journalism

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A Shout Out to Teaneck Public Library, Teaneck, New Jersey

Published March 20, 2015 by Maryanne

 Teaneck LibraryTeaneck Public Library

A shout out to Jonna Davis and the Teaneck Public Library (http://www.teaneck.org/)

Today I was honored to present my lecture: “Newsies: History of the Newspaper Industry” to an audience of over 75 people. I’ve worked in the newspaper industry as a journalist most of my adult life and this is always my favorite lecture to present.

In my presentation, I take the audience back to ancient Rome when the first “newspaper” was carved in stone, up to modern times and how the radio, T.V. and internet caused a decline in the newspaper industry.

My credentials are that I wrote for New York papers: The Westsider and the Chelsea Clinton News (which is named after an area of NYC, not the former president’s daughter). I was also a journalist at The Montclair Times for seven years. After I left The Times, I went on to write for several online publications including The Paterson Press, where my feature articles also appeared in The Herald News. I also wrote for The Aquarian Arts weekly, a newspaper that is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

For more information on my lectures, pricing and availability, please visit my website at: www.peartreeenterprises.com

Career

Published October 29, 2014 by Maryanne

Cover proof 4My book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist”

What a pleasant surprise this morning to see my book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” pinned on a “Career” board on Pinterest, amongst other music journalist greats like Lisa Robinson and Lester Bangs, which is such an honor because these are the journalists I’ve read when I was 12-years-old! I am humbled as I’ll never have the writing chops they do. “Guest List” is more of a love letter to myself, a recollection of things that meant a lot to me, not necessarily others, but if someone gets it, more power to them! Nevertheless, I’m still stoked to get royalty checks and unexpected surprises like this. I never expected my book to be doing as good as it is!

Check it out: ww.pinterest.com/emilybenda/career/?utm_campaign=activity&e_t=a0bfed66774b49e5b2e80aeb1a342f06&utm_medium=2003&utm_source=31&e_t_s=board_teaser

To order “Guest List” please visit my publishing company Next Century: http://www.nextcenturystore.com/on-the-guest-list-adventures-of-a-music-journalist.html

When it Comes to Reviews, Bad = Bad Ass!

Published July 31, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_3767“It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.” — Mae West

One of my favorite episodes of “Sex and the City” is when the character Smith Jerrod is the new poster model for “Absolut” vodka and referred to as the Absolut Hunk. That is, until some jealous person scrawls over the ad,  if my memory serves correctly, “Absolut Ass.” (Someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong).

Smith Jerrod was so put off by the cruel, unnecessary act that he almost quit his acting career. Yet his gal, Samantha, encouraged him. She explained once the gays and teenyboppers embraced him he’d be a hit! And he was.

But dear readers, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need justification from fans. As an artist, writer, musician, etc. — you are already GREAT!  The fact that you are an artist willing to share your work is something to be proud of. Having the desire/will/dedication to publish (or self-published, doesn’t matter) — more power to you! AND … if you are making money to boot, darling you are so THERE!

So, now you have it all — guts to share,  people who enjoy, people who buy, and the blessing of not relying on anything else but your art for a living. Then the bomb drops … a bad review.

Thank God I learned early in my career that a bad review is the total opposite of what you’d think. A bad review is not “bad” at all. In fact, it’s “bad ass.” It simply means: people are reading! It also means people are being provoked by your work, and/or people are jealous (though I like to believe I’m strong enough to accept a bad review without using the word “jealousy” to go tit for tat with a hater). AND it can get you MORE readers — yeah!

When I was a writer in New York City for several publications at News Communications, one of the writers/editors was trashed in a “letter to the editor.”  I was new to the industry and feared she was going to get reprimanded or fired. Luckily I was wrong! The editor cheered her on and said, “People are reading you!” She became the darling of the news room.

A few years later, when I was an editorial assistant at The Montclair Times, I got my first bad review. I had written a feature article on the three tattoo shops in the town. A man from NYC, obsessed with our New Jersey newspaper, griped about hating tattoos and wondered: “…if Maryanne Christiano has any tattoos herself!”

I was ecstatic! Someone was reading me! My first bad review took me to Cloud 9!

That same man wrote letters to The Montclair Times, every three weeks, like clockwork, usually griping about something someone wrote. I saved the funnier ones in a folder. Part of my job as editorial assistant was to confirm “Letters to the Editor.” Eventually I built up a relationship with this man and we became friendly with each other. Another staff member said to me, “I can’t believe you get along with that guy!” This man was infamous for attacking the car of a NYC politician, so the fact that I got along with him was impressive.

Bad reviews don’t mean anything. They are no reflection on your character, not even your talent. Even best selling authors and the hottest rock ‘n’ roll tickets in town get bad reviews. Take for instance, one of my favorite bands, Queen. After seeing them for the third time two weeks ago, I started re-reading “The Queen Story” by George Tremlett, a book I had since I was 13.  I had long forgotten how they were trashed by the music magazines when they first came out. In fact, two journalists in very reputable newspapers trashed them after their amazing show with Adam Lambert. One was so off the money,  I was tempted to write a “Letter to the Editor” about his bad review.

“Go get ’em, Tiger!” my husband said to me. Though after a little research, I realized the journalist was around my age and a musician himself — a good one at that. I re-read the article and though I disagreed with him saying Brian May had a bad voice and his guitar solo was too long, I realized the dude was all about Freddie Mercury, and I’m okay with that. I couldn’t bring myself to trash a fellow middle-aged journalist and Freddie lover. However, his bad review inspired me to visit Google search and give the “thumbs up” for every excellent review I could find about the Queen + Adam Lambert world tour.

I rarely write bad reviews about musicians even though I’ve made a living as a music journalist for many years. Though I’ve given many bad reviews to venues I’ve received bad service, like Whole Foods and a hair salon I won’t mention because the owner stalked me down, harassed me on the telephone and demanded I take the bad review off Yelp. The only reason I did was because we had a mutual friend so I decided to take the high road. I deleted the bad review but will never forget the bad service: a stylist leaving dye and foils in my hair while she went to the bathroom to fight with her husband on a cell phone! (The result, my hair got fixed, two hours later; but she got a divorce. Bad karma, right?)

Bad reviews I’ve given other writers, I can count the times on one hand. The only times I trashed a book were two that were super popular and it was definitely no skin off their ass; and another book that criticized every band she wrote about, because to me that said, “well, then, why even bother?”

I never got people writing about things they hate when reviews come across so much more exciting when you write about what you love (and are knowledgeable about!) Bad reviews never stopped me from seeing a band, seeing a movie, buying a book or a CD. I’ve even befriended people who have gotten “bad reviews” from others. I fail to judge by anyone’s opinion except someone I really trust that knows me inside and out.

The thing I’m getting at here, is that bad reviews are just like mosquito bites. Annoying, but not nearly the end of the earth. The classy way to handle them is just ignore them.

But do embrace those who get you. Some may totally, some may a little, some not at all but like you anyway. What I’ve also learned, as a creative person, though some people may like me and not my work, others may NOT like me, but love my work. The greatest compliment ever was when it got back to me that a person who didn’t like me was trashing my character, but added, “She’s a great poet though.”

Not everyone is going to like everything about you. Some might not like ANYTHING about you. The cool thing is, it’s no reflection on you or your merit in the art/music/publishing world. The bad critic has no real power over you — especially when others are digging what you wrote and you’re selling art, books, articles, etc. and have been doing so for many years. In fact, a bad review may do many good things, like getting the right people curious or inspiring your true fans to defend you.

While there’s always room for improvement, never beat yourself up over a bad review. Take all reviews with a grain of salt. Don’t compromise your style or voice to appease a critic. And for God’s sake — keep creating!

“On the Radio: Adventures of a Guest Co-Host”

Published July 21, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5333Going over the bridge!

A few weeks ago, I was a guest co-host on Keith Roth’s “Electric Ballroom” radio show on 95.9 WRAT, which airs down the Jersey Shore. The show aired last night at 8 p.m. so my husband Dennis and I took a ride down the shore to listen — making it truly authentic. We parked the PT Cruiser in front of the beach and listened to the two hour broadcast! Keith Roth was an awesome host! I had a blast hearing the show. My husband Dennis was so proud!

SAM_5335Catching some salty air before the show aired!

SAM_5341Tuned in!

SAM_5217Me with Keith Roth, on July 9, when we first recorded the show!

Here’s the awesome set list of songs we played!

“I’m Gonna Make You Mine” – Lou Christie

“Trash” – New York Dolls

“Safe European Home” – The Clash

“I’m Bored” – Iggy Pop

“Hey Little Girl” – Dead Boys

“She’s the One” – The Ramones

“1-2-3”- The Professionals

“Jezebel” – Joan Jett

“So Alive” – The Ramones

“Rip Her to Shreds” – Blondie

“Gene Jeanie” – David Bowie

“Evil Boy” – Stiv Bators

“Bohemian Love Pad” – David Johansen

“Steppin’ Stone” – Monkees

“Out of Control” – Wayne County

“Crystal Blue Persuasion” – Tommy James

“Suicide” – D-Generation

“Monkey Suit” – Plasmatics

“Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” – Angel

“My Fairy King” – Queen

Then Keith ended the show with “Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon” by Queen — which was a stellar choice!

To purchase your copy of “Guest List” visit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Ridgewood Ice Cream Shop Raises Money for Paterson Habitat for Humanity

Published April 11, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_3928Pierre Berberoglu, owner of Ridgewood Ben & Jerry’s

(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Here’s an article I wrote about Ben & Jerry’s giving back to the community: http://www.northjersey.com/news/ridgewood-ice-cream-shop-raises-money-for-paterson-habitat-for-humanity-1.917861

I had a wonderful time covering this story Tuesday afternoon. It was a gorgeous New Jersey day and I had a sample of the peanut butter/banana yogurt, which was fabulous!

Guest Speaker on “Bright Side with Tekneshia”

Published March 23, 2014 by Maryanne

TekneshiaBlog radio host, Tekneshia Day

I’m honored to be a guest on blog radio show, “Bright Side with Tekneshia” tomorrow, March 24 at noon, EST. 

Here’s the link for those who would love to tune in: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/tekneshiaday/2014/03/24/on-the-guest-list-adventures-of-a-music-journalist-with-maryanne-christiano

 

 

Endorsements for “On the Guest List”

Published November 3, 2013 by Maryanne

scott-schiaffo2Scott Schiaffo, actor/author/musician endorses my upcoming book!

My upcoming book “On the Guest List” was finished several weeks ago. I just wanted to take a few weeks to let it all sink in — I’ve written a book! I’ve been a professional journalist since 1995, published all over the world, and making a living off my work. I was always so happy doing that, I never thought about taking the next plunge and writing a full book!

Well, I did it! And I plan to self-publish by Spring 2014.

I’m thrilled that I have some pretty cool celebrity author endorsements.

From Scott Schiaffo, “Clerks” actor/author/musician:

“Maryanne’s reflections and musings are informative, insightful and always full of heart, and it is the heart of a tried and true music fan – and a real Rock & Roll trooper. Through personal trials and triumphs a warm-upbeat and timeless soul weaves through the pages. Her passion for all things music, punk, rock, pop culture & beyond is truly infectious and without peer!” — Scott Schiaffo

From Judy McGuire, author/”Date Girl” columnist:

“I hate to sound all get-off-my-lawn, but kids today—you don’t know how good you have it. Back in the oldie, pre-internet days, the only way a suburban kid could find good music was to hang out at the local record store and listen to college radio. Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta paints a vivid picture of the way things were back before Brooklyn Vegan—or even Spin, in its print incarnation—was around to guide us. Fake IDs, rock-star flirtations, and late nights at Max’s Kansas City by night; rocks thrown at her during the day at school. But unlike the majority of rock bios, there’s no descent into drug addiction, misery, or even cattiness—Christiano-Mistretta starts off a fan, and stays a fan, eventually carving out a career for herself covering the music she loves and marrying a man she loves more in the process. And go figure, he’s a musician!” — Judy McGuire

There are more surprises to come — including a Face Book fan page — so stay tuned!

Site Stats are BOOMING!

Published October 18, 2013 by Maryanne

BOOM! - 2

Go me!

I just received another notification that my site stats are booming!

I checked my stats to see what article caught everyone’s attention as the notification said I was getting as many as 50 hits per hour!

Turned out, my popular article was my re-post of something I had published online a few years ago, “Vinegar Worth Bragg-ing About” — in regard to the benefits of Bragg’s vinegar: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/vinegar-worth-bragg-ing-about/

But how are people finding this link? I remembered a Face Book friend linked to it, but at the time no one seemed interested, as there were no “likes.” So I went to my stat page and low and behold, this article is making it’s way around Pinterest! I was so thrilled that a stranger found my article and liked it enough to pin it!

So, this is another one of oh so many moments I can say, “I’ve arrived!”

Halloween Double Feature Starring Kids, For Kids

Published October 11, 2013 by Maryanne

WestfieldPhoto by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Last week I had the opportunity to preview Westfield’s Hedgehog and Feather’s Halloween production of “Creature Double Feature II: The Mummy – The Wolfman.”

Here is the article I wrote: http://www.thealternativepress.com/articles/westfields-hedgehog-and-feather-to-present-hallo

It was so cool getting a sneak preview of the kids in action and always a pleasure to work with director Ty Jacobs and producer Sara Hedgepeth, as this was my second article this year for Hedgehog and Feather theatre.

Lecturing on Health, Fitness and Nutrition

Published September 14, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_2377Me and activities director, Aubrey Evans at Mt. Arlington Senior Living, New Jersey

For the past few years, lecturing on health and nutrition has been a dream of mine, as my passion is health and nutrition and throughout the year 2012 I had three clients who were nutritionists and chiropractors that I’ve helped get gigs lecturing. I thought to myself, if I could do this for others — why not do it for myself? I’ve been a health food advocate since 2003 and writing about health since then. In 2008 I was the editor for NJ Health & Fitness magazine. I had my own health column in the NJ Patch online called “Here’s to Your Health.” And currently I am writing for Skinny News magazine.

Over the years I’ve interviewed many celebrities about health and fitness including supermodels Oleda Baker and Carol Alt and health advocates Patricia Bragg, Paul Nison and David Wolfe. I also had the opportunity to interview Jack LaLanne but he passed away two weeks prior to the interview.

So, needless to say, when Aubrey Evans invited me to speak at Mt. Arlington Senior Living, I was thrilled! In honor of my former health column, I called my lecture “Here’s to Your Health.”

For 45 minutes I spoke to seniors about a few easy things you could do for your health that don’t cost a dime!

I spoke of the benefits of eating slow, not smoking, keeping active and getting a good night’s rest.

But not only did I speak, I allowed the seniors to share their experiences in health and fitness. It was truly inspiring that so many of them were not smokers, kept active (including the ones that were chair bound) and got a good night’s sleep.

They were all wonderful! I enjoyed giving the lecture and they enjoyed me so much I was invited back, late October!

One lady said to me, “You’re really making us like you!” It was so cute. I love the seniors!