Connect with us

Entertainment

POP INTERVIEW: Sharna Burgess of “Dancing with the Stars”

Could hot Aussie newcomer Sharna Burgess be the next Julianne Hough? Maybe! On tonight’s season premiere of Dancing with the Stars, she will be paired up with a mystery celebrity…

Published

on

Could hot Aussie newcomer Sharna Burgess be the next Julianne Hough? Maybe! On tonight’s season premiere of Dancing with the Stars, she will be paired up with former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson, although her future plans are to head into more TV gigs that do not involve dancing. Could her next move be a musical turned movie…or becoming the second half of a celebrity couple, like her predecessor? Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves: she has a lot to say about DWTS Season 17…

sharma burgess

Every celebrity competitor says the same thing about Dancing with the Stars: they couldn’t believe how much work goes into a single dance routine. Is this because they are inexperienced?
Absolutely! When you watch our show, sometimes it’s hard to grasp just how much time it takes. You see our package, a couple of out takes and then a minute dance, surely that can’t take so much time, right?!! You have to take into account that each ballroom dance has a different technique to learn, so every week is almost from scratch. Also, what you don’t see is the wardrobe fittings, the concept meetings, camera blocking and all the press we have to do through the week on top of our rehearsal time. It’s a crazy crazy schedule that pushes the celebrities limits AND the pro dancers.

How does choreographing a dance differ for you, if you were working with another professional? Do you ever go easy on people when you see mistakes because they are amateurs?
Choreographing for my celebrity is a very different thing to choreographing with another pro. With my celebrity partner, each week is about discovering what works the best for them in that particular dance style, and especially what works quickly. There are always mistakes but that’s OK, it’s all part of the process. I’m definitely a tough coach though, I work my partner hard until happy with it.

Choreographing is such a passion of mine, I love love love the creative process, no matter who it’s with. That’s part of why I love this show so much: I get to live and breath creativity everyday.

Before Dancing with the Stars, what did you think was possible for a dancing career? Did anyone ever tell you a dancing career was unrealistic?
So many people!!! Gosh, growing up saying I wanted to be a dancer was tough. Nobody thought it would end up in a successful long running career. To be totally honest, I had no idea where it would end up, I just knew that I wasn’t living if I wasn’t dancing.

I’m an only child, but by 17, I had already moved to the States on my own for dance, and at 18. I packed a suitcase and moved to London! Despite people telling me I was crazy, and that dance isn’t a secure career, I held on to this feeling that I had to follow my love. It came with a lot of sacrifice, and a lot of tears, but I never gave up.

I had a long career before DWTS though. By the time I was 20, I was touring around the world dancing for a good living. I had been on Broadway as a lead dancer in 2009, and I’d already choreographed multiple stage shows and a movie (Street Dance 2 3D). When DWTS came around, I felt like it was time to move into television. It was the perfect time actually.

Who do you wish for In a dream dance partner — both in terms of a professional dancer and an amateur celebrity?
I get asked this question a lot, and truthfully, it’s about having someone that works just as hard as I do. It’s so incredible when you creatively connect with another person and witness the magic you can create. There is nothing better than that. I love to dance with people that enjoy story telling through dance, that find purpose in the movement as opposed to just steps. A dance has to live and breathe like fire, it has to seem spontaneous and intense. You should never guess where it’s going to go, and yet you feel like you move with it.

Geico had a funny TV commercial on last year about three people trying to tango. And I have to ask since there’s that saying, “it takes two to tango,” is there a way you could successfully choreograph a three or more person tango?
Of course! I would (for example) make it an Argentinian tango, and have it be a battle between to men fighting for the woman’s attention. Each male trying to impress her and out do each other. I love trio dances!! 🙂

And in unusual trends, why do you think Dancing with the Stars hasn’t yet paired up two men or two women? Not so much in a gay style. Just to throw people off how awesome dancing doesn’t have to always be the opposite sex?
Dancing can absolutely be done with what ever match you can think of! Contemporary, hip hop, jazz you name it, there are no rules when it comes to those styles! However, ballroom dancing’s roots are about the man and the woman, taking it all the way back to the early 1900’s. it’s a very traditional type of dancing, especially the standard dances. That is absolutely not to say that ballroom with 2 males for example is wrong, anything is right, but I feel like at DWTS we push the envelope so much with choreography and mixing of styles, that we try to keep the essence at least of ballroom dancing.

How can people enjoy dance at an older age? Right now, it’s way too late to begin a professional dance career…or is it? What is the oldest age someone can begin on that road?
You an be any age to start. All you need is a few friends and go take a class. I would say if you’ve passed 30, it’s too late to make it your profession, but you am certainly have fun, stay fit and healthy and enjoy learning how to move! Learning to dance gives you so many incredible benefits, and aside from the health positives, your confidence grows, you walk differently, stand differently. You have a different energy about you. Confidence is very sexy, and dance is the perfect way to get that.

What do you miss about Australia when in Europe or the USA?
I haven’t lived I’m Australia now for 10 years!! And though I’ve really made LA home, I will never stop missing my family. I’m always missing births and deaths and weddings, but that all come with the sacrifice. It’s so hard to be absent for so much, but I make sure I’m home every year for Xmas. I’ve never missed one in 10 years.

What is your next…step…haha, in your career? Are you ever going to surprise us with dance used in an unconventional method?
I’m going to end up making a transition into hosting, actually! But not for a while yet and even then my life will always have dance in it, I love the joy that dance brings people, both by watching it and participating in it. I want to eventually have a dance company that goes around to schools, children’s hospitals and orphanages, spreading the joy of dance to kids that may not have the privilege of taking classes. I like to give back as much as I can, and hopefully in the future I can do more.

Entertainment

Wendy Stuart Kaplan Knows How To Party – Now She’s Throwing An Epic One Of Her Own!

Published

on

Wendy Stuart Kaplan knows her way around a party. In her book, ‘She’s The Last Model Standing,” she wrote about her headline grabbing days at Studio 54, and now throws more than a few of her own. The latest is her “Reading For Filth” and her birthday extravaganza, where she, hosts Eileen Dover and Nick Lion and others (including yours truly!) will perform a collection of wildly entertaining essays, poems, comedic rants and more. The kind of person who is so ‘on the go’ you get exhausted just thinking about it (she, however, does not) I caught up with her as she was taking a break between a radio show, a modeling job and a party tonight. If you want to catch up with Wendy, you have to be flexible… she’s probably got a full schedule that day! Her party this Friday is one that will not only celebrate a wildly varied and entertaining life, but also celebrate the spoken word from a variety of performers.

Anyone who’s ready your book “She’s The Last Model Standing” knows you’ve been partying since studio 54 – when did you first realize you were a party girl?

I first realized when I came back to New York after college! I wasn’t until then, because there was no good place to party.

Where did you go to school?

SUNY Binghamton where I majored in anthropology – and then I went to Nigeria! I definitely enjoyed partying eventually, but back then I really, really wanted to go to Africa, which I did!  I have gone back often, most recently to work on my documentaries.

Wendy Kaplan was a bold faced name for tearing up the dance floor AND going home right after.

That’s wild! But it’s not surprising to hear of that passion since you make films about wildlife conservation there. But your festive side eventually DID come out! We all know you now as a social butterfly! Whether you’re at a party, or working a film premiere – but were you as confident and comfortable in the spotlight as a kid as you are now?

I was an oddball kid. I had two things: I had my friends in the Bronx, and the ones that I had in school and they didn’t mix all that well. I loved growing up there, that was home – but I remember as a kid I would get stomachaches before parties! How weird is that? Until you asked me I had forgotten all about that.

What were you worrying about?

Social pressures – what if nobody talks to me – oh my god, I’m not pretty. I had a short mop of brown hair because my mom thought I looked better with short hair, and I had chubby cheeks. I didn’t love that look. I used to put on wigs as a kid and imagine myself with long blonde hair!

And here we are! 

Here we are, right? Long blonde hair. I morphed into it. I’m totally self made!

Tell me more about Reading for Filth – your event this Friday at Club Bedlam.

Reading for Filth came about when Brian Butterick, also known as Hattie Hathaway, used to have these events. One had the byline, “low rent reading for a high rent city.” Reading for filth is an expression for ‘I’m going to read you to filth,’ as in, “I’m gonna tell you what I really think.” The performers would do a reading of their choice. Something personal, maybe about an old boyfriend, or something someone else wrote, and they’d get up and read it in front of a room. At the last one we had, Michael Musto read from Suzanne Somers’ poetry book. I didn’t even know she wrote poetry… here the same person who wrote about African violets is also behind the Thighmaster! Brought me to tears! I imagine her thighs going back and forth as she sits next to a table with a sole African violet in its little pot, which inspired her to write the poem.

The reason we chose to open my birthday party with it is, when Hattie passed away, my friend and partner in crime Michael Fontana (Eileen Dover) really wanted to keep it going. We say it’s such a downtown New York thing but it’s a New York thing. It’s a nationwide thing. Think about what’s hot right now: storytelling. And here we have had Reading for Filth going on long before all that other stuff. Brian Butterick had been doing it for six to ten years. He was very ahead of his time. We brought it back this past year.

You love people and being around them, entertaining them, but you also love your home life – please describe your NYC living situation. You have a beautiful place… but describe your roommates.

Well, we will have to go back about 30 years when I got my first rabbit. I haven’t lived without one for 30 years, so when one dies I always have one in the wings. Fast forward to now, we always have two rabbits. It’s nice if they have another rabbit to hangout with. Also, 33 years ago we got a baby cockatoo, named her Louise, fed her formula, and she is now hanging out with me in my living room. Did I also mention our blue merle chihuahua?

In my New York apartment everyone is loose. No one is caged.  Everybody is trained to go on those wee-wee pads you buy for dogs, and everybody goes on a wee-wee pad including the rabbits… but not the dog.

Wendy’s rabbit S’mores roams free in her apartment along side another rabbit, a cockatoo and a Chihuahua.
Wendy Kaplan’s dog Nugget does what it wants.

You know how to party – we know that – your wedding was no exception…describe your epic wedding.

So my wedding was 32 or so years ago. I should know that! Alan (a renowned photographer) and I got married in our huge loft, and you had to come dressed as members of a bridal party. It was on Halloween – you could be a bride, or a groom or a bridesmaid. The only problem was a lot of people thought it was a costume party and not an actual wedding. So we had people dressed as bridesmaids with five o’clock shadows and brides with full beards. They thought this was just going to be a big loft party – because we always gave huge parties – and not a wedding. But it was actually our wedding. I didn’t get many gifts because no one took it seriously. I won’t make that mistake again!

You’ve been modeling since you were in your twenties – what’s the best thing anyone can do to look and feel like a model whether they’re walking down the street or working it in the office?

You have to know who you are. What’s your style? What makes you feel good? What floats your boat? When you put on a certain dress how does that make you feel? Don’t go with trends, go with what you’re attached to! Listen to your inner fashionista. And you know what? We all have that.

Reading For Filth is open to the public this Friday at 8pm at Club Bedlam, 40 Avenue C, NYC. For more on Wendy visit her book’s Facebook page, her personal facebook page, or her instagram.

Visit her website, and buy her book on amazon!

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Entertainment

All 18 of the BAFTA Acting Nominees Are White, All Directing Nominees Are Male

Published

on

“Joker” is the one to watch at the upcoming BAFTAs, but if you’re looking for diversity and female directors, sadly you’ll have to look somewhere else. All the acting nominees are white, and all the directors are male.

Led by a lead actor nomination for Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” received 11 nominations for Britain’s equivalent to the Oscars, competing with familiar Golden Globe nominees Taron Egerton, “Rocketman,”  Leonardo DiCaprio for “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” Adam Driver for “Marriage Story,” and Jonathan Pryce for “The Two Popes.”

Renée Zellweger leads the nominations for the best actress category for her role in “Judy,” alongside Jessie Buckley,  “Wild Rose,” Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story,” Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women,” and Charlize Theron for “Bombshell.”

Here are the other notable highlights:

See the full nomination page HERE.

  • 11 nominations for Joker
  • 10 nominations for The Irishman and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
  • Nine nominations for 1917
  • Six nominations for Jojo Rabbit
  • Five nominations for Little WomenMarriage Story and The Two Popes
  • Four nominations for For SamaParasite and Rocketman
  • Three nominations for BombshellJudyLe Mans ’66 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The ceremony will be held on Feb. 2 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

The Best Golden Globe GIFS That Keep On GIF-ing.

Published

on

Sometimes an award show recap is best done with looping clips and no audio. Here are the best Golden Globe gifs making the rounds!

GIFS  via GIPHY  via NBC’s awards coverage.

THE FIRST WINNER OF THE NIGHT,  RAMY YOUSSEF ADMITTED THAT MOST PEOPLE HAVEN’T SEEN HIS SHOW ‘RAMY’ ON HULU. BUT THANKS TO HIS HILARIOUS, CHARMING SPEECH, A LOT OF PEOPLE WILL BE CHECKING IT OUT NOW.

I WANNA BORROW GWYNNIE’S SHEER GOWN FOR LOUNGING POOLSIDE AND SMOKING A VIRGINIA SLIM. AND I DON’T EVEN SMOKE. IS THAT MACRAME? I AM NOT HATING ON IT. I THINK IT’S DARING.

BEYONCE LOOK TRAPPED. HERE SHE IS GIVING US THE GOLD SHOULDER…

TOBIAS MENZIES SUMS UP A LOT OF FOLKS’ REACTION TO RICKY GERVAIS.

TOM HANKS FELT SIMILARLY.

WHEN YOU JUST WANNA FIND AN OPEN SPOT AT THE BAR…

BUSY PHILIPPS IS ALWAYS THERE TO SUPPORT BESTIE MICHELLE WILLIAMS. TONIGHT WAS NO EXCEPTION, AS SHE CHEERED ON MICHELLE’S SPEECH SUPPORTING A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE…

TIFFANY HADDISH AND SALMA HAYEK WERE FEELING IT TOO…

CAUGHT ON GIF: A MARRIAGE STORY‘S ADAM DRIVER CAUGHT SMILING!

ONCE AGAIN, WHATEVER WILL FERRELL DOES IS HILARIOUS:

IF YOU DIDN’T FALL FOR ADORABLE ROMAN GRIFFIN DAVIS IN HIS MOVIE ‘JOJO RABBIT,’ YOU FELL FOR HIM LAST NIGHT…

WHEN A CAMERA IS TRAINED ON YOUR FACE FOR MOST OF THE NIGHT… WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO EXPRESSION? HERE’S BRAD’S:

AND HERE’S PACINO’S: LOOK CLOSELY AND YOU’LL SEE HE’S BREATHING.

AND FOR SOME REASON THIS IS THE ONE OF JEN THAT’S TRENDING. WE CAN DO BETTER.

Jennifer Aniston Golden Globes

EVEN IF YOU DON’T WIN, THERE’S STILL CHAMPAGNE.

AND THEN IT WAS OVER. LOOK HOW MUCH TIME YOU’VE SAVED!

FOR MORE OF THIS, OR SOMETHING ELSE, OR JUST BECAUSE WE LIKE YOU, FOLLOW @BRIANBALTHAZAR ON TWITTER.

Continue Reading

Trending