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Thread: 7/1 Discussion Thread *Spoilers*

  1. #61
    Living Vicariously via RT Fierce Critter's Avatar
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    Re: 7/1 Discussion Thread *Spoilers*

    Quote Originally Posted by Krom;3960095;
    It's a reasonable argument though that many of the gay dancers might have a bit more trouble with the acting portion of many of these dances which requires the simulation of sexual chemistry with a girl though. So while blanket assumptions about their sexuality may not be all that helpful or accurate, that's not to say we should pretend there's NEVER a difference between a gay male dancer and a hetero one. There often can be.

    What's a bit iffy is taking that logic in reverse. In other words, seeing that one of them has zero chemistry with the ladies and assuming that means "gay".
    Last night, when Billy just didn't click, here's what I told my husband:

    Billy needs someone like Adam to take him aside, tell him, "if you're having problems relating due to one reason or another, picture your partner as who/whatever you need to help you relate to them in the manner required for the performance."

    Responding to the "why should their sexual preference matter/it doesn't" question, sometimes, it just does. To use a horrible example, Robert Reed, the father on the Brady Bunch, was a closeted homosexual. He was having massive problems relating to Florence Henderson, until she realized he was gay, took him aside, and gave him tips and made him comfortable with relating with/to her.

    Sometimes, a gay dancer is already pretty good at "acting" their relation/attraction to the opposite sex. Sometimes, they need help.

    By the way, I have no previous knowledge that Billy is gay. It seems pretty obvious to me, but I could be wrong of course. If I am wrong, then everything I just said is a big "nevermind."

  2. #62
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    Re: 7/1 Discussion Thread *Spoilers*

    Quote Originally Posted by Fierce Critter;3961920;
    ...Sometimes, a gay dancer is already pretty good at "acting" their relation/attraction to the opposite sex. Sometimes, they need help.
    But isn't that statement just as true if you drop the word "gay"?

    I completely agree that the best thing that could happen to Billy is for Adam Shankman, an experienced director who regularly works with actors, to help him connect and let go of that impenetrable chorus boy wall that Billy currently has up.

    But for me, this whole discussion is moving into the sentiment that Ramin Setoodeh wrote about in Newsweek this past April: that gay actors can't convincingly play straight roles.

    My two cents:

    I think that the whole sexual orientation issue here is a red herring. I mean, take a look at the series of great routines done last season by Jakob Karr and Ashleigh DiLello. You can add to that everything Travis Wall did in Season 2 with Martha, and Heidi, and Benji! A talented actor or performer finds a way to make their work believable, regardless of the partner.

    There seems to be an underlying assumption here that the straight dancer doesn't have to "act" when portraying a love affair with the opposite sex, but the gay dancer does. That is simply not the case. Everyone has to act, and act well all the time or a number becomes just a series of well executed steps (for example AdéChiké and Kathryn's Office Dream Ballet from two weeks ago).

    Two reasons come to mind as to why this is so:
    1. Regardless of orientation, one is rarely "in love" or even attracted to one's partner. And in those few times when that might happen, those feelings are highly variable and can't be counted on to put over a performance night after night.
    2. Most of these love affair routines deal with complicated relationships. Simply portraying "attraction" is hardly enough to make them work. Your character wants something and tries to get it; then, if successful tries to go after it again in another way, or if unsuccessful is frustrated and reacts or tries a different tack. Simply being heterosexual is no more an advantage to putting that across than simply being the right gender for the role.

    Bad acting is bad acting, and whether a dancer is gay or straight, male or female, it will kill the performance. A heterosexual dancer who can't portray the nuances of the story/relationship falls just as flat his or her homosexual colleague facing the same challenge.

    So I propose that Billy's problem is not that he is a bad heterosexual; I think he's just a bad actor. So far.
    Last edited by TopCatDC; 07-03-2010 at 10:29 PM.

  3. #63
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    Re: 7/1 Discussion Thread *Spoilers*

    TCDC - I really agree with what you said. Yep - you could say the same thing about hetero dancers/acting. I do still think that it can be a mite bit harder for a gay dancer to "get" that chemistry down with a partner of the opposite sex. But as you pointed out, there have been plenty of past competitors - both gay and straight - who have managed to get past that and present great performances with great chemistry.

    Quote Originally Posted by TopCatDC;3962246;
    I completely agree that the best thing that could happen to him is for Adam Shankman, as an experienced director who regularly works with actors, to help him connect and let go of that impenetrable chorus boy wall that Billy currently has up.
    Glad you agree. However, hearing it echoed by you, that probably can't happen because it'd be unfair favoritism of a sort. Of course, he could always be approached by someone NOT employed by SYTYCD the same way.

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    Re: 7/1 Discussion Thread *Spoilers*

    Quote Originally Posted by TopCatDC;3962246;
    But isn't that statement just as true if you drop the word "gay"?
    Good grief yes. There are many actors in Hollywood that were closeted for years and played many romantic parts before it became OK to come out of the closet. Some of you may be too young to remember all those Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies that were so popular back in the day. And the movie "Giant" was a fantastic movie where he played a macho Texas land owner with Elizabeth Taylor as his wife, not to mention his TV role as a tough cop in "MacMillan and Wife" with Susan St. James. Until he got sick, few outside of Hollywood knew he was gay.

    Even after some came out, they continued-- do continue to play romantic or tough guy parts. You're either a good actor or you're not IMO. To some it comes naturally whereas others have studied acting for years.

    Many hetero actors and actresses have spoken about the difficulty of playing a role where they have to get half naked in a scene with someone they just met in front of a large camera crew. It's a tough job but somebody has to do it.

    Nancy
    Last edited by nabrudigam; 07-04-2010 at 02:52 AM.

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    Re: 7/1 Discussion Thread *Spoilers*

    No Ordinary Moment (Outta Your Mind)

    Dan: “You’re outta your mind you know that?”
    Socrates: “It’s taken a lifetime of practice. We want you out of your mind too Dan”.
    From The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, wherein Socrates teaches Dan to empty his mind, throw out the trash, and embrace the now; e.g., “there are no ordinary moments”; “this moment is the only thing that matters”. What a moment this was for Alex, Twitch, and Nappytabs!

    Alex and Twitch: Twitch is rapidly becoming a SYTYCD legend, so no need to sing his praises; except to say thank you, Twitch. This moment belonged to Alex and Nappytabs. Alex did as he was told; e.g., “get outta your mind”; something Billy (krump) couldn’t (refused) to do last week; threw caution to the wind, embraced the challenge, embraced hip-hop; embraced the moment, and embodied the spirit of the dance. I believed him. Alex learned his lines, played his part, and owned his performance. I still can’t believe how hard and strong he hit the moves. Dude looked possessed with wild abandon and recklessness. The result was the most entertaining performance I’ve ever seen on SYTYCD. I have a counter so I know I’ve watched this routine twenty-eight times already, and it just keeps on getting better. Good job Alex. What an extraordinary moment.

    Nappytabs: I’m not a Tabitha and Napoleon fan; their hip-hop is too lyrical, too soft, too cerebral, and too wimpy for me (I prefer Shane’s stuff). Not surprisingly, they have a heap of trouble finding the right music to complement their often boring choreography. Travis Wall has the same problem (better compositions always come to mind when watching a Travis Wall routine). Nappytabs’ Outta Your Mind is an exception rather than a norm. Most of their stuff is uninteresting but when they get it right, it’s magical. For example, Bleeding Love was beautifully choreographed and exquisitely brought to life via a wonderful and palpable romantic chemistry between Mark and Chelsie (very reminiscent of Ivan and Allison’s equally wonderful Sexy Love (Shane Sparks). Others Nappytab routines started out with promise but fizzled soon after; e.g., Halo (Randi and Evan), Love Lockdown (Jeanine and Phillip); No Air (Katee and Joshua), and Like You’ll Never See Me Again (Will and Courtney). The latter certainly didn’t do Will any favors and very nearly got Courtney sent home. I don’t know squat about dance or choreography but it seems to me Nappytab, in the early going, did more harm than good (rivaling Dan Karaty, Brian Friedman, and Cicely & Olisia; still waiting for a knockout routine from those three). For example, they have to take some blame for the boring Can We Chill (Comfort and Thayne); American Boy (Rayven and Jamie), and Let The Beat Rock (Paris and Tony), all of which contributed directly to the elimination of contestants well before their talent warranted. I don’t know dance well enough to judge; just your average Joe, but I’m sure other factors; e.g., poor execution, lack of chemistry and stage presence, and failure to connect with voters may have played a part. I just know none these routines inspired me to vote. That’s the risk of cerebral hip-hop; it’s too heady; not much fun; and it’s counterintuitive to urban and street hip-hop as we know it. So when choreographers make it a specialty, they will always run the risk of getting it wrong.

    The Nappytab history on SYTYCD has been one of inconsistency; more bad than good; and more boring than entertaining. But even a staunch Nappytab detractor like me is forced to sing their praises this week. Not only was Outta Your Mind fun and hard-hitting, it was very different from the cerebral, sentimental, and oftentimes sappy hip-hop Nappytabs usually throw at us. Outta Your Mind worked on every level: great routine; great choreopgraphy (even a novice like me got it); and more importantly for SYTYCD and Nielsen, great television. And the music, Lil Jon and LMFAO’s Outta Your Mind was the perfect vehicle for this routine (even if stolen from Rage Against The Machine’s Testify and Kid Rock’s Badwidaba). That aside, Lil Jon and the East Side Boys will always be one of my favorite bands. It’s three years in the making but Nappytabs finally got my attention. I won’t Tivo the next routine; instead, I’ll watch it live because I don't want to miss another Outta Your Mind. To be honest, I’m still not convinced this week is a Nappytab epiphany; or even a harbinger of things to come, but I can hope. My impression is that they were forced to change things because of same sex coupling. They knew the usual romantic, cerebral, lyrical stuff would not work; so they were forced to go hard, physical, and muscular. I’m also not yet ready to take lifetime membership in the Nappytab Fan Club either, but, I am their biggest fan this night because they definitely got this one right.

    New Format: I’m probably in the minority but I love it. I didn’t watch very much last season but when I heard they were bringing back the all stars I got excited. I like all of them, especially Anya, Pasha, Twitch and Mark but Allison is my all-time favorite. She’s the reason I came back. I was really hoping to see Jeanine, Ivan, Evan, and Janette as well. I like them a lot too. Maybe next year, eh?
    .
    The Contestants: A strange season for the girls. None stand out, not like Allison, Anya, and Jeanine; there’s no real show stopper among them, nor a huge personality. Honestly, I think Nigel is susceptible to the same pitfall as Simon Cowell. He picks talented girls with intangibles that appeal to men. I think he forgets sometimes that his audience is mostly female. How we, as men, perceive beauty, elegance, sensuality, sex appeal, and femininity (the intangibles) is probably perceived differently by other women, so I’m not surprised this group of female contestants and viewers are locked in a disconnect. Benji, Joshua and Jeanine were very endearing and infinitely likeable, great personalities, and very entertaining. Same for Sabre. To a novice and dance idiot like me, Danny appeared the better dancer but didn’t win. Sabre was talented, sweet, adorable, and well-liked but Danny started his SYTYCD journey with bad attitude. Russell’s victory surprised me. He won SYTYCD without a huge personality or an endearing charm (I never bonded with him). His victory was all heart and desire; he wanted it more and fought harder than Jakob, who seemed the better all around dancer, at least to these untrained eyes. So I don’t think physical beauty (female) or a masculine physique (male) can win you a title. Rather, it’s all about personality, likability, entertainment, and desire. Talent is simply not enough.
    .
    The best entertainment this season comes from Jose, Alex, and Kent, so I expect one of them to win. Jose and Kent were born likable and there’s really not much the competition can do to change that. Mia seemed surprised Billy and Robert landed in the bottom three. I wasn’t. I haven’t bonded with either. Billy and Robert are inflexible; they can’t fully embrace anything new because the can’t forget the past. They are keepers of a covenant (in this case, technique, passed down from the old masters); what Ayn Rand calls “second handers” (Fountainhead). They remind me of the “man too scared to fly so he never did land” (Drops of Jupiter, Train). I know Alex is a professional too, but unlike Billy and Robert, he’s an eager warrior that enjoys the battle. He’s also a chameleon that relishes reinventing himself each week. This isn't the only problem facing Billy and Robert. They’re up against three of the most charismatic male dancers in SYTYCD history and have yet to devise an effective strategy to compete against them. Likability cannot be learned. Need yet another obstacle for Billy and Robert? It is doubtful viewers will send home a girl next week to keep five guys; e.g., Nigel’s doomsday scenario. But if it happened I wouldn’t be disappointed, not this year. I haven’t really connected with any of the girls, so if the unthinkable happens I might actually like it. We’d get to see more of Allison, Anya, Lauren, Comfort, and Courtney each week. That’s never a bad thing. They dance better and I’ve already bonded with them.

    P.S. I also liked Hallelujah (Alex and Allison) but didn’t really understand it. Sonya is over my head I guess; much like Mia Michaels; both are rain on my brain, but I am learning, I am willing, I am watching, and I am trying. Finally, Adam reminds me of Ellen; witty and funny. I like him. Just wish dude would stop crying all the time. I don’t understand much of anything Mia says; way too technical.
    Last edited by liedenfrost; 07-04-2010 at 04:11 AM.

  6. #66
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    Re: 7/1 Discussion Thread *Spoilers*

    Quote Originally Posted by nabrudigam;3963081;
    Good grief yes. There are many actors in Hollywood that were closeted for years and played many romantic parts before it became OK to come out of the closet. Some of you may be too young to remember all those Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies that were so popular back in the day. And the movie "Giant" was a fantastic movie where he played a macho Texas land owner with Elizabeth Taylor as his wife, not to mention his TV role as a tough cop in "MacMillan and Wife" with Susan St. James. Until he got sick, few outside of Hollywood knew he was gay.

    Even after some came out, they continued-- do continue to play romantic or tough guy parts. You're either a good actor or you're not IMO. To some it comes naturally whereas others have studied acting for years.

    Many hetero actors and actresses have spoken about the difficulty of playing a role where they have to get half naked in a scene with someone they just met in front of a large camera crew. It's a tough job but somebody has to do it.

    Nancy
    Precisely, and not to mention Montgomery Clift, who had such sizzling love scenes with Elizabeth Taylor in Raintree County and Lee Remick in Wild River. Acting is acting.
    Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    -- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    http://www.youravon.com/jmarko

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    Re: 7/1 Discussion Thread *Spoilers*

    Quote Originally Posted by Florimel;3963409;
    Precisely, and not to mention Montgomery Clift, who had such sizzling love scenes with Elizabeth Taylor in Raintree County and Lee Remick in Wild River. Acting is acting.
    Several actors have weighed in on the issue responding to a Newsweek article saying that gays can't play straight charctors.

    GLEE Star Jane Lynch Responds To Newsweek Controversy 2010/05/16

    Nancy

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