Tag Archive: Oprah Winfrey

Courtney Act

Hailing from the brand new season of Logo’s hit television show RuPaul’s Drag Race Shane Jenek is now transformed into the female illusionist Courtney Act. The girl from Down Under moved to West Hollywood to a career that was launched thanks to Australian Idol. Act uses those pipes in her new song “To Russia With Love.”

Act opened for Gaga on her Australian tour and sang at her birthday party. Bette Midler called Courtney a “sensation.” Act played the role of Angel in RENT the musical and became the face of Sheer Cover makeup in past years.

Watch this blonde bombshell take over season six this spring on the Drag Race and we skyped Shane in Sydney to get the scoop on what makes him a winning Act.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi, Courtney. Is this your first time in Chicago?

CA: (Courtney Act) I spent a day in Chicago in 2010. When I flew into America I flew from London to Chicago. I was there for one night before going to Columbus and I chose to go to the Oprah gift store. I bought a pair of purple and gold Louis Vuitton sandals that had been worn by Oprah herself.

That is the beginning and end of my Chicago experience so I am looking forward to experiencing more.
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Bruce Sellery

Watch out Suze Orman there’s a new OWN money focused series in town! Financial expert Bruce Sellery is turning the town Aldergrove upside down by working with the community on a million dollar challenge.

The show titled Million Dollar Neighborhood is currently one of the most popular programs on OWN Canada.

Bruce is the founder of Moolala, a personal finance company, as well as running a gay household with his partner and adopted daughter Abby.

Nunn called Canada to get some money advice for our readers and hear more about the show.

Jerry Nunn: Hey, Bruce. How’s that gay marriage working for in Canada?

Bruce Sellery: I have been married since 2004. Get it together, you Yankees!

JN: We are working on it. Tell me about your background.
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Art Smith 3

Southern chef Art Smith is back on Bravo in a new season of Top Chef Masters. A local fave and James Beard Award winner owns the restaurant Table Fifty-Two as well as LYFE Kitchen and Southern Art Restaurants. Art has published two cookbooks and cooked for such notables as President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and the Dalai Lama.

He is competing for Common Threads, a charity that teaches children about cultures through food. In season one of Masters he raised $10,000 for Common Threads.

With season four of the show 12 Top Chefs are competing in Las Vegas for $100,000 to help each worthy cause. Curtis Stone returns as host and with celebrity judges such as Indigo Girls and The B-52’s this show is not to be missed.

Jerry Nunn: Hi, Art.

Art Smith: Darling, how are you?  It just seems like yesterday that you caught me chasing a Scissor Sister and I was just a big old puddle next to Ben Cohen!
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Paolo Presta

Glenview, Illinois resident Paolo Presta had his life changed by a fairy godmother named Oprah Winfrey when her Wildest Dreams show dropped into his family’s grocery store Valli Produce and gave him a guest spot on the television show Will & Grace.

Paolo moved to LA to be on General Hospital and pursue his love of acting.

Lately he has been filming his web based show A Spoonful of Paolo where he interviews stars such as Sharon Osbourne and Florence Henderson and recently he reunited with Oprah for her Lifeclass.

We met to discuss how the sugar makes the medicine go down with Paolo.

Jerry Nunn: Hi, Paolo. You are known for your Oprah moment. Take our readers back to that time in your life.

Paolo Presta: It was surreal. Anything that happens I always go back to that day. If she didn’t come into my dad’s store I wouldn’t be able to do any of this. She opened doors for me and on top of it made my father understand that this is what I want to do. It changed the direction of my life.

JN: Is their store still in Hoffman Estates?
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Rosie O’Donnell started in stand-up before landing roles on television movies. The Rosie O’Donnell Show won Emmys and launched her into the talk show circuit. She came out of the closet two months before the show ended its run. Rosie then became the moderator on The View she showing her strong opinions and causing some controversy. Since then she has been raising children, blogging and running Rosie Radio on Sirius XM Radio. She now starts a new endeavor on the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network with The Rosie Show.

Jerry Nunn: Hi, Rosie. We love seeing you pop up around town and I wanted to welcome you personally to Lakeview and Boystown. I expect you to be at Sidetrack for Show Tunes Sundays.

Rosie O’Donnell: Honey, I didn’t even know about this. I’m jotting it down. Sidetrack Show Tunes, what time?

JN: It’s around four o’clock. It’s every Sunday. Sidetrack is the gay bar there with two hundred televisions. They reenact Broadway musicals, for example the crowd throws napkins when it’s the Titanic and everyone sings all the words.

RO: Oh my lord, I am so there. They’d better reserve me a table.

JN: (laughs) I can arrange that for you.

RO:  Can you do requests? Do they ever do The Rink?
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Lloyd Boston

Style guru Lloyd Boston has been giving advice for years on television shows such as NBC Today, Oprah Winfrey, Nate Burkess and Martha Stewart. He was recently on the Today Show with an Emmy recap.

Speaking of awards, he received an Emmy nomination for his HGTV show Closet Cases and was named one of Crain Magazine’s “Forty Under Forty.” After writing 4 previous books, the author’s new one has just arrived The Style Checklist: The Ultimate Wardrobe Essentials. We ran into Lloyd at Macy’s where his Jones New York tour was in full effect.

Jerry Nunn: Hi, Lloyd. Are you glad to be back in Chicago?

Lloyd Boston: I love it, always. I love the fact that the weather is good.

JN: You can wear that scarf out these days.

LB: Yes, just a touch. I split my time between New York and LA but coming here is nice because it is the best of both cities. It has the ease of the people in LA but it has that city vibe in New York without the traffic, the dirt and the pushing and shoving.

JN: Do you get to do anything fun while you are in town?
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O vs. Ro

Living in Chicago has its advantages and many chances to be on television. I have been lucky enough to experience a few talk shows in my life. I flew to New York to be in the audience of Wendy Williams and in LA sat in the front row of Jimmy Kimmel.
In my own hometown I asked a question on Jenny Jones “Why are those whores laughing onstage, Jenny?” and on Jerry Springer I watched him take an attractive audience member’s phone number, what a dirty old man! He also planted actors in his audience to stir things up. People still love to scream “Jerry! Jerry! ” to me all the time in his honor.
Oprah Winfrey has filmed her show in the windy city since it’s beginnings as Good Day Chicago. I always felt connected with by us both moving from the south to make it in the big city.
To kick off her last season she shut down Michigan Avenue to throw a huge concert and I landed a few tickets to the show. Arriving at 12 pm luckily I was moved towards the front. Little did I know that was where the best dancers for the flash mob would be. The crowd surprised Oprah and the Black Eyed Peas with a huge dance routine that is on YouTube if you want to check it out. She was very friendly with the crowd and not the diva that I worried about but genuinely nice to people.
I wanted the studio show experience and after tracking down the right person wound up on a show about porn stars. After the show taped Oprah took questions from the audience and the mic went to me. It happened in slow motion. Oprah said, “Let’s get a man’s opinion. So are you married?” I screamed “No, I’m gay!” Then I did this raise the roof move straight from Kathy Griffin who I later told about the incident). I exclaimed, “Where my peeps at?” and it was all straight women around me in bright colored clothing. I told Oprah that I just wanted to state that I write a gay porn column and gays use condoms more that straight porn does. O said, “Well, isn’t that interesting. Are there any straight men in the audience?” I quickly sat down.
Rosie O’Donnell took over Harpo Studios recently. I interviewed her to promote the show and invited her to Showtunes Sunday at Sidetrack. I didn’t think she would come with her moving into a new house and the new show starting. To my surprise she did and I got there right after she left! I felt horrible and brought her flowers to the studio.
I attended a taping the week after because I love Sharon and Kelly Osbourne who were there for an interview. Rosie was so much fun and makes everyone feel right at home. The experience was similar to Oprah except with O we sang a karaoke challenge while with Ro you are fed cupcakes and bottled water. The studio is kept cold that Rosie mentions for menopausal reasons so hold your water! Boys2Men performed and we took home gift bags and CDs. No cars but what do you expect on the first year? I hope Rosie finds her legs with this show. The stand-up is getting funnier and the game show segment is a hoot. She has enlisted some big named friends to help out. Hopefully The Rosie Show will last even more than 25 years of O!

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