Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Marriage Activists Discuss LGBT Equality (AUDIO)

In the first installment of our exclusive two part audio montage series Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with LGBT lawyers, activists and allies at the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) Prelude Party at Sage Lounge in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It was an intimate celebration with GLAD Board members and leaders who worked tirelessly to achieve equality for our LGBT community including Mary Bonauto GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director. Bonauto represented April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse of Michigan on April 28th before the U.S. Supreme Court which resulted in the United States becoming the 20th country in the world where gay and lesbian couples can legally marry nationally.
First we talked with Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLAD about the Supreme Court victory and all of the progress GLAD has accomplished for our LGBT community. Janson also discussed the Equality Act, a comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination bill that was recently introduced in Congress. Then we chatted with Chuck Latovich who has worked with GLAD for decades about what he would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years. Next we talked to Molly Girton who previously worked for GLAD as Accounting Manager about how excited she is to see where GLAD goes from here. Molly hopes that we become a more inclusive LGBT community in the future representing more people of color and our transgender community. Then we spoke with Gabby Hanna and her wife Marcy Feller who is also a Board Member of GLAD. Gabby and Marcy are fierce supporters of GLAD and sponsors of the GLAD Summer Party in Provincetown. Both women would like to see more advancements for women, lesbians and trans people in the next few years and hope that our community realizes that there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve full equality. Next we talked with Maralyn Wheeler and Amy Charamba who actually married in 2004 when GLAD won the groundbreaking Goodridge case making Massachusetts the first state in the U.S. where gay and lesbian couples could legally marry.
Then we chatted with Jennifer Levi, GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project Director about her work and hopes to achieve transgender rights at the same level as our LGB community. Next we talked with GLAD Board Member Beck Bailey who is also the Deputy Director of Employee Engagement at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s “Workplace Equality Program.” Beck talked about some of GLAD’s important cases including their current lawsuit Jacqueline Cote, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. which is the first class action filed on behalf of gay workers since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges and alleges that Walmart violated the federal Civil Rights Act by discriminating against Jaqueline Cote based on her sex. Then we had the honor to chat with Mary Bonauto GLAD’s Civil Rights Project Director who is the architect of marriage equality in this country by first winning the Goodridge case in 2004 and recently argued and proved before the U.S. Supreme Court that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. Mary is currently working to ensure that LGBT youth, LGBT seniors and our transgender community receive all the freedoms and opportunities that other people have. Next we chatted with GLAD Board Member Jo Davis, MSW who works as a senior vocational counselor at the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission in Roxbury and will be celebrating her 10th anniversary with GLAD in 2016. Jo tells us she was always interested in social justice especially for our LGBT community. Then we talked to GLAD Board member Alix Ritchie who is an independent media strategy consultant and a longtime supporter of numerous arts, feminist, political and LGBT organizations. Alix is concerned about the way our LGBT community is challenged by rightwing religious groups and believes that you do not settle for what should not be settled for. We concluded with past GLAD Board President Rick McCarthy who believes we should enjoy where we are now and is excited to see where our LGBT community goes from here.

Next week in the second installment of our two part series we talk with the legendary marriage activist Edie Windsor, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, comedian Kate Clinton and Gary Buseck GLAD’s Executive Director among others at the GLAD Summer Party in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
(Photos by Marilyn Rosen)
For More Info: glad.org 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Jason Stuart Actor, Comedian & LGBT Activist Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Jason Stuart one of the most prolific character actors and an outrageous openly gay stand-up comedian. Jason Stuart has been in over 175 films and TV shows and has performed in major LGBT events, the Montreal Comedy Festival, Broadway, Comedy Clubs and to 100,000 people at the Millennium March in Washington D.C. Currently Jason's in TANGERINE the breakout hit from this year's Sundance Film Festival which was shot entirely on an iPhone 5S from filmmaker Sean Baker. Jason also just completed a dramatic supporting role as the plantation owner in Nat Turner’s biopic BIRTH OF A NATION from filmmaker Nate Parker who stars in the film along with Armie Hammer. Recently as the National Co-Chair of the Screen Actors Guild-AFTRA LGBT Committee, Jason presented the first ever Transgender Actor Panel at OUTFEST with Alexandra Billings (TRANSPARENT) Mya Taylor (TANGERINE) and D'Lo (SENSE 8). We talked to Jason about his fabulous career and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what he would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Stuart stated, “The next issue we’re going to jump on is housing and job discrimination. I remember when I was working for HRC fifteen years ago I was doing a lot of comedy shows for their dinners and I remember people were being quite upset when gay marriage was brought up because they didn’t like the idea; marriage equality had not really been discussed. People thought that was such a big thing and that people would never go for it. Well it took over fifteen years for marriage equality to happen and they weren’t really focused on job discrimination and housing and now those are the next two issues that I’m part of. But what I’m really part of in my own life is trying to do things from where I stand. Eight or nine years ago I became the National Co-Chair of the Screen Actors Guild- AFTRA LGBT Committee and I created that committee with Duncan Crabtree-Ireland who’s the Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel at Screen Actors Guild-AFTRA and my idea is to create more opportunity for LGBT actors and it’s happening, slowly but surely. It’s not the idea of roles whether gay or straight parts for the person being an openly gay actor, comedian, singer journalist, stunt person, extra, it’s the idea of them being out and being accepted for who they are and being able to compete for jobs the same way out straight counterparts do and that’s something I’m very much part of.”

Jason Stuart has appeared in TV shows including Sleepy Hollow, Real Rob, The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, House, Entourage, The Closer, Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Everybody Hates Chris, George Lopez, My Wife & Kids, Charmed and Will & Grace. In film he’s been featured in Gia (w/Angelina Jolie), A Day Without A Mexican, Coffee Date, Vegas Vacation and Kindergarten Cop. Recently he’s appearing in James Franco’s Holy Land and Ira Sach’s Love Is Strange opposite Marisa Tomei, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina. On the comedy scene his new stand up comedy CD I'M THE DADDY AND I HAVE CANDY was just released on CD Baby & iTunes and he’ll be touring with his new show in the fall I'M ONLY GAY ON THE WEEKENDS. Jason will also be appearing in the comedic parody, HUSH UP SWEET CHARLOTTE? premiering in San Francisco at the historic CASTRO THEATRE on October 28th. Jason plays the role of British Journalist Mr Wills in this hilarious remake starring Varla Jean Merman, Matthew Martin, Mink Stole and David Millbern (Also the Producer). Written and Directed by filmmaker Billy Clift. View his award winning web-series, MENTOR which marked his directorial debut now available on his website.
For More Info: jasonstuart.com

Monday, July 13, 2015

Jen Foster New Music Project The White Room Sessions

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with singer/songwriter Jen Foster about launching her Pledge Music Campaign to support her new ambitious double record project entitled “The White Room Sessions.” Over the last 5 years Jen has been making regular trips to Los Angeles to record music with her dear friend producer Rich Jacques. It all began at a little studio called the “White Room” in Hollywood and on her initial trip in the spring of 2009 they recorded a group of 4 original songs. This group of songs included “Venice Beach” and “I Didn’t Just Kiss Her” which quickly became two of Jen’s most popular songs ever. In addition they recorded some cover songs like Journey’s “Faithfully” and while these covers will not be on the double record, they will be released digitally as part of the Pledge Music campaign. By pre-ordering the new double-album pledgers will gain access to exclusive merchandise, memorabilia and events. We talked to Jen about “The White Room Sessions” and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Foster stated, “I think clearly the ruling on gay marriage last month was epic and in the sense of that now there’s this undeniable momentum and I think we’re going to see the dominos fall faster than ever before. But now having said that we definitely need more explicit protections and federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. For example just the other day the House of Representatives shot down an amendment that would require school districts for receiving federal funding specifically to adopt conduct to prohibit bullying and including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We know that LGBT students are subjected to all kinds of discrimination and we also know that this leads to higher rates of dropping out and health problems and academic issues. Of course sometimes even suicide.”

Jen Foster’s songwriting endeavors have led to collaborations with Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive) and hit-maker Jeffrey Steele, among many others. Her touring history is as impressive as any you will find by an independent artist. She has not only played the largest Pride Festivals in the country (Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, St. Louis and Nashville) but she has also shared stages with Melissa Etheridge, Brandi Carlisle, Edwin McCain and Rachel Yamagata and on extended tours with The Samples, K’s Choice, Michelle Malone, Antigone Rising and Patrice Pike. Additionally, Foster serves on the Board of Directors for the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International. However creating music has always been instinctive for Foster and she feels a constant pull to craft songs that serve a larger purpose. In “The White Room Sessions” she has poured her entire heart and soul into the creation of these songs and the process of producing and arranging them with Rich Jacques at the helm has been a highlight of her life, both creatively and personally. The Pledge Music Campaign runs until early August 2015.
For More Info: pledgemusic.com

Monday, July 6, 2015

Larry Kramer, Filmmakers, LGBT Equality & More (AUDIO)

In the conclusion of our exclusive two part audio montage series Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with celebrities, activists and filmmakers at the 17th annual Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) press luncheon. First we talked to straight ally and PIFF 2015 Filmmaker on the Edge Award recipient Bobcat Goldthwait about directing his new documentary “Call Me Lucky” which tells the story of Barry Crimmins, the beer-swilling, politically outspoken comic whose efforts in the 70’s and 80’s fostered the talents of the next generation of standup comedians. However beneath Crimmins’ gruff, hard-drinking, curmudgeonly persona lay an undercurrent of rage stemming from his long-suppressed and horrific abuse as a child. His emotional journey eventually found its way out of the comedy clubs and television shows and into the political arena. We also talked to Bobcat about his spin on the future of LGBT equality. Then we talked to Kim Yaged about her short animated film “Coming Full Circle” a comedy about selling sex and selling out. Her heroine Jyl’s feminist politics are challenged when she meets Elizabeth the hottest stripper around. Jyl must choose between losing the love of her life and losing herself. We talked to Kim about her film and what she would like to see happen for LGBT civil rights in the next few years.
Next we talked to the legendary activist and playwright Larry Kramer who is the center of director Jean Carlomusto’s must-see documentary “Larry Kramer In Love And Anger” currently available on HBO. This intimate portrait of author, activist and playwright Kramer is one of the best documentaries addressing the struggle of gay men in this country spanning over 40 years from Fire Island in the 70’s to achieving marriage equality. Kramer, the pioneering co-founder of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP talks about how his play “The Normal Heart” eventually found its audience and his frustration with the current AIDS national research policies. When asked what he would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Kramer talks about how he would like to see our LGBT community more united with a better and more forceful presence in Washington to lobby for our rights like everyone else does. Kramer also talks about his new book “The American People, Volume 1” in which he rewrites the story of our country, passionately focusing on its homophobia and anti-Semitism in this historical novel.

Then we chat with filmmaker Bao Nguyen about his documentary “Live From New York” about the last 40 years of Saturday Night Live that has been keenly observing American culture. This dynamic behind-the-scenes film reveals a living time capsule with remarkable interviews of many of the hosts and legendary cast members of this TV comedy giant. Bao Nguyen also shared with us his next project that addresses marriage equality in his native country of Vietnam, which has become more progressive than many western nations. We concluded with fierce LGBT ally actress Jennifer Coolidge recipient of the PIFF 2015 Faith Hubley Career Achievement Award. Jennifer talks about how honored she is to receive this award and shares with us how much fun she had working with Jane Lynch in “Best In Show”. Coolidge is currently starring in The Nora Theatre Company production of Marisa Smith’s “Saving Kitty” at the Central Square Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts for a limited engagement from July 9th through August 2nd.

The Provincetown Film Society (PFS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to provide a welcoming, nurturing and inspiring environment for creative exploration in film. Through its Festival, Cinema and Institute, the Society endeavors to give year-round support to new and established independent filmmakers and to connect them with global audiences. Listen To PIFF Press Lunch Part #1
For Info: ptownfilmfest.org