Tag Archives: Love

Relationship Status

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Dating in the digital age can be downright dreadful. I recently set up a Tinder profile in hopes of finding more relationship oriented guys than the ones trolling Scruff and Grindr. After hundreds of swipes and likes, my best match was already in a relationship with my former real estate agent. WTF.

Relationship Status, an 11 episode digital series available on Verizon’s go90 app from executive producers James Frey and Milo Ventimiglia, tackles the subject head on. It follows 30 guys and girls in New York and Los Angeles navigating through love and friendship – all told though the lens of social media. Gilmore Girls and Heroes hottie Ventimiglia stars as “Jack” a light hearted, fun gay bartender.

I met Milo while working background on the show. I found myself blushing while chatting briefly near the craft service table. To me, it was love at first sight. Milo featured me in a scene and gave positive feedback on my reactions.

After a long day of dancing in a simulated gay club, I checked one of my social accounts and noticed a guy who resembled Ventimiglia checked out my profile. I wondered if this was a case of life imitating art or just wishful thinking? My imagination ran wild. The experience inspired me to start writing a screenplay about a straight actor who in research for his role hooks up with an over eager extra via a sex app.

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In good fun, I tweeted Milo a picture of his character “Jack” remarking how hot he is. Here’s the problem, I mistakenly called him “Jake”  – the doppelgänger I chatted with online! A case of mistaken identity. How embarrassing. But this is Hollywood, who can tell what is real? Good thing Milo has a sense of humor.

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Make sure to check out this funny, smart and relevant show. If you watch it in slow motion you just might spot me too.  As for my dating life, my Relationship Status remains the same – SINGLE!

Relationship Status premiered last week on StyleHaul’s YouTube channel. Additional episodes are streaming on Verizon’s go90 app now.

Later this year, Ventimiglia returns to Gilmore Girls for its Netflix reboot.

Straight Up

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More and more, I am finding myself less attracted to gay men with eyes focusing on the straight ones. I gave up chasing after straight guys in college after one left me with a broken heart. But I am finding myself fantasizing about walking down that road again and reminiscing about the one that got away…

“Jeff” stood in the doorway and held his hand in mine. He pulled me closer and gave me a gentle kiss on the lips. I looked at him and said, “I want more,” and he kissed me harder before returning to his dorm room across the hall. In that moment, everything was perfect. The young man I desired for two years was mine – if only for a fleeting moment.

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The next day, he avoided me. I understood, but my heart was crushed. I had never been in love or had anyone I cared about feel the same. Now that I had experienced it, I had to let it go. He was graduating in two weeks and was set to marry his long time girlfriend.

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I first spotted “Jeff” on a typical snowy day in the art building on the SUNY Oswego campus. He had an athletic build, olive skin and the most beautiful crystal blue eyes. It was love at first sight. Fortunately, the art department was small and getting to know each other would be unavoidable. We shared a night class and slowly became friendly.

The following semester, I studied in London. While I was away, “Jeff” began to hang out with one of my girl friends. I was filled with jealously, but when she wrote he had asked about me, I melted with excitement about returning to campus. Being somewhat of a stalker, I got ahold of a floor plan and moved in a few doors down the hall from where “Jeff” would be living. I was determined to get to know him better. I wasn’t aware of his sexuality and I didn’t care. It was about what I wanted.

Soon enough, we become buddies. As we grew closer, my feelings deepened. I was a shy virgin and could not express my longing. It killed me to learn he had a fiancee. While I wasn’t sure what our relationship was, we clearly had chemistry. People began to notice how happy he would act around me – almost giddy.

The night of the kiss, he drunkenly whispered that he had kissed a boy once. I said, “I’ve kissed a girl” too. With that, we laughed. I asked him if he loved me. His response “I lust for you!” I wanted him to love me, but his admission of lust was validation for what I had suspected. I said, “You don’t love me just a little?” – He nodded “yes”. We walked home from the local bar silently that night, until we reached my room and shared our first and last kiss in the doorway.

18 years and numerous heartbreaks and disappointments later, I am still looking for love. I thought moving to West Hollywood would be an opportunity to throw myself into a new dating pool, but I am seeing only the same stereotypes I found in New York. When I walk down Santa Monica Blvd., go to gay bars or cruise online, I am again confronted with the bear, the otter, the muscle head, the steroid queen, the fashionista, the coupled, the partnered, partiers, leather daddies and self proclaimed “pigs.” I may get heat for making such generalizations, but I am turned off by the options available.

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Recently, I’m finding myself again increasingly drawn to straight men. I perceive straight men as being self-confident without trying hard to fit in. Straight men seem to have it all and appear able to do what they want. These days, straight men can be sensitive, sport a man bun, get mani/pedis and be fashionable without forgoing a sense of sexuality identity. Perhaps it’s simply the forbidden fruit syndrome? Maybe we should just stop putting labels on ourselves?

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I’m not giving up.  At the end of the day, you never know when love will strike – it just happens and it could be with anyone. Love does not discriminate. As for “Jeff”, last I heard he got divorced. The struggle is real.

Return Of The Penns?

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This week blogs, gossip sites and major news outlets published reports of Madonna and Sean Penn’s alleged re-coupling. Madonna  flirted with the idea during a fundraiser for Help Haiti Home in Beverly Hills on Jan. 9. In front of a full crowd,  she professed her love “I want to say [to] Sean that I love you, from the moment I laid eyes on you — and I still love you just the same.”

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Madonna and Sean were never media darlings. In fact, they were once dubbed the “Poison Penns” – mainly due to Sean’s hot temper. Penn landed in jail for spitting and attacking photographers outside Madonna’s old Upper West Side apartment. As a young Madonna fan, I would walk by her apartment hoping to get a glimpse – the closest I came was seeing her jogging  in Central Park.

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When Madonna and Sean wed at a secret location in Los Angeles on her birthday, August 16th 1985 – Andy Warhol and Cher were in attendance. The reception became a total spectacle with photographers dangling out of helicopters trying to get a shot. Madonna’s image started to change. It appeared as if Sean took Madonna away from her fans. Many kids my age stopped listening to Madonna altogether – she was no longer cool. She was a married woman devoted to Sean – his reputation rubbed off on her. Their flop of a film Shanghai Surprise put the nail in the coffin.

Rumors of abuse began to circulate. It was said, Sean had beat Madonna and tied her to a chair.  Madonna supposedly, filed a police report but never pressed charges. Madonna has since denied this ever happened. Most recently,  in a deposition in Sean’s 10 million dollar defamation lawsuit against director Lee Daniel’s who referenced Sean as an “abuser” in an Vanity Fair article.

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Madonna and Sean’s marriage lasted four years. I never gave up hope on Madonna – I prayed she would find herself.  After the divorce, Madonna returned with one of the most celebrated albums of her career, Like A Prayer (1989). Her new sound was mature, empowered and self-expressive.  Madonna dancing in front of burning crosses and kissing a black Jesus in the Like A Prayer video promted Pepsi to axe a commercial starring the controversial pop star. Madonna kept the 5 Million dollar pay check. Yes, Madonna was back. And the rest is pop culture history…

 

 

Carnie Wilson – Keeps Me Holding On

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As a young gay child, I didn’t feel like the other boys. I was sad. When I was in eighth grade, I remember being depressed and worried that I would disappoint my father by getting a bad report card. I feared failing and my father’s wrath if I did not excel.

One day before school, I turned on MTV and they debuted the video for Wilson Phillips inspirational “Hold On”. Wilson Phillips comprised of music royalty….Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson, and Chynna Phillips, the daughters of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas.

The video was shot in the mountains and Venice Beach, providing a beautiful backdrop for the quintessential California girls.

12247151_1120879867923896_826120582592136366_nFrom Right to Left: Carnie, Chynna and sister Wendy

Always the dreamer, the “Hold On” video gave me the willpower to keep hoping that everything would be ok. I was captivated by the beauty of their lyrics and celestial images. I wanted to escape to the mountains as well. I set a goal to one day move to California – it only took me about 25 years but I recently left a well paying job in New York City to follow my heart! So here I am pursuing my dreams of being a writer and actor! It’s scary and I have no idea what lays ahead but I am still “Holding On”.

Thanks to the power of social media, I met Carnie Wilson via Twitter about two years ago. Carnie has inspired me and countless fans around the world with her infectious sense of humor and brutal honesty concerning her struggles with weight and sobriety. What an honor that she agreed to an interview!

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Carnie, thank you so much for taking the time. Its crazy that we met on Twitter. I love that you are so active on social media, what do like about it? What don’t you like?

No problem! I like social media most of the time. I really enjoy being able to interact with people and fans. I am mostly enlightened and appreciate the more supportive and humorous postings and tweets. I don’t do Facebook as of right now – but maybe in the future. It’s really cool to maybe give people who are needing little nudges of encouragement kind responses that can be with a simple heart emoji!

Naturally, I hate negative comments and find it hard not to do so myself. There really isn’t any need for it. It takes  a lot for me to not respond in a vulgar way sometimes. I have a potty mouth and just wanna go off. But I’ll stoop to their level if I do!!!!  People are bored and unhappy…. those are the big losers who just like to bully others and put people down. Their lives must SUCK.

You always post a song for the day and a song for the night, how do you come up with your selections?

SFTD and SFTN is like a necessity for me now! Funny, people wait for it now too. I love this because all of this is a love for music. I have a very wide range of taste when it comes to music. I love the B52’s to Sade. So, usually I go with more up-tempo for the day and more mellow for PM. It can be a beat or guitar riff I’m hearing in my head. Or maybe it’s a lyric I’m being reminded of just watching my kids play or walking down the street. But I have music in my head at all times and it can feel kinda crazy because I can’t remember if I’ve tweeted it before. It’s been like two years since I’ve started this…I know I’m on repeat (laughs out loud)!

What artist do you connect with most and why?

I am a huge fan of Yacht Rock, mellow 70’s, disco, and R& B. On any given day, you’ll hear my Pandora on The Carpenters, Steely Dan, ELO, Seal, Backstreet, Annie Lennox, Toto, Little River Band stations. I love it all. My favorite singers are Babs, Ann Wilson, Annie Lennox, Patti LaBelle, Karen Carpenter, Stevie Nicks, Sade, Luther Vandross, Steve Perry, Frank Sinatra, Michael McDonald and Seal among others I forgot! All their voices make me crazy with emotion and I just try to sing along and thank God for their gifts.

What do you think of the pop stars of today?

Pop stars today… I like Gwen Stefani, Adele, Meghan Trainor, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Sara Bareilles…. Honestly…. other than Meghan Trainor ….the younger talent right now is disposable to me. Enough said.

If Wilson Phillips were to debut in 2015, how do you think they would be received?

If Wilson Phillips were to debut right now… I think we’d have pretty good success. The positive messages and harmony is coming back!! At least I’d hope for this!!

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You sing, act, host talk shows, do voice-overs and write. What is your dream gig?

I wear many career hats, but my dream is having my own cooking show and opening a cafe or bakery. The two could go hand in hand, you never know. Anything that has to do with cooking and baking would be a life-long dream. It will happen. Nothing fancy here. I’m self-taught and just love food and watching people eat. Of course, I’m dramatic and a spaz so it’ll be wacky and over-the-top. That’s something in my soul. Another is to be playing a relative of Melissa McCarthy’s in a movie -or best friends!

You have been public about your successes and struggles when it comes to your health. Why has it been important for you to be so honest?

I have to be honest! It’s part of my recovery in sobriety. It’s part of being a good person. It just feels better to be open about something rather than holding it inside. Someone else, younger or older, is struggling through the same thing. We all need each other. I am not perfect. Some people expect perfection from celebrities. That’s fucking nuts. We have highs and lows. We go up and down… in my case it is weight! (laughing). I need to remain teachable, too. That helps me with humility and being somewhat humble. I’m not humble by nature, so this teaches me to shut up and listen sometimes.

As a mother of two young girls, what is the most important thing you want them to learn from you?

I want my girls to learn from me is honesty and compassion. They have huge hearts and my husband Rob and I could not be more proud of who they are already becoming. Also, I try to teach them that they will make mistakes and so will others. That’s a lesson about forgiveness…. a challenging but critical one.

Besides being an artist, what do you think your mission is in life?

My mission in life is to raise my daughters and also to just be an inspiration to others no matter what I’m going through in my life. I love people and appreciate them. Helping others is extremely fulfilling.

FullSizeRenderCarnie with family. Lola (left), Luci (middle) and Rob (right).

What makes you “Hold On” for one more day?

My strength comes from my children these days. My strength also comes from passion. When you lose passion for anything, you lose zest and inspiration. Passion can be about anything. As I get older, I realize that life is short…. until the next one… so take advantage of time… don’t dwell, live in the now, see the good, have a lot of orgasms, don’t let others control you and GO FOR WHAT YOU WANT. XOXOXOXOXO.

https://twitter.com/CarnieWilson

https://www.instagram.com/carnie68/

https://www.facebook.com/wilsonphillipsmusic/?fref=ts

Photos via: Instagram: @Carnie68  & Facebook: Wilson Phillips Music 

 

DEBBIE GIBSON: THE ORIGINAL POP PRINCESS

RayGarciaPhotography.comPhoto:  RayGarciaPhotography.com

Over 25 years ago, 16-year old Debbie Gibson exploded onto the music scene with her debut album “Out of the Blue.” Her self-penned, infectious pop songs “Only In My Dreams” and “Shake Your Love” rose to the top of the Billboard Charts. She became the youngest artist ever to write, produce and perform a #1 hit song, “Foolish Beat.”

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1989’s “Electric Youth” paved the path for the music marketing trends of today. She was the first pop star to launch a signature fragrance to support an album. Her image was plastered on the bedroom walls of kids across America.  In fact, she sold more than 16 million albums worldwide –all while keeping her clothes on and maintaining a squeaky clean image.

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After conquering the pop world with three consecutive albums and world tours, Debbie set her sights on the theater and starred in 17 musicals in 17 years like “Les Miserables,” “Grease,” “Funny Girl,”  “Beauty and the Beast,”  “Gypsy,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Chicago” and the Broadway revival of “Cabaret” with Neil Patrick Harris. Debbie has also appeared in numerous television and film projects including “Celebrity Apprentice,” “Sing Your Face Off,” the SyFy hit “Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid” (opposite fellow 80’s pop star Tiffany) and most recently starring in the 2015 UP original movie, “The Music In Me.”

When I was a kid, growing up in Brooklyn, I wanted to be her best friend. She lived close by in Merrick, Long Island. I was jealous she had a recording studio above her garage. But knowing  she wrote her own songs and got her start at home inspired me. Debbie made me feel like I could make my dreams come true as well.

I had a fantasy of contacting Debbie asking her to reflect back and to find out what’s going in her world on now. My fantasy became reality – the “Original Pop Princess” agreed to talk.

Debbie, tell me what is the best part of being a pop culture icon?

It may sound cliché but getting to do what I love to do and making other people happy is fabulous!

No, not cliché at all, I think that’s great. It is an artist’s job to uplift others. We do what we do to make others happy.

Let me ask you, if you could step into a time machine and go back to 1987, what message would you deliver to your former self?

Relax and take time to enjoy what’s happening. It’s not a race.

That’s great advice!

Having reached such a high level of success at such a young age, how were you able to manage that?

It wasn’t without its ups and downs. But basically, I’m in this business to be creative and not for the fringe benefits, which tends to keep one grounded and focused.

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You were always perceived as a “good girl”….perception or reality?

I’m an authentic girl! I was never into any club scene or drugs or alcohol so if that makes me “good” …then reality. But, I’m not a fan of labels and I wouldn’t say that anyone’s journey is “good” or “bad” as long as they are being themselves and not hurting anyone else.

Tell me something that would surprise people about you.

I can hula-hoop for hours on end without dropping it! Seriously. Also, I was once on CSPAN because I went and spoke to Congress on behalf of artists, and represented ASCAP, when professional caliber digital recording machines were first coming out. Much like Taylor Swift protected artist’s rights with her letter to Apple, I was out to make sure that artists got compensated for their work.

I didn’t know that, that’s cool. I would be terrified to speak to congress!

Since love is a constant theme in your songs. I’m curious, what would be your perfect date?

Well, for starters my current boyfriend would have to be there! (Laughs) And, we would go to our favorite burger joint and I would get sweet potato fries and we would leave the rest of the plan open, cause we hate plans!

Speaking of boyfriends, I heart James Franco, do you have celebrity a crush too?

I’m definitely in the James Franco admiration club too! But, back when I was a kid it was Ricky Schroeder from “Silver Spoons”! 

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Moving on, I read in Billboard you are a Madonna fan. She has been harshly criticized for being too provocative given her age.  What are your thoughts on that?

Everyone deserves to be whoever they are at any age with no regard for others’ perceptions. Madonna is living proof that you can rock it in every decade!

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What advice would you give to an aspiring pop star?

Keep doing what you love to do, and look to be open to collaborating and learning and training all you can. As your career gets further and further along, technique will come in handy and so will your passion for what you do.

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So musically, what’s next for Debbie Gibson??

I’m sitting on a bunch of new songs and I’m dying to record and just waiting for the perfect window of time to do that, which is coming soon!

Cool – I’ll be on the lookout. In the meantime, I’m gonna throw it back to one of your classics and “Shake Your Love” – it’s one of my favorites!

Instagram & Twitter:  @DebbieGibson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Ziering Is Kicking Ass For The Greater Good

IanZiering_0951(8x12)Photo: Gabriel Goldberg

We all remember Ian Ziering starring as Steve Sanders on the iconic 90’s teen drama, Beverly Hills 90210.  25 yrs later, Ian is enjoying a resurgence that started when he danced his way back into American homes on Dancing With The Stars in 2007.  At the age of 49, Ian became a Las Vegas headliner at Chippendales when he joined as celebrity guest host. Ian was asked to return to the show in Summer 2014 for another sold-out run. He also appeared on the recent season of Celebrity Apprentice.

Most memorably, he starred in the small-budget SyFy Channel film Sharknado that became an instant science fiction cult classic that even received a theatrical release in movie theaters around the world. The following year, he reprised the role of  Fin Shepard in Sharknado 2: The Second One. The third installment, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! premieres July 22 on SyFy.

I had the opportunity of interviewing Ian and what I discovered was an extremely thoughtful, intelligent and sensitive man. I was a bit nervous but Ian put me as ease with his enthusiasm…

Phone rings.

Hello.

Hi Ian, this is Daymz, how are you?

I’m doing great. How are you?

I had a bit of a crazy morning but I’m settling in now. Thank you for taking the time to talk. Let’s get started if that’s OK with you?

Yeah man, let’s do it.

With another Sharknado installment on the way, what can fans expect from Part 3?

We haven’t changed the formula, its still sharks in tornadoes but we changed the background. We’re not in New York this time, we’re gonna be in Washington D.C. and the storm takes us all the way down to Orlando, Florida. It’s a family movie. It’s about a guy that will do anything to keep his family safe. It’s going to be out of this world – and that’s a huge hint for ya!

It looks like it would be a really fun movie to make.

It’s a lot of fun! There are more cameos. There will be a lot of surprises. It was not only fun to make but also to watch.

From the moment of receiving the script for the first film to now did you ever imagine it would develop into this wildly popular franchise?

No, I could have never have imagined this. The secret sauce that makes Skarknado special is elusive. Major studios spend tons of money trying to generate this type of buzz.

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Your character Fin is notorious for saving lives with a Chainsaw. You started an apparel brand ChainsawBrands.com that plays off that theme with the intent of spreading light and positive actions thought the world. Please explain.

The chainsaw to me, in my character development, is a tool used to overcome obstacles to breakthrough to the next level, to achieve something greater. Last year after Sharknado 2 came out, Tara (Reid) launched a “Shark” inspired fragrance. I thought that was fantastic. I wanted to come up with a brand for myself. Also after I did Apprentice, it opened my eyes to the business potential that is out there.

I wanted to do something for myself but I always felt success unshared is failure and that’s why a portion of the proceeds goes to others in need. I also wanted to find other ways, besides acting, to provide for my family. Everything I do these days has a philanthropic aspect. When you focus on giving and not on getting it seems to come back to you in other ways.

That’s for sure, it’s definitely an exchange with the universe. To receive for the sake of sharing is what I’m all about too.

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Being that you are a former celebrity host at Chippendales, it’s no secret you are in excellent shape. What’s your workout routine?

Well, I want to die young, but late in life. Eating right, exercising and taking care of myself is the key to having the best chance of accomplishing that. You have to be accountable and set a goal. Accountability keeps you focused, using things like a vision board is incredibly useful. I work out five days a week, its hard work but I want to stay sexy naked as long as possible. I don’t get any complaints from my wife (laughs). I also have a two year old and a four year old; I want to dance at their weddings. It’s not just about me anymore. 

I commend you. Your fans both straight and gay appreciate it. 🙂

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 30:  90210 reunion Shannen Doherty, Ian Ziering and Jennie Garth at CHIPPENDALES at Rio Hotel and Casino on June 30, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage) *** Local Caption *** Shannen Doherty; Ian Ziering; Jennie Garth
Ian with 90210 alum Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth at CHIPPENDALES at Rio Hotel and Casino. Photo by Denise Truscello

You and your wife, Erin, attended LA Pride with your daughters this year (which is amazing)! My father would not have done such a thing. What do you hope your children will learn from their early exposure to the LGBT community?

Ya know what, love really conquers all. It’s the most motivating force in the universe and it’s not gender specific. I’m sorry to hear your father was not supportive. But you can’t blame him, he’s from a different generation where it was not as acceptable. But that’s changing. I want my kids to know we are all the same, that what really counts is the type of person you are and how you treat others. No one should have a say on who anyone wants to love or be with. In this day and age, love is difficult to find. If you find true love, God bless you. I’m teaching my kids to do their thing. Everyone has to do their thing.

I’m like that with my niece and nephew. I’ve never tried to conceal who I am. They accept me as I am. Over the years, I’ve seen major change happen and I hope we keep moving in that direction.

You can’t stop it – it’s natural, it’s a natural evolution and progression. 

IanPridePhoto via Instagram: @IanZiering

Thank you, Ian for your encouraging words. It’s because of people like you who are helping lead the change. I love the way you think!

I’ve evolved to a place in my life where I just want to be a good person for my family and everything else is just noise. I can’t always be right but I try my best in everything that I do. Thank you as well, if you have any further questions, send me a text and I’ll make myself available. 

I took Ian up on his offer, not to ask a question but to rejoice. The following day after our interview, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriages in all 50 states. Ian was right on the money, the revolution and evolution of love is unstoppable!!

Follow Ian on Twitter and Instagram: @IanZiering

www.ianziering.com

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! premieres July 22nd 9/8c on SyFy.

Lisa Loeb On Her Big Break, Boys and Bowie

LisaPhoto: Kevin Westenburg

In 1994, grunge music was popular and so was an emerging group of female singer songwriters. Lisa Loeb was front and center. The Grammy® nominated artist started her career with the platinum-selling Number 1 hit song “Stay (I Missed You)” from the film Reality Bites.  She enjoyed further success with hit songs like “Do You Sleep?” and “I Do” just to name a few.

To this day, she is still the only artist to have a Number 1 single while not signed to a recording contract, a remarkable and unparalleled feat for an unsigned artist. Lisa continues to craft irresistible pop songs for the 21st century, while designing eyewear, writing children’s books, supporting non-profit causes and acting. Lisa’s recent television appearances include John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, Orange Is the New Black, About a Boy, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, King of The Nerds, as well as Sprout’s Sunny Side Up Show.

“Stay” brings me  back to my youth, invoking the feeling of wanting to make my place in the world. Lisa will always be special to me. We became friends on Twitter (post modernism at its best) and bonded over our cats. I asked Lisa, if I could interview her; she agreed.  Here’s what she had to say ….

Hi Lisa, legend has it, Ethan Hawke discovered you while performing in a coffee shop. He would later play “Stay” to Ben Stiller, long story short “Stay” was included in the film Reality Bites and boom instant stardom. How much of this is true?

Ethan and I met in NYC after I graduated from Brown University through a friend we had in common. A group of actors, musicians, writers, and other creative types used to hang out together, and all supported each other. I wrote music for Ethan’s theater company too. Ethan asked for a recording of my song “Stay” to  pass along to Ben Stiller and the other folks involved in placing music in the film Reality Bites. Ethan conceived and directed the one take video for the song as well. 

“Stay” and Reality Bites spoke to a generation who was told they would amount to nothing. As it turns out, many of us are doing just fine. How were you able adapt to the pressures of fame and continue on a road of success?

Having a great support system, made up of my family and friends just keeps everything grounded. And I was just raised that way. I kept working hard, making music and doing projects that mean something to me, and try to balance my personal and business life.

Your music and styling has stayed true to who you are. Was there ever any pressure to “sex it up” or change your musical styling venturing into dance or pop like other artist have?

People have never pressured me to be like other artists, although I’m always looking to explore different styles and approaches. I haven’t gotten too far outside myself, but there’s always another song and another recording.

Your album titles “Tails” & “Hello Lisa” (which is a play on Hello Kitty) and let’s not forget your signature eyeglasses all pay tribute to the feline. Have you always been a cat person? What’s the obsession?

I love cats. I don’t know. They’re cute. They’re soft. They’re mysterious. I’m just a cat person. 😻

Me too, cats are  the best!!!

Next question, what music do you listen to? What gets you going?

I listen to everything from Queen to Sufjian Stevens, David Bowie to Elton John. Lots of classic rock and singer songwriters from the 1970’s radio. Also, my husband works with a lot of newer bands, so I’m usually pretty up to date with some idea of what’s going on.

If you could collaborate with one person dead or alive who would it be?

I’d love to work with David Bowie.

You have also built an impressive resume as an actress? What do you enjoy more, singing or acting?

It’s really my dream to be able to play a character in a great story on film, but singing definitely comes more naturally to me. I love singing in front of an audience- there’s a special connection that comes from a live performance.

Your nonprofit Camp Lisa helps kids attend summer camp, what inspired you to start this amazing organization?

I wanted to share the summer camp experience with kids who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to go to camp. A kid can learn a lot about themselves, have fun, become a great leader, member of the community, challenge themselves by trying something they’ve never done before. It’s an amazing experience that resonates through your entire life. How could I not share that?!

In 2006, you appeared on E! Entertainment Network’s No. 1 Single which documented your journey to find love. You have since married and are now a mother of two. What advice do you have for those reading who are still looking for their soul mate?

Read the book, “If the Buddha Dated” by Charlotte Kasl. Focus on what you want. Not what everyone else expects from you. And then if it’s a priority for you to meet someone, make it a priority in your schedule and your life if you have that kind of flexibility in your schedule. Focus. Relax. Make it a priority.

Work wise and on a personal level, what’s up next for Lisa Loeb?

I’m touring, making tons of new grownup songs, a new kids’ project, getting the camp musical I collaborated on, Camp Kappawanna, on the road, and we’ll see what’s next. That’s a lot. Believe me.

I hear you, that does sound like a lot! With your busy schedule, thank you for taking the time, it was a pleasure speaking with you. Keep us posted, looking forward to hearing your new music.  Until then, I’ll see you in the Twitterverse.  XOXO. 😘

As we remain focused on the future…here’s a look back to the song and the one shot video, directed by Ethan Hawke that put Lisa Loeb on the map! Enjoy!

Twitter/Instagram: @LisaLoeb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisaloeb
http://www.lisaloeb.com/

Happy Belated National Best Friend Day!

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When I was around 10yrs old, I went to Puerto Rico with my Dad to visit my Grandmother. One day, while digging sand on the beach, he opened up to me about having to see his friends get blown up in Vietnam (powerful). He told me, no matter what I did in life to always support, love and value my friends. That conversation changed my perception of the world 4ever. Those words I live by, I am far from perfect but at the end of the day, I got your back!

Yesterday, was National Best Friend Day but I don’t need a special day to celebrate my besties, I do that every day. Remember to support your friends and treat people how you would like to be treated; it’s that simple.

Thanks to all who have supported me, listened to me cry, encouraged my dreams, those who never gave up on me when I gave them reason to. Thanks for the laughs, fun and memories. I love you all.

Xo,

Daymz

 

Spotlight on Carmen Carrera

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Photo: Alex Evans

Back in March, I wrote an essay that appeared in The Advocate called “Meeting a Friend After She Transitioned Was a Wake-Up Call” – what many people don’t know, is that it was loosely based on Carmen Carrera. Originally, I wanted it to be an honest account of how we reconnected as friends post-transition but Carmen was out of town and I was on deadline; there wasn’t time to get her permission. That said, I took creative license and created Josephine, a character inspired by Carmen. Although some of the details are fictional, overall it is a truthful depiction of how I felt and what I learned about my own preconceived judgements.

http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2015/03/24/op-ed-meeting-friend-after-she-transitioned-was-wake-call

In fact, like many I am still learning. Good thing, Carmen is currently filming Season 6 of VH1’s “Couples Therapy” and will be a focal point of the show. Viewers will be able to see Carmen and husband Adrian Torres, who were married before she transitioned share their unique story. Not only, is this is an incredible opportunity to educate and inspire others to live their truth, but it also shows all relationships require effort and understanding!

Funny, as I was writing this Carmen texted me from inside the “Couples Therapy” house. This time, I let her know what I was up to….😃

“Just Friends”

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Have you ever been in love with one of your best friends? People say, “friendship is a good place to start” but I’ve found the opposite to be true. I met Mr. X thorough mutual friends and was instantly was attracted to him. I kept my crush secret from everyone in the friend circle because I wanted to get to know him better; to see if this was someone I’d actually want to date. Something between us clicked and before you knew it, we ditched everyone else in the group and mostly hung out one on one.

While I didn’t out right express my feelings toward him, I certainly showed it through my actions. I invited him to a concert, I was paying and rented a car to get us to New Jersey. We sat very close, legs touching, paying more attention to each other than the concert; apologies Jennifer Lopez. I was in heaven, until he made a sexual comment about another guy he found attractive. My body language changed and I pulled away. I was deeply disappointed but didn’t say anything until he brought it up on the car ride home. He said, “I love spending time with you, but something is missing on a romantic level.” My heart sank to the floor; all I wanted to do was go home and cry. I told him “the friendship was important to me and I didn’t want to lose him.” Mr. X agreed; we were going to keep it platonic but from that point on our relationship only grew more complex.

We started playing the part of a happy couple; people would often ask if we were together. We didn’t bother to correct anyone and let people assume we were. We would text each other as soon as we woke up in the morning and all throughout the day. Often meeting up after work and even spent weekends taking road trips. He worked near my apartment in Brooklyn but lived outside the city, so he started to sleep over. We would cook or go out to dinner, watch TV and pretty much alienated ourselves from all other friends. He even said, “I could see things changing between us.” I thought things were progressing but we stayed in this state of limbo for months. I liked the companionship, so I tolerated the dysfunction. I grew deeper in love with him and kept my feelings to myself but eventually confessed. He didn’t respond too well, he was angry and felt I was being nice to him because I had an agenda. Which was true, my agenda was to take our exclusive “friends relationship” to the next level!

One day, I was in the kitchen washing dishes. Mr. X was sitting behind me, my back was turned to him. He made a snide remark which clearly was designed to hurt my feelings. It was in this space and time, where I had an Ah hah moment!! I said, to myself, “you don’t need this!” If I was going to devote so much of my time to someone, it better be with a guy who was on the same page. I loved him and it killed me to let him go but I knew it was what I needed to do. I felt used and vowed never to repeat this behavior again.

Sometimes, we compromise ourselves against better our judgment to feel loved. I diminished myself from what I truly wanted from a partner because I didn’t want to fail. I’ve seen many of my friends do this as well – stay with people who they know deep down are not good for them. This is not love and love should never feel that way. I can see that now in retrospect. I’ve learned a lot from this experience, if I were ever to find myself developing feelings for a friend, I would be honest from the get go. If the person does not feel the same, then I’d choose to step away and not torture myself with unrequired love. Everyone’s experience is different, perhaps you are reading this and are married to someone who started off as a friend? That is great, kudos to you! My message here is not to dissuade people from dating their friends but to encourage others not to remain in stagnant relationships not beneficial to their greater good. We should always value ourselves and realize we are worth someone’s whole heart.

After our “friendship” break-up, Mr. X tried contacted me several times trough social media; by liking photos and leaving comments. I saw this as yet another sign he was not ready to give me what I wanted. If he really wanted to make things work between us on any level, he would have picked up the phone and made a real effort. Although our friendship was dysfunctional, I value the time spent and lessons learned. I’ll always have a place him my heart for him but understand we cannot be together which is OK! Life goes on, as does my quest for true love.  #NeverGiveUp

Photo via toovia.com

Married at 19 and going strong…

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Every day, we are inundated with news stories of the challenges facing the LGBTQ community. While informative and necessary, the news can be slightly depressing. It seems our stories of success and love get lost in the debates. Spotlight on David Harris and Tre’Darrius Anderson, David and Tre’Darrius made national news, in 2013, when at the age of 19, married in front of the Lincoln Memorial becoming possibly America’s youngest African American gay couple to wed in the country. It’s been two years now and these young Millennials, who meet on Twitter, are going strong. Through their non-pro-fit organization Guys With Pride, they are on a mission to promote self-affirmation, dignity and equality rights. I too met David and Tre’Darrius on Twitter and through an exchange of tweets, direct messages and emails, I learned more about their inspiring journey.

I have to ask, why did you guys marry so young?

We didn’t think getting married age 19 was such huge milestone in the world, ya know?! People called us brave, bold, and daring for getting married at such a young age. It was the love between us both that brought us together.

Getting married at 19 – whether gay or straight makes a statement. Did you feel like you were making a statement?

We did not think the world was going to take this serious. Expressing our love is what we were doing, but the outcome was truly amazing. We went from no family wanting to support us, to thousands of people sending us love from all over the world. We did not know marrying each other would make headlines. We shared our video on YouTube and we went to sleep that night. The next morning everyone was talking about our video. The world was praising us but then we had people telling us we wasn’t going to make it a week, or even a month.

All the attention must have been over whelming. No family support, really? Has that changed?

Yes, a lot of more family is supporting us now. We have the support of both of our mom’s now. Our relationship is being accepted more by our family as the days go by. Everything takes time and we believe things will work out for the better. Sooner or later.

You live in the south, what’s everyday life like in Memphis?

So normal, not so progressive. Our marriage is not legal here which also upsets us! That’s why we chose to get married in D.C.

What are your thoughts on the religious freedom act?

The religious freedom debate has touched a particularly raw nerve in Indiana, where a GOP pushed to amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage and civil unions was defeated last year — exposing tensions within Republican caucuses that already have more than two-thirds super majorities in both the Indiana House and Senate. Several Indiana cities already have anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation, but the legislative fix to the religious freedom law will be the first time protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity are recognized statewide. We have faith that things will get better.

How have you been embraced by the African American community particularly?

Indeed, we have met tons of people on this journey. People of all races has supported us equally.

In gay culture, it seems, gay men in their early twenties are looking to explore their freedom and sexuality; leaning in the opposite direction of marriage.  Why do you think that is?

When you’re in the early twenties you are still trying to figure out who you are as a person individually. You want to live life to the fullest, with no strings attached. Marriage is not for everyone.

What has been the best thing about marriage? Do you have plans to start a family?

The best thing about marriage, is knowing that there will always be someone to run to. Having someone to love, grow old with, and share memories is the best! Of course, we want kids! Two boys and a girl. We have already named them also, lol! We are huge on family and would love to have our own someday. We have decided that we will be going the surrogacy route.

As advocates of love and marriage equality, what do you hope to achieve? What are your dreams?

Honestly, we just want to inspire others and help make change for the LGBTQ community. Whether is through television/film, social networking or etc. We want to be that voice that uplifts and motivate our peers. Just let them know that they are not in this alone. Our dreams are to be television stars. There are so many people who come to us in support and for guidance. We get tons of emails, witter messages, and facebook messages for help. We would love to have our own show one day.

If you were to be given that opportunity to share your story on a greater platform, what would you like people to learn from you? What advice would you give to other young gay couples?

Always to stay true to yourself! Believe that tomorrow will be a new day and things get better! Not to care what others think; you can only live for yourself.

Lastly, tell me about Guys With Pride?

Guys With Pride (GWP) A non-profit organization, we started takes a positive stance against discrimination, violence and bullying toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Our mission is to promote self-affirmation, dignity and equality rights.  As well as to increase their visibility as a social group, build community awareness, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance, as opposed to shame and social stigma of being gay.  Our marriage equality movement starts later this year with the launch of our website GuysWithPride.org

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Antonio Biaggi: Porn Star & Animal Rights Advocate

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They say don’t judge a book by its cover, Antonio Biaggi, adult film star, owner of biaggivideos.com and animal rights advocate wants you to know that there is to him more than meets the eye. Antonio refuses to be defined by his profession; challenging the perception that porn stars are one dimensional. Biaggi, recently tweeted a picture and condemned a group of thugs holding the decapitated head of a cat. When I saw this, I was horrified. My first thought was how could anyone do such a thing? Secondly, I became curious and wanted to find out more about Antonio the person. So, I reached out for an interview and Antonio agreed….

Do you feel people have a pre-conceived opinion of you?

Yes, many people judge me, just because I do porn. They don’t think those working in the porn industry have a private life and have things that are important to them, that have nothing to do with porn. Just because I have sex on camera, does not mean, I don’t have life.

Why do you think that is?

Because many are ignorant, every time there is a blog post about porn actors it’s about whose been arrested or when there’s a HIV case or something bad. No one talks about the good things that some of us do.

Being an adult film star, do you feel it’s harder for people to take your animal advocacy seriously?

Not by my fans, they respect and support me. My fans admire that I care about animals.

Have you always been an animal lover?

Yes, always! As a kid, we had a parrot and we still have it, since they live to 80, lol. My family always had two dogs, fish, rabbits, chickens and even horses.

Why are animals so important to you?

I love animals, I have a dog named Harper and a fish named Mantequilla, they are my babies. I think we have to protect them since they can’t speak. It’s our responsibility to defend and protect them.

What makes you most angry about some of the animal abuses that go on in the world?

Not giving food to a pet or when people just burn or kill them just for the fun of it. It’s very sad. I hate it when I hear about Tigers and Rhinos that are hunted just to make decorations – that makes no sense.

What do you hope to change?

I hope people see the bad stuff that happens to animals, so they learn. I hope people get encouraged to rescue a pet or donate money to a charity that supports animals or if they see abuse they can report it to the police. If you are unable to make a donation, you can donate your time, one hour helping at the closest rescue.

What animal rights charities do you hold close to your heart and why?

Pet rescues, I usually donate specifically to non-kill rescues. Since most of my dogs, have been rescued from shelters. Harper was about to be put to sleep at the ASPCA. A friend of mine worked there, so I went and rescued him the day before they where going to put him down and now it’s been 5 amazing years with him!

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Antonio is right, as a cat owner myself, I understand how special animals are. Antonio is someone who cares, who loves animals, who wants to raise awareness, who happens to be a porn star. So be it. That said, I’ll be making a donation to the North Shore Animal League, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. To learn more visit: http://www.animalleague.org

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Photos via Twitter: @XxxBiaggi