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What can I say about La Toya Jackson? She is a world famous icon, pop star, author, television personality, businesswoman and so much more. She has made us sing, laugh, cry, and even wear leather headbands. She posed for Playboy twice and had one of the top selling issues.
I see her often, when I’m checking out at the supermarket. Ok, so I’m actually the one in the supermarket and she’s on the cover of a magazine but yesterday our worlds collided when she called me up for a chat. Yes. You read that correctly. La Toya Jackson called me yesterday to talk about life, or more specifically, Life With La Toya.
La Toya was a contestant on this season’s All-Star Celebrity Apprentice following her appearance on a previous season in which she was fired and then convinced The Donald that she deserved another chance. He gave it and she was back on battling it out and showing us that she is more than beautiful clothes and accessories.
La Toya has always been a smart business woman and philanthropist so it was more than just battling it out in the boardroom The opportunity to raise money for charity was a factor and she explained, “I didn’t win the first time and I said, you know what? I’m going to battle this one out and see what I do.”
Despite it not ending well for her she had positive things to say about the show as well as producer, Chuck LaBella. “I think it’s a great show,” and, “I really enjoy the show,” although she laughed and said it is “like torture.” Watching at home we don’t get to see how involved the tasks can be or how much time is put into it. We see the condensed version of the task and then the boardroom brawling. La Toya certainly handled herself well no matter what the outcome and she did raise, first time around, $65,000 for her charity, Aids Project, LA.
Next for La Toya is her new reality show Life With La Toya. Every face of her life has been lived under a microscope so it was surprising that she would want them following her around for a television show. La Toya acknowledged that the gossip and false stories will never stop but felt that, “the public thinks they know you. They think they know who you are but its perceptions or stories that are put out there that are not true.” Her new show gives people the opportunity to, “see who I am and what I do and what I’m like.”
She also considers it an extension of her memoir, Starting Over. La Toya escaped an abusive marriage describing it as, “when you were beaten, if you didn’t say or do the things he wanted you to do or you were locked in the house…” but also wants to provide hope. “I want women to know that you can always get away no matter what. You can always, I mean always start anew.” She spoke of the importance of living your life, your own life. “You must tell yourself I’m doing things my way and I’m going to do it in a positive manner, in a positive way.”
La Toya Jackson has had much of her life played out in the press. She has survived tragedy and also had some moments that could only be described as magical. Now she is letting us all have a glimpse of her world in her new show Life With La Toya. Saturdays at 10:30 pm on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Kristen is a single mom of 3 kids and studying at The CUNY School of Professional Studies. She is blogging while she still figures out what she wants to be when she grows up.
“Will I make my connection?” I asked the bus driver.
She smiled at me and told me I had three minutes and I would be fine.
Knowing what New York bus schedules are like, I was highly skeptical.
I caught my connecting bus.
When I arrived at my job’s lobby, I was greeted by a very friendly receptionist. I was escorted upstairs by my new boss and given every possible tool I could need to get my job done. I felt like a celebrity my first day.
Countless meetings didn’t bother me at all. I learned so much that first day. I learned about the company, how they operate, the tools they use and how they draw from many different fields in order to get their work done. I am part of a super talented team, but most importantly I felt like a part of the team.
As I watched with amusement, my new boss propelled a foam rocket at one of the team members (even more culture shock), I reflected on how fortunate I was to land a job that used all of my degrees and all of my skills. It is humbling to realize that out of the entire talent pool that is Silicon Valley, that they chose me for this role.
I have so much more to learn, but I am ready for the challenge.
Ebonye Gussine is a recent graduate in the Master of Science in Business Management & Leadership Program at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. She loves writing, reading, and is an avid fan of John Steinbeck’s works. In her spare time she sings off-key and travels to new places.