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Joan remembering

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Advertisers at a glance Lumiere Place Hotel & Casino Pearl Vodka Just John Nightclub Sante Fitness Planned Parenthood Brown Smith Wallace Just John Bartender Review Bistro 303 Walter Knoll Florist Fabulous Fox First Integrity Mortgage Services St. Louis Science Center Missouri History Museum Coldwell Banker: Pam Schneider Kansas City CVC ALIVE Magazine 816 Hotel Clear Channel St. Louis Effort For AIDS

2 3 6 14 14 15 20 20 21 21 21 30 30 30 31 36 50 51 52

Publisher/Editor in Chief Darin Slyman

Associate Publisher/Director of Marketing Jimmy Lesch

Art Director Sam sanchez

Content Manager Kevin Schmidt

Communications Assistant Mallory Olwig

Staff Writer Chris andoe

Staff Writer Hanna botney

Staff Writer Denny patterson


Photography: Darin Slyman, Hayden Andrews, Steve Truesdell, Jon Barbe, Tim

Gee, Gavin Bond, St. Louis Effort for AIDS and Brian Bowen

Writing: Kevin Schmidt, Chris Andoe, Denny Patterson, Karla Templeton,

Megann Feely and Scotty Dynamo Design: Sam Sanchez and Mallory Olwig

Advisory Board

William A. Donius, Thom Halter, Jay Perez, Pam Scheider, Kellie Trivers and Sharon Tucci


25K Issues Printed Monthly 400+ Points of Distribution throughout the St. Louis and Kansas City area

Vital VOICE is your premier

LGBT publication and reaches a diverse readership from thoughtful leaders and young thinkers to trendsetters in culture, entertainment and beyond.


January 2015


Vital VOICE Magazine

4579 Laclede Ave #268 St. Louis, MO 63108 St. Louis: 314.256.1196


January 2015 | Volume 16 | Issue 1

Table of

Contents 4. advertisers at a glance 7. publisher’s letter 10. five Years of Vital VOICE 16. St. Louis Icon Pam Schneider

22. St. Louis Icon

ST. Louis Effort for AIDS

32. Kansas City Icon

Michael Lintecum

34. Kansas City Icon

LikeMe® Lighthouse

37. Kinky Boots at the Fox 38. six tips to stay fit 40. Your 2015 Playlist —

Scotty Dynamo

41. Hangover Remedies —

Penelope Wigstock

42. STL playdates 43. KC playdates 46. Scene at world aids day 48. scene at toys for tots 50. Cheers to five years

26. On the

Cover A tribute to Joan Rivers and all she has done for the LGBT community. Cover photo by Brian Bowen/E!

Stay Connected with us 



January 2015

publisher’s Letter


FIVE years

Happy New Year from all of us here at Vital VOICE! Every year our team identifies our brand’s strategy for growth in the New Year. In 2015, our team will lead the Vital VOICE brand to being more social, influential and cultural. We have an amazingly smart and vibrantly modern, young staff who are committed to creating and advancing this year’s editorial content, events and digital concepts to new heights. We are very excited to present the stories we get to explore with you. We are also very excited to announce a new digital initiative that will be launching early this year. For sometime now, there have been many different calendar websites involving the LGBT community, but no one accessible, cohesive location to find out about events and happenings. We will be partnering with to create an integrated “Playdates Calendar” just for you. Soon you will be able to log in and add your own event, show, meetings and/or rally directly to our online calendar. This is only one of the few new digital items that we will be bringing you this year. Stay tuned for more to come. This year’s famed ICON, Joan Rivers, has made her mark on the LGBT community for over 40 years. She was one of the first celebrities to actively get involved with AIDS work in the early 80s. Her humor and charity have always been an inspiration to millions. We also feature former publisher of Vital VOICE newspaper Pam Schneider’s legacy and commitment to the LGBT community. St. Louis has become a better place because of her hard work in founding Vital VOICE, plus the hard work that she has put into so many LGBT non-profit organizations. St. Louis, let’s stand up and applaud St. Louis Effort For Aids. This year EFA celebrates their 30th anniversary as one


of the best AIDS organizations in the region. Their amazing work in advancing the fight against AIDS is invaluable. However, let’s not forget that the struggle still continues and we are proud to have EFA here in St. Louis to guide the way. This month marks our second anniversary in Kansas City. We are pleased to feature Michael Lintecum and the LIKEME Lighthouse as the 2015 KC Icons. We are so pleased that Kansas City has embraced this new era of LGBT life and style media and we look forward to creating even more of a regional network throughout Missouri as the year continues. It’s hard to believe that five years ago Vital VOICE relaunched as a life and style publication with a targeted audience toward the LGBT community. We have had great successes and have had a few road bumps along the way. The way we look at it is that this new era of LGBT life and style media has made a huge impact overall on society. By providing stories about LGBT’s growth and relevance, the Vital VOICE brand too has proven it’s own growth and relevance. We will continue our mission to showcase and promote the LGBT community while making our community relatable and fabulous. Finally, we’d like to invite each and everyone of you to join us and St. Louis Effort for AIDS on January 24th for our anniversary event FIVE. You can go to for tickets and more information. V

Darin Slyman Publisher/CEO

Jimmy Lesch Associate Publisher/ Director of Marketing 



VO i c e




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The V ita l VOI CE & Sa i n t Lo ui s E f fo rt fo r AIDS

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January 2015

V Pearl




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Written by Kevin

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is the widely held notion that all things are related and have descended from a common ancestor. Being the key word in 2014, the term “evolve” is exactly what the team has done at Vital VOICE over the past five years. And where the magazine stands today stems from one common ancestor: the Vital VOICE name. By having that name, it allows history to continue. Five years have come and now gone since CEO Darin Slyman bought the Vital VOICE name, taking a leap of faith by abandoning old ideas and moving forward with a fresh strategy. During the course of these five years, Slyman and his team have established themselves as a cohesive staff, a voice for the community and a part of a growing regional magazine. The ever-evolving cast of characters that are a part of this success story, from writers to photographers, clients to friends, have each left their own personal stamp on this evolution of the Vital VOICE, building it


January 2015


into a modern name that has endless possibilities in the years to come. Looking back, it all started with Pam Schneider and Jim Thomas. Vital VOICE got its start following the shuttering of the Lesbian and Gay News Telegraph (founded in 1981) in January 2000. Working for St. Louis Network, LCC, Schneider recognized the importance of such a publication, and approached News Telegraph co-founder and editor Jim Thomas about coming on board a new media venture. In June 2000, the Vital VOICE newspaper launched. Schneider provided financial support and marketing strategies, but used Thomas as the brains of the operation: “Knowledge is power,” Thomas says. “If my community is going to grow and mature in successful ways, it has to have an avenue to do so – a good newspaper will do that.”

The early 2000s were a time of growth, challenges and even struggles just to keep the newspaper operative. When Slyman took over in 2009, he was ready to take an even bigger challenge. While he met with close mentors and friends of his, as well as other publishers in the St. Louis community, Slyman wanted to make sure that this was a project he was leading on his own. “I had to literally start from zero,” he says. “If I fuck it up, I fuck it up. If I make it great, I make it great.” Slyman himself shifted the Vital VOICE from a news-driven newspaper to a life, style and current events magazine with a mix of both local happenings and relevant national issues. He also redesigned the Vital VOICE to a magazine format with a glossy, eye-catching cover. With the help of original “cast

members” like Tess Tulley and Colin Murphy, Vital VOICE as a magazine was put to life in January 2010. “In the beginning, there was always the fun stress wondering if we were going to be able to print month-to-month,” Tess Tulley, former Business Director, says. “When it was just Darin and I working in the office in the beginning, the two of us did everything! It was a lot work, but after a few months we were able to bring more people on to help us with the workload and continue to grow the company. It was a very exciting time – stressful, but exciting.” St. Louis native Andy Cohen graced the very first cover, followed by Lady Gaga in February (Slyman knew he had to start the magazine off with covers that would attract). The magazine had officially kicked off a new era of gay and lesbian 


media in St. Louis. From that point on, Vital VOICE has evolved into a more polished and professional-looking magazine, while maintaining an approachable feel in its content. But Slyman also dealt with his fair share of criticism when administering this new “shift.” “The next generation was excited that I was taking over [Vital VOICE], because they never read it. The generation before me was not,” Slyman explains. “People were already assuming what it was going to be. And I had to say in my head, ‘those people didn’t financially support Pam [Schneider], so I know they’re not going to support me.’ What I did need to do was garner the next generation of not only reader support, but especially quality businesses, and that’s what I did.” Chris Andoe, current Staff Writer at Vital VOICE, adds: “People in this industry can be incredibly petty, and many have a zero-sum mentality. Darin is the opposite. If he wants a bigger piece of pie, he makes the pie bigger. He appeals to a new audience or forges into a new market.” Criticism, be it destructive or constructive, has never held Slyman back from what he wanted to accomplish, or who he needed to help accomplish his vision. Slyman brought in current Associate Publisher, Jimmy Lesch, as an intern in 2011. More than three years later, Lesch remains Slyman’s right-hand man. “I got to where I am in the company today because I shared Darin’s vision of what he wanted out of Vital VOICE, and we were both on the same page in what the brand and the company could be and should be about,” Lesch explains. “If you have a passion for it, it shows. And my interest was beyond just what I was supposed to be doing. I had ideas on how to grow the company outside of just what I was doing when I started.” Working together today, Slyman and Lesch both have strong personalities with different strengths. Darin’s ideas are impeccable, original and sometimes over-the-top, but still “doable.” Jimmy has a way of putting those ideas into something tangible. They work well together in the office, out on assignments and in meetings, and are great friends both inside and outside of the workplace. Pam Schneider, an original founder an the magazine and someone who has seen this brand evolve in the past years, spoke out about the current status of the magazine. “I have great pride in the fact that I built a quality product that contributed to the change in how the community was represented in the St. Louis area,” Schneider says. “I have even more pride in the job that Darin has done taking it to the next level. It remains the vehicle in St. Louis to showcase all of the great and talented people within the LGBT community and beyond and all of the wonderful work they do.”


January 2015

Across the city of St. Louis, the magazine has grown to be recognized not just as a lifestyle magazine with a more targeted audience, but as a publication that is widely accepted and admired by other publications in the city. “I think that Darin and his team have done an incredible job taking the Vital VOICE brand to the next level,” Elizabeth Tucker, Co-founder and Publisher of ALIVE Magazine, says. “The covers are beautiful and engaging, the content is relevant and inspiring and the connections they have made in the community are important and exciting.” St. Louis City Alderman Shane Cohn also weighed in on the impact the magazine has on the community: “Darin has led the Vital VOICE into a new era with a focus on entertainment and lifestyle content relevant to the LGBT community, and to bring the magazine (formerly newspaper) into vogue with current trends while communicating current events and issues to the LGBT community in St. Louis. Darin is passionate about these issues and the business he runs, and continues to be an asset to St. Louis.” With the shift of the magazine from more hard news and wired-in copy to profiles and features, writers have been able to talk with politicians, community activists, Internet sensations and celebrity icons. For Sam Sanchez, current Art Director, the job got real when he got face-to face with a social media icon. “My very first story was interviewing Frank Lowe [@ GayAtHomeDad], who I stalked religiously on Twitter and Instagram for years, before I knew what Vital VOICE was,” Sanchez says. “One meet-up I pitched interviewing him for the family issue, and sure enough Darin told me that I could interview him and write the story. Obviously, I fan-girled out.” Jimmy Lesch has booked several insightful interviews, like Kelly Osborne and Lisa Vanderpump, who were pleasant surprises as genuine, cover interviews: “You can tell when someone is ‘bull-shitting’ you,” Lesch explains, “and you can tell when someone really knows about the LGBT community. You get those more ‘fuzzy’ moments when you get a straight person who is doing it for the right reasons, and not just for a magazine cover.” With a solid team and a clear vision, Slyman remains an optimistic, open-minded guy with a keen eye for seeing things that will grab your attention. His experience working as a fashion journalist, living abroad and his ability to adapt and survive on his own has enabled him to steer this Vital VOICE “ship” into a new era. Looking to other successful publications like Out, Instinct, GQ and Details are good ways to find new ideas for national trends and interesting content. Those are inspirational motivators that drive Slyman and his team. Another reason for the success of the magazine is being able to move away from the old trends and the old ideas that many struggling gay publications are still using. Moving forward, Vital VOICE does not look to other LGBT publications as competitors

or rivals: “It’s more of a we’ll do our own thing, and you do your own thing,” Slyman says. “It’s not about competition.” Chris Andoe, current Staff Writer at Vital VOICE, adds: “Vital Voice is a revolving door for talent by design. Brilliant individuals cycle through, learn, contribute something fresh, and then move on in their careers with Darin supporting them 100 percent. In a region often resistant to change, Darin’s mastered the art of riding the wave. And our region is better off for it.” Andrew Baumgartner, who worked at the magazine for a year, chose to work at Vital Voice because it was the medium that he most identified with. “Vital VOICE is a platform that educates, entertains and inspires the LGBT community,” Baumgartner says. “Many stories involving the LGBT community tend to be centered about politics, protests and discrimination. While stories about our journey to equality are important, so are the stories that show charisma, excitement and for lack of better words- Happy gays.” With no place to go but forward, the magazine itself looks to expand in terms of future markets. Slyman and Lesch both agree that expanding to Kansas City was a big step on an open road in the right direction. Slyman remembers being in Kansas City in May 2013 and being recognized by readers of the magazine wishing that Vital VOICE was there as well. The community and the clients were extremely warm and welcoming, and it just felt right. Lesch, being more of the practical one, was reluctant at first. But after Slyman took him back to Kansas City to let him see for himself, they both were quickly on board. After launching in Kansas City in January of 2014, the Vital Voice has seen tremendous positive support from the LGBT community and the city itself. It’s about expanding the variety of content in the magazine to where someone in St. Louis can look at the Vital VOICE and see what else is going on in other cities in regards to events and happenings. The possibility of a new networking opportunity for the regional LGBT community with the expansion of the Vital VOICE magazine in the coming years is a vision the team wants to make a reality. “We are no longer just a single-city LGBT community,” Slyman says. “It’s about a regional community. If things are really going to happen for the LGBT community, and they are happening, it’s going to take more than just a single city to do it all.” That sense of community is something Vital VOICE is working toward building as the LGBT community grows. Joan Lipkin, the Producing Artistic Director of That Uppity Theater says: “It would be difficult to imagine a vibrant and diverse community without a quality LGBTQ publication. Building on the legacy of Jim Thomas and Pam Schneider’s hard work, Darin Slyman and team have made an enormous contribution to the community and evolved to make the brand fresh and their own.” Thinking of where Vital VOICE will be down the road is a thought-process not worth investing in right now, but the team looks forward into the future with anticipation of what could happen in the coming years. According to Slyman himself, the adjectives “social, influential, and cultural” are words that best describe the Vital VOICE name for this New Year. Vital VOICE aims to be socially involved and understanding, influentially stimulating in their voice, and culturally mindful of what they represent as a publication which represents the LGBT community as a whole. V 


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January 2015 


Saint Louis





Written by Karla Templeton Photography by Steve Truesdell


January 2015 


Saint Louis


“I support what I support & I don’t back down.” In a time when everything is rapidly changing, even for the better, learning to fully embrace those changes can be more difficult than one would think. We as a community have been fighting a long hard fight for acceptance and equality for years. Icons in our community have been in the forefront of this fight for decades and have been steadily making the changes we all benefit from now. Some saving lives in hospitals as nurses, some starting and maintaining underground newspapers, serving on local and national level boards like HRC and various other platforms. Some help us in other vulnerable areas of life like purchasing our first homes as couples. Each of these positions involves relating to people who are in inherently fragile moments of their lives. Sometimes though, the job is so well done that we fail to realize the progress that has been made for surpassing these obstacles to become a reality. One woman, Pam Schneider, has done all of these things. The former owner of Vital VOICE, she lives a life out of the limelight now; yet her name and her impact are undeniably profound in our community’s everyday happenings. “People have asked how I do real estate from nursing,” Schneider says. “It’s not really that different. I’m taking care of somebody in an area where they feel exposed. They don’t know, so I help them. I live a very quiet life; I always have, even during the time when I had the paper. In some ways I think it could have been bigger had I had a larger visual presence, but that’s not me. I’m sort of like if you are looking at the deck of a house. I am one of the support beams, that’s just how I see myself. I don’t see myself as someone who has to be in the limelight.” Becoming an Emergency Room Registered Nurse in 1978 had proved very rewarding, but Schneider felt the need for professional change in a decade’s time. Realty and a life of business were her new calling. She completed her master’s degree in business in 1988 and began the move into her new vocation. It was while making this transition she took


January 2015

an interesting twist purchasing The Pride Pages, a resource publication that highlighted LGBT businesses and businesses that support the community. Through the 90s, Schneider successfully managed both paths, publishing the Pages and building a successful career in real estate. Raising the bar for herself yet again, the newspaper came next. The 1999 pending closing of the Lesbian and Gay News Telegraph, founded in 1981, sat heavy with Schneider. She approached News Telegraph co-founder and editor Jim Thomas about coming on board to start a new paper for one year. The Telegraph closed in January 2000 and in June 2000 the newly titled Vital VOICE newspaper was launched at PrideFest. To date, the Vital VOICE is the third oldest LGBT media outlet in circulation in the United States. “When it came time to rename it, I thought about some of my favorite papers that I had ever seen,” Schneider continues. I go to New York three or four times a year and I love the Village Voice. I believe these papers to be vehicles. They are voices for people in a marginalized community. So I wanted ‘voice’ and I love alliteration. Next thought was it was ‘necessary’, so I opened up Word and used the thesaurus and found ‘Vital’. ‘Vital Voice, that’s it! That is what it is going to be called’. I believe I named it appropriately.” Adamantly maintaining her ideal image for the newspaper, Vital VOICE newspaper quickly raised the standard for St. Louis LGBT journalism. In 2004, this image garnered the paper exclusive interviews with all nine of the democratic presidential candidates, including nominee Senator John Kerry. Schneider maintained the newspaper in the same manner for nearly a decade, raising its circulation to upwards of 15,000 copies. It was in 2009 that current owner Darin Slyman purchased the newspaper from Schneider and rebranded and reimaged it into the glossy print magazine format we enjoy today. “Progress has to be made, and so the paper was a paper while it was a paper, now it’s a lifestyle magazine, which appeals to people in the 21st century. We have to move,” Schneider explains. “If we don’t move, what is there? I don’t know, but that’s certainly not the world I want to live in. I want to live in a world which progresses, and I pray to God, until I am six feet under, that I am progressing with it.” Today, Schneider’s focus is primarily on her real estate business. Collecting skills and connections like treasure throughout her vast experience from nursing and her service to the community, she has strengthened a thriving business in her current partnership with Coldwell Banker as one of the lead real estate agents within the company. Still a large contributor to the Human Rights Campaign today, Schneider’s definition of progress is a lesson for all of us to pay attention to. With the closing of many of our beloved gay bars and gathering spaces, it leads us to wonder what is happening to our community. Is this progress? How and why are we evolving? Why do we not

show up like we used to, why do fundraisers fail in comparison to years past, and why do we have a lack in funding or backing for many of our organizations here locally in our community? Pam’s view: it’s a good sign. It means we are closer to our end goal: the goal of equality. “Simply put, this is evolution, this is what we do,” Schneider says. “If you fight for the cause to have equality, you don’t have to be separated anymore. That is what equality means. It’s evolution and we have to be willing to walk into our future. Some of us go into our future kicking and screaming. If we’re not going to walk into our future, then why fight? What is it about? So I think that what creates the whole notion of a utopia, which doesn’t really exist, is for us to all be one in some way. I see what we have done as immense progress.” “We as a community really have to embrace it, progress, and I don’t think we completely do,” Schneider continues. “In our community we have the factions of those who have and those who have not. We all have the same rights now; money didn’t buy that, progress has brought those rights to all of us. We as a community just have to start looking at it differently.” Pam Schneider created a foundation on this platform of progress. It is a stage from which we stand from as a community today and look forward. We see where we have been, but more importantly, we are able to see where we are going. Like the homes she helps us transition into today, we must continuously work for a better future but also recognize how beautiful our present truly is. What was a struggle yesterday is no longer. “Say it today, don’t say it from yesterday,” Schneider says. New struggles are of a dissimilar variety. Schneider insists a different mindset has to be adhered to. We need to focus on the future. What we do now, what we have to say, is important to us as a community. We have to continue to walk forward together. Remaining in the past is hindering our overall mission. “I don’t believe, I never did, that I have to be this out personality,” Schneider explains. “I support what I support and I don’t back down. One of the things I said when I took over the paper is that I have always been mainstream. No one knows who or what I am unless I tell them and over the course of time I just don’t hide those things anymore. What I lead with is me. You just think about that.” Like the community she embodies, Schneider refuses to stop evolving. “I loved what I did, I love what I do,” Schneider says. “Whatever I do will always be a relationship business. It has always been about the relationship of something.” V 



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Saint Louis


St. Louis

Effort for AIDS

a look back on 30 years Written by Chris Andoe Photography courtesy of Saint


January 2015

Louis Effort for AIDS


To this day, EFA co-founder Daniel Flier can’t revisit the early years of the AIDS crisis without breaking down. In 1985, his friend Mark came back from Texas and it all began. Because Flier was the popular drag queen Vanessa Vincent, Miss Gay Missouri 1982, Mark implored him to warn the community.

“Some argued it should be Effort Against AIDS, but I said that sounded negative.” In the beginning, Flier explained, 100 percent of the money raised came from drag fundraisers. “We had a budget of five or six thousand dollars, and with that we fed people and helped them with bills.”

“There’s something horrible going on, and gay men are dying,” Mark explained. “You have the capability of picking up the mic and getting people to listen.”

As Vanessa Vincent, he worked his heels off raising money, building awareness and preaching safe sex. After one of his shows, a handsome doctor approached him and asked for a hug.

“I heard him but I didn’t hear him. It didn’t really stick,” Flier recalls. “Then, a few months later a customer called and asked that I cut her brother Eddy’s hair, who was back from Houston. She said it would have to be at night, when nobody else was there, and he was sick, so I’d need to wear gloves. I thought it was all very odd, but said okay.”

“I could get up and talk until me head explodes but they wouldn’t listen,” he said. “They listen to you, and you’ve probably saved at least a third of them.”

Flier knew Eddy as an attractive man, and was horrified by what had become of him: “His sister brought him in and he looked like an animal with its skin torn off. He had lesions and herpes sores all over his face. He fell into my arms and I exclaimed, ‘What’s going on? What’s going on?’ I just couldn’t believe it.” After the haircut, Flier asked Eddy what he could do for him, and Eddy replied: “Here’s what I want from you, Sugarbug. I want you to tell people.” After Eddy and his sister left, Flier sat shell-shocked. “I knew I had to do something,” Flier explained. “I went to see my friend John Allen, who managed a gay bar called Monte’s, to tell him what was happening. I’m an emotional person and was hysterical. He grabbed my face and said: ‘We will figure it out.’” The two made contact with bar owners and managers initially, and then all these fabulous people began showing up. “I’m not a religious person,” Flier said, “but they were amazing, spiritual human beings.” Several names for the new organization were debated, and Flier proposed St. Louis Effort for AIDS.

The primary focus of EFA was to ensure that people were taken care of at the end of their lives, and that they died with dignity. This was a challenge, because AIDS patients were only receiving the most minimal care in the hospitals. Basically, they were being stored until they died. Hospital staff wouldn’t even carry their food in the room, much less bathe them. “Often when I went to see someone, they’d ask that I not touch them, but [breaks down], I couldn’t stand seeing my friends lying in their own shit,” Flier paused to compose himself. “I’d put on my gloves and get to work cleaning them. ‘Please don’t do this,’ they’d say, but I had just decided if this was how I got it, this was how I got it.” In those first two years, Flier saw nearly thirty friends die of the disease. Millennials who want to understand what it was like should look around at their favorite bar, or look at their Facebook feed, and then contemplate what it would be like if half of those people passed away within five years, he suggested. Looking back on thirty years of the organization he cofounded, Flier is proud of all they’ve accomplished, and the great organizations that have partnered with or spun off from EFA, including PAWS, Doorways and Food Outreach. Reflecting on those first couple of years when EFA and the AIDS crisis consumed his life, Flier says: “It was simultaneously the most beautiful, rewarding, draining and horrific experience of my lifetime.” V 


Saint Louis

Icon 1985

A group of volunteers formed EFA, received not-for-profit status and moved into a donated room in the basement of MCC on Dolman St. The annual budget was $6,000.


First paid staff person hired.


Frontline, the EFA newsletter, was established. EFA moved to a new location at the Red Cross.


Doorways formed to provide housing assistance, and Food Outreach opened.


Case management began. First grant received from the St. Louis City Health Department as well as the first funds from the United Way.


EFA again outgrew their space, and moved to Delmar Blvd. Accepted for United Way membership.


EFA receives Ryan White Care Act funds to provide case management.


EFA hosts Mardi Gras event, raising $23,000, and “Dinner for Friends,” netting $20,000.


Mary Hizer resigns as Executive Director.


First year of Dining Out For Life.


January 2015

2005 $100,000 grant from the MO Foundation for Heath allows for expansion of Treatment Education Program.

A $49,000 grant from MO Foundation for Health allows agency to expand the mental health program and upgrade the phone system. EFA celebrates 20 years.




Mobile Testing Unit purchased. 10th Dining Out For Life revenue tops one million dollars.


Additional funding from the Health Department allow agency to expand case management staff.


Agency moves to Choteau Building. PAWS merges with EFA.


EFA’s co-located case management program, which began at Dr. Park’s office, expanded to include Southampton Healthcare & University Club Medical.


Cheryl Oliver becomes Executive Director.


Dining Out For Life moves to April to align with international events.

Emphasis is placed on ensuring the agency reaches those most impacted by the disease.




Financial strain as corporate and event revenues decline.


Website launched, satellite office opens in North St. Louis.


Involvement in legislative issues related to HIV issues is expanded.


EFA provides office space to PAWS, the Names Project and ACT UP. Protease Inhibitors become available, dramatically increasing the life span of PLWH.


Agency budget approaches one million dollars. EFA moved to Hampton Ave.

Logo and website updated.

EFA’s BEACON project was one of ten nationwide selected as a grantee by AIDS United under their Access to Care program.


CDC awarded EFA a Syphilis Elimination Grant.


Dining Out For Life raised a record $267,000.


The ACCESS project received a grant from Missouri Foundation of Health to enroll underserves and/ or uninsured individuals in the marketplace.


EFA’s prevention team received funding to begin providing free STI treatment.

EFA celebrates 30 years!






January 2015

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers undoubtedly knew the power of comedy and laughter. The title “Trailblazer” has been thrown around often since her passing when it comes to who she was as a career woman. And a trailblazer she was, committing herself to constructing a career based on pushing the envelope and never taking “No” for an answer. Fans and critics alike still admire her for this drive she had. When she made you cringe whenever she opened her mouth (and she did), she simply accepted that as part of her technique. Let’s face it- preferences in humor aren’t going to be universal, and no one knew this more than Rivers. She will forever be remembered as an outspoken woman who helped shatter the glass ceiling for those like her in her field. But her legacy and her life accomplishments involved more than just jokes, and she showed us all that successful careers involve a healthy balance of appeasing her audience in saying what they wanted to hear and opening their eyes to things they wouldn’t see from anyone else.

Whether or not you agreed with her comedy style or what she did in her spare time, she owned it. In fact, Rivers owned all of her behavior- something that was refreshing in a culture that seems to consistently put the blame on someone else. Directly and indirectly, Joan Rivers was a mentor to many, helping them navigate competitive and even uncharted territory. From being in the public eye, working as a philanthropist, to being an overall gay advocate, Joan did it all her way. When it comes to working with the LGBT community, Rivers was one of the first people to openly speak out about what the community was about and the struggles that it faced. In one of her earliest roles, Rivers appeared opposite Barbra Streisand in Driftwood, a play in Greenwich Village in the 1960s. The two played a same-sex couple in the play, which required them to kiss, because the director couldn’t find a leading man. “This was before [Streisand] was singing, before anything,” Rivers said in 2010. “I knew she was talented, but you never know what someone will be. She was a fabulous kisser, that’s what I knew.” Rivers also talked a great deal about gay culture on her T.V. shows. When the drag queen documentary, Paris Is Burning, came out in 1990, Joan invited the movie’s cast to her talk show to discuss the culture. Looking and talking with people who were different never fazed her. This was the secret to Joan’s approachability: her natural ability to sympathize with those who marched to the beat of their own drum.

Life, Laughter & Her LGBT Legacy Written by Kevin Schmidt Photography by Brian Bowen/E!

Rivers was also a proud supporter of marriage equality. In 2012, prior to President Obama’s historic announcement of endorsing the controversial issue, she criticized him and other politicians for often flip-flopping on the subject. “It is outrageous. The politicians are all such ass-kissers,” she said. “No one is saying the truth. They are saying what they think people want to hear.” As an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church, Rivers herself officiated at least two same-sex weddings in New York State. In 2014, Rivers even held a spur-of-the-moment wedding after meeting a gay couple at one of her book signings in New York City. “Every wedding I officiate has a cover charge and a two-drink minimum,” she joked at the time. Rivers prided herself on her relationship with the LGBT community: “My gay fans have been wonderful from day one,” she said in 2014. “I remember when I was working at the Duplex in Greenwich Village in New York at the beginning of my career and the only ones who would laugh at my jokes were the gay guys. I think if I had started out in straight clubs and bars I never would’ve gotten anywhere.” “Even today,” she said, “when I’m on tour I always know if I get eight gay men in the front row it’s going to be a great show. Maybe it’s just me and I know they’re going to laugh at what I’d laugh at, but when my gays are in the audience it’s always a good time.” Her blunt style and approachability is what made her such a fabulous gay icon. As being the self-proclaimed “queen of the gays,” she captured her audience with her blunt humor and sharp tongue, but it was her heart that went out for those struggling in the gay community. For years, Rivers served on the board of God’s Love We Deliver, a New York-based charity that provides meals to AIDS patients and others who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. She had been a part of the organization for more than 20 years, starting off her volunteer work there when the AIDS crisis was at its peak. She always made a point to deliver meals with her family on Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as when she could while balancing her career obligations. “Delivering meals is a cleansing moment,” she said. She went on to say that she does it purely for selfish reasons in order to put her head back where it needs to be. 


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Her appearance on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice in 2009 showed us all how strong she can be when her head is in the right place. She raised more than $100,000 for God’s Love We Deliver while doing tasks on the show. She ended up winning the competition, bringing in another $250,000 for the organization. The last of Rivers’ television appearances will air on in the upcoming season of Celebrity Apprentice, where she appears as one of Donald Trump’s boardroom advisers. Most recently, Rivers was well known for hosting the E! Television show, Fashion Police, alongside the likes of Kelly Osborne, George Kotsiopoulos and Giuliana Rancic. Up until the time of her death, Rivers was still working with no hint of slowing down. The Vital VOICE was able to talk with both Kelly Osborne and George Kotsiopoulos in 2014, and both of them weighed in on working with Joan, her impromptu hosting style and her over-the-top sense of humor. “I mean, you have to have an outline with any show you’re doing,” Osborne said. “A lot of the time there is stuff that’s prewritten but that’s never what they end up using [in the final cut]- it’s the stuff that just comes flying out [Rivers’] mouth. You just think, ‘Oh my god!’”


January 2015

Osborne laughed a lot when talking about Joan, and spoke of her fondly. The two seemed to be quite close both on camera and off, but the times while filming when Rivers’ unfiltered boldness showed through were the times that Osborne was truly inspired by her. “The thing is, I know Joan so well that I know it’s a joke,” Osborne continued. “I can’t find something offensive that is supposed to be a joke. She’s the only woman in the world who can get away with saying what she says. Her bravery just blows my mind.”   George Kotsiopoulos also spoke out in July 2014 about some of his most memorable moments he had with Joan, and her comedic approach to news that many others would address in a more serious light or be afraid to even address at all. “Anytime [Joan] says a joke about someone who died, those are more memorable,” George said. “I don’t even remember the jokes, we always just remember like, ‘Is this too soon?’ Whitney Houston, Paul Walker- Who else has died recently? Any of those people. You’re literally just sitting there thinking

like, ‘Holy shit. Wait a minute. This is funny, but is it too soon? This is too soon! This is too soon!’ I can’t remember the specifics because, my gosh, there’s just so many of them. She’s hilarious.” Osborne continued her September 2014 interview with words that seemed appropriate for how Joan would want to be remembered and spoken of following her untimely death.

“For me, we hate it when someone dies because it’s one of those things where we’re like ‘Oh no, they’re not even buried yet!’” Osborne says. “It’s become one of those running things. She only does it because she knows it winds us up. We’ll sit there, and there are things that Joan says and because of what I stand for I want to piss myself laughing- but I cover my face because I’m shocked by what she says, but I can’t be seen pissing myself laughing at that! That’s why we all play different roles on the show.” “We will literally be like, ‘No, no, no. Someone died and we shoot Fashion Police tomorrow. God only knows what Joan is

going to say!’” Osborne continued. “But she does it just to fuck with us because she knows, and she loves winding people up!” After Rivers’ passing in September, Melissa, her only child, was named the executor of the $150 million trust that was to be delegated to other family members. Although it’s not clear how the money will be divvied up, Rivers did insist that God’s Love We Deliver get a portion, along with the Jewish Guild for the Blind, Guide Dogs for the Blind in California, the Simon Wisenthal Center, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Jewish Home and Hospital Foundation. “My mother was fearless,” Melissa Rivers said. “And I don’t mean she didn’t have any fears, I mean that even though she was only 5’2”, she stood tall and walked through it. And that’s what made her such a brilliant performer. She was willing to say what others were thinking and too frightened to admit.” Fearless and brilliant are two things Joan Rivers certainly was. Her daughter, with the help of Joan’s colleagues, sums up her legacy best with these adjectives, while gently reminding us all that it’s never too soon to laugh. V 




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Giving Back &

Taking Charge Michael Lintecum’s career path has led him through working in public affairs to numerous political and governmental positions. He has served several Congressional Leaders and worked for The White House Advance Office under two administrations. When it comes to fundraising, Lintucum has done development work in higher education, health and social services, political groups and the arts. Lintecum’s resume speaks for itself, but it is his heart and his dedication to his organization, The Lintecum Group, and to the charities that he works with that shows his passion for philanthropy and giving back in Kansas City and beyond. He also serves as Executive Director of the Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, where he has grown the organization into a more than 260-member entity. As our Kansas City Icon for 2015, Lintecum opened up about his past work and accomplishments, as well as his future endeavors.

Congratulations Michael! You are our Kansas City Icon for 2014. The Vital Voice would like to buy you a prize valued up to $1,000, what would you want it to be?

$1,000 is coming to me? Could it be a donation to the two organizations I serve? Evenly split. I never think about myself. I don’t know, we’re all so lucky in this world. We all have so much.

You’ve coordinated events for some high-profile guests in your career. What are some of your most memorable ones? I’ve had great experiences with various events. The celebrity names are always fun. From John Travolta, Presidents Ford and


January 2015

Written by Kevin Schmidt Photographed by Jon Barbe

Michael Lintecum

Reagan, and Vice President George Bush while he was serving under Reagan. You can see that my politics have completely changed since those days. I did an event in Fulton, Missouri a few years ago. It was the 60th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech in 1946. His daughter, Mary Soames, was there for the weekend. [The Lintecum Group] did about 13 events there and she was the star. Chris Matthews was a part of that. He was a funny guy, and smart as a whip. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone smarter than him.

You are known as the “Party Producer for Non-Profits” in Kansas City. What does that title mean to you?

I would say I’m more of an ‘Event Producer with a Niche in Fundraising.’ We get the logistics of an event together, but leading up to that event it’s all about laying down the groundwork for the fundraising of the campaign: bringing in new friends, affirm the friends they have, and helping their staffs and volunteer core work me out of a job. The goal is one or two years with a client, and they should hopefully be able to do it on their own.

What was a 2014 highlight for the Lintecum Group?

The AIDS Walk for 2014 went over the half-million mark [in fundraising]. We haven’t done that since well before the recession. So that was a real highlight.

From fundraising to PR, event producing to management, describe your workflow process.

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Icon hotels to even our boutique hotels, we’ve had some great events in those spaces.

What has been the craziest, or most outlandish idea for a party?

I try not to do “outlandish.” But with the Millennial League, we helped them out with a party a few years ago with an event in the West Bottoms. That party rocked- it was in this old warehouse and it was off the charts. People still remember it and talk about it, so that’s a good thing. The guest list was right, we had a great mix of ages and it was just a great energy force. The conceptual stage, working closely with my client: what do they want. When they say ‘How much money are we going to make?’ I get out my crystal ball and say ‘come here and look’ [Laughs]. Try to really know what the client is looking for so we are all on the same page. Communication is key throughout the process, and it’s growing their volunteer core or their planning committee and making sure that their part of the puzzle is moving down the road. I like to consider myself a traffic manager, because an event has so many moving parts.

What have been some of your highlights working with the Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in 2014? Watching our board grow and work together. Our founder, Dan Nielson, was thoughtful and careful as we developed the entire idea of creating this Chamber. We agreed that, if it was going to be right, we weren’t going to rush it. It took a year of putting it together before we had our first kick-off event. In a little less than three years, we have 260 member entities. I’m really proud of the mix [of businesses] that we have, from major corporations to our small businessmen and businesswomen. We’ve been inclusive- we’ve helped raise the issue of transgender in our community through our programming at our business conferences, and we will continue to do that.

What are the biggest rewards of your job?

Getting to work with such an eclectic group of people and volunteers. I get great joy out of that. I could have probably made more money doing something different, but I’ve chosen to go in this direction and don’t look back. It’s been good to me. I’ve made a decent living and paid the bills.

What are the key things to throwing a great party?

The invitation list, making sure the food is good, and making sure there are no long lines at the bar. Always, always keep an extra case of vodka in the car in case you run out. We learned that the hard way.

What are some of your favorite venues in Kansas City?

I think we have an abundance of great hotel event space. And I enjoy eclectic spaces like [Roasterie Coffee factory]. I’ve always worked with clients to find the event space that represents what they’re trying to accomplish with the mission of the organization or the mission of the event. So, from our casinos, our standard major

One time, a really bad idea a client had was that they wanted to have an event in a mall. I’m proud of myself because, after three visits with the planning committee, I was able to turn them off. There was great incentive by the developer to have those people out there by pushing it with money. I said, “You can have all the money in the world and a really bad event. So, you all make the decision but I don’t want my name on it.” So, that was outlandish, but it wasn’t my idea.

2014 has been quite a year for Gay Marriage in Missouri. What does that mean for you and your partner?

Well, as I live in Kansas and he lives in Missouri, Kansas is going through the same thing. So, we’ll see how all that unfolds for us personally down the road. Ten years ago, I raised about half a million dollars as a statewide fundraiser for the campaign “No On 2,” the gay marriage ban that the state of Missouri passed. From St. Louis to Kansas City, from Springfield to Northern Missouri, we went and found over that time of three months a lot of people, even ten years ago, who believed in gay marriage and believed that equality was deserving of all the population like I do. We lost 71 percent to 29 percent, but that’s still 29 percent that did vote for us at the time. And look how far we’ve come in those ten years!

What are your future endeavors for 2015?

Continue to grow both the Chamber and to ride on the back of last year’s success with the [AIDS] walk. Enhance some of the things that I believe took us over the half-million mark at AIDS Walk, not only with events but with strategic alignment with new corporations.

So, when was your very first concert?

You’re really going to call my age out. When Beach Boys opened up for Chicago [Laughs]. I believe it was 1974 or 75. It was out at the stadium. And this was when they first started doing stadium shows, can you believe that?

What are your favorite things about Kansas City?

Family and friends. If that’s too corny, there is an abundance of great theater, high quality, from The Rep to the Coterie Theatre. The theater world here is just outstanding. And so is the art for that matter. I love First Fridays, which is where the Crossroads’ bars and restaurant open, and hundreds and thousands of people, it seems, go and look at the new exhibits in the galleries. I think our gay community is outstanding, and we are accepted and we have great allied support here in this community. V 




Lighthouse Written by Karla


If lack of inclusion, lack of education, and lack of love are the disease, community is the cure. LIKEME® Lighthouse, a brick and mortar LGBT center in Kansas City, Missouri, has proven this time and time again. LIKEME® Lighthouse was started by the LIKEME® Organization, a 501-C(3) charity founded in 2010 by country music star and Kansas native Chely Wright to provide education, resources and support to LGBT individuals throughout the Midwest and nationally. A beacon of light to those near and far, it is easy to understand why LIKEME® Lighthouse shines as the 2015 Vital Voice Kansas City Organization Icon. From its foundation’s creator to every volunteer who walks through the door, this organization bleeds truth and compassion in everything it does. “My first thought was to open an LGBT Center in Nashville, where there is not one,” says Wright, reflecting on her early plans for the Lighthouse. “Nashville had been my home for 20 years.


January 2015

The more I kept thinking though, the more it kept tugging at me, because at the heart of who I am, when I needed the beacon of light the most, was when I was a little girl. There was no Internet, the little library would definitely not have an LGBT book in it, and you certainly wouldn’t want to be the one to check it out if there were a library book on LGBT issues. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I have to go home. I have to go home and do something for the little 9-year-old me.” LIKEME®’s mission is simple, but poignant: “To provide a safe and welcoming space where LGBT individuals and their families, friends, and straight allies can come for education, resources and to build a cohesive LGBT community in the Midwest. The Lighthouse will promote inclusion, respect and equality for the LGBT community. The Lighthouse will provide educational and social events to bring all individuals into the Lighthouse, as well as an outreach program to make the Midwest aware of the needs of the LGBT community. The LIKEME® Lighthouse will serve as a voice for the LGBT community in the Midwest.” The need for familial support – biological or not – is personified in the Lighthouse’s Board of Directors. Director of Operations and aunt to founder Chely Wright, Charlene (Char) Daniels is more frequently referred to as “Aunt Char.” She serves as Treasurer and Board Member of Reading, Writing

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Icon & Rhythm, Chely’s music education charity. Since Chely’s coming out, Char has grown to see the importance of LIKE ME’s mission. She is committed to bringing inclusion and respect to the LGBTQ community through LIKEME®. Once merely a conceptual idea, the Lighthouse is now able to provide resources both online and in person – locally and nationwide. A quick visit to LIKEME®’s website provides a deep history of the organization, businesses that support the community, legal and technical advice, and other support locations throughout the country. Providing access to these resources is crucial to the continued education and growth of the LGBT community at large. “It is my deepest hope that the LIKEME® Lighthouse will stand tall, illuminating hope in every direction for all who have a need,” says founder Chely Wright. “Whether it’s one of the many great, local LGBT advocacy groups already in existence wanting to hold its monthly meeting there, or the not-quiteout 19 year-old from a small town like the one I grew up in, Wellsville, KS. Or maybe, hopefully, the parents of the 14 year-old who sat his folks down the night before and nervously said, ‘Mom, dad, I think I might be gay. There’s this place called the LIKEME® Lighthouse on Main Street and they’ve got a library with books for parents of gay kids’.” One of the center’s largest and most successful fundraisers is now an annual event. Beginning in 2012 with performers Alan Cummings, Hal Sparks, Jennifer Knapp and founder Chely Wright, it was clear early on that bringing national acts to the Kansas City stage would bode well for LIKEME®’s financial success and prominence. Wright recruited friend and comedian Margaret Cho as her headliner for the LIKEME® fundraiser in 2013, solidifying “A Night of Comedy” on LIKEME® Lighthouse’s events calendar for years to come. 2014’s annual fundraiser located at the Folly Theater raised the bar yet again, this time featuring the likes of comedians Wanda Sykes, Judy Gold and Wendy Liebman alongside musical guest Steve Grand. All makes and models were represented in the audience, each one of them with tears in their eyes from the laughter that erupted through the theater. The feeling of community – from the stars who so generously donated their time and talent to those who filled the seats – was pulsating. Throughout the year, meetings are held to further bolster the idea of community and education on an array of issues that directly and indirectly impact the LGBTQ population in Kansas City and abroad. EQUAL Trans Support Group, Letters to Prisoners Writing Group, PFLAG, and Hear Me Out Toastmasters are just some of the organized groups that use

LIKEME® Lighthouse as a safe assembly space to further their individual and collective goals. The LGBT library inside LIKEME®’s walls is a site to see for those looking to get their hands on literature focused on – or written by – LGBT community members. Comprised of donated books, some brand new (like Chely Wright’s 2010 Like Me) and others read and loved for years, each one helps complete the larger picture of where we as a community have been, where we’re at, and where we hope to go. Donations like this and others are undeniably imperative for LIKEME® Lighthouse. They ensure that the once-imagined brick and mortar will continue to stand for all who need it. Financial contributions can be made online or via mailed personal check, money order, or cashier’s check in any denomination. You can also become a sustaining member of the LIKEME® Lighthouse by making a recurring monthly donation in amounts ranging from ten to 100 dollars. You may also consider donating your time or talent. The LIKEME® Lighthouse and its events are completely volunteerrun and depend on the generosity of our community. Always seeking those willing and able, the center has volunteer positions available for those of all abilities, interests and personalities. LIKEME® is about respect. LIKEME® is about being an individual and celebrating other people’s individuality. LIKEME® is about being who you are meant to be. V

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Peak Behind The Pump Kinky Boots’ Director Jerry Mitchell

Written by Denny Patterson Photography by Gavin Bond Get ready, theatre lovers! The awardwinning Broadway show Kinky Boots will be making its St. Louis premier at the Fabulous Fox Theatre from March 24 – April 5. This is the production’s first national tour. Based on a true story, Kinky Boots follows Charlie, a young struggling shoe factory owner, determined to turn his business around. With the help of a fabulous drag queen named Lola, Charlie plans to produce custom footwear for drag queens and kings instead of men’s dress shoes that the shop is known for. The creative team behind Kinky Boots features some of Broadway’s most prominent individuals like Cyndi Lauper, Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Mitchell. Mitchell spoke out about the national tour, the musical’s message and its future.

Why were you so enthusiastic to direct Kinky Boots? When Daryl Roth gave me the film to watch, I was choked up by the scene where the two men are in a bathroom talking about each other’s fathers. My first thought was, “This is a musical waiting to happen.” So many elements could happen, but more importantly, I wanted to tie into the relationships between the men and their fathers. They both had to become successful on their own terms. There’s a lot more in common between them, and that’s the universal idea.

What is it like to collaborate with Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper?

Harvey and I first worked together on Hairspray, then we both worked on a revival of La Cage Aux Folles, which I won a Tony award for. Cyndi and I have worked together on a couple different shows and benefits. We all came together with a passion to tell a story about acceptance and the ability to change the minds of how someone might perceive something. This was a big message for the show.

Critics first believed that Kinky Boots was the underdog of Broadway. Why do you think that is?

Because Kinky Boots is honestly an underdog story. Somebody happens to inherit a shoe factory. He couldn’t be less of a hero. He doesn’t want to run the factory, but he rises to the occasion and succeeds in a major way. It’s based on a true story, but it’s a complete underdog story.

remember this one time when I was sitting behind a woman who must have been in her late 70s. Billy has just finished “Hold Me In Your Heart.” I watched this woman lift her glasses to wipe away tears from her eyes. Five minutes later, she was cheering and clapping for Lola. I thought to myself, “This is why I got in this business.” To have the experience to feel emotionally connected to a character must make them feel amazing.

How is Kinky Boots different from any other show you have worked on?

What Kinky Boots song are you constantly singing?

That’s a really good question. A lot of critics try to find the similarities between Kinky Boots and other shows such as La Cage or Billy Elliot and try to compare them. I think it’s the fact that we are talking about a gay man and a straight man who have absolutely no problem with each other. Sexuality isn’t the problem. The problem is how can they become a success in the eyes of their fathers. People want to be successful on their own terms. Everyone wants to please their parents in some way or another and become successful in their eyes, but some people actually don’t receive the opportunity. This is a universal story.

What are some challenges in regards to adapting a movie into a stage production?

Well, movies aren’t musicals. We have to use the tools of the stage to tell the story like movies use the tools of a camera. There are different ways in telling a story. For movies, I think you ultimately have to use a camera frame. The director points the frame at something he wants to watch. On the other hand, a theatre director has 1500 seats in an auditorium looking at the same thing at the same time.

Out of your entire time with Kinky Boots, what is one of your most memorable moments?

I was just singing while walking home the finale song, “Raise You Up.” Most mornings when I wake up, I have the second song, “Take What You Got,” stuck in my head. It’s sung by Charlie’s best friend Harry, who is telling him to take what he’s got and give it his best shot. It was inspired my Mumford and Sons’ song “Little Lion Men.” While Cyndi was writing, I played that song for her and said, “Write a song like that.”

Do you think Kinky Boots will receive a warm welcome from St. Louis audiences? Oh I’m counting on it! If I know anything about St. Louis, in the millions of hours spent at Faces, I think the town is going to go incredibly crazy for it. It’s quite encompassing.

What’s in store for the production’s future?

As soon as my associates get back from Vegas, we will do a clean up in New York City. Then we will all go off to Korea to set up for it’s own production, which will open in December. The show will also open in Canada and we have a London show to finalize. So, we have 3-4 productions lined up for next year. These boots will soon be stomping all over the world! V

Oh I have so many! [Laughs] I will always 


Meghann Feely photographed by Darin Slyman designed by Mallory Olwig Written by

It’s a fact that’s hard to deny: most people begin the New Year in the gym and end the year feasting on goodies as the holiday season progresses along, vowing that next year will be different. It’s important to think about what you’re going to do to maintain your consistency with your effort so you don’t become just another one of those statistics. By looking at whatever it is that can interrupt your motivation, you can then look at ways you can possibly overcome this.


January 2015

Those just starting out often think that the advanced trainees who already have wonderfully developed bodies must have something special about them to stay motivated no matter what. However, even those who appear to be the most dedicated gym-goers still struggle at times to keep moving forward. The key is for those who plan these motivational lulls and understand how to deal with them don’t get pushed off course. Instead of investing hours into finding the perfect program for yourself, it might be worthwhile to invest half that time on learning some strategies to stick with that program.

Plan For the Worst

The very first thing that you should do to ensure that you stay on track as the year passes by is to make sure that you’re anticipating any obstacles that may occur in advance. Before you even get going, make a list of everything that could potentially come between you and your results. Whether it’s diet-related, workout-related, or otherwise, write it down. Follow this by writing down three solutions that you can use to overcome each problem. When you have your solutions, you have an immediate way out. If the obstacle should arise, you simply implement your solution and maintain the course of the program

Keep all these points in mind as you move into the New Year. It’s great to set a good New Year’s Resolution and take out that gym membership at Santé Fitness and Wellness in the first month of the year, but if you don’t maintain that same level of motivation past that one-month mark, you’re likely to find yourself making a very similar resolution come this time next year. V

Find Your Motivational Interrupters

This could be a friend who always wants to go out to eat or a boss asking you to work late when you’d normally do your workout. By looking at whatever it is that can interrupt your motivation, you can then look at ways you can prioritize what’s important and move on from that interrupter. You will have to make some sacrifices in life if you hope to attain the body you’re going for and these sacrifices won’t always be easy.

Break It Down While You Build It Up

Make sure that you set both long and short-term goals. When you’re trying to focus on something that is 500 miles down the road, chances are you can’t see it, so how do you know where to go? With each short-term goal that you set and reach, your motivational level will be pushed higher. Reach enough shortterm goals and pretty soon there will be no doubt in your mind that you’re on your way to success.

Positive Mind/Body

Far too many people are quick to focus on all the things that they’re doing wrong with their program, which places them in a negative frame of mind. You still need to identify when you move away from your path, but you should also never neglect what you are doing to help see success. By bringing out all the positive changes that you’re making, you’ll change your frame of mind and get yourself believing in your abilities.

More is Sometimes Better

Make an effort to set more than one big goal for New Years. If one goal happens to not be going well, you won’t feel so discouraged if the others are moving along nicely. The more goals you are working towards the greater the chances you will see success in one of them along the way, thus boosting your overall morale. Just be sure that the goals all support one another and aren’t contradictory as then you’ll just be working against yourself.

Take Care of Number One

If the foundation is cracked, then how can it support the rest of the structure? This applies to you! If you are busy taking care of everyone one else, the easiest to sacrifice is yourselfWRONG! It’s okay to be selfish when it comes to your Wellness and Balance. Start making yourself a priority. See if your friends or family will exercise with you, or help you with task so you can fit it in your schedule. By sticking to a “you time” plan, you’ll be more likely to keep an exercise schedule, therefore turning it into a daily routine. 


Your 2015 Playlist

The New Year is upon us! I’m no psychic or anything, but here is what you can expect from music and fashion in 2015:


Written by Scotty


2015 Fashion Two words: Tie-dye. Or does that technically count as one word? Either way, tie-dye everything is going to be huge this year. If you ask me, tie-dye clothing has always been poppin’ and never went out of style, but this year things are about to get groovy. (Did I really just write that?) The teens of Instagram and Tumblr are all over the tie-dye tanks, t-shirts and hoodies, so I guess that makes it #official. The great thing about tie-dye clothing is that it’s super easy and inexpensive to make. You can even throw a tiedye making party with your friends because, let’s be honest, think of all of the selfie opportunities that could arise in the process. Don’t be scared to release your inner hippie this year!

Peace & Love, Scotty


The days of generic “did you hear that drop, bro?” festival style EDM songs are behind us. With deep house inspired tracks like Kiesza’s “Hideaway,” Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” and Duke Dumont’s “I Got You,” getting tons of radio play and love on the iTunes charts over the past year, this is definitely an indication of the direction electronic music will be heading toward in 2015. Gone are the days of ear-piercing synths and producers trying to release their own versions of “Animals” and “Tsunami.” You can expect to hear some funky bass lines, soulful vocals and a higher degree of musicality from this year’s releases. Honestly, it’s about time, because some of that stuff straightup sounded like a computer was breaking down. (#NoShade) Here are a few producers to look out for, as well as their key tracks:

EDX from Switzerland “Cool You Off”

“Make Me Feel Good”

Oliver Heldens from Netherlands



Dusky from England “Careless”

“Nobody Else”

Robin Schulz from Germany “Waves”

“Sun Goes Down”

But don’t worry- if you’re all about that drop, ‘bout that drop, and no melody, there are still plenty of music festivals out there that will cater to your needs.

January 2015


.... sort of

Written by Penelope Wigst ock Illustratio n by Sam Sa n


Since most peop le identify me as a drunken whore, I am ofte n asked for advic e on treating hangov ers. Before I pr ovide some tips and tricks on that issue, allow me to reminisce for a bit on some of m y favorite drunken celebrity escapades thro ughout the years.

1985: I had just do

ne a mammoth amount of coke with the cast of Facts of Life when I found m yself alone and crashing in a small coffee shop on the outs kirts of Los Angeles. (Thanks a lot, To otie!) On my way out, I ran into T.V. st ar Kirk Cameron, who convinced me to join him at a local tit ty bar at 5 a.m. PA TR ON The rest is a blur , but I vaguely remember him di tching me to go to bathhouse. He swore he was go a ing there to spread the word of the Lord, but I suspect that wasn’t the only thing being “spr ead” that morning . 1998: Alyssa Milano and I ended up a Jazzercise cla at Applebee’s af ss one Saturday ter afternoon. She of control: bitchi was out ng about Shanno n Doherty’s dem the set of Charm ands on ed. I grew bored quickly and focu efforts on a few se college boys wh o were hosing do d my wings and beer wn hot s a few tables ov er from us. She downing carafe and I were s of White Zinfan del.

We ended up in the back seat of a ‘79 Ford Fury young lads and with the things got ugly fa st. I am not sayin an insatiable co g that she is ck-hound or anyt hing, on her when it co mes to suction po but Dyson ain’t got shit wer.

Happy New Year,


11: This one is epic. I met up with Amanda Bynes and one of the O lsen Twins at a dance club in the valley. We drank Patron as if it was wate r and we had be en wandering in the desert for 40 years. Someo ne got sick and threw up se afood linguine an d a shit-ton of Percocet on the dance floor. One of the bitches must have drug ged my drink be cause the next thing I knew, I wa s involuntarily co mmitted to a psych facility for 96 hours, an d the name on my paperwor k and photo ID said “Bynes, Amanda.” Well-played, Cu ck

oo Clock.

2014: It was the Fo

urth of July week with Meredith Ba en xter, slamming Ha d rvey Wallbangers at some shit-hole bar outside of Encin o. She ended up hacking off all of her hair with a du ll pair of scissors and table dancin g while I serviced a few truck-driv ers in the bathroom. She pretended the whole thing never happened and st ill won’t return m y messages. So, about those hangover cures. The truth is that noth ing will relieve th ese except a lot of sle ep and Ibuprofe n. However, my be st friend Krystal Meth swears th at ea after a night of he ting slingers avy drinking coat s the stomach. O f course, she al so believes that the earth is flat and that actress Heather Graham has a lo t of “untapped po tential,” so take that one with a grain of salt. V 


Playdates STL

FIVE: 35 Years of Vital VOICE in 2015 1/24 • HG Dance Club Join Pearl Vodka in raising a glass to celebrate the historic milestone anniversaries of Vital VOICE Magazine & St. Louis Effort for AIDS at HG Adult Playground on Saturday, January 24th from 8 PM – Midnight, featuring music by international DJ and YouTube sensation Scotty Dynamo. Recording artist and The VOICE alum Frenchie Davis will be a special guest for the night, and will also put on a 45-minute long performance during the event. A limited number of $50 VIP tickets are available and include open bar and a VIP gift bag. General Admission tickets are $30 and include an hourly signature cocktail by Pearl Vodka from 8 pm - 11 pm.

P l ay

Dates STL

Mardi Gras STL: Twelfth Night

cirque de Soleil: Varekai

1/6 • Soulard Market

1/7-1/11 • Chaifetz Arena

Twelfth night marks the start of Carnivale or Mardi Gras season, and for the past several years Soulard has been ushering in its favorite time of the year in style. The festivities start at 5 p.m. with the petitioning of the Mardi Gras, Inc. Board of Directors. Dignitaries, parade krewes, community organizations, and anyone else of good will and cheer are encouraged to make a creative appeal to the Board to host the annual pre-lenten celebration.

Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world - a world where something else is possible: A world called Varekai. Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, one young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered.

rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella

The science of sound and the art of noise

1/20-2/1 • Fabulous Fox

1/25 • Powell Symphony Hall

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more.

Maestro Steven Jarvi and a special guest will lead demonstrations of sound waves and sound creation in the various instruments of the orchestra. Featured works include Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Beethoven’s The Creatures of Prometheus Overture, selections from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and more.

44 January 2015

Playdates KC




shaping sound 1/30 • arvest bank theatre at the midland Created by Emmy© Award-nominated choreographers Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson, Shaping Sound is an electrifying mash-up of dance styles and musical genres brought fully to life on stage by a dynamic company of contemporary dancers. After rising to fame with an early and ongoing presence on “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing With The Stars”, they starred in their own Oxygen reality TV show “All the Right Moves.” Audiences of all ages will experience the exhilarating collaboration of these visual musicians whose explosive choreography, dynamic rhythm, speed and physical strength give shape and form to sound. Shaping Sound -- dance reimagined.

lyric opera: Vinson Cole & Friends

Ian Bagg

1/11 • Folly Theatre

1/15 • Improv

This benefit concert pays tribute to Vinson Cole, internationally renowned tenor and treasured Kansas City native, for his contribution to the world of opera. Vinson, along with some friends, including Christine Brewer and Danny Belcher, will perform a concert of opera classics. Cole is a veteran tenor who has worked with some of the world’s premiere conductors, opera companies and orchestras. He has performed classics from Beethoven to Verdi all over the world.

Born in a small town in Canada, Bagg started his comedy career in 1994 doing stand-up. After moving to New York City, he quickly became a regular at several major comedy clubs. While in New York, Ian made three appearances on NBC’s “The Conan O’Brien Show”, rocked HBO’s “Aspen Comedy Festival”, and destroyed “Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival.” Hey, the guy even dated Britney Spears for three days!

harriman-jewell series presents giselle performed by russion national ballet theatre 1/18 • Kauffman Center for the performing arts In their fifth Series appearance, the Russian National Ballet Theatre will dance the enchanting full-evening story ballet, Giselle. The 50-member ensemble is led by Elena Radchenko, a former principal dancer with Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet. Giselle was first seen in Moscow in 1843, just two years after its creation in Paris. When Giselle was forgotten everywhere else in Europe, Russian dancers and ballet masters preserved and honored it.

theater league presents chicago: The Musical 1/20 • Kauffman center for the performing arts A true New York City institution, Chicago has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, whether you’ve seen the Academy Award®-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage or whether you’ve seen it before and want to recapture the magic, Chicago always delivers. 



#worldaidsday P ho t o g r


aphy by H a

yden Andre

January 2015


On December 1, the St. Louis Effort for Aids hosted #WorldAIDSDay at the Missouri History Museum. Vendors, musicians and several hundred people showed up for free HIV testing in efforts to spread awareness for the cause.

Scene in STL 



Toys for tots #worldaidsday at

Photography by Tim


January 2015

Gee & Jon Barbe

Pearl Vodka and Vital VOICE kicked off the holiday season with a Toys for Tots drive at Bistro 303 on December 4. With music by DJ Chad Slater, the event ended up being a great turnout for the charity, including specialty cocktails, toy donations and, of course, Marines.

Scene in KC 


cheers to

Ve years


Written by Kevin Schmidt Photography by Hayden Andrews

Pearl Vodka Presents

FIVE: The Vital VOICE & St. Louis Effort for AIDS Anniversary Event Tickets at

Pearl Plum Martini Pearl produces some of the tastiest vodkas with flavors like “Wedding Cake” and “Caramel.” Pearl’s “Plum” flavored vodka is blended with the flavor of fresh plum and distilled five times to ensure smoothness and taste. The martini itself is light and clean on the palate. The addition of raspberry liquor adds a slight sweetness, and a splash of bubbles tops off this refreshing cocktail. Serve in chilled Martini glass.

2 oz. of Pearl Plum Vodka 1/2

oz. of Raspberry Liqueur

2 oz. of Sparkling wine Lemon slice for garnish

& the Vital voice fav flav is... 50

January 2015

This month, Vital VOICE is featuring three different cocktails that will be served at FIVE: The Vital VOICE and St. Louis Effort for Aids Anniversary Event. Join Pearl Vodka in raising a glass to celebrate these historic milestone anniversaries at HG Nightclub on Saturday, January 24th from 8 p.m. – 12 a.m., featuring music by international DJ and YouTube sensation Scotty Dynamo. All three of these cocktails have been specially created for the event, with flavor profiles that will be sure to satisfy anyone’s taste preference.

el mayor paloma The Reposado tequila, which is 100% agave aged in white oak barrels for up to nine months, provides hints of sweet fruit, caramel, vanilla, and light spice to the Paloma. The grapefruit and the agave nectar adds a fair balance of tart citrus and sweet in this twist on the classic margarita. Serve in Highball glass.

rebellious mule A twist on the traditional Moscow Mule, the Rebellious Mule uses Rebel Reserve Bourbon instead of vodka. A Kentucky Wheat Bourbon, Rebel Reserve is handcrafted in select small batches. Classic components like ginger beer and lime are added to complete the drink. Serving it in a copper mug gives the classic Mule presentation, and keeps the cocktail colder, longer. Serve in Copper mug.

1 1/2 oz. of El Mayor Reposado

1 1/2 oz. Rebel Reserve Bourbon

1/2 oz. of Agave Nectar

3 oz. chilled ginger beer

3 oz. of Grapefruit Juice

Lime wedge for garnish

1 oz. of Club Soda Lime wedge for garnish 



unique. authentic. fun.

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NOW - Feb 15th

January 2015  

The Icon Issue - Joan Rivers - Vital VOICE Magazine

January 2015  

The Icon Issue - Joan Rivers - Vital VOICE Magazine