Thursday, August 31, 2006

OUT 81







NEWSFLASH: TO ALL MA’AT FANS........





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Whattup y’all! This is your blogporter Ma’at here givin it to ya one more time for another week. Man, this has been a week hasn’t it? From space experts saying Pluto is no longer a planet (They got it like that????) to the Hurricane Katrina anniversary activities in New Orleans and Mississippi (Y’all must check out Spike Lee’s new documentary on HBO, “When the Levees Broke”), to John Mark Karr not being charged in the JonBenet Ramsey murder ( Kerr said he wanted actor Johnny Depp to play him when the movie comes out? What movie? What tha!).

For those who are familiar with my site, I usually give my weekly scoop on my travels everywhere, but this week, I decided to do something a little different. I want to give my readers some insight of who I am as a person (especially those who email me to ask who I am and why I’m sending them my blogsite to them. LOL). The following is a brief career history of who Ma’at is and where he came from (ABOVE IS A MIDSHOT PIC I TOOK EARLIER THIS YEAR. PHOTO COURTESY OF BOB MORRISON)

OK herr we go.

I was born Marcus Fitzgerald Atkins, July 6 (I dare not give the year, I need to protect the innocent but it was in the 1970s. LOL) in Centreville, Ill to Faye and Herman Atkins, who are both from Pine Bluff, Ark. I spent two of my years living in South St. Louis where my parents stayed up with my father’s parents. After that, I spent my formative years from 2 to 18 years living at 633 Terrace Drive in East St. Louis.

I attended Harding Elementary located at 731 N. 74th Street in East St. Louis (I think its getting ready to move from or have already from my understanding). Next, I attended the now defunct King Junior High School that used to be located on 72nd and State Street, but it was built far out into a low-end valley. (During my 8th and 9th grade years, I got home schooled due to my chronic chest pain illness).

After junior high, I attended East St. Louis Senior High School, affectionately known as East Side, Home of the Flyers. After graduation, I attended and moved up to SIU-Edwardsville to attend college. During my seven year stay there (5 years to get my bachelor’s and 2 to get my master’s), I majored in Mass Communications and got my first dose of “black realism” by taking Black Studies classes from renowned poet/Poet Laureate of East St. Louis Eugene B. Redmond. From then on, I became active in other extracurricular activities on campus. I wrote for the Alestle News as a Lifestyle Reporter, helped co-form a literary organization, The Black Literary Guild, and co-created a monthly poetry reading series, the award-winning Public Poet Series. Outside campus, I interned at WESL-AM Station on 8th Street in East St. Louis and became a board member of the Eugene B. Redmond Writer’s Club (EBRWC) that met at the former State Community College(which is now the East ST. Louis Community College Center) and the now defunct Katherine Dunham East St. Louis Center that were both on Broadway in East St. Louis.

After college, I began working for my father for his security company, Professional Security, when he had a contract with Lambert Airport to employsecurity at one of the employee parking lots. I supervised there for two years learning the ropes and dealing with the hustle and bustle of scheduling officers. I also got the knack that I could be a print model and got involved with Quantum FX Modeling Services that used to be located on Euclid. There I learned Acting and even did a runway fashion show networking party (I cant recall where it was held).

In 1998, I, along with Redmond and District 189 educator and poet Sherman Fowler co-edited and wrote a book, called, “Visible Glory:The Million Man March,” (which was special publication which was a part of the SIUE published literary magazine Drumvoices Revue created by Redmond) a picture, poetry , essay and interview expose of local and national marchers who were traveling to, there during and after the now historic 1995 March on Washington D.C.(We were featured in the St. Louis American in the Business section. Oh, and the Visible Glory book can be checked out at www.purdue.edu/bcc/library/newboojan.htm or www.riverweb.uiuc.edu/IBEX/library/library_books.htm or you can just call the SIUE English Dept at 618/650-3991 and ask for Professor Redmond)


In 1999, I worked with EBRWC member and former Hatshepsut Art /Studio Gallery curator Sheryl Johnson as her Literary Director and co-produced and directed theatrical plays there including “Skits-a-femina” (1999), “Man-a-logue” (2000) , a musical version of “The Dutchman” (2002) and a cabaret fashion show, “Ledragvaganza” (2002). I also helped to create the poetry slam, “Word War.”

I got my first journalism gig at the Suburban Journals that used to be located on North Illinois in Belleville where I was a news reporter for the Fairview Heights and East St. Louis Journals from 2000 to 2001. In early 2001, I began work as a copy editor/entertainment writer for the St. Louis American Newspaper (I worked as a freelancer first at the American when I was still at Suburban Journals, BTW) There, I learned how to edit copy on deadline and it gave me the opportunity to hone on my interviewing skills. I also had a chance to meet and interview many celebrities including Boyz II Men, India.Arie, Nick Cannon, Big Tigga, Soul Food star Darrin Henson, Keith Sweat, Vivica A. Fox, and of course STL bred rapper, Nelly. I also had chance to have my own column while working called “East Boogie Line” where featured East St. Louis heroes and sheroes (All Praises Due To Artego. LOL) and my take on the city and created a brief print-skit for Delores Shante’s Partyline called, “Kilt The Gun” where I talked about TV shows that started to get corny or jump the gun (get it?) Also, during this time, I had a chance to do an outside music article, a music review of Tweet’s debut CD “Southern Hummingbird” in the April 2002 issue of Upscale Magazine.

In 2003, I started to do more behind the scenes stuff. I helped to coordinate music for 1st Friday’s Fashion Show at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton that featured Kimora Lee Simmons’ Baby Phat Line and stage managed and co-wrote copy commentary for former ST. Louis American fashion editor Keith Underwood’s fashion show that was held at the Missouri Black Expo. That same year, I hooked up with local filmmaker Jewelanda Hodges through her cuz actress/director Chrys Yvette (who I met and befriended as a reporter at the American in 2002 during the much ballyhooed local TV show “The Show”) and help stage manage her gospel stageplay, “Every Dog Has His Day” at the Florissant Civic Center (and again in 2004 at Harris Stowe University).

In 2004, I moved on to more entertainment freelancing work writing for the now defunct Flipside Newzine and later in the year, copped two local TV gigs doing commentating for “The St. Louis Show” and the now-defunct Charter Cable entertainment show, “Reel Entertainment” (my very first segment on former MAXX Jazz label artist Renee Marie was nominated for a Regional Emmy in 2005 and I won a National Association of Black Journalist award for the same segment) That same year, I dabbled in some acting by co-starring in the Webster University student film, “I Married A Zombie” where I played a professor/zombie priest and as an extra in the Sundance Award winning film, “Steel City” that was filmed in Alton, Ill. (You can do a search on http://www.imdb.com/ to check out the info on this film).

In 2005, I worked with more freelancing work in three different mediums: West End Word (print), theatre reviews for KDHX (radio) and creating my own blogsite (Internet).

This year, I’m still with the West End Word and working my blog. I also did some print work for Anheuser Busch tours, and a photo shoot for Bob Morrison Photography. I also became a contributing writer for the ST. Louis Argus (the oldest Black paper in the STL ) On the flip, I am supervising security officers at the Malcolm Martin Memorial Park Expansion located in the rear of the Casino Queen where the Gateway Water Geyser is located (and that my father manages).

Well, I hope that gives you a little bit of who I am as a person in the public eye that is. For the rest of my life, well, y’all have to wait until I publish my memoirs to get that scoop. LOL

FOR MORE OF MY PICS I HAD TAKEN WITH BOB MORRISON GO TO OUT 80-MA’ATPICS.

MA’AT-TIDBITZ. Well, I was selected to be one of the 20 or so models who will hit the runway for STL Rams running back player Marshall Faulk’s Annual Benefit fashion show produced by Doin It Very Attractively (aka DIVA). (And now with Faulk’s football career future looking not too promising now that he has undergone knee surgery on both knees, this year’s event will have more sentiment than ever before). All I had to do was walk and got it (you know I had to pump up the swagger too. LOL). Last Friday was my debut at rehearsals that was held at the YMCA off Pershall Road in Florissant. MO , I was sooooooooooooooo nervous. I felt as though I was walking a tightrope with no net. I was one of four guys who auditioned (one guy thought he was competing for Tyra Banks’ America’s Top Model,-swish-swish. LOL ).

This sista named Traci was over the auditions as well as the rehearsals. Then she said she was going to call the names of the guys she wanted to stay (and you can guess which one didn’t stay. LOL) You can hear a cowbell from Kansas ringing it was so quiet in that room. So the swish-swish guy gathered his things and said it was nice meeting everybody (For a moment I was wondering were therr any cameras for the reality show. LOL)

Overall, the rehearsals have been laid back and dramatic (One sista fell on her dunka dunk while walking in her high heels!). We are actually directing ourselves,. In other words, we are creating the runway we are walking. I don’t want to give away too much, but its going to be your typical St. Louis fashion show with choreographed dance numbers, a skit and straight runway all done with an R&B soundtrack. Some of the local model stars are Lady, Malik Ali and Avery Grinston (What happened to ya Carlos M?) and yours truly.

CHECK OUT EVENT-TIDBITZ BELOW FOR MORE INFO ON THE MARSHALL FAULK FASHION SHOW ITSELF.


I was checking out last week’s Riverfront Times and in it they had a Best of St. Louis 2006 Poll Survey and the first category is “People and Places” and the 1st subcategory is, “Best Blog!” This got me to thinking about my blog. So, I’m asking all of my fans of my blog to vote for maatspear.blogspot.com as the Best Blog. You can pick up the ballot in this week’s RFT or go to http://www.riverfronttimes.com/ and click on the icon on the upper left corner and wait until you see the Best of St. Louis 2006 Reader’s Poll icon and vote for my blog (I just voted for myself so I need a few more to take it on.!) ………………………….


Again, I want to thank you all for still checking out the movie I did on YOUTUBE of my brief appearance on Last Comic Standing in care of Kathi Griffin reality show, “My Life on the D-List”. As of this writing, the hits has went from 305 to 370! If you haven’t checked it out, go tohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvmwSn9glKE (FYI, You gotta pause the video at 2 second in to see me!)………………………………………………………….

My story on the preview to the 13th Annual Art’s Fair in Clayton should hit the streets in the West End Word and its website http://www.westendword.com/ on Sept. 6!............................................................................................................

This past Monday. I rode the Shrewsberry Metro Link from the Forest Park Station (where I parked my car) to the Forsyth Station to go the Bally Total Fitness (It took no more than 5 minutes to it and paid 2 bones to get a ticket) I decided to try this route now that Bally customers are now forced to get a two-hour validated ticket just to park to work out (After two hours, its 1 bone each hour!). Some of the MetroLink track going to Shrewsberry is under a tunnel (which made it seem as though you were on an amusement park ride) and they had many volunteers people helping people find their way on the new Link route………………………………………………………………………………...


Here are some WORDZ TO THE WHYZ that I thought were interesting: Why was there a man jogging up and down the train tracks in Shiloh, Ill? Why was there a dog sleeping in the middle of a neighborhood street when I was driving from work? Why did this white man, from out of town, who was in the middle of traffic during the Highway 64 construction ask me where was the best place to get BBQ in St. Louis? Why did the Assembly Church of God in Centreville have signs in front that read, “Thou Shalt Not Park Here?” Why did a STL radio personality say on air that he knows a guy that used to “mess around” with a particular nationally known actor/comedian? Why did a STL filmmaking upstart get into a shouting match with the manager of a local access channel? Why are most films that are shot in the STL (student films in particular) have mostly a zombie theme? And Why is it that Fox 2 reporter Elliot Davis doesn’t have his own “You Paid For it” show?

CHART-IDBITZ.. Chingy is still pulling up on the Billboard charts. Although his song with Tyrese, “Pulling Me Back, is still No. 1 on the Rap Tracks Chart, it holds in the same positions on the Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip Charts this week as the song holds at No. 16 for a second week in its 11th week on Hot 100 (Nelly and Janet’s duet, “Call on Me” moves down two spaces down from 42 to 44 (back to its original spot two weeks ago) in its 10 th week on this chart.

On the R&B/Hip Hop side, Chingy’s song stays at No. 2 for a second week (Yet it’s the No. 1 Airplay Single in this category though) in its 15th week on this chart. (Beyonce and Jay Z’s “Déjà Vu” still holds at No. 1 for a second week but has lost its bullet). Chingy may have a shot next week to “pull up” to No. 1 on this chart because the song still has its bullet. Meanwhile, Nelly and Janet’s duet still is pushing up close to the Top Five as it moves up one space up from 7 to 6 in its 11th week on this chart.

In other Chingy news, I saw the the STL-based rapper pumping it up in Bally Total Fitness in Clayton this past Monday with his two bodyguards. He is starting to bulk up since last time I saw him (I guess he was getting his last minute reps before he traveled to the MTV Awards in the Big Apple). But what was funny was when this guy walked up to Chingy as he was doing shoulder reps with some free weights and the guy said, “Excuse me man, but , not meaning to stare, but are you Chingy?” (YIPES) Well, Chingy looked at him from the mirror and kind of slugged him off by mumbling, “yeah.” Then the guy said, “OK, good to meet you man.” Then, the guy walked off. Man, talk about a slight insult for someone to guess if you are the platinum selling rapper from the Lou or if you were his twin! The moment was so St. Louis and----CLASSIC.


STL-TIDBITZ. Former 100.3 The Beat personalities Big Sexy Kool DJ Kaos and Sylli Asz is doin it up on You Tube these days hosting their hilarious STL reality Internet series, the Janky Show. To check it out, go to http://www.youtube.com/ and type in “The Janky Show”!..................................................................................

I hear that local rapper Penelope Jones (SEEN ABOVE IN A VERY SEXY PIC) is about to drop her single, “No Matter What They Say” with singer Mya on the local radio stations as well as her video on 106 and Park pretty soon (if not already). Congrats for her. She has gone through a lot in her life (doin a stint in prison, the death of her brother and being featured on America’s Most Wanted talking about her slain brother) and I guess its time for her to be the 3rd sista in the STL to shine (following SK and Ebony Eyez). In unrelated Penelope news, I was net surfing and saw on Ebay a seller named Mugpuss was selling Penelope’s single on there. As of this writing, the starting bid was at 1.99 and they had 4 singles up for bid! What’s really going on here? (April, did you know about this?) Oh and for a blast in the past I remember in 2001, when I was a reporter for the American and my colleague at the time, Bill Beene had gone to Streetside Records in the Delmar Loop for the ST. Lunatics' CD signing of their debut CD, "Free City" and Penelope was there. She was about to release her CD (but that's when trouble with the law came through and put her on a temperory leave of absence). I greet'd her and had taken a photo with her for Partyline. She was very nice and friendly……………………………………………………….................................................

Congrats to St. Louis born model and actress Shebtufi Kushma who is tying the knot in Chi-town where she is currently residing and former St. Louis American fashion editor Keith Underwood for landing a PR gig as publicist for TV and film actor Wesley Johnathan who can now be seen in the new flick, “Crossover” starting this weekend …………………………………..

EVENT-IDBITZ. Doin’ it Very Attractively or D.I.V.A. presents Marshall Faulk 2nd Annual Benefit fashion Show, Friday, Sept. 29 at the Airport Marriott. Tickets: $45, After Party $20. Businesses and services can also sponsor ads in the event’s program booklet. $25 for a business card, $40 for a quarter page, $60 for a half page and $100 for a full page . For more info, contact tracy@divaeventplanning.com for more information and tell them that Ma’at referred you!........................................................ To celebrate the STl Hip Hop Festival, there will be a Chocolate Lover’s Party, Sept. 1 at Club Plush, 1820 Market St, Doors Open @ 9:00pm. Dress Grown & Sexy [No Tennies or T-Shirts] For more info contact Bdiesel72@aol.com or 314.659.7040 For more info go to : http://www.stlhiphopfestival.com/ or 314-436-7578 1st Friday presents, All White Affair, Sept. 1, Doors Open @ 9:00pm at the Moolah Cinema, 3821 Lindell Blvd, Reduced admission for anyone wearing all white Ladies Free Until 10:30pm. 9-11pm: Budweiser Listening Party 11-3am - All White Affair. For more info, go to info@1stfriday-stl.com................................. Brandon Williams, Keith Harris, Robert Kirk & Keenan Harris present STYLISHLY HOT 2 Labor Day Sunday Blowout, Sunday, September 3rd
@ Ten14 (1014 Locust - Formerly The Living Room) Doors @ 9 pm Party til 3 am Only $5 Til 11 pm Stylish and Sexy Attire!..................................................... HARRAH'S ST. LOUIS, THE RIVERFRONT TIMES and CHERESSEINK team for a Labor Day Weekend Bash at VooDoo cafe & lounge, 777 Casino Center Drive, with “Beauty, Beats &Burlesque” Sunday, September 3, 2006 at 9 p.m. Being flown in from Dallas for the occasion are DJs Nick Z and Tony T - providing the beats in a new performance never before seen in St. Louis. They will debut the Pioneer DVJ, playing music videos and skipping them to all hot off the charts music accompanied by a live light and music video show. The beauty is all in the Burlesque - two shows complete with aerialist dancers that will be performed at 10:30pm and Midnight. Another beauty, Cheresse Pentella, from the hit TV show "The Bachelor", will also be a part of the party.

No Cover.RSVP to bbbharrahs@cheresseink.com

The Black Rep announced plans to shift slots for the 30th anniversary season. Titled The Black Pearl, the season will feature a six-show line-up designed to entertain, educate and enrich audiences of all types. Continuing their partnerships with Washington University and Mary Institute Country Day School (MICDS), the 30th season will kick-off in September with a two week run of MAHALIA a gospel musical at the Edison Theatre followed by a one weekend run of the production at the Orthwein Theatre at MICDS. The mainstage series at the Grandel Theatre will feature three hit musicals, August Wilson’s play exploring the first decade in his ten-play series and the return of a popular comedy by Samm-Art Williams. The season will begin with MAHALIA By Tom Stolz on the life of legendary gospel great Mahalia Jackson. September 13-24, 2006 at the Edison Theatre at Washington University and September 29-October 1, 2006 and the Orthwein Theatre at MICDS 2007 Performance Schedule:Wednesday and Thursday Previews at 7:00 p.m.Thursday at 7:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinee performances at 3:00 p.m. Season subscriptions for all six shows of the 30th Anniversary range from $120 to $200 and are on sale now. To reserve your seat please call (314) 534-3810 or visit http://www.theblackrep.org/.................................. The next Café Soul will take place be at Club Dreams on Sept. 20. For more info, contact Coco Soul at cafesoulstl@yahoo.com.....................................................................

GORDON-BITZ. If you’re going to be in Washington DC for the Congressional Black Caucus, then check out Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Gordon Chambers, Live at the New Washington D.C. Convention Center, Exhibit Hall, Showcase Stage, Saturday, Sept. 9, 3:00 PM Sharp! The event is free,. For more info, call 202/249-3000


AUDITION-BITZ. The St. Louis Black Repertory Company will hold auditions for its 2006/2007 mainstage season on Saturday, October 21, 2006, 1PM.– 7PM Equity actors will be seen between 1p.m. and 2p.m. by appointment only at the Black Rep’s offices, 1717 Olive Street, 4th Floor. Appointments will be taken beginning Monday, September 11, 2006. Call (314) 534 – 3807 to schedule. Actors should prepare 2 contemporary contrasting monologues, or 1 contemporary monologue and an acappella song. Please bring two (2) 8.5” X 11” updated professional black and white headshots with resumes attached securely on the back. Available Roles include: Ain’t Misbehavin’, Crossin’ Over, Gem of the Ocean, The Dance on Widow’s Row, Guys and Dolls

ONGOING-BITZ. Collective Catering (collectivecatering@yahoo.com located at 4958 Cote Brilliante, their digits are 314-575-3333)

Bottom of FormCheck out STLdee-jay Enoch online with his own radio playlist. The Flow; Music Lounge. Peep it out at http://www.flowink.com/player-popup.htm or go to his myspace page enochisreal.

Show Me Entertainment presents Industry Nights, a networking party for artists, http://www.hotmail.com/entertainers, models, actors, painters, dancers, entertainment lawyers, managers, etc. every Wednesday night at the Lindbergh Bistro located inside the Airport Plaza inn at I-70 and Lindbergh. 18 Y.O. to enbetr. 21 Y.O. and up to Drinbk. Admission FREE. For more info, contact Terrence Smith at 314/713-3793, or tsmith@showme1.com or http://www.showme1.com/

Local movie screener and TV programmer James Thomas has two hot shows on KPLR- Channel 11 (Soon to be CW 11 next month) with his shows “First Look” about upcoming movies in theaters, Thursday morning at 2:30 am and Hot Videos, Friday mornings at 3 a.m.
For all your STL hip-hop info needs, go to http://www.stlhiphop.com/!STL video guy Dana Christian has a hot new website where people can send their professional music videos films to get exposed. It is http://www.spitflix.com/. Peep it out!KYO (pronounced KEE-O) continues "Redefining the Art of Dining & Nightlife" with a fresh weekly lineup that promises to quench your thirst for drink and dance. So "Be Fashionably Elite" with a smile and let KYO claim your evening from 5pm till 3am in the morning. For more info go to http://www.kyostl.com/newsletter.htm


REMEMBER TO VOTE FOR MY BLOG, MAATSPEAR.BLOGSPOT.COM AS BEST BLOG AT THE RFT BEST OF 2006 at http://www.riverfronttimes.com/!


Well, that be it, folks. If ya got anything for me to pub, hit me up e-mail style at maatspear@yahoo.com! HAVE A SAFE LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

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