Executive Producer of Malkia Entertainment

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March is National Reading Month

National Reading Month

March is National Reading Month. When I was a kid, we used to get points for every book that we read and those points were used to get pizza at Pizza Hut. It was an incentive for children to read, and read a lot. I was excited to find out that the particular program is still going on today, but it begs the question of why reading is important.

Reading, (especially for children), expands the vocabulary and builds the imaginative muscles. It’s one thing to watch a movie and have every little detail shown to you (nothing wrong with that), but imagine figuring out the details in your head as you read them, developing a wide range of visuals, based on the words. That’s the power of books and reading. That’s often why you hear the phrase, “The book was so much better than the movie.” It’s because when someone presents their version of a book visually, it’s just that: their version of it. But when you read, boy, the imagination is endless.

So this month, make it a point to read at least one book. For all those busy people, it doesn’t have to be a novel, it can be a short story. To make it even more fun, try reading it with other people or to a child at night. Engage your mind through words. Use the muscles of imagination and watch them grow. You never know, maybe it will inspire you to become the next great writer.

10 Things in 2014

2014 has been one heck of a year; one with tremendous ups and downs. It has been a year like no other for me. Here’s my re-count of the 10 things that have been transformational in my life during this time.

The Good

Captions and SubtitlesBusiness: In January I became the owner of Captions and Subtitle Services. I was afraid to step up to that challenge at first, because I knew the responsibility that it would entail. I’m glad I did step up though, because it turned out to be one of the best decisions that I could have ever made. I’ve grown more as a person than I ever even thought I needed to, and have learned a tremendous amount about serving people and going above and beyond to get things done.

Malkia EntertainmentMalkia: In April I started a production company called Malkia Entertainment. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and it was nagging at me. In the beginning I thought it was a huge mistake starting another company when I was just getting settled in the other one. To me it seemed like the timing was wrong. But I took a chance just to see what would happen. This company will give me the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream – producing films.

Me and AaronDocumentary: In August I started shooting my documentary “Love of My Life.” That was a hugely daunting task and, at times, I didn’t think I would be able to keep going with it. You wouldn’t believe how many tears I’ve cried over it, knowing the emotional pain that I was about to put myself through. But I knew in my heart that it needed to be done. It would be the start of something beautiful.

DuSableDuSable: In September my book, “Love of My Life: Memoirs of a Love Lost” was accepted into DuSable Museum in Chicago, to be sold in their bookstore. That was a great accomplishment for me; something that I’m so proud of. It took a while for the deal to actually be done, but when it was, I was on cloud nine.




Broken Heart Africa: In October I traveled to the continent of Africa to film more footage for the documentary. The emotional impact this was having on me as I heard stories about Nick, almost made me want to quit. But there was something inside telling me to keep going with it. A really amazing story is about to be told through this documentary.

Celebrities NewCelebrities: Throughout the year I have come in contact with celebrities who have impacted my life greatly, by either what they told me or what they did. Those people are Myles Munroe, DeVon Franklin, Robert Townsend, Sheila E. and Johnny Gill. Meeting them has made me realize that anything is possible and that I do have a place in the world that I’m so desperately trying to get to.     Friends

Friends: This year I have purposely deepened my relationship with my friends. It’s nothing like knowing who your friends are for real – those who just allow you to be yourself with no expectations – and spending time with them. My desire is to be a better friend to those who have entrusted me with their friendship.



Emmy: I was nominated and won an Emmy in 2013 and the statue arrived in 2014. I often look at it thinking of all the work I put in to that TV show. It is such an honor and I look forward to the day when Emmy will have a little brother named Oscar.




The Bad

~ You can never accept the good in life without accepting the bad ~

Wallet: My wallet was stolen when I was shopping in a store. All my credit cards were in there, including my business cards, along with some cash. Before I could cancel the cards, the thieves were already racking up a bill. Of course this was a big hassle for me, but everything worked out in the end.

Car: My wonderful car that I love so much, was stolen right from outside my house! It may not be a Lexus or a BMW, but it was my car and I was upset that it was taken. Ironically, I didn’t allow myself to be angry. I just kept telling my family that everything happens for a reason and that I refuse to let my emotions get all out-of-order because of this situation. After all, the thieves took my car, but they didn’t take my life. I wasn’t physically hurt during the incident. A few weeks later, after cooperation with police and insurance company, my car was back in front of my house. It wasn’t at a chop shop, nobody ran it into a tree, everything was fine. If that isn’t God, I don’t know what is.

Still Grateful

One thing is for sure: the bad that I’ve suffered, in no way compares to the blessedness of the good and indeed, what seemed like bad turned out good. At the time that these few bad things were happening, there was still good surrounding my life. I truly have nothing to complain about. I am so grateful for what my life has become this year and the opportunities that I’ve been given. I’m going to use everything that I’ve learned as a stepping-stone for 2015. I’m looking forward to this upcoming year being a year of change and progress in my life – a substantial amount of change that I haven’t see thus far. My eyes have seen what I can become and now it’s time for my reality to catch up with the dream that’s been in my heart for so many years.

#NothingIsImpossible #OnlyBelieve

Overcoming Grief

Today is September 11th. It marks the three year death anniversary of a great man, Nick Were Odoyo. His death had a profound impact on me, Angie Russell, his woman. I thought that I wouldn’t make it through such a dark time. Have you ever heard of people who die from a broken heart? I thought that was going to be me. Nothing was physically wrong with me but the will to live was gone. I went through all kinds of feelings of depression, anger, and sadness. I literally felt like my life was over without Nick. It took every ounce of strength I had just to make it through another day.
Fast forward to the present and I’m a much better person now. I have decided that will not let sadness rob Nick of the honor that’s due his name. That’s why I wrote the book, “Love of My Life: Memoirs of a Love Lost.” Through this book, I knew people would get the chance to see who Nick was and why I loved him so much. But I didn’t stop there. Plans are in the works to make the book that I wrote into a movie. Of course this will take a lot of work and a lot of patience, but I’m willing to see it through.
Having these things to do (writing the book and pursuing a movie) along with a lot of prayer and the strength of God, has gotten me through this time. So, I want to ask all of you something: Tell me about a time where you lost someone close to you and what you did or are doing to help heal the wound. It can be your lover, husband, mother, child, it doesn’t matter. How did you keep from being swallowed in grief? What can you say to others who are going through the same thing? I want to hear your stories.
Don’t be shy.
–Angie Russell

The Love Day

Today is a day that people celebrate love and relationships. They’ll be dinners, gifts and sweet words shared. For many, this will be a day of joy. For some, this will be a day of sadness, thinking about the love they no longer have. Whether that loss is through death, a breakup, divorce or a strained relationship, the sadness is bound to be there.
Today I have a decision to make about how I choose to feel…
I had a wonderful man in my life; charming, handsome, kind, who’s no longer here. He died two and a half years ago in an accident at a soccer game. This man was the absolute love of my life. I had waited my whole life to fall in love and when I did, I fell hard and loved every moment of it. So when I learned Nick had passed away, quite naturally I was destroyed.
Fast forward to the Present:
So here we are on Valentines Day and I have to ask myself, “How are you going to feel?” This is a struggle for me. On one hand, I feel jealous of all those who have someone to love and share this day with. Yes, I know jealousy is wrong and I really am working on it, but this is a lingering emotion. I also feel cheated because I never got to spend a Valentines Day in the same room as Nick. We kept waiting and planning to see each other, until time ran out.
On the other hand, I get the sense that allowing these bad emotions to come out, will not bring out the best in me. Here’s what I mean: I could stay at home from work, lay on the couch and cry all day thinking about Nick. Would this honor him? I don’t think so. Self-loathing is not going to bring him back nor would it make me feel better. My second option would be to think about the good times that we had, be grateful that I had the chance to love a larger than life man, and then make the best of his memory.
So, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to remain positive today and develop a plan for my future. I’m going to push myself as hard as I can every day from here on out, to tell Nick’s and my story. Yes it will be hard, but I’ll force myself to make some good out of this, otherwise what will Nick’s legacy be? I don’t want him to die in vain.
So this is me, reaching to the top with all my might. I want the world to know about this great man, my man, who was famous in his own right. I will honor him; I won’t give up and drown myself in grief.
To all those who may be sad on this day, look inside yourself and make a decision on how you are going to live your life. Will your remain stuck in sadness forever or will you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and demand that you become a better person because of, AND, in spite of your pain? You can do it. I believe in you. Just take one step at a time.

Kickstarter Success

Kickstarter Success

In August I launched a project on Kickstarter.com to raise money to get my book, “Love of My Life: Memoirs of a Love Lost,” written as a screenplay for film. Kickstarter.com is a wonderful website that helps entrepreneurs get their projects to the masses, and gives the masses opportunity to be a part of the projects. My project was a huge success. Friends, family and fans showed their support in making pledges, some as much as $1,000, overall helping me to meet my $3,000 goal. We only had 30 days to do this and we pulled it off. Thank you to everyone that participated; it means the world to me. Getting my book made as a movie is my number one goal right now and to have people rally behind me, gave me the inspiration to keep moving forward.
Specifically, thank you to: David, Catrina, Reese, Carmen, Sylvia, Theresa, Dorothy, Dan, Tenille, Terry, Yvette and Yvonne. I could not have done this without you!
More information about the movie project will be given in the new year.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Bring Love of My Life to the Big Screen!

I went to a screenwriter’s meeting a few weeks ago and I learned a lot about the filmmaking process. Hundreds of scripts are sent to movie houses each week. Only a very small percentage of those scripts ever make it to the big screen. The ones that do, are lucky if they break even in terms of money spent. A very small percentage of movies actually bring profit to the investors. However, producers are much more likely to back a movie if it already has an audience for it. We want to make the “Love of My Life” book into a movie. In order to do that we need people to spread the word about this book and generate lots of interest. Please pass on the links for the book to everyone you know, send stories about the book to your local newspaper, radio and tv shows, write reviews for it on Amazon.com and write blog posts about it. Let’s get as much publicity as possible. One of the main goals is to make it in the Amazon.com top 100 and to stay there till at least next July. We can do that with everyone’s support.
Don’t forget the book is available as an ebook or as a paperback. Thanks everyone! Let’s do this!
Love of My Life on Kindle

Entertainment Showcase

I am so very excited about the upcoming 2012 Entertainment Showcase! This Showcase will feature performances from up and coming Singers, Poets and Authors. Prior to performances there will be a networking reception where professionals can talk with others from the entertainment industry including graphic design artists, photographers, producers and recording studio managers. I will be speaking about my book
“Love of My Life: Memoirs of a Love Lost” and future movie plans.

The fun begins on:

Saturday August 11
Van Namen Recital Hall (On the grounds of Trinity College)
6601 West College Drive
Palos Heights 60463
7PM – Networking Reception
7:30PM – Performance
Tickets are $7.00 in advance, $10.00 at the door.

I hope to see everyone there!