10 things you didn’t know about newsman Ayman Mohyeldin

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

Ayman Mohyeldin, shown here, is one of my favorites at MSNBC. I love saying his name, but even more than that, he is an excellent newsman, whether he is traveling the world or anchoring behind the desk. I had a chance to ask Ayman the 10 With Tom questions, here they are:

aymanTOM: You travel a lot, how many miles do you think you’ve gone this year?
AYMAN: I think I’ve made it around the world at least twice so far.

TOM: Favorite location to visit?
AYMAN: With all the traveling I do… Home is my favorite location to visit.

TOM: You must have some airport or travel secrets?
AYMAN: I could make millions with the travel secrets I’ve learned. How much are you willing to pay? I can get you through any airport pretty easily…wait, is TSA going to read this?

TOM: Do you prefer anchoring the news or being out in the field reporting?
AYMAN: My heart will always be in the field. But anchoring is a mental challenge as well. They both have advantages and disadvantages. I am a huge foodie, so field food was not good on my waistline. I pretty much ate my way through life when I was field reporting.

TOM: Favorite season. And why?
AYMAN: Summer. More reasons to be lazy.

TOM: Do you believe in Bigfoot?
AYMAN: No.

TOM: I really thought he would.

TOM: What song would you sing for your American Idol audition?
AYMAN: No Sleep Till Brooklyn

TOM: What did you have for breakfast today?
AYMAN: Iced Coffee and a cheese Man’ousha (google it and thank me later).

TOM: What’s something you always wanted to do as a child but never got to do?
AYMAN: Go to band camp.

TOM: What are two things you would do if you woke up to find yourself completely invisible?
AYMAN: I would sit in on a few high level meetings at the Oval office between world leaders specially some specific country leaders. And I would definitely crash the finals of the World Cup.

Thanks, Ayman! Good sport.

Ask or you won’t get

I’ve been doing this 10 With Tom interview thing here and for the Huffington Post, and I’ve noticed something interesting with the people I interview. They are not shy about asking for changes to the questions, content or even publication dates. I’ve been interviewed many times myself and it never dawned on me to ask for anything, except a few years ago, I would ask publications to refer to me as Tom Falco, cartoonist, rather than writer or editor.

I’ve had subjects for 10 With Tom ask me to remove certain things and to replace certain questions and to change a word here or there and to even publish on certain dates to coincide with something they were promoting. I don’t mind, I’m not doing investigative journalism, so I’m glad to do it, but I learned from these successful people to ask for what you want.

I used to have a boss so many years ago. He used to tell us in the advertising department of the newspaper we worked for, “Ask or you won’t get. Ask 10 people and maybe one will say yes.”  Words to live by.

10 things you didn’t know about The Vamipre Diaries’ Daniel Newman

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

daniel-newmanDaniel Newman is best known for his TV roles on The Vampire Diaries, Heroes, Homeland, One Tree Hill, Drop Dead Diva7th Heaven and soon The Walking Dead. He was a Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Louis Vuitton model when photographer Bruce Weber discovered him. His musical work appeared on the Twilight soundtrack. The seventh season of The Walking Dead TV series hinted at Daniel playing the part of Richard, working security with The Kingdom’s leader, Ezekiel. Fans are excited for the series’ season 7 premier on October 28, 2016.

I had the chance to ask Daniel the 10 With Tom questions. He has an excellent sense of humor and loves his fans friends.

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TOM: Which show did you have the most fun on – The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead or Heroes.
DANIEL: Is this a yes or no only interview? Rapid fire? Lol.. well I’m gonna fuckin fail this then. Ha. Vampire Diaries was awesome in the fact that my Twitter jumped up 300,000 fans after it, with the most amazing kids from all over the world. And they all bought my album on iTunes and sold out all my concerts so to go from a broke waiter bartender to selling out places was mind boggling. That wouldn’t have happened without it. To still get so many messages daily from kids in Europe, Egypt, Russia, Dubai, Japan, USA, Philippines, and hardcore in South America. They just love that show so it was a privilege.

But joining Walking Dead has been a whole new level. My role’s only barely been revealed so far, but the network used my character’s images for so much press and publicity for this new season, so a ton of people on the streets here in the US have come up to me to talk and on airplanes. I’ve never had that before. I was just trying to build my tech company this year, so a couple random lucky breaks and tons and tons of hard work have been a huge blessing this year. I was amazed after I was revealed on the finale half a million new people followed me on Twitter and Instagram, and all write to me about their families and lives and cool stuff. Blown away by all the love and excitement they have for my character and the plot this season.

The show is Iconic, and the cast and creators have created such a worshiped legendary series that people are so invested in and love, it’s really an honor to be able to be a part of it.

TOM: You are great about following fans back on social media. Why do that? Isn’t that a lot of “voices” coming at you at once when you follow almost 600,000 on Twitter alone?
DANIEL: I don’t have any fans. They’re friends. We’re all equal people. The reason I try my best to follow so many people back is, a couple of my heroes I admire followed me on Twitter and I got the biggest thrill out of it. I know it’s so stupid and silly but for some reason I just felt like I was “connected” to them, and mattered to them. It’s the smallest little gesture of respect and connection. I realized how special and powerful it is. And it only takes a second to acknowledge someone in real life. Smile at them or shake a hand and listen. And sometimes it means the world to people. Inspires people. Or just makes them have a happy moment they’ll manifest positivity that day to other people. It was so simple and silly, but really meant a lot to me. So that left an impression with me and I wanted to give that feeling to everyone that follows me. So whenever someone that’s following me writes to me, I just click the follow button back.

TOM: You went to Yale for a bit, what did you major in?
DANIEL: Trouble.

TOM: Who would you rather be, Batman or Superman. Why?
DANIEL: Method man. Or Ginger man. Uber man. Venmo man. Elon Muskman. There’s so many legendary people right now reinventing life, industries, societies. I’m far more fascinated with modern revolutionaries changing the political and socioeconomic landscapes. It’s magical to be able to steal glimpses into the hidden secret worlds of our generation’s leaders. Especially the ones that think they’re incognito with no one the wiser as they puppet master global change. So much is happening right now, and with the internet, everything is right under your nose, you just have to know where to look and what you’re searching for, and it’s all exposed. I’m kind of a fin-tech nerd.

TOM: Last shows you binge watched?
DANIEL: House of Cards, Homeland, Narcos, Queen of the South, Golden Girls

TOM: Favorite season
DANIEL: The other one

TOM: What did you have for breakfast?
DANIEL: Peanut butter and banana sandwich with mayonnaise and a Redbull

TOM: Favorite beer/cocktail
DANIEL: Sober for years. I mastered that class. Was everything, then just tequila in the end. But I died in 2009 when I was walking through an intersection and a drunk driver ran a red light and ran over me at about 50 mph and left me dead. Fortunately I was right by a hospital and witnesses got the ambulance there in minutes to revive me and after a coma and years of surgeries and physical therapy they got me back to brand new. I feel incredible with only a couple tiny scars on my knee and elbow. Huge miracle. Gave me a clear focus and purpose and passion for people and great hard work.

TOM: I see you’re the only Walking Dead cast member who’s been featured nude before. You’re on the cover of the international hit art campaign REDHOT100 absolutely naked. After they featured Olympic athletes and the top 100 celebrity redheads, and you were featured on Connan Obrien, GQ, vogue, BBC, and pretty much all the press and news worldwide. Congrats. How did that happen?
DANIEL: I was honored to be picked. I love how they fight against bullying and teach people to love themselves the way they are. It’s a cool cause all going to the Anti Bullying Alliance, and I was amazed to get the cover and be in all the art galleries. Besides, it’s pretty humbling being in the company of Olympians and this group. I’m definitely proud of it.

TOM: If you could remake a classic movie, which would it be?
DANIEL: Goonies? Indian Jones? Porkies? Flashdance? Haha ok maybe not.

Thanks, Daniel! Good sport. We’ll be watching for you in The Walking Dead!

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The queen of reality tv

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

Glenda Hersh 1Glenda Hersh shown here, is an Emmy award winning producer and co-president and CEO of True Entertainment and Original Media, two leading producers of reality tv. True was taken over by Endemol which makes me laugh because I had a friend who worked for Endemol in Miami and he would always tell me to come and pitch some of my reality show ideas that I had. I never did, but it’s almost coming full circle with Glenda doing 10 With Tom today.

TOM: You produce the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Real Housewives of Potomac, but not the others (NY, NJ, OC, Beverly Hills, Melbourne, etc.). How do they have that same flavor and look if they are done by different production companies?
GLENDA: What makes the franchise so great is that each location has its own distinctive personality, but they all share a similar grammar and feel.

TOM: Of all the housewife shows, which would you like to be a part of if you had to, not including your own?
GLENDA: I would love to be a part of my own [RHOA and RHOP], because I am so proud of them. However, if I had to choose another location it would Beverly Hills because the weather is better.

TOM: What would be your housewife opening tagline?
GLENDA: “You can sleep when you’re dead.”

TOM: You also produce Don’t Be Tardy, Vanity Fair Confidential, Hack My Life, A Baby Story and Trauma: Life in the ER, and Mystery Diagnosis. Original Media’s series include renowned Ink Master and spin-off Ink Master: Redemption, Swamp People, Dual Survival, Comic Book Men, and I Love You…But I Lied. That is some lineup, when do you sleep and what do you do for relaxation?
GLENDA: I am also married with a 7-year-old son, so sleep is not a huge part of my life. But I do run off to my lake house for relaxation when I can.

TOM: Ink Master is back for its 8th season on August 23 on Spike TV. Do you have any tattoos yourself?
GLENDA: I don’t have any tattoos personally, but I am a huge fan of the art.

TOM: Last show you binge-watched?
GLENDA: House of Cards

TOM: Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul?
GLENDA: Breaking Bad

TOM: Favorite city you have lived in?
GLENDA: New York City

TOM: Last song you listened to?
GLENDA: “I Took a Pill in Ibiza,” by Mike Posner.

TOM: Glenda, interesting name. Were you named after someone?
GLENDA: I don’t know what my mother was thinking. I can’t say that it was easy as a kid, but as an adult I love it. I rarely have to use my last name; how many Glendas do you know?

Thanks Glenda! Check out some of Glenda’s work when Ink Master returns to Spike TV with a new season on Tuesday, August 23 at 10 pm eastern time.

She sculpts Lucy

I’m sure you’ve seen the news lately about the Scary Lucy statue in Celoron, NY. You’ll remember that a sculptor made a sculpture to honor Lucille Ball, which was placed Lucille Ball Memorial Park, in her hometown, only the sculpture was scary and ugly. Lucy fans were upset, there was even a Facebook page created to push the cause of replacing the statue with  new one with Lucy’s actual likeness.

Finally, “New Lucy” was unveiled earlier this month on Lucy’s 105th birthday.
New Jersey sculptor Carolyn Palmer was chosen by the town to make a “better” version of Lucy and the rest is history. I kept seeing Carolyn in the news regarding the statue and it was all about the statue and Lucy and I thought, “Let’s learn more about Carolyn,” so I asked here my 10 With Tom questions. Here they are: (that’s Carolyn with Lucy below)

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carolyn-lucy

TOM: Did you watch I Love Lucy or any of the Lucy shows before you decided to create the statue?

CAROLYN: Yes, I grew up watching, “I love Lucy.” After winning the competition, I immediately subscribed to “CBS – All Access” for reruns and watched countless episodes. She was fun to sculpt because I never laughed so much while creating a piece of art. I actually had to turn off the sound at one point so I could just focus on the visuals. When I found poses or expressions of Lucy’s spirit that I liked, I’d screen capture the images, enlarging them onto big computer screens. I also hired 5’7″ models that were Lucy’s actual height and enlarged “head to toe” reference photos for my studio walls.

TOM: Do you know Lucy Ricardo’s address in Manhattan without looking?
CAROLYN: No, I don’t and that’s a great trivia question. I can’t recall a time when their address was mentioned on the show.

TOM:  Gotcha!- it’s 623 E. 68 St., NYC.

TOM: Where was Ricky from?
CAROLYN: Ricky was from Cuba. Speaking of Ricky, fans have contacted me wondering if I was going to make a sculpture of him too. They feel Ricky was a part of Lucy’s success and should be honored as well.

TOM: I agree, a Ricky statue would be great next to Lucy!

TOM: Name 3 things in nature you find most beautiful.
CAROLYN: It’s so difficult to choose just three because nature is filled with abounding beauty. For one, I love gazing at starlit skies and watching the phases of the moon as it waxes and wanes. Another joy is witnessing how the play of light changes with the seasons and influences all the warm and cool colors dancing around the landscapes. And my third choice is watching animals in their natural habitat. Right now we have a surplus of deer around our property. They are so gentle and graceful in how they interact. I wish all humans were that way.

TOM: Starry Night, Mona Lisa or Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso?
CAROLYN: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is a powerful painting by Picasso; one of my favorites at the Moma.

TOM: What do you usually order at Starbucks?
CAROLYN: My daily addiction: Venti Mocha Frappuccino Light with only one shot of frap roast (instead of 4)

TOM: Which tv show would you like to crawl into and spend the day ?
CAROLYN: Downton Abbey – I love the era but only for a day. I’ve grown to enjoy the vast information available today by computer and social media.

TOM: What scares you the most, and why?
CAROLYN: The current crisis with the human condition. History reports that evil always existed and probably always will but our weapons are no longer just bows and arrows or rifles. Today we have advanced machine guns, chemical warfare and other methods of mass destruction. There are now ways to destroy the entire planet ….and all of this frightens me.

TOM: Where would you like to live?
CAROLYN: I love living near NYC but would like to be bi-coastal and have a home in California too.

TOM: What talent would you most like to have?
CAROLYN: I’d like the talent to be a playwright because not a week goes by that I don’t think of writing a play. It’s like background noise in everything I do. I’m always thinking, Wow, that person would be the perfect character or this scenario would convey a powerful message, or the lighting over there would highlight a dramatic backdrop. These kind of thoughts haunt me. So, if my hands ever give out from sculpting, I just may take a try at it!

Thanks, Carolyn!

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10 things you didn’t know about ‘Naked & Afraid’s’ Ryan Holt

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

ryan-holt

RYAN HOLT (Photo by Mark Fleming)

You probably know Ryan Holt, a favorite survivalist, from the Discovery Channel’s hit, “Naked and Afraid” and “Naked and Afraid XL – “Survivor” on steroids. Ryan is a friend in my head, that’s why I reached out to him.

“Naked and Afraid,” now in its 5th season is about a random couple – a man and woman, dumped somewhere remote, exotic and dangerous in the world and they have to survive for 21 days. They have no food, water or shelter and they are on their own. No one wins anything at the end of the show, the prize is the knowledge that you survived the wilderness. Each hour episode each week consists of a different man and woman.

 

“Naked and Afraid XL” has 12 survivors from past shows, dumped in a remote place with the same premise, but they are in groups of three and they have to last 40 days. No one is voted off but they disappear little by little due to sickness or just leaving, which they call “tapping out.” XL is interesting in that the intensity is different with each episode as the teams randomly come upon each other and one group of three that soon becomes five or six, totally mixes up the dynamic. XL has the same “characters” on all season, so each week you see the same people unless they’ve left (tapped out).

Ryan is home now in Maine. He runs the Human Nature Hostel and the Wilderness Warrior Project, which he created to assist returning Veterans who may be struggling with PTSD, like he was when he returned. He served eight years in the US Marine Corp Infantry and by his own admission was lost when he returned home. He explored the Appalachian Trail after an honorable discharge and “walked off the war.” Now he wants to do the same for other returning vets. 

Ryan is a good sport, he agreed to participate in “10 With Tom.” What I find funny is that I picture him as being a primitive man in the forest, but according to his answers, I can see he lives with all the comforts of home in Maine.

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RYAN HOLT (photo courtesy Discovery Channel)

I asked him the following questions:

Tom: Are you recognized on the street?
Ryan: I live in a very mountainous and rural part of Maine (Roxbury: population 370). Not many people to be recognized by, although the other day I was at a local swimming hole and a family of “flat landers” approached me and said, “Hey! Are you famous!? The guy from Naked and Afraid?” I said, “Ayah, that’s me.”

Tom: If you were able to vote off members of the XL cast, who would you have voted out of Africa first?
Ryan: Since I was only paired with two other survivalist (Angel and Steve) for the first few weeks, I would have voted off Steve because, well, we all know “he’s kind of a big deal” and there is no room for such an arrogant ego and no existent humility. 

Tom: You live in Maine, you’ve “lived” in the Everglades and Africa. What’s the perfect outdoor temperature for you?
Ryan: Having been born and raised in Maine might make me a little biased but there truly is something unique and special about my homeland. It is the perfect temperature in the summer and offers four seasons to ensure a wide range of every single outdoor activity. Not the best state for couch potatoes, Maine is for the adventure and nature lover.

Tom: Name 3 things in nature you find most beautiful?
Ryan: I find everything in nature to be beautiful, but if I had to pick three things that really resonate with me… Mountain Summits, Trees/Plants, Observing Wildlife.

“Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a great deal to love a leaf. Its ordinary to love the beautiful, but its beautiful to love the ordinary.”  -Unknown

Tom: Last place you visited outside US
Ryan: My last trip outside the US was South Africa. This Fall I plan to explore Iceland.

Tom: What do you usually order at Starbucks?
Ryan: If you were searching for me inside a Starbucks, you would NEVER find me. I don’t drink caffeine or pay extra for name brands. 

Tom: Other than Naked and Afraid, favorite tv show
Ryan: Other than Naked and Afraid, my favorite TV show is Alone

Tom: What scares you the most, and why?
Ryan: Other people. They are the most unpredictable. 

Tom: What are your three favorite foods (other than alligator and snake).
Ryan: Other than alligator, lizard and snake, my favorite foods are Sushi, BBQ, Fresh local cafes.

Tom: Tell me about someone you really admire?
Ryan: I really admire my Girlfriend Dani Beau. Not only is she beautiful, skilled and passionate about nature and all living beings, she completed 21 days and the first 40 day challenge of Naked & Afraid as a Vegan. You have to be driven and dedicated to your morals & beliefs to accomplish such a challenge as a Vegan and to be doing it with laughter and a smile!? She’s a total badass! I will always admire her for her accomplishments, how she cares for the Earth and for putting up with me, haha.  

Thanks, Ryan!

Naked and Afraid XL is on Sunday nights, 9 pm, on the Discovery Channel, you can see Ryan and gang in action, there.    

Scott Adams – Ten With Tom

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

scott-adams

Scott Adams, courtesy Twitter.

After looking over the 10 With Tom I did with Stephan Pastis, Pearls Before Swine cartoonist, I thought why not ask the 10 questions of Scott Adams, creator and Dilbert cartoonist, after all, it was Scott who was Stephan’s tipping point. He liked the strip when it was kind of new, talked it up and overnight it became a sensation, something like that.

Here are my 10 With Tom questions with Scott Adams.

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Tom: Are you recognized on the street?
Scott:
Almost never, except locally.

Tom: If you had to kill off one of your Dilbert characters, which one would it be and why?
Scott:
I have a character named Ted the Generic Guy. I kill him whenever I need something bad to happen in the strip. After that, probably Dilbert, but he’d come back to life somehow later.

Tom: What newspaper(s) did your family subscribe to/read when you were a kid?
Scott:
Albany Times Union

Tom: Which comic strip, past or present, would you like to crawl into and spend the day?
Scott:
Sounds like a sad life any way you look at it. But I’d go with Mutts because I like pets.

Tom: Without looking, what color is Lucy Van Pelt’s dress?
Scott:
I’m thinking yellow or red. My final answer is…yellow?

Tom: No. It’s actually blue.

Tom: What do you usually order at Starbucks?
Scott:
Cafe Mocha (hot) with whipped cream.

Tom: Me too! Always.

Tom: Last book you read
Scott: Hard to Ignore by Dr. Carmen Simon.

Tom: What bores you?
Scott: Listening to someone describe food or TV shows.

Tom: Tell me about someone you envy.
Scott: Someone has a better life than I do? My life hasn’t always been easy, but at the moment it’s spectacular. I honestly can’t think of anyone I envy. (But envy isn’t a big part of my personality in general.)

Tom: Do you still feel that Trump will win the election? (I know you endorsed Hillary)
Scott:
It wouldn’t be any fun if I changed my prediction now, would it? My prediction assumed Trump goes into a deep hole before powering out toward the end. So we are right on schedule.

Thanks, Scott. Good sport.

Scott has gone digital as many cartoonists have these days, but Stephan still uses pen and ink. They did a funny video, “Digital vs Analog,” a couple of years ago. Here it is.