When you anyone first meets Lance Bass you sense his Mississippi upbringing immediately. He has an earned reputation in the tough entertainment industry as an extremely kind, well-mannered and charming man. With startling bright eyes and a charismatic smile, he wins anyone over almost immediately.
What that grace and thoughtfulness hides is one of the most broadly talented young persons in the entertainment industry. Along with his good manners comes enormous courage and a life lived on the edge. It is easier to list the accomplishments he has not achieved at the age of thirty-four than it is to list his amazing diverse array of achievements.
Lance Bass has a resume that would put anyone else in his age group, actually in any age group, to shame. The talented young man has been part of the largest pop group of his generation, a New York Times best-selling author, a documentary film maker, a successful actor, radio personality, in Hairspray on Broadway and, yes, even an astronaut! That is just for openers.
Of course, it is impossible not to talk about Lance Bass without first going to *NSYNC. The group sold over fifty million records in just seven years. Their second album No Strings Attached sold a million records in one day, over two million in the first week and became one of the best selling albums of all time! The group received eight Grammy nominations.
His other great passion is Space. In 2002, Bass started training to be a Cosmonaut. Lance even had heart surgery to correct an cardiac arrhythmia so he could qualify for the space flight. Lance was sponsored for a documentary and participated in intensive and exhaustive training for a flight to leave into outer space on Soyuz TMA-1 at the end of October. The flight was to fly to the International Space Station and return to land in Kazakhstan. Both NASA and Russian Space Program certified him for space travel after he completed his rigorous training. Because everyone feared he would die in space and it would be bad for business for the sponsors, his funding was cut off.
Bass came out of the closet in 2006 on the cover of PEOPLE Magazine making him one of the most prominent people in the music industry to come out. He joined the ranks of people like Elton John, Melissa Etheridge and George Michael. Since coming out he has been extremely supportive of the community in raising fund, serving as a spokesman for different events/groups and generously lending his name.
Over the last decade he has appeared in films, television, hosted a nationwide radio show, directed and produced a documentary on being gay in Mississippi and graced the stage on Broadway. In many ways, given his desire to take chances and embrace life on the edge, Lance's journey so far seems like just a warm-up for more success and adventures.
Lance Bass was born in Laurel, Mississippi and grew up in the small town of Clinton. He is in a relationship with an extremely talented young artist, Michael. Bass has a passion for animals and wildlife.
Here are "Five Questions For .....Lance Bass"
1. When with *NSYNC, how great was the fear of being 'outed' in the beginning? What kind of personal effect did living with such fear have on you?
I have known I was gay for as long as I can remember. The fear of being outed while in *NSYNC was huge. I feared it everyday. I thought the guys would figure it out because of the girls I wouldn't take home or my mannerisms. It was stressful and it in turn made me shy and introverted. I never wanted to get really close to anyone in fear of them finding out. I had many acquaintances, but no true friends.
2. You have an intense interest in space and even went to Russia to train to be part of a space flight for several months. Do you still hope to journey into space in the future? Do you believe there is life out there?
I always dream of making a flight to space. I put too much heart and energy into my certification. I think it would be very arrogant to think we are the only beings in the universe.
3. What has been your greatest joy in coming out? Have we reached the place where there is no reason for entertainers to stay in the closet anymore?
My greatest joy in coming out is being able to live my life openly and honestly. With every entertainer that lives their lives honestly bring us closer and closer in helping bridge the gap for gay acceptance in the industry. There is a limited amount of jobs in this industry for gays. The majority of the jobs go to straight people in tv, film and music to appease Middle America. I don't think our industry is homophobic, but we have to keep Middle America happy as they are a HUGE group that watches TV and movies and listen to music.
4. Putting aside your current journey, what would have been your second choice for a career path outside of entertainment?
Definitely becoming an Astronaut. That has been my dream since I was a kid.
5. What is the most embarrassing or funny incident that happen to you while you were with *NSYNC?
Where do I begin? When we went to Germany--in the early *NSYNC days, the stage manager said to us, "Go! Go!" So I ran out on stage and realized that it wasn't our music and another act was mid-performance. I was so embarrassed and had to run back.