“Cupcake Wars” winner to move Jillycakes into ICON Park

Famous cupcakes to be baked in The Wheelhouse Market

ORLANDO, Fla. (October 15, 2019) — Favorite local bakery, Jillycakes, is moving mouthwatering, eye-popping cupcake baking operations to ICON Park.

The bakery, owned by Jillian Hopke, season six winner of the Food Network Show, “Cupcake Wars,” is already delivering freshly baked cupcakes daily to Shack Sweets in ICON Park’s Wheelhouse Market. Jillycakes is set to make its full debut there on November 9.

“We are thrilled Hopke chose ICON Park as a base for her entire operation,” said ICON Park CEO Chris Jaskiewicz. “Jillycakes already has a local following. International Drive gives Central Florida businesses, like Jillycakes, the chance for global exposure.”

Hopke will be teaching baking classes at The Wheelhouse Market during the holiday season. Those classes will be open to the public by reservation only.

The Wheelhouse Market is a food hall located at the base of The Wheel at ICON Park, featuring a variety of gourmet options, including Latin 21 Street Food, Sausage Shack, 1905 Pizza & Pasta and Shack Sweets. All are part of Restaurant Tour Hospitality Group. Jillycakes’ freshly baked cupcakes are the perfect complement to current offerings, including authentically prepared, globally inspired foods, like andouille sausage, giant Bavarian pretzels and healthy acai bowls.

ICON Park is getting ready for an exciting 2020 with the opening of Blake Shelton’s Ole Red restaurant. Record breaking thrills are on the way with the world’s tallest slingshot ride and drop tower.

For more information, visit iconparkorlando.comiconparkorlando.com.

ICON Park™ is a 20-acre, walkable entertainment destination in the heart of Orlando’s International Drive. A perfect place to ride, dine, drink and explore, ICON Park has more than 40 amazing restaurants, funky bars, boutique shops and can’t-miss attractions, all anchored by The Wheel, a jaw-dropping observation wheel that stands 400 feet – 40 stories – in the air. Guests at ICON Park can visit SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, Madame Tussauds Orlando, SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology and StarFlyer Orlando, the world’s tallest swing ride. Free parking is available in a multi-level, on-site garage, just steps from all the action. Learn more at ICONParkOrlando.com. Follow ICON Park on social media @ICONParkOrlando.

The Move Towards Gender Equality in the Music Industry – Can it be Done?

When you look at the charts, you’d be forgiven for believing that gender inequality really isn’t an issue in the music industry. When you see the likes of Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa, Nikki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Adele, Rihanna etc it can be easy to make the argument that women get a fair enough representation. The list of successful Pop stars is endless, yet, do these female artists actually represent for women? Or are they just operating under a patriarchal agenda? You only have to look at the music videos and their choice of outfits at award ceremonies for the answer to that question.

Behind every female vocalist, there are quite likely to be hundreds of people behind them, getting them to where they are, producing the music, marketing the music, writing the songs, running the labels, merchandising, videography, tour management, event bookings… to name a few.

In this year’s list of the ‘Power 100’ as published by Billboard which lists the representative leaders of live, tech management and recording only 17% of the names on the list were female.

Gender inequality is an issue for female artists all over the world which was documented by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. They conducted their study in 2017 after looking into the lack of diversity in Hollywood, the findings leave little room for argument.

The Statistics of Gender Inequality:

  • 2% of artists are male whilst only 16.8% were female.
  • Of the 2767 songwriters surveyed, only 12.3% were female.
  • Of the 651 producers surveyed, only 2% were female.
  • Of the 899 musicians who were nominated to receive a Grammy award between 2013 and 2018 only 9.3% were female.

The board behind the study are committed to ensuring that there is better representation of minorities within the music industry after they have found the number of female artists is in decline. 2017 was a six year low for representation of female artists, so what is there to be done?

Gaining Balance
The first step will be to transform the view of the music industry and not allow it to carry on under the pretence that it a boy’s club. Currently, as men hold most of the top jobs in the industry women are facing gender bias and having to work even harder than their male counterparts to get noticed. It will take some brave women to step up to the plate and prove that women are just as capable as the men competing for the roles. The more women there are taking on these roles the more support and mentoring there will be for more women in the future to join the industry.

The second step will be to encourage new generations of women to explore roles in relation to music composition and engineering. Dispelling the myth that a woman’s only place is the stage. There is so much beyond what the average listener and music consumer actually sees and hears. Yet, not a lot of people get to find out just how much work goes into recording, production and live event management. It’s all kept fairly cloak and dagger and behind the scenes.

Lysandra Woods from Third Side Music in LA suggested that the best way for a woman to get a good chance of scoring their dream role as an industry member is to search for entry-level positions and mentorships within companies. Whilst starting off as a dogsbody is nobodies’ idea of fun, in the music industry you have to be prepared to prove yourself. No one is going to want to take your word for it. It’s a steep learning curve, but the only way is up from there. It is interesting to note that one of the key skills for working in the industry is relationship skills. Given that women generally possess better communication skills than men, it should be a given that there are more women in the industry.

By now, you’ve probably realised that for any changes to happen when it comes to which names appear on the album charts and stages changes must first be made to the industry members along with the general perception of who can be a music artist.

From a young age, women are discouraged to join a band or pick up their guitar, and they would have a safer bet if they used online betting casinos the odds of winning on slot games like Enchanted Prince and Starburst would definitely be more in their favour than being able to join a band. Maybe they would even have more chance of a success if they took a leaf from that slot game and tried to find a Prince Charming instead of going it alone.

Whilst we may have a decent handful of successful Pop artists, within other genres the gender imbalance gets even more discouraging to aspiring artists. Especially within the Hip Hop industry, as female rappers are still seen as a novelty. Sure, you’ve got your urban icons such as Missy Elliot and Nikki Minaj, but when you compare that to the amount of male urban artists out there, their names are nothing but a drop in the ocean. Over in the UK one of the major Urban Grime festivals went under fire for introducing a new ‘female-only’ stage instead of allowing female artists take slots on the main bill. Women aren’t asking for special treatment, they are asking for their work to be respected based on the quality and not depending on what they look like or to be there to tick diversity boxes.

Often the first hurdle a girl will face when contemplating becoming a musician is when they walk into a music shop to purchase their first instrument. Often music stores are owned, ran and staffed by male members of staff. There have been countless reports of women walking into music stores only for them to be asked if they are shopping for their boyfriends. Once they establish that they are in fact shopping for themselves, they’re often then met with the assumption that they know very little about the instrument they are looking at. But every musician has to start somewhere. Male musicians are no exception to that rule. Sure, girls can purchase a guitar online and lose out on that special moment when they’re finally handed their guitars. Sure, they can learn by watching YouTube videos instead of seeking out a guitar tutor (yes, guitar tutors are predominantly male too) but this still means that female artists are operating in the same oppressive spaces. Even when women shop for records in the record store they are faced with pretentious staff.

So, it’s clear that each small change and each small step made by women will help to ensure we see more female representation across the music industry as a whole.

Blu-ray Review “Make Your Move”

Actors: Derek Hough, BoA
Director: Duane Adler
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Run Time: 110 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I am getting a little tried of the same movie every time. I can deal with the “Step Up” films because they are amazing to look at and have great dancing but even they are wearing on me. “Make Your Move” is the latest dance from from the co-writer of “Step Up” and “Save the Last Dance”. It makes too big mistaking casting non-actors, Derek Hough from TV’s “Dancing With the Stars” is an outstanding dancer…actor not so much. Same goes for Korean pop star BoA, great singer…not a wonderful actress. Plus the film is nearly two hours long, I was yawning and rolling my eyes and not so much sitting on the edge of my chair by the time this ended.

Official Premise: The music is pumping, the dance floor is moving and Donny (Derek Hough, TV’s “Dancing With the Stars”) stops when he sees the beautiful Aya (Korean pop star BoA) performing with her hip-hop Cobu crew at the hottest underground club in New York. They come from two different worlds, but they speak the same language — dance. When the couple finds themselves in the middle of a bitter rivalry, they must choose between family ties or their love for each other. Now, they must make their move.

Sony usually has been really good about Ultraviolet digital copies but this one does not include one, which is a bit odd. I am not sure why they pick and choose which release gets it and which doesn’t. The 1080p transfer works well with the dance scenes, as does the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks, which delivers with the tunes. In terms of special features we get a commentary track with Writer/Director Duane Adler & Choreographers Napoleon & Tabitha D’umo, a featurette “Making the Moves” and a few Deleted Scenes.

Book Review “The Moogees Move House”

Author/Illustrator: Leslie McGuirk
Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: November 13, 2012

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

There is something about a book that from the minute you look at the cover you just can’t help but say “Cute”. Leslie McGuirk is the author of this wonderful and beautifully illustrated book. This is our first introduction to The Moogees and I am hopeful that it is not the last. It takes the simple story of a family in search of a home but is much more fun. Leslie is also a FL resident like myself, so I understand where the talent comes from 😉  I look forward to what she is going to do next.

Synopsis: “The Moogees want very much to find a new home. Mama Moogee says, “We need a new place that is on the ground. It would be nice if it were round.” Papa Moogee adds, “I’d love to find a home with class, a nice wide yard, and plenty of grass.” But the three little Moogies just scream, “WAA WAA MOOGEE DOOGEE WEE WEE LOW LUM!” Mr. Ruru, the real estate agent, tries hard to help them find the perfect place, but the Moogees think all the houses are too blue, too expensive, or look like a piece of cheese. Will they ever find a house to call their own? As the Moogees discover, the family you share it with is the most important part!”

The Moogees consists of Mama & Papa Moogee and their three little Moogies.  Having just picked up my family and moved myself, I feel a certain connection to this story. The values in the story are also very important since family is a very special quality that not enough people respect. The illustration are very simple but very eye catching as well.  Leave it to Candlewick to deliver another impressive children’s tale.

Exclusive Interview with Jenny Wright

Jenny Wright made her film debut playing Cushie in “The World According to Garp” in 1982. That same year she appeared in “Pink Floyd The Wall”, playing one of the American groupies. Jenny also appeared in “St. Elmo’s Fire”. In 1987, she starred in the cult horror classic “Near Dark”, which became her most known role. She also was featured in “Young Guns II”, with Emilio Estevez again and also “The Lawnmover Man”. Jenny’s last movie to date was “Enchanted” in 1998. She is recently returning the convention scene after stepping out of the spotlight. Jenny took time to do her FIRST interview, since returning, with Movie Mikes to discuss her work on her well known films.

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Mike Gencarelli: How was working on the film “Pink Floyd: The Wall”?
Jenny Wright: It was great, it was only my second film. I had done “The World According to Garp” after I got my SAG card. I was working on a soap opera called “The Doctor”. “Pink Floyd: The Wall” was really first big movie. Alan Parker met me and hired me right away and sent me to England.

Mike Gencarelli: Did you get to meet the band? Any cool stories?
Jenny Wright: I met the whole band. They were all great, really great. They come to the set and they were very encouraging and enthusiast. Bob Geldof was great. I had so much fun in London. I met a lot of people and went to The Alternative Miss World Contest. It was just so much fun, London is such a great town. “The Wall” might come around again since Roger Waters should be touring with it again this year.

MG: “Near Dark” was overlooked in it’s original release but has since become a classic, how do you feel about the film’s success over the years?
JW: I think the movie was made with the idea of making a good movie, than making a box office hit. Everyone’s part was in the right place and there was really creative element on the set. With Kathryn getting the Oscar, the film might be revisited again, who knows? It is like a lot of good movies they find there audience. The people that know “Near Dark” love it and appreciate it for what it is.

MG: Did you enjoy playing Mae in “Near Dark”?
JW: I loved playing that character. I identified with it a lot. I just got into it and got comfortable with it and kind of let it come alive for itself.

MG: Kathryn Bigelow, just won an Oscar for “The Hurt Locker”. How was she on the set of “Near Dark”?
JW: She was very confident. She co-wrote the script with Eric Red for “Near Dark”. Sometimes there’s conflict between what the writer wants and what the director is going to give them. I think they were in agreement on what the film should be like and she created a very safe, creative environment for her actors. We worked in sort of an ensemble way with each other. Of course Bill Paxton, Lance Hendrickson and Jenette Goldstein have all worked together on “Aliens” again. We were like a little family.

Click here to purchase Jenny’s movies