Where you can find Cyrus A. Webb
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
(Wednesday, December 29, 2010) When Shadow Play Entertainment President Cyrus Webb began looking for a theme song to promote its literacy campaign for 2011, he didn't have to go any further than two of his friends that shared his passion for encouraging reading: Herschel Dixon of Louisville, KY and Chris Ervin aka Dj Down South of Raleigh, MS.
"As a father, Herschel has made books a large part of his daughters' lives," says Webb, 35. "He came to me with the idea to rewrite Cash Money's popular song "Get Your Roll On" to promote reading among young people as part of our Hip Hop and Books Campaign. It made perfect sense, and from there we got together and wrote the song. The only thing left to do was get someone to record it."
Choosing Dj Down South was a no-brainer for Webb. "Down South had been a part of our Hip Hop and Books literacy campaign since I co-founded it in 2008 with Platinum-selling recording artist and bestselling author Corey "C-Murder" Miller in 2008," says Webb. "He saw what we were trying to do, and the rest is history."
The song "Get Your Read On" will be used as the theme for not just the Hip Hop and Books campaign but Webb's entire initiative to encourage reading among all age groups and backgrounds. "We have to do whatever it takes to get people enjoying books again," says Webb. "This song is just one part of my plan to do that in 2011. I am already working on a video for Youtube featuring the song, and we are gathering an impressive body of influential individuals together to promote reading's importance as well."
Celebrities that have already joined the campaign include actress/director/author Cherie Johnson (Punky Brewster/Family Matters), actor/author/recording artist Tray Chaney (HBO's The Wire), Vanessa and Angela Simmons (Pastry), recording artists Fizz and Booz and many more.
"Get Your Read On" is available for free download at www.esnips.com/web/getyourreadon. Webb hopes that people will share the song and use it as a catalyst to make books a part of their daily lives.
For more information about Shadow Play Entertainment's literacy campaign, visit www.hiphopandbooks.net, www.taketimetoread.com or contact Cyrus Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.896.5616.
Monday, December 27, 2010
(Monday, December 27, 2010) Though a lover of books all of his life, 35 year old Mississippi native Cyrus Webb didn't realize the true importance of words until his adult years. "For me reading was a means of escape and a way to learn about the world," he says. "Today I realize that in many cases it can be the deciding factor between success and failure."
Because of this, in 2006 Webb began what has become the United States largest co-ed reading group, Conversations Book Club. Over the past four years it has hosted literary events across the country, creating spin-offs that embrace sports and music lovers. To date Conversations Book Club has hosted free events featuring 93 authors in Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia. "We are all about encouraging reading," says Webb. "Since that is our aim, we have to be all things to all people to get them involved."
Since Mississippi still ranks at the top of the list when it comes to illiteracy, Webb feels obligated to focus his main literary efforts at home. His organization Shadow Play Entertainment recently announced its theme for 2011 as "A Year Of New Beginnings". Though this applies to various areas in life, for Webb, helping others to fall in love with books is at the top of his list of priorities.
On Thursday, December 30, 2010, Webb will be visiting two libraries sharing his organizations message for the New Year and giving out free books for all ages to help others get started reading as soon as possible. From 10-12p.m., he will be at the Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Rd * Pearl, MS) and from 1-3p.m., he will be at the Margaret Walker Alexander Library (2525 Robinson St. * Jackson, MS). The books have been donated by Shadow Play Entertainment, Great Little Books, LLC and author Jackie Carpenter.
Webb also encourages individuals to visit his webpage www.taketimetoread.com and sign the pledge committing to reading in 2011.
For more information about events scheduled by Conversations Book Club around the United States, visit www.thebestbookclub.info. Cyrus Webb can be reached at email@example.com or 601.896.5616. His website is www.cyruswebb.com.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
This is taking place at the Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road * Pearl, MS) and is free to the public.
The 15 pieces represent aspects of Webb's work that many have not since in quite some time, and he also share new pieces that are just being displayed this year.
To find out more information about Webb and his work, you can visit www.cyruswebb.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
She was a woman living in her own world,
Having trained for her role since she was a little girl
And didn’t care what she had to do to get it.
Her life has always been seen as incredible.
The manner in which she lives and conducts herself is impeccable.
There is none like her, and she knows it.
People envied what she represented, and she exploited it.
Money doesn’t define the kind of woman she has become.
She used her influence to diffuse the myth that coming from nothing and becoming something couldn’t happen.
It could, if you only believed in what you wanted to achieve.
In her spare time she would find enjoyment in spending it with girls and boys in after school programs,
Sharing with them tips on how to come to grips with their lot in life and still make a difference.
Many looked up to her for strength and she gave them that.
But the fact still remained that there was another side to her that few had seen.
Remember she was a woman living in her own world,
Having trained for her role since she was a little girl,
And didn’t care what she had to do to get it.
With all the good she did it seemed not to rid her of the vices that had become a part of her life.
You see, she had a thing for bad boys.
It was nothing serious, just something to play with, like a toy.
And then she would leave it where she found it,
Not wanting to seem too attached.
They didn’t have to be handsome or even rich,
Her perfect fit was someone rough and even untamed.
It was a game. She didn’t want them to have any part of her world.
The aim being to keep them in their place. She didn’t even have to know their full names.
They would do things she would never discuss.
Some of them unprotected, just for the excitement or the rush.
Then afterwards she would find herself in tears, plagued by disgust.
One day, though, her perfect health gave way to aches and pains.
The strength she had relied on for years began to wane.
And her doctor confirmed the suspicions of her mind.
With all the wisdom she had acquired it was ignorance when feeding her desires that would be her downfall.
She had conducted her public life so meticulously,
Never thing that the carelessness of her private life could bring HIV.
But that became her reality.
A woman who lived in her own world,
Having trained for her role since she was a little girl.
Now educated in a new course called Responsibility 101.
Monday, November 29, 2010
In 2010 the United States experienced its largest oil spill disaster in our nation's history, and though the oil is no longer flowing into the gulf, the people in the region will be dealing with the after effects for quite some time. When such things happen, it's hard sometimes to put in perspective for children what is going on, and how it affects not just the people but the animals as well.
In author April Mahoney's book RICO THE SEAGULL, MAKING THE BEST OUT OF A MESS, we are able to get a bird's eye view (pun intended) as to how manmade events bring change to all living things. Told in the voice of a young seagull, the reader is able to take in the story, the sadness and joy, and relate it to a child's level so they can appreciate what the moral of the story is.
Now, the book is great for young people, but don't think it should be limited to them. The message is one that adults should pay close attention to as well. We are all in this world together, no matter where we live, what we do or who we are. It is all of our responsibility to make sure that we are looking after one another and that we are mindful of the consequences of our actions.
Rico's journey in life could very easily be any of our journey. I'm sure it is the writer's hope that we all learn to appreciate that fact before it's too late.
NOTE: RICO THE SEAGULL, MAKING THE BEST OUT OF A MESS was chosen as one of Conversations' Top 100 Books of 2010. To see the entire listing, go to www.thebestboookclub.info.
Monday, November 22, 2010
(Saturday, November 20, 2010) Mississippi may be seen as having one of the highest illiteracy rates in the country, but that is being chipped away each and every day by organizations like Conversations Book Club.
Under the leadership of Founder/President Cyrus Webb, Conversations Book Club began in Jackson, MS with only three members at the Medgar Evers Library in November 2006 but is now undesputedly the largest co-ed book club in the country with chapters in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and meetings in Tennessee. Now four years young, Conversations is continuing its mission of providing something for everyone.
On Saturday, November 20th, Webb hosted authors Joseph Henderson (I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE), Diane Hassan (ANGELS AMONG US...EVEN IN IRAQ) and Tommie Watkins, Jr. (LIVING OUT LOUD) in events for the National Day of Reading in the cities of Jackson and Pearl in Mississippi.
The day began with "Breakfast with Books" where patrons at the Medgar Evers Library in Jackson, MS were treated with refreshments and an opportunity to socialize with the authors.
At the end of the event, author Diane Hassan donated a copy of her book to the library, presenting it to librarian Shirley Simmons.
The next stop was the Pearl Public Library in Pearl, MS. There authors Hassan and Watkins shared information about their books and talked about their individual experiences.
There Hassan donated a book as well, presenting it to the supervisor on duty.
Finally it was on to Appetizers Restaurant in Pearl, MS where the authors talked about their day and shared their plans for the new year.
To date Conversations Book Club has scheduled events for 93 authors since it began in November 2006, with many more already planned for the upcoming months. To stay in touch with Cyrus Webb and the Conversations literary movement, visit www.thebestbookclub.info or contact Webb at email@example.com or 601.214.0286.
If you are interested in more information about the authors, you can find it below:
Joseph Henderson --- http://www.joseph-henderson.com
Dr. Diane Hassan --- http://angelsamonguseveniniraq.blogspot.com
Tommie Watkins, Jr. --- http://www.twgllc.biz
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Co-ed reading group Conversations Book Club in Mississippi is using this opportunity to encourage reading and discussion by hosting a full day of events centered around the power of books. On Saturday, November 20, 2010, book club President Cyrus Webb welcomes Joseph Henderson (author of I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE), Dr. Diane Hassan (author of ANGELS AMONG US...EVEN IN IRAQ) and Tommie Watkins, Jr. (author of LIVING OUT LOUD) to activities in Hinds and Rankin County. Here is the schedule:
* 10-11:30a.m., "Breakfast with Books" at Medgar Evers Library (4215 Medgar Evers Blvd * Jackson, MS) featuring authors Dr. Diane Hassan, Joseph Henderson and Tommie Watkins, Jr.
* 1-3p.m., Meet & Greet at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road * Pearl, MS) featuring authors Dr. Diane Hassan and Tommie Watkins, Jr.
* 6-7:30p.m., Meet & Greet at Appetizers (3000 Hwy 80 E * Pearl, MS) featuring authors Dr. Diane Hassan and Tommie Watkins, Jr.
Since November 2006, Conversations Book Club has hosted over 90 authors in events in the magnolia state to showcase the importance of reading. Those in the Central Mississippi area are encouraged to join in these free events and meet some exciting authors in the process.
All events are free and open to the public, and all authors will have books on hand. For more information, contact Cyrus Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.896.5616.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Cyrus Webb and Conversations Magazine Reveal The "Top 100 Books of 2010"
Since 2008 Conversations' "Top 100 Books" has been recognized for being the largest list each year that fairly gathers the best titles released by traditional publishing houses, small presses and even self-published authors worldwide of all genres and gives them the due they deserve. Cyrus Webb, the founder of the Conversations brand, has been an avid reader all of his life and has worked hard to make sure that there is something on the list for everyone.
This year there were so many great books that Webb had a chance to enjoy that he decided to add two new features in 2010: a Children's/Young Adult category and a Honorable Mention category for both fiction and non-fiction. Webb also has included the publishing houses for each title to make it easier for you to identify.
Here are this year's honorees: http://conversationsmag.blogspot.com/2010/10/cyrus-webb-presents-conversations-top.html
Sunday, October 24, 2010
"Mississippi still ranks among the states with the highest rates of illiteracy," says Webb, 35. "Conversations Book Club has teamed up with authors from across the country to make sure that we begin changing that one book at a time."
Anyone who came by Appetizers Restaurant from 10-2p.m. were treated to as many books as they wanted. Barbara Worton, Linday Jenkins and Robert Brown of Great Little Books, LLC donated books for the event as well as Rapper/Author Jacki-O. Webb donated children's books for the event.
Webb reached out to Rhonda Teague, the owner of a 24-hour child care facility in Jackson, MS, inviting her to get books for her children as well as their parents.
Joseph Henderson, author of I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE, also joined the event.
"It's a little thing," says Webb, "but it is the little things that really make a difference."
For more information about Great Little Books, visit www.greatlittlebooksllc.com. Additional information about Joseph and his book can be found at www.joseph-henderson.com. To see what's next for Conversations Book Club, visit www.thebestbookclub.info.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
(Friday, October 22, 2010) Just hours after finishing a concert stop in North Carolina, Ntl Recording Artist Donell Jones talked with Cyrus Webb on Conversations LIVE about his music career, his new album LYRICS and introduced listeners to his new single "Love Like This." Listen to the interview here: http://tobtr.com/s/1332923
On Thurs. Oct. 21, 2010 Cyrus Webb interviewed Ebony Steele, co-host of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show. She talked about her career, her personal fight with breast cancer and discussing it with the world as well as her upcoming event in Atlanta, GA on THurs. Oct. 28, 2010 to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer.
Listen to the interview here: http://www.esnips.com/web/EbonySteeleInterview
On Friday, October 15, 2010 Cyrus Webb interviewed 50 Cent's friends B Jay and Moe of the G-Unit Riderz on Conversations LIVE. That interview is now being featured on www.ThisIs50.com!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The public event was to highlight Webb's contribution to the arts from 1999 to 2009 and show the world what he is doing moving forward.
In the first corner of the exhibit Webb exhibited some of his artwork.
Next he had some of his poetry chapbooks on display as well as his spoken word cd MY CONTROVERSY that is now available on http://spokencontroversy.blogspot.com.
From there Webb highlighted his community involvment since 1999 with organizations like the Partnership for a Healthy, Mississippi, VSA of Mississippi as well as speaking about the importance of the arts at schools in Mississippi such as Pearl High School, Peeples Middle School, Calloway High School, Lake Elementary School, Pecan Park Elementary School, Hardy Middle School, Jim Hill High School and Forest Hill High School.
On the next phase of the journey, Webb showcased the publications that he has written for over the years, including The Clarion Ledger, Rankin Ledger, Mississippi Link, Jackson Advocate, Blagazine.com, Crunk Magazine (ATL).
In 2006 he became the publisher and Editor-In-Chief of his own magazine called Conversations. The next issue debuts in mid-November and is the Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011 issue.
What those who attended the event saw next is what has become the largest part of Webb's life: the radio and tv versions of the Conversations Brand. He played the first tv edition of Conversations which debuted in April 2004 on 16 WAPT (ABC affilliate) in Jackson, MS as well as had interviews from his radio show available to listen to.
To date, Cyrus Webb has interview over 1,000 individuals on Conversations LIVE, the radio show that began on WMPR 90. 1 FM in July 2003 which is now heard on the radio dial on affilliates as well as online.
Those in attendance also saw Webb's only acting performance thus far. He was a part of the cast for the short film BROKEN SILENCE that addresses the issues of HIV/AIDS. It debuted at Crossroads Film Festival and later showed at other festivals in Mississippi.
Just two years after debuting the radio show, Cyrus Webb began Conversations the book club. Started with 3 members in November 2006 in Jackson, MS, the co-ed, multi-cultural reading group now has chapters in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana and has been written about not only in the South but by the Chicago Tribune as well. To date, Conversations Book Club has hosted literary events with 90 authors and is the largest co-ed reading group in the United States.
What's next for Webb? During the event he worked on a new piece of art called "Walking On Egg Shells", a pieces that is a part of a new series where he takes figure of speech and brings them to life. He is also working on his latest literary project, a religious thriller called BLESSED.
For more information about Cyrus Webb visit www.cyruswebb.com, email him at email@example.com or contact him at 601.825.5883.
Monday, October 18, 2010
At a time when men are accused of not letting their feelings be known or discussing what might be bothering them, author Jonathan Spikes gives the world Damon McBlessed. Damon is a young man who is growing into his own skin and having to learn who he is in a time that is full of confusion, anger and abuse. Like so many around us, he seems to represent so much of what is wrong with the world when it comes to those getting to know themselves and having to deal with the feelings of being betrayed by those around us.
The author addresses alot of issues in this book that really touches you in a variety of ways. First, the character Damon must decide if the feelings he has towards those of the same sex are wrong in the eyesight of God. Then there is the feeling of being in a lose-lose when it comes to his faith and what seems to be normal for him. Add to that the complex relationship Damon has with his mother, something that has made his life really unbearable for some time.
I think the wise thing for all of us to do is read I KNOW WHAT I AM AND I AM NOT WHAT YOU CALL ME is that there needs to be a real dialogue about sexuality, abuse of men and women as well as the importance of loving oneself. Love was something that Damon struggled with, and that spilled over into how he was living from day to day. No one should have to go through life feeling who they are is a mistake, however, I do believe that understanding what happens to us doesn't make us who we are is something that will help us deal with whatever situations we find ourselves in.
Personal, powerful and well-written, this is one that will be remembered and recommended for quite some time.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Founded by Mississippi native Cyrus Webb,35, as the third component of the Conversations Brand (following Conversations the radio and tv shows), Conversations Magazine originally debuted in print in April 2006. Months later Webb and founding member Stanley Clark would begin Conversations the book club. Based solely on subscriptions at the time and sold online, the magazine gained a modest 100 monthly subscribers to the publication that focused almost entirely on books and those who were living their dreams as published authors.
Like other publications, when costs outweighted the actual profit of the publication, Webb made the decision in 2008 to take Conversations completely online. Ironically, it was that year that the Conversations Brand began to change, including health and fitness items, food and then in 2009 adding fashion. Today, thanks to the eclectic nature of the brand, Conversations the radio show averages over 100,000 online listeners each month, garnering partnerships with national as well as up-and-coming businesses.
"The timing is just right," says Webb, who has been building the Conversations brand since the first component Conversations the radio show began on WMPR 90.1 FM in Jackson in July 2003. "Conversations has grown alot since the print edition of Conversations last saw the light of day. I think more importantly I have grown in my understanding that you have to feed more than a person's love of books. You have to feed their love of life. That is what my team it doing."
The reemergence of the print edition of Conversations Magazine will take place in mid-November with the December 2010/January 2011 issue. The 40 page edition will feature Conversations' Top 100 Books of 2010, profiles of authors Nancy T.Rosenberg, Mikki Zimmerman, Michael Dillon Scott and entrepreneurs like actor/author/recording artist Tray Chaney, actress/director/author Cherie Johnson and model/actor Nicoye Banks. Also included will be styling tips by fashion designer Gail Ambeau, cooking tips by Chef Bruce Tretter, and musical profiles of Laura Pascarella, The Artist Company and the rap groups Authentic and Dem Raleigh Boyz as well as Conversations' Artist of the Year 2010.
The magazine will be available at independent bookstores in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Pearl/Brandon and online at www.conversationsmag.com. It will be marketed through paid ads on Facebook,social networking sites, posters, Conversations LIVE radio, and other sites operated by Shadow Play Ent. PDFs of the bi-monthly edition will also be available through www.payloadz.com.
For additional information about Conversations Magazine including how to be featured and advertising in the publication, contact Cyrus Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org or601.896.5616. Details can also be found at www.conversationsmag.com.
(Sat. Oct. 23, 2010 * Pearl, MS) Patrons of Appetizers Restaurant (3000 HWY 80E) in Pearl, MS will get more than good food on Saturday, October 23, 2010. That's because during the hours of 10-2p.m. that day, Mississippi native and Conversations Book Club President Cyrus Webb will be giving everyone who visits the restaurant during that time a free book.
This is in celebration of National "Make A Difference Day" where everyday individuals are asked to do something to help others, expecting nothing in return. For Webb, giving the gift of books is something that has lasting effects.
"Mississippi still leads the country in cases of illiteracy," says Webb,35. "Not reading and not being able to read is something that we can fix together. I hope that everyone in the state sees this as a small way that we can actually make a difference one book at a time." Since Nov. 2006 Webb and his book club have hosted authors and hundreds of literary events geared towards encouraging reading and the importance of the written word.
The books Webb will be distributing were donated by authors Barbara Worton, Robert Brown and Linda Dini Jenkins of Great Little Books, LLC as well as recording artist/author Jacki-O of TRU Publishing.
(Cyrus Webb and Joseph Henderson are seen here during a book discussion in 2008)
That same evening, Webb and Conversations Book Club will host author Joseph Henderson in a book discussion at Appetizers Restaurant beginning at 6p.m. Henderson, now a Mississippi resident, has chronicled the journey of his life in a book called I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE. Admission to the event is free, and Henderson's book will be available for purchasing.
For more information about the "Make A Difference Day" events in Pearl, MS, contact Cyrus Webb at email@example.com or 601.896.5616. Additional information can also be found at www.cyruswebb.com.
(Thursday, October 14, 2010) At a time when people are struggling to pursue their passion or having to give up on their dreams, visionary and multi-talented Tray Chaney is just turning the page on what has been an incredible life. After being in the spotlight since he was just eight years old, MTV announced this week that the actor/author/recording artist had just released a free mixtape online called JACK OF ALL TRAYS.
"This is just a thank you to my fans," says Chaney, who has seemingly been moving non-stop over the past decade. "I want to show them that I appreciate their support as well as let them know what to expect from me next."
For many the public life of Tray Chaney began with his five year role as Poot Carr on the popular HBO series THE WIRE. It was there that he was able to showcase his range as an actor and prove that he could stand toe to toe with the best of them. After the show wrapped, instead of just waiting for the next gig, Chaney took his career into his own hands and penned his autobiography THE TRUTH YOU CAN'T BETRAY. "People had gotten to know a character (on THE WIRE)," says Chaney. "I wanted to let them in to who I really was."
From there it was being featured in documentaries, red carpet events and even supporting causes close to his heart like the importance of literacy (being spokesperson for The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign) and bringing attention to the difficulties of individuals living with disabilities (being an ambassador for the non-profit Community Options). "I have been blessed with so much in my life," Tray says, "so if I can make a difference with just my name recognition for something that I care about, I'm going to do it."
While juggling family life, his career in television and film and promoting his book, Chaney was also preparing for what would be his newest endeavor: letting the world know about his love of music. It was something that had always been there, but he wanted to make sure he waited until the time was right to fully share it with the world.
That time seems to be now, and the first endeavor, the mixtape entitled, JACK OF ALL TRAYS, gives you a snapshot into the mind of a true creative individual. Whether you're talking about the club tracks like MONEY IN MY WALK or BABY LET'S GO (feat. G-Mann and Cherri), introspective tracks like TRUE STORY and DELIMA (feat. Jazz of Dru Hill) or inspirational tracks like DEAR HAITI, this project of original songs covers seemingly every aspect of the young man's life.
Expect to see Chaney touring the country soon doing show to promote the mixtape and his other ventures in the near future. For him, there is no limit to how far he can go. "I want to do it all," says Chaney, "and I want my life to be a testament to others that they can do it all as well. As long as they believe in themselves and work hard, it will all pay off."
The mixtape JACK OF ALL TRAYS is avaiable for free download by going to http://tinyurl.com/traychaneymixtape.
Cyrus Webb is the Editor In Chief of Conversations Magazine and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.896.5616.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
* OCTOBER'S THEME: SHOULD LOVE EVER HURT?: October is recognized by many as Breast Cancer Awareness Month as well as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For Shadow Play Entertainment, it will be used as an opportunity to have a dialogue about all forms of abuse. The theme of the month is "Should Love Ever Hurt?", and Cyrus Webb (host of Conversations LIVE and President of Conversations Book Club) will have special guests sharing their personal stories of triumph over tragedy. Many of the conversations will take place on the radio show, and details can be found at www.conversationsliveradio.com.
* NEW PARTNERSHIPS: The success of Shadow Play Entertainment has come in part because of the partnerships it has forged over the years. Beginning in the summer of 2010 organizations like The Artist Company, Big Noise Records and Passionate Writer Publishing have joined Shadow Play Ent. in sharing incredible talent both in books and music. Find out about other partners at www.shadowplayent.com.
* WEBB NAMED PUBLICIST FOR GENESIS PRESS: On Oct. 1, 2010, Shadow Play Entertainment's President Cyrus Webb became the Senior Publicist for Mississippi-based publisher Genesis Press. The company, which is the home of dozens of authors, enjoys worldwide distribution through New York-based Kensington Books. Webb hopes to spread the word about the services and authors that Genesis provides and encourage more book clubs to consider Genesis when deciding what books to read. For more about the company, visit www.genesis-press.com. Additional info about Webb can be found at www.cyruswebb.com.
* CLIENT CAMPAIGNS: During the month of October, look for Shadow Play Ent. to be involved in media campaigns for clients Jonathan Spikes (author of I KNOW WHAT I AM AND I AM NOT WHAT YOU CALL ME), Min. Patricia A. Thomas (author of GOD REVEALS A MYSTERY), Dr. Diane Hassan (author of ANGELS AMONG US, EVEN IN IRAQ), U.D. Abdul Kareem (author of AFRICAN COWBOY), Maria Stewart (LOOKING FOR CLOSURE) and Joseph Henderson (author of I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE). Details can be found at www.shadowplayent.com.
* MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY 2010: Shadow Play Ent. Founder Cyrus Webb and clients of the organization will be taking part in community events in their area on Sat. Oct. 23, 2010 as part of this year's MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY. Make plans now to join them or host your own event. To find out more, visit www.shadowplayent.com.
* THIS YEAR'S V. C. ANDREWS TRIBUTE: Since 2007, Shadow Play Entertainment has hosted events celebrating the life and work of international bestselling author V. C. Andrews on the anniversary of her death. On Sunday, December 19, 2010, Cyrus Webb will host a special one-hour tribute on Conversations LIVE Radio beginning at 7p.m. est (6p.m. cst/4p.m.pt), giving fans of the author the opportunity to call in and share their thoughts. Andrews diedat the age of 62 nearly 24 years ago, but her amazing legacy continues. For details visit either www.thebestbookclub.info or www.conversationsliveradio.com.
* AUTHOR VISITS, OCT. 2010: Shadow Play Entertainment will host events for authors Joseph Henderson (author of I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE), Min. Tommie Watkins (LIVING OUT LOUD) and M. Salahuddin Khan (SIKANDER) in Mississippi during the month of Oct.2010. Details can be found at www.thebestbookclub.info
To stay abreast of other activities associated with Shadow Play Entertainment, bookmark www.shadowplayent.com and visit it often. For more information about any of the above, contact Cyrus Webb at email@example.com or 601.896.5616.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
by Cyrus Webb
The worst thing you can do is count me out.
If you think saying something about me is going to stop me, then you really don't know what I'm about...
and that means you'll underestimate me.
I can understand why you are afraid...and you should be.
Not because I am that powerful, but because of the power within me.
What separates you from me is the passion that drives each day of my life.
I don't focus on the negativity and the strife of the day.
I look for a way to make my next 24 hours better than the ones before it.
You might just want to get ahead, and that's okay---for you.
But to really be successful you have to think about the bigger picture.
Life is about the impact you have on those around you, and what you do to really make a difference.
It's not about how many people know your name
or living the celebrity life that bring you money and fame.
I'm more about another reward.
I want the peace of mind that one finds by using their skills for good...and I do.
If I am to excel and the talents I've been given propel me into the spotlight, then I want to make sure I'm using that opportunity well.
This is not about me.
It's about the endless possibilities that we all can achieve.
So when you think you're doing something to defame me, think again.
I'm no longer a person who needs your praise to get through my day or feel good about myself.
That's why you can't stop me.
Only I can stop me.
And stopping is something I have no intention of doing.
As long as there is breath in my body I will continue to be the best I can.
I can't be stopped.
* I CAN'T BE STOPPED is from Cyrus Webb's poetry chapbook MY VOICE: 1999-2009 and beyond
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Cyrus Webb is quoted in a new article dealing with using Prepaid debit cards in business. Read it here!
Shared by Cyrus Webb while visiting FoxBusiness.com:
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- Cyrus Webb
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Thursday, September 9, 2010
The brewing controversy over the proposed mosque near the site of Ground Zero in New York and the scheduled burning of the Koran in Florida on September 11, 2010 has sparked conversation worldwide among Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. In Mississippi, Jackson native, author and Muslim Joseph Henderson is concerned about the message that is being sent about his religion.
"I was not exposed to any other faith or religion growing up," says Henderson, 42. "The Muslim faith appealed to me because of the tolerence it taught, its messages about how to live and even on how we ought to treat each other." He has been practicing his faith for over 20 years. In his autobiographer I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE, he chronicles his journey in life, his road to redemption and the role faith played in his making a transformation.
Ironically, the very teachings that Henderson praises in the Muslim faith seem to be lacking among detractors and those with growing animosity towards Islam. Who does Joseph look to for guidance? It's Jesus. "We all look at Jesus as being the greatest figure, teacher and role model to walk the earth," he says. "Jesus embodied how we ought to live. That is what real Muslims believe."
When hearing about what is going on right now in America concerning Muslims, Joseph says this: "People truly have a lack of understanding of what Islam is really about and what Islam really means. If they wish to look at the trueness in contrast to what so-called extremeist are representing, that will help them to best understand what is the truth." Joseph also warns against painting an entire religion by a broad brush. "They see what a few people are doing that is negative and makes Muslims as a whole look bad. That's unfair. If we applied that standard to all religions, no one would be able to get along."
Probably one of the most troubling acts is yet to come: the threatening of the burning of the Muslim's holy book the Koran. "I see that as an insult not just to Muslims, but an insult to mankind," says Henderson. "When God sends scripture, he sends it for mankind to live by. To burn something that He has establishehd for humanity is like disrepecting him. This is why you have to respect all scripture: the Bible and the Koran."
One of the great things that is happening as a result of all of the controversy and uproars across the United States is the dialogue that seems to be taking place. Joseph says that could be a plus if the opportunity is not missed. "If people would do their own studying or their own inquiring on Islam and not listen to the negative, they will be able to form their own opinions about what is true and false. Then they will see that we all serve the same God."
For additional information about Joseph Henderson, visit www.joseph-henderson.com. Cyrus Webb can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 601.896.5616.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
With all of the advancements that the United States has made over the years, illiteracy is one plague that seems to be growing, not shrinking. To help bring more attention to the importance of books and education, Shadow Play Entertainment, The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign and Conversations Book Club are excited to announce its new initiative TAKE TIME TO READ.
"It's all about making people feel okay about reading," says Cyrus Webb, a 35 year old Mississippi native and founder of the new program. "There are many reading projects out there that are doing alot of good, but some young people especially need to know that those they look up to believe that reading is important."
To that end, Webb went out soliciting the help of those in the music industry and other levels of entertainment, getting their thoughts on the importance of reading. Because of that, celebrities and those in the literary community are teaming together to urge the world to 'do it 15 minutes a day', encouraging others to take time every day to read. Thus far dozens of influentials and up-and-coming stars in the music industry and entertainment arena have signed on along with those who are interested in making a difference. Shadow Play Entertainment was pleased that actress, author and overall creative heavyweight Cherie Johnson (known for her roles in shows such as Punky Brewster, Family Matter, The Parkers and Days of our Lives) came on board the project as national spokesperson.
"Having Cherie out front is a real asset," says Webb. "Not only does she have the name recognition that will spark interest, she is also an author with her first book Around The World Twice just being released. She's already on the road promoting her novel, so the timing was just right for her to be able to speak about the literacy campaign as well."
Realizing this is a global problem, Webb also reached out to his friends around the world to join the cause, and is looking for other international partners to help spread the message. Individuals like United Kingdom Filmmaker Tom Sands and Nigerian Author UD Abdul Kareem have already joined the coalition and have made videos expressing their support. (TAKE TIME TO READ is Webb's third literary program, with the Hip Hop and Books literacy campaign and The Write Stuff literacy campaign still in effect.)
All of this is a part of the lead up to the 2nd Annual National Day of Reading on Sat. November 20, 2010. On that day Webb hopes to get just five people in each state to take at least one hour and spend it either reading together or discussing a book together.
Details about the TAKE TIME TO READ initiative and the pledge that the public can sign to show their support can be found at www.taketimetoread.com . To join the growing coalition, contact Cyrus Webb at email@example.com or contact him at 601.896.5616. Details about Webb's other projects can be found at www.cyruswebb.com.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Hosted by award-winning spoken word artist and multi-media personality C. A. Webb, the program is open to poets, singers, authors, musicians who want to share their skill in a family-friendly environment.
Webb began the open mic night in 2007, and the weekly event has hosted authors and even Def Poetry Jam poet C-Bone Jones. Future guests include author Ed Slack, M.D., author/poet April Mahoney aka Nouveau Spice, author Joseph Henderson, author Tommie Watkins and author M. Salahuddin Khan.
Admission is free with great food discounts available. For more information about Spoken Word Saturdays, contact Cyrus Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org, 601.896.5616 or visit www.cyruswebb.com.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
On Thursday, September 30, 2010, Mississippi native Cyrus Webb presents "MY VOICE: A Decade in the Arts, 1999-2009." This will take place at the Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road * Pearl, MS).
"I'm excited about this event," says Webb, 35. He feels as though many who may know him for just his work in promoting literacy or being on the radio will be able to see the full picture through this event. "This is my first art show and poetry reading in 4 years, and I'm excited to share with people what I have been doing over the past few years as well as over the past decade."
MY VOICE will begin with an art show at 4p.m. featuring some of Webb's work from 1999-2009. The public will be able to walk through his life and chronicle year by year what he had done, how his work has evolved and where he is headed in the new decade. At 6p.m., Webb will host a poetry reading featuring his most popular work from the past decade, as well as new work that has never been heard before. The crowning achievement for Webb during the evening will be the release of his new poetry chapbook MY VOICE: The Compilation.
Admission to the entire day's events is free, and the public is encourage to come out and celebrate one of Mississippi's native sons.
For more information, contact Cyrus Webb at email@example.com, 601.896.5616 or visit www.cyruswebb.com.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
by Cyrus Webb for Conversations Magazine
It all began while they were together on the high school football team at Raleigh High School in Mississippi. One day in the locker room Darrell Ashley aka GB approached Chris Ervin aka Dj Down South and asked him about his love of music and where he was trying to get in making it a career. DJ Down South then invited GB to record at his home studio. Some time later while working on GB's Debut album 'Tripnosis' and Dj Down South's mixtape 'Get to Know Me vol. 1', GB invited his long time friend Russell Clark aka Big Blaze to a recording session. After seeing that they all had the common goal of taking their dreams and making them a reality, they formed the group Dem Raleigh Boyz.
Now with a real drive and determination to succeed, Dem Raleigh Boyz is ready to do what it takes to get themselves heard. They took out time from their recording to talk about their influences, where they see themselves headed, and how they are getting the word out about their music and creating a solid fanbase without radio play.
* Thanks guys for taking out the time to talk with me. I know you all are busy, but I'm sure our readers will appreciate this opportunity. Who would you each say are your influences?
Dj Down South: Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley, Ice Cube, Eazy E, Jimi Hendrix, Augustana, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Tupac, and Bone Thugs -N- Harmony. I grew up listening to 50's, 60's, and early 70's music as a kid. I have a lot of respect for that music and the artists that contributed! I still listen to those classic tracks and some of my favorite songs are from that era.
Big Blaze: There are many great artists out there, But in an attempt to keep a unique sound, I try not to be influenced by them. Our generation says they want to be unique and different, But a lot of today's artists still share the same sound.
GB: I would have to say the ones that influenced me the most was Bone thugs -n- Harmony, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, T.I, Young Jeezy, Ludacris, an Emenim. I think having an eclectic ear contributes to Dem Raleigh Boyz unique sound, and versatile lyrics. Just being open to multiple genres and having respect for their art.
* Music is something that is seen by many as a unifying force. What does music do to you all, and how is your sound different?
Dj Down South: Music brings out the best in me, I love everything about music. I love learning new instruments, listening to new music and helping out other unsigned artist. I give a lot of my time to help young kids who show interest in the arts by volunteering my time so they become more confident in their talent.
Big Blaze: Music brings out the full spectrum of emotions in me. Music also brings me peace. That's what music is meant to do, inspire people to feel emotions and motivate them to do great things. I encourage everyone I meet to pick up music, because the only way music will survive is by being passed from one generation to another.
GB: Music is my way of expressing my feelings and having a good time. I love the feeling I get when people run up to me an ask me if I could get em a Dem Raleigh Boyz cd or if me an the boys would do a track with them.
* As three individuals, I know you all have your own personal style and personalities. How has it been coming together and working as one unit?
Dj Down South: It came really natural, as we continued to work in the studio we constantly hung out getting to know each other better and better. We all became inseparable and in that came the music became smoother and we are constantly improving.
* Being from Mississippi myself, I know that the South is sometimes guilty of sleeping on its own. How are you getting the word out about yourself, your music and building on your career?
Dj Down South: Our agent has been hard at work, unlocking various promotional opportunities. We get as much love as you would expect out of a small town in Mississippi. We are always meeting new people that love our music and get the word out to their friends and family. We always show our appreciation to them. We love all our fans!
* Radio play is another sensitive subject for some artists, especially independent ones. How is the internet helping you overcome what might be a slow process in that area?
Dj Down South: It's not how good you are, it's who you know. Radio has been a real challenge for us over the years. Our favorite line we got was from 99.7 WJMI, "We are here to play popular music, we are not here to make you popular." That didn't sit too well with my agent either (laughs). We currently use various internet resources to get our music out there such as ReverbNation (http://www.reverbnation.com/demraleighboyz) and Soundcloud (http://soundcloud.com/dem-raleigh-boyz).
* For some the recording process is the highlight of success for an artist. Others see performing in front of a live crowd as a crowning achievement. What about each of you?
Dj Down South: For me it is the whole experience in music, writing, recording, and performing. I love it all.
Big Blaze: I'd have to agree with DJ Down South. I love the whole process from finding a beat, writing a verse, recording it, and performing it.
GB: I would have to say I love everything about the music industry but I'm more about performing for my fans an givin them a show to remember I mean I owe it all to them an my lord an savior.
* When people hear your music, what do you hope they say about you as artists?
Dj Down South: We hope they see us the way we see ourselves, not as Rappers but as Recording Artists. The term 'Rapper' has become so bland and one sided. We see our music as art not Rap or Hip-Hop, not that there's anything wrong with Rap and Hip-Hop. We just don't see ourselves being limited by a genre where a lot of the time people have a predetermined expectation, regardless of the artist.
* What single is the group promoting right now?
Dj Down South: For our debut album 'Last Road Out' we are promoting Celebrity Life, Punk Kid Ft. NeyNey, and I Don't Mind. As for our 2nd CD that is in the works we are promoting Dat Kush Ft. Lil Wayne, Surf's Up, and Leave the Keys.
* What advice do you have up and coming artists trying to break out as well?
Dj Down South: As we said earlier, It's not how good you are, its who you know. It's tough to grab that concept at first, but its true. Meet as many people as you can and keep in contact. Do not give up on your dreams. Live your life your way and smile often!
* Thanks again for talking with us. How can our readers find out more about you and your music?
Mississippi continues to give birth to some of the best and brightest in the world of entertainment. At the age of 25, Mississippi native Keith "Kinesis" Cole is showcasing the skills and discipline it takes to be good at whatever it is he pursues. When it comes to setting priorities, at the top of the list---third only to his love for God and his two daughters---is his love for making and performing good music.
"With music I am able to express myself and talk about the things I see everyday," he says. A native of Dekalb, Mississippi, Kinesis has been working on his craft for quite some time. "I think I was in the fifth or sixth grade when I started writing music and figured out that I had some real skill."
Though he has admired several artists over the years, Tupac, T. I. and Young Jeezy have been the main Hip Hop voices that Kinesis has been drawn to. "Since I rap, I don't really listen to alot of rap so I won't try and emulate what I hear," he says. "I listen to alot of R&B, but I respect the artists out there doing their thing."
As with any choice that a young person makes, the response has been mixed when it comes to the support Kinesis has seen in pursuing music. "Some of the family does support me," he admits, "but some people think that what I'm doing is a waste of time. I have a college degree, and they think I should be using it."
That degree was obtained at Jackson State University and was supposed to be the doorway for him to become a teacher. For Kinesis, though, he feels as though he is a teacher of life through his music, not just to the world but other young people around him, including his daughters.
What was the deciding factor in him not pursuing a "regular" job after college? Kinesis says that in 2007 he started to get real serious about music and building his brand as an artist. "I would spend all of my spare time on recording and promotional material," he says. "I was willing to give up so much, because I felt like God was going to give me all that I wanted. I just had to show that I had faith in myself. I wanted it so bad, and I was willing to do whatever it took."
One person who was in his corner in the beginning may not be around to physically see what he is accomplishing now, but Kinesis knows they are proud of him. That would be his mother who passed away on September 11, 2002: the same day his first daughter was born. "She was always in my corner," he says. "My mom was a big supporter of anything I did." That makes his making it in the music industry that more important.
Over the past few years Kinesis has laid the groundwork for a career that is reaching not just out of his hometown of Dekalb but the state of Mississippi altogether. He has performed in shows and had the privilege of hearing his music on the radio. What has it been like for him? Two words: a blessing.
"Each experience makes me even more hungy for this," Kinesis says. "When I am on stage or in the booth, I feel like I have won a championship when I finish. It's the kind of feeling you want when you are doing something you love."
Currently, Kinesis is promoting the singles "Ready to Ride" and "Clothes Off", and has joined Shadow Play Entertainment's literacy initiative called HIP HOP AND BOOKS which encourages reading among lovers of Hip Hop and R&B. "You have to give back," Kinesis says. "Organizations like Hip Hop and Books allows artists like me to stand shoulder to shoulder with others doing what I love and promote something positive like reading. Without the ability to read, you're lost. As a father, I realize that even more."
Speaking of his children, when asked about how he hopes his two daughters see Dad the Entertainer, Kinesis understands the balancing act he and other artists have to do. "I want them to be proud of what I do," he says. "I'm an entertainer, but I think I can also be a role model in the way I treat myself, my family and those around me."
Find out more about Kinesis at http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=657878252&ref=ts or www.shadowplayent.com. To schedule interviews, appearances or events with the artist, contact Cyrus Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.896.5616.
Monday, August 2, 2010
* Conversations Book Club has chosen "The Skinny On" series as its selection of the month for August 2010. Created by Jim Randel, it is the perfect set of books to address many of the issues Americans are dealing with from day-to-day. For details, visit www.theskinnyon.com
* CONVERSATIONS LIVE RADIO: After celebrating its 7th year on the radio in July 2010, Conversations LIVE Radio will bring you over 50 guests during the month of August 2010 that will span the arts, entertainment and current events that you have been hearing about. To see the full listing of guests, click this link: http://conversationslive.blogspot.com/2010/07/coming-up-in-august-2010-on.html
* (Sat. Aug. 7, 2010) Bestselling authr Roy Glenn will travel to Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties on Sat. August 7, 2010 to promote his newest book. For details of his schedule, visit this link:
* (Tues. Aug. 10, 2010) Motivational speaker and author Shay Olivarria will be in Mississippi on Tues. Aug. 10, 2010 sharing ways to make the best use of money using her book MONEY MATTERS. For details of her visit, click here: http://conversationsbookclub.blogspot.com/2010/07/tues-aug-10-2010-mississippi-welcomes.html
* (Saturday, August 14, 2010) ---- Shadow Play Entertainment will be hosting its next Hip Hop and Books Literacy Rally on Sat. August 14, 2010 beginning at 4p.m. at Smith Park (302 Amite St. *Jackson, MS). The free event will include performances by Mississippi's own Unik, Spida, Young Boi Hulk as well as special guests Joey Calendar and Pryce of Brite Mic Ent. from Oakland, California and Hip Hop and Books newest spokesperson Bigg Marv. For details visit this link: http://artbooksandbeats.blogspot.com/2010/07/west-coast-hip-hop-joins-south-in.html
* The Hip Hop and Books Literacy Campaign welcomes its new National Spokesperson, Bigg Marv. Known to many as the cousin of rap superstar M. C. Hammer and one of the co-stars of the hip reality show on A&E HAMMERTIME, Marv has been making moves promoting causes he believes in. Currently he is the President of the teen-driven non-profit HODGE PODGE, and will be traveling the country promoting the importance of reading and staying in school. For more details, visit www.hiphopandbooks.net.
* INSPIRATIONAL CONVERSATIONS'S NEW ONLINE HOME: The newest member of th Conversations radio family has been the creation of "Inspirational Conversations" on Sunday mornings at 10:30a.m. EST (9:30a.m. CST/7:30a.m. PT). Hosted by Cyrus Webb and author Mary E. Gilder, the program is designed to give listeners a message and motivation as they head into a new week. You can now keep up with the show, hear from the hosts and listen to past episodes online at http://inspirationconversations.blogspot.com.
To stay abreast of all the most recent news with Shadow Play Entertainment, visit www.shadowplayent.com. You can also contact Cyrus Webb at email@example.com or 601.896.5616.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
"No matter where you live, reading is something you can't get away from," says Bigg Marv, who will become the new national spokesperson for the Hip Hop and Books Literacy Campaign beginning August 1, 2010. Having been around the entertainment industry all his life, he knows that knowing how to read well is a stepping stone to anything else you choose to do.
Joey Calendar agrees. In a statement to Cyrus Webb about why he and the other artists of Brite Mic Entertainment wanted to get involve in the Hip Hop and Books project, he said this: "Some think that just because you sing, dance or rap that you don't have to take education and things like reading seriously. That couldn't be further from the truth. The music industry is a business, and if you are going to be successful in it, you are going to need to know how to read things like contracts, etc. You can't take anything for granted. After the music is gone, you will always have what you know to keep you going."
Hip Hop and Books was created in 2008 by Cyrus Webb and co-founder Corey "C-Murder" Miller as a way to encourage reading among the urban and Hip Hop communities. Since its inception, it has given away over $5,000.00 in books to individuals who attend their free concerts and events.
The next Hip Hop and Books rally will take place on Saturday, August 14, 2010 at Smith Park (302 Amite St. * Jackson, MS) from 4-6p.m. Hosted by Cyrus Webb, the event will also feature performances by Playa Connected, Unik, Young Boi Hulk, Spida and others. As in the past, there will be books available for all who attend.
Admission to the rally is free, however, the artists will have merchandise available for purchasing. For more details, contact Cyrus Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.896.5616. You can also visit www.hiphopandbooks.net or www.shadowplayent.com.