In the cover photo for this article, you’ll recognize Marie Osmond and Barbara Eden, but you may be wondering who is accompanying them. The third party in this picture is my newest interview subject, Gail Ryan. Ms. Ryan is an accomplished hairstylist with credits going back to the 1960s. She’s worked with talents ranging from Dean Martin and Bob Hope to Demi Moore and Jim Carrey to Benicio Del Toro and many of the professionals on Dancing With The Stars.
My newest Pop Geeks interview subject, Stacey Q, is actually one of the very first talents I ever had the pleasure of interviewing. We were connected to each other by our mutual friend Shawn Winstian on MySpace in the late 00s, and I did an e-mail interview with her that was published on a short-lived website called Old School 4 Life. I was with that site during a brief period of time where I’d left my writing base, RetroJunk.
My newest interview subject, Shelley Michelle, is a woman of many talents. She’s a dancer, a model, an actress, a singer, a writer and a world-famous body double. As the Body Double To The Stars, Shelley has doubled dozens of actresses over the course of the past several decades. Do you remember the poster for the classic Julia Roberts romantic comedy Pretty Woman? That’s Shelley’s body they put Julia Roberts’ head on. Shelley has been active since the 1980s, and isn’t showing any of signs of stopping any time soon. With the help of our mutual friend, and my recent interview subject, Sheila Lussier, I was able to connect with Shelley on Tuesday, March 9th for an epic interview about her many adventures.
In the late 00s, much to my mom’s chagrin, I started up a small cassette collection again after having gotten rid of a larger one in the early 00s. One of the albums I had on cassette came from my newest interview subject, Melissa Manchester. Her album Emergency had a collection of great songs that spoke to what I was hoping for in the chaos of dealing with Asperger’s Syndrome and the decay of my relationship with my mom.
My newest interview subject, Donna Mills, made an impression on viewers as Abby Cunningham on the classic prime time soap Knots Landing. With her wonderful acting skills and her piercing eyes, the care of which was showcased in a 1986 video called Donna Mills: The Eyes Have It, she captivated audiences, and still does so to this day. We talked on Tuesday, May 28th, about works of her’s from the 70s to the modern day, and I hope you all enjoy getting to know her.
My next interview subject, Sherri Stoner, has easily been my biggest influence as a writer. I did not have a good personal life in the 90s, and because of all the troubles I had in the decade, I don’t have fond memories of a lot of the decade’s pop culture. There are some exceptions, though, and Sherri Stoner was involved with them. As the model for Belle in Beauty And The Beast, she helped create a character I found myself relating to as I made my way through a school system that didn’t understand the issues involved with Asperger’s Syndrome. As a writer for Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs, and with her voice work on the latter, she created cartoons that had me in hysterics and would help to fuel my early writing endeavors. As the co-writer of 1995’s Casper, she created a movie that was a very cathartic experience for me in the wake of my father’s passing.
I was first introduced to Audrey Landers’ work via the 1985 film version of A Chorus Line, where she played Val and memorably performed the song “Dance Ten, Looks Three”. As I’m always learning more about the pop culture of the past, especially the 1980s, I came to discover more about Audrey, and I was impressed. She acts, she sings, she composes songs and she’s logged more miles of travel than most of her contemporaries. I spoke to her on May 2nd, and I hope you all enjoy getting to know this versatile talent.