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6 April 2020

“Although self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths –
and of none – are discovering that it presents an opportunity
to slow down, pause and reflect in prayer or meditation.”
  
Queen Elizabeth II, as part of her coronavirus address.  Talk about inclusive! 

In these unsettling times, there are few things I am sure of.  But, if there is one thing I can say with absolute certainty, it’s that Patti LuPone is insane.  This is not new information to any LuPone devotee.  But we now have video proof that could send her away for a long, long time.  Her descent into madness coincided with the pandemic we are currently living through.  People are looking for all sorts of ways to while away the hours, and Patti is no different.  She decided to go on a social media blitz and give people a tour of her basement.  This is no regular basement.  There is a full-sized pinball machine, a jukebox, scores of photo albums, and assorted theatrical souvenirs.  These took up three videos.  However, we’re focusing on the fourth.  In that one, she wanders down the stairs in full Norma Desmond regalia – oh yes, complete with turban and sunglasses.  “You there.  Why are you so LATE?!” she asks in her distinctive clipped cadence.  As she sings “With One Look”, she wafts over to a slot machine – oh, did I mention she’s got a slot machine?  Just check it out…on our website, naturally.

We are all doing what we can to entertain the masses.  Even I, your beloved Billy, am doing twice-weekly LIVE telecasts from one of my many humble abodes.  Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3PM Eastern, I can be found on YouTube, Facebook, and even BillyMasters.com under “TV”.  We’ve had some fascinating revelations from various luminaries – the anecdotes of Charles Busch and Steve Kmetko are required viewing.  All free, all live, and all archived.  Coming up this Tuesday, April 7th, Bruce Vilanch and Andrea Martin will regale us.

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I would never want to make light of the coronavirus – it’s a bitch of a virus.  And I’ve had my share of viruses.  That said, Chris Cuomo did say something that made me see the silver lining.  He claims that since he got it, he’s lost 13 pounds in 3 days.  Is there a way I could get a bit o’ corona?  Just enough to get ready for Speedo season?  Sure, I could do it the healthy way with diet and exercise.  But this way just seems fast…grueling, but fast. 

While many are pitching in, our community can be proud of one hero who has succumbed to Covid-19.  Kious Kelly was a nurse at New York’s Mount Sinai West Hospital in Manhattan.  This 48-year-old with no prior health issues tested positive for the coronavirus on March 18th.  He died less than a week later.  In mourning his passing, his sister said, “Please help get our healthcare workers the protection they need.”  Amen.

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I am never against people living their best lives.  I don’t believe in shaming the rich and powerful – you’ve earned it (presumably).  But, apparently some people found it unseemly when David Geffen posted a photo from his $590 million yacht with a caption that read, “Sunset last night…isolated in the Grenadines avoiding the virus.  I’m hoping everybody is staying safe.”  The only thing worse would have been if he was also toasting us with a piña colada!  One person who took issue with the post was Meghan McCain, who said, “David Geffen is worth 8 billion dollars!  For God’s sake help this country get ventilators, our health workers masks and the medical supplies they need!  Or no, just stay on your fucking yacht instagramming.  This is just shameful and grotesque.”  Knowing that Geffen is a mighty philanthropic fella, I’m not going to be quite so harsh – I have not even an inkling if he has pitched in.  Still, it does give one pause.

Someone recently asked about the writing of this column in these crazy times.  “Is there still any celebrity gossip going on?”  The answer is a resounding YES!  Although, I suppose it depends on how you define “celebrity”.  Take Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Taylor Swift – please, take them all!  I realize they’re big stars, but…YAWN!  Remember all that chatter about Kanye dissing Swifty in his song “Famous” a few years back?  At the time, he swore he ran it by her to make sure she wasn’t offended.  Kim even released a brief snippet of the phone call to prove that the conversation actually took place.  When Kanye was chastised, Taylor didn’t back him up because…well, you all know how I feel about her (not that I think he’s any prize).  I never weighed in on the scandal because, frankly, I couldn’t care less.  But now we have more of the phone call, and it’s kinda fabulous because Kanye was telling the truth.  Not only that, but it proves to me that Taylor is…well, you all know how I feel about her.  I’m posting it on BillyMasters.com and you can hear it for yourself – from the horse’s mouth..

When the fabulous Fran Fine (you know, Fran Drescher) teased that she had a surprise a-brewin’, I couldn’t have guessed this news.  On Monday, April 6th, the original cast of The Nanny is getting together online to do a table reading of the pilot episode.   Fran and her ex, Peter Marc Jacobson, said, “It’s a once in a lifetime Pandemic Performance for our fans around the world who are currently stressing in isolation and could use a real upper!”  The only person who will not be appearing is James Marsden, who made a brief appearance in the original episode kissing Nicholle Tom.  Fun fact – who knew I had something in common with James Marsden?  I’ll save that story for another installment of Billy Masters LIVE!  This reading of The Nanny will air on Sony’s YouTube page.

Red Bull Theater was going to do a livestream reading of the play ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore with their 2015 cast to help fundraising efforts.  While everyone was happy to participate for free, nobody thought to get the OK from Actors’ Equity Association – and the union threatened legal action if the show went on.  So it was cancelled.  AEA said (in part), “At a time when almost everyone in the arts is going without a regular paycheck and worries about their health care, it’s deeply sad to see that some employers will still ask Equity actors to work without the protections of a contract.”  Here’s something to consider, Equity – if the theatre shuts down because they can’t raise money, that will lead to dozens of actors not being employed.  Thanks!

On the flip side, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley are continuing their fundraising efforts for the Actors Fund by doing play readings twice a week.  They assembled Charles Busch, Richard Kind, Faith Prince and Andrea Martin for a reading of The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.  I was amused to note that at the end of this event, they thanked the Theatre Authority Inc, Actor’s Equity Association, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the American Guild of Variety Artists, and SAG/AFTRA.  PHEW – that’s a whole lotta hoops to jump through.

In addition to all of the current cancellations, we have an ominous glimpse into the future with a growing list of summer events being cancelled.  Most important to my readers is news that the venerable Crown and Anchor in Provincetown has put the kibosh on their July 4th Independence events!  Yes, what is commonly known as Circuit Week (due to the abundance of youthful flesh tautly covering hard muscles) has been cancelled.  Right after that, the town celebrates what is commonly known as Bear Week (due to the abundance of less-than-youthful flesh covered in plush fur).  That, too, has been cancelled!  More to come, I’m sure. 

Our Ask Billy comes from Ryan in Maine.  “I heard that some guy claims Justin Bieber has a huge cock.  What do you think?”

This story got started by a personal trainer named Rick Morrison. While he admits to having never worked with the Biebs, that hasn’t stopped him from expressing an opinion (who does he think he is?  Me?).  He claims to have seen the pop star coming out of the shower wearing a towel.  Later, while walking through the locker room, he spied the Canadian “butt ass naked.  I mean, junk hanging out and everything.”  Obviously this could be an awkward moment which requires, perhaps, an apology.  Rick simply said, “Shit, Bieber, you just made me so insecure” – which tells us more about Rick than about Justin!  When people online questioned the veracity of this report based on the flaccid photos we’ve all seen, Morrison said, “I’ve seen plenty of naked celebs in the locker room before.  Shawn Mendes, Adam Levine…but no one was ever that damn blessed.”  May I ask the location of this gym where one sees naked male celebs walking to and fro?  Regardless, here’s one rule I live by – unless you’ve seen someone’s penis erect, you have no idea what they’re working with.  I have not seen Bieber’s penis erect.  Soft, I can say with the utmost certainty that it’s nothing to write home about – if you’re given to writing prose about a penis.  Should you be interested in checking out his flaccid phallus, we’ll oblige on BillyMasters.com.

With all this talk about penii, we’ve definitely come to the end of yet another column.  Finally – some of the old normalcy is back!  Now, when will I get back to sleeping with fans?  The only way to know for sure is to check out www.BillyMasters.com – the site where we’re offering special subscriptions to aid and abet you (until I can abed you).  Don’t forget, we’ve got those TV shows every Tuesday and Thursday at 3PM Eastern.  If you have a question or a guest you’d like to see, e-mail me at Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before I give you a video tour of my “basement”!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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