Thursday, October 30, 2014

#ThrowbackThursday: My Conversation with the Fearless Aubrey O'Day

by Cyrus Webb

This week's Throwback Thursday profiles an amazing individual who continues to push the boundaries, redefining herself again and again.

In spite of the difficulties and challenges they face some people just seemed destined for greatness. Aubrey O'Day is one of those people.

You have gotten to know her from the hit MTV show Making the Band and the chart-topping group Danity Kane, but she is also a star on Broadway and her own reality show (All About Aubrey) as well as a contestant on the hit show Celebrity Apprentice. No matter what she does it would appear that Ms. O'Day is living her life out loud and enjoying the benefits of doing so.

Last year she not only released her debut solo project Between Two Evils but confirmed the return of Danity Kane, both to the excitement of her fans. As we know this year the group decided to part ways once again, but not before completing the album DK3 that was released this week, taking over the charts shortly after doing so.

During my conversation with Aubrey shortly before her album was released last year we chatted about music, her fans and what inspired her. It was a motivational conversation that individuals of all walks of life can benefit from.

"I never underestimate my fans," Aubrey said to me when discussing her own #1 album BETWEEN TWO EVILS. "They're pretty amazing. I have a group called the Aubtourage who are always there at a moment's notice. They have become my lifeline. She added. "It's been great to see how much they reward everything that I'm a part of. I've been on tv and on stage but I've been gone from music for so long... To have the album go number one is a feeling I can't explain."

The project BETWEEN TWO EVILS is a personal reflection of the artist and her journey through hurt. "It came from a painful breakup that left me in a low place," Aubrey explains. "Nothing was getting me through it except the studio. I got to a place where I could say something honest. I hope this really becomes a mechanism for people to heal themselves as it was for me."

The honesty in which Aubrey writes is not new, and it is obviously part of the appeal she has with her fans. They like her realness. "I have always had a pretty distinct, fearless voice," she told me. "I'm someone you either love or love to hate. I've never been an in-between person. Sometimes I get to a place where I have regrets and think if I wasn't so opinionated I'd have more support across the board, but that wouldn't be me. I am who I am. As I have gotten older I've become more proud of that and less willing to make excuses for it."

Listening to her explain the way she sees herself I asked Aubrey about what she sees as her purpose in life. The answer was surprising for me. "I think that over being a singer, actress or tv personality the one thing that I have always wanted to be is a person that touches as many lives as I can before I die. The only way you can do that is by being honest."

Honesty is at the core of not just Aubrey's album but her daily walk as well. "Whenever you are honest to who you are you always win in life," she told me. "Whether it's the way you thought or something more brilliant than what you expected. Having your own authentic voice is key."

With stand-out tracks like LOVE ME WHEN YOU LEAVE, HURTS SO GOOD and LET ME LAY, Between Two Evils is sure to resonate on some level with all that hear it. Aubrey told me that there are two things they want her fans to get from the album. "First I want anybody that is in that low place to know they can get out of it. They need to know that there are people that are examples of that. I also want to know that all the bad nights I had weren't in vain. There was a purpose behind all of them. Secondly I want my fans to have new respect for me as a music artist."

She describes Between Two Evils as "lyrically brilliant music" that is her ministry, defining her soul. As Aubrey O'Day says all life's triumphs come from struggles. If you can go through the struggle and grow stronger because of it there is nothing that will be impossible.

Stay in touch with all things Aubrey on Twitter at The new album by Danity Kane DK3 is available on Amazon here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

REVIEW: Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg

by Cyrus Webb

When you reach a certain comfort level with someone you are willing to tell them things you wouldn't share with just anyone. That's because you wouldn't let your guard down to someone you weren't sure had your best interest at heart.

In JERRY LEE LEWIS: His Own Story Pulitzer Prize winning author Rick Bragg definitely had the trust of Mr. Lewis because he allowed him to see and the very essence of who he is not just as an entertainer but a man---and we as readers are all better off because of it.

Lewis once told Bragg that he "had been lucky at everything, except life", but I think once you begin this book you will see that blessed more aptly describes the live that Lewis has lived, and it began at an early on. You see, Lewis knew that he had been given something special when it came to music. In the book we learn that while the world was experiencing war, Lewis realized that "his own world was just too small". He had to make a move, and by 1943 music was really his everything.

He started to actually visual success, though he didn't call it that or even know it to be that, and he shared those thoughts with one of the women that would later become his girl. There was so much I learned about Lewis in this book that I had never known. I never knew how his beginnings impacted the man he would grow to be. I never thought about the responsibility of being called the King by Elvis himself, and then living up to that. And then there was his private life that would become public, long before the 24-hour news cycle and the internet---and how he railed against it. Bragg writes this: "He really believed there were things in life that were the world's business and things that were his business, like the things that happened between a man and his wife. He believed it."

Experiences would teach him, however, that that was not the case. That no matter how much he achieved there would always be things that would create barriers that he would have to overcome---and he did overcome them, becoming wise and more seasoned along the way.

A true testament to what is possible captured by a writer that knows the possibilities of the human spirit, this book is sure to inspire you to keep on keeping on as long as you can.

JERRY LEE LEWIS: His Own Story is available now on Amazon. Get it for yourself here.

Check Out Entertainment Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Cyrus Webb Presents on BlogTalkRadio

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Celebrating International Bestselling author Andrew Neiderman

by Cyrus Webb

I have been a fan of Andrew Neiderman's work since I read THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE. After that I began to search for other books by the talented author that I also devoured and had to share with others.
The thing about Neiderman is that he is able to make you a part of the story like few authors are able to do. He brings you inside the pages, becoming the characters and facing the world as they have to do. Many also know him as the ghostwriter behind the V. C. Andrews series. Over the past 7 years I have been privileged enough to interview the busy author 7 times now* (see links to some of the radio interviews below), and each time he is not just engaging but truly appreciative of the success he has had.

I asked him back in 2006 how he deals with the competitive nature of the publishing industry. He answered with this: "You don’t compete in the sense of an athlete, but you keep up with what is selling and you study what it is that makes other authors and their works successful. You can’t change who you are, but you grow and develop and hone your skill and talent along the way. Write true stories, only stories that you have a passion to write, and you’ll succeed, for yourself at least."

When I asked him about the success of the V. C. Andrews franchise, this is what Neiderman had to say: Many, many writers have tried to imitate V.C. Andrews. They have not succeeded because there is a magic formula. V.C. Andrews captures the hearts of young people especially because the works address their needs, thoughts and fantasies. But the style and the stories are characterized by elements of so many genres it’s difficult to copy. It’s like trying to cook your grandmother’s special stuffed cabbage. She had the same ingredients but mixed them in her own special way that no one else had or has and so it remains one of a kind. It’s this mixture, this addressing real issues and problems and putting them in the V.C. Characters and settings that makes it lasting."

With the new book CHRISTOPHER'S DIARY: Secrets of Foxworth being released on Tues. Oct. 28th, I thought I would celebrate Neiderman and his contribution to the literary world by sharing my top 5 books by the author.

  1. The Devil's Advocate
  2. The Magic Bullet
  3. Unholy Birth
  4. Guardian Angel
  5. In Double Jeopardy
New to Andrew Neiderman? Visit his author page on Amazon here

To all those out there wondering if you should pursue your own goals and dreams, Neiderman shared this story with me: "When I was a teacher, I directed school plays and after a particularly successful one, a student came up to me and asked me if she should be an actress. I said, 'NO,' and she nearly cried. 'Why not?' she asked. 'Because you asked the wrong question,' I told her. 'What is the right question?' she asked. 'The right question,' I said, 'is Mr. Neiderman, I want to be an actress. What do I do next?' The point is so many people have talent but not the determination or the perseverance. You cannot reach your goals without it and that’s why I often say, It’s 40 percent talent and 60 percent perseverance. Prepare for rejection and defeat but if it’s in you to succeed, you will. Simple as that." 

Listen to past conversations with Andrew Neiderman here:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Actress Nikki Soohoo puts a new face on the issue of immigration in ANNIE UNDOCUMENTED

by Cyrus Webb

"I love attacking my fears. It empowers you. It's your own mind that is keeping you from accomplishing something. Once you actually accomplish it you feel like you can take over the world." ~ actress Nikki Soohoo 

Neale Donald Walsch said that "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone," and for actress Nikki Soohoo this has proved true again and again in her career.

Many got to know the talented creative from the movies THE LOVELY BONES and BRING IT ON: Fight to the Finish.  No matter where you have seen her, however, her personality always seems to come through both in front of and outside of the camera.

In her newest project ANNIE UNDOCUMENTED that premiered online October 22nd we see Nikki pushing herself once more. It's a web series where she plays Annie, a teenager who discovers she’s not a legal American citizen. While so much has been said about the issue of immigration, Annie's character puts a face to the discussion, making the issue more real for all of us. (The series also stars Connor Well, Brianna Hildebrand, Bridger Zadina and Devyn Smith.)

It is roles like this that Nikki loves. She told me recently that this is one of the things she loves the most about being an actress. "You have a huge audience that is able to see you and get to know you and be a part of your life," she says. "I love being able to talk to my fans, connect with them and help them reach their full potential."

Before acting Nikki was a student of dance. It was in high school that she started acting and saw it as "another avenue of expression."

ANNIE UNDOCUMENTED draws you in from the very beginning, using technology to connect the character Annie with her friends and life, The series' first two episodes also chronicles how difficult it can be for those who live in fear of their secret coming out---and what those who love them are willing to do in order to help.

Once again this goes right in line with what Nikki told me she hopes she's able to do for her fans. "I love being able to inspire people to do something in their lives," she says. "I think anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it, work hard and believe in themselves."

Though she can't personally relate to the situation her character Annie finds herself in, Nikki brings the best of herself to the role, making you feel as though Annie's challenges are your own. Nikki says she gets that drive to do her best from her parents. "They told me growing up it doesn't matter what you do, just do it well. If you love it and put your heart into it you'll never fail."

Created by Daniel Hsia and Elaine Low, ANNIE UNDOCUMENTED is sure to become a conversation piece for individuals of all ages, especially young people who are seeing the debate over immigration play out in front of them--maybe even with someone that they know. (Watch the part one of the series below)

Stay connected with Nikki at, on Twitter at @NikkiSoohoo and on Facebook and Instagram under her name.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yvonne Pierre: Walking Through Fear By Faith to Recognize Those with Down Syndrome

by Cyrus Webb

Many of us are aware of October being recognized for Breast Cancer Awareness month, but how many know it is also the month for Down Syndrome Awareness as well?

For writer/director/radio personality and mother of two Yvonne Pierre this is something she recognizes not just in October but year round. Her son Zyon has Down Syndrome, and through her own journey she has not just been able to discover more about what's important in life for herself but others as well. Because of this she has created The Rise Awards, an opportunity to spotlight and recognize those with Down Syndrome that are doing amazing things.

"One of the things that I learned early on was to tell my story and things I've overcome," she shared with me recently. "Having a child with Down Syndrome has opened my eyes to wanting more and redefining what life and the meaning of purpose is. Being a mom has made me look at life differently."

As an individual in the public Yvonne has addressed the issue of fear in her professional life and the effects it can have on us all. "It is about realizing that it's much bigger than me," she says. "It's a human thing to fear. For some it stops them, but I focus on the bigger picture. I think the fear bothers me most when I focus on me. I have to focus on the substance of what it is I'm doing."

She sees The Rise Awards as a thank you for the examples that individuals with Down Syndrome are being for all of us. "It's acknowledging and letting the world see them and see their stories. There's a huge misconception of what people with Down Syndrome are able to accomplish. A lot of people told me what my own son couldn't accomplish and what he'll never do. I came across these powerful stories of individuals with Down Syndrome doing great things. We often measure people's intellect based on their ability to read, but not being able to read doesn't define where you can go in life."

Yvonne says that those with Down Syndrome have talents that range from music, art, dance and so much more. "I want to show the different colors of Down Syndrome and not the perception."

This year's Rise Awards will take place Friday, November 7, 2014 at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center (3181 Rainbow Dr, Decatur, GA 30034). This year's honorees are Bernadette Resha, Sean Sieleni, Sujeet Desai, Dhahran Hart, Gloria Huerta, Jr., Grace Carter, Haile King Rubie, Meagan Stacey and Olivia Brosseau.

For more information visit

Monday, October 20, 2014

Soul Train Award Nominee Sebastian Mikael: Living the Dream, Enjoying the Moment

by Cyrus Webb

Whether we realize it or now we all have been given amazing gifts. The challenge for us is to do what it takes to see those gifts nurtured. For recording artist and musician Sebastian Mikael it's not so much about recognizing the gifts he's been given. He is using them to their full potential everyday and the world is responding to his talent in a big way.

Originally from Sweden, Sebastian made the decision that if he was going to be able to take his gift all the way he had to make a change. That change led him to America in 2008 and just 3 years later he released his first mixtape called J'Adore.

With his video single "Beautiful Life", which debuted in September 2011, Sebastian was able to showcase his lyrical ability and the ability to bring people in through words. At the time we were going to press that video had over 150k views on Youtube alone. "My lyrical content is not always about love, but what we go through and feel in life,” he says. “I like to put hope in my music. Stuff that makes you feel good musically and lyrically.”

Fast forward two more years and his single "Last Night" featuring Wale has become one of the biggest singles of 2013, with the Youtube video grabbing over 530k in its first 3 months. (Just this month it was announced that the single was nominated for Soul Train Music Award Best Independent R&B/Soul Performance While he is enjoying it's success, Sebastian is not taking it for granted. "It's incredible to see how people are embracing the single. People are looking for something that's real, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share that with them. I've always been creative (painting,etc), but I think that doing music has always been a passion and something I enjoyed doing."

Now with the support of his label Slip-N-Slide he has taken to the road, sharing not just the music but the message that is his life: Nothing is impossible. "Whatever your passion is you have to do what it takes to pursue it," Sebastian told me. "It's definitely a blessing to be able to do this. All of the ups and downs that come in the industry...this is one of the amazing things about it. There's not a lot of people from Sweden coming here and doing what I'm able to do. Everything is possible. Nothing is impossible."

He's been spotted on BET, MTV, VH1 and Centric as well as visiting radio stations while he is on the road. This, coupled with the tour stops, has allowed individuals around the world to not just see his talent but to get a first-hand look at what it means to appreciate the gift.

Sebastian's message to his fans? "Thank you for the support. This couldn't be possible without you. I also want to tell you that when it comes to your own dreams it's a lot of hard work, and you have to really put in more than what's required. It's going to be worth it in the end. You just have to have faith and put in as much work as you can."

Listen to Sebastian's interview with Conversations LIVE at To stay abreast of all of Sebastian's upcoming projects visit his website You can also follow him on Twitter at

(Photo Credit: Faye Nightingale Photography)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Conversations Celebrates This Year's Soul Train Music Awards Nominees

Conversations LIVE radio host Cyrus Webb congratulates all of the nominees for this year's Soul Train Music Awards. "What a great roster of talent that are being spotlighted," he says. "It was great to have some of the nominees actually make a visit to Conversations LIVE over the past year."

Recording artists Shaliek, Tamela Mann, Sebastian Mikael, Erica Campbell and Kelly Price have all appeared as guests on Conversations LIVE over the past year.  Find their conversations with Webb below:


Check Out Music Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with conversationswithmusic on BlogTalkRadio

Tamela Mann

Check Out Entertainment Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Cyrus Webb Presents on BlogTalkRadio

Sebastian Mikael

Check Out Entertainment Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Cyrus Webb Presents on BlogTalkRadio

Erica Campbell

Check Out Motivation Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Inspirational Conversations on BlogTalkRadio

Kelly Price

Check Out Motivation Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Inspirational Conversations on BlogTalkRadio

Hosted by Wendy Williams, this year’s Soul Train Music Awards will take place at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 7 and air on Centric and BET on Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. ET.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New V. C. Andrews' novel CHRISTOPHER'S DIARY an homage to fans worldwide

by Cyrus Webb

I, like millions of others, fell under the spell of V. C. Andrews years ago. For me, my first experience with her books began with FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC when I was just 14 years old in the 8th grade. The year was 1990. Though most of her fan base is made up of girls and young women, there were other guys in my school that were fascinated with the stories that V. C. Andrews weaved—mainly because they were unlike anything we had read before. The books were written in the first person and told the stories of young people going through extraordinary circumstances. In order to survive they had to grow up fast if they were to grow up at all. Not all here books were the happy endings we had gotten used to with fairy tales, but it did give you some hope. It was the hope that captivated me and kept me reading.

You see, though I couldn’t relate entirely to the exact situations the characters of V. C. Andrews novels experienced, I knew what it was like to go through challenges, family secrets and the doubt of would I be enough to make in the world that seemed to chew you up and spit you out. I knew what it was like to not feel as though I belonged, having very few that seemed to understand what I was going through or who I was. Through the fictional stories of V. C. Andrews individuals like myself felt a connection. That connection would continue from book to book, even after her death and the books that would continue thanks to ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman.

That brings us to the new book CHRISTOPHER’S DIARY: Secrets of Foxworth. This book is one that I think fans of V. C. Andrews will devour and further see themselves in because it deals with the fantastical world that V. C. Andrews created with Foxworth Hall and its inhabitants—and the mystique that surrounds about what may or may not have happened there.

We are guided through the book by Kristin Masterwood, a distant cousin of the Foxworths who in many ways still lives in the shadow of the family and the mansion, even though it has burned to the ground. Her trip the grounds with her father leads her to the discovery of a book that is written by Christopher Dollanganger Jr., the brother of Cathy, Carrie and Cory. Readers of the Dollanganger series will remember that it was Cathy’s perspective that guided us through much of the books. Now we are able to get her Chris’ perspective and look at the world the way that he saw it. Through Kristin, however, we get so much more. We get to share the experience of what the Dollanganger series has meant for us over the years, and better understand the phenomena that the books have created and why.

You see with Christopher’s diary Kristin is drawn into the world as he lived it—just as we as readers were able to do through the series. Like us, Kristin saw the story impacting her life and her relationships—and she began to wonder if the curse of the Foxworths might have found its way to her after all.

In the 90s the horrendous things that the Dollanganger’s experienced seemed almost unimaginable. For us that had known challenges, though, we have always known that such evil did exist. The news of the day also bears that out as we hear of families that do cruel and unspeakable things in secret. I have always believed that V. C. Andrews was ahead of her time in many ways, making us face the worst of humanity as we look to the good within ourselves and others to survive.
Christopher’s Diary is really a thank you to V. C. Andrews and a recognition of what these books have meant for us. As we see in the conclusion this newest book featuring Kristin, the story doesn’t really end. In many ways it continues through us and those that we share it with, and we are definitely grateful for that.

CHRISTOPHER'S DIARY: SECRETS OF FOXWORTH officially releases Tues. October 28th. Pre-order on Amazon here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Author and Speaker Michael Russer Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Share Intimacy Tips for Men

Intimacy author and speaker Michael J. Russer (@heartopenlife) launched a Kickstarter campaign ( this month to fund a book about genuine intimacy geared toward millennial men. The book is titled: Extraordinary Intimacy for Men – A Practical Guide to Help Men Become What Women Love. This book shows men how to be clear about whom they want in a female partner and turn powerful sexual impulses into respectful and fulfilling long-term relationships.

“Most people equate intimacy with sex and they are often two very different things.” explains Russer. “How men and women are biologically and culturally ‘wired’, primarily for procreation, gets in the way of what their hearts truly yearn for –deep connection.” says Russer. He is a fully impotent prostate cancer survivor who has discovered how couples can “rewire” to experience very high levels of emotional and physical intimacy. These insights are a result of his impotence “short-circuiting” his own male urges in a way that has led to levels of emotional and physical connection with his female partner that vastly exceeded what either thought was humanly possible.

“Men crave intimacy and connection as much as women.” Mr. Russer says. “It’s just that they have never been taught how to achieve this with a woman in a way that is fulfilling and satisfying for both. Every guy knows what sex is and how to do it. Very few really understand what it means to establish true intimacy / connection with women and many are tired of the emptiness and risk associated with the casual hookup culture so prevalent today.”

Supporters of the campaign will receive a copy of the book and the Dream Woman Project which is a way Russer teaches men to become very clear on whom they want for a long-term mate. He developed this tool for his own use to help find his life mate who is exactly what he was looking for in a woman.

In addition to being an international speaker, coach and author helping men and women achieve extraordinary intimacy, he is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the GoodMenProject. He is also a featured speaker for TEDx University of Nevada and has another book about intimacy for the general public (called “Hardly Broken”) due out in early 2015.

For more information about the work Michael is doing or the campaign call 805-280-8217 or send email to Find out more information about his Kickstarter project at

Cyrus Webb Presents... A Conversation with Actor Michael Rooker

by Cyrus Webb

Sometimes things just come together in such a way that you know it was just meant to be. For some it seems to be an accident or luck, but you know different. You know that where you have come from has led to this moment and that adds to the gratitude. I think this is the perfect description of the man that is Michael Rooker.

I had seen him in several movies over the years including Mississippi Burning, Replicant and one of my favorites Jumper. But it would be his role as Merle Dixon on the hit AMC show The Walking Dead that would introduce him to the world and a legion of loyal admirers.

How did this happen you might ask? The answer is simple. For almost 30 years Rooker has been tilling the ground, getting himself ready for that moment when he could show the world who he was and what he could do. That moment seems to have come.

In this frank conversation we touch on topics that not only give a glimpse of the world that Michael Rooker built but what we can do to make every moment count.

"I am and have always been a fan of the show. I was there very early in the beginning of Season 1. I got into the show sort of a la carte, thinking I would do one or two episodes perhaps and then move on. I ended up doing a lot more. The rest is history. The whole journey is one I am very fortunate and blessed to have had because look at what's happened because of it."

"I didn't know acting was going to be my thing, but I was always critical early on about what commercials I liked. I've been that guy that could pick out the phony situation. This sort of eventually through me into acting. I didn't get involved until junior college. I said to myself I know I'm good at acting. I began wondering if I could actually do what they do. I took a few classes and really enjoyed myself. 'Til this day I don't know if I was that great in the beginning, but i dug it. I honed my craft and got out and started working."

"This is what I do: I bring passion to roles. The authenticity I feel is picked up on by the people. "The authenticity and the passion are what I pride myself on. I try to find the truth and make it as real as possible for myself. If it feels real to me then my audience will believe it."

(NOTE: When talking about passion Michael brings up the talented cast that worked with him on The Walking Dead. "It's those sorts of experiences with other actors that make it all worth it," he says. "When I work with actors that stimulate, challenge and move your performance forward it's almost magical. I still call it our show. The actors bring it every time.")

"I'm amazed and appreciative for the fans. The love I've been showered with is phenomenal. There's not a lot I can say about that. Every time I think about it I saw 'Wow!' I've been in the business since 1982, and I have never experienced anything like this. It's really wild. I'm definitely amazed at it. Not completely used to it yet, but I don't know how you can get completely ever get used to it."

"You can't give it up. You can always find a job to make money. The key is to be stubborn. I've always been stubborn, and it has paid off in aces. If this is really what you find joy in it's worth giving up a lot of other things for it. I work my butt off. You've just got to. My lines I know them backwards and forward. I don't try to memorize the lines. I'm concerned about what's underneath them and between them. Find what you love and just stick to it."

"I landed so many gigs from my first movie. What stood out was a 90 second scene, and that 90 seconds has gotten me at least a half dozen film projects. It got me started, almost like prime real estate. The lesson there is this: No matter what time you have make it count."

What a great piece of advice for all of us. No matter what the profession or how some might view the outcome, it's up to us to bring it each and every time.

Michael is still on the road, meeting fans and working on new projects. You can visit him online at You can also stay in touch with him online through Twitter at

Cyrus Webb Presents... A Conversation with Actor/Author IronE Singleton

by Cyrus Webb

Regardless of the challenge that we face or the difficulty before us we all have the opportunity to do something great with our lives. A great example of this comes from IronE Singleton. I haven't been able to stop talking about him and his book BLINDSIDED BY THE WALKING DEAD since I discovered it. After reading this conversation you'll see why.

For many who know the journey of IronE Singleton growing up you might have believed that nothing good could ever come his way. If you had bet against him, however, you would have lost big time. Today the Atlanta native has achieved his dream of being not just a working actor but one that has starred in some of the biggest television shows and movies of the past three years. Most notably he was the thug Alton alongside Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side and then in 2011 he brought to life the character T-Dog in the hit AMC show The Walking Dead. Both experiences shaped him in ways you wouldn't imagine, and he has chronicled his experiences in his memoir BLINDSIDED BY THE WALKING DEAD. It's a book that I was so impressed with that I made it one of my Top 50 Non-Fiction reads of 2013.

In the book we read that IronE knew he wanted to head to Hollywood and be known, but he could have never imagined the journey over the past few years. "I  didn't know when it was going to happen," he told me during our interview. "I just knew it was going to happen. Now that I'm living it, it's a little surreal."

Ironically, though we look at the character T-Dog as a zombie fighting machine in The Walking Dead, IronE says that he learned quite a bit about himself from the character. "The fact that T-Dog came together with so many different people to help one another, to survive....that is ultimately what it's like on this earth," he explained. "We're supposed to be looking out for each other. We can't just make it alone. We are all one. We come from the same source. That is what I realized when I was playing the character.  It's a lot bigger than the walking dead. It's more than just a tv show. It's an extreme form of reality, but it is something that people could really relate to and take their minds off of their real life situations and enjoy."

Along with his own journey IronE's book takes us into the underbelly of his community, a world that would eventually claim many of his friends and even his own mother. I asked if it was difficult to share so much of his truth that way with the world. "It wasn't difficult to share at all," he told me. "I think I needed to share it all in order to cleanse myself in order for my rebirth to take place. I had skeletons that I was dealing with. In order for me to become the person I am today I had to share with the rest of humanity." Instead of regret, IronE experienced a release. "When I did let it out things seem to flow more easily in the universe.

"My mother was a crack addict and alcoholic and died from HIV complications. Just seeing what that life (doing drugs) could do to a person told me that I didn't want to go down that road." He became strengthened in his resolve to change things around. "I was determined to never do drugs and once I had a family I talked with them about the dangers of that life. It's a hard thing to make a change," he told me. "It's a lot easier to just say you will never go down that path. It's a road of nightmares, one that's very difficult to come back from."

Ironically it was acting that also caused IronE to examine the way he was treating himself and women as well. While filming a project called Secrets which dealt with a character that was HIV positive, he says he began to do a self-evaluation. "It took me back to growing up in the inner city," he explained. "My big fear was thinking of all the women I had slept with, some of them unprotected. I started to reflect on all that I had done in my life. During the filming of the movie he was tested for HIV. When it came back negative he saw it as a message from God. "My purpose hadn't been fulfilled yet," he told me. He began setting out looking for ways to fulfill that very purpose. In 2009 that opportunity presented itself in a big way.

That year IronE Singleton began working on the movie The Blindside, and his character would become part of some of the most memorable scenes of the Academy-nominated film. After the taping he was approached by the show's star Sandra Bullock, chronicling it in his book:

"She threw her arms around me and gave me a big hug, commending me for my performance, saying I had genuinely wowed her and creeped her out at the same time. Sandy told me she panicked a little when she saw what I was putting out there, wondering how she'd be able to respond in kind. She looked forward to seeing me in Hollywood and hoped we would have the chance to work together again in the future."

When I asked him how that encounter made him feel, IronE says it was "affirmation that everything happens for a reason. This was my time. Everything I had gone through in my life had come full circle."

The same can be said about the show The Walking Dead. "My hope is that everybody uses their experiences in life to realize that there is always a better day as long as we continue to work hard and never give up. Always have truth and love in your heart, and you'll be alright."

When it comes to the message he wants his fans to take away from his career it is this: "Your purpose is to help others search for theirs and on that journey you will find yours. The only thing I have to do on this planet is to love. Do everything to where God would appreciate it. No matter what you are going through stay optimistic. Use the negative as fuel for the positive. Let it inspire you."

To stay abreast of all the new projects and appearance for IronE, visit and make sure to follow him on Twitter at

Interviews with #TheWalkingDead's Michael Rooker, IronE Singleton & Vincent M. Ward

As the world gears up for the start of The Walking Dead's 5th season Conversations LIVE's host Cyrus Webb is taking you back to some of the show's most talked-about characters and actors.

Here you can listen to interviews with actors Michael Rooker, IronE Singleton and Vincent M. Ward.


Actor Michael Rooker

Check Out Current Events Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with theconversationshow on BlogTalkRadio

Actor IronE Singleton

Check Out Entertainment Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Cyrus Webb Presents on BlogTalkRadio

Actor Vincent M. Ward

Check Out Current Events Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Conversation Pieces on BlogTalkRadio

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cyrus Webb Presents ~ 10 Cookbooks You Should Own this Fall

by Cyrus Webb

For me the kitchen is the way I typically express not just my love for family and friends but of delicious meals as well. Since I come from a family with some health concerns I try to mix things up enough that you can have not just variety and flavor but food that is not going to do more harm than good.

As the host of Conversations LIVE, Editor of Conversations Magazine and President of Conversations Book Club I am literally discovering dozens of books each month that give you not just great recipe ideas but healthy options that I found to be hits with my guests and myself.

Going into a new season I wanted to share with you... "10 Cookbooks You Should Own this Fall". Hope you find something that will not just be appealing to you but a favorite as well.

"10 Cookbooks You Should Own this Fall" (Listed in no particular order)

  1. "The Budget-Friendly Fresh & Local Diabetes Cookbook" by Charles Mattock, "The Poor Chef" (American Diabetes Assoc.)
  2. "The Lazy Gourmet" by Robin Donovan & Juliana Gallin (Viva Editions)
  3. "Part-Time Paleo" by Leanne Ely (Plume)
  4. "The Healthy Home Cookbook" by Barbara Seelig-Brown (American Diabetes Assoc.)
  5. "The Good. The Bad. The Cookbook" by Mario J. Porreca and Kirk Kolich (Langdon Street Press)
  6. "Kichenability 101" by Nisa Burns (Kitchenability Press)
  7. "One Bowl" by Stephanie Bostic (CreateSpace)
  8. "A Reader's Cookbook" by Judith Choate (Red Rock Press)
  9. "The Neelys' Celebration Cookbook" by Pat and Gina Neely (Knopf)
  10. "Hello Taste, Goodbye Guilt!" by Mr. Food Kitchen (American Diabetes Assoc.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mississippi's own C. A. Webb hosts ALL THINGS NEW art show ~ Sat. Oct. 4th

After a decade of hosting art shows and poetry readings throughout the South, Mississippi's own C. A. Webb (Cyrus Webb) is excited to announce that his newest exhibition ALL THINGS NEW will be shown at the Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road * Pearl, MS) Sat. October 4th from 1-3p.m.

"This one has a special place in my heart because it is all about creating something from nothing," says Webb, 39. "I broke a glass pane one day and though I was frustrated I looked at the pieces and realized that I could create something new from them. It wasn't the end. It was a new beginning."

Over 20 pieces in the exhibit started off as one thing and has been transformed into something better, a great metaphor for what can happen in our own lives.

Admission to the show is free, however pieces will be available for purchasing. Refreshment will be served. For more information contact Webb at or 601.896.5616. You can also visit