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GFY Ambush Interview thread ShellyCrash
Is it true only a witch can make a wrist watch stop or cause a compass to change direction?
I can't use a compass or wear a watch with gears. Digital watches are fine, but if I wear a regular watch it will usually stop within a day or two & If I hold a compass in my hand it will point usually 10 to 15 degrees off from north.
I first "discovered" this in 2nd grade. We were doing a project w/ compasses and I couldn't figure out why every compass I got was broken. The teacher thought I was fucking around and I got sent to the office.
I think I can wear a watch that has been certified anti magnetic, I've seen them in department stores but I haven't tried one yet.
The compass thing makes a cool party trick but I can't bend spoons with my mind or anything really impressive. People who see it happen get excited like it's a mutant power, it has something to do with electro magnetic fields but I'm not like Magento or anything. I don't know how cool it is as a "mutant" power if your power is to break stuff
Are you a zombie – IE walking dead? discuss
brought back from the dead, but I don't think that quite makes me living dead,
just lucky as fuck.
I've had a few close calls. When I was 9 or 10 I drowned at the Jersey Shore and had to be revived via CPR on the beach. I've always felt ripped off I never got a white light at the end of the tunnel deal, which some of you guys and I have discussed in the past- like would you ever do a real life "Flatliners" thing and for how much . Up until a few years ago I totally would have done it because I always felt I got jipped. Fade to black and that was it I want the whole unsolved mysteries experience with the white light / tunnel / and all my family and friends.
The only thing I can really relate about the whole experience is drowning isn't as scary / awful as one would think. I know a few people think it would be the worst way to die. It would probably be alot worse to go through as an adult but I think if you have to go there are probably a million worse ways. The other thing I can say from the experience is I'm not sure exactly how long I was gone but it must take a while to get your core body temperature back up after something like that because I was freezing for hours. I felt like I had ice water in my veins.
Talk about your acting career.
When I was little I was
scouted by an ad agency. Not like barbazon crapola- if anyone wants your kid
to do modeling and asks YOU to pay money its a scam. But yeah, growing up in
FL we're close to Buena Vista which because of Disney channel, universal, and
all that is like a breeding ground for child actors.
I did a few ad campaigns but nothing super huge, like those inflatable "ralistic" dinosaurs they sold in the 80. The biggest acting job I landed was for a kids show. It was a Public Television show called "Space Age Noah's Ark". I tried to find some pics for you guys but no luck. When it was in production I think the biggest claim to fame was there was a huge mural painted of us in Downtown Orlando, FL.
Discuss Wendy's kid's meal toys.
When I was a teenager the
show was bought out and turned into a cartoon that was nationally broadcast in
the US on the PAX network. The live action show was was about conservation.
They changed the name for the cartoon version and added some religious
overtones. They didn't use my voice, I really had little to nothing to do with
it, but they did use my likeness. Only cool moment was at one point I got to
see myself as a Wendy's Kids Meal toy.
Seeing the kids meal toys was how I found out about the cartoon on PAX, so it was a real surreal experience as a teenager.
How many people have died flying with you?
ONE. Ah, the
famed "Weekend at Bernie's" flight.
Just a touch of background, I have WICKED bad luck flying. I've been stuck overnight in layover cities more times than I care to remember, but the "Weekend at Bernie's" flight was the worst.
This happened just over a year ago on my way from Tampa to Toronto. I can't remember where my stop was, I think Boston Logan but not sure / not important. It wasn't a full flight so everyone got to stretch out, I was thinking I had caught a lucky break. About an hour and a half into the flight I hear some comotion 2 rows behind me. Then I heard the flight attendant announce over the PA (I shit you not), "Is there a Doctor on the plane?"
Luckily there actually WAS a doctor on the plane, well, a Fireman with EMT training to be exact. There was an elderly person that was having diffuculty breathing and may have also been entering into cardiac arrest. They had oxygen tanks on board and were quick to employ them, but it didn't seem to help much.
The flight made an emergency medical landing, which in and of itself is scary since we had acheived our maximum flight altitude at the time the incident began. By the time we were able to get on the ground the person had already passed on. There were paramedics waiting for the plane at the gate, but the stretcher they had waiting couldn't fit down the cabin aisle so they wound up strapping the person into a wheel chair.
They also didn't let us deboard the plane, so everyone is still on board while all this is taking place. They also thought if they whispered no one would ever figure out what was going on (yeah right). Right before they wheeled the person out the coup de grace came- one of the flight attendants got the bright idea to put sunglasses on the deceased so it "wouldn't be disturbing" to the children on the flight. Real life Weekend at Bernies.
Sometimes I can be pretty shameless, but I have too much respect for the dead to take a picture. I did however snap this one on my phone during the emergency landing of the guy across the way praying:
When the plane started to dive it made that whistling / siren "speedeing bullet" sound you hear in war films when a fighter is dive bombing an enemy.
It was some pretty wild shit. After the deceased was off the plane we had to wait for the oxygen tanks to be replaced, which took close to two hours. I got into my connecting city roughly 4 hours behind, I got into Toronto just after midnight, missing my dinner meeting and missing a free show (some friends of mine happened to be playing the Phoenix that night and were kind enough to add me to the guest list). My luggage didn't get into town until the following night, forcing me to do some creative early morning shopping before my morning meeting- I felt like a bum changing clothes and putting on makeup in a public restroom.
Talk about the punk / local music scene for the state of Florida.
music has been core to my being since I was 12 or 13. This was also the age I
started getting into this thing called the internet with my trusty IBM PS-1
and AOL account
Soon after armed with a scanner, MS Paint and a most basic self taught knowledge of HTML I began to build basic pages for my band and my friends bands. Naturally I built a hub site and began expanding the links and show dates to go past our local region to start to encompass the state, making the first punk music scene resource for the state of Florida, and back in 1995 possibly even the first local music resource for the state as well.
As things progressed I built out an online store stocked w/ my friend's merch and with the proceeds we tried to launch a co-op record label ala Factory Records. Run by teenagers and with little concern for things like "profit" needless to say it didn't work out - much like the real Factory label, only we never got as far. We would use the proceeds to pay for studio time and would use them to set up gigs, but we were equally as apt to use it for beer money or ramen noodles.
It was fun while it lasted but long term it didn't work out and broke apart sometime in 1998. By then other sites had started to spring up and local rags like Creative Loafing -
Weekly Planet realized to survive they were going to need to have a web presence too.
If was still a fruitful venture. Through the project I was offered an internship w/ MTV in 1997 & one of my friends / partners involved went on to play guitar in a band some of you may have heard of called Against Me.
What did you do for MCI Worldcom ?
I wrote scripts.
I first got into adult in 1999 doing guerilla marketing for a phone sex company in Olympia, Washington. I worked insane hours but I was making on average a little over $700 a week, which was really great money for a 18 / 19 year old.
When I moved back to FL for some reason it didn't occur to me that I could do this on my own for other companies. Everything I had done in Washington I had done for an inhouse employer, I was still young and hadn't heard of affiliate programs yet.
To be honest it was a lucky break since I didn't have a degree, just a handful of writing accolades, but that's what I did for my first year plus back in the sunshine state. I wrote telesales and customer service scripts for worldcom agents on the cell phone end of the business.
What cities have you lived in?
I've lived in order:
Washington Township, NJ
St. Petersburg, FL
New Port Richey, FL
I also frequent / have done extended stays in
Las Vegas, NV
Why create an adult dating site now in this market?
the dating market you're not just setting out to slay giants, but I would say
at this point you're up against titans. There was a time a few years ago where
I would have asked anyone looking to break out a new brand the same thing, it
seemed if you didn't have a database with a few million members strong you
were sunk, but right now I feel the timing couldn't be better.
The market is shifting and there is HUGE opportunity emerging, to sum it up to one word I would say "oversaturation". The proof is all around, if you look you can see it happening in recent break off / spin off sites and re-branding efforts.
I feel Swurve's strength lies in
what makes it different, Swurve is not a white label, spin off or feeder site
of any other dating property. To be frank I even hesitate at calling it
"adult dating". The aim of Swurve is to not only grow as a company
but to expand the market and make casual dating more socially acceptable.
Changing social perception is an ambitious goal and not something I expect to
happen overnight, but I believe by following the course we are on and catering
to creating a satisfactory user experience focused on both sexes, we may be
able to get there.
Surfers are getting smarter, you can't keep feeding them more of the same. I strongly believe that the quality of the community is where the focus is going to need to be moving forward. Putting it straight if you increase the number of active females using your service you increase the quality of the user experience for your male population, you need to make adjustments to your UI to attract and retain straight women. That's what we've done with Swurve.
I feel Swurve meets a need by offering users a unique connection building platform through which both men and women can embrace their sexuality and explore their desires in a judgment free environment. In developing Swurve we took a back to basics approach, focusing on functionality that fosters one on one connections rather than continuing with the social networking route where users build networks of friends. Swurve is sleek, clean and easy to navigate and I feel it has the mass appeal needed to expand the market and take the game to the next level. Everything we've seen since our launch seems to support that with card swipes coming in from users across all demographics, from the 18 - 24 age group as well as 55+.
What happened to your health?
I had a mystery GI ailment
that lasted a little over 2 years.
In late 2006 I sneezed walking across the house, when I sneezed- even though I wasn't feeling queezy at the time- I vomited, which if you've ever sneeze vomited it sucks in and of itself.
I thought it was just a one off weird event but from that day forward I started to get progressively sicker. I started having more trouble keeping food down, even smells would set me off. It started off as kind of a joke, everyone around me thought I was preggo and had some form of morning sickness, but I wasn't knocked up and it kept getting worse.
Everybody who knows me knows that in my natural state I'm a bit of a chubby panda, but by 08 I was getting too thin-
They tested me for
everything under the sun. I had ulcers but I didn't have h. pylori, my gall
bladder wasn't functionint correctly but I didn't have gall stones, it was
just a disaster. I could't even go to the movies- even if I didn't eat all day
someone would inevitably walk in with a hot dog and send me into dry heaves.
At one point they came to the conclusion that I must have a rare form of pancreatic cancer, but instead of running a test and then telling me later, they decided to just tell me this right up front, before they even got insurance approval to run the test. What a fucking nightmare.
Luckily I did NOT have cancer, but there was a period of a few weeks where I didn't know if I was going to live or die. Turned out after all the tests and all the hoops and all the sickness, the reason for everything was antibiotics. I had a massive GI infection caused by overpersciption of antibiotics which killed all the good bacteria in my body and let the bad bacteria flourish.
I'm doing alot better but I may never be 100%. I have friends with Crohns so I know I am really not that bad, but my gall bladder still acts up and I'm probably going to have to be put on thyroid meds soon. More meds , isn't that what got me here in the first place?
Who killed your uncle?
I don't know if I will ever know
the names and faces of all the players involved, but my uncle was killed a few
months later, in May of that year, by two gang members in North Las Vegas.
It was a robbery / homicide plot. A girl called a female friend he was with and said her boyfriend had beat her and left her on the side of the road in a bad part of town, knowing the friend didn't have a car and my uncle would drive. When my uncle met the girl and unlocked the doors to let her in he was car jacked. The two gang members got in the car and at gunpoint had him drive to a remote location behind a shopping plaza, where they robbed him and killed him.
The plan was for the gang members to return to to girl and the other co-conspirators (non gang members) and turn over the car and the keys and they would go to his home and rob the house, but the gang members stiffed them and just kept the car, his cash and his cards for themselves.
Both gang members and the girl who made the call and said she was beaten are behind bars. There were other people involved but there isn't enough evidence to convict anyone else at this time. The major "action" players are locked up, the individual who came up with the scheme is not, and that burns pretty bad.
There have been some changes in Nevada State conspiracy laws that have allowed for appeals. On the bright side there has also been additional evidence uncovered so new charges have been filed and at present we're looking at a new death penalty trial set for October. The DA out there, Pesci, is really fucking good to me and Judge Bonaventure is a tough old bastard, I hope he hasn't retired. I'm sure he sucks from the other side of the table but when you want justice its a different story.
So that is that, 2003 was a shit a year, lost half my immediate family.
Talk about your grandfather.
My Pop was the greatest. He
was my father figure, he was the end all be all and I was the apple of his
Pop was a hustler, a real sales guy. He was an entrepreneur, always working for himself and always hawking the next new thing. Anyways, I grew up in my grandparent's house and he was the center of my world. He was the reason I moved back from Washington State to FL. He beat lung cancer but wound up with COPD. At the end of Jan 2003 we took him to Vegas, where my uncle was liging at the time so he could go out in style.
We lost him 2 weeks later in Feb. It was a real good passing. As well those things can go. We were all there for him, it was in the house not in a hospital. It was hard, but I am very greatful for the circumstances.
How many panels have you spoken on.
So far I've only been
invited to speak panels for two shows, but hopefully that will change in the
future (COUGH COUGH) . For Quebec Expo I spoke on a dating industry panel and
Cybernet Expo had me for their online marketing panel and their show sponsor's
panel the year they did it in Tampa. I've also been a talking head in both
Xbiz and AVN Online a few times over the years.
I try to bring value to the panels I've been on and try to be open and honest and share knowledge about the subjects at hand. I don't just stick to talking points and I try not to use it as a platform strictly to promote my own product or service. I think just being on the panel is promo enough, and I know as an attendee I appreciate when other speakers do the same.
Talk about Ashley Madison.
Didn't Answer The Question.
Why did you fill a Benz up with packing peanuts?
One of my
former employers had a 2 door benz, I want to say it was an sl500 I'm not sure
and if he reads this and it was a nicer model- sorry dude. We always used to
pull epic pranks on eachother, I don't even think this was the best I ever got
him, but it was certainly the one that pissed him off the most, which I'm sure
is why this is the prank still being talked about.
The interior of the car was very small, which is what made it such a perfect candidate to be filled with peanuts. I didn't do the actual dumping / filling of the car, but as the mastermind I was the one who's name was cursed every time peanuts came out from under the seats. Months later peanuts were still working their way out, attaching themselves to clothes, flying around when the top was down or spilling out into the parking lot when the door would be opened. A good sense of humor is vital to a healthy work environment
What extremes did you go to with guerrilla marketing?
I don't know if I ever really went any farther than anyone else.
There was a time though when I was getting threatening phone calls from Chris DeWolfe and Myspace "Tom". I remember when Tom got on the phone for the first time I almost died laughing, I couldn't believe he was a real person. Up until that point I thought he was a ficticious personality.
Why do people call you Mama Duck?.
.Sometimes at shows I get teased and called Mama Duck / Mother Hen because if I have a crew at an event I'm going non stop trying to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. I'm italian, I can't help it. Its like an instinct kicks in and I'm making sure everyone's getting along, is well fed and is staying out of trouble. Its not that I'm uptight or that I don't like to have fun, but shows are business functions too and my employees are my responsibility.
What does Steve Gonsalves from Ghostbusters buy from you?
have a t-shirt line as a hobby. Steve from Ghost HUNTERS is a customer. I
never really get to put alot of time into it, I just sell it retail primarily
through Etsy and at local conventions / shows and I wholesale to a few
vendors, just did a pretty big order to someone out in Japan.
I think having a T-shirt line is kind of like trying to start a record label, it's one of those things you justhave to try your hand at and get out of your system.
The kids line is my favorite thing, they don't sell as well as the adult shirts but I think if I put a little effort into it they would surpass them. Its just one of those things, I'm not unrealistic about it- I don't think the designs are the hottest out there., but they have a market and it could be a decent business for someone, it's just hard to dedicate time / resources to it when that same time and resources would make me several times the return putting it into my core business.
What the fuck is a CIW ?
A worthless piece of paper
When I was 20 my college started offering the "Certified Internet Webmaster" certificate program. I thought it would be a great way to build off what I had already taught myself. I am sure it has changed over the years, but based on my experience I was surprised to see it was still being offered.
I'm glad I took real courses along side it, though I never got further into development having a basic knowledge has helped me out immensely when working with developers and designers, troubleshooting marketing tools and helping affiliates
Is the whole Russian Bride thing a scam?
Its not if you go
into it with the right mindset.
In 2008, my year away from Eroticy, I worked in international dating ("Russian Brides).
I have found that if both parties go into it with the right frame of mind it's a pretty even arrangement. On one hand you have men seeking a partner that are generally more focused on looks and you have women that are willing to set aside looks in favor of financial stability. It's a trade off.
Things in the East are different than the West, women do out number men so it does flip the relationship dynamic we are accustomed to. It favors the market to paint things a little worse off than they actually are, but contrary to popular belief these women aren't selling their souls for greencards and jumping on the first fat american to come their way.
If someone is seriously interested and is realistic in their expectation it is a viable option. Realistically it is an expensive process to court, marry and immigrate a woman from the East to the West. If you aren't financially stable this process is not for you. Also always be mindful that these are REAL women, they have real emotions and are often underestimated- they are typically very well educated and have very clever minds.
These women aren't robots, they have free will. If you treat them like shit they will leave you just as any western woman would. They have emotional needs and seem to love and appreciate romance even more than westerners. A woman may accept your affections, gifts, and even meet for dinner a few times, but there are no guarantees, you can't "buy" them, if they're not interested they're not interested.
I think its unrealistic to expect women not to occasionally play men the same way men occasioanlly play women and if you go for a perfect 10 Russian Princess, you need to remember a princess is a princess no matter where you are in the world.
Does your finance know about everything you do at porn conventions?
think I'm going to go with the Captain's spelling because I like it best.
Its a weird word anyway, I always feel out of character saying it, but like I was talking with someone about just the other day there's really no other word for it. Boyfriend is so casual, "sig other" isn't too bad but sounds kinda sterile, "Life partner" would be good, but since gay marriage is still such a big no no my gay and lez friends have kind of claimed that one... I think "other half" is probably the best way to say someone is the cheese to your maccaroni.
He knows exactly what goes on at shows, he's even attended 2 out of the last 3 with me. Some of you guys met him in Miami last year and he was also with me in Vegas this past January. He understands this is my job, plus I'm pretty low key at shows- I try to set up most of my meetings before hand and just crank through my schedule. It's not like I line people up poolside for free motorboats (although I'm sure it would do wonders for my exposure ).
I almost got myself into a bit ot a sticky spot my first convention, Internext Miami 2002. I had never been to a show before and I tried to over compensate and brought myself a wardrobe of a few power suits (cut me some slack, I was 21 and totally green to the entire thing). I guess my "business" look was somehow giving off a dominatrix vibe and someone I thought was talking about working out a deal with me was actually trying to get me to go back to his room to paddle his behind.
To be honest, hanging with you guys at shows, everyone has always been very respectful. There's a higher chance of someone crossing the line with me just going out to a bar or a club than at a convention.
Talk about Eircom.
Eircom is the leading broadband service
provider for Ireland. In early 2000 they hired me to be the voice of their
I was on a conference call when I was still working with MCI / Worldcom and someone that had been on the call contacted the head of the division to see if they would lease me to voice their phone system.
It always struck me as strange that I was tapped to do that, especially being American.
How did you get your first 30,000 dating site members?
a 50 million dollar question for anyone looking to launch any online community
across the board. How / where do you achieve critical mass? You can't really
open a dating site w/ no members, how do you get people to join.
There are a few ways you can go about this, the first and most publicly discussed is to start off as a free site, possibly also offering a "get in on the ground level" incentive. This isn't a bad way to go about it, but it is something that does take time and is time away from generating revenue.
The way we chose to build our base quickly and effectively was to buy databases from smaller dating sites that didn't quite make it (these sites aren't as few and far between as one might think with the growing popularity of out of the box dating software). We stuck to sites in the adult space so the profile content would match our service, and also make the service offering palatable for a successful migration. Employees scrubbed the imported photos and data to meet our community standards (one example would be as I've touched on in other threads proactively scanning for and removing images of frequently abused starlets), and simultaneously launched fresh inbound traffic campaigns with mailers sent to the imported users to instantly create an active community- new users interracting with migrated users.
Post pics of your house/apt/condo and talk about it.
backyard, house sits on a natural lake.
I guess one of these days I should bust out the wide angle and get some good shots with the canon. I love living here, have the water in the back but also live less than 5 minutes to the gulf, about 15 / 20 mintues to the bay. Picked the property up in 2003, even after the market droped I still got in early enough to turn a small profit if I wanted to unload it under current conditions. That may change in the next few months, have to see what happens to prop values when the oil hits out beaches
Who was your favorite teacher in high school and why?
School was pretty boring, I didn't have the good fortune of having any
teachers that were particularly challenging or inspiring.
In middle school though I did have one awesome teacher that I think really shaped my personality. 6th grade was when I got moved from regular classes to the gifted program. Most of the kids in there had been in those classes all through elementary school, because I was coming into things later in the game they really questioned if I was truly "elite" enough to be there and because I was so unlike these other kids I started to question it myself.
I had a math teacher that paid enough attention to notice the dynamic in the classroom, and he really went out of his way to try to engage me and keep me in the group. One day he pulled me aside and laid things down to me. He told me that I had every right to be in that class and not only was I as smart as the egg heads in there, I was smarter. Looking back I don't know how ethical it was, but when I pushed back he actually showed me the state test scores.
Just one of those moments that I reflect back on from time to time, taught me to have more faith in myself and that as long as you know your shit fuck what anyone else thinks.
I caught up with him last year:
He's a reverend now and an assistant principal at a very new and posh middle school near my current home (in middle school I lived in a rough area). I'm not even sure if he really remembered me or not, but he was happy to hear from me and it was cool reconnecing with someone who had a profound effect on me.
Who do you look up to in online adult? Down on?
I find I
have the greatest respect (personally and professionally) for those who have
triumphed under conditions of great adversity. I always pull for the underdog
and I really love a good comeback story, right Sleazy
My mental picture the industry isn't really a totem pole, where some people are above and some below. I don't "look down" on anyone. If the past few years have taught us anything I think it would be that someone who seems on top today could easily be on the bottom tomorrow.
Market conditions and technology are constantly shifting and evolving, new opportunities open up and old ones close. Rather than seeing it as various companies and individuals jockying for position I see it like we're all floating on the ocean, riding the waves.
I feel that no matter what someone's position, profession, or status in the industry we all bring something of value to the table in the way of experience- sometimes that includes positive acheivements and accomplishments that inspire and sometimes that includes failures and mistakes that by sharing we can help others learn from and hopefully avoid. I know I have had both, and I think I'm the better for it.
How many people have you slept with from the industry?
I have a strict policy about not shitting where I eat.
Some people make it work, and more power to them, but even though I try to be open, honest and don't mind discussing and sharing my personal life at times with you guys I still in some respects try to keep my personal life and my professional life separate.
What is your favorite show? Why?
Internext Summer / Miami
has always been my favorite show. I really dig the Diplomat, it's a nice
joint, but my favorite feature has alwyas been that its closed to the public.
I liked that everywhere you go, from the elevators to the restaurants, to the
coffee shop, to the bar- everyone you bump into is someone you can do business
with. Phoenix forum at the Palms is also great for that quality networking
Now with the change in format I guess its up for grabs. I'm apprehensive of adding production and novelty all under one roof, but I'll withold judgement until I've walked it. I think combining everything will make for a fuller show, I understand the financial reasons behind it, but from my prospective it possibly might cut back on productivity. You never know though, maybe it will open up new avenues for new partnerships that may be a little outside the box.
If someone offered you double your current earnings, would you leave online adult?
The thing I like best about
online is that I feel your income is only limited by your own potential. If
someone wanted to buy me out of the business I'm not going to say I don't have
a price, but it would be significantly higher as in several times my current
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
I tend to make short term goals, if you plan too far ahead you're almost asking for fate to throw you a few curve balls.
My goal is to get Swurve to $1MM / mo top line within the next 5 years. Outside of that the future is unwritten. I can't say for certain if I will make personals my focus my entire career, I'm not opposed to it, but I do think I will probably stay in the online space.
I'll probably always tinker with side projects like the t-shirts and other things. I also like to make art, or at least what I like to think of as art, but I rarely have time for that anymore.
Overall I just want to be happy and healthy and be able to still say 10 or 20 years from now that I lived my life without regret. Are there things I would change? Not really. I'm really happy with where I am in life right now and I feel if I can continue to be content with myself and the life I lead then that will be a blessing.
This concludes story time w/ uncle remus, unless you guys have any other questions. If you do feel free to hammer away!