Category Archives: FABULOUS TRAVEL

Life’s road takes me on many Fabulous Adventures. I love sharing them and will do so here. Traveling is a big part of my life (and blog) and always has been. From Las Vegas to Nashville to Manhattan, few roads have yet to see my feet.

The Best Time Las Vegas Can Offer

Las VegasWhen we arrived last Saturday afternoon to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas I was truly elated! I know Jacques was happy to get out of town for a few days and it’s always good for us to have this great escape. The Cosmopolitan is our home away from home when in Sin City. It is special to us and we feel proud to say we stay there. This trip was no exception. And like a friend on Facebook said in response to one of my “look at me I’m in Vegas” posts, what happens in Vegas is shared on my Facebook wall. Here’s what you missed…

THE STORY CONTINUES HERE…

Las Vegas Rocks Our World This Weekend

The Cosmopolitan of Las VegasMy man and I are heading to Las Vegas tomorrow for some culinary revelry at Scott Conant’s “Italian Heaven” Scarpetta inside our weekend home, The Cosmopolitan. We have stayed at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas the last six trips we’ve made to Sin City and we would have it no other way. I’ve written countless words of worship about the place. Here’s a few more!

THE STORY CONTINUES HERE…

Why I Want To Become Mr. E.O.Y. 2014

Why I Want To Become Mr. E.O.Y. 2014 – An Open Letter

Steven MichaelI’ve decided to enter the National Mr. Entertainer of the Year 2014 contest because I believe it’s the best system overall for me as a professional performer to give who I truly am each and every time I step on the stage. I have big plans for my future as a representative of the E.O.Y. system because let’s face it, win lose draw, we involved are all representing Entertainer of the Year, crown or not. It’s where I belong. There are other choices but when given the logistics, politics and bigger picture, here is where I set my determined roots for the road ahead.

THE STORY CONTINUES HERE…

Palm Springs Happenings in 2014

Palm SpringsIf you live in Palm Springs then you know the usual schedule of must-be-at events and happening where-it-is places. But for our great tourists and excited visitors coming this way sometime in our very near future, here’s a few fun and frolicking festivities one must be aware of to make informed decisions on where to be and who to do. Get your favorite Sharpie out and let’s mark a few initial events on that cute calendar of The Wanted!

THE STORY CONTINUES HERE…

Britney Spears Rocks Planet Hollywood Las Vegas

Britney Spears StoreI was hoping to take a hot minute or two off from it all upon my return from our Sin City Christmas but since everyone has chimed in about Britney Spears’ opening night of her 100-show residency at Planet Hollywood, it’s my turn. Granted my seat wasn’t as close as say Miley Cyrus’ 50-yard-line worshiping center of Britney’s universe but I could see just fine. That’s considering I was on my feet 95% of the show. Sorry for the ones behind me watching me shake my ass, wave my fists and film a majority of the show who were not joining in. It’s a concert performance. GET UP!

THE STORY CONTINUES HERE…

Fabulous Palm Springs Follies Grand Finale

Fabulous Palm Springs FolliesI love a good show. Entertain me, please! For 23 years the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies have been thrilling audiences and saluting the troops of proud America while employing some of the longest and most mature performers at their theatre situated in downtown Palm Springs anyone has ever seen.  Due to a struggling economy the show will be bringing down its curtain one final time for their 23rd and final season. Here’s the story…

THE STORY CONTINUES HERE…

Britney Spears Appears at Planet Hollywood

Britney Spears ToxicUnless you live under a rock then you are keenly aware that our Pop Princess Britney Spears is about to set up shop and begin residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas beginning December 12 and continuing for two years with approximately 50+ shows of greatest hits and material from her upcoming album including #1 track Work Bitch and guess who has a ticket for opening night?! Me, that’s who!

THE STORY CONTINUES HERE…

Spectacular Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan Returns

Ice Rink Cosmopolitan I recently received the press release I had been waiting desperately for. Last holiday season we found ourselves enjoying the Ice Rink at the Boulevard Pool above the Las Vegas Strip at The Cosmopolitan for my birthday with our girlfriend Amber, a showgirl from the Luxor show of bombshell beauties Fantasy. The weather was stunningly crisp and just perfect for exciting rounds of skating across the iced-over pool underneath the 2995-room mega resort that we have called home the last 4 times we’ve descended on Sin City. And we’ve just now booked our next  holiday excursion for Xmas because as I swear there’s no place like The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas anywhere. And here’s why…

THE STORY CONTINUES HERE…

Our Current State of Gay Pop Culture

When it comes to hottest happenings in gay pop culture, fierce gay fashion trends and the sickest beats of gay club music being poured through speakers, I am a 100% admitted know-it-all. Surely you’ve known this before now or you wouldn’t be reading these words… and don’t call me Shirley.

lady-gaga-artpop

Our Mother Monster has her new ARTPOP coming out very soon and early release Applause has came barreling out of the gate with major airplay. And this comes from someone who doesn’t listen to the radio much. Luckily I keep ahead of the pack with comrades on the inside of the business. Early leaks of the Cher infused Gaga track “The Greatest Thing” promises hot remixes to follow. I thought that was never going to be released. Oh, the ways of promotion.

The Sats - Disco Love

Two of my favorite UK girl-group darlings are having little pop stars very soon. The Saturdays’ Frankie Stanford has handled pregnancy with some trial because of stupid paparazzi and media comments of her weight gain. Hello! The girl is growing another human inside her. Give us a break. Good to see The Sats have new single “Disco Love” coming out soon. I’ve have it and it’s fun, fun. Girls Aloud’s goddess and vocal powerhouse Nadine Coyle recently announced that she too is having a wee one. Pop stars pursing motherhood. The inevitable, I assume. Congrats to them both! And good luck with that post-baby bikini body. Can’t wait to see the outcomes, Hot Mammas.

To know me is to know I rarely go out to clubs. Been there, walked those paths for years and have the souvenir mug, t-shirt and pictures to prove it. So glad I lived those moments when I did because unfortunately if you speak with anyone in the bar industry they would be quick to tell you that the days of the big nightclub are over. Hell, even Manhattan staple Splash has closed. That kills me. Every trip to NYC we would stop in and gawk at the gorgeousness employed as mixologists behind the bar, showing off in the showers above the dancing crowds or the general admission of gays and gay lovers cruising the streets of the Concrete Jungle. Splash was a mainstay in New York City and its memory stands with The Gaiety, Arena and a carefree time of life that I often miss greatly.

guy in flip-flops

However, when I was out in Louisville at Connection competing for E.O.Y., I noticed more and more people in clubs are wearing flip-flops for shoes. In my day, wearing tennis shoes was almost a no-no much less exposed feet. Boots were preferable even though there was a definite time I truly got into suede oxfords and black penny loafers without socks. During these days mid-’90s, flip-flops weren’t by any means as popular as they are today. I love wearing them but not in a club. I did wear them around Connection since I was competing for the pageant and it was easier for changing. I did slay one idiot who was drunk spilling his damn drink on my foot. I grabbed his arm and said, “Calm down, lady. You’re spilling your drink. Tune in, girl.” He looked over his friend’s should at me as I went to the bar to grab a towel. Drunk-ass punk.

When it comes to wearing flip-flops, pedicures are a must. If you can’t find yourself a quaint salon then do it yourself. I do mine. The only thing I don’t worry about is the polish and of course the massage with that smelly pink lotion which always seems to be more enjoyable for the cute Asian boys below me. Here’s a fierce manicure/pedicure set that will look great when you travel with your entourage and share space.

Steven Michael

The annual Miss and Mr. Continental pageants are happening Labor Day Weekend in Chicago. Current title holders Sasha Colby and Angel Saez Amador will be crowning two new recipients of the prestigious crown to become part of the legacy that is Continental. Angel contacted me after I was in E.O.Y. to see if I was still interested in competing in Mr. Continental. I was honored but declined since I had just unpacked and was sitting out for a hot minute before I decided what I was doing next. I would love to be there in support and maybe that stage will be in my future but wishing all the contestants good luck is what I offer now.

To be continued…

Experiencing Mr. E.O.Y. ’13 – Competing Nationally

Steven Michael

I’m just getting back to the grind of a casual life in Palm Springs, blogging again and wanting to share my amazing adventures of competing at the Entertainer of the Year pageant in Louisville last week. The road getting there to E.O.Y. was quite swift considering I was just competing in March nationally elsewhere after a huge hiatus from the competitive stage. However, the road to me becoming an entertainer started when I was seven-year-young and moved on down many roads from there. I’ve found the spotlight not only on the stages many would think immediately but I also consider my job and here with my blog the places I find myself entertaining these days.

Steven Michael

I miss the stage. No surprise. If you’re a performer then you know where I’m coming from. Am I too old? I hate that word. I can be older or oldest. Old dictates done. I guess some think I’m too old but not everyone, especially the ones who love and support me the most. Age will never stop me from doing something I feel  passionate about. And on the subject, you will never find out exactly who supports you and really cares either monetarily or just simply attention-wise until you run for something at this scale or possibly need their help. Trust that. No Tea… If someone you know is getting ready for something as important as, hmm, running a national pageant, body building contest, job promotion, whatever, just a simple message of support or text means almost as much as a few dollars do. Almost. We’re excited about what we’re doing. Ask us and we are usually too happy to share. Plus, it helps hearing it all said aloud.

Steven Michael

Sponsorship naturally is very important and without it I wouldn’t have been able to run. Many of us wouldn’t. I will not go broke doing these contests and encourage others to realize it is what it is, too. It doesn’t work out for everyone. The winning. I’ve lost more than I’ve won if you’re counting trophies. Have fun with what you do and enjoy the life moment. You take the risk and step on stage when many others wish they could or would. Among many faithful generous confidants, my dearest friend Dimitri James at SKINN has been such an amazing support system for #teamstevenmichael that he is the reason I am able to do what I do. If you’re a contestant who runs for a contest, thank your sponsors as much as you can. They make you.

Steven Michael

And phone calls are so rare these days that it’s the ones who make that effort to pick up the phone and verbally check-in who really make a caring impact. People get wrapped up in their own agenda and I get that. Those calls mean so much especially from people who know the real you and can be honest telling you like it is. We often have people around us who tell us what we want to hear, especially when you have power and pride of the pen like me. If you reached out to me during my run for E.O.Y. with support, I worship you and you know that. I will always listen to what you have to say. Know that, too.

Steven Michael

As soon as I made the decision to enter Mr. E.O.Y. I was off and running. I am very, very blessed that I was able to bring exactly what I wanted to the stage without compromising or cutting corners because of financial desperation. I was even in a position to sponsor my amazing dancers myself with the tips and donations by members of the gym I had collected from the breath of decision until departure. It worked out perfectly as did they, my dancers Madolyn, Kelley, Kelsey and Arielle. Thanks to YouTube (and lots of texting, trusting and Facebook messages) I was able to video choreography and they got together at Legacy Dance to space it and work it out. I knew that they would be everything. We all come from the same dance background and studio (just 20 years later) and their technique was on point.

Steven Michael

I flew into Nashville after a flight delay and upgrade to first class (Thanks, Delta Air!) and arrived late missing one night of rehearsals and time with mom who generously sponsored my travel. I ran around town after I checked-in to wind down, grabbed some food and then back to bed at my home away from home at Radisson Airport. Love that place, always! Fed Ex had delivered my packages there before I arrived so it was all safe and snug behind the front desk. I was set!

Trinity Taylor - Steven Michael

Wednesday I had a great breakfast in Nashville with mom and my best friend Kristin at Cracker Barrel before heading to Legacy Dance for rehearsal. I walked in and after a major Kiki session with my dancers we got started. They twirled and twerked for Daddy Bear, for reals. Even Thomas and Charles at Hedge on Perez Road donated to #teamstevenmichael by sending ahead 4 beautiful candles for my girls to enjoy as appreciation. It couldn’t have gone any better considering we had very little rehearsal together. Hire professionals and thank yourself later, I say. We blocked the performances and after a few solid run-throughs, I was on the road to Louisville. No rest for the wicked and weary competitor. Me.

Steven Michael

Traffic was ehhh leaving Nashville so it took me a hot minute to get past downtown but once I got into Louisville, I was there! I stayed with a former roommate Tyler who lived close to The Connection and it was great to reconnect with him. Exactly what I needed. It had been way too long. I had reserved hotel rooms at Candlewood Suites for the dancers to arrive the next day but staying at a close friend’s place was perfect for me. Plus, Tyler had agreed to be my drag slave for the contest. He was very in-tune with what I needed as a competitor. I had been down the same road with him years ago. Tyler rocked my stay and kept me grounded.

Angel T. Stratton - Steven Michael

Unfortunately, soon after I pulled into town a group of boys walking down the street decided to throw a handful of those orange crackers with the peanut butter inside through my open window and pelt my dashboard with them causing orange cracker to go everywhere. Whoosh! Amazing aim. Crackers for the crackers, I guess. It was shocking to say the least. Luckily it wasn’t a rock. Many reasons went through my head as to why but the bottom line is that we continued driving and got where we needed to go safely. It could have gone awry quickly if I had said and done what was on my mind. It made me wake-up, that’s for sure and see my surroundings. I get very comfortable in Palm Springs. And I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, Toto. That was the only heavy instance along these lines while I was there in Louisville, thankfully. The rest of the stay was everything!

Steven Michael

The next morning I arrived at registration early as instructed. Not everyone got there to The Connection when they were suppose to but I wasn’t keeping score. I was worried only about myself and getting my dancers safely to town. Xavier Cole, Mr. E.O.Y. 2012, spoke a few minutes while we picked contestant numbers, turned in music, entry fees, applications, et al. He reached out and checked in with me while I was getting ready here in California which meant a lot to me as a contestant. Once the girls arrived, I let them know I had picked #12 out of 13 so it would be a minute or two before we started. I was happy with that draw but I was even more happy I that everything I needed the girls for was the first night. I knew they’d have a complete blast and get job offers which they did on both accounts.

Steven Michael

Rehearsals went well considering we needed to quickly figure out spacing on that grand stage at The Connection. It gave us a chance to meet (and scope out) the competition and see what game everyone else was bringing. It was on! I could see it was going to be a great show. If I compete and win I want to compete and win against the best. If I’m to have my face cracked I also want it to be by the best. We got the girls checked-in and paid their monies so that was done. I promised that once they arrived I’d pay them in full and I did. Business first, Hunty. Treat people like professionals and they in turn return professionalism.

Tiffany McCray

After a great meal at Tyler’s, shower and packing, I got back to the club and the evening began. The Kings of E.O.Y. were competing along side of us and then the Miss contestants joined in the next evening and finished off Sunday night at the Horseshoe Casino. The energy backstage was fierce and exciting. CeZanne was emceeing the contests which I lived for. She ran that audience and show how things needed to be done. It was so good to see her and reconnect over the course of the next 3 nights. Terry Vanessa Coleman also ran backstage like military camp – a really fun rigid, do-it-like-this-and-don’t-pull-shade military camp. It worked very well. The gorgeous Vanessa DeMornay also emceed and she is one hell of a performer! I loved the feeling and space I was in.

Steven Michael

Presentation category was first. It went very well. I felt the stage, dug the balls of my feet into that floor and shwerqed it all over. I threw my D a bit and the girls did amazing  giving me exactly what I needed. Me dressed in a fierce yellow shirt with blinged-out cuffs and my ladies with snatched-back buns, white dress shirts and black heels serving Vegas Realness. I felt incredibly comfortable every time I was onstage. I was handed the microphone and spoke well saying everything I planned on mentioning all sponsors, city, contestant number and name. Short and sweet. The moment was incredibly real and really wonderful.

Steven Michael

Next, the contestants were split down the middle and rotated between Talent and Onstage Q/A. I was able to speak about my dear sister Ashley Kruiz during my Q/A and how writing about her passing was one of my all-time favorite blogs because it came from the heart. Plus she had made such an impact on that very stage it felt like the only thing I wanted to discuss. When I said the words Ashley Kruiz, the house went up. It was fabulous. I spoke well, took my settling breath and again said everything I wanted to. I love the microphone and have no problem speaking into something so big and black. Stop… You’re being silly.

Steven Michael

Talent time. Our production began and it was about 2 a.m. Whew. This race is not for the weak and weary. It’s abusive to your body but performance is often that way. Plan ahead getting food in your system and rehydrate constantly, I encourage. We nailed this dance production. There were a couple of heres and theres that could have used some polishing off but I’m very happy with the way we performed. I was on my words and we had a really fun time with it all. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, too. Delorian Chase turned my mix out and she too gave me exactly what I wanted for my crowd and judges. After a sleepy pass through White Castle on the way home I fell into bed around 3.

Steven Michael

The next day and actually most of my time I spent perched on Tyler’s back porch enjoying the unseasonably cooler weather. Friday evening I had Creative Evening Wear and a dear friend Jana who I danced with when we were 18 brought up her daughter Rue who escorted me for the category. I had a beautiful faux mink coat atop my bling encrusted tuxedo that needed tending to by a stunning size 0 bombshell. Check, please. It meant so much that Jana made the effort to come and support in such a way. Rue and I look so incredible. Flawless. I believe the mink was a risk but I stand by it. I knew I’d stand out.

Steven Michael

Saturday my dear Carmella Marcella Garcia (George T. to his friends) made the trip up to visit with old friends (Tyler and I) and enjoy a cookout including Laird from The Connection who took me down memory lane and beyond, Tyler’s fabulous daughter Salina with super boyfriend Jason and her son. It was a wonderful relaxing moment and I loved it. It was perfect. I enjoyed my pre-Swimwear category meal of a Tic-Tac and single ice cube. Nah… close. Ask anyone that knows me and they shall tell you that I eat no matter when.

Steven Michael

Being it was the final night of competition for me with only the Creative Swimwear category and crowning, I felt a sense of bittersweet come across me as I did when I was finishing up the preparation. I thoroughly enjoy the hard work, the prep, the decision making, blinking I find very therapeutic and of course the stage time and spotlight warmth I worship. I really don’t have any opportunity to perform these days to this scale so if I have to go and find it, so be it. If I’m able and have the desire to, I will. I made a great piece of jewelry to wear with the Aussiebum suit my love Jeremy Barnes donated to my cause. The goddess Trinity Taylor, who was dressing my sister Tiffany McCray competing for Miss, escorted me out and we served the children in our virgin white. She looked hot! I gave them some gratuitous cake shots and swaggered on off.

Steven Michael

I forgot to mention that for the opening number of this same night, we male contestants were given headless costumes to put on so we would all be standing there headless holding our own heads. Cute gimmick. Cheap costumes. David Freklz Hunter was helping me with mine just as it broke. I called out, “STUNTS!” and we laughed it off trying to piece it back together. Sure enough, we are all out there in our individual headless moments and and I start to scoot across the stage all eerie, my frame comes loose again and starts to fall off. I quickly dash behind stage right shuffling to get it back on somehow. Here I finally come back out holding it in place with my left hand and my head in my right. It was a mess. I committed to what I was doing and kept going.

Xavier Cole - Steven Michael

It was crowning time and I popped on my tuxedo from Creative Formal Wear changing the shirt and tie. When it was all said and done, and this is how I saw it, David Freklz Hunter brought his strongest game and swept 4 of 5 categories taking the title of Mr. E.O.Y. 2013. He was by far the winner, I admit that honestly. When it comes to me, I didn’t place but my scores were incredibly consistent and strong except for the judge who scored me half of what they did everyone else. If they had thrown out highs and lows it could have been different but when I saw that only one judge gave me such low scores across the board I actually just laughed. Maybe a Daddy Bear done him wrong once or maybe she does’t like California. Who knows?! I’ll never know because they also don’t give out comment sheets afterwards.

Steven Michael

It’s ALL so subjective you must enjoy the adventure or you’ll find yourself empty-handed too often. Next time, I’ll simply have to give them something they can’t refuse. And will there be a next time for me? I always say if that, meaning my last performance, was the last time I ever get on a stage and do what I love, I want it to be under my terms and completely my way. With every decision a consequence. We know that but it never rings more true during the height of competition. I would love to do it again but for now everything is packed away and closed up for the season. Although, I could use a hit of e6000 and glue a rhinestone on something. Stay tuned…