Tag Archives: storytelling

Sex in the City

Today on Alphabet City:  Jon Paul makes a pass at a pop-star’s husband. Guest stars: Gloria Estefan, Teri Hatcher.

Thank God for Publicists.  PR professionals enjoyed Even Jesus Had a Publicist enough to catapult that post’s popularity ahead of the two sex-related stories One Night in Bangkok and Hello, Meat Grindr.  Until then, I was beginning to think that only the most prurient details of my life might be enticing to readers.

As a relative newbie to the blogosphere, I wasn’t aware of how much global traffic would be driven to a relatively innocent story about a gay bathhouse in Bangkok.  Hopefully, the readers from Taiwan, Bangladesh, Mumbai, Russia and the Middle East who found Alphabet City by googling “Bangkok massage” enjoyed some of the tamer episodes.

It’s not just the Internet where sex seems to be a connector.  Live sex tales seem to be popular as well as I discovered on Thursday night when I headed back to one of The Moth’s storytelling nights.  Having learned from my disappointing experience in Like Moths to a Flame, this time my friend Shannon and I stood in line outside SoHo’s Housing Works Bookstore & Café starting at 6pm for doors that opened at 7pm.  Theme of the night was “Lost”—and I don’t mean the TV show.  The host of the night, author Dan Kennedy, began the show by saying, “I don’t know why we bother to give the night a theme, because somehow you will turn it into a story about sex.”

And 4 out of 5 storytellers agreed—the first ones up all related their tales to something sexual.  First up was a guy who lusted after his friend’s girlfriend, followed by the guy who last week nearly caused a riot outside Nuyorican Poets Café with his vigilante storytelling.  He spun a tale of unrequited love/sex in the aisles of a Virginia Food Lion.  Then there was a zany story of a religious cult leader deflowering the storyteller when she was 14.  Although intriguing, her tale was much longer than required 5 minutes and at one point included the line “to make a long story short…”  Isn’t that generally the point of time limits and editing?  And I’m still not sure what to make of the nut case whose story included a long riff on the power of being a virus in the Matrix (originality?), and a ski trip to Aspen with a cougar girlfriend whom he volunteers to have sex with an actor/author with whom I was not familiar.  He ended with a lecture about how friends hold you back.  In this case, I wish they had.

While the night was odd, I’m glad I went because now I have a clear strategy.  The next Moth StorySlam theme is “Nerve,” and I was thinking about telling the Whoopi Goldberg Oscar story—I had the “nerve” to pick it up.  But now I’m rethinking.  Maybe a story with a little bit of a sexual angle—like the time I had the nerve to make a pass at Gloria Estefan’s husband while escorting Teri Hatcher to VH-1’s Divas LiveCLICK HERE to enjoy this excerpt from Alphabet City’s Episode 6: Sex in the City and let me know what you think.

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Like Moths to a Flame

Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul’s night in the East Village doesn’t go as planned

Last night, the anxious crowd queuing down Alphabet City’s East 3rd street outside the Nuyorican Poets Café for a storytelling event was ready to take matters into their own hands.  It looked like we weren’t getting in, and a young woman pointed to a fellow near the front of the line in dreadlocks and shouted.

“They’re not letting him to tell his story.  So he’s going to tell us one outside!  Who wants to hear a story?!”

We all cheered.  The 60-something Puerto Rican doorman with an unruly mustache sprung into action against the storytelling vigilantes.

“There’s no storytelling on the street! This place isn’t like it used to be.  This lady that lives next door will come down here and say, ‘Keep it down! I pay $4,000 to live in these apartments.’  Then she’ll call the cops.”

“That’s just wrong!” called out a disgruntled patron in line.

I wasn’t sure if she meant the infringement of First Amendment storytelling rights in Alphabet City, or the fact that the woman was paying that much to live there.

I had come to my old ‘hood to experience a storytelling night from an organization called The Moth, recently profiled in the New York Times.  What started out as an underground get together of people interested in sharing, well, stories, has turned into another way of meeting agents and producers—scoring an Off-Broadway show or book deal.

And hey, I’m willing to try anything to help get Alphabet City published—and also to keep up my enthusiasm for the project despite the daily onslaught of rejection (from agents, not you dear readers).  This blog is one of the ways I’m trying to escape the isolation of writing—getting it out there for people to read.  A shout out and thank-you to everyone who has commented either here or on Facebook—it means the world to me to get any type of feedback.  Keep it coming!

So, I thought checking out a storytelling night might spur some extra connections or ideas about what to do next—Alphabet City the one-man show or musical, anyone?  My friend Shannon—star of my movie GayTV and one of the KFC Glamour Girls in one of my crazier PR stunts (see Episodes 1-9 and scroll down to bottom for picture)—was the perfect companion for the night.  She had participated in a Moth storytelling event back in the days when people still called the East Village Alphabet City. Continue reading

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