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Rafael Casal to Raise a Glass to the Actors at the Dorians!

Rafael Casal to Honor the Actors at the “Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry”

Sexy big and small screen actor Rafael Casal will next be seen in the Blumhouse/Showtime limited series “The Good Lord Bird,” opposite Ethan Hawke, premiering in October. He can currently be seen in Cory Finley and HBO’s Emmy Award-nominated film “Bad Education,” opposite Hugh Jackman. Rafael made his feature film debut in “Blindspotting” in which he wrote, produced and starred. It premiered to critical acclaim at the Sundance and SXSW Film Festivals. It was bought by Lionsgate after a major bidding war. He’s adapting the film into a Series for Starz.

He is also currently writing and preparing to direct the feature “First Sight” for Lionsgate and a Pilot for FX.

Rafael is also well-known to audiences for his work on HBO’s Def Poetry. His digital content and music albums have garnered millions of views and listens. His theatre-in-verse works have been presented at venues across the country and his music has been featured on MTV and Showtime series as well as at the SXSW and the Sundance Film Festivals.

Rafael is the Co-Founder and the Artistic Director of the landmark Bars Workshop at the famed New York City’s Public Theater. He served as the Creative Director for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s First Wave Undergraduate Arts Program and as the Curator for the Line Breaks Festival.

“Sexy Liberal” Stephanie Miller to Talk-up Best TV Drama

Sexy Liberal Stephanie Miller to Talk-up Best TV Drama at the “Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry”

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Hot off her wildly successful “Sexy Liberal Tour” out proud Talk Radio legend Stephanie Miller will be honoring the Best TV Drama  at the Virtual Pub for the Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry.

Her radio and TV show can be seen and heard daily on Free Speech TV as well as all streaming services and many terrestrial radio stations throughout the United States. Prior to going nationwide, Stephanie pulled #1 ratings at KABC and KFI in Los Angeles and other radio stations in New York and Chicago.

You know her from tons of exposure on TV, and on comedy’s prime stages: host of CNBC’s Equal Time, Oxygen TV’s I’ve Got a Secret, and many others. Stephanie has also appeared on CNN’s Joy Behar, Larry King Live, Reliable Sources, as well as MSNBC’s The Ed Show, Hannity and Colmes and Neal Cavuto on Fox News, the Today Show, the Tonight Show, Good Morning America, among many others.

Stephanie comes to the left, from the right. She’s the daughter of William Miller, Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Republican presidential running mate.

Her humor and snappy political wit draws listeners from all sides and makes her the perfect antidote to cantankerous conservatives.

The Stephanie Miller Show is produced and syndicated by WYD Media Management, LLC.

Shangela’s Here! DragRace Superstar Raises a Glass to Best TV Movie / Limited Series

Shangela’s Here! DragRace Superstar Raises a Glass to TV Movie / Limited Series at the Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry

“We’re Here” on Netflix is breaking down barriers but that’s nothing for D.J. Pierce, aka Shangela. Shangela rose to fame as the only contestant to compete on three separate seasons of the Emmy-award winning reality series Rupaul’s Drag Race (seasons 2, 3 and All Stars 3) and has gone on to feature films, tv series and more.

As an actor, Shangela (aka D.J. Pierce) has guest starred on network television shows like “2 Broke Girls,” “Glee,” “Bones,” “The Mentalist,” “X-Files,” and more. She has appeared in films including “Hurricane Bianca” (2016), ”Kiss Me, Kill Me” (2015), “Hurricane Bianca 2” and “A Star Is Born” with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. In 2012, she co-starred with Jenifer Lewis in a four-part scripted YouTube series called “Jenifer Lewis and Shangela.”

Pierce continues to climb in notoriety. He has been named one of OUT Magazine’s “100 Most Compelling People” and in 2015 was featured on Forbes.com for his drag management company Say What Entertainment. In 2018, Shangela was honored with the Rising Star Award by the LGBT Music Festival for his global contributions in performance and music.

He has written and released music (including the smash hit “Werqin Girl”), performed alongside Miley Cyrus on the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, co-produced the successful Werq The World tour as creative director and will tour his newest self-written stand up comedy show “Shook” in 2018. As Shangela, he has performed on six of the seven continents, and has sights set on Antarctica next!

A native of Paris, Texas, Pierce graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University and currently resides in Los Angeles. He is involved in various charity work and remains a member of the SAG-Aftra Union.

Actress Kate Rose Wilburn Salutes Supporting Actress at Dorians

Star of Revry’s “To Be Me” Lends Support to “Dorians Toast TV 2020” Supporting Actress Honorees

Kate is a trans female, non-binary sophomore Dance and Design Tech major at Rowan University in South Jersey. Kate Wilburn is also known for their past roles such as: Audrey 2 in Little Shop of Horrors, Lucky/Boy in Waiting for Godot, Ensemble Member in Under the Hood. They are so blessed to have such a supportive family and friend system. They would love to thank the director and producers for giving them this amazing opportunity. Being able to work with an award winning cast and crew is a dream come true for this small town actor. They are so honored to bring the role of Jordan to life and hope that they can make everyone proud.

Dave Koz to Honor Best Unsung Show

Legendary Jazz Saxophonist Dave Koz Presents Best Unsung at the Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry

A new Day

DAVE KOZ 

A New Day

Throughout his decades long, multi-faceted career as one of contemporary jazz’s premiere showmen, recording artists, cruise hosts and all-around entrepreneurs, Dave Koz has adhered to a mantra of rarely looking back and always navigating forward towards fresh horizons. Once he wrapped his 22nd annual Dave Koz and Friends Christmas tour at the end of last year, the nine-time Grammy nominated saxophonist knew 2020 was going to be a pivotal year of reflection and celebration, marking an incredible three decades since the release of his genre-defining self-titled debut album. 

Feeling flush with a burst of creativity in the months before COVID-19 changed our lives, and realizing he had a lot more to say musically, he put aside all thoughts of releasing a nostalgic retrospective or another all-star Summer Horns or holiday project. Instead, working digitally and with social distance protocols in place, he embarked on A New Day, one of the most purposeful, empowering and exhilarating albums of his career. 

Set to drop exactly 30 years and one day after the release of Dave Koz, it’s a deeply comforting yet forward-thinking 11-track collection (with one bonus track on the physical CD) that marks his 20th album overall – and first full set of original material in 10 years (since Hello Tomorrow in 2010). If it were written, produced and released in so called “normal times,” fans could focus solely on the extraordinary interactions between Dave and his incredible roster of guests, including Brian McKnight, Bob James, Marc Antoine, Rick Braun, Paul Jackson Jr., Jeff Lorber and several longtime “wish-listers” he had not previously recorded with – his all-time saxophone hero David Sanborn, legendary Earth, Wind & Fire percussionist Ralph Johnson, neo-soul great Meshell Ndegeocello, saxophone and flute player David Mann and R&B singer Antwaun Stanley (of funk band Vulfpeck). 

Yet they’re not the biggest part of the story. From his gold-selling Lucky Man (1993) and The Dance (1999) to the Phil Ramone-helmed At the Movies (2007) and the two Summer Horns extravaganzas this past decade, Koz has mastered large-scale productions throughout his career. Yet to create such a bold, expansive project like A New Day while every participating musician and producer was essentially in quarantine, speaks powerfully to the musical and human spirit of all involved, and the sense of purpose each collaborator brought to the party. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with our health, the economy, and our day to day lives – but as Koz and friends prove over and over again, it can’t stop the flow of determination and creativity, specifically as it’s meant to help us wade through this extremely intense period.

“When the pandemic hit, I was already in the space to be creative and it immediately pushed me into that zone where I found myself turning to music for comfort,” Dave says. “I instinctively thought, I’m in a position to do that for others. It boils down to this – we all just need a hug. I wanted to provide that hug of a musical kind to people who have looked to my music as a source of joy and a way to feel better. I wanted these new songs to convey the sense that we’re all in this together and it’s hard, but we are going to be okay. 

“Even as we were making very universal thematic statements about this unusual moment in history,” he adds, “I realized that A New Day is also a very personal statement about where I am in my life. There’s a full-circle poeticism about looking back at a career I could never have expected when I recorded my first album. I’ve been doing this a long time but I still feel I have something meaningful to express and still feel extremely passionate about playing the saxophone. This led me to write songs that will hopefully help people through these difficult times and provide some inspiration. Whether we’re ready for it or not, this is a new day for human beings on this planet.”

Key tracks include the buoyant and bright, playfully grooving anthem “Summertime in NYC,” a tribute to the city and the resilience of its people featuring infectious vocals by Brian McKnight; the silky and romantic, mid-tempo and electronica-tinged tenor gem “The Closer We Get”; and the tight, percussive brass-heavy funk jam “Dr. Norm,” an ode to Dave’s late father, Dr. Norman Koz and the new cannabis-based apothecary cookie and edibles company (also called Dr. Norm’s) created by the saxophonist’s sister Roberta Koz Wilson, brother Jeff Koz and Dave to honor their dad and late mother Audrey, whose recipes they use. In addition, Koz and Ndegeocello team up for a dreamy and wistful alto version of The Beatles’ “Yesterday” – included as a reflection of the intense way life has changed during the pandemic, and a reminder that just yesterday, everything was very different. 

Creating an album under the current protocols was uncharted territory for Dave, whose projects always thrived on the live interaction of musicians feeding off each other in the studio. To ensure maximum efficiency, he had various producers on the case at the same time, creating foundational tracks, and compiling and overlaying submitted digital tracks in their different studios. These included longtime collaborators Evan Rogers & Carl Sturken (who co-produced with Dave “Summertime in NYC” and “Long Goodbyes”), Darren Rahn (“The Closer We Get,” “Still Got It”), Rick Braun (“Side By Side,” “Barcelona”) and Jeff Lorber (“Dr. Norm,” “All the Love in the World,” “High Wire”). Koz also collaborated with producers Matt Cusson (“Yesterday”) and David Mann (“A New Day”). The bonus track was also produced by Darren Rahn and features multiple Grammy nominee Chris “Big Dog” Davis. 

Without the luxury of time for extensive overdubs, the other key was hiring top veteran studio musicians who could deliver without much extra coaching – including drummers John JR Robinson and Gary Novak, bassists Nathan East, Alex Al and Mel Brown, guitarists Michael Thompson, Paul Jackson Jr., Adam Hawley and keyboardist Philippe Saisse. In most cases, the instrumentation on the original rudimentary track was replaced by live playing, especially in the case of synth bass and drum machines being switched out for the trademark grooves of East, Al, Brown, Novak and Robinson. 

“Ironically, recording an album during this time didn’t have the usual roadblocks,” Dave says. “Everything flowed and came into place very easily. Working to our advantage was the fact that because our touring has been sidelined this year, these musicians were all home looking for new projects to sink their teeth into. They not only had the time but brought all of their passion and unbridled energy to create something beyond what I could have envisioned. The pandemic forced us to find a different way to record, and the result is an intimate, personal album where you really feel a sense of warmth. “When he was mastering A New Day,” he adds, “the legendary engineer Bernie Grundman told me he felt with this album we’d created a special, sort of secret private place of comfort where the listener can be at one with the music as it washes over you. That struck me as the perfect musical antidote to dealing with the prolonged chaos and significant trials of 2020 – the opportunity to feel protected and nurtured – something that most, if not all of us need right now.”

With no guarantee or way of knowing how our lives will change or what the future holds, more than ever before we find ourselves looking to the people and things we trust, love and can make us feel better. Once again providing music that comforts and uplifts us during challenging times, Dave Koz meets our collective, anxiety-filled moment with a beautiful vision and the hopeful promise of A New Day. 

Barrier-Breaking Broadcaster Thomas Roberts To Toast Best Current Affairs

Barrier-Breaking Broadcaster Thomas Roberts To Toast Best Current Affairs At The Dorians TV Toast 2020

Thomas Roberts, host of Gay Good News on Facebook Live as well as show on Daily Mail TV is going to drop in to the virtual pub from his terrace in NYC!

Roberts is an openly-gay award-winning journalist who anchored MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC. Roberts also served as a fill-in host on NBC’s TODAY, and was formerly the host of MSNBC’s Way Too Early and a contributor on Morning Joe. Roberts was made an official member of MSNBC’s dayside team in December 2010, after having served as a freelance anchor for several months.

Prior to his addition to msnbc’s team, Roberts served as a correspondent for CBS News. He also contributed to several entertainment shows including “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider.” Prior to that, Roberts was a news anchor for CNN Headline News.

Roberts is an award-winning journalist, having received a 2002 Emmy nomination and a Virginia Associated Press award for his work on the documentary, Parvo Puppies. He also received an Edward R. Murrow award in 2001 for a documentary that he produced titled, When Parents Don’t Pay. In 2014 his report on “Gay Rights at Work” was honored with a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Journalism Segment.

Roberts has also been honored for his work as an advocate in the LGBT community, and is the recipient of the prestigious Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign in October 2011. He was also honored by the Stonewall Community Foundation, Marriage Equality USA and The National Crime Victim Bar Association.

In the fall of 2012, Roberts married his longtime partner, Patrick Abner in New York City.  The service was officiated by Gavin Newsom the Lieutenant Governor of California.

Roberts is a graduate of McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College). He resides in New York City with his husband and their two dogs.

Comedy and TV Trailblazer Margaret Cho to Toast Best Comedy Series

Cho to Toast Best TV Comedy Series at Dorians TV Toast 2020

Margaret Cho was born Dec. 5, 1968 and raised in San Francisco. “It was different than any other place on Earth,” she says. “I grew up and went to grammar school on Haight Street during the ’70s. There were old hippies, ex-druggies, burnouts, drag queens, and Chinese people. To say it was a melting pot – that’s the least of it. It was a really confusing, enlightening, wonderful time.”

Ignoring the traditions of her patriarchal culture, her mother bravely resisted an arranged marriage in Korea and married Margaret’s father a Korean joke book writer. “Books like 1001 Jokes for Public Speakers – real corny stuff,” Cho says. “I guess we’re in the same line of work. But we don’t understand each other that way. I don’t understand why the things he says are funny and the same for him.”

What Margaret did know is that being a kid was hard. Racing toward adulthood as fast as she could to escape the constant bullying she endured, Margaret began writing jokes at 14 and professionally performing at age 16. Getting picked on, and not having a feeling of belonging, is a subject that’s not only near to Margaret’s heart, but something she still feels very deeply despite all of her successes. In that sense, Margaret has gladly and graciously become the “Patron Saint for Outsiders,” speaking for those who are not able to speak for themselves, and encouraging people who can to use their voice to promote change.

Soon after starting her Stand Up career, Margaret won a comedy contest where first prize was opening for Jerry Seinfeld. She moved to Los Angeles in the early ’90s and, still in her early twenties, hit the college circuit, where she immediately became the most booked act in the market and garnered a nomination for “Campus Comedian of The Year.” She performed over 300 concerts within two years. Arsenio Hall introduced her to late night audiences, Bob Hope put her on a prime time special and, seemingly overnight, Margaret Cho became a national celebrity.

Her groundbreaking, controversial, and short-lived ABC sitcom, All-American Girl (1994) soon followed. Oddly, while chosen because of who she was – a non-conformist Korean American woman with liberal views – the powers-that-be decided they preferred for Margaret to “tone it down” for the show. She soon realized that though she was an Executive Producer, this would be a battle she could not win. “For fear of being too “ethnic,” the show got so watered down for television that by the end, it was completely lacking in the essence of what I wanted to accomplish.”

The experience was a traumatic one, bringing up unresolved feelings left over from childhood, and Margaret developed an eating disorder as a response to criticism about her body. She was so obsessive in her goal to try to be what she thought others wanted, that she landed in the hospital with kidney failure. Through out this period of self-abuse, Margaret continued performing to sold-out audiences in comedy clubs, theaters, and college campuses, working to channel her anger in to something more positive.

In 1999, her groundbreaking, off Broadway one-woman show, I’m The One That I Want, toured the country to national acclaim and was made into a best-selling book and feature film of the same name. After her experience with All-American Girl, Margaret wanted to make sure she would only ever have to answer to herself, putting herself in charge of the distribution and sales of her film, which garnered incredible reviews and broke records for “Most Money Grossed per Print”. In 2001, after the success of her first tour, Maragaret launched Notorious C.H.O., a smash-hit 37-city national tour that culminated in a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Notorious C.H.O., hailed by the New York Times as “Brilliant,” was recorded and released as a feature film. Both films were acquired by Showtime, and produced by Margaret’s production company, a testament to the success of Margaret’s business model.

In March of 2003, Margaret embarked on her third sold-out national tour, Revolution. It was heralded by the Chicago Sun Times as “Her strongest show yet” and the CD recording was nominated for a Grammy for Comedy Album of the Year. In 2005, she releasedAssassin, with The Chicago Tribune stating “(Assassin) packs passion in to each punch.” The concert film premiered in select theatres and on the gay and lesbian premium channel Here! TV.

In 2007, Margaret hit the road with Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry and Erasure, along with indie faves The Dresden Dolls and The Cliks, to host the True Colors Tour, benefiting the Human Rights Campaign. An entertainment pioneer, Margaret also created and starred in The Sensuous Woman, a live variety show featuring vaudevillian burlesque and comedy, which she took for an extended off-Broadway run in the fall.

Margaret returned to TV in 2008 with the VH1 series, The Cho Show. Describing it as a ‘reality sitcom,’ Margaret said at the time, “It’s the closest I’ve been able to come on television to what I do as a comic.” The Cho Show followed Margaret, her real parents, and her eccentric entourage through a series of bold and outrageous experiences, shaped by Margaret’s ‘anything goes’ brand of stand-up.

The aptly titled Beautiful came next, exploring the good, bad and ugly in beauty, and the marketers who shape our world. The concert premiered in Australia at The Sydney Theater, marking the first time Margaret debuted a tour abroad. While touring through the US, the concert was filmed at the Long Beach theatre, aired as a special on Showtime in 2009, and then released as both a DVD and a book.

In 2009 Margaret nabbed a starring role in the comedy/drama series Drop Dead Diva, which aired for six seasons on the Lifetime network. Margaret enjoyed not having the sole responsibility for keeping things afloat. “(Drop Dead Diva) was a very fulfilling experience. It let me taking about the things I talk about, like body image, and women feeling good about themselves.”

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Margaret stepped right up to the plate when asked to do Season 11 of the highly- rated Dancing with the Stars. Paired with pro Louie Van Amstel, Margaret was on the show’s most controversial seasons. Margaret got a very strong reaction to her Rainbow Dancing Dress during a time when the issue of bullying, especially among gay teens, was being heavily covered in the media. “I am very proud to have been able to wear a gay pride dress on a show that is so conservative.”

2010 culminated with another high honor, a second Grammy Award nomination for “Comedy Album of the Year” for Cho Dependent, her incredibly funny collection of music. Featuring collaborations with Fiona Apple, Andrew Bird, Grant Lee Phillips, Tegan & Sara, Ben Lee and more, the album received critical acclaim. The album is funny, but also quite musical, featuring not only her surprisingly strong singing voice, but her skill on the guitar, banjo and dulcimer. “I was inspired to make beautiful music with a comic edge. I took this very seriously, taking vocal and guitar lessons while I was touring.”

Margaret self released Cho Dependent on her own Clownery Records, and was encouraged by the acclaim, since there are only a handful of artists putting out true albums of comedy music – “Weird” Al Yankovic, Flight of the Conchords, The Lonely Island, to name a few – yet no women. In 2011, Margaret released the live concert film of Cho Dependent, which also had its cable network debut on Showtime. Shot at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA, she remained uncensored, with a characteristically no-holds-barred show.

In 2012, Margaret spent whatever free time she had crafting her all new standup show, the uproariously and aptly named MOTHER, which kicked off with both a US and European tour. According to Margaret, “MOTHER offers up an untraditional look at motherhood and how we look at maternal figures and strong women in queer culture.”

Margaret’s creative side moved ahead at full speed with an Emmy nomination for “Best Guest Performance” on Thirty Rock. After the death of her mentor, Robin Williams, overwhelmed her, a mutual friend told her not to grieve Robin, but to ‘Be Robin’. The hashtag #BeRobin was born, as Margaret began setting up shop in different places around San Francisco in an effort to raise money for the Homeless community. “All I do and create a distraction – comedy and music – for several hours and collect goods and donations for people who need them.” The GoFundMe page Margaret set up has raised over $20,000.00 in donations.

In 2015, Margaret was one of the hosts of TLC’s All About SEX, a late night call-in talk show with Margaret covering sex toys and alternative sexuality. “I wanted to remove the stigma of women not only buying sex toys, but experimenting with what makes them feel good.” 2015 also brought Margaret back to the stand up stage, where she filmed her Showtime special/DVD psyCHO at the historic Gramercy Theatre in New York City. Called “wildly kinetic” by the New York Times, psyCHO “is about insanity, about the anger I feel about everything happening in the world, from police brutality to racism to the rising tide of violence against women.” In keeping with the show’s theme, the artwork, a portrait she commissioned from artist Vincent Castiglia made entirely of her own blood.

There’s no break for Margaret in 2016: The three-time Grammy and Emmy nominee will release her next studio album, American Myth, on April 29th on her Clownery label. The follow up to Cho Dependent, it’s the first collection of new music from Margaret in 6 years. She has already debuted three music videos: “Ron’s Got a DUI”, “Fat Pussy”,  and the song that set the Internet on its ass (take that, Kardashians), “(I Want To) Kill My Rapist”. Salon magazine called the song “A new anthem” and UK’s The Guardian reminded anyone who was offended that “Cho is famed for her boldness, her taboo-breaking humour.” Margaret spoke to Billboard about the song saying, “I’m a victim, and now a survivor, of sexual abuse and rape, and I think it’s really hard to talk about it. I think having a song to perform live will allow others to talk about it. It’s a huge issue, and this was cathartic for me.”

American Myth, made with her longtime collaborator Garrison Starr, also showcases Margaret’s first efforts as a composer. Margaret says the album is “my glamorous and glittering tribute to family, comedy, anger, fame, gayness, grief, fat pride, love and hate.”

In what is a fitting tribute, Margaret has also been named special co-host of E!’s Fashion Police, covering the biggest award shows of 2016. Since Joan Rivers was not only a friend, but also a vocal supporter of Margaret, this has a unique significance. “Although I am not quite a fashionista, I would love to look at it like I am changing it up – Fashion Police: Special Victims Unit. It makes me happiest to spend time with Melissa (Rivers), and when I see her laugh at my jokes, I feel like Joan is smiling.”

And in typical “go-go-go” style, Margaret has signed on to develop Highland, a dramedy for Amazon. The hour long show follows Margaret, who after court-0rdered rehab, gets a chance to start over by moving in with her (dysfunctional) family who run a pot dispensary. Co-created by Margaret and writer Liz Sarnoff (“DeadwoodLostAlcatraz) Margaret is set to star and executive produce as well.

With so much success in her artistic life, Margaret has never turned away from the causes that are important to her. She is incredibly active in anti-racism, anti-bullying, advocating for the homeless and gay rights campaigns, and has been recognized for her unwavering dedication. She was the recipient of the Victory Fund’s Leadership Award and the first-ever “Best Comedy Performance Award” at the 2007 Asian Excellence Awards. She also received the “First Amendment Award” from the ACLU of Southern California, and the “Intrepid Award” from the National Organization for Women (NOW). Margaret has been honored by GLAAD, American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), PFLAG and LA Pride, who gave Margaret a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for leaving a lasting imprint on the LGBT community.

Through her hard work, Margaret has had the opportunity to be heard, to extend her point of view and become regarded as a true pioneer in her field. She takes none of it for granted. “It’s a wonderful thing to be known as a ‘safe haven’ for people. People come to see me, or buy my records and/or DVDs because my point of view satisfies a lot of what needs to be said out there. More than anything, that makes me really proud.”

Laverne Cox to Toast TV Actress at the “Dorians TV Toast 2020”

Laverne Cox to Stop by Virtual Pub and Toast Best Actress

In 2007 something happened that changed the course of my life and career — the ABC drama called “Dirty Sexy Money” premiered.  What was remarkable for me about the prime time soap was Candis Cayne playing the role of Carmelita. That debut made Candis the first openly transgender actor to have a recurring role on a prime time television show.

That moment was so pivotal for me: after being in New York City pursuing a career as an actress for many years, I now knew it was possible to be openly trans and have a career.  That possibility model shifted my belief system.

I have been a performer my whole life. I started studying dance when I was 8 years old in Mobile, Alabama and was performing in dance recitals and talent shows by the time I was in 3rd grade. My childhood was filled with dreams of fame and performing in television and movies, and on Broadway and the great stages of the world.

I got a scholarship to study at the Alabama school of Fine Arts (ASFA) in Birmingham, Alabama and spent my high school years at that boarding school. I began my serious study of classical ballet while at ASFA. After graduating from ASFA I accepted a dance scholarship to Indiana University at Bloomington and eventually transferred to Marymount Manhattan College where I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance.

It was at Marymount that the acting bug bit me. My first week there a guest teacher saw me in the hall and thought I would be perfect for a play he was doing in the theater department. This was the first of many plays I did with the theater department even though I was a dance major. While this was frowned upon, I never played by the rules. I did my first film during my senior year at Marymount. I was spotted on the subway sporting long box braids, too much make-up with long lashes, a paisley vintage coat with a faux fur collar, platform shoes, and a mini dress.

During my college years, I went from being gender nonconforming to being more and more femme. I would soon start my medical transition and living and identifying as female. As I started my transition, I knew I wanted to continue to perform and I often found myself performing in drag shows in the nightclub scene.  I never really identified as a drag queen but it provided an outlet for my desire to perform.

By the time Candis Cayne made history in 2007, I had done a number of student films and independent films often to get experience on camera and footage for my acting reel.  I had acted in off-off Broadway shows for free just so I could perform more.  I usually auditioned for trans roles and those were mostly the work I got. At the same time, I found myself auditioning for agents and casting directors and not disclosing that I am trans. In retrospect I believe many of them probably knew. But I didn’t want to lead with being trans; I wanted to lead with my talent. I also had a lot of shame still around being trans.

That shame started to lift when Candis Cayne came onto the scene. I didn’t think it was possible to be openly trans and have a career as an actress. Candis proved that it is possible.  After the premiere of “Dirty Sexy Money”, I made postcards with photos of me declaring, “Laverne Cox is the answer to all your acting needs.” I sent that postcard to about 500 agents and casting directors, and it led to four meetings. One of those meetings was with Paul Hilepo, who is still my manager. The next year I booked my first appearance in an episode of “Law and Order” (a rite of passage at the time for a New York City actor), then a second “Law and Order” appearance. Then I did my first pilot for HBO’s “Bored To Death,” followed by a reality show called “I Wanna Work for Diddy” which lead to me producing and starring in my first show on VH1 called “TRANSform Me”.  In 2012 I booked the show that would change my life, “Orange is the New Black.”

WE ARE BORN AS WHO WE ARE

the gender thing is something that is imposed on you.



With various ‘firsts’ in her already impressive career, the Emmy-nominated actress, documentary film producer and prominent equal rights advocate, Laverne Cox, continues to make history in her career and significant strides in her activism. Debuting on the scene in the groundbreaking role of Sophia Burset, in the critically acclaimed Netflix original series “Orange is The New Black,” Laverne is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show.

Laverne has earned numerous honors and award nominations for her work and advocacy, from being featured on the cover of TIME Magazine, to an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series,” to a SAG Award for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.”

An advocate with an empowering message of moving beyond gender expectations to live more authentically, she was also named as one of Glamour magazine’s 2014 Women of the Year, one of The Grio’s 100 Most Influential African Americans, one of the Top 50 Trans Icons by the Huffington Post, and honored with the Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project, and the Reader’s Choice Award from “Out” Magazine, among other accolades.

Bruce Vilanch Classes-up the Basement of Campiness!

Comedy Legend To Present Campiest TV Show at the “Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry”

Writer, comic, actor and all-around great guy Bruce Vilanch is going to class up the place as he explains the meaning of Camp in his presentation of the Campiest TV Show of the year for the Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry.

One of the most sought-after jokesmiths in the entertainment industry, Bruce Vilanch has become a recognizable face in his own right, thanks to the feature-length documentary “Get Bruce!” (1999) and his one-time stint as a regular on “Hollywood Squares” (1998 ), for which he also served as head writer.

Mr. Vilanch was born in New York on November 23, 1948, but was adopted by the Vilanch’s–his late father, Jonas, an optometrist and his mother, Henne, a former Broadway show girl–and then grew up in Patterson, New Jersey. He has a very special bond with Henne and according to him, gets a lot of his show biz humour from her.

“She’s as obsessed with image as famous people,” Vilanch says of his mother, his hands making the kind of hyper motions that indicate adoration of the stage veteran. “When I was little, the house had what she called the showcase room. The furniture was all wrapped in plastic and nobody except company could go into it. Of course she took the plastic off then. A few years ago, the dog discovered the room, ripped through the plastic and ruined the upholstery. She called me and said she was going to redecorate it. And when I asked her what excuse she would use, she said, ‘I’m telling people it’s because Sonny Bono died.”

Known for his eclectic eyewear and collection of unique T-shirts, he began as a child model for Lane Bryant, but when his initial efforts as an actor came to naught, he became an entertainment writer for the Chicago Tribune instead. Impressed by his review of her cabaret performance in 1970, Bette Midler hired him to punch up her act where he gave birth to Midler’s famed Sophie Tucker jokes. He later moved to Los Angeles where he wrote for variety shows like the original “Donny and Marie” and “The Brady Bunch Hour” (both ABC) and provided material for Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin and Joan Rivers. He has maintained his connection with Midler through the years, working on such projects as the feature “Divine Madness” (1980) and the TV special “Bette Midler–Diva Las Vegas” (HBO, 1997), as well as writing for her short-lived but lively sitcom, “Bette!” (CBS, 2000 ).

He made his feature debut as a dress manufacturer in “Mahogany’ (1975), starring Diana Ross, and also contributed material to her live act. Mr. Vilanch put his Muppet-like persona to excellent use as Santa’s number one helper in the syndicated TV-movie “It Nearly Wasn’t Christmas” (1989). On the heels of “Get Bruce!”, Vilanch performed his comedy stylings Off-Broadway in “Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous” (2000). After a first act reminiscing on his odd path to almost famousness, he opened up the floor to questions in Act II, displaying his amazing ability for off-the-cuff one-liners. As he told US WEEKLY (June 12, 2000), there is a downside to celebrity: “Now, I get knocked if someone tries something that doesn’t work. Before it was the fault of these anonymous people, ‘the writers.'”

Vilanch began contributing to Academy Awards telecasts in 1989, collaborating with the likes of Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and David Letterman, and graduated to head writer in 2000. He has roasted celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and President Clinton. The Whoopi connection led to his providing the notorious material Ted Danson performed in blackface at a certain 1993 Friars Club roast of his then-girlfriend Goldberg, but his resume also includes “You Made Me Watch You”, the touching Emmy-winning valedictory Midler crooned as a send-off to Johnny Carson.

He scripted most of the Academy Awards telecasts over the last decade, two of which won Emmys, including the one featuring Billy Crystal’s Hannibal Lecter entrance. Mr. Vilanch has also written for The Tony’s, The Grammy’s, The Emmy’s, and just about every other award show to brighten your television screen. He also participates and volunteers at almost every charity function, especially those dealing with GLBT issues.

Mr. Vilanch just capped off his 14th writing gig for the Oscars in 2003. Currently he is writing for Bette Midler’s 2003 Fall Tour and in September he will debut in the popular Broadway hit, “Hairspray”. He will be in the touring company which opens in Baltimore, September 9, 2003 at the Mechanics Theatre.

For the part of Edna Turnblad, Mr. Vilanch will have to shave off his famous 30 year old beard. No telling what’s lurking in there…but one thing it has never been able to hide….TALENT!!!

Chad Michaels Glams-up “Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry”

Female Impersonation superstar Chad Michaels

RuPaul Drag Race Superstar Impersonator To Present In Two Categories at Dorians TV Toast 2020

Drag Race Superstar Impersonator Chad Michaels will be the first presenter of the Inaugural Dorians TV Toast 2020 On Revry as he raises a glass to the Most Visually Stunning TV Show. Then, Chad will come back as favorite Moira Rose and Present Best Supporting Actor

Chad Michaels’ career as one of the world’s premier Cher Impersonators now spans over two decades! Chad has collaborated with and entertained for Industry favorites such as David Foster, Bruce Roberts, Michael Patrick King, Elton John, Christina Aguilera, Cyndi Lauper, Gene Simmons, RuPaul, and even the Diva Herself, Cher. For Chad Michaels, the “Beat Goes On”, and on!

In 2011, Chad competed in RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4 and achieved a Top 3 position in the Race. Chad was praised by RuPual for “…elevating this competition forever…”  and was cast as Professor Chad Michaels in RuPual’s Drag U Season 3! In 2012, Chad ultimately took the title of “Queen of Queens” in the RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, winning the competition and earning the first spot in The Rupaul’s Drag Race Hall of Fame.

Currently, Chad produces and performs with the longest running Female Impersonation show in California, The Dreamgirls Revue, and travels extensively touring nationally and internationally as a proud representative of Rupaul’s Drag Race!

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