Summer Camp

8AB5557E-FBD7-428F-A225-E6EA5D840AC3I’ve always heard stories about summer camp, but it was nothing like people had described. You see, I was the dance coordinator at Tamarak Day Camp. Charizma Entertainment has been involved with the camp for the past 15 years. My original partner and mother of 2, Leslie Maxie, started the relationship and now I carry the torch. Being my first time to watch up close of what a well-oiled machine you need to make camp happen was simply amazing.

From the bus drop, line up, activities, outing, sleepover, and end of the day Lucia, Dave and the staff have created a pretty sweet place to be in the summer. Coming into the Front gate, the people are friendly and helpful to the staff and visiting guests. It’s so great to start your day with that kind of sunshine. Once I’m through the gate, the symphony of hellos and good mornings are always the way to start your day.

I have groups of campers from Munchkins to A B C and D group that come thru my work area. As you know music moves us in all different ways. The top 5 most requested songs for this summer were:

  1. Despacito Remix – by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee ft Justin Bieber
  2. How Far I’ll Go(Alessia Cara version) – by Alessia Cara (The Movie Moana)
  3. Can’t Stop The Feeling – by Justin Timberlake (The Movie Trolls)
  4. Shake It Off – by Taylor Swift
  5. Party in the U.S.A. – by Miley Cyrus

The best moments were when I watched the little campers get way into the music. Singing, dancing and smiling with each other having a great time. But I have to say, the biggest impression made on me was from the camp counselors. So many times I hear that this generation (Millennials) doesn’t care about anything but themselves. NOT TRUE. All summer I watched repeatedly their commitment, patient, love, and support for their campers. Making them laugh when they cry, listen to them attentively and holding them as if they were their own children.

As a parent who has watched my twin girls grow up spending summer at Tamarak Day Camp, I can see now how they have flourished as people and young women. With such caring and support that allow kids to be themselves and grow in a safe and fun environment. The community inside the gates makes life seem simple in a world that is sometimes not so. Thank you, again I had a great time at camp, can’t wait to see what next year brings.

Sharing is caring

I had the honor of emceeing Mason Stern’s Bar Mitzvah. When he shared his thoughts for his mitzvah project, I decided that I would take a few moments to interview him. Mason took time to speak with the hardworking ladies of Komen Chicago about his thoughts and the reasons for choosing of cancer awareness for his mitzvah project. The youth in our country have a deep desire to help in ways that we sometimes overlook. I give this young man credit for doing something that matters to him. I’m proud that Charizma Entertainment has been involved with Komen Chicago for the past 6 years

Protect the Breast

Celebrating life at Komen Chicago

Celebrating life at Komen Chicago

In honor breast cancer awareness month, I want to share that Charizma is committed to adding our energy and enthusiasm to bring more attention to this cause. We have done this by performing at Komen events in Grand Rapids and Lansing Michigan, Madison, Wisconsin, and our nations capital, Washington, DC not to mention Chicago and Lombard, IL. There is a consistancy with the people that we meet that are excited to be there and have a story to tell. Susan G. Komen was a model who died in 1980 at the age of 36 after a three-year battle with breast cancer. Her younger sister, Nancy G. Brinker, founded the Susan G. Komen Foundation in her honor.  Brinker started the foundation in 1982 because of a promise she made to her dying sister to help women with breast cancer. Both believed that if women knew more about breast cancer and their choices, survival rates would increase. The foundation raises money for breast cancer research, organizes charity runs and walks and promotes self-advocacy and early detection. I have many friends and family members who have been affected by this horrible disease, thankfully they are still with us. Charizma will continue to do all it can to help the cause. Cancer does not discriminate. 

Everyday Heroes

In our life we are blessed by people that inspire us to be more than we had ever imagined for ourselves. The everyday hero does not wear a cape, shoot webs, or save the universe from imminent danger. These are the people who touch our hearts with a smile, who give their lives to their passionate purpose, who serve other’s because they are called. My everyday hero is my younger and only brother, Andre Lawhorn. Today, he’s achieved the great success in the US Army Reserve of ascending to the rank of Sergeant Major. This is no small feat. After wars and deployments that keep us waiting for his return, Andre has stayed committed to a dream that been a part of him since we were kids. My brother used to wait up for me when I went out as a teenager just to make sure I got home ok. I knew then that his love and dedication to wife, family, and country is unwavering. In the age of internet muscles and bravado he still believes in a hand shake and one’s word, which is rare. Some would call it an old school approach to dealing with life, but I honor Andre’s principles and values. He’s my everyday hero for remaining true to himself, gaining respect through action, and treating others with dignity. Congratulations, Sergeant Major Andre Lawhorn, we salute you.IMG_4990

Double the fun at DoubleTree!

This week, we’ve got quite the spectacle! Marz and Arianna team up to double rock a Bat Mitzvah at the DoubleTree, Skokie. We pulled out ALL the stops for this one – LED Uplighting, LED Dance Stages, a live drummer, and of course, the all-star Charizma crew! If you want to see what pure joy and non-stop energy looks like, make sure you check out the video – Marz and Arianna make an incredible team, and when you put two deeply passionate people in the same room together and give them a microphone, amazing things happen. This is Charizma, ‘Spontaneous Perfection’ at its finest!

Love is Love

As I reflect on this wedding season, Charizma Entertainment has and will always support the bonds of love that compel the desire to marry. This past June I’ve had the privilege to do my first, and I hope of many same sex weddings. Congratulations to Katie and Jen, our lovely brides, who in the midst of planning their wedding were also working on their doctorates. Seeing my ladies laugh and cry in the ceremony and dance the night away at the beautiful Morton Arboretum made my heart explode with pure joy. You see people are people and love has no boundaries.

Terry and Steve had a whole show planned in a different way at Mayne Stage, from the introductions to the exchanging of the vowels “AEI OU,”  they shared their video montages of the marriage at the Skokie court house and a snapshot of their life as a couple. What blew me away was how Terry and Steve shared the journey of the relationship as if you had a front row seat. Their family and friends in attendance felt the love as they acknowledged every couple that were in the room. As friends and family toasted the guys it was clear again that love is love.

I recently emceed a wedding reception in Cleveland for my good friends at Rock the House Entertainment. The marketing director, Nick Duve, is a friend and colleague in our industry. I was with him when the news went viral on June 26, 2015, that the Supreme court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. Words can not touch the intensity of his feelings that day. What I do know is that it’s finally permitted for him to marry the man he loves. Nick’s words are real and I share this with you and hope you can grasp the magnitude that this decision means for a group of people who have waited for this a long long time.

Congratulations to all who are now able to marry the love of their life. I would be honored to be a part of your love story.

Marz ROCKS a Geologist’s Wedding

This week, Marz and the crew travel to Victoria Banquets Rosemont for a very special ‘Charizma first’ wedding – for a geologist! Needless to say, this wedding ROCKED… Get it? Rocked? … Anyways, this couple wanted to do something special for their special day so they decided to come by and take a few dance lessons with Marz, and on their wedding day, we brought out our Dancing on the Clouds fog machine and really made the dance floor a magical place to be. Marz was out on the floor dancing his face off and made sure everyone was having a blast! ROCK and roll! … Another geologist pun …

Just because you wear black doesn’t mean it’s OK!!!

Everyone has their own style. We are in the image business and every day we step into the spotlight of someone’s event. In the world of mobile entertainment, Charizma has tried to uphold a certain flair with our emcees, djs, and interactive dancers. Black will always rank at the top of what to wear to work or perform at an event. It’s time to shed that image and move into a world of color. As an accent or a primary it can be a game changer in the way you look at your next event.

Things that you have to keep in mind is this… If you’re trying to add a little pop your wardrobe – Get Help!! Most major stores have fashion consultants that are more than willing to get you updated. Places such as Men’s Warehouse have changed the game in formal wear with tuxes and suits that don’t make you feel like your dad’s clothes. Express for Men has grown to be the place to get colorful shirts and tie or vest that make you turn heads when you walk into the room. Banana Republic has the style that can take you from conservative to eccentric.

Your footware is a game changer. Places like DSW provides you with everything from a pair of Chuck Taylors to Florsheim. Accessories will get you noticed also. Bow ties and crazy socks to go with your outfit will get you compliments and serve as conversation-starters with your next potential client. No matter what direction you decide to go updating your wardrobe, let the people know that care about being great, starting with looking great. So what’s your next outfit or suit going to look like at your next event?


Charizma and the Ohio Wedding

Charizma had the distinct pleasure of traveling to the Buckeye State to rock out a wedding at the Athletic Club of Columbus! According to the rest of the country, Ohio as a state has the most pride out of any state in the US, so naturally, the party was a huge success. When Ohioan’s gather on the dance floor, there’s just no stopping them. It was really great to bring the Chicago flavor to Columbus. As you’ll see in the video, Marz was out there on the dance floor with everybody to make sure the energy was constantly at a 10. The music was groovy, the smiles were infectious, and we brought our brand of spontaneous perfection across state lines (totally legal by the way). Would we go there again? You bet your buckeyes we would.

Happy Father’s Day!

Today holds much significance in my life. For the past nine years Father’s Day has meant more to me each year that it comes around. My daughters have taught me more about myself than I could have ever imagined. I’m sure you can relate.

Every morning I wake up greeted with the sweetest sound that any man could ever hear – “Good morning, Daddy.” You can’t tell me there is anything better than that to start your day. I have loved every moment of learning what a father really means to their children.

I understand that now what I say and do really matters.  Our children are watching us at every moment. Those littles eyes look back at you with a love and enthusiasm that motivates us as men and fathers to be better. Words like trust, honesty, respect have a different meaning when it comes to our children. I don’t know that it should, but it does to me.

The lessons I learn from my daughters are the simple ones that I will hold on to forever. I’ve learned that hugs are never-ending and I don’t even have to ask for them.  Teaching them the things that I love inspires them. Smiling builds confidence. A calm voice in crisis builds trust. Baby pictures makes you giggle. Family dinner does matter. Being together is all they need. Sitting on couch watching movies together is the best. For me on this day that’s all I want and everything I need.

Today (and everyday) our children will make us laugh, cry, smile, and most of all reflect. We can’t remember what life was like before them and wouldn’t start to imagine what life would be without them. Enjoy your children and enjoy the person you have become because of your children. The world is a better place because of this special love.

Happy Father’s Day!

P.S. Especially my father my mom Rubye

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