Tag Archives: Fabulous

Interview with Steve Balderson director of fab new indie movie The Casserole Club

3 Jun

Super real deal  indie director Steve Balderson was ever so kind to have an email interview with me. I can’t thank him enough. A few years ago I wondered “where has all the indie gone?” and found the answer in Steve’s movies and his production ideals.

His newest movie,  The Casserole Club makes its world premiere as the “Centerpiece Screening” at VisionFest ’11. Held at the Tribeca Cinema, Friday June 24th at 9:30 PM. Q&A after with cast! You can buy tickets here.

The website for The Casserole Club is super retrotastic filled with recipes for casseroles and proper drinks, fabulous photos, as well as more info about the film.

First the trailer, then we dish.

Q: I still am trying to get over your last film, STUCK! which I saw at the Boston Underground Film Festival. I happened to be in town, read about your film, and got a ticket immediately. Could you tell me about your new film, the fantastically titled The Casserole Club? I’ve of course already got my ticket for it.

A: I love that you’re still trying to “get over” STUCK! Wait until you see THE CASSEROLE CLUB. You’ll be totally wrecked for years! (Laughs) THE CASSEROLE CLUB is my take on irresponsibility, selfish people, damaged relationships, and history, all set in the perfect 1969 California suburbia.

Q: I see you are working with the delicious Jane Wiedlin, the sever so hot Pleasant Gehman, and Starina Johnson who was just awesome as main character Daisy in your last film STUCK!

A: Yes, I love working with the same people. It’s also really fun to see them playing different types of characters. Jane did double duty on this one. She was my Girl Friday, my right-hand man. She did everything from helping with the script, to art design, deal with the cast, and she even made the best damn salad bar buffet one night for the whole cast and crew! I couldn’t have done it without her.

Q: Jane is really more than just a sexy Go-Go! You have a talented cast, besides your usual ladies. There are some actors like Daniela Sea from The L Word and actors who have been on Criminal Minds. Segue into… there is a former Backstreet Boy in your movie! I’m sorry, he has a name and it is Kevin Scott Richardson. Did you seek him out? What’s the story? Has it caused any stirs or to-do’s? Are you sick of this question?

A: (Laughing), Not sick of it at all. Kevin and (co-producer and actor) Garrett Swan knew each other, and when I was casting, Garrett suggested I look at him. He had great reviews performing in Chicago on Broadway, so I thought I’d give him a try. This would be his film debut. I’m so thankful I cast him. Kevin is brilliant in the film and he was great to work with!

Q: I remember in the Q&A for Stuck! Mink Stole mentioned how they each decorated their own prison cells. Anything similar to that kind of participation in The Casserole Club?

A: Yes! On our first day, to have the cast get to know each other, I separated the men and the women. Since this movie deals with five couples, who are also good friends, it would naturally – in real life circa 1969 – be made up of the husbands sitting in the den, or by the pool, sipping scotch and having cigars, and the wives would be in the kitchen prepping dinner, gossiping, etc. So on day one, I had the guys all go to the liquor store and buy booze, then come back and take all the labels off and replace them with period 1969 labels. Meanwhile, I had the women get together and each bake a casserole dish – which we would later use as part of the meal they would be actually eating in the scene. Another thing we did was all live together in the same house. Everyone slept there, and worked there, and it was great! Everyone got to know each other really quickly. Which actually translates on screen. The performances are much stronger I think, because of the way we made the movie.

Q: Who did the costuming, hair and makeup? I am already having heart palpitations from the movie poster!

A: I selected certain outfits that I wanted for some people, but everyone really took care of themselves and did their own wardrobe – under my supervision of course. Some people did their own make-up and then we had Make Up and Hair artists Kelsey Bodine and Linda Sammut. Doing period costume, hair and make-up was a challenge. But it came across perfectly delicious!

Q: Where was it shot? How long did it take?

A: In the Palm Springs, California area in September 2010 for 14 days.

Q: I understand it was shot on video, did you edit, and on what system?

A: I did the editing on Final Cut. I had a great editing consultant, Stephen Eckleberry who helped me amazingly

Q: You are a director who is truly indie. That word has lost its meaning over the years but you are one of the directors bringing it back. Could you speak a little about that? How do you “work it?”

A: I have a manifesto that is about six pages long (or maybe longer) that really explains the answer to your question. But since you can’t print the whole thing (unless you wanted to), let’s just say that I believe it’s best for me to be independent and have the freedom to make the projects I want to make, when, where, and how I want. And in the process, I’ve figured out how to make a million-dollar product for next to nothing.

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Tammy Faye talked to me about dollar stores

14 May

So once I emailed Tammy Faye and she wrote back, the next day! Tammy Faye Messner was an amazing human being and is not a pop culture joke. Don’t bash her. I love her. May she rest in peace. I am not religious, FYI. I also got a voice mail from her once because of an amazing friend but I can’t even talk about that right now.  I am still all worked up from this unearthing. There will be more Tammy posts. I am going to try and heed her advice. Scroll on down for the emails.

> From: Tammyfayetalk@aol.com

> Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 10:02:47 EDT
> Subject: Re: YOU ARE FABULOUS TAMMY!
> To:
> Dearest Kelly,
>
> Thank you for writing me!  I laughed when you said  that about the Dollar
> Store!  I have bought some wonderful things there…sometimes I find lipstick, eyelashes or even thank you cards at our Dollar Store here in Charlotte!!  Ha!
> And you can’t go wrong with a good resale shop!  ALL my clothes are from
> resale, Ross, TJ Maxx or Marshall’s, ALL of them!!
>
> Please tell your mother that I covet her prayers and will be happy to have
> her read my book too.  I just love your spirit, Kelly and pray that you WILL
> make it in NY.  You can do anything if you stay  focused and think of others above yourself.
>
> All my love,
> Tammy Faye
>
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2004 14:44:15 -0700 (PDT)
> From:
> Subject: YOU ARE FABULOUS TAMMY!
> To: tammy@tammyfaye.com
>
> Hello Ms. Messner,
>
>   My name is Kelly, and write to you out of necessity after watching yet again “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” I just stopped for a moment and went to your
website, and read your chemo message. You are a strong and powerful woman. People everywhere are wishing you all the best, including me!
A little about me. I am 25, struggling to “make it”  in New York City. Not as an actor, or anything likehat. Just as a person who makes others happy and  has some money left over for fun at the dollar stores! I do have both of your books, and once even payed homage to you in a costume contest – I won $100! I was in college and needed it – thanks!
Anyway, I have never written to a celebrity but you seem so sincere and I wanted to let you know that you are completely and utterly fabulous – and I never use that word lightly. Your jewelery is so cool, and I plan on using some of the tips from your book.
You can beat this cancer! My mom is praying for you too!
>
> HUGS,

Amanda Lepore’s Big Top @ Carnival

30 Apr

At the height of the club kid days I was in junior high and high school on Long Island, with large bangs and way into grunge. I also loved 70’s disco and 80’s freestyle. I was far removed from the NYC club scene, even though I was only an hour away from Twilo, the Tunnel, The Limelight, Life,what have you.  Hell, the first time I saw Amanda Lepore she was making an appearance at a fetish night at my favorite club Manray in Boston when I was in college.

The first and last last club kid-esque party I attended was Happy Valley, a few years ago and I loved it. People were really fucked up there, and looking awesome. I danced, met nice people, and there was always something to look at. Michael Musto ate cotton candy I gave him.

Interested in finding out what the status of the 90’s club movement was today, I headed to the first night of Amanda Lepore’s Big Top at Carnival. I arrived at 2AM with a very attractive  friend.

Your senses are semi-assaulted immediately when you exit the elevator which is a very good thing. Red and black stripes and fun house mirrors are right in your face. The coat check girl was super nice, and there were drag queens immediately. It is not possible to have a bad time at Carnival, the decor is amazing, there are real carnival games run by shirtless men, vintage strip teases projected on a large screen, and you enter the light up floor dance area through the mouth of a giant scary clown! I forgot the porn star appearing as  “The Strong Man” working the Man or Mouse attraction.

Due to my super  late arrival, I missed the performances, but did get to say hello to the gorgeous Ivy Winters. She juggles, eats fire, walks on stilts, is a costume designer, and you can file her under hot girl realness.

A big plus of the night was the presence of the ultra glam, high fash,brilliant, super hot Ladyfag! She is one of the hosts of the party, and her hair is a legend.

The highlight of the night was my chat with one of the founding members of the Village People, Randy Jones. He loved the party. The reissue of his book Macho Man will be out soon.

Amanda was looking perfect, even when I took her pic at 3 am. When is she not? She is so gracious as well!

Kenny Kenny looked fantastic, and like me he couldn’t be bothered going in the very crowded elevator, and took the stairs to exit. No small feat in his shoes!

There were a lot of young kids who deserve an “A” for effort but not quite pulling together their looks properly. I was disappointed by the lack of people in the vein of traditional club kids or preferably Leigh Bowery; however I did arrive late so maybe I missed it? Maybe I need to get over the fact I will never experience what has already happened? There were many people there between 2 and 4AM who looked amazing or super cute, and they are featured in the slide show below. I just want more!

BlackBook has a blog post on the party that explores this subject  with authority.

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Michael Musto’s Village Voice 25th Anniversary Celebration

5 Mar

Awesome party at 230 Fifth, fit for a Queen. Hello?! Joan Rivers hosting. FAB. Poor Musto, everyone hounding him. Particularly me. I chatted with some very nice people, who happen to be some of my NYC heroes: Lynn Yeager and Mr. Mickey!!!!! Ms. Yeager pointed out Musto’s mother to me, she was so cute! I also enjoyed my hug with Sahara Davenport, and super loved my chat with one of my long time favorite “tv personalities” in the world Robert Verdi. He is a gem. It was so lovely, and quite major to be approached by Oprah’s stylist of 8 years, Luke Destin. He looked marv, and was super sweet and sassy. Award winning Tommy Femia as Judy Garland singing with Musto nearly killed me. Aunt Barabara yelled in my face “Don’t you know who I am? The top-selling Tupperware salesperson in America!” I liked it so much we took a photo together. I don’t know who came first, her or Dixie Longate, or if like pre ancient man they evolved in different locales at the same time – but I love me some Aunt Barbara.  Lady Clover Honey camped it up. Vodka Stinger and Talulah DeBayous sang in looks that gave me a golden glow, and lyrics that touched my dopamine receptors. I was so floored I only captured the fantastic ending on video.

The room was filled with genuinely cool and GASP nice people who were there to celebrate Musto; a few party crashers and those who wanted to be seen. There were many who totally deserved to be seen, and fawned over which I did. By “fawned” I mean yelling “Work Bitch” and taking great  pictures, then chatting a bit. The very severely amazing and super charming Jonte Moaning, designer KOOan, and the beautiful and currently starring on Rupaul’s Drag Race Sahara Davenport were true artists in their appearance.Manilla was stunning. They just sat back, and the cameras came to them. I passed Kenny Kenny on the stairs and gasped aloud at his veil, and complete look. I am glad to have encountered  Contessa Stuto. I basically yelled “I love your look” and took her pic then stumbled away to find a private area of the roof. I am way into her site right now. Gazelle who I madly took photos of on the stairs, and is so worthy of pictures covered the party on her supah cool site . Let’s not forget, one of NYC’s foremost innovative and entertaining Drag Queens Mimi Imfurst was also there! There were so many Queens I didn’t get to meet.   Mucho sites and blogs covered the party, just search it!  Here’s a few random ones – Paper Magazine Gawker, NY POST, Broadwayworld.com, my new site,  freaking Italian Vogue, NBC, and  Travalanche – who happens to be a former coworker of mine at a job that we thankfully both no longer work at.  Oh yeah Ronnie Spector was there so check out Musto’s coverage to get all the important folks, and of course his opinion of the event. I can only talk of the people with whom I interacted. My version of  an interview with a few of them to come… someday. xo!