Drag Heals – documentary miniseries

Beardoncé, a drag queen who has a beard and furry chest is wearing a pink and black dress, large gold hoop earrings and looks sickening.
Beardoncé, one of the participants of Drag Heals. 

Drag Heals is a documentary series that follows men who have never worn heels or make-up but have always dreamed of letting their inner drag queen out!   Drag Heals is a 10 week inner and outer personal journey coached by Tracey Erin Smith and Vicki Lix that culminates in a public show. 

Drag Heals will premiere on OUTtv Canada on Tuesday November 27 at 8pm.

My gift to you – get a month free of OUTtvGo.com You can watch our new documentary series Drag Heals and catch up on our other shows. Promocode: DRAGHEALS

Outside Canada? Watch on Vimeo

RuPaul brought Drag Raceinto the homes of millions and made the once taboo art form mainstream. This newfound renaissance has inspired a new generation to explore the art of drag and challenge the constructs of gender.

While RuPaul’s Drag Raceis a competition, Drag Heals is a documentary journey that follows men who have never worn heels or make-up but have always dreamed of letting their inner drag queen out!   

These men (and aspiring queens!) enter Canada’s first ever drag class to explore how to create a compelling drag persona based on personal experience.  For most, this is akin to a second coming out process.  The culmination of the Drag Heals workshops will be a public performance where they will face down their fears of stepping into the limelight. 

Drag is typically viewed from a distance; Drag Healsgives unparalleled access to the creation of a performance that is more than just your average lip synch.  The classes are structured so the men must reveal their true selves in preparation of their public performance.  In order to do it, they must be brave and vulnerable. 

As performance time draws near, the urgency to create a compelling piece forces our Queens to face down their nerves and personal demons in order to deliver a quality performance for people who have shelled out money to see just that.  

Deeply personal and raw, the Queens in Drag Heals tackle prickly issues like gender identity, mental illness, heartbreak and feminism to better understand themselves and their queer experience in an otherwise straight world.

Welcome to the new generation of drag.

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Polyamory – PolyLove documentary

men and women explore polyamory in Polylove documentary

PolyLove is a new investigative documentary that explores polyamory, non-monogamy and the journey to redefine a ‘relationship’.  Brace yourself, because we are going to a place where bravery and honesty are essential.  A place where loving someone enough to set them free isn’t just a trite metaphor – it’s essential to your personal and relationship growth.  

Single    Married    It’s Complicated

In North America, 48% of marriages end in divorce.*  In business, if your product is failing for half of your customers, then you need to fix it or offer something better.    * SOURCE  ‘Divorce demography’ Stats Canada 2013

Non-monogamy and polyamory demand radical rethinking of our societal constructs.  It’s not about breaking what’s unbroken.  It’s about examining why ‘cheating’ is more socially forgivable than discussing the option of non-monogamy or polyamory with those we love. 

More and more people are experimenting with monogamish and polyamorous relationships. We commit to each other, but have a porous boundary around our relationship, meaning we’ve agreed that it’s OK for either of us to express romantic feelings toward other people or to be physically intimate with other people, so long as we’re honest and transparent about our intentions with one another.

Men and women in relationship groupings.  Three sets of feet stick out from the end of a bed depicting polyamory.

The thought is that these things don’t diminish the integrity of a relationship. Rather, they may deepen the understanding of each other’s wants and desires, and give us the space to grow independently, without growing apart.  There’s even a new word for the emotion of feeling happy for a loved one’s bliss in another relationship.  Goodbye jealousy, hello ‘compersion’. 

So why non-monogamy and polyamory now?

Well, people haven’t changed much, but their environment has. Just think: Monogamy established itself thousands of years ago, when society was ruled by scarcity of resources and potential mates were in limited supply.

We’re now living in a period of great (though unequally distributed) abundance where our basic needs are sufficiently met, and reproduction is a choice. As a result, the reasons to be with a single mate for life are less urgent.  With the rising ambivalence toward commitment, statistically most millennials will put off marriage indefinitely. In place of monogamous pairings, hookup culture flourishes and “open relationships” are commonplace. These are merely rational economic responses to excess inventory and changing expectations of romance. Viewed in this context, conventional monogamy is getting long in the tooth.

But just because more young people are choosing to say, “I don’t” than “I do” doesn’t mean monogamy is irrelevant.  It just means that there’s now more than one option for building meaningful and satisfying relationships. 

DIVE DEEPER:   If you’re interested to learn more about polyamory, watch the PolyLove documentary and check out the Mating Season episode of Shadowlands where three men explore an unconventional relationship in the 1950s.  

shadows of three men against a tent in the TV series Shadowlands where polyamory is explored.
The threesome scene in the Mating Season episode of Shadowlands

Some great reading materials include the non-monogamy intro reader classic, The Ethical Slut by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton.  For my personal favourite on the topic try What Love Is: And What It Could Be by Carrie Jenkins.  

If you enjoy audiobooks you may wish to try USA Today Bestselling author Ella Frank’s four audiobook series that explores polyamory in Confessions. 
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Dating Unlocked – Audience feedback

Anisha Joshi, host of Dating Unlocked dancing against a pink background.

I’m reaching out today because we’re seeking audience feedback on the pilot episode of Dating Unlocked that my partner and I came up with on one of our drives between Toronto and Montreal.  It often happens this way – we’ll be listening to music or a podcast on the nearly 6 hour drive and then at some point start talking about TV show ideas. 

Sometimes they’re good, often they’re not or we may discover another company has just launched a very similar show.  The creative process can be challenging in that way – everyone develops their content in a relatively quiet or secretive way and then one day – bam! There’s a new show.  Because we’re all influenced by so many factors – our place in history, the news, cultural trends, music, art, a conversation overheard in line at the grocery store it’s not uncommon for very similar shows to emerge from unrelated companies in different geographical locations.  

My partner, Patrick, coming from the world of health technology and currently eyebrows deep in his PhD work has a very different perspective and experience base than yours truly.  I think that’s why we have so much fun creating show ideas together – our brains just work in very different ways.

Anisha Joshi, host of Dating Unlocked dancing with a wind fan.
Anisha Joshi, host of Dating Unlocked gets her groove on. 

On one of these drives we came up with the concept for Dating Unlocked and this year we held a casting and found a host we fell in love with (and hope you will too!), shot the pilot episode and are now seeking some feedback.  If you live in Canada, the network (OUTtv) is sharing this landing page where you can screen the episode and then fill in a short questionnaire.  WATCH IT FREE HERE in Canada.  

Before we go to series it would be great to know- what you liked, what you didn’t and how we can make it even better. If you know other people who enjoy dating shows, we invite you to share the link with them as well.

If you don’t live in Canada, and are interested to see the show, we’ve currently made it available on my storefront here.   We’ll be adding more platforms in the future and if you sign up for the newsletter we’ll be sure to let you know. 

Thanks so much, we know how busy everyone is – we appreciate your time and input.

Charlie David

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