Ask the Flying Monkey (January 27, 2009)

Have a question about gay male entertainment? Ask the Monkey!

Q: My friends and I were watching
old Barefoot Contessa reruns on the
Food Network the other day, and we happened to stumble across our favorite
guest, T.R. Pescod. We know that, after Anderson Cooper, he is sort of the head
“silver fox,” but that is pretty much all we know about him, besides the fact
we are pretty sure he’s gay. Can you tell us more about this mystery man? Josh,
Delmar, Delaware

T.R. Pescod

A: He’s not
so much of a mystery in New York City, where he’s very much the jet-setter and
man about town. He’s famous, in part, for being famous, but he’s also a
successful model and sometime actor; he actually appeared in two different
episodes of Sex and the City, once as
himself, when Carrie falls off a runway into his arms, and once as a gay guy
who asks Samantha for Smith’s phone number.

And yes, he
is gay, living in Greenwich Village with his partner Tim O’Brien.

In fact,
several years ago, Pescod was one of the hosts on the pilot for TVQ, a talk show pitched as a gay
version of The View — six gay guys
gabbing. The other hosts included the creative director at Barney’s (and the
author of the memoir/BBC show Beautiful
People
) Stanley Doonan; journalist and Oprah
producer Patrick Riley; humorist Frank DeCaro; celebrity stylist James Aguiar;
and Village Voice gossiper Michael
Musto. Alas, the show was never picked up.

Q: It seems like there’s more and
more male nudity on stage these days. What do actors really think? In
interviews, they always say, “I’ll do it if it’s right for the play”—but do
they mean it? — Ronald, The Ice Planet
Hoth

A: Yes and
no. “The worst part was appearing naked on stage in front of strangers every
day, and having people take illegal pictures of you that appear places that you
wish they wouldn’t,“ says Rescue Me’s
Daniel Sunjata, who did the full monty for the gay baseball play, Take Me Out, that won the 2003 Tony
Award.

Daniel Sunjata

How did
Sunjata prepare? “A lot of chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables, water, and gym
time!” he says. “And when it comes time to strip down, you just try to focus on
the other characters in the scene and forget that people are watching you, and
get on with it.”

Still,
despite some reluctance, the actor says he didn’t hesitate for a minute to take
the part in what he calls a “brilliant” play. “I don’t even like taking off my
shirt on Rescue Me,” he says. “But I
don’t know how [playwright] Richard Greenberg could have communicated the
underpinnings of how a homoerotic presence changes the dynamic of a machismo
environment like the locker room, the last bastion of sanctioned homophobia.
How could you show that without showing guys changing their clothes in front of
each other? There were ten minutes of nudity in a two-hour play, but they were
necessary.”

Next page! Donald Strachey mysteries find a new home, and catching up with Daniel Letterle.

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