Volunteers ready for Kingston City Marathon

Kingston, Jamaica – Over 400 volunteers will be a part of the 7th Kingston City Run and the first Kingston City Marathon this Sunday, March 17. 

The volunteers hail mainly from Colleges and Universities in the Corporate area along with a diverse group of residents from across the country. The volunteers will be placed in areas to deal with: 

  • Marshalling water stops along the routes 
  • Water Stops coverage 
  • Record Keeping (to balance the electronic scoring) 
  • Photography 
  • Medal distribution 
  • Start and Close of races
  • Post-event activity in Emancipation Park 
Mrs Prudence Simpson

​Volunteers’ Manager, Prudence Simpson is pleased with the response from the team of volunteers “I am happy that the spirit of volunteerism is alive and well and from the meetings and sessions we have had, it is obvious people are still happy to share their time and talent to a worthy cause. It is one of the many positives about this event. This is our 7th year, and we have gotten great support from our volunteers.” 

The event is endorsed by the Jamaica Tourist Board and is supported by a cadre of sponsors. The main ones are: 

  • Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association 
  • Life Span (been with us from Day one) 
  • MarksMan 
  • RJR Gleaner Group 
  • Kingston and St Andrew Corporation ​

CHARITIES

  • Alpha Boys Institute
  • Open Arms Development Centre
  • Marie Atkins Night Shelter          
  • Food for the Poor 
  • Missionaries of the Poor 
  •  

Donations are accepted at https://www.kingstoncityrun.com/v2/charities/ 


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WELCOME PARTY FOR USAIN BOLT TRACKS AND RECORDS

KINGSTON, Jamaica – One of Kingston’s best eateries, Usain Bolt Tracks and Records will host the Welcome Party for the 7th running of the Kingston City Run.

The world-renowned facility, which has three other locations (Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and London) will feature as a targeted sponsor for the event which will host the first marathon in Kingston.

The “run” will be held under the theme Run Di City, Feel Di Vibe and a collaboration with Tracks and Records “Real Jamaican Vibes” is a match made for Kingston and “it promises to be a thriller to get the weekend’s event started,” says Angiel Shaw, head of marketing, Tracks and Records.

The welcome party is scheduled for Friday, March 15 and will feature one of Jamaica’s top entertainment DJ groups, Coppershot Disco. The 25-year-old group has been featured in several shows in Jamaica, Caribbean and in the USA.

The group is known for their style which consists of distinguished remixes, entertaining dubs, unique mixing, scratching and original jams of roots reggae, pop, soca, dancehall, hip hop, reggaeton and R&B.

The welcome party will be for registered participants in the Kingston City Run who will enjoy specials from the delectable menu.

The party will run from 7 – 9 pm.

Music – soul-stirring

Sunday Morning Thoughts – I would have written about my love for music a few months ago; ICYMI you can take a look here https://carolebeckford.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/music-is-the-path-to-ones-soul/

Well, I am back again.

Great place to sit back, relax and enjoy

Music evokes emotions that you never knew you had.

I will go with the positives – happiness, joy, peace, love, adoration and inspiration, to name a few. I would be willing to share some artistes that I think can assist with you with drawing closer attention to that side of you which makes you mellow. Mellow, here, can be defined as a state of soothing that makes you calm and reflective, but with enough joy to make you want to take on the next BIG thing.

I use music to start and end my day. I know by now what gets me going, keeps me in the mood and what will help me relax for a great night’s sleep. I have choices!

Here’s where I am gonna show my biases.

To start the day:

Mondays – gotta choose songs that will motivate you towards a big picture – a way to kickstart the regular work week. I look for up-tempo but groovy tunes. I won’t eb specific with the songs, but I will tell you some of the artistes – Bill Withers, Stephanie Mills, John Coltrane, Bob Marley.

This picture is not mine.

Tuesdays – by the time we get here, we are well in the work week and Friday is approaching so you feel you want to let go – add some soca to the mix, and yes, I am a Bunji Garlin fan (Antigua helped me appreciate soca); you drop in some Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Aretha, Michael Jackson and Bob Marley.

Wednesdays – Hump Day Blues – my line of work says I would have already done 40 hours by this day, so I can cruise. No…not so fast, there is a fire to out! And when you get that call, you said “not today” – so you draw for Peter Tosh, Steel Pulse, Angie Stone. You might think, how is that mix even possible? It is a habit I have developed to study the vibe of each singer, and I find I just select the songs each of these days. By the way, Google knows this too and makes recommendations song by song. Someone is always watching.

As we inch closer to Friday – it gets closer to party music, more soca and dance music including dancehall, Beenie Man, Konshens, Kes and a little Usher, Joe and I could go on!

Kes – One of the hottest men in the Caribbean

Weekends now is the refection time – and there is a whole host of folks to choose from, too many to mention. Grover, Donny, Anita, Freddie, James and Bob. You can find a “Bob Marley” tune for any occasion and for any emotion.

Music thrills the soul. Music lines the heart for love. Music drives the emotions of fear away to a place where you can find balance and remain focused on what is to be. Use music as a soul-stirrer. So, while you are trying to figure it out – Life has A Way, to take you Back to Love and you will determine the Point of it All.  #OneLove

PS – One day I will write about my love affair with Marvin Gaye’s music.

Music is the path to one’s soul

When you are from the place where there is undisputable talent in music and sport, you kinda feel on top of the world wherever you go. Well, I do. And every chance I get I make people know I am Jamaican. I am never ashamed. Even with some of the drama we get into… I use the situations in anecdotes where appropriate and I LAUGH. It is what we are, and because I would not have it any other way. I live with it; I also do the best I can to improve those around me.

Anyway, this post is really about music and what it does to keep my soul in shape.

As a child, I collected records, yes, those circular things that plays on a turntable. I still do, by the way, and I still have a turntable. Those were fun days. My allowance in those years in the 70s and 80s were largely spent on records and books, yes books, I had to read.

I collected the best from Bob, Third World Third World, Vic Taylor, Dennis, Gregory, Marcia, Alton, Beres, Boris, Phyllis Dillion, Pam and Woody, I could go on. For the foreign acts, it was Michael (The Jacksons), Commodores (more Lionel); Earth Wind and Fire, Marvin (all-time favorite), Percy Sledge, Ben E King (the Drfiters), Stylistics, Chilites and Teddy P, to name a few. This Magic Moment

On Sundays, we had a play list of Perry Como, Jim Reeves, Skeeter Davis, Louis Lamour, Dean Martin and then we watched the Matinee. Won’t say much more here, as I am sure you get my drift.

Jim Reeves
If you are 45 and over you would have this at home

In the 75 – 79 years, I chose dance as a hobby. And we had the most amazing time at the Ewarton Primary School. Donna Summer was on top of the list with some Caribbean calypso and music for maypole. Yes man, I was right in there. Selene, Georgette, Michelle topped the list of artful movers!

As I started going to public events (live shows), I got to appreciate some more artistes and here comes the DJs – Josey Wales, Admiral Bailey, Super Cat; the singers Barrington Levy, Freddie, Dennis, Leroy and the list goes on. Marcia Griffiths was always top-notch. 

So far, after you have read this, you must be wondering, where she got time to study and all those things, well, I am here, and I don’t think I did too badly. Anyway…

Live Shows were a must now in the 90s – every drum knock I was there – yard and foreign. And then the LOVE for Jazz kicked in really good. It was no longer just Sunday music. Jazz became the “savior of my soul” – it became my go to music when I needed comfort, joy and some peace.

So, I did research on some, who have become my favorites – John Coltrane John Coltrane , Miles Davis, Chris Botti, Rod Stewart (he has a wicked selection. When you have time, listen to the Great American Songbook – Volumes I to III. I would go far to listen to jazz. I did New Orleans. I have most of what Grover Washington Jr has ever done. I even met his daughter.

Got a little into Ella and Frank too. In the mid to late 90s and early 2000s I invested some time into jazz groups – Four Play, Spyro Gyra (they came to Jazz Festival in Jamaica) I was overjoyed. Now, thanks to YouTube, you can create your own playlist of any kind of music. My Jazz list comes from Motown and the Breakfast songs.

Could not end this blog without talking about the R&B, Soulful folks. Listening to Lalah Hathaway, Donny Hathaway, Randy Crawford, Anthony Hamilton & Kem Kemgives me life. When I am in a troublesome mood, I go for Jill Scott, Angie Stone Brian McKnight.

The point is, I am not sure what I would do if I did not have music. It has really lined my soul with joy, peace and comfort.

Lots of others to mention. But, one day, I will take you down the dancehall path I trod. The excitement and drive the rhythms that dancehall takes you are like no other. Music is a thrill to the soul of man (in this case woman). I keep adding to my list.

Try listening to Daniel Caesar Best Part , he is groovy and exciting.

Until next time…

PE and Sport – redefining the game

ANTIGUA – The fact that Physical Education and Sport are now being recognized rightfully as an academic course and business respectively – this has opened discussions which are highlighting the lack of understanding of the subject areas.  

I would clearly state here:

·         There is a difference between Physical Education and Sport

·         Physical Education now has for the last 11 years, exams at the highest level from CSEC and has been offered at the CAPE level

·         Sport, through its competition has been known to impact on a society – socially, economically, psychologically, people management

·         Sport Business worldwide is valued at close to a trillion dollars

Based on some recent debates, there may be suggestions that sport is being overused in high schools; is distracting the institutions from their core work; is damaging the reputation of students.

While there are some truths, there are also arguments to support the benefits of being involved in sport at some level, either directly or even as a supporter.

My argument is, the rest of the education system needs to catch so it can efficiently and effectively manage its portfolio, which includes Physical Education. The study of Physical Education is academic, it looks closely of the study of the relationship with mind, body and soul. What about that isn’t academic?

Then Sport is the competitive, strategic and now economic viability of PE aimed at generating wealth, equality and recognition for people and country.

We treat tradition as tradition and think we should not adjust, because that is what it is…tradition. But the non-traditional PE and Sport, having become more user-friendly has used the traditional methods to overtake its competition (pun intended). That process is dynamic, some of us are still stuck in the normal mode and not realizing the potential of equality in the education system where we all can benefit.

Picture this, a school, college, university where the best of the traditional and non-traditional meets…the athletes in any of those institutions are managed by their peers in the traditional line. Where the community stadium is managed by the people there and the earnings are spent there to improve services, accessories and the lives of people. What about this don’t we get?

The Business Model has been presented over and over, but there are ways to capture this. One must first allow themselves to be open to new and innovative ways of doing business, and sport is one such way. the_business_of_sport_logo[1]

Research has also shown that sport can be used as ‘soft power’ for a nation such as Jamaica which continues to battle with its economic activities. I could make the same justification for music and entertainment.

Education needs to be redefined in Jamaica as part of a community where Parents, Teachers, Community Leaders forge partnerships with the students to build a nation. I challenge the Ministry of Education to create this model for growth for education. Be open to ideas that work and use people who are capable to manage. STEP in the Game!

ARTISTES ARE REQUIRED TO IMPROVE THEIR PERFORMANCES ALL THE TIME

This article wishes to compile a list of ideas for artistes who ply their business on stage for a living. Live shows are always a thing. Fans will travel just about anywhere in the world to see their favorite artistes perform. What that means is, they always expect the best. Mic with Lights

An artiste therefore needs to understand that to give the best, they must invest their time to “get their act together.”

It starts sitting with the management team, having accepted a show and the following must be done:

  1. Have an attorney look over the contract
  2. Ensure there is mutual agreement
  3. Number of persons to tour as part of the artiste’s party
  4. Submit list ahead of time to promoter
  5. Confirm air travel with classifications
  6. Confirm hotel with classifications
  7. Confirm ground transportation
  8. From airport
  9. From hotel to sound check
  10. From hotel to performance
  11. From hotel to airport for departure
  12. From hotel to a community service stop (if agreed)
  13. Decide on wardrobe
  14. Decide on media – to include exclusive where appropriate
  15. REHEARSE the set based on the market/audience to face
  16. Do the sound check
  17. Determine length of set without encore (this would have been in agreement)
  18. While on stage, ensure there is a stand for: Water; somewhere to hang clothes if the artiste decides to take off clothing; Have a back-up microphone where necessary

There are lots of other little things the Road Manager would have been able to determine based on research and would have discussed with the team. If there is a band involved ensure all band members are able to travel to the location, especially when going overseas. Ensure all visas are acquired before travel.  Stage

Performance must always be top-class

Artistes and athletes have the same type of jobs, they must “show up” on the day. There is no excuse for them. They must be ready once they are listed to perform. Live Shows must be about an experience. Ensure you are ready to deliver on that experience. The artiste must liken himself/herself to a sport star who is expected to win a race, score a goal, or score 40 points a game, or a touchdown. Patrons deserve better. Stage 1

Artistes should invest in knowing what their audiences want and deliver when required. Live Shows are the pathway to a fan outside of when they buy your music to hear you via a recording. Real artistes add more to their recordings and leaves a fan wanting more.

Artistes should NEVER short-change their live performance set by thinking they can perform without 1. sound check 2. rehearsal 3. research into what the audience history is – Your portfolio should be diverse enough to make the adjustments necessary.

The next article will look at personal branding, social media and how to use that to enhance their image.

microphone 2

 

Sport and Entertainment Agents

Sport and Entertainment are two of the biggest industries globally. There are several papers and research that will show that those two industries will grow “no matter what” even in an economic recession. There are tons of figures presented by:

·        PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC)

·        International Trade Center

·        Departments of Commerce (in top commercial centers)

 Wanted to offer that background, as with the growth of the sectors, there is room for more experts and so employment will tend to increase.

handshake-man-and-woman

Today, I want to focus on the role of an agent. The definition of an agent for the purpose of this article is “one who helps to build careers.” The most basic of an agent’s role is to handle athlete/artiste, franchises/professional teams and event promoters where applicable.

Here are some other roles:

·        Setting of goals for the athlete/artiste after sitting down with them for a detailed discussion

·        Part of a team which negotiates endorsement deals

·        Part of a team which handles public image

·        Part of a team that recommends charities and/or foundation

·        Part of a team that looks at options for retirement

That agent therefore is required to know a few things or at least have some basic training. The training can be at undergraduate level in business, law, sport management. The agent should be able to bring something to the table.

I can translate that in a simpler way to explain that an agent should: 

·        Know other influencers in the specific industry

·        Be able to make connections to grow the status of the athlete/artiste

·        Be able to get on lists that are relevant to the development of the athlete/artiste

·        Attend events where networking is available to ensure your client is represented in the best way possible

·        Get in doors, offices, boardrooms that would be otherwise unavailable

The point is, an agent is the direct link between the earnings and how an athlete/artiste is viewed by the public. The athlete/artiste must therefore choose wisely, as essentially, the business of sport and entertainment lies in the agent’s hands. Lots of opportunities for agents and lots of places to learn the business – Get in the Game for those who want to make a go at it and for those already in it – keep relevant by always learning. There are tons of conferences and workshops to attend too numerous to mention. DollarSign

Here are five professional sporting organizations you should consider for those of you interested in that industry https://www.bestcollegereviews.org/lists/five-professional-organizations-in-sports-management-to-consider-joining/

For entertainment, here are two I would recommend http://www.agents-uk.com/ or http://www.besla.org/

 “Show me the money.”  #OneLove

Dahlia Harris makes “A Case of the Ex”

Friday, May 4 – Any outing with Dahlia Harris always has some real “punch” to it and this sit down was no different. Since my last blog on Dahlia, she has taken on a few projects whether by design or by association.

She and her team hosted another round of successful Women in Theatre Festival. The Festival was held in three parts. The one-week event looked at showcases, panel discussion and tributes. The Festival also zoomed in on the key roles of actors, writers and directors. The partnerships with the Edna MJWITF 2018 Aanley College of Visual and Performing Arts and JAMPRO were important. The presenters were wide range and the workshop sessions were educational, informative and riveting. That said, Ms Harris rolled right up into the Miss Jamaica World Project and the Pap Smear Lyme. In between that she continued to write, direct, present and volunteer for several activities across the island.

Dahlia sat down with me and we had a chat about her last six months, and what’s to come.

What has been the reaction to Dat a Gwan Jamaica Remix? 

It has been amazing. We have had patrons coming to see the show four and five times and still belting out laughter with every scene. The response has also been obvious through the comments and posts via social media.  When patrons connect with the show so much that they take the experience home it says a lot about the production. DatAGwanJamaica

Some other projects you have been mulling over…want to share what we will see from you in another year?

Definitely more projects for television and I attempt a feature film.  The scripts are ready and waiting, I’m still working on funding.  It’s easier to get overseas investment in Brand Jamaica where creative projects are concerned but then you are boxed into providing what they want.  It’s taking a while for our local investors and companies to believe in the power of what we have to offer, but hopefully they will get there.  

You have recently done two major programs – the Pap Smear Lyme and the MJW board/team – describe the passion you have for programs of this kind 

Well I have a passion for all things that will empower women and children.  Just sitting in that interview with the Jamaica Cancer Society and really appreciating the gravity of the situation, I knew I had to contribute in some way.  An estimated 200 women die from Cervical Cancer in Jamaica each year. That’s mind blowing. Having done the #PapSmearLyme I am even more committed to the effort.  The call was for 50 women.  Close to 3 times that number showed up before we had even reached half of the time scheduled for the event.  Many of them participated because access to the test was made possible through NCB Insurance and the generous spirit of a few Jamaicans.  I want to keep the women coming in for tests.  Who knows how many lives we will save?

As it relates to MJW, I am very excited to be on the planning team.  Jamaica has some of the most beautiful women in the world but we also have some of the most benevolent and altruistic women that I have ever met.  The renewed focus on Beauty with a Purpose means we can highlight those women who have been making a difference in their communities.  That’s a major part of Brand Jamaica…service to our fellow citizen…that’s what we want to showcase to the world. The global crown will allow us to do that.  We are aiming to take it home.   

Come May, you will have something new out, tell us about this – Case of the EX 

It’s a relationship comedy that deals with the hot topic of how you cope with exes. It is really a sensitive issue.  Jealousy for your girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s ex can easily turn into suspicion and doubt, but in some cases are these emotions justified?  When faced with your partners ex, what do you do!  

IMG-20180422-WA0016

Case of the EX is centered around DJ Cheetah (Kadeem Wilson), a young reggae producer struggling to reclaim his popularity in the music industry.  His latest love Dymond (Alexandria Gregory), has her sights set on becoming a global star, but Cheetah keeps ignoring her talent and her love for him prevents her from cutting ties and moving on.   When a local station launches a lucrative national song competition, Cheetah seizes the opportunity to bring in his ex, DJ Cyattie (Dahlia Harris),  to help him win that big ‘buss’.  However, Cyattie has other objectives; she wants to move from Cheetah’s past into his present and has no qualms about getting rid of Dymond.  With just one night to make a major hit, things get very heated in the recording studio.  When the sun comes out, someone will wear the title of EX …let the games begin.

It’s a delightful story and I am happy to be working again with screen and stage actor Kadeem Wilson who is still thrilling audiences in Dat A Gwaan Jamaica:Remix.  I am also happy to introduce Alexandra Gregory to a wider commercial theatre audience.  Some would have seen her featured as the school girl in Television Jamaica’s “Inna De Bus”, and she brings a wealth of talent and experience to the show.

You have worked with a number of young people over the last year, what are you most proud of? 

I am proudest when I see the accomplishments that they have made and how mature they are about their careers in the creative industry.  They strategically plan for where they want to go, they put in the work, and they rebound from their challenges.  They are inspiring to watch. I don’t necessarily want to name anyone in particular because I don’t want them to feel like any accomplishment has greater value than the other and there are a lot of young people I could name LOL!  I am just heartened that they are not only talking about success, they are doing what it takes to get there.

What else are you working on to ensure your expertise is passed on to the next generation? 

All my productions are basically managed by young people.  They do the administrative work, they are a major part of production work, and I rotate them on stage as actors.  This way they have an understanding of how all aspects of the business operates.  I have been working on a project that will extend to communities across the island but until I have everything in place I don’t want to say too much about that. That project will however not just be about honing performers; it will pay equal attention to technical and production capacity building.  We can’t progress as an industry if the sum of the parts isn’t all functioning at the same level.

TV is always a great fit for you be it Sport, News or Entertainment, how do you maintain that drive to keep at it? Dahlia Harris

The viewers.  What we do means so much to them that I consider it a privilege to be able to impact lives in this way.  Whether it’s sharing information that will improve their lives, or just providing light moments to brighten their day…it really makes a difference to someone and I take that seriously.  I think the diversity also helps; being able to host various events and interact with people who are dissimilar yet alike in so many ways keeps the work interesting.  Top that all with the fact that I am a entertainment and Sport fan…I’m doing what I love and I am grateful!

Offer some advice to a school leaver who has interest in the business of music/theatre/film as this seems to be a growing option for some. 

Respect the business.  That means getting the necessary skills and knowledge required to make it work.  This holds true at any aspect of the business. If you’re talent, do what it takes to get your skills up to a level that makes you marketable.  If you are production, understand the industry.  Read as much as you can, enroll in workshops; observe others who have been successful.  I’m not suggesting that you duplicate all that you see; I’m saying understanding what works and what doesn’t will help you as you forge your own path.  Too many believe that creative business is easy.   If you fail to respect the business, it won’t respect you. 

Until next time, #OneLove

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Self Care – Part 2 – makes you feel fresh

SUNDAY – Today, or any other Sunday, is probably the best day to do so many things you have not done for the week. On the other hand, it is also the day one should take a break – Eat. Pray. Love – to get ready for the week ahead.

Sunday

The recommendation is always to write down the things you want to achieve. You may even want to create a list. Over time, as you go through the list each week or month (which is what I recommend); you will become accustomed to planning and implementing the things that pulls you off the grind and brings you back full center.

In Part 1,  https://carolebeckford.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/self-care-a-new-form-of-energy/ I never really did define Self Care, but I think you get my gist. It is that process that focuses on ensuring you have done anything just to make you feel good/great about yourself. 

I will therefore share some of the easier ways to achieve this so you can ease into making this process one that you grow into and making it a habit. Last time, we never spoke about food, but here we go:

Create a log of food you eat for a week, then determine if over the next week, you will maintain or change that list. We have different reactions to food. We also have different needs where food is concerned, but for self care, we are going to focus on foods that make us feel the best about ourselves. Hope this picture helps with the variety I want to convey. Of course, add some meat along the way or whatever else you eat. Just add water.

Self Care Food

Focus on self care as being essential to you. Never see it as a reward. Over time, it should become part of what you do daily. Here is a chart that should identify the effort you need to put:

self care

I strongly recommend MUSIC as part of any self care plan. Recently on Facebook, friends have asked to tag 10 favorite albums. These albums, though you may not admit, form part of your life. You sing, dance and hum every word, rhythm and rhyme you can remember. Some experts recommend meditation music. While there is need for that too, the songs that made you happiest, dance the best and gave you a good vibe are the ones you should focus on. Now, you can compile a play list; before we had to play each album or just pick the song and play it over and over again. Start working on that list now.

Self care music

This sums up how important self care is – “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brownn

Self Control

In the next article, we will look at – going somewhere you’ve never been – to create moments you will never forget. Until then #OneLove

 

Self Care – a new form of energy

SUNDAY (Funday) – Over the last five years life has become so much more hectic. In my line of work (marketing, communications, media), information and consumption trends have changed tremendously. I have had to ensure that these tools are used in the most efficient way – either by me – or by teams I end up working with.

That said, during that time, I have begun to pay way more attention to rest, relaxation and rejuvenation, also known as self care.  The process is one which requires some thought, as it falls within the routine you would usually have.

Here are some tips you may consider as you head into self care:

  • Listen to music from one of the happiest periods of your life Playlists
  • Write down all the things you love about your life
  • Watch a few episodes of your favorite TV shows back to back every now and again
  • Dance to your favorite songs (15 minutes) at least once a week
  • Refresh your wardrobe. Donate.
  • Volunteer to a cause that means a lot to you
  • Take a drive out of town. Roll down the windows. Turn up the sound and SING out loud
  • Once a month, get body treatments you prefer – massage, pedicure, manicure, yoga, sauna steam20171104_103822
  • Say “no” if you can’t do it
  • Skip the routine once in a while and do something different and wild20180223_133644