With everyone taking a break from work for the Fourth of July weekend, take a break from the heat by seeing one of these movies in theaters. Terminator: Genisys was shot in New Orleans, so there’s that.

Terminator: Genisys  – July 1

Shot in New Orleans, the newest installment of Terminator stalks into theaters. Kyle Reese will travel back in time to connect with Sarah Connor to hopefully stop Judgment Day from ever happening. Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, JK Simmons and Arnold Schwarzenegger star. 119 minRated TBA.

Magic Mike XXL – July 1

Mike has been out of the game for three years but now returns as the Kings of Tampa hit the road to Myrtle Beach. Channing Tatum, Elizabeth Banks, Amber Heard, Matt Bomer, Jada Pinkett Smith and Donald Glover star. TBA minRated R.


Jai-Courtney web

Aaron Williamson is a health advisor and fitness trainer to the film industry. He has helped craft the physical transformations of Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained, Zac Efron in Neighbors and Josh Brolin in Oldboy. He recently finished molding Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke into legendary action heroine Sarah Connor for Terminator: Genisys. Find out more at aaronwilliamson.net.

The character of Kyle Reese was portrayed by Michael Biehn in James Cameron’s classic film The Terminator, which came out in the early 80s. What’s in your mind when you think about crafting the physical look of the new Kyle Reese portrayed by Jai Courtney in Terminator: Genisys?
Jai is a genetic freak. He’s probably the most genetically gifted person I’ve ever worked with and I’m very jealous of that! He can naturally be a big guy but for the character of Kyle Reese, he doesn’t need to be a big guy. So the goal is to bring him down in weight and lean him out so he doesn’t look like a Terminator. We needed to soften the look a bit so it looks more realistic. Someone who trains, but trains like he’s in the field training, where your workout might be pushups or pull-ups and crunches, or just carrying about heavy stuff all day.

Yeah, Kyle Reese is this guy from a future where they don’t exactly have gyms to join.
A lot of his physique comes from weapons handling and constantly running from point A to point B. It’s that kind of functional stuff that we try to emulate in the training. Traditional weight training was completely out of the question because if he touched the weight, he just got big. We had to be very careful about that. His diet was very strict, very low carb, lots of vegetables, lots of avocados and nuts, good fats. He was eating anywhere from five to six meals a day. He actually started leaning out before he even came to New Orleans. He was set up on a program back in L.A. to get him prepped to come in because he was bigger coming off of his last film. Every morning, he’d get up and hit the treadmill right out of bed for an hour and he was taking some simple supplements – beet powder, l-carnitine, CoQ10 – just things that were good for the heart, good for the immune system and help with recovery and fat burning. He got here a little bit later than Emilia, so we had about two weeks of training before production began. We focused primarily on plyometric work, a lot of bodyweight training and TRX work. Anything that had weight and resistance, we had to be very careful about.

Usually you’re trying to bulk them up, so this must have been unusual.
Yeah. The goal was trying to bring him down to a weight that would resemble the Kyle Reese that everyone knows. And we definitely pulled it off. I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction to him because he looks good, but he doesn’t look like he’s spent all day, everyday in a gym. It just looks real.

Once filming started, he’s doing very physical work on set. How did that affect training?
There were probably a few weeks where he would literally be running around barefoot. And if you’re running around on concrete or some type of hard floor barefoot take after take, it’ll beat the hell out of your lower back, your legs and knees. That was just one obstacle we had to work through. This production was very mentally and physically taxing on the actors. I’m pretty sure there were days where the last thing he wanted to do was see me in the gym! Haha.

It’s a real physical challenge on these action films. When you see someone running in a movie, that may have required the actor to run for hours a day for weeks on end at full speed. And being barefoot doesn’t help!
No, it doesn’t. Jai and Emilia both did a lot of deep tissue massage work to keep their body in check. It was a very stunt heavy film. Jai did some wire work where he’s strapped into the wire getting yanked around, so there were days when he’d come in just sore everywhere. I might have a plan, but that would have to go out the window and I would have to say, “We’re going do this instead.” Just being able to adapt was important so that we didn’t hurt him. In many cases we would incorporate the Concept 2 rower, the Stepmill and battle ropes into the training routine for the day. All very heart rate centric exercising.

What was the schedule like during shooting?
We started off five days a week, spending about an hour at a time. As filming went on, we dropped down to four. He was dedicated to staying in there, and occasionally we’d makeup sessions on the weekend, sometimes twice per day.

Did you work with him on set at all?
We would do a little bit here and there if we needed to, mostly some pump up work. But there wasn’t a real need to even do it. I just can’t even express how genetically gifted he is. It blows my mind. It’s almost like training a natural athlete. They just have it. Plus, he just knows his body. He did a lot of training for Spartacus, which was very physical, so he’s very familiar with what he can and can’t do.

Let’s talk diet.
He was dedicated. Egg whites in the morning, maybe an egg white omelet with some veggies. Lots of chicken and fish. Lots of mixed nuts. And Catering was excellent: they were good about getting his meals every few hours and just loading up the lean proteins for him, which he needed.

What else stands out in your mind from working with Jai?
Just the fact that he’s a solid guy and cares about everyone around him. It was fun to watch him work and it was fun to train with him. I can’t wait to see the film.

For more health and fitness tips, read the Health Scene online at health.sceneent.com and visit Aaron’s website at aaronwilliamson.net.




Aaron Williamson is a health advisor and fitness trainer to the film industry. He has helped craft the physical transformations of Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained, Zac Efron in Neighbors and Josh Brolin in Oldboy. He recently finished molding Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke into legendary action heroine Sarah Connor for Terminator: Genisys. Find out more at aaronwilliamson.net.

Were you a fan of the Terminator movies growing up?
Oh, for sure. It was a little surreal getting the phone call to come train the cast. I remember calling my dad and telling him about it because we used to watch Terminator all the time. The movie’s iconic, the Terminator’s iconic, Sarah Connor’s iconic. The whole franchise is just amazing.

How did you go about taking actress Emilia Clarke, who plays a physically delicate queen on Game of Thrones, and crafting her into an action heroine?
It was a challenge and I was excited about it because it’s the type of character that I like to train someone for. Sarah Connor represents this strong, powerful woman who can basically take on the world. It was so cool to be a part of helping this young, amazing actress become this hardcore iconic figure. And it started with some hard, hard training. This process is about flipping a switch and embracing the fact that it’s going to be tough and there will be some pain & discomfort associated with it. But that’s the fun part, right?! Pushing those new limits to transform your body.

Where do you start with that?
Emilia came in from L.A. to start training and we had a good chunk of time before production started, about four weeks. We spent hours a day in the gym. We would start our morning off doing cardio, whether high intensity interval training or low intensity steady state type stuff, maybe on the treadmill or some Stairmaster work. She’s a phenom on the rowing machine too; I couldn’t even keep up with her on it! That would basically be our first session and then we’d break. We’d sit back in the break room to regroup for a bit and relax, eat and get ready for round two. We weren’t able to split the training up throughout the day so we had to maximize the time we had, which was typically early mornings.

The training was different. You’re not going to get the look Sarah Connor has by training with free weights and dumbbells alone. So we were very creative to help her have a lean, toned look and to be able to run and carry heavy weapons. Emilia’s not a tall or very big woman, but she’s gotta carry some pretty heavy-duty weaponry during the film. The approach in the gym was very functional.

What was training like during prep for the film?
Cardio was typically forty-five minutes to an hour. We might take about a twenty-minute break, we’d do a shake and we rotated her foods around quite a bit. Hemp protein, some chia seeds. We’d throw in a brown rice cake or maybe some fruit just depending on what we were doing for the day’s training. After the cardio, we’d go into the ‘dungeon’ and do a lot of functional work, a lot of TRX, ropes, kettle bells. All your non-traditional free weight stuff. And then two days a week we would try to focus on getting free weights in. We wanted to have that long, lean muscly look, so it was steady combination of functional training, metabolic conditioning and strength training.

The functional fitness makes so much sense for the character because in Terminator 2, Sarah Connor builds this physique in an institution where she’s flipping her bed up and doing inverted push ups and pull ups. She’s not exactly working out in a traditional gym.
No. We might go on a circuit with box jumps, we’d hit TRX squats, we’d do plank push ups, we’d do a set of kettle bells where there’d be swings or stiff leg dead lifts. When you’re circuit training, you’re going to be able to keep an actor engaged better than if you’re sitting on a bench curling a dumbbell. Out of all the training I’ve done in my career, I’ve spent more time with her than anyone else, so she put in some hours, especially during pre-production. And on top of our training, she would leave from the gym and go straight to stunt training. She would just have a completely physically exhausting day of non-stop stunts, weapons, training with me, cardio and then I had her on a low calorie diet on top of it. That’s tough. I have a lot of respect for her.

How did the training change during filming?
The training time got cut down obviously. The obstacle was the energy because on top of working the long day, she would have to get to set maybe two or three hours earlier to get ready. Her days were so long. When you factor in how much sleep she was able to get before she was back in the gym with me, I don’t care who you are, it will be tough. What made it even more difficult for her was that the schedule started on night shoots for 6 days a week. Talk about throwing your body off!

What was your plan for nutrition?
We’d have meals prepped and protein shakes ready. But low calorie is low calorie. You’re going be hungry. It can be a little stressful for an actor because you’re trying to memorize pages of dialogue and be in the scene, you’re tired because you’re not sleeping, and you’re hungry. She put in so much work for this character and that’s even more reason why I’m so excited to see the finished product. On set, it looked like a hell of a performance covering every area of the emotional spectrum: sad, hurt, angry, commanding. She can pull it all off. In the trailer, she looks strong and powerful. I’d like to think that we accomplished our goal.

For more health and fitness tips, read the Health Scene online at health.sceneent.com and visit Aaron’s website at aaronwilliamson.net.



Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival

by Jordan McGuire on June 29, 2015


Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival that was created by Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra, Brandt Wood and Michael Whelan. The trio aspired to highlight the diversity and community spirit of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, tailoring the best elements to Franklin, TN where Griffin now resides. The festival will take off September 26-27.

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival is a two-day event transforming The Park At Harlinsdale Farm into an oasis of music, food and culture set against the natural amphitheaters and vistas of this former walking horse farm located in Franklin, TN.  Renowned musical acts, many performing acoustically, will be presented on wood-clad stages reflecting the area’s historic aesthetic. In addition to artists performing their own sets, Pilgrimage will feature Pilgri-mashups where one-of-a-kind pairings of musicians collaborate with one another on stage as well as the first-ever Kitchen Stage and Sippin’ Stage and Little Pilgrim’s Landing specifically for kids. The region’s best food and drink will be on display as well as numerous local artists and artisans creating an all-encompassing festival experience. Curation of the food and beverage program is on-going and will be announced this summer.

2-Day passes and VIP packages are available at $172 (2-Day pass) and $499 (2-Day VIP package) and Single Day passes will be available at a later date as well as the festival schedule. Passes and VIP packages can be purchased via the Pilgrimage website – http://pilgrimagefestival.com/tickets.

Not only will the festival drive tourism dollars to Williamson County but a portion of each ticket sale will benefit the City of Franklin and Franklin Parks. In addition a portion of ticket sales will also benefit MusiCares®, a nonprofit organization that was established by The Recording Academy® to provide a wide range of emergency financial assistance and addiction recovery resources to members of the music community.

None of this could have been possible without the festival culture and spirit that is ingrained into New Orleans and all who have resided there including the festival co-founders. Many New Orleans bands are also on the bill including Dr. John, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation.

Full Inaugural Lineup Below:

Willie Nelson
Sheryl Crow
Cage The Elephant
St. Paul & The Broken Bones
The Decemberists
Band of Horses
The Lone Bellow
Trampled By Turtles
Chris Stapleton
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Jimmy Cliff
Will Hoge
Neko Case
Saint Motel
Iron & Wine
John & Jacob
Dr. John
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear
Punch Brothers
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires
Rainey Qualley

“The music and arts event is far from just a country concert. Indie rock acts the Decemberists and Weezer, along with Americana darlings Neko Case and Iron & Wine…” – Rolling Stone

“Another music festival is making its debut — this one outside of Nashville, Tennessee, and paying homage to history.” – Associated Press

“New Franklin outing the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival now holds the distinction as being the closest major (non-country) music fest to Nashville proper.” – No Country for New Nashville

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Charisma Carpenter joins Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens with an essential role. The Vegas native will play Ariana Grande’s mother in the New Orleans-shot horror-comedy series.

We also got huge news of the series premiere via Emma Robert’s Instagram. Scream Queens will premiere on Fox on Tuesday, September 22. Pledge semester for the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority can’t come here soon enough and we’re all very excited for the fall premiere.

The New Orleans-shot series – which also stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Nick Jonas, Billie Lourd and Keke Palmer – takes place on the campus of Wallace University where their Red Devil mascot goes on a murder rampage.

For more information, visit the Scream Queens Daily Buzz website.

Source: TVLine

It’s all happening!!!! #ScreamQueens

A photo posted by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on


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