GAYLETTER

GAYLETTER

Thursday 05.05.22

JOEL KIM BOOSTER

Joel Kim Booster is everywhere. From TV to radio, talk shows to stand-up specials, the actor, writer, and comedian is prolific — maybe you’ve seen him on NBC’s Sunnyside or heard him on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, or perhaps the web series he co-hosts with Patti Harrison, Unsend, has shown up on your feed. For the past decade, Joel has been making people laugh, first getting his start performing comedy in the Chicago theater scene, then moving to New York in 2014, and now based in L.A., his upward spiral continues. This past summer he filmed the highly anticipated Fire Island, which he wrote and stars in, also featuring his friend Matt Rogers, as well as Margaret Cho and Bowen Yang. We managed to grab a few moments of Joel’s time to snap the accompanying pics and ask him some deep and meaningful questions. How he has time to maintain those abs of his, we’ll never know…

 

What was your first onstage comedy experience? The theater company I was a part of in Chicago, The New Colony, had a variety show to promote our latest play, Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche, and we had an open spot that needed filling. I said I’d do something but I didn’t really have a plan. What I ended up doing was basically stand-up.

 

Who was the last person to make you laugh? My boyfriend.

 

Who was the last person to make you cry? My boyfriend. …

Friday 03.11.22

LADY BUNNY

As a teenager, Lady Bunny credits watching Dionne Warwick perform on a basketball court in Chattanooga, Tennessee as something of a turning point, inspiring the direction her life would take. Wilmington-born and Chattanooga-raised, the Southern Belle linked up with RuPaul gogo dancing in Atlanta before she made the move to New York City at the tender age of 21. There, she made a name for herself by performing at the Pyramid Club, and by throwing Wigstock, a summer drag festival, for nearly two decades. Held in its early years at the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park, Wigstock pioneered drag’s visibility outside of clubs. A certified legend, Bunny has performed and DJed all around the world, and when the pandemic halted her regular nightlife activities, she teamed up with Drag Race All Stars winner Monét X Change to start the podcast Ebony and Irony. This past November, we got the chance to kiki over the phone chatting about confusion, politics, the apps, and drag today.

 

 

How’s your day been so far? Oddly satisfying, yet confusing too. [Laughs] Yes… because you see, I live in the realm of confusion. So when I’m confused or chaotic, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a normal thing.

 

As a chaos creature myself, that adds up. Oh, we have a lot in common! Perhaps we’ll get to know each other better than just this interview?

 

I mean, anything is possible. I’m teasing you because I had an edible.

 

Now it makes sense. …

Tuesday 02.15.22

MACY RODMAN

She is the pop star we’ve been waiting for. The Alaska-born 31-year-old has been making music since coming to New York and dropping out of fashion school, releasing her first LP, The Lake, in 2017. Somehow channeling Stevie Nicks, Britney Spears, and Skinny Puppy all at the same time, Macy live is something special. To talk about her latest project, Unbelievable Animals!, (also chakras and star fucking) she sat down to chat with phenom and friend Charlene Incarnate.

 

 

So Macy, everyone’s excited about Unbelievable Animals! It’s all anyone can talk about! [Laughs] Oh yeah all my fans!

 

If I had my own tagline for your album, it would be “a meditation on desire.” I love that!

 

That’s my tagline for your album because it is an expression of desire so thick that it almost sent you, Macy, into an ethereal state. Like it engaged all your chakras. [Emphatically] Yeah!

 

Were you having spiritual experiences that inspired the sound? I was! I mean I’ve talked a lot about the 20-songs-in-30-days process, but that felt very meditative, monk-like. Were you not smoking or drinking? No, I was doing both a lot! More of a New York transsexual monk vibe. But I wasn’t talking to anybody. I was locked up doing nothing but the album, and the experiences that led up to it were very dramatic lows that shook me in a way that didn’t make sense. So when I was over them, it was such a breath of fresh air. …

Monday 01.17.22

JOVANI & HARPER

A conversation between the two soloists

Jovani Furlan (left) joined the New York City Ballet as a soloist in 2019. Born and raised in Brazil, 11-year-old Jovani got his start dancing at the Bolshoi Theater School in his hometown of Joinville, where the famed Russian institution has its only satellite school outside of Moscow. “I started because my grandma thought I had talent, she was like, ‘you love dancing at family barbecues so maybe you should take this test for the ballet school.’” He adds, “My party trick would be doing the splits.” Jovani also spent several years with the Miami City Ballet, first attending their school on scholarship, then joining the company and eventually being promoted to principal dancer in 2017.

 

 

Originally hailing from Dover, New Hampshire, Harper Watters (right) has been with the Houston Ballet for a decade and a soloist with the company for nearly half that time. His parents, both college English professors, signed him up for dance lessons at a young age because he had a lot of energy. “I’ve always loved attention and I’ve always been a natural performer,” he explains. Through social media and viral videos (like the one where he’s running on a treadmill in pink heels), he has also found a way to connect with a wider audience than just classical ballet lovers. “I’ve needed the self-expression that things like Instagram have given me. Being more comfortable outside the studio allows me to be more comfortable inside the studio, which then allows me to be a better dancer.” …

Sunday 09.26.21

BUSHWIG 2021 – DAY 2

The second day of the drag festival's 10th anniversary celebration at Knockdown Center gave us more iconic looks from the best of today's drag scene.

Thursday 09.23.21

Justin Vivian Bond

Justin Vivian Bond is the definition of a multi-hyphenate, an actress, singer-songwriter, artist, and writer, the list goes on, but maybe the most accurate title is cabaret phenomenon. Vivian’s star first rose with the success of Kiki and Herb, a self-consciously camp act where Vivian played Kiki DuRane, a broke-down showbiz diva, and Kenny Mellman her pianist, Herb. Since then she’s established a singular career that spans Broadway, opera, musical albums, and an autobiography. Vivian’s good friend actress Gwendoline Christie caught up with the powerhouse over zoom. The duo had a rollicking good time reconnecting. They discussed everything from human contact to tips on how to stay juicy.

 

 

I want to see your eyes. Can I see them? I’ll show you mine crying.

 

Oh, sweet heart. How are you? I’m all right. I had a crazy night last night, but I just got off the phone with my psychoanalyst. He was very helpful. He said this wonderful quote, that healing comes from doing unto others that which was not done unto you. It’s taking it one step further than those lazy Christians.

 

Not only are you one of our greatest living performers, a modern-day Maria Callas, but you’re also effortlessly beautiful. How do you stay so juicy? That is a very good question. Obviously I hydrate, I drink water. I’m from the South where it’s very dry, it just leeches all the moisture out of your brainstem. It’s sort of like magic mushrooms, you’re basically tripping.

 

So if you want to have an out of body experience, dehydration will take you there. …

Wednesday 09.15.21

BUSHWIG 2021 – DAY 1

The biggest drag festival celebrates their 10th anniversary

Monday 08.23.21

YANNICK LEBRUN

Yannick Lebrun is a 34-year-old dancer and a principal at the esteemed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He spoke to us about growing up in French Guiana, moving to New York City, and performing for Beyoncé.

 

How did you end up in New York? I moved to New York at the age of 17 after I graduated high school. I was born and raised in French Guiana, which is an overseas department of France in South America, between Brazil and Suriname. So my environment was Amazon forests, tropical — a very green territory. I started dancing in French Guiana when I was nine years old. I did a lot of different dance competitions, got a lot of different scholarships, and had opportunities to attend summer programs in New York and France. When I received the scholarship to come study at the Ailey School in 2004, this is when I was like, okay, New York will be the place where I follow my dream and become a professional dancer. I wanted to go dance in a company that would accept my background, my unique cultural identity as a person of color. So, joining Alvin Ailey was my goal. First, I joined the Alvin Ailey School where I trained for two years. Then, I joined Ailey II in 2006, and then I joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater officially in 2008. That energy coming to New York City and being surrounded by all these amazing, young and talented Black dancers — I was so inspired. …

Wednesday 07.07.21

Nightgowns The Musical 2021

An all drag production created by Sasha Velour

Tuesday 06.22.21

Rify Royalty & Charlene present: TRISH

With performances by Olivia Lux, Vena Cava, Shanita Bump and Boy Radio

Friday 03.26.21

Bushwig Spring Fling 2021

Spring has sprung and the queens are out at Maria Hernadez Park

Thursday 01.28.21

Junior Mintt

Before the shutdown, Junior Mintt was one of the most booked and busy queens in the New York and Brooklyn drag scene. Junior likens her shows to “queer church” full of “confetti, balloon pops, laughter, costume reveals, comedy mixes, motivational speaking, political statements, great music, and above all respect!” We connected with Junior to discuss her love of candy, the beauty of Black trans power, and who she looks up to the most.

 

What’s the story behind Junior Mintt and her rise? I wouldn’t necessarily say there was a “rise” to Junior Mintt, I prefer to think she was with me from birth. Junior Mintt is the piece of me that kept me going and kept me seeing my own worth when I didn’t think I was worthy of love. Being trans you’re born into a world that reminds you everyday it isn’t meant for you, so growing up I internalized every hurtful thing that everyone would say. From being very overweight to my femme personality to being too nice, Junior Mintt was the voice in my head reminding me that just because I don’t fit in here doesn’t mean I don’t fit in anywhere. Junior Mintt was always there and always knew who I was, it’s just a matter of me getting to know her now.

 

Where does your name come from? My name outside of drag is Junior as well, and when I started drag, I knew I wanted to use my real name. I started off as Junior High, and then when I was rewatching the Seinfeld episode that’s all about Junior Mints, I remembered that growing up my mom would call me her little Junior Mint, and that was the moment when it clicked! …