April Masini

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April Masini (born 1964) is an American advice columnist also known for her political advocacy for the television and film industry in Hawaii.[1][2] She was formerly married to American television producer Al Masini.

Career[edit]

Masini’s career as an advice columnist began in 2003, when she was asked to teach a dating class for men in Los Angeles.[3] After self-publishing two books, Date Out of Your League (2003) and Think & Date Like A Man (2005), Masini then went on to establish a presence on the Web as an expert on dating and relationships. More than 20,000 questions have been asked and answered on her website.[4]

April Masini has won a following as an expert on dating and relationships who supports traditional gender roles and argues that the feminist movement damaged relationships in America. Commenting on reality TV, she has said: "The new man that women are looking for is rugged and fearless – and reality TV has capitalized and is bringing women 'the new firemen': men who go into swamps and catch big fish with their bare hands, mano a mano."[5] When asked about celebrity marriages, she has said: "Generally speaking, I think it's very difficult to have two stars in a family competing for the spotlight. There are obviously cases where it seems to work well — like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt — but I think the reason their relationship works so well is that their primary focus is on their kids. And they're both mega-stars." In most cases, however, "It's too difficult to have two people in the same line of work fighting for attention and recognition."[6]

As an advice columnist, Masini is supportive of relationships between deployed American troops and the relationships and families they leave behind when overseas or in training and away from home. She advises military spouses with young children: "Keep a scrapbook of everything that goes on with you and the children while he’s gone, so that you can cuddle up with him when he returns and go over each page."[7] Numerous questions from those connected to the military have been answered on her forum.[8]

Masini has conservative political views and has been consulted on a range of political issues. When asked how conservatives should respond to the 2012 Supreme Court decision upholding President Obama’s health care legislation, where Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the majority, she commented: "If you're considering a Democratic ticket in the November election as a way to show Roberts that nobody messes with you and walks away unscathed, reconsider," she said. "It backfires, and while you may feel good about being an ass — I mean, donkey — you'll ultimately be betraying yourself."[1] Masini advises dating within your own political party: "You can cross party lines, but don't you think you'll be happier with someone who sees things the way you do when it comes to issues like the death penalty, gun control and abortion?"[9] She argues that opposites may attract in the short term, but not for going the distance: “Typically, an ‘oil and water’ combo proves to be more than most can handle.”[10] When ABC News asked her in 2007 about Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, she responded, "There are exceptions. They're not the sort of couple you see every day."[11]

April Masini has offered “celebrity love lessons” on MSN, where she suggested the advantages of the low-key approach taken by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard.[12] The Daily News has reported her comments on why celebrity men such as Ashton Kutcher and Brad Pitt are suddenly dating Hollywood’s single moms.[13] And ABC News has sought her matchmaking advice for rapper Eminem (former beauty queen Shanna Moakler) and Jennifer Aniston (alternatively, John Cusack, Quentin Tarantino, or Jake Gyllenhaal.[14])

US News & World Report made April Masini their primary source in their “Tipping Bible” (Your Ultimate Tipping Guide).[15] She has been quoted on tipping etiquette in The Los Angeles Times (Advice on Tipping While Traveling Abroad[16]) and interviewed by The Wall Street Journal (10 People You’re Not Tipping Enough[17][18]), Yahoo! Finance and Marketwatch, as well as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Tipping is a way of life in U.S., but how much is right?[19]) for tipping etiquette pieces as well.

Known as “the new millennium’s Dear Abby,”[20] Masini has appeared as a featured guest on the The O'Reilly Factor, as a panelist on Ricki Lake, and as host of Everything You Need to Know About Sex.[21] In 2007, Old Spice hired her as the Dating and Relationship Editor for its “Voice of Experience” campaign, announcing that “Nationally recognized relationship expert and author April Masini––featured everywhere from Maxim to The New York Times––will give the female perspective on what guys need to have a dating streak to be envied.”[22][23]

April Masini offers advice to people of different ages, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.[24][25][26] Although the focus of her forum is dating and relationships, she has been called on by the media for her opinion on a range of issues, including the relationships of sports teams with their fans (New York Times),[27] television and movies (USA Today),[5] the selling of beer and wine by Starbucks (The Christian Science Monitor),[28] and proper etiquette in changing a baby's diaper on a plane (Los Angeles Times),[29] along with every imaginable dating and relationship question or opinion. Her comments have been sought by Medill Reports-Chicago, a publication of Northwestern University’s journalism school, for an article on racism;[30] and she has been interviewed on the subject of college athletic recruiting.[31]

April Masini's work as a columnist has appeared in Yahoo! Personals,[32] Florida Weekly,[33] Balance Magazine,[34][35] BlackStudents.com,[36] and eBella Magazine, where her column has been running monthly since 2008.[37][38][39] She has been interviewed for articles in (among others) The New York Times,[40] USA Today,[41] the Christian Science Monitor,[42] New York Daily News,[13] Today,[43] Elle Canada,[44] the Chicago Sun-Times,[45] Fox News,[46] ABC News,[47] and Telemundo,[48] and she is a regular contributor to MSN,[49][50] Men's Health Magazine,[51][52] Happen Magazine,[53][54] and Univision.[55][56]

Prior to her career as an advice columnist, April Masini worked—first with her former husband, Al Masini, and then independently—on a number of projects that led to the expansion of the television and film industry in Hawaii. The Masinis produced and organized the 1998 Miss Universe Pageant, successfully lobbying the Hawaii legislature for $3.3 million to fund the event, which brought delegations from 85 countries to Hawaii, each with its own news media. Al Masini was the pageant’s producer for Hawaii, while April Masini served as co-chair and event coordinator,[57][58] both working for nearly a year without pay.[59] In 1998, Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano acknowledged the couple’s contribution to the state by proclaiming June 4th of that year “Al and April Masini Day.”[60]

In 1999, April Masini persuaded Greg Bonann, executive producer of Baywatch, to move the television show to Hawaii for three years, instead of the proposed move to Australia. Masini reached out to the governor and legislators of Hawaii, who then advocated for the move;[61] and she was “relentless in her pursuit” of the Baywatch producers, who “eventually gave in and added ‘Hawaii’ to the show’s name.”[62] Coming at a time of economic downturn, the move paved the way in 2001 for Hawaii’s Act 221, designed to develop the state’s high-technology industry through the use of tax incentives.

In 1999, production costs in Hawaii were significantly higher than in Australia, with its favorable tax codes.[63] To lure Baywatch, Hawaii offered the show’s producers an incentives package that included $2 million in soundstage and shoreside facilities improvements. To make the Hawaii production affordable, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees agreed to 12–15 percent wage cuts, while Governor Ben Cayetano cut a deal with the Teamsters Local 399 in Los Angeles to improve wages and working conditions for the drivers.[64]

According to Bonann, Baywatch Hawaii was "one of the reasons" prompting Hawaii to adopt Act 221. The show brought more than $30 million to the state's economy, with local actors appearing in lead roles, local musical talent contributing to every episode, and local professionals making up 80 percent of the crew.[65]

In 2001, Ms. Magazine criticized April Masini for her involvement with Baywatch.[66]

In 1999, April Masini helped the highly rated cable show, Pacific Blue, film a two-part episode in Hawaii by contacting executive producer Bill Nuss, “who was vacationing in Kona, and talking him into bringing the show here at least for a couple of episodes,” according to Nuss. Filmed primarily in and around Waikiki, the episodes were Pacific Blue’s first-ever filming outside California. In bringing the show to Hawaii, Nuss hoped to prove that a cable or network series could afford to film in the state.[67]

Also in 1999, April Masini was a producer on Destination Stardom.[68]

In 2002, April Masini was the first to use Hawaii's newly passed Act 221, designed to develop the state’s technology industry. In August 2002, right after the bill was signed, she brought the tax incentives to the attention of Universal Studios for the financing of Surf Girls, according to Joe Blanco, technology advisor to Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano. Through Act 221, she then raised approximately $16 million in financing for the film, which was renamed Blue Crush.[69] Based on a magazine article entitled "Surf Girls of Maui," by Susan Orlean, Blue Crush was praised by Slate.com’s Greg Milner as “a sharp depiction—both in its details and its symbolism—of life in Hawaii” and as a film that “makes surfing feel like real life,”[70]

Los Angeles-based entertainment attorney John LaViolette of Bloom Hergott Deimer and Cook, which represents Hollywood A-list actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester, commented: “This is the first time that I have heard of a studio making a commitment to foster a mutually beneficial cross promotion between the film and the location where it's been shot.” LaViolette worked in conjunction with producers April Masini and Adam Fields, who advised the State of Hawaii during the negotiation. The resulting agreement formed a relationship between Universal Studios and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, by which Universal Studios agreed to promote the state along with the movie in exchange for funding.[71]

Blue Crush was eligible for Act 221 funding because the state law included performing arts within its definition of qualified high-tech businesses.[72] As the top 2001 top beneficiary of the tax credit program, the film came under fire from critics such as David Watumull, president and CEO of Hawaii Biotech. Watumull argued that the law had not “contemplated the dollar amounts that are going into movies, which are then taking those dollars away from high-tech and biotech companies," adding, "I'm also not sure that the law contemplated the short-term nature of movie projects."[73]

However, Masini’s efforts to bring film and television to Hawaii, along with the marketing, promotional, and tourism dollars they offer, continued to pay off years after the productions had left. In 2004, for example, Blue Crush was featured in a U.S. Department of Commerce marketing campaign to lure British travelers to America. Hawaii’s contribution to the campaign, seen on the walls of the London underground and on street billboards, was an image from Blue Crush of a surfer catching a wave.[74]

In October 2002, April Masini brought a malpractice and fraud complaint against Cades Schutte, one of Hawaii’s oldest and largest law firms, and Cades Schutte partner Vito Galati, claiming the firm had conspired to limit her profits in the Blue Crush deal.[75]

Personal[edit]

April Masini was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina[20] to Robert "Bob" Barry, director of Vietnam Veterans of America,[76] and author and educator June Stride.[77][78] She grew up in Clarkesville, Georgia.[20]

April Masini moved to New York City in 1983 to study business at Hofstra University but soon withdrew from college to pursue a career in television acting and modeling. She studied at The Actors Studio and performed Off-Broadway and in television pilots, commercials, and soap operas. In the early 1990s, she met Al Masini, to whom she was married from 1995–1999. The Masinis relocated to Hawaii in 1995, and April Masini remained there until 2000.[79] She now lives in Florida with her second husband, consultant Philip Spencer. Although regarded as politically conservative, she supported the 1994 and 1998 campaigns of Hawaii Governor Ben Cayetano, a Democrat,[80] and she is socially liberal in some respects.

Books[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Becker, Kathy. "Person to Watch: The Queen of Hearts". Naples Illustrated. Retrieved February 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ Masini, April, Ask April, retrieved 12 April 2012 
  5. ^ a b Memmott, Carol (March 16, 2012). "Rednecks Swamp TV as Viewers Seek Grittier 'Reality’". USA Today. 
  6. ^ Loud, Rod (April 11, 2008). "Nannies and the Famous Men Who Love Them". OK! Magazine. 
  7. ^ Murdock, Kathy. "When Daddy's Deployed: Creating Strong Bonds with Your Baby". EverydayFamily. 
  8. ^ Masini, April, Ask April, retrieved 12 April 2012 
  9. ^ Buck, Wolf (January 6, 2012). "Celebrate National Singles Week". ABC News. 
  10. ^ Masini, April, Ask April, retrieved 12 April 2012 
  11. ^ Wolf, Buck (April 10, 2007). "Celebrate National Singles Week". ABC News. 
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  31. ^ Weston, Alonza (March 26, 2012). "Why Do Some Universities Recruit Talented Black Athletes Yet Fail To Seek Out Academically Talented Black Students?". USA Rise Up. 
  32. ^ Masini, April (June 20, 2008). "Dating Secret Exposed: Why Nice Guys Finish Last". Yahoo! Personals. 
  33. ^ Masini, April (February 9, 2012). "Cupid Costs Money: Can You Afford to Date?". Florida Weekly. 
  34. ^ Masini, April (Fall 2006, Vol. 7:4, 52–53). "Rules for Dating Your Co-Worker (or Your Boss)". Balance Magazine.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  35. ^ Masini, April (Winter 2007 Vol. 8:1, 68-69). "Second Time Around". Balance Magazine.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  36. ^ Masini, April. "Dating On Campus: 10 Lessons To Spice Up Your Social Life". BlackStudents.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  37. ^ Masini, April (September 2008, 57). "Man Hunt". eBella.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  38. ^ Masini, April (August 2009, 52). "Rumor and Consequences: The Other Side of the Divorce Story". eBella.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  39. ^ Masini, April (January 2011, 62). "Role Reversal". eBella.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  40. ^ Belkin, Lisa (August 28, 2005). "The Fairway Isn’t the Only Way to Bond". The New York Times. 
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  43. ^ Daum, Meghan (July 11, 2008). "Secret to Feeling Sexy; It’s All in the Mind". Today. 
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  45. ^ Wiser, Page (June 12, 2007). "Rebuilding Paris". Chicago Sun-Times. 
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  59. ^ "E Ala, E Kohua". Miss Universe Organization: 1998 Miss Universe Hawaii Official Program, page 32. May 12, 1998. 
  60. ^ "Governor Cayetano Honors Al and April Masini". State of Hawaii Office of the Governor. June 2, 1998. 
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  80. ^ Donnelly, Dave (December 11, 1998). "Gilliom Films Holiday Special". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 

External links[edit]