Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Spin Cities

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Spin Cities

Article excerpt

Michael Hauser is out on the town as one of the hip hosts of Intersection, the Real World of travel shows

What happens when you take four very different people--including a young gay man--and unleash them in a city? If your mind conjures up images of preening 20-somethings and funky furniture, you might be watching too much MTV.

Or you're watching the Travel Channel's Intersection, a hip weekly travel show that debuted October 3 and is destined to be dubbed The Real Real World. The concept: Viewers watch as each host pursues an itinerary catering to his or her individual sensibilities. Michael Hauser, a 34-year-old TV first timer, is the one who offers the gay spin on the American city du jour. So far he's consumed ten towns in about six weeks, and he's having a blast. "I've been eating, drinking, and frolicking in the sun," says the wry, mellow Hauser. Doing the show has made him "more humble" as well as making him "appreciate other people," he adds. But there is a drawback: "I've gained 12 pounds."

Although he had an in because he was a segment producer for the show's production company, Hauser still faced more than 100 other hopefuls in his bid to cohost the show. "He has ease and authenticity," says Michael Lennon, vice president of programming and business development at the Travel Channel. "And because he is gay he can enter the scene with some insight."

A self-proclaimed "culture vulture" who was born and raised in Cranston, R.I., Hauser says he began his travels as a child via "really long bike rides." From there he would eventually head to Boston, where he majored in television production at Emerson College before landing in Los Angeles. Today, he practices yoga and dabbles in photography when he isn't whipping out maps. Part of the city's allure? "It's a safe place to be gay," he admits. But he says he doesn't feel any pressure as the show's gay emissary to cater to a gay audience: "I choose what interests me, and often that coincides with the gay angle. …

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