"We are breaking stereotypes in every way. I dont want to bash flamboyant men, I want to bash that that's how we're represented. I want to mindfuck people so many ways that they think differently about culture and sexual orientation and race." A passionate David W. Summers speaks out about his exciting new project, Skin Deep, a television series about race and culture within the gay community.
As the writer, producer and director of the series, David Summers got personal about the work in progress with me one Saturday morning. When asked if Skin Deep is for everyone, David smiled and wittingly replied with "it's not an after-school special." Guess I got my answer!
On Wednesday, September 28th, Jungle will host a staged reading of Skin Deep. Here's your preview:
How personal is Skin Deep for you? Every character has some aspect of me, regardless of race. But two of the characters are the most closest to me, though I'm not sure I can share who they are. [...and he didn't...]
Describe how/where/when you conceptualized Skin Deep. It was in June of last year when I started creating Skin Deep. The big "uh-huh" moment came while at a restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale with my partner of 12 years, Chuck McLain. I looked around and there were ten interracial gay relationships among us. So I pondered the question of why I never have seen this in Atlanta when it's the home of the birth of the civil rights movement?
So, after you had this "uh-huh" moment, what was your next step? Chuck and I began to have a conversation about why don't we see more interaction between all races, especially in the gay community. Because we are a minority, why do we continue to diffuse ourselves? Thats the big question, have we embraced the racism within our general society? Or have we created our own form of racism? The only way to find out was to start talking to people.
Coming from a strong theater background, I knew that by talking to people the show would be focused on truth. So I put three focus groups together and the show is based on the outcome from these focus groups.
I removed myself from all the black focus group to receive complete honesty. With my presence, the group would not be as honest with their answers and would skirt around issues rather than be blatant. I wanted the boldness. [David got it and though he wasn't ready to share the comments just yet, he said they are eye popping!]
David Summers plans to shoot for about ten days with the intention of producing a 15 minute high-quality pilot teaser. Skin Deep needs to raise 20K. The reading on the 28th may secure sponsors but you can contribute by simply making a donation to Kickstarter.
David describes Skin Deep as Queer as Folk meets Noah's Arc meets Crash. He revealed that not all the actors are gay in real life, some are straight playing gay roles. One character plays a gay kickboxer and another character is a straight guy "practicing sexual taboos."
Whether gay or straight, Black, White, Asian or Latino we are all more than “skin deep”.