In New York City, there is no shortage of karaoke bars. On any night of the week, you can head out to a karaoke bar with your friends and sing your heart out. Some people karaoke just to have a good laugh, while some are serious about it and do it to get singing and performance practice. Often there is a long line to wait in before it is time to sing your song. At some point, you will definitely have an encounter with the Karaoke DJ for the night. This person is the karaoke expert; she/he handles the songs, keeps the crowd entertained, and even may sing a song once in a while. Krystle Martinez, New York City karaoke DJ and performing artist, extraordinaire, knows the scene like the back of her hand. YNY featured a story about Krystle yesterday and here is the follow-up. We asked Krystle the questions that aspiring karaoke stars want to know. Here are some of the secrets of a karaoke DJ:
New York City is famous for its street food. Halal, pizza, pretzels, and hotdogs are only the beginning. New York is getting even more creative with what kinds of food are being sold from food trucks. You can buy cupcakes, Mexican food, ice cream, and more. We wanted to know what New Yorkers’ favorite street food was. Watch the video to see their answers!
New York City was recently named the USA’s Fourth Sexiest City. Only fourth? That can’t be. YNY felt that many New Yorkers would have an opinion on this ranking, so we went out and about to see what they had
to say. We definitely got some interesting responses. Press play to see what people had to say!
“Who are you wearing? You look fabulous! Can we get an interview?”
Go to any high-profile event and these are some of the things you will hear. As celebrities strut their stuff on the red carpet, fans are cheering and reporters are asking questions. There is always excitement at a red carpet event. From the Oscars to the Grammys to the Golden Globes to movie premieres, red carpets represent the buzz in the air at the start of a special event. Douglas Melville wanted to take ‘the red carpet’ to the next level. He decided to start Red Carpet Runway as a way to give people the chance to experience the life of the red carpet for themselves.
A brief background…
Douglas Melville has always been fascinated by the business world. As a little kid, he would look at the stock pages in the newspaper and try to understand why the numbers on the page were so important. Since graduating from Syracuse University, Melville has achieved many impressive accomplishments. He started out as an intern for Qwest/Warner Brothers Records, where he got to learn about the industry from the one and only Quincy Jones. He has since worked with Britney Spears, Michael Fredo, and Andy and Tommy Hilfiger. Douglas also had the honor of working for Magic Johnson as the President of his marketing company. Additionally, he worked on Johnson’s executive team at Magic Johnson Enterprises in Beverly Hills, CA. Douglas Melville is no stranger to high-profile clients, and is well-respected in the industry for being a master of his craft. “I have been very fortunate,” reflects Melville, “learning directly from the individuals that helped trail blaze industry in America and getting the chance to travel around the US to understand the American people.”
Red Carpet Runway…
Douglas’ current project is Red Carpet Runway. Their mission is to “Allow anyone to create their own red carpet experience! Any size. Any budget. Any event.” They have been used by MTV, Extra TV, CBS The Early Show, and more. Red Carpet Runway is not exclusive to the rich and famous. Anyone can order a custom-designed red carpet and backdrop and easily set it up at an event of their choice, such as a Bar Mitzvah or Sweet Sixteen party. The idea came about while Douglas was walking down the red carpet at a premiere. “The feeling of energy and excitement walking down the Red Carpet was so electric,” says Melville. “It didn’t matter to people that I wasn’t a celebrity, I was on carpet as a guest. Then it hit me – bam – I wanted to create that same feeling for people to be able to share when they are having their next party…”
Red Carpet Runway has already produced the red carpets for events attended by Beyonce, Barbara Walters, Kim Kardashian, 50 Cent, Tommy Hilfiger, Russell Simmons, Dwyane Wade, and the list goes on. Red Carpet Runway even designed the red carpet for the MTV TRL Finale, which was a huge honor for long-time MTV fan, Douglas Melville.
As much as Melville enjoys the larger, high profile events, he also has a soft spot for the events not having to do with the entertainment industry. From weddings to Bar Mitzvahs, to charity events, to red carpets for US Troops coming home, Douglas loves making events special. “I mean I literally get excited for everything Red Carpet,” he says. The most interesting Red Carpet Runway request? “A woman called us and had us create a Red Carpet + Backdrop for her to hang in her bathroom – so every time she walked out of the shower she could see her self on a Red Carpet posing in the mirror. I though that was hot,” says Melville.
Designing a red carpet is not always easy. You have to be very in tune with who the party is for. This is a very important aspect of Red Carpet Runway. “The design concepts are put into reality by Bill Sidarweck, he heads up the operations and design teams,” says Melville. “He has been the creative influence and visionary around our Step & Repeat patterns, design sizes and our selection of carpet colors.”
A true entrepreneur…
In the field of business and entrepreneurship, Douglas really knows his stuff. Red Carpet Runway is Melville’s third business to date, and he is constantly coming up with more ideas for the future. He reads for four hours a day, with a goal of becoming a human Wikipedia of sorts on business topics. Melville has been a guest professor at Syracuse University, his alma mater, and a judge for the Entrepreneurship Program’s annual Panasci Business Plan contest. Douglas really values helping students turn their business ideas into reality. His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? “It (starting a business) takes twice as long, and costs twice as much. So once you make your business plan, double it. If you are willing to make the commitment to turn your idea a reality and make it a business – then go for it. But if for any reason at all, you think you may NOT wanna do it – then stop before you get started,” says Melville. It is also important to trust the person you are working for (in Melville’s case it is Bill Sidarweck), and have a good balance of ideas. For example, one person should be looking way into the future and have big dreams and plans for the business, while the other should be practical. “Basically – one person has to be the visionary and one person has to be the practical thinker,” says Melville. One without the other makes achieving mainstream success very difficult in today’s marketplace.”
It is also important, according to Douglas, to come up with the most original idea and to cater to what people really need. “It’s really an art..I understand what people want, what they wanna hear, what they wanna see…filling a need,” says Melville.
“Most people start a business that doesn’t fill a need. They create a need and then they find people to fill the need…That’s why most businesses fail.” Melville does mass amounts of research before committing to business plans, because without it, you can become lost.
Melville is inspired by so many people. “I am most inspired by those who I learned from…professionally it is everyone that came up with an idea, or had a passion for something and succeeded enough to become the story teller for that field or that industry,” explains Melville. He learns so much about business by learning about others, including TED Videos on innovation and books such as Napoleon Hill’s ‘Book Think and Grow Rich.’ He is also inspired by his parents, who have been behind him every step of the way. Melville is a huge supporter of President Barack Obama, who he has had the privilege of spending the day with during his campaign in ‘08. When asked about his time with Obama, Douglas said it’s surprising, but, “He’s literally a normal person.” He believes that that is a huge part of Obama’s appeal.
So, what’s next for Douglas Melville? Besides continuously coming up with new business ideas, he really has big plans for Red Carpet Runway. They recently launched a Red Capet Runway workout video with NYC personal trainer NikkiFitness, with special tips on how to pose when you walk on the red carpet. You can now also buy a red carpet laptop pad, coaster, or cancer ribbon for charity. “We are always thinking about ways to make the Red Carpet more accessible,” says Melville.
Douglas is enjoying every minute of this business and looks forward to seeing where it goes in the future. “Red Carpet Runway is a culmination of every single moment of my life up to this point,” he says. “The tradition of the Red Carpet dates back to 548BC and I felt someone needed to make it accessible to everyone. I will be working until I can reach that goal.”
Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with your special someone at Culinary Loft. Authors of the soon-to-be-released book “Just Married & Cooking,” Brooke Parkhurst and James Briscione and holding a cooking workshop that is sure to please. They will teach you how to make amazing dishes together, and you will be able to drink wine from Appellation Wine and Spirits. Although the event is a steep $300, you will get to eat and drink amazing food and wine, such as Smoked Salmon Pizza with American Caviar and Pistachio and Mint Crusted Lamb Rack with Parsnip Puree and Roasted Brussels Sprouts. It will be a romantic evening you will never forget—and then you will be able to cook yourselves delicious meals!
New York is the fourth sexiest city in the country, according to Orbitz.com. In a poll taken by the popular travel site, visitors were able to vote for which city they think is the sexiest. The options were Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Who came in the number one spot? San Francisco with 18% of the votes. However, 33% of the voters believe that there are cities besides the options given that are in fact, sexier. Miami came in second place in the competition. Do you think that New York is only the fourth sexiest city in America? Do you think the voters are ridiculous or do they know what they are talking about? New York is not used to coming in fourth place in city rankings. Why do you think we came in fourth?
The Oscar race is going to be a close one this year. With ten films nominated for the coveted award of Best Picture, the competition is fierce. The films nominated include “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “Inception,” “The Kids are All Right,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Social Network,” “127 Hours,” “Toy Story 3,” “True Grit,” and “Winter’s Bone.” While all are great films, there can only be one winner. Who will it be?
YNY checked in with New Yorkers to hear their thoughts on the biggest movies of the year.
Picking up a girl can be hard. Guys often have trouble psyching themselves up to go over and talk to a girl they’ve been eyeing. It can be a very awkward situation when a guy walks up to a girl and completely fails at talking to her. Guys—don’t be so nervous!
Ashley and Michelle have some tips on the best ways to pick up a girl. They go over several different scenarios, and maybe you will be able to use some of their ideas in the future. Hopefully, one of these tips will be just what you need to pick up the girl of your dreams!
Finding a job in any city can be rough, but New York City in particular is extremely competitive, especially in the entertainment industries. If you are hoping to make it big in media, you have to be pretty cutthroat. Many aspiring actors, musicians, and artists find their careers in media. Whether it be writing, producing, or being on-air, media can often be a great industry for those interested in the arts. Here is a list of some of the top sites (in our humble opinion) for finding these types of jobs:
This site is so helpful because there are such a wide variety of job listings to peruse through. There are jobs in production, broadcast, music, theater, and even film festivals. It is a very easy site to navigate and there are several different job categories. If you subscribe, you can get a daily newsletter with a list of jobs that are suited for your interests and needs. You can also find internships on this site. The subscription costs $4.95 for the first month and $9.95 for the months after that. There are also deals for three, six, and twelve months. Just be sure to cancel when you decide you don’t want the service anymore, because otherwise your subscription will be renewed automatically and you will be charged!
Mediabistro is a site to try out because not only does it have job listings, but also courses through the site that will help enhance your resume. You can get free job listings every day, invitations to events, and daily news. You can also join the freelance marketplace, but you have to pay for that service as well as for the courses. Mediabistro.com is easy to navigate, and they offer a large amount of jobs to look through every day. You can subscribe for one year for only $55. You can get a refund after 30 days if you don’t like it. You can also join AvantGuild, which offers how to pitch guides, discounts on courses, how to pitch for an agent, editorial calendar guides, discounts on organizations and events, and discounted LexisNexis access.
Mandy is not only a site for job listings. It also has information about auditions and other opportunities in the entertainment industry. However, the site offers so much that it often can be confusing and difficult to find your way around. On the bright side, it is international, so you can look for openings and castings all over the world. There is even a classified section where you can trade in used film/broadcast equipment. This site will definitely keep you busy, and who knows—maybe you may even find some jobs!
Times are tough, but keep your head up! There are tons of employers just waiting for a person just like you. Let us know which sites you think are the best for job searching.
New Yorkers have a bit of a bad rap. People often stereotype New Yorkers as loud, rude, and obnoxious. These stereotypes aren’t fair and make us sound bad! Sure, we like to get places fast and don’t like when people stop in the middle of the street, but New Yorkers are just as nice as anyone else.
YNY wanted to give New Yorkers the chance to defend themselves (or not), so we went out to talk to them. We asked them to finish the sentence: The biggest misconception about New Yorkers is ____. What were their answers? Press play to see!