Welcome to The Kids From Fame Media Blog

I'm Mark & I've Been a Fame fan since 1982. This blog is dedicated to the incredibly talented cast of the show and is a place to share music, videos and pictures. To contact me please send emails to: mark1814uk@googlemail.com

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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Fame News Holiday Break!

I hope everyone had a good 30th anniversary on Sunday. There were certainly lots of comments and messages flying backwards and forwards on Facebook so that was interesting. I also hoped people were able to re-watch "Metamorphosis" on Sunday too. 

I intended to watch each episode of the first season on it's 30th Anniversary so have put the next 2 episodes at the end of this post ready for the next 2 Sundays as we are now away on holiday for the next few weeks. 

Kids From Fame Media will return for all new posts starting on Monday July 2nd.

Happy Birthday in Advance to Erica Gimpel who will 48 on June 25th.

Best Wishes,


Doris Schwartz Time and Again Season 3 Episode 2

Season 3 of my fan fiction story "Doris Schwartz Time and Again" contiues with Episode 2 titled "Pick Up The Broken Pieces Part 2". The title comes from the season 4 song "Broken Pieces".

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The Dance Class perform to an Instrumental version of Controversy by Prince in the season 1 episode "Come One Come All".

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Do The Gimme That - Pr Paul & Valerie Landsburg

"Do The Gimme That" comes from the season 1 episode "A Musical Bridge". Performed by Valerie Landsburg and PR Paul, it is Written by Sue Sheridan and Barry Fasman.

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Get Down Shorofsky Instrumental

This instrumental music comes from the season 1 episode "A Musical Bridge". I'm not sure what it's called so I refer to it as "Get Down Shorofsky.

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Sing, Sing, Sing - Instrumental

"Sing, Sing, Sing" is an instrumental dance track that comes from the season 1 episode "Come One Come All". Written by Louis Prima this was arranged by Fame composer William Goldstein.

Sho Sho Sho Shorofsky - Lee Curreri

"Sho Sho Sho Shorofsky" comes from the Season 1 episode "A Musical Bridge" written by Lee Curreri with Steve Sperry, it is performed by Lee.

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Usually in the Italian dubbed versions of the Fame episodes the songs were sung in English. However, in the Season 1 episode "A Musical Bridge" the first time "Sho Sho Sho Shorofsky" was performed it was dubbed into Italian to give the audience a better understanding of what Bruno was singing about.

Thanks to Michele for the video and for the translation back to English.

Download Italian MP3 

Evolution of Dance

Evolution of Dance comes from the seaosn 1 episode "Come One Come All"

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Monday, 18 June 2012

Fame 30th Anniversary Review

Fame 30th Anniversary Review:

Having reviewed “Metamorphosis” a number of times in the past I decided to come at things from a slightly different angle.

I recently bought the first season DVD for a friend, who eventually watched all the episodes, but commented that he found it a little dated!
I was surprised to hear that because personally I think “Fame” has aged very well. There are other older shows that I find dated but "Fame" has never been one of them. I love the 80s period so maybe I’m just biased. So that got me thinking what the show would be like if it was being made now and how different it would be.
Firstly, I did think the cast would probably be thinner and far more glamorous. No offence to any of the cast I just think that's what TV companies are looking for. Also I’m suspecting that characters like Shorofsky and Mrs Berg would actually appear younger as the producers would no doubt feel that the audience wouldn't relate to older people!

Then of course the show would actually be shorter by 5 to 7 minutes so we could fit in far more adverts! This means we'd have no opening titles to get us in the mood for the show and no Lydia's "You Want Fame" Speech each week! So far I'm not liking a modern version, give me so called dated, every time! 
The main difference I think would be, everyone would be obsessed with technology and mobile (Cell) phones would be in abundance. I can just imagine the scene in Sherwood’s English Class with student’s phones constantly going off. “I said Silence!”
I’m sure there would be some fun to be had with Shorofsky continually protesting about how much he hates the damn phones! Also Mrs Berg struggling to send a text or get to grips with a phone could be hilarious!
At least technology would make things easier for Bruno and his family, with no more having to lug large synthesizers around as everything would be much smaller and he’d probably have everything on a lap top!
The Internet would no doubt be a major part of the drama with Coco uploading her performances to You Tube to broadcast to her growing fan club! I can imagine her feeling as though she was actually achieving her dreams the more views her videos actually got. That is until one of the teachers gave her a good talking to and pointing out that she wasn’t actually making a living out of her online videos regardless of how many hits she got!
Students would probably be using Facebook not only as a popularity contest but also to try and hook up with agents, writers, producers, basically anyone in the Business who could help them further their own careers.
It wouldn’t just be on the show that technology would come into play. No doubt in real life, we’d have an official website, Facebook and Youtube channel to broadcast every bit of promotion for the show. Then we’d have musical downloads galore, just like “Glee” does. I wouldn’t be surprised if the musical numbers increased, when some greedy executive realised there was money to be made from the downloads.
Although, I’m being cynical about that at least as fans we would have the music available properly and not have someone like me rip the audio from the episodes.
We’d also have no problems getting our precious show out on DVD as we would see each season released quickly as most current TV shows are now.    
One character maybe more would be gay opening up a load of different storylines that the original never covered. I’m guessing Montgomery would fill this role but I would actually quite like to see a gay teacher too, so was thinking along the line of Reardon.
I think Doris would be more obsessed with her body image and not just her weight but possibly wanting to have plastic surgery to change the things she doesn’t like about herself.
Whatever the difference between then and now some things would have to stay the same. We’d still want the same great character, energy, fun, determination, hard work and most of all the wonderful inspiration that has kept us interested for the last 30 years!
From watching again the only thing I picked up on that I'd never realised before was the dancers don't actually get a credit on the first season. Initially I assumed it was just on the Pilot episode but have gone back and checked other episodes and they aren't listed in any of the first season.
I know Debbie had to fight hard for the dancers to get a credit and had always thought she'd won that battle before the series aired. Now it looks like it was between the first 2 seasons as the first credit comes with the opening of season 2.  

Cast Of Fame Then and Now

The cast members Then and Now pictures video. As we remember them back when they first appeared in Fame and as the are now. The actual pictures will be accessible on the new  30th Anniversary site that.

30th Anniversary Site open

The School of the Arts 30th Anniversary website is now open.

Bringing together a number of my sites in one location, with some new features.

The Website can be found at:



It's Gonna Be A Long Night - Lori Singer

"It's Gonna Be A long Night" comes from the season 1 episode "Expose". It is written by Gary Portnoy & Estelle Levitt and  performed by Lori Singer.

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Mannequin - Gene Anthony Ray

"Mannequin" comes from the season 1 episode "Expose". It is performed by Gene Anthony Ray and Written by Henry Gaffney.

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Friday, 15 June 2012

Happy 30th Anniversary to Fame!

30 Years of Fame!

It’s hard to believe that “Fame” has been a part of our lives for 30 years now! Who would have thought in 1982 that a television show, that actually when I first watched I knew very little about, would become such an important part of my life? I’d not seen or heard of the original movie so it was really only the promo the BBC kept showing that intrigued me and of course how instantly catchy the theme song was. Again it hadn’t really been a hit in the U.K. when it was first released in 1980 so again it was totally new to me but after a few listens to it in that TV promo, I knew I’d be tuning in to see that first episode. Which left me on such a high that I was hooked straight away and have been ever since?

For me the key seems to be that the show inspired us in so many ways. On a basic level it inspired many to follow their own dreams of becoming performers. Many who thought they weren’t good enough or special enough watched and started to believe in themselves, thinking “I can do this too”. Leroy made it cool particularly for boys to want to be dancers.

However, that inspiration runs so much deeper than just inspiring people to be performers. I’ve lost count of the number of people, who like me, have said for various reasons that they felt lost at that time in lives. Particularly it seems people who were struggling with sexuality, bullying, disability, loneliness (this list is not exhaustive) latched on to the show, its characters and its cast and there was for the first time some hope.

For the first time, well at least it seemed that way to me, we had fully believable three dimensional characters and it didn’t matter what their gender was, or their sexuality, or their race, age, colour, culture, faith, or physical appearance, “Fame” taught us everyone is equally important.

Just seeing such a diverse cast of people working hard to create something special both on screen and off. Where everyone was given equal opportunity to grow and shine gave hope to “misfits” like me that we too can dream of finding our own place in this World and actually be happy too. That underneath everything we are all the same and we all have that need to feel special, whether it be as a performer or as a human being. That regardless of what anyone else said or did we had just as much right to our dreams as other people did.

For many of us these were important life lessons, throw in the singing, dancing and feel good stories and it’s not hard to see why “Fame” struck a chord with so many of us and why we’ve been so loyal to the show even after all these years.

I still get that thrill of excitement when I find something new connected to the show and the cast that I’ve never seen or heard before. Whether it is a picture or an interview or some performance, I feel the same as I did as a teenager when I found “Fame” related things then too. That was my inspiration for creating “Kids From Fame Media” to share some of these things with everyone else and make them easily available to the diehard fans that keep the memory of the show alive even though it actually went off the air 25 years ago.

We should all take a moment on Sunday 17th to remember what we all love about the show and how it has impacted on our lives. I also hope as many of you as possible will join me in re-watching that first episode on Sunday, either online or on DVD, as a way of remembering and paying tribute to the show we love.

I’d like to thank the cast, crew, writers, producers, dancers, songwriters and executives for making a wonderful show that they can all be proud of, knowing it really touched the hearts of a generation and continues to touch and inspire people today, 30 years later.

I also like to thank you the fans, without us the show would have been forgotten a long time ago. Your emails and messages continue to inspire me to keep this site going, for all to enjoy.

I raise my glass and salute you all, Happy 30th Anniversary, Fame!

We hope you “Live Forever”,

Love Mark.

Erica Gimpel I Still Believe In Me Italian Concert 2011

Erica Gimpel performs a wonderful version of "I Still Believe In Me" at the Fame concert in Parma 2011. Apologies for the quality but it was impossible to download the video and I wanted it on the site as it seemed a very appropriate post to celebrate the 30th anniversary. So I had to resort to recording it with my camera while it played on my computer!!.

Click the link to view the original video which also see Erica performing "Love Will Come Back To Me" and "Spread Your Wings and Fly". Click on the 2nd picture of Erica to view.

View Original Video

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Hot Lunch Jam - Irene Cara

"Hot Lunch" written by Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford, is performed by Irene Cara and comes from the Season 1 episode "A Special Place".  The song also comes from the original Fame Movie.

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A Special Place - Debbie Allen

"A Special Place" performed by Debbie Allen comes frome the season 1 episode of the same name, written by William Goldstein and Sue Sheridan.

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This is the Jay LB London Studio Mix.

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With Thanks to Jeremy for sending me this.

Starmaker - The Kids from fame

"Starmaker" comes from the season 1 episodes "The Strike" and "A Special Place". Written by Carol Bayer Sager and Bruce Roberts and is performed by Debbie Allen, Lee Curreri, Erica Gimpel, Carlo Imperato, Valerie Landsburg, PR Paul, Lori Singer and Gene Anthony Ray. Erica does not appear on the "A Special Place" episode version. "The Strike" episode version is an edit of the album version but has an ending rather than the fade out.

Download album MP3

Download A Special Place MP3

Download The Strike MP3


A Tribute To Michael Thoma

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Christina Wlazlowski What Fame Means To Me

What Fame Means to Me By Christina Wlazlowski
Fame was the tv show that taught me about dreams. With it's music and dancing it just lit up my eyes to watch. 
It took a little shy girl and made her want to try something new. What a surprise when I found out I had talent too. 
It introduced me to a world that became a shelter and an outlet for a world filled with pain. You see my mom was never around when I was growing up she was always sick since she had a kidney transplant when I was five and had a stroke when I was born. My dad worked all the time so I rarely saw him I spent my time with my grandparents. My mom was a singer and my Dad didn't like me performing he wanted me to stay home and take care of my mom. I'll never forget my first dance recital getting roses from my Dad , he had tears in his eyes. And later on in 8th grade I did the theme song from fame onstage and was surprised to see my mom in the first row. I later did acting , sang in clubs , taught dance. Enjoyed doing Shakespeare plays and reading thanks to Elizabeth Sherwood played by Carol Mayo Jenkins.
I worked part time in a book store and was the one people came to regarding classics, Shakespeare, and plays. Later on I turned into writing short stories, ,music, poetry, novels, and plays. I never would have received the happiness I had gotten performing, and teaching and writing If I had not seen the show fame and if I had not learned to believe in myself, and not be afraid to try. Fame will always have a very special place in my heart. Some of the songs I used to do for professional auditions were from the show. I'm happy to say that I have turned some of the younger generation into fame fans now. I only hope these words are enough to give back to you to show how much the show meant to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Elisa Heinsohn on Fame

Exclusive message from Elisa Heinsohn for Kids From Fame Media for the Fame 30th Anniversary.

"Happy 30th anniversary Fame! 

It was one of my all time favorite shows ever, way long before I got on the show. And definitely one of my favorite jobs to date. Jillian Beckett experienced it all, way more than I did in high school. 

It's a fantastic show! Wish it could've 'lived forever', but then again maybe it is!

Thanks to everybody who watched and are still watching!
Love and peace to you all!


Brigitte M What Fame Means To Me

WHAT FAME MEANS TO ME by Brigitte M (councel at law)

When Fame was broadcasted in France on March 1982, I was 10. I was  immediately moved by the very special place the school was. Teachers were very attentive toward the talented and sensitive kids. They helped them to go through problems and ordeals. It was the school where I would have liked to study!

Fame learned me a lot. The show inspired me to follow my dreams and never give up. I was amazed at Doris and Coco's endless energy. I also admired Lydia and Bruno because they reached perfection in everything they did.

I'm getting old  but Fame is always close to my heart. I  have the opportunity  to fly to New York often enought and it's moving for me to be in the city where Fame took place. The show is the best memory of my childhood. And The school of Arts will always be a special place for me.

Laura Shank What Fame Means To Me

What Fame Means To Me by Laura Schank:

I was born in April of 1983 at the height of Fame's popularity.

I missed out on watching the original run as well as the reruns, due to the fact at a young age I was more into the cartoons and kiddy shows.
However, I am a huge fan of anything retro from music to TV shows.

A friend on Facebook got me hooked on it just a few years ago, so I guess you can say I'm a second generation fan. After watching a few clips  on Youtube, I fell in love with the show got the first two seasons on DVD. I enjoyed all the characters, but if I had to pick only one as my favorite it would be Bruno, being a musician myself (though I play guitar not piano). I believe that Lee was born to play that role. I'm such a huge fan of the songs that he wrote for the series and I'm now teaching myself to play them on the guitar.

My second fave would be Doris, who can act and sing equally amazing. The part had Valerie's name written all over it.

People are forgetting on what an impact this series had on TV.  Seeing programs today like Glee, High School Musical, Victorious, and How to Rock are just copying what Fame did 30 years ago. Don't get wrong though, I happen to be a fan of Glee as well, but in my honest opinion if it hadn't been for Fame, none of those other programs I mentioned would not exist today.

Hope - Gene Anthony Ray

"Hope" comes from the season 1 episode "Reunions". It is written by Paul Jabara and Bob Esty and is performed by Gene Anthony Ray

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Sherwood Dances Instrumental

In the season 1 episode "The Crazies" Sherwood learns to dance. Here's the Instrumental music she dances to.

Carnival - Debbie Allen

"Carnival" is written by Henry Thompson & Vanessa Dale and is performed by Debbie Allen, from the season 1 episode "The Crazies".

I Was Only Trying To Help - Valerie Landsburg

"I Was Only Trying to Help" is performed by Valerie Landsburg and comes from the Season 1 episode "The Crazies". It is written by Gary Portnoy and Ruth Rosen.

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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Liz Nimoy What Fame Means To Me

What Fame Means To Me By Liz Nimoy:

My name is Liz. I am sixteen years old, and I have no idea how I would have made it through the past few years of my life had I never discovered Fame.

For me, Fame has always been something to identify with. Not that I’m extraordinarily talented in any areas of the performing arts, though I do enjoy them. I’m a less-than-graceful dancer, a forgetful actress. The only type of performing art worth mentioning that I have participated in has been my singing. I’m a mediocre guitarist, but I have a decent enough soprano voice that I have gotten several awards for it. However, severe stage fright often keeps me from indulging in much performance outside of my high school’s choir.

When I first discovered Fame, it was the year 2009 and I was only fourteen years old. I’ll never forget the night my mother came home from grocery shopping and handed me the DVD, the original 1980 film. The idea of a school set especially apart for kids talented in the performing arts fascinated me, and I fell in love before I even put the DVD in the DVD player.
Goosebumps sparkled over my body from beginning to end. At every clip, I was thinking, “That’s me. That’s how I feel.” Doris’s stage fright and wavering, shy voice during her audition brought me humbly back to my first voice test in chorus, to determine whether my voice was alto or soprano. Another area of identification with Doris was her crush on an upperclassman, Michael, often resulting in embarrassing herself. If there’s one thing I’m guilty of, it’s of ending up hopelessly smitten with an upperclassman that was kind to me, and embarrassing myself later when I talk to him again. I did that when I was in the seventh grade, finally scrounging up the courage to talk to my crush, who was a bit older than me, and I always talked to him about the most unimportant, dumb things, or I’d take any opportunity to talk to him. Later I’d always feel so embarrassed or stupid about it.

While there were other several small identifications, I cannot think of anything that I indentified with more than Bruno Martelli. I’m no keyboard prodigy, nor am I much of a composer, but nearly every word that came out of his mouth was something I had once said myself. I recall a conversation between Bruno and Angelo, his father, in the cab, that still brings eerie goosebumps to me because it not only felt like a conversation I had had with my mother once, but it felt like conflicting thoughts I have had in my own mind. I remember it going a bit like this…

Bruno: Not my age, nobody’s my age! Maybe I’m ahead of my time. Maybe I don’t think people will like my stuff.
Angelo: Hey. How do you know what people will like, huh? How do they know if they don’t hear it? Bruno, how can they recognize your talent, give you scholarships, and record contracts, son, and awards?
Bruno: Maybe they don’t, maybe I die and get discovered and my ghost gets the Grammy.

It’s hard to describe just how eerie this scene always is for me, because of how my mom has always told me that I can’t afford to be so shy about sharing my musical work with people if I want to be a performer at all, and how I don’t feel that my music is the kind of thing people will want to hear, but then there’s that little voice in my head that tells me, “Well, you know, if no one hears it…” Later, when I started watching the TV series, I also felt a strong identification with Bruno’s disgust with contemporary pop music and how its lyrics often hold very little emotional meaning.
With this film, I remember always being fascinated with the raw realism of it, how they sugarcoated nothing and left almost no issues unaddressed. I felt that I had been changed forever by those few hours. 

A few short weeks after seeing Fame for the first time, I had a very real experience that now reminds me more of Fame than it did at the time. I had my second solo/ensemble vocal contest, in which I had a solo to sing. I was very excited, and not nervous in the least, because I had done one the previous year and scored a perfect 1, which is the highest available score. However, I was almost late, and my solo room was on the top floor, and I ran up the steps, in heels. I made it to the performance room in just enough time, but I was panting for breath. The judge told me to take my time catching my breath before I performed, but, I only gave myself about a minute to catch my breath, feeling as if I was waiting too long. So, I started my solo partially out of breath. The first verse went well, and I remembered all the techniques Mr. O (nickname for my choir director) had taught me. Then I waited through the piano’s part between verses, and took a breath to come in, but the words didn’t come to me. I had forgotten the entire second verse. My eyes widened and I brought my finger nervously to my mouth and chewed at my fingernail, feeling my face turn bright red. My accompanist even played the second verse intro twice waiting for me to come in, and I didn’t, until the pick-up for the last verse, which went fine, but I was absolutely mortified.

The judge spoke to me afterward, which he technically wasn’t supposed to, to calm me down, because I was very rattled over the whole deal, and didn’t even want to return later to sing in my group ensemble. My parents took me out of the building to talk with me, calm me down, convince me it was no big deal. Once I had calmed down a little, I began to relate my situation to Fame, remembering the beginning scene where Montgomery forgets the rest of his monologue. I also recall Ralph screwing up his stand-up act near the end of the movie, and what Montgomery told him, about how performers will always have tough breaks and that life goes on and there are always other chances. This encouraged me to go back to the building for my ensemble, which, I am proud to say, scored a 1, which, despite my faux pas, so did my solo.

When I started to watch the Fame TV series, just this past fall, around September or October 2011, by chance of finding the DVDs at a local general store, I fell in love with Fame all over again. Sure, there were different characters and some of the characters I had grown to adore in the movie (like Ralph Garci) were either not there at all anymore or weren’t important, but it still held the same messages and still had what was most important for me, Bruno Martelli. As silly as it may sound, he was one of my main reasons for watching it, because I got such a kick out of his character.

For me, Fame is a place to feel at home, to feel like I could identify with someone, even if that someone wasn’t someone I knew personally.

Eric Pierpoint on Fame

Exclusive Message for Kids from fame Media from Eric Pierpoint for the Fame 30th anniversary:

"Love FAME and the gifted actors I got to work with every day. I had a serious flashback the other week when I taught a camera acting seminar for a Saturday at the University of Redlands. There I was, an actual teacher, not just playing one. Young and talented students starting out, gearing up to make their mark. It's not often actors get the chance to be triple threats and Fame gave more than a few a fantastic forum to do that. It was a blast".

Ebay Item Of The Week

This Week "The Kids From Fame Live" Album Signed by Debbie Allen.

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You're The Real Music - Gene Anthony Ray

"You're The real Music" comes from the season 1 episode "A Big Finish", written by Barry Fasman and Steve Sperry it is performed by Gene Anthony Ray.

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Download JayLB Electro Mix.

Thanks to Jeremy for sending this.

A Couple Of Swells - Art Carney & Ray Walston

"A Couple Of Swells" come from the season 1 episode "A Big Finish". Written by Irving Berlin, it is performed by Art Carney & Ray Walston.

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Carol Mayo Jenkins On Fame

Exclusive Message from the Wonderful Carol Mayo Jenkins to Kids From Fame Media.

"I am so grateful to all the fans who loved the show and continue to remember it. It was just the most wonderful show to work on and I so adored all the cast - very special people, all of them."

Carol Mayo Jenkins.

Jennifer Rodd What Fame Means To Me

What Fame Means To Me by Jennifer Rodd

"I was in sixth grade when Fame started and I became a big fan. Each week I couldn't wait for the show and I'd even watch the repeats. I was visually impaired and have blind since 1991 and growing up as a teenager I didn't have any friends. I'd watch Fame and wish for a friend like Doris. I'd watch the show and think how fun it would be to act, sing, and travel like they did. In high school I took drama and in the 1990's I got the chance to sing with a few community choirs and travel.
During the 80's I had all the Fame cassettes. In 1985 the cast of Fame came to Washington, D.C. and I got to see them in concert. I still have the cover of the program with their signatures. I also have pictures of the 1984 cast and one of Debbie Allen and Gene Anthony Ray. I even had a button made that says "I Love Fame". I believe I still have it.
I didn't get the internet until 2009 but before I did my dad was teaching me how to use it and I emailed Valerie Landsburg. She emailed me back. Doris is my favorite character. She had the same middle name as I do and her favorite color was purple which is mine."

Step Up To The Mike - The Kids from Fame

"Step Up To the Mike" is written by Alan Connor and comes from the season 1 episode "But Seriously Folks" and is performed by Carlo Imperato, Valerie Landsburg, Gene Anthony Ray and Erica Gimpel

The album version contains an announcer performed by the song's writer. The episode version does not have the announcer.

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Download Episode MP3

Come What May - Carlo Imperato


"Come What May" written by David Wolfert and Henry Gaffney was performed twice in season one. The first time by Gene Anthony Ray in "Tomorrow's Farewell" and this shorter version performed by Carlo Imperato from "But Seriously Folk".

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Monday, 11 June 2012

Nia Peepels Quotes On Fame

“On Fame I was surrounded by some of the best so I worked very hard with them and they taught me what I needed to learn for the show
I really loved my time there and look back on it as one of the most profound experiences of my career.

 I would love to have a Fame reunion. Seeing everyone would be lovely. The show was so important to so many people. I actually watched a couple of episodes with my daughter for the first time in 20 years and I realized how much kids, people today need more of that positive message. It’s time. 

Personally I would have to say I got closest to Carlo Imperato but Valerie Landsburg was my favorite in terms of fun. She has a great sense of humor a Debbie was a fabulous mentor.”

William Goldstein on Fame

"Fame was one of the most rewarding assignments I've had."

"I worked on 38  Episodes for N.B.C."

"My music from FAME is available all over including:

Carmela Isabella What Fame Means To Me

FAME TV SHOW – by Carmela Isabella

I loved watching the television show Fame as a kid - the music, dancing, lessons and the compassionate characters of the teachers. Even though I could never sing, dance or act nor did I ever have any desire to do so professionally, the show made me want to have fun, learn, participate in school activities and even enjoy school.  Fast forward 30 years later, I am in awe on how much Fame still impacts my life. In hindsight, I think Fame has been more influential to me as an adult than when I was a kid. 

While I loved, and still love all the characters from Fame, Carol Mayo Jenkins’ portrayal of Elizabeth Sherwood impacted my life the most.  I wasn't even in high school when I first watched Fame however in my eyes, the character of Miss Sherwood was such a genuine and compassionate person that I wanted to be just like her, a mentor to teenagers and a high school teacher.  Unfortunately, my dad wouldn't let become a teacher and instead sent me to a business high school.  After graduating high school, I spent my late teens and most of my 20’s working in the business world and volunteering with teenagers.  I always loved singing all the songs from the show and even today, every time I hear the song Fame or pass through certain parts of Manhattan, which is where they filmed many of the outdoor scenes, I attempted to jump in the air and dance.

In May of 2011, I was visiting my mom in New York when I randomly heard Erica Gimpel singing. To my surprise and excitement, mom was watching Fame.  This happen to be [I think] the first day the Ovation Channel in the U.S. started to air all six seasons of Fame (mom apparently was watching the show that preceded Fame); this was also around the same time I came across Mark Perkins’ Kids From Fame Media blog.  Reconnecting with Fame cohorts, the Ovation Channel broadcasting all six seasons of Fame, being friends with some of the cast of Fame on Facebook and Twitter and all of the wonderful treasures Mark Perkins shares has enriched my life tremendously.  

Watching all six seasons of Fame as an adult verifies Carol’s impact on my life.  I sort of found myself living a parallel life of Miss Sherwood, politically and somewhat professionally.  The character of Elizabeth Sherwood is a very passionate woman, with no interest in show business.  Sherwood always fought for what she believed in and the right for the kids to be in show business by taking on the institution, the board of education and anything or anyone that prevented these young people from following their dreams.  Every time I watch Sherwood fight for her beliefs, I feel as though she is fighting with me and my friends in real life in the U.S.  Every time I watch the episodes about the battles with the board of education (for materials, money for programs, teachers’ rights-the strikes, etc.), the episodes Tomorrow’s Children of the Sixties (peace vs. war), Hail to the Chief (when they list the reasons why Sherwood was a security risk), and some of the other episodes Sherwood is standing up for her beliefs, you might as well just insert me in the television because most of these issues I have been [for years], and in some instances still am, battling these issues in real life. 

In addition, even though I never became a teacher, I have a bachelor and master degree of social work and I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children in Washington, DC.  I can relate with many of the dramatic scenes between Ms. Sherwood and the students, especially with Leroy, because these situations are similar to some of the situations I have been in as a social worker.

I have had only a few role models come in my life over the years and I am in awe that one TV character (Elizabeth Sherwood) was able to motivate me as a child and inspire me years later as an adult.  I did not quite understand the reality of these stories when I was younger, then there was a gap with no Fame and today, sometimes I have to remind myself Fame is indeed fiction and based on characters and stories.  Fiction or not, every time I watch Fame it is so evident to me that Carol Mayo Jenkins felt very passionate about her portrayal of Elizabeth Sherwood and that thrive, compassion, feistiness in Miss Sherwood has become a role model for me and motivates me to continue my fight for humanity and justice.

I am sad to see that the people in the U.S. (I’m not sure about other countries and territories) are still fighting what I thought were fictional battles 30 years ago.