Posts tagged “movie

Gary Kalkin

As a young actor, trying to make it in Hollywood, I had the great fortune to become acquainted with producer Laurence Mark and his one-time partner Gary Kalkin. They’d been together for years, however, at the point I met them, they had split, but remained the best of friends. They still lived together in a beautiful home where I enjoyed some special dinner parties with guests you might know the names of…

Gary was the senior vice president of domestic marketing for Buena Vista Pictures (Disney.) As such, he oversaw the creation of the marketing campaigns for “Aladdin,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Pretty Woman” and “The Lion King.” I’m not sure why Gary took such a liking to me, but he put me on the Disney sneak preview list, inviting me to every screening of every movie they released during his tenure. As a starving actor, it was a wonderful gift to receive. I can still vividly recall the magical movie premiere for the animated “Beauty and the Beast,” at the then-newly restored El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, preceded by an elaborate stage show.

One of the best nights of my life–EVER–happened in February 1993 and also involved Gary. I have been a fan of Stephen Sondheim for as long as I can remember, so when I heard they were doing a one-night-only, 20th anniversary original cast reunion performance of “Company” at the Long Beach Terrace Theater, I immediately bought two tickets. My good friend at the time, Cheryl Dolins, was also a Sondheim fan, and we couldn’t wait to go.

Gary called shortly after we’d bought the tickets, and invited me to the Disney Golden Globes after-party; I was crushed at the conflict. He said to stop by afterward, if we could, and at least say hello.

Cheryl and I loved the performance of “Company,” and–completely exhilarated–we rushed back to LA for the after-party. Walking up the red carpet at the Beverly Hilton, there were a few photographers straggling about, trying to figure out if we were “someone” and, to us, we felt as if we were.

When we got to the check-in desk, the woman helping us apologized, saying the party was just about over, but if we wanted to go in for a quick drink, we could. Dejected to have gotten there so late, we still went it, looking about for Gary. Imagine our shock, walking in, to find that there were only about 12 people in the entire ballroom. But aside from Gary, those people included Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Al Pacino, and Rodney Dangerfield. Cheryl and I were completely beside ourselves, hovering with the others around the few platters of food left, acting as if hanging out with this particular crowd was an everyday occurrence.

Two years later, Gary would be dead of AIDS. He’ll never know just what a remarkable impact his simple generosity had on me. He was directly responsible for some of my best “life moments.” In a town not known for kind acts without the expectation of something in return, Gary’s sweet gift of access to film to this young actor provided me with endless opportunities to soak up the movie business, for which I’m eternally grateful. I missed him then, and I miss him now. RIP, handsome Gary.

My thanks to Stuart at The AIDS Memorial on Instagram for my daily remembrances of the countless souls lost to AIDS. They are emotional to read, but I try to reach each and every one, despite the tears they bring.

Gary Kalkin


The Award-Winning LGBT Book Missing Becomes the Indie Movie He Is Gone

Greg_LoisHaving 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…)