Writing! Ghostwriting! Celebs!
1. #teamNeilStrauss 2. #teamBenGreenman
What happened last night was this: Harper Perrenial’s night of “Celebrity, Comedy, Conversation, Literature, and Alcohol” at powerHouse books turned into a confessional. To an intimate audience of over fifty strangers, audience members revealed such things as difficult relationships with fathers, trying immigrant experiences, failures at love. Someone mentioned having a two-year old and two-month-old triplets. The audience applauded.
1. Alberto Rojas, HP’s Director of Publicity, and Erica Barmash, HP’s Marketing Manager. 2. Stefano (whose performance name is “The Ocean”) & Chandler, a comic book artist. They’re fans of Strauss’s work & heard about the event from his mailing list.
The sharing was inspired by the task of the night: two insta-memoirs to be ghostwritten by authors Ben Greenman (Celebrity Chekov, What He’s Poised To Do) and Neil Strauss (The Game, Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead forthcoming March 2011), and copy-edited & cover-designed by HP’s team.
1. Carrie Kania, the director of HP imprint It Books (& @youritlist on twitter) “smizing.” 2. Jenny & Kris, who both work at powerHouse books. Jenny directed last night’s wine-distribution & Kris is from the social media department.
From the collection of audience members who shared their stories, Strauss picked “Acid Guy” (whose real name is Liam). Liam sold A LOT of acid, as a result of which he even got arrested & kicked out of college. Asked how much acid he himself has had, Liam estimated “over 50 hits” [importantly, old-school hits, he specified]. Greenman picked Alex, an ex-surfing pro, who had started her career with the directives (1) Travel Light (2) Travel Alone and (this is where it gets serious) (3) You can never come home.
1. “Acid Guy” Liam being a blur on the left prior to his memoir-reading. 2. Upright Citizens Brigade as surfers who had just been told they could never come home.
In one hour, the memoirs, Naked, High, and Handcuffed and Breathing Water, were ghostwritten and ready. The improv group Upright Citizens Brigade hilariously riffed on the events of Liam & Alex’s life, reminding us that Liam could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (not because he’s a crack dealer, but because he is an admirer of Greek myth) and that sea lice is not a relationship deal-breaker.
Anna Prushinskaya edits The Outlet.