Monday, April 6, 2020

Filmmaker Nicole Conn Talks Stunning New Film (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with filmmaker Nicole Conn about her new award-winning must-see feature film “More Beautiful For Having Been Broken” that will be released in partnership with Vision Films and Wolfe Video beginning April 7th. “More Beautiful For Having Been Broken” is a story about a distraught FBI agent suspended from her job and struggling with the death of her mother who escapes to the small mountain town she use to visit as a child. She is befriended by a special needs boy who possesses the extraordinary gift of healing others through his unbroken spirit and unique outlook on life. The film stars Australian actress, Zoë Ventoura (Home and Away, Packed to the Rafters), Kayla Radomski of “So You Think You Can Dance” fame and an amazing performance by 11-year-old Cale Ferrin who was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia a rare genetic disease often marked by congenital defects and short stature. Joining the stellar cast are Bruce Davison (Star Trek / X-Men), French Stewart (3rd Rock from the Sun), Brooke Elliott (Drop Dead Diva), Harley Jane Kozak (Parenthood), Gaby Christian (South of Nowhere), Kay Lenz, Wally Kurth and Gabrielle Baba-Conn (Conn’s real-life daughter) who is making her feature debut. “More Beautiful For Having Been Broken" is very personal to Conn as it pays homage to Conn’s daughter and in particular to her son Nicholas who has special needs and is medically fragile. We talked to Nicole about what she hopes to accomplish with this film and how she and her family are adjusting to these challenging times.

Iconic filmmaker Nicole Conn paved the way for lesbian themed cinema with her cult classic “Claire of the Moon” and also for her acclaimed features “Elena Undone” which boasts the longest screen kiss in cinema history and “A Perfect Ending”. Nicole understands the need for using her talent to change hearts and minds and hopes that “More Beautiful For Having Been Broken” will deliver a much needed message about our special needs community as well as our LGBTQ community and provide encouragement and healing in these difficult times.
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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Sarah F. Pearlman Talks New Lesbian Novella & More (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Sarah F. Pearlman about “Where There Are Mountains” her new novella that’s a perfect escape while hunkering down during the current pandemic. The novella brings to life the early Neolithic life about seven thousand years ago. This was a time of great migrations as numerous tribes left the cold and hunger of their northern homeland to travel a path south as they struggled past tribes that lived near the mountain passes of Mount Olympus. The novella focuses on the Matrilineal tribes that worshiped a female divinity. These tribes were peaceful, wanting only a place where there was food and warmth but others on the path were warrior people. These tribes came to conquer and enslave bringing their male gods and creating the beginning of patriarchal conquests. “Where There Are Mountains” is narrated by three women. The first woman tells her adventures traveling the path south through the mountain passes of what would become Greece. The second is her daughter who is captured by a war tribe. The third is a woman from a female-centered tribe perhaps the precursors of Amazons living in woodlands near the mountain passes. “Where There Are Mountains” is a story of captivity, resilience and escape. It was a time of violence but also love. Love of a mother for her daughter. Love between women of different tribes. We talked to Pearlman about her inspiration for writing “Where There Are Mountains” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

Sarah F. Pearlman is a teacher, writer, occasional poet and lesbian-feminist activist, nationally recognized for her pioneering role in establishing a lesbian psychology. She was an editor and author of articles in Lesbian Psychologies: Exploration and Challenges, the first anthology exclusively on lesbianism and psychology that focused on identity, relationship and community issues that was published in 1987 by University of Illinois Press. Sarah completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Antioch New England Graduate School at age fifty-six and was employed at the University of Hartford. She is the author of “Mother-Talk: Conversations with Mothers of Lesbian Daughters and “FTM Transgender Children” (2012) and “The Lesbian Erotic: Bad Girl Persona and Other Poems” (2013). Pearlman has traveled extensively throughout Greece and Turkey which was the inspiration of “Where There Are Mountains” where she sought out goddess temple complexes, sacred caves and Neolithic villages confirming a world that existed long before our era of patriarchal domination. “Where There Are Mountains” is available on Amazon. (Artwork by Greg Spalenko)
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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Imani Rupert-Gordon Talks NCLR & LGBTQ Equality (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Imani Rupert-Gordon the new Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) about her aspirations leading this important LGBTQ organization which is known for tackling the most pressing issues of race, gender and economic inequality facing our LGBTQ community. Founded in 1977 NCLR is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights for LGBTQ people and their families through litigation, legislation, policy and public education. NCLR is a non-profit public interest law firm that litigates precedent-setting cases at the trial and appellate court levels; advocates for equitable public policies affecting our LGBTQ community; provides free legal assistance to LGBTQ people and their legal advocates and conducts community education on LGBTQ issues. NCLR serves more than 5,000 LGBTQ people and their families throughout the United States each year including LGBTQ parents, seniors, immigrants, athletes and youth. Currently NCLR is suing the State of South Carolina over an anti-LGBTQ Curriculum law around sex education. They are also very proud that their Born Perfect campaign to end Conversion Therapy which had a huge victory in Virginia last week becoming the first Southern state to do so. Earlier this month, along with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Meyer Stephenson, NCLR won a landmark medical care lawsuit on behalf of a transgender employee. We talked to Imani about what she hopes to accomplish as the new Executive Director of NCLR and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

Imani Rupert-Gordon holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Masters degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. For over a decade Imani has worked to advance social justice efforts in higher education and local communities. Previously she served as the Executive Director of Affinity Community Services, the nation’s oldest social justice organization serving the needs of Black LGBTQ people with a particular focus on Black women. From December 2013 until January 2016 Imani was the Director of the Broadway Youth Center (BYC), part of Howard Brown Health in Chicago overseeing the expansion of services at BYC and improving relationships with the community and local government. Imani Rupert-Gordon stated, “I am humbled to build on the legacy of the NCLR leaders like Donna Hitchens and Kate Kendell who have been such fantastic stewards of this mission of this organization. I am proud to be a part of the fantastic work being led by leaders like Shannon Minter who is translating that mission into a groundbreaking legal, policy and public education agenda. We have the privilege and opportunity to fundamentally shift the direction of the LGBTQ movement to once again include more of us and to protect all of us.”
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Friday, February 28, 2020

Filmmaker Astrid Ovalles Talks “Road of Bygones” (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with filmmaker Astrid Ovalles about her new film “Road of Bygones” that’s set to be released on Amazon March 15th. “Road of Bygones” is written and directed by Ovalles and stars Sarah J. Lucey, Oriana Oppice and Astrid herself. The dark comedy tells the story of three women who embark on a road trip to retrieve the ashes of a parent hoping to find overdue closure. However at their destination the women are confronted with a series of comedic and emotional events that threaten to destroy all harmony between them. The film also explores the theme of D&S (Dominance and Submission) that's usually displayed with misconceptions and ignorance. Actually Ovalles masterfully goes where no other filmmakers have gone before effectively breaking the stigma associated with lesbian D&S relationships. Above all "Road of Bygones" is an intimate story about humanity that leaves audiences thinking about the film long after they've viewed it. The Amazon announcement comes on the heels of the success that “Road of Bygones” enjoyed traveling the film festival circuit with notable stops at the Big Apple Film Festival and New York Cinematography Awards (NYCA) where it won “Best LGBT Film.” We talked to Astrid about her inspiration for creating “Road of Bygones”, what she hopes to accomplish with her work and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

 Astrid Ovalles is a Venezuelan-born actor, writer and director who debuted her talent in the award-winning and globally acclaimed short film "Camp Belvidere." As the driving force behind Recluse Films her own independent film company her goal is to use heart and innovation in the film medium to share powerful human stories that benefit our LGBTQ community and minorities by bringing them to the forefront of her work. Astrid continues to collaborate with filmmakers in front of the camera as an actor and behind it as a writer, director, editor and colorist. Beyond shaking things up in her industry Ovalles is changing the game as well as challenging the status quo for not just women but lesbians and Latinas. Having broken many stereotypes Astrid definitely epitomizes the definition of doing it on your own terms and succeeding at it by bringing a unique passion to her craft. As a talented actress, writer and filmmaker Astrid is a new breed of filmmaker to keep an eye on. Astrid Ovalles lives in New York City with her wife.
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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Mariah Hanson Talks The Dinah Palm Springs Turning 30 (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 30th anniversary and takes place April 1st through April 5th in Palm Springs, California. Since 1990 The Dinah has welcomed millions of lesbian identifying queer women from around the world who make the annual pilgrimage to attend this infamous 5-day event to celebrate, unite, empower and live OutLoud at the largest global all-girl music festival. The festivities include high profile performances by nationally renowned recording artists, massive pool parties with world famed DJs, go-go dancers, red carpet events with celebrity guests, dance parties, meet and greets with your favorite celesbians and so much more. This year performing live at The Dinah will be singer/songwriter Layton Greene, Ally Brooke, Saweetie, Umi, Lion Baby and Yung Baby Take. Also new this year will be two nights of comedy showcases that include Dana Goldberg, Dinah Leffart, Gina Yashere on Thursday night and gay icon John Waters who is creating a special Saturday night show just for the occasion stating, “As a proud ‘lezbro’ who’s never been scared of women smarter than me, I’m happy to be the comic relief in a sea of partying ‘all-girl’ music festival fans. Thanks to The Dinah I will finally be a true outsider!” Additional confirmed performers include SWSH, Sophia Messa, Jozzy, Madison Paige with more TBA. Hosting the events will be Kaycee Clark, Rose Garcia and Mikalah Gordon. DJ’s spinning at The Dinah dance parties are Angie Vee, Val G, Alex D, Tatiana, Miss M, China G, Less Ortiz, Zehno and Reesie Cups. We talked to Mariah about what she hopes to accomplish at this year’s 30th celebration of Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend 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. For many, The Dinah has become an annual tradition between friends; for others it is a bucket-list goal or a pilgrimage to our very own mecca that every queer woman should make at least once in her life. OUTTAKE VOICES has been a proud Media Sponsor of The Dinah for the last five years.
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Monday, February 3, 2020

Brian Edward Talks New Play “Quentin Crisp’s Last Word” (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with actor Brian Edward about starring in the world premiere of the new play “Quentin Crisp’s Last Word” directed by Spence Whale at the Hamburg Studio of Pittsburgh’s City Theatre at 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA from February 6th through 16th. Quentin Crisp first rose to global notoriety with the publication of his 1968 autobiography “The Naked Civil Servant” detailing his years in London as a nude model and a flagrantly unapologetic homosexual during a time when it was forbidden by law. The book was adapted into a film starring John Hurt in 1975. Crisp then moved to NYC at age 72 living as a resident alien during the 1980s becoming a champion of outsider artists including the likes of Sting and Andy Warhol. He was frequently sought after for late night talk show appearances and empowered audiences with his one-man show expounding his forthright views on current affairs, social manners and personal style. Shortly before his death in 1999 Crisp dictated his final autobiography to author and colleague Phillip Ward. Ward who is also the executor of Quentin Crisp’s estate published the autobiography “The Last Word: An Autobiography” in 2017. (Listen to Ward’s Interview) Brian contacted Ward and out of their conversations the script collaboration developed and Brian was selected to portray Quentin Crisp in this stage premiere. We talked to Brian about what he hopes to accomplish with the theatrical production of “Quentin Crisp’s Last Word” and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.

Brian Edward is a performing and literary artist, director, playwright and an avid scholar of art and film. He is the author of several produced plays including the nationally acclaimed touring musical Amish Burlesque and has been a featured guest lecturer for the Berkshire Playwrights Festival. He has served as host and emcee for numerous charitable and cultural events including the American Institute of Architecture Design Awards and is the host of ‘Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh’s arts and culture talk magazine. Currently Brian hopes to take “Quentin Crisp’s Last Word” on tour after the Pittsburgh engagement that runs February 6th through 16th at the Hamburg Studio of Pittsburgh’s City Theatre.
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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Actor Yuval David Talks LGBTQ Equality & More (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with actor/filmmaker Yuval David about his advocacy work dedicating his time to serving various causes and organizations including The Trevor Project, GLAAD, The Kennedy Center, Stand With Us, The Jewish National Fund, A Wider Bridge, The National LGBTQ Task Force and more. Recently he led various workshops and panels at The National LGBTQ Task Force's Creating Change Conference in Dallas. Yuval stated, “Since my youth I always understood the importance of making this world a better place and helping others. I’ve brought this element into my own work as an actor, host and filmmaker in addition to my efforts in advocacy. I understand how important it is for me and for everyone to use their voices and actions to create change for the greater good. Being at the Creating Change Conference brings me together with so many others who have that same understanding.” As an acclaimed Israeli-American actor, host and filmmaker Yuval understands the larger social ecosystem of the world and how it benefits from the work and the uniquely powerful voice of an artist such as himself and is committed each day to creating work that entertains, inspires and uplifts those around him and around the world. He is especially concerned about the global anti-Semitism crisis which he addresses as a first generation Jewish American whose grandparents were survivors of The Holocaust. We talked to Yuval about what he hopes to accomplish with his work and his spin on our LGBTQ issues.

Yuval David’s acting credits include “Madam Secretary” ABC’s popular primetime series, “What Would You Do” as well as countless feature and short films and web series. Yuval effortlessly oscillates between roles, changing personas, seamlessly shifting accents and going from loveable lead to malicious miscreant on a dime, making him one of the busiest working actors in film, TV, theatre and voice overs today. He also creates content about environmental and societal issues, creatively exploring the documentary format and how to have social impact through an artistic film format. He can be seen next on HBO’s TV mini-series, “The Plot Against America,” with Winona Ryder and John Turturro. (Photo Credit: Leslie Hassler)

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Monica Roberts Talks Dallas Creating Change Conference (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with trans activist Monica Roberts who is being honored at the 32nd Creating Change Conference presented by the National LGBTQ Task Force that takes place at the Sheraton Dallas in Dallas, Texas January 15th through January 19th, 2020. Roberts is a longtime award-winning human rights advocate. She has been advocating for the human rights of transgender people for over 20 years with a focus on the issues affecting Black trans people and will be receiving the Susan J. Hyde Award for Longevity in the Movement sponsored by Wild Geese Foundation. This year special focus will address issues facing trans women of color, the work being done to address anti-trans violence and systemic discrimination and moving the movement forward in our work for freedom, justice and liberation. The theme of this year’s Creating Change Conference is “Love, Learning & Liberation” and Rea Carey Task Force Executive Director and Kierra Johnson Deputy Executive Director will host the annual State of the Movement plenary. Though our LGBTQ community and families continue to be under attack by the current administration we know our community is strong, resilient, creative and determined. Since 1988 Creating Change has created networking opportunities and inspiration for thousands of committed people to develop and hone their activist skills. The Creating Change Conference is the foremost political leadership and skills-building conference for the LGBTQ social justice movement. Over 4,000 people from all over the country will attend this five-day program that features over 300 workshops, training sessions, meetings and events. We talked to Monica about what she hopes to accomplish at this year’s Creating Change Conference and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

Monica Roberts a native of Houston, Texas is the founding editor of the award-winning TransGriot blog. Her writing has appeared at, the Advocate, Black Girl Dangerous and in the 'Unapologetically Trans' monthly column in Houston's OutSmart magazine. Some of the honors that Monica has received are the GLAAD Media Award, the Robert Coles Call of Service Award from Harvard University's Phillips Brooks House Association, the Virginia Prince Transgender Pioneer Award, the Barbara Jordan Breaking Barriers Award from the Harris County Democratic Party, the IFGE Trinity Award and named to the 2019 OUT100. The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. They are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives.
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