Remember that guy who didnt let you in at Club Cherry? The one who made you wait as he picked out all the fashionable people around you at Club Make-up? Maybe back in the day you were lucky enough to know Clint Catalyst, the Midwestern exmeth head who came to L.A. by way of San Francisco, where he was a goth art-club darling the most photographed model of the underground. Here in L.A. during the 90s, he became the most sought-after nightclub cash-box bitch and guest-list gatekeeper, wooed by seemingly every hip promoter in the city. But even if he was short on rent money, Catalyst who had by this time cleaned up his act and gotten off drugs would turn down promoters if he deemed their spot unworthy. It only made them want him more.
(Photo by Kevin Scanlon)
Hes since softened his look he cut his jet-black hair and highlights his pale skin with ever-so-slight dark circles around his eyes that make him look like a fetching Tim Burton character. Hes even adjusted his attitude. He knows that life in the dark caves of nightclubs can go by quickly, with days blurring into nights and nights into years. Then one day you wake up, says Catalyst, and you cant even remember what a résumé is.
Of course, controlling L.A.s toughest guest lists has its perks theres schmoozing access to all the fashion designers and celebs you could want, not to mention all the stories you can compile from those debaucherous spaces. Catalyst, always fashionable, whether dressing the part as prince of the shadows or pulling off the most avant-garde designer pieces, transformed into a local personality himself a must-have in the front row at fashion shows all over Los Angeles.
The most flattering thing a designer has said to me, Catalyst says with his slight drawl, is, You have to be front row not only do you look like someone who would be at a fashion show, you bring a little fashion to the show.
It was a short leap from the front row to the front page. Catalyst started writing about fashion for the L.A. Weekly, for Shepard Fairys Swindle and for Frontiers, the gay-lesbian-bi-transgender mag. He wrote a book called Cottonmouth Kisses, based on his nightclub adventures, which rose to cult status (its about to have a second printing). And just as he was about to launch his book tour, he was offered a gig writing for the reality TV show Top Model last year.
I told the producer that Id abandon my own book tour for this job, says Catalyst. Of course, after getting the job, he and the other writers were only given producer credits, despite a Writers Guild fight over their titles.
Ive put all that behind me now, Catalyst says with a shrug. Ive got a deal in development with NBC right now.
He wont spill details, but hes a producer and a writer on the project. And next month, you can see him in the short film Color Me Olsen, directed by Darren Stein. Not bad for an excash-box bitch.
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