Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Birth of the Naked Handyman

My first twenty years in LA I worked for record companies, I did cd covers, record sleeves, posters, etc. And I got to meet most of my favorite singers, and almost all of the artists I worked with and for.

When they invented iTunes, the music business fell apart. It had been operating on the same methods that they used in the 50s for marketing Elvis, and in the age of cd burners, limewire, iPods and file sharing, websites with instant access to every song ever recorded, people stopped buying cds, they stopped going to record stores. Almost all the record stores in the city closed.

My record company was bought out and downsized to a fraction of what it once was. My career was over.

So, now, at the age of 40, but still looking 35, I had to have a heart to heart with myself. I was used to talking to myself, but not necessarily listening. I had been in recovery for over twenty years by this point, and the 12th step says to “practice these principles in all our affairs,” so I did what they call a personal inventory.

What am I good at?

I typed out a list, it included helping people, building things, painting, yard work, cleaning, sorting, writing, and more. I cut and pasted my list of abilities, and I posted them into a personal ad on craig’s list.

Available: nice, hard working guy to help with yard work, cleaning, painting, clutter, moving, and other things.

Immediately I was overwhelmed with responses. Admittedly, I used a provocative picture of myself (OK yeah I was naked, but I was facing the other way and I was standing in an abandoned warehouse, it was from kind of far away, it’s a very artistic pose, with great lighting). And I posted it in the Men Seeking Men section. If I had learned one thing in my years in the marketing department of a record company, it’s know your target market.

Now, since I had posted a picture of myself naked, of course I got several responses, “do you do your work in the nude?” I don’t know how many of them were serious; I have learned that a fairly large percentage of people on craig’s list aren’t serious, and many are downright squirrely.

But I thought, OK, why not. I work out several times a week, I watch what I eat, I’m ok looking. Why not.

Desperation is a strong motivator.

This is a selection of some of the situations that I found myself in, over the course of the next few years…

NOTE: All posts are based on true events. I have fudged the names, locations, dates and details to protect the guilty (and so i don't get sued)...