I have written before about the town I live in. It's a bit Stars Hollow like in it's love of holiday's and festivals. It also has no tolerance for those who want to lead normal live on a holiday. Our town shuts down, and I mean completely at 5pm on Christmas Eve. The shut down is so severe, the local tv station post the one gas station and drug store that is open over the holiday. The stores don't open at midnight on Christmas night, nor at 9a.m on the 26th. They remain closed until the morning of the 27th, and that is when Boxing Day sales begin.
As an adult, I have come to appreciate this shut down, but as a kid it was annoying. I was chomping at the bit to spent that $20 bill from Aunt Irene, and hated having to wait until the 27th. The one good thing, that with both school, and most of the stores closed, Christmas was more than a day, but a week. A week of spending most of our time in our pj's. Even went we went out, to visit friends, or even play in the snow, it was our pajama's we put back on when we came in. We watched cartoons all day, except when mom watched her soaps, and played with our new Christmas toys and games.
This year, I returned to school to take a few classes, and am feeling a bit of déjà vu to those pajama days. I have had a few commitments, and have been on a road a bit to get to my family for Christmas, but after the 28th, am planning on 3 full pajama days! It doesn't really matter if you actually wear pajamas at night, most people these days don't. I don't actually have a full set of pj's, but two flannel pajama bottoms, just for wearing on cold winter days. I hope you all get at least one or two before life starts up again (for those who actually get a brief pause) after the New Year.
Brent Barrett and Karen Ziemba in the Encores! concert revival.
The Pajama Game
Is the game I'm in.
And I'm proud to be
In The Pajama Game
I love it.
I think my love of guys in Pajamas began with my high school production of The Pajama Game. My experience is that leads in high school musicals are not always chosen by voice or talent. Many of us theatre geeks often ended up with secondary roles or in the chorus. I nabbed the role of Prez in our production and had a blast singing Her Is. The leads, especially the male leads at our school, were often popular guys, or good looking jocks the drama teacher could persuade to give 'acting' a try. They guy who got the role of Sid Sorokin in our production was a bit of an ass, but he sang ok, and as our drama couch predicted, was hot enough with his shirt off to draw in an audience who may not have otherwise spent an evening at the school musical.
As most actors who get the role of Sid, high school productions or otherwise, find out, they are supposed to appear in shirtless, in just pajama bottoms in the shows closing number. This tradition was began by the late great John Raitt, who appeared shirtless in both the original 1954 Broadway production, and in the 1957 film version.
Some schools, and some actors choose to keep a undershirt on, keeping Sid's nips covered up, but it sort of ruins the moment. The whole idea was to have the couple sharing one pair of pj's, with a corresponding line in the script. The Sid in my school's production played volleyball and was a swimmer, and although we never became close, I did enjoy standing next to him, and holding his hand at each night's curtain call. (see my update on Harry Connick Jr in the comment section, thanks Dave)
You can thank Carl Proctor, and his images of Keith, for today's pajama day theme. When I was working on my Ten Celebration, I knew not only I wanted to feature Carl's work, but also again revisit his work with Keith. It was Carl's images of Keith that first had me contacting the Atlanta photographer back in 2011.
The first time I featured Carl's images of Keith, (Visual Stimulation) Carl sent on many images of Keith, in and out of various pieces of wardrobe. Some of those images, were from this set featuring Keith in his pajama bottoms. When I was working on Ten, I asked Carl to send on some shots from some of there early work together, and decided to save this series to help warm up a cold winters day.
There were also some great shots of Keith in a red onesie, (on The OVER-FLOW:) but I decided to stick to the pajamas. If you look closely at Keith pj's, and why wouldn't you, you can see how perfectly they fit today's theme. The image pattern on Keith's pajama pants features Santa, not in the North Pole, but down south. Santa's on vacation, surrounded by palm tree's and beach umbrella's.
After a long week of flying around the globe, Santa, like the rest of us, deserves some rest and relaxation. Santa luckily has some reindeer to drop him off in the Bahamas, but for many of us... it's our living rooms that we transform into our relaxation paradise.
I love that Keith is holding a pillow, primed and ready for a pillow fight. Pillow fights between women are often depicted as highly sexual, but not the same for guys. Maybe it's because many us had our first pillow fights with a sibling, and my pillow fights with my brother were brutal. They began in fun, but they often got quite aggressive, with my father intervening before one of us got hurt. Today's pillows might not hurt, but our heavy feathered pillows in the 80's could knock you across a room.
Having a 'pillow fight' with someone you're attracted to, is a completely different story. The goal is not to hurt, or even to win. The goal is the release of energy, and to get your opponent hot and sweaty. To create situations during game play where physical contact is unavoidable and the odd flash of skin and especially falling down, or yanked down pajama pants is par for the course.
'If eyes are the windows to the soul; then shop windows are just as revealing. They reveal the soul of the shop.'
I have visited New York many times over the years. With all my trips however, early November was the closest I came to being there at Christmas. I have dreamed of replicating many of the holiday scenes I have memorized from films. Walking the streets at Christmas, a light snow coming down of course, and enjoying the holiday window displays. I think that's one of the reasons that I'm so drawn to Richard Rothstein's images.
Almost every photo of Richard's I have posted features a model beautifully interacting with the city of New York. Places many of us know, but also locations, roof tops, alley ways, side streets and neighborhood that most tourists don't ever notice or ever get to see. They are corners of city that only those passionate about the their surroundings, understand and appreciate. They are also both the location, and the inspiration for so much of Richard's work.
i love the quote I used at the start of this piece. But given Templar is a retail consultant, her focus is more on the 'sale' than the 'male'. When it comes to art, the soul reveal is always about the artist and image creator. Richard's soul and passion is always beautifully on display in his work. Both is passion for the city, and the many men he explores, and captures within it.
When Richard sent on his of the ultra hot Tony Ferrari earlier in the month, I felt as though he gifted me with December in New York. I featured the first set just before Christmas, with Tony wrapped in lights in front of the windows. (HERE:) In this series of shots, Tony is again in front of those windows, getting comfy in his Christmas onesie, a new holiday sweater and course his, his wool socks.
Richard's images of Tony beautifully illustrate both the artistry and soul of the man behind the lens. Unlike however, the window display's at Macy's, Barneys and Bloomingdale's, Richard's windows are not ones you can simply enjoy briefly as you pass by. They require a prolonged stop, and draw you back to revisit, again and again.