Sunday, March 25, 2012
Image above by Fenia Labropoulou
At one point or another most of us have had an unhealthy, yet often exciting fascination with a bad boy. Thanks to Brenton Parry, and his recent post on the subject, over at one of my favorite places to stop, Aussielicious I learned about an interesting site called Hot & Busted.
Now I don't think Hot & Busted is a place I will be visiting frequently, but it was a nice reminder of a brief period in my past. Not a time I wish to repeat mind you, but also a time I would not want to have missed. It totally changed how I look at life and cemented my refusal to have any type of cruelty in my life. We all know that no one can really change a bad boy, but...I have learned that most do change at some point, usually it is a matter of time. It is those years however, between the bad and that not quite so bad, one really has to try to avoid.
Most of us at one time or another have experienced the end of a summer. I don't just mean a date on a calendar, or a time of year. I am positive most of you know the end of a summer, that specific summer, as a very distinct and powerful sensation.
The melancholy feelings that something special, something that might never get repeated is coming to end. The air around you changes far too quickly from sticky hot to cool as days get shorter and you brain is cruelly forced from fantasy back to reality.
As harsh as the end of summer can be, it is much sadder to think of never having experienced one. Without an end, there was no beginning and nothing within those months to look back on longingly as Autumn begins. I have been fortunate to have had more than a few of those summers. It is a struggle as we age to keep summers, or any reason really, one you mourn the end of. When it does happen though, you know you have experienced something meaningful.
It is this point in time photographer Mark Leighton has captured so succinctly in this series of shots with Ben. Ben is from Hereford, England, a student, and a member of his college's rowing team. Most of the images shown here come from Mark's second shoot with 19 year old model last September. The end of a summer, and the end of a day.
'We were particularly trying to catch the "magic hour" at sunset time. The problem is that it is not an hour, so there is a mad rush to do as many as possible in a short space of time. On the west coast in Portugal, it can get quite fresh as the sunsets, so Ben was quite brave in the Ocean and on the wet sand. On one of the shoots he also had an audience of couples enjoying a romantic walk along the beach at sunset - the view was more spectacular than they might have imagined!'
Ben on ModelMayhem
Mark Leighton on Model Mayhem
Mark Leighton official site
'Wherever I end up, as long as I'm performing, whether it be on Broadway as a perpetual chorus boy or as a leading male, in Regional Theatre, as a dancer, as a recording artist, on tv, in the movies, as a backup dancer; as long as I'm performing I'll be happy. I'm just going to keep on searching out and take whatever comes my way. We'll see where life takes me.'
2 images above by John Loring
When I first profiled actor, singer and dancer Ricky Schroeder in 2010, he had only been in New York for about a year, was attending NYU and planting the seeds for a future performing on the stages of NY. In that feature, (The First Time) Ricky discussed the many firsts on the road to fulfilling his dreams.
Cut to 2012, Ricky has taken leave of absence from school, spent the last year auditioning, concentrating on voice lessons and dance classes and spending most nights not working on those dreams, but living them on stage. First in Icons, and last week, began previews at The Kirk Theatre at Manhattan’s Theatre Row for the new production of Naked Boys Singing.
'Icons is actually an interesting story. I went in to audition for the Provincetown version of Naked Boys and after I sang and then sang naked, the producers then asked me to come dance later because they had 'ideas about me'. After I had danced they offered me the lead drag queen role in Icons, which I politely declined. Drag wasn't something that I was interested in at all, but after they kept calling and calling and I realized how much money I was being offered I accepted the role and I'm so glad I did. Had a summer I'll never forget. We were literally rockstars in that town and people just went crazy over the show. I had to learn how to dance in heels and do drag makeup. Skills that are actually quite useful now with shows like Priscilla, La Cage, and the upcoming Kinky Boots. Starting in June and then ran until Oct. in Ptown. Then we transferred it off Broadway (my first off Broadway show!) and Althogh they offered me the lead in NYC as well, I declined because I didn't want to start getting known for doing drag In NYC so I became a backup dancer and understudy.'
Below: With Icons co-star Alex Ringler
On How Naked came about:
'Naked Boys came about because my producer who did Naked Boys and Icons in Provincetown took over the franchise in NYC after the most recent production closed. So after auditioning for them, I landed the gig! Our first preview was this week and our official opening is April 5th.'
Below: Ricky & the cast of Naked Boys Singing
On getting Naked on stage:
'I'm not as nervous about the nudity as I thought I'd be. I'm pretty much almost naked in every production I do, so this just seems like the most natural next step in my progression. Plus, as far as showing my dick goes, half the world's got one and the other half has most likely seen one, so it's not really a big deal.'
On whether his family is coming to NBS:
'My family is amazingly supportive and I would not be where I am today without them and their support. I don't think, however, that they will be coming to see this production. Which I'm fine with. I don't need them to see me naked. They're my family. I don't want to ruin the innocent image they have of me. I'll record the audio and send it to them. It makes both parties just a little bit uncomfortable.'
Check out stories of the new production of Naked Boys Singing at Out & Broadway.com
Naked Boys Singing On Facebook