On Friday, December 2, 2022 from 7:10 to 9:00pm PST, First Friday Films Interviewed "On Being An Indigenous Entrepren-Artist's" Carmen Milagro.
Phillip E. Walker: Hello. I am Phillip E. Walker-MFA, the Meetup / First Friday Films (FFF) Founder, here to host the written chat with this San Francisco based talent & business woman.
Carmen: Hello Phil! ~ I think I'm starting to understand how this works...is this where I will write my answers to the questions addressed to me?
PhilE: Yes, Carmen ~ And thank you for attending FFF!
Carmen: You got it!
PhilE: Elated to see you artists here at this December 2, 2022 FFF Meetup Discussion with Blue Moon Gypsies’ Carmen Milagro, I thank all who have already arrived and who are still coming for attending this interview chat. Please make any comment or write any question that you would like Ms. Milagro to answer.
Carmen: I am thrilled to be here with you all this evening! Thank you for inviting me!
Mary: Good evening. It’s Mary Frances.
PhilE: Welcome Mary Frances ~ I personally thank you for attending your second ever FFF Discussion.
Listed in the original Meetup version of this Discussion as Jeddah Ballet Academy, I first met Mary as a beautiful modern dancer during our creation of J. D. Mata’s Spirit, Light & Love SERENE Official Music Video on the Hollywood Hills. It is viewable at https://youtu.be/Z1gEKbyPbRo.
Katherine: Hello Carmen, Phillip and Ethel! ~ Nice to hear from you all again.
Ethel: Hello Katherine ~ It's good to hear from you.
PhilE: Welcome Katherine Phillips. Hailing for Highland, California, Katherine served as the very capable Assistant Director for Ryan Stevens Harris’ multi award winning 2022 Rancho Cucamonga 48 Hour Film Project’s https://SweetestVacation.com. Her attendance at FFF tonight is likely to cause Sweetest Vacation to win yet another special Award!
Katherine: Hello, Mary ~ Happy to see you again!
Phillip ~ Thank you for the introduction! I've had some weird hours lately due to a cold. I'm glad I made it tonight though.
PhilE: Carmen ~ The first question is about my most beloved City where the Village, Ethel and myself raised our only son – Travis Donnell Walker-JD. As a San Francisco native, please explain the changes you have seen there in The City with emphasis on your vision of developing new artist conclave(s).
Ethel: Hello Carmen ~It's good to have you with us. I miss San Francisco, the San Francisco I knew with such a vibrant personality.
Carmen: Hello Dr. Walker! ~ Thank you. I am honored to be here. And yes, I agree with you fully!
Carmen: As a 1st-generation San Franciscan born of immigrant parents from El Salvador (just wanted to clear that up) I've seen a HUGE difference in The City - especially in the Mission District but all over. In the Mission, there seems to be less and less Latino/Hispanic owned businesses. In The City overall, there are certainly VERY few quality live-music venues. Of course, the lock-down didn't help at all, downtown, The FiDi were like ghost towns and they are slowly coming back but I don't believe they will ever be the same. Live music and CULTURAL gathering places are disappearing. There are a few left of course but not many who truly care about the LIVE music scene or music or arts education.
Carmen: I try to work with and consult on those projects that are all about Music and Music Education. I believe our children's futures are dependent on it and yes, I do have a few ideas on bringing back music via my old non-profit model that was once called Peanut Butter & JAMMusic Sessions For Kids...hopefully!
PhilE: Carmen ~ You talked once about poor Districts like Bay View naturally creating Artist conclaves. Can you write about that vision of yours?
Carmen: Once upon a time when I was on the BOD for a performance arts non-profit organization, I was able to see first hand the power of people in higher-income brackets who actually cared about FIRST getting to know the community they are trying to help before deciding for them what the community needed. In my humble opinion, rather than "charity-with-chains" the best organizations are actually able to design sustainable programs WITH the community leaders to help the children & people that need help the most. WITH the people & FOR the people! My vision has always been corner-stoned on that premise.
PhilE: Carmen ~ I like that "charity-with-chains" statement. It makes things very clear!
Carmen: Basically, the idea is fairly simple. Talk to the people in the community. Immerse yourself in the community. Learn what is needed & wanted by the community and then develop solutions and ideas to fit those needs. By hosting town halls, fund raisers, bake sales, talent shows you can become a part of the community you choose to serve. One such organization that I most admire in the Bay View / Hunter's Point area is Old Skool Cafe - their Youth Run Supper Club! They are PHENONMENAL forging the culinary and musical arts into a thriving beautiful and most important of all a SUSTAINABLE program! https://www.oldskoolcafe.org/
PhilE: Carmen ~ That's Great! The next time I am in The City I will check out Old Skool Cafe.
PhilE: Katherine ~ Can you write about your experience in attending Carmen's "On Being An Indigenous Entrepren-Artist" lecture?
Carmen: Hello Katherine and Mary Frances ~ I’m elated that you are here! Thank you!
Katherine: Absolutely, Phillip ~ Thank you again for hosting that Event. The Victoria Garden’s Cove location in Rancho Cucamonga was lovely as always. In general, the http://IndigenousFilmRetreats.com Event was wonderful. I especially enjoyed the pictures we all took on the red carpet that day.
PhilE: Good, Katherine ~ More of those pictures will be shared in the publishing of this FFF Article and on the Indigenous Film Retreats website.
Katherine: Carmen ~ Your lecture was so touching. I really connected with the way you talked about your family. My condolences again. I hope that you and your family are recovering from your loss.
Carmen: Katherine ~ I personally thank you for bringing such a powerful presence of kindness! I was a bit unsure of where it would all go but your energy and that of every single person in the room, created such a safe space and a trusting healing place. Thank you again.
PhilE: Yes Katherine ~ One of those Red Carpet videos opens the clips now published herein.
Ethel: Carmen ~ How does your El Salvador background influence your work?
Carmen: That's a great question Dr. Walker ~ I think we covered that a bit more in depth at the Retreat but the easiest (reader's digest version) would be this. My Salvadorean roots fuel my creative artistic soul as well as my entrepreneurial spirit. I believe each and every one of us because of our ancestry, have the ability to draw upon for our strength, our resilience, our voice & our success directly from our ancestors. It's all there in our DNA.
PhilE: Amen to that Carmen ~ Our cultural vision is exactly the same!
On another subject Carmen ~ You came to Rancho Cucamonga, California for the 2022 Indigenous People’s Holiday weekend directly from a different event in Arizona. Can you share that experience with our FFF readers?
Carmen: Yes Phil ~ I came to the Indigenous Film Retreats after my visit to a scared place of healing and light in Sedona, AZ. A wellness center. I was there on a personal as well as business trip. It was absolutely incredible!
Ethel: Carmen ~ My son and his wife have made plans to celebrate my birthday in June in Sedona (my birthday is actually in Feb.). I look forward to being there, since I have heard so much about the natural beauty and relaxing atmosphere.
Carmen: That's wonderful, Dr. Walker!! ~ If you get a chance please visit Spirit of the Heavens at Angel Valley in Sedona. My friend is the GM there and it is TRULY magical, there's no other word for it! Her name is Christina Marie Angelheart - Angel Heart :) https://angelvalleysedona.com/
Ethel: Thank you, Carmen ~ I'll put it on the to-do list.
PhilE: Carmen ~ Thanks for the Spirit of the Heavens tip. We'll tell Christina that you referred us to her.
Can you now please write about your work founding and leading the Blue Moon Gypsies band?
Carmen: Sure thing, Phil ~ Blue Moon Gypsies was formed by my partner and I during the lock-down. I had already retired from music for about 8+ years, maybe it was more, or so I thought. But I needed to heal. Rich needed to heal. We decided to add one another to our "bubbles". Started rehearsing, engaged his daughter, my goddaughter to create our name and logo. It was a family decision to start a band during a pandemic and me at the age of 57...a little crazy? Perhaps.
PhilE: I don’t think there is anything “crazy” about any part of this story!
Carmen: Yeah, so we soon fell into the joy of creating the Bay Area-based Blue Moon Gypsies as a West Coast-style Country Music group. We pay homage to modern Country's Queens & Kings such as Shania Twain, & Garth Brooks. We also pay tribute to the icons such as Patsy, Dolly, Johnny, Hank and Willie. Blue Moon Gypsies includes 80's and '90s Country music but we also add our own unique flavor and we're influenced by Pop, Latin, Rock, Bluegrass and Funk undertones. Most important of all...we're not your-run-of-the-mill Country band but a diverse, inclusive and multicultural group of seasoned professional touring musicians.
I'm very proud of this Project and we'll keep moving forward in Rich's honor.
Katherine: Carmen ~ One of the things I regret is not being able to hear you play us something at the 8th annual Indigenous Film Retreats.
Carmen: Katherine ~ One of these days, Blue Moon Gypsies will be at a venue near you :)
PhilE: Katherine ~ I share that sentiment! When you do hear Carmen sing you too will note that it is her Super Power!
Carmen: Thank you, Phil ~ You are a very kind Coach!
PhilE: Well, Carmen ~ I personally can't wait to attend a Blue Moon Gypsies live & in-person performance!
Carmen: We're working on getting a tour together, more sooner than later! :)
PhilE: Carmen ~ I did not know that you had retired from music. Not a smart idea, in my opinion. Glad you are back!
Carmen: More like semi-retired because not the education component just the performance aspect...it was after I lost my Mami, that I lost "my voice". My desire to be on stage was gone.
PhilE: Carmen ~ I'd love to help book a SoCal tour for the Band. Plus maybe even help direct the Show. Let's talk later offline.
Carmen: I like that idea Phil! ~ A SoCal tour!! If we time it right, I KNOW I can get my "1st chair" drummer Mr. Tony Coleman who used to play (30+ years) with Mr. BB King...and he is the draw...yes, let's discuss.
PhilE: OK Carmen ~ So let's see if we can use the lost of your life partner to flip that script back to where you belong - on stage "singing for your supper" in his honor and your Mami’s!
Carmen: I like that idea, Phil. ~ Thank you!
PhilE: Carmen ~ How about your work as a Certified CBD Consultant? Specifically, what does CBD stand for?
Carmen: Let's start with CBD. CBD basically means cannabinoid. A Cannabinoid in its simplest term is a chemical compound found in both the hemp and cannabis plants. Scientists have identified (thus far) at least 113 different cannabinoids. Humans and many other animals are born with Endo-cannabinoids. Certain plants like hemp broccoli, clove, etc. are phyto-cannabinoid-rich, which is the only way we can replenish or support our endo-cannabinoid system.
PhilE: Teach on, Sister!
Carmen: I'm an educational & professional wellness speaker specializing in Hemp CBD as a Certified CBD Consultant and Master Certified Hemp CBD Wellness Coach. I am the Author of TRUTHS ABOUT HEMP CBD - A Guidebook For Curious Folks and co-founder of the global CBD University platform based out of Mexico, all throughout the Latin Americas, Europe, Canada, Australia and the USA, the online instructor of the Hemp CBD Course called TRUTHS ABOUT HEMP CBD, as well as the Founder of DIVINA Skincare & Botanicals, among other things.
Phil ~ Thank you for asking about my other passion! Hemp CBD Education.
PhilE: Yeah, Carmen ~ You go Girl!
So, Carmen ~ I am always amazed how fast time flies during each month’s FFF Discussion. In that regard, our time is finished for this last FFF Meetup during 2022. Do you have a year ending statement on any subject that you would like to share with us?
Carmen: It sure did fly by!
Ethel: Carmen ~ It was so good “hearing” your wonderful comments about your music and your work with CBD. Take care.
Carmen: First of all, thank you for the honor of closing out this year with you all. I'd like to leave you with this thought. If YOU DON'T SEEK joy, love, passion & purpose in your life each and every day, then when will you do it and who will do it for you? Thank you. Blessings to you all! Good night?
PhilE: Carmen ~ What a wonderful closing statement.
Dr. Walker and I thank you all for joining FFF!
Phillip E. Walker: To be the subject of a 2023 FFF Showcase, Register your under 16 minute film/video at http://form.jotform.com/WalkerPhillip/FFF. ALL TOTALLY COMPLETED FORMS WILL BE SCHEDULED FOR SHOWCASING. That’s a wrap!