Saturday, September 5, 2015

What does it mean to be a HERO Caitlyn Jenner ?

Photo credit : Caitlyn Jenner

Ever since Caitlyn Jenner came out as Transgender on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine and received the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award live at The Espy awards there is still an ongoing debate concerning what a " Hero" actually is. Amongst many people on social media this is still a hot topic with various memes and statuses arguing that Caitlyn Jenner should have not received this award and that she is not courageous, brave or a " Hero" for just deciding to live her life as a woman after 65 years. They go on to compare her to the men and woman injured while serving our country that still have the spirit to persevere and break records in sports as being the " real " heros. While I agree these individuals should be commended and are definitely courageous ...I am not so sure that I believe Caitlyn Jenner doesn't deserve the same title as well.

About the award as copied from  

" The Ashe Award is one of the most prestigious in sports. Recipients reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost. The award is inspired by the life that Ashe lived, using his fame and stature to advocate for human rights, although, at the time, those positions may have been unpopular and were often controversial. From speaking out against apartheid in South Africa to revealing to the world his struggle with AIDS, Ashe never backed away from a difficult issue, even though doing so would have been easier. Winners of the Ashe Award strive to carry on Ashe's legacy in their own lives - - inspired by those who do so each day."

In my opinion many people acting out were not even aware of the criteria that Mr.Ashe intended for the award recipient and we saw people jumping on a bandwagon mostly for a chance to be snarky about a still taboo topic ...transgenderism. On the scarier side Caitlyn received death threats and hate tweets.
Caitlyn Jenner has not just decided to become a woman overnight. This is something she has struggled with since she was a young child. Due to obvious pressures of society , on top of being a world renowned Olympian, Caitlyn stopped an earlier attempt at transitioning and further hid her true feelings with secrets and lies. Ultimately after much soul searching  Caitlyn decided she rather live as her authentic self than go on any further  and in doing so , being the public figure she is, faced a media firestorm where no one could have guessed the outcome. Many people were accepting however this is not the case for the average person who is transgendered out of the public's eye.

As seen in Caitlyn's new docu-series on Entertainment Television " I Am Cait" we see a woman willing to take on the burden for a life she is just becoming a part of ( not trying to be a martyr) and just beginning to understand. I Am Cait was filmed as she just transitioned and they even covered the ESPY award and Cait's now infamous acceptance speech. I see a Cait who is taking on the role of advocate and is trying her best to stay humble, aware of her privilege, while shedding a light on a topic that rarely gets the attention it needs and deserves. The facts are, whether you are aware or not, that people who are transgender have the highest murder/suicide rate in our world today all because they are trying to live their lives as who they really are. Just think about that for a moment.Really think about it as if it were as real to you as it is to them.How can anyone not think this needs to be addressed/stopped?!
Many people who are transgendered are homeless, can not find employment due to discrimination, can not find health care and often times are shunned by their families left to fend for themselves. In watching I Am Cait we are seeing ground breaking television spotlighting what it means to be transgendered and hopefully normalizing it as it should be and there is still a long way to go. Caitlyn has cleverly inserted many new friends who are transgendered so they may share their stories which are unique as they are...they themselves being skeptical of Caityln as their new spokesperson however you can see they are genuinely appreciative for the media attention and awareness that I Am Cait is bringing to the community. This no way negates all the pioneers that have come before, and there has been many...the best part is Cait knows this and makes us aware she is only a vessel. I am not sure what your definition of a " Hero" is but I do know the way I see it...Caitlyn Jenner is courageous, brave and a " Hero" for making an attempt to save lives while you sit on your couch and judge her.

For information on how you can help

Watch Caitlyn Jenner on " I Am Cait" Sunday's 8/7C on Entertainment Televsion 
Follow Caitlyn on Twitter @Caitlyn_Jenner

Follow the show @IAmCait

Follow me @BillyCharlesNY

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills...#ByeFelicia

Two time NY Times Best Selling Author Brandi Glanville

Hello reality television fans! What can I say? It's been a hot minute since I have felt the urge to post on a Housewives series. If you have been watching the latest season of The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills on Bravo TV you probably have been just as tired as I have been with the same old formula.

This season we see the emergence of two new additions, soap stars/actresses Eileen Davidson and Lisa Rinna. That's the only thing that is new for #RHOBH besides the pack finding a new target to " gang up on " per usual. Is a group of friends discussing the behavior of another friend to her face a " gang up" ? I am not so sure. Anyway...This season the target seems to be Brandi Glanville and Twitter has been on fire with team so and so. I just have to say many of you are under the impression that what we are seeing is " reality" when in fact we are seeing a story line manipulated by producers resulting in one dimensional characters. I hope you all are smarter than that by now. We left off on the latest episode with a fight between Kyle Richards, her sister Kim Richards and Brandi Glanville. It is of my opinion the this last episode could have gonna a completely different way if Kyle had just graciously opted out of a confrontation with Brandi instead of choosing the gay mixer as an opportunity for camera time. If you really paid attention,  regardless of what team you may be on , an apology never goes well when it's peppered with a "but". I personally as a viewer saw no indication that Brandi  was seeking drama with me  she seemed nervous and hopeful that this , as Kim also thought, would be an opportunity to set aside differences with Kyle and move forward. I honestly think that Brandi is getting a bum rap this season... producers are seeking to show her in a certain light. I also think that many of the seasoned actresses on the " reality series" have the game down and aren't being really " real".

Donald Trump and Brandi Glanville #CelebrityApprentice

 If you have watched  Brandi on Celebrity Apprentice ( where she received accolades from The Donald himself)  or have listened to her pod cast one show #unfiltered you would know that the producers of #RHOBH are showing her how they see fit for their agenda. Basically only drinking at social events ( which we all do ). Where is The NY Times two times best selling author, mother, and radio host? No where to be seen. You are getting a one dimensional character not representational of the who the person really is which is unfair however Brandi is smart enough to know what she signed on for. Regarding the other ladies... I feel we rarely see true moments and it is hard to decipher reality from crocodile tears given the majority of the ladies resumes as seasoned actresses.


 Also it is of my opinion that Brandi's brashness and being sexy/single plays on the insecurities of the other ladies adding fuel to the fire.Do I agree with everything  Brandi says when she is drinking ? No. Do I think that the majority of her scenes and placement can be contributed to editing to suite a an unreal reality ? Yes. It's funny to me that Kyle is just now bringing up past issues with Brandi after they moved forward this season. Also her dig at Brandi about being friends with her sister Kim " for six months" as if that is  is  not possible ( after filming for a few years ) to become friends in real life with someone in that amount of time...which we all know is bullshit. There is no amount of time that it takes to develop a close friendship... it just takes trust and loyalty. Kyle's own sister , regardless of what you think is going on with her or not, says otherwise as well. If this blog is coming off as if I am defending Brandi...I am. I think people get too caught up in a show where the producers wants you to pigeon hole someone ( if only for a season ) as a character for their own creative  purpose. Everyone, in my honest opinion, from watching this show from season one,  has been guilty of the same behaviors ( maybe not to the same extent ) as Brandi so why are they getting a free pass?

It's disappointing to see grown women act so immaturely and also not use communication for what it's intended for. I know that people watch #RHOBH for the drama and the opulence but it seems like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is stagnate as a series with the only real changes being a couple of new women added to the mix.  I am sure that Brandi is laughing all the way to the bank with her many new business ventures...that's if her ex  Eddie Cibrian doesn't try and take it all ( allegedly). I will be interested to see if the reunion sheds any light on this hot mess of a show and if Brandi is allowed to plead her case and speak her truth...until next time In the words of Brandi Glanville herself #ByeFelica.

Click photo above for Brandi #unfiltered

Follow Brandi Glanville on Twitter @BrandiGlanville and listen to her show @podcastone #unfiltered
Follow me on Twitter @BillyCharlesNY

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

When Breast Cancer Awareness Month Hits Close To Home ...

It's been quite a while since I have posted to this blog. Many things have happened in my life since the creation of both personally and professionally. I took a hiatus back in March of 2014 because I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to go in and frankly The Real Housewives , the interviews and The Gina Cutillo Show were just burning me out while leaving me creatively unfulfilled. Since that time, Gina decided to end her show to concentrate on her new album and her music career. I also took a new challenge on professionally. We have and always will remain friends.I was blessed to do the show and to get to know her.
I have kept in touch with many of the fabulous people that I met along my journey one of which is celebrity hairstylist David Antunes who I interviewed back in 2013 before he became a well known name amongst Bravo TV Housewives fans,  especially fans of Teresa Giudice from The Real Housewives Of New Jersey, with whom he is a friend of and also her go to hair guy. Ironically one of the newest cast members of  The Real Housewives Of New Jersey, and a friend of David's ,  is Amber Marchese who just happens to be a breast cancer survivor herself and through her new found fame is bringing a lot of awareness to the topic as well. My family received  some upsetting news  recently so I decided to reach out to Amber  and she could not have been more genuine and supportive.

Amber Marchese and David Antunes

The news was that we found out my  Mom, who has been recovering from a stroke , was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have personally known many friends and family  members who were affected by this terrible disease but there is nothing like when it strikes so close to home. It is scary to say the least as the word cancer often is. We are hopeful because my mother's cancer was caught in the early stages through a mammogram . She will be meeting with a surgeon and they are going to do a lumpectomy after that we will take it from there. She is in the care of an informative and wonderful Doctor who has told her to take it day by day and that she is in good hands ...which we truly believe. Besides being a hair guru, David Antunes guest writes for the
Las Vegas Informer Magazine on all kinds of topics... most recently he shared his article with me and I want to share it with you all because it is on Breast Cancer Awareness! It really couldn't have come at a better time in all of our lives...mine especially. David told me that he wanted to remind people on the importance of bringing awareness to Breast Cancer and that he also wants his article to serve as a daily reminder to those in need!

Thank you David Antunes and Amber Marchese for being  sincere and caring people  and using your celebrity to bring awareness to a topic that is often met with fear and for  shedding light on the fact that we have come a long way in the fight with this disease.The recovery statistics just keep getting better.Watch Amber Marchese on the current season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey on Bravo TV and please take the time to read and share David's article and we both thank you in advance.

Please read and share the link below to David's article for The Las Vegas Informer Magazine

                                                       My beautiful mother Nancy and I...

Please Follow  Las Vegas Informer on Twitter @LVInformer
Please Follow David Antunes  @DavidAntunesNJ
Follow Amber @AmberNMarchese

Monday, March 31, 2014

Quick and Easy Parmesan Asparagus Quiche!

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I have posted a cooking blog so I thought I would share my recipe for a quick and easy delicious Asparagus Parmesan Quiche! Not only is this recipe fast to make it is also vegan and can be served as a main course or as a  side dish. You can also double the recipe for a larger pan! Please give it a try and share your thoughts with me on this blog in the comments...who knows maybe I will post my recipes more often! Until next time !
 Mangia! Xx Billy Charles

What you will need to prepare: 
A medium sized bowl , a whisk, a cup for liquid measure, a 9x9 glass baking dish.

An 8 oz bag of steam fresh asparagus ( or fresh your choice ) prepared to instructions.
Grated and shredded Parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder , a cup and 1/2 of milk, 6 eggs and butter.

You will first cook the asparagus. I highly recommend the steam fresh as it is delicious and a time saver! Once it is cooked you will remove it from the bag and place it in the 9x9 glass baking dish. You will then cut it up in bite size pieces and coat with a few tablespoons of butter and cover with the shaved Parmesan cheese mix and then set it a side.

Next you will whisk together eggs , milk and a cup of grated Parmesan cheese in your bowl and season with the spices to taste... how much or how little is up to you! When the mixture  it is nice and blended ( don't beat make sure and whisk ) you will dump it  in your coated asparagus from the glass dish and gently mix. When it is all mixed together pour the mixture back into the 9x9 glass baking dish and bake for a 1/2 hour on 350... or until it is fully cooked and the top is golden brown ( an inserted fork should come out clean).

Mangia! You will have a quick and easy Asparagus Parmesan Quiche that is sure to be a real crowd pleaser!

Please share this blog with your friends and follow me on Twitter @BillyCharlesNY 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Gina Cutillo... Behind The Music!

Gina Cutillo is getting ready for world domination! Already a well established  singer, songwriter and recording artist  ( resume includes songs on Nickelodeon, MLB baseball, FOOD Network and Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network just to name a few ) she has recently decided to add television host to her list of titles. Gina is currently starring in a weekly entertainment show named after herself  which is airing live weekly on make no mistake she is still all about the music! Now more than ever! Getting ready to release a new album and  also having recently taken on the role of wife and new mother,  Gina has redefined herself and what her artistry means to her...  through the joy that this new challenge has brought to her life ( and career )  there have also been some growing pains along the way . Gina however takes them in stride and knows that life isn't always roses and daisies. Gina tells me that its in these times we can learn and evolve which she has done seemingly effortlessly. It's in these peaks and valleys that Gina was able to channel her triumphs and tribulations into her writing.
 Gina's magnetism is undeniable and this comes through in her performances be it in concert or while hosting her show. Gina possesses a sharp wit and is natural funny in an organic way which isn't easy to come by these days. There is also her artistic side which comes through in an array of emotions conveyed in her writing as well as  in the way she sings her songs. Recently I had the privilege  to go " Behind The Music"  picking  her sexy brain to ask the questions that many of her fans want the answers to! 
So " Let's Go! " ... kick back and relax getting to know Gina Cutillo the way I see it Xx Billy Charles 

" Behind The Scenes" on a Gina Cutillo and co photo shoot !

BC: I hear your working on a new album... what is the vibe with the sound? Is there a title yet that you can share with my readers? 

GC: The vibe is sexy. Its also fun and artistic at times. There's one song that will be on the album called "Pop Hysteria" that I fully wrote over a beat box. Very artistic and fun. I wasn't worried about creating huge hooks and big choruses. Funny thing it's super hooky and super catchy!!! I don't have a title yet. But the running joke is "Gina Cutillo at 128 BPM" a few songs are set in 128 BPM (beats per measure) - but I will name the album when all the songs are completed. I like the album title to encompass the overall statement of my songs. 

BC: How will the new songs be different from your previous recordings? 

GC: Well I'm in a different place in my life so that will always be portrayed in my music. I almost want to say more reflective so far. Tempos are a little slower on some.  As for the writing process I started with researching and choosing some really interesting synth sounds influenced from Sweden. I also did some lyric writing first too on a couple which is very unlike my process. 

BC: How has being a mother influenced your writing or you as an artist? 

Gina and her son Cole

GC: Becoming a mother is something that changes and rocks your world like no other. Nothing can prepare you for this type of change. So at first I wasn't even writing too busy having late night feeding sessions with the little guy. Lol But then it all just sorta " bursted " bursted out! I also think this is where the reflective part of my current songs are coming from. You think harder as a mother which has made me love harder as a person. 

BC: What are some new goals that you would like to achieve regarding your career? 

GC: My goals have always been the same. #1 hit. Grammy. World Tour. These types of goals will drive you to success every time. And insanity.. ;) 

BC: Who are you digging right now on today's music scene? 

GC: I'm a huge lover of music. I'm always listening to pop radio. I like to hear what's happening and I have always loved nice commercial sing along songs. I'm also digging into my archives listening to some Sheryl Crow, Oasis and Goldfrapp lately. 
Ellie Goulding is super special and talented, I'm enjoying her a lot. 

Gina with her long time friend and guitarist Ron Labriola

BC: What advice would today's Gina Cutillo give a younger Gina just starting out? 

GC: Don't be so stubborn! Yes Billy I was more stubborn in the past then I am now. Lol Also let go of things that aren't working a lot quicker. 

BC: Describe your creative process and the way you write...

GC: Hmm... usually I feel this jolt of inspiration like the song is already there inside and has decided this is the day it's coming out. Something like going into labor. I run to my MAC open up a protools session and start recording. Sometimes I will write a beat 1st or as I said lately it's been a synth part then start singing away to a melody that just comes out. I will then break out my guitar so on and so forth. Come to think of it - it's very similar to birth minus the intense pains.  haha unless you delete a whole writing session like I did once. Which left me on the floor curled up crying like a baby... yea that was painful. 

BC: What are some  of the things that inspire you in your creative process? 

GC: People I'm surrounded by. The love I'm feeling for someone. The experiences I have had and am having. Music on the radio. 

Craig, Cole and Gina

Gina and her husband Craig

BC: What is an average day like for you? 

GC: A whirlwind of very different events. I go from feeding my son breakfast to answering business calls to showing my son how to play with puzzles to my laptop with a new song I'm working on. Sometimes it's very busy but I choose for it to be. I do take down time too, it's very necessary. 

BC: If you had a dream vacation what would you be doing and where would you go? 

GC: I take dream vacations haha - My husband and I love to travel and have been to many Caribbean Islands. St Lucia was my favorite. We also have been to Belize, the Mayan Ruins were amazing. My other favorite outside of Caribbean was England. It's been a couple of years since we have had a proper vacation so this December we are going away. The baby will be almost 3 so we are ready to show him the beauty of blue waters and white sand. I'd like to go to Hawaii. And of course Italy is a must! 

Gina Cutillo and the men behind the music her band...

BC:Tell my readers what's coming up next for Gina Cutillo.... 

GC: I will be releasing my next single "Fly (Feel Love Tonight)" which will coincide with a video that I am shooting as we speak. This song is a #1 hit. I sing it and tear up almost every time.  I'm also performing at some festivals this summer with my band: Ron Labriola, Zeke Zuclich and John Von on May 3rd Popfest at Dewey Beach, DE. Also playing Jersey Shore Festival May 17th and several others so be sure to hit up for more updates!

Please follow Gina Cutillo on Twitter @GinaCutillo and click the photo above to go to her reverb nation music page!

For booking info contact