Friday, March 31, 2006
Being gay and black has definitely shaped my point of view. My perspective is different and I constantly live out of that difference. I actually make a living talking about my non-mainstream POV. It is time for me to give space to another unique perspective, gay Korean man love. Today's New York Times features an article on gay-themed Korean film King and the Clown.
I get so angry sometimes when I feel that the mainstream has forgotten about me. Or when my point of view is ignored. I don't want to do the same to my Korean brothers. They have it tougher than we do here. It has only been two years since Korea removed homosexuality from the Youth Protection Commission list of socially unacceptable acts.
Film director Lee Jun Ik, Uptempo salutes you.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
This week our American Idol contestants took on contemporary 21st century song. And most failed miserably. No one was out and out bad. Worse than out and out bad is mediocrity and last night's show was full of it.
Our night started out with Lisa. I wanted to like her so much after her first audition but she is really getting on my nerves now. How do you spell boring? L-I-S-A.
Even Mandisa didn't do it for me. I have heard that Mary Mary song sung by a few artists and Mandisa's version may have been the worse. The song was also a terrible choice for this venue. The theme was 21st century songs. This was a chance to show what kind of record you would record today. Mandisa would have been great if she had sung a dance anthem. I bet she could have kicked ass on Beyonce's Crazy in Love or Alicia Key's Heartburn.
I didn't like any of the guys last night. Elliot turned out some great vocals but that arrangement was not so good. Even Taylor and Chris were just okay. Chris has got to find some new schtick. Every week, always good but always the same. That was Latoya London's downfall in season three. Taylor just missed the mark for me. I just didn't care about his song, his performance, or his wardrobe.
Ace has to step it up. I have yet to see what makes him special as a singer besides his looks. And Bucky...Just tragic.
I'm not going to talk about Pickler. I just want her to take her "country dumb" routine on the road and then into the sea...Disappearing forever.
On a positive note, I love Katherine McPhee more and more every week. Her voice is my favorite. I love her sound.
But my favorite of the evening was Baby Girl AKA Paris Bennett. She rocked it out. I could have done without my Baby Girl shaking her ass so much but thanks Baby Girl for finally giving us some entertainment.
Here is my breakdown of last night and prediction for the result show:
Best Performance: Paris
Who I think should go home: Bucky
Who I think America will pick: Bucky
**Dial Idol.com Prediction: Katherine (boo!)
In other Idol news, were producers planning to fire Paula Abdul? Season three winner Fantasia will star in her own movie biography.
BTW, the American Idol website is doing something different this year on the contestants' page. Once you are voted off, your picture becomes black and white instead of color. It looks weird as if the contestant is dead. Just my opinion.
Monday, March 27, 2006
I thought I might lose it last week. There were so many projects and only one Pip.
One of my projects was directing the show Truth, Fear, and Insecurity featuring the sketch comedy group Becoming Jerome. The show opened at Second City's Donny Skybox last night. The boys wrote a pretty good show and I am proud of how it turned out.
We went into our first full week of Schoolhouse Rock Live! at Drury Lane Theatre - Oakbrook. Also last week, I continued working on the StoryBus. And I shot a short film over the weekend.
In addition to all of that, I am preparing for an out of town job opportunity (possibly East Coast) but it is way to early to give details about that.
I like being busy. Work begats work. Plus I only get paid when I work. In the past, I never had much of a social life because of my schedule. Sex life yes, social life no. Last week was different. I found time to attend a concert. Dine with friends and sex up my man.
It looks like my busy streak will continue for the next four weeks. I ain't complaining.
BTW, DialIdol.com is back to predict who will go home next.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Brief Idol Chatter: I can't believe America cut Kevin so early. I didn't see that coming. Maybe next week, we can lose Bucky and then Lisa.
Monday, March 20, 2006
As if there wasn't enough bad news about black American men, we now have more. Over the last two decades, the economy did great and low-skilled women, helped by public policy, latched onto it. But young black men were falling farther back.
Friday, March 17, 2006
First, I missed Purim this year. It was Monday. I know that today is St. Patricks Day but we all know about St. Pat and all things drunken and Irish. But what about that other festival of excess known as Purim?
For those not in the know, Purim is a Judaic holiday celebrating Queen Esther. Esther was this really hot Jewish orphan raised by her uncle in Persia (that's Iran to you and me).
The king of Persia, who really loved to make decrees, decided to replace his queen because he summoned her and she was like, "no, he's not just going to summon me, I'm having Vashti time." The king had a bunch of chicks sent up and he picked Esther (because she was the hottest). So,Esther and her uncle, Mordecai, moved into the castle. The king had an advisor named Haman. And Haman didn't like the Jews so much. Mostly because Mordecai wouldn't bow down to him. So, Haman decided to get the king to purge the kingdom of Jews. The king was like, "okay..Whatever Haman." Uncle Morty persuaded Esther to talk to the king. Esther said yes but was a little scared because she didn't have an appointment with the king. The Persian king was a stickler about his time. You came when he said come and only then. Esther fasted for three days then approached the king. The king stopped decreeing and asked her to come in (because she was so hot). Esther told the king what was up with Haman. The king decreed to save the Jews and hang Haman.
Now, Jewish people celebrate that victory over xenophobia and racism by partying like it's 489. Foods include a cookie shaped in a triangle that represents Haman's hat (or some say ears)and your standard dumpling/won-ton/raviola called kreplach.
In past years, I celebrated the Festival of Lots by attending great Purim parties with some of my Hebraic leaning friends. This year I was working day and night. I still want some kreplachs.
More Idol Chatter
Speaking of Judaic stories, there is a David and Goliath story going on at Dial Idol.com. American Idol is forcing them to shut down. I think that Dial Idol was a great experiment and I wanted to see how accurate they would have been at the end of the series. Good Luck Dial Idol.com. Fight the Power!!
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Can't rightly say if it was from the womb but I always remembered feeling "different." Even when I was trying to "act straight." I can't wait to see how these theories play out. Please excuse Pip's overuse of quotation marks. He has a "problem"...Pip's Mom.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
It begins. Enough of this girls one night and boys the next. The show has begun. 12 contestants vie for a chance at becoming "your next American Idol." I have to admit when the first season of Idol premiered, I was against it.
I was in Beaver Creek, CO when the first episode aired. I was touring with Second City at the time. I didn't watch the show because it looked stupid. Why would I want to see bad singers being told they were bad by two men I didn't know and a faded pop singer I was trying to forget? I missed all of the prelim auditions because it just seemed cruel and unusual punishment (not for the contestants but for me). A few weeks later, I was back home in Chicago hanging in my studio apartment with nothing to do. I turned on the television and smoked some weed (not neccessarily in that order, I don't remember). When I first turned on the television there was a group of young and shiny face singing an Aretha Franklin song. She was great. The judges loved her and gave her honest criticism. Then one of the two hosts (I miss Brian Dunkleman. Sorry but I would love to see Seacrest OUT) introduced the next singer. I probably watched the show for fifteen minutes before I realized that this was the same program I swore not to view...Ever. It was too late, I was hooked. I still am.
I love when we get to the final twelve. This is the point when the contestants turn "Hollywood." Stylists start fussing with them and they get advanced training in the art of Show Business.
Season Five started with one of my all time favorite singer/songwriter/musician/activists, Mr. Steveland Morris aka Stevie Wonder schooling our Idolites on how to perform his music. Most of the contestants seem to be C-average students because their performances were generally lackluster and safe. One by one contestants came up and played it safe. Some didn't even bother to stay on pitch (such as Ace). Even my girl Mandisa was only "pretty good" compared to her knockout performances from shows past. Melissa disappointed me by forgetting her lyrics and I think it will cost her dearly. And why oh why is Kevin Covais still in this competition? Fuck this underdog shit, make room for real talent and star quality. The show picked up for me when Katherine (I like to call her Katie myself) McPhee took the stage. She laid out some serious vocals. She was followed by an electric performance by Taylor Hicks. I still think he was cheesy as stadium nachos but he was effin entertaining. Also entertaining were Paris and Chris (who rocked the house).
It is too early to predict a winner I think. If I had to choose today based on my personal taste (vs. popularity) I would choose Mandisa or Katie McPhee. If I had to guess who America would pick I would choose Ace or Kelli Pickler. Speaking of Pickler, let me just say right here and now that I am completely prejudiced against anybody that is "country dumb." I don't care how you pronounce calamari. I don't find cute or endearing just annoying.
Anyway here is my breakdown for last night and my prediction for the results show:
Best Performance: (tie) Katherine and Chris
Worst: (tie)Kelli and Bucky
Who I think should go home: Kevin
Who America will pick to go home: Melissa
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
I have plenty of work these days. I have the final tech and dress rehearsal for another mounting of SRL! I am directing a comedy show. I still work on the Storybus. I am doing re-writes on an unfinished play I wrote in grad school. And I writing a new one person show for myself. Busy. Busy. Busy.
Gotta go. I have to sing for my supper. Literally.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
I'm not horny but I just think that Crotch wood is hilarious. Yes, this makes me juvenille. And no, I don't care.
The Oscars have come and gone. I won the Oscar pool at my party by one category. I don't know what to buy with my newly acquired 45 bucks but I will think of something. Maybe I'll buy the dogs some upscale dog food or new porn. I don't know but I will figure it out.
This year there were were no real surprises at the 78th Annual Film Love Fest. Even Crash snatching the Best Pic Award made sense to me. God knows that L.A. loves to honor L.A. And a large ensemble film about racism in L.A. is a perfect homage.
And while Three 6 Mafia were surprised to win for best song. It was no surprise to me. Have we forgotten past Oscar winning songs included "Fame," "Theme from Shaft," and "Lose Yourself"? The Oscar has always loved to honor contemporary and popular music.
As I said last week, I really couldn't catch Oscar Fever this year. All I want to know is: who wins Project Runway? I think I know the winner. But I will still have to wait until tomorrow night to find out for sure. Until then, I will continually amuse myself with this clip of eliminated contestant Guadalupe from the reunion show.
If you can believe it, I am able to tie the Oscar talk (above) and being gay in Peoria (below) together. Peoria native, Bradley Alum, and lesbian Tami Lane won the Academy Award in Best Makeup for The Chronicle of Narnia.
I don't know Tami personally. Still, Tami Lane, Uptempo salutes you.
KeithBoykin.com reminisces on his coming out 15 years ago this month.
I came out 15 years ago this month too. I was in my last semester of undergrad at Bradley University in Peoria. I walked down Bourland Avenue with my friend Steve. That afternoon I discussed my sexuality openly and freely with Steve. It was a first. Well, I had previously talked to the pastor of my church but that was like talking to Santa at the mall; you feel good when you leave but you still don't get what you want for Christmas. Steve was different. He was so open, non-judgemental, and completely supportive. It would be winter again (Christmas actually) before I told my family what I told Steve that late winter/early spring 1991.
To this day, Steve (or Step as he is often called) is a personal hero to me.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
T-ROB: Hope your "all about you day" really was allll about you and enjoyable...gotta have those every once in a while....I was watching my tape of Thursday's Idol....need to share...
I like Kevin (underdog, young, innocent all that...) HOWEVER, let's be real...He has vocals...But HIS LISP comes through on EVERY SONG...BIG PROBLEM...as much as I would have liked to see him get through, NOT at the expense of someone better (Sway)....Lil disappointed to see Sway leave so early...
PIP: You are so right about Kevin. When it comes to idol, I have to ask myself two questions. 1. Would buy a song recorded by this person and/or 2. Would others buy songs recorded by this artist?
Lets take our most recent winner Carrie Underwood. I always thought she was talented but I would most likely not buy her music because I don't like her genre. And to be honest, the last secular song that talked about Jesus that I liked was "Jesus is Love" by the Commodores (circa 1980). Sorry Kanye. But it doesn't matter if I would buy. Many people like country music and songs about Jesus so she may catch up with Kelly Clarkson as far as album sells. That makes here a winner.
With that said, I would NEVER buy a song by Kevin and I don't think a lot of people would. He can sing and would be a great novelty act but it is hard for me to take him seriously as a recording artist in the vein of say Fantasia or Clay. I don't see him doing a duet with Gwen Stefani or Mary J. Blige on the 2008 Grammy Awards Show. I do see him performing as the opening act at wedding reception.
Sway, I kind of knew he was going to go last week. I'm glad to see him representin' for the Asians and he will give you some old school R&B but he doesn't quite have the chops yet. He is really really close but not yet. This week he was a little bland and uncharismatic.
T-ROB: Was Paula HIGH or what (if you taped it look at her eyes and listen to her speech)...You can't convince me she wasn't high on something...her comments?? How Anna Nicole Smith-ish, no???
PIP: Yes, I believe she is contractually obligated to be high at all times. I'm sure there is a good excuse. Something like...she just came from her plastic surgeon and is waiting for the anesthesia to wear off. Taping T-Rob? No, it is all digital. I am all about my Tivo.
And Anna Nicole! Did you ever think you would hear Annna Nicole Smith and the U.S. Supreme Court mentioned in the same sentence? It is like a SNL sketch only fun everytime.
T-ROB: Very happy to see Brenna GONE...She was too much, her attitude was over the top...I like to see people with attitude (like Santino - at least he actually has talent, can be VERY funny - "where's Andrae"...etc...)....she just thought she was cute (which she is...) but doesn't realize allll that won't always cut it....ya know???
PIP: Brenna. Brenna. Brenna. Last dance indeed. Don't let the doorknob catch you in the crack on your way out. I can allow for a little bit of 'tude (and only a little ) if you really have the goods. Brenna didn't have the goods. She was okay and she definately has personality but she needs to work on those vocals. Part of being a diva is bringing the voice. I LOVE Aretha Franklin but I hear she is majorly difficult. But you know what? ReRe can fucking sing her ass off. Until Brenna can bring it like Aretha, Whitney, or Mariah, she should get off the diva train and walk a humble mile.
One more thing, she reminds me of this actress I went to school with at NIU. She wasn't extraordinary but she thought she was the shit. She has done great for herself, very successful. However, last time I was in LA, I heard that she has not changed much.
Friday, March 03, 2006
I have so much to write but I can't at the moment. Today is devoted to Oscar catch up. I am going to not one but two matinees today. Two films that were on my "must-see" list before the awards season began but for whatever reason, I never saw. Well, today is the day. The pooches, Riley and Jason, are at the groomers and Steve is working late. Today is not only Pip Day. It is "All About Pip Day." So, everyone enjoy your day. I may post later (I may not). I still have to talk about Project Runway; the adventures of Pip and Steve as Chefs for a day at Moto; and all of my boy crushes.
Patience Dear Ones. Patience.