Bump!: Gay Globetrotting with Charlie David
A successful trip requires a great deal of research and planning to ensure a vacation for the history books. Why do all the work yourself when Bump! has already sent in their experienced team of travel pros to show you all the ins and outs of hot destinations around the globe?
Bump! is the world's first gay and lesbian travel and lifestyle television series-unique and international in scope. In each episode, Bump! presents a new gay-friendly destination in a stylish and upbeat format. The show's creators have even developed a multi-media travel guide app for your iPhone, iTouch, and BlackBerry featuring only gay and gay-friendly listings; not everything, just the best of the best. These travel guides can be downloaded from the iTunes Store and BlackBerry App World. Bump! features four different hosts who travel the globe, experiencing all types of people and adventures. One of the most talented and not too bad on the eyes, is Charlie David.
Charlie David grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan, playing road hockey, building forts and spending time with his make-believe pet-because his parents were cruel and wouldn't buy him a real one! In desperation, he tied a ball to a string and would pull it around everywhere he went whistling, "Here boy, good dog!" Imagination is still the key to his happiness and Charlie considers himself a storyteller, namely: actor, writer, and producer. A love of storytelling led Charlie to launch Border2Border Entertainment, Inc., a production company whose film credits include Mulligans, Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride, Judas Kiss and Positive Youth.
I sat down with sexy and hilarious Charlie David while on location for Bump! in Brazil for a fascinating chat about his travel experiences abroad.
Hey there Charlie! Thanks for taking time from your busy travels to share with our readers all about your experiences. How is Brazil?
Brazil remains one of my favorite destinations in the world. The beaches are breathtaking, the boys are ridiculous, the music and food are fantastic and the boys are... wait did I mention them already? We've done episodes in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on the show previously. For Season 6 we're going a little off the beaten path to Recifé and Florianopolis, which certainly both have enough to see and do to keep a traveler in their embrace for a solid week.
Bump! has quite the destination list, from North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, to Australia and Asia, what has been your favorite destination and why?
I like a little Latin heat... so for a dizzyin'-jerk-my-head-around and run-into-lamp-posts experience, I prefer Argentina or Brazil. In terms of a solid five or seven-star service and the ability to engage every one of my senses, it's got to be South Africa. I've never felt more truly alive than in the time I've spent there- everything seems more visceral and real. When a hotel or safari lodge is five-star in South Africa-it's off the charts by our North American standards. There is no comparison-they really know how to do luxury. Combine that with going out into the bush to track lion, rhino or elephant and I'm in absolute heaven.
As an airline pilot by day, I've had some crazy travel adventures of my own; I know you must have seen some crazy things in your adventures. Tell us about few of those experiences.
There are so many!! That's part of life on the road I guess. In our Chiang Mai, Thailand episode (which you can see online at logotv.com) I rented a motorbike and we mounted a camera on the handlebars to face back at me as I zipped around the buses, tuk-tuks, bicycles, taxis, cars, wandering people and animals... You know where this is going! At one point I was sailing along beside a bus on one side and parked cars on the other. Suddenly, three people on scooters pulled out ahead of me and my only option was slam on the brakes or crash into them. I clutched the handbrakes and flew off the motorbike into the traffic lane beside me just as the bus passed. I scrambled to my feet and got the hell off the road.
After checking the camera we were ecstatic-the handlebars had twisted to see me fly off the bike and land with a smack on the road. TV doesn't get better than that-it's what I consider a happy accident. My mom watches the show so I'm sure not to tell her that I've just swum with crocodiles, walked with lions or gone flying in a winged contraption powered by a lawn mower engine until the episode airs.
Mothers worry too much as it is, without letting them know all the trouble we get into! How did your make-believe childhood pet (see intro) shape the character and TV personality that we see today?
I think you're referring to the ball on a string that I pulled around to my parents' dismay, for a solid two years, because they wouldn't get me a real dog! My life has been one long make-believe session! What I've learned is that the power of our thoughts and feelings is immense- imagination manifests itself. Over and over in my life this truth has proven itself. I use a vision board pinned with all the
adventures, experiences and joys I want in my life and it works. The natural tendency of the universe is to evolve in complexity. I really believe if you can dream it-you can achieve it. It's all about focus, determination and stamina for perceived setbacks.
Traveling can be exhausting, how do you keep up? What advice while traveling can you provide someone about to embark on an exhausting adventure?
I prefer to see and do as much as possible during the day so I usually don't go out partying at night while on the road. I go for dinner and try to be back at the hotel by pumpkin hour. When I'm on the road shooting for two or three weeks at a time I know this kind of schedule is an absolute must or I'll burn out. I usually leave the "go-crazy" party night for the last evening or two of my trip. It's also really important to exercise as much as possible-we do a lot of sitting on planes, trains and in airports so getting the blood flowing and muscles pumping is vital while on the road even if it's a brisk walk around your hotel area. Regulating my diet is the most difficult. Of course on Bump! I'm constantly in wonderful restaurants with chefs who are presenting their most beautiful creations. Luckily one of my best buddies is my cameraman and he's always there to tactfully remind me when it's time to put down the fork.
When you're not on the road, what are some of your favorite things to help you relax and
Yoga, running, and hitting the gym are the absolute best ways for me to destress and feel great. I also took up skateboarding last summer despite my age and I've got to tell you-it's not as easy as those skinny skater kids make it look! Skateboarding and yoga both provide me with bliss because I can't think about anything else. It takes my full concentration to maintain both inner and outward balance.
Your talents extend off the TV screen to include theatre and writing. Tell our readers a bit regarding your style of writing and what they can expect if they were to sit down with one of your three novels.
I'm really excited my play Mulligans will have its world premiere in Dallas at the end of May. It's my first play-based on the book and screenplay of course-but it allowed me to delve into the story in a deeper way and to be a little more risqué. Mulligans is the story of a family man who has an affair with his son's best friend. I'm proud of the film but we were certainly safe with it-with the play we're going to take more risks. I'm very excited to go and see what the company, QLive! in DalDallas/ Fort Worth does with the production.
Of my three books I'm most proud of Shadowlands, it's received the most favorable critiques from both press and my readers. Shadowlands is an anthology of paranormal short stories-it's dark and some of it is disturbing as the title suggests. It is also in development now as a TV series.
The recent passing of Dick Clark, we've all been reminded through various media outlets of his greatness. Tell us about your experience working with Clark on NBC's The Other Half.
Did that man ever clock a lot of television hours! My goodness he really is a legend and such an incredibly gentle and gracious man. I was a guest on The Other Half speaking about inspirational columns I was writing for a magazine directed at teenage girls. This is a few years back so I was writing from the perspective of teen guy to teen girl. Dick was a complete gentleman and absolutely in control.
I remember thinking-I want to do this one day; I would like to host a show. I also remember getting lost in Mario Lopez's dimples for a while, as he was co-hosting.
What project might you have up your sleeve that our readers should be on the lookout for?
I think the one I'm most excited to share is the documentary I directed called Positive Youth. It is currently on the film festival circuit and will premiere on LOGO at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. The film is filled with uncensored personal stories from positive youth; that I think will change the way people view being HIV+. I shot it with subjects in Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Phoenix, Orlando and New York. There's been tremendous support for the film so far and I'm really excited to share it.
Finally, any chance of a reunion tour of your boy band?
No way!! Although I had to sing in my last film, Judas Kiss, overall it's not a talent I claim. I think Backstreet Boys and New Kids have got that territory wrapped up.
Charlie is a graduate of Canadian College of Performing Arts and his current passions include learning French, motorcycle cruises, high adrenaline encounters with wildlife and sports. He resides in Montreal, Canada when he's not living out of a suitcase.
For a complete listing of channels and more information on Bump! visit bumptv.com. Here in the U.S., visit logoonline.com for show times.