Keep in mind, I wasn’t an actor. I didn’t audition for the role. It was an assistant job with an on-camera catch. Look at me! I moved to Hollywood without a headshot and cut in line ahead all of the pathetic losers dying to get 10 seconds on TV. How classic. This was my gay revenge for the years of torturous oppression. I knew God felt bad.
As Adam’s real-life assistant, I had the opportunity to be privy to the show’s development. Early on, I was CC’d on an email from the Story Editor with possible show topics. Like this one:
4) ADAM TRIES TO BUTCH UP HIS NEW ASSISTANT MATT AND TEACHES HIM HOW TO ACT MORE MASCULINE. COULD BE A “BIRD CAGE”-TYPE SEQUENCE IN WHICH ADAM SCHOOLS MATT IN ALL THINGS BUTCH. COULD INCLUDE A BOXING LESSON.
I had no problem demonstrating my lack of masculinity; that is not an affront to me. I knew Adam wouldn’t put me in a situation purely to embarrass me — he tends not to rely on the obvious to be funny, despite what you saw on The Man Show. And why shouldn’t Adam show me how to play butch as well as he plays it? That is what he built his career on, after all: his brand of overt heterosexual masculinity.
The next show idea pissed me off, though.
11) AFTER ALL THE RIBBING MATT GETS – (AND WE KNOW HE’S GOING TO GET IT) – HE DECIDES TO PROVE TO ADAM JUST HOW GOOD AN ASSISTANT HE IS AND WIN ADAM’S CONFIDENCE
I quickly alerted everyone on the email list (including the executive producer, a one Jimmy Kimmel) that there would be no stories centered around Matt-ribbing. This made me a big hit with the production team, because you know higher-ups are dying to hear what the assistant has to say. I was subsequently reminded that even though I was on camera, I was still an assistant.
I didn’t understand the Hollywood power structure. The most successful Hollywood assistants are impervious to pain; they keep their mouths shut and say yes to every request. It took me the entire length of my time with Adam (and some post-reflection) to get the mouth-shut thing.
After a few episodes of the show aired, the Washington Blade, “America’s gay newspaper of record,” wrote a scathing review. Of me.