Jai Rodriguez to speak at first lecture series of the semester

Actor Jai Rodriguez, best known for his starring role as the “Culture Vulture” in the Emmy-award winning show Queer Eye, will speak at Thursday’s University Lecture Series. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/IMDB

Actor and musician Jai Rodriguez will talk about his career, as well as LGBTQ and Latino identities Thursday in the first University Lecture Series (ULS) of the semester.

Rodriguez was originally scheduled to speak Sept. 29, but the lecture was postponed due to Hurricane Ian.

The event starts at 8 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater from 8-9 p.m. Check-in starts at 5:30 p.m. and doors will open at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are available at BullsConnect, but registration is not required.

Rodriguez will speak on his identity as a gay Italian and Puerto Rican man during a 45-minute moderated Q&A. The last 15 minutes will be dedicated to an audience Q&A, according to Hannah Sutherland, Center for Student Involvement (CSI) graduate assistant for programs. CSI will pay him $25,000.

Rodriguez may be best known for his role in the television show “Queer Eye” as the “Culture Vulture” in 2003, where he served as the show’s expert on culture.

He studied musical theater at the Boces Cultural Art Center in Syosset, New York. His break-out role was playing Angel in the Toronto cast of the Broadway musical “Rent” from 1996 to 2008. 

Rodriguez also appeared in the musical “Zanna, Don’t!” as well as plays such as “Spinning Into Butter.”

He also created and starred in his own one night stage show, “Jai Rodriguez: xPosed,” which told the story of his life, and his struggles coming out to his extremely religious family.

His on-screen debut was at 14 years old when he appeared in one episode of the daytime drama “All My Children.” In 2005, he also had a  two-day guest appearance on the ABC daytime drama “One Life to Live”.

As a singer, Rodriguez released his first single in 2003, titled “Love is Good.” It was succeeded by his debut album titled “Broken.” 

Most recently, Rodriguez featured in Billy Eichner and Karl Frankenfield’s 2022 LGBTQ romantic comedy “Bros.”