POZ and We Love Soaps are pleased to announce the sixth annual fundraiser for AIDS Walk New York, Love Out Loud, on Wednesday May 16 from 5:30 to 9:00 pm at Prohibition in Manhattan. This year we have the very entertaining Michael K Walsh hosting the event along with Papa G. Good friend, Ilene Kristen of One Life to Live is in attendance this year, John Kouri & Friends have returned to entertain us.
Helping the cause
Appearances are based on current availability and may change due to scheduling conflicts.
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.
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.
With talent and looks to burn Chase Coleman has been keeping busy in New York City, most recently on the sets of Gossip Girl and One Life to Live. A product of the Deep South, he comes furnished with all of its charm and passions, the kind of young man that might have inspired Tennessee Williams. Nevertheless, he appears to stay away from cats and hot roofs; he’s no Brick, for this young man seems to know what he is about.
And he is about acting and music. In a recent reading for an off-Broadway play, he handled multiple roles with aplomb, including that of the elephant head Hindu god, Ganesh.
His first lead role in independent film, Catahoula, helped him realize that acting was his true love. Signing with a Baton Rouge agency, he won several awards and accolades at the Mike Beaty Talent and Model Exposition in Dallas. Abrams Artists and Suzelle Enterprises are the agencies that are guiding this young man to what might very well be a bright future.
No slouch, Chase has written, directed, produced and starred in Into the Rose Garden. He has started up his own Bloodstone Productions. We were blessed when he read the role of Tommy Avalon in the reading/workshop for Center City, a role he made his own. He is currently starring in Four Dogs and a Bone on stage. This weekend is its last. Wild Project 195 East Third Street New York, Cost:$ 18.00 Ovation Tickets at 866.811.4111 We are honored to have Chase join us for Love Out Loud on May 16 at Prohibition. Come say hi and see what the fuss is all about.
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.
Tonja Walker Davidson
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you look in the dictionary for future international super star you will see pictured the schoene punim of Shenell Edmonds. This Hampden, CT native had her first official paid acting gig in a Lowe’s Home Improvement National Radio Commercial. Shenell joined One Life to Live in 2009 as scene stealer Destiny Evans, her first major television role. Before that life changing adventure in 2008, Miss Edmonds played Casey in the short family filmCouples Only. In addition to acting, Shenell enjoys dancing, listening to music, traveling, swimming and volunteering. If that doesn’t leave her breathless, she is honing her skills as a cook and hopes to be very good at it some day. In the meantime we are very proud to announce that she has volunteered to attend Love Out Loud VII, something which will make her many fans very happy.
David A. Gregory
David Andrew Gregory was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, on August 19, 1985. At an early age, he knew that he wanted to be an actor. One summer he went to Interlochen Center for the Arts. The experience at the summer arts camp left him with the feeling that he had no other choice; performing arts was a part of him, and he was meant to act. In 2008, David graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Theatre from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. During his college years, he had exposure to acting opportunities that he had not received anywhere else, and he really appreciates the insight that he has taken away from his mentors and teachers. Leading up to his role as Robert Ford on One Life to Live, David endured seven months of unemployment. He eventually got a call to audition for One Life to Live’s casting director, and although he didn’t feel the vibe, afterwards he got invited to read for Executive Producer Frank Valentini. Before he even making it home, he got the call, and they had an answer for him: Meet Robert Ford, everyone!
David is also very fortunate to have a great family who supports his ambitions, and he credits them for where he is today. Concerning his former role on One Life to Live, he thanks his fans for their support, and he really appreciates their role in bringing his character, Ford, back to the show. Most recently he delighted Gossip Girl fans with his appearance. David was also quite memorable in a comical Airborne TV advertisement. We are very proud and delighted to have One Life's sexy cad with us for Love Out Loud again this year.
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.
Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in Manhattan who helps individuals and couples develop comprehensive and effective tools for reducing stress and depression while increasing peace and happiness. He specializes in treating Grief and Loss, Addictions, Anxiety and Panic, Bullying Trauma, Caretaking Fatigue, Social Conflict Resolution, Depression, Anger Management, HIV related issues (including coping with a new diagnosis) and Sexual Identity & Coming Out, all with a sensitivity toward diverse cultural and spiritual backgrounds. His writing brings these elements together in fresh ways in order to challenge and eliminate harmful "shoulds" in his book Absolutely Should-less.
Damon has attended Love Out Loud the past four years, and will be thrilled to be covering the event again with interviews and features for We Love Soaps TV (www.welovesoaps.net). On his devotion to soaps, Damon replies, "I often get asked as psychotherapist, 'Why soap operas? Why do your support soaps, why do you care?' My answer is very simple. Serialized story telling is a unique artistic medium that enhances our minds and souls like no other. The consistency of the continuing story allows us to see our lives reflected, validated, and transformed. Whether the show focuses on people solving mysteries in their community, or mysteries of the heart, a good series illustrates people facing obstacles, overcoming adversity, conquering challenges, building relationships, and never giving up! I am so honored to cover this genre that uses heart, intelligence, resilience, and humor, to entertain and enlighten our world." To learn more about Damon's work, please visit www.shouldless.com. To reach him about a counseling session or speaking engagement, please contact him Shouldless@gmail.com
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.
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.
Friendship is probably the best human relationship available and when it happens, it is a true blessing. And friendship does that, i.e. it just happens, usually because there are individuals who know how to do it well. Loyalty pays a big part in it. Couple that quality with the heart of a journeyman actor and singer who finds true expression in work and you have Ilene Kristen.
If Ilene is not the first to step up for fundraising events she is pretty darn close. She has been the driving force for so many of POZ's sponsored fundraisers. We all know she's been around the block more than once, but she brings the enthusiasm of a neophyte to her work. It's been said before and it bears repeating: To Know Her is To Love Her. We are once again very proud to announce that this New York angel is on board with 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.
On April 21, 2010 Gregory Nalbone performed at the Hearts & Voices fundraiser for the Imperial Court of New York City. The patrons of Birdland and Iguana have also been treated to his vocal talents on a frequent basis. The move to New York City in 1991 from New Jersey when he was paying his bills by bartending and dancing turned out to be great exposure for him—literally—his image was requested by many a topnotch photographer. As a serious student of both acting and voice this proved to be a great boon for him and New York was the beneficiary! Nalbone is well known on the cabaret circuit and his modeling career has brought him into contact with the best among photographers among them the late Bill Costa, Antoine Verglas, Thomas Synnamon, Reed Massengill and Steven Meisel.
This prolific modeling experience has brought Gregory into the pages of Italian Vogue, Men's Health, Exercise for Men Only, Manner Aktuell, Details, Playboy, Glamour and Dreamboys among others. This generous man will be on hand on May 16 at Prohibition to greet his friends and fans to encourage support of POZ's efforts for AIDS Walk New York. Gregory sings up a storm whenever he performs. That storm will be benefitting AIDS Walk New York!
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.
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
Michael Kevin Walsh
Michael Kevin Walsh, (pianist, singer, actor, recording engineer, coach), is the creator and proprietor of The Smooth Spot digital recording studio in New York City and leads The Smooth Spot Jazz Trio. He enjoys hosting musical soirees, as well as providing musical entertainment for private functions, benefit concerts, night clubs, cruise ships and resorts. In the musical theatre, Michael has performed numerous leading roles including Billy Bigelow in Carousel, Fred Graham in Kiss Me Kate, and Chuck Baxter in Promises, Promises. Currently, he can be seen tinkling the ivories, singing and harmonizing with the staff and guest singers weekly at Sam's Restaurant, the oldest theatre bar in NYC. Michael has entertained at upscale venues throughout the country and Europe including The Grandhotel Giessbach in Switzerland and The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. In NYC, he has performed at The 21 Club, The Firebird Café, The Carnegie Club, Swing 46, Blue Fin, Chicago Blues, The Bitter End, The Triad and Merchant's.
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!
One of Daytime Drama's brightest lights,Actress Colleen Zenk best known to millions of fans as Barbara Ryan on the iconic daytime drama As the World Turns, a role she played from 1978 until the show went off the air in 201 will be joining us for Love Out Loud VII. We are blessed. Her portrayal earned her three Emmy Award nominations. Although life in Oakdale has come to an end, Zenk has stayed exceptionally busy. Her one woman show she developed incorporates her lifelong career as an actress, her very public battle as an Oral Cancer survivor, her chaotic (and favorite) role as a divorced mother to a blended family of six children, and a great deal of grace, humor, music, tears and laughter. As part of reinvention, Colleen has joined on as a producer on the upcoming revival of the smash Broadway musical Godspell.
The best part is that she is a woman full of a great deal of grace, humor, music, tears and laughter. Come say hello to her on May 16, 2012 at Prohibtion. She and thee will be doing your best for AIDS Walk New York.