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COMMUNITY PROFILE: Meet Danny Ingersoll, aka “Realtor® for the Arts”

SAN DIEGO -- Danny Ingersoll, also known as the "Realtor® for the Arts," is exactly that: a Realtor® who is supportive of and participates in the arts. Outside of his "day job," Ingersoll says he is "hopelessly addicted" to musical theater and enjoys performing in local productions.

In fact, the 52-year-old Ingersoll recently received a local theater honor for a recent performance (see the section below about the "Aubrey Awards").

Born in Lansing, Mich., Ingersoll has spent most of his life in San Diego County, his family moving to Poway when he was about 12. Single ("once again"), Ingersoll is enjoying the San Diego life, his work and his theater career.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, Ingersoll will host a "Same-Sex Homebuyers 101 Seminar" at The Center in Hillcrest. Read on to learn more about the seminar, Ingersoll's life, and more:

What do you do for a living?

I am a Realtor®. No … the good kind. My parents were both in real estate, and I used to act as their assistant, without even knowing that was what I was doing. So, even though I have been in the business, but 10 years, it is in my blood. I shy away from big companies, because I think they have a cookie-cutter way of doing their business. I have been fortunate enough to have real-time experience in the trenches, in every ever-changing step of the way, and this past 10 years has been a constant learning experience. I have sold condo conversions, been on a foreclosure team, managed listings for a corporate investor, and negotiated several short sales with a 100% success rate, except for that ONE bank that would just NOT be reasonable (sorry Jane, I tried), in addition to traditional sales - I love changing, and growing, and every day that I learn something is a bonus. I am with a small, boutique real estate firm, called Sellstate Next Generation Realty. You may not have heard of them right now, but I guarantee that is changing, soon. They started in Florida, and are now well-known. California is their new current focus, and they will be popping up all over.

I have been with them three years. I love the freedom they give me to do my business MY way, and not according to some outdated corporate template. I have no desire to be a top-producing agent, and make millions of dollars. I am more concerned with giving great customer service.

Do you have another passion in life?

I am hopelessly addicted to musical theater. I perform around San Diego County, and sometimes beyond. For me, there is no better moment, than when I am communicating a story to an audience, via the musical-theater genre. It is the time I feel closest to belonging in this world. And, if this were not such a deep-rooted passion, I would have veered away. Some projects pay some, and some pay nothing, but the way it enriches my soul is more important than money. But, in this world, unfortunately, money is necessary.

How do you balance career and passion?

Well, I struggled with this at first, because they seemed to not complement each other. It occurred to me that many people donate a certain percentage of their income to church, for the good things they do. And since theater is my passion, sacred, MY religion. So, why not give back to the theaters and dance companies, etc. that struggle to provide live entertainment? So, I give a portion of my commissions to the arts organization of the client’s choice. (And that percentage gets higher with higher purchase prices) This way, I am working mainly with people in the arts, or that have a desire to support the arts. I also get to hand over my money to an arts organization that is trying to fight the good fight. They are always so grateful – it’s money that came out of nowhere. I have gotten tears as a reaction, because the recipient really had an urgent need for the money. But it cannot even come close to how it makes me feel to give back. And now my life makes sense …

It has taken a few years to make people aware of this program, but it is happening. I love getting random messages on Facebook, and texts/emails from other actors and artists, asking for my advice, it warms my heart. There is a chance that they will eventually use me to buy or sell a home, but I’m kind of simple, in that I really just love helping people in my sphere of influence. I want to be the person they go to when they need an expert, without fear of being “SOLD.” And don’t even get me started on that word. I have not, and never could think of myself as a “salesman.” I prefer to think of myself as a matchmaker. Finding the perfect fit, for a smooth transaction.

You are once again nominated for an Aubrey Award. What is the Aubrey Awards, and what are you nominated for?

Well, the Aubreys are a local community-theater award, here in San Diego. I am nominated every year, and I have yet to win one. I see myself as the Susan Lucci of community theater, but with hairier tits (breasts)!

(Editors note: After this interview was completed, Ingersoll learned that he won the 2012-13 Aubrey Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in "Rutless" at the Coronado Playhouse.)

What is something that many people do not know about you?

Well, I’m pretty simple, and don’t really have deep, dark secrets. But I guess a unique thing is that I weave. I have a loom, and weave chenille scarves. Queer, huh? Although, I find watching a masculine man weave is kinda sexy. No, I don’t sell tickets when I weave.

What would you like to see change in the LGBT community?

Well, It’s hard to say, when you think of how far we have come in my lifetime. It knocks my socks off, sometimes. But we still need to keep moving forward. I would love to see more inclusion between the sub-sects of gay culture. Ideally, I would love to see everyone make the effort to spend time with another “type” of gay person so that they connect more. Bigotry is a product of lack of knowledge, and the unfamiliar. Go out, become familiar. Strive to understand EVERYONE’s gay journey.

What do you like most about the local LGBT community?

Well, I have moved around a lot, living in different cities as an adult, and the local gay bar is always a place of refuge, where you can feel welcomed. Well, most, anyway. … Not that the LGBT community is about bars, but it used to be. It will be great to see how the image of the LGBT individuals will change, and become a more recognized piece of the American portrait.

If you were granted three wishes, how would you use them?

Well, the first wish just recently came true: That the government would make it clear, that equal means equal.

For my second wish, it would be my hope for mankind to no longer possess ulterior motives, and lead with love.

For the third, I gotta say I would not mind a recurring role on a long-running sitcom, or a part in a long-running Broadway show.

If you could host a dinner party and invite three people (dead or alive), who would they be and why?

Lupe Ontiveros – played Yolanda in the Selena movie. I was an extra on a film that she was in, and she was seriously one of the easiest people to talk to, and she told us not to eat the catered food, and wander away from the set, to other parts of the carnival that we were filming at, and get a Pupusa. Her advice was right on. And the conversation, even better. I think I would have her plan the menu.

Bill Maher – I love his no-bullshit, sensible approach to the state of politics. He is able to say exactly what the issues are, and expose them for the ridiculousness they contain.

Robert G Ingersoll - I would assume that we are somehow related. He was a famous agnostic, and I tend to agree with a lot of his thinking. i.e., “Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.”

After reviewing these names, I notice that there are no LGBT persons on this list. I considered trying to replace one of the amazing people that have done so much to make being LGBT a non-issue, like RuPaul, Judy Sheppard, Cyndi Lauper, Neil Patrick Harris, Ryan Murphy, Jane Lynch, Tim Gunn, so many amazing people, but then I thought it wrong to tailor my answer to the publication. Maybe after that dinner, I can plan a huge one, and just be over-stimulated by fabulousness!

Same-Sex Homebuyers 101 Seminar

Saturday, Sept. 7 from 10 am to noon
The San Diego LGBT Community Center
3909 Centre St. in Hillcrest

This seminar will discuss the process of buying or selling a home for members of the LGBT community, including all aspects of qualifying, searching, purchasing, taking title, and how it affects your taxes. This workshop is for everyone from first-time homebuyers to seasoned property owners.

Guest speakers include:

- Danny Ingersoll, "Realtor® for the Arts," DRE# 01357182
- Michael Jonas, JD, Real Estate Advisor, Just Be Real Estate, DRE# 01896204
- Steven Solomon, Mortgage Consultant, Union Bank, NMLSR# 643193

Also in attendance will be a title insurance representative, an escrow officer and a tax advisor.

Please RSVP to SDLGBTRealEstate@gmail.com.