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July 31, 2006 01:54am
Temptation Awards From Red Notebook
Source: Courtesy of Tod-Hunter.net
by: Tod Hunter

Random Notes From a Red Notebook: The Temptation Awards

The on-again-off-again here-there-and-anywhere Temptation Awards found a home at the Bonaventure Hotel downtown, the last-minute replacement for the previously cancelled Beverly Hilton and Ritz-Carlton Huntington in Pasadena.

Things got off to a lovely start when I took the Fourth Street offramp from the Harbor Freeway and passed the Bonaventure at the guest-room level. A few turns later (are there any two-way streets in downtown L.A.?) I'm in the parking area, handing over my keys to a valet and hoping to God that the Temptation Awards validate... I find the place very easily because somebody has placed stand-up signs saying exactly where the Temptation Awards will be held, with the name of the room and the level...

The Bonaventure lobby has been described as "The inside of a tooth" by some architecture critic, but I call it a "Zen maze," because once you see where you want to go, you have to walk away from it in order to get there...

The previously-identical corners of the lobby have been defined by colors, making it easier to find your way around, or at least easier to describe your surroundings when you call for help... The modern flat austere bare walls (the place was built in 1976) have been covered with wood paneling and the nondescript carpet has been replaced with a discreet patterned number, adding some visual texture to the place. Along with the truly horrible sculptures in the pools. One of them looks like a modern sculpture of a face-hugger alien clamped on somebody's head.. It's only 7:00, but somebody had to get here first... Two guys take pictures of each other... Publicist Dusty Marie puts a stamp on my wrist, which starts transferring to my dress shirt, and hands me a parking validation ticket, which brings the price down to half... I sneak into the room where the Awards will be held, get an uncomfortable feeling of déjà vu: Curtains, blue lights, big TV monitors, let's hope the band doesn't suck... You got it, I'm stalling, nobody's here yet...

I spy Dee, who hasn't been active in a while, looking as good as ever... We chat for a while, then are joined by Howard Levine from LFP... I see an old buddy of mine, a mainstream writer who has just put out a book he co-wrote with a mainstream movie director about the differences between actors and directors... Sounds hilarious... Tiffany Taylor... Brooke Hunter and Don Hollywood. She's very enthusiastic about her new video, the Reunion, which she just finished editing. Impressive cast (Shayla LaVeaux, Sara Stone, Eva Angelina, Tyla Wynn, Evan Stone, Nick Manning) plus a 20-plus page script. "If I wanted to star in a film, I had to do it myself," she grins... I grab my camera and tell her to "look pretty," so she shoves her fingers up her nose and grimaces... I take the picture, what the hell... The deluge begins: Shy Love, Rachel Worth, Roy Karch, Monstar, Ben English, Angie Savage who I haven't seen in a long time, Sunny Lane, Jenna Jameson, Kirsten Price, Tommy Gunn and Rita Faltoyano, Jenna Jameson?!??... I'll be damned, it's her all right... Jack Lawrence, Hannah Harper and Danny from Wanted List...

Jenna sits at a table with her entourage, her star power, like a force field, keeping people at a distance... Cousin Stevie, Digital Playground's Cody, who tells me he did a scene in My First Porn 6 with Kelsey Michaels. "She's not in the business any more"... As if on cue, Joone from Digital Playground turns up. We chat a while, he says he was sad that the venue moved from the Huntington hotel because it's a beautiful place and suggests I check out the Huntington Library in Pasadena for the same elegance... Andrew Blake... Digital Playground publicist Adella, new husband in tow... Jenna Haze... Heth from Wicked Pictures... Holly Randall... Publicist Janie from High Profile Media... Somebody says "This is like PSK without the music"... I walk into the ballroom, and see a guy who is a familiar face, from back when I was a big Caroline in the City fan, played the nerdy little office assistant who was always on rollerskates. Andy Something-or-other... The dinner starts, with a glass of Domaine Chandon sparkling wine and a salad with mandarin orange slices and candied pecans... . Beats the hell out of room-temperature cheese cubes and soggy crackers... Dinner comes out, filet mignon, lobster tail, mashed potatoes and crisp green beans... This is already the best Awards show I have been to, ever. Even the Daytime Emmys didn't feed us this well, and I was a nominee... A short-haired man walks up to me, asks "Are you Tod Hunter?" it's Jeremy Spencer, here with Adonis Pictures. We catch up for a moment...

The show starts, and the band does a number. They don't suck. They're borderline good, even, and can do something with a little intricacy like a Boston number instead of head-bangin' power chords... As the third song begins, Barrett Blade leaves for the lobby. "Did you come for a concert?" No. "Me either."... The host for the evening is introduced, Andy Lauer. Lauer. That's it, I knew it was something like that... Lauer blames the loss of the Beverly Hilton venue on the hotel's owner, Merv Griffin, and "calls" Griffin on his cell phone to ask him why... The bit falls flat, and it might have been funnier if Lauer had actually called Griffin, and Griffin told him "I sold the Beverly Hilton hotel three years ago"... Lauer then walks over to interview Jenna Jameson and, wouldn't ya know it, he picks the wrong busty blonde at the table. "Do your research," Jenna says to him... The Award presentation, unfortunately, is the same as any Award presentation, long and dull... Although the pace picks up a little when the list of nominees on the video screens is replaced by the winner's name halfway through the reading of the nominees... There are 60 categories, we're gonna be here all night... Heth accepts an Award for Wicked, Tommy Gunn gets another Award, some guy addresses Lauer as "Matt," a reference to the host of the Today show which nobody notices. I'm bored out of my skull. At 10:40, the band plays "Fool if you Think it's Over," and I decide to see what's going on in the lobby...

My mainstream-writer friend is out there ­ it was a bit loud for him ­ and we catch up for a while... Jeff Mullen and I catch up, and I get a picture of Hillary Scott... Jeremy comes out, with some of his performers, one of whom bristles when he hears my name. Turns out his real name is Todd and he thought Jeremy was using his real name... Holly Randall, happy-drunk, waves around her mother's Hall of Fame Award. I ask her to pose with it and she opens her mouth wide, still smiling, and tongues it... Can't beat that, I'm out of here...

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