EDITORS NOTE: Full disclaimer: I am very good friends and an unabashed fan of both creator Sampson McCormick and of actor DeMarco Majors.
Comedian Sampson McCormick has made his Jo Jo Dancer Your Life Is Calling with Party N Play. In the same way that Richard Pryor’s remarkable departure from form in Dancer let the dark REAL moments illicit their own kind of humor, so does McCormick let his freak flag fly in a sincerely honest, moving, and de-stigmatizing gathering that is essentially a meth fueled sex party—that dark, demonized drug and sex alchemy that is an “epidemic” among gay men everywhere.
Gaynrd spoke to McCormick and following the interview you can watch the full short. You won’t regret it.
What sparked this project?
I’ve been working on new scripts in between my stand up comedy tour dates, and there have been lots of genres that I’ve been wanting to see. That inspiration, mixed with a bit of a demand for a new film after my last, “a different direction,” made me focus on something new. I wanted it to be really light and funny, since the last one was so heavy.
I saw your posts on Social media about people being upset—what was that all about?
I love folks who criticize. That doesn’t bother me, it was mostly the never ending slander that I keep getting from Milan Christopher. (I have no idea what his problem is—I heard from a couple people who frequent a club we both go to in West Hollywood, and they say he likes my ass [i didn’t know he was capable of being a top] and that he wants to sleep with me or something, but I guess this is his way of expressing it. He’s not my type though—I prefer my men employed.
The other people who are upset, are people mostly bothered that I made a film that doesn’t follow the framework of what I’m known for. This film is explicit. You see some naked ass, love scenes, folks doing drugs, men kissing and polyamory. I didn’t give this film the Brokeback mountain treatment. So if you’re uncomfortable with sexuality—this film is gonna bother you, and that’s fine by me. I lost a lot of followers, but gained just as many new ones who were glad to see the film.
I mean there’s been a million gay movies that are trashier and less smart.
That’s true. But nothing we can do about that—except create good ones. Right?
Have you ever been to a sex party?
Yes! I’ve been to several sex parties. Everybody should go atleast once, it’s one of the most liberating experiences you’ll ever have.
The term Party N Play has Been so stigmatized–but I think we can all toe a fine line and have fun like everyone else —I mean: Hollywood.
We can. As I always say, it’s simply about us being in control of the narratives we want to see by creating them. Also supporting people who create them and do the stories that we want to see. It’s important to support the people who are doing it. That said, make sure to follow me on Instagram.
I still can’t get over the Ed Buck line. [At one point when one of the partiers passes out, Sampson yells “You Can’t die here! This isn’t Ed Buck’s house.” Really edgy. it’s like in one moment you acknowledge a horrible crime and reclaim it—was that the intention?
My intention is to always talk about things that are relevant and make people think about it and unpack it. It’s a relevant topic associated with the culture. Why not go there?
DeMarco [Majors] told me hated his character—but I love that you challenged him—got him out of his comfort zone—was that your intention?
DeMarco loved playing that character! I don’t know what he’s talking about. I think the most challenging thing for him to do was do the sex scene with me, because he had to remain professional while rolling around in the bed with all this sexiness. He broke character a couple times—but managed to get through the take after I made him cum a couple times—I’m just kidding. We kept it totally professional. To be honest, he’s like a brother to me. It was a challenge for both of us to be like “let’s act like we fuckin’ for this scene right quick.” We did it though—afterwards we was like “ugh girl. Get off me. I ain’t no lesbian!”
Above: DeMarco Majors on the right.
What, ultimately do you want people to walk away with from the movie?
Good, deep belly laughs and thoroughly entertained by an original story. Some folks have said they got messages from the story, and if they did, that’s cool too.
What were some of the influences? I see Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street for sure…
My influences actually were Takes from the Hood and Scary Movie. Kind of. I still wanted to create some ideas for a film that were original and had never been seen before. When’s the last time you’ve seen a black gay comedy-horror in the same vein as scary movie?