Interview with Sean Cunningham (Friday the 13th Director)

In October I was honored to be part of the San Pedro International Film Festival, where I got to walk and work the red carpet, see some amazing new Indie films, support those filmmakers, and celebrate the industry. One of the two weekends was October 13th to the 15th, which meant we were in attendance for Friday The 13th. This Friday became the horror night, which was the perfect opportunity to show the original Friday the 13th film.

What was even more serendipitous was the fact that Sean Cunningham was in attendance that evening too as a special guest. Mr Cunningham is quite an interesting artists and a pleasure to talk to. I think I learned more in those few hours than I have in a long time about movies, filmmaking, and the industry as a whole. He was also gracious enough to grant me an interview and sit down in front of a camera for a change.

One of the things we talked about was his new project, The Nurse With the Purple Hair, a Social Good film that shows what hospice care is and what it can be. It’s the story of Michelle Lasota who makes the switch from surgical nurse to hospice nurse after the death of her father.

Sean met Michelle at Fan Expo in Toronto, CA, and was captivated by her stories about her hospice work. As filmmakers often do, he turned his interest into a project.

To date, the film has been viewed by focus groups from Vitas Healthcare, Skirball, and Kaiser Permanente. This has been their reactions:

– A catalyst to break through American culture’s denial of death.
– A great tool to bring awareness to what hospice is really about.
– Takes the mystery and fear out of hospice and dying.
– I feel brave, inspired, and honored to start a conversation that matters.
– A true look at a caring hospice nurse and the wonderful qualities of hospice care.

Here is out interview from SPIFFest:

Here is the trailer for The Nurse with the Purple Hair, you can learn more here:

Have you met Kit Williamson and John Halbach – Actors, Writers, Producers, and Travel Influencers?

Many of you may know Kit Williamson from Mad Men and his Emmy nominated and award winning show Eastsiders (Where you will also know his husband, John Halbach from). I am lucky to have become part of Eastsiders as an associate producer in season three and I am even luckier to be able to call them friends now as well. As a matter of fact, I just saw them in NYC when they were here to promote the third season of Eastsiders at New Fest last month.

If you follow Kit and John on social media you may have also noticed they have become quite the travel/luxury influencers these days and that is what I wanted to highlight them for here. Of course we must note that Kit is working on some amazing writing and directing projects like Girls Like Magic AND Eastsiders Season Three is available to pre-order at Amazon right now.

I have no idea how they find time to do all they do and take the fabulous trips they do BUT I do know that they make the trips look as fabulous as you’d imagine, plus are able to bring us all along via social media. Earlier this year, they took a trip across Europe that included time in Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Prague. Then they returned to LA for the premiere of Eastsiders Season three at Outfest but soon after headed to Palm Springs for some more amazing views and Instagram photos!

Recently, they spent time in NYC, where I am from (after a brief stay in one of my favorite cities, Toronto), and introduced me to the Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn. I actually lived right there in Williamsburg for a but but never visited this truly luxurious hotel right in my home town.

During their time in Europe, Kit and John experienced some of the local culture, explored the usual tourist sites, and definitely enjoyed the local cuisine. I spoke to John about it at the Eastsiders premiere party after Outfest in Los Angeles and he expressed interest in doing it again as well as traveling to other places. At the after party for Eastsiders at NewFest in NYC, Kit expressed the same feelings to me about traveling and I expressed my interest in joining them on a few adventures (can you blame me for trying?).

There experiences traveling and influencing have led them to start their very own magazine called Where Gentlemen Go to showcase all the latest and hottest trends in travel, health, home, fashion, and more. As they say, “Go Out, Go Home, Go for It – A gay men’s travel/ lifestyle blog for modern gents.” I suggest you check it out, you will see a familiar face there from time to time. I am truly proud to be a part of Where Gentlemen Go because it’s a place for guys to go to share experiences, thoughts, tips, and their favorite things and places.

Please make sure you follow both Kit Williamson and John Halback on Twitter and Instagram for to view pictures of their trips and upcoming adventures and projects. Also follow Eastsiders and Girls Like Magic, you won’t be sorry.

Afterglow The Play is a Must See Look at Modern Day Relationships

Friends with benefits, threesomes, and love triangles, OH, MY. Afterglow the Play (a play by Asher Gelman) explores the pros and cons of modern day “open” relationships and is a very real look at some of the complications that can arise. It’s not saying that these relationships can’t work, it’s just shedding some light on what can happen if things don’t go as you are expecting.

One of the things about the play is that the complications aren’t necessarily limited to being caused by another person. In true modern day realness, these issues can arise from career fixation, addiction, or even social media temptations.

Afterglow starts off with a couple having fun and spicing things up by inviting a third to play and the sexiness is supercharged. Three naked men in one bed is certainly an explosive way to start any production. And for the nudity lovers out there, there is plenty more of that throughout the show. The experience is fun, funny, touching, and even soul searching. There were plenty of tears shed as well as checking your own judgements in some instances for some people. The audience was so invested that there was plenty of laughter, gasping, and awws. The emotions are kept alive even during scene changes, which are done by the actors in between acts. The cast is so choreographed as they interact in character, which makes it both important and entertaining to pay attention to all the details. If the previous scene was happy and light, the actors are jovial during the moving of the set. If there was anger, grief, or strife, the actors are angry and tense as they move the set pieces and props.

It’s definitely refreshing to see a story about the lives of gay people with more heft and grit to it which also comes a bit closer to the reality of gay dating life in 2017. If there were more time, it would be nice to see the characters fleshed out even more or be shown more about their entire lives.

Brandon Haagenson and Robbie Simpson play Josh and Alex, the husbands, who will have you loving them and feeling tense for them throughout the story. Patrick Reilly is Darius, who gets caught up in this fantasy and allows himself to catch feelings for Alex against his own better judgement. He does such a wonderful job at expressing his emotions, devastation, disappointment, and confusion while reminding the audience that no one is really to blame here, nor is anyone worthy of our hatred.

The intimate setting of the Davenport Theatre makes you feel like you are in the characters lives, apartments, and relationships like a true voyeur as you explore their issues right beside them. Do polyamorous relationships work or is there a point where they need to be cut off before real feelings develop that can get in the way of everything a couple strives for in their journey together? For some, it certainly does but in this case, maybe not so much. Since it is based on Gelman’s own experience in opening up his marriage, this is surely one way things do play out in real life. Check out Afterglow and judge (or perhaps a better word is see) for yourself.

Make a Statement of Equality and Style with Gay Pride Bow Ties

When I think of style, class, and high profile events, I have always thought of bow ties. For some reason, they just give me the feeling and look of sophistication, so I have always included one in my outfits for any major event I attend in the past few years. Recently I met Jorge Santana, President of Gay Pride Bow Ties, and he shared with me that he would like people to think of equality when they see, wear, or think of his ties. The mission of his company is to unify people and make a difference in the world.

Gay Pride Bow Tieswere recently at Kansas City Pride, the PFLAG National Convention in Portland, and I’m sure quite a few same-sex weddings. I am so excited to wear mine this fall and winter for the formal events I know I’ll be attending.

John Raphael from the digital comedy series 'A Brit and a Yank'

The neat thing about these ties is that five dollars from each tie sold is donated to various non profits, depending on the style you purchase. This means you look good and do good at the same time!

Gay Pride Bow Ties are made of fine silk and are high quality pieces to add to any dapper guys wardrobe. With the various styles, there is sure to be one that fits your personality perfectly and there are even pre-made ties for those of us who just can’t get the hang of tying a perfect looking bow tie.

How many of us like to wear something that stands out and makes a statement? I’m sure most of us would love to have a special piece in our collection that will make us look sharp and grab attention wherever we go. Plus in the age of selfies, I must say, Gay Pride Bow Ties make for quite a picture and post! And trust me, they aren’t just for same-sex weddings, you can rock these classy ties at any wedding or event!

James Stapleton from the digital comedy series 'A Brit and a Yank'

When I asked Jorge about what he hopes for for the future of Gay Pride Bow Ties he responded, “The next step is to create the best bow tie for breast cancer and that for every $400 donated it will help 12 women battling breast cancer to get a wig. If people start purchasing the product and don’t care about the name Gay Pride Bow Ties, then we have done our part. We hope to create more bow ties like this in the future.“

How do you wear your pride? Pick one up for yourself and show the world.

You may recognize him.. had to show off mine as well.

Cool Effect Partners with Zero Waste Fashion Label LIVARI for a Social Good NYFW show

I was recently invited to the LIVARI fashion show for New York Fashion Week and introduced to this innovative fashion line. LIVARI recently partnered with our friends at Cool Effect and what a perfect partnership it is! Cool Effect has always been at the forefront in the battle against climate change and LIVARI is a new zero waste, women-led, women-designed label collaboration by actress and environmentalactivist, Alysia Reiner, celebrity stylist, Claudine DeSola, and designer and Women’s March organizer, Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs.

It was a high-engergy, high-fashion event complete with amazing music and friendly people willing to share all the information on the important topics at hand.

Here is the official press release and some photos from the show! I encourage you to follow Cool Effect and LIVARI on social media to keep up with all they do!

Cool Effect Partners with Zero WasteFashion Label LIVARI to Achieve Net Zero Emissions

LIVARI will Retire One Tonne of Carbon with Cool Effect for Every Purchase

San Francisco, CA, August 31, 2017–Cool Effectis excited to take a step into the world of sustainable fashion and is announcing a partnership with LIVARI, a new zero waste, women-led, women-designed label collaboration by actress and environmental activist, Alysia Reiner, celebrity stylist, Claudine DeSola, and designer and Women’s March organizer, Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs. Cool Effect –a non-profit supporting carbon reduction projects with consistent crowdfunding across the globe –is helping the Brooklyn, New York based LIVARI achieve net zero emissions.LIVARI is already ahead of the curve for sustainability practices in the production of their line. This includes use of responsible fabrics and materials, local printing and manufacturing, and using unique techniques for minimal waste such as using excess rust to hand dye silk and cotton, and replacing silk with cupro, which is a regenerated cellulose fiber derived from cotton linter. Ethically made production efforts aside, LIVARI is committed to doing even more to offset the production of the line and has retired 25 tonnes of carbon with Cool Effect to achieve net zero greenhouse emissions.

The partnership will officially kick-off at the debut of the inaugural collection on Wednesday, September13 at New York Fashion Week as part of Kia STYLE360.“I’ve been a long time personal supporter of Cool Effect, an organization committed to science, transparency, and to the idea that anyone, anywhere can join the battle against climate change,” said Alysia Reiner. “The fashion world isn’t exactly famous for being environmentally minded, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t full of people who are ready to fight for Earth. With so many shared values and goals, Cool Effect was an easy choice for LIVARI when looking for a partner to help us take action and reach net zero emissions. ”Cool Effect currently features 11 carbon reduction projects on its platform, with efforts ranging from protecting acres of forest in Peru to installing efficient cookstovesin Uganda. LIVARI has chosen to support a biogas digester projectin Bagepalli, India which converts cow dung into clean biogas. Support of this project contributesto a reduction in carbon pollution, air pollution, and water pollution while also helping with waste management, soil fertility, and forest conservation. By reducing methane emissions, LIVARI is helping fight climate change one retired tonne of carbon at a time.“Cool Effect allows conscious consumers to take immediate action to help the planet while still living their lives: going to work, buying new clothes, blow drying their hair, etc.,” said Marisa de Belloy, CEO of Cool Effect. “We’re thrilled about the partnership with LIVARI because fashion is a part of lifeandLIVARI shows consumers that it can be done in a sustainable and conscious way.”In addition to retiring carbon tonnes to cover the initial footprint of the line, LIVARI is also enabling itscustomers to directly fund the same clean biogas project by including a tax-deductible contribution of one tonne of carbon mitigation into the purchase price of alimited edition t-shirt featuring a custom design from distinguished artist Hodaya Louis. The LIVARI runway collection will be showcased at the Caravan Stylist Studio showroom at The Gregory Hotel in New York City beginning on September 14th, and will be available for purchase online at LIVARIclothing.com. Individuals can confidently purchase items that are net negative in terms of emissions.For more information on Cool Effect and how you can support a project today, visit CoolEffect.org.About Cool Effect™ :Cool Effect is a San Francisco Bay Area 501(c)(3) non-profit that allows individuals to create a tangible impact on climate change through a digital platform, providing consistent funding to the highest-quality carbon reducing projects around the world.Cool Effect was founded on the passionate belief that individual support of projects will create a cumulative effect that will reduce and prevent carbon pollution. Like the Butterfly Effect, The Ripple Effect, and others, a single action can have global impact. The organization’s mission is to ignite planet sized change. To learn more, please visit cooleffect.org or follow Cool Effect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. About LIVARI: LIVARI is a zero waste womenswear label made ethically in New York. LIVARI disrupts industry norms with a community approach to design coupled with innovative shopping experiences that speak to the need for multi-functional clothing. The LIVARI woman is a consummate lover of thoughtful design.

Media Contact Demonstrate PR

Victoria Rainone 415.400.4214

CoolEffect@demonstratepr.com