Monday, September 8, 2008

Master of Ceremonies: A True Story of Love, Murder, Roller Skates and Chippendales Diary September 6, 2008

by David Henry Sterry


Begins in two days. I have added three more dates since last we spoke. I'm doing Berkeley high school on the 15th of October, KGB in New York City, with Tracy Quan and Elizabeth Eaves. I'm really looking forward to that. November 7. It's a sex worker literati show, I did a bunch of those on the West Coast, and we did one at Barnes & Noble, the original Barnes & Noble, when chicken came out. These things are really fun, we read our stuff, we have stimulating conversation, then the audience asks crazy questions. It's a gas. And I h ave a fantastic show lined up with this lunatic, in the best sense of the word, an Englishmen in Hollywood, Stan Kent, he does these shows at the Hustler store on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Shawna Kenney, who wrote a fantastic book called I was a teenage dominatrix (parenthetically, I've heard with my own ears people come up to her and say, What is your book about?) She turned me on to Stan Kent. The event is with Georgina Spelvin who wrote an excellent book called the Devil made me do it, about how making being in this little movie changed her whole life, it's a heroes journey set in a time when couples went to the movie theaters to see pornography. It seems unthinkable at this point. But the Devil in Miss Jones was a date movie. So I constructed an event called Porn, Strippers and Murder, true tales from the ugliest man at Chippendales and an accidental porn star. It's a real art writing PR copy, spinning these little phrases, putting words together in a concise, startling, familiar yet new, poetic or funny, but always inviting, hooking the reader. Gary Snyder, Oscar-winning poet, went to the same schools I went to, Reed College. And he once worked in the advertising industry. He was asked by the good people at Raid, who make a product for extinguishing insects in the home, to come up with a pithy little way of selling their product. This is what he came up with. Raid: Kills Bugs Dead. That's like a Madison Avenue haiku. They used it for decades. They may still use it. That is what I aspire to when I come up with copy, jargon, blurbs, little blasts of language: to communicate with maximum alacrity and efficiency. So I guess, with this promotion and marketing stuff, I really do I use my creative writing skills, my creative mind. But that often gets lost in the drudgery of having to send e-mails, make phone calls, follow up over and over and over again until the door that you're knocking on finally opens, that is, in a way, so much harder than writing a book. But I know so many talented writers who've written so many good books, and don't get published, or if they do get published, the publisher does nothing to help him succeed, and these very good books they die. And very good writers don't get to write and get published because they don't sell enuf books, or don't know how to sell their next book. So anyway, I was very happy with the title of the Hustler store event, and the copy I wrote for it. And I enjoy the irony of putting this effort, this art, into the empire built by Larry Flynt. But hey, if I can use Larry Flynt to sell my books, I will be a very happy person. And I'm going to have a blast doing this show, like I said, this dude from England, Stan Kent, he's the real deal, he's really funny and very perverse, but in a smart way. He definitely pushes the edge of the envelope outside the box beyond the outer limits. So that will be January 22. And that woman I mentioned the other day, Melissa Rayworth, she wrote a fantastic article for baristanet. I'm putting a link to it here. It's about the event we're doing on September 8, to kick off the tour. Here at the Watchung bookstore in Montclair. And I left her a phone message about her book idea, as I said I did talk to someone about it, I think I got a good agent for her. She wrote me an e-mail that was really nice and funny and smart. And I think the thing she wrote is really good. Here's the baristanet link:

I'm jazzed for Andy Murray. I'm very excited a Scotsman is in the finals of anything. Although I do not want Andy Murray to beat Roger Federer. Roger Rules! I just watched a super slow motion of Serena Williams jumping up to smash an overhead. Oh my god! It's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my life. She's such an astounding athlete. I love to watch her play. I feel grateful and blessed to be in an era when I can watch Serena and Venus Williams run these bony butt Russian girls all over the court and leave them battered and beaten, tennis Road kill. Okay, that's it for me, that's my two cents worth, and with inflation, I owe you one.

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