Alec Mapa and his husband adopted a son, which in this town can only mean one thing: a one-man show about it! Baby Daddy makes it West Coast debut this weekend at the The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.
What have you learned about yourself since becoming a parent?
I've learned that I can be a perfectionist or I can be a parent. I can't be both. As a gay man I know I've been socially conditioned to overachieve, but that mindset just doesn't work as a dad. There are too many opportunities to screw up. Punishing myself for every misstep means me on the bathroom floor in the fetal position sobbing, and I think that's the wrong lesson to teach. If I want my son to know he can fail and still be loved, I have to model that as well.
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Between you and your husband, which of you will handle helping him with math homework?
A good Asian would say "Me!" Unfortunately that's not the case. My husband, also a homosexual over achiever, got straight A's all through high school and studied calculus. He will have that honor. I am not smarter than a 5th grader, but I can drive. Asian stereotypes be damned!
What's your son going as for Halloween? Will you dress up?
My son wants to be a vampire. His costume will be more Transylvanian than True Blood. I can't have him trick or treating looking like Alexander Skarsgaard. He'd catch cold. I always dress up. Halloween is gay New Year's. Pan Am looks like it's about to be cancelled, so if I can get the right corset, that Christina Ricci 1963 stewardess drag is mine.
Give us a little teaser about the show -- what do we learn about you?
You'll learn I still have a dirty mouth. You'll learn that adopting a 5-year-old didn't excuse me from diaper duty because crapping themselves is what 5-year-old boys do best. Five-year-old boys notoriously ignore the impulse to go potty until it's too late. I was always on my knees pleading with my son halfway through the first act of a musical or in line at Disneyland : "This isn't like doing your taxes or Christmas shopping. You can't wait until the last minute. Go when you feel like going." You learn that a 5-year-old being raised by two gay guys is going to be sarcastic like a gay guy. Recently, I chewed my son out for running around the supermarket. He just rolled his eyes and said. "And the Oscar goes to . . . " You learn that there's nothing more powerful than saying you're going to do something out loud. My husband and I said we were going to adopt a 5-year-old and the universe couldn't have made it happen any faster.
You need a sitcom about your life -- what would it be called and who would be the main characters?
Those Three --half hour pilot: Alec Mapa "America's Gaysian Sweetheart" stars in this half-hour pilot about two L.A. gay dads raising their African American son. In a failing economy, two newly unemployed gay men (one, an over achieving film maker, the other an overachieving sitcom actor) find themselves struggling to maintain their former affluent madcap lifestyle while raising an adopted 5-year-old boy from Compton. Worlds collide, hilarity ensues. Ab Fab meets Auntie Mame meets Diff'rent Strokes. And the Emmy goes to...
The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Renberg Theatre, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 21-22, 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 23, 7 p.m.; $20; www.lagaycenter.org/boxoffice or call 323-860-7300.