Saturday, October 4, 2008

Litquake opening night - tell me something

Thanks to my l33t writing 5k1llz, I won tickets to the Litquake opening night event in this contest on SFist. So Super Hot Irish Girlfriend and I headed down to the Herbst Theater on Friday night to check it out.

The event was part of the Porchlight storytelling series and was called "Suckered: Writers Confess a Profound Lack of Judgment." The idea is that these (mostly pretty well-known) writers would get 10 minutes to tell a story on that theme.

Neal Pollack was first, and talked about his experience with a Spanish language school in Guatemala. He didn't time it out so well and so didn't really get to the good part - at least I think - before his time ran out.

Cintra Wilson told a story about how when she was young she wrote porn scripts for 976 numbers and got kicked out of her apartment when one of her roommates' boyfriends ran up a huge bill calling her number. Very funny.

April Sinclair was next. I think she was prettty much the hit of the whole thing with her hilarious story about seeing Whoopi Goldberg at a small place in SF when she was first starting out and declining Whoopi's offer to go out for drinks after the show because her roommate - "a snippy gay guy, I don't mean anything by that, I'm just keepin' it real" - had to get back to Oakland. "Nobody has to get back to Oakland." She killed.

Robert Mailer Anderson closed out the first half. I realize that he's a major contributor to Litquake and he can take as much time as he wants, but his story about taking some juvenile delinquents from the group home his dad managed to the movies really did seem to drag on a bit.

After a break, political comedian Will Durst opened the second half with a short story about seeing some of Clinton's impeachment trial in the Senate chamber and getting in trouble for making noise.

Adam Savage, the co-host of Mythbusters, talked about going, at a then-girlfriend's behest, to some est-type self-improvement courses.

Actress and writer Amber Tamblyn was next. She recounted going to the Vagina Monologues national convention thing in New Orleans and being sorta horrified by the whole thing. She was very engaging and funny.

The last storyteller was Jonathan Ames, who I gather is sort of legendary in storytelling circles and appears on Letterman a lot and whatever. By his own admission, he was pretty drunk. He told a kind of excruciatingly awkward story about his sexual development that included a near-molestation by a camp counselor and the extraordinarily late onset of puberty. The crowd seemed to love him, and if he had kept it to about 10 minutes I would have been right there.

So then we go to the afterparty upstairs at the theater since we have VIP tickets and it's an open bar and all the authors are there and everything. We talked to Adam Savage, who's actually a friend of a friend, for a while, then sort of mingled and circulated. I tried mostly to stay within Amber Tamblyn's field of vision. Kidding. Although we were about 10 feet apart, she somehow failed to notice me, though.

Amber Tamblyn - apparently not in the market for me

Beth Lisick, who is one of the organizers of Porchlight and a really great writer in her own right, was super nice and friendly.

So the whole thing was pretty much a fucking blast. Make sure and check out some of the other Litquake events this week. Next Saturday is the semi-legendary Litquake pub crawl in the Mission. Should be fun.

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