Ever since YouTube achieved global dominance, book trailers have become de rigueur for every author, from Nobel laureates, like Mario Vargas Llosa, to self-published scribblers who give away their e-books on Amazon.
A well-done trailer can create awareness that a book exists and can attract media attention, which can lead to… more media attention, which can be helpful if you've written a book that's worth reading.
The Pornographer’s Daughter, by Kristin Battista-Frazee, is a memoir that vividly depicts the trauma and chaos of growing up with a father who was a sex-club owner and a major distributor of Deep Throat, the fellatio flick that changed everything.
To promote The Pornographer’s Daughter—and her September 26 panel discussion about pornography’s impact on pop culture (in which I’ll be participating), at the Strand, in New York City—Kristin has released the above trailer, starring David Koechner, best known as Todd Packer on The Office and Champ Kind in Anchorman and Anchorman 2.
Koechner plays two roles in the trailer: himself and a character named Gerald “T-Bones” Tibbons, an obnoxious reporter who interviews Kristen about The Pornographer’s Daughter even though he hasn’t read it and thinks it’s a filthy book, like Fifty Shades of Grey.
Kristin holds her own against both incarnations of this bona fide comic heavyweight. And maybe the trailer will persuade you to venture out to the Strand to see our porn panel, which also includes Eric Danville, author of The Complete Linda Lovelace, and will be moderated by Dr. Belisa Vranich, author of the self-help book Get a Grip.
In the meantime, for your edification, please contrast and compare The Pornographer’s Daughter trailer with my own trailer, below, Erich von Pauli on Beaver Street: Episode 1—there are four episodes altogether—starring Paul Slimak as renegade Nazi Erich von Pauli. Shot on a budget of approximately £1, a few months before Beaver Street was published in the U.K., the video features Agnes Herrmann’s voiceover and Mary Lyn Maiscott’s performance of the Beaver Street theme song (with apologies to Ray Davies and the Kinks).
Gerald Tibbons, meet Erich von Pauli. Long may you run.
The Weekly Blague
…direct from Cleveland, Ohio, where he's just completed a critically acclaimed run as James "Jimmy Tomorrow" Cameron in The Iceman Cometh, let's give it up for Paul Slimak!
Actually, it's not a stage, just an area on the floor at the upstairs bar of the Killarney Rose, at 80 Beaver Street, that we like to call a stage. But it is where all the Bloomsday on Beaver Street performances will be taking place, on Sunday, June 16, beginning at 7 P.M. And we have just received word that Slimak, whom you may know as degenerate Nazi fugitive Erich von Pauli from the Beaver Street videos (and whom I call "Henry Dorfman" in Beaver Street, the book) will be one of the performers.
Slimak and his wife, Agnes Herrmann, who plays Diana Clerkenwell in the Beaver Street videos (and whom you may have last seen in The Road, as Archer’s Woman), will perform a reading from Mr. Sensitivity, a play by our MC, Byron Nilsson, about a man who gives his wife a porn stud for her birthday. (Mr. Sensitivity was performed at the Fringe Festival in 2009.)
As a special bonus, Slimak, in the character of von Pauli, will introduce my first public reading of my novel, Bobby in Naziland: A Portrait of the Author as a Young Jew.
He has ways of making you listen.
Actually, his name is Paul Slimak, but in Beaver Street I call him Henry Dorfman. He's my officemate, the managing editor of For Adults Only magazine, and an actor who, as I say in the book, "was suddenly getting one high-profile gig after another, invariably being cast as a pervert, a lowlife, or a Nazi." In his capsule bio for the Ensemble Theatre of Cleveland, where, beginning April 19, he'll be playing James "Jimmy Tomorrow" Cameron in Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, it says that he's also skilled in playing "weirdos, psychos, slimeballs, and scumbags."
As regular visitors to this Website know, Slimak, in the guise of his own comic creation, Erich von Pauli, a degenerate fugitive from the Third Reich, has made a series of promotional videos for Beaver Street, one of which Michael Musto wrote about in The Village Voice.
I’m pleased to report that Slimak’s acting talents will now be on display nationwide, beginning today, when the thriller Tomorrow You’re Gone, starring Michelle Monaghan, Willem Dafoe, and Stephen Dorff, opens in theatres and will be available On Demand. An exclusive clip of Slimak playing a slimeball opposite Dorff is available here.
In other news, negotiations are underway to bring Slimak and his wife, Agnes Herrmann, who plays Diana Clerkenwell in the von Pauli videos, to New York for Bloomsday on Beaver Street. Stay tuned for more details.
When I was in London, I gave a Beaver Street pep talk to the sales force at Turnaround, Headpress's UK distributor. For the finale, I played episode three of Erich von Pauli on Beaver Street, and the reps applauded enthusiastically.
“When are you doing a Broadway musical?” one of them asked.
I mentioned this to Paul Slimak—Henry Dorfman in the book—the actor who plays renegade Nazi Erich von Pauli. He loved the idea of a Broadway musical, and suggested that I write a skit to showcase his musical talents, as well as the talents of his wife, Agnes Herrmann (Diana Clerkenwell), and their voice coach, Kevin S. Foster (Captain Derek Lancashire).
“We can sing Mozart,” Paul said. “Something from ‘The Magic Flute.’”
“Excellent choice, Mein Führer,” I replied, and wrote the script for episode four, Erich von Pauli Sings Mozart, above.
Boy, do these kids ever sing their hearts out—all in the service of Beaver Street!
For those unfamiliar with Paul and Agnes’s long and distinguished acting careers, or should you want to see some of their other work, check out Paul as the Priest in Cookie, as Jay, a john in Working Girls, and famously, as The Weeping Nazi on the premiere episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
Agnes has most recently appeared in The Road, as Archer’s Woman. And next year, look for both of them in Boot Tracks, starring Stephen Dorff and Michelle Monaghan.
Can Beaver Street: The Musical be Broadway bound? With talent like this you gotta believe.
Paul Slimak and Agnes Herrmann have graciously shot another Beaver Street promo video. Paul is a character in the book; I call him Henry Dorfman. He's a professional actor who specializes in playing Nazis. Agnes is also a professional actor and voice-over specialist. She's appeared in such films as The Road. Thank you Paul and Agnes!Read More
Erich von Pauli Addresses the British Empire on the “Beaver Street” Issue, the first of many Beaver Street promotional videos, is scheduled to be officially released in early August; it’s “unlisted” on YouTube. But I’m offering a sneak preview to the readers of this blog.
The video is intended as parody. If you find Nazi humor offensive, please don't watch it. But if you enjoyed The Producers, Mel Brooks's 1968 film, then Erich von Pauli might be your cup of tea. I encourage you to watch it in the full-screen mode.