FAME Heads In A Bold New Direction - An Interview With Jeffrey Kippel & Mindy Blackstein

FAME - Mindy and Jeff
Jeffrey Kippel and Mindy Blackstein discuss the big changes taking place at FAME in 2010 and beyond, and specifics about the Body Proud Manifesto.

Jeff and Mindy from FAMEJeffrey Kippel and Mindy Blackstein over at FAME is aggressively reaching out to the natural community, and appears ready to take the reigns and lead the sport into the future. Muscle & Strength caught up with Jeffrey Kippel and Mindy Blackstein recently to talk about the new changes.

Muscle & Strength: What's going on over at FAME?

Jeff & Mindy: There's A LOT going on over at FAME.  :-)

Firstly, we have implemented the "Body Proud Manifesto" which follows a brand new, structured standardization universal point reward system for all who are body proud.  This system is very similar to that of other professional competition sports.  Once individuals reach a set point score they are eligible for rewards, bonuses and new titles to add to their status, including:  Fitness Model; Muscle Model; Bodybuilding, Fitness or Figure Athlete; or Swimsuit Model. Once a competitor earns such a status they are now eligible to compete in the Elite Level Events as an Elite Athlete or Model and vie for their Pro Status. These athletes are now setting a standard for what those titles actually mean.

Second, the shows themselves have been restructured. This actually makes judging much more straight forward; allows the competitors more time to shine; provides more opportunities for them to win awards; increases their exposure; and allows for more freedom of expression.

Third, the shows are open to competitors from all organizations and associations.  In fact, competitors earn points just by competing ANYWHERE!  That is the beauty of the Worldwide Point Reward System for all who are Body Proud.

Fourth, mega opportunities.  In fact, two of our most recent FAME pros were flown around the world as part of their prize package, all expenses paid, with well deserved VIP celebrity treatment.  Pierre Lajoie was flown to Europe where he was the special guest of FAME East Africa Championships and VIP access to a Game Reserve.  While there, he was honored as a Body Proud Ambassador and was met with tons of media attention on his press junket  which united 10 African Nations in the spirit of fitness. Earlier this year,  FAME South Africa and Joanne Rossi of Force Events awarded a trip of a lifetime to South Africa to be the host of our international TV show and participate in a magazine 'safari' photoshoot.

Fifth, major prizes.

Sixth, the FAME Agency is back, newly revamped as the Body Proud Agency.  The role of the Agency is to act as representative, image consultant and publicist for each athlete brought on the roster.  Really, it's mission is to foster the growth of the individual; bring them publicity and help them reach their dreams.

Seventh, the FAME Magazine is better than ever, focusing on FAME Athletes and Body Proud Role Models.

Eighth, new events are being added around the world.  It seems there is more and more interest each day.  Hosting an event is a great opportunity for anyone who is passionate for this industry and has a business sense.  It's a great way to build their personal brand while embarking on a profitable business venture that they enjoy.

Ninth, Body Proud Nutrition is currently being formulated.  This is something different than what is already out there.  We can't share too much just yet, but we are very EXCITED.  It's a healthy dietary enhancement formula that is beneficial for everyone who is body proud and/or body proud inspired.

Tenth, the FAME World Championships are being held for the first time ever in the USA.  This year they are in Las Vegas, Nevada and take place beginning on 11:11, a very magical number for many people.  This MAGICAL weekend includes a FAME Idol, an Elite Level Show (for top athletes and pros of all organizations) and ends with a giant Awards Gala.  Come on out and experience the magic!

Jeffrey Kippel Mindy BlacksteinMuscle & Strength: What inspired you to make all these positive changes?

Jeff & Mindy: There was a need.  There was a definite void in the industry as everyone just kept following the way things were done previously.  We took 3 years off to evaluate the industry as a whole and listened to everything that was being said.   As such, we developed a brand new system so as to alleviate all concerns and bring the interest of the competitors to the forefront.  See specific details in the Body Proud Community.

Muscle & Strength: Tell me about the universal point reward system...how are some ways contestants earn points?

Jeff & Mindy: The Worldwide Point Reward System for all who are Body Proud allows individuals to collect points in 5 different Realms:

  • Realm 1: Physique "Body As Art"
  • Realm 2: Performance
  • Realm 3: Transformation
  • Realm 4: Publicity
  • Realm 5: Lifestyle "Living Body Proud"

Realm 1, 2 and 3 are Competition and/or Showcase based.  Individuals earn points by participating in physique sporting events, whether from the FAME World Tour or other recognized organizations.

Realm 4 is really focused on helping the individual build their brand and experience within the media.  So individuals are awarded points based on the exposure they garner for themselves in the public eye whether through publications, TV and/or professional photoshoots.

Realm 5 allows individuals to collect points for elements associated with being a good role model for a healthy, active lifestyle.  They earn points based on their own personal growth; courses and books that they read; philanthropic actions they take;  living body proud and therefore leading by example.

So to summarize, an individual can earn points in any or all of these Realms.

In Realm 1 and 2 they earn points just by competing (and this includes their past competition experience) as well as by being nominated or declared a finalist or winner for any of the award-worthy elements, such as:  best transitions; most muscular; amazing stage presence; great choreography; wow-factor strength move, etc.

In Realm 3, individuals earn points for getting up on stage and sharing their personal body proud story, their triumphs, and obstacles.  Points are awarded here because often one person's story is what inspires others to lead a more healthy, active body proud lifestyle (which is further honed within the Body Proud Community where they can actually network and interact) and it is also very intrinsically rewarding for that participant as well.

In Realm 4, points are accumulated for each magazine feature, radio interview, television appearance etc with a higher weight applied to those mediums with more viewership.

In Realm 5, individuals earn points whenever they read a book about personal development; take a course relating to nutrition, fitness and/or spirituality; and whenever they make positive changes in their lifestyle which can include bettering their eating habits; becoming more present and less reactive, etc.

Overall when individuals accrue points in all these realms it really helps them lead a much more happy, confident and healthy lifestyle, while inspiring those around them to do the same.

Muscle & Strength: How are you handling the task of managing/overseeing these points? It seems like a lot of work would go in to keeping track of points in the system...

Jeff & Mindy: This is an easy one.  There is a specially designed back-end system that is about to be launched.  A lot works on the 'honor system' as we trust people to be honest with their uploads, which is the very nature of the Body Proud Community itself.  There is also both random and deliberate checks to ensure everything is running smoothly.  Plus as individuals reach the point score of Ambassador, Athlete, Model, Pro, Body Proud Role Model then their file is reviewed by the Body Proud Organization Heart and Headquarters (BPOHHQ) prior to said recognition is announced.