As I sit here, days away from an epic milestone of being married for 20 years, I have to pinch myself. I am the luckiest girl in the world to be married to Chris Brooker. After being married for 20 years, people ask me all the time how we "make it work" or "what's your secret" and I usually just give the same response: respect, laughter and a lot prayer. We love each other very much but as we've learned over our 20+ year relationship, love alone isn't enough. Chris and Heather Brooker at Rancho Bernardo Inn. You have to add respect to that. Ultimately, as cheesy as it sounds, Chris is my best friend. He knows how I feel about everything, and then how I REALLY feel about everything. He knows my heart, good and bad and all the mistakes I've made, and loves me anyway. And lest you think I'm putting him on a pedestal, he'll be the first to tell you I also know how he REALLY feels about everything, good and bad. We are symbiotic about our goals, and values. All of that being said, we don't agree on everything. We have lively debates, get annoyed with each other, and frustrated just like everyone else. But the one thing that remains, is our respect. You wouldn't treat your best friend with disrespect so why would you do that with your spouse? We also are humble enough to know when we need to apologize. I have no problem telling Chris I'm sorry if I've hurt his feelings and he feels the same way. Chris and Heather Brooker at Rancho Bernardo Inn. We are as in love as we were 20 years ago, but it's a deeper, more mature love. And I can't wait to honor our commitment to each other on a beach in Maui. We're planning an intimate vow renewal on the beach and I will probably cry like a baby. But to be fair, so will Chris. Channing is going to be our flower girl and she is so excited! Make sure you follow along on my Instagram and TikTok to see all of the adventures we have planned. We are staying at the newly renovated Westin Maui Resort and Spa and I can't wait to show you all around this beautiful property. We also breakdown the 2021 Oscar nominees and why we think ratings are declining. Tell us if you agree! Don't forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review!
Apr 24, 2021
I was so excited to talk to Lacy Camp and her daughter Darby Camp about their acting careers! This mother daughter duo are teaming with talent. So much so, they are both starring in the new UPTV movie "When We Last Spoke." Darby plays a younger version of the character her mom plays named Juliet. "When We Last Spoke" airs April 4 on UPTV. "When We Last Spoke" is set in 1967. Two rambunctious sisters are abandoned and raised by doting grandparents and one wacky great-grandmother in the fictional southern town of Fireside. Humor, heartbreak and triumph are served with whipped cream and lots of local nuts in this heartwarming tale of family, friendship and forgiveness. Lacy has been on a ton of projects like "Vice Principals," "Outcast" and "Red Band Society." She tells me her daughter showed a natural talent for acting at a young age. And at 13, she's got a resume most adults would dream of. She starred as Reese Witherspoon's daughter in "Big Little Lies" when she was just 9. And you'll recognize her from "The Christmas Chronicles" movies and the upcoming "Clifford the Big Red Dog" movie where she plays Emily Elizabeth. I loved hearing how supportive Lacy is of Darby's career and how well they work together. Lacy and Darby Camp It was also interesting to hear the perspective of working actors that doesn't live in NYC or Los Angeles. The Camps live in North Carolina where they enjoy a quiet, non-Hollywood life (and I imagine it's also much cheaper!) We talked about how they navigate auditions, and working on set. It was very inspiring to hear that it is possible to be successful in this business without living in the two most expensive cities. Take a minute to listen to their story and don't forget to watch them in "When We Last Spoke" April 4th on UPTV! "When We Last Spoke" was filmed on location in Toccoa, Georgia. The movie was adapted from the book written by Executive Producer, Marci Henna. It was directed by Joanne Hock ("The Ultimate Legacy," "Purple Dreams") and produced by Rick Eldridge ("The Ultimate Gift," "Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius") and Fred Miller ("For All Mankind," "Angles Sing"). The film stars Corbin Bernsen ("Major League," "L.A. Law"), Melissa Gilbert ("Little House on the Prairie"), Chandler Head ("The Glass Castle," "Fosse/Verdon"), Darby Camp, ("Big Little Lies," "The Christmas Chronicles") and Academy Award winner, Cloris Leachman ("The Last Picture Show," "Young Frankenstein").
Mar 29, 2021
You know I love a good documentary! Two new documentaries have the Internet buzzing this week and we need to talk about them. The first is "Fake Famous," a documentary from former New York Times and Vanity Fair reporter Nick Bilton. It follows three people who claim to want to be famous, at any cost and explores how easy it is to create fame on platforms like Instagram. Courtesy: FX/The New York Post The second documentary called "Framing Britney Spears" was trending all weekend on Twitter. The doc was produced by The New York Post and is available on FX via Hulu. It aims to delve into the mystery surrounding pop star Britney Spears and why she has been under a conservatorship overseen by her father for the past 12 years. She's basically dropped out of the spotlight in the last few years, except for the occasional erratic social media post of her dancing. And fans who are concerned for her well-being have started the #FreeBritney movement in an effort to get her out from under her father's conservatorship. Chris joins me this week to talk about what these documentaries got right, and what they got wrong. And in the case of "Fake Famous" there is a lot of things they got right when it comes to people buying followers, likes and bot comments. But the film also never gets the perspective of anyone working on social media at Instagram or any other social platform. The movie mostly focuses on Instagram and how easy it is to fake your following. In fact, the main star of the film ends up getting signed by a big agency and books acting work based off of her fake following. But it also never offers a resolution to this obvious flaw in the social media system. Where is the oversight? Who is making sure these fake influencers are held accountable and why are brands so willing to give them money and product just for a post on the gram? Courtesy: HBO I have been called an influencer myself and have first hand knowledge of what it looks like to be "famous" on the internet. I've always hated the term "influencer" but it's now an industry standard term so I gotta roll with it. I don't feel like I have the ability to influence anyone to do something they don't want to do. But I am a content creator and I love sharing about my life online, which I hope resonates with people. I see the good side, and dark side of "influencing" and it doesn't seem like it's going anywhere anytime soon. As for "Framing Britney Spears" there's a ton to dissect in this one. Britney rose to fame when she was very young. Then had several very public heartbreaks, and public meltdowns before her father took control of her finances and well-being. This film explores the years leading up to that, and what has happened since. Most notable, her recent request to regain control of her finances was denied with little to no explanation. Chris and I decided to try something new this week! We recorded the show live on the Clubhouse app where listeners could interact and join in the conversation with us. It was really fun! My friend and Bravo TV star Meghan Conroy-Resich joined us as a moderator and jumped right into the conversation. If you haven't heard of the Clubhouse app yet it's the hottest new app where people are trying to make their mark. It's audio only and listeners can request to join whatever conversation is going on and ask questions or speak their mind. I've really been enjoying it so make sure you follow me and engage with us on future episodes!
Feb 8, 2021
Listen, we've all got a lot on our plates these days. Between the pandemic, the insurrection, and a crumbling economy, who really has time to worry about the Golden Globe or the SAG Awards noms? Well, Hollywood does! Every year without fail, the stars drag out their botoxed butts to get their accolades and this year will be no exception. Heather Brooker on the red carpet for the 2020 SAG Awards. But this year will look difference because the nominations will be virtual as will most of the awards shows. The Academy Awards still haven't confirmed whether they are having an in-person event but they have until April to decide. So for now, I'll be covering the celebrations from my couch. Which should be a celebration in itself! I dread major awards shows. As a multimedia journalist, I do everything on my own. I shoot, write, edit and produce my own content for work so being able to work from home makes my job exponentially easier. Heather Brooker on the red carpet for the 2020 Academy Awards. And although I do love getting that awesome shot in front of the Oscars sign, I spend the next 5 hours standing shoulder to shoulder with press from around the world all vying for a soundbite from whatever stars will stop and talk to us. Most of them don't, to be honest. Either their publicists tell them to only talk to the big outlets, or they just don't want to stop. But I stand there without fail, calling their names in the hopes they will come over and give me a quick interview that will be outdated as soon as their category is awarded. It's exhausting and somewhat humiliating to be a press member on the red carpet, especially if you're with a small outlet. Don't get me wrong, KNBC isn't small but it's an affiliate. And when I say bigger outlets I mean "Access Hollywood," "Entertainment Tonight" and "Extra." Those are big national outlets who only cover entertainment instead of covering 59 minutes of hard news, than 1 minute of entertainment which is what we do. I totally get why they prioritize the way they do but it still makes my job more challenging than it should be. Heather Brooker on the red carpet for the 2020 Golden Globes. Now after all that, do you even care about who gets nominated? My guess is most people don't. We have so many things to give our attention to right now that involve life and death situations for millions of Americans. And honestly, maybe these awards shows will be a welcome distraction for everyone who has been stuck at home watching hours of film and television. But regardless, I will be covering this with my usual joy and excitement because as much of a grind as it is on the red carpet, I do still love show business. I love the pomp and circumstance and the idea that someday even a lowly reporter/actor like myself could be up on that stage accepting an award. And yes, I'll probably try some botox just so I fit in.
Jan 28, 2021
Want to know what to watch in 2021? We have some tips! Listen, 2020 was a doozy of a year to say the least. And just when we thought 2021 could save us all, a bunch of nuts stormed our Capitol and people died. If that's how this year is going so far, I don't have a lot of hope for the rest of the year. So I invited Chris Brooker to chat with me about politics, the pandemic and what we can look forward to in 2021. Like what to watch on TV! Chris and Heather Brooker at Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa. Chris is my favorite guest for many reasons, but mostly because he's my husband. We love talking about movies and TV almost as much as we love watching them. We talk about what happened this week in Washington as well as what we think will play out over the next few weeks in politics and with the pandemic. But we're also looking to the entertainment world to help us escape from the stressful situation our country is in. "Wonder Woman 1984" streams on HBO Max. Did you watch "Wonder Woman 1984?" We both agree that this movie had way too much plot and not enough character development. They had so many plates spinning in this movie that it didn't leave much time for Wonder Woman to develop a true rivalry between one of her biggest opponents, Cheetah. The movie was bloated and honestly didn't make a lot of sense in some places. But we were still glad to see Wonder Woman back on screen and after the year we had, it was a welcome end to 2020. "The Mandalorian" streams on Disney+. Another welcome end that we, along with most other nerds, loved. "The Mandalorian" ended season 2 with a bang. Chris says the return of Luke Skywalker was the kind of fan service that fans love, rather than the fan service that feels like pandering. What's the difference? I think it depends on whether or not they like the players involved. People seem to really love Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni so at this point they can do no wrong in the eyes of "Star Wars" fans. Cole Hauser plays Rip Wheeler on "Yellowstone," streaming now on Peacock. Have you seen "Yellowstone?" Apparently I'm late to the party on this one. It's a great show and I've been binge-watching in this week. At first I thought it was just another western drama. But it's more like a mafia version of a western. Think "The Godfather" meets "Succession" but set on a ranch in Montana and you'd have "Yellowstone." It's violent, graphic and utterly entertaining. I told my best friend Amy that I finally started watching it and the first thing she said was, "How hot is Rip?" Very. Very hot. Definitely worth adding this show to your binge list if you need something new. And of course Chris and I talk about our pet names for each other and why we should start a new podcast from our couch where we do nothing but talk about movies and TV shows. Stay tuned to see if we ever get up off the couch to actually make that happen. Don't forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review!
Jan 8, 2021
I am embarrassed to admit that I am one of those weirdos that has never seen "High School Musical." That is until I saw the most amazing woman on TikTok just slaaayyying her dance moves. I did the completely normal thing and Googled her and found out that KayCee Stroh played Martha Cox in all of the "High School Musical" movies. So I watched the movies and now feel completely qualified to comment on this pop culture phenomenon that millions of other people have known about for decades. I'm old, people. Cut me some slack! KayCee Stroh as Martha Cox in 'High School Musical' I had the best time talking to KayCee about her unique audition for HSM and the inspiring thing choreographer Kenny Ortega said to her that stays with her to this day. We talked about what's it like to be plus size woman in Hollywood, and the crazy things people have said to her about her weight. Seriously, what IS wrong with people? KayCee also talks about her life long love of dance and if her little girls, Zetta and Lettie caught the dance bug. HOLLYWOOD - MAY 13: (L-R) Actors Kaycee Stroh, Monique Coleman, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Zac Efron and Lucas Grabeel attend the after party for the DVD launch of "High School Musical" on May 13, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images) KayCee currently lives in Utah with her husband and 2 girls and after our conversation I was really wishing she lived in LA. I know we would have impromptu dance parties with our girls and sneak out for coffee dates on the regular. For now, I'll just continue to be her biggest fan on TikTok (we are both addicted) and look forward to her next visit to LA. You can listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Don't forget to subscribe and leave a review! You can follow KayCee on TikTok and Instagram to dancing along with her!
Oct 28, 2020
I have a slight obsession with the Salton Sea area. There's something so fascinating to me about this area that was once the playground for the rich and famous and is now in ruins. Through a series of ecological disasters and land mismanagement, this part of the Coachella Valley is desolate, and facing another ecological crisis. The Salton Sea is drying up and the toxic dust that's left behind will leave a devastating impact on the surrounding communities, even reaching as far as Los Angeles and San Diego. Channing and I visited the Salton Sea in July 2020 This impending disaster and the history of the area is explored in a new documentary called "Miracle in the Desert: The Rise and Fall of the Salton Sea." I spoke with writer/director Greg Bassinian who tells me why he wanted to tell this story and raise awareness for what's happening in this community. And before you write it off as a Southern California problem, the documentary explains how the impact is as far reaching as the federal government. "Miracle in the Desert: The Rise and Fall of the Salton Sea" documentary is available now. You can read more about it on NBCLA and I highly encourage you to watch this film. It's a heartbreaking look at time gone by, and peek into a very costly ecological disaster that's looming over the state of California. The film is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, and YouTube. Go to miracleinthedesert.com for more information and a list of places you can watch.
Oct 6, 2020
Chris Brooker is back and we're diving into our favorite topics: TV, and our kid! With so much content to watch lately it can be overwhelming to choose something you like. We have some recommendations like "The Boys" on Amazon Prime Video, "Teenage Bounty Hunters" on Netflix, and Cobra Kai on Netflix just to name a few. We are also opening up about what's like to start distance learning. Chan has been back in school for about 2 weeks and it's as sad as we thought it would be. She sits in front of her computer for 6 hours a day bouncing from Zoom meetings to independent study. She has almost no interaction with the other kids in class. This has been so hard to watch because Chan is such a social kid. She misses her friends so much and they aren't even in her class this year. She's in a new class with none of the friends she made in Kinder or 1st grade and no way to socialize to make new friends.A Refined Review of The Papernow Academic Writing Service provides a detailed and balanced perspective on Papernow's services. The writer effectively dissects the company's pricing system, types of services, payment options, and guarantees. While commending the professionalism of Papernow's writers and their compensation policy, the review also highlights significant downsides, such as the website's poor navigation, high pricing, and limited payment options. Overall, this text is a thorough examination, offering readers comprehensive insights to aid their decision-making process about using Papernow's services. I realize we aren't the only people in this position. Millions of parents around the U.S. are juggling work and school at home, trying to figure out how to keep their kids safe and maintain their education. All I know is that I would rather have her setback a few months in school than sick, or worse, dead. It helps to put things in perspective and Chris and I dive into why it's important to us to keep her at home for now instead of in the classroom. Thanks for listening to this episode and don't forget to subscribe and leave a review!
Sep 3, 2020
I've been working in the media for more than 20 years. Even though that pretty much reveals how old I really am, it's something I'm very proud to tell people. I'm a journalist who started out as a reporter in the small market of St. Joseph, MO. I was a "one-man-band" meaning, I carried all of my own equipment, shot and edited my own video and wrote all my own stories. Cut to 20 years later, and as the first ever digital entertainment reporter at NBC Los Angeles, not much has changed. I still do all of those things, but now I have the added element of posting all my stories on social media. It's a lot of work but I really love it! Becky Brooks shares that same passion for media. She is the executive director of the The Alliance for Women in Media, including journalism, digital, film and television. She says their mission is to connect, recognize and inspire women across the media industry. They do that through annual events, an interview series, the AWM Foundation, and the annual Gracie Awards, named after Gracie Allen, a media pioneer who embodied the character of the awards. BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MAY 21, 2019: AWMF Board Members at the 44th Annual Gracies Awards, hosted by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation on May 21, 2019 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The Gracies, as they've become known, recognize exemplary programming created by women, for women and about women in all facets of media and entertainment. They also acknowledge the individuals who have made inspirational contributions to the industry. There's something so beautiful about women supporting women especially in this field. Media, film and television can be competitive and it's wonderful to see an organization who's goal is to encourage and lift up other women. If you'd like more information about The Alliance for Women in Media visit their website, allwomeninmedia.org. Please enjoy this interview with Becky Brooks and don't forget to leave a review!
Aug 10, 2020
It's been a hot minute since our family took a true road trip. Quick trips to Palm Springs and Laguna Beach don't really count. I'm talking about packing up the pets, stocking up on road snacks and mapping out destinations. That's what we decided to do to get our safe, social distance road trip in for the summer. We decided not to go with an RV like a lot of families are doing for a few reasons. One, both times we tried to rent an RV it fell through. And also, we were planning to travel some narrow and winding highways and didn't feel comfortable doing that in our first RV driving experience. Sunny Cove Beach in Santa Cruz.I have always wanted to visit central California. I sounds so dreamy and I imagine the photo opportunities would be off the charts (always thinking about my Instagram). So we started in Santa Cruz which was about a 5 hour drive from LA. We drove through a ton of farmland and had lunch in Gilroy, the garlic capitol of the world. Then headed north to Santa Cruz. I have to say, we weren't super impressed with Santa Cruz. I thought it would be more of a beach community but it was really run down in the areas we visited. Maybe there was a more picturesque part but we didn't see that. The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz.Our first stop was The Mystery Spot! This kitschy destination has been on our radar for a while and we finally made it. Here's how the website describes it: "The Mystery Spot is a gravitational anomaly located in the redwood forests just outside of Santa Cruz, California. It is a circular area of effect around 150 feet or 46 meters in diameter. Within the Mystery Spot you will be stunned as your perceptions of the laws of physics and gravity are questioned. But don't take our word for it, come and decide for yourself!" Wear a mask if you go The Mystery Spot while coronavirus is on the loose!We had no idea what was happening inside but I took a fun video and got great pictures while we were there. Channing was fascinated and thought the whole thing was really cool. Definitely worth a stop if you're in the area especially because it's only $8! Santa Cruz Boardwalk, July 2020.We went to the Boardwalk but almost everything was closed because of the coronavirus. We stayed at a cute hotel near the beach called Ocean Echo Inn and Beach Cottages. We got the "suite" because it was the biggest space but it definitely wasn't roomy. It was quaint and had a great front porch area with faux grass. Sunny Cove Beach in Santa CruzIt was also a short walk to Sunny Cove Beach which we thought was lovely. But at night a lot of sketchy characters were starting to fill up the cove so we left as the sun was setting. Overall not a bad place to stay and pretty far removed from the more public beaches. Lover's Park in Monterey Bay.We headed out the next morning and drove through Monterey Bay, Carmel-by-the-Sea and headed south on highway 1 towards Big Sur. We were in the clouds or a thick fog bank for most of the drive but it was still very pretty. And cool! I couldn't believe how cold the weather was for early July. But I think that's because we are used to sweating our pants off in SoCal from about May to October. Ribs platter at Big Sur Smokehouse.We had an excellent lunch at Big Sur Smokehouse right off the highway. It was pricey but some of the best barbecue we've had in a long time. So, worth it. Pfeiffer beach in Big Sur.After lunch we went looking for Pfeiffer Beach, a hidden beach off the highway that's only accessible via a one lane road. You have to veer to the side as much as possible in order to let other drivers pass. And if the small parking lot at the end of the road fills up, you're out of luck. You can go down the road if there is nowhere to park. We got lucky because 2 cars were pulling out as we were going in. Purple sand on Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur.If you don't know about Pfeiffer Beach,
Jul 8, 2020