Tag Archives: Celebrities Who Inspire

Cher Hits Ontario Dressed To Kill 2014

Cher Closer to the TruthAfter a good amount of time from the finale of her “Living Proof: The Farewell Tour” which later was coined “Never Can Say Goodbye,” Cher releases brand new music on her 25th album with Closer To The Truth and hits the road with tons of stops across our great lands with her “Dressed To Kill Tour.” I just purchased our tickets for her July 5, 2014 show. Yes, it IS very far in advance but just to get four tickets together with American Express pre-sale I was forced to place us quite a bit behind the front row without going broke. I’ve seen Cher a good number of times and shall revel in the experience no matter where we sit because we may be standing the entire time. Sorry for those behind me. It’s a concert. Stand and watch Cher or sit and stare at my ass. Your pick.

THE STORY CONTINUES HERE…

CHARLIE’S SEVENTH ANGEL – MIKE PINGEL

While bringing you everything fierce happening in gay culture, I simply love interviewing celebrities and people who know celebrities. Something else I really love? Charlie’s Angels. The ’70s phenomenon. The two films. The fabulous Angels. The recent reboot… Well, it wasn’t dreadful. It just didn’t last long enough to get into. Plus, my DVR found the episodes sitting there quietly never really calling out for a play. The original is always worth a watch. Now Charlie’s Angels: The Complete Series is available! Dear Santa…

Mike Pingel is considered the ultimate Charlie’s Angels collector of priceless memorabilia. His personal memories and experiences of life with the Angels, and the vast knowledge Mike has of the franchise is often called upon. Mr. Pingel is quick to answer the need. He is from Angel Heaven. That’s why I called Mike “Charlie’s 7th Angel.” Here’s what he has to say about his lifelong love affair with the Angels.

Steven Michael – Mike, thanks for taking time between visits with famed Angels Cheryl and Jaclyn on the set of The Talk and playing with your trading cards. I want them desperately! You were Farrah Fawcett’s assistant for how long? Any fabulous memories of you and Farrah that you can share that haven’t made it into your new book or print before?

Mike Pingel – “I was Farrah’s personal assistant for two years and we stayed friends after my working relationship ended. One of the best memories was cooking in the kitchen with her. She loved to cook and we had such a good time goofing around in the kitchen.”

Which Angel do you most relate to character wise and actress wise? I’d say I relate to Kelly Garrett the most because she was definitely a constant staple that held the series together. I’ve often felt I’m the glue holding things together. Although I’m super flirty like Farrah’s “Jill.”

“I fell in love with all the Angels, but my favorite angel is Kris Munroe! I began watching the series when Cheryl Ladd stepped into her role after Farrah left. Kris was such a fun character. She was the rookie, made mistakes and provided comic relief. – I feel like Kris most of the time!”

I taped the first episode on our new VCR and was a fan from minute one. I’m envious of your memorabilia. I had some great trading cards that were either lost or clipped along the years. One of the vans. A lunchbox I’d kill for. And something that never came in the mail. A detective kit, I believe. Wonder if there’s someone I could talk to about that.

“I don’t think there was ever a Charlie’s Angels Detective Kit, but I’ve been known to be wrong! HG toys did made a lot of “Beauty Care Kits” so everyone could look like an Angel. There was the official Charlie’s Angels Fan Club Kit which came in the mail and included a Charlie’s Angels fan club card. Maybe that’s what you’re thinking of?”

Honestly, I think that is what it was! Iconic Angel moments for me were “Angels in Chains,” Kelly flying in her belly dancing costume to save the ice show, when they would go undercover as sex workers, Bosley John Bosley, anytime Farrah was on screen, when Sabrina fell in love with the wrong man, “Angels in Paradise,” Kelly’s white bikini poolside photo shoot, Julie riding atop the car hood, Kris’ satin jacket. How about you?

“Oh my… There are so many moment of the show I love and remember. One of the great ones is when Kris is wrestling an alligator. How about the time when Kelly was in a cat fight with a drag queen in “Angels on the Line”? Or the fights in “Fallen Angel” when Kris and Kelly were mad at Jill? Remember the time when Sabrina had to jump into the river with bomb belt attached to her waist? You can’t forget about when then Angels had to get help from Toni’s Boys! – The sexy male version of Charlie’s Angels. The list goes on and on and on… How heavenly!”

Yes, the drag queen murderess was so too much. Or when Kelly was riding the brown tiger of heroin. The song Sally Storm sang in the porn movie. The Miss Chrysanthemum pageant. When they played football with the dyslexia girl. Oh, the fabulosity of it all! Tell me about Rainbow PR. How did that start?

“My world in PR all started with Charlie’s Angels! After CharliesAngels.com was created, the media called and I quickly had to learn how to handle media and myself with them. I worked with larger agencies in Los Angeles, but now I have my company. I’m able to help and take on great clients that I believe in.”

You seem to have a close connection with most of the Angel actresses. Is it difficult staying in touch over the years?

“Not really… I work with Cheryl Ladd and Tanya Roberts on their websites and see the other Angels at events from time to time. It’s like any friendship, even if you have been out of touch – you just start again where you left off. These ladies are truly heavenly and all have been super sweet to me with allowing me into their lives. I’m the luckiest and most blessed man in the world.”

I agree. I’m just green with envy over your time with them. So glad people have kept the Angels in the pop culture for new generations to fall in love with them. Ever think about opening your place up as a collector museum? You seem to have everything they have released. I love it! Do your friends ever think about getting you on Collection Intervention? Where and when did you start your collection and what was your first piece? You must let me come gawk at your treasures sometime. Over 1200+ items, gems and rarities. 

“Well, my collection was in a Hollywood Museum here in Los Angeles in 2006! Most of my friends find the collection a fun hobby. What’s great about Charlie’s Angels is that everyone as a kid had something of the show such as the dolls, lunchbox or trading cards. When I have parties, guests always want to see the collection and touch the thing they had as a kid. It’s pretty cool.”

“I started my collecting as a kid, but later, my parents said I had to grow up and I threw much of what I had out. Later when I arrived to Los Angeles, I went to a party where the host had a large collection of celebrity dolls and they had the set of four Charlie’s Angles Dolls. I said ‘I want those’ and that’s how it began! A box arrived shortly later with the four dolls and twelve doll dresses, and the collection started to grow again!”

What was in your opinion the best season of Angels and what was its demise?

“I think the best was season two with the arrival of Kris Munroe (Cheryl Ladd). That is when I started to watch as a kid. Cheryl saved a show which might have died after the exit of Farrah Fawcett-Majors. Farrah was the ‘it’ girl of the ’70s. The cast and crew had no idea the fate of the show. But Cheryl’s entrance allowed the show to go on for four more years.”

“The demise began with Kate’s exit from the series and the lack of creating a great new Angel character. When Shelley Hack entered as the fifth Angel, Tiffany Welles in 1979, the scripts had a ton of mis-steps including making the new Angel a wallflower for most of the first half of the season which made the audience lose interest.”

Were you a fan of the reboot? What went wrong there? I didn’t hate it but didn’t feel I needed to catch it religiously on time. It didn’t last long.

“I hated the Charlie’s Angles 2011 series reboot, but I really wanted it to work. The writers/producers took a ‘darker’ direction with the Angels. They were all ex-criminals, which was never the premise of Charlie’s Angels.”

“The first mistake was in the pilot when they KILLED off an Angel! What a horrific way to begin a series. The stories where not well thought out and the Angels lacked chemistry. They put three pretty girls in high fashion outfits, made them detectives and presto you have the Charlie’s Angels reboot. There was much more to the series than that. If it was just pretty clothes and detectives the show could be easily duplicated. Charlie’s Angels: Fawcett, Jackson, Smith and Ladd all had a special charm and elegance which came across on the screen.”

“With all that said – I was in front of my TV set every Thursday watching the 2011 show and hoping and praying it would be good.”

Who would you cast in a reboot if you had the offer? What would be the setting? I know you have thought about it!

“I would want to do an Angel hunt casting call. Try to find and recreate that southern bell chemistry that producer, Aaron Spelling found with Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors & Jaclyn Smith!”

All-time favorite episode and why?

“‘Circus of Terror’ is my favorite episode which was actually the first episode Cheryl Ladd filmed. It’s just a fun episode and Kris has knives thrown at her! ‘This has been fun, but I gotta run.’ ~Kris Munroe. My 2nd favorite is ‘Angels at Sea’ with Farrah.”

What made the Angels work as a successful series?

“The chemistry of the actresses made it work. Women wanted to be friends with them, men wanted to date them, teenage boys got those feelings down there and teenage girls had role models.”

Biggest misconception about the Angels?

“I think the biggest misconception was that it was just Jiggle TV. It was so much more than high fashion and hair spray. It portrayed women taking charge in a man’s world. It was a #1 TV show with three females as the leads.”

Think there will ever be a Charlie’s Angels 3 film released?

“Yes, I have heard Drew Barrymore wants to put out another one. It would be fun, maybe with a new crop of Angels.”

I’d love that! I think it’s about time. How were you involved with Drew and McG for the original film? How did that come about?

“I had a few meetings with Leonard Goldberg, Drew & McG. They wanted to get the feel with the look and style of the original Angels.”

When you’re not in Angel Heaven, what is Mike doing for fun? What’s a night out with you like?

“A Pingel night out is a great dinner & cocktails with friends.”

What’s happening next for you?

“My new book on Betty White called ‘Betty White Rules the World: The Ultimate (and Unauthorized) Guide to Television’s Grande Dame’ will be out shortly. The release date for this book has been hard to pin down from the publishers, but I think fans of Betty White will love it! If you need a Betty White fix right now, watch me in Bio.com’s Betty White mini-Bio.”

I hadn’t realized I asked Mike so many wonderful and interesting questions. Sending a BIG HUG to him for sharing his Angelic life and of course to our Angels for years of joy and entertainment. I know our pop culture lexicon would be empty without a certain speaker box spouting out over-the-top assignments to our dear Sabrina, Jill, Kelly, Kris, Tiffany and Julie! The Angels!

Catch Channel Surfing: Charlie’s Angels for EVERYTHING HEAVENLY! ♥

BEN COHEN – HERO EQUALITY ACTIVIST

You’ve seen his image and strong equality stance on gay magazine covers, over the social networks and through media for a few years now. Ben Cohen is a prominent activist for homophobia and bullying. With his Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation he is raising awareness and doing more good each time he appears on behalf of those who care about we gays.

And let’s face it he is really easy on the eyes. A retired England rugby union international player since May 2011, Cohen has dedicated his life it seems to fighting the fight. We are better for having him on our side. We need more straight athletes to come forward in support. He is very brave. Plus, if you couldn’t tell already he seems very comfortable being shirtless or naked. Enjoy the photos. Thank you Google.

Well, all right… here’s another. Actually when I was finding these image gems I realized I had been collecting his images for years and never really knowing who he was.

Oh to be that rugby ball. What?! One last one? Good Night! Go to sleep…

And a final one of Ben Cohen at Portland Gay Pride. A true trooper and damn fine! Deepest deliciousness. It’s nice to see someone use their celebrity for the better of others not themselves. Yes, this is the last one. Or is it?

THE ROYALITY OF LATRICE ROYALE

When I first met Latrice Royale in Ft. Lauderdale many moons ago I knew she was destined for great things. Our circle of friends intertwined during my living adventures in South Florida mid-90s and we casually hung out a few times before I moved away to L.A. She has always been outspoken and larger than life but I believe it was appearing on season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race that gave her a true voice that resonated with not only the gay community but legions of fans that tuned in every week to see the Royale Way. No matter straight, queer, young or golden, Latrice Royale has touched more lives than she’ll be able to realize and ever know. She is the 1 in one in a million.

Every week on RuPaul’s Drag Race it seemed to be Mamma Latrice who would steer the dramarama elsewhere and either support fellow(ette) contestants or set their asses straight for giving others the business. “Oh, the shade. The shade of it all!” We sat and witnessed challenge after challenge dominated by the Madame Royale while others struggled and sashay’d their way back home. When she was eliminated during the round of “lip-sync for your life” against front-runner Chad Michaels I felt virtual daggers nail my heart. I believe America cried with Royale as she stood and thanked RuPaul for “changing her life forever.” I’ve watched every episode of RDR and have never seen a queen pour out such emotion in appreciation for being on the show as Latrice “M*ther F*cking” Royale had.

I have many a confidant in the drag circuit and this round was the first of the previous where the winner and top spots stayed silent among the mouths who spout along the Internet. In past seasons the winner was either revealed online beforehand by the anxious or silly enough was told in confidence by the winner herself and exposed for breach of contract, so I hear. Oh, yes… allegedly. Again, the shade of it all! The girls on RDR are in a tight contract that prevents them from telling the Tea or sharing the results and goings-on while filming and immediately afterwards. I respect that and can honor them by not prying or sticking my blogger-nose where it doesn’t belong. But I do love when I’m aware of the true grease. Just because I don’t share it here doesn’t mean I don’t know. No Tea – No Shade.

My celebrity interview with the ever-popular Royale proves just how in demand these Dolls from the show can be in. The exposure for these privileged entertainers is priceless and prosperous. This interview with Latrice has been over a month in the making. If you follow her on Facebook or Twitter then you know she is one busy gal-on-the-go and I respect that, truly. I know that when life is turned upside down for these girls after the immediate success from being on the show they are being pulled in many directions. I’m part envious and at the same time thrilled that it’s happening to them because the opportunities are endless and life-changing.

Latrice has been one of the most popular stars of the series. With that comes not only the rise in exposure on the traveling drag performance circuit but also responsibility to become more than she was before the show by giving back. Few do this to heart while Latrice has shown many the way by doing something special charity wise in the cities she works in. Of all the entertainers I’ve known and loved before I must admit that Latrice Royale is true drag royalty. I’m thrilled she had time to share what she is able to and has done so here, and that RuPaul has given her such the platform to let people learn how special and inspirational queens can be when given the chance.

Steven Michael – You made it to the final 4. Amazing, Mamma! It seemed that during your final UnTucked that you were almost predicting you were going home by saying a few optimistic goodbyes. Did you feel that way while they were doing their judging that it could be your time to depart? Can you share the feelings you were experiencing during those last few minutes on the show?

Latrice Royale – “I actually did feel it was my time to go… After Phi Phi didn’t win the challenge, I knew what was about to go down. I was okay with it. I had exceeded my goal, broke boundaries, set new standards and made Drag Race Herstory!! It was very emotional for me, just coming to the realization of all that I had achieved.”

You were a strong contender from the beginning. Everyone seemed to evolve and grow through the season. What was the hardest challenge while filming the show? Some of them were crazy…

“I’d say that The Snatch Game was without a doubt the most difficult time I had while filming. I was trying to hold myself from poppin’ completely off on that front row. LOL.”

Yes, those girls were being very immature and amateurish. The camera caught your angst and disgust. Thanks from the audience for reading them backstage about it afterwards. What are you feeling right now about you soaring popularity? How is it possible to handle in real-time? Everything has happened rather fast!

“This whole new life has completely surpassed any and all expectations that I had in my mind. I really and truly just wanted to share my story in hopes that it might inspire and motivate people. I had NO clue the effect that I would have on so many peoples lives.”

First we were thrilled to see you cast and then the way you opened your heart and soul to the cameras impressed everyone in my circle here in Palm Springs. The show is our around-the-espresso-machine talk topic at work. Can’t wait to see you on Drag U. Do you enjoy the traveling aspect of this or would you rather be staying close to home, so to speak? And those baggage fees! ACK!

“LOL!!! NO, no! I love it!!! This has been my dream to travel the world! I am so glad I’m touring my great country first before traveling abroad. I definitely am looking forward to traveling to lands far and distant.”

I admit that I love traveling, too! It is a production but I’ve done it enough to know how to make the most out of it. Tell us the biggest misconceptions about the following:

RuPaul’s Drag Race:

“People seem to think that it’s easier than what it actually is. It looks effortless on TV, however, there is so much more than meets the eye.”

Latrice Royale:

“Well, before the show, people thought that I was yet another ‘FAT, SLOPPY, NON-TALENTED’ QUEEN! During the meet the queens pre-show days, the kids were letting me have it. Based on my video, I could understand that you may have not gotten the true essence of who I am and what I’m all about. This is why I wasn’t really bothered by it, cause I knew the ‘Haters’ would have to turn around and EAT IT!!!”

Trust, Mamma! Tell it. Biggest misconception about doing drag as a living:

“That it’s all glitter and rhinestones!!! LOL. No, baby! It is a job that you must invest in or you will NOT go far. And by invest I mean emotionally, physically, mentally and most of all FINANCIALLY!!”

Your fellow LadyBoy contestants …

“That we actually really and truly love and care about one another. Some girls took their character to the extreme. However, Phi Phi is a sweetheart and so much fun to be around. LOL.”

Precisely. It makes for great television! Who is/are your inspiration(s) and who started you in all of this in the beginning of your career?

“My biggest influence in my drag career has been Tiffany Arieagus. My first drag show was at the Copa Ft. Lauderdale in her weekly Drag Wars contest.”

That’s when we first met. You were just starting out. It’s been fun to live this vicariously through you and I know others would admit to that, too! We just love you! What would you tell up and coming little Latrices who want to grow up and be just like you?

“Pride yourself on being the best person you can be. Don’t get caught up in the shady aspects of drag. Know who you are as a person and accept everything there is about you: Good, Bad, Indifferent!”

What do you think it was about your audition tape that the producers and RuPaul saw that made them cast Latrice Royale and want you in season 4?

“My tape was completely stripped down. Not over produced and super edited. It was me raw and to the point. Funny and witty, cause that is just a part of who I am, and I think they loved it.”

Well, Miss Congeniality. They weren’t the only ones! Your Royale Court is a’plenty and a proud strong faithful bunch. Hope they are scooping up those fabulous t-shirts and bling on your website LatriceRoyale.com! I worship the rhinestone crown pendants on the chain. Just saying. Any last thoughts you’d like to share with your fans and followers?

“I’ve lived a very interesting life. I come from a very humble background, and I have some life experiences that I am not very proud of. However, be that it may, I wouldn’t trade them in for all the money in the world. God only puts on you as much as you can bare and my mother instilled strength and perseverance in me. No regrets! All this would not have been possible if I didn’t have my testimony of life. Dreams really do come true!”

You are really living the dreams of gay-boy-wanna-be-showgirls and many of your peers in the community. What’s in store for Latrice “M*ther F*cking” Royale? Immediate plans for the future? Sex Change? Beginning your transition into female? Anything you can share?

“Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!! Are you kiddin’ me?? Child, please!!! I love that I’m all MAN! I am definitely working on other projects so this not the last you will hear of Latrice. Just stay tuned!”

I’m thrilled the way the interview turned out and thankful to Latrice for taking precious moments from her hectic schedule to share even more of herself so selflessly. Catch Latrice Royale on Drag U starting June 18 with sisters Raven, Alexis Mateo, Raja, Manila Luzon, Willam, Mariah, Shannel and Pandora Boxx just to name a few of the professors teaching the rules of drag queendom to hopeless women.

Read my Interview with Shangela here. 

Read my Interview with Alexis Mateo here. 

THIS IS DELORES T. VAN CARTIER

I first met Delores T. Van Cartier in January of 2011 as I was in Tampa judging my  best friend Bob Taylor’s Miss Gay Florida USofA pageant at the Honey Pot. I had heard of DTVC and her reputation as being someone who was a strong competitor and a good friend to many. So it was no surprise when Delores confidently walked into Interview, smile blazing and pulled her chair up closer to talk to we judges including reality royalty Tabatha Coffey, former Miss America Ericka Dunlap and the current reigning Miss Continental Alexis Gabrielle Sherrington. I was a fan of Miss Van Cartier from the minute GO.

Delores channeled the lady Patti Labelle during her talent like I had also heard that she does so brilliantly. Mamma walked her beaded evening gown to perfection and her drag was stunning. And in one fair swoop deservedly won the pageant and headed off to Miss Gay USofA where she placed in the Top 5. I loved being there for Bob’s last Miss Gay Florida USofA preliminary, judging the girls and being part of something so magical. The evening was Spectacular! Spectacular! 

As far as pageant promoters go in the drag industry, my BFF Bob Taylor made his mark and set the bar so high that jealous people pathetically have had to resort to tragic shadiness in order to barely reach his respected standards. He left them all in the dust. Although retired for now from that promotional aspect of competitive drag, Bob continues to make great strides for entertainers and enriches people’s lives by being in them. The “T” in Delores T. Van Cartier stands for Taylor because Daddy Bob’s family of fierce drag hellions is a supportive clan – strong and wide. They ALL have a unique voice being heard in the circuit today.

In the past year, Miss Van Cartier and I have become very good friends. I even had the joy of judging her at Scott Gonyaw’s All American Goddess at Large pageant in Dayton, Ohio. She was amazing but so were many other girls. It was a very close contest and I was thrilled to be part of it watching her stand among the Top 5. I love judging because I have the best seat in the house! Delores was fierce and gained tons of exposure and experience that then led her to winning two national titles back to back, Miss Gay United States at Large 2012 and Miss Large and Lovely 2012. That a girl! Can’t settle for just one gorgeous punchbowl? Fine, take two! She well deserved it for missed opportunities of the past. So damn proud.

One of the things I love about Delores is that she usually flies solo which is how a true superstar rolls. Entourages are cute but when a performer and title holder can travel alone and win doing a solo talent without a desperate series of “death-drops” with eight dancers crowding her then she’s the one to have around. Delores is real, approachable and honest. You know how she feels about you without the hesitation of quandary. Of the many transsexuals I know and love, DTVC is all woman and a true lady. And I’ve known a few in my day.

Enjoy this banter between the two of us through texting, emails and the ole’ fashion telephone about her life right now, plans for the future, how she can’t stand RuPaul’s Drag Race and advice to little drag queens in training.

Steven Michael - It’s truly been your year. High placement at two national pageants and then winning two national pageants. How are you feeling and is this everything you ever wanted?

Delores T. Van Cartier – Well quite honestly, I really don’t know how I’m feeling. (smiles) There is a mixture of feelings: overjoyed, numb, shocked, sedate, excited, challenged, eager… just to name a few; but definitely a feeling of humbleness and gratitude over all. For those types of entertainers who are pageant girls the ultimate prize is national recognition and then beyond so this is a start of everything I’ve ever dreamed of yes.

I can imagine! Unbelievable but imaginable consequences for jobs well done! When you do your walk as a national title holder at the other systems’ pageants, which crown will you be wearing? Is it hard to choose?

The choice is not hard at all. I will wear the newest crown that I received which is Miss Gay United States at Large. However, I will hold the other in my hand which is Miss Large and Lovely. I feel that because it is very uncommon to be able to hold two national titles at the same time in one year it is very important to represent both in a manner that is respectful to both systems while not being disrespectful to the other and not intertwining the two. I’m extremely proud of both and will represent both when asked to walk.

Brilliant! I was so excited about getting these answers back because I knew they would be well thought through and trailblazing for other entertainers that can learn from you, gal! Are you a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race and how do you feel about the fact there’s never been a transsexual on cast? How has Ru changed/hurt/helped the face of drag?

I absolutely am not a fan of Drag Race, at all. First of all in today’s gay community there is so much prejudice against one another and I’m not talking about black and white. In some cases, one group of people can’t party or don’t party with the other because at some functions they are not socially accepted. For example, a club that has mostly men don’t really pay too much mind to drag queens or transsexuals or at a show bar some transsexuals treat the boy queens like they are not worthy to perform with them because they made the choice to not get breasts and stay a boy. Believe it or not these prejudices exist. Drag Race in my opinion only exacerbates this issue by not allowing a certain group (transsexuals) on cast.

I’ve been in the presence of RuPaul. I’ve worked with her and performed on the same stage as her. Her views are very clear; once you alter your body then it’s not drag anymore. Well what is it? What I’m doing is no different from a boy queen, in fact not so long ago I was one. Just because I decided to change a few things for [me] doesn’t change what I do on stage. Her influence in being able to break or bridge the gap and open new doors for the gay community as a whole is remarkable. However, it’s what you do with that window of opportunity is what counts. I think Drag Race portrays a negative side that outweighs the good things about entertainers. Someone not knowing about this lifestyle can watch Drag Race and think that’s how we all are: drama queens, nasty, cut throat, mean and ready to fight at the drop of a dime.

Where are the girls who perform who never start fights, who have everyday jobs, who are well off, who have family members who completely approve of them and what they do? Too much bad not enough good. But I will say this, I have plenty of friends who have been on there and who aspire to get on there. I support them 100% and hope that they will make a positive difference. But unfortunately positive and good don’t always make for good television.

WOW! Testify, Mamma! Speak. In the voice from the mother of Carrie, ”Say it!” I agree with much of what you said. I wish the show would explore the performance aspect of drag careers and move away from the silly challenges. And they most definitely need a gorgeous group of transsexuals on cast but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Hey, fair is fair. How long have you been living as Delores and have you always felt like you should have been born a girl?

I have been performing for 18 years and living as Delores for 15 of those. Odd thing is I never wanted to be a girl. Never wanted to put on make-up or cut my eyebrows. This is just how I felt more comfortable if that makes sense. I think because I was such a shy person growing up with tons of personal issues that I was too afraid to talk about it. When the opportunity of “being gay” came about I took it and ran with it. But I was a whimp, LOL. I tried to go out every night and wear the tiny clothes and be that gay boy but it just didn’t work for me because I never thought I was attractive.

When it came to performing, I saw the chance to be someone else. I always wanted to be an actor so drag was perfect. Then long story short I met and married a “straight” man who I later broke up with because he wasn’t ready to deal with the program the way it was. But I did ultimately live as a woman for him but later in life I altered my body for me and that’s the most important part. I know Im happy with the changes I have made because I was ready.

You’re a true woman in my eyes, sister. Pure goddess. What’s the biggest misconception about transsexualism? … About competing in pageants? … And about Delores, herself?

The biggest misconception is that all of us are “working girls” or in “customer service.” That really bothers me to the point of sadness. I don’t knock people for what they do, but I have always believed in doing things different for me. As far as pageants go… They are all not fixed. Just because you don’t win doesn’t mean it was set up for the other girl. Just bring a better package, that’s all. About me? I’m not as head strong as people think I am. I have my moments of weakness too; I cry and I’m human. I don’t sit in my room at night with a knife at my wrist screaming TAKE ME NOW! (laughing) But I get sad too. I just tend not to show it to the public. That’s what keeps me humble is knowing that I am not perfect.

None of us are, my dear. As long as we have others convinced we are… How do you hold strong against peer pressure to be out in the clubs at all hours considering many are “out for the night” so to speak.

Well I never really was a “partier” so to speak. I don’t feel pressure at all because I have always been my own person for the most part and things like that if I don’t want to do it then I don’t. My persona is very reserved and relaxed. After the show is over, there is life after the stage so I don’t feel a need to be out all night. However, I am human and I will enjoy the occasional cocktail or two while dancing and having a good time. But I like my quiet life and who I am outside of public eyes.

I’m glad I know that side of you. If you had a little drag queen run up to you after you stepped off stage and asked for advice saying “I wanna be just like you when I grow up,” what advice would you give them?

(Grin) This has happened several times and one particular person has said this to me just recently. I told her she didn’t want to be me because she probably wouldn’t want the taxes, LOL. I encourage everyone to find their own voice. If you waste your time trying to be someone else then you’re going to miss out on the blessings that are meant for you. I can tell you what has worked for me or I can tell you what I might do in a situation but I can’t tell Susie how to be Susie. Just be you, because [you] are beautiful.

As are you, lovely. Love your answer! I asked that question at All American Goddess at Large and no one gave me that answer which is what I was looking for. What or who has been your biggest inspiration personally? … Professionally? …

My parents have been my biggest inspiration. Both of them have had different types of pretty aggressive Cancer; my mom longer than my dad. But both of them went through it and came out Cancer free. If you know someone who battled it then you know how very hard it is to watch and wonder. I’m so blessed that they came out stronger than ever and are living and well. That tells me that no matter what life throws never give up and always have faith. Professionally to me it’s all the same; knowing that if I love better and live better then I will be better and can accomplish anything.

What has been your biggest disappointment and how did you overcome the moment to move onward and upward?

Years ago when I was in the 7th grade I was offered an acting scholarship to go to one of the top acting schools in Chicago with a chance to one day have a career on film. A producer saw me at an Oratory contest I was in representing my school that I ended up winning and offered this opportunity to me. Well instead of going to my classes I made excuses to miss those classes to go home and watch a TV show called Dangerous Woman. Later I was dropped from the program and missed a once in a life time opportunity to work in real television and actually star in a series called Family Matters. That was the biggest mistake of my life, however, it taught me responsibility and sacrifice. Now when opportunities knock I open the door wide and let them in!

Ouch! Yes, grab that brass ring. You really channel Patti LaBelle when you perform. What is your connect to her and how/where do you do to get into character besides the hair, nails and shoes that perfectly fly off?

Well, funny thing is when I first started I didn’t want to do Patti LaBelle. I really wanted to do Tina Turner. I had the legs; I could dance; and I love big hair. It was when someone told me I looked like her is when I started to study her more. I have a remarkable gift that I am able to immolate virtually anyone with just watching them. Patti and I have a connection like none other. I have made people cry because they were touched by my performance and I have even cried. It’s hard to explain, but when the hair is on and the mic is in my hand, Delores disappears and here Patti comes! I am her. Sometimes so much so I forget I’m performing.

When I perform I see her; I mean I really see her. From videos I’ve watched, shows I studied; I see her and that’s how I am able to do what she does or what she will do. I know when she rolls in a song and kick off those shoes. I didn’t always have “shoe control” however. There have been times when those shoes flew in someones drink or got caught in the rafters in the celing and even hit someone in the face. Those times aren’t always fun, LOL. But I will say out of all the characters I perform, Patti LaBelle is effortless; and that’s because of the gift God has given me.

Well, from my seat and eye, it does look effortless! Flawless, in fact. Future plans professionally? … Personally? …

Well as far as my professional plans are I would love to have a home bar. On cast somewhere like when I was back home in Chicago. That’s just really hard to accomplish in Florida. Personally; hopefully meet Dean Monroe, Phillip Aubrey, Rafael Alencar and of course Adrian Long. He tweeted me he likes pancakes and I told him I want to make him some, LOL.

As Patti would sing, “Stir it Up!” What is something that other queens do either on or offstage that makes you cringe? What mistakes do others make that could be quickly justified and corrected?

“Hate” is such a strong word but very appropriate when I think about how the new entertainers are treated by someone who has it together a little bit more. People tend to forget that they too had to start somewhere. Instead of picking on these children and talking about them, why not share your experiences and expertise with them to help them along in this ever changing business? I think if we as “mothers” don’t help them then we are adding to the problem and being bully’s. If we just take one person and say this is how it’s done, then I truly feel that there wouldn’t be a separation of entertainers. One of the BIGGEST mistakes is simply being nasty to people or mean for no reason. Why? What’s the point? You don’t have to like everyone but respect goes a long way. This is an easy lesson to learn and execute because you never know who is on the other side of the judges table.

You’ve recently worked for an airlines and now are traveling considerably as national titleholders. Do enjoy the travel or does it get to be too much?

Well during my airline career I was on the ground then as a flight attendant so flying is my life. The only part that gets to be too much is the airport process. Some airports are smaller and it’s easy but some are larger and takes more time. But I won’t ever get tired of traveling. It’s in my blood!

I love traveling, too! How important to do you feel it is to have a strong family unit in place for queens and entertainers? Is that common or a privilege?

It should be common but unfortunately it is not. Support is always needed because this life is so tough not only being gay. But as a transgendered woman you have to deal with so much more than the rest. I am blessed to have the family that I have. I have never been mistreated for my choices by my family and I have the best mother anyone can possibly ask for. My mom is everyone’s mom. She opens her heart to the girls who have been disowned or discredited by their own parents. She just feels that regardless of who we are we all need to be loved. We all come from God and she can’t imagine not loving her child, so she gives everyone she meets a little piece of her heart. All in all this is why we have drag mothers and fathers and sisters and such for that reason. To belong to a group that has unconditional love when there is no place else to go.

When they are announcing the top placements at a pageant and you’re standing there with the other few contestants, do you quickly scan down the line and size the girls up so to speak in real time? What goes through your mind during this cliffhanging moment?

Ha-Ha, this is such a funny question because I think every girl who has been called last has scan the stage to see who is left. That happened to me at USofA and at AAG. It’s like you’re standing there and your heart stops. The longer it takes the more stressful it is because you know you should be there and you want this so much and to not be called is sometimes a punch in the gut. And those two times for me I was on my game and had a chance to win; I didn’t and that’s OK because someone else was cleaner and that’s alright. But when they’ve called me during the announcements of the top spots, I yelled “Oh shit!!!” and took a deep breath of relief and started hugging everyone before I picked my number. I was just so happy. But that is the worse part of a pageant; waiting to hear results.

We love watching the faces of the the girls standing there during the crowning. Especially when it’s a tight race. Is it easy to date or are others too impressed/intimidated by your glamour and success to find genuine choices for love?

It’s easier to date if you are a boy, or a boy queen than it is for the transgendered community for several reasons. One being that we are too feminine for gay men and missing equipment for a straight man; and the bi-sexual men want their cake and eat it too and can’t decide what they want so they can’t be faithful. On occasion you find entertainers with relationships only because of their celebrity and the groupies will do anything to be in the spotlight with you. And of course the person who “thinks” they like you in spite of looks and changes even going as far as intimacy or first base but then decides one day it was just a thought is heart wrenching. But what really happened was a boy came along and the attraction for you faded and they decide they just want to be your friend. Very rarely, will you find a man with no hang ups, only have eyes for you and wants to be committed and serious regardless of what is there and what is not; he only sees you. I haven’t found that guy yet and I wonder if he even exists.

I’m pitching a new reality show to my agent tomorrow: Delores Does Romance. Do you enjoy the judging aspect of pageants and how do you judge good friends? Are you tough on them or would you prefer not to have to give them scores?

I love judging because I love helping and mentoring. I’ve judged my friends before and I’m sure I will judge them again. People who know me know that I am a very fair person. There is no need for wicked comments because that doesn’t help. For every truth on my score sheets there is a compliment of encouragement. Why tear someone down for no reason? How would that help me in the long run? It won’t and there is no purpose for it. If people were more honest, I guarantee the entertainment value would be better. Again, help someone succeed not help tear them down.

You are a TRUE inspiration to many, I swear. What do you want to accomplish that you haven’t already?

I want to be the national title holder who people remember not only for my Patti Labelle, but for my work in the community and generosity and time spent mentoring those who want to succeed in this business. A wonderful man by the name of Bob Taylor nicked named me “Momma Florida” because mothering and mentoring comes naturally for me and he was shocked to see someone from my generation do the things that I have done. When someone asks for help I help them, I don’t charge for advice. I take them under my wig and teach them what I know. They are all my babies; sometimes older sometimes younger but they are my babies and he saw this in me and that’s where the nickname came from. I challenge anyone to name any national title holder that volunteers her time to pick up trash in the neighbor or go to the soup kitchen and feed the homeless or put on a show and cook food for the children’s hospital patients and their parents all free of charge. That is what being national means; not just performing. Use that status for the good and not just the popularity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying just because everyone hasn’t or doesn’t do these things they are a bad person. Not saying that at all! I’m just saying it’s time give back because it’s needed.

I do wish more would give back especially to the communities that help build them! If you weren’t doing what you’re doing right now, what would you be interested in being a part of?

I’ve always wanted to be an actor, that has always been my first love. Next to that would be a world class chef because I can cook a meal that will make you slap yo’ momma and she won’t hit you back cause she ate it too and understands! Then being a part of the legislature. We need to do something and be a voice about this gay marriage thing.

National Ambassador Delores T. Van Cartier, I presume. Name your Top 5 – in NO particular order – for Ultimate Drag Icon Superstar Entertainer of the Universe. Just for fun… No Tea – No Shade.

Amalia Black, Tasha Long, Tiffani T. Middlesexx, Lawanda Jackson and Candi Stratton… These woman all represent beauty, diligence and knowledge that I continue to learn from and in one way or another have a very positive impact on my life.

Delores encourages everyone to find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter! She is one of a kind. You’ll be happy that you know her. She’s the true Tea. Trust.

LATRICE ROYALE SPEAKS TO HER FANS!

That’s my girl! L-U-V the Doll, Latrice Royale. I’m waiting ever so patiently on answers to interview questions I hope she has time to answer during her hectic schedule of travel and stardom. Will post them as soon as I can… I know that we, her fans, want to know the hard hitting answers on what her life is like now with the show propelling her into another fierce success story, how it felt to be eliminated (I felt a knife in my heart when she “Sashayed, Away,” I was devastated.) and the true Tea or shade about filming reality TV. Can’t wait to see what she can share!

I just think the YouTube clip above is a wonderful and honest moment of Latrice “M*th*r F*ck*ing” Royale speaking to her legions of diehard fans. Since knowing her for a good ten years now it is fabulous to see her blossom into the star she has become. She is forthcoming with the fact she’s lived a hard knock life with a brief time in prison and learning from her lessons of trusting the wrong people. Her heart is huge and grand personality, too! People can relate to her and she is approachable. Not sure if she set out to be a role model for so many, many people, but that’s what she’s become after being on RuPaul’s Drag Race. We’ve loved seeing her week after week beat expectations and shatter molds of what entertainment is.

The glorious image below is her final moment on the Main Stage before leaving. Tears filled eyes, for sure. Something tells me this is only a true beginning for Madame Royale. Keep your eyes on this one. Trust. You better work, Bitch.

OSCAR RACE 2012 HEATS UP

Check out the Oscar 2012 Nominees so you’re up to snuff with who and what should win what?! “Who are you wearing?” will be asked more than “What awards are you up for this evening?!” because simply there are more designer gown and suits on the stars than statues in their hands. That’s just the way it works! Few win, many “lose” but ALL are happy just to be nominated! Yeah, right! Talk to some of them after a few drinks at the Vanity Fair Party! That’s when the real story begins! Oh, to be a fly on the wall or a cater waiter serving Glenn Close a beverage! The Academy Awards are February 26, 2012. Setting the DVR, now! I’m personally on Team Dujardin! GORGEOUS! Can’t wait to see the battle between real-life pals Meryl Streep and Viola Davis! Whurq Ladies! It’s sure to be stunning evening of glamour, greatness and gold.

MADONNA CAUSES COMMOTION IN 2012

STEVEN SPILLS © 111

CAUSING A COMMOTION

MADONNA STILL ROCKS THE UNIVERSE

I’m a “True Blue” fan of Madonna, I am. From her not-so humble beginnings of telling Dick Clark on American Bandstand that she wanted to “rule the world” through her popular music, trendsetting and choices in men, I’ve known Madonna well. Now… she has no clue of who I am but I’ve seen the best of her and her at her worst. Many of us have. Regardless of what she does, people, especially gay men, have an opinion because more times than not she is, as she sings Causing a Commotion.

Madonna is a rule breaker and also someone who finds the rules comforting to be contained in. Let’s start at the beginning of my love affair with Madonna, pre-British accent but post-arrival to New York desperate for fame without means other than drive to get her there. After getting signed to her first record deal in 1982, the media, legions of fans and critics never grew weary of speculating what the “Material Girl” would do next. It was on this first album that brought us the deliciously teasing Lucky Star and celebratory Holiday.

MADONNA’S GREATEST PERFORMANCES!

Her appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards where she sang her scandalous chart-topper “Like a Virgin” quickly went down in MTV history as one of the most iconic performances ever. However, it was her book Sex that really gave people something to discuss. Fierce pornographic imagery of Madonna being masturbated by Wesley Snipes and Naomi Campbell, holding the late Joey Stefano at the Gaiety Theatre in NYC on a leash, and graphic fantasy displayed through poems and explicitness. She has always made sure people talk about her no matter what the price of shock value is in the going market.

Then came movies like Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy and Evita, to name a few. Her acting has been both revered and often panned but she unapologetically continues her path into entertainment history as a trailblazer and pioneer showing the world exactly what one woman can accomplish. Her latest film W.E. has gotten good buzz and attention for her direction. Madonna has proven time and time again that there’s nothing she cannot do.

Favorite memories of me and Madge: In 2000, I stood at the Black Party in Manhattan feeling my Ecstasy in hopes that because the DJ was playing the anthem hand-waver “Frozen,” Madonna would be descending from the ceiling of Roseland Ballroom. Everyone stood on the dance floor looking up at the mirror ball waiting. She never showed. I also happily attended her Sticky & Sweet Tour in 2008 in San Francisco with my friend Mikel where we could almost smell her in our second-row seats. We were very close to Madge, and she us.


MDNA from Madonna
Includes the Brand New “Give Me All Your Luvin’” and “Masterpiece”

MADONNA CREATES HALFTIME MAGIC AT SUPER BOWL 2012

I could continue on talking about how Madonna has influenced me or made we wonder what she was thinking at times, but I digress. Madame Ciccone’s recent performance during halftime at Super Bowl XLVI brought in an extra 3 million viewers who tuned into see her. Anticipation grew over time through carefully crafted promos and appearances. Plus, people knew that it would be grand in scale. Hello, it’s the Super Bowl. The fierce commercials, the beefy men bending over being grabbed by another at the waist, and something about touching down somewhere.

To feel passionate about something is to also have just cause to be honest with your true feelings about it even if it’s against the grain. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t. I must admit that I feel the Madonna that we’ve seen in the last few years has found a niche of following the trend of what’s happening now to be current, which is fine. But I can’t say that I think her later musical catalogue can compare to her best work prior. The newest single “Give Me All Your Luvin’” is catchy, yes. But hardly groundbreaking like Ray of Light and the gorgeously creeping Rain.

During the Super Bowl performance, light panels filled the field and stage. Madonna entered in Roman drag with hunky Gods in sandals and drapes carrying her out like the queen she knows she is. It was her crowd and she owned every minute, even though the fierce Vogue opening was quite reminiscent of Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite tour. In my opinion, Madonna was both lip-syncing and singing over her tracks live. She knows giving her audience what they want is smarter than risking the chance of a vocal malfunction. Overall it was a huge success! Low-point: Seeing our icon with one gold pompom in her hand three minutes too long. Highlight: Our queen at a career pinnacle looking amazing and delivering. L-U-V, Madonna!

2011 © PULP

WHITNEY HOUSTON RESTS IN PEACE

She came from very humble beginnings to become one of the biggest names and legends in music and film. Whitney Houston has unexpectedly died at the age of 48 years. It hasn’t been released the cause of death but unfortunately like many, Houston had a long going battle with drugs that eventually destroyed her voice and career. Sadly, the expectation is that it possibly played into her demise. What a talent she was! Whitney’s iconic music will transcend time.

ALL OF WHITNEY’S GREATEST HITS!

Includes “The Greatest Love” and “When You Believe”

Luckily I was able to see Whitney live in concert circa ’87-’88 with friends Gena and Bifford in Nashville. Sorry to admit but she wasn’t amazing that night performance-wise. Her voice was fabulous but her moves were awkward. She never seemed like she was a natural dancer or handled choreography well. Her strong voice that resonated with fans and listeners will continue on forever. I’m sorry to say we’ll never hear that fierce Whitney that once ruled, again. I’m glad I can say I saw the lady in person.

The battles she fought with drug addiction and self-destructive demons carried on through the years and we, her fans, saw her unravel through the media’s display. I will remember the diva herself for the beautiful music she shared with us, her talents and soul. Her battle is now over and she may rest in peace. Thank You, Whitney. We will always love you!

Whitney Houston | August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012

ONE BOWL OF SUPER MADONNA

It’s early Super Bowl Sunday morning and I figured I’d better toss in my three cents and some change of sense about Madonna’s performance later today at the halftime of the Super Bowl between two teams of beefy men trying to get a leather clutch of air over some line of finality without getting tackled by the opposer. While reading up on kickoff times and how either the Patriots or Giants will reign and (Super Bowl) ring supreme over their nemesis, I see how they are describing Madonna’s performance as “imagined” by Cirque du Soleil and choreographer Jamie King. Guaranteed it will be Spectacular! Spectacular! nonetheless.

Spawning Smash Hits “Borderline” and “Lucky Star”

Album Certified Five Times Platinum!

I see her new song Give Me All Your Luvin’ as the main focus with a serious medley of her biggest hits included somehow. Hopefully, if she does a crazy light show like the Black Eyes Peas tried last year they will all function. That’s all I remember about their show as that one area giving crickets to viewers and fans with not nary a light, nor flicker. I do imagine that the magical formula of Cirque du Soleil will be twisted into a fabulous explosion of gyrations, aerialists, contortionists and at least one (hopefully) calculated surprise of “Oh no she didn’t!” be it wardrobe “re”function, male dancer on male dancer action or maybe she’ll paddle Nicki Minaj’s bootylicious booty. Whatever she does, it will be dissected, worshiped, read, watched, talked about and trending all day and night, trust.

“Ray of Light” and “Frozen” Stand Out on this Album!

This is Madonna at her Best!

When it comes to her new song “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” I have to be honest in saying that it’s nothing we haven’t heard or seen before. I’ve known Madonna since her not so humble beginnings on American Bandstand saying to Dick Clark that she wanted rule the world. That, she has, and still does in many a people’e eye. Madge has had over three decades of chart toppers, millions in album sales, amazing publicity stunts heard round the world and one horribly constructed but incredibly explicit book of stunning pornography of her as the focus appropriately titled Sex. But I have always seen her as the trailblazer and trendsetter I saw her hungry to become from the beginning. And she has become that and more, yes…

Includes the Scandalous and Brilliant “Like a Prayer”

A Favorite Among True Madonna Fans!

Now, honesty must succeed and I say the last effort and her latest of late really don’t have the presence of “Ray of Light” or “Frozen,” “Rain” or “Take a Bow,” “Holiday” or “Like a Prayer.” Among her MANY standouts in her anthology, these were groundbreaking at their time. What she is doing now is not. She seems to be grabbing on what is happening now, which I get. Throw in the hot ticket of the moment. Translation: Nicki Minaj plus M.I.A. Swirl in a catchy beat that is hard to beat and easy to sing. And BAM! New single, back on top. I get it all, trust. I know how the Hollywood Star Machine works and I ain’t mad. But, as an opinionist and gay entertainment journalist I feel I must, too, comment and weigh in. I grew up with her, came out with her and do indeed think she is a force. However, I want more.

I’ve always seen Madonna as a trailblazing leader in the music and celebrity scene and somewhere down the way, through a British accent of authority and clarity, she has lost her voice. She looks amazing in her video and was funny on the Graham Norton Show recently. I do enjoy seeing what she’ll do next. I just hope that it’s as shocking as she once was. Deliver to us, Madonna. And we pray.