DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

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L.A.-based writer, performer and journalist Dennis Hensley, joined by a different guest each episode, riffs on pop culture, dating and life in the Hollywood slow lane. Download and listen here or subscribe for free on iTunes. (

    • Jan 22, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • every other week NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 2m AVG DURATION
    • 414 EPISODES

    Listeners of DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley that love the show mention: dennis and tony, couch potato, sirius, listening to their podcast, candid, best friends, wit, met, comedy, sit, trust, entertainment, creative, laughing, radio, movies, hilarious, inspirational, subscribe, interview.

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    Latest episodes from DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

    Filmmaker & Performer D'Arcy Drollinger (Sh*t & Champagne)" "Deeply Inspired By a Backlit Bush"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 22, 2022 57:40

    In his first official episode as part of the DNR Studios family of shows, Dennis chats via Zoom with D'Arcy Drollinger, the star, writer, director and co-producer of the new Dragsploitation flick Shit and Champagne. D'Arcy talks about the movie's stage origins, his creative inspirations--Mel Brooks, the Zucker Bros, Foxy Brown, Charlie's Angels--the pros and cons of having a swear word in your title, finding the perfect stunt boobs and how he raised the money to get the movie made. He also talks about what it's like to be the owner of the largest drag queen-owned drag bar in the country (The Oasis in San Francisco) and how a 12-hour telethon with drag queens on telephones helped him raise enough money to keep the club alive through COVID. Other topics include: playing Suzanne Somers, Betty White and Kim Cattrall in various stage spoofs, the mainstreaming of drag, the peculiarness of And Just Like That, and the lie he was told as a child involving the Captain and Tennille that he never got over.

    Filmmaker-Actor Stephanie Koenig ("A Spy Movie"): "I Feel Like a Construction Worker"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 8, 2022 57:56

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by Stephanie Koenig, the writer-director-producer-star & editor of the feature film A Spy Movie, an action movie parody which recently dropped on You Tube. She talks about coming up with the idea while hanging with friends on a bench in Marina Del Rey, mining her Mission Impossible: Fallout obsession for tropes to skewer, doing her own stunts and how she strikes a balance between scripted moments and improv. She also talks about the no-budget Do-Everything-Yourself process of making A Spy Movie--and previous projects like The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo and Stupid Idiots--and how creating her own stuff has empowered her, opened doors in Hollywood and even made auditioning more fun. Other topics include: acting in the upcoming Paramount + series The Offer about the making of The Godfather, her love of snow, being recognized at Gay Pride from her web videos and that time she and her Spy Movie collaborators Bryan Jordan Alvarez, Chris Riggi and Michael Strassner took way too many buckets of fried chicken onto a cramped tour boat in Alaska.  

    Author Eddie Shapiro ("A Wonderful Guy"): "I Do Get Sassy Sometimes"

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2021 61:10

    Dennis connects via Zoom with author Eddie Shapiro to discuss his book A Wonderful Guy: Conversations with the Great Men of Musical Theater and the actors featured in it including Raul Esparza, Michael Cerveris, Joel Grey, Ben Vereen, Cheyenne Jackson, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christopher Sieber, Jonathan Groff, Gavin Creel and many more. Eddie talks about why he thinks the world of musical theater seems to favor female performers over men and how the men he interviewed reconcile that.  Eddie also talks about the passing of Stephen Sondheim, how Sondheim personally mentored the men in the book and Eddie's own memorable interactions with the composer. Other topics include: being openly gay as a Broadway leading man, how much stars make on Broadway, Playbill hoarding, sassing back to Elaine Stritch, the stage door encounter he'll never forget, crying during the diner scene in tick...tick...BOOM... and, of course, the length of Cheyenne Jackson's shorts in Xanadu.

    Actors & Writers Mitch Silpa & Drew Droege: "Our Messy Gay Brains"

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2021 54:03

    Dennis chats via Zoom with performers Mitch Silpa & Drew Droege about their stage show "It's Mitch & Drew and We've Never Felt Younger," which plays Tuesday, November 23 at 8:00 PM at Dynasty Typewriter in Los Angeles. They talk about some of the sketches that will appear in the show, including one that was conceived while they were watching The White Lotus and another that features the characters from their hit Instagram videos "Two Old Queens Who Just Have a Minute To Catch Up." Mitch and Drew talk about how they first met over 20 years ago at the Groundlings, how the sketch-improv world is adapting to changing social mores and what it's like to play a serious role after always being expected to bring the funny. Other topics include: how much has changed in recent years in terms of what it's like to be an LGBTQ performer in Hollywood, the sexy deliciousness of Lil Nas X, retro coming out statements and inspired by the various name-tag, clipboard person roles they've both played, Dennis pitches the pair a TV series idea: Counterperson F---boy Island.  

    Filmmaker Jesse Moss ("Mayor Pete"): A Love Story at the Center of a Political Story"

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 6, 2021 38:31

    Dennis connects via Zoom with filmmaker Jesse Moss, the director of the new Amazon documentary Mayor Pete, about the history-making presidential campaign of openly gay South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg. Jesse talks about how he came to make the movie, how keeping up with Pete and the campaign was like being on The Amazing Race, how Pete and Chasten's love story became the center of the film, Pete's chemistry with Joe Biden on the trail and the jolt of energy outspoken Communications Director Lis Smith brought to the campaign and the documentary. Other topics include: Pete's famous “Take a pill to make myself not gay” Victory Fund speech, seeing trauma and hope in the faces of voters on the trail, the sweet Chasten moment that ended up on the cutting room floor and Jesse's conflicted feelings around Pete's campaign song “High Hopes." 

    Illustrator Glen Hanson: "You Can't Turn That Flow Off"

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 30, 2021 53:20

    Dennis connects via Zoom with illustrator Glen Hanson whose work as been seen on everything from animated TV shows like Beetlejuice and Daria to magazines like GQ, Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide, for whom he did four different covers when Seinfeld went off the air. His ubiquitous illustration of the Golden Girls is on everything from book covers, to T-shirts to phone cases. Glen talks about when he knew he was gifted as an artist, his creative process, dealing with procrastination, getting turned on while drawing hot guys (or not) and the extensive research he does before he sits down to draw a celebrity. Other topics include: his Ladies at the Biden Inauguration image that went viral, resisting the temptation to lampoon the Trumps, discovering long lost relatives on, "soft homophobia" in the workplace and that time Sharon Stone posted a photo of herself wearing a Glen Hanson Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct T-shirt.

    Poet Steven Reigns ("A Quilt for David"): "This Book is David's Panel"

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2021 53:43

    Dennis connects via Zoom with poet Steven Reigns to discuss his new book A Quilt for David, which explores through poetry the story of David Acer, the dentist from Treasure Cove, Florida who was accused by multiple people of giving them HIV through dental work in the early 1990s. The story made national news, led to several $1 million-plus insurance settlements and turned David into a convenient scapegoat for a nation wary of gay people and terrified of AIDS. Steven talks about the book's mixture of poetry and investigative reporting, going to Florida to research and interview people who were around at the time and his goal with the project of humanizing David Acer. He also recites two of the poems from the book.    

    Filmmaker Wes Hurley: "He's Talented, He Couldn't Be Gay"

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2021 66:44

    After surviving a breakthrough case of COVID, Dennis returns with this Zoom with filmmaker Wes Hurley whose delightful autobiographical film Potato Dreams of America is currently playing the festival circuit and will be released in 2022. The film tells the story of how he moved from Eastern Russian at 16 when his mother became a mail order bride for an American man in Seattle. He talks about his decision to use magical realism to tell his own story, using two sets of actors to play the mother and son characters and how he came to cast Mean Girls Jonathan Bennett, Orange Is the New Black's Lea Delaria and Love Boat's Lauren Tewes is key supporting roles. He talks about how American movies shaped his childhood in Russia and becoming obsessed with Gregg Araki's gay classic The Living End...but renting it in secret so his stepfather wouldn't find out he's gay. He also recalls what it was like when he first came to the U.S., the challenge of making friends, his mom helping meet other gay people and how he learned English by immersion. Other topics include: Keanu Reeves in tighty-whities, rebelling by listening to Marilyn Manson, Freddie Mercury being huge in Russia, what it took to get the movie made, his Russian grandmother's visits to Seattle, how getting a hotel room from a film festival made him feel legit, the grant he received that changed the game and the times when his mother says, "Stop being so Russian."

    Filmmaker Todd Stephens ("Swan Song"): "All of These Magical Things Kept Happening"

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 7, 2021 60:43

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by Todd Stephens, the writer director of the new film Swan Song, which is about retired hairdresser named Mr. Pat played by Udo Kier who busts out of his nursing home to do one last job, styling the hair of the dead society matron for her funeral. Todd talks about the real-life Mr. Pat who inspired the movie, collecting stories from people who knew the real Pat, and how the character of Mr. Pat was supposed to be in Todd's first film Edge of 17 but got cut. Todd talks about the inspired casting of Udo Kier as Pat, meeting Udo--and his dog Liza Minelli--at his home in Palm Springs, and becoming friends with Udo over a year before shooting. He also talks about why it was important to him for the queer characters in his film to be played by queer actors. He also talks about how meaningful it's been to shoot multiple movies in his hometown of Sandusky, Ohio, the theme of redemption after being counted out and why it was important to him to play gay film festivals with the film. Other topics include: the Variety review that did a number on him, tracking down More cigarettes, including Mr. Pat's favorite songs on the soundtrack, being helped out by the town witch, why he loves teaching film to young people and snagging the Linda Evans portrait from the prop department for his apartment after the shoot.    

    Actor Arianna Ortiz ("Nine Days"): "I Got Pizza Hut Socks!"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2021 44:50

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by actor Arianna Ortiz one of the stars of the new film Nine Days, a unique and moving film about seven souls and the man who decides whether or not they're going to go to earth. Arianna talks about the role she plays Maria, what it's like to create a character with virtually no backstory and what made Nine Days a dream-come-true experience. She recalls how the audition came to her, the thrill of getting the part and what it felt like to shoot the scene in the movie where her character is in the center of a lot of cinematic magic. She also talks about the mind-trip of premiering the film at Sundance to raves and then having the whole world shut down due to COVID and how she processed all that. Other topics include: finding a therapist through the Actors Fund, appearing in super-dramatic commercials, getting swag at Sundance, bonding with co-star Winston Duke and how the Nine Days experience changed her life.

    Summertime Magic: w/ filmmaker Carlos Lopez Estrada & actors/poets Paolina Acuña González, Raul Herrera & Marquesha Babers

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2021 32:42

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by four of the creative forces behind the new film Summertime; director Carlos Lopez Estrada, and actors / poets Paolina Acuña González, Raul Herrera and Marquesha Babers. Carlos shares the projects origin story, recalling how he saw a live performance of a group of LA poets and was so knocked out by their performances that he came up with the  day-in-the-life-of-Los Angeles idea as a way to showcase them all in a feature film. Paolina talks about her poem "Red Lipstick" and the spectacular choreographed dance number the comes out of it in the film. Raul talks about his poem "Clouds," which he wrote years ago and marvels that something he created as a way to cope with grief ended up being immortalized on film in Summertime. And Marquesha talks about her poem, "Shallow" and the heartless man who inspired it. Other topics include: where the title Summertime comes from, how the San Fernando Valley fits into all of this and the joy of creating art for the sake of creating art.

    Comedian Julia Scotti ("Funny That Way"): Very Fine People On Both Sides of the Lincoln Tunnel

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2021 79:16

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by comedian Julia Scotti who is the subject of the new documentary Julia Scotti: Funny That Way, which tells the story of how she began her career in comedy as Rick Scotti in the 80's and 90's before transitioning in her late 40's and going back into comedy as Julia. Julia talks about why she chose to trust filmmaker Susan Sandler to tell her story, how she was denied contact with her children for 14 years after her transition, and what it was like to finally reconnect with them. She also recalls her appearance on America's Got Talent and her spur-of-the-moment decision to tell the world that she was trans. Other topics include: the joy of being an abomination, agism in comedy, losing the love of her life after transitioning, her desire to be a mother, her favorite AGT judge and what it feels like to get a great big laugh.  

    THE BOYS WHO BRUNCH: w/ writer Sean Abley, actors Bill Brochtrup and Parnell Damone Marcano and sound designer Jeff Gardner

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2021 40:45

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by four of the creators behind the new audio drama 90069: West Hollywood - Brunch, Interrupted, which is one of a series of Zip Code plays produced by the L.A.-based Antaeus Theatre Company. The four guests are writer Sean Abley, actors Parnell Damone Marcano and Bill Brochtrup (who is also the company's Artistic Director) and sound designer Jeff Gardner.  The quartet talk about the process of creating the project during COVID and the play's oh-so-current theme of gentrification of gay neighborhoods. Then the group joins Dennis for a rousing round of You Don't Know My Life! where they each submit answers to this question: What's something you've witnessed or experienced where you thought, 'Only in West Hollywood?'  The answers range from the hilarious--a shirtless neighbor asking, "Do you have any poppers I could borrow?"--to the poignant--RIP, Silver Spoon and Yukon Mining Company diners. You can listen to the audio play Brunch Interrupted here:    

    SHAPED BY SYLVESTER: Tiki Spills the Tea - hosted by Steven Reigns

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2021 27:47

    On this special Pride month podcast, Dennis handles the audio editing on this one as he welcomes past podcast guest Steven Reigns to present a project he produced about the legendary disco star Sylvester's Los Angeles roots. Here's the official synopsis:  Born in Watts, Los Angeles, to a middle-class African-American family, Sylvester developed a love of singing through the gospel choir of his church. Leaving the church after the congregation expressed disapproval of his homosexuality, he found friendship among a group of black cross-dressers and transgender women who called themselves The Disquotays. He made an impact in music, fashion, personal expression and also on those he befriended even before his fame. Hear about Sylvester's influence to a previous West Hollywood resident who grew up with him, Tiki Lofton. Tiki met Sylvester, then known as Dooni, and that friendship influenced her life. Listen to her tales of growing up black and trans in LA in the 60s as a part of the Disquotays with a good friend that soon became a disco superstar. Sylvester biographer Joshua Gamson is featured as well. This program is presented with the support of a grant from the City of West Hollywood's Arts Division as part of the City's One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. Steven Reigns, Los Angeles poet and educator, was appointed the first Poet Laureate of West Hollywood. He has two previous collections, Inheritance and Your Dead Body is My Welcome Mat, and over a dozen chapbooks. Reigns edited My Life is Poetry, showcasing his students' work from the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBTQ seniors. Reigns has lectured and taught writing workshops around the country to LGBTQ youth and people living with HIV. Currently he is touring The Gay Rub, an exhibition of rubbings from LGBTQ landmarks around the world. His new book A Quilt for David will be published by City Lights in September 2021.   Steven Reigns: Joshua Gamson:    Sylvester:

    Author Michael Anthony ("Life at Hamilton"): The No-Look Pour Never Goes Well

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2021 88:30

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by Michael Anthony, author of the new book Life at Hamilton, which documents his experience as the Bar Manager at the Richard Rogers Theater where the Broadway sensation Hamilton premiered in 2015 and went on to become a global phenomenon. Mike talks about the book’s humble beginnings as social media posts, how they gradually became more and more popular, the time he would spend responding to posts from his followers and how the posts involved into a book. He also talks about what it’s like to be a trained actor and be tending bar in a setting where so many others are living their dreams as performers. He also talks about the lesson his position has taught him: that you can’t always become the thing you’ve dreamed of being…but you can keep finding new things that light you up. He talks about what it was like to be around the Hamilton phenomenon during the Trump Era and recalls the night after the election when Vice President-Elect Mike Pence came to the show. He also talks about his passionate curiosity in what happens after we die and the unlikely butterfly sightings he’s had that make him believe that his father is still with us. He recalls some of the famous people who have come to see Hamilton and shares sweet stories about Amy Schumer, Rosie O’Donnell and Jimmy Kimmel. Other topics include: his first meeting with Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda, what Lin thinks about the book, the moment in Hamilton that always makes him cry, the incredible journey his father made to see him in a show, bartending flashiness, when Obama and Biden came to the show, the incredible power of kindness and what’s the most popular candy at Hamilton.

    Singer-Actor-Dancer-Only Fans Entrepreneur Valton Jackson: "Everyone Should Be Apologetically Who They Are"

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2021 95:04

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by singer-dancer-actor=model-porn star-Only Fans entrepreneur Valton Jackson who just released an EP of remixes for his sexy single "Shirtless" and also posted a spot-on video to Instagram, where he recreates Britney Spears' "Sometimes" video at a water villa in the Maldives. He talks about the making of that video, growing up in Georgia, how he got into performing and what it's like to be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in the morning...and fly home to have dinner the same day with his family in Georgia. He talks about his decision to get into porn at 28, how doing porn gave him a sense of control after years of being at the mercy of the show business gods, coming up with his porn alter ego Andre Donovan, and how his Only Fans page helped him stay afloat during COVID when live theater work dried up.  He also talks about growing up with shame about his sexuality and the process of coming to his own and living his truth, regardless of what people think. Other topics include: the Chorus Line director who pushed his buttons, bringing his acting skills--including tears--to his porn work, the difference between doing studio porn and Only Fans, how stopped compartmentalizing the different parts of his career, what his family thinks about his work, dating while porn-ing and his ultimate Britney Spears dream meet-up scenario. And after the interview, Dennis gives Valton a special BRITNEY SPEARS BIRTHDAY QUIZ. Spoiler alert: Valton crushes it.    

    Comedian Jim David (Gay Jokes for Straight Cruisers): "I Finally Found My Niche"

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2021 33:08

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by his old pal, comedian Jim David to talk about Jim's hilarious new album Gay Jokes for Straight Cruisers, which he recorded on a trans-Atlantic cruise in March 2020. He talks about what inspired him to put the album together, the early-COVID time capsule quality of the album and the thrill of going to Number 1 on iTunes. Other topics include: how edgy the cruise lines that hire him allow him to get, when he thinks cruising will return, when cruise passengers complain about his gay material, how he uses his downtime on the ships, what his 90-year old parents think of his career, the clever nicknames he has for his fans and that time he insulted Trump to his face.

    Actress-Singer Kathy Deitch ("Titanique"): "I Was Just Adorable"

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 24, 2021 78:34

    Dennis connects via Zoom with actress and singer Kathy Deitch, one of the stars of the comedic musical homage Titanique, which streams live on Sunday, May 2nd at 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PST.  Kathy plays "Kathy Bates as Molly Brown" in the send-up, which originated as a stage production that played both in New York and LA. Kathy talks about how she got involved in the show, her affection for Kathy Bates and Celine Dion and what it's like to sing Celine's money notes in "All By Myself." She also talks about appearing in Magic Mike XXL as the object of Matt Bomer's bumping and grinding in the movie's epic climactic strip sequence, being part of the original Broadway casts of Wicked and Footloose. She also talks about her fat activism, the podcast she hosts on the subject "Plus This! Show" how he relationship to the word 'fat' has evolved and starting a sketch comedy group with like-minded performers called "Fatch." Other topics include: feeling inspired by Ann Wilson of Heart, teaching young people to sing, the children's show scripts that offend her, the myth that show business has to be hard, the power of representation and the real-life Maria Von Trapp who changed her life.

    Actor Randy Harrison ("Cock"): I Want To Be Challenged and Amazed"

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2021 53:23

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by actor Randy Harrison to discuss the play he's currently appearing in, Mike Bartlett's Cock, which is streaming through April 18th through the Studio Theatre in Washington DC. In the play, he plays John, a self-identified gay man who leaves a long-term relationship, begins seeing a woman soon after and ends up torn between the two lovers. Randy talks about the themes of identity, power and desire that drew him to the piece, his desire to someday do it before an audience and what it was like to rehearse and shoot the production during COVID-19. He also discusses his breakout turn as Justin in the American version of Queer as Folk, leaving a summer stock ensemble gig to go shoot it, and how the experience was all of the things; exciting, scary, insane and fun all at once. Other topics include: his decision to be out from the get-go, how the discussion around LGBT roles and actors has evolved recently, his dream gig, why he acts and his favorite memory of shooting Queer as Folk.  

    Filmmaker Jon Garcia and actors Ernesto Reyes & Jesse Tayeh ("Luz"): "Love Takes Courage"

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2021 67:04

    Dennis Zooms with the three men behind the new prison romance "Luz;" writer-director Jon Garcia and actors Ernesto Reyes, who plays prison newbie Ruben and Jesse Tayeh who plays his seen-it-all cellmate Carlos. They talk about shooting in a real prison in Oregon, why they couldn't wear blue during shooting and including actual inmates in the film. Jon discusses the strong chemistry between the actors and how he knew they were the right choices and the actors talk about the strong bond they forged working on the film. Jon talks about the culture of machismo that's explored in the film and enlisting his own mother to play Carlos's mother in the film. The trio also talk about their approach to the film's two powerful sex scenes, why they were important to the film and what they were like for the actors to shoot. Other topics include: getting the tortilla-making right, bringing levity to serious work, the kind or unkind ways we speak to ourselves, the way guys razz each other for dumb things like the way they carry their books or drink from a bottle and the gloriousness that is Costco pizza.  

    Jackie Beat & Danny Pintauro (Who's Da Boss?): "My Feet Hurt From Paving the Way"

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 6, 2021 76:39

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by writer-performer-drag legend Jackie Beat to talk about Sunday's Zoom event 'WHO'S DA BOSS? THE LOST TAPES'...a loving homage to the classic sitcom Who's the Boss? Halfway through the chat, Dennis and Jackie are joined by actor Danny Pintauro who played Jonathan Bower on the original Who's the Boss? and reprises his role in this stage / Zoom version. Jackie talks about finding ways to stay sane, creative and make money during the pandemic, having plastic surgery on his neck during lockdown and what he hooks into when playing Angela, Judith Light's character on Who's Da Boss? When Danny joins, he talks about what appealed to him about doing the stage show, coming out in The Enquirer, calling Judith Light right after coming out, overcoming the demons of child stardom and coming out happy on the other side. Other topics include: Joan Rivers memories, the upside of doing online shows, doing personalized videos on Cameo, Stanford pride, love of animals, what's cool about Austin, TX, a possible Who's the Boss? reboot, how the world has changed for LGBT actors since the Who's the Boss? days, his friendship with Alyssa Milano, finding love through Tupperware, how drag's place in the gay entertainment hierarchy has changed in the last decade and Tony Danza's sweatpants obsession.  

    2020 Movie Wrap Up w/ Glenn Gaylord & Michael Dougherty

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 15, 2021 107:07

    For the fourth year in a row, Dennis is joined my film buffs Glenn Gaylord and Michael Doughtery to look back on the films of 2020 (and early '21) Glenn is the Senior Film Critic at the Queer Review and Michael is the Director of the Reel Abilities Film Festival. Movies discussed include: The Invisible Man, Shirley, Nomadland, The Painter and the Thief, Assassins, A Thousand Cuts, Collective, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Promising Young Woman, Butt Boy, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Da 5 Bloods, The Father, I'm Thinking of Ending Things, The Climb, First Cow, Minari, The Vast of Night, Palm Springs, Beanpole, The Assistant, Dramarama, Two Eyes, Crip Camp, Run, Welcome to Chechnya, Time, I Am Woman, Kajillionaire, The High Note, Blow the Man Down, Miss Americana, On the Rocks, Freaky, Color out of Space, Possessor, I Carry You With Me, Monsoon, Breaking Fast, The Pink Cloud and Gunda. Other topics include: the magic of pillow forts and Milk Duds, the moves that drive Glenn's dog Sydney crazy, friends showing up for each other and movies as "empathy machines."

    Actor-Writer Ryan J. Haddad (Hi, Are You Single?): "The Milkshakes Are Here!"

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2021 73:18

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by Ryan J. Haddad the star and writer of the one-man show Hi Are You Single? which is streaming on line all through February (see link below). The show is a funny, smart and moving look his quest for love, connection, or just a decent hookup as a gay man with cerebral palsy. He talks about the origins of the show, why gay men looking for connection can be cruel to each other, and some of the reactions he's gotten to the show. He also talks about coming out to his family, some of the reactions he's gotten to the play, and the profound reaction he had to the Netflix TV series Special, which also features a gay protagonist with cerebral palsy. Other topics include: working with Ben Platt, Bette Midler and Jackie Hoffman on the TV show The Politician, the special dedication at the end of the piece, the frustrating Grindr interface and milkshakes with donuts on top.

    Breaking Fast Filmmaker Mike Mosallam & actor Amin El Gamal: "A Journey That Looked Like Mine"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2021 31:19

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by filmmaker Mike Mossalam and actor Amin El Gaman two of the men behind the new queer rom-com Breaking Fast, about Mo, a devout Muslim doctor in Los Angeles (Haaz Sleiman) who begins a relationship with a All-American-type actor (Michael Cassidy) during the month of Ramadan. MIke is the writer-director of the film and he talks about what inspired him to write it, the challenges of shooting a movie with lots of delicious food scenes and how his love of musical theater found its way into the story. Amin plays Mo's best friend Sam and talks about what drew him to the project, what it's like to play a light, fun Muslim role after playing darker roles on projects like Prison Break and The Newsroom and how moved he was when a relative came out to him after seeing the film. Other topics include: their dream projects, the reactions they've gotten thus far to the film, Superman as an immigrant story and the pop culture moments that helped shape their queer identities.

    Actor-Writer-Director Tom DeTrinis: "You Need To Dance Like Him"

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2020 60:19

    Dennis connects via Zoom with actor-writer-director Tom DeTrinis to discuss his one-person show Making Friends, which is available to stream at the IAMA Theatre company website through January 11th. Tom talks about the central theme of the play, specifically his anger and where it comes from, how his road rage figures in, and why he chose to mount the show virtually instead of waiting until it's safe to do live theater again. He also talks about how AOL chat rooms fed his teenage horndog instincts, the inspiring older gay role models he found when he discovered theater as a tween, and the friend TJ who forced him out of the closet. Other topics include: Tom's decision to wear a "uniform" in his everyday life, nipple bars, the magic of caftans, the joy and freedom of dance and the most delicious Ryan Gosling story this side of The Notebook.

    Deven Green & Ned Douglas: "I'm Not a Farmer. Of course, I'm Going to Get Dressed Up"

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2020 37:36

    Dennis connects via Zoom with Deven Green and Ned Douglas, creators of the new Revry game show Versus, where contestants answer questions about their own social media feeds, play silly games like Roosters vs. Snails and try to make sense of what's coming out of emcee Deven's mouth. Deven and Ned talk about how they came up with the idea for the show, how Revry got involved and how they produced the entire thing themselves from writing to shooting to editing to composing the music. They also talk about why they make a good time, staying creative during these surreal times and the free online shows they've been doing every Friday morning at 11 PST since COVID hit.  Other topics include: why drag queens are the best performers, Deven's Canadian roots, why they both love L.A., why Poltergeist is terrifying and that Christmas morning where 5 year-old Deven went crazy and opened everyone's presents before they got up.    

    Hugh Nini & Neal Treadwell ("Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love 1850s to 1950s"): The Embrace Heard Around the World

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2020 80:51

    Dennis is joined via Zoom by Hugh Nini & Neal Treadwell, the real-life couple behind the remarkable new book Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love 1850s to 1950s, a gorgeous collection of vintage photos they've collected of male couples in love. Hugh and Neal talk about the day they discovered their first photo, the rush of discovery that comes with every new find, the way their collection quietly grew without anyone else really knowing about it, and what went into choosing the cover photo and the title Loving. The couple also talk about their "50/50" test, which determines whether a photo will be considered for the collection or not, and the one couple featured in the book whose story they actually know something about--it involves a ring and a shoebox and you might cry. Neal talks about the job in cosmetics that allowed him to hunt for photos in different cities and Hugh talks about how the people in these photos didn't face what he calls "the homophobic industrial complex" that emerged in more recent decades. Other topics include: umbrellas as a signifier, the first selfie, how Hugh and Neal first met, their own photo moment at the March in Washington in the 90's and the incredible responses they've gotten from all around the world.    

    Writer-Producer Sean Dwyer ("Holiday Rush"): "We Had to CGI The Spring Flowers Out"

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2020 39:23

    Dennis connects via Zoom with Sean Dwyer, an L.A.-based writer-producer whose Christmas-themed movie Holiday Rush is currently streaming on Netflix. The film is about a successful New York radio personality and father of four who, just a few years after the death of his beloved wife, abruptly loses his job and has to reimagine his whole life. Sean talks about the origins of the story, shooting a holiday movie in the spring, casting Romany Malco from A Million Little Things as the lead...and scoring singer Darlene Love for the role of the grandmother--and getting her to record a new version of her seasonal classic "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)." Sean also talks about his previous Netflix film Walk, Ride, Rodeo, about a real-life Utah teenager who resumed competitive rodeo months after a paralyzing spinal cord injury...and he recalls his first job in show business, as a driver for legendary TV producer Norman Lear. He also talks about Half Husband, a short film he shot during COVID about a gay man and a straight woman who decide to get married and build a life together. Other topics include: his daily writing process, staying creative during the pandemic, his dream to make a musical and where Norman Lear's enchanting hats. 

    Author Paria Hassouri ("Found in Transition"): "Now She's Super-Hugger"

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2020 63:55

    Dennis connects via Zoom with his yoga pal and author Paria Hassouri to talk about her new memoir Found In Transition: A Mother's Evolution through Her Child's Gender Change. which documents her journey and her family's journey through the process of her teenage daughter Ava's gender transition. She talks about her initial reaction to her daughter saying she was trans, which was skepticism, and recalls the family Thanksgiving dinner early on when Ava wanted to wear a dress. She talks her own resistance to Ava's first therapist, who was trans, how Ava's journey brought up her own body issues and how Ava's generation seems to be more open around issues of sexuality and gender. She talks getting the troubling phone call that opens the book--from her daughter's school--while being on a yoga retreat in Thailand. Other topics include: becoming an activist, how Ava's doing now and how Ava's coming out as trans dovetailed with her own emergence as a writer.    

    Jon Lawrence Rivera & Jon Imparato (Director & Producer of "March"): "It's Only 16 Cars, People"

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2020 31:23

    Dennis connects via Zoom with director Jon Lawrence Rivera and producer Jon Imparato, two of the creative forces behind the new play "March." "March" is not a Zoom-happening. It's an actual live theatrical experience presented in the parking garage of the LA LGBT Center to an audience watching safely from their cars. The play is set in a post-Trump, dystopian, anti-queer future and focuses on three LGBT characters running and hiding and fighting for their lives. Jon and Jon talk about what made them crazy enough to mount a live show during a pandemic, how they crafted the script from the performers' real life experiences and why it was important that the show be hard-hitting and political. Other topics include: the thrill of presenting a new play live at a time when virtually no one else in the country is, the challenge of directing actors whose faces are covered by masks and shields and that time an audience member's car broke down in the middle of the show.

    Filmmaker Nicol Paone ("Friendsgiving"): "The Turkey Leg Was Here and Not Here"

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2020 21:55

    While driving cross country, actor and filmmaker Nicol Paone joins Dennis via Zoom to talk about her debut film as writer-director, the ensemble holiday comedy Friendsgiving. She talks about the getting the inspiration for the movie from a real-life experience, how she got the movie made and working with the cast, which includes Malin Akerman, Kat Dennings, AIsha Tyler, Jane Seymour, Christine Taylor and Chelsea Peretti. She also talks about how getting to step behind the camera changed her approach to her acting career, the challenges of working with a baby and the importance of food continuity in a movie about a big-ass meal. Other topics include: what it's like to release a movie about a big group gather during a time when people can't have big group gatherings, Glenn Close's tendency to be 32% too dramatic and why she loves Thanksgiving.

    Actor-Writer David Pevsner ("Musical Comedy Whore"): "The Only Comment is Puke"

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 3, 2020 71:20

    Dennis talks via Zoom with actor-singer-writer David Pevsner about his film "Musical Comedy Whore," which is now available on DVD and streaming. It's a filmed version of his stage show about the period of time when he was working as both a musical comedy performer (Party, Naked Boys Singing, When Pigs Fly) and an escort. He talks about what it was like to live that double life, what turned him of about it and the feeling of connection he would often feel with his clients. He also talks about getting over shame and what he's learned about himself and others from posting sexual pictures and videos of himself on line. He discusses what his family thinks about the show. He also recalls how he first got into body building and what it was like to suddenly start getting a lot more attention from guys. He talks about his Only Fans sidehustle (as realguyla) and how it's given him a creative outlet and a little income during COVID. Other topics include: Chorus Boy shaming, being a recovering body Nazi and a recovering narcissist, dealing with haters on Data Lounge and not giving a F about what other people think of him.  

    Singer-Songwriter-Actor Levi Kreis: "I Don't Walk Around Showing It To People"

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 10, 2020 78:27

    Dennis connects via Zoom with singer-songwriter-actor Levi Kreis from his home in Knoxville, Tennessee to talk about his latest EP Bad Habit and his upcoming series of virtual concerts (October 20th, November 18th and November 15th). He talks about drawing from his experience as a recovering addict in writing the song "Bad Habit" and shooting its accompanying video. He also discusses his cover of George Michael's and the controversy it stirred up on line. He talks about being outed as gay at his Christian college while signed to a gospel record label and having his whole life blow up...and then ultimately finding redemption just a few years ago. He also talks about playing Jerry Lee Lewis in the hit Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet, winning the Tony for the role...and then getting separated from his phone, his now-husband and his actual award in the crush after the ceremony.  He talks about going through eight different record labels before deciding to just put out his own CD and recorded his breakout album One of the Ones for $200. He recalls the profound reaction he had to the Del Shores' play Southern Baptist Sissies and why he went back to see it over 30 times, then ended up writing a song inspired by it. He also shares his earliest memory of music; coming home from his graduation from kindergarten, sitting down at the piano in his basement and figuring out how to play it by ear. Other topics include: the dark, toxic cloud hanging over Los Angeles, getting his big break on the reality show The Apprentice, learning about the music business by shadowing singer Brenda Lee on the road and the undeniable goddess-ness of J.Lo.

    Neon Trees Frontman Tyler Glenn: "Elder Glenn Demos Were Floating Around My Mission"

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2020 91:42

    Dennis connects via Zoom with Neon Trees frontman Tyler Glenn to talk about the band's terrific new album I Can Feel You Forgetting Me. Tyler talks about the inspiration for the record, his songwriting process, the delicious retro sound of the record and what it’s like to drop a new album when no one can leave the house. Tyler and Dennis also talk about their shared background in the Mormon church. Tyler recalls the crisis of faith that inspired his 2016 solo album Excommunication, the church's "Word of Wisdom" which forbids drugs and alcohol, hearing from young LGBT mormons who he's inspired and how the church felt about his creative ambitions. Tyler also recalls visiting Capital Hill early in 2020 to talk to congress about the evils of conversion therapy and how he met Utah Senator Mitt Romney on the same day that Romney spoke on the floor against Trump. Other topics include: appearing on Broadway in Kinky Boots, the Mormon Bishop who told him his goth hairdo was a distraction in church, how Joey Fatone is the hottest guy N'Sync, coming out about his first tattoo, falling off the stage and breaking his front teeth during a concert, the first time he heard one of his songs on the radio and of course, the Osmonds.

    Comedian Misha D: "I Am A Little Extra"

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 13, 2020 75:49

    Dennis welcomes to the Zoom room comedian Misha D to tslk about his debut comedy album Dolphin of the Land, which has just dropped on streaming services like Spotify and iTunes. Dennis and Misha recall the talking-head pop culture TV show they met on Ultimate Countdown that never aired in the states. Misha talks about being drawn to standup after the 2016 election, finding humor in dark subjects, how he deals with homophobic material from other comics and that time he bailed on show and wished he hadn't. He talks about his decision to donate all proceeds from the album to charity, his unique day job in the field of mental health and his plan to move to The Netherlands with his fiance to start a new life...and being thwarted by the pandemic. Other topics include: the show he started with his fiance, Wokelahoma, how anal retentive he is when it comes to crafting his comedy, his first job in LA at Knott's Scary Farm, the mystery of Mike Pence, being told by a frenemy that he's "a little extra" and taking it as a compliment, social media shame, Misha's decision to ditch Facebook and Twitter altogether and the Pinocchio costume that made filled him with jealousy.

    Author Byron Lane ("A Star is Bored"): "This Is Downton Abbey and You're the Downstairs"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2020 83:05

    Dennis connects over Zoom with author Byron Lane to talk all about his delicious new novel A Star Is Bored, which is inspired by his 3-year stint as personal assistant to actress-author-intergalactic princess Carrie Fisher. He talks about deciding to write the book in the wake of Fisher's passing, what he thinks Carrie would think of the book and recalls how working with Carrie changed his feelings about life and himself. He also gives us and inside look at the lingo and protocols of the celebrity assistant world, from the all-important Assistant Bible, to fraternizing with other assistants, to how crucial it is to simply "be there" for their boss. Byron recalls the trips he took with Carrie that also appear in the novel, from seeing the Northern Lights in Canada to eating exotic sushi in Japan. Dennis shares his own memories of Carrie, from interviewing her in the 90's, to buying her laxatives to going to one of her famous star-studded birthday blowouts. Bryon talks about using the acknowledgements section of his book to pop the question to his boyfriend, author Steven Rowley (Lily and the Octopus), and also discusses how the pair differ in their process as writers. He also talks about the hilarious play he wrote and starred in called Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craig's List, taking the show to the Edinburgh Festival twice and encountering a relative of the real Tilda Swinton. Other topics include: Byron's dark days in TV news, the Siri-ousness of it all, tending to Carrie's dog Gary, and who he would be if he were a character on Downton Abbey.

    Author Matthew Todd ("Pride"): "I Needed to Hear 'Express Yourself' When I Was 16"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2020 101:49

    All the way from London, author Matthew Todd joins Dennis via Skype to talk about his beautiful new coffee table book Pride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality Movement. Matthew talks about how the book came about, some of the unsung heroes he writes about in the book, the similarities between the US and the UK in terms of the movement and how moments in pop culture like gay characters on soap operas and shows like Will and Grace helped move the mainstream culture forward. Matthew also talks about being profoundly moved by Princess Diana's AIDS activism as a teen, recalls how one journalist at the time called her "the patron saint of sodomy" and shares the power of the photo of Diana that appears in the book. Matthew also tells the story of how he was able to score Prince William for the cover of Attitude when he was editor there...and how and why William used the f-word on the record. Matthew and Dennis share what Pride month means to them and how that's changed over the years. Other topics include: the beginnings of P-Flag, the insane state of the world, writing about hot-button gay issues like chemsex and open relationships, Matthew's favorite memory of Elton John, how awesome Madonna was circa Blond Ambition, the British and American Queer as Folk, the sweetness of Love Simon, why the Spice Girls matter, the private George Michael mini-concert he got to attend, his favorite Pride dance song, and that time he drunkenly thanked Sir Ian McKellen for his activism while standing in the bathroom line at the gay bar Heaven.

    Author Brent Hartinger ("The Otto Digmore Decision"): "A Transendant Bag of Doritos"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 18, 2020 73:09

    Dennis chats with author Brent Hartinger via Skype from Port Washington, Washington about his career about his 14th novel The Otto Digmore Decision, a sweet and funny a gay burn victim trying to make it as an actor in Hollywood. He also talks about his breakout first novel Geography Club, one of the first YA novels to feature gay teens, how it tapped into a market no one knew was there and went on to become a film in 2013. He also talks about growing with his young readers, going to self-publishing after being with Harper-Collins, and his 2007 novel Project Pay Day which was shot as a film last year. Brent also discusses he and his husband Michael's big lifestyle change; in 2017, they sold their house in Seattle and have spent the last three years traveling the world and working remotely as "digital nomads.' He talks about what he's learned on his journeys, how it's changed his relationship to his husband, making friends on his travels and the importance of good Wifi. Other topics include: the pros and cons of selling out, the craziest things he's eating abroad, getting rid of stuff, spending two months a year on cruise ships, going to a gay club in Tblisi, Georgia and enjoying a transcendent bag of Doritos.

    Filmmaker Jeffrey McHale (You Don't Nomi": "We're Not Done With It"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2020 39:14

    Dennis chats via Skype with Jeffrey McHale, the filmmaker behind You Don't Nomi, a film about the afterlife of the 1995 camp classic Showgirls. He talks about what inspired him to make the movie, his choice to have his interviewees appear on audio but not video, how he was able to include so many clips and the thrill of being at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery screening with Elizabeth Berkley showed up at thanked the crowd for embracing the movie. Dennis and Jeffrey discuss the elegant look the film, the magic that is the doggie chow scene, the rape scene that some say ruins the campy fun and how the Trump era has made the awfulness of the male characters seem less over the top. Other topics include: the live Showgirls musical, what it's like to put a movie out during a pandemic, making something from Madonna's Vogue video outtakes, and whether or not men can be campy.

    Filmmaker John Paul Su ("Toto"): Oh Wow, I Have a Feature Now

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2020 49:43

    Dennis connects via Skype with filmmaker John Paul Su whose debut feature film Toto, about a hotel worker in the Philippines who dreams of moving to America, is currently screening on Amazon Prime and ITunes. He talks about infusing his own experiences as an immigrant into the story, shooting the film in the Philippines, how he financed the film, how the film was received in the Philippines, shooting the comedic sex scenes and how proud he was that his father didn't fall asleep watching the movie. He also talks about loving movies as a kid, how his mother would cry at the movies but was all strength in real life.  He recalls moving to New York to pursue filmmaking without knowing anyone and how his parents felt about. Other topics include: why he loves The Sound of Music, what it's like to have your movie on Amazon, his acclaimed short film Pagpag, going to the Philippines once a year to teach for a month and why he makes films.    

    Author/Actor Maulik Pancholy ("The Best at It"): "I Wrote the Book I Wish I Had at 12"

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2020 83:00

    Dennis chats via Skype with author, actor and activist Maulik Pancholy about his debut novel The Best at It, which tells the story of Rahul Kapoor, an Indian-American sixth grader in suburban Indiana who sets out to become the best at something. He talks about where the idea to write the book came from, the bidding war that erupted when the book went to publishers, the parameters he faced when it comes to talking about LGBT issues in books for young people and getting emotional while recording the audio book. He also talks about his whirlwind national book tour, the kids who would open up to him when he visited their schools and sparking an anti-gay backlash at one school in Ohio. Other topics include: serving on President Obama's Advisory Commission on Asian-American and Pacific Islanders, his favorite memories of 30 Rock, living in LA right after college, getting engaged at the Taj Mahal and going to Russia with his high school math team. 

    Somatic Experiencing Practitioner Brian Mahan: "That Car Wreck Was Just for Me"

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2020 60:01

    Dennis connects via Skype with Brian Mahan a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner based in Los Angeles who Dennis saw for treatment back in 2016. Brian explains what exactly Somatic Experiencing is, the difference between stress and trauma and the car wreck on the 10 Freeway that led him to this work. He also talks about the work he's doing around the issue of shame, toxic shame vs. healthy shame, shame in the LGBT community, how shame impacted him growing up and how he became a chameleon in order to get by. Other topics include: where emotions go if we don't express them, healthy aggression, narcissism, coping with Covid 19, his upcoming book I Cried All the Way to Happy Hour, his Facebook group Safe Zone and why he loves the work that he does.

    Actor-Filmmaker Jack Plotnick: "Yay to the Donut Shop! Boo to the Dry Cleaners!"

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 22, 2020 44:41

    In this new social distancing era, Dennis connects via Skype with his longtime friend, actor and filmmaker Jack Plotnick, to talk about Dennis's current online obsession; Jack's epic musical short Alien Mini Mall Tetralogy, in which he plays two different aliens as well as several alien clones who wrestle with life's big themes at a mini-mall on Santa Monica Boulevard. Jack talks about what inspired him to start the journey, shooting at his neighborhood mini-mall, why he chose the music of Styx and Rush and turning a woman's fur collar into a wig. He also discusses the the donut shop-owner who embraced the process and the fed-up dry cleaner who banished him from the property. Other topics include: his lack of the embarrassment gene, what making silly comedy videos has brought to his life, how doing them improved his drama acting, how doing silly videos has gotten him work, the connection between Kenny Rogers and Jack's Girls Will Be Girls character Evie Harris and making fun of Ron Howard's Masterclass faux pas.      

    Filmmaker/Actor/Teacher Anthony Meindl: "I Was Very Ram-a-Lama-Ding-Dong"

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2020 88:33

    Dennis visits the Hollywood Hills home of Anthony Meindl the writer-director and one of the stars of Where We Go From Here, a new film that just hit Hulu about people in three different places--Orlando, Paris and Binghampton, NY--whose lives are affected by gun violence. Anthony talks about what made him sit down and write the film, putting his own experiences into the film's gay relationship, appearing nude in the film and shooting in Paris in French without speaking the language himself. He also talks about his work as an acting teacher, how he got started, why he believes his philosophy connects, having schools in ten cities around the world, what it's like when one of his students hits the big time and how the world has changed for aspiring gay actors. He also discusses growing up gay in Indiana as the son of German immigrants, getting bullied for being gay and pulling a John Cusack in Say Anything move to try and win over a dude named Tim. Other topics include: coaching Camilla Cabello on the set of Cinderella, carbon offsetting your flights when you travel, getting shut down in Altadena, his first dirty magazine, playing the title character in Hard Hat Harry, getting shamed in school for watching Helter Skelter on TV and how he feels about dating actors.

    Writer-Actor David Dean Bottrell: "It's Gonna Work Out"

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 3, 2020 75:27

    Dennis ventures to a near-empty house in Hollywood to talk with previous guest, writer-actor-author David Dean Bottrell about the new Random House audiobook of his one-man show David Dean Bottrell Makes Love. He talks about the genesis of the show, bonding with audience members after the show, how the show intersects with his Hollywood career, being gay married before it was national, having it all and losing it all overnight, getting over heartbreak, dating in Los Angeles, what his current boyfriend thinks of the show and what he's learned about love. We also talk about Available Men, the short film that changed the game for him, the state of gay content and talent in the current climate and how the LGBTQ actors he teaches are much more chill about being out. Other topics include: appearing in the Emmy-winning webseries After Forever, the ring he lost and wants back, the joy of TV Guide, his most impactful teacher, the Mayor Pete of it all, conspiring with Kathy Bates and the mannequin that didn't get away.

    Filmmaker / Actor Chad Darnell: "The Spotlight Nearly Killed Him"

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 27, 2020 75:36

    Dennis sits down in a Studio City Airbnb with filmmaker / actor / casting director Chad Darnell the day after Chad wrapped directing a film that he also wrote called The Undertaker's Wife. Chad talks about his inspiration for the film and his experience directing it and why Parasite got him excited to shoot it. He also talks about his longtime passion project, a biopic about the life and death of the bad boy of 90's porn Joey Stefano. He talks about all the moments of serendipity that kept coaxing him to continue developing it, interviewing a lot of the real life people who knew Joey like ChiChi LaRue and Sharon Kane and what it is about Joey's story that hooked him. He also discusses the challenge of finding an actor to play Joey, the mystery surrounding the red shirt Joey died in, the Madonna connection and why he can't seem to let the project go. Chad also talks about his work as an actor and casting director, what caused him to leave L.A. and move back to Atlanta. Other topics include: the magic of Magic Mike XXL, working in casting on the Halle Berry film Catwoman, playing David O. Selznick in a play in Atlanta while doing pre-production for his film in LA, his dream gig, his bout with cancer, Night of the Living Dead and that time he got called out by Channing Tatum.

    Playwright Del Shores & Actress Dale Dickey (This Side of Crazy): "Scratch Deeper"

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 11, 2020 73:00

    Dennis goes to the Hollywood home of playwright Del Shores to talk to Del and actress Dale Dickey about their just-opened play This Side of Crazy, which is about an egocentric gospel diva and her three estranged daughters. Del talks about the show's themes of forgiveness and reconciliation, writing for specific actors, sitting behind one of his idols Horton Foote in the theater, what it's like when one of his actors hits it big in Hollywood and having your plays published by Samuel French. Dale talks about her character of Abigail, what it's like to have a role written for you, smoking on stage, singing harmony with her co-stars, her Witchiepoo connection, getting recognized from Breaking Bad, finding her way into characters some might consider "undesirables" and performing as Shrek and Barney for kids' birthday parties before being able to act full time. Other topics include: their first meeting 17 projects ago, hanging in in such a challenging business, the overwhelming reaction their previous collaborations Southern Baptist Sissies and The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife and what it feels like after a killer show.  

    Performer John Cantwell (A Little More Love Connie): "I Call It White Girl Scatting"

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 4, 2020 73:43

    Dennis visits the Hollywood apartment of performer John Cantwell AKA Love Connie to talk about his new show A Little More Love Connie, which is inspired by the life and music of Olivia Newton-John. John recalls the road trip to Houston he took recently where he listened to Olivia's entire catalog and didn't repeat a song until he got to San Antonio...and how that trip help inspire the show. Dennis and John then discuss their favorite ONJ tracks, getting to meet her, the unique quality of her voice, mispronouncing the word Xanadu and the Grease vs. Grease 2 debate. John also talks about guest-starring on RuPaul's Drag Race as RuPaul's personal trainer and creating the Connie-Wood web series for World of Wonder. Then Dennis and John take an online ONJ quiz and crush it. Other topics include: performing as Love Connie for the first time in front of family members, the regrouped Animotion, Sylvia Miles, Slut Rock, the Taylor Swift documentary, gushing to Melissa Leo about the movie Streetwalkin' and getting goosebumps at the mere thought of lip-syncing to a Lisa Hartman song.

    2019 Movie Wrap Up w/ Glenn Gaylord & Michael Dougherty

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2020 101:40

    For the fourth year in a row, Dennis sits down with Glenn Gaylord (Senior Film Critic for The Queer Review) and Michael Dougherty (co-director of the ReelAbilities Film Festival: Los Angeles) to talk about the movies and movie moments they loved from 2019. Films discussed include: Parasite, The Irishman, Hustlers, Long Shot, Dolemite is My Name, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, High Life, Good Boys, Ad Astra, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, JT Leroy, Midsommer, Avengers: Endgame, Joker, Rocketman, Scream Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street, Queen and Slim, Blinded by the Light, Us, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, The Lighthouse, A Hidden Life, Honeyboy, The Peanut Butter Falcon and Serenity.

    Daniele Gaither & Pip Lilly "(For the Love of a Glove"): "I've Had an Emmanuel For Years..."

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 28, 2020 31:07

    Dennis visits the dressing room at the Carl Sagan & Ann Duran Theater to talk to Daniele Gaither and Pip Lilly, two of the stars of the new musical "For the Love of a Glove," an absurd and satirical take on the early life of Michael Jackson. They talk about what drew them to the show, going to puppet camp, playing multiple characters (including Emmanuel Lewis!) and how the show fits into a post-Leaving Neverland world. Daniele recalls road-tripping with a friend to the Michael Jackson trial and actually getting in and Pip remembers dining with a very rich friend of MJ. Other topics include: Pip's favorite birthday, Daniele's limo ride to nowhere, dodging staplers at work, learning to love your big butt and the movie snakes and rats that gave them nightmares. 

    Tarot Card Artist and Singer Paul Ybarra: "Jan Brady Is My Spirit Animal"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2020 72:56

    Dennis visits the gothic-style and possibly haunted Hollywood apartment of Paul Ybarra, a singer and visual artist who has recently started creating tarot card illustrations featuring pop culture figures like Liza Minnelli, Mr. Rogers, Sonny Bono, Josephine Baker, Liberace, The Ronettes, Divine, Al Parker, Leona Helmsley, Joyce DeWitt and Miss Coco Peru...and then posting them on Instagram as @hauntedhollywood. He talks about his creative process, how he matches the tarot characters to the celebrities, the different media he uses, his goal of making them look as though Jan Brady created them and buying his first deck of tarot cards at a Barnes and Noble at 14. He also talks about growing up Catholic in a progressive, New Age community in Oregon, having an identical twin brother, getting chastised for being effeminate as a kid, his lifelong obsession with Donna Summer and his fetish for straight jackets. He also discusses his passion for singing, his three EPs that are streaming on Spotify and covering artists he loves like Fleetwood Mac, Donna Summer, Blondie and Oasis. Other topics include: lusting after Telly Savalas, being strange and weird, the wondrousness of wigs, buying crazy stuff on ebay like Sarah Vaughn's last license plate and his dream of being a cult figure, "like Dawn Davenport from Female Trouble but without the murders."

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