P E E BL
NOVEMBER 2013 Issue • 310
KRYSTA RODRIGUEZ • KEALA SETTLE KATIE ROSE CLARKE • SIERRA BOGGESS BETSY WOLFE
BROADWAY’S LEADING LADIES THE MATTHEW MURPHY PORTFOLIO
TEEN WOLF’S MICHAEL FJORDBAK THE ‘RED HOT’ THOMAS KNIGHTS BLEEP 1
n i p e ble inside
THE 2 BLEEP
ON THE COVER
Girls, girls, girls. Everyone loves a leading lady. Well BLEEP has five of them and they are telling us about what matters to them after the confetti canons have fired, the stage makeup comes off and the curtain comes down. Shot entirely by Matthew Murphy, these women are forces to be reckoned with.
TEEN (WOLF) DREAM
Fans know Michael Fjordbak from the hit MTV series “Teen Wolf,” but we wanted to find out more about what he’s passionate about off screen. We ask Broadway star N’Kenge our list of 20 questions and she lets us in on her life and what’s coming up next for her. (Hint: you will want to get your tickets.)
Letter from the Editor November is all about Thanksgiving. At least for me it is. There are still some lingering Halloween decorations on a few doorsteps and for the first couple days of the month, Halloween candy is on clearance so we all become a little fatter. But that’s fine because it pales in comparison to the eat-a-thon that will happen at the end of the month at Thanksgiving. But the food isn’t what Thanksgiving is about, as we know. It’s about giving thanks. (insert Sunday School lesson here) I feel like I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m healthy despite my addiction to pre-popped bags of butter popcorn, I’m happy I can wear my coats again despite the fact that the freezing winds whipping through the buildings in midtown Manhattan make me question my life’s purpose, and Kelly Clarkson has finally released a Christmas album. I’m thankful Baylor is having a winning football season and is making it look easy. I’m thankful that Pentatonix exist to arrange songs better than the original artist. Lots to be thankful for. But really I’m most thankful for the people in my life. It’s embarrassing really when I think about how much love surrounds me on a daily basis. Whether it’s in person, over the phone, in an email or via the barrage of texts I receive all day. There’s love there and that matters more than anything else. It is also what keeps me going, keeps me inspired and keeps me motivated. It’s fair to say that those people enable me to make this magazine. So after the parade is over and we’ve eaten our Thanksgiving hot dogs in Central Park as we do every year, at dinner that evening, I will be thankful for the love. Sidenote: How beautiful are these women of Broadway in this issue? It’s unfair really. And we couldn’t have asked for a better photographer and team to capture them at their best. Matt Murphy, Alex Michaels, DW Withrow and Carlos Gonzalez are truly astounding artists and I’m so glad you get to see their artistry on each of the more than 30 pages of Broadway women.
Ryan Brinson Editor-in-Chief 4 BLEEP
MEN ON FIRE
Photographer Thomas Knights has shattered the preconceived idea that men with firey hair and fair skin arenâ€™t as sexy as their female counterparts. His new exhibition, RED HOT, features some of the most handsome gingers around, proving that being yourself is the hottest quality in a man.
BLEEP CREATIVITY. UNCENSORED. RYAN BRINSON Editor-in-Chief RACHAEL MARIBOHO Culture Editor SARAH ROTKER Business & Audience Development Manager KADI MCDONALD Content Manager PABLO SALINAS Social Media Associate BEN HUMENIUK Cartoonist MATTHEW MURPHY Cover Photography FEATURE EDITORS: Juan Lerma Molly Craycroft WRITERS: Caleb Bollenbacher Danielle Milam Courtney Shotwell Lisa Sorenson Laura Seitter Alex Wright FEATURE CONTRIBUTORS: Katherine Morgan Nathan Robins WEB CONTENT: Sheena Wagaman Renee Rodriguez Eric Lehman Jordan Shalhoub
All articles and photos are the property of the writers and artists. All rights reserved.
P E E L bliPs B Photo by Prudence Upton
SHOW NOT TO BE MISSED: LA SOIRÉE We love theatrics here at BLEEP and when we heard LA SOIRÉE was returning to New York, we knew we would be quickly heading to the Union Square Theatre (100 East 17th Street). Listen. This is glamour and glitz. It’s vaudeville in the 21st century. It’s circus, complete with ringside seats, bar service and posh tables where you get to be treated to a heady cocktail of cabaret, burlesque, sideshow and contemporary variety. This is New York. We’ve seen and heard it all. But there’s something special about this show. High glamour mixes with the risky and the risqué and unlike other burlesque 8 BLEEP
shows in New York, this show won’t cost you hunderds, even thousands, for a table. Also, the cast of LA SOIRÉE features some of the most talented (and most sexy) entertainers in the world and audiences from Paris, Sydney, Stockholm and London have been smitten by thier sexy, funny and even dangerous take on cabaret and variety. It’s only in New York for a short time, so if you’re in the City, run, don’t walk, to Union Square to see this one-ofa-kind show. www.la-soiree.com
We’ve been obsessed with Anna Kendrick’s version of “Cups” from Pitch Perfect just like everyone else and we thought the first few covers on YouTube were fun as well. But like any song that becomes popular, it became over-covered and the novelty wore off. Until this little video popped up. Christopher Rice, currently in the biggest show on Broadway, The Book of Mormon, has created a fun and thoroughly entertaining video to accompany Kendrick’s catchy tune. By putting together a stellar cast of tap dancers, he’s breathed new life into an over-played song and perhaps, he created the greatest cover of them all. Plus, who doesn’t love tap dancing. Come on. Click on the link below to watch the video and share it with everyone you know.
Photo by Prudence Upton
Photo by Harmony Nicholasc
TAPPING ON ‘CUPS’
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Roommates vs. Reality
There’s been a bit of disagreement about TV shows in my house this week. Now don’t get me wrong - nobody is throwing punches over the remote like back in childish days past. But this is probably the farthest from a consensus there has been between my roommates and me. I’ve recently started watching “Parenthood,” and found myself spiraling into rather uncharacteristic behavior: binge watching. In the past week both of my roommates have been drawn into the vortex, with very disparate results. Roommate A has gotten hooked, but Roommate B gets stressed out and bemoans the fact that “it’s too real!” as he exits the room. Obviously I disagree with Roommate B, as I see no end in sight to my marathon viewing, but I wonder if he has a point. “Parenthood” is a far cry from most of the television fare I’ve discussed in this column in the past; there are no serial killers, no superpowers, no sword fighting not even a stray laser or two. On the surface it’s little more than the observation of an extended family (and not the kind that is constantly squabbling over what’s hidden in the banana stand). It’s like “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” if the Kardashians were real people. Sure, it’s fiction, but the events taking place are exceedingly everyday: report cards, first dates, trips to the therapist, and swim lessons. It’s so ordinary it feels almost intrusive watching it. But what happened to escapism? Isn’t that the whole reason we plug into entertainment? That may sound counterintuitive in a world that has become so saturated with reality TV, but even the so-called “reality” shows take life and sit it down in the makeup chair to give it a fresh coat of Hollywood glitz and glam. The end result of almost everything we see on television is a product - one engineered to tug at our dissatisfaction with normality and bring us into a temporary reprieve. Yet “Parenthood” has me hooked. And I’m not the 12 BLEEP
only one. Shows don’t make it through five + seasons by accident. Still, there is something so unorthodox about this victory of realism over escapism, and it makes me wonder. Surely the millions of people who tune in every week aren’t just so desperate to spend time staring at a screen that they can’t find anywhere else to turn. So what is it? It intrigues me that in our escapes from reality we seek familiarity, though I suppose when you say it that way it doesn’t sound that odd. We soak ourselves in media because something in us cries out to live vicariously through stories – to, in essence, live as many lives as we can (without getting up from the couch). It’s the ultimate irony. So why devote our time of precious escape to programs that are so like our own lives? Easy: because there’s greater accessibility. I won’t deny that I like to imagine myself living the lives of the more fantastical characters on TV, but at the end of the hour it’s readily apparent that there’s a major disconnect between character and viewer. Not so with more realistic shows like “Parenthood.” In those cases it’s easier to connect, easier to feel a part, because we’ve been there before – we can sympathize.. It’s comforting to see situations that have driven me to escapism being lived out by characters on the screen, and encouraging to see that just because a struggle isn’t fantastical doesn’t mean there’s not a way through it. Perhaps at the end of the day it’s nothing more than a touchstone and reminder that what I’m leaving behind when I turn to the screen isn’t so undesirable or unbearable. Or maybe it’s just a mirror that lets us easily see who we are, without having to strain to look past extraordinary dressing. Not having to strain sounds about right, given the subject matter. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go escape to the reality of my couch.
by Rachael Mariboho
With the addition of Jenny McCarthy, we’ve been watching a lot of “The View” lately. She’s fun, she says whatever she wants, and is bluntly honest. But, we can’t help but think about who is going to take Barbara Walters’ chair when she leaves this summer. Well, never fear, ABC. We’ve put together a short list of ladies who we think are worthy heirs to the Walters throne.
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DIANE SAWYER Now, she’s an obvious choice given that people love her, she has the gift of gab, and she knows everyone of note. Literally. She knows everyone. Being married to uber-film and theatre director Mike Nichols is an added bonus because of the connections to the world of hard-to-get entertainers he provides. She would be a calming presence on the couch and would provide not only insight, but also some truly poignant comments on the idiotic celebrities who pop up in Hot Topics. DOLLY PARTON There hasn’t been a co-host who has been a musician in the past, and Dolly has oneliners for days. She is universally adored by people in the pop culture universe, and she would bring a much-needed dose of southern style to the show. Plus, she’s the only woman we know who can compete with Jenny on whose boobs are more obviously fake. AMY POEHLER She’s kind of game for anything, isn’t she? Parks and Recreation won’t be on the air for too much longer and she will be in need of another gig. Her penchant for delivering perfect one-liners and spot-on political commentary would provide a shot of adrenaline to the Hot Topic discussions. Plus, her being in New York full-time for The View would free her up for even more SNL cameos. It seems to be a win-win situation for all of television. JANE FONDA She’s a movie star. She’s unquestionably well spoken. She’s faced criticism of the highest degree and didn’t crack under the pressure. She would bring on interesting guests and would have the best stories to tell of old Hollywood. Well, that, and watching her interview a Real Housewife would be hysterical. MEL B & HEIDI KLUM It’s fair to say these ladies need to come in a set. They were the reason to watch “America’s Got Talent” this summer and they proved that Euro Girl Power is alive and well. They were a hit on Talent and would fit in nicely with Sherri, Whoopi and Jenny. BLEEP 13
by Alex Wright
Objects of Affection
have a stuffed Piglet on my bed. It was my character’s main prop in Uncommon Women and Others, and every time I look at him, I am reminded of the incredible women I met during that production. Maybe it’s my sentimental side, but I tend to always take props from shows so that I can have a piece of that character with me. The end of a run inevitably feels like a death. I hug and kiss my castmates and crew goodbye, and I thank my character before burying them away in some hidden drawer inside myself, their shade continuing to stain my personality for a few months after closing. It seems appropriate to talk about this link because a good friend of mine took his life this month. Losing Ryan was devastating, to say the least. I often think about his parents, sitting up in his boyhood room, surrounded by the relics of his life. Shoelaces. Trophies. Sneakers. I thought about what they did with his things. Did they just bury them in a drawer? Does giving these things away somehow deny the life he led? Ryan and I did theater together in middle school and high school. Let me tell you, he was a volcano onstage - an eruption of energy and joy. He lived his life the same way he performed—full throttle, to the brim with love. Perhaps that love just overflowed a bit, those emotions became a bit too consuming, and he was lit on fire by his own energies. He didn’t pursue acting as a career, but his family told me that those productions were some of the happiest times of his life. I feel like actors experience a thousand little deaths. Nothing is ever permanent in this world, but as actors, our performances are only alive in the moment they’re being created. And we are so alive in that moment. We can have a whole lifetime of emotions and energy wrapped into a two hour play or a two minute monologue—the adrenaline rush of reciting Shakespeare and feeling the iambic pulse mimic your
heartbeat, or performing Chekhov and breathing in all those pregnant pauses. It’s no coincidence that so much of acting deals with breath—you breathe in your partner, breathe in that moment, and exhale out your intentions and actions. The art and beauty of theater is that it is alive and racing every second of the way. I think it’s why I always get a little down after the closing of a show, and why I feel like I need a relic to hold onto. It keeps the show going somehow and lessens some of the sting of impermanency. It’s all so fleeting; I will never create that magic with that cast in this time of my life ever again. Nothing is permanent – not art and definitely not life. And while actors may experience all these little deaths, it only means that we get to live that many more lives. Nothing makes you feel more alive than looking death in the eye. Ryan’s parents reached out to me before his funeral and asked for some photos of him doing theater in high school. They wanted to have them play during the slideshow. I think that’s how he would want to be remembered—not by shoes or posters, but by his roles as an actor. He was alive and on fire when he was acting. Acting was one of the best parts of Ryan, and I know it’s the best part of me. BLEEP 15
ISN'T IT ICONIC BY RYAN BRINSON ILLUSTRATION BY TYLER ELLIS
New It’s 2003. Justin was singing “Cry Me a River,” Beyonce was “Crazy in Love,” Christina was belting “Beautiful” and Britney was as “Toxic” as ever. They were selling out arenas, winning Grammys and shedding the teen pop images that had made them globally famous. It’s now 2013. New artists have come into the spotlight, some have already faded into the background, but each member of this quartet of pop culture megastars has remained. Amongst them, there have been albums that have flopped, heads that were shaved, and films that were panned. But today, Justin again has a hit album that swept the VMAs, Beyonce is on a sold-out world tour, Christina is winning the TV ratings race on The Voice, and Britney
has a new album to accompany her Vegas residency. Die-hard fans have continued to proclaim the “icon” status of each artist, but in an industry where critics are quick to shift the spotlight to newer and younger faces, each have had to face questions about their reign. How many articles have claimed Bieber is the new Timberlake? There was a magazine cover that claimed Leona Lewis was going to take Beyonce’s place on the summit of the pop culture Olympus. Every young female singer has been held up to the light of Britney’s star, and any singer with any power in their voice has ended up on the scale being weighed against Christina’s vocal prowess. But these have remained. Why didn’t they “Samantha Mumba” their way into a VH1 “Where Are
They Now?” special. At this year’s VMAs, it was Miley Cyrus who made headlines for the performance most of the world has seen by now. Her defense for being intentionally shocking? Britney did it. Britney’s first album, Baby One More Time, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. That was 1999. In 2000, she stripped off her suit on the VMA stage and danced in a nude colored (and very bedazzled) outfit. In 2001, she danced with a snake. Two years later, she kissed the most famous woman in music. The argument can be made that Miley is trying for the same thing, and why shouldn’t she? She’s hired the team who did it for Britney. So, like clockwork, they BLEEP 17
are replicating, almost move-for-move, what they did to ensure Britney stayed on everyone’s minds. From the risque VMA performance to a racy music video where she appears completely nude, swinging on a wrecking ball, they are positing her as Britney’s heirapparent. Is she? It remains to be seen. Most of the people I know have commented on how she’s trying too hard, a quality that is neither endearing nor appealing. The difference, to me, is that fifteen years after she was an instant sensation, Britney’s Circus Tour was the highest grossing global tour of 2009. She’s sold over 100 million albums worldwide and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So why not give Miley ten years to see what she can do? Because it didn’t take 10 years for Britney to achieve the status she has retained for the length of her career. By the time she sang “Oops…,” she was already deemed the Princess of Pop. From their first single, Britney, Justin, Christina, and Beyonce were elevated to sit on larger-thanlife pedestals, as teenagers all over the world went crazy for artists their age who were having fun and singing catchy hooks. At that time, the 90s wave of grunge was wearing off, and people wanted to dance again. It also helped that this wave of artists seemed so entirely accessible thanks to their appearances on TRL. From the get-go, they were fun, personable artists who could hug you at TRL and then wow you at the VMAs. Beyonce burst into the limelight with Destiny’s Child, still one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. They became the group you could count on to look great, sound great and put on a good show. It made sense that she’d step out on her own and when she did, she stepped out in a big way. “Crazy in Love” was the kind of career-making hit that artists dream about - VH1 even placed the song as the number one song of the 2000s. But the thing with Beyonce is that she’s had two other songs of the same magnitude. Both “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” and “Halo” would be, for any other artist, the biggest hits of their career. But for Beyonce, they were just feathers on an already fabulous hat. When Beyonce had Kelly and Michelle join her on stage at the Superbowl Halftime show, social media exploded, reinforcing the staying power of the group - even with the ever-expanding stardom of their lead singer seemingly eclipsing that of the ensemble. What that halftime show also demonstrated was that Beyonce is an artist who doesn’t rely on quick, attention-grabbing antics in order to make her point. She dances. She sings. She has a meticulously puttogether show in which every element functions for the purpose of amplifying the music, not the headlines. 18 BLEEP
Christina has a similar tool in her arsenal - that voice which is why she has been such a great fit for The Voice. She instantly became the woman to watch when she beat out Britney for the Best New Artist accolade at the Grammys, continued to command attention with “Beautiful,” and when she released her album “Back to the Basics” - a double album with a throwback sound - she proved that all you need to sell records is great music and a great voice. While Britney may have had the most public meltdowns out of the group, it’s fair to say that Christina has struggled the most with her music. Her album sales have waned in recent years, but fans’ devotion to her voice, and thusly The Voice, has only become more passionate. The Voice is a hit, beating all the other singing contests on TV on a weekly basis, and with that, Christina is a hit again as well. She thrives on talent alone. It’s not that the crop of young artists today aren’t talented (though I’d argue that sustainability will be a problem for some of them), it’s that they haven’t yet been able to break loose from the pack of disposable pop artists and become something that will transcend the radio. Every girl who had a Disney channel or Nickelodeon show has found their way to the radio somehow, and even if they have enjoyed success there, they are still the artists who go on at 8:00 when Justin is going to go on at 10:00. Justin Timberlake was made to be the leader of N’Sync by either the record label or by fans who were infatuated by his baby face. Either way, he became the stand-out in the group who holds the record for the most albums sold in a single week. It was only a matter of time before he released a solo album, and when he did, it became evident that there was no going back to the boy band. He released hit after hit, and his collaborations with other artists went straight to number one. When another Justin (the aforementioned Bieber) entered the scene, his baby face and dance moves were instantly compared to Timberlake’s. What’s been interesting, though, is seeing how the two have diverged. Just as Bieber began spitting on his fans from his hotel room balcony, Timberlake released two new albums, swept the VMAs, and without any spectacle or attention-grabbing tactics, reminded everyone who is the man to aspire to be in pop music. Only time will tell if the Justin Biebers, Miley Cyruses, Selena Gomezess and the rest of the new wave of pop culture celebrities have the staying power of a Britney Spears, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, or Justin Timberlake. In a world where fame is up for grabs to anyone willing to make a sex tape, it remains to be seen if these music makers will develop their talent, rather than rely on cheap stunts that momentarily shock us, but are unlikely to sustain longevity in this ever-changing cultural landscape.
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A CON TO REMEMBER BY LAUREN MURRAY New York Comic Con took the city by storm from October 10th through 13th. Every year, NYCC makes many New Yorkers think Halloween has come early, as thousands of costume-clad fans descend upon the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. As an avid con-attendee, this year’s NYCC more than exceeded expectations. There were fantastic giveaways, entertaining panels, stellar fan meet-ups and of course incredible Cosplay.
The first two days of NYCC were quieter, for me, than the last two days. During day one, many of the fans spent time shopping and mingling on the show floor – the main floor of the convention. It spans one entire floor of the Javits Center and is the place where vendors, publishers and exhibitors have booths for people to visit. It has everything from toy shops, where you can find that action figure you’ve been hunting for, to giant booths such as Marvel’s, where there are free giveaways and costume contests. A highlight of the second day was exploring the Artist Alley, where comic and graphic novel artists gather to meet fans and share their work. On day three, hundreds of attendees all arrived to the Javits Center several hours prior to its opening in hopes of meeting a hero, Marvel legend and Spider-Man creator, Stan Lee. All early-arriving guests are put into a huge queue in the lower levels of the Javits Center where we waited and waited for 10:00 AM to arrive. When the clock finally struck 10:00, we were led to the Will Call queue, where I quickly got my ticket to meet Mr. Lee. Dressed as Spidey’s famous lady, Mary Jane Watson, I met him later that
afternoon - there’s nothing like getting to thank your hero! The day also ended with excitment as my friends and I attended a Q&A panel with Doctor Who and Torchwood star, John Barrowman. It was a raucous, hilarious hour as the incomparably charismatic Barrowman answered questions about everything from David Tennant to Thai food. Our wonderful adventures in the Doctor Who universe continued? when not only did we meet another Who star, Arthur Darvill, but Mr. Barrowman himself greeted us on the show floor with a wave and a wink. Later that day, we attended a sizeable meetup of close to one hundred Doctor Who fans, as we took part in a photo shoot with the Cosplay group Whovian Cosplay NY. New York Comic Con 2013 was truly unforgettable. Seeing stars and hearing major news about your favorite nerdy things is always fun, but there’s really something to say about the community of the Con. In my humble opinion, the absolute best part of NYCC is meeting new people who love what you love or meeting new people who show you new nerdy things to love. Overall, NYCC 2013 left me asking one big question: “Is it next October yet?”
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Photographed by Brandon Lyon Written and Styled by Juan Lerma Makeup and Hair Styling by Jerrad Trahan Photography Assistance by Brent Hughes and Steven Chan This page: Rick Owens DRKSHDW round neck tank $285.00; Rick Owens leather jacket $2,600.00, both at TRAFFIC LA at the Joule Hotel Dallas. Next page: Moschino plaid suit $1,660.00 and tuxedo shirt $448.00; Dolce and Gabbana velvet bow tie $195.00; Valas Hudson shoe $595.00, all at TRAFFIC LA at the Joule Hotel Dallas.
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FANS KNOW MICHAEL FJORDBAK FROM THE HIT MTV SERIES “TEEN WOLF,” BUT WE WANTED TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHAT HE’S PASSIONATE ABOUT OFF SCREEN. BLEEP 27
WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED? college at The University of North Texas and decided I was raised in a suburb between Dallas and Fort to sign with an agency. I signed for modeling at the Worth. same time because my agency saw potential in me for modeling work. Both have been an adventure. WHAT DO YOU DO? I am currently trying to discover my passion and HOW MANY INSTRUMENTS CAN YOU PLAY? purpose in life. In the mean time, Iâ€™m acting, modeling, I can play piano, acoustic and electric guitar, bass learning, discovering and having a great life! guitar, and the drums. WHAT CAME FIRST, ACTING, MODELING, OR DO YOU HAVE ANY PROFESSIONAL TRAINING IN MUSIC? ANY OF YOUR TALENTS? OR DOES IT ALL JUST I have played instruments since I was a kid. Piano COME NATURALLY? first, acoustic guitar, and drums. I became interested I took acting classes when I first started acting and in film acting the summer before my second year of I still take them now to help perfect my skill. There
Kenzo flying tiger print shirt $288.00, jacket $950.00, and cap $185.00; Kenzo cloud print jeans $315.00; Alexander McQueen for Puma street climb iii trainers $250.00, all at TRAFFIC LA at the Joule Hotel Dallas.
is always so much to learn even after you have professional, on-camera experience. I have some training in the sports I’m involved in, but otherwise, I am self-taught on all of my instruments and most of my hobbies. TELL US ABOUT THE JOURNEY THAT LEAD TO A CHARACTER ROLE ON MTV’S TEEN WOLF. It took me three years of auditions and hearing “no’s” to finally get a “yes.” I was packing for a weeklong snowboarding trip with some guy friends the last week of December 2011. I got an audition request for the role of Young Peter Hale on MTV’s Teen Wolf. I read the email and thought to myself, “There is no way I am going to book a role on an MTV show. They are probably seeing hundreds of guys for this role... there is no way they would choose me.” I almost didn’t audition for it. My sister actually encouraged me to just go for it. So, we stacked some boxes up and put a digital camera on top, found a blank wall in my house and recorded my video audition. It was as low budget of an audition as you can get! Because of my last minute decision to do the audition, I ended up sending my tape in late. One week later I was snowboarding in Vail, CO, with my buddies and half way up the ski lift, I get a phone call from a random number. It was really windy up on the lift and it was snowing. I decided to answer and could barely hear the voice over the phone. It was the casting director for Teen Wolf. He had a Brooklyn accent and said hello to me and then “Congratulations, ya got the part. You need to be in Atlanta in four days.” I went out and celebrated with the guys that night, boarded for one more day, then headed back to Dallas and drove straight to Atlanta with my best guy friend and my girlfriend. The rest is history. DO YOU GET FAN MAIL? I do get fan mail. I get mail from all over the world. I was so surprised by that. It is so incredible to have fans across the world and having only a small part on 30 BLEEP
the show. I get the sweetest letters from these girls. I have gotten candy, bracelets, a t-shirt - all kinds of random things. I absolutely love it and I do try to write back when I can. But my favorite is when I get a letter from someone telling me that my tweets encouraged them or helped them get through a tough situation in their life. I get some very sincere and heartfelt mail. YOU ARE ALSO SIGNED WITH THE KIM DAWSON AGENCY IN DALLAS. WHAT KIND OF MODELING WORK DO YOU BOOK? Since Dallas is a commercial market, I don’t book much modeling work. My look is more of a European look. My agents have suggested from the start that I move to London for a while. I would probably book more work in a foreign market. The work that I do book here in Dallas has always been for odds and ends. I tend to have the quirky guy look and not the sexy, athletic boy look. Even so, I always rock it and do an excellent job even if I don’t like the way I look for a shoot. It’s a blessing just to have a job these days, so you’ve got to be thankful for anything that comes your way. YOUR FAVORITE OF YOUR THREE TALENTS WOULD BE? My favorite talent of mine would have to be my ability to play music. I can’t go more than a few days without playing my drum kit or my acoustic guitar. It’s like an addiction. Playing my drums is like food to my soul. My love for music will always reside in the deepest parts of my heart. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS? My future plans are to do a lot of traveling, to learn what my true passion and purpose is, to find myself in every sense, to continue to learn and gain wisdom, and to eventually be brought to the woman of my dreams. Until then, I’m taking every present day for what it’s worth and trying to make the most of it!
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THERE’S EVEN MORE TO BLEEPIN’ LOVE
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TH KRYSTA RODRIGUEZ • KEALA SETTLE KATIE ROSE CLARKE • SIERRA BOGGESS BETSY WOLFE 34 BLEEP
HAIR & MAKEUP BY ALEX MICHAELS STYLING BY DAVID WITHROW PHOTO ASSISTANCE BY CARLOS GONZALEZ
ROADWAY’S LEADING LADIES
THE MATTHEW MURPHY PORTFOLIO
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When the tour of Sunset Boulevard came through Denver, Colo., Sierra Boggess sat in the audience in amazement. Years later, she took the stage in front of a global audience in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Phantom of the Opera. HOW DID SUNSET BOULEVARD SET YOU ON A PATH TOWARD THE STAGE? It was the first professional Broadway production I had ever seen and it changed my life. From there, I just fell into acting. I knew I liked being in front of people and I always liked being in drama class. When I was applying for colleges, it just made sense to go for musical theater. YOU WORKED FOR YEARS AND MADE YOUR BROADWAY DEBUT IN GRAND FASHION, AS ARIEL IN DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID. WHAT WAS OPENING NIGHT LIKE FOR YOU? I have that night burned into my memory. When I came out on stage for the first time in our first preview, I skated on and the audience applauded. It was the first time I’d ever had entrance applause. I knew in that moment I could never go back. You only get one first time. After the bow on opening night, when the curtain came down, I felt such support from the cast. My director, Francesca Zambello, who was also having her Broadway debut, came out onto the stage and she and I hugged for what felt like hours. We were just honoring each other and it was one of my favorite moments.
YOU PLAYED CHRISTINE IN 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF PHANTOM OF THE OPERA CONCERT IN LONDON, SEEN IN MOVIE THEATERS ALL OVER THE WORLD. That was pretty extraordinary. Walking out for that bow, I felt like I had just left my artistic soul on the stage at the Royal Albert Hall. I had nothing else to give and it felt so good. And walking down with Michael Crawford, one of my personal heroes, was something I will never forget. It was what dreams are made of and was really special. YOU WERE A PART OF ANOTHER PHANTOM CELEBRATION AS WELL. When we did the 25th anniversary on Broadway, Hal Prince came out, and he’s been like my surrogate grandfather. While the confetti cannons were going off, he wrapped his arms around me to take it all in. It’s [things like this which] I’d dreamt about as a kid and majoring in musical theatre in college. WHO INSPIRES YOU? I find inspiration in so many places. Barbra Streisand, obviously. Growing up, she was the soundtrack to my childhood and my life. My high school drama teacher, Nancy Priest, inspired me so much. We went to an intercity high school and didn’t have a ton of money or anything, but we managed to put on four shows a year. It was all about community and family. Nature also inspires me. The rivers and the oceans. If I’m doing a role of people who have come before me, such as Fantine in Les Miserables, I honor the people who came before me and who made that role special. In Master Class, I invoked Maria Callas on stage with me, or even Audra McDonald and Patti LuPone who had done this character before me. It’s important. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM? I feel like I live my dream every day, even when I’m not doing eight shows a week. This life, I can co-create it to be what I want it to be. What I strive for is to do good work with good people and to serve and give back. I want to make sure what I’m doing is to serve and not to feed my ego. This is a business that could be ego-based and that’s not what I want to do. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? In December, I’m releasing my debut album called “Awakening,” recorded live at 54 Below. WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND “AWAKENING.” It all happened because I had a really strange 2012. Broadway was struggling to get the shows up that I was a part of. Two shows I was working on never materialized and that was hard. I had always thought, “I am what I do,” and I had to learn that I am not what I do. That’s a part of us but it doesn’t define us. I discovered I can find inspiration everywhere and I had an awakening of finding what’s really important. I’m calling it Awakening because of that. WHEN PEOPLE SEE YOU ON STAGE, WHAT DO YOU WANT THEM TO TAKE AWAY FROM IT? I want people to feel inspired in their own life to go out and live their dream and also realize they are already living their dream as it’s happening. I hope I can be my authentic self whether it’s on my album or me being a character in a show. Hopefully, people leave and have grown in the time they’ve watched something I’ve done. 40 BLEEP
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Originally from Hawaii, Keala Settle had been singing since she was two years old. Her journey from Oahu to sitting as a nominee at the Tonys was one of scene-stealing roles and facing her fears. WHEN DID MUSIC BECOME A PART OF YOUR LIFE? My mother was a singer and most of my family sings. It’s a cultural thing. It’s a part of our heritage and a part of who we are. When I was in high school, I was sort of a trouble maker and they put me in a Shakespeare competition to keep me out of trouble and focus my energy. I got a kick out of it, really enjoyed it and decided I wanted to do Shakespeare from then on. Ironically, I haven’t done any Shakespeare since. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR FIRST BIG GIG? It was 2003 and I wanted to be a “Dynamite” in Hairspray. I was bound and determined because they sounded so good. I was raised on that music and was ready to go. I ended up being the first Tracy stand-by on the First National Tour. WHAT DID BEING TRACY TEACH YOU? It was a beautiful experience and a mortifying experience all at the same time. I think the most important thing it taught me was to be reminded that I need to always have my own back and look out for myself, in a positive sense. It was such an amazing experience but because I didn’t know how to handle it...it was my first big job. A lot of the “Tracys” BLEEP 47
at the time came from nothing went right into the limelight. I just had to learn how to handle it. WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER HAIRSPRAY? I took a break for three years because I put so much of myself into it that I had to walk away. I apprenticed as a stagehand in California and that experience taught me camaraderie. WHAT BROUGHT YOU BACK TO THE STAGE? My mom got sick in 2009 and I looked after her. After a few months, she looked at me and told me I needed to get back on stage. At the time, I had a lot of work in Dallas and I looked to see if they had any minor community theatre work there. I had to do a mental switch to go from being a stagehand to an actor again. I found out they were doing a production of South Pacific. Long story short, I knew the producers, ended up auditioning in New York and played Bloody Mary on the national tour. My mother told me it was exactly what she wanted me to do. YOU WERE NOMINATED FOR A TONY AWARD IN 2013 FOR HANDS ON A HARDBODY. WHAT WAS THAT MORNING LIKE? I didn’t believe it at first. The show had just closed and my gays came running through the door and shouted “Girl you better get up! You were just nominated for a Tony!” As a performer, you dream about it, but when it actually happens, it’s a lot. WHAT HAS THAT NOMINATION DONE FOR YOU? It’s still very new and something I don’t think about a lot of the time because nothing’s really changed. It’s such an honor that you have just roll with it. You work your tail end off for that and I realized I loved doing the work and having the opportunity to continue to work. That’s the blessing. WHAT DID YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH HARDBODY CHANGE YOU AS A PERFORMER? I had to open up my heart and I had to not be afraid. There were times in rehearsal when I would go into full blown panic attack. I didn’t want to be front and center and I had no place to hide anymore. It scared the living daylights out of me. But that show was so raw and there was nothing to hide behind. Priscilla started the wheel on breaking me out of that fear but Hardbody taught me that I am in this business for who I am. And it taught me to not be afraid of it and understand that what I do is what I love. I really, really love to tell stories. THE STORY YOU’RE TELLING NOW IS SIDESHOW AT LA JOLLA. We did the read-through for the first time and I was bawling. I had my shades on the entire time, just crying. The entire company are amazing individual performers who are all supporting these frail little girls who are conjoined. The cast is incredible. WHO INSPIRES YOU? It’s hard for me to watch musical theater because I know how hard it is to do, however, for example, when Keith Carradine joined our company, he jumped in like he was just a part of us because he loves what he does so much. I also love watching children who really love to do it and that makes me love it. I’ve always wanted to teach kids because when I was being taught in high school, it gave me a form of expression. The more ways you’re allowed to express is healing for a human being. WHAT’S YOUR DREAM? To not only be able to continue working but to also be able to come home to “him.” I’m a really independent person and you know there’re not enough hours in the day to make everything happen. But it’s my dream to put all of the love that I feel on stage to one person.
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Betsy Wolfe knew in the second grade that there was a home for her on the stage and immediately following college at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, she made the move to New York. WHEN YOU FIRST GOT TO NEW YORK, WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF GETTING STARTED? Coming to terms with the fact that I was no longer going to play the 40 or 50-yearold character woman I played in college. I think I knew that deep down, but I had such a perception of myself as the “funny friend” or sidekick. The reality is that there are women that age who are playing those roles. I was having to realize who I was and what I was going to be cast in. It was different and I was coming to terms with how I was perceived versus how I perceived myself. As a matter of fact, one of my first shows was Ragtime at Paper Mill Playhouse. I remember being shocked getting a call to go in for Evelyn Nesbit, who is the young starlet. I never envisioned myself in a role like that. It was refreshing to know I hadn’t missed that stage in my life. YOUR BROADWAY DEBUT WAS IN 110 IN THE SHADE WITH AUDRA MCDONALD, AND YOU HAVE WORKED WITH SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES ON STAGE. YOU SHARED THE STAGE WITH POWERHOUSES SUCH AS CHITA RIVERA, WILL CHASE AND STEPHANIE J. BLOCK IN THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD - AN AUDIENCE FAVORITE FROM LAST SEASON. BEYOND NOT KNOWING THE ENDING EACH NIGHT, WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT DROOD? The freedom Scott Ellis gave us to reinvent these characters. I was so appreciative that he allowed each of us to bring our own voice to the part because ultimately, I think that’s what made the show so successful. There was this cast of quirky people to begin with and being able to find our own voice was really wonderful. HOW MANY TIMES WERE YOU CHOSEN AS THE KILLER? A lot. I murdered Edwin Drood a lot. Someone in the cast had a huge spreadsheet and apparently, Rosa Bud killed the most. I think the audience liked seeing the sweet ingenue as the murderer. THE LAST FIVE YEARS HAS GARNERED A CULT FOLLOWING OVER THE YEARS BY THEATRE FANS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. WHEN YOU WERE CAST IN THE REVIVAL IN 2013, HOW DID YOU HANDLE THE EXPECTATIONS OF FANS THAT HAVE BEEN PASSIONATE ABOUT THE SHOW FOR A DECADE? Now more than ever, I feel people talking about the expectations and how we had to live up to it. To be honest, I couldn’t consume myself with those types of thoughts. I knew there was a reason that Adam [Kantor] and I were cast. What Sherie [Rene Scott] and Norbert [Leo Butz] did was beautiful and so unique to their production. It defined a period of time and what The Last Five Years was in that time. When recreating a role, which I’ve had the pleasure of doing over the past couple years, you really only have space to bring what you are going to bring to the piece. I think that trying to recreate something BLEEP 53
someone did would be a grave mistake. I had to find what worked for myself in the piece and find things I knew would please the fans that have fallen in love with this material. The truth is, so many people never saw the show, they only know it through the recording, so it was important for me to tell this story for our generation. Hopefully in ten years, there will be another cast album and people will tell this story again. YOU ARE STARTING BULLETS OVER BROADWAY SOON, THE NEW WOODY ALLEN/ SUSAN STROMAN MUSICAL BASED ON THE FILM. We open in March and I’m very anxious to get that going. I’m looking forward to originating a role. I’ve been in a lot of revivals lately, which I’ve loved, but there is something challenging to me about trying to lift this character off the page. I’m also looking forward to doing a big splashy musical. YOU ARE ALSO PREPARING TO STEP ONTO THE BIGGEST STAGE IN NEW YORK. I think I laughed when they asked me to come in and audition for a production at the Met. I grew up doing opera first but I think I always figured there were people who sang opera better than I did. But they called me in and I’m so excited about it. It’s “Die Fledermaus”, and Douglas Carter Beane has revamped the script so it’s the world premiere of a new version. PERFORMING AT THE MET MUST PRESENT A NEW SET OF CHALLENGES AS A PERFORMER. To get to do an opera at The Met two nights a week while rehearsing for Bullets during the day will be one of the most physically and vocally demanding things I’ve ever done and yet I can’t wait. WHO INSPIRES YOU? I can’t get Carol Burnett out of my mind when you ask that question. When I think back to what triggered this in me, it goes back to watching “The Carol Burnett Show” and seeing those sketches. I loved how much fun they had. She was a real pioneer and has always resonated with me. WHAT’S YOUR DREAM? The truth is, mine keep changing every day and so few have to do with my career. For so long, I was so focused with getting to Broadway or getting to a certain level. While that has brought me so much joy and happiness, I’ve come to the realization that we might think we will be on this planet for a really long time, but we don’t know if we will. There are a lot of things I want to make sure I get to do. For me, my dream is finding a balance between career mindedness and soul satisfying pursuits.
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This Orange County native says that her current role of “Casey” in First Date on Broadway is a dream role because she’s such a cool character to play every night. Krysta Rodriguez moved to New York 11 years ago with a goal of ending up on Broadway. Not only has she conquered that goal but she’s even helped share Broadway with the world on NBC’s SMASH. WHEN WERE YOU BIT BY THE THEATRE BUG INITIALLY? It was a three-step process. When I was little, I was always singing. I would climb onto the piano and sing loudly. Then, my mom took me to Annie when I was six. I was obsessed with the idea of theatre but I didn’t know it was something that I could do. When I was 12, I started dancing. I was in a car with my mom leaving a recital and I told her I didn’t want to do anything else but this. She told me there are people who do this for their job. From then on, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST PAYING GIG? Well to get technical, when I was three, I did a commercial for a Cataract Eye Center in Riverside, California. I sat on a woman’s lap and she read me a story. I made $200 and my mom made me a savings account. I didn’t work professionally again until I was 15 and I was in a production of Fiddler on the Roof. I made $250 and I thought I was rolling in it. So my money didn’t grow exponentially from when I was three to when I was 15. YOU MADE YOUR BROADWAY DEBUT IN GOOD VIBRATIONS AND WENT ON TO BE A PART OF SOME OF THE BIGGEST SHOWS ON THE GREAT WHITE WAY, INCLUDING A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, IN THE HEIGHTS AND THE ADDAMS FAMILY. WHAT WAS THE MOST SURPRISING ASPECT YOUR ADDAMS FAMILY EXPERIENCE? People were always really shocked that I wasn’t younger than I really am. When I would go out to the stage door, they would ask “How old are BLEEP 61
you?” and when I would tell them I was 24, they would get really disappointed. I realize that with “American Idol” and the concept of overnight sensations, people don’t understand or really value the hard work it takes to get somewhere anymore. People don’t just pop out of nowhere and get to be a lead in a Broadway show. I was surprised they were so surprised I wasn’t some child prodigy. It was nice to know they thought I was younger, but still. SMASH BROUGHT BROADWAY INTO LIVING ROOMS ALL OVER THE WORLD. WHAT DID BEING ON THAT SHOW TEACH YOU ABOUT YOURSELF? I really love television and I like the process of it. Also, I’m a little bit of a control freak and it was weird to watch the show and realize I did three pages of dialogue and they cut it down to two lines. Or they would take my reaction from one thing and use it somewhere else. It’s allowing someone else to create a performance for you, as opposed to being on stage where you have more control over what people are seeing. I learned I actually enjoyed that more than I thought I would. YOU ARE CURRENTLY STARRING IN FIRST DATE ON BROADWAY. WHAT HAS BEEN UNIQUE ABOUT FIRST DATE AS OPPOSED TO THE OTHER SHOWS YOU’VE BEEN A PART OF? A lot of the shows I’ve been a part of, I’ve been an understudy or a smaller featured role. There’s something really neat about Zachary [Levi] and I being partners in the show. Being able to represent the show and be the person that gets to talk about it and sell it, makes it so much more personal. We’ve been able to do so many fun things like go to the Tonys together and ring the NASDAQ closing bell. It’s been a fun thing to explore. WHO INSPIRES YOU? My parents are really inspiring. They’re very flexible people, even as they get older. They aren’t set in their ways and are very adventurous. My mother has an entrepreneurial spirit and always wants to create things and travel. I think that’s an important way to be in life- to be flexible and take things as they come. Also, really amazing performers inspire me. There are people, when you watch their performance, make you get excited about doing something similar. There are also people, who when you watch their performance, make you want to quit because they are so amazing. Both are equally inspiring. DO YOU HAVE A DREAM ROLE? I’ve always wanted to play Sally Bowles in Cabaret, but I’m abundantly passionate about new musicals so I like to believe my dream roles haven’t been written right now. HOW DO YOU JUGGLE EIGHT SHOWS A WEEK, BENEFIT CONCERTS, AUDITIONS, AND YOUR DAILY LIFE? I operate best at a certain level of stress and I don’t like to just do one thing. So I say yes to everything and forget it all happens in the same week. But I try to do it all and try to enjoy it. Like I was saying about new musical theatre, if a composer is writing new material and wants me to sing at their concert, then absolutely I will. Anything I can do to be involved with new work. My heart loves it.
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Katie Rose Clarke wasn’t bit by the theatre bug until high school, but she’s spent the years since then working around the country and on Broadway, doing some of the most beloved musicals in the canon. After having recently completed her run in Wicked on Broadway, she talked to BLEEP about what she’s learned, what’s coming up next, and what inspires her both onstage and off. WHAT WAS THE FIRST BROADWAY SHOW YOU SAW? I saw Chicago with Bebe Neuwirth. I think that was the first time I felt the magic of live theatre. WHAT DID THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA TEACH YOU ABOUT YOURSELF? Piazza was a stretching experience in many ways. The show itself is so special, and the story is so rich that it made it impossible not to deepen my approach to theatre in general. It taught me the power of theatre to change and influence people, and I started to feel the weight of that responsibility in a new way. HOW DID THAT AFFECT THE WAY YOU APPROACHED YOUR ROLES AFTER THAT SHOW? I think that the focus shifted off of myself. The motivation becomes less about the job I’m doing and more about the people that are affected by the story I’m telling. YOU’VE PLAYED GLINDA IN WICKED ON AND OFF FOR YEARS. HOW IS BLEEP 67
THE TOUR DIFFERENT THAN PLAYING ON BROADWAY? Both touring and Broadway offered their own separate lessons and challenges. I had to learn a lot about life and about life in this business, and in each season, I was taught different things. Sometimes they were hard lessons, but both were very formative times for me as a person and an actor. I enjoyed touring because I was able to see so many different parts of the country, but being settled in New York after 3 years of touring was such a gift. There’s something to be said for stability. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THE ELPHABAS YOU’VE WORKED WITH? Oh goodness, where to begin? This business is very much about working with people. I’ve had 7 different actresses in that role over the course of my time with Wicked, and in the way that play is structured, that actress becomes your partner. The greatest thing I learned was how to be a partner, and everything that encompasses. I learned things from all of those ladies both onstage and off, but if I could choose one thing to pass on it would be to invest in the people that you are working with. There’s nothing more important, or sometimes challenging, than that. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ACTORS WHO ASPIRE TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED? Study everything. Keep learning and discovering what your passions are. You may surprise yourself with what you find. Every experience you have in life is not without a purpose, so look for the lessons you can take away from each. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I’m doing my very first solo show at 54 Below! I’m terrified and excited at the same time. November 13th! It’ll be an incredible night of music. WHO, OR, WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Lots of people inspire me - from my husband, to my one-year-old nephew. I’m inspired by genuine, intentional connections. I read this recently: “You can know what your sister ate for dinner last night because she posted it on Facebook yet not really know your sister.” I find that statement to be truthful and challenging. I want to be a friend/sister/wife/daughter/coworker who pursues a deeper relationship than the overload of information that is so readily accessible. Nothing compares to inviting someone over for a cup of coffee and truly taking time out of your day for them. That’s inspiring. WHAT’S YOUR DREAM? I have dreams for my career of course. But I have lots of other dreams. I dream of being a mom. I dream about living abroad with my husband. I dream about working with a charity/mission. I dream of having a garden one day. Do I have to just pick one? 68 BLEEP
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UK based photographer Thomas Knightsâ€™ new exhibition, RED HOT, features some of the most handsome gingers around, proving that being yourself is the hottest quality in a man.
featuring the photography of THOMAS KNIGHTS
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? I’m from a small town near Bath in England. HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH MUSIC? I’ve always loved music. I went to Paul McCartney’s music school LIPA as I had an interest in production, which led to me making an album. I then discovered I could take pictures, then make films and music videos and now I’m back in the studio making my own music again. AT WHAT POINT DID YOUR MUSIC CAREER GIVE WAY TO TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS? WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOU HAD AN EYE FOR IMAGERY? When I was making songs I would visualise the music videos for them. One day I needed some publicity images so I came up with a concept, set up the scene and got my mum to take the picture. I realised then that I needed to try out being behind the camera. When I did, it was like finding the thing I was always meant to do, it came so naturally. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOW YOU APPROACH VIDEO IMAGERY AND PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGERY? It’s a relatively similar process at the start: you need a great idea. But it splits very quickly. Video often requires a meticulous approach up front - storyboarding, planning and production - then a longer process of post including sound design which becomes integral to how the viewer perceives the imagery. You can be a little bit more loose with photography and the whole process is quicker generally speaking. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SUBJECT TO SHOOT? WHY? I really only have an interest in working with people. My favourite is working with an intelligent, super creative performer who inspires me and then trusts me enough to let me create something bold for them. Then they apply themselves fully to realising it, [and] it’s a true collaborative feeling. WHERE DID THE CONCEPT FOR THE RED HOT EXHIBITION COME FROM? Being a redheaded male myself it’s close to my heart and a very personal project. It amazed me how our western culture holds redheaded women to such high regard, almost the ‘ultimate’ female, and redheaded males in such low esteem; emasculated and desexualised in film, TV and literature. I don’t think any other hair colour has this polarised opinion between genders. If you think about it, there are no Hollywood leading men with ginger hair, and no superheros or action stars. Actually, it’s almost laughable to imagine a ginger action star. We have been conditioned to think ginger men are ugly and weak. I wanted to flip this on its head and present the redheaded male as the ‘ultimate’ alpha male. Essentially, ginger boys 74 BLEEP
Photographer Thomas Knights
desperately needed a re-brand and I felt like I was in a good position to do it. So it was in my head for a couple of years, then I read an article in the Sunday Times Style with the caption: ‘What is our new obsession with hot ginger men?’ name checking Damien Lewis (“Homeland”) and Prince Harry and BOOM, I knew something was changing. Hot ginger guys were so taboo they were exciting. I knew that RED HOT was going to work, the next week I shot the first few guys and it snowballed from there. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE PUTTING RED HOT TOGETHER? The biggest challenge has been the logistics. Organising 50 guys who have busy schedules to coincided with my schedule has been tricky to say the least! HAS ANYTHING ABOUT THE PROCESS SURPRISED YOU? Most certainly the personal stories. I wanted to make sure there was heart at the center of this, so under each image at the exhibition there will be a caption with a quote or anecdote from the model. Many of the guys can now walk down the street with self confidence, but its taken years for them to get there. Often bullied at school, they have had to go though years of self hatred, and often they end up dying their hair, and for some, completely concealing their true identities. This is not the case for all of them but seems like a recurring theme. It eventually leads to a sort of ‘coming out as ginger’ moment. This is the same path I went down so I can completely relate. It might seems ridiculous to some people but this is the effect our culture has on ginger boys at the moment with no positive role models to aspire towards or hold in your defense. I contacted the Anti Bullying Alliance who are fully on board and a brand partner with RED HOT. They are very excited as this is a very big bullying issue in schools and is not taken as seriously as racism or homophobia but has many of the same effects to
those on the receiving end. WHY DO YOU TAKE PHOTOS? WHAT’S YOUR INTENTION? With RED HOT, I really want people to have a great time first and foremost, and feel flustered by all the hot men staring at them from the walls. But I ultimately want them to go away with a sort of mind shift. I want them to consider their own possible institutionalized, and conditioned, restrictions on what is a sexy or ‘hot’ male. I’ve found that some people are surprised that hot ginger guys exist. Some whisper ‘well I’ve always has a fetish for ginger boys’ as if its something to be ashamed of. I would love to create a conversion about it. I would love to make a difference to the kid at school being bullied for the colour of his hair. I would love him to be proud of it, right now, and stop him having to go on the same journey of self confidence many of the guys went though. That would be an achievement. WHAT ARE YOU INTERESTED IN OUTSIDE OF PHOTOGRAPHY? Music, architecture, good design and anyone who is passionate about what they do. I love nature, but mostly I’m fascinated by people. WHAT/WHO INSPIRES YOU? TED.com WHAT’S YOUR DREAM? To make a difference - or even just a mark on the world - with an idea I’ve had. I also want to make a feature film one day. WHAT’S THE INFORMATION ON THE EXHIBIT? WHERE CAN PEOPLE SEE IT AND WHEN? It’s on at The Gallery, No50 Redchurch Street, London from the 16 - 22 December. You can follow its progress on Facebook. I’m hoping to bring red hot to NYC in 2014.
by Katherine Morgan
MAGGIE, 23, Organization Manager/Editor
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? I would describe it as chic, elegant and classy. I love to wear bright colors, but I also wear lots and lots of white. I tend to wear mainly dresses and skirts. I only wear pants two times or three times a year.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS ONE THING THAT WILL NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE? The colors black and white, and a good one-piece dress!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF CLOTHING THAT YOUâ€™RE WEARING NOW? I have these black and gold Chanel boots that my mother bought me for my 21st birthday. I only wear them on special occasions. Actually, the last time that I wore them was when I interviewed Bill Gates for a local community conference.
Actress and Singer
I am... an Artist, a creator, and a visionary. I’m here because... There is much work to be done! What makes me happiest is... life, music and love. The color that best represents me is... red. What I hope to accomplish today is... everything and then some! My best friends are...my mom, My husband. I can’t live without... fried okra. Between an Olympic champion or an Oscar winner, I’d rather be...Oscar winner of course. If I wasn’t me, I’d be...a beautiful shitzu living in the lap of luxury lucky to belong to wealthy owners. I like it best when you... speak the truth. God is... everything! I’m hungry for... fried chicken. I cry… when I see great Art being performed. Style means… own it, create it and be it! I want to go... to Venice again. The most obnoxious sound in the world is... a singer singing off pitch. What makes me weak is... the look I get from my adorable shitzu musetta when she needs to go to the bathroom. At this exact moment, I’m passionate about... love and being loved. I crave... escargot. My inspiration is… my mom. She successfully ran a multi-million dollar staffing agency by herself and started it with $75. That means anything is possible.
N’KENGE’S SHOW, HOLIDAY MAGIC, IS AT STAGE 72/TRIAD THEATER ON 158 WEST 72ND STREET. Featuring Tony Nominee Charl Brown, Saycon Sengbloh and more! Buy Tickets at: holidaymagic.brownpapertickets.com $25 at Door plus 2 Drink Min Sunday December 8, 2013 8:30PM Monday December 9, 2013 9:00PM
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November. A month for giving thanks. Well, we are giving thanks for these Broadway beauties on our cover! Sierra Boggess, Keala Settle, Bets...