New Website!

Hi, I have a new ‘blogsite’ where my blog and portfolio is all in one place. Visit: www.francesiacuzzi.com. Enjoy🙂

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Jessica P.

Jessica is hilarious, smart, compassionate, and down to earth. She’s a SoCal girl through and through; grew up in Palos Verdes, spent high school years in Newport Beach and went to USC for college. Naturally, I interviewed her.

Why did you move to LA specifically?  “After I graduated from the School of Theatre at USC, I moved to Hollywood to pursue my dreams. I love LA and I love acting and doing improv and sketch comedy… even though it’s taken me a few years to start making money doing it.”

What drew you to acting? “Well, in retrospect (and after years of therapy) I’ve realized that I needed a vessel in which to shine. You see my older sister is deaf and required a lot of attention from my parents growing up, so when I got cast as the lead Oompa Loompa in a Palos Verdes community theatre production of Charlie in the Chocolate Factory I thought, ‘This. Is. It!’ But in all seriousness, I love making people laugh, I love live theatre and connecting with an audience and I love that telling beautiful stories can inspire other people to look at their lives and create change.”

What’s your favorite type of performance? “I perform regularly at The Second City with my troupe Trust Fall. I’m blessed to be able to perform improv and sketch comedy with my best friends. I get to laugh all day long. I also dig Cirque du Soleil.”

Which actor/comedian do you most admire?  “Catherine O’Hara is brilliant. She’s beautiful and makes me laugh like no other. I grew up watching Molly Shannon on SNL and she quickly became a hero of mine. She’s so committed and the reason she is so funny to me is because she’s so honest and believable. I mean…Mary Katherine Gallagher? I walked around with my hands under my armpits for a year or two after Superstar came out. And then there’s my all time favorite. Will Ferrell. Nuff said. Oh god, and Mike Myers. Franny, how can you ask me to pick one?! Oh and for serious actors? I’d say Charlie Sheen.”

What are your goals/aspirations? “Keep doing what I love doing and hopefully make a consistent living doing it. I’d love to do some more traveling soon. I love checking out the world. Hmm… what else. Oh I’d really like to get a Disney annual pass and it’d be sweet if all my friends had one too. Then we could live there. Last but not least, someday I’ll master this Nicki Minaj impression I’m working on.”

Hidden talents not too many people know about? “Most of my friends know I can burp on command. If you piss me off or blow my mind, I might sing about it with guitar in hand.  I make mean green smoothies and one time I played Ultimate Frisbee. I killed.”

Jessica…what can I say….you just rock.

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Gillian’s Baby Shower, Beverly Hills

I recently had the honor of documenting Gillian Sheldon’s beautiful baby shower in Beverly Hills. The shower was hosted in the lovely home of her good friends, Leslie and Rich. Gillian is such a warm and loving mommy-to-be, expecting her first baby in mid-September. Her nurturing nature was reflected by all the guests at her shower, who showered her with not only presents but with hugs, good wishes and congratulatory tears as well. Gillian has a diverse background in digital media, television, marketing and PR, and played a major part in the creation and development of TMZ.com – a highly successful site and subsequent television show. Currently she serves as the VP of Programming for BUZZMEDIA, overseeing several celebrity and pop culture sites, as well as the personal websites of Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, Whitney Port, Kendra Wilkinson and Kimora Lee Simmons. When I asked her what her most and least favorite part about pregnancy is, she replied, “Best part about being pregnant is truly having an excuse to get all of my favorite people and those who love and support my little growing family in one room. The feeling that day was so overwhelming – everyone was there with all sorts of love for us and the baby! The worst is the constant tired feeling, and not being able to operate at 100 miles an hour like I am used to doing!” I have no doubt she’ll get back to full speed, excelling in the world of motherhood as well.

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Sarah’s Bachlorette Brunch

In early September, Sarah will be getting married to Adam in the south of France. To celebrate her last moments as a bachelorette, she hosted an eloquent brunch at her home in Los Angeles with all the ladies. What a treat!

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Stacy C: A Gal with a Heart of Gold

Stacy Colleen, also known as Sc, is one of the most genuinely happy people I know. We couldn’t have had more fun during our photo session, as our focus was taming ourselves from uncontrollable laughing outbursts. She was super excited about having an interview, so here it is, along with some big smiles from the day……

Q: Where are you from, how long have you lived here and what do you do for a living?
A: I am a native of Los Angeles, having attended school and lived here until college, when I moved to the East Coast to attend Mount Holyoke College and study Psychology.  I moved back to L.A. to attend U.S.C.’s School of Social Work where I earned my M.S.W. and continued working in the social service field here, focusing on substance abuse and the family, trauma, and the GLBT population.  I am a Licensed Psychotherapist in the Los Feliz area and teach at Phillips Graduate Insitute in Encino as an Adjunct Professor.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: I love to hear the stories of my clients, through verbal storytelling and through the stories of their bodies and nervous systems. I work with trauma through Somatic Experiencing and yoga movement.  I love being able to be authentic with my clients and be able to help them laugh and cry.  So many people just need a witness to their pain and then they are able to begin the healing process.  I also rely on the support of 12 step programs when addiction is involved.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
A: Hmm.  I love having time with my family.  My children are amazing and so active!  There is little time for other things, although I enjoy Anusara yoga–an integrated yoga that includes the mind, body and spirit–seeing friends, and have recently taken up running.
Q: If you could change one thing about today’s world (in America) what would it be?
A: Just one?  I guess my focus would be on helping to build compassion for others.  Opening the heart to the humanity of others, increasing tolerance of differences, making the world safe for children.  That begins at an individual level, I’ve experienced, and the more I open my heart, the more room there seems to be to pass it on.
Q: Where is your favorite place to hang out in LA?
A: I have no idea how to narrow it down! I love the hiking in Griffith Park, the yoga studios all around L.A., the parks with slides, sand and swings, the unique sushi restaurants, the artists in Silverlake, the streets downtown, the boutiques in Los Feliz, the festivals and art and street fairs, the coffee houses, and especially the restaurants and bakery next to my office in Atwater Village.
Q: Any goals/aspirations at the moment?
A: I’m about to complete my 3 year training as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in trauma treatment and am taking an Anusara Yoga Immersion course in order to integrate yoga into my clients’ healing work.  I hope to be able to continue gaining experience and training as a psychotherapist and as a mother!
Q: “Fun fact” not many people know about you?
A: I’m not afraid to be the first person on the dance floor! Also, it was surprisingly fun to take headshots for my website and pretend to be famous!
Q: Anything else you’d like to add…?
A: I would recommend Franny for headshots not only due to her artistic eye and easygoing personality, but because she made someone who usually makes silly faces at the camera be able to sit back, relax, and give a professional smile.
Sc, you’re incredible. I hope you never change. Namaste!

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Britax and Baby Buggy Pre-Father’s Day Mini-Golf Celebrity & Charity Event

On Saturday, June 11, I photographed the Britax Child Safety, Inc. and charity partner Baby Buggy celebratory event, which highlighted the launch of the new Britax Baby Carrier. The special occasion was held at Castle Park in Sherman Oaks, California, where several VIP families attended to show their support. Above is an image of Baby Buggy Executive Director, Katherine Snider (left), and Britax’s Public Relations and Events Manager, Kate Clark (right), two incredible individuals.

Celeb attendees included: Ali Landry, Autumn Reeser, Dave Kushner, Erik Palladino, Ian Ziering, Kevin Frazier, Kevin Nealon, Laila Ali, Larry Birkhead, Samantha Harris, Brandon Molale, and Orly Marley. They took turns trying on new baby gear, posing for photos, and playing mini-golf with their little ones. Many infants were also able to enjoy the game as well thanks to their new baby carriers!

Above, funnyman Kevin Nealon (“Weeds”, “SNL”) became determined to find his little lost yellow golf ball hiding somewhere among the weeds.

The event was a huge success for all. Parents and their little ones shared laughs, great food, and for some, hole-in-ones! The new Britax Baby Carrier will hit stores in early Summer, 2011. Also, Britax presented Baby Buggy with a substantial amount of product (new baby carriers, strollers, and car seats) that the organization will pass along to LA-area families in need. Kudos to all of those involved!

Links to more articles on the event: Hollywood Hot Moms ; Child Mode ; Baby Center ; Babble ; Celebrity Baby Scoop ; Mail Online ; Cele Buzz ; Hollywood Life


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Maisy’s First Photo Session

Maisy Rain entered this world a little over eight months ago, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, hungry for life, love and of course, warm milk. Not too long ago, I had the privilege of photographing this beautiful newborn with her loving parents, Kevin and Eileen. I was surprised at how in tune with the camera she was, never failing to make eye contact, even while eating! (watch out Hollywood…)

With two incredibly talented and creative parents, I have no doubt that Maisy continue to shine in every area of her life. For now, her interests include: splashy time in the tub playing with floaty toys, taking long walks with daddy in the baby bjorn, and nuzzling with mom while mom reads stories. Maisy loves to laugh and gets a kick out of all the funny faces and weird noises people make when they play with her. She doesn’t quite understand what they are trying to say, but finds it highly entertaining.

Maisy looks super cute in her stylish shades and summer hats. And while she loved taking pictures outdoors, her favorite part of the session came at the very end. Chow time! Mommy and Daddy spoon-fed Maisy her favorite baby prunes while she soaked up all the love and attention. She didn’t even mind when Daddy somehow managed to also get into the prunes.

Thanks to Maisy, Kevin and Eileen for all the laughs and fun times. I look forward to seeing the little one continue to grow.😉

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