Commentary

Just An Online Minute... Prairie Dog Photobomber Helps Launch A New Reality Show Where YOU'RE In Control

ControlTV's "Country Club Soirée" Launch Party, The Residence of Chris Young, New York
September 28, 2010

Let's get some things out of the way first.  No. 1: When you write on the online, your mistakes are easily searchable, instantly mortifying.  Thus, let me admit that I must have had "The Real Housewives of New York City" on the brain (that or horrific music), because when I read the invitation from Morris+King, I thought "Producer Chris Young" was this Producer Chris Young, the pink fellow behind "Money Can't Buy You Class."  Of course I declared more than once in this column that error.  Der.  No. 2: If your bathroom is nicer than my entire apartment, I will question where I went wrong.  And finally,  No. 3: If you have a prairie dog cutout affixed to a large tongue-depressor-looking thing, said prairie dog will appear in most, if not all, photos I shoot.

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The party was for the launch of ControlTV, a creepy-to-me online reality "experiment" where the character (they say he's real, I'm not convinced), Tristan Couvares, turns over all of his life decisions to the viewing audience.   Tristan will be "lifestreaming" his funky L.A. existence rife with bad relationships and bromances -- with each life choice dictated by YOU, should you watch it.  This freaks me out, mainly because this is where trolls shine.  Before you know it, Tristan will be going through an ear transplant, or he'll have to make out with Dog The Bounty Hunter.  Or he'll have to use his closet as the toilet.  So many possibilities!

I immediately ran into Morris+King's big caddy, Andy Morris, who was in a full "Caddyshack" costume.  Oh right, I forgot, the theme of the party was "Country Club Soirée" of the Bushwood variety, and quite a few people got in on the theme.  Country Club themes just give closet preppy types the excuse to pop that collar and drape that sweater around their shoulders in false irony.  Prove me wrong!

I ran into The Wandering Foodie's Hagan Blount just before he made his exit.  Hagan had the photo-bombing rodent in his pocket, which I instantly snatched for my own.  Hagan was hanging with Morris+King's Katie Smith-Adair, who has made the switch from bright summer-red to dark autumn-auburn hair.  Sort of like the groundhog and his shadow.

Chris Young, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at DBG, has a fabulous apartment.  And he's brave.  I don't know if I would comfortably open up my obviously professionally designed spacious (in real-speak, not broker-speak) Soho pad to a gaggle of digital video nerds with a penchant for open bars.  His bathroom was swankier than my entire apartment.  So much so that I refocused my vision for my future while in there.  His bathroom seriously inspired me to constantly ask myself "Will [insert action about to be taken] get me closer to a bathroom like Chris Young's? Or further away?" And then I will decide.

Oh yes, of course there was roof access.  Talking animatedly at the entrance to the deck were Mykwain Guiney, a film maker and photographer, and Chris Law, a stylist and fashion writer for Jones Magazine and fresherthanchris.com, "the quest to find out who is," clarified Chris.

On the roof, smoking stinky cigars, were A Guy Whose Name Escapes Me and Mike Oricchio, an editorial and communications consultant who once worked for The New York Times.  As consultants tend to do, Oricchio began his diatribe on content and timing, so I said "I'm gonna barf from the cigars" and beat a hasty retreat.

Above the cigar smoke I found Devin Brown of McKinsey & Company and Heavy.com's CEO Simon Assaad and SVP, Managing Director, Joey Jodar.  I glanced behind the Heavys and saw a dude sitting at a table by himself with the lower Manhattan skyline spread out behind him.  He was Robert Galinsky, Founder and "Principal" of New York Reality TV School. 

Yes, it really exists. 

Cody-Ann Palmer, the school's Social Media director, touted 50 Cent, Chad Ochocinco, and "Bad Girl's Club"'s Lyric as students of their tutelage. "We coach them on how to be their most visible self," explained Galinsky, which makes sense.  You remember the galoot who cries and throws a mean headbutt, not the guy who reads Dostoevsky in the corner.

I also met Joey Broussard, a flight attendant for Delta;  Kiwan Anderson, Events Manager for Omega Watches; and Kevin Freeman, "Socialite." Digitas' Paul Kontonis swooped in with TubeMogul's Brett Wilson for a short stint as did Damien Basile, who I think is a social media consultant. I also got some good Baltimore crab talk in with LBi's Patrick Durkin.  And for a tiny moment I shot the...stuff... with DKCNews' Matt Caldecutt before he disappeared into the night like a Madison Square Park squirrel.

ControlTV launches on October 6, but they're already begun their social media push.  Honestly, I'm curious.  I may even set a phone alarm reminder.

Photos are up on Flickr!

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