Martin Williams Recovering From Surgery

Okay so I decided to tell on myself because I believe every opportunity is a learning lesson and a way to educate and help others. Now I am writing this from my iPad and iPhone so Excuse any typos or grammatical errors.

First just let me say I am a hard worker. It’s in my blood. I get it from my parents and grand parents. I am notorious for pushing myself and going above and beyond. The reason for that is that nothing has come easy for me. I have worked for everything I have.

One of my favorite songs ever Is Aretha Franklin’s, ” A Deeper Love” from the Sister Act 2 soundtrack. The lyrics say, “People let me tell you… I work hard everyday, I get up out of bed, put on my clothes cause I’ve got bills to pay, and it ain’t easy”. I grew up listening to that song and those words have stayed with me. It’s how I’ve governed my life and it’s what’s empowered my worth ethic. Through every position and opportunity I’ve been afforded I’ve taken it seriously and gave my all.

On Memorial Day evening I started not feeling my best. Not to be too graphic I thought I just had gas or something. I pushed myself and went to work on Tuesday. For those that don’t know I work for a television news station. The environment Is very hectic, fast paced, and stressful. So everyday I am moving fast and constantly on my feet. Tuesday was no different I wad being called upon to do everything and I was pushing all the while I knew something was wrong. I made it through the day but when I got ready to drive home the pain intensified. I didn’t think I was going to be able to drive on GA 400. Even while I was in the car in pain I was on my weekly conference call for GospelFlava.com, where I am a contributing writer.

Once I managed to get home I started vomiting. So I thought I had food poisoning or a virus so I alerted the job I wouldn’t be in on Wednesday because if it was a “virus” I didn’t want to spread it to anyone. Thursday my condition hadn’t changed and I was still in pain. Finally my father told my mom to take me to my primary care physician. I was only in Dr. Kazi’s office for 10 minutes when he said, “Martin you have appendicitis”. He immediately instructed my mom to take me to St. Joseph’s hospital. I was terrified.

When I got there and checked in they did a cat scan and drew some blood. Yeah my “virus” was appendicitis. Meaning I had to have emergency surgery to remove my appendix before it bursts. Had I waited any longer it could have burst and that poison could have spread and it could have been life threatening.

Before I knew it my family was right by my side. My parents, my cousin, my aunt Emma, and my sister Dr. Khaalida Forbes. Dr. Forbes prayed and laid hands on me before I was whisked off to surgery. My brother Joshua was on his way and he stayed with mom and the crew while I was in surgery. I didn’t have my phone with me of course but my friends and family got on the case. I received so much support from around the country. To be honest I didn’t expect it. I am normally the one who check on everyone, it’s just apart of my nature. When I got out of surgery I had over 100 text messages, and notifications.

I say all of that to say… Thank you! To everybody who called my name out before The Lord I appreciate and love you! Learn from me… Take care of yourself and go to the doctor! I have to take a week off and just rest and that’s exactly what I am going to do :)

I have to give a special thanks to my parents, My brothers: Joshua Wilson and DeShawn Spellman, and my sister Dr. Khaalida Forbes for being with me in the hospital. And to my aunt Emma for being my nurse :)

With Love,
Gregory Martin David Williams

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Martin Williams Speaks to 200 Kids at Local 8th Grade Graduation

 

Mr. Lonnie White, Principal of Sequoyah Middle School presents Martin Williams with an Award of Service.

Mr. Lonnie White, Principal of Sequoyah Middle School presents Martin Williams with an Award of Service.

 

Friday May 23, 2014 was truly one of the best days in my life. I had the opportunity to speak to over 200 students at Sequoyah Middle School in Riverdale, GA. These students were celebrating their transition into High School. I was beyond honored and nervous at the same time to receive to be asked to speak at this event.

It often amazes me how the LORD moves and does things in your life. Many times when I’ve been at my lowest, I’ve found myself being used as an encouragement others. This time was no different. I had a very rough week and was dealing with a lot emotionally. I literally felt in my humanity that I couldn’t do it. I asked the Lord why am I being asked to encourage this next generation of leaders  about life when I’m not so enthused about my own at the current moment. However I’m not one to let those who I love down intentionally so I decided to “man Up” and go in there and do my best. I had been asking the LORD what should I say that will encouraged these students and set their souls on fire to go in there on their first day of their Freshman Year and knock it out the park.  Little did I know that the words I spoke over them I needed to hear myself.

I was invited to speak at the graduation by two of my former Teachers. Mr. Lonnie White and Dr. Donyalla Manns. Mr. White taught me in the 8th grade and he was over the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Dr. Manns was my English Teacher. Both have made such a major impact in my life. They don’t make educators like those two anymore. They made school a safe haven, and they ministered to and encouraged us. Everyday at school I felt covered and they were like an extension of my parents.  I have to admit when Dr. Manns contacted me I was surprised. In my mind I was thinking I wasn’t qualified to speak to these students. I’m not a Doctor, Lawyer, Senator, or Business Owner. I’m just “ME”. I don’t think I’m a complete failure or anything but I just didn’t feel “qualified” to do it. I’m not the smartest individual, I don’t belong to any fraternity, nor do I have any distinctive titles behind my name. But somehow they saw fit to extend some love my way and I took that very seriously. So Friday morning I put on my Sunday’s Best, asked my mom to join me and I drove on down from Roswell to Riverdale. In its own little way this was sort of a home coming. When we first moved to Atlanta in 1998 we lived in The Riverdale area and I attended Carrie D. Kendrick Middle School. We moved to North Atlanta when I graduated from the 8th grade. From the moment I hit Highway 85 in Riverdale the water works began to hit. I began to think about just how good the Lord has been to me and how he’s covered my family. 11 years ago I was getting ready to leave the 8th grade. At the time my family was going through a transition. My parents were just rebounding from loosing their jobs at One of the Most Famous Churches in the Country and in Atlanta. All the same emotions came back and I began to realize just how much the LORD had done and restored.

Once I walked into the school it was like DeJaVu.  The cafeteria looked just like our old cafeteria. After greeting Dr. Manns I took my place on the stage. I couldn’t believe I was sitting up there. I looked out across the room and thought to myself, 11 years ago you couldn’t tell me I would one day be speaking to a group of 8th graders that were taught by my same teachers. The students marched in to Whitney’s “The Greatest Love Of All”…and that’s when I broke. The tears started rolling because that song has meant so much to me. The lyrics, “I decided LONG ago, Never To Walk In Anyone’s Shadow, If I Fail, If I Succeed, At least I’d Lived As I Believe”,  nearly broke me to my knees. I managed to stand tall and “man Up”, but those words nearly spoke life to my spirit.

They told me I had about 6-8 minutes to speak and I made sure that I made them count! I said to myself Martin…”hit it and quit it”. I wanted the kids to be inspired but not get tired of me. When I got up to speak I felt “my help coming on”. I thought my voice might shake or that I would stumble , but none of that happened. Before I got up to speak the young lady read my bio that I was asked to send over. When she began to read it, I thought to myself who are they talking about? It’s funny when you hear someone else tell your story it sounds so different. Even thought all the things she said were things I had lived and experienced I somewhat had forgot about. In its own little way it was my younger self who sat in those same seats 11 years ago catching up to the now 24 year old man.

While I was speaking I looked over to my mother who looked as Proud as she could be. It meant the world that she was there cheering me on. After I spoke I was able to shake hands with the students as they received their certificates. Several of the teachers told me how much they enjoyed my speech. I simply told them, “To GOD Be The Glory” because I couldn’t take credit for any of that. Those were his words I’m just glad he chose me to be a vessel. Of course this was a graduation and not a Youth Conference so I had to be careful with my words, however I wanted my posture, position, and tone to be dripping with GOD’s love.

This experience meant so much to me. The fact that my former teachers thought enough to ask me to be apart is priceless. It actually brings tears to my eyes. This was a homecoming for me. I felt like I was relieving one of the best times of my life. When I left middle school to go to high school I was so home sick. The teachers I had in high school weren’t nuturing as the ones I had in middle school. Not that my middle school teachers babied us but it just wasn’t the same. I didn’t feel the same care and concern. I didn’t feel the Love of GOD that I felt from Mr. White and Dr. Manns. When both of them hugged me I felt such healing.  They are like my second set of parents and to hear them say, “I’m proud of you” just let me know I could go on and continue.

So Thank you Both For Restoring Hope and Focus To My Spirit!

Martin Williams with Dr. Donyalla Manns

Martin Williams with Dr. Donyalla Manns

~ Love,

Martin

Martin Williams Receives GA Perimeter College Service Award

 

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I am humbled, grateful, and honored to receive the Georgia Perimeter College Service Award. To be honored by a college for your efforts to give back to the community means a great deal. I never thought I would even receive recognition like that. The main reason is in most cases I don’t see myself in the light that others do. When I look at myself I see an individual who just wanted to be a good citizen, work hard, and try to inspire others.  When I look at my counter parts, many of them are more distinguished, qualified, and have greater positions than what I currently hold. I’ve always seen myself as the little guy at the bottom of the totem pole. I’ve learned to be content with my portion and strive to do my best with my given portion. It’s amazing to me how the Lord uses you to encourage and push others when on the inside you are fighting the urge to give up and leave it all behind. I speak about, “the weight of the assignment” all the time.  That’s best explained as the effects of doing what you do. People enjoy and love the finished product but don’t want to see what it took to achieve all of that.

I never thought that giving these students a station tour last year would lead to me going over to their campus and teaching and speaking to two of their classes. When they came back today the students presented me this plaque along with some other gifts. It brought tears to my eyes because I’ve been going through a lot professionally. There are days you question if you are on the right path  and if you should even continue. I strongly believe the Lord sends signs to let you know that in the process he’s got you. So Thank you GA Perimeter College for allowing GOD to use to lift my head up.

The Award States:

“This special honor of recognition is awarded to constituencies who have contributed to the success of Georgia Perimeter College Students. This award has been duly noted by the Journalism Curriculum Committee as acknowledgement of outstanding service to the college”.

 

 

 

Forever Grateful,

Gregory Martin David Williams

 

Gotta Love Sherri Shepherd

1959502_10152371372824893_3911479512945443881_nSherri Shepherd is one of my favorite comedians and one of my favorite panelist on “The View”. I recently got a chance to meet her when she came by the station a few weeks back to promote her new wig line- which by the way my mom is still upset with me that I didn’t have her there as one of Sherri ‘s Models! Lol

When I met her she was everything I thought she would be: down to earth, funny, and a genuine spirit.

Today it was announced that Tamela Mann will be singing “Take Me To The King” LIVE on “The View” in celebration of Sherri’s Birthday. While I’m excited about that I couldn’t help but think how much of a giving heart Shepherd has.  Yes it’s her birthday and she could book whoever she wants. However the past few years she’s given Gospel artist a major platform to perform to an audience of millions. Now my day job is TV. Let me get technical on you. “The View” is the #1 daytime talk show. It consistently wins audiences in its various day parts on Television stations across the country.  For any artist, regardless of the genre, that’s the show you want to be on to broadcast your music and your product.  If you’ve been paying attention Shepherd has done this the  past few years. In 2013 Mary Mary sang, “Go Get It”, and in previous years The Clark Sisters came through and did their classic, “You Brought The Sunshine”.  When the “Kings Men” tour came to the show, Shepherd spent the entire weekend leading up to that show- sending out Tweets about how she was so excited about them coming.

I just think its admirable that she shares that major platform with Gospel artist, because the reality is they don’t get that all the time.

Furthermore, if you began to think about how that song is going to minister to that audience.  I know some don’t believe it but someone in the mainstream world still hasn’t heard that song. If you focus on the message of hope and the potential of souls that will be saved it really will bring tears to your eyes.

So Thank you Sherri for bringing the world to church on April 22nd.

Source..

“Sunday A.M.”-

gospel-music-karen-clark-sheard“Sunday Morning” by Karen Clark Sheard is the newly released single by the GRAMMY winner from her forth coming new album. The song is very truthful and talks about the things we as believers go through Monday- Sat that leave us just saying if I can just get to the House of the Lord , I will be okay.

Recently I’ve been very busy and honestly I haven’t had a chance to keep up with things like I normally do. EOne Records was nice enough to mail me a hard copy of the new single, “Sunday A.M.” and I just happen to pop it in on the way to church this past Sunday Morning. I must say I’ve never heard a song with more truth. For the first time I heard a song that captured the way I’ve felt the past few months.

Now let me be honest- when you work in the industry that I’m in your taught to be Ford tough and not express how the process and warfare of it all feels. I’ve learned that not dealing with the weight of the assignment will just make you insane. Everyone has to have a way to express and release all they are dealing with.  However the line where she says “I’ve given 150% of myself” struck the biggest nerve on the inside of me and drove me to tears. As the individual who is constantly giving of themselves and serving others, you get tired. I’m sure many can relate to what I’m talking about. You’re the one everyone calls…FOR EVERYTHING. Immediately when someone wants to plan and outing or an event your number is on speed dial. And in most cases out of a genuine heart to help others you gladly take on the mantle and run with it. However I’m here to say that even the encourager has days where we don’t want to be bothered. For once we want to just show up to an outing with friends and not be the one who had to text everyone the location, what time to meet, etc. However the reality is most times we don’t get a break like that until we shut completely down. It’s during that time where its crucial that you unplug, build yourself up in prayer and GOD’s word.

And while you’re add it… turn this up on your iPOD… You’ll fine someone who can relate :-)

 

“Sunday A.M”- is available now on all digital media outlets and you can call and request it on your local radio stations.

52 Week Money Challenge

Happy New Year! GUESS What? We are doing it again!

It’s called the 52 Week Money Challenge Plan. For example, there are 52 weeks in a year. So each week you deposit the number of the week that we are in a savings account. For example this is the 1st week of 2013, so you will deposit $1.00 into your savings account. Next week will be Week 2, so you will deposit $2, and so on. The biggest amount you will deposit is $52.00 and that will be the very last week of 2014. Now isn’t that simple and easy?! There’s no club to join, no pyramids, meetings, schemes, none of that crap that “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For”! You are investing in yourself! I’m going to do it and I’m excited about. This is the year where we have to put the time and work in so that we can have different results. I don’t want to get to the end of this year and can’t see, feel, or be the change in the words of My Friend LaTrice Pace.

I hope you will join me :-)

 

DISCLAIMER: I didn’t create this chart, it was the image that was in my news feed, so thank you to whoever drafted this because it serves as a great visual to see the overall idea of the challenge. 

52 Week Money ChallengeJoin The Facebook Group Here! 

Kassandra.Moreland stated what inspired her to do this plan: “I am a single parent, and I have worked at my job for 22 years. I just worked 53 hours alone in this payperiod and do this all of the time. I decided that this is the year that I will have something to show for working all of those hours instead of just bills left over at the end of the year.I work better if I am held accountable, even in my personal life, so I decided to see how many of my friends would be honest and say they needed help with a structured savings plan, and even if they don’t would they help me. I had no idea that it wold turn into what it has in just the last two hours.”

I’ve heard from others who have done programs like this for years and it has changed their lives! My thing is we have to break it down where its EASY and not HARD. It has to be something that everyone can do at any level! Now I do understand that some are able to do more and that’s perfectly fine, however the object of this is just to start somewhere. It’s not suppose to be rocket science or to compete with anybody or any other type of program.

Be Blessed…Be Encouraged…Be Inspired…Be The Change! 

 

 

 

 

A “MW” Christmas- Ultimate Holiday Playlist

A MW CHRISTMAS- THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY PLAYLIST W/ SOUL AND INSPIRATION

(Photo Credit: Tim Cuprisin/ On Milwaukee)

 

 

Christmas is just around the corner, and that means its time to pull out the Christmas Music! I got to tell you that I am so excited about this because its my favorite music. This music just warms my heart and as my friend Jawn Murray would say “Puts me in my happy place”.

A couple of my friends thought it would be a good idea to share my favorite Christmas Tunes. I actually took it upon myself this year to gather all my music together and compile it on a playlist on my iPod and make back up copies to carry around in my car because you never know what you made be in the mood for.

Now this is a mixture of R&B and GOSPEL! And again these are just My Favorites off these albums, each of them having something on it for everyone. A good number of these I was introduced to as a child so they hold very dear memories to me.

If you’d like to head over to Amazon and pick up these great albums or certain tracks just click on the image and you will be directed.

The best part is most of these CDs can be found in WalMart! That’s right check the Christmas section of Wal-Mart they have most of these CD’s in physical copies for $5. Trust me you will go in there and rack up and before you know have spent $100 or more dollars but this will collection will last you forever! Just keep track of your music and don’t let anyone borrow it! Direct them over to the store or volunteer to pick one up for them.

Some of these I had to go and do some digging as they are either out of print or only available digital now.

I will be updating this as I hear more great music! Enjoy…and Merry Christmas! :-)

Artist: Alexander O’Neal
CD: “My Gift to You”
Favorite Tracks: “My Gift To You”, “Our First Christmas”, “Remember Why”, “Thank You For A Good Year”, “Remember Why Reprise”

 

Artist: New Edition
Album: Christmas Collection: 20th Century Masters
 Favorite Tracks: “Give Love On Christmas Day”- Johnny Gill

Artist: Keith Sweat
Album: “A Christmas Of Love”
Favorite Tracks: “Party Christmas”, “It’s Christmas Again”, “Once A Year”

Artist: Mary Mary
Album: Mary Mary Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “Tis The Season”, “California Christmas”, “Call Him Jesus”, “The Real Thing”, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”

Artist: Joe
Album: Home Is The Essence of Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “It Ain’t Christmas”, and “Make Sure You’re Home”

 

Artist: Israel & New Breed
Album: A Timeless Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “Everybody Knows”, “Come All Ye Faithful”, “Tidings (God Rest Ye’ Merry Gentleman), “Christmas Worship Medley”, “Go Tell it” , “We Wish You A Timeless Christmas”

Artist: The Clark Sisters Featuring J Moss, Bill Moss Jr, Kierra Sheard, and J.Drew Sheard II
Album: Family Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “Celebration”, “Silver Bells”, “O Come Emmanuel”, “We Are The Reason”, Hark The Herald Angels Sing”, “This Christmas”, Beautiful Christmas”, Do You Hear What I Hear”, “Drummer Boy”

Artist: Musiq Soulchild
Album: Christmas Musiq
Favorite Track: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

Artist: Patti LaBelle
Album: Miss Patti’s Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “Christmas Jam”, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time”, “What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas”, “It’s Gonna Be A Merry Christmas”, “Do You Hear What I Hear”, “Nativity”

Artist: Sounds of Blackness
Album: The Night Before Christmas: A Musical Fantasy
Favorite Tracks: “Soul Holidays”, “It’s Christmas Time”, “Peace on Earth For Everyone”, “Santa Won’t You Come By”

Artist: The Stylistics
Album: Stylistics Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “Silent Night”, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman”, “When You’ve Got Love”, “Auld Lang Syne”

*Please NOTE this is a DIFFERENT CD from “Miss Patti’s Christmas”- This album was originally released as ‘This Christmas” in 1990 with a different cover.
Artist: Patti LaBelle
Album: Christmas Collection: 20th Century Masters
Favorite Tracks: ‘This Christmas”, ‘Twas Love”, “Nothing Could Be Better”, “If Everyday Could Be Like Christmas”, “Reason For The Season”

Artist: Toni Braxton
Album: Snowflakes
Favorite Tracks: “Holiday Celebrate” , “Santa Please”, “This Time Next Year”

Artist: Whitney Houston
Album: The Preachers Wife
Favorite Tracks: The ENTIRE album…however for CHRISTMAS check out: “Joy To the World”, and “Who Would Imagine A King”

Artist: Various Artist- Heart Of God
Album: Christmas In The City
Favorite Tracks: “Let It Snow” (Heart Of God), “O Come All Ye Faithful” (Treisa Smith Lee), “All I Want” (Canton and Ramona Jones)

Artist: BeBe and CeCe Winans
Album: First Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “Jingle Bells”, “Joy To The World”, “Silent Night, Holy Night”, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”,

* This Album Was Originally Released as “This is Christmas”, with a different cover…this version contains unreleased songs”
Artist: Luther Vandross
Album: The Classic Christmas Album
Favorite Tracks: “The Christmas Song”, “My Favorite Things”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” , “The Mistletoe Joe”, “I Listen To The Bells”, “A Kiss For Christmas”, “Every Year, Every Christmas” , “This is Christmas”, “Please Come Home For Christmas”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Live)”, “May Christmas Bring You Happiness”

Artist: Whitney Houston
Album: One Wish: The Holiday Album]
Favorite Tracks: “The First Noel”, “The Little Drummer Boy”, “One Wish”, – album contains two tracks from “The Preacher’s Wife”- “Who Would Imagine A King”, and “Joy To The World”

Artist: Will Downing
Album: Christmas, Love, and You
Favorite Tracks: “The First Noel”, “Christmas, Love, and You”, “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, “Love On Christmas Morning”

Artist: Kirk Franklin & The Family
Album: Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “Silent Night”, “Now Behold The Lamb”, “Jesus Is The Reason”, “There’s No Christmas WIthout You”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “The Night That Christ Was Born”

Artist: Boney James
Album: Christmas Present
Favorite Track: “Santa Baby” (Featuring Chanté Moore)

Artist: Faith Evans
Album: A Faithful Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “Happy Holiday” and ” O Come All Ye Faithful”

Artist: The Temptations
Album: GIve Love At Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “Give Love On Christmas Day”, “The Christmas Song”, “Love Comes with Christmas”, “This Christmas”, “Everything For Christmas”, “Silent Night”

Artist: Various Artist
Album: Soul Train Christmas Starfest
Favorite Tracks: “Silent Nite (Happy Holiday Mix)”- EnVogue “Special Gift”- Isley Brothers, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”- Rome

Artist: Various Artist
Album: A LaFace Family Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “Sleigh Ride”- TLC, “All I Want For Christmas”- TLC

Artist: Freddie Jackson
Album: At Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “At Christmas”, “Under The Mistletoe”, “This Christmas”, “White Christmas”

Artist: Various Artist
Album: Christmas In The CIty II
Favorite Track: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”- Heart Of God

(This song was featured on the Home Alone 2 Movie/Soundtrack)
Artist: Darlene Love
Album: “Christmas A-Go-Go
Favorite Track: “All Alone on Christmas”
(Photo Credit: Gor Megaera)

Artist: Destiny’s Child
Album: 8 Days of Christmas
Favorite Tracks: “Silent Night”, “Spread A Little Love on Christmas Day”, “Little Drummer Boy”, and “Opera Of the Bells”

Artist: SWV
Album: A Special Christms
Favorite Tracks: “Christmas Ain’t Christmas”, “Give Love On Christmas Day”, “My Favorite Things”, and Oh Holy Night

Artist: Al Jarreau
Album: Christmas
Favorite Track: “Christmas Time Is Here”

Artist: Fred Hammond
Album: Christmas…Just Remember
Favorite Tracks: “Just Remember”, “Go Tell It On the Mountain”, “Blessings and Honor Reprise”, “He Is The Reason”

 

 

Artist: The Whispers
Album: Christmas Moments
Favorite Tracks: “My Favorite Things”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, and “Love For My Love On Christmas”

Artist: Teddy Pendergrass
Album: This Christmas
Favorite Track: “Christmas and You”

Artist: Chelsea “Peaches” West
Track: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Artist: Nikki Ross
Favorite Track: Silent Night

Motown The Musical: Open Atlanta Auditions

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL TO HOLD OPEN CALL AUDITIONS IN ATLANTA

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 AT THE 14TH STREET PLAYHOUSE

 

 

 

NOW PLAYING ON BROADWAY, NATIONAL TOUR LAUNCHING APRIL 2014

 

October 22, 2013 – Producers Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Berry Gordy are proud to announce “Makin’ It Motown,” a nationwide open call casting search for African-American singers for both the Broadway production of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL and the upcoming national tour, with a rare opportunity to audition for this hit Broadway musical at the 14th Street Playhouse (173 14th Street NE, Stage Three) in Atlanta, GA, on Sunday, November 10, in partnership with Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta. The first national tour will launch in Chicago in April 2014 with Atlanta performance dates to be announced at a later date.

 

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is seeking African-American men and women, ages 20s-40s, with exceptional voices.  Also seeking an African-American boy, age 8 to 13, to play young Michael Jackson / Berry Gordy / Stevie Wonder.  No prior theatre experience is necessary.

 

All candidates must have amazing soulful voices to play different performers from Motown history.  All vocal parts are encouraged to attend.

 

ATLANTA OPEN CALL

Date: Sunday, November 10, 2013

Time: 11:00am-2:00pm (sign-in begins at 10:00am)

Location: 14th Street Playhouse, Stage Three

173 14th Street NE

Atlanta, GA 30309

 

What to Bring

  1. Bring sheet music for a song of choice from the Motown songbook that best features vocal range.
  2. Bring a picture and resume including contact information (cell phone, email) stapled together.  A recent snapshot is sufficient in the absence of a formal headshot. An accompanist will be provided.

 

For more information on the open call auditions visit: http://www.motownthemusical.com/casting.

For details about what to bring and what to prepare, email casting@motownthemusical.com.

 

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, based on the life of iconic Motown founder Berry Gordy, featuring music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalogue and a book by Berry Gordy, began performances March 11, 2013, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street), and officially opened April 14, 2013.

 

Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more.

 

Featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” MOTOWN THE MUSICAL tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack that changed America. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat.  Now, the next electrifying chapter in the Motown story, can be experienced on Broadway in the record-breaking smash hit MOTOWN THE MUSICAL and soon around the country as the national tour launches in 2014.

 

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL’s creative team features choreography by Patricia Wilcox (Blues in the Night) and Warren Adams (Toy Story), scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical, Annie), costume design by Tony Award® nominee ESosa (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, “Project Runway”), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Natasha Katz (Once, Sister Act), sound design by Tony Award® nominee Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages, The Scottsboro Boys), projection design by Daniel Brodie (Jekyll and Hyde).

 

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL features arrangements and orchestrations by Tony Award® nominee Ethan Popp (Rock of Ages), who also serves as musical supervisor for the 18 piece orchestra that reproduces the classic “Sound of Young America” for the Broadway stage, with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Tony Award® nominee Bryan Crook (“Smash”), dance arrangements by Zane Mark (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and music direction by Joseph Joubert (Nice Work If You Can Get It).

 

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is produced by Tony Award® winning producer Kevin McCollum (Rent, In the Heights, Avenue Q), Chairman and CEO of SONY Music Entertainment Doug Morris and Motown founder Berry Gordy.

 

Thank You ~ A GOD Son’s Dedication

 

602517_10151779239349893_270447819_nI was always told that a way to express your feelings and thoughts is to write them down. After writing several articles over the years expressing my thoughts about various topics this is probably one of the most hardest posts I’ve ever had to write. I’m using this as a source of healing and an open forum to fully express the hurt, pain, and grief that I feel on the inside.

On August 3, 2013, I lost my GOD Father DeWayne Wallace is a tragic car accident, that took place less than 10 minutes from where I live. I will never forget receiving the phone call because it totally changed my life. Less than 24 hours before his transition, his last text message to me and my GOD sister simply said, “checking on my babies”. I thought this text was strange being that he and I did our normal daily conversing on Facebook instant messenger. However, I moved on from it and went about my day.  I never in my mind would have imagined that would be the last form of communication I would have with him.

I met DeWayne Wallace when I was a senior in high school. When we met he told me, “Little Boy, you are talented”. From the jump he took on the role of a mentor and GOD father. He saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself.  Now let me just say when you are a senior in high school you are at a very impressionable age. Young people are trying to decide what direction to go in and what their passions are. While I had somewhat of a clue, I hadn’t honed in on them just yet. He quickly saw my abilities and talents in media and encouraged me to pursue them.

My parents trusted him with me and Every step of the way he was a cheerleader and life coach. He quickly corrected me when I was wrong and was never afraid to show me how to do something. In his own way he shielded and protected me from many things. He knew how eager I was to get involved, but how I didn’t know how to say, “NO”, and how I needed to stay far away from certain individuals.  One of the biggest things he wanted from me was to remain authentic. He constantly told me, “Sunny ( my nickname) always keep that heart you have”. I never understood exactly what he meant by that initially but as I began to get further in my journey I began to understand just that. He wanted me to keep my heart because he knew of the dark and cold world that I was entering. I strongly believe he had a prophetic gift to see what was ahead and tried his best to warn me of all the stumbling blocks that were ahead. I credit him for being the one who really encouraged me to branch out. I was very sheltered and he told me that there was a big world out of there, and there were places to go and people to meet and see. When you grow up in the church at times that’s all you know. You don’t know about the things outside of there that GOD created for us to enjoy. I was in so much bondage to so many things and GOD used him to help me break free from those.

While we were not in each others faces every single day, he was always somewhere watching. Many people can attest that he knew everything that was going on. He was the definition of a leader. One thing that many have been marveling at is how he managed to connect everybody and bring them together. After learning of his death, I began to think of all the people who are in my life because of him. I remember him taking me to a pool party at the age of 18 where I ended up meeting some people who became my life long friends. He strategically introduced me to certain people and told me, “You Need to Know that person”. He instilled that virtue of networking on the inside of me and that helped propel me forward.

I feel that there was so much more that he had yet to teach me. You have to understand, that it takes more than just having the passion for a thing. You have to be willing to be taught, endure the MANY processes, and trust GOD every step of the way.  While his sudden transition will be something that I may never understand, I’m comforted by the fact that he’s always watching me.

I remember getting my first  Radio Job at KISS 104.1 here in Atlanta. The radio station is owned by Cox Media Group who also owns the Atlanta Journal Constitution which was the division he worked in. My first day on the job, I opened Microsoft Outlook and there was an email waiting for me from “Gerald Wallace” saying “Congrats Sunny”. He had searched for my name in the Global Address Book of the company and wanted to welcome me to the company. That is something that I will never forget because he always applauded me every step of the way. This man played a very strategic role in the transformation of who I am. Growing up in the church you think that everything you do professionally will be related to the church or Gospel Music. He quickly told me to “Get out of that mindset”, because everything GOD is trying to get to you will not always come through the doors of the church. He constantly told me to keep him 1st and let him lead and guide you, and you will be alright.

The last time I saw him was July 20th and I remember giving him a hug and saying “Okay Pop, I’ll see you later”. Not even knowing that was going to be the very last time I would see him. The picture above is how I see him…alive in my heart.

There won’t be day go by that I won’t think about him, shed some tears, and reflect on the life that he lived. I understand now that I have a responsibility to be a greater man, individual, and now a Big Brother to his son, who is my GOD Brother. This experience has totally changed my perspective on life and its making me better each day. Through this unbearable pain, I’m learning to trust the process and still believe that GOD has a plan. My faith in GOD has become stronger and he’s definitely been a comforter, mind regulator, and the friend that sticks closer.

In closing, one of my favorite songs by BeBe and CeCe Winans is the song, “If Anything Ever Happened To You”,and even though the song can take on a sad meaning, its really how I feel about anyone who is close to me in my life. I finally had the guts to listen to it and even though it made me completely break down it brought somewhat of a sense of healing because the song says, “I’ll have to be strong, find a way to get through, if anything ever happened to you”. That song has become a true statement in my life. We’ve often heard that you have to live what you sing about before it becomes real. I can’t put into words how grateful I am for that man being in my life…all I can simply say is…”Thank you”


 

 

Artist Spotlight: James Murphy

James Murphy is one of the most sought after vocalist in Gospel music. His pitch perfect tenor voice is called upon to lead background vocals to such artist as DeWayne Woods, Byron Cage, and Earnest Pugh just to name a few. He’s shared the stage with mainstream artist such as Kelly Rowland and Patti LaBelle adding his infectious spirit and vocal power to their greatest hits. A graduate of Morgan State University, James has had the opportunity to travel and sing abroad in such places as Russia and Paris. When you encounter him his peaceful spirit and bright smile welcomes you, and his voice takes you to a pure place in GOD. James is working on his debut album which is scheduled to be released later this year.

In the meantime go download his mix tape “Echo” which has already created a buzz on Radio Stations across the United States. Be sure to follow James on Twitter @JamesMurphy , Instagram: @IamJamesMurphy and online at www.IamJamesMurphy.com

His Artistry, Witness, Music, and Ministry is: MW Certified :-)

 

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