Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vogue Boy : Year One

One year and 1.5 million views later, I’m still in a state of astonishment when I force myself to fully appreciate that one of the most-viewed videos of my childhood has become a tiny but permanent little piece of the internet. In the original form, remixed videos, excerpted stills, or that wildly popular .GIF file that keeps getting reposted on Tumblr, The Vogue Boy just keeps on dancing. 

The truth is I don’t have much interest in viral videos myself. "Vogue Boy" was purely my ABBA-esque attempt to steal the spotlight through a means that no one is inclined to take seriously and then to deliver pop art that people would have to take seriously. I thought that I could launch a screenwriting career with a viral video in much the same way that ABBA thought they could be taken seriously by winning the EuroVision song contest. It took the string of stellar singles that followed “Waterloo” for ABBA to reach their goal. That's why I remain optimistic my video will one day be recalled as the unexpected start of a career defined by deliciously clever works of FUN.

The Oomph Girl Herself: Miss Ann Sheridan

I appropriated that name “Vogue Boy” not as a nod to Madonna's  “Material Girl”, but rather as an homage to The Oomph Girl, Ann Sheridan. (I thought that referring to my inner child as The Oomph Boy made me sound a bit TOO precocious!) Otherwise, I might have coined “The Vogue Kid”, because I hate to ascribe a gender to my identity. In fact, I can’t say I haven’t been tempted to start a rumor that I’m really an androgynous female, as on an unconscious level that is how I have always thought of myself. Better judgment prevailed, for the significance that that video ended up having to many gay male viewers in particular warmed my heart and truly changed my life.

I’m forever grateful to the hundreds of people who left comments on my Vimeo and Facebook pages. In the year since, whenever I need to lift my spirits, I just scroll through and try to convince myself that the words they are writing were actually written to and about me. It was also a unique and massive thrill to be not only discovered but posted about by so many bloggers. I was featured on some of my favorite blogs, such as Boy Culture, GangsterSaysRelax, Wicked Gay Blog, and Andrew Sullivan's The Dish, as well as DListed, The Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Towleroad, DallasVoice, HyperVocalThe Daily What, The Bulge Report, The Kiss 102.5 FM BlogMostWatchedVideos, Jezebel, PudWhacker's Madonna Scrapbook, PureJuice, A.V. ClubGood Culture, and PerezHilton. The video was broadcast on the syndicated series The Daily Buzzand an excerpt of it was shown on Anderson Cooper 360 and in Jessica Frech's 2012 music video, "Dance."

DJ Paul V gave me the opportunity to contribute my growing-up story to his incredible project The Born This Way Blog and Megan Johnson interviewed me about the video for her blog The Assistant. Perhaps the most exciting outcome of all was the clip's use in video projects and art exhibitions, the first of which was Gerald Hubert's "Beauty's Where You Find It" at The POParazzi Gallery in Roanoke, VA in Summer 2011. The video will be given its first UK presentation as part of "Mistaken Identities", an exhibition by Marcus Keating and The New Happiness that is being presented at Modern Art Oxford from June 8-10th, 2012 as part of Oxford Pride. "Vogue Boy" inspired the song "Video Boy" by Swedish artist Cristian Dinamarca and the single artwork for the song "Ecstasy" by Japanese artist Masculin

Since the video was downloadable for many months, numerous people uploaded it to YouTube. The video was viewed tens of thousands of times on various YouTube channels before Warner Music Group pulled most of them--including a fabulous tribute by a Japanese fan that paired my video alongside Madonna's original. However, they left up an assortment of fan videos made by people who put their own spin on my home movie. Now, enjoy this trio of my favorites. They are all brilliant, and they all make me feel more special than I can put into words. In the event the people who made them should ever read this post: THANK YOU for the smile that you put on my face by making this clip into amazing new works of art.

Now, out of respect to those who made the original version of this video a viral hit, allow me to link you back via one of my favorite Madonna quotes:



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  2. You are amazing. This video is one of my favorite videos ever on the internet. Seriously!

  3. I just now saw this video and you were fierce . You had that entire video memorized. That video reminds me of one I did when MTV toured malls and set up stages so you could have your own music video.