Interview: Kevin Spirtas Of 6x Emmy Winning Series ‘After Forever’

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

Today I’m speaking to the oh-so-charming Kevin Spirtas – one of the co-creators, writers and stars of the acclaimed LGBTQ TV series, After Forever.

After Forever is the recipient of 6 Daytime Emmy Awards – the most Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.

The first two seasons of the series received rave reviews for telling the rarely seen story of vibrant, active, diverse “grown-up” gay men… a group who tend to disappear from television and film once they are no longer 20- or 30-something, not returning until they are elderly and non-sexual.

Last year, I spoke with Kevin and co-creator/writer Michael Slade about their successful collaboration and the response the series has received.

The producers of the series recently released a documentary-style special episode titled, Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.

This unique installment of the series centers around the character of Riley (Finn Douglas) who, while attending school remotely due to COVID-19, is tasked with creating a project about the most unforgettable person he’s ever met.

The creators of the acclaimed Amazon Video series 'After Forever' have released a special episode, 'Riley's Unforgettable School Project'

The special was shot remotely throughout the Fall of 2020 while the country continued the battle against COVID-19.

The creative team says they knew they couldn’t film Season 3 as intended due to COVID, but they wanted do something creative to keep the After Forever family and fans engaged. The producers plan to resume production on Season 3 once it’s safe to do so in late 2021.

Also, the GLAAD Media Awards recently announced the news that After Forever will be honored with a Special Recognition Award this year.

Join me as I chat with Kevin Spirtas about the new special Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, life imitating art, and more.

You can find After Forever on Amazon Prime video. For more info, check out the official website for the acclaimed series here.

Virtual Watch Party/Live Q&A Of 5-Time Emmy Winning ‘After Forever’

Join Outfest for a worldwide virtual live tweet watch party of Season 2 of the acclaimed digital series After Forever on Saturday, June 27, 2020 – 4:30 PM PST followed by a live Q&A at 6 PM PST with the cast and creators.

Outfest’s United in Pride is an inclusive platform that celebrates, elevates, and amplifies the voices of LGBTQ+ filmmakers, storytellers, and creators, in partnership with Billboard & The Hollywood Reporter’s Pride Summit and Film Independent’s Project Involve.

Watch at unitedinpridefest.com, or you can view the simulcast on social media @Outfest on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Season Two of the 5-time Emmy Award-winning drama series, After Forever, picks up 6 months after the end of Season One. Brian has a new relationship and a new job, but Jason is still very present in his life. The 8-episode season continues his and his friends’ journey of love, loss, and moving on.

Seasons one and two of After Forever are streaming now on Amazon Video.

Check out the trailer for Season Two below.

News Round-Up: June 21, 2020

Singer-songwriter Pablo Alborán comes out (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

NewNowNext: The pandemic might have forced us to reimagine how we honor Pride Month, but the spirit of Pride is very much alive. Check out this list of 10 virtual Pride events you can attend from the safety of your own home, including a range of events centering Black LGBTQ people amid ongoing actions against systemic racism and police brutality.

The Know: Kenneth Felts, at 90 years old, recently came out as gay to his family and friends. After deciding to write his autobiography during COVID-19 lockdown, he was inspired by the memories of the man that got away.

Pride Music: Fab The Duo has also released their new blues/gospel-tinged music video “Our Love Is Resistance,” the title track from their new EP. The video shows the duo marching down the streets of Manhattan towards The Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the gay rights movement.

Of the title track and music video, Fab The Duo says: “We recorded this song and music video at the beginning of 2020 in a world that feels very different from the one we live in now. Yet this track and its message seem more relevant than ever. We must fight against the hate and injustices of the world at all costs and know that love will prevail.”

Digital Journal: The Amazon Video series After Forever scored three trophies including “Best Drama Series” at the 2020 Indie Series Awards on Thursday. The second season of the acclaimed series  is nominated for six 2020 Daytime Emmy Awards including “Outstanding Digital Drama Series.”

ABC News: Florida continued to set record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 cases, with an additional 4,049 new cases reported Saturday. There were an additional 40 Florida resident deaths related to COVID-19, according to the state’s Department of Health. On Friday, Florida reported what was then its record-high one-day increase of 3,822 cases.

Out: In an emotional video message posted to his Instagram account, Grammy-nominated, Spanish singer-songwriter Pablo Alborán (top photo) publicly opened about his sexuality, and how he is coming out as a proud gay man.

“Today, I want my voice to be louder and for it to have more value and weight. I’m here to tell you that I am homosexual and it’s okay. Life goes on, everything will remain the same, but I’m going to be a little happier than I already am.”

 

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Podcast: Chatting With Jamison Stern Of 5-Time Emmy Winning ‘After Forever’

Actor Jamison Stern

In this episode of The Randy Report podcast, I’m chatting with the fabulous TV and stage actor Jamison Stern.

As a cast member of the Amazon Video series After Forever, he was a part of the team that was honored with 8 Daytime Emmy nominations in 2019 and took home five – including Best Digital Series, Best Writing Team for Digital Series, Best Actor in a digital series and more.

Last week, the 2020 Daytime Emmy nominations were announced and it was more good news for the After Forever crew – six nominations this year including – again – Best Digital Series and Best Writing Team for a Digital Series.

So, it’s terrific timing to sit down and chat with Jamison about the journey and success of the show.

One of the busiest actors in New York City, Jamison has appeared on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in just about every leading regional theater across the country.

He recently won rave reviews for his tour de force turn in Fully Committed at TheaterWorks in Hartford playing 33 characters – onstage alone. One critic wrote, “The production showcases an awesome star in Jamison Stern, who lights up the stage and fills the play with dozens of characters, even though he is completely—and gloriously—on his own.”

He also brings that creative output to his Instagram account. During the run of a show, he’ll become obsessed with new ways to include his followers in his theatrical journey.

Jamison is one of the actors who bring theatre to life for so many across the country starring in top-notch productions in cities like Hartford CT, Atlanta GA, Houston TX, and Seattle WA.

Hit play and you’ll see why this is one of my favorite interviews to date on The Randy Report.

You can follow Jamison on Instagram at www.instagram.com/jamisonstern/ and check out After Forever on Amazon here.

 

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Me and EMMY!! It’s an honor just to be blah blah blah. @afterforevertheseries @daytimeemmys

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Podcast: NYC Pride’s Big 2020 Plans, Uganda, Albania, Daytime Emmys, PrEP

In this episode: the NFL's homophobic email scandal, Pete Buttigieg claps back, and new music from out singer/songwriter Michael Lazar.

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

In this week’s podcast:

• Prosecutors in Uganda have dropped charges against 19 LGBTQ people held in jail for 49 days

• A ‘once every two months’ injectable version of PrEP has shown very positive results in clinical trials

• Albania bans so-called ‘conversion therapy’

• NYC Pride has announced a huge 50th anniversary Pride television special featuring Billy Porter, Dan Levy, Janelle Monae, and more.

• The 2020 Daytime Emmy nominations are out with big love for LGBTQ actors and shows

Here’s the link to my recent interview with the Emmy Award-winning creators of the Amazon series ‘After Forever’

• Out singer/songwriter Clinton John’s new single “Cry” taps into those frustrating times when you realize you’re really not over that lost love. Link to download “Cry.”

All that in this episode of The Randy Report.

Podcast: Chatting With Emmy Award Winning Creators Of ‘After Forever’

The cast of ‘After Forever’ (via Instagram)

Join me as I chat with the Emmy Award-winning creators of the Amazon Prime Video digital series, After Forever.

After Forever stars Kevin Spirtas (Dr. Craig Wesley on Days of Our Lives) and Mitchell Anderson (Doogie Howser, Party of Five) as a mid-life gay couple living in New York City who appear to have it all — until Jason’s untimely death forces Brian to think about his own future and ultimately his own mortality, without the love of his life.

As Brian puts his life back together, Jason periodically appears to help him focus on his new life and moving on, most notably with his new boyfriend.

Spritas co-created and co-wrote the series with acclaimed playwright Michael Slade.

After Forever also stars familiar faces from TV, film and Broadway stages like Colleen Zenk (As the World Turns), Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), Anita Gillette (Chapter Two), Mary Beth Peil (Dawson’s Creek), and Tony Award winner Cady Huffman (The Producers).

The lauded series features a diverse group of characters who find their way through life’s constant changes, including relationships, love, and loss, in an often overlooked group – the mature gay man.

L-R Mitchell Anderson and Kevin Spirtas in ‘After Forever’

 

Season One of After Forever was nominated for 8 Emmy Awards and won five including Outstanding Digital Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Digital Drama Series, and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Season Two has already been nominated for 10 Indie Series Awards including Best Drama Series, Best Ensemble Drama Series and a slew of acting, writing and directing nods as well.

Hit play as I chat (and laugh) with two very talented men.

For more info about the show, click over to afterforevertheseries.com.

Podcast: Trump Administration Allows Doctors To Turn Away LGBTQs. GLAAD honors Madonna, ‘After Forever’ Takes Home 5 Emmy Awards

In this week’s podcast:

• The Trump administration grants healthcare providers, like doctors and nurses, the right to deny care to LGBTQ people

• A new medical study confirms previous HIV research that undetectable equals untransmittable

• The Equality Act advances out of committee in the House of Representatives

• The GLAAD Media Awards honors Madonna

• Amazon series ‘After Forever’ cleans up at the 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Amazon Series ‘After Forever’ Honored With 5 Daytime Emmy Awards

Kevin Spirtas and Mitchell Anderson in ‘After Forever’

UPDATE – Oh yes, After Forever won for Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series at tonight’s 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, bringing the total number of Emmy Awards to five!

Congratulations to the guy who had the idea from the beginning, newly-minted Outstanding Lead Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series, Kevin Spirtas!

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At the 2019 Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards last night at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, acclaimed LGBTQ-themed Amazon series After Forever picked up 4 Emmy Awards.

After Forever is the story of Brian and Jason, a 50-ish New York City gay couple, who have it all until they don’t. The 8-episode first season follows them and their friends through a journey of love, loss and moving on.

The series (with 8 nominations) won last night at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium for:

• Outstanding Lead Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series – Kevin Spirtas (Mitchell Anderson also nominated)

• Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Digital Daytime Drama Series – Erin Cherry (Cady Huffman also nominated)

• Outstanding Writing for a Digital Drama Series – Kevin Spirtas, Michael Slade

• Outstanding Directing for a Digital Drama Series – Jennifer Pepperman

Broadway veteran Anita Gillette was also nominated for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Daytime Drama Series

And its not over yet…

During the Sunday night broadcast of the 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards, After Forever is nominated for Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series.

Last spring, I interviewed writer and lead actor Kevin Spirtas on the journey and evolution of After Forever. You can check out our chat below.

Find more info about the acclaimed digital series at the official website here.

Amazon’s “AFTER FOREVER” Nominated For 8 Daytime Emmy Awards

Kevin Spirtas & Mitchell Anderson in ‘After Forever’

Amazon Video’s AFTER FOREVER, the gay-themed series created by actor/producer/writer Kevin Spirtas and his creative partner, Michael Slade, has received a whopping eight 2019 Daytime Emmy Award nominations.

AFTER FOREVER is the story of Brian, played by Kevin Spirtas (Days of Our Lives) and Jason, played by Mitchell Anderson (Doogie Howser, Party of 5), a “50-ish” New York City gay couple, who have it all – until they don’t.

The 8-episode first season follows them and their friends through a journey of love, loss and moving on.

The series also features Tony Award winner Cady Huffman (Will Rogers Follies, The Producers), Tony Award nominee Anita Gillette (Chapter Two), and tons of TV & Broadway veterans like Jamison Stern, Jim Newman, Colleen Zenk and Michael Urie (Ugly Betty).

Jamison Stern & David Dean Bottrell

Speaking to The Advocate last year, Slade shared that the depiction of 35+ year-old gay men in series television has been missing in his estimation.

“We as gay men, after we’re no longer 35, we tend to disappear from popular culture until we’re Christopher Plummer — asexual down the hall with a cat,” Slade told The Advocate.

And co-creator Spirtas underscored the universality of the series’ love story.

“I think you can look at this story about love between two people and realize it’s two people anywhere,” said Spirtas. “It’s two men, it’s two women, it’s a male and a female, it’s older, it’s younger, it’s same age.”

The series’ 2019 Daytime Emmy nominations include:

• Nomination for Outstanding Digital Drama Series

• Nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Digital Drama Series: Michael Slade and Kevin Spirtas

• Two nominations for Outstanding Actor in a Digital Drama Series: Kevin Spirtas, Mitchell Anderson

• Two nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Digital Drama Series: Erin Cherry, Cady Huffman

• Nomination for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Digital Drama Series: Anita Gillette

• Nomination for Outstanding Director of a Digital Drama Series: Jennifer Pepperman

AFTER FOREVER was also honored with a writing nomination for Michael Slade & Kevin Spirtas last month at the 2019 Writers Guild Awards in the Original Short Form New Media category.

You can watch the first episode of the series here for free and check out my interview with co-creator and lead actor Kevin Spirtas below.

In related Daytime Emmy Awards news, veteran daytime drama actor Greg Rikaart picked up a 2019 Best Supporting Actor nomination as well for his work as “Leo Stark” on Days of Our Lives.

Already a Daytime Emmy Award winner for his longtime role as “Kevin Fisher” on The Young and the Restless, should the 42-year-old actor win, he would become the first to win Best Supporting Actor for a gay role, and the first openly gay actor to win for a gay role in any category.

The 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be held May 5 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Podcast: Pete Buttigieg, Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Digital Series ‘After Forever’ Gets Emmy Noms

In this week's podcast:  • Openly gay presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg surges in a new Iowa poll  • Alabama lawmakers are trying to eliminate marriage licenses entirely because they don’t want LGBT couples to have them  • A Missouri couple were turned away by a homophobic dance instructor  • Tennessee teens actually found acceptance and support as they prepared to attend prom together  • Digital series 'After Forever' gets a LOT of Daytime Emmy nominations  All that and more on this episode of The Randy Report.

In this week’s podcast:

• Openly gay presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg surges in a new Iowa poll

• Alabama lawmakers are trying to eliminate marriage licenses entirely because they don’t want LGBT couples to have them

• A Missouri couple were turned away by a homophobic dance instructor

• Tennessee teens actually found acceptance and support as they prepared to attend prom together

• Digital series ‘After Forever’ gets a LOT of Daytime Emmy nominations

All that and more on this episode of The Randy Report.