NOH8: The Cause, The Campaign, The Interview
Friday, 21 May 2010 20:54 | Written by Sophia Recalde
Photographs by Nicole Berry
Proposition 8, the prop that ended up refusing to grant marriage equality in California, has struck a chord with not just residents, but with a nation that recognizes the bigger discrimination still going on in our country. Photographer Adam Bouska and businessman Jeff Parshley set out to be a voice in the move to get Proposition 8 overturned through their photographed silent protests. Through their NOH8 Campaign, Adam and Jeff have seen thousands of people willing to be part of such a great cause by getting their photo taken with duct tape over their mouths and a NOH8 temporary tattoo on their face.
Cliq Magazine: What inspired you to start the NOH8 campaign?
Adam: We initially started in direct response to Prop 8. We took part in the rally in West Hollywood. We were inspired and were emotionally moved by the experience and we wanted to do more for the cause. Early that night we started taking pictures with Jeff and from there Jeff posted it on Myspace.
CM: How did the campaign take off?
Jeff: It took off through social networking. Everybody’s friends see it, and they ask about it. Once they are informed, they want to be a part of it. The first maybe 1,000 were everyday people through social networking.
CM: How has it changed both of your lives?
A: …It has given me access to work with new clients, meet new people, and help give exposure to our NOH8 campaign. It always keeps me busy. (Laughs.)
J: Mentally it has changed me. I probably feel for more people than I did before because I wasn’t an activist. Now I see other people’s lives and I take that into consideration. Makes me want to do as much as I can.
A: In the process it educated us and opened our eyes. The fact that someone’s rights can be voted on and taken away…It’s not the fact of marriage equality, it’s the fact that someone’s human rights are at stake. And that is what we are trying to relay.
CM: What are the positives and negatives of becoming well known?
A: Positive—the power to influence more and actually do something proactive with it.
J: Not a negative, but sad thing is to see opposition within the community.
CM: What has been your favorite experience so far?
A: The culmination of the whole experience and being able to be a part of this. It was cool when we went to Dallas, because we were able to see other people from a different state responding to what is going on in California. In their own respect, they were reaching out to us which was very special to us…In DC we joined a student lead rally for the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” which went from Washington Monument to George Washington University. All the students had duct tape on their mouths and at the end they tore off their duct tape and screamed in front of the White House. It was great to see art turn into a life movement.
J: The one that sticks out the most is when we went back to my home state and we shot NOH8 photos in the high school I went to in New Hampshire. My gym teacher and high school friends came to the photo shoot. It was great to see people who live on the other side of the country support our cause in their community…For them to show their support was icing on the cake
A: Another fun moment is when we got to go on the set of Glee to take a NOH8 photo of Jane Lynch.
CM: What are the next plans for NOH8?
A: Still building up our organization. We will keep on doing open shoots and from there take our cause to raise awareness to different cities and states.
J: Showing that this is not a California issue. We won’t stop until homophobia no longer exists and discrimination is a thing of the past.
To get involved and find out more information on the NOH8 Campaign or Adam and Jeff, please visit:
Miss California Interview - Confessions of a Twenty-Something Beauty Queen
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 16:39 | Written by Kristen Fogle
Nicole Johnson isn’t just your typical LA looker. As the reigning Miss California, not only has she got a job that most girls covet, but she’s getting ready for one of the most watched televised events of the season—The Miss USA pageant. On May 16th in Vegas, Nicole will take to the stage to compete for the ultimate beauty queen prize.
This down-to-earth former Trojan from Westlake Village, CA took time to share her thoughts on what she’s been doing to prep for the big night, how she got to this day…and her dreams of being a Formula One pit reporter.
Yea, that’s not a typo.
What we learned in Nicole’s interview is that she’s going to give every pageant girl (we’re lookin’ at you, Florida!), a run for her money. Not only by being a composed, confident, accomplished (and can you say stunning??) 24 year old, but by granting a glimpse of a gal that’s more snowboarding and dirt bikes than smiles and photo ops.
Cliq Magazine: The Miss USA competition is coming up soon. Are you getting nervous?
Nicole Johnson: I am not nervous whatsoever. It’s funny, I always get asked that questions and I’m like, “What do you mean nervous?” I’m just excited. I just want to get there.
CM: Well, congrats. What do you do to prep in the last few weeks?
NJ: My main preparation is probably mental, but that comes along with all the exercise I’ve been doing. I’ve changed my diet, though not significantly. I’ve always eaten healthily, but I’ve either gotten rid of some stuff or added in things that my nutritionist thought might help. And then shopping…I mean, I’ve done so much shopping for the right gown, the right interview outfit, what I’m going to wear when I check in. It’s been a lot of fun…But for me, honestly, I think the biggest thing is working out and looking your best. If you’re going to be on stage in front of however many viewers, you’ve got to look your best.
CM: Absolutely. So here’s a question for you. A couple years back I did a Miss California preliminary and was stuck with a really hard question on stage. How do you tackle difficult or controversial questions?
NJ: You know for me, it’s all about remaining true to myself when answering a question, and if it a controversial question, there is a fine line you have to walk. In the same regard, you must honor what you believe.
CM: What’s your platform and how did you choose it?
NJ: My platform is education and I chose it mainly because my mom’s a school teacher. I’ve always been involved within the school system. Prior to winning and to last year, I was a tutor for at-risk students…But now that I am Miss California I get to go and do that again and tutor students who are at risk of not graduating high school. I think it’s very important to have a diploma whether or not one decides to continue on to a university. It’s one of the biggest things you can do for yourself.
CM: How long have you been doing pageants and about how many have you done?
NJ: I read about a local one in the newspaper at the age of 17, Miss California Teenager. I thought, “Why not? I’ll give it a shot?” and that one I took first runner-up in. Then I was approached by America’s National Teenager and they asked me if I wanted to compete in the state of California, which I did. So I competed in that and I won and went to nationals, won second runner-up...That was it for my teen pageants. Then I came into Miss USA. So I’ve done a total of six pageants because I competed for Miss California three times.
CM: Do you ever get flak from people for being a pageant girl?
NJ: Always! Even my best girlfriends tease me about it…I think you start talking to a person and they realize how much you’ve accomplished and how knowledgeable and involved pageant girls are and it changes people’s stereotype about the pageant girl.
CM: Well I know you’re involved in all kinds of interesting activities…dirt biking and snowboarding among other things…
NJ: I am a huge action sports junky. Right now everything is on hold though. My mom is very, I dunno, not OK with me doing any of it right now. I’m huge into snowboarding, dirt biking…my boyfriend is into jujitsu, so I’ve been learning that…wakeboarding, surfing if I can. Anything where I can take a risk, I guess, is awesome.
CM: Is it true that you want to be a Formula One pit reporter?
NJ: Yes, that is very true. Ever since I can remember, my dad would sit me on his lap and we would watch the races…I’ve been watching for a long time.
CM: You also graduated from USC with honors and a degree in Communication. Are you also a college sports fan?
NJ: I love college sports but particularly football. Football I have a huge passion for. I actually like college football more than the NFL. I just think there’s more spirit and there’s more of a backing behind it than when you get into the NFL.
CM: You still live with your parents?
NJ: I do. My parents are divorced so I get the joy of going back and forth and so I get two places to hide out at.
CM: Well, if you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be?
NJ: You know honestly, I don’t think I could live anywhere else than Southern California…
CM: What are your plans after the pageant? Or have you thought that far in advance?
NJ: Well, you always get asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” But my main focus right now is getting to Miss USA and hopefully winning Miss USA. And if that happens then I have at least a year of my life planned out! Otherwise, I want to pursue my goal of being a pit reporter and just be happy. Just being happy and know that I’m accomplishing everything I want to do.
CM: Lastly, for women that want to be involved in the Miss California program or Miss USA program, what’s a good first step?
NJ: The first step is to get online and apply…all of the information is online. If you are really curious, find me on Facebook. I am more than happy to answer questions when I have the time to. It’s an incredible experience, and I strongly promote that pageants are incredibly empowering to women.
Tuesday, 27 April 2010 00:00 | Written by Mike Kay / Megan Looney
Coachella was for sure this year’s big concert event. Check out what writer/photographer Megan Looney snapped for us while checking it out.
Indio, California, a small town in the middle of the dessert outside of Palm Springs, was rocked this April by its hosting of Coachella. Throughout the three day stretch of the Festival, thousands of people flocked out to witness the most successful Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival yet. By day, the mobs of people walked around the grounds, enjoying the art, shops, and smaller music groups. At night, the whole festival grounds transformed into one big party, all jumping and dancing as the headliners showcased their greatest hits. Not only the music, but the art, the environment, and the stories along the way made this festival one that will not soon be forgotten.
A Vegas One-Nighter
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 05:24 | Written by Katie Barlow
You can do Vegas right, and you can definitely do Vegas wrong. You can do Vegas for cheap, or you can drop some serious cash! Cliq is going to walk you through a 1 Day Vegas experience for affordable rates and still hitting high end locations.
Regardless of where you stay, make sure you arrive in Vegas early, don’t waste your day away by sleeping in! We recommend getting there at 10:00AM so you can check in to your room, relax a bit, and spend the day in the sunlight by the pool. If you have time, take a walk through Caesar’s Palace, and make a stop at Fat Tuesdays. Huge yard sticks for $18.00 that taste like Jamba Juice and will have you spinning.
For a high end and unique dinner experience at a low rate, you must experience Khotan, Treasure Island’s Pan-Asian Cuisine. They have seating available with a view of the strip and Sirens Cove. Khotan features Asian Tapas including skewers, rolls, tempura and more starting at $3! Some of our favorites include their Chicken Lollipops, Sliders, Crispy Asparagus, and their Crab Lo Mein ‘Alfredo’. The Chicken Lollipops are a bit spicy, but perfect if you can take the heat! It can get pretty busy, so make reservations. http://www.treasureisland.com/restaurants/khotan.aspx
We recommend that you go to dinner ready to go out for the night. Vegas offers some of the hottest nightclubs in the world. Awarded 2010’s “Mega Club” of the year – in the nation, XS at Encore is an enormous scene. Along with a beautiful indoor dance floor, they have a huge outdoor presence with cabanas, mini pool areas, and gambling tables. It’s a tough place to get in to, so make sure you arrive early, dressed to impress. It’s recommended to get a table to avoid lines and guarantee admission. Go to www.xslasvegas.com for more information
After hours, it’s always fun to hop around different casinos to gamble. If you get tired, grab an Ex Drinks Pure Energy to get you through the night. It’s the Natural Alternative so you won’t wake up with that hard hangover to kill your ride home. www.ExDrinks.com
There are many hotels to choose from, we recommend booking directly through the hotel. A few great options for cost effective stays are Treasure Island or Flamingo. If you want to go a bit classier, try Caesar’s Palace or the Venetian.
Stay tuned for more Vegas reviews to come every season!
Legally Blonde “Bends and Snaps” Its Way to the Stage
Monday, 19 April 2010 22:07 | Written by Kristen Fogle
You know the story. When Elle Woods is dumped by her boyfriend Warner, she packs up the stilettos and moves all the way to Harvard. While trying to get him back and make it as a “serious” lawyer, fun and frivolity ensue.
If you’re itchin’ for more Elle, but not sure if your DVD can take that much more play, give Legally Blonde: The Musical a go! Created by a dean's list of top-of-their-class Broadway talent, including Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray), composer and lyricist Laurence O'Keefe (Batboy), and Nell designer David Rockwell (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), the show earns serious praise for taking an amusing movie and making it into an even more memorable musical.
Becky Gulsvig stars as Elle and provides not only an admirable take on Reese’s original role, but simulateously manages to make it her own. Other favorite characters return, including Emmet, Paulette, and creeper Callahan. There are even a few furry cast mates that make an appearance!!
You might think that only die hard LB fans would enjoy this production. But you would be, like, wrong! Even boyfriends that have been dragged along appreciate musical numbers that attempt to decipher age old questions such as “Gay or European.”
The end of the tour is nearing, so if you “object” to letting this pink clad program go away, get online and book yourself a ticket to a show near you:
For more information and to book tickets, visit: http://tour.legallyblondethemusical.com
Special thanks to Jerry Pilato of Broadway San Diego for letting Cliq in on the fun!