VA Pride’s Ari Gold Talks Faith, Music, and Remixes
Ari Gold – the singer, not the sleazy agent from Entourage – will be heating up the River City for Virginia PrideFest. In between polishing up his autobiographical play, advocating for gay rights within his Orthodox jewish faith and releasing his sixth album, he took time out of his Rosh Hashanah festivities to chat with GayRVA.
He even climbed a hill (!) to get phone reception from his family’s Catskills home. Gold proved to be a sweet, warm guy. After missing three calls from him he still didn’t complain about having to make time for us, but simply said, “It’s nice to reflect on the holidays.”
GayRVA is real excited to have you in Richmond for Pride Fest. Have you been to Richmond before?
I have not been there. I could be forgetting something that was real fun (laughs) but I’m sure I’ve passed through. As a kid I did a little bit of touring and traveling but I know for sure I haven’t done Virginia Pride.
Seeing as you’ve mentioned when you were a kid you did some touring, you had a role in the cartoon Jem. What did you use to do for that? I loved that show!
You sound like you’re from Australia?
Yeah! (Mel Coci is our Fall intern, she’s on a visa from the AU)
So Jem used to play in Australia? Cool! I used to play the voice of an eight-year-old Vietnamese girl who was one of the Starlight orphans
Ha! That’s pretty cool.
It was very cool, as I was a big fan of Jem before I got the job so it was like, a huge career highlight at the time. It still is!
You’ve also got an autobiographical musical, Ari Gold – Untitled: The Making Of A Gay Pop Star. What’s the latest news with that project?
It’s in development and I’ve done a couple of different readings and workshops. I’m working with a new director right now, with David Drake. He wrote and starred in a play that was very well received called The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me which was actually a kind of important play in the history of the LGBT rights movement and coping with AIDS trauma. He’s helping me as well, he’s directing. We’re figuring out what the next steps are going to be. It’s been a very exciting process.
Where would you like it to be performed?
I definitely am hoping to tour around. I would love to come to Virginia certainly!
What have you been working on recently with your music?
My new album came out this summer; it’s called Play My Fucking Remix (laughs). So we mixed a retrospective. It’s remixes of songs from my past studio albums. It is my sixth album. There are two new songs on it as well. The newest single is Play My Fucking Record.
Was the remix album a lot of fun to do?
Yeah! I love remixes because, for the most part, I usually produce, arrange or collaborate on the production or arrangement of the song with whomever I’m working with. But, with the remixes for the most part you let go and let someone completely reinterpret the music so you know, I have had such great remixes, some of which I hadn’t even released.
Then I commissioned some new ones and put a few favorite ones on there too, of ones I wanted to make sure people got a chance to hear. It’s sort of a compilation of all these different remixed versions of my songs.
You work with Jewish people who identify as gay. Could you please tell us about some of the work you do in that field?
It is mainly through my autobiographical play. I grew up in a very religious environment, Orthodox. I wanted to make sure I was honoring all the parts that made me the person I am. Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you can’t still identify with your religious beliefs. It’s just about bringing all aspects of your identity and celebrating and honoring everything that we are.
I just have to ask- Ari Gold from Entourage: Did the writers get that name from you or is it a coincidence?
(Laughs) You’ll have to ask them that question! I’ve spent a lot of my career trying to prove that Jews can also be out and proud pop stars and we’re not all pushy, behind-the-scenes agents. And then he comes out.
With the exact same name!
I had already established myself at the time before the show came out so it was very interesting that they would do that.
There wasn’t a copyright issue there or anything?
Had I copyrighted my name there might have been but I didn’t think to do that (laughs). That’s a character and I’m the real Ari Gold.
Thanks for taking the time out from your holiday and enjoy the day with your family.
Thank you! I’m looking forward to coming out to Virginia and putting on a good show!
Attorney General Mark Herring on VA PrideFest: ‘If there was ever a moment for love, courage, and yes—PRIDE!—this is it!’
The following letter is from Attorney General Mark Herring, which was featured in the 2016 Virginia PrideFest Pride Guide. You can read the guide in its entirety here, otherwise check out words from Herring, below: ———- If there was ever a moment for love, courage, and yes—PRIDE!—this is it! We have come so far together [...]September 20, 2016
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