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America’s ready to “LiVE it UP!” Are You?

Live It Up's Donna DrakeFocusing on topics of hope, motivation and inspiration, LiVE it UP! provides insight into what America craves - Good News! With insightful and empowering tips and solutions, “LiVE it UP!” is the 1 hour TV magazine show that brings a smile to America’s day by entertaining and educating.

Donna Drake, the host of “LiVE it UP!”, is an international award-winning creative artist, writer, producer, actress and voice-over talent. She brings together a cast of correspondents, best selling authors, sports legends, celebrities and everyday heroes to tell their stories and share their lives.

Donna Drake will appear live at the 2011 WILLiFEST outdoor pavilion on Saturday, September 24th to tape her nationally syndicated talk show and she will be interviewing filmmakers and celebrities.

Comedian Jessimae Peluso returns as new host

Jessimae PelusoJessimae Peluso is a fearless New York City-based stand-up comedian who has been cracking up audiences since 2001. She was the perfect foil for Leon at our Closing Night Awards Ceremony last year (She obviously cleans up quite well) and has graciously agreed to reprise her role in 2011.

Syracuse-born Jessimae has been seen on the Tyra Banks' Show and on TruTV's "All Worked Up." She was a finalist at the Boston Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival (WiCF), and New York City's Funniest Comedian Contest. She was also featured on the "5 Funny Females Tour" and headlines her own show, "Hometown Humor Tour" at Syracuse's Palace Theater every year. You may even have seen her on one of the many commercials she has appeared in including an international spot for Nintendo. You can catch up with Jessimae here.

Band to Watch: Graveshift

Ranging in age from 13 to 21, the band Graveshift is made up of siblings Erica, Joshua,Graveshift: Siblings Erica, Joshua, Jonah and Alexis Gravis Jonah and Alexis Graves from South Bronx.

Jonah says: "Our dad saw that we were playing video games too much, so he wanted us to do something more productive so he brought home a pair of drum sets and it just rolled on from there."

Although they hail from the place where Hip Hop music was born, their influences come from elsewhere - and they're ready to bring a new flavor to the rock and pop scene with their new hit "Resolution."

Graveshift will perform live at our 2011 Opening Night Gala at the Williamsburg Music Hall on September 22nd. They will also appear live on Donna Drake's Live It Up talk show at the WILLiFEST Pavilion on South 4th and Roebling Street in South Williamsburg on September 24th. Come check out this up and coming band!

Frank Radice | Panels Director and Advisory Board Member

Frank RadiceWe are proud to announce that Frank Radice will direct our Panels this year. Frank is the Expert-In-Residence at Definition 6 and the Chief Marketing Officer of Locomotive Group, both WILLiFEST 2011 partners.

Frank joined Definition 6 from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (The Emmys), where he was President and Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to this, Frank served as Executive Vice President of Advertising and Promotion at NBC Universal's "NBC Agency", where he was responsible for NBC News and MSNBC, as well as NBC Entertainment programs, "Saturday Night Live," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," and "Last Call with Carson Daly."

Frank's 40-year career in network television spans executive positions at NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN. As a journalist, he received two Columbia DuPont Awards and a national Emmy Award; as a marketing executive, he is the recipient of the TV Week Magazine/Promax "Campaign of Distinction" award, an inductee into the Promax "Hall of Fame" and was named a "Brand Builder of the Year" by Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News magazines.

Frank is also an award-winning composer and musician who has worked with David Foster. In 2006, he and his wife, Vida, co-wrote "Sam Katz on the Loose," a pop-up children's book illustrated by the world famous artist, Charles Fazzino, and published by Random House.

You can read more about him on his Wikipedia page.

Hana Barnes | Celebrity Guest CorrespondentHana Barnes

WILLiFEST 2011 and the LiVE it UP! TV show welcome celebrity guest correspondent Hana Barnes from NHK Japanese TV.

Hana Barnes is a 25 year old native New Yorker, who has been involved in the entertainment world throughout her childhood, dabbling in modeling, commercials, and theater. After a brief hiatus, she is back and is currently a NY correspondent for "El Mundo,"and has hosted "New York Wave" for two years, both on the NHK network (Japan Broadcasting Corporation).

Hana has her B.A. in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, and is also a recent graduate of the St. John's University School of Law, but is currently enjoying a career in the entertainment industry, where her passion lays.

Robin Kassner | Celebrity Guest Speaker

Robin KasnerRobin was named one of "the most connected and possibly the most influential people in NYC." The only publicist in New York to ever appear on Bravo's hit show The Millionaire Matchmaker and The Soup and Chelsea Lately Robin is the CEO of Haute PR, Facebook's most popular PR firm. Robin was the most popular millionaire in series history on Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker. Her episode made Millionaire Matchmaker a trending topic on twitter for the first time ever. Robin was awarded a Soup Award in Hollywood, honoring the best in reality TV and pop culture. Robin, one of the "favorite thinkers in the New York City PR world," owns Haute PR, number one in beauty PR, according to Google. This full-service public relations and marketing agency represents the leading beauty, fashion, and luxury lifestyle brands. For more info go to and follow Haute on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.  Robin just released her first single "Fantasy" available on iTunes and will be appear on Season 2 of VH1's hit show Mob Wives.

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