The camp thriller Evil Nanny directed by Jared Cohn is good fun with plenty of roll your eyes, shake your head and laugh out loud moments. And I got to appear in a scene! What’s not to love?
When working parents Tim and Fay Tripp (Matthew Pohlkamp and Nicole Sterling) move into Fay’s grandmother’s very old but charming home they decide to hire a nanny to help with their young son and new born baby. They only need someone part-time, so they offer room and board as a way to entice prospective hires.
“Jen” replies to the ad and meets Tim and Fay for coffee. “Jen” has a past – the only thing we know about her is that she burnt a house down, died her hair and assumed the identity of a picture perfect girl next door. The Tripp’s are dazzled and offer her the gig. Before you know it, “Jen” is rearranging furniture and causing waves within the home and couples marriage.
“Jen” convincingly played by Lindsay Elston turns out to be a true nightmare in every sense of the word. After the couple throw a party, “Jen” drinks her face off. She nearly kills the baby by leaving it in the bathtub while sleeping off a hangover. Clearly, grounds for firing. “Jen” is no dummy and knows her tenants rights. This crazy bitch isn’t going anywhere soon. Sex, drugs, loud music, wild partries and murder. Evil Nanny delivers it all.
This summer, I got to work on Evil Nanny. It was an early morning call in DTLA, somewhere near the warehouse district. I got lost but eventually found my way. With my wardrobe options packed in my garment bag, I entered the studio. The studio looked like something out of a horror movie itself; in desperate need of a renovation.
I was hired to portray a library clerk. I put on my eyeglasses and slipped into character. Before the cameras rolled, I was placed behind the desk with a computer. It was hot as hell and smoke was being used to create effect.
While checking out books, I got to watch Fay trying to dig up dirt on her unwanted house guest. It was a blast. Look for my cameo around 16 minutes in. Hopefully, my next film role will be bigger. Evil Nanny 2?
I woke up on Christmas morning by a text reading George Michael died. A tear rolled down the side of my face. Here’s why…
When I was around 8 years old, I remember driving in the car with my sister, her friend Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s mom on the way to the bowling alley in Mill Basin, Brooklyn. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! played on the radio. We just loved the song and sang with joy. In this moment, life was perfect…
By 1987, I was in the 7th grade and although I attended Catholic school, I knew exactly what George was singing about in his “I Want Your Sex” video. George Michael by then was a bonafied MTV solo star. He shook his ass and donned a dangling cross earning. All while promoting monogamy.
The single “Freedom! ’90” was released in 1990 on the acclaimed Listen With Out PrejudiceVol. 1 and “Too Funky” on the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Dance. George began to shy away from the camera focusing on an elite group of “Super” models – he blended music, art and fashion. Two of the most iconic music videos of all time and personal favorites.
Six years later, while in college at SUNY Oswego, I discovered an “Older” sense of self and George Michael. His music continued to speak to me and well as his sexy look in the “Fastlove” video. I wanted to look just like him when “I grew up.”
In 1998, George Michael got busted for performing a “lewd act” in a Beverly Hills public restroom. He proudly came out as gay and made ZERO apologies. I too was out as a young gay man and appreciated his f*ck you attitude. He even poked fun at the situation with the release of the cheeky dance track “Outside.”
In 2004, I stayed out all night and fell in love with a bartender who worked the bar Eastern Block in NYC. Gabe and I shut the place down with his friend, preformed drunk yoga and listened to “Amazing.” The next day at work, I sat at my desk and played the song thinking of my wild night. I never saw Gabe again…
In 2008, my friend Eric invited me to see George Michael’s 25 year anniversary tour at MSG. It was one of the most memorable concerts I’ve ever seen. George Michael’s voice was razor sharp, one of the best. I watched and listened in awe of his great talent. A wonderful memory.
George Michael will be greatly missed by myself and millions around the world. A truly beautiful man…
As an actor, getting steady work for a few days is a blessing in this business. That said, I was ecstatic to get cast as a court reporter for five days on the TNT hit drama Murder In The First.
When I arrived on set, I was placed directly behind the defendant which meant plenty of camera time. I was given direction to take notes and listen carefully to the testimony. Not a big deal, right? I’ve served on jury duty a couple of times and seen enough of courtroom scenes to figure it out.
I spotted a guy who looked familiar but I could not place him. When I heard him speak, I was able to figure out who it was. Mark-Paul Gosselaar was standing before my eyes! I grew up watching Mark-Paul play Zack Morris on the Saturday morning comedy Saved By The Bell. This was beyond surreal. I felt as if I stepped into a time machine or that I was stuck in a parallel television universe where Zack Morris grows up and becomes a big time Hollywood director. Pinch me.
I watched Mark-Paul closely as he gave the principals notes and directed with expertise. A director who is also an actor seems to have a better understanding of the process. Mark-Paul was friendly and funny – a pure delight. I even overheard him sharing stories about his four children keeping him up at night with the cast.
I couldn’t believe where I was – far away from my home in Brooklyn where I dreamed of moments like this. With hard work and determination anything is possible.
The fictional trial ended with a jaw dropping surprise ending! Be sure to pay extra special attention to episode seven. You can’t miss me! I give major face. 🙂
Murder In The First airs Sundays at 10/9c only on TNT.
In other Mark-Paul news….he makes his debut as Mike Lawson, a confident catcher on the Fox series Pitch – a drama about the first woman in Major League Baseball. The premiere episode airs tonight 9/8c.
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.
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.
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.
When I was “7 Years” old, I had the desire to move to Hollywood, 33 years later, I’m pursuing my childhood ambitions. I didn’t know that starting over at this stage in life would be so hectic! Re-establishing my career has been top of mind, planning my 40th birthday party the last thing on the list.
I was invited to attend an event the same day as my birthday. I figured, why not celebrate there? It just so happened to be the after-party to the pop-soul sensation Lukas Graham’s sold out show at the Troubadour. The event, hosted by YRB Magazine, was the held at the ultra-hip Bar Fifty Three on Sunset Blvd.
Lukas Graham’s catchy coming of age smash single “7 Years” is currently #1 on iTunes. I’m sure you heard it on the radio 100 times….Lukas Graham is taking America by storm and will be musical guest tonight on Jimmy Kimmel. Their debut album Lukas Graham drops April 1st.
Monday night while chatting with friends, I spotted Lukas waving to me. He came over to say hello and I congratulated him on his success and posed for a photo. Fun way to spend a birthday.
Sometimes if you look back and reflect on your past self – you may realize everything is going to be OK. It’s about the journey. 🙂
Richard Simmons wants you to know he is just “fine!” For 40yrs, the flamboyant ball of energy has motivated thousands of people around the world to lose weight and live their best lives possible. At 67yrs old, Richard is taking a much needed break from the public eye. When you give so much of yourself sometimes you need to slow your roll to honor yourself and your body. As a public servant and advocate for healthy living, Richard is doing just that.
Rumors have surfaced Richard is being held against his will by staff members at his Hollywood Hills mansion. Friends have expressed deep concern since Richard has seemingly cut off those closest and has not been seen at a public event since 2013. TMZ reported police were even sent to his estate but found nothing out of the ordinary. http://www.tmz.com/2015/12/17/richard-simmons-disappeared/
Photo: Andy Martino
I too have been concerned. I don’t know Richard personally but I’ve been a fan for years. I can still remember dancing to my parents Sweatin’ To The Oldies VHS tape in our living room. And let’s not forget those Deal A Meal commercials. 🙂
Before celebrities were outed for being gay by bloggers like Perez Hilton, Richard was the biggest cheerleader for being your true self without having to identify who you sleep with. He was and continues to be an inspiration to me. I was beyond ecstatic when Richard and I became friends on Twitter also around 2013. He would often send me words of encouragement. Those would also come to a stop, raising my suspicions that something was wrong.
I reached out to Richard’s publicist Tom Estey and he assured me, “Richard is fine and enjoying his time away from the public eye while still tending to his flock on a daily basis. His desire to live a more private life for a while in no way will affect his desire and need to help others.”
That is great news – sometimes what we perceive as “wrong” is the right thing for others. It is important to respect peoples’ privacy. Richard’s businesses are doing well, and if he wants to run the show from behind the scenes that is his prerogative! If he has a change of heart, we will be here to embrace him with open arms.
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.”
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.
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.
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”!
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!
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.
Photo by Troy Smith
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!
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.
Pop Culture, Celebrity Interviews, Hollywood BTS, Commentary & more.