There are some stories that, if I broke them up into serial stories, would end up being 20+ parts long. That’s just silly. So, I’m doing some stories as sub-sets of other stories. This is one such story.
Some people who read this blog, and who have patiently (and sometimes inexplicably) followed my “career” for many years, may remember a little internet-based TV show I used to write/host called Aural Salvation. Very few, if any, people know how that came to be. It all started with a creepy dude at a fetish club hitting on a friend of mine.
I was at Bar Sinister one night, hanging out in the “Purgatory” room upstairs. That’s where they do BDSM play. At the time, the room was run by a guy named Paul (who still runs the room) and a lady named Marina St Mark. Marina was a friend of mine, and we had a few dates prior to her involvement in the scene, but then became close platonic friends. I love having former sex partners as friends cause there’s no jealousy about what they’re doing now, and there’s no awkward “will they / won’t they” drama. You both know it didn’t work, wouldn’t work, and your curiosity about their naked parts 1if I’m being honest, I’m endlessly curious about what practically every woman I meet looks like naked, and I’ve made many poor ...continue and your interaction with them has already been properly sated.
At the time, Bar Sinister’s Purgatory play space was wildly popular. She’d made a name for herself, and for the sub-venue upstairs, and it attracted a lot of newcomers. So much so that she’d tell me about creepy dudes coming up to her all the time, and she wished she had a way out. Because I can talk to almost anyone about almost anything, I proposed a solution. If I saw a fella talking to her and her body language suggested she might not want to talk to him, I’d walk up and just say “hey! how are things?”. We came up with the word “lorentatious” 2the pronunciation is : lore-en-TAY-shuss, which meant — to us — “I’d really rather not be talking to this person who’s talking to me”. It sounds like a fancy real word that douchebags would never ask the meaning of, at the risk of seeming like they didn’t know something, but its an entirely made-up word. So, if Marina said “ohh things are good. just… feeling a little lorentatious right now”, that was my queue to introduce myself to the fella hitting on her, and try to engage him in convo long enough for her to get away and focus on something that made her look busy. Feel free to use lorentatious in your own life : it’s my gift to you, and it works like fucking magic around douchebags.
One night, I see some scraggly dude wearing shaded reading glasses, really getting close to her and talking a thousand miles a minute. I could see from across the room that she was uncomfortable, so I walked right up and said “Marina! how’s things?”. Without missing a beat, she said “hey Mitcz! good to see you! I’m doing well, just… feelin’ all…. lorentatious tonight”. So, I turned to the guy and said “sorry, didn’t mean to be rude – I’m Mitcz. Who are you?”. He introduce himself as “Jay. Crazy Jay. Like.. just the letter J. Crazy… J”. I asked him why he was called Crazy J and, as expected, he launched into a speech about how he ran some metalhead show on Public Access in his home town and now was out here doing that show for an internet-based TV station. He said he was looking for fun and freaky people to have as sidekicks and regulars on the program, and that’s why he was talking to Marina. I looked over and saw that she’d successfully made herself busy, and said “well… she’s kinda busy right now, but she and I are good friends, so give me your pitch and I’ll relay it to her later”.
He proceeded to talk my fucking head off for the next 5-10 minutes. I barely got a word in edgewise 3which, if you know me, means a lot cause I’m normally the one talking your fucking head off. Eventually, I managed to squeeze in a line about how I was a stand-up comedian, and had recently done some shows at a private BDSM club. He was intrigued, gave me his number, and asked me to hit him up to arrange a meeting.
A few days later, I gave him a call, we met up, and he told me his plan. I was to be something of a sidekick and that I should come up with segments of my own to do that I could do maybe once or twice a week. I went for it, cause I’m the kind of idiot that takes practically any gig that comes his way, and that was it.
The first time I was on the show was to do a “week in music news” segment, where I made topical jokes of music news that had happened within the last week or so. I presented it much like SNL’s “Headline News” segment, complete with little visual accompaniments. I was happy with it, the network loved it, and even J was happy with it. He just thought it went a little long. After the show, the producer said “that was the best thing this show’s had in weeks”. I thought he was just being hyperbolic as flattery, but J was genuinely fucking terrible. He’d rant for 5 minutes straight without taking much of a breath, and his interview style was basically : ask 20 questions in a row, wait for half of one answer, ask 5 more, repeat.
After my 2nd appearance, the network asked J to make me a co-host for a few shows. He reluctantly agreed and I did occasional co-hosting duties, though I mostly stayed quiet. One night, he was doing an interview with a local black metal act and he was doing his rapidfire questioning, and I could tell the band didn’t know what the fuck to think. Here’s an impression of that interview :
J : So you guys have been touring a lot, right? Like, going through various towns and really tearing it up, and…. like.. how do they react to you? I mean, are the flyover states into what you’re doing? Do you get a lot of flack for your style of dress, or how heavy your music is? That can’t be easy and, like, how do you deal with that? Do you just play through? Do you have a following in other cities? How did they find you? I mean, how are you keeping up with the fans? Do you release singles and put out a mailing list? Does your manager pick towns at random, or do you pick your own towns to play?
Band : Uhh… well, we’ve been on tour for about 3 months and…
J : Oh, awesome! How’s that going? Do you feel like it’s been a long 3 months? Do you plan to make a new album? Cause I listened to that last album and I’m like “this is really good”, but sometimes fans wanna hear the old shit and you wanna play the new shit….
(you get the idea)
Near the end of the interview, I said “I have a few quick questions” and I asked them the 2-3 questions that — as I later found out — everyone wanted to know. I don’t remember what they were, but it was probably along the lines of “when’s your next show?”, “where can people find out your tour dates?”, and “when’s the new album coming out, and where can people find it?”. I don’t know if those were the exact questions, but I remember being frustrated that J didn’t ask a single one of those questions throughout the interview, and they were all so basic.
The network heads had a meeting with J at the end of that week, and told him I had to be made a permanent co-host, because I kept his interviews on-track. He got all prima donna about it and asked for more money to keep doing his show that way. They said that wasn’t possible, and he said he’d think about it. The network heads called me and asked me to join him on the show that night, saying that they might even need me to host in case J didn’t show up.
When I showed up, J was nowhere to be seen. It was 30 minutes until show time and no one knew where he was. I called him and he didn’t answer. I left a voicemail. He texted me a few minutes later saying “I’m not showing up until they meet my demands”. I told him they’d asked me to be there and that they’d have me host the show until he returned. He said “thanks, man. keep the show alive!”.
I was suddenly forced to run a show I didn’t know anything about, for an audience I wasn’t sure was there, and interview a band I knew nothing about. Surprisingly, everything worked out fine. The following night — since this show was on every weeknight — I did it again. After almost a week of doing this, the network decided to tell J to go fuck himself.
About 2 weeks later, I decided I was done living under the shadow of a failed show and I had my own ideas about how the show should go. I drafted up some ideas, came up with the name “Aural Salvation”, made myself a logo, and signed a fresh contract with the network — which I wrote up myself, and which gave me 100% creative control of the show, and an agreement that all materials produced from the show required a 50/50 agreement from me and the network before any money changed hands 4which is why there’s no Aural Salvation on DVD, and no one gets any residuals from Aural Salvation clips on YouTube, despite a combined 2+ ...continue.
You might think I stabbed J in the back, but there’s a lot more to the story than what I told you. And there’s what he did to the grieving family of a semi-famous actor whose last interview was with me — on behalf of Crazy J’s show. Once again – a story for another time.
I never saw the guy again after that interview, and he refused to answer any emails, phonecalls, or texts from me or anyone else except through some dimestore lawyer. So, frankly, fuck him. Talentless hacks with prima donna complexes dig their own graves. I was out to entertain and make a name for myself, and I ended up running the most successful show on that network every single weeknight for the next 2+ years straight, making a few lifelong fans, a few lifelong friends, got a permanent scar in my face, and learned a lot about how to handle “being on top” in showbiz (even when it doesn’t matter).
So, Crazy J, thanks for hitting on my friend in 2005 and creeping her the fuck out. You’re still a piece of shit, but you accidentally opened some pretty interesting doors for me and I thank you for that.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↩||if I’m being honest, I’m endlessly curious about what practically every woman I meet looks like naked, and I’ve made many poor decisions in the pursuit of unwrapping those presents|
|2.||↩||the pronunciation is : lore-en-TAY-shuss|
|3.||↩||which, if you know me, means a lot cause I’m normally the one talking your fucking head off|
|4.||↩||which is why there’s no Aural Salvation on DVD, and no one gets any residuals from Aural Salvation clips on YouTube, despite a combined 2+ million views|