Ronnie Kroell: There’s a ton of heart behind that smile

I have been blessed to know Ronnie Kroell for quite a while now. I am honored to call him friend, grateful for the adventures his friendship brings me, and look forward to many more years of both! Ronnie is a model, actor, activist, artist, singer, soon to be author, and one of the best human beings I know. He founded the Friend Movement along with Laughing Eddie Lobo and through this, they have been feeding homeless people in LA, bringing people together, and promoting the importance of self love and friendship.

On my most recent trip to Los Angeles, Ronnie and I had lunch and lots of coffee with the best conversation, as usual. We started talking about things we wanted to do and how we  might be able to work together on something special. The idea of a Facebook Live show came up and I totally felt Ronnie would be perfect for that space. Shortly after, Behind the Smile Live was a reality that I feel was overdue and needed. We thought it would be really nice to chat about it and about the other things Ronnie has going on so we could share it with you all as well.

We’ve had many conversations over the years in private but I’m always proud to share the ones I can with you! So, let me introduce you to Ronnie Kroell, the man (and heart) behind the gorgeous smile:

Q: Tell me a little about the concept behind the Behind The Smile book and how that became Behind the Smile Live. I am honored to have been part of the BTS Live process but I want everyone to know how it evolved. 

Ronnie Kroell: The concept for my Behind The Smile book is simple really, it’s about authenticity.

My goal is to dive beneath the surface, eliminate the filters, destroy the masks, and achieve a deeper level of human connection with my family, friends, and fans. I plan to challenge my readers to step outside of their own comfort zones, become more vulnerable, and live their most authentic lives. To do this, I will be sharing my personal life struggles, successes, and a few lessons that I’ve learned along the way. Each chapter will discuss an important topic, but the coolest part is, readers will be able to immediately implement what they have read by way of a real-life challenge that I pose at the end of each chapter!

While I am writing the book, I thought it would be fun to get the creative juices flowing and do something special! SO, I teamed up with my friend Tommy Geraci and together we created, BTS – LIVE on Facebook. It airs every Sunday at 3PM ET / 6PM PT. We have a new guest each week, share an inspirational quote, and pose a weekly challenge to motivate and energize our audience for the week ahead. www.facebook.com/ronniefriendkroell

Q: You have been on a journey to help others AND to learn more about yourself. Do those two goals ever get in each other’s way?

Ronnie Kroell: I have found that it is possible to help others while working on myself, but it is MOST important to find a healthy balance. If you give too much of yourself away, then you have nothing left and can burn out pretty easily. Practicing self-care and learning to love yourself is the key to learning how to extend that same kindness to others in our lives.

Q: Friend Movement started as an anti-bullying platform but has also evolved into so much more. Can you tell us a little about it and how it is different from other movements out there?

RK: Friend Movement believes that what you focuses on expands, thereby, if we are focused on “anti-bullying”, we are still giving bullying power. So, to counter that, we have decided to be “pro-friendship” and find ways to explore what it really means to be a friend to ourselves and others. We are in the business of preventing and healing the effects of bullying by producing fun events, edgy photo-campaigns, and inspiring diverse social media content that aims to unite us in friendship and find solutions to challenging problems.

Q: In episode one of BTS Live, you discussed how you can look at photos and know what was going on behind your smiles and which were forced. What truly makes you smile?

RK: Life is a beautiful, but often very complicated thing. It comes with complex challenges, confusing emotions, and scarce resources. Our collective society / consciousness creates and dictates how we should walk, talk, look, etc. But to me, living by those norms is SO boring. What makes me smile is when I see people breaking out of their cages, challenging the status quo, thinking outside the box, and being unapologetically themselves. It’s taken me a bit of time to become comfortable in my own skin (for numerous reasons that I will touch upon in the book), but I smile the brightest when I have no other intention than that of showing up and enjoying the ride.

Q: What’s one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without? 

RK: I cannot live without my friends, they are fuel and sustenance for my soul.

I wish we could all live without judgement.

Q: In episode one you also discussed the change in tone the internet can take. When social media first became big, it seemed to be nicer, more friendly. Do you think we can get that back? Go back to a global community? 

RK: The world we live in today is certainly technologically more connected than it has ever been, but yet somehow it feels we are more disconnected at times. The truth is, we are starving for real human contact and deeper connections — not the surface level interactions we have come to know. Some social media outlets have become real toxic wastelands that are breeding and perpetuating fear, anger, bullying, isolation, depression, and egocentric life-styles. I don’t think that we can go back in time, but I do think that together we can #BeTheChange on an individual level and create new healthy habits.

Q: Describe yourself using three hashtags.

RK: #KingOfHeart #Artist #Friend

Q: As long as I’ve known you, I have never heard you preach for the sake of it and I know you always walk the walk. What do you hope BTS Live will be to others and what do you hope it can be for you? 

RK: I hope that BTS Live will be a raw slice of life look into my world, my friends, and my dreams — thereby inspiring others to rise above fear, reach for their goals, and experience all the happiness and abundance they deserve in life. For me, it is another creative outlet by which to continue to challenge myself, know myself, and maybe even surprise myself from time to time.

Q: You have spoken of self love and since I know you practice what you preach, can you name three qualities you think are your strongest or that you are proud of?

RK: Loyalty

Empathy

Integrity

Q: Since we are also discussing themes of self reflection, can you name three qualities you think you can improve on? 

RK: Patience

Delegating

Saying NO

Q: Where can everyone find you on social media and online?

www.ronniekroell.com

www.friendmovement.com

www.facebook.com/ronniefriendkroell

www.twitter.com/ronniekroell

www.instagram.com/ronniekroell

Q: What’s up next for Ronnie Kroell? For Friend Movement?

RK: My three main focuses right now are painting, acting, and taking Friend Movement to the next level! You can expect to see me working consistently in mainstream film, television, putting on art gallery shows, and speaking out about the importance of friendship through various channels, including, but not limited to — The Ronnie & Eddie Show. We could not be doing this important work without the kindness, love, and support of our growing #FriendFamily and for that we are deeply grateful.

Together we are making a difference —  one friend at a time.

I really want to thank Ronnie from the bottom of my heart for his friendship, for doing this interview and for giving me the opportunity to work on Behind the Smile Live with him. Please join us every Sunday at 3pm PT/6pm ET for a thoughtful, meaningful conversation that will start off your week perfectly! Here’s a previous episode so you can see for yourself:

Friend Movements 2nd Annual Stardust Soiree

The time has come for the 2nd Annual Stardust Soiree from Friend Movement. I am so honored to have been in attendance at the very first last year and extremely thrilled to be a host this year. All the preparation is really paying off as you will see from the official press release below. There are some amazing sponsors, fun raffles, amazing performers, and lots of friends gathering for the event.

There’s still time to grab a ticket at any price point so you get to enjoy some part of the festivities. I would love to see you there since my time in LA can get quite busy these days. This is a perfect time to catch up for a great cause! Check out the details here:

2nd Annual STARDUST SOIREE – OCTOBER 24th, 2015

Friend Movement in collaboration with AFU Productions, KSP Systems, Bodvar, and Go Channel is proud to present our 2nd Annual STARDUST SOIREE – Black-Tie VIP Dinner & Concert Fundraiser

SCHEDULE
5-7 PM VIP Cocktail Reception / Purple Carpet Arrivals + Interviews
7-7:30 PM Seating (Dinner & General Admission)
7:30 – 10 PM Dinner & MAIN EVENT Concert
10PM – Midnight DANCE PARTY concert

MAIN EVENT concert PERFORMERS (8 PM – 10 PM)
♥ The Summit
♥ Frenchie Davis (AMERICAN IDOL / RENT/ DEAD 7 / WE ARE FAMILY)
♥ Ryan Boone

DANCE PARTY concert PERFORMERS (10 PM – MIDNIGHT)
♥ Aylin Bayramoglu (GLEE PROJECT / CHEERLEADER DEATH SQUAD)
♥ Abraham Lim (GLEE PROJECT / HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS)
♥ Lily Mae Harrington (GLEE PROJECT / SOME FREAKS LOSERVILLE / PEE – WEE’S BIG HOLIDAY)

SPICE AFFAIR
50 N La Cienega Blvd #120, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
5PM – Midnight

Proceeds benefit the work of:

Born To Act Players: a unique theater company comprised of professional performers with and without disabilities. The concept came about when two young men with Down syndrome became friends. Both young men lovedacting and they realized one’s mother was an actor and a drama coach and the other’s worked as a representative for professional talent with disabilities. In 1996, in a small studio space in North Hollywood, California, a handful of young people with Down syndrome began meeting weekly to memorize lines and play theater games.

Friend Movement’s heART Therapy workshops: a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The creative process involved in expressing one’s self artistically can help people to resolve issues as well as develop and manage their behaviors and feelings, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and awareness.

$20 – DANCE PARTY (10PM – Midnight)
♥ Drink Specials
♥ Dance Party Concert
* Dance Party ticket holders are welcome to network & enjoy the wonderful drink specials at the main restaurant bar at any time before the DANCE PARTY portion.

$50 – GENERAL ADMISSION (7PM – MIdnight)
♥ Drink Specials
♥ MAIN EVENT Concert
♥ Dance Party Concert
* GENERAL ADMISSION ticket holders are welcome to network & enjoy the wonderful drink specials at the main restaurant bar at any time before the MAIN EVENT portion.

$100 – DINNER & GENERAL ADMISSION (7PM – Midnight)
♥ Dinner (Mushroom Cappuccino, Punjab Connection, Saffron Rice, Fresh Seasonal Vegetables & Dessert. Note: Vegan option available – please note a request during ticket purchase. Vegan option must be noted by Oct 16)
♥ Hosted Wine at dinner
♥ MAIN EVENT Concert
♥ Dance Party Concert
♥ Swag Bag

* DINNER & GENERAL ADMISSION ticket holders are welcome to network & enjoy the wonderful drink specials at the main restaurant bar at any time before the MAIN EVENT portion.

$150 – VIP RECEPTION & DINNER (5PM – Midnight)
♥ Hosted Wine & Apps Reception + Talent Meet & Greet
♥ Dinner (Mushroom Cappuccino, Punjab Connection, Saffron Rice, Fresh Seasonal Vegetables & Dessert. Note: Vegan option available – please note a request during ticket purchase. Vegan option must be noted by Oct 16)
♥ MAIN EVENT Concert (front rows)
♥ Dance Party Concert
♥ EXCLUSIVE VIP Swag Bag

Master of Ceremonies
♥ Ronnie Kroell
♥ Laughing Eddie Lobo
♥ Jeanie You

HOST COMMITTEE
♥ Tommy Geraci
♥ Louise Masin Sattler
♥ Henie Reisinger
♥ Ashlee Marie Preston
♥ Mary Rings
♥ Jerry Silverhardt
♥ Kyle Chan
♥ Monica Danielsen
♥ Roberto Quinn
♥ Karamo Brown
♥ Nina Boski
♥ Santwon McCray
♥ Dean Hale

SPONSORS
♥ AFUproductions
♥ Kettle Glazed Doughnuts
♥ Perfectly Afflicted
♥ DIABOLO Beverages

♥ VIVA GLAM MAGAZINE
♥ Bodvár of Sweden
♥ Blue Chair Bay Rum

SILENT AUCTION
♥ THE STUDIO | 1 day photo/film rental – Monday – Friday from 8am – 6pm ($2500 value)
♥ Francesco Scavullo | Liza Minnelli Limited Edition Print ($2500 value)
♥ KSP Systems IT Consultation ($750 value)
♥ A set lunch for “Goodnight Marilyn” April 2016. Meet the cast and crew. (Priceless)
♥ Walk-On Role in “Child of the 70′s” web-series. (Priceless)
♥ Garnet & Rose Quartz Necklace by Hector Camacho ($250 value)
♥ Canvas print Tulips and Fountains by Robin Magee 20″ x 16″
♥ One-HourProject Consultation & Strategy Session with Debra Eckerling, Guided Goals.
♥ Andrew Christian Gift Basket

RAFFLE
♥ $100 Cake & Art Gift Certificate
♥ Kyle Chan Design Bracelets (5)
♥ Organic Teeth Whitenening Treatment | Studio City Ortho ($99 value)
♥ $50 Kettle Glazed Gift Card (3)
♥ $50 Amoeba Music
♥ Perfectly Afflicted T-Shirts (10)
♥ Bella Dots Collection 2.0 | 12 Cup Coffee Maker ($50 value )

You’ll also have a chance to bid on some hot and trendy shoes like these from Guilhermina ShoesNA:

Be sure to get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-stardust-soiree-tickets-19003560160