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Archive for January 23rd, 2012

Heidi Klum and Seal getting divorce! Expert divorce lawyer Michael Kelly weighs in

Posted by Levine Communications Office on January 23, 2012

Are Heidi Klum & Seal Headed Towards A Custody Battle?


Much to our surprise, Heidi Klum and Seal have announced they are headed for divorce. Sadness! The seemingly happy couple even renewed their vows each year on their anniversary (May 10).

The two married in 2005 and have 3 children together: Henry, 6, Johan, 5, and Lou, 2. Heidi also has a daughter from a previous relationship named Leni, 7, that Seal legally adopted.

What does their divorce spell out for the future — could there be a custody battle? Celebuzz turned to Divorce Expert Michael Kelly from the Law Offices of Michael Kelly, for the answers!

What does this mean for the couple – could this lead to a custody battle?
If the couple is unable to come to agreements in regards to time shares, custodies, Christmases, and other holidays it could lead to a custody battle.

Both celebs make a lot of money, would could the mean for their financial forecast?
The fact that both celebrities make a lot of money would probably foreclose the need for any spousal support. If they purchased property together, which they probably did, it could lead to a financial battle. I would have a hard time imagining that Heidi Klum … would not have financial advisors, managers, and agents that would advise her to prepare to have a financial arrangement through a prenuptial agreement.

What are the next steps now that they have confirmed they are splitting?
The living arrangements, the disposition of the household goods, and how they are going to share the children in the intern until there is a court order.

What is your legal advice to this couple?
The legal advice that I would give to this couple is: Don’t do it. You both are at the top of your game and staying together would be good for the children and the children’s upbringing.


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Dave Vescio as a Prof Net expert

Posted by Levine Communications Office on January 23, 2012

Interesting Expert of the Week, Villain Edition

Friday, January 20, 2012

Kevin Spacey in “Seven,” Anthony Hopkins in “Silence of the Lambs,” Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight.” A good actor can elevate the role of a villain and turn a movie into a must-see. But being a good movie villain is harder than it looks. Witness Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Batman & Robin,” John Travolta in “Battlefield Earth,” or Sharon Stone in, well, pretty much everything. For this week’s Interesting Expert column, we turned to Dave Vescio, horror actor and expert villain, to find out what makes these villainous actors tick. Vescio, a former CBS photojournalist, has played numerous movie villains since making his movie debut in 2005. Since then, he has worked alongside Alec Baldwin, Blake Lively, Juliette Lewis and more. We sat down with Vescio to find out more about how he started acting, how he prepares for his roles, and what he likes most about playing a villain.

What led you to acting? Is it something you always wanted to do?

I actually didn’t start acting until I was 32 years old. Before that, I was a TV photojournalist working for CBS News, and all of my mentors (who all won Emmys up the yin yang) told me that if I keep on doing what I’m doing, I could win an Emmy within the next 5-10 years. But I didn’t care for that, to be honest. I just worked as a TV photojournalist because it was easy to do; I had a natural talent for it. But it’s not what I really wanted to do with my life. So, I took a year off to co-teach TV production and electronic newsgathering at Virginia Tech to figure things out. That’s when I decided to become a professional actor instead. So, I read over three-dozen acting books; two of them really stood out to me. One, “True and False,” was written by David Mamet, and the other was written by his students. So, I applied to Mamet’s acting conservatory in New York City, finally got accepted, and I then started to train full-time there as an acting student in June of 2002.

I guess what led me to becoming a professional actor versus anything else in life is that as a TV photojournalist, I was just an observer of life, and I guess I got jealous of the characters in these stories that I was hired to shoot/report about. So, I guess I chose acting as a profession so I could just experience my own scenarios and become a character that others got to observe from a distance instead. I just wanted to perform and stop being the constant observer. So that’s what I did. I switched sides.

You have a preference for provocative and controversial roles. What is it about those roles that appeals to you?

Actually, that’s a three-way street. Yes, I love to perform in provocative and controversial roles, but, at the same time, these controversial storytellers like to hire me as well. But a movie or a TV program cannot exist without a paying audience, which happens to be the third element, and they also enjoy watching me in these types of storylines. Or maybe they just watch these storylines to criticize them. Either way, they paid for the experience, and they want to be taken to these very dark places we’re all taking them to.

As for what appeals to me about these type of roles, I guess I just want the audience members to feel something, to experience something, to think about something, versus to just entertain them. I’m always trying to open the audience’s heart, mind and soul to an idea or to a feeling that may get underneath their skin somehow someway — to give them an experience they have never experienced before or rarely get to experience in real life or on screen. But, in the end, it still affects them somehow someway, but from the safety of their own home, or from their movie theater seat instead. Because we do live in a very dangerous world; people are raped, molested, killed, used and abused, stolen from, etc., every single day of every single year of every single century. So, I feel it’s my job as an artist to remind them of these things, to get them to ponder about these monstrosities, but, in the end, to protect themselves from these types of human beings, as well, because they do exist — and the more one knows about the evils of this world, the more one can protect oneself from these types of experiences.

What kind of preparation do you do for roles? (I hope it’s not Method acting!)

Ha ha ha — yep, it’s definitely Method acting!

For me, it’s either Method acting or it’s just pretend acting — and pretend acting just doesn’t work for me. Trust me, I’ve tried. In the end, my audience has told me over and over again that they would rather watch me perform my characters naturally (for real) versus pretending. Otherwise, it just doesn’t affect them at all; it doesn’t seem truthful or authentic to them. So, I do feel it’s my job to give the paying audience what they want/need from me, because they did pay for this experience. I was taught the customer is always right; no matter what, so I’m constantly listening to them and figuring out how to change my acting style to fit their needs – but, at the same time, fit my needs as an artist, as well. It’s a collaboration between me the industry and the audience, all at the same time. And I really do enjoy this kind of collaboration. It’s what I live for! And the paying audience wants me to be a Method actor, so I became a Method actor for them, which means that I try to make the scene and the relationships of these characters as real and as truthful as possible. That’s what I try to do with every single one of my characters in every single scene that I ever perform in. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but I’m always trying to make it as real as possible.

Does your experience as a photojournalist affect your acting?

I think it does. I think everything I’ve ever done in my life affects my acting somehow, someway. It all feeds off one another. Plus, I’m a big fan of using sense memory to help make these imaginary circumstances as truthful as possible, meaning that I need to make this stuff very personal. And if I can use a past memory that means everything to me, then it does make my job a hell of a lot easier. Plus, it gives me something to focus on in the scene. It’s a win-win situation no matter how you see it!

What’s your favorite horror movie?

That’s a tough question. I’ve enjoyed so many horror films over the decades. Since I can only pick one horror movie, I would have to say it’s “Psycho.” I remember seeing this movie for the very first time on TV when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old, and it really scared the hell out of me. I mean, that mother was so wicked and so violent towards those women. She definitely did not want Norman to be in love with any other woman besides herself. When you finally find out that it was Norman the whole time — very, very scary. I never saw that ending coming. That was a total mindblower.

The other reason “Psycho” is my favorite horror movie is because it has lasted as one of the top horror movies of all time for over five decades now. To create a piece of art that lasts beyond one’s death is, in my opinion, considered great art. “Psycho” has definitely done that. To this day, it’s still seen by the masses all around the world — pretty impressive if you ask me.

Tell us about your latest projects.

If you get the chance, you should definitely check out my controversial dark comedy called “Hick,” starring Alec Baldwin, Blake Lively, Juliette Lewis, Rory Culkin, Chloe Moretz and Eddie Redmayne. It comes out to a movie theater near you this spring. Also, my science fiction movie, “Air Collision,” starring Reginald VelJohnson and Jordan Ladd, will be released on Netflix, Redbox, and possibly Syfy this coming March/April. And you can always check out my upcoming movie trailers at my Twitter account: @DaveVescio. Enjoy!

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Alan Thicke in Forbes.com

Posted by Levine Communications Office on January 23, 2012

Millennials And Baby Boomers: At Odds Or Peas In A Pod?

On a recent Friday afternoon a colleague stopped by my desk, and by the look on her face, I could tell she came for one thing and one thing only. She came to complain.

“I’ve spent the last hour in a meeting of a ‘committee’ of young employees to talk about young employee stuff with old employees,” my colleague—who, mind you, has a very busy and important job here at Forbes—said to me. “And the only thing that came out of this hour-long meeting was the formation of ‘sub-committees’ of certain young employees to talk about specific young employee stuff with specific old employees. Meanwhile I wasn’t getting any work done! I feel like I’m going crazy!”

While I promptly replied that my friend should join my new Subcommittee on Happy Hour in a bid to make her laugh, her gripe was not lost on me. It’s not an infrequent complaint: young employees, those who fall neatly into the Generation Y or Millennial cohort, are naturally meeting-averse, preferring to hash out our ideas on shared Googledocuments whereas our Baby Boomer colleagues feel work is better done via Outlook-scheduled meetings in windowless conference rooms.

And in a workforce where the two demographics are often at odds for power, not seeing eye to eye is a problem. According to the Harvard Business Review, in four years Millennials—the people born between 1977 and 1997—will account for nearly half of all employees worldwide. In some companies, that tipping point has already occurred. Whether it’s opinions on meetings or simply opinions about each other, the two largest generational demographics in the history of the world have a lot to work out.

I tapped a marketer, a generational expert and an actor/author (and former TV dad) to chime in on some of the most over-used stereotypes about both cohorts. I had a lot of questions. Where is the truth? Both generations, it seems, often get a bad rap. Why are we so quick to judge one another? The Boomers birthed and raised the Millennials. We’ve spent the past 30 years getting to know one another; shouldn’t we be used to each other by now? And most importantly, as research shows the Boomers are living (and working!) longer than anyone before them, reasons stands that they’re not going away any time soon. So: how can we find our similarities—and use them to (both) of our advantage?

“One of the biggest stereotypes about Millennials is that they only want to communicate through technology,” says Lindsey Pollak, the author of Getting From College To Career: the Revised Edition who’s made her own career as a Gen-Y expert from the neutral perch of a Gen-Xer. “It’s said all of the time: they don’t want to communicate face to face.” In contrast, Baby Boomers are often described as technophobes, hesitant to adapt to the rapidly advancements in technology both at work and at home. “They’re largely reluctant to communicate via IM and text message, particularly at work where they prefer to sit down and discuss issues in person,” says Pollak.

But while a preference in both generations is clear, a proclivity for face time doesn’t necessarily indicate an “old dog” syndrome in the Boomers just as a Facebook account doesn’t mean Millennials are incapable of socializing offline. Sara Bamossy, a strategic planning director for Saatchi & Saatchi LA and one of the brains behind a recent Toyota Venza campaign that pokes fun at both Millennials and Boomers has spent a lot of time pondering the generations. “At the same time that it’s said that Millennials are addicted to social media and are doomed to be socially inept, the understanding is that Boomers can’t even open an email attachment,” she says. “Neither are true. Both generations value technology. Sure there’s been a delay in Boomers adapting, but they are.” She points to Boomers adoption of tablets computers and social networking as indicators of more similarities between the cohorts than differences—at least when it comes to tech.

ImageAlan Thicke spent seven years portraying the Boomer father of four early Gen Y kids on the hit show Growing Pains—and even longer in real life as the father of three sons. He now spends his time writing about his generation on his blog, The Boomer Monologues. From his perspective the overwhelming critique of his peers is that they are culturally out of touch. “TV comedies, for example, characterize us broadly and one-dimensionally,” he says, “The easy joke is always how corny and disconnected we are.” The opposite, he says, is actually true, and the explanation suggests yet another similarity between the generations. “Since politics and pop-culture are generally the barometers by which our “in synch-ness” is measured, let’s note that many of us voted for Obama and actually prefer this generations political and entertainment options.” Pollak would attribute the pop-culture leanings to the Boomers’ history of political and cultural revolution. “Boomers were born optimistic,” she says. “They thought their politics and their music were going to change the world. There’s a similar sense of energy in the Millennial generation and the culture that’s coming out of it.”

But technology and “coolness” aside, the number one source of generational stereotypes about Boomers and Millennials is the discussion of work ethic. Millennials, we’ve heard, are coddled, entitled and expectant of a trophy for showing up at work every day. Conversely, Boomers are micro-managers who don’t respect the talents of young employees. Unfortunately for both cohorts, there is undeniable truth to these particular generalizations. More unfortunately for the Boomers, they’ve got only themselves to blame. Helicopter parents, it seems, have become helicopter managers at work. “Boomers can say what they want. They call Millennials coddled,” says Pollak, “but deep down they know that—as their parents—they made them that way.” In generational studies, the Millennials are often referred to by another name: The Echo Boomers.

And interestingly enough, when asked about their “best friend,” the overwhelming majority of Millennials named a Boomer: their parents.

Readers: Do Millennials and Gen Ys butt heads in your organization? Whose faults are more detrimental to productivity? And more importantly, where does tiny Gen X fit into the melee?

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