Mr. Hoskins, as professor of theatre, has taught period styles, stage movement, and dance at Penn State University and Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory Graduate Program in Acting Training. His book, “The Dances of Shakespeare” is published by Routledge. Mr. Hoskins resides in Sarasota, Fl. where he is adjunct professor of theatre at FSU/Asolo Conservatory and staff choreographer for the Asolo Repertory Theatre.
Our Hearts Were Khaki and Gayby Jim Hoskins
The story illustrates his travels from college to show business via the ballroom dance world, Mae
Our Hearts Were Khaki and Gay is a memoir about a young man making career choices and dealing with his sexuality, all within the structure and discipline of the United States Army from 1955 to 1957. These were the days before "Don't ask, Don't tell" and its repeal.
The story illustrates his travels from college to show business via the ballroom dance world, Mae West's night club act, Army enlistment, Soldier Shows around the world, Army discharge and finally a move to Paris, France. It also deals with the many people he met on his adventures and the influence they had on his choices in life. With his performances on the Fifth Army Soldier Shows at WGN-TV in Chicago and as a winner in the All-Army Talent Contest, his talent carried him to the Ed Sullivan Television Show and a world tour in an all-Army revue called Rolling Along of 1956. There he met his mentor, Scott.
In the early 1940's, actress, writer, and monologist Cornelia Otis Skinner joined journalist Emily Kimbrough in writing about two young ladies' travels abroad. The hysterically-funny Our Hearts Were Young and Gay was later made into a movie. That book reminded the author of Scott and himself, two young soldiers in an all-Army show, traveling to twenty-seven countries and thirty-eight states, entertaining at military installations: hence the title of this book, Our Hearts Were Khaki and Gay. There were nineteen other soldiers in the show. Their hearts were not khaki and gay - just khaki. Perhaps one was ecru, we'll never know.
The book is anecdotal, amusing, and may be of help to other young men and women facing similar dilemmas in their young lives. It should appeal to the theatrical community,the gay community, and those interested in the short period during our military history when the Soldier Shows were very popular.
The All-Army Talent Contests and the Rolling Along tours only happened during the 1950's. This book's action takes place during the 1956 tour. It pays tribute to those who were drafted and found a way to continue the development of their talents while in the military - and to the very appreciative military audiences. It also discusses the Army of the mid-1950's and the military policy pre-"Don't Ask. Don't Tell,"a misadventure that was repealed in 2011.
- Outskirts Press, Inc.
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
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The premise promised interest that the book did not deliver. A not well-written journal filled with tedious repetition of an uninteresting life.
Reviewed by Amanda Garner for Readers' Favorite Author Jim Haskins displays an incredible amount of courage and determination in "Our Hearts were Khaki and Gay"’ Back in 1950, openly admitting you were gay was unheard of. Then, compound it with the fact that he was also serving for the U.S. armed forces during World War II, a time when the ‘Don’t ask, Don’t Tell’ policy was not in place. It was career suicide. Yet somehow, he found the courage to not hide, but shine. He uses his talents to brighten and entertain all those around him. No matter what difficult situation he was in, he kept his head high, an admirable trait everyone could benefit from. If you are thinking about coming out, the author invites you to join him in his own personal journey where you too may find the courage, perseverance, and self-acceptance that author Jim Haskins displays for all to see. I think in "Our Hearts were Khaki and Gay" you will find inspiration, motivation, and the recipe for acceptance of one’s true self. Even if you are not gay you can learn important life lessons such as courage, acceptance, and motivation to embrace your true self, and no matter what you go through you can proudly hold your head high knowing you are the best you can be. I loved how Jim was fearless in the face of adversity. He never pretended to be anything he wasn’t. I applaud the author for being so open. It is hard to subject yourself to criticism and judgment and yet once again he displays his bravery. Kudos, Jim Haskins, I wish you all the best.