“If music is the soundtrack of our lives, then the songs of Diana Ross and The Supremes headline each chapter of my life.” – Dale Guy Madison
Diana Ross finishes her live concerts with a powerful message: “Go for your dreams!” Mary Wilson motivates audiences with her “Dare to Dream” lectures, building on the message of her best-selling autobiography,
Dreamgirl: My Life As A Supreme. Now Dale Guy Madison, inspired by the timeless songs of Diana Ross and The Supremes, “dares to dream” his life story in this uncensored and candid memoir.
DREAMBOY: My Life as a QVC Host & Other Greatest Hits is the vintage “album” of Madison’s life set against the tunes of The Supremes and filled with lessons on love, self-determination, and surviving the trenches of the entertainment industry. Through its pages Madison navigates a litany of broken intimate relationships, (including an affair with a closeted Baltimore politician), experiences a whirlwind heterosexual marriage, fights for and secures work as a gay black actor in Hollywood and clings to life within the halls of a city mental institution. However, it is after gaining nationwide fame as a television host on the QVC shopping network that Madison learns opportunities must not be waited on -- they must be created -- and thus begins the “B-side” of the album.
Having grown up in a household where fantasies of stardom were stamped out “with a quickness,” a young Madison held on to his dreams of becoming successful like his idols, The Supremes.
DREAMBOY: My Life As A QVC Host & Other Greatest Hits pays homage to the artist in every human spirit while giving a humble nod to the immortal Motown female phenomenon. A true renaissance man, (an actor, nude model, fashion designer, television host and film producer), Madison proves that clarity of vision and being true to one’s self are the makings of a bona fide
Dreamboy. (Or girl!)
MOTOWN DREAMBOY TELLS ALL! A Review of Dale Guy Madison's Dreamboy: My Life As A QVC Host & Other Greatest Hits!
by Corey Jarrell
October 27, 2009
Chances are that you've never heard of dreamboy Dale Guy Madison's greatest hits, right? Well, this is still Motown's 50th Anniversary, we're still celebrating and whether you've heard of him or not, Dale Guy Madison is a star, baby! A Motown Star! A would-be Supreme diva who just released his tell-all memoirs, titled Dreamboy: My Life As A QVC Host & Other Greatest Hits. Yes! You know Dale Guy Madison! You've seen him in countless television sitcoms and dramatic series, and he has appeared as an extra in as many movies! You may or may not recognize him from his one-man/one-woman stage play, FREEda Slave, or John Water's Hairspray, or as a drag queen in To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar and Stonewall! He's been an actor, a model, a fashion designer, film producer, and now a writer. However, it is after gaining nationwide fame as a television host on the QVC shopping network that Dale had his "biggest hit" to date. Trust me, I saw enough of him during this time as my mother watched the station relentlessly. Even then, you knew there was something "different" about this animated and sho' nuff personable guy in the multi-colored vests and eye-catching (sometimes green-eyed envious) clothing ensembles.......
Add the classic recordings of Diana Ross, both solo (and with The Supremes) plus songs from the Broadway musical Dreamgirls and you have the soundtrack, backdrop and the perfect comparative metaphor for Madison's tale of self-discovery, struggle and success. This book is dedicated, in part, to "every little boy who dreamed of sparkle, glitter, and glamour while singing Supremes songs in the mirror, but was ashamed to let anyone know it". Lord knows I can relate to that! Much like little gay boys today make YouTube videos dancing and lip-synching to Beyonce’, oh how well I remember sneaking back into the school building during recess with my childhood friends Jerome and Wynton. We'd steal into the boys restroom, tie our sweaters on our heads as "wigs" and sing the whole Supremes catalogue. We had no clue that so many other boys like ourselves were doing the same thing in the mirror, jostling for that middle spot, fighting to be Diana! We also didn't know that sometimes, you have to pay the cost to be The Boss...
On the road of life, building a reputation to become a star can often be a bittersweet experience! Sometimes among the hangers-on are abusive men who feel the need in a creative, but often lonely soul. Like magnets, they seemed to be attracted to the broken flow of energy created by the author's experience with a cold and emotionally abusive father. Many love affairs are detailed here, love affairs that ache of father love and longing, that finally cause Madison to conclude "People say that daughters always look for their father in the man that they marry. I realized that gay guys look for the love they never received from their fathers in the men that they love. I know I did". Dale Guy Madison IS Neely O'Hara should have been the caption on the movie poster from the author's full-year stint in the "loony bin" after a PCP drug trip gone terribly wrong. O'Hara, the Patty Duke character from the gay cult-classic, Valley Of The Dolls (one of the author's favorite movies) has nothing on Madison's personal experience (from having a live breakdown while working as a telephone operator to the successful comeback to his own real life.) There are many disappointments, but they'll all be met with the sort of balance one finds with a God-grant-me-the serenity-to-accept-the-things-I-cannot-change-but-help-me-to-change-the-things-I-can type of attitude! And it's all told ever so matter of factly, almost so one on one without the least hint of sermonizing. Yes, Madison has a thing or two to teach about "comebacks", redemption and RE-INVENTION thus proving that while true divas may indeed get down, they're never truly out!
Much like the crossover success of the original Supremes, the A-side of this book presents the universal themes of growth, hope and self-confidence that transcend age, race and sexual orientations (the message is here if you're open to it!). Dreamboy: My Life As A QVC Host & Other Greatest Hits really has all the BIG hits of a life come full-circle here in this collection! STILL! There is much here for that core audience of gay men of color, especially those who after a certain age, think it's too late to dream! And not only dream, but to bring those dreams to fruition! The author challenges us! Dares us! With anecdotes from a common era, there is so much for me to personally relate to. As an aspiring writer, sometimes when I read black gay authors, I often wonder what's left to write about. But nobody can tell our own truth like we can in our own way. That's part of the dare! I read this book with a perpetual smile and with a few gasps, too! Dale Guy Madison's story is an inspiring one & that inspiration goes as deep as any classic Supremes song. He's a soul survivor! And this book is those of us who are still here, still surviving & still dreaming, too! The B-side hasn't been played yet!
http://networkedblogs.com/30Sco I LIVE IT! I AM IT!
Historian. Genealogist. Writer. Married Man. I am living, loving and giving. Yesterday is old news and today is good news. Today is an unprecedented time of growth for me, but I cannot lie and say that growing pains do not hurt!
Even though writer-actor-entertainer-former TV host Dale Guy Madison partially dedicates his incredibly likable and spiritually uplifting memoir to “every little boy who dreamed of sparkle, glitter, and glamour while singing Supreme songs in the mirror, but was ashamed to let anyone know it,” there is no shame in his game. Mr. Madison’s personal tale of cock-eyed optimism is buoyant enough to pull the most submerged pessimist above the waters of despair to breathe in all the good that is life and the living of it, and to celebrate the good that is love with all its crazy ups and downs, particularly, the greatest love of all, self-love.
And what makes his celebration of life and love even more wonderful is that there are no lectures, no preachments, just personal antidotal snippets of his life as an unapologetic all-things-Supremes-gay-boy affectionately shared with humor, wit and the humanity of the perfection of being imperfect.
He paralleled the meteoric careers of Diana, Mary, and Flo with his own, starring in most of his grade school plays, making the morning announcements over his elementary school’s PA system, and even suffering a Florence Ballard setback when a pubescent voice change resulted in him being replaced by a male teen-aged Cindy Birdsong wannabee in the school’s production of “A Christmas Carol.”
Unwavering in his devotion to the Divas of Motown, and having spent his high school and college years in a typically traumatic exploration of his homosexuality, the now 23-year-old openly gay entertainment aspirant headed to New York with his best friend to see his first Broadway show, “Dreamgirls,” of course. Short on funds for a hotel room, he and his friend spend the night under a bridge near Christopher Street in the red Volvo they drove up in, and it is here where Dale has his epiphany moment. He had determined that he was going to be in “Dreamgirls.” But a chance audition for the national touring company of the show in 1985 turned in what Dale describes as a “bad American Idol moment.” Still, he walked out with his head held high knowing that one day he “would be close to the Supremes, have an iota of fame close to their fame, or both.”
Finally Dale’s dream of being on screen in a starring role came true when he was hired to be a host on the QVC Fashion Channel, making for the first time a six-figure-a-year salary plus a $4,000 a year wardrobe allowance, not to mention creating a new fan base and hobnobbing with such celebrities as Richard Simmons, Joan Rivers, and Susan Lucci. He tried hard to get his idol Diana Ross booked on the show, but to no avail.
It was a dream that lasted 4 years. In the last days at work for QVC, Dale landed a part in the movie “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” which starred Wesley Snipe, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo as a trio of drag queens driving cross-country from New York to Los Angeles. With the assist of the QVC wardrobe department, Dale appeared on the movie set as one the most beautiful movie drag queens the movie crew had laid eyes on, prompting Wesley Snipes to not only gasp in approval but to have his picture taken with Dale.
Riding on his growing reputation as the definitive movie and TV drag queen performer, Dale had a one-man show created for him by Darryl Lemont Wharton, a young and talented staff writer on the TV series “Homicide: Life on the Streets” (in which Dale also appeared in drag).
The show, “FREEda Slave: Mask of a Diva”, starring Dale as Alfred, a cross-dresser whose alter ego is the mostly funny, sometimes sad, always dazzling title character, proved to be a triumph. Opening in 1994, “FREEda SLAVE” starring Dale Guy Madison, played across the country, to rave reviews and standing ovations.
What a full and fascinating life Madison has had, and with his spirited telling and his generous sharing, it seems like only the beginning.
Dale Guy Madison may not be as rich or famous as his idol Diana Ross, but his star and his gold shine bright for many, particularly for himself. If only more of us could be as pleased as he is when gazing into the mirror. If only more of us could allow ourselves to enjoy the thrill of living a purpose-driven life! Dale Guy Madison’s memoir is the perfect upper read.
You know you’re gay when you lip-synch songs by Diana Ross. You know you’re really gay when chapters of your memoir are titles of her greatest hits.
Dale Guy Madison is an unabashed fan of Diana Ross and the Supremes who connects the dots of his life in his memoir Dreamboy (www.damngoodman.com) via the music of Miss Ross, both as lead singer of the Supremes and as a solo artist (after all, he had to include her disco hit I’m Coming Out). The full title is Dreamboy: My Life as a QVC Host & Other Greatest Hits, and in homage to his childhood in Baltimore, Maryland, he includes a Nancy Wilson song that Bonnie Raitt later made famous. Madison introduces Dreamboy with an explanation of how he structured the book into five “discs,” including “The Happening” (“To a black kid growing up in the sixties, the Supremes were an undeniable symbol of success,” he writes. “You could rise from the projects and one day be on The Ed Sullivan Show”); “Family” (including a gay brother); “I Meant You No Harm/Breathtaking Guy” (in which he dishes on all of his “enrapturing, heartbreaking, and delicious relationships”); “Up the Ladder to the Roof” (when fame eluded him and his drag alter ego FREEda Slave, he moved to Los Angeles and tried to produce a movie starring Joey Buttafucco); and “Acknowledgements,” serving as album “liner notes” which he contacted Mary Wilson to write, but “she hasn’t gotten back” to him).
Did you know that Diana Ross and the Supremes recorded an album of songs from Funny Girl? This and much more can be found in Madison’s memoir, dedicated to “every little boy who dreamed of sparkle, glitter and glamour while singing Supreme songs in the mirror, but was ashamed to let anyone know it.”