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A STARLOTTE IS BORN

You may not know Starlotte Dawn Smith, but she knows Lafayette. The UL alumna was a member the UL water ski team in the mid 1990s, named to the All-America team, competed in the World University Trophy Games and collected more than 10 national championships. In 1999, Smith moved to Tinsel Town to pursue a career in acting. She’s really earned her bread and butter as a stunt double and stunt driver — the gal is talented! — appearing in such movies as Mission, Impossible and Déjà Vu and on the television series America’s Most Wanted. Smith found her true talent behind the scenes as a producer, and her most recent major motion picture, La Cucina, is out on DVD. The romantic drama centering around food and set mostly in kitchens (there’s your Louisiana influence) stars Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Joaquim de Almeida (24), Rachel Hunter (former super model) and Leisha Hailey, and picked up Best Feature and Best Screenplay awards at several film festivals. It’s available through Amazon and other online retailers for about 20 bucks. Support your hometown, world champion, water skiing, stunt doubling, movie producer! — Walter Pierce

MARDI GRAS ’DO

Jymmye Shafer’s second Mardi Gras of designing and manufacturing festive barrettes and headbands suffered a setback, as the demand for her Saints hair accessories took up most of the budding entrepreneur’s spare time. “I’ve just been too overwhelmed with the Saints; they sold like crazy,” says Shafer, who is playing catchup now that Mardi Gras is only days away. You can find her colorful feathered creations — a perfect accent for the reveler who dresses from head to toe or those of us who prefer just a splash of festive color to help celebrate the season — exclusively in Lafayette at Artesia (where she works as assistant manager) or online at littlebirdie1113.etsy.com. The Mardi Gras barrettes come in small, medium (pictured) and large and retail for $14-$18. The headbands are $16-$24. Artesia is located at 2513 Johnston St. Call 232-8441. — Leslie Turk

FUNK SOUL BROTHERS

Venerable New Orleans groovsters Galactic are back with a new release, Ya-Ka-May. It’s Galactic’s first full length album of new material since 2007’s From the Corner to the Block, which featured the band’s collaborations with an array of hip hop MCs, including Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na and New Orleans’ own Juvenile. Ya-Ka-May, which takes its name from a multi-ethnic noodle stew common in Crescent City corner stores, continues its collaborative tradition with the band, this time calling on artists from across New Orleans’ wide musical spectrum to lend their voices to the mix. From elder statesmen Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas and Walter “Wolfman” Washington to young turks Trombone Shorty and “sissy” rappers Katey Red and Sissy Nobby, the city’s talents are well represented here, blended into an eclectic soup to feed your cravings, just in time for Mardi Gras. Ya-Ka-May retails $13.99 is available at most music retailers. ­— Nathan Stubbs

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