Back in the day, I remember looking out the window of a Manhattan ad agency on lower Broadway and seeing a theater marquee with “Jennifer Lopez” on it. I turned and said to one of the young staffers, “Who is that?“ “That’s Jenny from the Block. She thinks she’s an actress,” she replied – sarcastically – with a laugh.
Courtesy of InStyle magazine
I think she’s stopped laughing.
I came across a terrific article by Lizzie Widdicombe that appeared in the February 2016 issue of InStyle magazine. It gives a fascinating look into how Jenny from the Block has evolved into the consummate entertainer.
THE START: Over the past 20 years, Lopez has parlayed a role as a Fly Girl dancer on In Living Color into the kind of multifaceted career – singing, dancing, acting – that belongs to an earlier era: Think Garland and Sinatra. “I’ve always wanted to be a singer and a dancer and an actress since I was very young,” Lopez says.
THE RESULT: And she’s done just that: by filming more than 30 movies and producing 10 albums (not to mention 30 singles). However, it’s Lopez’s very prolificacy that makes it easy for haters to dismiss her, says her close friend (and producing partner) Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas. “She’s been criticized for doing too much. But for her, failure would be not trying.”
THE PRESENT: In 2011 Lopez was cast as a judge on American Idol, which could have translated into a very lucrative pop star retirement package. But Lopez had other plans, deftly using the platform – and social media – to reenergize her singing career. She began releasing hits again and subsequently embarked on a world tour.
Courtesy of InStyle magazine
THE FUTURE: In 2016 J.Lo will appear for the final season of Idol on Fox, while Shades of Blue, a new cop drama (which she also produces) debuts on NBC. Then she’s off to Las Vegas, where she is performing 20 hour-and-a-half shows running through June at the AXIS Theater in Planet Hollywood. “The show I’m doing is mine,” Lopez says. “Vegas is very intimate. I see this as a way for people to really get to know me.”
THE FAMILY: Her work ethic comes from her childhood in the Bronx and watching her Puerto Rican parents work very hard to provide for their three children. She does the same for her eight-year-old twins, Max and Emme. “They come with me everywhere,” she says. “They’re so happy that I’m just there. And then I leave and Max says, ‘Where are you going? Rehearsal or the set?’ And I say, ‘The set.’”
We think that’s a pretty smart little boy!
Lopez goes on to say, “I am busy and they know it. And they know part of their job is helping me get sleep. If I’m sleeping in, they’re very quiet, like, ‘Mommy needs to sleep! She worked late last night!’ We’re a team.”
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Let me begin by saying that I’m a big believer in “luck.” But then, I’d like to add a caveat: a lot of effort can often lead to good luck. In fact, I think they are intertwined. A person cannot stay in bed, pull the covers over one’s head and hope for a lucky break. Nope, won’t work – you need action and drive to have good luck.
I can’t recall ever seeing an interview with Donatella Versace in one of the many fashion magazines that I currently subscribe to and read closely. We all know who she is but I believe she keeps the ins-and-outs of her personal life to herself.
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