Monday, June 29, 2009

My Feet are Still Bloody!

So what? Gold-Digging ain't easy, but it sure sparkles! The first pics are in from our NYC Gay Pride Parade 2009.

A few GoldDiggers our gorgeous hosts Xac and Anthony. They support us every year by opening their salon just for us at Pride! I'm in the dark wig, grabbing Anthony. Also appearing below are Miss Coco Chanel, and first time marcher...Fools' Gold.

Miss Gold Medál (Cooldan) was immediately re-named "Wig in Boots". Here he poses with the gorgeous "Goldie Schlager"

Wig-in-Boots alongside her morocha sister, Miss Precious Metál who honors her Latina heritage with this morocha look. Thank you, Harrison!
The stunning combo of Miss Louis Vuitton, and Goldie Standard
Coco Chanel knows how to work an Avenue!
Anita Bailout....at your service.
"Azteca" looking like a God! "Why are you looking so hot this year, Azteca?" He answers without a moment's hesitation: "Because I'm single this year!"
The big-money boa allowed me to ask everyone I met, "Do I look like a million bucks?!"
We made it!
The group on the stoop!
Check out Bam Bam as "Miss Goldfinger-Me". Killing me with that cigarette hanging out of his mouth. More to come from the march, but for now there's a fun group shot found at New York Magazine website.

Happy Pride!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Happy Pride!

Village People cowboy Randy Jones has just published a book (check it out: "The Disco Era and Gay America's Coming Out") and he kicked off Pride Weekend with a performance of YMCA featuring the drag queens from Lucky Cheng's as his back-up Village People!

Randy is a great guy with a great voice, and it's always a pleasure to see him. He's also got a cameo in our film Bye Bye, Fruit Fly. He came up with his own character name, Buck Winston. The name he got from some ex-husband who was obscurely referred to by Paulette Godard...or one of the female leads in the original 1939 film, "The Women".

The only thing Gayer than Buck Winston is...the Village People in drag. Happy Pride!

Young Man, I know a place you can go!
The construction worker is pulling focus!
Randy & Friends
My best boy Cooldan and me stoop-side! The Salt Lake, Utah tee is always a hit.
With Randy Jones kicking off Pride Weekend with a bang, here's hoping it goes out with a zinger of a surprise performer at the Pier Dance tomorrow. I'm predicting Michael Jackson. What a coup! Heritage of Pride fooled everyone!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gold-Diggers of 2009!

On your marks! The end of June is always jam-packed. It's my birthday and Pride all rolled into one, and of course I made sure to free my filming schedule to tromp down 5th avenue in golden pumps with all my bestest friends!

In the theme department, there was strong competition from Barbie's 50th anniversary, but ultimately we rallied around a simple, yet luxurious ode to both Busby Berkeley and the failing economy: GOLD-DIGGERS of 2009!

Usually we're prepared months in advance, but this year I'm furiously pulling together my outfit last minute. I've also vowed to put a stop to the Cheetos, Gushers, and Twizzlers on set....for the next 3 days.

Oh, and I've already chosen my golddigging sobriquet for Sunday. I shall represent as: Miss Precious Metál.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Cast

Lots going on....on-set! In between all the stress, I can see how exciting it is to see words come to life, and this film come together---thanks to everyone involved working so very hard. Thank you!

Jesse, Adrian, Mindy, JR, and Marcus Patrick...on set
"Luke" in action...
"Zeus" in action!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First photos from the set of the film!

Due to scheduling conflicts, we've lost the roles of both "Hung Stranger" and "The Hugger" in the same 24 hour period! I'm serious. The Hugger is being re-cast, but we're on the hunt for a Hung Stranger. I'll be auditioning with my tonsils until we find the perfect replacement!

Remember Selznick's exhaustive search for Scarlett O'Hara? Nothing compared to our quest to find a Manhattan rooftop for our opening scene. Oh, and if you or someone you know owns or manages a Manhattan restaurant and would like it to be featured in a scene in the film...holler!

We've had hang ups, including losing locations and scenes that need to be picked up, but what we've shot looks gorgeous--I've got to hand it to the crew, interns, PA's, volunteers, friends, and all our unsung heroes.

Mindy Cohn is delicious, and constantly cracking up the crew. She's constantly pitch perfect as our lead, "Violet", even when doing a scripted face-plant into the stairs at Central Park:

...Or Glammed up with director Casper Andreas
....Playing in the park with Jesse...
Here's Sam Whitten as "Riley" (the character formerly known as Tyler)
Adrian Armas as "Darian", Luke's love interest, in at work in his salon---shot on location at XacAnthony Spa
When my Luke (right) steps out, he takes a tumble with Alex Quiroga's "Hottie"


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Strike Fri&@*#ng Four!?

I've had a devil of a time trying to volunteer in NYC. It's probably me. I want to help out, but with my...background (?) I'm not sure how or where or...who. I tried first the Ali Forney Center - a shelter for homeless GLBT youth. They set me up making sandwiches at their day-center way over on the west side. They didn't allow me into actual housing facilities, and never gave me a regular schedule so it was me calling to say, "Can I please come over and make sandwiches today?" and I really didn't feel integral, or that I was using my skills---beyond my way around a slice of Velveeta. Next?

The Trevor Project---- is the nation's only 24 suicide hotline for gay, lesbian, transgender and questioning youth. Having been a suicidal teen, the idea of manning their phone lines was WAY too close to home, so I couldn't do that. But they said, being a writer, I could write the "Dear Trevor" responses, which are written responses to kids who write in. These letters offer local services, but no personal sharing, no I've been there.... I'm sure the Trevor Project has their reasons, but when I wrote my "sample letters" according to these guidelines, I questioned the policy, saying it felt impersonal. They never responded!

Gods Love We Deliver-
---makes and delivers homemade meals to people suffering with AIDS and/or other deadly diseases. They said I could volunteer in their kitchen, but they needed no more people to deliver meals in my area (east village). My whole reason for volunteering is to interact, so the kitchen wasn't a good match.

Why is it so hard to volunteer? I had an easier time finding a boyfriend.

My next stop was Big Brothers, Big Sisters of New York. They had me go to an orientation, then fill out a form, come in for a lengthy 1 on 1 interview, an FBI background check, and then my closest friends sent in personal references. I was asked next to come in again for a training. The kids in their program range from like 7 to 17, and are mostly from low-income, single parent families. The "Bigs" take out their "Littles" twice a month---to something cultural, or a movie, but mainly it's just time. They have soooo many "Littles" that need to be placed with "Bigs" that they never have enough--and how great to spend some of my spare time with a kid...Right?

In the mail today I got a letter, hand-signed by one Kate Nammacher. It begins:

Dear Jesse:

It is with regret that I have to inform you that your application to become a volunteer "Big" has been declined. In accordance with policy, BBBS of NYC does not supply reasons why a decision is made.

Ha! I know it wasn't the background check, and it really wasn't the reference letters....so was it because at my lengthy interview, I told them I'd done drugs? Should I have lied? Did I fail when we performed those inane "role playing scenarios" in the training---and I got the scenario of the kid who swore on the subway--in public!---and I said I didn't have a problem with that? Or did they google me, find this blog and faint?

I am so done with trying to volunteer. As that imaginary kid in the subway scenario might say: Fuck it!

It feels pretty hideous that I'm not even fit to donate my time to a needy kid. Frankly, it makes me want to breed.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I have a new boyfriend!

His name is Adrian, and can I just tell you how fabulous it was finding him? It's not often you get dozens of hot guys lining up to be your boyfriend, but that's just what happened at the auditions. My writing is finally paying off!

I just got back from Adrian's place where we spent some time rehearsing - and it's a good thing Bam Bam is so chill! Actually, Bam saw Adrian's photo and said, "He's shiny--just the way I like em!" Adrian previously played the love interest of Cate Blanchett in the film, "Benjamin Button" where she totally tongued him. My turn!

"I was Cate Blanchett's boyfriend," he tells me. "And now I'm yours." Not exactly an upward move in the acting world, but I just love the sound of that.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

You Can Take the Boy out of the Jungle...

Just after the travels in South America that would become my book You Can Run, I bought a one-way ticket New York with borrowed credit, and no idea what would become of me. It was 2001, and I had one interview lined up. It was at a place called Transperfect Translations. The offices were on the 39th floor of one of the tallest buildings in Midtown, right on 34th street and Park Avenue.

At my interview, I caught my first glimpse of the Manhattan expanse. It was breathtaking. The HR department liked that I had just returned from the jungles of Bolivia, and I was hired. As a Project Manager, I outsourced translators for our hundreds of clients. Once the job was back, according to the time schedule I'd set, I then passed it to an in-house "Quality Manager" and then back to the client on-time and hopefully perfect. Trans-perfect!

I was responsible for each folder I received and there were so many. Too many! Besides being a highly uncreative position....they worked us like slaves. The only thing that made it bearable were the girls in my high-rise office: Kate, Gootz, Christina. There was often no time for lunch, no time for thought, and Gootz in particular would each day come up with a brilliant new way to kill herself. When you are worked like a slave, the only thing you can do is laugh, and we did a lot of laughing together.

Folders stacked up at a dizzying pace. Already overwhelmed, there were always more. Each time I stood up to go to the bathroom, to talk to a Quality Manager, to the xerox machine---I would return to another stack of folders on my chair. I took to calling our boss the "Folder Elf".

The elf always dropped a stack of new folders at the end of the day and thought I'd get to them, but nobody got paid for overtime and I had just returned from the jungle of Bolivia. This was not life! I could hardly handle 8:30 to 6. The other girls stayed, but I figured at $30,000 a year...I would leave at 6pm. Most often I left the office with a cartwheel.

Because I was good at my job and because I got on so well with the girls, I was surprised to be called down to HR after 3 months. There I was met by the Elf who, staring at the ground, told me that my 90 day conditional employment was over and I was fired.

I ran up to my office, to say goodbye to the girls. But they were gone. I learned later they had been shephered into a conference room so I wouldn't be able to say goodbye. My desk was already packed, and I was escorted out of the building like a dog.

Outside, I sat on the corner of 34th and Park, beneath that tall red building with a box of my office stuff: personal photos, a map of the world, my stupid name placard.

It was so obvious to every passer-by that i had just gotten fired, and I was so humiliated. So humiliated that I made sure to sit there a little longer and just soak in all it. I knew that this moment was a defining one and I had two choices: I could give up on NYC, or I could find another way to stay here. I could let this company be my only chance, or I could make my own.

Later that year --- on September 11 --- from those same offices with the amazing views, my former co-workers watched two planes crash into the Twin Towers downtown. And yes: Christina, Gootz, and Kate were told to stop watching and get right back to work!

Yesterday, I wandered town with a lot on my mind. Movie producer stuff is not creative at all. Mindy Cohn's housing had to be arranged, keys picked up. I had to hook up with the man who will be playing my love/lust interest in the film, needed to pick up a bottle of Bulldog Gin who are sponsoring. We also need to lock a rooftop location for the opening scene. There's also art I'm picking up for the walls in Luke's bedroom, and I've got to remember that the furs used in the photo studio scene have to get back to the mannequins shot later in the fashion showroom scene. I should talk to the wardrobe girls about that tank top I'd like Luke to wear, and there's the matter of extras---we still need to cast a bunch of featured extras. Who can I call? And a still photographer. We need one! There are a million other details, and a constant nagging fear that, with Bam Bam and Cooldan being both incommunicado, I will lock myself out of my house.

As it all swirls through my head, I realize I'm at the corner of 34th and 8th avenue. My thoughts vanish and suddenly I remember: here is the exact spot where 8 years ago I sat humiliated with a box of my office belongings. I looked up at that red skyscaper and stopped thinking about all I have to do, and realize now that this is stuff I want to do. We are making a movie!

I am still here in New York, on my own terms, and Transperfect Translations can SUCK IT!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thinking of Don

Many of you have been asking about the status of the disappearance of Don Skiff's son, which I blogged about recently. His body was found in the woods of Pennsylvania last week, and his killers charged. Donnie had been missing for 5 weeks, and although his father says he feels nothing anymore, I hope it is of some solace that his son has finally been found...and laid to rest.

Donnie was a kind person who did not deserve to be the victim of a completely random, hideous act of violence. The last phone call he made was to his sister, and they were discussing buying a new pair of pants for their father, who had just lost a lot of weight.

I look forward to hearing that justice is served in this case, and it is my sincerest hope that his family will one day find peace. I know Don is reading this, so feel free to leave comments.

I feel guilty writing my blog these days. Here I am selfishly sharing my good news when other people are suffering unimaginably. I don't know how to apologize for what seems like flippancy in these day-to-day posts.

And yet it feels somehow that this juxtaposition of the happy and the horror---is the essence of this schizophrenic thing we call life.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Fruit Fly Casting Complete

...And here they are! Thanks to all who auditioned. It was a truly surreal experience to see actors making the lines I wrote come to life. We saw so many talented actors, it was really a tough show to cast! Here's a partial list of the leads in the upcoming "Bye Bye, Fruit Fly" (working title).

Starring as VIOLET, the lead Fruit Fly, is Mindy Cohn.
In the 80's, Mindy played "Natalie" on the sit-com Facts of Life. I spoke with her for the first time the other night. She totally gets it! She knows this is an outrageous and raunchy comedy, with humanity at its heart. Mindy is a doll, a committed friend of the gays, and also a brave actress because we put this character through the RINGER. I mean it. Seriously, you will see!

The first thing Mindy said was, "The script is phenomenal, and we are going to have a tickle making this!" Yes, a tickle! She will be flying out from LA, and we are thrilled to have her.

Also flying out from LA is soap star turned stripper Marcus Patrick. He loves to take his clothes off, and we love it when he does! In the film, he will play steamy, secretive Go-Go God "Zeus".

Starring as Violet's co-worker, the glamorous guru SALOME, is gorgeous Kim Allen

My slutty Luke is back for more, as Violet's roommate.

Luke's lust interest is....dancer/actor/model Adrian Armas
JR Rolley returns for thirds, reprising his role of DEREK:
Casper Andreas' character Markus returns from Slutty Summer...gone gayby crazy!

His long term boyfriend, the former-model Tyler, will be portrayed by sexy Sam Whitten
Donna, the lesbian designer...meet Andrea CirieThat's just a partial list. I didn't realize until it came to casting--just how many characters there are in this film. Lots more to come--including a fun cameo by Hedda Lettuce, a hilarious turn by Margret Echeverria, and lots of hot boys in their underwear...or less!

If you'd like to be an extra (most are featured spots), and are in the NYC area over the next few weeks, we can use you! Please email a pic & contact info to: production@embrem.com

Shooting begins this weekend! Want to own a part of it? We are looking for the final few investors to take us through post. Check out our business plan and proposal here!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Adult Baby on the Prowl!

In the Duane Reade pharmacy up on Lexington Avenue I was waiting to pay for toothpaste and saw some xeroxed snaps behind the counter of thieves to look out for!

One was a man, photographed from a security camera in an aisle of the store. On this xeroxed pic it was written, "He goes for the Baby Formula". That is genius. I envision him waddling up to the aisle, pacifier in mouth, stuffing jars of baby formula down his plus size diaper.

When I got up to pay, I mentioned it to the checkout girl. "That's some kind of fetish," I said, and upon closer inspection I noticed that beside "He goes for the Baby Formula" was written, "He is dangerous!"

So of course I had to ask about that and the checkout girls says, "He attacks!"

"The baby formula?"

"Us!" she shrieked.

Adult infants these days. Completely unmanageable.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Anyone for a glass of Cocaine Wine?

What ails ya? Bam Bam's employer is progressive enough to offer health insurance to "domestic partners" (is that what I am?) so after many years....YAY, I've got health insurance! Right?

But have you ever tried to find a doctor in NY? The ones who are covered under the plan are "not taking any new patients" and the others don't take this particular insurance. Health care in this country is a cluster-fuck! I just want a case of cock-a-doody Ambien, for heaven sake.

Maybe also some ritalin and a blood test and a clean bill of health. If only things were simplified, like back in the good old days. In 1885, I wouldn't have to have health insurance to see a doctor.

Or a prescription to pick up these pharmaceutical tonics!

A bottle of Bayer's heroin! Between 1890 and 1910 heroin was sold as a non-addictive substitute for morphine. It was also used to treat children with strong cough.
Metcalf's Coca Wine was one of a huge variety of wines with cocaine on the market.
Mariani wine (1875) was the most famous Coca wine of it's time. Pope Leo XIII used to carry one bottle with him all the time. He awarded its manufacturer, Angelo Mariani, a Vatican gold medal.
Very popular for children in 1885. Not only did they feel no pain, they couldn't wait to do chores!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Not a G'Day Down Under

Chris O'Brien was by all accounts a brilliant man. He was a cancer expert and one of Sydney's (and the world's) top brain cancer surgeons. Then, in a sick twist of irony, he himself contracted tumors of the most lethal type of brain cancer.

That was 2 and a half years ago and since that time, he underwent 5 major operations, wrote a best selling memoir, and secured the funding for a $150 million cancer at the Royal Prince Albert hospital where he not only worked, but where he starred as himself in a popular Australian reality show called RPA. With his family and Prime Minister Rudd at his side--Chris O'Brien died yesterday, and the sad news was featured on the front page of the Syndey Morning Herald.

Chris was also Bam Bam's brother-in-law. He was amazing and will be greatly missed. I had the great fortune to meet him several times and my sincerest condolences go out to his family, and to everyone he touched. He is being honored with a state funeral in Sydney. Bam Bam leaves this afternoon.

*not that there has been any proved connection between cell phones and brain cancer, but the incidence of this type of tumor has spiked in recent years, so for the doubt---use your earpiece.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Pre-production Finals!

Casting is nearly finished. Locations locked. We need your help for the last big/little details!

Want to be a part of it? Credit, cameo, and branding opportunities are available!

Being low budget, we couldn't do it without you! Looking for assistance in the following areas:

Miscellaneous:

Airlines miles (or a plane ticket). We've cast this stud, and are bringing him out from LA. To find out more about why he's the absolute perfect pick for the go-go fag stag in the script, check out the steamy pics/story here!
Plastic plants. Odd request---but got any we can borrow?

Art.
Are you an artist? A photographer? If you loan us your work, we can use it on the sets. Great exposure!

Costume Designer. We're looking for something fancy you've already created, to be prominently featured on mannequins in a showroom. We're also looking for a couple of items to be created, such as: a pleather catsuit for the main character! Want to make it? This will get some major play, and probably the DVD cover. Compensation offered.

Locations
We still need to lock down a Manhattan rooftop. Haven't found the perfect one yet. Looking for Midtown-esque. This is for a party scene, afternoon into the evening one day this month. We've got insurance and can pay small fees. Will need official building permission.

Nightclub Lounge. Are you an owner or manager? Know one?

Spacious 1-BR apartment in NYC. Not-too high end, and needs an open kitchen area.

People!

Partners! We've got enough to take us through production, now looking for the final investors to bring us through post. We'd love your involvement. Be part of film history! Check out our business plan and proposal here.

If you can help out with any of the above, please write me: jesse@jesseonthebrink.com

Extras. Want to be an extra in the film? Most will be featured, some will get a line. Please send a picture of yourself, with contact info to: production@embrem.com

Some particular extras we are looking for (definitely featured):
attractive black man, 30's, who cruises the females at a deli.
Very feminine gay man, any age.
Young fag hag, with her young gay boys.

Thank you in advance, I'm so grateful!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Gone Rural!

Not that they ever were really in the city, just the suburbs, but my parents are taking a big leap!

Back in the 1980's my father built a log cabin on the banks of a river in rural Washington. He was a distance running coach, and held summer training camps for his runners. I spent much of my childhood here.

The cabin is lop-sided, is heated with a wood cook stove, and looks like it was built in the 1680's. I watched it go up. My ancestors settled the valley, so we have many local relatives that live, work and farm the area. My dad retired last year, and they have sold our family home in Beaverton.

That was okay, but what I hate to accept is that they are going to tear down the little cabin!

They've drawn up plans to have a house built on the property, where they will live out their days.
"You don't have to tear down old memories to make new ones," I told them. But when I get over my shock and sadness I realize I'm very proud of my parents for taking that leap and moving up to the middle of nowhere. They're sort of kind of almost a little bit Bohemian.

Go Mom & Dad!!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

They do, they just HAPPEN!

I'm having my immortal mantra emblazoned on a t-shirt. My character will wear it in the film.




Verrry LUKE, n'est-ce pas?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Scenesters on the sand!

Pensacola: it's a panhandle world. One where gays and lesbians mingle peaceably! After a rainy start to the long Memorial weekend, it was really sunny on Sunday.

I spent most of the afternoon in a gigantic raft, out on in the breakers, with about 15 strangers all hanging on for our lives against the crashing waves. We really thought we were pirates, saving one another from the high seas. It was the most fun I've had in a LONG time.

Before and after that, I managed to capture some photos of the crowd along the beach. The most interesting part, sociologically, was observing lesbians in their natural habitat.
Land Lubber
These three lady-couples, in action. Their mating habits were a treasure to behold.
These two used the natural environment to create seats! When I complimented them on their industrious creation of the sand burm chaise-lounge, they said, "We'll make you one!"
Black Wendy is serving it up! She promised us each a 99 cent Frosty.
Here we are devouring Black Wendy. She was a fan favorite.
Tim and Brent - surf's up!
This bootylicious boy, Cornelius, showed us his moves all day until he attempted a back tuck...and was rushed to the hospital with a broken foot.
Tim, Cooldan, Bam, Brent, Jesse. It appears this pose was the only one in my arsenal that day.
Shake your hips for Cooldan!
Hey, Southern Belle!

We had an after party at this guys rental, and when he brought out the watermelon I was like..."A black man and watermelon? That's like...racist!" He was an excellent sport.
The only architecture of note...