BLEEP Magazine 510

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DECEMBER 2015 Issue • 510


years of







Our 5th Anniversary cover features a dozen artists who have been stand-outs since we started BLEEP. We caught up with what they’re doing today.

Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

n i p e e bl inside:

40 Mo Brady

46 Frank DeJulio

52 Todd Kennedy

42 Jim Caruso

48 Steven Gabriel

54 Nikka Graff Lanzarone 60 Zachary Schmahl

44 Ariana DeBose

50 Jakob Karr

56 Kristina Nicole Miller











58 Julia Murney STAGE


62 Jake Simpson FASHION

Our favorite podcasters Mo Brady & Nikka Graff Lanzarone culled the best of the best from this year’s Ensemblist episodes to bring you this year’s quartet of Ensemblists of the Year.

You never get to see the people who make BLEEP, so for our 5th Anniversary, we wanted to spotlight the artists who have made it possible throughout the years.

Broadway star Kimberly Marable turns the tables on Editor Ryan Brinson, asking about what creativity is to him and what five years of BLEEP have meant.




Photo by Christopher Boudewyns

SARAH ROTKER Business & Audience Development Manager COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Kevin Thomas Garcia FEATURE EDITORS: Nathan Robins

This winter, Byron Mann is in the new film “The Big Short” and the upcoming final season of AMC’s hit “Hell on Wheels” is not far behind. We chat about it all!







All articles and photos are the property of the writers and artists. All rights reserved.

After bringing audiences to tears in the Chicago production of Beaches this summer, we caught up with Shoshana Bean to talk about how musical theatre has influenced her songwriting and vice versa.

For St. Louis based hair stylist Kris Theohar, the joy of what he does can be seen every day when his clients feel great about how they look.

Logan Guleff’s first cooking recipe for the JIF most creative sandwich contest at the age of 9 won him a trip to “The Today Show,” but it was on another show, “Masterchef Junior,” where he not only took home the crown, but inspired millions in the process.


Photo by Eric Pietrangolare



CONTRIBUTORS: Caleb Bollenbacher Rachael Mariboho Hatley Moore Laura Seitter Alex Wright

Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

From the Editor To everyone who has ever written a word that’s been published in the magazine or on the website: Thank you. To everyone who has ever read any of those words: Thank you. To every photographer whose art has been featured in BLEEP: Thank you. To every person who ever shared those photos on social media. Thank you. To every artist who gave of their time to talk with us, answer a Q&A or come to a photoshoot: Thank you. To my friends who have put up with me talking about “the magazine” every other sentence for the past five years and three months: Thank you.

To the people like Sarah Rotker, Kevin Thomas Garcia, Rachael Mariboho, Jim Caruso, & Julie Freeman - people who believed in what I was trying to do and helped shepherd me to being better and striving for more: Thank you. To every person who said to me, “I’ve got someone you should interview:” Thank you. Thank you for sticking with us for the past five years. I love artists and the art they create. I hope what I do in BLEEP is artfully showcase them and share them with you, our readers. I love hearing things like “I read about it in BLEEP and checked it out.” That means we’ve succeeded. Here’s to more years of succeeding.

Ryan Brinson Editor-in-Chief BLEEP 5

the intersection by

caleb bollenbacher

The Show Must Go On Wow, five years! I haven’t been aboard for the entire five years, but I have been a reader since the beginning. It’s so fun seeing how something like this magazine evolves over the course of years. In some ways that doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but in other ways it seems like a whole lifetime. It’s weird how much things can change in five years. Looking back to 2011, a lot of major movie franchises were winding down. We were saying goodbye – temporarily – to Harry Potter on the big screen. Twilight was winding down (and not a moment too soon) and Captain Jack Sparrow was losing steam. Hollywood was looking for something else after tasting such major successes, and it now looks vastly different as a result. Needing to one-up some of the biggest franchises in history, the powers that be quickly moved towards a new kind of franchise, the story ‘universe’ that has become so commonplace. You can see the seeds of it back when BLEEP! was in its infancy. Studios were already trying


to hold onto something that was escaping: that’s why you have multi-part finales to Harry Potter and Twilight, a tool that is becoming a more and more common device (looking at you, bloated mess masquerading as a trilogy adaptation of my beloved The Hobbit). That’s not good enough anymore. The new normal is to have endless spinoffs, shared story, and a whole mess of television and comic book companion products. Would most people have believed back in 2011 that Marvel would turn into such a juggernaut as a result of pioneering this sort of franchise life support? Probably not, but now it’s commonplace. Other comic book franchises are doing it. Star Wars is doing it. Harry Potter is about to jump on board and get back in the game as well. The list goes on, and it just speaks to a fascinating platform sharing that spreads throughout the creative world. Media is so much more connected than it used to be. Five year into BLEEP!’s tenure, stories are taking on new life. I don’t know about you, but I find that exciting. Sometimes it can be hit and miss, but

the collaborative nature of storytelling is reaching new heights as everyone seeks to stretch stories in ways they haven’t been stretched before. You have to really pay attention to get the full picture. Or you don’t. But you have options. You want Star Wars as you’ve always had it, with just a bucket of popcorn in your lap and endless imaginary light saber fights after you’ve left the theater? Fine by me, that can be it for you. But, man, those options. If you want more (and who doesn’t?), there’s a couple TV shows waiting for you to help you fill in the gaps between movies. There’s some comics, or maybe just an old school novel for you if you’re feeling really risky. And because this is 2015 and the fanboys (and girls) are in charge, you can look forward to theatrical releases of spinoff films. It’s fine, I’ll wait while you compose yourself. Star Wars is far from the only example from this (and they’ve been moving this direction for a while, though in the wake of their acquisition by Disney this has been a much more smoothly regulated, concentrated effort, in keeping with the times). The moral of the story is, if there’s something you like, you can probably find more of it. The world is engaging with art in new ways, and yeah, that might lead to some overstretching, like butter spread over too much bread (COUGH! PETER JACKSON, I SWEAR!), but on the whole it’s exciting. But there’s another side to the story, and isn’t that kind of the point? It’s weird how much things stay the same. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, in large part because of the impending new Star Wars release, but there’s plenty of other evidence to drive the point home. It’s 2015, and in a lot of ways things aren’t that different. You look at the list of highest grossing films from five years back and it’s not that unfamiliar. We’re still looking forward to more Harry Potter. There’s more Transformers on the way. We just got another Mission Impossible. The show goes on, same as it has been this whole time. And that’s neat too. We’re waiting for Star Wars, just like our parents waited for Star Wars. Last week, I saw a new James Bond film, just like people have been doing for decades now. Everything’s changing, and yet there’s nothing new under the sun. Things are familiar, and that’s what makes stories so great: we get to be a part of them. I don’t doubt that in a couple decades we’ll be hearing

our kids get excited about new Star Wars. There’s probably going to be crowds lined up for more superheroes and Bond, and plenty of kids young and old dressing up as wizards while they wait to see Harry Potter, whether it’s a remake or

another spinoff. And I’ll be right there with them, telling them about all the times I saw those movies years back, how I dressed up in costumes and waited in line. Wow. Stories about stories. That’s what I love about culture: the fact that we experience it together and make it our own. We share it. Here’s to sharing the next five years and more.








5 years of


by Rachael Mariboho

In honor of BLEEP’s five-year anniversary, we gone back through our BLEEP List archives and chosen five of our favorite entries about our favorite female best friends/sometimes co-stars/award show hosts extraordinaire and soon to be SNL co-hosts. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler exemplify everything that we value at BLEEP: creativity, risk-taking, humor, artistry, and a willingness to encourage the dreams of others. Here is our favorite Tina and Amy award show moments from the past five years. BEST GAME – WHO WOULD YOU RATHER? The 2015 GOLDEN GLOBES In celebration of their last time hosting the Golden Globes, and their decades-long friendship, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler played a hilarious game of “Who Would You Rather” at the Golden Globes. They riffed on the Colin’s (Farrell and Firth) the Hulk’s (Norton and Ruffalo) and directing styles of Alejandro González Iñárritu and Richard Linklater. BEST PERFORMANCE BY A DUO—TINA FEY AND AMY POEHLER AT THE 2013 EMMY’S While they did a fine job hosting the Golden Globes for their second time, Tina and Amy’s best performance together was during the opening of the Emmy’s when they encouraged Neil Patrick Harris to drop his pants and “werk that twerk.” BEST REFERENCE TO MERYL STREEP AT THE 2013 GOLDEN GLOBES Yes, there was more than one. But our favorite goes to Fey and Poehler who brought the house down with their comment that Streep, who was too ill to attend the Golden Globes, had the flu and “was amazing in it. She steals it; she steals the flu.” BEST LINE – AMY POEHLER AT THE 2013 GOLDEN GLOBES While Poehler and Tina Fey were practically perfect in every way with their opening monologue, the best line of the night and the award season goes to Poehler for her reference to Zero Dark Thirty. Addressing the controversy surrounding the torture in Kathryn Bigelow’s film, Poehler remarked: “I haven’t really been following the controversy over Zero Dark Thirty, but when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who spent three years married to James Cameron.” Well done, Amy, well done. BEST 2012 PERFORMANCE BY A GROUP— AMY POEHLER, MELISSA MCCARTHY, MARTHA PLIMPTON, EDIE FALCO, TINA FEY, AND LAURA LINNEY At first, it seemed like a prank that Amy Poehler was pulling on the Emmy audience. Her name is announced as a nominee in the Best Actress in a Comedy Series category; and, instead of smiling benignly in her seat like nominees are supposed to, Poehler struts onto the stage and poses like a beauty queen waiting to hear if she has won the pageant. The audience laughs and applauds, loudly with Poehler and then more effusively as each of the other five nominees walk up to the stage. While it is clear that this is the kind of stunt Poehler and Tina Fey would pull, the fact that the other heavyweights in the category went along with it is thrilling to the audience, who begin laugh at the joke as the applause dies down. And then something interesting happens. All of a sudden the audience realizes the breadth of talent on the stage, and a standing ovation led by Don Cheadle, Kate Winslet, and Melissa Leo begins. In that moment, these six incredible women reminded everyone that it was not so much about who won, but the fact that there were six great roles for females on television. BLEEP 11

Byron Mann five questions with

Photographer: Diana Ragland Groomer: Mishelle Parry Wardrobe Stylist: Jordan Grossman 12 BLEEP Stylist Asst: Bria Stone

star of “The Big Short” & “Hell on Wheels” on AMC

Byron Mann is no stranger to big projects. From “Street Fighter” to “The Man with the Iron Fists” and CW’s “Arrow,” he’s proved he can command the camera. This winter, he’s in the new film “The Big Short” and the upcoming final season of AMC’s hit “Hell on Wheels” is not far behind. He talks with us about his passion for acting and being challenged in his craft. At what point did acting shift from being a hobby to being something you wanted to do vocationally? When I ran out of excuses. I was studying philosophy in university, which was really an excuse to not do anything useful. Then I was studying law in graduate school, but realized law was nothing like what I saw on TV, so I didn’t want to do that either. By the time I graduated from law school, I finally had to man up and do something. The only thing I wanted to do was act. So, I made sure I killed at every audition so I could work. You can say I backed into my vocation by running out of things to do. The cast of “The Big Short” reads like a who’s who of Hollywood. How did working on this film challenge you as an actor? Working with director Adam McKay and Steve Carell, you kind of have to stay light on your feet. There was a lot of improvisation. There’ll be many takes where Adam would just say, “Okay, on this take, say whatever you want. Go!” So Steve and I would make things up during the take. It wasn’t quite Saturday Night Live, but on some takes it came close. Funny thing was, a lot of the improvised stuff made it into the final cut. While shows like “Hell on Wheels” are on a scale that is comparable to a film, what has been the biggest difference between the two for you? The difference between doing great TV like “Hell On Wheels” and a feature film is getting smaller and smaller. The main difference is that on a feature film, you have to tell your story and develop your character over two hours. On a TV show, you can do that over 6 to 13 hours (episodes). When you aren’t feeling inspired, what do you do to find inspiration again? I stop what I’m doing and get out of town. I literally create a break for myself and do something I haven’t done before, or something I haven’t done in a long time. Anything that wakes me up. Or sometimes, I just surround myself with people and activities that inspire me. What’s coming up? I’m doing a film in China next. That’s always a little scary, so I’m hoping that inspires me.

For more on Bryon, follow him at and be sure to watch “The Big Short” in theaters this winter. BLEEP 13

N A E B A N A H S SHO usic and musicals talks m

From Hairspray and Wicked on Broadway, to Peepshow in Vegas, to her sold out concerts promoting her EPs, Shoshana Bean has proven she is a masterful performer on any stage. After bringing audiences to tears in the Chicago production of Beaches this summer, we caught up with the powerhouse singer to talk about how musical theatre has influenced her songwriting and vice versa.

photography by 14 BLEEP Christopher Boudewyns

“Elphaba” seems to follow the actresses who play her. As one of the first women to don the green, what did that experience teach you about yourself? Oh the list of lessons is incredibly long, but I’d say some the biggest were learning my limits and pushing them; learning how to take care of myself (physically, mentally, emotionally) to maintain balance on and off stage. It taught me how to be a leader, and it taught me the true meaning of gratitude. What did you take, artistically, from Wicked and Hairspray and funnel that into your own music? Specifically from Hairspray, I was so heavily influenced by Marc Shaiman’s vocal arrangements and definitely think they have bled their way into my own stuff. But from being involved in theater in general, I think I’ve always kept an element of storytelling and theatricality in my writing. From Wicked I think I gained a lot of bravery, learned how to truly be confident and learned more about my vocal capabilities. All of it has shaped me into who I am as a person and musician. To me they are always one and the same. There’s a notable shift in your style of music between your album Superhero in 2008 to O’Farrell Street in 2013. What shaped the transformation and evolution of your art? It started because the song from the Superhero album that seemed to resonate with people the most was “Aint No Way.” Firstly because it’s a beautifully written song (Aretha’s sister Carolyn Franklin wrote it), but I felt like it was also the more authentic throwback style that people really loved in contrast with the pop/R&B sensibility of the rest of the album. So, on the heels of Superhero, I knew that stylistically “Ain’t No Way” would be my starting point. I dove back into the 50’s and 60’s to do my research BLEEP 15

and found myself right back in the thick of the music I was raised on. While it was a big shift sonically, it felt so right to go back to where I came from to really figure out who I was as a musician, singer, and writer. You were a part of Beaches in Chicago this summer. Stepping back onto the musical theatre stage, how did you bring with you what you’ve learned from the past few years focusing solely on writing and performing? Freedom. Confidence. Authenticity. A greater sense of self. I think there was always an insecurity involved in my theatrical performances in an effort to do it ‘right’ (whatever that means). Years of finding my own voice and becoming comfortable in my own skin by doing my own music has made me surer of not only who I am but what I bring to the table even under the most challenging circumstance. I trust myself more. Standing on stage again in a musical, how did the run challenge you as a performer? I’m so used to freedom and variety in my craft almost daily, so the hardest part of any run of a show for me has always been the repetition, keeping it fresh and interesting when you’re approaching essentially the same material every night. Beyond that, this role was incredibly demanding physically and vocally so endurance became one of my greatest challenges. And lastly, figuring out the way to maintain the freedom I have found as a solo artist and bring that element to my character work. What’s coming up for you? My friend and I have just sold a pilot for a musical TV show! I’m writing the music and she writes the script. And I suppose i need to start writing my 4th album! Check out Shoshana’s music on iTunes including her new holiday single! 16 BLEEP


18 BLEEP Photography by Eric Pietrangolare

For St. Louis-based hair stylist Kris Theohar, the joy of what he does can be seen every day when his clients feel great about how they look. After spending his high school Homecomings doing his friends’ hair, he’s turned his passion into a living. What keeps you wanting to keep styling hair? I love it. It’s one of those things where I wake up and am excited to go to work and to make people feel better about themselves. I’m transforming someone and it makes them happy, so that makes me happy. How do you challenge yourself to be a better artist? Staying current, trying new things and getting out of the Midwest bubble. I feel like if I stay stagnant, then my clients will be stagnant as well. You used the word stagnant. What keeps it from becoming business-as-usual? I think being open-minded and taking in different techniques. Trends are so different across the world

and you have to open your mind up to all of the possibilities and not just focus on one thing. Certain trends aren’t for everyone, but they can always be tweaked and edited. It doesn’t mean you have to have bright pink hair, but you can still play with color. I don’t think there are “age appropriate” things anymore. I hear “I’m getting older so I need to cut my hair short” or “I need to go without color.” I try to encourage people that there are no rules anymore. You do what makes you feel right. What inspires you? I get the most inspiration from fashion. I feel like somehow, in the fashion industry, my spark comes from seeing the new designs and new clothes. That’s where my process starts. What I do changes people’s day-to-day. It takes them out of what’s going on in their life and makes them feel empowered. When I get a text message from a client who says they love their hair, that’s what I love. I love when they get up from the chair and are proud to show their hair off. They do a lot of promoting for me because they’re happy. Where would you like to see this go? In baby steps, the dream was being my own boss and being independent. I didn’t have the dream of being a salon owner with people working under me. I love personal styling, photo shoots and the independence of creative styling. The constant change is what I love about what I do. I can be working at home in St. Louis on a Tuesday and then styling a photo shoot in New York on Wednesday. It’s a dream job for me already. BLEEP 19



Logan Guleff’s first cooking recipe for the JIF most creative sandwich contest at the age of 9 won him a trip to “The Today Show,” but it was on another show, “MasterChef Junior,” where he not only took home the crown, but inspired millions in the process. At first glance, a cooking show with a bunch of kids might come across as a cute gimmick. Well, Logan’s winning meal included saffron spot prawns with olive remoulade and smoked aioli as an appetizer, a main course of salt-crusted branzino, and Meyer lemon madeleines with goat cheese mousse and berry compote for dessert. He was twelve years old. We caught up with Logan to find out what he’s been doing since his win and what goals he’s set his sights on for the future. After winning MasterChef Junior, what’s next for you? I would really love to have my own cooking show and cookbook. I am working on my line of spices which really needs to get into production. Because there are so many important ingredients in my spice mixes, I can’t interchange the source ingredients and get the same flavors, so it’s hard to find the right manufacturer. What was it like going to school after winning? Well, I’m homeschooled so it was just like going to school, but a lot of my friends from scouts, sports, homeschools, and traditional schools were really excited and proud of me, so that was cool. What keeps you returning to the kitchen to cook time and time again? I love when people taste my food and their face transforms from suspicion to awe and then to 22 BLEEP

happiness. I can’t imagine another job that can make people so happy. I also love the challenges you face in the kitchen, finding new ways to make food come to life. I mean, food is universal to all living things, it is just part of us all, so it is really fun to express myself in such a way. How do you challenge yourself in the kitchen? It is really hard not to challenge yourself in the kitchen because the place is really unique. To be successful, you need to always be reinventing yourself and challenge everything. There are some basic rules and the rest just helps you compose your own flavor symphony. What haven’t you had a chance to cook/tools you haven’t been able to work with yet in the kitchen that you’d like to? I have been fortunate enough to work with traditional cooking methods and I’ve also had a chance to work with nontraditional methods such as molecular gastronomy, sous vide, anti-griddle, liquid nitrogen and other wonderful tools. The next big huge tool I would just love to work with would be the vacuum for rotary evaporation system. I mean how cool would that be? You’ve inspired so many people. What inspires you? What inspires me is trying new things and meeting new chefs from all around the world and working with them. I just worked with a master chef who really encouraged me to be more, to learn more, and to take my cooking to another level. I’m also inspired by really fresh ingredients and exotic foods. I am encouraged by people that write to me, and everyone who shares their talent and time with me. It’s an amazing opportunity to inspire people and to also be inspired. Follow Logan to find out more about what he’s up to at!

MasterChef Junior Winner




THE ENSEMBLIST presents the


ENSEMBLISTS of the year

Our favorite podcasters Mo Brady & Nikka Graff Lanzarone culled the best of the best from this year’s Ensemblist episodes to bring you this year’s quartet of Ensemblists of the Year. The Ensemblist is the podcast that features interviews with Broadway ensemble members: swings, replacements - the kind of artists that make Broadway tick, and we asked all four about what keeps them driven to be the creative forces on Broadway that they are.


Betsy Struxness “Betsy Struxness is the perfect example of an ensemblist. She cares deeply for every show she’s a part of, as well as each person involved in the production. She is not only a wonderful person, but a force to be reckoned with onstage. Her passion and love for her art are visible to everyone that encounters her. That’s why I nominated my beautiful friend, Betsy Struxness!” -Samantha Sturm What does creativity mean to you? Creativity to me is not putting limitations on whatever you’re creating. Don’t say no, say yes. Even if it sounds like a bad idea, try it. Keep being curious, keep trying and do your best to think outside the box. But on the flip side, allow yourself to go along with the ride of something that might just be a happy accident. Explore that and recreate the accident and analyze why it works. What keeps you driven and inspired as an artist? I am constantly looking for the next challenge as an artist. Whether it’s on stage or beginning the journey with film and tv or while I’m working on my photography, I constantly ask the question, what’s next? I look at other artists and what they’ve done and how they’ve done it to try and give me ideas to how I can further my journey or my craft. With every goal I’ve set for myself that I reach, there are 5 that take its place. If I’m feeling stuck, I go see other artists in performance or watch actors on TV that I respect and move me, or find photographers whose work I admire and might be a little jealous of. Ha! But mainly...I try to practice it all at some point in my day EVERY. DAY.


Ryan Steele “Ryan is the guy that you want next to you on stage and in life. On top of being freakishly talented he is always dependable, FULL OUT, humble, present, appreciative of what he has and did I mention humble. A true creative being, a true friend, we will be hearing from Ryan Steele for quite sometime.” -Curtis Holbrook What does creativity mean to you? To me, creativity means exercising your imagination. I think it’s important to allow yourself to daydream, and to explore the possibility of bringing your day dreams to life. What keeps you driven and inspired as an artist? Living in New York City is all the fuel I need as an artist. Inspiration is everywhere in this city. I’m constantly surrounded by determined individuals who push me to work harder, try new things, and stretch myself as an artist. The Ensemblist team aren’t the only ones who think there’s something awesome about Ryan. When he starred in the film “Five Dances,” he graced our cover and it’s been a thrill to see him continue to rise to new heights and dance on stage and on screen.


Cameron Adams “Cam is the one of the best ensemblists because she’s been doing it for so long now, and she always maintains the highest level of professionalism and poise. She never acts as though she is entitled to anything above anyone else and works really hard. Cam brings an optimistic attitude to the workplace as well as her infectious southern charm. She is reliable, fun to work with, and incredibly consistent. Not to mention...a great dance partner.” -Barrett Martin What does creativity mean to you? Creativity means expressing yourself and being your own individual while doing so. Everyone sees or hears or feels things differently and that’s what makes theater and music and dance so diverse and individual. Yes, I generally work in a profession where I do 8 shows a week, but I get to bring my creativity to whatever character or part that I’m playing. It means feeling things sometimes more than over thinking things.


What keeps you driven and inspired as an artist? Honestly, my peers and watching other artists and performers do their thing. I’m constantly blown away and amazed that I’m a part of this industry. So many talented people with so many different things to offer. It’s quite remarkable. Seeing shows and listening to music always inspires me and ignites excitement in me. Also, you have to constantly be working on it. Which keeps you humble and eager to keep learning. I am lucky to live in a city where I’m surrounded by art and creativity. I want to see as much of it as I can.

Jeffrey Schecter “Shecky is an amazing talent. I’ve seen him play leads and do ensemble work, and he is ready and willing for either! He’s got a wonderful family that he supports with his craft; he’s a filmmaker and entrepreneur. He loves his work, and you won’t find anyone in this business who doesn’t say, “Shecky?! I love that guy!” -Kristen Beth Williams What does creativity mean to you? To me, creativity is the ability to think outside the norm; to see something and immediately be able to see past it or in a different way. To take a color and mix it with another color and create a new color. And then take that color and do something you would never think of doing with it to create something new. To be creative is to take risks and try things. To open doors that you wouldn’t think of opening. To take words from a page, interpret them and personalize them so you can create something from what was given. Any situation that allows you to think outside of what you do on an everyday basis and ruffles your feathers is creative. What keeps you driven and inspired as an artist? Working with talented people who are really really really good at what they do inspires me. I’m doing Fiddler on the Roof right now and watching people like Danny Burstein and Jessica Hecht work is truly inspiring. They remind me of how much farther I can go with a role, as an actor, as a contribution to a play and my cast. Their commitment to their work and every detail of their characters as Tevye and Golda inspires me to stretch further and think harder and look deeper. Even with what can be considered a smaller role like mine as Mendel, The Rabbis son, I am inspired every day to look at what else I can do to make this character come to life to be more authentic, interesting and real. Being inspired by co-workers and their amazing work is very inspiring and humbling. My own children and the children we teach with our company I CAN DO THAT NYC inspires me so much. Children just do! That innocence and fearlessness is so inspiring. Knowing I have to lead these children inspires and drives me to truly be brave. If I can’t demonstrate to them how to be brave and fearless chances are, they will remind me! BLEEP 29

5 years of


THE COVERS THAT DEFINED BLEEP We aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but that doesn’t seem to extend to magazines does it? The cover absolutely matters and even though we are digital and not on a traditional newsstand, first impressions matter quite a bit. I’m not supposed to play favorites, I feel like each of the issues that have released are an extension of me in some way, but there are covers that have carried more weight with me than others. While this certainly doesn’t include them all, here are the five covers, coincidentally there’s one per year, that are special to me.


Diversity on Broadway

When I started BLEEP, I started it with the intention of highlighting and showcasing the stories of artists that weren’t being told. I didn’t want to dip into the tabloid pool. I wanted us to be different, even if that meant we weren’t as popular as the more tabloid-bent magazines and websites. Talking with these twelve Broadway performers, all of which have fought to be seen in a casting landscape that caters mostly to white performers, was one of the greatest experiences in five years of BLEEPing. I even teared up at the end of the interview because this transcended a regular artist profile. This touched on something deep, relevant and life changing.

JULY 2014

Intersection of Art and Fitness

I love dance and I love to be around dancers. Dance is something I’m not great at, no matter how hard I tried, and to spend time with people who use their body to communicate ideas, emotions and stories is something I will never get bored of. Charlie, Joshua and Camille all came from different disciplines (Broadway, circus and contemporary respectively) and Alberto Milazzo brought his A-game to show off the movement of their bodies. Both inviting and editorial, Alberto brought these amazing dancers’ inner magic to life.



The Skivvies

I mean, just look at it. It’s so pink! I remember walking behind the Museum of Natural History one night and there was a wall of pink lights that was installed near the back entrance. In a city of unending lights, I was mesmerized by these and it made perfect sense to take pictures with them as the backdrop. There’s a chance we may have trespassed to do so (we did), but Nick and Lauren were game and Tyler Dean King got some really great, really pink shots. It wasn’t long before the lights disappeared from behind the museum, but I’m glad they’re immortalized as a part of this issue.


Bring on the Divas

The photos Kevin Thomas Garcia took in the studio were as great as they were glamorous, but it was when we took that glam outside to the perpetually under construction 9th Avenue in New York that the real magic happened. Marty and his Divas were and are four stars in their own right, each successful in the different arenas they have ventured into since our shoot, but what I love about this photo is how it pulled out each of their power. They are strutting and literally stopping traffic while they did so.


Brandon Rubendall

It was at this point that I decided we weren’t going to be a one-year wonder and we were going full steam ahead with this whole BLEEP thing. Spider-Man was at the end of a whirlwind year and most of the press centered on the behind-the-scenes aspects of the show. With the circus surrounding the show, it only made sense to shoot Brandon in the center of the biggest circus in New York, Times Square. I actually shot this and decided the edit needed to call-back to the comic book from which the show came. Brandon is an amazing talent and this cover will always be the issue where BLEEP became “a thing.”




years of



When I was younger, I thought creativity meant you thought in colors and shapes rather than words and math equations. I thought it meant that you danced rather than ran, sang rather than preached and painted rather than wrote. As I got older, that definition changed, but none more so than in the five years of BLEEP. I’ve been confronted with the notion that Broadway stars and street performers, Olympians and chefs, gospel singers and drag queens all possess an innate creativity they each funnel into the form of expression that speaks to them. For me, I’ve become a lover of all forms of creative expression, and this magazine has been my creative medium. Designing each spread, crafting each question, framing photos, and promoting the artists has been a fulfilling joy for five years. Creativity exists within the spreading of that joy.


You never get to see the people who make BLEEP, so for our 5th Anniversary, we wanted to spotlight the artists who have made it possible throughout the years. Some are still working on it, some have moved on to other projects, but all are equally a part of making BLEEP a success.




Creativity personally means a lot to me. As someone who has wanted to become a writer since the age of 8, I have found myself being able to express myself better on paper than in person sometimes. Creativity means becoming more confident for me. Being creative means being my true self whenever I pick up a pen.


Creativity is to expect the unexpected, to be free and follow your instincts. It is the manifestation of your dreams and ideas, the voice of your soul!


For me, creativity is having a vision and seeing it through to fruition, by whatever innovative and artistic means possible. Creativity means I have a freedom to produce something I’m proud to put my name on, and my clients are thrilled to call their own.





Creativity is bringing into light the infinite Creativity means a little possibilities that already exist in the magic in the everyday. universe that we often overlook. BLEEP 33



To me, creativity means trying. The simple acts of thinking out a solution, of putting effort into a project, of taking a risk - these steps toward a final achievement, great or small, are what make up creativity in this world. It doesn’t matter if you are blessed with Godgiven talent, or if you have to struggle for every inch of success in your craft, creativity is a natural part of being passionate about something. Some dreams have a longer path ahead than others, and some days it is more difficult to try than it ever was before. But taking those steps and pushing yourself farther and harder - that’s where creativity is created.



Creativity is the heart of God. We are a creative people because He is a creative God. We are made in His image, and so we must do as He does. We must create. We must.


Creativity to me is grabbing hold of as many sensations as possible and wrestling them - all the sounds, sights, and feelings that make you fly and make you sink - into something you can set free for others to experience.


I think of creativity as the capacity to allow others to perceive the world differently, be it through an emotional or artistic lens, or simply by making them see more clearly. The work I do day-to-day focuses on building visualizations, often from collections of facts people may not even think of as ‘data,’ in order to help them understand the wealth of knowledge that exists in front of them which just needed to be presented in a novel way.

5 years of




Creativity to me means communicating our heart and soul. It’s the realness of humanity.

Creativity means, to me, the ability to create something original that moves the world forward in a positive direction, whether it be business, the arts or science.



I like Elizabeth Gilbert’s definition of creativity as “the relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration.” While creativity is certainly necessary to the arts and humanities, I think it can also manifest when people are inspired to change, beautify, provoke ideas, or solve problems in unique ways. As long as people act on what inspires them, then creativity is boundless.

Creativity, to me, is an indescribable force. It’s the God power. God is the utmost creator, and so to be creative is to be working through his image. I believe it is inherent in all of us to take the world that is living inside of us and express it in a tangible way. This picture sums up this feeling--that we have a whole world inside of us. It’s our birthright to express it and share it with the world. Creativity is also empathy. It’s appreciating humanity. I think that often times the acting business tries to rob actors of this empathy, and a lot of actors become cynical through the ups and downs of the business. But when we lose our empathy, things like what is happening in Paris, Syria, Lebanon, start to happen. That’s why artists are so vital--we remind people of their humanity. BLEEP 35






years of




Mo Brady PODCASTER “Three years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d have a podcast and be doing video editing for Broadway Cares,” Mo said when I first talked with him two years ago. “Three years before that, I wouldn’t have thought I’d have make my Broadway debut. Three years before that, I wouldn’t have thought I’d have booked Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. My career is winding and has surprised me, and I love that.” From everything I’ve learned about Mo Brady, I can’t wait to see what the next three years bring, because he’s capable of just about anything. -Ryan What does creativity mean to you? Creativity means telling stories in a way that speaks to your heart. You’re a performer. You’re a podcaster. You work at BCEFA. How do you stay inspired to keep it all fresh and new? By staying connected. It’s my friends and my community who keep me inspired, challenged and excited about finding new ways to be creative. How do you challenge yourself? By not being afraid of what I don’t know. I think that fear can really stifle creativity and if you can acknowledge what you don’t know and push yourself, that’s a great way to challenge yourself. What’s coming up for The Ensemblist? The Ensemblist keeps growing. We’ve got a new miniseries about actors who are moving beyond themselves creatively. We’re speaking to people who are now working as directors and choreographers and photographers. We have another episode coming up about Broadway parents that I’m really excited about. The idea that you can do this and that and how those two things make you better at each of them is an exciting thing for us to be taking on.



Jim Caruso MUSICIAN When Jim Caruso tells me to do something, I do it. He’s the guy who knows everybody, leads the wildly successful Castparty at Birdland and tours with Liza. I mean, come on. Beyond his resume, he’s a nice guy who has gone out of his way to keep me in the loop on artists he thinks should be featured in BLEEP. He has a keen eye for talent and a knack for featuring artists on his stage before they become pop stars and YouTube hits. He’s a star in his own right and I’m thrilled that he’s been a part of BLEEP. -Ryan What inspires you? Being around the most talented, smart, and wickedly funny people in the world is a constant inspiration to me. To be in their presence is exhilarating. I’m lucky enough to have fallen into a job that celebrates these people on a weekly basis, and between the Broadway at Birdland concert series I produce, hosting Cast Party all over the planet, and doing concerts with Liza Minnelli, Billy Stritch, Jane Monheit and Klea Blackhurst – I’m constantly bombarded with folks who are masters at strutting their talented stuff! I can’t imagine anyone not being invigorated by these people! What does creativity mean to you? There are very few surprises in the entertainment business at this point, so many acts harken back to another era – or are reminiscent of other performing styles. To me, true creativity involves a fearlessness to be unique– to own up to and celebrate one’s character and supposed flaws. Barbra Streisand. Michael Jackson. Judy Garland. Louis Armstrong. Kay Thompson. Amy Winehouse. Of course these people had bizarre amounts of talent, but they concocted themselves into unique personas unlike anything seen before. What’s coming up? What’s coming up is more of the same, and I couldn’t be more invigorated by that. I love taking Cast Party to as many cities as possible, and celebrating local talent. The Broadway at Birdland concert series is going great guns, and there are exciting plans for a new performance space at the club. Billy Stritch and I are booking our shows all over, and continuing our residency at Bemelmans at The Carlyle Hotel. Variety is the spice of life, to be sure, and my life is pure come-what-mayhem!


Jim is wearing a suit by Suitable.



Ariana DeBose #THEBULLET IN HAMILTON Ariana is everywhere right now. As a part of the original cast of Hamilton, she’s had every critic, celebrity, and even the President and First Lady of the United States gushing over the musical that has earned more acclaim than any other show since The Book of Mormon. I love when we run into each other on the subway platform and are able to quickly catch up before we run off to whatever we are headed. She’s come a long way from the moment we were introduced to her on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and she’s only just begun. I think she’s amazing. -Ryan What does creativity mean to you? Creativity means complete abandon. It’s a complete flow of color and energy and a visceral experience through your body. That, to me, is creativity. It’s everything. As someone who has accomplished a lot already, how do you challenge yourself? I think I strive to be out of my comfort zone. Before I said yes to Hamilton, I had been doing cover work and I had been singing and step-touching. I decided to do a show that required me to really dance, which I hadn’t done in a long time. I’m constantly trying to find new ways to stimulate my mind. If I feel like I haven’t mastered the on-camera technique, then I go take a class. Or if I feel like my voice has changed and I need to go tune it up, I make sure I get into vocal lessons. I take a lot of class so I’m stimulated. What’s coming up in the new year for you? I will be seen in “The Breaks” on VH1 on January 4th, 2016. And more Hamilton and more spreading the good word 8 times a week. Hopefully more kids will come see the show and there will be more making a difference.



Frank DeJulio ACTOR In a real way, Frank is responsible for every other person who is in this issue. I saw him in a play and was taken by his performance. Up to that point, I’d never interviewed an actor before and I took a chance on emailing him. On a professional level, it was his feature that opened the door to more interviews with other artists. Without that, we wouldn’t be here. On a personal level, we became great friends and have continued to support each other for the past four years. At some point, I told him that when he felt like he was making his break in his career, I’d put him on the cover. That happened in June of 2014, when we celebrated the release of The Normal Heart on HBO. He hasn’t stopped working since and it’s truly remarkable to see someone who loves what he does so much, who continuously strives to be a better artist, and at the same time, is someone who is good to his friends and loves deeply. Frank is the real deal. -Ryan What does creativity mean to you? Creativity, I think, is something that universally brings us all together. I think it’s something everyone is capable of doing and it takes a lot of bravery to be creative, no matter what field you’re in. When you actually allow yourself to open that door and let yourself be creative, you learn more about yourself, the world and the people around you. It’s an ongoing thing. What inspires you? Good movies or specifically, a true gritty, raw performance that gives me something to aspire to. Just recently, I’ve realized I gauge how good I’m doing and my stature by the people who in my life. By that I mean, I look at the people around me who are doing great things and if they seem to like what I’m doing, that means I’m doing okay as we are all growing in our careers. When will you be on our screens next? I’m in the season finale of this season of “Jessica Jones” on Netflix, in the ninth episode of “The Affair” on HBO this season, I have a movie with Rachel Weisz and Michael Shannon coming out in the spring, and I have an HBO miniseries called “Crime” that’s coming up too.



Steven Gabriel PHOTOGRAPHER I met Steven Gabriel because he was bailing me out of a less-than-ideal situation. I’d have been thankful for photos at all, but what he did was truly artful. Getting to know him has been really insightful because he’s an artist who is so passionate about what he does, and he is able to use his art to clear the fog of his day away. That’s a lesson for all of we creative people. As a photographer, he knows how to bring out the best in people, something he’s just as adept at in real life. -Ryan As a photographer, how do you break from taking the same photo over and over and stay inspired to try something different? I stay inspired by taking in all of the artwork from my fellow artist friends. I also manage a bar and at the bar, we have a gallery. We have artists come through and I get to see their work, which is inspiring because I want to be just as good. What does creativity mean to you? Being able to show a side of myself, show my growth and what I’m learning, then putting it all together and spitting it back out to show to people. What’s coming up? I do monthly photoshoots for an underwear company and they feature the images all over the website and social media so there’s always that. I also work at a photography school so I’m teaching kids photography. They have an exhibit that I helped them develop that’s coming soon.



Jakob Karr DANCER, COMPANY XIV When I was in college, my friends and I would have “So You Think You Can Dance” watch parties and would be mesmerized by the artistry on TV every week. During the sixth season, I watched as Jakob Karr proved weekafter-week how skilled and controlled his dancing was. Currently a part of Company XIV, one of the most genius dance companies in New York, he’s proving time and time again that he’s a force in the dance world. He’s also a genuinely nice guy, which goes a long way. Sidenote: He totally should have won season six. I’m standing by that. -Ryan What does creativity mean to you? To me, it can mean being a part of someone else’s process and letting them mold you into what they want, knowing that you’re guiding their hand along the way. How do you challenge yourself as an artist? I’ve been doing a lot of dance research. I’ve stepped back into the exclusively dance world and I haven’t really been a part of that world in a while. In the show I’m in now, I’m very much naked on stage for two and a half hours every night and that’s not something I would have been able to do five years ago. I think developing your own confidence in yourself, not even in your physique and what you look like, but just being able to step out and be totally bare in every way, it makes you brave moving forward. Where can we see you dance next? With this company, we are doing Nutcracker Rouge through January. It’s a burlesque, vaudeville Nutcracker experience. Then I’m going on a long vacation.



Todd Kennedy CAKE DESIGNER “Another picture of a flower on Instagram. How original.” That’s what I thought when I saw the pictures on Todd’s feed. But what I was shocked to find out once I read the caption was that they weren’t just pictures of flowers. These were pictures of sugar work Todd had done to put on top of wedding cakes. These incredibly detailed and perfectly life-like flowers were made from sugar. He’s incredible, he thinks outside the box and his career is only just beginning. -Ryan What keeps you inspired? Nature because the sugar work I do is very realistic and draws from nature. I’m inspired by doing cakes and seeing the reaction of the bride or groom. Seeing tears of happiness is worth more than any payment could ever be. What does creativity mean to you? Creativity means not being afraid to take chances and stepping outside of your shell, realizing that no matter what you do, it could be loved or it could not. You just have to do what you feel. What’s coming up? The next year or so, I’ll be much more independent with my work. There’s a contrast between my personal style and my elegant cake style and I look forward to sharing that on a broader scale.

Todd is wearingBLEEP Mardana. 53

Nikka Graff Lanzarone PERFORMER & PODCASTER The first time I attended Broadway Bares, Nikka stole the show. Since then, she’s brought her love of the stage into the world of new media. She’s insightful, she’s passionate about sharing the stories of performers whose names may not be above the title of the show, and she’s a one-of-a-kind performer herself. -Ryan What does creativity mean to you? Creativity means freedom. It means setting up a structure for myself to bounce around in, fly in, and figure out whatever the story is I want to tell. Being as busy as you are, how do you stay inspired? I read a lot. I try to consume the media that interests me thus being inspired by what people in my world, those both truly in my world and in the world I aspire to be in, to see what they’re making. How do you then take that inspiration and challenge yourself? I think by trying to fill in a part of a story that isn’t being told. That’s what we do with the podcast and it’s what I try to do as an actor. What’s coming up for The Ensemblist? We’re trucking along. We have a couple panels we’re going to do at Broadway Con in January and we want to keep building the audience and get more into teaching and masterclasses. It’s something we’re really interested in developing. 54 BLEEP


Kristina Nicole Miller MUSICIAN The first time I met Kristina was at a New Years party. As tends to happen, the party ended up around the piano and those who can sing, did. It was fun and the talent in the room was at a premium, and then she sang. I don’t remember what the song was, it doesn’t matter, but she sang, and the room was silent. She stunned the room. She has a true gift, one she’s spent time traveling the world sharing since we last met up. It’s only going to get bigger from here. -Ryan What does creativity mean to you? Creativity means that I have the ability to express myself through my particular field without inhibition. As an artist, how do you stay inspired? I have a really amazing support system. I have great best friends who really rejuvenate me. There’s a place of creative worship we have created amongst each other that we can go to when we are in need. What’s your method of challenging yourself? I try to challenge myself spiritually on a daily basis. “What can I learn from every situation? What can I learn today?” So, I’m challenging myself in the sense that I’m working toward finding inner peace and inner sanctuary. What’s coming up? I have my hands in a few pots. I sing the theme song for “The View” right now so that’s fun. I’ve been doing things overseas a lot which has been amazing. Being able to travel has been awesome.




Julia Murney ACTOR Julia was the first person I interviewed who I had previously known who she was, meaning, before I moved to New York, I knew who she was because of Wicked. So, when I showed up for our interview, I was mentally prepared for a full-on Broadway diva. However, who I met was a down-to-Earth, approachable and wildly funny Julia who, by just being herself, taught me to put down my guards before interviews and be myself, just as much as I want the person on the other side of the table to be themselves. Plus, she’s unrealistically talented. And beautiful. And funny. And I’m a big fan. -Ryan What does creativity mean to you? It means getting to use your mind in ways that feel like a really good stretch. It means sometimes, in a very solitary manner, thinking through things. But it’s a lot more fun to do with other people. I can think that I don’t have a single idea or thing to say, but the minute someone else throws something out, I can have an idea and it can go from there. It feels like a nice stretch. You’ve been working and in shows for many years now. How do you continue to challenge yourself? Sometimes, the challenge is just getting through. That can be a challenge. It used to be that if something was hard, I wouldn’t do it. Now, I try to figure it out and give myself the release to know that maybe it’s not for me. But I attempt to see if I can wrestle the bear to the ground before I go, “Bear wins. I’ll leave.” I try to see if the bear and I can have a talk first. What’s coming up? I just did three shows at 54 Below and beyond that, I have two concerts in California that are private events. I’ve been doing concerts recently and they are both fun and make me anxious so I’m looking for the next challenge. BLEEP 59


Zach Schmahl COOKIE MASTER Our first interview was sitting in Zach’s apartment while he baked a dozen Oatmeal Scotchie cookies and he talked about starting a business. He was selling his cookies online at the time and talking about wanting to open up a storefront eventually. That was then. Now, not only is Schmackarys a storefront in Hells Kitchen with a line out the door, but he’s opened a second location in Williamsburg. His is a success story we got to see unfold before us and I’m pleased to report that he’s still the nice guy you want to share a beer with (and a cookie, of course). -Ryan What does creativity mean to you? Creativity means taking something of yourself, putting it into what you do and making it special each and every time. How do you continue to push yourself to be better at what you do? By keeping my palate refined and by always tasting and looking for something new and exciting that inspires me. I look for interesting ingredients. I see things all around and I like to taste different foods and think how I can put that into a cookie. What is it that inspires you? My parents inspire me. My dad has always been a huge inspiration of mine and getting to work beside my mom every day inspires me to keep things close to my heart always. Knowing that keeping family close is really important. That will always inspire me. What’s next for you and for Schmackarys? We just opened up our second location and hope to open up a third in the next year. What’s your favorite cookie today? Today, I’m going to say I love the Monster Cookie. It’s oatmeal with peanut butter and M&Ms and chocolate, with a little bit of raisins for some chew – it’s amazing all around.


Jake Simpson FASHION DESIGNER Jake took me by surprise. The art he makes, whether it’s something you wear or his work behind the camera, is fierce and bold. He creates statements that are loud and unmissable. In person, he’s a soft-spoken, southern gentleman. I love the dichotomy of the artist and his art. I became a fan of his bowties via Instagram, I even bought one from him to wear in my sister’s wedding, and I’ve watched as his art has reached even greater heights since then. Take note now because he will not only be making an impact for a long time to come, but as more of the world figures out how talented he is, the sky is the limit to where he will go next. -Ryan What does creativity mean to you? Opening my mind and allowing what I’ve envisioned to come to life. It’s a reflection of me that I can put out into the world. What inspires you to keep designing and creating? I had always drawn cartoons as a kid and they always had crazy clothes on that I would envision and create in my mind. It started as a drawing and it made me want to learn how to make it and actually bring it to life. Artists like Tim Burton and Alexander McQueen, of course inspire me a lot, but now, a lot of inspiration comes from all the support and positive feedback I get. It makes me want to keep going. What do you do to continue to challenge yourself? I try to come up with things I’ve never seen before. I’m constantly thinking of new ideas and then I challenging myself through constant trial and error. What’s on the horizon for you? I’m headed toward an actual website as opposed to Etsy, where I can sell my bowties, other accessories and clothing. Jake is wearing a bowtie of his own design.




Kevin Thomas Garcia PHOTOGRAPHER

Kevin has shot more BLEEP covers than any other photographer, with eight total. (9 if you include the cover he shared with Matt Murphy) I was sitting at the bar I frequented and he looked at me from behind the counter and says, “So what’s the deal? You have a magazine? When am I shooting a cover?” And that was that. He’s talented, he knows what’s going to look good in a shot, he sets everyone at ease at his shoots, and coming from a performing background, he understands how creative people think. He’s good at everything he sets his mind to and I think he’s terrific. - Ryan “Creativity to me is a very hard to define term. I could go on about some deeper meanings and great slogans, but to me it’s just a part of who I am. I have always done creative things and lived by the mantra: ‘Do what you love and the money will come.’ I’m driven as an artist by the fact that I will never be the best. If I ever become the best, then it’s time to try something else.”



5 YEARS OF BLEEP FROM BAKERIES TO BURLESQUE TO BROADWAY: A CONVERSATION WITH BLEEP MAGAZINE FOUNDER, RYAN BRINSON By Kimberly Marable I’m Kimberly Marable, a Broadway actress and co-founder of Broadway Serves, and I was first featured in BLEEP Magazine in the November/December 2011 issue, while I was in Sister Act. At the interview and photo shoot, Ryan & I became fast friends and now watch movies over ice cream and have numerous dinner dates (I’m a fat kid at heart). This marks Ryan’s first time being interviewed for BLEEP Magazine, and is my first appearance as a contributing writer.


Kimberly: Well, how do you feel about being interviewed? Ryan: It’s odd. It’s the opposite of what I’m used to. It’s scary. Let’s do it! Awesome! So, here I am interviewing the interviewer. I guess we should start from the beginning. A very good place to start. Thank you, Maria. You’re welcome. What was the impetus to start the magazine? I’d done publication design since junior high. I did yearbook and newspaper in junior high, and in high school I became the yearbook editor by my junior year. Once I got to college, I did more newspaper and more yearbook all the way through grad school. Now, college yearbook is very different from what people think about when they think about “yearbook.” It’s basically a 400page magazine of the year. It merged all the things I love: history, the university I love (Baylor), and designing something where I had near complete creative control. The magazine came from wanting to keep my skills sharp while I had this non-profit job. It’s also that I love magazines, but I hate the tabloid filter and what it exudes and what it exemplifies. I wanted to talk to real people. When I was at the Off-Off-Broadway theater, I would listen to the actors tell their stories in the lobby, and I was so interested in what they were saying. I thought the chances that people in Texas, or Missouri, or Nebraska were going to hear their story was slim to none, because they’re not the lead in a Broadway show or on a TV show or whatever. So that became the focus of the magazine: hear emerging artists stories in all forms of creative fields. It’s certainly expanded since then, but it remains the goal today.

I think it’s interesting that you’ve described the magazine in that way: telling emerging artists’ stories. Something that I‘ve always thought was really cool and different is that you find art in everything. Whether it’s a baker, a burlesque artist, or a Broadway performer. Could you talk a little bit more about non-conventional ideas of art, and what art is to you? I grew up in the buckle of the Bible Belt. I loved my childhood and my teenage years. I experienced performing mostly through church, but I sang and I acted, and I choreographed things. I’ve always been a movie lover when it came to art house cinema, the stuff that nobody else sees beside Academy voters. But when I came to New York, it was through stage productions that my mind opened up to the possibility of what else was out there. It didn’t even matter if I necessarily agreed with the message of what the story was that was on stage, or what point they were trying to drive home, it was just the fact that they were doing it, that they were telling that story and they were doing it in an interesting and artful way. I spent a summer in London during grad school and I spent lots of time at the Tate Modern Museum of Art. I fell in love with modern art, because everything is outside the box. While the artist has their intention and what they did it for, you can really interpret it however you want. That’s the joy of art in general, but specifically modern art. I mean, I love a big Broadway show, a big musical, or the “Thor” movies. I’ll always love Britney. But I equally love the stuff in the tiny black box theater in the East Village that I just saw a blip about in the Village Voice, have no idea what it is, and just go on impulse. Or the singer a little club in Chelsea, and there are four people there, but it’s a vocalist unlike anything you’ve ever heard. Things like that are so inspiring. I feel like once you turn the art-knob on in your life, you start to see it everywhere you go. You see it in the way that a restaurant wall is decorated, or what someone is wearing on the street, what they’ve done to their shoes


Ryan is wearing a bowtie by Jake Simpson.

to take them from Marshall’s to magnificent. And at some point that knob switched and…everything is art. Even if I don’t necessarily agree with it, or if it challenges the things I do believe, that’s when art becomes exciting to me. When it forces you to think internally about what you believe. Maybe the end product is that it affirms what you believe. Maybe the end product is that it says ‘maybe I was wrong.’ Or maybe it’s just a seed that can grow at a later date, and can change as we grow, and change what we think. I just love art. And I love artists. The concept of loving the artist became bigger and bigger, and that’s what the magazine has facilitated in my own life. It’s opened the door for me to not only experience art that people might not experience without a Press Pass, but to get to actually sit and talk to artists and hear what their thought is, hear what their brainwave is, and hear their intention. And then there’s the situation like this right now when sometimes they become some of my closest friends. Whatever point that little switch turned on—which, I wish I knew the exact epicenter, because I would erect a monument in its honor in my life. Whenever that was, it has. And I can’t turn it off at this point. Well, I’m glad that I’m the one who gets to be here for it. You know, I love your word art-knob. Or was it heartknob? Both I guess. I think it’s really awesome. My next question is do you have a brief memory that is like the pinnacle of what this magazine is about and/or just a proud moment for you as the creator of this magazine? Okay, for this I have three easy, easy, answers. The first was when I interviewed Julia Murney. She was one of the first people I interviewed where I knew who she was before I interviewed them, and by that I mean, before I moved to New York, I was aware of her work in Wicked, Wild Party, and whatever else. So, she was not only one of the best interviews I ever had, but she was so lovely, so warm, and so down to earth. I had mentally prepared for a Broadwaydiva big deal, and she arrived as Julia, and it was silly and lovely. It disarmed me and it taught me that I probably should be a little more open when I show up to these things because you never know. The second, the Broadway Inspirational Voices, are my


favorite thing in New York City, possibly the whole world. It merges the things I love most. It merges Broadway singers with down and dirty, black gospel music, and choral singing. I’m done at that point. I got to put them on the cover of the “Issue” Issue, which was about different people making a difference through their art. They do all sorts of work, not only teaching kids in schools that don’t have art programs, but they raise money for all sorts of causes that are incredible. So, I got to go to one of their rehearsals, and I interviewed Norm Lewis, who I think is amazing. After our interview, I was going to be sitting in on the rehearsal, but before the rehearsal, they get together and pray as a group. Of course, they are a diverse group of people, religious beliefs and faith systems, and they come together to sing this form of music that is meant to uplift people, regardless of what your belief system is. I remember when they got together in the circle to pray, Norm Lewis pointed to me, and motioned for me to come over and join the circle. It was one of those moments that probably meant nothing to him, and it probably meant nothing to them. But to me, it was a mere moment of inclusion in something that I believe in so passionately, and secretly wish I were singing in. Actually, not so secretly, I actively want to do it. [laughs] Anyway, the third moment, happened once, but it literally happened again this morning. When my favorite gospel artist of all time, Natalie Grant, was promoting her first album, we were at a fine arts competition, doing one of her songs. She came and saw us perform. As a 16 year old kid from Texas who’d never been anywhere basically, it was one of those out-of-body, weird moments of “this artist is here to hear you do their song.” I did get to interview her a couple years ago when we did a gospel music issue, but I actually go to talk to her this morning about her new album. And she’s so warm and joyous and real as a person. I love a good full-circle Oprah moment, in that this person whom I have loved for 16 years, every song, every album, and every everything… is now someone I’m getting to talk to on the phone and learn about her artistic process, and the things she’s doing. When I first encountered her, she was an emerging artist. And now she’s won ‘Female Vocalist of the Year’ at the Gospel Music Awards 5 times, she’s Grammy nominated, she’s the biggest female

performer in Christian music. It’s just a really cool full-circle moment. If I had a fourth, it would be the last issue, sitting in a circle talking about diversity on Broadway, which was by the way, the only time that I’ve teared up at the end of an interview, and you were there to see it. I’m glad I was there. That was ridiculous, but it happened, and I’m owning it, because that’s another thing that I’m hyper-passionate about. I don’t know even how to articulate that sometimes because it’s not something that I’ve ever had to deal with, being a white man from Texas. But it drives me crazy when I see any form of inequality. That was one way that I could hopefully do something, if even in a small way. For sure! For my next question… actually, first of all… That was an amazing answer. Now. Is there a moment with the magazine where you feel like your (he)art-knob was especially on high? Things that were especially touching or… Superficially, it was the day that one of the Spice Girls retweeted the magazine. Mel C. retweeted the magazine because we were talking about her song at the moment. That’s not a heart thing, it was just a cool thing. I feel like all of those earlier moments fit into this question. The thing that makes me the happiest is when I’m sitting with an artist who’s not affected, and they’re just being themselves, and talking about what they love. When they’re not jaded and there’s no pretense. It doesn’t matter if you’re a dance in a tiny little show somewhere or in the company of The Lion King. I love that moment when I can hear someone’s heart come through when they’re talking about their art. And not everybody does it, and that’s fine. But when people do, it brings validation, not only to that moment, and that interview, but it brings validation to five years of working on, and building this magazine. I don’t know if it’s a specific moment, but it’s a specific moment within many moments. Is the magazine where you thought it would be five years ago when you started? No. I still don’t 100% know where I want to see it go,

because it’s evolved so naturally. The platform is changing. We’re moving to a website format that’s more all encompassing, a more artist hub feature, which is something I love. “Ever onward and ever upward,” is what I say. I’m getting more opportunities now to talk to people who are in TV or in movies. I’m such a TV junkie that I can’t say no and that sort of thing challenges me. So, are we where I thought we would be? No. Do I know where we’re going? I know the immediate future of where we’re going. I don’t know. Ask me in a year, and we’ll see where we’ve gone since then. Because we’re not going to be stagnant, that’s for sure. For the entire interview, head over to

Ryan on Kimberly

I was spoiled by Kimberly Marable. Completely and utterly spoiled. She was starring in Sister Act on Broadway and after our interview, we became instant friends. When I knew she was going on for the lead, I would wake up early to get rush tickets so I could be front row to see her shine. She is a brilliant light in my life. As one of the founders of Broadway Serves, her heart for service and change works hand-in-hand with her heart for performing. I truly love this woman and love seeing her use all of her gifts to both help and bring people joy. BLEEP 69




From Tony Award winners to jazz superstars, from American Idols to the winner of Eurovision, and from TV stars to emerging visual artists, BLEEP has featured all forms of creative people. Circus performers, chefs, Grammy winners, burlesque stars, and designers who range from fashion to theatre to gardens have all graced our pages and we caught up with dozens of them to talk about the component that connects us all: creativity.


Tituss Burgess

Creativity is freedom; Truly living inside reckless abandon. What keeps me driven ( fortunately) is an overstimulated mind. It’s always on. It exhausts me and it rejuvenates me.


Photo by Michael Young


Lindsay Nicole Chambers ACTOR

Photo by Michael Young

For me creativity is problem solving. I think as artists we try to live creative lives, so it’s more than writing a scene or painting a picture - it’s making a life for yourself by doing what you love to do, even, and especially, when it’s not very lucrative or when you have to make it happen for yourself. I think that’s what drives me: the feeling of wanting to do more, do a number of different things, and see what else there is to try. And I think fear motivates me as well - you know deep down that the scary things are the ones you should do. Even if you have to take a beta blocker.



Photo by Michael Young

To me, creativity is expressing yourself through your own art. I believe everyone has a unique gift of showing themselves through their own creative form. For me, right now that comes through in the form of video production. At one point it was through dancing and another point it was through visual art. Creativity is bringing your one-of-akind soul out to the world.

Jacob Underwood MUSICIAN

Creativity is expression and a necessary factor in our progression. Whether it’s personal or a conglomerate of vision and effort, it is producing something unique and desired. What I create is an extension of my identity. What drives you to keep going as an artist? I find inspiration from other art and artists, but never allow it to become competition in my mind. I try to keep the competition within myself, and my own work, always trying to be better than my last. I think this has helped me stay productive. If you’re holding your art up to other people’s standards, you’re stunting your own growth, and if you compare your work to the greats, you might get discouraged and quit before become great yourself. Do you, and keep your art an enjoyable and enlightening process.


Photo by Tyler Dean King

Lauren Molina

Nick Cearley

Lauren Molina Creativity is the creation of something new through freedom of expression, taking risks, attempting to be non-derivative, [and by] putting your own spin on music, art, and theatre. What drives me to keep going is the love of the creative process: collaboration, building something from nothing or transforming a piece so that audiences will have a fresh experience.

What does creativity mean to you? Being original in any capacity, whether it be body, mind, or soul, in an effort to make something.



What drives you to keep going as an artist? Being the mold. Not replacing a mold. Being the original mold. BLEEP 75

Thayne Jasperson


Creativity to me is the opportunity to breathe life into that which we ambitiously pursue. What drives me is my spirit. If I allow it, it navigates all of my decision making.

Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Alberto Milazzo PHOTOGRAPHER

I’ve always had a need to create, and to explore the infinite amount of mediums and methods of application. Creating feeds my soul, in a way that is different from day-to-day work/life accomplishments. My mental sanctuary is lit by creativity. I don’t know where the drive came from, all i know is the harder i fight against my need to create the emptier i feel. The therapeutic effects of creating is definitely motivation in itself.


I think creativity applies to almost anything we do so life will stay interesting. Whether or not I always succeed in executing my ideas, I am constantly trying to think of something creative in my photography to pull people in and want to see more. I love to think up stories in my head and then capturing them on film. Movies, TV shows and sometimes books play a big part in working my imagination. I don’t know if I could ever stop thinking of myself as a photographer, even if I don’t break through to becoming commercially successful. I think whatever talent you’re given should always be put to use.


5 years of


Jessica Chen DANCE

To me, creativity gives me the opportunity to explore my story and try to make sense of it all using an expressive outlet. I see movement everywhere and I often translate my experiences or ideas into movement. Dance helps me make sense of the world. And with dance, I was able to create a world of my own, including my company J CHEN PROJECT. This world, my community, is incredibly supportive and passionate. So I have constant inspirations around me.


Roberto Araujo


What does creativity mean to you? Ideas. A vision. A point of view. An opinion. What drives you to keep going as an artist? The constant need to express a feeling, tell a story or share an experience; the effervescence of new ideas wanting to materialize and be shared with the world. As a visual artist, I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings (art, people, faces, textures, colors, feelings) and I always find myself craving the need to create.



Photo by Michael Young

Creativity is the gift of full and unadulterated artistic, emotional, intellectual expression; when we are able to rid ourselves of self-doubt and self-censure, and fully indulge in the artistic process. Creativity is taking risks. It is falling in love repeatedly with something new yet familiar. What drives me to keep going as an artist? Joy. The challenge of pursuing higher stations. The opportunity for creative stimulation and growth.


Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Jerry Mitchell


What does creativity mean to you? Being PRESENT! Showing up! Going #Fullout each and every time. That is the ONLY way I can be creative! What drives you to keep going as an artist? “Everything about it is appealing...” to me. You know the song. This is all I really ever wanted to do. So being able to do it and build a life doing it fuels my passion to continue. 80 BLEEP

Joey Contreras


For me, creativity means being inspired by life’s palette and then letting the imagination enhance the details.

Kyle Brincefield

Bryant Phelan


Creativity, to me, is much more than the ability to think differently or create conceptually. It is fuel by which I may manifest my expression into fruition and is my defense against absorbing superficialities into my work. It is, in my opinion, a call to wriggle back into the creature at your core and an encouragement to explore your own mind and perceptions. I know that if I am going to maintain my sanity in this lifetime I am going to have to put out as much of my expression as I can. I am on a constant adventure trying to develop and understand my expression and I personally believe that it is my responsibility to myself to see that through. I am constantly excited to see how many ways that I have doubted myself and am enjoying turning the monsters of my past into beautiful things. I think to give a specific answer, I am driven by my own excitement for my work and for my growth as an artist.


Photos by Ryan Brinson


Creativity to me is something that comes natural; it’s a need in life and is the key to creating happiness for myself. I believe that if you’re truly a creative and don’t find an outlet to express your talent, it tends to bring you down and stifle you in other ways in your life. Creativity is a way of life in the sense some people were born to create and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I’m all for finding your happiness, expressing it and helping to make other happy too. What drives me as an artist boils down to happiness again really. Money comes in time, but happiness you can’t buy. I really appreciate that I found what I love to do. I want everyone to be able to feel that way. Art allows me to express myself and the way my mind works. Whatever I am creating is a piece of me and to have people take an interest and maybe even buy whatever my mind thought up is a pretty damn good feeling.

Eric Pietrangolare PHOTOGRAPHER

What does creativity mean to you? Creativity is a spark that I can almost not explain. I’ve had it since I was a kid, tracing cartoons over a paused TV screen. I’ve had a need for expressing myself through different artistic mediums my whole life and it led me to my passion and love for photography. Creativity is something that feeds your soul, personally keeps me motivated in my day job and everyday thinking, and gives me a sense of self that no one can ever take from me. What drives you to keep going as an artist? Two things, it’s the drive to show myself that I have the means and capability to keep creating new, and innovative ideas to so my brain stays active and continues growing. Also, the want and desire to show and inspire people that they can do the same for themselves if they want it, have a passion for it, and want to develop their minds in a way that isn’t so systematic. 82 BLEEP

Photo by Michael Young


For me, creativity is a collection of experiences that explode in an active reaction. As a choreographer or director, I am affected by music, by text and images. I use these sensations as a catalyst to form something new: a dance step, a phrase, a new idea. Perhaps it’s the same in life. I feel the impact of many different moments of my day affecting me and therefore, I always have a new discovery to play with. Creativity is the way evolution continues to manifest in our society yesterday and today. BLEEP 83


What drives me as an artist is the feeling of expression I get through the stories I tell and what I have left behind with those I have worked with or have taught. How will I be remembered once I’m gone and what will people do with the memory I have left them with? I want to inspire others by living fully, passionately and joyfully as I pursue my passions. As they say in the Broadway’s Hamilton, whoever “...tells my story,” I hope they tell one that I would be proud of and one that inspired them to live a full, loving and joyous life.

Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia


Creativity, to me, means being able to express myself in any way and form, going outside the norm, and thinking the opposite of what’s “in” and trendy. It has always been a way of thinking for myself.



Photo by Steven Gabriel

I believe creativity is the divine and innate ability we have as humans to dream something and through talent and mastered skill, take that thing from the mind, spirit and soul and give it life. The thing that drives me to keep going as an artist is the love of the craft (which has become inextricably part of who I am) and the unshakable reality that there is a generation depending on me to properly handle the mantle of the arts and pass it to them when the time comes.

Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Bryan Campione


What does creativity mean to you? Simply, showcasing your talent (no matter if in art, science, politics, etc.) in a manner that reflects your own personal uniqueness with a purpose-driven backbone. What drives you to keep going as an artist? The opportunity to share the work I do with the world. It’s not about fame or notoriety; it’s about the purpose of the work I have invested time, talent and passion on and allowing others to be a part of the product. It’s always exciting to keep up the drive as new endeavors/adventures come from being creative and loving the work one does. I surely do in the theater community and hope people can jump on the drive I have and be their creative selves as well! BLEEP 85

Amy Lynn Hamlin Creativity is imagination taking over and manifesting into something tangible. It’s taking risks and trusting oneself. It’s doing, not thinking.


Photo by Matt Tolbert


Nathan Madden


Creativity is when someone is most true to themselves; true self-expression, giving in to the realization that they were given greatness at birth. It’s when they tap into that greatness, say yes to it, and build something that is completely beyond their own understanding. They may not be able to define it, but they just have to do it! Who you are comes through each stroke of the paintbrush, each note of the symphony and each step of the dance.

Photo by Michael Young

What drives you to keep going as an artist? The thought that everything you do and fail to do effects some else. Every idea I keep silent or every project I never bring to completion will never be seen. We all were given gifts; beautiful burdens, a responsibility that we must carry out! The world will only ever see one of you!


5 years of


Corey Wesley NEW MEDIA

Creativity is having the desire and passion to challenge, change and create new ideas, concepts and perceptions of others. Creativity is a deep connection one has with self; a connection freely and willingly shared with others. Creativity is unique to each individual and it manifests in different ways. What drives me the most to keep going as an artist are my failures. When I don’t succeed I try again and each time I try again I get better. The beauty in failing is that you come closer to perfection each time you try again.




For me, creativity means the way to express yourself in a nonconventional way. When you are a creative person, everything is reinventing constantly and you can find always a new way to make art. What drives me to keep going as an artist is that I will have something to say, and the way of expressing myself is through my music, lyrics and videos. It’s my perspective, my happiness, and my pain. It is the only thing I know to do. It is the only thing that makes me happy.


Creativity is a way to be a part of the world we live in: Contribute something unique, have a voice and involvement in society, have something in your life to work on, get better at, and to have something to share with others. What drives you to keep going as an artist? What else is there to do? If you stop, you deny yourself your fate, your purpose, your place, your importance, your passion and the only love you may ever really know.


Keala Settle


Photo by Matthew Murphy

Creativity, to me, is sort of like the feeling of freedom. Boundaries are invisible and possibilities are infinite, both good and bad. An artist’s drive, or “artistic fuel,” if you will, stems from the reminder that creativity, in its purest form, will always exist. Therefore, we have the capability to tap into it at any time. What stops that creativity, that artistic flow is fear. And fear comes around because we have allowed it to.

Kevin Zak ACTOR

Creativity, to me, is a form of courage. Creative people are often stepping outside of comfort zones and into the unknown, perhaps constantly questioning and doubting, but inevitably pushing for that sweet spot of the imagination.


David Paul Kay

Simply, it’s the ability to see the light at the end of tunnel when the tunnel has no end.

What does creativity mean to you? It’s a state of mind, permanent mental and emotional condition that drives an individual to see, experience and express things in a different, less orthodox manner. To me, it’s all about doing things that can’t be explained without needing to explain them. It’s that arrogant attitude towards everything and anything; that instinct that makes you answer “Why not?” every time you hear the question “why.” True creativity can be inspired by anything any everything. Every object has uncounted angles we could look at it from. Creativity is the ability to see the world from every possible angle, the ability to process what you see and then share it with the world.

What drives you to keep going as an artist? It’s an addiction. I can’t stop and trust me, I have tried and really wanted to stop doing what I do because along with all the love and appreciation I get, there is a lot of hate and negativity. I said not long ago “What I do is not for everyone. What everyone does is not for me,” and I guess that’s the reason why it is so hard explain. Positive feedback is always a good push. Other creative individuals who share their thoughts, work, positive energy, and success are major adrenaline kicks. “Being an artist” and making art is my way of creating my comfort zone and spending as much time in it as possible. Ideas, thoughts, visions, and energy have control over my own gravity. Again, I would have stopped a long time ago if I could, but I can’t. BLEEP 91



Marty Thomas STAGE

What does creativity mean to you? Creativity is freedom. What drives you to keep going as an artist? The feeling I get when I see an original idea come to fruition on stage or in print. It’s a drug.



Creativity is a unique life force in every artist’s soul. It is this endless flow of originality and inspiration. The one thing that keeps me going as an artist is an untamable hunger to create. I’m still sketching ideas and concepts, researching a plot that I have to create something epic. I surround myself with visionary people and collaborate with these unbelievably talented individuals. This hunger has become my life, BLEEP a92 need, and I’m absolutely in love with it.

Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Creativity means letting go and letting all the juices fly. Having a blank canvas inspires me with no limits. I am able to do what I want based on all the inspirations around me from museums, to theatre, to movies or even people-watching. What drives me is the unbelievable amount of creative people I get to work with on a daily basis. Between working with amazing costume and wig designers and actors, they become my inspiration and muses. I get to work in a business with the most talented people and they inspire me every single day!

Davide Zongoli AERIALIST

Creativity is the abstract force that drives you to invent and create new things, and can be applied in many fields and situations: on stage, in the kitchen, on the catwalk and in everyday life. Those who have the gift of creativity can overcome all kinds of unexpected challenges and by proving themselves, reach new goals.



Creativity is oxygen for anyone in the arts. Without the ability to artistically express ourselves as an individual, we are almost unable to breathe. So what drives me as an artist? Passion, determination, and constant support from the beautiful people in my life. They keep me energized, organized and fired up to continue to grow as an artist.


Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Marissa Rosen

Dominic Servidio ACTOR

Creativity, to me, means having the ability to make a complete jack ass of yourself with no fear and no inhibitions. The only time I truly feel like I am living in the moment is when I am on stage acting. I’m working on implementing that into my everyday life, but currently the only time I feel like a whole person in when I am acting and I wouldn’t give that feeling up for anything, ever, no matter what. I need to act to survive. It is not only my profession but my coping mechanism for dealing with humanity.

Maor Luz


Creativity is opening you mind to different things and ideas and trying to create new styles and think out of the box. Even if some people might think it’s not a good idea, prove them wrong if you believe in your creation. What keeps me going is the feedback that I get from people who like what I do. Seeing people buy my stuff from all over the world just makes me want to create and show more.