Nanette Lee is one of the most known comediennes, celebrity personalities on the Dallas entertainment circuit. In her native city of Dallas, she rapidly garnered fame as queen of radio and queen of the city’s comedy scene. After becoming one of the most beloved radio personalities in the industry as the co-host of DFW's No. 1 morning radio show, her reputation grew nationally and so did the demand for her talent. Nanette began opening for some of the hottest comedy acts, performing with such comedic talents as George Wallace, Steve Harvey, Wanda Sykes, Jeff Foxworthy. She has also worked with Mo'Nique, David Allen Grier and Ellen.
A natural actress, Lee has performed on stage in Straight Talk and The Night I Fell in Love. Her television credits include appearances on Showtime at the Apollo, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, and BET’s Comic View.
Nanette's upcoming projects include completing her cook book, where she will divulge of all her favorite recipes, a reality cooking show she wants to produce and of course more standup comedy shows in Dallas, most recently hosting Phat Tuesday's monthly at Hyena's Mockingbird Station.
FRANK BEDDOR/ THE LOOKING GLASS WARS
Frank Beddor is a former world champion freestyle skier, a film producer, actor, stuntman, and author. He produced There's Something About Mary and Wicked.
Beddor is the CEO of the production company Automatic Pictures, and wrote the novels The Looking Glass Wars, Seeing Redd and ArchEnemy as the first three of his "The Looking Glass Wars" series which is a reworking of Alice in Wonderland.
Beddor graduated from Benilde-St. Margaret's High school in Minneapolis in 1977.
He is currently developing the story to the film adaptation of the board game Monopoly, directed by Ridley Scott.
Author, World Creator, Film Producer, Creative Executive, Principal of Automatic Pictures
Frank Beddor had scaled the heights of professional skiing (as a two-time freestyle world champion) and filmmaking (as producer of the 1998 hit "There's Something About Mary") before deciding to become an author (of the New York Times best seller "The Looking Glass Wars," the first volume of a like-titled trilogy). This transformation was born of "an odd, empty feeling" and a serendipitous whisper of inspiration.
After the global success of "There's Something About Mary," he formed Automatic Pictures, over which he still presides, to develop creative properties.
Meanwhile, another seed was germinating. While in London for the U.K. premiere of "There's Something About Mary," Beddor visited the British Museum.
"The Looking Glass Wars" became a sensation in the UK when it debuted there in 2004. At long last, it revealed how Lewis Carroll, author of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," had willfully misrepresented the story of seven-year-old Alyss Heart, betraying the exiled princess of Wonderland by turning her painful history into a fairytale, when, in fact, it is a dark and dangerous depiction of familial treachery, thwarted love, and the despotic domination of imagination.
The first volume was discovered by a devoted legion of readers, many of whom are what the publishing industry calls "young adults." Beddor says he's largely measured the success of "The Looking Glass Wars" by the intensity and curiosity of the fans who reach out to him with comments and questions. Their input led to the creation of "Hatter M," a series of graphic novellas depicting the journey of Alyss' faithful bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, who, for 13 years, has searched for his mistress after becoming separated from her in The Pool of Tears, the portal from Wonderland to our world.
In fact, the world Beddor has created with "The Looking Glass Wars" sprawls well beyond the bounds of traditional genre literature. In addition to the "Hatter M" series, "LGW" extends to a companion album of original songs; a card game; an online and forthcoming offline multiplayer role-playing video game; an apparel line; a proposed theatrical musical; and even a teaser trailer, the latter representing the first time a state-of-the-art special-effects trailer has been created to promote a book. All of these projects fall under the aegis of Automatic Pictures, for which Beddor is also developing film treatments of "The Looking Glass Wars."
Before realizing his destiny as a creator of fantastic worlds, Frank Beddor inhabited the small-town Midwest of this world, having been raised in Excelsior, Minn., not far from Minneapolis. His mother had been in a number of college productions, and during Frank's early years, the Beddor family availed itself of The Old Log, the nearby Chanhassen Dinner Theatre and Minneapolis' famed Guthrie Theater.
Frank's father was part serial entrepreneur, part impresario. One of his pursuits - a traveling water-ski show (featuring ice-follies girls, a one-legged boy and a death-defying jump through fire) - suggests what Frank calls his "charismatic and adventurous" nature. Among other feats of derring-do, the senior Beddor is known for having set a world record skiing the length of the Mississippi River dressed as Paul Bunyan (to promote Minneapolis' Paul Bunyan Land) and motorcycling to South America with his 150-lb. Great Dane riding in a specially outfitted box mounted above the rear wheel.
Having learned how to snow ski at four and water ski at six, barefooting at 12 did follow a certain logic. Frank began training for his professional skiing career close to home. After winning the Nationals, he was invited to join the Olympic ski team (though freestyle skiing would not become an official Olympic event until years later). The team trained near the University of Utah, where Beddor attended college. He went on to tour Europe - competitive skiing is almost as big as soccer on the Continent - and twice be named world champion. He retired from skiing at 23 for a variety of reasons, not least of which, he says, was because, "I'd done it."
As an international sports star, Beddor was afforded endorsement opportunities, which found him appearing in commercials for national brands like Northwest Airlines, Nikon and Juicy Fruit. Becoming an actor was clearly the next step. He appeared as John Cusack's skiing stunt double in the beloved teen comedy "Better Off Dead" (1985) and opposite Carrie Fisher in the "Kentucky Fried Movie" sequel "Amazon Women on the Moon" (1987), directed by Joe Dante. He moved to Los Angeles during this period and acted in several theater productions, for which he earned favorable reviews. He also studied with revered acting coach Stella Adler.
As an exercise, Adler encouraged her students to write the previously unwritten scene their characters are in before they actually step onstage.
As Beddor soon discovered, much of being an actor is waiting for the right script to come along. This frustrated him and ultimately set him on his path to producing.
Adhering to the time-tested adage "Write what you know," he came up with a ski story based on the World War II exploits of the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, which he would later pitch as "'The Dirty Dozen' on skis."
He did get a film off the ground in 1998, "Wicked," which he affirms was most notable for introducing actor Julia Stiles and screening at the Sundance Film Festival.
And then along came "Mary." After arriving in L.A., Beddor had taken a UCLA literature class on Shakespeare's plays. There he met Ed Decter and John Strauss, the original writers of "There's Something About Mary." He'd called them when he first started producing to ask what had happened with the script. "That thing is so dead," they told him. Beddor proceed to buy it out of turnaround.
"There's Something About Mary" was a critical and box-office success ($360 million worldwide), remains a perennial rental favorite, and launched enduring pop-cultural touchstones about stuck zippers and hair gel. And yet, Beddor could not ignore the aforementioned "odd, empty feeling" he got from not being the creative engine of his subsequent projects.
After his epiphany at the British museum and a conversation with the antiquities dealer - during which, he says, "I felt the story he told me about the cards was for my ears only, that this was my destiny" - his path began to unfold. He labored for two years, essentially in secret to avoid explanations and expectations, mapping his Wonderland before ever writing a word.
Beddor spent five years writing "The Looking Glass Wars" - only to have it rejected by every major publisher in the U.S. When it was released in 2004 by the U.K. publisher Egmont Books, however, it became a sensation (file the outrage of Lewis Carroll purists under "There's no such thing as bad publicity"). The first book of the trilogy was issued Stateside in 2006 by Penguin (which had passed on the project four times before its triumph in the U.K.). The second volume, "Seeing Redd," will be published simultaneously in the US and UK in August of 2007.
Beddor attributes the success of the book largely to the online activity of its fans, who seem content to endlessly review, comment on and speculate about the trilogy, and to the presentations he makes at schools.
$1 off tickets available at every Tom Thumb location; Buy One Get One Free Tuesdays at every Captial One Branch; Buy One Get One Free Wednesdays and AT&T Senior Thursday coupons available on the Arboretum website www.dallasarboretum.org
THE BIG SQUEEZE
The Big Squeeze 2010 Accordion Festival Launches in Dallas on March 6, 2010
Texas Folklife and the Latino Cultural Center Partner to Present Accordion Festival Featuring Youth Contest, Documentary Presentation and Concert with Ginny Mac and Baraja de Oro
The Latino Cultural Center is proud to partner with Texas Folklife to launch The Big Squeeze 2010 in Dallas March 6, 2010 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. – with free admission.
Now in its fourth year, this statewide festival is a full day devoted to the squeezebox – as the accordion is sometimes called – with a free youth accordionist contest and a concert program featuring leading DFW bands Ginny Mac and Baraja de Oro.
The annual Big Squeeze accordion contest is open to up-and-coming Texas musicians 21 years of age or younger in any genre of accordion-based music including Cajun; German, Czech, and Polish polka; Tejano, Conjunto and Norteño; Western; and Zydeco. Auditions will be at the Latino Cultural Center Saturday, March 6th from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Auditions are open to the public and contestants must arrive at 4:00 p.m. to register and warm up.
The contest will be followed by a screening of the film The Big Squeeze at 6:30 p.m. Produced by famed director Hector Galán, The Big Squeeze documents contestants during the first two years of the Big Squeeze contest. From the urban barrios of Houston to the colonias along the U.S.-Mexican border, we find musicians carrying on a passionate musical legacy fueled by family, friends and food.
The audience will then be treated to live accordion music from conjunto masters Baraja de Oro and country star Ginny Mac – starting at 7:30 p.m. Despite their young age, Baraja de Oro members have years of experience living accordion music soulfully and daily as a family affair. They are led by acordeonista, lead vocalist and patriarch of the family, Mario Barajas. Hailing from Waxahachie, Texas, Barajas began playing accordion and recording professionally at the age of 14 with some of the best entertainers in the Tejano music industry, including Grupo Fama. Baraja de Oro has distinguished itself for its dynamism, professionalism and commitment to their heritage and community.
Ginny Mac, singer-songwriter and accordionist from Fort Worth, Texas, is a veteran professional – even though she hasn’t yet graduated from Texas Christian University. Her style emphasizes Western swing, but she embraces jazz, big-band and a variety of other influences. Her band, Ginny Mac & The Road to Texas Band, is a high-energy group that packs a ton of energy in a small package. The group is known for their innovative songwriting and intricate arrangements, although they love to throw a few classics in the mix.
The Big Squeeze is supported by the members and Board of Texas Folklife, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, the Houston Endowment, the Cogburn Family Foundation, the Still Water Foundation, the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by regional businesses including Hohner, Inc., SugarHill Recording Studios, Embassy Suites Hotel, and Sign Effects in Austin.
Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For twenty-five years, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities and explored their importance in contemporary society. Texas Folklife has been called “one of the state’s true cultural treasures” by the Austin American-Statesman for the accessible, joyful arts experiences we provide. Located in SoCo just south of downtown Austin, Texas Folklife can be found next door to the Continental Club, at 1317 South Congress Avenue. For more information, contact (512) 441-9255, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.texasfolklife.org
Latino Cultural Center
The Latino Cultural Center is a division of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. The mission of the Latino Cultural Center is to serve as a catalyst for the preservation, development and promotion of Latino arts and culture in Dallas. The Center is located at 2600 Live Oak, Dallas, Texas 75204. LCC Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, please call 214-671- 0045 or visit www.dallasculture.org/latinocc.
About the Big Squeeze 2010 Youth Contest
Selected contestants from the statewide auditions and mailed-in entries will receive travel stipends to take part in the semifinal event May 1st at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. At that time, up to four finalists will be awarded $300 each and an expense-paid trip to Houston to compete before an enthusiastic audience of 6,000 accordion fans at the “Accordion Kings & Queens” June 5th at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston. The Big Squeeze 2010 grand-prize winner will be selected at the concert by a panel of judges with help from the audience. The grand prize winner will receive a prize package valued at $3,000, including a $1000 cash prize, travel expenses to Houston, a new Hohner accordion, and a day-long recording session at the historic SugarHill Recording Studios in Houston, as well as promotional support from SugarHill, Hohner, Inc. and Texas Folklife, and other professional opportunities.
About The Big Squeeze Documentary
The film premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2009 and has been featured on public television stations nationwide. The film features inspiring young artists at home, and follows them as they take the stage for the final contest at the “Accordion Kings & Queens” festival in Houston. Festival cameos of Zydeco greats Chubby Carrier and Step Rideau, conjunto star Mingo Saldivar, and country western singer/songwriter Ginny Mac are included. Hector Galán is an award-winning filmmaker who has produced and directed eleven films for the PBS series Frontline, two films for The American Experience, and many critically acclaimed independent films.