I know... same ole, same ole... You'd think I could be a little more inventive than to just revert back to the "same ole" Halloween pic I've used every year since... well, back in the day.
But it was just so hard that I figured it was worth a couple of repeats.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
It’s been a whole week now since we were blessed with the magnificent Champions for Change gala and I have still not yet fully recovered.
And I wasn’t even there…
But thanks to the many, many tireless Clackgoddesses I felt like I was.
And so… of course, (of course) I had to make this montage… Or perhaps I should say "this compilation." Because there were so many great videos of this song that I just couldn't make myself choose between them.
But there’s a disclaimer to it. Which is... that Clay does not lipsynch. Never has and he never will. So please don’t let any of my video editing fool ya.
See, the problem is that I’ve never made one before where I actually had to ‘synch’ the singing. And trust me… It was Hard!!!
Hee, I said Hard.
So I guess some things... like being a Broad, or like Clay still just being Clay... will simply never ever change.
Beautiful Song. Beautiful Man.
And though there have been SO many incredible comments across the boards during the past week, in fact way too many to mention... I just wanted to include two of them that really got me.
I did read Brightstar's recap which was brought over.
Just a couple of (disjointed) thoughts I wanted to share.
About midway through "Right Here Waiting for You", I thought I was the only one with tears streaming down my face and sniffling, but then I realized I was hearing sniffling and sobbing all around me. In case you're wondering, the little ripple of laughter at the very end of "Right Here Waiting" was slightly embarrassed laughter at ourselves as the sobbing was just as audible as Clay's tender voice as he sang the last phrase of "Right Here Waiting" without the mike. (And the beauty, purity and texture of his unamplified voice...truly every bit as beautiful and transcendent as the finest instrument ever made).
For me, it felt like we had gone back to our roots. Clay even looked so much like he did back in 2003/2004 when he first mezmerized us and cast us underneath his spell. I saw so many of those early gestures and nuances and passion. It reminded me of why I first fell in love with him. (Yep, I said, "in love"...deal with it!). It was so eerie but so right. Whatever the degree of wondering each of us may have gone through about "is Clay still Clay", I say the answer is a blessedly, resounding YES! Even for those who didn't have that doubt or concern, what a treasure it was to be reminded and be able to relive that magic again. Last night was like the perfect mixture of Clay of the past AND present...old look, new songs. Totally cool, freaky and somehow right.
Personally, I've given up the battle of trying to find the words which accurately describe the emotions Clay, both the man and the voice, evokes from the very depths of your soul. In total seriousness, I don't think the words exist in the dictionary. Maybe because he makes me feel so much. Maybe because when your heart is that full to overflowing, no words could ever be adequate enough. The closest I can come, broken down into the simplest terms, is: He's back. We're back. We're home again.
How lucky are we?
posted by Micky7129 from the CDB
The icing came for me when I realized that I’d left my jacket on my chair some good time later (nearly an hour or more I think—but it’s a bit fuzzy) and went back to retrieve it. I ran into Faye coming out from somewhere, carrying some things and just started talking to her about the evening and how special it was. She then said to me:
“Y’all make him feel so special.”
*Karma is now all kinds of verklempt of course* I said something to the effect that I hoped so, and something about all the emotion in the room and how fortunate I felt to have been there and she talked about all the tears she’d seen (she looked a bit like she’d might have had a moment or two herself) and I verified that I’d experienced the same and then we smiled at each other for a second and said good night. It was the perfect thing to hear at the end of this incredible evening. “Y’all make him feel so special.” I hope so with all my heart.
Posted by Karma4Clay at the Clackhouse
Clay Aiken, Bubel Aiken Foundation, Champions for Change
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
So Clay Aiken has at long last finally laid them to rest. In a blog which he says may travel...
• "Killing The Elephants In The Room" ~ 10/3/2008
What a week or so this has been. In fact, it's just been two weeks since I started back to the Spam. Jerome and I were just talking the other day, though, about how the past two weeks have felt like a month. So much routine to get back into and yet so much routine and consistency to break. No doubt, many of you have been going through quite a bit over the past week or so yourselves. What a bunch of headline news we have had in the past 10 days! Wall Street falling to it's knees. Congress propping it back up. Two debates. Hijackers in Somalia. New leaders in South Africa and Japan. You'd think with all of the important events going on in the world, there would be plenty to fill up the pages of America's newspapers, websites and blogs without the need for information on the private lives of the country's singers and entertainers. But, alas, thats never the case. In fact for the last five years, I've found what seems to have been an inordinate amount of interest (not from the public, but from the media) in my own personal life. The questions never seemed to stop. Oh sure, they die down for a period, but they resurface. The wind blows another direction, and I do yet another interview worried that my personal life will become a topic of discussion. No doubt the birth of Parker would bring the same scrutiny, just heightened. It's an interesting time we live in. Gone are the days when entertainers could go about their lives without the invasion of privacy that we now see everyday in the form of paparazzi and internet tabloid bloggers. So, in the hopes of being able to sing and act (and dance poorly) and do what I love to do for a living while raising my son in a hopefully more private and accepting environment, I chose to go ahead and confront things head on. Yes, I would have preferred to separate my personal life from my professional life. I would have been just as happy to go on without discussing my orientation. But, it seems like that was not an option. Make no mistake, its not because I am ashamed. No, not for a minute. I haven't always been as comfortable as I am now, but I am without a doubt, proud of who I am and make no apologies for it. Instead, I would have been happy to have kept my personal life private for that very reason. Because it's personal life and I have always considered myself a private person. But, living as myself without discussing my sexuality publicly would have been as impossible. One chance to expose the truth would have been a payday for any greedy opportunist.
I went to American Idol, much like many of us did "back in the day". Naive. Unlike the contestants who join up today, we had no idea of the power and pull of Idol when we signed on. (I'm sure many of us season two folks like to think we are the reason the show got so big!!! ;-) ) There I was two months off of the biggest show in the country, sitting at a table with a reporter from Rolling Stone who was asking me every single question I would never think of. Twenty-four years old in the rest of America is a LOT younger and more naive than twenty four years old in the media business. So when this guy started asking me about things that I didn't really know how to answer for myself... things that I was not yet ready to admit to folks like my mother and my family.... things that I found intimidating and invasive, I responded in what I assumed was a benign way at the time. I attempted to "out spin" a professional. I wasn't as good as I thought I was. But, I have no regrets. The truth is, I don't apologize for the responses I gave to that reporter or any reporter over the past five years. I did make every attempt I could after that one interview to never say "I am not gay" or "I am straight". And I never said either. (some interpreted my vague answers to mean that... but I never said either) Some will say thats misleading. In truth, it might be defined that way. But, a better definition and a more accurate way to describe it for me, is a redirection and an attempt to change the topic to something that matters more. For some of you it won't be enough, but I can't apologize for keeping my personal business to myself. If someone feels that they were mislead, I can totally understand that viewpoint and apologize for that feeling, but I can't apologize for how I handled questions that affected me and my right to privacy.
In my opinion, sexual orientation is ALWAYS a private thing. I think the OVERWHELMING majority of people agree with that. Why in the world should someone's sexual orientation be a news item? Why should anyone care? Yet, for all we espouse as a society about tolerance and open mindedness we forget to allow folks the opportunity to be who they are without judgement. Making a decision to come out to family is a difficult and heavy decision. But, for every young man or woman who is struggling with it, it should be a decision that is made on his or her own schedule ONLY. It's never acceptable for anyone to make such a decision for anyone else nor to coerce someone to take such a significant step before they are ready. Not a friend, not a stranger, not the media. So, I waited until the time was right for me. For that I can't apologize either.
There are plenty of you who have anticipated this blog in hopes that I would "set the record straight" or "admit to lying for five years and apologize for it". For that small group of people, I am afraid I will have to disappoint you. My decisions over the past five years have been made with lots of deliberation and at times even heartache. Always with concern for folks who might feel mislead. Don't doubt that. But they have also been made as an attempt, not to hide my true self, but instead to allow myself the same liberties and rights that every single gay man and woman in the world should have... the right to determine for myself when I was ready to discuss my personal life. In as much as that, at times, was interpreted as misrepresentation, I feel badly. But I reserved that right for myself and I can't say I regret it.
I have endeavored over the past several days to allow folks to vent and express themselves as freely as possible without restriction on these message boards. There is no way to change a person's mind when you tell them they are wrong. We all, when backed into a corner, have a human instinct to swing. Having different feelings and opinions and viewpoints are only natural. The only way to deal with that is to accept everyone's right to disagree, and allow them to discuss their feelings. I always have, and I always will. That said, it hasn't been, nor do I imagine it will be, my intent to make the message boards or the OFC a clearinghouse or discussion zone for sexuality or such topics. I hope we can always continue to discuss the same things we have always found important. The need for inclusion for children with disabilities. The desire to make sure every child in the world has access to their basic needs for survival. And any other topics that will make our neighborhoods, our regions, our country and our world a better more acceptable place (where that relates to issues involving sexuality, I hope we are able to advocate, at those times for the acceptance of others)... and I hope we will all still use the message boards for the lively discussion of the need for better entertainment and music in the world!!!! ;-) That said, as of this posting, I have asked the moderators to archive the thread regarding the People magazine article and close it from discussion. For those of you who are still struggling, I encourage you to continue to talk to your friends and neighbors and fellow OFC members in the thread devoted to such support. It is not going to be as easy as accepting something over night, but I believe that we are on the right track. The moderators will resume their regular duties of moderating the boards in the fashion that they did prior to last week, and I (and hopefully all of us) will resume our routines in the same fashion as well. Talking about music, talking about potential tours and other performances and appearances, talking about me forgetting my lines of tripping on stage in Spamalot, and discussing with our friends how many times we have seen the show and will see it! (And... looking forward to the announcement of out Playbill contest winner!!!)
Finally, I will say that, also representative of most every other gay man and woman in the world, that I am not defined by my sexuality. No more so than each of you are defined by your sexual orientation. No more than a man or woman is defined by race or ethnicity. It is, simply, a small facet of the same person I have always been. Most of you realize that nothing has changed. I hope to continue being able to entertain you in the same way I have for the past five years. And I hope you will allow me to continue to inform you of the causes that I find important and entertain you with the music and performances I love. For I love and cherish you all. Yesterday, now and forever.
Wow. I don't believe I've ever respected anyone more in my life than I do right now.
So... Rest in Peace Mumbo and Jumbo. But good and safe travels, ok? Wherever you're headed.
As for the young'un. He seems to be doing just fine. In fact, I think you would be simply amazed.
And rest assured... your legacy will not falter in your passing but will only continue to thrive for very long time to come. Who knows... perhaps forever. Due in part to a very simple little song passed down... which he's already been working on a little bit by the way.
So thanks for that...
Also, thank you for instilling in him so many other good traits such as tremendous courage and compassion and a love for humanity. Nevermind about the memory thing. It's rather endearing that it sometimes lapses.
And the unconditional love you've always shown him, is a trait which I'm sure he must have inherited. One, which has somehow also proven to be contagious... So we really owe you guys a lot.
But still... Godspeed. And buh bye for now. So long and Happy trails. Don't call us... yadayadayada. Yeah... and all that stuff. *sniff*
As for you Clay...