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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 13, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 11
SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
Frankie Grande to co-host White Party Palm Springs
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
Frankie Grande to co-host White Party Palm Springs

by Teriyaki Temple
aka David Luc Nguyen
SGN Contributing Writer

SGN's Teriyaki Temple (aka David Luc Nguyen) catches up with the Frankie Grande: Social Media Bad Boy, TV personality ('Big Brother 16'), Broadway star (Rock of Ages) and Big Bro of Pop-Princess (Ariana Grande) about everything from meeting Madonna, religion, favorite moments from 2014 and his upcoming appearance at White Party Palm Springs as co-host with Kelly Osborne!

FRANKIE GRANDE: A GAY LATINO OPRAH?
Unless you've been completely out of the loop or perhaps living under a rock (of ages) you have probably heard of Frankie Grande. Prior to this interview I admit I only knew of him by several nicknames including:

o 'Ariana Grande's Gay older brother'

o 'That Gay guy on 'Big Brother 16' that was always snuggling with the hot straight guy'

o 'One of YouTube's Gay Dude Channel hosts'

o 'That half-naked pretty boy that hosted the Grammy Awards Red Carpet'

o 'Franz from Rock of Ages on Broadway'

After a little research on him I was blown away by his story. He's so much more than a pop-star's brother, a master of social media, and reality TV star. Not only is he driven and super smart (three college degrees) FRANKIE GRANDE COULD BE THE NEXT GENERATION'S GAY LATINO (or is it Latina) OPRAH!!!

Make sure to check out my pink box at the end of the article when I double stuff Oprah and Frankie side-by-side.



Last month I had the opportunity to catch up with Frankie when he was in Malawi (that's in Africa, for you less geographically inclined readers) where he has partnered with buildOn (www.buildon.org). He was breaking ground on the Frankie J. Grande School using the money he won from his time on 'Big Brother 16.' We are so lucky he took the time to chat with us.

Teriyaki Temple: Can you tell me a little bit about the organization (buildOn) and how you became involved?

Frankie Grande: I founded an organization in 2009, Broadway in South Africa, doing community outreach with children in the South African townships. Broadway in South Africa dissolved in 2013 and I then began working with buildOn (2 years ago) and I decided to build my first school in Malawi.

Teriyaki: What's been the most memorable experience from this trip (or previous trips) to Africa?

Frankie: Breaking ground on the Frankie J. Grande School in Malawi earlier this month. The school is being built with the money I won on 'Big Brother' in my grandfather's name.

Teriyaki: Is there something you witnessed there that you wish you could share with everyone back home in the states?

Frankie: Over my past two trips I have witnessed how much pride and joy the communities take in helping build THEIR school, because it means so much to their moving forward. They want to change, they want to grow, and that inspires me.

Teriyaki: What other organizations or other causes are near and dear to your heart?

Frankie: Ever since my first stint on Broadway I have been working with Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS, as it is very near and dear to my heart, and I will continue to work with them.

Teriyaki: You've had a pretty amazing career in the entertainment industry from actor, singer, dancer, producer, director, social media personality, reality star and red carpet host. If you had to pick a favorite moment from the last year, what would it be?

Frankie: Opening and closing Rock of Ages on Broadway - both were such unbelievably overwhelming and joyous experiences that I will never forget for the rest of my life.

Teriyaki: Who's someone you've always wanted to meet and got a chance to last year?

Frankie: I finally got to meet Jessie J, and she is everything I have ever wanted her to be - funny, charming, talented, and beautiful. I love her.

More recently, it was Madonna! I got to meet her at the Grammys this year. She is the queen of all things. I have loved and admired her entire whole life.

Teriyaki: While we are on the topic of Madonna: I read that you share the same religion. I understand that you and your sister sought spirituality through Kabbalah after being raised in the Catholic faith due to their stance on homosexuals/homosexuality. For readers who aren't familiar with Kabbalah, what differentiates it from other religions (Catholics, Christians, etc)?

Frankie: Kabbalah isn't tied up in political hierarchy. Its messages and lessons are easy to understand, very direct, and filled with positivity, love and light. It's about self-empowerment and focuses on the good within us, rather than punishing the bad.

There are no limits to what we can achieve. Limits are an unreal construct of the physics world, and we can exist above and beyond that.

Teriyaki: If you were able to sit down with the pope and discuss the way you were treated, what would you want him to know and possibly change in the way the Church handles the issue of homosexuality?

Frankie: I love this new pope. I think he is doing wonderful things for the Catholic faith, and for homosexuality. Basically, I would love for it to be made extremely clear that homosexuality is not a sin and not a choice.

Teriyaki: As your star continues to rise is there something you'd like to have the opportunity to do in 2015?

Frankie: I would love to play Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway. I would also love to originate a role on television, as I have not yet had that experience.

Teriyaki: If you didn't work in the entertainment industry, what would you be doing?

Frankie: I'd probably be making use of my biology degree by studying insects in the rainforests or algae in the oceans. When I was younger I wanted to be a marine biologist!

Teriyaki: Do you feel that being openly Gay helped or hindered your career?

Frankie: I've never been anything other than open about my sexuality. And I believe this is part of the reason people love me.

Teriyaki: I recently saw on www.frankiejgrande.com you uploaded a video on becoming a 'Gaysha.' What's your drag name, assuming you don't have one already, what would it be, and would you ever consider impersonating your sister Ariana?

Frankie: My drag name is Consuelo Manuella Raphealla Lopez, and I am giving you a super fierce Sophia Vergara! I have not yet impersonated my sister, however it could definitely happen in the future. I think it could be fun. She does have an up on me though, as she has the best body in the world.

[Teriyaki : Side note on Frankie's drag name - I was secretly hoping it'd be Areola Grande, because who doesn't love big nips?]

Teriyaki: It looks like this April you'll be the Ambassador for White Party Palm Springs, which as you know, your sister headlined last year. Is there a Grande family master plan to take over the event? What was your reaction when Jeffrey Sanker asked you to be the White Party Palm Springs Ambassador?

Frankie: I was honored and thrilled - the White Party is such a huge celebration of love, light and sexuality - my three favorite things. I fell in love with everything about it. It's such a great celebration of life and making new friends and new experiences and I'm honored to have been selected as the ambassador for this year. Last year I came with my sister and she was the headliner, so as you can imagine, it was extremely exciting, and extremely Gay - can't wait!!

Teriyaki: Will your White Party white carpet outfit be as daring as what you wore to the AMA Awards?

Frankie: Absolutely! It will be even more so. This is the opportunity to go Grande or Go Home! Get ready Palm Springs for my walk down the white carpet and my hosting duties with Kelly Osbourne.

Teriyaki: What are you most looking forward to at this year's White Party Palm Springs?

Frankie: I always love the musical performances, so I'm really looking forward to whomever Jeffrey has up his sleeve this year. His talent choices over the year have always surprised and amazed!

You can see Frankie as he co-hosts the White Carpet arrivals at the White Party and throughout the weekend as he introduces the guest performers. Superstar entertainment has become a hallmark of the White Party Events. Who will join the ranks of Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Carly Rae Jepsen, Icona Pop, Anastasia, Toni Braxton, Carmen Electra, Ke$ha, Robyn and most recently his little sister Ariana Grande?

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHITE PARTY:
Jeffrey Sanker's award-winning White Party Palm Springs - nine parties in three days - is the largest Gay dance music festival in the world. This annual event, held the fourth weekend in April, attracts tens of thousands of Gay men from all over the world for its beautiful desert oasis location, unforgettable parties and world-class entertainment. If you haven't made your plans to attend White Party Palm Springs, it's not too late! Visit: www.jeffreysanker.com.

UPDATE: Producer Jeffrey Sanker announced today that legendary Grammy-winning, multi-platinum recording artist LeAnn Rimes will perform at this year's Circus T-Dance on Sunday, April 26th.

Said Rimes, 'I am proud to have been a supporter of the LGBT community for as long as I can remember.' Adding, 'They have continued to embrace me and my music and I am so excited to be headlining the night at what is sure to be one of the best parties of the year.'

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SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
Frankie Grande to co-host White Party Palm Springs

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