Monday, March 25, 2019

Shawn Cotter Talks Boston's Wicked Queer Film Festival (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Shawn Cotter the new Executive Director of Wicked Queer Boston's LGBT Film Festival that’s celebrating its 35th year bringing the latest in queer cinema from across the globe and runs from March 28th to April 7th. There are over 169 features and shorts participating in this year’s film festival with 7 premieres, 2 world premieres and 5 U.S. premieres. Opening night on Thursday March 28th will feature Ellen Smit's lighthearted Dutch romance “Just Friends” at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts at 7:30P followed by an opening night party at Beat Brew Hall in Harvard Square. With this being the 50th anniversary of Stonewall there will also be a special emphasis on our LGBTQ history addressing those who made it and looking forward to our future with Wicked Queer Throwbacks revisiting some of the classics of queer cinema. There will also be an abundance of lesbian and transgender feature and short films. The closing night film will be “The Heiresses” (Las Herederas) on Saturday April 6th at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA at 7P co-presented by Boston Latino International Film Festival, LatinX Pride and The Theatre Offensive with an after-party at Serafina in Downtown Boston. We talked to Shawn about the importance of the Wicked Queer Film Festival in the current political climate and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked how he sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in this Trump administration Cotter stated, “I feel like our history and our identities are being slowly erased and eroded. We fought so long for different rights, marriage equality, LGBT people in the military, trying to get workers rights, all of those kind of things are slowly being eroded by our government. So I feel like what is on us is to take back to the community, the local community and build support and grow and get strong because we have a fight ahead of us. You know nothing is easily won or easily gained. We still have a bit to go…”

Since coming on board to the film festival in 2011 Shawn has had many roles in the operations of Wicked Queer. He started as a location manager and then served as Operations Manager and Director of Programming before taking his most recent position as Executive Director. Cotter is also an experimental handmade filmmaker whose Super 8mm films have shown internationally. Wicked Queer runs from March 28th to April 7th with screenings at the Museum of Fine Arts, The Brattle Theatre and The Paramount Theater at Emerson College.
For Info & Tix: wickedqueer.org


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Billie Lee Talks Vanderpump Rules & LGBTQ Activism (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Billie Lee featured on Bravo TV’s hit series “Vanderpump Rules” and the newest official face of the luxury hair care company Regenix Hair. Born and raised in Indiana Billie moved to California where she began her journey as a stylist working with many both in and outside of the entertainment industry. After finding success as a stylist Billie wanted to move on and create a place where people could find peace in their daily lives among the hectic city. She soon opened an organic cafe which she owned and operated for two years before she sold it in order to move forward in her LGBTQ activism. Since activism as we all know doesn’t pay very well she knew she needed to seek employment and it was then that she was introduced to Lisa Vanderpump who hired her as a hostess at her famed West Hollywood restaurant SUR. Billie Lee now together with Regenix has launched the “Billie Lee Bundle”, Billie's favorite damage control products and they're giving a portion of the proceeds to benefit Equality California. They'll be releasing a campaign later this year entitled "Beauty Has No Gender." We talked to Billie about her fabulous career from transgender role model to her gig on “Vanderpump Rules” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what she hopes to accomplish with her work Billie Lee stated, “ My work as an activist, I think it’s really important to be visible. So I think I’m doing my job by working at a restaurant on TV. At the same time personally I need to make money but as an activist I think it’s really important for trans people to be visible and also show people in America, the viewers that trans people are worthy of jobs and I feel like I’m doing that. I’m on the board of Equality California and I really try to speak for my community, be there for my community and be visible.”

After Billie Lee was first introduced by Tinder as their new “transgender” app feature she has been a spokesperson and model for our LGBTQ community. Currently she is on the board of Equality California and Trans Life LA, a non-profit which helps bring health and wellness to the trans community in the area. Besides appearing on “Vanderpump Rules” Billie Lee continues to work in the trans community to create content that aims to educate about trans issues and on her new campaign with Regenix Hair. 
For More Info: itsmebillielee.com


Monday, March 4, 2019

Caitlin Kinnunen Talks “The Prom” On Broadway & More (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with actress Caitlin Kinnunen, the lead in the current hit musical “The Prom” on Broadway. “The Prom” is about Emma (Kinnunen) a small-town girl who just wants to bring her girlfriend to the prom. When she makes national headlines news because the PTA cancels the event rather than allow this to happen four Broadway stars whose theatrical production closed on opening night decide that this could be the break they need to get a little publicity for themselves so they decide to go to the small town in Indiana to save the day. “The Prom” was written by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin with a score by Beguelin and Matthew Sklar and features Tony winner Beth Leavel, Brooks Ashmanskas, Christopher Sieber and Angie Schworer. You may remember that Caitlin made LGBTQ history last November when she performed a scene from “The Prom” at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and she kissed her co-star during the live performance. As a fierce ally we asked Caitlin about how she got involved in this groundbreaking role and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked what she hopes to accomplish with her work Kinnunen stated, “I feel very lucky and fortunate that I’ve been part of pieces that really have a voice. I’ve gotten to do shows like “Spring Awakening” and “Next To Normal” and now this show “The Prom” and I’m really happy with that and I love being able to do theatre pieces that say something. I love being able to use my voice to open up conversations and really talk to people about their experiences. So I hope to continue to do work like that whether it is films, TV, plays, musicals, what have you. I think acting is such a great vehicle and conversation starter that people can see things that they normally wouldn’t see and can put up discussions that you normally wouldn’t have. I just hope to continue to do that.”

Caitlin Kinnunen was born and raised in Washington State. She moved to New York when she was 16 to make her Broadway debut in “Spring Awakening”. She later appeared on Broadway in “The Bridges of Madison County” and on the first national tour of “Next to Normal”. Kinnunen has also appeared in numerous film and television projects including “The Intern”, “It's Kind of a Funny Story”, “Sweet Little Lies”, “Younger”, “American Vandal”, “The Knic” and Law & Order: SVU.
For The Prom Info & Tix: theprommusical.com
For More Caitlin Info: caitlinkinnunen.com