Drag Day – Part One

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A while ago I volunteered at a drag show. And by volunteering I mean I mean I drained a water bottle containing a big Caucasian and smoking Camels. The drink, not the race, though that would have been okay too.

Add a drawn-on douche beard and a Tupac song and Joan would have made a really good drag king.

Add a drawn-on douche beard and a Tupac song and Joan would have made a really good drag king.

Hoss and I decided it would behoove us to blaze before going over there. And we did. We also played a little dress-up. I was a skinny little leather daddy with an outrageously over-sized vinyl police hat. He was done-up in a red-dress.

Ah, Satan, I’m so depraved.

Anyways, we get to the venue. We wait around for a while, draining the Caucasian. We smoke the “special occasion” pack we had promised ourselves.

Rehearsals went well. (“Well” in that everybody who showed up seemed to have a basic understanding of what their act would look like. Not well in that the rehearsals were the day of the show or that not everybody showed up. Everyone was working on queer standard time, so it was understandable.Also, word had gotten around that the gaybies who had coordinated the event had not gotten their shit together soon enough, and that the venue was shitty.) Hoss rehearsed his routine.

Several more hours passed. The cool queers and I went out for drinks and nachos and got sufficiently drunk. Hoss and I went bong-browsing. We still had a shit-ton of time to wait.

…(Several cigarettes later)…

It finally came. The drag show. A good two-thirds of the venue was filled, which amounted to a couple hundred people. We started fifteen minutes after the scheduled 8 PM (that’s queer standard time, for ya). Backstage the gaybies had broken out a box wine, a bottle of vodka and accompanying tonic. With that little bit of courage, we started.

It was phenomenal. The gayby leaders proved themselves to everyone. The venue was almost full, the lights were fantastic, and every performer really gave a shit: The drag kings did their pelvic thrusts perfectly, the drag queens dolled themselves up in dazzling neon make-up, sparkled their eyelashes, padded their boobs to disproportionate sizes. There is one queen I would like to mention in particular: I can’t remember her name, or the song she did, but her outfit was gorgeous. She had these silicone breasts on that bounced with every step of her nine inch heeled boots. She contorted herself like Lilith on the stage, strange and erotic and dark. I can’t describe it, but it was metal as fuck.

Black-Eyed Susan, Hoss’s drag name, did Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” She took the stage wearing an ugly checkered house dress. When the chorus struck the first time, she dropped it, revealing a red tutu and bra, her shitty blond wig whipping around. I flitted over to stage and offered her my dollar, which I had to bum from a friend. She took it, and it warmed my heart. For the final lines of the song, she drew a switchblade from her bra, and licked the blade as she walked away. My boyfriend, ladies and gentlemen and genderfucks.

I had to run backstage to help with the next show. A friend of mine was doing what she called her “power dyke” song. Here it is. She took the stage, aiming her hot pink machine gun at the audience. One of the gaybies and I walked up to the front stage bearing a poster saying “Your Make Up Is Terrible”. She ripped through it for the climax of the song, shot at some more audience-members. The gayby and I were her awkward back-up dancers.

We finished the night with “YMCA”. Hoss convinced me to dance on the stage with everyone else. I wasn’t at all dressed up, so I decided to strip to my underwear. Thank Satan I was wearing my sexy boxer briefs.

But the night was not truly over. We still had the after-party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Amanda Palmer is a godsend (and I’m an atheist, so that’s a pretty big deal)

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This week I went to a bookstore hosting Amanda Fucking Palmer reading her fan-fucking-tastic The Art of Asking. It made me cry.

I'm so goddamn in love with her.

I’m so goddamn in love with her.

My boyfriend and I rolled out of bed around 7 o’clock to drive forty-five minutes to the city which would be graced with her presence. We listened to Who Killed Amanda Palmer on the way there, the guitar hero serenading us as we drove down the unreal empty streets of the city. We put some shitty donuts in our digestive tracts, and some even shittier coffee.

We drive to the bookstore, get one of the very last spaces in the parking garage, and get to the bookstore proper. There’s one fan waiting outside the unopened storefront. We decide to take a stroll through the park across the street, shouting at the geese to get a job, threatening them with fist fights, which was punk as fuck.

We return to the bookstore. Still no one. Jesus Christ people, where is your taste?

Got stoned at a friend’s. She let us play with her chihuahua/pug mix puppy which, due to the nuances of genetics, has about five years to live. Just super duper blazed, and suddenly you would be pulled into a puddle of puppy love.

Anyways.

They let us into the bookstore and we got our books. I devoured the first fifty pages. Then we waited. And waited.

Then we waited some more.

About threeish hours later, despite the plane delays, the Palmer had landed. She was amazing. She was all like “Soooooo – I wrote this book” and it was punk as fuck. God. Jesus. Mary. You had to be there.

She read from her book, about her time as a street performer. The premise of her act was that she dressed in a gigantic wedding dress and stood on top of some milk crates, and handed out flowers to people who dropped some money in her hat. It was pretty Zen and whatever: an analogy of asking for help to support your art and delivering the goods to your audience.

Then she sang. I swear, everyone in the room fell in love with her all over again when she strummed the strings of her ukulele. She played “In My Mind“, a favorite of mine.

She read more passages from her book about her relationship with her husband Neil Gaiman (for whom I have the utmost respect). She talked about her own problems with asking for help from him, that even she struggled with the concept. But she articulated it in a much more eloquent way, I swear.

And we waited some more. We went out to smoke with all of the ukulele-bearing, tiny piano-toting awesome people. Quickly munched some sandwiches, wandered around a pagan & Wiccan ceremonial supply store, went back in.

The way the system worked was that everyone was given a ticket with their book, and the ticket had a number on it. Amanda would sign the books, starting at number one, going down and down the line. That was cool, though. Hoss and I chatted with this cool chick in front of us.

The light at the end of the goddamn tunnel. Amanda was doing signatures in a fucking blanket fort. I gave my phone to a guy for a picture. I sat all nervously, legs folded beneath me as if I’m sitting down for a blaze sesh, five inches away.

Something magical happened.

Amanda FUCKING Palmer looked at me with an amused look then pulled me closer into the picture. Our cheeks were actually touching. We walked away, and I shook her hand and thanked her.

Magical.

(Consequently, that is now the only picture of my boyfriend and I where he is not in drag. And its with Amanda Fucking Palmer. We win.)

We got our complimentary muffins and went out the door. We drove home, lit some cigarettes, and listened to the rest of Theatre is Evil. This song came up and I cried. Silently. I cried because I was caught up in the love for art. I cried because I thought that just maybe I could do this writer thing.

Not to sound like a Misery ripoff or anything, but I love you, Amanda. My thank you to you was more than an appreciation of your time. You renewed my belief in the online art community, and made me proud to be a part of it.

A final note: stop pretending art is hard, goddammit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njDQsQpFIqA