Monday, February 16, 2015

The Gayest Things You'll See This Week

Kenyth Mogan
It's been quite a while, I think, since I've done a Gayest Things post. Not that Uncle P is any less gay than before... whatever. 

Anyway... this post is about me and one of the best things to happen to me in a long time and the difference a chance encounter has made in my outlook. I know I've talked about my battles with depression in the past. And while I haven't talked about it much, Mom's death in 2013 left me with some very unexpected financial burdens which I'm still trying to sort out. Things were pretty bleak for a while (and in some aspects, still are). Then two things happened. First, I was cast in a terrific show with some terrific folks and spent time doing something comfortable, familiar, challenging and cathartic (and something Mom would have wanted me to do).

Second, prompted by another of Mom's wishes, I joined several online dating/meeting sites, though I had honestly given up on finding anyone at my age, who might even offer the hope of romance. But that changed last October, about a week after the anniversary of Mom's passing, when I agreed to meet with someone I met on one of the sites I'd joined.  I'll admit, I had my trepidations. The last guy I met online (while Mom was still alive) turned out to be a selfish social-climber whose home was filled his ceramic frog collection and wooden signs spouting  meaningless platitudes and 'motivational' cliches. Can you say 'douche?'

But I did go to that Pizzeria Uno that Sunday night and was very pleasantly surprised to meet a man  I not only found very attractive, but with whom conversation was so easy, natural and pleasant. And as different as we are, we had more than enough in common to make a connection. Our first kiss at the end of that first date was.... electric! Four months later and we're like... well...

J is sweet; kind; funny; tender; attentive; romantic; a great kisser and (TMI alert) outrageously good when it comes to 'intimate activities.'  He's 6' 3" tall, adorable and solid! His giggle is infectious and he is cuddly as all get out. This past weekend saw our first overnight together and I can honestly report that I am still aglow from those 18 hours -- and if his Facebook posts are to be believed (and I have no reason to doubt so), so is he.  When I am with him, everything else goes away... and after we part, the glow of my time spent with him is astonishing. I can't (for lots of reasons and circumstances) use the "L" word, yet, but this is the closest to it I've been in a long time!

All of that having been said, I found the below video on Towleroad, thinking it sweet, funny and oddly appropriate for the intoxicated  mood in which I find myself. Please enjoy Kenyth Mogan's Oz-inspired video for his newest single, 'Unlock Your Heart.'

More from Cloud Nine, anon.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Exciting News

So, having last directed Top Girls for Shakespeare '70 and Die Mommie Die! for the JTMF almost 5 years ago, I am about to take up the mantle again with a sort of unusual production of Jonathan Harvey's groundbreaking 1993 play Beautiful Thing

I say unusual not meaning the production itself will be (though that may well prove false, as well), but unusual in the way in which the show came about. 

So, I've talked about my friend Matty, who is a very talented actor and writer. Well, it seems Matty is just a few credits shy of receiving his degree from The College of New Jersey. While a full time student there, Matty and his friend Steve caused a bit of a media storm by attempting to not only break the Guinness record for the Longest Continuous Kiss, but to also be the first same-sex male couple to do so. Matty and Steve's story inspired novelist David Levithan to write the 2014 Lambda Literary and Stonewall Honor Book Awards-winning novel "Two Boys Kissing." David has since become another of Matty's mentors and they came up with a way for Matty to earn his degree with performance credits.

So, when Matty asked if I would direct, I couldn't refuse. I have so far been able to cast both of the remaining male roles with actors I know and love and trust (my own dear David - not to be confused with Dear D - and my Hairspray and Jeffrey cast mate Chris) and am currently looking for the two women I need. I'm hoping to have our first read-through next week, as the show goes up the third weekend of March! 

Because the JTMF was such an important part of his non-academic theatre education, he insisted that ticket sales be donated to our favorite LGBTQ causes.

I'll be sure to keep you all up to date. I'm very excited to stretch my creative muscles again!

The play was adapted into a rather excellent film in 1996:

More, anon.