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Friday, 21 November 2014

Roxy Jacenko: 'The Spotlight' - Interview + PHOTOS

Roxy Jacenko's profile has certainly become more prominent and obvious since the last time Josie's Juice spoke to her, talking about book number one 'Strictly Confidential' - it was 2011, and back then, although Roxy had been in the PR business for seemingly an eternity, she was yet to appear on Channel Nine's 'Celebrity Apprentice'. Read that interview here.

It was during her stint on TV that Roxy's profile skyrocketed, and she has not looked back, building on her profile further by launching another two business (see below for more), and generally never staying still. Girl is on fire more than ever, and Josie's Juice again managed to wrangle ten minutes of this PR maestro's time to interview the inimitable Jacenko.

Roxy Jacenko and her daughter Pixie

Much has been said about how close this book is to happenings in your own life, and around you. Can you shed some light?

I certainly draw inspiration from the day to day happenings in my personal and professional life when writing my books, but that said, what you read is fiction, heavily embellished at that!
Of particular interest is the guff around whether the main character's husband is aligned with your own husband, in his disdain for her child/Pixie being entrepreneurial (for the record, I love what you're doing with Pixie's profile - the haters should keep their thoughts to themselves…)

There has certainly been conversations (and at times heated)! with Oliver regarding Pixie’s Instagram @pixiecurtis – but that was early on when there was so much publicity that Oli was a bit shocked, now he is busy taking snap shots with her and sending them to me for upload!!

Tell me what you love about the writing process? Having just written my first book, I know it can be incredibly solitary. How does an extremely busy, social person cope with that? ;)

I think the best thing about the books is that is a chance to uncover some of what happens in the world of PR and showing the reader that no matter what you do in life that everyone has ups and downs and has to fight to stay at the top of their game. I am busy, yes, but no busier than any other working mother, so I guess for me its just about being a great opportunity and making the most of it.

If readers start with The Spotlight, will they get the gist of the story? Or best to start from the first one?

I would suggest starting with book number one, 'Strictly Confidential', moving onto 'The Rumour Mill' and then on to my new book 'The Spotlight', which is out this week. It’s a series and I think the journey is all part of the excitement of experiencing all three books!

Is there a book number four?

Look, I didn’t think there would be a one or a two, let alone a number three!

Okay, now: there MUST be film in thea works! Have you been approached?
Day to day life is most certainly film-worthy; even I baulk at the goings on! And so, if there is, I pick Cameron Diaz to be me!

What is the next for the indefatigable, energetic Roxy Jacenko?
I guess just the continued growth of both Sweaty Betty PR and The Ministry of Talent  [a blogger talent agency] as well as further developing Pixie's bow range into additional products for babies and toddlers – www.pixiespix.com.au

'The Spotlight' is on sale now, from all bookstores. Look for as an e-book too!

Here are some more fab new photos of Roxy with her beautiful daughter (that hair!), Pixie Rose Curtis.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Gambling: 'You're Stronger Than You Think' - NSW Government Initiative: Discussion Post

Gambling is SUCH a difficult topic to share thoughts on - that's because the shame associated with it is so private, the pain in the grief caused by those affected so deep, the guilt felt by those in its grip for raw and kinda scary. That whole feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming.

I know this because Josie's Juice readers have told me so.

In a series of re-posts of this particular post written for NSW Gambling, many private messages straight to the Josie's Juice inbox ensued. Each story more heartbreaking and honest than the next.

I gave readers the opportunity to speak their mind, anonymously if they preferred. Many took that opportunity, with some sharing the post with loves ones, so they could anonymously give their own, first hand feedback. And it was as honest as it gets.

Says Jim* (all names changed):

"I knew I was in deep when I became such an expert in lying to the partner, I started to not know where the truth stopped and the lies begun. I started to weave such elaborate tales, I was ashamed of my lying expertise. It simultaneously broke my heart; how could I have sunk so low? How could I betray the people (my wife and kids) who I loved the most? And yet, here I was doing it daily, saying I was doing overtime when I was at my local, spending hours there in a pokie daze. One night, I broke down to my wife when she questioned what has happened to our 'emergency' money. I could not lie. I confessed it all. We hugged, we cried (but that was well after she got exceptionally angry with me, and I cannot blame her). And then, I promised I'd seek help. And I did. Well, I took the first step, which I know is often the biggest - and most difficult - step of all. But I know I am now on the right path."

The stories got more honest with each message. This one, from Harry* had me actually feeling grateful we live in a country that cares so much for those how want to see help.

Says Harry*: "Our second child was just born, and I was feeling the pressure. Not only was I sleep deprived in trying to help settle our older child - who is only a baby himself, he just turned 1 - but I was feeling the pressure of a one-income home. I decided on one particularly down afternoon that I would try my luck at increasing my week's wages, doubling them even. How hard could it be? A few buck on the pokies - done, easy, then I'd go home.

Nope. How wrong I was. A 'few bucks' here and there turned into my entire week's pay packet. Before I knew it, when my partner asked me why her EFTPOS card was declined when buying nappies, I had to fess up. It was so very hard. I was mortified, embarrassed, angry (at myself) and ashamed, all rolled into one. I could barely look my partner in the face. But… I had to man up. I had to tell her the truth. After telling me how disappointed she was, she marched me straight to the phone and to a gambling helpline. Best and most significant phone call I ever made. The journey is slow, but the help is immediate. I am so grateful something like this even exists. I am so grateful there is help to help myself. I am getting there, and we all are, as family, together."

Gambling does not discriminate amongst the genders, either. Sue* shared her story also.

"Gambling for me went hand in hand with depression. I was feeling SO low, at such a horrible point in my life, so sad and lonely and hating my life and job. My relationship had just broken up so I felt more alone than ever. And so, I'd head to my local club after work for a meal and to be around people, even though I hated being around people and conversing. And so, heading over to the poker machines felt ideal. Escape my solo-ness at the diner, to go to more 'socially acceptable' part of the club to be solo, the pokie area. It was here I become entrenched in the whole gambling setting: just sit there with a blank stare and not interact much at all, just get that little buzz (which then became a bigger thrill) when the pokies clicked over to a win. I knew I was in trouble when I barely had money for groceries. I am yet to seek help, but I will. I know it's kind of urgent."

And this one, from Peter.*

"Although I am not a gambler, the best advice I ever heard was this: 'If you win big the first time, it's the worst thing that can happen. Because when you do, you get the taste. And once you get the taste, you will want to keep satisfying that itch to win. I am so glad that when I and a 'casual flutter' on the horses I lost. Best win ever, actually."

With Australians spending nearly $12 billion a year on poker machines and three quarters of people who have a serious problem with gambling play the pokies, the occasional punt can be seen as part of the cultural fabric of Australia – you have a go and try your luck at your local. But, as we can see from the real-life stories above, Australia-wide, this is a huge concern, and it's not a matter to be treated flippantly.

Statistics show that between 8-17% of people with a gambling problem seek professional help (of any kind), and this subset of people tends to be those who have hit rock bottom and are in crisis. And this group is far more likely to have a problem with gaming machines than any other form of gambling.

Almost half of people seeking help suffer from anxiety and depression, and around one third of help seekers have a problem with alcohol.

While it's evident from discussions we want to break down the stigma, we still have a long way to go. Feel free to use this blog post as a way to start the gambling acknowledgement process, and share your own stories. You can email or comment anonymously. You will be surprised at just how good this first step feels. Help is at hand, and it’s not far away at all.

It’s also free. You can learn more at www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au or visit this link: http://goo.gl/Ng2ezH

Pirelli Calendar: 2015 - PHOTOS

The 2015 Pirelli Calendar is here - and it's beautiful.

It's now into year 42 of this highly-sought project and yes, it's as difficult as ever to get your hands on one.

Lucky for you, we have a (NSFW) behind the scenes clip of the shoot:

Shot by the legendary Steven Meisel, styled by Carine Roitfeld, with hair and makeup by Guido Palau and Pat McGrath, the supermodel-filled calendar features Carolyn Murphy, Isabeli Fontana, Anna Ewers, Cameron Russell, Sasha Luss, Natalia Vodianova, Gigi Hadid, Karen Elson, Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls and Raquel Zimmerman.

The calendar also presents a first for models with curves: Vogue Italia fave Candice Huffine has also features in the 2015 calendar.
Steven Meisel revealed in a statement, “They represent the stereotypes that the fashion and star system impose upon us right now.”
“I didn’t want to make a conceptual calendar, or link it to some particular location, but rather to create 12 posters in which women, in all their sensuality, are the absolute protagonists of 12 very different images,” Meisel adds.
Carine Roitfeld said, “Sometimes, to show a bit of fashion is even more sexy than to be totally naked. I think that is the point of this calendar.”
Only 40,000 copies of the calendar are produced each year and are a highly prized collector's items. Photographers from past editions have included Richard Avedon, Mario Testino, Terry Richardson and Patrick Demarchelier, and supermodels have (my fave!) included Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss and Helena Christiansen.
Here are the 2014 calendar photos:

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Kim Kardashian on 'The Project', Rove balances glass: VIDEO

This clip (via news.com.au) shows Kim Kardashian on tonight's The Project'… and, you guys, she's kinda endearing and fun

Here is the clip (and, Rove balances a glass, with Kim's help).

Watch the video here.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

'A Different Brilliant': Aspect Autism - VIDEO

If this post had a 'like' button, I'd hit it a million times over. If only just for the fantastically brilliant header just above.
Aspect has released a positive awareness campaign on its Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages called, 'a different brilliant.' The campaign includes a centrepiece film and microsite (www.adifferentbrilliant.org.au), which celebrates our differences by introducing viewers to seven quirky real-life characters on the autism spectrum in a beautifull shot, positive and inspiring montage. 
Seven real-life ASD heroes tell the story
The captivating short film captures the stories of seven unique individuals as told by them, their friends, families and communities:
CALLUM THE PUZZLE WHIZ. 14 year-old Callum is enthusiastic about puzzles and completes them in record time without looking at the finished image on the box. He represents the unique talent for sorting and visual problem solving some people on the spectrum possess.
CHELSEA THE DRESS-UP SUPERHERO. Like many girls her age, four year-old Chelsea loves pink, dressing-up, and playing with Barbies™. But thanks to her unique way of expressing herself, rather than dressing up as a fairy like all the other little girls going to a birthday party, she arrives in a self-designed superhero outfit. Those with highly sensitive nerve endings as part of their ASD often delight in specific fabrics and textures that are gentle and familiar to their touch.
SUPERMARKET SURVIVAL, NATHAN. For an ASD child with super-hearing powers, like seven year-old Nathan, supermarkets are a deafening cacophony of disharmonious sounds: buzzing fridges, in-store announcements, checkout noises and errant trolleys. A two-year old is shown sitting in a trolley with ear defenders as an example of how many children on the spectrum with auditory sensitivities, like Nathan, bravely tackle the experience.
SCHOOL BOYS AT HEART, BEN. We see 10 year-old Ben () at the school gates as other children come and go around him. Both he and his brother, Nathan (7) attended Aspect schools and have now successfully transitioned to the mainstream education system. The scene reminds us that people with autism don’t look any different – they could be any school friend or classmate; but take the time, and you’ll discover a different brilliant.
ALEXANDRA, THE DREAMER. Sometimes people on the autism spectrum have trouble with communication, social interaction and sensory overload. The story of 29 year-old Alexandra is told in a café scene. She gazes out the window while conversations happen around her, brilliantly finding a “safe place” in her own mind to block out the overwhelming nature of her surroundings, but eagerly joining in the conversation when a friend asks her a direct question.
ROBBIE, THE VISUAL ARTIST. Passionate photographer and business owner Robbie is in his early 20s. His story is told creatively via a class field trip montage. As others take similar shots to each other, Robbie sees the world through a different brilliant lens.
CAMERON THE WORKER. Cameron is in his 40s and an active member of the workforce. Aspect supports both Cameron and his employer via the Aspect Capable specialist employment service, which offers person-centred employment training and support to jobseekers with ASD, and their employers through coaching, mentoring, job preparation and training.
“So often wonderfully talented, brilliant people with autism spectrum disorder are overlooked by society as being odd, or quirky, or obsessive. With our a different brilliant campaign, we hope to inspire a wider understanding and respect for how people on the autism spectrum are just like you and me, in many ways, but with their own uniquely brilliant take on the world,” says Adrian Ford, CEO of Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect).
The 'a different brilliant' short film was released to the public via social media today, on Thursday 13 November on the Aspect Facebook page facebook.com/AutismSpectrumAustralia, as well as via Twitter and LinkedIn.
The public is encouraged to ‘like’ and ‘share’ the 'a different brilliant' short film with the hashtag #adifferentbrilliant and include links to the a different brilliant microsite in any social media posts: www.adifferentbrilliant.org.au/
And so, I am doing my part, to honour my beautiful son Rafael, who is six, and (to borrow a line from one of the best films on the planet, and one of my fave flicks ever, 'Temple Grandin') "different, not less", here is this exceptional video:

Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi: Holiday Christmas Card 2014

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have just released their 'holiday card' (or what we in Australia call a 'Christmas card').

On Monday's Ellen, DeGeneres revealed her latest card: a take on Paper magazine's "Break the Internet" campaign that featured a nude Kim Kardashian.

Their card reads: "Happy Holidays And a Shiny New Year," with their heads Photoshopped onto Kardashian's oiled-up body.

"A shiny new rear," DeGeneres quipped as she showed the studio audience the finished product on Monday's show. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

'Do They Know It's Christmas' 2014: VIDEO

It's here!

The just recorded 'Do They Know It's Christmas' 2014 video.

In 1984, it was about Bob Geldof's Band Aid and wanting to "feed the world" in response to the Ethiopian famine.

Now a new generation of pop stars wants to heal it, raising money to fight the scourge of Ebola.

The new version The incredibly emotional line sung Bono – “Well tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you”, which, in the original song, was an apparent rebuke to western audiences. In the new version, this is now: “Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you”.

Here is the 1984 version: