Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kelly Gingery, the Mix Flick Chick and so much More

In yesterday's post I mentioned being invited to the screening of My Sister's Keeper by Mix Flick Chick, Kelly Gingery. I met Kelly a few months back through TasteCasting and became fast friends. So fast that once we realized her son and my daughter were the same age we began selecting the cake for their wedding. No, we weren't seriously arranging a marriage, we were just having a lighthearted conversation as we enjoyed a delicious casada cupcake during the tasting at the Suisee Shop Bakery. She's actually like a sister from another mother, at least that's what we say.

Over the last few months some really exciting things have happened to Kelly and to celebrate the accomplishments I thought it would be fun to get the exclusive scoop on Columbus' new, up and coming Hollywood guru! I wanted to find out where her love of movies developed as well her thoughts on some other movie related topics. If you know Kelly you know the interview will be very entertaining! So grab a bucket of popcorn and enjoy!

CI: When Did You Start To Love Movies?

KG: My dad was a complete movie-lover as a young boy growing up in small-town Michigan. He loves to share stories about riding his bike into town on a Saturday to pay a nickel to see a double-feature and three shorts. He would spend all day in the movie theater, watching any kind of movie: Westerns , Science Fiction, Costume Drama. He loved them all. Then he would ride over to the drug store and help unload the magazine truck so he could sit and read all of the movie magazines and newspapers.

Basically, he transferred all of that movie love to me, and I willingly lapped it up. I totally got the movie-lover gene, as I too could sit in a theater all day, watching flicks back-to-back and then head over to the book store to read movie magazines and books. Whoa…that's a seriously perfect day.

So….my dad would take me to movies as a kid. Not "kid" movies, just movies. All sorts of movies. Some that I'm sure a lot of parents would not deem appropriate for a kid my age. Probably the first one that I remember seeing with him that really made a strong impression on me was "Casablanca." I think I was about 10 at the time. I loved it and developed a huge crush on Humphrey Bogart and wanted to be like Ingrid Bergman. Seriously, when I think back on it now, it sounds crazy. I'm 10-years-old and fascinated with a classic tale of a broken-down nightclub owner, his lost true love and the Nazi occupation in Europe during World War II. Whoa, "Here's lookin' at you kid."

I must admit though, I'm so glad that my dad took me to "adult" films, not just kid flicks. It truly fostered the movie-lover in me, my crazy trivia knowledge and the film appreciation that I have today.

I'm continuing the tradition by passing on the movie-loving gene to my teenage daughter Kate. She is so like me with trivia knowledge and a love of all things movies and entertainment. She too loves to go to the movie theater and thinks nothing of seeing movies back-to-back. Needless to say, I'm thrilled.

CI: What Genre of Movie Do You Like Best?

KG: Wow, that's a hard question for a movie-lover like me….but I would probably have to say: Musical.

I love, love, love all of the old MGM musicals from the 40's and 50's. I love nuthin' better than to see a gorgeous guy and gal singin' and dancin' while falling in love. Oh man, I'm a sucker for that. I love the "That's Entertainment" movies because they are basically crack for a musical-lover. I remember seeing the first "That's Entertainment" with my dad, and then afterward we got dinner and we talked about all of those flicks, because obviously….he had seen most of them in the theater when he was young.

I'm a frustrated hoofer at heart, so I love all of the stories about singers and dancers tryin' to put on a show and young lovers fallin' in love and then being kept apart by circumstances….all the while they are singin' and dancin' their hearts out. Just writing about this flicks now makes me want to dig some out and have a musical marathon.

Some of my favorite musicals are: Good News with June Alyson and Peter Lawford, On the Town with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, High Society with Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra and of course Singin' In The Rain with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor.

CI: Favorite Movie of All Time

KG: I get asked this question a lot…..and I can never really answer it with one flick. It's like asking a chef what their favorite dish is….so many wonderful choices, for so many different reasons. However, if I have to choose just one, I will say High Society with Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. I just love the story, the stars, the era, the setting, the songs and the dancing. I want Grace to get back together with Bing Crosby but I also want her to end up with Frank Sinatra. The scenes with Grace and Frank are so sweet and romantic. She looks so beautiful throughout and Bing and Frank have wonderful scenes and songs together as well. All of the elements separately are great and put together, they are truly exceptional.

CI: Who is your favorite actor/actress?

KG: This is another hard question because I have so many favorites.

I'm going to choose from the past & present.

Actor Past- Jimmy Stewart - I love him in everything and really feel like what you see on the screen is the man he really was and that is so great.

Actor Present - Russell Crowe - I will watch him in anything. I think that he is fearless and great and a little bit crazy….and that's what makes him so appealing.

Actress Past - Grace Kelly - I just love her….she was so beautiful to watch and could play drama, musicals, suspense, light comedy. She gave up her career so early to get married to the Prince of Monaco….I would have loved to have seen what parts she would have chosen as she got older.

Actress Present - Rachel McAdams - Like Grace Kelly, she is beautiful and lovely to watch and can play drama, comedy, romance, thriller, etc. I never think that I am watching Rachel McAdams….she always totally becomes the character for me and I love that. She is one to watch, for sure.

CI: What is your favorite movie snack

KG: I am a traditionalist…..Big tub of buttered popcorn with lots of salt and an ice cold Coca-Cola. I NEVER eat candy at the movies. Popcorn and Coke all the way, baby.

CI: What do you think of brand product placement in movies?

KG: I don't really have much of an opinion on brand product placement in movies. I notice brands sometimes….obviously, more if it is not very subtle. It doesn't bother me, as long as it feels natural. I probably have wanted to purchase clothing or accessories that I've seen in films, much more so than an actual product someone used or food or drink consumed. I say go for it….I totally get that it helps get your name and product in front of a huge group of consumers. Like I said, as long as it doesn't feel forced, I don't have a problem with it.

CI: How many DVD's do you have?

KG: I have no clue….I have tons and tons of VHS movies, and many, many DVD's. I would say over 200 VHS and probably over 100 DVD's. I'm not so much into owning movies….because I am OK with getting them at Blockbuster (yes, I used to work there back in the day and was employee of the month once. It was like an alcoholic working in a bar, by the way!), taking them out of the library or getting them from Netflix. I do own my favorites for sure….and then most of the others I have received as hand-me-downs from my dad…from his connections from his days working in the video rental industry.

CI: Celebrating the Oscars must be a big deal for you. What do you do to celebrate?

KG: Celebrating the annual Oscar telecast is a HUGE deal for me. It all started when I was a kid. Back then ( the early 70's)….there obviously weren't all of the television entertainment new shows like Entertainment Tonight and Extra. Obviously, there wasn't the Internet as well. Really, to see my favorite movie stars just as themselves, not in a role….the only way was once a year at the Oscars, that was really it. I also devoured fan magazines for this reason….one of my faves back then was Rona Barrett's Hollywood. Oh man did I love the glossy full-color pix and all of the gossip! Crack, I tell ya….crack.

Anyways….so I would bargain with my parents so I could stay up to watch the Oscars. Back then, it was always on a Monday night. Basically, they were gonna let me stay up anyways….but I had to come home from school and take a nap. Right….like I actually got any sleep that afternoon. I was so excited, what a sham that was. Anyways, that's how my love of the Oscars started….and it continues to this day. Now with E! and the Internet and Oscar polls and websites and red carpets and……you get the drift, it's crazy and I LOVE it all.

When I lived and worked in Los Angeles in the late 80's…TV coverage of the red carpet before the Oscars was only done locally back then. Joan and Melissa hadn't even started yet. The rest of the country didn't even really know or care about the Oscar red carpet interviews before the awards….it was only shown on the local LA channels, because that is an industry town and it was celebrating their industry. It wasn't until later that they finally figured out that other movie-lovers around the world would totally get into that too. And then the whole designer dress stuff hit, and they got a taste of the action and it just blew up from there. When Joan Rivers started asking starlets "Who are you wearing?"…..that really began the advent of the current red carpet events that we know today.

Back to my living in LA… you probably know, the Oscars are held at 5 pm LA time, 8 pm Eastern. My good friend and boss at King World, Teri Schaffer (Who later became a head writer/producer of "The Bernie Mac Show") and I would sneak out of work early and go to my apartment (which was 2 blks. away) and watch the red carpet arrivals and interviews and then watch the Oscar telecast. Oh man, it was so much fun making fun of everyone's outfits and ooohing and ahhing over the stars.

I've always watched the show since then, but 3 years ago I began to hold an annual Oscar Night Party….with guests in movie-themed costumes and Oscar-themed food and party games….the whole deal. It is so much fun and my friends and family really get into it. I have everyone fill out an Oscar ballot and we play movie trivia and "Guess that Oscar Dress" and I give out all sorts of fun movie-related prizes. The first year, I just wore an Oscar-type formal gown with a blonde Marilyn Monroe wig.

The following year I represented Best Supporting Actress nominee Meryl Streep and the Oscar-nominated flick, "The Devil Wears Prada." I wore a red devil costume (complete with horns and a pitchfork), carried a big, fake red Prada handbag and wore a nametag that said: Prada.. I also once represented Oscar-nominated Best Actress Cate Blanchett, and wore a period Queen Elizabeth costume, complete with crown, period jewels and a big hoop skirt. It was definitely crazy serving food and playing games that year in the skirt. But it was sure fun. I truly love having the Oscar night parties, and usually start planning them a month or so beforehand.

CI: You were recently named 107.9 Mix Flick Chick. Tell Me About The Mix Flick Chick Gig

KG: I am currently the "Mix Flick Chick" for local Columbus radio station WVMX-FM, Mix 107.9. I discuss movies with morning drive DJ Mark Dantzer every Tuesday and Friday morning, around 8:00 am. Tuesdays we discuss new DVD releases and Fridays we talk about the new flicks that are coming out in the theaters that weekend.

I actually heard about the gig through a friend on Twitter who knew about my love of the movies, and thought I would be a good fit for the gig. She told me that DJ Mark Dantzer was tweeting that he was looking for a "Mix Flick Chick"…..someone who liked movies and knew about them, but wasn't your typical movie reviewer.

I think that some people (including Anna, the friend from Twitter) had read the movie blog that I have been writing for about 2 and a half years, "Movie Lovers Only."

When I heard about their search, I immediately went to the station website to fill out an application and then began to "follow" Mark Dantzer on Twitter and "Friend" him and the station on Facebook. I even sent him an email, to the address given on the station website.

I tried not to be too crazy, but I wanted the gig and I was VERY persistent. Luckily, that wacky persistence paid off and Mark Dantzer called me one morning and asked if he could tape a short interview with me on the air and they would let me know their decision in a few days. After a week, I emailed Mark again and within the hour, he called to tell me that I had gotten the gig….I was the new "Mix Flick Chick"! I was thrilled, Mark is so nice and I am enjoying every minute of it.

Mix 107.9 currently has a "Mix Flick Chick" Blog Page for me on their station website (they pull stuff from my "Movie Lovers Only" blog, and they upload a podcast of my weekly segments with Mark.

CI: You also recently started writing on Tell Me About the MORE magazine gig.

KG: I am currently a "Guest Writer" for the newly revamped MORE magazine website ( I contribute a short piece to them about every 1 to 2 weeks. It is featured in the "Passions" section, in the "Movies" category.

This opportunity came to me in a roundabout way. I will try to be brief (NOT my strong suit, obviously!)

Over the past few years, as I began to write my movie blog….I also became an avid reader of other movie blogs and websites. A little over a year ago, my sister Julie told me about a movie blog that she read about in MORE magazine called "Women & Hollywood". Julie and I are both huge fans of MORE magazine, and it's coverage of interesting people and topics for women over 40. I checked it out and immediately became a big fan of the "Women & Hollywood" blog and it's writer, Melissa Silverstein. She is based in New York and really covers issues and films regarding women that almost no other blogs or sites cover. It has a definite feminist slant, but there is humor and a lot of great info on upcoming films and television about women.

The entertainment industry is dominated by men, and most movie reviewers and bloggers are men as well. Needless to say, it was very refreshing to get the female point of view. I began to comment a lot on her blog and then we shared emails back and forth as well. I eventually had the chance to meet Melissa at the annual BlogHer conference in San Francisco that I attended last summer. It was really great to meet and talk with someone with a shared interest in all things movies and Hollywood. After our meeting, Melissa put a link to my blog on her site's blogroll. I had a link to her site on my blog as well.

Fast forward to just over one month ago -- I received an email asking if I would be interested in being a guest writer for the redesigned MORE magazine website. It was from Pati Greco, one of the magazine's editors, who was working on the website reboot as well. She asked me to email her if I was interested, I did and then we had a phone conversation about what they were looking for.

It seems that Patti was familiar with Melissa and her "Women & Hollywood" blog (Melissa had been featured in MORE) and she was looking for guest writers and started checking out Melissa's blogroll. Pati said that she had checked out my blog and liked my "voice" and wanted me to write about movies for their site. They weren't looking for fact-heavy, informational-type pieces….they really wanted more personal, opinion pieces.

Needless to say, I was completely taken by surprise and over-the-moon thrilled. Patti asked if I could contribute something weekly and basically said that I could write about whatever I wanted regarding movies. The topics and content were completely up to me, they would only be editing me for grammar (than goodness!). My first thought? Somebody pinch me, I must be dreaming!

So, I am now a Guest Writer on the MORE magazine website, with a complete contributor's profile and headshot with my posts. I currently have submitted three pieces and I'm working on my fourth to be posted this week. My writing for them is obviously about movies and Hollywood from a female perspective, with a definitely humorous slant.

I really started all of this blogging craziness way back when just to send the blog out to my girlfriends to make them laugh. I began writing about wacky things in Hollywood and the crazy outfits on the Red Carpet, added my own wacky sense of humor and a lot of pictures….and it just evolved into what it is today.

The fact that I am now talking about this stuff on the radio two mornings a week and submitting my crazy thoughts to a major magazine's website? Oh boy, it blows my mind. I'm having serious big fun and I truly smile about it every single day.


Tiffany said...

Very well done Michele! I didn't know the story behind our friend's "over night" success. It was fun to read...Kelly would be entertaining to interview.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord almighty, that gal can talk! Didn't CI do any editing?

Just the facts, have attended the Oscar parties...and won a few prizes I must say.

I'm almost as proud of Kelly as her husband is...he always asked when this crazy knowledge would contribute something to the household. Almost there Michael.

ju ju burd

Anonymous said...

What a great interview - so entertaining. Looking forward to following Kelly's future exploits and adventures with her "movie" career. An improv comedy class buddy -- Carol