Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Alan Cumming and Adam Goldman on Pulling Off a Very Queer Heist

The two industry veterans team up with Audible to bring the ultimate queer action-comedy podcast, Hot White Heist.

These days no one can deny the power of a single tweet. By now, we’ve collectively witnessed Twitter posts and hashtags that have spawned social justice movements and caused careers to be canceled. Tweets have even been used as a tool to come out. In the case of writer Adam Goldman and award-winning actor Alan Cumming, a tweet led to a nearly decade-long friendship and a creative partnership.

The two met in 2012 after Cumming tweeted Goldman’s web series The Outs. “I thought it was so great,” Cumming recalls. “So I tweeted him, he tweeted back at me, and then we met up. I thought, He’s a good writer. I’d like to work with him…. We stayed in touch and have been friends since then.”

The social media banter birthed a creative friendship. It also led to some hilariously memorable cameo appearances by the respected Scottish-American actor, singer, writer, and filmmaker — including one in The Outs, in which Cumming plays a wonderfully cheeky version of himself, and another in Goldman’s next series, Whatever This Is (where Cumming appears as a terrifically tyrannical pharmaceutical CEO).

Alan Cumming and Adam Goldman team up with Audible to bring the ultimate queer action-comedy podcast, Hot White Heist.

Now the two are teaming up for Hot White Heist, billed as the ultimate “queer action-comedy.” Once again, an off-the-cuff tweet was instrumental.

“It’s sort of funny because this whole project and my relationship with Alan both sort of came out of Twitter,” Goldman says. “White Heist was a joke that I had tweeted about, that I would love to see a queer heist — and no, it won’t be about stealing sperm. And then I thought, Oh, shit. No, that’s it! That would be really fun.

Thus, a queer caper comedy about a plan to steal high-profile sperm to fund the creation of an LGBTQ+ paradise was born. But creating it as an audio-only project brought new challenges. Cumming, who also directs the series, explains, “In a play or film, you can pull focus to a visual thing, whereas here, the only way you can change people’s focus is aurally…. You’ve got to think of new ways to engage people. That was a big challenge for me, just trying to draw the attention of things to people’s ears rather than to their eyes.”

Alan Cumming and Adam Goldman team up with Audible to bring the ultimate queer action-comedy podcast, Hot White Heist.

Goldman says he also enjoyed the challenge of writing audio-only characters (and had fun listening to pre-television radio programs as research). The project gave him a newfound appreciation for creating visual content.

“By the end of it, I just longed to write a scene where someone walked into a room and didn’t say anything,” Goldman says. “In a podcast, you just want a character moment of ‘He looks in the mirror’ or whatever…. Taking away the visual aspect made me appreciate writing other stuff for the screen — all those tools that you have at your disposal.”

Cumming, who has long been a voice for the bisexual community, joined forces with Audible via his Club Cumming Productions to produce the six-episode podcast series that boasts an all-LGBTQ+ cast (and mostly LGBTQ+ crew), led by Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang. Other stars include Cynthia Nixon, Abbi Jacobson, Jane Lynch, Margaret Cho, Bianca Del Rio (a.k.a. Roy Haylock), Mj Rodriguez, Shannon Woodward, Stephanie Beatriz, John Cameron Mitchell, Cheyenne Jackson, Jonathan Bailey, Peppermint, and Brian McCook (as his drag persona, Katya Zamolodchikova).

Cumming says he was especially excited when Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright “Tony-fucking-Kushner!” not only agreed to be a part of the project but wanted to expand his role. In addition, the series was produced by Mark Valdez and executive-produced Britta von Schoeler, of Broadway Video fame. 

Goldman, like Cumming, sees power in the all-queer cast. “There was a moment I think in the conversation where we said, ‘Oh, well, maybe we’ll have one token [straight person],’” says Goldman, who is gay. “But then as we proceeded with the casting, it was like, No…. Like, I’ve never heard of a project like this, where, queer content aside, the cast top to bottom is completely LGBT people. It’s totally exciting.”

All episodes of Hot White Heist will be available on Audible on June 17. 

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