What's in a name? Respected Bay Area Reporter gay-porn reviewer (and GAYVN judge) John F. Karr found out recently when another John Karr confessed out of the blue to the unsolved murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Our Karr was suddenly deluged with emails and phone calls by media and others who had Googled "John Karr" searching for information about the same-named gent whose confession (apparently fabricated) made headlines around the globe.
"You wouldn't believe the number of times I was contacted," Karr said. Finally, when a Reuters reporter reached him and asked if there was any connection between them, Karr decided to dick with him. "When I said yes, I could almost hear the reporter foaming at the mouth. He said, 'What's the connection?' I said, 'We both have the same name.' He wasn't amused." And he jokingly told another columnist, "I've been writing gay porn reviews for thirty years just to throw everyone off the track."
Jeff Stryker was his charming self during his Bruce Vilanch Presents A Sophisticated Evening With Jeff Stryker performance at the Celebration Theatre in West Hollywood. The limited two-week run in the L.A. area — which was extended twice, and at press time is still running — he says, is only a preview of a show for friends and select fans, so he can hone the material and get comfortable with it before he takes it on the road.
He comes out in a suit and talks about himself in a casual, sometimes self-deprecating way, and eventually strips to nothing and plays with his hard-on within groping distance of the audience. It's funny, shocking and, believe-it-or-not, at times very sweet. Personal photos of him as a child, as well as his dog, his son, and his cars, are shown on a screen behind him as he talks.
Ironically, I was at the show on the day that director John Travis, the man who groomed and gave Stryker his start, was in the audience. Travis laughed when Stryker, nude and oiled-up, approached him in the finale, and he held up his hands and said, "Been there, done that!" I was a little disappointed that the specific people who helped Stryker along in his career, like Travis, weren't mentioned in the play, but maybe that's a whole other story.
Michael Lucas returned from Israel safe and sound. He had been vilified by media in both Israel and the United States for about two weeks before he left to report on the war — and do a live sex show at a gay club there. The controversy erupted when the club announced they'd offer free admission to anyone in the Israeli army. Blogs from Jews and Islamists commented on the show. Headlines ranged from "Stay Away Lucas Garbage" to "He is defending the land of Israel." Lucas said, simply, "I just want to support a country I love, I'm going now. I will not cancel no matter what. I've performed there many times before for thousands of gay men."
Raging Stallion director Ben Leon shows a side of the Big Apple we've never seen before with local city stud Manuel Torres in Manhattan. He has sex with Mario Cruz on a New York rooftop, and every one of the half-dozen scenes takes place in a very exposed rooftop garden or similar location with the skyline in the background. The DVD also includes 20 minutes of personal thoughts from Torres, who talks about his dirty thug past.
Falcon Studios' promotions of just-released Velvet Mafia have included a comical clip on YouTube.com, which has had an unprecedented number of hits since posting. Paul Barresi and Chi Chi LaRue are featured in non-sex roles as rival porn-studio moguls fighting over an exclusive model Fox Ryder (the former Brent Corrigan), with mock press releases and photos that very much seem like the whiny and vindictive releases of the past from agents and alleged agents and pseudo-columnists who have more pomposity than talent or clout. It sounds like real life in the gay porn world!
Bret Wolfe is proving his talents as he stars in his second mainstream movie, Back Soon, for Guest House Films. The fine actor and porn star did festival-favorite Long Term Relationship last year and this time, the story continues with actors Windham Beacham, Matthew Montgomery, and Artie O'Daly. Pre-porn Wolfe did community and touring shows of Hello Dolly, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Normal Heart, and he won nearly a dozen awards for his adult work, including GAYVN's Best Newcomer.
Michael Brandon has a gig every Thursday until the end of the year hosting a karaoke night with Mistress Jen at Soluna Cafe in San Francisco. And he's looking for men to join the Raging Stallion stable every night he's there.
Finally, look for a new hot book from Alyson, The Bisexual's Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips, and Lists for those Who Go Both Ways, that has a whole section on bisexual porn, including a list of the most prolific bi porn stars and the funniest titles. It's already on Amazon.com, there's a MySpace page devoted to the book, and it has endorsements from both Sharon Kane and Bruce Vilanch.
Fox Ryder photo courtesy of FalconStudios.com