Monday, September 26, 2016

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Annual Summit

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Selisse Berry, Founder and CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates about Out & Equal’s Workplace Summit that takes place in Orlando, Florida from October 4th to 7th at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Out & Equal is the world’s largest non-profit dedicated to achieving LGBT workplace equality and works with Fortune 1,000 companies and government agencies around the world to provide a safe, welcoming and supportive environment for LGBT employees. This three day global conference will feature hundreds of educational opportunities including workshops, expert panels, networking mixers and plenaries with keynotes from prominent LGBT and ally leaders. More than 3,500 LGBT employees, executives, CEOs, celebrities, politicians, advocates, activists and allies are scheduled to attend including Abby Wambach, former US Women’s Soccer Team Captain; Lance Bass, Pop-star / Dancer / Actor / Producer; The Pointer Sisters, Pop Group; Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer; George Kalogridis, President of Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts; Diana Nyad. record-breaking athlete; Margot Slattery, President of Sodexo; Sarah Saldana, Director of US ICE and many more. We talked to Selisse about this fabulous event and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Berry stated, “Well absolutely we’re committed to passing the Equality Act. We are supporting the work that’s happening around legislation that supports our community and I’m very excited about having the first woman president of the US and feel like our options are clear for the future of LGBT equality, that Hillary Clinton has been a supporter of our community, will continue to support our community and so I am looking forward to her tenure as president and having the Equality Act passed because so much of our work has been going company by company because there’s no federal law to protect us. We still live in this interesting time in history where we can be married on Saturday and then in 22 states in the country we still can be fired on Monday for putting our wedding picture on our desk because there are no federal laws to protect us. So I’m looking forward to federal protections in the United States and also looking forward to continuing this work globally so everyone around the world can be out and equal.”

Selisse Berry founded Out & Equal Workplace Advocates 20 years ago in 1996. Since then Selisse has built the Global LGBT Workplace Equality movement by creating a network of multi-national companies and federal agencies to work toward LGBT education, empowerment and visibility. In the past 20 years her work has impacted more than 40 million people in over 50 countries and she has brought the promise of equality to Fortune 1,000 companies and US government agencies. Selisse has been awarded with honors from universities, corporations, media institutions and legislators around the world. Selisse is the editor of Out & Equal at Work and the namesake of the San Francisco Business Times Selisse Berry Legacy Leadership Award. In 2015 she opened Out & Equal’s first East Coast office in Washington DC where she lives with her wife Cynthia.
For More Info: outandequal.org



Monday, September 19, 2016

Producer Sue Maslin New Movie “The Dressmaker”

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Australian producer Sue Maslin about her new feature film “The Dressmaker” directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and stars Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Snook, Judy Davis and Caroline Goodall. “The Dressmaker” set in the 1950’s is about a glamorous worldly dressmaker who returns to her small Australian hometown to seek the truth behind the scandal that banished her as a young woman. This dark and quirky comedy stars Oscar winner Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage who cares for her eccentric mother played by Judy Davis and schemes with the local cross dressing sergeant (Hugo Weaving) who becomes something of a buffer between Tilly and the town’s people who haven’t forgotten the tragedy they believe Tilly caused as a child that tore the town apart and led to her exile. As she starts to unravel her scandalous past, she transforms the town’s women with her exquisite creations. Armed with only her sewing machine and haute couture style Tilly shows she is a force to be reckoned with and that revenge never goes out of style. “The Dressmaker” opens in theaters September 23rd. We talked to Sue about her inspiration for producing this film and her spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights and what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in her native country of Australia Maslin stated, “Well, I’m gay and I love seeing movies where you have kind of complex interesting female and male characters that are not just stereotypes. They’re that kind of movies that I like and the great thing about “The Dressmaker” is that it plays on a camp sensibility. So we have the gorgeous Hugo Weaving who plays Sergeant Farrat and he knows how to handle those fabrics and he does it with such humor as well. So I guess that sensibility of subversion comes from my perspective I guess of being a lesbian and engaging in popular culture. You like to put a twist in it when you get an opportunity.

 (In Australia) I would like to see everyone LGBT have the choice on how they want to live their lives and choices that they want to make to be actually legally recognized in our country. It’s insane that we’re one of the only English speaking western democracies that has not gone down the path of marriage equality and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. This is happening when it’s the vast majority of Australians are going Hey what’s the big issue here? Let’s get it happening but we have some politicians that are still so resistant to making those legislative changes. So we’re stuck in this weird strange limbo.”

Sue Maslin is one of Australia's leading screen producers. She has a 35-year track record of producing award-winning feature and documentary films. She was the inaugural recipient of the Jill Robb Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement and Service to the Victorian Screen Industry and is currently Adjunct Professor of the School of Media & Communication, RMIT University; Patron of Women in Film and Television Victoria; and President of the Natalie Miller Fellowship, an organization dedicated to increasing women's participation in creative and business leadership of the Australian screen industry. “The Dressmaker” opens nationwide September 23rd.
For More Info….

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Nick Verreos New Book “A Passion For Fashion”

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Nick Verreos celebrity fashion designer and former Project Runway contestant about his new book “A Passion for Fashion: Achieving Your Fashion Dreams One Thread at a Time” that he co-authored with his business partner David Paul addressing how to break into the fashion industry and more. Behind every fashion label flawless magazine cover and perfectly produced runway show there are thousands of people working behind the scenes in entry level jobs and unpaid internships each one hoping for their own big break. Making a mark in the fashion industry can be a daunting and overwhelming prospect. During their careers Verreos and Paul have created a number of successful fashion ventures. They co-founded NIKOLAKI in 2001 which was sold in over 150 stores and featured in WWD, Lucky, US Weekly and People Magazine. They then launched the signature label, NV Nick Verreos in 2003 that currently appears on EVINE Live, QVC UK and Italy and TSC Canada. In their new book published by Post Hill Press Nick and David have created a must-read for aspiring fashionistas to guide them step by step on how to prepare for or launch their fashion careers. We talked to Nick about the inspiration for his book and his spin on our LGBT issues.

With the school year beginning and LGBTQ teens continuing to face overwhelming bullying incidents, when asked what advise he has for these kids Nick stated, “We need to continue to let our LGBTQ teens know that they are not alone and there is a support system; wonderful non-profits such as Trevor Project do wonderful work. It pains me when I see them in pain meeting teenagers at the events that I do especially kids that are interested in going into the fashion industry. I try not to play favorites when I’m doing meet & greets but when I see one of my own and they’re so cautious thinking how I’m going to react to them because they’re wearing make-up or heels and they begin to cry and I just pull them aside and I give them a 10 or 15 minute it will get better, I love you, I’m here for you, look at me it’s okay, you know it will pass, I understand. I got bullied when I was in high school. I remember the football guys in my high school calling me the f-word as I walked by with my Hermes scarf and Gucci loafers and yes I would go home and cry but I would just draw and revert to my own little world of fashion and reading Vogue. That was my way of coping and it did get better. I went to college. I met other people who were gay and it was okay. Years later I was on Project Runway. I remember going to my high school reunion and several of those guys who called me names came up to me and all of sudden wanted to be my best friend and apologized for some of the things they has said. I try to tell those teens that it does get better. I know it’s hard to hear when you’re in that moment of being bullied. Surround yourself with a support system. I think that’s really important and look for somebody that can guide you to a better path and be positive about it.”

Nick Verreos received worldwide attention after appearing on the television show Project Runway and later became the winning mentor on Under the Gunn. Since then he has dressed celebrities including Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Heidi Klum, Carrie Underwood and Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin under his label NIKOLAKI. He has also enjoyed impressive success with his NV Nick Verreos sportswear line on major TV shopping networks in the U.S. and Europe.
For More Info: nvnickverreos.com

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Bruce Vilanch Hosts “One Night Only Benefit Cabaret”

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Bruce Vilanch about hosting One Night Only Benefit Cabaret for the Richmond/Ermet AID Foundation on Monday Sept 12th at Marines’ Memorial Theater in San Francisco. Philanthropy and stellar entertainment take center stage as REAF presents a special one-night-only benefit cabaret with the Broadway Touring Cast of “Beautiful”(The Carole King Musical) in “Motown & More, An Evening of Music, Dance & Comedy” hosted by Bruce with Countess Katya Smirnoff-Skyy. Songs from “Beautiful” will not be performed. As we have been reporting, for over twenty years the Richmond / Ermet Aid Foundation has raised millions of dollars by producing Broadway quality entertainment events and galas to advance HIV treatments and support AIDS services until there is a cure. Recently REAF has expanded its fundraising focus to the Bay Area’s growing demand for two new areas by providing food for the needy and programs that support homeless, disadvantaged and disenfranchised youth. We talked to Bruce about this fabulous organization and his spin on our LGBT issues.

With the upcoming presidential election just months away, when asked what he would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Vilanch stated, “Well a lot depends on what happens in this election clearly. I mean if the Nazis actually win and I call them Nazis because they would like us to be eliminated. Read the Republican Party Platform, the reptilian party, as I call it, platform, you’ll see that they would like us to just shrivel up and die. They would like to enable us in that effort and I think if they win then we’re going to see a period of regression and of people feeling their oats so they can attempt to beat us into the ground. If the democrats win and Hillary is in charge I think we’re going to see a continued path towards complete civil rights. That means no rollback on marriage equality, which is what the republicans would like. We’ll see it extended and obviously the most important thing about this election is the next president will choose a bunch of Supreme Court Justices who will issue to the ultimate ruling on all things that affect our lives. So I think at the moment we have the coin in our hands and as a nation we’re going to toss it in November and we’ll see what happens. So I’m hoping it comes down on the girl side.”

Bruce Vilanch is one of the most sought-after jokesmiths in the entertainment industry. He began contributing to Academy Awards telecasts in 1989 collaborating with the likes of Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and David Letterman and graduated to head writer in 2000. Since then Vilanch has become a recognizable face in his own right thanks to the feature-length documentary "Get Bruce” and his one-time stint as a regular on "Hollywood Squares" for which he also served as head writer. One Night Only Benefit Cabaret is produced by the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation, founded by the late Barbara Richmond and Peggy Ermet in memory of their sons John Richmond and Doug Ermet who both lost their lives to AIDS. To date REAF has raised well over $3 million dollars for AIDS services and beginning in 2015 expanded to support hunger programs and programs for homeless and underserved youth.
For Info & Tix: reaf-sf.org