Wednesday, February 27, 2013

All The Goss! Our Drag Debut at Stonewall

After weeks of preparation, a few of us made our drag debut onstage at Polly's Follies. They offer free champagne all night to drag queens which is the reason 1) there are so many drag queens at Stonewall and b) why we got ejected from the premises by Polly herself! Read on.
After watching it for years, I've finally arrived to the stage. Mayday's first lip synch was to a Rita Hayworth number - "Zip" from the musical Pal Joey. About a stripper who fancies herself a thinker:
"Zip" turned out to be a near impossible number as it has no chorus to repeat and it's a LOT of fast talk. There was far too much memorization of 1950s lyrics that mostly I didn't understand ("who is Walter Lipman? Charlie's aunt?") Thankfully, Richard returned to his days of producing theatre and helped me with characterization and choreography. 
He knew the lyrics and moves far better than me, so I'm not sure why I was the one tossed on stage to the piranhas. What I do know is that if there's a next time I'm choosing a song that's ONLY chorus, with maybe a key change...

Joining me in this fiasco fantastic adventure popping our Polly's cherry were Mai Tai:
double fisting! Atta girl.
Nell'ee Maydit:
And Miss Belle Igerent, aka Bam Bam, aka "Thing":
Getting Bam Bam frocked up is always the same narrative. It begins with "no way" which soon morphs into a curious, "Where's my Betty Drooper wig?" to "I have to have the gold glasses". Then he backtracks in the manner of a special guest star diva, with "I'm not CONFIRMED". At which point I suggest he drinks a few beers. After a few beers, he is off buying pantyhose, even texting me if he should get a feather boa, and by the time we're out the door he's begging me for more lipstick...

At Polly's you have to do three numbers. Mai Tai was the first up with Sunday Girl, prancing about with a jumprope she spun around like nunchucks.
Audience BEWARE!
Nell'ee performed a power anthem from Eurovision that was all chorus and maybe a key change (a SMART queen)

An imperious Mayday takes on "Zip".
"I'm a broad with a broad, broad mind!"
Richard and I rehearsed with a lot of props. I figured the best thing you can do to wow an audience is to DISTRACT the hell out of them. I was up to my earrings in props.

They largely backfired. My fur fell, I dropped the book at the wrong moment and (oy!) tossing sweaty fake dollars from my cleavage proved challenging. If I was foiled by my own brilliant idea, I believe they proved effective in distracting the audience from reading my lips.
There is actually a video of this, which is now under high-surveillance security!

For my second number I went for chestnut, attempting to channel my Latina heritage. Belle Igerent kept following me around prowling after more drink tickets...
This photo kills me. Mayday imagines herself to be a smoldering torch singer...
Our "Enough is Enough" duet with Mayday (Barbra Streisand) and Mai Tai (Donna Summer): 
We rehearsed choreography (including lesbian grope and a mutual grinding on Polly during the interlude) in Mai Tai's backyard - where she set up a taped out perimeter of the Stonewall stage:
With lyrics clipped to the washing line!

And on opening night:  

Hours later, by the third number, the champagne was taking full effect and things were going pear-shaped. First, the drapery was assaulted...

Then Bam decided to camp out on the stage. Here I'm trying to talk sense into Belle Igerent (foolish, really)...
Miss Belle Igerent was living up to her name. I had convinced Bam to get on stage, promising he wouldn't have to do anything except sit there as accessory to my last number, Transvision Vamp's "Tell That Girl to Shut Up!"

He got onstage too early and, in character, refused to leave. Which was downright hilarious. Alas the show must go on...
 This about sums up our relationship.
At this time Polly informed me that we needed to leave, concerned one of us was going to fall off the stage. I said, I HOPE one of us does!

For the first time in the history of the universe (it has been noted by those who know me), I was asked to leave because of my friends behavior and not the other way around. Naturally, we didn't leave. We went back for more champagne... until Belle Igerent finally gave in and headed home. What a vision.
Business casual...after dark
Mai Tai and I soldiered on to the Loose Ends party and while later walking home, some dude pulled over in his car and tried to solicit sex. Mayday hopped right into the car and made that tranny chaser give us a ride home!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mardi Gras 2013

Sydney's heating up with Mardi Gras season in full swing and the tourists flooding in.

My radio show on 2ser has been a blast, interviewing everyone from gay foster parents to Sydney's member for Parliament Alex Greenwich, and look here I am with David Hasselhoff:
I had no idea he sings? I wanted to ask about the drunken hamburger episode his daughter released but I wasn't allowed to, er, Hassle the Hoff.

Fair Day.
 Roowena and Ric at Roma's Bingo.
 Caught Justin Bond's cabaret at Carriageworks
The Roller Derby - "Vagine Regime" (Lesbians at play)
 My friend Finola doing dressage on her Hanoverian, Rapunzel.
 Spotted my favorite Body Attack instructor, that peppy tyrant JAQUI out at Midnight Shift...
After stopping the creatine powder, I ran/swam my best time in the Boy Charlton biathlon last week!

 Then wandered over to wanton women at the pink pussycat burlesque.

Don't have photos, but attended the opening of Mardi Gras film festival, and the very best of creative artistry from Dallas Dellaforce (at the very worst of venues, ugh). At 2am, Arq to features a Katy Perry tribute show headlined by Australia's top drag queens, including Minnie Cooper and Charisma Belle - inspiring talents who we also got to interview on the radio program.

Met this adorable ice skater who was showing me youtube vids of him landing triple axels in competition just before faceplanting into the ice. Hilarious. And I thought I had a google problem!
 No idea!
But then on Sunday - look what happened:
Mai Tai, Belle Igerent, Mayday and Nelly
We FINALLY made our illustrious debut at Polly's Follies - the amateur drag night. We had to lip synch perform three numbers for the audience and under the critical eye of the imperious Polly...

Boy oh boy, that will merit it's own blog post. Yes, I managed to get Bam on stage for one number... which has everything to do with how the entertainment got asked to leave the premises! I'll post all about it, but here's a quick teaser.
Belle Igerent (aka "thing") with Mayday

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Is Your Dog Your Kid?

When I was growing up, dogs played in the backyard doing dog things: Harassing squirrels and digging holes and chasing their tails. They weren't designer, over-accessorized, or even that inherently interesting. Adult conversations weren't interrupted to just "look at that priceless expression!" My, how times have changed.  

If I called your dog stupid, would you kick me out? My friend Travis did. So I wrote a very arch piece about it in the Advocate. Read it here. Then read the comments calling me an animal abuser. 
In gay culture's rush for acceptance, are we not only becoming less edgy - but humorless? If my writing gets knickers in a knot - I know I'm doing something right. Long may I provoke the tamed.

Ending HIV

ACON has put out a very progressive new campaign to stamp out the transmission of HIV. It's targeted toward gay men, and its mission is to get everyone tested regularly. These kinds of campaigns have to walk that razor's edge between not stigmatizing the HIV-positive, while not scaring off the HIV-negative. But there's more to this one, watch and listen.

Knowledge is power - so if you know your status, you can go on treatment - and get your viral load down to undetectable. The voice of the campaign is familiar, with its message much like we hear on the street. At the film festival opening night, it received an ovation.

I'm all for its proactive message, but read between the lines:

:55 "Undetectable status makes it much less likely to pass on the virus." 

2:00 "Once 9 out of 10 people are undetectable, transmissions can stop."

What does that suggest, less "likely leading" to "can stop"? Is it saying that if you're undetectable, you can't transmit HIV? That's the way a lot of people I know behave, sometimes not even disclosing they are positive because at undetectable levels, they don't believe they carry a transmittable virus. But I've never heard that officially. And here's where walking the razor's edge suddenly gets blurry.

On my radio show, we spoke to an expert about it and when I mentioned what the campaign seems to suggest, he went on about safe sex and debunking all the myths and getting the facts right. So then I asked him point blank, "If you're undetectable, can you transmit HIV?" And you know what he said?
"I'm not comfortable answering that question."

If we are debunking myths, why aren't we debunking this myth - or is it not a myth at all?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Gay Panic - pop up RADIO!

You've heard of pop up bars, pop up shops, even restaurants, and now POP UP RADIO arrives and yours truly has been asked to host. I now get to exploit my gift of gab and gossip (food of the GODS) each weekday through Mardi Gras season. As I told the producers, my face is SO ready for radio.
Our show, GAY PANIC, is hosted by 2ser fm, Joy fm and the Star Observer. Find Star Observer Digital on your digital radio or stream it online here. I always thought Gay Panic would be an awesome band name, but until I learn to lift a tune (let alone carry one) a radio show it shall be.
 Here I'm with singer Prophet Love (upcoming show 2/24), and co-host Jack Crane.

We're on weekdays 10 to noon, talking about everything queer - and they let us really go there. Jack has radio experience and is my perfect foil. He knows when to reel me back when I go on a (frequent) tangent and just how to cut me off when I take it too far (frequently). We've got a great group of producers on board who are more than game for my crazy ideas: "let's do a HUMP DAY HOOKER segment! How about a fag hag? Can we get a really old gay dude to talk about aging?"
two of our amazing team, Emma and Gemma
They wave their wand and the next day we're interviewing in the studio a sex worker (I just think it's so cool sex work is legal in NSW), a fag hag and a man who leads the Mature-Aged Gays group (and only came out after his wife of 50 years died)... who were all totally darling, by the way. And despite possibly breaking broadcast law by having solicited sex on the air, they still keep me around.

Today we had a Valentine's love (and celebration of being single) special and spoke to a relationship counselor who gave us all sorts of free therapy. Yesterday's show is already up if you want to have a listen to what goes down, including our chats with Harmony the sex worker, a studly chick from Roller Derby, and Jain from Mardi Gras Film Festival - which kicks off tonight.

GAY PANIC with Tim, another morning show host - and Marcus Whale from the band Collarbones

Monday, February 11, 2013

Video Round Up

If you haven't caught the bad lip reading of Obama's speech, you have no idea why the world of fashion is obsessed with backwards pants...

And if you've ever felt disrespected at work, you'll totally understand the way this woman feels.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Fire Your Nanny

Australia's "National Health and Medical Research" has spent time, money and research to declare that children should wash their hands before and after playing in the sandpit, and not blow out birthday candles at parties because they might spread germs.
The Guidelines state: "To prevent the spread of germs when the child blows out the candles, parents should provide cupcakes and a separate cupcake, with a candle if they wish, for the birthday child."

Last I knew, getting exposed to germs only fortifies the immune system. Ideas like these only expose kids to obsessive manias, compulsions and phobias; the collective plague of #firstworldproblems.  

Then again, maybe the NHMR is not going far enough? Why stop at bubble-wrapping kids when they might spend time, money and research to engineer a way to keep them fetal; forever protected, afloat in a warm womb where they can't catch a cold.

Why bother living? It's only going to kill you.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Why Am I?

Here is a screen grab from my public FB page. It appears to be me, but it is really FB pretending to be me in order to tell me how and why Jesse Archer needs to post a status update about himself. Yes, my existential crisis approaches its apex.

Who Am I?

Recently, Bam started waxing philosophical about The Brink. He begins, "I thought it was just a website..." and goes on to say the brink is an alluring place but can be dangerous, a slippery slope on a precarious precipice. When I remind him I'm fine and haven't gone over the edge, he says it's my "natural habitat" and that I alone thrive walking the tightrope. Then he pinpointed what's for him the moment in my past where I chose to exist on this razor's edge and it's hard to ignore someone who's known you so long and so well. Maybe it's time to step back from the brink - it's LONELY here!

What Am I?

The brink of WHAT? I've always said SANITY.

Straddling that yawning chasm of reality and perception, I find what's really important is to try and be guided by this maxim. Or is it a platitude? And in doing so, tell your truth.

"The tragedy of life is not death, but what dies inside of us while we live."