Jenifer Lewis of "Black-ish" Talks About Her New Book, "The Mother of Black Hollywood"

PHOTO COURTESY OF HARPER COLLINS

PHOTO COURTESY OF HARPER COLLINS

I sat down for a one-on-one interview with Jenifer Lewis in her wonderful home to discuss her new book, The Mother of Black Hollywood. In her book, Jenifer discusses her acting career, including starring on "Black-ish," being sexually assaulted, how she dealt with a scam artist, being bipolar, advice to the millennials and many other things. 

Growing up in Kinloch, MO, Jenifer knew that she was destined for fame. She headed to New York and pursued a career on Broadway, and since then, she has starred in a number of television shows and movies, including What's Love Got to Do With It, The Preacher's Wife, Jackie's Back, Meet the Browns and Disney's The Princess and the Frog. Definitely known as everybody's mother in movies, the title of her memoir is befitting. She's played everybody's mama from Whitney Houston in "The Preacher's Wife," Tina Turner's (Angela Bassett) mama in "What's Love Got to Do With it, to playing Tupac's mama in "Poetic Justice."

 
Quencie and Jenifer Lewis

Quencie and Jenifer Lewis

Jenifer Lewis and Tam

Jenifer Lewis and Tam

 

Check out this wonderful and real interview with Jenifer. You'll also get a behind-the-scenes treat as Jenifer invites me and Tam (my Producer and best friend) to sing "In These Streets" with her at the piano. The initial song went viral and was sang by Jenifer, Brandy and Roz Ryan. 

ORDER The Mother of Black Hollywood on Amazon by clicking here.

2nd Annual Breaking the Silence Awards Ceremony & Luncheon [VIDEO]

unnamed.jpg

On Sunday September 24, 2017, Studio Q covered the 2nd Annual Breaking the Silence Awards Ceremony & Luncheon held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalow in Santa Monica, CA. Breaking the Silence Awards (BTSA) a fundraiser event, which ecognizes corporations and community leaders who use their platform of influence to advocate for Sexual & Domestic Abuse Awareness. BTSA raises funds to provide supportive services to GLBT survivors of sexual & domestic abuse. BTSA, a fundraising program of the I Love Me Foundation (ILMFDN), was established in 2015 by Hollywood publicist, Robert Harrell, to utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting new research efforts and to increase awareness about sexual trauma in the GLBT community.

Honorees included: William Institute Founding Executive Director, Brad Sears, Former West Hollywood Mayor, Abbe Land, OUT Magazine Managing Editor, R. Kurt Osenlund, Celebrity DJ & Music Producer, Zeke Thomas, Pulse Orlando Nightclub Shooting Survivor, Angel Colon.

Other guests included: Benjamin Patterson (OWN 'Greenleaf'), Jay Alexander (ANTM), Laith Ashley (NBC 'Strut'), Leeza Gibbons (Entertainment Tonight)James Wright Chanel (Youtube Personality, Pattie Pie Guy)Perez Hilton (Entertainment Blogger), Tammy Townsend (Disney 'K.C. Undercover'), Laura Govan (Basketball Wives LA) and many more.

Watch the Studio Q red carpet interviews below:

Quencie LIVE on @Youtube - Episode 1

Quencie+Live+Steaming+graphics.png

Today I did my first YouTube Livestream show!  And because I actually did it instead of just talking about doing it, I claim it as a roaring success. Sure, they were only 4 people watching, one even being my best friend Tam, but hopefully as time goes on that number will grow. The reason I decided to do a daily YouTube show is because even though I have conducted hundreds of celebrity interviews in the past 5 years, I am only visible in a handful of them. This is mostly because when I re-launched Studio Q online (Studio Q premiered as a community access show in my hometown, Springfield, IL) I was depressed and overweight.  No matter who I was interviewing I never wanted to be in the same camera shot.  It was really not as bad as I felt it was but when you're as depressed as I was at the time no one could convince me otherwise.

I'm such a natural extrovert that I'm sure folks who know me can not imagine me ever wanting to hide myself, but it's true. Normally, I'm able to push through things and overcome obstacles like that, but my depression had a serious grip on me. I was just happy that I could conduct an interview. However, if I had it to do all over again, I would force myself to get in front of that camera no matter what I felt I looked like. Now I understand how important it is to put yourself out there even if you're not happy with every single thing. Imagine if Oprah waited until she was skinny before she shared all her greatness with us.  We would have missed the very best of her.  

So now I have all these great interviews that no one knows I did.  All you really see is my arm, which in all honesty could be anybody's arm.  I remember being on the red carpet and someone asked me how did I get a job at Studio Q. You know you're doing something wrong when the Q in "Studio Q" actually stands for Quencie but nobody knows it lol. I'm doing a daily livestream to change that. Hopefully, by going live Monday-Friday people will get to know who the person is behind the arm holding that microphone.  It's not easy coming out from behind the bushes, but it's time.

On "Quencie Live" (That's the name for now) I will share my interview experiences, what I learned from each interview and some great behind-the-scenes stories. I'm still not where I want to be weight wise, but I'm working on it. What's different now is that I won't let that stop me from being in the camera shot.

In this first episode, I discuss September 11 (16 years later), and my interview with Taraji P. Henson since it's her birthday today. Happy Birthday Taraji! Watch below. 

Follow me: @quencie on Twitter | Quencie on Facebook | @quencie on Instagram | YouTube

Tam and Quencie with Taraji P Henson 

Tam and Quencie with Taraji P Henson 

Press Play on my first YouTube episode of Quencie Live! 

Karim Webb and Edward Barnett Bring Buffalo Wild Wings to Koreatown (Los Angeles)

Karim Webb and Edward Barnett (Co-Founders of PCF Restaurant Management)

Karim Webb and Edward Barnett (Co-Founders of PCF Restaurant Management)

PCF Restaurant Management Co-Founders, Karim Webb and Edward Barnett celebrated the opening of their newest Buffalo Wild Wings location in Koreatown (Los Angeles, CA) on Saturday, August 26, 2017. Saturday night's "soft-opening" and the Mayweather vs McGregor Fight Night event brought together some of the region's prominent business, philanthropic, entertainment and elected leaders. Over 200 guests feasted on Buffalo Wild Wings signature wings, 16 sauces, 5 seasonings, a wide variety of beers, and craft cocktails. Proceeds from the evenings event went to Korean Churches for Community Development and the Brotherhood Crusade.

As minority business owners, Webb and Barnett are excited to be expanding their footprint into a new and ethnically diverse area. "If I go into a restaurant in a community that I know is diverse and I don't see people that look like the residents in that community, I take note of that," says Webb. He and Barnett pride themselves on being responsive to unique needs of each community their units serve and their ability to engage stakeholders therein. Buffalo Wild Wings Koreatown opens to the public on Monday, August 28th at 11 am.

Check out our Studio Q interviews with the owners Karim and Edward below.  

Check out some of the great photos from the event.

LaRon and Lahmard Tate - Tate Entertainment

LaRon and Lahmard Tate - Tate Entertainment

Nisan Stewart - Musician

Nisan Stewart - Musician

"When Love Kills" TV One Los Angeles Movie Premiere [VIDEO]

When-Love-Kills.jpg

Studio Q attended the Los Angeles premiere of the TV One movie, When Love Kills at the Harmony Gold Theater. Premiering on Monday, August 28th at 9pm ET, When Love Kills tells the tragic story of Falicia Blakely, a teen mom who only knows life in the fast-lane. When she becomes an exotic dancer, she attracts the attention of pimp and predator, Dino. His empty promises of a life together turn Falicia into a pawn in his dangerous games; she's forced to prove her love for him at the expense of innocent lives. 

When Love Kills stars: Niatia "Lil Mama" Kirkland (CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story), Lance Gross (House of Payne, Temptation), Tami Roman (Basketball Wives, Belle's) and Tasha Smith (For Better Or Worse, Empire) making her feature-length directorial debut.

Check out some of the photos from the red carpet below.

Studio Q correspondent, Tammi Rashonda, who filled in for Quencie, talked to some of the celebrities at the Los Angeles red carpet premiere. Watch our Studio Q interviews below:

Photo cred: Photography By Gip III

Celebrity Connected Gifting Suite Recap - MTV Movie & TV Awards

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, I covered the red carpet for the Celebrity Connected Gifting Suite honoring the MTV Movie & TV Awards held at the W Hotel in Hollywood, CA. There were many celebrities in attendance who received gifts from sponsoring businesses in technology, home decor, beauty, health, food/beverage, fashion/apparel industries and more.

Some vendors include: Hug Life, Diva Stuff, Hemp Kitchen, Aitai Kuji, Sweetopia, Bonjour Clothing, Django Moccasins, Quest, UFrost, Speakeasy 710, Velare, and many more!

Check out my photos and video recap of the event.

Top left: Dawnn Lewis and Shanica Knowles, Sanayya Sidney, Rashad Jenning and Niles Fitch

Follow me: @quencie on Twitter | Quencie Thomas on Facebook | @quencie on Instagram

Quencie Interviews Kirk Whalum

Screen+Shot+2015-04-24+at+6.48.11+AM.png

I sat down with Jazz great, Kirk Whalum, after the screening of his DVD, "The Gospel According to Jazz Chapter IV" at the West Angeles Performing Arts Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.  This DVD musically explores the convergence of jazz and gospel infused with rhythm and blues, through a "docu-music concert" DVD and live-recorded double CD with musical messages of tribute, tragedy and triumph - musically illustrating God's radical hospitality. 

Kirk also talks about silly moments with Whitney Houston while on tour, messing up on stage, and what made him go back to music when he almost gave it up.  Check out this in-depth and funny interview that Kirk later tweeted "Best Interview Ever!"  Press Play and see why!

Gerald Albright Talks About His New CD "G" and Playing the Sax with President Bill Clinton

PHOTO COURTESY OF GERALDALBRIGHT.COM

PHOTO COURTESY OF GERALDALBRIGHT.COM

Last week, I interviewed the amazing saxophonist, Gerald Albright via Skype about his newly released album "G".  His new album features a remake of Avant's song, "Read Your Mind" as well as collaborations with Michael McDonald and Doug E. Fresh.  It's the perfect soundtrack to any road trip or your Sunday afternoon.  

Gerald and I discussed what it was like for him to play with his daughter, Selina, who is a singer, and also his experience playing with President Bill Clinton. The Bill Clinton story Gerald shares will leave you with stomach pains from laughter. Gerald also participated in our Studio Q  "Lightning Round" which gave us fun answers to rapid-fire questions. You'll discover some really cool things about him that you may not have known.

Support real music and purchase Gerald Albright's new album by clicking here: Gerald Albright "G".   Watch my Skype interview below. 

Eddie Murphy Wows in His First-Ever Dramatic Role in Mr. Church

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CINELOU

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CINELOU

We all know Eddie Murphy for being a comedic genius. From starring in films like Beverly Hills Cop, Life, Nutty Professor, Shrek and his Oscar-nominated performance as James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls - we expect to have gut-wrenching laughter when Eddie appears on screen. But Mr. Church is different. Mr. Church leaves you in tears, and opens up a bottle of emotions that you didn't think you'd have when watching Eddie Murphy on the movie screen. This is Eddie's first cinematic project in four years, as well as his first dramatic role. Well, he better start getting fittings for his tuxedo because he'll need it to wear to the Oscars for Best Actor.

Eddie Murphy plays Henry Church, a cook who was hired to work for a dying, single mother Marie (Natascha McElhone). Marie is dying of breast cancer and has 6 months to live. So her ex-lover hires Mr. Church to cook for Marie and her young daughter Charlie (first Natalie Coughlin, then Britt Robertson). Initially, Charlie is not very happy with this arrangement, and is quite mean to Mr. Church. But over time, and good food, she opens up and grows to love and adore him. The 6 months Mr. Church was hired to be the cook, turned into 6 years. And before your very eyes, you see the love and joy that Mr. Church has brought to Charlie and her mom - they become family. 

Based on a true story written by Susan McMartin and directed by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy), Mr. Church draws us in with Murphy's subtle and quiet warmth. A lot of people may say, this is yet another cliche' story of black characters who are the hired help and somehow become the saving grace to a white family. But, those stories typically are about black people who are treated as the "hired help" and are disrespected on so many levels. One thing you can say about Mr. Church is that he is very respected, and is more than just hired help. He becomes the glue that holds everything together in the family.

Marie eventually passes away from breast cancer, and one would think that Mr. Church's job is now done. But when you're family, there is no going away - it only makes Mr. Church and Charlie's bond even stronger. We see Charlotte’s coming-of-age adventures which include her best friend Poppy (Lucy Fry) and the local drunk Larson (Christian Madsen). More importantly, we get to see a very unique relationship with Mr. Church - even as Charlie leaves for college and later enters motherhood. 

Mr. Church premieres in theaters this Friday September 16, 2016.  If you want to see Eddie Murphy like you've never seen him before, make sure you check this film out!  And please, don't forget your kleenex.

Last week, I attended the red carpet movie premiere in Hollywood, CA. Check out our interviews from Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Bruce Beresford, Susan McMartin and other members of the cast below.

Fun Studio Q moments on the red carpet... 

Studio Q Host, Quencie, after interviewing Eddie

Studio Q Host, Quencie, after interviewing Eddie

Eddie Murphy being interviewed

Eddie Murphy being interviewed

Arsenio Hall and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arsenio Hall and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Director, Bruce Beresford

Director, Bruce Beresford

Studio Q Producer, Tam, with Arsenio Hall

Studio Q Producer, Tam, with Arsenio Hall

Eddie Murphy smiling for the cameras

Eddie Murphy smiling for the cameras

Writer, Susan McMartin

Writer, Susan McMartin

Natalie Coughlin

Natalie Coughlin

Come Join My Private Facebook Group!

I have an awesome 'private' Facebook group called V.I.Q. specifically created for all of you amazing cuties aka ‪#‎QTees‬ who support Studio Q, which is my online celebrity interview show.  I am building a community of people who love entertainment, pop culture and my celebrity interviews. I share with you exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, fun celebrity stories and bloopers with the stars you love.  I want to connect more with my Studio Q tribe, so become a #QTee today and join my V.I.Q. closed Facebook group by clicking here :   I look forward to connecting with you!  

47th NAACP Image Awards Nominees' Luncheon - Studio Q Interviews [VIDEO]

On Saturday, January 23, I attended the 47th NAACP Image Awards Nominees' Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.  The luncheon was co-hosted by Black-ish (ABC) stars Marcus Scribner and Yara Shahidi.  

Other celebrities in attendance included: Anthony Anderson, Tyrese, Laverne Cox, Loretta Devine, Joe Morton, Sheryl Underwood, Naturi Naughton, Teyonah Paris, RonReaco Lee, Cornelius Smith, Jr., Miles Brown and many more.

Check out some of my Studio Q interviews below:

Quencie Interviews Erika Alexander

Remember Maxine Shaw, Attorney at Law from the hit 90's sitcom Living Single? Well, I do! I love Erika Alexander and the role that she made so iconic. I was elated to get a chance to interview her at Roland Martin's Hollywood Soiree.  We talked all things 'Cosby Show' and 'Living Single.'  Erika also told us about her role in AMC's Low Winter Sun and a comic book that she, her husband, and brother created called Concrete Park.

My Producer Tam and Erika Alexander

My Producer Tam and Erika Alexander

When my producer, Tam spotted Erika in the room no interview mattered but the one with her. I'm a big fan too, but Tam is a Stan. She has been wanting to meet Erika forever. So glad she finally did.  It was also great to experience just how kind Erika was. I always like to mention when someone is kind, because everyone isn't, so when they are, it should be noted.  A little bit of kindness can go such a long way. 

We always appreciate when the people we loved are actually loveable.  As much as we all loved Max on Living Single, Erika Alexander is even cooler!  Watch my interview with Erika below.

Quencie Interviews Eric Benét

Ericbenet.png

Check out my interview with one of R&B Music's greatest tenors!  I got to interview Eric Benét inside his recording studio in Studio City, CA.  It was right before the release of his album 'The One' which was distributed on his own record label.

This guy is down to earth and beyond talented. His beautiful love songs are songs that you get to married to. Check out my interview with Eric Benét below.