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2 posts from November 2006

Nov 20 2006
Dreamboy: An Interview With Marco Dapper Comments (54)

Img_4217What a body. Of work. Marco on the set of Eating Out 2.

Physically, only a few hundred miles separates the Oakland Bay area of California from Hollywood—one small step for a man. But the cultural divide? To leave one for the other is one giant leap for mankind. Which direction constitutes progress depends on what makes you happy.

“Growing up in my area—not many gay guys there,” says 23-year-old Hayward-born Marco Dapper. “It was known as San Francisco is where all the gays hang out.”

So how did this blue-collar straight boy working in a UPS warehouse wind up wearing no collar at all in the year’s most subversively funny gay movie? He got there by making a giant leap away from home, toward accomplishing a lifelong dream, away from going with the flow. You don’t have to be gay to be a smalltown boy, to understand that the answers you seek will never be found at home. Sometimes it’s easier to change your destiny by changing the scenery. You might also change your own mind along the way.

AllanandphilQ. Allan Brocka, Marco and Phillip J. Bartell, creative 3some.

Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds (Ariztical Entertainment), directed by Phillip J. Bartell and opening Friday, November 24th, in New York and L.A. and December 8th nationwide, is about a gay guy (out American Idol Jim Verraros) who’s just broken up with his “outta my league” boyfriend (Brett Chukerman) and is pursuing sexy, sexually confused artist’s model Troy (Marco) by pretending to be an ex-gay. Rounding out the cast are Rebekah Kochan as unapologetic slut Tiffani (who can taste how long it’s been since a guy last came), Emily Brooke Hands as gay-male obsessed Gwen and former teen heartthrob Scott Vickaryous as ex-gay activist (more like passivist) Jacob. It’s a film I’ve already given a KY-lubed thumbs-up to, mainly because it manages to be political and witty along with sexy and laugh-out-loud outrageous. The excellent script, co-written by Bartell and by Q. Allan Brocka (director of the first in the series and of Boy Culture), forces its actors to sink or swim—it’s not enough to be eye candy.

Eating Out 2 is Marco’s first movie. Before this, his claim to fame was on a two-part NBC reality show called Meet The Folks that aired in 2003, in which five bimbos curried favor with his scarily young mom Mmfdappers1and dad to compete for the honor of traveling to Greece with him. Sounds pathetic until you see what Marco looks like, whereupon it becomes fairly easy to think of hundreds of ways to butter up his parents, each increasingly undignified and none that you couldn’t see yourself doing if it meant winning.

Marco is eye candy. He looks to the whole world as good as Matt Dillon looks to Bruce Weber’s camera. He’s topped’s Top 10 list of studs...and the movie hasn’t even been released there yet. But great-looking men are common in Hollywood, and talent is as likely to be found serving you hamburgers there as treading the boards. Everyone who wants to be someone needs a big break, eye candy or not.

122916323_l_1Eating Out 2 is Marco’s big break in that he has a huge part in it (in more ways than one) that allows him to show off his easy charm on screen. It also represents his personal big break because making the film exposed him to so many gay people that he seems to have shrugged off his built-in preconceptions about what “gay” is all about. He’s hopeful that audiences—and the industry—will be similarly open-minded about his acting ability.

Dscn2999_2Marco (shot by Rick Castro) is an ex-homophobe—now that is the kind of recruiting we need to focus on.

“I guess you could call me a homophobe back then,” Marco remembers of the time not so long ago when he arrived in L.A. “I was the kinda guy who if a gay guy came and talked to me I’d be like, ‘What is he doing? Is he hitting on me?’ It was fear of the unknown. This movie was like a whole 180. I just realized, ‘Not all of them are hitting on me.’”

Well, maybe the lesson should have been that it doesn’t matter so much if gay men hit on him, so long as they also take him seriously. Because unlike with homophobes who think all gay men want to get them into bed, all gay men do want to get Marco into bed.

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Nov 08 2006
My Roxy Heart Comments (0)

Madonna's last Roxy hurrah.

New York's legendary Roxy is no more. Going into Chapter 11 in December apparently was not enough to help the struggling institution, which will join CBGB in transitioning to the memories of New Yorkers, and which has been seized and shut down tight. Word has it the club would need to cough up $300,000 to the state to make a comeback, and staffers have been told to prepare for the worst—a press release will be out in a week.

I knew of The Roxy even before I visited New York, let alone moved here. It occupied a fantasy space in my mind where I would arrive and be the center of attention. As a kid, I thought it would be cool to be the life of every starry party—like Truman Capote. Yes, I was a wannabe, and that was a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all of my adult coin a phrase. I knew Madonna could be found at The Roxy, and that was all I needed to know.

Nybar_1When I showed up in New York, I totally by accident moved to West 20th Street and 9th Avenue, just a few blocks from The Roxy. Getting there past unimpressed project thugs was a bit like a human game of Frogger, but once inside, the place lived up to my expectations. The place did, I didn't—I was never the center of attention there, and never could be in a room full of shirtless go-go-boy-ready dance buffs. But as small as it was compared to some of the Chicago clubs I'd been in, it seemed to go on forever and be filled with endless possibilities. It had a dirty glamour and it had, above all else, a great big dance floor. I remember seeing MTV's John Norris there and realizing this was as close to Capote as it would get. I remember seeing other guys there who I'd seen elsewhere in the city and thinking, "Oh, he's like me...?"

But I didn't go to clubs to find men, I went to dance. Of course, men were found and mistakes were made.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f7f71338834-800wiThe Roxy's go-go boys were famously shameless. (From

I remember being there one time—and if this is gross stop me—and being picked up by a really sexy boy who was in town from France. Strictly bridge and chunnel. Spoke almost no English, so there was no masquerading what we had in mind when we began attempting to mime to each other. We danced a little and kissed and my apartment's proximity to the club never came in so handy. I felt very hot to have been scooped up like that. I was young enough to still be impressed by the attention of men; this was before I realized men are not that discriminating. Actually, it was only a few hours before I realized men are not that discriminating.

Cue fireworks as we lay down on my futon mattress.

The next morning, after an optic mishap that goes down in history as one of my least thrilling sexual finales, we attempted to speak more and he communicated to me that he was bisexual (wow, I could have used that information earlier...I'd halfway bagged a straight man???) but that he tended to sleep with men. "Why is that?" I asked. "They are easier to find," he said. This was when that aforementioned realization was made. God, he could have left a twenty on my nightstand and left me feeling less sleazy. Except I didn't even have a nightstand and really could have used that twenty.

He gave me his address and I remember I sent him something...a creative postcard, also some kind of kitschy I HEART NYC memento. Nothing came back to me except the use of that injured eye I alluded to.

You might think an unpleasant experience would cloud my vision of The Roxy, but you'd be wrong to assume this was an unpleasant experience. It was just an experience, and I was young and it was when I still took every experience (sexual or otherwise) to heart because I was finding out, day by day, exactly who I was, what made me happy, sad, horny, satisfied, sheepish, content.

The Roxy made me a lot of those things back then, even though I'm the least clubby kid around these days, preferring Seinfeld reruns to standing in line on W. 18th St. between 10th and 11th Avenue, and I haven't gone dancing in a decade. But I'll miss The Roxy. Knowing it existed and might seduce others like me has been an oddly comforting feeling all these years. Knowing it will vanish is as heartbreaking as the end of your absolute favorite song of the moment.

Hopefully, a new one will start soon, and be better than the last.

Historical footage of Madonna performing "Everybody" at The Roxy in 1982.