Talent Plus Sexiness and a Whole Ton of Charisma is Coming Your Way, Courtesy of Benjamin Hey!

Talent plus sexiness and a whole ton of charisma is coming your way courtesy of Benjamin Hey! who has officially dropped his first full length album today, January 10, called LAX.

Ben has categorically become one of the biggest names that is on people's lips in and out of the entertainment industry. Looks aside, he's a talented individual both in the singing and writing department, as he's worked with big names like Laverne Cox who he co-wrote "Beat For The Gods" with.

That track became a huge success for both of them last year, and now its Benjamin's turn to bring his lyrical game to the masses on a solo level in 2019 with his stellar album that is worth the listen to and then some.

Ben is taking ambition to a whole other level with LAX as he's not only supplied 14 fantastic tracks within it, but he also plans to shoot videos for each of the songs as well. Talk about a Beyonce 2.0 situation here!



The latest single from LAX is titled "Safe Word", where the corresponding video shows the New York City resident in next to nothing while talking about getting down n dirty in so many ways where limits only happen with the uttering of one word. The beat to it brings you back to the mid 90's as it has a similar sound to R&B crooners like Usher and Ginuwine.

Speaking of the R&B genre, its something that Benjamin excels in throughout LAX. R&B is a kind of music that has fell on hard ways in the music industry, as many artists have a difficult time figuring out how to make it relevant again as pop, rap and hip-hop have emerged as leaders on the radio and chart scene.

Here's hoping that LAX helps put that genre back on the map, as he croons through most of his songs with an R&B tinge that is simply spectacular. Standouts for the slower tracks from this include "Love is a Verb" and "Iron Man."

He also gets the crowd pumping throughout LAX with headbangers like the title track and "Noise", proving that you don't have to be one note throughout an album in order for it to be successful. This is an album that is definitely worth the listen to and then some as a great kick off to the 2019 calendar year in music.

For more information on Benjamin Hey!, please check out his official website.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.


Lady Gaga Responds To The R. Kelly Controversy With An Apology

Lady Gaga’s apologizing for once working with R. Kelly.

At the current moment, many on and offline are reeling after viewing the Lifetime special docu-series called Surviving R. Kelly. The investigative program interviews former close friends of the singer as well as victims of his sexual deviancy. All of it plots out the vast history of R. Kelly’s sexual and physical abuse (often involving minors).

After hearing about the program and seeing the public’s reaction to it, Lady Gaga, who has been an advocate for the Me Too movement and sexual assault victims, came forward to apologize for once working with the singer.

Gaga posted a screenshot of a longer message on social media saying that she regrets having worked with R. Kelly on ‘Do What You Want” from her 2013 album Artpop.

“I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault,” Gaga captions a note on Twitter. “I made both the song and video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life, she says.”

Gaga says she plans to remove the song from ITunes, Spotify, and other streaming platforms. In addition, she already has a version of the song with Christina Aguilera.

Taylor Bennett Gets Shirtless In Debut Performance of "Streaming Services"

Taylor Bennett is giving us all types of feelings yet again.

The openly bisexual rapper appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this past Monday to debut his newest single titled “Streaming Services.”

The song honors Bennett’s struggle and triumphs as he tries to branch out from his older brother's, Grammy winning rapper Chance the Rapper, shadow and become an independent artist.

If the performance version wasn't to your liking, you can check out the audio version of the song below.

Two years ago, Taylor Bennett came out as bisexual on Twitter.

It was then revealed that he hadn’t even come out to his family yet. Bennett’s older brother Chance spoke to Inquirer.net and shared that he also found out through his brother’s tweet.

“We honestly didn’t talk about it until after he put it out on Twitter… so I think it’s cool he could tell everyone via the Internet and kind of blunt the impact,” said Chance, “I think what he did was stronger than most people.”

He added, “I kinda just stepped back and… admired him.”

Since then, Bennett has continued to make music and speak on his sexuality when asked. Like in August of last year, Bennett shared with the Breakfast Club that he hopes to make others in the hip hop/music industry feel comfortable enough to come out.

"Hip Hop is gay as f*ck,” the artist stated, “but also know that there's a lot of Black people that never had the opportunity like me to come out. That's what I want to do is I want those motherf*ckers to feel comfortable."

We here at Instinct have also named him as one of 10 prominent rappers who are making the rap/music world more inclusive and LGBTQ accepting.

We look forward to seeing how Taylor Bennett will grow from here.

From 'Believe' to 'Livin La Vida Loca': 20 Gay Faves That Turn 20 in 2019

It's hard to believe that 1999 existed 20 years ago. 

As someone who was a child of the 90's, it feels like yesterday when some of my favorite tracks helped develop me into the walking radio that I am today.

This was a year when every type of music still had a spot at the dinner table. Consider music back then to be a potluck dinner of sorts, where each genre had its moments on the charts, on your walkmans, and in your life.

This was a year that gave us so many favorite songs that the gay community loved to jam to. They weren't "gay" specific, but these were ones that were universally loved (for the most part) by us then and still resonate with us all these years later.

That being said, let's take a look at 20 gay favorites (or classics, for us oldies) that officially turn 20 in 1999. 

Christina Aguilera: "Genie in a Bottle"

Cher: "Believe"

Ricky Martin: "Livin La Vida Loca"

Britney Spears: "Sometimes"

Jennifer Lopez: "Waiting For Tonight"

Whitney Houston: It's Not Right but it's Okay"

Mariah Carey: "Heartbreaker"

TLC: "No Scrubs"

702: "Where My Girls At?"

Destiny's Child: "Bills, Bills, Bills"

Sixpence None the Richer: "Kiss Me"

Backstreet Boys: "I Want It That Way"

Enrique Iglesias: "Bailamos"

Shania Twain: "That Don't Impress Me Much"

Faith Evans: "Love Like This"

Madonna: "Beautiful Stranger"

Eiffel 65: "Blue (Da Ba Dee)"

Amber: Sexual (Li Da Di)"

Will Smith: "Miami"

NSYNC: "I Drive Myself Crazy"


This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.



What Do You Do When You Get That Unwanted D*** Pic?

It’s Friday night, so you know as you sit with your bowl of melting ice cream watching Netflix you’re secretly waiting to see who messages you on Grindr. And as soon as that notification pops up, your heart skips a beat. You go to check your phone—a profile with no photo—but you open it anyway to find an unsolicited, not very cute, dick pic. Of course!

What the heck, it’s Friday night, so you go with it. It’s almost like clockwork, right? All you need is a theme song. Well, now you have one.

The Pun Guys, a parody and sketch crew have come up with a parody called Dickpicito that tells the perfect story you’d like to sing when you get those unwanted dick pics in your DMs. The song is a parody of Luis Fonsi’s Despacito which climbed to the top of the charts last year. Okay, this parody is from last year too, but we’ve never shared it and it deserves a little recognition.

The duet in the parody features a guy sending a dick pic to a girl—but isn’t the scenario universal? No one wants a “ticket to that nasty meat show”.

So next time you get that notification, look up this link and send it to that headless profile. And then you can send him a picture of your ass.

Enjoy the weekend!

Follow The Pun Guys!

This Classic Madonna Track is a Song For World AIDS Day

December 1 is World AIDS Day. This day means a great deal to many of us. The peak of the AIDS crisis generated some unforgettable songs by major artists that still hold up today. 

Released in 1992 and largely misunderstood at the time, Madonna’s Erotica was called “a post-AIDS album about romance” by Rolling Stone. The effects of the AIDS crisis are felt throughout the record. 

One track in particular stands on World AIDS Day. That’s the penultimate track, In This Life. The slow song, with orchestral arrangements, is about gay men in Madonna’s life she lost to the disease, including singer Martin Burgoyne, who was a good friend and former roommate, when she lived in New York in the early 80s. Burgoyne died from AIDS in 1986 at the age of 23. Christopher Flynn was Madonna's dance teacher and mentor, who died of aids as well. It’s also likely the song was inspired by the AIDS-related death of artist Keith Haring

The haunting track features percussion that many have likened to a doomsday clock, and it samples George Gershwin’s blues lullaby “Prelude No. 2.” 

This track was very much ahead of its time. It probably still is. 

Other key tracks to revisit on World Aids Day include:

Bruce Springsteen’s Oscar-winning “Streets of Philadelphia” from Philadelphia 

“The Last Song” by Elton John

“Boy Blue” by Cyndi Lauper

And “Sing” by Annie Lennox

Below are the full lyrics for “In This Life”

“Sitting on a park bench

Thinking about a friend of mine

He was only 23

Gone before he had his time

It came without a warning

Didn't want his friends to see him cry

He knew the day was dawning

And I didn't have a chance to say goodbye


In this life

I loved you most of all

What for?

'Cause now you're gone and I have to ask myself

What for?

What for?


Driving down the boulevard

Thinking about a man I knew

He was like a father to me

Nothing in the world that he wouldn't do

Taught me to respect myself

Said that we're all made of flesh and blood

Why should he be treated differently

Shouldn't matter who you choose to love


In this life

I loved you most of all

What for?

'Cause now you're gone and I have to ask myself

What for?


People pass by and I wonder who's next

Who determines, who knows best

Is there a lesson I'm supposed to learn in this case

Ignorance is not bliss


In this life

I loved you most of all

What for?

'Cause now you're gone and I have to ask myself

What for?


People pass by and I wonder who's next

Who determines, who knows best

Is there a lesson I'm supposed to learn in this case

Ignorance is not bliss


Have you ever watched your best friend die

Have you ever watched a grown man cry

Some say that life isn't fair

I say that people just don't care

They'd rather turn the other way

While we wait for this thing to go away

Why do we have to pretend

Some day I pray it will end


I hope it's in this life

I hope it's in this lifetime

I hope it's in this life

I hope it's in this lifetime 

Ariana Grande's 'thank u, next' Video is Here to Dominate Pop Culture for a Few Days

The anticipated video for Ariana Grande’s single “thank u, next” is here, and it’s already turning heads. Over 765,000 people watched the live debut of the clip a few hours ago. That’s some TRL-era stuff right there.

Set to Grande’s mid-tempo ballad about resilience, the video is primarily an homage to Mean Girls. Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett) appears to talk about his sexy, pushed-back hair.

The size of Pete Davidson’s d*ck is alluded to not once, but twice, including a mention in a quirky Legally Blonde homage featuring Jennifer Coolidge.

Kris Jenner appears, in a tracksuit with a circa-2004 camcorder, in a clear homage to the “You’re doing great, sweetie” meme. Troye Sivan also makes a cheeky appearance to gossip about Grande dating “some chick called Aubrey" now because she's a lesbian now, which is "f*cking sick."

Watch the “thank you, next” video below so you can be a part of the water-cooler conversation.


You Voted: What Are the 10 Greatest Madonna Songs of All-Time?

We here at Instinct Magazine ran a simple poll on our social media accounts Tuesday by asking the following question: what is your all-time favorite song by the one and only Madonna?

Boy did y’all let us have it. The overwhelming response to this question proves how many of us in the LGBTQ community are so galvanized by this one-of-a-kind pop idol, as the responses many of you gave us went beyond a simple song title… they had reasoning and memories as well.

Madonna has recorded hundreds of songs over her illustrious 30-plus year career which many of you touched upon when giving us your pick. Some went as far back to her career beginnings in the early 80’s, others chose her popular hits as she entered her early 30’s and some went very obscure with picks that this writer had no idea even existed!

Overall, 75 songs received at least one vote on our social media polling, proving just how diverse and amazing Madonna’s collection of hits really are. Which ones, however, got the most votes?

After tallying up the votes, there were ten that led more than all the rest. Number one and two wasn’t too much of a surprise, at least from this writer’s POV, however some of the other ones did surprise me as I didn’t realize how popular they are.

For instance, “Like a Virgin”, one of her longest running number one singles, only received a handful of votes. Other songs on the lower end of the voting totem poll included “Music”, “Holiday”, and one of my personal favorites, “Take a Bow.”

Here are the 10, however, that were answered the most frequently between yesterday and today. Did your favorite make the cut? Let us know!

1. “Vogue”

2. “Like a Prayer”

3. “Frozen”

4. “Express Yourself”

5. “Ray of Light”

6. “Hung Up”

7. “Into the Groove”

8. “Live to Tell”

9. “Borderline”

10. “Deeper and Deeper”

Exclusive: Sheila E. Talks Music, Her Best Performance Ever, LGBT & Faith. Will Perform at Riptide Music Festival This Weekend.

As if we needed a reason to celebrate living in Southern Florida while the rest of the nation dips into the 20 and 30 degree temperature brackets, we will thank the sun gods this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on Fort Lauderdale Beach with the annual Riptide Music Festival

Last year was the first year I went, thinking it would be okay, but it was more than okay. Laid back attitudes, beach chair sitting, surprising food offerings, and amazing music were all part of the 2017 celebration.  Looking at this year's schedule, it's going to be even better.

Expanding to three nights this year, Riptide Music Festival starts off with some heavy hitters.

I was fortunate enough to have a conversation with one of those iconic performers, singer, author, actress - The Queen of Percussion - Sheila E. 

The following text is paraphrased from our interview with the fabulous Sheila E. She has been evacuated from her home because of the California forest fires.  The mandatory evacuation was lifted and she was more than accommodating and gave us the time to complete our interview before she went back to see how her home was after the ordeal. 

Instinct:  I wanted to start off talking about two of the influential people in your life, your father and mother. Pete Escovedo – He has a great career of his own.  He’s 83, performed at the White house in 2009. How is he doing and are you still performing with him?

Sheila E: The White House at that time was an amazing place to be.  To be asked to play there and I was asked and did produce the show. I performed with him [dad] just weeks ago and will perform with him again soon. That performance will also include Juan and Peter Michael, my brothers.  He’ll be in Dallas soon.  That’s half way across the country, far enough for him to travel.  Fort Lauderdale was just a little too far

Your mother is Creole-French/African mix, and your father is of Mexican origin.  Do those aspects influence your music?

Best combo in the world. We’re talking gumbo and tacos mixed together.  The mix of culture, food, people, you can’t get a better mix.  My mother is a take charge person and that is where I learned to be a leader, learned that it was okay to do things no one else has done before.  Gardere is my mom’s maiden name. Most of the Garderes were athletes. Up until I was 15, my life was as an athlete.

By your early 20s, you had already played with George Duke, Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock, and Diana Ross, Pattie Labelle, Stevie Nicks.  Were you pinching yourself?  How was your confidence level?  Were you like, “I got this”?

When you grow up with people at the house like Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, … dad was playing with some of the greats of that time and they were jamming at my house. Jazz and R & B are different when you are listening to phenomenal artists playing at your home, different than listening to performers you’ve been listening to on the radio.  Yes, I was star struck with some that had never been to the house.  But most of the time, I didn’t know any better.

I paraphrased the information below (from Wikipedia) with Sheila E …

1989–92: Sex Cymbal

After leaving the Prince organization in 1989, Sheila E. collaborated with writers like Demetrius Ross, recorded and released an album, Sex Cymbal in 1991. The album spawned singles: "Sex Cymbal", "Dropping Like Flies", and "Cry Baby". She began her tour in Japan which only lasted for a brief time. Shortly after returning to America, she developed severe health issues after her lung collapsed. She was left semi-paralyzed from playing drums in heels for long periods of time over a course of past years. Unable to promote and tour, her album Sex Cymbal suffered low sales.

… and I ask the Queen of Percussion … how is everything now? Any residuals from that scare?

I am fully recovered from that time frame.  At that time, it was one thing after another. An acupuncture accident resulted in a punctured lung.  The results of that incident came during the Sex Cymbal mastering, and that just puts you down mentally.  When you had this “I can do anything” mentality, being like that is foreign to you, and mentally, you have to power through and tell yourself you will be fine, and realize the odds of it happening again. Also during that time I was dealing with my calf muscles that where shortened, well twisted, because of all of my performances, drumming while in heels.  I could not walk for two weeks. Then there was a 4-month recovery.

What was going through your mind? Those damn high heels!

I don’t perform in high heels anymore.  I did one time after that for the David Letterman Drum Solo Week in 2011. I felt I needed to definitely represent on that show as I was honored to be asked to perform.



Phil Collins, Ringo Starr, Prince, Beyoncee, Gloria Estefan, Pharell Williams. Such great artists again that you have performed with.  Is there anyone left?  Who is it that you would love to perform with that you have not yet?

Bruno Mars maybe.  We would have a great time together. He kind of reminds me of things I did do when I was younger, he’s bringing back a lot of the music, the music styles.  He has sucha  great energy on stage. We would do well.  Gaga would be great, too.




Let’s Come Together. Make Ur Voice Heard! VOTE! #Come2gether #RingoStarr @ringostarrmusic

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In 2009, Sheila E. participated and won the CMT reality show, Gone Country. This gave her an opportunity to make country music aided by the country producer, writer, and singer John Rich. Sheila E.'s first song in the country market was "Glorious Train". A video for the song debuted on CMT on March 7, 2009, following the airing of the episode of Gone Country in which Sheila E. was announced the winner.

How did you end up in the Gone Country house?

Don’t say never – I hardly ever do, so I said yes to being in a house with a bunch of people, no idea who was in the house, but I was going to come out with an opportunity to write and cowrite with other writers from Nashville. I love their story telling from Nashville.  Some of the best story tellers/writers are in Nashville.  So if you win, the incentive is that you get to write with artists from Nashville.  My mentality was that I’m not going to do this unless I am going to win and the experience taught me a lot.  Uncle George Clinton was in the house, I didn’t know anyone that was going to be there, except for Taylor Dayne. I saw so many things I would never do, and there were some things that were off limits. I told the producers that when I was to pray and have my bible and be with God, that was my time, my personal time away from the 80 cameras.

I didn’t phrase this question well, but I wanted to ask Sheila E about the difference between The Latin Grammy Awards, BET Awards, and The American Music Awards as she has been a part of all of them. My question was roughly, what are the difference as a performer/artists do you see with these awards and markets.

Reggaeton, everyone is trying to a bit of that. I definitely see that.  If you get into the Latin market, that’s five times bigger than US, and Latin American music crosses all genres, Argentinian, Puerto Rican, Peru, Brazil, Chile, so many places for the Latin community, and you don’t have to be Latin. I signed as an R&B performer and crossed over to pop.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (March 21, 2018) –  Acclaimed musician Sheila E. is set to perform at 35th Annual Long Beach Pride Festival at 8 p.m. on May 20 at the event’s main stage. The festival will take place from May 19 to 20 at Shoreline Marina, Green Park, 450 E. Shoreline Drive, Long Beach CA 90802.

How was performing at Long Beach Pride earlier this year?

One thought was that it was getting pretty late. I don’t like to close. I like to be in the middle of the schedule.  Sheila would rather go on in the middle.  I don’t want to headline.  I still had a great time.  I had some friends there and of course the fans.

From an earlier interview about performing at Long Beach Pride, Sheila E. stated:

Are you kidding me? It’s going to be one huge party and I’m so excited! You know, people are people and music can change people’s lives and bring them together. I always say it brings gay, straight, black, white, whatever ethnicity, where you come from or who you love…music brings people together. - ragemonthly.com



You’ve performed in a great many places with a variety of people. If you could play another concert all over again, if you could perform that one amazing concert again, which one would it be.

It would be the first time I played with dad at age 15. That is the moment that changed my life.  Him allowing me to be in a group with CBD, opening for earth wind and fire.  One of the percussionists was out and I wanted to play.  Mom said to my dad that I knew the music, which I did.  He came around and said yes.  I was playing in front of 3,000 people for the very first time, then I remember dad saying “take a solo.”  I was shaking and crying while finishing the solo.  I’ve competed most of my life, I thrive on it, this was just different. That was heaven and I wanted to feel like that every day.  After, we hugged and cried and I knew right then and there that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Two weeks later, I was on tour with the band and dad in Bogota, Colombia.

Going back to your faith and the fact that I write for an LGBTQ lifestyles magazine, I do want to touch on what you think about churches turning away LGBT people looking to practice their faith or just turning them away "politically"

This is my belief: God created all of us.  God did not say he doesn’t love someone. God loves all people. You are supposed to be able to go to church and be accepted for help, a spiritual thing if someone needs something. People seeking out a church, they want to be a part of that place, to love God, understand God. Every single person should be able to go to a church and be accepted. It is awful to turn away people from God.

Stars, musicians often are told to stick to music and not politics.  Musicians (like Taylor Swift) and movie stars should not be sharing their political opinions. Thoughts?
Out of the realm of music often comes political views and faith.  We have the Freedom of Speech, what we feel, believe in, it is out of love, you can follow me or not. Jesus is my lord and savior, I am a democrat, I have in the past voted for republicans, I vote for the person who is capable of doing the job. I cannot talk to you because you are an atheist?  We have a responsibility and the ability to share what we feel. People are influenced by what they want to be influenced by. I think it is hard to always to be positive and challenging especially in the times we are in when so many things are bad, the administration is a joke, it makes me sick to my stomach, I refuse to accept, I have a right to say that, I do.

Thank you for your time. I still cannot believe you still wanted to do this interview with Instinct after you were told you could go back to your home you were forced to evacuate.  I had a great time and I love you even more. 

I think Sheila E. might have said I love you too or that's sweet or something like that.  I was still recovering from her "If you could play another concert all over again" answer and the fact that my questions were keeping her from going to see her home. 

We're looking forward to seeing Sheila E. and the rest of the performers at Riptide Music Festival this weekend.  

To pregame for the interview, I rewatched Sheila E's appearance on The View and her performance with her family at the Democratic National Convention.






Sheila Escovedo picked up the drumsticks and started making music at the precocious age of three, delivered her first solo performance to a live audience two years later, and has since established herself as one of the most talented percussionist/drummers and performers in the world. Best known to music fans as Sheila E., she became a top session and touring musician before the age of 20, performing and/or recording with George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham, Con Funk Shun, Marvin Gaye (on his final world tour), Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, Patti LaBelle, and Steve Nicks among others.

Sheila E.'s producing, arranging, and performance talents have been showcased throughout the music and film industry with appearances on The Academy Awards, The Latin Grammy Awards, BET Awards, The American Music Awards, The Kennedy Center Honors, The Summer Olympics, WOW Awards, ALMA's, and The Image Awards just to name a few. In 2014, Sheila  released her literary biography Titled The Beat of My Own Drum, and her solo album,  ICON. Following Prince’s death she released  the single Girl Meets Boy in memory of the late, great, Prince.

In 2016, Sheila provided drums for Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL's orchestral soundtrack to the blockbuster superhero films Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.




Love this shot, @marcus_redd, thank you Pants: @girlonavine

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Did it!Your power. Your voice. Your #VOTE

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h/t: Riptide Music Festivalragemonthly.com

If You're Wondering "Where My Man At?" Manila Luzon and Eureka O'Hara May Know

Fresh off the announcements of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 and RuPaul’s and RuPaul’s Drag Race Holi-Slay Spectacular, Manila Luzon and Eureka O’Hara are hitting the charts with their collaboration with indie recording artist VELO. Released just days ago, Where My Man At Is part of VELO’s newest album OUTCAST and features a ton of notable Drag Race superstars including sexy model Pablo Hernandez.

VELO was our Instinct Insta Hottie of the Week this week because well…he’s sexy AND talented!

OUTCAST is VELO’s first bilingual album and is available for download on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and wherever popular music is sold. It’s first single and music video is “Where My Man At ft Manila Luzon & Eureka O’Hara” and the video features Rupaul’s Drag Race Alum Ginger Minj, Trinity The Tuck Taylor, Thorgie Thor & Mexico’s reality drag show “La Mas Draga’s Margaret Y Ya! Not to mention thirst traps Pablo Hernandez and Joey Diamond.

If you’re wondering where your man is at…you found him!

Check out the video for Where My Man At feat. Manila Luzon & Eureka O’Hara and see what these two performers have been up to while they wait to start their engines.