Everyone should be Addicted to the inspiration of Mark Munroe

I’ve known Mark Munroe for almost seven years. He was among my first interviews back in  2012 and has truly become a good friend to me over the years. It’s funny that in all this time, we had our first face-to-face meeting this past January. It may sound cliche but there really was no awkward moment. The second I was in his presence, it was like we were experiencing one visit in a series of adventures. It seems insufficient to say that Mark has been inspirational to me personally and also without knowing it, he has been a source of support as well as grounding as I navigate my own journey.
One funny story he also doesn’t know is that when we met this year, it was actually my very first time drinking scotch. I think I held my own pretty well and I didn’t want to seem rude since it was a national Canadian holiday and he was so gracious to extend an invitation to me while I was visiting Toronto. Surprisingly, I actually liked it! I guess that’s why they call him The Male Addict…. he really does know what’s good! It was also a true honor to work alongside him for the premiere of the CTV television show Cardinal. I feel like the whole thing just solidified everything, for me at least and I absolutely cannot wait to hang out with him even more! I think I may be addicted to The Male Addict…
When I first met Mark, he was a singer-songwriter and I knew he had a very bright future from the online interactions we shared and from the interview we did. Since that time, Mark has shifted his focus to his role as The Male Addict and his magazine, Addicted. He is an expert on highlighting what’s hot, what’s up and coming, and what we should be addicted to. He has flattered me by referring to us as kindred spirits but I do actually feel like we are on similar paths with very similar thought processes on the industry we love, our roles in it, and the things we should avoid at all costs.
On an even larger scale, Mark Munroe is an extraordinary example of someone who has overcome so much and not only survived, but thrived. He has been very open about his struggles with body issues, addiction, and how he has dealt with it all. His thought process on following our dreams, no matter what they are is something I am behind 100%. I believe if we follow his example, we can attain all we aspire to and more!
I am beyond proud to share this follow-up interview that has been a long time coming and beyond excited about what may come next:
Q: The last time I interviewed you it was for your music but, my, how things have changed since 2012! Tell me a bit about The Male Addict and WeRAddicted.com. How did that all come about?
Mark Munroe: Well as you know, I worked in entertainment (recording artist, model, actor) for years with moderate success, but like many my life had been destroyed by drugs, depression and body issues. I decided to take some time away and get myself sorted. During that phase I started a journal of all the things that made me happy. From a sunset to a great meal, I focused on what I loved. That journal turned into a blog out of convenience and then my best friend and writer Nadia came to me and asked if I wanted to turn it into a magazine, I said yes. Now 5 years later Addicted is an international lifestyle outlet, and my social brand @TheMaleAddict was born from that and have both helped to change and really shape my new reality.
Q: Do you miss music? Think you’ll ever head back into the studio?
MM: I do, a lot to be honest, but, I have actually already been in the studio since my last release “Drive” in 2013, gawd I didn’t think it had been almost 4 years. I have actually written another record and some of the music is done as well, but, now is not the time for music, but, I will come back to it at some point publicly, until then I’ll do my thing behind the scenes.
Q: Being an influencer can be tricky. Without giving away your secrets, how do you do it in such an authentic and genuine way?
MM: Here is my rule: Only endorse what you really love. I have learned over the years that people see through the “BS” and really, you have to be true to yourself, so much so in this industry as people will try and pull you in every direction.
Q: I know you come across all of the best products out there so what are some of your favorites right now in these categories:
Wine?
MM: my go-to right now is Carnivor, it’s bold and strong, which I love.
Men’s fragrance?
MM: I’ve been wearing Armani Code, but I jump around on the fragrances, I also love the Sexual Collection for Michel Germain, check it out!

Men’s skincare?
MM: My steady over the years has been Triumph and Disaster, but I am loving Alumier MD right now

Men’s fashion including shoes?
MM: My fav suit maker is actually a fellow Canadian, Christopher Bates, love his work, when it comes to shoes, oh lord where to I begin. I have several pairs of Noble Soles, Sully Wong’s, (also Canadian, are you seeing a trend? lol) and I have a love affair with new balance.

Men’s underwear?
MM: Bjorn Borg, they make the most insane undies, I love them.

Men’s athletic wear including shoes for running and the gym?
MM: My collection is split, clothing, New Balance and Columbia, shoes, new balance, again lol

With summer coming up, men’s swimwear?
MM: haha I just bought a Charlie bathing suit, it leaves nothing to the imagination, so we’ll see if I wear it out in public!

Any other categories you care to speak on?
MM: My magazine is called Addicted for a reason, there are just so many things I love!
Q: You’ve always been very open about your own struggles and addictions. Why is it so important to you that you stay part of the conversation?
MM: In the past few years that I have talked very publicly about it. I guess my hope is, that by sharing my story, I can maybe help someone along the way, to remind them that it is never too late to start over. I was an addict, I was depressed, bankrupt, the works, and now, I am healthy, happy, and doing what I love. I want to share to help others see that anything is possible.
Q: What advice can you offer to people stuggling with their mental state and/or with addiction?
MM: Find a happy place, happy moments. What brought me back to life wasn’t changing everything in a day, that is way too much pressure. I learned to change, that I had to be in it for the long game. That change would take time. Start small, and build from there.
Q: What advice would you offer to loved ones of individuals who are struggling?
MM: You can’t help, you can’t save them. The addict has to want to help themselves. As someone who was the addict, I always want to apologize to anyone that has to go through that with someone they love. I know I put my mother through hell, and even though she forgave me, that was almost the hardest part of it all, forgiving myself for what I put her through.
Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?
MM: I couldn’t live without the love of the people around me, I couldn’t imagine my life without that. I wish everyone would live without Snapchat, I just, I can’t, maybe I’m just too old school.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? From whom?
MM: My dad: You decide to be a good man, you decide to be successful, you decide to be happy. What choice will you make Mark? (he asked me that after I started my life back again after time off while dealing with my addiction.)
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve every given? Are you good at following your own?
MM: Follow your heart, and yes, I have spent my whole life following my heart, and I don’t mean in love, I mean following your dreams, setting crazy goals that seem so out of reach.
I was a Canadian boy born in a small town with a minister father. I dreamed of modeling and did it, I dreamed of being a recording artist, of owning an international magazine, if I pass on anything to the world, I hope it’s that: always follow your heart and don’t let anyone tell you-you can’t.
Q: What’s up next for Mark Munroe?
MM: There is so much I still want to do. Right now in life my focus has shifted, I am focusing on using the platforms (Addicted and @TheMaleAddict) we have created for a movement of change. I have been blessed in my life, and I want to share that in any way I can to assist others, tell their story, and help their journey if I can.
Q: You and I met via social media when it was fairly new. Do you still think it is a good place to make real connections?
MM: To be honest, real connections are hard now a days, and while yes I do think real connections can be made, I do think social also has the ability to make people less social, if that makes any sense.
Q: If you were to head back into the studio to record an album about your life, what title would you give it?
MM: The album that I mentioned earlier was called “The Awakening” cause that’s what happened to me and changed my life. I’d call it Addicted, but I’ve used that a few times now!
Q: Can you tell us about some of the things you have cooking up at WeRAddicted.com?
MM: We are really excited to be working with some amazing brands this year, but not only that, we have so many fun peope we are working with as well, not to mention travel, and as I write this, our team is heading to SXSW. We are working to keep entertaining, informing and as always finding people that inspire.

and I have to admit, I’m more excited than I have ever been in my life!
I hope you are all inspired to find out more about Mark by following him everywhere and keeping up with him via his magazine. I want to thank him for taking time to do the interview with me!

TwitterTakeover at The Grand Resort and Spa

I have been very lucky to be able to enjoy wonderful trips, restaurants, spas, and entertainment and now I get to pass along some savings to YOU so you can join me in one of my latest adventures. And more importantly, you can share in a relaxing, fun experience. Sorry, ladies, this one is only for the guys.

Do you want to vacation with guys who know what’s hot and happening? Join me (teeco71 – Tommy Geraci) and Matt Martin at the Grand Resort and Spa for a relaxing and intimate gay vacation in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida! Enjoy poolside happy hours, spa treatments, tranquility and have the opportunity to vacation with me and Matt.

I wrote about my last trip there and you can read all about it here

This time, I’d really like to see some familiar faces there this time around. Let’s have some champagne toasts by the pool and enjoy the amazing spa services all day!  It’s located so close to the airport, it’s a quick Uber ride away and there are plenty of amazing restaurants  right there to satisfy any appetite.

The best news is that it’s also a lotto weekend! ALL ROOMS ARE $179 and with a confirmed reservation you enter to be upgraded!!!

GRAND PRIZE: An upgraded stay in The Grand Penthouse! (Their spectacular 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite with its own kitchen, terrace, outdoor shower, and jacuzzi).

THE OTHER PRIZE IS THAT ALL PREMIUM ROOMS ARE JUST $179.00! You can pick ANY room (including our Patio Suites, 1 Bedroom and 2 Bedroom Penthouses that is available) EXCLUDING our Courtyard Guest Rooms and The Grand Penthouse for $179.00/night + tax: May 15th–May 23rd, 2017.

All reservations to be entered for the upgrade for the upgraded stay in The Grand Penthouse must be made by Friday, May 12th. First come first serve on room selections. The winner of the upgraded stay to The Grand Penthouse will be contacted by Saturday, May 13th. The minimum stay requirement is a 3-night stay.

Other opportunities to win include other prize giveaways:

A FREE future 3-night stay
Vouchers for our famous poolside beer & wine service
A FREE Spa service
Other surprises will also be waiting for our guests to make them ALL winners–play our GRAND LOTTO” and book your stay today!

Make your reservation by visiting their  website or call us at 1.800.818.1211. *Certain restrictions apply. New reservations only.

For further information, please contact Edward Otto Zielke from The Grand Resort and Spa.

FeiyuTech SPG PLUS Handheld Gimbal Rig Review survived a NYC wind storm

If you are looking for a last minute gift for an iPhone filmmaker in you life or you are an iPhone filmmaker who received a gift card and need an idea of what to spend it on, I think I have the perfect idea for you! The SPG PLUS Handheld Gimbal Rig is amazing for expert video content creator and those who want to get started. For me, one of the hassles I have with handheld video recording is the editing afterwards to make sure its stabilized. Especially if you are filming for an extended period of time or filming in a crowded area where you may be bumped into (like on a red carpet).

I recently received the Gimbal Rig from the good people at FeiyuTech and set out to get some pictures and video of what I thought would be a pretty nice day at the beach in NYC. When I left, the sky was fairly clear but by the time I got there, as is typical for winter months in NYC, a storm began to brew. The temperatures dropped considerably within a half hour and the sky started darkening as clouds rolled in. Thankfully, the temperatures didn’t drop low enough to cause snow but the winds really kicked up, especially at the beach. I took shelter because, like all of us, I am always concerned with the safety of my iPhone and decided to try out the gimbal to see how the winds would affect it. Unfortunately, it started pouring before I got a video but I did get to snap a few pictures

Taken with the steadiness from the SPG plus 3-Axis Gimbal Rig for iPhone

to test it out.

For those of you in the know and those of you who just love cool tech features the FeiyuTech comes equipped with the following perks:

- a balancing mechanism that ensures stabilized and steady video

- Two simple buttons that control all features. A Bluetooth button to control the iPhone’s shutter and a function button to control on/off modes.

- A joystick to control the iPhones motion, INCLUDING pan, roll, and tilt.

- Automatic horizontal and vertical screen adjustments

- Five and one quarter inch screw jacks to attach lights, microphones, and other accessories (so, they really have thought of everything)

- The ICR 22650 battery provides 8 hours of shooting time (which may actually be more than your iPhone battery will last during shooting without a charge).

- And my very favorite thing, FeiyuTech On and FY settings app, which allows you to initialize calibration, update firmware, and personalize various parameters through your phone. (Don’t worry, as a not-so-exprienced video tech, it didn’t have to make sense to me in order for it to work).

Here are your specs:

Tilting angle: 320 degrees

Rolling Angle: 100 degrees

Panning angle: a full 360 degrees

Timing increments: 2 degrees/second to 75 degrees/second

Panning increments: 3 degrees/second to 150 degrees/second

Usage time: 8 hours (again, I think that is longer than the actual iPhone battery will last if you are using it for pictures or video)

Adaption: iPhone 5/5s/5c or later

Weight: 51g not including battery and iPhone, but don’t worry, you’ll still need to do arms at the gym. This isn’t heavy enough to replace that.

To test the video capabilities, I decided to take the Gimbal Rig along with me to my parents’ house in Pennsylvania for the Christmas holiday weekend. Here it is in action (I took the video of me taking the video with my Snapchat Spectacles) Just Click on the description to view:

Now, here is the video footage from my iPhone. Again, just click on the description to view:

As you can see, the video stays steady and the range of motion is perfect to get all the action. I was lucky there was a car passing while I was filming, normally there isn’t much action on the mountain. If you regularly film for projects or clients, I recommend checking into this product. Even if you are new to video or have been scared of it, this device is so easy to use, I’m sure you will learn with ease and end up with amazing footage just like a pro! It’s priced at $299.95 and is available now at the apple store online!

My Grand time at The Grand Resort and Spa

I recently had the pleasure of staying at The Grand Resort and Spa in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. I was invited to go around the same time I was invited to go to Grail Springs, just outside of Toronto, Canada. I thought they would be two ENTIRELY different experiences but actually they turned out to be very similar. The Grand Resort and Spa is a resort for gay men but I should point out, the spa accepts appointments from anyone and there is a separate entrance from the street. I would recommend their services to anyone. I had a great haircut, an amazing massage and the most fantastic facial. The staff is very experienced and knowlegable about what they do. I was even privy to a conversation about classes they were taking to keep up with their massage skills and education.
Let me tell you more about the resort itself. Upon arriving I entered by the pool, which was just as magnificent as it looks in the pictures. I could totally see contestants from Ru Paul’s Drag Race lined up on the two staircases leading from the sun deck to the pool as they make a grand entrance. I was greeted and checked in very quickly an my name was on a scrolling screen at the front desk to welcome me along with the others that were checking in that day. When I got to my room, I was very pleasanlty surprised. It was like my very own apartment with a full living room, kitchen, and luxurious bedroom. I could absolutely live there and would probably pay top dollar if it were an apartment located in NYC or Los Angeles.
Needless to say, I slept very well so I was read for my Saturday and my three hours at the spa. I headed down for the complimentary breakfast around 9 (ok, maybe closer to 10, the bed was too comfortable). I was once again pleasantly surprised to find out there are coffee stations set up all over the property with Starbucks coffee, which is also part of the breakfast in the common room along with juices, cereal, hot breadfast, fruits, and yogurt.
After breakfast, I toured the grounds a little to find out there are peacful areas all over where you can relax, take the sun, read, or whatever you want. There is also a hot tub in addition to the pool and a clothing optional area for those who enjoy the freedom!
I then got ready for my spa appointment and was notified there would be a BBQ during that time but not to worry, they would come to get me. Sure enough, in between my treatments, I did get to enjoy the food and then headed back for my facial. A guy could get used to be attended to like that and I can definitely get used to feeling relaxed and confident that I look my best.
That evening, I left the property to meet friends for dinner and we happened upon an art show in the area. There is so much to do around the spa because it is located in one of the best areas possible. The choices of food were too much for me to decide so I let my friends pick and we ended up an Rocco’s Tacos and I had NO complaints about that.
Sunday was a day to take in some sun and then head back over to check out the rest of the art show and then head to a friend’s house before my flight home. Everywhere I needed to go outside the spa was very easily accessable by Uber without being overly expensive.
If you are looking for a place to go to relax, the Grand Resort and Spa is the place for you. If you like to party, it’s still a place for you. They do have events and theme weekends, there is always a great group by the pool or by the hottub, and the staff is so helpful when it comes to suggesting things to do in the area if you want to explore a bit. The spa services are a must and completely comparable to services I can receive in NYC or LA for a much highter cost. If you’re a gay man, book a weekend, a week, or however long you’d like. If you are not a gay male, I still suggest you check out the spa, I haven’t been treated that well at a spa in the states in a long time.

The Walt Disney Family Museum’s 2nd Annual Gala at Disneyland

ANAHEIM, CA – November 1, 2016: Master of Ceremonies Neil Patrick Harris at The Walt Disney Family Museum Fundraising Gala honoring Marty Sklar. (Getty Images for The Walt Disney Family Museum)

I sure would have loved to be at this event! Disney knows how to throw a party and Neil Patrick Harris sure knows how to run the show!

On Tuesday, November 1stThe Walt Disney Family Museum celebrated the next generation of creative talent by honoring Marty Sklar with the second annual Diane Disney Miller Lifetime Achievement Award. The celebratory evening was led by the energetic and talented master of ceremonies Neil Patrick Harris alongside presenters John Lasseter (Cars; Toy Story films), Richard Sherman (The Lion King; The Jungle Book), Daniel Lawrence Whitney (Larry The Cable Guy; Cars; Cars 2and the grandchildren of Walt Disney (Chris Miller, Jennifer Goff, Joanna Miller, Tammy Miller and Walter Miller). Guests also enjoyed special performances by Jenifer Lewis (Cars; Cars 2), and Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and the Frog; Dreamgirls). Additional notable attendees included David Parnes (Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles), Eden XO (Singer), Frankie Grande (Style Code Live), Jake Wall (Project Runway)Jessica Sanchez (American Idol)Johnny Wujek (Creative Director, E Style Collective), Paige Hurd (Hawaii Five-0), among many others.

Gala guests enjoyed an after-hours private viewing of World of Color — Celebrate! in Disney California Adventure® Park. The show originally launched in 2015 as part of the Disneyland Resort’s 60th Anniversary celebration and returned for this viewing on the special gala evening.

ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM

ANAHEIM, CA – November 1, 2016: Master of Ceremonies Neil Patrick Harris and Kirsten Komoroske, Executive Director of The Walt Disney Museum at The Walt Disney Family Museum Fundraising Gala. (Getty Images for The Walt Disney Family Museum)

The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the fascinating story and achievements of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to an art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global and distinctively American legacy. Opened in October 2009, the 40,000 square foot facility features the newest technology and historic materials and artifacts to bring Disney’s achievements to life, with interactive galleries that include early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a spectacular model of Disneyland and much more.