A GoPride Interview

Mike Ruiz

Mike Ruiz interview with ChicagoPride.com

Wed. November 24, 2010  by Mark Bruno

Mike Ruiz
Mike Ruiz loves the camera and the camera loves him.

So when Logo decided to document the lives of Gotham's gay elite in their new show, A-List: New York, of course they had to include him.

The celebrity photographer has worked with everyone from Kelly Clarkson to Adam Lambert to Katy Perry.

Most of his work has been behind–the-lens but his good looks and Herculean body have been seen on several reality shows including America's Next Top Model, RuPaul's Drag Race, and Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List.

We spoke to Ruiz about his new show, how he's handling the adoration of gay fans, and what it means to be an ‘A' gay.

MB: (Mark Bruno) Why did you decide to participate in the show?

MR: (Mike Ruiz) I'm a risk taker. Also, I knew it would be an amazing crash course in TV production. What I've leaned from the show can never be taught in a classroom.

MB: How do you feel about the A-List: New York being referred to as "The Gay Housewives of New York"?

MR: It's a smart marketing tactic. The "Housewives" franchise is wildly successful.

MB: Can we expect a lot of drama and cattiness on the show?

MR: The viewers can expect a whole lot of bitch fighting! There is a ton of drama but it's all in good fun.

MB: Are you the voice of reason on the show?

MR: I'm like Faye Dunaway in "Mommie Dearest". In public, I pretend to be kind and gentle but in private, I beat the boys with coat hangers!

MB: Judging from the trailers we've seen, the boys could use some discipline.

MR: Seriously, my role on the show is me being me. Not sure what that is exactly.

MB: Will we get to see Mike Ruiz at work in the studio?

MR: I haven't seen the final cut but I think viewers will see a lot of what goes on behind the scenes in my professional and personal life. During taping, I shot with Margaret Cho, Kelly Rowland and DJ Tracy Young.

MB: Will we see Mike Ruiz at home with the bf?

MR: My relationship is sacred to me. I didn't want to jeopardize it by having it on display.

MB: Can you sympathize with your pal Kathy Griffin now that you know how it feels to live in front of cameras?

MR: I have been in front of the cameras for the better part of twenty years. I'm kind of oblivious to them now. Also, if you are strategic as to when you allow the cameras to follow you, it never becomes taxing.

MB: What have you learned from this experience?

MR: I have learned how to filter myself from my usual verbal diarrhea. I have also learned to let go of some control. I had to let the crew do their jobs without giving too much of my own creative input and that was hard!

MB: Would you ever do it again?

MR: Filming a reality show is like having a giant mirror held up to you. It can be devastating or if you like the way you conduct yourself, it can be a great reaffirmation. It's taken me 45 years of conquering many demons and I'm happy to say that I no longer cringe when I look in the mirror.

MB: What new things can we expect from you this winter?

MR: I shot several episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race that will air in Feb. I'm about to unveil a bunch of new celebrity transformations and a few music videos and if the planets align, I'm hoping to begin production of the sequel to the one and only film I've directed. I'm also wrapping up on a coffee table book.

MB: Being an ‘A' gay sound like a lot of work.

MR: It's also a lot of fun.

For more on Mike visit www.mikeruiz.com

Spin Nightclub, 800 W. Belmont, presents Mike Ruiz live from 10 p.m. - 2 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. Presented by Grab Magazine.

Interview written by Mark Bruno for Grab Magazine

Interviewed by Mark Bruno