S. Riviera, VivaLaRiviera.com
He’s been around forever and it’s been said (by yours truly) that he will still be around, along with Cher, Madonna and roaches after the Zombie Apocalypse. Lol Well maybe not so but he is here now. Author/Columnist/Journalist/Writer Michael Musto is an Icon of our times and even a Legend in our community. He is one of my all-time favorite personalities what with his bitchy, sassy comentaries on todays famous celebutards (a term he coined). He knows them all or at least knows all their secrets. Which makes him friend or foe? So, watch out bitches. He’s also dabbled into acting and appeared all over television and films alike as well as music videos. And like the Statue of Liberty he’s a New York staple. You may not be able to purchase tickets to explore him ala Lady Liberty but I bring him here just for you. Read on as we discuss New York City, Hollywood Hunks and of course his sex life. Oh and a little blind item that will leave you scampering your brain.
Samara: Where did you grow up and how was life for you as a gay youth?
Michael: I grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, an Italian-American residential area. But there was virtually no gay visibility–not only in my neighborhood, but in the media too, except for negative stereotypes being perpetrated, as well as a clinical sense that homosexuality was an illness. Growing up under these circumstances was challenging, to say the least. I had no idea what I was going to do with my gay feelings, and I didn’t know if I even had a future if I chose to be honest about them. Fortunately, I went over the bridge to college–I attended Columbia–and met gay people there and eventually got hooked into the LGBT nightlife, where I found a wonderful world of creative, soulful, and warm individuals who created an accepting family. I’ve never turned back since.
Samara: Have you always lived in NYC? Do you think you would ever leave it?
Michael: I’ve always lived in NYC and never left for more than a few weeks at a time. I just can’t exist anywhere else. Something about the changes of seasons–however horrible the winter is–appeals to me, since the diversity is in my blood, as opposed to places where there’s nothing but sunshine. Also, I can’t drive! In L.A., I’m always standing on boulevards, waiting for a friend to pick me up. New York is for me, and I don’t care if it’s been gentrified, overpriced, cleaned up, and dumbed down. It’s where trends either start or come to fruition, and it’s always going to be number one.
Samara: How did you get into writing?
Michael: As a kid, I would go see movies at the local theater, then come home and scribble little reviews on index cards for myself. It became a cathartic form of expression for me, since I was shy and didn’t talk much. In high school and college, I wrote for the school papers, and when I graduated Columbia, I aggressively went after a career as a writer, sending my work out and finding that it was accepted and that one thing led to another. I became a successful columnist and can’t imagine doing anything else. I have no other skills!
Samara: What advice do you have for someone who wants to be a writer?
Michael: Find your own voice! Learn from people who inspire you, and then write your ass off until you’ve discovered your voice. After that, keep working at it and honing it. And push yourself. No one’s going to knock your door down, begging you to work for them, unless you first let yourself be known. So send out your links and your clips, along with ideas of what you want to do for specific publications and sites.
Samara: What do you think of the whole social media scene? How does it affect your writing?
Michael? It’s a fabulous new world where you can connect with people you lost track of, meet new people, and spread your work out there, so it’s read by greater numbers, I resisted Facebook and Twitter at first, but I have to say that despite the dark side–like the dummies and yucks out there in cyberspace–it’s given me a lot of support, inspiration, and good times. Another down side is that it sometimes makes you go for eye-grabbing themes and titles to catch people’s attention, but that’s actually nothing new.
Samara: What up and coming Hollywood Hunks get you excited?
Michael: The Hemsworth brothers, Chris Pine, Logan Lerman, Miles Teller, and anyone else with lots and lots of talent.
Samara: What do you think of Jamie Dornan in the up coming Fifty Shades of Grey Movie?
Michael: The expectations for the movie are not very high, but Jamie is a cutie, and if he ever wants to rehearse at my place… I’m just sayin’.
Samara: Now are you one to give sex advice or receive sex advice?
Michael: I am the last one to give sex advice because I am terrible in bed. And you can give me sex advice all you want, but you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. So I’d have to say neither! But if anyone wants to give me fashion advice, I’d definitely listen. Some of my outfits are eyesores!
Samara: What are your latest projects?
Michael: I might do another compilation book, one containing all my lists (like “10 NYC Songs That Are Better Than Taylor Swift’s” and “10 Lifetime Movies I Never Want To See”). But otherwise, I’m just writing up a storm as usual, as well as appearing on TV channels like CNN and PBS with my saucy commentary.
Samara: And where can we find your main columns?
Michael: I write a weekly column for Out.com called “Musto! The Musical!” I also write weekly blogs for papermag.com and theblot.com. And I write feature stories for the New York Times Styles section.
Samara: One last thing. Can you give us a little blind item?
Michael: Which enduring pop superstar is so cheap, she’ll go to dinner with 15 people and not even chip in a fake penny when the bill comes?