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Filmmaker Wes Hurley: "He's Talented, He Couldn't Be Gay"

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

Release Date: 09/20/2021

Poet Steven Reigns ( Poet Steven Reigns ("A Quilt for David"): "This Book is David's Panel"

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

Dennis connects via Zoom with poet Steven Reigns to discuss his new book A Quilt for David, which explores through poetry the story of David Acer, the dentist from Treasure Cove, Florida who was accused by multiple people of giving them HIV through dental work in the early 1990s. The story made national news, led to several $1 million-plus insurance settlements and turned David into a convenient scapegoat for a nation wary of gay people and terrified of AIDS. Steven talks about the book's mixture of poetry and investigative reporting, going to Florida to research and interview people who were...

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Filmmaker Wes Hurley: Filmmaker Wes Hurley: "He's Talented, He Couldn't Be Gay"

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

After surviving a breakthrough case of COVID, Dennis returns with this Zoom with filmmaker Wes Hurley whose delightful autobiographical film Potato Dreams of America is currently playing the festival circuit and will be released in 2022. The film tells the story of how he moved from Eastern Russian at 16 when his mother became a mail order bride for an American man in Seattle. He talks about his decision to use magical realism to tell his own story, using two sets of actors to play the mother and son characters and how he came to cast Mean Girls Jonathan Bennett, Orange Is the New Black's Lea...

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Filmmaker Todd Stephens ( Filmmaker Todd Stephens ("Swan Song"): "All of These Magical Things Kept Happening"

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

Dennis is joined via Zoom by Todd Stephens, the writer director of the new film Swan Song, which is about retired hairdresser named Mr. Pat played by Udo Kier who busts out of his nursing home to do one last job, styling the hair of the dead society matron for her funeral. Todd talks about the real-life Mr. Pat who inspired the movie, collecting stories from people who knew the real Pat, and how the character of Mr. Pat was supposed to be in Todd's first film Edge of 17 but got cut. Todd talks about the inspired casting of Udo Kier as Pat, meeting Udo--and his dog Liza Minelli--at his...

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Actor Arianna Ortiz ( Actor Arianna Ortiz ("Nine Days"): "I Got Pizza Hut Socks!"

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

Dennis is joined via Zoom by actor Arianna Ortiz one of the stars of the new film Nine Days, a unique and moving film about seven souls and the man who decides whether or not they're going to go to earth. Arianna talks about the role she plays Maria, what it's like to create a character with virtually no backstory and what made Nine Days a dream-come-true experience. She recalls how the audition came to her, the thrill of getting the part and what it felt like to shoot the scene in the movie where her character is in the center of a lot of cinematic magic. She also talks about the mind-trip of...

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Summertime Magic: w/ filmmaker Carlos Lopez Estrada & actors/poets Paolina Acuña González, Raul Herrera & Marquesha Babers show art Summertime Magic: w/ filmmaker Carlos Lopez Estrada & actors/poets Paolina Acuña González, Raul Herrera & Marquesha Babers

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

Dennis is joined via Zoom by four of the creative forces behind the new film Summertime; director Carlos Lopez Estrada, and actors / poets Paolina Acuña González, Raul Herrera and Marquesha Babers. Carlos shares the projects origin story, recalling how he saw a live performance of a group of LA poets and was so knocked out by their performances that he came up with the  day-in-the-life-of-Los Angeles idea as a way to showcase them all in a feature film. Paolina talks about her poem "Red Lipstick" and the spectacular choreographed dance number the comes out of it in the film. Raul talks...

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Comedian Julia Scotti ( Comedian Julia Scotti ("Funny That Way"): Very Fine People On Both Sides of the Lincoln Tunnel

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

Dennis is joined via Zoom by comedian Julia Scotti who is the subject of the new documentary Julia Scotti: Funny That Way, which tells the story of how she began her career in comedy as Rick Scotti in the 80's and 90's before transitioning in her late 40's and going back into comedy as Julia. Julia talks about why she chose to trust filmmaker Susan Sandler to tell her story, how she was denied contact with her children for 14 years after her transition, and what it was like to finally reconnect with them. She also recalls her appearance on America's Got Talent and her spur-of-the-moment...

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THE BOYS WHO BRUNCH: w/ writer Sean Abley, actors Bill Brochtrup and Parnell Damone Marcano and sound designer Jeff Gardner show art THE BOYS WHO BRUNCH: w/ writer Sean Abley, actors Bill Brochtrup and Parnell Damone Marcano and sound designer Jeff Gardner

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

Dennis is joined via Zoom by four of the creators behind the new audio drama 90069: West Hollywood - Brunch, Interrupted, which is one of a series of Zip Code plays produced by the L.A.-based Antaeus Theatre Company. The four guests are writer Sean Abley, actors Parnell Damone Marcano and Bill Brochtrup (who is also the company's Artistic Director) and sound designer Jeff Gardner.  The quartet talk about the process of creating the project during COVID and the play's oh-so-current theme of gentrification of gay neighborhoods. Then the group joins Dennis for a rousing round of You Don't...

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SHAPED BY SYLVESTER: Tiki Spills the Tea - hosted by Steven Reigns show art SHAPED BY SYLVESTER: Tiki Spills the Tea - hosted by Steven Reigns

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

On this special Pride month podcast, Dennis handles the audio editing on this one as he welcomes past podcast guest Steven Reigns to present a project he produced about the legendary disco star Sylvester's Los Angeles roots. Here's the official synopsis:  Born in Watts, Los Angeles, to a middle-class African-American family, Sylvester developed a love of singing through the gospel choir of his church. Leaving the church after the congregation expressed disapproval of his homosexuality, he found friendship among a group of black cross-dressers and transgender women who called...

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Author Michael Anthony ( Author Michael Anthony ("Life at Hamilton"): The No-Look Pour Never Goes Well

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

Dennis is joined via Zoom by Michael Anthony, author of the new book Life at Hamilton, which documents his experience as the Bar Manager at the Richard Rogers Theater where the Broadway sensation Hamilton premiered in 2015 and went on to become a global phenomenon. Mike talks about the book’s humble beginnings as social media posts, how they gradually became more and more popular, the time he would spend responding to posts from his followers and how the posts involved into a book. He also talks about what it’s like to be a trained actor and be tending bar in a setting where so many others...

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Singer-Actor-Dancer-Only Fans Entrepreneur Valton Jackson: Singer-Actor-Dancer-Only Fans Entrepreneur Valton Jackson: "Everyone Should Be Unapologetically Who They Are"

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

Dennis is joined via Zoom by singer-dancer-actor=model-porn star-Only Fans entrepreneur Valton Jackson who just released an EP of remixes for his sexy single "Shirtless" and also posted a spot-on video to Instagram, where he recreates Britney Spears' "Sometimes" video at a water villa in the Maldives. He talks about the making of that video, growing up in Georgia, how he got into performing and what it's like to be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in the morning...and fly home to have dinner the same day with his family in Georgia. He talks about his decision to get into porn at 28, how...

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More Episodes

After surviving a breakthrough case of COVID, Dennis returns with this Zoom with filmmaker Wes Hurley whose delightful autobiographical film Potato Dreams of America is currently playing the festival circuit and will be released in 2022. The film tells the story of how he moved from Eastern Russian at 16 when his mother became a mail order bride for an American man in Seattle. He talks about his decision to use magical realism to tell his own story, using two sets of actors to play the mother and son characters and how he came to cast Mean Girls Jonathan Bennett, Orange Is the New Black's Lea Delaria and Love Boat's Lauren Tewes is key supporting roles. He talks about how American movies shaped his childhood in Russia and becoming obsessed with Gregg Araki's gay classic The Living End...but renting it in secret so his stepfather wouldn't find out he's gay. He also recalls what it was like when he first came to the U.S., the challenge of making friends, his mom helping meet other gay people and how he learned English by immersion. Other topics include: Keanu Reeves in tighty-whities, rebelling by listening to Marilyn Manson, Freddie Mercury being huge in Russia, what it took to get the movie made, his Russian grandmother's visits to Seattle, how getting a hotel room from a film festival made him feel legit, the grant he received that changed the game and the times when his mother says, "Stop being so Russian."