Sara Carson Wins National Dog Trainer of the Year Honor
2017 A Year to Rember for Trick Dog Trainer
Milltown, WI, December 15, 2017 (Newswire.com) - When it comes to dog trainers, few have had a bigger breakout year than the 2017 Greatmats National Dog Trainer of the Year - Sara Carson of The Super Collies.
Well known as the America's Got Talent finalist who moved from Canada to the United States and built a name for herself and her dog, Hero, while living out of her car, Sara inspired people from all across the country to pursue their dreams - even if others close to them do not share their passion.
Despite now being recognized as one of the top trick dog trainers in the world, the 23-year-old up and comer said, ''I don't think I've ever been nominated for an award before. ... It means a lot to me. I've been a dog trainer for about 12 years now. So just the fact that some people take time out of their day to vote for me says I'm doing something right I guess - because there are a lot of dog trainers. That support is really great. I'm really thankful for it.''
That's just one aspect that made this year's nomination for Greatmats National Dog Trainer of the Year Award so special. The other is the fact that joining her in the finals was another dog trainer she knows and respects - Dee Hoult of Applause Your Paws of Miami, Florida.
''I'm actually quite good friends with her,'' Sara said of Dee. ''I stayed at her house for a few days and went to her training facility. I'm supposed to be teaching there next year.''
In the meantime, Sara's still spending most of her time on the road - as she has done for the last 3 years after leaving the training facility she had started in Canada at the age of 15. Aside from the performance side of her job, Sara's also helping others train their dogs through an app, called Puppr, that she came out with less than a year ago and now reaches about 6,000 users per month.
''When I was on the road in my car, I wanted a way to kind of reach out to people more so we came up with that thing and it's been a really really cool experience, getting people just emailing me and sending in their footage of their training, and I help them digitally,'' she said.
As the winner of the Greatmats National Dog Trainer of the Year Award, Sara has chosen to receive Greatmats Dog Agility mats as her prize.
''I did just get a house which is super exciting,'' Sara said. ''I need a little indoor training space for my dogs, and I think that would be a super cool opportunity.''
Runner Up Dee Hoult
No stranger to having a strong support system in the dog world, Dee Hoult was still surprised and pleased to know that people are following her work and recognizing what she and her trainers at Applause Your Paws are doing.
''They really care and are really passionate about all of the things that we do,'' Dee said of her clients and community.
She also noted how much fun it was watching her supporters throughout the contest.
''I love how into it people get. I love being reminded how engaged my customer base really is. A majority of the people that contributed to our vote count are actually our customers. We have about 5,000 person customer base.''
Dee, who won her first blue ribbon with one of her dogs at age 5, is now 35 and has been a professional in the industry since 2006. She was nominated due to the work she has done in the Miami-Dade County Rehabilitation Boot Camp, helping inmates through dog training. But that is just one part of how she has inspired those around her. She is also passionate about helping community and county shelters lessen the number of animals that are euthanized each day by working with the transfer office to get friendly animals new homes in other parts of the country.
Sara and Dee combined to accumulate more than 2,500 votes in the annual contest, which saw its largest voting turnout ever. More than 3,800 total votes were cast in the 3rd Annual Greatmats National Dog Trainer of the Year Contest.
Inception Media Group Proudly Presents
Todd Oliver: Funny Dog
Man’s Best Friend Finally Talks Back!
Family-Friendly, Stand-Up Comedy Coming to DVD April 8th
“So funny and amazing!”
Penn & Teller
LOS ANGELES — April 1, 2014 — For Immediate Release —A ventriloquist for 35 years, Todd Oliver brings his act to the next level by taking the stage with his own pets as co-stars in the comedy show, Todd Oliver: Funny Dog, coming to DVD April 8 from Inception Media Group.
Named as one of the top-five ventriloquists in the world by the king of late night himself, David Letterman, the comedian and his amazing talking, dogs – all real-life adopted family pets – bring down the house in this over-the-top performance!
Most recently, Oliver has appeared as a semi-finalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and on TheLate Late Show with Craig Ferguson, the Today Show, Late Show With David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Howie Mandel Show, among others, have made him and his canine sidekicks a favorite of countless fans of all ages!
Todd Oliver: Funny Dogis presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16 x 9 (1.78:1) and digital stereo 2.0.
About Inception Media Group Inception Media Group, LLC is based in Los Angeles and is a diversified media company specializing in the production, acquisition and distribution of motion pictures and other filmed entertainment across all media platforms and channels of distribution. Inception Media Group's management team has extensive relationships with exhibitors, retailers, distributors and technology companies, enabling the Company to maximize the services performed on behalf of its content partners. The company boasts a catalog of approximately 100 filmed entertainment properties and over 2,500 hours of digital content encompassing feature films, episodic television series, documentaries and special interest programming. More information is available at www.inceptionmediagroup.com
Todd Oliver: Funny Dog
Inception Media Group
Genre: Comedy/Stand Up/Family
Format: DVD Only
Running Time: Approx. 62 Minutes
Suggested Retail Price: $14.98
Pre-Order Date: March 4, 2014
Street Date: April 8, 2014
Catalog #: IMG1243DVD
UPC Code: #815300011805
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One cold November day in 2010, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. of Logan, W. Va. and his wife Jennifer stood for hours outside of the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. They were among the thousands of people – young and old, singers, dancers, jugglers, mimes, and more -- lined up to audition for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” It would take several more hours for Landau to finally get inside and sing a few bars, and his day grew even longer as he sang for one producer after another. Soon, he was the last one sitting in a huge rehearsal hall. “I knew that was a good sign,” remembers Jennifer.
Almost a year to the day later, Syco/Columbia Records is proudly releasing Landau’s first album, That’s Life. Not only did his unique singing style make him stand out from all of his competition, Landau’s humility, charm and confidence endeared him to the AGT judges and viewers. After receiving standing ovations from judges Sharon Osbourne, Piers Morgan and Howie Mandel, a singing duet with the iconic Patti LaBelle, and a rousing rendition of “My Way,” Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. was finally named the winner of AGT’s sixth season on Sept. 14, 2011.
When Landau made his first appearance before the AGT judging panel four months earlier he told them simply, “I am here to show America I can sing.” And when he did, he gave the audience a moment of astonishment that was reminiscent of when Susan Boyle first sang on “Britain’s Got Talent” two years earlier. Landau’s cool, jazzy rendition of “Under My Skin” brought the audience – and even the judging panel -- to their feet and filled Radio City Music Hall with raucous applause.
Landau’s recollection of the moment was that “I had nothing to lose. I walked out there, and when I saw the judges, I felt a little star-struck, especially to see Howie Mandel, who I’ve always been a fan of. But singing in front of that big audience was something I’ve always wanted. I felt right at home. I walked out there with all the confidence in the world because I have known all my life that I have had this talent. I feel like Howie and the others twisted the knob and opened the door and all I had to do was walk right through.”
Many have compared Landau’s smooth vocals and phrasing to that of Frank Sinatra, a singer he’s always admired. That’s why all of the tracks from “That’s Life” are Sinatra standards, but Landau does them his way. “I put my own voice and my own soul into this album.” He decided to honor Sinatra as a salute to the fans who voted for him. “For a lot of my fans, especially older people, I can bring back some happy memories. And hopefully I can create new memories for generations to come. I think I think my album encompasses all of that. I want to give back as much as possible and stay true to the people who supported me,” he says.
Since winning AGT, Landau spent several weeks working side by side with legendary record producer and GRAMMY Award winner, Steve Tyrell, himself an aficionado of Sinatra’s music. During his storied 40-year music career, Tyrell has scored movies (That Thing You Do, Father of the Bride), produced albums for dozens of top artists (most recently, Rod Stewart’s #1 album, Stardust: The Great American Songbook Volume III, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Linda Ronstadt, Mary J Blige, Chris Botti, Bonnie Raitt, Bette Midler and Stevie Wonder among them) and recorded his own albums.
“I loved working with him” says Landau. “He’s so cool. We got on well – he totally understood me and he brought out the best in me.” The vocals for the album were recorded in Houston and then in LA at the legendary Capitol studio “B” with a full orchestra on the same hallowed ground where Sinatra, Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole and others have recorded so many classics.
And, as part of his AGT prize, Landau realized a lifelong dream and headlined a show at the Colosseum Theater at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas – the legendary playground for Sinatra and his iconic Rat Pack.
This sudden rise to fame has been in keeping with Landau’s roller-coaster ride of a life. As a young man, he was once reduced to sleeping in his car; he worked at a car wash during the months leading up to his TV performances -- and was down to his last pair of pants and jacket when he arrived to sing at Radio City Music Hall that day in June.
“We didn’t discuss this during the show because we didn’t want people feeling sorry for us. But my wife and I had been away taking care of her mother, who had just been hospitalized, and someone broke into our house and cleaned us out. They robbed us blind. And we were so heartbroken. Thank goodness we were able to move in with my mother-in-law. We had no place else to go.”
After they got over the initial shock of their situation, Landau said he began to take stock of what they had left, physically and emotionally. “I remember lying on the bed, looking at the ceiling. Jennifer was so down. I was talking to God and I heard him say, ‘You need to get on a bigger stage – and hold your head up.’ That’s when I knew I had to try out for ‘America’s Got Talent’.”
It wasn’t the first time Landau felt the pull of music. He had once been the lead singer of a band, Top Shelf, which played clubs in and around West Virginia. The R&B band soon had a following; they became a popular addition to local music festivals and always participated in an annual concert that benefits a local children’s charity. But when the band broke up acrimoniously, Landau’s spirit felt depleted. It was a situation similar to one he had faced as a younger man.
“My father, Landau Sr., was a coal miner and he really loves music; my mother is from a musical family, too. After my parents split up when I was 8, I moved with my mother and two brothers and two sisters to Detroit,” Landau explains. “It was completely different from Logan; I had to get used to the streets. My focus wasn’t on school” and he dropped out in the 11th grade to put his energy into looking out for the safety of himself and his family. “Church and basketball were the only things that got me out of the house and kept me going. I played for a church league, which kept me off the streets and they would take us to events where we could eat. Basketball was my first love and I grew up playing basketball with some great ballplayers like NBA star Chris Webber. There were times when I’d make a shot or dunk on someone and I’d run back down the court with a smile on my face singing ‘Fly Me To The Moon’, everyone got a big kick out of it.”
In his late teens Landau was without a place to live and didn’t want to impose on his sisters, both of who had recently married. “I had a car, and I would pull it up on a ridge, and I would sleep in it,” he remembers. He and his girlfriend had a son and soon married and their church helped them find a place to live. “I was working at a car wash at a dealership, and I would sing there” for fun and to pass the time, he remembers. The couple had two more children before the relationship ended.
In 1999, Landau moved back home to Logan and later renewed a friendship with a childhood friend, Jennifer Carter. “We started working together at a restaurant” where she was a manager and they married in 2005. Landau has stayed very close to his children, Michael, Marcus and Morgan, as well as Jennifer’s daughter, Kyra, who lives with them. “I love my kids with all my heart and more than anything, I want to make sure that they don’t have the same struggles I have had. I want them to have more opportunities. I want them to be able to do what they want to do.”
Despite having gone from wash rags to riches, “I’m still happiest when I’m home and when I’m with my family. I like it when there is no stress and I’m doing what I want to do – which is to sing.”