As a lifelong St. Louisan, Chris is very proud of his place in the St. Louis arts scene. He graduated from St. Louis University High School in 1979 and with honors from Webster University in 1985. Drawing upon his background in film studies, mass media, and public-event coordination, he has been an intergral part of many important changes to the growth and artistic directions of the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) and the growing number of annual film-related events produced by CSL, including the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase and an LGBT film festival called QFest. This is a dream job for Chris and he plans to keep it indefinitely by living forever. So far, so good. In June of 2011 however he was diagnosed with Stage 1E Mantle Cell Lymphoma in his throat and has been fighting the good fight against cancer ever since. While not completely done with chemotherapy treatments until July of 2013, his current good health is attributed to fierce determination, a relatively healthy lifestyle, swimming almost every day, and flinging himself headlong into the local stand up comedy scene, which had been a dream since childhood. Comedy is the best medicine after all. Chris regularly performs his scathing comedy routines several nights a week at a number of venues around the St. Louis area. He and his partner of eight years, Adrain, plus two spoiled and feisty dogs, Saki and Dahlia, live happily in Maplewood, MO. They will be married in October, 2013.
“Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city
All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head”
Summer in the city once again. The equinox was only a few days ago and already it’s here. The heat. That muggy, hot, uncomfortable, ball-drenching sensation that we call summer. You can see the ripples of heat off in the distance of the asphalt, which may or may not be completely solid any longer. Shootings and violent crimes are already up, possibly a byproduct of our geography. Storms in the past few weeks have been both powerful and sometimes destructive, leaving the streets thick with steam in their wake.
Singer/actress sang the song “Somewhere That’s Green” in “Little Shop of Horrors.” I like to think she was dreaming about St. Louis. Sometimes it is hard to tell from the ground, but the Lou is a very green city. By green I don’t mean energy conscious (we have a ways to go there), but instead the leafy kind found in nature. Trees, bushes, plants, grasses and flowering everything. I assume it is from being in the heart of the country and surrounded by huge swaths of farmland, plus water from the rivers and the huge amount of rain we have received this year, but St. Louis in the spring and summer almost glows with the greens of nature.
St. Louis is a city filled with passionate and strongly opinionated people. This is but part of who we are as a city. There are a few hot button topics that most often put the citizenry up in arms – race, religion and pizza. Pizza? Oh yeah. Now that the 314 is gunning for the top of the list for best ribs in the country, how far behind can the St. Louis style pizza be? I know we are also near the top of the violent crime cities list too, so I hope this blog doesn’t count as fighting words.
I've significantly slowed my roll as I entered my 5th decade on Earth, but I have always loved to drive fast. Real fast. I did grow up with Speed Racer on Channel 30 after all. When we played I was always Speed. My sisters fought over who was Trixie and my younger brother got to be Chim Chim. Somehow I have managed to avoid getting too many speeding tickets or thank goodness any serious accidents. I did have a small accident right in front of our house once with my parents watching. That was not cool.
My dog is a bitch. Well, she is. Female dogs are bitches. From Wikipedia “The term "bitch" comes from the 1150 word bicche, which was developed from the Old English word bicce. It also may have been derived from the Old Icelandic work bikkja for "female dog." The Oxford English Dictionary dates the term meaning "female dog" to around 1000 A.D.” Now that is some dandy and interesting etymology. Fact remains, Dahlia Danger Dog is a bitch.
Growing up gay in St. Louis was magical and wonderful as well as terribly confusing and painful. I was born in North County and raised from the age of 5 on deep in South St. Louis. Twelve years of Catholic school and society in general strongly suggested that gay souls were forever damned and the lot of them were doomed to live on the fringes with the freaks.
At age 49 during the summer of 2011, three months before my 50th birthday, I had to have a tonsillectomy. This procedure can be more complicated, sometimes dangerous, for an adult, but I was just super glad that it wasn’t something more sinister. Now that all seems like a thousand years ago, ancient history B.C. – before cancer.
Welcome to my first blog for ONSTL.com. I got this hip, high- paying job because I know the owners. Isn’t that the way the world works? I rather like it when fate smiles sweetly in my favor. By day (and sometimes at night) I am the artistic director for Cinema St. Louis, a St. Louis-based arts non-profit dedicated to celebrating the art of the cinema by presenting a number of high profile film festivals annually including the St. Louis International Film Festival. I got that job because I volunteered to stuff envelopes one day. Right place, right time sort of thing. I’m lucky like that. If you ever see your own brass ring dangling before you, do not hesitate. Grab it.