Noah’s Arc was the groundbreaking show on LOGO that broke through stereotypes and generalizations about Black LGBTQ men and let us see our authentic selves on television. Now, the actor who played Alex on the show is back in New York with a big project all his own. SOULE got a change to talk to Rodney Chester about SWEET T: Sunday’s Just Got A Little Sweeter, a variety show which premiered in celebration of Harlem Pride, at Savannah Rae’s Restaurant in Harlem.
SOULE: Welcome back to New York? Why don’t you tell us what STS is all about?
Rodney Chester: Sweet T Sundays was the show that was created for the lgbtq community and it started out as being just a comedy show which I was doing it for a while back and forth and then I decided to change up on it and make it a variety show so I usually do a drag performer comedian spoken word artist and & singers
What made you decide to go out in the road and do this type of event?
My manager Richard Pelzer said I see how well the show is doing in L.A. we should maybe think about doing the East Coast West Coast type thing so I said okay great let’s try to set it up and it was just perfect timing to do it with Harlem Pride hopefully I’m able to do it in New York every month or every other month .
A lot of folks know you of course from Noah’s Arc but you have been an actor and creative entrepreneur before that was a thing.Tell is what else you’ve been up to lately?
Well I did a short film called 90 Days which was directed by Nathan Hale Williams and is winning all type of awards and also I did a play called bound and gagged which was based in D.C. but we did the show here in L.A. and and also doing Sweet T.
So much speculation and excitement still surrounds Noah’s Arc. Now that you have a little time away from the show what were your impressions of that experience?
My Noah’s Arc experience was amazing. It was so wonderful to be a part of something that was the first that was ever done, so many people do shows like Noah’s Arc or creating their own stories is amazing so I think that we have been Trail Blazers I still get people coming up to me a lot saying how our show changed their lives and what it meant to them so it’s amazing to still get the love and support that people are doing. You’re only as good as your last project.
There seems to be a lot of conversation around visibility of Black LGBTQ people. Do you feel there has been more visibility for Black LGBTQ people?
It’s so wonderful to see all the shows now that are network or that are showing the LGBTQ community in a positive light.
Do you think that visibility has translated into jobs for creators?
Yes, I think it has created jobs for our community for sure. I was just looking at Pose. It’s so amazing to me to see that they have the trans community in the forefront of something on network TV. I think it’s taking time but they are finally getting it.
Are there any dream projects you want to be a apart of?
I have so many things that I want to do and getting back on TV I think would be a major thing for me at this point.
Is STS going to be an ongoing thing?
Yes, Sweet T Sundays will be ongoing. I do it once a month in L.A. and hopefully I will be able to do it every other month or every month in New York so this is why it’s important this first show I’m doing in NYC is a success. Hopefully we will get the word out and people will come and support and see what Sweet T is about and it’s never been done in our community – a variety show – we got to get the word out.
Which do you find more challenging being a creator or a business person?
I actually like both because in order to create stuff you need to be business minded and I had a business for over 15 years. It helped me throughout my creative process of being an actor because I was able to understand contracts and make sure that things are done correctly.
For more information on the show or to purchase tickets click here.