ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Gary Floyd’s big weekend

Good things are in Gary Floyd’s immediate future

Gary Floyd and Julie Bonk

RICH LOPEZ  |  Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Local actor and musician Gary Floyd knows how to keep his dance card filled. At least he does for this particular weekend. While he’s in rehearsals for Uptown Players’ Next to Normal, he also has two big shows this weekend. Oh, and Monday could be big for him too.

“Oh I’m still excited,” he says. “I don’t think I ever lost my excitement about it.”

He’s talking about Monday’s OutMusic Awards, which he received three nominations for. Floyd was nominated for album of the year for Behold the Gospel of Zen, spiritual song for “Behold,” and the Biello-Martin Love Song of the Year for “Love of My Life.” Not too shabby. He’s glad to just get noticed.

“It seems so cliché to say but it really was awesome to be nominated,” he says. “After all these years, it’s nice to get this sort of recognition I just wish that I could have gone to go back up. I hate not to be there to support them.”

The OutMusic awards celebrate LGBT music releases in several categories akin to the Grammys. They were originally scheduled for last fall but due to an unforeseen situation, they were postponed. A major sponsor pulled out and the show literally couldn’t go on.  Floyd made the trip to New York before finding out the show was canceled. Yes, it was that sudden.

“Nobody could have foreseen that situation coming up,” he says. “I knew it would get put back together. “

The awards will be handed out Monday. While he won’t be in New York, he won’t even be able to keep tabs on if he won or not.

“I’m in rehearsals that night!”

Before then, he has a show tonight at the Center for Spiritual Living where he performs with fellow musician Julie Bonk.  Far be it for him to just offer an easy show on such a weekend.

“Well, that night we are recording a live CD and DVD,” he says. “We booked the show to be part of the Center’s concert series and decided to do a live recording.  We’ve wanted to for a long time so we’re gonna put it together, put it out there and sell it.”

On Saturday, Floyd and Bonk team with Cornell Kinderknecht for Joy-Fest. The concert is an Open Door Production at the Heart and Soul Coffeehouse in Fort Worth featuring a night of jazz and pop music with Floyd on vocals, Kinderknecht on flute and Bonk on piano.

“They had talked to Julie about an evening of music and we had been working together so it just came together,” he says. “This is my first time playing for Open Door.”

While he’ll be clearly distracted from award anxiety, he does have hopes — as probably anyone would.

“How awesome would it be to get one in the mail?” he ponders. “I’m not sure what I’ll do. Maybe have a glass of champagne.”

—  Rich Lopez

Gary Floyd lands 3 OutMusic Award nominations

For 20 years, the OutMusic Awards have recognized openly gay musicians who not only make great music, but music that speaks to the gay community. And one of the frontrunners this year is Dallas’ Gary Floyd.

Floyd has been a staple in the Metroplex for more years than he’d like to admit, performing cabaret, musical theater and a host of other styles. But it’s for his languid, inspirational songs, represented on his 2010 album The Gospel of Zen, that he’s most recognized — locally, of course, and now nationally.

“Behold” is in contention for best contemporary spiritual song. (Last year’s winner in this category was Tony Award winner Levi Kreis.) Better still, the CD itself is nominated for best album — and we mean best overall, against such heavy-hitters as Hunter Valentine, Ray Boltz, Rachael Sage and the Heartland Men’s Chorus. Not bad for a six-song, independently-released disc.

In addition, Floyd’s composition “Love of My Life” is up for the prestigious Martin Bello Love Song Award, which comes with a cash prize. (“It’s not on the album, nor even recorded commercially [by me], though Marvin Matthews did a cover,” Floyd says.)

The nominations came out of the blue. Floyd was counseled to submit the album for consideration by his booking agent, but didn’t expect it would actually nab two major noms.

The awards, voted on by the LGBT Recording Academy, mean a lot to Floyd, as does the chance to attend the gala ceremony in New York on Dec. 1 — it will be hosted by Carol Channing, with Cyndi Lauper, Melissa Etheridge and Chely Wright set to attend.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 12, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens