I’ve been obsessed with this recent Ryan Jenkins murder tragedy as much as I’ve been obsessed with the whole “Of Love” dating show dynasty that VH1 has been airing for the last few years.
I’ve religiously followed the evolution of Surreal Life to Strange Love to Flavor of Love to spin-off to spin-off to spin-off. I’ve monitored my cynicism as it’s grown with each sequel and spin-off. I’ve noticed how bored I am by what was once a shockingly bad minstrel show, secretly wanting it to get worse for my own amusement. It has been like a coke addiction that doesn’t do it for me anymore. (Not that I’ve ever done coke before, so WTF am I talking about?)
I’ve been wondering for some time: “How will this vulgar reality show dynasty end?” “What is at the bottom of that barrel they’ve been scraping?”
I’ve been working on a screenplay about a reality star putting her life back together after the show she was on has wrapped. Looks like, after this week, I have to put the pen down again. Because the real world (not the reality show) has trumped fiction (or at least fictionalized non-fiction) yet again.
There are many things ironic about all of this tragedy and VH1 having to pull both shows that Ryan Jenkins was on off the air…
1. Of all the previous VH1 dating shows to have a wife beating murderer contestant… I would never have imagined it would be the show with the millionaires. Maybe one of the girls from Flavor of Love or the punks vying for love on Daisy of Love– but the millionaires? And at that, a young handsome, Canadian millionaire. Didn’t Michael Moore illuminate Canada as the land of unlocked doors?
2. I was watching the episode the week before all this happened where Ryan Jenkins is prominently featured and thought, “Wow, he’s pretty smooth. If I was Megan, I’d pick him.” Ack! Wrong choice!
3. I find it ironic that as a matter of taste VH1 has had the pull both shows off the air, when the actual content of both shows is actually pretty tasteless (but oh so entertaining) in itself.
4. That Jasmine Fiore (the victim) was ID’d by her breast implants. So Orwellian.
5. The messages from fans of “Megan Wants a Millionaire” have made very articulate arguments as to why the show should stay on the air on the online message boards. They include:
“So here’s a thought…maybe if it continues to air, with a little disclaimer “Have you seen this man?”, more people will know what he looks like and be able to spot him.”
“I think you should air the rest of the show. Who cares what a contestant did after the show if they were not picked? Don’t start a series and then end it before we get to know what happened. I want to see who won–the other stuff is irrevelant.”
“why would you do that even if he was cute he still is bad and i liked that show and now i cant watch it for a while. but plz make it air soon”
I’m curious as to what will happen to this footage of these two shows. Will getting that footage be like our generation’s version of finding the shroud of Turin (basically something of cultural significance that has been lost, sorry couldn’t find a better metaphor).
I’m wondering how VH1 and all the “celebrities” (or “c-listbrities”) will pause and reflect before scrambling towards night club appearances and pimped out myspace pages, charging again towards that shimmer of florescent light called stardom.
I’m actually scheduled to be performing as “Fannie Wong, Former Miss Chinatown 2nd Runner Up” on the Xin Lu Bus tour (the film fest on wheels bus tour) as part of the VC Filmfest, so I will miss the experience of dozens of people watching my innards spew outwards.
I actually feel quite nervous about seeing the documentary. Because I was sobbing so much at times for the camera and you best bet that over the last few years, she caught a lot of crap on me! A couple of folks who have seen it already say I have nothing to worry about, but I may just let it be and keep my copy of the documentary locked up in the bowels of history. But I knew it was important to me to record my life and intentions in some way. Even, if that meant forever cockblocking myself.
However, you are welcome to go and tell me what you think!
My first show in Queens was yesterday! What an experience! There was a power outage at Queens Theater in the Park and the lights were out all over the park and they had to hold the show for 35 minutes. I had to choose to do the show with the emergency lights on in the theater (which eventually turned themselves off.) But I was so grateful that the show wasn’t cancelled that I put all my love out there for all 15 folks who took the train out to buttfreak Flushing to see me!
I ended the show with a bow, but also jumped into the audience and shook each person’s hand individually… because well… I could.
One more show on Sunday!
I can’t believe I’ve been living here in Williamsburg for so long. I don’t know how to describe what’s it’s like to live in a neighborhood that’s so trendy and where there are ridiculous trendy people walking around at all hours. It’s like Burningman, or Disneyland– at least in the sense of the immediate community moving around you. It’s like barely 70 degrees and people are out sunbathing in bikinis and shirtless because they crave the sun so much.
Saturday night I was lounging around the room with nobody to go out with and decided that “Hey, I’m a big girl. I can go out alone.” I got dressed and drove myself down towards the beach where all the clubs supposedly are. I’ve never gone dancing or to a bar alone. It seems semi-loserish and dangerous, especially in a town I don’t live in, but the cabin fever was going to kill me more.
I park the car, wander towards one of the hotels where these security guards are standing and ask naively, “Excuse me. What is this?” (You know, not wanting to crash a private party.)
“It’s the Skybar.”
“Oh, a club?”
“How much is it?”
The security people laugh at me.
They open the elastic barrier and let me in.
I compensate, “Sorry! I’m from out of town.”
So I’m standing there at this bar/club nursing my tiny $15 (wtf!) cape cod and thinking, “I hope I figure out how to make some friends or something before I have to buy another $15 drink.” There’s no dancing at this club for me to hide myself in. So I’m just standing there, taking in this amazing joint (the clubs on South Beach are mega swank because they are all part of the hotels. Like the Standard, except larger and with better furniture.)
Anyway, so this Korean guy comes up to me and is like, “I’m looking for my friend. He’s 6’3″ and Dominican. How am I going to find him here?”
And I’m so relieved that someone is talking to me, and at a non-creepy yet somehow strategic 45 degree angle. And I’m especially excited that this Korean guy is talking to me because I had passed him seconds before thinking, “I wonder what that Korean guy is doing in South Beach.” So we talk about being Asian in Miami and what each of us is doing there.
And suddenly, like three minutes into the conversation, I’m totally swooning.
The whole conversation is all too slick. His friend swoops in and is like “Hey, kiss him on the cheek.”
It’s all too familiar. Like I’ve read this in a book or seen it on a tv show….
I’m like, “Wait a second. Have you seen the Pick Up Artist on VH1?”
“Oh yea! I watch that show religiously.”
“You know, I got a ride to the airport from Spoon and Brady.”
“You’ve taken a Pick-up workshop haven’t you?”
“Actually. I have.”
I’m jumping up and down wagging my finger and screaming!
“AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! I knew it!! I knew it! I know all these tricks! I knew this was all familiar.”
Anyway, he was smooth, gorgeous, and works as a diplomat. And even if he was totally awkward and untrained in the ways of approaching a woman, I would have talked to him. He wasn’t wearing aviation goggles or a fur hat. He was just well dressed. And he’s taken workshops from Tyler Durden (the anarchy-ish PUA revolutionary) and Mystery. It felt really weird to be part of some script, and I kept questioning his sincerity.
But he wasn’t as choppy as the guys from the show who seemed to work with a lot of canned material. And we had a good talk about the Pick Up community and “The Game” by Neil Strauss. I kept calling him on every thing I could recognize. I started mocking him by stroking my hair and squealing, “Look buddy! An IOI!” (Indicator of interest.) He takes my hand and whispers in my ear, “Ok, let’s help Juan get a girl.” Suddenly we are winging his friend. It was crazy watching these two guys scan a room and funny to be part of it. I was like a live action DVD commentary, making smart remarks the whole time.
He was like, “Kristina, can you turn that off?”
I was like, “Can you turn it off?”
What a trip. I got “opened” by a professional pick up artist. And I kinda thought this might happen because there are pick up artists all over this place. It was an experience. And I’m glad of it.
I think my fascination with the whole Pick Up Artist community is that they do what I do in ways– site specific performance, culture jamming, and performing gender. They don’t do it to the same effect that I do, as their work lacks the social commentary, and they aren’t going to get grants to pick up women. But I think the fact that men pay thousands of bucks to learn how to denote their high value (DHV they call it), create conversations that add exciting information (kind of like a good improv), and use a lot of tactics from the sales world (to “close” in PUA speak) says a lot about how much men need companionship as much as women.
He and I, we’re both performers.
He said he might come to my show. Perhaps, this is my tactic to make sure I fill that 400 seat theater. I will stand around at clubs and mock pick up artists and guilt them to coming to my show.
So for my mother and others who wonder if there was a love connection…. Nah, everyone knows that my dream man is that guy I’ve been sending letters to in prison who will be getting out in 5 to 10. I hold out for only the best.
Miami has been gorgeous the last few days. It’s unreal that I get to be here so long. And I’m almost agitated because I am having a hard time embracing that I’ve earned this. Can artists really be treated like a million bucks on the road? Like shouldn’t someone at some point be bopping me on the head and telling me that the empty dorm room bed awaits me??!
Here’s the photo story.
First, as promised. Evidence that Spoon and Brady from VH1′s “The Pick Up Artist” did indeed take me to the Airport. No pictures of me WITH them, but that will be the next ride to the airport!
Spoon driving with his 6:30 AM on.
Brady being crushed by my monster luggage.
And now I am in Miami. I’ve never been treated so well on a residency before. I mean I thought I’ve been treated well. But his is like fantasy residency! I’ve been given a rental car, a per diem, two weeks at the Standard and a pretty loose schedule to enjoy the surroundings. The car has a GPS and says, “You have arrived” when I get to my destination. And when it says that. I feel like they are saying so much more. I really have arrived it seems.
I can’t believe what a luxury this is. It’s like my friend E said once of being hot and single and waking up alone every morning, “This is such a waste!”
Indeed, this place is so gorgeous, it seems quite wasteful to be in this awesome hotel all alone. So guess what? You are coming with me! Check it. I present a grand tour of Miami so far…. Mostly the hotel.
A dock overlooking the water. Just behind the hotel!
The lounge chairs at dusk.
The giant king bed is 6 feet across and mocks soloness when I sleep in it.
This is where you load up in mud and wash it off. Going to try this tomorrow.
The view at dusk.
A note from the general manager welcoming me to the Standard and to Miami. I felt like such a rock star.
Anyway, the being here alone thing is killing me. I can’t go this long without having someone to talk to and it’s only been like a day! This joint is swarming with couples and cool people. I was thinking there would be solo artists roaming the joint and wanting to party… kinda like when I went to Greece. But in odd ways I’m having flashbacks of middle school. Next week I’ll be teaching workshops all over the place and my circle of Miami folk I know will grow. But I feel like I showed up at prom alone being here. It’s like a honeymoon for one.
I was thinking about what a rock star I am this week and how people would love to join me. So perhaps my friend Jess is right, I need my own reality show, “a Shot at Love with Kristina Wong” where people vie for my love in special performance art challenge like who can convey the most oppression with fake blood and howling sounds. Ha!
By the way, I’m here early assembling a cast of community artists to be in my show. I already found my cutest cop! Look for Sasha at the show! She takes after her mom who is a notable Miami B Girl.