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277 posts categorized "ME"

Mar 14 2017
Matchless Peers Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 9.20.04 AMHallelujah.

The above alert I received from Match.com sums up why I finally canceled my passive participation in the crappy matchmaking site — it's not that I wouldn't dream of dating a 57-year-old — far from it! — but they're not exactly selling him to me.

The site is also fond of writing me notes like, “You both went to college and work out occasionally!”

Gee, we sound like a match made in heaven.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 9.28.16 AMI, uh, live in NYC.

 
Mar 08 2017
Get Out: A Season 9 RuPAUL'S DRAG RACE Fantasia In Two Acts Comments (0)

IMG_1837*_newLike all her co-stars, Aja looks to the future.

I was invited to cover the event at PlayStation Theatre in Times Square last night, celebrating the upcoming (March 24) premiere of Season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race.

IMG_1731_new(All images by Matthew Rettenmund; images of Matthew Rettenmund by Jason Viers)

Like always, I had my trusty sidekick Jason along, and like always, I was mad-stressed out wondering how I would get all 13 queens for interviews in the time allotted — not to mention any bonus queens (Ginger Minj hosted, and queens like Jiggly Caliente, Sherry Vine, Lady Bunny, Mrs. Kasha Davis and many others were on hand/on hands and knees), the Top 4 actual women from this season's America's Next Top Model and five out of sex of the studs from the new Logo series Fire Island.

IMG_1743*_new

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IMG_1749*JPG_newMrs. Kasha Davis & Ms. Thorgy Thor

IMG_1845*_newPaige, India, Tatiana & Courtney from America's Next Top Model

IMG_1888_newI don't know her. But if I did, I'll tell you her name. How about: Mae South?

IMG_1883*_newDarienne Lake made a splash.

Speaking of which, following RDR's switch from Logo to VH1, the step-and-repeat didn't even have Logo's, er, logo, this in spite of the fact that second-run eps will air on the network, and the fact that tons of Logo staffers were on hand to help out.

IMG_1899_newThe crowd wanted in — bad.

Part of my stress was the odd decision to tell press we had to arrive at 5 p.m. to check in, would interview everyone for two hours, would have to leave at 7:30 p.m. and could not return when the party started at 8 p.m. until we had dumped all professional equipment. The strictness of this rule made for some unnecessary schlepping, and only ensured that the zillions of photos from the party would not be as high-quality as they might otherwise be.

IMG_1897_newThis one was stealing focus outside!

IMG_1894_newThe best cutlets in the place weren't cutlets.

When we returned, I avoided the red carpet and focused on the tables, where all the celebriguests were seated.

IMG_1458_newSeeking Charlie Hides

IMG_1461_newAlexis Michelle, ma belle

IMG_1772*_newShirting the issue

We did our level best, but even rushing, while I got pics of and interviews with 11 of the goils, I only got some pics of Nina Bo'nina Brown and one snap of Shea Couleé — no Q&A.

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IMG_1876_newNew York City Girls: Lady Bunny with Pepper Mint, including my Ron Galella-style, “NO PICTURES!” shot.

Here are my thoughts, with video coming later on:

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Mar 02 2017
Oh, Randy — You Came & You Gave Good Talk Without Takin' Comments (0)

Unnamed(Image via The Randy Report)

If you enjoy podcasts, Randy Slovacek gives very good talk — check his out here, and don't miss the one I did. It was great chatting with him about a slew of topics.

 
Feb 28 2017
Comfy Culture: Queerty Offers 10 Queer Movies To Get You Through The Trump Years Comments (0)

TblNUYn(GIF via NeoFight Film)

Lovely that David Reddish, writing for Queerty, has included Boy Culture (2006) in his list of “10 comforting queer flicks to soothe the soul in a discomforting time.”

Many people don't realize I wrote a novel called Boy Culture that later became a movie, a movie I helped promote by launching this blog.

Reddish writes:

Q. Alan Brocka directed this adaptation of Matthew Rettenmund’s novel about a hooker with a heart of gold. Boy Culture doesn’t play like the gay version of Pretty Woman, however. In fact, it smashes the Cinderella nonsense of that film precisely by introducing a set of realistic characters, led by X. As played by Derek Magyar, X makes no apology for his questionable line of work. On the contrary, he seems to feel more shame for being part of a love triangle with his two hottie roommates, Andrew and Gregory. With a multi-racial cast and a melancholy backdrop of Seattle, Boy Culture unfolds less as a gay film about sex than a thoughtful drama about finding love in an oversexed world. For a queer audience, Boy Culture surpasses the fairytale silliness of most romantic comedies—gay or straight themed—with believable characters and some real introspection.

Time for a sequel.

 
Feb 15 2017
A Right On SUNSET BOULEVARD Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 4.04.52 PMAnd they all staffed (All images by or via Matthew Rettenmund)

I went to L.A. this weekend to meet with my Web series partners (news on that coming in the near future) and to attend the 30th anniversary of my friends Michael & Scott. 

 

Porn star memoirs by Jack Wrangler (1984). #gay #movies #memoirs #books #firstedition #shirtless #gossip #boyculture

A post shared by Boy Culture Blog (@boyculturedotcom) on

On the flight out, I was reading a first edition of The Jack Wrangler Story, or What's a Nice Boy Like You Doing? (St. Martin's Press, 1984), the cheeky autobiography of gay-porn star Jack Wrangler. It turned out to be a fortuitous choice, as early in the book, there is a lengthy description of a childhood birthday party of his in Beverly Hills, a stone's throw from the home where my 2017 party was happening. (It's a great, breezy, candid time capsule of a read if you can get your hands on it. Wrangler died in 2009 at 62, while his improbable partner Margaret Whiting died at 86 in 2011.)

IMG_0766The boys included their pooch in the celebration

The party was lovely — outdoors, peopled by sunny chatterboxes and littered with their fabulous art collection. One highlight was when a couple of my autograph-hound buddies very kindly pointed out that the mysterious Oscar-nominated neighbor Michael had teased me with was standing right next to us: None other than Nancy Olson of Sunset Boulevard (1950).

What was so shocking about meeting Nancy, who was lovely and very happy to briefly discuss her claim to fame, was that I had days earlier shown the movie to a 19-year-old friend in advance of our seeing the musical. To run into her unexpectedly within the same week was uncanny.

IMG_0759Me with Nancy Olson — no vodka in her drink, BTW

Nancy is 88 and looks spectacular. She warned that she is an old lady before we took our picture (I reassured her by saying I was, too) and said she thinks movies today that play well on the small screen have a leg up at Oscar time since nobody makes the effort to see screenings in theaters. It was a thrill and a half, to be sure.

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 4.32.56 PMI'm dying to shoot the guy in the middle!

Also thrilling were the drop-dead beautiful men serving as waiters. Turns out they came from Runway Waiters, which is why they all looked like models. 

The rest of my trip was pretty low-key, but I managed a quick bite (of food) at the Abbey, where I snapped the establishment's #RESIST sign:

IMG_9542

I could probably live in L.A. ...!

 
Feb 07 2017
Outside The Lines: Your Blogger As Boycake Comments (0)

16558773_10154250561666863_899192826_n(Image by Paul Richmond)

Paul Richmond — he of this raunchy gay coloring book infamy — graciously transformed me into one of his colorless twinks.

I am now a Crayola whore!

Gosh, the image is so exact. He really nailed my body type! How'd he know this is exactly what I look like at night in my apartment?! Major props for getting my waist size down pat; people usually overshoot that by a lot.

Download a hi-res image of me here. Buy his coloring book here.

 
Best Friends Forever: A Review Of Nora Burns's DAVID'S FRIEND Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 1.52.01 PMA story with heart (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

My cultural benefactors John & Sheldon — not really, but they do get me to go see things I'd otherwise not get motivated to see — invited me to David's Friend, the show by Unitard comic Nora Burns, a few weeks ago. I bought my ticket knowing next to nothing about it. By the time I entered the Club at La Mama this weekend, it was already touted as a hot ticket.

Check out my 2015 Unitard review here!

In 60 minutes, Burns (pictured) provides an unapologetically sentimental Bioremembrance of the original best friend forever, David, a fellow Massachusetts teen who joined her in running off to NYC at the end of the '70s, and the beginning of what would beecome a live-fast-die-young adventure.

Except Nora survived.

Over time, the eventual artist has been driven to memorialize their toss-my-salad days, when she stripped and he hustled and both did so many drugs this might be why Quaaludes became scarce, and when both became friendly with the types of artists drawn to the city back when it was seedily affordable. She is reliving that era onstage in a joyous way that gives contact euphoria and a sense of connection to the audience, and also in a way that sloppily and then — with unexpected precision — provides a sketch of her fallen friend and their eternal friendship so vivid it's hard to believe he wasn't a member of the cast.

2-6Back in the gay: Nora & David (This & photo booth image via Nora Burns)

At times, it's as if she is taking our hands and putting them into her side; her approach to show and tell is to skip both and instead to conjure and to make manifest.

The story is deceptively slight; the two danced their asses off. In fact, they met dancing on a speaker and seemingly only climbed down when he eventually became sick with AIDS and when she, later on, settled down with a husband and children. Their time on the speaker sounds like a mad dash from one party to another, and from the safety of suburbia to the more interesting, more dangerous nooks and crannies of a city that no longer exists.

While nostalgic and affectionate, the show is never whitewashed — plenty of STIs, jealous fits and jobs from hell are recalled, and her Valentine to NYC is spiked by a recurring image of the city in the '70s and '80s as a pile of junk teeming with rats and predators. But if you're one of those people who thinks the city is now a Giulianified shell of its former self, you will understand her longing for not just her friend but their grimy stomping grounds.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 1.54.39 PMPage from a drag calendar David put together (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Nora's delivery is utterly sincere. It is also funny, except for when it veers into Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 1.43.25 PM sadness, when it becomes difficult to imagine how she puts herself through such a naked (and public) connection to still-raw grief each performance.

She is so uncompromisingly honest, it might make you squirm when she cheerfully announces she needs gay men to provide the witty Oscar banter these days (she's got to be kidding! she's hysterical!) or when she drives home that she is a classic fag hag. There is a degree of supplication, but I think it's also just a reflection of her devotion to the best person she ever met.

David is beautifully remembered in this warm and scrappy show in a way he may never have been able to imagine, knowing Nora as he did then — and never getting to know Nora as she was later, is now.

Due to an outbreak of raves, David's Friend — directed by Adrienne Truscott and also featuring Billy Hough —has been extended. Along with other lessons, one the show offers is: Spend your time wisely. This applies to theater, too.

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Separate from my review, something that struck me about the show is that it is another example of something that elicits from me a longing to have been a part of the era that came just before me, which is also always laced with gratitude that I barely missed the inevitability of AIDS.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 12.09.55 PMSelf-portrait of Dillard from one of his books (Image by Gavin Geoffrey Dillard)

Hearing of David's recklessly fabulous life at Studio 54 and strolling Manhattan's dives and clinics in silver hotpants and leather definitely ignited that dormant fascination, as did the name-dropping of the ubiquitious Patrick McMullan (such a dishy appearance his name makes in the show, and he later shot it) and also of Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, the so-called Naked Poet.

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Jan 27 2017
Follow ENCYCLOPEDIA MADONNICA 20 On Instagram! Comments (0)

Madonna(Illustration by Alejandro Mogollo)

Follow my new Encyclopedia Madonnica Instagram!

I'll be posted all things related to Madonna there, including rare images, not just book-related promo.

See you there!

 


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