Awards Ceremony

5:30pm Closing Night Buffet Dinner in the Filmmaker’s Lounge
7pm Closing Night Awards Ceremony at Bellmore Movies

Sammi Rae Merciano and Los Vegas

Closing Night Opening Act

A Long Island native, Sammi Rae has been singing for four years, and garnering a ton of praise from audiences nationwide. Her strong and soulful voice shows an incredible amount of talent and dedication, yet knowing that ‘you have to believe in yourself and have confidence to be successful,’ has been her continued mantra. On her most recent collaboration with Los Vegas – “Escápate”, the magnetic collaboration brings to life the sentimental romance often featured in Reggaetón hits with an energetically pumping backbeat and laid-back flow that is sure to make it a club hit. Trading lyrics like “If I leave with you, I want to be there with you through the night // I want to feel your arms around me, hold me tight // Your body next to mine, you make me feel so high” with Los Vegas, and the refrain “Never mind what anybody says, I just want to dance the night away, I just want to know if we can escape”, Murciano shows off her vocal prowess in a new genre which she seems just as at home in as her past pop-driven tracks. On working with Vegas, Murciano says “It has been amazing to work together. To collaborate with someone who has the same passion and dedication for music as I do. We are very excited for what’s to come and have a lot of new music coming soon.

Our Host: Kevin Dot Com Brown

Stand-up Comedian and American Actor Kevin Brown
aka Dot Com/ Uptown Kevin Brown/ Kevin “Dot Com” Brown /30 Rock Dot Com/ Dot Com

Kevin Brown aka Dot Com was a winner of the 15th annual “SAG” Screen Actors Guild Award, for his portrayal of “Dot Com,” in N.B.C.’s “30 ROCK (winner of multiple “EMMY awards” and “GOLDEN GLOBES).”  Dot Com was on 30 Rock for seven seasons starring opposite Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan.

Dot Com played a Bodyguard, Best Friend and right hand of the eccentric Tracy Jordan portrayed by Actor/Comedian Tracy Morgan.  Dot Com was part of the entourage “Grizz and Dot Com” that won the hearts of millions of viewers.

NBC released the webisode “Livin’XL with Grizz and Dot Com” based on demand during the fourth season as an opportunity to develop Dot Com’s character.  Various clips of the series ”Livin’XL with Grizz and Dot Com” achieved high viewerships.

Twenty (25+) years ago Dot Com and his brother Andre created and produced “The Uptown Comedy Club” tv show (FOX five network), which ran for four seasons.  The live creation, “The Uptown Comedy Club” (was located in the heart of Harlem on 125th St.). The Uptown Comedy Club experienced National success in the 80’s and 90’s.  Kevin Brown aka Dot Com managed and taught some of the most successful comedians, i.e., JB Smoove “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Flex Alexander “ UPN’s One on One” and Tracy Morgan “Saturday Night Live” and  “NBC’s 30 Rock”, to name a few.

Dot Com changed gears to become a “Stand-up Comedian and American Actor.”  As a Stand-up Comedian, Dot Com appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien, ”Nick Jr. Nick Moms at Night,” NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” and “BET’s Comic View,” etc.   Dot Com frequented “Ha Comedy Club’s stage, opened for Tracy Morgan at Carolines (May 2010), hosted Legendary vocalist Rev Al Green at the Legend’s Club “ B.B. King for soulful, inspired music, and headlined comedy venues throughout the country and Canada.

In addition to his role on 30 Rock, Dot Com appeared in Sara Jessica Parker’s blockbusters “Did you hear about the Morgans?” and Sex in the City Part 2 (SATC2). He was in an episode of Castle, “Royal Pains” on USA TNT tv,  in a scene with Leo Dicaprio in “The Departed.” ” Lucky Number Slevin,” “50 Cents Get Rich Or Die Trying,” Lindsay Lohan’s “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen,” and ”Delirious” (starring Steve Buscemi).

In production is a version of “The Uptown Comedy Club: The Birth of Hip Hop Comedy” presented by Dot Com Entertainment.  This “House of Black,” as it was known, was a platform for Black comedians and Black audiences to enjoy the hilarious comedy of and by people who looked like them right in the Harlem neighborhood until 2002.

John Andrew Gallagher

LIIFETime Career Achievement Honoree

A fixture on the New York scene for 40 years as a director, writer, producer, author, historian and educator, John’s track record is especially strong in discovering and mentoring new talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Among the actors John has worked with in debut or significant early roles are John Leguizamo, Amanda Peet, Zach Braff, Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, Matthew Lillard, Heather Matarazzo, and Denis Leary.  An Emerson College graduate, John made his directorial debut with the rock ‘n roll musical comedy Beach House (New Line Cinema),  then directed college pal Denis Leary in two shorts, Kurt Vonnegut’s Long Walk to Forever and Other Men’s Wives. He and action star Steve James co-wrote, Gallagher directed, and James starred in the cult action movie Street Hunter (Columbia/ TriStar) , co-starring Frank Vincent, with John Leguizamo in his first starring role. John then wrote the cult comedy classic The Deli with an all-star cast  including Gretchen Mol, Chris Noth, Jerry Stiller, Ice T, Frank Vincent, Debi Mazar, Iman, Tony Sirico, Heather Matarazzo and Michael Imperioli. The National Board of Review cited The Deli with an award for Excellence in Filmmaking.

Blue Moon  (Castle Hill), also written and directed by Gallagher, followed, starring Ben Gazzara, Rita Moreno, Burt Young, and in an early role, Zach Braff. Gallagher also began a teaching career at School of Visual Arts, The Neighborhood Playhouse and others, that continues to this day with his popular classes at One on One. Other features include the improv comedy Cupidity (2004), which he directed, and producing stints on the features The Insurgents (LIIFE Best Feature) and Mother’s Day Massacre (2007). He directed a series of award-winning shorts (I Love You, Beautiful, We Remember, Want, Wink) and wrote the books Film Directors on Directing and Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William Wellman (with Frank Thompson)..

Most recently Gallagher directed The Networker (The Orchard), starring Steve Stanulis, William Forsythe, Sean Young and Stephen Baldwin, and just debuted Sarah Q at the Golden Door International Film Festival, where Emmy James was awarded Best Actress in a Feature. The comedy-drama Sarah Q, stars Burt Young, Sally Kirkland and The Sopranos’ Tony Sirico, Vincent Pastore, Federico Castelluccio, William DeMeo, and Artie Pasquale, with Steve Stanulis, Garry Pastore, Joseph D’Onofrio and Ashlee Macropoulos.

In 2013 John almost perished in a fire and was given only a 10% chance of survival. After six weeks in a coma and six months in hospital, he survived and thrived, making eight films since, inspiring many by overcoming his handicap.

Abigail Hawk

LIIFE Creative Achievement Award

Abigail Hawk is a New York-based actor, singer, writer, humanitarian, and mom.  She began performing theatrically at the age of six and landed her first television role at twelve.  Hawk earned a Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship to the University of Maryland, from which she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in theatre.

Abigail has guest-starred on television shows Law and Order: SVU, Body of Proof, The Jim Gaffigan Show, and Are We There Yet?  She is perhaps most recognizable as Detective Abigail Baker, the unflappable right hand of NYPD Police Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) on CBS’ Blue Bloods.

Hawk’s film work includes her award-winning performance in film festival favorite Almost Paris and her starring role opposite Chevy Chase in ION Network’s feature A Christmas in Vermont.  Catch her next in Brother’s Keeper with Laurence Fishburne and Milo Gibson.  Abigail recently returned to the stage (for the first time in 9 years!) in Dorothy Lyman’s haunting new play, In the Bleak Midwinter, off-Broadway in NYC. 

Hawk has sung and played piano at The Bitter End, CBGB’s, and The Duplex.  She co-authored The Unofficial Guide to Surviving Pregnancy Without Losing Your Mind, and her poetry is featured in online women’s magazine Good Little Girls.  She is a Tupelo Press 30/30 Project participant, for which she penned a poem a day for the month of May!  Abigail enjoys working with charities Habitat for Humanity, Covenant House, ADAPT Community Network, and HeartShare Human Services of New York, who honored her with The Linda Dano Heart Award. 

She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Actor’s Equity Association. She currently resides on Long Island with her busy, beautiful family: husband, two sons, one dog, two cats, two fish, and one snail.  She is overjoyed and honored to be here tonight as both a presenter and the recipient of this year’s LIIFE Creative Achievement Award. 

Carol Silva

Recipient of the Inaugural LIIFE Excellence in Newscasting Award

Carol Silva is the Emmy Award-winning Morning and Midday Edition anchor at News 12 Long Island, America’s first 24-hour regional news network.

Carol has shared the lives of 3 million Long Islanders while following the stories of Presidents and Popes, from the News 12 anchor desk, or on planes, in boats and on the road. She has covered stories from Ground Zero after September 11, to Albany, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Texas.