Dionne Halsey is a song writer, event host and mental health/self care advocate. She’s also the co-founder of Heal Baltimore and Creativity and Conscious Sippin, Dionne currently co-creates events that bring people together to support art and to give back to their communities. Dionne also hosts a popular variety show in Baltimore called #ThursdayNightRealness and facilitates workshops that focus on mental health and self care. Let’s take a minute to get to know her a little better.
Sapphire: I was initially drawn to you because of your drive. I first noticed you as an event hostess. I was pleasantly surprised to find out you had much more to offer. In three sentences or less, how would you pitch yourself. Who are you?
DaHitWryter: First let me thank you for this interview. Alright so, I’m a motivator, team player and creator. I build, create and work with others to do the things that align with my purpose, and provide positive change.
Sapphire: You’re so diverse and I love it. You originally got your start in music. How did you get into song writing? Was writing always a hobby or passion for you?
DaHitWryter: Writing is so therapeutic for me. I wrote my first song for church when I was about 9. Then I got consumed with my first love, basketball. So I actually started writing consistently again when I was in high school. I actually would write for my peers and hang on my front porch and write and spit verses with the guys in my neighborhood.
Sapphire: You been lucky enough to work inside the music industry as well learning more about the industry. These days you even guest host and interview some cool people. What have you learned from working inside the music industry?
DaHitWryter: Working in the music industry, I learned about the business and most importantly I learned a lot about what’s for me, and what’s not for me. It’s important to be self aware when you are constantly around others and exchanging energy.
Sapphire: Do you prefer to be in the spotlight or more behind the scenes? Why
DaHitWryter: I actually prefer to be behind scenes because I love supporting others and seeing other people take my words and give them life when I write a song or some other piece for them.
Sapphire: You have many artistic talents, I love that you nurture them. How long have you been doing graphic arts? Was it hard to learn the craft?
I’ve been doing graphic arts, without realizing it, for over 10 years. I’ve always been the type to play around with gadgets and take things apart and put them together so once I taught myself the program, making flyers and all that, became easy. It definitely saves and creates additional income for me.
Sapphire: You are co-creator of Heal Baltimore and Creativity and Conscious Sippin, what can you tell us about these organizations and how you became involved?
DaHitWryter: Heal Baltimore came about after the riots that took place in Baltimore. It was actually an uprising as well. I kept saying the affirmation Heal Batimore so I reached out to my business partners and said, hey, would you be interested in putting together events that support and give back to our communities? And they were all in. We have artistic events, and we put together drives to collect things for those who need them. CCS is a mobile paint and sip company. We bring the sip and paint to your home, office, bar or wherever we are needed. Another business partner of mine was looking for ways to incorporate her artwork into her brand. So we did research and reached out to a company for her to work with. At the time they didn’t have any openings so I encouraged her to start her own company and ended up becoming a business partner. We also put together artistic events for the public too.
Sapphire: As someone diagnosed with mental illness Myself, I was extremely drawn to your need to share your story of battling depression. I’m glad that you got the help you needed. How has battling depression affected your life?
DaHitWryter: Battling depression would always have an effect on me being consistent with my career. There were times where I just wanted to sleep all day and let life pass by.
Sapphire: In the Black community, mental illness is generally overlooked or downplayed. We are told to Suck it up, pray and the like. How supportive was your family and inner circle when they found out You were battling with mental illness?
DaHitWryter: My inner circle really stepped up once I revealed that I was feeling depressed and suicidal. At the time, I had a partner who went to the end of the world for me, and I cherish her for that. My family didn’t really know because I shutdown after coming to a family member about it and it not being taken serious. That family member was depressed too.
Sapphire: What’s up next for you? What can fans expect to see from DaHitWryter?
DaHitWryter: Fans can expect more hosting, workshops about mental health and self care, motivational speaking, and new music! More businesses and merchandise too.
Sapphire: How can people keep up with your work? Drop them links on us.
DaHitWryter: I’m big on hashtags so if you’re on Twitter, IG or Facebook it’s @DH_DaHitwryter or just plug in #TheDHExperience. To hear music from me as a lyricist and also a songwriter, check me out at www.soundcloud.com/dhdahitwryter. My website will be returning soon. Thanks again Queen and to all those supporting.
I’m coming out the house this weekend and I can’t wait to hit this event. It’s like a coming out event for Me, so many people know of Me but have never Me. I’ve been out the house recently more in Baltimore. This past weekend I had My second radio interview in two weeks to promote this site as well as My other business ventures. I’ve been asked to come back and co-host on March 31st.
This Sunday I’m all geared up for the DMA
I’ll be in the building with business cards, fliers and promo issues of Experience Reality Magazine. I hope to meet some new fans, and contacts. I love My job, in fact, I interviewed one of the panel members, Brave Williams, for a magazine cover last year.
In a world of social media and digital technology it can be a little hard to know who’s real and who’s blowing smoke up your ass. Especially when it comes to business “opportunities.” I constantly meet entrepreneurs like Myself and engage in conversation. One approached Me this morning and was telling Me about an awareness campaign for women, he was trying to sell Me pads. Not cool.
There are people like Me, who refuse to chase easy money by deceiving people with products I know nothing about. People who offer a quality service at a reasonable price with no hidden agendas or fees and still deal with nonsense. With Sexy Sapphire what you see is always what you get, direct answers are easily available and most information you need will already be made clear on My sites. No need to deceive, or reel you in.
When you know your target market there is less chance of you being the pushy sales person in every conversation you have. You’ll be able to identify and qualify a customer up front.
Hey guys and dolls,
As you can see I’ve been pouring My heart into making this site a place devoted to real talent, diversity and supporting the independent artist/entertainer.
I love what I do and I love helping other showcase their talents. Tomorrow afternoon I have a radio interview to talk about the things I do through this site, My new book and more.
I hope you tune in and show support.
I’ll be on The Artist Exchange Radio Show
The Artist Exchange Radio Show
Topic: – Let’s Talk Business PT.2
Nate Couser (Host)
Guests: Teara Booker & Melony “Sapphire” Hill
Real Artists⭐Real Talk⭐Real Live
My segment should be around 1 p.m.
Call in at (410) 702-5657
“26″ is a performance inspired by the horror movie anthology The ABC’s of Death. Our version will have 8 performers, 1 director and 26 scenes each inspired by a word that begins with a letter of the alphabet. The performers will perform these 2 minute or less scenes in alphabetical order. Scenes will range from comedic to dramatic and from realistic to experimental. The initial run of performances will take place at the Buena Theater inside the Pride Arts Center at 11:00PM on Friday evenings from May 26th-July 14th. Performers who have experience or interest in writing original material are highly encouraged to apply.
Time Commitment: There will be a total 12 rehearsals including tech, dress and preview. The initial 8 week run will be May 26th-July 14th every Friday at 11:00PM. You will have the option at the audition to indicate on a form whether you would like to be considered for only one round (8 weeks) or to be considered for a core performer position which will require writing and rehearsing for the upcoming round during the current run. The rehearsal schedule is as follows: April 9th 1:00-3:00 April 23rd 12:00-4:00 May 7th 12:00-4:00 May 8th 7:00-10:00 May 9th 7:00-10:00 May 14th 12:00-4:00 May 15th 7:00-10:00 May 16th 7:00-10:00 May 20th 12:00-3:00 (Tech) May 21st 12:00-4:00 (Tech) May 22nd 7:00-10:00 (Dress) May 23rd 7:00:10:00 (Preview)
Material To Prepare: Please prepare a 1-2 minute contemporary monologue(comedic or dramatic). If you play an instrument and can bring it, please do. You may be asked to play a minute of anything you’d like. Sign-up using the form provided in the description. Please bring one h/s and resume to the audition.
To signup for an audition slot please go to: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0B48A9AC2FA7F49-26audition
Audition Date: Saturday March 25th Callbacks will be Sunday March 26th in two time slots.
Audition Time: 10:00AM-5:00PM in 5 minute slots
Audition Location: Pride Arts Center- Broadway Stage. 4139 N. Broadway
Please submit by: 2017-03-24
The CBS show is a remake of the original television hit. This action-adventure drama about Angus “Mac” MacGyver, who creates a secret organization within the U.S. government where he uses his extraordinary talent for unconventional problem solving and vast scientific knowledge to save lives.
The pay rates and dates needed are below. Multiple roles need to be filled. If you have worked on the set of MacGyver in the past 6 week you are ineligible for these roles.
Location: Atlanta, GA
Central Casting is seeking Males & Females of all ethnicities to portray Techs & Agents. Young, attractive & smart looking.
Please do not submit if you have worked on MacGyver in the last 6 weeks.
If this is you, please submit which of those dates you are available with TECHS in the subject line to email@example.com
If this is you, please submit with the date that works best for you in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: Atlanta, GA
Central Casting is seeking Males of all ethnicities who have REAL military or tactical experience for the upcoming episode of MacGyver. Men should be physically fit, between the ages of 25-40 yrs and have the REAL experience. The tentative dates are:
If this is you, please submit which of those dates you are available with TACTICAL in the subject line to email@example.com
Name: Latonia Martin
Measurements: 5’7″ 240lbs 42-46-48
Latonia “Shostoppa” Martin is an up and coming model and actress out of Chicago Illinois. A plus size model, Latonia is hoping to help change the way plus models are perceived in the industry. Also a budding actress, Latonia shows her diversity as she makes her way up the ladder.
Sapphire: I appreciate you taking time out your busy schedule to sit down and talk to me. How long have you been in the entertainment industry? How did you get your big break?
Latonia: Actually, I just got into the entertainment industry in November of last year. I got my big break at my runway graduation from Chocolate Modeling Academy, when Shettima Web, another plus size model, opened the doors to opportunity for me.
Sapphire: When we met, I thought you were just a model, I was pleasantly surprised to see that you’re an actress as well. Can you tell us about Undercover Detectives?
Latonia: Undercover Detectives is a show about corrupt detectives that will be starting soon. It is directed by April Whitaker, I play the part of Patience. The cast is currently on a radio tour to promote the show, we most recently did Intellectual Radio with Brandi Love in Chicago.
Sapphire: Inquiring minds would like to know, how did you get the name “Shostoppa”?
Latonia: A group of my friends gave it to me for my comedy and clothes when I come in people look at me so I’m the Shostoppa.
Sapphire: How long have you been working with the Plushsize Modeling Agency? How did you end up joining the team?
Latonia: I’ve been with them only for a few weeks. By chance meeting I met Felicia, who owns the agency. We hit it off and she scooped me up for her agency and pus sized magazine.
Sapphire: As a plus sized model have you found the modeling industry to be open and welcoming? What is your biggest challenge as a plus model?
Latonia: Many Designers still have to learn to work with diversity, the industry and world is changing as we speak.
Sapphire: You looked beautiful at your Scholarship 2017 event. For those unfamiliar with the event, can you tell us about it?
Latonia: I’ve been a part of St. John Grand Chapter in Chicago for 17 years. We raise money to give scholarships to High school Seniors towards college. Every February we have a large banquet
Sapphire: Are you more of a tomboy or a girly girl? How would you describe your style?
Latonia: Both actually. I can go to 0 to 100 real quick, switching from a fully beat face to gym shoes and jeans
Sapphire: What advice would you give to young girls who aspire to be models even though they don’t fit the traditional standards of the modeling industry?
Latonia: Learn to take constructive criticism you will be told no. You have just keep going and put God first
Sapphire: What’s next for Ms. Shostoppa? What can fans look forward to seeing from you in the near future?
Latonia: I’m planning to make My way to New York Fashion Week, see the Bulls play and to hone my acting talents
Sapphire: How can someone book you and keep up with your work?
Latonia: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.