“We Are In Charge of Our Attitudes”- The Celebrate Life Team Salutes: Cathy Basile

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. ” This is my favorite part of the Charles Swindoll quote that Cathy Basile shares with the world.

I’ve written a few articles over the years about my friends from the West Morris Area YMCA.  They seem to be made for MMP’s  Sunshine Club. Like Cathy Basile, the people I see at the gym three times a week produce enough positive energy and progressive inspiration to help the rest of us feel good and to ‘just keep livin’.

When I see someone doing a sick new abs exercise or working up a serious sweat on a unique circuit training program, I’m usually intrigued.  When they tell me that they are training for a fitness competition, I’m excited for them.  When I find out that they are 48 years old and a mother of two, I’m uber-impressed and humbled. (then I quickly try my best to bang out 10 pull-ups and recapture a smidget of masculinity.)

Cathy is one of the Y’s personal trainers.  If you catch her in the building, she’s either helping a client achieve their desired results, or helping herself get ready for the next photo shoot and competition.  Even though she has a busy and hectic schedule like most moms and professionals,   Basile always makes time to give her friends a fitness tip, body fat measurement or some contagious positive vibes.

Cathy’s recent accomplishments include a 1st place finish at the 2009 Revolutionary Technology competition, a 7th place finish at the 2010 Gaspari Nutrition IFPA Pro Classic and a 9th place finish at the 2010 IFPA Yorton Cup Pro World Championships.

And, oh yeah… she’s currently featured in the 2011 Spring Edition of Fitness and Physique Magazine.

I thought Cathy’s chosen quote below could help you and I this year when an attitude adjustment is just what the doctor ordered.

Best wishes and continued success!  -mp

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.” Charles Swindoll

Good for Another 1000 Miles: Artie Evans Turns 90!

The Birthday Boy, Artie Evans

There are a lot of reasons why I still drive 30 minutes to workout at the West Morris Area YMCA when there are plenty of gyms much closer to my house.   Like a lot of things in life, the people who you surround yourself with make all the difference.

I met Artie as he was coming out of the locker room a few years back.  He must have had a great workout because he had a nice spring to his step and said, “good for another 1000 miles!” as he passed by.

It was one of those When Harry Met Sally moments when you say to yourself, I’ll have what he’s having.”

Artie has a lot of fans at the YMCA.  That was evident by the large group of friends and staff who stuck around this morning for a little birthday celebration in his honor.  Being a fan isn’t too hard.   Artie seems to have plenty of  positivity and charisma to share with everyone.

I had the chance to chat with Evans today about his thoughts on life and his secrets to longevity.  He credits his wife of 60 years, Ruth, as being his foundation and thanks her for keeping him “in line” and “out of trouble.”  “She is the most wonderful wife in the world.”

mp:  What were some of the most challenging experiences over the years?

AE: “I made it through the war and the depression… I remember putting cardboard in my shoes when the soles wore out.” Then we both agreed..  “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

Since Artie looks like he is only 70 instead of 90, I figured he drank juice mixes like Jack Lalanne or something…  but his actual drink of choice took me by surprise;

A Manhattan!  With 2 cherries.  One with the stem and one without the stem.”

When I asked Artie if he wanted to share any health and wellness tips with my fellow fitness enthusiast readers, he answered without hesitation.  “The Jacuzzi!”

The Artie Evans Fan Club

After warming up with cardio and hitting the weight machines, Evans and his pals talk about the stock market  while treading water in the pool and then cruise over to the jacuzzi to flirt with the ladies who just got done with their aqau-aerobics class.  🙂

Finishing up his routine with a hot shower and shave, you might catch Artie on the way out saying, “good for another 1000 miles.”

Happy Birthday sir.  The Celebrate Life Team wishes you continued health and happiness! -mp

“When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to some: Life is Fun!“ – Benjamin Hoff   The Tao of Pooh

Marcello’s Business Philosophy and Life Principles Get Published In”Performance Beyond Expectation”


Performance Beyond Expectation. Lulu Publishing, 2010 $24.95 US

Ray Martinez’ latest literary effort, Performance Beyond Expectation, made its official debut at the Mobile Beat Convention in Las Vegas last week.  It’s a collection of success stories, anecdotes, great quotes and basic life principles. My company’s  chapter features our philosophy on the importance of image, technology, fitness, the evolution of the Mobile DJ industry, and life balance.

To be included in a book that highlights some of  my mentors and entrepreneurial inspirations  is an honor.  Then again, anytime you are featured in a book, magazine, newspaper or online and people are saying nice things about you as opposed to the alternative.. it’s a good thing. 🙂

Thanks again Ray.

The following is a blog-friendly excerpt of MMP Entertainment’s chapter.

2006 Business Card

MMP Entertainment's Executive Director, Marcello Pedalino

Marcello Pedalino

“Know,  first, who your are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.” –Epictetus

Credits: Featured speaker at the Disc Jockey News Conference in Dallas, Texas, 2006, the NJDJN National Meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey, 2008, and the DJ Retreat in Nashville, Tennessee, 2009.

Awards: DJ Times Magazine “DJ of the Year” award winner, 2001, 2002 and 2007.  American Disc Jockey Association “Leadership Award” recipient, 2008.

Marcello Pedalino is known in our industry as the sharpest dressed man.  He is no doubt Mr. GQ; but behind this sharp dressed man, is a man of success with a very high-end entertainment company.

When asked how he got interested in becoming a mobile entertainer, Marcello responded, “I remember attending my cousin’s wedding in the mid 80’s.  The band they had was good- but not good enough to keep me on the dance floor all night.  I wandered outside and into another reception that was taking place at the same venue and saw something I’ll never forget.  It was John Murphy, from Star DJ’s, leading a huge conga line.  Everybody was dancing and the bride and groom were having a blast; the positive energy was intoxicating.  When I found out how much he was getting paid, I knew this was a career that had some potential.”

I further questioned him about his passion and the monetary awards; if he did it because he was passionate about entertainment or just an easy way to make money.

Pedalino replied, “I’m passionate about making people happy, I’m detail oriented, I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and I’ve always loved music; it was an organic path that led me here.  The money was like a cherry on top.”

He was then asked to describe his work ethic and how it has helped him become a successful entertainer and entrepreneur.

“For better or worse, it’s been an all or nothing philosophy.   If I’m determined and motivated for all the  right reasons,  I will skip lunch and the proverbial 5 o’clock whistle until the task at hand is completed and operational.  There are many times when I’ll mimic getting up from my chair like those professional poker players do when there’s a big pot  and they have to commit everything have; when I put my mind to something, I’ll get in the zone and say, “All In!” From that point on, it’s game on. When a person is comfortable being in this mindset, they tend to out-perform individuals who aren’t as motivated or who don’t have as much on the line.  The foundation of my work ethic is also based in Jimmy Valvano’s famous speech in which he said, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”  That had a big effect on my psyche at the time and has had a significant impact on the success I’ve earned since.”

Marcello on Fitness..."It's easier to stay in shape than it is to get onto shape."

Marcello on fitness: "It's easier to stay in shape than it is to get into shape."

Those who know Marcello, know he’s an avid fitness buff. At most trade shows when other DJs are out until three or four in the morning, Marcello gets a good night’s rest and is up at the crack of dawn getting ready to run.  I asked him to tell me the differences between his workout training and his DJ training.

He said, “I consider my physical fitness a necessary layer of my professional training. I physically train with a group of friends at my YMCA who understand the importance of motivation and the concept that it’s easier to stay in shape than it is to get into shape.  I professionally train with a group of industry colleagues who respect the fact that complacency is the enemy of progress. Both factions are refreshingly unapologetic when it comes to prioritizing a training regimen- regardless of the occupation.”

I mentioned a moment ago about how sharply dressed Marcello is all the time.  I asked him to  share his thoughts on dressing for success and making an impression on clients as well as how it can turn into more money for the DJ, based on presentation.

“As an owner operator in the entertainment business, my company’s success depends on my appearance and well being.  I am the product, the brand, the vice president of sales and the human resources director who establishes my company’s first impression to almost all of our potential clients. If I don’t look good, I don’t feel good, if I don’t feel good, I don’t perform well, if I don’t perform well, I’m out of business.

Daily Record Photo 11-8-06 JPEG (Large)

Marcello on style: "Dress how you feel."

I’ve been in enough situations where dressing better than my equally talented competition resulted in me signing the contract to justify the few extra minutes it takes to dress for the occasion.

I also read a phrase in GQ a long time ago that stuck with me, “dress how you feel.”  It’s funny, people will sometimes say to me, “you look like a million bucks,” to which I reply, “I feel like a million bucks.”  When it’s time to do business, I reach for my Canali suits and Zegna ties.  When it’s time to chill at the condo in Costa Rica, I grab my shorts and flip flops.”

Marcello was asked how things were when he broke into the business as  a DJ and to explain the difference on the trade shows and the DJ’s approach to their work today compared to when he started.

He remarked, “I don’t see much of a principle change per se.  There were people who I met at my first show back in 1998 who were really helpful, who exuded passion and who were setting a great example.  And then there were people I met who, well let’s just say, they didn’t fit the same profile.  It’s very similar today.  You need to be open-minded but you’ve also got to be very selective when it comes to choosing your sources of inspiration.  I’m always trying weed out all of the negative influences. I like how Bryan Dodge calls them “bad seeds.”  I’m a firm believer that you are who you surround yourself with.”

Marcello’s opinion on whether technology has helped or hurt our industry was, “I can’t think of any way that technology  has hurt our industry. With programs like PCDJ and Virtual DJ, my performances have become more efficient with regards to preparation and more entertaining with regards to presentation.  The ability to adapt is essential for any industry. I think technology has helped our industry remain generationally relevant in the eyes of savvy prospects.”

What advice would he give to DJs just starting out regardless of their age or to guys who were once DJs in high school or college and decided to return to the industry?

His response was, “Follow your heart, but don’t ignore reality.  If you think this is your calling, go for it.  However, being in the right place at the right time usually requires the willingness to travel.  The key is to find a location and a demographic that will support your quest.”

Finally, I asked this extremely likable colleague what message would he share with part-time DJs doing this as just a hobby to make extra money, or who might be considering making this a full time profession.


NJDJN awards (from left) Ray Martinez, Jake Jacobsen, Randi Rae, Dr. Drax and Marcello Pedalino

“Like anything else in life, every so often, stop, take a breath and reevaluate your situation carefully. I’ve got a very good friend who has an excellent job with enviable benefits.  I’d tell your readers what I told him 8 years ago when he asked if he should become a full-time mobile entertainer.    After careful consideration of his specific wants and needs, I told him there’s no reason why he couldn’t have the best of both worlds.  With the right time management skills and the ability to choose your events wisely, you can continue with your current vocation and build an ancillary career at the same time.  He’s in a very good position in his life right now and I’m very happy for him.”

Words spoken wisely from a young man who knows what success is and is willing to pass on his wisdom to others who seek the same.

Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul


Dave Nase, Terri Contaxis and her son Michael, Paul Rallo, Alex Maziola, Mike Walter, Jen Cunningham, Marcello Pedalino and Jake Jacobsen

It’s not often that you get a 60 degree sunny day at the end of November.  Today, mother nature was on our side for the Navesink River Challenge, a scenic 9.3 mile run in Ocean County, NJ.

The course was uncharacteristically hilly for the Jersey Shore.  I’m glad that I’ve been doing resistance training, core circuits, and swimming at the gym…otherwise, it wouldn’t have been pretty.

A shout out to Mike, who used today’s race as a springboard to get back on track to doing ’50 in 50 by 50.’ (50 marathons in 50 states by 50 years old)  He’s currently at 14 and recovering from an Achilles’ heel surgery.   Run, Forrest, Run! Special mention also goes out to my friend, Jake, who has transformed his body over the past year by using the P90X system. He looks like a Navy SealHoorah Master Chief!

This Is Sparta!!

This Is Sparta!!

Speaking of great movies, I probably got the coolest race tag number that was available, 300. The Spirit of the Spartan warriors was with me the whole time.

In addition to sunshine, fresh air and great company, the highlight of the day for me came at the end of the race.  Just past the typical bagels, bananas and other ho-hum post-race culinary swag: rows of steaming cups adorned the table.  It was chicken noodle soup! Even if it wasn’t as good as mom’s, it was the best chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had after running  almost ten miles on a brisk Sunday morning.   Yummy.

Life is good.  🙂

NJ vs. Ireland: Gangemi’s Gloves Stay Golden

The Gangemi VIP fan club

Anthony and his dad, (middle), with the Gangemi V.I.P fan club

3 days a week you’ll find me at the West Morris YMCA in Randolph, NJ.  From 6:30 am to 9:00 am, I work out with a small group of fellow fitness enthusiasts who do a combination of core training,  plyometrics, cardio circuits and interval swimming in order  to stay in shape for upcoming events.

Over the past year, I started working on the heavy bag to continue the great advice that most exercise pros preach, “keep it fresh, fun, and challenging.  Change up your workouts at least every two weeks.”

Anthony earns a 3rd round decision

Gangemi earns a 3rd round decision and makes Nj proud

Since the heavy bag usually just collects dust, certain members notice when you use it.  One member in particular is a now a great friend, Bob Sim, a wonderful soul who preaches family values and hard work by walkin’ the walk. He  told me about Anthony Gangemi, the 2009 New Jersey State Champ in the 165 lb. weight class.  Anthony and his dad, John, also work out at the YMCA, but are usually leaving as I’m arriving.

After Bob introduced me to Anthony and John, I discovered 2 more people that I could be influenced by in a positive way. When my schedule permitted, attending a live event and supporting the Gangemi family was a no-brainer.

This outing was Anthony’s Dover Boxing Club of New Jersey vs. Ireland. No, not just kids who are half Irish like me, these guys actually flew in and talked like the guys from U2! The international vibe made it very exciting.

The Irish Boxers entered the arena in style

The Irish Boxers entered the arena in style

Here’s where this blog entry relates to a professional DJ.  Regardless of the type of event taking place, music programming is key. You assess the demographic in attendance and design the play list accordingly.  Here’s the breakdown, there were about two hundred men and 50 women between the ages of 18 and 70 all pumped up to see a great night of fights.  When the doors opened, no music was being played, the venue was uncomfortably quiet and emotionless.  An ambiance was non-existent. Then, as the pre-fight cocktail hour and dinner was half way over, the music finally kicked on, albeit at various volume levels.  Moreover, the selections were eclectic, to be kind.  She’s Like The Wind, by Patrick Swayze and Right Here Waiting, By Richard Marx etc.  had more than one head turning in the crowd.  A few at my table joked that it felt more like a couples skate at a 1980’s roller rink than a Golden Gloves match.  The consensus was that the DJ had his laptop on auto-play so whatever song came up was the song that blasted out. Yikes!

Bob and George pose with one of the Ring Girls

Smooth operators, Bob and George pose with one of the Ring Girls

Just so you don’t think I’m picking on the DJ, the proverbial straw that broke the entertainer’s  back came during the national anthems.  For us, he played a great version of the Star Spangled Banner by Whitney Houston.  Just when we we all ready to forgive and forget the first hour of selections, the DJ cranked up what he thought was the Irish National Anthem…  “Danny Boy“.   Oops! To be honest, I didn’t know that the actual Irish anthem was (Ámhrán na bhFiann),”A Soldier’s Song” either until I looked it up for this blog entry, but everybody in the crowd certainly knew that it wasn’t Danny Boy.  It made for some light-hearted laughs, even the Irish athletes were good sports about it.

As the night went on, the soundtrack  improved dramatically.  I think that had a lot to do with the promoter and venue manager having a little chat with Mr. DJ.

Marcello and the champ

Marcello and the champ

We saw some awesome fights, about 20 total.  We even saw a few female bouts as well.   Picture a combination of G.I Jane and Wonder Woman wearing  a pair of boxing gloves and a serious game face… pretty impressive.

Anthony’s match was of course, the highlight.  He took on a formidable opponent that gave him a good fight, but Anthony scored a few key body shots that helped earn a well-deserved victory after three rounds.

Best wishes and continued success to the Gangemi family.

Here’s a clip of Anthony in a recent interview with a local sports channel.

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