Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mini-update from ex-MTV veejay Rebecca de Ruvo

Hey Simone,
It is so nice to see and hear how well you and your family are doing..I became a mother to Alfonso 3 months ago and I absolutely love it! I attach a pic.. I would really like to come out and visit you and stay in your resort someday! I dont know if you remember but I love horse riding!I am still in my band The vitamins and we have a single out in January, the video stars the actress Samantha Morton, I was 9 months pregnant and simply refused to be in it! She is fantastic.. We have a web page but it is very basic, it is being redesigned. I would write more but Fonsie ( his nickname ) is crying the little bugger!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Toby Amies update, part 2

As part of my "where are they now?" postings, the latest instalment from another old MTV collegue of mine, the very unique, funny and talented Toby Amies:

Since being back in the UK I have done quite a lot of directing for tv, made a few pop videos, been presenting for Film Four and am on my third series for Lonely Planet TV.Also more and more people are asking me to make strange films for them. I have just done one about a Victorian seance that went horribly wrong, shown in a festival here with a live score.

Best of all though has been the photography which is a perfect way for me to make sense of what I experience, I find it too difficult to write that much and too inept to paint properly, but my pictures are the best way I have found to grab hold of time that flies by now and to see some more of life for what it is. I have had some exhibitions here by the sea and am getting published in magazines quite widely. I also make bits and pieces of art for group shows and so on and my piece "The Museum of Unfinished Projects" was in this year's Sussex Open.

With that in mind, I want to use the behind the camera work I do to train my storytelling skills to the point where I can make a really good feature film, in about 5 years time ideally.

Otherwise I am increasingly content, have a wonderful woman who has a delightful daughter, love to cycle and worry about climate change, totalitarian religions and oppressive governments, the principle concerns of champagne anarchists.

Don't smoke fags no more.
I still dress funny.
Still got back fat and some side fat too.
Still don't eat meat.
Still dance.
Still hate the man.
The best thing about me is my friends.

Mad love to you and anyone who knows me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Update from my old MTV collegue Toby Amies

how nice to hear from you, it sounds like you have an extremely interesting life, I'd like to come and visit. Congratulations on the breeding and the blog!

He's handsome that Silvestrin isn't he?

So as far as VJ's reunited goes:
After being such an arrogant angry fuck at MTV Europe I moved to NYC to work at the Deathstar as we dubbed it, had a fairly unpleasant time at MTV US and in the process figured out that fame was not really my main interest in life, but being creative was.

Someone I met in a nightclub there was going to interview Martha Quinn, one of the first veejays ever and they asked me what question would be good and I said "Ask them if they think a person can ever be bigger than a brand?"

That said I must say the first year in NYC as "the British guy" was quite spectacular and there was more sex, drugs and rock and roll available than I had imagined and my appetite was already large on departure from London.

As well as doing a fair bit of deejaying I started a band, Genius Steals, your basic Gothic funk 2-piece supergroup, we made some records including one with New Jersey House legend Romanthony [the voice on Daft Punk's "One More Time"] and played some gigs to varying levels of acclaim, very much enjoyed it though. The band split due to "emotional differences" and together with comic genius Darry Logan I started doing the US Top 20 for MTV international in a punk rock style from my own studio, Sinister Construction, a chained-up shed in Brooklyn, in many ways though the music was pretty dreadful, this was some of my best work for the channel and props to Richard Godfrey for giving us the freedom to do what we thought best.

Darry and I also made some films and one won the Dali Award at the 1999 International Surrealist Film Festival.

I started work for Film Four and began to take photography seriously as my main creative focus. I lived in a Hassidic neighbourhood in Brooklyn and my landlord used to call me "the Picturemaker" and that pretty well sums up what I was doing and still do.

Pot smoking, a windowless environment, American capitalist immorality, Bush-led conservatism, a torn heart and the vile horror of September the 11th encouraged me to leave the States and come to Brighton, retirement community for ex-rock stars, London fugitives and lazy artists.

To be continued (part 2 coming soon)....

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ex-MTV veejay Kimsy's update part 2

Tracking down the other old MTV Europe Veejays is turning out to be great fun, like having our own little online reunion. As part of this "pet-project' of mine, here is the second instalment of Kimsy's update. Coming soon...Tobie Amies!

In 2003 family circumstances required me to move back to Germany.See, we have this castle, that has been in our family since 1453 and my parents were getting somewhat on in age, so my sister and I decided to move back and evaluate our options. I was hesitant to move back, especially move back home. I mean we're in this tiny tiny village of 980 people - a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan streets:

compared to this:

I've been back here for 13 months now and have had a great time. I don't know how long I'll actually stay right here, as the place as well as my parents don't really require us to be there all the time.There's a good possibility that I'll move to Berlin in the forseeable future. I've had some auditions for TV Shows, got a small part in a film and am scheduled to be in two other films that are still in the financial planning phase. It's such an exciting time.

Right now though, I'm anxiously awaiting the return of my husband. Yep. Got hitched 43 days ago, but we've actually only spent 3 of those days together. Marcus, my husband, is currently on tour in the states and working on his own music in the studio.

We had been going out for 6 years and after getting engaged, never could quite figure out how we would want to get married. No idea ever really materialized and so we decided , to the shock of our parents, to plan a wedding in 6 days. quite a task, considering we wanted to get married in New York.Hearing horror stories of Bridezillas, over-anxious mothers and general wedding planer disasters, I highly recommend such a wedding to anybody. It was simply beautiful and about us and what we feel for eachother, rather than about creating the biggest event in history and not even having the time to enjoy it.

So, enough of me now. Simone's stories of jungle paradise are so much more exciting. For old time's sake, I looked through some foto albums on the attic and found some snaps.Much Love to all of you out there!!! XXX Kimsy XXX

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Update from ex-MTV veejay Enrico Silverstrin

Received an email from the lovely Enrico Silverstrin. It sounds like he is doing well these days:

Ciao Simone, Ciao Kimsy, Ciao James, Ciao Everyone!!!

God it's such a pleasure to find out we still have an interest in each other's lives: I hate to think that after years of no matter how intense life-sharing with other people, everibody tend to simply fade out. So here I am. After my 3 years in London I moved back to Rome where I lived for 4 years, then off to Milan for 2, and now been back in Rome for about 3 years.

I have been acting for the past 8 years in movies (both cinema and tv) and I am starting to see some very interesting results which make me very proud. Also I have been dj'ing electro house in clubs all over Italy, and made quite a name for myself in this country. By the way James Hyman, u've always been an inspiration for me, so thanx because If I am a deejay today is also because of you!

And last, I still work as a presenter even if i consider it a side job. I still do occasional work for MTV!! Just got back from Lisbon where I co-hosted the Red Carpet at the EMA's...

Anyways, I bought myself a flat, I spend hours working on my Mac, so I am almost constantly online, and I am single! Been single for a while now, but perhaps I have suffered the mammoth-previous relationship factor!!

I also have a blog, although it's all in Italian. Maybe I should start posting articles in English then!

And if you wanna listen to the stuff that I do on turntables you can download my free Compilations on my ftp site. They're named Vicious (like my club night) and you can find a text file too with all tracklistings. There's only 2 posted so it's quite easy!

Don't know what else to write.Oh yes I do: love ya all!!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ex-MTV veejay Kimsy's update

Good news! I've already received a wonderful update from Kimsy (Which I'll bring to you in two parts) and just got an email from Rebbeca DeRuvo. It's great to see what colorful lifes all the ex-veejays are living. Kimsy, for instance, is running the family's castle these days. How wild is that? Anyway, enjoy Kimsy's update part one:

Kimsy: This is just great. I was reading my friend Thomas' awesome blog about his experiences in New York and all over the world. He mentioned Simone's blog and that's how after 7 (SEVEN!!!) years i found myself emailing my dear former colleague in far away tropical Belize.

I was a VJ for 3 years before deciding to move to New York and study acting at Mike Nichols school. I got accepted for the 2-year training program and had the most incredible time. The school prides itself in being very open to new and different methods of teaching, which had us incorporate everything from Feldenkrais to NLP into acting excercises.
I finished in 2000 and did three short stints for VH-1 Germany, hosting their segments of big events, like the VH-1 Fashion Awards or Divas Live. It was interesting having been out of the VJ loop for a while and returning to it with some emotional distance.

In the following 4 years I immersed myself in the fab world of being an actor in New York looking for work. In true clichee style I had the smallest apartment on this planet, waited tables, auditioned for Sex and the City, worked as an Extra and did numerous off-off-broadway plays and some indie flicks.

My first real part was playing a model/terrorist in Sam Seder's "A Bad Situationist" . My character joins a group of radical jewish orthodox postal workers and threatens to blow up a theatre. A brilliant fully improvised film that unfortunately never quite made it. Anywhere.
As hard as it was at times, I did enjoy myself throughly and I had the chance to grow as a person without being in the spotlight of international superstar VJ-dom.

Part 2 of Kimsy's update coming soon.....

Monday, November 07, 2005

Update from ex-MTV news presenter Steve Blame

Like all of you, I have been fascinated by Simone’s tales of the jungle over the past few years. I have the utmost respect for her, uprooting herself from the comfort of London and living out her dream in Belize. It’s not so easy to change country even if it’s just to a European destination. I left MTV in the winter of 1994 to live in Germany, a country I first despised and now have grown to have the deepest love and respect for. Whenever I hear from Simone I think of MTV. It’s such a long time ago but what memories remain are of wonderful, crazy, interesting and puerile experiences. It’s difficult to identify myself with what I was doing those days. I enjoyed it immensely but would not want that life today. I found my niche on this planet some time ago and have been enjoying it ever since.

Cologne is a great city to live, and although there are other places on the planet I would like to experience, it suits me fine. I have a TV format company which continues to grow. In the past few years my business partner and I have built up a successful portfolio of formats. That keeps me fed and has allowed me to pursue another goal.

I always wanted to be a writer, even before my time at MTV. Like most people I started reading every book about it instead of writing. Eventually I took the plunge and with my first two attempts at writing sitcoms had them both optioned. Neither of them ever made it to the screen, and I felt that although they were good they could have been better. So in March of this year I applied to go back to University and study once more.

The last time I was at University was at Exeter over 26 years ago and the degree subject could not have been more different, Mathematics and Physics. This time I am studying for a Masters Degree in Screenwriting at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. At 46, I am again a student. I live in postgraduate accommodation in town with two other guys, each of them a quarter of a century younger than me.

It’s refreshing to know that University hasn’t changed. The line up of artists playing this term reads like something directly from 1979. Debbie Harry and Bob Geldof for example! The drinks don’t change either, everyone seems to drink snakebite and the corridors stink from dope. But this time around is very different for me. I am that swat you all hated when you studied. I was up at 8 am this morning, Sunday, straight onto the computer, its now 10 pm and I have just finished writing and re-writing for today. The process will begin again in the morning.

The whole experience has been a shock, but I know that at the end of this I will have written that movie I was always destined to. I just hope that someone buys it!

Where have all the veejays gone?

Those of you who used to watch MTV Europe during the 80's and 90's may be interested in what has happened to all the old Veejays. I often wonder about that myself & have decided to track some ex-Veejays down for you.

I have fired off emails asking for updates from:

So far, I have got news from Steve Blame (see next posting) and am waiting for a promised update from Kimsy. I hope to receive more email adresses soon & will try to get as many blog postings of them all as possible.

I do have to say that it is great to hear about Steve Blame's life. I have always loved and admired him. He is such a talented person & used to be my favorite "partner in crime". Steve and I were pretty wild in the old MTV days. One day I'll write about some of our insane adventures. It is actually amazing we never got fired for the trouble we used to get in to. Anyway, enjoy his update...