Living authentically is the message that Pastor Eddie Lawrence preaches to his flock at Perpetual Peace Ministries, but does his own truth extend beyond the pulpit?
In his debut novel, COLLAR CONFESSIONS: Sharing the Man of God, and the soon-to-be-released COLLAR CONFESSIONS series on Here TV, author and screenwriter Dwight Allen O’Neal tells the tale of a cleric who spins a tangled web of lies, greed, sex, and addiction.
As seen from the pews, Pastor Lawrence is a sanctified leader, a beatified son of God, living a pious life of faith alongside his childhood girlfriend and soon-to-be first lady, Tiara. What parishioners in the congregation do not know is that their beloved curate is far from holy.
He possesses prodigious pride, insidious greed, and an unquenchable lust that he satisfies with casual sex with both women and men.
In the novel, Pastor Lawrence struggles to reconcile his life’s soul-wrenching contradictions and juggle relationships with his two fiancés: Tiara and his secret male paramour, O’Neill. Little does he know that he isn’t the only one carrying secrets…
“This story deals with the hypocrisy within the church,” says O’Neal. “The church is a place that was created to heal; however, many people in the LGBTQ+ community enter the church and then are in need of healing. They lead double lives, in constant fear of being discovered. Many turn to social media that is, in essence, a dangerous Pandora’s Box where anything can happen.”
When creating the COLLAR CONFESSIONS screenplay, O’Neal and his co-writers, Dane Joseph and Daniel Armando (who also directs the series), originally planned to re-tell the story from the book, but opted instead to tell a new story in the world that the book created. The series explores the journey Pastor Eddie takes after his experiences with the characters in the book. “We challenged ourselves further by looking at the story from the lens of a thriller,” explains Daniel Armando.
Nathaniel J. Ryan stars as Pastor Eddie Lawrence in the series. “Pastor Eddie is a man deeply in love with his lover(s) and his husband, however, his insecurities prevent him from remaining monogamous. I think Pastor Eddie is misunderstood, even by himself.”
Ryan says he approached the role by looking for similar characteristics within himself that would allow him to empathize and understand Pastor Eddie better. “Stepping into his shoes and wardrobe helped me to bring the character to life.”
Making his film debut in a non-adult movie is 2020 GAYVN Winner DeAngelo Jackson. “I have always dreamed of doing more than adult film work,” Jackson reflects. “When I first read the book, I was thrilled to be able to bring one of the characters to life. After learning the series would be a thriller and I would get to perform stunts on camera and learn fight choreography, I was sold!”
“I hope COLLAR CONFESSIONS entertains and inspires viewers to live in truth,” Jackson continues.
“We are excited to support original stories that challenge us to be our most truthful selves within interpersonal and professional relationships,” said Emmy-winning Producer and Here TV President John Mongiardo. “The production team at Novo Novus takes diverse and powerful content to a level specifically designed for Here TV’s exclusive and premium platform distribution.”
COLLAR CONFESSIONS is executive produced by Dwight Allen O’Neal, Daniel Armando and Dane Joseph. It premieres on HERE TV on Friday October 8.
Dwight Allen O’Neal’sCOLLAR CONFESSIONS: Sharing the Man of God will be available on Amazon and wherever books are sold on Friday October 1.