To some, Ottawa is a sleepy government town where fending off the cold and riding the city’s many buses is considered an eventful evening. Not so for Jesse Reynolds. “There’s so much to do in Ottawa if you just look for it. We have nerds, burlesque performers, drag queens, interesting local businesses, you name it,” Reynolds says.
Employing skills honed while hosting the web-based talk show Zero to Jesse, Reynolds is now the host of Spotlight 613, a new event that promotes local people. It’s like a talk show, but happens live onstage.
“We want to challenge the idea that Ottawa’s boring,” Reynolds says. “A lot of people don’t realize how many freaks and perverts are in this city.”
The show doesn’t focus only on freaks and perverts. It doesn’t limit itself to any particular group or endeavor at all — or even to queer guests only — but rather showcases anyone doing anything exciting in Ottawa.
The show also includes a sex talk segment by Helvetica Bold, a burlesque performer and former advice columnist with Upfront Magazine. “I try to generate good advice that crosses all genders and orientations. It’s about healthy sexuality and at the same time I’m a jokester,” Bold says. “I tell everyone to do anal all the time. When people are down about their relationships, I’m like ‘just do it in the butt.’ If that doesn’t fix things, then you just need to find someone who is into anal.”
Spotlight 613 happens the last Thursday of each month. Guests on the second installment of the show will include singer and dancer Kapri, as well as Kelly Bennett, the Ottawa Squad Leader for the food blog Fat Girl Food Squad.
All proceeds from the show go to the queer community centre, Pink Triangle Services.