This week, the Watsco Center at University of Miami is getting the keys. DJ Khaled's Impact 17, a long-awaited and somewhat puzzling combination of live concert, business conference, and motivational speakers' convention, has had music fans speculating about what, exactly, will go down at this thing.
The schedule and speakers are locked in, with a lineup that includes luminaries from the worlds of art, music, fashion, and technology, who'll perform, display their work, and give TED Talk-esque speeches from the Watsco stage throughout the all-day affair. Among them will be film director Billy Corben of Cocaine Cowboys and ESPN's 30 for 30 fame. Always upbeat and generally awesome to listen to in any capacity, Corben will participate in a film and TV panel alongside local TV/movie casting icon Ellen Jacoby.
"[Ellen] is a legendary casting director down here, and her work runs the gamut... Miami Vice, True Lies, There's Something About Mary, and so much more," Corben says. "The idea is to get a well-rounded presentation and see what's possible with film here in Miami."
Corben, who's working on a new chapter in his Cocaine Cowboys docuseries, as well as a new 30 for 30 that will be launched next baseball season, plans to offer his expertise at Impact during the 30-minute panel. And he has plenty of experience schooling Miami's up-and-comers.
"I used to teach an independent producing course... which I would pretty much rename immediately to 'Hustle 101,'" he says. "That will be a good subtitle for whatever my panel is called. It's all about hustling."
Corben and Jacoby's panel will be moderated by global internet star and Snapchat queen YesJulz. The Miami celeb is a perfect addition to an event designed to teach regular people how to get famous. She's living (and capturing) the life that so many desire: traveling everywhere, taking snaps with celebs, and periodically displaying her very nice abs.
In addition to moderating the film/TV panel, YesJulz will also host the event.
"Events like this are superimportant," she says on a recent one-day trip back home to Miami while she opens boxes upon boxes of goods for her to Snap or wear. "We already know that this is the best city to have fun, but we also have a lot of creative types — amazing designers, producers, visual artists — really creating an experience for our city. With this event, we all want to uplift local entrepreneurs — all under one roof."
Within the Impact 17 schedule that YesJulz will help navigate are a "Radio and Digital" panel featuring DJ Laz, K Foxx, and the CW's James Alexander; an "App and VR Development" panel with Super Bowl champion Bryant McKinnie and Swarmer app managing partner Ari Smith; and a "Creating a Wave in Music" panel with Lunch Money Lewis and Slip-N-Slide Records' Ted Lucas.
And, of course, DJ Khaled will close out what, by all indications, should be a bright and sunny day to "bless up" the Miami community.
"I think it's all about staying positive," YesJulz says when asked what folks can do to make a name for themselves. "I think it's all about doing something you love. It's gonna be hard, especially if you're doing something in the public eye. I love what I do; I can't see myself doing something else. There will be bullies and there will be off days, but you have to stay positive."
Thursday, June 29, at University of Miami's Watsco Center, 1245 Dauer Dr., Coral Gables. Free event from 1 to 6 p.m.; ticketed event with DJ Khaled performance begins at 4 p.m.; tickets cost $39 to $249. Visit impact17mia.com.
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