Sunday, October 23, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Xavier Axelson

Name: Xavier Axelson

Contact info:
www.xavieraxelson.com
http://www.facebook.com/xaviersaxel
http://www.twitter.com/xaviersaxel
http://www.examiner.com/la-in-los-angeles/francis-xavier

Zodiac sign: Libra

Your medium/genre: Erotica

Describe what you do:
Write Gay Erotica that falls somewhere between romance and horror.

Turn on’s:
Confidence, accents of any kind, passion, compassion, conversation, personal style, courtesy

Turn off’s:
Bad breath, apathy, cruelty, arrogance, anyone who doesn’t like to eat

Describe your perfect date:
Dinner, the beach and lots of making out

Pet peeves:
False logic, people who are always “on” and don’t when NOT to be Fantastic.

Fave sex idol: Sharon Stone

1ST crush: Jennifer Beales

Fave music: Folk

Top movies that inspire you:
Tidus, The Fall, Requiem for a Dream, The Secret Garden, Dogville, The Nightwatch

Fave quote:
Pressure Makes Diamonds

Reading List:
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Let’s Kill Uncle by Rohan O'Grady, The Silent Land by Graham Joyce, The Blue Aspic by Edward Gorey

One of your obsessions: Rice Pudding

Influences/mentors/heroes:
Tennessee Williams, Stephen King, Elizabeth I, Peter Beagle, Carolyn See

Fave queer from history: Tennessee Williams

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
My first reading at Homo-Centric

Fave performance experience:
Any chance I get to share my work and experience the work of others is my favorite.

What do you (does your art) stand for:
The belief in the male erotic sensibility

Fave prop or costume: My words

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
I didn’t know there was one until last year, so I think the fact it exists is truly amazing.

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
A time when being who you are is not a novelty or a reason to be shunned, disregarded, or disrespected.

What do you see as the future for queer art:
A continued and widening sense of the queer creative sensibility. A continuing of breaking down walls, pushing boundaries and an insistence the queer voice is heard.

What are your upcoming plans/shows/events/include dates and info:
I have a new release titled The Birches out now and will be followed by a print collection of my last three novellas from Seventh Window Publications. My first two works will be released as audio books one for Christmas and the other for Valentines Day. I will also have another novella published in January titled Lily with Silver Publications.

Sample of Work
Excerpt:

the birches

He pulled into the parking lot of The Birches and sat on his bike a minute. He felt nervous, like he was about to meet a celebrity and the self-doubt that plagued him made him queasy.
“You gonna sit outside or come in?”
Leo jumped at the sound of the man’s voice. He pulled his helmet off and looked around, but didn’t see anyone.
“Over here.”
Leo looked just past his left shoulder and saw a man emerging from the nearby woods that surrounded the little restaurant.
“Oh, hey,” Leo called out, his voice cracking.
“You looking for something to eat?” the man asked, coming closer.
Leo was shocked to find himself riveted to the spot, staring at the man who came towards him.
The man offered Leo a rough, calloused hand. “I’m Dock,”
“Hey,” Leo managed weakly.
“I was out back, picking blackberries, they grow wild around here. I thought they’d make a great dessert. Don’t know what kind of dessert, but how can you go wrong when you have stuff like this?” He said as he offered up a large, wooden bucket half-full of dark, purple black berries.
There were purple smears across Dock’s white tank top that seemed barely able to contain Dock’s impressive chest. There were several brown freckles on Dock’s shoulders, next to where the strap of tank top clung to his body.
“Lucky berries,” Leo said under his breath.
“What?”
Sweat ran down Leo’s back, he felt so nervous. For a brief moment, he thought of hopping on his bike and taking off. Instead he said, “Um, nothing, sorry, I just wanted to come by and--”
“You want to come inside and have an iced tea or something?” Dock asked, “It’s hot as hell out here and I know I need to cool off.” He swiped a hand across his face and left a smudge of blackberry juice across his cheek.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Jamie Benson

photo by: Stacey Adams

Name: Jamie Benson

Contact info: info@jamiebenson.com

Come Find Me:
Website: http://jamiebenson.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jamiejbenson
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiejbenson
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/jamiebenson?feature=mhee
The Twitters: http://twitter.com/#!/jamiebenson

Zodiac sign:
Sun in Gemini
Leo Ascendant
Moon in Aries

Your medium/genre: Dance (for the most part)

Describe what you do:
Mash up:
1 part classic dance (ballet, jazz, ballroom, modern)
1 part barbaric forms (noise, gesture, bodily fluids)
1 part vaudevillian shtick

Result: A Sort of Bastardized Broadway Experience

My aim, hell maybe my purpose in this life, is to develop a bridge brand between different performance forms in order to affirm their merit to a massive audience.

Turn on’s:
-Insatiable Curiosity
-An Inclusive Spirit
-Lithe, Strong, Active Bodies & Minds
-A Surly Sense of Humor

Turn off’s: Snobbery, Excessive Self-Involvement

Describe your perfect date:
Comedy Club, Vegan Cuisine, Light Drinking, Heavy Sexing
OR anything surprising, unexpected. (monster trucks?)

Pet peeves:
People who only talk about themselves! Being rushed

Fave music:
Quirky Electronic, Soulful 60’s & 70’s R&B, anything you’d have an itch to sing at a piano bar.

Top movies that inspire you:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind! I love you Phillip Morris, Girl Trouble

Reading List:
Howard Gardner’s “Intelligence Reframed”
Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything”
Dave Praeger’s “Poop Culture”
Jeffrey Sachs’ “Common Wealth”
Suze Orman’s “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke”

One of your obsessions: Prosthetic Limbs

Influences/mentors/heroes:
Tiny Fey, Louis C.K., Pina Bausch- any smart, successful, self-generating funny/creative type.

(1 of) Fave queer Artist(s): John Waters

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
1st Performance at Highways Performance Space- I was hired for pennies by choreographers w/ legitimate backgrounds to pretend to dance as if I was water (in a very literal sense). While feeling a little silly dancing to 80's acid jazz & waving my arms around, I realized, if these hot shots are choreographing then I damn well could be too.

Places performed:
Los Angeles Theater Center (LATC) Luckman Fine-Arts Complex, Pasadena Armory, Bootleg Theater, Electric Lodge & Highways Performance Space

Education:
Dance Department, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA (self-proclaimed “Juilliard of the West”)

What do you (does your art) stand for:
Demystification:
I rummage through the humor & profundity in everyday rituals & landscapes to discover ways to demystify the enigmatic, sometimes annoyingly cryptic, art form of dance.

Integration:
Creating an alliance between the ethereal realm of dance & tangible, everyday experience creates an accessible forum for integration, not only for the dance community but the general public too.

Fucking Fun:
I make damn sure that my shows are fun.

(1 of) Fave performance experience / Fave prop or costume:
Portraying “The Shit” in our Satirical Ballet “Bowel Movement” (http://jamiebenson.com/repertory.html#bathroom.follies).
I deeply loved the costume that corresponded - complete w/ kernels of corn & designed by the undeniably talented Andrae Gonzalo (http://andraegonzalo.com/)
photo by: Jeannette Vidalia

For more images of the work see here (http://jamiebenson.com/photo_gallery.php#bathroom.follies.photos).

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
When the collective unconscious gets to a point where a dude or dudette doesn’t have to experience damage to be their own queer self. When religion is no longer used as a crutch for blatant bigotry & people realize that by encouraging others to be themselves fully, they achieve “god’s” plan. When we can let the unknown be unknown so we are free to follow the trail of human decency (etc., etc.).

What are your upcoming plans/shows/events/include dates and info:
MIXED MARRIAGES!!!!
photo by: Maggie West

October 21 & 22 2011, Highways Performance Space

In Mixed Marriages (http://jamiebenson.com/repertory.html#mixed.marriages), an evening of tragic, dance comedy, Andrae Gonzalo & I will be slamming opposing attitudes, objects & concepts together from our past & present to reveal universal themes of love & loneliness.

Due to the size of the venue & my, what seems imminent move N.Y., this event WILL sell out - may be my last show in L.A. for awhile. GET TICKETS at highwaysperformance.org or RESERVE at 310-315-1459.

Note: We’re sharing the night with the remarkable Carmela Hermann & Terrence Luke Johnson & their work HOMESTRETCH. All the more reason to come!

Sample of Work:
photo by: Petra Rajnicova

Dance Reel :

Mass Transit Performance Slide Show :

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Catherine Burriss

Name:
Catherine Scott Burriss

Stage Name:
None; the world’s a stage!

Contact info:
http://www.wiseacreswest.com/index.html

Birthplace: Northern California

Zodiac sign: cuspy Virgo

Your medium/genre:
Performance art, academic writing and professing

Describe what you do:
I am an artist, scholar, and teacher.

Turn on’s:
Open minds
Creativity
Enthusiasm
Commitment
Passion
Deconstruction that creates something new Selflessness in the name of justice
Satire of the power-hungry
Accurate citation of well-designed research

Turn off’s:
Closed minds
Dull imaginations
Ennui
Hypocrisy
Reluctance
Gratuitousness
Injustice
Satire of the power-starved
Willful ignorance

Pet peeves: People with pet peeves

Fave sex idol:
It’s a toss up between Pele (the Hawaiian goddess of fire), Janeane Garofalo, Angelina Jolie, and David Bowie.

1ST crush: I’m going to plead the fifth on this one.

Fave music:
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, David Bowie, Prince, ani difranco, Jack Johnson

Top movies that inspire you:
The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Dessert, Strictly Ballroom, Delicatessen, Celestial Clockwork (Mécaniques célestes), and… Ugh. I don’t think I’ve been inspired by any recent movies!

Fave quote:
“There is a vitality, a life force, and an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, or how valuable, or how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly. . . .To keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.”
–Martha Graham

Reading List:
Anything and everything by Judith Butler, David Román, Caryl Churchill, Paula Vogel, Tony Kushner, Aphra Behn, and William Shakespeare

One of your obsessions:
Figuring out new recipes using the amazing organic dried cherries from the local Farmer’s Market.

Influences/mentors/heroes:
Tim Miller, Denise Uyehara, Danny Scheie, Split Britches (Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw), Norma Bowles, Paula Vogel, Anne Bogart

Fave queer Artist(s):
See influences/mentors/heroes above.

Fave queer from history:
Christopher Marlowe

Fave performance experience:
All the female college students gasping in disbelief when I cut my (then very long) hair off during a performance of Preventative Measures at CSU Channel Islands.

Places performed:
UC Santa Cruz, New Langton Arts in San Francisco, UC Berkeley, CSU Channel Islands, Queer Mondays at Highways Performance Space

Education:
UC Santa Cruz:
BA in Theatre Arts with a minor in Italian Comparative Literature
Graduate Certificate in Drama

UC Berkeley:
Ph.D. in Performance Studies with a designated emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality

What do you (does your art) stand for:
I think art, especially performance, is a vital way to keep questioning society and keep society questioning. Asking tough questions of ourselves and each other keeps us moving forward as individuals and as societies.

Fave prop or costume:
Probably a big black and white golf umbrella, although I’m really getting into the red satin rope I’m working with right now…

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
I’m so gay for Queer Mondays at Highways! Ian MacKinnon has created a beautiful and welcoming and necessary place to foment new queer performance. It feels like family to me.

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
A Queer majority takes over all major societies. Even straight people take pride in being Queer in some way, and it is considered uncivilized and destructive to society to expect individuals to meet some group standard just for the sake of conformity. Intellectual agility becomes such a hot new trend that it sticks for good and becomes woven into the fabric of society.

What do you see as the future for queer art:
Pomo performance brings the “real” back to reality TV as audiences simultaneously begin to crave live human interaction and having their assumptions questioned en masse.

What are your upcoming events:
I’m thrilled to be debuting my new piece, WHAT COMES NATURALLY, this Saturday, August 6 as part of Highways Behold!: a Queer Performance Festival!

One show only: 8:30pm August 6, 2011
at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica
Featuring opening act
TIM MILLER (with a short performance)
Conceived, written, and performed by
CATHERINE SCOTT BURRISS
Video created by
ELIZABETH LEISTER
Directed by
TRACY HUDAK
What Comes Naturally negotiates the fraught intersection of the personal and the political, grappling with queer marriage and queer birth when majority rule is tyrannizing one and malpractice rules are traumatizing the other. Drawing from her own experiences and focusing on moments of finding—or failing to find—the fierceness needed to stand up to bigotry and ignorance, Catherine Scott Burriss explores the humor and heartbreak that emerge when our tender private loves and lives collide with the inertial weight of public institutions and get swept up in the current of national debate.

What Comes Naturally debuts as part of
BEHOLD! - A Queer Performance Festival
2 months of new LGBTQ performance, dance, spoken word, theater, multi-media, and ritual!
For complete info, scheduling updates, and festival additions, visit www.highwaysperformance.org
All performances $20 general admission ($15 members/students/seniors), unless otherwise indicated. A festival pass, which admits you to all events, is $75.

Sample of Work:
Lots of pics of my new and old performances at http://www.wiseacreswest.com/index.html

Friday, July 22, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Kalil Cohen

Name: Kalil Cohen

Stage Name: Metahuman

Contact info:
www.metahumanmusic.com
www.facebook.com/Metahuman

Birthplace: Fontana, California

Zodiac sign: Pisces

Your medium/genre: Film and Music

Describe what you do:
As Metahuman I perform politically conscious hip hop. As a filmmaker I write, produce, and direct both documentary and narrative shorts that usually have some social message mixed with a lot of comedy. In general my work is darkly humorous. I also usually start with the words and message I want to get across, then add images and music to help make it come to life.

Turn on’s:
People in therapy, Emma Goldman tattoos

Turn off’s:
Flaming Hot Cheetos, Cable Television

Describe your perfect date:
A three day desert rave!

Pet peeves:
People who don’t prepare before going on stage.

Fave sex idol:
David Bowie

1ST crush:
Will Smith

Fave music:
Political hip hop like Dead Prez, Deep Dickollective, and Feloni

Top movies that inspire you:
By Hook or By Crook by Silas Howard & Harry Dodge, She’s A Boy I Knew by Gwen Haworth

Fave quote:
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” - Rumi

Reading List:
Everything by Kurt Vonnegut, bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldúa, Pat Califia and Kate Bornstein.

One of your obsessions:
Good hair.

Influences/mentors/heroes:
My ultimate hero is Emma Goldman, a 19th century anarchist and labor organizer who paved the way for women’s rights, queer rights, workers rights and more. In my own life, performance artist Ryka Aoki has been an amazing mentor to me, and my hip hop is heavily influenced by Dead Prez.

Fave queer Artist(s):
Hip hop artist Juba Kalamka of Deep Dickollective, performance artists Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and D’Lo, and writer Julia Serrano.

Fave queer from history:
It’s so hard to choose just one! I love William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg for paving the way as out queer artists in the 1950s.

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
Performing at the U.S. Social Forum last summer in Detroit. It was an amazing venue at a political conference with over 20,000 attendees in a city that is known for hip hop, so it was a really incredible experience. I also received a very warm reception from this largely non-queer audience, which felt especially gratifying since my work is so explicitly queer.

Fave performance experience:
I loved performing at Cut & Past Rock & Roll in Long Beach last year because the crowd was so enthusiastic and rambunctious. I perform a lot at conferences or events where art is sort of an afterthought, so it was fun to perform for hardcore music fans just looking to have a good time.

Most frightening performance experience:
My first time performing in front of family members was incredibly nerve wracking, although they ended up being really supportive.

Places performed:
I’ve performed at Pride in LA and Long Beach, at lots of colleges such as UCLA, UC Irvine, Southern Illinois University, University of Texas at Austin, at conferences like the Allied Media Conference, and clubs like The Roxy on the Sunset Strip.

Education:
BA in Latin American Studies from Pomona College, Master’s in Education from UCLA

Awards/Grants/Honors:
Jeremiah Fellowship, Progressive Jewish Alliance
Vera Strayer Fellowship, UCLA

What do you (does your art) stand for:
I stand for community building through art and cultural events, and my art is about creating entertainment and love out of pain, anger, shame, and repression.

Fave prop or costume:
I love anything that sparkles and am known for wearing a lot of sequins on stage.

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
LA is a particularly hard place to connect with other artists. I feel lucky to know so many queer performance artists and filmmakers through organizing shows and film screenings, but you definitely have to be proactive to find people here. Also, audiences can be particularly passive or judgmental in LA. Places with smaller queer communities tend to give a lot more energy back while I’m performing instead of waiting until after the show to say that they liked it.

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
I can’t wait until everyone on Earth has realized the queer parts of themselves, and we can all just play and enjoy the good things in life without taking everything so seriously.

What do you see as the future for queer art:
I see there being less marginalization for queer art, where an artist can be explicitly queer and still have the chance to reach mainstream audiences.

What are your upcoming events:
I am shooting my first music video for my song So Pomo on August 6-7, so right now I’m just focused on that. In the fall I will be performing at Oberlin, Sarah Lawrence and other East Coast schools.

Sample of Work:
Video:
QUEERER THAN THOU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_F3iev3Nlc

KICKSTARTER VIDEO TEASER FOR SO POMO:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1690619144/so-pomo-queer-music-video?ref=live

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Rick Pulos

Name: Rick Pulos

Contact info:
www.decadesapart.org
http://www.facebook.com/rickpulos

Birthplace:
Alameda, CA

Zodiac sign:
I’m all Taurus!

Your medium/genre:
Theatre, multimedia performance, videography

Describe what you do:
Writer, Artist, Media Designer, Performer, Producer, Educator

Turn on’s:
Sense of humor, style, and inclusive aptitude. Creativity without arrogance.

Turn off’s:
Negative energy and overt attitude, haters

Describe your perfect date:
Being with someone that pays attention that is carefree and goes with the flow, and leaves life’s stresses at the door!

Pet peeves:
I hate it when people touch my TV or computer screens – it’s like putting you’re finger on my Mona Lisa while the paint is drying!

Fave sex idol:
Right now it is Enrique Iglesias but Madonna is forever for me.

1ST crush:
I was working running crew on My Fair Lady in the 10th grade and I was so in to this 11th grader, Brandon, another stage hand, and I remember after the show that I would make sure to walk by him all over campus just to see him – hoping he’d say hi. I wonder what he’s like today…

Fave music:
The Queen, Madonna.

Top movies that inspire you:
I’m going to mention a TV show here that is current: Shameless. Film examples include A Nightmare Before Christmas, Silverlake Life: A View From Here, The Grifters, Ruthless People, The Bicycle Thief, and Fight Club.

Fave quote:
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr. Seuss

Reading List:
Harry Potter series, Beloved, Burried Child and other Sam Shepard plays, Jurassic Park and other Michael Crichton novels.

One of your obsessions:
Helping others have fun!

Fave queer from history:
Harvey Milk, Survivors from the dark day of AIDS

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
Watching Phylicia Rashad’s dazzling performance on Broadway in Osage County. I never thought anyone could perform so brilliantly.

Fave performance experience:
Any Madonna concert – a true “assault on the senses.”

Most frightening performance experience:
I recently attended a performance of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying with Daniel Radcliffe. Unfortunately, a stagehand passed away and I saw the EMTs remove the purple-faced man from the backstage door. The show did not go on since Radcliffe and John Larroquette and the rest of cast’s “hearts…not in it.”

Places performed:
Harry Warren Theatre of the Ryan Repertory Company (Brooklyn, NY), Nuyorican Poets Café (Manhattan), and the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts (Long Island, NY); among others.

Education:
Yale, University of Southern California, City University of New York, and Long Island University.

What do you (does your art) stand for:
Compassion and navigating the surprises of life while trying to survive.

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
From what I am experiencing, artists here seem to care about each other in a real way. That is very inspiring.

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
I think a lot of art will eventually retreat from media and return to traditional forms.

What are your upcoming events:

Highways Performance Space
+
the Ryan Repertory Company
as part of
BEHOLD! A Queer Performance Festival

present the multimedia theatrical performance
Decades Apart: Reflections of Three Gay Man by Rick Pulos

Fri + Sat, July 22 + 23 @ 8.30pm


This multimedia work from New York-based artist, performer and writer Pulos captures significant moments in the lives of three gay American men living and surviving in 1970s San Francisco, 1980s 
New York City, and 1990s Los Angeles.

Chicago Stage Style raves that Decades Apart demonstrates “real innovation[s] in gay theatre” and that the text is “…a provocative and thought provoking picture of same-sex proclivities and issues. If the response to Pulos' World Premiere was any indication, this is a work that can really get blood boiling out there, and isn't that one of the benchmarks of great theatre?”

New York Theatre Wire writes “Pulos [uses] videos to great effect, creating time, place and mood with tapes of actual events as well as fanciful imagery.”

Tickets: $20/$15
Purchase tickets online @ www.highwaysperformance.org

1651 18th Street, @ 18th Street Arts Center, (½ block north of Olympic Blvd.),
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Sample of Work:
Patrick
(1985, New York City)

Media: Imagery that recalls 1980s New York City with music that defines the coke sniffing, AIDS fearing, greediness of the time and place. Useful images might include Nancy Reagan, subway trains overrun with graffiti, and executives in suits crowding NYC streets.

I voted for Reagan. Twice! (Media: Ronald Regan with an American flag proudly in the background) I’m not ashamed to say it. Why should I be? It feels like every single fag in New York City hates me for my political views but they have no problem fucking each other to death. I’m protecting myself and this body. This is all I have. It’s gotten to a point where all I see are sick faces. Even the healthy ones look like death to me. Too much decadence and overindulgence has run amuck in the city.

I used to see sexy bodies and transcending smiles, but now the bodies seem emaciated and teeth are falling to the floor everywhere. (Media: Rock Hudson turning from gorgeous to a skeleton).

Well I’m not bending down to pick those teeth up. I’m not getting my hands dirty for people that take unforgivable risks. I’m not waking up one morning and looking in the mirror to see the back of my mouth when I smile---it’s not happening to me!

I spend a lot of nights at home. (Media: a map of America engulfed in flames). I spend a lot of days at funerals. Men I loved and men I’ve made love to. So I can’t put myself out there and maybe that’s made me cold and maybe that’s made me smart.

Maybe being cold and smart is the only defense against all this suffering.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Kate Gilbert

Name: Kate Gilbert

Zodiac sign: Leo, Queer rising

Your medium: Currently, cellophane.

Turn on’s: Shoulders.

Describe your perfect date:
Monday, July 25th.

One of your obsessions:
Karl Lagerfeld

Places performed:
Highways Performance Space, REDCAT Theater, Cavern Club Theater, La Cita, The Other Side

What are your upcoming plans/shows/events:

OUTFEST events:

HUMAN RESOURCES
New solo performance and Los Angeles Premiere screening of “Alien Sex Video” (collaboration with Jenn Kolmel). Also featuring performances by Rafa Esparza & Mark Golamco.

Saturday, July 16: 5 PM
REDCAT Theater
631 West 2nd Street

Los Angeles CA 90012

NIGHT MOVES: THE PLATINUM 10TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY
New performance and collaboration with Heather Cassils, Dawn Kasper and other artists. Hosted by Nao Bustamante.

Saturday, July 16: 9:30pm – 2am
Alexandria Hotel, 2nd Floor
501 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles CA 90013

www.outfest.org/

Other upcoming events:

CHAIN LETTER
Collaborative installation

Saturday, July 23: 6-8 pm
Shoshana Wayne Gallery
Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue, B1
Santa Monica, CA 90404

http://shoshanawayne.com/upcoming-exhibition.php?/Chain+Letter/&id=236372#

QUEER MONDAYS
New work

Monday, July 25: 7:30pm
Highways Performance Space
@ the 18th Street Arts Center

1651 18th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90404

http://highwaysperformance.org/

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Sacred Band of Thebes

Ancient Greece erupts with Gay Eros! From the romance of Achilles and Patroclus, to Plato’s symposium where he declared that Gay love breeds “children of the mind” like art, music, democracy, and philosophy, and these “children” potentially live forever.

Check out some hot Greek couple action with The Sacred Band of Thebes a Handpicked army of lovers made up of 150 male-male couples. The forty years of their known existence marked Thebes as the greatest military and political power in the known world. The Sacred Band battled the Spartans in 375 BC, defeating an army that was at least three times its size.

“A state or an army should be made up of lovers and their loves, they would be the very best governors of their own city, abstaining from all dishonour, and emulating one another in honour; and when fighting at each other's side, although a mere handful, they would overcome the world. For who would desert his beloved or fail him in the hour of danger?” – Plato’s Symposium

In the first Gay Liberation marches of the 70’s the Theban band became the inspiration for gay Lib protesters who chanted “An Army of Lovers can Never be Defeated”!
The Lion of Chaironeia is a marble funerary monument that marks the communal grave of the Sacred Band of Thebes

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Drew Mason

Name: Andrew Michael Mason

Stage Name: Drew Mason

Contact info:
http://www.reverbnation.com/drewmason

Birthplace:
Omaha Nebraska, but raised in Houston Tx.

Zodiac sign: Capricorn

Your medium/genre: Hip Hop, Rap

Describe what you do:
I am a recording artist, that is drawn through the medium of rapping, to express myself in performance, writing and recording

Turn on’s:
Very talented vocalists, a well written song, a hot bed of music, masculine men, great photographs, usually art in general (all kinds) streets pieces, documentaries, poetry, live performances, beautiful days, great energy, inspiring people, spiritual books and audio, a sense of connection to this universe and nature

Turn off’s:
Thief's, shallow people, back stabbers, greedy people, users, fake people, two faced people, people who play games, manipulators

Describe your perfect date:
A successful clean cut man in a beautiful vehicle calls me to tell me he is out front. I go downstairs to see him, he has a rose for me and opens the door for me to get in. He gives me a big kiss and hug and says its great to see you. I reply the same. We travel to fine Italian dinning in the area. Then travel to the Lakers game to sit court side. We crack jokes and watch the game intently holding hands, smiling, with the occasional kiss. After the game we take our pets for a walk in the neighborhood, enjoying the night stars and peacefulness of the city, Then we clean up for bed in a hot shower then snuggle in watching a great documentary on netflix.

Pet peeves:
In the moment of writing a song, getting into a place where im worried what is the listener going to think, or is the song good enough, instead of just letting the energy flow.

Fave sex idol: Gerard Butler

1ST crush: Jean claude van damme

Fave music: I love all kinds of music

Top movies that inspire you: I'm really big into documentaries

Fave quote: I think therefore I am

Reading List:
Power of intention, The present, Alchemist, 7 habits of highly effective people, The power of now

One of your obsessions: Daddies

Influences/mentors/heroes: Michael Jackson, Tupac, Bob Marley

Fave queer Artist(s): Adam Lambert

Fave queer from history:
Politician Harvey Milk and Documentary Film maker Robert Hudson

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
Performing at Outhiphop.com's artist night in Hollywood

Fave performance experience:
Performing at Mj's in Silverlake to a sold out club

Most frightening performance experience: Las Vegas Pride

Places performed:
All over in the state of California, done shows in chicago, wisconsin and new york

Education:
High school graduate, Associates degree from the madison media intitute

Awards/Grants/Honors:
Presented, by the major and city of west hollywood the- Paule Starke Warrior Award

What do you (does your art) stand for:
My art really stands for a place for me to be creative a place where i can escape and dig into myself also to vent and release emotions and angst a place where i can tell stories or at least try to, a place where i can be sexual strong assertive, passionate aggressive, crazy, powerful, the freedom to express, the passion to love a place to say what ever i want when i feel like it, A place where i can say lets stand together as one and also fuck you if you cross me

Fave prop or costume:
Fave prop would be a microphone i just love the way it feels in my hand and finger tips.Fave costume would be ripping my shirt off at the end of a hot song or performance.

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
The art scene can be what ever you make of it to be, how ever far you decide to go with it and emerce yourself in it, its what you decide to look at look for and your perception of what your seeing

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
The breaking down of stereo types and the achievement of Equality

What do you see as the future for queer art:
I see queer art continuing to grow and evolve and become more mainstream. I believe on some levels its still an untold story, in itself its progressive, and very beautiful and there is so much talent and creativity living in these kids some how it will change the world.

What are your upcoming plans:
Write now i am just regrouping growing in my own right, living life to the fullest and developing the next step for my music and passion for this style of art and poetry

Sample of Work:
The Truth is in You

Heavy on my mind, Heavy on my time,
Heavy like the weight of the world on I'm,
carrying shoulders like a king, grasping for air,
is this meant for me, who even really cares,
the struggle ain't lifted the smoke it rains thick blocking the sun shining gifted,
believers in the room,
will the doubt consume every positive attitude while I'm speaking through,
this mic and cord,
rapped around my neck is this vocal cord as i spit this tech,
to break down walls making fear disperse, let the gun burst no more no child to hurt,
hold your little baby yes the faith is strong,
frustrating times but the love is long,
long and everlasting is the soul in you,
a warrior you are and the fight ain't through,
the truth

http://youtu.be/E_LYOi6S1FM

http://youtu.be/XqFLwaU7aUo

http://youtu.be/RhjKWoFYyfQ

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Derek Ringold

Name: Derek Ringold

Stage Name: Derek Ringold:)

Contact info: www.derekringold.webs.com

Birthplace: Queens, NY

Zodiac sign: Leo

Your medium/genre:
Performance Art/Acting/Dance

Describe what you do:
I write monologues and poetry about being a gay man basically. My personal narratives deal with the fight for equality, the temptation of the dark side and the search for true love. I then create performance pieces to my words using video imagery, dance, and spoken word. Once I've written enough material, I then create a full-length theatrical one man show.

Turn on’s:
Wisdom, confidence, humor, sensitivity, authenticity

Turn off’s:
Hate, ignorance, arrogance, selfishness, "woe is me" types

Describe your perfect date:
Oh God I can't stand dates, so much pressure! It's like a job interview!:)
The best dates are pleasant surprises that last longer than you anticipated Maybe start at the beach, go on a hike, or play a game of basketball; into dinner, drinks, and dancing.

Pet peeves:
People who talk WAY too much about themselves.

Fave sex idol:
Mark Whalberg, Brandon Boyd, Idris Elba, Halle Berry to name a few:)

1ST crush:
Probably Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing! Omg, I remember being like "Whoa, what is happening to me?", after watching his shirtless scenes! Also I remember when I was 14, I met this 15 year old Mid-Western boy while vacationing in the Caribbean with my family. We became buddies for the entire weeklong trip. I remember feeling very attracted to him, physically and emotionally. For me, it was the first time it felt exciting to like another boy, at least in my mind. And It was ok. This was who I was. Of course he was straight but we remained pen pals all through high school and college. He was the guy that changed everything for me.

Fave music:
I seriously love all kinds of music, except I was never really feeling Country songs. Dance/Electronica/House is home to me. 90s Hip Hop brings me back. Classic rock, Indie Rock, R&B Soul, Disco, Pop(Britney is my girl!:), and World Music(African, Latin).

Top movies that inspire you:
The Color Purple, You Can Count On Me, Milk, Imitation of Life

Fave quote:
"You are a phenomenon no less magical than any possibility" D.W. Brown

Reading List:
I'm reading Gay Soul right now which is so beautifully rich. Obama's Dreams from My Father, The Velvet Rage.

One of your obsessions: Italian Bread!

Influences/mentors/heroes:
Michael Jackson is the only reason I first set foot on stage. I was 7 years old and performed "Thriller" in the school talent show. He will always be my hero. Also, the director of my first solo show Michael Kearns and everyone involved in the Rise Up and Shout organization are responsible for helping me find my voice as an openly gay artist.

Fave queer from history: Langston Hughes

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
Performing in my solo show SO HARD closing night, the same day the California Supreme Court upheld the ban on same sex marriage in June 2009. SO HARD dealt heavily with marriage equality and after this devastating news, my emotion really flew beyond the theatre walls. It felt great to convey what so many of us in the LGBT community were feeling at that moment.

Most frightening performance experience:
I'm nervous as hell before EVERY performance no matter how big or small.

Places performed: Los Angeles:
Zephyr Theatre, Highways Performance Space, ONE Institute, Rise up and Shout! 1 & 2 (Barnsdall Gallery Theatre), Black LGBT Project, Village Variety Pack(Davidson/Valentini Theatre), City x1 LGBT Youth event.

Education:
Loyola Marymount University- Theatre Arts/Dance. Joffrey Ballet School, NY

Awards/Grants/Honors: City of West Hollywood Arts Grant

What do you (does your art) stand for:
Sharing my story to promote greater understanding and acceptance of the LGBT community worldwide.

Fave prop or costume: My black speedo:)

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
There is such an outlet in LA for queer art it's almost undeniable. Showcases, readings, theatrical productions, music. The amount of creativity and talent by gay artists out here continues to inspire me. I also love that we all assist one another and have each other's backs when it comes to getting our voices heard. We're like a family all working towards a common goal. I love it! Let's take this ride as far as we can, continuing to open more hearts and minds to our plight!

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
Full equal rights and integration worldwide.

What do you see as the future for queer art:
I see a lot more openly gay figures being unapologetically visible internationally in all mediums- Film, TV, Music, Sports, Politics, News Reporting, Writing etc. Being honest about who we are and sharing our stories truthfully is key if we are to eliminate the hatred and stereotypes associated with being Gay.

What are your upcoming plans/shows/events/include dates and info:
I am currently about halfway done with writing my next solo show. As of yet it is untitled but its themes deal with my light and dark attributes as a gay man post turning 30 years old. Hoping to premiere it in the fall/winter 2011 at Studio C in Hollywood.

Sample of Work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-3wxTtcRpU

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Dale Guy Madison

Name: Dale Guy Madison

Stage Name: Damn Good Man

Contact info:
www.damngoodman.com
www.30minb4midnight.com
www.youtube.com/damngoodman
www.facebook.com/damngoodman

Zodiac sign: Aries

Your medium/genre:
Performance Art, Spoken Word

Describe what you do:
Combine mixed media, music, video and pop culture into visual arts performance.
The opening line to my book: DREAMBOY: MY Life as a QVC Host & Other Greatest Hits is:
I am a product of the “golden age” of television. I was conceived on a balmy night in July of 1957, between episodes of Roy Rogers and Wagon Train. Nine months later, Dale Guy Madison was born. Named for Dale Evans, Roy Rogers’ wife, and Guy Madison, one of the guest stars of Wagon Train, my purpose in life seemed destined –- I was to become a performer.

Turn on’s: sexy feet

Turn off’s:bad breath/body odor

Describe your perfect date:
Fun conversation combined with mutual interests. Great wine & cheese with an old movie cuddled naked under a leopard throw.

Pet peeves:
People expecting you to be into the Los Angeles Lakers. Like a basketball, it goes over my head!

Fave sex idols:
Phillip Michael Thomas, Sinbad, Heavy D, James Avery, Billy Dee Williams, Teddy Pendergrass,

1ST crush: Bruce Melvin 4th grade

Fave music:
anything Motown, especially The Supremes or Diana Ross
Top movies that inspire you:
Dreamgirls, Sparkle, Valley of the Dolls, Suddenly Last Summer, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?

Fave quote:
”Life for me is one-man GLEE episode, except I can’t sing so I lyp-synch the songs of my life”

Reading List:
Divided Soul, Dreamgirl: My life as a Supreme

One of your obsessions: Leopard print

Influences/mentors/heroes:
My mentor is a fabulous FAG HAG. Her name is Kay Lawal. She taught me the foundation of performance art as I know it. She is well known on the east coast as one-half of the performance duo, Thunder Thigh Revue.

Fave queer Artist(s):
Ryan Murphy (creator of NIP/Tuck & GLEE) Andre Leon Talley, Vogue Editor-At-Large. Quincy LeNear and Deondray Gossett (creators of the DL Chronicles)

Fave queer from history: Bayard Rustin

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
Opening night@ Hudson Theater Los Angeles of my one-man show FREEda Slave: Mask of a Diva

Fave performance experience:
Working with Joel Schumacher “the number 23”

Worst experience:
Having my scene cut from the film.

Most frightening performance experience:
Performing with a sinus infection and losing my voice on stage.

Places performed:
Maryland Art Place
Center Stage
Baltimore Artscape
Hudson Backstage Theater
Occidental College
Arena Players
Eubie Blake Cultural Center
Highways Performance Arts Space
And every back alley stage I can find along the way

Awards/Grants/Honors:
The Maryland State Arts Council recognized his one-man show, FREEda Slave: Mask of a Diva, which addressed issues of cross-dressing and intra-discrimination in the gay community. He has hosted and performed spoken word at various gay prides across the country. His short film, The Panty Man screened in Amsterdam.
Dale received an Audre Lorde Scholarship in 2006 and his BA from Antioch University in 2008 and Master of Arts in Education & Leadership in 2010. Dale was part of a panel of gay entertainers for the National Black Justice Collation “Power of Us” Conference in 2008. He presented the topic of sexuality at the Maryland Annual Suicide Prevention Conference in 2010. His handmade African-inspired cloth dolls exhibited in 28th annual Black Doll Show “I've Got a Story to Tell” at the William Grant Still Center.

What do you (does your art) stand for:
My art integrates multi-media, pop-culture, old school music while using social commentary to push gender boundaries in a social interactive environment.

Fave prop or costume:
My black stretch lace gown.

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
I have been in Los Angeles for 10 years. It has taken that long to get the LA queer scene to notice me. Now I am just happy to be included!

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
My vision is Queer will come in vogue

What do you see as the future for queer art:
I see Queer Art as the art people will begin to treasure and hold valuable

What are your upcoming plans/shows/events:
I am the Literary Chair of this year’s Los Angeles Black Gay Pride. I am hosting a night of erotic spoken word called:
“SO CALIENTE”
Sunday July 3,2011 5PM

My new show:
MY Life in 3 Easy Payments

Will debut at :
BEHOLD: Highways’ LGBTQ Performance Festival Friday, August 5th
Sample of Work:
http://youtu.be/KyKg1SjjiJM

http://youtu.be/SFLV1I8fIvU

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Noh Theater, legitimized by Gay Love! Japan 1374

The world’s oldest existing professional theater is the Noh Theater of Japan.
In the beginning Noh Theatre was a lowly common form of entertainment combining crude folk dance, and acrobatics originally called “Sarugaku” which literally meant “monkey music”. But In 1374 it was transformed by the power of gay love when the twelve-year-old actor Zeami performed before the young noble shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, then seventeen. Yoshimitsu was so taken with the beauty and talent of the actor that he became Zeami’s patron and lover. And from this attachment sprang 500 years of shogunal patronage of Noh theater.
Yoshimitsu educated Zeami in Japanese classics helping to form Zeami’s allusive and subtle signature poetic style.
And under Yoshimitsu’s guidance Zeami raised the literary level of No theatre from common and lowly to an esoteric and austere art form, and Zeami himself composed its major seminal classics.

Nijo Yoshimoto, the court’s senior statesman, also was greatly moved by Zeami’s talents as can be seen in this surviving letter:

“Should Zeami have time, please bring him over with you once again. The entire day was wonderful and I quite lost my heart. A boy like this is rare- why, look at his linked verse, and his court kickball, not to mention his own particular art! Such a charming manner and such poise! I don’t know where such a marvelous boy can have come from…I should compare him to a profusion of cherry or pear blossoms in the haze of a spring dawn… It’s no surprise that the shogun is so taken with this boy…In spite of myself, I feel as if the flower of the heart still remains somewhere in this fossilized old body of mine.”

Zeami and Ashikaga’s love birthed the legitimization of an art form. Raising it from something common and humble, to one of the finest and highest revered forms of performance ever created by humankind.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: John Cantwell

Name: John Cantwell

Contact info: www.facebook.com/connieslocum, www.thenellieolesons.com

Birthplace:
Vicksburg, MS (raised in Tallulah, LA)

Zodiac sign: Sagitarrius

Your medium/genre:
Huh? Oh, quadruple threat.

Describe what you do:
Whatever pleases me to the discomfort of others.

Turn on’s:
Italian men, Ennio Morricone scores, Brian DePalma movies, voyeurism, chocolate, kissing for the first time, glamour

Turn off’s: creepy fungus-y or jacked up toenails, dirty finger nails (unless you're a mechanic, painter, sculptor OR gardener - in that case it's hot!), circuit music

Describe your perfect date:
food, movies, drinks, making out - not necessarily in that order

Pet peeves: Most L.A. drivers, air travel

Fave sex idol: Debbie Harry

1ST crush: Lyle Waggoner

Fave music: Blondie, Garbage, Bowie, Roxy Music, Sugababes

Top movies that inspire you:
Jackie Brown, Blue Velvet, Suspiria, Grease, The Poseidon Adventure

Fave quote:
"Hello, Jack, can ya hear me? Ya know, like I was saying before ya know about going to New York and stuff and we could see some shows like, ah, ya know, like Sugarbabies and stuff and I know this great hotel in the Times Square area..." - Nancy Allen as Sally Bedina in Blow Out

"You think I'd let Lula go out with a piece of S-H-I-Tut like you?? Boy, you belong in one of these toilets." - Diane Ladd as Marietta Fortune in Wild At Heart

Reading List:
The Lonely Doll: The Search for Dare Wright by Jean Nathan, Will There Really Be A Morning? by Frances Farmer, The Good, The Bad & The Very Ugly by Sondra Locke, Liar’s Club by Mary Karr

One of your obsessions: ‘70’s cinema

Influences/mentors/heroes: Debbie Harry, David Lynch

Fave queer Artist(s): Lance Loud, Warhol

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc: Seeing Blondie live in 1982

Fave performance experience:
Nellie Olesons in the ‘90’s in NYC and currently “Love, Connie” in L.A.

Most frightening performance experience:
Having a chair break and falling of a platform during a performance of “Making Porn” while I was simulating masturbation on stage. And anything dealing with mime or improv.

Places performed:
All over the U.S. and Canada but mostly in the basement of a Mexican restaurant in L.A.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Music Education/Voice

Awards/Grants/Honors: Best Ass from most anybody you ask.

What do you (does your art) stand for:
I don’t really have any idea. The solo work I've done and created still isn't that far removed from the sissy boy I was who created outfits and made up shows and listened to records with the bedroom door locked. It's the same now except I charge admission.

Fave prop or costume:
Connie’s red, white & blue fringed Kathy Ireland bikini from K-Mart.

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene: Shorter is better.

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
That we’ll be as boring to straight people as they are to us.

What do you see as the future for queer art:
It’s really bright and I gotta wear shades.

What are your upcoming plans/shows/events/include dates and info:
"Smutopia" at Highways May 20 & 21
“Give Me Gorgeous” at 3F at Akbar June 17
"INVINCIBLE: The Legend Of Billie Jean LIVE" June 3 - 18 at The Cavern Club
and
“Love, Connie” at Highways, July 8 & 9

photo by: ANTHONY MONGIELLO

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Leopold Nunan




Name: Leopold Nunan

Stage Name: Leopold Nunan

Contact info: just google me already!

Birthplace: Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro - Brasil.

Zodiac sign: half human, half horse.

Your medium/genre:
performance art. Music. Stage shows. Movement, voice and expression. oh… yeah… almost forgetting… getting naked in public.

Describe what you do:
I sing, dance, act. I direct, create and choreograph all my work. Also produce it. I am a live performer, a firecracker, a wild Carnaval, a riot! My bank account number is BofA 03479346934 I just saw this great Channel bag I really need.

Turn on’s:
I get really horny when I see my man working in his 72 yellow Pantera.

Turn off’s: donaldtrumpmayonnaisehitlercheapshoesladygagaofftunesingersthepopeanitabryantabbadirtydicksloppycatwalk.

Describe your perfect date:
dinner + drinks and a good funky dance floor always works for me.

Fave sex idol:
Cantinflas, Erik Estrada, Freddy Mercury, G.I. Joe and Clint Eastwood.

1ST crush:
I was 8. He was 14. He was the son of the mechanic who used to take care of my fathers 64 Chevette. We used to play while our dads were entertained with the troubled car. That's when I saw for the first time, a man jerking off and ejaculating. I fell in love instantly!

Fave music:
Gal Costa, Ethel Merman, La India, Anthony Hagerty, Caetano Veloso, Grace Jones, Elza Soares, Madredeus, Kraftwerk, Carmem Miranda, Wendy O' Williams, Piaf, Elis Regina, Chaka Khan, Ed Motta, Vivaldi, Patti Labelle, Roisin Murphy, Lenine, Chad Baker, Djavan, Liza Minelli, Hermeto Pascoal, Beth Ditto, Aretha Franklin, Zap Mama, Eartha Kitt, Bjork, Cesaria Evora, Silvester, Fela and Semi Kuti, Sly, George Benson, Kerry Chandler… anything soulful I dig in!

Top movies that inspire you: E.T.

Fave quote:
What is big and large on the front is big and large on the back - Chinese Unknown

Reading List:
The Gay Kama Sutra, Cookin' with Coolio and the current French Vogue Mag - that's how I practice my horrible french.

One of your obsessions: MY DRAG BAG!!!!!!!!!

Influences/mentors/heroes:
My mom. She is really something else. We laugh, cry, fight, talk alike… She is super blond, a short woman with a wild mood. Fabulous! My dad is an amazing being as well. Came in from the Northeast of Brasil alone and poor and became one of the most talented plastic surgeons in history. He did... I mean re-did my nose…

Fave queer Artist(s):
John Kelly, Leigh Bowery, Joey Arias, Lady Bunny, Batman and Robin.

Fave queer from history: Santos Dumont.

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
My last performances always are my favorites. Just showed an hour length theater piece at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, Orixas - The Gods Of Candomble. I embodied 6 entities from the afro-brazilian religious. It was a very challenging experience to me. I created, produced, directed, choreographed and starred. It really took my work into another level.

Fave performance experience:
Honestly it's really hard for me to answer this question. I have unforgettable moments recorded in my mind. Just can't pick one. It's always a blast! If you are near enough you can see goose bumps in my skin every time I perform… I really enjoyed performing at the massively big Rio de Janeiro's Gay Pride. I sang for 150.000 back in 2003. It was an ocean of people. Fabulous rush!

Most frightening performance experience:
I was set to perform in a club in Rio called Dama de Ferro - The Iron Lady. It`s a small club in Ipanema but was known for bringing international legends to spin there. Dj Lina - NYC was spinning that day I was performing for the first DRRRAMA! ever created back in 2001. I decided to perform on top of the bar that was made of metal. I was wearing a beige thong and I was painted white. The bar was completely wet when I started my show. I fell twice (like big time), got multiple electric shocks from the mic. Tried to hold on to the ceiling, but the ceiling was made out of barbed wire. Fell again and again. Then grabbed onto exposed wires on the ceiling and ended up bringing all TVs monitors and video cassettes to the floor. Didn`t stop… I went crazier and crazier, received more electric shocks, then after 6 min of performance the whole place went total black. I think I blew a fuse or something...

Education: Journalist (FACHA - Brasil) Cinema (LACC)

What do you (does your art) stand for:
I want to put in reality my idea - the concept as faithful as I envision at first place. I try the best not to censure, limit and tame my art. So... freedom of expression!

Fave prop or costume:
It was this black iridescent feather mohawk head piece designer Hamlet Adonis made it for me. Got stolen from a backstage. If I ever see this bitch wearing my head piece she will see what brazilian guetto really is.

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
I want to see more venues, spaces, avenues, platforms that supports queer and all artists in general. I want to see more live performance art. I love living here, so I will always be doing, showing, performing something, somewhere.

Future of Queer Art: More erections.

What are your upcoming events:
You can see LEOPOLD going wild at:
MAY 14 - Benefit Show for Rise Up and Shine. It will be a review of local queer artist in LA. I will be performing Leopold and the Bang! Bang! Bang! my new gender bending dance rock band.
SMUTOPIA - Highways Performance Space 22nd Birthday Party. It will be an amazing weekend! 30+ artists and I will be bringing Leopold and The Bang! Bang! Bang! once again to pump up the crowd. MAY 20 + 21 at 8:30
Same day MAY 20th I am performing at For Those Who know, a house music party in downtown @E. 3rd St Lounge - Will go on around midnight! Solo afro-brazilian performance.
Starting Sunday MAY 22nd I am opening a new residence called VIVA IT'S SUNDAYS! @The Standard Hotel on Sunset. It's a chilled, gastronomic/pool side/bingo/bossa-nova, electronic-samba summer event. With lots of good quality music, lounge vibe, a place to get your bronze on and enjoy Caipirinhas. I will be commanding the Bingo as well as singing.
Bar Lubitsch - Will be performing at Countre Black`s residence MAY 29. Will be doing a guitar-voice Rio funk style.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Jason Jenn

Name: Jason Jenn

Other aliases: Jason ReBegin, JJ, Jay

Contact info:
www.HiveWorld.org, www.JasonJenn.com, www.facebook.com/JasonJenn

Birthplace: Iowa City, IA

Zodiac sign: Capricorn, with Ares Rising and Cancer Moon – a triple threat of three cardinal signs

Your medium/genre: I’m rather a Jack of All Trades; multimedia artist, writer, creative consultant, performer, photographer, graphic & video designer, poetry, etc.

Describe what you do: The man I aim to be is “A creative and spiritual ReEvolutionary here to explore the known and unknown worlds with art and soul, sharing the results in a responsible and engaging manner.” I know people often scratch their heads at what it is that I do (and often so do I), but I enjoy the art of life and life of art.

Turn on’s: big hearts, open minds, sharp wits, cool composures, warm bodies, curious spirits

Turn off’s: Aggressive, angry, bitter attitudes and actions; people quick to dismiss or judge; self-indulgence without payoff to others; obsession with perfection; refusal to recognize just how shitty we are being to the planet and do nothing to change that (all are things I do my best to keep in check within myself)

Describe your perfect date: There is no perfect, but I’d go for a long walk through nature and/or a great museum, followed by a wonderful meal – with lots of physical and intellectual “conversation” during all of it

Pet peeves: see turn-offs

Fave sex idol: I appreciate so many of life’s sexy beasts and beautiful flowers - there’s a sex idol in all of us! Show it off, baby!

1ST crush: Aquaman or the Dukes of Hazzard (yee-haw!)

Fave music: the celestial music of the cosmos…

Top movies that inspire you: Pink Narcissus, The Lost Mountain, Slacker, Alien Rhoda, and all those in my head that need to find a way out someday soon!

Fave quote: To be honest, I couldn’t think of one, so I just did a quick search and liked this one: “An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose. “ Langston Hughes

Reading List: Currently? A lot of blogs, books on art, coaching, creativity, poetry, song-lyrics, & organizing; and I’m about to re-read my favorite book “A Stranger in a Strangeland”

One of your obsessions: experimental cooking (I’m crazy for “Chopped” on The Food Network)

Influences/mentors/heroes: So, so many. I gather inspiration from all my peers and colleagues and people I’ve worked with and I count myself very fortunate to know some wonderful people in that regard. Thank you!

Fave queer Artist(s): The artists of Queer Mondays

Fave queer from history: currently Constantine P. Cavafy, because I am performing a show about him that I created using his poetry, I find him quite fascinating on many levels.

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc: When I came out to LA I didn’t intend to get into performance art, but about 10 years ago I took the “red pill.” A rabbit hole journey followed: I took Rachel Rosenthal’s classes and joined a troupe of mostly queer men known as Invisible Theatre – from all of that and more my mind was opened to a vast universe of artistic possibility with no turning back.

Fave performance experience: Every performance is a chance to feel a rush unlike anything else. But I’d have to share that the most heart-felt dance of my life was a “duet” with the spirit of my miscarried twin brother, Solaris. It came out of a very spontaneous moment with a group of friends who were playing music. I was able to let go, be out of my head and truly in my body, so that by the end of it I was naked and covered in sweat.

Most frightening performance experience: Well, it wasn’t that frightening to me, but I did a performance about the spirit animal of the Spider, and after the show I went down to gather my clothes from a bathroom/changing room and a tarantula was there! It freaked out several audience members in line to use the bathroom. I realized it was my responsibility to do something, so I put her on some fabric and took her outside away from danger. I learned the magic of performance for sure that night!

Places performed: Mostly L.A. and Iowa, but I yearn to do it all over the world.

Education: Honestly the best education has been life experiences and the lessons of “failure” (but man do they suck).

Awards/Grants/Honors: It has truly been an honor to work with the peers I have. Other than that, I tend to be a bit off the radar and lacking in those things – that may change.

What do you (does your art) stand for: I am interested in celebrating the diversity of life while offering up new perspectives on archetypes and universal themes. I aim to make art that in addition to being visually engaging, is meaningful and transformative. Art is the language of life and I love to communicate through a variety of methods.

Fave prop or costume: My Cornman Miranda outfit and headdress! My body was covered in gold paint, I made a skimpy tribal outfit and a gold helmet strapped to my head with cobs of corn, feathers, and glittery stuff dangling all over. It was a very gay way to make a statement against genetically modified corn!

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene: We are so fortunate! There is so much out there. I don’t have the chance to experience enough of it, but to know it’s there is amazing. What you seek you shall find. Good or bad. Now we need to spread the seeds out to other communities that are lacking.

What is your Vision for the Queer Future: Where Queer is still Queer, but we have reclaimed our highly regarded status without the hatred and shame attached. We are valued for the importance of the different views we possess, as visionaries, as caretakers, as pollinators of culture, and messengers with the spirit realm.

What do you see as the future for queer art: I used to think I could see the future, but it’s really uncertain at this point. We just have to keep flowering our individual essences while appreciating others and doing lots of cross-pollination. I envision the world as a great big garden full of wonders.

What are your upcoming plans/shows/events/include dates and info:
“Cavafy’s Caress” is a show I hope to perform much more in the future – details for that show and many other upcoming plans can be found at:
http://hiveworld.org/currentbuzz.html
And I am blogging about stuff weekly at JasonJenn.com

Sample of Work: http://hiveworld.org/video.html
photos by: Brent Sammons

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Travis Wood

Name:
Travis Wood

Stage Name:
N/A

Contact info:
facebook.com/travis.wood1

Birthplace:
Long Beach, CA

Zodiac sign:
Virgo

Your medium/genre:
Multi-Media Performance Artist: Monologue/ Dance/ Film

Describe what you do:
Questioning Queer Identity in America

Turn on’s:
Beards, Artists, Nerds, Tattoo’s

Turn off’s:
Webbed toes

Describe your perfect date:
A Disney film followed by hot sex.

Pet peeves:
A lack of common sense.

Fave sex idol:
James Dean, Hugh Jackman

1ST crush:
10th grade. His name was Scott. He was a dancer, singer and actor. He was Jewish with curly hair. I knew I was Queer the minute I saw him!

Fave music:
The Breeders, Throwing Muses, Cyndi Lauper, Xiu Xiu, PJ Harvey, Queer Core

Top movies that inspire you:
My Own Private Idaho, Swoon, The Living End, Edward II, The Last of England, Miyazaki films, Derek Jarman films

Fave quote:
“On my darkest days I wear my brightest colors.” –Cyndi Lauper

Reading List:
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, Collected Poems by Allen Ginsberg, Damien by Herman Hesse, Queer by William Burroughs, Becoming A Man by Paul Monette

One of your obsessions:
Constantly thinking of ways to be creative.

Influences/mentors/heroes:
Tim Miller, Ian MacKinnon, David Drake, Danielle Brazell

Fave queer Artist(s):
Ginsberg & Jarman

Fave queer from history:
Allen Ginsberg and Derek Jarman

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
I was a freshman in HS and saw a performance artist spray cheez-whiz over her body as she went into a monologue about the evils of George H. Bush. I knew immediately that I wanted to be a performance artist too.

Fave performance experience:
I camped out to see the West Coast Premiere of RENT. I got front row center seats. The cast was spitting on me during the entire show. I couldn’t have been happier.

Most frightening performance experience:
I was in a production of Tony Kushner’s “A Bright Room Called Day” as Baz. During a “fight scene” an actor got carried away and threw me across the stage. It was incredibly frightening and amazing at the same time.

Places performed:
I've appeared as a "performance artist" in clubs, alleys, street corners and festivals throughout California. I have performed with the Knightsbridge Theater Company, Dream Circus Theater Co., Chakra Explorers, A Queer Exchange, Corpus Delicti Butoh Performance Lab, Highways Performance Space, Queer Mondays and Gathering of the Tribes.

Education:
Orange County High School of the Arts, Cypress College (Acting & Directing), Los Angeles City College (Acting/ Directing for Film), Eric Morris, Mark Majarian, Danielle Brazell, Tim Miller, Malia Ma (Butoh), Joe Talkington (Butoh)

What do you (does your art) stand for:
Breaking Queer Stereotypes, Embracing Queer Stereotypes

Fave prop or costume:
A dress I made out of Frontier Magazine Sex & Cosmetic Ads.

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
The LA Queer Art Scene is very elitist. I am very thankful for Highways and Queer Mondays for bringing me closer to the fringe artists with incredible talent that often get overlooked at other venues/ events.

What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
Creating our own future based off Queer ideas and stopping the Heteronormality of queer culture.

What do you see as the future for queer art:
Using technology to reach more people thru queer art and performance.

What are your upcoming plans/shows/events/include dates and info:
Currently working on my Cinema Degree, Turning Grimm Fairy Tales into Queer Stories, Working on Monologues and performances inspired by my Queer life.

Sample of Work:
http://www.youtube.com/blueboyx

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Steven Reigns

Name: Steven Reigns

Contact info: www.stevenreigns.com and www.thegayrub.com

Birthplace: St. Louis, MO

Zodiac sign: Scorpio

Your medium/genre: Poetry

Describe what you do: I write poetry and teach poetry workshops. For the past 5 years I’ve also been involved in a durational performance art piece under the mentorship of Linda Montano.

Turn on’s: original thinkers, kindness, and dedication to the community.

Turn off’s: selfishness, laziness, and the shaving of body hair.

Describe your perfect date: I abhor dinner and a movie dates. I like life and dates to be an adventure.

1st crush: I haven’t really ever thought about my first crush. I had a swim instructor when I was very young, he must have been in high school. I remember being fascinated by his small swimsuit which I had never seen before...it was a Speedo.

Fave music: I love a good lyric.

Reading List: I have a large “To Be Read” stack of books. Almost all of them are poetry.

One of your obsessions: Soap.

Fave queer Artist(s): Frank O’Hara was rocking my world a couple of years ago. My obsession with him has now calmed into just an intense crush.

Fave queer from history: This is a hard one. Sophie had an easier choice. I can’t decide between the queens who started the Stonewall riots and the ACT UP activists stopping traffic and chaining themselves to buildings. All of those people get my props.

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc: Books have opened my world more than performances. I love performance art but wasn’t exposed to it when I was young. Seeing Morrissey for his Your Arsenal tour in 1992, when I was 16, was quite amazing. He was so gay, sensual, and sexy. I also met one of my best friends that night.

Fave performance experience: I’ve had great experiences at public reading. About 8 years ago I was asked to be the keynote speaker at an annual American Library Association (a group of glbt librarians and allies) gathering. I was honored to speak to such a group. I kept looking at the crowd and thinking, “You are the people that helped shape my life.”

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from The University of South Florida, Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University.

Awards/Grants/Honors: I’m pleased to have received 2 Los Angeles County Department of Cultural Affairs grants and several grants from Poets & Writers.

What do you (does your art) stand for: I want my work to give voice to the overlooked, under represented, and under appreciated.

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene: I love LA and I’m pleased to be surrounded by so much queer art. There is Ian MacKinnon’s Queer Mondays, Hank Henderson’s HomoCentric, Noel Alumit’s Promising Series, Eloise Klein Healy’s lesbian press Arktoi Books, Lambda Literary is here, Charles Flower’s Bloom is headquartered in West Hollywood. We’ve got the One Institute and the June Mazer Library. I love being surrounded by so much queer artistic activity.

What do you see as the future for queer art: As our community evolves so will the stories that come from our community. I look forward to witnessing both. In terms of queer cinema, I really hope there is a move away from the hustler narrative. I’m so tired of that storyline.

What are your upcoming events: I’m teaching a free workshop on April 19th in honor of National Poetry Month at the West Hollywood Library at 6:00 PM
West Hollywood Library
715 San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, CA
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=164514150270179&ref=ts

I'm collecting rubbings from GLBT historical markers. It's a participatory project and I'd love to have more people submit some: www.thegayrub.com

My book Inheritance was also recently rereleased by Sibling Rivalry Press and can be purchased here:
http://siblingrivalrypress.bigcartel.com/product/inheritance-by-steven-reigns

Sample of Work:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Jean Natalia

Name: Jean Spinosa

Stage Name: Jean Natalia

Contact info:
jeanspinosa.com
Facebook.com/clubwigout
Twitter.com/jeanspinosa

Birthplace: San Leandro, California

Zodiac sign: Sagittarius with a Virgo Rising

Your medium/genre: Theatre, Cabaret, Film

Describe what you do:
Actor, Performance Artist, Dancer, Writer, Director, Producer, Choreographer, Club Promoter; Creator and Host of Wig Out! Get Your Wig On!.

Turn on’s: Kindness, Gentleness, and Bravery

Turn off’s: Rudeness, Callousness, and Cowardice

Describe your perfect date:
Tea, music, sandwiches, sweets, savories, delightful conversation and it all turning into a spontaneous spazzy dance, more tea, and then off to an unknown adventure.

Pet peeves:
My biggest pet peeve is when people do not pay attention to or take into consideration nuances and details.

Fave sex idol: Freddie Mercury

1ST crush:
1978 Peter Frampton in Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Then the crush on Freddie Mercury came soon after that.

Fave music:
I love any and all music which has character and is inspiring; From 20’s, to Glam, to Death Metal, to Gypsy, to Punk, to Rock Operas, to Piaf, to Mozart, to 60’s Go-Go, etc..

Top movies that inspire you:
One of my all time favorites is It’s a Wonderful Life

Fave quote:
"If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.
A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having.
If there won't be dancing at the revolution, I'm not coming"- Emma Goldman

Reading List:
Keith Johnstone: Impro
Respect for Acting: Uta Hagen
The Blessings of Friendship: Mary Engelbreit
Don’t Look Back: Mary Engelbreit
Your Private Sky: R. Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller’s Universe- Lloyd Steven Sieden
The Dictionary and Thesaurus of Emotions: Jeremy Whelan

One of your obsessions: Tea

Influences/mentors/heroes:
I’ve always believed very seriously that each person should be their own “hero”.

Fave queer Artist(s): Ian MacKinnon

Fave queer from history: Each person at Stonewall June 28, 1969

Fave performance experience:
I had a dance company called Punk Rock Ballet. We performed a piece with the Punk Rock Orchestra at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in SF. I was doing a back flip off my dance partner and as I was upside down for that split second during that flip, time stopped and I could hear all the violins in one ear and then the crowd’s reaction out of the other ear at the same time. It was an amazing moment and I’m afraid trying to articulate it doesn’t do it justice.

Most frightening performance experience:
During a play many years ago, an actor accidentally slammed his shoulder blade into my eye socket and I had 45 minutes of dialogue to go. The hit caused a severe concussion that took three weeks to recover from. Worst moment on stage ever.

Places performed:
MOCA, Son of Semele Theatre, Highways Performance Space, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, LACE, The Parlour, Supper Club LA, Thunderbird Theatre Co., Transmission Theatre, Groundlings, Makeout Room, El Rio, The Casanova, Castro Theatre, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Key Club, The Stone, Trannyshack, Bordello, Boardners, El Cid, Mbar, Cavern Club Theatre, Somar Theatre.

Education:
San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
Bachelor of Arts, Theatre Arts; Performance Emphasis
American Conservatory Theatre San Francisco, CA
Certificate
National Academy for Theatre and Film, Puppetry and Mime Bulgaria
Certificate
Institute of Modern Art with Moscow Art Theatre Moscow
Certificate
The Groundlings West Hollywood, CA

Six years private vocal training, two years percussion training, and over ten years of dance training.

Awards/Grants/Honors:
The Kennedy Center A.C.T.F. Meritorious Achievement Award

Fave prop or costume: Wigs

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
LA is quite alive with innovative new works thriving with originality and energy. I find that everyone is highly supportive of each other. It’s an exciting time.

What do you see as the future for queer art:
The future of queer art is open to so many possibilities, I don't want to project anything. I just would like to be surprised and invigorated by it and have the honor of continuing to contribute to it.

What are your upcoming events:
Wig Out! Get Your New Romantax On! Fri April 15, 2011
And then
Wig Out! Get Your Wig On! continues every last Thursday of each month at Three Clubs in Hollywood.

Samples of Work: youtube.com/jeanspinosa


photo by: Henry Horenstein

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Queer Artist Centerfold: Martin Matamoros

Name: Martin Matamoros

Stage Name: Martin Von Sexxxy

Contact info: To hear my latest recording go to soundsofasteroth.bandcamp.com

Birthplace: The Bronx.

Zodiac sign: Cancer (but everybody thinks I'm a Leo).

Your medium/genre: Music, acting, painting, drawing, and fabulosity.

Describe what you do: I am the lead singer of Sounds of ASTEROTH which is an art-rock-pop band. I also write, direct, and act in original plays. Lastly, I paint and draw, and oh yeah... I'm a great kisser.

Turn on’s: A really big... BRAIN!

Turn off’s: A really tiny... intellect.

Describe your perfect date: A perfect date knows how to give good conversation. He loves old movies and doesn't smoke or drink. He is witty without trying and above all... he thinks I'm the hottest thing since fire.

Pet peeves: Cologne abuse

Fave sex idol: Marilyn Monroe of course.

1st crush: He-Man

Fave music: Sounds of ASTEROTH

Top movies that inspire you: Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Barbarella, and BelAmi

Fave quote: "Never hold in a fart" Martin Von Sexxxy

One of your obsessions: I'm obsessed with the dog I am currently dog-sitting. I literally think about her all day. SHE LOOKS LIKE AN EWOK!

Influences/mentors/heroes: My influences are EVERYTHING. My heroes are Celia Cruz, Marry Poppins, Joe Medina. I am my own mentor/parent.

Fave queer Artist(s): Mickey Mouse and Me.

Fave queer from history: Tallulah

Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc: Lip-synching to I Want Your Sex in Jr. High.

Fave performance experience: All of them and none of them. My emotions about performing are all over the place: terror, exhilaration, happiness, dissatisfaction, pride etc...

Most frightening performance experience: I experience a feeling of terror before most of my performances so once again my answer is all of them.

What do you (does your art) stand for: It's only really meant as a creative interpretation of my experiences. I can't pretend to be more than I am. Everything is a form of biography. I can only hope that my biography is as interesting to someone else as it is to me lol.

Fave prop or costume: My space-bubble

Thoughts on the LA queer art scene: Like any other scene it is boring, elitist, and takes itself way too seriously. Oops, I meant to say I think it's awesome.

What is your Vision for the Queer Future: My hope is that we stop trying to turn into boring straight people. We are the last of the eccentrics and hopefully it'll stay that way.

What do you see as the future for queer art: Is there any other kind of art?

What are your upcoming plans: My plan is to record a new album and shoot a Sounds of ASTEROTH movie, but I try not make to many plans. I can croak at any minute.

Sample of Work: soundsofasteroth.bandcamp this is a free download of my latest recording.

Friday, April 8, 2011

THE TYRANNICIDES

Tyrannicides (514 BC)

Check out this hot revolutionary Ancient Greek couple. Trynancide means the killing of a tyrant, or someone who has committed the act for the common good. The most famous Tyranacides are handsome Harmodius, and the striking Aristogeiton, lovers of ancient Athens. Harmodius and Aristogeiton were sexy martyrs to the cause of Athenian freedom who became a symbol of democracy when they sacrificed their own lives to kill the tyrant Hipparchus. Carrying knives hidden in myrtle wreathes they assassinated Hipparchus at The Panathenaic Games in 514 BC.

Later Cleisthenes, a noble Athenian of the Alcmaeonid family, commissioned the sculptor Antenor to create a statue of the heroic lovers. It was the foremost commission of its kind and so the couple became immortalized in the first statue ever to be paid for out of public funds.

Edward Carpenter, English mystic, socialist philosopher, and out gay activist from turn of the century England wrote of the Tyrannicides,
“If the love of Harmodious had been for a wife and children at home, he would probably not have cared, and it would hardly have been his business, to slay the tyrant.”

And their story is also told in a popular drinking song,

“In a myrtle branch I will carry my sword,
as did Harmodius and Aristogeiton
When at the Feast of Athena
They slew the tyrant Hipparchus.
Ever shall your fame live in the earth
Dearest Harmodious and Aristogeiton,
For that you slew the tyrant
And made Athens a city of equal rights.”
Harmodius
Aristogeiton