Saturday, March 30, 2013

Project Runway Season 11 Ep.10

We almost at witts end and this was the week I thought for sure Native American designer Patricia Michaels was going home.

This weeks challenge was to create an avante garde and ready to wear look inspired the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

I really liked Patricia's design but she needed some serious editing, I blame her having a weak partner for not catching her pitfalls.  Her partner, Richard Hallmarq was completely clueless in his own design direction and spent most of his time making a bracelet.

Lets take a look at Patricia's dress.

First, I would have said to Patricia the bottom is really messy and the whole concept is too abstract, theres no clear form or visible silhouette happening here.  Second, theres no function in the dress because the model couldn't move her arms even if she tried.  The white veil is nice but not used correctly, instead it just looks like she attending her own wake.

What would I have suggested if I was Patricia's partner, first I would have suggested making some nice pants of the fabulous textile she created for the bottom, the top could have been more a-symmetrical and shorter on the top giving the arms more movement and thirdly, I would have suggested making a while veil hoodie, which I believe is way more modern than what was going on here.

Moving on, my favorite ready to wear look was made by Daniel Esquivel but really, his look was inspired more by the aesthetics of his contemporary partner - Layana Aguilar, to whom of which he didn't give any credit.  Daniel made a really nice blazer and its hard for me to believe he could make a skirt like like that with his dated designs.

My 2nd favorite dress was Stanley Hudson's ready to wear exaggerated baby doll dress which I thought could have been a tad shorter for more cuteness.

The winning look by was designer Michelle Franklin with her depressing Edwardian green goth gown.  The cut of her outfit is simply superb but I prefer designs that invoke joy.  If I didn't watch this episode I would have never known the bottom was made from bubble wrap and black paint, amazing.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lucky Bitch

"that lucky bitch .... " , which is what I always think to myself whenever I see a really hot guy with his arm over some bitch.

Why lord, why couldn't have you blessed me with a nice piece of male ass to call my own?

I'm going to be turning 39 very soon and if someone would have told me I would ended up a single all those years ago, I definitely would have tried harder to shake my ass when I was 20.

I refuse to think the right one came along and I just wasn't ready.  Fuck that.  The right one never came along because otherwise I would have known about it.

One thing is for sure, I'm glad I never settled for anything less.

I'm sure there is a man out there who can rock my world with my not too high or unattainable standards.  I'm really not asking for too much - goodlooking, kind, sexy, smart, like this fucker pictured below.

Thats not asking for too much?

Okay Universe, the last time I was on facebook and requested in my status update, "I wish a hot man would say hello to me" , it totally happened and thats what I'm asking for again.

And this time God, Universe, or whoever is listening, I want the whole enchilada, so please send him my way and lets get it started!.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How I Came Out - Monologues Last Show

My heart is full, tonight was the last show for the, "How I Came Out - Monologues" , and I would personally like to thank all of our performers who have participated in these shows, thank you for sharing your coming out stories, they were courageous, funny, sad, entertaining, memorable, endearing, gut wrenching and most of all, full of hope. 



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thank You Gavin Newsom

Tomorrow the United States Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on the legalization of Gay Marriage and God willing, when this issue is finally over and Gays can legally get married in the United States, I want to personally thank one person, who without his vision & bravery, we would not be at this tremendous moment in history.

And that person is Gavin Newsom, our former SF Mayor from back in 2004.  Heres a note I wrote to him that I wanted to share with everyone.


When Gay Marriage is finally legalized in the United States Supreme Court, I will remember you as the single person who ignited our movement back in 2004 with allowing Gays to Marry in San Francisco, thank you.
Charlie Ballard

                       California's Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Margaret, Chelsea, & me.

Last week I flew down to L.A. to watch Comedian Margaret Cho perform at the Irvine Improv because I've always wanted to see her tell jokes in a comedy club format.  Most of the times I've seen Margaret perform live has been in large auditoriums so it was definitely a treat to see her work out in a comedy club atmosphere because I definitely learned a thing or two.

For one, I noticed that Margaret's best jokes tank in different shows just like other comics.  I attended her, "Beautiful Tour" , at the Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco a few years back and she did this one joke about Craigslist which completely crushed the audience.  So when I was watched her re-tell that joke this past week, of course I was expecting thunderous applause with big laughter, nope.  And really, that happens to comics all the time, jokes are funny that way.

Margaret's timing is a lot faster these days.  I saw the same thing from another former San Francisco Comic - Chelsea Peretti.  I first saw Chelsea at the SF Punchline in 2004 and her joke telling was very slow, that didn't mean her jokes weren't funny, Chelsea just really elongated what she had to say.

Flash forward to a couple of years ago, I saw Chelsea again at the Punchline and I didn't even recognize her, she completely changed her look and her timing was faster too.  The only way I was able to remember Chelsea was because she told some of her signature jokes.

Another thing I've noticed about Margaret is that shes more interactive with her audiences, something of which I think is a new hat for her.

I know this for a fact because my friend Comedian Erika Innes saw Margaret perform at the Sacramento Punchline in circ 2005 and when Margaret talked about abortion on stage, she got heckled and immediately walked off the stage.

Now, does that sound like somebody whose good at addressing the audience, no.  I guess over the years Margaret has gotten better talking to the crowds.  I remember watching Margaret at the Outlaugh Festival in 2006 and she was going off on a tangent in between camera takes and she was really funny.  Who knew its just a matter of playing to whatevers on your mind and letting it rip.

For me, Margaret's strength has always been writing and telling scripted jokes, meaning shes always has a game plan before she goes up on stage.

Lately I've been lazy too.  I use to sit down in a nice cafe somewhere to hash out my ideas, these days I'll go to an open mic and just riff off the crowd.

Lately theres been a nice group of Asians thats been coming into the late night Dirty Trix open mic, *formerly the Holy City Zoo*  , and I always have fun with them.  So I guess in a way they've been helping me find my comfort on the stage too.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Project Runway Season 11 Episode 9

OMG, tonights episode had to be one of the most entertaining Project Runways I've seen in a while, the drama, the drama, omg girl, the drama!

I will have to admit, Nina Garcia and the judging crew called it on designer Daniel Esquivel when they said his taste was outdated and tonight, they were completely right.

The challenge for tonight was to create a Spring inspired ready to wear look for Lord & Taylor.  At first, Daniel was going to make this Flamingo Pink Blazer and then Tim Gunn called him out on it by saying it was very Joan Collins Circ 1980's, ouch.

And then there were Daniel's confessional moments in front of the camera where he was trying to keep it together and then started crying and then gave a straight face and then started crying again and then gave a straight face ... ooooooohh the drama !!!!

Fortunately Daniel was able to think fashion forward at the last minute with the help of his contemporary design partner Michelle, but just barely.  So instead of his blazer, he re-cut his design it into a basic silhouette, "that every woman in America has in her closet already" , unquote Heidi Klum.

Speaking of designer Michelle Lesniak Franklin, she knocked it out of the park with the Lime Green & Leather short mini dress, see for yourself.  I love the see thru neck line.

Now because I'm Native American, I'm extremely biased for Native American designer Patricia Michaels, who I thought killed it with her flowy, orange pastel spaghetti strap top with matching capri's.  Did anyone see the look on Patricia's face when her model completed her look with the leather fringe heels, you can tell Patricia was pumped about her look and so were we.  #teampatricia

Patricia was paired with West Hollywood designer Stanley Hudson and when these two worked out their differences, they actually worked very well together.  I thought if Stanley just made his dress a little shorter and gave it an a symmetry neck line, he could have easily won this challenge too.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

All the Others Were Practice - Blog 3

Tonight I met with my movie Director Brian Tolle at the Muddy Waters Cafe in San Francisco.

It was a good meeting, we talked about my character and the logistics of making the film.  I'm pretty sure my inexperience as an actor showed when I was like, "I don't normally wake up till noon so can you schedule me when you really need me to be there" .

Our shooting schedule is roughly going to be 30 straight days with 6am to 6pm days and some days longer.

Everyone knows I'm not a morning person but I'll be ready.

The other thing I brought up to Brian during our meeting, I asked him if this is a Bear movie.  Meaning, there was a line in the script where my character meets one of his love interest off a Bear dating website and then I was like, if this is a Bear movie, then I don't need to lose weight for this movie, right?

Brian said this is going to be a multi-genre gay movie so that made me feel great because now theres no pressure for me to look fit and trim for the movie.

I've been running and doing stairs prepping for this movie and I'm not going to throw all of that away so I'm still going to try and lose 20lbs by next month before we start filming, if not for the movie at least for me.

It probably didn't help that I bought a dozen of Krispy Kreme donuts on my way home last night but I couldn't help it, theres no Krispy Kreme store near my area and I was like, "when am I ever over here" ?

Anyhoo, more pre-production blogs coming.


                                Director Brian Tolle

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Naked Blake Griffin

This is Blake's photo from the ESPN Body Issue 2011, not bad Blake.


Naked Kobe Bryant

I'm pretty sure this photo is a fake but damn, Kobe's face makes it look good!


Monday, March 11, 2013

I really hated this bitch

After 9 years, Elisabeth Hasslebeck is finally calling it quits and leaving day time talk show, "The View" , but why?

Why should Hasslebeck leave the show when the damage has already been done, her extreme right wing views have already alienated millions of people but yet ABC network executives kept her on the show anyways.  Of all the former co-host to leave, Elisabeth should have left a long time ago.

My question is why did they keep her around for so long in the first place?  I mean really, weren't there any other, "Survivor" , reality show contestants available?

I'm pretty sure the ABC networks execs were counting on Elisabeth to talk out of her ass which is what she consistently did for the past 9 years and finally now that this bitch is gone, hopefully we'll get Rosie back.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

PR Season 11 Ep. 7 - Patricia Michaels

I just got caught up on this past weeks Project Runway #teams and this week I learned my taste is out of date.

This week the designers had an innovation challenge where they had to make a dress out of duct tape.  First, I want to say kudos to all the PR designers, they all did great under a very short time frame. 

The duct tape prom challenge is inspired by a real contest sponsored by Duct Tape where high school students make prom outfits out of duct tape in hopes of winning college scholarships.  I bring this up because I want my readers to know the design aesthetic between high school students and professional designers.

I pulled this down from the web, its from a Kansas high school Sr.- Brooke Wallace, who was a finalist in last years competition, she spent almost 200 hrs. putting this look together.

Okay, now we a have point of reference.  Good job to Brooke, her dress looks fun.

Now on to the pro's, now mind you guys, the PR designers only had a day to create their duct tape prom looks.

I thought for sure and I repeat, I thought for sure that designers Richard Hallmarq and Daniel Esquivel were going to win this weeks challenge with their gold cocktail dress made out of duct tape.  And you could tell it was theres to lose with their confident attitudes.

And thats when the judging panel began their gang bang and I quote from Nina Garcia, "you guys went from hero's to zero's"  . Wow, are you kidding me?  This dress looks gorgeous.  The judging panel said this silhouette came from the 80's and was out of date.

The detailing cut outs on the sides was really cute.  I really thought this dress had a nice elegance to it and it also reminded me of something Giani Versace would have made, it has so much glam and sophistication to it but oh well, I guess thats just me.

Moving on, heres the dress that took first runner up by designers Patricia Michaels and Samantha Black.  I'm not going lie, I thought for sure Native American designer Patricia Michaels was going home tonight.

Patricia and Samantha created this multi-textile bubble dress by layering the cut outs of their duct tape.  This dress was also voted by high schoolers as the best duct tape dress among the PR designers this week which counted for 20% of the vote.  The judging panel ate this dress up too, they loved Patricia's innovation and gave her much deserved kudos on always bringing something new & exciting to PR week after week.

This weeks winning duct tape dress went to designers Michelle Franklin & Layana Aguilar. I did not like it which means it was great.  The color and the print they created from using duct tape is unreal.  This dress is extremely fun and modern.

So there you have it, thank you to Patricia/Samantha & Michelle/Layana for pushing my boundaries, the majority rules.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

All The Others Were Practice - Blog 2

Our reading and character development meetings are coming up very soon so before we get to that, I wanted to share some great photos from our first cast meeting. And don't forget to contribute to the film for perks:

I was really excited to meet everybody, its one thing to read a script and imagine the characters but its another to actually meet the people who are going to play those characters, so here, in no particular order are some of the people I'm going to be working with.

This is my bestie in the movie, "Tina" , played by Actress Kimberly MacLean.  For me, Kimberly has some of the best scenes in the movie and I told her that.  Upon meeting her, she was really sweet and super adorable which I'm sure that will translate very well on screen.

Actor Bennie Bell probably made the biggest impression on me.  His eye contact was really good and I immediately fell for his big smile and big arms.

I'm so lucky to be in movie where I have so many love interests, this is Actor Lawrence Radecker who plays one of my suitors, "George"  I have a feeling we're going to have some great scenes together.

This is Actor Monterey Morrissey who plays, "Mr. Abbott" .  Monterey plays an interesting character whose going to make this movie very charming.

Alright guys, we'll see you at the movies!  And yes, I just totally ripped off that tag line from Siskel & Ebert.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How to Choose Your Online Dating Photo

Greetings Daters!

My name is Charlie Ballard and I'd like to welcome everyone to my dating advice blog.

Just a little bit about me, I'm 38 years old, queer, single, and a professional stand up comedian. I know what most of you are thinking, "I'm straight, what kind of dating advice could this gay guy possibley have for me": ?  For my women readers, I know what men like and for my men readers, I completely understand a womans sensibility and know what they want from a relationship.

Personally, I've been actively dating for the past 20 years and I want to share whats worked for me and what hasn't worked for me.  Like it or not but we all really do the share the same experiences when it comes to matters of the heart.

I'm going to share with you guys & gals which photos you should use and not use when it comes to online dating.  Comedian Nicole Turley has graciously has decided to help us out so here we go!

If you're seriously trying to find a partner in the world of blind dating, first impressions are key and it starts with a good photo that exemplifies your character and beautiful face.

Heres a photo you should never post of yourself for online dating.

This photo says one thing, "Hoochie Hoochie Hoochie ..."  !!!!!  If you decided to post a photo like this, you are suggesting that not only are you a skeeze but that you're just really looking for a shady hook up somewhere in a bathroom, which if thats what you're looking for, you'll find plenty of on the casual encounters section on Craigslist.

The universe doesn't play around.  If you're looking for smut, you're going to get smut 10 fold.  And I can say that from personal dating experience.  If you're genuinely looking for a nice honest person with great character than start projecting those energies with your photo.  There really are great people out there and you're not going to be able to find them in a photo wearing you nighty while taking the #2.

In this next photo, this also isn't the best picture to use for many obvious reasons, can you see why?

1)The first thing that pops out at me is, "wow, how many empty beer cups does this lady have in front of her" ?  We all love a good time but not too much of a good time, know what I mean.

2) When posting a photo of yourself for prospective purveyors, its never a good idea to include another female in the picture, right? Because if I'm a single guy looking at this picture and I'm not interested in Nicole then I'm like, "whose the hot Asian chick on the left with tats instead"  ?

3) While this dress looks super sexy on Nicole, its doesn't leave much for the imagination, whats the point of trying to court a person if you're giving everything away on the first impression?

And finally, we come to the online dating photo that everyone should be using, the head shot.

Being in show business, Nicole has her head shot ready for prospective bookers and ideally, this is the type of photo everyone should be using for online dating.  When I look at this photo, I think, "wow, this lady looks confident, has a great smile, and looks very adorable" , sold.

So there you have it, first impressions are everything.

Where you can find Comedian Nicole Turley:

Happy Dating!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

All The Others Were Practice - Blog 1

As some of you may know, I got cast for my first movie, which happens to be a post gay romantic comedy called, "All the Others Were Practice" , written/directed by Brian Tolle.  And oh, did I mention I got the lead role?

So for the next couple of weeks, I'll be be doing sit ups and trying to memorize lines in preparation for this huge undertaking.  In the mean time, I'll be blogging about pre-production leading up to the movie.

I feel honored, flattered, grateful, & thankful that Brian approached me to star in his first feature film.  Last Fall, Brian sent me an email saying he thought I would be good for the part,because after reading some of my love/relationship/sex blogs, he said it was almost like the lead character, "Jorge" , was written for me and I agree.

My character, "Jorge" , is basically this office gay who doesn't know when love is front of his face, so he pretty much waddles thru the movie, in & out relationships not knowing whats best for him.

Yup, thats me.

I still remember meeting Brian for the first time at the World Ground Cafe in Oakland and I'm so glad my personality didn't chase him off because well, I'm kind of crazy.
To be honest, I really didn't know if Brian was on the up & up with this movie or if he was one of my comedy fans trying to hook up with me.

So when Brian offered to buy me something at the cafe I was hesitant to take it because I thought I might be paying it back in other ways if you guys know what I mean.

Its a good thing Brian turned out to be a legit director because the pre-production of this movie could have turned out pretty awkward.

Anyhoo, Brian is a great guy and I'm looking forward to working with him.

                                          Brian Tolle