corona virus

All posts tagged corona virus

Loving the Lock Down!

Published March 23, 2020 by Maryanne

DSCF4759Outside, at least six feet away from the rest of the world

My husband and I are very social people. We don’t let any grass grow under our feet. We’re the types who are always going to parties, getaways, restaurants, and concerts; and double dates with other couples.

But on the other hand, we can be homebodies too. Some of our best memories include being stranded at home during Hurricane Sandy, snowstorms, very cold weather, and when one of us is sick.

So staying home like good citizens during the Corona Virus pandemic is not a bad thing for us. We’re enjoying the down time tremendously and the days are going faster than we’ve imagined.

And why shouldn’t we be enjoying ourselves? If this pandemic taught us anything, it’s that our precious lives can end with the blink of an eye. We’ve lived each day to the fullest before, so why not now?

We’ve fallen into this great groove where we’ll spend a little time outdoors on nice days (six feet away from others). I’ll pick up groceries once a week at my favorite natural market; and he’ll get the extras during the week.

As a public speaker who has lost all my recent gigs, I’m keeping up my speaking chops by creating You Tube videos every day. They are all Corona Virus themed and are meant to inspire others. Or accidentally be funny. For example, today I made a video to honor National Puppy Day, and spoke about how pets can soothing to us at such a crazy time. However, unbeknownst to me, my cats photo bombed, with the one sniffing the butt of the other! It was so funny, how could I not share?! Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onipyTq0q1g&t=2s

It’s nice to wake up in the morning with my husband and not have to be on a schedule. I like to write in my journal, give myself a facial, and then have our coffee together indulging in great conversation before I work out.

In between our creative projects and preparing meals, we’ll watch a little TV, listen to music, laugh, dance, sing, call our friends/family, and play with our kitties. Before retiring for the night I like to do a little reading.

We do stuff together, as well as give ourselves space. I’m very blessed to have married someone I could call my best friend. And someone I enjoy being locked down with.

This is a scary, and stressful time since we don’t know what’s going to happen next. And it’s great to have someone by your side, so get through it with.

Of course I’m looking forward to getting back to “normal” but in the meantime, this ain’t so bad.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

NJ Vocalist Working On New Projects During Coronavirus Lockdown

Published March 21, 2020 by Maryanne

EV3A4604 (2) (1)Stephen Fuller 

Stephen Fuller, of Newark, New Jersey, longs to see his kids and grandchildren who live in New York City, but that’s not an option. Neither is performing live shows.

Fuller has been a working musician, both solo and with a group for most of his adult life. With the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, all his gigs have been canceled. Nevertheless he is keeping himself busy organizing his taxes and preparing for a Lionel Richie tribute show. “It’s a perfect sound,” he said. “It’s going to be really good. He [Richie] did a lot of ballads and I love ballads. They really resonate with me.”

Growing up in Newark, Fuller was inspired by his neighbors who were into music. “They all took piano lessons,” he said. “The daughter ended up being a concert violinist.” But what really planted the seed was an eighth grade teacher who told him he had a nice voice.

Fuller attended Arts High School in Newark. Famous names who attended the school include: Melba Moore, Sarah Vaughn, and Savion Glover. While still in high school, Fuller worked in a professional choir, which paid for his voice and piano lessons. He received a scholarship to study at Westminster Choir College in New Jersey where he learned about singing and conducting with a choir.

He then went on to Colgate University, a liberal arts college, in Hamilton, New York. He joined the band Colgate 13 as lead vocalist. They traveled around the country, and the Virgin Islands. “I was so glad to get into that group,” he said. “They are friends for life.”

Colgate had concerts featuring Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers. Fuller had the opportunity to be the opening act for both artists. He continued to travel to England with Colgate 13 and ended up meeting Roberta Flack by taking a wrong turn in trying to find a bathroom!

Then Fuller married his first wife and moved outside of Kansas City, Missouri. He continued his music, singing for a band at a hotel. He also had his own group, The Stephen Fuller Quartet. And he sang the National Anthem for the NBA team. Fuller also recorded with a couple of songwriters. “We did original material,” he said. “Some was pretty good. I’m sorry it didn’t go anywhere.”

During his time in Kansas City, Fuller had two sons. When he returned to New Jersey, he joined some more bands including The Ted Klum Trio, and Vince Seneri in Platinum II.

An opportunity to perform in Japan came up, but Fuller had his family, and a day job at AT&T, which had him traveling the USA. Fuller continued to work full time and tried to sing in the evening, though his first wife didn’t like the idea of him singing.

For the next 25 years, he stopped doing music professionally. Instead, he sang at family events like weddings, and funerals. Then he got into real estate and was “so miserable.” For his health and sanity, Fuller left that business and returned to where his heart was — music.

Fuller divorced his first wife but said, “I got two great sons out of the deal.” Neither followed in Fuller’s steps as a musician. “They are smart,” he said, then chuckled. “They are both in finance.”

He met his second wife in the choir at his church. “We just hit it off,” he said. “Her daughter said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if Mr. Fuller dated Mommy?'” Fuller beams when speaking of his wife, who is very supportive of him, and his music. “We go out of our way to do nice things for each other,” he said.

In 2012, Fuller joined Jazz Vocal Collective, which is a group of jazz singers supporting each other. Fuller currently works both solo, and with his band Armani, which was formed in 2016.

“We’ve got some good things coming up this year,” Fuller said, “We’ve done big shows and big shows are coming up, including a bunch of Nat King Cole Christmas shows.” The King Cole Show was originally part of a project created by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta called “The Learn & Listen Series,” which was presented in New Jersey libraries. Christiano-Mistretta would give a talk on the artist, followed by live music performed by Stephen Fuller. The Christiano-Mistretta/Fuller team also included Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra in the series.

Fuller looks forward to debuting his Lionel Richie tribute and some new things for jazz projects. And learning new songs to perform in the nursing homes and libraries. “I have a lot of new things that’s gonna make me better at the end of all this,” he said, regarding the corona epidemic. “I feel we’ll be okay, and we’re going to get through this too.”

For more information on Stephen Fuller, visit his website at: https://www.fullersounds.com/

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9