Having a Purpose in Life

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For some people, finding their life’s passion is as easy as breathing.  There’s just something they’re so good at that there’s no question about them doing anything but that thing.  They were clearly born to do that specific thing, whatever it is.

And then for a wide range of people, it’s not as simple but with some hard work and deep soul searching, they eventually get there.  Some may find it early in life, and others later in life.

And then there’s the rest of the people out there who tend to feel lost throughout their lives.  They either continue to struggle to find their niche, or perhaps just don’t have one.  As far as they can tell that is.

I’ve always felt I fit that last group.

Growing up, I was labelled the ‘smart’ kid early on as I tended to get good grades and rarely got in trouble.  I’ve always been good with numbers and alright at a couple of other subjects, but it was more like a ‘jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none’ sort of situation.

But yet, there still didn’t seem to be anything that truly made me special or stand out from the rest of my classmates.  And as I got older, my ‘good grades’ became average as others started to find their footing and I seemingly stagnated.

One thing I’d always had an interest in was the arts, specifically music and theatre.  We all dreamed of being famous as kids, right?  I was no different.

As we needed an ‘Arts’ credit at our school, my parents begrudgingly let me take a music class.  I really enjoyed it and got a decent enough grade, so I ended up finding a way to take music class each year and joined the school’s concert band.  My parents weren’t thrilled by this, and wouldn’t even let me practice in the house when they were home.

I’d also fancied a turn on the stage, despite my total shyness, so I got involved in the yearly school plays.  My parents wouldn’t let me take the offered drama class, claiming it was a frivolous class.  But somehow I did end up snagging myself a small role in three out of the four productions I’d auditioned for.

Once again, just like the music, this was just something I was ‘ok’ at but I at least enjoyed it.

As we were getting ready for a production of ‘Count Dracula’ one year, there was a conversation I had with the play’s director (the drama teacher) that has always stuck with me.  I was playing one of the asylum attendants who got to carry Renfrew’s bloodied corpse off stage for all to see.  Not a big part, but I at least got a few lines.

I think we were chatting about how much I enjoyed being part of the plays each year, and he said something to the affect of ‘You’ll be lucky to just be a bit, supporting player.  I don’t ever see you being a lead in a show,’ referencing any possibly future I might have in theatre.

For an insecure, overweight teen who was struggling to find himself, that hurt.  This was someone I looked up to and, as my teacher, he probably should have been more encouraging or at least a bit more tactful.  Even if being an actor was more of a pipe dream than anything.

The main reason that comment stuck with me was due to how it made me feel, and it subconsciously became an influencer over other aspects of my life.

It basically was a blow to an already fragile self-confidence. For a kid who didn’t feel like they fit in, never felt good enough, or masculine enough (hadn’t even started coming out at this point…), this was yet another person seemingly telling him they’d never be anything more than mediocre at best.

Yeah… ok.  So even as a teen I would over-think things.  Sue me.  LOL

Now, almost 30 years later, I still sometimes feel like that insecure, introverted, uncertain chubby kid who doesn’t feel like they fit in.  And I’m still trying to find my niche in the world, something that gets me excited to get out of bed every day.

Something that’s going to light a fire in my belly and let me show my passion to the world.

Maybe one of these days…

Farewell to a Legend – George Michael

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Like most, I was completely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of George Michael on Christmas Day.  As well as Bowie, Prince and many many others over the course of 2016, his passing was completely unexpected.

Especially at the young age of 53.

I’ve been a fan of Mr Michael since his early Wham! days, and have followed his career ever since.  I’ve owned several of his albums over the years, and in fact had been listening to his greatest hits album the day before he’d passed.

I still remember the summer of 1987 when ‘I Want Your Sex‘ came out and all the controversy that surrounded it.  Radio stations banned it, parent’s wouldn’t let their children listen to it.. but yet it still became a huge hit around the world, and was the anthem of that summer for my 14 y/o closeted self.

OK, I’ll admit it.. I fancied the pants off of him in that video. 😉

Another song of his that definitely made an impact on me is ‘Outside‘ – this was his post arrested-for-lewd-behaviour release that was a satirical look at the situation set to a bumping disco beat.. and also lead to him finally coming out publicly to the world.

This was the song that cried to the world ‘it’s ok to be yourself and love who you want’.  And for a generation of gay men, that it’s ok to be gay and to be unabashedly sexual.

More than anything I appreciated how he was completely unapologetically himself and didn’t white-wash his sexuality.  He did what a lot of gay men have done at some point in their lives and gone looking for sex in a cruising area… Only he got caught doing it, and it unfortunately became tabloid fodder.

Or at least that’s what I took from it all.  LOL

As tribute, I’ve posted below the video for ‘Amazing‘.  Because in my eyes, he was truly ‘Amazing’.

R.I.P. – George Michael

On a side note.. almost a decade ago back in Montreal, I was casually seeing a guy who fancied himself a ‘George Michael’ look-alike for awhile, though I couldn’t see it.  He actually used to perform (lip-sync I’m assuming) at parties on the side.  Strange.. 🙂

Ultra Nate – Automatic (Original Uncensored)

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I absolutely love how naughty this music video is.. without really showing anything.  Well, sort of.  LOL

ultra_nate_artist_photo7The gorgeous and supremely talented Ultra Naté remade this Pointer Sisters song back in 2007, but could have easily been released today.  It’s got great beats, a catchy chorus, and yes.. lots of eye candy for men and women of either persuasion.  😉

I’ve been a fan of this singer (and DJ) for years, mostly after she released the Pride anthem ‘Free’ way back in 1997.  I recall one year, way back in the day, heading to Toronto for Pride weekend with friends, and us playing this song repeatedly on the drive there.

She was also one of the singers featured in the supergroup Stars on 54 put together to record the songIf You Could Read My Mind” for the soundtrack of the 1998 film, 54.

Then several years later in Montreal, I got to see Ultra Naté perform live during Divers-Cité (Montreal’s Pride festival in August) at one of the big clubs at the time.  The place was absolutely packed and the crowd was practically pulsating throughout her set as they danced their asses off.

It was absolutely amazing.

Enjoy the video, and Happy Gay Pride month to everyone around the world. x

Hercules and Love Affair ft. John Grant— I Try to Talk to You

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hercules-and-love-affair1I was first introduced to Hercules and Love Affair a few years back by a good friend (who I haven’t seen in forever) when we started chatting online with each other.

Ok, so we were flirting with each other online quite regularly, and we eventually hooked up once but that’s not the point. 😉

During our chats he sent me links to this band’s videos and I absolutely loved it.  The vibe and sound of this band, described as a ‘musical project’ from New York based DJ Andy Butler, really spoke to me.  In early interviews, Butler stated his intent to release music with a rotating cast of performers and musicians (Source: Wikipedia).

Their music was cool, with a great sound and old-school vibe that made it easy to listen to and easily fit into my love of chill-out type music.  When they first debuted back in 2008, their first single “Blind” was co-written and featured guest Antony Hegarty (lead vocalist in Antony & The Johnsons, a band I was introduced to back in Montreal by a dear friend).

jessica-6That debut album also featured vocals from Nomi Ruiz, who went on to form the band Jessica 6, which I got to see with that same friend in a basement East London music venue. It was a last minute invite due to a friend of his cancelling last minute.. and technically was the first time we’d met in person.

It was a fun night full of great music and terrific company.. too bad I had to work the next morning, but it was worth the lack of sleep.

Anyway, below you’ll find their latest video for their song ‘I Try to Talk to You’, featuring vocals from John Grant who has a ‘sexy tomcat voice’.

The video for this truly stands out as it shows a couple seemingly struggling against each other through some fantastic choreography that just flows as the video goes forward.

Oh, and did I mention it’s two men?  Yeah, even more amazing to watch the interaction between the two dancers.

So enjoy, and let me know what you think of the song and the video.  🙂

Scissor Sisters – Only The Horses

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I have no idea why, but this song has been stuck in my head all day long.. Not that it’s a bad thing, cause I quite like this song.

And let’s be honest, anything by Scissors Sisters is always a good thing to have stuck in your head.. especially when you’re thinking about how hot BabyDaddy is.  LOL

Ok.. Jake Shears isn’t too bad himself.  😉

Enjoy.

Moloko – Familiar Feeling

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On a recent Saturday evening I was over at a mate’s place for dinner and a bit of wine.  Ok … it was a couple bottles of wine. 😉20140119-192708.jpg

While waiting to make some yummy pesto chicken and mushroom pasta, we were going through some music on the computer and YouTube videos when my mate suggested we listen to Moloko.

Personally I didn’t recognise the name but as soon as I heard some of their songs I realised I already had several of their songs on my iPod, mostly due to compilation CDs.

Anyway, just thought I’d share some great music.  Enjoy 😀

 

I Hope – Rebecca Ferguson

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I can honestly say that Rebecca Ferguson‘s debut album ‘Heaven’ has the distinction of being the only album I’ve purchased from an X-Factor finalist (click HERE for past post).  And I have to say, over a year later, I’m still loving the album over and over.

rebecca-ferguson-i-hope-Freedom-album-artwork-officialNow Ms Ferguson has released her follow-up album ‘Freedom’, and while the first album was about getting past heartaches, her new album is about moving on.  And doing it with her usual velvety, smoky voice and looking glam as always in the video for her debut single, ‘I Hope’.

Now admittedly, I wasn’t so sure about this new song when I first hear it.  I thought it was too repetitive and that maybe she was over-extending how she holds her end notes… but once I heard it a few times I realised that it was because of those things that made this new song so catchy and stick in my head.  In a good way.

Initially maybe I was just hoping for more of the feel of ‘Heaven’ that made me critical of the song, but now I realise that this album is her moving past where she was emotionally and musically on her first album.

And I’m so glad she has.

I haven’t had a chance to listen to the full album as yet, but the bits I have heard I absolutely LOVE.  Her voice is more confident and stronger than ever, and she has definitely left behind that nervous quiver she had when first auditioning for X-Factor a few years ago.

I’m definitely looking forward to hearing the rest of the album in full once it’s released (December 2nd I think).. and you can get a free download of the single ‘Fake Smile’ on Amazon.co.uk as well (click HERE).

Enjoy. 😉

Getting a Little Culture

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Sometimes when you’re just trying to get through and living life day to day, you can easily forget about what a city like London can offer you.  Personally I wish I could spend more of my free time seeing shows in the West End, visiting art galleries, seeing concerts and hearing live music, and so forth.leicester_square_logo

For the most part, I generally haven’t been able to afford many of those things too regularly, especially over the past year while I was unemployed.  I think in the past year or so, I’ve gone out to ‘get some culture’ maybe twice – once to see Margaret Cho at Leicester Square Theatre, and once to see the play ‘Noises Off’ during a limited showing.

In fact, I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to the theatre or to a show of some sort… Need to fix that. lol

I can now add this past Thursday night to the list.  I went with a friend to Leicester Square Theatre once again to see what I originally thought was just an American drag cabaret show, but it turned out to be so much more.

What neither of us realised was there was actually two acts, not one…

varlaFirst up was Varla Jean Merman, an American drag performer who has a traveling cabaret/comedy show.  We knew we would be seeing her, although I’d never heard of her before.  When he first invited me, I said sure without knowing what to expect mostly as a chance to hang out with him.  I hadn’t seen him since he moved back to London from Vancouver.

I did however Google the performer to check out her website and a couple YouTube clips, but from what I saw I honestly didn’t understand the appeal .. But after seeing her 45 minute show live it totally changed my views on her, as she is absolutely hilarious!

This is one of the numbers she did in the show (obviously recorded from a different show.. she wore a different outfit lol).

The second part of the show was an extremely pleasant surprise and something neither of us were expecting – a 4 man singing string quartet called Well-Strungwellstrungvarla2013

I personally thought it was an odd combination, but after looking at the band’s website, it turns out they’ve got the same manager as Varla.

Here’s an excerpt from their ‘About’ page on their website.

One Direction step aside, there’s a new kind of boy band on the circuit. The all-male string quartet Well-Strung features classical musicians who sing putting their own spin on the music of Mozart, Vivaldi, Rihanna, Adele, Lady Gaga, and more! Well-Strung stars first violinist Edmund Bagnell, second violinist Christopher Marchant, cellist Daniel Shevlin and violist Trevor Wadleigh.

First you’ll immediately notice how cute they all are (and yes, they’re all gay 😉 ).. but also how freaking amazingly talented they all are.  They’re all accomplished musicians and singers, and as a group they work so well together.  Their harmonies are outstanding!wellstrung23

(And another FYI, Trevor the violist has the best smile ever.. *swoon* lol)

If you get a chance to see either act in your area (or can still get tickets for their Saturday night show at Leicester Square Theatre.. FYI, there’s still tickets available), then definitely do so.  Both acts are extremely entertaining, and it would be a terrific night out for all.  I know I’d see either act again in the future.

This night out has definitely reminded me that there’s more on offer in London than the usual daily work routines and (for some) the regular weekends at the pub.  I know I’m looking forward to getting out and seeing more things like this again soon.

See the clip below for the first release from their debut album, where they merge Mozart with Kelly Clarkson.

All My Love – Colton Ford (NSFW)

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I have to say, I love Colton Ford.  Purely in a sexual way of course. 😉

ColtonFordlI’ve written about his music a couple times in the past (CLICK HERE or HERE), and for awhile it was a big driver for people finding my blog via search engines.  Personally I didn’t mind all the added traffic that it brought to my blog as long as they enjoyed the blog itself … but I’m sure most were solely looking for pornographic pictures of him.  LOL

For those unaware of him, he used to perform in gay porn films back in 2001 or so, but has been acting and creating music for years.  But despite his years of hard work he seems to get stereo-typed according to his porn past.

As he wrote on GuySpy recently (where he is a regular contributor)..

I’ve been a singer, songwriter, and actor all of my life, and my short 10-month stint 11 years ago in the adult entertainment industry is still attached to me as if I did it yesterday, and seems for some to trump my 30-plus years making music and performing. I accept that and can deal with it, but it doesn’t mean that it’s always easy, or that it doesn’t annoy me from time to time. What I felt was an adventure going into it in 2001 is much more far reaching than I could have imagined. And I was 39 at the time I decided to have the experience, and had a good sense of myself going in. And before I went for it I thoroughly thought about the repercussions and attachments that would come with it for the rest of my life.

Sure, he’s definitely known for his gorgeous body and sexy looks.. and he’s still looking amazing at 50, better than I could even hope to look.  😉

Colton+Ford+coltonBut despite that porn stigma he continues to work hard to build his music fan-base and do the occasional acting job here and there (he co-starred in Here! TV‘s supernatural gay soap ‘The Lair’ from 2007 to 2009).  From what I can see he seems to be doing alright for himself even if he still isn’t super well know.

Hell a few years back he toured with Cyndi Lauper and appeared in her video for “Into The Nightlife” (check it out – great song, fun video..).  Not too shabby.

Of course some of his musical fan-base could be specifically due to his looks and how he’s usually in some state of undress in his videos, and his latest, ‘All My Love’, shows him laying in bed naked with just certain bits covered (dammit lol).

Is there room for me? 😉

Of course, Mr Ford is not solely about his looks or his porn-star past.  Reading his bio on GaySpy, Colton Ford seems to have been a busy guy:

A multi-faceted performer, Colton Ford recently completed a dizzying variety of projects as a singer, songwriter, model, and actor. In addition to releasing two hit full-length albums, “Tug of War” and “Under the Covers,” he was featured on international producers Chris Reece and Misha Daniels’ 2010 albums and has two new singles out receiving critical acclaim: “Music Always Gets You Back” (Colton vs. Razor & Guido) and “Let Me Live Again” (w/Wawa). Ford was listed in AfterElton.com’s Top 50 Gay Male Musicians and made his off-Broadway debut in November 2011. On Twitter @ColtonFordMusic

So, take a look at the video below and let me know what you think.

Enjoy 😉

Love Somebody – Maroon 5

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Adam Levine02Ahhh.. don’t know about you guys, but I’m always up for a bit of Adam Levine shirtlessness. 🙂

In Maroon 5‘s latest video, Levine (and the rest of the band… though no clue what the rest of them look like..) is shown sparingly through slashes of body paint.

It’s a cool video with an interesting concept.. The song’s alright as well, though dunno how catchy it is compared some of their past singles.

Of course half an hour after watching the video, the song’s chorus is still stuck in my head, so that’s a good sign I think. lol

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that he’s got his shirt off in the video.  He seems to do that at any opportunity he can, along with pretty much the rest of his clothes.

And that’s definitely NOT a bad thing. 😉

Back in 2011, Levine did an infamous photo shoot for Cosmopolitan UK to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer.  The picture (see above) definitely got people’s attention as Levine stands completely nude with nothing but a woman’s hands covering his privates.

“I spend most of my life naked,” Levine explained to the magazine. “In fact, I often have to be told by the people around me that it’s inappropriate to be as naked as I am. But I live in California, where it’s always warm, so why not?”

But I think what I also like about this guy, other than he seems to come across as a pretty cool guy (if you’ve watched The Voice, you’ll know what I mean), but he’s also a huge advocate for gay rights since his brother is openly gay.  He discussed in several interviews, most notably in Out Magazine, how the family knew from a young age his brother Michael was gay, and how they embraced it from the beginning to ensure he knew he was loved and that he was ok.

Sound like a great, loving and accepting family to me.

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Ahh to be his helmet 😉

Here’s Maroon 5’s latest video ‘Love Somebody’.

Enjoy. 🙂