Useful Tips on Surviving the Holiday Parties!

Newswise — Does the thought of having to make polite conversation with relatives you only see once a year, or with your coworkers at the annual holiday bash, leave you tongue tied? Many of us have experienced social anxiety, or at least felt a little uneasy when faced with a room full of people you don’t know well. However, Dr. Martin Antony, a Ryerson University psychology professor and leading expert on social anxiety and shyness, can help put those fears to rest with helpful tips to bring out that social butterfly out in all of us:

Making Conversation
1. This sounds simple and is easy to do. Start by reaching out to someone at the party. Smile. Make eye contact. Be approachable and open to conversation.

2. Join an ongoing conversation at the social gathering. People often walk about, moving in and out of different conversations. See if you can join a group that is discussing a topic that interests you, or that you can tell a humorous anecdote about.

3. Ask questions. Here’s a chance for you to catch up with coworkers, friends or family members on what they have been involved with this past year and share some experiences of your own.

4. Be an active listener. Reflect back that you understand what the other person is saying and talk about an experience you’ve had or tell a story to keep the conversation rolling.

Quelling those “butterflies”
1. Don’t assume that your anxious thoughts and predictions are necessarily true. Examine the evidence for your beliefs and do your best to think realistically. Ask yourself questions to challenge your anxious thoughts such as: “What is the likelihood that others will notice my anxiety?”

2. Avoiding fearful situations will only worsen your anxiety. If you’re shy, talking to others will be hard at first, but will become easier over time if you keep trying to be social.

3. Trying to fight your anxiety at a party may make it worse. Just accept those uncomfortable feelings and try some of the other tips to banish those butterflies so you’ll have a good time.

Office parties: advancement moves
1. Research the dress code before you go. Ask the organizer or someone who attended last year’s party if you’re not sure. When in doubt, it’s best to stick to business attire.

2. Shake hands with your boss and other senior managers and wish them a happy holiday season. Make sure your manager sees you at the holiday party, and also remembers speaking to you. When it comes time for promotions, your boss is likely to pick a pleasant employee who seems happy to be working at the organization.

3. Office parties are also great opportunities to cultivate new relationships and network, but you’ll need more than one conversation. Use the party as a starting point, and then follow up with colleagues later to arrange future get-togethers.

4. Before you leave, remember to say goodnight and thank you to the most senior staff member in attendance, the party organizer and your boss before leaving.

Released: 11/17/2011
Source: Ryerson University

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Just In Time For Halloween! New Indie Film “Babangluksa” Opening in Manila October 26

From Our Special Correspondent in Manila

“Babangluksa”, a new horror indie film opens Wednesday, October 26, 2011  in selected Manila area cinemas to be announced soon… a pre-Holloween special treat starring Precious Lara Quigaman, Luis Ady Alandy, Angelika Dela Cruz Full, Roselle Nava… executive producer is Joseph Paolo Henry, written and directed by U Juan Santiago.

DIRECTOR: Yuan Santiago
ASST. DIRECTOR: Arvin Almaida
LINE PRODUCER: Aldrich Huang
LIGHTING DIRECTOR: Mervin Delos Santos
WARDROBE: Gina Veloria
PROSTHETICS: Maria Victoria Contretras
PUBLICIST: Mell Navarro
CASTING BY: LIPS Entertainment

New Study Suggests Targeting Talkative Social Media Users for Better Marketing

Newswise — More friends may not be better for trying to generate marketing buzz using social media.

A new study by researchers at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business finds that social media users with small numbers of friends might be more influential with their online network of acquaintances than those with larger numbers of friends.

As a result, businesses might be better off picking users with small online networks to sell their products or services, or to create marketing buzz for their business. The study found that someone who has a smaller number of online acquaintances but communicates frequently with them is a better target than someone who has more online friends but doesn’t communicate as often.

“People who email each other more frequently are closer, more likely to influence each other, and have influence over others,” said Gary Russell, a professor of marketing in the Tippie College of Business. “We found that a person who has a large network but doesn’t buy anything isn’t important from a marketing perspective. A person at the fringe of a network but who buys a lot is more influential than someone at the center but who doesn’t buy a lot.”

The use of social media as a sales and marketing tool is still in its infancy, but analysts expect sales to grow quickly. For instance, a report by consulting firm Booz & Co. earlier this year predicted that social commerce sales in the United States will jump from $1 billion this year to $14 billion by 2015.

But that won’t happen until research speeds the development of a social media business model. Russell and Tippie doctoral student Sang Uk Jung are trying to develop part of that model. In a recent study for Jung’s doctoral thesis, they analyzed transactions between players in an online multi-player game called Kilride. The game is a “huge phenomenon” in Asia, Jung said, especially in Korea and China, where online gaming is much more popular than in the United States. Jung, who used to work for the company that owns Kilride before going to graduate school, said some Internet cafes in Korea have nothing but the game because it’s so popular.

Online games have never been used before for research purposes, but Jung said Kilride makes for a great tool because of its number of users and because it so thoroughly replicates everyday activities—people can make friends, create social groups, buy items with real and virtual money, just as they would in the real world. Since all of those activities are recorded, Jung said it provides a rich resource database to study transactions between people.

Russell and Jung looked at one month’s worth of buying behavior to see which people had the most influence among their gaming network. They noticed that the most important factor seemed to be frequency of communication with other members of the network, not the size of the network.

Using the information gathered during that one month window, Russell and Jung predicted future buying behavior. When they looked at the purchasing records from later months, their predictions were largely true.

The researchers said the study suggests people online tend to self-segregate, just as they do in the real world.

“People who are nearer to me are more likely to be like me, at least in their transactions,” Jung said.

Jung said he’s planning another research project that will expand the study beyond a one month window to more thoroughly test their results.

Tippie marketing professor Qin Zhang is also overseeing Jung’s thesis. Jung presented his findings at the 2011 INFORMS Marketing Science Conference. His paper is entitled “Identifying High Value Customers in a Network: Individual Characteristics vs. Social Influence.”

Released: 9/7/2011 4:00 PM EDT
Source: University of Iowa

Via Newswise

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8PAK.COM Profile: Gil Van Policarpio, Chief Contributing Photographer, Business Administration Graduate, and Photo Editor

Gil Van Policarpio, Photo Credit: mcjodizon photography

The Editors here at 8PAK.COM are most pleased to introduce and recognize our Chief Contributing Photographer and Photo Editor, the very accomplished and talented, Gil Van Policarpio.

Gil, who is responsible for the majority of the excellent model photos we have featured here on our site, hails from Angeles City, Pampanga, in the Philippines. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Holy Angel University, with a major in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He has also received additional training in photography at the Philippine Center of Creative Imaging in Makati, Philippines.

In addition to being our Chief Contributing Photographer, here at 8PAK.COM, Gil has worked as a publicity photographer in the Movie Industry. His most recent assignment in that area was on the GPI Gothic Production “Darkest Night”, which was just completed this year in the Philippines.

Gil’s professional photography career started in 2009 with his own Facebook Gallery, Obra sa Calle, which has become a very popular site for visitors on Facebook. Currently, he tells us that his favorite camera is the Canon 1000D which he uses most often in his model, landscape, and event shoots.

When we asked Gil what he considers the qualities necessary for a good model, he told us that, “A good model should be versatile and capable of a number of distinct looks, as well as having a clear set of goals for their career.”  As far as his own goals in photography Gil tells us that, “I want to continue to work with a variety of models who represent different types of looks and and viewpoints.” “I also want to continue my work, both on the local and international levels, and for my audience to enjoy the simplicity and creativity of my photos.” “Ultimately, of course, I would want to be recognized as a truly great photographer.”

When we asked Gil to describe himself in a few words, he responded, “I am responsible, hard-working, creative, God fearing, and have a heart of gold.”

Well, the Editors here at 8PAK.COM, certainly can agree with Gil’s self-description! He is truly an important and valued contributor to our Site! In the coming weeks, we will be featuring some of his event and landscape photos in special preview articles, as well as many more “New Model Discovery Profiles”. We are most delighted to recognize his outstanding contributions to our success!

Gil Van Policarpio, Photo by Berbie Borton

American Idol Fan Favorite Pia Toscano Signs With 19 Recordings/Interscope Records

American Idol Favorite Pia Toscano Signs With 19 Recordings/Interscope Records. (PRNewsFoto/Interscope Records, Andrew McLeod)

SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Interscope Records announced that it has signed Season 10 American Idol contestant Pia Toscano to a recording contract and will release her debut single, “This Time,” via all digital retailers on July 12th. Toscano will perform “This Time” when she hits the road for the American Idols Live! 2011 Tour, which kicks off July 6th in Salt Lake City, UT, and continues through the summer before concluding on September 10th in Rochester, NY.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Interscope and 19 Recordings family,” Toscano says. “[Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman] Jimmy Iovine was an amazing mentor during my time on Idol and I’m looking forward to working with him and everyone at Interscope Records and 19 Recordings. This is a dream come true.”

A showcase for Toscano’s rich, emotionally transparent voice, “This Time” was written and co-produced by Esther Dean, who is known penning hits for such artists as Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Nicole Scherzinger, and many more. The acoustic guitar and beat-driven track is just a taste of what’s to come when the Queens, NY, native releases her debut album, which she is currently working on, later this year.

Widely considered one of American Idol’s Season 10 frontrunners thanks to her powerhouse vocal ability and dark-haired beauty, Toscano’s early elimination shocked and visibly upset judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler. The latter said of the voting public: “They’re wrong. I don’t know what happened with this. She’s beautiful. When she sings, she’s a bird.”

Outraged fans took to Twitter to express their support, including celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Jennifer Hudson, Ellen DeGeneres, Alyssa Milano, Dax Shepard, Marlon Wayons, and Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher phoned in to “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” to opine: “I think she was probably the best pure singer on the show, and she’s got all the makings of what it means to be a star in my opinion, so I was just irked [when she was voted off].”

Fans can check out Pia this summer on the American Idols Live! Tour where she will be performing her debut single “This Time.” Please visit for tour dates and more details.

SOURCE Interscope Records

Jimmy Smits to Host an All-Star Line-Up for “A CAPITOL FOURTH” on PBS, July 4th

CAPITAL CONCERTS A CAPITOL FOURTH A CAPITOL FOURTH, live on PBS July 4 at 8/7 C stars (from left to right) Steve Martin, Jordin Sparks, Jimmy Smits, Josh Grobin, Matthew Morrison and Kelli O'Hara. (PRNewsFoto/Capital Concerts)

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A CAPITOL FOURTH, the live PBS broadcast of America’s favorite Independence Day tradition, will feature unrivaled performances from some of the country’s best-known musical names topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation. Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits will host the all-star line-up that includes: Grammy and Emmy Award-winning actor and musician Steve Martin performing with the Steep Canyon Rangers; multi-platinum recording superstar Josh Groban; Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe nominated star of stage and screen who has just released his debut self titled album Matthew Morrison (Glee); American Idol winner Jordin Sparks; Rock ‘N Roll legend Little Richard performing with the cast of the Broadway smash hit Million Dollar Quartet; three time Tony-nominated Broadway star Kelli O’Hara; and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. Consistently one of the highest rated programs on PBS over the past decade, A CAPITOL FOURTH became the top-rated program in primetime on PBS for the 2009-2010 season. The event will air in HD from the West Lawn of the United States Capitol on Monday, July 4, 2011 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our service members around the world on the American Forces Network. A CAPITOL FOURTH can also be heard live in stereo over NPR Member stations nationwide.

“It’s a tremendously uplifting feeling as hundreds of thousands of Americans join together on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, singing the National Anthem as the National Symphony Orchestra plays,'” said executive producer Jerry Colbert. “As we watch the nation’s capital light up with fireworks, it helps us forget our differences and remember that we are all Americans. I can’t think of a better place to celebrate our freedom and the nation’s birthday.”

Offering viewers extended coverage of the fireworks display, A CAPITOL FOURTH will capture the stunning pyrotechnics from every vantage point with twenty TV cameras stationed around the city – including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument and across the Potomac River. In celebration of America’s 235th birthday, the show will be capped off with a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” complete with live cannon fire provided by The U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery, an audience favorite and now an A CAPITOL FOURTH tradition. Also participating in the event will be The Choral Arts Society of Washington, along with The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, the U.S. Air Force Band Ceremonial Brass, Members of the Armed Forces carrying the State and Territorial Flags and the Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.

SOURCE Capital Concerts

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Damian McGinty of Celtic Thunder Takes His Next Step as a Contender on “The Glee Project” Premiering June 12th on Oxygen

Damian McGinty of Celtic Thunder. (PRNewsFoto/Decca Label Group)

NEW YORK, June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — With their worldwide appeal, Celtic Thunder is at the forefront of developing and showcasing the new talent coming out of Ireland and Scotland. The youngest member of Celtic Thunder, Damian McGinty has been selected as one of the Top 12 contenders out of 40,000 hopefuls who competed for a coveted spot on “The Glee Project.” The winner of the show will be cast in a seven-episode guest role in season three of hit show “Glee” on Fox. “The Glee Project” premieres Sunday, June 12th on Oxygen at 9PM ET (

After selling over one million CDs to date with his group Celtic Thunder and traveling the world, the 18-year-old McGinty is no stranger to success. He joined Celtic Thunder at the tender age of 14 in 2007 and has seen the group increasingly gain popularity in the US due to their constant touring schedule, four hit Public Television specials and multiple national television show appearances. Celtic Thunder’s rabid fan base flood their official YouTube channel, “Thunder Tube” which has received nearly 19 million upload views since its inception in 2008 while Damian has thousands of fans following his personal Facebook page and Twitter feed. Most recently Celtic Thunder’s new album, Heritage, was ranked #1 on the Billboard World Album Chart and this Fall the group will embark on a 45 city tour to support it. For more information on tour dates go to:

From the message boards on “The Glee Project’s” website, the fresh-faced lad is already making girls swoon with his deep blue eyes and rich baritone. To view performances of the talented and charismatic Damian McGinty click here Click here to see the first music video from “The Glee Project” kids as they give their own spin on Katy Perry’s “Firework”:

SOURCE Decca Label Group


“American Idol” Winner Scotty McCreery Makes History With Debut Single, “I Love You This Big”

Scotty McCreery Makes History With Debut Single, "I Love You This Big". (PRNewsFoto/Interscope Records, John Ganun)



NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Mercury Nashville/19 Recordings/Interscope artist Scotty McCreery has made country music history with his first single, “I Love You This Big,” which has the highest-charting debut for a new artist in more than two decades.

“I Love You This Big” debuts at No. 32 on Billboard’s Nielsen BDS-based Hot Country Songs chart. This is the highest debut for a new artist’s first single since the chart began using BDS data the week of Jan. 20, 1990, according to Billboard.

The song, which hit No. 1 on iTunes, reached No. 3 on the Billboard Digital Songs chart with 171,404 units sold, while a compilation album featuring 14 of his performances from American Idol, entitled American Idol Season 10: Scotty McCreery, reached No. 12 on the Billboard Top 200 all-genre albums chart and No. 3 on the country albums chart with 23,196 units sold.

“I am humbled and shocked by this news,” says Scotty. “I can’t tell you what it means to me to be on the same charts as my musical heroes. I want to thank my fans and especially country radio for their support.

“I continue to be amazed by everything that has happened to me in such a short time.”

Scotty won Season Ten of American Idol on May 25. A record-breaking 122.4 million votes were cast for Scotty and Lauren Alaina, the runner-up, and 38.6 million viewers tuned in to see the winner’s name announced.

The song was sent to radio on May 24 after Scotty debuted the song on American Idol.

“This is such a special song to me, so I am thrilled that it is getting such a great reception at country radio. What I love about ‘I Love You This Big’ is that it can mean different things to different people. It could be about the relationship between a couple in love or a parent and child.”

The 17-year-old singer is receiving big love from WQDR in Raleigh, N.C., which is located six miles north of his hometown, Garner, N.C. Not only is the station leading all Billboard panelists with more plays in the first week, but it has dubbed itself “Scotty 94.7” and incorporated the new name into an American Idol-inspired logo.

“I feel like the words ‘thank you’ aren’t enough,” he says. “I wish I could find more words to express my gratitude to everyone. I still can’t believe how people are supporting me in so many ways.”

Scotty will travel to Nashville next week to begin recording his debut album. He will present at the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday and participate in other CMA Music Festival activities, including the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday, June 11. He will make his Grand Ole Opry debut on Friday, June 10.

He will perform on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on June 15. He will be featured on the American Idols Live tour that begins July 6 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and runs through September.

He will perform on ABC’s Good Morning America on Aug. 12.

SOURCE Interscope Records to Broadcast The Hard Rock 12 Hip Hop Event Live From the Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida USA to Broadcast The Hard Rock 12 Hip Hop Event Live From the Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, FL. (PRNewsFoto/

Event Will Celebrate Hip Hop Weekly’s Hard Rock 12 Collector’s Edition Magazine Release

LOS ANGELES, May 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Eccentric Billionaire Alki David will present Worldstarhiphop & Hip Hop Weekly’s first collaboration, “The Hard Rock 12” Celebration live on from the Opium Club at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe, Hollywood, Florida, Thursday, May 26 at 9:00 p.m. PDT.  The event will be available free at, or 

The Hard Rock 12 event commemorates Hip Hop Weekly’s “Hard Rock 12 Collector’s Edition” issue due on newsstands nationally on May 31.  The issue  features the 12 hottest new artists in Hip Hop for 2011.  The Hard Rock 12 were selected by Hip Hop Weekly and Worldstarhiphop and include:

  • Waka Flocka Flame
  • French Montana
  • Tyga
  • Roscoe Dash
  • Vado
  • Gunplay
  • Guyana
  • Y.C.
  • Machine Gun Kelly
  • J Dawg
  • LEP Bogus Boys
  • Travis Porter

The proprietary BattleCam technology will allow for featured online guests to stream live to the online event with their webcams.  BattleCam will also facilitate live chat as the event hosts will chat with the online audience live and in real time throughout the event.

The Hard Rock 12 artists will appear at the show, which is hosted by the Ciroc Boyz DJ’s. FilmOn and BattleCam founder Alki David will also host The Hard Rock 12 remotely from Beverly Hills. The Hard Rock 12 Collector’s Edition magazine release party and show is the official kickoff event for the huge weekend of festivities in the Miami area over the long Memorial Day holiday weekend.  The Hard Rock 12 Collector’s Edition Magazine will be released nationwide on May 31, 2011.

“BattleCam continues to bring live, exciting events, such as The Hard Rock 12, to our interactive Web community of thousands,” said Alki David, founder and chairman, and FilmOn.  “This partnership with Hip Hop Weekly will help introduce thousands to the BattleCam community and its unique interactive features where members with Webcams are able to broadcast to thousands of other members.”

“We are very excited to partner with Worldstarhiphop and Alki David to create such a tremendous platform for this talented group of rising Hip Hop stars,” said Dave Mays and Ray Benzino, co-founders of Hip Hop Weekly. “The Hip Hop Weekly and Worldstarhiphop brands complement each other well, and together we represent the future of urban entertainment media, delivering authentic content to the global Hip Hop Generation.”

“Worldstarhiphop has always been a proud supporter of new and upcoming artists,” said Lee “Q” O’Denat, founder and owner of “Our site was built on providing aspiring artists an opportunity to be seen and heard on a massive scale. So, when Hip Hop Weekly presented me with the opportunity to work with them on an offline event that will showcase the new acts of 2011, it was naturally appealing to me,” he said. “We are bringing the most talked about new acts you’ve seen on the pages of Worldstarhiphop and Hip Hop Weekly LIVE, you can’t beat that.”

On, any registered user can broadcast live from any webcam to an audience of thousands. Audiences get to vote on whether they keep that person on or not by selecting “I like it!” or “Poop.” Returning guest appearances include personalities such as Wesley Snipes, Billy Zane, Barry Bonds, Gary Busey and Ron Jeremy to name a few.  The best broadcasters develop cult fan followings and in those circles are deemed legendary for their particular brand of entertainment, whether they are a musician, break dancer or stunt actor. They have the opportunity to, earn redeemable rewards points for their efforts from anywhere in the world. Unsuccessful broadcasters are discarded after their 15 seconds expires. and Hip Hop Weekly have each vaulted to the top of their respective fields in the past 5 years, overtaking their older, longer-established competitors. Worldstarhiphop has exploded to become not only the number one urban/hip hop website, but also one of the most highly-trafficked websites in the world. Hip Hop Weekly, which has won multiple magazine awards in the past few years, last year became the #1 selling urban entertainment magazine on newsstands in America. With more than 5 years of leg work behind them, Worldstarhiphop and Hip Hop Weekly have become among the most recognized and trusted brands in hip hop media, serving a market now estimated to consist of more than 50 million members of the Millennial Generation who identify with hip hop culture.



Event News: Never-Before-Seen Photographs of Marilyn Monroe Exhibited in Honor of 85th Birthday Celebration

Marilyn Monroe, from the Last Photos, original photograph, signed,1962, Andrew Weiss Gallery, copyright George Barris/Edward Weston Collection. (PRNewsFoto/Andrew Weiss Gallery)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — On June 1, 2011, the day Marilyn Monroe would have turned 85, the Andrew Weiss Gallery, the world’s largest dealer of Marilyn Monroe photography, will launch a major exhibition of rare and never-before-seen original photographs of the legendary star. Titled “Happy Birthday Marilyn”, this exhibition will include photographs from the personal collection of George Barris, the last photographer to take pictures of Marilyn before she died. Also featured are photographs by Bill Carroll, who captured the very first photographs of Norma Jeane, and works by the major photographers of her era including Laszlo Willinger, Tom Kelley, Milton Greene, Bert Stern and many others.

“These photographs are very dear and personal to me,” says George Barris, who will attend the show opening on June 1st. “Marilyn was much more than a photography subject, she was a friend. She had an inner light that comes through in her images, even many years later, and I am pleased to work with the Andrew Weiss Gallery to share my experience of Marilyn with her fans and the public.”

In addition, the Gallery will be partnering with the Marilyn Remembered fan club to empower Marilyn’s fans around the world. Fans can participate in the celebration by sending personal birthday wishes to the Hollywood icon. The personalized greeting cards sent to the gallery during her Birthday month, June, will be exhibited in the gallery alongside the photography, creating a first-ever exhibition of its kind, combining photos of Marilyn Monroe with personal messages from those she continues to inspire and impact around the world.

The exhibition will open to the public June 2nd and continue through August 13th. This is an opportunity for Marilyn enthusiasts, fans of the featured photographers and art collectors of all kinds to see this stunning, ground-breaking work for the first time.

The gallery is located at 179 S. Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills 90212. Hours: Tues.-Sat. 11:00am-5:00pm, or by appt. For more information call (310) 246-9333

Visit the website or email

SOURCE Andrew Weiss Gallery

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