This article was published on July 2nd, 2019
Currently in Las Vegas, there is one show above all others that combines an intoxicating mix of artistry specifically created for mature audiences. Featuring erotic music, sensational choreography, aerobatics, comedy, and more, Zumanity is a mesmerizing production that is sizzling up the strip of Sin City.
One of the featured performers from the show, Brandon Pereyda, portrays the character of Axle in the Cirque de Soleil production, providing enough R-rated sexual heat to tantalize fans of every persuasion. HomoCulture sat down with the performer for an exclusive interview that covers several topics, including the true meaning of World Pride, as well as his present and future aspirations for his professional career.
What does Pride mean to you?
“Full on acceptance of everybody, whether you are gay, straight, bi, or however you identify. How you want to live your life. I grew up very religious. I wanted to fix that with myself to a point. This is who I am, and this is who I want to be.”
Why is it important for you to be at World Pride?
“This is the first time WorldPride has been in the US and it’s the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. This is even bigger than us. This is years and years of people fighting for where we are at. 50 or 60 years ago, they didn’t have the outlets of expression like we have now. That’s why being a part of this is important. It’s not just going to a party or seeing performances. It’s about making a stance. It’s an iconic moment in time.”
The character of Axle has been interpreted many ways over the course of Zumanity’s run in Las Vegas. What Brandon brings to the role is a singular portrayal that represents the core of his identity. We delved into how Pereyda’s characterization has breathed new life into the production.
What do you do to advance the gay agenda?
“We have the ability to show who we are at our fullest. Bring awareness to people who are scared to be who they really want to be. I’ve been a performer my entire life. One of my first shows was Chippendales. You have to be straight. I was never someone who was gay, straight, or bisexual. This is who I am. I’m gay.”
“In Zumanity, my character can be portrayed as straight, but for myself, I use my character to be open and free, and loving to all. I consider myself a bisexual character. I wear a g-string on stage. I can be feminine or masculine. It’s not one or the other. It’s about being who you are. I have a red mohawk. I am loud. I don’t try to fit the mold. That’s where other young teens who are coming out can look up to someone and not give two fucks about other opinions.”
How do you see your art form with Cirque to inspire the LGBT community?
“I’ve been performing for a really long time. People know who I am. My red hair is memorable. I’ve done events, Pride’s, and Broadway six times. I’ve always wanted to give back to the community in any way. Raising money and awareness for LGBT rights.”
“With Cirque, it’s an incredible opportunity to use the brand. We have so many LGBT employees. People follow me and know that I’m gay. It’s a platform I can use and stand on it. They love that I am that representative as well. [Cirque] enjoys using me as that front-runner for their shows.”
What advice do you have to help advance the rights of the LGBT community?
With a great deal of emotion being held up, Brandon had this to say:
“50 years ago you had people that were unable to do certain things that we take for granted. Us coming to a party, partying, having fun, and celebrating the music is great, but the younger generation needs to embrace what the older generation has done for us, stand up, vote, and continue to be the loud voice that the few had, that raised a stir, that changed laws. Now we have so many more that are out and proud but are afraid to get political on how they are viewed. We can’t stop and become complacent. We need to keep pushing for things we want changed. Get out and vote. That’s how you can make a change.”
“Zumanity is the production that must be viewed to believe. Audiences are guaranteed 90 minutes of a thrill ride that boldly steps outside the boundaries to deliver sexy vignettes seasoned with bondage, role-play, sexy dreams, and more than you ever could imagine.”