Steal Like an Artist Podcast

July 2, 2020

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TriVersity Presents - Our Stories, Our Truth: An ICARE Program Friday June 19th, 8 PM ET
NEWS PROVIDED BY WORLD STAR PR

June 17, 2020 1:58pm ET

Join TriVersity, the Center for Gender & Sexual Diversity for an evening of storytelling on Friday June 19th, 2020 at 8 PM ET. Members of the TriVersity LGBTQ+ Community and their allies will tell (true) stories about their experiences being LGBTQ+ or being an ally. The stories will run the gamut, so prepare to smile, laugh and cry.

With over 40 years as an Activist in the LGBTQ Community, TriVersity co-founder Wendy Stuart Kaplan will be reading two pieces relevant to an organization called POWARS that she was instrumental in during the height of the AIDS Epidemic. During the epidemic, Pet Owners With AIDS Resource Service took care of the pets of anyone who had HIV or AIDS when partners had passed and families were often not there. But the unconditional love of their pet was. Wendy’s performance and interviews of the Readers are dedicated to the memories of those not here to tell their story.

ICARE stands for Increasing Community Awareness through Relevant Education. ICARE Programs are generously funded by The Greater Pike Community Foundation.

https://www.pressparty.com/pg/newsdesk/WorldStarPR/view/216284/  

Join Our Stories, Our Truth: An ICARE Program live on Facebook:
https://bit.ly/2ANMADN

Posted on June 12, 2020 by Eileen Shaprio

Wendy Stuart Kaplan: "Pandemic Chef of the Century"

Wendy Stuart Kaplan

Wendy Stuart Kaplan in her spare COVID 19 time has been learning to cook the hard way. Deciding to film a cooking show when you’ve never cooked in your life is not only courageous, but a huge undertaking as well…almost as massive as traveling to the depths of Africa to film a documentary. Wendy has done them both and more.

As a model she wrote a best-selling book and as a Nightlife personality she’s been in bed with Ike Avelli Live. She doesn’t process the word fear when it comes to creating a project! Deciding to ask Wendy some intimate questions was a no brainer…….

If you were President of the United States what would your first command be and please don’t let it entail anything to do with cooking LOL?

If I were President of the United States my first command would be more nightclubs! I would have mandatory club nights that must be attended. Each American would be required once a week their choice of day to go out dancing. Or if they were really not cool about dancing then they at least would have to talk to people they met when they were out. A realistic goal like 2 new people that you either got their phone number for texting or became a Facebook friend. In addition, my platform would include Universal plastic surgery and beauty treatments paid for by the Federal Gov. I’m serious about this. People get sick because they don’t like what aging does to them. In my addendum to regular health care I would include Botox, Juvaderm, Restylane, facial peels, and for people needing more all the plastic surgery procedures available
Oh this applies to body treatments like Lipo, Tummy Tucks, Brazilian Butt Lifts and Boob jobs.

lastmodelstanding

Speaking of Cooking What’s new in your private cooking industry? 

Pandemic Cooking was started mid-March as my personal response to this Pandemic, which was getting people sick and causing unacceptable death counts. It was my comedic response to a tragedy of epic proportions unlike anything we have ever seen before in our lifetime. So here I am 40 episodes later with people actually making and loving the recipes but moreover the responses are incredible to how this show makes people laugh and is pure comic relief for them. A regular cooking show has great hosts that cook. My show has an over the top comedian (me) who never cooked period and is now cooking. To me this is a win win situation to affect the cooking industry in a way it never has been presented before. To me the opportunities for sponsors, branding and endorsements are huge. In both the entertainment and cooking industries.

Rumor has it that you’ve been appearing on a Saturday night comedy/entertainment show called “Live In Bed With Ike Avelli” ….how good is he in bed?  

Now the fact that Rumor has It (wasn’t that an Annie Lenox Song) that I’ve been spending Sat nights “Live in Ike Avelli’s Bedroom” is not at all a rumor but the truth!!!! I cannot deny it! Ike is amazing in bed because he’s all about sharing which is what keeps it all interesting isn’t it? You never know who else is gonna show up! It could be a drag performer, a singer, a sidekick, and what could be better than his audience, our voyeurs who love to watch!!! Of course, Ike always engages with songs from TV as well as jokes! And then there’s always a video! I do love his interviews with the performers as I want to know intimate details of people I’m in bed with. And those juicy details like who was the worst drag performer you ever worked with? Personally, I love sharing tales about my ex gay husband number five of the gay husbands? The youngest, narcissistic and selfish. I particularly enjoy talking about him on Ike’s show. As good as an orgasm. Why I tell you “Live in Ike Avelli’s Bedroom is better than porn!”

OK Wendy, I’m going to put you on the spot…What’s your favorite recipe…?  

Ah my favorite recipe? That would have to be the Truffle Potato Chip Encrusted Chicken which recently was featured in Joe Zaso’s Quarantine Cuisine Cookbook! This recipe was created with Nurse Jed, frontline by day, Burlesque Performer by night. Loved having him as a guest on my show and making this dish. Not only is he a “dish” but using truffle oil mixed with mayo to coat your chicken then taking each piece and putting it in the truffle chip bag where you’ve crushed the chips up, OMG! Move over Shake and Bake this kills it! I also have to admit I loved crushing the chips up in the bag to make the coating. It was very empowering. I mean when do you ever get to do that

What new projects do you have in mind when we are once again free

I’m free now! Very free since I am now operating with no boundaries what so ever! Everything in the entertainment industry changed with Covid 19. I believe there will be many more opportunities for performers since the old structures that existed had the underpinnings pulled out and the new platforms have not identified themselves. Call me crazy, but I’ve done an incredible amount of shows, interviews, and podcasts during this time period. I’ve been interviewed all over the country without ever leaving my couch! And I take my Zoom or Stream Yard performances as serious as I would being on a stage. Hair, makeup, costumes, lighting, and I’m good to go! I actually surprised myself how well I could connect with an audience on Zoom. It really is the same skill set I would use on stage but now it’s virtual.  Because this is what I have now! Use it or lose it!

wendystuart-acting002

My passion project “Working Dogs: A Love Story” is in the process of being edited while we are isolating at home. My film will be finished by early fall, ready to explore the best channels to launch our screenings from. This film will raise awareness regarding the human animal bond and the pivotal relationship dogs play in our lives as service and therapy dogs. I interview people in the film who depend on these dogs for their day to day existence. A journalist with epilepsy whose dog can smell when he is about to have a seizure. Or a dog that can count steps to the supermarket to safely get his blind owner there. And those are just a few remarkable instances in the film. And there is not a day that goes by when I am not jotting down another project I’d like to do. I would love to continue to create vehicles with some of the amazing performers I’ve gotten to work with during this time. Something about this Pandemic really set me off and I exploded in a sea of creativity. And I am hoping that the huge party Extravaganza I hosted January 24 is able to happen again when it’s safe to pile 300 people in a room that holds 250. Of course my LGBTQ Triversity which I helped create and have been on the board of for 8 years is moving ahead with our own YouTube Channel and I will be interviewing key players there as well.

How did you get  involved with NYC Nightlife Creatures Nick Lion, Tym Moss, Ike Avelli and the rest?

Well are you ready for a Fairy Tale? Once upon a time not even a year ago I met a dashing charismatic prince by the name of Nick Lion at Club Cumming where we were celebrating the life of the incredibly talented comedian Robbyne Kamille.   We talked for literally 5 minutes and friended each other on Facebook and that was it. But as I go out a lot, I asked him a few times if he wanted to join me. I usually go out in a posse and all are welcome if they’re fun. Even more welcome if they’re fun and like to dance. Well, suddenly I get an invite from Nick to go see this opening of a film called “Junk” starring Tym Moss.  He also invited a large group of friends to support Tym. He picked me up at my house and drove me to the theatre. Then he gave me some beautiful bling, a bracelet. He also gave one to his stunning friend Maria. The Gay Gods were shining down on me with Nick Lion. He totally loved and respected women. And I knew he was the real deal. We of course had a blast that night. His friends were just like him. Fun and genuine. The real deal. Then he invited me shortly after to Mark DeAlwis’ Salons Mingle Jingle. Again, fabulous people. Marks partner Billy Hess is an incredible photographer. And everyone I met that night was so unbelievably nice.

cooking
I started telling Nick about my Jan 24th event to celebrate my birthday. It was going to be a short evening of readings with a small party afterward, at Daniel Nardicio’s Club Bedlam. Except that’s not what happened. Nick jumped in to help produce it and the next thing I knew he and I would be going out at least two nights a week going to different clubs and venues and getting the most fabulous people to come to our event. And then we decided we would have performers. That’s how I got to know Tym Moss who sang in the show. I think Ike couldn’t come or maybe he did come, and I didn’t remember it as I was on fast forward at 125 BPM. We had Sherri Vine Host, and our lineup included Margoh Channing, Edwin Vasquez, Jed Ryan, Bear Donna, Tammy Faye, and more. Corey Craig was the DJ. What a night. We went down as legendary for bringing back the vibe of Studio 54 in 2020.  I had the time of my life,  Nick and I decided that we were going to start producing parties on this level. As I stood on that stage Jan 24th there was a rush that came over me, a tsunami actually, an epiphany that everything in my life would be changing. That proved to be true both metaphorically and in real time. Another irony was Ike Avelli is someone I’ve also gotten to know through doing “Live In Bed With Ike Avelli. Prior to now I only knew his name. Incredible what has happened since Jan 24th! The following 10 days later Nick, myself and Tym were all at the Glam Awards. And the following week or so later we were at Tym and Ike’s new project “Theality” as audience members. I got to talk to Ike a lot more that night. He’s hilarious and loves to dance. Me too! Look at how our paths kept crossing! So, take a look at this as a family tree with Nick Lion on top and branches below which are the rest of us. Nick Lion is an incredible catalyst. And a heart that’s huge.  He was determined to bring all of us together! You too Eileen Shapiro! And he did. And we’ve all been working together now since the Pandemic. That’s pretty incredible considering!

Any closing words regarding our planet?

Ah closing words for the planet. These are words that I live by. “Live life large, loud, and generously. Take care of your friends, and love them abundantly. Find forgiveness for those who love you and make mistakes because none of us are perfect. Create abundance all around you and share it with those who are worth it. This is how I live my life on this planet. Oh, and one more thing… for those who are consumed with ill will and jealousy towards your success, who tell you they can never be happy for you, there is no need to ever forgive them. They don’t matter in your life and your success will only underline their failure. Surround yourself with people who want the best for you, and you for them. Do that, and your life will be extraordinary!

Watch “Pandemic Cooking with Wendy” starring Wendy Stuart Kaplan on Youtube  here:

https://youtu.be/XALokuoMVuw?list=PLRVEU_iGvuno5ed3ZA4WBYtJMcQCp-pfX

The official website for Wendy Stuart Kaplan may be found at https://www.wendystuarttv.com

http://thehollywooddigest.com/wendy-stuart-kaplan-pandemic-chef-of-the-century/

Posted on June 2, 2020
Posted on May 4, 2020

Wendy Stuart Featured In Chef Joe Zaso’s Latest Cookbook “Cafe Himbo’s Quarantine Cuisine” Available Worldwide May 15th, 2020

Why let the fact that you don’t cook and a Pandemic stop you from launching a cooking show? Wendy Stuart certainly didn’t….as the creator and star of “Pandemic Cooking with Wendy,” she will be featured in Chef Joe Sazo’s latest cookbook “Café Himbo’s Quarantine Cuisine” with the recipe “Nurse Jed Ryan’s Truffle Potato Chip Encrusted Chicken.” Jed Ryan is a frontline nurse and nightlife performer who believes you can never have too many cooks in the kitchen.

 

 

Other celebrities featured in the book include Michael Musto, Hedda Lettuce, and the fabulous Elizabeth Shepherd  from Omen II: Damien to name a few.

Dubbed by her friends “the Kathy Griffin of fashion”, Wendy’s hilarious, occasionally poignant story of how she became – and has remained for 30 years – one of the most successful “fit” models in the country (that size 8 you’re wearing might very well be based on Wendy Stuart Kaplan’s figure), is told with a Griffin-esque sense of humor untarnished by malice. From studying voodoo in Nigeria through years of taking mind-numbing jobs just to pay the rent, to her success in the present day where she can say of the women’s underwear sold at Wal-Mart, modeled on her size eight body, “I cover the asses of the masses.”

 

As an actress, print model, and stand up comedienne, Wendy has worked in film, television and theatre and has made appearances on many syndicated and daytime talk shows.  Her fun personality and quick sense of humor made her a standout guest whether she was modeling unusual wedding gowns on Geraldo or selling shoes on Speigel TV.  Her ecclectic career also includes being voted Mrs. NY, going on to compete in the National Mrs. America pageant.

Watch “Pandemic Cooking with Wendy” every day starring Wendy Stuart Kaplan on Youtube  here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XALokuoMVuw&list=PLRVEU_iGvuno5ed3ZA4WBYtJMcQCp-pfX

Please Like and Subscribe to the Wendy Stuart TV channel on Youtube.

Chef Joe Sazo’s Latest Cookbook “Café Himbo’s Quarantine Cuisine” featuring Wendy Stuart will be available worldwide on Friday May 15th, 2020 on Amazon and https://www.joezaso.net

https://bigcelebritybuzz.com/2020/05/04/wendy-stuart-featured-in-chef-joe-sazos-latest-cookbook-cafe-himbos-quarantine-cuisine-available-worldwide-may-15th-2020/

Posted on April 16, 2020

Wendy Stuart Kaplan Launches New TV Show “Pandemic Cooking with Wendy”

Television News
Actress/Model/Host/Author/Comedienne Wendy Stuart Kaplan has just launched her new television show “Pandemic Cooking with Wendy.”
 
Dubbed by her friends “the Kathy Griffin of fashion”, Wendy’s hilarious, occasionally poignant story of how she became – and has remained for 30 years – one of the most successful “fit” models in the country (that size 8 you’re wearing might very well be based on Wendy Stuart Kaplan’s figure), is told with a Griffin-esque sense of humor untarnished by malice. From studying voodoo in Nigeria through years of taking mind-numbing jobs just to pay the rent, to her success in the present day where she can say of the women’s underwear sold at Wal-Mart, modeled on her size eight body, “I cover the asses of the masses.”
 
 
 
As an actress, print model, and stand up comedienne, Wendy has worked in film, television and theatre and has made appearances on many syndicated and daytime talk shows. Her fun personality and quick sense of humor made her a standout guest whether she was modeling unusual wedding gowns on Geraldo or selling shoes on Speigel TV. Her ecclectic career also includes being voted Mrs. NY, going on to compete in the National Mrs. America pageant.
 
 

Watch “Pandemic Cooking with Wendy” every day starring Wendy Stuart Kaplan on Youtube here:

https://youtu.be/XALokuoMVuw?list=PLRVEU_iGvuno5ed3ZA4WBYtJMcQCp-pfX

Please Like and Subscribe to the Wendy Stuart TV channel on youtube.

The official website for Wendy Stuart Kaplan may be found at https://www.wendystuarttv.com

For interviews or more information contact worldstarpublicrelations@gmail.com

 
Posted on April 13, 2020

THE QUARANTINE QUARTET, Part 1: Four Nightlife Personalities Talk About Life During the Pandemic!

WENDY STUART

JR: Good morning, Wendy! It’s 11AM. So, are you usually up this early? Are you a morning person now?!

WS: Oh my God, I’m going to forget that you said that! In my old life, I would go to bed at two o’clock and wake up at seven. But that was my old life. Now that my days have no beginning, no middle, and no end, I’m up. I can be up anytime. You said 11:00AM. So there you go. I’m here!

JR: Yay!

WS: It’s another day in paradise…

JR: Well, I’m sure it’s SOME people’s ideas of paradise, you know!

WS: I noticed that so many people have been saying, “If this is what retirement is, I’m never retiring!” Think about it! Even for those of us working at home, it’s just, you know… there’s nothing! You’ve got to just be so freaking self-motivated. Right?

JR: Yes! Or else, you don’t even have any pattern to the day at all!

WS: Right. There’s no pattern! You know what it is, Jed? It’s just an “ooze”. That’s what I call it. We just “ooze” through our day!

JR: I’m sure there are some people who don’t mind this “stay at home” way of life at all. But maybe for some of them, it hasn’t really kicked in yet. Another couple of weeks and then you really start to feel like you’re in “Rosemary’s Baby”: “This is not a dream! This is REALLY HAPPENNING!”

WS: That’s really what it’s like for performers. There’s this one girl who’s a performer who I am friends with. She’s an amazing drag queen.  She put up a post on Facebook that she had the coronavirus and she went through all the symptoms when she was sick. She had everything. Thank God she’s OK now. But she said that this left her without any motivation. No creative energy. Just so “blah”… I wrote back that so many of us who perform feed off of an audience. That is the kind of performer I am. And you know, Jed, I’m a social butterfly: I love having people around me, and I never run out of things to talk about. I love meeting new people.

JR: No!(Laughs)

WS: When you’re that kind of personality: when you’re a stage performer, and especially if you’re stage performer who does drag, you’re just so freaking “out there”! And now all of a sudden, you gotta get it up to do Facebook Live… You have to look into that little camera and pretend it’s an enormous audience, and it’s hard. It’s a hard thing to do.

JR: Yeah, it is! I just can’t wait to go dancing again. People ask me if I’ve gone to any of the “virtual dance parties”. My friend Kyle Supley does his monthly dance party “After Dark” at Julius once a month. And I used to love that! I can’t get into the virtual thing. Not yet anyway!

WS: You know we’re going dancing after this, right?! That’s my whole M.O. is dancing, and we’re definitely going dancing. It’s not going to be virtual when this is all over. We’re going to do it for freaking real! We’ll do Julius. We’ll go out to the clubs in Brooklyn. You know how many plans and tickets I had? I had plans to see Danny Krivit. I was so looking forward to that at the end of March. Look what happened!

JR: Yeah! To me it’s just not the same. But I admire people’s ambitions with finding new ways to entertain us and to express their creativity. But I prefer the “three dimensional experience”! Actually, dancing is probably four dimensions! No! It’s five dimensional, because it engages all five senses and sometimes even a sixth one! (Laughs)

WS: I support all of my friends. I love Tym Moss’ workouts in the morning. He’s so cute! He’s adorable, and I like the music he picks. And he’s a big personality, so he comes across. But it’s still hard watching all of these talented people on a computer screen. I’m keen on trying to be supportive, you know, but it’s like, “Arrgh! When will all this be over?” Oh, girl! So, what are we going to talk about today?

JR: Thank you for asking! So, first, what was your last memory of New York City nightlife before the big shutdown?

WS: I was out every night before the pandemic. I sucked the life’s blood out of performance on the Lower East Side. I went right till the end. Carol Lipnik was the last person I saw at Pangea before they shut down. I went to The Bitter End to see Edwin Vazquez’ solo performance. He was so amazing. It’s so funny because so many of these people did Reading For Filth or performed at my party. I went to see Michael C. Hall at The Mercury Lounge. He’s the guy who played “Dexter”. Who knew that he even had a band? The band was named Princess Goes To The Butterfly Museum. He was so amazing. I went to see him, and they cancelled the band that was supposed to be after him. It was not crowded at all. But the show I saw was just so great, and I got to talk with him afterward. Debbie Harry showed up that night.

JR: Wow!

WS: We knew what was coming. I knew. Even then, everyone said to me, “You’re going out? You better be careful!” I WAS careful. I really was. I was one of the ones who was careful for, like three weeks before everything hit. But I still needed to go out. I just, well… you know, how it is!

JR: Yes I do!

WS: And then of course I went to see Penny Arcade at Pangea. She was workshopping new stuff. With anything Penny does, she’s so unbelievable.  Her insight!  I have now subscribed to this channel for Pangea which has all of Penny’s archives on it. It’s called Patreon. I’m subscribing for $5 a month. It’s unlimited access to Penny’s material. I think that half of what you pay goes to Pangea to make sure they open again. You know how much Pangea supports the arts! They are an institution that’s been there forever. So, that was one of the last things I saw: Penny Arcade at Pangea. I love that she’s paying it forward: She really puts her money where her mouth is. She has been doing it a long time. And when people start to see her work from the ’80s, and then think about who she is now, the woman was a prophet. She really is a prophet. I’m totally convinced. A lot of the shit she called out then is what’s coming true now. I love her perception. I love her energy, and I just love the fact that she tells it like it is. I mean, she’s Penny— and she can call it.

JR: I agree! I saw Penny Arcade at the closing party for Mother in 2000. That party lasted all night long. It was one of those parties that you left in the morning when it was light out, and people on the streets were just starting their normal nine to five day!

WS: I love being in my club clothes walking home at 8 or 9 o’clock in the morning! I do. I love that. It’s such a crazy feeling! Oh my God! Shit, I’m missing that so much! The following week, the very last performance– I swear to you, I’m calling it “the last performance in New York ever”– was Carol Lipnik. And that was like, “Whoa!” Jed, have you ever seen Carol before?

   
 
  

JR: No, I haven’t. Not yet! I have to put her on my list.

WS: She’s really amazing. She’s a very seasoned performer: very Joni Mitchell-ish in approach, but definitely unique and hypnotic in her own voice. There’s an ethereal quality to her. I got turned on to Carol Lipnik because my friend Sweetie used to do songs that Carol did, and I was like, “Who is this woman?” Then I just started finding stuff that she did. She is amazing. And she was the last show at Pangea. Because this pandemic is so otherworldly, I’m thinking that it all makes sense now that Carol would be the last performer I saw. Of course it would be her– because it’s like she’s from somewhere else in a universe out there, you know? Certainly, what we’ve learned from this pandemic is that all the things that we thought was… just ISN’T. Our world ISN’T what it was, because something can change so drastically. And, Jed, that’s the freak-out. You have to say to yourself, “What can any of us control now?” It can all be gone like that, you know?
JR: Yes, this is beyond so much. This is beyond what’s going on in only America. This is beyond what’s going on in a specific community. This defies everything: ethnicity, economic status, religion…

WS: It defies every single border that you could possibly think of. I dealt big with AIDS. We were part of an AIDS organization in the 80s. We took care of the pets of anyone that had HIV or AIDS, and a lot of those clients– I hate calling them that because they became my friends… I would do fundraisers. I would have our clients come to the fundraisers, and have donors come to the fundraisers, and I’ve always given parties. That’s my thing. Certainly, it was to raise money. But the other thing I did was: We knew a couple of the doctors that did the Dallas Buyer Club drug thing in those days– you know, all the “off label” stuff. I was able to get some of the people that we knew to see those doctors. It was only a freaking handful, but they’re still alive. They’re still ALIVE! Even then, when it was “helter skelter”, I definitely felt there was more control. You knew there were safeguards you could take: You could practice safe sex. You were told, “This is what you could do.” If, if you can do it, you have control. But this, Jed: There’s honestly no control– even as I wash down every bottle, as I spray sanitizer, as I do all of these precautions: gloves, masks, everything that I’m doing. I have to do it. We all have to do it because we don’t know anything different. But there’s a part of me every day that says that it’s such fucking bullshit. They could have gotten this under control somewhat. Could they have stopped it? I don’t believe so. I don’t think you can stop a pandemic. You know, you can’t stop Ebola– but you CAN contain it. And that’s what people try and do. But with THIS… Flights to China should have been curtailed back in December. How dare we not have protective equipment for our healthcare workers.  Come on! How can we not? That to me is one of the most blasphemous things in the world, and yet it’s allowed. I have a weekend place in Milford, Pennsylvania, and there are spots out there where people are still resentful of having to take any precaution. Yesterday was a nice day. I heard there were groups of people hanging out with their friends with no masks on. They’re blaming the people that come from New York, or New Jersey, or Philadelphia for bringing this virus to them. This is the kind of thinking. And they’re still pro-Trump. How anybody can be is beyond me. I just can’t wrap my head around it. What did we have last night? I think that 700 people died in New York. Is that the statistic I saw this morning?

JR: Yeah, something like that, sadly.

WS: This is just wrong on so many levels. It’s bullshit on so many levels. And you know, for me, I’m such a person that’s always controlled their destiny and danced to my own drum for as long as I can remember. And now this is just like, “I don’t know.” I fucking float through my day. You asked me what time I get up. I’m up! I just won’t allow myself to do the “sleeping in” thing because it’s mentally not good. And as you know, I started a cooking show. So I have to be up. I gotta be ready to cook! (Laughs)

JR: (Laughs) It’s very difficult because as a nurse, I will give people healthcare advice if they ask me. I’ll tell them what they should eat and how they should exercise. I’ll teach them about medication. I’ll tell them what they should do to maintain their own health. But again, only if they ask me. If they are over the age of 18 and they are not my own children, all I could do is make gentle suggestions. They are going to have to make their own decisions about their own health, you know? But in a way, this is not the same thing. This is not the same thing as eating healthy, for example, because the choices you make by eating healthy, for example, are only going to affect you and your loved ones. These decisions people make about going out in large groups are going to affect ALL of us!

WS: The scary thing about this is that you can be positive and a carrier with no symptoms.  So let’s say three people are negative, two are positive, and those five people get together. So now at that get-together, the other three become positive, right? ‘Cause this thing just fucking spreads. And they all have people that they’re in contact with. Maybe they are not necessarily going out to meet people, but they have a partner or family or whatever. I mean, people don’t get that this is how the numbers multiply.

You’ve got to isolate. Even for myself, I could have been more vigilant. My isolations were started… I think it was March 8th. It was that weekend that I knew the envelope had been pushed a little bit. I gave an event out in Pennsylvania. I run LGBTQ events with my Executive Director for an organization called TriVersity. I gave a community event called First Friday. We weren’t masked or anything. We knew about the virus, and it was when people were first starting to say, you know, “Don’t hug or kiss.” or whatever. There were people coming in who were not necessarily part of our community, but they were locals who wanted to experience the band. I always book really great bands. When people were wanting to meet me and say hi and introduce themselves, they would extend their hand, and I would jump back and go, “No!” and namaste, or nod my head, or air handshake, you know? Every person says to me, “What’s wrong?” I’m like, “Well, there’s the virus.” — and this is what I got from everybody: “Yeah. But it’s really just like a flu.” or “Oh, but that’s over in other places. It’s not here yet.”

JR: I’m sure some of them thought, “Oh, only old people get it.”

WS: Right. It was like it didn’t have anything to do with them. I still kept vigilant. The next day I went on a hike with a bunch of my New York City friends who have homes here who I hadn’t seen in a while. We all met in the parking lot to go on this hike, and they got out of their cars. The first thing people wanted to do was extend their hand or give a hug. And my reaction, of course, was the same. Their reaction was the same too. They, they looked at me like “What are you talking about?” I said, “There’s the virus. You have to be really careful.” And then the answer was, “Oh, you know, it’s just like a bad flu.” and “It’s not going to be spread through shaking hands.” I remember saying, “But we don’t know that. We just don’t know that.” A lot of my knowledge has come from working in places like Africa. In the last place I shot in Cameroon, so many people have malaria. I’m like, “Fuck, I’m on malaria pills! Why does everyone have malaria?” Well, the female mosquitos in the area I was in were resistant to Malarone. Well isn’t that just great? I freaking prayed a lot when I was there, because my chances of catching a lot of things were really great. So, I’ve dealt with situations of things spreading before– and trying to be careful with handwashing and all of that. But maybe that’s what was in my head on March 8th when I did my pullback. I’ve been masked since March 8th, even when they said you didn’t need to wear masks back then. I’ve either put a covering over my face, and I’ve got some of those cloths masks now. Initially they said, “Oh, it doesn’t do anything.” But I am a common sense kind of person. It makes sense to me just to have a barrier. I don’t touch my face anyway. It’s common sense: you know as a healthcare worker that all our germs are on our fingers. So don’t go poking around on your face, your nose, your eyes, your mouth. It’s a great way to get sick– even a great way to spread a cold. I started taking these precautions back then. I’m taking ALL the precautions. I know people aren’t gonna want to hear this. But, it’s there. We all have to think this way. You’ve got tons of people walking around that are positive that don’t know it. So, if they don’t have a barrier in front of their face, then what the hell? Someone who is compromised can pick it up at up at the drop of a hat. When I walk in Central Park and I’m not near anyone, I feel fine with that. But I can’t get groceries delivered now. There’s no slots anywhere today. I’m going to have to make a run. I call it the “food death run!” (Laughs) That’s how I think of it. For the food death run, I have a couple of pairs of gloves. I have the gloves I put on to wear out, to go to the store to buy the stuff. Then, everything gets deposited in my hallway. Then I take my shoes off, I run inside, and spray everything with disinfectant. This is before it even goes into my kitchen and gets run under hot water! And then a third pair of gloves. This is fucking crazy. It’s crazy! And what if I miss a spot?

JR: It’s good to take common sense precautions! I’ve changed my behavior too. I do go jogging, but now I wear a mask and I stay on the empty or minimally populated streets, of which there are now many in my neighborhood. You can’t be too cautious, unless it gets to the point where you lose your head! (Laughs) It’s better to be too aggressive than to look back and say, “I should have done this, this, and this!” So… let’s talk about the cooking show!

WS: (Laughs) Here’s the deal with this show. I don’t cook. That’s the biggest joke on the face of the earth. But I’m a performer and I’m an entertainer, and with not being able to do my thing anywhere and having things canceled, what can I come up? I’m a stupid, funny kind of performer. You know what I love about your burlesque? It’s stupid funny. I love that, because that makes people laugh, and it’s warm, and it’s engaging, and we’re funny just as people. That’s what we do! We’re clowns in a sense.

JR: I agree!

WS: Right, right. So what was the funniest thing I could come up with, something that nobody would expect? Oh yeah, a cooking show! This is like the biggest joke. Because I’m not home a lot and I’m out all the time. I have modeling bookings, I have auditions, I get bookings for other things, I interview people on panels, I’m an author and a speaker. So, there’s so many things that I do with the whole New York nightlife thing. I don’t have freaking time. And why would someone like me want to cook? It’s a waste of my time. It’s so much easier to just order the food in, eat it, and then go to a club, right? So to get through this time, I thought a cooking show is a great idea because it’ll be funny and entertaining– and more than that, it will make people feel really good because it’s just silly and stupid. I was going through recipes before you called. (Laughs) Oh my God, that’s so funny. My life has come to this! Recipes! Something that would never enter into my language. I’m looking at these messages and I’m like, “Fuck! How do people do this? It’s so boring!” But you can’t imagine the comments, the calls, and the texts I get from people. They’re like, “I was feeling really down and then I saw your episode for the day!” First of all, I try and come up with a funny costume. For my very first cooking segments, I’d say that I was looking like a “normal girl”. But now it’s definitely moved into my New York nightlife. And I love that. You know this about me: I love hairpieces, extensions, glitzy clothes– anything that will pull out my inner drag queen. So that’s the direction I’ve gone in with the show. It’s an entertaining thing for people to watch. I’ve got friends that are sick and they say, “You make me smile.” To have somebody tell you that! I know you’ve had people say that to you. Jed, I look at you and you make me smile. What could be better? What could be more satisfying?

JR: Awww, thanks!

WS: So you asked me about other things I’m doing. This is really great: Eileen Shapiro and Jimmy Star are my PR people. Both of them are outrageous bundles of energy. They are exactly like the rest of us, you know?! Of course, they came from Nick Lion. He made the intro, and they’ve continued to get me podcasts and radio shows. The beauty of it is that I can do it from the corner of my couch, and I can be on Skype or Zoom, or I can just be on the phone talking if it’s just audio. I have all different options open to me. These shows are long! I did one the other day that was like 85 minutes with a radio host in Oklahoma. Great guy! He’s completely frustrated by watching people in places like Oklahoma, where it has hasn’t yet started to skyrocket out of control. People are not masked, they’re not gloved… How cool it is to be able to share what is going on here with somebody somewhere else for 85 minutes? You know me, Jed: I can talk about anything. If anybody wants to interview me about anything, they could come up with any topic and I will have over an hour’s worth to say on it. Fashion, music, cinema, health, beauty… all of it, because it’s all part of my world. This guy was into extra terrestrials and Bigfoot. That was some of the stuff we covered besides my book, and me, and all of that. But I love talking to him because I’m into all of that too. My curiosity is insatiable. I don’t have fear. I’m willing to jump in there, try anything, do anything, experience anything… I don’t care about rejection the way a lot of other people do, because I’ve been doing this my whole life. I’ve been rejected. Lord knows! In my book, She’s The Last Model Standing, if you really look into those stories, it was about, one horrific modeling or acting experience after another, or about trying to claw your way from the very bottom of rejection all the way up– and not letting anything stop you. What I’ve learned about myself is that the only thing that can stop me is me. That’s it! I’m going to be a force no matter what. I’m going to get through this pandemic. I’m going to do this cooking show because people are really loving it. And then I have another show where we’re going to start bringing guests using Zoom. It should be interesting to see how it works. Not my favorite cup of tea of course, because I love having a human being there. I work off of a human being, but in this pandemic we have to be responsible. I’m looking to get the dynamics of other guests on the show. And the only way to do it right now will be through Zoom. So we’ll see how that works out. To me, live performance is just where it’s at. That will never die. But we need to learn how to use these technologies. Let’s fast forward to when the pandemic is over. Okay. Are we going to need Zoom? We might use it for a corporate meeting or whatever, but are we gonna really need it in our lives? I know I won’t need it. I’m not going to have modeling jobs on Zoom. I’m not going to be performing on Zoom. But that’s assuming everything’s gonna go back to normal. Right now, Jed, I don’t know anything. All bets are off. This really threw me for a loop. It took everything that I knew in the world, everything that I knew from the time I was born, and blew it the fuck up. It wouldn’t have been anything I could have even wrapped my head around. I said that about 9/11 and that was true. But this?! People say to me, “How do you stay motivated, to be out there and do this cooking show to, and going on radio shows and all of that?” Well, that motivation is who I am. I’m going to be that person no matter what. But I know that this is killing the psyche of so many people, and that’s the tragedy behind it.  This is the thing that bothers me a lot: Everyone’s so cavalier: “I’ll be working from home now. We’ll all be working from home?” Really? Well, maybe YOU will be, but you know what? My friends are performers. I chose that world. They’re not going to be working from home, and they’re going to have to figure out how they can make money. It’s very selfish to say we’ll all be working from home now. I heard that the other day. I’m like, “That is such bullshit.”

JR: Whoever said that probably wasn’t thinking about what they were saying too intelligently.

WS: You just said it: “Not thinking about”. Let’s talk about “not thinking about”. Not thinking about the other people in the world. Not thinking about how if a virus is in China, what makes you think it’s not coming here? We really have to START “thinking about”. We can’t always be like, “How is my own ass doing?” You know, I think we’ve all been so selfish for so long. We really have to become aware of how everybody else is doing. That is my say. I really believe that.

JR: That’s why when they say “Think globally”, it’s not just a catchphrase. It really isn’t. You can see how much we are really all connected with this. So yeah, you’re not just missing a show: “OK, I’m going to cancel my tickets because I’m not going to go see this.” No!  THE VENUE IS CLOSING! And that means a lot of people out of work. How many people are involved in a Broadway show or even an off-Broadway show? LOTS of people: people that are going to be affected by this. It’s not just a matter of whether or not you missed the show, or whether you can’t go to the gym….

WS: That’s exactly right. And that’s how people have got to start to think about things. It’s so cliché, but you know the words: I am my brother’s keeper. People really have to start to follow that.

JR: Agreed! So, lastly: I know that we both said that one of the first things we are going to do when it’s “safe to go outside” is to go dancing! But what else do you have planned when the pandemic is over?

WS: I have an open slot for another gay husband! So I’ll be interviewing, ’cause it’s always better to like interview live. I don’t want to do that on Zoom– although that’s kind of funny when you think about it: potential gay husbands coming up like Hollywood Squares! (Laughs) The other thing I’m going to be doing, which I’m working on now, is a film called Working Dogs: A Love Story. My husband Alan Kaplan and I have been shooting it for the last year. It is mostly shot. This film is very important to us. It’s about service dogs and therapy dogs, and how they’re affecting the people that they’re helping– and how the people that they’re helping make such a difference in the dog’s life as well. This is one of the documentaries that was a passion project for me that I really wanted to get out there. I’m hoping to be able to do the editing during the pandemic safely, and that hopefully by the time the smoke clears, this project will be ready to get out there and go to film festivals. We’re also looking for sponsors for it as well, because I think the whole human/animal bond thing is now, more than ever, going to become one of the most important things to keep us together as a human race. That’s what I feel.

JR: It’s also worth mentioning that during the pandemic, pets are important companions for people who live alone.

WS: Oh my God!  Absolutely. I have little Nugget next to me. He’s just about as sweet as anything, and he sticks to me like glue. I think that he instinctively knows that there’s something very wrong out there now with the pandemic.  So, I have that project I’m working on. Then of course, hopefully I’ll have modeling jobs. I’m actually on hold for gigs for May. I think that clients who are putting me on hold are very optimistic. I don’t see this being over that fast– but we’ll see. We’re changed permanently. I have a very good PR team behind me to get my brands out there. There’s a lot of reality-based things in television that I would like to host and that I could do with my background, like traveling and hosting in remote parts of the world– as well as the whole fashion thing. I don’t think the Food Network is going to be knocking a path down to my door for the cooking show! (Laughs) But I want to be able to use all the things that I am to make my life and my career as good as possible. And then, of course, there’s what we had started back in January: myself and Nick Lion and, at the time, Eileen D.: We were going to throw these big extravaganza parties.  Nick and I, of course, are planning a huge extravaganza when this is over. We’ll have performances, and just an amazing party. I want to be able to do more of those. I’m very well-placed out there, and I love hosting these kinds of events– because again, to come full circle, it’s about bringing people together!

JR: I am SOOOO looking forward to that! Thank you again, Wendy!

You can see Wendy’s cooking show, “Pandemic Cooking With Wendy Stuart”, on Vimeo here!  Visit Wendy Stuart on http://www.WendyStuartTV.comInstaFacebook, and YouTube. 
 
Posted on March 19, 2020

Wendy Stuart Kaplan Launches New TV Show “Pandemic Cooking with Wendy”

Actress/Model/Host/Author/Comedienne Wendy Stuart Kaplan has just launched her new television show “Pandemic Cooking with Wendy” on Vimeo.

Dubbed by her friends “the Kathy Griffin of fashion”, Wendy’s hilarious, occasionally poignant story of how she became – and has remained for 30 years – one of the most successful “fit” models in the country (that size 8 you’re wearing might very well be based on Wendy Stuart Kaplan’s figure), is told with a Griffin-esque sense of humor untarnished by malice. From studying voodoo in Nigeria through years of taking mind-numbing jobs just to pay the rent, to her success in the present day where she can say of the women’s underwear sold at Wal-Mart, modeled on her size eight body, “I cover the asses of the masses.”

As an actress, print model, and stand up comedienne, Wendy has worked in film, television and theatre and has made appearances on many syndicated and daytime talk shows. Her fun personality and quick sense of humor made her a standout guest whether she was modeling unusual wedding gowns on Geraldo or selling shoes on Speigel TV. Her ecclectic career also includes being voted Mrs. NY, going on to compete in the National Mrs. America pageant.

Watch “Pandemic Cooking with Wendy” starring Wendy Stuart Kaplan on Vimeo here:

Part One: https://vimeo.com/398259348

Part Two: https://vimeo.com/398407458

Part Three: https://vimeo.com/398564623

The official website for Wendy Stuart Kaplan may be found at https://www.wendystuarttv.com

For interviews or more information contact worldstarpublicrelations@gmail.com

Posted on February 28, 2020

“She’s The Last Model Standing” By Wendy Stuart Kaplan Available Worldwide

Wendy Stuart Kaplan
Wendy Stuart Kaplan

Dubbed by her friends “the Kathy Griffin of fashion”, Wendy’s hilarious, occasionally poignant story of how she became – and has remained for 30 years – one of the most successful “fit” models in the country (that size 8 you’re wearing might very well be based on Wendy Stuart Kaplan’s figure), is told with a Griffin-esque sense of humor untarnished by malice. From studying voodoo in Nigeria through years of taking mind-numbing jobs just to pay the rent, to her success in the present day where she can say of the women’s underwear sold at Wal-Mart, modeled on her size eight body, “I cover the asses of the masses.”

SHE’S THE LAST MODEL STANDING is an “only-in-New-York” tale and an addictive page-turner. Wendy’s humor, intelligence and unique analysis of the fashion/entertainment industry make this memoir a true stand-out in the field.

WENDY STUART KAPLAN is one of the top fit models in New York City.  An experienced “clothing technician” and a perfect size 8, she fits everything from outerwear to lingerie.  Her client roster is as eclectic as her career including Eileen Fisher, Roca Wear, London Fog Coats, Warnaco intimates and Christian Dior Swimwear.

As an actress, print model, and stand up comedienne, Wendy has worked in film, television and theatre and has made appearances on many syndicated and daytime talk shows.  Her fun personality and quick sense of humor made her a standout guest whether she was modeling unusual wedding gowns on Geraldo or selling shoes on Speigel TV.  Her ecclectic career also includes being voted Mrs. NY, going on to compete in the National Mrs. America pageant.

Wendy’s other interests include decorating and animals. Creating an oasis of country style living, her NYC apartment has been featured in many national decorating magazines.  Her original tips and creative ideas have made Wendy a sought after expert in country style.

Wendy’s deep love for animals extends to maintaining her own petting Zoo in her NYC apartment.  Her menagerie includes two angora rabbits, a chocolate colored longhaired Chihuahua, various hamsters and fish and a vociferous cockatoo named Louise.

Also residing with Wendy on the upper east side of Manhattan is her Commercial Photographer husband, Alan and their 14-year-old daughter Kyle.  The entire family has a deep passion for travel but is especially fond of and has made many visits to the Peruvian Amazon.

Get your copy of “She’s The Last Model Standing” by Wendy Stuart Kaplan on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/Model-Standing-Wendy-Stuart-Kaplan-ebook/dp/B00OTYMYJS

The official website for Wendy Stuart Kaplan may be found at http://www.wendystuarttv.com

Posted on January 30, 2020
Wendy Stuart Kaplan
Wendy Stuart Kaplan

WENDY’S BDAY – Tucked amongst Avenue C in New York on the Lower East Side is Bedlam; an intimate venue that Friday night celebrated the birthday of social-influencer Wendy Stuart Kaplan. The event started with a reading of several pieces, including snippets of Glamour, Glory and Gold from Jackie Curtis; an intimate member of the legendary artist-par-excellence Andy Warhol.

Seen at the gathering were Stuart’s husband Alan, a noted photographer, who not only took photos but also some video; legendary NY-icon Adrianna Kaegi, once a coconut with Kid Creole & The Coconuts, but now also fronting her own, highly successful, media company Addy Media (https://addy.media/).

Stuart’s PR-man David Salidor, also on hand, did the media-roll-out for Kid Creole back in the day and has an extended history with Kaegi.

Here’s one more shot of Wendy Stuart Kaplan’s glamorous Bday party last weekend (at Bedlam in NYC) with performance artists Eileen Dover and Nick Lion:

Eileen Dover; Wendy Stuart Kaplan; and, Nick Lion
Eileen Dover; Wendy Stuart Kaplan; and, Nick Lion
Posted on January 23, 2020 by Nathan James

Stars Come Out Friday Night For Wendy Stuart-Kaplan’s B’Day Bash In NYC

Multi-talented star Wendy Stuart-Kaplan is getting ready to host a star-stidded birthday bash in Manhattan on Friday night, in an event becoming of her expansive presence as a model, comedienne, host and actress. Wendy, who channels her earlier life as a globetrotting explorer, is pausing from her whirlwind lifestyle to celebrate her special day, and just be. “I’m an adventurous spirit,” Wendy tells The Hollywod Digest, “and I want to share my dreams with the world.” The globe has been her oyster, as Kaplan has venrured far abroad to places like Nigeria, where she became known as “Oyebo” by the people she met there, who described her as “the white skin around a peeled orange. Her interest in anthropology and theater led her to the The Explorers Club and this storied African nation, where she studied ancient Voodoo culture. “I had a passion for discovering the way other people lived,” Wendy reminisces, noting her forays into South America’s Amazon rainforests and dancing with Kuna Indians on the San Blas Islands.

Wendy’s pechant for diversity reflects itself well in her work, whether that’s plumbing the hidden depths of NYC’s Woolworth Building on Time Traveling With Brian Unger, appearing as a “fit model” with such top names as Eileen Fischer and Michael Kors, or authoring her memoir, She’s The Last Model Standing. “I love all people,” Wendy reflects, “and everything I do is part of that love”.

Married to photographer Alan Kaplan, Wendy embraces the richness of unconventionality. Both she and her husband are free spirits, untethered to rigid concepts of binary identity. “I’m very fluid in my sexuality,” Wendy notes, “and we’re definitely a different kind of couple.” Their continuing support for LGBTQ+ artists underscores this, and it’s very apparent in the lineup for Wendy’s big party on Friday at Bedlam in the East Village. Among the fabulous luminaries (straight and LGBTQ) gracing the stage are film star and vocalist Tym Moss, side-solitting comedian Ike Avelli, acclaimed TV producer Brian Balthazar, writer and gay bear icon Jed Ryan, drag diva Alexis Flame, the incomparable MargOH! Channing, and many more. The gala happening is brought to life by Michael Fontana AKA Eileen Dover, Wendy, and LGBTQ nightlife mogul Nick Lion, and it promises to be unforgettable. “I can’t say enough wonderful things about Mike and Nick,” Wendy says, “they’re in my corner all the way”. The shindig begins at 8 PM, and you can discover more about it here. It’s a fitting milestone for Wendy, highlighting her amazing journey from ’70s club kid at legendary Studio 54 to high-flying media personality of the 21st century. What a merry ride it’s been!

 

Posted on January 21, 2020

Wendy Stuart Kaplan Knows How To Party – Now She’s Throwing An Epic One Of Her Own!

Wendy Stuart Kaplan knows her way around a party. In her book, ‘She’s The Last Model Standing,” she wrote about her headline grabbing days at Studio 54, and now throws more than a few of her own. The latest is her “Reading For Filth” and her birthday extravaganza, where she, hosts Eileen Dover and Nick Lion and others (including yours truly!) will perform a collection of wildly entertaining essays, poems, comedic rants and more. The kind of person who is so ‘on the go’ you get exhausted just thinking about it (she, however, does not) I caught up with her as she was taking a break between a radio show, a modeling job and a party tonight. If you want to catch up with Wendy, you have to be flexible… she’s probably got a full schedule that day! Her party this Friday is one that will not only celebrate a wildly varied and entertaining life, but also celebrate the spoken word from a variety of performers.

Anyone who’s ready your book “She’s The Last Model Standing” knows you’ve been partying since studio 54 – when did you first realize you were a party girl?

I first realized when I came back to New York after college! I wasn’t until then, because there was no good place to party.

Where did you go to school?

SUNY Binghamton where I majored in anthropology – and then I went to Nigeria! I definitely enjoyed partying eventually, but back then I really, really wanted to go to Africa, which I did!  I have gone back often, most recently to work on my documentaries.

Wendy Kaplan was a bold faced name for tearing up the dance floor AND going home right after.
 

That’s wild! But it’s not surprising to hear of that passion since you make films about wildlife conservation there. But your festive side eventually DID come out! We all know you now as a social butterfly! Whether you’re at a party, or working a film premiere – but were you as confident and comfortable in the spotlight as a kid as you are now?

I was an oddball kid. I had two things: I had my friends in the Bronx, and the ones that I had in school and they didn’t mix all that well. I loved growing up there, that was home – but I remember as a kid I would get stomachaches before parties! How weird is that? Until you asked me I had forgotten all about that.

What were you worrying about?

Social pressures – what if nobody talks to me – oh my god, I’m not pretty. I had a short mop of brown hair because my mom thought I looked better with short hair, and I had chubby cheeks. I didn’t love that look. I used to put on wigs as a kid and imagine myself with long blonde hair!

And here we are! 

Here we are, right? Long blonde hair. I morphed into it. I’m totally self made!

Tell me more about Reading for Filth – your event this Friday at Club Bedlam.

Reading for Filth came about when Brian Butterick, also known as Hattie Hathaway, used to have these events. One had the byline, “low rent reading for a high rent city.” Reading for filth is an expression for ‘I’m going to read you to filth,’ as in, “I’m gonna tell you what I really think.” The performers would do a reading of their choice. Something personal, maybe about an old boyfriend, or something someone else wrote, and they’d get up and read it in front of a room. At the last one we had, Michael Musto read from Suzanne Somers’ poetry book. I didn’t even know she wrote poetry… here the same person who wrote about African violets is also behind the Thighmaster! Brought me to tears! I imagine her thighs going back and forth as she sits next to a table with a sole African violet in its little pot, which inspired her to write the poem.

The reason we chose to open my birthday party with it is, when Hattie passed away, my friend and partner in crime Michael Fontana (Eileen Dover) really wanted to keep it going. We say it’s such a downtown New York thing but it’s a New York thing. It’s a nationwide thing. Think about what’s hot right now: storytelling. And here we have had Reading for Filth going on long before all that other stuff. Brian Butterick had been doing it for six to ten years. He was very ahead of his time. We brought it back this past year.
 

You love people and being around them, entertaining them, but you also love your home life – please describe your NYC living situation. You have a beautiful place… but describe your roommates.

Well, we will have to go back about 30 years when I got my first rabbit. I haven’t lived without one for 30 years, so when one dies I always have one in the wings. Fast forward to now, we always have two rabbits. It’s nice if they have another rabbit to hangout with. Also, 33 years ago we got a baby cockatoo, named her Louise, fed her formula, and she is now hanging out with me in my living room. Did I also mention our blue merle chihuahua?

In my New York apartment everyone is loose. No one is caged.  Everybody is trained to go on those wee-wee pads you buy for dogs, and everybody goes on a wee-wee pad including the rabbits… but not the dog.
 
 
 Wendy’s rabbit S’mores roams free in her apartment along side another rabbit, a cockatoo and a Chihuahua.
 

Wendy Kaplan’s dog Nugget does what it wants.You know how to party – we know that – your wedding was no exception…describe your epic wedding.

So my wedding was 32 or so years ago. I should know that! Alan (a renowned photographer) and I got married in our huge loft, and you had to come dressed as members of a bridal party. It was on Halloween – you could be a bride, or a groom or a bridesmaid. The only problem was a lot of people thought it was a costume party and not an actual wedding. So we had people dressed as bridesmaids with five o’clock shadows and brides with full beards. They thought this was just going to be a big loft party – because we always gave huge parties – and not a wedding. But it was actually our wedding. I didn’t get many gifts because no one took it seriously. I won’t make that mistake again!

You’ve been modeling since you were in your twenties – what’s the best thing anyone can do to look and feel like a model whether they’re walking down the street or working it in the office?

You have to know who you are. What’s your style? What makes you feel good? What floats your boat? When you put on a certain dress how does that make you feel? Don’t go with trends, go with what you’re attached to! Listen to your inner fashionista. And you know what? We all have that.

Reading For Filth is open to the public this Friday at 8pm at Club Bedlam, 40 Avenue C, NYC. For more on Wendy visit her book’s Facebook page, her personal facebook page, or her instagram.

Visit her website, and buy her book on amazon!

https://popgoestheweek.com/2020/01/wendy-stuart-kaplan-knows-how-to-party-now-shes-throwing-an-epic-one-of-her-own/

On Point With: Wendy Stuart Kaplan

Posted on January 19, 2020
Written by THOTYSSEY

Activist, ally, author, actress, influencer, explorer, enchantress, nightlife scenestress and a perfect size 8… these are just a morsel of descriptions one can attach to a true original, the Bronx-born Wendy Stuart Kaplan! As she prepares for her upcoming star-studded birthday party at Bedlam, Thotyssey gets Wendy’s insight on where she’s been and what’s happening in the world right now.

Thotyssey: Hello, Wendy! Thanks for chatting with us today! So, the Oscars were announced recently, and as usual there were snubs. As a filmmaker yourself–you directed and produced a documentary short Fragile Beauty in 2016 and produced a feature length doc Whispers and Witnesses in 2018–were you disappointed to see no women nominated as Best Director?

Wendy Stuart Kaplan: It is incomprehensible to me that no women were nominated as best director for the Academy Awards… and yet, you have to stop and consider the source. The Academy Awards voting system has long been called out for basically being a good old boys network, which rings true year after year. It’s a blessing that there are other award ceremonies like the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards. As an independent filmmaker who submits to numerous film festivals, I can honestly say there are so many women now–and men as well–making films that are not part of the Hollywood system. I’ve been in The Chelsea Film Festival three years in a row, winning best documentary for Whisperers and Witnesses, and the amount of brilliant films done in this international film festival by women is astounding. We all have to reset our thinking and start giving accolades to these festivals that feature independent films by women. The Oscars is old school. The future is out of the system.

Another topical question for you: being an activist on behalf of animals and indigenous people yourself, it must be devastating for you to see what has happened in Australia with the devastating bush fires. What do you think we should be doing to help?

One thing I have learned about being an activist: you can’t look at an entire situation like the Australian bush fires with numbers of animals dying in the billions and not be overwhelmed by it. So I believe each one of us has the power to affect a situation by looking at it on a smaller scale. There are so many organizations that have mobilized to help Australia that you can donate to. Five dollar donations add up.

My epiphany came about when I was filming Fragile Beauty [about a centuries-old tribe of people] in Southern Ethiopia. There was a child in the village who was dying of malaria, which I found out is common. So we got this child and her father into our Jeep and drove to the malaria clinic two miles away. The father had procrastinated because he could only pay for the medicine with a cow. The Karo people are pasturalists, and don’t use money. I convinced the father to let me pay. It saved the child’s life. Total cost: $10 to save one life.

The point? You can’t save all the children that have malaria, but you can save one. Find a reputable organization collecting money for the animals that are orphaned and will need medical care and foster homes. In addition, there are many organizations in Australia looking for volunteers to work in the rescue centers. If you have the time, that’s such an amazing way to help.

And now, on to you! You’re a Bronx native. What was growing up there like for you?

Growing up in the Bronx was a comfort zone for me. I had my set group of friends, a park across the street, and when we went on vacation I couldn’t wait to get back. But I always had this other side. I had dreams of going to Africa, dreams of becoming a model, how I was going to live a totally different life. But those dreams scared me because it meant I would break out of that Bronx box, which kept me safe. My parents solved that problem for me when we moved to Florida when I was 18. The rug was pulled out from underneath me: new school, new friends, no roots.That move rocked my world. And two years later, I was in Nigeria.

As a real 70’s nightlife scenester, you partied it up at Studio 54 and even met Andy Warhol there once [he offered to put you in one of his films, but being a cautious kid at the time you declined]. Has the city ever been as fun as it was back then?

Here’s the thing about Studio 54 and being “back in the day” as we call it: it was a unique time. Places like 54 allowed you to cross socioeconomic barriers. Everything was so fluid, and if you could think of it you could do it. But nothing ever stays the same, and the city has changed… certainly in the economics of it.

But let’s talk about now. In spite of the superficiality, the rudeness, the vulgar wealth… there is still art, there are still films, museums, people and a scene. Do you know that I can go to fabulous events every night because I see them on Facebook? Club nights, music, art openings, all kinds of happenings–and I can pick and chose what I want to do! I’ve socially blown through the roof with the amount of interesting people I’m able to meet on any night. I’m having a blast in a way that I couldn’t have done in the 70’s and 80’s. The internet was a massive cultural change in our society. And in many ways, because of it, the city can be fabulous–in a different way, but fabulous nonetheless.

What do you think might be the most important thing that today’s nightlife children should know about nightlife in the 70s and 80s?

There were no smart phones. When you went out dancing, people talked to each other on the dance floor. I’m a major dancer, and nothing pisses me off more that people breaking the flow of movement on the dance floor by texting. There were so many clubs in the 70’s and 80’s: Studio, Area, Paladium, Xenon, The Tunnel, Paradise Garage, The Saint, Moon Shadow, Save the Robots, Pyramid, Ice Palace… the choices were endless, and you did not have to haul your butt in an Uber to a deserted warehouse area in Brooklyn cause you don’t want to rely on the subway to get you out there. I love the Mega club parties in Brooklyn, but the thought of turning it out in a hairpiece, lashes, fabulous frock and riding the L train? Really?

I love that you still turn it up today in some of your same outfits from that period! Do you have any particular style icons?

Of course! My style icons–or what I call now “my influencers”–were often Madonna or Cyndi Lauper inspired, mostly because those looks suit me. As an influencer myself, I often pair a vintage Madonna / Cyndi look, a bustier with a tutu, and modernize the look with over-the-knee Marc Jacobs boots. If you look at my Facebook or Insta, you’ll see my liking for tutus, anything black lace, and hairpieces. I’m mad for hairpieces and extensions.

You often give talks and do readings, but are you also a performer in any way: a singer, dancer, actress, etc.?

So if you check out my website, you can see my huge body of work in all areas which I am still currently working in. That includes on camera host, film actress, theatre actress (just finished a reading of Glamour, Glory and Gold by the brilliant Jackie Curtis at The Gene Frankel Theatre. They tell me I look like Candy Darling). Home Shopping host. Print model. Spokesperson. Author. Panel moderator. Standup. Improvisational performer.

I don’t cook. Or do windows. I only sleep five hours a night. There’s no time for more. I dance at clubs and can go for hours. I sing to myself but not to anyone else.

You’re a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community, frequently kiki’ing with drag queens, DJs and other nightlifers. What drew you first to that community, and in what ways have you observed that it has changed over the decades?

Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty stuff! I have always been in the LGBTQ community, from grammar school. A number of friends I had were definitely gay by middle school. I’ve been an activist–a major activist–since the epidemic. Three address books of crossed out numbers.

My husband [director Alan Kaplan] and I were a big part of POWARS (Pet Owners With AIDS Resource Service). AZT was killing everyone. Our organization started and run by Steve Kohn and Howard Green had 250 volunteers and 300 clients. We made sure that the animals were cared for when their person was in the hospital, which was all the time. AZT killed people. At that time there were doctors doing the Dallas Buyers Club concoctions, which were the early cocktails. I made personal referrals to those doctors. Most of those people are still alive.

I’ve just always been in the LGBTQ community, and so has my husband. A lot of my friends describe me as a gay man trapped in a straight girl’s body. I’m just me. What has changed majorly in the LGBTQA community is that we keep adding letters. Those letters are important for many to identify, but in some ways I’m observing more polarization due to those letters.

I’m part of TRIVERSITY, an organization based in Milford PA. We service the more rural Tri-State Area (please check us out on Facebook). I’ve been with them for eight years–I run our monthly social event First Friday, as well as other events throughout the year. Triversity is my heart. My partner and I made a film about the organization called Rainbow Ending. We followed our kids who came out, and how the organization helped them, and now our most recent group which is male to female over 50. Transitioning at that age is extremely difficult, because you lived your life one way for so long and the decision to finally live your truth is not an easy one. By hosting events like First Friday, Triversity’s Got Talent, and The Prom, to name a few, I believe it brings our community together and erases the lines between the groups.

I’ve see you about the town with Nick Lion, owner of Albatross and Icon in Astoria! How did you two meet?

Nick Lion and I first met at Robynne Kaamil’s Memorial at Club Cumming. It was a brief but strong intro by photographer Jason Russo. We stayed in touch on Facebook, and a few months ago he invited me to the premiere of Junk: The Musical starring the fabulous Tym Moss. We’ve been more or less inseparable since. We have the exact kind of energy that lights up a room. We can each do it by ourselves, but together it’s some powerful stuff. We set the night on fire!

You wrote a funny and telling autobiography She’s The Last Model Standing back in 2015, with the title referring to your time as a “Perfect Size 8” fit model. Is there anything in that book at this point that you are now like, “Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have written about THAT?”

I didn’t regret one incident I shared, because it was all true! I did alter the names to protect the innocent. I will say that Sweetie, who was one of my closest friends, did point out that in each and every situation I came out looking squeaky clean! I’m saving the really nasty details for the next book, which I would like to title I’m Still Standing.

And you’re a member of the very exclusive Explorer’s Club! Tell us more about that.

I’m so proud of being one of 3400 people in the world to be a member. I volunteer as a tour guide there, I love it so much. You can call and ask for me, and I will take you through this five story English Manor House filled with unusual artifacts; I love telling the many stories connected to those artifacts, and the unique people that become explorers.

Our movie Whisperers and Witnesses: Primate Rescue In Cameroon came about from three women I met at the club that were rescuing primates from poachers in Cameroon. I knew I had to tell their stories, so I impulsively used my frequent flyer miles and told them I was coming to do a movie about them. I’m very impulsive at times. They got us a letter from the government, I got visas for Alan and myself, and off we went to a country with no tourist infrastructure and a female mosquito resistant to malaria drugs. That was meaningless to me until I got there, and realized what that meant. But seeing gorillas and chimpanzees that close was extraordinary. As were these women. I am, however, permanently damaged by having no toilet in one of the places we shot. It was traumatic. A hole in the ground in the middle of the night doesn’t cut it. I actually stole some poor woman’s bucket, lined it with plastic, put it on a low table and voila! I invented a toilet! I am resourceful when pushed to the edge! Anyway, I can’t wait to take you on a tour of The Explorers Club!

Your birthday’s coming up! Is that a source of joy, dread, or both?

My birthday is amazing! I celebrate each and every day I’m on this earth! I have so much great stuff I’ve created, and now I need to bring that to fruition.

You’ll be celebrating on Friday, January 24th at Bedlam in the East Village! First on the evening’s agenda will be the return of that venue’s Reading For Filth reading series, which you will be partaking in.

I love doing “Reading For Filth!” This event–started by the amazing Hattie Hathaway (Brian Butterick), and kept going by the also amazing Eileen Dover after Brian passed–is so entertaining and diverse in what people choose to read. Michael Musto read from Suzanne Sommers’ poetry book! Who knew she wrote poetry? It was hilarious! I, of course, will read from She’s The Last Model Standing. I’m not telling which [passage]. You’ll have to come and find out!

Then afterwards, it’s a party! A diverse collection of notable nightlife folks will be there, including Junk’s Tym Moss, Marg-OH! ChanningIke Avelli and Svetlana Stoli, to name just a few.

This party is designed to be over the top. Combining the energies of Eileen Dover, Nick Lion, and moi is going to result in an explosive evening! The readings, special guests, special host Sherry Vine, Edgar Vasquez (Latin Artist of the Year), burlesque with BeardonnaJed RyanTammy Faye Starlite and the infamous DC La Rue! New comer Belle Pepper! We’ve got something for everyone! And our guests? Old friends, new friends, and maybe a few frenemies! From entertainment, music, design, celebrities, The Imperial Court, The Explorers Club… no group will be left untouched!

What else would you like the children to know?

2020 are magic numbers. This year you can change your life, and you can change the life of another person. It’s time. The “out there” you cannot control, but you can set your own life on fire!

And finally: CATS the Musical! Have you seen it–and if so, what drugs were you on?

I saw CATS a long time ago… I loved it! I am won over easy by intense makeup, costumes, and bad songs. “Midnight, not a sound from the basement, has the moon lost her memory…” I probably am a drag queen trapped in a girl’s body… and it’s time to set that bitch free!

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Wendy Stuart Kaplan’s upcoming events, and follow her on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube and her website.

Posted on January 19, 2020
Zach Martin and Wendy Stuart Kaplan
Zach Martin and Wendy Stuart Kaplan

SHORT TAKES – Social-influencer Wendy Stuart Kaplan, whose Bday is celebrated this Friday evening at Bedlam in NYC, guested on Zach Martin’s Big Fat American podcast Friday. Here’s a shot of the adorable twosome …

Posted on January 7, 2020
Joe Preston with Wendy Stuart Kaplan

Right before the holidays, Wendy Stuart Kaplan, performed in a reading of Glamour Glory and Gold at The Gene Frankel Theatre; reviving the works of Andy Warhol superstar Jackie Curtis, which is an integral part of NYC theater history. Produced and curated by Eileen Dover and Gail Thacker. Wendy’s seen here with Joe Peston. Meanwhile plans are afoot for Kaplan’s Bday-event at Bedlam (40 Avenue C) in NYC on January 24. Stay tuned …

Posted on December 26, 2019
Wendy Stuart Kaplan and Annie Watt
Wendy Stuart Kaplan and Annie Watt

WATTS FAMOUS – NYC’s own Annie Watt has become the #1 celebrity-photographer in the field. Be it Mark Bego’s smashing 2018 party for his Eat Like A Rock Star book (at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room); or, great portraits of Michael Douglas; Catherine Zeta-Jones; Dr. Oz; Rex Reed; of The Village People’s Randy Jones . . . Annie has the latest and the greatest.

Last Thursday she held a reception for her work entitled Famous at NYC’s Laverdin Gallery on the Upper East Side. Annie held court, greeting each and every guest and having a photo taken with them. Seen in the throng, were: PR-pasha David Salidor with social-influencer Wendy Stuart-Kaplan; Aubrey Reuben with his wife; Rita Cosby and her husband Tomaczek Bednarek.

Posted on December 16, 2019
Kustin Fornal and Wendy Stuart Kaplan at The Explorer's Club
Kustin Fornal and Wendy Stuart Kaplan at The Explorer's Club

WENDY‘S WORLD — Of all the vibrant personalities we’ve chronicled over these many pages, near the top of the list must stand social-influencer Wendy Stuart Kaplan: a true force of nature. 

She goes back to the days of the legendary Studio 54 and rubbed shoulders with the likes of Calvin Klein and Andy Warhol. Her perspective today is totally delightful and on point, as she talks from pure experience. 

She’s also written a totally captivating memoir, She’s The Last Model Standing; available via Amazon.

Kaplan is also a stalwart-mainstay at The Explorer’s Club on Manhattan’s trendy East Side. She’s also done a number of award-winning films with her husband, noted-photographer Alan Kaplan. 

Performance artist Eileen Dover, on her site, conducted just a point-perfect interview with the peripatetic Kaplan. Take a read: https://eileendover.net/published-works%2Farticles/f/wendy-stuart-kaplan-new-york-citys-most-glamorous-influencers-1 . 

For 2020, Kaplan is hosting an event at Bedlam in mid-January, details to follow. Also, look for Kaplan to topline her own radio show shortly. Delightfully Wendy!

 
Posted on November 24, 2019

Here’s social-influencer Wendy Stuart Kaplan with producer/promoter Nick Lion and singer Bobbie Horowitz at the NYC premiere of Michael Penny’s JUNK-A Musical Comedy; hosted by the grand-Michael Musto  …

Posted on October 30, 2019

Social-influencer Wendy Stuart Kaplan appeared Monday night at Bedlam on the Lower East Side at the Reading for Filth event, which she co-produced and appeared in. Performers included Michael Musto (Village Voice); Penny Arcade; and, Eileen Dover. She’s seen here with Blair Bersha for B&B Couture, who outfits Wendy …

Posted on September 22, 2019

The Glorious Corner: Wendy Stuart Kaplan, Golden Door Film Festival, James Blunt, Project Grand Slam and More!

WENDY STUART KAPLAN LIVE IN JERSEY CITY— Last Thursday we traveled out to Jersey City for the annual Golden Door Film Festival opening night fete, where Wendy and Alan Kaplan’s documentary Whisperers and Witnesses was part of their schedule. Arriving at the art-deco Lowe’s Theater, we were immediately greeted by most of the other filmmaker’s whose work was being shown as well.

We’ve raved about this documentary previously, where The Kaplan’s travel to Cameroon  to explore the story of two remarkable women, Rachel Hogan, Director of Ape Action Africa and Dr. Sheri Speede, Director of Sanaga Yong Chimpanzee Rescue. Both women are actively saving Gorillas and Chimpanzees in the depths of the Cameroon jungle.

Along the way the Kaplans meet some extraordinary people from Cameroon and the surrounding areas, who are fighting an irrefutable war against “bushmeat” in Africa. As we experience the commitment of these astonishing human-beings, and our connection to the primates, who share 98 percent of our DNA, you’ll be wondering, “How can we not save them?”, “What can we do now before it’s too late?”

When your eyes connect with these formidable primates there is a deep, overwhelming connection that cannot be explained, much like love at first sight. Though, even harder to explain is how we can allow these beautiful creatures to be massacred in the name of profit and greed.

This is the journey the Kaplans are on. In Whisperers and Witnesses: Primate Rescue, Wendy and Alan are searching for answers, solutions and a way to get this imperative message out and make a ongoing change in the manner our primates are being depleted before they’re extinct altogether.

Their film officially unspools Sunday night.

http://www.themacwire.com/the-glorious-corner-wendy-stuart-kaplan-golden-door-film-festival-james-blunt-project-grandslam-and-more/

Posted on July 2, 2019

SHORT TAKES — Social-influencer Wendy Stuart Kaplan was interviewed by Zach Martin for his Big Fat American podcast; take a listen: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/big-fat-american/id1465382603?i=1000442952064 … Happy 4th!

Written by Brad Balfour
May 21, 2019

Festooned with tambourines around her neck and elsewhere, raconteur Wendy Stuart Kaplan darted through the cavernous main theater of the famed La Mama performance complex. No one could ever call Kaplan shy, let alone at a loss for words. At Brian Butterick’s memorial, this author/personality was one of the speakers who celebrated the late gay activist/founder of the famed Pyramid Club and shared her memories of him. 

Memories. Kaplan has been writing her memoir, “She’s The Last Model Standing,” all her life; it’s that she’s lived her life to be memoir-worthy. By the time the willowy bon vivant met and married renowned photographer Alan Kaplan, she had already carved out her perch in New York as a bona fide scene maker and observer. Born and raised in the Bronx, she exited her suburban confines to embrace many bold faced names such as Andy Warhol and became a regular at such NY haunts like Studio 54, Elaine’s, Area and Xenon. 

Kaplan was already famous for photographs that graced the pages of GQ and Italian Vogue when he met the free-spirited Stuart. He encouraged her to become a model and advised her to travel to Europe for work and maybe, fame and fortune. What she found instead was a season of misadventure, so she returned to the States and she did what any Jewish mother would love a daughter to do, she got married — in Wendy’s case to Kaplan. Their partnership flourished as they began roaming the globe filming and established “Model with a Mission Visual Journeys” which documents unique stories of indigenous people and endangered species through Alan’s keen eye and Wendy’s quirky way and compassionate heart as the on-camera host as well as series producer. They also released “She’s The Last Model Standing” which garnered praise and finished “Whisperers and Witnesses,” a film which won the Best Documentary award at NYC’s Chelsea Film Festival. 

Q: How long did it take to get the book done? 

WSK: I’ve been writing this book my whole life. This book is about my life from the time I came to NY in the late ‘70s all the way up to now. But it was hard getting it together because a lot happened over that time period. I had to go back through photo albums, I have over 250 photo albums. Pictures of everything that came down the pike from the late 70s up to now and all the things I did. So I started looking at the pictures and started writing paragraphs and there was no timeline, nothing made any sense. It was almost stream of consciousness, like James Joyce. I showed somebody the draft and I was lucky enough to meet David Wallace who ended up becoming the editor and was able to work with me that way. 

Q: Was it easy or did you need to get James Joyce involved? 

WSK: We didn’t need to James Joyce but I had to beat up Wallace a couple of times because he kept trying to change my words. Those were my words, my life experiences, my voice, nobody else’s. 

Q: When you’re writing a book how do you know when to stop from adding new things. 

WSK: This is the easiest thing in the world because you know where you start and where you’ll end within the month of doing the book and that’s exactly what happened. It ended on one of my trips when I was making films about people in remote parts of the world. It was easy enough to end the book on one of those projects. You always want an audience to want more. 

Q: When did you decide you needed to write this and did you have you to stop your life to write this book? 

WSK: I’ll give you an analogy. You got all these bloggers. What is a blog? Half the time it’s someone’s very uninteresting daily memoir. What makes a book different is that you have a story in you. For someone like me it was always a running monologue of “Oh I should be writing this down — this is an incredible story.” I took pictures and knew one day I would share the stories behind them. When someone writes a memoir, that’s a historical record of their life. You’re probably thinking, “what makes your life so special?” It’s just a thing a person knows. You go to cocktail parties and share experiences or when you’re at a job and you tell people what you do. You can tell by the reaction you get. I have to be honest, more than a few people said “you should write a book.” So I did. 

Q: And no one else had those photos to refer to. 

WSK: My story is a very unique one. There’s not a lot of people that came out of the whole club scene and are still movin’, shakin’ and can remember what happened. 

Q: Uptown or downtown clubs? 

WSK: Things have come full circle for me because now the last five years have been spent in the downtown scene, and more recently, the Brooklyn scene; let’s not forget that. But my club culture started out with Studio 54 and everything that went with that. I remember what went on then and the other clubs around then. I went to all of them — Limelight, Roxy, Paradise Garage, and more. The thing is with me, I never stopped going to clubs. I remember being eight months pregnant and dancing on a party boat in New York in a leopard dress. 

Q: Where’s this poor child now? 

WSK: Actually, the child is brilliant,. She’s 26 years old, and getting her first apartment. She’s got a job that can pay her rent, and is really an incredible writer, but totally different from me. She’s been schooled in writing and I’ve been schooled in club culture. 

Q: Does the disco beat seem frightening to her? 

WSK: It’s not frightening but she doesn’t connect with what I am about. She’s never read my book. She said, “I’m just not ready to do that yet.” Maybe it’s because I’m her mom. 

Q: How do her friends react? Do they think you’re cool? 

WSK: I’m like a goddess to a lot of her friends, they totally look up to me and they do wanna hang out when they’re over. But they’re her friends, I say I don’t want to monopolize your conversation. People came here to see you, not me. The stuff I’ve lived through really interest them. I really interest them. Because their parents, most of them, are not like me. You find a few, because after all, this is New York. 

Q: You still have your disco clothes? 

WSK: Someone asked me to audition for something today based on my fashion background and they were very intrigued that I have my disco clothes. We don’t call them disco clothes though — they’re “vintage”. Vintage is the proper fashion term for them. So yes, I still have my disco clothes and I’m proud to say I’ve carried those clothes forward and mix and match them with what’s going on now. 

Q: Do you have a glittery Halston dress? 

WSK: I have a glittery dress, I’m just not sure if it’s a Halston. I have every Betsey Johnson thing, and a lot of Haute Couture. That’s when Couture was a size 8 and not 0 or 2 or whatever. I’m proud to say I’ve maintained the exact same size and body weight as I had back in those days. I have a lot of no-name brands as well, from stores like Rainbow. 

Q: How about from Fiorucci, the very fabulous Italian brand? 

WSK: I love Fiorucci. That’s collectible, the shoes are above and beyond. 

Q: I knew the club-tastic Joey Arias whom I met when he was working at their legendary midtown store. 

WSK: I love Joey. He had a Cabaret act at 54 Below. I adore him. He had a retrospective with polaroids from back in the day and writings and photographs from [the late] Klaus Nomi [Both of them performed with David Bowie on SNL]. 

Q: Who else is memorable to you in a profound way? 

WSK: The other day I had lunch with Rollerena. She’s still a major icon, just that she ain’t rolling anymore [smiles].  But still so fabulous. We talked about how you didn’t have to become anything in those days, you just were. Rollerena was a Wall Street broker by day, fairy godmother by night. She’d roll around the dance floor at Studio 54. After work from her Wall Street job, she’d go uptown, get into her Fairy Godmother outfit, and roll from 6th Avenue and 57th street down town on 6th Avenue. She’d roll against traffic so everybody noticed her. People in those days really went against the grain. They were the real deal. 

Who did I know in those days — Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, Calvin Klein, Joe Dallesandro. It’s in my book; Andy offered me a role in one of his movies with Joe, but it never came to fruition. I’m just a kid from the Bronx and there I was, rubbing shoulders with celebrities like Warhol. I remember going to a Halloween party with Cornelia Guest. C.Z. Guest, Cornelia Guest, those are names you don’t hear a lot of anymore. But in those days, Cornelia Guest was a big deal. There was a Halloween contest at Studio 54 and I was a finalist and she was a judge. I came out and people were applauding and I heard her say, “Ugh, she’s tired.” I hated her, HATED her for saying that. 

Q: Who else did you hate? 

WSK: Honestly, not that many people. There’s no room for hate in my life. 

Q: Who do you love the most from those days? 

WSK: I love the purely creative people like Andy Warhol. I know there’s been a lot of stuff in the negative said about him. I never had to deal with him on that level. He was a creative genius. His exhibit at the Whitney, it was above and beyond. Debbie Harry was in some of videos. I knew Debbie then and I know her now. I have such incredible respect for her transcending the decades. Unfortunately Warhol never got a chance to do that and maybe that’s what was supposed to happen. People had put his films down, put his actresses like Edie Sedgwick down, they put down the Campbell Soup cans, and just about everything else. Now look at it. When you go to the Whitney and see his body of work,my god, this guy was such a visionary. I wish he lived longer. Calvin Klein was a guy I used to see out a lot. I admired him because he never seemed to age. Ironically now you don’t see him out much anymore. I used to think he slept with intravenous embalming fluid because he was so handsome and always looked the same. 

Unfortunately the times that we’re talking about is when AIDS wiped out everyone. It wiped out Halston and some of the brightest most creative people that existed. I was on the board of an organization that took care of the pets of people who had AIDS; it was called POWARS: Pet Owners With AIDS Resource Service. That was a very empowering time for me because it was the only way I felt like I could do something. I lost everybody and so did so many other people too. Three phone books I went through of people who died. 

Q: How many phone books did you have in total? 

WSK: Probably 12 from back in the day. The rest are from after what I call the Holocaust, cause that’s what it was. There are two things that impacted New York; you can’t talk about all this without talking about the AIDS epidemic and 9/11. Those were big game changers. For me personally, nothing was the same after that. 

But you always have to repackage, reinvent, and move on. I’ve had a whole life of reinvention. Still modeling, still acting but now I do brand ambassadoring for clients and have moved into a whole different area. 

I was auditioning for travel shows. Maybe it was the impetus for the book, but I went up for a show called “Ms. Adventure” — it was either Nat Geo or the Discovery Channel that was doing it. I had all the qualifications. I had lived in the Amazon and had leeches on me, lived in Nigeria, my book opens in Nigeria where I was living in a village up in the area of Nigeria where the Boko Haram were. They were there then under a different name. There I was, blond hair down to my waist, free as a bird, thinking absolutely nothing can happen to me. 

When you’re in that age group, you don’t think those things can ever happen to you. All these things led up to me auditioning for this show, but I didn’t get it. Not only that, but I didn’t even get called up for the audition. That’s when I started to understand the way things work. I had all the qualifications and didn’t even get to audition. I had to reinvent myself, get my brand out there, and let people know about it. 

So with my husband, a brilliant videographer and photographer, we started combining our work and going to remote places around the world and I wrote these very loosely put together scripts. They were very reality based; we called the project Model With A Mission. We told the story of elephant rescues in Thailand. Our most recent film, “Whispers and Witnesses,” —  which is about Rachel Hogan from Ape Action Africa and Dr Sherie Speede from Sanaga Yong Chimpanzee Rescue, who are both saving primates from the bushmeat trade in Cameroon — won best documentary at the Chelsea Film Festival. It was made because I became a member of the Explorer’s Club so I met these two women who have rescue centers which are working in Africa to stave off primate extinction. 

Q: You’re involved with the Explorer’s Club, aren’t you?  It’s a curious place. 

WSK: I do the tours, I’m a docent there. My tours are different from others. My tours are based in history but there’s an awful lot of juicy stuff about our explorers, including the polar bear. I encourage people to take a selfie in front of the polar bear. That was the impetus behind the film, I heard these women speak there. There was a fundraiser to bid on this trip. I was making these films two years ago and didn’t have a project. I thought Cameroon sounded interesting. I looked at the bid sheet and no one else’s name was on it. I won the trip and they called me a week later to tell me I had won it. 

Within three days I used my frequent flyer miles and then they called me and said they’d give me some dates and I said I was going to come there to shoot a film about these rescue centers for animals. They said you need a letter from the government so I’m like ok, when can you get me one? When I have a vision I go through with it, nothing stops me. The women said they have to get me a visa, I didn’t know what no tourist infrastructure really meant. You think they have your name on a sign. My name was on a sign, held by a BEAUTIFUL man,  about six foot four, completely dressed in uniform. We get there, we’re exhausted, this man is gorgeous, has an enormous gun and a sign with our names and I say “Hi I’m Wendy Kaplan and this is my husband.” He said, “My name is Kennedy, my English not so good.” I thought to myself, don’t even talk, just let me look at you. He had to be the most handsome man on the face of the earth. 

Nobody spoke English but everybody spoke French, so it forced me to use my high school French. I said where is the super market in French, and he took me right away to the one supermarket. I bought 50 bottles of water for drinking, bathing, washing hair. Do not use local water for anything. Even if they tell you the local water is purified, there’s that 8% and that 8% is gonna get you. It was an experience but I managed to get as close as I am to you right now with gorillas and chimpanzees. I got to tell the wonderful story behind what the women are doing there. 

Q: It’s a feature? 

WSK: It’s 42 minutes. I call it a “shlong” because it’s between a short and a long. I came up with that. If you know film festivals, they’ve got these categories that are so confining. 

Q: How does your husband keep up with you? 

WSK: I fell apart in Africa. Alan actually did much better than me. He doesn’t keep up with me easily because all I need is five hours of sleep, I read all the time, and love meeting people. But Alan is very grounded and when I was in Africa I was freaking out thinking I was gonna die there. One guy I interviewed said he was recovering from typhoid and malaria; and I heard about things that crawl under your skin and lay eggs. By day eight, I thought I was going to get all those things. But I got through scot free. 

Q: What’s happening now? 

WSK: I’m working on getting an expedition going. I’d like to go to Madagascar. Patricia Wright studies the lemurs there. There’s a leech expert I know from the Explorers Club who is there. I begged him to take us. The Explorers Club has these great experts from all over the world about everything. I want to make films about them but you can’t put just an academic film out there. I can find the hook to bring it into your living room. Alan shoots amazing video and I’m the comedic relief freaking out in a foreign country. 

And “Whispers and Witnesses” is at the Africa, Women, and Arts Festival in Tanzania. I would love to have gone there… And I’ve got the African Film Festival coming up in Dallas. I also run panels for them. 

Plus, I’d like to do a follow up to my book “She’s The Last Model Standing.” I’m a baby boomer and I’m up for us to be as fabulous as possible. 40 to 50 is the new 20, yes it is. We’re all aging backwards. I have the fashion background and I’d like to work with fashion designers who aren’t designing things for 20 year olds that are size two. Boomers are the ones with the money. Women come up to me all the time and say they can’t find clothes. And I then find them what they need. That’s what I am — a connector.

Wendy Stuart Kaplan’s Endless Conversation With New York and The World

Wendy Stuart-Kaplan, a ’70s Club Kid Who Lived to Tell All, Still Going Strong

Wendy Stuart Kaplan lived the life of a ’70s club kid before becoming an author and filmmaker. (Photo: Steven Menendez)

New Yorker Wendy Stuart-Kaplan is a ’70s club kid and model who has done it all, from basking in the dazzling lights of the legendary Studio 54 and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Carl Bernstein, Andy Warhol and Calvin Klein, to saving elephants on treks to Thailand.

The Bronx-born Kaplan has been omnipresent in pop culture for 40 years and lived to tell about it.

Wendy Stuart-Kaplan Details Her Life on the New York City Club Scene in: She’s the Last Model Standing

The legendary New York Post gossip columnist Earl Wilson once wrote an entire column about her bedazzling presence. The column was titled “She Dances Alone.”

In 2015, She released her own book, “She’s The Last Model Standing,” about her 30-year career as a “fit model.”

Who else can say women’s underwear sold at Wal-Mart is modeled on their size eight bottom? Wendy can. “I cover the asses of the masses,” she boasts.

Kaplan is still going strong after 45 years in fashion. At just over five-feet, eight-inches tall, she still weighs 135 pounds, just as she did in the ’70s and ’80s when she partied hard at celebrity studded Studio 54.

These days, Wendy can often be found at The Explorer’s Club on Manhattan’s tony East Side, giving tours, or at the downtown New York City hub, Irving Plaza, hosting a Night of 1000 Stevie’s.

She’s also released, in conjunction with husband Alan Kaplan, the film “Witnesses and Whisperers.” It’s about fight to preserve the gorilla, chimpanzees and monkeys in Cameroon.

The movie was previewed recently at the Chelsea Film Festival.

Stuart-Kaplan sat down with IM to talk about her career and her new film in a Q&A.

Wendy Stuart-Kaplan, a ’70s Club Kid Who Lived to Tell All, Still Going Strong

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Posted February 11, 2019

WENDY STUART KAPLAN – Model With a Mission

Wendy Stuart Kaplan

By the time Wendy Stuart Kaplan met and married renowned photographer Alan Kaplan, she had already carved out her own totally unique perch in New York as a bona fide influencer and tastemaker. Born and raised in the Bronx, Wendy quickly became acquainted with soon to be bold faced names like Andy Warhol and Anthony Hayden Guest and was a regular at such NY-after hour haunts like Studio 54; Elaine’s and Irving Plaza.

She gained instant notoriety with her quick wit and ability to quickly assess trends; be it in fashion or in pop culture. She’s also released her own biography called She’s The Last Model Standing, which immediately gleaned terrific reviews and has just finished her film Whisperers and Witnesses; which won the Best Documentary award at the Chelsea Film Festival in NYC.

Iconic photographer Alan Kaplan was already famous for his revolutionary photographs that graced the pages of GQ and Italian Vogue when he met humanitarian and free-spirited Stuart. He encouraged her to pursue her dream of becoming a supermodel and advised her to travel to Europe to find fame and fortune.  

What she found instead was a summer of misadventure and so when she came back to the states she did what any other girl growing up in the Bronx, whose mother encouraged her to seek employment at the telephone company, would do … she married Kaplan.

Thus began a partnership that has endured the test of time as they began roaming the globe filming and revealing the truth through their Model with a Mission-Visual Journeys that convey unique stories of indigenous people and endangered wildlife through Alan’s keen eye and Wendy’s quirky sense of humor and compassionate heart. Wendy appears as on-camera host as well as producer of the series.

Forthright, unflappable and adventurous Wendy forges ahead when she makes a decision.  Whether it’s trekking to the isolated villages of the Omo Valley in Ethiopia to see what the latest fashion trends are (usually dating back hundreds of years) or hiring a soldier to get the Kaplans deep into the jungles of Cameroon for Whisperers and Witnesses, or hosting  Night Of 1000 Stevies , 2:00 AM at Irving Plaza.

Wendy is fearless as long as long as she has her lip gloss, waterproof mascara, toothpaste and her eyes set on a site to discover chimpanzees, gorillas and rescue centers.  She wants to tell a story that no one else has told before.

Wendy is a fearless globetrotter who when asked if she was afraid of the AK47’s that the Karo people carry, rolled her eyes and replied,  “Are you kidding? The NYC subway is my midtown office!  Now that’s scary when you think about it!”

Alan, a man wrapped in nonchalance and willing to take any risk Wendy dishes out carries his cameras and tripods like an Oscar. Kaplan has replaced the beautiful fashion people with the most interesting people who happen to be beautiful.  Alan, holding his camera inches from a gorilla’s face or documenting natives in ceremonial dance or Manhattan’s nitty-gritty nightlife are what makes him the perfect blend of explorer, voyeur and diarist.  

Wendy understands the human condition and knows when and how to bring a serious segment home but also is quick to find the quirkiness or comedy in any unfamiliar situation.  In Fragile Beauty, A Visual Journey, drawing on her background as a professional model in the fashion industry, she explores the fashions and culture of indigenous people who have existed in the same manner for centuries.  She takes full responsibility for what needs to be accomplished to change the rapid extinction of tribal people and at the same time records, with a light heart and respectful humor, the oddities along with the fears and joys of the people.  

The Kaplans are never intruders or guests as they always strive to be players in the band.  To accomplish such a feat the two understand that in order to be let in on the secret they must quickly gain the trust and friendship of whomever they meet. They must allow life to go at its own pace until they are asked to join in and become a part of everyday life that has been sheltered and isolated for, in some cases, centuries.  Not an easy feat but one remarkably executed!

The Kaplans admission into the highly selective Explorers Club resulted in her film, Whisperers and Witnesses, being screened exclusively at the club. In fact, Kaplan can often be found at the club giving exclusive tours for interested parties – which she proclaims as everything you ever wanted to know about the Explorer’s Club but were afraid to ask.

A true force of nature … WENDY STUART KAPLAN.