Cherry Jones Interview

By Jeff Walsh

In Doubt, Cherry Jones delivers an amazingly nuanced role as a nun that is convinced a priest behaved improperly with a young boy, despite not actually seeing anything incriminating. She just feels in her bones that what happened was inappropriate and has no ability to think otherwise. The play uses this exchange to question how we know what we know. In an age of polarization, how do we see with such certainty and, if that is the case, what chance is there to move forward if neither side questions their beliefs.

Doubt is a small show asking big questions. With a cast of four, it has an agility and focus to it that a larger show wouldn't allow. While the potentially pedophilic priest is an easy target, the show is just using that example to raise other questions.

Brad Virata of 'Survivor: Cook Islands' Interview

By Jeff Walsh

Brad Virata went on Survivor to break stereotypes and win a million dollars, but only accomplished one of his goals. He was voted off the show on the show's eighth episode, but became the first member of the jury that decides who wins the million dollars. On Sunday, December 17, he will be on the jury that selects the million-dollar winner and appear live on the reunion show that follows. Throughout the show, Virata seemed to be having fun with the whole notion that he was playing a game, rather than follow the stressful (albeit possibly more successful) path of other people on the show. Whenever the game had a twist, he was there smiling and taking it all in, while everyone else winced, plotted and schemed. Chatting with him on the phone, it becomes very clear that is just the way he handles life. Talking to Oasis exactly a week after his being voted off the show, he was still upbeat and engaged after days of a rigorous publicity schedule. In fact, he laughed so freely and often during our interview, I just removed the (laughs) marks from the transcript, because without the audio or knowing his take on life, they actually came across as excessive. But on the phone, they were playful and addictive, and really did help paint a picture of his great outlook on life. Virata, the fashion director for Lucky Brand Jeans, recently spoke with Jeff about his life on and off the show:

Jeff Manabat of the Kinsey Sicks Interview

By Jeff Walsh

The Kinsey Sicks have been part of my life in San Francisco for as long as I can remember. But, these days, this dragapella beauty shop quartet is spreading its music and message (and STDs, in the case of Rachel) throughout North America as a constantly touring group. The group was first profiled in Oasis back in November of 1999, and have never stopped coming up with hilarious shows, outlandish improv, and "Oh no, they didn't!" moments.

2007 will see the DVD release of their first-ever concert film "I Wanna Be A Republican" (currently playing festivals and seeking a distributor) as well as an episodic reality show, "Almost Infamous," documenting their journey to debuting a show in Las Vegas. The group consists of four members: Ben Schatz as the slutty Rachel, Irwin Keller as the lesbolicious neatfreak Winnie, Chris Dilley as the vapid vampy Trampolina, and Jeff Manabat as the glamorous (and easy) Trixie.

Jim Fall Interview

By Jeff Walsh

When I decided to relaunch Oasis as a magazine again, one of the things I did was to look back and review the list of people we had featured in the past. Just doing that became a sort of fun exercise in seeing what some of those same people were up to these days.

When I saw the interview with Jim Fall, director of Trick (one of my favorite gay movies of all time), I quickly jumped over to IMDB to see what he's been doing lately. I knew about the Lizzie McGuire Movie, but above that was an entry called "Wedding Wars." A bit of poking around, and it seemed that his newest movie was happening just in time for our relaunch. Wedding Wars (see my review) features John Stamos as a wedding planner who causes a national movement of gay people refusing to go to work, when confronted with the injustice surrounding gay marriage. But instead of a hectoring, political treatise that would preach to the converted, fail to sway the undecided, and not interest the red states, Fall humanizes the issue with a fun, genuine story that humanizes both sides of the issue. The movie plays for laughs and emotional resonance, while advancing the gay marriage debate in a positive way.

Margaret Cho: Notorious and on her own terms

By Jeff Walsh

Margaret Cho is a force to be reckoned with. Her new movie and double-CD, "Notorious C.H.O." show the queer Korean-American comic at the top of her game, with the CD taped at Carnegie Hall, and the film recorded at a sold out theater in Seattle.

Chris Beckman brings some reality to The Real World

By Jeff Walsh, Oasis editor

Chris Beckman may only be 23, but he's already gone through a lot in his life. As an artist, he is represented by a gallery in Boston and has his own Web site to showcase his work. He's been sober for an entire year, after a co-dependent relationship got him involved with alcohol, ecstasy, and other party favors. And, after an entire season with no gay cast members, MTV corrected the error by giving us two this year, both Chris and openly lesbian Aneesa (who recently appeared together on the cover of Out Magazine). Sorry boys, but it is Aneesa that you'll be seeing naked all season. Chris doesn't think they caught him, but tune in to find out.

Christopher Rice offers more density with "The Snow Garden"

By Jeff Walsh

Christopher Rice has been through a lot since I last interviewed him for Oasis. When we talked to him last in November 2000, he had just recently published his first book, A Density of Souls, an ambitious book that seemed to go the opposite direction of most first-time novelists. The book had an epic sense to it, complex characters, and a mysterious mood that helped it end up on the New York Times' Bestseller List.

The Happiest Place on Earth

Techno-duo Matmos (Martin Schmidt and Drew Daniel) talk about their music, touring with Bjork, and sleeping under a piano

By Japiya Burns

Coming across a Georgia O’Keeffe painting recently, from “The Poetry of Things,” I am strangely reminded of Matmos’ music. The painting is of a stark green apple sitting plainly on a circular black plate, set against a white background. The black plate is so fluid, an oval of reflected light against its bottom lip, that it carries the qualities of not only the juicy apple, but of human lips, of something sensuous and bigger than itself. In this way Matmos sample the sounds of everyday objects, the human body even, and find beauty and music in them.

Sacha Sacket finds his artistic voice on Alabaster Flesh

Interview by Greling Jackson

When it came to meeting him for the first time, I felt a sense of welcoming like never before. Sacha had an aura that seemed to possess every soul in the room. Never had I met a person who was so talented and bore such a sincere passion for his art. As I gazed into his eyes, I knew that interviewing him would prove to be a pleasurable experience. I had met one the few people in this world that could befriend anyone and bring out the positive light in any situation.

Michelle Tea's 'Valencia' provides a guided tour through the urban dyke scene

By Jeff Walsh

If Michelle Tea ever has any regrets in life, it certainly won't be that she didn't live life to its fullest. Tea recently won the Lambda Literary Award for best lesbian fiction for her novel, Valencia, which documents one year in her life in San Francisco's Mission District. Valencia is a roller coaster ride through the urban dyke scene with Tea giving a guided tour of relationships, rubber gloves, sex work, and dead-end jobs. Any of our readers who want to wonder what it would be like to move to San Francisco and jump into the scene, Valencia is a good entry point. It will excite and scare you, as anything good in life should.

Amazing Drag Musical Movie, 'Hedwig,' Inching Toward A Wicked Little Town Near You

By Jeff Walsh

When I first came out, at the late age of 23, I made up for lost time by going from closeted to activist. I became obsessed with people pushing the boundaries, challenging the norm, advancing the cause. My two immediate role models became Larry Kramer and Michelangelo Signorile. As it turned out, Larry was just about to release his new play in New York City shortly after I came out called “The Destiny of Me,” which advanced the characters and story of his earlier play, “The Normal Heart,” about the AIDS Epidemic as how it divided and rallied the gay community in New York City. So, I told my straight friend we were going to New York City, and I bought us tickets to see “The Destiny of Me.”

Rufus Wainwright strikes impressive Poses with new album

By Jeff Walsh

Rufus Wainwright walks into the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco the afternoon before his sold out show. He finishes up a cell phone call, sizes up the room, and immediately approaches me. “I don’t know you, so you must be here to interview me,” he says, and we immediately go find a place downstairs as his crew continues tuning his piano and setting up the stage.

Kirk Read teaches queer youth to "snap" with new book

By Jeff Walsh

In "How I Learned to Snap," Kirk Read paints a richly detailed picture of growing up as a gay teenager in Virginia in the 80s. With his military father and adorable, supportive mother, Read takes an unflinching look at his adolescence, and how it shaped him. Many of the stories jump off the page with an energy that immediately pulls you into the scene, seeing it vividly through Read's eyes. Personally, my favorite sections all involved Jesse Fowler, the older openly gay boy at school, the one who taught him to believe in himself, as well as to snap. Of course, that may just be projection, since I never had a Jesse to show me the way.

Randy Harrison makes an impressive debut in Queer as Folk

By Jeff Walsh

In December, Showtime began airing Queer As Folk, a gay soap opera that sparked praise from critics and debate within the gay community. A group of gay men constantly on the prowl, doing drugs, turning tricks, and cracking wise was a horror, according to some people I've talked to. To me, it's just a delicious, decadent soap opera that I wait to see every week.

Jade Esteban Estrada, Latin pop's openly gay "Angel"

By Jeff Walsh

I'll admit right up front that I have totally become a total Latin pop queen. On my Rio MP3 Player that I take to the gym, there is always a Latin mix to keep me pushing through my cardio workouts. Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Chayanne, and Shakira keep my feet moving and spirits high. My workout is always more intense with Latin beats propelling it.

Out in Africa: Brandon brings positive gay portrayal to TV

By Jeff Walsh

I wasn't supposed to watch Survivor this year.

I've been purging a lot of my TV shows to concentrate on writing my novel more, and Survivor was on the hit list. Do I really need to watch starved, dehydrated people making puzzles on the ground in Africa?

But, I happened to catch the first show, where they just introduced the cast and showed highlights from the upcoming season, and then I saw Brandon Quinton. Damn that CBS! They put a hot femme twink on! Now, I have to watch the damned show all season!

Jon and Michael Galluccio Define 'Family' In Heartwarming New Book

By Jeff Walsh

Jon and Michael Galluccio met in college in 1982 as frat brothers. They were each other's first boyfriends in a love story that has lasted for more than 13 years, and is still going on to this day. But after 13 years of living happily together, they began to examine their lives and relationship, and found something was missing. They wanted children. For Michael, it was always just a given that it wasn't a possibility.

Soehnlein Delivers Gripping Debut Novel With "Normal Boys"

By Jeff Walsh

In "The World of Normal Boys," K.M. Soehnlein takes readers on a journey through the late 1970s in suburban New Jersey, a place where the seeds of 13-year-old Robin MacKenzie are beginning to grow in the shadows of New York City, an amazing place so close but yet so far from his life. Soehnlein's debut novel is a richly textured story that can go from heart-warming to heart wrenching in a page, due to his measured, rich storytelling.

A Reading From The Gospel, According To Shawn Thomas

By Troy N. Diggs

Many people wouldn’t think the words “gay gospel singer from Alabama” make any sense put together, let alone to describe someone. However, musician Shawn Thomas is, yes, gay… and a singer… originally from Texas, now in Alabama… who (among other things) sings religious music.

Mommie Dearest

Christopher Rice makes a name for himself with amazing first novel

By Jeff Walsh

With A Density of Souls, Christopher Rice has sculpted an ambitious first novel that's deftly crafted with rich characters, an intriguing plot, and beautiful, articulate language. Unfortunately, most of the attention given to Rice in the media is due not to his creation, but to his creator: best-selling author Anne Rice.

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