October 28, 2004

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Baldwin Herald

IT’S A DOG’S LIFE

By Jesse Sherer Baldwinite’s new children’s book aims to win over kids and animal lovers alike. Diane Corrado spent much of her childhood surrounded by the world of music and performing arts. After moving to Baldwin with her family at the age of 5, she took ballet lessons, tap classes, and voice training to refine her artistic gifts. The lessons worked, as she spent much of her free time on stage singing, dancing and acting while a student at Baldwin Senior High School. Today, this mother of two has expanded her audience, singing for children and animal lovers. She is the president of Kidz Entertainment, Inc., and the creator and the voice behind “Show Dogs”, a compilation of music, art, and reading for young children and animal lovers alike. “Show Dogs” is a children’s picture book complete with easy-to-read words, but also contains piano and guitar music sheets, as well as a CD for kids to sing along with the words (and lyrics) of the story they are reading. Corrado is very proud of the finished product. “This combines the worlds of children, music and animals” she said. In addition, Corrado is also marketing a music CD greeting card for all occasions, with lyrics written especially for animal lovers. Corrado got the inspiration for “Show Dog” in 2001, when she was asked by Bellmore resident Leslye Abbey to contribute a song for the “dogumentary” film, “Caution: Show Dogs”. Her song, which she describes as being “a little ragtime”, told the story of a show dog. The movie didn’t smash any box office records, but it did win Corrado some fans. She received several calls from people saying they enjoyed her song. “I got so much praise on this song that I decided to develop other intellectual properties from it”, she said. Her “Say It With Song” card line came first, and the reception was positive, Corrado said. “It’s just a completely different idea,” she said. “There was nothing else like it.” She then commissioned an illustrator to capture the words of her song in kid-friendly illustrations. The feedback was again positive, Corrado said. She took the idea one step further, and asked the illustrator to produce sketches, so kids readhing along could color the picture themselves. Thus, the coloring book was born. Corrado is marketing all of her products herself, which appears on her Website, Chanteusemusic.com. This can be an arduous task, she said. She is hunting for a publishing company to pick up her idea, so she can spread the gift of song to animal lovers all around the country, and help keep her from spreading herself too thin. She holds down two other jobs besides her singing and writing. “I’m like a one man band here,” she said. Until then, though, she will market her items herself. Retailers in other areas of the country are buying her items in greater numbers than local outlets, she said. The book, complete with CD and music sheet, is available for $14.95. The coloring book sells for $4.95. Next on the horizon for Corrado is, naturally, “Show Cats”. “If there’s one for dogs, of course there has to be one for cats,” she said.
April 04, 2004

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Long Island Entertainment - Long Island Books

SHOW DOG

Written by Diane Corrado, Illustrated by Robin Kramer Maybe you've seen Christopher Guest's movie spoof, Best In Show. Well, now, here's the real thing -- a book about show dogs and their owners -- with a coloring book and CD, too!  Diane Corrado has written a wonderful children's book called Show Dog, with kid-friendly drawings of many pedigree show dogs by Robin Kramer. Children are introduced to the world of show dogs from the cute Chihuahua to the big Great Dane. Children can identify different types of dogs by sight and by name while learning about the lifestyle of a show dog owner.  For example, the illustration of the Chinese Crested with its owner drowining in a sea of dirty dishes in the background shows how household chores can sometimes take a back seat to the lovable dogs. This is a good book for children who love animals and may want to work with animals. Robin Kramer's illustrations capture the friendliness of many different breeds.  The best illustrations show the mischievousness that children will giggle at.  Dalmations, cross-eyed and eager to play, press their noses and paws up against a window; a Brittany Spaniel and Pekingese, one slobbering on the desk and one chewing a bone, coax their owner from the computer to play; and the Lhasa Apsos, peeking out from behind a couch, roll around and shed all over the place. These scenes are a delight! The book is accompanied by a CD with a catchy song also called "Show Dog", as co-written by Dine Corrado and Mark Eisemann and sung by Corrado. The sheet music for the song is included in the book so that children and their parents may sing along to fun lines like "Now the housekeeping suffered but we never cared 'cause it's only a few nose prints and a little more hair!" The song is simple and catchy enough that those who play instruments may also play along. The song was chosen as the theme song for a documentary on show dogs by award-winning filmmaker, Leslye Abbey, called Caution: Show Dogs.  The documentary was signed to international distribution by the Cinema Guild of NYC. The book Show Dog works on many learning and creative levels.  Children learn about the different types of show dogs, the lifestyle of the show dog owner, playing and listening to music, and counting the number of dogs (twenty-two in all). I would recommend this book for children ages three and up. There is also a Show Dog coloring book which features the same drawings as are in the book, but the spaces are left blank so the children may color them in. Choosing colors for the dogs is another way for children to enter the world of show dogs and express their own creativeness. Both Show Dog and the Show Dog coloring book will be available online at www.21stcenturymusicradio.com.  They both make wonderful gifts for your child. - Kate Donohue
June 03, 2003

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Long Island Entertainment

Producer & Videographer: Leslye Abbey/Snowflake Productions Directed By: David Patrick & Leslye Abbey Edited By: Michael Zombro/Aerolith/Diaspora Studios Narrated By: Diane Corrado Ever sit down and ponder how many parallel universes are going on all over the planet simultaneously? You could sit at a busstop with five people and though you’re all sharing that space for a brief time, the interests, passions and realities each person subscribes to may have very little to do with any of the others. After viewingCaution: Show Dogs, you may feel as it you’ve been transported to a world dimensions away, but you certainly will return from the journey with a whole new concept of sensibilities. Billed as a “Dogumentary” and opening in select theatres on the Island this month, Caution: Show Dogs is the fruit of videographer Leslye Abbey’s obvious love for dogs, competitive shows and unusual people. Co-directing with David Patrick, Abbey shows a knack for keeping a documentary moving, neatly assembling a lot of amusing and idiosyncratic profiles of individuals who define themselves through unique dogs. Editor Michael Zamboro does a stellar job of slicing and splicing to keep the piece rolling nicely. What will no doubt make it a little more interesting to Islanders is that the show people in the spotlight here are from our backyard. For those of you who caught Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy’s brilliant 2001 film, Best In Show, a superb goof on the subject of elite Dog Shows and the people and pets that make them what they are, Caution will serve to remind you just how letter-perfect Guest’s spoof was. For those unfamiliar with Guest’s riotously funny send-up (He’s currently basking in the glow of A Mighty Wind), Caution will provide a relentless parade of laughs as well…some intentional, some just the bi-product of unusual personalities that can’t control their obsessions. The wide variety of show dogs are sometimes beautiful, sometimes magnetically unusual and, in the case of the puppies, terrific fun. Abbey doesn’t miss an opportunity to capture the dogs doing their things, using her sharp eye to catalogue everything from the dogs in performance to behind-the-scenes insights like breeding and training. The film will function equally well for the devoted fan of this world and the passing, uninformed fancy that wants to learn. What really makes the picture, however, are the people who devote their lives to their animals, from a woman who wants to be buried with the ashes of her dogs that have passed before her to recollections of people that have been in the shows for years. There are plenty of funny moments, ranging from the intentional (A person who’s not shy about talking about a judge they resent) to the unintentional (A dog that won’t stop growling throughout an interview). There’s plenty of “quirky” running throughout. With a fine musical score by Don Sands, who playfully soundtracks the mood, a cute theme song sung by Diane Corrado, distinguished recording artist and local radio personality (who also narrates with dynamic enthusiasm), Caution: Show Dogs provides a lot of fun moments because it succeeds on a lot of different levels. Leslye Abbey has a nice touch for film-making and this should be another fine cog in an evolving career. For further information, you can visit them at snowflake.com. If you love animals or unusual people, Caution: Show Dogs will be the cat’s pajamas to you.
February 03, 2003

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The Bellmore Herald

“It’s essentially about funny people and beautiful dogs.” That’s how Bellmorite Leslye Abbey characterizes her new documentary, “Caution: Show Dogs!”, which premiered at the Malverne Cinema on Jan. 30. A packed audience laughed and cheered throughout the 108-minute feature that highlighted the dedication and hard work of dog breeders.The film was co-directed by Abbey’s friend and mentor, David Patrick, of Freeport.The theme song, which drew high praise from the audience, was written by Diane Corrado of Baldwin. “I couldn’t have done with without them,” Abbey said. “And that theme song…it was wonderful! People are constantly asking to buy a CD of it!” You don’t have to be a show dog owner to enjoy this film, but it helps. While educational and entertaining to those who have never entered a competitive ring, veterans of the sport raved about the film’s humor and depth. “Caution: Show Dogs” revolves around four top dog breeders and their love affair with their breeds of choice. The Chinese Crested, Lhasa Apsa, Australian Shephard, and Afghan Hound are featured. Leslye Abbey is no stranger to film-making. Creator of Snowflake Productions, Abbey has traveled the globe in a quest to make films that reflect the human spirit. She found her passion in New Mexico, as a clinical and cultural social worker with Southwestern Indians. In 1998, she traveled to India and Nepal to create “Dharamasala/Tibet in Exile”, a film about the exiled government of Tibet and the struggles and dreams of the Tibetan people under Communist Chineses rule. The film won the Humanitarian Award at the Long Island International Film Festival. Her second documentary, “Bob’s Rolling Reefer”, won the 2000 Long Island Film Festival Best Documentary Award. Abbey had bred and shon Lhasa Apsas in the late 1960s and has since wanted to make a movie about dogs. “The animal spirit is very powerful”, she said, “and it lead me to do this film. This was a very spiritual project for me.” Abbey began filming in 2000, a process she described as very difficult, “though the dog owners themselves were wonderful and helpful.” “Dog shows are a subculture all their own, and the manifestation of human expression and bond with an animal is extraordinary. “I wanted to make this movie to let dog people laugh at themselves, expose the politics and explore the intimacy of breeders and dogs as they endeavor to perfect the genes of show dogs.” In fact, Snowflake Productions was inspired by Snowflake, a Lhasa Ahpsa owned by Abbey. Abbey is currently looking for a distributor for her video of the movie, T-shirts, and theme song, all of which sold very well at the premier. Other Snowflake documentaries include “Cindy the Tattoo Maven” and “Iowa State Fair”. She is now seeking funding for two new projects, one about the Cajun people and their struggle to retain their lifestyle on the Atchafalaya River basin in Louisiana, and another about a leprosy colony in Senegal. Abbey is looking to show “Caution: Show Dogs” again at a time to be determined. For questions, or to purchase a video, contact Leslye Abbey at (516)679-8216 or e-mail snowflakevideo@aol.com. Visit the web-site at: www.snowflakevideo.com. - Howard Goldstein