Tuesday, May 15, 2012

John Kouri and Love Out Loud VII

John Kouri, lead singer for Tremors, has been a mainstay on the NYC music scene. for the last 15 years. He has performed and collaborated with some of the hottest artists around the country. The key to John's success is his expansive repertoire and the vocal ability to perform different musical styles including Pop, Rock, R&B & Dance. We are pleased that John will be returning to Love Out Loud this year. He will be accompanied by three of the best musicians NYC has to offer.

Ellen Dolan and Love Out Loud VII

Ellen Dolan, a native of Monticello, Iowa, is Soap Opera royalty. She has starred in Guiding Light, where she played the role of Maureen Reardon Bauer from 1982 to 1986, and As the World Turns, where she played the role of Margo Montgomery Hughes from 1989 to 1993, and from 1994 to 2010. In 1992 The National Television Academy nominated her for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress. Her additional television credits include the made-for-television movies Mother’s Day, Mothers, Daughters and Lovers with Helen Shaver and Claude Akins, andDancing with Danger, with Cheryl Ladd and Ed Marinaro. Her stage career began in 1980 at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater with roles such as Katrin in Mother Courage. Her subsequent roles in numerous regional productions have included Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Virginia Stage Company, May in How the Other Half Loves at the Pennsylvania Stage Company, and Clelia in The Nerd at the Capitol Repertory in Albany, NY. She also started a theater company in New York called The Studio Three Group. She joined a repertory group called the WorkShop Theater Company in 2004 and has had leading roles in several mainstage productions there. Dolan earned her MFA degree in theater from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She spent a summer studying dramatic arts at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. We are thrilled that she has volunteered to help us with Love Out Loud VII. We already had Soap Opera Royalty there, but there is always room for more. I am sure her fans will agree.

Giovanni Vitacolonna and Love Out Loud VII

One of the most fulfilling things to do is sing. There was a t-shirt that proclaimed, "Music is what feelings sound like." Therefore, finally hosting and doing a complete set of songs at the very fundraiser I set into motion in 2006 is most satisfying and why I am hoping for a great crowd. I thought it would be difficult this year because we rely so much on the local Soap Opera community. There are no longer any in New York City. The response has been excellent from local actors some of whom have entered the realm of my favorite people.

Go here to see who is on board: http://www.love-out-loud.com/events.html

I will be opening the show at 6:00pm with the very handsome and very talented Michael Kevin Walsh, the owner of Smooth Spot Studio and we will be followed by the very popular and sexy Gregory Nalbone. The band tomorrow will be headed by NYC musician John Kouri. The wonderful actress and singer Ilene Kristen may provide us with a surprise rendition.

I have participated in 15 AIDS Walks between New York and Los Angeles. I have participated in walks in Nashville and Philadelphia. Participating in and organizing events is my gift.

Singing is not necessarily a gift, but the love of singing is and now I want to give back. I hope you can all come along. The greatest gift of all is sharing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gary Cosgrove and Love Out Loud VII

Gary Cosgrove is a true Jersey boy reared in Wood-Ridge. A graduate of Rowan University with a degree in Education, Gary oversaw several youth recreation programs in Wood-Ridge from 1978 to 1983. In 1983 Gary was elected to the Wood-Ridge Town Council. At age 24, he was the youngest elected town councilman and a Democrat! He served on the Council for 3 years from 1983 to 1986. After leaving Public Office, Gary continued to serve his community. In 1989, Gary was confronted with the death of several very close friends who had lost their battle with AIDS. He decided to join the fight against the plague that has devastated our community. Through the Pfizer Philanthropy Department, Gary garnered a grant for Friends for Life in 1997. That same year Friend for Life named him their “Man of the Year”. In 2006, Gary served as President of the Board of Trustees for Friends for Life until 2008. Gary has been affiliated with the Imperial Court of New York for the last 15 years where he has continued to raise public consciousness of the continuing fight against AIDS and other life threatening disease. In his six years as President, Gary’s leadership has helped the Imperial Court of New York realize over $500,000 in corporate sponsorships and grants. Although small battles are continuously won, the war against AIDS is far from over. With the support of his family, friends and especially Damian, his “legal” husband for one year but his partner for over 15 years, he continues his fight. Their love and encouragement enable him to forge ahead in his commitment to not just the HIV/AIDS community, but to the LGBT Community as a whole. For that he is eternally grateful. Gary’s boundless energy and benevolent dedication are an inspiration for us all and we are honored to have him as part of Love Out Loud VII.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kelley Missal and Love Out Loud VII

Kelley Missal was born and raised in Central New Jersey and pursued her dream of acting with her parents’ support and soon began auditioning in commercials. Having a father in show business as a drummer for rocker Billy Idol, Kelley and her brother were taught to play guitar and drums. She also enjoys singing and dancing. Kelley appeared as an orphan on Saturday Night Live in a vignette with Dan Aykroyd and Jimmy Fallon. After three years of not working, she told her mother she wanted to pursue the acting bug again and appeared on Comedy Central’s Dennis Leary Roast. She has successfully done several voiceover ads as well.At her audition forOne Life to Live in 2009, Kelley won the part of feisty teen, Danielle Rayburn immediately after her screen test. She credits her co-stars Trevor St. John, Florencia Lozano and Eddie Alderson with helping her evolve as an on-screen actress. We are very happy to add Kelley to Love Out Loud VII. She’ll take time out of her busy day to help us raise funds for AIDS Walk New York for the second year in a row.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nick Choksi and Love Out Loud VII

A native of Saint Louis, MO Nick Choksi studied dramatic arts at The Julliard School of Drama earning the sixth annual Julliard Journal award. He went onto work at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in both Washington and the Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis. He began getting parts on television in Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2005) as Dr. Sanjay,The Sopranos (2006), The Electric Company (2011) as Tuxedo Pete (2011) and roles in films, What Happened on the Fourth Date (2008) as Jonathan and Violet and Daisy (2011).In 2010, Nick auditioned and won the role of Vimal Patel on One Life to Live. The producers decided to keep Nick on board his first day and he continued to be part of the Clint Buchanan DNA fiasco. Nick’s performance was a fan pleaser although not everything Vimal did was necessarily on the up and up. It’s the mark of an excellent actor to make a flawed character endearing. Eventually Vimal was redeemed. Chances are that was a result of Nick’s charisma coming through. We are very proud to have him join us for Love Out Loud VII, which is fast becoming a New York Soaps reunion. Come, reunite with those people, like Nick, who brought you some daytime joy.

Ben Jörgensen and Love Out Loud VII

AfterElton did a series of past gay story lines on Soap Operas a few years back when Kyle and Oliver were all the rage. It was called Gays Gone By as part of their Gays of Our Lives series. One article gave a run down of gay teacher Michael Maloney’s travails. Michael (Chris Bruno) is at one point blamed for turning one of his students Kevin Sheffield (Jörgensen) gay. The acting was well received especially Ben Jörgensen’s which AE deemed earnest and sympathetic. “The storyline was effective in depicting the varying opinions of the town’s citizens about Michael and Kevin being gay. Some were completely accepting while others were uneasy and had trouble understanding it. In playing out how these well known and beloved characters dealt with their homophobia — and how most eventually came to accept Michael and Kevin for who they are — the show likely made it easier for viewers to accept as well.” Ben was born in London, England and spent his childhood in Australia. At the age of eight he moved to New York. At the tender age of 15 he appeared in the Calvin Klein commercials for Obsession. He studied at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His TV credits include All My Children, Another World, The Becky Bell Story, The Break and The Basketball Diaries. Ben has recently been starring in some theatrical productions and we are very happy to have him join us for Love Out Loud VII.

Tina Sloan and Love Out Loud VII

Tina Sloan wishes to embody that je ne sais quoi mastered by Cleopatra: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety." Her variety has included at various times running marathons, mountain climbing, marriage, mothering, and mastering her fears about aging. She is has competed in races in Paris, London, Honolulu, and Washington. Tina has run both the New York City and Los Angeles marathons. One of her biggest accomplishments is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 1987. Tina has been married to Steve McPherson since 1976 and has one son. Tina Sloan made her daytime debut in 1974 as Kate on Somerset. In 1976, she was yet another revolving door Patti (Jo's daughter) on a second P&G soap, Search for Tomorrow, and, in 1980, she played Olivia on Another World. It was as Nurse Lillian Raines on Guiding Light, a role she assumed in 1983, however, through which Tina made her biggest impact. Tina enjoyed a three and a half decades-long career on Guiding Light. Tina played the level-headed nurse until the show ended on September 18, 2009. Almost immediately she started a new life as an author, playwright, and theatrical actress. Tina wants to teach other women how to become the woman they've always wanted to be. Her book, Changing Shoes, is in bookstores and is available at http://amzn.to/changingshoes. It came out about one year after her show's cancellation, and in it she shares a multitude of stories about those years spent working in daytime drama. There was a collective OMG-I-love-her when we found it she was gracing us with her presence for Love Out Loud VII. Come out to meet yet another Daytime legend and help us with our efforts for AIDS Walk New York.

Matt Walton and Love Out Loud VII

Matt was born and raised in rural NJ by his film-buff, lawyer father and a mother who led him to the stage by the age of five. He wrote his first comic-book series, The Further Adventures of Boba Fett, in second grade, and in ninth grade made his first movie, The Twelve Labors of Hercules (in which he played Zeus, naturally). Matt continued his show-business trajectory with scholarships to teen performing arts academies and The Boston Conservatory. At the age of 19, Matt landed his first professional job in a national tour of Lend Me a Tenor and went on to graduate Cum Laude with a BFA in Theatre.

Memorable television guest roles include Rescue Me, Royal Pains, Cashmere Mafia, The Bronx is Burning, several pilots, a few Hallmark Hall of Fames, every New York Soap including a long run as the evil Elijah Clarke on ABC’s One Life to Live and all the Law and Orders. He has appeared in over two-dozen films including the Golden Globe Nominated Coen Brothers film Burn After Reading, the indie hits Gigantic, 200 American, and last years’ Sundance underdog, Armless. Matt also owns a production company, Autumn Sky, that co-produced the mostly improvised yet best-screenplay-award-winning Montclair (Palm Beach, Stratford on Avon), and has several new films and TV shows in development.

Commercially, Walton has been the spokesperson for Loews, Rooms to Go, Speed Stick’s "Guy Mennen", Cablevision’s Optimum, and presently "The Mike" in the Old Navy campaign. He also voices dozens of products including Oxygen Network, IFC, M&Ms, Subway, Value City, Bass Ale, and MCI. Matt currently resides in the NYC area with his wife and two children.

Matt Walton is one of those enviable people who always has an iron in the fire and is very busy even when he is not officially employed. He is coming back to Love Out Loud and we couldn't be happier as are his many fans I am sure. Come out to meet and/or greet this very handsome, talented and seemingly eternally energetic man!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Trent Dawson and Love Out Loud VII

Trent Dawson first appeared on As the World Turns as WOAK news director Henry Coleman on November 10, 1999. Somehow this background character grew into a scene stealer that viewers looked forward to seeing. Trent Dawson was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.. He told The Advocate Online, "I've been acting since I could walk. I went to a Joni Mitchell concert with my mom at LSU when I was about two. During a break, I ran up onto the stage and started playing the piano." After returning to the States from a year-long adventure abroad, Trent studied theater at the University of Colorado. Upon graduation he moved to New York to live the life of a struggling actor. In the fall of 1996 Trent founded the Blue Coat Repertory Company with some of his peers, most of whom he had met in Colorado. Of his experiences on the set of As the World Turns, Trent said, "I've learned from every actor on the show, directly or indirectly. I came in with an itinerary of sorts regarding camera skills, and since I was surrounded by people who had more of these skills, every day was full … I thank the soap for reigniting a bit of curiosity in me, even when there are days that the red flag goes up and you say 'now this is just silly!'" It may seem as if Trent Dawson came out of nowhere to steal viewers' hearts as the lovable rascal Henry Coleman, but he didn't. He had almost a lifetime of acting experience behind him. This is Mr. Dawson’s second Love Out Loud and we are proud to have him with us. We are thrilled to reunite him with his beautiful and talented co-star Colleen Zenk. We are grateful that he will be helping us with our team effort for AIDS Walk New York.

Andrew Trischitta and Love Out Loud VII

New Jersey resident, Andrew Trischitta, has been in the business for over nine years. He has done numerous print jobs and commercials (Ring Pops/Ruby Tuesday's). In January of 2011 he took over the role of Jack Manning on One Life to Live in a very timely teen bullying storyline. In his free time Trischitta enjoys playing soccer year round, hanging out with friends, playing X-box, reading, eating, snowboarding, being with family, listening to music, and summer. We are happy that he will be infusing the evening’s events with youth and vitality. It is always a pleasure to have Andrew and his family at an event. We're honored that he has agreed to join us again this year. Come out to meet and greet this young man with a generous heart.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tom Degnan and Love Out Loud VII

You gotta love a guy who loves the Phillies. OK? The eldest of three siblings, Tom Degnan, who was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania grew up outside of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. A self-proclaimed sports fanatic, he was on the track team in high school and briefly considered trying out his athleticism at the collegiate level while attending Notre Dame, but he ended up majoring in finance, instead. "There was a short window— very, very short window — where I thought about actually walking on to the track team for hurdles," he told Soap Opera Digest. "You realize that all the kids who play varsity sports are bigger, faster, stronger than you so that wasn't going to fly!" It wasn't until Degnan took a theater class—just to fulfill a requirement, no less—that he discovered his passion for the stage. In 2008, Degnan went on to attend Case Western Reserve University, where he received an MFA in Theater. After a couple of small television appearances, Degnan was tapped to play mysterious war veteran Riley onAs the World Turns in 2009. Riley was revealed to be Margo's son, Adam, who had been presumed-dead in a bombing in Afghanistan.In November 2010, Degnan joined the cast of One Life to Live in the highly sought after recast role of Joey Buchanan. Degnan has also appeared on The Good Wife and in the hilarious Verizon commercial as the less than intelligent guy who bleaches his teeth with household bleach. Tom plays in a band with his former As the World Turns co-star Billy Magnussen (ex-Casey, Reserved for Rondee. Their new Cd is just about to be released, We are proud to have him take part in Love Out Loud VII as he did in 2011. This event only gets better every year and Tom Degnan proves it. Meeting him is a warm and human experience. We are so glad he is back. Come on out and see for yourself.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thom Christopher and Love Out Loud VII

Thom Christopher was born in Jackson Heights, New York. While Mr. Christopher is mostly recognized for his portrayal of Carlo Hesser on One Life to Live and Hawk on Buck Rodgers in the 21st Century, Thom had pursued a life on the New York stage, both on and off Broadway. When taking on the role of Hawk in season two of Buck Rogers, Thom did some research for the part by reading books on bird mannerisms, visiting the birds section of the American Museum of Natural History and observing real life hawks in the Central Park Zoo. It is our good fortune that he is returning to Love Out Loud VII. It will be something of a family reunion for his alter ego Carlo Hesser with Tonja Walker Davidson and BethAnn Bonner there as well. This truly humble man is coming out once again to lend his hand to the cause and his fans couldn’t be more thrilled.

Thom, Mark Dobies & Kamar de los Reyes at Love Out Loud 2008

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rachael Hip-Flores and Love Out Loud VII

Rachael Hip-Flores was born and raised in Piscataway, NJ and is a graduate of Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. For her work on Anyone But Me, Rachael has received the Streamy and Indie Soap Award for Best Lead Actress in a Dramatic Webseries, as well as a further three nominations from TVGuide.ca, Soap Opera Spirit Award, and American Soap World.Rachael is an active member of the Judith Shakespeare Company, produced playwright, assistant director, and teaching artist. We are very proud to have this unique and talented young woman on hand for Love Out Loud VII once again.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sebastian LaCause and Love Out Loud VII

We are honored to have the creative force behind the web series Hustling with us for Love Out Loud VII. Sebastian LaCause describes himself as a Midwestern boy living in the Big Apple: actor-man here and loving it. On November 14, 2011, in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood of Tribeca, Hustling, his original web series held its premiere at the world famous Tribeca Cinemas. The eagerly anticipated series did not disappoint. The screening program that included the series teaser and the first three episodes followed by the season one trailer left the audience begging for more. The audience was completely engaged in the story, instantly cared about the characters and absolutely loved the writing. "The show is brilliant on so many levels," declared Robin Roberts of Good Morning America.

If you visit his facebook page, you are sure to find this quote: "Just as the moon has no light of its own, but can only reflect the light of the sun, so are past and future only pale reflections of the light, power, and reality of the eternal present." (Eckhart Tolle). With that in mind, Sebastian LaCause is a gifted individual who has appeared on Broadway, having been bitten by the acting bug at the age of 13 when he was cast as Peter Pan. With an array of theatrical experience under his belt he begun to chip away at roles in television with turns on All My Children, One Life To Live, As The World Turns and Jonny Zero. On film Sebastian appeared in the Oscar winning Chicago, Boogie Nights, Eraser, Lord of Illusion, the camp classic Showgirls and the award winning short film Penny Dreadful, where he co-starred with Betsy Palmer. Come out to see him on May 16 and enjoy yourself helping out a cause: AIDS Walk New York!

Tonja Walker Davidson and Love Out Loud VII

Even after working alongside the likes of Matt Dillon, Ryan Phillippe, Elaine Stritch, William Shatner, Thom Christopher, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the great Cy Coleman, actor, singer, stage performer and film producer with hundreds of credits on television, feature films, cabarets and the theatre, emmy nominated Tonja Walker Davidson never stops learning and performing. Perhaps best known from Daytime Television’sOne Life to Liveon ABC in her 8-year role as Alex Olanov Buchanan – the woman you love to hate. After 14 years on Daytime Television, Tonja starred in pilots for TV, episodic TV, mini-series, films and was associate producer of the play Enchanted April. In 1997 Tonja married Cleveland entrepreneur Edward Davidson and is now the mother of two beautiful girls and three step-children, Tonja cherishes this important part of her life. Tonja will be on hand for our launch party for AIDS Walk New York, a unique experience for all daytime drama fans. And a good way for encouragement and awareness. It's what it's all about.

BethAnn Bonner and Love Out Loud VII

BethAnn Bonner if not the de facto winner of Soapnet's I Wanna Be a Soap Star 3, was the true winner. In 2006 she was offered the contract role of police officer Talia Sahid on the ABC Daytime’s One Life to Live, debuting in December of that year and finishing the role in 2009. "She is neither cookie-cutter nor easily forgettable…" [source: Denise on Wikipedia]. BethAnn is in fact a woman for all seasons. She is an extremely talented singer who gave commanding performances at shows to benefit Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS. The woman needs a showcase of her own. She can also dance and, of course, it is well known to a myriad of fans that she can act. As a talented woman who actually takes the time to care, we hope that all of this is just the start of greater things to come. When BethAnn enters a room she creates an atmosphere. Her energy and vitality take over. This is not her first Love Out Loud, she has been there for us in years past. Come out to say hello and support our AIDS Walk team.