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MARCH 2011

CONTENTS

24 >> Going Out

Nashville

36 >> Laurieann Gibson

Dancing with Gaga

46 >> Tabatha Takes Over 52 >> Fashion

Spring Fashion

62 >> Flavor: Arnold Myint

Hint of Myint

66 >> Flavor: Dining Review

Cantina Laredo

70 >> Drive

2011 Chevy Volt

76 >> Music

Jessie & the Toy Boys

80 >> Health

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Our Best Medicine is as Close as the Kitchen Sink

82 >> Skincare

Save Face

84 >> A Voice Speaks Out:

An Interview with "I'm From Driftwood"

86 >> Community

Pridelines Youth Services

88 >> Coming Out

Matthew Dane Brookshire

92 >>Real Estate

hot new listings available


Publisher/ Executive Editor: James L. Clark - james@omgmag.com Associate Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: Joey Amato - joey@omgmag.com; 407-496-8751 Associate Editor: Eric Liebman - eric@omgmag.com Health/Fitness Editor: Wm. Cory Jeffries - cory@omgmag.com; 813-368-0532 Fashion Editor: Jonathan Soto - jonathan@omgmag.com Contributing Editor: Michael Goodman Entertainment Reporter: Dustin Fitzharris Marketing Director: Tim Evans - tim@omgmag.com; 954-297-4003 Community Relations Manager: Arica Love - love@omgmag.com; 727-251-4630 Creative Director: Joshua Beadle - josh@omgmag.com South Florida Sales Representative: Parker Sund - parker@omgmag.com; 954-283-8539 National Sales Agency: Rivendell Media Writers: Joey Amato, Steven Binko, Matthew Dane Brookshire, Rick Desmond, Tim Evans, Dustin Fitzharris, Antwyone Ingram, Wm. Cory Jeffries, Zak Knox, Arica Love, Arnold Myint Photographers: Juan Saco Miranoff OMG! Magazine Corporate Office 701 S. Howard Ave, Suite 201 Tampa, FL 33606 1-800-664-0550

OMG! Magazine Ybor City Branch Office 1430 East 7th Avenue Suite: B Tampa, FL 33605 T: 813-379-6225

The deadline for advertising each monthly release is the third Friday of each month before 12pm. please call our office for any questions. Opinions expressed in the Magazine are not necessarily the opinion of OMG! MAGAZINE©, OMG MULTIMEDIA COMPANIES, LLC or its staff. Publication of the name or photograph of any living person or organization in articles or advertising in OMG! MAGAZINE© shall not be construed or implication made as any indication of the sexual orientation of such persons or organization. All copy, text, display, photos and illustrations in the ads are published with the understanding that the advertisers are fully authorized, have secured proper written consent for the use of names, pictures and testimonials of any living person, and OMG! MAGAZINE© may lawfully publish and cause such to be made and the advertiser automatically agrees by submitting said ad to indemnify and hold harmless the Publisher from any and all liability, loss and expense of any nature out of such publication. The DEADLINE for every Thursday’s release of OMG! MAGAZINE© is the Tuesday before at 12: 00 p.m. (noon) for new advertising made and designed in-house by OMG! MAGAZINE© or the Thursday before at 12:00 p.m. (noon) for advertising submitted from an outside graphics firm.In the event that an ad is accepted after deadline, the advertiser agrees by submitting such an ad to indemnify and hold harmless the Publisher from any and all liability, loss and expense of any nature that may arise from any error that may be made in said ad. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or in whole of this publication without written permission is strictly forbidden.

Become our fan on Facebook for all the latest OMG! news and events.


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: I would like to begin by saying I am truly honored to be the new Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief of OMG! Magazine. A big thank you to James Clark, publisher of OMG! Magazine for giving me the opportunity to spread my wings and be part of the fastest growing LGBT magazine in the country. I will deeply miss working for South Florida Gay News. Norm Kent and the staff at SFGN are some of the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and I wish them nothing but the best. However, when Tim Evans, marketing director for OMG! approached me about the opening, I had to jump on it. Although many people in South Florida were shocked by my departure from the newspaper, the move should come as no surprise. In fact, my life has officially come full circle. I began my career in publishing as the creative editor of Orlando Style Magazine, the city’s best fashion and lifestyle publication. Since then, I have contributed to many other publications including TravelHost Orlando and have worked as a publicist, generating national campaigns for some of the most respected brands in the U.S. including III Forks Prime Steakhouse, Cantina Laredo and legendary artists Peter Max, Mackenzie Thorpe and Salvador Dali. When James Clark asked me to take the reins of his company, I knew that it would not only be a challenge, but one that I eagerly anticipated. My job is to bring OMG! to the next level. So when I was thinking about what would generate the most press and excitement, I thought of my favorite California girl, Katy Perry for our February cover story. Although I contributed the feature to last month’s issue, my true influence begins now. Katy Perry was just a taste of what is to come in the next few months. In addition to celebrity interviews and profiles, OMG! promises to deliver runway ready fashion spreads, mouth watering dining reviews and exhilarating travel features. I am also excited to introduce Arnold Myint of Top Chef DC to the team of contributing columnists. His column “A Hint of Myint” will be featured monthly exclusively in our magazine. Arnold is one of the leading chefs in the nation and we are privileged to have him contribute to our publication. In addition, Dustin Fitzharris joins the team as our entertainment reporter with an amazing interview with Laurieann Gibson, creative director and choreographer to Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Diddy and Katy Perry among others. As we grow, so will our distribution area. Currently, OMG! maintains a heavy presence in Tampa Bay, Orlando, South Florida and Key West with targeted distribution in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Las Vegas. This issue marks our entry into the Nashville market. With a thriving arts scene, great music and their upcoming fashion week, Nashville has become an epicenter for LGBT life. You will read more about Music City later in this issue. March is also the kickoff of Pride season, highlighted by PrideFest which takes place March 12 and 13 at Jaco Pastorius Park in Fort Lauderdale. OMG! is proud to be a sponsor of this wonderful event and we encourage you to stop by our booth to meet the team. Please read Arica Love’s “Guide to Pride” in this issue as well. Myself as well as the entire team at OMG! is eager to share our vision with you, but we also encourage any feedback or suggestions you may have. This is your publication as much as it is ours. OMG! - Joey Amato ________________________________________________________________ Photo By: Kyle Poffenbarger - Kpoff.com

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TRAVEL

GOING OUT:

NASHVILLE by Joey Amato

Nashville may not come to mind as a place to visit if you are looking for an LGBT-friendly getaway, but let me assure you that Music City U.S.A. is not only gay friendly, but has many community organizations, retail outlets and entertainment venues to make for a very memorable vacation. Last year’s Nashville Pride drew approximately 18,000 revelers and was capped off by a performance by multi-platinum recording artist Vanessa Carlton. During Carlton’s performance, she revealed that she was “a proud bi-sexual woman.” This year promises to be even bigger. The event will take place on June 18 at the famed Riverfront Park in downtown. Corporations such as Bridgestone/Firestone, Cracker Barrel and the Hard Rock Café have all joined on to sponsor the festivities. Visitors to the city should stop by Out Central, a community center which hosts numerous events and meetings and is a central gathering space for the community. Nashville is home to over 50 LGBT organizations including sports leagues, cultural groups and non-profits. One of the largest charitable organizations in the state is Nashville CARES, Tennessee’s largest HIV/AIDS service organization. Each year, CARES educates 50,000 adults and youth to prevent new HIV infections, provides 12,000 HIV tests, and offers comprehensive support to 2,400 men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. All services are available without charge throughout 17 Middle Tennessee counties. Over the last 25 years Nashville CARES has been leading the fight against HIV/AIDS in Middle Tennessee. As CARES celebrates 25 years of HOPE and Compassion, they still depend on community support

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to make it all possible. Each year Nashville CARES hosts two premier fundraising events, Dining out for Life and the Nashville AIDS Walk. Dining Out for Life, voted “Best Night to Dine Out” by the Nashville Scene’s Readers Poll, will take place on Tuesday, April 26. The AIDS Walk now in its 20th year is CARES longest running fundraiser. This year’s Walk and 5k Run will take place on Saturday, September 24 at Riverfront Park. When it comes to fashion, Nashville may not be New York or Paris, but this year the city has come together to present Lexus Nashville Fashion Week, a city-wide celebration of Nashville’s thriving fashion and retail community and its vast array of creative talent, featuring local, regional and national designers. The inaugural event will be held March 29 through April 2. Fashion Week will give local Nashvillians and visitors the opportunity to explore the city’s diverse fashion and retail spaces throughout the week during runway and trunk shows, promotions and educational workshops. Proceeds from the event will benefit the newly established Nashville Fashion Forward Fund, to be administered by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The fund will be awarded annually to advance the career of select local talent who are engaged in a fashionrelated field. Those looking to do business in the city should contact the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce, as well as pick up a copy of Out & About Newspaper, one of several LGBT publications in the city.


Where to Stay: Providing a fresh new alternative to traditional downtown hotels, Hutton Hotel is situated in Nashville’s West End neighborhood and offers a unique combination of central location, elegance and comfort. The 248 room hotel includes 54 suites, cutting edge technology, and green features throughout, paired with customdesigned finishes and amenities.

Hutton Hotel located in Nashville's West End neighborhood

A spectacular addition to Nashville, the hotel is located just steps from Vanderbilt University, Music Row and is in close proximity to major museums, restaurants and sports venues. Nashville’s newest signature hotel features unique guest experiences including two spectacular penthouse apartments with restricted access, private balcony, fireplace, and 50” LCD-HDTV with surround sound. The Hutton’s 13,600 square feet of function space and 7,000 square foot ballroom make the hotel a great choice for almost any event. Also located at the Hutton is 1808 Grille, a New American cuisine restaurant which blends traditional dishes with global flavors and promises an upscale dining experience in a casual environment.

Where to Dine: After touring Nashville’s vibrant Music Row, one is sure to develop quite an appetite. Head over to Suzy Wong’s House of Yum, owned by celebrity chef Arnold Myint, who also owns Nashville staples Cha Cha and PM. When dining at Suzy’s, you can either choose to be seated in the main dining room or on their beautiful outdoor patio, complete with cabanas and candlelight. A quick glance of the menu highlight’s the restaurants creativity and Asian-fusion fare. Try some of their “Shared Plates” which include Five Spice Braised Pork Ribs, Lump Crab Wontons with Bacon, Vegetable Gyoza Pot Stickers and Coconut-Thai Chili Chicken Wings, my personal favorite. For entrees, try one of Suzy’s “Yum Bowls”. Standouts include Coconut Chili Fried Brown Rice, Peppered Beef with Broccoli & Beans and Peanut Sauce Chicken Penang. The dish is a unique take on traditional Penang, using a combination of ingredients including sweet potatoes and peanuts to make the selection unforgettable. Other “Signature Plates” include Sake Poached Miso Cod and Green Curry Chilean Mussels. WWW.OMGMAG.COM OMG! 25


Helpful Links:

VisitMusicCity.com SuzyWongsNashville.com HuttonHotel.com TribeNashville.com NashvillePride.org

The Parthenon at Centennial Park

Where to Visit: No trip to Nashville would be complete without a leisurely stroll to Centennial Park, the ‘Central Park’ of the city. In the heart of Centennial Park is the Parthenon, an exact detailed replica of the ancient structure in Athens, Greece. Guests can either enjoy the grandeur of the building from the outside, or for a small fee, enter the building to view the mammoth 42-foot gold plated statue of Athena. Also while inside, visitors can read about the history of the park, which was constructed for Tennessee's 1897 Centennial Exposition. Nashville is the country music capital of the world, so fans of the genre should not miss the Country Music Hall of Fame, located downtown, adjacent to the city’s cultural district. The spectacular threestory building houses a variety of country music memorabilia, dating back to the early recordings of Hank Williams. The museum also offers a video-tour, which is definitely worth the extra money. Bring your camera, because you will come within arm’s length of fabulous gowns worn by superstars Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood. After the Hall of Fame, head over to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Opened in 2001, the museum is currently exhibiting the works of William Eggleston. The exhibit, titled Anointing the Overlooked, brings together more than 50 photographs made by the Memphis, Tennessee resident who is one of the most influential artists of his generation. The exhibition includes iconic images from the early 1970s, important portfolios held in the Memphis Brooks collection as well as the rarely seen 21st century photographs.

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Where to Play: Church Street is the epicenter of gay nightlife in Nashville, although there are venues scattered throughout the city. The street is highlighted by Tribe and Play, two of the hottest venues in Middle Tennessee. While there, say hello to owners David and Todd and sample one of their famous $5 Absolut Martini’s on Thursdays. Tribe is a beautiful sports bar/lounge, with a friendly and relaxed vibe, while Play offers nightly entertainment by local drag performers as well as a huge dance floor complete with a pulsating sound system and worldrenowned DJs. Thursday at Play is Ladies Night, while “Play Mates” take over the venue on Friday and Saturday. The venue is a wonderful destination, adorned with huge video screens and gorgeous bartenders throughout. But don’t be intimidated by their beauty, everyone is extremely friendly and loves engaging in conversation. A few miles away, you will find The Lipstick Lounge. The rich deep red walls lined with art are one of the first indications that this bar is no ordinary hangout. Located in the eclectic East Nashville neighborhood, the lounge is a casual meeting place geared towards the female crowd. The Lipstick Lounge offers a sociable and hip climate with plenty of dancing and entertainment. And for those country boys, Blue Genes, which opened in 2006, is a casual pub-style bar with pool tables and dartboards as well as a small stage suited for live performances and karaoke. This bar is the place where locals go after work to unwind and listen to great live music.

In all, Nashville is a great city to celebrate gay culture. You’ll make many new friends during your stay and look forward to returning. You may not expect much, but you will experience so much. The city is full of great culture, great food and most importantly, great people. This is what makes Music City one of the top destinations in the country. OMG!

Sponsored by:


feature

Lady

ANTEBELLUM "hello world" by Joey Amato

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t

hose who had never heard of country trio Lady Antebellum before last month’s Grammy award celebration are certainly familiar with them now. The band, consisting of members Charles Kelly, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood, picked up five awards including the honors of Record of the Year and Song of the Year, awards typically not achieved by country artists. “We’re still just soaking it in,” said Hillary. “It was a huge night, and we may even still be in shock.” “The way the music community has embraced us is unbelievable,” continued Charles. “Being asked to perform at the last year’s Grammy show was a career highlight, and to see how that really helped set off what has become the biggest year of our lives is surreal.” Lady Antebellum, or Lady A as they are commonly known, blasted onto the music scene in 2008, becoming one of the only country acts to have a debut record reach the top of the charts. Hillary was working on a solo project when the group decided to form. “When we met Hillary,” says Charles, “she had all these contacts in town. We were like, ‘All right, she’s got one of the best voices. We’ve got to write for her project.’ So we got together and wrote ‘All We’d Ever Need’ and ‘Love Don’t Live Here,’ which ended up on the first record. We thought, ‘Wow, this is really great,’ but we didn’t want her to think we were little weasels trying to get in there and ride her coattails.”

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feature The debut album was an immediate smash and Lady Antebellum was granted the opening slot on Martina McBride’s tour later that year. Being a new band, they hadn’t had the chance to perform many shows before they were given the opportunity to play arenas, which can be quite intimidating for a new artist. “It felt a little early, even though the crowds were really gracious and great to us,” remembers Charles. “Then we said, ‘All right, this is what we need to improve on,’ and we went out to these fairs and festivals and made plenty of mistakes in a safer environment where it wasn’t quite as big a deal if you were to mess up. We did close to 200 shows our first year.” While on tour with McBride, the band’s self-titled album was shooting up the charts thanks to smash hits like “Lookin’ for a Good Time” and “I Run to You,” Lady Antebellum’s first No. 1 single. It wasn’t before long that they landed a supporting role on Kenny Chesney’s tour and later with Keith Urban. Hillary tells us the band really got to know their audience after the success of “I Run to You”. “The puzzle pieces started to fit. The fans figured out a little bit more about who we really were, and that’s what they ended up liking.” The effort earned Lady Antebellum two CMA Awards - Single of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year – and the Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group. With their stage show finely tuned, they began work on their second album, Need You Now. The title track from the record launched the band into superstardom, spending five consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Songs chart and setting the record for 2009’s longest run at No. 1. The smash hit then crossed over to pop radio stations nearing the summit of the Top 40 chart, landing at No. 1 in multiple formats including AC and Hot AC, topping multiple international charts, and claiming the No. 1 spot on iTunes’ all-genre singles chart.

“The production of that song is probably the best production of any song we’ve ever had, even though it’s very minimalistic. The slide guitar is such a crucial part of it,” says Charles. “But mainly, I felt like it was the best singing that I’ve ever heard Hillary do. It was her time to step out, and we couldn’t have picked a better song. It’s a duet, but it’s definitely more of a Hillary song.” Dave adds, “We didn’t think it would be a single.” “Need You Now” was followed by “American Honey,” the trio’s third consecutive chart-topper.

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"We're still just soaking it in. It was a huge night, and we may even still be in shock."


feature

Since the release of the record, Lady A has picked up almost every award in the industry, including five ACM’s and two Teen Choice Awards. But with all of the accolades, comes pressure. “It puts expectations on us,” says Charles. “We already felt like there was a lot to prove after winning Best New Artist the year before—like people are invested in us and saying ‘All right, go get ‘em.” “I’ll be honest,” says Hillary. “Somebody asked me if I was on such a high about the awards, and I said ‘absolutely,’ But I was thinking to myself, ‘I’m also a little terrified.’ Because you hit a point like that and you really can’t go backwards. If anything, though, it makes us want to work harder and record even better songs and continue to grow as performers and prove that we’re deserving of it.” Although extensive recording and touring has taken its toll on the band, it has also brought them closer together and helped them create better music. “We’re the closest we’ve ever been,” says Dave. “Out on the road, we’ve spent almost every single day together for the past three and a half years. So by the time we were writing songs for this record, I think we’d all learned how to interact with each other better. We can write songs individually, but we definitely have something special when we do it together.” “We would know if something personally was going on with Hillary,” says Charles. “We would say, ‘How about we tap into your personal hell for a little bit? Let’s bring that out in a song!’ When we’re all songwriting, we know what’s going on in everybody’s lives.” “When they let me talk about it,” laughs Hillary, “I could see their

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eyes glaze over. But when we all get into talking about these things together, you get a song like ‘Ready to Love Again’ out of it.” “Songwriting,” Charles asserts, “is almost kind of like our little group therapy.” Having a hit record also afforded the band the opportunity to write with established and well sought after songwriters in Nashville. “A few months into recording, we had a big batch of songs we were ready to go back in and finish,” explains Charles. “But because we didn’t, we had time to find a couple of outside songs — namely, “American Honey” and “Hello World,” the band’s current single. “Hello World” was the last song the band decided to cut, Charles tells us. “We knew we were missing a special kind of song, that wasn’t a relationship song. We obviously have a lot of those, like everybody. But we needed a song that just taps into something different and moves people in a different way.” “The song is about how you get so caught up in the daily grind, whether it’s your job or something going on in your life, that you forget to look around and see the beauty in something like a little girl with chocolate all over her face who smiles at you in the car next to you,” Hillary adds. “It’s that moment when your eyes are opened to ‘Yeah, that’s what life is about. There it is.’ I’ve seen more grown men cry listening to this song than I ever would have imagined.” _____________________________________________________ For more information, please visit LadyAntebellum.com.


CELEBRITY

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Laurieann Gibson By Dustin Fitzharris

Dancing with Gaga

At 17 years old a Greyhound Bus dropped Laurieann Gibson off at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd street in New York City. The 12-hour journey from Toronto made Gibson feel like a character in the movie Fame. She had no backup plan if she didn’t make it as a dancer. In her heart she knew she was put on this Earth to dance. On this brutally cold, January evening, just blocks away from Port Authority, Gibson sits in the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. Wearing olive green sweats and an oversized black sweater, she has just said goodnight to her friend Lady Gaga, perhaps the most talked about star in the world today. Gibson is choreographing her music video “Born This Way,” the new single and title track from her CD to be released in May. This isn’t the first time they’ve worked together. It was Gibson’s artistry that gave Lady Gaga her now famous claw move from the video for “Bad Romance.” Although they have been collaborating together even before Lady Gaga signed her record deal in 2007, Gibson won’t take credit for creating the “Fame Monster’s” image. She will, however, admit she took something so unique and put it into pop star format. In return Lady Gaga rescued her. “I was broken and she was broken,” Gibson says in her delicate, girlish voice. “We were fighting to find our success; to find our dream, and then we met. She allowed me to be all that I could be, and then I allowed her to feel no bit of insecurity in whatever she brought to the process.” Working with Lady Gaga, as well as Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Keri Hilson, among others has made Gibson the most sought out choreographer and creative director in the business. It’s not surprising that Ryan Seacrest took notice and offered to produce a show for her. At first Gibson was apprehensive. She says she didn’t want to be on TV just to be on TV. She told Seacrest if she was going to star in a show, she wanted something that could reach the masses and give those who dreamed like her the hope to keep going. On April 10, The Dance Scene, a reality show about her life and work, as well as the quest to find out if any of her protégés have what it takes to be the next big choreographer, will premiere on E! With all the reality shows on TV today that aim to find the next star, Gibson says her show will be different. “This is real life. This is for the dancer who was born and got on the Greyhound bus and got off at 42nd street,” says Gibson. “We take away the gloss and we show you the real survival and the ever day disappointment.” Gibson knows a thing or two about disappointments. Some of them inspired the film Honey, starring Jessica Alba. Then there was MTV’s Making the Band with Diddy. While working on show as its on-air choreographer in 2007, he fired her. After that embarrassing public experience, it was difficult for Gibson to get work. Eventually Diddy brought her back to the show, after she said he realized his ratings dipped and he needed her. Today they are friends, but she says he has never apologized.

A few months ago Gibson was part of another reality show controversy while appearing as a judge on ABC’s Skating with the Stars with Olympic skating star Johnny Weir. Due to their on and off-screen chemistry, Gibson received death threats. At first, she says, it had nothing to do with homophobia—the threats were actually coming from Weir’s fans. Gibson speculates that maybe it’s because she is African American. Whatever the reasons, it’s baffling to her. She can’t understand why her “kids,” as she refers to young gay boys, would go so far. “I was thinking it must be some small kid in some small town that is not getting that I am the mama bear of these kids!” Being on television isn’t new to Gibson. She got her first taste of fame in 1992 dancing as a “Fly Girl” on the last two seasons of In Living Color, the same show that helped launch Jennifer Lopez’s career. By the time Gibson joined the cast, Lopez was on to other projects, but their paths have crossed. Gibson says she met Lopez even before she was Jenny “From the Block.” When she was fresh to New York, Lopez took her under her wing. That’s not to say they were BFFs. According to Gibson, Lopez would often tell her that she was never going to make it; especially if all she was going to focus on was dance. Gibson ignored Lopez and vowed not to conform. And while other performers are knocking down Gibson’s door, Lopez has yet to reach out. Gibson isn’t surprised. She says it would mean admitting she was wrong. That’s one of the reasons why Seacrest’s interest in her has meant so much. He represents power and position, Gibson says, and his support is validation that she really is as good as she believes. Her confidence is nothing new. Even as a child it was there. Her parents always supported her, but it wasn’t until her father died last year that she felt safe in this business. “It was defining in a way because I truly believe he left and went to heaven and now I feel a certain protection that I never felt before,” she says. “I always felt alone. When I was in the profession fighting for a job, I never felt covered. Now, so sweetly, I feel like an angel is watching over me.” With all that Gibson has accomplished behind the scenes one can’t help but wonder if moving out in front and becoming the star was part of her plan all along. “I wanted to be a star—with a purpose,” Gibson reveals without hesitation. She hopes she can use her position on The Dance Scene to make dreams come true for others. For those dreamers Gibson isn’t lucky enough to meet on her show, she offers this advice: “You are absolutely enough the way you are. The way you believe in your heart is enough to get you there. Many doors may close, but as long as you don’t give up, that one door must open.” OMG! _____________________________________________________________ To learn more about Laurieann, visit her official website: Boomkack.com. The Dance Scene premiers on E! on April 10.

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CELEBRITY

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JOSH

Strickland

Taking Over the World, One Stage at a Time By Joey Amato From a very young age, Josh Strickland was destined to be a star. As part of the widely successful Holly’s World and star of Peepshow at the Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas, Strickland is quickly becoming a household name.

Shania Twain during one of her tour stops. “We sang ‘What Made You Say That?’. It was an amazing experience I will never forget. I remember her coming off stage and saying to me, ‘I never expected you to sing in my key’.”

“I’ve been performing since I was in fifth grade,” Strickland tells us during a break in filming the hit reality series. “I think I had my first microphone when I was five years old.” Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Strickland attended an arts school and had the fortune to sing live on stage with

Although he loved the small town charm of Charleston, Strickland knew that in order to achieve his dreams, he would have to relocate to a larger city. “I’ll never forget where I came from, but I knew I could never stay in Charleston.”

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CELEBRITY together. I became her gay best friend!” As their friendship blossomed, Madison asked Strickland to be a part of her reality show Holly’s World when it debuted in June of 2010. Although he loves being in the spotlight, Strickland admits that having a film crew follow your every move can get quite annoying. “Sometimes you just have a bad day and don’t want the cameras around, but that’s what reality television is all about,” he tells OMG! “The scheduling is also a bit difficult to get used to and the filming takes a lot out of you, but everything you see on the show is real.”

"You never know if you can or can't do something until you try, As long as you have the drive and ambition, anything is possible."

After completing high school, Strickland auditioned for Season 2 of American Idol. “You never know if you can or can’t do something until you try. As long as you have the drive and ambition, anything is possible.” Stickland made it all the way to Los Angeles but the Idol crown was ultimately captured that year by R&B crooner Ruben Studdard. However, Strickland will never regret the opportunity. “It was a great experience to be part of some of the best singers in the country.” After Idol, Strickland relocated to New York City and began auditioning for musicals, eventually landing the role as Tarzan in the smash Disney production. “I’ll always be grateful to Disney for giving me that opportunity,” Strickland states. “They gave a virtual unknown a chance, when Broadway was filled with superstars.” He received rave reviews for his performance and is featured on the Original Cast Recording for the musical. Strickland’s other credits include All My Children and the national tour of Rent where he performed the roles of Mark and Roger. He has also made numerous appearances as a backup vocalist for chart-topper Phil Collins. Despite having a successful career, it was a chance meeting in Las Vegas that changed the course of Strickland’s life as he knew it. While performing as part of the cast of Peepshow, one of Vegas’s hottest musicals, he had the opportunity to perform with Kelly Monaco, Mel B. of the Spice Girls and Holly Madison. Strickland and the former Playboy bunny clicked immediately and became close friends in the summer of 2009. “The show would rotate guest performers every three months and Holly and I spent all day everyday

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His starring role in Holly’s World garnered Strickland national exposure and he even caught the attention of Grammy award-winning record producer Damon Elliot. Between performances of Peepshow and shoots for Holly’s World, Strickland is busy in the studio recording an EP with Elliott, son of the legendary Dionne Warwick and producer of smash hits for Pink, Jessica Simpson and Gwen Stefani. Elliott earned his Grammy award for his recording of “Lady Marmalade” featured in the film Moulin Rouge and has sold over 75 million albums worldwide. “In this season of Holly’s World, you will see a lot of me in the studio working on the record,” Strickland states. “The songs are really great and are geared towards the clubs. I’m so excited and I really hope my fans enjoy my music.” With so much on his plate it is hard to image what keeps the young star going. Strickland still performs in Peepshow which takes place at the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino six nights per week all while working on his television and music career. “Even though I don’t have a typical 9-5 job like other people, it’s still exhausting because we give every ounce of energy we have to the audience.” A virtual triple-threat, there doesn’t seem to be anything Strickland can’t do. OMG!

_______________________________________________

To learn more about Josh, please visit his website Joshstrickland.com.


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CELEBRITY

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TABATHA TAKES OVER!

Recently, I had the pleasuring of dining with Salon Takeover’s Tabatha Coffey, one of the most fabulous and down-to-earth people I’ve ever met. We spoke about her coming out to her mother and some of the same issues I experienced when growing up and going to hair school. We are two souls of the same hair strand. Coffey was in town promoting her new book, It’s Not Really About the Hair: The Honest Truth About Life, Love, and the Business of Beauty. Coffey has devoted her entire professional life to achieving excellence in hair design and education. She now brings her years of hands-on experience to help struggling salon owners turn around their businesses in the Bravo series, Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. With her signature edgy style, youthful energy and exceptional skills as an artist and educator, Coffey is without question the industry’s golden girl.

By Arica Love

Coffey’s resume reads like a biography of a born hairstylist. From the beginning of her career when she was 14 in her native Surfer’s Paradise, Australia, to her appearance as the “Fan Favorite” on Bravo’s hit series, Shear Genius in 2007, Coffey has been completely devoted to the art of hair. Over the last 27 years, Coffey has worked with a veritable who’s who of the industry in Australia, Great Britain and the United States and has continuously developed, fine-tuned and broadened her skills as an artist, educator and business owner. For 10 years, Coffey represented a globally known hair company as a key member of the Artistic Team. In addition to regularly traveling around the world to educate stylists and represent the company at hair shows, Coffey also worked closely to help create the incredible hairstyles featured in advertising and trend collection imagery. Coffey works regularly as an editorial stylist for fashion and beauty publications, and backstage during New York’s MercedesBenz Fashion Week. Her work has been featured in several publications, and Coffey is the go-to girl for beauty questions in the industry. When she is not on the road taking over someone else’s salon, Coffey is busy leading her team of hairstylists and colorists at her own salon, Industry Hair Gurus in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where she is in high demand and has built a large clientele. Coffey also works with clients in Los Angeles at the Warren-Tricomi salon in West Hollywood. Her new memoir is titled It’s Not Really About the Hair: The Honest Truth About Life, Love, and the Business of Beauty. In the book, Coffey shares her compelling life story with fans, revealing not only the events that have made her so outspoken, but also the personal tenets that have contributed to her success and kept her centered and thriving with each new challenge and opportunity. _________________________________________ For more information, please visit Tabathacoffey.com

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f

ashion

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spring hues

Tom Ford brings us his latest menswear collection for spring/summer 2011. Influenced by one of spring’s biggest trends the collection give us a 70’s flair featuring skinny belts, cool silk scarves, and classic two piece suits.

| VOLUME 3 | ISSUE 4 | MARCH 2011


o i in

SIGRID Blk/Wht Beads With White Nappa $395.00

donaldjpliner.com Coral Gables | Houston | Las Vegas | Miami | San Jose | Retail stores nationwide 888.307.1630


fspring ashion

style Classic patterns, bold prints and luxurious textures fuze together to inspire this springs retro looks.

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f

ashion

WEAR RED CARTER

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FLAVOR

HiNT of MYiNT by Arnold Myint Spring…. Considering that most of us are ‘coming down’ from a holiday season of festive cocktails and carb-filled delicacies, I’ve decided to celebrate spring with a fresh and easy approach by creating two dishes inspired by the classic “Surf and Turf”, that will satisfy cravings as well as get you bathing suit ready. …Enjoy!

Arnold is the Owner of three popular restaurants in Nashville, TN. He is an accomplished Chef, Mixologist & Event Planner. A few of Arnold’s credits include Nashville’s Best Chef (Nashville Scene), Bombay Sapphire’s Inspired Bartender Finalist and Bravo’s TV Series; Top Chef DC. Currently committed to Nashville’s cosmopolitan growth, Arnold hopes to spearhead a foundation in the near future. For more information on Arnold Myint check him out on Twitter and Facebook or visit Arnoldmyint.com 62 OMG!

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Garlic Shrimp w/ Carrot, Dill & Fennel Slaw

Strip Steak w/ Chickpea Chopped Salad

The Shrimp: 12 Peeled & Deveined Shrimp 3 Thin Sliced Garlic Cloves ½ Cup White Wine 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice ¼ Cup Olive Oil 1 Tablespoon Butter Salt/ Pepper/ Chili Flakes

The Spice Rub: 4 Tablespoons Ground Coriander 2 Tablespoons Chili Flakes 1 Tablespoon Salt/ Pepper

In sauté pan, heat olive oil and add sliced garlic, season shrimp with salt and pepper and place into sauté pan. As shrimp starts to turn a light pink color, add white wine. Allow white wine to reduce. Continue to sauté shrimp and add lemon juice. Remove pan form heat and finish by adding butter, which will slowly melt and coat the shrimp. The Slaw: 1 Bulb Shaved Fennel 2 Carrots Shredded ½ Cup Shredded Cabbage ½ Red Onion, Thinly Sliced ¼ Cup Thin Sliced Caper Berries (or capers) 2 Tablespoons Lemon Zest 2 Tablespoons Chopped Dill 1 Teaspoon Celery Salt 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar Salt/ Pepper/ Sugar to taste Combine all prepared ingredients in a mixing bowl and marinate for at least 20 minutes prior to serving.

The Steak: 4-8 oz. portions of New York Strip Steak The Salad: 1 Cup Diced Bell Peppers 1 Cup Diced Cucumbers ½ Cup Chickpeas (cooked; canned ok) ¼ Cup Diced Red Onion 3 oz Feta Cheese Crumbles ¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro The Dressing: 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 3 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar Salt/ Pepper/ Sugar to taste Whisk dressing ingredients together. Combine with salad ingredients in a mixing bowl and marinate for at least 20 minutes prior to serving. Crust all sides of steak with spice rub and allow to rest at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes. Heat grill or sauté pan with olive oil. Sear all sides of steak for about 20-30 seconds. Finish steak in 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes to achieve medium rare to medium cooking temperature. __________________________________________ Photography: Sid Niazi, Dishware: William Yeoward, Corzine & Co. Nashville, TN

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FLAVOR

Cantina Laredo by Rick Desmond

Shortly after the first sip, our starters arrived. Cantina’s Top Shelf Guacamole is surprisingly prepared table side, not common in many establishments. The guacamole was extremely flavorful, combining ripe avocado, tomato, and lime with the right amount of herbs and spices. Alongside the guacamole was the restaurant’s take on ceviche, a wonderful blend of shrimp, scallops and fish. Unlike previous ceviche dishes I’ve sampled, the lime was not overpowering in this selection. My guest and I really enjoyed the freshness of the fish, which was only accented by the lime. Our first entrée was the Camaron Poblano Asada, grilled carne asada steak wrapped around a poblano pepper stuffed with shrimp, mushrooms, onions and Monterey jack cheese, served with a wonderful chimichurri sauce. The presentation of this dish is extremely unique. I would never have expected to see a stuffed pepper wrapped in steak, but it made for a great visual. The carne asada was perfectly cooked and seasoned, as was the pepper. However, the cheese was a little overwhelming and drew away from the taste of the other ingredients. My guest was talked into ordering the Pescado Del Dia, or fish of the day, which on our visit was sea bass. The fish was also perfectly cooked and served with a light cream sauce. Other Cantina specialty items include the Fiesta Grill, a combination of shrimp, costillas, quail, carnitas, beef and chicken fajitas and Camarones Escondidos, a grilled chicken breast stuffed with shrimp, topped with sautéed spinach and chipotle-wine sauce. Most entrees at Cantina are accompanied by a vegetable medley and Mexican yellow rice. Just when we thought the food couldn’t get any better, our host presented their Mexican Apple Pie. Words can’t describe how good this dessert was but I will try my best. A large slice of homemade apple pie is placed on a sizzling platter, which is then covered in a brandy butter sauce and topped with cinnamon ice cream. A truly unique item and worth every ounce of weight you may gain from eating it.

When it comes to Mexican cuisine, people have many choices, from fast food chains to fine dining. However, Cantina Laredo, a Dallas-based chain with locations throughout the country, serves up some of the greatest Mexicaninspired cuisine I’ve ever had. The restaurant is not your traditional Mexican restaurant when it comes to décor. But you are soon reminded that Cantina is truly authentic. Within minutes of being seated, our host offered us their special Cabo Margarita, a delicious blend of rocker Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo tequila and Grand Marnier. The drink was smooth and although I am not a big fan of tequila, I did enjoy the beverage and craved a second round...let the fiesta begin!

In addition, we sampled the Flan, a traditional Mexican custard served with caramel sauce. The dessert was light and creamy and the sauce wasn’t too sweet for our palate. Definitely a wonderful dish, but not as spectacular as the apple pie. Overall, what Cantina lacks in décor, they make up for in flavor and presentation in a big way. The prices are very affordable and the restaurant will definitely become a favorite place to bring a date. For more information or to locate a Cantina Laredo restaurant near you, please visit CantinaLaredo. com. OMG! __________________________________________ Top: Guacamole Bottom: Camaron Poblano Asada Right: Enchiladas Veracruz

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"some of the greatest Mexican inspired cuisine I've ever had."

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D

DRIVE

2011 Chevrolet

Volt by Tim Evans I was excited when I was asked to write a feature on the newest green automobile to hit the streets in years. Green Car Journal just named the 2011 Chevrolet Volt the “Green Car of the Year,” while Volt was presented Motor Trend’s coveted “Car of the Year." After researching the vehicle, I can understand why. Volt can travel 40 miles without using a drop of gas. This car is able to be charged at home, and the technological innovations are impressive. Its revolutionary propulsion system takes you beyond the power of the battery. Volt uses gas to create its own electricity. Plug it in, let it charge overnight, and it's ready to run on a pure electric charge - gas and emissions free. After that, Volt keeps on going, even if you can't plug it in. Volt uses a range-extending gas generator that produces enough energy to power it for hundreds of miles on a single tank.

The dashboard is futuristic and the console is right out of the Jetson's. I have driven hundreds of new and classic cars in my lifetime, yet it still took me a few minutes to acclimate myself with the layout of this hybrid. Volt has two LCD screens that display speed, battery power, range to recharge/refill as well as an efficiency gauge that provides real-time feedback. Furthermore, the car features XM NavTraffic, a BOSE Energy Efficient sound system, an audio hard drive, Bluetooth wireless technology, and a wireless remote starter, all standard. Volt is loaded with more gizmos than the space shuttle. For the style-minded consumer, this is a sharp looking vehicle. All angles emit a trendy cutting-edge design and will surely grab attention wherever you go.

We were granted permission to test drive the vehicle courtesy of Mark Cannon of AutoNation, the largest auto retailer in the U.S. AutoNation was founded by entrepreneur H. Wayne Huizenga in 1996 and is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale.

With eight airbags, safety is at its highest degree. Furthermore, Volt uses OnStar’s automatic crash response system that will alert an OnStar representative in the event of an accident or emergency.

The company is now led by Chairman and CEO Mike Jackson, while Mike Maroone serves as President and COO. OMG! would also like to thank Maroone Chevrolet of Fort Lauderdale General Manager Rick Gregson for his insights and assistance.

A 435-lb. T-shaped battery pack runs down the center and across the back of Volt, which contains four propulsion modes. The first mode is the standard drive mode, but if you crave more power, slip into second.

Only a choice few automotive magazine editors have had the opportunity to get their hands on this ‘Green Machine.’

When the battery becomes drained, Volt reverts to the third mode, a combination of gasoline and electric. After accelerating from a complete stop, Volt powers itself by pure electric up to 30 mph, and then slips into gasoline.

As I opened the door, I was amazed by the spacey interior. From the outside, Volt looks like it would be cramped, but this car has more room than I imagined.

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D

DRIVE

GM claims the total electric/gasoline range of Volt to be around 350 miles. Of course, you can always refill the fuel tank when needed. Volt’s fourth mode is pure gasoline, although even in this mode, it is very fuel efficient. Additionally, Volt’s gear lever lets the driver choose “D” for normal driving or “L”, which ups regenerative braking. “Normal” can be used for daily driving, while “Sport” increases performance. “Mountain” holds electric power in reserve by bringing in the gasoline engine sooner so Volt will have extra electric power on steep inclines. Shifting to “Mountain” is necessary otherwise you can find yourself stuck in the slow lane at 40 mph. Yes, the system sounds complicated, but the beauty of GM’s engineering is that it becomes seamless for the driver in no time. Once you’ve learned the vehicle, you may notice two things: how quiet Volt is and how rarely you visit gas stations. GM shied away from the path taken by other automakers but it seems to have worked. I highly recommend this vehicle as its functionality and performance are paramount. With an MSRP of $32,780 after the $7500 federal tax credit and an eight year/100,000 mile warranty, Volt is equipped to sell. ______________________________________________________ For more information, please visit Chevrolet.com.

Tim Evans has been a certified ‘car guru’ for over 25 years. Evans was the head of numerous dealerships in California, Texas, Georgia and Florida. His expertise covers automotive repair, wholesale and retail sales along with finance and leasing. If you have any questions or comments, please email Tim@omgmag.com.

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Volt Mobile App Anywhere you get a signal on your smartphone, you can have total control of your Volt. Tap away and, with the OnStar mobile app, you'll be able to check the battery charge level, available range, tire pressure, remote lock and unlock and even activate the remote start to heat or cool the interior to your preferred temperature. Navigate the interactive screens of the app, and you can change how and when you want your Volt to charge. You can even set up Alerts via text or email to remind you to plug in your Volt, when charging is complete or if charging has been interrupted. The app also provides a single button to access a Volt Customer Advisor who can answer vehicle specific questions.


SOUNDS

WINTER BLUES BE GONE! By DJ Joanie

For 2011 we’re launching a line-up of World Class DJ’s to take to the Flex decks. We’d like to proudly welcome the amazing multi-talented Tracy Young and Grammy nominated remixer/producer NYC’s Mike Rizzo to the MyFlexRadio.com on-air line-up. Be on the lookout for their mixshows! Now, on to the music!

Born This Way by Lady Gaga Listen around to the biggest hits of the last few months and you will encounter what I like to call the “I Am What I Am Syndrome”. In the grand collective scheme of things we’re witnessing GLBT politics and issues play out on pop dance airwaves. Right NOW! Not since the turbulent 1960’s has music played such an important role in changing perceptions, lifting spirits and striking down legal tyranny. Pink and Katy first brought us “Raise Your Glass”, “Perfect”, “Peacock” and the amazing “Firework” but the “monster” rock that shattered the proverbial glass house came from Gaga. It dropped suddenly at 6am one Friday morning a few weeks ago and the ripples that emanated have turned into a tsunami. Sure, there were the initial Madonna comparisons but I ask all the haters and critics to step back and embrace it for its message and historical significance. Here is a pop masterpiece that contains lyrics that support us and give us visibility. It will go down in the record books as the first ever pop single to use the word “transgender” in its lyrics. Its debut became the 1000th leading Number 1 Single in Billboard’s over 50 year history. As this issue goes to ink, we haven’t been graced with the official remixes yet but I predict that they will truly allow this massive anthem its glory. Now, I ask you, can a pop song change the world? I sincerely think so. Rejoice my brothers and sisters and be proud of who you are! Put Your Paws Up! Take Me Higher by John LePage feat Debby Holiday Joe Gauthreaux’s mix is the one to seek out. This is Big Room Circuit at its best. Diva vocals about being set free, ever-building percussion, sweeping strings, gorgeous familiar piano chords and everything but the kitchen sink assault the senses and conjure visions of the biggest party you’ve ever experienced. Essentially a vocal dub, I found myself wanting more vocal story to climax the experience. But it surely is an amazing energybuilder and will be worn out at Winter Party this year. Surrender to its experience and don’t forget to hydrate!

Good Girl by Alexis Jordan The sweetie that brought us the sleeper-anthem “Happiness” returns with a sophomore single that reminds me slightly of past melodic classics by Abba. Euro-pop chords carry the Freemasons mix. Manny Leman puts his stamp on the more circuit mix and Jumpsmokers submit a dance floor friendly electro version. As with her first single this is a quality hook-laden track that upon repeated listens will have you singing the chorus. In this case, “I know I can be a good girl, but I was bad before.” I know you guys can relate to a story about a new date you picked up on GrindR, knowing full well he’s a heartbreaker but you fall for his sincerity. Yeah, right!

MyFlexRadio.com is re-tooling and expanding in the new year. Access our new sound,,,,Have you heard us lately? Don’t forget to grab MyFlexRadio.com’s UPDATED iPhone App! Download it now for FREE in the App Store! Droid x users go to MyFlexRadio.com/mobile in a URL to hear us now!

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twitter.com/myflexradio

Dance-House-Circuit-Tribal-Chill and more. YOUR MUSIC: DJ Joanie is the Music Director of MyFlexRadio.com, a Billboard Club Play Reporter, and a resident DJ of Central Florida. bc is the Program Director of MyFlexRadio.com, the “voice” of all things Flex, and the father to “Taz” our Chocolate Lab station dog. He makes drinks on air and stresses creatively for a living.

I don’t know about you but I’m so over the past few wintry months. The cold weather and every infectious flu bug have kicked my collective ass. Even Florida has seen their worst winter on record. Every day has been a frigid, snotty, gray ordeal that made me gravitate to the colored lights of my club’s lightshows seeking any UV to be found. Hallelujah! Spring is finally in the air, the south Florida circuit boys are prancing around in their new swimsuits and it’s gonna be a bright sun-shiny day!


SOUNDS

Jessie Malakouti Pushing Us to Dance by Zak Knox Upon introduction, her disarming smile and blonde beauty might inspire you to quickly peg her as the latest addition to pop music's growing army of divas, but Jessie Malakouti is far more than meets the eye. As the voice and creative mastermind behind Jessie and the Toy Boys, she reveals herself to be a clever, driven young artist on a mission. "I don't mind that people approach me with one attitude and leave with another," Jessie says. "I like having the power to play with stereotypes and then shatter them. It's fun and gratifying." First and foremost, Jessie smashes preconceived notions by being the primary architect of her band's sound. Every note of every song is the result of a self-imposed musical boot-camp that saw the artist immerse and isolate herself in the European club scene. "I'd been in a band that left me feeling like I needed to break out of my comfort zone and gather a new perspective," she says. "So, I went to the U.K., which is where a lot of important and trendsetting music is made. I needed to live by my musical wits and instincts for a while, and see where it took me." It was a brave move that tested Jessie's determination. "I won't deny that those first few days were difficult," she recalls. "It's challenging to be that far from the places and people who feel familiar and safe. I even contemplated giving up and going home at one point. But that feeling didn't last very long. The intention behind going abroad was to grow, and to learn more about who I am as a person and as an artist. You can't achieve that without a little pain, so I toughed it out." The result of Jessie's determination is a sound that brings listeners to the next sonic dimension of electronic-rooted pop music. The first single, "Push It,” is quickly becoming a club smash. "A great song, to me, is one that sticks to your brain long after

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you've heard it for the first time," Jessie says. "What I'm trying to accomplish is music that is catchy, but smart. Part of that is combining elements of different genres in ways that you might not imagine.” Jessie deftly succeeds in her creative mission with songs like the new-wave inspired "Valentine" and the introspective, retro-soulinfused "Long Way From Home." It's been an intriguing journey up to this point for Jessie. She admits to starting her own rock band just to piss off her parents. Growing up in the rough patches around Southern California’s Inland Empire added a dark tinge to her savvy pop outlook. Going from friends’ sofas to audition to odd job and back again, Jessie would live off various paid acting/dance gigs as well as teaching at the local dance studio. She earned her stripes by fronting her rock band Shut Up Stella and hitting the sweaty LA club scene. Then things started to change. “I just wasn’t in the same head space anymore,” says Jessie, “they wanted to carry on making angry music and I was writing happy pop songs.” From there, Jessie began to believe that she could navigate her own ship. "When you have a vision for yourself, you have to take risks," she says. "I'm completely comfortable with that, because I decided a while ago that I was going to live or die by my own sword. I’d rather people love me or hate me, nothing in between.” Given what Jessie Malakouti has beneath the surface, there's little chance that her future is anything but bright. If there’s a boundary, Jessie is going to push it. OMG! ______________________________________________________ For more information, visit Jessieandthetoyboys.com.


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+ | HEALTH |

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Our best medicine

is as close as the

kitchen SINK By Wm. Cor y Jeffries, LMT In our never ending search for the fountain of youth, man-kind has exhausted extensive amounts of money, and has even tried many a bizarre "treatment," all in the name of perpetuity. The irony is that the best agedefying elixir is as accessible as our kitchen faucet‌ WATER!


Water is the time-borne tonic designed to nurture, heal, strengthen, and replenish our bodies. Used as an external application, it can not only cleanse the physical body but envelope it as a powerfully therapeutic tool. But it's by drinking water that we invigorate the body at its most basic cellular level. It has been said that simply consuming eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day can stave off disease and disintegration of the body's systems, potentially adding time back on the clock. Water, the elixir of life, is a primary necessary element for our healthy survival. The human body is made up primarily of water -- more than 60 percent of total body weight for young adults, 50 percent for the elderly. Everything about us relies on water. Daily activities of the brain are fueled by its 85 percent water content. You could not properly breathe without the 90 percent water content found in your lungs. Even the form and structure of bone tissue is dependent on water, which makes up 22 percent of bone composition. In fact, all of our systems and tissues are reliant on the lifegiving properties of water. Water serves our body as the vehicle that makes it possible to traffic materials and information among cells. In brain cells, water is essential for nerve impulses to be generated and transmitted. In heart muscles, it makes it possible for them to contract -- and let the heart beat. In the bowel, water allows digestive and absorptive functions. In liver cells, it catalyzes all detoxification processes. In the kidneys, it carries toxins into the urine. In the cartilage, it protects the ends of bones in a joint - and so prevents arthritis. Look at it this way, water is to the human body as oil is to an automobile engine. By not hydrating your body with water, you are accelerating “aging of the body,” just as failing to replenish and change oil regularly accelerates the aging of an automobile engine. And having driven cars since we were teenagers, we know that neglecting the regular oil change can ultimately leads to unpleasant and untimely consequences.

food, it takes only a few days without water before we die from dehydration. Maintaining a balance between what we take in and what we put out is key. But that's often easier said than done, as up to 12 cups of water is lost each day through perspiration, tears, urine, respiratory exhalation, and other avenues, even without heat or exercise thrown into the mix. Replenishing that fluid is critical to maintaining balance in the body. And for the record, consuming soda pop, alcohol, juice or tea does not count as proper daily water intake. As a matter of fact, scientific research indicates that it takes an average of twelve 8 oz. glasses of water to flush your body of all the “junk” found in just one 12 oz. can of soda pop!

The Dangers of Dehydration Unfortunately, the older we get, the more important hydration is. If dehydration occurs in an older body, the effects are more long-term, some even irreversible. The human body is designed to change its metabolic processes to compensate for deficits in nutritional intake. If we don’t eat right and drink adequate amounts of water, our bodies will compensate to the best of its ability in order to survive. Without the proper amount of water in our bodies, free radical damage can occur, which can lead to cell and tissue structure impairment. This means waste products build up quicker causing us to look old, tired, and haggard. Without proper hydration, especially in warmer climates, a person's blood pressure can plummet dangerously low, blood clots can form and block vessels, and kidney function can be diminished resulting in toxic concentrations of body wastes and constipation. There's really only one solution to avoid dehydration on any level, and ward off the signs of premature aging, Drink plenty of water!

Water is so important to our bodies, that while we can go weeks without

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| SKINCARE |

saveface When you think of men’s skin care it is not just about anti aging or anti wrinkle creams it is about daily maintenance and protection.

There are many reasons to have a daily men’s skin care regime. It is not just about ego or being soft it is about self-appreciation, healthy living and longevity. Skin care has become more important in the modern world.

Aftershave

Armani Code by Giorgio Armani You have used your sensitive skin cleanser, mens moisturizer and exfoliating skin product You have a beautiful clean shave How do you finish off for that romantic evening and you want to share your understated class? Armani Code oozes romance, charm and strength The cent is made from apple, lavendar, cumin, citrus and woods Perfect for the man in the Armani suit or T shirt or the man who wants that impression.

Exfoliate

DDF Glycolic Exfoliating Wash Combines glycolic acid skin cleanser with different skin conditioners Ideal for cleansing as well as anti aging Works with sensitive skin cleanser for face Contains Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract, Saponaria Officinalis Leaf Extract and Aloe Vera Leaf Extract Glycolic acid skin works to take away deep set dirt and other pollutants while reinvigorating to soften lines. Keeps skin pH balanced helping the outdoors men Use on normal to oily skin to remove excess oil and dead skin cells

Cleanser

Clarins Clarinsmen Active Face Wash Quick and easy using foam solution Reinvigorating sensitive skin cleanser Clarins oily skin treatment Favored by both the professional and outdoor man looking to protect from the harsh environment and the affects of aging skin. No dried out skin, gives you that fresh air feeling Covers neck and face Works with anti aging products Simply rinse with warm water

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Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber

of

Commerce

presents

“A Royal Affair” THE

10TH Anniversary Gala

and

Awards Celebration

Saturday, March 26, 2011 H I LT O N M I A M I D O W N T O W N H O T E L • 1 6 0 1 B I S C AY N E B O U L E VA R D , M I A M I VIP* TICKETS $175, $1,750 TABLES/10 | GENERAL ADMISSION $95: EMAIL TO

mdglcc@bellsouth.net

OR ONLINE AT

TO ORDER TICKETS CALL

305.673.4440,

gogaymiami.com

* Private VIP Champagne Reception, Reserved Seating, Gift Bag, Valet Parking

S U G G E S T E D AT T I R E :

Something Purple

Purple represents Royalty and Loyalty

This Year’s Award Recipients METLIFE Business of the Year Award

HILTON MIAMI DOWNTOWN Business Person of the Year

Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association

Ms. Naomi Wilzig — W E A M

WACHOVIA (A WELLS FARGO COMPANY) Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award

AT&T 10th Anniversary Special Recognition Award

Switchboard of Miami, Inc.

GREY GOOSE Vodka

A Not-For-Profit Corporation

Produced By

Royal Sponsors

Award

Loyal Sponsors


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A Voice Speaks Out:

An Interview with“I’m From Driftwood”

by Wm. Cor y Jeffries OMG Magazine: After hearing your interview with Michaelangelo Signorile on OutQ Radio, I had to learn more about you and the Driftwood Project. So Nathan, what is “I’m From Driftwood, (IFD)?” Nathan Manske: IFD is a compilation of true stories from gay

people from all over. If I had to sum it up in a nutshell, our major focus is to relay that everyone has a story and that gays have problems, loves, and lives just like anyone else, so maybe we should all be treated equally, like everyone else. What better way to promote such equality then by collecting true stories from people living it every day. We use this site as a haven for anyone out there that is looking for a way to connect with other like minded people. IFD serves as a support mechanism as well as an educational tool to advocate equality for all. I am just a servant of the site if you will. Yes, I created IFD but its life really comes from the contributions of our readers.

OMG Magazine: So Nathan, if the project was to simply compile and archive gay stories, what is the significance of Driftwood, is it a place or a thing? Nathan Manske: The morning after I first saw see Gus Van

Sant’s movie: Milk, a biography based on the life of gay activist/ politician Harvey Milk, I found myself inspired to somehow make a difference in our community. Oddly enough, what inspired me more than the movie itself was Harvey Milk himself. I saw a photo of Supervisor Harvey Milk riding on the hood of a car in a San Francisco Gay Pride parade. Harvey was holding a sign that read, “I’m From Woodmere, N.Y.” The sign was intended to show how far people had come to attend the San Francisco rally, but it meant something more to me. It meant that there are gay people in every small town and every big city across America and the world. I was thinking about that photo in between assaults on the snooze button and I responded to Harvey’s sign by saying “I’m from Driftwood,” a small unincorporated community in Hayes County, Texas. This made me realize we are from everywhere, we are not alone, and we have a voice!

OMG Magazine: How did the “Story Tour” come about? Nathan Manske: IFD was launched in the spring of 2009, with the birth of our website. We started collecting and sharing true

stories from all over the world to help LGBT youth realize they’re not alone. Then in the fall of 2010, we expanded our vision and the IFD crew embarked on an ambitious 4-month, 50-state “Story Tour” to collect and share more stories. Our credo is that LGBT people are everywhere. With this bold new initiative we were going to prove it. The “Story Tour” route was created based almost entirely on suggestions from our readers. Along the way the IFD crew educated the public with reading events, where they read stories from the site as well as showed “Video Stories,” created again from the experiences of our readers.

OMG Magazine: How can we support the IFD project? Nathan Manske: There are many ways to support IFD. The

most obvious is to submit your story. Every story is a good story, because someone out there can relate to what you have been through. Another way is by donating through the website, I’m From Driftwood is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations help IFD to fund the upcoming 2011 Tour as well as future projects that will continue to support the mission of collecting and sharing LGBT life stories. Finally, IFD recently released a companion anthology by the same name. This book offers a variety of true stories and video accounts of LGBT life, written with candor, humor, tears and bravery. They range from a closeted man’s life in Indiana in the 1950’s to another man’s membership in an underground gay-straight alliance in present day Indonesia. The resounding purpose of IFD is to post personal LGBT stories that inform, educate and encourage others. Talking with Nathan was inspiring. I learned that everyone has something to say. I’m From Driftwood hopes to eventually have enough stories about what goes on in our community so that one day there will be a story that everyone can relate too. Finally, Nathan expressed that if you are not comfortable with writing your story, or contributing financially, IFD can use donations of skills such as website design and development. IFD is a non-profit organization and people skills are as equally important to them as the stories they safeguard. ______________________________________________________

For more information visit their website at: ImFromDriftwood.com

WWW.OMGMAG.COM OMG! 85


COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT

PRIDELINEs YOUTH SERVICES By Matthew Dane Brookshire When you think of being a gay adolescent, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the social and emotional struggles we as LGBTQ people face daily. In years past, most of us probably faced these trials alone, but as America and its people grow more and more tolerant of individual differences, the resources available to new generations grows as well.

The organization has a regimented schedule of events each week, including Rainbow Circles, a peer governed group devoted to discussing life experiences. They promote music appreciation and extracurricular involvement every Tuesday through their Glee Club. This time provides an open outlet for artistic expression and a fun way for kids to be socially involved and make new friends.

Pridelines Youth Services is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, educating, and empowering LGBTQ youth throughout South Florida. The organization offers resources such as leadership development, referrals to mental health professionals, health care and support services, and a safe and open environment for LGBTQ youth and their straight allies. “Since 1982, Pridelines has been conducting peer led/adult facilitated youth groups and youth enrichment activities,” says Victor Diaz Herman, Executive Director.

But that only scratches the surface, they also offer seminars on how to become a successful woman in today’s society, groups on transgender /gender variant issues, and leadership programs like youth councils which allow kids to become involved in their community and plan the events that help bring awareness to society.

Pridelines has consistently been at the forefront of the sociopolitical and health concerns of gay youth in South Florida. They were one of the first organizations to facilitate contracts with the local department of health and pioneered one of the first community based HIV/AIDS testing sites. Now, 28 years later, they still promote awareness in the adolescent community and offer resources for parents in addition to their other services. 86 OMG!

| VOLUME 3 | ISSUE 4 | MARCH 2011

“Pridelines acts as a family for kids to grow and support one and other” says Herman. This group is exceptional when it comes to providing a nurturing environment for LGBTQ youth. They provide a safe haven, daily meals and referral services for LGBTQ homeless youth, and a Skype capable technology center where kids can keep in contact with other teens and groups all over the country. Pridelines is the foremost non-profit organization for community outreach to LGBTQ youth in South Florida. The help and support they offer is invaluable. ____________________________________ To learn more about the organization, visit Pridelines.org.


COMING OUT: By Matthew Dane Brookshire My name is Matthew. I am 16 years old and I have quit high school to pursue my GED. At the end of my freshman year I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, an incredibly volatile, crippling disease. This coupled with my newly found sexual identity has left me feeling hopeless, confused, unmotivated, angry, and at times suicidal. In case you hadn’t guessed already I’m gay. Around the same time I was diagnosed I also came out of the closet. This introduced a whole other world of cruel people, mixed emotions, confusion, rage, and sadness. People would tell me I didn’t deserve to be loved, or deserve to live because I had made this “decision”. Crowds of people in the halls would scream faggot and tell me I was a disgrace. A gang of intolerant teens from my school even came to my house one night and tagged profane slurs all over my house. Because people were so cruel, I began to question my role in society, my sexuality, and my sex in general. I had wanted so badly to be accepted and loved by my peers that I changed myself entirely. I tried dressing more masculine to blend in. I tried dressing in women's clothes. I had convinced myself at one point that I wanted a sex change because I didn’t want to feel ashamed of who I was or how people treated me. I began cutting myself, hurting myself, eating my emotions, forcing myself to throw up, just to try and distract myself from the emotional pain. By the time I came to the conclusion that I should do what makes me happy instead of constantly trying to please others and live up to others expectations, I was two years behind in school and still unable to cope with all of the hurtful things people said. I was so unbearably sad I had no motivation to go on or change because I didn’t believe it was possible. I’m now 90 pounds overweight and still depressed, but I have come to terms with who I am and feel free to be me again. The opinions of others are now the background noise to the theme song of my wonderful life as an openly gay man. I’ve been beaten and harassed but in the end, letting the people who have scorned my existence win is validating their homophobia. I refuse to do that. To anyone out there struggling with their sexuality, I would like to say that coming out is the most freeing, invigorating and wonderful experience I have ever had and I wouldn’t take it back for the world! Coming Out is a monthly column depicting the experiences of everyday individuals and their triumphs and struggles with coming out of the closet. If you would like to contribute to Coming Out, please send your story to joey@omgmag.com.

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92 OMG!

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