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“A Star Is Born”–Martel Star, that is, and he is a triple threat. This Web Star can sing, dance, model, and act; and is making a name for himself on the indie circuit. Still what’s the trivia behind Martel Star, we know he’s talented, but what’s the trivia? You can find that out in our latest edition of “Web Star Watched!”

martel star
1. Have you always wanted to be an actor? What’s been your favorite role?
– For the most part of my life, yes. My favorite role, this far, has been Justen from the 7th & Love Web series. He’s really quick witted & snappy at times, but not too over the top.
2. How do you prepare for a role?
– Based on what the character description, I then create the background for the character that isn’t given. I give them last names, fill in their childhood & upbringing. I build the character’s past so I have a more realistic portrayal of who they are in the present.
3. Who are biggest personal influences?
– My dad. He wasn’t involved in my life, growing up, due to being incarcerated. We reconnected when I was about 21 & he’s literally my twin. He used to rap when he was younger but life stopped his plans. So now I feel like I have to succeed for the both of us. He’ll live his dream vicariously through me.
4. Who are your biggest professional influences?
– Musically, The-Dream has been my idol for over 10 years now. In film, I actually love Samuel L. Jackson. He’s so versatile in his roles & even the demographic that he appeals to.
5. How do you manage your personal and professional life?
– I need my personal life to survive. I still have to pay my bills, go to church, & handle day to day things. But my professional life is my goal. So it’s really about, what in your personal life can you afford to cut down on. I tell myself, “I can skip brunch to go film.” or “I can’t go out tonight because I have a studio session.” The people in my life understand because they want me to win just as much as I want to win.
6. What do you do in your downtime? Any hobbies?
– I’m not sure I know what downtime is anymore lol Honestly, I’m a big gamer. I’m a PS4 kid.
7. What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
– I can sometimes (Often times) be loud & obnoxious & some people may believe that to be a character or part of my “Martel Star Persona”, when in fact, I’ve been that boy all my life. At home, work, school, church, I’m the same ratchet hoodrat. I know how to maintain myself per my environment, but that’s me. All day!
8. Single, taken, or “it’s complicated?” OOP! Haha I am single & open to date, however, have current interests. That’s the safest answer.
9. What do you think is your best physical feature?
– I honestly have a great face overall. It carries an innocence that is really attractive….But my thighs are honestly my best quality. I used to be a fat kid, but now that I’ve grown up, these legs have really turned into a prize!
10. Is there anything you don’t like about yourself, or feel you can work on? – My speech. I’ll Ariana Grande my way through a whole Sentence. 
11. Last movie you saw – Captain Marvel….Meh
12. Your favorite web series
I would love to say the Twisted webseries on the Dreamhouse Television Network, starring me, but, not choosing my own project, I LOVE The Mis-Adventures of an Awkward Black Girl, which is actually the basis of Issa Rae’s “Insecure”.
martel star
13. Your favorite web star (you can’t pick yourself)
– It’s a really tough split between Gary Lavard & Chris June. Gary has really built a major platform for himself & is utilizing it to the max, but he is still so humble. He has no ego to him & that’s so amazing. Chris June WORKS. I swear every time I look, he’s in a new project. Constantly working. Always growing. They both are the type indie creatives to emulate.
14. LGBTQIQA or straight? – Why are there so many letters?! I fit somewhere in the not straight spectrum. We’ll leave the rest to imagination.
15. Something you can’t live without – God! I know everything I have is because God saw fit to bless me with it.
16. Biggest pet peeve – Poor communication & moody/Wishy-washy attitudes.
17. Tell us something you’ve never told anyone – If I haven’t become successful after 5 years, I’m goin to become a male exotic dancer.
18. Age – I’m 30. But my stage age is 25.
19. Sign – Cancer
20. Quote to live by – “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” -John Wooden

Movie News

Atlanta Actress, Toni Bryce, Stars in Her Own Indie Film, “Best Thing I Never Had!”

We are all for growth and expansion here at HeyMikeyATL, and are always elated when a great light flexes even more of her talent. That is exactly what Toni Bryce, a popular Atlanta actress, is doing with her latest venture, an independent film entitled “Best Thing I Never Had!”

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toni bryce best thing i never had movie

We are all for growth and expansion here at HeyMikeyATL, and are always elated when a great light flexes even more of her talent. That is exactly what Toni Bryce, a popular Atlanta actress, is doing with her latest venture, an independent film entitled “Best Thing I Never Had!”

toni bryce best thing i never had movie

Toni Bryce as “Brittany”

The film centers on the love story between a Black man and woman–with a twist. Toni states, “.. this relationship is no ordinary relationship. Dante, a Black Cis and Heterosexual identifying Man is openly dating Brittany, a Black Trans and Heterosexual identifying Woman. ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ chronicles the journey of their love story as Brittany learns to overcome her apprehension of whether Dante’s intentions are pure or evil. The story shows what it’s like for the two as they deal with raising children, reconciling friendships, and yearning for family acceptance while overcoming societal judgement and criticism. With the many challenges faced and bumps in the road, will this love last or will it all be a fairytale?”

Cast of "Best Thing I Never Had"

Cast of “Best Thing I Never Had”

We have to say based on the synopsis we are highly intrigued by this story. It is out of the ordinary, and with society seemingly becoming more receptive to transgender rights and people, it makes the story timely and necessary for representation and perspective. Toni went on to reveal she wrote the film to show everyone deserves love and to experience something real. This project was formed from an Instagram post I made where I was just speaking on my opinion that the sex work narrative is old and played out. I wanted to see something more. So, the amazing artist, Di Thomas saw my story, screenshot it and sent it to Onyx Keesha and Coley. They wanted to meet with me, we met and I told them where I was speaking from and shared my own experiences…BUT the kicker was, they wanted me write the script because it’s coming from my own experiences…then not only that, but they suggested that I star in it as well. And now a year later, we have ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ short film.”

Toni hopes people will see the film as a real love story, like any other cinematic portrayal of love. I truly want people to see a story where they get to experience and journey with these characters where love between ‘othered’ people is normalized and OK. A story that gives men that are Trans-Affirming or Attracted a visual display of what their own happiness could look like if they’d only live for themselves and not what everyone else thinks about their happiness. A big part of my own reasons for being single is because my worth and value don’t matter to the men pursuing me because society tells them that they’re gay and less of a man for dating me. Where everything is an effort and a life changing decision that they don’t feel they’re ready to make. Thus, I’m hidden in a room and only explored sexually. My health, mental stability, goals, passions, career, desires, and etc are left outside the door for the sake of ‘I’m ready to nut!'”
Production of “Best Thing I Never Had” seems to be well under way as the film has already been cast, and they have already had their first table read. Check them out below:

We are really happy for Toni and excited to see this cast in action. Congratulations Toni on this project and all your future endeavors. It is needless to say, but your 2020 is shaping out to be “lit!”

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Fashion

“BLOW!” Gary Lavard (@GaryLavard) Releases New Hoodie Line Benefiting Suicide Prevention & Awareness!

BLOW= “Because Love Outweighs War,” the new acronym for life, and the name for Gary Lavard’s new line of hoodies! The hoodies hilariously feature Gary’s face on the front of them blowing a big bubble of gum, and come in an array of colors. However, this is not just another hoodie line, instead these new products are adding philanthropy to his already impressive resume. BLOW instead donates a percentage of its profits toward suicide prevention and awareness.

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gary lavard blow hoodie

BLOW= “Because Love Outweighs War,” the new acronym for life, and the name for Gary Lavard’s new line of hoodies! The hoodies hilariously feature Gary’s face on the front of them blowing a big bubble of gum, and come in an array of colors. However, this is not just another hoodie line, instead these new products are adding philanthropy to his already impressive resume. BLOW instead donates a percentage of its profits toward suicide prevention and awareness.

gary lavard blow hoodie

Gary came up with the idea of BLOW based on his current mood and mental health. He relayed on iHeartRadio’s The Hey Mikey Show, that he once dealt with depression and anxiety, issues that can lead to suicide and wanted to give back. “There’s no shame in me saying that I’m currently in the best shape of life mentally, physically, and emotionally and I owe that doing some work on myself and seeking professional help through therapy…Getting the help you need and talking to someone can really change or save your life…there’s such a stigma in the Black community with mental health and it needs to change, so I’m doing my part to give back…”

gary lavard blow hoodie

We have to say we are really proud of Gary and the contributions his making in combating suicide and discussing mental health. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center states the following alarming facts:

gary lavard blow hoodie

Prevention efforts should address increased suicide risk among Black males. While increased suicide risk among Black females also warrants action, rates have typically been higher among males. Depending on the age group, the male-to-female suicide rate ratio has ranged from four-to-one to as high as eight-to-one.5 Young Black males are most at risk, although there has been a recent rise in suicide rates among Black children of both sexes under age 13.

Mental health matters. Having a mental illness significantly increases suicide risk among Black teens and adults.6,7 Although depression must be addressed, the strongest mental health predictor of attempted suicide in this population is anxiety. Prevention efforts should help enhance the existing psychological resources that help to buffer Black people against suicide risk, and also help protect them from sources of vulnerability. For example, Blacks who are socially connected through organized religious affiliation have a lower suicide risk.8 And we are learning that social stressors, such as perceived racism, exacerbate suicide risk among Blacks.

Congratulations Gary on your latest venture! You all be sure to purchase and support BLOW by getting your own hoodie by clicking here! Happy shopping!

**If you, or someone you know is contemplating suicide please contact someone at the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.**

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Web Star Watched

Web Star Watched- Ryan K. Sanders (@iamryanksanders)

The good thing about the Web World is that it’s always growing. Sure we have our favorite, veteran Web Stars, but there is always love for the newbies! One newbie in particular, Ryan K. Sanders,  has big dreams, major acting chops, and even bigger dreams. What’s the trivia behind this new beau making waves on AConnectionTV? Find out in our latest edition of Web Star Watched!

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Ryan K. Sanders

The good thing about the Web World is that it’s always growing. Sure we have our favorite, veteran Web Stars, but there is always love for the newbies! One newbie in particular, Ryan K. Sanders,  has big dreams, major acting chops, and even bigger dreams. What’s the trivia behind this new beau making waves on AConnectionTV? Find out in our latest edition of Web Star Watched!

Ryan K. Sanders

1. Have you always wanted to be an actor? What’s been your favorite role?

 It was not until I began acting that I knew I wanted to do it for the rest of my life moving forward. My favorite role so far has been playing O’Neil on H.O.E. I connected so well with role because of the similarities to one of my prior relationships and some of the events that took place.

2. How do you prepare for a role?
   I prepare by learning the characters background and trying to develop how I see them speaking, walking, their mannerisms, etc.

3. Who are biggest personal influences?
   My parents and my brother. My parents each have instilled in me work ethic that won’t allow me to be mediocre while my brother has constantly reminded to be true to myself no matter what anyone says.

4. Who are your biggest professional influences?
   Issa Rae & Rome Flynn

5. How do you manage your personal and professional life?
   I’ve recently had a difficult time managing the two; I’m still working to find that true balance.

6. What do you do in your downtime? Any hobbies?
   In my downtime, I play video games, listen to music, watch movies & (my two favs) sleep and eat! I also enjoy being outdoors, playing sports or working out.

7. What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
   The biggest misconception is that I’m mean or stuck up.

Ryan K. Sanders

8. Single, taken, or “it’s complicated?”
    Single

9. What do you think is your best physical feature?
   My lips and arms

10. Is there anything you don’t like about yourself, or feel you can work on?
    My confidence

11. Last movie you saw
    Greta

12. Your favorite web series
    Awkward Black Girl

13. Your favorite web star (you can’t pick yourself)
    Tina Christine

14. LGBTQIQA or straight?
    Gay

15. Something you can’t live without
    A peace of mind.

16. Biggest pet peeve
    Being cut off from speaking repeatedly and being ignored.

17. Tell us something you’ve never told anyone
    I really don’t have a peanut allergy

18. Age
    27

19. Sign
Capricorn

20. Quote to live by

    “To be yourself… is the greatest accomplishment”

Ryan K. Sanders

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