Monday, December 12, 2011

URBAN LATINO RADIO Interview

Host Joe Shock Lopez & Singer Jasmine Clemente

Tonight I felt the love! As I spoke on air at URBAN LATINO RADIO, a good amount of people logged onto the chat room and listened in to my interview on the "Back To The Beat" show hosted by Joe Shock Lopez.

Lopez played both of my singles, "TIME" produced by Anthony K & Antonio Ocasio, and "FREE MY SPIRIT" produced by Franke Estevez. The feedback was awesome! People tuned in and complimented my music in the chat room which was a great thing to see. I also dropped a little acapella, giving the audience a chance to voice their opinion on what kind of lyrics they'd like to hear. I asked, "Let's ask the audience members if they'd like to hear a song about a lovers quarrel, or another positive joint to keep the  good vibrations flowing." Someone typed, "Positive". And another typed, "Bring it! Let's hear both!" Since we were running out of time, I sang a verse to a positive song since the majority ruled, and needless to say... The show ended off on a positive note!

Press play below, and fast forward after the first hour to hear my interview!

PHILADELPHIA PERFORMANCE

Event Coordinator Chris Moore & Singer Jasmine Clemente
Last week on Saturday, December 3rd, I was a featured act for a NATIVE SOUL AMBASSADORS Party held at The Arts Garage in Pennsylvania's funky town, Philadelphia. The event coordinator, Chris Moore, had asked me to come down to perform my single, "Free My Spirit", and boy did I do just that!

The stage was amazing! Behind me were large projector screens shuffling vibrant nature clips to enhance the vibe of my presence. And the audience members - Love 'em! A crowd of curious onlookers surrounded the stage at all four corners with their cameras and phones held up, making me just a little nervous because it was my first time performing out of state. And shit, I was representing NEW YORK! So you know I had to bring my A - Game!

Well at first, I can't lie... The butterflies fluttered in my belly. I felt each one flapping its wings as the frequency within me fluctuated up & down; my nerves jittering. But just like most of the time, eventually something snapped in my head. "Uh... Hello... You're a singer with a record out and you can blow the house down. So DO IT!" And that's when I started singing like it was nobody's business! I sought, conquered, and came alive.. Yes, it was a great house party!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

PLACES TO VISIT

Since life is short, I am making plans to take a trip somewhere this summer. Of course I'd like to get rich from my music career first, however, instead of waiting for a huge, lump sum of money to manifest, I think I'll go ahead and make plans to enjoy certain things in life. You see, the thing is... maybe when I visit certain places, it may lead me to meeting someone that can actually help my career, or maybe it won't. But the point is, life is meant to be enjoyed, so why wait?

Venice, ITALY

Venice, ITALY

There are 2 places in particular that I've always wanted to visit. One of them is Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA, and the other one is Venice, ITALY. Therefore, today... just for the fun of it, I'm going to post pictures on my blog to create a vision board. I hope I inspire some of you guys to try this as well! Sky's the limit!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Writing Coaches

Just when I thought that I was almost finished writing my novel, a mentor of mine named Susan Shapiro, told me to get a writing coach. At first, Shapiro was checking my work in a writing class that I attended at The New School for free (courtesy of Shapiro which she doesn't extend to everyone), but due to her being overwhelmed with tons of students papers to grade, I ended up hiring a personal writing coach named Michelle Herrera Mulligan (Editor of the Anthology Juicy Mangos and former editor of Latina Magazine) after taking Shapiro's advice.

Michelle Herrera Mulligan & Jasmine Clemente

Working with a personal writing coach is extremely effective because they focus all of their attention on your project instead of dividing their attention with many. Although joining classes are fun and helpful too, the personal writing coach will give you more constructive criticism, become more engaged in your story, give you extra ideas on how to be more imaginative, brainstorm with you, help your story flow from one chapter to the next, give you a readers perspective, and of course, they edit!  

The universe will provide the right people

Since I've began working with Michelle, I've seen major improvements with my story. She loves the drama! And tells me not to doubt myself or leave juicy details out. Just when I think a scene might be too graphic, she tells me, "That's what people want to read! Write more of it!" So with Michelle, I feel confident about allowing my story to unfold without shying away. I mean, if the story is boring for me to write then it'll probably be boring for others to read. Therefore, I become uninhibited when I write, letting all my thoughts spill out like a river flowing. No reason to go against nature if it's art.

On a slightly different note, having a personal writing coach also gives one the opportunity to embrace a new friendship. Not everyone will achieve this due to lifestyles and conflicting schedules - and that's okay, but speaking for myself, I've gained an amazing friend in Michelle, and it's great to attract people who are going in a similar direction and who will share the success.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FEMALE SHOWCASE

A good friend of mine named, Deshai Williams, coordinated and hosted an all female showcase last night in which I was featured in. The show took place in the legendary Sullivan Hall in NYC. After the host began singing at the very beginning of the night, she introduced me as the opening act. At first, as all eyes were on me, I spoke a little about the genre of house music for those in the crowd who haven't yet been put on. Most people are exposed to mainstream pop, R&B and Hip Hop music. Therefore, it was an honor to drop a few jewels about the history of house music which consists of deep, ethnic rhythms tracing back to South Africa, parts of Europe, also infusing Latin flavor; not to mention its popular reputation for usually featuring gospel vocalists, or singers who convey very uplifting song lyrics. Thus, after hypnotizing the room with my brief speech about how inspirational this style of music is to me, I sang a little acapella and then told the DJ, "Drop that beat!" The rest was history... as I performed my latest single, FREE MY SPIRIT


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Central Park Photo Shoot

Yesterday I did a photo shoot in Central Park. And while I was striking poses in front of the camera, a small band behind me played spiritual music that sounded like a blend of Catholic church choir vocal harmonies infused with Indian drums & rhythms, laced with lyrics created by artist's such as STING, ALANIS MORISSETTE and/or SINEAD O'CONNER. What was even more enlightening was the fact that I happened to be wearing my crucifix necklace, which made me notice even more of a spiritual coincidence. Below are a few photos taken by this awesome photographer named Travis PhotoNerd.




Tuesday, October 4, 2011

SURPRISE! SURPRISE!

The Coney Island Board Walk in Brooklyn is a historical landmark in New York that I've been dying to perform at, and finally, the opportunity came this past Sunday when I was asked to be a featured guest for a special DJ's birthday - Dat Gurl Curly.

Singing FREE MY SPIRIT on the Coney Island Board Walk
Although there were scattered showers throughout the day, people still partied in the rain as a group of female DJ's including, DJ Dat Gurl Curly, Shelter Girl, and Charo Velecio, played house music inside of one of the wooden huts on the Board Walk. From 12 to 8PM, the crowd freed up their spirits, getting their groove on despite the chilly October weather. All was working out according to plan until it was my time to sing. Something I never expected to happen, happened.

As the crowd gathered closer to me, cheering and amping me on to perform, the wireless microphone I had been singing with had surprisingly shut off! However, I DIDN'T! I kept rocking on like the professional I am, although I couldn't hide the look of shock on my face. Not even seconds after, I laughed it off and continued singing for a crowd of house heads who are all about feeling the spirit! As long as people were jamming to the beat, dancing, and having a good time, I had done my job.


Afterwards, I found out that the cause of the wireless microphone shutting off was due to the battery dying. Well, now I know for next time to prepare for these kinds of things before they happen. In the world of show business, technical difficulties do occur - but a professional knows that the show must GO ON!


*** Special thanks to all of the people who came out in the rain & kept the spirit of joy alive by partying for a special purpose - to celebrate life on Dat Gurl's birthday!



Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Road to hell...

I've heard that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well for me, the further down the rabbit whole I travel, the more this shit is true. Ask me how? Because since I was a child, I've dreamt of becoming the type of singer whose lyrics would touch and inspire audiences, but within these past few years as I've set out to do just that, I've encountered more drug users then I ever could've imagined in the entertainment industry.

Sex, drugs and rock & roll is definitely not the path I wanted to take. In fact, I'm not a huge fan of rock & roll but I don't despise it either. Music is music and it consists of the right to exercise our freedom of expression. However... My god... I'm floored by how many drug users seem to be in the club, at the concerts, and even in the big studios when you're trying to record an album! And the most challenging part for me is not even when the audience members do what they do, but it's when the industry professionals you network with try to lure you into their circle of influence by saying, "Everyone does it."

Are you kidding me? Is this an after-school special where the most popular kids are trying to peer pressure me into being cool? It's one thing to use drug substances at your own private discretion, but when you start inviting others to join in on a dangerous activity that has the potential for self-destruction, then you're not adding value to someone else's life, you're taking away. But some people don't see it that way. When you have high fashion models snorting lines of cocaine, DJ's doing the same inside of booths, Promoters, Artists, Managers and Booking Agents (you name them cause the list goes on) all getting down, you begin to question what the hell you've gotten yourself into?

Now I'm not an angel. I drink. In fact I love to do what they call social-drinking. As a matter of fact, I even drink a bottle of wine when I'm in a studio booth recording music - usually dimming the lights low to get me in the mood. So I get it. People have different ways of calming down or staying up, like drinking coffee because of the caffeine. But shit... Really? Cocaine is that damn popular in show business? Due to my willingness to not mess with that stuff, I've had to walk away from working with certain individuals. But it wasn't easy. People are not robotic machines that you can just turn off when you feel like saying goodbye. People have feelings and emotions, they make mistakes, they fall and they get back up. But as a professional, the truth is that sometimes we have to be cold and straight forward. The same way that a TV Show Director would fire an Actor for messing up on set or an Artist would fire their manager for mishandling their career, is the same way I feel about working with people using drugs. And that's my prerogative! But go figure - Bobby Brown made a hit song called "My Prerogative" and yet became one of the biggest coke heads in Hollywood, even dragging the mega super star Whitney Houston down the tubes with him. (So much for his choice in free will) In fact... That's a perfect example. Only it's heartbreaking that someone else had to suffer in order for us to realize how badly drugs can effect an Artist's performance, reputation, peace of mind, spiritual and mental health. At this point, after all of the information that's out there on this subject, drugs just shouldn't be an option.

My purpose for this blog entry today is because I want readers to know that if you happen to be walking through hell, then keep going! And when you see your brothers and sisters abusing these toxic substances as if it's just another normal thing to do, know that it's not normal even if the biggest names in Hollywood are doing it. (And we've all heard horror stories from Artists such as Hector Lavoe, Natalie Cole and Whitney Houston, etc.) So really, don't be foolish enough to follow the crowd. Lead it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

VIBES TO TOUCH

I read a controversial yet sweet poem to a crowd of Brooklynites just a few nights ago on Saturday, September 10th at an open mic called VIBES TO TOUCH held at the TBD lounge in Greenpoint, BK. Although the hosts, Wiseguy and Gaston Thomas, introduced me as a Performing Artist / House Singer because that's what I am, I've never recited one of my poems before - which for me, was exploring new territory.

House Singer & Spoken Word Artist, Jasmine Clemente
The first spoken word poet to go up was, Versatile, who shared a dark, urban tale in a poetic fashion, expressing raw emotion with passion and pain. Immediately after her is when I was called to the stage. (Well, not a real stage; it was the center of the lounge area complete with a tall, evergreen floor plant) All eyes were on me as I began reading the first few lines of my poem centered around the magic of Children. (And since it was a grown & sexy crowd, I knew there had to be a few parents in the room.) I don't know how, but somehow I'd managed to gain everyone's attention, and through the silence in the atmosphere, I could feel the audience hanging onto my every word until I had left them with a cliff hanger - perhaps for them to either fly away with a new perspective on how we view our children, or fall back into the reality they might've known prior to hearing my words. The purpose of my piece was to inspire people even more than they already are by our precious little jewels who hold the future in their hands.

In addition to the many other poets who were featured after me, there was also an acoustic guitar singer named, Joshua Torrez, who rocked a great performance, especially after singing, "It's A Man's World", by James Brown. He got everyone's attention after rocking that jam, not to mention the females who jumped out of their seats while singing along, "But it would be nothing,  nothing, without a woman or a girl." Of course! I clapped and whistled!

Art Work Created By Michelle Marin
Art work was also displayed all over the lounge, adding an extra flare of creative zest to the scene. Above is a picture of one of my favorite features of the night which was created by Michelle Marin. If you look closely, beside the bird is a message embedded inside of the heart: LOOK STRAIGHT. NOT DOWN AND NEVER BACK.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

PERFORMANCE @ CIELO NYC

Last week on Wed, August 17th, I was introduced as a special surprise guest for Producer/DJ Franke Estevez, at club CIELO located in the meat packing district of NYC to perform my new single, Free My Spirit, during his birthday celebration.


The crowd was amazing! As always, Wednesday nights are notorious for the die hard following that Producer/DJ Little Louie Vega has created, naming it "A Roots Party". Everyone knows, (especially house heads) that Wednesday nights are the best nights to get your dance on. As a result, I caught butterflies in my belly before I actually got on the mic and sang. Once I got behind the DJ booth and saw that huge crowd dancing - some of them tourists from around the world and some of them NYC locals - I conditioned myself to keep thinking, I got this! I'm a diva! What made it a little easier for me was when I told myself that one day I'd be singing in even bigger places than this - like Madison Square Garden, because if there are stars out there already doing it, then I can do it too! I just had to believe that I was already BIG.

I don't know how I pushed through the fear, but I did. Maybe there was some sense of safety since I stood behind the booth and couldn't see the audiences facial expressions to tell if whether people enjoyed it or not. Not before long, a swarm of curious onlookers surrounded the booth and lifted their cameras and iPhones up to video tape my performance. That's when my courage boosted! Thank god! Because I busted out a few high notes and had to have the balls to sing with real feeling & emotion.


Actress Sharon Stone & Artist Jasmine Clemente
Afterwards, the night was topped off when Actress, Sharon Stone, (Basic Instinct / TriStar Pictures) complimented me on my performance and actually asked me to sing twice! I was beyond flattered! Here I was hoping to do a great job for the club's audience, and surprise-surprise, a Hollywood Actress walks in, appreciating my talent with a major applause! Not bad for my first performance at Ceilo. I must say, I'm looking forward to the future! Dreams do come true.
FREE MY SPIRIT available for download now!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Music Video Feature

Yesterday on Saturday, August 14th, I was featured in a hip hop music video directed by Exile Ramirez that took place in a secluded loft tucked away in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Back in the 90's, I was a huge hip hop fan but after the tragic death of 2 Pac & Biggie Smalls followed by the music's content which became more and more violent, I began to lose interest. However, despite my previous judgments on hip hop, I enjoyed being on set with an up & coming hip hop Artist named SeeS for his new video, BANG BANG! Now I know what you're all thinking... The title sounds like the song is about busting caps, murking nicca's and doing drive by shootings but it's not! It's actually about achieving financial prosperity. And although hip hop has been stigmatized for promoting bling-bling, this video didn't reak a thing of superficialness. It basically expounded on the American Dream, promoting that sky is the limit when you work for what you want. Who can't relate to that?

Hence, I enjoyed my time on set, especially since the vibe of the whole cast and crew was so warm and down to earth. In the past when I was featured in other hip hop videos (who's artist will remain nameless) I had felt disrespected by the way some of the rappers spoke to the females on set, as if they should run to them and bow down to their every command. But not these guys, SeeS and Fantom; they were confident enough to deliver a stellar performance and even personally thanked all of the members for their patience, hard work and willingness to commit to staying on set from 3PM until 1:30AM. Now that's what I call a crew of professionals who showed appreciation for every detail that went into creating the finished product.

On set with...
Actor Doug Drucker & Artist Jasmine Clemente
Artist Muse & Artist Jasmine Clemente
(Check out her upper back Tattoo of the Egyptian Feline Deity Bastet)
Actress Chrissy Stewart & Artist Jasmine Clemente




Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PAID ARTIST'S VS STRUGGLING ARTIST'S

There are many stages to an Artist's career. The first is when you have the desire to create whether it's a song, a picture, a script, etc. And usually it's considered a hobby when you're doing it just for fun. But something happens...

As you delve into the arena of your soul, allowing your talents and gifts to emerge by taking action by bringing it from the imagination into the physical realm, you suddenly notice your skills getting better and better as time goes by. Either your vocal cords get stronger, your drawings get more detailed, or your script dialogue gets more emotional, etc. Then you realize that maybe this is something you should do for a living because you want to spend more time on it - like full time, instead of part time.

But how do you take that leap from leaving your day job, into having an artistic career that you can pay the bills with and even more so, prosper magnificently from? The answer: PAPER WORK.

I'm sure that most of you have heard many successful Artists admit to getting jerked in the beginning of their careers. Either they didn't get enough royalties, percentage, points, and/or proper credit for their idea. Thus, they may have had a hit single and/or appeared in a blockbuster movie but was still existing as a struggling artist, just scraping by to make ends meet. As a result they go back to waiting tables, getting an odd job, or room mating with 3 or 4 other struggling artists to share the cost of living expenses. Well... with that being said, it is extremely important to learn the BUSINESS if you are indeed  planning a career in SHOW BUSINESS.

The thing is, if you don't do your homework by reading books such as ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY Written by Donald S. Passman, THE PLAIN AND SIMPLE GUIDE TO MUSIC PUBLISHING: What you need to know about protecting, and profiting from music copywrights Written by Randall Wixen, and, ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MOVIE AND TV BUSINESS Written by Gail Resnik and Scott Trost amongst many others, then you won't build the stamina to sustain a promising career that will allow you to never have to go back to having a day job again. Nothing against having a day job, but if you want to truly be successful as an Artist, it doesn't have to remain a hobby forever!   

Friday, August 5, 2011

SPIRITUAL CENTER

Yesterday on August 4th, I participated in a New Years Day celebration given by BRAHMA KUMARIS: World Organization which marked the beginning of the "turning over a new leaf" in one's life. The purpose of coming together in the middle of summer, (different from American's who celebrate the countdown on December 31st) is to listen to our spiritual guide speak about the wisdom of universal love.

In the heart of Midtown Manhattan at Subud Center, (www.subudnewyork.org) about fifty people sat in a tranquil open space meditating with the help of our guide directing us to silence our talkative minds. Speaking in detail, she told us to put our thoughts about work, relationships, finances, troubles, wants and desires away in a briefcase and lock them up. And when we feel the need to go back into our briefcase and reopen it, leave it there, be still, and just breathe. The goal for this exercise - achieve clarity.

After she had our full attention, she stated that the beauty of God is that all of his children come from different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, cultures and walks of life, and yet still we are all one because behind the costume of our bodies, we emanate from his spirit which is love, truth, abundance and peace.


Finally, one by one, we all took turns walking up to the alter where we each received a ribbon tied around our wrists to symbolize our spiritual connection to each other in this circle of life. But that's not all! We even received separate blessings similar to fortune cookies except that these truly touch the heart. Mine says:
You have the ability to see the value of every  moment, the power of every thought, and the beauty of every soul.



Saturday, July 30, 2011

Writing A First Novel

Now that we're in the month of August, it marks an entire year and a half that I've been writing my first novel. And while it is practically finished, I've been taking some time to do some final draft editing before sending it off to my publishers. If you also have the desire to write a story but don't know where to start, here are a few tips I'm happy to share!
  • Pick a topic you're passionate about, be it romance, mystery, drama, horror, etc.
  • Don't worry about it making sense at first. Just write down all of your ideas, feelings, thoughts and freestyle!
  • After you scribbled down notes sporadically, the next step is to start getting your thoughts in order by actually creating a system. 
  • Get a new notebook. At the top of each page, write the name of each character with a list of their characteristics below. Include their gender, age, ethnicity, occupation, and be specific about their physical appearances. Does one woman have a visible mole on her face like Marilyn Monroe? Another have a short, boy hair cut like Halle Berry? Write the details. 
  • Give each character a phrase that they repeatedly say in their dialogue such as, "Trust Me," or "I A'int the one," or like Carrie always says from Sex in The City, "I couldn't help but wonder."
  • In the middle of your notebook, put a yellow post-it sticky to mark the next section where you're going to doodle conflicts between your main characters. Play with your imagination and don't think that anything is too crazy! In fact, the crazier, the better! 
Hopefully, these tips helped. I know that writing is key to completing a novel but many times a lot of us get stuck day dreaming about it because we're not sure of how to do it correctly. It's normal to be fearful but don't let it paralyze you into non-action. It's also good to read books such as, "Writing A Novel for Dummies", etc. But you should be writing first and then reading afterwards, just to see how closely you're matching the format of story telling in a way that makes sense.

Okay well, Phew! I must say, it feels really good to finally finish my first story. Ladies & Gents, writing a book is not simple and yet it is simple. Why? Because it all starts with writing! If you can write an article, a letter - anything at all, then you can write a book. So start writing and the rest will come naturally. Also, make sure to hang out with other writers; it's imperative that you do! Your social circle will feed your motivation and continue to remind you of who you want to become and how you're going to do it. Good luck!



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

MY POSEIDON: A Poem

Sinking into the cushion of your understanding,
I lost all sense of logic, forgetting why I was so angry
Your warrior-like compassion burned through every illusion
that I imprisoned myself to believe
until you unlocked me
turning my fate for the better like a sorcerer of the seas,
you commanded the upheaval of my emotions to be released
so I could become free

Tender, soft, yet strong, you held on tight to the treasure you discovered
Me, the pearl without an oyster who needed your shelter
How did you find me in such stormy weather?
Oh yes, because as you cruised through misty fog, navigating through hailing sins,
getting smacked down by tidal waves of rejections,
your heart pumped oxygen made of stardust, illuminating your inner compass
with kinetic inspiration
so you'd never forget where you really came from and what you're truly made of

Focused, nothing could cloud your vision
You've been on a mission but needed your Misses to cross the ocean of differences
Sharks tested your strength as they did mine
My heart bleeding from a loss of faith, I gave up the fight
And yet there you were, taller than a tower,
your light beaming from the heights of your third eye
finding me amidst the darkness of the night,
Drowning in sadness, twirling in a whirlpool of oblivion,
I tried to find balance between the mind, body and spirit,
but had no luck until our two worlds collided,
like a mermaid transforming into a woman with legs,
You then led me into a garden where I could eat the fruits of wisdom
their seeds sprouting through my lips when I began to speak,
uttering positivity, affirming miraculous healing
so that others who were once lost like me can finally see
the true potential that we all could reach

The moon then began to giggle as we kissed underneath the stars,
bestowing its glow upon our Venus and Mars
planetary movements, nebula explorations,
heaven's gates joyously swinging open, the angels celebrating our majestic union
Due to your freewill to act as a soldier of love,
You've infused the goddess within me to reactivate my blueprint
so I can too, like you, offer a universal love

Written by Jasmine Clemente



Friday, July 22, 2011

QUEEN: A Poem


It is time for you to fearlessly
venture out like a lioness who owns her self-esteem
In the concrete jungle of dillusionary dreams
Be the real thing,
The sure deal,
A challenging match that will bring even a king to his knees
Let your very presence
Be so magnetic
that you suck in the darkness, spitting it back out into pieces,
shattering it's miniature armies of demonic forces
due to your illuminating presence
which blinds them,
Thus,
Transpires them
Into a healing existence,
Like the dove after war,
Peace reigns within your majesty
You can do this, for you are a QUEEN
A warrior of light
Fulfilling a higher purpose,
A human being,
An angel,
A compassionate soul
who recognizes the spirit that dwells behind the ego,
waiting to be released - freedom
is your middle name,
It is the essence in which you rest in
To be reawakened
To its tranquility
like a breeze in the tropics, you thrive in the suns vitality,
Too powerful not to shine,
you spread your rays of light
For if someone double crosses you,
you will burn even more bright!
Let them cause their own demise for not accepting your truth
With your prophetical tongue,
Casting spells, bestowing blessings,
Speaking beautiful revelations to occur
For you are a QUEEN
A QUEEN who loves boldly beyond reason,
Beyond logic,
Beyond needs,
Don't apologize or think this is weak,
For you are fiercely courageous to reveal such awe striking sensitivity
This is the heart and soul of a woman's natural state of divinity
Be that woman of glory!
For you are a QUEEN

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

SONG PICK OF THE DAY

There are certain songs that are classics. The difference between a classic and any other song, is the fact that the classic lives on forever due to its message, its vibrations and its influence on our soul. This is my personal pick! =)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Article on NYC's Celebrity Stylists: The Sachika Twins!

Aside from writing my first novel and recording an album, I also take time out to interview and profile some amazing industry professionals. Below you can read an article that I wrote on NYC's celebrity stylists: The Sachika Twins. It was a pleasure to be in their company and they had some amazing tips to share about beauty and fashion which every woman can relate to. Remember, regardless of what field you're in, always dress for success!

Article on Actress, Empowerment Speaker and Activist, April Lee Hernandez-Castillo

SOME MUSIC FOR YOUR EARS

Latest tracks by JASMINECLEMENTE

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DON'T STOP WRITING!

I don't know what the hell I'm doing and yet I know exactly what I'm doing when I type until my fingers fall off. See, that's just it! I keep on typing and typing without worrying TOO MUCH about the structure or what the story line should be like.

Look, cut me some slack here. I'm writing my first novel so I'm not really going according to the proper guidelines, but then again, I've never really lived my life that way either. I've always been sort of an enigma, hard to figure out - complex, I should say. And... my story is what it is... a story! Like children, we color outside of the lines, and that's when we're at our most blissful state. Then we get older and learn how to color inside of the lines. Then we get even older and they teach us how to color back outside of the lines - again. So in a nutshell, everything we learn, we end up unlearning. It's called the art of allowing.

As a first time Author, I must say that I am just allowing myself to flesh out the story. And I refuse to beat myself up any longer about how perfect it should be before sending it off to my publishers. I think I have been a perfectionist for far too long and the truth is, that since it's my first book, there's going to be room for improvement no matter how hard I try. There just comes a time when you know in your heart that you've done the best that you can and you're ready to share. So, my fellow writers, remember to continue writing because to become an Author, you must write! Besides, every successful novelist had a first book too. ;)

Friday, June 17, 2011

ARTISTS & FINANCES

There's an audience that seeks your type of sound/vision/art and/or project; there's always an audience. But what happens is this: Sometimes Artists get so caught up in trying to create something for the current market to purchase, that they lose their special magic because they're not allowing their soul to come through.

Many Artists who are looking to make a living off of their work, keep this marketing/business strategy in mind when creating, which is fine, however, in my opinion, I've learned that what's in today is usually out tomorrow - that fast! Things just change too rapidly to try and keep up with the times, so why not just be true to yourself? Hence, you never know what new fads or styles suddenly emerge out of nowhere.

Again, there's always an audience who will buy into your vision, but the key is to stay OPEN MINDED. For all you know, maybe your projects won't do well on the East Coast of America but they may do well on the West Coast. Or... They may even do well overseas. So don't be discouraged if you're not earning enough income right away. Remember, Doctors heal, Lawyers defend, and Artists INSPIRE. Keep that at the forefront when you're producing, writing, conducting, drawing, etc, because our job as Artists is to feed the soul by moving people to tears or to joy. Then the money is your reward; not the other way around.

... And when you collect your pay, make sure to invest! The struggling Artist is a myth due to many of them not having enough financial education a few years ago. But today, there are so many books, audio CD's, free seminars that provide information on how to better manage our finances, that we no longer have to starve. But that's entirely a different subject. The most important role to fill, is allowing the unfolding of your destiny to flourish by trusting your own inner voice and intuition. And when you master that, your greatest work or art will spring forth from the divinity in which you tap into. Be an open vessel that is clear to receiving some of the most wickedest ideas in story telling, music, fashion, kissing the floor after making love to your dance partner, and whatever else activates your imagination. Feel your corazon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

FASHION REEL

Jasmine Clemente - Fashion Reel from Roberto Serrini on Vimeo.

If an Artist like Jamie Fox, Maxwell or Robyn Thicke asked me to be in their music video, I'd definitely collaborate with them! Jennifer Lopez had featured in P.Diddy's video back in da day, and Beyonce had even appeared in a video shoot as well. So, why wouldn't I? Here I am, posing like a high fashion model in the new release for FOREMOST POETS hit song, I'll Be Your Maker. (PLANET ASIA 2011) Oh! And it'd be worth listening to the lyrics; they're pretty inspirational!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

EVENING OF EROTIC ECSTASY


Last night, Friday the 13th, I performed my first single, Free My Spirit, (Fuzion Records) at the Book Release Party for "Twisted Cherry" - And to be perfectly correct, the name of the event was called "An Evening of Erotic Ecstasy".

The event featured myself as the only female singer, a male vocalist and guitarist, a few belly dancers, and spoken word artists who shared pieces on sexuality. I must say, everyone was amazing! Of course the main woman of the night was Monica S. Martinez who is the Author of "Twisted Cherry", and she too read a few erotic poems which were very risque! In addition to my performance, I also have 3 short stories featured in the Anthology called Snap Shots, My Twin Mamacita, and City of Angels. Books will be available on Amazon.com in the Fall of 2011.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Most WANTED Man: Dead or Alive

People have cheered and popped bottles, toasted champagne glasses and celebrated over the death of Osama Bin Laden. Although he was the world's most WANTED man, the reaction of his demise has baffled me. To make a comparison, Adolf Hitler had also executed many evil deeds, inspiring a nation just as Bin Laden had done to murder thousands of Jews in a genocide. Therefore, violence is hardly new to our society or this world. And yet as much as I do believe in justice and protecting those we love against danger, I just don't see the joy in sharing, teaching, and rejoicing in someone else's punishment, especially when it's rooted in power trips. It honestly troubles me to think how such wickedness is allowed to reign over mother earth by our own doing, and it equally saddens me how some people can thrive from death upon death. Where is the compassion in this? Is this the only way to win a war?

‎"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, April 25, 2011

MUSIC


I'm taking it back old school tonight; writing lyrics and singing them into a tape recorder! (Yes, they still make those!) Although last week I rehearsed with my guitar player, Fredrick the Live 1, tonight I'm picking up where we left off. I have to admit, I like creating songs from scratch without having the track already made for me. Even though it's okay to write lyrics to a beautiful instrumental, it feels better to work with live musicians on something fresh from the ground up.

Last week, it was just me and Fredrick - no one else. No pre-beat already made, no extra people hanging around to give their opinions or be a distraction, and no pressure to create a so-called "Radio Hit". (I hate those!) Thankfully, it was just us jamming out to something that came from the heart & soul. And hey... isn't that what music's all about anyway? Tonight I'll be coming up with the grand finale of the song: The bridge and the end. Can't wait for our rehearsal next week!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

COMPANIONSHIP

Just when I think life is as close to perfection as can be, something in me begins to crave for romance. As a single woman about to turn 30, I'm in the middle of writing my first novel, I'm performing at venues as a singer/entertainer, and I have a single that should be coming out in about a month or so. And yet here I am, wondering when I'll find Mr. Right.

Is it natural to seek a companion? I often believe that since we were designed to procreate, then perhaps it is normal to want to have someone to share our up's and down's with. Someone to celebrate our accomplishments with, and equally feel comfortable enough to cry on their shoulder when times are hard. However, there is a thin line between wanting that soul mate, and needing that soul mate from a place of insecurity.

Can I be honest here??? I often struggle with why I feel the need to want a companion, and how to go about knowing when I've found someone suitable. Like that show, "Sex In The City," I have dated more than my share in real life. Definitely open minded, I've dated outside of my race, outside of my age bracket, and I've dated men with high incomes and with very low incomes. So I'm definitely not shallow or just looking for someone who I have every little thing in common with. I'd say I'm pretty open minded. But something is just not right. Or maybe it is just right... Maybe I'm supposed to be single right now.

I've often heard that the universe will provide you with the things you need in divine timing, and if it doesn't provide you with what you want, then it's because there's a "blockage". Well... Maybe I need to be a little more patient... Maybe I need to trust in my growth and where I'm currently at in my life... Maybe I need to appreciate the love I do receive from my relatives, friends and peers in my industry, and most importantly, the love I have for myself.

It's funny though... A relationship always seems to flourish when I least expect it. When I'm not looking and when I sure as hell don't need it, some amazing connection just pops out of nowhere! And then I go with the flow... I let nature take its course... And I get involved, only to find that months later, it wasn't meant to be because the person came into my life for a season.... Usually to teach or show me something.

Well today I am saying to myself... that...

First of all, it's human nature to seek a soul companion & that doesn't make me needy.
Secondly, I deserve to be loved in a healthy, mature & committed relationship.
Thirdly, because I know that I deserve the real thing, I will be PATIENT so when it comes, I'll be able to recognize and appreciate it.
And last but not least, instead of allowing a man to convince me that we should be together when I'm happy being single, I will be way more selective and wait as long as I have to, because in order to attract the REAL THING, I must be the REAL THING.

So here's to the REAL THING! May I attract who and what I already am, and more! *When the time is right*

Thursday, April 21, 2011

WRITING IN A LOUNGE

Once again, I'm working on my novel. But today I'm doing one thing differently from what I normally do and that is... I'm writing at a cafe called, The Tea Lounge, in Park Slope Brooklyn. Usually I write at home where I'm comfortable in my cozy studio apartment accompanied by my two cats. Of course writing at home is great because I can stay in pajamas, kick my feet up on the sofa, and hit the refrigerator whenever I need a bite to eat. But today... I'm in a nice cafe.

Sometimes we need a change of atmosphere. I think this place - a step up from starbucks with tea and coffee served in real mugs - is a great place to discipline myself for more hours than usual. And the reason is because I'm not home, plus I'm surrounded by a bunch of other lap tops plugged in around me; everyone is writing something. And one thing feeds the other. ... I'm about to get lost in the zone. Story writing time...

Monday, April 18, 2011

CREEPY LITTLE doubts...

Sometimes I question why I put so much energy into my creative career because of all the sacrifices that have come with it. Between hearing people tell me that I'm wasting my youth from investing so many hours and days into a career that is extremely spontaneous instead of sticking to a secure job so I could have the weekends to myself, (planning vacations & having a normal social life) I've actually considered having a plan B. However, plan B, is beginning to sound like the word "BUT" to me.

"But what if I fail?"
"But what if I end up broke in the end?"
"But what if no one likes my projects?"

Yada, yada, yada... All of these excuses are exactly what they are: Excuses. Okay, so we all have doubts from time to time. Maybe that's normal because we're human. But the key is not to allow our fears to swallow us whole. No, because I feel that it's important for us to grow BIGGER than the fear and eventually have fear run away from us!

And that's what it's all about to me. They say that LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT, right? But no one said that pursuing your goals would be easy. However, do you want to become someone who allows things to just happen to you, or someone who decides to create the life you want without being lazy, scared, or making excuses for why it can't be done? I say, if you can't beat 'em, create a new team!

Friday, April 15, 2011

THE PERFECTIONIST

"I'm a perfectionist; fuck it! There, I said it!" LOL In this creative industry, I often hear successful people say, "Just finish your project so you have something out there, and if it's not that great, don't worry about it because no one started out with a masterpiece."

Okay, so there may be some truth to that, however, when you're passionate about your shit, you can't just put something out there just to have your name recognized. Especially, if you want your name recognized!

I'm working on my first novel. And I must say, it's been at least 2 years since I began but it's still not completed. Not even half way. (Well... about half way.) And yes, I've been working on it on and off. It hasn't been a straight two years where I wake up every single morning and get to my computer, going in deep until the wee hours of the night. No. I've held part time jobs in between, I've also freelanced some articles, made time for sex, had my heart broken, made time for more make up sex, and of course worked on my book, all the while hitting the studio to record vocals over music, plus performing live here and there throughout NYC. So in the midst of all this (not including all the social activities I've participated in even though I always say I'm going to stop going out so much to get my ass on a tight schedule) I have not come up with a solid ending for my story yet. However, something very interesting happened the other night which I found to be quite fascinating...

My girlfriend/writing coach and I went out to one of my favorite clubs called CIELO in the meat packing district and while we toasted to our successful collaboration at the open bar, she told me, "All we have is this moment; right now... And that's really all that matters; and sometimes we have to stop being so hard on ourselves and just enjoy life, the people, the laughter, and the good times, ya know? Just take a look around you. This is it!"

She's right. Because the truth is, if it wasn't for living a rich and fulfilling life, then where would the inspiration to imagine great stories, films or songs come from? Maybe there's some truth to being able to balance our professional life and personal life. Or do you think we should just work, work, work our fingers to the bone? Well, I think that if we're going to be passionate about our projects, we should also be equally as passionate about our own real life. Because in hindsight, our real life -vs- the projects that we create from imagination are interlinked.

In any case, I feel like it's okay for me to be a perfectionist as long as I allow the universe to also play its part in my work. Fore if I publish something too quick then it may not be at the level that it could've been if I would've taken just a little bit more time to give it that extra TLC that it needed: more ideas, more constructive criticism, more corrections, more vision, more love, etc. So yes, perhaps I shouldn't be so hard on myself as far as having this novel completed by yesterday. I think the same way that the greatest artist in the universe who is God decided to birth me into this world during the era in which I was meant to come into, is the same way that my gift back to this world will happen on its own divine timing. So what's the rush? I wasn't born in 1200 B.C. I was born in the early 80's and now I am a renaissance woman living in the millennium. In my mind, this had to be meant to be. I had to come into this world at a certain date to learn certain things and to effect certain things, and with respect to my souls dharma in this lifetime, I'm sure that my projects will be ready when they are meant to be ready.

And yours will too. So continue to be a perfectionist if you are one because it's better to put your best work out there instead of just any 'ol crap that will generate an income. Yes, I say give the best of yourself because after you leave this plane of existence, your work may still live on and influence other generations to come. So what kind of footprints do you want to leave behind? Half ass work with no meaning or substance? Or work that you poured your blood, sweat and tears into because you just needed to share your vision? Be and do inspiration. It's perfect.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

PROFESSIONAL -VS- PERSONAL

As creative artists, how do we separate our personal life and professional life? It seems that for me, my personal experiences are indeed a major part of my professional life because it's those very emotions that fuel my desire to have to, want to, need to express them in some form or fashion.

There's a saying that goes, "If you want to be a great artist, then live a very interesting life."


I couldn't agree with that statement more. How can we write, act, dance or sing about something that we don't feel within our gut? When we go into character, shouldn't we be able to truly relate in some way? Meaning, not just through fantasy, but also because everything in life is interlinked to our human race, and what one person thinks of has already been so or can be so?

Never mind that... That's veering off topic just a little. The point is, what I go through, I write about. Maybe not exactly as non-fiction, but I do write about subjects I know. For instance, if I'm broken hearted because the love of my life just gave me a rude awakening, I cry it out in a song, describing the pain in my lyrics while allowing the passion in my vocal delivery to send a message. How else can I create? To make something up, completely foreign to me? Well, some people can do that. But not I. For me, I live my life on edge (to the most part) and exploit it. That way... after I read, see, or listen to my masterpiece, I analyze and understand it a little bit better later on. Because I never understand while I'm actually going through the process... But that doesn't mean that I let it block my creativity. In fact, sometimes it's the confusion, the darkness, and the uncertainty that births the opportunity to draw the picture through my own eyes while living in the moment - in slow motion or high speed dramatic details.

"Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get." - From the movie, FORREST GUM

Saturday, April 2, 2011

CHILDREN: A Poem

Dip yourself into a pool of holy water but that will not wash away your original sin…
For it was never there to begin with…
Because all babies are divine and not one of them is dark.
Whether brown, cinnamon, golden bronze, cocoa colored or even vanilla cream,
None of them belong to Satan and will never be birthed through the canal of a woman’s river stream…

Only pearls carved out of heaven are allowed to enter earth through the gateway of a lady's essence…

Pure… innocent… guiltless …
Babies are full of endless…
Possibilities
Like empty vessels, unblocked by tainted thoughts of sexism, class, racist thoughts and bigotry, babies are clean with crystal clear energy, excited about embarking on this three dimensional journey...
with fresh ideas which originated from up above

Fore they were handcraft made by the sorcerer of miracles and universal love…
Which is more powerful than anything that the oceans depth or the earth’s crust can ever imagine or think of…

So yes, that’s right, a child’s future is absolutely limitless…
Don’t you believe?
Just look at where we really come from…

Fore children have the ability to pave a new way of life, so long as their parents don’t inject them with fear and worry by brainwashing their mind.

And even if you did have a crystal ball, who are you to lock balls and chains around the membranes of their mentality, placing shackles on their little booties so they can’t grow up to stand on their own two feet – spiritually – like the God’s and Goddesses of their supernatural family tree...

Don't you see the glory? Your children are offspring's of the most-high Kings and Queens.

Now let’s go back before the child became five or six,
Back when they were just a newborn drip
Of the universe flowing into physical existence…
Just starting to form facial features, not telling which parent they’d really take after.
When one parent held the little jewel in his arms and said, “My child is going to become a God fearing Christian…
A Lawyer or a Doctor.”

That may be fine and dandy but please remember that…AGAIN… I repeat…
A child’s future has no limitations
None whatsoever…
Except for what some lost souls may try to give them,
beating it into their heads that they shouldn’t dream because the odds of making it are against them
But more so because they are afraid
of what people will say when their child fly's away, spreading its wings through courageous transformation...

By breaking traditions, rebelling against the masses because they are natural born leaders walking through the face of danger...
All for a bunch of strangers because their love is greater than the sum of its immediate relatives, cultural distinctions and political positions...

Where some adults judge a book by its cover by viewing only surface illusions, these tiny old souls see, feel, and know *spirit*

Don't confuse them...

These children can spread a message by teaching *new* lessons, becoming the Dr. Martin Luther King’s, Gandhi’s, Oprah Winfrey’s and John Lennon’s…

Can you imagine???

A child telling you, “I wasn’t born to live a mundane existence!”

Yes, because some babies grow up and actually never forget what their life mission is, yearning to leave their footprints on earth as hero’s and legends…
Because they are in fact star children who live with purpose, passion, drive and ammunition…

Once again, let me remind you, feed you more than just a spoon, give you a dose of medicine to heal any of your own inner child’s wounds…

So here it goes, I’m about to tell you the truth…

When one door closes another one opens so when you say goodbye to a loved one who has seen the light, in no time shortly another angel in space is ready to take flight, to travel down the rabbit whole and pop up into your life…
But whether this child comes through your body or someone else’s is irrelevant,
Fore children are like the butterfly effect and we are all connected.

Written by Jasmine Clemente

Sunday, March 27, 2011

TANGO

I take tango lessons with Jak Karakoa at Pearl Studios in Manhattan. One of the best teachers to have!

WRITING MY FIRST NOVEL

I didn't think that writing a book would be easy, but I didn't think that it would be this hard either - for me, at least. For some people, they can complete a novel within six months. (Like Stephen King) But aside from the greats, everyone has their own style and way of creating art. Yes, writing a book is definitely ART.
Today I have gone all the way back to rewriting my first chapter. (So far I have about ten chapters completed) And while I've gone back, I realized that rewriting is the BEST part because you get to really have fun with your characters. You see, the first stage of writing is having the idea in your head and convincing yourself that even though you've never written a book before, you're going to do it! Then the second thing, is actually writing. But as we all know, writers tend to write alot because we can't help it. Although this is a good thing, we have to remember that audiences get bored quickly, so we have to make sure to cut out all the extra fat. This means that we have to stick to the main points and not be too descriptive because it's more about the juice in the story than it is about the background. We don't need to know how long someone was walking in the woods for - what kinds of trees they passed and animals they saw. A few details are perfect because the reader wants to feel like they are IN the story, but if we focus too much on all that description, the reader will lose interest because they just want to know - what happens next!

So it's all about enhancing drama; and making your characters "rememberable" and "unique". Get to the punch line. Write the most important things down and then move on. Look at me... Writing an almost "self-help" manual on how to write your first novel. Lol Well, I've read enough of those books from "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Writing Your First Novel" to "Writing Your First Novel For Dummies." And let me tell you, there's nothing better than simplicity.

Another great piece of advice to give, if I may, is that I have a writing coach. Actually, a few writing coaches. 3 to be exact. And I truly believe that having writing coaches are the best thing to invest your time, money and energy into when you're serious about a writing project. In fact, this is the real reason that I'm working on my first chapter again. I received great feedback from one of my writing coaches who gave me tips on how to tighten up the first chapter which I do believe, is the most important part of the story because that's what's going to hook your readers in. So yes, have as many extra eyes read your work as possible before you send it off to print. Because once it's printed, you can't change it. And if you're anything like me, then you're a perfectionist! Wanting to put your best foot out there even if it's your first time around. I mean, as long as something has my name on it, I want it to be the best that I could give at that time.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

AN OPEN MIC celebrating Latin & Caribbean Cultures

During the first week of March, a friend of mine invited me to an open mic event called CAPICU held in Brooklyn's Notice Lounge which is organized by Latin Activists. It was my first time there, and while I was experiencing a break up, I made the most of my time - It indeed lifted my spirits. Without being prepared to perform, I decided to freestyle whatever I felt in my heart at the moment. So when they called my name up to the stage, I shut my eyes and began singing silky adlibs until a few words just slipped out of my vocal chords.
Realizing that most artists performed pieces that remained within the caribbean theme of our culture, ancestors, and community issues, I veered off into a different direction by singing about my formless spirit inside. I got a few whistles and great reactions from the crowd, however, they were light and very few. In fact, I knew as I was expressing these lyrics that came from up above, everyone in the room was paying attention to every detail, every word, and every emotion as I delivered it soulfully. When I finished, I received loud claps, and as the host came up to grab the mic from my hands, she lovingly joked, "I felt like I was back in church for a second."

Each and every person who went up to share a piece was amazing! (My honest opinion.) Most of them were spoken word artists, some were poets, but I believe I may have been the only singer that night. Every piece honored our history, and some exposed the negative stereotypes of Latin culture as well as the positives. In any case, it felt really good to be a part of such an amazing show that highlighted people who want their voices to be heard in such a talented, dramatic and creative fashion. I look forward to appearing there again... Hopefully next time, I'll stick to the theme which celebrates my fabulous, cultural roots.

Monday, March 21, 2011

TOLERATED or CELEBRATED?


"Do not go to a place where you are tolerated, go to a place where you are CELEBRATED."

I heard someone say that quote once and although I can't remember who said it, I do remember that it came from a preacher or a motivational speaker. In any case... I never forgot that quote. Never.

What it made me realize is that sometimes we go places or do certain things that we're not really passionate or excited about. Why is that? (And I'm not talking about throwing out the garbage or washing the dishes) Lol But why do we go to certain places when we know deep down inside that we really should be somewhere else? Do we go out of obligation, or because we've been conditioned to believing that this is the way it is?

I finally decided to be the captain of my ship, the driver of my future, the boss of my own life. And in doing so, I came up with this:

Sometimes we don't do well in a certain place because we are supposed to move to another state or even another country. Think of it this way. If you're fishing in a lake but there are hardly any fish to catch, maybe you need to go to another lake where there are plenty more. In other words, don't stay stuck in an environment hoping for things to change. Sometimes, the solution is for you to go somewhere else where there is more opportunity for growth. (And that can be as simple as changing jobs or moving into a new neighborhood; you don't necessarily have to move out of the state) If you are experiencing any type of financial drought or loss of energy, it may be because God is trying to tell you something. When you are in the "place" where you belong, all kinds of blessings will occur. So don't stay somewhere that is not benefitting you abundantly and triumphantly. Leave that place and travel to a new land where you will blossom tremendously. Where the people, places and things will not only accept you, but will love you and add to your spiritual expansion.

By the way, keep this in mind: Polar Bears wouldn't survive in Puerto Rico any more than Alligators would survive in the North Pole. Therefore, if animals instinctively know that they thrive in certain environments, then humans should know that too. But humans are just a little more complex than animals are, given our brain to weigh out options and exercise our free will, and so it's not enough to just be where we are. We have to think, analyze, and "decide" upon where we will walk towards.

In a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen, don't settle with just a satisfactory life. Of course you should count your blessings because it can always be worst. But the key is to APPRECIATE what you do have, and then BUILD upon growing more. I mean, the world is always spinning, time is always ticking, and things are always changing. The question is, do you want to go where you are celebrated so that you can grow with God's plan for your life, or do you want to go where you are only tolerated and just watch life pass you by?

Monday, January 24, 2011

A JEWRICAN?

I was baptized, raised Catholic, and went to Sunday school. But after my 2nd grade communion, talks about The Bible stopped in my house. Maybe it was because by the time I was in third grade, my parents divorced; maybe not. Although I don't remember what the real reason was, all I know is that my parents were never big on enforcing their religious points of views on me.

Nonetheless, it wasn't until my freshman year of College that I was reintroduced to the Christian faith through a friend on campus. He was very passionate about recruiting me, so I went just once and saw a few people speaking in tongues by the alter. I was shocked. People were crying frantically, falling to the ground, jumping and shouting songs of praise. I can't lie; it freaked me out, so I left and never returned.

However, now that I think about it... The reason I went was because I had an encounter with an evil spirit. (Or at least it had felt that way) I remember being chased down the street by a black shadow. In fact, it was so close that I just about felt it on my back. And yet every time I turned around, nothing was there. I knew that I wasn't imagining it... It felt too real. I thought that by the time I'd make it to the train station, I'd be rid of it, but I was wrong. When I got on the train, It got on with me. (I'm not making this up) This spirit, or entity, or whatever one wishes to call it, actually followed me the whole way home. I remember calling my ex-boyfriend to rush over. And I don't know why, but thank god he believed me!

So that was the reason for my friend wanting to recruit me into his Christian faith, which was a little bit different than being Catholic because he was specifically a Born Again. Yet as I've mentioned earlier, visiting his church didn't feel right to me, so I left.

A few years later, I decided to go to "Times Square Church". I don't exactly remember what prompted me to attend, but I remember being about twenty two years old or so, and I just needed to seek spiritual guidance. Well, the choir was amazing! And the preaching hit my gut most of the time. I did indeed feel a powerful presence, but after about three or four months of attending church, there were just a few things missing for me.

I definitely believed in a higher power, (and still do) and I definitely believed that all human beings were born with a divine purpose. We weren't created just to exist, but we were placed here with an assignment, and we know what that assignment is by the pain we feel because if it stirs our hearts, then that is what we are here to fix/solve. But if we don't care about something, than it is not really our place to help in that specific situation. (You can't force someone to care about something.) However, there are certain people who feel compelled to do certain things. In fact, they become obsessed about completing the task. Well, that's called our dharma. And in the Christian faith, they definitely talk about the individual missions that God lays out for us. In other words, there is a special job that is inscribed inside all of our hearts by God, and that is the work in which we are called forth to do while we live on this planet.


But then there were other things that didn't quite make sense to me, such as adopting the belief that if I just accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior, then I would be forgiven for all of my sins and accepted into the Kingdom of heaven. That one I didn't buy. I did however, believe that Jesus Christ existed and was crucified. I do believe that he was chosen, or appointed by God to fulfill his mission of being an enlightened prophet who would lead the people out of mental & spiritual slavery. But I did not believe that accepting him "alone" would be enough for all of my sins to be forgiven. In fact, I had a hard time believing that if I didn't accept him as my lord and savior, that I would be doomed to an eternity in a place called Hell... However...

Due to my encounter a few years ago of being chased down a city block by an invisible entity, I do believe that evil does exist. Not only because of that incident, but I've had others before and after. Although not all of them were bad, some were good. I've had dreamt of things that have come to pass, visions I guess one might call them, and I've seen how God works through people, giving me blessings through certain opportunities. However, with everything that I've mentioned about good and evil, I just could not, for the life of me, believe that Jesus Christ was God's only son. I thought that we were all his children.

Finally I asked this question... "Why did the church I attend usually read from the "New Testament" but not the "Old Testament"?

It was the "Old Testament" that I became more interested about because the "New Testament" seemed to be written by men. I know that they say the bible was written by God, but of course a human hand had to take action while the inspiration poured in through their minds and fingers. However, something about the "Old Testament" seemed more ancient and sacred to me. A little less untouched and changed by the generations. You've all heard the story about... Adam & Eve.

It was these things that I wanted to learn about. That's when I learned that my quest for spiritual knowledge begun to shift into Judaism. I didn't realize this until a friend of mine told me, "If you believe in God and that we are all connected, and you like going to Church but you just don't believe in original sin or that Jesus Christ is your personal savior, well then, you're a Jew."

I had never thought of it that way before. But then again, what do I know about being Jewish? I was baptized as a Catholic. In any case, I guess just like anything else in life, everything is a mystery. Who would really, truly, and honestly, have ALL of the answers to everything??? And even if we all read the Old & New Testament, don't people still have difficulty understanding the bible, or much less, agreeing on the meaning of its proper perspective?

I still do believe that life is a journey and that where our hearts propel us to go is the right way. I also believe that if we pray sincerely, then God, or our "higher" power, will speak to us in whichever way we can understand, be it Spanish, Chinese, English, or through our faith. For these religions are channels that connect us to a higher source of universal love, but it is up to us to remain open and clear so that we may allow it to fill us up with its radiant energy of truth, love and light.

Thus, as I continue on my path as a creative artist, (since this is the lifestyle I chose) I continue to seek God's internal guidance through my intuition that will prompt me to do the work that I have been called here to do. Till next time...

Baruch HaShem'