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Top Ten Things Ain’t Nobody Got Time For: Diva Edition

Back in February, I made a post of ten things ain’t nobody got time for and I think it was fairly universal. But as all young gays know, your average diva runs on a completely different time zone with places to be and people to… see. I would like to say that 98% of the time, my diva persona is in jest, but these are the times that I truly have NOT got time for.

1. Waiting in line
I’m sorry, unless there are $25 Book of Mormon tickets at the end of this gargantuan line, I am simply uninterested. Somewhere I read that the average person spends six months waiting at red lines. No longer are cars relevant to me, but so help me god, if I spend that amount of time waiting in lines at the post office, coffee shop, waiting to get into a club, I will cut a bitch.

2. Lady Gaga’s injuries
Listen, girl. I love you to absolute death and I am proud to be a little monster. But next time, alert someone when you first start feeling pain instead of letting it exacerbate to surgery-level and canceling twenty-something performances.

3. Bad karaoke
I go to a lot of (gay) bars. A lot of (gay) bars have karaoke nights. And I would like to hear someone epic belting or some crazy riffing instead of a tone-deaf rendition of Summer Loving and/or Don’t Stop Believing for the eighth time tonight, thankyouverymuch.

4. The text or message “?”
You know how iPhones and most social media will now tell you whether or not your message has been read? Yeah, that showing up and me not responding is me ignoring you. Your question mark both irks me and makes you look sad.

5. Theatres calling me to sell subscriptions
Listen, David, I know it’s your job, and I’m sure it must suck. Actually, it might be my job one day, and I fear that day. But the next time I answer the phone and you say, “Hello, it’s David from the Goodman Theatre,” I want you to be calling me in for an audition and not asking me to purchase a subscription that is astronomically more expensive than the student ticket prices you already offer me. Again, please don’t let me live your life.

6. Robot phone voices
Listen. I have a problem. I am calling a customer support line. And I need your assistance right now. Technology confuses me. And I don’t know the right term for my issues. But please give me a nice lady who will reverse my overdraft fees and don’t make me navigate your impossible menu.

7. The fact-checking friend
Listen, if I give you a piece of information or fun trivia, will you just trust that I know what I’m talking about? Or do you insist on double checking everything with your Wikipedia app? Sorry, but your android doesn’t move as fast as my brain.

8. Slow (straight) bartenders
Listen, sir. I would NEVER have this problem if you were AT ALL interested in my sex, but me LEANING over the bar like I am trying to wipe up a spill with my nipples is not for my own personal enjoyment, it is because I am trying to get my drink on and I need you to pay attention to me and take my order BEFORE the blonde bimbos who JUST walked up here. Gracias.

9. Walking home post-coital
Listen, bitch. I don’t plan on ever making a public appearance with you on my arm or vice versa. But you better believe that I don’t ever perform with less than everything I’ve got, aka I am TIRED. Just because I know how to get home does not mean I have any intention of doing so right now. If I never see you again, I’m at least going to see you in the morning, biatch.

10. Getting my Starbucks order wrong
It’s not that complicated. My drink is always explained in six or less works (normally: venti caramel frapp with extra whip), it is so uncomplicated how can you fuck that up? Also how do you misspell my name while you’re at it?? It’s a helping verb people.

I just realized that 60% of those started with the word “listen.” But being a fabulous, diva-bitch takes a lot of hard work and a no-bullshit, take-no-prisoners attitude. Now the trick is walking the fine line between lovable, fun diva and the annoying, stab-me-in-the-face-with-an-ice-pick diva. By limiting myself to a reasonable list of 10 things that this diva ain’t got time for, I’m hopefully succeeding.

What’s on your top 10, divalings?

Stay hot and keep it messy,

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Why I’m Vegan

This is my roommate’s blog post explaining her veganism and exposing facts about factory farming that all American citizens should KNOW. Give it a read and give it a thought next time you’re at the grocery store.

little march(ing)ant

Preface: I’ve been meaning to post something like this for a long time. This post is really months in the making, but I haven’t quite had the guts to post it until now. I think the events of today (Wednesday, June 26, 2013) set me off so much so that I couldn’t keep silent. So here goes. Disclaimer: In no way am I an expert in veganism, animal rights advocacy, or the factory farming industry. I’m just a person who gives a shit.

Edit, 6/29/2013: I have written a follow-up post to the one below, entitled Why I’m Vegan: Part II. In it, I answer a few questions that many of my readers, and myself, have asked after reading this first piece. Please give it a read if you can! – Rachel


Today, I learned that many of my best friends, with the repeal of the Defense of…

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Williamstown Theatre Festival Week One

Hey everyone!

A lot has happened in the past six or so weeks since I’ve been able to update. I am currently sitting in the dorm room of Williams College where I will be spending my summer in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. I am wearing almost nothing because it is hot and humid as balls. What am I doing in the middle of nowhere you ask? Great question, cyber friend. I have an acting apprenticeship with an awesome, Tony-award winning company called Williamstown Theatre Festival. What the fuck is an apprenticeship, you wonder? Another great question, you’re killing it. Let me explain.

Basically myself and 67 other young, aspiring actors are here to make the festival run. We do everything from hanging lights to performing quick changes to driving around New England putting up flyers. Essentially we are here to be the workforce of the festival under the guidance of some very talented theatre artists. We also take classes and learn from the incredible performers, directors, and designers who are doing what we one day hope to achieve. And the cherry on top is that we also get some performance opportunities!

Originally, I was planning on studying abroad in England this summer. I switched my plans for a multitude of reasons. Most importantly, this program is longer, and I will be making American connections. Almost everyone here from production to actors to apprentices is based out of New York City, so it will be wonderful to have a network of people there, since everyone I know is in Chicago theatre. Also, I will be getting my EMC card at the end of the summer which is a great step in the right direction for an acting career.

I will be performing in the company’s cabaret series, which is an awesome tradition. Each year, twelve apprentices are chosen to put together a cabaret featuring actors from the season’s shows and ourselves. We have our second rehearsal tonight and I cannot wait to see how it is all coming together. There are four other Wildcats in the company so it’s been great for us to do that together. In total, there are seven Northwestern students on the program. Purple invasion! Those cabarets happen biweekly in July and August, and if you’re in the area, I encourage you to check it out!

In the personal life category, I came out to the rest of my immediately family the night before I came here, which was a humongous relief. Everyone was pretty cool about it and it ended up being much less of an event than I had always anticipated it would be. My sister, Gracielle, said she thought that was “cool! because gay people are nicer!” … So sort of stereotyping, but I’ll take it for now. My dad, who I was the most afraid about, probably had the best reaction of everyone. All he had to say was, “if you’re happy, I’m happy.” Hearing that was about the happiest I’d been in a while.

Also on that personal life front, I am single again. Those of you who sadistically enjoyed me freaking out about boys 24/7 can look forward to that coming back again. Whoooo.

Anyway, Massachusetts has been really cool and I’m making a lot of great friends. I’m really missing Chicago, especially this weekend which was the pride parade. I’m sad to be missing out on a lot of the cool theatre that will be going up, but I’m hoping that distance will make my heart grow fonder. I was getting a little antsy in Evanston, and I think after a summer away, I will love it all the more.

Anyway, things are going well on this front! Working hard and playing hard!

Stay hot and keep it messy,

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Post-Romance Update

No rest for the weary, lovers. I write to you in the throes of my post-show blues after opening and closing Mamet’s Romance last weekend. Character-wise, I am inclined to say that it was my proudest performance at Northwestern to date. The show was very positively received as hilarious and severely offensive, which sounds like a success to me.

I learned a whole lot from this show and I am still processing how to make sense of it all. Romance was the first time I was married onstage and also my first all-male cast. I am a very touchy-feely, no-boundaries sort of person and building an onstage relationship with an actor who is basically my complete opposite offstage was an exciting challenge. Fortunately I was blessed to be working with a really good actor, and we both pushed each other a lot to create something real.

The role of Bernard is definitely one of my favorites. I guess you could say I was type-cast as the sassy, flamboyant, fierce, young gay. However, even though a lot of the role was similar to who I am as a person, the director, Phoebe, and I set several challenges for me to work on. First and foremost: to avoid making Bernard a stereotype. I’m not sure if this was entirely successful, but I felt as though I formed a three dimensional being who touched on some real human emotion, beyond just being a fabulous diva. The other big challenge was finding his sense of vulnerability, which is something that does not come easily to me. Within the same week, both David Bell (my musical theatre professor) and David Downs (my acting class substitute) told me I need to “get rid of my survival instincts.” An unyielding sense of power and an desire to entertain are two things that constantly get in my way as an actor. Finding the openness to be hurt for Bernard was a big hurdle to overcome in the rehearsal process. Ultimately, the character could have been something easy for me to just memorize the lines and exert little or no effort. However, I wanted to work really hard on it, and, based on the reactions from my friends and peers, I think it paid off.

Now we are moving forward with Pericles, which I am also very excited about. We are doing the show promenade, which is a set-up I’ve never performed before. (It basically means there are no chairs and the action happens around and within the audience who moves about rather freely.) We are also doing the show with a cast of six, which is a challenging prospect for Shakespeare. Design will be very minimalist, and it’s going to be all about the language and storytelling. Among other characters, I am the story’s narrator and I am charged with taking care of the audience and guiding them through their two hour experience. We are almost done with table work and about to get into blocking, which I cannot wait for.

Also this summer, I am going to be an Acting Apprentice at Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. I’m excited about the program, and a couple of the Goldmembers (my acting class) are going as well. I honestly don’t really know what to expect, but people I’ve talked to who attended the program previously loved it. I imagine my time will be split rather evenly between stalking Jason Robert Brown and stalking Robert Sean Leonard. I’m sure I will be updating the blog a lot more over the summer than I have had time for during school.

Speaking of school, I am going to die. I just declared my legal studies minor this quarter and I have so very many credits to get through if I am, indeed, going to graduate with a theatre major, Spanish minor, legal studies minor, and musical theatre certificate. Eek! Looking forward to a FULL course load all throughout senior year.

In other news, I am now in a relationship. Yay! His name is Louis and he is a sophomore math major at UChicago from New York City. This is good for me, but maybe bad for you if you enjoy posts about my love life strife.

Anyway, that’s a basic update on what’s going on with me. Making some theatre and tryna remember what a personal life is.

Stay hot and keep it messy,

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Etiquette of the College One-Night Stand

You’ve had them. I’ve had them. No one is judging here. But let’s just say there is a right way and a wrong way to conduct them. Especially in college, people are horny and want to get some. But people also want to be treated with respect and generally not made to feel like shit. For once, I will blog about something useful to heteros and homos alike! Huzzah!

  1. Don’t brag about it to your friends before it happens
    I mean, you really shouldn’t be kissing and telling anyway. Especially if you are in a close-knit community, the hook-up gossip and potential slut shaming is toxic enough as it is. You sure as hell better not boast to your bros/ladies/betches that you are gonna get down and dirty with that dude/gal/biddie at your place later. If I found out that was happening before we’d even left the party, it would be GAME OVER.
  2. Please, don’t be wasted
    If you are going out in your hottest tight pants, after having taken an extra shower, knowing that you are tryna tonight, please, dear God, don’t feel like you need to show up and immediately taken seven shots. I’m all for getting buzzed, tipsy, even kinda drunk and then bumping uglies with someone you may have never met before. But if you’re gonna do it, you have to be in control of yourself. If you need to be a drunken mess to get frisky with me, I am not interested. Also, fellas, we will NOT be forgiving if you can’t get it up because you took that extra mixed drink. NOT. AMUSED.
  3. Alert Your Damn Roommate
    Hey, I get it. You’re excited. Maybe you haven’t had sex in a several months. Someone is volunteering to put their tongue on your private bits. It’s easy to forget. DON’T. Maybe you’re really into exhibitionism, and that’s okay if you’re in front of strangers, but not your roommate. If you are hooking up with someone you know, chances are your roommate knows them. And they would probably like to avoid being walked in on during what could be anything between an embarrassingly tender or shockingly violent moment. The discomfort of admitting to your roommate that you are going to be using your apartment as a sex den for an hour or so is nothing compared to the horror of having them witness the act.
  4. Be Yourself
    Don’t feel the need to put on some performance of “sexy” or whatever fantasy you think the other person wants. Be real with yourself. Be in communication with your partner in sin. The one night stand is a guilt free time, so if you want to be tied up, go ahead and ask for it. The worst they can say is no. But certainly don’t assume anything.
  5. Don’t Dirty Talk
    Nothing makes me more uncomfortable then someone whispering the words, “I want you to fuck me” into my ears. I get that already. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I am currently fucking you. You don’t need to give me that instruction. Is that supposed to turn me on? Help.
    Ain’t nobody got time for STDs. (Or pregnancy, for you breeders.)
  7. Spend the night
    You don’t have to cuddle. You don’t have to spoon. Unless you want to. (I do.) But you should spend the night. It’s the easiest way to ensure that the other person feels respected and not like an object of your sexual pleasure. If you are starting your business post-rager, it may be few hours before the sun rises and that is no time to send someone out onto the streets to stumble on home.
  8. Don’t be weird about it afterwards
    Hey, look. If we go to the same school, I will probably see you around campus. Or potentially at next weekend’s shitshow. You don’t have to be awkward about it. You helped me, I helped you. Hopefully we both enjoyed it. But there is no need to avoid eye contact or pretend like we’ve never met. Conversely, don’t be clingy. Don’t feel obligated to text me as soon as you get home in the morning. There is also no need to obsessively Facebook message me for weeks afterward about nothing in particular. Let’s be adults. Put another tick mark on your bed frame and move on.

So please, for all of our sakes, review these basic rules before you try to get freaky this Saturday night. We all deserve some action, but we also all deserve some decency.

Happy humping!

Stay hot and keep it messy,

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I Hope Never To Read Another Article As Ludicrous As This…

My Facebook feed is currently a confusing mass of hundreds of red equal signs. This display of love and support of the gay community from hundreds of my online friends is heartwarming and uplifting to say the least. I go to a liberal university and I have rarely felt unsafe or victimized as a queer individual. I know that gay marriage will eventually be federally legalized. I know that my community will not forever be considered second-class citizens by our country. But in the sea of red equal signs, I have been deeply irked by the one green pause sign, resolutely defying the change that our country is nigh on adopting.

This bastardization of the gay rights advocacy campaign belongs to a friend from elementary school: a girl who I had always thought fondly of. However, her timeline is currently splattered with a slew of Christian propaganda. I have made my one comment in defense of myself and my right to love, but I would like to bring to the attention of you readers the arguments of this girl and her religious community. More infuriating than the symbolism of her profile picture was the content of this article. It is hard to read, but I would like to take my opportunity to respond to it in detail here.

  • All states recognize marriages between heterosexual couples. These marriages are not at all contingent on religion. Atheists receive the same marital recognition as Christians do. As far as the state is concerned, marriage is not a religious institution. It is a social institution. If you want to ban it from the gays on the basis of discordance with religious beliefs, have fun banning marriage from those who do not believe in God or have had premarital sex.
  • Giving the freedom of marriage and civil rights to the gay community in no way restricts the freedom of other Americans. Political correctness is not “bullying,” it is necessary for us to display decency and respect to people who are different from us. My right to marry is not “trampling on your religious liberty.” You can feel free to abide by any God-fearing rules you read in whatever book you deem holy. I am not asking you to restrict your personal behavior, and you have no right to restrict mine.
  • I am horrified that this article says “no matter how much we encourage or show compassion for homosexuals, it will not be enough to ward off the charges of hatred and homophobia.” Please do not kid yourself into thinking that you are being charitable to the homosexual community. You are in no way encouraging our rights. Your argument is literally to preserve the sanctity of the label of “marriage” and that you would rather give full rights to a “civil union”. So, what that sounds like to me is “separate, but equal.” How did that work out for us last time, Christians?
  • “There will be a soft tyranny that grows as the power of the state increases, a growth that is intrinsic to the notion of gay marriage itself.” I have read and reread this sentence a dozen times. I have yet to understand what the hell it is trying to say. But anyone who equates marriage rights with tyranny needs to get themselves in order.
  • Sometimes Christians forget that the church and state are separate in this country. The state does not allot certain rights to those who partake in a religious ceremony. Marriage carries legal connotations and marital rights are allotted to those who partake in a state-sanctioned act of commitment. Marriage is, indeed, a religious sacrament to Christians, but it is not to the government.
  • The slippery slope arguments that relate gay marriage to incest and polygamy are just as ludicrous and invalid as any other slippery slope argument. We learn about logical fallacies in high school. This debate is about discrimination in regards to sexual orientation, not about anything else.
  • “Our culture is fickle. It says ‘live and let live’ when it comes to the most powerful human bonds and the most enduring institutions, but it insists on protecting the ‘other’ with fundamentalist zeal when it comes to trans fat, cigarettes, and carbon emissions.” I’m sorry. You seem to be confusing scientifically proven risks to public health and your personal comfort level. Not really sure how you can logically equate those two things.
  • The paragraph beginning with “The unspoken secret…” is nothing short of horribly offensive and ignorant. The term “gay bowel syndrome” is derogatory and obsolete. It doesn’t mean anything anymore, as it is not a real syndrome. Talk about political incorrectness. STDs are not exclusive to the gay community. We are not introducing new diseases to humanity. And, how, may I ask, is a gay man’s contraction of HIV/AIDS harmful to a straight, God-fearing Christian? I’ll let you in on another secret, Gospel Coalition, you have to have sex with us in order to contract those. Also, stereotyping gays as promiscuous infidels is one of the worst parts of this article. I’m pretty sure in a preceding paragraph, the author was complaining about being stereotyped and accused of being hateful and homophobic. Sounds like a double-standard to me.
  • What studies confirm the statement “Kids do better with a mom and dad”? Those studies compare two parent households to single parent households. Good job on citing any of those “hundreds.” Let’s legalize gay marriage first, and then feel free to study how the children of those households fare.
  • Why does the Christian church feel the need to distinguish gender in parenting? I’m pretty sure a lot of Christian women would be rather unhappy if the church told them they must quit their jobs and devote their lives to becoming homemakers upon the arrival of her firstborn. Surprise! It’s a new world and gender is a construct.
  • This call for equal rights is not an “experiment in sexual freedom.” Homosexuality has been referenced since the beginning of recorded history. Sounds like human nature to me. Societal attitudes have alternated between respect and hatred, reverence and fear. But marriage equality is no more an “experiment” than the abolishing of slavery. It is a necessity for equality among all people.
  • The only thing Neanderthal-like about this situation is the horrendous use of logic that is being employed in articles like this one.

I think it is clear to see that this article falls short of any legitimate argument. Those who are already in agreement with these opinions will blindly support these positions. I hope we would be hard pressed to find a neutral party who could be legitimately convinced or coerced by the atrocious logic found here. We will legalize marriage equality, and one day, this article will be an example of the horrible bigotry that formerly plagued our country. If only that day could be tomorrow.

One last thing: Fuck you, Kevin DeYoung.

Stay hot and keep it messy,

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Daddy Issues

So here’s the thing. Many of my friends know that I joke about my daddy issues all the time. And what queer twenty year old who refuses to move back home under any circumstances doesn’t have daddy issues, amirite? But why is it that I only perform monologues that are about troubled relationships with a father figure? Why is it that my dad is the only person who has the power to make me cry instantaneously? How do I deal with my daddy issues?!

Like many other young boys and girls who constantly throw themselves at other people pleading for attention and love, my daddy issues started at a young age. When I was a boy, my father would work fourteen or sixteen hour days most of the time, as he is a small business owner and has essentially built his career from the ground up without having a college degree. For that, I certainly commend him. That hard work has also allowed my parents to afford the decently comfortable home in which I am now lounging and the very safe town of my childhood. However, I believe my father’s absence has had a lasting effect on me.

I feel as though I am in constant search for the strong male presence in my life that my father never really provided when I was a tyke. I’m also obsessed with making my father proud of me and gaining his support (heyo, legal studies minor). My father hasn’t seen me perform in over two years now, including my professional theatre debut last summer. I recognize that it is hard for him to leave the state and his restaurant, but as much as I understand, it still has been hurting me a lot. Every son yearns for his father’s appreciation, acceptance, and approval. I am still not out to my father and I am following a career path that is rather different than what he had dreamed for me. But, for some reason, I have absolutely no ability to give my father the “fuck you, I do what I want” and I spend every one of our conversations trying to impress him.

Here is where the complication really lies. My father, like any other man, is imperfect. As I have grown into adulthood, I have been painfully forced to see these imperfections and, at times, give my opinion on them. My parents announced their divorce some three weeks before I left for my freshman year of college and since then, my family life has been a dizzying torrent of change and complications. Many of these challenges have been brought about by the questionable decisions of my father. As his twenty year old son, however, I feel like I have no power but to scream at him once about the wrongs I think he commits and then move on, pretending as though nothing has ever happened.

Two summers ago, we got into a public yelling match which ended in tears on my part (no surprise there). I jumped into my car – my 1996 bright red Yukon, Hank, who I cherished more than anything – and drove to Barnes and Noble. I purchased a copy of All My Sons by Arthur Miller. I highlighted the following quote: “I know you’re no worse than most men but I thought you were better. I never saw you as a man. I saw you as my father.” I dropped it off at my dad’s house and I asked him to read the play. I am almost positive that he never did. (Note: Maybe that is the most stereotypical theatre major reaction, but it made sense to me at the time.)

Now, I ask you, daddy-issue ridden peers, what is a boy supposed to do? How do I balance my never-ending struggle to appease my father while also being able to talk to him when I think he is in the wrong? What happens when a child becomes an adult? How do we approach relationships with our parents? I will never stop feeling like I am subject to my dad’s opinion, but now I am old enough to form my own judgments of his choices. My father may still have that all-powerful ability to influence my decisions and make me feel childlike, but I am now soberly forced to look at him as an imperfect human, instead of the idyllic, yet absent, figure I grew up with.

So, sorry acting class for bursting into tears when we start to talk about fathers. There’s just a lot going on in my head.

Stay hot and keep it messy,