Every Monday at 9pm (EST).
Each week, the chat kicks off with a topic and confession* about that topic from one of the hosts or a guest. Here's the schedule with date, topic & confession contributor. Check back soon. The schedule updates frequently. To join the chat, type #BlerdDating into the search bar on your Twitter page. REMEMBER TO INCLUDE THE HASHTAG #BlerdDating IN EVERY TWEET SO YOUR TWEETS SHOW UP IN THE CHAT.
* Contributors retain all rights to their confession.
March 26: It Takes Two to make a thing go wrong-the cousins story
SPECIAL GUEST: MICHAEL BEARDEN (@michaelbearden) is a true maestro! An accomplished, music director / keyboardist / arranger /conductor and composer for a diverse range of musical superstars.Michael, born and raised on the south side of Chicago, has been in music practically his entire life. He started playing piano before his feet could reach the pedals. Although Michael has worked with over 450 artists in his career thus far, he is best known as Michael Jackson‘s final music director. Also, Michael has been creating with Lady Gaga as her MD since 2013.
Michael was nominated by the Television Academy for the 69th Emmy Awards in the ‘Outstanding Music Direction‘ category for the Pepsi Halftime Superbowl LI performance featuring Lady Gaga. It was the most watched Super Bowl halftime performance in history!
Immediately after the Super Bowl, Gaga asked Michael to help create ALL of her forthcoming events. Those included, Coachella, (Gaga was subbing for a pregnant Beyonce’), a Tudor watch campaign, (directed by Mark Romanek) The American Music Awards, The Grammys and the highly successful Joanne World Tour. Michael also performed in a couple of scenes for the upcoming film ‘A Star Is Born’, with Bradley Cooper. The Cooper directed reboot of the classic film starring Lady Gaga, will be released later in 2018.
Michael recently helped recreate over 30 Motown songs for use in the new, upcoming Netflix animated series entitled, ‘Motown Magic’. Michael impressed the producers so much, they asked him to be a recurring character in the series.
Michael performed in the Orchestra at the 89th Oscars. And will do so again for the 90th Oscars, his third year in a row. It again features host Jimmy Kimmel, who Michael had worked with at the Emmys.
In Michael’s arsenal of strong skill sets is the ability to lead and direct music for “live” television. A valuable skill not too many music directors share. Michael has conducted and co-md’d the 68th primetime Emmy Awards on ABC. A position he has held for multiple Emmys broadcasts since 2009. Jimmy Kimmel was the host for the evening.
In June of 2016, Michael was the music director for the Kennedy Center‘s annual spring gala honoring the great Marvin Gaye. The event was hosted by Whoopie Goldberg and featured artists such as, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Andra Day, Leslie Odom Jr. from the broadway smash Hamilton, Jussie Smollett from tv hit show Empire, Motown legend Valerie Simpson, new comer BJ The Chicago Kid, Baby Face, and vocalist extraordinaire Ledisi. The evening was a resounding success!
Michael MD’ed the Many Rivers Festival just outside of Atlanta. A debut, 2 day social justice & arts festival launched by legendary icon Harry Belafonte. Michael was handpicked by Mr. Belafonte to head the final night main stage event. It featured artists such as John Legend, Common, Alice Smith, Aloe Blacc, Siedah Garrett, Maxwell, Goapele, Mali Music and more.
Earlier in 2016, Michael played keyboards, arranged and assisted conducting for the 88th Oscars hosted by Chris Rock.
December 2015, Michael was the Music Director & Music Producer for Empire stars, Taraji and Terrrence’s ‘White Hot Holidays’ special for the FOX Network.
That same year, the Maestro also conducted and was co-music director for the 2015 67th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Michael composed for and conducted a 40+ piece orchestra at the request of Amazon‘s Jeff Bezos, for a private event in Palm Springs. It featured over 100 drones from Intel choreographed to the orchestra. The event was a resounding success and impressed the Amazon founder who commissioned Michael’s works.
Michael arranged, conducted and co – produced five songs with full orchestra for the one and only Neil Young on Neil’s studio recording ‘Storeytone‘. The album was recorded live in complete performance by the great Al Schmitt at the Sony Soundstage. When Michael left the podium, his part of the record was complete! No mixing required!
Michael has been involved in countless record productions. Including recently executive producing a new effort entitled ‘Legend‘ from hip hop pioneer, MC Lyte; producing a record for the China Voice winner Bo Liang; produced and co-wrote on a new project featuring guitarists Orianthi and Richie Sambora; and overseeing an upcoming conscious/uplift humanity project with involvement from legendary rapper Talib Kweli and writer/activist Kevin Powell. Also, he has been working on several new productions for up and coming artists.
Michael was also the music director and conductor for Lady Gaga’s appearance at the President’s Official Ball during Barack Obama’s inauguration of 2013. Michael and the first lady have been friends since childhood so it was a natural fit. Especially, having performed at President Obama’s very first inauguration concert ‘We Are One’ on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Both events were historic and resounding successes!
In demand, Michael was asked by well renowned producer Don Was, (Phil Ramone recommended Michael to Don because he thought the combination would be great) to work on an event in New Orleans. It was a surprise birthday party for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The concert included legends Dr. John, Chrissy Hynde, Greg Allman and Joe Walsh. Michael has worked with Don on many live event concerts since then. Including an upcoming tribute to Willie Nelson shooting in late 2015.
Michael served the full run as Music Director and music producer for George Lopez’s Lopez Tonight on TBS nightly.
Michael was Music Director, Supervisor, Composer and Associate Producer of the Sony film This Is It about Michael Jackson’s final tour rehearsals.
Michael has performed and/or recorded with many of popular musics giants such as: Sting, Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Chaka Kahn, Patti Austin, James Ingrahm, Patti Labelle, George Benson, Yossou NDour, Boz Scaggs, Lenny Kravitz, Luther Vandross, Roberta Flack, Issac Hayes, Aaron Neville, MC Lyte, Cyndi Lauper, and legends Nancy Wilson, Queen, David Crosby, Stevie Wonder, John Fogerty, Liza Minelli, Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and music director for many including Madonna, Rod Stewart and the greatest ever, Michael Jackson!
His diverse musical skills have also been sought by a later generation of artists including: Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Destinys Child, Brandy, India Arie, Fantasia, Chrisette Michele, Ashanti, John Mayer, Faith Evans, Brian McKnight, Anastacia, Natasha Bedingfield, Nelly Furtado, Mya, Joss Stone, Usher, Keisha Cole, Angie Stone and served as music director for Jennifer Lopez, Mary J Blige, Lady Gaga, D’Angelo, among others.
He has also written, produced, and performed with such notable jazz artists as: Rachelle Ferrell, Herbie Mann, Terrance Blanchard, Marcus Miller, Everette Harp, Will Downing, Nelson Rangell, Marion Meadows, Regina Carter, Noel Pointer, Special EFX, Pieces Of A Dream, Jonathan Butler, Quincy Jones, performed and collaborated with his childhood hero and mentor Herbie Hancock on on Hancock’s Grammy-nominated album Possibilities.
An accomplished composer, Michael’s feature film scores include, as stated earlier, Sony Pictures 2009 Film/Doc about Michael Jackson’s final rehearsals This Is It, Drop Squad produced by Spike Lee (starring Eriq Lasalle and Ving Rhames) and the indie film The Visit directed by Jordan Walker Pearlman (starring Rae Dawn Chong and Billy Dee Williams). Michael scored several debut indie features, April Apocalypse, for filmmakers The Tarnol Brothers, and One Week for director Carl Seaton. In addition, Michael scored the feature Constellation (starring Gabrielle Union, Leslie Ann Warren and Billy Dee Williams) as well as the feature film/doc America The Beautiful and Sundance film/doc American Blackout.
Michael held the principal pianist/keyboard position on two Cosby television show bands. He was frequently contracted by bandleader Paul Shaffer (Late Show with David Letterman) as the lead substitute for the CBS broadcast. Michael has performed as a pianist and/or conductor on countless major television specials, talk shows and award shows, including The Academy Awards! best know as The Oscars. He also served as principal keyboardist on many feature films. Including popular films by director John Singelton entitled Four Brothers, Shaft, and Baby Boy.
Michael served multiple years on the Board Of Governors and Trustees of The Recording Academy LA Chapter.
Michael is also currently serving as Global Goodwill Ambassador for The United Nations.
GUEST HOST: MILES MAKER (@milesmaker) is a photographer, filmmaker and screenwriter. After leaving corporate America to pursue his creative ambitions, Maker quickly discovered that his professional skillset in sales & marketing and project management was valuable to the filmmaking community. He became a creative producer to empower emerging talent to tell their stories, and has since produced and consulted dozens of independent films—many of them for award-winning visionaries. Maker's approach to creative producing was heavily-influenced by his work with Nekisa Cooper on Sundance and Spirit Award-winning PARIAH by Dee Rees (BESSIE, MUDBOUND). A Producers Guild of America Diversity Workshop selection, Maker has served as a Los Angeles Film Festival screening judge for 5 years and also serves as a UCLA MFA Screenwriters Showcase judge to keep his finger on the pulse of contemporary storytelling. His recent films include the award-winning short film BURNING ANGEL DUST by NYU writer/director Jackie J. Stone, which is currently in festivals, and MARRIAGE OF INCONVENIENCE, a collaboration with the National Minority Consortia and Project Involve, where he was selected as a Film Independent Fellow in 2014. Maker’s romantic comedy STUCK by writer/director Praheme will premiere later this year, and his feature film IF WE LEFT is currently in development about a cook and a janitor who stayed to care for abandined elderly residents of an assisted living home that was improperly shutdown by the State of California in 2013.
Maker enjoyed the craft of photography for years as a hobbyist until 2015, when his parents passed away within weeks of each other. That's when he began to photograph people differently, and discovered his interpersonal process was cathartic. Maker is an instinctive oberserver of remarkable characteristics in people, which inspires his approach to editorial and experiential portraiture. His background in filmmaking informs his cinematic visual style, which is honest and intimate, emotive and kinetic, timeless and iconic. His dramatic lighting technique embodies the duality of human nature with highlights, contrasting darkness and shadow shapes to illustrate depth, dimension, perspective and realism. Maker currently serves performing artists, creative entrepreneurs and executives in sports & entertainment in Los Angeles and New York, with plans to solicit new clientele in markets like DC and Atlanta. His fine art aspirations explore visceral dissonance through provocative imagery confronting sociopolitical order, race relations, sexuality, religion, corporeality and cultural norms. Maker’s latest commercial art venture champions the intersection where afrofuturism and erotica converge.