Once upon a time (in 2010) Beyoncé called me and it was as magical as a call from Beyoncé can be.
That is to say, the most magical.
More celebrity interviews followed. Lady Gaga lied to me and called me “cute.” I sat face-to-face with Cameron Diaz and talked about her iconic “Penis Song” from “The Sweetest Thing.” Amy Grant and I had a heart-to-heart, and I’m still grateful for the opportunity to conduct her first gay press interview. And right before Broadway legend Elaine Stritch’s death in 2014, she invited me over for an unforgettable afternoon that became one of her last interviews – and one of my very favorites. The list goes on: Annie Lennox (revelatory), Patti LaBelle (“those little heifers”), Nick Jonas (hot), Britney Spears (to the point), Mariah Carey (my 10-year-old self still can’t believe it).
These chats haven’t just circulated within the confines of gay niche publications – they’ve generated immense mainstream buzz, from the U.S. to Australia (#blessed), in major outlets such as Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, E! Online, Us Weekly, USA Today, Perez Hilton and Cosmopolitan. In addition, I’m a contributor to Entertainment Tonight’s ETonline.com (I also joined a panel of entertainment journalists to lead a live 2015 Grammys ET blog).
And no, it’s not like one day I woke up like this and Bey was suddenly on the other line. I got my start in journalism in sixth grade, while reviewing movies for our school paper, which was as legit as a sixth-grade school newspaper gets; it was printed on 8 1/2-by-11 paper. Eventually, in 2006, I landed a journalism degree from Eastern Michigan University (surreal moment #500,001: I’m returning fall 2015, but… TO TEACH). While there, I wrote for the Eastern Echo, the university paper. And when it came to my pursuit of entertainment journalism, Vince Vaughn sealed the deal. During an interview with him for the Echo that fell on my lap last-minute, I addressed swirling dating rumors. “Are you and Jennifer Aniston romantically linked?” I questioned. He told me I should work at “Hard Copy.” I couldn’t, because the show ended in 1999, but his point was not lost on me.
Now. Here I am. A celebrity journalist. When not talking to famous people, I continue to capture people through portraiture (of course I’ve drawn Beyoncé). In my spare time, I like to pretend that I can hit all seven Mariah octaves.