ABOUT WE GOT BRUCE!
Well, if you haven't figured it out...this site is a tribute to the very funny and talented, Mr. Bruce Vilanch. I first heard of him when I noticed he was writing for my all-time favorite performer, Bette Midler. I was in my teens then, so now it has been some 39 odd years since this man has been rumbling around in my thoughts.
Bette Midler, besides my own mother, has been one of the main inspirations in my life. It goes far beyond just being a fan and I really can't find words to express it. I don't even have to meet her...it's just a repsect kind of thing. But because of my admiration for Miss M, I then became familiar with Bruce's work. I instinctively knew early on that he wrote much of her comic material and I would always point out to others any time I saw his name appear in the credits of many a show. Yes, I was around for "The Brady Bunch", "The Donny and Marie Show", and even that summer show, "The Manhattan Transfer Hour", or whatever it was called. So it's not like I'm all of a sudden a new fan. And I loved them all!
After 9-11, my life felt changed, and I was changed. I remember being so horrified at the images of the towers falling in New York City. I felt anger, sadness, bewilderment, depression, and fear. I particularly didn't like being afraid, so I worked very hard to overcome a lot of fears...I became more vocal, I started performing for the first time in public ( we're talking 40 years of being stage-shy here), learning web design, and in general, trying out new things with a new zest.
However, one day, during the war with Afghanistan, I saw a picture of an army officer who had written a gay slur, on a missile supposedly aimed at Afghanistan, and I just became livid (later I learned it about a little thing named Photoshop, so the pic wasn't really real as far as the slur was concerned). I decided to vent by sending out an e-mail to everybody in my contact book showing this atrocity. I had Mr. Vilanch's e-mail in my address book (I had gotten it off his old official website), but had never used it. For some reason, I decided to include him in my tirade not thinking anything of it. Ultimately, within a half an hour, I received a reply back with a cute little Vilanch one-liner. It was Bruce! I got Bruce! I don't even remember what it said anymore...I just remember the little one-liner making me laugh, maybe a little tear here and there...but it cut through this deep anger that I had. Plus I couldn't believe he even took the time to respond...I mean, Hollywood people don't respond to the little people like me, do they? I was so impressed that he took the time to reply that I wrote him a little thank you note back. And to make a long story short, I've been bugging the hell out of him ever since! And he still answers.
Ever since then, I have been annoying the hell out of him, if not daily, then weekly...asking questions about Bette, himself and even once sending him the dreaded chain letter. The response on that one was not pleasant! Anyway, I have grown very fond of him and I know he just adores me, don't ya Bruce? Tell 'em! In the process, I decided to make a site for him, because, dammit, he deserves one. I have never known anybody that can multi-task like he does...he can write jokes, dance, sing, act, attend every charity event known to mankind, and he can write e-mails...all of this at the same time. Now who else can do that? Bette? Not even her. She can't type.
ABOUT MISTER D
"I was born in the wagon of a traveling show..."
Well no that's not true, actually I was born Don T. Bradshaw (aka, Mister D), July 14, in a little town called Lucedale, Ms. It had maybe 2 or 3 traffic lights and then you were heading to another hillbilly town. Since my father was promoted quite a bit, I tended to get moved around quite a bit, living in places like Moss Point, Ms, Pensacola, FL, Clinton, MS, Lancaster, PA, and eventually Nashville, TN, where I call home.
I attended Millsaps College in Jackson, MS earning a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in 1978. Hated it! Made the rounds as managers of hamburger joints, restaraunts, and finally my dream job, as an area manager for a record store chain, but you'll see what happened. Later on in my mid-30's (shove 15 years of my life up your ass, S*U*D S*O*, ya anti-gay, record-whoring, sexist pigs!...oops, so sorry!), and after a nice, restful stint in rehab, I attended school again.
This time I earned my degree in Social Work and graduated around 1990. I got my next dream job, working as a case manager, then counselor, for The Escambia AIDS Clinic in Pensacola, FL. This had to be one of the highlights of my life, and yet, a lowpoint, as well. I loved what I did...the counseling, the education, the friendships made, helping people...but sometimes that help meant teaching them to "let go." In some ways that whole journey made me stronger, but somehow, I think, it crushed something deep inside of me. But I was very good at what I did.
Soon around 1995, I resigned from that job and moved to Nashville with my partner, Barry. He got a fabulous job doing something with computers, don't ask me what...it's just that I never understand. I, on the other hand, for the first time, since I was 14, did not have a career. I took the first job cut, I mean job I could...but I was ill prepared. I was hired on to work with the mentally challenged and it was just out of my league. I had to teach them things I didn't even know how to do, for goodness sake...like shopping for food. The girl I was helping that day overspent, thanks to me. Many of these people lived in the worst conditions I have ever seen, and to think they lived in one of the richest counties in the states! We're talking dirt floors, tin roofs ("Love Shack"...sorry!), and rat-roach infested homes. I really tried the best I could to be stronger, to learn, and grow from the experience, but alas, I had to resign.
From then on it's been a bunch of shit jobs and a bitch of a journey, but I'm still here dammit, and now I just want to have a little fun. And to do that I invented the Bruce Vilanch site, We Got Bruce, a Bette Midler site called Bootleg Betty, and my own, The Divine Mister D, which I rarely touch, but have big plans for in the future. After starting all of these damn sites and with the right damn attitude, someone blessed the hell out of me. I finally met Mr. Vilanch and Ms. Midler, and they did not disappoint. So my little sites continue...and I hope you continue to enjoy.
I currently reside in Franklin, TN with Barry and three cats - Squeak, Coco, and Bitsy. For fun and entertainment I love to write, play piano, sing, perform, pop pills and provoke people. But only when their policies, behavior, thinking, and/or outfits are stupid. And don't ever sign off with, "please advise." I'll go apeshit and end up in the hospital!
Well, this was fun!
Love, Mister D