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Returning to Vodka O’Clock is entertainment lawyer, literary agent, talent manager, and performer ERIC RUBEN. He’s been on episodes 1312 and 1329 so that means it was in the year 2013. We had a lot of catching up to do. We talk all about show business and writing and even get into gender issues in entertainment. This show has John Hughes references. We’re old-ish.

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Eric Ruben moved from New England to Brooklyn with an office in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. We spent time talking about his own changes in his career and also shifts that can be identified in fields of acting/filmmaking and publishing.

Most of Eric’s literary clients are romance and erotica writers. I asked if bad quality products like Fifty Shades of Grey can boost the sales of good products.

“Success has its own sort of merits.” ~ER

An amazingly wonderful thing about Eric’s law practice and talent management is that he takes risks on representing authors who include queer content in the LGBTQIA spectrum.

“I’m gonna go out on a limb here and be very controversial and say, I think sex is good. I think sex between consenting adults is a great thing.” ~ER

Oh, if only all of entertainment decision-makers felt that way! But, also, the surge in sexually explicit content has been the digital market where readers can download any kind of book and read it publicly without the cover showing (this was also addressed really well on an episode of Masters of Sex where it showed the general public was afraid to be seen buying the academic book of Masters & Johnson).

Recently I saw another case where an online platform, in this case it was the Google Play store (creator John Linton Roberson comics), banned comic books for explicit content and violating the terms of service when something like Fifty Shades is still readily available. I asked Eric what a creator should do in that case. He couldn’t comment much because he’s never had to represent anyone in a case like this, but he did willingly say that platforms banning you aren’t violating your Freedom of Speech.

“The First Amendment doesn’t protect people from certain companies keeping them from being distributed.” ~ER


Since we had a natural discussion about social media and various selling platforms, it was interesting to hear that Eric hasn’t seen quantifiable proof that an author with a big web presence is more successful than one who doesn’t.

“I will say, nothing beats writing a great book and I think that’s first and foremost.” ~ER

We used sexual orientation labels as an analogy for book publishing categories. Checkboxes can be limiting, but it can also guide people to the right thing for them.

Casting in Hollywood – what is the impact of rage when something like Dallas Buyers Club or Transparent wins awards for cisgender actors playing transgender characters? Eric believes you don’t get to tell someone how to make their creative project. We didn’t have much time to get into it, but we barely mentioned the subject of being offended and whether or not it is productive. Support work you feel passionate about.

“At some point, people just want to be angry. A lot of the internet is just this giant outrage machine.” ~ER


Oct 3-4 NJ Superhero Weekend at Comic Fusion in Flemington

Oct 16-17 NJ Romance Writers’ of America Conference in Iselin




Some of the things we mentioned this episode were Madonna’s music videos and laundry detergent commercial which I mistakenly said was directed by Eli Roth but was really Rob Zombie.

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