by Jim Provenzano
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Pub Date 22 Sep 2020 | Archive Date 01 Oct 2020
Stan Grozniak, the once-rising star of 1990s gay cinema, almost self-sabotages a prestigious directing gig with writer-producer (and soon to be ex-boyfriend) Barry, after casting his rediscovered teenage summer stock crush. Still haunted by the death of Rick Dacker, the sexy star of his cult favorite action trilogy, Stan attempts a romance with actor Lance Holtzer, his 'Tulsa' from a small town Ohio production of the musical Gypsy. When Jason Daw a gay adult video star, invites him to direct an epic porn feature, he risks it all while finding the means to confront a long-lost and once overly affectionate uncle. Discovering more about himself than he wants to admit, he traces his recent success with past obsessions. Framed through a visit to Stan's boyhood home where he made short films with his brother, the tale of his rise to cinematic success, and the sacrifices he made, captures the passion and heartache of making love, making movies, and the occasional riot.
“Finding Tulsa reminds you what a good friend a novel can be. It’s about friendship, about “losing men and then finding them,” about brotherly love and conflict, and the possibility of resolution. It’s sexy, funny, astute, panoramic – it knows about suburban Ohio basement rec rooms and glam parties in the Hollywood hills. I felt like I had met a charming guy at a cocktail party who seemed to get me, understood my past, confided his own, and then disappeared to another better party before I was ready for him to leave. And it’s wrapped around a fearless, wrenching narrative about facing your childhood demons, raising the question of whether or not one of the demons might have been you. There’s so much to savor, to argue with, reflect upon, learn from, enjoy.”¬– John Weir, Lambda Literary Award-winning author of The Irreversible Decline of Eddie Socket
“Finding Tulsa is sexy, romantic, witty, engaging, both cleverly current yet sweetly retrospective. It's Jim Provenzano's most complex and accomplished novel. He gets so much right and so evocatively about show business, from those school plays we all remember to Hollywood made-for-television movies, with delicious stops at boyhood Super-8 movies and out of town gay porn shoots.”– Felice Picano, author of Justify My Sins: A Hollywood Novel in Three Acts, and the New York Times best-seller Like People in History
“Everything’s coming up roses in Finding Tulsa, Jim Provenzano’s intoxicating portrait of an artist as young to middle-aged man, from a high school musical techie in torn shorts to a semi jaded independent gay filmmaker. It’s a well-told yarn, full of humor and panache about a Hollywood player torn between his boyhood crush and a porn star. Spin the bottle, ride the Rolodex, and fasten your seat belt for Provenzano’s sweet roller coaster ride.” - Marc Huestis, film director (Sex Is …) and author of Impresario of Castro Street: an Intimate Showbiz Memoir
“Jim Provenzano must have been spying on me from my adolescence (making short films with my brother) to my adulthood (making gay movies and TV series). I identified with every twist, turn, and blow by blow of this sexy show biz saga!”– Sam Irvin, Director of Dante’s Cove; Co-Producer of Gods And Monsters and The Broken Hearts Club
“Lights! Camera! Action! Finding Tulsa is a show-biz comedy told by a witty industry insider divulging how plays and movies and characters like ‘Tulsa’ help gay boys survive adolescence, create identity, and worship beauty. What better icons could Provenzano have picked than Sondheim and Gypsy on which to fly his vivid characters, backstage intrigues, and dialogue sure to thrill the theater and movie queen in all of us. Writing at the top of his powers, with his striped tie and hopes high, he’s got rhythm. All he needs is you to go with ’im. A splendid romp! Let him entertain you!” – Jack Fritscher, author of Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera and the Lammy Finalist, Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco 1970-1982
“Jim Provenzano's sexy, funny and soulful new novel Finding Tulsa is a beautiful deep-end dive into the memory of desire, the thumping bass note that drives life and art. The novel gorgeously explores how our hearts and cocks are woven with our theatre and films as we figure out how to be the star of our own queer story.”– Tim Miller, Performer and author of A Body in the O
“Jim Provenzano always keeps in mind what the original ‘Tulsa’ said in Gypsy: ‘This step is good for the costume.’ Provenzano never misses a step as he suavely combines aesthetics and homoerotics in a work that is throughout deeply touching.” – David Ehrenstein, author of Open Secret: Gay Hollywood–1928-2000