Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Jeremy Show Interviews: Big Brother WInner Andy Herren

I think I love Big Brother so much because I love observing people, looking at people do extraordinary mundane things, I always look in other people's medicine cabinets, sociopathically stare at people on the train, etc.And I am going to go out on a shaky limb here and say that Big Brother is one of the most underrated documentaries of our time or ever in the universe.  

The television show has all the over produced, cheesy, offensive (to some) trappings that come with all reality TV shows. And I eat that all up and love it.  The video feeds are something different. You can watch a group of people fight, be bored, sleep, make out, make friends, eat, cry, laugh and take showers for three months, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Like any fan describing their obsession to a non-fan I can't articulate how much I love Big Brother- it's heroin candy.

The premise is simple- the houseguests are locked in a house for three months. The show is on on three times a week every summer. Every week 2 houseguests are nominated for eviction. Every Thursday, during a live show the house votes to evict one of the nominated houseguests. The strategy for being the last houseguests standing (and winning $500,0000) varies- but always includes lying, deceit, physical endurance and social manipulation. On the last episode, alll of the other houseguests who have been evicted vote on who (out of the two remaining) they think should win the money. All the while everything is filmed and viewers have access to watch everything that goes down.

This summer Andy Herren of Chicago won Big Brother. Not only was he the first openly gay person to win Big Brother but he’s from Chicago and he’s delightful. I had a chance to speak with him and talk about his time on Big Brother.

You said you weren’t an insane fan of Big Brother but a pretty big one. How did you get into watching Big Brother?
I got into watching Big Brother by accident, actually. I was flipping through channels, and somehow landed on CBS. What was on? Big Brother 3! You know, the season where Marcellas used the Power of Veto on someone other than himself. I started watching, and the rest is history!

So...You won $500,000! Congratulations! Did your thoughts on what you would do with that amount of money change when you actually had the check in your hand?
I always knew I would be smart with the money. I'm investing it, for the most part. I want these winnings to turn into more and more winnings as the years progress. As for frivolous spending, I'm going to travel extensively! Europe, Australia, Japan, and Hawaii are on the agenda at the moment.

This season was hailed as the "Most Controversial" ever. One of the houseguests, Aaryn did say some ridiculously racist things and a handful of other houseguests said stupid things. Besides Aaryn- who I truly don't think realized that what she was saying and the way she was saying it was going to cause a lot of problems for her -- I just think the rest of it was just general jackassery like any group of young bored people. Did you have any idea that all of this would be so controversial when you were living in the house?
NOBODY had any idea this racist stuff would take off in the way it did. Granted, we all did notice Aaryn's comments, but I believe you are correct in assuming that she had no idea her words would cause such an uproar. She even started saying racist things just to say them, as we would all joke that she was the house racist. Do I condone her comments? Hell no. Do I think she is young and ignorant and not actually an evil racist bigot? Hell yes. I was very surprised by the attention this all got. I mean, any comment that makes others feel bad isn't right, but I really never felt like I was in a hateful environment. I very strongly believe that nobody in the house is actually racist, and I hope that we can all move on from this and remain close with one another. As for me...I am MUCH MORE offensive in real life as opposed to the house. I'll leave it at that.

You tweeted, "It's slightly discomforting that I was so hated while on BB. Not because I'm embarrassed, but because in real life I'M SO MUCH WORSE." Explain this tweet.
Basically, I say ridiculous things all the time. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm actually a very kind, loving person, BUT I have a filthy, vile, disgusting, awful sense of humor. Nothing offends me, because I am usually the one doing the offending. This is especially prevalent when I'm drunk. I wasn't drunk too often in the Big Brother house, but when I was, I said some gross things. Remember my "Elissa is a chronic masturbator" rant? Yeah, I was drunk during that, and it was not meant to be taken seriously. The problem? Many Americans do not sense sarcasm, and they took it seriously.

Do they even give you enough alcohol in the house to get drunk?
If everyone has a drink, they do not give us enough alcohol to get drunk. If people give up their share of alcohol, then others can drink the shares that have been given up and feasibly get drunk. For example, I gave up my alcohol 90 percent of the time, and then on the rare occasion that I wanted to get drunk, I would remind people that I had been giving up my shares, so they would give me theirs. I rarely drank because people would get super selfish about alcohol, and it put me in good graces if I gave it up. Looks like that strategy paid off.

One of the best moments of the season was after you were announced the winner- you came down and hugged your parents. They looked SO proud of you. Tell me about them. What did they say was their experience like when you were in the house?
THEY ARE AMAZING. They were so damn happy for me while I was on the show. My dad is a very quiet, stern guy for the most part, but after the show he gave me the biggest hug and said he had never been more proud of me. It was a lovely moment. My mom watched the feeds 24/7, and my dad would get updates from her. My mom was actually so scared about my possible eviction when I was up against Aaryn that she couldn't watch. She said she heard my dad screaming/cheering, and she knew all was well. They loved me being in the house, and, according to them, all they really experienced was positivity. They aren't on Twitter, and that is where most of the stupid assholes who hate me dwell.

How was your experience coming out to your parents? How did you tell them?
I was outed by a neighbor before actually telling my parents about me being gay, but they were both cool with it. There's nothing much more to tell! My mom was sad I didn't come out earlier.

Tell me about the transformation from relative anonymity to instant fame. What are the good things and bad things about it?
It's been pretty easy! I like people recognizing me. It is sweet. The only negative side is the INSANE hate I got once I left the house. I'm used to being well-liked, so it was odd to see so many people wishing me nothing but the worst. I played the game I needed to play, and I have no regrets. I get that I didn't play a very likable game, but anyone who respects the game should see what an amazing job I did. I played EVERYONE, and was rewarded for it. I also like the free stuff people give me! That's a neat perk of being "famous."

Rumor has it that you lost your job over your appearance on Big Brother. Did you lose your job and if so, what was the reason? What happened there?
I did not lose my job! :)

Who are you still in contact with outside of the house? Who do you think you won’t keep in touch with?
I have been in good contact with most of the cast. The only two people I haven't talked to are Elissa and Howard, who I have no ill will towards. In the house I hated Elissa, but outside of the game I would like to be on good terms with her. I talk to Amanda and McCrae every day, and I talk to Judd, Spencer, Helen, Kaitlin, GinaMarie, Candice, Aaryn, Jessie, and Jeremy relatively frequently as well. I also text back and forth with with David, who is a hoot. I don't like having negative relations with anyone, so hopefully we can all move forward and be pals, because we all shared such a unique experience.

Is Judd as adorable in real life as he was on Big Brother?
Judd is EVEN MORE ADORABLE IN PERSON. He is wonderful. I can't imagine anyone meeting Judd and not loving him. He does have a fiery side though (that temper!...fiery yet still ADORABLE).

What has been your best experience with a Big Brother fan and your worst experience with a Big Brother fan?
Best experience with a Big Brother fan: My roommate and I were running late to the movies a few weeks back, and a car pulled up beside us. It was a husband and wife, and they were big fans. I then asked them for a ride to the movies, and they obliged! Ha! I haven't really had any negative experiences with fans, except online, but most of the online fans are complete waste of space morons who don't actually understand the game, so they don't bug me too much.

What are some things, secret little behind the scenes things that you think most Big Brother fans would be shocked to know? Did your gaydar ever go off on any of the male houseguests?
We NEVER see any people while we are in the house. It is weird. Like, I didn't know what the producers looked like until the show wrapped. Another secret: They give us the same food week after week, which can get monotonous. I wanted a bit more variety! Although they fed me all summer for free, so I shouldn't complain.

Did your gaydar ever go off on any of the male houseguests?
My gaydar went off on Nick a little bit, because he would do odd things like always call me over to talk while he was in the shower. I'm 50/50, though. If he's gay, I wouldn't be shocked. If not, I would also not be shocked.

Do you think there could have been a possibility of a bromance- whether or not it would have just been used to get you or whoever else further in the game? Did any of the straight guys ever flirt with you?
I was in a bromance with Spencer!!! We were BFFs from the beginning, which you NEVER saw on the show. He kept me sane in the house. He is an intelligent and hilarious guy. SPANDY FOR LIFE!!! I do believe our bromance got him further, as I never wanted to sever ties with him. I wanted him at the end because I liked him and I knew I could beat him.

What is your dream “Celebrity Big Brother” cast? And who do you think would win?
Oh goodness, I have no idea who my dream Celebrity Big Brother cast would be. It would most certainly include Anderson Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and myself. I say this because I selfishly want to meet these people (and school them at Big Brother).

You said that you were rejecting friend requests on Facebook like it’s your job. Are a lot of people asking you for money?
I basically reject Facebook friendships because I like to keep Facebook personal. Like, only people I actually know or could see myself getting to know in real life are people I will be friends with on Facebook. Twitter/Instagram/etc are for people who I may not know to be able to interact with me. And nobody has asked me for money yet! I think people know I'm smart with my money and won't fall for any hair-brained schemes. I also think my friends and family know how hard I worked for the money, and they aren't the type of people who would see my winning as a way to better themselves financially. When I left the house I wanted to get back to Chicago to retain my strong personal relationships with friends and family, so relationships haven't been strained at all. I love the people I surround myself with!

Are you dating anyone?

I am casually dating, but nothing serious. I'm SUPER picky and tend to lose interest quickly, so I don't bother really dating anyone unless they seem very right and I see long-term potential. I'm also a hopeless romantic and retain the belief that one day I will meet the man of my dreams and it will happen exactly like it does in cutesy romantic comedies (I know, I know...BARF). And when I go on dates, I love it when guys don't know about Big Brother. It's nice to know that they like me for me and not for me being a television personality.

What are your plans for the holidays?
For Christmas I'll be going to my parents' house in the suburbs to spend time with friends and family who are at home.

Can you tell me what you have in your medicine cabinet? Please list all the contents, brand names, etc.
Flintstones Chewable Vitamins, Advil Liqui-Gels, Crest Whitening toothpaste, Edge shave gel, contact solution, a toothbrush, Old Spice Aqua Reef deodorant, cherry Chapstick.

Do you ever still feel like cameras are watching you?
When I first came back, I definitely woke up a few times thinking I was being watched (which was super weird), but, to be honest, the whole being filmed thing faded quite quickly. I was back to picking my nose and masturbating in no time!

What are you buying yourself for Christmas?
I have no idea what I'm buying myself for Christmas! I'm very low maintenance. Maybe a book or something?

Last question- If you were describing to a four year old how you won the money how would you say you won it?
I lied to lots of people, and then the people I lied to gave me tons of money.

Who should I interview next? Why should I interview you? Email me at and let me know.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Jeremy Show Interviews: Mister Rogers Archivist Tim Lybarger

Tim Lybarger visiting X The Owl in The Neighborhood of Make Believe.
It was announced this week that a film about Fred Rogers (based on a book by Tim Madigan's memoir I'm Proud of You) is in the early stages of development. I sat down with the Internet's authority on Mister Rogers Tim Lybarger, the creator of The Neighborhood Archive: A Collection of All Things Mister Rogers. Read what we talked about as we took a nostalgic walk through The Neighborhood of Make Believe.

So, what are your thoughts on the movie coming out?
I'm actually pretty surprised. There was a lot of talk a few months ago about this but it was all so vague that it didn't seem anything would really come of it. Looks like that may not be the case. I'm thrilled for Tim Madigan -- his book is wonderful and he's such a great person!

Jim Parsons

And who do you think should play Mister Rogers?
That's a tough call to make. I'm not sure that the actor have to be a spitting image of him, but thinking that way, Jim Parsons would be great!

I was a big Mister Rogers fan. My Mom said that she thought Sesame Street was too fast and loud for me. I didn't really get into it. Do you find through your archival work with Mister Rogers that their are Mister Rogers people and Sesame Street people? Is there anything specific you've noticed about a Mister Rogers fan? 
Not to say that there aren't kids who enjoyed both programs, but there are definitely Mister Rogers kids and Sesame Street kids. These two programs were groundbreaking in very different ways. Likewise, they were applicable to children in very different ways. While one was fast-paced and emphasized the ABCs and 123s, the other kept a slow tempo and taught kids that it's okay to have feelings. Is there anything specific I've noticed about Mister Rogers fans? Absolutely. Among the many that I've heard from through the Neighborhood Archive, they are a very kind, caring, and patient group of people. Whether this is fully attributed to their appreciation of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood or not is up in the air...but I certainly think it's no coincidence.

You have six different websites/blogs which are all amazing. On the main portal to your site your intro line is "archiving the insignificant." Tell me about that statement.
It takes a certain kind of person to have any kind of interest in what I do. Either you get it or you don't. My brother has a pretty solid music collection and I remember him jokingly saying once that he was "archiving for future generations." I, too, am archiving for future generations. I'm just archiving stuff that only myself and a very small niche of other people are interested in. To most people it's insignificant.

I think we are all librarians of pop culture in some way. We all have our libraries of DVD's and books and toys from our childhood. What is the focus of your collection? How much do you have? And how does your wife feel about it?
I guess the focus of my collection would be things that remind me of my own childhood. I've often said that I had a wonderful childhood and given the opportunity, I would relive ages 2-17 over and over again. So I often find myself picking up items at flea markets and garage sales that I owned as a kid -- books, games, toys. Likewise, I love watching television shows that I enjoyed when I was young. I'll take the A-Team or a healthy dose of Saturday morning cartoons over America's Got Talent any day. As for my wife...she's doesn't get it. I don't mean that in a negative way either. She's the type of person who is content to take a picture of something and throw it away while I love being able to physically see something to bring back memories. She does a good job of tolerating my collection and humoring me when I start telling her about the latest thing I've found.
My favorite Mister Rogers song, or the one I remember the most is "I Like to Be Told." Bette Midler sang it in a concert I saw and I cried. That song has so much meaning. The idea is mainly- children (and adults) like to be told the truth. And with truth comes trust. The more I think about it the more I can see it applies far beyond children and into the adult world- work, relationships, government. What Mr. Rogers song resonates for you?
This is exactly what got me into archiving the career of Fred Rogers. I had grown up watching the Neighborhood program and as an adult, parent, and educator, I began to recognize that his message was one that wasn't just for kids. I Like To Take My Time can be applied to rush hour traffic and Let's Think of Something to Do While We're Waiting can help during a lengthy stop in any waiting room. I can't say that I really have one specific Mister Rogers song that resonates with me any more than others, but I often think about his overall message of patience, love, and compassion for others -- our neighbors -- in this world.
Lady Elaine Fairchild
OK tell me everything you know about Lady Elaine. She is my favorite. What's her deal?
She's a feisty one, that Lady Elaine. Fred often talked about how he expressed his various feelings through the puppets in Make-Believe. No doubt any mischief was expressed at the Museum-Go-Round! (Most) everything I know about Lady Elaine can be found on her page of the Archive site -

Tell me about the evolution of your amazingly thorough and beautiful archive. Where did it start? What are your future plans or developments do you have coming for the Neighborhood?
My brother and I had a Mister Rogers record when we were kids and one day I was looking for some details about it online. I figured surely there was some catch-all site detailing every nook and cranny about the long and influential career of Fred Rogers. Much to my surprise, there was nothing of the sort. Having spent several years detailing the career of constantly-touring folk singer Todd Snider on, I figured there was only one thing I could do. From there, the site just caught on like wildfire as other fans of Fred and his work picked up on my efforts. As the site continues to grown, I'm constantly amazed by the response I regularly receive from Mister Rogers fans around the world.

Did you ever get to meet Mister Rogers or other cast members? Tell me about that.
Although I never had the chance to meet Fred in person, I did invite him to my college graduation (sort of). Finishing my undergraduate degree, I was sending announcements to family and friends and had a few left over. Not expecting any sort of response, I sent one of the extras to Mister Rogers with a note thanking him for the message he instilled in me and countless other children around the world through our childhood visits to his Neighborhood. Much to my surprise, within a matter of just a few days, I received a personal response in the mail from Fred. It was at this point that I knew this man was so much more than just the host of some show I watched when I was a kid. As for others, I've had the chance to meet David Newell (Mr. McFeely) a few times and very briefly met Betsy Seamans (Mrs. McFeely) once. I've had a few phone conversations with Audrey Roth (Miss Paulificate) and Burt Lloyd (Mr. Allmine). Betty Aberlin (Lady Aberlin) and I have corresponded off and on through email and Twitter over the past few years and I've recently been in contact with Francois Clemmons (Officer Clemmons). In every one of these cases, I can say that each and every one of these people have been wonderfully kind and generous as they are very clearly not far removed from the characters they portrayed on the Neighborhood program.

As for the Neighborhood of Make Believe itself- it seems to be a trippy mirror image of what's going on in Mister Rogers "television home." What's the psychological reasoning for all of this as you see it? Why is the show set up in this way?
The shows were scripted from start to finish and no detail was left unaccounted for, so the similarities between the "real" neighborhood and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe were certainly intentional. I've always felt that the show spoke to children on various levels in different ways. While some where able to take away Fred's message from his "real" neighborhood segments, others were more comfortable with the make-believe portions. To me, this provided children at various stages in their lives with the opportunity to pick up the same important message being shared on any particular Neighborhood episode.

Yo Yo LaBelle
Who is your favorite Neighborhood of Make Believe resident and Neighborhood resident?
In the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, if I had to pick a favorite, I'd say it'd probably be X the Owl as I appreciate his light-hearted outlook on life. That being said, I have a somewhat weird obsession with the alien character -- Yo Yo LaBelle -- that only appeared in a few episodes. In the "real" Neighborhood, it's hard to pinpoint a favorite. If I had to chose, probably Mr. McFeely simply because of the regularity of his appearance and his fun interactions with Mister Rogers throughout the run of the show.

Do you know what happened to the set and props of the show?
Up until recently, most of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe set was on display throughout the building which housed the office space for the Fred Rogers Company. Earlier this summer, the FRC relocated to new space in Pittsburgh and I'm not sure if these pieces went with them or went into storage. The Neighborhood of Make-Believe models were on display in the FRC offices at their previous location and I can only assume that they are on display in their new space as well. I've also been told that the street display seen in the opening and closing of the program is on display in the new office location, too. As for the set of Mister Rogers' television house, the last I knew is that those pieces were in storage.

Why wasn't there much merchandising for the show?- it seems like Sesame Street was all over the place. I would have killed to get my hands on that playset.
Yeah. The playset. Tell me about it. I'd do anything to get my hands on one of those. I've tried asking everyone from the Fred Rogers Company to the individuals who designed that piece and have come up with nothing. The best I can put together is that a prototype was created but never marketed on a mass scale. I think the fact that there wasn't a huge market for Mister Rogers merchandise can be attributed to Fred's nature of simplicity. I think his one and only focus was reaching out to children on a personal and individual level. He could have taken the Neighborhood to a mass market and capitalized in a major way through merchandising opportunities. Instead, he chose to keep the focus on the message rather than the market. Typical Fred, from what I understand.

With your own kids, do you see anything else on children's television that gets close to Mister Rogers' style?
Nothing. There's Daniel Tigers' Neighborhood which is the "next generation" of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, but there's nothing out there that comes close to a daily visit to the Neighborhood. Everything on TV for kids is either fast, flashy, commercialized, or all of the above. I've yet to find a children's program that has reached the masses that Fred reached in such a simple yet unbelievably influential way. For the record, my kids LOVE Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and I could not be happier to see Fred's message carried on in such a positive and popular program. The response to Daniel Tiger has been phenomenal!

What is known about Mister Rogers private life? Is there anything that has surprised you or that you found interesting in your research? Has there been any good biographies you can recommend?
When it comes to Fred's personal life, everyone has this part of them that hopes there's some dirt somewhere...some sort of secret life that could tarnish the seemingly perfect persona seen on television. While I hate to disappoint, everything I have gathered over several years of researching his life and career has pointed to one thing -- he was the same kind and caring person in real life that you saw on TV. There are two different biographies that I would recommend for anyone interested in a quick look at Fred and his career -- both in video format. The first is Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor. This one is a fantastic look at Fred's life and career scattered with many clips from the show as well as lengthy interviews with Fred himself. The other is Mister Rogers & Me (available on Netflix Prime) -- a documentary featuring various individuals touched by the message of Fred Rogers.

What do you discuss on your podcast?
The podcast started out with conversations with a few other fans of the Neighborhood and has evolved a bit into mostly interviews with people who have been involved with or heavily influenced by the Neighborhood program in some way. I've spoken with a handful of Neighborhood cast members such as Audrey Roth (Miss Paulificate) and Bert Lloyd (Mr. Allmine) as well as others who were involved behind the scenes (Eliot Daly). I have to admit that the podcast is one aspect of the Neighborhood Archive that I tend to neglect. For some reason it always seems to go to the back burner as you can see by the fact that there are only about 20 episodes.

Clearly, you were a child of the eighties- what is it about the eighties? What do you remember as the vibe of that decade for you?
It might just be that I was a kid and things are simple when you're young, but I feel like the 80s were a much simpler time than we live in now. We didn't have the flashy movies and video games we have today...but we didn't know any better. We were content to drop a quarter in a machine for a few minutes of Pac-Man or to hear a song we liked played from a jukebox. I'm sure that the 80s were no less complex for adults than today is for people my own age, but the feelings of comfort and simplicity that come back to me with memories of my childhood in the 80s cannot be matched.

When people are passionate about something (for me it would be Madonna, Martha Stewart) I find it interesting, no matter what it is. My boyfriend is a BIG Disney fan. I might be wrong but I do feel like you can follow the trail of our deep passions (like everything else) back to our childhood. How do you feel about that? Do you think that you are trying to get back something from your childhood? Or does your passion for pop culture relate to something else?
I think you've hit the nail on the head. Many people -- myself included -- find comfort in remembering simpler times. Being able to thumb through my baseball card collection from when I was a kid immediately takes me back to summer afternoons of backyard baseball and trips to the drug store to buy wax packs of the current cards. Listening to certain songs will immediately put me back in my bedroom on a warm summer evening with the windows open while I listened to the local pop music request show. I've often said that I can't tell you much that I learned in college, but I can easily come up with any detail from my childhood that you'd care to request. While some people may say I'm stuck in the past, I look at it as a recognition of the wonderful childhood that I was blessed enough to experience.

Visit Tim at The Neighborhood Archive and follow him on Twitter!

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Jeremy Show Interviews: Gay Porn Star Blue Bailey

You mentioned in a post that you paid off unsubsidized loans with porn? I should totally do that-- how else am i going to get rid of it? My scene would be very niche. Slightly overweight, bipolar gay porn! Did your debt have anything to do with choosing a career in porn?
Not at all. I’ve always had a day job that has paid the bills, but porn was a fun and easy way to make extra spending cash.  Now that I've graduated, I'd like to pay off all my unsubsidized loans as quickly as possible to avoid accruing interest during future education.  

Tell me about your trip to Amsterdam.
Originally, I was going to Italy as a gift from my grandmother for graduating SFSU.  I had the flight booked two weeks prior to meeting up with her and went to Amsterdam and Berlin with my partner. We lucked out and arrived the weekend of Amsterdam Pride.  It was a beautiful city to visit and great coffee.  

You mentioned that you wouldn't mind moving to Chicago- what is it about Chicago that you liked that much? As opposed to San Francisco
SF is great, but I would consider moving to Chicago at least for school.  The city is part inspiration for Nolan's Gotham City, so how can you go wrong with that.  

I am 37 you are twentysomething. Tell me about where you see yourself at 37.
At 37, I see myself being a successful attorney at a law firm specializing in media/entertainment and/or first amendment law.  I'd like to own a car, property, and a puppy or two.   

What do you know about Bailey Blue, the female pornstar who has your name in reverse?
Nothing actually, except the name.  We should do lunch and talk shop

You were 1st Runner-up for Mr. RentBoy SF 2013! How did you feel that you won? What did that mean to you?
Didn't think I'd make it past the first round of eliminations, so was quite surprised.  

How does your family feel about your job? Tell me about them if you want to.
They actually found out by an ex.  He had decided to call and let them know after we had broken up and I had moved out.  My family is and has always been supportive of me.    

What was your first film? Tell me about that experience.
I don't remember the name of it, but remember it was group j/o scene and very uncomfortable at first.  I did meet my partner at a shoot, and do remember that one quite well.  He lived in Walnut Creek at the time, and I walked him to the BART after we finished.  

I feel like there are such generational differences between gay men. I feel like maybe the coming out process is quicker, with a little less of the self loathing and depression than in my generation. Do you feel there are major generational differences between you and older gay men? I don't know I feel like Liberace and you feel like Matt Damon to me. Thoughts?
I definitely feel that the coming out process is easier than prior generations, but I'm sure the self loathing and depression you mention existed in both.  Social media has had a major impact on promoting the acceptance of the LGBT community, but I think there are certain setbacks.  Every aspect of a teen's life is now documented and broadcast instantaneously, opening them up to continual criticism and potentially harassment.  

Are there many Jews in porn? God Jewish boys are hot.
I personally don't know that many, but then again I don't really ask either.  I'm not that religious, but I was raised Jewish and identify as a Jew.

How did you choose Blue Bailey as your porn name? Mine is Pepper Rowley
Out drinking with friends in was originally gonna be Bailey Blue, but some slut stole it :p
If we're doing the first pet and first street name equation. Rocky Horseback. Named my dog after the Red Power Ranger and the first street I remember living on is Horseback Circle

What was it like growing up in Las Vega$?
It sucked!...When I grew up there , all you could do was drink and gamble, which obviously wasn't an option as a minor.  Thankfully, I had a good group of friends to hang out with and drive around blasting 80s music.

Do you think it would be a good vacation for a gay couple one of whom (not me) is very against the idea and thinks that we shouldn't go there if we don't have a lot of money? But I just want to go back to an old seventies hotel like the Riviera and be Sharon Stone in Casino. Walk around and smell the sin and money and cigarette smoke in the air. Get a free cranberry and vodka and play the nickel slots-- THATS ALL I WANT BLUE!!!!!
You'd have to plan it during a gay holiday.  National Coming Out Day was the most busiest.  The porn convention used to bring in a ton of gays, but it focuses almost enitrely on the straight side now.  

What value meal do you order at McDonalds?
I'm more of an In-n-Out...and in again...guy.  Double double protein style and animal fries.  Read into that as much as you'd like :)

Are you able to put your education in broadcasting to use in porn? I went to Columbia College and got a degree in Television. I tried a few TV jobs- now I'm a Administrative Assistant at a college. It's fine.
I didn't do much production, but the BECA department at SFSU offered courses with lighting technique, video editing, and basic media aesthetics.  I have a friend who studied video and photography, and he works as an editor for a porn company.  My official degree is a BA in Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts, emphasizing in Law and Regulation of Media.  

What is on your Amazon wish list? Or what do you want to buy?
Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection on Blu Ray...and the Adam West Batman Series on Blu Ray if they ever get a release date for it.  

I see you went to Madonna's MDNA concert- what did you think? Huge Madonna fan here.
it was a really good show, and I'm glad I got to see her once.  Wish I would've made it to the confessions tour though.  Not rushing to pay her ticket prices again anytime soon, but I'd certainly shell out the money to see Kylie, Muse, or GaGa.  

Do you want kids?
Nope, but I do want a few puppies.  

What is all the crap about barebacking in porn? What is your stance?
To me all it is - is sex. Super hot sex without protection, sure. But it's nothing to be demonized. It's like internalized homophobia to me. It is a decision that should be made between the performers and certainly not regulated by law.  There's a whole bigger discusser to safer sex practices than simple condom propaganda i.e. Prep, serosorting, and the like.  

Besides porn- what is your passion? What are you a total nerd for?
Horror shit!  The '78 Halloween is by far my favorite film.  Nothing beats going to the midnight opening of a scary movie with a bunch of audience reaction.  Looking forward to Dexter/True Blood Sundays this summer!

Did you enjoy high school? Did you play sports? Any other activities?
I was the fat kid in high school and could not wait to get the fuck out.  Didn't play any sports and used band and ROTC to get out of PE.  

Unusual celebrity crushes- mine Louis CK, Chris Pratt (from Parks and Rec).
Paul Rudd from Halloween 6.

What is your typical daily routine?
Wake up as late as my schedule will allow, work then gym or the reverse, home, BF time or solo time if he's out

Have you met any celebrities who knew you from your work? Who? Did you sleep with them?
Nope, but Andy Cohen can come get it anytime.

Tell me a favorite "Jewish saying" Is that a thing? Or some words of wisdom you try to live by.
Shabat Shalom, MotherFucker!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Jeremy Show Interviews: Author Mike Albo

With all my favorite shows in reruns (except for Big Brother, The Fashion Show, Whale Wars, Deadliest Catch, Cake Boss, etc.) I've had the opportunity to read a little bit more. I came across a wonderful gay memoir in the Chicago Public Library called Hornito: My Lie Life. The author, Mike Albo, was named "the ultimate satirist of the downtown New York social landscape" by The New York Times. We had a wonderful conversation- I thought I'd share it with you.

You wrote your book Hornito: My Lie Life in 2000, pre-9/11, pre-Two Girls and One Cup. When you look back on writing it, getting it published, seeing it for the first time- what memory stands out to you the most?
Ha...I love that you put 9-11 and Two Girls and One Cup in the same sentence! Bravo! Hornito was not just a book of the moment before all that, it was very much a collection of images and emotions and stories from my brain since birth. That book is the most physical embodiment of my inner life...and I am always so so grateful when someone spends time reading it.

In the book, you describe Eric (the boy you long for throughout the book) as being “only an advertisement for himself, smiling and offering a lovely vacation package to a verdant land that doesn’t exist.” Do you feel like you exist in your work? Or are you offering a lovely vacation package?
Oh man I love your questions. Its least for me, writing is about trying to connect. I want to pour as much as possible of myself into a book. Its kind of a snag for me because I just cant simply tell a story like some major pro like Stephen King or Dean Koontz. Even the Underminer is emotional to me — that book was about my frustration with post 9-11 America...with Bush, Paris Hilton, and the whole “Lets Go Shopping” was my screed against what total mindless crap becomes successful in this country. But at the same time...I know that to actually write something and have people read it, you have to become an advertisement of yourself. Its interesting...this new book I am working on is all about people as advertisements...I don’t know if you and your readers have noticed, but now everyone is trying to be an ad these days...everyone has a profile...and if you go on Craigslist for a second (which of course I do for total research purposes :) ) you see people saying creepy shit like “I suck dick better!” or “The best bottom in the Upper East Side!” ...people have become half advertising now....

On the back of Hornito: My Lie Life the tagline describes your book as “David Sedaris and Sandra Bernhard rolled into one.” Are you a fan of Sandy? If so, do you think she rubs off in your work?
Ok, first of all, just so you know, we scrubby writers don’t have that much say over the copy that appears on our books. We only have so many battles we can fight for...and that blurb was something the PR people came up with. I think its diminishing...but whatever....but that said, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sandra B. I think more than any other artist. Ms Berhnard has influenced me. She is such an incredible, subtle, lovely, secretly soulful performer. And a great writer.

I found it difficult to carry the paperback edition of the book through my office because of the cover. It sort of looks like porn- with the primary colors and bare chest. Whose chest is on the cover of the book? Did you get to pick that chest?
HA! So funny. As previously said, that cover was not my choice. We C-level writers don’t have much power over our representations. I suppose I could have put up a bitchfest but that’s not my style...the hardback cover was designed by a friend of mine, and I love it. The softcover is good a gross way. People pick up naked torso shots. It is so not me.

Your second book, The Underminer warns the reader against that person in your life that you’ve known forever, who you can’t get rid of and who is always sort of one upping you and picking at you until you are suicidal. Do you have any Underminers in your life or have you gotten rid of all of them? Do you think there is a purpose for an Underminer in our lives?
No one can ever get rid of their underminers. I truly believe that. I am still friends with mine, and he is a great person who I would never shun. People who say “Oh! Yea, I used to have an underminer rin my life but I don’t anymore”? Those people ARE underminers!!!

The design of your website, reminds me a little of the Heaven’s Gate website. It looks sort of like a website for a cult with you as the leader. Did you go about designing it with this sort of feel in mind?
YES!!!! That’s exactly what I am going for!!! I am trying to redesign it now (It takes forever! Do you know how to do it?? Is there anyone out there who can help me for a really crappy low pay???) And it will be getting even MORE cultish and psycho! I am a serious combo of urban-cynical and totally, totally new agey. My friend suzanne calls me a “critical hippie.”

I just stopped writing questions and got lost in your YouTube videos. Really funny. How did you get into performing characters? Did you start out in improv classes or did you just decide to do it…
I tried to take acting classes but I couldn’t handle it.... I learned how to perform by doing it. I wrote poetry in college and did reading and noticed that the more loose and performy I got the more the audience and I connected. Then I started performing in front of people and had to drink two bourbons before I went onstage. Slowly, slowly, I learned about breath, projection and and all that crap you learn.

Can you tell me the contents of your medicine cabinet? Please list every item.
Weird. Um. I have this little cup of random pills that people have given me and I have no idea what they do. I keep meaning to take them.

You say in your first book that you “hate the hairless-beauty youth culture.” You wear your hair slightly long with some facial hair. Is this an act of rebellion against the overly groomed gay culture or are you nature-y and outdoorsy?
Maybe? Not totally intentionally, but maybe?

I picked your book up at the library. I am going through a gay fiction phase- can’t get enough of it. Have you ever hooked up in a library? What are you reading right now?
I am reading The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq...I love him...
I hooked up in the stacks of Columbia University Library stacks. But I am kind of bad at ‘cruising’....

More importantly, what are you watching on TV right now?
I don’t have a TV (well I do but its not connected...) but I CAN WAIT for Project Runway!!! I was a total, complete Battlestar Galactica fan.

When you were little did you dream of being named the “ultimate satirist of the downtown New York social landscape” by The New York Times?
No...i have always dreamed of being a poet. But you know the same time I have always loved satirizing. In 6th grade I performed a satire of Pollyanna in front of the entire class. So I guess its always been in my blood.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Jeremy Show Interviews: Dustin from Big Brother 8

As you know, I spent the last two summers glued to the internet and television watching Big Brother. One of my favorite houseguests, Dustin (a fellow Chicagoan) agreed to chat with me about Big Brother, Prince Harry and whats in his medicine cabinet.

Tell me three things you learned about being on Big Brother 8 and three things that you think the fans should know about the show.
1- EVERYONE is judgemental. Everyone.
2- Skinny people are miserable, ie Daniele
3- Conservative Christians still think homosexuality is a choice! Because apparently, they were asked.

Seeing as I never applied for Big Brother, and I really wasn't a fan of the show either, the whole process was a learning experience about the show. But I think its really important for fans to know that there is a producer who talks to you in the diary room. We don't just sit down and start venting, we're prompted for certain topics, opinions, thoughts, etc... They encourage strategic moves and/or decisions.

I'm sure you're sick of answering this question but watching "Evil Dick" basically gay bash you on the Internet was terrifying. I was totally brought back to junior high, which is his mentality. However, you voted for him to win over his daughter. Why?

I played the game strategically, not personally. When voting for the winner, I put personal issues aside; for both of them. She's SUCH a negative Nancy and he's an over-grown rebellious teen seeking attention. But game-wise, he played the game for two. Every move he made he did for her as well. No one else can say that. He played a strong game because if it were not for him, she would have been gone sooner than later. His comments and gay bashing didn't hurt me as much as it hurt others. What he did to the women in the house was in my eyes, much worse.

more on Dick Donato's irresponsible behavior via Logo online

Why didn't you stay in LA?

I still have 3 classes left to take for my major here and LA is dirty, tacky, and expensive. Some of my best friends live there, but Its not right for me right now. I'm much more a "New York City Boy"

What is the craziest fan experience you've had and what's the most annoying thing people ask you?

Craziest Fan experience. I had a crier once. I was at the airport on my way from Minneapolis to Chicago and there was a woman who gasped, threw her hands over her head and cried. She didn't only take a photo with me, but of me as well. tying my shoe, digging in my bag, walking away. She straight up paparazzied my ass. A stranger also told me his best friend had died that day. That was bizarre too.

You are studying fashion. What is your first fashion memory? What movies, celebrities, etc, influence your fashion sense? What are you trying to say with your sense of style?

My first fashion memory is my black overalls with choo-choo trains on them. I was 3; They were so fly and I was a pimp in them. I never wanted to take them off and I will never forget them.
My sense of style is non-existent. I don't do patterns, I rarely wear colors, and I like simplicity. Classics with class I guess. Its important for me to have staple pieces on at all times. Great footwear is essential. For the summer in BB though, I packed all lounge wear which included the grey t-shirt.

Take me through a typical day with Dustin…
Coffee, breakfast, and stretching in the morning, work all day, Gym by 6, dinner at 8; usually at home. Then I watch a movie, talk on the phone and pass out. Like clockwork though, I wake up at 2:45 AM and have a snack and a bottle of water, which is where I am now.

Do you have a favorite Chicago bar/hangout and why?

I RARELY go out. Statement of truth. So when I do, its by someone else's accord and I just go with the flow where they go. In the summer I love Foster Beach. Its low-key and down the street from me.

If you were to go to a therapist what issue do you think you'd spend the most time working on?.....Tell me more about that….
HAHAHA Trust issues! As you know from the show, there is a lot of trust that was broken in my one and only relationship to date. My best friend slept with my ex, family members have lied and stolen from me. There's just a lot of deceit in my past so its hard for me to trust others.

Can you tell me what you have in your medicine cabinet. Please list all the contents, brand names, etc.
band-aids, neosporin, clean&clear astringent, Murray's pomade, MAC concealer, Tweezerman tweezers, Tweezerman toenail clipper, Renu contact solution, my glasses, an eyelash curler, back-up contacts, Target optical lens cleaner, sponges, various chapsticks with the labels peeled off, Arrid XX - Morning Clean, Dayquil, and Biore pore strips.

What are you asking Santa for this Christmas?
Hunter Wellington Boots, black, size 43
and the Six Feet Under complete season DVD collection. Bets are high that I'll receive neither! I'm single dammit!

The Dustin Celebrity Playlist-- Name ten songs that we should be listening to?
RJD2 - 1976
Scala & Kolacny Brothers - Heartbeats
basement jaxx - Smoke Bubbles
Seal - Waiting For You
The Blow - Hey Boy
Uffie - Pop the Glock
Of Montreal - A Sentence of Sorts in Kortsvinger
Hard-Fi - Move on Now
Annie Lennox - Little Bird
Original Broadway Cast of Fosse - Crunchy Granola Suite

I see that you like the Pet Shop Boys. Please tell my boyfriend why he should listen to them, he hates them.
If you're feeling blue, and in the mood for some campy 80's electro-beats with an incredibly smooth lead singer, its all there! Lets face it, West End Girls is played EVERYWHERE, from Office Max to Tattoo Parlors. Everyone ought to love a little Pet Shop.

I also see that you enjoy Madonna, what are your top three songs?

Borderline, Frozen, and Holiday

So you and Prince Harry are on a date, after you've both snorted some vodka, what's your perfect evening?
After having our photograph taken by the paparazzi, for future reference that this evening did, in fact, occur; We go back to the palace. He dresses up like the prince that he is and we equestrian ride for a few hours. I of course, get to wear riding boots. Then we snort more vodka, followed by smoking crumpets and eating tea. We sit in the royal throne for a minute while gazing at each other and do it right there on the palace floor. A sex tape is later "leaked" to the British media.

I want to thank Dustin so much for his time. Because of the writer's strike CBS is putting Big Brother back on the air this February. I am going to try like hell not to watch it. That's bullshit.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

5 Questions with Mike from Big Brother 8

Mike Dutz made such a graceful exit on Big Brother that I had to ring him up and get his thoughts on the show and other important issues.

1. You have a great body! Where is the first place to start (exercise wise) that would get rid of a beer belly?
Cardio, lots and lots of cardio.

2.Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or Velveeta Shells and Cheese?

Velveeta Shells and cheese

3.Anything exciting happen while you were gone?
I've lined up potential work from being on the show.

4. Best moment in BB house?
The strong man competition!

5. How many wives does Magnus have?
7 wives

Love the show and really fell in love with you on the last episode. You should be really proud of yourself.
Thanks for watching and supporting me on the show. It was an honor to be there.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Jeremy Show Interviews: Geoffrey Todd Smith

Geoffrey Todd Smith is an artist who uses gel pens to create beautiful graphic paintings for you to get lost in. I met him many years ago when I was living in Crystal Lake.

I met you at Borders. You were talking to anyone who would listen about how you were so hung over because you had too many Long Island Iced Teas. What do you remember about me?

You were wearing white socks with black shoes and your hair was bleach blond. I thought you might prefer the company of men. You and a girl named Audrey were the only ones who would talk to me. She was 16. That's a tender age.

You use gel pens and scrapbook paper for your drawings. How did you come to use these and why?

A girl I know gave me a gel pen and I doodled with it. I thought it was refreshing to use materials that didn't have the history that painting had but were suitable to communicate my ideas.

How does it feel to be named by Chicago Magazine as one of the "rising art stars we should be collecting now" What do you collect?

I was surprised by the interest in the drawings over the past year or so. It is nice to know I am not just making them for myself. I collect gel pens for obvious reasons. I used to collect scratch n sniffs.

You watch television while you create your paintings, what shows do you watch?

At this point, whatever is on that I can listen to in the background but not get too distracted by. General Hospital played a role in my formative gel pen years.

Several articles have commented about how your work seems to capture a 1980's-teenage girl-video game aesthetic. Do you think your work is an expression of your youth in anyway? How about femininity?
They are very much inspired by the activities of youth that required my intense focus. Puzzles, board games, video games, sticker collections, etc. I understand the reference to femininity but I think that is mainly connected to my comfort in creating beautiful things. Artists often run from the term decorative but it doesn't bother me.

How did you pass time in your youth?

Played sports, cartoons, swimming, videogames, Ate a lot of candy, drawing, fought with my brother a lot.

Artists have a tendency to be crazy. Are you crazy? What really crazy things do you do?

I am not crazy. In fact, I am pretty well grounded in reality. I haven't had an apartment for almost three years. Not really crazy but perhaps a bit unusual.

I have always found the titles of your paintings to be poetic. Beyond your painting, do you see yourself ever branching out into other areas- music, film, writing?

You can't serve two masters. I have come to terms with my area of focus being visual art. My newest title is "The Graceful Ghost In the Chandelier Has Sexy To Spare And a Body That's Shear".

You are a big fan of music. What music should we be listening to?

Lately, I have been listening to Panda Bear, Handsome Furs, Hold Steady, Bright Black Morning Light, Peter, Bjorn and John, Jens Leckman...

I enjoy hearing what products people use. What shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, other grooming products do you prefer?

I like the moves Old Spice has made into the new millennium. That old shit was no indication of the way my armpits would be smelling in 2007.

When I lived with you, you would often complain about "summer balls." Has this summer been difficult for your balls?
Fuck yeah. Summer is always a bad time for bat wings!

Anything you want to ask me?
Have you ever had a toothache?

Yes, in fact my boyfriend has been having lots of toothaches and we have been treating them with "Oral Analgesic Paste."

Geoffrey's work can currently be seen at The Evanston Art Center's “Obsessive Explosive," at 2603 Sheridan in Evanston, IL through Sun 7/8. His work will also be at Western Exhibitions, 1821 W Hubbard, Suite 202, Chicago, IL in September.