Tag Archives: Interview

Audrey Davis: Get Your Goddess

Get your goddess on with #HipNJ’s Lisa Marie and CEO of Get Your Goddess, Audrey Davis.

Audrey Davis is a strong woman on a mission. She hopes to encourage ‘Goddesses’ to come together and create a greater message for the younger generation. Get Your Goddess is an organization dedicated to celebrating what is RIGHT and BEAUTIFUL about YOU!

Audrey empowers women by teaching the goddess basics of embracing your goddess: Power, Beauty, Movement, Music and Achievement. Embrace your inner goddess, laugh at yourself, turn up the music, dance what you feel and love who you are.

Audrey creates and holds powerful workshops designed to inspire and motivate women to embrace their natural beauty and ignite their inner Goddess through movement, music and self-reflection. For her, “Get Your Goddess is moving through this world powerfully with confidence and designing the life that you love!”

Audrey discusses the reasons why it is difficult for most women to embrace their inner power. The underlying messages that women are getting again and again that they are not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not good mothers enough, not good enough at their careers. The fear within them that these messages create, stops them from embracing the goddess they have.

Audrey’s message to all women is that being a Goddess  is a mindset and a decision. When a woman decides to ‘get her goddess‘, she unleashes ‘a free & fearlessness to be who she is in all of her glory!

To learn more about Audrey Davis and her goddess mission ,watch the video above and check out her website! To get a little dose of goddess inspiration everyday follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  

You can win a gorgeous “Get Your Goddess” gift basket  from #HipNJ! Here’s how to enter our giveaway:

  1. Follow @HipNewJersey on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.
  2. Find our “Get Your Goddess” contest post.
  3. Refer to the post’s rules.

One lucky winner will be picked at the end of March!

Vanessa Coppes

Vanessa Coppes of ETTWomen

Here at #HipNJ, we strongly support and encourage personal and business growth in women everyday!

ETTWomen, co-created by Lynette Barbieri and Vanessa Coppes, also has the same vision and was created to encourage and inspire other women to start their own businesses. Vanessa Coppes stopped by the #HipNJ studio to talk with our Lisa Marie Latino about their exciting event happening on March 1 – 3, the Power of Connections Conference

“One of the things that we love about ETTWomen is watching business owners flourish. It’s like watching a flower grow!” Vanessa gushed.

ETTWomen has recently opened their own headquarters, located in Morganville. This space doubles as the headquarters of the ETTWomen Foundation, which is a NJ non-profit organization dedicated to offering financial, educational, and planning assistance to female victims of domestic violence, as well as emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. This cozy, comfortable environment is open for members to utilize as well.

“This is a place for women to come to find a welcoming space to either tackle their to-do lists in peace or engage in discussions with other like-minded entrepreneurs,” explained Vanessa. “It is so vital for women to have their own space and be able to dedicate time and passion to their craft.”

In addition to her work at ETTWomen, Vanessa is the founder of V+Co Consulting. For ten years, V+CO has helped to successfully launch the online presence of magazines, businesses and entrepreneurs.

From March 1 – 3, ETTWomen will be holding a weekend retreat for networking and various business workshops at the Asbury Hotel. The The Power of Connections conference will feature bonding, strengthening, and more fun that you cannot miss! To learn more about signing up for the retreat, visit ETTWomen.com. There you can also discover tips and networking advice and workshops.

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The Sopranos

The Sopranos at 20: Vincent Curatola Looks Back

By: Lisa Marie Latino

On January 10, 1999, Bill Clinton was President. A singer named Britney Spears was two days away from dropping her first pop single, …Baby One More Time. The Twin Towers in New York City stood tall, oblivious to the bull’s-eye set upon them. And a New Jersey gangster named Tony Soprano rambled down a North Caldwell driveway and into our homes, where he electrified—and terrified—us for six glorious seasons on HBO’s The Sopranos.

Twenty years ago, I wasn’t even allowed to watch The Sopranos. My parents tried their best to shield their high school freshman daughter from the sex, violence and overall debauchery of the show’s tragically flawed characters. But the buzz around these Italian-Americans from New Jersey was too seductive for me to ignore, and I found ways to sneak in viewings whenever possible.

Like many people around the world, I consider The Sopranos to be the best drama in the history of television. EVERYTHING about the production was top notch—the writing, acting, even the music selections. When James Gandolfini passed away in 2013, I cried as if it were a legitimate member of my family who had died. That’s how scary-good this ensemble was.

To commemorate The Sopranos‘ 20th anniversary, I spoke with Englewood born and current Upper Saddle River resident, actor Vincent Curatola (“John Sacrimoni”, otherwise known “Johnny Sack”), to get his thoughts on this major milestone.

LML: When the show first started, did you expect the legend of Johnny Sack to grow as it did?
VC: It was only supposed to be a one-time gig. My first episode was “Pax Soprana” [Episode 6, Season 1], where Tony commissioned Johnny to help him broker a crooked deal with Uncle Junior for Hesh. But once the series got picked up, they asked me back, and it took off from there.

LML: The backbone of the show was the brilliant writing of series creator David Chase. What was it like working with such high caliber material?
VC: You said it yourself, Lisa. The writing was tremendous, like a hot knife through butter. He painted such a vivid picture for us actors, so it was easy to deliver exactly what he wanted.

LML: Is there a specific episode, or moment, that stands out to you?
VC: There’s a scene where Tony and Johnny meet in Newark, and Tony backs out of the hit on New York boss Carmine Lupertazzi. [“Whitecaps”, Episode 13, Season 4]. It was very intense, for many reasons. I had eight pages of dialogue to work with, which is a huge amount for one scene. Jimmy and I filmed it on a very hot, August night in Newark, and that just added to the emotional burden of the conversation. Tony and Johnny always had a mutual respect—a friendship even—so I had to balance that with Johnny’s frustration and disappointment.

I really don’t watch the show, but since it’s been on for the anniversary, I’ve caught some episodes. Each scene carries a unique set of memories.

LML: Some of the most disturbing Johnny Sack moments for me were when he was dying from lung cancer. What kind of preparation goes into playing impending death so convincingly?
VC: I’m a member of the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees, and when the writer for the episode [Terence Winter, who later went on to create Boardwalk Empire] explained what he had in mind, I introduced him to the hospital’s oncology department. Together with Hackensack, Terence flushed out what Johnny’s symptoms would be, what medication he would be taking, and what his final stages of life would look like. Every aspect of the show was treated with the closest attention to detail, another reason that made it so special.

Also in that episode [“Stage 5”, Episode 14, Season 6], I had the honor of working with the late Sydney Pollack. That was an unforgettable experience.

LML: The Sopranos is anything but politically correct. Do you think the show would have survived had it debuted now, in our current pop culture climate?
VC: Certainly. David Chase is a very independent thinker, and I don’t think his ideas would have been swayed by the outrage mob. Back then, we had to deal with complaints from certain Italian-American groups accusing us of making Italians look like criminals. Guess what—there are criminals in every race, religion and nationality! Look at our government—the biggest crooks of all sit in some of the highest parts of office!

But David never backed down, as you saw during the Christopher Columbus episode [“Christopher”, Episode 3, Season 4]. He dug his heels even deeper.

Also, look at his new movie [the upcoming Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark]. I don’t know too much about it, but I know part of the focus will be the racial tension brought on by the Newark Riots. These are still subjects that are very sensitive to some today, but knowing the sharpness of David’s pencil, he will navigate through all of that just fine.

LML: How is your relationship with the cast today?
VC: We were close then, and we have remained close. I had met Jimmy Gandolfini 3-4 years prior to The Sopranos at a little club in New York City called Marylou’s, where a lot of actors would hang out. Being two guys from Jersey, we clicked. That’s where I also met Tony Sirico and Michael Imperioli years before the show. But we’re always around each other, whether it just be for dinner or for an appearance. And while it’s hard to not have Jimmy here, we know he’s with us in spirit.

A very famous celebrity, who was a big fan of the show, once told me that he considered The Sopranos to be The Beatles of television. Different genre obviously, but same similarity as far as changing the game. And we really did—together. That’s a bond that will never break.

LML: You’re talking to me while on set for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. How did The Sopranos help your career?
VC: It’s funny, I haven’t been typecast a mobster or anything like that. If anything, it’s gone the other way. I’ve played judges [on SVU and The Good Wife], cops [Blue Bloods] and even the Mayor of Boston in Patriot’s Day with Mark Wahlburg.

I also sing with a five piece jazz band, and we play lots of dates in New Jersey. That’s been a lot of fun. 

LML: I can’t end this interview without talking about The Ending. What do you think happened to Tony at the end of the series?
VC: I honestly think David just closed the door and didn’t let the audience see inside anymore. I don’t believe the family was murdered or anything like that.

The night of the finale, the cast was together doing an appearance. Five minutes before the show ended, they ushered us into a room so we could watch the ending. WE didn’t even know how it was going to end—even Jimmy!—so we were all very interested. When the scene cut to black, all of our cell phones were going off with people freaking out that their cable went out. But to me, it was typical David Chase.