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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Sarah Shoffner Talks BGMC Holiday Concert Series (AUDIO)


 





In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Sarah Shoffner the new Executive Director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) about their upcoming holiday concert series entitled “Joyful & Triumphant & Gay.” Founded in 1982 this fabulous 200+ voice ensemble is presenting their first live holiday concert since 2019. Performances under BGMC Music Director Reuben Reynolds are December 4th at 3P at Mechanics Hall in Worcester and evening performances December 9th, 16th, 17th and 18 at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, MA. The title of the show is a tribute to Dean X. Johnson the accompanist and assistant director of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus (NYCGMC) who died of AIDS in 1998 at age 42. Johnson composed “Joyful and Triumphant!” with fellow NYCGMC member Jeff Baron at the height of the AIDS crisis in 1992. “Joyful & Triumphant & Gay” opens with the traditional French carol “Sing We Now of Christmas” and features classics like Bruckner’s “Ave Maria” and “Locus iste” alongside modern holiday fare that includes Cyndi Lauper’s “Christmas Conga”, “A Place Called Home” from “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” and Kylie Minogue’s “Christmas Isn’t Christmas ’Til You Get Here.” The concert will also feature two pieces by American composer Jacob J. Narverud including “Sisi Ni Moja” which means we are one in Swahili and a performance of the powerful “Ukrainian Bell Carol” as a reminder of the horrible human costs of war and our capacity for joy despite them. The chorus will also debut a new suite by BGMC Principal Accompanist and Assistant Music Director Chad Weirick which draws on classic carols and Christmas music to reflect his experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. We talked to Sarah about what she hopes to accomplish with BGMC and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Sarah Shoffner joined BGMC as Executive Director in September 2022. Sarah’s expertise is in developing strategies and programs to help arts and other nonprofit organizations achieve their operational and artistic goals. Shoffner most recently served as Boston Ballet’s Benefactors’ Circle Development Officer. Previously she served as BGMC’s Engagement Manager for six years where she modernized the organization’s development systems including ticketing processes and launched the Ovation Society, BGMC’s donor loyalty program. In addition to the leadership roles Shoffner has held in nonprofit arts organizations Sarah holds a Master of Science in Arts Administration from Boston University and two degrees from the University of South Florida in Business Management and Dance Studies. BGMC’s fabulous holiday show “Joyful & Triumphant & Gay” celebrates the season with traditional favorites, modern classics and just lots of gay camp fun. For More Info & Tix…


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Kimberly Peirce Talks “Boys Don’t Cry” Reframed On TCM (AUDIO)


 





In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with filmmaker Kimberly Peirce about her award-winning film “Boys Don’t Cry” that’s featured on the second season of Turner Classic Movies series “Reframed” on November 26th at 10:15P. “Reframed” addresses famous/classic films that may have been controversial when they were released due to their themes like homophobia, misogyny, racism etc. The series that airs throughout November is also taking a look at pioneering LGBTQ films from an historical perspective. Each film is shown along with a discussion from film experts about these issues. Peirce will be co-hosting the show with Ben Mankiewicz who will engage in a conversation about how this 1999 breakthrough film raised awareness to the lives of our transgender community and the discrimination they faced that unfortunately continues today. “Boys Don't Cry” was directed by Kimberly and co-written by Peirce and Andy Bienen. The film is a dramatization of the real-life story of Brandon Teena played by actress Hilary Swank who won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance. The story is about a trans man who attempts to find love in Nebraska but falls victim to a brutal hate crime perpetrated by two male acquaintances. The film co-stars Chloë Sevigny who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress as Teena's girlfriend Lana Tisdel. The conversation concludes with Mankiewicz and Peirce on Sunday November 27th at 10P when they present the 2005 LGBTQ award winning film “Brokeback Mountain”. We talked to Kimberly about what she hopes to accomplish with her work and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Kimberly Peirce received a BA from the University of Chicago and an MFA from Columbia University Graduate Film. She also graduated from Sundance Institute's Writing, Directing & Producing Labs. Her unflinching debut feature “Boys Don’t Cry” earned numerous honors and was inducted into the Library of Congress as a National Treasure in 2020. Her second feature “Stop-Loss” was released by Paramount Pictures in 2008. In 2013 she directed a remake of the horror film “Carrie”. Kimberly is a Governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and a National Board member of the Directors Guild of America. Recently she co-founded the first ever DGA LGBTQ+ Committee to expand the rights, representation and protections of LGBTQ+ people at the DGA and the industry. For More Info…


 
 
 
 


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Erin McHugh Talks New Obsession In "Pickleball Is Life" (AUDIO)


 





In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with author Erin McHugh about her new must-read book “Pickleball Is Life: The Complete Guide to Feeding Your Obsession” just in time for the holiday season. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. It’s easy to learn but impossible to master making it the sports craze that’s sweeping the nation. Nearly 5 million people nationwide have picked up their paddles and taken to the court. In her new book McHugh highlights the rules and the fun of the game in a fabulous user-friendly handbook published by HarperCollins and illustrated by Jackie Besteman. “Pickleball Is Life” is the first book of its kind celebrating the wild and wonderful world of pickleball taking the readers on a journey from the sport’s quirky origins to its modern-day cult following. Erin shares a vast pickleball history and knowledge including etiquette tips, a DIY court, obscure rules and pointers for good-natured trash talk. Along the way with its visual graphs and illustrations you’ll be inspired to get on board to the current trend that has embraced everyone of all ages and attracted a huge celebrity following. Erin also includes interviews with members of the three founding families from Bainbridge Island, Washington who are still very much involved in the sport and its growth. People of all athletic abilities and backgrounds have fallen in love with pickleball but it’s also an excellent way to exercise, interact and socialize with others something we’re all craving now more than ever. We talked to Erin about her inspiration for writing her new book and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Erin McHugh is the author of 30 books of humor, inspiration, trivia, children’s, history and LGBTQ topics. A former publishing industry executive she has worked for various publishers and was Executive Vice President and Creative Partner at Franklin Spier the publishing advertising agency. McHugh also has enjoyed a second career as a Barnes & Noble bookseller in New York City, a judge in Barnes & Noble’s national Discover Great New Writers program and the moderator of a popular local book group. A devoted pickleballer Erin was recently featured on a CBS Saturday Morning segment about the sport. “Pickleball Is Life: The Complete Guide to Feeding Your Obsession” shares the passion behind this global sport sensation. For More Info…

Friday, October 28, 2022

Cathy Renna Talks LGBTQ Midterm Election Agenda (AUDIO)


 





In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Cathy Renna Communications Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force about joining forces with Equality Florida and Equality Texas to fight anti-LGBTQ extremism ahead of midterms including a new election animated ad campaign. The ads are adapted from an innovative campaign developed by Wide Angle Research inviting voters to fight extremism and fight for our freedoms. Equality Florida is targeting Governor DeSantis for his repeated attacks against our LGBTQ community, especially highlighting his signing of the vicious "Don't Say Gay" legislation and his repeated attempts to censor school curriculums and ban books. Equality Texas is focusing their efforts on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for his anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and promises to defend the Supreme Court with any law criminalizing sodomy enacted by the Legislature. The ads are in English markets and also target Latino audiences with Spanish subtitles. These ads raise awareness around the increasingly aggressive attacks on our LGBTQ community and communities of color including legislation that bans hundreds of books and censors curriculum covering slavery or mentioning LGBTQ people. As extreme politicians strip away freedoms by banning abortions even in cases of rape and incest they’re also working to criminalize and charge parents with child abuse simply for supporting their transgender child. Renna also talked about the National LGBTQ Task Force “Queer The Vote” campaign that builds grassroot efforts in key battleground states to inform voters of the crucial issues they’re facing in the midterm elections as well as driving LGBTQ people and allies to the polls. We talked to Cathy about what she hopes to accomplish with these campaigns and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Cathy Renna has been part of the Task Force’s extended family for decades. Renna is a veteran in the communications industry and serves as the Principal of Target Cue and LGBTQ focused communications consultancy. Cathy has played a role in shaping nearly all major issues affecting the LGBTQ community from the beating death of Matthew Shepard in 1998 to the fight for marriage equality and the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to the increasing visibility of trans and non-binary people. She also worked with the team that coordinated historic coverage for the 50th anniversary of Stonewall in 2019 with NYC Pride. Renna lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her wife Karen and is the proud Mom of Mars who attends HSPVA High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas. For More Info… 


Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Cheryl Osimo Talks 25th MBCC Party For Prevention (AUDIO)


 








In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Cheryl Osimo, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition about the 25th anniversary of their premier fundraising event the Lesbians and Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention that takes place in person at Club Café in Boston on October 22nd from 6P to 9:30P and virtually via Zoom. This year they’re honoring the event’s founder Attorney Susan Wilson. Osimo stated, "Susan is a true humanitarian, scholar, visionary and friend to MBCC and all of those who have been touched by breast cancer. I don’t know of anyone who excels beyond Susan in the spirit of service and leadership – she is truly a remarkable person." Funds raised from the Party for Prevention help support MBCC’s education programs designed to provide our communities with vital health information on ways to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals in the products they use and in the environments in which they live, learn and work. MBCC is the only breast cancer non-profit working closely with a research and sister organization Silent Spring Institute to investigate preventable environmental causes of the disease. This work is funded through annual fundraising events like the upcoming Lesbians and Friends LGBTQ Dance Party For Prevention. The in-person Dance will be held at Boston’s best LGBTQ venue Club Café with DJ Andrea spinning and there will also be a dance lesson from OUT to Dance’s founder and director Liz Nania. We talked to Cheryl about what she hopes to accomplish with her work at MBCC and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Cheryl Osimo is a fierce LGBTQ ally and devoted breast cancer activist and advocate since 1991 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41. She has been a catalyst in raising public awareness of the possible environmental links to breast cancer. Her commitment to breast cancer prevention and awareness benefits women worldwide. Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is the leading breast cancer organization dedicated to preventing the environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy and changes to public policy. Tickets for the in-person Club Café 21 years or older event are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Student tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door for 21 years or older with a student ID. Tickets for the virtual event are $20 via Zoom. For More Info…

 
 
 

 

Friday, September 30, 2022

The Dinah All-Female Red Carpet Celebrities Speak OUT (AUDIO)


 









In this exclusive audio montage Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talked with The Dinah’s all-female celebrities on the Red Carpet at the legendary Black & White Ball and Hollywood Party in Palm Springs, CA. We had a blast chatting with these fabulous women about their music, what they hope to accomplish with their work and how they cope in these challenging times. 
First we talked with singer-songwriter Cassidy King who has built a reputation as a solo artist with her singles “Professional Smiler” and “Wasted”. Then we spoke to singer songwriter Riela who is the daughter of Cuban and Panamanian immigrants about performing at The Dinah. Next we spoke to entrepreneur Nik Kacy creator of footwear and accessories for all gender identities who was attending The Dinah for the 20th time. Then we chatted with Jeopardy! winner Amy Schneider about how she would like to see more federal protections for our LGBTQ community. Next we talked with content provider Breanne Williamson who is working on her first feature film after her short film "Coming Out" gained over 2 million views. Then we caught up with Rose Garcia from the Showtime hit “The Real L Word” about the importance of LGBTQ visibility. We were thrilled to talk with Taylor Dayne 80s pop icon who was headlining the Black & White Ball about her music and upcoming projects. Up next was Mariah Hanson founder and producer of the 31st Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend and her partner Maureen Vanderpool, Director of Special Education at Sonoma Valley Unified School District. Then we chatted with Canadian rapper Haviah Mighty who co-headlined the Black & White Ball. 
Next we talked with rapper Siya followed by queer pop sensation Zolita. Then we chatted with reality stars Cuppie, Haley Grable and Brianna Murphy from the hit lesbian series “Tampa Baes” currently on Amazon Prime. Next we talked with singer-songwriter IV4 who has signed with Warner Records followed by Siena Liggins who is one of Billboard’s Top Ten new LGBTQ artists of the year. Then DJ Alex D talked about spinning at The Dinah followed by the fabulous artist Melanie Posner who also appears on the hit lesbian reality series “Tampa Baes”. We concluded our coverage with singer songwriter Fletcher who headlined The Hollywood Party and just released her debut album “Girl Of My Dreams” on Capitol Records. (Photos by Marilyn Rosen) 




 
 
 
 



Thursday, September 15, 2022

Cory Silverberg Talks New Teen Sex Education Book (AUDIO)


 





In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Cory Silverberg about his new children's sex education book “You Know, Sex” that’s aimed at kids aged 10 to 14. “You Know, Sex: Bodies, Gender, Puberty And Other Things” is the first thoroughly modern sex ed book for any child navigating puberty and adolescence. Silverberg is a certified sex educator and former chair of sexuality educator certification for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists. He’s created this fabulous manual that’s presented in a comic book genre illustrated by Fiona Smyth. This 400-page comprehensive work looks at sexuality, body differences, reproduction, hormones and development with an emphasis focusing on our LGBTQ teens and also addresses power, pleasure and how to be a decent human being. This is Silverberg and Smyth’s fourth collaboration following their other publications including “The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability”, “What Makes a Baby” and “Sex is a Funny Word” all available on Seven Stories Press. In “You Know, Sex” Silverberg focuses on young people’s thoughts and experiences exploring sex. Cory also includes chapters on body autonomy, disclosure, stigma, harassment, trauma, consent, boundaries and safety as well as puberty and reproduction that includes trans, non-binary and intersex bodies experiences and more. Fiona Smyth illustrations include racially and ethnically diverse characters providing an inclusive cross-disability experience that makes “You Know, Sex” a book for every kind of young person and every kind of family especially in these challenging times when the mere discussion of sexual orientation is being banned in states across America. We talked to Cory about what he hopes to accomplish with his timely new sex education book and his spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Cory Silverberg was raised in the 1970s by a children's librarian and a sex therapist and grew up to be a sex educator, an author and queer person. Cory received a master's degree in education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Illustrator Fiona Smyth was inducted into the Doug Wright Awards' Giants of The North Canadian Cartoonist Hall of Fame alongside Alootook Ipellie in 2019. She teaches illustration and cartooning at OCAD U and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Cory and Fiona’s collaborations have been honored by ALA Stonewall Book Award and 2016 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction. For More Info…

Friday, September 2, 2022

Travis Shumake Talks Being The First Gay Drag Racer (AUDIO)


 





In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Travis Shumake, the first openly gay professional drag car racer who made his national racing debut during the Menards National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Nationals at Topeka’s Heartland Motorsports Park last month. Shumake in partnership with Visit Topeka and Pride Kansas crossed the NHRA Nationals finish line in a Pride Kansas-themed dragster to represent the state’s inaugural week-long Pride celebration that happens in Topeka September 17th to 24th. His 24-foot, 4,000-horsepower, nitromethane burning rocket also featured a modern geometric rainbow hood and matching rainbow parachutes. As a second-generation racer Travis grew up in competitive shifter-kart racing with his father Tripp Shumake who was a nationally renowned Funny Car racer who also competed in the NHRA. Last February Travis fully committed to the sport has spent the last several months finalizing his sponsorship opportunities and completing his vehicle licensing making him eligible to race at NHRA-sanctioned tracks and national events. One of those new sponsors is Grindr the gay dating app and when $8,000 of safety gear was stolen from Shumake’s pit Grindr stepped up and replaced the equipment. Shumake states that at 280 MPH he’s proud to be turning heads and raising eyebrows with Grindr as a partner and to represent our LGBTQ community in this sport that draws 30 million American drag racing fans each year. He’s also especially proud to serve as a role model for our LGBTQ youth. We talked to Travis about what he hopes to accomplish with his drag car racing career and his spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Travis Shumake was born into a family forged at the racetrack. “Tripp” Shumake was a dominant force in Funny Car in the 70s and 80s winning multiple NHRA titles. His mother Susie was a mechanic and a member of the Arizona Drag Racing Hall of Fame in her own right. Tripp and Travis kept the family tradition alive racing competitive shifter karts until Tripp’s death in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident in 1999 when Travis was just 15 years old. Travis stayed close to racing always hoping he’d find a way into the driver’s seat. Then earlier this year he declared his intentions to challenge the status quo and continue the family legacy in drag racing while bringing visibility to the LGBTQ+ racing community. As a single foster parent and longtime advocate for homeless youth Travis hopes his passion for the next generation will open new channels of corporate social responsibility and educate a new segment of sports fans to the importance of equity and inclusion. For More Info…

 
 
 



Monday, August 15, 2022

Mariah Hanson Talks The Dinah New Venue & Events (AUDIO)






In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Mariah Hanson, founder and producer of the legendary Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend that’s celebrating its 31st year and takes place September 21st through September 25th in Palm Springs, CA. The Dinah is continuing its legend with a show-stopping all-female entertainment line-up and has moved to one of Palm Springs’ most historic hotels The Margaritaville formerly The Riviera. Built in 1959 this newly renovated establishment will serve as party central infamous for its role of drawing iconic celebrities like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr. and Sonny and Cher. This glamorous venue will host The Black and White Ball in the Grand Ballroom Friday night September 23rd with 80s pop idol Taylor Dayne who is exclusively bringing her full band to put on a rare and unique show for Dinah goers. Also headlining the Friday night event will be Haviah Mighty who just won a Juno for “Best Canadian Album of the Year” and is now on her way to take the U.S. by storm. Then on Saturday night Fletcher one of the most electrifying queer artists to burst onto the scene is taking centerstage at The Hollywood Party also in the fabulous Grand Ballroom. Of course it wouldn’t be The Dinah without the next level of epic pool parties. The weekend pool parties will be highlighted with exclusive live performances by four exciting emerging queer artists Zolita, IV4, Cassidy King and Siena Liggins who are making themselves role models as visible members of our LGBTQ community. DJs spinning throughout The Dinah this year will include DJ Leslie Ortiz, DJ Alex D, DJ Gracy D, DJ China G and DJ Tatiana. We talked to Mariah about what she hopes to accomplish with The Dinah this year and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Mariah Hanson has continuously utilized The Dinah as a platform to mobilize our LGBTQ community around humanitarian projects and social issues. An exemplary community leader she has single-handedly revolutionized her industry, overturned tradition and raised the bar on female achievement with an event that is entirely produced by women for women. OUTTAKE MEDIA has been a proud Media Sponsor of The Dinah for the last six years and we’ll be attending all the festivities this year. Note: In compliance with the City of Palm Springs COVID safety protocol, all attendees, entertainers and staff are required to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test result or proof of full vaccinations to attend the festival.  For More Info & Tix…