"Most young men like Chris, at loggerheads with their families and unwelcome in their communities, quickly give up. They either adapt to a closeted lifestyle or they run off to a big city, locate that city's gay neighborhood, take a job in a coffeeshop or bar or theater, and start anew. Chris may still do that. He's given himself until mid-June, the anniversary of his first internet video, to leverage enough money and opportunity out of his internet fame to escape his small town. If that doesn't work, he says, he'll consider doing something more old-fashioned, like buying a bus ticket.
Chris wants to go to L.A.
Ideally, he wants his own TV show. Meehan, the L.A. producer, thinks it could happen. Sunbulli, the MTV correspondent, is a bit more skeptical. "He has a lot of disadvantages going his way," Sunbulli said of Chris.
The first disadvantage: the newness of this notion that the web can be used as a "talent pool" for big media; the industry is still going through a learning curve on that, Sunbulli told me. The second: Chris's all-over-the-map videos, which range from sexy to serious, confessional to inspirational, and spoof to ambush interview. "Chris is hard to define, and anything that's hard to define in the industry is hard for them to accept," Sunbulli said. Third: the anything-goes atmosphere of the web, which is both a current help and future hindrance for Chris. "The web, at the end of the day, is unfiltered," Sunbulli told me. "You can get away with swearing; you can get away with everything you can't get away with on air. Unless a producer can come in and conform him, and he's willing to be conformed, he has a very difficult road ahead."
One of the ideas that Meehan, the producer, has is to get the permission of Chris's grandparents to shoot a reality show in their house. The irony of this actually happening, of course, would be that Chris makes it onto television but doesn't get to leave Real Bitch Island. He's worried about this, worried that his appeal is contingent on the way he clashes with his current location, and on the "comedy gold mine" that is his family. But if a reality TV show were to happen, he told me, he'd happily do a year of Real Bitch Island reality and then try to parlay it—finally—into a ticket off."