DeNiro and Pacino: Actors Second, Friends First

Credit: New York Times

Robert De Niro and Al Pacino both have long, prolific careers. For half a century, both men have become household names in Hollywood in landmark films like “Taxi Driver,” “Scarface,” “Raging Bull,” and the “Godfather” series, which they co-starred in.

The series known as one of the best series of films of all time forever entwined Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. When one invokes one of the men’s names, the other often comes up, despite the fact that the men have only shared the screen three times.

Credit: Variety

“The Irishman” reunites the legends in a crime drama about Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino), former president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and Frank Sheeran (De Niro), the mobster who claimed credit for Hoffa’s murder. The film came to fruition over the course of a decade. De Niro read Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses, a novel that chronicles Sheeran’s rise to crime and how his life intertwined with the Hoffa and Kennedy families.

“It had this grand size to the story,” De Niro says. “It had historical figures whose outcomes had been unresolved, and this story had those answers, according to this character, which I believed.”

 The nearly four-hour drama seems like quite the undertaking for any actor, and it most certainly is. While most actors in their late 70s take on easier, more fun roles, Pacino and De Niro continue to take on roles such as these to hone their craft. The two actors see working together as a motivational challenge.

“It takes the edge off,” Pacino says about working together. “And puts the other edge on.”

Even though the two have only worked together a handful of times, the actors have a close and dear friendship. The pair met back when they were both young, struggling actors. They lost roles together. They experienced failure and success together. They even had similar upbringings— the men were raised in a post-World War II New York City, were children of divorce, and both attended acting schools.

Credit: USA Today

“We were in an unusual position,” Pacino says. “It was a whole different idea, being well-known. Not quite the way it is now. It was not as accessible, to be famous. It hadn’t caught on yet.”

“It was a good thing that we had each other to talk about stuff,” De Niro agrees.

Despite their similarities, the men have wildly different approaches to acting. “I suppose I could say that Al tends to go toward fluidity and music while Bob likes to locate states of mind and being, settling in,” Martin Scorsese, director of “The Irishman,” says. “But that’s just a matter of their instincts and personal orientations, I think. They’re both tremendous artists with powerful ‘instruments,’ as an acting teacher might put it.”

Michael Mann, director of “Heat,” a crime drama both Pacino and De Niro star in, echoes Scorsese’s sentiment. “They both have a total artistic immersion — the way they get to that is radically different.”

Credit: Polygon

For both actors, “The Irishman” explores a level of existentialism that they’d been starting to consider as they age. They agree that looking back is “natural” at their respective ages, and that it is a film that couldn’t have done, and wouldn’t have even considered, even ten years ago.

To learn more about the film, read the New York Times interview with the two iconic actors.


Exclusive Interview: Dr. Anthony Weinert, Doctor and Founder of Stop Feet Pain Fast

Credit: Foot Care Institutes 
Dr. Anthony Weinert is one of the top podiatrists in the metro-Detroit area. For nearly 20 years, he helped thousands of patients eliminate their foot pain and live active, healthy lifestyles. At Stop Feet Pain Fast, his practice with offices in Troy and Warren, Michigan, patients can undergo a mix of holistic and traditional medicine to treat their problems. This unique approach to medicine has granted Dr. Weinert spots on a number of news outlets and radio shows.
In this interview, Dr. Weinert discusses his career, his path to success, his practice, and his passion.
Interviewology: When did you realize medicine was the path in life you wanted to take?
Dr. Anthony Weinert: I knew as a little kid that I wanted to look into medicine as a career. I remember watching television shows when I was younger on doctors and medicine and was very drawn to it. I felt it was so fascinating to be able to help people.
I: What inspired you to become a podiatrist specifically?
AW: What inspired me to become a podiatrist was knowing how important the feet are to our overall body wellness and health. Besides breathing, walking is the most common thing that we do as human beings on a daily basis. Our feet get us to where we need to go to live an active and happy lifestyle. When your feet have a problem, it will have a impact on your entire body. I wanted to have a major impact and be able to help a lot of people that are suffering with foot pain.
I had a personal experience with foot pain as a teenager with foot pain. After seeing the podiatrist who helped me with my condition, it really inspired me to look further into becoming a foot specialist. I was an active as a child in sports and I know a lot of people that had foot injuries from playing sports. The importance of our feet to our overall health and wellness is what really made me want to specialize and become a podiatrist.
Dr. Anthony Weinert
I: What is the most common problem patients come to you with?
AW: The most common problem that patients come and see me with his heel pain. Medically, it is referred to as plantar fasciitis– or heel spur syndrome. A lot of patients will complain of sharp, shooting pains to their heel, especially first step in the morning when they get out of bed and after heavy activities the day before. Many patients also complain of pain to the arch area of their feet.
I: According to your site, you are in podiatry due to your ability to link foot problems to other conditions in the body. What sort of foot problems can be derived from other medical conditions?
AW: A lot of times as a podiatrist, we are the first to be able to diagnose those people suffering with gout, arthritis, or high levels of uric acid in the body, which causes severe pain to the big toe joint. The big toe joint is usually red, swollen, warm to the touch, and very sensitive. Patients experience pain just from having bedsheets over it. It is like a severe toothache in your big toe.
You can also look at the toenails and immediately know about any systemic problems in the body, such as poor circulation or psoriasis. For instance, if the toenail has little small pits in it, that is usually indicative of psoriasis. The color of the skin of the feet can tell us also if there is circulation problems in the body. Our feet are truly a mirror to our body and tell us a lot.
Credit: Reader’s Digest
I: As a surgeon, how did you get into holistic medicine?
AW: I got into holistic medicine because I knew there was always alternative treatments to be able to help people. I took seminars and read  books about holistic and alternative healing. We are holistic beings, and the feet are so essential to our bodies and overall wellness.
I always believe in helping my patients with holistic treatment options first, especially since medications cause so many side effects for patients. Medications and surgery are not always the answer. There are so many good holistic treatments available to patients. For instance, I tell my patients to apply coconut oil to nails that have fungus. It is safe, and has been working very well for them. In addition, I believe that having patients ground their feet daily by going barefooted around the house and on grass has a lot of health benefits including decreasing chronic inflammation in the body naturally. Earthing and grounding is a wonderful healing principle that can be performed daily, is free, and best of all, has no side effects. I have so much passion for holistic healing and want to educate people on it to help them, so I wrote a book called Whole Foot Revolution-A proven way to reclaim your mind, body, and sole.
I: When do you decide to turn to holistic medicine as opposed to other medical treatments?
AW: I decided to look into holistic medicine approximately five years ago. In addition, with my education and training in Reflexology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tong Ren Healing, quantum healing, earthing and grounding, and meditation, I was able to see how our body can heal it self of diseases and illnesses, and how essential our feet are to our overall health and wellness in our mind, body, and spirit.
I: When did you start writing books and what inspired you to do it?
AW: I started writing books in 2010. My passion for teaching and providing important information to help people heal really inspired it. I noticed there was not many books on foot health and wellness for people to read and felt the need to put out some good information on foot health and wellness into the world.
I wanted to write books because I had a wealth of knowledge that I felt needed to be shared with those looking for help. My mother also inspired me to write my books, because she always said that I had a lot of knowledge to share with the world. She inspired me to not be afraid to write a book. I took her advice and have written three books. My latest book was published in June of this year–  Whole Foot Revolution- A proven way to reclaim your mind, body, and sole. It is now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble bookstores.
I: How important is philanthropy to not only your business, but to you as a person?
AW: Philanthropy is very important to me because it allows me to give back to the community and to help those people that are in need. I being able to help and put a smile on someone’s face and  people who need it the most. I enjoy volunteering and spending a lot of time in the community. I want people to know there are people who truly care and wish to spread compassion and love. We are all brothers and sisters and need to help each other out in good times and in bad. Giving back is the best feeling ever and absolutely enjoy doing it. The appreciation, smiles, love, and compassion is priceless.
I: Tell us a little about why you decided to start your nonprofit, Shoe Pantry Plus.
AW: I started my nonprofit called Shoe Pantry Plus in honor of my mother, Diane Weinert. My mom was Polish and grew up in a poor family of 15 kids in Hamtramck, Michigan. She and her siblings wore hand me down shoes that didn’t fit, had holes in them, and would sometimes just go barefooted. They all had foot problems as they grew up. I felt, as a foot specialist and podiatrist, that I should organize a non-profit to be able to provide properly fitting, new shoes and socks to the homeless, veterans, adults, and children in the community. I didn’t want other people and families to have to suffer like my mom and her siblings had to growing up. To date, Shoe Pantry Plus has distributed close to 10,000 pairs of new shoes and socks to people in need in the community.
I: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
AW: The most rewarding part of my job is having the ability to help someone coming in with pain live a pain-free, active lifestyle. I truly enjoy my patience and getting to know them on a personal level. All of my patients are like family to me, and I treat each and everyone of them as if it was me as the patient getting treated. I truly enjoy when my patients are so appreciative after getting healed and able to enjoy life pain-free.
The best compliment is when my patients refer other friends, family, and co-workers to me. This is so rewarding, because a patient took their time to tell someone else about me, my staff, and the footcare they received. I have such a love and passion for what I do, and I love making my patients feel good, but most importantly, pain-free.



Brad Pitt on Life in Hollywood

Credit: People

Brad Pitt isn’t the attention-seeking Hollywood superstar many people assume leading men and women in the film industry are. That much is clear from his recent interview with New York Times writer, Kyle Buchanan. He didn’t dress in flashy clothing to their meeting at the Los Angeles Griffith Observatory. He wore a gray newsboy cap, a t-shirt, and was unshaven. Pitt is quiet, reserved even, and proves to us that even though he knows how to play a motormouth, that’s all he’s doing—playing, acting.

Credit: Micaiah Carter

He attests this to his upbringing in Springfield, Missouri. Like many men who grew up in the 1960’s and 70’s, Pitt was raised with a “be-capable, be-strong, don’t-show-weakness thing,” as he so eloquently puts it. That sort of upbringing molded him into that sort of man, and while he is thankful for some aspects of it, he is fully aware problems have arisen as a result.

“I’m grateful that there was such an emphasis on being capable and doing things on your own with humility, but what’s lacking about that is taking inventory of yourself,” Pitt says. “It’s almost a denial of this other part of you that is weak and goes through self-doubts, even though those are human things we all experience. Certainly, it’s my belief that you can’t really know yourself until you identify and accept those things.”

Credit: Micaiah Carter

After years in the industry, Pitt doesn’t spend much time at fancy award shows and parties. He didn’t even attend the Oscars when a film he executive produced, Moonlight, was up for a number of nominations—instead, he was at James Gray’s house, a director and longtime friend of Pitt. He found out about the La La Land versus Moonlight Best Picture debacle second hand, so which he simply replied “Oh wow, that’s cool.”

“He wasn’t unappreciative, obviously,” Gray says, “but Brad won’t get caught up in pomp and circumstance. I think he knows to stay centered.”

The two have collaborated on a number of projects, but as the years have gone on, and Pitt has fallen out of the spotlight, so has the amount of jobs he’s willing to take on. Gray says that this is his “only quibble with Brad,” that he doesn’t star in enough movies despite the fact that he can “command the screen in a way very few other people can.”

Credit: Micaiah Carter

Pitt, however, says he isn’t as interested in acting as he once was. He’ll take jobs that call to him, but for the most part, the actor finds himself more drawn to producing. Many may not realize, but Pitt has backed a vast number of critically acclaimed films over the past several years—the aforementioned Moonlight, as well as 12 Years a Slave, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Selma with his production company Plan B.

“Producing just means you don’t have to get up really early and put on makeup,” he jokes. “It’ll be fewer and farther in between for me, just because I have other things I want to do now. When you feel like you’ve finally got your arms around something, then it’s time to go get your arms around something else.”

Read more of the beautifully written piece on the New York Times website.

Exclusive Interview: Daniel Shaw, President and Founder of Academy Medical

Veteran-turned-businessman Daniel Shaw found a place for himself in the procurement industry. After years of serving the nation in the Navy, Shaw wanted to continue serving the people of this nation through healthcare. This is how Academy Medical, a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) that helps companies provide cutting edge medical and surgical products to government medical facilities, was born.

In this interview, Shaw discusses his history with the navy, his transition into the world of procurement, and what is in store for Academy Medical.

Interviewology: Tell us a little about your background. What led you to join the military? 

Daniel Shaw: I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. In 1991 I graduated from the US Naval Academy and was selected to be a Naval Aviator. I chose the Naval Academy because it was a challenge. I was told by a guidance counselor in early high school that I would never get there, and I set out to prove him wrong. I worked hard and stayed focused to show that someone from modest beginnings can not only get into the Naval Academy, but thrive in the competitive environment.

I completed flight training as a Navy Pilot and was deployed around the world in multiple military theaters.

I: How did your experience in the Navy form you as a businessman?

DS: In the military your seniors, peers, and subordinates must be able to trust what you’re saying. Lives depend on it. I firmly believe in honest, straightforward business relationships—“do what you say and say what you do.” That has been the cornerstone of our business approach.

I: What came after the Navy that led you to develop Academy Medical?

DS: I was hired straight out of the navy as a medical distributor. I was considered somewhat of an atypical hire at that time. However, I was hired by a West Point graduate, who later commented that he knew what he was getting. Since then, I formed a partnership and have developed and grew the business into its form today.

Daniel Shaw. Credit: Academy Medical

I: How important of a role does the procurement process and Academy Medical play in the healthcare industry?

credit bobandsuewilliams

DS: The government procurement process is, in many ways, a challenge for all companies, small or large. Today, the government is trying to streamline their procurement process – to become more like a commercial hospital system – with more contracting, better prices, and a smoother ordering mechanism. Many businesses often don’t have the expertise, resources, or even the patience to deal with the bureaucracy and systemic issues embedded in the government contracting process. This most often results in extremely lengthy wait times for products to see the market.  Academy Medical is well positioned to help these companies navigate the contracting process– dramatically shortening product wait times which results in quicker access and revenue turns with emerging technologies.

I: Why was it important to you that the company be mostly led by veterans? 

DS: Veterans have a strong work ethic and commitment to an overall larger goal. They can be counted on to wake up in the morning, think independently, set goals, and accomplish them. That is the fabric of Academy leadership, but the same goes for our mid and lower level personnel.

I: How does Academy Medical position itself with regard to the technological changes now taking place in the surgical implement manufacturing industry? 

DS: Academy Medical’s goal is to provide the newest, most innovative products to help clinicians improve patient care. Our ability to help companies gain access to numerous government sales channels– often much faster than they could on their own– provides access to new products quickly. Our vendor partners know that we can help them get products on government contracts, and they come to us with any new innovations that would benefit the government medical community. The result is that clinicians can treat veterans, active military, and their families with the best treatment options available.

Credit: legacymedsearch

I: How does being a SDVOSB set Academy Medical apart from other procurement companies?

DS: We at Academy Medical are fiercely proud of being classified as an SDVOSB. We support veterans and work very hard every day to help provide the best possible health care to them and their families. VA statutory requirements place us at the pinnacle of VA purchasing preference, but we take a step further to provide value for that purchase. We work with both our vendor partners and government agencies to provide the best products (including new and innovative therapies) at the best possible prices.  That value is then bundled with a technologically-centric platform, all the while streamlining the entire end-to-end procurement process.

I: What role does philanthropy play in your vision as a company? 

DS: I strongly believe in giving back to the community, especially to those who have given their all to our country. I hope to continue supporting Veteran causes, and as Academy grows, play a larger role to help those in need.

I: What is the most fulfilling aspect about your job?

DS: At Academy, we’re problem solvers. I really enjoy creating win-win scenarios where our vendors and government partners alike see the value and benefit from their relationship with us.

I: What exciting things are in store for the future of Academy Medical?

DS: Academy has developed key partnerships and cutting-edge technology, specifically focused in the VA market. We’re very fortunate to be well-positioned to help solve several contractual, statutory, and logistic VA issues. Our technology and expertise also allows us to be extremely valuable in pursuit of other opportunities in other governmental markets.

Credit: legacymedsearch

I: How have recent changes in the healthcare industry effected the government process of procuring medical supplies?

DS: All governmental agencies, not only the DoD and VA are coming under more and more scrutiny with respect to their spending as it relates to the return on that spend.  The VA and DoD are especially visible, as they treat our heroes, veterans, active military, and their families. As a result of the increased review of departmental spending, we are seeing both the VA and the DoD transition away from the “open market” platform and more towards contracting.

The rationale for using contracts is obvious– more visibility and better pricing.  By increasing the utilization of contracting vehicles, the government medical procurement process can save time and money while not negatively impacting the quality of care. In addition, both agencies—especially the VA— are in the middle of attempting to modernize their supply chain and procurement practices to mirror what happens on the commercial side.

I: What does Academy Medical look for in the businesses the company partners with?

DS: First, we look for vendor partners that can manufacture and deliver innovative healthcare technologies to our Veteran community. Second, and just as important, is their ability to see the value of doing business in that space. Gone are the days of varied, arbitrary, and sometimes even inflated pricing. We work with our vendors and contracting to deliver consistent, competitive, and long-term national pricing.  We then work together to shape that message and market that total value to the government buyers and users.

I: What is Academy’s advantage over other companies seeking to work with manufacturers?

DS: Academy medical offers more value than competitors in terms of agility, expertise, access points, and competitive platform. Our use of technology offers seamless integration while maximizing continuity and minimizing workflow disruptions.

We have extensive experience in sourcing government solicitations and troubleshooting procurement issues. In fact, Academy Medical fields account executives whose role is to ensure a trouble-free procurement process. Only Academy Medical has Flightline, our robust web-based electronic commerce platform that connects our manufacturing partners with the Government end users and enables real-time order processing and shipment tracking, resulting in a streamlined and traceable purchasing and shipping process.

Academy Medical has numerous contracting sales channels to offer ease of purchases in their appropriate technology and delivery space.

And finally, Academy Medical qualifies and is verified as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business.  We are the VA’s first choice in the purchasing process, but are given priority in all governmental agencies as a preferred buying channel.



Once Upon a Time in Hollywood With Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Quentin Tarantino

Credit: Alexi Lubomirski

In this day and age, there are a handful of names in Hollywood that everyone knows. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen any of their films, you know them by name—Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Quentin Tarantino. They are Hollywood royalty.

Credit: Alexi Lubomirski

This makes their film, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood¸ a sort of royal court, and the court doesn’t end there. The production team and cast is full of stars from Kurt Russell to Dakota Fanning, just as a film about the changing landscape of Hollywood should be.

But landing an interview with the leading men, and the man who spearheaded the project, was an unbelievable get for Michael Hainey at Esquire. The interview discusses the film, their careers, and what it is like to work on a Tarantino set.

Credit: Alexi Lubomirski

“[This is] probably my most personal [film],” Quentin Tarantino says about the project. “I think of it like my memory piece. Alfonso [Cuarón] had Roma and Mexico City, 1970. I had L. A. and 1969. This is me. This is the year that formed me. I was six years old then. This is my world. And this is my love letter to L.A.”

It’s a well-documented fact that Tarantino’s process of filmmaking is rather different from many of his colleagues. According Leonardo DiCaprio, those differences are down to the feeling one gets when they arrive to set.

Credit: Alexi Lubomirski

“His sets are so magnetic. You don’t walk onto sets like this anymore, where everyone has respect for the process. There’s this celebration of a way of making movies that has slowly become an antiquity in this industry. Quentin puts a tremendous amount of thought into making these characters come to life, making the authenticity of the period come to life. There’s also this freedom—an energy—we feel on his set. It’s become a rarity to have a process the way he has it.”

As the cast and crew have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into this project, the project has poured something back into many of them: a feeling of nostalgia. Tarantino and Pitt, especially, recall growing up in the age the film is based, and how the television and cinema shaped their lives. The film harkens back to a style of filmmaking that is very often neglected in the industry these days.

“The positive of the new landscape is you see more people getting opportunities,” Brad Pitt says. “But I see something else happening with the younger generations. I was dismayed at how many twenty-year-olds have never seen Godfather, Cuckoo’s Nest, All the President’s Men—these films that are in the Bible to me. And they may not even get to see them. I’ve always believed every good film finds its eyes, inevitably. But there’s a shift in attention span. I’ve been hearing from newer generations that they’re used to something shorter, quicker, big jump, and get out. And the streaming services work that way; you can move on to the next one if you’re enticed. What I always loved about going to a cinema was letting something slowly unfold, and to luxuriate in that story and watch and see where it goes. I’m curious to see if that whole form of movie watching is just out the window with the younger generations. I don’t think so completely.”

To read the full interview, visit Esquire.

Beauty, Health

Exclusive Interview: Dr. Larry Fan on Beauty and Plastic Surgery Trends

Dr. Larry fan is an esteemed and award-winning plastic surgeon in San Francisco where he founded his nationally recognized boutique medical practice, 77 Plastic Surgery. Dr. Fan leads his medical team with the inspiration of the “beauty that surrounds and resides within all of us.”

The Sophia News recently chatted with Dr. Larry Fan about beauty and plastic surgery trends and issues. This interview was inspired by Dr. Fan’s prominence in the world of cosmetic and plastic surgery. In the interview Dr. Fan shared his philosophy for helping people reach their realistic goals for beauty, and gain more self-confidence in the process.

Sophia News: Please describe your passion and career path towards becoming a plastic surgeon.

Dr. Fan: When I was in college I decided to be a doctor, I wanted to help people in choosing my career. I enjoy being a surgeon When I was 21 I broke my nose playing basketball and I did not think it was a big deal at the time but over the years my nose became very crooked and it became a big issue for me over time. My nose began to make me very self-conscious, when I was out and about I could see people staring at my face and I was very comfortable.

I ultimately decided to get my nose fixed and with that experience I learned what it means to be unhappy with your appearance. That lead me to plastic surgery. When I was in medical school I realized, I liked plastic surgery more than other parts of medicine. I wanted to work with my hands and be very active. I grew up being an athlete and this physical aspect of plastic surgery appealed to me greatly. I find it very fulfilling.

The impact of positivity it has on people’s self-esteem is very powerful and I know it firsthand.

SN: How would you describe your average patient?

LF: My average patient is that there is no average patient. The ages and cultural backgrounds all vary. The reasons for coming to me and wanting plastic surgery are many and everyone has a unique story. Demographically, my patients are 85% women, though I have a greater portion of men compared to other doctors.

The age varies from young women who want larger breasts in their 20s to women in their 70s. Being in San Francisco I have all ethnicities, a very diverse patient format. Many south Asian, Hispanic, all sorts.

SN: Do you find that standards of beauty and sexuality vary greatly between San Francisco and Los Angeles or across the country?

LF: First, I think across the USA, everybody wants to feel beautiful, younger, and geography does not have much an impact about it. It’s a timeless desire for women. There are some subtle differences in expectations and pace in San Francisco Bay Area than Los Angeles. In San Francisco, they are more discreet and favor more natural looking results, versus L.A. that wants more dramatic or extreme.

In San Francisco, the people don’t want others to notice the surgery procedures as much as perhaps other cities. In L.A., it’s more dramatic and more flashy and more noticeable. In Beverly Hills for example, the population is far more made up and beauty-conscious than in San Francisco. There is a noticeable cultural difference in terms of beauty and self-awareness between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which is reflected in subtle ways.

SN: What do you find most fulfilling as a plastic surgeon?

LF: Helping people feel better about themselves. What I love about my career is that I get to help people; that I have firsthand experience that improving your appearance can help you lead a fuller more confident life. I have patients who come in dissatisfied and struggling with self-confidence. Something as simple as helping a flight attendant who was bothered by the size of her ears. She came to me to help her reduce the size and took time and courage for her to do this. She was in her 70s. Once she saw the difference she shed tears and gave me a hug; telling me, “I can’t tell you how much this helps me, and it was something I was dealing with and struggling with my entire life.” I feel lucky to help people in a profound way.

SN: Do you see the future of breast augmentation change greatly in terms of technologies and implants?

LF: It’s one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the entire world. My patients generally have a challenging relationship with their breasts. This could mean desiring larger breasts, smaller breasts or changing their appearance or shape via a breast lift. Breast augmentation is a procedure that has been popular for a few decades and that over the years the procedure has become more refined and safer both medically and aesthetically. That means the implants have continually improved. Twenty years ago, there was a concern about leakage and safety of silicone. There were many studies and panels, and after five or ten years everyone agreed that silicone implants were safe and risks were dramatically reduced. Over the past ten years, new implants are more durable, hold their shape better, and appear more natural. The procedure is better and safer than ever as a result, though one must always remember there are risks associated with any surgical procedure.

In addition, our understanding of the variables involved with breast implant technologies is better than ever as a result of these studies. We can now, as a result of the knowledge, make precise pockets and calculations when inserting the implants; respecting the patient’s tissue and other variables that decrease the risk of problems in short and long term. Understanding the variables help with the safety and overall cosmetic results.

There will always be a level of risk since it is a surgical procedure, and I tell my patients, “you need to understand that getting breast implants is a lifetime choice.” I tell them, “there are risks and over the next ten years there is a small chance you may need a second procedure to replace the implants or for some other reason.”

In the last two years, there has been a small link between silicone breast implants and a rare form of lymphoma that has garnered media attention and it is something I tell my patients. I try to tell my patients that the chance is extremely low; I want people to be aware of all the risks.

SN: What level of consultation do you provide for married women and their husbands concerning expectations? Is it common for you to temper expectations?

LF: Many of our patients are married women. Typically, the husbands are involved at various levels. The most common scenario is that the women are doing the procedures for themselves. Typically, the husband is supportive and will say, “I think you are perfect and you don’t need anything, but if this is important to you then I am here to support you.”

At the same time, I tell all my women patients that it is important that you should only make changes to your body that you want and not do it for anyone else. When I do on occasion see that a woman feels pressured to undergo a procedure because of pressure by her husband, I will convey my input.

SN: Do you ever have patients who are celebrities or in the public eye? If so what types of special services do you offer them for privacy?

LF: I do get celebrities and public figures regularly. When people in the public eye come in we do provide a level of customized care for privacy and discretion. My team is experienced in providing privacy and special needs to all patients, not just celebrities. I value everyone’s privacy, regardless of whether or not a patient is a celebrity. I am comfortable with the needs of those in the public eye. For example, I have a famous millionaire who is a male patient, and we work with him and our assistants to give him a few special requests regarding services. We try to minimize waiting times and we are happy to help people with special needs such as hours of visit, security, and other things. We try to accommodate everyone’s special requests.

SN: What is the most challenging aspect of being a plastic surgeon today?

LF: I think one of the most challenging aspects is managing the expectations of my patients. As a surgeon, I want perfection, and so do my patients; whether it is the result, the care, or the appearance that someone has. And yet plastic surgery, like all surgery and all medicine, it is both an art and a science and there are factors that are out of my control or our control. It is impossible to guarantee any results. Complications and poor results are possible.

Patients have various levels of understanding and expectations of what they are going through. Especially people who are younger, they expect things to be perfect with no hardship, even if they are starting from a base of genetic appearance, their expectations are sometimes unrealistic.

For example, I do get women who are perfectly fit or beautiful who may have put some weight on and want to be a size zero when they are already fine. They want liposuction to work magic and make them meet an expectation of self-image that is not realistic. I spend a lot of time communicating the importance of realistic goals and expectations to them. Even when I spend a few hours with my patients about this, at the end of the procedure I can tell they may still be struggling with disappointment, and this is a challenging for me personally.

SN: Why do you think so few actresses are willing to admit they have had a cosmetic surgery procedure? 

LF: It is true that cosmetic surgery is far more accepted by society at large than by celebrity culture. More and more people are actually considering plastic surgery procedure. And yet if you look at cosmetic surgery from certain perspectives and traditions within the USA, there are people who are more moralizing, and there is a big divide culturally in American society where it is not accepted.

In Hollywood, beauty standards are all about entertainment and fantasy. For movie stars their cache is predicated on looking like goddesses and gods who cannot do anything wrong, who are naturally perfect and who do not need any medical intervention to maintain their appearances; hence the reluctance to discuss and admit to plastic surgery procedures. Hollywood perpetuates this fantasy of perfection and beauty, which is not real and not realistic. For an actress or actor, the appeal must be that their looks are effortless and God-given. This is an illusion. Plastic surgery puts a lie to this myth, this image of fantasy perfection. I imagine one day with the continuing popularity of cosmetic surgery procedures Hollywood’s attitude may evolve.

SN: Does philanthropy or charitable giving play any role in your work and career?

LF: Yes, philanthropy is important.

I performed emergency and elective reconstructive surgery for the indigent and underserved in the San Francisco Bay Area on a weekly basis for more than a decade (at a public hospital, San Mateo Medical Center). I stopped earlier this year because of the business of my practice and because taking call was talking too much time away from my family.


LAw, Legal

Exclusive Interview: Chuck Cady of Top Cleveland Court Reporters, Cady Reporting

Credit: Golden Press Releases

Chuck Cady has been the primary owner and operator of Cady Reporting since 1981. The Cleveland-based firm is a family business that has been a major part of cases across all areas of practice, big and small. Because of their longevity and dedication to customer service, Cady Reporting has become a staple of not only the Cleveland legal scene, but the Ohio legal scene.

Interviewology: What intrigued you about the field of court reporting?

Chuck Cady: Getting a ringside seat to what fascinates so many people– the goings-on of court cases.  You get a slice of so many aspects of life and education.

I: How long have you been with Cady Reporting?

CC: I began with its prior iterations in September of 1981.

I: Is there a specific aspect of business that you would say your firm does better than others?

CC: Like so many services, it can become easy to be commoditized.  I think the best way to stand out and that we stand out is being pleasant to work with and making people feel that we’ll happily go the extra mile to take care of their needs.

Credit: NNRC

I: What led you running your own firm, as opposed to working with another?

CC: Our buyout took place in January of 1999, and at that time I had been with the firm for 18 years, so it seemed like a natural transition.

I: How does acting as a court reporter for a specific field of law—say, criminal—vary from working in a different field—say, maritime law? 

CC: Because we deal in terminology in creating a written record, knowing the terms in a specific field is vital to making sure the transcript properly reflects the intended meaning.  And for the information to flow well to the fingers of a court reporter, it has to flow through the brain smoothly, with little or no hesitation.

Since you specifically asked about maritime law, one of my favorite examples of requiring familiarity with terminology is knowing the term fo’c’sle, pronounced “fokesul,” which is a shortened form of “forecastle,” a superstructure at or immediately aft of the bow of a vessel, used as a shelter for stores, machinery, etc., or as quarters for sailors.  That one can throw you for a loop, especially spoken with a thick Canadian accent. And that is a very big part of our challenge, understanding not just the terms spoken but many times with an accent involved.

Credit: Times Square Chronicles

I: Since you first became a certified court reporter, how has the field changed in regards to technology and culture?

CC: It has changed very much so.   In the past we needed our steno machine, paper, a Dictaphone, and a typewriter.  As with pretty much every field now, it required computerization, along with the necessary software for creating the transcript, as well as allowing attorneys to use a real-time feed if they choose, either in person or streamed remotely.  And our firm, like most others, couldn’t operate without a dedicated IT person for security and know-how.

I: You’ve referred to the firm as a family business. Do you think that connection has a direct influence on your quality of service? 

CC: Yes, it absolutely does.  Our name is on the door.  We need to back that up.

Credit: National Court Reporting Firms

I: What are some aspects about court reporting you think people misinterpret?

CC: That it’s an easy job merely because we’re sitting there quietly doing our job, (or, at least, we should be),  and, therefore, the pay doesn’t seem commensurate with the job skill. This couldn’t be further from the truth.  The completion rate in reporting schools is around 7%, and I feel one of the reasons is because people underestimate the skill involved.  They have no idea all the gears whirring away in the court reporter’s brain and sometimes their stomach as they strive to deal with a fast-speaking expert witness with a heavy accent, or just a very fast deposition where people are not aware of making a good record.

A pianist has the opportunity to practice his or her piece many times before a performance.  Imagine a pianist having to play the notes in front of an audience as the notes are streamed across their eyes, never having seen them before.  The court reporter has to do the very same thing with words streamed into their ears and transferred to their fingers and keyboard at a very high rate of speed, and no one tells us what they’re about to say before they say it.

I: What do you think it takes to be a good court reporter?

CC: Besides having the requisite skill level, it takes good attention to detail, which requires a high level of caring about the transcripts that you produce.  It also takes good people skills and discretion to know how to conduct yourself in a way as to do your job well without being intrusive.  Most reporters I know are total perfectionists; they fret over whether they should use a comma or a semicolon. As a sort of bottom line, I have yet to find a situation that doesn’t fall into one of the two basic vital categories for success: professionalism and communication.

Arts, Music

Colin Lane Explains the Iconic Photograph Behind the Strokes “Is This It”

Credit: Colin Lane

The jump between film and photography is a lateral one that many take one way or another. Colin Lane when to the University of Texas for film, a long way from his New England roots. When he made the transition to a photographic focus, being a band’s principle photographer had not been his goal—but between 2001 and 2006, he achieved just that.

Credit: The Guardian

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Colin Lane explains his most iconic photo, which coincidently, is arguably the most iconic album cover The Strokes ever had.

The Captivating Photo

One slender hand cloaked by a black, Chanel glove rests easily on the lower back of a nude woman, who leans forward and arches her back. The shot is a close composition, and reveals absolutely nothing seemingly “inappropriate” by any means. We see her shape and her smooth skin—nothing more. By simply describing the piece, one would have no idea just how erotic and eye-catching the photo truly is.

The iconic album cover. Credit: Colin Lane.

Though he had just spent the day at a fashion shoot, the photo was not among those taken in a professional setting. He was at his apartment, wanting to use up the rest of his Polaroids. The woman in the photo is not a renowned model (at least, we don’t know for sure, as the identity of the woman has never been revealed), she is his at-the-time girlfriend.

…when she slid the glove on and bent forward, I knew it was the perfect shot – simple, straightforward, graphic and just so sexy. When I developed it, I stuck it in my portfolio and thought nothing more of it.”

Photography for the Strokes

Fast forward a year or two to early 2001. Colin Lane has been commissioned by the Face, a fashion magazine popular between the 1980s to the mid-2000s, to photograph an up-and-coming band, The Strokes. It was Lane’s first commission, and it was The Strokes’ first real photoshoot. They snuck up to the roof of a building to get great shots of the band against the New York Skyline at sunset.

The Strokes. Credit: Colin Lane


A few weeks later, Lane was called upon again by the band to take a few more pictures and just hang out. Lane brought his portfolio on a whim, and out of sheer luck, their art director called and insist they find an album cover for their first album, Is This It. So, Lane handed it over, and the band picked the photo of Lane’s ex-girlfriend.

From then, until 2006, Colin Lane became their regular photographer. He toured with them, shot the lead singer’s wedding, and became friends with them. When things began to unravel between bandmates, Lane moved on to other acts—such as Kings of Leon, Beck, and many more, but Lane says, “nothing has ever compared to the Strokes.”

It’s a shame, because they were incredible: even when they were on top of the world, they never became jerks. To the end, they always were welcoming, intelligent and humble young guys who deserved their success.”

Popular song from The Strokes’ first album, Is this It.

To read the full interview, visit

Arts, Film

Sean Penn and His Controversial Debut Novel

Credit: Greg Williams

For over 35 years, Sean Penn has been a star people across America easily recognize. Be it a result of his five Oscar Nominations and two wins for Mystic River and Milk, his directorial ventures, his ties to actress Robin Wright, or perhaps a scandal, Sean Penn is a man who as truly established himself as a righteous force in Hollywood.  

With the screen being such a prominent part of our understanding of Penn, many did not expect the actor who portrayed stoner Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High a topical and experimental novel.

Credit: Images Dawn

A New Brand of Limelight

Bob Honey Who Just do Stuff is Sean Penn’s debut novel. The 176-page boook revolves around title character, Bob Honey, who partakes in a number of odd jobs from selling septic tanks to Jehovah’s Witnesses to assassinating the elderly. The plot is non-linear, the narrative is loose, and the satirical tone of the book has produced two realms of thought: some see the story-telling techniques as unique and comic, while others feel it is too undisciplined and a mess of incoherent writing.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Penn discusses his ambitious work, as well as the transition from the world of film to the world of fiction. Feeling burnt out with the movie-making industry, Penn enjoys how writing a novel offered him “freedom from collaboration,” as he, “got to where [he] was not enjoying playing well with others as much as [he] used to.”

Credit: News 1130

However, similar to the story itself, the book did not have a traditional conception. Penn wanted to release the book before the election in 2016, but hadn’t realized how time consuming publishing truly is. As a result, he released an incomplete version on Audible.

Some compare the novel’s style to those of Terry Southern and Thomas Pynchon, complex and satirical writers of the 20 century, Penn insists the potential impact other writers may have had on him was never a conscious one.

The influence that a writer can have on you is that you get a sense of how somebody has a freedom with words or something, and makes you want to find freedom with your words… You find a voice like you find a character and it’s not from a movie—it’s from life. It’s not from a book—it’s from life.”

A Complex Novel for a Complex America

It is clear feelings on the book extend from one extreme to the other, but many can agree on one aspect: it is politically charged. “America’s a complex place that’s doing all it can to be without any complexity at all,” Penn says.

Though he vocally disapproves of our current president, when asked about a portion of the story that seems to refer to Donald Trump, Penn insists that “at the end of the day, the book isn’t about leadership in our country. It’s about the culture in our country,” and even if there are some controversial aspects of the story and that people dissect it and point fingers, ultimately, it is fiction.

My business is to be clear that what I leave behind is going to be in sync with what I intended to leave behind.”

To read the full interview, visit



Kathleen Turner: Hollywood, Luck, and Rage

Kathleen Turner is a woman that, nowadays, you may not recognize her name, but you recognize her face, and more likely than not, her raspy voice. Those who grew up in the 80s, however, know her for her many diverse roles in movies such as Body Heat, Peggy Sue Got Married, and The Jewel of the Nile.

Her battle with rheumatoid arthritis and an addiction to alcohol put an unfortunate left turn in her career. But even in the face of difficult circumstances, Kathleen Turner refused to quit her passion. Perhaps her screen-work is not what it once was, but she has had a long and vibrant career in theater over the past many years. In a recent interview with Vulture, Kathleen Turner reflects on her life and work, but not without her iconic “steel and sass” that made her so appealing in the 80s.

The interview begins with a clear example of that non-conventional, yet strangely appealing attitude. The interviewer begins by addressing the differences between Elizabeth Taylor’s depiction of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Kathleen Turner’s interpretation. With no hesitation, Turner claims that she “[doesn’t] think [Taylor] was very skilled,” and that she was “lucky she got to do the play…and show the humor in it…”

Kathleen Turner in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Credit: Mercury News.

It is clear, in just a couple of questions, that Kathleen Turner does not care about appearing too crass or forward. Turner is unapologetically herself—a rare and beautiful attribute for stars in Hollywood, and more impactfully, women in Hollywood.

What else, aside from luck, has driven your career?


Where does that anger come from?

Injustice in the world.

How does rage show up in your work?

In my cabaret show I use this passage from Molly Ivins… “Beloveds, these are some bad, ugly, angry times. And I am so freaked out. Hatred has stolen the conversation. The poor are now voting against themselves. But politics is not about left or right. It’s about up and down. The few screwing the many.” She wrote that over ten years ago and it’s no less true today.”

Among social and political opinions, Turner discusses the injustices she faced even as a household name in Hollywood. Many of her male cohorts, such as Michael Douglas and Jack Nicholson, seemed to view Turner as a trophy to be won, an “unspoken assumption that women were property to be claimed,” she says. The presumptuous culture and vapid air led Turner to live her life away from Los Angeles.

Along with her sass and supposed difficulty to work with, Kathleen Turner feels that it is partially there not being a “Kathleen Turner type character” that caused Hollywood to turn away. While creatively, playing such a wide range of characters was exciting and rewarding, Hollywood “never put her work together” and it ultimately was not “good for her financially.”

Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in Jewel of the Nile. Credit: The Ace Black Blog

Despite being one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood, Turner reveals that she never studied acting. Different acting techniques and method acting seem unnecessary to the legend, who says that if the information she needs on the character is not in the script, “it’s not a good enough script.” Even her master class is called “Practical Acting,” where Turner claims “You just shut up and do it.”

At an age where many actors and actresses turn away from the stage lights, Kathleen Turner is still going strong. She describes herself as a tree “where the trunk is strong enough, and the roots are deep enough, that [she] can branch out in any direction.” Branch out, Turner certainly does, and it seems that she will only continue to flourish in the years to come.

To read the full interview, visit