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Archive for February, 2009

Ari GoldAward winning recording artist Ari Gold has been performing since he was 5 years old. He performed the lead role on the CBS children’s recording “Pot Belly Bear: Songs and Stories.” After the album went platinum, Ari continued his streak providing a variety of voices for “Cabbage Patch Kids” and [my personal favorite] “Jem and the Holograms” as well as singing with the one and only Diana Ross on her album “Swept Away.” Now he’s all grown up and continuing to take the music industry by storm. In addition to his award winning albums: 2000’s self titled: “Ari Gold” (winning the 2002 Outmusic Award for Outstanding Debut),  and 2004’s “Space Under Sun” (winning the 2005 Outmusic Award for Album of the Year).  Ari has toured the country with some of the biggest names in music: Cyndi Lauper, RuPaul, Martha Wash and Chaka Khan. His latest release “Transport Systems” containing the hit songs “Where The Music Takes You” (Top 10 Billboard Club Chart) and “Human” (earning Ari his fourth #1 video on Logo) is garnering critical attention for it’s powerful lyrics on spirituality, crystal meth addiction, and gender identity. For more info on Ari visit: www.arigold.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Probably my first inspiration was a TV show I watched when I was 3 or 4 years old that I think only came on in the east coast called The Magic Garden and it had two women named Paula and Carole singing with a guitar.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Rodney Jerkins

3. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? I have moments all the time where I say I’m quitting but I think I’m just being dramatic and I would never really quit.

4. Who do you consider to be your hero? Oprah is my Jesus.  My parents are my heroes as well for still learning and growing past 70.

5. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can make a very subtle but funny looking face.

6. What website do you get your news from? I get my news from the ladies on the View, but I get a lot of music news from Concreteloop.com and NewNowNext.com

7. Favorite way to keep in shape? Weight Training, Eating yummy healthy food and lots of walking.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs—right now these black Andrew Christian’s. They are very soft and have a little pouch for the crotch.

9. Animal Crackers or Oreos? Neither-chocolate chip cookies

10. Peanut Butter: Crunchy or Smooth? Extra crunchy!

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William F. BrownWilliam F. Brown wrote the libretto (book writer) for several Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. He is most known for writing the book of the Tony Award Winning show “The Wiz.” Other credits include “The Girl in the Freudian Slip”, and “How To Steal An Election”. In addition to theatre, Mr. Brown was a well known cartoonist, writing and drawing the syndicated comic strip “Boomer” from 1972-1981. He also wrote material for such comedians as Joan Rivers and Georgie Kaye.

1. Who inspired you to become a writer? The same person who inspired Jesus to walk on water. Actually no one inspired me to become a writer. But I was encouraged by Julius Monk (Plaza Nine in NYC) and Max Liebman (“Your Show of Shows” on TV). I’ve written everything since I was a kid. With practically no inspiration, except wet feet.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I got 100 on a spelling test in third grade.

3. Who do you consider to be your hero? My biggest hero is my wife, Tina.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? Strange talents? I’m a cartoonist. I wrote and drew a comic strip “Boomer” from 1972-1981 for United Feature Syndicate. I also wrote and drew and sold magazine gag cartoons from the age of 18 on, until about 1970.

5. Favorite Play? Outside of “The Girl in the Freudian Slip” (which I wrote) it’s “The Odd Couple” which I wish I’d written.

6. Favorite Musical? Outside of “The Wiz”, (for which I wrote the book), it’s “Chicago”. Which I also wish I’d written, even tho I was born in Jersey City.

7. Favorite Winter Retreat? Sanibel Island, Florida.

8. Favorite Meal? Roast Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, ice cream, decaf. With a glass of chardonnay. (long before the ice cream). But I’ll settle for mac and cheese.

9. Animal Crackers or Oreos? Oreos.

10. Peanut Butter: Crunchy or Smooth? Neither. I hate peanut butter.

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Ben StrothmannBen Strothmann is an actor and a photographer in New York City. Recent productions include “Dutch Courage” as Derk/Jewish Man (Wings Theatre), “Pinokenstein: The Musical” as Dr. Geppetto (Bad Musicals Festival), The Mikado (Village Light Opera Group) and the upcoming “The Cradle Will Rock” at St. Mark’s Church. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ben has been shooting headshots for actors since 1995. He has lived in New York since 2001 and has been a photographer for Playbill, the Broadway Yearbook, BroadwayWorld.com, and countless theatre companies and organizations. He also enjoys aromatherapy, astrology, and absolutely everything about Iceland.  www.benstrothmann.com

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Watching Beth Dwyer (now Beth Mulkerron) on stage in my junior high school production of 42nd St at Longfellow Middle School in Wauwatosa, WI. I was 11 and she was probably about 12 but almost 20 years later I am still moved by something about her performance. I can honestly say it was watching her express herself on a stage that made me say “I want to do that.”

2. When did you first realize you wanted to become a performer? It was in high school during a Master Class taught by Ms. Wendy Runnels (now Mrs. Wendy Traeger) alongside singer Barbara Shuttleworth. Just watching Wendy working with fellow students, seeing there was more than just “magic” to what they were doing, but that there was actually a craft to performing — it made me start to think that I didn’t just enjoy being in shows, but that I might want to make it my life’s work.

3. Who do you consider to be your hero? Well if she ever pulls it together, I’ll be the first to say Whitney Houston — but for now I’m thinking more along the lines of Hillary Clinton.

4. How old were you when you had your first real kiss? What do you consider “real”?

5. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Dunkin’ Donuts, and NOT without a fight.
ME: “Large coffee, please with milk, NO sugar!”
DD: “Sugar?”
ME: “NO sugar.”
DD: “Large coffee – Milk and sugar?”
ME: “Milk, NO sugar”
DD: [in utter disfelief] “NO sugar??????”
ME: “NO sugar! NONE!”

…and then I watch as they put four spoons of sugar in my coffee, just in case I’m a total idiot who doesn’t know what he’s missing.

6. Animal Crackers or Oreos? Oreos. Intravenously.

7. Favorite TV Show? If they ever bring it back, “Starting Over” Can I get one single Amen?

8. Books or Magazines? Always several books simultaneously, and never without a highlighter.

9. Favorite Celebrity Gossip Website? None whatsoever. I still don’t get celebrity gossip. Brad and Angelina have yet to have any effect on my life.

10. Summer Resort or Winter Retreat? Summer resort, since in the winter I tend to fly either to Wisconsin or Iceland.

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Charles Busch

Charles Busch Drag

Legendary brilliance is the only phrase one can use to describe Charles Busch: Playwright, actor, director, screenwriter, and author.  He has starred in and wrote such plays as “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom” (one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history), “The Lady in Question”, “Shanghai Moon” and the Tony nominated play “The Tale of The Allergist’s Wife”. He also starred in and wrote the screen versions of his plays “Psycho Beach Party” and “Die Mommie Die” (which he also starred in Off-Broadway). His latest play “The Third Story” produced by MCC is currently running at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City. If you never seen Charles Busch live on stage, go now! Don’t forget to check out www.charlesbusch.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Charles Ludlam

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Maggie Smith

3. What is the best and worst experience you’ve had in a show? Working with my friend Julie Halston is the best there is.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I’m a skilled pastel portrait artist

5. What website do you get your news from? Playbill.com

6. Favorite Shoes? A pair of sixties style suede Beatles boots

7. Favorite Musical? Carousel

8. Favorite Play? The Glass Menagerie

9. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? I love a good cruller

10. Summer Resort or Winter Retreat? I love Key West but haven’t been there in fifteen years

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