21st Century Digital chats with former gymnast, actress and Tony Award nominee, Cathy Rigby



The making of Cathy Rigby‘s, Olympic story and the resulting after effects of her fame are well documented on the internet, so no need to rehash it here in a short blog. I will tell you this though after chatting with her for a only a few moments at the State Theatre, Rigby has after all these years managed to retain an enviable childlike spirit which she allowed us to witness during an impromptu cell phone conversation with the children of one of the guests that came to hear her speak at the 2012 Smart Talk series.


Donning the voice of her latest iteration of Peter Pan, you were soon able to discern from the poorly reproduced, over-amplified squeals emitted from a typically imprecise Smartphone loudspeaker, that Cathy engendered great delight into the hearts of two young children who were getting ready for bed moments before her call; even her British accent was quite convincing. Interestingly, Rigby seemed at home with the Peter Pan character and has in fact played the role many times over the decades. One might be forgiven for concluding that she finally found what she was looking for after giving of herself so completely during her former years as an Olympic athlete.

 

Neil Anthony & Cathy Rigby

Wow I never realized I was quite so tall.

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21st Century Digital Meets the Skurnik Brothers at their 25th Anniversary 2012 Grand Portfolio Tasting






We first met Michael and Herman Skurnik at their offices in Long Island about a year ago where we shot an interview with Curt Dahl from Joseph and Curtis Custom Wine Cellars and the Skurnik Brothers. It was quite an experience being surrounded by crates of full bodied reds and crisp German whites in the home of the largest wine distributors in the U.S. Check in from time-to-time to hear more about this fabulous industry and the celebrities who enjoy wine in their purpose built custom wine cellars.

 
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Neil meets Frances Mayes, poet, and author of the Number One New York Times Best Seller “Under the Tuscan Sun.”

Mayes delights the audience at the State Theatre with her famous Tuscan Story. You knew right away that there was no danger of Mayes somnolently regurgitating the storyline of her famed book, instead she enchanted the audience with crisp visions of a ‘life sized’ canvas oil painting crafted with little known facts about the Tuscan culture in which she has become immersed.
Her stories were so down-to-earth you were left wondering, “Why did God choose for me to live among the oil refineries of New Jersey instead of making Olive Oil under the Tuscan Sun? It’s hard not to think of God when listening to Mayes describes what seemed like heaven. The people, the food and the wine all existing in what seemed like self replenishing harmony. According to Mayes everyone pretty much grows and cooks their own food and shares the fruits of their labor with neighbors, friends and in many cases uninvited friends of your guests. In Italy there simply isn’t anything wrong with bringing a couple of extra friends along for a meal even if your host wasn’t informed. You just find a couple of extra chairs and boil more pasta. Mayes and her husband have become avid cooks and have written several books on the subject. Interestingly Mayes actually trained in French Cuisine, but found herself veering towards Italian cooking as she preferred the unique flavors that can be created with just two or three homegrown ingredients picked from her own garden moments before they hit the chopping board.

Neil Anthony & Frances Mayes

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21st Century Digital Meets Author, Professor & Political Analyst, Donna Brazile.

This image was photographed while revising the second iteration of her presentation which she later delivered with a steady stream of jocularity at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ. Without lifting her head from her writings, or missing a beat while she wrote at a pace rivaling a high speed printer, Donna remarked that although she gave a similar speech in Wilmington, Delaware the night before, she intended to give the New Jersey audience something new. In a later conversation she defended her use of what some might argue as “defunct pen and paper” by resisting the lure of technologies such as the omnipresent iPad. In the past she witnessed lectures given by prominent speakers grind to a bone jarring halt along with the frozen operating systems and low batteries of their laptops and iPads.

 

If I were asked which animal best describes Donna Brazile, it would be a duck. The way she has handled many of life’s injustices is akin to water running off a duck’s back. She spoke of many setbacks in her life, some of which were due to her gender, others because of her race, and not surprisingly some because of her political affiliation and her application of today’s typical incendiary moral opinions. Although not everyone will agree with her on chief subject matter, she remarked, “…it’s not what they call you it’s what you answer to.” Good advice for either side of the political fence.

 

 

 The audience was eager to hear Donna Brazile speak long before they even stepped into the theater. Recounting her childhood, Brazile shared many of her mother’s sayings that taught her and her siblings lessons about life: “If you want to eat, you have to sweep.” “If you want to earn, you have to learn.” These elementary child rearing tools are sadly omitted from many corners of today’s society. The simplicity of yesteryear has made Brazile a formidable woman of the 21st Century. She spoke so intimately of her now deceased mother you left the theater almost believing you lived next door. Her mother would have been incredibly proud to see so much of herself in her daughter. I hope my own children will feel about me, even half of what Brazile conveyed about her mother to a room full of strangers .

 

From left to right: Neil with Donna Brazile. Newspaper article. State Theatre. Balcony Shot of Donna.

 

 

 

 

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Pioneering Primatologist

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is an incredible woman. Aside from the fact that she possesses an exceptionally warm and magnetic personality, one would be compelled to say without question that she is a true celebrity. Formidable yet unintimidating, Goodall captivated a large audience spanning at least three generations during her recent talk at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. Commissioned by Smart Talk, Jane Goodall gave a succinct yet entertaining insight into her life as a young child before the 2nd world war right up to the 21st Century.

Chicken Egg

Here you see her describing her curiosity of the world of animals during early childhood when at the age of 5 years, she went on a trek to a chicken coop on her parents farm to discover how an egg of its size could  possibly come out of a chicken. Her hasty disappearance from her parent’s  farmhouse brought about much dismay for her mother of whom she spoke fondly.

Chimp Bite

When asked, Jane describes how she was once bitten by one of the chimpanzee’s that she spends her life protecting. She points out however that this particular chimpanzee was held hostage by its human captors and like any animal, (or human for that matter), seized an opportunity to escape and took a chunk out of her right thumb.

State Theatre, NJ

I’m not an animal activist, or any kind of activist for that matter, but after meeting Jane Goodall and studying her mind during the 30-40 minuets of her speech, I have become more aware, and now deeply saddened at how we as humans exploit each other, animals and the resources of our planet, largely for selfish gain.

Book Signing

Finally, I have photographed a number of celebrities at the State theater; the likes of world renowned Oceanographer Silvia Earl, Phylicia Rashad of the Cosby show and many more, but I have never seen patrons line up for a book signing that went all the way out of the theatre and down the street; in frigid weather no less.

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‘ITM Photos’ & Nyght Vizion

21st Century Digital’s Wedding & Events subsidiary, ‘ITM Photos’ teams up with Nyght Vizion Entertainment to save the day.

The recent demise of a well know wedding and corporate entertainment company have left countless brides without Photography, DJ and Videography services. Our sister company, In The Moment Wedding & Event Photography, www.itmPhotos.com, and NYGHT VIZION entertainment have grabbed the baton and are making these events happen uninterrupted; many of the services are financed out of our own pockets as the previous company ran off with all the deposits. When asked, Neil Anthony from ITM Photos said, “It’s not always about the money. These young men and women are planning one of the most important days of their lives. Let’s just be honest; the euphoria of the wedding will soon be replaced by the reality and challenges of marriage. It gives us the ‘warm and fuzzies’ to help enable them to enjoy the culmination of all that hard work that went into planning their wedding day even if it only lasts for eight hours. I have great memories of my wedding day, so why shouldn’t everyone else?”
Photograph: NYGHTVIZION DJ’s by ITM Photos.
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A new look and feel!

A New Look for 21st Century Digital Photography. A New Look

We are pleased about the design and features of our new website. We were after an European inspired design that was clean, classic and scalable. Mission accomplished thanks to the work of RL Creative listening to our needs and producing a solid new website.

The site runs on a well supported platform which will allow us to upgrade our site to leverage the latest web technologies. Our gallery runs on a powerful and easy to manage gallery management application used by many top photographers worldwide. The gallery renders HTML 5 so our pictures will show nicely on mobile devices such and the IPhone, IPAD, and Android. Overall this is a great new start for us.

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Chelsea Piers Event


Cablevision corporate event at Chelsea Piers, NY. 21st Century Digital on the scene taking pictures before commencement.
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European inspired home

Real Estate Photo shoot for a unique European inspired home, New Jersey.
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