James Bleyer is working hard on making his dreams come true

Photo credit: Allan Naylor

James Bleyer is just like any other young man with a passion for acting. The o difference is, James came into this world as a baby girl but always felt he had been assigned the wrong body. He is most certainly not alone, some reports have found that about one in two hundred people worldwide identify as gender variant.

James describes it as his body and his true self living two lives next to each other. I think that is a great description of what it feels like and have found it to be similar for individuals I know who are experiencing or have experienced similar. I also understand that there are some people who believe it is more of a choice, just like some think being gay is a choice. I am so glad that men and women like James are wiling to speak out now and try to help everyone have a better understanding. There is so much going on in our world and so many lives have been lost, and are lost, due to differences that should not matter to anyone.

I’m going to let James tell you his story through our interview and hope it bridges some gaps, opens some minds, and shuts down some misconceptions:

Q: Can you explain what being transgender means to you in your own words and tell us a little about your own story?

James Blyer: For me it means, that I’ve been born into a wrong body, which I can’t feel good with and really live a happy life. I always explain it this way. My body and I are living two lives next to each other.

Q: What has the process been like for you physically and medically?

JB: Medicaly: One year ago, I started with the hormone treatment and the first things that started changing, where my voice and moods. They changed very quickly and sometimes I could not handle them very well, but they are good now.
On the physical level I started to gain more strength and have more power during the day.

Q: What was the hardest part about telling your family and friends? Were they able to fully understand?

JB: The hardest thing was, that I didn’t know how they would react. I always knew, that they always love me and there could be nothing wrong with telling them, but still I was afraid.
Some of my friends didn’t understand it and didn’t want to loose the person they liked so well. The thing is, they would not loose me, I would only change, and that is something lot’s of people don’t understand. They think the person will be gone, only because they start with the treatment, and that’s completely wrong. Only the look and some small things are changing, but the person will always be the same and be there.

Q: What are some of the misconceptions about being transgender and how do you deal with them when you are faced with people whojust don’t g

Photo Credit: @ChameleonEntertainmet

JB: Well there are people who think that I only do that transition, because I would have a bigger chance with the acting at some point, since men sometimes have a bigger chance. But

Q:What advice would you give to your younger self now that you have come as far as you have?can you imagine that? Doing that, making all those decisions, only because of an easier way of work? That’s rubbish. We are humans, and we are not supposed to be men and woman only, there are so many different genders and I don’t care about those thoughts. Of course they make me angry, but I don’t take them on me.
On the other hand, people in the art world like those new things, they like to work with those things and in my opinion there are more things, than being transgender. One always has more to tell, than only one story, wouldn’t you agree?

JB: I would have told my younger self, that I should have told my parents earlier and not waited so long. Maybe when I went to school or something like that. And I would have told myself, it’s right what I do and feel.

Q: What would you say to other people who are struggling with their own identities and may be afraid to speak about it?

JB:That’s not an easy question to answer, since you never know how your family and friends would react. I know why people are afraid to talk about those things. But I am always talking and not being silent on it. We only live one time and we should always try to live a happy life and that includes being true to ourselves.

 Q: I know you are interested in acting. Do you plan to pursue an acting career?

JB: I went to drama school for three years now and still have half a year to go. In the beginning it was not easy at all, because I simply couldn’t fully let myself go and just play, because I had no hormones, it

Photo credit: @ChameleonEntertainmet

sounded wrong and weird with my voice, felt wrong with that body so all in all I could not really work. Nearly one and a half years ago, I started to understand something about acting and myself and I could work with it. I started working with my inner self and not look so much on my body and then it started to work more than before. I had to allow myself more and find the key to my work.

I plan to go on with acting and find a way for me that works.

Currently I play two roles in drama school, that are definitely male without a doubt and it’s not a problem, that my body is not biological male and to be honest…I don’t care about that.

Q: What other interests/hobbies keep you busy?

JB: I have a lot of interest. I like classical music very much I like reading theatre pieces and literature and enjoy going to exhibitions.

Watching other plays is also very important for me. And when there is some spare time I enjoy a good run or some fitness, but at the moment my drama school keeps me most busy.

Q: Where can people find you online to find out more about you and what you are up to?

JB: On Facebook and on Twitter: @James_Bleyer

Q: When did you first become interested in acting? Are you currently working on anything you can discuss?

JB: I’ve always been interested in acting and watched a lot of German literature films. I always wanted to discover history and different worlds. I want to understand people and life. There are so many wonders.

Q: Who would you like to work with? Actors, producers, directors?

JB: I am always interested in working with new people and certainly there are some big names I would like to work with. But it’s more a dreaming of working in different countries in the first place. I do drama school in Germany and would very much like to work in England, France, Italy, Germany (of course), United States and many many more.
One can only dream and work hard of course.

S. Asher Gelman’s Hit Off-Broadway Play AFTERGLOW Breaks Theater Record and Becomes the Longest Running Show at the Davenport Theatre

****Press Release ****

 “Compelling and raw. This is a show not to be missed!” The Advocate

“It’s clear “Afterglow” will be a must-see among New York theatregoers” Huffington Post

 “Frank, explicit, insightful, unflinching, vivid and honest” Towleroad

“Compelling” Gay City News

“Bold and Buzzworthy” NewNextNow

“Provocatively entertaining” Theatrescene.net

Production Photos by Mati Gelman:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7lnie0dmxtzg07d/AAB-PHVnsrIdnBcI7NIzkYZDa?dl=0

 New York: This season’s hit Off-Broadway play, Afterglow, written and directed by S. Asher Gelman, breaks the Davenport Theatre record for the longest running show, as it surpassed past productions including Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose, A Dog Story (in The Loft) as well as main stage productions of Shear Madness, Daddy Long Legs, Men and Women Talking Love and Sex, Pageant, Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging! and Around the World in 80 Days.

Afterglow began performances on June 12, 2017 and is currently slated to run through July 1, 2018.  Tickets to the controversial play are $59.50 – $109.50 and can be purchased by visiting Telecharge.com.

Afterglow has had a truly incredible journey, and we are thrilled to have passed this milestone in our lovely home at The Davenport.  The response from our audience has been nothing short of overwhelming, with some of our fans returning to the show over and over again.  I am so proud of the entire team behind our little play that could; we can’t wait to get to work on the next one.”

S. Asher Gelman

AFTERGLOW is a raw, one-act play exploring the emotional, intellectual, and physical connections between three men and the broader implications within their relationships. Josh and Alex, a married couple in an open relationship, invite Darius to share their bed one night. When a new intimate connection begins to form, all three men must come to terms with their individual definitions of love, loyalty, and trust as futures are questioned, relationships are shaken, and commitments are challenged.   

AFTERGLOW opened on June 23 to strong audience and critical reviews who called the play A must-see! Afterglow is necessaryhonest and vulnerable.” Pride.com; “Compelling, raw, and sometimes uncomfortable (as any honest theater piece is), This is a show not to be missed!” Advocate; “Frank, explicit, insightful, unflinching, vivid and honest. Gelman’s characters grapple articulately with issues many gay men regularly face. Vivid and honest depictions like these that foster a greater understanding of the way we live now.” Towleroad; “Afterglow is inherently watchable, well-paced and a compelling introduction to Gelman’s theatrical voice.” Huffington Post; “Compelling. The trio is exceptionally easy on the eyes. It effectively adds to the authenticity of the story. Afterglow succeeds as it titillates.” Gay City NewsRaw and beautifully complicated, but above all, relatable.   No gay New Yorker should miss this play.” Unicorn Booty; “Fresh and riveting. S. Asher Gelman has set the bar high with his first play, Afterglow.  Gelman is nuanced as both a director and a writer. The nudity—and it is extensive—is presented with a charged eroticism rather than gratuitous titillation. There is no long-term afterglow for the characters in Gelman’s play. But for the audience there surely isIt comes from experiencing an impressive calling card from a gifted new playwright and director.” OffOffOnline; “Afterglow is a raw and real. Playwright S. Asher Gelman brings to the stage the very personal story of open relationships with heart, grit and a non-gratuitous exploration of the complex theme. This is not just another gay play or limited exclusively for the LGBT community but a play for everyone.” BeautyNewsNYC; “Compelling. Highly charged and extremely sexualThey certainly know how to grab our attention.” Times Square Chronicle; “There is amazing acting happening on stage. Afterglow is a bittersweet love story that will touch you.” ReviewsOffBroadway.com.

The cast of Afterglow includes Joe Chisholm (Regional: The Little Mermaid, My Fair Lady) and Brandon Haagenson(National Tour: Beauty and the Beast. NY: My Big Gay Italian Wedding) and David Merten (Regional Theatre: The Two Gentlemen of VeronaAnd Then There Were None (Judson Theatre Company)Creative team includes Ann Beyersdorfer (Scenic Designer), Fabian Aguilar (Costume Designer), Jamie Roderick (Lighting Designer), Alex Dietz-Kest (Sound Designer), Mike Ross (Dramaturg), Nina Kauffman (Assistant Director), Kate Lumpkin (Casting Director), Laura Malseed (Production Stage Manager), Will Chaloner (Assistant Stage Manager), Evan Bernardin Productions(General Manager), and Gwynne Richmond (Company Manager) AFTERGLOW is presented by Midnight Theatricals.

AFTERGLOW

Written and Directed by S. Asher Gelman

The Loft at The Davenport Theatre is located at 354 West 45 Street, 3rd Floor 

UPDATED Performance Schedule

Monday – Wednesday at 7:30pm (dark on Thursday), Friday – Saturday at 8pm

Saturday at 3pm and 8pm; Sunday at 2pm and 7pm 

EXCEPTIONS:

ADDED SHOWS: Wednesday, June 20 and Friday, June 22 at 3pm & 8pm

NO SHOW SUNDAY, JUNE 24 (Pride Sunday) 

Running time 90 minutes NO intermission 

 Tickets can be purchased by visiting Telecharge.com.

Tickets are $59.50 – $109.50

PLEASE NOTE:  AFTERGLOW contains nudity.

18+, No Late Seating 

For more information on AFTERGLOW, please visit www.afterglowtheplay.com 

Mr. Gelman and the cast are available for interviews. To arrange an interview or press seats please contact JT Public Relations (646) 481-6583 / joe@jt-pr.net

 

S. Asher Gelman (Playwright/Director) is a director, choreographer, actor, dancer, and playwright. Originally from Chevy Chase, MD, Asher received his Bachelor’s Degree in Dance and Theater from Bard College in New York in 2006 and his Masters in Fine Arts in Dance from The George Washington University in Washington DC in 2012. From 2006 to 2016, Asher lived in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he became one of the founders of The Stage, Tel Aviv’s premier English language performing arts organization, serving as its first Artistic Director from 2013 to 2016.  He serves on the Advisory Board of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.  Asher lives in New York City with his husband, Mati.  “Afterglow” is his first play.

Off-Broadway Musical A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK to release cast Album May 22nd, Harvey Milk’s Birthday

***Press Release***

“Surprisingly fierce little musical. Brimming with warmth and clandestine power.” Zach Stewart, Theatermania

 Click Here to see “Love Harry” Music Video

New York: The Off-Broadway musical, A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK, will release its digital cast album on May 22 in honor of Harvey Milk’s birthday, it will be available on itunes.comamazon.comgoogle.com etc. and in stores at a date TBA. 

The cast album of A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK, which recently announced an extension at Theatre Row’s Acorn Theatre (410 W 42 Street) through June 30,2018, through June 30,2018, is produced by Michael Croiter, co-produced by Laura I. Kramer and Jeffrey Lodin and executive produced by Lisa Dozier King.  The cast recording will be released on Yellow Sound Label.  

San Francisco. 1986. What could Harry, an amiable but lonely retired kosher butcher have in common with Barbara, his young lesbian writing teacher at the senior center? Is it enough to bridge the divide?

When Harry fulfills a writing assignment to compose a letter to someone from his past who’s dead, he writes not to his late wife Frannie, but to Harvey Milk, the first openly gay political leader in California. Barbara is stunned. Harry’s letter evokes life-changing revelations that neither could have foreseen. This musical — with its soaring score and deeply-felt, surprisingly funny lyrics — deals with issues of friendship and loss, the grip of the past, and the hard-won acceptance set in motion by the most unexpected people.

LETTER TO HARVEY MILK opened on March 6, 2018 and has caught the attention of audiences and critics alike who have said: ”While Fiddler on the Roof might be the quintessential Jewish musical, A Letter to Harvey Milk feels like the essence of American Judaism.” Plays To See

“This is one of those musicals that stows away in your heart without you even noticing.” Zach Stewart, Theatermania; “The musical is not just the clichés or the humor; instead, it shines a light on Judaism and homosexuality, on loss and on loneliness. “A Letter to Harvey Milk is a moving exploration of Judaism and the trauma that comes from publicly being who you are. I was laughing through my tears.” Plays To See; “A true gem that is totally fulfilling. They don’t get much better than A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK. Put it on your must-see list. The songs are fresh and emotionally rewarding with tears that are inspired by both razor-sharp humor and poignancy. There is nothing in this musical that doesn’t work. The chemistry between Heller, Knitel, and Stern is sublime, and the entire cast is superbly talented.”  ELJ NYC; “A Letter to Harvey Milk seeds into your heart, and blossoms with love.” Diandra Reviews it All; “Fun and laughable, in the good way.” Times Square Chronicles; “A Letter to Harvey Milk offers an honest truth in a time that needs it.” Curtain Up; “This is a letter worth reading and seeing, and well worth the wait.” Front Mezz Junkies; “An inspiring musical about Harvey Milk, voiced by an unlikely source. A Letter to Harvey Milk is one of those rare musicals that dares to confront both LGBTQ history and Jewish history. And it does so with visceral wit, grace, and a full heart.” Gay City News; “A Letter to Harvey Milk is a breath of fresh air.” Stage Buddy; “Touching and Schmaltzy. There’s a lot to like about this show!” BroadwayWorld; “Genuinely affecting and enjoyable.  It is a rewarding and touching piece of musical theater.” Jewish Standard

Based on the short story by Lesléa Newman, the musical A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK has music by Laura I. Kramer, lyrics by Ellen M. Schwartz, with additional lyrics by Cheryl Stern, book by Jerry James, Laura I. Kramer Ellen M. Schwartz and Cheryl Stern and will be directed by Evan Pappas with music direction by Jeffrey Lodin, orchestrations byNed Ginsburg, casting by Stephanie KlapperA LETTER TO HARVEY MILK is presented by Letter Productions LLC, Associate Producer/Production Supervisor SenovvA Production Core and is executive produced by Lisa Dozier King.

A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK stars Adam Heller (Broadway: It Shoulda Been You, Elf, Caroline or Change)Julia Knitel(Broadway and National Tour: Carole King in Beautiful, Bye Bye Birdie)Cheryl Stern (Broadway: La Cage Aux FollesThe Women) along with Michael Bartoli (National Tour: Joseph/Dreamcoat), Sarah Corey (International:  Death for Five Voices), Jeremy Greenbaum (Broadway: Newsies), Aury Krebs (Regional:  Rent, Hairspray), Philip Hoffman (Broadway:  Into the Woods, Cabaret), CJ Pawlikowski (National Tour: Book of Mormon, Memphis) and Ravi Roth (National Tour: Alter Boyz, Seussical).

Creative team includes set design by David Arsenault (Off- Broadway: Terms of Endearment. Broadway: The Color Purple (associate)) costumes by Debbi Hobson (Liberty: A Monumental New Musical), lighting design by Christopher Akerlind (Tony Award for INDECENT, Waitress), sound design by David Margolin Lawson (The Crusade of Connor Stephens).

A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK was proud to be a selection of the New York Musical Theatre Festival’s 2012 Next Link Project where it won five awards, including Most Promising Musical. It was also a finalist for the Richard Rodgers Award.

Listing Information:

A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK

through June 30, 2018

Theatre Row’s Acorn Theatre is located at 410 West 42nd Street

 

Performance schedule:

Tuesdays – Thursdays at 7pm; Friday and Saturday at 8pm;

Matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm; Sunday at 3pm.

Tickets are $79 – $99 and can be purchased at Telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200.

Follow on Social:

Facebook: @ALettertoHarveyMilkTheMusical

Instagram: @ALettertoHarveyMilk

Twitter: @ALettertoHarvey

A LETTER TO HARVEY MILK Production Photos by Russ Rowland

Ms. Kramer, Ms. Stern, Mr. Pappas cast, and creative team are available for interviews.

To arrange press interviews and press seats please contact JT Public Relations / joe@jt-pr.net

 

Who’s Who:

 

LAURA I. KRAMER (Composer/Book) A Letter to Harvey Milk (NYMF 2012 Next-Link Project and Most Promising Musical Award; Richard Rodgers Award 2012 finalist.) Music for As The Years Go By (lyricist Mitchell Bernard); choral piece Woman’s Sphere finalist, Denver Women’s Chorus Choral Music Competition. MA Music Theory/ Composition, Montclair State University; BS Music, Skidmore College; commissioned by Skidmore to write commemorative choral piece, A Musical Instrument. Studied choral composition with renowned composer Alice Parker. BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Member Dramatists Guild, IAWM.

 

ELLEN M. SCHWARTZ (Lyricist)’s first work was writing children’s songs with Bonnie Lee Sanders including “Meet the Care Bears”, “Care Bears Bedtime Story”, and “Meet the Mr. Men and Little Misses”. She collaborated on individual songs with artists including Sue Maskaleris, Barbara Carroll, Gail Wynters, Joel Diamond, and Luiz Simas. Ellen also worked with other collaborators on a number of theatrical projects including Come Up ‘N See MeThe Trapped Family SingersA Letter To Harvey MilkA Cast of ThousandsSecond Avenue Rag, and Tangled Webs, which was left uncompleted when she passed away in May 2013.

 

JERRY JAMES (Book) won the 2012 NYMF Award for Excellence in Writing-Book for A Letter to Harvey Milk. He is the author of a dozen plays, variously produced in New York City and across the USA, as well as in England and Germany. After a forty-year career in the New York theatre, where he spent ten years as PSM of Forbidden Broadway, he retired to Tucson, AZ, where he writes essays for the education program of the Rogue Theatre.

 

CHERYL STERN (Book/ Additional Lyrics) recently received raves Off-Broadway for her solo musical Shoes and Baggagewith music by Tom Kochan. She created lyrics for the Jonathan Larson Award winning Off Broadway musical, Nor’mal (now retitled Pretty To The Bone). Other credits include: The AudienceRequiem for William, Being Audrey (Transport Group), That’s Life!A Christmas Survival Guide, Are We There Yet?, Famous, The Gene GameBuffalonia ( EST). Cheryl is a resident member of the cell theatre and a graduate of Northwestern University.


EVAN PAPPAS (Director) Off-Bway: Liberty, Wonderful TownDuBarry Was a Lady, What Will People Think? Regionally; The Color Purple, Sister Act (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina) Kiss Me Kate, Evita , West Side Story, The Daughter of the Regiment (Opera North), 7 Brides for 7 Brothers  (SF Critics Best Production Award, and Director nom), Funny Girl (SF Critics Director nom) Lucky Stiff (Arizona Broadway Theatre), Murder for TwoMy Way  (Depot Theatre), CarouselA Man of No Importance (Montclair State Univ), West Side Story (Santa Fe College), ). Some Place Like Home (Best Director Award Soundbites Festival, NYC), Broadway Babes (Covent Garden), Assoc. Dir. on Being Sellers (59E59), Moscow (Samuel French One-Act Festival), Parallel Lives (Theatre for the New City), Daily Sounds (Finalist in Strawberry Festival), etc.  As an actor he has starred on and off-Broadway in My Favorite Year, Parade, Putting It Together, A Chorus Line, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, Café Society Swing, etc., and in London’s West End in Follies and Merrily We Roll Along.

 

JEFFREY LODIN (Musical Director) Thrilled to be working with this amazing cast and team. Music Director of the World Premieres of:  Liberty: A Monumental Musical, The Kid Who Would Be Pope, The Sphinx WinX and Glimmerglass. Also a composer, Jeff’s scores, with longtime collaborator William Squier,  include: Disney’s Doug Live (Walt Disney World), 100 Years Into The Heart,  Top Of The Heap, and Merrilee Mannerly (Off-Bdwy, 2018). With collaborator and father-in-law, John Allen: Rebels 1775 and Young Abe Lincoln (Theatreworks, USA). Conductor (most notably Chita Rivera) and Pianist (Andy Gibb, Mongo Santamaria). Faculty member IAMDA (NYC).lodinandsquier.com.

 

LESLÉA NEWMAN’S (Source material) 70 books include the short story collection, A Letter To Harvey Milk; the poetry collection, I Carry My Mother; and the children’s books, Heather Has Two Mommies, Sparkle Boy, and Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed. Poems from her novel-in-verse, October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard have been excerpted in the libretto of the fusion oratorio Considering Matthew Shepard composed by Grammy Award winner Craig Hella Johnson. A past National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellow and poet laureate of Northampton, MA, she currently teaches at Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing program.

 

LISA DOZIER KING (Executive Producer) has offices in both New York and Miami, which have managed more than 100 professional theatrical productions. Upcoming: Unlikely Heroes, Hit Her with the Skates, Shoes and Baggage and Ben Virginia and Me: The Liberace Musical. Past Off-Broadway highlights: The Crusade of Connor StephensVincent, Stars of David tour with DR Management, PromisingBedbugs the MusicalBreakfast with MugabeFinal AnalysisF#%king Up EverythingSistas the MusicalBronteTen ChimneysThe Duchess of MalfiHow to be a Good Italian DaughterThe Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall. Lisa is also the BFA theatre management program director at the University of Miami, producing director for the newly founded organization Miami New Drama, managing director for InProximity’s all women Project W Festival now in its second year, and has also served as the general manager for the National Alliance for Musical’s Festival of New Musicals for the last decade.  ldkproductions.com

Flint Bedrock: A Musician and Entrepreneur with Heart

I met Flint Bedrock a while ago on Twitter and then thankfully, we recently became reacquainted. I have always been impressed by his drive, his outlook, and his collaborations. He’s a musician and businessman from Leeds, England who knows how to work well with others and obviously enjoys it! I love the story he tells in the answer to my first question about his mom and to me, that is so telling of the type of person he is. When you are raised right, you are definitely put on the right path early on.

Q: You are both a musician and an entrepreneur. Which came first and how did you become interested in music?

Flint Bedrock: That’s a tricky question, LOL! I started having piano lessons when I was 5 years old after my mother noticed that I had taken interest in playing the instrument. I was often found playing or rather trying to play on our church piano before and after the service.

I come from a business family and have in one way or the other been involved in some type of business however small the role, for the most part of my life. I remember my mom giving me a pack of sweets (lollipops) and telling me I could either eat them all or individually sell them and make enough money to buy more than what she’d given me. Kids would have little stalls outside church during lunch hour where we’d sell all sorts of snacks and refreshments. Our community encouraged an entrepreneurship lifestyle and from a young age children were taught business values. To answer the question, I definitely had a passion for music first but I also took to business at an early age.

Q: I know you like to collaborate with other musicians. How do you choose the projects you work on?

Flint Bedrock: I enjoy working with other artists, being able to create a new piece of music with other people is such an amazing privilege. I tend to be drawn to artists who have the same values as me, I believe music is an expression of self. I like to make sure that behind the fun and artistic expressions there’s also a strong message that listeners can hold on to or something that inspires them to make positive changes in their lives.

Q: Do you also collaborate with people on the entrepreneur aspect? 

Flint Bedrock: I absolutely love collaborating with other entrepreneurs, I have always believed that if your dream only involves you and your interests then it’s too small.

Q: Who would you like to work with musically that you haven’t had the opportunity to yet? 

Flint Bedrock: I have a lot of respect for artists who have excelled in both music and business, the likes of Will.i.am, Pharrell Williams and P Diddy, I would be over the moon if I got an opportunity to work any of them. There’s many people I’d love to work with.

Q: Both Music and the entrepreneurial world have been changed a bit by reality TV with shows like The Voice, Idol, and even Shark Tank. What do you think of those platforms? Useful or not? 

Flint Bedrock: TV reality shows create a great opportunity for the right people. The format draws in  different kinds of artists and by design does not benefit everyone, but for the people who are able to maximise the exposure they get, it can be life changing. I think it’s important for a contestant to understand exactly what the show is and what it’s not and be realistic about their expectations. The downside to it in my view is an unknown person with no experience of dealing with the media can find them self on the cover of every magazine one day and be out of the competition the next day. This can cause a lot of psychological trauma and difficulty in adjusting back to normal life. There’s no aftercare or financial compensation and with the whole country expecting you to be some sort of a celebrity it’s incredibly difficult coming to terms with the fact that nothing much has changed and in a sense you’re back to square one.

Q: What advice would you give someone who was just starting out in music?

Flint Bedrock: The business has changed so much. 6 Deciding to become a professional singer/artist is a very brave thing to do. The most important thing is to know exactly what you want out of it and be completely realistic with your expectations. Not everyone can be a superstar but if you have talent, drive and determination they’s no reason why you can’t have a successful music career. Do things the right away, register with organisations that support artists and put in the hours. There are no shortcuts to success and don’t wait for someone somewhere to come and make your dreams come true. Believe in yourself and never give up, good things take time!

Q: What advice would you give them on how best to utilize and incorporate Social Media?

Flint Bedrock: Social media platforms provide a perfect opportunity for artists to get noticed, promote and sell their music. You can also get invaluable data about audience demographics which can help you identify and develop your niche market. I have personally benefited from social media, Twitter in particular; a platform which I signed on to virtually unknown and now have a following of over 150 000 people. It’s given me credibility as an artist, exposure and more importantly has helped me sell my music which is what you need to be able to make a living off your music.

Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?

Flint Bedrock: At this point in my life I can’t live without my phone, smartphones provide incredible convenience and capabilities which are indispensable for my music and business.

If we could do away with greed, the world would be a much better place.

Q: Speaking of social media, where can we find you online?

Flint Bedrock: Follow Flint Bedrock on social media: Twitterhttps://twitter.com/flintbedrock Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/flintbedrock1 Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/flintbedrock

Q: What is coming up next for Flint Bedrock?

Flint Bedrock: I am currently working very hard to develop my business and creating new music. People can expect to hear much more music from me this year.

Hush Manhattan is the Private Oasis Every New York Man Needs

You know I LOVE my spas and my spa treatments. Normally, I travel to other locations to experience the best spas and find the latest treatments like in Ft Lauderdale at the Grand Resort and Spa (which I need to do again this spring!) and I’ve been to Grail Springs in Canada but I really wanted to find a space here in NYC where I could escape, relax, and recharge. I actually searched for a while in between my trips to the others but never found a good one here until last year. I finally had the good fortune of finding Hush Men’s Spa in Manhattan!

I’ve been there countless times for massages and body scrubs and I recently added eyebrows, hair removal, and glorious facials. Let me tell you a little about the space and the services.

First of all, Hush Men’s Spa is located near Times Square on 47th Street but don’t let that scare you. Once inside the first floor apartment, you are in a total zen, peaceful, and quite space. I know, you don’t believe it’s possible.. but, it’s true! You don’t hear any of the outside noises, you are greeted with friendly faces, relaxing music, and aroma therapy. They got everything right from the lighting to the ambiance, and customer service. You are always offered water, a chance to use the bathroom in case you have traveled there, and I have rarely had to wait for my appointment. Actually, thanks to NYC subway schedules, I think I have been a few minutes late here and there. The best part is, just like the Grand Resort and Spa, Hush is for men only so you don’t have to feel like you are using a female spa and you can be free to relax comfortably.

There are three spa rooms where massages, body scrubs, hair removal (sugaring and waxing), and facials are done and there is one bathroom with a full shower so you can leave all fresh and clean.

The staff is completely professional, friendly, knowledgable, and amazing at what they do. I tend to ask lots of questions when I’m trying new places but they have been more than accommodating in answering and teaching me a few things.

I’ve had massages, eyebrow shaping, and facials from Julio who seems to always know what I need before I ask. I tend to carry my stress in my neck and shoulders but when I leave there, I’m good until I go to work again haha. During my facials, I always ask about what is being used, what I should use, and how I should use the products suggested. Julio is always willing to answer, offer advice, and discuss. He even suggested coloring my eyebrows and lashes since they tend to get so lightened from the sun. I’m totally taking him up on that very soon before one of my upcoming events. Guys, when was the last time you spent a full hour cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing your face? When was the last time you used steam on your skin? Trust me, do it!

I’ve also received massages and body scrubs from Louis, who really takes massages to another level because he has definitely mastered the art of energy work. If you are aware of energy, you will feel it for sure. I’m telling you, there are times where he just puts his hands over a spot that is troubling you and without physical contact, you FEEL the pulse of energy working through your muscles. If you’ve never experienced it, it may be hard to imagine but trust me, it is powerful. He also has this habit of infusing good energy into you all through the massage so you leave feeling extra good and ready to tackle anything. And of course, the body scrubs are so soothing, plus so good for your skin. We don’t usually pay enough attention to the skin on our body like we do to our face and hands. It feels good to let someone else do that for you. He’s also so good at answering any questions you have and since he’s a wiz with the energy, he tends to know what’s up even when you don’t remember to tell him.

No matter what service you get, you always leave feeling better. It’s so important to take that time for yourself and so often, we don’t even realize how long it’s been since we allowed ourselves to just chill. You don’t have to book a big trip to do that if you live in NYC, just head to their website and book a treatment or call! If you’re planning a trip to NYC, make sure to make this spa a part of your itinerary. You will thank me for it!