Fire Island reality series seeks gays to audition

If you think reality TV has made gay Dallas look a little crazy lately, well, here’s you chance to bring a little Texas-crazy to New York.

You have until Friday to apply to become a cast member of the Fire Island Summer Project (a working title, we’re assuming), a new series from the producers of RuPaul’s Drag Race. And here’s the best part: You don’t need to be from the NYC area — they want folks from all over to apply!  Filming begins this summer, probably in a beach house the Pines (despite a fire recently that scorched parts of the island).

The application has some pretty straightforward questions, plus a few that indicate the casting agents’ interest in seeking diverse and charged action on the show, such as “What do you think makes you stand out from the crowd?,” “What role do you play in your social circle?,” “Do you have any quirks or strange habits? and “What is your craziest Spring Break story?” And you never have to have vacationed on Fire Island before to be eligible.

If you think you might be interested, click here. And if you end up getting cast and turn out to be the asshole villain on the series, do us all a favor — say you’re from San Antonio!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

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

THE Summer Pool Party on July 23

[youtube PoV7-unJdaU youtube]

—  John Wright

Free Polyphonic Spree tonight at DMA

Turn this museum out

If you’ve yet to make it out to one of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Late Nights, might we suggest to do so tonight? For two reasons. Tonight is the annual Summer Block Party in the Arts District so the DMA, the Nasher and the Crow Collection are all having festivities in and out. So it’s already a bash.

Second, um, the Polyphonic Spree will be playing at the DMA’s Ross Ave. Plaza. Pretty much the only band that makes symphonic rock cool, the Dallas-based collective was formed by Tim DeLaughter, formerly of local band Tripping Daisy. With over 20 members and a section of horns, strings, percussion and pretty much everytghing else, the Spree is joyous in that hippies ’60s kinda way but still keeping a fresh approach to music. Pretty much, it’s awesomeness.

DEETS: Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. 9 p.m. $10. DM-Art.org.

—  Rich Lopez

Great Spaces: Conditioner love

Yes, you can have a cold house without the big bills — and that’s not hot air

By David Taffet

Perhaps the one thing we loathe the most besides triple digit temps in summer is that dreaded electric bill. The air conditioner is a must for summer in Texas, but the wallet sure takes a beating. One local expert recommends these simple tips to help you keep your cool and some green.

Todd Ylen of TNS Mechanical in Arlington said that only half the air conditioning complaints his company receives could be traced to the main unit. The first thing he checks is the overall cleanliness of what he calls “the guts.” He recommends a professional cleaning with caustic chemicals.

“It should be done professionally,” he says, “The chemicals won’t hurt the plants but it can melt the rubber off your sneakers.”

During the season, he said, don’t be afraid to wash the unit with a hose, but not a pressure washer. A garden hose will not damage an outdoor air conditioning system. They’re made to withstand gale-force winds.

Keep grass and weeds off outdoor condensers. They clog the system and decrease efficiency.

Next, Ylen said he checks the house.

“How efficient is the ductwork?” he says. “How efficient is your house?”

The outer lining of much of the ductwork installed in the 1980s has deteriorated. Squirrels, raccoons and other animals that get into the attic can cause a tremendous amount of damage to the ducts as well.

Cold air will blow in the attic but never reach the living areas of the house if the ducts are torn or worn. He recommends modern, high-insulated ductwork.

Next, he suggests an energy audit company to check for leaks around doors and windows.

“Seal the house,” he says. It pays off in lower energy bills quickly.

And ventilate, he said. Ylen called the old whirlybirds on most roofs worthless.

He recommends solar-powered, fan-driven ventilators. A year ago, he said, they were $1,800. Today they sell for $400, an amount that will pay for itself in one season. He calls it an upfront investment that continues to pay off by lowering electric bills on air conditioning and never costing a cent to operate.

Filters should be changed monthly. Dirty filters prevent the system from drawing air easily, making it work harder and use more energy.
Programmable thermostats are also useful in keeping the system from cooling the house when not needed.

Ylen calls radiant barriers ineffective with a 50-year payback, but insulation very useful.

“A preventive maintenance program is crucial,” he says. He sums up his energy-saving tips to all homeowners — insulate, ventilate and stop air leaks.

TNS Mechanical services homes throughout Texas and has other tips at AirConditioningRepairArlington.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 15, 2011.

—  John Wright

Dallas Cocktail Challenge tonight at Round-Up

Mixologists vie for top bartending bragging rights

Tonight,  Palm Springs (yes, the Palm Springs destination spot) is once again hosting its Summer Splash Cocktail Challenge, looking for the best bartender in the country. The winner in Dallas goes on to the desert ogaysis on June 2 to match mixology skills with other finalists from around the country. Our own Arnold Wayne Jones was a judge at last year’s event, pictured above, and he will be back again testing and scoping the talent tonight.

DEETS: Round-Up Saloon, 3912 Cedar Springs Road. 8 p.m. PalmSpringsCocktails.com.

—  Rich Lopez

This Summer Paul Rudd + Bill Hader Are: Expectant Dads

Move over Thomas Beatie: Paul Rudd and Bill Hader are America's newest famous pregnant men. Except this isn't the trailer for some new rom-com called Expectant Dads. It's the music video for The New Pornographers' "Moves." Guess which one I'd prefer to watch again. But hey, props for coming up with a complete film synopsis:

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  David Taffet

Tune in: Signorile, panel give late summer closet-cleaning advice

SignorileOn today’s edition of The Michelangelo Signorile Show” (Sirius 109/XM 98, 2-4PM ET), guests Mike Rogers, Michael Tripplett, and LZ Granderson will join the eponymous host for a discussion on “outing” in the age of Mehlman.

Full press release:

SIRIUS XM’S MICHELANGELO SIGNORILE TO HOST/MODERATE PANEL “20 YEARS LATER: OUTING AND THE ETHICS OF REPORTING ON THE SEXUAL ORIENTATION OF PUBLIC FIGURES” LIVE ON HIS DAILY OUTQ SHOW FROM THE 20TH ANNUAL NATIONAL LESBIAN & GAY JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION MEDIA SUMMIT AND NATIONAL CONVENTION IN SAN FRANCISCO

In the wake of discussions this year about Federal Judge Vaughn Walker (who overturned Proposition 8) and former RNC Chairman and Bush ‘04 campaign manager Ken Mehlman, SIRIUS XM’s Michelangelo Signorile will host and moderate a panel discussion called “20 Years Later: Outing and the Ethics of Reporting on the Sexual Orientation of Public Figures” live from the 20th Annual National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) LGBT Media Summit & National Convention in San Francisco, CA.

Signorile will host this discussion live on his daily SIRIUS XM show on Friday, September 3 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm ET (replays 4:00 – 6:00 pm ET) on OutQ, SIRIUS channel 109/XM channel 98. Panelists include:

- LZ Granderson, columnist for ESPN.com’s Page 2, host of web-based ESPN360 talk show “Game Night”

- Michael R. Triplett, contributor, Mediaite.com, part of the NLGJA Board of Directors and member of the NLGJA Rapid Response Task Force

- Michael Rogers of PageOneQ.com and BlogActive.com

For over two decades SIRIUS XM host Michelangelo Signorile has been among the most outspoken and controversial critics of American politics and culture. As a gay activist and journalist, he earned acclaim as the father of the “outing” phenomenon, sparked by his 1990 Outweek cover story about publishing magnate Malcolm Forbes’ homosexuality. He has continued to be on the forefront of reporting on these issues for his whole career, in-depth coverage of Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Mark Kirk, Mark Buse and others. Signorile was featured in Kirby Dick’s movie Outrage.

Signorile covers the issues of the day in-depth daily on The Michelangelo Signorile Show, his live, four-hour call-in show on SIRIUS XM’s OutQ, the nation’s 24/7 LGBT channel, engaging in an active and ongoing dialogue with listeners across the country on the air as he reports, comments, rants and madly obsesses about politics, media, pop culture and a host of other things that irk and interest him and interviews a variety of newsmakers and community leaders. The Michelangelo Signorile Show airs weekdays from 2:00 – 6:00 pm ET on OutQ—SIRIUS channel 109/XM channel 98. OutQ is trailblazer in LGBT media, offering groundbreaking coverage of social and political issues, as well as music and entertainment programming, all of which is produced by and for the LGBT community. Signorile continues the dialogue and posts daily commentary audio clips and more on his widely read blog/site: www.signorile.com.




Good As You

—  John Wright

GetEqual: It’s The ENDA Summer

“There is still a lot of work to do” before DOMA will be repealed. “Look at the trouble we’re having with ENDA.” he added. But [Brian] Bond conceded that there are inconsistencies in President Obama’s positions. In response, Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director of Equality Maryland, stated, “Respectfully, we need President Obama to push for full inclusion of the LGBT community on ENDA, on marriage- we need the full get, not the lesser get. The highest office in the land sets the tone for the whole country.” Bond agreed, but expressed frustration at the often intense criticism levied, particularly by bloggers, against an administration that is “99 percent supportive of your issues.

~As quoted in Pam’s House Blend‘s Extra, extra: the White House is frustrated by ‘gay bloggers’ (emphasis added)

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a big deal for the transgender subcommunity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. If you ask most trans-identified people what the current, most important national issue is for our subcommunity, the answer will more often than not be ENDA. That we don’t have either the House or Senate currently working with any diligence to pass ENDA — that LGBTQ community still has no idea what the “bathroom language” that Rep. Barney Frank and other House member will be attaching to a final version of ENDA is going to look like, and that the President Obama has failed to be a leader and “fierce advocate” for a fully inclusive version of ENDA…

Well, I’m left wondering if our politicians know the difference between the political grapes and lettuce of the LGBTQ civil rights movement regarding employment, and the actual people who are left oppressed when Congress and the White House fail to show leadership on LGBTQ employment issues. Congress sees an LGBT employment bill; I see the oppressed people who are impacted by the passage or non-passage LGBTQ employemnt bill.

I know I’m left with that question of what I do — what do we do as a community beyond what we’ve been doing this whole session of Congress — to further passage of ENDA.

This is what GetEqual — the organization I recently joined the board of directors for — is doing with regards to ENDA:

It’s the ENDA Summer

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Image: GetEqual's ENDA Summer Campaign GraphicWe’re heading into the end of summer, and there has been both an eerie silence from Congress and whispers of surrender from the White House about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Despite these challenges from our elected leaders, GetEQUAL is determined to pull out all the stops to get ENDA passed in 2010.

We’ve heard promises for 40 years that this legislation will be passed – but we have a moral obligation to speak out while it is still perfectly legal for employers in 29 states to fire someone for their sexual orientation and in 38 states to fire someone for their gender identity or expression.

Our elected leaders tell us that this legislation is “complicated” and we should continue waiting.

But while Members of Congress are back in their home districts trying to save their jobs, we are left waiting for legislation that would safeguard ours. There are millions of LGBTQ Americans who are at risk of losing their jobs, at a moment’s notice, because there are no federal job protections in place.

Join the “ENDA Summer” campaign today: http://www.getequal.org/endasummer

This isn’t a legislative issue – this is a moral issue. And we’re targeting legislators in specific states who have not yet shown the moral courage to support this legislation.

We’re tired of legislators telling us that basic job protections for LGBTQ Americans are politically inconvenient – that some are more concerned with securing their own jobs than those of their constituents. We’re tired of being asked to wait – we’ve been waiting for 40 years.

GetEQUAL has created a targeted list of legislators who we think need to hear from you in order to pass this legislation in 2010, as promised. [1] Every day that this legislation is not passed, there are LGBTQ Americans scared to be “out” at work, fearful of losing work stability, discriminated against for not conforming to gender stereotypes, or fired for acting “too gay.”

Join the “ENDA Summer” campaign today: http://www.getequal.org/endasummer

We appreciate your ongoing commitment to taking bold action to secure LGBTQ equality, and we look forward to connecting you with our local organizers on the ground in your state!

Get Out! Get Active! GetEQUAL!

Robin McGehee

Co-Founder and Director, GetEQUAL

www.getequal.org/endatimeline

For me, it is ENDA Summer time.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

ENDA Summer: ‘GetEQUAL is determined to pull out all the stops to get ENDA passed in 2010.’

It’s the end of summer and there’s no ENDA in sight. So, GetEQUAL is ramping up the pressure. Today, the group launced “ENDA Summer.” Keep in mind that GetEQUAL is asking leaders on Capitol Hill to keep their promise to pass ENDA in this session of Congress.

Via press release:

Earlier today, GetEQUAL launched its “ENDA Summer” campaign with a national email sent out to supporters across the country. In the email, GetEQUAL co-founder and director Robin McGehee wrote, “We’re heading into the end of summer, and there has been both an eerie silence from Congress and whispers of surrender from the White House about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Despite these challenges from our elected leaders, GetEQUAL is determined to pull out all the stops to get ENDA passed in 2010.”

McGehee went on to write in the email, “This isn’t a legislative issue — this is a moral issue. And we’re targeting legislators in specific states who have not yet shown the moral courage to support this legislation. We’re tired of legislators telling us that basic job protections for LGBTQ Americans are politically inconvenient — that some are more concerned with securing their own jobs than those of their constituents. We’re tired of being asked to wait — we’ve been waiting for 40 years.” To view today’s “ENDA Summer” campaign launch email, please go to: http://getequal.org/2010/08/enda-summer/.

To join in and be a part of “ENDA Summer” by making a commitment to take bold action for LGBT equality, please visit: www.getequal.org/endasummer.

In addition to today’s email, GetEQUAL has identified local organizers in each state who will spearhead this campaign. Those who sign up to join the “ENDA Summer” campaign will submit their contact information and will be paired with a local organizer in their particular state in order to obtain more information about actions planned in that state and how they can get involved.

And they’re naming names in the 15 targeted states. Members of Congress and their staffs hate being on target lists. That’s why so many DC-based organizations won’t release target lists. They get yelled at by Capitol Hill offices for doing it. GetEQUAL isn’t playing that game:

Arkansas: Sens. Blanche Lincoln & Mark Pryor; Reps. Marion Barry & Mike Ross

California: Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Reps. Ken Calvert & George Miller

Georgia: Reps. Jim Marshall & Sanford Bishop

Illinois: Reps. Daniel Lipinski & Jerry Costello

Indiana: Sens. Richard Lugar & Evan Bayh; Rep. Joe Donnelly

Louisiana: Rep. Charlie Melancon

Minnesota: Rep. Collin Peterson

Missouri: Rep. Ike Skelton

Mississippi: Reps. Travis Childers & Gene Taylor

New Jersey: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen

North Carolina: Reps. Heath Shuler & Mike McIntyre

Ohio: Senator George Voinovich

Oregon: Rep. Greg Walden

Pennsylvania: Reps. Jim Gerlach & Christopher Carney

Tennessee: Reps. Lincoln Davis, John Tanner & Bart Gordon

To review the long list of promises made to pass ENDA, from President Obama to Majority Leader Reid to Speaker Pelosi, among other, check out the ENDA timeline of Broken Promises.

And, if you live in one of the states listed above, sign up. Even if you don’t, call your members of Congress and ask them to pass ENDA this year.

If the elections go the way some pundits are predicting, meaning Democratic losses, we won’t see ENDA for a long time. The window is closing.

Senator Merkley’s ENDA bill, S. 1584, currently has 43 co-sponsors. The House bill, H.R. 3017, has co-sponsors.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright