November 30, 2016

The Lily Amis Story (2 in ONE) is out now!

“Perhaps it may have been stay and face the bombing in our hometown, rather than endure a permanent fight for acceptance and dignity in a foreign country. From childhood through to my adult years, my freedom was stolen from me, just so that I could remain in Switzerland. This was my emotional suicide.” Lily Amis

In summer 2015, the refugee crises became a global issue. However, I have already experienced war as a child in the Eighties, growing up in a war zone and living from one day to another. However, my exposure to war and daily bombings seemed nothing compared to what I was faced with, living as a refugee in Switzerland for over two decades! Rejection, humiliation, discrimination and constant fear of existence were a living punishment - from the moment we entered the country as a war-refugee until today, where I am now a Swiss Citizen. A life without human rights, freedom and dignity is really worth nothing!

The Lily Amis Story includes the two first published books of my memoir trilogy. Part One: Destination: Freedom and Part Two: Definition of Freedom.

Living in a war zone from one day to another is one of the most horrifying experiences in Life, whether you’re an adult or a kid. As a kid you don’t really understand what’s going on because not even the adults know how to deal with this life-changing situation. I still remember and feel the uncertainty, insecurity and fear of death. Your daily life and the behaviour of the adults changes drastically. All of a sudden, people that gave you comfort and security are helpless too. Every moment can be the last, and you are totally conscious of that when you clearly hear the bombings day and night. Despite this experience and a horrible emotional-setback by my father, who left us when I was just five years old, I had a lovely childhood. I grew up in a home and neighborhood filled with love and harmony. 

Leaving our hometown with only two suitcases and fear, my mom and I hoped for a safe and happy future in Europe.  But the escape was only the start of a new set of problems. The journey was only the beginning of a lifelong misery. My childhood was immediately over and I had to grow up fast in a country, where I felt unwelcomed and rejected from minute one. 

We see the images of the refugee’s journey these days, thanks to the media coverage, which is heart-breaking. But the actual tragedy begins from day one when you officially register as refugees in your new country. Dealing with bureaucracy is a nightmare. I wish the governments would stop treating refugees like numbers of annoying folders on their desk. Behind every number is a destiny. And, for the love of God, Life is too short and precious to make it miserable for others.
I started with writing about ten years ago because of long-term Unemployment. Writing Destination: Freedom and Definition of Freedom were both kind of a self-therapy during extremely difficult and challenging times in my life. When you feel lonely and totally helpless the only person you can rely on is you and no one else. Writing really helps healing and I always felt that it is my duty to share my story. Not only to help myself but also to help others with the same or similar Life struggles. Until then painting and drawing were my way of self-help. But writing my two memoirs made me realize that I have to write. There is so much that I want to share or as I call it entertain and educate readers about.

So therefore in Definition of Freedom, the follow-up story, I openly shared my experiences as a foreigner in Switzerland, where my life was constantly overshadowed by discrimination and social isolation. My mom and I lived in fear of deportation for the following years. We had to fight for acceptance and pure survival for almost two decades. So we missed out on Life. We really did. I feel as my whole childhood, teenager hood and adult hood was stolen only in order to be allowed to stay in Switzerland.  I was so busy with the bureaucracy nonsense that I have neglected the really essential and valuable things in life. When the government tells you to your face, after a decade, to either marry or leave the country, and you marry the wrong guy for the wrong reasons, your whole future is screwed. During the twenty-seven-year period waiting for my naturalization I experiences set-backs, betrayal and depression caused by unemployment and bullying. Despite everything, my mom and I emerged stronger from every defeat and always fought for our rights!

The Lily Amis Story is brutally honest and I seek acceptance and tolerance for all refugees entering Europe. This is my message to the world.

“The war-refugees didn’t choose to become refugees. None of them created war. They are only helpless and innocent victims of people in power, who make a fortune selling weapons and destroying countries and families. Instead of toying, support these refugees and include them, rather than isolate them. Refugees are not a disease; they are human beings with the same desires as everyone else. Give them a life; give them the chance to build independence with dignity. Give them a future. Treat them the way you’d like to be treated in desperate times! Respect, acceptance and tolerance are the magic words of kindness!”
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May 26, 2016

Q&A Interview with Award-Winning British Actor Kevin Leslie

Each one of us has a story to tell and everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. This section “The Q & A Interview with inspiring people” is dedicated to exceptional personalities, who either have something to educate us or to inspire us.
Today I want you to meet Award-Winning British Actor Kevin Leslie. Kevin has been involved with various British Film, TV and Theatre projects. His film credits are from small roles in features to the leading role in internationally shot feature, Pearls of Africa.

Kevin was recently crowned the Best Actor 2015 at the prestigious Marbella International Film Festival and received an award for his portrayal of Reggie Kray.

Since Kevin’s most recent role as a Kray twin he has been catapulted into the lime light. Kevin’s work reveals that he honor’s each project (big or small) with the same raw talent and commitment that drives his career to success.

“When I started pushing myself/taking risks and going first that's when I really started to achieve bigger things.” Kevin Leslie
Kevin I have discovered you through Social media and I must say I love the quote on your Twitter account which says: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” So hand on heart how many times did you try and fail in Life?

Hand on heart its been one of the most challenging things I've had to discover. As I've always been someone that has tried to be the best, succeed and achieve big. So learning that taking risks and perhaps not getting it right is okay as you learn from those experiences. The time when I was truly discovering this was in training, as when we were asked to get up and try out an exercise or technique I would always go around third or fourth to demonstrate because I'd have learnt from the first couple, seen where they went wrong. So when I got up, I did it correctly but it meant I wasn’t learning for myself and I was just performing things okay but when I started pushing myself/ taking risks and going first that's when I really started to achieve bigger things.

When and why did you feel that acting is your passion and determination? Did any specific film or actor inspire you?

To be honest I kind of just fell into acting. I was very sporty as a kid but got involved in school shows, which I really enjoyed. When it came to making a choice about whether to study BTEC Sport or BTEC Performing arts I went with my heart and chose to study what I was enjoying doing.
You have a BA in Acting from the Arts University College Bournemouth. What would you say was the most interesting lesson during your study and why?

I'd say for me the most interesting moment was in my second year. I was studying Shakespeare and Greek tragedy simultaneously this was the moment I had a real breakthrough as an actor. It was the moment I realised I was good enough to do this as a career. I discovered my vocal tone and style as an actor.

I imagine being an actor can be emotionally and physically extremely difficult, depending on the role that you’re playing. You have to be able to switch on and off your feelings, emotions, Life struggles and worries regardless of how you feel privately. What has been so far the most challenging character for you to play and why?
Firstly, that is the skill of the actor – you can't allow your own current circumstances to influence your portrayal, i.e. if you are having a bad day but your character is happy, you still need to portray happiness. Dracula is probably my most challenging character as it was both mentally and physically draining, with the added challenge of an accent. I made a decision to portray that character in a very animalistic way, seeing all beings as sustenance or sex objects.

You have been working in several short movies, TV series and Films. What has been so far the most emotionally touching experience for you during a film production and why?
It has to be shooting a feature in Kenya, where I grew not only as an actor but as a person due to experiencing many fascinating moments from animals in the wild to people happily living with nothing. This aptly brings me to my point, which was when filming I joined a group of young boys playing football with a homemade ball of plastic bags. We played for hours. I won't ever forget the smiles, enjoyment on their faces. I wanted to do something as it saddened me to see they didn’t even have a real ball to play with, something I took for granted growing up, so I went and bought them a real football.

I personally love movies that touch my heart. As I write in my monthly movie Review #Lilywood, I love movies that are either funny, romantic, inspiring, entertaining, historical or educational. But most of all films that are based on true stories. What kind of movie genres do you watch? And what is your favourite film of all time and why?

I like all genres of movies as I like to have a diverse knowledge, but I agree that ones which have a really good story stand out most for me. Trying to focus my answer more directly to your question is difficult as I cannot choose one favourite movie of all time. My favourite movie for its story would be a film called 'Pay it Forward'; a young boy comes up with a beautiful concept for a school project, and if people followed it we would live in a much more peaceful world.

I wonder can you as an actor ever watch a film and relax. Or do you look at every scene and every detail from the professional point of view? Which I imagine must be really annoying. :-)

Haha, it is indeed. As soon as you're trained in this art form I don't think you can take a film completely at face value. I think you are always going to look at it and notice a good shot and wonder how they filmed it, or admire the score or filmmaker's work.

Dead or alive, who is your favourite actor/actress off all time and why?
Wow, hard question – how long have you got? The female is easy – it has to be the one and only Meryl Streep purely because she is a genius performer; you never see 'Meryl' in the role, you always see the character. For male, I will go with Leonardo DiCaprio as I have always thought he is a phenomenal actor and underrated.
P.S. Shout out to Denzel Washington as he's up there.

I have to ask you this question since you’re a British actor. Can you imagine ever playing James Bond? And who is your favourite James Bond and why?
Way to make me feel like a cliché lol, as yes, James Bond is my dream role. But it looks like Tom Hiddleston is going to pip me to the post this time.

What I admire about inspiring people like you is your selfless support for people in need. You’re currently using your popularity and supporting “Haven House Children's Hospice” @HavenHouseCH, which provides care for children with life-limited and life-threatened conditions. How come that you have decided to support this specific charity?
I was introduced to Haven House as they are local to me and it only took me minutes to fall in love with and admire the work that the real people are doing to help these children. Since then, I have done what little I can and hope to continue to do more in the future. It is these real people that offer support, care and raise money 365 days a year – they are the real heroes; the people that should get the accolade for the work they are doing.
Do you have any desire to ever work on a film project in America or are you happy to be successful in United Kingdom?
I was always advised to crack the UK first and the transition to America would become easier i.e. green card, visas etc., but it is something on my radar. I do want to get involved in the bigger blockbuster movies while also still staying involved with British independent film.

Everything seems to go very well for you right now. But if I was an Angel and would ask you right now and right here, what is your biggest professional dream, desire, goal or wish. What would it be?
Seeing as James Bond has gone for now :), I would love to be a lead regular in a drama series like Game of Thrones, Narcos, Peaky Blinders. Away from that, I would also love to be cast as a lead in a timeless classic like Gladiator, Goodfellas etc.

Ever since I’m working on my book “Definition of Love”, I ask my inspirational interview partners these two questions. What is your definition of Love in three words? What is your definition of Love in one sentence? 
Love conquers all.
Love knows no boundaries; It's the only thing that makes this life worth living.
Kevin, it was a pleasure to do this “Q&A Interview” with you. I have a feeling that you will make it BIG in the international film industry and I wish you the best of luck! Some of your answers really touched my heart and inspired me. Keep up the good work and don’t let the movie industry change your caring, loving and down-to-earth personality. Because THIS will be the KEY to your success! My best wishes & God bless. Lily Amis


Pictures from behind the scene:

  Behind the scene:

If you want to find out more about Kevin Leslie follow him on:

If you like to find out more about the Haven House Children's Hospice and support this great charity, please visit the official website: or follow them on twitter @HavenHouseCH.
Source Pictures: Thx @ Kevin Leslie.

April 24, 2016

The Eurovision Song Contest

(May 10, 2016 – May 14, 2016)
Soon my favourite music event of the year is on air. My mom and I, we both have a special bond with the ESC for different reasons. Well first of all, we believe that music is the universal language and brings all kinds of people together. Talented, passionate and aspiring artists from the beautiful European countries come together for a week and share their music with the world. Some gifted with allot of talent, some less. But that’s not relevant. What matters is that they entertain us and make us happy. As a Lyricist, of course I listen to the song lyrics carefully and the ESC History proves that the winner songs are usually (not always!) songs with meaningful and emotionally touching messages.

The first time I watched the show was back in 1991. The National Swiss Winner was on her way to the International ESC which took place in Italy. Sandra Simo, a beautiful and talented young singer had actually bought her stage dress from my mom, where she used to work in a famous Fashion department store in Zurich.

Sandra Simos song “Canzone per te/A song for you” for Switzerland unfortunately only made the and the Winner was the beautiful Swedish singer Carola with “Captured by a storm wind“  

To this date Captured by a storm wind“ is one of our favorite ESC moments including the following songs/performances below. Years later my mom and I had again our own experience with the Eurovision Song Contest. This time we were fully involved in the creative phase of the preparation for one of the most talented Swiss artists, who was one of the ten finalists for the national show. It was a weekend that I will never ever forget. One of those sweet-bitter experiences that I have written about in my second book of my trilogy.

One of the sweet moments was meeting the singer Sandra Simo after more than a decade again. The show took place in the Italian part of Switzerland and Sandra was the commentator for the Swiss German TV. It was one of those days where you realize how time flies and also how little the world is. There is a say: You always meet twice!  

Sima & Sandra Simo-Studer, a decade later...

Here is a list of our favourite ESC songs of all time. Not all of them were winner songs. For example "A Million Voices" made second place last year. And even though we like the Winner song 2015 - Heroes performed by Måns Zelmerlöw, I just love Polina Gagarinas message. In my next post I will share our ESC HIGHLIGHT and ARTIST of all time!
Eurovision Song Contest 1991 - Sandra Simo (Switzerland)  5.Place

Eurovision Song Contest 1998 - Dana International (Israel) 1. Place
Eurovision Song Contest  1999 - Charlotte Nilsson (Sweden) 1. Place

Eurovision Song Contest  2009 - Aysel and Arash - Always (Azerbaijan) 3. Place

Eurovision Song Contest 2012 - Tooji "STAY" (Norway)
Eurovision Song Contest 2012- Loreen (Sweden) 1. Place
The Eurovision Song Contest 2015 - Polina Gagarina - A Million Voices (Russia) 2. Place


February 08, 2016

Review of the Jacksons & Jessi J @Art on Ice

One of my longtime wishes has recently come true. I never thought in a million years that I would have ever the opportunity to experience “The Jacksons” live on stage.

But thanks to the show "Art on Ice" the legendary Jackson brothers came all the way from the USA for the very first time to Switzerland and entertained the audience with their wonderful songs “Can you feel it”, “I want you back”, “Blame it on the Boogie”, “ABC”, “I’ll be there” and more.

Knowing that I would actually hear Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon und Tito Jackson live singing was such an overwhelming feeling.
Sure “the boys” are older now, but hey their incredible energy, charisma, likeability and quality as performer and as singer is still the same. Watching them performing the exact same choreography as decades ago makes one think that somehow time is standing still. I don’t know what their secret is, but whatever it is they are doing something right. Needless to say that Michael was missing on stage. When the four Jacksons entered the stage my mother and I couldn’t control ourselves, we had tears in our eyes. It was so emotional.

Michael was an important member of the Jackson 5. But his spirit was definitely with us. Not only because his brothers performed the song “Gone too soon” for their beloved brother, but also the FINAL song of the Show that ended with Michaels song Black or white was a tribute to Michael.
This was definitely the best song choice and a highlight. Michael’s wonderful message of solidarity and humanity will always keep him alive. Michael would have loved that. His message of love and tolerance was with us during the entire night. God bless his soul.

Performing “Black or white” on Art on Ice with Jessi J’s voice was fantastic. Jessi J was beyond perfect. This beautiful and multitalented lady makes us woman proud to be a girl. The award-winning British singer and songwriter is the full package.
She has the look, a fabulous voice and is a brilliant performer and of course the likeability. I love her lyrics. Each one of her songs is filled with valuable messages. I knew that she would be really good live. But she was actually amazing. Seeing the Jacksons was overwhelming. But Jessi’s performance was without a doubt literary the cherry on the icing. Jessi made the whole evening special. Thank you for being so awesome! 

Olympia winner, world & European champions on Ice such as Evgeni Plushenko, Stéphane Lambiel and more international artists Javier Fernandez, Tatiana Volosozhar, Maxim Trankov, Ksenia Stolbova, Fedor Klimov, Gabriella Papadakis, Guillaume Cizeron, Elizaveta Nugumanova and Peter Gymennik  made the whole evening simply perfect.
Thank you all for a fab night and an unforgettable memory! God bless U all.

If you like to watch the entire show, check out the Swiss Television Channel SF DRS2 on February 28, 2016 at 8:00 pm European time.

The Jacksons @ Art on Ice
Jessi J performing @ Art on Ice

The Final Performance Black or White

The Final!
Source Pictures: Google &

February 05, 2016

From "Zero" to Hero - an encouraging true story!

All of us have doubts. That’s normal, it’s human. And we all need stories of courage, believe and hope regardless of our age and life stories.
Because at the end of the day, we all have the same wishes, dreams, desires and goals in Life. We want to be happy and satisfied. We want to love and be loved back. We need to be appreciated, recognized and accepted. We want to be part of the society! No one likes to be an outsider. No one likes to feel lonely, unloved and isolated. No one likes to be rejected and be treated badly. Right?

Therefore I share this wonderful story of a young man with you today. His name is Menderes. He’s 31 years old, originally from Turkey but lives in Germany since his childhood. If you asked people in Germany a month ago “Who’s Menderes?” many if not everyone would have probably first laughed and then answered patronizingly Oh dear, he’s a hopeless Want-to-be! He’s a joke!”

Truthfully I wasn’t sure if I should share Menderes story on my blog. Because my Blog visitors are from cross all over the world, who for sure have no clue who this guy is. But his recent story of success is so inspiring that I just have to write about it. It is a lecture and prove that if you have a dream don’t care what other people think or say about you. Believe in yourself and never ever give up!

Menderes is a young man with a big dream. He’s been auditioning for the last 13 years at the German Talent show “Germany is looking for the next Superstar” an adaptation to the American Talent show “The Idol” on RTL. Ever since this show came on air Menderes was participating without success. But despite the negative comments of the judges he kept coming to audition year by year mostly performing songs from his Idol Michael Jackson. Why?

Because regardless of what others think or say about him he believes in his dream and no negative, nasty and insulting comment of the judges kept him from trying again and again. He believes in himself and his goal and actually managed to get into RECALL four times. He even made it once to the RE-Recall, but unfortunately never made it to the Live Shows as one of the ten Finalists! However he ironically actually made it twice to the Live Show as Special guest performing Michael Jackson! Which in my opinion was very entertaining.

So Menderes has become a Symbol of the show.  Because The Winners of this talent shows keep coming and going. The same with the judges. They keep coming and going. Only one person has been consistent next to the Head Judge of the Show Mister Dieter Bohlen (The German version of Simon Cowell).
FYI: Bohlen is Germany’s most successful producer and was also known in the 80s for his music in the band “Modern Talking”. He celebrated international Hits such as “Brother Louie” and “Shary Shary Lady”.

Dieter Bohlen & Menderes
Anyway as I said beside the Head judge Mr. Bohlen Menderes has become the Icon of this successful Talent show despite or actually because of his lack of success and luck.
As Menderes said recently people always make fun of him and laugh at him, because nobody takes him serious. But now something unexpected happened. The German TV Channel RTL chose him as one of twelve candidates to take part at this year’s reality Show “I’m a celebrity get me out of here” which aired in January 2016 – an adaptation of the Original show from ITV UK -  for the tenth time in Germany.

To make a long story short you can guess now who made it to the final and left the show as the King of the Jungle 2016?
Yes, unbelievable but true. Menderes who was being laughed at for the last 13 years has won the audience heart with more than 81% telephone rating of the Viewers in just two weeks on Live Television.

What makes his success more interesting is the fact that he was a candidate next to German celebrities such as a former Bundesliga Football player, German Actress, Former  TV Host and even Brigitte Nielsen, a former Hollywood star (Ex-Wife of Sylvester Stallone) 
Menderes who had never ever won anything before in his life (as he said himself) and who has not done anything in Show business professionaly so far (except auditioning 13 times and a few live shows in Mallorca where he was booed out verbally and physically attacked by annoyed audience) is now the most wanted celebrity in Germany.
German Marketing specialists are predicting that he will now be booked for events for a ten times more salary than he used to ask before he went to the Australian Jungle (which was 2000 Euro).  
Menderes didn’t win the reality show because of his voice, but because of his loveable, super honest, authentic, selfless, pure and sincere personality. He’s a hardworking, reliable, polite, extremely kind, respectful and thankful Team player.
He never argued or was rude to anyone in this entire time. Even when he was nominated to do the most disgusting and emotionally challenging trials he came back with dignity. Most importantly during the entire time he was himself. He didn’t act and pretended to be someone that he isn’t as opposite to some other want-to-be- celebrities. What I love and appreciate the most about his wonderful character is that he didn’t once gossip behind other people’s back. Not once!  

Menderes has a heart of Gold and if anyone saw my tweets to him before he went to the Jungle they know that I believed in him and I knew that he would make it. Why?

Because I always knew how he felt. Being rejected is the story of my life. The only difference is I haven’t been rejected on National TV and I haven’t been exposed and humiliated by judges on TV. But I have been rejected my entire Life and I know how it feels like when people don’t give you a chance. I know how it feels like to feel worthless and lonely. I wrote about this topic openly and honest as I am in the second part of my trilogy in my memoir “Definition of Freedom”.

In all these years when people made fun of Menderes, I always believed that one day he would achieve his goal because of his persistent try and strong belief in himself.  
I recognized his vulnerable and loving Soul from the beginning. Now I’m so happy for him and he’s an inspiration for everyone to NOT GIVE UP regardless of how hopeless and loveless some days in Life are. Regardless of how cruel, unfair, and rude people behave. I think the most important gift for him now is not the money that he will be making in the future, but the love, attention, and respect that people are now giving him.
When he returned this week back home to Germany he said sadly “Nobody is waiting for me and nobody is missing me”. But now he’s receiving so much Love and attention. I hope and pray for his sake that the Love he receives now and in the future will heal his soul!
He deserves to be loved like all of us. Humans need Love to survive Life. A life without Love is worthless. Menderes gives me hope that regardless of how rejected, unloved and lonely we feel, someday we all will experience success and love!

Thank you @RTL for giving this wonderful human being @Menderes THE priceless chance to finally experience LOVE! Germany has finally a NEW KING! :-) My best wishes for your new song "Music is my life"!

Source Pictures: Google & RTL