every little step

So I want to talk about the movie I saw on Saturday. It is called Every Little Step, and you can see the trailer below.

Let me start off by saying I am not a Broadway gay. I don't really know the first thing about it. So don't be turned off or scared away if you're not a musical theater guy. I didn't really expect to like it either; I just went with a friend who really wanted to see it. But it was excellent!

It is the story of A Chorus Line, which even I know is an (maybe THE) iconic Broadway musical. It follows the process of casting the recent Broadway revival of the show, and also has flashbacks to the making of the original in the 1970's. Actually, now that I think about it, it's very meta...it's a movie about actors trying out for a musical which is a revival of a musical which is about actors trying out for a musical and is based on a series of conversations among a bunch of actors telling their stories about trying out for musicals.

I have to admit, I didn't have a whole lot of interest in the bits about the original production. I do remember when I was growing up my parents had the soundtrack, but wouldn't let me listen to it (presumably because it's a bit racy, but I don't know, I've never seen the show). So I was always interested, just because it was taboo, but that's about as far as it went.

The part I found really fascinating was the casting of the revival. They follow a couple of the actors, which made it kinda reality-TV-esque, in a way. Except these are not lame wannabes searching for easy and fleeting celebrity. These are real professionals, living their dreams. It was nerve-wracking, and had all sorts of emotion just because you are following these characters you have come to like as they try out for one of THE most important shows they could ever get. The stakes were super high, because they each knew that if they got in it would catapult their careers into the big leagues. I won't spoil it by telling you too much, but one of the auditions was so powerful it had the director of the show crying, as well as everybody in the movie theater, including me. Wow. It's worth seeing just for that.

But the REALLY good thing about the movie is the lessons I took from it. The first was just a throw-away line from one of the actresses, but it's so true: "If you have something to fall back on, you'll fall back." I'm not sure what she meant by that, but this is what I took from it: go balls out! Don't be careful. Especially in the last few years, but really for most of my life, I won't do ANYTHING I don't already know I will be good at. I don't take risks. I ALWAYS have a back-up plan, a way out, an excuse. And I think that's why I feel kinda stagnant. Just recently you all were giving me dating advice, and the best of that advice was to get out there in new groups and meet new people. Volunteer, join a club. But I don't! It's risky, and I might fail, so I don't. So, anyway, that was the first lesson.

The second, and the far more powerful, was from one of the other actresses: "You have to love yourself, because you can't count on anybody else to love you." This movie gave me SO! MUCH! RESPECT! for what actors do (and I'm not talking about movie stars, this is about every day actors trying to make it). I know you're all rolling your eyes, and I would have too before I saw this movie. Especially in LA! We all look down on the actors and think they're kinda silly and frivolous. They wait tables and go to auditions, and then when they're "working hard" they're just acting! How hard could that life be!? It sounds wonderful!! I find myself thinking "Jeezus, grow up and get a real job!" But now I understand how soul crushing it can be, and that I am FAR too weak to do what they do. I couldn't even begin to THINK about doing it.

There is NO way you can get a part in anything serious if you don't pour your heart out in the audition. You have to give it 100%. You have to "not have anything to fall back on." If you go in there trying to save your ego by saying "Oh, it'd be nice to get this part, but I don't really want it THAT bad," you won't get it, guaranteed. You have to be willing to admit not only to yourself (which is hard enough) but to everybody else that you WANT this. And as a result, you have to be willing to risk failure. You have to walk in there, stand in front of a group of people who are judging your every flaw, and you have to say "I am giving you everything I have, and this is the VERY BEST I can do. This is ME, standing in the center of a room all by myself. Everything in my life has led me to this moment, and I need you to tell me whether I'm good enough."

And after being so incredibly vulnerable, you have to be prepared for them to say no. And as an actor, you have to do that again. And again. And again. And again. And again. Some make it into A Chorus Line, and you feel great for them. But some people NEVER make it! They have to learn to love themselves, because they can't count on anybody else do to it. After being turned down for the twentieth time that year, having done their best, they have to find the strength to pack up their bag and work a shitty day job where they have to smile at weak, safe people like me, and then the very next night hold their head high and pick up the next script and try again.

And what I took from the movie (other than that I'm going to give my waiters a lot more respect) is that I don't have even 10% of that courage, self-love, or determination. My god, I can't even imagine what I could accomplish if I were willing to risk myself every day like that! If I would just go out on a limb ONCE like they do every day, either in my work, my extra-curriculars, my social life...everything could be different!

I don't know what it is actors have that make them so strong, but I need that. I need to find out how to get it.

Anyway, go see the film. Right now it's only playing in LA (at the Arclight Hollywood) and in New York, but it will go into wider release in May. Look for it. Here's the trailer:

v

great weekend

I had another great weekend. Friday night was a wonderful dinner party, where I got a glimpse of domestic bliss, homosexual style. It's great to see a loving, married couple and their kid, opening their home to friends. The conversation was great, and the night flew by too fast.

Saturday I just kinda bummed around with my parents, and at night saw a movie, which I'll talk about later this week, because I want to think about it some more first. After that I was driving over the hill and I suddenly got all queasy, light-headed and disoriented. I needed to pull over, QUICK, or we were going to be in trouble. There was no shoulder on the right, and I couldn't see any streets or driveways, so I suddenly swerved left at full speed, in front of on-coming traffic, and bumped my way into a driveway and slammed on the brakes before we ran through their gate. I don't remember what my friend was saying, but I remember the volume of his voice going up as we swerved across the road with headlights headed our way. I feel really bad for making him think he was going to die!

I put my head on the steering wheel and just tried to clear my head. He rubbed my back, which was sweet, but he was otherwise kinda clueless. That was kinda cute, I guess. He put the top down for some air, which helped. He offered to drive, and I should have let him, but I didn't. After we got to his place he asked if I was ok to drive and whether I needed to come in. But I knew I was going to start puking in T-minus 45 seconds and I didn't want an audience, so I told him I was fine, gave him a hug, and sent him in. As soon as he was out of sight I flew out of the car and to the gutter, where I puked for about 30 minutes, fighting off cockroaches. And no, I hadn't had a single drop of alcohol in days. I slept awful, puked again when I woke up, and then was fine. I have no idea what that was. Totally bizarre (one of the most over-used words by gays ever, by the way).

Sunday I went to a farmer's market with a friend and had a delicious chorizo, egg and avocado breakfast burrito. He made me a CD of this awesome DJ whose name I can't remember, and we were listening to that with the top down as he drove. If you haven't noticed a theme, I love to ride (not drive) with the top down and the music up. We then moved some furniture, and went to this lovely woman's house for some tea in her garden. Her house is this eclectic zen sanctuary. It's the kind of place where you could be harried from an awful day, but then you walk in, take one deep breath and a sip of pomegranate tea, and peace is restored. If I ever get a place of my own, I'm bringing her over for design tips. After that I went to a friend's house and bummed around with a couple of his (straight) buddies, talking about a project they're working on that involves a giant dick. That's a story I'll tell some other time.

After that I went to an exceptionally beautiful park with my entire family. We wandered around, talked, and took a lot of pictures. We then had Chinese food and chocolate cake, and now I'm home. On the way I almost crashed my car for the second time this weekend, but this time it was just good old fashioned recklessness. I was curious how fast I could take this hairpin turn. The answer? Not as fast as I tried. I started to spin out, and over-corrected, and then over-corrected again. But I made it. I won't do that again.

And now, back to the grind! Goodnight.

fried dick

Apparently they take their tanning a lot more seriously in LA.

Remember a couple years ago when I used to go tanning a couple times a week? I guess those machines were set for a low toast. Well, I must have had a nuclear powered machine this time. My skin tans pretty easily, so the parts of my body that usually see the sun were already pretty brown from driving with the top down. But I went in that machine naked, and my dick is burnt to a crisp. After 12 minutes. TWELVE!!

It looks bizarre...it's like a reverse farmer's tan. I pulled my undies down to show a friend, and the look on his face confirmed the horror I feel. The board shorts area is so red it makes the rest of me look pale in comparison. I can barely even wear underwear without crying.

I know, I know. You're all going to say I got what I deserve for my vanity. Yeah, yeah, shut your face. I just hope I don't get dick-skin cancer. I learned my lesson.

But my face looks great with this new tan! Next time I'm doing the spray-on.

jesus thinks you're a selfish bitch

I hate (HATE!) those stupid quizzes everybody is doing on Facebook. Actually, I don't hate them. I just hate that they constantly show up in my news feed thing. It's almost enough to make me give up Facebook. In fact, I'm thinking about it.

Anyway, today I saw one I liked. It totally caught me off guard, and I laughed so hard I spit red wine all over my desk.

hahahah! The Jesus I know and love would totally call somebody a twat if they deserved it.

tea-bagging, flying fat people, and jerking off

Be careful with the internet. A friend just sent me a video of himself (with face) jerking off. I assume it was a mistake. My guess is his email program auto-filled my address instead of whatever trick he was trying to contact. Yikes. Delete that shit, people, it's never a good idea.

I read today that United Airlines is going to start charging fat people for two plane seats (with conditions...only if the plane is full, they'll try to get them on a non-full flight etc). My first reaction was "it's about goddamn time!" I've been saying they should do that for years. Have you ever flown to Europe with a sweaty moob resting on your arm? Well I have, and it's not pretty. But now that it actually happened, I'm conflicted.

Somebody commented on the Chicago Tribune article: "Don't discriminate against fat people." First of all, that's stupid. We "discriminate" all the time for rational reasons. I "discriminate" against women when choosing who to date. My parents "discriminate" against other people's children when deciding who to buy gifts for at Christmas. My employer "discriminates" against people who haven't been to college when choosing who to hire.

There are multiple definitions of the word "discriminate." Presumably, the commenter meant "to make distinctions on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit; show preference or prejudice." I suppose it's possible that the executives at United simply hate fat people. But I kinda doubt it. The other definition of "discriminate", which I think is probably more applicable, is "to make sensible decisions; judge wisely."

From a purely business perspective, it makes sense (until obese people outnumber non-obese people, which seems likely to happen in America). They get more letters complaining about fat people than they will from fat people complaining about having to buy two seats. Of course, we all know I don't think "majority rules" is an acceptable way to determine the rights of minorities.

However, I do think certain "discrimination" is merited, even when it doesn't suit me. For example, I HATE the FDA's blood donation policies (as I've discussed before). I think they're scientifically unfounded. But IF they were based on science...if letting gay people donate increased the risk of giving recipients HIV or hepatitis, then it would be legitimate to discriminate against gay people. Even though it would piss me off.

On one hand, many fat people don't want to be that way. I suppose its sorta analogous to me wanting my 6-pack back. I know what I have to do, but I also want ice cream, and I also want to sleep in rather than go to the gym. It's hard to change your body, even if you can. And some people can't...they're just big. Will we start charging super-tall people for the seat in front of them, since that person can't recline? I think that's also logical.

I guess it makes sense in this way: If you take up two seats, you should have to pay for them. If I eat two meals at a restaurant, I have to pay for both of them. Space on a plane (and jet fuel) are finite resources. If you use more than your allotted share (one seat, one bag up to 50 pounds, and one carry-on) then you should pay for that.

But it still just kinda seems wrong. It's embarrassing. It will lead to stigma at the gate when the attendant tells you to cough up another $400, or when they announce that they need people to switch seats so the fat lady can have an empty seat next to her. I don't know. It's a tough one. Thoughts?

And just one more thing that caught my attention today: Republican tea-bagging. I haven't read much about it, but I gather they're protesting taxes, a la the Boston Tea Party. My question is: Are they fucking kidding?!?! Did Democrats sound this loony when Bush was in power, or is this a whole other level of assclown? First of all, where were they when Bush started spending trillions on useless wars? Where were they when de-regulation got us into this mess? Second, Obama is CUTTING taxes for like 95% of Americans! Third, the Boston Tea Party was about "taxation without representation." You got to vote, and you lost, resoundingly. Your views were rejected by the people. Get your history right, asswipes. Fourth, we have to pay taxes!! How do they think this thing goes? If you want battleships to come save you when you're attacked by pirates, and you want schools, and you want interstate highways, you have to pay taxes! Americans are asked to do SO LITTLE for our country. 364 days of the year, we are encouraged to live as selfishly as we want. On April 15, we're asked to contribute a bit of our wealth to make the country run. Believe me, people, I got RAPED by the IRS today. I don't even want to think about what I could have bought with all that money. But it's fair! We all have to contribute! And I have more than most, so I should have to pay more than most. For God's sake, Republicans, shut the hell up.

Oh wait, one more thing. For the three of you who have not seen this yet, I love it! It makes me cry. Never been kissed! Awww!!

online dating

Red wine goes down easy for me, so if I say anything untoward, please disregard. I think I've had one glass too many. Happy Easter! Wheee!

So I'm thinking of trying online dating. It may seem like a strange thing to do in West Hollywood, where we've got cute gay boys coming out the ying yang. (Hmmm, not the image I meant to convey, but we're moving on.) I feel like I've been here long enough to conclude that it's not working for me. Yes, I seem to be able to have sex pretty readily. As nice as that is, it's not that fulfilling. And/or, someday too soon I'll be too old/unattractive/undesirable to make that work for me. It's time to have a real boyfriend. With the exception of that debacle a few summers ago, I have not actually dated anybody, really, since coming out. Pathetic! What has it been, like 4 years? How old is this blog? Ok, 3 years. (Wow, I've been doing this three years?! I'm a fucking machine!) Anyway, too long not to be dating! So I'm giving it a try.

A few problems:

1. In real life, one of my primary problems is that I go for good looks and youth over substance. (Why I do that is a whole other topic I'll get to someday.) I don't know why that would be any different online. I can try to develop the willpower to set my search parameters for like 25+ or something, and I can try to really evaluate the profile before passing judgment on the pictures. But the reality is, looks matter! As wonderful as some guy might be, I'm gonna have to suck his dick eventually, right?! And even worse, kiss him. And if he's fug, I'm not gonna be able to do it. Is there any reason to pretend that's not the case? And fuck you, don't call me materialistic. Admit it. Looks matter! And online, it's so much easier to just click "nope!" At least in a bar, you can be swept off your feet by his charm or wit or whatever. But when the best picture he has to post looks like Jabba the Hutt with buck teeth and zits...what am I supposed to do?

2. Related to the first point, but the paragraph was getting too long: the kind of guy I want to have sex with is very different from the kind of guy I want to marry. How do I reconcile that? I know the standard answer: If you love somebody enough, you'll want to have sex with him. Looks don't last anyway, so you have to be interested in the whole package. Blah, blah. I know. And I honestly do hope I find somebody I love so much I don't care when his boobies start to sag and he sprouts hair in unnatural places. I mean, that's the point, right? But how do you get to that point through an online dating service? There are thousands of guys, and they start to seem like trading cards. So you just discard them for trivial reasons: "Meh, big nose" or "Oh my, incorrect spelling in the profile, he's obviously cro-magnon" or "He doesn't drink...boring!" None of those are fair reasons to pass somebody over. But when you have thousands to choose from, you have to winnow it down somehow. So how does it work?

3. Online dating is far more efficient than real dating, but I still don't have time. I mean, eventually you have to meet one or two of these jokers. But you have to coordinate schedules, and what if they live in Tarzana or some shit? That's complicated. Sure, you get to cull out the chaff first, but still, people are crafty. They will present themselves one way online, and be something else in person. And I'm far too polite (really!) to just walk away. I'd sit through a date. And then I've wasted a perfectly good Friday night on some schlub.

4. How do you write a profile!? EVERYBODY says "The clubs are not my scene, but I can have a good time every now and then" or "I like a night out, but I'm also happy to stay home and cuddle while watching The Notebook on DVD" or "I'm looking for an intelligent guy who can challenge me to be a better man." Puke! I mean, all of that is true, right? For everybody! So if you take these profiles as evidence, EVERY HOMO IN LOS ANGELES IS IDENTICAL!! Who is going to say "I'm a total Weho flaming faggot drag queen hopped up on ecstasy every weekend. If you ask me to stay home and watch a DVD I'll claw your fucking eyes out." Nobody will say that. But there ARE guys out there like that! So everybody says the nice middle of the road shit to attract the widest audience. People say what they think people want to hear, rather than the truth. False advertising!

And just like that, I lost interest in finishing this post. I'm hungry and I need to go watch The Amazing Race. So I'll have to say more later. For now, I'll just have to wait and see who trolls me first: "You are such a shallow bitch you don't deserve to find anyone!"

In the meantime, has anybody tried online dating? Do you have any tips!? Even though I'm drunk, I do mean this: I want to find somebody special. I realize I have it good, but it's still hard. I want to love somebody, and be loved.

Andy

Today I was Facebook friended by a guy in my second grade class. I stalked him a little, and saw that one of his friends was a guy named Andy.

When I was in sixth grade, Andy was the hottest guy on Earth. Or at least at my school. He was a year older than me, and I was obsessed with him. One day I was doing a fundraiser for a club when he came up to buy something. I narrowly avoided having a heart attack, and I pocketed the 35 cents he handed me. Someday I’ll probably find it stashed away somewhere in the Ziploc bag I put it in. In 7th grade health class, when they gave us handouts showing the male musculature, I imagined that’s what Andy’s body looked like.

One day during PE, when I was in 8th grade and he was in 9th, he showed up and handed a note to the coach. I don’t know why, but for some reason he was joining our class for the day. We played whatever sport it was, and went in at the bell. Our coach was a stickler for showers…EVERYBODY had to take one, every day. I clearly remember I was standing in the locker area and looking toward the showers. Andy came walking out from my right, totally naked, and smiling at a friend he was walking toward. Perfect body. Seriously, perfect. I can still see his abs, all these years later. It was the first time I’d ever seen a penis that kinda stood out a bit even when soft, rather than hanging down. Every muscle was defined, and he looked even better than that health class handout. When I learned to jack off, it was Andy I was thinking about. I’d had crushes on boys before, but Andy was the first guy I had sexual feelings for. Oh man.

He went off to some fancy private high school, and I never saw him again. I didn’t really think of him again, until today. As it turns out, he’s a professional athlete. I’m not surprised. He has a beautiful fiancĂ©e. I friended him on Facebook, and he accepted.