Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-06-05
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Alyson Stoner, actress/singer/dancer talks Ms. Jackson, acting, coming out
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-11-21

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Being in the glare of the spotlight—especially for those who have been in the public eye since childhood—can be harsh.

However, Alyson Stoner, 25—who many may remember as the dancing girl in Missy Elliott's videos such as "Work It," and who has been on TV shows and movies like Phineas and Ferb as well as the Cheaper by the Dozen and Step Up series—seems unaffected. Meeting recently with Windy City Times at Knickerbocker Hotel restaurant Nix ( which this writer chose because of Stoner's fascination with Janet Jackson, who once stayed there ), she seemed absolutely down-to-earth.

Mention Jackson, and Stoner became starry-eyed, like anyone discussing an idol. ( She's also a huge fan of Michael Jackson, and people can see her tributes—as well as one to K-pop—on YouTube. ) During this year's Billboard Music Awards, for example, Stoner was not only present but "ran up to the front of the stage" during Janet's tribute. "The cameraman kept giving me face time—and my family [went wild]. My mom said, 'I didn't know you were in the front row.' I said, 'I'm not, but I ran up here because Ms. Jackson-If-You're-Nasty was on stage.' We breathed the same air, and that's enough for me."

Regarding that Janet tribute, how did she choose which songs to feature from the icon's huge catalog? "We did a mixture," Stoner said. "Jared Jenkins is an incredible vocal arranger and producer." She also dropped other factoids about the video, such as the fact that she made the T-shirt Janet wore in her own "Pleasure Principle" video: "I took a Sharpie and colored in letters from the original 'Hawaii' on a shirt to make it look like Janet's. … [The video] was a passion project."

Then the conversation turned to her beginning in show business, with an unexpected development. "After I did the Missy Elliott video, it positioned me as a recognizable dancer," Stoner reminisced. But before one might think that was an advantage, Stoner added, "I stopped auditioning because it came down to an artist wanting a recognizable dancer, or just a dancer. So I wasn't able to do dance gigs. I don't mind because I enjoyed every moment I danced with Missy—and it opened other doors, like in film. For Cheaper by the Dozen, they saw my attitude in the video and hired me. Then I became an artist on my own."

However, this year was a really big one for Stoner as well—especially from a personal standpoint. In March, Teen Vogue published an essay she wrote entitled "How I Embraced My Sexual Identity," about the long journey to recognizing her own attraction to other women. ( In fact, she was in town to attend the wedding of YouTuber Alex G and her wife. ) And it seems that this life-changing event has informed her perspective on life in various ways.

"I was recently in Ethiopia," Stoner began. "I'm a criminal over there. [Homosexuality is illegal in the country.] So they, ironically, asked me to speak at their church. I wondered if they knew, because I didn't bring it up. I listened to how they said they wanted to suppress homosexuals and destroy their support network. I said 'When a group is oppressed, suppressed and repressed, they are going to grow stronger—and that support is how they're surviving. If anything, I encourage you to listen; whenever you encounter them, just listen—and not just with your ears. Observe their connections and that they're not ill-intended. Allow your heart to feel what it wants to feel.'"

It was interesting to hear this story for several reasons—including the fact that Stoner was kicked out of her church, "and it's in Los Angeles," she said. "You'd think they'd be more understanding of the spectrum." She added, "I wish—and I can't deconstruct someone's theology and I don't want to project my own ideology—but I would love to give a bird's-eye view so people can understand that the American evangelical church of 2018 is influenced by capitalism and militarism, which aren't even based on the Bible."

Asked about how she came to reconcile her faith ( which she mentions in the Teen Vogue essay ) with her life, Stoner said she actually went to her mentor's mentor. "I went to this guru of sorts—a pastor who's in Illinois," she said. "He's really cultured, and he's shown me all of these different perspectives, and that's really cracked me open in terms of my consciousness. My heart and soul don't see labels any more."

Her new perspective is also shown in her newest video, for the song "Fool," which shows her in a relationship with a woman of a different race and build, embracing diversity. "There was something about Jasmine's essence that was grounded and lovely," Stoner said. "When I mentioned to my team that I wanted a female love interest, she was the only person I had in mind. I wasn't thinking about intersectionality. … It was 'human first.' [Filming] was so comfortable."

Talking about her personal circle of friends, she said, "A lot of people I know in the LGBT community are pretty outspoken, and I am pretty quiet. I was wondering if I was hiding—but I realized that being quiet is my superpower."

"I can't allow the past to distract me from the evolution," she added. "You can be enamored of your recent successes instead of remembering how big the world is and [constantly] learning."

For more about Stoner, visit her official page on Facebook.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

MUSIC LeAnn Rimes goes from 'Blue' to a rainbow 2019-06-18 - Singer LeAnn Rimes career took off at the tender age of 13 years old with a Bill Mack song called "Blue." After reaching ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Hedwig' director talks compassion, gender and music 2019-06-18 - Since its off-Broadway premiere, Hedwig and the Angry Inch has garnered a film adaptation, four Tony Awards and a substantial following. Initially, Toma ...


Gay News

Chicago PrideFest set for June 22-23 2019-06-17 - The weekend before the 2019 Chicago Pride Parade makes its way through Boystown, the Chicago PrideFest will start the celebration. Chicago PrideFest will ...


Gay News

CONCERT REVIEWS X and The Damned, Gogol Bordello, Bettye Lavette and more 2019-06-17 - If the concert scene in Chicago this past May was characterized by gloom, dampness and a scarcity of choices, the shows in June ...


Gay News

High court punts on Lambda case of Oregon baker refusing cake to lesbian couple 2019-06-17 - On June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to decide if an Oregon baker can refuse on religious grounds to design a cake ...


Gay News

'Out at CHM' event explores current, past activism 2019-06-16 - Chicago History Museum closed the 16th season of its Out at CHM LGBT-focused programming June 13 with "Quiet as a Riot," a discussion ...


Gay News

TRQPITECA, Night Out in the Parks June 30 at Ping Tom Memorial Park 2019-06-14 - Chicago, IL - June is Pride month, and 2019 marks the 50th year that queer people across the world collectively celebrate community since ...


Gay News

COMEDY Hannah Gadsby pops into Chicago 2019-06-13 - The Australian, lesbian comic Hannah Gadsby became popular with American audiences thanks to the trail blazing Netflix special Nanette. The show was her ...


Gay News

Progressive Reform Caucus announces new leaders 2019-06-12 - The Chicago City Council Progressive Reform Caucus elected new leadership. The caucus now has 17 members. The new officers are 10th Ward Ald. ...


Gay News

The Veronicas visit Chicago to celebrate Pride 2019-06-12 - Brisbane pop group The Veronicas are made up of two identical twin sisters named Lisa and Jessica Origliasso. Their debut album The Secret ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.