Interview with Johnny Rock Page
by: Mandi Pimental
Star American Pro Superbike Racer Johnny Rock Page is a passionate athlete with heart and a penchant for entrepreneurship. Also a business investor, film maker, music producer and single dad to daughters Madison (17), Alexa (15), and Kennedy (8), Page wants to live his life as an example to his girl’s so that they may be inspired to lead their lives with positivity, forgiveness and grace.
Working as a professional American Pro Superbike Racer seems like an extreme career choice! What is it like having a day job that is a 24/7 adrenaline rush?
It’s more of a weekend job really. I’m out on events from Thursday until Sunday or Monday. And it’s insane. The first five laps of every race I’m thinking, “This is absolutely over the top crazy, what am I doing?” Then after a few laps I finally gain some rational.
Tell us a little bit about how you got started in racing? What made you take it from a hobby to something so much more?
In 1990 I was visiting Valley Yamaha in Mesa, Arizona and I saw a poster of Eddie Lawson dragging his knee, and I thought to myself, “that is pure poetry in motion. I want to do that!” I traded my bike in for a race bike soon thereafter and haven’t looked back since.
You wear a lot of hats, with your hand in a lot of endeavors. Let’s talk about some of your other projects. You are also involved in the world of music, having recently signed the band “Very Scary”, can you tell us a little bit about their project?
Very Scary is a band I produced that were formed in Arizona. They are a great group of guys who have known each other since they were in sixth or seventh grade. They make amazing music with the latest technology and just have a blast together. Their album will soon be available on iTunes.
A true jack-of-all-trades, you are also involved in the food industry. What made you venture into that world and what is your involvement with gourmet eateries such as HOOKMEUP and Brentwood Steakhouse?
I invest in gourmet restaurants. The owners of HOOKMEUP, Jason Mogler and Amber Walter, endorsed me and are currently using my branding for their company, in which I also invest. As for Brentwood Steakhouse, I am also an investor, and this incredible 5 star steakhouse will soon be having its grand opening in Brentwood, California in March. And I am still looking for a date to take to its opening! [Laughs]
Aside from all of your work projects, you’re also a dad! What’s been the hardest part about juggling your role as a father while conquering the business and racing world?
When you are raising daughters, you really have to examine yourself, and change from within to lead by example. Instead of me continuing to live my life of partying and sleeping around, I discovered a new sense of awareness on how I could be more respectful to women, as well as my inner being and self, therefore setting a good example for my girls.
What would be the number one thing you hope to teach them?
What I want my daughters to get out of life is to realize that their life is a beautiful gift. That we are so blessed by the Creator, God, to have received the chance to be a free people and to love and to live life to the fullest. And to learn how to be good to yourself.
As a single dad do you plan to look for a special someone and getting married someday?
I wear a ring currently. I wear a ring to keep me tuned into God’s love. I hope to find love and settle down and get married again. I had to step away from a world of lust, and sleeping around, to focus on finding the right girl, really getting to know her, so that it can lead to something more. Man is not good alone, it is one’s goal to find a suitable partner.
With all of your projects, are you a big fan of using social media to connect with fans and clients? Do you have a favorite social media platform?
I disconnected from social media because I was getting my affirmation from the outside world and not looking for affirmation from the people who I love who were right there in front of me. I’ve noticed that disconnecting from social media has made me more social. Meaning that I like to interact more in person, instead of using technology to do so. I prefer talking on the phone to texting, and it’s made me a personable person. And sometimes, if I want to talk to someone I will actually go to their home to say hello.
With being disconnected from social media, how do you market your various projects?
I know celebrities and public figures usually have managers and PR staff. I myself don’t. I put my works out there and let people get inspired by them and approach me, and from there it grows organically.
Speaking of putting yourself out there, tell us a little bit about the documentary you’ve been working on?
Filming consistently for the past ten years, I’ve been fortunate to capture some of my life’s most incredible moments. From my racing, to my divorce and my journey to bouncing back. It’s got a little of everything. Pain, tears, recovery, darkness, humility and a lot of love. A director I know, Kurt Kubicek, saw it and wanted to turn the footage into the film. That film, One/Tenth of a Second is now touring the film circuit and receiving great feedback. I hope everyone who sees it can take something away from it. I believe that every human being has a movie within them, I just happened to film mine.
Being a public figure in many industries, fashion must play a big role in your life. Do you have a go to designer?
I don’t have any specific go to designers, but I really like Hugo Boss. When I am interested in a woman, I like to buy her gifts and beautiful clothes to help her feel good and smile, and to know how beautiful she is. I recently bought a girl a black dress by Hugo Boss and it made her so happy.
Can you touch on your involvement in the political world?
First, a corporation cannot be sovereign, WE THE PEOPLE are sovereign. My political stance is this: when I can walk into Starbucks and ask, “Is everyone getting a chance to vote on all the different issues?”, and people are saying yes, then I will know that the republic and WE THE PEOPLE are finally on its way to being restored. Get rid of the lengthy pages of legalities, as if people care, and simplify the process so our voices can be heard. When you get people involved, camaraderie will soar to new heights in America. I personally, am not tied to congress, I just hope that the people stand behind me. WE THE PEOPLE are the President, not just one man, we are the shapers of tomorrows future. We just need to come alive and have some fun!
What are you most looking forward to in 2015?
I’m investing currently in new businesses and watching over how my current investments are going. No matter who, or what, I’m involved with, I want it to be surrounded with love. I want it to be a positive experience.
NANCY O’DELL INTERVIEW
By Mandi Pimental
Nancy O’Dell is one of those women who you simply love to adore. Her sweet, southern, girl-next-door charm radiates through every aspect of her life. The Emmy Award-winning entertainment journalist, and star of Entertainment Tonight, talks to Runway about her fashion favorites from the red-carpet to running errands, her current projects, and the simple joys of being a mom. O’Dell leaves us all inspired with her positive spin on living in the moment while chasing your dreams.
Thank you Nancy, for taking the time to speak with me today. Runway is honored to have you as our Fall 2014 feature.
I am so honored to be on the Runway cover! Thank you!
We must start with your style! You always look gorgeous, from the set to the red carpet; your style is effortlessly glamorous. Is there anything specific you look for when choosing your pieces, or is there a favorite designer that you love to wear?
Thank you again…very much. When I choose clothes, I tend to like fitted, structured clothing and that’s in both my personal life and my work life on-camera. A more tailored look with clean lines makes the clothes look neater and more fashionable. And I feel that way whether I am wearing something casual or dressy. For the show, I wear a very classic look. In my personal life, I like clothing that has a little edge. For example, I wear a lot of Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang and Rag & Bone in my personal life. I'm also always looking for clothing that is comfortable, so a must-have for all year round is a good pair of black leggings. Leggings can go with most any top and they are so comfy. I also think a little casual dress is a staple, as it is so easy to slip on. You can even wear it with flip-flops and still look fashionable. Parker makes great little dresses. Other designers I love are Maje, Milly, ALC, BCBG, Rag & Bone and I splurge on Alexander McQueen!
You get to see thousands of gowns come down the red carpet each year. Which designer do you believe hits it out of the park, time and time again, when it comes to making a woman look and feel her best?
Zac Posen always designs amazing red carpet dresses, as he embraces a woman’s body and her curves. Zac custom-made a gorgeous red gown for me for the Met Gala and I felt like such a princess in it. Another favorite designer of mine is Carmen Marc Valvo. His gowns have that tailored look, which I love, and they are usually classic, yet have a little different something to them. Elie Saab is another favorite. I’ll never forget that gorgeous gown he did for Halle Berry when she won the Oscar. Also, I think Jason Wu, who hit it out of the park when he designed First Lady Michelle Obama’s one-shouldered white chiffon inaugural ball gown, just keeps the home runs coming on the red carpet!
Which interview have you been most inspired by, and would you share what it was that inspired you?
That’s an easy question to answer- Oprah! I have always admired her as a journalist as well as her positivity and strength. But what impressed me most about Oprah was what happened when the cameras stopped rolling. She is who you think she is. She never waivers from being that same lovely, positive person that people see on TV.
In addition to being one of America’s most beloved journalists, you are also a top-selling author. “Full of Life” debuted in the top three of motherhood books, while your children’s app series “Little Ashby” is doing extremely well. Are there any other literary plans on the horizon that the readers can look forward too?
Little Ashby: Star Reporter is a literary project very near and dear to my heart. I was so excited when it debuted as one of the top Apps on ITunes. As a result, we turned the App into a book and I certainly plan to do more Little Ashby books in the future. I always say I decided on my career as a reporter because it is ever changing (the people, the subject, the places), and therefore, I am always learning something on every interview. I love to learn and so do kids, especially if it is fun. Kids can't just travel around the globe in reality, but they can via an App or book! And that is the reason why I created the little reporter character, Little Ashby, and her FUNtastic crew. Little Ashby allows little ones to be able to go on adventures, exploring all the places in the world while learning so much in the process. As far as telling stories, one thing many people don’t know is that I love to produce shows as well. It gives me even more freedom in the way a story is crafted. I have a new show in the works, which I am producing for the ReelzChannel. And I’ve produced for HGTV, as I am obsessed with furniture and all things home. I think I love interior design so much, as it truly is another way of telling a story. Furniture and homes have meaning, history, and thus stories of their own.
Speaking of your app’s namesake, your daughter Ashby is just darling! Does she understand yet what you do for a living? Does she dream of being a reporter too?
I think she is just now starting to understand what I do for a living. Not too long ago, she asked me, “Mama, why do people stop and ask to take pictures with you?” She then proceeded to say, “I don’t understand. You’re just Mama.” I couldn't have loved more that she said that. She also had a little friend of hers run up to me the other day and say, "I saw you last night on TV.” To which Ashby replied, “Oh yea? Well, she’s my Mama!” She’s not quite ready to share me with the world and this mama takes quite a bit of pride in that bond. As far as her future as a possible reporter, she certainly has the story-telling skills. She makes up stories all the time and writes them in her journal. But right now, she dreams of being a veterinarian. She LOVES animals and loves every single one of them. If we see a dog or a cat, she wants to stop and speak to it and asks me a ton of questions about it. It is more than just a child typically loving animals. She told me the other day that she wanted to start a home for all the homeless animals in the world. So sweet!
You recently appeared on ABC Family’s new series, Mystery Girls, alongside Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth. What was that experience like, and how does playing yourself in a fictional setting differ from real life?
I had a great time on the set of Mystery Girls. I have known Tori for quite a while, so it was nice to be a part of her show. It was quite the stretch playing myself… ha ha. At least I didn’t have to study my character to do the part! The biggest difference is obviously, that it was scripted. In real life, one of the best things about being a journalist is you never know how the interview is going to go and you change your questions and the phrasing of them based on how it is going and on what the celebrity is saying.
As a journalist, author, producer, spokesperson, wife and mother, you have a lot on your plate. How do you find balance in it all? In addition, do you have any advice for mom’s who are also juggling kids and a busy career?
To be honest with you, I don’t know if life ever feels totally balanced. I’d probably describe it as a juggling act instead of balancing! (smile) However, one thing I have learned to do which I think helps me to feel more balanced is to live “in the moment.” My husband told me to always try to think about that and to do that. Because if I am with my daughter and I am stressing about something at work, then the stress is taking over that precious moment. I really try to enjoy the moment I am in and actually turn my brain off to whatever is adding the stress. I do want my daughter to see a strong woman as an example growing up. I want her to know that she, too, can go after her dreams and pursue a career that makes her happy. For that reason—being an example for her—I think that is a benefit of being a working mom. However, I make it a point to be at every one of her events… every soccer game, every recital, and every school performance. I remember my parents being there for everything I did and I want to be there for everything my daughter does. It’s one of the reasons I usually get up super early. Sometimes I get up as early as 4:30 or 5 a.m. and do paper or computer work in the mornings while the kids are sleeping. That way, I don’t feel as if it is time spent away from them. I also workout super early, as getting in exercise is a key to keeping things balanced. And here's some advice for busy moms: It is so easy to get exercise while spending amazing quality time with your kids. My daughter loves to play tag and my stepsons love to play dodge ball. So many days when I come home, we play tag or dodge ball with the whole family. We have a blast and I burn crazy calories in the process!
Philanthropy seems to be a big part of who you are. You support quite a few charities including Best Buddies and March of Dimes, as well as founding Betty’s Battle, in honor of your mother, that raises money and awareness for ALS. Can you tell us a little more about that organization?
Betty’s Battle is named after one of the most beautiful people who ever lived, my mother, Betty. It was formed in conjunction with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. MDA provided me and my family the wisdom we needed to handle ALS after Mom was diagnosed. They provided expert medical care, told us about the latest ALS research and clinical trials, and kept us informed about what might happen next and what equipment we would need. From the beginning, MDA told us they would be there for us every step of the way – and they were. My hope is that MDA’s Betty’s Battle will be able to fund the research necessary to find a cure, so other families don’t have to go through this like my family did. I want to humanize ALS, so people understand what it does both to those who have it, and to their families. ALS took one of the sweetest people who ever walked this earth. I want to do whatever I can to stop it from taking somebody else’s loved one.
Before we wrap, let’s get back to fashion. As a wife and mom, what is your typical casual, weekend-wear?
Sweat suits and workout gear! And the good thing is, nowadays you don’t have to look frumpy in them. There are so many fashionable choices out today when it comes to casual clothes. For example, I found the most stylish, beautiful lounge pant and jacket by Anna Kouture. And then there is Lulu Lemon for workout attire. They have so many cute choices. I will put on my Lulu Lemon workout pants and jacket when I wake up in the morning, go run my errands while feeling put together in them and be all ready for a workout or to play with my kids outside when I get home.
Any favorite Fall fashion trends you are looking forward to this season?
Mini-Dresses, 60’s style, are a big Fall trend. And I love mini-dresses as they make me feel so flirty and fun. Wear them with tights and you have a totally mod look. You are also going to see a lot of sportswear this fall. No, not workout attire but pieces like cute shorts. You can even make the look work for the office by pairing silk shorts with a blouse or blazer. I also love all the skirts we are seeing which are ankle-length but sheer from the thigh down. It appears as if you are covered up, but you aren’t really. Again, it’s classy yet sexy at the same time. Pastel colors are big this fall as well.
As a spokesperson for Rusk, a trendy hair care and style line, can you tell us about your favorite products? And how do you keep your hair looking so healthy?
I have been obsessed with RUSK products ever since I first started in entertainment. So the relationship with RUSK for me to be their spokesperson came naturally. They create products which are both amazing for styling and for the health of your hair. I’m loving RUSK Deepshine Lustre Advanced Marine Therapy right now. My hair gets so damaged and dried out from all the styling I do on a daily basis, but when I put this product in, it is like magic. My hair comes out feeling super healthy, moist and shiny. It’s a miracle product! Speaking of miracles, I also love the RUSK Multi 12-in-1 Miracle Leave-In Treatment. It addresses all of my hair needs like adding shine, smoothing, controlling frizz, and it seals my hair color. Plus, it’s lightweight and doesn’t weigh my hair down!
What are three beauty items you can’t travel without? As well as three “mom-essentials”?
- Beauty items for travel:
Leggings for style and comfort- You gotta be comfortable on a plane!
Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Compact Powder-It is inexpensive, yet gives you a beautiful finish. It’s in this great little compact with a mirror built into a separate compartment, which is helpful on a plane.
RUSK W8less hair spray - I never go without this in my purse. Sometimes I have to go straight to an interview right off the plane. W8less gives me hold, but doesn’t make my hair crunchy and unbrushable. That’s important when you have to go all day!
Kleenex- Gotta have that for those little noses!
Hand-Sanitizer - Think of all the things you touch in an airport. I love Cleanwell, which kills 99.9% of germs yet contains no harsh chemicals.
iPad - You have to have some entertainment for the longer flights. There are so many fantastic educational apps that are so much fun for kids when they are learning!
Lastly, any encouraging words for those looking to follow in your footsteps?
I would love to share encouraging words for those wanting to pursue a career similar to mine. In this business, and in pretty much every business, you are going to have so many people tell you that you cannot achieve what you are setting out to do. Don’t listen to that. I tell everyone to go after the career they want to achieve and that if they are willing to put in the hard work, chances are they will be very successful. Recently, my alma mater, Clemson University, honored me with an Honorary Doctorate, and I gave the commencement speech to the graduates. I told them “don’t ever let anybody ever tell you ‘no.’” I remember when I first started working as a reporter for a local station, a news director at another station told me, “You don’t want to be a journalist or news reporter. They are all a dime a dozen, you’ll never make it.” I am glad I never listened to him, because if I had, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I love what I do. Always pursue what you want to pursue and don’t be afraid of failure.
LANCE BASS Interview with RUNWAY
By Mandi Pimental
At the tender age of 16, entertainer Lance Bass skyrocketed to fame in the internationally successful boyband NSYNC. The band went on to sell over 56 million albums worldwide, solidifying household name status for all involved. Bass has since grown his own personal successful empire as an actor, singer, New York Time’s best-selling author and radio DJ on his wildly popular Sirius XM radio show “Dirty Pop”. Having just wed his love and best friend Michael Turchin in a televised ceremony, Bass talks to Runway about their special day, why comfort trumps labels and what his relationship is like with his former bandmates.
Congratulations on becoming a newlywed! Your wedding special aired on television and it looked beautiful! What was your favorite moment of the special day?
- There were so many amazing moments, it’s hard to choose. One of my favorite moments was walking out, before walking down the aisle and seeing all of our friends and family there, just celebrating the love. That was way more emotional than I ever thought it would be.
Was there any wedding stress leading up to the big day?
- Of course. I mean anytime you’re planning a wedding, there’s going to be stress. But we knew what we were getting into and that there would be drama surrounding it and we’d have to accept it. But when the day came, it was pretty drama free.
That is great! We also have to congratulate you on your radio show, Dirty Pop. Can you share a little bit about the shows premise and what inspired you to start the show?
- Since I was a little kid, I always dreamed of being a radio DJ, like Rick Dees, and I loved countdown shows. When Sirius XM approached me to a do a show, almost 4 years ago, I jumped at the chance. Dirty Pop is a 2-hour live talk show, all surrounding pop culture and today’s news, and we play music and a featured countdown.
So your dream came true! How did the Dirty Pop team, or your “Peanuts” as you call them, come to be?
- Basically, it’s just a bunch of my friends. All the “peanuts” you will hear on the show are the people who make up my circle and are where pop culture comes from. As for the name “peanuts”, I was nervous when I first started the show, and it just came natural, they were my little peanut gallery.
Landing your big break and having performed for many years with the multiplatinum boy band, NSYNC, do you ever miss performing in that capacity?
- Oh yes, every day. The adrenaline you get from performing in front of that many people with your best friends, it’s a rush you can’t explain. It’s like a drug, you want it every day. So, of course.
You have shown support for Joey Fatone’s show, Rewrapped, on the Cooking Channel through social media. Are you and the guys still close?
- Oh yeah. When you go through something like NSYNC, you are bonded for life, you’ll be family forever. We love each other like brothers, and we hate each other like brothers. Haha! We chat every week, and those guys, they’ll always be a part of my life.
That’s good to hear! We must talk about fashion. You always look stylish and put together. Do you have a favorite go-to designer for red carpet events?
- I really don’t. During my NSYNC years, my fashion was terrible and I wish someone would have slapped me and woke me up. Looking back, I wonder what I was doing. Since going solo and moving to New York, I started to really learn about fashion and good clothes. Like on my Runway shoot, I enjoyed going against the grain of what I would wear. My go to is a good fitted suit with a little edge. Like a John Varvatos or Boss design.
What about for everyday and hanging out at the radio station? Who is your favorite casual go-to designer?
- I am a jeans and t-shirt guy. I like being comfortable. I’m really particular in the type of shirt I wear. They have to be soft. American Apparel has amazingly soft shirts. So to me it’s not about designers, it’s about the feel.
You have had a quite an impressive list of stars featured on the show. Do you have a dream interview you would like to see happen?
- I think my dream interview would be… I love Michelle Obama. I love all the initiatives she is taking on education and obesity. And the ultimate, Oprah. I love what I do, I love interviewing people, and to learn from the best would be incredible.
I am a dog lover myself, and your little dog Lily is beyond adorable. I noticed she gets her share of the spotlight. Have you always been a dog lover? And can you share your rescue story?
- My whole life I’ve been an animal person. Dogs have become very special to me. Right now I have three rescue dogs, and two were fosters I got when I moved to Los Angeles, Dingo and Foster. They were thrown away in a trash bag, so I went and rescued them, and they are the best things to ever happen to me. And Lily is a little terrier mix and runs the house. We work with a great place called Lucky Puppy and we will foster dogs needing a home until we find a home for them either through friends or the radio show.
Being a part of our music issue, we’d like to know what’s on your music playlist?
- Right now, I’m loving Hozier. I think he’s so great with his Irish roots. And “Take Me Church” is just one of those songs that I heard this year and just loved.
As an advocate for LGBT rights, do you work with any specific organizations?
- I work with a ton. From GLAAD to HRC, the big dogs of course. I also love organizations like The Trevor Project, that’s something near and dear to my heart. It’s an amazing suicide prevention hotline someone can call if they are feeling down or need someone to talk to.
You have had success in fields outside of music, including many television and film appearances, as well as being an author on the New York Times Best Seller list for your previously published autobiography. Are there any more plans to publish further works? What about film and television plans?
- I have a lot of TV and film projects going right now, that are still in the development stage. I am working on a comedy project with Cheri Oteri. And I’m developing a cookbook with my family, I come from a family of amazing cooks and I’m really looking forward to that.
We look forward to it all! Tune into Dirty Pop with Lance Bass on Sirius XM Radio and help to rescue dogs in need by visiting MyLuckyPuppy.com.