Category Archives: Interviews

Brad Pitt Quits Smoking

brad pitt 10 Brad Pitt Quits SmokingBrad Pitt testifies to the power of fundamental choice, telling W Magazine that becoming a father inspired him to quit smoking cigarettes:

In the late 90’s, Brad was something of a slacker, “spending too much time smoking things I shouldn’t be,” Pitt recalls. “I was asking, What’s it about? It couldn’t just be wanting a successful movie or something. Then I got more engaged, started studying more and [my] interests blossomed.”

Pitt admits that his own mortality frightens him—”I’m scared to death of death,” he says—and he also acknowledges that becoming a father inspired him to give up a deadly 20-year habit. “I quit smoking,” he says when asked how family life has changed him. “‘That was the only thing that got me to quit. That was it. Done.”


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25 Random Things About Me

sam page february 2 2009 25 Random Things About MeIf you’re on Facebook, you’ve likely been “tagged” with this Internet meme, in which you’re supposed to share 25 things, facts, habits or goals that your friends don’t know about you.

Here’s my list:

  1. I moved to Los Angeles 15 years ago, and while I’ve found so much success and happiness here, I miss living in a smaller town.
  2. I’m trying on the idea of a life without shame.
  3. A quote that’s really stuck with me:
    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” (Eleanor Roosevelt).
  4. I’m planning to uncover what’s physically possible if I honestly cleaned up my nutrition. I’m using a great website to track my nutrition (thanks, Eric).
  5. At 6-foot-3-inches I’m somewhat clumsy and struggle with spatial awareness. Like, this week while training a client, I nearly tipped over backwards when I tripped over my own foot. Luckily, I caught myself.
  6. After eight years bleaching my hair, I’m making a conscious choice to embrace the gray, a la Anderson Cooper.
  7. Sex, sunsets, Bronson, and licorice. What more does a guy need?
  8. I love film scores, and they’ve formed the soundtracks to many periods of my life. A few of my favorites: Brokeback Mountain, Moulin Rouge, and Run Lola Run.
  9. I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich pretty much every day.
  10. My favorite food used to be chicken fajitas, but it’sbeen replaced by my mother-in-law’s slum gullion, which is sublime.
  11. I consider myself a Zen Christian, a term coined by my college journalism professor Michael Kirkhorn (R.I.P.) On that note, I believe that a historical person named Jesus existed, but I don’t believe he was the only manifestation of the divine. I believe there are many names for what we call “God” and that no one religious sect has a corner on the truth.
  12. Speaking of college, I attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, known for its basketball team. After graduating with a double major in speech and journalism, I made ends meet working as a funeral singer.
  13. I’ve performed in the following operas:  Die Fledermaus, the Ballad of Baby Doe, and La Boheme.  I’ve auditioned for both the Metropolitan and Los Angeles Opera companies.
  14. The habit I’d most like to break is biting my cuticles.
  15. I found a copy of Playgirl when I was 5, and shoplifted a red Speedo at age 13. Seven years later, at age 22, I came out as a gay man. I was diagnosed HIV+ at 29, after a year of performing in adult films. I’m not implying any kind of cause and effect—that’s just the timeline.  I have no regrets.
  16. For the last eight years, I’ve been working full time as a personal trainer. My decision to become a trainer was directly informed by my desire to take my health and fitness more seriously in the wake of the above diagnosis. But, I’m not perfect and I’m always trying to find balance and get out of my own way.
  17. If I forget my headphones in the gym, I’m screwed. I work out almost every weekday, but I don’t do enough cardio. As a way to keep me accountable, I started posting photographs of the LED screen from my time on the cardio machines to my Facebook profile.
  18. I’m rethinking how I feel about the terms “fag” and “queer.”  I get the whole “reclaiming the word” thing, but I reject that the words ever belonged to the gay community in the first place. How can a pejorative term ever be reconstituted as positive?
  19. The physical accomplishment of which I’m the proudest is completing the 2000 AIDSRide from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which took 7 days and a whole lot of Gatorade.
  20. The first book I remember reading is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, but I don’t really like fiction.  I have a tattoo of  the main character, “wild” Max, on my right shoulder.  My second tattoo (the word “Discipline” across my back) took four hours. The tattoos taken together represent for me the dynamic tension of my life experience.
  21. The last book I read was Where’s My Fifteen Minutes by Howard Bragman—a really great read.
  22. My favorite sound are “I’m home,” which is tied with the sound of a rainstorm pounding against the roof.  The two together?  Heaven.
  23. My favorite quote of all time:
    “I want to beg you, as much as I can, be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves—they are like locked rooms or books written in a foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you now because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live some distant day into the answer.” (Rainer Maria Rilke,  Letters to a Young Poet).
  24. I don’t agree with Rush Limbaugh or Dr. Laura, but I listen to both of them. Show me an absolutist and I’ll show you a hypocrite.
  25. Everyone should work in a bar or wait tables at least once. It’s a microcosm for the whole world. Also, there’s no place on Earth more humbling than a porn set.

Advance Equal Rights With the Click of Your Camera

sambronsonpage1 Advance Equal Rights With the Click of Your Cameraconny van dyke 154x200 Advance Equal Rights With the Click of Your Camera

After the disastrous No on 8 campaign (which Robin Tyler and I talked about), I’m really glad to see cool new grassroots sites like this one launched by my buddy Rick Garman.

Here’s a little background about this important site and how you can help:

How did you come up with the idea for Citizens for Equality and the “We Are” Campaign?

RICK: I actually came up with the idea of an elected body of representatives for the gay community a long time ago when I got frustrated with what I saw as a lack of true leadership and leaders. But it was what I believe was a disorganized and poorly run campaign against Proposition 8 (along with my questions about whether gay marriage is the actual battle we should be putting all of our resources and energy behind) that made me finally do something about it.

The “We Are” campaign became the launching pad for Citizens For Equality as a way to get people involved and engaged.  I got that idea from the sorryeverybody.com website where people sent in pictures of themselves with sign apologizing to the works for the 2004 election of George bush.

I love that all the images use the words, “We Are” — why did you choose that language?

I wanted “We Are” for it’s positivity.  To show the world that we are just like everyone else.  We are doctors and lawyers, mothers and fathers, husbands, wives, strong, weak, young, old, worried about the economy, worried about the environment, bowlers, card players, Christian, Jewish… We are human and if people can see that, they may be a little less inclined to do things like vote yes on Prop 8.  Imagine hundreds, thousands…. More… of those photos saying We Are… What a statement that will make!

What are you asking folks to do?

People can get involved in a variety of ways.  They can send in a picture through the website and encourage others to do the same.  All of the instructions and guidelines plus a bunch of suggestions are on the site.  And remember, our straight friends can participate too. People can also join the organization by filling out a simple form.

We are also actively seeking people to be on the steering committee that will set up the elections for (hopefully) late 2009 and people will be able to register and vote for their representatives and on other issues.  We’ll be seeking candidates and advisors also of course.  But the best way to stay informed is to join on the website.