Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Modern Renaissance Man: DWIGHT O'NEAL

Gay men of color (and everyone else) will find a lot to love in Christopher Street, the groundbreaking new show from model/actor/producer/handsome charmer DWIGHT O’NEAL
INSTINCT: Give us a glimpse of your entertainment industry resume, please.
DWIGHT O’NEAL: Call me a Renaissance Man—fashion, writing, producing, directing, modeling, acting, singing, dancing, rapping, hosting, promoting!
Whew! Your most recent venture is Christopher Street: The Series.
I was inspired to create it to showcase positive role models for the young LGBT community. When I was growing up, I did not have an openly gay person to admire or seek advice from. My characters are great examples of why many of us move to the Big Apple—to reinvent themselves in pursuit of their true happiness.
Was your show inspired a little by another four-friends-in-NYC series?
Sex in the City was definitely a huge inspiration for my baby, but I’d say Christopher Street is the young, gay 90210, with a pinch more of comedy. Christopher Street is the title character who holds within him every characteristic that the infamous street in NYC possesses. As for Jharemy (the drama queen), Ashton (the quiet one) and Shawn (the diva), they keep "Street" from becoming a maniac. I mean, with so many characteristics, a guy could go insane. [Laughs]
Tell us, as a Southern boy turned New Yorker: who really took Manhattan: Jason or the Muppets?

The Muppets! They are far more powerful by ruling with sweetness and kindness.
So much of pop and LGBT culture seems dominated by white faces.
In the past, LGBT of color have not always been given equal representation, and when we have, it’s not always in a positive light. With Christopher Street, I want to tell the good, the bad and—most importantly—the funny. Noah’s Arc is the only major program I can think of that really focused on what it means to be an LGBT person of color, and now Christopher Street is carrying the torch.

What advice do you have for aspiring LGBT creators of color?
All things are possible. Just hang in there and know that you can have whatever you truly desire. Ask, believe and receive.
What's the most fun thing about creating, writing and producing your 
own show?

I always get to decide how hot my character's boyfriends are! [Laughs]

Tell me about the "Beyond The Street” tour—the HIV/AIDS charity work you are spearheading that’s tied into the show.

TO READ MORE OF THIS INTERVIEW WITH OUR VERY OWN DWIGHT ALLEN O'NEAL GO TO http://instinctmagazine.com/celebrity-interviews/the-modern-renaissance-man-dwight-o-neal

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