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M-Teen Magazine’s Stellar Star – Brook Pulliam

In IT-Teens on August 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm

M-Teen Magazine Congratulates Brook Pulliam!

Brook Pulliam – Winner!


The Mississippi Geographic Alliance at the University of Mississippi presented a certificate of recognition to Brook Pulliam as the winner of the National Council for the Geographic Education’s ” Why Geography Matters Video Contest ” – signed by David Rutherford, MGA Executive Director.


M-Teen’s Stellar Star! 

Look out, TODAY SHOW! M-Teen’s Stellar Star, Brook Pulliam, a student from Walnut, Mississippi is already making her mark on the world of media and reporting. Brook, who confidently stars in and narrates her award-winning video, takes the viewer on location to Walnut, as she knowledgeably describes examples of the five themes of geography. We were quite impressed with Brook and had to know more…

How did you get involved in this video project?

My teacher assigned a project on “The Five Themes of Geography” and I chose to do a video. Then, she told me about the geography contest and I entered my video.

Your video presentation was very professional. How did you learn to be so comfortable in front of the camera?

I actually made the video with my mom, cousin and some friends from church. I really like acting in skits and plays at church so I guess that’s why I enjoyed being in front of the camera.

How did this project inspire you?

It made me think about how fun it would be to become an actor on television.

Tell us about your other interests!

Well, I love being involved at church and I enjoy singing. I also like being in the beauty reviews at school each year.  I have won several.

Just for fun – if you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things could you not live without?

Food, family and church.



Devin Grissom – Sweet Home Alabama Thursdays at 8c – CMT

In IT-Teens on July 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm

M-Teen Magazine CONGRATULATES Devin Grissom!

We’ll be watching CMT on Thursday nights at 8c as Devin looks for true love.



Click for more on Sweet Home Alabama.


Ten “city slickers” and 10 “country” guys are vying for the affections of Devin Grissom, a sweet Southern girl from Alabama. In order to win her heart, the bachelors from across the country compete in challenges to win time with the Southern beauty. In each one-hour episode, Devin says goodbye to more of her suitors in the hopes of finding her true love and someone her family approves.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Devin in M-Teen Magazine’s 2007  Coverage of the Miss Memphis Pageant


Macy’s Prom Fashion Show

Devin Grissom is a student at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Raised in Cordova, Tenn., Devin considers herself a southern belle who values and respects the traditions of the south. A huge sports fan, Devin spends her Saturdays in the fall watching SEC football games and hopes to pursue a public relations career in professional sports. Devin’s parents were high school sweethearts, still married for 34 years, and she aspires to have a relationship like theirs and settle down at a young age.

Follow Devin on Twitter @devin_grissom.

Check out Devin’s Facebook page.

The Summers – Hot Music Video!

In IT-Teens on March 30, 2011 at 6:37 pm


M-Teen Magazine HOT M-town Music!

Check out The Summers’ new music video….and tell all your friends!





Cafe 549

549 Jennings Drive – Southaven, MS 38671

Friday – April 1st

Doors Open at 6:00 PM

Tickets  $10


New Daisy Theater

330 Beale Street – Memphis, TN 38103

Sunday – April 3rd

Doors Open at 6:00 PM

Tickets $13 ADV / $15 DOS









Branson, Wesley and Jared Summers started as a cover band from Southern Indiana. After moving to Memphis in the summer of 2008, they played AutoZone Park, The New Daisy, and a number of local festivals. The Summers have worked with organizations such as The Ronald McDonald House, the Memphis Music Foundation and Shelby County Music Commission.

Most recently, they have added new band member, Peter Armstrong on bass/vocals. Collectively, the new 4-piece band has a dynamic which brings a much fuller sound and allows lead vocalist, Jared, to focus on commanding the stage as a true front man/guitarist. Along with writing and recording their EP, The Summers have been playing local venues, building a solid fanbase and reinventing themselves as a unique pop/punk band.


The Summers | Memphis, TN | Pop / Punk / Happy Hardcore | Music, Lyrics, Songs, and Videos | ReverbNation.

Glee Casting Call Winner: Ashley Wieronski | MyFox Memphis | Fox 13 News

In IT-Teens, M-Town Events! on April 20, 2010 at 11:30 am

GLEE Casting Call Winner:

Ashley Wieronski!

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Congratulations to Ashley Wieronski, winner of the FOX13 Glee Casting Call Contest! Ashley is guaranteed to have her submission seen by a Glee Casting Director with the chance of becoming one of the newest cast members on the hit FOX show.

With nearly 300,000 online votes, Ashley pulled in over 78,000.


Glee Casting Call Winner: Ashley Wieronski | MyFox Memphis | Fox 13 News.

Jaques Student Art Gallery Competition

In IT-Teens on April 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Two Shelby County School Students Honored at

State of Shelby County Schools Gala

Amy Baltensperger, Millington High School student and Abby McVay, Collierville Middle School student, winners of the Jaques Student Art Gallery Competition, were recently honored at the State of Shelby County Schools Gala. The event, presented by Bank of Bartlett with contributing sponsors, FedEx and Brother Industries, highlighted the outstanding achievements of the system and the talents of their students.

The Jaques Student Art Gallery competition is funded through an endowment to the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation given by the James A. Jaques and Rosemary M. Jaques Charitable Trust.  The competition encourages students in Shelby County Schools to continue pursuing their love for art and also recognizes the winners’ teachers for their leadership.

Board President Peg Watkins (center) announced the 2010 winners of the Jaques Student Art Gallery Awards.  Student Amy Baltensperger (first from left) and teacher Ms. Amy Lange (second from left)of Millington High School, and student Abby McVay (second from right) and teacher Ms. Jo Powers (first from right) of Collierville Middle School.

Brittany Russell, The Young Guns and The Summers!

In IT-Teens, M-Town Events! on March 17, 2010 at 11:28 am

Upcoming Event ~Saturday March 27th

Hard Rock Cafe on Beale -ALL AGES SHOW

Doors Open at 9:00pm – Only $5

Brittany Russell Rocks!.

Anna Claire Sneed – ‘A Fine Step’

In IT-Teens on February 26, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht // Buy this photo

Anna Claire Sneed, 15, makes her film debut in “A Fine Step” alongside another newcomer, 5-year-old Paso Fino stallion Substituto.

“He’s really very sweet,” Anna Claire says.

“When it’s done right, it can be really powerful,” director Jonathan Meyers says of movies that depict the bond between a horse and a person.

His film “A Fine Step” is shooting at locations throughout the Memphis area.

Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht
Buy this photo »

Nancy Steiner (center) and her husband, Mitchell, own the Germantown home in which much of the filming for “A Fine Step” is taking place.

Here she chats with producer Ari Palitz (left) and director Jonathan Meyers.

Locally filmed ‘A Fine Step’ is a family film with equestrian appeal

The producers of “A Fine Step,” a film now shooting in Shelby County, weren’t expecting snow and ice for their first weekend in Memphis.

The winter weather had the crew scrambling to make the best of a tough situation. But the movie’s star — a proud and strikingly tall, dark and handsome newcomer — rolled with the changes like a pro.

Cast in the film’s heroic lead role is a debuting motion-picture performer named Substituto — a 5-year-old champion Paso Fino stallion.

“He’s really very sweet,” said co-star Anna Claire Sneed, a 15-year-old Hutchison School student also making her first movie appearance.

Recent Memphis film projects have included an MTV series about bed-hopping rock stars (“$5 Cover”), a saga of terrorized teens (“Savage County”) and the story of a sexually promiscuous country girl who is chained to a radiator (“Black Snake Moan”). Originally titled “Fandango” (the name was changed this week to avoid confusion with the popular online movie ticket-buying site), “A Fine Step” is something different: a family film with an equine theme that may please horse fans of all ages and moms who remember “Black Beauty,” “National Velvet” and “My Friend Flicka,” in particular.

“There is something about the bond between a horse and a person that can really connect,” said the film’s director, Jonathan Meyers of Los Angeles, an experienced equestrian who is a fan of the horse trails in the Hollywood hills. “When it’s done right, it can be really powerful.”

Written by locals Keith Suggs and Dennis Sonnenschein (a Paso Fino champion rider whose real-life horse, Fandango, inspired the film), “A Fine Step” tells the story of an expert horseman (Luke Perry of “Beverly Hills 90210” fame) struggling to overcome the trauma of a serious accident involving himself and his top horse, Fandango.

“Any movie that doesn’t have horses in it, I’m always wishing I could be somewhere else,” said the bearded, cowboy-hatted Perry, 44, back in the saddle again on the film’s Germantown set. Perry previously played a rodeo champion in 1994’s “8 Seconds,” for “Rocky” director John G. Avildsen.

Anna Claire plays a neighbor girl who bonds with Fandango and helps rehabilitate both horse and horseman. Memphis singer Amy LaVere plays the Luke Perry character’s wife, and veteran actor Armand Assante stars as an imperious and aristocratic rival horse owner.

Roy Cash — the nephew of Johnny — has been cast in the amiable trainer role originally suggested for Ernest Borgnine.

With a budget that producer Bret Saxon said is “a work in progress” but is expected to be less than $1 million, the Insomnia Media Group production is scheduled to finish shooting in the Memphis area next week. Another week of production in Insomnia’s home base of Los Angeles will follow.

According to Saxon, about half of the shoot’s almost 150 crew members were local hires, including such veterans as key makeup-and-hair artist Alicia George, costume designer Meriwether Nichols and production designer Darian Corley.

Saxon — who recently bought a house in Memphis — wants to keep the crew busy, even after the 12-hours-plus days of the current production come to an end. He says his Insomnia Media Group plans to shoot three additional low-budget films here this year, namely, “The Master’s Tree,” inspired by Mississippi’s Palmer Home for Children, to be directed by David Mickey Evans (“The Sandlot”); the hitman suspenser “The Last Story of David Allan,” from Memphis filmmaker Justin Gullett, who is handling second unit work on “A Fine Step”; and “90 Minutes in Heaven,” inspired by the Christian best seller.

Much of the shooting on “A Fine Step” is taking place at the Germantown home of Mitchell and Nancy Steiner. The 45-acre spread includes a lake, four houses and a barn with 14 horse stalls.

The Steiners’ son, Derek, 22, is a young filmmaker who will be at the Cannes Film Festival in May as a participant in “Creative Minds in Cannes,” a prestigious filmmaking program. “One day I hope my son can go to people in the community who will help him out,” said Nancy Steiner, who acknowledged that allowing a film crew to take over one’s house for a few weeks has plenty of inconveniences. (Nobody can shower or run the washing machine while shooting is in progress because of the noise, she said.)

“We’re trying to support the Memphis film community,” she said. “They took ‘The Blind Side’ to Atlanta, and a lot of movies are going to Louisiana. The grips, the lighting professionals, the caterers — all these people here don’t work when they shoot in Atlanta to fake Memphis.”

Substituto and the 14 other horses in the film — including Fandango’s rival, a willful stallion known as Diablo — were trained by Jaime Gascon and his son, Michael, owners of the Horse Haven ranch in Poplarville, Miss., which specializes in Paso Finos, a breed with a distinctive and natural stepping gait that was brought to the New World centuries ago by the Spanish conquistadors.

“The horse, Fandango, he is the main actor,” said Cuba-born Jaime Gascon, 49, who has lived in Mississippi since he was 11. “The horse has to act scared, happy — he poses for the camera, kind of like he knows what he’s doing. He acts like he knows it’s ‘Lights, camera, action.'”

Gascon also had to train the actors to ride and work with the powerful animals. Some scenes will use stunt performers, to take dangerous falls or gallop at a risky pace.

“The horses are easier than the actors,” Gascon said. “We can communicate better. I’ve been with horses since I was 5 years old, so I guess we probably think the same.”

— John Beifuss: 529-2394

Locally filmed ‘A Fine Step’ is a family film with equestrian appeal » The Commercial Appeal.

Clark Richard Reeves – Triple Threat!

In IT-Teens on February 24, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Clark Richard Reeves

Triple Threat!
Actor, Singer, Dancer

Age: 17
Grade: 12
School: Lewisberg High School

1. Who is your greatest Influence?

I’m a mama’s boy! I would have to say my mom is my greatest influence. I have no idea where I would be if I didn’t have her! She has always been my biggest fan! She works hard to open the doors for me, but as she says – it is up to me to take it the rest of the way! She has taught me to never give up and give things a chance. Even if they do not work out, at least I know I tried and won’t wonder…what if? I think the biggest thing she has taught me is to never judge anyone because until you walk in their shoes, you have no idea what and why people make the choices they do. She also taught me to always be the bigger and better person…never, ever intentionally hurt someone’s feelings no matter how ugly or mean they are to you! It has made a huge difference in my life and I am grateful for these lessons I have been taught. I know I am a better person for it!

2. What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far?

I would have to say the two shows I’m doing right now. I’m assisting the director in “Fiddler on the Roof” (a first for Desoto Family Theater) and I’m also doing “Les Miserables” at DFT at the same time! I also had a recent surgery that went terribly wrong in every way, which made me miss school for over 7 weeks-almost the whole fall semester! During my recuperation I was in the production of “Annie Get Your Gun” as ‘Charlie’. I kept my commitment to “AGYG” and stayed in the show. The production crew and cast understood what I was going through. Even when I wasn’t able to show up for rehearsals they were still very supportive. I continued on into the performances while I was still in an extreme amount of pain. I am proud of myself that I kept my commitment and did not let my cast down. I did my very best. I was not allowed to dance and they even added a cane to my character and altered the scenes so I could sit down instead of stand. VERY SUPPORTIVE!
Being gone for over 7 weeks from school made me so far behind but again, the teachers were so understanding and were very helpful in getting me caught up. I went back to school, against doctor’s orders, because I knew this was my senior year and I had to pass. I am proud to say that I finished the semester with a B and above average! Whew!
Both of these incidents made me realize that if I put my mind to it, I can do almost anything. I may not have been able to perform to the best of my ability, but I can give it my best shot! Luckily, this time my best was good enough…even though it was one of the worst/painful experiences of my life!
I am also very proud to have been asked to be on the “Star Council” for The Orpheum! It is a huge honor for me, actually for anyone!

3. What characteristic’s do you possess that you feel have helped your career the most?

I know how to keep my cool when I’m under a lot of stress and if there is something I want I work harder to achieve my goals. I have been told I am easily “direct-able”. I believe that is because I am always willing to keep an open mind and realize I have so much more to learn in my career. The people who are suggesting or offering their advice have more experience and I respect the position they are in and understand they are suggesting things to be in my best interest, as well as the productions.
I am a team player. Yes, I want my performance to be it’s best and I work really hard to make myself, the cast, crew and audience proud of me.
I am the first to do what is best for the production and there to help anyone who needs a helping hand in the cast…from the ensemble to the leads! I feel honored when someone asks for my opinion or help!
Plus, when I don’t get a role that I auditioned for… I don’t take it personally. I respect that the director has a vision of what he is looking for in each character and I just was not the right fit. There is always the next show!

4.  Where do you hope to be in 10 years?

I hope to be living in either New York or California. I hope to have been through one of the performing art colleges that I just recently auditioned for in Chicago last week. I want to learn all I can and be as verse as possible at my “God Given Talent”!! I hope to be working in my field of study, acting or musical theatre. I hope to be able to repay my parents for all the sacrifices they have made and allowed me to have the best in training (and all the cost that has been invested in the past 12 years) which enabled me to further my talent. In addition, all the effort needed just to get me to the auditions to the schools I want to attend to further my performance, skills and education!
They have always made sure I had the best childhood I could possibly have! Even though there have been some very lean times they still found a way to make things happen for me. I want them to know how grateful I am for all they have done for me and that I cherish them as much as they have shown they cherish me!
So many kids out there have not been as blessed as I have with parents who love, accept, support and stand behind me through thick and thin. Not to mention knowing how to be a friend and a parent at the same time! I am able to discuss anything with them and if I were to get into some kind of trouble (which so far I haven’t, and don’t plan on it) they would be the first I would call. Knowing they may be upset with me for my action but that their love will never faultier! I am truly blessed!

5.  Who inspires you?

I get inspired by a lot of things. How God sent his son to guide us as Christians and then to die for our sins. Jesus, as he endured so much pain and heartache and had the courage to keep following through as His Father asked, even dying for him and us.
In addition, my friends, who are all so different, and have shown me their trials and tribulations through the years and overcome it as best they can! My family, music, production crews, directors and my co-actors all inspire me. Most recently, ‘Lady Gaga’ has really inspired me to just be myself and to know that I’m not a freak, but, if I am- it is ok, as I am special just for who I am. She has gone through the exact same thing. When she speaks about her hard times as a teenager and even now…how she has been able to overcome and stand up for all the freaks and geeks out there and let us know to keep going on, as we are all as important as the person who is making fun of us. You can do anything you want… don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way! She may be weird to a lot of people and many do not understand her, but if they took a little time to listen to her and what she has to say and what she stands for… they may think differently!

6. Is your family supportive?

I think I have answered that previously, but they deserve me saying one more time just how very supportive they really are! My family is the most supportive family you could ever meet! I have no idea what I would do without my parents! My mom’s parents live in Colorado and they do their best to come to every production that I have a lead role in. It makes me feel so important that they love and care enough to be there in the audience to support me and cheer me on! As I have become older, I have seen how things such as my grandparent’s driving so far to support me means more than all the money or gifts in the world!

7.  How do you find time to balance school and performing along with a social life?

It’s very complicated…I am not going to lie. Keeping up with school and making sure I keep my grades a B or better is a challenge, especially with how much I miss! Between the productions, TV, films and unfortunately the migraines I have been plagued with…makes for a hard time in attending school as much as I should. My migraines have become worse in the past couple years. I have been seeing a top neurologist and been through every test/medicine possible to help get rid of them or at least make them less frequent or to lessen the pain…but to no avail! But, as I stated before I have been blessed with great, understanding and helpful teachers! My social life…well yes, I have missed a lot of dances, parties, vacations and spring breaks… but it’s the career/life I have chosen to live. It’s a good thing that I enjoy everything I do regarding performing or entertaining. Plus, I am lucky that the friends I socialize with are the ones I get to see at school and at rehearsals… so it ends up being a win/win situation in my eyes anyway. With each production, the cast and crew becomes very close, it’s like one big family, and we find ways to get together before or after rehearsals or the shows!

8. What do you do to unwind?

I listen to my music and hang out when I can with friends…oh- and SLEEP! I love to sleep! I enjoy watching certain favorite shows with my mom and a movie now or then! My favorite time to unwind would be what we call a “PJ” day! We do not have to go anywhere or do anything…we just do what we choose!
There is a negative to these days…they end TOO QUICK!!

9. What is your best piece of advice for teens looking to follow in your footsteps?

Never give up no matter what anyone tells you! If you believe in yourself and are meant to be a performer then give it your best and show the world what you’ve got! Not everyone is going to tell you what you want to hear…but one day, there may be that one casting director, or audition that will be an exact fit for you. You will look back and tell yourself just how glad you are that you never gave up on yourself, your goals and dreams!

10. What is the best piece of advice you have been given and how has it helped your performances?

“Never lose sight of who you are” and “Everyone gets nervous!” I know that if I were to become a “somebody” I would still want to be the Clark Richard that everyone knew and loved. When I get nervous I know its normal and I take that energy and make it explode on the stage!
It’s important to remember that it takes every person in the production and behind the scenes to make a good show… not just the leads – EVERY person has their place and is important so treat them with that respect and acknowledgement. Also, don’t allow anyone make you feel less of a person or talent than you know you are! My parents have always said to me, when I question things about myself, or how I am going to get it all done, “Clark Richard, are you average? NO… you will always be above average!” Now I finish it with; “I am above average and know I will get through this because God made me who I am, and he knows I am able, so I have to know it too!!”

VOTE for Bria’ Sanders! Golf Digest Competition

In IT-Teens, M-Town Events! on February 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm

VOTE for Bria’ Sanders!

Golf Digest is searching for two highly-motivated junior golfers – one male and one female – with the drive and passion to excel in a highly competitive and unique private golf boarding school environment, known as the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy (Hank Haney IJGA).

Bria’ has entered into this competition to attend the academy and is asking for your support with your vote.  The contestant with the most votes wins this great opportunity!

Please visit


to cast your vote today!

Voting period February 24 – March 24, 2010

Hank Haney IJGA is the only academy in the world to combine training, academics, and competition for serious junior golfers. The primary focus of the Hank Haney IJGA is to prepare students academically and athletically for the next stage in their career. In 2009, 94% of their students received a college golf scholarship.

“I have loved and been playing golf since I was three years old. In addition, I am a Memphis City Schools honors student at Cordova Middle School, and the first African American to receive Player of the Year Awards on the Tennessee Golf Association Junior Tour and the United States Junior Golf Tour. Your vote in helping me reach this goal would greatly be appreciated!”

Thank you,

Bria’ J. Sanders

Visit me at www.briasanders.org


Ashton Riker – Multi-talented Musician!

In IT-Teens on December 22, 2009 at 2:47 pm

M-Teen’s Stellar Star: Ashton Riker

Ashton Riker has loved music all of his life and started performing at the age of three—so it’s no surprise that this multi-talented musician already has a record deal. Read on for more!

By Heather Holmes

What instrument(s) do you play?

I am a vocalist, but I also play keys and a little bass.

Tell us about your upcoming album! How did you get the label’s attention?

This album will be my first, and it features a style that is a fusion of R&B, Pop, Jazz, Blues and “Memphis music.” All of the music is original, and I play many of the instruments on the tracks. I started out doing professional theatre, and even at a very early age I knew I needed to start networking.  I built up a contact list, and started promoting myself.  Eventually, I caught the eye of some producers and found myself singing over the phone to Mr. Todd Culberhouse, who is an industry mogul.  A few weeks later, I got a call from him saying he wanted to sign me!  It has been such an amazing process, and I am so excited to see what the future brings!

Who inspires you musically?

Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau, Earth Wind & Fire, Bill Withers, etc.

Who is your ultimate music role model?

That is a tough question. I would have to say Stevie Wonder.  Not only is his music timeless, but it is from the soul.  My ultimate goal in life is to be a successful musician, and help people along the way.  I want to help people, and bring about the change that we need.  Stevie Wonder is one of the many artists who have successfully balanced their career and activities as a philanthropist, and that is what I want to do.

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years?

10 years from now, I want to be on the road touring, recording, and doing a lot of volunteer and charity work.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Well, I am a music nerd, so I always love listening to good music! I love watching movies, hanging out with my family and friends, and just having fun.

If you were making a soundtrack to your life, what would the top three songs be?

“A Song for You” -Donny Hathaway, “Gaslighting Abbie” -Steely Dan, and “Billie Jean” -Michael Jackson.

What’s the newest addition to your iPod?

Adele. Her vocal technique is incredible, and her songwriting is amazing.

What advice do you have for teens/young people hoping to follow in your footsteps?

DON’T LET ANYONE STOP YOU. My nickname is “Mr. Unstoppable.”  I have taken a lot of criticism, ridicule, and stuff like that, but at the end of the day when I get something accomplished, I know it is all worth it.  Follow your dreams, and work hard!

What has been your biggest musical accomplishment thus far?

My biggest musical accomplishment is either touring Italy and London, or singing backup for Stevie Wonder. Hopefully, I will accomplish much more!

Check out Ashton’s music at http://www.myspace.com/ashtonriker

2010 Miss Memphis Scholarship Pageant

In IT-Teens on December 16, 2009 at 10:18 am

Reed sisters take contest honors

Germantown sisters Ashley (above, left) and Amber Reed were named 2010 Miss Memphis and Miss Memphis Princess, respectively, at the recent pageant at the Buckman Performing and Fine Arts Center. -Photos courtesy of Roger Cotton Photography
Germantown News:
Published: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 7:30 AM CST

Ashley Reed, an 18-year-old freshman at Belmont University from Germantown, took the title of 2010 Miss Memphis during the Miss Memphis Pageants held Nov. 28 at St. Mary’s Buckman Performing and Fine Arts Center.

Ashley’s sister, 13-year-old Amber Reed, also of Germantown, won the title of 2010 Miss Memphis Princess.

Madison Snipes, a 14-year-old student at Evangelical Christian School took the title of 2010 Miss Teen Memphis. Her platform is “Take a Stand, Lend a Hand.”

Eighteen young women competed Saturday, November 28, for the titles of Miss Memphis Princess, Miss Teen Memphis, and Miss Memphis.

Ashley Reed will soon begin preparations for the Miss Tennessee Pageant in June and will spend the year as the city’s ambassador where she will promote her platform “Promoting Community Service Among Today’s Youth.”

Miss Memphis receives a $1,250 cash scholarship and in-kind tuition waivers to local universities including Baptist College of Health Sciences, Austin Peay State University and Southwest Tennessee Community College.

Amber Reed’s platform is “Raising Awareness of the Needs for Elderly.”

Miss Teen Memphis and Miss Memphis Princess will each receive a $150 cash award and the Miss Memphis Organization will front their $300 entry fees to the Outstanding Tennessee Teen Pageant in March.

A host of additional prizes include donations by J&B Childress (photography for all new winners), Jamazin Mobile Tanning (complimentary airbrush tanning for all winners), Crown Consulting (gift certificates for all winners), Joann’s Gowns (gift certificates for all winners), Malco, Pink Palace, Theatre Memphis, the Memphis Redbirds, and the Memphis Riverkings.

Germantown News > Top Stories > Reed sisters take contest honors.


Highest Selling Silent Auction Basket: Shields Thompson
Memphis Jaycees Community Service Award: Anna Humerickhouse
Princess Fan Favorite: Kendall Pasley
Teen Fan Favorite: Madison Snipes
Miss Fan Favorite: Brooke Churchwell
Princess Congeniality: Amber Reed
Teen Congeniality: Jessica McCullough
Miss Congeniality: Ashtyn Beatty
Princess Fitness: Haley Arthur
Teen Fitness: Madison Snipes
Princess Non-Finalist Interview: Peyton Couch
Teen Non-Finalist Interview: Ally Wanta
Teen Non-Finalist Talent: Chessie Biggam
Miss Non-Finalist Interview: Brandye Kemp
Miss Non-Finalist Talent: Brandye Kemp


1st Alternate: Kendall Pasley
Winner: Amber Reed


1st Alternate: Jessica McCullough
Winner: Madison Snipes


3rd Alternate: Jasmine Hockett
2nd Alternate: Ashtyn Beatty
1st Alternate: Anna Humerickhouse
Winner: Ashlee Reed

Memphis Teen Deidra Shores wins ‘Today’ show’s Kid Reporter Contest!

In IT-Teens on November 14, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Virginia Sherwood / NBC

The Commercial Appeal  11/14/2009 >>

Deidra Shores of Memphis reacts with stunned silence when told she was the winner of the NBC “Today” show’s Kid Reporter Contest. She erupted into a kicking, screaming fit of joy as she asked Al Roker, “Can you say it one more time?”

Deidra Shores, 13, of Memphis was too busy being a reporter for NBC’s “Today” show Thursday afternoon to chat on the phone.

But by the time she got back to her hotel room late Thursday, exhausted and excited at the same time, she was finally ready to talk.

“This day has been absolutely amazing. I am in awe. I’m so happy,” she said.

Deidra won the “Today” show’s Kid Reporter Contest on Thursday morning, then went out to cover the debut of the cruise ship Carnival Dream with a crew from the show, said her mother, Vanessa Conner, who waited in a hotel. She said the show plans to air the report Monday.

The pair plan to return home today, arriving at Memphis International Airport around 6 p.m. on a Northwest flight.

Deidra, a student at Colonial Middle School, reacted with stunned silence when told she had won. Then she erupted into a kicking, screaming fit of joy as she asked Al Roker, “Can you say it one more time?”

“At first I didn’t believe him,” Deidra said. “I said, ‘Are you serious?’ He said, ‘Yes, you’re the winner.'”

Deidra beat out thousands of youngsters who entered the contest, then made it through semifinal and final rounds in which about 40,000 viewers voted to select the show’s official “kid reporter.”

Deidra had charmed viewers with her bubbly personality, but later cried at the news, telling Roker, “I had lost all hope.”

The finalists and their families won a six-day cruise. Deidra also won a backpack, reporting equipment and a video recorder.

Her mother called Deidra a child who had “never met a stranger from day 1. She has a very big personality. She loves people.”

Conner said Deidra was continually performing, whether it was creating fashion shows, playing instruments, acting or telling jokes.

“Since she was itty bitty she has said she wants to be a superstar,” said Conner, 35 and a single mom who works in the FedEx corporate office. “I told her to tell people you just want to be an entertainer.”

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton called Colonial Middle to say he’d like to be part of the school’s planned celebration for the winner, Principal Marty Pettigrew said.

Deidra is a drama student at the performing arts school with a 3.8 grade-point average, said Conner.

Deidra demonstrated her talents earlier for the show by producing an “investigative” video in which she searched Memphis for Matt Lauer in a parody of the show’s “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?” segment.

For the winning round, she and three other finalists covered the presentation of the world’s largest children’s book, a collection of children’s dreams created to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Now, it’s back to Memphis, but Deidra hopes she can talk her mom into extending the party a little bit. After all, what 13-year-old wouldn’t like a few more days away from school?

“She probably won’t let me do that.”

Staff reporter Jody Callahan contributed to this story.

Watch video of Shores’ reaction on the Today Show Web site.

Dy’Neshia Taylor Wins Awards!

In IT-Teens on November 13, 2009 at 10:26 am

neshia award

Miss Dy’Neshia Taylor a.k.a (Sas-Fyah)  a native of Memphis, TN she is 15 and a 10th grade Honor Student at Craigmont High School, and a reporter for the Teen Appeal she is also singer, writer and dancer too, she she was also one of the youngest entertainer/performer to sing on the Red Carpet were she sung her version of “And I am telling you”  by Jennifer Holiday.

Miss Dy’Neshia Arcinko Lynnise Taylor was awarded The JAS ( Junior Achievement Stone)  The Outstanding Junior Humanitarian for Achieving Greatness in Community Service, Academics, and Sports, at the 14th Annual Stone Awards Ceremony on October 17, 2009, at The Pink Palace Museum in the Imax Theater, Presented By Ma & 9 Mustard Seeds Production.

The Founder of The Stone Awards Stanley Campbell was presented the key to the City of Memphis on October 17,2009 at the Pink Palace Museum by Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery. The Stone Awards honors the most outstanding community leaders, business leaders and entertainers in Memphis area. The award recognizes those individuals, businesses and organizations that not only support their heavy “Stone” through personal and professional accomplishments but also the “Stones” of the community with pride and grace.

The Junior Achievement Stone Awards honors our inner city youth accomplishments & endeavors. Their education and talents must emerge through their community service and exemplify accountability in order to be awarded. The JAS Awards is the first step on the ladder of achievement to become a Most Outstanding Leader. Raising the bar is the mission’s goal.

The House of Mtenzi Located at 1289 Madison Ave, here in Memphis,TN, Presents the Annual Forgotten Soul Festival is to bring our community leaders, businesses and organizations together to help with the support and care for the less fortunate and homeless. Our Community leaders join together and lend a helping hands distributing food, clothing, toiletries, inspiration, entertainment, health screenings, and counseling to those in need. All donations and proceeds from the Annual Stone Awards help fund The JAS Awards & The Forgotten Soul Festival.

Stone Awards Categories:

The winners were chosen by the community through online voting at http://www.stoneawards.org
and by paper ballets distributed throughout the community.

1. Most Outstanding Politician.
2. Most Outstanding News Broadcaster.
3. Most Outstanding Gospel Community Choir or Group
4. Most Outstanding Radio Personality.
5. Most Outstanding Publication ( Magazine/News Publication).
6. Most Outstanding Community Activist.
7. Most Outstanding Corporation/ Organization
8. Most Outstanding Recording Artist or Group ( R&B, Neo Soul and Blues).
9. Most Outstanding Clergy/Pastor/Minister.
10. Most Outstanding Independent Film Maker/ Director.
11. Most Outstanding Educator.
12. Most Outstanding Doctor/M.D/P.H.D./Counselor.

Submitted by:

Danielle “Dani” Taylor

Publicist/ Public Relation Specialist for The Stone Awards
Event Coordinator for The Forgotten Soul Festival


Mary Catherine Hughes Selected for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

In IT-Teens on November 13, 2009 at 9:24 am



Mary Catherine Hughes

Mary Catherine Hughes of Memphis, TN has been selected to perform at the 83rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Mary Catherine attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in Loch Sheldrake, New York this summer and will join 60  fellow performers from that program in a first ever singing/dancing finale for the famous parade. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, celebrating the holiday since 1924, is today viewed live by over 2 million spectators along the route and an estimated 65 million NBC viewers nationwide.

Mary Catherine, 18, has attended Stagedoor Manor for six years and has appeared locally in Jane Eyre, Grease, Cinderella and Peter Pan at Hutchison School; in Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles; Annie at the Harrell Theatre; High School Musical at the Desoto Family Theatre and in many plays at the Playhouse on the Square and Theatre Memphis.

Over 400 singer-dancers auditioned and applied for the Macy’s performance troupe. There are 22 states and 3 countries represented in the cast, ages 10 to 18. Students will bring a new twist to the Santa Claus finale, performing in front of the Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street.

Mary Catherine will join high profile celebrities, iconic floats, giant balloons, and elite marching bands in this American tradition recognized by most as the official start of the holiday season. “We are thrilled to be chosen by Macy’s for this exciting new addition to their program!” states Stagedoor owner Cindy Samuelson. “The preparation, the rehearsals, have been a once in a lifetime experience for these talented kids.”

Stagedoor Manor is a summer of total immersion in theater for young actors, singers, and dancers. For 35 years the program has been educating those who aspire to careers in the entertainment industry and have a long list of successful alumni including Natalie Portman, Zach Braff, Josh Charles, and Robert Downey Jr.

Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Brittany Russell!

In IT-Teens on September 5, 2009 at 2:08 pm

brittany russell

Brittany Russell

M-Teen’s Stellar Star!

Look out, Miley Cyrus! 11-year-old Memphian Brittany Russell, a student at Arlington Middle School, is already making waves in the music industry. The lead singer (she also plays piano and guitar!) of Brittany Russell & The Trunk Monkeys has performed at a number of impressive venues and shows—all before officially hitting her teen years! Sound inspiring? We think so, too! Read on for a peek inside this powerhouse performer’s background and future goals.

By Heather Whitsitt

How long have you been singing?

I started performing onstage when I was 8-years-old.  My first “real” performance was at Huey’s.

Who is your ultimate musical role model?

My aunt Becky, known to the musical world as Reba Russell!

Tell us about your band!

My band is Brittany Russell & The Trunk Monkeys, and we play clubs, festivals and shows of all sizes. My uncle, Wayne Russell, plays bass, my dad, Tommy Russell, plays guitar, my brother, Brandon Russell, plays drums, and I sing.  We started with a couple of shows opening for The Reba Russell Band, and it really just took off.

How would you describe your musical style?

Rock, Pop and Blues!  We play everything from Miley Cyrus to Led Zeppelin and the Beatles to AC/DC.  Our original material is probably like a Miley Cyrus with a heavy guitar groove.

You have already won several impressive titles at a young age. Which accomplishment has been the most rewarding so far?

Probably the state of Tennessee songwriting winner for “We Can All Make a Difference.” That song was one of my first songs I worked on, and it gave me the confidence to write more songs.

What is your next goal?

I just want to keep making music and performing and recording.  It would be cool to have a record deal and play to bigger crowds but I am having fun now.  I want to be a role model for younger kids.  Some of the kids that come to our shows tell me that I am their favorite singer, which is pretty incredible, so I want to keep singing and doing my best.

Your older brother, Brandon, is also a drummer for The Young Guns. Is there any sibling rivalry, or are you supportive of each other?

We are supportive of each other.  He is a very- very talented drummer.  I think he likes The Young Guns music better but the songs we do, we really rock out.  We may play some Miley Cyrus, but we rock it!

What advice do you have for other young girls looking to follow in your footsteps?

Never give up.  You have to really work hard.  I have a supportive family and musical influences, but it still isn’t “easy.”  Learn the proper way to sing—there is a difference! Get a good vocal coach. You can mess up your voice if you don’t sing correctly.  As far as performing, you can’t care what people think.  There will always be people that say mean things, but you have to be true to yourself. That’s what being an artist is all about.

Which venue/performance has been your favorite?

Our Brighton show—there were tons of people there.  Cameras were going off galore when I came out.  Delta Fair and Music Festival—wow that was a big stage! I loved playing the Hannah Montana Pre-Concert Party at Sweet’n’Sassy in Bartlett.  I love playing Neil’s in midtown, and I am looking forward to playing Minglewood Hall.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things could you not live without?

My Bible, cell phone (with a way to charge my phone!) and cheese dip from El Mezcal.

What is your favorite song to perform?

“You Broke my Heart into Pieces.” I wrote that by myself in about 10 minutes in the bath tub, and “Nobody’s a Nobody,” which me and my dad wrote together. It is a great dance song and a lot of fans know the words and sing along with me, which is so cool!

*Begging for more Brittany?

Hit her up on her official website: