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Entries in Gay Entertainment (19)

Tuesday
Jul072015

Call Answered: John Epperson: LYPSINKA! THE BOXED SET

John Epperson as Lypsinka

UPDATE: Due to an inury sustained by John Epperson, the run of LYPSINKA! THE BOXED SET has been cancelled!

"Call Me Adam" chats with John Epperson, a.k.a. LYPSINKA! herself about the return of his smash hit show LYPSINKA! THE BOXED SET, which will play at The Connelly Theater (220 East Fourth Street) from July 22 through September 12! Click here for tickets!

This award-winning revue features some of Lypsinka's greatest bits. Using a soundtrack created from films, musicals, and concert recordings, the supreme archivist of irony showcases the modern challenge of being overly-blessed with femininity, ego and celebrity. The return engagement of LYPSINKA! THE BOXED SET will feature additional special material which will change weekly during the eight-week run.

For more on Lypsinka be sure to visit http://www.lypsinka.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. After sold-out performances last Fall, this summer you are returning to the stage with LYPSINKA! THE BOXED SET from July 22-September 12 at The Connelly Theatre in NYC's East Village. What made you want to bring this show back so quickly? There are several reasons. One is simply that the show was popular; and another is that the theatre was available and the stage there is a great "frame" for "The Goddess of Showbiz," Lypsinka. Thirdly, my friend, the famed costume jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane missed the show last Fall/Winter, and he offered to step in a s a producer on this encore engagement.

2. What do you enjoy most about performing this show? The reaction of the audience is almost always enormously rewarding.

3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing LYPSINKA! THE BOXED SET? I want them to say, "Gee, that was so much more than I expected it to be."

John Epperson as Lypsinka4. In creating this show, what was it like to go back through your career to pick out which moments you wanted to include? The primary impetus was simply to make the audience laugh, so that was first in my mind. Secondly, there’s some subtext in the show to chew on. I always try to give the audience member something to ponder.

5. Were there any moments that you wanted to include that you didn't get to? I think one of the best sequences I ever came up with was using THE THIRD MOVEMENT (ELEGY) OF THE BARTOK CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA as underscoring, and putting sound bites on top of that. But that sequence doesn’t work out of context.

"THE BOXED SET" does contain sequences from a show called "LYPSINKA MUST BE DESTROYED" that I only performed once, in San Francisco in 1996 for two months.  I should perform it in New York someday, it has some wild stuff in it. You can see some of it on YouTube.

6. What's it like for you to perform a show of all your "greatest hits"? It’s fun. A lot of hard work! It’s physically demanding, but it always has been. I’m grateful that I can still so it, and that the public wants to experience it.

John Epperson as Lypsinka7. In addition to performing your biggest hits, during this limited run, you are also incorporating new material every week. What excites you about this weekly change in material? It’s fun to give myself a challenge, and the audience always enjoys being in on something new.

8. Going back a bit to the beginning of your career, how did you come up with LYPSINKA? I wanted to do a drag performance that was rooted in a tradition. I wanted to poke fun at that tradition and at the same time raise it up high. I chose lip-synching partly out of fear. I was intimidated by the professional scene in New York at the time, and by lip-synching in female costume, I could hide behind the makeup and someone else’s voice. But I got over that fear long ago.

9. What has been the best part about performing as LYPSINKA? When I did my first Off-Broadway show for almost 12 months in 1988/89, I could feel myself growing as a private person. I had a lot of damage to get through.

10. What was the greatest hurdle you overcame as LYPSINKA? It pleases me that because of my reputation, some people don’t see me as a "drag queen," a term I personally loathe. Of course, there are some who still use that term to describe me.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

John Epperson as Lypsinka11. What's the best advice you've ever received? The actor Roddy McDowall once said to me, "Don’t ever give up."

12. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? Well, in addition to what I mentioned before, I have also learned that I did the right thing for myself by leaving Mississippi. But it must have been heart-breaking for my parents that I wanted to lead an unconventional life.

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? To leap over all the baby stroller, and dog leashes and cell phone users in a single bound.

14. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it and what ingredients would you put in it? I don’t know much about drinking and cocktails. I like fine red wine and Blue Label Chimay Ale. I also like fine chocolates. So, if anyone wants to send anything to The Connelly Theater this summer, now they know what to send!

15. As LYPSINKA, what's your favorite skin care product? I use Kiehl’s moisturizer, and if I can’t get that I will use L'OREAL.

John Epperson as LypsinkaMore on John:

John Epperson was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, a long way from the exciting worlds in which LYPSINKA travels: movies (Witch Hunt with Dennis Hopper, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Wigstock: The Movie, Angels In America, Kinsey, Another Gay Movie, Another Gay Sequel); television (HBO specials Sandra After Dark with Sandra Bernhard, and Dragtime; George Michael’s video Too Funky, PBS’s The United States Of Poetry and special features on the Mommie Dearest and Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? DVDs); fashion (appearing in the Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles shows of haute couture designer Thierry Mugler, modeling for Valentino, Pauline Trigere, Barneys New York, and launching lines of cosmetics for Prescriptives, MAC, and Isabella Rossellini); advertisements (The Gap, LA Eyeworks, Naya Spring Water, Ilford Film); theater, including I Could Go On Lip-Synching!, The Fabulous Lypsinka Show, Lypsinka! Now It Can Be Lip-Synched, Lypsinka! A Day In The Life (New York Theater Workshop, two Drama Desk nominations, including Most Unique Theatrical Experience; revived in 1993 Off-Broadway at The Cherry Lane Theatre), Lypsinka! As I Lay Lip-Synching, Lypsinka Must Be Destroyed!, Lypsinka IS Harriet Craig!, Lypsinka! The Boxed Set (2001 Drama Desk nomination, Washington, D.C. Helen Hayes Award win for Outstanding Non-Resident Production / Outstanding Lead Actor nomination, wins for Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Best Sound Design and L.A. Weekly Theatre Award for Best Solo Performance); and special events (such as Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly, on Broadway with Bette Midler, Elaine Stritch and Patti LuPone, and London’s Meltdown Festival curated by Morrissey).

John Epperson as LypsinkaFormerly a rehearsal pianist at American Ballet Theatre, John’s theatrical career was launched in the mid-1980s when he wrote the book, lyrics and music of Ballet of the Dolls and Dial "M" For Model at La Mama ETC. The year 1999 brought Epperson’s dramatic stage debut in Messages for Gary at The New York Fringe Festival. In 2004 John appeared Off-Broadway in The Roaring Girle with The Foundry Theatre. The same year he was the subject of a stage festival at DC’s Studio Theatre, which included his autobiographical piece John Epperson: Show Trash, As I Lay Lip-Synching, and his play, My Deah: Medea for Dummies, the Medea tale set in The New South. Also in 2004 Epperson played "The Stepmother" in the New York City Opera production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Lincoln Center’s New York State Theater. The play My Deah opened in an Obie Award-winning production Off-Broadway in October 2006 and is now published and licensed by Samuel French. His acclaimed Off-Broadway show The Passion of the Crawford, a fantasia on the personality of Joan Crawford, toured to California, Florida and Washington, D.C.

Illustration by Stefano ImbertLypsinka launched the 2007 Spring collection of MAC Cosmetics centered around the Barbie doll. Epperson’s version of James Kirkwood’s infamous play Legends! was produced at Studio Theatre in DC, Summer 2010. In 2014 in New York City, John devoted himself to a unique challenge for a solo performer by performing three of his shows in repertory under the umbrella title LYPSINKA! THE TRILOGY. John and Lypsinka are the subjects of an Emmy-winning television documentary for PBS. He provided the preface for the Rizzoli photo book Persona, and is the author of a new screenplay Happy Everything. John has also written for The Guardian (U.K.), The New York Times, The Washington Post and Interview and The Daily Beast.

Friday
Sep052014

Call Answered: Wendy Ho: Greatest Shits CD Release and Concert at The Triad/Stage 72

Wendy Ho, Photo Credit: Dusti Cunningham at Dragonfly Trannyshack La!!! Wig styled by Curtis William Foreman and provided by RockStar Wigs"Call Me Adam" chats with "The Queen of Raunch and Soul," Wendy Ho about new CD Greatest Shits, releasing on September 25 as well as her concert in support of this release called Wendy Ho (And Friends) on September 29 at The Triad/Stage 72 in NYC (158 West 72nd Street)! Click here for tickets! 

1. On September 29 you will be having your official NYC concert/release party for your new CD Wendy Ho: Greatest Shits at The Triad/Stage 72. What made you want to have this concert/release party at the Triad/Stage 72? Yes, it’s true! I am pleased to be hosting my "Greatest Shits," album release and concert at Stage 72 on September 29. My friend Michael Doane runs the theater booking, and I actually was just going to come into town to visit friends, but he offered the date to me—and since it coincided with my album release I said, "Why not?"

2. The concert will feature some of today's biggest names in theatre including Ben Rimalower, Natalie Joy Johnson, and Daniel Reichard. I love all three of them! How did you decide who you wanted to have as a special guest? Well, we have something in common because I love them too. The name of the show is Wendy Ho and Friends, and these "names," just so happen to be people who are dear friends of mine, and they have encouraged and inspired me throughout my artistic journey.

Daniel Reichard and I actually met at a one year "Never Forget" 9/11 commemorative party on a roof top on the lower east side—3 days after I had moved to New York in 2002. We hit it off instantly and were inseparable for quite some time. He was actually at the piano playing "Get Here," in his Chelsea apartment when I started to sing what is now the opening line of "Fuck Me," as a joke.

Ben Rimalower and I became close when he directed my first one woman show at Ars Nova in December of 2007. I met him through my friend Scott Nevins, and we hit it off in that same sort of instantaneous way that Daniel and I did. Natalie Joy and I met through Ben at Posh one night when we were doing a show with Poppi Kramer. I knew we were kindred spirits when we found ourselves outside of Posh on the street belting Jill Scott songs, and someone shouted from their apartment "shut the fuck up," and we CACKLED ourselves right off the curb.

3. What made now the right time to release your Greatest Shits album? There were many songs that were not allowed on iTunes because of liberal and ignorant sampling that we used when I first started recording. I kept finding myself at shows where people would either ask one of two questions, the first being— "Is this on itunes?" To which the answer was always a sad "I’m sorry, but no." So first, we rearranged the instrumentals to make them legally sellable on iTunes. The other thing they would ask is, after looking over the 2 hard copies of albums that I had for sale was inevitably— with tears in their eyes, "Where’s poop noodle????" So supply and demand told me that I had to get all of the favorite songs onto one album, and I really needed to make them available on iTunes.

4. Your Greatest Shits Tour includes stops in Philadelphia, Boston, and Los Angeles. What are you looking forward to most about this tour? What do you like about interacting with your fans? What I am looking forward to most is what I always look forward to when I hit the road, getting to be in the middle of, and getting to co-create all the little pockets of love that I have luckily accumulated throughout my tenure as Qween Hobag! I love being with friends and fans because there’s a mirror affect, they give me encouragement and I in turn give them permission to be shameless attention whores like myself!

Wendy Ho, Photo Credit: Eileen Keenan Photography5. Let's go back to the beginning for a moment. How did you come up with Wendy Ho? How did you get the title "The Queen of Raunch and Soul?" What do you like or dislike about having this title? My real name is Wendy Jo, and when I was an acting student at Missouri State, I used to write and perform raps about my teachers and some of the students. They were all dirty and funny, so a friend of mine started calling me, "Wendy Ho," and it stuck. I never considered it a career move, nor did I ever take it seriously, but "she" followed me from place to place and job to job. I would inevitably end up performing her for other performers and cast members, and people would clamor for more. I eventually made a couple of albums of standard songs that I loved singing just to see what it was like to record, along with those albums I decided to put out a joke album of all the Wendy Ho bits I would do at parties, called Wendy Ho: Bitch Off a Leash, and this was the album that everyone wanted. Then, I was fumbling around New York, an out of work entertainstress when I met music producer, Craig Levy. Again, I tried my hand at legit singing-songwriting, and while we were working together I gave him a copy of the Wendy Ho album. He listened to it and immediately called me and asked, "Why aren’t we working on this? This is so funny, and no other artist I know is doing this…above all certainly no white woman."  It took me a while to get comfortable with being Wendy Ho on a public level. Although I had all of my friends encouraging me, I didn’t know if it would be enjoyed on a larger level. So Levy and I started to work on flushing out some snippets of songs, and then I put out an email to all of my performer friends asking if they knew where I could perform. They answered, and I found myself performing at Caroline’s on Broadway and then at just about every gay bar in the city. It was accepted and encouraged immediately. Of course there are those that don’t get it/don’t like it, but it’s really not for them. I eventually came to look at it like, if I can accept this over the top, dirty, loud, and crazy part of myself—maybe others will accept it in me and in themselves too. "The Queen of Raunch and Soul" came from my friend Roman Feeser, a writer, I met at Caroline’s on Broadway, and I love it!!! He also penned the line in "Fuck Me," "blow my coochie up like the taliban." I go back and fourth between the titles, though, in some circles I am known as "The Queen of Poop."

6. Many of your songs are "adult-themed" parodies of popular songs. For instance "Fuck Me" is set to the tune of "Get Here," "Poop Noodle" is set to "I Love The Night Life." Your songs are very fun and brilliantly written. What made you want to write this kind of music? Thank you. I have to say a lot of it, came naturally. I am merely the vessel from which all poop flows. I really was and am just playing catch with the universe a lot. I just thought and think this shit is funny, and when others did too, I was strongly encouraged. Laughter is truly my crack. I am addicted. If laughter was currency, I would be a very rich woman sitting on stacks of it, but there would still never be enough.

Wendy Ho7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I really was one of those cliched babies that sang before I could talk, I just loved music and singing. But performing was not something that came naturally. I was actually really shy, really self conscious, picked last for the team, fat and awkward, but when I was around my family and close friends I would come out of my shell. I would sing and act and always liked pretending and stories. My dad encouraged me to audition for a play, so I did, and the exhilaration of even being called back had me hooked. Then there was the amplified pretend element, and I was IN. I guess I was just one of those kids that reality just wasn’t enough, and I certainly didn’t feel like I was enough, so that lead me to the life of a theatrical misfit. I had no idea that avoiding myself and reality would in essence circle right back around to require acceptance of myself, my limitations, and strengths.

I’ve met so many entertainers with a similar story and those people REALLY inspire me. I consider myself very lucky to have found not only self acceptance, but in so doing— my tribe. OH! and when I was 11 and saw Bette Midler singing "Otto Titsling" in Beaches I just knew that was the type of performer I would be. It was a definitive moment.

8. Who would you still like to work with? Gosh, there’s so many that I haven’t worked with. I don’t even know where to begin! The orignial cast of 9 to 5 would be great!! Margaret Cho and I are working on something, and I’m super excited by her. She is a gawdess! I love Bianca Del Rio and we go way back, I’d love to do something with him. Musically I’m still waiting on Michael McDonald to call me! Ryan Murphy and Jennifer Coolidge both still owe me one for ripping off "I Stole Yo Purse." There really are too many to name. My world is so abundant with artists. I’m so lucky!

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Was from my high school theater teacher Lee Hitchler—"Always work with people that are more talented than you."

Wendy Ho10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? The main thing I’ve learned about myself is that I am a crazy contradiction of different shades of gay, maybe not sexually—but theatrically, yes.…I said GAY. I’ve learned that at my worst I can be petty, selfish and insecure, and at my best I can be forgiving, generous and confident. If you can’t deal with all that, then we’re breaking up. I also have learned that I really think poop is funnier than farting.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite skin care product? My favorite product is "City Skin" moisturizer from the all natural skin care line developed and created by Dr. Jen at Atomic Cosmetics in Seattle. Plug, plug!!!! Seriously, this woman makes everything right in her own lab, and the entire line is amazing. The moisturizer smells like an orange blossom and just glides on my skin like silk! She makes the best stuff, and I adore her.

12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Well, making some people laugh is pretty super...but if it’s gotta be SUPER, I’d have to say self multiplication, it’d be great to play 80 different shows at once!

13. If you could be an original Life Saver flavor, which one would you be? Cayenne Pepper! Wait, that’s not a flavor…Purple. I would be purple flavored.

14. How do you want to be remembered? As that funny, nasty, generous, forgiving, loving ho lady!

Wendy HoMore on Wendy:

Wendy Jo Smith, better known by her stage name, Wendy Ho is one part skilled singer, one part comedienne, one part rap artist, and 100% entertainer. Over a million youtube views, having drag queens around the world cover her songs, and being spoofed by Ryan Murphy are just a few of this ho's claim to fame.

Wendy got her start as a little honey boo boo child in a trailer court in Ohio. She had a dream of being a stage performer moved to New York City to pursue it. In her starving artist years, she flirted with the idea of stealing ladies’ handbags from coat rooms at parties where she catered, of course, this inspired her track "Bitch, I Stole Yo Purse!," which became the #1 Funniest Video of 2008 on the MTV/LOGO Network, and was parodied on FX’s Nip/Tuck with Jennifer Coolidge playing their version of Wendy Ho. This track came from the beloved cult classic album, The Gospel According to Ho which includes the torch song parody of Brenda Russel/ Oleta Adams' "Get Here," now known as the drag classic, "Fuck Me!" This irreverence and balls-out femininity struck a special chord with the gay community, inspiring drag queens around the world to perform her songs and celebrate Ho.

With a rainbow hurricane of gay support behind her, Wendy Ho tours non-stop nationally with her one woman show, The Wendy Ho Show playing at gay bars, comedy clubs, theaters, and cabarets. Her act is always evolving with original songs and parodies. Her YouTube Channel, "HOtube," is also always growing its web presence with regular music videos and sketches, her newest single, "Public Place," a parody of Rihanna's "We Found Love," is picking up traction.

Wendy currently resides in Los Angeles with her film-maker husband Stas Tagios (who collaborates with her on many videos), and she's a regular at The Comedy Store, Hamburger Mary's, Rage, and The Abbey. RuPaul and Victoria Beckham are two of her biggest fans, and her work has been featured on Logo, Showtime, and HereTV. She has also opened for comedy legends Sandra Bernhard and Leslie Jordan.

Ho is an artist. Ho is a state of mind. Ho redefines women in music and comedy with true liberation. She is funny and sexy, never sacrificing one for the other. A pretty bitch, a witty feminist, a self-possessed, self-assured mashup of street and trash who makes you laugh while she makes you think. The responses she evokes from audiences are as diverse as her roots, but at the core there is no question about who she is. Wendy is all woman. All Ho.

Sunday
Aug032014

Call Answered: Facetime Interview with gay comedian Adam Sank: Mama, I Want to Sing Showtunes: A One 'Mo Show

"Call Me Adam" went live on location to gay comedian Adam Sank's NYC apartment to discuss the encore performance of his one man show Mama, I Want to Sing Showtunes: A One 'Mo Show at New York's legendary Duplex Cabaret Theatre, August 14 at 9:30pm and August 21 at 7pm (61 Christopher Street at 7th Ave).

For more on Adam be sure to visit www.adamsank.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram!

Interview with Adam Sank:

 

Adam SankMore on Adam:

Adam Sank is one of the most recognized and accomplished openly gay stand-up comics in the country, having been featured on NBC's Last Comic Standing, Vh1's I Love the 2000s and Best Week EverCNN's@ThisHour, CNBC's Street Signs and truTV's World's Dumbest Criminals, along with numerous radio appearances as both a guest and fill-in host on Sirius-XM OutQ. He has hosted two OutQ specials — the Frank DeCaro 50th Birthday Roast and Derek & Romaine's 10-Year Anniversary Special.

Adam has performed at all the major New York comedy clubs and has headlined nationwide in places as varied as Nashville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City, Fire Island, NY and Rehoboth Beach, DE.

From 2006 to 2007, he hosted Adam Sank's Gay Bash, a monthly showcase, at Carolines on Broadway and later Comix comedy club. And for three years, Adam was the host and producer of the wildly successful Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour at New York's Therapy lounge. More recently, Adam hosted That Sank Show at New York's Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge and the Queens of Queens, a monthly LGBT comedy showcase, at the Laughing Devil comedy club.

On the West Coast, Adam's comedy has been featured at Thank Gays It's Friday at West Hollywood's Laugh Factory, Gays R Us at the Hollywood Improv and Rainbow Comedy Night at Ventura Harbor Comedy Club, along with headlining spots at San Diego's Madhouse Comedy Club and Ocean Beach Comedy at Winston's.

In June 2014, Adam starred in his own cabaret show, Mama, I Want to Sing Showtunes: A One 'Mo Show, at New York's legendary Duplex Cabaret Theatre. The response was so positive that the Duplex has brought him back for additional engagements.

Adam is also a vocalist who performs with the New York City Gay Men's Chorus. He currently lives in New York City with his dog, Lady.

Saturday
Jun142014

Call Answered: Creators of Gay Series: People You Know: John Dylan DeLaTorre and Baltimore Russell

Photo Credit: Traver RainsPhoto Credit: Traver Rains"Call Me Adam" chats with John Dylan DeLaTorre and Baltimore Russell, the creators of the new Gay Series People You Know, which will be launching in late June, available for streaming via series website with various VOD's to follow.

Come join John Dylan, Baltimore, and the rest of the cast at their launch party on Monday, June 23 at 7:30pm at Industry Bar in NYC (355 West 52nd Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue), hosted by Pandora Boxx. Click here to reserve tickets!

For more on People You Know visit http://www.peopleyouknowtheseries.com and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and Instagram!

1. You are the creators and part of the principal cast of the new drama series People You Know, which premieres June 23! How did you first come to work together? What has been the best part about working together? 

John Dylan DeLaTorre: We both met in acting school and from there we got involved in few productions and had a great camaraderie early on. We have a rule that if one has an idea he must convince the other and give them a valid reason why and how to make it work within the concept. We can't move forward unless we are in agreement. 

Baltimore Russell: John and I first met in Acting school and have been working together on various projects since then. We have really developed a great working relationship and we split the creative workload equally. Whereas John is really adept in the technical aspects during post, I can really concentrate on social and marketing aspect. There have been many times where we go back and forth over a particular plot point until it finally makes sense and works. We've really created a great relationship where we can go toe to toe about the series, but at the end of the day we just want to make the best show possible.

John Dylan DeLaTorre and Baltimore Russell2. What made you want to create People You Know?

John Dylan: I found myself getting burned out working for other people's visions and dreams that I found myself at a point saying to Baltimore, "We both came here to make our mark and if we are killing ourselves for others and we're too worried about other people's dreams, what about ours? Aren't ours just as important? We need to put ourselves first." So we did. We went into our idea box, took one of our ideas and threw caution to the wind and went for it. 

Baltimore: Since I was young, I was always writing and creating stories, so when I started to feel a little burned out on the acting side I brought up to John that we should create our own work. When you are doing theatre in NYC you have shows that run a month or two and unless people or agents see them it's just something on your resume. We wanted to create something that everyone could see. People you Know came from that discussion as a series with characters and situations that we see in our lives. We wanted to steer away from the stereotypical portrayals of gay characters and develop a world where being gay was the 3rd or 4th most interesting thing about them.

3. What do you hope viewers come away with after watching the series?

John Dylan: I would love for the audience to feel for these characters and story. That it is relatable and speaks to them. That they can see themselves or someone they know and fight for a character. Getting wrapped up in the story from the emotional to the crazy twists and turns and wanting more. 

Baltimore: We hope that viewers come away with a better understanding of the LGBT community and what we go through. That the stories we are telling are universal and each person will find someone they can identify with. We also hope that they will enjoy the sinful drama and will come along on this ride with us. The show, at its heart, is a story about how the circle of friends you create can sometimes be more important than the family you're born into.

Baltimore Russell as "Monty" and Steve Hayes as "Patrick" in "People You Know"4. What is it like to be the creators and part of the principal cast? How are you able to separate yourselves when needing to adjust how you are portraying your characters?

John Dylan: When we are on-camera we are in actor mode. Nothing else exists. It was challenging in the pilot because we were constantly begin pulled and involved in every decision. By episode two we had brought on great people who were a lifeline and we didn't need to worry about every little detail and trusted them to stay within our vision and get things done the way we wanted. That allowed us more time enjoy the moment and not have everything be like a whirlwind.

Baltimore: It is certainly a challenge to be the creators and part of the principal cast, but we enjoy both parts of the process. In these first episodes, we only have a few scenes together so it made it easy to work. When John was in a scene, I could act as producer handling all the various questions on the production side and vice versa.

John Dylan DeLaTorre as "Lucas" and Jamie Summers as "Mia" in "People You Know"5. Since you are the creators of the show, did you cast yourselves in your roles or did you have to go through the casting process? Did you handpick your other cast members or did you go through a traditional casting process?

John Dylan: We wanted to play a character that we normally did not play and that would allow us to go there emotionally. Though we are only in the first season we are excited for our characters to be pushed to the limits. For the character of "Mia" we definitely had our dear friend Jaime Summers, who was our roommate and went to acting school with us, in mind for for the part. Steve Hayes just embodies the character of "Patrick" and we were thrilled to know that he was with us from the beginning. For the role of "Adora Jarr," there was only one performer who we saw for it and that's Pandora Boxx. She read the script and was completely on board. As for the other characters of the show it was grueling to find the right actor for the job. 

Baltimore: When we began writing the series we figured out what roles would be most interesting/challenging for each of us and went from there. We wrote the role of "Mia" for our friend Jaime, who also went to Acting school with us. We wrote the role of "Patrick" with Steve Hayes in mind and we were thrilled when he jumped on board the production. But all the other cast members were found through the casting process.

Cast of "People You Know", Photo Credit: Curtis Ray6. What do you like most about this cast?

John Dylan: It's diversity in backgrounds and in age. Professional. Even though we are all working in strenuous situations every one knows that what matters most is the end result and commits to what is expected.

Baltimore: We are really lucky to have a great and passionate cast. They understand what we are creating and have really given such depth and beauty to the characters.

Brunch Scene from "People You Know"7. The show is set to the back drop of NYC. What has been like to see NYC through the camera lens as opposed to in your daily life? 

John Dylan: New York gives it life with its energy. We've been very fortunate to have our community and local hangouts like The Ritz, Bar-Tini & Il Baretto to welcome us and the series and have it be part of show.

Baltimore: NYC is an amazing place to live and to be able to shoot on the streets was an incredible experience. There's an energy and excitement when you film here that we hope that we've captured. It's vibrant and compelling and real. And what you see on the street translates so well on camera. There are so many places that are our personal favorites that we hope to include when we film again.

John Dylan DeLaTorre as "Lucas" in "People You Know"8. What has been the best part of the creative process in bringing this series to life?

John Dylan: Being like a sponge. We jumped into the deep end fast and hard and instead of drowning we hung on and absorbed as much knowledge in producing and getting things done as much as possible. Seeing the end result from its inception to signing off on the last piece of sound or music and seeing everyone's hard work in its entirety. 

Baltimore: I think that the best thing is being present to see how the original idea has transformed and developed in these two years. Going from us talking about the series, to writing the episodes, to casting and filming. Even since we started the post production process seeing the edit come together and then putting the score and songs really cemented that we have something really special. It has been really encouraging the response we've received so far and that they understand the concept and what we are trying to achieve.

Baltimore Russell as "Monty" and John Dylan DeLaTorre as "Lucas" in "People You Know"9. What have you learned about yourselves through this process?

John Dylan: PATIENCE! I learned to not to rush or follow through from what others expect. Waiting for the right moment or person to come on-board, which has always been a step in the right direction. My instincts are never wrong & I should trust them.

Baltimore: It's been one huge learning curve after another. We have learned that we really have to listen to each other and trust our gut. We have been able to surround ourselves with talented crew members that understand what we are creating and are behind our vision. We've learned that it's important to delegate what we can and trust in the production team.

10. What's the best advice you've ever received?

John Dylan: Enjoy every moment of accomplishment and continue to go with your gut it's obviously working for you.

Baltimore: Follow your instincts and trust in the process.

Baltimore Russell as "Monty" and John Dylan DeLaTorre as "Lucas" in "People You Know"BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite way to stay in shape?

John Dylan: I love swimming that is my thing. Twice a day. It is the best for the entire body. Plus, I love swimwear, ha ha.

Baltimore: I love the bootcamp classes - they totally kick my butt.

12. Boxers or Briefs? 

John Dylan: If I could tolerate abrasive fabrics rubbing against my skin I wouldn't wear anything at all, but I would say briefs.

Baltimore: Briefs.

13. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose?

John Dylan: As a X-men fan it would definitely have to say the Phoenix Force.

Baltimore: I'm such a comic nerd, so I would have to say telekinesis - it's so versatile. Or being able to teleport.

John Dylan DeLaTorre, Photo Credit: Traver RainsMore on John Dylan and Baltimore:

John Dylan, a Jersey boy through and through, discovered his love for acting and his creative aspirations at an early age in his grammar school productions and by recreating iconic roles like "Luke Skywalker" and "Flash Gordon" in his backyard. As he grew and matured, he embarked on his road of self discovery and artistic exploration and found himself in New York City where he studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Follow John Dylan on Twitter

Baltimore Russell, Photo Credit: Traver RainsBaltimore is a native Texan who developed his acting and writing skills by attending Southern Methodist University as well as the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Baltimore found his love for the theatre at the age of 6 playing "Late Rabbit" in his community theatre’s production of House At Pooh Corner and stretched his imagination by developing and writing his own comic books. Follow Baltimore on Twitter

John Dylan and Baltimore met at the American Academy and have landed roles in TV and films such as Sex and the City, One Life to Live, Rescue Me, Adjustment Bureau, Wall Street 2 and Sinister. They have worked together on many acting projects including the critically acclaimed production of Judy and Me as well as producing and directing multiple theatre productions which includes Endgames - an all-male adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses written by John Dylan.

Friday
May092014

Call Answered: Facetime interview with the cast of Thank You For Being A Friend: The Golden Girls Musical

Cast of "Thank You For Being A Friend: The Golden Girls Musical"Call Me Adam went on location to The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC to do a mood lighting interview with "Dorthea" and "Sophie" from the Off-Broadway musical comedy Thank You For Being A Friend: The Golden Girls Musical, which plays at The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street) through May 30. Click here for tickets!

Thank You For Being A Friend tells the story of four women over 60 ("Blanchette," the varicose-veined vixen; "Dorthea," the brainy ball-buster; "Roz," the lovable airhead; and "Sophie," the wisecracking spitfire) are spending their golden years together in a wicker-filled bungalow in Miami. But when gay pop superstar Ricky Martin moves next door, his loud outdoor sex parties keep the quartet of cheesecake-loving retirees awake. The solution pits the gays against the girls at the annual Shady Oaks Retirement Home Talent Show: if the women win, then no more sex parties; if the gays garner top prize, the sassy seniors must serve as the party's clean-up crew.

For more on Thank You For Being A Friend: The Golden Girls Musical be sure to visit http://www.goldengirlsthemusical.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Call Me Adam's Interview with "Dorthea" and "Sophie" from Thank You For Being A Friend: The Golden Girls Musical: