Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

It Boy: P.J. Mehaffey Is a Gay Actor Trying to Make It in New York. Does He Have That Special Something? A New Reality Series Follows Him to Find out. (Television)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

It Boy: P.J. Mehaffey Is a Gay Actor Trying to Make It in New York. Does He Have That Special Something? A New Reality Series Follows Him to Find out. (Television)

Article excerpt

In his first scene on Bravo's new reality series The It Factor, which follows the lives of 12 young actors trying co break through in New York City, producers ask P.J. Mehaffey to tell them a secret. "Well, if isn't really obvious to you already, he declares, "I'm gay!"

Mehaffey, 29, thinks that line may have helped him land a spot on the show, but being an out gay man on the audition circuit hasn't been easy for him. He came to New York from Charlotte, N.C., five years ago, like so many others, to realize his dream of acting professionally. Supporting himself by working in an administrative job at an ad agency, he went on countless open calls; his only major credit to show for the effort was a part in a Showtime commercial.

"I'm pretty much an open book, and that's been a problem," he says. "From an actor's point of view, it has been an issue for me. Actors by trade become other people. There are parts of me that will never go away no matter how hard I try. I was going to all of these auditions and not getting anywhere. I know I'm talented. I have the confidence. I've got the training. `Why am I not getting that Budweiser commercial? …

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