Takei, Aiken adding gay fabulosity to new “Celebrity Apprentice”

George Takei

I have sincerely admired George Takei ever since 2005 when he publicly came out as a gay man. And I have been a real fan for the last several months, ever since I “liked” his Facebook page and got the chance to see and appreciate his unique sense of humor.

But I am not a big enough fan to watch George in his new gig, because his new gig is being a cast member of the new season of Donald Trump‘s Celebrity Apprentice. And I hate Donald Trump and I hate Celebrity Apprentice way to much to ever watch the show, even for George T. I made myself a promise after listening to Trump’s “presidential campaign” tripe that I would never watch this show, because I never want to do anything that might even remotely put money in his bigoted pockets.

So, love ya George, but I just can’t watch that show.

There will be at least one other gay in the cast to keep George company: Clay Aiken of American Idol and Spamalot fame. And other “gay interest’ cast members are ’80s pop star Debbie Gibson and equal-opportunity-insult comedian Lisa Lampanelli.

I’m not gonna list the whole cast here. You can go over to FoxNews.com to get that (where, by the way, the describe Takei as “Star Wars actor George Takei”). Let it suffice to say that the cast does include Mafia princess Victoria Gotti and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider.

—  admin

Do you Peru?

Even as fans rallied to help Coco Peru get her next film off the ground, the drag goddess still likes her comedy live

lead

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Expect a lovefest when Coco Peru comes back to Dallas for Pride weekend. With memories of a responsive audience, shopping and beef jerky during her last go-round here nearly two years ago, the drag goddess is hoping for a repeat performance. Sort of. She’s back on the road with a new show, but that’s not all the legendary queen has going on.

“Well, we’ve filmed Girls Will Be Girls 2 already,” Peru (aka Clinton Leupp) says. “Right now the writer/director is busily editing. It’s just one of those things: You film it and hope for the best.”

Peru has garnered a significant amount of film work over the years, usually with notable cameos in films like as Trick, but occasionally as the star, as with Girls Will Be Girls. But she admits live performance is where she’s at her best.

“I like to think my show is like watching a theater piece,” she says. “I love film acting, but it’s exciting on a whole other level. There’s not that energy of a live audience and no feedback. So often, comic timing is how the audience is reacting to you. With acting, you mentally feel it out, try it and mostly trust the director. I find sometimes I rehearsed a line so much in my head, it takes me a few times to take direction on it.”

For Girls 2, Peru discovered just how much her fans appreciated her work. As a micro-mini indie, the film went on the website Kickstarter to raise funds. As word got out that the film was in production and that Peru was in it, the money rolled in.

“The movie was completely funded by fans,” she exclaims. “It was just incredible that they would want to pay money! And I must say, most of it came from my fans. I’m just putting that out there.”

Along with funds from Kickstarter, the crew itself was almost all-volunteer. People would just show up, willing to help out. It turned into an actual labor of love.

Along with donated help, the production even received a donated green screen. All the generosity reminded Peru that people are that genuinely kind and that it’s all right to ask for things, which usually embarrasses her. She saw this particular filmmaking experience as a good lesson on many levels.

“Let’s just hope the movie’s funny,” she laughs.

Dating back to the “early ‘90s” — that’s as specific as her website will get — Peru gives much credit to her fans along the way for the success of her career. Even if they come up to once again mention her role in the film Trick, Peru takes none of it for granted. Perhaps it’s cliché for any type of celebrity to appreciate their fans, but she  talks at length about how her fans have kept her driven.

“It’s so overwhelming, whether it’s a movie or my own shows, that they will take time to contact me to tell me whatever it is they are feeling,” she says. “I feel lucky and blessed when they reach out to me and I strive to answer every email. I remember those days that felt so lonely and sad. Growing up gay and feeling rejected doesn’t make a happy life. But when you get over 800 birthday messages on Facebook, it’s amazing!”

She’ll meet a new slew of fans on her current End of Summer Tour, as she’ll visit Tampa and Las Vegas for the first time as a performer. Even with her experience onstage, Peru is still daunted by a new audience, the same way she was before playing Dallas the first time early last year.

“The first time, I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect,” she recalls. “I felt that audiences came wanting to have a great time. You go to certain cities and they have a bit of an edge, but in Texas, it was an immediate love fest on both ends.”

In her new show, There Comes a Time, Peru talks about getting older and reminiscing about her life. Fortunately, Dallas isn’t a punch line in her monologue. The city left a good impression on her and she only hopes to make another one of her own.

“Well, I’m happy to be coming back and they took such good care of me last time,” she says, “but I don’t wanna jinx myself. You never know.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Weekly Best Bets

Friday 04.22

Life is a … oh, you know it
This doesn’t look like your usual Liza version. The Dallas Theater Center stages the Kander and Ebb musical Cabaret, and by the looks of their ad campaign, it’s going to be sizzling. Sure Sally Bowles is the central character, but weren’t you always intrigued by the mysterious master of ceremonies? We’re even more so now.

DEETS: Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St. Through May 22. $10–$80. DallasTheaterCenter.org.

 

Friday 04.22

La vida out and proud
Not only did Ricky Martin come out in one of the most eloquent ways ever, he took to using his celebrity in advocating for LGBT rights. That only made him sexier than he already is. As if he needed to add to his hotness, he’s been baring a whole lot more skin lately — and we likey.

DEETS: Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place., Grand Prairie  8 p.m. $40–$126.
Ticketmaster.com.

 

Saturday 04.23

Street art a different way
Before celebrating Easter in the Park, check-in to the Cedar Springs Art Festival. Local art, food booths and snowcones make this a must. Plus, it’s probably the only art fest with dance music.

DEETS: Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street. 10 a.m. Free. ShopCedarSprings.com.

—  John Wright

Who’s your favorite lesbian?

How could U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, the first out lesbian elected to Congress, NOT be on anybody’s list of favorite lesbians?!

Who’s your favorite (celebrity) lesbian? AfterEllen.com wants to know. In fact, the website is currently conducting an online survey to find out “who ranks as the creme de la creme” when it comes to well-known lesbians. And AfterElton.com is doing the same survey, only with gay men.

Here are the rules: You get to vote for your favorite 10 open lesbians. They have to be women who are publicly out, not just ones that everyone knows are gay even though they have never said so publicly. They have to be living (so you can’t vote for Sappho). And they can come from any field, including politics, music, TV, movies, etc.

I went and voted and then I read some of the comments, and I have to say I was a bit disheartened to see that at least one person put Lindsey Lohan on the top 10 list. Lindsey Lohan? Give me a break! When we have women like Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin and Ellen DeGeneres to choose from, you’re gonna pick Lindsey Lohan? Come on people, get on over to AfterEllen.com and vote so that Lindsey Lohan won’t make the list!

Voting is open through midnight on Friday, March 4 and results will be published on Monday, March 14. And you can only vote once, so make it count!

—  admin

WATCH: Chris Tina Foxx Bruce on discrimination

Chris Tina Foxx Bruce, a transgender personal fitness trainer who’s become something of a celebrity since being profiled by Dallas Voice a few months ago, talks about some discrimination she suffered recently at the hands of a Dallas gym owner.

In her latest video blog posted on Saturday, Foxx Bruce explains that she was interested in contracting with the owner to use his gyms, which are convenient to many of her clients.

“When I walked in, you would have thought I had beaten his child,” she says. “I’m used to the looks. I just would have thought in north or downtown Dallas, it wouldn’t have been such a shock, but he didn’t even allow the time to really discuss credentials, resume. It was just pretty much that he didn’t think I was a good fit.”

Foxx Bruce also confirms in the video blog that she plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2012. And she encourages people to vote for her as DFW’s Ultimate Diva.

—  John Wright

Celebrity Deaths Of 2010

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Brandon Hilton on gay teen suicide

Brandon Hilton

It might seem easy to write off gay Dallas-based musician and YouTuber Brandon Hilton as a joke. After all, Hilton’s first several posts on Twitter today consisted mainly of skin care tips (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But then Hilton fired off the below piece about gay teen suicide, letting us know he’s more than just “an attention whore and failed MySpace celebrity,” as one closeted homophobic critic claims. Now then, with his permission, here’s the full text of Hilton’s extended Tweet:

It breaks my heart to hear about all the recent suicides! 4 boys dead in 3 weeks!

Life is not always sunshine and roses… for anyone. not even for me! we all have dark moments, and we all have pasts that we may or may not ever want to talk about. I was planning to save mine for a biography one day, but that was a selfish publicity idea for later on in my career when the glam died down. I think the need to share my story comes now at a crucial time when kids are confused and lonely, and knowing that one of MY FANS could take his/her own life because they feel alone simply breaks my heart. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

You may not be gay, you may not know if you are gay, you may not even know anyone gay, but if you suspect someone you know is, dont attack them. please talk to them, especially kids! you have a reason and a purpose in life, and you are FABULOUS!

In elementary school I was never the popular kid, I had a few friends who stuck by me, and still do to this day. It was rough being short and different and shy. I hung out with girls more than guys, and I didnt really identify with anyone else around me. I knew I was different. In middle school a name emerged, the boys started calling me GAY. so I started researching to find out what it was, sure enough the name fit and I owned it, I didnt tell them they were right about me, I kept it hidden until high school, then they came up with a new word for me…. FAGGOT, I hated that word, it pissed me off just to hear it. It was such a hard road through high school, my 10th grade year I decided that I was going to come out and tell everyone who I really was, so I did. It got worse and almost everyone turned on me, I didnt know what to do, so I had a genius idea to threaten them all. this idea got me expelled from high school for the entire year my 10th grade year of school. It was one of the lowest points of my life.

After the news broke my friends slimmed down to pretty much 2 people. only 2 that I felt I could trust, connect with and tell anything to. about a week after being expelled, I realized how bad I had fucked up my life and I felt hopeless. I had family I could talk to and I had 2 friends I could talk to, but I didnt feel like I could talk to them. I decided that my life wasnt worth living if I couldnt be like everyone else and be normal, so I tried to kill myself. and again, and once again, over the course of 2 months. this landed me in a psychiatric hospital under 24 hour surveillance for 2 weeks. It saved my life. In the hospital I met people who were like me, and who identified as gay and who were ok with it. the counselors helped me understand that I was normal and no different from anyone else except for being slightly more fabulous.

I left that hospital with a will to live, and a will to survive and change the minds of everyone who ever put me down. Its been a long road since then, but I can honestly say looking back, and seeing now that I more than achieved my goal, I developed a drive to succeed and ambition, and though my dreams were high, I’m achieving them.

I went back to high school the next year with a new look and a new way of living, words rolled off me like water resistant couches and new friends came in droves, I’m not saying that anyone should go through any of this to find themselves, but I think finding yourself is the biggest way you can change your life. not everyone is born to be an actor, or a singer, or a model, let alone all three. but EVERYONE is born with a purpose in life, and your goal is to find it and fucking rock it!

Being openly gay has been the biggest restriction on my career, and has kept me from already coming out on top of my goals, but I found ways around the doors that closed in front of me, I climbed in through the windows. I’ve accomplished so much in my life in only 23 years that most people will never do or see or have the opportunity to do. I’m thankful that my life was spared and I was able to do the things I have, and I want to give back that inspiration and that wisdom to others to spare them, YOU CAN DO GREAT THINGS, you can do so much more than you’ll ever think you’re capable of, you just have to go for it. every dream, goal or wish is achievable no matter how insane people may think it is. if you fall, pick yourself up and try again. you cant fall forever!

My family didnt always support me, they thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to do all the things I’m doing now, but that didnt stop me. I went out on my own and I kicked down the doors and the barriers and I fought and worked my ass off to make this dream a reality. just imagine what you can do when you believe. I believe in all of you, I believe in everyone. gay, straight, bisexual, black, white and yellow, you have a purpose and a meaning in life.

I havent lived the peachy perfect life that people seem to think I did, I have an extremely rocky and rough past, but all of it molded me into the amazing person I am today. I dont say that in a cocky way, I say it in a confident way. everyone is amazing in their own way, you have to find your beauty and you have to rock it! because EVERYONE is beautiful!

I believe in you!

BH

—  John Wright

Neil Patrick Harris + David Burtka Reveal Their Celebrity Surrogate

OH SNAP — Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka celebrate the further invasion of their privacy with a Saturday trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

CONTINUED »


Permalink | Post a comment | Add to del.icio.us


Tagged: , , , , ,

Queerty

—  John Wright