By Nathan James
What happens when a bold, brash, funny gay Black man sallies forth into the world of home-shopping television? Why, you get a story like no other, of course! Meet Dale Guy Madison, an accomplished actor, writer, advocate and educator from Los Angeles, who is about to stir things up with his brand-new “docucomedy” Life after QVC, which showcases his experiences on the well-known retail network. Dale has penned several volumes about his life and times in and out of the entertainment industry, is also an outspoken LGBTQ advocate, working to raise AIDS awareness, address substance abuse, and combat homophobia, which is once again on the rise in the age of Trump. “I have always been passionate about our community,” Dale says, “and my art is an extension of my advocacy”. His storied career began with a bit part in the campy classic To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar, which set him on a coast-to-coast journey to New York City, where he emerged as FREEda Slave, a sassy and popular drag performer.
The road back to Hollywood wound its way through Manhattan, with Dale’s drag persona starring in a one-queen show called FREEda Slave: Mask Of A Diva, written by Darryl-Wharton-Rigby of TV’s award-winning Homicide: Life On The Street series. Returning to LA, Dale was ready to become a trailblazer at the QVC network. “I was the first Black man to have a show on QVC,” Dale recalls, “and I had the first African American shopping hour”. Dale’s work with the network is chronicled in a short-subject memoir, Dreamboy: My Life as A QVC Host, which is an unabashedly honest send-up of Dale’s exploits on the small screen. “I wanted to bring that behind-the scenes realness to people that might not have seen me on QVC,” Dale notes. “This was a real highlight in my life, but I talk about other, darker times, too.” Dale shares his stories of a heterosexual marriage, struggles with sexuality, and a mental breakdown, which brought him to an extended hospital stay on the border between wanting to live, and wishing to die.
Dale recovered, and engaged his creative spirit once more, writing Sissy Sammy In The Land Of WeHo 90069, about a bullied fem boy who escapes the hood to subsume himself in an all-gay village. Through his production company, DamnGoodMan Productions, Dale has emerged as a “positive, culturally relevant” entertainer, uplifting the LGBTQ community around the country. For Life After QVC, Dale takes us on an anecdotal tour of his lived experiences, in a short film that was selected for a worldwide premiere at the 26th Annual Independent Filmmakers’ Showcase, which ran from May 9-20. “I was so excited about this,” Dale rhapsodizes, “being part of the film festival is awesome!” In Life After QVC, Dale spills all, on such luminaries as Emmy-winning soap opera legend Susan Lucci, movie star Wesley Snipes, DJ “Shangela” Pierce from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and even the notorious Joey Buttafuoco of the infamous Long Island Lolita caper involving scorned mistress Amy Fisher. That’s high tea!
Looking ahead, you can find Dale hard at work on the revival of his acclaimed one-man show, My Life In 3 Easy Payments”, which opens during Pride Month this year at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Keep up with Dale at his website, damngoodman.com, where he is giving sash, shay, pomp, and all his dreams come true.