Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Yu Tsai's 'Model' behavior
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2014-10-01

This article shared 18454 times since Wed Oct 1, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Tyra Banks is back with cycle 21 of her hit show America's Next Top Model. Miss J and Kelly Cutrone both have returned as judges from the past and there's a new kid on the block with mentor Yu Tsai. Not only does he guest-judge on the panel at times but is the photo shoot creative consultant.

This openly gay photographer with an eye for the extraordinary has launched the careers of supermodels such as Kate Upton and Alessandra Ambrosia. He's photographed celebrities like Zooey Deschanel, Anne Hathaway and Ryan Gosling. He's been featured in magazines including Marie Claire, Harper's Baazar, and Vogue Japan.

WCT called the opinionated Tsai to go behind the scenes of his life and journey to Top Model.

Windy City Times: Hi, Yu. Let's go over your history. Your family is from Taiwan?

Yu Tsai: Yes, I always say I was made in Taiwan but bred in the U.S. I grew up in Indiana. I'm a cornfed Asian boy! We moved to California about 15 years ago.

WCT: How was being gay in small towns?

Yu Tsai: I have to say I'm really glad we moved out of Taiwan because the educational system was very different with me. I was very artistic in my way. I was isolated and anti social growing up. I didn't have many friends but lots of imaginary ones. I'm the kid that played in the sandbox by himself when other people are playing together.

For me, I didn't know there was something awkward or different about me. That was just who I was but in school I was not accepted. I was always a troublemaker because I had a lot of questions. I had way too much energy for my own good.

In the traditional Chinese and Taiwanese school system it doesn't work. When I came to America, my awkwardness turned into pure creativity. That is when I really bloomed and blossomed.

I always say that if I grew up in Taiwan I wouldn't know where I am today. I don't know if I would have gotten into college at all.

WCT: Was your family accepting of you coming out as being gay?

Yu Tsai: We never had a coming-out discussion. I grew up very independently. I left my home early enough that there was never a moment when I sat down with my parents to tell them I am gay. There was never a moment where they had to ask me about it. When I was fifteen I was auditioning as a dancer at Disney. I would prance around the backyard and do my routines so I think they knew but there was never a discussion about it.

When I was in college there was a question if I was going to get married but I just said, "It's not legal yet" then I would walk out of the room!

I do remember my mom accepting it and was glad for someone to help her with makeup, and take her to Barneys to go shopping. That was her coming out moment to me and not me coming out to her.

WCT: How did you get on America's Next Top Model?

Yu Tsai: I have been a fan of the show for many years. Cycle one was when I first started in the photography business. Being such a novice that is where I learned about models. Tyra had put a huge footprint in my brain what modeling was like. I don't know if it was a hundred percent accurate but that is what inspired me to shoot. It was years later that I wanted to do and lobbied it with my agent. I heard there might be positions open a few years ago. When Jay Manuel left and Johnny Wujek took the spot he asked me a year ago to come in as a guest photographer since I was his friend. I guess the team and the network loved me.

WCT: I can tell Tyra Banks has an affection for you.

Yu Tsai: I love Tyra. I get her. I embrace and admire everything she has done.

WCT: You described one model in a past episode as "dead inside." I can't believe you said that!

Yu Tsai: [Laughs] I'm not defending it. Everything I said on that show came out of my mouth. It was not someone else talking for me. One rule I gave to myself is give this show everything I got or don't do it at all. I actually want people to hear my thoughts. Whether that thought is negative or positive I want to put it out in the world. Hopefully editing puts it in the right places. I'm known for having very unfiltered vocabulary.

WCT: People like an honest opinion sometimes.

Yu Tsai: We will see about that. There are lots of haters!

WCT: The photo that did with all of the models on top of each was brilliant. Was that inspired by the Kylie Minogue video?

Yu Tsai: Everything that we do on the show is to make sure we are relevant. There are so many videos and movies that have been made with people entangled with each other. Tyra really inspired that concept. She wanted the models to engage with each other. Tons of them want to stand around and do a cover of a magazine but the idea came from them having to touch each other.

I'm sure you heard on the show when I said that it's about getting everyone's energy. That is what this show is about not just modeling but relationships with the judges and contestants. There are so many layers to the show. To be a great contestant you can't just be a model there's a lot more to it. They have to deal with me on the challenges so there is a lot to do! I feel for the contestants.

WCT: Are you on the judging panel more?

Yu Tsai: The mentor is not supposed to do the judging to remain impartial. I am on the final panel to pick the winner.

WCT: There has been a lot of eye candy, with male models again on this cycle.

Yu Tsai: Oh, with Matthew, Ben, Denzel, Keith and Will. To be honest, I try not to let that distract me. I took my job very seriously. One time I screamed at Denzel and it is true because I think he's amazing. I think he should do much better every single time he's at challenges.

I don't see what is at the house so if they have a fire at home I want them to leave that behind. That energy they should not bring on set. I want them to be the model I expect them to be. That is how the real world is.

Tsai and America's Top Model walk the runway Fridays at 8 p.m. on The CW.


This article shared 18454 times since Wed Oct 1, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER Melissa Gilbert joins 'Rehab' cast with Dan Butler 2021-10-25
- Melissa Gilbert—an Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated actor, director, producer and New York Times best-selling author known for her role on TV's Little House on the Prairie—will join the cast of the upcoming world premiere of When ...


Gay News

'Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets' LGBTQ+ Representation in the Media' panel Nov. 4 2021-10-21
--From a press release - In recent years LGBTQ+ people have increasingly seen representations of themselves, celebrations of their lives and stories, and coverage of LGBTQ+ issues across media channels. This has led to a worldwide rise in understanding, cultural acceptance, ...


Gay News

Celebrities support trans employees in Netflix walkout with video 2021-10-20
- As the Netflix walkout in response to the company's continued support of Dave Chappelle's special The Closer was underway at the streamer's Los Angeles headquarters Oct. 20, a video that includes activists and Netflix talent alike ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Superman, TheWrap, Oscar Wilde, Billy Porter, Cher, 'Dragula' 2021-10-17
- The ongoing comic Superman: Son of Kal-El, by writer Tom Taylor and artist John Timms, launched in July and saw Jon Kent officially take up the mantle of the Man of Steel now that his father, ...


Gay News

Jury selection in Smollett trial starts Nov. 29 2021-10-15
- The Jussie Smollett saga continues. Almost three years since out actor Jussie Smollett (TV's Empire; the film Alien: Covenant) was allegedly attacked in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, Cook County Judge James ...


Gay News

PBS to air queer documentary 'Things We Dare Not Do' Oct. 25 2021-10-12
- American Documentary | POV announced the national broadcast premiere of Things We Dare Not Do (Cosas que no hacemos), the second feature film from Mexican director and cinematographer Bruno Santamaría, as part of POV's 34th season. ...


Gay News

Netflix suspends trans employee who tweeted about Chapelle special 2021-10-12
- Netflix suspended a transgender employee who criticized the new Dave Chappelle stand-up special The Closer, writing on Twitter that Chappelle's jokes were harmful to transgender people and the LGBTQ community, NBC News noted. The company denied ...


Gay News

MOVIES Colman Domingo to star in Bayard Rustin biopic 2021-10-09
- LGBTQ+ actor Colman Domingo—who has been in movies such as Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Candyman, and TV shows ranging from Fear the Walking Dead to The Big Gay Sketch Show—has landed the lead role the ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ groups call out Dave Chappelle over latest special 2021-10-07
- Dave Chappelle's new Netflix comedy special, The Closer, is already making headlines due to material several groups have called anti-LGBTQ, Variety reported. In a statement, GLAAD called out the pattern of derogatory jokes, saying that "Chappelle' ...


Gay News

Few LGBTQ nods from the Emmys even as RuPaul makes TV history 2021-09-21
- Netflix's The Crown and Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso were among the big winners as the Television Academy presented its 2021 Emmy Awards on Sept. 19 in Los Angeles. While the Academy had drawn praise for the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Genera+ion' axed, sports items, Wilson Cruz, k.d. lang, Lil Nas X 2021-09-19
- HBO Max did now renew Genera+ion, its OC-high-school-set dramedy, out.com noted. "We will not be moving forward with a second season of Genera+ion," a spokesperson for HBO Max said in a statement. "We are very proud ...


Gay News

Stephen Amell, 'Outlander' star to be at Wizard World Chicago 2021-09-17
- Stephen Amell, known to millions as the crime-fighting vigilante lead in the hit TV series Arrow, will return to Wizard World Chicago on Saturday, Oct. 16. Amell—who also starred in DC Universe vehicles such as DC's ...


Gay News

TELEVISION 'Drag Race,' 'Queer Eye,' 'Pose' among Creative Emmy winners 2021-09-13
- Three 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies took place Sept. 11-12—and Netflix's The Queen's Gambit led the way with nine wins going into next weekend's Primetime Emmys, Deadline reported. LGBTQ+ individuals and shows also scored se ...


Gay News

MUSIC Lil Nas X wins top award at MTV VMAs 2021-09-13
- The MTV VMA Awards took place Sept. 12—and an LGBTQ+ artist took home one of the night's top awards. Lil Nas X won Video of the Year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," besting Cardi ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA 2021-09-12
- Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.