2004_10_michellecollins.jpgVITALS

Age: 23
Avocation: Comedian, Writer, Director and Spokeswoman Votergasm.org
Day Job: Legal Assistant and Threatener of Suicide
Born: Miami Beach, FL
Live: Morningside Heights
Lived in New York: 6 years
Relationship: Single
Children: Zero
Transport of Choice: Subway, 1/2/3/9

THE INTERVIEW

What is Votergasm all about? How was it conceived?
Votergasm was conceived in a most conventional way: 3 bottles of wine and music sung by a sexy black man. My friends and I were looking at the statistics from the 2000 election, and noticed some very disturbing trends: very few young people turned out to vote in the last election, and even fewer young people had sex that night. We said: Never again.

Votergasm.org encourages young Americans to sign our pledge promising to have sex with another voter on election night and withhold sex from non-voters anywhere from 1 week after the election (our Citizen level), to our American Hero level, which requires withholding sex from non-voters for the next 4 years. We have over 30,000 pledgers at this point, a majority of which are American Heroes. We would never expect anything less from our generation.

Sex for votes, are you joking? Isn't that illegal?
Many people misunderstand our mission. We are not “trading” sex for votes here. We are trying to counter two upsetting realities in America. Many young people don’t understand how important sex and voting are to the future of this country. Without sex, America would come to a grinding halt... without very much grinding.

We have a crack team of analysts are working around the clock, and their discoveries were shocking. On Election Day 2000, only 27 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 25 voted, and only 23 percent of those people had sex. We are just asking today’s youth to fulfill their duties as an American: to vote, and have sex with another hot, sexy voter on Election night. No money is being exchanged. It is not prostitution. Unless you count a couple of free drinks as “prostitution”, and in that case: Guilty as charged.

Rush Limbaugh has gotten "into bed" with Votergasm, so to speak. How did that come about? Tell us all the sordid details...
Limbaugh caught wind of us in an article written in Boston University’s newspaper. He brought us up on his show and proceeded to attack our beautiful and democratic mission of getting more young people laid on election night. He encouraged his listeners to “shut this site down, folks” by flooding our server with requests. He also insinuated that I personally would be having sex with our more than 30,000 pledgers. Now, while I may be a champion gangbanger, 30,000 people in one night is mathematically and physically impossible, sorry to tell you, Rushbo. He also instructed his listeners to send me an e-mail saying “Vote for Kerry and Get Screwed.” His minions listened.

This is where the strictly metaphorical back and forth with Rush and I begins. We issued a press release condemning Rush for turning election night sex into a partisan issue. On his next show, he denied that he was against us, saying he was “trying to get more orgasms for us.” Our next press release was entitled “RUSH LIMBAUGH FLIP-FLOPS ON VOTERGASM.ORG.” Well, he just loved that. He mentioned us a third time on his show, where he basically did us the great favor of reading our press release verbatim on the air and laughing about it. It’s always nice when a pill-popping, thrice divorced, lover of hams attacks you for your lack of morals. But, at the end of the day, I have no hard feelings or ill-will directed at Rush. I will not, however, have sex with him on election night.

People seem to think you're aligned with the Kerry campaign. Why do you think they automatically draw that conclusion? Anything you care to say to those folks?
This really drives us mad. We don’t think that sex is a partisan issue. We’re trying to bring people together in an orgy of civic participation, and people like Rush and his listeners are trying to split them apart. Right wingers who come out against us are just perpetuating the stereotype that conservatives are uptight losers who hate sex. We think that’s just wrong. Once again, we are “Non-Partisan” but “Pro-Partying”. Thank you.

What will you be doing on election day?
More like who will I be doing on election day! But seriously, folks. I’ll be at the voting booths at dawn. Then I’ll make my way to work and bite my nails in anticipation for 8 straight hours. At 7ish, I’ll head over to Votergasm’s Flagship Party at the PM Lounge, fluff up my hair, and do it for my country. Nether-regionally speaking, of course.

You'll be performing tonight at Ars Nova, here's your chance to plug your appearance, what is the show all about and why should people come out?
My friend Chelsea Peretti, is hosting a night of pre-election readings called Chickenscratch: A Pre-Election Reading. It will feature some well known New York comics and writers voicing their opinions about this years neck-and-neck race. Reasons to come to the show: 1. The Yankees lost. 2. It looks like you could use some laughter in your life. 3. Your parents hate you. 4. I love you.

After doing your duty rewarding diligent voters, what's next?
Writing my memoirs.

Give an example of something you witnessed or experienced that had you think "only in New York" or "Damn, I'm glad I live in this city."
That time I woke up next to a dead homeless man. So awkward!

Who is your favorite New Yorker (dead or alive) and why?
Larry David. You can take the kvetch out of New York, but you can’t take the shlump out of the kvetch.

Billy's Topless is now a bagel shop, no more smoking in bars or restaurants, Times Square has been Disneyfied, what's next?
The Fox Network will team up with the hordes of Chinese ex-pats invading our city to produce “The Falun Gong Show.”

From Wall Street to Riverdale, Far Rockaway to Kew Gardens, Williamsburg to Red Hook, New York City is a city famous for its neighborhoods. What’s your favorite?
Upper West Side. Yeah, the nightlife sucks, and sure, it’s overrun with babies and many an asshole. On the plus side, the Lincoln Center area has everything you would want to do on a Sunday. It’s the wholesome puzzle piece in my otherwise jumbled life.

Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen or Spike Lee?
The kid in me says Woody Allen, but the coke-addicted, uni-browed, fat Italian housewife in me says Spike Lee.

What’s your favorite NY eatery?
My lucrative secretarial day job affords me all the pleasures of New York’s finest culinary fare. So it is no surprise that I choose one of the city’s premiere elitist dining institutions: Dojo’s. You’ve probably seen me there: I’m the girl pouring carrot ginger dressing all over her face while crying hysterically. Have you ever tried their dressing? It’s addictive! Close second: The Heights. The best food, the best staff, $3 margaritas, and (stalkers take note) it’s on my corner. Let’s just say my first three daughters are named Margarita.

What source(s) do you turn to for news?
I refresh the Drudgereport every 5 seconds like a crack addicted baby suckling on the Devil’s teat. Also, politics aside, my dream in life is to write New York Post headlines. How Now Down Dow? Horses Cloned Via D.N.Neigh? You said it, Posty. Finally, I troll the internet for odd news stories, which provides ample material for my shamelessly self-promoted blog You Can’t Make It Up.

It’s the year 2025, what do you think will be the hot topic of discussion at the water cooler?
Did you guys see what happened to Madison yesterday? Her skirt got caught in her Jetpack, and she flew around the city with her whole ass hanging out. I swear! Yeah, the entire thing. I guess so, but rumor has it she has Herpes Simplex 7. No thank you.

If you could ask God one question, what would you ask?
What is that shampoo? Your hair smells divine.

Interview by Raphie Frank and Mindy Bond