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Bruce Vilanch headlines Stepping Stone’s birthday, annual bay cruise

Bruce Vilanch

Stepping Stone will host its annual Mission Bay Cruise on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011. The cruise which is in its third year of existence will also help to celebrate Stepping Stone’s 35th birthday. The event will feature an exhibit chronicling 35 years of recovery. Since its inception in 1976, Stepping Stone has been committed to providing the community – and primarily the LGBT community – with recovery options for those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Their programs not only focus on addiction but also other medical and psychiatric conditions that impact addiction.

Their simple goal is clearly expressed in the organization’s mission statement, “To create, improve and deliver alcohol and other drug treatment, HIV and other health interventions, recovery, education and prevention services specializing in the challenges of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities of the San Diego region.”

Helping to keep guests entertained this year will be none other than six-time Emmy award winner Bruce Vilanch. Vilanch, who has been a humanitarian supporting many LGBT issues got his start in showbusiness early as a “Chubby Child Model” for Layne Bryant. After graduating from Ohio state with a BFA in theater he began writing for the entertainment industry. He made a notable impression on a then struggling nightclub singer Bette Midler who used Vilanch’s material to add more comedy to her act. He is probably best known for his four-year stint on Hollywood Squares, as well as writing for multiple Oscar Awards productions and his stand-up comedy.

The event which still has tickets available, will feature a gourmet dinner, silent and live auction, entertainment by Vilanch and also the opportunity for a VIP meet and greet with the celebrity.

Days before his San Diego appearance at Stepping Stone recovery center’s 35th birthday celebration and annual Mission Bay cruise, legendary comedic writer, former child model, and Hollywood Squares star, Bruce Vilanch, took time out of whirlwind schedule for a Q&A with San Diego LGBT Weekly contributor, Christopher Garcia (look for the Sept. 29 issue at CVS stores, book stores, or your favorite local coffee house for more on Vilanch and Stepping Stone).

Read what the ultimate Hollywood insider told San Diego LGBT Weekly about what motivates him to work with Stepping Stone:

San Diego LGBT Weekly: What was it like working with Bette Midler in her early days?

Vilanch: We ran through a lot of towels.  And, full disclosure: It was the 70s, we were all very young and frequently chemically altered.  It was the most brilliantly creative atmosphere.  We’d try anything because Bette could do anything, right down to standing on her head.

San Diego LGBT Weekly: Your first claim to fame was as a model.  What was life like as a “chubby child model”?  How do you feel this helped to prepare you for your future in showbuisiness?

Vilanch: My parents kept a healthy distance between the show and the business, so all i did was have a lot of fun.  I was always happiest in the land of make-believe.  but from the very beginning, i wanted to be a pro.

San Diego LGBT Weekly: What is your greatest personal achievement both personally and professionally?

Vilanch: Keeping down my aunt pauline’s brisket.  I am known for being on the ground floor of bette midler’s career, for writing 22 oscar shows, for being a hollywood square, and for doing two years in a fat suit, believe it or not, in hairspray.  Those are all pretty kewl.

San Diego LGBT Weekly: What is your affiliation with Stepping Stone and why did you choose to participate in this event?

Vilanch: I like hanging around with drunks.  Ok, sober drunks.  Ok, people who are taking positive steps towards making their life work.  It’s refreshing.

San Diego LGBT Weekly: Why do you feel Stepping Stone is a good organization to support?

Vilanch: “We all need someone we can lean on,”  written by Keith Richards.  Class, can you say irony?

San Diego LGBT Weekly: Are you involved with any other organizations that help to serve the community?

Vilanch: The list is longer than secretariat’s penis.

San Diego LGBT Weekly: Do you have any experience or know someone who has been negatively affected by addiction?

Vilanch: Since society has acknowledged the disease of addiction — who doesn’t?

San Diego LGBT Weekly: What are some of your more recent projects that you have been working on?

Vilanch: There’s this waiter at the W I’ve got my eye on.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=15576

Posted by on Sep 29, 2011. Filed under Around the City. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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