Having read and enjoyed the LGBT novel Missing, by Drake Braxton, which I found to be a fun and unique romance/mystery, I wasn’t surprised when the book went on to win several awards, including Best Gay Fiction for the New England Book Festival. Now, two years later, I’ve learned not only that the book is getting the feature film treatment (as He Is Gone), but that my dear friend Gregory G. Allen has written the screenplay. I had the pleasure of speaking with him and director/producer Lois Munoz Merka to learn more about the project and its journey from page to screen.
Kergan Edwards-Stout: Thanks for joining me! I’m very excited to see how you’ve taken this from book to movie…
Lois Munoz Merka: Thanks for sharing the project with your readers.
Edwards-Stout: For those who haven’t yet read the book, tell us a little about it.
Gregory G. Allen: The simple answer is that a gay couple goes from Boston to Alabama for a high school reunion and when one turns around — the other is gone. He Is Gone becomes a pulsating ride to unravel the mystery of his disappearance.
Edwards-Stout: Funny enough, when I reviewed the book, I called it ‘a challenging, sexy, and worthwhile ride’! (more…)
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Glenn Gaylord – Director of “I Do,” “Eating Out 3,” & Screenwriter of “Leave It On the Floor”
Throughout my life, I’ve met a great many people. Some stay, some go, some are remarkable, some not… But one of the constants has been the unforgettable Glenn Gaylord, who I first met over 20 years ago when we both volunteered at AIDS Project Los Angeles. He has charisma and wit to spare, and takes on each task, whether educating people about HIV or directing an actor in a laborious sex scene, with unbridled enthusiasm.
Glenn is a noted director, having helmed the new indie hit I Do, which is receiving accolades and awards at gay film festivals around the world, as well as the gay cult fave Eating Out 3: All You Can Eat. Prior to I Do, Glenn wrote the screenplay and lyrics for the musical film Leave It On the Floor, which also received great acclaim, and is newly out on DVD.
Recently, Glenn took a break from his busy schedule to share with me more about his films, his life, and his views on the gay community.
Glenn, thanks for taking the time to chat! First of all, congratulations on your new film, I Do, which I’m hearing great things about. What can you tell us about it?
I Do is an intense romantic drama about a gay English man in New York who, despite wanting to stay to help raise his niece, faces an expired visa. He marries his lesbian best friend, Ali, played by Jamie-Lynn Sigler of The Sopranos fame, but things get complicated fast when he meets and falls for a sexy Spaniard. The film touches upon some very profound issues of our time, the Defense of Marriage Act, and how even though gay people can get married in certain states in this country, immigration is a federal right. So even if a gay person legally marries someone, it doesn’t grant citizenship because of DOMA. All told, despite its hot button topicality, this is the very human story about a man who has to decide who’s life he’s living. (more…)
Terrence McNally’s play Corpus Christi has been captivating audiences and drawing detractors ever since its debut, 14 years ago. By resetting the familiar tale of the life of Jesus in the town of his youth, Corpus Christi, Texas, McNally created a work which meditates on the life, love, and passion of Christ, but in a modern and relatable way.
I first met actor James Brandon, who for six years has been playing the character of Jesus (renamed Joshua in the play), when he and Nic Arzen, the play’s director, met with my pastor and I about the possibility of bringing their show to Church of the Foothills, our progressive church in the middle of conservative Orange County, California.
In addition to touring, the play has been the inspiration for a documentary as well, Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption, which is showing at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre on Sunday April 29, with performances of the play itself occurring over that weekend.
James took time to speak with me about his life, love, faith, and his experience of playing a “Gay Jesus.”
Kergan Edwards-Stout: I’ll never forget, walking up to unlock the sanctuary on the day of your first performance at our church, and finding a can on the front steps, labeled “Spray Away the Gay”–which turns out to be remarkably like Glade air freshener. Who knew it was so easy, right?–Or that you’d even want to?!? But you and your entire team deal with things like that all the time.
James Brandon: I just recently found a picture of you holding that can! But, yes, we deal with that all the time. There is no choice except to embrace one’s inner happiness. Some people think, just like that spray, it’s as easy as just saying “I’m not gay anymore” and being gay simply disappears. I always say that it’s as easy as wiping the color of your skin off your face.
Edwards-Stout: We also had a bomb threat. How, as actors, do you calm yourselves and be fully present, with all that tumult? Because the play doesn’t work if you aren’t… (more…)