Category Archives: INTERVIEW

ENGLAND Vs. AMERICA: An Englishman and I on Royal Babies, Dating in the UK vs. the U.S., and Classism

#LILGRIPESInterview

~Lillian Gao with Danny Watkins

FROM LILY ALLEN TO BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH and all the way back to the Mod fashion and British invasion of the ’60s, I think it’s safe to say most Americans are Anglophiles. We consider England our forefather, our closest ally politically, and our United Nations BFF. I have always yearned for an extended dialogue with an authentic Englishman/woman about the comparisons between our countries. Luckily, my London pal, Danny Watkins (@DannyWatty on Twitter) volunteered for the gig.

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Yes, he’s a Ginger (“I’d call myself a semi-Ginger.”) Our two-nation tête-à-tête covered all from classism to One Direction and I must note that neither of us speak for our respective nations, the peoples who live in them, or the creeds those peoples may hold.

Comedy

LI’L GRIPES (Henceforth referred to as USA):

Do English people like “Seinfeld?”

DANNY WATKINS (Henceforth as ENG):

We love “Seinfeld.” Jerry is God.

USA: I figured! That show is sooo British at heart. Random. Understated. How about the American “Office”?

ENG: The American “Office” has its moments. Steve Carrell is great; it took me about an hour into “Foxcatcher” to take him seriously.

USA: I feel like that the U.S. “Office” was too dry for many Americans, despite its success, and probably too on-the-nose for Brits.

ENG: We’re not generally fans of America taking our shows and changing things round so that Americans “get them”

USA: Yeah, we get it. You guys think we’re dumb.

Besides “Seinfeld,” what ARE your favorite American shows?

ENG: “Modern Family,” “30 Rock,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

USA: Oh, those are 3 of my top 10 favorite comedies of all time, no joke. Probably top 5.

ENG: Oh, I must say Lil, you got good taste in humour.

USA: Thank you. Because you’re British, that means SO much more.

Ricky Gervais

USA: Do Brits in general like Ricky?

ENG: I really like him personally. I followed him from the start.

USA: I think he’s caused, intentionally in part, quite a stir trolling the internet and Twitter about atheism.

ENG: I think there’s a 60/40 split in his favour here. Also, I’d rather people had opinions than sit on the fence. He’s a brilliant writer–I challenge anyone not to be moved by the UK “Office”…the relationship between Tim and Dawn.

Royal Babies

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Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Are those their official titles? I don’t know. Don’t care. (Photo courtesy of the AP)

ENG: American views on this?

USA: “Look boring as f***.” -Official American statement.

They’re babies. We’ve seen them before… Seriously, how does the general English public feel about the Royal Family?

ENG: Actually, a majority really like what the whole royalness brings for tourism here. Plus, we think Americans are well into the royalness.

USA: Some people with nothing else to do are.

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Outside the hospital of Princess Charlotte’s delivery. Photo courtesy of the AP

Colloquialisms

What is “LDN”?

Official shortening of London (I personally learned this first from a Lily Allen song)

“MONG” is a popular bad word over there.

USA: What is up with the term “Mong?” Ricky Gervais constantly takes those hideous bathtub pics and captions them “Mongs.” I can only surmise that’s short for “Mongoloid,” but Americans do not use that term, ever. That is as bad an insult over there as calling someone a “retard” here, right?

ENG: Amazing! Love how you know we call them “Mongs.” Ha-ha, Mong is so not acceptable. If you call someone a Mong, it is the same as “retard” here. If you call someone with Down Syndrome a Mong, that is so wrong.

After Ricky got in a TON of hot water in the UK for his incessant use of the word “Mong” to caption his distorted-face selfies. He later publicly apologized, saying he didn’t know people actually still used that word to describe people afflicted with Down Syndrome.

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USA: Funny how this story didn’t make it in the US, given our oblivion to the roots of that term.

“BANTER”

ENG:  The word “banter” is so overused here… it’s kinda cringe-inducing.

USA: “Banter” is not used enough here. Well, it’s used adequately but not ad nauseum.

“YOLO” and “BAE”

ENG: YOLO has just left social speech over here, slowly drip-feeding banter out of the consciousness. The irony is that YOLO has only lived once.

USA: YOLO died in America a year ago, I think. I can’t wait for “Bae” to do so as well, here. I didn’t hate YOLO, I admit. People said it ironically after a while. With “Bae,” nobody says it any other way but seriously. What’s wrong with good old “babe”? It’s the same number of syllables!

ENG: I agree, it’s awful. If “Bae” is ever used in a sexual situation, there should be an eject button that shoots the penis right outta there.

“PROPER” means something different there.

British for “very,” as in “He’s gone proper insane.”

“RIDE OR DIE” is not used in the UK.

USA: Our countries are Ride or Die.

ENG: “Ride or Die…That sounds like a porn film.”

USA: Ha-ha…that’s a common term here used to express undying loyalty. I think. I’m not one for street cred.

Dating

USA: Do you think I would do well in England?

ENG: Ha-ha…do well? With men or businesswise? Or both?

USA: Well, both if I’m going to relocate! Actually, my best friend since 4th grade–that’s whatever school-level English 9 year olds are at–lives there… Like, are employed and good-looking Englishmen shy about asking girls out?

ENG: Ahaha, you considering moving over here? I think we assume New York ladies ooze confidence and are definitely the initiators. But then again, I also just assumed New York Men weren’t shy?

USA: That’s the problem! Europeans think American girls are all sluts so they don’t have to try with us!

Hahaha…I’m exaggerating but you get it. But if I asked an English guy out, would he take me seriously? Because in NYC, the problem isn’t that the GOOD men are shy. It’s that they’re almost all taken.

ENG: Wait, American girls aren’t sluts? F*** movies for their unrealistic expectations of women.

National Lampoon's European Vacation (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)
National Lampoon’s European Vacation (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

USA: The straight men population in New York is scarily low, as far as dating goes. Hahhaha stop watching Van Wilder!!!

ENG: If you asked a guy out, I imagine he’d take you seriously. Ha-ha wait, I thought spring break was like a whole year thing, every year. And that Pornhub.com was a live stream of everyday American life. Dayum, i feel proper dumb right now.

Classism

USA: What did you for college–sorry, UNIVERSITY, for?

ENG: I didn’t do university–I did high school and left and got a job working in retail, worked my way up, and manage a store now.

USA: Oh, nice…

Is the issue of class really that much bigger a deal there than here? Obviously, it’s hard for u to gauge–I’ve just always heard that class is a big deal in the UK.

ENG: Ohhh absolutely!!! Massive here. The Tories are pretty much well-off elitists. And it’s quite worrying with them being in charge. The poorer stay poorer and the richer get richer. It does feel like these people in charge of our country are out of touch with the rest of us.

USA: That’s fascinating–You don’t see England like that at all from the outside. But yeah, class is viewed so differently in America. There is the super-elite and there’s the super-poor. But there isn’t as huge a sense of separation between the two groups.

The American class system is a bit more complicated than in England. There are more factors at play. There are plenty of poor conservatives and plenty of ultra-wealthy liberals.

Entertainment

USA: Which American actors do you think do the closest or worst Brit accents?

ENG: I watched “Nymphomaniac” quite recently and Shia LaBeouf’s British accent is a thing of death. Meanwhile, my favourite accent to do is pretend to be in “The Sopranos.” …. And this is where you hate me, Dr. Who & Sherlock… they just go over my head. it just drags for me. “Luther,” however, big fan.

USA: I need to start Luther ha-ha. I know Idris Elba from everywhere but his own show.

ENG: Idris is a Don. We love him. Mainly because he’s a successful black man.

That’s another thing, over here, black actors feel like they have to go to America because they don’t get chances here.

IDRIS ELBA FOR THE NEXT JAMES BOND (Photo courtesy of GQ)
IDRIS ELBA FOR THE NEXT JAMES BOND (Photo courtesy of GQ)

USA: Benny–I call him “Cumbie”–it’s kinda OUR thing–said the same thing you did. About black British actors having to go to America for good roles. Explains a lot.

ENG: Also, I’d love to follow Steve Buscemi about for the day, watch him decide what cereal to buy in the supermarket…

Does he use shampoo and conditioner? How long does Buscemi take to decide on which pajamas to wear to bed and does he lounge about the house in them or just put them on to sleep in?

One Direction

USA: By the way, is Cumberbatch like your Bieber? I mean, Bieber is your Bieber. But I imagine Cumby is 10,000x even bigger in the UK.

ENG: We don’t want Bieber. Actually, I’d say Zayn EX One Direction is our Justin Bieber.

USA: Ohhhh, true. Hahaha Zayn. Why did he drop out? I did not care enough to Google that for myself.

ENG: The statement claimed it all got a bit too much for Zayn.

If I had to choose one of [One Direction] to die of an overdose, it’d be Zayn.

USA: Well, to be honest, I loved that one song, “Story of My Life.” It sounded like an actual band’s song. Harry has the strongest voice by far, though–so, not a big loss.

ENG: I think I’m a secret fan–I mean, it’s not a secret but yeah.

Political Parties

USA: On Twitter, your bio says as in the Labour Party? Is that the big liberal party over there?

ENG: As in a big fan of watching pregnancies. No, they’re Centre Left.

USA: What’s the big “true Left” party? Like, you know for us, it’s Democrats, the lefties, vs. Republican, the right-wingers?

ENG: They’re the Liberal Democrats–but nobody likes them… Labour and the Tories/Conservatives are essentially our Democrats and Republicans. Also, that makes me think,

“House of Cards” is one of the few shows American TV has gone and improved. Kevin Spacey is my hero.

USA: See… Now I feel really moronic. I had no idea that was a Brit show first. The Daily Mail published an article about the recent Labour candidates attending some segregated ban-Islamophobia rally.

ENG: Yeah, The Daily Mail is a notorious right-wing paper that tries to scare people into believing all of Islam is bad. That story didn’t make it here. It’s owned by Rupert Murdoch, who owns two of the big papers over here, plus SKY TV. His papers are very politically biased and anti-Labour and Pro-Tory.

A run-of-the-mill Daily Mail front page. (Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail)
A run-of-the-mill Daily Mail front page. (Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail)

USA: He owns Fox News and the New York Post here.

ENG: Yeah, [Rupert Murdoch]’s a massive wanker. It’s insane how an old Australian man can control this country’s thought process before an election through his media.

USA: Murdoch is definitely an enigma. Sometimes it seems he’s closer to being a Libertarian. Well, he says he does not officially support the Republican party here. He’s an “independent.” Who knows?

ENG: America is harder to control, too, I feel.

So considering how Murdoch pretty much helped this current government into power, they owe him a favour now. It all leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

USA: Yes. Exactly.

Australia did very well with its anti-gun laws a while ago… That law would never work here. [America is]  too populated, too diverse, too factional…

ENG: We’ve gone really deep, Lil… I feel both our governments may be watching this right now.

USA: Our nations have a solid bro status. I think we didn’t do much harm today.

England and America... Best buds 'til the end. (Photo courtesy of richardfalk.wordpress.com)
England and America… Best buds ’til the end. (Photo courtesy of richardfalk.wordpress.com)

 

Griping with Colin Quinn About His “Lady Hands” and #1 Twitter Follower

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Colin Quinn in a shady nook of Manhattan called the West Village

NICKI MINAJ AND DRAKE DID IT, so, being people of equal street clout and international acclaim, Colin Quinn (also known as every famous comedian’s best friend) and I raised by interviewing one another… over a shared Diet Coke and intermittent barking by my poodle, Caesar, in the bushy enclave of Manhattan’s Battery Park (a few blocks from Quinn’s Tribeca digs).

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The Old Man and The Caesar…

Quinn and I have known each other for several years now, having met through mutual professional circles during my time at the Opie and Anthony and Ron and Fez shows. While my dog has slipped him the deep tongue during a particularly vigorous belly rub, there were still vaults of mystery we had yet to uncover from one another. Now:

Lil Gripes: Let me guess your favorite song of all-time…Is it “Peanuts” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons?

Colin Quinn: No, my favorite song is “I’ll Be There for You” by the cast of “Friends.” Who’s your favorite Friend? I bet it’s Joey.

LG: JOEY??? You son of a bitch.

CQ: Haha, why? He’s the cute one! And “Episodes” is a great show on Showtime.

LG: Ok, that’s true. What is the most Top 40 song on your iPod?

CQ:  The most Top 40 song on my iPod is “Rave On” by M. Ward featuring Zooey Deschanel–

Lillian mutters “Oh my god” under her breath.

What’s the most self-consciously hip song on your iPod that you don’t like but feel like you should?

LG: Wow, that’s actually insightful. I think it has to be *quickly scrolls through her playlist*…oh, DEFINITELY “Eleanor Rigby!” I hate that fucking song so much. I do not care how many people I know insist it’s amazing. To me, it’s weird but not Bowie-weird, just “Grey Gardens”-weird. It lacks a catchy hook, has zero melodic build-up, and it’s lyrically inane. It has to be said that I love the Beatles’ other weirder stuff. Just…fuck “Eleanor Rigby.” I’m so sorry, Paul. No, I’m not. Your song sucks.

CQ: WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE “FRIEND”? I BET IT’S JOEY.

LG: JOEY??? YOU SON OF A BITCH…

LG: Quickly dig out your pockets. What do you got in them right now?

CQ: My pockets have my wallet, iPhone and mass card from funeral. And a card from a lobster place up in Gloucester, Mass[achusetts] because I had a gig there SaturdayWhat’s the thing in your bag that you refuse to throw out?

LG: I throw away EVERYTHING that I don’t need. Right now, my bag has Purell, keys, wallet, iPhone, a notepad, one pen, and a charm keychain my friend gifted me from her trip to London. I just don’t see the point of carrying waste around.

Now, we’re both big fans of “Modern Family.” I always picture you whenever Ed O’Neill is onscreen. You guys both got the sparkling Irish eyes, the gruff old-school New York accent, and that certain je-ne-sais-quoi grumpiness…

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Two Outdated Headshots: Colin Quinn (L) & Ed O’Neill (R)

You once told me it’s one of the smartest shows on TV and it’s not just the acting or the writing alone. It’s everything and everyone jibing together so well…How do you think shows like that come together so well? Is it luck, the right producers at the beginning, the cultural zeitgeist at the moment…?

CQ: It has to be the showrunners. The creators. That’s the only way a show like that can be good and stay good. Always funny. What do you feel is the worst most popular show on TV the past five years?

LG: Oh, “Big Bang Theory,” please, easy one! No, actually, “Two and a Half Men,” with “Big Bang” a close second. Let’s talk politics, natural segue… Who do you want in the White House in 2017 and who do you see in the White House in 2017?

CQ: I don’t think that there’s a candidate that is out there yet who I would want or who will be President. I think it’ll be a wild card that we haven’t seen or heard from yet. Do you think there’s anybody that actually gives people hope anymore? Especially people your age?

LG: I think young people will always gravitate toward the person outside the system a little bit. Your Rand and Ron Paul’s. I was too young for this, but Ralph Nader back when. The truth is, l think there are so many smart, capable people from so many walks of life who will never have the opportunity to mount a Presidential campaign but should.

Who is more likely just out of these two–Hillary or Chris Christie?

CQ:  I don’t think Hillary or Christie. They both seem exhausted already. But obviously between those two, Hillary would win easily. What do you think?

LG: She isn’t my candidate, but Hillary would destroy Christie in a vote by far. Sorry, Governor, but we don’t need another Taft. I don’t want other countries’ Heads of State looking over and seeing the United States President carrying a towel just so he can mop off sweat every five minutes.

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Quite a sinister story behind this shot…
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…I cropped out North West!!! I was “feeling my look.”

Which body part are you most self-conscious about? Now, please do go into deep detail.

CQ: Most self conscious about my hands. I always wanted big hands and as my good comic friends point out–I have “hands like an old Irish lady.” How about you?

LG: My smile, definitely. People have told me I’ve got a great smile but I don’t buy it for a second. I hate seeing what smiling does to my face in the mirror. I look like a freak. I do the Victoria Beckham in pictures.

Do you consider yourself an optimist or pessimist?

CQ: I am optimistic but at the same time, I feel like evil wins a lot more in real life than in the movies. You?

LG: I like to think of myself as an optimistic pessimist. Or a pessimistic optimist. I see the worst in every situation, but I tend to believe in the best in people. Basically, I think people can make the best out of this shitfest called life.

Do you feel like you gripe a lot?

CQ: I like to gripe but why shouldn’t I? That’s what New York is supposed to be about.

LG: Well, you are also a comic. I just realized I actually don’t know your top 5 comedic influences. Feel like I’m burying a lead.

CQ: My top five were Pryor, Carlin–That’s 2 but in those days, there weren’t that many choices. Excluding me, name 5 comics that are making you laugh, if that many.

LG: Right. Excluding you. Um, Louis CK, Patrice O’Neal, Zach Galifianakis, Anthony Jeselnik, and Jim Norton. I feel like there should be room for at least two more in there, like Kevin Hart and Amy Schumer.

“I LIKE TO GRIPE, BUT WHY SHOULDN’T I? THAT’S WHAT NEW YORK IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT.”

-COLIN QUINN

LG: Who was your first childhood crush?

CQ: My first childhood crush was when I was four. Anne Francis on “Honey West.” She had a leopard coat and a beauty mark. First thing I do when I die is make my move on her. How about you?

LG: Speedracer from the Saturday morning cartoons. He was so boyishly handsome and had a chiseled jaw. Was not happy with Emile Hirsch’s casting in the film. I need that square jawline!

Ok, out of all the “Grown Ups” gang– [Adam] Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Kevin James–Who was your closest boyfriend?

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“Beautiful” self-taken shot of Quinn’s “Grown-Ups 2” trailer

CQ:  I love all my bf’s from “Grown Ups.” The earliest friends I had was Chris and Adam. From NY in the ’80s.

LG: Can you remember your favorite Twitter followers by name?

CQ: Yes, Stromboli.

LG: Do you think you’re doing something unique with your Twitter feed? I know others feel this way, but do you?

CQ: I guess it’s unique. It’s just fun to infuriate people with positivity. I guess I never knew I was a soccer mom.

LG: OK, plug time, sell your “Unconstitutional” show in 5 words. YOU CANNOT SAY “FUNNY.”

CQ: “Unconstitutional” in five words? Uninformative, lethargic, painful, tedious, masterpiece.

LG: Well, Colin. This was a successful interview. I’m proud of both of us.

~THE END~

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Much love,

Lil xx

 

GIRLS FOR GIRLS: Sue + Kristin, the Sexy Girls of “Ninja and Buckwild”

#LILGRIPESInterview
~ Lillian Gao

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Kristin (L) and Sue (R): Courtesy of Tampa Image Factory and @KristinEubanksDotCom on Instagram, respectively

AS A CYNICAL NEW YORKER suspicious of perky people who put exclamation points at the ends of all their sentences, I love meeting people from corners of the U.S. of A. where such perky quirks seem homegrown and genuine. And as a 20-something woman searching for agency over her own creative passions, I ADORE meeting other young women actively chasing theirs. Enter the gals behind “Ninja and Buckwild,” the personality-driven advice platform mounted by two lovely and sweet models (one of their many, many day jobs, as you’ll see), based out of St. Petersburg, Florida–Sue Seitler and Kristin Eubanks Parmeter. Not only are Sue and Kristin as gorgeous as you would expect (Kristin is a blonde, statuesque Southern drink of water and Sue is a bronzed, half-Filipina firecracker), they are brimming with positive energy and everything nice on the inside.

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Courtesy of @NinjaandBuckwild on Instagram

As a cynical New Yorker suspicious of perky people who put exclamation points at the ends of all their sentences, I love meeting people from corners of the U.S. of A. where such perky quirks seem homegrown and genuine.

Sure, their Instagrams and tweets may frequently enthuse about the latest healthy food kicks, how great the sun in St. Petersburg is consistently, and their favorite yoga poses (all things, by the way, that usually make us New Yorkers roll our eyes sooo far back in our heads that they become permanently stuck there), but their unapologetically blithe attitudes are hopelessly, disgustingly contagious.

DELISH Kale Chips!!! And such a healthy snack! I LOVED the tangy taste to these! Here's the recipe! •1 or 2 TB olive oil •1 TB freshly squeezed lime juice •1 bunch kale •1/2 tsp sea salt Preheat oven 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper. In small bowl, combine olive oil & lime juice and set aside. Rinse and dry kale thoroughly. (Be sure kale is dry, or you'll have have steamed or burned chips.) Remove kale stems and cut leaves into small pieces. Spread kale on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle oil/juice mixture. Bake for 10-12 mins or until crispy. Stay close to the oven because these can burn very quickly. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle sea salt.
Ninja and Buckwild’s original recipe for Kale Chips DELISH Kale Chips!!! And such a healthy snack! I LOVED the tangy taste to these! Here’s the recipe! •1 or 2 TB olive oil
•1 TB freshly squeezed lime juice
•1 bunch kale
•1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper. In small bowl, combine olive oil & lime juice and set aside. Rinse and dry kale thoroughly. (Be sure kale is dry, or you’ll have have steamed or burned chips.) Remove kale stems and cut leaves into small pieces. Spread kale on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle oil/juice mixture. Bake for 10-12 mins or until crispy. Stay close to the oven because these can burn very quickly. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle sea salt.

“Ninja and Buckwild,” originally a mere Instagram account, will soon entail a YouTube channel launching this May and official website all aimed at offering others tips on fitness, comedy, holistic living, beauty, fashion and spirituality. Their target audience? EVERYONE… According to Sue and Kristin, the venture sowed its original seeds separately before the two even met one another.

For years prior to their friendship, Sue had been known as “Sue the Ninja” affectionately and Kristin as “Buckwild” among friends, colleagues, and social media followers. “When we met, it was like ‘Hey I’m Sue the Ninja’ and ‘Hey Girl, I’m Kristin aka Buckwild.’ Two adult women walking around with nicknames like that was so funny and random,” mused Sue.

“When we met, it was like ‘Hey I’m Sue the Ninja’ and ‘Hey Girl, I’m Kristin aka Buckwild.’ Two adult women walking around with nicknames like that was so funny and random.”

-Sue

The pair began hashtagging all individual Instagram photos with #NinjaAndBuckwild. For pure convenience’s sake, a joint account was formed to simplify affairs. However, along the way, Sue and Kristin realized they both had a wide field of expertise for which others may seek their advice. Henceforth, the birth and nurturing of a YouTube channel became next on the “Ninja and Buckwild” brainstorm docket.

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Courtesy of Tampa Image Factory

Over a nice virtual chat, I played a round of Q + A with this dynamic duo and their answers were exactly what you would expect: lively, colorful, and sage, sprinkled with amusing interjections and adorable guffaws:

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Courtesy of NinjaandBuckwild on Instagram

Lil Gripes: So, what ARE your many day jobs?

Kristin: I am a model and a healer. I am a also a former wrestling diva…

After leaving the wrestling business, I was pretty messed up emotionally. I was really young and my first bout in the entertainment business really ate me up and spit me out. I was lucky enough to get a second chance in Television a few years later with Home Shopping Network and have soared there.

This was after hitting rock bottom and feeling like I would never succeed again after quitting my first TV job. The pressures there proved be too much for me to handle at such a young age and with so little experience. I was abusing Rx drugs such as Xanax at the time of my asking for release from my contract. Xanax definitely doesn’t help your decision-making skills at all!

“After leaving the wrestling business, I was pretty messed up emotionally… [And taking] Xanax definitely doesn’t help your decision-making skills at all!”

– Kristin

However, after I left my contract I moved back to N.C. and was introduced to a group of holistic healers and a spiritual group that changed my life forever. I learned to no longer live in fear, to take responsibility for my actions and my energy and I began to rebuild my life. I began to study under some of these teachers and that is how I became a proponent for holistic living and spirituality. I haven’t had an Rx drug since 2007.

 “I learned to no longer live in fear, to take responsibility for my actions and my energy and I began to rebuild my life.”

-Kristin

After I ‘learned all my lessons’  in North Carolina I felt ready to move away from the small town and try my hand in entertainment again–this time equipped with the tools to handle such a high pressure job. After about a year of auditions I was hired on at Home Shopping Network and that is where I met Sue.

Basically, the rest is history and it’s been an amazing ride! I also have my healing and angel card business at www.kristineubanks.com. I now help others to shift their perception and heal their life as I was taught to do.”

Sue: “What don’t I do, is more like it! I’m a licensed cosmetologist, freelance hairstylist and makeup artist. I am a Jannus LIVE TV host for the historic outdoor concert venue in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. I am a craft cocktail, high-volume bartender. I am a model on-air on the Home Shopping Network channel as well as modeling for all sorts of things like ads, print, etcetera. I am also a commercial actress,  a stand-up comedian, and mother of a 15-yr old handsome boy. At the end of the day, I’m an One Woman Show.”

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These two are so legendarily close that the folks at Mattel made Barbies out of them! (no, not really); Courtesy of @ninjaandbuckwild on Instagram

LG: “Ninja and Buckwild” already sounds like such a fun, engaging name for a lifestyle brand. Whose idea was it to do a comedy portion specifically?

Kristin: That’s something special that Sue offers. Occasionally I can be funny but Sue is hilarious. She needs to share that with others. Being able to make other people smile is a very special gift.

Sue: Why not?! I grew up living comedy! My mother’s pervertedness [sic] and my father’s dirty mouth like a sailor’s (and his wittiness) is what created this awesome half-Asian mess of a woman! Haha. I LOVE awkward moments and embrace them. My entire childhood and teenage years, I was so quiet and shy. I held back comments, remarks and statements that I obviously never decided to make because, well, I don’t know why. But as I got older, I became this outgoing, trash-talking, dirty, vulgar-mouthed model that surprises EVERYONE!

Growing up, I realized that everyone is so quick to judge people. I’ve been through so much in my life, that it would blow your mind. But I’m thankful for it because that’s what made me “ME”! So when people first look at me they typically think, “Here’s this pretty girl, probably a stuck-up model.” But the second I open up my mouth…..I shock the world! So don’t judge a book by its cover, folks!

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Sue performing stand-up for only the 4th time at Coconuts Comedy Club.. Looking like it’s her 1,000th!

LG: Why the holistic living angle?

Kristin: I healed myself from numerous ailments with food and different natural treatments such as angel cards and energy healing.  I want to teach others how to do so.

LG: You both seem so self-possessed and accomplished. If I may ask your age…

Kristin: A true lady never tells her age *affecting a sweet Southern drawl*.

Sue: I second that *affecting a tiny Asian voice, as she described it*.

LG: Very, very well-put, ladies. Where did you guys grow up? Are you natives to St. Petersburg?

Kristin: I am originally from NC. I have been in FL for five years, four of those in St. Pete and one in Orlando.

Sue: I originally grew up in San Diego, the Whale’s Vagina. I currently reside in Tampa, Florida but have lived here since ’95–not including when I moved back to SoCal for 9 months in 2004.

LG: Describe each of your personal styles:

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Courtesy of Tampa Image Factory

On Sue–  crop tank: The Shop / necklace: Forever 21 (similar here) / bracelets: Live Lokai / belt: Forever 21 (similar here) / denim: BDG (most similar style at Urban Outfitters) / wedges: Steve Madden / kimono:….not sure where. I must’ve been drunk off of soy sauce when I bought it (similar style here)

Kristin: I’m definitely boho-chic. I’m perfectly content in a maxi dress with a pair of gladiator sandals and a headband 99% of the time. They dress us up at work but I prefer a very casual style.

Sue: I LOVE fashion! So you can see me wearing anything and everything stylish and trendy! I love it all!

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Ninja and Buckwild showcasing one of their latest favorite items, a pair of Navajo-inspired Sam Edelman heels; Courtesy of @NinjaandBuckwild on Instagram
Dress: Urban Outfitters

LG: Name 3 things that inspire you each:

Kristin: First–Oprah! I want to be her. She is so amazing and has transformed so many lives on a global scale.

Second–Nature- We live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I’m in awe every time I step outside or go ride my bike. The sunshine is beautiful but the storms are equally as beautiful and awe inspiring.

Third–My past. When I fell down, I fell pretty hard. Anytime I am tired or don’t feel like pushing through, I look back at that time in my life and I say to myself, “I have accomplished all of my dreams over and over again.” The dream tends to change every few years so I focus on one thing at a time and then move on to the next dream. I envy those who only have one dream and can give everything they have to that. I have so many that I must really focus on being “focused” on the task at hand.

Sue: First– Nature. We can learn so much from Mother Earth herself.

Second– Myself. What I’ve been through throughout my whole existence here on earth. I sometimes remind myself how far I’ve come in life and that continuously inspires me to keep forward in the right direction.

Third– Love. People who love. Showing love. Feeling love. Knowing love. Giving love. Expressing love. Love conquers all.

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Courtesy of @KristinEubanksDotCom on Instagram

LG: Twitter or Instagram? 

Kristin: Instagram for sure. I’m not funny like Sue so I’m not witty enough for Twitter.

Sue: IG, hands down. I would choose IG over Twitter and Facebook any day.

LG: Favorite junk food?

Kristin: Krispy Kreme. I just moved back to St Pete and now there is one so close to me! I’ve lived here a month and stopped twice for “hot and now” HAHHAHHAH—–When that damn light is on. It’s like a singing siren that lures me in!

Sue: HA! Depends on what you consider junk food. A lot of Filipino dishes aren’t the very best for you so I would consider that my favorite junk food. Masarap!!

LG: Favorite health food?

Kristin: I love raw food. I practice the Raw Till 4 lifestyle so I eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables every day. I don’t believe in limitations and I love filling my body with nutrient dense light filled foods from the earth.

Sue: I not only love eating healthy, but I enjoy it as well. Currently I’m doing the Gaiam TV Conscious Cleanse and it is by far, the tastiest, most fun and enjoyable diet I have ever tried. Makes me want to always eat like this. And by “this”, I mean, no dairy, no eggs, no soy, no wheat or gluten products and eventually no caffeine or alcohol. Lots of fruit and veggies!! I love it! Makes me feel great and so healthy!

LG: Favorite way to exercise?

Kristin: I like to ride my bike and do nature walks. I also like yoga from time to time. Specifically kundalini. It is yoga for the brain and the body and helps to align all the chakras and meridians. It also activates your own kundalini at the base of your spine. This is your energetic power point and your point of manifestation. When the kundalini is active you can accomplish all of your dreams.

Sue: Anything and everything fun in the sun while exercising is my most favorite way to workout. So whether it be a bike ride, kayaking, or paddle-boarding I am the happiest! I LOVE being outdoors and around nature! But if I’m indoors, it’s yoga! For sure!

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Sue; Courtesy of @NinjaandBuckwild on Instagram

LG: Favorite thing about St. Petersburg? 

Kristin: The water and the beautiful scenery.

Sue: The awesome and constantly thriving downtown area. I love watching St. Pete grow and flourish into a beautiful, badass, happenin’ place!

LG: Favorite 3 comedians?

Kristin: I don’t even know 3. I don’t watch TV very often. Sue is the comedienne.

Sue: I know she is more of a comedic actress but Kristin Wiig is my total #WCW! Other than her, I’d say Sarah Silverman & Louis CK.

LG: Favorite item that you’ve splurged on!

Kristin: Louis Vuitton purse. I had wanted one for so long and I just got one this year. Hubby picked it out and brought it home for me!

Sue: My car! This is my first brand new car with all the bells and whistles and I could not be any more ecstatic about it! I am very thankful. By the way, it’s a Toyota. Why a Toyota, you ask? Duh. Toyota’s to asians are like FUBU. For Us, By Us.

LG: Kristin, describe Sue in 3 words:

Kristin: Sexy, Goofy and Giving. She’s a triple threat!

LG: Sue, describe Kristin in 3 words:  

Sue: Gorgeous, Inspirational, Thoughtful

LG: How did you two meet and become best friends?

Kristin and SueWe met at Home Shopping Network (HSN). After working a few shows together and realizing we had some mutual friends, we started to hang out. We always have FUN together. I think that was the initial draw. Not to mention we really like the same things.

It seems as though where one lacks, the other is strong. And we have each introduced each other to things we may not have known before meeting. We have more of a sister bond than anything. You meet very few soul sisters in your life and we can tell each other anything and be very honest in our relationship. This has helped to strengthen the character of both of us.

What Sue and Kristin envision for the future of “Ninja and Buckwild” is a brand that empowers others to not fit the mold… In their words, “you can be authentically ‘you” and do that as your ‘job.’ We all have gifts given to us in this world and we are supposed to share them.”

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Courtesy of @NinjaandBuckwild on Instagram

Their goal is to empower others to realize a career can take the shape and form of many different things. As a Millennial, I can vouch that this is THE definitive dilemma of my generation. The generation before us, good ol’ Generation X, fought the good fight. They rallied to make it into good schools, secure steady-income careers, and raise the perfect nuclear family. In this current Age of Millennials, the percentage of youths admitted into college is astronomically higher than ever…which means two things:

  1. The job market is OVERSATURATED with competent young worker bees.
  2. The goal for Millennials isn’t money anymore…It’s PASSION. HOBBIES. Our LOVES. We’re a bunch of entitled little shitheads and we automatically assume we deserve jobs simply because our parents all have them. We take the very concept of a job for granted. Which leads us to do the obvious thing, follow our hearts rather than follow the money. Is this the right route to go? Well…Stand by for results, shall we?

As a Millennial, I can vouch that this is THE definitive dilemma of my generation… We’re a bunch of entitled little shitheads and we automatically assume we deserve jobs simply because our parents all have them.

Which is what makes “Ninja and Buckwild” such an inspiring, motivating effort by two young women with whom I strongly identify. There are plenty of New Age websites and wannabe lifestyle gurus out there *COUGH GOOP* *COUGH GWYNETH* *GAGGING NOW FROM COUGHING.* In their ever-Zen, kind words, however, Sue and Kristin are quick to point out that they “don’t believe in competition.” Their only goal is to work with other bloggers/vloggers to build an even greater conglomerate platform to offer the world.

*BTW, Sue and Kristin really DO encourage ALL vloggers and bloggers to holler at them if they are interested in collaborating, guest-hosting, or cross-promoting with “Ninja and Buckwild.” Email them at ninjaandbuckwild@gmail.com to get in touch. I promise they don’t bite 🙂

Much love,

Lil xx

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Courtesy of Tampa Image Factory