transgender erotica awards

Becca Benz 2017 TEA Part 1: Adventures in Los Angeles!

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I had been counting down the days and looking forward to TEA for a long time; actually since last year’s TEA ended! I got my gown and all the accessories and had all my reservations made and was ready to go! I was so excited to see all my friends, and was looking forward to lots of warm, sunny weather after having endured a Portland winter in which we’ve seen very little sun and lots of rain. I had been checking the weather forecast and was so relieved when I knew the weather would be good. I got packed and managed to get everything into my luggage, including four pairs of heels and my sneakers, and was ready to go!

Going through airport security is never fun because I always get “selected” to go through a pat-down and have my luggage searched. Go figure. So I get the Portland airport and check my bag and get ready to go through security, and it looks like I’m going to make it through without getting searched, but then the TSA agent points to my carry-on suitcase and asks me if that’s mine, and I reply yes, wondering what’s going on. He then gives me a funny look and asks me if I realized I had a large hunting knife in my bag. Shit! My bag has a small pocket on the side which I never use because I never remember it’s there, and when I recently moved I must have thrown the knife in that pocket of the bag and forgotten about it. I try to remain calm and collected and I tell him it’s my son’s knife and I hadn’t realized it was there, hoping I wasn’t going to be detained and have to explain all this. He gives me another funny look and then takes the knife to swab it for residue. He then tells me I can’t keep it, which I already know, and then sends me on my way. So, I normally always get patted down and searched, but when I carry a large hunting knife in my carry-on bag through security I don’t get patted down or even have my luggage searched. Huh. Guess I’ll have to put prohibited items in my carry-on bag from now on.

Becca Benz TEA 2017

Becca Benz TEA 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I make it on my flight, which was no small relief after the knife incident, and have a smooth trip to Burbank, and get my rental car and find my way to the hotel and get checked in. I splurged a little and went with a nicer hotel, but I was blown away at how nice my room was, and how amazing the shower was! I knew I’d be enjoying lots of long hot showers while I was there! My apologies for not doing my part to conserve water while I was there.

My first order of business was finding the sun-deck at the hotel to lay in the sun and get some much-needed color, but I find out the sun-deck is closed for repairs. What??? Thankfully their sister hotel was across the street and had a nice sun-deck, so I found a comfy chase lounge and enjoyed the warmth of the sun while I relaxed and looked at the palm trees. It was good to be back in Los Angeles! The second order of business was heading to my favorite In N Out Burger for dinner. Surprisingly it wasn’t too crowded and I got a booth to sit in while I enjoyed my animal-style burger and fries. God how I’d missed In N Out burgers!!!

I spent the next two days lounging in the sun and working on getting a tan, but being careful not to burn, and just being lazy and checking out my old haunts from when I lived there. Wednesday night I went to The Abbey, which is a place near and dear to my heart. The people who work there are so friendly and always so good to me, and it’s such a fun place whether I’m there to dance or just people-watch, plus they have really great food! I got there fairly early before things got too crazy and order a drink, which is the first drink I’ve had in a long, long time, so it doesn’t take much to get me feeling good lol And then Brooke Zannell, Eddie Wood, Chelsea Marie, and Montasia showed up, which was a really nice surprise! I was so excited they were there and to get the chance to catch up! Little did I know just how exciting things were going to get! We were sitting at a table talking, and I leaned over so I could hear what Brooke was saying when all of a sudden Eddie jumps up and starts furiously patting my head, and I’m wondering what the heck is going on. Then I smell something burning and Eddie is telling me my hair caught on fire when I leaned over the table and my hair went into the candle, which I hadn’t even noticed. Thank God Eddie saw what happened and took such quick action. And thankfully I didn’t have any product in my hair or hadn’t worn hairspray, otherwise my hair might have gone up like a Roman candle. Everyone assured me not much hair burned and that it wasn’t noticeable, but I was still pretty freaked about it. But after another drink I wasn’t so worried lol I managed to get back to the hotel at a decent hour without any further incidents. My first few days in Los Angeles were pretty exciting, and the TEA events hadn’t even started yet!

Becca Benz TEA 2017

Next week in Part 2 I’ll cover all TEA Con, the TEA Pre-party, and the TEA Awards, as well as a fun night at Club Cobra.

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2017 TEA Winners Announced

Congratulations to our 2017 TEA winners! Support our sponsor at theTEAShow.com.

Best DVD sponsored by Gamelink

Real Fucking Girls directed by Mona Wales

Best Photographer sponsored by Lord Morpheous

Bob Maverick

Best Transman Scene

Eddie Wood + Michelle Austin for FTM Hunter

Best Scene sponsored by TGirl Nights

Threesome with Aubrey Kate, Will Havoc, and Phoenix Marie from TS Seduction.
Producer: Madeline Marlowe

Best Scene Producer sponsored by HubStars.dating

Damien Cain

Best Solo Site sponsored by Eros.com

JonelleBrooks.com

Best Internet Personality sponsored by Robbi Racks

Miran

Best Female Performer sponsored by Evil Angel

Amarna Miller

Best Male Performer sponsored by Flirt4Free

Alexander Gustavo

Grooby Girl of the Year sponsored by Grooby

Natalie Mars

Best International Model (West) sponsored by Trans500

Mia Maffia

Best International Model (East)  sponsored by LadyboyGold

Megumi

Transcendence Award sponsored by Dr. Alexander Sinclair

Stefani Special

Bob’s TGirls Model of the Year sponsored by Bob’s TGirls

Miran

Kink’s Kinkiest T-Girl Domme sponsored by Kink 

Honey Foxxx

Best Transman Model

Eddie Wood

Ms. Unique sponsored by Stockroom

Mara Nova

Best Industry Professional sponsored by Shemale Idol

Al Tom from Altomic Visuals.com

Stroker of the Year sponsored by Shemale Strokers

It’s a tie! Casey Kisses and Korra Del Rio

Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Grooby

Wendy Williams

Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Wicked Sensual Care

Natassia Dreams

Best New Face sponsored by Shemale.com

Chanel Santini

Fan Choice Award sponsored by CameraPrive 

Domino Presley

Best Solo Model sponsored by TS4Rent

Kylie Maria

Best Hardcore Performer sponsored by .XXX

Aubrey Kate

Flirt4Free to Sponsor Best Male Performer Award at the TEAs

Los Angeles, CA – Flirt4Free is proud to announce their sponsorship of the Best Male Performer category at the upcoming 2017 TEAs. Last year’s recipient was Robert Axel.

“This is our first time sponsoring TEA and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Flirt4Free’s Director of Product, Jamie Rodriguez. “We’ve made a ton of updates in the last year to give more visibility to trans models on our network and to provide more opportunities for trans fans to engage with them. We’re looking forward to being on the floor meeting new people and seeing who takes home the coveted awards.”

“Flirt4Free is one of the longest running companies in the industry and we’re very excited to have them sponsoring the show this year,” added Steven Grooby. “They have always had transgender models on their cam sites so it’s a great match up and I’d like to thank them for supporting the models by their participation in our awards weekend. I look forward to welcoming them to the show!”

Flirt4Free got its start in 1996 and quickly grew to become a pioneer in the live-camming industry. Now, with over 100 million unique viewers every month and dozens of awards that include “Best Live Cam Site” and “Company of the Year”, Flirt4Free has gained a reputation as one of the best sites for models, studios, and everyone in between.

Media inquires can be directed to kristel@grooby.com.

The TEAs (also known as the Transgender Erotica Awards), now in its ninth year, celebrates the accomplishments of the trans adult industry and its performers. From its humble beginnings as an online competition started by Grooby, the TEAs are now a three-day event that includes a pre-party, fan convention, and awards program.

The 2017 TEAs will be hosted by viral sensation and TEA Lifetime Achievement winner TS Madison at the Avalon in Hollywood. The pre-party will be held on March 3 at the Bardot, the fan convention will be held on March 4 at the Avalon, and the awards will be held at the Avalon on March 5.  The Avalon and its connecting property, the Bardot, are located at 1735 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Discounted pre-sale tickets are available for purchase at theTEAShow.com.

2017 TEA Schedule of Events

The 2017 TEAs are quickly approaching and we want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the festivities! Be sure to visit theTEAShow.com for more information!

[3-DAY ALL-ACCESS PASS] 

[AWARDS ONLY PRE-SALE PASS]

Notes: We’ll be updating this page with more information in the coming weeks, so please remember to check back!

FRIDAY

THE OFFICIAL TEA PRE-PARTY | 9pm-2am
Bardot | 1737 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA

SATURDAY

THE OFFICIAL TEA CON (FAN CONVENTION) | 1-5pm
Avalon | 1735 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA
Cover: $5 at the door or free admission when you purchase a 3-day all-access pass

TRANS ALL-STAR TEA SHOW CELEBRATION | 8pm-2am
Cheetahs | 4600 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
More info: TGirlEvents.com

JAMIE’S TGIRL NIGHTS | 9pm-2am
Hamburger Mary’s Long Beach | 330 Pine Avenue, Long Beach, CA
More info: TGirlNights.com

SUNDAY

THE TEA SHOW AWARDS
Avalon | 1735 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA

7:00-8:00pm // Cocktail Hour
8:00pm – 9:45pm // Red Carpet
10pm – 1am // Awards Program

**Red Carpet will close PROMPTLY at 9:45pm, so please come early! 

TS4Rent.com to Sponsor ‘Best Solo Model’ Category at 2017 TEAs

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Los Angeles, CA – Premier trans escort site TS4Rent.com is proud to announce their Platinum Plus sponsorship of the Best Solo Model category at the upcoming 2017 TEAs. Previous winners include Domino Presley, Penny Tyler, and Sarina Valentina, to name a few.

“We’re pleased to announce that we’re Platinum Plus Sponsors at the TEs this year and very excited about it,” said Daniel from TS4Rent.com’s Marketing Team. “We hope to meet up with the best TS performers while we’re in town and are honored to be a part of this wonderful event.”

“This is TS4Rent.com’s first time sponsoring the TEAs and it’s clear their main goal is to show their support of our show and our industry by choosing our highest tiered package,” said Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn. “As the sponsor of our highly competitive Best Solo Model category, I see their brand catching the eye of so many of our top performers.”

TS4Rent.com elevates the TS escorts websites to a whole new level of performance and portability. Their site has a cutting-edge design, high-performance features, powerful mobile site, and innovative visual profile display. Customers will also enjoy the high quality photos, interviews, blog section, TS cover-girls banners, and TS stars page.

The TEAs (also known as the Transgender Erotica Awards), now in its ninth year, celebrates the accomplishments of the trans adult industry and its performers. From its humble beginnings as an online competition started by Grooby, the TEAs are now a three-day event that includes a pre-party, fan convention, and awards program.

The 2017 TEAs will be hosted by viral sensation and TEA Lifetime Achievement winner TS Madison in Hollywood, CA. The pre-party will be held on March 3 at the Bardot, the fan convention will be held on March 4 at the Avalon, and the awards will be held at the Avalon on March 5.  The Avalon and its connecting property, the Bardot, are located at 1735 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Discounted pre-sale tickets are available for purchase at theTEAShow.com.

CameraPrive.com to Sponsor the Fan Choice Award at the Transgender Erotica Awards

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Los Angeles, CACameraPrive.com is proud to announce their sponsorship of the 2017 TEAs and the coveted Fan Choice Award. Previous winners include Kylie Maria, Aubrey Kate, Khloe Hart, and Jane Marie.

“We are very excited to sponsor The TEA Awards this year for the first time and look forward to this cooperation for many years to come,” said CameraPrive.com’s co-founder MikeC.

“We’re thrilled that CameraPrive.com chose the TEAs as their opportunity to cultivate their brand outside of Brazil,” said Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn. “Our Fan Choice Award is a big draw for the evening, so I think this is a great way to introduce the performers and attendees to this quickly growing company.”

Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, CameraPrive’s team has been deeply involved in the transgender niche for well over 10 years producing content and operating premium  content sites and affiliate programs. In 2013, the company shifted its focus to their live webcam site, CameraPrive.com, which has since become one of the fastest growing website in Brazil and one of the largest live webcam sites in the region.

“Throughout the years we found ourselves consistently working with Grooby and promoting their wonderful lineup of websites and products,” MikeC added. “We have been looking for exciting opportunities to grow our brand outside of Brazil and to bring more exposure to the transgender community of Brazil. We felt there was no better way of accomplishing this than teaming up with Grooby and sponsoring The TEA Show.”

Companies and performers interested in sponsoring are encouraged to email  kristel@grooby.com for more information.

The Transgender Erotica Awards, now in its ninth year, celebrates the accomplishments of the trans adult industry and its performers. From its humble beginnings as an online competition started by Grooby, the TEAs are now a three-day event which includes an awards ceremony, pre-party party, and now a daytime fan convention. Visit their official website at theTEAShow.com.

TS Dating Returns as Gold Sponsor at 2017 TEAs

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Los Angeles, CA – Premier trans dating site, TS-Dating.com, announced their Gold Sponsorship of the upcoming 2017 Transgender Erotica Awards.

“TS-Dating.com is thrilled to sponsor TEA Awards once again,” said Risto from TS-Dating. “We visited and also sponsored TEA Awards on 2016 and were impressed with the show and its organization. We very much believe in the cause and are happy to renew our sponsorship.”

“I was very excited to hear that TS-Dating wanted to increase their visibility at our upcoming show after attending last year,” added Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn. “It makes me feel good about what we’re producing as an event when we see companies who make great strides to be part of it.”

TS-Dating.com is one of the largest worldwide transgender escort and dating site. In addition to escorts and dating profiles, site also offers a lot of exciting features like a forum, news and articles, photo galleries, video section, photo rating, a selection of transgender events, transgender friendly bars and clubs, and much more. TS-Dating.com started as a small one-man project over 12 years ago and has grown into active substantial community over time.

Companies and performers interested in sponsoring are encouraged to email  kristel@grooby.com for more information.

The Transgender Erotica Awards, now in its ninth year, celebrates the accomplishments of the trans adult industry and its performers. From its humble beginnings as an online competition started by Grooby, the TEAs are now a three-day event which includes an awards ceremony, pre-party party, and now a daytime fan convention. Visit their official website at theTEAShow.com.

2017 TEA Nominations Announced at theTEAShow.com

Los Angeles, CA – The 2017 TEA nominations were officially announced today at theTEAShow.com. The winners will be announced during the awards show on Sunday, March 5. 2017 at the Avalon in Hollywood. The awards bookend a weekend of events, which kicks off with a pre-party on Friday and day time fan convention on Saturday.

“It seems to get more difficult by the year coming up with shortlists for each category,” said Steven Grooby. “There are so many models working in both solo and hardcore model categories that many don’t get added. In addition to the fan submitted pre-nominations, we look for models who have worked with either a wide range of companies, or have an exceptional body of work each year.  With three first timers appearing in Best Hardcore Model, could a newcomer steal the crown? Our panel of judges have a particularly hard job this year and I can’t wait to see the results.”

Not all categories are voted on by a panel of judges, but all are announced on stage during the awards program, including the coveted Fan Choice Award, the Transcendence Award, Best Industry Professional, Shemale Strokers’ Stroker of the Year, Kink’s Kinkiest T-Girl Domme, Bob’s TGirls Model of the Year, and Grooby Girl of the Year. A full list of nominees and categories can be found at theTEAShow.com along with additional information about the star studded three-day event.

Companies and performers interested in sponsoring are encouraged to email  kristel@grooby.com for more information.

The Transgender Erotica Awards, now in its ninth year, celebrates the accomplishments of the trans adult industry and its performers. From its humble beginnings as an online competition started by Grooby, the TEAs are now a three-day event which includes an awards ceremony, pre-party party, and now a daytime fan convention. Visit their official website at theTEAShow.com

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE 2017 TEA NOMINEES! 

Krissy4u.com Returns as a 2017 TEA Sponsor

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Los Angeles, CA – Multi-year TEA nominee performer Krissy Kyung announced her sponsorship of the upcoming 2017 Transgender Erotica Awards. Kyung and her website, Krissy4u.com, have been a longtime supporter of the event and have been nominated in years past in a variety of different categories.

“As the owner of my personal site, Krissy4u – Naughty Asian TGirl, I look forward every year to the Transgender Erotica Awards,” said Krissy Kyung. “Sponsoring the show is a way for me  to be more involved in the industry that has given me so much through the years, as well as serving as a great way to connect on a personal level to my fans, who I adore. I’m looking forward to this year’s celebration of the deep pools of talent that are a part of the Transgender porn industry; and of course, getting down to LA for some sunny weather and getting away from the rain here in Oregon ain’t half bad either.”

“We’ve been very fortunate to have Krissy’s support over the years, especially in the past when we were just finding our footing,” added Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn. “She is one of the loveliest and most hardworking people in the industry you’ll ever meet.”

Companies and performers interested in sponsoring are encouraged to email  kristel@grooby.com for more information.

The Transgender Erotica Awards, now in its ninth year, celebrates the accomplishments of the trans adult industry and its performers. From its humble beginnings as an online competition started by Grooby, the TEAs are now a three-day event which includes an awards ceremony, pre-party party, and now a daytime fan convention. Visit their official website at theTEAShow.com.

ABOUT KRISSY4U.COM

Krissy4u – Naughty Asian Tgirl is a website owned and operated by Krissy Kyung on the Grooby Network. Krissy is as self-absorbed and narcissistic as they come and collects trophies, awards, and men at every chance she gets. Sadly, to date, she has none. Should you wish to donate any of the above to her, she can be reached through her awesome, talented, and brilliant Public Relations Manager, Kristina Kyung at krissy@krissy4u.com. Donate men. Really. Please.

 

Trans Performer Jacquie Blu to Sponsor 2017 TEAs

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Los Angeles, CA  – Performer Jacquie Blu announced her sponsorship of the 2017 TEAs to be held in Hollywood, CA.

“I am extremely happy to sponsor the TEA Awards this year,” said Jacquie Blu. “I was only an attendee in 2016, but I wanted to do more. This year I am making a contribution to help show my appreciation and support for all that you do and for the industry that I love so much.”

“I had the pleasure of meeting Jacquie Blu at the show last year,” added Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn. “I think it’s really amazing that she’s really jumped right into the industry and feels part of that journey involves supporting the TEAs. I have a lot of gratitude for the performers who are going above and beyond in this way.”  

Jacquie Blu moved to California from the east coast a few years ago to pursue her dream of model and adult filmmaking. After moving west, she started collaborating with photographer Al Tom (of Altomic Visuals) and thanks to his incredible work was able to launch her official website, JacquieBlu.xxx. The site has nearly a dozen very large photo galleries for fans to enjoy; some are BDSM scenes with Mistress Cyan at the Sanctuary LAX, with more on the horizon.

“I have also had the great pleasure to shoot with Paranormal Perversions, which produced an exceptional scene that I am very proud to have been a part of,” added Jacquie Blu. “I will be working with them again very soon, so rest assured that there is more high quality content on the way.”

Earlier this year Jacquie Blu started working with Dr. Susan Block, who is a well-known sex educator, sex therapist, and author. They produce a weekly talk show, all related to sex, kink, and the Bonobo Way. Their guests consist mainly of porn stars, Doms, Dommes, artists, authors, and more. To learn more about Jacquie Blu, visit her official website at JacquieBlu.xxx.

Companies and performers interested in sponsoring are encouraged to email kristel@grooby.com to be notified.

The Transgender Erotica Awards, now in its ninth year, celebrates the accomplishments of the trans adult industry and its performers. From its humble beginnings as an online competition started by Grooby, the TEAs are now a three-day event which includes an awards ceremony, pre-party party, and now a daytime fan convention. Visit their official website at theTEAShow.com.

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Pre-Nominations Now Open for 2017 TEAs

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Los Angeles, CA – Pre-nominations are now open for the 2017 TEAs (Transgender Erotica Awards) at vote.theteashow.com.

“This is the integral first stage of the TEAs,” stated Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn. “This is a chance for companies and performers to enlist their fans to vote for them and make their voices heard.”

To note, each person may only submit their entry once. Additional entries will be disqualified. The pre-nomination period will be open from November 2, 2016 – November 20, 2016. Votes will be compiled and an official list of nominees will be announced soon after.

2017 sponsorship packages can be found at theTEAShow.com. Companies and performers interested in sponsoring are encouraged to email kristel@grooby.com to be notified.

The Transgender Erotica Awards, now in its ninth year, celebrates the accomplishments of the trans adult industry and its performers. From its humble beginnings as an online competition started by Grooby, the TEAs are now a three-day event which includes an awards ceremony, pre-party party, and now a daytime fan convention. Visit their official website at theTEAShow.com.

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PERFORMERS: Create your own Pre-nomination badge below! Download our template to help spread the word!

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Viral Sensation TS Madison to Host 2017 TEAs in Hollywood, CA

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Los Angeles, CA – TS Madison will be hosting the 2017 Transgender Erotica Awards on Sunday, March 5, 2017, at the Avalon in Hollywood, CA. She received the TEA Lifetime Achievement Award at last year’s event and was met with a standing ovation from the audience.

“As I move forward in my career in entertainment, it always gives me great pleasure to return to my roots and give a CLEAN version of TS Madison to my Fans,” said TS Madison.  “It’s an honor and privilege to be hosting this year’s TEAs and I plan on giving the crowd  just what it needs: a barrel of laughs and some good ol’ fashioned entertainment! Please don’t miss this year’s extravaganza! It’s gonna be a scandal.”

“How many times am I going to say ‘Wait a minute!!!’ between now and March?” added Steven Grooby. “Now wait a minute…Madison is going to be the emcee at the TEAs this year!  Personally I’m incredibly excited by this. I’m a fan and I love her Youtube posts and her larger than life personality. Madison has been in-front of the camera, behind the camera, and is now her own iconic brand, and I believe she’ll bring that whole package to the show.”

“As someone who is part of our industry and has also succeeded as an artist in the mainstream, I think Madison is a perfect fit to take over from Jujubee as Mistress of Ceremonies,” stated Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn. “As my favorite Madison saying goes, we’re ready to ‘step ya pussy up’ at the 2017 TEAs.”

TS Madison is an American entertainer, entrepreneur, and LGBT activist. Huffington Post has called her a “trans viral sensation” and has amassed a large following on YouTube for her web series, Wait a Minute. Follow her on Twitter at @TsMadisonatl1.  

Those interested in sponsoring the 2017 TEAs can email kristel@grooby.com.

The Transgender Erotica Awards, now in its ninth year, celebrates the accomplishments of the trans adult industry and its performers. From its humble beginnings as an online competition started by Grooby, the TEAs are now a three-day event which includes an awards ceremony, pre-party party, and now a daytime fan convention. Visit their official website at theTEAShow.com.

The TEA Show : Changes to 2017 Show!

The TEA Show : Changes to 2017 Show! 
by Steven Grooby

It’s that time of the year again … when Kristel starts popping chocolate, when Morgan stretches her legs and when the Grooby team start prepare for the biggest nights of the Transgender Erotica Industry’s year.   It’s not until March – but we start in late Sept.

We will be continuing to use the fantastic space at Avalon for the show, with the former after-party (now the pre-party – read below) being in Bardot.   The TEAcon will be at the Avalon also.

In previous years, we’ve always ran the award show on the Sunday night, with the after party on the Monday night.  This started when we used to do the show over President’s Day weekend and many had the Monday off.   Saturday nights are much more expensive to rent a space, and we’d find it difficult to meet those budgets.  Last year we moved the show to March, which pleased many but this meant people attending the Sunday and the Monday, had to take 2 days off work, if they were traveling.

So, we’re adapting again and happy to announce the new schedule for 2017.  We’re moving the ‘party’ to a pre-party on the Friday night.  Friday night is usually the party night of the week, and people can travel in for the event and make it.   Saturday afternoon will be TEAcon and although we have nothing planned for the Sat. night we have an idea that you won’t be short of things to do.  Sunday night will be the awards.

Fri March 3rd – The TEA Show Pre-Party at Bardot. MUST BE THERE!!! This will be the party event of the year.  More TS models then ever appear in one place.  The superstars and the starlets.  Do not miss this.

Sat March 4th – The TEAcon – and informal afternoon meeting the models, some talks about trans or the industry, things for sale, freebies, photo opportunities and more.

Sun March 5th – The TEA Awards at Avalon.  The most star studded night of the year.  All the girls are glamorous and the boys smart.  Entertainment and fun – and see who has win.  This is the best ‘put-on’ award show of the year.
Tickets are on sale NOW. We’re offering advance tickets for all-access 3-day event at a discount if you buy now. These will be going up. $60 gets you access to both the party, the TEAcon and the Awards Show. You can buy your tickets from : The TEA Show Ticket Pre-sale – but get in fast!

We also have a number of VIP seating at the show available. This is sponsor table seating and only available to be bought in advance and in very limited numbers. 10 seater tables are available at $1400 and include access to all events, speedy access on the awards night and your own table. We may have smaller tables available – Email kristel@grooby.com to get more information.

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[Interview] The Talented and Mysterious Al Tom of Altomic Visuals

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Al Tom was one of the first people I got to know when I was new to the industry. We met for the first time the day I arrived in Los Angeles for TEA 2015, and we did a shoot for the swimsuit issue of Transformation Magazine that same day. Al has become a good friend and he is one of the sweetest people I know. Each time I’ve had the opportunity to work with Al it has been a learning experience for me and always so much fun. And his photos are amazing, which is a testament not only to his skill as a photographer but also about how much we all enjoy working with him. During my time in Los Angeles we were able to get to know each other and hang out when we would run into each other at various clubs. Not to mention the fact that he’s taken a lot of photos of me at Hamburger Mary’s, TEA, and various shoots we’ve done. So it’s a pleasure and an honor to be able to do this interview with my friend, Al Tom.

Al Tom of Altomic Visuals

Hello Al! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview, I’m really excited to finally get the chance to interview you!

Hi Becca, thank you for asking me to do this. This will be my first ever interview, a totally new experience for me. You’re bustin’ my interview cherry, and that’s as far as we’ll go with that comment lol.

Can you tell us about your photography background and what led to your interest in working with trans women?

As far as my photography background I have very little schooling. I took some classes at community colleges but that was it. Most of it was by just doing it and reading and learning from others. The first time my photos were ever published was in my last year of high school in the yearbook. I look back on it now and laugh cause it was some really bad stuff.

How I got started photographing trans women, to be honest, it was something that never crossed my mind. For the longest time I enjoyed photographing hotrods and exotic cars. Then one day a friend of mine got me into taking photos at female modeling events all around southern California. At about the same time someone told me about this thing called the internet. You could see all kinds of things on it, well, like porn. As a red blooded American male, who was I to deny myself such a thing. So I started getting on the internet. Being a newbie to this, I just mouse clicked on things I saw and stuff popped up, I was amazed. All these beautiful pictures of naked women online, I was amazed. Then one day as pictures of naked women popped up on my screen, I clicked on the hottest one and was taken to Shemale Yum, I, WAS, AMAZED. Confused was my next reaction, then amazed again, and it went that way for a while. Then I saw at the bottom of the page was a call looking for photographers in the Los Angels area. Wait what? You mean I could actually get paid for this?

A couple days later I brought it up to a close friend at work and he said, “yeah, there’s a coupe of clubs here in LA where those kind of girls hang out”. My head damn near exploded for two reasons. First that he knew about trans women and second that he knew about not one but two trans clubs, but that’s another story.

Anyway long story short. I replied to the ad looking for photographers and did a few shoots for the Shemale Yum site. I didn’t do very many photo shoots for Shemale Yum because my life was also taking a different path at that point time. But I did meet another guy at the club that happened to have a trans pornstar girlfriend and started shooting some content for her personal site and a couple of her friends sites. That’s how it all started.

I had no idea you had shot for Shemale Yum! That’s why I love doing interviews, because I always learn something new and interesting about the person.

You are well known for the work you do photographing the Transgender Erotica Awards and the after-party. How did you get connected with Grooby and end up as one of the photographers at TEA?

I’ve known the owner of Grooby since it was in its early years and although not close we’ve maintain a friendship throughout the years. When they first started holding the awards at the local clubs I always brought my camera and took photos. It was something I just did at the time. As it got bigger I started to ask permission because now I could see they were starting to control the photo rights to the events which I can fully understand. We ended up working it out so that the photos I took at their events could benefit the both of us.

Altomic Visuals TEA 2016

I get exhausted just watching you hustle around all night taking photos at TEA! How many photos do you typically take during TEA and how long does it take you to edit them?

I end up taking somewhere around a little over 2000 photos. It takes me about 2-3 days to edit and finish them. I would say the hardest part sometimes is picking which photos to use. Of the 2000 shots I only end up using maybe a few hundred maybe a little less.

When I look at your photos it’s the candid shots at events like TEA which always stand out to me, and where your talent really shines through. How do you manage to capture those moments in time where we seem to get an intimate glimpse of the person?

I’m glad you like those because that’s what I really like to try to capture. A personal moment in time. A big zoom lens is where that comes in handy. That’s another reason you see me constantly moving around. I’m looking for those shots. They’re really all over and happening all the time but I have to catch it before they change or move or see me and that’s the hardest part. I really miss tons of shots because I can’t move to the right spot fast enough or they see me raise my camera. So with the big zoom lens they don’t really know I’m looking at them. I know, sounds a little creepy huh. lol

TeddyBoy French TEA 2016 Altomic Visuals TEA 2016

Has the exposure you’ve gotten through TEA and Transformation Magazine allowed you to work with more of the models you’ve wanted to shoot?

Yes it has. When I first started taking photos no one knew who I was or if I was just some guy saying he was this or that. Having my work published and on the TEA website gave me some legitimacy. At least the models would know that if I asked if they would be interested in working with me it was for a real reason.

You have a unique place in the industry in that you’ve become the go-to guy for many trans models in the Los Angeles area when it comes to shoots which are more erotic and sensual rather than just porn. Is this just your personal preference in what you like to shoot?

What you don’t really know about me is that I used to help another person shoot a lot of straight porn for his own site. But after a while I really wanted to shoot more creative things. I’ve always wanted to shoot more high-end fashion stuff. But since I had no idea how to shoot high end fashion, I ended up using models both trans and cis females who needed photos and I asked if they would entertain some of my ideas. Lucky for me everyone loved doing something more erotic without being x-rated.

Altomic Visuals

Is shooting porn something you’d eventually like to do?

Yeah I’d like to shoot porn again but I want to do some trial runs with some of the people I know. Because I’m not sure the way I like to see porn is something that other people would enjoy. In other words I’m not sure my style of shooting porn will make anyone want to pay for it, and really, that’s more important than how I create it.

Are the trial runs you referred to the Skin City series we’ve gotten peaks of on social media?

The Skin City thing is something I’m still trying to get right so it probably won’t be those. It’s still in it’s experimental stage and I’m also experimenting with the video side of it too. You may have seen the short video clips I also posted on my Facebook page. But mostly in the beginning I’d just like to experiment with how I’d like to see adult content. I mean it could be a total failure, that’s why I want to do some dry runs and see how people react.

Well, in my humble opinion, I think you’ve definitely gotten it right just as it is!

You’re a regular contributor to Transformation Magazine, and your photos are always a prominent part of the Sexy Swim issue. Your photos of me have appeared in the past two Sexy Swim issues, but my personal favorites are the photos of Shelbe Chang from this year. How did your association with Hanna Rogers and Transformation come about?

A good friend of mine (Marlayna Lacie) who was a fixture at one time in the trans community was the one that got me first published in Transformation Magazine. She would write the articles and I would take the photos for the articles. She’s since retired and is now writing scripts for Hollywood. After the magazine was sold to Hanna we kept submitting articles. While Marlayna moved on to Hollywood I kept in touch with Hanna. She told me some of the kinds of photos and articles she’d like to see in her magazine and I would go and try to do them for her and that’s how that all came about.

Becca Benz Transformation#98    Shelbe Chang Transformation 98

Among the many events you photograph on a regular basis is Jamie’s T Girl Nights held every first Saturday of the month at Hamburger Mary’s in Long Beach. Is it a challenge to focus on taking pictures when there are so many people, including me, who enjoy hanging out with you and want to talk?

Lol yes it is. I love to hang out and talk too, so sometimes I have to remember I’m there for a job. But Jamie’s Saturday night event is always packed and it’s great to see so many different kinds of people there. There are both trans men and women, gay and lesbian, gender queers and straight couples. Every color of the rainbow, so it’s pretty easy for me to photograph. Even when I am having fun chatting up people I normally still end up taking just under a thousand shots.

It’s always very odd to see you without your camera; it just doesn’t look right. Do you find it difficult when you’re out socializing to keep from thinking about photography, such as what would make a good shot or a good setting?

It is weird for me to go out and not have my camera but that’s why I’m so glad cell phone cameras have become so good. Sometimes it’s a joy not having to carry around a brick. Also, being a person that likes to experiment, I like the challenge of using the cell phone camera. I find it really fun and freeing not having to think so seriously about a lot of technical things. But sometimes yeah, I do get into it and start messing with any adjustments the cell camera has to offer. But the point being, pictures come from the person, not the equipment.

You have your own photography business, Altomic Visuals, based in Los Angeles. Do you envision a time where photography becomes your main occupation?

That’s a good question. I’m currently thinking about retiring from my current full time job. I know I will continue with my photography, I’m just not sure I want to turn my photography into my next full time job. I’m not quite at the point where I can make a decision yet. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

You’ve recently begun work on a new project, the Skin City series, and you’ve created quite a stir with the glimpses we’ve seen of it on social media. To say it’s tantalizing would be an understatement! And your Skin City project will be the subject of Part 2 of this interview where we focus on the Art of Porn.

Skin City Altomic Visuals    Skin City Altomic Visuals

Stayed tuned next week for Part 2 of my interview with Al Tom of Altomic Visuals along with some exclusive new Skin City photos!

If you would like more information on Al Tom or Altomic Visuals please visit:

Altomic Visuals

Twitter.com/Altomicvisuals

Facebook.com/al.tom.334

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Grooby Announces Change in Schedule for 2017 TEAs

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Los Angeles, CA – Grooby announced a change in schedule for the upcoming 2017 TEAs. The event will still be held during the first weekend in March as originally planned at the Avalon in Hollywood, but is now kicking off on Friday (March 3) with an official pre-party, the second annual TEA Con on Saturday (March 4), and wrapping up with the awards on Sunday (March 5).

“I’m really happy to have been able to make this change,” stated Steven Grooby. “By switching the after-party to a pre-party on a Friday night, instead of the usual Monday, I think we’ll be able to attract a lot more party goers and people flying into town for the weekend. I’m confident there will something going on the Saturday night also, so it’s a three day festival celebrating trans erotica. This will be our should be our best year ever and I hope sponsors and fans can help us get there!”

“In addition to the scheduling shift we’ve done, we’ve also secured the Avalon as the official location of the second annual TEA Con,” added Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn. “I think this is a great space for performers to meet and mingle with their fans, sign autographs, and take photos.”

2017 sponsorship packages will be announced soon at theTEAShow.com. Companies and performers interested in sponsoring are encouraged to email kristel@grooby.com to be notified.

The Transgender Erotica Awards, now in its ninth year, celebrates the accomplishments of the trans adult industry and its performers. From its humble beginnings as an online competition started by Grooby, the TEAs are now a three-day event which includes an awards ceremony, after party, and now a daytime fan convention. Visit their official website at theTEAShow.com.