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National Geographic's Women of Vision Exhibit

This year, National Geographic celebrates 125 years of awe-inspiring stories and magnificent photos that showcase everything from the natural beauty of wildlife at its primal to the lives of women enjoying the riptides of the Jersey Shore to the private world of arranged child marriages. Breathtaking, evocative, and cringe-worthy, many of the photos that have bridged the gap between our living rooms and worlds around us have been brought to us by women. While some say that it does not matter who is on the other side of the lens, these women employ a unique sensitivity to the human spirit that comes through their photos.

The current exhibits lining the first floor of the National Geographic Museum on 17th and M St NW in DC are a celebration of Nat Geo's 125 years and Women of Vision. WOV features 11 female photojournalists and selected pieces from their respective bodies of work. It was an inspiring walk through these interactive modules that display intimate glimpses of communities, cultures and life around us. Each photographer has her own section along the U-shaped exhibit and as you read the descriptions, the photographer's voice is played giving more detail into her process or experience capturing these stories. A few interesting facts about some of these distinguished women:


Lynsey Addario is a gutsy photographer that has covered the hardship of women in conflict zones. She has photographed all over the Middle East but not without trials. On assignment in 2011 for the NYTimes, she and her colleagues were kidnapped and abused in Libya. Through negotiations, she and her team were released after several days. Taking time to recover and be with loved ones, Lynsey has returned to conflict zones to continue her work. The photograph above shows a mother and a daughter on the side of a dirt road in Afghanistan. The daughter was in labor and on their way to the closest hospital when their vehicle broke down. While her husband was farther along the road seeking assistance, Lynsey and her team pulled over to talk to these women. Upon learning of their situation, they drove the family to the hospital and the daughter had a healthy delivery.

Women of Vision Entrance at National Geographic
Maggie Steber's Photos at National Geographic Women of Vision

For Nat Geo assignments, photographers capture between 30,000-90,000 photos. Photo editors comb through the images, analyze, discuss with assignment collaborators, and select between a handful and 30 for the final pool. The photos that are printed and displayed show not only a technical quality of excellence but a spirit of emotion, experience and humanness particular to the story that is assigned. The women behind the lens that have captured these moments go where most will not or cannot and through these stories, share that we are not alone, that there is much of the world to discover and understand. 


Maggie Steber has photographed in 63 countries and is an award-winning documentary photographer. When applying for her first job at a Texas daily paper, the hiring manager told her that the job would go to a male interviewee. She asked for 24 hours to prove herself and stayed up all night, took photos, printed them, conducted interviews, wrote the story and submitted it the next day ready for publication. She was hired. Awesome.

Stephanie Sinclair has lived in tumultuous areas of the Middle East and has been able to capture wartime and gender-sensitive environments culminating in a striking documentary Too Young to Wed, a project sharing the world of arranged child marriages.

The photo above shows Nujood Ali with her sisters and an expression of delight and freedom. She was 10 years old living in Yemen when she fled her abusive husband, took a cab to the courthouse and sought out a divorce. Her bold protest has drawn international attention to this subject and the rights and protections of women in this part of the world. 

Amy Toensing is a visual storyteller that enjoys photographing the intersection of cultures. She was first drawn to photography by the book "The Family of Woman," a documentary of black and white photos displaying femininity across humanity. Always traveling with a French press and a course of antibiotics (just in case), she has catalogued stories such as the process of migrant broccoli pickers in Maine to the years long drought that affected Australia in 2009.

The exhibit is well worth the visit and is open daily at the National Geographic Museum until March 9. If you are able to go, I highly recommend it and look, LivingSocial even has a deal for you.

Heritage & Cranberries: Thanksgiving Edition

Corraling Cranberries
Bog Walk

Heritage Cranberry: A Thanksgiving TraditionThis week, the majority of Americans make the journey home or to places considered home to partake in the annual traditions of feasting and the giving of thanks. A kick starter to the holiday season, one can usually find turkey, stuffing, candied yams, gravy, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, and puddings at a Thanksgiving feast. You are more than likely familiar with this menu because you have woken up with a food baby of said items from last night's dinner table and/or are getting ready to make a delicious Thanksgiving sandwich with the remaining leftovers (after some breakfast pumpkin pie). Another staple ingredient to the feast table is cranberries. Whole, canned, jellied - cranberries are the sweet and tart glue that brings turkey and all the trimmings together. Known for its perfect attendance during Thanksgiving, cranberries have also proven its staying power throughout the year in the form of dried craisins, preserves, juices, wines, chocolate-covered, and yogurt-covered variants. Not only are they delicious and harbingers of health benefits enough to classify it as a superfood, cranberries during harvest season are beyond beautiful.  I had the opportunity to visit one of the longest running cranberry and blueberry farms in New Jersey, Moore's Meadow, to learn more about the brilliantly red and nutrient rich cranberry. First meeting Neva Moore in DC during the Ocean Spray cranberry tour, she welcomed a visit to her family's farm during one of the most beautiful times of year on the farm - harvest season. The art and work of cranberries is a rich and labor intensive process. It connects all who are involved to the majesty and complexity of growing things from the earth. I also learned that the process teaches patience, discipline, resourcefulness, rhythm, and community in ways that are unique to the agricultural sector.

One of three native fruits to North America, cranberries have a multifaceted history in form and function. Referred to as sassamenesh, ibimi,bearberries, fenberries, andcraneberries at different stages in history, the contemporary moniker refers to the red fruit as cranberries. While 95 percent of the harvested fruit is turned into juices and sauces, 5 percent is sold fresh. Today, the cranberry industry is estimated to be valued at $300 million.  Though farm ownership and operation runs independently, farms like Moore's Meadow participate in Ocean Spray, a 750-farmer cooperative, that markets and distributes cranberries from farms across New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. Beginning in 1815, Moore's Meadow has been in the family for seven generations.

Cranberry Plant

Run by Sam Moore Sr., Neva Moore, and Sam Moore (Jr), these three have dedicated their lives to continuing the tradition and business. An interesting mix of sentimental heritage and business-minded grit, the long-term question of continuing the cranberry business dances between the two partners of tradition and economic profitability.Between 40-50 families grow cranberries in the Pine Barrens (or affectionately dubbed Piney's) located in southern New Jersey. The Piney's consist of 650,000 acres of sandy soil, wetlands, and pine trees perfect for digging bogs and growing berries. A heritage industry, the most potent and valuable knowledge is passed down farmer to farmer and parent to child. Day in and day out, family and staff spends considerable time together in the bogs and on the trucks. In that process year after year, pieces of the baton get handed down the line to the next generation who will continue the farm. In passing another bog at Moore's Meadow, I noticed Sam's (Jr.) son (also named Sam) out in the bog with his waders actively engaged in the harvest. Sam says that his son already knows he wants to go into the cranberry business. However, he needs to get his education first. And then, if he still wants to do this, he can come back to the farm. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="1470,1471"]

Cranberry Bog Panorama

The growing and harvesting process is quite fascinating.  The harvest season takes place in October and involves several weeks worth of long and hard work beginning each day at 6am. The harvest ends when all the bogs are cleared and barrels of berries are shipped off at the end of the month. When I asked Neva what kind of recipes she makes, Neva mentioned that one of the fun parts of the season is sending bags of raw berries to friends, family, and neighbors. And inevitably, friends, family, and neighbors always share their creations with her so she has never really had to cook or bake with the berries. 

1. Dig & Plant

First, you need enough acreage to be able to excavate bogs 5-6 feet deep and build a reliable irrigation system. Most bogs average between 4-6 acres each and take about two years to dig. Moore's Meadow has expanded from 80 acres to now include 700 acres of land (60 acres belong to cranberries while 40 belong to blueberries). Once the bog is dug in, the farmers plant the cranberry vines in rows. Sam describes the fragility of cranberry growing, "Plant as much acreage as you want but it is about the yield. It is like a baby. You can't leave it. It needs to be nurtured and the bogs need to be constantly monitored.

Crimson Queen, Mullica Queen, and Demoranville are a few of the regal sounding names of newer cranberry varietals that could pass for the labels to a fashion designer's collection. While these newer varietals boast higher output, Moore's Meadow specializes in the hybrid Stevens varietal, which produces between 300-350 barrels per acre. Once the vines are planted, it takes 5-7 years for the plant to mature for harvest. If properly cared for, the perennial vine can live and produce for up to 150 years. Sam (Jr.) talks about pruning the vines and doing their best to use every part of the plant. He says of pruning, "We use the strength that's been clipped from those vines to strengthen the new generation of fruit." Put THAT in a fortune cookie or leadership book. Profundity is found in the simplest of statements and this is just fact for them.

2. Flood & Beat

Once the vines are mature, each bog is flooded in sequence using a grid of canals. The bog is filled with water and an egg beater vehicle goes down row by row gently prodding the berries off the vine. The result of the egg beater is that the berries are picked off the vines and the natural air bubble that exists inside all cranberries helps the cranberries float to the surface of the water.

In addition to the egg beater, farmers dress in waterproof waders and wellies to help guide the harvest. I found there to be an interesting connection between harvesting gear designed with function in mind and the fashion industry's take on form and function with thigh high boots to give attitude, longer lines, and warmth to one's legs during the wintry seasons.

3. Harvest & Sort

Cedar Wood_IMG_7332

Once the cranberries are let loose and afloat, the farmers bring wooden planks made out of cedar wood and create a ring (diamond, pentagon, hexagon) around the berries. The planks are used as a shifting ring to push and gather the cranberries onto the conveyer belt.

The conveyer belt lifts the berries into a processor and cleaning machine where they are sorted, separated from the chaff (leaves, twigs, debris) and then moved onto the loading truck. Sam Moore Sr. built the conveyer belt/cleaning machine combo to efficiently sort the berries from the chaff and ensure that they were sending off true barrels of berries.

The bog that we witnessed being harvested was approximately 6.5 acres and yielded about 1700 barrels of cranberries. Sam Moore Sr. indicated that 2012 was a very good year and to date, 2013 has been a respectable harvest. In the video below, you can see how Sam helps the cleaning machine along using a cedar plank to feed the cranberries into the sorter. The chaff falls off into collection buckets and basically anywhere the wind takes it creating a thick layer of dust and debris on the truck and ground below. The cranberries are loaded on a giant truck and carted off to the receiving station.

4. Ship & Send

Cranberries Through the Sorter

Dry harvested cranberries are sold whole at market. Wet harvested cranberries (majority of Moore's Meadow berries) are frozen at the receiving station and then turned into jellies, sauces or craisins.  When asked about Moore's Meadow's legacy and why Sam Moore (Jr) continues the family business, he knows he is part of a generations-deep tradition but the lineage isn't what gets him up in the morning. Rather, it is a cranberry juice cocktail of drive to see profitability longterm, the satisfaction of hard work and accountability that comes with the territory, and a genuine admiration and affection for his father. Sam points to a fire that occurred in 1954 which destroyed a ton of acreage. He also described how he saw his father revive every inch of the land to build it to what it is today. Sam firmly believes that you have to want it, to want the work and the land. Sam says, "There are moments of glory and moments where you want to throw in the towel for the right price and right circumstances. But this is my life. This is really a labor of love."

Cranberry Study_IMG_7412

Maven Style: Edith Head

Edith Head Google Doodle

Maven Style: Edith Head If you queried using Google yesterday, you probably noticed six costume sketches floating above a silhouette of a commanding and petite figure in oversized frames. On what would have been her 116th birthday, Google Doodle honors Edith Head, famous costume sketch artist and designer who crystallized "old Hollywood glamour" through her work in over 1,000 films spanning 57 years. Nicknamed "The Doctor," Head garnered 35 Academy Award nominations, 8 Oscars, and a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, making her the winningest individual woman to receive the prized golden statues. Developing relationships with a fancy laundry list of stars, Head designed and dressed the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Dorothy Lamour, Grace Kelly, Natalie Wood, Elizabeth Taylor, Mae West, Ginger Rogers, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Ingrid Bergman, Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Jean Harlow, Tippi Hedren, Kim Novak, and Robert Redford.

Edith Head
Edith Head Edna Mode

Known for her dark hair (cropped or pulled back), blunt bangs, tortoise-shell glasses, and two-piece suit, you also may have seen her not too long ago under the pseudonym Edna Mode in Pixar's The Incredibles, "I never look back dahling, it distracts from the now."While it remains unconfirmed that Edna is Edith reincarnated in animated form, you can draw your own conclusions.

Born this day in 1897 in San Bernardino, California, Edith Claire Posener grew up with aspirations of being a French teacher. Highly educated with both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, Posener went on to teach at the Hollywood School for Girls in 1923. In order to make additional income, Posener began art classes during the evenings. It was here that she met her first husband, Charles Head, a salesman and brother of a school friend of hers. The next year, Head engaged in a a bit of a scandal by feigning a classmate's sketches as her own in order to land a job as as costume sketch artist with Paramount Pictures in 1924. Admitting the ruse later and coming in green with no experience in art, design and costuming; Head worked long hours to hone her skills and develop a sophistication to her work. The work paid off and landed her the head costume design role at Paramount in 1938. With the beginning of a new chapter came an end to her first marriage that same year. However, Head kept her name befitting her new title at Paramount.

During her career, Head had an ability to design around the rules of film censorship at the time. Where modesty was demanded, Head covered up her actresses albeit with skintight clothes. When the scene demanded an outfit appropriate for the jungle but also for audiences, Head designed a modest but adventurous sarong for The Jungle Princess, which became a widely popular template for the swimsuit industry and female customers. Head proved her versatility designing immaculate and sensuous gowns for Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday and Elizabeth Taylor in A Place in the Sun; masculine and delicate suits in Alfred Hitchcock's films such as Vertigo and The Birds; and statuesque frocks fitting for Biblical epics such as The Ten Commandments and Samson and Delilah.

For no lack of vision, Hitchcock liked working with Head as her designs took on a storytelling device of its own as the clothes endured beyond wear and catastrophe while the picture perfect heroines fell apart in the face of the same catalysts. Another characteristic that distinguished her from her colleagues was that she consulted extensively with the actresses she dressed. She made it a point to sit with them, talk with them, learn about their personalities and histories, watch how they moved, and also how they screen tested. She made clothes that moved with them rather than limit their range or movement. It was perhaps this quality of being known by her that earned Head a place inside the personal lives of these actresses. Elevating the quality of costuming, she did not give into fads or cheap fixes but strove for excellence and a couturier's eye. In To Catch a Thief, Grace Kelly's blue spaghetti-strap dress was made out of $4,000 worth of fabric, at the time one of the most expensive pieces of costuming. Head served a storied 43 years at Paramount before moving to Universal Pictures in 1967 where she served for 14 more years. In the 70's, she had the opportunity to redesign the U.S. Coast Guard's uniform for women as more females enlisted in the ranks.

Growing her talent with an insatiable work ethic, the gifted and eccentric Edith Head was made not born. She presented an austere self-image while pouring imagination, color, and embellishment to the characters she was charged to help bring alive. A duality of undeniable talent and overreach, Head faced controversy and criticism for claiming the works of others at times - landing the job at Paramount using someone else's designs and then taking home the Oscar for Hubert Givenchy's Parisian designs for Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina. Also a published designer and author, Head wrote "The Dress Doctor" and "How to Dress for Success." In 1981, Head died from an incurable form of bone marrow disease called myelofibrosis.

edith head5

What better homage to her work than referencing her brilliance and persona in The Incredibles. A retired and selective designer of superhero costumes, Head's likeness, Edna Mode wisely demands no capes, calls everyone "dahling", and designs Mr. Incredible's comeback costume - a work that is bold, dramatic, and heroic. Edith's work and designs, which have left its mark in the fashion and film industry created the space for imagination, quality and storytelling that have shaped many other inspired and incredible looks. And unless you are actually Superman, Batman or Little Red Riding Hood, no capes is a good word to dress by.


Jams: She Speaks I Write about You Sing I Write


Jams: She Speaks I Write about You Sing I Write Today, the popular music blog You Sing I Write (YSIW) turns this many...(hold up a high five + other thumb)! If you are still playing with your hands, the go-to music source that provides exclusive, behind the scenes features on some of today's most talented musicians turns 6 years! By today's millennial standards, that's mid-career stuff! Kudos!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Kidding aside, YSIW is a great music blog that puts hours and hours of research into its features going the extra mile (literally) so readers don't have to. Articles and interviews share a close glimpse into the life changes and thought processes behind an emerging or established artist's lyrics and stories.

Fashion & Philosophers thought it would be fun to turn the tables on YSIW's founder and writer, Annie Reuter, and have her share her journey with us on building her career and blog in music journalism. We spent the day in Brooklyn's picturesque Prospect Park sitting underneath a tree sharing stories, listening to a reggae-soul festival across the pond, and watching photography students belly-down take meticulous pictures of blades of grass. It was as awesome as it sounds.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset On Humble Beginnings I started my blog in 2007 thinking my dad and a few friends would read it. My dad is my biggest fan. He follows me on twitter and when he responds to tweets, he texts me instead. It's great. The blog started as a creative outlet and became very personal. It shares a positive outlook toward life and music. I only write things and people I am passionate about and hope that people can see my love for music through the writing.

Writings on the Wall I interned for Jane Magazine and then MTV News. My articles have been featured in Marie Claire, The Boot, LemonDrop, Hoboken Patch, Billboard, Rolling Stone. Currently, I work for CBS interviewing pop and country bands and covering shows for all of CBS' music sites. I also freelance for Billboard and Rolling Stone on occasion.

On Robin Thicke I interviewed him the week before "Blurred Lines" went to #1 and he was very personable. He wore sunglasses the whole time so that threw me off because you want an interview to flow organically and it's hard to make it feel like a conversation when you can't see someone's eyes. He shared that he and T.I. were in the studio and wanted to make a follow up inspired by one of Marvin Gaye's songs, "We had the chorus and we had our old man BBQ dance. We were just dancing around. Then Pharell came up with the hook "hey. hey. hey." And that was that." That was one of the interviews we used almost everything. We mostly discussed relationships and he talked about his wife, Paula Patton. They have been together since they were teenagers and he had a lot of good things to say about commitment and making it work. Basically, choose one person that you're willing to lower walls and allow them to hurt you because it will happen. But you choose each other and you give them everything. Nothing held back.

Interview Methodology I really research for interviews including diving into the lyrics of albums. I look for the stories behind the songs and really try to ask them different questions. These artists are interviewed over and over and I would like them to know that I care about who they are and why they've shared what they have with the world.

YSIW Cover PageFavorite Interviews 1) Switchfoot - They were my first interview for the blog. It was a huge highlight to be able to sit down with one of my favorite songwriters and ask questions about certain lyrics and how songs came together. 2) Lady Antebellum - I only had 10 minutes with them so I spent the entire weekend researching them and trying to find a question they haven't been asked before. I ended up asking them "Is there a song that means more to them now than when they first wrote it?" I had them stumped for 30 seconds. It was a YESSS moment because you know they haven't been asked this before. 3) Pat Benatar - We talked on the phone for 20 minutes during her book promotion for Between a Heart and a Rock Place. She was humble, modest and so personable. It was such a pinnacle moment.

Show that Blew Your Mind Gaslight Anthem. Partly because I worked with the drummer, Benny Horowitz, at our college newspaper. I went to see his show and that show was only the second time I crowd surfed. Seeing him succeed and follow his dream was very personal because I knew him. Gaslight Anthem went on to open for Bruce Springsteen and do other great things. Everytime they come through, I will go see them. I feel like a proud mother.

Favorite music venue.  Rockwood Music Hall on the corner of Allen and East Houston. They host a great mix of rock bands, singer songwriters and curate who plays their stages. I haven't been to one show there that I haven't liked.

Artist to Watch Matthew Mayfield. He was signed to Columbia and Epic Records at 19 but for some reason was dropped off the label. I saw him at a show in New York and the moment he opened his voice, it was so beautiful, I ask myself why isn't he the same status as John Mayer. His songs are emotional, guitar playing aggressive wafting into softer ballads, his voice gritty. When I went to LA, I met with him and dove into his lyrics. Artists like him write their own stuff and you know it comes from a certain place.

Measuring Success I am a girl that loves and is passionate about music. After posting an interview, bands have reached out to me and thanked me for writing a thoughtful feature. I don't really pay attention to analytics. I am a music lover that wants to share with you why you should listen to this band and go to a show. I like promoting the underdog. When I started, I didn't have access to the A-list of artists. I went to little clubs and covered shows and now that I do have access to the A-list, my outlook remains the same.

WriteOn Being the Underdog Writing is all I have ever wanted to do. A lot of people had their doubts. I would tell people, YES, I want to work for Rolling Stone one day. I think I am the type of person that thrives on criticism and people doubting so I can prove them wrong and show them that I can get to that place. If you want something bad enough, you are going to work for it.

On Hard Work During my internship with MTV News, my colleagues told me to start a blog and write everyday to work on my writing skills. That October (2007), I started YSIW. That same year, MTV News also began a concert blog composed of user-generated content. I began posting my reviews on this site and since my colleagues were familiar with my writing, they posted my pieces on the homepage. Through this opportunity, I reached out to artists like Steven Jenkins from Third Eye Blind. Ending up pitching this story to a few colleagues and through their contacts, Marie Claire liked the pitch and I began writing for them in 2009.

While I worked on contract for WebMD to pay the bills, many of my workdays would end at 10pm. That was just how it went. At the same time, I knew that Billboard was looking for writers to cover country so I reached out to a journalist friend and she gave me her editor's contact. I emailed pitches and story ideas for a year. It took ONE YEAR to get a break and she ended up assigning me a different show than I originally pitched so I knew it was more out of necessity. I did the review and sent it in a timely manner. She assigned me to another show. Then another. That was how I began writing for Billboard. Persistence showed her that I was serious.

I didn't have a backup plan. Many of the bands that I interview agree that there was no backup plan for them. I had this goal, dove into it, and didn't really see walls. Many people told me to get another job but I just couldn't. In 2010, I moved to Brooklyn while freelancing. I had money saved but living as a freelancer, paying rent, bills, etc., your bank account can dwindle. I was at the point where I literally had one more month's worth of rent to my name. At 26 years old, I was questioning my life. There would be moments where things would align for a little while - an interview at Billboard, an assignment to cover a show, etc. In between those, I actually applied at a local florist and a diner just so I could make ends meet while freelancing after my contract with WebMD ended.

Eventually, I reached out to a friend who worked for CBS. Interestingly, they just started their music department in their NYC local office. My friend forwarded my resume and writing clips to the Director of Music. He reached out to me and I interviewed one Friday. The next Friday, they offered me a choice - either freelance or full-time work. This was it! I graduated in 2007 and spent five years working on my passion trying to figure it out. This was the right place at the right time. When you're going through it, it is daunting. In retrospect, it all makes sense now. Five years after graduation, I was hired at CBS with full-time pay, benefits, and vacation as an Associate Producer for Top 40. This was a dream come true!

Brooklyn MuralOn Persistence It took 6 years to get to this place and it was not easy. I was determined but people were telling me that this wouldn't happen. You question, "Why am I taking my third unpaid internship?" If you really want something, you will find a way to make it work. One of my favorite quotes is by American mythologist, Joseph Campbell, "Follow your bliss and windows will open where there were only walls." For me this is true. I want a job that I wake up and love to go to everyday. You do need to get paid. But it's special that I do love going to work everyday. The short stint where I took a paying job and wasn't writing was miserable. If there is something you want to do, then you will look at obstacles as small challenges to leap over.

On Faith I feel more in tune with my faith when I am at a concert than traditional church, which probably sounds strange and a little sacrilegious. I had faith that this would work out. Someone up there is guiding you even if it doesn't make sense. We are all going towards something. There is a reason.

On Women in Music Journalism  Music journalism is a very male dominated industry. There was a time at a press conference, I was taking notes and a guy came up to me and asked if I was a groupie. I was shocked. Sometimes they assume a female in the room has only one purpose. But I want to show them differently. 

Jancee Dunn has a music memoir sharing stories from interviews with the likes of Dolly Parton and Bono. How she started out is she met a contact at a party and in a ballsy move forwarded her resume and was hired at Rolling Stone. She became a red carpet MTV VJ and is a New York Times bestselling author. My high school English teacher told me about her best friend's daughter making it as a music writer and I never made the connection that Jancee was her until a few years ago. Seeing her make it inspires me to work hard too.

Prospect Park BridgeNan Kelley is a very personable TV personality on CMT and GAC. At work, I have been doing more camera wrap up clips for CBS. Each day I do one, I wake up in the morning and feel like throwing up. Seeing Nan talk with artists like good friends gives me motivation to push myself out of my comfort zone and get better.

My first time at the CMA Festival in Nashville, I was at a press panel with rotating door of A list country artists. During Darius Rucker's interview, I kept my hand raised the whole time while journalists shouted the artist's name and their question. His publicist ended the session after several minutes and as they were trying to usher Rucker offstage, he stopped them, pointed to me, and said "You've been so patient this entire time. What's your question?" I have been fortunate to interview him two more times since then. One thing I learned, keep raising your hand.  Photo Credits: Fashion & Philosophers