Remembering Mary Ellen Mark

The sad news is the passing of photographer Mary Ellen Mark at the age of 75. She had taken JT LeRoy’s portrait to accompany the Tom Waits interview in Vanity Fair magazine, and for a recent exhibition at SF Cameraworks, Laura wrote this text to accompany the picture:

 

“I wrote Sarah and several other works of fiction under the pseudonym JT LeRoy. JT was a persona I created, asbestos gloves for material I couldn’t stand to touch. JT was the living expression of that pain. To me, he always wanted a body. It was physical, like contractions in childbirth. But in person, the body had no eyes. Behind the wig and the sunglasses was a stand-in, an avatar, an enactment, a living mask.

“I was 17 years old and living in a group home when I saw Mary Ellen Mark’s movie Streetwise with some other teenage girls who were also in exile from their families. When Vanity Fair wanted a photograph of JT, I asked that Mary Ellen Mark take the photos. She understands the language of suffering and loss: loss of childhood, loss of a child. I knew she would get JT.”

Posted in Magazine Interview, Remembrance Tagged with: , , , ,

Laura Albert Goes “Beyond The Mask” With Ponytale Magazine

Ponytale

“How can we seriously not perceive that literature is a mask to hide behind?”

Luna Miguel poses that question in the introduction to her interview with Laura Albert for the new European magazine Ponytale. Exploring femininity through art, music, and fashion, filled with references to pop culture, girl culture, and riottttt fanzines, Ponytale is dedicated to girls who are on the quest of finding themselves. So their latest issue turns to Laura Albert, the author who has spun questions of identity, representation, and self-realization into a new literary orbit. And “Beyond The Mask” even has an appearance by a new incarnation of JT!

HERE’S where you can learn about the new issue Ponytale.

Posted in Magazine Interview Tagged with: , ,

Laura Albert’s New Film Selected By South African Fashion Film Festival!

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 3.46.12 PM

The prestigious Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African International Film Festival celebrates creativity in the film and fashion industries, and the film Radiance – written by Laura Albert – has been chosen as an Official Selection for this year’s festival!

A production from ContentMode, the premiere digital fashion publication, Radiance melds Laura’s poetic text with Deborah Ferguson’s creative direction and Drew Lightfoot’s haunting imagery and post effects, the charismatic presence of actor Tom Lipinski, and the peerless fashion of Topman USA.

The Executive Producers of Radiance – Drew, Laura, and Deborah – are over the moon with excitement at this response to their work. Laura sends her congratulations to all the participants in this year’s festival – and her special thanks and respect to ContentMode, Topman, Drew, Deborah, Tom, and all the superb talent that made this magical film possible.

Don’t despair if you can’t make it to Cape Town for the festivities – you can see this evocative and original film HERE.

Posted in Award Nomination, Cinema, Fashion Event, Film Festival Tagged with: , , , , ,

Laura Albert, Indie Fashion Fighter

The SF Chronicle just did a new fashion spread on Laura, and you can see all the great photos here.

Tony Bravo’s article had to be abbreviated for space; this is the original text:

A steam-punked Mad Max meets “Deadwood” meets Japanese anime

The writer behind JT LeRoy, Albert is known as much for her community involvement as she is for her novels Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (which was adapted into a film by Asia Argento in 2004). Among the non-profit endeavors Albert dedicates her time to are at-risk youth arts group Project Level, the annual Melange fashion show, San Francisco’s Academy of Friends, and a new partnership with Crossroads Residential Care, which serves young adults aged 18-24 with mental-health and substance-abuse issues. Catching kids “before they reach the point of no return on the streets” is especially important to her as a group-home and homelessness survivor. For Albert, a devotee of indie designers and local boutiques as well as European labels (she’s done shoots with both Christian Lacroix and John Galliano), fashion serves the dual purpose of expression and accessibility. Her layered, haute gutter-punk style rarely goes unnoticed in town or when she’s traveling.

“It touches people’s spirit,” Albert says of her wardrobe. “Fashion makes me accessible; I get so many compliments from a wide range of people who feel comfortable approaching me.” In an #SFSTYLE first Albert came to her shoot with an entourage of no less than five male friends whom she off-the-cuff nicknamed “the real housewives of San Francisco.”

“Why would I ever go anywhere without a group of gay men?” Albert laughs. Ever the writer, for her fashion “boils down to story … And accessories.”

Albert paired her signature Gary Graham “confederate” hat with a coat by the designer. Her “raccoon penis bone” necklace by Levi Palmer was made after an important totem in her novel Sarah, and the “Deadwood” dog tag is from Albert’s time writing on the HBO drama. “I’ve noticed a lot of my favorite pieces — the Civil War hat, the dog tags, my boxing boots — have a fighting or battle element to them,” Albert says. “It seems fitting.”

Posted in Fashion Event, Newspaper Interview Tagged with: , , , , ,

JT Leroy Lives

JT WALKS THE RUNWAY!

JT LeRoy was invited to strut his stuff for the HIV/AIDS fundraiser held by the Academy of Friends Oscar Party in San Francisco, with the participation of the creative designers of Mélange Productions Inc. and the multi-talented kids from Project Level. Celebrated gender-fluid fashion model Rain Dove Dubilewski rawked it as JT LeRoy, walking the runway sporting magical JT hair created by Mike Potter, creator of the original JT LeRoy look (and currently wowing Broadway with the new production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch).

Here’s more information about all the fabulous players:

Mélange Productions Inc.

Project Level

Mike Potter and Hedwig

Rain Dove Dubilewski

And here’s a nifty write-up of the event from the SF Chronicle!

Posted in Benefit/Fundraiser, Evening with Friends, Fashion Event Tagged with: , , , , ,

NEW! SARAH e-book

See the new Harper re-issues of Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things HERE!

Posted in E-Books

August 2013: The “Interview” interview!

On sale now, the August 2013 issue of Interview Magazine features a wide-ranging interview with Laura by Adam Langer, author of Crossing California, The Thieves of Manhattan, and The Salinger Contract, and Arts Editor of the Jewish Daily Forward. Laura opens up about herself, JT, and life before, during, and after the reveal in this thoughtful and lively conversation, featuring photographs by Steven Klein. Their talk includes Laura’s reminiscences of David Milch, Courtney Love, and others, a glimpse of Andy Warhol, Quotations from Chairman Oscar Wilde, and guests appearances by Harry Potter, Bugs Bunny, and Tinker Bell!

Read Laura’s interview right HERE.

Posted in Magazine Interview Tagged with: , , , , , ,

JUNE 28, 2013 – ONE FROM “THE HEART”

An Evening with Laura Albert, Chris Hanley, and Asia
ArgentoThe heart is deceitful above all things

On Friday June 28, 2013, the Landmark’s Clay Theater, 2261 Fillmore Street in San Francisco, will hold a special midnight screening of the film “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.” Joining Laura Albert will be Chris Hanley, producer of “The Heart,” whose other credits as producer include “I Woke Up Early The Day I Died,” “The Virgin Suicides,” “American Psycho,” “Bully,” and “The Killer Inside Me.” Their special guest, via skype, will be Asia Argento, the star, director, and co-screenwriter of “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.” Also the star, director, and writer of “Scarlet Diva,” Argento’s other acting credits include “Queen Margot,” “xXx,” “Last Days,” “Land of the Dead,” “Marie Antoinette,” “The Last Mistress,” and “Dracula 3D.”

Book sales and signing will take place in the Clay Theatre lobby prior to the film.

Tickets for the film are $10; advance tickets are available online here; you can contact the box office at 415-561-9921.

laura-albert-clay-theatre-san-franciscoFor more information, go to the Clay Theatre website.

For the Facebook event click here (needs Facebook login).

“An unusual friendship in context of my work started a number of years back with JT LeRoy — first with middle of the night messages and small items left for me at the theatre in return for a small favor. Eventually there were some direct phone calls, and emails exchanged. Then the world discovered that JT LeRoy is Laura Albert. I’m not even sure how to describe Laura, but unique is a start. Her talents and personality are huge. She has a similarly large heart and generous nature. She is a public figure that has been discussed at length. She has not been overly public with appearances here in her hometown, so the late night event this Friday is particularly special. Enjoy it, Laura.” — Steve Indig, Landmark Senior Regional Publicist

Posted in Book Readings, Book Signings, Evening with Friends Tagged with: , ,

MARCH 26, 28, 2013 – Behind The Legend Of JT LeRoy

Two Evenings With Laura Albert & Friends

Two special events where Laura Albert will speak and read
her latest work for the first time. Her fiction will also
be read by other important authors.

SEATTLE, TUESDAY MARCH 26, 7:30 PM
Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Avenue; 206-322-7030
http://hugohouse.org/event/2013/mar/behind-legend-jt-leroy

Christoper Frizzelle, Editor-in-Chief of Seattle’s
alternative weekly the Stranger, will interview Laura.
Notable Seattle authors Rebecca Brown, Sean Beaudoin,
Nicole Hardy, and Garth Stein will read from Laura’s
fiction.
For more information, go to http://www.thestranger.com/
promotions/archives/2013/03/04/behind-the-legend-of-jt-
leroy

The mission of Richard Hugo House is to foster writers,
build community, and engage the Pacific Northwest in the
world of writing. Richard Hugo House provides classes,
events, and resources for writers, readers, and audiences.
Those resources include ZAPP, Zine Archive & Publishing
Project, home to more than 20,000 zines, chapbooks, and
other indie publications.
To learn more about Richard Hugo House, go to
http://hugohouse.org/

PORTLAND, THURSDAY MARCH 28, 7:30 PM
Disjecta 8371 N Interstate Avenue, Portland, OR 97217; 503-286-9449
http://jtleroypdx.eventbrite.com

Portland author and publisher Kevin Sampsell will interview
Laura. Joining Laura to read from her fiction will be
some of Portland’s very best authors, including Linda
Yuknavitch, Jon Raymond, Arthur Bradford, and Monica Drake.
For more information, go to http://disjecta.org/
exhibitions-events/behind-the-legend-of-jt-leroy-a-benefit-
for-p-ear

This event is a special fundraising benefit for p:ear. The
staff and volunteers of p:ear serve as mentors, friends,
and role models for homeless youth, offering programs

to help them develop the internal strength, skills, and
foresight needed to exit homelessness.
To learn more about p:ear, go to
http://pearmentor.org

Share with us your email address using the form on the right and we can send you our updates with the latest information on where and when Laura will be appearing.

Posted in Book Readings, Evening with Friends Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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