"Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck."George Sanders' suicide note from 1972. Well, after being married to two of the Gabor sisters, you could say he was ga-bored!
Those of us who came of age in the '80s and '90s became far too familiar with deathcertainly more familiar than people in their 20s should be. Living through that somewhat numbed me. During the same time period, I dated an incredibly breathtaking man. Early in our relationship, he admitted that he had attempted suicide. When I asked why, he said, "Because I felt like a failure." I suspect the fact that he was able to share his story didn't help. When he actually did commit suicide years later, my sadness was mitigated by thoughts that he eventually succeeded.
I was thinking about this when I read about the suicide of gay writer, director and producer Fred Caruso. Despite his credits, I'd never heard of him and don't believe I've seen any of his work. But based on his suicide note, I am now a fan. I'd like to share one section here: "I have been incredibly lonely andat the same timeI hate being around people. I hate meeting new people and I'm always waiting for someone to stab me in the backlets just say I already have a whole culinary collection. To be clearI haven't forgiven anyone. All the grudges I've carried for yearsI continue to carry. To those people that I hateI hope I have the ability to haunt you for the rest of your lives." If the goal of an artist's life is to touch people, Fred can rest in peace. He not only moved me, but made me laughsomething I hope I do with this column. Bravo, Fred! The only thing that could make me happier is if you actually CAN haunt those who have hurt you. That would be swell.
While most people applauded Nick Jonas for speaking at a vigil outside of NYC's Stonewall Inn following the Orlando shooting, others felt it was a self-serving publicity appearance and accused him of more "gay-baiting"a charge based on his choice of acting roles and personal appearances in gay clubs ( usually shirtless ). A writer for the Huffington Post said, "This is not the time for straight allies to take up spaceespecially if you're an ally who just dropped an album three days ago." First, are we still calling them "albums?" Second, I'm impressed that someone who is a worldwide star is willing to not only speak out but also show up. How many of those critics were there? And if he sells a few "albums" along the way, I'm fine with that, too.
This controversy about Nick Jonas comes at the time when his show Kingdom featured his character in a sexual three-way with a guy and a girlI suppose he didn't want anyone to feel left out. Perhaps you'll see Jonas in a more positive light after seeing the video on BillyMasters.com .
This summer, the Hollywood Bowl is presenting two semi-staged performances of classic musicals. First we have West Side Story on July 14 and 19, featuring Solea Pfeiffer, Jeremy Jordan ( the Broadway star, not the pop star or porn star ) and Karen Olivo, backed by the LA Philharmonic. Then we have A Chorus Line taking place July 29-31, starring Mario Lopez, Krysta Rodriguez and Spencer Liff. That production will be directed and choreographed by original cast member, Baayork Lee. You can get tix at HollywoodBowl.com .
The aforementioned Jeremy Jordan has been in the news lately, as he was trying to get public support to force a "gay conversion center" to release his cousin, Sarah. Apparently, Sarah is gay and wanted to go to the prom with her girlfriend. That led her parents to ship her off to a compound for a year of "ex-gay therapy." According to reports, Sarah tried to escape shortly after being admitted. Jeremy raised more than $65K via GoFundMe to pay for lawyers needed to get her released. Because of his efforts, Sarah is no longer being forced to pray the gay away.
In a related story, the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously passed an ordinance banning conversion therapy on minors.
Everyone has said almost everything there was to say about Noah Galvinthe kid from The Real O'Neals who gave that brutally honest ( and somewhat hateful ) interview and then took it all back. We now know he was under enormous pressure to retract his statements. Why? Because when you're the star of a network show, oodles of people's jobs count on you being a good boy and playing by the rules ( which is why only a handful of you are reading this ). The interview was arranged by Noah's personal publicist in a bid to get him an Emmy nomination. A producer then had to beg and plead the network not to reduce the number of episodes ordered for next season. An anonymous "insider" claims that this was not the network's first issue with Galvinhe had previously been warned about "ego and entitlement." The irony will be if Galvin ends up with an Emmy nodalthough I'm not holding my breath.
Speaking of Emmy nominations ( which will be announced July 14 ), the Boston Globe ran a story entitled "If I Were an Emmy Voter," which listed people who SHOULD get nods. I was pleased to note they included my Play Mama, Jenifer Lewis, in the category of Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for Black-ish. From their lips...
In a brief but certainly not small "Ask Billy" question, Jack from Providence asks, "Who is the guy playing Tarzan? I just saw the trailer and couldn't believe my eyes. Tell me he drops his loincloth at least once."
Clearly, Jack is someone who doesn't have HBO. If he did, he would be familiar with the pleasures that are Alexander Skarsgard. The latest Tarzan comes to Africa by way of Sweden, but is best known to domestic viewers as the lead on "rue Blood. While you won't see all on the big screen, every inch of him is on BillyMasters.com .
When I'm actually looking forward to a Tarzan movie, it's time to end yet another column. We certainly ran the gamut of stories this week. And you'll find even more variety on www.BillyMasters.com, the site that ( hopefully ) gives you the will to live. Feel free to send your questions along to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Nick Jonas plays a straight character! So, until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.