Orlando artist Nick Smith turns literary classics into original works of art

By : Jeremy Williams
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Once upon a time, in a land far, far away known as Orlando, an artist by the name of Nick Smith was rediscovering his love of art and began creating original pieces based on classic novels and popular stories.

“I’ve been drawing since I was a wee little lad,” Smith says. “I actually started tracing, that’s one of the things I always tell people, learn how to trace when you’re young so you get an idea of shapes and figures.”

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2019 Orlando Fringe Review: “Pack Animals”

By : Danny Garcia
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S.E. Grummet and Holly Brinkman bring the comical story of two summer camp scouts lost in the woods to life in the quirky comedy “Pack Animals.”

Brinkman is a highly skilled camper and is paired up with Grummet who is, well, not a highly skilled camper.  Grummet actually has no clue  about camping and doesn’t really want to be there. These two embark on an adventure reminiscent of an 80’s sitcom, but raunchier and more fun. To fully explain what this show is about would require a few bites of some questionable berries found in the woods. This hilarious comedy includes ukuleles, musical numbers about mansplaining, a bear attack and even sex with mythical woodland creatures. Not to mention the show also features animal puppets.

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2019 Orlando Fringe Review: ‘Dandy Darkly’s All Aboard’

By : Danny Garcia
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There’s something so dandy and a little dark how Dandy Darkly masterfully delivers his stories, hence the name. In “Dandy Darkly’s All Aboard” he goes back to his Southern roots and tells the tale of Lil’ Biscuit, Aunty, the Colonel and the sleepy little Southern town they reside in.

Like a symphonic locomotive, this storytelling drag clown skillfully wove several stories together of various topics including racism, mysticism, gender identity as well as an observation of our world’s obsession and addiction to technology.

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2019 Orlando Fringe Review: ‘A Briefs History In Time’

By : Danny Garcia
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Our favorite Canadian burlesque boys are back with their new show, “A Briefs History In Time.”  The adventure begins with Furry Rosa (emcee and host, Shangina Twain) having traveled back in time from the year 3000 during Fempocalypse, an event that has left men (not the species but the gender) extinct. Rosa has come to our time to observe, study and find male specimens, so why not the male specimens of BoylesqueTO.

“A Briefs History In Time” is a departure from what Orlando Fringe patrons may have seen with “Oh Manada!” and “‘Mo Manada!” but this latest show is still very entertaining.

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Orlando’s Big LGBTQ Weekend still has something for everyone

By : Jeremy Williams
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The newly created KindRED Pride Foundation is bringing some of the weekend’s most anticipated events, but the kickoff weekend to Orlando’s big Pride Month is packed full of some returning favorites and big surprises.

Just as with the last several years, RED Shirt Pride Days has a designated Disney theme park for each day from May 30-June 2.

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RED Shirt Pride Day looks to continue Orlando’s traditional Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom

By : Jeremy Williams
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In June 1991, a group of LGBTQ Central Floridians—led by openly gay Orlando resident Doug Swallow—decided to meet at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to say to “The Most Magical Place On Earth” that “We’re here, we’re queer and we’d like to see Cinderella’s Castle!”

“[Doug said] ‘let’s go be somewhere where we can be ourselves and let people see that we’re normal people, but let them know that we are gay … we’ll do something like wear a red shirt so we can know who each other are.’ That was totally Doug’s idea, to make that day what it is,” said Michael Wanzie, a Central Florida entertainer who was at the very first event, in an interview with Watermark in 2018.

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Disney releases new rainbow collection ahead of Pride month

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Disney released a new series of LGBTQ-themed items ahead of Pride month this June.

The items — collectively called the Rainbow Disney Collection — include T-shirts, hats, pins, jewelry, dolls and more featuring rainbow colors along with Disney mascot Mickey Mouse.

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Vote for your Orlando Fringe LGBTQ favorites in the 3rd annual Watermark Splash Awards

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando Fringe has kicked off its 28th season and this year features more LGBTQ shows than ever before.

So with all of this amazing LGBTQ talent, we want to know what are readers think about the shows and talent – both on stage and behind the scenes – and which ones are the best of the best in LGBTQ-themed Fringe. Welcome to the third annual Watermark Splash Awards.

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see Pentatonix w/ Rachel Platten & Citizen Queen at Orlando’s Amway Center

By : Watermark Staff
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Don’t miss your chance to see three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling artist Pentatonix in their first-ever performance at Orlando’s Amway Center on Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Pentatonix are joined by multi-platinum-selling recording artist Rachel Platten and the sensational all-female quintet Citizen Queen.

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Zebra Coalition to host LGBTQ Youth Pride Prom

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: The Zebra Coalition celebrates Come Out With Pride on their float during the parade in downtown Orlando last year. Photo courtesy for Zebra Coalition

ORLANDO | The Zebra Coalition is hosting its first-ever Youth Pride Prom at the Orlando Museum of Art June 22 from 6-10 p.m. for LGBTQ youth ages 14-20.

Zebra is partnering with more than a dozen coalition partners and a youth committee to plan the event.

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Central Florida-based web series to feature four local trans leaders

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | “Unapologetically Trans,” a new web series filmed in Central Florida and featuring four local transgender community leaders, was announced via social media on May 11.

Jordyn Victoria Laos, Holly Gramm, Ashley Figueroa and Nikole Parker will host the series “about life through trans eyes while in the pursuit of happiness.” The show will feature candid conversations with community members and allies about various topics.

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Trans of Thought: Cisgender Fatigue

By : Melody Maia Monet
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PQ: “I love being both gay and trans—and I hate being confrontational—but it is obvious to me we have a transphobia problem within our community.”

In the early 90s, I came home from college during a break and went to a party with some of my former high school classmates. One of them told me of his experience as a cadet at the U.S. Naval Academy that had severely soured him on Jane Fonda. Apparently, it had become the practice of the academy to blast audio of Ms. Fonda over loudspeakers as the cadets were put through their paces during physical training. In short order, every cadet began to associate physical stress with the sound of her voice, and not surprisingly, also grew to hate her.

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