When Channing Tatum appeared in the feature film Magic Mike in 2012, drawers across America were drenched and the idea of a male adult entertainer was redefined. Not only did the film inspire a Broadway show and an all-male Vegas revue, but it also provided one young man from Baton Rouge, Louisiana the opportunity to live out his dreams in a way he could have never imagined.
Jeremy Denzel is a 24-year-old creative who recently celebrated his 1,000th show as a performer at the Las Vegas show, Magic Mike: Live. He's a Cancer, he's a dancer, and most importantly, he has a heart of gold. Since joining the show two years ago, Jeremy has appeared on Ellen, This Is Us and Atlanta; but you probably know him from his hilarious part in the popular Netflix film, Step Sisters.
xoNecole had the opportunity to sit down with this sexual piece of chocolate, who opened up about love, life, and navigating his career as a male entertainer.
What inspired you to start dancing?
My favorite dance movies were You Got Served, Stomp The Yard, and stuff like that. So I would be home alone in front of the TV, sweating with a hat on and dancing, trying to recreate the moves. It's crazy because the movie Step Up came out, and my boy Channing [Tatum] was in there. And he was a kid from the streets, which I can relate to. And he liked to dance, which I can also relate to. And in the movie, he transitions into this refined dancer by taking dance classes. He took dance lessons in the movie and then that turned him into a better dancer, a better person. So after seeing that, me and my friends, we decided to take our first dance class, and we signed up for classes in the seventh grade and that was the first dance class I've ever taken.
So, it's like now I work for him. It's like I took my first dance class, and now I work for the guy. It's crazy to see a full circle like that happen.
I saw in a previous interview you said that you actually met your girlfriend at a show, how did that go down?
I was dancing. She had a friend who was a fan of the show and they all came to the show. So we're like, all right, we know they're there in the house. So I was walking through -- and this is a certain part of the show where we will lapdance women -- and I'm just walking minding my own business.
And this woman out of nowhere grabs my arm and just stares in my eyes and says, "Don't neglect me" in the sexiest voice ever. And I'm like, "Okay."
She posted on her Instagram story, her cooking some gumbo and I was like, I don't know what this southside Chicago girl knows about cooking gumbo. So I sent her a message. And was like, you don't know how to cook gumbo. And it turns out she does know how to cook gumbo and we been going ever since so, I was wrong.
Does your career as a male entertainer affect your relationship?
I think we had a great start because she already knew what my life kind of entailed. And there is a level of comfortability and trust that you have to have with a partner going into something like this. And I thought like a million times, what if it's the other way around? I mean, I met her doing that, why would I have a problem with it now? And she has that approach to it and it's never been a problem.
She comes to the show a lot, she sees me showing other women love, but that's part of my job and she knows it makes everybody feel good. [It's] just [about] being able to separate my job from just us.
How long have you two been together?
Almost a year. Last year, we made it official at her sister's wedding. That was cool.
Wow, that's romantic AF. So are you just a romantic guy at heart or does that come with the job?
I have learned some things from the job now that I think about. Well, there is a skill to it and in the process of doing this show, I would say you adapt to the life. You've listened to women enough to get a good understanding of what they might like. And since our jobs are so tailored towards pleasing women, I guess my life is tailored towards what can I do that she would appreciate.
"You adapt to the life. You've listened to women enough to get a good understanding of what they might like. Our jobs are so tailored towards pleasing women."
What are some ways that you show your partner she’s special to you?
Well, I give her a lot of massages. Like I rub her feet a lot, I'm jealous how many foot rubs she gets. After some shows, I might get her some flowers or bring something home and let her know I thought about her. Just that constant reminder because people like when you at least try, or where you show that you think about them, especially when they're your significant other. Like just that constant reminder or learning their love languages and knowing what makes them feel good.
Speaking of, what’s your love language?
I'm into physical touch and I love laughing. Laughing is my favorite thing to do. Come on. Someone I can have a laugh with about anything. If we can laugh all day and then I like being around you all day, that means you make me feel good. I don't think you can be pissed off and laugh. I think that's hard to do -- laugh with someone you don't like.
So what’s the first thing you notice about a woman when she walks in a room?
Body language, I think that's an important one. If we're talking about attraction, then body language, confidence, and their demeanor. I think it has to deal with body language and attitude for me because I think the sexiest thing you can be is confident, and that goes from whatever kind of body type you have, whatever kind of person you are, if you're confident, I think that goes a long way.
"I think the sexiest thing you can be is confident, and that goes from whatever kind of body type you have, whatever kind of person you are, if you're confident, I think that goes a long way."
What’s does the perfect date look like for you?
I would say out to eat may be a nice one or like going outside, going to see something, walk and talk. But it also depends on what kind of day you're trying to have.
Well, what about you? What day are you trying to have?
I would probably go to an escape room or something. You ever been to an escape room?
No, but I’ve heard of it! Why an escape room?
Okay, well you're locked inside of a room with people and you have to figure out how to get out of this room. I think you can tell a lot about a person once you put them in a room and lock them inside of it and then they have to find the way out. We did that on one of our first dates.
You can see whether this person is not great under pressure or whether they yell a lot at you. You get a good scope of the land. How will they react in other situations like this and how much longer can we do this? And it's fun, you laugh a lot.
How important is sex in a relationship to you?
It's very important, there's no other way to put it. Especially if you're trying to settle down with one person, right? You got to find ways to keep it interesting and I think when the love and comfortability are there, then I think that's the best it gets.
Can you have love without sex?
You can have love without sex, but sex helps.
"You can have love without sex, but sex helps."
What are your deal breakers in a relationship?
Bad hygiene. I think as a human being, everybody should have good hygiene. I mean, I think that's the least you can do for people around you, is just have good hygiene. I think that should be like one thing that shows that you respect people is that you smell good; that you respect yourself.
Do you see marriage or children in your future?
As a southern boy, It's kind of like my Cinderella Story. I one day want to have a family and get married. Just having a nice house on a piece of land, raising a family. Maybe having an animal or two, I don't know which animal yet, but get a few dogs, have a horse; but also be in a space where I'm still creating art or doing whatever I love at the same time.
You can keep up with this hunky entertainer by checking out his Instagram and Facebook pages and make sure to add going to Vegas to see Magic Mike: Live to your bucket list ASAP. You might even leave with a man as fine as Jeremy!
Featured image courtesy of Victor Anthony.
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Marsai Martin Gets Real About Her Decision To Undergo Surgery To Remove A 'Grapefruit-Sized' Ovarian Cyst
Actress Marsai Martin is showcasing the importance of advocating for one's health after recently opening up about her ovarian cyst surgery. For context, the 18-year-old revealed in a now-deleted Instagram story last December that she underwent a medical procedure to remove the large ovarian cyst that gave her "constant pain" for years, especially during her menstrual cycle.
According to Mayo Clinic, an ovarian cyst is described as a sac "usually filled with fluid" in an individual's ovary or near it. Although it is relatively common, with one in ten women diagnosed with a cyst, many experience little to no symptoms because it usually goes away. Those with pain and discomfort often have a large ovarian cyst, which was the case for Martin.
During a discussion with Women's Health magazine, Martin opened up about her menstrual cycle and when she started noticing the symptoms. The black-ish star told the publication she started her period at 11 but didn't experience any unusual pains until she was 14.
Coincidentally this event occurred a little after she was diagnosed by a medical professional with an ovarian cyst "the size of a small grapefruit."
Martin's Symptoms With A Large Ovarian Cyst:
In light of her diagnosis, Martin didn't think much of it because, at the time, her doctor told her that cysts usually disappear on their own. Over the years, as she got her menstrual cycle, Martin had extreme pain and severe nausea.
Even though she often combated the cramps with medication such as Aleve and naproxen, per doctor's orders, Martin shared that the pain would eventually progress so much that she couldn't keep "food or water" in her system.
Martin also revealed that these symptoms negatively impacted her daily routine, such as work and participating in social activities. The star further explained that she thought these signs were typical and didn't go to the hospital because of what her mother, Carol Martin, previously mentioned and warned her about while discussing the history of her own menstrual cycles.
Martin's Health Took a Toll At Age 17:
All this came to a head when Martin was 17 years old. The Little star decided to go to the hospital because the pain became unbearable.
"But one day, when I was 17, I just couldn't take it anymore. I had extreme cramps, and I was so nauseous, I wasn't able to eat or drink," she said. Martin added that the pain and nausea had limited her mobility.
"It felt like I couldn't move. The slightest sip of water would make me projectile vomit. I had lower back pain, dizziness, migraines, and tender breasts, and on top of that. The pain had been constant from the moment I woke up, and it was so unbearable that I finally went to the ER around 8 p.m.," the star stated.
During her hospitalization, Martin was informed that she was dehydrated and that the pain she was going through was because of the large cyst. Despite already being well aware of the ovarian cyst, which was "9.5 centimeters in diameter," due to her diagnosis years before, Martin shared she didn't know that it was the primary cause of her pain.
Following her stay, Martin's physician would refer her to a gynecologist, who gave her various options to resolve the issue. The list included taking birth control pills to shrink the cyst or having surgery to remove it completely. Martin disclosed after taking two weeks to weigh her options following her 18th birthday, she ultimately decided to undergo the procedure and scheduled it for December 2022.
Although Martin was initially afraid about the operation because she was uncertain how her body would react, all of that disappeared after the surgery. Martin would go on to express that it was one of her best decisions ever.
Following the procedure, even though Martin experienced some pain post-surgery, it ceased as the days passed, and she started moving around. Since the operation, Martin shared that her menstrual cycles have drastically improved.
Martin On Why She Shared Her Story:
Near the end of the interview, Martin explained that one of the main reasons she's been very vocal about her experience with her ovarian cyst by sharing it online is because she doesn't want others to remain silent about their health struggles and wants them to get a "second opinion."
"I hope my story will encourage other women to not accept a life of pain, to get a second opinion. Pain is not normal," she said. "I want other women to talk about their pain, and to keep speaking out until they're taken seriously. And to the women out there suffering silently right now: You owe it to yourself to speak up."
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Featured image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Paramount+