Tuesday, July 31, 2007

You Can Win!

From my Press Release:

You Can Run: Gay, Glam, and Gritty Travels in South America (July 2007; Haworth Press; $19.95) chronicles the two intrepid years author Jesse Archer spent glittering through the rough and tough of South America with a co-dependent ex-boyfriend, a prissy Argentine, and a hot pink wig.

The "Prissy Argentine" part of that equation is Walter. If he lived here, he'd be able to afford all the Gucci he holds so dear. Why? Because Walter is a chico loaded with immeasurable talent. I've always envied him. Walter did the illustrations found in my book, which he now says are embarrassing. He also decided he doesn't like the final cover of the book. So he went ahead and created his own. Here is Walter's vision for "You Can Run" (click to make bigger).


Jesse, in genuine Peter Pan.

Walter, luxuriating on imaginary Vuitton.







"Can you tell that I love you?" writes Walter. "Look at that body I gave you!" I see...

Today, one of my all-time favorite bloggers is giving away a copy of "You Can Run" to one lucky winner! Click here to go to Joe.My.God, find his "Swag Tuesday" posting about my book and comment with your email. Someone is going to win. Why shouldn't it be you?

If you're a hobo a go-go like me and believe you deserve everything for free, you could be right. Post a comment to JMG's blog post about my book, and if you don't win, then you were wrong. Which means that you should buy my book with your own money (buy it here!). Like I say, give yourself the gift of "You Can Run." It will last a lifetime, especially for those of you who can't read.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Avenue D for "Done!"

I was walking on 6th street toward Avenue D last week, holding hands with Bam, when an ice-cream truck driver sitting in his ice cream truck with that highly annoying, high pitched ice-cream nursery rhymes screamed to us "Faggots!" and then continued eating a chimichanga.

A slovenly Blatino pigging out in the driver's seat of an ice-cream truck feels he has the right to insult me. This happens far too frequently. I was recently called "Faggot" by a garbage collector. Sometimes homeless people call me "Faggot" when I don't give them money. "Faggots" are the bottom of the barrell, which forces us to fight through bitter to hopefully one day arrive at compassion. For the gays who think that we're becoming too mainstream, or that we're not "edgy" enough, I encourage you. Hold hands with your buddy and walk down any street anywhere. You'll quickly find yourself on an a political frontline.

The chimichanga eating ice-cream truck driver is just sitting there across the street, so I go over to him. "What did you say?" I ask, and he's indignant. "Don't hold hands," he says. "There's children around here." That's a reasonable argument. He has a right to call me "Faggot"to protect the children from boy-on-boy hand holding. Ironically we are listening to the theme from It's a Small World playing from his ghetto ice-cream truck speakers. "You respect me!" I yell, and he says very self-righteous "Respect the children!"

50 years ago, if he held hands with a white woman he'd get the same sort of harrassment in the name of the children. Now, he most likely lives in the Jacob Riis housing projects on the other side of Avenue D. They're riverfront properties and with the New York City housing market the way it is, you know they aren't gonna stay housing-projects for long.

Soon they will find a way to oust the welfare poor, raze the projects, and build multi-million dollar condominiums overlooking the East River. When the day comes for ice-cream truck man to complain that his family and his subsidized home have been relocated to the forsaken barrios of east Brooklyn, and how it's all just so unfair, so disgustingly unjust, he may feel a faggot's impotence when a slovenly, self-righteous developer who (perhaps while enjoying a chimichanga) will tell him without any sympathy that he is a worthless nothing and that such an upgrade is a necessary enhancement, done in good faith and conscience...for the children.

My Priorities

Looking at the labels of my blog posts, the top two (tied at 18!) are "Nightlife" and "Travel." Hard evidence to refute, but why would I refute? I get around, and I party.

On Thursday, I did both. I followed through on a premeditated plan to dive off the wagon and drink (for one night only!) at our "Housecooling" party (which, as one might imagine) - is the opposite of a housewarming party. Neighbor Dan and I live on Avenue D, but we're moving. Onward. Time to go. We got our friends together for one last blowout bash at the 4th floor walk-up we've come to call home. To each guest, we gave a parting piece of our infamous Avenue D apartment.

Among the parsed out booty: Dan Mathews ripped a sconce off the wall, Paul got the framed nude pic of Tony Danza (hot!), Anita nabbed two afro wigs, Vincenzo got a life-preserver, and Harrison made off with the 8 foot tall mirror.

My furniture goes back where I found it--the streets of New York.















Afterward, a few of us hoofed it to Eastern Bloc (me, crazy Dan, neighbor Dan, and Stefano's torso)







Shirts came off, and pole dancing began.








"Is this a normal Thursday night for you guys?" asked one bar patron, visiting from Philadelphia.

Why yes, it is.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Do What You Do and Enjoy

"The Purpose of Matter in the Universe" sounds like a scientific thesis project, but as the title of the one-man show I saw this week, it made me wonder what is the purpose of mattering in the universe? What is the matter of purpose? Why the hell are we here?

In the play, actor Joe Hutcheson as he recounts a cross-country nervous breakdown that is ultimately resolved when he realizes that it wasn't necessarily any problem with his life, but the problem of life. As in, he was going to die. You know, someday.

I recently wrote a pensive post here on the same topic. Strange. And yet comforting.

The Purpose of Matter in the Universe was performed in a converted loft theatre in that unassigned neighborhood somewhere below Port Authority and west of 9th avenue. It's part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival which doesn't scream with the billboards and lights of a big Broadway production, and yet it's there, and it asks the right questions and doesn't offer any answers except perhaps to say the purpose of our lives is found in the simple beauty of everyday life.

Maybe the secret to eternity is in a smile, or a ladybug, or just in the satisfying discovery of a thoughtful one-man show hidden somewhere just west of 9th avenue.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

If I were a girl...

Many things have changed about Los Angeles since I lived there. The old Mayfair market is now an upscale Gelsons. The Sports Connection aka the Love Connection is now a 24 Fitness, and the cruising grounds around Harper street behind "Vaseline Alley" aren't quite as cruisy since the internet has taken over.

Changes aside, the essence of Los Angeles will never change. I found her in the Crunch gym on Sunset Boulevard.

Despite perfect weather, people would rather run on the treadmill than do it outdoors. This is probably due to the eye candy. The hard bodies here have only a rival in South Beach, Miami. I peeked in on a step class. Other cities have moved on to Pilates and Tae-Bo, but L.A. figures if it ain't broke don't fix it. Los Angeles is still stuck on effective staples like spinning and step. And that's where she was.

A tall blonde, performing a step aerobics class. There's something bizarre...is she really wearing 7 inch black stiletto platforms?!? Yes she is.

I stood there gawking in a beautiful mix of shock and awe.

I had to speak to someone about it, so I comment to the gym bunny beside me. He responds dinsintersted. "First time here?" "Yeah," I admit. "Cause she's been doing that about ten years now." I ran to get my camera because who would believe me?




Sparkle, LA girl, sparkle!














My workout is over. I can't take my eyes off this chick. "She used to teach the stripper class," says the gym bunny to me, and now it's official. I'm smitten.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Return

A Four Letter Word won the award for "Best Screenplay" at Outfest this past weekend! Woo-hoo! Casper Andreas, my co-writer, conspirator, and collaborator was thankfully in attendance and accepted it for the both of us because, "Jesse is having dinner with his ex-boyfriend." which sounds like I had something better to do, but really I had no clue or warning we were up for winning anything. I didn't even have a pass to attend the ceremony.

The inscription reads:
For its creativity, honesty, human and insightful depiction of the complexities of gay relationships --

the Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Screenwriting goes to:

Casper Andreas and Jesse Archer for A FOUR LETTER WORD


About ten years ago, I lived in Los Angeles. I had wanted to be recognized for my abilities, but found that all the older men who could potentially help me only wanted in my pants. At the legitimate auditions I went to, I was considered too gay. Too gay for even the gay roles! An actual gay actor portraying a gay person is just so...so forward! (Still!) Such authenticity has always been a Hollywood taboo.

Back in the golden days, in the blockbuster musical Showboat, the lead is Mulatto. Lena Horne is mulatto, but alabaster white Ava Gardner was cast instead because then MGM wouldn't have to deal with the scandal that a black woman playing a black role might inspire in the audience. So you see it's nothing new, but I digress. I left LA and traveled the world.

It is such an honor to now return, to be portraying a gay actor in a gay film, and to have won (with my writing partner) the award for best screenplay at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the country. At the party following the ceremony, people congratulated me on winning an "Audi" and I got all excited, I thought I won a brand new car on The Price is Right. Turns out they were saying "Outie" which is the name of the Outfest awards. Oh, ok. No Audi.

No cash prize, either. Just the glory. And that's reward enough for me.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

SoCal

I'm in Los Angeles this weekend for Outfest and A Four Letter Word. It also feels like a homecoming because I went to USC and still have several friends out this way. I got in my rental car, turned on my music, and sped up the 405 freeway toward Hollywood thinking, why did I ever leave? It would only take one traffic jam on the 405 freeway to remember.

To sum up car culture, take a peek at the BMW ads plastered all over West Hollywood.




What about the soft interior?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

OUT August issue

The OUT magazine August issue has hit subscribers. This one talks about the roving sex party where I met Bam when we both worked as "Ringers." In the gay world, there are no rules to how you can meet a mate. I write, in part:

Mother may have advised that the only way to find a loving, long-lasting relationship is to meet your mate at the proper place. At the sock-hop, walking the dog, shopping for tater-tots at Ralph’s. Poppycock. If this worked for you, congratulations, but one time this guy cruised me at the supermarket and it totally creeped me out.


Gays don’t maintain conventional relationships, so we should be reluctant to apply conventional guidelines. As far as compatibility goes, I prefer to see your birthday suit before your grocery list. But that's just me.


Readers have written me with their own testimonials about meeting a great mate at a sex club, a strip bar, or as a hustler. It's nice to see I'm not alone. This piece almost didn't run. At first they wanted it toned down (we have to appeal to the romantics, too, you know). So I toned it down. Then they toned it down. And it was still nearly too raunchy to print. Hats' off to the editor for running it. Read the full column here.

Several of you would like to know how to find the roving sex parties I mention. 1) You have to live in NYC and 2) You can't be a troll (there's a discretionary door policy --not my policy, not my party). The next one is at the end of this month. For more details and information, contact Mike at leanmuscleparty@yahoo.com. Tell him Jesseonthebrink sent ya. You slut!

Yes, post "7-minute itch" we're still together, Bam and me.


It's difficult to say which of us is more beautiful.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Boy Soup

I'm not sure if this post makes me happy to be (temporarily) sober, or whether it makes me want to dive right back off the wagon. However...

For the 4th of July OUT magazine and Christiania had a joint party to celebrate...er, I have no idea what they were celebrating. What I do know is they had a house on Fire Island Pines, with a jacuzzi. At the party I ended up in the middle of it with a bunch of porn stars and pretty boys.

The others got frisky as I gave the occasional direction. As the party progressed, I got more rambunctious and began ripping naked people out of the tub and tossing them into the pool. I'm glad I had on my little short shorts because several million cameras were capturing our vodka-infused playpen (it was open bar, people, you understand).

In last week's HX, I appear in a photo outside the hot tub in my short shorts, with some naked boy standing behind me. The caption is my all time favorite, reading: "Jesse Archer, and an ass."

Lastnight a friend said he saw me all rambunctious in a hot tub with a bunch of naked boys, and I figured he saw the HX magazine. "Oh no, there's a whole spread on some blog."

Sure enough, there is. Here's a teaser. To see the blog's detailed blow by blow (including the drag queen barred from entering the jacuzzi) check out gayzofourlives.com and scroll down.

Here I am (in blue shorts) playing my favorite game: Tug-of-Twink












Gayzofourlives says that you can see "an OUT columnist's nuts" in this shot, but I don't think so.



















Nuts, no. Crack, maybe.







Post-party, the hot tub was a half-empty vat of floating organisms; a giant petrie dish of you guessed it. A steaming hot bowl of Egg Drop soup.

Later on I ran into one of the naked boys. "Hot tub boy!" he says to me, and I'm like "You could fall pregnant just looking at that hot tub now." His friend disbelieves. "Nobody came in the jacuzzi, did they?" "Oh I did!" the kid pipes up. "I had to bust a nut so I could move on to the next party."

I know exactly how he feels.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sparkling Laura

It's only an hour and a half away, it's filled to the brim with history (and now King Tut!) and yet--when do I ever get to Philadelphia? I need to go more often, but if I do, I won't be treated like the Queen I was this past weekend.

Festival Director Rosemary Connors introduces me and producer Markus Goetze.



(note the shameless plug: I'm holding my book).

A Four Letter Word opened the Philadelphia Gay & Lesbian Film Festival last week!At the after-party, I met honorary Philly mayor (and my sparkling new best friend) Laura who told me there was way too much gay sex in the film. "I get upset when I see people having sex that aren't me."

Laura did, however, appreciate the film's one-liners. While I was doing an interview with Philly Gay Calendar hottie Steve ("How do you suck dick and not smudge your lipstick?" was just one of his tantalizing questions), Laura came over and used one of Luke's pick-up lines from the film. "Lose a button, make a friend," she said, undoing one of my buttons.

Then she undid another button, "Lose a button, make another friend," she said. Hey, that wasn't in the film! That Laura kept going until there were no more friends to be had, leaving me undressed in the middle of a fancy party. I didn't really fight her off. I was in character. When am I not?


Laura undresses me for a not-so-rare public appearance by my right nipple (from the cover of my book).



To the anonymous reader that told me to get a haircut: happy now?




Laura later came up with her own line. "About once a year I sleep with a gay boy." What does that mean? Why are you looking at me like that? I'm sober!

Laura lives in Philly---but in the morning, I saw her in my hotel lobby wearing the same outfit as the night before. "Don't ask what happened!" she says. "Was it with a gay boy?" I ask and she beams. "A 21 year old!"

So I'm still not sure if Laura was with a gay boy, or if she is a gay boy.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Queersighted

I did an online interview recently, and let me tell you it was very surreal talking about Fire Island Survivor weekend as if it were something actually newsworthy, but Queersighted columnist Sanford Marcus made it all so easy. Read it here.

Speaking of Survivor Weekend, I'd like to thank Niel at Beach Walk, and Steve at Beach Hill for offering showers. Additional thanks go out to Tom for the T, Olivier for the G, and Brian for the X, Y and Z.

All this generosity got me thinking: something's got to give! I decided to exercise be healthy for a minute. So, I'm giving up drugs and alcohol for a whole month. A self-ordered hiatus. Call it gay lent. Until August 5th, I am officially on the wagon.

I know, scary.

The only thing scarier than sobriety is:

It's been 7 days, and every one of those days I would have had a drink. Situations just arose where I had to (gasp!) say no: socializing at the bar, at restaurants, out with a friend who carries Svedka Vodka in his man-purse. I would have had a drink 7 out of 7 days. Who does that?

"Everyone in New York," said a friend, nonplussed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Iranian Girls Gone Wild!

The story of the Dans is a long and complicated one. There's CoolDan, and there's CrazyDan. That's simple enough--but then there was NeighborDan...who, in a move of unparalleled arrogance, decided to re-name himself "Sexy" Dan. (!)

Why?...So that the Dans could be Crazy, Sexy, and Cool. I mean, really. You can't call yourself sexy. It just doesn't work like that. He's still Neighbor Dan to me. Though at various times he is sexy, cool, and really darn crazy.

Neighbor Dan was bored one frigid day last winter, so he got the notion for us to dress up in drag and go out. This is nothing new, but that day he decided to do something out of the ordinary, so he hoofed it up around 96th and 3rd avenue, to the Islamic Cultural Center---and came back home to Avenue D with 2 full head-to-toe Birkas! Birka Drag Queens!

"How did you get Birkas out of the Islamic Cultural Center??!"
Neighbor Dan just shrugs, "I told them my sister was converting to Islam."

Ok, he is GeniusDan.





Care for some hummus dip?











Neighbor Dan (left) has a beautiful smile, doesn't he? Please note the knife, easily accesible in my fishnet holster (right).

It was the coldest day of the year, but we dolled ourselves up in the full birkas, with high heels and hot pants..and nothing else! We ran out the door and hit the club (Hiro) pretending to slice clubgoers' heads off with a big fake knife.
Yeah, it was politically correct.






Move it, Sheik it, Muslim Girls on-the-go!










People were utterly confounded, which difficult to do in New York City. When they asked who we were, we told them. "Iranian Girls Gone Wild!"

Eventually, we got kicked out. Me? Imagine that.

Monday, July 09, 2007

That Other Borough

I confess, I never think about Staten Island. Who does? It's a forgotten borough, a big blah bore, the uninteresting blob where I sat shivering twice in the unbearable cold November morning waiting for the NYC marathon to begin. What else? Staten Island was the location Madonna filmed her Papa Don't Preach video, they have a free ferry to and from Manhattan, oh- and they have a famous garbage dump.

At dinner on Saturday, I met a middle-aged woman named Laura who was raised out there on Staten Island. Did she grow up in the Papa Don't Preach neighborhood? No, she said, nearer to Jersey. "Near the dump?" I asked. "It wasn't far off," she said, adding that they're now making the dump into a park. How sensible! "Are they gonna grow grass over it?" I ask. "If they do," she answers. "It'll grow orange."

Apparently the mob still operates a very "On The Waterfront" type gangster operations over there. Word is, there are lots of bodies rotting in the Staten Island dump. Not ironically, it's called "Fresh Kills Landfill." Laura confirmed the rumors. If you killed someone, you could just call one of the local garbage haulers to toss it into the landfill for like $20. "Oh yeah, those guys are cheap." said Laura, making murder sound viable - like a bargain re-roofing job.

Laura says she doesn't go back much. Still, she can't help but gloat when it comes to her home burrough. "There are two man-made things one can see from outer space," Laura cited NASA, "The great wall of China, and the Staten Island Dump!"

How comforting to know that incoming aliens will first spot these shining examples of our handiwork; two perfect homages to the capability of humankind. Both stuffed with dead bodies.

You Can Read

I just found a fantastic review of my book YOU CAN RUN online---at Edge Publications--it's the kind of review that everyone should see, so I'm blogging about it! Kareem Tabsch, the editor and reviewer, totally nailed everything I was trying to do with the book--equally important, he understood the relationships I had alternatively with Zane (there are no bad guys) and Walter the Argentinean label whore.

Mr. Tabsch begins: "From the first few pages of You Can Run, two things are evident: One, Jesse Archer is a terribly talented writer whose witty and charming style makes reading his work an infectiously joyful experience; and two, Jesse and Zane in the third world are as good an idea as Judy popping barbiturates and scotch before an encore, (file both under bad combination that happened anyways)."

And finishes:
"You Can Run: Gay, Glam, and Gritty Travels in South America is a LITERARY TOUR-DE-FORCE from a man who is undoubtedly going to become one of the most important voices in GBLT America."

One of the most important voices!---and honey, I didn't even know I could sing.

Read the full review here. And if you haven't gotten the book yet--there's still time! Follow the link on this very site ;)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Keeping it Simple

Every so often I find myself having to do the darndest things to earn a little cash. Most recently, I've been bartending on the side--at a bar way up north of Chelsea and below Hell's Kitchen. It's an area referred to as "Hellsea" or maybe "Chelsea Heights." I prefer to call it "No Man's Land."

If you do come into the bar, and I'm serving, please don't expect anything too fancy. Last time I worked the bar, someone came in and ordered a Margarita. Big mistake. I started pouring and shaking-- completely having forgot what's in a Margarita. Sour Mix? Triple Sec? Vermouth? I just figure, if there's enough Tequila they won't care.

Another person ordered a Long Island Ice-Tea. I know that a Long Island Ice Tea is just a big concoction that the alcoholics drink, so I poured everything into it: rum, gin, tequila, vodka, whiskey, soda. When I topped it off with beer, the customer asked what I was doing. "It's my signature Long Island Ice Tea," I told him. Sure enough, he drank it down. Alcoholic.

Then some kid comes in and orders a "Surfer on Acid." A what? "A surfer on Acid." I think maybe he is a surfer on acid, but he tells me it was a drink. "What's that?" I ask him. "I don't know exactly," he says, "I thought you would." Right. He has mistaken me for a bartender.

He begins to explain some of the ingredients and what it tastes like because he really wants this surfer on acid. I really don't want to know this surfer on acid, so to get him off my back (because that is my main goal: get them AWAY from me--I'm that lazy), I came up with a curious solution. "If you order a vodka cranberry," I tell him. "I'll give it to you for free."

Yes, I mixed a cocktail of bad customer service and good public relations. And It was very effective. Big tip, too.

I'm working again tonight. So if you're in the neighborhood, and happen to pop by, order something really funky. It'll be a vodka cranberry on the house.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Four Letter Word Trailer!

The trailer for my movie A Four Letter Word is out. I just picked it off of Youtube! The film is still making the festival rounds--it plays in Philadelphia next week, Los Angeles (Outfest) on the 21st, and Tokyo, Vancouver, Memphis, and Stockholm next month--check out the website for more screening updates.

In the meantime, take a peek at the trailer. We look forward to a limited theatrical release in the USA late this year, or early 2008. Otherwise, I'll give updates for when to expect the DVD.

xo Luke

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mini-Britney

Daniel Nardicio is a party promoter with a knack for originality. He recently bought a schoolbus, which he's filling with drag queens and driving around the country as a reality show picking up go-go boys from the far reaches of our fifty states. He has a website, the "dlist" which keeps getting bigger and better, and he also hosts a dlist radio show weekly at the Rapture Cafe on Avenue A. I went there recently to see Mini-Britney.
















Bob and Daniel ask Mini-Britney if she prefers to be called a little person? A midget? A dwarf?
"I prefer to be called Terra," she says. Bah-dah-bum.


Daniel and burlesque beauty "the world famous *Bob*" were preparing to interview a little person named Terra who performs Britney Spears videos, and calls herself "mini-Britney." She struts into the cafe wearing a neck to ankle red pvc skintight bodysuit, with a booming backside. On her website (minibrintneyspears.com), she's referred to as "mini-diva, mega-booty."

My friend Dan is outside smoking when all four feet of her stroll inside. A stranger smoking beside him says watches her enter and says, "That is just wrong."
"Don't be mean," says Dan. "She was born that way."
The kid beside him says, "She wasn't born in a red catsuit!"

Monday, July 02, 2007

Church Basement

My birthday was a full moon, so you knew it was gonna be spooky! Survivor Weekend on Fire Island began great--with free tix to the Bay Dance (thanks SPR), and the grand opening of the dance club. Pavilion's is the big dance ticket on the island, and this year was renovated, completely transformed...into a giant shoebox. No mezzanine, no levels, just a tall, white rectangle with some neon colored lights ripped off from the old XL bar in Chelsea. In fact, Pavilion feels now like it is in Chelsea, or Peoria, or Orange County, California. Why not?

You'd never know you were near the sea, there is nothing reminiscent of Fire Island; they did absolutely zero to incoporate the environment into the design. It's a giant windowfree fortress that also houses (get this!) a Citarella Gourmet food store. Gagmewithaspoon.

Gays are really good about giving credit (and kudos) where credit is due. However, we are most talented when it comes to ripping apart a hairdo, an outfit, or a hideously utilitarian club design. My friend Victor said:
"It's the Conference Room at the Sheraton hotel."
Another gay answers, "Yeah, the airport Sheraton."
Someone else says, "The airport Sheraton in Newark, New Jersey."

Next day at the beach, the gays were still tearing it apart. The Airport Sheraton Conference Room was too complicated for such a banal piece of property. "It's like a church basement," said one, "I'm not even calling it "Pavilion" anymore," he finished and all agreed. "From now on...it's the church basement."