So I currently find myself in DC. I’m making the move (again) to California, and on my way West I’ve dropped in on some old friends that I’ve known for quite some time. Two people who I adore and who are truly amazing individuals. Sandi Bushnell and Ron Schrader.
I’ve known Sandi since the 9th grade. She is such a gifted human being. She’s beautiful, smart, enlightened, conscious, concerned, empathetic, and loving, and she’s also a really talented singer and actress. We played opposite each other in our High School’s rendition of South Pacific, she as Nellie Forbush and I as Emile De Becque. Epic! And she’s funny as fuck! Oh my God can this girl make me laugh.
I stayed a week with her and her husband, Rich, and one of their two sons, Reid, in their beautiful home in Ridgewood, New Jersey (their other son, Mason, was away at college). What a gorgeous little town to bring up a family in! I’m so happy for her! She has a beautiful home, a great husband and really sweet guy, and two great sons, and she’s at a wonderful place in her life because of her commitment to do the work and live the best life she can. Love it! I’ve always thought a lot of Sandi, and for really good reason.
I’m now staying with my oldest friend, Ron Schrader, and his husband, John, in DC. Ron and I went to kindergarten together, making our friendship 46 years long! My closest brother hasn’t even known me for that long. Crazy! He is extremely gifted, smart, enlightened, conscious, hysterically funny, a great actor and musician/songwriter, and one of my most favorite people!
There is something very deep about having a friendship for that long that is truly wonderful. He and I have also connected musically throughout the years, recently collaborating on “All My Love” and “Alone” off of my album The Way I Am. We’ve been working on new music since I arrived in DC, and I’m digging everything that we’re doing! We’re going back to my R&B and jazz roots, where I feel most free, creatively. I love all kinds of music, and love the exploration of different genres of music, but R&B/Jazz/Funk are and will remain my strongest influences.
I’m also very excited to be here for Ron and John’s reception to celebrate their marriage that took place about a month ago. Sandi and I will be singing a duet, “I’ll Cover You,” from Rent, and then she and I will each do something separately per Ron’s request. So happy for the both of them and so grateful that the right decision was finally made to let us gay folk marry! Jesus! Seriously, the most ridiculous thing in the 21st Century is that we’re still dealing with this kind of bullshit! Ron and John have been together for over 19 years! Don’t you think it’s about time they got to experience the same benefits afforded straight married couples? It’s been time for a long time!