Some people have a list of dream jobs. Xtra.ca Vancouver blogger Sean Horlor and Xtra.ca contributor Rob Easton decided to try and make their list into a reality. As two professional gay guys, the duo teamed up to create Don’t Quit Your Gay Job, a reality show premiering on OutTV on Mon, Aug 31.
Shannon Webb-Campbell caught up with the guys for a few resume tips and professional gay pointers.
Xtra.ca: What’s the premise of the reality show?
Sean: Rob and I learn a stereotypical gay job from an expert and then compete to see who does it better.
Rob: Both of us wanted to create and host a show. First we thought of a travel show but then we realized most of them are boring. So instead of going to places we’ve always wanted to visit, we decided we’d try to do jobs we’ve always wanted to do.
Xtra.ca: Why do you think this is an important contribution to queer television?
Sean: I think any programming that holds a mirror up to our community and profiles the people who live in it is an important contribution to queer television. If a show like this was around when I younger, let’s just say I wouldn’t have worked at Starbucks to help put myself through university.
Xtra.ca: How long have you been working on this program?
Sean: From working out a pitch and selling it to OutTV to starting production and then wrapping production on Jul 3, we have been working on Don’t Quit Your Gay Job for almost exactly a year. We’re a bit of a Cinderella story in terms of the entertainment industry. Most shows take years to develop and then shoot. We’re either incredibly lucky or OutTV is incredibly stupid. Only time will tell.
Xtra.ca: Why a reality television show?
Rob: Reality is a loose term. I think our show is really about two people exploring the world and we’ve added the gimmick of us competing. It adds a certain level of tension that’s very common in television these days.
Xtra.ca: What’s your background in TV?
Sean: Long-time viewer, first-time creator. I’m loving every minute of it so far.
Rob: I went to broadcasting school and work mostly in radio now. I’ve also done some shooting and directing on a couple other OutTV shows. And I also expect to work more in TV in the coming years.
Xtra.ca: What’s your ultimate job?
Sean: I’m doing it right now. I always wanted to be an entertainer. Reading to large literary festival audiences in support of my first book gave me my first real taste of what it takes to get a 300-person crowd going as a solo act. If I can make a living do this, I will do it for the rest of my life.
Xtra.ca: What’s the most interesting job you’ve encountered working on this program?
Sean: I have always wanted to strip and thought going into that episode that I wouldn’t be nervous. Right before taking the stage though, I kept yawning and after each yawn, I bent over and almost threw up. Weridest. Feeling. Ever. Up on stage I felt like a cow on ice. I also have to say that having porn star Reese Rideout come up from the US to teach us was incredible. That guy is a walking sex god. You could feel it every time he spoke or looked at you.
Rob: Velvet Steele, our Dominatrix, was definitely the most interesting person we met along the way so far. Just hearing about she came to do what she does is a story in itself. But also, it’s interesting how people come to her to satisfy their inner desires. She’s incredibly astute at reading people and has intuitive sense of what they want. She asks all the right questions that get to the heart of someone’s character.
Xtra.ca: What are the trials and tribulations of working with your best friend?
Sean: When production wrapped, we took a break from each other for a couple of weeks. One of the benefits of working together was that I learned more about him over the past year than the four years I’ve known him, but there was a definitely point where I wondered if we’d still be friends after the show was finished filming. Working with friends can be a dicey proposition, but I think he and I are better friends for it.
Rob: A big part of the show is pushing our boundaries and we as friends definitely pushed the envelope during filming. But after it all, we are better friends for it and we definitely want to do more shows if OutTV will let us.
Xtra.ca: What are your future aspirations?
Sean: A second season with a bigger budget! I’m also finishing my next book — a collection on fashion-with Toronto writer who’s been a good friend of mine since university. We’re calling it Haute and Cool: Couture Poetry by David Brock and Sean Horlor. We’ll be shopping for a publisher this fall.
Rob: We’d definitely like to do more episodes of Don’t Quit Your Gay Job. We haven’t even come close to exhausting the potential for what it means to be a homo out in the work force. Ironically, I am also looking for more work right now as well as having another TV show pitch in the works.
The Don’t Quit Your Gay Job premiere party will be held at Vancouver’s 1181 Tight Lounge (1181 Davie Street) at 7pm on Mon, Aug 31. The first episode airs Aug 31 on OutTV at 7:30pm ET/PT.