After two-sold out years in the 2012 and 2013 United Solo Festival, "Call Me Adam" finally gets to chat with The Bronx Queen playwright and actor himself, Joe Gulla about his new show Faggy at 50 which opens the 2014 United Solo Festival starting September 18! Click here for tickets!
1. After two years with the sold-out hit The Bronx Queen, you are back in the United Solo Festival with a brand new show, Faggy at 50. What excites you about premiering this new show? I always envisioned The Bronx Queen as the first of a trilogy! Faggy at 50 takes us further down the road! I’m excited about unleashing this part of my journey on audiences!
2. How did you come up with the title Faggy at 50? How can you be 50 when you look like you are in your 30s??? I wanted the title to be provocative...in the spirit of Larry Kramer’s Faggots and John Leguizamo’s Spic-O-Rama! It’s meant to be funny AND serious. Who gets to define us? How do we define ourselves? Where do we draw the line?
A firm commitment to a good moisturizer..and, um hey, thanks Adam!!!!
3. How do you feel the United Solo Festival fosters your shows in a way another festival might not? The United Solo Festival dares to be specific. They champion the art of solo performance. As a youth, I was incredibly turned on by Spalding Gray and his monologues. Later, I was way into Eric Bogosian. I’ve always enjoyed this challenging and inspiring art form. United Solo celebrates it! If you’re solo performer or a person that enjoys solo performance…it’s where it’s at! They’ve created an incredible and supportive community.
4. In 2012, The Bronx Queen won United Solo's "Best Comedy Script" award and in 2013, it won United Solo's "Most Popular Show." What do these accolades mean to you and what did it mean to you to personally be asked back by the festival? Adam, it is a funny moment in a man’s life when his autobiographical show wins "Best Comedy!" Ha! Seriously, it is very satisfying to receive recognition like this! I am trying to give these shows and their messages a life! Winning awards garners attention. We’re in show business…gotta keep people interested!
This year, United Solo gave me the honor of opening the ENTIRE festival. This was in recognition of The Bronx Queen breaking records last year! I am BLOWN AWAY...complimented, thankful, wildly appreciative! It’s my intention to do them proud!
5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Faggy at 50? I hope my audiences have a few good hearty laughs! Also, I hope they see that once we get past life's "static"…the important and satisfying stuff reveals itself!
6. What do you like about writing and starring in your own shows? How do you separate yourself between actor/writer? Writing’s a great vehicle of expression and it comes naturally to me! I take it seriously! Delivering MY words MYSELF...to a LIVE AUDIENCE. You’ve heard the expression before, "There’s nothing better! Nothing!" That being said, actors get more free drinks than writers and I’m all about the free drinks!
7. Who or what inspired you to become an actor/playwright? I’m a Bronx boy, a native New Yorker. My family came to Broadway all the time! The thought of being an actor/playwright was fascinating to me, but the reality of it seemed so elusive! I can name the names: John Guare, Terrence McNally, Tom Stoppard. Spalding Gray, Eric Bogosian, David Drake. But, at the end of the day, I was ROCKED when I saw Torch Song Trilogy on Broadway…so let’s go with Harvey!!!
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Never underestimate the value of the Third Avenue Bridge!"
10. What have you learned about yourself from being an actor/playwright? I’ve learned that sharing one’s story is satisfying, gratifying and, surprisingly, healing!
11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Easy! With a snap of my "super powered" fingers, the cashiers at my local CVS turn into shirtless, hunky, humpy go-go boys…who I tip a dollar for my toothpaste purchase!
12. If you could be any original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Lime! To enliven my green eyes!
13. Favorite way to stay in shape? Equinox Made Me Do It!
14. Boxers or Briefs? Roberto Cavalli Trunks are my go-to!
15. How do you want to be remembered? I wore the SPY Magazine t-shirt in 90’s! On the back, it said: "Smart. Fun. Funny. Fearless."
Joe Gulla is an American playwright, actor, and reality television participant. He is best known for the autobiographical monologues that he writes and performs for the theater. His best known work, The Bronx Queen is based on his experience growing up as a gay boy in the Bronx. It was awarded "Best Comedic Script" and "Most Popular Show" at NYC Theater Row's 2012 and 2013 United Solo Theatre Festival.
Joe was a contestant on the NBC Adventure Reality Series, Lost in 2001. The show followed three teams of two as they made there way from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia back to the United States.
His play, Garbo was based on an unrequited love affair experienced while living in Rome, Italy. Garbo was selected to be part of the New York City's Times Square International Theater Festival in 2012. He played the role of "Frankie" in Off-Broadway's long-running hit, My Big Gay Italian Wedding.
The Advocate Magazine named Joe Gulla its "Anti-Bullying Hero." in 2012.