Friday, October 31, 2008

Clay Extends His Condolences to Jennifer Hudson and her Family.





"There are no words that you can find to give somebody like that. I don't even know where to begin, I've been upset by this myself," Clay said

Clay Aiken also knows that the Hudson family loss has been felt all over the country. "I know the whole country's thoughts and prayers are with her and her entire extended family ... and anyone who was touched by her mother, or her brother, or her nephew."

The new dad also tells Jann Carl that he hopes that the individuals responsible are found so that Jennifer and her loved ones can find some closure.

ETOnline

~~~

Thursday, October 30, 2008

STAGE 46: Getting Ready To Hit The Shelves



This looks like it might be an interesting AI Expose. I don't see a release date yet on the site. On the Stage 46 myspace page some former AI contestants are on the author's friends list. I can see Bucky Covington, Phil Stacey, Elliott Yamin, Chris Richardson, Constantine Maroulis, Jessica Sierra, Blake Lewis and Jim V.

STAGE 46: The Reality of Reality Television gives a hilarious and eye opening look into what goes on behind the camera of a Hollywood set. Based on first hand accounts compiled by interviews with former reality television employees, Stage 46 documents what it is really like to work on a top rated TV show.

Ben Walker, a small town guy from Northern California, lands a job in Hollywood that a million people are standing in line waiting for. Hired as a production assistant on the number one reality show, Ben quickly finds himself surrounded by drug abuse, sex scandals, money laundering, unfair employment practices, and daily verbal attacks from the executives. When Ben starts to realize that this so called family show, where the contestants are unknowingly forced to sign over their lives, may not be something he wants to be a part of any longer, he decides to leave the dark world of Hollywood behind. But before leaving, he finds himself turning the tables in any way he can on the show that is making his life a living hell.


STAGE 46 's Interests

General:
You've heard the rumors. You've watched the show. Nows your chance to find out if the rumors are actually true.

Television:
Reality Shows and what actually goes on behind the scenes.

Stage 46: The Reality of Reality Television Heroes. People who aren't afraid to tell the real story.


~~~

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Earth to Media: Can we get some Content?

I signed up for the Daily Newsletters from



and




These e-mails are delivered to my inbox each day. I skim them looking for updates on the celebrities that interest me. I'm a fan of pop culture, just like millions of other people, but am I the only one who is dismayed by the trend toward wasting space on the vapid and mundane crap that is filling these pages more and more often?

Check out a few "news" items in yesterday's People Daily.

Britney was caught driving without a license. Oh the drama!

Nick Bollea got out of jail. Why do we give this scum the time of day?

Beyonce gained a few pounds. Yawn.

and we are asked to guess who this is.



US Magazine was even worse:

We learn that Tina Fey glues down her ears.

We are asked to vote on a poll about Madonna's marriage. Why?



Whitney Port (whoever that is) makes out with some guys

and a slideshow of Kim Kardashian's ass.



Granted, it was nice to see that Ashton Kutcher coaches a kid's football team, Gwyneth Paltrow is still around and classy as always, and Mariah Carey took her boy to a charity thing for an art gallery (and to be SEEN!!!!), but come on!

Can we get some content? Something we should care about?

Did either mag mention that Clay Aiken took the weekend off from Spamalot to raise nearly half a million dollars for children with disabilities on Saturday night? Do they know that a substantial number of fans were there with their checkbooks out and giving generously?

Did they know that the Bubel/Aiken Foundation honored CVS Caremark Charitable Trust as this year's Corporate Champions of Change for their outstanding efforts to improve the lives of children with disabilities?

Did they know that Dan Habib (an award-winning photojournalist, director and producer of documentary films) and Betsy McNamara (a fundraising consultant and an inclusion advocate who is the mother of Samuel) were awarded the Champions of Change Award for their work and for their documentary movie "Including Samuel"?

Did they know that Rich Donovan was recognized as a Champion of Change for applying his world-class business acumen to creating means of empowerment for people with disabilities. He was a key to Merrill Lynch’s diversity strategy. As CEO of Integrated Process Solutions, Rich provides large corporations and governments with ready-for-action profit opportunities as a “return on disability”.

Now I know that Clay Aiken isn't the only celebrity that has done something newsworthy this week, but I use him as an example of things that are noteworthy yet not reported.

How about these magazines putting up a poll and asking their readers whether they would rather read about things of substance that celebrities do, and that go unrecognized, or would they rather look at pictures of some woman's ass.

I'm scared to see the outcome of such a poll because I'm afraid that society has been dumbed down to the point where many would vote for the slideshow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In Response to Jim Smyrl's "Point of View"



Apparently someone failed to warn you that your "point of view" will remain in the Google cache forever. Your own words can never be taken back and that should upset you because as a pastor, you have failed your flock.

As the executive pastor of education at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, FL, you have done a disservice to those that you purportedly educate.

Your mission I assume, is to teach the word of God but I hope that I don't need to remind you that bearing false witness is a sin and when you twist people's words to suit yourself, you are doing just that. Need I remind you that all sins are equal in God's eyes?

In People Magazine this month Clay Aiken said about his son:

"I have no idea if he'll be gay or straight. It's not something I'll have anything to do with, or that he'll have anything to do with. It's already probably up inside the code there ... No matter what the situation you're in, if you're raised in a loving environment, that's the most important thing."


You falsely interpreted Clay's words like this:

"Sadly, the context of his statements is in reference to the apparent hope that his son will walk in his father’s homosexual footsteps, and, if he does, he should be man enough to let people know he is gay."


Apparently you can't be trusted to interpret plain language never mind the Bible. What Clay said was that he doesn't know his son's future and that he will raise his son in a loving environment because that is the most important thing. All parents should be as caring and accepting as that.

To add insult to injury , you presume that Clay will lie to his son about some obscure study from the Netherlands. Ironically, you make that unfounded accusation right after you lied about what Clay said.

You go on to reference Pitirim Sorokin’s study that analyzed cultures over thousands of years and concluded that cultures allowing gay unions almost without exception ceased to survive as a society.

Ironically, you don't mention that some churches have been plagued with charges of child molestation. Now there's a topic you should rant about. Is it any wonder that churches are struggling to survive?

You said:

"Before we raise ourselves above our own level of purity, let’s look at verse 32. There we see that our silence in regards to homosexuality is synonymously as depraved as the sin itself. When opportunities arise for Christians to voice their views regarding moral issues and we remain silent, we approve by apathy the sinful course of society."




Therefore Jim, I am morally obligated to use my voice and condemn you for encouraging hate toward your brother in Christ. You took God's place and judged your fellow man and compounded that sin by bearing false witness. Turn your righteous indignation on yourself where it belongs.

Shame on you for your intolerant and un-Christian character. God said "Judge not lest ye be judged" You can't hide behind religion... hate is a sin. God is disappointed in you and Google never forgets.

Coming out day? By Jim Smyrl

~~~

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Clay Aiken talks about Fatherhood and Family

Clay Aiken on Good Morning America talks about his son, his new family and how they make it work.






Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Clay Aiken and Hannah Waddingham

Hannah and Clay performed THE PRAYER on April 29 2008.

They presented their Spamalot inspired Easter Bonnet and a donation of $265,000.00 for Broadway Cares-Equity Fights Aids


apologies for a tiny bit of a synch issue between the sound and video.

video

The DVD of all of the performances and presentations by the participating shows is for sale at Broadway Beat


~~~

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Clay Blogged!



Killing the elephants in the room.

10/03/08

What a week or so this has been. In fact, it's just been two weeks since I started back to the Spam. Jerome and I were just talking the other day, though, about how the past two weeks have felt like a month. So much routine to get back into and yet so much routine and consistency to break. No doubt, many of you have been going through quite a bit over the past week or so yourselves. What a bunch of headline news we have had in the past 10 days! Wall Street falling to it's knees. Congress propping it back up. Two debates. Hijackers in Somalia. New leaders in South Africa and Japan. You'd think with all of the important events going on in the world, there would be plenty to fill up the pages of America's newspapers, websites and blogs without the need for information on the private lives of the country's singers and entertainers. But, alas, thats never the case. In fact for the last five years, I've found what seems to have been an inordinate amount of interest (not from the public, but from the media) in my own personal life. The questions never seemed to stop. Oh sure, they die down for a period, but they resurface. The wind blows another direction, and I do yet another interview worried that my personal life will become a topic of discussion. No doubt the birth of Parker would bring the same scrutiny, just heightened. It's an interesting time we live in. Gone are the days when entertainers could go about their lives without the invasion of privacy that we now see everyday in the form of paparazzi and internet tabloid bloggers. So, in the hopes of being able to sing and act (and dance poorly) and do what I love to do for a living while raising my son in a hopefully more private and accepting environment, I chose to go ahead and confront things head on. Yes, I would have preferred to separate my personal life from my professional life. I would have been just as happy to go on without discussing my orientation. But, it seems like that was not an option. Make no mistake, its not because I am ashamed. No, not for a minute. I haven't always been as comfortable as I am now, but I am without a doubt, proud of who I am and make no apologies for it. Instead, I would have been happy to have kept my personal life private for that very reason. Because it's personal life and I have always considered myself a private person. But, living as myself without discussing my sexuality publicly would have been impossible. One chance to expose the truth would have been a payday for any greedy opportunist.

I went to American Idol, much like many of us did "back in the day". Naive. Unlike the contestants who join up today, we had no idea of the power and pull of Idol when we signed on. (I'm sure many of us season two folks like to think we are the reason the show got so big!!! ;-) ) There I was two months off of the biggest show in the country, sitting at a table with a reporter from Rolling Stone who was asking me every single question I would never think of. Twenty-four years old in the rest of America is a LOT younger and more naive than twenty four years old in the media business. So when this guy started asking me about things that I didn't really know how to answer for myself... things that I was not yet ready to admit to folks like my mother and my family.... things that I found intimidating and invasive, I responded in what I assumed was a benign way at the time. I attempted to "out spin" a professional. I wasn't as good as I thought I was. But, I have no regrets. The truth is, I don't apologize for the responses I gave to that reporter or any reporter over the past five years. I did make every attempt I could after that one interview to never say "I am not gay" or "I am straight". And I never said either. (some interpreted my vague answers to mean that... but I never said either) Some will say thats misleading. In truth, it might be defined that way. But, a better definition and a more accurate way to describe it for me, is a redirection and an attempt to change the topic to something that matters more. For some of you it won't be enough, but I can't apologize for keeping my personal business to myself. If someone feels that they were mislead, I can totally understand that viewpoint and apologize for that feeling, but I can't apologize for how I handled questions that affected me and my right to privacy.

In my opinion, sexual orientation is ALWAYS a private thing. I think the OVERWHELMING majority of people agree with that. Why in the world should someone's sexual orientation be a news item? Why should anyone care? Yet, for all we espouse as a society about tolerance and open mindedness we forget to allow folks the opportunity to be who they are without judgment. Making a decision to come out to family is a difficult and heavy decision. But, for every young man or woman who is struggling with it, it should be a decision that is made on his or her own schedule ONLY. It's never acceptable for anyone to make such a decision for anyone else nor to coerce someone to take such a significant step before they are ready. Not a friend, not a stranger, not the media. So, I waited until the time was right for me. For that I can't apologize either.

There are plenty of you who have anticipated this blog in hopes that I would "set the record straight" or "admit to lying for five years and apologize for it". For that small group of people, I am afraid I will have to disappoint you. My decisions over the past five years have been made with lots of deliberation and at times even heartache. Always with concern for folks who might feel mislead. Don't doubt that. But they have also been made as an attempt, not to hide my true self, but instead to allow myself the same liberties and rights that every single gay man and woman in the world should have... the right to determine for myself when I was ready to discuss my personal life. In as much as that, at times, was interpreted as misrepresentation, I feel badly. But I reserved that right for myself and I can't say I regret it.

I have endeavored over the past several days to allow folks to vent and express themselves as freely as possible without restriction on these message boards. There is no way to change a person's mind when you tell them they are wrong. We all, when backed into a corner, have a human instinct to swing. Having different feelings and opinions and viewpoints are only natural. The only way to deal with that is to accept everyone's right to disagree, and allow them to discuss their feelings. I always have, and I always will. That said, it hasn't been, nor do I imagine it will be, my intent to make the message boards or the OFC a clearinghouse or discussion zone for sexuality or such topics. I hope we can always continue to discuss the same things we have always found important. The need for inclusion for children with disabilities. The desire to make sure every child in the world has access to their basic needs for survival. And any other topics that will make our neighborhoods, our regions, our country and our world a better more acceptable place (where that relates to issues involving sexuality, I hope we are able to advocate, at those times for the acceptance of others)... and I hope we will all still use the message boards for the lively discussion of the need for better entertainment and music in the world!!!! ;-) That said, as of this posting, I have asked the moderators to archive the thread regarding the People magazine article and close it from discussion. For those of you who are still struggling, I encourage you to continue to talk to your friends and neighbors and fellow OFC members in the thread devoted to such support. It is not going to be as easy as accepting something over night, but I believe that we are on the right track. The moderators will resume their regular duties of moderating the boards in the fashion that they did prior to last week, and I (and hopefully all of us) will resume our routines in the same fashion as well. Talking about music, talking about potential tours and other performances and appearances, talking about me forgetting my lines or tripping on stage in Spamalot, and discussing with our friends how many times we have seen the show and will see it! (And... looking forward to the announcement of our Playbill contest winner!!!)

Finally, I will say that, also representative of most every other gay man and woman in the world, that I am not defined by my sexuality. No more so than each of you are defined by your sexual orientation. No more than a man or woman is defined by race or ethnicity. It is, simply, a small facet of the same person I have always been. Most of you realize that nothing has changed. I hope to continue being able to entertain you in the same way I have for the past five years. And I hope you will allow me to continue to inform you of the causes that I find important and entertain you with the music and performances I love. For I love and cherish you all. Yesterday, now and forever.

c


Always the teacher, I could not admire him more.

~~~