Article Title:Wanted: your real gay stories
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:22nd June 2010 - 03:28 pm
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Story ID:8971
Text:Kip Chapman Whether it's a coming out story, your first date, a break-up, or how annoyed you get by your boyfriend's snoring, the creators of new cabaret want your real gay stories. Actor and theatre company director Kip Chapman is creating the show Songs for Guy with his actor/producer boyfriend Todd Emerson. They got the idea after watching a cabaret at Silo Theatre. "There were story songs and they were incredible love songs. But I just remember watching it going 'this isn't relevant to me'. Because it was a man singing about a girl and a girl singing about a guy. Then I started thinking about it over the next few weeks and going 'what are the guy singing about guy songs?' and I couldn't think of anything." After researching he has found there are a few, but not many – particularly in the mainstream media. He says gay men are simply not catered for. "I don't know what the gay population is. Let's say, I don't know, eight percent. But there's literally zero percent, in the mainstream media, songs focused towards us. I mean the mainstream even stole Elton John – he sings straight songs," Chapman says. Chapman says they are after stories about 'basically anything'. "We're looking for stories about when people came out, what it's been like as a gay man living in Auckland. Stories about when people came out to their friends, or whether they haven't come out," he says. "Or a love story about how they fell in love with their partner. The thing that annoys them about their partner – that one of them has done far more washing and put the rubbish out for the past 25 years – that kind of stuff we find really, really interesting - the domestic side of love." Chapman says they are thinking of hosting an evening, with dinner and drinks for 8-10 people. "And we'll just sit and chat. And I'm sure the stories will just come from that. So if people are interested in sharing their stories, or even just interested in having a conversation about it, they can get in touch with me," he says.  "We want this to be an open dialogue between us and the community. We're just keen for people to be involved – whether that's coming along to the shows or following us on Facebook and Twitter." A selection of the material received will be used live on stage when Songs for Guy opens for a limited season at the Limelight Bar at The Edge's Aotea Centre on 7-11 September. Chapman says the stories will be presented alongside some of the world's favourite love songs, adjusted to being sung by men, about men. "It sounds like a really small thing, but we've started to adapt them and listen to them as if it's about a guy singing about a guy. It is such a tiny change. Sometimes it's just a tiny change in lyrics. But the effect is amazing. To hear a song that's actually relevant to you is huge, so it's been a great discovery for us." To submit stories, thoughts and ideas email or call 021 135 2777. Submissions close Monday July 5. Stories can be confidential. Jacqui Stanford - 22nd June 2010    
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