Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Queer Artist Centerfold: Derek Ringold
Stage Name: Derek Ringold:)
Contact info: www.derekringold.webs.com
Birthplace: Queens, NY
Zodiac sign: Leo
Describe what you do:
I write monologues and poetry about being a gay man basically. My personal narratives deal with the fight for equality, the temptation of the dark side and the search for true love. I then create performance pieces to my words using video imagery, dance, and spoken word. Once I've written enough material, I then create a full-length theatrical one man show.
Wisdom, confidence, humor, sensitivity, authenticity
Hate, ignorance, arrogance, selfishness, "woe is me" types
Describe your perfect date:
Oh God I can't stand dates, so much pressure! It's like a job interview!:)
The best dates are pleasant surprises that last longer than you anticipated Maybe start at the beach, go on a hike, or play a game of basketball; into dinner, drinks, and dancing.
People who talk WAY too much about themselves.
Fave sex idol:
Mark Whalberg, Brandon Boyd, Idris Elba, Halle Berry to name a few:)
Probably Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing! Omg, I remember being like "Whoa, what is happening to me?", after watching his shirtless scenes! Also I remember when I was 14, I met this 15 year old Mid-Western boy while vacationing in the Caribbean with my family. We became buddies for the entire weeklong trip. I remember feeling very attracted to him, physically and emotionally. For me, it was the first time it felt exciting to like another boy, at least in my mind. And It was ok. This was who I was. Of course he was straight but we remained pen pals all through high school and college. He was the guy that changed everything for me.
I seriously love all kinds of music, except I was never really feeling Country songs. Dance/Electronica/House is home to me. 90s Hip Hop brings me back. Classic rock, Indie Rock, R&B Soul, Disco, Pop(Britney is my girl!:), and World Music(African, Latin).
Top movies that inspire you:
The Color Purple, You Can Count On Me, Milk, Imitation of Life
"You are a phenomenon no less magical than any possibility" D.W. Brown
I'm reading Gay Soul right now which is so beautifully rich. Obama's Dreams from My Father, The Velvet Rage.
One of your obsessions: Italian Bread!
Michael Jackson is the only reason I first set foot on stage. I was 7 years old and performed "Thriller" in the school talent show. He will always be my hero. Also, the director of my first solo show Michael Kearns and everyone involved in the Rise Up and Shout organization are responsible for helping me find my voice as an openly gay artist.
Fave queer from history: Langston Hughes
Most Pivotal Performance/event/etc:
Performing in my solo show SO HARD closing night, the same day the California Supreme Court upheld the ban on same sex marriage in June 2009. SO HARD dealt heavily with marriage equality and after this devastating news, my emotion really flew beyond the theatre walls. It felt great to convey what so many of us in the LGBT community were feeling at that moment.
Most frightening performance experience:
I'm nervous as hell before EVERY performance no matter how big or small.
Places performed: Los Angeles:
Zephyr Theatre, Highways Performance Space, ONE Institute, Rise up and Shout! 1 & 2 (Barnsdall Gallery Theatre), Black LGBT Project, Village Variety Pack(Davidson/Valentini Theatre), City x1 LGBT Youth event.
Loyola Marymount University- Theatre Arts/Dance. Joffrey Ballet School, NY
Awards/Grants/Honors: City of West Hollywood Arts Grant
What do you (does your art) stand for:
Sharing my story to promote greater understanding and acceptance of the LGBT community worldwide.
Fave prop or costume: My black speedo:)
Thoughts on the LA queer art scene:
There is such an outlet in LA for queer art it's almost undeniable. Showcases, readings, theatrical productions, music. The amount of creativity and talent by gay artists out here continues to inspire me. I also love that we all assist one another and have each other's backs when it comes to getting our voices heard. We're like a family all working towards a common goal. I love it! Let's take this ride as far as we can, continuing to open more hearts and minds to our plight!
What is your Vision for the Queer Future:
Full equal rights and integration worldwide.
What do you see as the future for queer art:
I see a lot more openly gay figures being unapologetically visible internationally in all mediums- Film, TV, Music, Sports, Politics, News Reporting, Writing etc. Being honest about who we are and sharing our stories truthfully is key if we are to eliminate the hatred and stereotypes associated with being Gay.
What are your upcoming plans/shows/events/include dates and info:
I am currently about halfway done with writing my next solo show. As of yet it is untitled but its themes deal with my light and dark attributes as a gay man post turning 30 years old. Hoping to premiere it in the fall/winter 2011 at Studio C in Hollywood.
Sample of Work: