Status: Published 2013 on Lulu and Amazon.
An access-all-areas pass to a city after dark.
Between age 15 to 30, no place was more exciting to me than a good nightclub. I tried them all: small, dark, and sweaty, with just a few red lights; sprawling and bombastic, with custom video shows and dancers in cages. Beginning with jungle and drum n bass, I ended up hooked on house and techno too. At first I was an underage novice who kept to myself, and drank black coffee or Redbull to stay up. Gradually I became friends with a few DJs and, at the same time, some of my school friends started going to the biggest/best club events too. I went clubbing in London, Bristol, Manchester, Tokyo, Osaka, San Francisco, and Chicago.
Then back in Auckland I got a job in a club and that’s when things got crazy. The staff partied harder than anyone on the dancefloor, and I got to know the ins and outs of promoting and hosting, while watching the technology change from turntables to CD-Js to software like Serato and Traktor. The denouement of my nightclubbing career came in 2011, when I made it into Berghain, Berlin. The club spaces and music were incredible, while the stainless steel toilets—sans seats— were a reminder that ladies were not the star of this particular show.
Inspired by composite movies like Traffic, Bobby, Magnolia and Crash, I set out to write an interconnected narrative featuring eight people who all had a different role to play in a hot new club. I split the book into Side A and B to mimic a record and each character got a chapter on each side: one when they were riding high and one when they were feeling low.
The novel underwent several massive revisions and when I read it now, I feel a little claustrophobic amidst all the first-person internal chatter. But I’m glad to have captured this epic part of my life and taken a snapshot of how things were before gentrification and smart phones took a savage toll on nightclubs across the world, in terms of their ability to stay open and the private subcultures they can foster inside.
Below is the cast of the play:
- MARK ADVOCAAT: Danny Royale’s boyfriend. Lives in Seattle and runs dance mag Friction.
- TROY ARMANA: Manager of the infamous club Infinite.
- VERA ANDERSON: Warrick Anderson’s Christian mother.
- WARRICK ANDERSON: DJ and party maker since the ’80s, now general manager of Dilettante.
- GRAHAM BALLANTYNE: Judge at the Valhalla State Court. Friend of Owen Lockheed.
- VICTORIA BALLANTYNE: Graham Ballantyne’s English wife.
- XAVIER BLACK: Breaks DJ and roommate of Ariel Charles. Works at Jack’s House record shop.
- TAYLOR BRENTFORD: Hip-hop DJ/producer and suitor of Ariel Charles. Hosts Wednesday night party Dirrty.
- ARIEL CHARLES: Ex-model turned artist working as door girl/art director at Dilettante.
- LUIS CRUZ: Bouncer at Dilettante and boyfriend of Calvin Sloane. WESLEY DANSON: Upcoming music producer/DJ. Hosts the Tech Tues- day party at Dilettante and runs Twisted River Records.
- TRUDI FELDMAN: Serena Winstone’s sister. Owns a diner in Vermaine. ROB FORD: Young DJ who works at Jump Records. Hosts Thursday night party Nu Blood with Juan Xavi.
- MALCOLM FRANK: Dilettante’s clean-living bar manager.
- BENJAMIN GLENN: Owner of Equine Adventures trekking farm.
- MARTHA GLENN: Benjamin Glenn’s wife.
- GLORIA GOLDSTEIN: Social sciences student and friend of Raquel Marquez.
- KATE GRUMETTE: Waitress/photographer and roommate of Ariel Charles.
- YVONNE HENDRIK: New York PR machine and friend of Danny Royle.
- JOSHUA MICHAELS: Chicago-born house DJ/producer, aka Iz. Makes and plays music with Diz Washington.
- MONIQUE MIKOS: Ex maître d’ now running Dilettante’s door and PR.
- RHONA MILES: Fun-loving friend of Ariel Charles and Serena Winstone.
- MERVIN KATZENBERG: Owen Lockheed’s friend and bank manager.
- JANET LINNELL: Manager of Trench Bar. Hosts Monday night party Backstage with girlfriend Lara Robbins.
- TRISTAN LJUNGBERG: Old-school Valhallan house DJ/producer.
- BEN LOCKHEED: The Lockheeds’ 15-year-old son.
- LUCY LOCKHEED: The Lockheeds’ 21-year-old daughter and friend of Raquel Marquez.
- MARGUERITTE LOCKHEED: Wife of Owen Lockheed and celebrated interior architect.
- OWEN LOCKHEED: Property magnate and owner of Dilettante.
- SAMSON MCFARLANE: Physical Therapy student and friend of Lucy Lockheed.
- BILLY MANZAREK: Dilettante’s head sound engineer.
- RAQUEL MARQUEZ: Global economics student and friend of Lucy Lock- heed. A popular beauty.
- MARY MASON: Dilettante’s caterer/cleaning boss. Substitute mother of Larry Winstone.
- KEVIN MASON: Ex-rancher turned meat packer. Wife of Mary Mason.
- PATTY NEVILLE: Mary Mason’s friend and bridge partner.
- MARTY NEWTON: Hip English hairdresser. Owen Lockheed is a client.
- BETTY O’GRADY: Kevin Mason’s overweight sister. Lives in Texas.
- LLEWELLYN PARANGAUX-MOORE: Law student and friend of Raquel Marquez.
- HEATH PETERS: University friend of Larry Winstone.
- LARA ROBBINS: Nightclub advocate and girlfriend of Janet Linnell. Hosts Monday night party Backstage.
- DANNY ROYLE: Half-Japanese, Baltimore-born DJ, aka Danny Royale. A Friday night resident at Dilettante.
- MABEL SKANSAN: Ryan Skansen’s misguided mother.
- RYAN SKANSEN: Waify busboy at Dilettante, and Warrick Anderson’s protégé.
- CALVIN SLOANE: Photographer/web-designer and boyfriend of Luis Cruz.
- FRANCINE SMITHSON: Warrick Anderson’s roommate and confidante.
- ETIENNE STEHELIN: Tech-funk DJ/producer, aka Rithma. Raving buddy of Warrick Anderson.
- DELROY TERENCE: Jamaican-born, Vermaine-raised roommate of Ariel Charles.
- JULIA THOMAS: Sexy, experienced bartender at Dilettante.
- CHARLES TULKINGHORN: Owen Lockheed’s friend and lawyer.
- KYLA WARFIELD: Serena Winstone’s club-hopping buddy.
- MAURO WATANABE: Warrick Anderson’s best friend and Dilettante manager from Wednesday to Friday. Hosted legendary parties through- out the ’90s.
- LARRY WINSTONE: Ex-banker/lawyer who runs a small finance com- pany with wife, Serena Winstone. Does club security on the side.
- SERENA WINSTONE: Sociable lady on the Vermaine scene. Has a huge social conscience.
- JUAN XAVI: Young DJ who works at Jump Records and lives with Lara Robbins.