Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.
This interview is sponsored by the letter A, A is for Austin and his last name Armacost and now Logo's reality show A-List: New York. He recently spoke with ChicagoPride.com while he was in town for an event at Hydrate Nightclub.
JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hey, Austin. How are you?
AA: (Austin Armacost) Fantastic, how are you doing?
JN: Great. Now you are back in Chicago. You have spent a lot of time here, correct?
AA: Yes, actually the day after I graduated high school I packed up my mini van and moved here to pursue my modeling career. I had been modeling for about two years prior and coming up to the city two or three times a month from Indiana.
JN: Wow, that's a lot.
AA: I had fallen in love with the city. It is such a big place but filled with Midwestern people where everyone is nice and considerate. Unlike New York where it's full of assholes! I definitely prefer Chicago's scene to Manhattan definitely.
JN: It seems kind of rough there.
AA: It's not a very friendly place. I will tell you that. The great thing about Chicago is that it has big city opportunities but it's much friendlier environment.
JN: How did you land the A-List?
AA: I saw a casting for the show and I sent an e-mail. I thought I live a cool life and should be on TV. I have heard that I have the personality for reality television. I set them pictures of me traveling around with Marc Jacobs and a little bio. I didn't hear back from Logo for about five months. I thought little old me is not going to get a shot on a national television show. Sure enough I got the call from the casting director, which was interesting because that was the same day that I got my visa to go back to the UK to be with Jake. That was a really good day. I was flown to the casting area then they put me on TV!
JN: And the rest is history. This show has a big following.
AA: I feel I am a breathe of fresh air being on the A-List. Everyone else tries to do their thing and portray themselves in an elite social circle. For me, I am like fuck it, I am from Indiana, have done a lot of cool things in my life and been very lucky. I am who I am.
JN: How do you feel you have been portrayed in the show?
AA: I am very happy, most definitely. People on television say the editor made them look bad. No one has puppet strings and commanding you to do things that you don't want to do when the cameras are on. Everything you see is accurate. The emotions are real. The laughter is real. Nothing is faked at all, which is a question I get a lot. Everything plays out the same way that it would if the cameras were not there.
JN: I interviewed Mike Ruiz for the show. It doesn't seem like you interact with him much.
AA: This is interesting because they shot the show over five months and I think the most I every spent with Mike was a half hour. I don't know if he feels separated because of his age or if he just doesn't like us. He has really never spent any quality time with any of the cast members. Many of us hang out when the cameras are off. We are friends.
JN: With friends like those…
AA: Well, some of us become enemies but Mike just seems like he does not want to be involved with us when the cameras are not rolling. We don't really care for Mike. I am speaking for myself but some of my cast mates would resonate the same feeling about Mike.
JN: How many more episodes are left of the show?
AA: There are five more episodes. Monday is episode five and there are nine total. They only get better and better. Episodes one and two were okay because we get to know everyone, then three and beyond our personalities start to clash. We find out secrets that we didn't know initially and drama is revealed. It definitely gets much more spicy.
JN: Do you watch these at home by yourself or with friends?
AA: I am traveling a lot. I get a chance to watch them online if I am in England. Most of the time I am getting e-mails and text telling me that they love the show or you look like such a bitch!
JN: Are you visiting your partner there?
AA: Yes, we actually have a house there. I split up my time between there and New York. I am very close with my family in Indiana also. I am very much a travel bug. I guess you could say…
JN: It sounds like you have a good sense of humor about the show.
AA: Yeah, it's funny because I knew exactly what I had signed up for. I knew that some people were going to hate me and some people were going to like me. That is what television is about. You have to be entertained. If they were to take me off the show, a lot fewer people would watch it.
JN: I think you might be right about that.
AA: So as bad as I am and as bad as I look and people like to say bad things about me, I am keeping them entertained so back the hell up!
JN: Do you regret anything you have said, penis size, etc?
AA: Not one bit. There are a lot of times where I have a few drinks on camera and things came out that shouldn't have but no I don't regret anything that I have done on the show.
The whole thing about Reichen having a small dick, if you watch episodes one through five, you never hear me say that. It is implied and he is getting shit for it but I think Reichen is a fantastic person. People need to pull their head out of their ass and listen to what was really said. Never once did I say he had a small dick.
JN: Ok, just implied then.
AA: That I did apologize for. Reichen and I have had intimate moments before and I did say some things that were inappropriate. That is the one thing that I would go back and change, I don't think I would say that. You can see at the theatre that we were all sitting around laughing and joking. It was an off the cuff comment that was blown out of proportion.
JN: Well, that is going to happen in reality television.
AA: It was all in good fun. I wasn't out to make fun of him or degrade him. It was all out of the name of comedy.
JN: I look forward to seeing more comedy and entertainment on the A-List: New York.
For local listings or to watch online like Austin, visit www.logotv.com.