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Archive for the ‘television’ Category

THE DAGGER: ALTERNATIVE QUEER ARTS PROGRAMMING

In Art, Being Gay, Dating, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Music, Relationships, reviews, sex, television on March 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm

What exactly is “The Dagger?”

Click here for the trailer!

The Dagger is a Queer experimental platform that allows Queer multimedia art projects to evolve and take lives of their own. Regularly scheduled programming will feature short films with musical composition and art direction by none other than Charlie Demos, and videography by the talented I.R. Marin.

See Charlie Demos being interviewed with QUEERAI.

To many, and more to come, The Dagger represents “determination to become courageously close to one’s enemy.” This new program will certainly give the GLBTQ community an alternative platform to experience experimental artistic multimedia.

The Dagger is a crucial “weapon” for GLBTQ people everywhere; it strikes a note toward balancing our representation in the media.

Click here for more on Charlie Demos.

Here it is again … THE DAGGER: EXPERIMENTAL QUEER PROGRAMMING.

Here is MNN.org.

The Dagger will be premiering on public access on March 25, 2011 at 1:00 a.m. – MNN 2 channel 56.

Randy Jones of the Village People

In Being Gay, Celebrity Interviews, Clubs, Dating, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Gay Weddings, Hollywood, Literature, Music, Night Out, NYC, Relationships, sex, television on June 29, 2010 at 5:43 am

Because let’s be honest, disco music was where it was at!

-Joseph Federico

When you hear the name “Randy Jones,” a sexy disco-encrusted cowboy should come to mind. Best known for his role as the cowboy from the group the Village People, Randy Jones also has had many pokers in the fire of life since the 1970s; he’s still singing but he’s also an actor and writer. Randy was gracious enough to stop by and discuss what Pride means to him as well as what he’ll be up to within the next few years.

Equal4all: How do you feel that the Village People changed the path of music back in the 1970s?

Randy Jones: I’m not so sure that we changed the path of music in the 1970s. However, I do think that from the beginning, I realized that we were embarking on something rather unique in showbusiness. It was perhaps an early version of a “boyband,” although I’m not sure I would accept the responsibility of being a fairy godfather to “The Backstreet Boys,” “Nsync,” etc. When we/VP were in the early stages, in my thoughts, we took inspiration from the Marx Bros, the Three Stooges, The Ritz Bros – combining it with the moves from some of the cool soul groups of the 60s and 70s like the Coasters, the Temptaions, The Four Tops – tossing in the knowing wink and a wiggle from some County Fair Strippers and topping it off with a heavy dollop of Chippendale’s … which we as a group truthfully inspired!

Click here for Randy Jones’ website!

From the beginning, I viewed what we were attempting as essentially a comedy act with some very well crafted and deceptively simple Pop Songs, like “Macho Man,” “In the Navy,” and “Y.M.C.A.”! How could we go wrong? Nobody else gave us an ounce of credit … nor did any of the critics ever think we’d succeed. But we did. We did … far beyond anyone’s expectations.

Currently, my solo sales combined with Village People sales have surpassed more than 100 million units world-wide to date. I’m in the Guiness Book of Records. I’ve performed for the Queen of England, as well as at a U.S. Presidential Innaugural. I’ve appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, the Merv Griffin Show, the Tonight Show, Midnight Special, among hundreds of other television programs worldwide. I even appeared on The Love Boat a couple of times with Betty White and Andy Warhol!

Follow Randy Jones on Myspace!

And I’ve got a star on Hollywood Blvd … one of 2,500 in its 50 year history. Ours is located at 6529 Hollywood Blvd, right between movie star Betty Grable and music personality Liberace. Now, ain’t that the coziest spot one could imagine?! On one side Betty has legs insured for a million dollars and on the other side Liberace with a million dollars worth of sequins and crystal chandeliers!

E4A: Do you feel that the music you record today appeals to a wide mainstream audience and not only to members of the GLBT community?

RJ: I certainly believe the music I record and have recorded over the past four decades has been music recorded for the enjoyment of ALL people who give it a listen. I’ve never felt that I was recording music for any particular group of people or segment of the population. I really like POP music; that’s the music to which I like to listen, to perform and to record. I look for songs that have a story which resonates with me, that I feel I can tell and to which I can relate. Just give a listen to my most recent CD, “Ticket to the World.” Among the selections on it you will find “Your Disco Needs You,” “If I Can’t Have You,” “Sleeping,” and “Rhinestone Cowboy,” just to name a few!

E4A: Pride … what does it mean to you?


RJ: Pride … to me, means living an honest and open life in the light.

E4A: Tell us about your new show “When Joey Married Bobby.”

RJ: “When Joey Married Bobby” has gone on hiatus for the summer, but the producers are planning to take it to Atlanta, Orlando, and Dallas later this year. I let ’em know that I’m on board if all the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted. So be out there lookin’ for me!

E4A: Please give advice to those who may be struggling with who they truly are:

RJ: Make the honest choices that resonate with truth in your soul and be comfortable in your own skin. And remember that everyone is engaged in the same struggle … to exist, and that it is not always easy.

E4A: What is the famous Randy Jones up to within the next few years or so?

RJ: My career is and has been extremely satisfying. Fortunately, the VP time has provided and will forever provide me with financial security and freedom to pursue whatever project in showbusiness that interests me. I’m truly a very lucky dawg in that aspect. As you mentioned, I’ve just finished starring in an Off-B’way play, “When Joey Married Bobby” in the heart of Times Square. I’ve got a film that was just at Cannes, “My Guaranteed Student Loan” with Richard Pryor, Jr., Oscar winner Celeste Holm, and Kate Luckinbill (Lucille Ball’s grand-daughter). June 4th, a film in which I play an attorney, An Affirmative Act premiered at The Hoboken Film Festival, and two others, Violet Tendencies and Bear City premiered at NewFestNYC Festival this month.

Why don’t you IMDB Randy Jones!

I have a new book, “MACHO MAN: The Disco Era,” which is in its second printing and is in nearly 20,000 libraries around the world. It has been chosen to be included in University pop culture and LGBT courses and I am booked  frequently to appear to speak with college students who use the book in their courses. Later this year I have two film projects booked. One to be shot in Arizona is Cafe A Go Go in which I co-star with David Bowie’s ex-wife, Angie Bowie. Another is a contemporary telling of the Edgar Allan Poe tale “The Cask of Amontillado”… I play ‘Fortunato.’ Early in 2011, I’m booked to play the warden in a prison thriller, untitled as of now, and and then Spring 2011, I’m booked to play a deputy sheriff in another thriller, House of Whispers. I also have two reality/documentary projects in development with A&E/The History Channel.

Purchase some Randy Jones music!

Of course in my moments that I get to breathe, I love to do dates out performing my music – like the Classic Disco Nightclub Reunion Concert on July 2nd out in Melville Long Island. It’s a great roster of classic 70s acts like The Trammps, Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes, France Joli, Carol Williams, Musique, First Choice, and of course me doing “San Francisco/Hollywood,” “Macho Man,” “In the Navy,” “Go West,” “Can’t Stop the Music” and “Y.M.C.A,” along with several other selections from my current CD. I get to do about 30 music dates a year. And of course, I’ll be appearing at ROCK CON, the National Rock & Roll Fan Fest , July 30, 31, and Aug. 1. My new CD is also being readied for release in Spring of 2011!

As you may have been able to discern by now, I have never been bored a day in my life!

If you got the chance to meet Randy Jones of the Village People, how would you react?

Project Runway Showcases Mr. Jesse LeNoir

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Gay Business, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Hollywood, NYC, television on February 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Jesse LeNoir, fashion designer and reality show star. Jesse is an Ohio native who has made it from the Midwest to season seven of Project Runway. As fashion week in New York comes to a close, he gives us an inside look at Project Runway and what it’s like being a fashion designer.

Equal4all: Why did you decide to audition for Project Runway?

Jesse LeNoir: I knew as a designer who hasn’t attended design school, it is really tough to have any credibility or ability to show people what you do; so, I figured that the platform that Project Runway provides was perfect for getting into the industry.

E4A: What do you think Project Runway will do for your career as a fashion designer? 

JL: It is something that I’m hoping will open doors for me to work in the industry under someone I admire, like Tom Ford, or Thom Browne.  And also give me some recognition when I start my own fashion line.

E4A: What is your favorite article of clothing to design and why? 

JL: I love jackets and coats.  I think there’s just so much to them and they really can be the statement piece for an entire look.  I love doing cute dresses, but I think it’s something that I’m good at but so are many other designers.

E4A: If there was something you could change about your performance on the show, what would it be and why? 

JL: My confidence – I think I didn’t sell my work to the judges the way I should have.  I’m finding more and more that I need to just be unapologetic about my work and stand by it and defend it wholeheartedly because I love it completely so nobody can take that away from me.

E4A: What was competing on the show like in comparison to what you thought it was going to be? 

JL: Pretty close to what I expected, except for the talent level I was competing against.  I think the talent in the room was something that was so much stronger than I expected … it was terrifying sometimes.

E4A: What fashion designers do you admire most? Why? 

JL: I love Tom Ford’s work from what he’s done with Gucci, his own line, and now even directing for film – I think he’s truly a visionary and I would love the opportunity to work alongside him and learn from him.

E4A: How do you describe your design style? 

JL: Clean, tailored, and sophisticated.

E4A: Besides you, who do you think was most deserving to win? 

JL: It’s so very hard to pick one person.  I think we all really won being there because we were mostly small designers needing the exposure … so winning the show overall is just icing on the cake.

E4A: Any gossip about the other contestants or the show that you can spill? 

JL: I can’t gossip about other people, that’s just rude … ha ha.  I think the most salacious material will appear on the show so don’t worry.

E4A: Detail what goes through your mind when you are about to be critiqued. 

JL: There’s a certain amount of terror and also just that sort of feeling of having too much to say and not enough time to say it.  I found that I wanted to explain every detail about the design process that I went through and couldn’t so I had to fight to arrange my thoughts to be the most clear and concise.   The adrenaline doesn’t help that thought process either!

E4A: Do you ever feel at a disadvantage because you’re a man and are less familiar with a woman’s shape? 

JL: I think that being a man doesn’t hinder me really.  I think that because when I design, there isn’t any self body image that I’m evaluating the clothes by, so I can really stay focused on the shape of who I’m dressing.  Also, being a straight man I think helps me because I know what I find appealing on a woman and I try to create that.

E4A: How do you feel about the stereotype that all male fashion designers are gay? 

JL: I think there’s definitely a lot of truth to it, but like every rule or stereotype, it’s never 100% accurate.  I think I’m surely a novelty in this industry but there are others and really it doesn’t matter either way.  It’s about the work; an engineer isn’t any better or worse because of his/her sexual orientation so why should this be any different?

E4A: How do you compare yourself to the past Project Runway winners? 

JL: Eh?  I’m doing my own thing for sure.  I think Jeffrey is someone that people would compare me to, but my style is totally different.

E4A: When it came time for you to choose a model, what were you looking for? 

JL: Something interesting in their face that inspired ideas in me.

E4A: What was the best compliment a judge gave you? 

JL:  “I love this look!”

E4A: Who was your favorite celebrity judge? Why? 

JL: Past seasons?  Natalie Portman.  She is someone I would love to dress.  My season?  Probably Georgina Chapman – she was stunning and I like her work.

E4A: Given what you know now, would you compete on Project Runway again? Why? 

JL: Probably; I would definitely be more efficient at it too!  There’s a learning curve for sure.  It’s been a surreal experience overall and something that is an amazing story and novelty in life.

For more information, please go to http://houseofkilroy.com/ or http://jesselenoir.com/

Lindsay Dahlstrom

*Project Runway images provided by of lifetimepress.com*

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4

Glam Rock: A Chat with Robin Fucking Black!

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Clubs, concerts, Dating, decor, Gay Business, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Hollywood, Literature, Lounges, Music, Night Out, NYC, Relationships, television on January 20, 2010 at 1:52 am

Glammer Robin Black gushes about his new band, his inspirations, and how he wouldn’t mind makin’ out with a dude … that’s why we love him!

Equal4all: How, when, where and why did Robin Black and the Intergalactic Rock Stars form?

Robin Black: I moved to Toronto in 1998, and found four like-minded glam rockers … we started playing in late ’98. We just wanted to be the kind of flashy, good time, exciting band that you just never saw any more.

E4A: Do you still perform with the boys? Why/Why not?

RB: I still play with “Starboy” Chris Cunnane, the last original member. I have a great new band coming together to tour Canada this spring and the UK this summer. Over time, being in a band is like being married to 5 men of questionable hygiene; you develop different goals in your life. I really appreciate everyone I’ve played with before.

E4A: In the song “More Effeminate Than You,” do you feel that the message is misrepresented in the heterosexual sense or do you not mind how your fans interpret it? To be honest, as a gay man, I thought you were singing about being more of a queen than your supposed boyfriend and absolutely loved the message of “take me as I am!”

RB: I think it’s cool that you see it that way. It was used in the first episode of the North American version of Queer as Folk at the moment when the kid (Justin) was outed at school, with “faggot” spray painted on his (Brian’s) Jeep. It was very powerful, and I was very moved how they used it. The way you viewed it, as a gay man, is exactly how most straights view it … that you are more “femmy” than your partner … for straight guys, it’s about being femmier than their girlfriend. Actually, Starboy wrote most of the lyrics and I usually want to write my own lyrics for his songs, but those were so powerful, and I loved the sentiment, so I just added some of my own…

E4A: Do you get labeled as “gay” or “bi” at all because of the way you dress and act?

RB: I’ve been called “gay” thousands of times. I happen to be a (mostly) straight guy who wears make-up and nail polish and dresses flashy. Rednecks and idiots use the term “gay” as an insult, but I sure as fuck don’t take it as an insult.

E4A: Have you ever had a hot experience with a member of the same sex? Who was it with? Do you regret it? Would you do it again?

RB: There have, in the past, been alchohol-fueled evenings where many people were naked in the same room/bed. You often wondered whose hand was where, etc. I remember, in flashes, a guy watching me roger his wife once. Man, crazy times. But, I haven’t had the man on man experience. I’m pretty into girls. I can’t help it. I was born that way. But I wouldn’t rule it out.

E4A: Please give an average Joe some fashion tips as to how to achieve your look on a regular basis:

RB: Glam rock is about cool clothes and hair, eye make-up, etc., but it is, most importantly, about expressing yourself freely. DO YOUR THING! That’s my tip.

E4A: How’s the marriage going? How’d you meet your blushing rocker-bride? Any kiddies in the future?

RB: Marriage is tough. I’ve been married before. Didn’t work out. We are actually going through a turbulent time. I am a very driven guy who always puts my career (the entertainment business) and my dreams first. It’s not super conducive to great relationships. I am also a hopeless romantic.

E4A: Please give advice to anyone in the GLBT community who is struggling with who they truly are:

RB: It’s tough to be different, but living your life the way you want, instead of by others rules, is worth it no matter how hard it is. Fuck, think of the alternative. DECIDE that you will not spend your years here living for other people’s expectations. Wake up every day and celebrate who you are.

E4A: Who’s your biggest inspiration in the wonderful world of music and glam rock? Is David Bowie aka Ziggy Stardust one of them?

RB: I love Bowie and I love T. Rex. As a kid, I wanted to be just like Billy Idol.

E4A: Comment on how you thought Velvet Goldmine represented the glam rock era. If you didn’t see it, what movie correctly portrays the genre that you perform in?

RB: I loved the look, I loved the music. I thought it really, really felt like the gendre-fucked drug-fueled glam rock days that I imagine in the 70’s. I fucking LOVE Hedwig and Phantom of the Paradise.

E4A: What does Robin Fucking Black have planned for the future?

RB: I am developing a TV series right now. Writing a new record. Touring Canada this year. Touring the UK and Germany in August. I am also fighting my first professional Cage Fight in Ottawa, Ontario on July 26th. Don’t ask. Just hoping to keep life an adventure!

Interview conducted and edited by J. Federico

Photo Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Wiccan Traditions: Happy Halloween!

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, decor, holidays, Hollywood, Literature, Night Out, Relationships, religions, television on October 30, 2009 at 5:37 am

wicca

What does it mean to be Wiccan? Is there a difference between practicing witchcraft and Wicca? If you have ever visited the Salem Witch Museum in Massachusetts, rented such movies as The Blair Witch Project, or even turned your boob-tube to shows like The Vampire Diaries, you more than likely have been introduced to ways of the witch … or so you think. In the following interview, we will get to know Doreen Lavista (Westchester’s authority on all things Wiccan and Pagan) and her son, Michael. They are a pair of practicing Wiccans that will answer questions ‘til your heart’s desire. The mother-son duo clear the air on what Hollywood has made witches out to be for centuries and make the idea of performing rituals quite attractive.

wiccan

Joseph: When did you first realize that being Wiccan was what you wanted to associate yourself as? Can you tell us what the differences are between the different beliefs out there?

Doreen: Because it made sense! The more I read about it, the more sense it made. Wicca, witchcraft, and Paganism basically align themselves with the seasonal changes of the earth. Paganism is very gynocentric, in that we celebrate the changing seasons and celebrate the changes within ourselves each season.

witch

J: How old were you when you first started to read-up on Wicca and such?

D: First of all, before I even could read, I knew that I had a sense that other people didn’t have; that was what they called precognition … knowing something before it was actually spoken or done. That sense of being aware of what was coming next was very acute in me as a child.

I’m a child of the 60s; there was media that indicated, “Well, if you have x-ability, then you must be a … fill in the blank…” and at that time the word was “witch.” So like every other teenager looking for their niche, I would have to say between the ages of 12 and 13 was when I started doing real research; but what was available was either topics about the Salem Witch Trials and the history of the Inquisition … yeah, not too much. And a lot of dark and negative stuff … a little Anton Lavey …very little by people like Sybil Leek or Laurie Cabot was available at that time.

Really good resources and literature didn’t really come about until, oh I would have to say, the re-explosion of the Neo-Pagan movement in the late 90s.

religion

J: How is being Wiccan different from being Catholic, Jewish, or even Pagan?

D: Let’s discuss Paganism first; that’s kind of an umbrella term for anybody who does not follow the traditional Judeo-Christian-Monotheistic belief system. Pagan refers to all the indigenous people who had religions before they were conquered by Western Europe; Wicca kind of falls into that, in that it differs from Christianity, Judaism, and even Islam, in that it’s not strictly monotheistic. It is also, again, gynocentric, where a female deity is not only powerful but very present; there is balance in the male and female deities, where there’s balance in nature as above and also below. Monotheistic and traditional belief systems seem to be a little one sided there.

witch and cauldron

J: Wow … I didn’t know any of that. Films, like Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, give such a negative connotation to witchcraft and Wicca, you know? And I have become more intrigued by what that is all about…

D: As far as Hollywood is concerned, people like darkness … they like to express that darkness and see it in the theater, simply because they cannot manifest it or express themselves … most of it is way too violent, and it’s still against the law. But Hollywood manages to put a label on something they simply don’t completely understand. When we use the word “occult,” we’re referring to knowledge that has been hidden … and that’s exactly what it means; when a doctor takes the hemoccult, he draws blood and he wants to see what’s hidden in your blood.

This is what the ancient mystics, the Hebrew Kabbalah practitioners, the druids, the shamans, the medicine men had; they all had this “occult” knowledge. But again, it was suppressed when Catholics or Christian Western Europeans came into power. And you had to speak through a mediator … you were not allowed to speak to God directly.

the craft

J: I just have one question to add, and that is … How would you like to see the Wicca way be represented in the future? Would you like it to been seen in a more positive light and gain more exposure?

Michael: As far as exposure is concerned, as long as it’s portrayed the way it is in real life, and not something as dark, evil, or menacing, I personally would feel intrigued if they came up with a show about actual witchcraft and what they do; not a show about shooting sparks out of their hands.

D: Here’s my take on that … I would like to see Wicca and Paganism in general portrayed in the light that it’s really meant to have. It’s not just the Halloween thing; it’s healing and helping people, and being there to be console to people. There’s a lot more light and a lot more protective energy involved.

witches

Hollywood seems to get a little carried away with the special effects of reappearing and the disappearing, and all kinds of entities manifesting. A lot of pulp fiction and romance novels now are embracing the thought of “vampires are groovy and werewolves are sexy;” and so on; it’s driving me crazy because people really don’t know how they’re manipulating this energy. And it all begins and ends in the mind, with intent. What you intend is pretty much what you get … it starts with your mind set.

The “craft,” the nuts and bolts of the candles, colors, herbs, and the bags and the ritual, are the tools that go along with manifesting in the material world that which we have created in our minds. Does that make sense?

J: Yes … so it really isn’t something to be afraid of. It’s more about energy and the earth.

D: Oh, absolutely. There’s nothing to be afraid of … it’s all about truth and light.

J: How do you feel about witchcraft becoming more popular, let’s say as opposed to how things were back in the 60s?

D: Personally I think it’s great; and again with the caveat being, as long as it’s portrayed correctly. It works, but then again so do novenas and prayers. For me, the promotion of the stereotype perpetuates a myth of fear … once we take the fear out of it, and everything is in the light, it’s a-okay. Once again, it’s all about truth and light.

broom

J: Michael, do you feel that it was easier to relate to the Wiccan way as a gay individual, rather than other religions that shun homosexuality?

M: Yes and no. When I was in elementary school, my grandmother at the time wanted me to be raised Christian; well, I was sent out to CCD a couple of days a week after school and came home repeatedly with questions. The answers I was getting to those questions didn’t satisfy me. From what I gather, when one is spiritual, whether it be Christian, Jewish, Islam, Wicca, whatever … you’re supposed to feel something and get something out of it personally. I didn’t feel anything when I was going to church; there was no connection for me there.

I finally decided to take a step back and find something that suited me and what I like and what I was interested it. And as time progressed, I learned more about Wicca and witchcraft from my mom, participated in a couple of ceremonies and holidays, and said, “Wow, this is what I was looking for; this is about the cycles of the earth.” For me, it makes me feel comfortable, I feel and get something out of it. There was no pressure or influence from any outside source; there was no kind of cult mentality.

Looking back as a now 24-year-old, I’m a little upset because there are all these extremists announcing that “homosexuality is wrong,” and “God hates fags,” and so on so forth. There are so many different aspects and variations of Catholicism, that I’m pretty sure the whole “love thy neighbor” thing is supposed to take precedence over spreading words of hatred. That’s probably the main reason why I wouldn’t want to practice one of the three main world religions.

ritual

J: My last question is: Have you or your mother ever participated in any kind of ritual and what kind was it?

D: For about the past twenty years I’ve been part of a coven, and we’ve all taken our turns hosting particular rituals throughout the seasons; some of them were just for the purpose of getting together and celebrating the phase of the moon and bringing manifestation to that phase of the moon and some of them were our traditional holiday celebrations. For instance, Samhain is coming up … you call it Halloween, we call is Samhain; but we also celebrate Yule (December 21) which is the winter solstice. Our holidays actually predate the hallmark calendars.

I’ve often held public rituals in places for events; we’ve gotten some Pagans from all over the county to come and participate … it’s been a lot of fun!

halloween witch

As the time approached to bit each other adieu, Doreen recommended a website for you; it is called witchvox.net, and it is a great place to become more familiarized with all things witches.

Doreen also welcomes you all to befriend her on facebook, especially if you would like to work with her one-on-one … she teaches Wicca 101, you know!

With that being said, venture off calmly, dear spirits of the night and have a happy and healthy Halloween!

-J. Federico

Photo Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Zombies: Crawl Baby, Crawl

In Art, Clothing, Clubs, decor, holidays, Hollywood, Literature, Night Out, NYC, reviews, television on October 22, 2009 at 4:27 am

criss_mckenzie

On September 30th, 2009, I died … and then walked the streets of Manhattan. So did approximately six hundred other people. It was my very first “zombie crawl,” but certainly not my last. What is a zombie crawl? The term hasn’t quite reached Webster’s yet, so I will do my best to define it for you here. ZOMBIE CRAWL: (n or v) a gathering of civilians who are at the very least just a tiny bit insane, who dress up like the undead in varying degrees of intensity, and who walk like a zombie through the streets of unsuspecting cities to celebrate their love of horror, corn syrup, and creatures who eat human flesh.

This particular zombie crawl was a promotion for the new horror comedy Zombieland that came out in theaters October 2nd. Although the event wasn’t rigidly coordinated, there was a  general plan to meet at The Mean Fiddler bar on 47th street, then “crawl” (or plod, drag, and/or cavort in true zombie style) through Times Square to the AMC theater. The costumes were amazing. Some were relatively low key (fake blood and old band tee shirts) while others were off the charts fantastic (bridal gowns and pretend festering ‘sore’ wounds). Everyone was having a great time and people were very friendly! Some really got into their roles: growling, leaping at bystanders with cameras, screaming, spitting fake blood out onto the sidewalk, etc. The lot of us shuffled through the streets with no cares for details of the living; citizens and cars meant nothing to us! We were dead! The angry honking of cab drivers was drowned out by hundreds of horror-movie nerds grunting like the undead and laughing our asses off. By 10:00pm the AMC Theater in Times Square was filled to the brim with costumed zombie fans waiting for their sneak preview tickets to Zombieland.

zombies in new york

Fans of the television cartoon series Family Guy and any old school 1980’s John Cusack teen movie will love Zombieland. Aside from an exorbitant amount of fake blood, latex flesh, and awkward-boy-meets-smokin’-hot-but-laid-back-chick sexual tension, there are hilarious cut away scenes and a charming voice over by the lead character. It is not to be taken seriously for a second. Zombie fanatics who enjoyed Peter Jackson’s movie Braindead! (also known as Dead Alive!, 1992) should enjoy Zombieland for its absurdity and unassuming vibe. While it doesn’t have the indie flick feel of a low budget horror, it carries the same gory ridiculousness that only the slightly twisted can appreciate.

zombieland scene

Zombie crawls and films like Zombieland present an obvious question: why zombies? It’s hard to say. Their popularity could be attributed to a few factors, really: For one, they’re still human, and therefore the closest thing to a “realistic” monster we’ve got. Government testing and strange diseases in questionable water supplies could actually be just a few unruly laboratory experiments away from creating the insane, flesh-eating societies.

They are controlled by their id, which makes them more animal than human, but more human than monster. We as a society are taught that living solely by the id is wrong. Zombies don’t have that restraint; they don’t need it. All they need is a juicy brain to snack on. They travel in packs and look for food – you can’t get more “id” than that. The mob mentality of zombies isn’t so different from the mob mentality of humans. In fact, the minor differences between mobs of either party is just how much firepower you need to stop them.

creepy zombies

Zombies represent a side of humanity we don’t want to think about, but are morbidly fascinated by. Zombies want one thing, and they want it bad. They need to sustain themselves on others (oh wait, we do that) and they’ll do anything they want to do so (oh wait, we do that, too). They’ll punch, tear, and bite their way to the top. Oh, wait … in a way, everyone is a zombie. No wonder we like them so much.

Taking part in the NYC zombie crawl was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had thus far. I met a lot of great people, got to scare a number of innocent bystanders, and, my favorite part: got to get into costume. There was something exhilarating about walking through the streets of NYC on a Wednesday night with a fake bullet hole in my temple, a ripped undershirt, and tattered jeans. The stares from “the living” made my undead heart skip a beat. Complete strangers complimented me, but were also deeply disturbed by the throng of us. It was a beautiful thing. It was a new world, a bold maneuver, and just plain fun.

zombie attack

There are a number of other zombie crawls happening in the month of October. For those interested, check out Doug Sakmann’s site here. Doug is the ring leader of a number of zombie shenanigans in the NY/NJ/PA area. I’m already planning my next outing. Zombie fans, get moving … grab some cheap fake blood, smear some black eye shadow under your eyes, and tear a hole in your pants. Life is short, so go sink your teeth into somebody.

-Criss McKenzie, member of the undead society

Photo Source 1, 2, 3, 4

Woodstock 1969 Interviews – The Love Continues…

In Art, Clothing, concerts, Dating, Music, Relationships, sex, television on September 4, 2009 at 3:26 am

Woodstock crowds

August 2009 was the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, one of the greatest concerts and cultural events in history. With almost 500,000 people in attendance and 32 musicians that performed, it won’t ever be forgotten. Today, many of those who were unable to attend look back and wish that they had been there. Instead, they must rely on films and stories to experience it. For those who did attend, like Debbie Goldman Sommer, Roc Ahrensdorf, and Bob Albeck, it will always be a part of them.

How did you first hear about Woodstock and what made you decide to go?

I was 15 years old and my big brother went to a music fest in N.J. I don’t remember exactly where I heard about Woodstock originally, but I remember my discussion with my mother about going. My brother and I both wanted to go but she wouldn’t pay for his ticket. She already paid for his ticket to the fest in N.J. and said it was my turn. It was really the luck of the draw.—Debbie Goldman Sommer

Were there any repercussions either societal or from your family that you felt by going to Woodstock?

No negative repercussions; I was more like a celebrity. A friend came running into my high school speech class, waving a record album, screaming, “Debbie, you’re on the cover!” (The Woodstock LP, naturally).—Debbie Goldman Sommer

Hippies

Tell us the story about how you got there.

A friend and I took off for Woodstock in his VW bug. We had packed food, sleeping bags, etc. and headed off from CT. We got no more than a few miles down I-95, when we hit bumper to bumper traffic due to construction, during which we literally hit the bumper of the car in front of us. It did nothing to that guy’s car, but it smashed in the front of the bug.

The car was still quite drivable, so we were mixed how to handle it. Do we go and say it happened on the way back; or do we call his parents and see what they say? Well, in case the other people happened to call, we decided to call his parents; of course they said come right home.

I was home grumbling about everything, when my mom said, “Just go! I won’t get any peace if you stay home.” So, I hopped in my Corvair, grabbed all of the food, etc, and took off that Friday by myself.

I stuck it out in traffic for hours until I was finally told to park in a field. I went up to a soda stand to get a coke, when the guy said sternly “Do you have a ticket?” I said “No,” (worried he would say I can’t get in), and he said “Great! You don’t need one!”

I had managed to park within a mile of the place! I grabbed what I could carry and walked up to the site. I found a place to set up a lean-to in the woods just at the top of the field. I got my sleeping bag and everything set and went back to the car for food and anything else I might need. I even set up a small campfire in front of the lean-to. I was able to hear everything quite well from there, so I didn’t really need to go out in the throngs unless I wanted to see the bands.

The woods were full of trails with names like “Groovy Way” or “Far Out Path.” At each intersection there were people selling all kinds of recreational drugs like pot, hash, acid, etc. Everything was right out in the open. It was quite a scene!

At one point, some people asked if they could share my fire. I said “Sure!” so they set up camp there. When it started raining, I crashed in my sleeping bag for a while. When I woke up, my little campfire had become a large blaze with many people standing around drying out blankets, clothes, etc. It was amazing how well everyone got along together.

I was pretty stoned for the whole weekend, so I pretty much stayed near my camp. I would sleep off and on, catching different sets along the way. I finally woke up Monday morning around 10am to hear Hendrix play the “Star Spangled Banner”. What a way to wake up! By then there was maybe only around 30,000 people left, which seems like a lot, but compared to what had been there, it seemed empty. After Hendrix finished, I packed up everything and headed home. The traffic home wasn’t bad. It was interesting to see all of the wanderers along the way looking for friends, or their car, etc.—Roc Ahrensdorf

When you first got there and saw all of the people what went through your mind?

Early on, it didn’t strike me as anything too extra phenomenal until dusk, the first night. It became very surreal. People started noticing the magnitude of the crowd. I became somewhat panicky until meeting up with an uncanny amount of people that I knew. I had been separated from the friends I came up with, so it was scary for me. I needed my own space and it was to no avail. By daylight, it was a whole new story. By then I was used to my surroundings.—Debbie Goldman Sommer

Who was the artist that you most enjoyed? Why?

I only stayed for the first night. The conditions were bad with the mud and rain that I left. I remember enjoying Richie Havens.—Bob Albeck

I would have to say Jimi Hendrix. He was all I thought he would be … probably the most incredible guitarist ever. Also, I really loved listening to Sly and the Family Stone. I was dozing off and on, but they seemed to fit in so perfectly with the spirit of the festival.—Debbie Goldman Sommer

I was up in the woods for most of the acts, so I didn’t really “see” much, just heard them. It wasn’t until I saw the movie that I saw what was going on – Sly & the Family Stone, The Who, and Hendrix – were all great.—Roc Ahrensdorf

Did you ever think that 40 years later Woodstock would be remembered the way it is?

I didn’t think so initially but after talking to people, realizing the effect it had on so many of us, and then when the movie came out I knew that it would be remembered for a very long time.—Bob Albeck

When you were there did you ever think that Woodstock would be more than a concert?

Some of the performers tried to tell us, but I thought they were just trying to build more and more spirit due to the weather.—Debbie Goldman Sommer

What can you tell me about the peace and free love?

Most young people were against the war in Vietnam at the time. We were “Peace-niks” so to speak, and I had attended and would attend many anti war demonstrations in NY and other cities. I think this was an undercurrent at Woodstock. As far as free love, I was a bit young to participate but there was some nudity, skinny-dipping etc. that was evident. When I got a bit older I found that people were open to sexual experience and were not as concerned with the spread of STD’s as this was before AIDS.—Bob Albeck

When people look back on Woodstock one thing that stands out is drugs, what can you tell me about that?

There was plenty of pot, hash and acid. I didn’t see anything stronger than that. I imagine there were not too many people there who were not high on something. I don’t remember seeing any alcohol.—Roc Ahrensdorf

Hippies

Why do you think Woodstock is such a celebrated event?

Up until that time, I don’t think that number of people had gotten together without a single act of violence … plus that many incredible musicians and icons together, sharing the same experiences as the audience. Everyone was in awe equally.—Debbie Goldman Sommer

It was celebrated because of the enormity of it and the way we all got along with very few problems at all. This was the largest event of its kind and it affected the people that were there, the locals and the world.—Bob Albeck

Because it was the first thing of its kind. Never before had so many people gathered in one place peacefully, under very trying conditions. The hippie movement had been getting all kinds of negative press. Here were a half a million long hair kids hanging out in mud and rain, with very little food or sanitation, and doing so peacefully. These “hippies” were not so horrible after all.—Roc Ahrensdorf

Could you describe what it felt like to be standing in the rain, mud, and crowd?

It was like being in your first snowball fight – wet and uncomfortable – but you never want it to end!—Debbie Goldman Sommer

If you could go back and do it all over again, would you? Why?

Well I’m 55 and don’t regret much in life, least of all going to Woodstock. At 55, I wouldn’t do well with the bathroom situation nor the dehydration thing. I’ve gotten too accustomed to A/C and ice cubes. However, as for my son, I wish he could have that kind of experience. So the answer to your question is … of course I would do it all over again … back in my youth.—Debbie Goldman Sommer

I would definitely do it again. If I could, I would not get so high, and would have taken advantage of more that was going on. I had my camera with me, but only took four photos. I would wander around much more than I did. It was a lot of fun being part of the whole thing. If I could go back, I might even try to work there to be even more a part of it.—Roc Ahrensdorf

I would do it again. I would have liked to have been a few years older and more mature so I would have appreciated what was happening at the time. The event made me feel a part of a huge brotherhood of people who had similar ideas and values of the times. It made me feel like I belonged to something other than the family that was raising me in the traditional American way.—Bob Albeck

-Interview conducted and written by Lindsay Dahlstrom

Photo Source 1, 2, 3

Top 10 Hippie Songs

In Art, Clothing, concerts, Music, Night Out, Relationships, television on August 27, 2009 at 3:12 pm

hippies

Are you groovy people feeling the peace, love, and happiness in your life yet? With all this talk of Woodstock’s 40th anniversary, Taking Woodstock hitting theaters soon, and E4A running a month-long hippie series, I should hope so! If you aren’t for whatever reason – let’s say the government’s got you down or the war overseas is too much to handle – try burning some jasmine incense and blasting these 10 hippie songs; they’re a surefire way to make you one with your personal earth mother!

10. Woodstock – Joni Mitchell
9. Good Morning Starshine – Oliver
8. Green Tambourine – Lemon Pipers
7. Lady of the Lake – Strawberry Alarm Clock
6. I Dig Rock and Roll Music – Peter, Paul and Mary
5. In a Rainbow – Sweetwater
4. Itchykoo Park – The Small Faces
3. My Generation – The Who
2. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
1. Hari Om – Ravi Shankar

Check out why Woodstock was so big in 1969, and how to turn your room into a Hippie haven!

-J. Federico

Photo Source

Davis Mallory: Equal4all’s FAVORITE Southern Boy!

In Art, Being Gay, Dating, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Gay Weddings, Night Out, NYC, Relationships, television on June 27, 2009 at 11:06 pm

davis_1

You may know him as the “straight-acting gay guy” on MTV’s the Real World: Denver, but Davis Mallory is much, much more than that. Right before the show’s run from November 2006-May 2007, Mallory decided to cope with his sexuality and let the show be his first foray into the gay world. During filming, he struggled with issues concerning his strong Christian background and even a homophobic cast-mate.

Davis was raised in a conservative Southern Baptist home in Marietta, Georgia; and as a young teenager, he was deeply involved with his church. Mallory first had suspicions of his homosexuality in the 6th grade, but it wasn’t until his senior year at Stetson University when he began to accept his orientation, which began his “coming out.”

Despite his family’s disapproval of his homosexuality, Davis graduated from the Pre-med program at Stetson, with dreams of becoming a plastic surgeon. He is now pursuing a career as a model and tours around the country speaking to young audiences about his struggles coming out in a heavily religious household.

davis_2

E4A: When you first joined the cast of the Real World: Denver, were you ready to accept the fact that you were going to meet people who may or may not have accepted your sexual orientation?

When I went on the Real World, I assumed I’d probably have to have some conversations with less than open-minded roommates; I wasn’t expecting that the conversations would get as heated as they did, especially with the somewhat homophobic Baptist cast mate Steven. He wasn’t homophobic in the sense that he was mean to be because I was gay, he just had little to no experience with homosexuality and an outdated opinion on the subject. I truly believe he changed his mind though, by the end of the season and that was really rewarding. While conversing on the subject, I felt like I held my own at times, but I still didn’t have the answers I needed to articulate my opinion. It wasn’t until the show finished (when some fans mailed me two great books called The Children Are Set Free and What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality) that I really got my closure and found answers to whether or not I felt it was a sin to be gay. I read them thoroughly and finally had scripture to back up my beliefs. I’ve since lectured at numerous colleges about what the Bible truly says about homosexuality. It’s been very empowering and therapeutic and I wish I had this knowledge when I was filming.

E4A: What goes on during a typical day in the life of Davis Mallory?

As of lately, I’ve been living the “married life.” I’m in a committed relationship with a great guy and we spend a lot of time watching movies together and taking bike rides. Boring, I know, but I’m at peace right now. I had to finally cut off communication with my family – kind of like a bad break-up. It’s been a peaceful chapter in my life though, and I’m healing a lot from some old wounds.

E4A: What is your opinion regarding Prop 8 and gay marriage?

I’m pretty passionate about my opinion that gay marriage should be legalized. I think it will take legal action to finally make a change though. Just like the Supreme Court cases in the mid 20th Century that finally gave African Americans equal right around America, I feel it will take similar court cases to finally make marriage legal for same-sex couples. In the meantime, I feel that if we are not going to be given equal rights as heterosexuals, then we should not be required to pay the same amount of taxes. As far as the religious backing for the opposition of same sex marriages, I find it holds no strong basis. When Christians say their religion tells them that homosexuals cannot get married, why then do they not oppose the marriages of atheists? I find it as ludicrous for Christians to oppose gay marriage as if they were to oppose the marriages of Jews, Muslims, or Buddhists. I think if more people saw the issue through that light, they’d shut up about it, too. Religion should play no part in it. I don’t think that anyone should be able to decide if someone else should be allowed to get married or not, and I hope to see this change occur nationwide in my lifetime. I remain optimistic.

E4A: Was the show your ultimate driving force behind touring the country to speak to audiences about your struggle as a gay person?

I found out after completing my season of the Real World that I would be required to speak at schools – it was something that the “Real Worlders” before me had paved the way for … the subject which I spoke on was of my own choosing. I found that it was personally rewarding to speak about the controversial subject of what the Bible says about homosexuality and I researched the subject greatly. I found the speeches to be popular regardless the attitude of the audience on the issue, and have been able to speak at over 30 universities in just 2 years.

E4A: Any dirt on your former castmates?

While I used to be one who had no problem in running my mouth about my fellow castmates (as evidenced by my experience on the Real World), I try to keep the drama in my life to an all time low – I’ll have to pass on this opportunity and let others speak for themselves. Plus, I do genuinely love the cast I was given on the Real World: Denver.

E4A: Do you or have you ever regretted joining the cast of the Real World: Denver?

I’ve weighed this question of whether I regret doing the Real World from time to time, and I’ve always come up with the same answer, that, no, I don’t regret going on the show. My family life got even more dramatic after I did the show than before, but I think it just sped up the inevitability that we were not intended to really get along. The show wasn’t as profitable as other reality shows, but it wasn’t a real reason why I went on – so, I wasn’t let down in that area either. I was able to travel a great deal on MTV’s dime and that is something I’ll always appreciate. I’ve been to Thailand, South Africa, Japan, and New Zealand all through Real World shows; I’ve also met some pretty unique and wonderful people during the shows I’ve been on and have a lot of great friends from these experiences. Most importantly, I greatly grew in my comfortability with myself. I went on the show after only being out of the closet for a year. That year though, I was in college and didn’t have any gay friends there. I really wasn’t all that much of a great gay role model either. I have grown up and learned a lot by being this figure for the gay community and I appreciate the lessons it has taught me – the biggest is that it’s alright to be gay and that I’m certainly not alone in this, like I had thought I was as a child.

E4A: Any plans for the future or are you focusing on the present for the time being?

The future always has a way of surprising me. I really don’t know my true calling for life, and I’m 25 and actively brain-storming as what to do next. I was pre-med in college and applied to medical schools last summer per my parents’ urging. I’m waiting to hear if I got into a medical school in NYC and one in LA. We’ll see what happens.

E4A: Are you currently dating anyone? What became of PJ?

I have a boyfriend – his name is Matt. We met two years ago while I was on an appearance in Chicago. He’s a great guy and this relationship has been the healthiest I’ve been in to date. PJ and I broke up immediately after filming the Real World; we never really gave it a second go. I had only been dating him for 3-4 months prior to filming the Real World though, and it was entirely long-distance. I think the show portrayed us a little more seriously than what we actually were.

davis_3

E4A: How was it hooking-up with Ryan Kehoe on the Real World/Road Rules challenges? Was there a spark between you two hotties or was it strictly for the show?

Hooking-up with Ryan Kehoe never went beyond kissing, and the kissing was very much alcohol induced. Ryan is a good friend of mine, but there’s never been a spark there … on my part at least – I think he’d say the same. I have stayed with Ryan in NYC while I was apartment hunting earlier this year after finishing filming The Duel II, and we became even better friends during that time. Ryan will tell you we’re not really each other’s types per se. I’m more into clean-cut Christian guys and he’s kind of a punk-glam-rock mix-up. He is my closest gay Real World friend though, and I am very glad I got to know him through these shows.

E4A: What would be your advice to young people struggling with coming out?

My advice to anyone struggling with coming out is to find your inner strength and stand up for what you believe in your heart is right … that it’s perfectly normal and natural and wonderful that you were made gay. I believe God wanted it that way, and He loves you just the same. It’s all a part of the diversity of this planet we live on. Come out already, because it truly is the best thing I ever did for myself and anyone I’ve ever met would tell you the same. Just like myself, many of my friends were nervous as hell about how their family or friends would take it, but unanimously everyone always finds it to be a huge relief once they do tell their close friends and it’s definitely not as bad as they had thought.

QUICK, ON YOUR TOES!

Favorite Color?

Green … like my eyes

Summer or Winter?

Summer for sure … love the beach

Blond or Brunette?

I typically date blonds, if that’s what you’re going for

iPhone or Blackberry?

I have neither – I have the Google phone: G1 and love it; it’s like a combo between an iPhone and a Blackberry because it has a touch screen and a key pad. I used to have a Blackberry and HATED it!

Favorite reality show?

Just finished watching Real Housewives of New Jersey and thought it was great

Website you visit the most?

Besides Facebook and my Gmail, I guiltily do read Perez a good bit, because he’s pro-gay rights and I’m all about that!

Can’t get enough of the “Real World”? No problem! Check out Dan Renzi’s, Norman Korpi’s, or Ryan Kehoe’s interview

-Interview conducted by Matt Scotto, edited by J. Federico

Author Perry Moore and the Entire GLBT Community Needs YOU!

In Art, Being Gay, Dating, Gay Business, Gay Celebrity, Gay Weddings, Literature, Relationships, television on June 25, 2009 at 1:34 pm

HERO

Dear friends,

Many of you may not know this, but author Perry Moore (Executive Producer of the Narnia films) has just completed the pilot script of the television rendition of his amazingly well put-together, and ground-breaking book HERO.

As Moore and his team await the green light from the ultra-talented, and gay President of Showtime, Robert Greenblatt, the power truly lies in you to make things happen. It would be ever so generous on your end to take the time and write Mr. Greenblatt a note explaining that a show like HERO does not come along every day, and that this is something you are ALL eagerly hoping to see as a series on Showtime. Unfortunately, the network has lost trailblazing shows such as Queer as Folk and the L-Word, which have done wonders for our community; but let’s face it, the network could use a little more queer representation!

Perry Moore, in a personal e-mail states, “Here is a totally new take for the next generation! All you have to do is Google the official Showtime site, and write him a brief letter that states your hopes and dreams to see the show on air. Now is do or die time … he’ll decide in the next few weeks!”

So please take 5 minutes out of your busy schedules, put the Pride plans on hold for 30 seconds, and make sure your voice is heard – together, we can make a difference!

On behalf of Perry Moore, the GLBT community, and myself,

Thank you!

J. Federico and the E4A team

Read Perry Moore’s interview here