Hey you, happy Friday! What do you have going on this weekend? We plan to work on an upcoming project that we can't wait to tell you about in the next week or so. Also, there will most likely be hours of binge watching Shameless. We are so obsessed with it, we are watching close to 3 hours of it a night. It's becoming a problem.
We are so excited for this week's Feature Friday because they're two friends of ours and their relationship is so inspiring. It's likely you are already aware of Andy and Michael's relationship, but they've opened up about how they make their relationship work while both being in the entertainment industry, their cool new house, and their favorite trip they've ever taken together. Take a look below to see what we mean...
Where are you from? Andy is from Pittsburgh, PA, Michael is from Midland, TX
Where do you live? We split our time between a tiny apartment in the West Village of New York City and a big old Catholic church upstate in the Hudson Valley.
What’s your Instagram handle? @andymientus and @michaelarden
Age: Andy is 31 and Michael is 35.
Relationship Status: Married.
How long have you been married? 8-ish years
What is your favorite place you have ever traveled to and why?
A: We took an amazing road trip once from Portland all the way down to San Francisco, stopping whenever we saw something interesting. We slept at a creepy old mansion in Eureka, drank wine in the Russian River, and took a million photos at the Multnoma Falls. Totally magical.
M: We just had the chance to work together in Tokyo and visit Kyoto. We both fell in love with Japan. I would say it’s a tie between that and our Pacific Northwest Road Trip.
How did you guys meet? Who asked out who? We met years before we would start dating at the opening night of a short lived Broadway musical Michael was starring in called The Times They Are A-Changin. We became friends and talked often for probably 4 years before we became more than friends.
You both have very demanding careers. Is it hard being away from each other so much? How do you make time for one another? We knew early on that we worked well as a couple because we were both as invested in our own careers and artistic pursuits as we were in each other. We like to think that we go through life side by side, looking in the same direction rather than looking at each other. Thus, whenever our work keeps us apart, we focus on being excited that one of us is getting an opportunity to further his own dreams and try to do what we can to support that rather than be sad about what that means for our time together. We have a whole lifetime to be together. Some apart time to focus on ourselves is good too.
How would you describe your home decor stye? Ecclectic. We have very different interests but we are both collectors, so we both bring lots of strange objects into our house that have to all coexist. We also have picked up a lot of memorabilia over the years from various artistic projects, as well as souvenirs from all of the travel we have done independently and together. As for furniture, we both lived apart for many years and then together in various spaces, so there are pieces from all of those eras thrown together. I think what brings the whole mess into cohesion is that nothing is just for show- everything either has a purpose, a story, or both.
What is the last show you binged watched?
A: British Baking Show. We can’t get enough.
M: Abstract on Netflix. It’s an incredible series about design and designers in all forms. Get into it!
What is something you wish you would have known when you were younger?
A: That things never go according to Plan A. Plan A is a fantasy.
M: That struggle is part of life. It will always exist. But it will seem insignificant in the long term. Take a breath, have faith and courage. It’s all gonna be okay.
How old were you when you came out and what was your experience like?
A: I was 24. Michael was actually the first guy I was ever with, so my queerness was more mysterious before we got together and thus I didn’t feel the urge to come out before then- I wasn’t quite sure if I was bi or just a really open minded straight person before that. Getting together really made me confront and embrace my queerness for the first time. Luckily my family and friends and even my ex-girlfriends were amazingly supportive, so it was really no big deal.
M: I was a Freshman in High School, so a BIT younger than Andy. On the first day of school, my English teacher, Shelly Wright, asked us to write an essay about what we learned about ourselves over the summer. I felt compelled to say that I discovered I was a gay man. For some reason, I never hesitated. She pulled me aside later that day in the hallway to thank me for my honesty and to tell me I always had a friend and ally. I think that first interaction shaped my whole coming out experience. I was given room and support and a sense of pride because of her gesture. It’s something I’ll never forget.
We see that you've recently purchased a not-so-typical house. Tell us about it! Yes! We bought a church! Steeple and everything. In the summer we had a conversation about selling a house we owned in LA which we didn’t use much anymore and either buying an apartment in New York (we rent) or getting a country house upstate. Michael started looking casually and found this church and we just fell in love with it, so suddenly that abstract conversation was a very real decision and we had to work very fast to sell and move so that no one snapped up the church before we could. We spend Christmas there with friends and it was so worth it.
What is your favorite thing about one another?
A: I love the scope and scale of Michael’s imagination. Whereas most people would see the church online and say, “wouldn’t that be cool,” before closing the window and going back to their day, he springs into action and makes it reality. The same is true when he dreams up a creative project or a fun night out. Most people settle for ordinary and safe but he strives for what seems impossible, which is a great way to live your life.
M: Andy is the smartest and most insightful person I have ever encountered. Every good idea I have comes from him. His mind is constantly working on or revising a thought or notion. And so many times his ideas are sprung from his sense of humor and play.