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Calpernia Presents an Award at OutFest 2008

More Pix and info at: http://www.advocateinsider.com/2008/07/awards-night-mi.html

Last night was OutFest’s Awards Night ceremony. I was on the US Dramatic Features jury this year, which meant that for the last two weeks I was seeing several 2+ hour movies a day so that we could vote on awards for Best Feature, Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Screenplay. I also got to be an awards presenter, separately from being on the jury. This is what happens when you are a writer, an activist AND an actress, ha ha. I wore another Richard Bowman/Xavier Othon gown, to the delight of many… Janice Dickensen herself went ga ga for it backstage in the green room.

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Momma Helps Me Present

(Image by Andrea James)
When I went up to present the award, the recipients were not there, so I got to talk a little bit to fill time. I shrugged off my wrap lasciviously, inspiring Momma to come stand behind me and block the audience’s view of my chest with her hands, which got people laughing. I made some jokes (?) about needing an agent, and then I made a little humor-tinged jab at what was essentially Hollywood’s GLBT filmmaking community all gathered in one audience. I said something like, “Wow, as soon as you stop casting men in wigs to play transsexual characters, maybe I’ll end up with some work!” I think I got the tone right, because everyone laughed but still “got the message”. Having Momma standing behind me, covering my boobs with her hands, probably helped.

After the awards show, the feature film played. It was “Were the World Mine”, and let me tell you, it is REALLY REALLY good.

Back when I was an angsty teen, I saw “Dead Poets Society” and fell in love with the tragic sad boy character played by Robert Sean Leonard. In that film, Robin Williams (who was coincidentally sitting right behind me in the audience tonight!) played an English teacher who “didn’t play by the rules”, inspiring the hot, sexy students of his boys academy class to open themselves up to literature. Ha ha, at least that was my hormone-addled take on it. My brain overlaid a lot of homoerotic tension onto “Dead Poets Society” because the boys were hot to me (a feminine boycrazy teen living in a boy’s body at the time), but I was also straight out charmed and besotted with Robert Sean Leonard’s character. (Sidenote: I’ve completely outgrown my RSL attraction, ha ha). Why do I mention “Dead Poet’s Society”?

Well, “Were the World Mine” is a musical fantasy set at an all boys school wherein they learn to open themselves to Shakespeare through the tutelage of an out-of-the-ordinary teacher, played by the enchanting Wendie Robie, who I absolutely LOVED in this movie. This film took what I found fun about “Dead Poets Society” and did it all with an updated, musical and overtly gay sensibility. The lead, Tanner Cohen, is someone I knew from beforehand in real life through his gifted photographer boyfriend. He has a similar tender/sensitive/beautiful guy thing going on that I found alluring in RSL, but he is so much more edgy and real than RSL seemed to be. Especially in real life.

Anyway, enough about Dead Poets Society. See “Were the World Mine”!

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