Tuesday 30 Nov 10
So here we are, another World AIDS day has come around and still we have no cure.
Earlier this year I hosted Amfar's Cinema Against AIDS gala at the Cannes film festival, and whilst we raised a ton of much-needed cash for research and prevention programs, it seemed to me that people have become a bit bored of HIV/AIDS, certainly posh people that night in Cannes. And that I think is the best, and the worst thing that could possibly have happened to the AIDS crisis.
It's the best because in many ways AIDS has now become just like any other disease that we don't have a cure for, and much of the homophobic and racist stigma that has been attached to it seems to have been chipped away (although there's a long way to go too); why it's worst is that people are tired of the fight- and never forget that curbing this disease is a huge worldwide fight, economically, politically and socially - and no battle can be won when the troops are losing sight of the prize.
That's why I was so excited when, filming in South Africa this summer, I discovered that the techniques of preventing mother to child HIV infection have become incredibly successful and it is generally believed that it's possible to stop all mother/child transmission of the virus by 2015!! Do you see what that means?! Yes, the possibility of the first generation in almost 30 years where virtually no child is born with HIV. It's the best news I've heard in years!
And on this World AIDS day, the lovely people at RED want to highlight the good news and step up the efforts so that that statistic comes true. Starting with the Sydney Opera House being turned red by Bono, many landmarks around the world will be lit up in red too. And here's how you can help...
Turn your Facebook page red
Share a 2015 tweet using #turnred
Ask people to 'shout' out on Foursquare with #turnred
(I don't actually understand what that last thing means but if you do, please just do it, okay?!)
All of these small actions will add up. Each time someone changes their profile picture on Facebook, or tweets using #turnred, the message is mapped to a data visualizer map, that Red has developed with Ushahidi, a crowd-sourcing platform that was created by a technology team in Kenya . I know, it' so James Bond isn't it?! Each action helps turn their time-zone on the map the color red. The more activity, the deeper the color.
So help turn the whole world a deep, deep red this World AIDS day and look forward to the possibility of a generation free from HIV/AIDS. Find out more about the issue and how to get involved at JOINRED.COM
Tuesday 23 Nov 10
I am going to be doing a reading of John McKay's play Dead Dad Dog at the Classic Stage Company in NYC on Monday 29th November at 8pm. You can get tickets here
Dead Dad Dog is about a guy named Eck whose day is disturbed by the appearance of his dead dad, Willie. I am Eck and Brian Cox will be Willie. I first saw this play in Edinburgh at the Traverse Theatre in 1988 and have always wanted to hear it again. And sometimes you just have to make things happen, people!
And if you're heading out to see Burlesque this Thanksgiving, here is an excerpt from an interview with the director Steven Antin which explains why I am not in it very much..
Do you already have plans for extended and deleted scenes for the DVD?
ANTIN: Yeah, you’re going to see it all. There’s going to be extras on the DVD that are great. There’s a number that Alan Cumming did, that so sadly didn’t make it into the movie. I’m so sad about that. He’s so fabulous. Wait until you see him do this musical number. He sang “That’s Life” on the bar with the bartenders, and it was so great. We couldn’t make it work within the body of the movie, but on its own, it’s so beautiful and spectacular. We had to cut things from the movie ‘cause the movie was getting really long
I love being a DVD extra, I really do!! And here I am singing said, cut, song.
Sunday 21 Nov 10
Here's my latest behind the scenes of The Good Wife vid for Cbs.com, but firs tme talkng about that movie I am almost in that's coming out next week. Er, what's it called...
Friday 19 Nov 10
I am in Playgirl!! See below. And also a PSA I took part in for www.giveadamn.org went live today. Pass it on to your friends and loved ones...
Tuesday 16 Nov 10
On the evening that the movie Burlesque premieres in LA, how ironic that I should find a quote from the Queen of Burlesque that I totally agree with.....
My kinda gal
HP: Have you ever had a stylist?
DVF: I had stylists for about three hours once. I felt like there was one point, it was probably about eight years ago, my former husband was working with a stylist of course because he always had stylists, and she said to me once, 'Hey, I can help you with your closets.' And I was like, 'Oh, ok, ok,' and so she came in to my closet and I remember she picked up a pair of 1930s shoes and I remember she said, you know, 'These would look so cute if you wore them with jeans,' and I thought, I don't even have a pair of jeans, I don't wear jeans. And it was sort of that moment that I thought a stylist is someone who puts what they think is good on someone else and I know what I should wear and what I shouldn't wear. And I like the process of coming up with outfits and it was just sort of an a-ha moment like, you don't need to buy into this thing that Hollywood believes in, which is that you need someone to reassure you that you're doing the right thing. I'm doing the right thing. If I'm not, I'm only going to blame myself....At least I can say I made a bad choice, but it was my own bad choice, not someone that got paid thousands and thousands of dollars to do it for me.
Sunday 14 Nov 10
Good ol San Fran is flying the genital integrity flag....
And here is the offical video of the new version of That's What Friends Are For I took part in which should be avaialble on ITunes sometime soon, we hope.
Wednesday 10 Nov 10
Here I am in the much touted padded cell made of cotton candy at the Performa fundraiser on Saturday. It was insane! I think I am still high. And of course you can see that there were as many photographers inside the cell for a minute as hungry sugar-seekers
I also went to the Hugo Boss/Guggenheim award announcement. Here I am being very bold. A very nice German man won the 100 grand prize. Yes, a hundred thousand dollars! They don't muck about in the art world. I just love the Guggenheim museum. It is such a beautiful and terrifying building. It is also quite amazing to be in a museum and be drunk.
On Sunday, thanks to the very kind folks at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, I had a screening of my episode of Who Do You Think You Are as a fundraiser for a really amazing organisation called Give An Hour. It gets mental health professionals to give increments of an hour of their time to returning military personnel who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and they in turn, have to do the same amount of community volunteering. Please go to the website and check them out and see if you can help in any way.
Also last week I hosted an auction for the American Foundation for Equal Rights which was all about selling art to raise cash for the Prop 8 trial appeal. I was very excited to be part of such a great event and I got to meet the plaintiffs in this historic case and also David Boies, one of the lawyers. Here I am with my friend Bruce Cohen who, with his husband Gabe, organised the evening.
Also the other week I went to the launch of Stan Lee's new foundation. Stan is of course the daddy of superheroes. Here we are having a laugh on the carpet
What else? Oh you know, same old, same old. I did a PSA for Cyndi Lauper's I Give A Damn campaign. I did a talk for the National Library of Scotland's American Foundation about my inspirations. I did the international press junket for The Good Wife. I went on my friend Daniel Nardicio's Shit Show and talked about Intact America and my belief that circumcision is genital mutilation. And last night I sang a coupe of songs at the Hiro Ballroom for the Ali Forney Center, a great organisation that helps gay youth. The evening was the launch of a video about the center and the release of a cover of That's What Friends Are For by me, David Raleigh, Billy Porter and Ari Gold. Check it out on iTunes soon
Look out too, for a new Cumming fragrance. Guess what it's called? Yes, that's right . The Second Cumming!! Really.
Sunday 7 Nov 10
Last night I was the MC of the Performa Red Party. Performa is a great organisation that produces amazing and groundbreaking young artists' work and has a biennial festival in NYC.
It was quite funny to realise that a year ago when I attended the Performa opening night I was a blond. See pic of me and the charming Penn Badgeley. But luckily some things never change. Last year we had a to fish about in frosting sugar to find cakes, and last night dessert was a padded cell made entirely of cotton candy (or floss for British readers), which you pulled off and munched. I have never had so much sugar in such a short time. I felt like a crack head.
This is hilarious...
Friday 5 Nov 10
I made this video of the backstage shenanigans on The Good Wife...
Wednesday 3 Nov 10
Last night I went to bed very sad. I felt sad that people seem to not be able to see the bigger picture. The Obama administration still seems to be being blamed for the mess Bush left behind. How could the economy have recovered in such a short time? The whole world financial infrastructure nearly collapsed on Bush's watch. The defecit was huge under him, and it is bigger now because Obama and the Democrats have been trying to create jobs and kick start the decrepit economy they inherited.
Oh, and whilst they were doing that they managed to pass a health care bill that will ensure more people than ever who never had access to healthcare now will. And yet, they have been punished. Punished for not clearing up their predecessors' shit quickly and effeciently enough. And punished for daring to ensure poor people won't languish in ill health.
But today, I don't feel so bad. It could have been a lot worse. When any country takes a quite radical political turn (like electing a black, left-wing man) there is always a response that is askew in its intensity and, hopefully, longevity (like the Tea Party, who must be one of the few political groups of modern times whose rallying call to take to the streets and demonstrate was the terrifying prospect of poor people living longer).
As you know I have my issues with Obama on his timeline for gay equality. But I think his vision for this country is the kindest, fairest and most thoughtful of any politician out there. I just think he needs to be better at selling his message, sort out his adminstration's PR blunders, be louder and prouder.
The Tea Party is evidence that people can have the wool pulled over their eyes so easily here. Its basic tenets of less government and a lower defecit are ridiculous considering what less government did last time and, as I mentioned above, the defecit problem was of their own side's making. So it is all the more important to make sure that our side is better at communicating to these people about issues that they connect to, and not to try and engage with the propaganda they are being fed.
Yestedray America did tell Obama that it was not happy with how things are going. I think it needs to be reminded of what he is about, and especially that he is going to stop engaging in the political griping and territory marking that he promised us he would try to snuff out.
Ok, here's a picture of me at my Halloween party at the Soho Grand hotel last Saturday. I opted for dead flapper girl. This is kind of how I felt last night.
PS If anyone lives in Barcelona, please read this and give the Pope a heart attack (or a hard on).
Tuesday 2 Nov 10
VOTE DEMOCRAT TODAY!!!!!!!!!!
it is essential to keep this country going in the right, and by that I mean the correct, direction. Don't let hatred and bigotry cloud your vision. Vote for kindness and caring and a better tomorrow.