“I must thank my beautiful Cyndey, who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss.” – Jodie Foster inches her closet door ajar by publicly thanking her spousal-equivalent, Cydney Bernard, while accepting the “Sherry Lansing Leadership Award” at the “Women in Entertainment Breakfast” this past week.
I know the holidays are upon us when I’m out at events every single night. These extravaganzas range from the sublime to the ridiculous – I’ll let my readers decide which was which.
For most of the past decade, I’ve happily covered “Cracked Xmas,” the annual fundraiser by The Trevor Project (running the only nationwide 24/7 suicide prevention hotline for gay and questioning teens). Last year, an exodus of much of the organization’s brass resulted in newbies in charge – with varying degrees of competency. After bringing the group national press, I was unceremoniously snubbed. Actually, that’s not true – I was told I could stand on the sidewalk in front of the theatre and photograph stars going in. In the words of Dolores Grey, “Thanks a lot, but no thanks.” While I remain just as committed to the work this group does, clearly I’m less than enthused.
This meant I was free to attend a tribute to Doris Roberts put on by “Camelot Artists,” the teaching branch of the Beverly Hills Playhouse. Doris has been a longtime friend to our community, and even founded Children Affected by AIDS. It was terrific to see her “son” Ray Romano, but where was Donna Pescow? Don’t tell me she was busy. I understand that you might not be able to get Pierce Brosnan, but I’d have killed for a Stephanie Zimbalist. Even an Efrem Zimbalist! I’m not complaining – we had folks like Jason Alexander, Fred Willard, Leah Thompson, and Camille Saviola (who effectively stole the show). We even had Sally Kellerman, who was inexplicably slated to sing “Love Potion #9.” Must be a private joke between Sally and Doris.
The next night, Sam Harris performed a special benefit for the Actors Fund – which sold out weeks in advance. Sam, as usual, was in phenomenal form and the audience adored him. In that throng were Bruce Vilanch, Nancy Dussault, Florence Henderson, Judy Tenuta, Bill Brochtrup, Henry Polic III, and oodles more. Throw in Lainie Kazan, and you’d have a telethon (OK, maybe not for one of the BIG diseases).
After congratulating Sam, I zipped across town to the West Coast CD release party of Randy Jones, the original cowboy from “The Village People.” I went in thinking it would just be me and Randy. How wrong I was – the place was PACKED! What’s even freakier, it was primarily young, straight kids. Randy looks and sounds good and everyone got into “YMCA.” His new CD, “Ticket To The World,” would make a fun holiday gift for that disco fan out there.
Then we had “Night of 100 Judys” at East/West Lounge here in WeHo – celebrating the birthday of Judy Tenuta and organized by the WeHo Awards and benefitting the Whittier Rio Hondo AIDS Project. I was asked to be a judge alongside Jai Rodriguez and Bobby Trendy. Except when I got there, no Jai, no Bobby. Jason Stuart was enlisted as another judge. Two people came dressed as Judy – and one was the organizer. I told Judy, “I think you might win the contest!” When she made her speech to the roughly 50 people in attendance, she said, “Thank you for this lovely ‘Night of A Few Judys'”!
Just as the birthday cake was brought out, the club lights went on, the manager drew the shades, and told the DJ to stop the music. No one knew what was going on, so after a few moments, the DJ (the talented Ray Rhodes) turned the music back on. Now the manager was VERY irate and yelled to turn the music off. He announced that the promoters had not fulfilled their requirements and not only was the party over…the club was CLOSED! There were heated words between the manager and Ray, which almost ended with Ray being thrown from the DJ booth. The promoter had been physically tossed out the back door. Judy and I fled the club. When we all reconvened on the street, Jason Stuart was, not surprisingly, holding the cake! Judy was scared, the promoter filled in some gaps, and Jason Stuart said, “This is terrible! We were seconds away from cake – does anyone have a knife? Or a long key?” I’m telling you, it was better than if it had been a successful promotion. I have some photos from this and all my events at http://www.BillyMasters.com.
I’ve only got one “Billy’s Gift Giving Suggestion” this week. “Forgiving Troy” is a fascinating blend of writing and art by actor and artist Thom Bierdz. We learn about the handsome, talented, successful soap star who not only had to cope with being closeted but also lived through one brother (Troy) violently murdering their mother with a baseball bat, and another brother (Gregg) committing suicide. OK, maybe not appropriate for Christmas Eve by the fire, but touching and engaging. You can buy this book – or any of Thom’s art works – at http://www.thombierdz.com.
The paparazzi snagged Mario Lopez and dancer Karina Smirnoff frolicking on the beach in Puerto Vallarta. Not surprisingly, Mario’s body looks incredibly hot. But, wait a minute? He’s wearing a white bathing suit. And it’s wet. Can I actually see…yes I can! And he looks uncut. You can see for yourself at http://BillyMasters.com.
This week’s “Ask Billy” question comes from Christian in Las Vegas: “I hear that Benjamin Bradley and Ethan Reynolds have broken up. Where does this leave the Ginch Gonch campaign? Is there a third party involved?”
It’s quite a story. It started when porn superstar Roman Heart announced that he had reunited with his equally hot (maybe hotter) ex, Benjamin Bradley – the torso of Ginch Gonch. Not only are the two back together, but allegedly they are “engaged” – whatever that means. Ben up and left his new house, Las Vegas, and now-ex boyfriend, the luscious Ethan Reynolds – which likely means the Ginch Gonch Boys campaign is kaput (rumor has it that Ben and Roman were planning this for a while before springing it on Ethan). While I suppose Roman and Ben reuniting is romantic, I can’t help but consider the flip side of it. Ethan had a successful business, a nice home, and a decent life in Vegas. With Ben, he gave up his apartment so they could buy a house, gave up his job to constantly tour and model with him, and let his own web business fall into the wrong hands. After the dust settled, a very sexy and sweet guy is left with virtually nothing. I better get to Vegas…stat!
Could it be that a certain larger than life actress is inching out of the closet? Nah, not Jodie – the other one. I’m told that she and her longtime galpal have been somewhat more open in their New Jersey community. There is even talk of having children together, and maybe getting married – a real monster’s ball. This delicate and sensitive flower is tired of living single. Of course, God knows where she’s been.
When Jason Stuart’s running down the street with a cake, it’s definitely time to end yet another column. I’m exhausted after all these parties. Happily, I’ve only got a few more days in L.A. before I head down to Ft. Lauderdale to rest…and party some more! No matter where I am, you can get the best dish around at http://www.BillyMasters.com. For your more pressing needs, drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before I get a Christmas card from the Trevor Project! So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.