Win tickets to see The Naked Magic Show in Tampa

By : Jeremy Williams
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Watermark is giving away a pair of tickets to see “Sleeves Up, Pants Down: The Naked Magic Show” at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa July 30.

To win, comment on this post and tell us what your favorite magic trick is.

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Utah lawmakers look to expand hate crime rules to cover LGBTs

By : Wire Report
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GayUtahAbstrSalt Lake City (AP) – Utah state senators back a proposal that would beef up the state’s hate crime law and add protections for gay and transgender people.

Lawmakers voted 17-12 Feb. 26 to give preliminary approval of the plan after debating it. They must still cast a final vote on the measure sometime in the next two weeks.

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Screened Out – The Witch

By : Stephen Miller
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Ralph Ineson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw

It’s easy to sense the research and commitment that went into the horror movie The Witch, the debut full-length by NYC stage talent and shorts director Robert Eggers. The flick – set in 17th-century New England – follows a Puritan family thrust out into the wilderness, where they battle evil forces that come from the gnarled woods around them.

Alas, the sum here is more mood than sense. By the end, all the dark foreboding, meticulous academics, commentary on fundamentalism, and self-flagellating religiosity has less witchy magic. It devolves into gory absurdism.

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Screened Out – Anomalisa

By : Stephen Miller
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Voices of David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan

One credit we have to give Charlie Kaufman, he makes movies that look and act like nothing else. Anomalisa is certainly different – very adult stop-action animation. Whether you enjoy this Oscar nominee depends on how much of a cinema nerd you are. Even as one myself, I had problems with the film.

Anomalisa announces it’s for mature audiences by dropping the f-bomb over and over early on. Later, nudity and even animated oral sex actually upset quite a few people; they fled the screening. What the movie lacks – even for all the art involved – is visual magic.

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Brandenton make-up artist goes viral, Tatum goes drag

By : Anonymous
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A moment on the web, a lifetime as celeb
It appears to be a faded memory now, but for a hot minute, Bradenton hair and makeup artist Joey Killmeyer was going viral. Killmeyer posted a picture of himself and an 8-year-old boy who wants to be a makeup artist and asked Killmeyer to teach him. Killmeyer worked with the boy, showing him on one side of his face how to do the makeup and then allowing Ethan to do the other side of his face himself. The picture of the final product had more than 2,500 shares and nearly 150,000 likes, but after a day in the sun the post was deleted. The picture had gone further than any of them expected and, at the request of the boy’s parents, the post was removed and no more interviews were given. Most of the over 500 comments were positive and encouraged Ethan to be himself and applauded his mother for her support. After the post went viral, Killmeyer took to Facebook again to advise Facebook to take note that Ethan wants to be a makeup artist and not a drag queen, saying, “He is 8 and simply expressing his creativity. I am tired of seeing this spun in the incorrect way. And I do not want Ethan bullied or harassed at school.”

Where’d he learn moves like that?
Hollywood superstar Channing Tatum is best known for two things: a smoking hot body and dance moves that hypnotize as you watch those hips gyrate and thrust in such hit films as Magic Mikeand its sequel Magic Mike XXL. Those moves and that body were perfected right here in Tampa Bay where, as a young man, he danced, grinded and stripped at several clubs in town making them dolla-dolla bills rain down. Rumor has it that he even did a little shake, shake, shake in some of the gay clubs. Tatum, while shaking that bon bon, was apparently wishing he had a different job… that of drag queen, that is if the latest episode of Spike TV’s show Lip Sync Battle is any indication. Tatum busted out the looks of two icons for his performances on the show. First, as the ice queen Elsa from Disney’s Frozen when he performed “Let it Go,” then as the music queen Beyonce when he had the hair blowing in the wind with “Run the World (Girls).” Tatum’s performance was so on point Queen Bey herself joined him on stage to finish up the set. From Tampa strip clubs to Magic Mike to on stage with Beyonce. At least we can say we knew him when.

Channing Tatum lets it go in drag and runs the world on Lip Sync Battle

By : Jeremy Williams
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Spike’s Lip Sync Battle is becoming one of the most viral shows on television today and has been the stage for many of the world’s top celebrities to explore the world of drag performing.

The idea for the show came from The Office’s John Krasinski: two celebrities battle each other with lip sync performances. It started as a recurring skit on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and was formed into a free standing show on the Spike cable channel hosted by rapper/actor LL Cool J and model Chrissy Teigen.

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Sarasota to ‘Elevate’ LGBT nightlife

By : Krista DiTucci
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elevate anita waistlineSarasota – Locals searching for a new LGBT hot spot can elevate their Friday night experience at Starlite in Sarasota.

Jan. 8 is the grand opening of Elevate – Friday Nights at Starlite. The night will kick off with a happy hour from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the downstairs lounge, where guests can mingle while enjoying the sounds of show tunes on the piano. Joshua Beadle, event coordinator and owner of Beadle Media, says bottle prices will be lowered in hopes that people will socialize and share with friends. Bottle specials will include $40 Chandon champagne and $75 Stoli vodka. Joel Pozo will serve as VIP bottle service host.

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Hamburger Mary’s Pub House

By : Anonymous
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Mary’s loves sports
You may have noticed that if you now head to Hamburger Mary’s in Ybor City Monday through Friday afternoons that the restaurant’s doors are locked up tighter than the Krusty Krab formula. Don’t worry though, everyone’s favorite burger joint has not been closed down, but it will only be opened in the evenings as weekday lunch time is moving next door to the all-new Hamburger Mary’s Pub House. HM Pub House opened their doors last month and since then is becoming THE place to catch the latest Bucs or Lightning game while enjoying a variety of beers and wing flavors. Monday Night Football won’t be the same when you’re watching the game on the big screen with tons of Ybor friends and unlimited chicken wings. They also got you set with a late night breakfast menu, full bar and delicious eye candy. See ya on game day!

Award winning activism
Anyone who has met Ashley Brundage knows that she is absolutely remarkable. Not to brag but we have known it for some time, naming her one of Watermark’s Most Remarkable People in 2014 and it seems like the city of Tampa realizes how amazing she is as well. On November 19, the Tampa City Council unanimously voted to award Brundage a commendation from the city of Tampa. The motion was made by Councilman Guido Maniscalco of District 6 and seconded by Councilwoman Lisa J. Montelione of District 7. The honor is in recognition of Brundage’s community volunteerism and her being presented with the 2015 Performance Award PNC Bank this past November. Brundage not only is a community activist for transgender rights but she is also the president of the Tampa Bay Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, on the board of directors for the TampaBay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and by large one of the nicest people you will ever meet. A ceremony will be held at Tampa City Hall Dec. 17. Congratulations Ashley!

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Overheard in Orlando: The ghost of Fred Berliner

By : Anonymous
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All things Pointe to staying open
The Orlando Sentinel recently reported that the remaining restaurant for FMI, Funky Monkey at Pointe Orlando, wanted out of their lease, which was set to expire in 2019. Claiming that the construction walls that temporarily went up last year as part of an improvement overhaul of Pointe Orlando hurt their business, FMI balked. Of course, FMI had also filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in December of last year. Despite the high International Drive convention and tourist traffic, often boasted on their Facebook page that packed the restaurant, Eddie Nickell said that he and Nick Olivieri (who co-own FMI) were looking to move their business elsewhere plan to expand into a larger space. As of last week, Eddie Nickell said they were in the final stages of having a plan of reorganization approved by the courts and, despite the Sentinel’s story, Eddie said all of their creditors are on board with them. The plan will be to continue at full operation until June.

Give & Receive
Twas the season of giving and all through the land, people were providing, but mostly to a bigoted red can. But in its place there are other diverse people with needs. Like GLBT Center and Hope and Help with a pantry that feeds. With a call put out to all the helpers out there, folks from Brighthouse to the Prime Timers showed up with good tiding to share. Bikes were delivered for children to ride and even basic toiletries to help those on the side. You see, this season is about love and community and helping those that help others that let live and be judgment free.

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Catering to our needs: Michael Thomas cooks up a culture of giving

By : Jamie Hyman
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If we were to list all of the organizations who receive donated catering from John Michael Catering, readers would click away because who wants to read a list of dozens of names? That relentless generosity is why company owner Michael Thomas is a 2015 pick for Watermark’s Most Remarkable People.

Thomas’ company closed out 2014 with more than $100,000 in catering donated to more than 50 events, mostly fundraising events for non-profit organizations. They’re on track to top that in 2015, the company’s 20th year in business, with Thomas predicting they’ll donate about $125,000 in catering toward 60 events.

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12.3.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

When Dame David Bowie once asked us to “turn and face the strange,” because, you know, “ch-ch-ch-changes,” we had some idea what he was going on about. It wasn’t all platform shoes and glitter, shaved eyebrows and existential overstatement, the cold war and some cold cream – it was about evolving as people, living statements and art installations. Minus a trickle of pretension, that’s what this issue is largely about, too. We’re moving, not stopping; we’re trying, not giving up. We got this.

As several stories within this dangling, old-year issue purport, those changes don’t always come easy, and if we choose to roll our eyes and ignore our movements forward, we become the wrinkles of our checkered pasts. We become boring crows’ feet.

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Headdress Ball 2015 raises $325,000 for Hope and Help

By : Jamie Hyman
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Headdress Ball 2015 is in the books.

Here’s the press release from Hope and Help: 

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