Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *
Reload Captcha

Tootsie Rawls proves it does get better!

By October 26, 2012

Mario Mosely hot leatherman by jay lawtonActor, singer, choreographer, Drag-U guest instructor, Leatherman and Los Angelino Mario Mosley lives day to day like most actors in Los Angeles, attending one casting call after another. Until recently at least when he attended a casting call for the Los Angeles Gay Men's Chorus production of It Gets Better Musical.  The panel of directors and producers were faced with several challenges not typical of casting couches in Los Angeles.  Mosley recalls the casting call meeting the panel asking several questions, "...they asked how I felt about potential protesters. I remember thinking then, I have to do this, oh my god, I can make a difference and I get to do it with a bunch of gay guys!"


Mario was cast in the "It Gets Better Musical" role of Tootsie Rawls, a middle aged drag queen he describes as a combination of Jakee Harry and Delta Burke.  He laughed as he remembered the first day at rehearsals he rolled up in his ghetto fabulousness, Dodge Charger, black jeans, leather boots, black shirt and mirrored glasses and walk through this group of guys and they just kind of looked at him sideways.  "We were going around doing the first read through and announcing who we were playing and the others asked me if I would be able to play the part of a drag queen". 

I asked him what his response was to the others disbelief and there was a moment of silence before he continued, "I can remember when I was younger thinking, oh drag queens are so gross. I had no reason to feel that way, it wasn't meant to be hateful or mean you know, just not for me.  Then as I grew up, I began choreography, worked with many queens, it opened doors, including working on Drag U recently."  He smiled brightly "It's amazing, the shoes, makeup, dancing it's (drag is) an amazing art form.  I think my biggest hurdle, you know besides the shoes, is going to be just letting go and going there, allowing myself to be a chocolate chewy candy treat. Oh my god the shoes!"

The It Gets Better Musical is an original script Written and directed by Liesel Reinhart with musical direction by Morton Kier, stemmed from a 2010 YouTube Video by Dan Savage and is a collaboration between the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Speak Theatre Arts and the It Gets Better Project to inspire hope for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth facing harassment.  The score, to be performed by Mosley and is co-stars Jason Currie, Tyler Houston, Tod Macofsky, Sacha Sacket, and Drew Tablak contains pop music ranging from Janice Ian to Manson.  It opened Friday October 19, 2012 at the Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa. The production is slated to travel the country and will incorporate local talent to incorporate broader issues of diversity and tolerance and individual civic challenges with the goal of reminding us that it does get better.  It Gets Better will begin a tour with programs and shows in Kansas, Washington State, and Pennsylvania.

mario mosely as tootsie rawlsThese men not only perform but speak during the days leading up to performances, working in the community performing excerpts and dealing with the issues that face LGBT Youth - bullying, tolerance and acceptance.  Students will watch videos from the project, and respond with their own videos, poems and stories.  "I really want to convey hope", he pointed out.  "But I don't want kids struggling with who they are to think it's easy, it's not.  It may be a struggle for them for years, they may have to push parts of who they are to the side to survive until they can get out of the situation they are in."  Reminiscing he went on for me it took a minute." He went on to describe his life as a young man, living with a mother whose situation was cyclical and he knew at that young age he needed to do something to break that cycle.  He describes moving in with a conservative Christian family, where he was given an education, but taught that his sexual orientation was evil.    I remember thinking that I just had to make it  a few more years, then I could leave, I pushed my sexuality aside, stayed focused and hoped...I was right." 

Tootsie is a fun, classic motherly character who grew up with two sisters, playing dress up but never getting to go out.  She always gave advice to her sisters, he wants this character to continue that history of advice, he wants to speak out to the leaders of each community, gay-straight alliance membership, and kids across the country, knowing that this show can make a dent, provide resources,  to let these kids going through the same thing he did that there is in deed hope.


Donate to the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles

Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles - It Gets Better Video