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 2021-03-03
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

TELEVISION Dashaun Wesley spills the tea on HBO Max's 'Legendary'
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2020-06-24

This article shared 4235 times since Wed Jun 24, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


"Ladies, gentlemen and genderqueers" exclaims Dashaun Wesley as host and emcee for the new ballroom culture reality-competition show Legendary, on HBO Max.

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he came out at 14 and visited Christopher Street in the West Village often while growing up. He described it as a place where he could be himself as an out gay man. The pier there was where he first saw vogue battles, inspiring him to begin competing, eventually earning the title as King of Vogue.

Fans of America's Best Dance Crew will recognize him as a member of Vogue Evolution. He played Shadow Wintour on the FX series Pose and appeared on the big screen for Magic Mike XXL.

Brought to life by Scout Productions, Legendary is a competition show where different houses perform for judges to take home a grand prize of $100,000. The judging panel consists of Law Roach, Jameela Jamil, Leiomy Maldonado and Megan Thee Stallion.

Windy City Times: Had you emceed in the past before Legendary?

Dashaun Wesley: When I found ballroom, I was a competitor in clubs with a fake ID, tagging along with my friends. I always wanted to use my voice. I have a nice voice, not to toot my own horn here. I grabbed the mic for the first time ever in 2003. From that point forward, I never let it go.

WCT: Is it a lot of freestyling?

DW: Yes, directly on the spot. However you feel, you call it. You have to flip it around and make it work for the crowd.

WCT: Were you nervous about being a commentator on Legendary?

DW: To be honest, I practiced before the show. Everyone gets nervous because we don't know how it will be shot or how we will be seen. As a ballroom performer, you don't think you can go out there and it will be easy peasy, but you have to think positive.

WCT: You must have won trophies in the past with the name King of Vogue.

DW: Yes, gawd. In Georgia, one of the highest performance categories for $5,000 went to vogue, so I am the highest paid voguer out there.

WCT: Talk about the creation of Legendary.

DW: It started with Scout Productions: David Collins, Rob Eric and Michael Williams, who came to us with the idea and had won Emmys in the past for Queer Eye. At first, I was going to be a competitor on the show. I am a house parent as well with the House of Lanvin. When we shot the pilot for the show, I was on there with my house members.

This was two years ago, they eventually spoke to me about being the emcee and I was glad to accept the position.

WCT: What are your thoughts on the judging panel of Legendary?

DW: I love how the judges have their own opinions and views. That is how it is in the actual scene. The judges come dressed up and sit to watch the competitors.

Leiomy is a person of experience and a legend in the ballroom culture. Momma don't play no games at all! Megan Thee Stallion sees things from a neutral point of view. Jameela is the caregiver and Law gives the tough love.

WCT: Talk about the moment when the audience turned against guest judge Dominique Jackson on episode three.

DW: That was the full ballroom experience, where the crowd didn't agree with a judge. They will yell at a judge and the judge is there to do a job. Dominique's reaction was so real and fab at that moment.

WCT: DJ MikeQ handles the music?

DW: Yes and MikeQ has been in this just as long as I have. He creates his own tracks. The music is not all about dance, but music plays a part as far as communication.

Ballroom is not just about voguing. It's about so many different categories.

WCT: There is a lot of diversity on Legendary, but what are your thoughts on the all-cis girl group House of Ninja? I know you are a big fan of their inspiration, Benny Ninja.

DW: In conversations about ballroom cultures, you will hear a lot about the Black and Latinx community. This show is a light that there are other parts to our communities. We have categories for trans men, trans women, gay men [and] drag queens; straight men can walk, too. I think it's important because there are women out there that want to participate in ballroom.

WCT: There are some touching stories on Legendary. Has there been one that meant a lot to you?

DW: Every time I hear a story I want to cry. These are true stories that people should connect with. Our rights are free, but there are a lot of things to go for and achieve. Legendary shows what's happening at the moment. There are kids that are having problems at home still or don't have places to live. I am emotional hearing all of them.

WCT: Shorty, from House of Ebony, is from Chicago and mentioned possibly having no home here.

DW: These are the stories we need to tell. There are so many people going through this that we haven't shown on TV until now.

WCT: [Actor] Jack Mizrahi worked on Pose and Legendary. Did you know him well before this?

DW: He is my gay mother. I have known him since I came out. He is an icon for ballroom culture on the microphone. It is awesome to work with him on both shows.

Years ago, we unknowingly signed up for the same hosting class in New York City. We talked about the future and here we are.

WCT: What does the TV show Pose get right or wrong?

DW: There's only so much story you can tell in a certain amount of time. It is hard to get the message across to everyone, because there's so little time. There are a lot of things that I wish could be said through Pose, but not enough time to say it.

Pose has been such an amazing opportunity. By the way, I love playing dress up and it's the best thing ever. I love outfits that shimmer and shine. Pose captures the visual of it all.

WCT: Have you ever hurt yourself voguing?

DW: Yes, a few times. When you are in a battle moment, you just don't see anybody. I remember not having any money and doing what I had to do to earn that prize. I have messed up my knee by the way I landed. I sprained an ankle before and still won. Of course I still hung out at the ball afterward even with a sprained ankle!

WCT: What would you like to see on a second season of Legendary?

DW: New houses. There are so many houses out there. I would like to see new challenges. There are more faces to bring in from the community to show their talents, whether as a judge or participant.

WCT: What do you think about HBO Max removing the movie Gone With the Wind from its library?

DW: I saw those conversations on Twitter and I am sad about it. I wanted to watch it, but now I can't. I am sure I will watch it somewhere. People are talking!

WCT: How are you doing with Pride and protesting this month?

DW: We had one of the very first protests out here in Los Angeles, which was awesome. I have been through experiences like that before, being from New York. I appreciate the protests. Things get crazy and wild, but messages need to be put out there.

For Pride, we would usually be celebrating here in LA. This pulls it back a bit. We need to let the world know why we do this. I wish we could just celebrate who we are the last week and have a good time.

We are going through something right now, but we do have a show that is representing Black, queer, trans, lesbian and gay issues. When things aren't open right now, we can still come home and watch Legendary.

New episodes of Legendary debut every Thursday on HBOMax.com and more of the King of Vogue can be found at DashaunWesley.com .


This article shared 4235 times since Wed Jun 24, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Music Box to run Pedro Almodovar films starting March 12
2021-03-04
On Friday, March 12, Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., and Sony Pictures Classics will present Pedro Almodovar's critically acclaimed English-language debut, the short film The Human Voice, starring Tilda Swinton and freely based on ...


Gay News

Sisters in Cinema brings back Learn & Earn Program: Sisters in Cinema Newsroom
2021-03-02
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL- Sisters in Cinema, a Chicago-based 501 (c)3 recently in the news for breaking ground on their new Media Arts Center, is proud to announce the return of their Sisters in Cinema Newsroom Program, and ...


Gay News

Awards season kicks off with 2021 Golden Globes
2021-03-01
The 78th Annual Golden Globes Awards were distributed Feb. 28 in a quasi-virtual event hosted by performers Tina Fey at the Rainbow Room in New York City and Amy Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly ...


Gay News

MOVIES Director Ali LeRoi on his LGBT time-loop film 'The Obituary of Tunde Johnson'
2021-02-28
The Obituary of Tunde Johnson is a movie with some familiar elements—but they're used to make a novel film. The movie uses the time-loop element that's probably most popular in the film Groundhog Day. However, director ...


Gay News

Showbiz: Black gay director, Oscars, soccer couple, Demi Lovato
2021-02-21
Paris Barclay, the Emmy-winning TV director and former president of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), will receive the guild's Honorary Life Member Award at the 73rd Annual DGA Awards on April 10, TheWrap reported. Barclay ...


Gay News

MOVIES Dutch journalist talks about making 'My Friend, the Mayor'
2021-02-17
In the Amazon Prime Video documentary My Friend, the Mayor: Small-town Democracy in the Age of Trump, Dutch journalist Max Westerman profiles friend Sean Strub, an openly gay activist, activist, long-term AIDS survivor and POZ magazine ...


Gay News

New dance film features 46 dancers from 20 countries
2021-02-17
Films.Dance—a global film series produced by and under the creative direction of LA-based Jacob Jonas The Company—continues with Match, the single most expansive collaboration in the 15-film series. Match features ...


Gay News

Showbiz: Jodie Foster, 'Aretha,' gospel singer, Cody Newman, gay actors
2021-02-14
While promoting her new film The Mauritanian, Jodie Foster said she "was a little scared of" acting alongside Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, Yahoo! Entertainment noted. Of Silence (which has its 30th anniversary this ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ film critics group unveils nominations
2021-02-11
The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics (GALECA) revealed the nominations for the 2021 Dorian Film Awards on Feb. 11. Minari leads the way with six nominations, including best film and best foreign-language film; Nomadland scored five ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Wonder Woman 1984' coming to PVOD, Digital, Blu-Ray
2021-02-10
The movie Wonder Woman 1984—the sequel starring Gal Gadot, with Patty Jenkins as director—is arriving on Premium Video on Demand (PVOD), 4K, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, according to a press release from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. ...


Gay News

Groundbreaking ceremony held for Sisters in Cinema Media Arts Center
2021-02-09
Sisters in Cinema held a press conference Feb. 8 at the South Shore Cultural Center to commemorate the construction of its new state-of-the-art Media Arts Center that will be at 2310 E. 75th St. The event, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Tian Richards, August Wilson, $88M celebrity home, sports items
2021-02-07
Tian Richards has been cast in the title role of the Nancy Drew spinoff, Tom Swift, at The CW, Variety reported. Richards will make his first appearance as the character in an upcoming episode of Nancy ...


Gay News

Sisters in Cinema groundbreaking Ceremony promises access, training in South Shore
2021-02-05
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL - South Shore will soon have access to a state-of-the art media facility now that a local organization has begun construction on its new brick-and-mortar home. Sisters in Cinema, a 501(c)3 dedicated to celebrating ...


Gay News

Wizard World Chicago moved from June to August
2021-02-05
Wizard Brands, Inc. announced that its scheduled 2021 live event in Chicago has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions and in continued accordance with federal, state and local guidelines. Instead of the original dates of June ...


Gay News

SAG nominations announced; Boseman gets four nods
2021-02-04
Nominations for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards were announced Feb. 4. On the film side, Deadline noted that the late Chadwick Boseman made SAG Awards nomination history by receiving four nominations: for his lead role ...


 



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.