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 and new Here!TV show, “Collar Confessions,” author and screenwriter Dwight Allen O’Neal tells the tale of a cleric who spins a tangled web of lies, greed, sex and addiction. The novel drops Oct. 1, and the show begins airing Oct. 8.
As seen from the pews, 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, 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.
“They lead double lives, in constant fear of being discovered,” O’Neal said. “Many turn to social media that is, in essence, a dangerous Pandora’s Box where anything can happen.”
Page to Screen
When creating the ”Collar Confessions” TV screenplay, O’Neal and his co-writers originally planned to re-tell the story from the book. Instead, they opted instead to tell a new story in the world that the book created.
The series explores the journey Lawrence takes after his experiences with the characters in the book. Nathaniel J. Ryan stars as 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,” Ryan said. “I think Pastor Eddie is misunderstood, even by himself.”
Ryan approached the role by looking for similar characteristics within himself that would allow him to empathize and understand Lawrence better.
“Stepping into his shoes and wardrobe helped me to bring the character to life,” he said.
Making his debut in a non-adult show 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. “Too often, we live our lives for other people, doing what is expected of us but not what makes us happy.”
“I also hope that viewers note the consequences that occur when we decide to hurt people. Every action has a reaction, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.”
This article also appeared in Q ATLus magazine. Read the latest issue online here: