Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I am a powerful celebrity publicist.

And these are my clients.



Drag leg-end MargOH! Channing hired me this week to PR her show Mamma MargOH!'s All-Soul Burlesque Revue. That's right ladies, I am no longer just pushing myself down the throat's of New York's media, I now have clients. Well, a client. Now I need an intern. I am actually very good at this, having taken notes from the ever newsworthy Madame Dax. I got a lot of press for the Cockettes (Time Out, Next) and my tour with Spooky got a few nice mentions too (New Mexico Voice, San Francisco Chronicle). I am excited! I feel like I have a purpose in life again; promoting drag to ever-hungry NYC audiences. Someone at the Imperial Court should canonize me.

I'll totally promote your show too, for a modest fee.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Full on incongruous realness



Liza Minnelli and Queen at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert in 1887. Sorry 1992.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

She married Prince Ali Khan you know.



Last night, post-show on the Bowery, an unidentified lady turned to me and said; "I'm getting Rita Hayworth."

Can you imagine?

Yo, dude! Quit macking on my friend. Seriously.


Hunter is like totally getting naked all over his blog.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Work Mary!



(L-R) Dirty Martini, La JohnJoseph, Darlinda Just Darlinda, Legs Malone; preparing for "America's Next Top Mary" May 19th at Galapagos. Thanks to Bed-Stuy Banana for the image.

Tedd D'Otavio



Mr D'Ottavio worked his magic on me this evening in his Park Slope studio. As always I was pushing for drama, tension, emotion and just a dash of incomprehensibility in the images; I'm very pleased with the results.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hilary Clinton is ruining my sex life.

Mr Marla



Tart about town, Glenn Marla scores yet more press for his arsenal of archivery in today's New York Times! Not only a bright young thing on stage, Mr Marla proves that he can give some snappy quotes in the style section. (You can read the article here without having to become a member of the NYT online - it's better for your soul.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lavinia Co-Op



I had the pleasure of seeing the legendary Lavinia Co-Op at Rapture Cafe this evening. It was a full house and I felt just a little poignant over Rapture's impending demise. Lavinia performed "Installations in Stilettos", although I don't think she wore stillies at all during the show. There were some lovely white brogues, and some flashy neon platform sandals but still, I did feel a little short changed. I kid.

The show was an uproarious compilation of material from throughout Ms Co-Op's career, spanning her time with seminal British performance troupe Bloo-Lips, drag rockers Hot Peaches, and beyond. There were turnips singing cheerfully of the dubious successes of genetic engineering, a one woman version of Salome in which the audience are invited to imagine a set full of campy extras, and a string of other vaudeville follies, all herded on and off-stage by a diligent stage manager (Lavinia herself, of course) whilst waiting for Lavinia to turn up.

The jokes are so groansomely pun heavy that suspension of disbelief, and all of that sort of silliness, is entirely unnecessary. Why not just go with the flow as Lavinia shuffles on and off-stage in her trademark radical drag and cockney slang, firing twenty gags a minute before she bursts out as her final creation, herself? In her last guise, Lavinia performs a tour de force permeation of identity; it's practically identity theft as she steals her own persona from herself onstage. It's a hilarious act of schizophrenic revelation, no less compelling because you see it coming from the opening line.

Yes with Ms Co-Op it isn't all froth, there's a solid heartbeat as she tells of her nights spent with the very queens who kick-started the Stonewall riots and who later found themselves sidelined by the gay *ahem* community in all of it's mono glory. As the singing turnips say; "It's a mono-universe. Mono-theism, mono-culture, monotony." She staggers down the bar singing the anthemic, borderline burlesque number, "Call Me Drag Queen". The song, interpsed with classic Hollywood quotes, revels in Lavinia's small stage stardom, as a flaming icon of a life dedicated to that underworld of queens, artists and strippers she has been a part of for so long. Part pantomime, part cockney Cockette, part primetime 'Seventies comedy special, Lavinia had the crowd with her every step of the way.

And what's more worth it, she'll be at the Pope Bash on April 19th at Rapture with Linda Simpson, Murray Hill, Dirty Martini, Darlinda Just Darlinda and myself. What a line up, really I spoil you.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Street Life


I was taking the subway. From the corner of my eye, I saw her stop and turn on her heel, I knew she had seen me and was coming over. I made no attempt to acknowledge her, she approached.

"Excuse me," she said, "I'm a photographer."

"Of course you are," I thought to myself.

She continued, "And I'm putting together a book on redheads, would you be interested in taking part?"

I continued to buy my single ride ticket with dimes, slipping twenty of them into the narrow slot, and recited my email address to her. I took the subway and said to myself, "This is why I don't leave the house."

Once a lady stumbled up to me in San Francisco to tell me that my freckles were kisses from the angels, and that when I died I need not fear, because I would be going back home. And once, when I was in the middle of an argument with Mrs Garrett, who was crying almond-eyed tears with a schmear of cream cheese on her bottom lip, a peppy young lady dashed over to ask me: "Have you ever had your hair blown out?" That was preposterous.

I thought about that on my subway ride into Manhattan, that and the time a girl staggered over to me on a nightbus in London and said; "I'll tell you why you're so pretty, it's 'cos you've got sleepy Chinky eyes ain't ya?"

In between First and Third Avenues I smirked, in a somewhat bemused manner, to myself about the time a granny at Associated Supermarket repeatedly and relentlessly asked me; "Well are you? Are you a man or are you a woman? You can tell me." She was so compassionate about it, I almost felt as though I could go through the whole story with her, but time simply did not allow.

For a short while then, between Third and Sixth, I fell into reverie on the endless "You look just like"s; Paul McCartney, Quentin Crisp, Margaret Thatcher, Eric Idle, David Bowie, Oscar Wilde, Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. I'm waiting on Joan of Arc, I will be so happy when somebody tells me I remind them of Joan of Arc.

I exited the train, thinking to myself, "If I just look at the pavement and hurry along I'll be safe inside the club in mere moments." A gentleman three steps ahead stopped dead still right in front of me, almost instinctually, causing me to slam to a halt myself, to avoid a collision. He looked at me, asked where Renwick Street was and then, without taking a breath asked, "And are you a dandy?" It was a complete non sequitur, and he said it in such a way that I was not entirely sure that he wasn't actually on a religious mission. It almost sounded like, "Do you have Jesus in your life?"

I gave him my email address.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

You didn't have the decency to change the sheets.



Cyndi does Prince in 1985.
Bangles, graffiti, hair, heartbreak.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hearts they do ache



"I don't even amount to the powder to blow me to Hell."
Dorothy Parker, The Little Hours

Monday, April 7, 2008

Linoleum



It was the pebble-dash linoleum that really did me in. The full length of the railroad apartment was plastered with plastic mimicking Brighton beach, and curling up at the edges. The kitchen connected to Julia’s room, which ran into the windowless cell where Mick slept, which became the big room at the front where Gigi and I lived, with the cats. We did have a clothes rail, and a few other creaky pieces of substandard furniture, which we had found in the street, but her clothes were forever spread across the linoleum, and quite often items I hadn’t been able to find re-emerged in that pile too, bubbled up to the surface of that swamp.

We slept on a single air mattress on the floor, Gigi had bought, framing it as an efficient purchase, because we would be able to roll it up and take it with us when we moved into an apartment of our own. We moved into that so badly wanted apartment never, and sadly, the air mattress didn’t last that long. The cats, forever darting around the room, punctured the mattress as they trotted all over it. However hard we tried to reinflate it and attend to the leaks, inevitably we would wake up each morning uncomfortable, and pressed up against the painful linoleum floor, with just a thin layer of air and rubber between us.

Once when Abby came by, in the merciless heat of August, she looked around the room without malice and said, "You’re the artists." The puddle of an air mattress, the flood of discarded clothes, the hissing cats and their sodden, stinking litter box confirmed this. We did not live in Paris in 1895, no, we lived in Bushwick in 2007 and we shared with an army of cockroaches and a navy of mice. Late at night, as we rolled uncomfortably on our sinking bed, under the spluttering ceiling fan that was really no replacement for air conditioning, we would hear the scuttling footsteps of rodents and freeze. The cats were some help in deterring the mice, or rather in keeping them in the other half of the apartment, but that was not enough to persuade the landlord to let them stay. We asked, hypothetically, "If we were to have cats and they were to keep the mice under control, could they stay?" The answer was a blunt "No". I think that maybe this ingenious line of questioning, combined with nocturnal mewing, perhaps alerted the landlord to the presence of cats less spectral than suggested, in his building.

The man was not exactly Doris Day, and his love of animals did not extend as far as Gigi’s, who would feed homeless cats on the street. This brought Gigi and the landlord into conflict, he was very concerned that she would encourage stray animals in the neighbourhood. I remember that his specific worry was that the cats would find their way into his overgrown garden and die. "And the last thing I want is to have to pay someone to have to remove these dead cats from my yard," he said. That his filthy pile of weeds, broken laundry lines and old bicycles was some sort of ancestral cat graveyard, always seemed to me such a morbid scenario, and not entirely likely.

Eventually, when an exterminator turned up to deal with the cockroaches, unannounced one Saturday morning, we realised that the cats had to go. Or rather Julia and Mick realised the cats had to go since they had paid the deposit that would be lost when the landlord found out the cats remained. So, we hid the cats in a box, inside a laundry basket topped with all the clothes scraped up off the linoleum, and moved them from room to room as the exterminator sprayed the apartment. When he was gone, we smuggled them out of the apartment, still in the laundry basket and Gigi sat on the street corner with a basket of dirty laundry a sign reading "Please adopt my cats." It was high Summer, she got pretty sunburned. I returned to the apartment, walked along the corridor plastered with signs that read in broken English: "Don’t Sleep With YOUR trash!!!" and "RAPPERS and MURDERERS still walk by this door every night on their way to buy drugs. LOCK THE door!!!!"

I spent that Summer aching with malnutrition, often going to sleep in the middle of the day out of sheer hopelessness, as a way to escape the hunger. I felt as though I was experiencing the Great Depression, first hand for myself, that I was living in Dorothea Lange's dust bowl. I thought to myself, "Lord I hate this place." And that was all before Gigi left New York, and I got fired and started sleeping with Mick.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Swoon



Tonight, piano-playing dreamboat Todd Almond, is playing a full set of his heartfelt, honeyed songs at The Zipper Theatre. If The Margin doesn't slay you, then you aren't human.

Conversation

The following is a real life interaction I had on manhunt yesterday.

On Wed 02 Apr 2008 08:47 PM, francesco wrote:
> u look like fergie.....
> the dutchess of york,,,

> On Wed 02 Apr 2008 09:05 PM, redheadedboy wrote:
> Well, how kind of you to say so!

> On Wed 02 Apr 2008 09:07 PM, francesco wrote:
> and u think thats a good thing...??????

On Wed 02 Apr 2008 09:13 PM, redheadedboy wrote:
> I'm sure you meant it as a compliment, so I have chosen to take it as so.
> After all what kind of imbecile would waste their time trying to insult
> people via manhunt?

On Wed 02 Apr 2008 10:21 PM, francesco wrote:
>i wasent trying to insult u.... i was just kinda puzzled as to why u would want
>to look like a girl...

On Wed 02 Apr 2008 10:45 PM, redheadedboy wrote:
>I simply don't acknowledge the line between boys and girls, I wander all over the garden as I please. If I want to grow my hair, I do so; there are too many arbitrary rules to follow, wouldn't you say? Besides I think it's terribly unchic to be ruled by such a silly thing as gender.

He didn't reply, so I logged off and went to Love Muscle with all the other trannies.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Knef



"Pirate Jenny" written in 1928 by Brecht/Weill, performed by Hildegard Knef, 1968, Belin.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Esser



Yes please.

Faberge is overrated


When I was a child I stole a Cadbury's creme egg from Woolworths. I consider this to be my 'fatal instant' if we're going to be Sartrian about it, and frankly why not? I was stealing you see, to steal a place in the world; plus I really do love creme eggs. My sister, Nicola, once ate a triple pack of them that she had found somewhere she probably shouldn't have been looking. They had been intended as an Easter present for some uninteresting cousin, so she stashed the empty packaging in my bedroom in an attempt to frame me for the crime. The nerve. But, even this traumatic incident did not disuade me from my love. Not to be outdone however, Madonna (linking to her would simply be redundant wouldn't it?) in an interview with Elle this month, discusses at some length how she too loves the delicious little ovals. The woman who is often accused of cultural vampirism, says of her favourite candy; "I bite right into it and suck all that good stuff out!" Madonnalicious has all the details, and more.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Max Steele, is a genius.



Admit it.

Diamanda and Doris

I was pleased to find out today that the Diane Pernet of pianos, Diamada Galas, is, like myself a big fan of Doris Day; or as she puts it, "...Doris Day. Love her. Best legato in the business." You can find out more about this perhaps, unexpected adoration, in Arthur Magazine. I had a very nice chat with Nellie McKay in a trailer not so long ago, and it transpires she is also a fan of Ms Day; though I suppose that's less surprising isn't it?