Monday, December 3, 2007

Gay Psychic Interview

Dishing Out 'Tuff Love'

With psychic Hank Hivnor, it's all good, so put away the garlic.

If you are terminally hip and need some advice on whether to move forward on that kooky installation project you've been planning or just give in and become a corporate drone, maybe you should take a break one Wednesday night and head out to Williamsburg's Sugarland where Thain Torres hosts the weekly Tuff Love party. There you can slurp up some Pabst Blue Ribbon for cheap, ogle the go-go boys, and consult with the event's resident psychic, Hank Hivnor.
Thirty-nine years old but still with the enthusiasm and spunkiness of a recent art school transplant to the city, Hivnor, who actually grew up here, offers advice and insight based on his being "in tune with the infinite" as Professor Marvel told Dorothy Gale. Hivnor is also the creative force and writer behind "Emerald Crest," a serial performance event in the mold of Jeff Weiss' "Hot Keys." Originally performed at the Art Land Bar and Dixon Place, the soap opera is in development for its next series of episodes.
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY: So what does the resident psychic at Tuff Love actually do?
HANK HIVNOR: I read auras, energy. People always ask me where are the cards - no cards here! I just read people, It's so much fun doing readings at parties because it feels like a party when I'm giving readings, it's a happy affair. I help people to focus on their passions and find clarity, so that's my intention. Aside from that, I can look at your former lives, and make predictions. I'm also a medium, I can talk to the folks upstairs!
CM: How did you realize you were psychic and how is your track record?
HH: You know what? I didn't realize I was psychic, I realized how to control the energy, because I just thought I was hyper-sensitive and crazy. I luckily met some great mentors who taught me how to ground my energy and make my gifts available to myself and others. My track record is good because people come back and say, "It did happen like you said and, oh yes, my grandmother did have three red dogs that were always with her," and lots of details like that.
CM: Is a gay psychic different from a straight one?
HH: I think that many gay people are more psychic than straight people, you have to be. I grew up in a pretty straight world and it's not just about finding action, like with gaydar, it's often about survival and recognizing danger. But regardless of your sexual orientation, the process is the same, and the spirits wouldn't judge, they are just loving energies that provide information.
CM: What's the one thing that gay hipsters want most to hear a psychic say to them?
HH: I don't tell people what they want to hear, I answer their questions, and that's usually better. I will tell you what the majority of people are concerned about - love and career - and my intention is matched with a very loving universal energy that desires that they completely succeed and have the best of everything.
CM: What's the scene like at Tuff Love? Is it tawdry and louche?
HH: Hold on, my mom gave me a dictionary for my birthday. Louche? Maybe when it gets cold enough we can do some louching off the roof deck. Tuff Love is a really fun scene, it reminds me of the East Village of the '90s - fun, wild, and weird - a place you can be yourself in. It's not boring, and you know New York has gotten a little boring!
CM: Do people drink beer while they are being "read," and isn't that dangerous, like they could get possessed or something?
HH: No, no, only possessed with the desire to dance naked on the bar! It's all good. I create a sacred space and uphold that energy. Bars can be ghost magnets but I've never felt anything strange at Sugarland, and who has the time? We're there to have fun! Sometimes people project what they think a psychic is supposed to be at me and freak out when they find out I'm just me. Look! It's me Hank, and I have these abilities and this is a cool resource for you, so put away your garlic and relax!
CM: What's up with the soap opera and when is it coming back?
HH: "Emerald Crest?" It's in the shop but it's going to start again soon. That's kind of you to mention that. Yes folks, I also write comedy!
CM: You come from a Salinger-esque family here in New York. Your dad was a code breaker for the Brits during World War II and then a playwright and there were snakes and raccoons running around the house when you were a kid. Then you grew up and marched in the Mermaid Parade last summer as a giant jellyfish. Now you are a Williamsburg gay psychic and comic auteur. So are you a complete creature or a just down-home kinda guy?
HH: I'm kinda all over the place, I'm happiest when I'm involved in a creative project with other loonies, but at the end of the day it's really nice to snuggle on the couch with a movie and a buddy. I'm really pretty normal, but I had thought of being a cactus or sea anemone for Halloween!
You can consult Psychic Hank at the Tuff Love Performance Salon and Party on Wednesdays from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. at Sugarland at 221 North Ninth Street between Driggs and Roebling Streets, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. For more information, go to

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