Doug: In PRETTY, the outrageous new hit web series from creator Steve Silverman and Velvet Candy Entertainment, Michael Taylor Gray plays Royce, the assistant director of the Miss Star Eyes Pageant.
Royce is one bullet away from taking over from Ms. Parker Kensington Parker. Have you ever had a boss like Parker?
Michael Taylor Gray: Yes, my first pimp, Roscoe at the Chicken Ranch in Amarillo was a real task master. Demanding, over-bearing and freaky kinky. I still can't drink coke from a bottle to this day.
D: I'm not gonna ask. So, if Royce ran his own pageant, how different would things be?
MTG: There'd be a helluva a lot more glitter and a boy band on the pageant stage. More one-on-one sessions with pageant dads, more jazz hands & spirit fingers and a retractable roof. (I look my best in natural light.)
D: Love it! Did you base your performance on anyone you know?
MTG: Royce is a combination of Steve Silverman, Brian Boitano and Rip Taylor. Hold the mayo.
D: That's hysterical...and probably true. When you're not being Royce, you're usually doing stage work, do you have a favorite role?
MTG: Yes I do! The "Emcee" from CABARET... a role I played 300 years ago my freshman year in college. I'd love to play that role again now that I have so much more life experience than when I was 19. And by life experience, I mean sex, drugs and church camp.
D: Isn't Church Camp just sex, drugs plus Jesus? If you could play any sitcom character (from all of TV history), who would it be and why?
MTG: It would totally be "Bernice" from Designing Women. What sheer joy to have the freedom to play a character who has absolutely no filter between her brain and her mouth. I had the pleasure of meeting Alice Ghostly several years before she passed away ('cause meeting people after they die sucks). She's a classic.
D: Yes - Alice had such great timing and an amazing career. Who are your other comedy heroes?
MTG: Oh my...let's see...Shields &Yarnell, The Mandrell Sisters, Flip Wilson...
D: Cool. Variety shows have been a major influence on me as well.
MTG: ...and also Ruth Buzzi, Marla Gibbs, Pamela Anderson, George W. Bush, Emmanuel Lewis and Christopher Hewitt ("Mr. Belvedere").
D: What a crew! Bush...really? I don't wanna know. After PRETTY, what's up next for you?
MTG: A massage with a Hollywood Happy Ending.
D: That sounds like a great idea to me! Speaking of happy endings, I've been working out for over fifteen years and my arms are like noodles. What's your secret?
D: Julia Child wouldn't have said it better! Well, thank you, Mr. Taylor Gray for taking time to chat with me. You're so PRETTY.
MTG: I certainly feel PRETTY! Watch Episode 3...it's my big debut!
D: We will certainly be keeping our eyes on Royce!