Sunday, February 17, 2008

The GayVN Awards

It was with some trepidation I journeyed to San Francisco this weekend for the GayVN Awards. There is nothing I love more than hosting a live radio show for four hours and then arriving home just before midnight, packing, writing a show newsletter and then hopping in the shower without any sleep to drive at 4am to the airport for a 7am flight across the country to host a show where the audience is primed and ready for me to fail. It really is inspiring. At least the GayVN folks put me up in a really lovely suite at the W Hotel. The bed looked so sadly comfortable and inviting when I threw my bag down on it and headed off to a full day of rehearsal and listener meet and greet before the GayVN show that night.

First up, Romaine and I had brunch at Foreign Cinema with John Rutherford and his boyfriend Tom, who greeted us quite literally with a hug and a bloody mary. Both were so welcome. It was John that first accepted Romaine's demand that we host this show and passed the message along to Chi Chi LaRue who made it happen the next day. Following brunch, we enlisted them in helping us pick up the big props for the show: a pair of flowering plastic plants, at a Mexican 99 cent store. TheSword.com had compared us to houseplants so Romaine and I agreed that the best way to start the show was to have the trophy boys carry the plants out center stage while we did our 75 second opening monologue from backstage. Contrary to Jason Sechrest and other unpopular opinion, our opening set was kept short not because of "bad press" but desperation on the part of AVN to keep the show under two hours. The original concept called for a ninety minute show and the final rundown ran a breathless 1:47 after squeezing in 15 minutes for Lady Bunny. The final show clocked in at a reasonably swift 2:10, given that the Hall of Fall section itself lasted for almost two hours. We had wanted to include all of TheSword.com's dire predictions for the show as a running gag through the evening, including Jason Sechrest bursting onto the stage in song and being dragged off into the snakepit like Frances Farmer, but AVN nixed it all for time. In the end, all we had time for was a reference to the houseplants.

Even still, our opening bit with the plants was enthusiastically received, especially after I asked the burning question: "Seen any good assholes lately?" And Romaine replied, "You mean like Mike Stabile from TheSword.com?" Even Fleshbot in their tepid review and liveblog acknowledged it wasn't as bad as they thought it would be. How nice of them to notice that we kept the show moving, without giving us any credit for that, and noting that the show lagged after the middle (coincidentally when we were absent from the stage for more than a half hour). They even cribbed a couple of my jokes without attribution and completely ignored every laugh line we got. I guess it's too much to ask them to admit they were wrong. TheSword.com was equally coy in their semi-opaque praise, although they also reprinted (with some glee) the erroneous notion that our time was kept short due to their criticism, as opposed to the annual criticism that the show feels longer than the Vietnam War.

There were some folks who thought we did a good job and didn't just say it to our faces. Of course we can rely on show contributor JC Adams to praise us. He is a frequent guest on our show! His review of the GayVN show included all my best zingers (read them or watch them), which the people who seemed to not like us failed to mention. It doesn't bother me though. Someone who said terrible things about us got cut off at the knees later that night in the lobby of the W Hotel when his boss apologized for our pre-show coverage, said I was nothing like he thought I would be ("Why?" I retorted, "Because I tell jokes like a fat guy?") and suggested I should write for them. Maybe someone who hates me will have a new reason to hate me if I take his job. Don't worry, you coward who didn't dare face me at the event or afterward, you can keep your gig. Just know that some of us show up and face the music. It's called being a professional. Get to know it.

"It was a fun night," I reflected as I finally slipped into bed after going two days without any sleep. The highlights for me were standing backstage during Lady Bunny's umpteenth rendition of her canned act with Michael Lucas standing next to me "predicting" all of the song parody punchlines. "Ah. Here. See. It takes two to make a hole feel tight." And seeing the terrified looks on some of the porn stars faces waiting backstage to go on, fearful of what I might say about them after my comments about Jesse Santana's nuclear tan and some people reading slower than a special ed class. Though not my hearty pals Erik Rhodes and Matthew Rush who were good sports about my innocuous ribbing about their dating lives. The low point was seeing Bunny blowing a trophy boy to help keep him warm. And here old-fashioned me offered him my coat. And other than the ticket price and the cash bar, the worst grumbling of the evening was about the lack of an official after party. So when all was said and done, there were much bigger complaints than a pair of sleepy radio show hosts from New York. I doubt we will ever be asked back, but it was fun to stand for a few moments in the lion's den with nothing but a whip and a chair. And a pair of plastic plants.

1 comment:

jimyvr said...

I think this year's show went smooth, after all the shitstorm you and Romaine got.

I mentioned in my blog few times that it's not as bad as I thought, but it's not too fanfuckingtasic either. The venue was the biggest problem.