John Stallings…America’s Next Top MALE Model!!!

John Stallings. He jumps from planes. He just returned from modeling for four months in China and previously shot campaigns for Pepsi, Ipod and has worked with Valentino. He was also on 14 episodes of the reality show The Janis Dickinson Modeling Agency and in the film Eating Out 3! He just recently started his own fashion line KOKO LIAR. He admits he eats way too much macaroni and cheese and cheeseburgers…and for this we love him! Because below all the muscles and amazing cheekbones…he’s a really amazing guy and quite frankly…the next BIG thing!

1. Tell us a bit about John C. Stallings… the model, the person, the friend?
To be honest, I’m a quiet person in the beginning, assessing situations and completely observant, but can let loose like no other. I care deeply about those that I love in my life and would love to have the power to take all the negative away from them if I could. I am a dancer, you know in my underwear, in the kitchen, on the streets, at the club and love music. I think living by my motto, “Keep On Keeping On – LIFE IS A RUNWAY” you have to have a daily theme song to keep you going – today it is “Make It Mine” by Jason Mraz. As a professional model I’m very comfortable in front of the camera. I treat this as a passion, so I show up on time with an positive attitude that wants others to keep booking me! I get the job done and then have a drink! I believe in rewarding yourself, everyone should reward themselves when you do a great job!

2. Where are you originally from? And how has your up bringing help you in the competitive world of fashion and modeling?
I am originally from North Carolina. Born in Raleigh and then lived in a small town until 6 years old when I moved out to Sandy, Utah. My parents have always taught respect and love towards yourself and others around you and that helps in this competitive world of fashion and modeling because there are so many times you can lose yourself in the business. The criticisms you get and the many rejections can really tear someone a part, but I stay strong and have hope and that’s what keeps me going. I cannot forget where I began and am constantly are thinking of those that have helped shaped me as a person and model and a lot of it comes from the way I was raised. Thanks Mom & Dad!

3. What is you’re favorite thing about living in Vegas/LA?
Vegas is a city that never sleeps – many exciting things always happen around every corner. It’s a city that is great for commercial work, plus $1.49 breakfast. I can get pretty much anything and everything I desire, but to me, it’s only fun for a weekend and if you do it “right” you can really create those long lasting memories here. LA is just 4 hours away, so I’m used to the drive alone, blasting music with my Starbucks and windows down. LA is the stereotypical “dream” people would love to pursue, and there are some that make it and some that don’t, but with beaches a half hour away, canyons to hike in and beautiful scenery whenever there isn’t smog, it can be a wonderful city to enjoy and make a home in. I’m still in the process of that move right now!

4. What’s the thing that you love the most about modeling? Is this what got you started or did you fall in love with this part once you were in modeling?
The traveling is the best part about modeling for me. I knew you had those opportunities before I got into modeling and I’ve been blessed with the ability to put everything down and take a flight somewhere I never thought I would go and be able to work at the same time. I never thought living out of your suitcase or being thrown in a model apartment with 10 other models (male/female) would ever be that exciting as I like to have my own space, but it’s taught me to relax and enjoy life. I’d like to think I’m fluent in reading Korean now, I speak a little Japanese, Italian, Chinese and Spanish too.

5. How old were you when you started modeling? Was it hard for you to get into it? And How long have you been in the industry for?
I was scouted in a High School event when I was 18 years old, but I also wanted to complete my college degree, so full-time modeling came after I graduated in NYC. It’s always very exciting, it’s a job that you have to stay on top of. Staying physically fit, learning more about each country’s way of running the business and testing with photographers as your look can constantly change. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in the industry for over 6 years, but I still feel that there are more years to put into this; male models can last much longer than our female counterparts.

6. This far in your modeling career, what is something you’ve done you wouldn’t want to do again? Or can not wait to do it again?
Jumping out of an airplane! If that opportunity came around again I would not be too keen to accept again. When you’re plummeting towards the Earth at 120mph and they tell your stomach will stop turning in 20 seconds, well they’re wrong! There are plenty of non-glamourous aspects that come along with this industry. The climates from freezing cold and wearing swimwear to Mongolian overcoats in the heat of Summer, but you stick to it and find fun in whatever you’re doing. You have to watch out for the dark-side of this industry, the casting couches that are present but never talked about (ways to get ahead that put you in awkward and uncomfortable positions) but those are your choices you make and deal with constantly. I love doing runway shows as “…Life Is A Runway” for me – it’s the best being able to step forward.


7. Give us a behind the scenes for a photo shoot? Runway show? Casting? And what goes on after the show/shoot/casting is over?

You arrive, introduce yourself to anyone and everyone (it’s important to recognize you’re all in it together!), typically there is a little wait time, jump into hair and make-up while watching the stylist steam the clothes out, the photographer is still tweaking the lighting while their assistant is running around with extra film in their hands, you’re chatting it up with the hair/make-up team on what they’ve been up to and what’s next for them, then more wait time. It all depends on the team. If they have all worked together before, it can run really smoothly and everyone is on the same page, otherwise you get a bit of chaos and try not to take it all to heart. The photographer may want you to move your own way, which is my favorite, or they’ll show you some kind of story board of what direction they are going for and you emulate the concept. The client (designer or advertising exec., etc.) is there usually positioned in the back so they can watch and put in their two cents in whenever possible to get exactly what they want.
# That’s a typical photoshoot and runway show together, but runway there is no photographer on “set” as there are many photographers waiting in the photography pit just outside at the edge of the runway and there’s much more wait time. Plus, at a runway show, more chaos. The designer(s) is/are running around being pre-interviewed or making sure first looks are perfect, whatever you’re intended to wear in the beginning can be changed two minutes prior to walking out, seams popping, and things being pinned. When those pins poke you in your skin, you’ll be surprised at how fast a model can walk…ouch! Shoes not fitting and amusing bitch fights from other models that feel competition towards each other, but I chose to stay focused. The casting director will tell you about the choreography (if there is any) and you’ll rehearse that before the press, celebrities and other guests arrive to sit in their seats. Then the music hits and you line up in the order they need you in and you WALK! It’s like 15 minutes of the best time of your life, like riding a roller coaster and once you’re done, you want to get right back on it and do it again!
# As for castings, well that’s the longest wait time of all. You’re usually in a building or room with a shitload of other models signing in and getting a number that corresponds to where you signed in. You wait, and wait, and wait and oh you wait. Then, depending on the job their booking for, let’s just say a typical NY modeling casting, you’ll walk in with a casting director sitting behind a table with their assistant(s) staring at you and you hand them your portfolio. MODELS, PLEASE TALK TO THESE PEOPLE, they are the ones that have the most influence on hiring you for the job. So, you make conversation while they flip oh-so-fast through your portfolio barely looking at it anyway and if they are interested, they’ll snap a polaroid of you standing next to a white wall. Gone are the days of the amazing polaroid camera, so they’ll take “digitals” of you. Sometimes that’s all they need. Other times they’ll ask you to take your shirt off and even down to your underwear. Some casting directors love to have that power to tell a model to strip, because we do it without hesitation, hmmm. If you don’t get a polaroid taken, more times than none you aren’t right for the job and they’ll tell you “Thank You” with a pseudo grin and have the next model come in as you leave. Time is money, so once you’re in the casting room, it goes quickly, so MAKE IT COUNT!
Once you’ve completed your job or runway show, there is usually a sigh of relief, some champagne is popped and everyone begins to pack up with big smiles on their faces. Sometimes you’re invited to any after-party or dinner party that the client may have, but if there is silence once your through, then just wave and get out of there…you did your job, so get out! ha

8. Who are some big names you’ve worked for and with?
My first big job in NYC while going to school was for Pepsi. It was a blast and I nailed it. More well-known clients I’ve had the pleasure of working for over the years are Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, Marc Jacobs, Puma, iPod, Evisu Jeans and many amazing fashion magazines, oh and Jason Scarlotti from 2(x)ist, I must mention him as he has a wonderful line.

9. You just recently got back from China… What is one of the things you learn while out there? In modeling, living, culture?
That when you are booked for a catalog job, they ask you to “open your ass and smell a little bitch” – oh shit, wait, what? Oh, they meant, “Open our eyes and smile a little bit” – the language barrier was difficult, but also hilarious as you can read. It’s a country where a lot of brands are manufactured and copied and has great shopping, but this culture has a consistent mindset that it’s hard for them to think outside the box. They work very hard for little money and survive the best way they know how. I’m a high fashion guy, very edgy and crazy and sometimes they just want the mature looking man for a suit, so I may not travel back anytime soon, but those are the risks you take and the experiences that shape you to gain more knowledge of being a better model for your future.

10. So tell us a bit about Guangzhou, China: What the town is like, the people, the food, the culture?
Well, Guangzhou is a city that promotes some of the best food options, but I didn’t get to experience much of that. To give them a little benefit they are preparing for the Asian Games this year in December, so there was constant construction, trash, dirt, noise, people squatting in the road and exposed baby butt cracks. In their culture they let their babies relieve themselves wherever and whenever possible and sometimes you just don’t want to see that. Also a piss and shit smell permeates the city most of the time you walk outside. ha The mosquitos must have felt that I was their personal bloodbank as well, jesus the mosquitos.
# I always befriend employees at a local Starbucks (my home away from home) and they were the ones that kept a smile on their face each and everyday which I appreciated, since they only receive like $1.47/hour. Just like any country you visit, there are great and not so great adventures you have. You have to make it happen as an individual and not let the hardships get to you so easily – stay positive and positive will find its way back to you.

11. As an openly gay person, how difficult was it to be in Guangzhou, China? Did people treat you differently?
I AM an openly gay person, but I also don’t wear it on my sleeve and make it an issue. Unless I’m sleeping with you, it’s none of your business. If you ask, I tell, but that doesn’t shape who someone is whatsoever. I asked some of the locals what their country’s views are on homosexuality and the response was that even though its ok to be gay, no one talks about it. I didn’t visit any gay establishments, because there were none that you knew of. I guess it’s still underground there. Time will tell of any further progression.

12. What’s one of the things you’ll miss the most about China?
The country itself has many beautiful places to visit – Shanghai has The Bund and beautiful architecture and Beijing has the Great Wall. I would say I miss being one of the tallest people as on average 5’8″ is the norm, but also the inexpensive shopping that you can do there. I don’t like to barter on prices, but that’s what they do out there, so I miss not being able to walk into a retail store here in America and not get a lower price- haha. “What about $10? NO? Ok, right, I’m not in China anymore.”

13. You’re friends with one of out dear friends, Brittany Mason, who you also go to share your china experience with and we hear you two have come up with a rap about the beautiful Guangzhou, China… Could you tell us how this came about and maybe give us a sneak peak on that :-D?!
That was such a great thing that happened to the both of us. Brittany is an amazing girl with so much talent and we both kept each other positive even out of the negative experiences throughout the China contract by constantly thinking of more and more things to rap about in the city of Guangzhou. The first verse starts off by us rapping, “We were walking down the street in the dirty Guangzhou, saw a China man and he said “Hello”,” which literally happened and for some reason (I’ll be the one to take credit for starting this song) we just started singing and thinking of lyrics. Anyone that has visited and modeled in Guangzhou, China could definitely relate to this song and laugh their asses off to a size 0. It’s a hit, but we still haven’t edited it together with a beat or music video to post on YouTube. lol 🙂 We have a whole choreographed dance move that goes along with the chorus too – by the way Brittany and I are still looking for back-up dancers, how do you two look in leotards. You can view the complete lyrics on my facebook page and perhaps one day a YouTube link as well.

14. Going to China and back, we’re sure you’ve seen lots of incredible places around the world! What do you think is the sexiest place to live in? sexiest club you’ve been to? And model you’ve worked with?
I think the sexiest place to live in is where there is self-confidence around, an intellect of sorts with many things to do, museums (nude bodies of art), amusements parks, bars, coffee shops, great shopping, but there are many cities that offer this and I really cannot pinpoint just one, but I had a hell of a time in Indiana. For a specific club to be sexy to me, there needs to be a vibe. One with a great DJ playing great music that gets everyone up and dancing, a great bar with great bartenders that make amazing drinks, and one where sexuality is all over the place – oh and taking jello shots off unmentionables. I think you two will have to share a club experience with me first and then we’ll see if it’s sexy or not! First round’s on me.
As for a sexy model I’ve worked with, to this date, I think Marissa Miller from Victoria’s Secret has been the one. She’s doing so well for herself now and when we did the photoshoot together, she was laying in my lap and I couldn’t touch her – photographer’s wishes, so you follow the rules. ha

15. Are you in a relationship? And has traveling for work make the relationship difficult?
I am, in fact, in a relationship now. And I love the fact that I have a private life. I’m brand new to these feelings and it is amazing because with traveling for work in so many different countries, it DOES make it very difficult to meet someone and have them understand what you’re involved in. I’ve been alone most of my life in regards to a boyfriend, but it takes someone really special to support you in your passion and following your dreams and also wanting to know all about them and their life. I truly have that special man now and it feels great. Don’t get me wrong, there are still struggles because there is still a distance we have together, but you make it work. You don’t throw in the cum towel and toss it away, you know what’s important and you do what you can with what you have until that one day you’re together again. You also have to keep the communication open, talk about everything. We are constantly on the phone or texting or using Skype (such a great service and my keys are still so sticky). We definitely make it work and we know we’re both very important to each other.

16. Is being gay and out beneficial for the modeling industry? Does it make it easier to get job or deal with jobs? Or does it make a difference at all?
No, it’s not beneficial – it comes down to the total look of the model and how well you photograph. I believe that whatever industry you’re in, it’s no ones business to know your personal business. Your sexuality doesn’t mean anything when completing a job.

17. Tell us about keeping your body in shape and in good health? What kind of work out you have, diet plan, skin care, and of course good ways to cheat on the diet?
Keeping your body in shape and in good health is crucial in this business because of the schedule you’re around. The traveling and the constant down-time you have on jobs can really take its toll on your body and mind. I like listening to music and creating a space for myself of staying calm. Destressing is key and whatever form you can find that is right for you needs to be in your daily regimen whether it be reading, meditation, working out, keeping in touch with your friends and family (too bad Facebook in China is forbidden). I like to follow the work out magazines plans of staying fit, so I’ll cut those articles out and take them with me wherever I go. When I’m at the gym I focus on a four-day split. Chest and triceps one day, shoulders and biceps another, back and triceps for the third day and legs on the last. Altogether working in abdominals each day. Then you take 3 days off. That works for me, because I don’t want to get too big. There are certain markets that don’t book guys with a chest larger than a 40R, luckily I’m a healthy 38R and I’ll keep it at that. To keep the weight on, I do enjoy protein shakes (you know, from the glass) and a daily multi-vitamin. Everyone knows to eat their daily doses of the correct proportions of fruits and vegetables, but don’t ask me what those are because honestly I’m really bad at that, but I’m learning more and more from others. I am surprised at how many different ways you can use a cucumber other than my mother’s recipes. I feel like I eat cheeseburgers and macaroni and cheese way too many times a week, but hey, I do what I want! As for skin care, I enjoy having some color through a tan, so I’ll be out in the sun with my shirt off with some SPF30. I really enjoy H2O+ skin care products which is an all natural vitamin and mineral line, so I’ll use a nightly care cream. Other than that, I’m pretty basic. Each person’s body is different and reacts differently to certain products. I’m blessed without having any allergies towards products, but I think if you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t use it on your skin. Ok, I’m hungry and now looking at my H2O+ bottle, hmmm should I drink it? Just kidding.

18. You’ve started your own line, KOKO LIAR, tell us about KOKO LIAR and what inspire you to start your own line? How did you come up its name? Were can people view and purchase your line?
I’ve always had in the back of my mind to have my own personal fragrance one day. I love smells, the sense of smell is so powerful to me as it conjures up many nostalgic memories, it can put you in a place. One day I’ll work on that but for now I started hand-knitting scarves and started a couple years ago when I was introduced to knitting by another model friend of mine when we would do 5 fashion shows a day in Las Vegas. There was a lot of downtime between shows, so I learned how to knit and it’s all uphill from there. I wanted to have a label to attach to the scarves so I began to think and that was around the time my Granddaddy had passed away. In each and every letter that he would write to me, at the end he would tell me “Keep on keeping on, john boy john.” He was a special person in my life and I wanted to carry something meaningful around with me about him, so I’ve had that phrase be the first part of “KOKO LIAR” (Keep On Keeping On) and then I added “Life Is A Runway” (LIAR) which to me, life IS a runway. Life is a show filled with music, lights, cameras, fashion and crazy chaotic moments that stir up adrenaline that keeps us wanting more. So, “KOKO LIAR” came about and that is also my motto in life. I can always be reminded when I see the acronym as it’s tattooed on my right and left wrists. Right now you can visit my website at www.johncstallings.com and purchase a hand-knit scarf from me. I use new materials now too, so it’s slightly different than what the pictures represent, but still personal and scented with my current favorite fragrance. Not my own yet, but again, one day!

19. What’s next for you? What are some projects you have in the works that you can talk about? Where should the boys of raannt and our readers expect you next?
Well…I’m gonna make the move to Los Angeles pretty soon as I’m in Las Vegas right now. I need to be more available for more opportunities and that’s what LA has to offer. I have been speaking to someone about another movie project after I did Eating Out: All You Can Eat, so be on the lookout for me on the big screen again in the near future. All I can really say about all this is “Keep On Keeping On – LIFE IS A RUNWAY”!

20. Boxers, briefs, jockstraps, or nothing at all?
I never wear boxers, never did as a kid either, too bunchy. Yes, I have worn a jockstrap before, but seriously I’m not playing sports all day and they scratch my cheeks, so I’m definitely a brief wearer or NOTHING AT ALL of course. Especially in bed – the only thing that’s on is the sound machine. Interesting you didn’t mention a thong…but that’s the dominating side of me.

Thanks buddy…
Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

Kiss My VASSY!!!

Her song “History” was featured on The Hills. This year she’ll be playing at LA Pride and Long Beach Pride as well as headlining at the Milwaukee Pride Fest. Her debut album “My Affection” was nominated for best R/B album in Australia. As well as being known for her humanitarian work, she is also known for her music being featured in several other television shows and movies including Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty. And this is just the beginning for the artist simply known as Vassy as she begins to take over the United States!

1. As a new artist, please tell us who Vassy is?
I’m an Australian girl from the Tropics of Greek heritage..

2. Is Vassy your stage name? And if so, how did you come up with it?
Its VASSY its short for VASILLIKI my name passed on from my grandmother

3. You’re from Australia. What brought you to the USA and what are some things you miss from your hometown?
I miss my mum and my fam and the beach and the food 🙂 I came here to pursue my dreams

4. Where in the USA have you not been to yet and would really want to go?
Oh my there are many place I would love to perform. I have mainly seen LA and New York and a bit of Miami …..I want to perform all over the gorgeous country

5. If you had to pick, what genre would your music would fall?
Dance/Pop/Soul/Electro (is that too many lol)

6. It is always very impressing when artists can do it all! Sing, write, perform… What are your favorite parts of each? And if we missed one, what is it and why is it your favorite?
Yes I write, sing, dance and play piano..i love all of them….when I’m in the studio I like to get lost and escape in another world where I write and just get caught up with that moment….And if I’m writing for someone else or a project like a movie then its more of a challenge to get into their head or character to write something that will fit for them. Then I love to sing, that is truly my favorite thins in the whole world. It transcends me to another level…..i become one with another energy, sounds crazy huh? I also love to be on stage and dance ..its fun and I get into character and can express myself in other ways…

7. With this new sound, how do you compare it to your first album My Affection and what are some things you consider part of your signature sound?
My Affection was more pop jazzy soul, this new sound is more dance pop soul…..its more for the clubs i guess plus my voice has changed and evolved over the years…..also I have experienced more things in my life that I write about in my songs. My Affection was when I was in love. This new sound is me pissed off and passionate about life,…lol haha i just mean having experienced a broken heart and so on, in order to get over it I put him in a song and make it “HISTORY”

8. When working on your new album, what were some of the things you struggled with? And what were some of the things you really wanted your album to stand for?
I am still in the process of working on it so naturally with time it will evolve and change…..In this project I really want to support human rights, speak of positive things even if its a song about hurt but empowering other women/girls and gay guys or all people for that matter to be strong and move one and be in control of their lives….But as a woman I want to help other women and well gay boys just love my songs so that makes me very happy inside :-)) I also speak of natural things that happen in life, trust, betrayal, desire, escape, frustrations and so on, missing loved ones, death of lovedones and just having a good time. A nice Balance of things

9. When it comes to writing songs, for you or in general, what are some things you do to prepare your self? And what are some things you must have when your songwriting?
Nothing I just show up in the studio and take it from there…im really spontaneous on that sense i dont really prepare…maybe i should?

10. When putting a show together, what are some steps you take to make sure your performance is up to your standers?
Thank goodness I have a very talented choreographer and a cast of talented hot dancers that all help to make me shine. We collaborate and come up with cool ideas from moves, to being more performance based, to visuals to how the songs are mixed…..depending on the venue and demographic I can change it up to fit the style of the crowd or energy of that club. Honestly allot of my ideas develop while I am jogging on the treadmill……

11. In the music industry, who are some of your current musical role models? And if you could, what advice would you ask them? There are many some who are known and others who arnt not as know who all have great advise and a role models. I like women like PINK, Annie Lennox, Mary J, people who are humanitarians…..I love U2 and what they have done to help the world, people like Michael Jackson for obvious reasons…..Alicia, Elton John and so on…..so many…

12. Some may say your sound is like a combination of Adele and Lady Gaga, if you had to compare you style/sound, who would it be and why?
I think its fair to say I do sound like both of them, there are elements of them….I have been told many things, I get Billie Holliday allot, Amy Winehouse, Eartha Kitt, I have even had Gil Scott Heron….lol

13. Other than your music, what are some other artistic out lets you enjoy doing?
Working out, dance, acting, voice overs……writing songs for other artists…i used to paint allot

14. A lot of artists tend to cross over onto the acting world, would you, eventually, want to do that? And if so, what kind of movies would you be interested in appearing?
Yes. I like true stories but really am open to exploring and having fun if the opportunities come my way 🙂

15. As your music and fan base grows and grows, how would you know you made it to the top?
Well i think you always set a new challenge so even if you selling millions of downloads and touring the world there is always the next thing you want to achieve, you keep setting the bar higher and higher……I will know I made it to the top once I am in power to influence change and make positive influence on the masses. I am a humanitarian at heart and really have many things I want to help, so the bigger my fan base and the more people love me and respect me as an artists will listen to me when i speak of things to increase awareness of several issues affecting many people today

16. Who are some artist you would like to work with? Perform with? Write for?
I want to write with Ferg from Black Eyed Peas, she is so gorgeous i love her. U2 i would love to work on anything with BONO he is a friggin legend.. Id like to write for Beyonce and i would like to play with Gaga…lol

17. Are you prepared for all the gossip and rumors that come with being on the spotlight?
Yes and no, i am a private person so try to keep a low profile but people will still talk no matter what….what can you do? Its just part of it I guess just stay focused and have a strong foundation and I am lucky cos I have the best family and the most beautiful mum in the world who adores me and i am blessed i have that

18. Being form the other side of the world, we can guess you’ve seen a lot of sexy places and as a performer you’ve performed at a lot of sexy venues, What do you consider the sexiest place you’ve been to and the sexiest place you’ve performed at?
Hmmmm sexy, well I would say the Sydney Opera House and one time I was touring in new Caledonia and they had a stage right on the beach so I sang with an ocean front view, it was PARADISE…..ahhhh

19. If you do make it out to INDY for some of our Pride festivities, would you give the boys of raannt a shout out and let us take you out for sexy night out in Indy?
OMG like book me a flight nooooooow and I’m there :-)))

20. On a guy, what do you like best, boxers, briefs, jockstraps, or nothing at all?
BRIEFS baby! I like to see a nice tight curved ass lol In fact I will send you a photo of a perfect example…

Thanks bunches you sexy, little tart!
Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

J’Adore Velvet D’Amour…Goddess Magnifique!!!

WE ABSOLUTELY ADORE Velvet D’Amour!!! So when she agreed to do an interview for us, describing her vision of Indianapolis as dotted with 50’s diners and delicious boys who don’t know how delicious they are, we couldn’t wait to find out more from this eloquent beauty, trendsetter, fashion icon, supermodel, photographer galore and storyteller magnifique! Her words absolutely flow endlessly like ripe pear juice down your neck making you want more of her succulent, warm words as they drip from her voluptuous lips. Yes indeed, Velvet D’Amour is a woman to be reckoned and respected, and yet, she leaves you with much more knowledge than you ever expected and still enough mystery to keep wanting more. This interview was so much more than we ever, ever hoped it would be and expected. We can only hope, as our special, delightful treat that you enjoy it as much as we did!

1. You are from the United States but now reside in Paris. Where in the United States were you born and how has where you grew up impacted you today?

I was born n raised in Rochester, NY and escaped to Manhattan as soon as possible. I was fortunate to live in a bucolic suburb where I passed my time pretending I was Pocahontas, when not dancing to HOT STUFF in my short shorts. But it is a very conservative city and I was never a very conservative gal. My parents were older when they had me, and I was the youngest of 5 kids. I would peruse their old photographs from the 40s and wonder how shoulder pads could ever have gone out of style?! I‘d watch STYLE WITH ELSA KLENCH, and I distinctly recall my Mom telling me my, “tastes would mature”, when she loved Ralph Lauren, and I LOVED Jean Paul Gaultier. My Aunts niece actually worked for Ralph and when my Mom and I would head to Clifton, NJ to visit her sisters, we got to go shopping in NYC, even visits Ralph’s headquarters, (not that that swayed me from my love of JPG and Thierry Muglar and Claude Montana). I was always drawn to the more edgy side of fashion. When I would show up at my high school after a trip to the city, everyone who was anyone was wearing preppy everything, and I would don lace or Lycra pants and floor length red satin jackets. I never rebelled through drugs or alcohol, it was always through fashion, leaving home in one outfit, only to change in the smoky girls bathroom stall upon arrival. I took college drawing classes when I was a senior in High School and had a show of my work which included contour drawings of nude models I had drawn there, and they were immediately banned by the Principal! I loved that Rochester was the town of George Eastman of Kodak, and my love of photography is certainly well placed. I managed to look older in my teens, so I would fake id my way into THE LIBERTY , Rochester’s hot gay club, my fag hag ways sealed at the tender age of 17,lol When I was at the club instead of being mocked for my individuality I was appreciated by my fellow edgy outcasts. It was 1984/85 and the AIDS epidemic was killing all my new mates, so this instilled in me a real sense of anger at the injustice that society leveled at people who were seen as different. Losing people during the glory days of my youth impacted me greatly, as the people I lost were such powerful ,magnetic individuals who seemed to live each moment with passionate abandon. I chose to honor their passing by making a pact with myself that I would revel in each moment and live with the same juicy, glorious fervor they did. And I have definitely done so! I’d say the overall feeling of Rochester, while it will always be ‘home’, was one of conservative judgment, and as such, like so many smaller town individualists, I found my way to Manhattan, Florence, London, Paris…

2. How did you come up with the stage name “Velvet D’Amour”?

I volunteered at an AIDS/HIV charity here in Paris for 10 years (before it closed due to lack of funding). One of the tasks was manning the safe sex hotline and we had to make practice calls while learning the ropes, and when I was doing this, the other volunteers deemed that my voice was well suited for phone sex work and started calling me ‘Velvet’, it stuck! The ‘d’Amour’ I added later, as Velvet wasn’t sufficiently drag queen enough for me. I came close to being ‘Crystal Palace’, as I saw a bus in London sporting that and thought, oh my what a lovely lil ditty! I christened my best mate, ‘Flying Buttress’ teehee. So if you need a drag name, come to Mamma!

3. How were you first discovered and how did you begin modeling? Photography?

I was discovered by Sylvie Fabregon at Contrebande models in Paris. They opened France’s first plus size model agency and I wanted to support it by testing the models since I knew most fashion photographers refused to shoot plus girls. I sent my work along with a pic of myself, as I figured I would have better luck getting to shoot the gals if I showed I too was a plus size woman. When Sylvie saw my pics she asked if I wanted to sign on to two different divisions of the agency, PLUS and WANTED, which was the ‘hors norm’ or crazyass looking folk sector. I couldn’t believe it, as I had always dreamed of getting signed back when IMG models showed interest in me at 21 years old. I never got signed then, because I couldn’t lose enough weight, I got down to 117lbs at 5’8 but in the late 80s that was still considered heifer status. So it was highly ironic that I was getting signed at age 38 and near 300 lbs! I considered it a personal victory for all the struggles that I went through to accept my body and the rollercoaster ride which yoyo dieting led it on. My photography was also linked to this struggle as I used it as a tool of both acceptance and rebellion. I would emulate photos I saw of mainstream models and get my friends to shoot me in the same poses, etc. I also shot numerous different body types and tried to bring the same sense of modern fashion to the staid arena of plus size so called ‘fashion’.

4. You have made comments regarding the US conception that skinny women are beautiful. What are your feelings about body size in relation to beauty?

I am not sure which comments you are referencing but the vast majority of public see beauty in ‘skinny’ simply because they are more effected by medias insidious influence then they like to believe. For me I feel that diversity is most beautiful, most realistic and most healthy. I love the idea of an emaciated looking chick next to a supersize model, or a model in her 80’s and specially-abled models and models of diverse ethnicity. I take no issue whatsoever with a size zero model because my best friend happens to be size 0 and she is constantly harassed for purported bulimia when in fact she is perfectly healthy but in fact comes from a long line of very thin ancestors. There are and always will be people who do not fit ‘the norm’ or what is perceived as ‘the norm’. I am an activist for expanding medias minuscule notion of beauty which they perpetuate in wild abandon whilst touting ‘good health’, when in fact it is a mind fuck, pardon my French, but this ideology of ‘perfection’ which permeates our society only serves to create a public which ends up hating themselves because 99.99999% of us will never come close to the capitalist driven ideal. For me, Beauty is about each individual honoring the innate splendor which they possess. Each of us is different, and that difference is something which deserves to be celebrated! It comes down to choice, you can choose to believe the hype, and feel like utter shit each time you peer at a magazine in the dentist office which shows you virtually the same model on each page you pass, each billboard you drive by, each TV commercial they show, or you can take a walk in a museum and see that each society will always have their icon of beauty, and it is up to the individual to say that it’s their time to shine, whether modern society recognizes their beauty or not!

5. Who are three women, dead or alive, who you consider true beauties and why?

I consider Mae West a true beauty. We have so many parallels too! We are both brassy women who love our curves and use them our benefit. I too eloped at a young age, she got her motion picture contract at 38 which is when I signed with Contreband (and got the lead in the Cannes/Tribeca nominated film AVIDA), she too fell in love with a younger man who was a bodybuilder. She is sassy, as am I! Overall, Mae West had quite a strong sense of self, coupled with a killer sense of humor, and that makes her a legendary beauty in my book.

As terribly unoriginal as it is, Marilyn Monroe for all the obvious reasons. A combination of well harnessed sexuality, a generous dollop of innate curiosity , coupled with a vulnerable fragility serve to make a delicious dichotomy which is very powerful, and very feminine all at once.

More modern beauties would include Kim Kardashian and Beth Ditto. I love Kim’s succulent beauty and I adore Beth’s revelry! If I owned American Vogue, Ellen Von Unwerth would be shooting them as we speak, preferably luxuriating on a recreation of Babe Paley’s Kiluna farm in vintage Mugler!!!

6. Three men, dead or alive, who you consider beautiful and why?

My love would be the most beautiful! He is French, of Tunisian descent and a very stunning bodybuilder. He is as sexy as he is sweet, and that is not always easy to come by, so I consider myself a very lucky girl to bask in both his inner and outer beauty.

I quite like Louis XIV for his outrageous decadence, and his dedication to the arts. Sadly the arts tend to be sidelined in our day and age.

I never much go for actor- modely types, but I suppose if John Malcovich, Joaquin Phoenix, and a young Nacho Vidal were to have a 3some, then I’d find their lovechild rather succulent.

7. What would be advice you would give teenage girls today regarding beauty, health and body size?

I would encourage teenage girls to be active, have fun with it, go dancing, swimming, create a roller disco party or have a dance marathon to raise money for their favorite charity, plan their own fashion shows with whatever they’ve got and be inclusive when considering who will model, try and avoid the judgment that often comes with the insecurity of adolescence. Really the sky is the limit when it comes to the potential of today’s youth and I definitely believe in the strength of the new generation. It’s important that they grasp how the popularity of one body type or size, will change with each era so they have the choice to become bitter and twisted should they not fit the tendency or they can choose to be revolutionary about it and love and respect what they have got and make the very most out of their own individual style. There will never be another You. Remember that kiddo!

8. Who are your three favorite designers of all time?

That’s so difficult! Just 3??? Well, I adore Thierry Mugler, JP Gaultier and I die for Mr. Pearl’s corsets. It’s an excruciatingly pleasant death.

9. What was the last book you read and what are you reading currently, if anything?

The last book I read was The Poets Guide to Life, The Wisdom of Rilke obviously by Rainier Maria Rilke. I do love me some Rilke! I’m currently reading BONK by Mary Roach. I had to read her book STIFF when I played the role of Avida, and she actually managed to make death hysterically funny, so just starting BONK now, bring on the tears, this chick makes you laugh till you cry.

10. Today, you seem to be more focused on your photography, which is amazing. How does being behind the camera differ from being in front of the camera?

Thank you so much! I’m so pleased you like it and I am in the midst of getting my photo website made, which is LONG overdue. I’m probably the only person in the free world without my own personal website, but I have had such crap luck with these so called web design people, that I took it to mean life doesn’t mean for me to have one. So the fact that I am actually getting a photo one up, is quite wonderful for me! I’m very excited to have one place which allows me to share my vision.

Great question! I think that for me I am much stronger in each of the two fields by working both in front and behind the lens. Being behind the camera gives me control, versus offering myself up to whomever I model for. It allows me to speak, and to share beauty which has a tendency to be overlooked. It gives me the power of making dreams reality. It affords me the potential of making someone see how very beautiful they are. I suppose some of my strength lies in taking what may be seen as average, if not ‘unattractive’, and bringing out the beauty that is there. Whether society sees that or not, is up for debate, but my experience is that the people who model for me inevitably see it, and the extent to which this seemingly subtle dance of photographer and model impacts their personal vision of themselves is exceedingly moving to me. It is a way of making a positive impact to both the individual as well as to combat how limited the current beauty dictate happens to be. I also shoot more mainstream models and I have a great love of fashion photography so it is liberating to partake in this world, which has tended to be more dominated by males, but now we have the goddess Ellen Von Unwerth and people like Bettina Rheims etc. So I quite like being a woman in a ‘man’s world’.

11. What is the sexiest city in the world? Sexiest hotel? Sexiest club?

The sexiest city is whichever one I happen to be in at the moment. Sexiest hotel would be a tie between the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, and Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives, and the Duvet club in NYC was kinda sexy.

12. Who are three celebrities or famous people you haven’t met yet but would love to meet?

I would have loved to meet Alexander McQueen, I was just devastated to hear the news, a genuine tragedy. I want to meet Ellen Von Unwerth over and over again,lol, but I guess she doesn’t count as I have already met her and of course the divine Dita Von Teese, she I could also meet again. But for not having yet met, I guess Vivienne Westwood and Steven Meisel are up there in my book, and I quite like Jill Scott. I like meeting people in general, they don’t have to be famous for me to be intrigued, its fun to discover new people.

13. What are your three favorite movies of all time?

Oddly enough, I am not very movie orientated, though I do have a penchant for popcorn and purple velvet chairs if that counts. I recall adoring Auntie Mame as I wanted each and every outfit she wore,

I caught Max and Mary and really adored it. I even ordered one for my Momma’s 86th birthday. Should be out in dvd this summer.

I absolutely love Betty Blue
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YydulEgsTOE]

Check these out! And of course being in AVIDA, makes it up there for me,lol. My preference is always to make versus watch.

14. What advice would you give someone regarding accomplishing their dreams?

I recall my Momma getting us kids (we were 5 kids in our family), some books, one was MANIFEST YOUR DESTINY and the other was FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY, not sure I read them all the way through, but I do believe that those are two primary componants to accomplishment. Many people are held back by fear of how people will judge them, and that is something that you can bypass, (oddly enough, the more you do so, the more respect people seem to have for you). And be aware that you create your own life story, it’s not because everyone has a 9 to 5 job, and shops at the mall, that you need to do so, you can live how aire you please. I have certainly had to take risks, and I suppose I live more precariously in some respects, then the folks whom I was brought up with in suburbia, but I wouldn’t change my life, the more daring I have been the better the results I have had- Go out on a limb. It’s important you listen carefully to what your soul desires, then you end up making your dreams come true, more out of passion, then painstakingly setting up some roadmap to success, it should be FUN. We have magic within us, but it is up to us to turn off the distractions, and close out the perfectionist ideals, in order to let what aire you have within you, make its appearance. So in short; You control your destiny, you will have to take risks, and it will be exhilarating to do so, manifest your destiny, feel the fear and do it anyway, and be not afraid of the judgement of others. Lastly, the more you give the more you get. It doesn’t take much to make someone else smile, a kind word or a fresh baked pie for a unsuspecting neighbor, bringing some bubbles to blow at the next office meeting, or shoveling the driveway for an elderly neighbor, no dream is complete without Love. Our world is now filled with such gratuitous violence that the more each individual makes a difference at sharing the Love the better off we are as a whole. Im sounding scarily new age at this point so I shall stop here, heehee.

15. You have commented that you love Korean food. What are some of your other loves?

Thunderstorms, being fireside when there is a snowstorm, the smell of burning leaves and freshly mowed lawns, American diners, Buffalo chicken wings and donuts, Country fairs, old homes (whose soul has yet to be ripped out), 70’s cars, 70’s a lot things actually, Funk, R+B, dancing, dancing and dancing in the moonlight, the skin of a roasted marshmellow, riding in the back of a truck with friends (admitedly this never happens in Paris,lol), the Eiffel tower when it sparkles, hot men who don’t know that they are hot, hot men that do know that their hot, men in general LOL, Louie Theroux dvd’s whilst snuggled under a fluffy duvet, traveling the world, snorkeling in clear seas, fresh picked flowers in an old pitcher, flea markets and garage sales, reading in candle lit bubblebaths, taking photos, having dinner with friends, getting a new corset, shopping on etsy.com, wow I could so go on, what fun questions you ask, my pretty!

16. Do you consider yourself “plus sized” or are you offended by that term?

I tend to use the word fat as it is being reclaimed, much in the way ‘fag’ was, but plus size, voluptuous, whatever, in the end I am never defined by any word.

17. You have said you adore tree houses. If you lived in a tree house, where would it be and what would it look like inside?

Ideally it would be in a Willowtree as they are my favorite. It would be in Seychelles, not that I saw any willow trees in the Seychelles but cest la vie. It would look like a thatched roof cottage and be covered in crawling, fragrant, pink English roses. Inside would look very quaint and grandmothery, shabby chic as they say. I would have made the dishes myself, the stain glass windows too, quilted the quilts, and all that. And most objects would be vintage, and walls filled with art, no two by the same artist. And you Indianapolis boys would be inside having tea and cake!

18. If you could only listen to three CD’s for the rest of your life and they couldn’t be mixed, what would they be?

Best of Mariah Carey, Best of Jill Scott and Best of FunkDisco (and it would have to include TO BE REAL, JAMAICA FUNK and HOT STUFF/BAD GIRLS)

19. Tell us something we wouldn’t know by looking at you?

Hmmm, that I just got back from living on a nature reserve in Zululand in South Africa for 9 weeks away from any technology, no TV, radio, cell phone, etc.. French folks would know as I was on a popular reality tv show each and every night, called THE CELEBRITY FARM (with folks like Bridget Neilson and Baywatch heartthrob David Charvet). I was pleased to have lasted 9 of the 10 weeks. Learned how to milk cows, got bit by a huge python, have a baby crocodile named after me at ZULU CROC, cared for baby Cheetahs, lynx, warthog, lamb, crocodiles, giraffe, pigs, nyala, bush pigs, bunnies, snakes, ostrich, lions, etc. It was astounding. I am proud to have earned my charity http://www.fondation-enfance.org/ over $72,000! I highly recommend South Africa!

20. What is next for Velvet D’Amour?

I am just fresh off the red carpet at Cannes, so still flying high! Now I am putting together my photography website, super excited for that to come out. I am also working on an expo of my photography here in Paris. I have 3 film projects ready for my perusal in NYC with the award winning Joe Spaid, hope to get to them this summer. I will be working on a cd of original music with the astounding Phil Broikos, also this summer as they are both New York based. I have started to create my own music videos which feature people who generally would not be in the spotlight, atypical muses if you will. I will be shooting a fashion spread with the astounding stylist Olivier Mulin, where I have chosen to feature a wheelchair bound model. I am in talks with an American TV producer so we shall see what that brings. But my main aim is to continue to challenge modern medias limited beauty ideal so that more people can feel beautiful. I will continue to revel in every minute I am fortunate enough to have. Carpe Diem!!!

21. On guys, what is sexiest…Boxers, briefs, jockstraps…or nothing at all?

MMmmmm Jockstraps!

Love ya Velvet!!! See you in the treehouse…And we expect a visit to Indianapolis soon so we can stay up late drinking bad coffee in poorly lit diners and show you just how delicious the boys here really are!!!

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

(Dearest Velvet asked us to include photo credits and here is what she sent us…charming itself! God…we love her!)
PICTURE
1. MAYA GUEZ
2 FRANK ANTONIO
3 TED OTTAVIO
4 ?
5 MAYA GUEZ
6 MAYA GUEZ
7 ILLANIT ILLANOUZ
8 PETRA PIKKELOVA
9 CHRISTOPHER PARRY
10 Some actor from SEX IN THE CITY, lol

GloZell…All Hail the NEW QUEEN of Comedy!

We found her totally by accident. A friend had posted her infamous translation of Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” video from YouTube on his Facebook page, like many others, and a star was born. It didn’t hurt that Perez Hilton found her as well, fell in love with her and thus the rest was history. For the last two months, we’ve pulled out our phones constantly to show our friends her videos on YouTube. We knew instantly, with her clicking tongue and her reference to Alcoholics Anonymous as “Triple A Meetings”, she was a comedic sight to be reckoned and revered, knowing no boundaries as she creates absolutely hilarious characters and undercuts celebrities so right on that you know she’s in trouble if she meets the likes of Rhianna, Ke$ha or Sandra Bullock. Or maybe they are the ones in trouble…she seems to be able to hold her own.

But what we love about her most, is that she isn’t just someone we want to watch videos of on YouTube…we want to call her up at 5 on a Saturday and say, “Hey Girl, what time we picking you up and which wig are you wearing. New hair Mama?” She’s the friend you want next to you to make your day go faster. We can easily imagine our weekends filled with car loads of laughter…(This is an invite Glozella Baby!)

Whatever her future holds(probably quite a bit since some of her videos have garnished over 4 Million views!!!)we wanted to find out more about her ride to fame so far…and what exactly, is hidden underneath all of those amazing wigs!!! But before we find out…enjoy one of her most hilarious videos and see all of her videos on YouTube at GloZell’s Reality Show Life!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL6_WFUQJ5E]

1. You have been termed the “Queen of YouTube” with over 600 videos. How did you get started on YouTube?
I have 853 Videos honey. I was uploading my videos through Goggle and it was so slow on my computer so I started up loading on You Tube in order to post on my blog (GloZelllovesjayleno.blogspot.com) and one day. I noticed that I had comments on You Tube. And it kept growing and growing. My blog was named after Jay Leno because I was attending the Tonight Show with Jay Leno everyday. I did that for a little over 2 years oh that’s where you got the 600 from. I went to over 600 live freezing taping of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

2. You identify yourself as a stand-up comedienne? Who are three of your role models in the field of comedy?
I do.. well I pretend to be an Stand-up. I tell stories of what really happened to me and people crack up. I don’t feel like I tell jokes. I loVe Carol Burnett, Phyllis Diller, Betty White (wait I better mention some black people)Whoopi, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, (okay I’m going back) Robin Williams, Lucille Ball, Tom Conway, Jay Leno, Dave Chapplle, EDDIE MURPHY, The Wayans from In Living Color, Saturday Night Live Cast…. the list goes on and on.

3. We think your funniest video is the Rhianna “Rude Boy” video. Where do you get your inspiration for your videos?
I have a friend (Leslie) who analyzes everything. And she was talking about THE THONG SONG and how passionate the singer was about thongs. Inside I was cracking up. 10 plus years later. I hear these Songs…by Ke$ha then Rude Boy after we know Rhianna was with a Chris Brown. The Rudest boy she ever had. ( As far as we know)

4. Recently, Perez Hilton posted you on his website. What did it feel like to be validated by the consummate social reviewer Perez?
AMAZING… like being told you are going to LIVE!!!! He justified my talent to the world. I have millions of hits because of him.

5. What is too funny to laugh about?
Nothing.

6. Has your humor ever gotten you through difficult situations in your life? How would you recommend to others to utilize their humor in their own lives?
OH YES… anything that has passion behind it… someone that you cant stand, that horrible job/boss, family, relationships, any difficult situation can be made funny because its so real and believable. Anything you have gone though someone else has also.

7. When will YOU know you’ve made it?
When I’m on T.V. I loVe that ole’ box.

8. What are the three funniest movies of all time?
I always wanted to do a remake of Richard Pryor’s movie THE TOY. Friday, Borat, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Neapolitan Dynamite, Boomerang, Waiting for Guffman, Ace Ventura Pet Detective…the list goes on. (Sorry you said three)

9. Who are three celebrities you haven’t met but would love to meet?
(I met Michael Jackson that would be my first 10 slots) (I will be meeting Perez Hilton tomorrow) Hmmmm Oprah, Howard Stern, Carrol Burnett ( Some list huh? LOL)

10. What three celebrities are almost too easy to make fun of?
The young starlets… they are very creative in getting attention. So it’s endless commentary. Ha ha ha.

11. Have you ever received hate mail regarding your videos?
WHAT? YES… my character Kelonda not you Momma… death threats.

12. We are sure someday you will have your own television show. If you did what would you call it?
Thank you very much. “The GloZell Show”

13. We love that in your videos there is always a wig in the background. How many wigs do you own and which is your favorite? Do your wigs give you different personality traits when you where them?
Ha ha ha … you really do watch my videos. I have about 20 wigs. The most famous the Tracy Kool-aide hair wig. That’s from the over 4 Million hit video “My Push up bra will help me get my man back” Yes they all have a different personality and names.

14. If you weren’t in the arts industry, what would you be doing?
Crying in a corner somewhere! I would be a Music Teacher. I have a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Florida. (excuse me, it’s a must) GO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15. GloZell for President in 2012…What are the three platforms you support?
Freedom of speech, Freedom of Love whom ever you want, Freedom of we can agree to disagree and one more. All you can eat Buffets everywhere.

16. You say on your videos, “I don’t judge it”. What is one thing you do judge?
People who want to hate and be mean just for the sake of being mean and nasty. I don’t mind anyone having a different opinion. Plus people hate the opinion of a made up character? I’m like hey… it’s listed under COMEDY.

17. Our dream would be to have a GloZell video about the boys of raannt. If you were to do one about us, what would you talk about?
I would talk about how hot you are, and I’m sure you will give me some hints as to what you want covered…LoL.

18. Have you met Kesha and if not, what would you say to her if you did?
You know… I KNOW that day is coming… I just feel it. I would say… girl you know your lyrics is Jacked up… and she will say no Jack Daniels ha ha ha.

19. What about Rhianna?
She would probably take me down before I could say anything. They all know I’m right though!

20. What are your three personal favorite videos you have done?
Ke$ha Tik Tok Lyric Translation, Rhianna Rude Boy Lyric Translation, My Push up Bra will help me get my man back.

21. On men…boxers, briefs, jockstraps…or nothing at all?
NOTHING AT ALL … YEAH!

OK GloZell…We’re waiting for OUR SEXY Video…haha!!!…Love ya Gal!, Peace and Blessings…Peace and Blessings!!!

To Keep Up With GloZell Follow Her Blog HERE!

Eyes Open…We’re Watching!

The Unauthorized Beats of World Reknown DJ Drew G…

Recently we were getting ready when we heard a mix of “Don’t Stop Believin” by the Glee cast. Instantly in love, we went on to research the DJ who spun up the mix only to find DJ Drew G’s sampling mixes of tons of great songs. True lovers of house music, we were inspired by his thick and thunderous beats, we had to find out more about the guy who is soft on the eyes, spins unruly mixes of our favorite songs, is known all over the world and was invited to DJ at the inauguration of President O’Bama…

1. How did you get into DJ’ing?
Djing was kind of a dare. A bigger dj (whom shall rename nameless told me I couldn’t do what he did) So I set out on a quest to do it…. and do it better.

2. What other career aspirations did you have that have contributed to your being a sensational DJ?
I grew up working in sales and marketing environments so I think that has played a huge part in this for me. I know how to market and sell myself to specific crowds and I know what those crowds want to hear from doing my research on them and paying attention to them while spinning.

3. Who are your three favorite musicians of all time?
Eddie Van Halen, Nicholas Barker, Jimmy Page

4. Who do you currently love to spin and why?
I love Chuckie right now, his sound is so current different and fresh compared to what alot of producers are putting out.

5. You have a history in classical music, how does that affect your DJ’ing?
I can hear keys signatures and incorporate that on the fly…. unlike other djs I don’t need a program to tell me what keys to mix in.

6. How do you incorporate your playing guitar?
I used to plug my guitar into a separate mac and play chords along with songs. I has been ages tho since Ive done that and I don’t know if it would translate to the current musical climate and or confuse people on the floor.

7. You typically play at gay clubs and are playing quite a few Pride Day events. Are you gay and either way, how does this affect you in the business?
I actually play a good mix of gay and straight clubs and will support anyone and anything that is a good cause (ie pride) I enjoy playing good music for people that love to dance.

8. You have been called, “a hottie with a heart?” How does looking good or being sexy help or hinder you in your career?
Yes Ronnie Kroell had called me that. You know I don’t really consider myself good looking. That has been a problem Ive faced my entire life. So I don’t know how it would hinder my career. A lot of people say they are intimidated by me, but I really don’t believe that. Maybe if I was Brad Pitt or someone of that caliber but I’m not nearly as good looking as someone like him.

9. Is there a pop musician you would never spin and why?
I kinda hate Kylie. Her voice makes me wanna claw my eyes out lol. But if she had a big hit nowadays Id have to play it and cope.

10. Since you have been around many circuit parties and clubs, you probably have witnessed a lot of drug us and addiction. What are your feelings about this in the night life scene?
Being a recovering addict myself it can be hard at times. Although from what I can see use has gone down quite a bit. Either that or people are just hiding it better.

11. What is the greatest moment you have ever had DJ’ing?
I love playing this outdoor festival in VA every year at Kings Dominion but the crown jewel gig still is spinning at the Roxy in NYC.

12. What would you be doing if you had an entirely different career?
If I had thought about it growing up more I would of been a politician.

13. If you could only listen to one CD for the rest of your life and it couldn’t be mixed what would it be?
Ugh….. that’s a hard one. Probably the first Van Halen album.

14. Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t know by looking at you?
I’m really a midget in an overcoat.

15. We love the mix you did of the Glee cast “Don’t Stop Believin”, but have not been able to find it anywhere to buy. Where can people find your music?
The Glee mixes are all unauthorized and in fact FOX has had them removed from YouTube like a zillion times, which is sad. They don’t get how well their music translates to dance.

16. Who is one DJ you would cancel for so you could go hear perform?
Thomas Gold. I would run jump and scream to see him live and to meet him. Genius.

17. What is your feeling about go-go dancing and it’s new fame with DJ’s?
Dj’s gogo dance???? I don’t mind go go dancers. Just don’t put flaggers on the stage in front of me lol.

18. Who, besides yourself, will be the next great DJ?
Everyone is kinda playing the same shit lately and I havent appreciated a set in ages…. although Nita Aviance in NYC is really doing well for himself. Very different sound tho in comparison very unground.

19. While spinning do you ever think about other things, like what kind of pizza you’ll order when you get back to your room?
When my next Jager shots coming.

20. Sexiest City? Sexiest Club? Sexiest Hotel?
LA, Voyeur Philly, Helix DC

21. Boxers, Briefs, Jockstraps…or nothing at all?
Boxer briefs or nothing at all.

Thanks buddy…can’t wait to hear you soon in person!!!
For more information on DJ Drew G visit his website!

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!!!

Drag Mainstreamed…Rupaul’s Tyra Sanchez Interview!

After our interview with Ongina from cycle one of Logo’s Rupaul’s Drag Race, we thought it would be interesting to interview one of the girls from this season…so we chose America’s sweetheart and Diva… Tyra Sanchez…Here’s what she told us!

1. What is your drag name and is there a story behind how you chose your name?

My drag name is Tyra-Symone Sanchez

Tyra means God of Battle. And when it comes to competition, arguments, or debates I will battle until the fight is won!

Symoné comes from Raven Symoné

Sanchez is the family name passed from Fabian Sanchez to Stasha Sanchez to Angelica Sanchez & finally to me!

2. Who are three celebrities who are your role models and have helped mold your image?

Beyoncé, Raven Symoné & Wendy Williams

3. Who are three people in your daily life who have helped mold your image?

Roxxxy Andrews, Jasmine Bonet & Nicole Luv Dupree

4. Do you think you get beauty, brains…or can you have both?

I think you can have both beauty and brains! Lol I’m living proof of that!

5. Why do you refer to yourself as “America’s Sweetheart”?

I refer to myself as America’s Sweetheart because I’m truly a sweet person. I’m there for you whenever you need me. I loveable, huggable & kissable! Lol not to mention I’m very goofy/ditzy at times and at other times well I can come off a little bitchy.

6. So far, what has been your greatest learning experience as a result of being on Rupaul’s Drag Race?

My greatest learning experience is that I learned that not everyone will view you in the same way. Some people will live!!! And others won’t! But don’t live… Because Tyra is to die for!!!

7. If you were the first Drag President of the United States, what three laws would you change?

Though I don’t smoke, I would legalize marijuana. Allow same sex marriage.

8. Do you believe in love?

I do. But I have yet to experience true love.

9. Any thoughts on same-sex marriage?

Honestly it doesn’t bother me, but i do feel as though you should be able to marry whoever you want. Be it guy or girl.

10. You have won several pageants…What pageants have you won and what are your titles?

Miss Dumarr International 2010
Miss Ebony South Carolina 2009
Miss Orlando Pride 2009
Miss Sweetheart Newcomer 2009
Miss Elite Newcomer 2008

11. In mainstream beauty pageants, most contestants must support a cause or have a platform…what would your platform be in a beauty pageant?

My platform would be to display my talents & creativity.

12. What are three movies that have greatly impacted your life?

Lol movies don’t GREATLY impact my life. But they do inspire me to act. Sooo I would say
1. Titanic
2. Precious
3. Set It Off

13. If you could only listen to one CD for the rest of your life and it couldn’t be a mixed CD what would it be?

Beyoncé Dangerously In Love (2003)

14. Three television shows you watch consistently?

Criminal Minds, CSI (LOL All of them!) & The Vampire Diaries

15. Myspace or Facebook and why?

Lol neither! Though I have them both, the extra apps that they’ve added now can be a little annoying. So many request for like kisses and hearts. Like what is that???

16. Three greatest female illusionists in the last 20 years?

Tyra Sanchez, RuPaul, Niesha Dupree

17. Last book you read or a book you are currently reading?

Lol I hate reading! Well I hate reading books, but I could read a couple more people. Lmao!

18. Your motto for life…

When you do what you have always done, you’ll get what you have always gotten.

19. You have mentioned that you have a son. What would you tell him if he came to you as a teenager and told you he wanted to be a drag queen?

As a teenager I would tell him he needs to worry about his education first! The drag would have to wait!

20. Boxers, Brief, Panties or nothing at all?

Boxer briefs! I like to be free but still put away.

Thanks Sexy…And good luck in all you do!!!

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

Rupaul’s Ongina…Simply Gorgeous!!!

Recently, the boys of raannt were lucky enough to chat it up with Ongina, drag illusionist extraordinaire, most famous for her presence on Season 1 of Rupaul’s Drag Race…Here’s what she had to say…

1. What is your name and what title would you use to describe yourself?
Like my real name? Ryan. My drag name is, as you know, Ongina and a title that would best describe her? GORGEOUS!

2. How did you come up with the name Ongina?
Ongina derives from my middle name “Ong” and using the last three letters of a certain kind of “ina” that I was not blessed with. So instead I made ONGINA!

3. On a recent comedy show you joked that you think you should have won Rupaul’s Drag Race. Do you believe this and what do you think sets you apart from other entertainers?
I did joke about winning, because who doesn’t want to win, but I do understand why I was booted off against Bebe, who happened to be the winner, because she IS who they are looking for. I was far from the typical drag queen and some people still don’t understand why I was on the show since I was very gender bend, but what people have to understand is that there’s a lot of different drag illusions. Mine just happens to be what you see.

4. Who are three entertainers, dead or alive, that you draw inspiration from?
I’m sort of a “now” queen, so I tend to draw inspiration from entertainers like Beyonce (she’s my favorite!!!), Katy Perry for her upbeat, no drama, fun and flirty songs, and more recently, Lady Gaga (but that’s still sort of a love and hate relationship.)

5. What are three television shows you watch consistently?
True Blood, Grey’s Anatomy and more recently, Spartacus! HOT!

6. What are the perks of being a girl?
That I can wear amazing shoes and clothes and feel really beautiful.

7. What are the perks of being a boy?
Who you calling a boy?

8. If you could only celebrate one holiday a year, which would you choose and why?
I’d celebrate Halloween. Forget your birthday, who wants to get old, and forget Christmas its not the same anymore, anyways. And forget about Thanksgiving, thats the gateway to weight gain during the winter season! Halloween is fun, but its sort of like Halloween every time I dress up. Hehe.

9. Any comment on your experience working with Rupaul?
Ru is amazing and the show has put me on a platform that I never expected. If I was given the chance, I would definitely do round 2!

10. Who is someone who you have met as a result of working on Rupaul’s Drag Race that has bettered you as a person that you wouldn’t have otherwise met and why?
I have met my amazing fans that has truly inspire me to keep on! Especially the ones that share the same story as I do. They have helped me fully overcome my demons about being HIV Positive and has helped me live an even happier life than before, being free and not having to hide who I am as a whole person!

11. What is a movie that has profoundly affect your life? Your career image?
I unfortunately don’t watch a lot of movies actually but my I can tell you my top 5 in no particular order: Moulin Rouge, The Fifth Element, To Wong Foo, The Devil Wears Prada, Sex in the City!

12. If you weren’t doing drag what would you be doing?
Well currently, I am a Regional Visual Merchandiser for a retail store based out of NYC. I am in charge of six stores on the West Coast including Texas, Nevada and California! I love my job. I get to be creative in a different level. I truly enjoy every minute of it.

13. What is the last book you read, if any and what are you currently reading?
Last book I read was Aiden Shaw’s The Sordid Truths. I’m in the middle of reading RuPaul’s new book as well.

14. Best city in the world? Best hotel in the world? Best club in the world?
Best city I’ve been in: London and Florence. Best Hotel I’ve been in: The Westin Excelsoir in Florence, Italy. Best Club I’ve been to: My stomping ground, Hiro on Sundays in NYC!!!!

15. We are getting married in August in Vegas. If you were to plan our wedding, what would you plan for us?
Depends on the budget! But CONGRATULATIONS nonetheless! I just better see a wedding dress on someone or I’d throw a fit!

16. If you could change one misconception or cruelty in the world what would you change and why?
Stop the war! Seriously. People don’t need to be dying over issues they can resolve without violence and death!

17. What is your favorite hat you have made or worn and why?
I really love the alligator hat I wore during the reunion special because its so couture! I also like my Barbie hat on the 3rd episode because, well, its a Barbie on my head! I love it! I donated that hat for an equality benefit here in California and made a couple hundred bucks!

18. You shared on Rupaul’s Drag Race that you are HIV+. Your honesty has served as inspiration and hope for a lot of people. What did you gain personally from sharing that on the show?
Like I said above, it has helped overcome my demons and has helped me live a free life. I am no longer afraid and with it, I am able to share my story with other people in hopes that they will find inspiration from it. I’m hoping that by bringing it in the forefront of the media, it will help educate people to protect themselves wether they are negative or positive and live a life worth living!

19. Where will Ongina be in 20 years?
I will be near 50 in 20 years and I don’t know what the future holds for me. I hope to expand my career as Ongina and expand the responsibility I have of being an HIV spokesperson to further raise awareness and continue educating people all over the world about the importance of HIV education and prevention.

20. Boxers, Briefs, Panties or nothing at all?
Boxer briefs!

Thanks Sexy!!! We love you!!!
xoxo

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

Kim Kardashian Friend Mike Snedegar Talks With raannt…

We have been lucky enough to become distant friends with Mike Snedegar who has been giving the boys of raannt some great advice on planning parties and events. Mike is the Entertainment Director for the Tao Group in Las Vegas. Mike, who was on the most recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, was kind enough to talk to the boys of raannt and give us the inside scoop into his life, his career and the secret life of celebrities!!!

1. What is your name and your position at Tao?
Mike Snedegar – Entertainment Director – TAO Group

2. You are from the Midwest. What do you think about being from the Midwest has prepared you for being successful in Vegas and what would you be doing if you weren’t at Tao?
I consider myself from the south because of Kentucky, some people argue but we always say “where the hospitality of the south begins” . Being form Kentucky I keep things in perspective, and I always remember where I came from. Im simple guy at heart, and I miss the sound of a screen door being shut and the smell of freshly cut grass!

If I weren’t at TAO? Who knows? Probably something to do with celebrities in some form or another.

3. What is the best party you have ever been to and why?
That’s a hard question to answer- but usually the best parties are the ones I cant really talk about!

4. What is the best event you ever planned and why?
My events with Kim Kardashian are some of my faves because we plan them out together as far as theme and décor and seeing everything from my ideas come to life is so cool. but, The Madonna concert afterparty for the confessions tour in 2006 is my favorite – there is no one bigger than her.

5. Best hotel in Vegas?
The Venetian and the Palazzo of course! I also love Mandarin and Trump tower

6. Most interesting celebrity you have ever met?
My favorite celebrity encounters have been Drew Barrymore and Pink, because they were both as nice as I expected them to be which doesn’t always happen

7. Why is Tao successful?
The team and all of the employees behind it make it happen everyday.

8. The boys of raannt are getting married in Vegas in August. If you were planning our wedding, what would you do?
a suite for the weekend, dinners, one night of clubbing, maybe a show, some sightseeing, shopping!

9. What are three vital ingredients in a successful party or event?
theme, details, celebrity

10. Worst party you have ever planned and what went wrong?
I once did a party called WIG OUT in ….like 2005, one of my first events. Where we had people wear wigs…I still laugh about it today. Nothing really went wrong it was just a silly idea….

11. Are you single and how does your job affect, positively or negatively, your dating and being in a relationship?
I am single, and I work a lot of hours, so anyone I would date would have to be understanding of that. Right now im kind of married to my job J

12. Best city in the world?
LA

13. Best club in the world?
TAO!

14. Soundtrack CD to your life?
music is my favorite thing in the world, couldn’t pick one album….but my current playlist right now is:

A loaded Smile – Adam lambert

Un-thinkable (I’m ready) – Alicia Keys

Lift Me Up – Christina Aguilera

So Happy I Could Die – Lady GaGa

Bulletproof (Nacey remix) – LaRoux

Scream My Name – LMFAO

Street Lights – Kanye West

15. Last book you read and current book you are reading?
Last book I read: IF you have to cry go outside – Kelly Cutrone

Current reading: Are you there vodka, its me Chelsea – Chelsea handler

16. A Movie that profoundly affected your life?
American Beauty, ET, Saving Private Ryan,

17. Television shows you consistently watch?
E! News, Keeping up with the kardashians, project runway, Watch what happens live, kell on earth, dancing with the stars, Larry king live, Anderson cooper 360,

18. Boxers, Briefs or other?
Boxer briefs

Thanks Buddy!!! You Rock!!!

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!!!