Tag Archives: Michael Musto

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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Convos with Johnny Weir & Paris Childers

27 May

I was lucky to see the screening of the amazingly entertaining must see Pop Star on Ice when I was working for The Film Panel  Notetaker, covering Newfest 2009 .

Anyway Johnny is beautiful, talented, and full of spunk.  Paris Childers  is also a skater, has great skin, and is a fuckin pissa.  They are currently starring in Be Good Johnny Weir, Mondays at 10:30PM on the Sundance Channel.

Paris and I discussed Nina Flowers, stereotypes in gay film, MAC makeup, Liza Minnelli, and a few things about Pop Star on Ice.

Moi: The lines that you had were so good.

Childers: I’m known for one-liners. They just come around every now and the

Moi: Why is it such a big deal if a figure skater is gay? I don’t get it!

Childers: There are closeted people in figure skating. I think it’s seen as such a feminine sport you have to prove you’re not gay because everyone perceives femininity for being gay.

Moi: Did you enjoy experience?

Childers: I did. It was great. We got up early this morning and went to MAC to get our makeup done. It was weird seeing it on the big screen. I’ve seen it at home. Did you guys like the film?

Moi: Oh my god I loved it.
A few other people got to Paris, and I thanked him and swiftly moved to Johnny before anyone else got to him. Graciously he spoke to me, and I am still charmed.

Moi: What did it feel like to have the cameras around you all the time?

Weir: The only time I ever get uncomfortable is when I have a pimple. That’s the only time I feel uncomfortable, I have no problem being myself. The great thing about the movie is that nothing was scripted, except obviously putting us in the bubble bath.

Moi: Yes but the conversation going on in the bubble bath I assume would occur on other occasions?

Weir: I am crack house crazy.

Moi: Yeah me too. I really related to the part where you and Paris were dressing up and taking pictures of yourselves. I was all, “That’s what me and my friend do!”

Weir: Fantastic.

Moi: So um, are you still filming?

Weir: Yes we’re still filming it. They’re going to film me leading up into the Olympics. We’re getting ready to go to Canada to shoot the choreography for my new programs. They’re troopers. They spend a lot of time in the ice rink filming things that nobody else wants to see.

Moi: Do you participate in the production?

Weir: If I remember something or I see something in a playback that’s beautiful and I want it in there, I’ll tell them I want that in there – and they’ll do it because they have too. (Laughs) In general they are very talented.

Moi: Fabulous.

His current look. You know I LOVE teal and hot pink!!!!!

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!