Julia Pace Mitchell

*Julia Pace Mitchell, a formerly trained actress (Howard University) and daughter of two legendary actors, lands reoccurring role on CBS’s “Young and the Restless” as high-powered Chief Financial Officer Sofia Dupre. Julia credits a Facebook message from a friend about the casting of a new role on “Young and the Restless” as to what lead to this historical role.

“I auditioned for six weeks…each week,” Julia recalls. “There were tons of actors there that I admire. The last day I was there with Kristoff (St. John) and Shemar. Kristoff gave me a look (like you got it). I got a call from my agent…I think he was surprised.” Mitchell goes on to describe her character, “She’s Chief Financial Officer…a business woman, at the top of her game. I am really excited!”

Mitchell confused that she was a bit surprised herself, because not only is she black, but a full figure woman. Her legendary parents are daytime stars also – mother Judy Pace was on ABC’s “Payton Place” and her father, Don Mitchell, was on CBS’s “Capitol.” Both parents had leading roles elsewhere, for Judy there was film roles in Brian Song and Cotton Comes to Harlem and for Don there’s television series such as NBC’s “Ironside,” “The Fugitive” and “CHiPs.”

Taking after her parents Julia Pace Mitchell’s credits are impressive as well, appearing in the stage production of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” CBS’s “Cold Case,” comedy film “Meet Bill,” and the Fox Searchlight film Notorious.

Julia’s also appeared on TNT’s “The Closer,” NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Lifetime’s “Strong medicine,” and “NBC’s “Law & Order.” Later this year Mitchell will appear in an action film, Faster, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In fact, you may have already seen Julia in the current national “Playtex Fits” bra commercials and print ad campaign for the full figured woman.

When I asked Julia to give advice to others struggling actors not only did she make me visualize her answer when she said, “Image all the people who said your skin color or body type wasn’t right.” Just as the visions of those doors closing in my face started to sadden me Julia picked my spirits back up immediately, with a philosophy that is very similar to my own, by adding, “You have to trust in yourself. You have to do it with dedication; training…comes down to your craft.”

For more information on CBS’s “Young and the Restless” log onto http://www.cbs.com/daytime/the_young_and_the_restless and for more on actress Julia Pace Mitchell log onto http://www.juliapacemitchell.com.

Young saxophonist Eric Darius releases new project, ‘On a Mission,’ on Shanachie


Eric Darius


“I started writing music for this project a year a half ago,” composer and saxophonist Eric Darius said about his newest CD release, “On a Mission,” on Shananchie Entertainment. “It wasn’t until the beginning of this year that I started recording. I like to put out (a CD) every two years.”

A protégé child, Eric said he started writing music at age twelve.

“The concepts are constantly floating in my mind,” Darius confessed to me. “Writing music is a gift.”

He admitted that what is in his mind is the music: the horns, the strings…every note. This is Eric’s fifth album and he believes with each CD he is continuously involving. His influences include Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and Miles Davis.

“I don’t want to be in a box,” Darius stressed. “I want to reach everyone! …To incorporate Jazz, R&B, Pop, Hip-Hop and Reggae. There is so much going on in my life.”

As a musician Eric Darius started professionally at the age of 17 and was soon sharing the stage with Prince, Wynton Marsalis, George Benson and Brian McKnight. One of his CD releases even reached #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Charts.

His latest CD, “On a Mission,” features the contributions of Rick Braun, Rex Rideout, Micah Otano, Chris Andrew, Rohan Reid and an original song of James Lloyd (Pieces of a Dream). My favorite cuts on the “On a Mission” project include “Kingston’s Flavor” because of its’ Reggae feel with a layer of some funky Jazz support; “Move It on,” “Soulful Stride,” a finger popping selection; “Uptown Swagger,” featuring James Lloyd, because of its great piano support, and “My Prayer for Haiti,” a sweet love song for the people of Haiti.

I asked Eric to also give advice to struggling musicians and he didn’t hesitate to say, “We live in a digital time and (you) can get songs for free. Artists need to understand the business side. Labels are closing and artists are taking control of their music. They have a direct link to their fans to promote themselves…its’ an exciting time…an interesting time.”

To learn more on Eric Darius and his latest CD “On a Mission” log onto his website at www.EricDarius.com.