David Vass

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David Vass
David Vass.jpg
Born (1950-09-26) September 26, 1950 (age 73)
Baltimore, Maryland
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materDundalk High School
Known for
  • Liar, Alleged: A Tell-All: Celebrities, Sex, and All the Rest
  • What Could Go Wrong? A one-man play and a PPV movie
Height5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
  • Fringe Festival Australia - Best Solo Performance
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to Luxury Travel

David Vass (born September 26, 1950) is an American author, playwright, monologist, actor, and advocate for LGBTQ+ and First Amendment rights. He is best known for his #1 Amazon Bestseller mash-up memoir, "Liar, Alleged: A Tell-All: Celebrities, Sex, and All the Rest,"[1] which chronicles his 30-year journey as a gay man and activist, his career in show business, the breaking apart of gay stereotypes, time in prison and his work with the mafia. He is a member of the Authors and The Dramatists Guilds.[2]

Additionally, Vass has adapted portions of his book into a one-man play and a 90-minute film, both titled ‘What Could Go Wrong?, the musings of an eccentric raconteur who happened to be at the right places at the right time’, performed at intimate theaters, clubs, private engagements, and festivals across the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia, engaging (and sometimes outraging) audiences with his brutally honest storytelling.

Vass advocates for LGBTQ+ rights, First Amendment rights, and AIDS awareness. He is a member of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, and ACT UP, a global initiative dedicated to eradicating AIDS.

Early life and education

Vass was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and spent his early years there before moving to Manhattan in June 1968. His subsequent relocations included Portland, San Francisco, Tucson, Miami, and Key West before settling for his ‘third chapter’ in Indianapolis.

Vass faced significant obstacles during his upbringing. Beginning in the first grade, others grappled with the openness he displayed in accepting his identity as gay, which resulted in verbal and physical abuse at school because of his sexual orientation. Vass was unaware he had a speech impediment and a severe stutter until he began school. When he realized he sounded ‘broken’, he stopped talking for two years. He worked with a public school speech therapist and slowly corrected his speech issues. Not talking for two years prompted him to keep diaries, recording his life experiences for six decades. Throughout his school years, he remained a target of bullying, affecting his self-esteem, social relationships, and confidence.


In 2019, Vass wrote a 90-minute show, ‘What Could Go Wrong?...’ based on the diaries he kept since 1957. The show is divided into five segments of 15 minutes, each focusing on a specific theme. The content revolves around Vass’s life experiences discussing topics that are considered controversial and taboo; addictions such as lying, stealing, drug use and sexuality. His encounters with legendary show business personalities, involvement in the Gay Liberation Movement, and his time in prison for refusing to cooperate with the draft are also covered. The show is intended for mature audiences, as it contains coarse language and controversial situations and is suitable for adult cruise ships, cabaret venues, and small theaters.[3]

In 2020, Vass opted to film his solo performance and make it available on a pay-per-view platform, "What Could Go Wrong—The movie".

In September 2023, Vass published ‘Liar, Alleged, A Tell-All: Celebrities, Sex, and All the Rest,’ combining his brutally honest narrative with a series of celebrity profiles. The book, which became a #1 Amazon Bestseller within two weeks of its release, covers his early life as a gay child in the 1950s, his involvement in the 1960s hippie and gay activist movements, and his career in the 1970s show business industry, where he served as a technical director and "celebrity whisperer" to renowned Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Olivier and Tony award winners. The book offers a historical-political perspective and remains relevant by presenting real characters and enduring social dilemmas currently resurfacing.[4]

It is available through Kindle, Amazon, Goodreads, and various independent bookstores.

Before becoming a monologist and writer, Vass had a distinguished 16-year career in the luxury travel and deluxe cruise industry. Starting in 2004, he served as the senior vice president (SVP) for bespoke travel business and luxury cruise operations at the Abercrombie & Kent Group of Companies. He held various senior management roles with five-star cruise companies, including Holland America Line, Sea Goddess, Seabourn, Cunard, Seadream Yacht Club, and The World (Residences at Sea).

Advocacy work

Vass advocates for LGBTQ+ rights, First Amendment rights, and AIDS awareness and is affiliated with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and ACT UP. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is an LGBTQ+ advocacy group focusing on issues like same-sex marriage, anti-discrimination laws, and HIV/AIDS advocacy. ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) is an international political group dedicated to ending the AIDS pandemic through various means, including direct action, medical research, treatment advocacy, and policy change efforts. He also volunteers with The First Amendment Coalition, a group dedicated to the right for freedom of speech.

Awards and recognitions

  • In 2021, in recognition of his contributions to the global cruise industry, Vass received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Seatrade Cruise News, the most prestigious voice for the cruise community.
  • Vass was awarded the Best Solo Performance Award at the Fringe Festival Australia for his show "What Could Go Wrong?..."

Personal life

Vass resides in Indianapolis, Indiana, with his spouse of 17 years and his partner of 47 years.


  1. "Liar, Alleged: A Tell-All: Celebrities, Sex, and All the Rest". Goodreads. Retrieved 9 October 2023.
  2. Kohn, Rita (28 September 2023). "Stories of rising above childhood abuse from two world views". NUVO. Retrieved 9 October 2023.
  3. "Liar, Alleged: A Tell-All: Celebrities, Sex, and All the Rest". amazon. Retrieved 9 October 2023.
  4. "The Book Commentary: LIAR, ALLEGED A Tell-All: Celebrities, Sex and All the Rest". thebookcommentary.com. Retrieved 9 October 2023.

External links