The LezView Show from the Windy City.. 04/20/2011
Published on: 18th April, 2011 by Phil Esteem at PrideIndex
The LezView Show was founded January 23, 2010. The LezView forum offers information and spirited discussions on local and national issues for both the LGBT and greater community on inclusive topics such as parenting, relationships, finances and self improvement. It is hosted by dynamic women who bring a diverse viewpoint to the issues of the day. PrideIndex sits down with Holly J, Executive Producer of LezView to discuss how it began and what the future holds for upcoming episodes.
PRIDEINDEX: Describe to us the reaction of the lesbian and gay community to your show LezView?
HOLLY J: The LezView show has been welcome among eveyone on the Charlotte LGBTQ Community. I am happy to say that they have embraced us with open arms.
PI: Do you ever rehearse before taping the show?
HJ: I have to be honest we have tried doing dialogue rehearsal, but it never goes the way it is rehearsed. I laugh to myself because the best film has been when the unexpected is said, and not rehearsed. Once the taping starts you really won’t hear me say that was not in the script. However you will see me shake my head and roll my eyes like, “did you really just say that”. LOL. I must say through it, the entire cast keeps me laughing and well entertained.
PI: How many episodes of LezView have been produced thus far and where can I find past shows?
HJ: Since conception date January 23, 2010 we have taped 21 episodes. You can find our past and current shows on our website at www.lezview.com.
PI: Why did you decide to do a televised show rather than a radio podcast?
HJ: I don’t think that I necessarily opted not to do a radio podcast; I just think LezView needed to be seen not just heard. I think our voices are loud but our presence is louder. Besides the LezView Cast is made up of a diverse group of woman that are all beautiful.
PI: Are the producers of ABC’s The View aware of LezView, if so what has their reaction been?
HJ: [Laughs], we are hoping to get some wind up Barbara’s skirt, but we actually are gunning for the Chicago wind to blow our way with Oprah’s skirt. Both women are dynamic and I would be lying if I said that I did not breathe and sleep Barbara and Oprah. I think that The View is awesome, so ABC should think of LezView as a form of flattery. We are as serious as they are, but our focus is on all women.
PI: How do you decide which topics to cover on LezView and is there any subject matter that you won’t touch?
HJ: You know LezView topics are mostly issues that are affecting our LGBTQ community, but the topics affect us all. For example “corrective rape” is mostly affecting the lesbian community yet at the end of the day it is still “rape” which affects us all. Same holds true when Katrina hit New Orleans it did not pick or choose whom it affected, it affected us all. LezView topics are built on that same structure, affective but effective to us all. At times the topics have been debated on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LezView). The intellectual conversation that is shared among the cast and their guest is priceless. The growth is an experience. LezView is an educational piece that everyone will take serious. LezView Cast is made up of great woman that young woman and teenagers can idolize when their dreams seem uncertain. Being a pioneer is a huge job and I am happy to be in that position.
PI: Briefly give us some background thoughts and information on your cast.
HJ: Monica Raye Simpson is our lead host, she is a community activist, singer, spoken word and spiritual leader. Monica is a leader in all the things that she does. Dana Williams is our lead anchor; her dedication to this project speaks volumes. Dana is a highly dedicated, results driven professional.
Teresa Davis is a worldly woman and that makes her a key component for LezView. Her political views keep the show on its cutting edge. Myrna J Keys savvy with soul attitude has complimented the look of LezView. Myrna’s theatrical background lends a step up the position as a cast member.
PI: Which of your cast members has the most conservative (or Elizabeth Hasselbach -like) opinion? Which cast member would be the most like Joy Behar (or fun loving, witty personality likes to crack jokes, etc)?
HJ: Our cast members were not chosen for their similarities to the any of the ladies of The View. They were interviewed and chosen based on their beliefs, promise and dedicated growth to enhance the LGBTQ community.
PI: Tell ua about your professional background.
HJ: I am a business major, with a minor in biology. I wanted to be a doctor. Yet, I chose to be a humble entrepreneur. I have been in business for 9 years. I am an event promoter. I have produced great events that have been attended by over 300 lesbian women. Events like Holly J presents FLO “For Lesbian Only”’. I am a volunteer and supporter of all LGBTQ events. I sit on the Program Board for Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Community. LezView was unexpected. I have embraced the journey that God has put in my life. I incorporate my father’s motto on my professional daily journey “Stand For Something or Fall For Anything”
PI: What other projects are you working on?
HJ: You say projects, I say visions. My short term vision is to continue to grow LezView beyond all expectations. Come visit us in Charlotte July 15th when we will have Chicago’s own Milon V Parker debut her film “The Lies We Tell and the Secrets We Keep” at LezView Wine Tasting & Movie Event at the Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Community Center. My long term vision is to continue developing more awareness of issues that are effecting our youth, the hearing impaired, and the elderly. And to have LezView broadcast on a television network.
PI: Have you considered taking LezView on tour to other cities outside of Charlotte?
HJ: Yes. LezView will be on tour next year. I will announce the city tour mid-year 2012.
PI: How come we never see your audience?
HJ: We have now resolved that issue and you will start to see more of the audience. At that time it had a lot to do with budget. We have grown creatively and that will be reflected in our upcoming episodes.
PI: I understand that it’s LezView, but would you ever consider having a male panelist or guest, straight or gay?
HJ: We are exploring the male cast member for the show. As far as guests our upcoming June episode features a male Jazz singer in Charlotte by name of Shane Elk. Join LezView Wine Tasting & Jazz Event. For more information log on to our website at www.lezview.com
PI: What else would you like to tell us about LezView?
HJ: LezView is in their pending stages for their Non-Profit status 501(C) 3. We do what we do based on the need to inform. Everything that I have goes into this project. We will not stop!
If you would like to donate or sponsor LezView please contact us at LezView P.O. Box 244, Monroe NC 28111. Email us at email@example.com or visit our website www.lezview.com and drop us line on our contact page. Call 980-428-9172 and leave a message call me directly at 704-831-0044 ask for Holly Williams. I would like to thank everyone on Team LezView for supporting the project. We thank you all for your support in advance.
Published on: 21st January 2011 by Cheris Hodges from Creative Loafing writes...
LezView: An interview with Holly J and Dana Williams
You’ve heard of ABC’s The View -- you’ve probably watched it a few times. But have you heard of LezView? It’s a local show that looks at issues, entertainment and relationships in the LGBT community. With a roundtable format, the ladies of LezView film their show at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center in Charlotte. (And you can currently see it on YouTube.) Last year, the ladies even sat down with icon Pam Grier.
But in a time of Bill James and his “views” on homosexuality, Holly J and Dana Williams said that LezView has never been more needed in Charlotte. Creative Loafing spoke with the duo about the show, its future and why now is the time for LezView.
Creative Loafing: How long has LezView been taping and what is the show about?
Holly J: The show started in April, 2010. How did it get started? It was just sitting around and talking about things that were going on. We were like, “it would be a great idea if we did something in the community.” Then we said, “LezView.” It’s sort of like The View. We have four women that are on the panel, and we discuss different topics that are affecting the community. Each one does their research. I try to touch base on the hottest topics that are going on at that time. We talk about relationships, politics, fiances. Things that are going on in the community like entrepreneurs, focusing on what they have to offer.
What do you hope people, gay or straight, take away from the show?
Holly J: We hope that people can see how powerful our contributions are in the society that we live in. We hope to gain recognition by the things that we do and not by our sexual orientation. I think a lot of times, people just look at us and say we just want to be promiscuous and that’s not the case. We do a lot of great things in the community and outside of the community that doesn’t even effect the LGBT community. We just want to be looked at as we’re part of the community and not the fact that we are same-gender loving. We want people to see how powerful our contributions are in the society that we live in.
In the aftermath of County Commissioner Bill James’ recent comments about gays, calling them “sexual predators,” how important is a show like LezView?
Williams: This is the absolute right time for LezView, just for the the simple fact of the people that we have who are supposed representatives of the Charlotte community sitting on this Commission. One of my plights is to work with our city officials in forming a gay and lesbian task force so that we do have some direct representation and direct contact to our city and county officials when they are starting to make plans for our city. We want to make sure we are included. LezView shows the diversity of who we are an all of the talents that we have.
Do you think that when there is public discussion about the LGBT community that too much focus is put on what goes on in the bedroom?
Holly J: I do. There are so many great people doing so many great things despite their orientation or who they are sleeping with. It should not affect things that they do. We’re not saying that President Obama sleeping with Michelle affects his job and what he could do. We need to stop looking at who we’re sleeping with and concentrate on what we can do for our community.
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