Lloyd Boston circa '94 or '95
This past weekend I checked out L.A.'s Outfest Fusion Film Festival. That's Outfest's film festival for people-of-color (i.e. folks who aren't white!). I have to admit, I really enjoyed the group of short films I saw on Friday. The standout for me that evening, though, was the short film, COUPLES THERAPY. It was written by and starred, MIKE ROSE. Boy oh boy was that 10 of the most enjoyable minutes I've ever spent watching a film. Mike truly has a knack for comedy. His writing is sharp & funny. And his acting performance was SENSATIONAL!!! Turns out he won Best Short & Best Actor last fall in NBC's Short Cuts Film Festival with the same piece. And rightfully so!!! I can't wait 'til he posts the film online so I can send it to everybody! --- I returned Saturday night for the closing, feature-length film and gala! The closing film was Patrik-Ian Polk's, THE SKINNY. Although I did indeed chuckle from time to time throughout the film, overall it didn't possess the wit, charm or phenomenal performances of Mike Rose's short film. Would I see it again, though? Yes, I would. And the reason is because I related to several of the situations depicted in the film. And whenever there's a real, personal connection to any piece of creative work, I never mind making a repeat visit to it. Truth be told...what bone-chillingly moved me about The Skinny was one of the lead characters---"Magnus,"---portrayed by terrific, young actor, JUSSIE SMOLLETT. I'm tellin' you, from the very moment he appeared on the screen to the time the credits rolled, I was mesmerized by how much the character reminded me of fashion guru, LLOYD BOSTON. Their similarities left my mind spinning and transported me back to my days in NYC. It was 1996 when I first met Lloyd. He was 26 yrs old, handsome, charismatic, incredibly articulate and laying the groundwork to become a bona fide mover & shaker. The "Magnus" character is probably supposed to be 23 yrs old, but he's in medical school and on his way to becoming a mover & shaker. Every time the character spoke, I heard Lloyd's voice. Every time he smiled, I saw Lloyd's teeth (before they got Hollywoodized). When he dressed up in his stylish, lil' ensembles, I saw Lloyd's flair. And when he confronted his lying, down-on-his-luck boyfriend about the boyfriend's cheating ways, I recall Lloyd's pain. And I recall the reason for that pain...me. Wow! All I care to say about that is, "Wow!" Interestingly enough, after the film ended, I scurried to the restroom and found myself at the back of a never-ending line. While standing there, I heard someone behind me ask, "May I take your picture?" I turned around to see what that was about. It wound up being a guy standing directly behind me, asking to take a photo of tv host/author/fashion guru, LLOYD BOSTON. Wow! All I care to say about that is, "Wow!"