Graziella Baratta Ventura, former Ms. United States 2008, triple threat, dance and fitness pro, and image consultant shares her latest thoughts and projects.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The GV Girls


So I promised something special this Tuesday with Wine Library TV wristbands...and here you've got it! No, we're not Gary Vaynerchuk's official GV Girls, but we're G-Volution Dance Company! Like I mentioned in last Tuesday's post, we have a blast together at every rehearsal, but today was even more fun because we got to play dress-up...well kinda! We dressed up our wrists to coordinate with our love for the Thunder Show on WLTV. Not that we don't have fun dancing...I mean that's what we LIVE for, but this was definitely a good time too :)I also enjoyed adding some effects to our photos, like "posterizing" us. The best part about it all, was that we got to bond with the new girls Vanessa & Morgan who just joined G-Volution in March. We're all psyched for the professional GV Makeover Photo Shoot next Tuesday where we will be changing our "look" entirely with some sexier, updated costumes.
Check out our website @ www.G-VolutionDance.com ...but don't make fun of our old- school costumes for the time being... I had a small budget!!
We want to thank Gary for the wristbands, and my sis Liana for being the photographer!! :) We brought some THUNDER right?? Let us know what you thought! Ciao for tonight ;-)
-Graziella & The G-Volution Girls

Monday, April 28, 2008

Carpe Diem

We've all heard the saying "Carpe Diem," or "Seize the Day." It rings a special tune in my ears, and I even remember the day I learned about it in grammar school. I was sitting at my little desk not taking notes because I would remember this one. Whether it was the tone of my teacher's voice, or my own intuition speaking to me, I knew this was something important that I needed to permanently etch in my brain. Sometimes it feels like life goes so fast, and we don't even know how we got to where we are. It's so easy to complain and wish you were somewhere else doing something else. There is no point to that. There is nothing better than living in the "now," and experiencing every moment for what it is, regardless of what it is. Sometimes I get lost in the "preparation," for life...almost like when you're in school and teachers say "when you step into the real world..." Uhh, hate to break it to you, but you already were in the real world! We all are.. right here, right now, reading this blog. Welcome! :-) I am taking a moment to savor my day (not that I have so much time to do that, but I'm trying) while enjoying my coffee.

Oh, deja vous...it seems that I'm always trying to remind myself to seize my day, especially in the entertainment industry that demands such unfaltering perfection. I never want to lose the love I have for the art of performance...especially dance (my first love). Take this moment with me, to reflect upon something you love- enjoy the video!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Girly Beauty, Brains & Brawn

A really cool gal by the name of Gaeyia asked me some profound questions this week, and it's taken me some time to respond and write this blog because I have so much to say..... So, Here's a Q & A betwen Gaeyia and I on GIRLY BEAUTY, BRAINS & BRAWN!

Gaeyia:
Seeing as you are a beauty queen, I just wondered if you ever felt hindered/discounted in tech because of appearance. Curiosity :)

Graziella: I've actually never acknowledged myself as a "beauty queen," although I've held several local and state titles in the Miss America & Miss United States Organizations. I see myself as a "person," and that's it! I don't think of myself as hindered probably because I do not categorize myself....I have many "girly" characteristics, but that is not precisely "Me." I, just like everyone else, am comprised of many intricate characteristics and cannot be elegantly filed into a category or stereotype. I also firmly believe in the self- fulfilling prophecy (you become what you think you are), so if you think you are hindered from a stereotype, then you will be. If you think that you are free to be whoever you want, then that's who you'll be. I always remind myself of that.

Gaeyia: Is girly understood? Is it "lesser than"? Do girls assume masculine/nerdy roles for respect?
Graziella: I think that in general, girly is misunderstood by many as meek, childish, frail, and irrelevant. But again, that is up to us, as a society to change that. It comes from past generations and concepts. Girly can be very powerful, just as masculine and nerdy are thought of. Girly roles can only be respected when the GIRL commands respect. I also think it's great that there are many new networks out there for females of all ages to empower them, and let them know that it is ok to be girly, beautiful, smart and powerful all in one adorable package. ;-) As Ms. New York, one of my two platforms is "I aM for Women"- Inspiration & Motivation to empower women. It's something I am very passionate about, and will be promoting during my year of reign as Ms. New York US, and possibly Ms. United States 2008.

Gaeyia: Why is being girly often equated with being manipulative or unintelligent? And why do we feel bad for appreciating our assets?

Graziella: Good one! For centuries, women have been thought of as sensual and manipulative because of their beauty, starting with the story of Adam & Eve. Eve coerced Adam to eat the apple, and then we were all doomed from there, LOL! But really, I think that it's because of such ancient viewpoints that come from a time when women were thought of to "be seen and not heard." We've come a long way since then, but some of that school of thought still lingers in some places...and we just need to STOMP IT OUT! I think both women, and men should appreciate their physical and inner beauty because it's what God gave us, and there's nothing wrong with celebrating both kinds of beauty.

I'd also like mention my other Twitter friend jordikell who paid me a very kind compliment. When I thanked her, she wrote me: "Women, we don't uplift each other enough. We need to realize the way, is to help each other out and encourage each other." I agree with her 100%, and can write an entirely new blog post on this issue...for another day ;-)

Here's to Gaeyia and jordikell, two women with great beauty, brains and brawn- Thank you for your contributions to this post, and I salute you!

BTW, I chose this purply-wildflower- like color to highlight my name because it was the girliest I could find- and I LOVE being a Girl!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Ustream.tv Experiment

So i decided to create a ustream.tv show...I didn't even know what it was until a few days ago. Perhaps I sound naive to some of you, but for those who were like me, ustream.tv is basically a site where anyone on the web can watch shows, and create your own free web shows, live or pre-recorded. So this is what went down:
1-I signed up for an account
2-Created my "show" page Graziella
and because my web cam is just sitting here ready to go, as soon as I hit "broadcast" I literally
3-BROADCAST to the WORLD!

I did not plan to or think I would have viewers since I was doing nothing...I just wanted to see how this thing would work before I planned a show.....and there I was doing NOTHING


I was seriously just sitting here burning the new feed for this blog when I decided to check my screen for viewers...cool, there was 1 viewer within 2 minutes of broadcasting...Ridiculous to me, because I was being what I thought was boring. HA! So, I started to talk! then, it bumped up to 28 in the next 5 minutes! It was quite exhilarating to see my viewers comments to me...crazy! I found myself speaking in four languages to people from Italy, Chile, Spain, Haiti and the USA!! And it was all went so fast, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!
I wish I would have recorded it, but it was Live, and I had no idea what I was doing...totally spur of the moment in my pajamas!
Ok, so I'm a rookie, but it was a big deal to me. FUN stuff. I will have to do it again sometime soon, and hope y'all will join me. Just kidding, I am not Southern but I love the expression! My wheels are turning now, but if you have ideas I'm open to them!
Twitter them to me: GraziellaB
Ciao!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Today was a Great Day!



Today was awesome! I'll tell you why...

Despite going to bed at 4 am (because I seriously work until that time from my home office!), I woke up at 9:30 to "work on my fitness" for the Ms. United States Pageant in Vegas this July. It was hard getting back into working out after being sick for 3 weeks- but I DID IT!

Right after that I downed like 3 cups of my home- brewed organic coffee...mmmm, it excites me to think of coffee ;-) Next, the G-Volution Dancers came over for rehearsal in my home studio. We were all so pumped during rehearsal with the brand new choreography...it's pretty smokin', if I may say so myself! We get pretty silly during rehearsal and almost forget we have to work...and that's when we came up with hand symbols for G-Volution to depict the "G" and the "V"......yeah, and as the director/choreo, I should be "regulating" right? HAhahaha, yeah right! But really, these girls are some of my closest friends, and as a company and friends we have a blast together!

The second major part of my day was traveling to Wine Library in Springfield NJ where I got to meet....(drum roll please!) Gary Vaynerchuk, the host of Thunder Show! I was so excited to meet him that words hardly came out of my mouth! Well I have to say, that Gary is even more cool and charming in person that he is on camera (if that's possible)...and a very REAL guy. He's so uninhibited, and it's really refreshing to meet a celeb like that. I left feeling very inspired and excited to put to use some of the business advice he had for me....that's what I'm doin' now! I got some cool Thunder wristbands, which I will be using very creatively next Tuesday.....you'll have to wait and see ;-) Thanks Gary! Check out my THUNDER STYLE! videoGoofy Me playing with the webcam... Till next time-
GraziellaB
MsNewYork

Friday, April 18, 2008

How to Do It All

As I sit and write this post, I am asking myself the same question I am answering for you: How do you manage several careers at once, and still have a life? Well, for starters, I am in the earlier stages of my careers, and I know it will only get more complicated from here fourth. The kind of work I do at this moment for my businesses is very much "preparatory work," meaning, all the annoying & tedious stuff that needs to be done before I can begin just doing my job--> editing websites, marketing, concept refining, more marketing, talent development, networking, more marketing, refining, etc... If you're confused, and/or reading this blog for the first time, then here's a brief lowdown on what I do:
*I am a dancer/singer/actress & choreographer
*I own a dance company (performance, not instruction)
*I own an image consulting company and graphic/web design company
*I also teach dance
*I am a blogger (as of Nov 07) & have added blogs to each of my companies and professions
*I am also very involved with my family, whom I love very much :)
*And...I am the "Everything" of my companies with the exception of my 4 dancers (which I can't be), and my image consulting partner Liana, my sister.
*Oh wait, one more thing, I am Ms. New York US 2008!

With that said, I know I seem like a career- lunatic...but I am! No really, I actually do have a life besides my careers, but there's a catch...my careers are also my hobbies. I
adore what I do, and put the work in it whole-heartedly without thinking twice. I go to sleep at night wishing it would go faster so I can start the next day- and I really am excited about it. Sounds ridiculous? It is my truth that I feel so blessed with...and it is a truth that everyone can find. I think I just answered the question. Find what you LOVE to do...Do what you are. Actually, that's the title of a great book that I bought for a loved one: Do What You Are by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron. It talks about embracing your inherent qualities to discover a career path. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's as easy as picking up a book and identifying your "profession profile." If you want to really do what you love, then be prepared to look within yourself, sacrifice, work hard, never sleep, but wake up every morning with a smile. Aside from that, add some good time management skills, a priority list, a Blackberry, and you're good to go! :-)

Before I wrap things up, I'd like to give a quick shout out to some people who inspire me:

~Thanks to Rob Romeo who started me on blogging & refining my sites!
~Thanks to Gary Vaynerchuk of WLTV for inspiring me with his amazing Wine Show! Plus, see his related podcast 1 Trick Ponies, I DON'T THINK SO!
~Thanks to Jason M for inspiring this blog post!
~Thanks to all of my past and present teachers who have inspired me, pushed me, and some who have brought me down so I could bring myself back up again!
~Last but not least, a HUGE Thank You to my family & friends who always inspire me to achieve my goals and support everything I do..they are a gigantic part of why I am me :)

Till next time...Friend me Up on Twitter
GraziellaB
MsNewYork
TotalBeautyTips

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Graziella's Spring News!

It's Spring, and like the season, my life is blooming with all kinds of new happenings! First things first: For those of you that don't know yet, I was named Ms. New York United States 2008! I am very excited for all the opportunities for growth and community service that the title brings, in addition to the national Ms. United States Pageant in Las Vegas this July. Check out my official Ms. New York US Website, and Ms. New York Blog where I discuss my new title in detail.

Second: G-Volution (my triple threat dance company) is getting a makeover! We've auditioned and cast two new members of G-Volution, which is just a small part of it's makeover. We will update our look with new costumes, updated site, new photo shoot, new video shoot...the works! I am very excited to unveil the new G-Volution in the next few months, and will be sure to let the world know about it!

Third: I, along with my sister Liana, will be kicking our company B.Youneek into high gear. B.Youneek is our image development company that offers image consulting (beauty, fashion, fitness, wellness) and graphic & web design services for the individual and for businesses. These services are diverse, yet really compliment each other to create the "whole package."
We are truly passionate about what we do with B.Youneek, and look forward to offering all types of seminars and workshops very soon!

Fourth: I continue to teach dance classes and have also taken on a brand new dance team- the X-Factor Dancers who dance for Dominican College and the New York Strike Force basketball team. Classes are getting more intense and exciting as we kick into high gear approaching recital season!

All in all, even though there is much going on, I am enjoying every bit of it! I am blessed to do what I love, and be able to bring joy into other's lives through the arts, image consulting. Thank You to everyone who continues to support me in my endeavors and adventures!
Friend me up on TWITTER!