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Dorothy - Staff member

Dorothy - Staff member
Location:
Christiansted, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Postal code:
00823
Website:
www.thespotlightzone.com

Bio

Hi Everyone! And welcome to our new site "The Spotlight Zone"! JJ Rocks and I hope that you all have a great time being a member! Let's all make this the one of the best independent music sites in the world!

Here is an interview from a writer in Trinidad named Amanda Ramsaroop that tells a little about me and my involvement in our last project, St. Croix Music magazine. I'm doing the same job on this site, so I'll guess I'll be contacting you soon! Here is the interview, peace and love, Dorothy
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AR: How did St. Croix Music Magazine get started?

Dorothy: JJ came up with the idea around five years ago. He was fascinated by the independent bands out there. He just couldnít believe that some of those bands were not already famous. He even said that there were a few that were better than a lot of the bands on the radio. So he came up with the idea for a free on line magazine for independent bands that also featured articles about St. Croix, influential musicians, and much more.

AR: Havenít those kinds of magazines been on line before that?

Dorothy: Yes, but not from paradise, not having major connections in the music industry, and not without any advertisements and links.

AR: So you guys didnít want to make money from the magazine?

Dorothy; No, not really. We only wanted a few occasional donations to keep it on line. The main thing is that we wanted to help independent bands that were trying to do it all on their own. We also wanted them to know a little about St. Croix. I think it was a nice mix.

AR: How did you plan to help the bands?

Dorothy: JJ has great connections in the music industry. And since he doesnít like to travel a lot, or want be a rock star, he was hoping to get the bands that we discovered to be noticed by some big people in the record business that he knows.

AR: How did JJ get his connections?

Dorothy: He says he was ďjust luckyĒ to meet the right people on a night that he was playing real good. And then they introduced him to other influential people. But I know thereís more to it. One time someone looked for him because they heard about the quality of his musical work in Baltimore and sent him to Hollywood to be a producer. He also met a lot of people there.

AR: Letís get back to you. What is your role with the magazine?

Dorothy: I do the networking and editing.

AR: Could you explain that?

Dorothy: I go on line and send messages and invitations to bands from places like my space, garage band, I sound, and many more. I also make corrections and edit the articles.

AR: What kind of messages?

Dorothy: I would invite them to read our non profit on line music magazine, and let them know that there could be a possible article written about them once we listened to their songs. I also asked them to sign in out guestbook and leave some information about themselves.

AR: Did you get a lot of responses?

Dorothy: Yes. I have listed over a thousand musical groups and solos in our bands section. And thatís where we choose our bands and solo acts to write about. But I have actually listened to over 25,000 independent bands while sending invitations in the last four years. JJ told me that most people in the world never even heard close to that many bands. But I have always loved music so even after our last issue Iím still going to check out the new ďcutting edgeĒ bands just for fun. But as far as the bands that I found for the magazine, JJ has the final say. But if I twist his arm enough because of a band that I really love, he will trust my opinion and write an article about them. Later he always admits that I was right!

AR: I noticed that there are no advertisements on St. Croix Music Magazine. Why not?

Dorothy: I know itís a tuff world out there, and we all have to make money. But we decided in the beginning that this magazine was going to be non profit and a hobby that we can do together. It has been so much fun!

AR: So why are you giving up the magazine?

Dorothy: Well, first of all, weíre not giving it up. Weíre just stopping at the 50th issue. All past issues will stay on line because of all the musicians from around the world that have links to their articles on their sites. They can even send us updates on their music and we will post it on their articles.

AR: But still, you stopped publishing. Why?

Dorothy: JJ has too much music that he has never recorded. Folders and folders of songs, not to mention e mails from theater companies in France and England asking when his musical play is going to be finished (he sent them samples). We both agreed that itís time for him to start thinking about his own music instead of trying to promote others. Thatís why we are doing a new site. God only knows this man deserves his own site where he can give away (for free) his music to the thousands of friends, fans, and musicians around the world that he has connected with through the magazine. And we are hoping that the same people that designed our magazine will do the next site. The new site wonít be a monthly magazine. There will be no deadlines for us to meet. Itís just a home for all that JJ has accomplished as a non profit writer, producer, teacher, and musician. There will be free downloads of his music, articles, and video lessons. JJ always sayís that being remembered for doing something nice for someone else is the greatest form of success.

AR: Are you going to be part of his new site?

Dorothy: Of course! We are together for life!

AR: There are many entries and compliments in your guestbook from all over the world. Have there ever been any negative comments?

Dorothy: Yes, of course! Weíre on line! But not about what we do on the magazine. Sometimes there some very funny comments that seemed to be ďattemptedĒ insults at our personal lives. Every time I think of them I almost fall on the floor laughing!

AR: Is it too personal to ask what they were about?

Dorothy: Of course not. The messages were from a sick and cowardly individual(s) that have no real life of their own. Itís sad in a way. These people would say things about JJ being no good for me, or how I will be better off with him (or her?). And then there are just as many that tell JJ that I am no good for him and he should give me up and be with them. But what makes me laugh even harder is that these people do not have the courage to say who they are, leave a real e mail, or approach us face to face. But they are so funny! Iím really going to miss that part of the magazine!

AR: Does this happen on a regular basis?

Dorothy: Only once in a while. And I actually look forward to it so I can have a good laugh. But donít get me wrong, I do understand that there are people out there that consider themselves losers, so they try to upset someone else just to make themselves happy. I know I already said this before, but itís hilarious! I have printed them all out and put them in a book. I just wish that they would have the courage to leave their real names instead of being cowards using fake identities and IP addresses. But all that stuff along with the exact time that they went in the guestbook is on the print outs. That will keep me rolling on the floor with laughter long after our last issue!

AR: How does JJ feel about it?

Dorothy: Honestly, I think he laughs harder than I do after I tell him about it. He actually hasnít been in the guestbook for over two years because of how busy he is, but I always print out the good comments and leave them on his desk every morning with his hot cup of tea. I just tell him later about the stupid ones. We always have a good laugh. Thatís just another reason why we love each other so much. But soon the comments are going to stop because even though the old issues will still be on line, our guestbook will be deactivated a week after this last issue even though the guestbook entry form will still be there.

So I hope that I get at least a few more laughs from the ďcowardly liarĒ. Anyway, the guestbook will still show all of our great comments from around the world from the last four years. Itís just that if you leave a new comment, it wonít go one the magazine anymore, even though it will say it does. So if you have any last comments for the work that we did over the last four years, there will be only one weak to post them. But we are keeping all the pages of praise from almost every major country on earth on line! We often look through them and smile and say ďit was all worth it!Ē Thatís why we are going to post all articles and comments on our new site when it comes next year.

AR: In the four years that St. Croix Music Magazine has been on line, have you ever had any regrets?

Dorothy: Never! In fact, itís the first real hobby that JJ and I ever had together besides going to the beach for the sunset. Not to say that we donít do many things together, but the magazine was a real teamwork project! It was kind of like building a house.

AR: What do you mean?

Dorothy: When we first started we had no idea how to make an ďon lineĒ music magazine. But we still tried and all we had was some kind of program that didnít make good websites. So after our first issue we got an e mail from two musicians from the Ukraine that had really liked JJís article about their band. They liked it so much that they offered to build and program a site for us for free! They also said that another reason that they were helping us was because we were non profit and had no advertisements on the site. Their names are Oleg and Sveta. And without them there wouldnít have been a St. Croix Music Magazine. Check out their band ďMosquitoĒ in our very fist issue. They were great! They were the architects of our site.

But we had to make it work from the bottom up. Thank God they gave us our own instruction pages on how to do it! So slowly we built it issue by issue. My job was to find the bands one at a time by inviting them to check out the magazine. Then together we would listen to choose the bands to write about. Then JJ would write very nice things about them and also all the rest of the articles, and I would do the editing. I have never seen him write a bad word about any of our musicians. But I canít forget to thank Luis and Stacy Gomez for writing our ďPleasures in ParadiseĒ column for our last year. They get out and explore the island almost every week and they came up with some great articles.

AR: Are you at least a little sad that the magazine having no more new issues?

Dorothy: The fact that we will keep all 50 issues on line makes me happy, not sad. We are always looking ahead. And our new site thatís coming out next year will allow JJ to finally post his own songs, excerpts from his novel, parts of his musical play, lessons, and who knows what else. I think that since he has such an attachment to our ďMusically SpeakingĒ column, that he will occasionally speak his mind like before on the new site. But after all his selflessness and dedication to others, I and many others think itís time for him to express whatís locked up inside of him. He has written at least 1500 songs and only recorded around 50 demos and I think itís time for him to record his own music again and express his own feelings. But that doesnít mean that his students will not be a part of it all. The teaching part of JJ Rocks will never die, it will just keep living on insides others. I think thatís a great achievement! But knowing JJ, I think that he will just go on putting others before himself and keep promoting and writing artcles about other bands. I can't change the way he is and I don't want to.

AR: What is your greatest dream for you and JJ in his quest to do his own music?

Dorothy: I would have to say that I want him to get back to his musical play. It allows him to combine his story writing skills with his songwriting without worry about what the commercial market has to say about it. Successful pop songs may bring in more money, but we consider anything past just being able to pay normal bills and have a little weekend fun puts on the same level as all the greedy and material people out there. Like I said before, itís all about being remembered. And there are many ways to do that. With JJ it was promoting independent musicians. Now itís giving away free music, writing more articles, musical plays, a novel, and teaching. And I really feel in my heart that both of us have accomplished our goals with our non profit magazine. It was supposed to be a two year project, but it turned into four years. But what a great time! Now itís time to move on. Itís time for JJ to be himself and do his own thing that he hopes to share with anyone that likes what heís doing. As long we are together, we can reach any goals that we set. And since they are not about material things, being famous, or letting anyone ruin our beautiful sunny days in paradise, then I couldnít be any happier. Peace, and God bless eveyone!
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- Amanda Ramsaroop