If you have been watching Signal 23 TV or YouTube, then you know Summer 2016 has been hot–and we aren’t talking about actual heat. There is a new web series on the block, About Him, that captivates the coming of age of a young, Black gay man, Damien (Brandon Karson), on the cusp of adulthood and exploring his sexuality during his final summer before college. Damien is fiercely in love with his older brother’s best friend, Vincent (Gary Lava, an athlete, ladies’ man, and bisexual who also finds Damien attractive. Their flirtation is tantalizing, their hook ups are hot, and its loves us all wanting to know more “about them!”
Recently, Gary Lavard, also known as “Vincent” sat down for an exclusive interview with Kontrol Magazine. There he not only discussed the show, how he perceives Vincent, and his role, but his background as a true actor, learning his craft. Check out an excerpt below:
With the height and stature of a football player, the last words you’d expect to hear from Gary Lavard are shy, laidback or mildly timid. Or, that he never really played sports. I could hardly believe it myself, but those are words he would use to describe himself, at least before joining the cast of About Him.
Like many, I was introduced to him as Vincent, this disarming, self assured, sex fueled character he plays on the web series that chronicles the coming of age story of a young man, Black, trying to discover himself and his sexuality with little help from his father or brother, all set to the backdrop of the 90’s.
Vincent is the guy that I feel like most gay people would try to get with. He’s masculine, he’s confused, and he is all those things I feel a guy is at that point, you know? Trying to find yourself. I really signed on to do that story because I felt that for one it’s a story that’s kind of swept under the rug on mainstream TV. My goal as an actor, I want to do things that are complex and that no one is doing and I felt like it was a good thing and I could impact the LGBT community and so far I’ve gotten a great response.
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Lavard is well versed, having been working in the industry for quite some time now. That has to be a benefit because it gives an opportunity to take on a role likes this without having to be boxed in or compartmentalized as an actor. Still, the reality of the situation is that there will be people who don’t necessarily agree with your work, and those are things you have to consider when you’re looking to commit to a project.
That was one of the biggest things in my mind. I don’t want to be type cast and I don’t want this to stop me from doing things but you know what, I’m really big on prayer and I thought it through. I thought about the negative it could bring and I thought about the positive it could bring, and really the positive out weighed the negative. In any character or any film there is always going to be some negative feedback, some flack you get from it and you really just have to choose the story. I ultimately wanted to do this story and then I prayed about it. Everything I do I pray before and if I don’t feel a sense that this is right then I wont do it. I felt right about this project and so the setbacks couldn’t stop me from it
More often than not, in a web series character development can go awry quickly; moreover, a lot of content geared for the LGBT community is overwhelmingly saturated with sex. There is the perception that all we’re interested in is sex and that was a concern of my own as started to watch the series. I quickly identified with Gary and his need to approach the character in a way that would fulfill him as an actor…
You can catch the rest of Gary’s interview by clicking here! Also, be sure you catch all the episodes of About Him on Signal 23 TV leading up to the season finale and touring this fall in a city near you! Check out the extended trailer for the series below!