10 Questions with Tory Devon Smith

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Photo by Lesley Bryce

by Ryan Meehan

Actor Tory Devon Smith was born and raised in the foster care system in Bakersfield, California. He began performing in church and in 3rd grade, received the lead in a Christmas-themed school play. In 2003,  Tory was accepted into the California State Summer School of the Arts at Cal Arts in Valencia, CA. Smith went on to win multiple awards, including the Fullerton High School Theater Festival award in Men’s Contemporary Dramatic Monologue; the first in his high school’s history. After attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on a full-ride scholarship as a Theater Major with a minor in Dance, Smith began pursuing his dream of working in the film and television industry. His past film and television credits include: ‘Black & White’, ‘Othello’, ‘Lifesaver’, and ‘Los Feliz, 90027’. Tory can next be seen recurring in the new Netflix series, ‘The Get Down’. Set in 1970s New York City, the series — a long-time passion project for Baz Luhrmann — revolves around a ragtag crew of South Bronx teenagers who are wild in the streets — nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them, except one another. The series is a mythical interpretation of the beginning of hip-hop in Brooklyn, New York. Smith plays Little Wolf, who is described as an outrageous, “Joe Pesci from Goodfellas” type of character. The series is expected to be released in Fall 2016. Smith can be seen as a regular alongside Brandy Norwood in BET’s new show ‘Zoe Ever After’ for an upcoming feature. ‘Zoe Ever After’ centers on Zoe Moon (Norwood), a newly single mom stepping out of the shadow of her famous boxer ex-husband Gemini Moon (Dorian Missick) while trying to balance dating, motherhood, a complicated relationship with her ex and finally fulfilling her career dream of starting a cosmetics line. Smith plays her stylish, fun loving assistant, Valenté. ‘Zoe Ever After’ comes from executive producers Debra Martin Chase, Danny Rose and Scooter Braun and is set to premiere in January 2016. We are honored to have Tory Devon Smith as our guest today in 10 questions.  Continue reading

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The FOH Breakdown of Potential – And Not So Potential – Super Bowl 50 Halftime Performers

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by Guest Editor

Although I find most pop culture-related news to be a waste of my time and extremely exhausting, this subject is something I try to keep tabs on every year because technically it’s NFL-related. Which is weird, because I think we all know that technically it has nothing to do with the league, or the game on the field. The objective here is to get people who may not be interested in said game to watch the halftime show. This is typically done by putting a pop artist or a group of classic rock musicians on a stage with a lot of lights and clever camera angles in order to attract viewers who are impressed by shiny objects. In a nutshell, the Super Bowl is essentially the one time a year where television programming just goes ahead and assumes we all suffer from attention deficit disorder. I say bullshit, I don’t suffer from it one bit. In fact, I accredit my ADD as the source for the fact that I’m able to multitask so well in the physical business environment. What were we talking about again?

Oh, right…The Super Bowl Halftime Show. Over the years, we’ve seen our fair share of interested halftime shows since they became such a popular part of the Super Bowl landscape. There was the disaster at Super Bowl XXXV where MTV was in charge of the production and thought it would be a good idea to pair up N*SYNC with Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it was followed three years later by yet another MTV production which would land the NFL in hot water as singer Justin Timberlake ripped off a section of Janet Jackson’s clothing revealing not only her nipple, but also 38-year old former child star Janet Jackson. And who can forget a year later in Jacksonville when LeAnn Rimes took the stage and shit all over the front reference monitor?     Continue reading

The Deep Six: Why Getting Weird Al Yankovic to perform at the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show might not be such a weird idea at‏ all‏

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by Ryan Meehan

As die hard sports fans, we’d all like to think that we have no real opinion on the Super Bowl Halftime Show. This is the time that we use to relieve ourselves from all of the Busch Heavy that we drank in the first thirty minutes of the contest, and perhaps type up a few first half wrap-ups. But in reality, like it or not it is part of the experience. Over the past couple of weeks, a petition started by Ed Ball of Washington over at change.org has been getting a lot of attention.  Ball supposedly drafted the petition while intoxicated, but the purpose of this petition is clear as day:  He wants the National Football League to get Weird Al Yankovic to perform at halftime of Super Bowl XLIX this February in Glendale, Arizona.

I used to listen to Weird Al a lot when I was younger.  We used to get the tapes and copy them for each other, and Al was a seemingly never-ending source of entertainment.  “Dare to be Stupid” was one of my favorite albums.  Eventually my tastes progressed towards much darker subject matter, and there was a certain passage of maturity that came with saying “I don’t listen to that stuff anymore”.  Nevertheless, I still respected the guy and the career he was able to put together with an accordion and wire-rimmed glasses.    Continue reading