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.
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to spend more time at The Grand Resort and Spa in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. This time was even more fun-filled, special, and relaxing because I got to spend four full days and three nights there. The last time I enjoyed two days and was able to experience the truly top notch spa, lay by the pool, and explore the area. This time I was able to really RELAX, make some truly amazing new friends, enjoy the pool and the property, and of course that ridiculously luxurious spa.
As I mentioned last time I stayed, the staff at the Grand Resort and Spa is so attentive from the moment you arrive. And I’m not saying that because they invited me. I continually witnessed them interacting with the same kindness and attentiveness to every guest from the moment they checked in right up until they check out. This is not a place where the hospitality has limits. I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to Edward, Kevin, Chris, Jay, Tommy, and the entire team who took care of us throughout our stay.
There are so many desirable things about the Grand. The location is so close to the beach and restaurants, the property itself is a secluded paradise, and the rooms are luxurious. Even the smallest room is larger than my apartment in NYC. Of course, the spa is the icing on the already delicious cake. The staff in the spa is so knowledgable, have won many awards, and are constantly learning new techniques to keep up with what is healthy, hot, and beneficial.
One of my favorite parts of the spa is talking to them. I’ve never walked out of there without some new insight or information about my body, skin, hair, and wellbeing. JD is particularly talented and well versed in such things so I get great suggestions about what to do on a regular basis to improve my overall beauty routine (and YES, men should have a beauty routine!).
My original intention was to spend my days by the pool, enjoy the spa, and then explore the area. I only ventured out one night for dinner and one day to hit the beach. The rest of the time I literally spent playing card games, talking to people, and just chilling out among friends. I met this adorable, sweet couple named James and Brian who delighted me with their company. Of course, in true Teeco fashion, it turned out James went to school with one of my very good friends so there was a common connection that leads back to social media!
What made this stay so outstanding was the promotion we did prior and during. Matt Martin and I promoted the weekend so if you stayed, you got your room at a discounted rate AND the best part was that there were lottery drawings each day to give away two and three night stays, drink vouchers, and more. It was a great way to get to know everyone staying there and for them to get to know us. As I stated, I made fast friends with one couple in particular and it was James’ birthday. When I was drawing the winner for the three night stay on Saturday, my intentions were for it to be a special win for someone. I had no idea at the time that it was James’ birthday until I announced his name and he revealed that he was there to celebrate his day. You all know how I feel about things happening for a reason and from intention. The next prize was a $25 drink voucher and James’ husband Brian was the winner there! So, I actually felt like I was a winner too because the whole intention thing worked to make a special weekend a little more special.
Some of the Staff at the Grand Resort and Spa
The last time I stayed at the Grand Resort and Spa I got my haircut, had a facial and enjoyed a massage. The facial I chose in October was an age smart facial, which is an 80 minute rejuvenating and relaxing experience for your skin. This time, I decided to do a 20 minute Microzone Facial to target some of the damage I inevitably do to my skin by shaving and from exposure to the sun. I don’t think we actually realize how much stress plays a role in the health of our skin too. I learned that the moisturizer I am currently using is a bit too thick and therefore, not exactly the healthiest for my pores.
This time around, I also decided to try the Swedish massage since I had already received a deep tissue massage in October. I figured it was a good way to be able to sample more of the work they do here. Both massages are completely relaxing from the music, to the temperature of the room, and the smell of the oils used. An hour goes by so fast that you are left wanting more time to just “be”. I have to say that before my trips to the Grand, I didn’t really understand the need or desire for massages on a regular basis. Now, I totally get it! They are so necessary to promote healthy circulation, to calm you, and to remove much of the stresses or our daily lives.
If you are a gay man or a gay couple, I highly recommend a trip to the Grand Resort and Spa. Most airfare to Ft Lauderdale is affordable on any budget, depending on the time of year and the rooms are actually less than a room in a hotel that doesn’t offer spa services or a resort atmosphere.
Again, there is so much to do because you are so close to the beach and the strip. I can tell you first hand that Rocco’s Tacos, The Foxy Brown, and the Drunken Taco are all fantastic places to enjoy a good drink and fabulous food. Plus, with Uber Eats, you are pretty much open to everything in the area. My new friends Brian and James had a red velvet birthday cake delivered for James’ special day. What did we do without apps?
I hope that you will consider the Grand for your next vacation experience and continue following me for my next trip there, you never know what specials we will make available and you never know what you could win during a weekend I am around! If you have already enjoyed a stay there, please feel free to comment here and if you are considering going, definitely reach out to me to let me know. You can get me on Twitter and Instagram at @Teeco71 and on Facebook too! Visit The Grand Resort and Spa for even more information on their services, prices, and specials.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Saturday, March 25, 2017: RuPaul’s Drag Race kicked off their season nine premiere on VH1 on Friday, March 24th at 8:00 pm EST. During its first episode, Emmy Awarder Winner, RuPaul awarded contestant, Nina Bo’nina Brown, a trip to Fort Lauderdale Beach’s, The Grand Resort and Spa. The prize included a one week stay, for two, in the 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom Grand Penthouse that boasts an 800 square foot private, ocean view terrace with a Jacuzzi and outdoor shower. Also included in this prize package will be airfare for two, and a complimentary massage and facial. The total prize value of $6,000. Casey Koslowski, Proprietor of The Grand, states that he looks forward to seeing Nina and his guest, at his award winning spa-resort and sunning themselves on Fort Lauderdale Beach very soon!
The Grand Resort and Spa is Fort Lauderdale’s premiere gay-owned and operated men’s spa-resort that first opened in 1999. With 33 well-appointed rooms and suites, it is located just steps from the beach and convenient to all of Fort Lauderdale’s attractions and nightlife. As Fort Lauderdale’s first gay resort with its own full-service day spa and hair studio, they offer guests an experience that is unique and wonderfully indulgent. From a relaxing Swedish massage to a haircut before your night on the town, the talented staff can accommodate all your needs – guaranteed to “Exceed Expectations.” A sample of the property’s awards and accolades include “Certificate of Excellence, Hall of Fame” – TripAdvisor; “Editor’s Choice” – Man About World; “#1 in Fort Lauderdale” – Pink Choice Award; “Best Small Hotel or Resort in the World” – Out Traveler Award Winner; “Top 10 Resorts” – The Travel Channel; “One of the top 10 gay-owned spas in the United States” – Out Traveler Magazine; “USA TODAY 10 BEST” – USA TODAY.
At The Grand Resort and Spa, guests will experience first class service from their elite staff members providing a vast knowledge of the South Florida region, which includes the world famous “gayborhood,” Wilton Manors. Some of the fantastic amenities for guests include free Wi-Fi, continental & hot breakfast catered daily (available while supplies last) and no hidden “resort fees.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race previously announced this season’s celebrity guest judges which included in the first episode, Lady Gaga. The 13 previously announced Queens include: Aja, Alexis Michelle, Charlie Hides, Eureka, Farrah Moan, Jaymes Mansfield, Kimora Blac, Nina Bo’nina Brown, Peppermint, Sasha Velour, Shea Couleé, Trinity Taylor, and Valentina. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season nine is produced by World of Wonder Productions with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Steven Corfe, Mandy Salangsang and RuPaul Charles serving as Executive Producers. Tim Palazzola serves as Executive Producer for Logo.
For reservations and information on The Grand Resort and Spa, visit their website www.grandresort.net or call 1-800-818-1211 ֪– 24 hours, 7 days a week. For up-to-date “The Grand Resort and Spa” news and exclusives, join the “The Grand Resort and Spa” Facebook page or follow #GrandResortSpa on Twitter at @GrandResortSpa. Follow along on our Instagram page by searching for GrandResortSpa. For marketing and public relations, please contact Edward Otto Zielke at email@example.com.
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.
Joseph Ausanio is an actor, screenwriter, and creator of the webseries ‘Troy’s Big Break’. Joseph also happens to be deaf but he does NOT allow that to keep him from doing all the things he dreams of and he encourages us all to follow suit. Another thing you should know about Joseph is that he is a gay man who is representing in such a positive way.
The unique thing about ‘Troy’s Big Break’ is there are no spoken lines. Almost all of the dialogue is signed and there are captions for those of us who do not speak sign language. You really have to check it out for yourself! Here is a little about the show and Joseph as only he can tell you:
Q: Can you talk a little about Troy’s Big Break?
Joseph Ausanio: Absolutely! It’s a unique show because it showcases Deaf talent. It’s about a Deaf director who faces different types of life challenges while looking for the perfect actress for his production. Things start to unfold to show what’s going on in his life.
Q: What has the response to the show been so far from the deaf community as well as the hearing community?
Joseph Ausanio: It’s pretty popular with the Rochester, NY folks, because that is where we filmed the show. And the people know us there. Rochester also has a large D/deaf community there and it’s truly a nice thing. The people who watched the show always approach the cast members and let them know that they are fans of the show. That really means a lot. I had hearing people messaging me saying that it was so different from the other things they watched because they’re so used to seeing shows with a full hearing cast, but the reception from them has been really positive.
Q: What guest stars would you like to have on the show?
Joseph Ausanio: Ooh, this is a tough one. I’d love to have Marlee Matlin on the show. She’s one of my inspirations. I would LOVE to get Amber Zion on the show. She’s an incredibly gifted Deaf actress and I love her work. I would also love to get Rikki Poynter, who’s a super awesome YouTube vlogger and I love her videos. She’s not afraid to speak out and I have tremendous respect for her for doing that.
I’d also love to see Kelsey Lindhorst’s character faint when she sees Nyle DiMarco show up in an episode. That’d be hilarious. Or even Troy’s mom to go out on a date with him! (Think Sophia Petrillo going on a date with Burt Reynolds in an episode of “The Golden Girls”)
I’m all about showcasing more Deaf talent out there.
Q: Who were some of your idols/role models growing up?
Joseph Ausanio: First, Marlee Matlin, because she inspired me to become an actor growing up. Also, Lucille Ball is one of the greatest comediennes I’ve ever watched. When I first saw her on TV, I couldn’t walk away from the television. She never fails to make me laugh every time I watch “I Love Lucy”. I admire her so much.
Q: Do you think we will see more shows that involve hearing impaired characters like Switched at Birth and your show?
Joseph Ausanio: I REALLY hope so. I would love to write a TV series for any network that features characters that are D/deaf because I want to support diversity. We have millions of Deaf people in the world and it would be great to do more shows for them.
Q: What would you say to others who are trying hard to make their dreams come true and trying to overcome some obstacle they have no control over?
Joseph Ausanio: I would say this:
“If you want to make it happen, do it. If you want to travel all over the world, go for it. If you want to make movies, do it. Don’t wait for things to simply fall in your lap. I learned this life lesson the hard way. Just listen to your heart. If you want to follow your dreams, now is the time.”
Q: What made you decide to create a character who is also gay?
Joseph Ausanio: The reason why I decided to create a gay character was because the LGBT #DeafTalent felt that they weren’t always showcased, so I wanted to showcase them more.
Q: What would you say to those out there who are dealing with issues around coming out? Both in the deaf community and in the hearing community?
Joseph Ausanio: I remember when I came out, it was very scary. I was 19 and in college. I broke up with my ex-girlfriend and I was slowly coming out to a few close friends and then my family members. My family and friends are incredibly supportive and I feel fortunate for that. For the others, I want them to know that they are not alone in this. I can’t speak for other people, because we all have different experiences. I can say that no matter what, you will always get support from the LGBT community and their allies. If they’re scared, I’m here to talk. I want to lend a hand to provide support. We have a big support system. We have a lot of LGBT people and the allies in our Deaf community and we are so incredibly supportive of each other, and the same goes for the hearing community.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received? Who was it from?
Joseph Ausanio: I had a great pep talk with a dear friend two weeks before he unexpectedly passed away; he was incredibly supportive of my dreams of moving to Los Angeles. He said, “Seize the day.” He was right.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever given? Are you normally good at taking your own advice?
Joseph Ausanio: I’m bad at taking my own advice, but I try to give great advice to people. I would tell them, “Life is way too short to be unhappy. Never give up your dreams even through the tough times, when you realize how strong you truly are. Nothing….nothing is impossible.”
Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?
Joseph Ausanio: I can’t live without my family, who have been my rock. I wish we could all live without hate and violence; there is way too much of that in the world right now.
Q: Where can we find you and your show online?
Joseph Ausanio: You can find me on Twitter via @JosephAusanio and you can find Troy’s Big Break’s Twitter page via @TroysBigBreak. We also have a Facebook page of the show. You can also find the full episodes on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/troysbigbreak. All of the episodes are captioned for the D/deaf and hearing audiences.
Q: What’s up next for Joseph Ausanio and Troy’s Big Break?
Joseph Ausanio: I am hoping to do a third season of “Troy’s Big Break”. I have the season premiere’s script written already. I’m planning to chat with my cast & crew to see if they’re game. I work with the most amazing people – both cast and crew. They have all taught me a lot. I wrote a few pilot scripts here and there. I’m always writing new stuff.
I recently wrote a feature screenplay that focuses on a Deaf woman and her struggles with life and love. I’m hoping that it might catch someone’s attention because the story is so powerful. I gave it to an actress I want for that role and she loved the script. Maybe something will come of it soon.