Archive for October, 2009
When it comes to live theater, I prefer smaller shows that I’ve never heard of, with an audience capacity of about 75, over something like Miss Saigon or Avenue Q. I think this is why my favorite local theater company has always been Shadowape — if only they put on a few more frequent productions.
Gorey Stories, Shadowape Theater Company
Last night, Jay took me to see a show called Cabaret Poe in Irvington. If you are local and don’t have anything to do tonight or tomorrow, I highly recommend trying to see this production. It’s a true cabaret show with musical numbers, dance, monologue, audience interaction, and improv.
The costumes were gothic and campy but also ridiculously cool, like a cross between something Edward Gorey and Tim Burton would have created. You’ll see some recitals of stories that follow Poe’s best work, including “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Fall of the House of Usher”, “The Premature Burial,” and more. These retellings are sometimes loose and sometimes close — but the rendering of “The Raven” in Cabaret Poe is, I’m sure, delivered exactly the way Edgar Allan Poe would have wanted it.
The whole time I was watching this show I kept thinking that I wanted to photograph the cast, in character and in costume. The old lodge that’s housing the show is an awesome space, too.
Go see this!
I don’t watch American Idol. I don’t care two scoots about the show, and I never have. I can sum up everything I know about all of the contestants right here.
- Kelly something-or-other won the first season.
- Clay Aiken is gay.
- My niece works for the most successful AI alumnus.
- There once was a contestant named after a Disney cartoon.
- There once was a contestant with a bald head and a nice basket.
- An Indian kid was ridiculed a lot.
- Adam Lambert is gay.
Speaking of Adam Lambert, I’ve never heard him sing, and never heard him speak during an interview. All I know of him are various things that the gay blogs post. This limited knowledge makes it somewhat a mystery as to why he bugs me so much. It’s true: Adam Lambert makes me nuts. Seeing his photo actually makes me angry, sometimes. I have no idea why.
I say this, even though Details magazine recently published these editorial shots, which might be the greatest photography this magazine has ever published, if you ask me. I would frame this and hang it on my wall — if it wasn’t Adam Lambert. I like this shot enough that it made me consider that maybe I was being a little too harsh on Adam Lambert.
And suddenly, I hate him all over again. Certainly, that can’t be the real album cover, can it? This photograph reminds me of Sheena Easton, Nagel, Dead or Alive (see below), feathered hair, synthesizers, LA Gear, and absolutely everything that was wrong with the 1980s. And so help me God, if this kind of photography makes a serious comeback and suddenly models want me to make them look like that, you’ll be finding my cameras for sale on eBay.
This is where I was over the weekend.
Here is another shot.
Of course, he was there, too.
I love this photo.
I love it, even though it’s so Photoshopped that the model almost looks like a cartoon character.
But according to a proposed French law, this photo would have to have a disclaimer — a big one — saying that a person in the image was digitally enhanced. The purpose of this proposed law is to minimize body dysmorphic issues among adolescents.
Personally, I prefer more realistic photography, anyway.
However, David had a small cut on his nose. I removed it. So I guess the law would apply to me, too. Is that right?
Most of you think what I do is sexy. If only you know how many hours I spend removing zits from guys’ torsos. And personally, I don’t think that counts as a “digital manipulation” of a person.
But like everything, too many people take good things to a ridiculous extreme. By now, I’m sure we’ve all seen this video; it’s several years old.
And that kind of thing really should have a disclaimer.
It’s about balance, I guess. I’ve always said that I want to be a photographer. I am happiest when I look at a photograph and realize that it needs NO retouching. But some photographers I know can’t leave any of their images alone, and after a certain amount of manipulation, I think a photograph is no longer a photograph; it’s become digital art. Which is a fine thing, just not what I like.
I feel like I’m writing in circles. But that’s what thinking about this kind of thing always makes me do.
The TripOut Gay Travel Awards for 2009 were recently announced. Six bars are competing for best gay bar in the world:
- The Abbey, West Hollywood
- Exit, Amsterdam
- Heaven, London
- Le Drugstore, Montreal
- Sidetrack, Chicago
- The Week, Rio de Janeiro
I haven’t been a night club kind of person in years, but I’ve at least heard of Heaven, and I’m kind of proud to say that I’ve been in two of these other places.
But even so, in both LA and Chicago, if I was compiling a list like this, I’d pick other places. (Back when I was in my 20s, I was a dancing fool, often until 4 or 5 in the morning, in Chicago’s slightly more offbeat club, Berlin; and when I was in LA, I probably could have spent every night in Rage [which may not even be around anymore, since I haven't been in LA in approximately 100 years].)
Some of the other awards on this list just puzzle me. On the list of best U.S. destinations is Philadelphia (Really? Why?). Bogota is considered one of the best breakout destinations (can any of you name one person that has been there?). And listed with the best annual gay parties and events is something called, Dinah Shore (What in hell is that?); and Burning Man, which I thought was mostly a straight thing that the gays have recently latched onto. But I could always be wrong. I’m naive, sometimes.
Have you seen or experienced any of this stuff? Tell me, if so. Let’s live vicariously.
The worst job I ever had in my life was right after college, doing phone solicitation. I called rural communities and convinced people to buy sponsorships in a police and firemen’s magazine — which I’m not even sure really existed.
I had a high commission rate, but I was terrible at this, and I didn’t last long, at all.
I would like all of you to go see Capitalism: A Love Story this week. With each film, Michael Moore just keeps getting better at what he does, and this film demonstrates that the terms “democracy” and “capitalism” really don’t have as much to do with each other as some politicians want their enlisted masses to think.
Of all the lines in the movie, the one that sticks with me was in a scene where a large group of neighbors helped a homeless family get back inside their empty, foreclosed home and an eviction officer from the bank quickly arrived to kick them out for the second time. A little girl walked up to him and asked how he could stand himself. And then she said, “You should rather be homeless, yourself, than to do this to other people.”
Granted, the family was breaking in to their old home, but this child is still right. Everybody needs to make a living, but I don’t understand how some people can make their money off of other people’s misfortune or naivety . . . the foreclosure officer who evicts people who never should have been offered a home equity loan in the first place, the bank executive who lays off thousands of people to secure his annual bonus, the salesperson who’s job is to convince elderly people to buy insurance policies they don’t need . . . I don’t get that kind of “capitalist,” at all.
I’m also intrigued by how Michael Moore pointed out that we Americans have been taught to respect our democracy above all else, and yet we willingly relinquish our democratic principles in our workplaces.
Just go see the movie.
As for me, I’m going to be fighting the urge to get a third job to pay off my credit cards as quickly as possible. I don’t want to give the capitalists any more of my money than I have to.
I’ve been following the unfolding story of Levi Johnston with mild curiosity. I’m sure you all know Levi, the high school hockey player who got Bristol Palin pregnant and was hijacked by the McCain campaign for a nervous debut at the Republican National Convention, where Sarah Palin — unmprompted, and without the kids’ permission — announced that Levi was going to marry her daughter. Poor Levi spend the whole week looking like he wanted to die.
In the scant year since then, Levi has started enjoying the limelight. He’s gone on the record for Larry King, Tyra Banks and Vanity Fair — trashing Mrs. Palin the whole way — he’s gone on record calling Sarah to be an absentee mother, a liar about her hunting and fishing skills and interests, and even saying that he once heard Sarah confess that she wanted to quit the governorship and write a book because it wouldn’t be, “as hard.”
Levi has also become somewhat of a gay pin up boy, about which he says, “I think it’s great man. Um, I like my fans. Just another person.”
Most recently, Levi has made a TV commercial for pistachios, which the strangely meaningless tag line, “Now Levi does it with proection.”
And next, his gay pin up status will be solidified as he’s hired a personal trainer and working out six days a week in preparation for a Playgirl photo shoot in November. (Levi has coyly commented that he has yet to decide whether he’s going to show “the front or the back.” It seems this will be decided at the actual shoot.)
I won’t lie, I’ll be waiting for the gay bloggers to post the photos from Playgirl as soon as they’re available. But it goes beyond that. Sometimes, I’m intrigued by people who become famous for doing nothing . . . Levi Johnston, Sandra Bernhard, Edie Sedgwick. I can’t explain why I feel this way because other times, it’s a massive turn off . . . Paris Hilton, John Gosselin.
And while you’re pondering your comments, let’s leave the jokes about Levi Johnston’s johnson unsaid, okay? Nuts, too, unless you’re talking about pistachios.
I’m a Canon shooter as opposed to a Nikon shooter, which seems to put me in a minority in the Midwest (I’d guess that about 75% of the pro or semi-pro photographers I know around here shoot with Nikon). But what’s funny is that I was talking to my friend Nick in Florida recently, and he says just the opposite — he’s the only Nikon shooter he knows in the South, where everyone else shoots with Canon.
If you ask me, the two brands are interchangeable. It used to be that Nikon had a reputation for having slightly better lenses — and by slightly, I mean that 99% of us wouldn’t really notice the difference — but I think that’s even changed. I chose my brand loyalty on one principle: Canon cameras feel right in my hands. Nikon cameras always feel too big and cumbersome, and the functions are not placed intuitively.
This being said, I’m ridiculously intrigued and a bit envious of the recently announced Nikon D3S, which has a maximum ISO setting of 102,400, which is approaching night vision capabilities — to give you a comparison, my newest camera has a maximum ISO setting of 3200.
I’m tempering my envy by reminding myself that I just bought a new camera and so I don’t need to go out and spend over $5,000 on a new toy. And by thinking about the article I posted the last time I chose to bore you with a photography-related exposition; which says that it’s not the equipment that matters, it’s what you do with it. And by considering that’s it’s not very often that I want to sit in the forest in the middle of the night and wait for a bear to arrive on the scene. But still, I’m most impressed.
The DIY network must certainly know their target audience is stay at home moms and gay men, otherwise the hosts of all of their shows wouldn’t be so handsome. It used to be that my preferred DIY eye candy was Jason Cameron of Desperate Landscapes, but I also have a soft spot for Matt Blashaw of Deconstruction (and I wouldn’t kick Ahmed Hassan of Yard Crashers out of my house, either.) However, my new favorite DIY host is definitely Marc Bartolomeo of Kitchen Impossible.
Here is a screen cap that shows you what Marc usually looks like when he’s on the show.
Fortunately for me, Marc did some modeling in his early career, which led to these, slightly preferable shots — which I’m going to guess are maybe 12 years old.
And if you really want to, a careful google search on Marc will lead you to even more modeling shots, some of which are clearly not safe for work. Not that I’m complaining.
might be one of the hottest guys I’ve ever seen in Indiana . . . tall, dark-skinned, crew cut, perfect body, and a tribal sort of tattoo wrapping around his leg just below one knee.
Luck was on my side, and I found a way to get him into my photo studio.
What I didn’t really expect to discover during our shoot is that David is also a genuine, and unbelievably sweet guy. And amusing. He is in Italy now, visiting his grandmother, who owns a bread shop. When I asked about his ethnic background, he told me that he’s 75% Italian, 12% Native American, and the rest white trash.
He’s also offered to give me personal training at a ridiculously low price, and I feel like I really need to take him up on it. I’m sure I’ll be working with him again, this fall.
There are more photos of David on my website, in the Models: Men and Gods & Goddesses galleries. Lest you find him to be expressionless, he’s even smiling in some of the other photos on my website. These are just the four that I picked to show here.