Who Is Laura? – Who is JT LeRoy?

Laura Albert won international acclaim with her fiction. Writing as JT LeRoy, she is the author of the best-selling novels Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, and the novella Harold’s End, published by Last Gasp with illustrations by Cherry Hood. She is the subject of Jeff Feuerzeig’s feature documentary Author: The JT LeRoy Story and Lynn Hershman Leeson’s film The Ballad of JT LeRoy. Cinema Eye, the organization that recognizes outstanding craft and artistry in nonfiction filmmaking, cited Laura Albert in Author as one of its 2016 list of Unforgettables: the year’s most notable and significant nonfiction-film subjects; the awards ceremony will be held at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image in January of 2017.

Laura’s books have been reissued in the US by HarperCollins and in the UK by Little Brown. Brazil’s Geração Editorial also re-released the JT LeRoy books in a boxset under Laura’s name – and she and JT were the subjects of the hit Brazilian rock musical JT, Um Conto de Fadas Punk (JT, A Punk Fairy Tale ).

Laura contributes to print and online publications internationally, in a career that includes articles for The New York Times, The Forward, The London Times, Spin, Film Comment, Filmmaker, Interview, I-D, and Vogue. She was a contributing editor to Black Book, I-D, SOMA, and 7×7 magazines and is currently ContentMode’s Editorial Director as well as an editor for Lemon Magazine, Conde Nast Glass magazine, Diane Pernet’s A Shaded View On Fashion (www.asvof.com), and the Outpost section of psychoPEDIA.com. She has written for dot429, the world’s largest LGBTA professional network, and been an invited speaker at their annual conferences in New York.

Laura’s writing has brought her to speaking engagements from the story-telling series The Moth and the Radiolab broadcasts in New York to Foyles bookstore in London and Brazil’s international book fair Bienal Brasil do Livro e da Leitura, where Laura and Alice Walker were the 2012 U.S. representatives. Her breakthrough interview given to Nathaniel Rich was the cover feature of the Fall 2006 issue of The Paris Review; she later gave an extensive interview to Adam Langer for the August 2013 issue of Interview Magazine.

She wrote the original script for Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, winner of the 2003 Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and was Associate Producer. For Asia Argento’s film adaptation of The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, Laura served as Associate Producer. She also co-scripted Jean-Claude Schlim’s film House of Boys and was a writer for the HBO series Deadwood. Her writing for short films includes Radiance for Drew Lightfoot and ContentMode, and Dreams of Levitation and We Vault for Sharif Hamza and Nowness. In 2012 Laura served on the juries of the first Brasilia International Film Festival and the Sapporo International Short Film Festival.

The editor of Da Capo Best Music Writing 2005, she has contributed writing to such short-story anthologies as The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003, edited by Dave Eggers and read by Tatum O’Neal on audio edition; MTV’s Lit Riffs; XXX, edited by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders; Nadav Kander’s Beauty’s Nothing; and The Fourth Sex, Adolescent Extremes, edited by Francesco Bonami and Raf Simons. She has also been published in Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope: All-Story, McSweeney’s, and the Oxford American Music issue.

She has written liner notes and biographies for musicians Billy Corgan, Liz Phair, Conor Oberst, Bryan Adams, Nancy Sinatra, and Courtney Love, as well as the liner notes for the DVD of My Own Private Idaho, which features an audio segment with JT, Gus Van Sant, and Jonathan Caouette. With the band Thistle LLC, she contributed songs to the film Andy Warhol: Morning Star; she was also the voice of Warhol, reading from his Philosophy and Diaries. She also contributed to a podcast project for San Francisco’s MOMA on Warhol.

Laura has collaborated with director and playwright Robert Wilson for the international exhibition of his VOOM video portraits, and with the catalog for his “Frontiers: Visions of the Frontier” at IVAM Valencia.

Profiled as an “indie fashion fighter” in the Style section of the San Francisco Chronicle, Laura has served as a member of Diane Pernet’s ASVOFF fashion film competition jury. Steven Klein has photographed Laura for QVEST magazine; so has Kai Regan, for his “Reckless Endangerment” at ALIFE. She has also done fashion shoots for Christian Lacroix and John Galliano, written films for ContentMode and Nowness, and interviewed numerous designers. ContentMode has published her series of fashion-related interviews with film and television actors. She coordinated a fashion show as an HIV/AIDS fundraiser for the Academy of Friends Oscar Party, bringing together Melange Productions and the multi-talented young people of Project Level – an arts academy for at-risk youth in San Francisco, where Laura is Director of Strategic Development – to create looks for the show, which they modeled.

Laura profiled award-winner Juergen Teller for the 2003 Citibank Photography Prize catalogue, and was a catalog contributor for both the “Blind Cut” exhibition at New York’s Marlborough Chelsea and “An Autobiography of the San Francisco Bay Area, Parts 1 & 2, Part 1: San Francisco Plays Itself” at SF Camerawork. Laura has collaborated with Williamsburg band Japanther, releasing a limited-edition cassette under the name True Love in a Large Room, with original artwork by Winston Smith, and with the San Francisco band The Size Queens on The Size Queens III album.

A spokeswoman for the successful “Heart for Eye” campaign to raise funds for restorative eye surgery for children, Laura hosted a television segment and was both an interview subject and an interviewer of inspirational women such as Anastasia Barbieri and Anh Duong. As part of the campaign, she was photographed by Marc Horn in ads that ran in Korean Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, W, Marie Claire, and other publications.

She has also taught at Dave Eggers’ 826 Valencia and California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and lectured with artist Jasmin Lim at Artists’ Television Access with SF Camerawork’s Chuck Mobley.

For several years Laura was the chief entertainment/travel writer/personality for Bayinsider.com, a San Francisco City Guide produced by Cox Interactive Media in conjunction with KTVU/Fox 2, KNBR and The Ticket 1050. She has hosted a series of radio segments at KPOO and KUSF on film, food, and travel. Laura’s other credits include being weekly show host for Rolling Stone, an Internet RealAudio show for Web Entertainment Group; travel writer for a New York-based publication, Singles Almanac; and lifestyle columnist for The Web Magazine and Maxim magazine.


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