to let go… time to move on.” Sometimes even hoping for a personal Cher, “Snap Out of IT!” slap moment. Yet it never comes… Michael is deep in my heart and soul. So even if I left the MJ fan community as I’ve come to live it since his death, Michael’s inspiration would still be in my heart and life forever… in a way he never was before. God has placed me on this path and opened my eyes to so much. Sadly, the bittersweet fact is that my life is changed for the better because of Michael Jackson’s death. It is so like Michael Jackson to keep giving good out into the world even in death.

The thread of love continues to grow. Every year I’m blessed and honored to meet more and more beautiful people because of Michael Jackson. The LOVE for Michael keeps him ‘alive.’ The LOVE from Michael continues to grow, weaving an invisible golden-threaded tapestry around the globe, connecting hearts, lives and people everyday. 

In spite of the evil which tried to destroy Michael and continues to dish it’s twisted sorted $$ lies to the mindless public what has become so very clear is that LOVE rises to the top. All the rest… is meaningless. The true man… the beautiful soul God created and filled with more talent than seemed humanly possible for one person will prove to be the Michael that the world will long remember.  

This year’s June anniversary, this entire year, was especially difficult for me. This is why I haven’t written much of anything for my blog in quite awhile… the emotions out weighed the words until today. I truly wondered if God had taken the desire to write from me. Physically and emotionally I was not up to the celebrations. Everyday was like, “Draggin’ yourself out of bed” as MJ said to Michael Bearden in regard to the music for Smooth Criminal in TII. Many events, many fans coming into Los Angeles from all over the world filled everyone’s schedules full and for me resulted in a schedule with events and plans for 13 days straight and no energy to carry them out. Although I must say the joy of meeting sweet friends was like a wash of cool, ocean waves over the pervasive shroud of gray covering my heart. Embracing those in person that I’ve only known via Face Book is a joyful tonic like no other.  The only time I ever felt truly free of the heaviness was in the occasional embrace of beautiful friends or when surrounded by MJ’s music and voice at Westlake Studios and during musical sensory immersion at the Cirque MJ One show and after party in Vegas. It was in these moments alone when the long fingers of MJ’s affirming, life giving music literally wrapped a healing touch around my lagging spirit… filling me with joy.

I realize now why MJ separated himself from his family and the world and spent long amounts of time dancing, singing and literally completely absorbed in his craft. Transforming, uplifting, spiritual music brings joyful, invigorating life and all the worries of life are left behind. No one can touch those moments… or take them away… they are God given. He shared those moments with us, the world, the intimate time of healing with the creator of his gift of music, art and dance. There are many spiritual Christian hymns that make me feel the same way, which bring spiritual healing. In these moments the Spirit of God lives in the notes and words. They too are a God given blessing… anointed. Yes, Michael was anointed predestined by God to share his gift of artistry with the world in a way no one had ever done before. As Michael himself said many times… his musical creations were from God. He never failed to point to God as his source. I believe this is why his music continues to lift and heal the hearts of so many.

Yes this June the schedule was packed; however there was one event that I looked very forward to and knew I wouldn’t miss if humanly possible… most especially if God was on our side. I didn’t know how I could help or how it would unfold but I love those type of plans. If it’s God’s will… it will happen… do the foot work and God’s puzzle pieces all fall into place. We should all live every day that way.

I was first approached by Mark in April, 2013 in a private message asking if I could assist with his plans. He and his girlfriend, a dear friend of mine, Rachael, were traveling in June to Los Angeles for Michael’s anniversary and he had very special, secret plans for her. It was clear he had thought a great deal about what he was sharing with me. I could feel the nervous excitement and anticipation in his request. I was happily and obligingly sworn to secrecy.  

Mark and Rachael, a simply beautiful couple, had met many years ago brought together by their love of Michael Jackson in London as MJ fans. They both attended MJ fan rallies and concerts. Rachael was a strong defender of Michael and Soldier of LOVE, as was Mark, a huge MJ fan and a very artistic, talented dancer as well. Michael brought them together; however life separated them. Michael’s loss brought them back together again reconnected in a new and wonderful way. What is so amazing still to me is how Michael’s LOVE grows daily in the most touching, unexpected ways. 

Mark has an unmistakeable spirit of appreciation for others rarely seen in today’s world. He exudes gentle charm filled with genuine politeness. Not only is he outwardly handsome and beautiful his humble, considerate spirit warms your heart, bringing grounding consistency, lighting up any situation. His deeply engrained trait of steadfast caring and affability is a true treasure. This runs deep in his soul as his bright, white smile beams forth with genuine, heartfelt tenderness. God has gifted him also with the heart of a helper. He shows sincere caring always alert to the needs of others, jumping in to help without being asked. A ‘man’s man’ as they say and also ‘woman’s man’ too as is evident in the gentle way he treats Rachael and her children. Deeply artistic he thrives on expression through dance and music… thus his love of Michael… his inspiration. He too has had his share of troubles in his life… but as I’ve said LOVE rises to the top. Mark is just that… Top Notch… the cream of the crop. His outward charm and handsome features only grow stronger as you get to know the caring and genuinely kind man inside. Mark’s eyes reveal a lovingly, strong and steadfast giving spirit … so unmistakably Mike Like. 

Rachael is a sweet, enchanting, gentle soul. Her sweet, heady laughter and youthful spirit are in complete opposition to her strong determined nature. She is a force to be reckoned with when she sets her mind to something. She is beautiful and quirky and wonderfully unique. God broke the mold with Rachael. She surprises me every year on her visits to the U.S. from the UK. Her love for her children, family and MJ run very deep in her veins. They are her life blood. Even at first look there is no mistaking her unique, natural, artistic expressiveness. A woman who wears her heart on her sleeve in the most childlike attractive way taking Michael’s love of Peter Pan to heart in her life. Her outward beauty and look of youthfulness are misleading to her age. She has also had her share of pain in this life… however again LOVE rises to the top. Rachael is a survivor and I can identify with her so well… I love her… she is my dear friend. It’s easy to see why Mark has fallen helplessly in love with her as well. They are simply the most gorgeous couple. A perfect match. I am elated for both of them, so blessed to know them and be a part of their lives. I feel like family with them, their protective big sister ready to move mountains for them if need be.

So it was… on the morning of June 23rd that I gathered festive libations for the day and drove to pick up the MJ crew for the drive to the Neverland Flyover 2013. As with most of my plans during June this day’s schedule morphed and grew a life of it’s own. I originally was driving four of us; however the group happily and without too much added effort easily grew to seven. If there is anything I have learned while Michaeling it’s ‘Let Go and Let God’, schedules are just made to be laughed at and there is always room for one more… well… until you run out of seat belts.

Very Mike Like Bronze sculpture found on Ventura Blvd.

Very Mike Like Bronze sculpture found on Ventura Blvd.

Marcela and Rachel at Hayvenhurst gate

Marcela and Rachel at Hayvenhurst gate

Susan at Hayvenhurst gate

Susan at Hayvenhurst gate

With a full carload of happy, unsuspecting occupants we began our journey to the Santa Ynez Valley. It seemed at every turn someone asked if I could do something for them or stop here or there over the weeks of June and although I was very tired I tried to oblige where I could. As it turned out on this day all was possible including an unplanned side trip to the Hayvenhurst gates. The guard even opened the gates for us affording us a good long look at Kenya, Michael’s chocolate Lab and gift to his children. She happily wagged her tail hello to us. She is such a beautiful, sweet girl. Then there was a quick stop on Ventura Blvd. as bronze Neverland type statues were spotted while I was searching for the freeway on-ramp. Sometimes I find the best things when I’m lost. The day before even with GPS (don’t ask me how that happens but it always includes laughter) I was lost while searching for the rent-a-car place and much to my complete amazement found Center Staging Studios right in front of my eyes. Center Staging Studios is where MJ last recorded and I had often thought about searching for that particular MJ spot. Yet without planning and as a result of helping out friends in need there it was with no effort at all! A really nice Michaeling perk overshadowing the frustration of being lost which had finally set in. 

No matter the shift in plans at every turn I kept in the back of my mind Mark’s request. Knowing it was of the highest priority… above all else I had a mission… a quest to get him and my lovely, unsuspecting friend, Rachael, to the gates of Neverland by dusk. Michael’s favorite time of day. Rachael had no clue of any plans, as far as she knew she was the one taking Mark on a very special first helicopter ride over Neverland and to visit the Neverland gates for the first time. Little did she know what was in store. 

First on the loose agenda was the Heli Flyover, each of us set to fly in groups of three at a time for our flights. Our scheduled time was ticking by closer and closer as traffic held us up. We stressfully forged through bumper to bumper L.A. freeway traffic. It seemed everyone in L.A. and the San Fernando Valley had decided to go to Ventura Beach via the 101 Freeway on this lazy overcast Saturday. I affirmed to myself and out loud to others that everything happens for a reason and took long slow breaths to try to relax against the time crunch. Finally in Ventura literally hundreds of cars lined up to get off the freeway for a day at the beach. Breathing a very large sigh of relief that I wasn’t one of them on that crowded beach the road opened up and we flew by them all on toward our destination, Santa Ynez Airport. 

We could relax now moving more easily with the flow of open road. As we looked to the left ocean waves lazily washed upon the sandy shore under the overhang of misty clouds. The sky still overcast  was a good sign that our hold up was for a purpose. Heli flights in cloudy weather are not as mesmerizing and afternoon skies over Neverland are usually always clear in the summer.

At a certain point in the journey with the vast horizon on our left stretching seemingly forever out over the deep Pacific I like to listen to a CD a friend of mine made of Michael talking. His beautiful speaking voice in a collection of speech excerpts, amidst a back drop of several of his songs. Susan popped it in and Michael’s voice filled the car. As usual it was very emotional, touching each person’s heart in a very personal way… resulting in very few dry eyes. No matter how many times I listen to his voice on this journey along the shore somehow it always has the same effect on me. Always it seems the perfect place to listen to his inspirational words. Those words that encourage each of us to bring just a little more LOVE into this world. 

For many in the car this was their first Neverland Flyover. It is always so exciting to watch the bliss and euphoria on the faces of the flying new-bees. For me this was my third flyover and although I knew what to expect it was as always just as magical the third time as the first. 

Basket Ball Court Neverland Logo Pic not from flyover - credit unknown - night picture in Fall

Basket Ball Court Neverland Logo
Pic not from flyover – credit unknown – night picture in Fall

Each flight over Neverland I have searched for something special. The first flight spotting and discovering the Award House on the hill where Michael kept many of his honors, plaques, gold records and award statues. He didn’t like to keep them in the main house so he stored them in this three bedroom, ranch house on Neverland property as well as many other warehouses. The second flight gifted me with the close up sighting of the spectacular Giving Tree. I will never forget it, sitting so stately at the end of the bridge and spotting Michael’s platform which still remains snug in it’s branches. This flight, the third flight, my desire was to spot the Neverland Basketball Court with the Neverland logo of the little boy sitting on a crescent moon painted on the court. We flew over the property three times peering down into Michael’s magical world. Sadly the rides are gone but the grounds are pristine, restored as if waiting for their return one day. The fountains were not on for this flight as they had been the previous year yet the lake was just as beautiful and enchanting. I also had a deeper feeling of sadness this time that I have not felt previously… there it was again that shroud of gray. Shaking it off I continued intently searching for the basketball court to no avail. Finally letting the gray take over I settled into acceptance this time may not result in my discovery of a new special Michael place at Neverland. Quite possibly it was hidden by trees around the house area. Then just as I decided to enjoy the rest of the ride unfettered… no sooner than I’d surrendered the search… there it was! Right there before my eyes protected from the afternoon sun… the basketball court lay just nestled up against a wall protected from the afternoon sun… which might explain why the logo is still in such terrific shape, unless it’s also been restored as so much of Neverland has been. It was hard to tell which… but there it sat just along the road leading out to the rides and the petting zoo. It was much further from the main house than I had anticipated. Joyfully I realized I had been looking in the wrong place. Yet before the flight was over, and those flights seem to always never be long enough, we never want them to end, right there like a gift out of no where… it lay before my eyes. I could see Michael playing around down there… in my minds eye… and wondered how many times Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant or Mike Tyson or any of Michael’s other friends or cousins played around on that court with him. My mind drifted thinking about how incredibly giving and generous Michael was with his precious home, Neverland. How notorious he was for letting his friends use and fully enjoy Neverland while he was away on tour or working. How many people allow others into their homes in such a way? No one I know… especially such an incredible home? Michael was generous to a fault… too trusting… too caring if there is such a thing… Michael was just that. Sadly it was just that amazing quality that opened his life and home up to greedy, users, liars and manipulators. Oh… if only we could turn back time… 

For me at that point the Heli trip was complete. Settling in, no picture taking needed as I’d taken pictures on previous flights and just wanted to relax now, drink in the flight and view of Michael’s most beautiful, magical home of LOVE. I regret not capturing a pic of the basketball court. It all just went by too quickly. Neverland is truly such an incredibly gorgeous, enchanting oasis… there again comes that shroud of gray. If only things had been different Michael might still be living there today in the home he created. I wondered about his daughter, Paris, who is hospitalized and deeply misses her father… and if the world would ever leave Michael’s children alone long enough for them to live their lives and fully heal from the loss of their father. I wondered if they would ever move back to Neverland as I pictured them all happily playing on the grounds of Neverland together. All these thoughts circled in my mind and heart and with a heavy, ‘time will tell’ sigh… I surrendered it all to God in a silent prayer. All I know is that LOVE rises to the top.

Soon each of us, like Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, had taken our joyful, magical flight in the clear blue sky over Neverland. Some were speechless as they tried to assimilate what they had just experienced. Some were giddy, talking away. I however was mostly quiet or talking to myself quietly about time management. Compartmentalizing as I knew ‘dusk at the gates’ was the end game plan… and I needed to make that happen for my dear friends.

Most definitely on my list of ‘To Do’ items was to show my band of merry men… errrr… ahhh… MJ friends… quaint Los Olivos with the flag pole literally in the center of town. The town down the road from Neverland where MJ had shopped and walked the streets so many times. Just as if planned that way it fit just perfectly with the ‘gates at dusk’ plan. Yes, God was in charge and it seemed to be falling into place. Not even an accidental bashing in of the license plate on the rent-a-car hindered us, as both Mark and I worked feverishly with the aid of the J. Woeste, Phillips-head, screw driver to pound it back into a flattened state. Smiling as we worked (well mostly Mark worked & I supervised) and conferring on the ‘dusk at the gates’ plans… we both looked at one another not knowing what was in store and shrugged. His nervousness did not seem to be assuaged by my, “You will know the right moment. God will show you.” 

Like kids on an adventure we were all anxious to see the magic of J. Woeste Nursery. Although most had no idea what I was talking about when I attempted to explain where we were going… and after only a few words all that can really be said is, “You’ll see.” This magical escape truly fails description… a waste of breath really to even try. Only your eyes and senses can explain a trip here. I simply LOVE to see the look on the faces of those who enter these gates for the first time, to hear the astonished, gleeful gasp as they take in their first visual and sensual experience behind the gate as it opens and another world envelopes them. 

Thus here we enjoyed the late afternoon cool of the day, bathed in the warm, yellow-amber tones of the sun as it sank into the horizon of pale blue California sky. Here through this portal of fantastical escape from everyday normal life, surrounded by the winding paths of succulent heaven, we lost ourselves, strolling the seemingly endless enchanted paths, investigating every nook and cranny until finally emerging at the front gate where giant wind chimes hung in the ancient Eucalyptus tree. The heavenly sounds engulfing us as we posed for a group picture. Then with the license plate flattened and reattached, none the worse for wear, and a hearty, smiling, “Thank you!” to our host at J. Woeste we reluctantly pulled ourselves away from this fairyland, and set out into the quaint and quiet town of Los Olivos. Here we walked the country streets looking for a place to eat dinner. It was late and not much was open as Los Olivos rolls up it’s welcome mats early everyday even on the weekends; however we were blessed to find a coffee house with minutes to spare before the registers closed. They were still serving a light dinner of small personal pizza and soda. Most everyone decided to try Root Beer and the reactions were very funny. Some not liking it so much and wondering who would ever want to drink that stuff? Some feeling it was a great U.S. treat reveling in getting their hands on an ice cold bottle of the rich brown beverage. With dinner complete and unbeknownst to most in the car enough time was purposely passed to just make a slow drive down the road to arrive just before dusk at the gates. We all situated ourselves back into the SUV and moved on down Figueroa Mountain Rd., Michael’s road to Neverland…
just there… the second star to the right.

Upon arrival at the gates the merry band piled out of the car to the sounds of, “Oh my God… we’re here! We are actually here! I can’t believe I’m actually here at Michael’s Neverland gates!”

I parked the SUV in a place where I don’t normally park, knowing I needed to have handy and quick access to the hidden ice chest in the back while they all wandered the peaceful grounds at the gate and along the fence perimeter. I could feel Mark’s nervousness. Again privately I nodded encouragement whispering, “You will know the right time.” I was worried my anxiousness and whispering too would give things away. However there was no clue in Rachael eyes as the presence of the place filled her heart. She decided instead of visiting close to the gates she needed to be away from the many who were visiting this day. In search of some quiet, alone time Mark and Rachael began to walk down the road. Mark gave me a look of, “What should I do?” I shrugged as I glanced at the sun sinking in the afternoon sky and said a quick prayer, “Ok Lord, you know the desire of Mark’s heart. If this is meant to be then You make it happen.” It was at that exact moment as I fiddled in the ice chest a car pulled up along side me and stopped. A smiling familiar face said, “Hello! How are you?” I was utterly amazed… again as if it was planned just that way. I quickly relayed the plans for dusk. His face beamed and with a giant grin he said to me, “Follow my lead. Just get them back down here… now.” 


So I urgently waved for them to return to the gates and swiftly confided my secret to Marcela and sent her scurrying down the road with Susan to gather them both back to the gates. At their urging Mark escorted Rachael back to the gates trying not to answer her many questions about why. The gates opened and I led Rachael forward. Mark stepped inside looking VERY apprehensive as if he was experiencing an out of body surreal like state. I thought maybe he was going to need to pinch himself at any moment to see if he was dreaming. Rachael excitedly asked me, “What is happening? I don’t understand. What is going on?” I gently guided her by the arm calmly saying, “Shhhh… it’s ok… this is for you.” Nodding yes and directing her inside, “This is all for you. Step inside.” 

There just inside the gates Mark gently, lightly pulled her by the hand to him, then retrieved the ring box from of his pants pocket where it had been safely hidden all day. Here in this moment, this place and time with the giant Sycamores and ancient graceful California Oaks that have witnessed centuries of history on this land a silent hush fell over Neverland. The trees whispered a soothing song in the gentle breeze urging Mark forward. Everyone’s eyes were on him attentive, listening, no one breathing. Just listening intently to hear his words. He began to pour his heart out to her. His love overflowed…  words overwhelmed him. He had told me so many times he needed to be on one knee when he proposed to her as he wanted desperately to fulfill her life long wish… yet at this very moment he seemed frozen. Rachael was shaking like a leaf in the wind unable to comprehend what was happening. Then in sudden realization as she saw the ring box she nervously laughed and chided him, “Well, get down on one knee.” Assuring her he smiled and dropped to one knee, opened the ring box, looked into her eyes and found the words deep in his heart as he told her how much he loved her, ending with the words which completed the magic of the day, changing their lives, “Will you marry me?” He took a huge breath as she said, “YES! YES!” Then he slid the ring onto her finger and they kissed. Everyone even those not in our group were watching and enjoying the amazing moment. It was magical, memorable and so incredibly beautiful! The very first proposal at Neverland gates. Yes… God always makes a way and LOVE always rises to the top!  
Of course there is one red rose in full bloom!

Of course there is one red rose in full bloom!

Pictures were snapped and much joyous celebration took place as I pulled the chilled champagne from the ice chest and laid out crackers and cheese and fruit plates. The happy couple made a special engagement toast with my family’s special silver goblets that have been used for several generations of marital and anniversary celebratory toasting. It seemed appropriate for them to use them as I feel they are so much a part of my family now, my sister, my brother. Champagne and raspberries and special pics together at Michael’s front gate just at dusk when the light is so special. 
Yes… Michael’s magical, favorite time of the day… the perfect setting for engagement pictures.

Our loose plan was to wait until dark to view the Super Moon. To see the view Michael would have seen from his property in this corner of the earth. On this particular night coincidentally, of all nights, the Moon was the closest to earth. The biggest and brightest moon of the entire year. A Moonwalker, special engagement gift to this very special couple. However just like most of my plans… this one morphed as well. This night, the Super Moon night, most unusual for summer it was an extra breezy, very cool night which delivered a layer of foggy, low clouds not normally seen so far inland during June. As a result we couldn’t see the moon at all. However it didn’t damper our spirits after a very beautiful, fulfilling day. By this time I could finally take a deep breath. I had completed my main mission for my sweet friends, now able to just relax before the adventures of what would be a hectic coming week filled with many MJ events. However for now things were calm… I reveled in the glow on the faces of all my friends. Thanking God to be apart of this special day.
 Yes for me the most important mission was now over. She said, “YES!” Mark and Rachael were simply beaming… clearly floating in a world all their own. Mark had given her the most memorable proposal any MJ fan could ever want… a day they will both cherish For All Time.

It was difficult to pull ourselves away from the peace, joy and new found memories of Neverland’s gates; however with no sight of the Super Moon we needed to move on, embark on the long journey home. We all took one last look at Los Olivos twinkling in the night as we turned left off Figueroa Mountain Rd. We traveled through the night toward home, a quiet satisfaction filled the car. Lost in our own personal thoughts it wasn’t long before the country road Michael traveled many, many times lifted us up out of the Santa Ynez Valley to the bluff over looking Santa Barbara. It was here the giant, silver moon rose before us in the sky and shined magnificently down upon the Pacific to our right. Much to our elation and joy it was now crystal clear… only wisps of clouds remained here and there. The glow of the moon on the clouds lit them up like tufts of cotton candy in the dark sky as the Super Moon like a beacon in the night guided us on our path homeward. The giant moon shined so incredibly bright on the still ocean water it was as if a mirror shined back providing the view of two Super Moons. Simply Magnificent! I had to pull over a couple of times for pictures and just to drink it all in. It was simply breathtaking! The most spectacular sight of the moon I’ve ever seen on a most special day. My life has been connected to the moon in many ways as my father worked for NASA and I grew up focused on the journey to the moon during the Space Race of the ‘60s and the first men walking on the moon. Then of course with MJ our Moonwalker and now this beautiful, remarkable memory added to them all. This day never to be forgotten with some of the most wonderful and lovely people God has brought into my life since Michael’s passing. Only God could have provided this day so perfectly. 

Yes again Michael’s wish coming true… his wish that all men and women would be united in LOVE on this planet. In our MJ community which wraps its loving arms around this globe this happens every single day. For those of my friends who don’t understand why I can’t give up my Michaeling and MJ celebrations… or maybe just for that part of myself that wonders why… THIS is why… the awe and the wonder… and the LOVE. Here in this vehicle traveling south along the California 101 freeway with the Super Moon as our guiding light, shinning ever so bright over the Pacific I am at complete peace as I listen to the “Oooohs” and “Aaaahs” and the joyous laughter and conversation of those in tow…

Marcela, Rachel, Kathy, Mark & Rachael, me (Betty), Susan

… Mark Anthony Anderson and Rachael Foster, the lovely UK couple I was so blessed to be apart of their engagement plans and whose love for one another was simply effervescent and overflowing. I am so very happy for you both. Also Susan Brookes my sweet, gracious friend and MJ room lover from the UK whose enthusiasm for all things Michael is so contagious and love of animals so inspiring; sweet Kathy Beaudoin from Canada whose face glowed with pure joy and magic the entire U.S. trip. Then of course glowing and simply stunning Marcela Torres from Argentina who literally radiates a natural, sweet spirit of LOVE for everyone she meets and finally Rachel Gillard-Tew from New Zealand who showed us all what pure bliss and rebirth looked like as she found her true self on this journey to America.

All but two of you I met in person for the first time this June yet felt I’d known you all for a lifetime. We are connected… we are bonded. God bless everyone of you and thank you for including me in your plans this year. Your open hearts and compassion helped lift the pesky shroud of gray in my life. A Big Thank You for sharing and gifting me with these moments and these adventures and a BIGGER congratulations to our engaged couple, Mark and Rachael. May your dreams all come true and may you be blessed with a beautiful life together. 

I’ll be expecting an invite to the wedding… wink ;)

East Stroudsburg Street Dancer Gets A Shot On Stage

Source: Pocono Record – By Andrew Scott

DeQuan Waters-Smith, does a little dance on the corner of North 9th Street and Chipperfield Drive on Wednesday afternoon.

DeQuan Waters-Smith, does a little dance on the corner of North 9th Street and Chipperfield Drive on Wednesday afternoon.

You may not know who DeQuan Waters-Smith is, but you’ve probably seen him.

He’s the young guy who sometimes dances on the sidewalk on Brown Street by Pocono Plaza in East Stroudsburg, or dances in a Cluck U Chicken mascot uniform on Route 611 in Bartonsville.

The shy 23-year-old East Stroudsburg resident said dancing in public is a way to meet people and work on his social skills.

“I’m also hoping people in the entertainment industry notice me, because I’ve always wanted to be in entertainment,” said Waters-Smith, whose highly energetic nature is visible just in the way he walks down the street.

Waters-Smith was born in New York City and raised in the Poconos. After briefly attending college, the Pocono Mountain West High School graduate worked at various jobs, most recently as a factory employee at Johnson & Johnson in Mount Pocono.

His wish to be noticed first came true late last year, when he was offered a chance to be part of a January art show presented by photographic artist Shane Izykowski at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg.

“Shane saw me dancing in the street one day,” Waters-Smith said. “He approached and asked me if I wanted to be in this show he was putting together. I said ‘sure.’ “

The same thing happened later, when producer Michael Moate of Bartonsville was putting together a May comedy show at the Sherman.

“I’ve known DeQuan and his family for a long time,” Moate said. “Everybody loves to see him dance. I saw him one day and asked him to be in my show, and he said ‘yes.’ “

Now, Waters-Smith is one of three Michael Jackson impersonators performing in Saturday’s tribute to the legendary entertainer at the Sherman.

Waters-Smith will be appearing with fellow impersonators Lane Lassiter of Las Vegas, and Jibreel Mawry, who co-starred in Broadway’s “Motown The Musical” and portrays Jackson during his early years with the Jackson Five.

“This is the second year we’re doing the Michael Jackson tribute at the Sherman,” said promoter Colette Logan of Bushkill, founder of C-Lo Entertainment, noting the Saturday show is four days after the June 25 anniversary of Jackson’s 2009 death.

“I’ve known Lane Lassiter for 30 years and reconnected with him on Facebook. I contacted him last year and told him I wanted to do a Michael Jackson tribute for my grandson. He agreed, and the show was such a success we decided to do it again this year.”

But with some additional talent. Logan had seen Waters-Smith dancing at the Wal-Mart in East Stroudsburg and in other areas.

“I was driving one day when I passed him out dancing,” she said. “I turned around, drove back to where he was and talked to him about being in this year’s show.”

Waters-Smith has spent recent weeks rehearsing under the choreographic direction of Stroud Mall security officer Donatien Lake and East Stroudsburg University student Ebony Smith.

“DeQuan has been a great pleasure to work with,” Logan said. “He always has so much energy and enthusiasm. He’s truly a good-hearted person who deserves his big break.”

Waters-Smith is happy to be part of such a project.

“Michael Jackson was a great performer and inspiration,” said Waters-Smith. “Like him, I want to entertain and inspire people. I think this tribute is going to be a great show.”


WHAT: Michael Jackson Tribute Show

WHEN: Saturday. Doors open at 6 p.m.; show starts at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Sherman Theater, 524 Main St., Stroudsburg

COST: $23.95

INFORMATION: 570-420-2808



Dreams Really Do Come True: Small Town Sign Spinner Goes Hollywood, Picks Up David Arquette As Client And Together They Plan An MJ Tribute

Administrator’s Note:  A very inspirational and positive story. It shows that hard work, faith perseverance and following your passion will take you anywhere.  This is the principle that made Michael Jackson the greatest entertainer of our times. CP ♥

Source: Patch – By Maggie Avants


After earning local notoriety from his sign-spinning days on Wildomar and Murrieta street corners, David Harwell has taken his moonwalking ways to Hollywood.

Although he is still spinning for Subway—hence his Facebook moniker, Subway Dave—in the Hollywood area, he has picked up other clients such as Moneygram and GNC Live Well, Harwell told Patch this week.

Harwell is perhaps most pumped about another client: actor, director, producer and writer, David Arquette. Since October, Harwell has been spinning outside Bootsy Bellows, a Beverly Hills-area nightclub co-owned by Arquette.

Harwell said it was on his 31st birthday in September 2012 when he got noticed by Arquette’s girlfriend. Soon, Arquette texted him and he began spinning outside the West Sunset Avenue club, advertising special events such as New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day.

“Probably no one has ever done that in Beverly Hills,” Harwell said. “It is on the corner of Doheny Drive and Sunset. They probably said ‘who is this guy you have moonwalking on the corner?’”

Arquette agreed it may have been a foreign concept initially for some, but said Harwell quickly won them over.

“Some people at first were like, ‘What are you doing? This is not a car wash,’” Arquette said in a phone interview with Patch. “But he has got the personality of our club, which is fun—we do a lot of dancing. He is amazing: He is very creative, he is great with advertising our events and grabbing people’s attention.”

In June, the two are planning to host a Michael Jackson tribute night—starring Harwell. The vision is to donate a portion of the evening’s proceeds to Children’s Hospital, Harwell said.

“That was Michael Jackson’s thing in life, he gave back and this is a way to remember him,” Harwell said. “I’m hoping the celebrities who will show up to the nightclub will donate to a great cause.”

Apart from his gig for Arquette, Harwell works six and sometimes seven days a week for his other clients. From 8 a.m to 7 p.m., he goes strong.

“I don’t take days off, I just want to be out there,” Harwell said. “I know that I have a job to do so getting up every morning is a good thing. I get to be out there and I get the opportunity for more work. I am having a great time, meeting a lot of great people.”

Until up recently, his days were even longer. Harwell said he would rise at 4 a.m. in order to travel from his Hemet apartment to Los Angeles, taking the Metrolink train from the Riverside area.

He officially moved to Los Angeles in August 2012.

“The sacrifice was worth it,” Harwell said. “It paid off.”

It has also given him more time to launch an Internet radio station, something that was a goal of his.

“I said this year, I am going to do it.”

Online as of April 20, Harwell plays a mix of music from the 90s and today on his station, Davejamzfm.com.

“People come up to me and say, ‘What are you listening to?’ And now they can go to my radio station and check it out.”

Harwell has not forgotten his roots. From spinning for Verizon in 2009 on Clinton Keith Road in Wildomar, to adding local Submarina and eventually Subway franchises to his clients, Harwell remains thankful.

“I miss the IE, I miss Wildomar and Murrieta. I am very thankful on both ends. Both companies [Subway and Submarina] have really pushed me,” Harwell said. Now I have been able to launch my radio, grow my Facebook fan base, and keep people laughing and jubilant.”

Some day soon, Harwell hopes to reach a global audience by going on television. Gleaning advice from Arquette, he said he plans to start auditioning for commercials this summer.

“He has put me on the right path,” Harwell said. “And maybe when that time comes around, people will remember me and say, ‘Hey, I have a photo with him.’”

Until then, he said: “I’m Dave, I’m just Dave.”