Show cover of DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

DENNIS ANYONE? with Dennis Hensley

"A poodocast about making things up and making things happen." L.A.-based writer-performer Dennis Hensley interviews a different creative person each week about what they do, why they do it, and how they keep it going. Past guests have included authors, actors, photographers, musicians, screenwriters, acrobats and one visual artist who makes cartoons centered around dead houseflies.

Tracks

Sweepstakes & Contest Enthusiast Michelle Willis: "I Never Know What Will Show At My Door"
Dennis connects via Zoom with his lifelong friend Michelle Willis who in her three decades plus as a sweepstakes and contest enthusiast has won 787 different prizes, including trips, cash, meet-n-greets with celebrities like Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa, a zero gravity flight experience and an ugly holiday sweater, courtesy of Nutella. Michelle talks about how she first got bit by the contest bug back in her hometown of Holbrook, Arizona, when she and Dennis would listen to the Top 20 Countdown on the local radio station and try to win 45 rpm records, T-shirts and the best prize of all; pizzas from Pizza Hut. Michelle describes her approach to entering contests, how she puts in around 45 minutes a day, how she learns about the different contests, how technology has changed the game, the scams to watch out for and why it’s important to always read the fine print. She also recalls some of the amazing prizes she’s won; from a trip to England for four for the premier of the first Harry Potter film, to a ride on the Orient Express, a Carnival cruise, a trip to LA for the finale of American Idol to multiple trips to Disney World. She also talks about how her winnings have allowed her family to do things they never would be able to do on two teachers’ salaries and why it’s important to be grateful and optimistic. To see photos of some of Michelle’s winnings, visit www.DennisAnyone.net      
48:23 09/22/2022
REUNION RECAP The Skinny on the Skinny-Dipping
In this special episode, Dennis recounts his recent high school reunion weekend in Holbrook, Arizona and gathers four of his classmates: Mark, Debra, Diana and J.D. around a picnic table to recall graduation night 1982 when they all went skinny-dipping in Dennis’s family’s pool. Dennis also describes being reunited with his boxed version of The Match Game TV show from the mid-1970s and discovers questions that he wrote back in the 1970’s inside, which means he’s been writing MisMatch Game questions for about 45 years! Other topics include: the glory of Arizona green chili, getting swatted in school, the Grease 2 screening where God stepped in, how Dennis’s great nephew Jason deals with phone solicitors and the world’s most difficult jigsaw puzzle.
31:23 09/15/2022
GayVN-winning Adult Film Actor Joel Someone: “I’m Glad I Got Hot and Didn’t Die”
In his first in-person interview since February 2020, Dennis is joined at home by GayVN-winning adult film actor Joel Someone. Joel talks about his first failed attempt to get into porn, which ended with a producer saying, “You’re over 28 and you don’t have abs,” and how he eventually found a home in the industry. He also talks about the need to constantly generate new content for his fan sites, the difference between Only Fans and Just 4 Fans and why he’d rather do a “hot-wife-ing scene” than a “cuck scene.” He also recalls what it was like to win a GayVN Award for Best Bi Scene for the second time he’d ever had sex with a woman. He also opens up about his upbringing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, his “struggle bus” days working a retail job he hated, losing a bunch of weight after a leg injury and suddenly hot and the regret he still feels for hurting a co-worker when the truth is, he was unhappy with his own life. Other topics include: channeling Christopher Meloni, his new boyfriend King Dwarf, being “the Maggie Gyllenhaal of gay porn,” having porn dads, sons and brothers, his obsession with Silence of the Lambs, being a truck stop lot lizard and why gang bang scenes are the funniest to shoot. Twitter: @JoelSomeone1 Instagram: joel_someone  
80:41 09/01/2022
ONJ Forever: A Flashback Tribute to Olivia Newton-John w/ performer John Cantwell AKA Love Connie
As a tribute to the late great Olivia Newton-John, Dennis revisits this conversation from early 2020 with performer John Cantwell on the eve of his ONJ inspired spectacular A Little More Love Connie. John recalls the road trip to Houston he took recently where he listened to Olivia's entire catalog and didn't repeat a song until he got to San Antonio. Then Dennis and John then discuss their favorite ONJ tracks, getting to meet her, the unique quality of her voice, mispronouncing the word Xanadu and the Grease vs. Grease 2 debate. Then Dennis and John take an online ONJ quiz and crush it. Other topics include: performing as Love Connie for the first time in front of family members, Slut Rock, reinvention, white girl scatting and his theory that as Love Connie, he's just doing what he did in his bedroom in 6th grade, singing along to ONJ with a hairbrush for a microphone...except now he's getting paid to go it. @realloveconnie on Instagram
59:57 08/24/2022
Easter Sunday actor Rodney To: "You're a Middle-Aged Man Who Looks Like a Boy"
Dennis connects via Zoom with actor Rodney To who plays Uncle Arthur in the new film Easter Sunday, an ensemble comedy about a Filipino-American family in Daly City, California celebrating Easter together. Rodney talks about how he came to be cast in the film, working with star Jo Koy, the red carpet outfit he had custom made for the occasion and the pressure he and his fellow cast members to make sure the movie is successful so Hollywood will make more of them. He also talks about his second career on the faculty of USC, teaching acting and the business, and how it's made his creative life so much richer and taken the pressure off of his acting career. He also discusses the extraordinary opportunity he got earlier this year to be a "trophy presenter" at the Academy Awards and what it was like to right there when Will Smith walked onstage and slapped Chris Rock. He also recalls moments with Anthony Hopkins, Jason Momoa, Venus & Serena Williams, Troy Katsur, Jessica Chastain and Will Smith's sobbing publicist. He also recalls the profound moment he had looking at the crowd. Other topics include: why he thinks his "Rodney-ssance" might be happening, working with Michelle Yeoh on the upcoming Netflix series The Brothers Sun, feeling the fear in casting offices, sniffing the elbow of a 90's supermodel in an elevator, the rule he has about hats and beds and the thing Marianne Williamson said to him that really stuck. https://dramaticarts.usc.edu/rodney-to/
80:53 08/18/2022
Writer-Performer Will Nolan (Gay History for Straight People): “Waiting By the Phone for Beyonce To Call”
Dennis is joined via Zoom by writer-performer Will Nolan to discuss his show Gay History for Straight People hosted by his drag alter ego Leona, a 72 year old Southern lesbian who works at the Piggly Wiggly and is obsessed with Kelly Clarkson. Dennis first met Will when Will was a producer on the syndicated LGBT radio show Twist, which Dennis co-hosted from 2006 to 2008. Will talks about how he got into performing after her turned 40, where the character of Leola comes from, the reactions he’s gotten from straight audiences to the show, Leola’s go-to casserole and buying Leola’s wardrobe from Party City and 5 Below. Dennis and Will also reminisce about their days working on Twist and their interactions with such A listers as Beyonce, Rob Thomas, Larry Kramer and Jennifer Lopez. Other topics include: appearing in the show and book Mortified, getting gay married and adopting a child before it was cool, why Kelly Clarkson is so awesome, and prank calling a John Schneider’s mother because it made him feel closer to Bo Duke from Dukes of Hazzard. https://www.leolasladyland.com/
68:44 08/09/2022
Photographer Gabriel Goldberg (Coming of Age): "I Heard You Had Ideas"
Dennis connects via Zoom with photographer Gabriel Goldberg to talk about his Instagram account Hollywood Bruisers and the gallery show it spawned called "Coming of Age," which shows at the E Lesh gallery in Provincetown on August 11 through the 19th. Gabriel talks about the "seeds of gay desire" that inspired the show, where he finds his models, being bossy behind the camera and drawing inspiration from vintage Colt magazines, Farrah Fawcett and classic gay porn movie Spokes. He also talks about going back to school for photographer after he'd already found success in magazines as the founding editor of Instinct magazine, photographing A listers like Jennifer Lopez, Cate Blanchett and Jane Fonda, and the celebrity publicist who rubbed him the wrong way. Other topics include: nearly tearing Ryan Reynolds head off, telling hot models to "pretend they're Bambi," having just four minutes to get the shot of Lady Gage, P-town pizzaria encounters and that time he dressed up as Tank Girl and lived to regret it.  @Hollywood_Bruisers on Instagram
68:44 08/04/2022
Author Alexander Cheves ("My Love Is A Beast: Confessions): "Heaven's a Dance Floor, Man"
Dennis connects via Zoom with author and sex columnist Alexander Cheves to discuss his book My Love Is a Beast: Confessions, a collection of autobiographical essays about everything from his brutal coming out to going to bathhouses instead of dance clubs in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting to seeing the legendary Lady Chablis perform the first time he ever set foot in a gay club. Alex also talks about his unique writing process and how he has to speak something out loud before he can commit it to paper. Other topics include: nearly giving up writing as a career just before he got the book deal, the blog that launched his career, his belief that there’s no such thing as “good shame,” what he’s learned working as an escort for over ten years, struggling with body dysmorphia and why dance floors are his favorite places in earth. Alex also reads his favorite passage from the book, which imagines various friends he’s lost, all coming together on a pulsating dance floor. www.alexcheves.com  
65:33 07/28/2022
Author Blair Fell (The Sign for Home): "I Dressed My G.I. Joes Like Anne Boleyn"
Dennis is joined via Zoom by author Blair Fell to discuss is terrific debut novel The Sign For Home, which is about the friendship that develops between a headstrong deaf blind Jehovah Witness college student and the stuck-in-his-life, middle-aged gay man who is hired to be his interpreter. Blair talks about the eight years it took to write the book, the bidding war that unfolded when it went out to publishers, crying while recording the audio version, the times he almost gave up and the writers group that saw him through. Blair also talks about his “Plan B” career; working as an interpreter for the deaf and deaf blind, and how that experience not only inspired the book but informed his entire life. Other topics include: his favorite sign, why he loves being around deaf people, writing on the original Queer as Folk and being high on drugs when he got notes on a script, putting his G. I. Joes in drag when he was a kid to act out stories and why he’ll never get Botox. www.blairfell.com (Audio excerpt courtesy of Simon & Schuster Audio from SING FROM HOME by Blair Fell, read by the author. Copyright © 2022 by Blair Fell. Used with permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.)
87:50 07/21/2022
Model-Artist John Coulter (All Man: The International Male Story) "It's The Only Time You'd Get To Model Mesh"
Dennis is joined via Zoom by model-actor-artist-costumer designer John Coulter to discuss his appearance in the new documentary All Man: The International Male Story, which documents the rise and demise of the West Hollywood-based clothing store and mail-order catalog. In the interview, John recalls his first exposure to the IM catalog as a budding gay teen, how the IM crews were almost all straight, the fun of modeling flamboyant pieces he would never wear in real life and getting recognized on the street by fans of the catalogs. He also recounts traveling to Cuba for a down-low IM shoot only to have the US government rule that none of the photos could be used after the catalogs had been printed. John also talks about his work as an artist, painting fine art pieces of beloved characters like Snow White and Cruella DeVille to be sold at Disney galleries. Other topics include: working with CIndy Crawford, Madonna, Lil Kim and Mary J. Blige, learning aerial tricks to he could play Tarzan in a Disney show, judgmental Wizard of Oz fans, modeling in New York versus LA, his diet and exercise routine and his dream of designing costumes for Broadway musicals. www.johncoulterdesigns.com    
56:36 07/14/2022
The Cast of Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad On Craigslist plays You Don't Know My Life!
Dennis is joined via Zoom by the cast of the hit play Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad On Craigslist for a few rousing rounds of You Don't Know My Life! The lineup includes Tom Lenk, Jayne Entwistle, Mark Jude Sullivan and Byron Lane who is also the playwright. Inspired by the play’s storyline of Tilda Swinton moving in with a gay guy in Weho, Dennis poses these questions: Describe a memorable encounter you've had with a celebrity and Roommate story. Go. The answers involve everything from animal hoarding to tampon thievery to losing your virginity to a sexy weatherman to observing Chris Pine's "look ma, no hands" urinal technique and being simultaneously grossed out and turned on. www.tildaplay.com
44:13 07/07/2022
Filmmaker Alex Liu ("A Sexplanation"): “My Brain is on the Cover of The Journal of Sexual Medicine"
Dennis is joined via Zoom by Alex Liu, the co-director and star of the documentary A Sexplanation, in which he attempts to right the wrongs of his sorely inadequate American sex education by going on the road and talking with psychologists, sex researchers—and even a Jesuit priest. Alex talks about the shame and anger he felt for years around sex, hanging out with "sex nerds" at the Kinsey Institute and what it was like to masturbate on camera in an MRI machine for the film. Other topics include: Porn Hub search results, nudism, how the film brought him closer to his parents, which countries are doing it right in terms of sex education and being called out by his mother as a sloppy teen masturbator. www.asexplanation.com 
94:27 06/30/2022
YOU DON’T KNOW MY PRIDE! w/ the hosts from DNR Studios
DNR STUDIOS hosts E Bradshaw, Jaimie Kelton, Romaine Patterson, Adam Sank, Joselyn Contin, & Jonathan Valdez join host Dennis Hensley to play a special Pride Edition of You Don't Know My Life! Listen and laugh as the hosts serve up surprising and occasionally scandalous answers to the following two questions: YOU’RE WRITING AN ARTICLE BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE CALLED “A PRIDE TO REMEMBER.” WHAT HAPPENS IN IT? and WHAT’S A PROVOCATIVE INSCRIPTION OR IMAGE YOU’VE WORN ON A T-SHIRT. The answers involve lesbian love, a stranger named Elvis, a Gaga-Grande downpour and lying down with dogs. To book a YKDML Virtual Game for your crew, visit www.YouDontKnowMyLife.com or buy the boxed game on Amazon
45:41 06/23/2022
Filmmaker Peter McDowell ("Jimmy In Saigon"): "I'm a Big Tracker-Downer"
Dennis connects via Zoom with filmmaker Peter McDowell whose documentary Jimmy In Saigon is showing at the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco on Sunday, June 19th at 1:15 PM at the historic Castro Theater and will be available to stream nationwide through Frameline.org from June 24th to 30th.  The Frameline program describes the film this way: "When his golden-haired, blue-eyed brother Jimmy mysteriously died in Vietnam in 1975, gay filmmaker Peter McDowell was just a kid, growing up within his family’s veil of silence. As an adult, armed with a video camera, Peter embarks on a quest to uncover the possibly queer brother he never knew." He talks about the 12-year odyssey he embarked on to make the movie, the use of animation in the fim, what his family thinks of the finished movie and Jimmy's quest to "explore hedonistic pleasures like never before." Other topics include: taking Uber motorcyles in Saigon, the regular Zoom meetings he has with groups of documentarians that keep him motivated, why the movies All That Jazz and Hair rocked his world, feeling connected to Harvey Milk, his ex-boyfriend-turned-Executive Producer Dan Savage, coming out in the mid-80's, his tips for tracking down people in other countries who haven't been heard from in decades and the beauty of brutal honesty. www.jimmyinsaigon.com 
54:45 06/16/2022
Musicians & Madonna Summer Creators Jason Arnold (AKA Shyboy) & Mark Nubar: "Were They Like Friends Or Something?"
Dennis is joined via soon by Mark Nubar & Jason Arnold (AKA Shyboy) the musicians and club promoters behind the upcoming mash-up dance party Madonna Summer, which is returning for Pride on June 11th at the 10 ½ nightclub in Downtown Los Angeles. Jason and Mark talk about their love of diva wordplay, why the music of Donna Summer and Madonna work so well together, how both singers were pioneers in their own way and what it feels like behind the deejay booth when the crowd is going nuts for what you’re doing. They also discuss their other diva mashup parties: Britney Houston, Gaga Lipa and Riyonce and break down what they love about each of the singers they feature. Other topics include: how Mark and Jason first met at a lesbian bar in the Castro, the song lyric they got wrong for years, the songs that remind them of Pride, why Prince goes well with Christmas, the ecstasy of backroom hookups, how much they miss record stores and what music, in general, has meant to them in their lives. www.djshyboy.com  
47:35 06/09/2022
The MisMatch Game Breaks $200K
In a departure from the regular interview format, this episode features excerpts from a live stage show Dennis Hensley’s THE MISMATCH GAME on May 22, 2022. This was the night the show passed the $200,000-raiased mark since it’s debut in 2004. After being introduced and taking the stage, Dennis decided on a whim to record the proceedings using the audio recorder on his iPhone so the audio quality is not the best. Still, he hopes the episode gives you some laughs as well as a feeling for how thrilling it was to reach this milestone. Appearing with Dennis on stage are Danny Casillas (Reba Areba), Jackie Beat (Bea Arthur), Julie Brown (Queen Elizabeth), Lory Tatoulian (Sharon Osborne), Marc Samuel (Morgan Freeman) and Tom Lenk (Tilda Swinton)      
41:35 06/02/2022
Playwright-Director S. Asher Gelman & Actor Noah Bridgestock ("Afterglow"): "My Nipples Could Cut Glass"
Dennis is joined via Zoom by playright-director S. Asher Gelman and actor Noah Bridgestock from the 3-character play Afterflow, which is currently showing in Los Angeles. The play is about a gay married couple Josh (Noah) and Alex (played by James Hayden Rodriguez) whose relationship gets tested when they become romantically and sexually involved with a younger massage therapist. Asher discusses the origin of the story, which is based on his own experiences with polyamory, how the show has involved since its breakout New York run five years ago and how he and his cast approached the play's more intimate scenes. Noah discusses what drew him to the play, how he approaches the role of Josh, the financially successful man in the middle and the what it's like to take a shower on stage. The pair of them talk about the reactions they've gotten from audiences, the audible audience gasp that happens in every show, and their belief that it's a "gross violation"  when an audience member steals photos or video of nude actors  like Jesse Williams in Take Me Out which is currently running on Broadway.  Other topics include: what it's like when couples breakup after seeing your show, the challenge of finding the right ending, the number of women who come to the show, how the characters' work and financial lives resonate in the story and what it's like to have long luxurious Little Mermaid hair. www.afterglowtheplay.com
77:17 05/26/2022
Author Del Shores (The Sordid Lives Saga: Before the Trip): "I'm So Circling The Block"
Dennis connects over Zoom with playwright, filmmaker and performer Del Shores to talk about his first novel The Sordid Lives Saga: Before the Trip, which features the characters from his hit play-turned-movie-turned-series Sordid Lives. He talks about how the book came about, his choice to write about his characters' lived before the events of the play, getting amazing fan art from Sordid enthusiasts and turning a condo in Palm Springs into a Sordid Lives-themed AirBNB. He also talks about his writing process, the importance of writing every day and how he does his first drafts longhand in pencil with lots of erasing. Other topics include: teaching acting to college students in Lousiana for three weeks every year, coping with rejection and disappointment, the rush he gets from standup, the sexiness of bell bottoms, ordering monkeys through the mail, his complicated feelings about his home state of Texas, starting his own foundation to support young writers and how he learned to stir the shit from his mother. www.delshores.com  
57:51 05/19/2022
Documentarian Tomer Heymann & His Subject Jonathan Agassi ("Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life"): "I Don't Mind Being An Old Gay Man"
Dennis connects via Zoom with Toren Heymann and Jonathan Agassi, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based filmmaker and subject of the new documentary Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life. The film documents about the rags-to-riches-to rags odyssey of Israeli porn performer Jonathan Agassi who rose to prominence in  films like Men Of Israel, Trapped In The Game and Jonathan Agassi Goes Raw, all from director Michael Lucas. Jonathan talks about how he got into porn, the power that came with changing his name and the parts of the business that he loved the most, from having sex with beautiful men to buying lots of shoes. He also talks about his descent into drug use, the first time he tried crystal, how he'd disappear for weeks at a time, and his decision to to let Tomer film him using drugs on camera. He also recalls showing up to early Q & As of the documentary high on drugs and how watching the film and seeing himself use drugs on camera inspired him to get sober. Tomer talks about what drew him to Jonathan as a subject, the moments in the process where he knew he was making a much more serious and intense film than the porn romp he started making and the challenge of getting mainstream audiences to treat this as they would any other acclaimed, award-winning documentary. Other topics include: the deeo relationship Jonathan has with his mother that's at the heart of the film, the Pride Festival where Jonathan first realized the power of his sex appeal, why he loved attending the Hustlaball in Berlin, taking inspiration from Madonna's Sex book, Jonathan's current job working in a supermarket where he often gets recognized by fans of his porn and the warning from Oprah that went unheeded. www.heymannfilms.com
82:21 05/12/2022
Dennis On the Lost Spaces Podcast w/ K Anderson: "Where's That Slutty Guy Who Knew All The Moves"
In a special crossover episode, Dennis flips the script and gets interviewed for another podcast, Lost Spaces hosted by London-based K Anderson. Lost Spaces is all about the wonderful LGBTQ spaces that are sadly no longer with us. Dennis talks about one of his favorite nightclubs ever, Oil Can Harry's in Studio City, CA. Here's the blurb from K's point of view: "So, I’m kinda fascinated with gay country and western bars, where people dress up in their finest cowperson garb, and square dance, two-step and mosey on down. This isn’t something that I think is a thing in the UK, so it’s just been a curiosity to me until now. But, luckily for me, Dennis Hensley – writer, performer and host of the podcast ‘Dennis Anyone?’ took the time to tell me all about the etiquette, the ceremony, and the vibe that you’d find at Oil Can Harry’s, a country and western bar in LA, which unfortunately closed during the pandemic. Along the way Dennis tells me all about his experiences fumbling with men-folk, feeling lonely at the club,, and how it felt the first time he saw two men dancing cheek to cheek." www.lostspacespodcast.com  
49:53 04/28/2022
You Don't Know My Life: Who's Gaslighting Who? Edition...featuring the cast & playwright from Gaslight House
Dennis is joined via Zoom by the cast and playwright of the new play Gaslight House for a rollicking game of You Don't Know My Life!  Playwright / Director Howard Skora plays the game along with his entire cast of actors: Alex Skuby, Kit McDonough, Amy Smallman-Winston, Nadya Ginsburg, Sara Maraffino and Robbie Mangiardi. The questions involve bad trips, petty childhood jealousies and magical nights at the theater and the stories that emerge cover everything from a life-changing trip to see Annie to a Magnum P.I  lookalike contest in a San Fernando Valley shopping mall. www.gaslighthouseplay.com
61:53 04/21/2022
Writer-Comedian-Magician Judy Carter (A Death Defying Escape): "It Was Like Oprah's Supershuttle"
Dennis connects via Zoom with writer-actor-comedian-magician Judy Carter about her new autobiographical stage play A Death Defying Escape, which is currently playing at the Hudson Theatre Guild in Hollywood. Judy talks about the play's 5-year odyssey from conception to production, digging deep for the show's dramatic scenes, working with magic designer Craig Dickens on the show's illusions, and the play's central theme, which is how can we escape what has happened to us in the past and to find love in the present?  She also addresses sexism in the world of magic, explains why there are no famous female magicians and recalls the time Doug Henning got handsy with her during a private tutorial. Other topics include: her #1-on-Amazon book The New Comedy Bible, the National Organization of Women gig that helped her realize she was gay, being the opening act for Prince, getting on Oprah with a book that 59 agents rejected, falling in love in her 60's with a millennial, her "Say Yes' philosophy of life and that time she literally got carried out of the Magic Castle by a colleague who couldn't handle a woman doing close-up magic. www.deathdefyingescape.com     
58:32 04/14/2022
Author Brian D. Mahan ("I Cried All The Way To Happy Hour"): "That Car Wreck Was The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me"
Dennis is joined over Zoom from Merida, Mexico by author Brian D. Mahan to discuss his new book "I Cried All The Way To Happy Hour: What To Do When Self-Help Or Talk Therapy Haven't Really Helped."  Brian talks about the work he does with clients around shame and trauma, what inspired him to write the book, how a near-death experience led him to this work, giving up his acting career to become a Somatic Experiencing Practioner. He talks about his mission of helping 1 million people heal from trauma, the difference between toxic shame and healthy shame, the influence of Brene Brown and what he learned from reading 12 years of his own journals. Other topics include: leaving L.A. and the U.S. to move to Mexico, appearing on Guiding Light and As The World Turns, skinny-dipping at boarding school and passing out multiple times while getting tattooed and the horror movie his parents took him to when he was 8 years old that scarred him for life.  https://briandmahan.com/book/  
65:40 04/07/2022
Actor Mike Millan ("Buyer & Cellar"): "I'm Famous For Splitting My Pants"
Dennis is joined via Zoom by actor Mike Millan who is currently starring in the play Buyer & Cellar by Jonathan Tolins at the Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles. The play is a hilarious and poignant flight of fancy about a young gay actor who takes a job working in the mall in Barbra Streisand's basement. Mike talks about the self-tape audition that got him the role, his favorite moment in the show, how he learns all those lines and how much fun it is to argue with oneself on stage. He also recalls making his Broadway debut in Jimmy Buffet's Escape To Margaritaville in 2018, his unconventional approach to the dance audition that landed him a role, how the audience was often wasted and his favorite memory of Jimmy Buffet. Other topics include: the CBS diversity showcase that changed the game for him, the BFA program he wishes he hadn't signed up for, the observation that Newsies dancers tend to have sizable asses, his history with wardrobe malfunctions and why the movie Funny Girl kind of bummed him out.  www.celebrationtheatre.org  
62:21 03/31/2022
You Don't Know My Life! Buy The Book Edition w/ Authors John W. Bateman, Gary Goldstein, David Pevsner & Steven Reigns
Dennis gathers four fun-loving authors together on Zoom for a few rousing rounds of You Don't Know My Life! the party game Dennis co-created with Jeb Havens, which is available for purchase on Amazon. The authors are John W. Bateman (Who Killed Buster Sparkle?), Gary Goldstein (The Last Birthday Party), David Pevsner (Damn Shame) & Steven Reigns (A Quilt for David). The YDKML questions played include What book changed your life? What's a moment from the pandemic that you're sure to remember in 20 years? and What celebrity that isn't thought of as conventionally hot totally turns you on?  The answers involve bursting into tears, laughing out loud at David Sedaris in public and the debatable sex appeal of Ray Romano. Play along as you listen and to book your own Virtual Game Night hosted by Dennis visit www.youdontknowmylife.com 
55:55 03/24/2022
Scott T. Hinson ("My Countdown"): "That Song Is Like An Amusement Park For Your Ears"
Dennis is joined by actor-filmmaker Scott T. Hinson to talk about his pandemic diversion turned full-on obsession; creating his own audio music countdowns, starting with My 80's Countdown...and then moving on to the 70's and 90's. He talks about the MTV veejays who inspired him to embark on this project and his multi-step process for choosing his Top 20 songs--there's a point system and notecards involved.  Scott also recalls being assaulted on a public bus last summer over a mask disagreement and the Firefall song that brought him comfort in ther aftermath. He also talks about the two fan letters he's written in his life; to Cher and Dolly Parton...and receiving a reply back from one of them. Other topics include: why Pizza Hut has great jukeboxes, being surprised by Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl," having FOMO over the Bangles' "Walk Like An Egyptian," having a change of heart over U2's "With Or Without You," why he thinks all pop music post 2010 "sounds like the same girl yelling at me about how strong she is." https://soundcloud.com/user-647586686    
69:22 03/17/2022
Director, Writer & Actor Ryan O'Connor ("A Little Night Music"): "I Watched Nicole Kidman Learn the Word Keurig"
Dennis connects via Zoom with theater director-actor & writer Ryan O'Connor to discuss Ryan's production of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, which is currently playing at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. He talks about the production's long journey to opening night, his casting of trans and non binary actors in major roles, reckoning with the play's period gender dynamics and bring croquet into the mix. Ryan and Dennis also bond over not loving the scripted show's so-called happy ending. Ryan also recalls how his mother and musical theater saved him from relentless bullying when he was an adolescent. He recalls being part of a reality competition Your Own Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star in 2011 and the heartbreak he felt when the show didn't hit and the fame he thought would happen, didn't. Other topics include: that time he was in the same room with Sondheim, spending quality time with Oprah, getting sober, being part of the "rain cover" scenes on Big Little Lies and watching Nicole Kidman have a bite of donut at craft services, working the the late director Jean-Marc Vallee, stumbling out of Lindsay Lohan's SUV and why he loves musicals. And after the interview, Dennis does about five minutes on Jennifer Lopez's fim Marry Me and why too much J Lo is never enough.
60:40 03/10/2022
Performance Artist John Fleck ("It's Alive, It's ALIVE!"): "I Like To Say Things You're Not Supposed To Say"
Dennis connects via Zoom with actor-writer-performance artist John Fleck whose musical satire It's Alive, It's ALIVE! is showing at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles through March 20. John talks about the show's central idea; that COVID is here to save us, not hurt us, where the original idea came from and where he got the inflatable COVID headress he wears through much of the show. He also recalls his experience, along with Tim Miller, Karen Finley, Tim Miller and Holly Hughes, as one of the NEA Four, the four artists who had received grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and whose grants were challenged by conservatives like Jesse Helms and others and whose case went all the way to Supreme Court. He talks about how the notoriety led to his first TV job, as a gay secretary in Steven Bochco's Murder One and how he regrets not being present at the Supreme Court hearing because he was working on TV show. John also recalls his early days in Los Angeles in the 1970's, the "radical change" he made that brought him here and opening for Edith Massey, John Waters' Egg Lady, at the One Way punk bar in Silverlake in 1983. Other topics include: embracing imperfection, how having his own shows makes the Hollywood acting hustle less soul-crushing, being an "age pioneer" at 71, the torture and glory of doing alien makeup for multiple Star Trek series and most recently Orville, appearing on projects like Tales of the City, Weeds, Seinfeld, Waterworld and the upcoming Tina Town, vamping in the dark when the power went out during a performance, and the late, great screenwriter who always came to his shows. 
48:18 03/03/2022
Filmmaker Jonathan Wysocki ("Dramarama"): "Vests All Over The Place"
Dennis is joined via Zoom by Jonathan Wysocki, the writer and director of the 90's-set, coming-of-age movie Dramarama, about a group of high school theater nerds and their last murder mystery/slumber party together before graduation. Jonathan talks about drawing from his own school experience in writing the script, finding the perfect 90's vests for his characters to wear and the delicious naughtiness of teenage skinnydipping. He also talks about his short film A Doll's Eyes about how seeing the movie Jaws as a kid totally did a number on him and how he realized during post-production that his fears were really about his sexuality. Other topics include: his short film Adjust-A-Dream about a gay couple shopping for a mattress, taking part in the Sundance directing lab, how Linda Evans made his dream come true, why his interactions with Gen Z gives him hope for the future and how the movie Poltergeist ruined Stouffer's pizza for him forever.  www.dramaramathemovie.com    
63:09 02/24/2022
The Year in Movies 2021 Part 2 w/ Glenn Gaylord & Drew Droege
Dennis is joined film lovers Glenn Gaylord (Senior Critic at the Queen Review) and actor-writer Drew Droege for Part 2 of their year-end look back at the Movies of 2021. Films discussed include: House of Gucci, Summer of Soul, No Time To Die, Licorice Pizza, The Sparks Brothers, Drive My Car, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, Nightmare Alley, The Lost Daughter, The Power of the Dog, Cruella, Nicole Kidman's AMC commercial, Being the Ricardos, Belfast, Parallel Mothers, Compartment No. 6, Wild Indian, Test Pattern, Last Night in Soho, Spencer, King Richard, Passing, A Hero, Encanto, Luca, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Tik...Tik...Boom! and the movies we're looking forward to in 2022. 
73:55 02/17/2022