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Where I’m at in the fantasy…

October 25, 2011

Well just over a month away from the show opening and I’m at home with a cold. At first I was upset cause I had to cancel rehearsal and with only 15 or so rehearsal left that is just not acceptable. But, as nature and my body would have it I am here at home…

Being grounded at home is turing out to be a very good thing. I got to clean my room which I haven’t done since SASS Patrol. In fact I don’t think I’ve spent more than 3 hours awake in my room since the week before Sass Patrol was winding up. And, now that I think of SASS Patrol I’ve dropped my head and rolled my neck around in supplication and affirmation of it’s awesomeness, YES! We raised a little bit of cash, not as much as I hoped, but enough over breaking even to say it was a success. We brought together a variety (and I do mean VARIETY) of performers together on one stage to shine and sass on the audience. I think everyone there had a great time.

And now, with a month and a week til that curtain draws open I’m here in my navy blue crab sweater with a fever working hard at connecting all the dots to get this beast in shape.

I’ve been performing for some years now in PDX. When I got the grant for this work I was super excited and a little intimidated. Basically now I have to commit and exceed expectations and all that jazz. Having never done this before I wanted every step of the way to be perfect and being the princess I am (was…) I expected it all to go the way I wanted. This, it has not. I have had to make some big shifts and changes in the plan, had some changes done to my plan that I didn’t steer and haven’t done it all perfect. But, I’m still doing it. I’m on a learning curve here. I’m waking up every day and doing my best to be a choreographer, a dancer, a project manager, a visual and installation artist, a networker and a human. I came to a point last month when I realized… oh shit this is ACTUALLY going to happen. And then I thought OH SHIT IT’S ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN!

My laundry list has been pretty long.

Here’s my laundry list now:

Write blog about laundry list

Confirm bank account for deposits

Finalize Kickstarter Campaign (YES!)

Write Press Release for Genderfantasy

Send Press Release to … and … and …

Organize photo shoot shots and video for flyer/poster

write a 6 page full color zine

review rehearsal videos

write and set music score for parts 1, 2 and 3

Decide on the ending

Volunteer list

Sponsor contact info list

Pay for venue

Links on blog for sponors and venue

confirm video projector

confirm installation logistics

fit 20 more minutes of movement on stage in 9 rehearsals

buy more glitter and paint

review and finalize budget

launch kickstarter

 

and of course there’s more and of course there’s things I forget. There are things I haven’t done to the T.

BUT! Here’s what I have done right.

I have connected with 3 amazing dancers and spent over 100 hours moving, dancing, talking, screaming, prancing, practicing, theorizing, ritualizing, and cultivating Genderfantasy. We have flocked, swam, crunched, collapsed, been possessed, spun stories and awkwardly fierce ourselves down runway after imaginary runway. I have the support of a few amazing individuals who make me look good on paper (Eric Sellers), make me look good on stage (Raijah), and make me sound amazing (CJ and the Dolls).

Things I know about Genderfantasy right now.

We use glamour to transcend the ordinary. We use glamour to bring you to our fantasy. Our fantasy is an exploration of power and identity and the body and intimacy and expression. Our glamour happens to be on our body for a while. Our bodies are authentic and constantly present. Our bodies are a reminder we will die. We are painted and we are fierce. We exist at a cross-roads between multiple possibilities. It is set in a nightclub and it is a competition. The prizes are unknown. We are constantly referencing our self-image. We resemble each other for a while. There is honesty… but most of it is a strangely crafted lie. Our bodies are awkward and hold a shape. Our bodies are honest. It is very contemporary as our characters only exist in front of a camera… but our bodies will be there the entire night. We’re over the top. We resemble the oppression which has molded us. We represent the history of affectation. We represent the possibilites of collaboration. We dance with the dead who have shaped us.

During the practice of Genderfantasy I set out to present a performance piece which represented my experience as a alternative drag performer, a queer in this day and age, and celebrate queer aesthetics. I’ve realized queer is slippery, it is a trickster and is lightning fast. And, as I write this I’m changing my plans for the show. I wanted to create something profound, entertaining, exciting and new. What I’ve realized is I’ve bit off more than I can chew. But, chew I must! And chew I will! But, I’m realizing my statement isn’t about the state of gender in this day and age. I don’t need to show up in a wig and dress and scream TRANSGRESSIVE! I don’t think I have money for dresses anyway. I think my comment on gender is stated pretty clearly in the title. I incorporate my innate experience with gender as a platform to address the complex relationship of self and other… self and self… self and audience and hopefully amidst the prancing and process some comment on gender will be made. Gender is a character in this show. As much as I am a body in the show. As much as sound is a character in the show. As much as our affectations imply narrative in the show. But at it’s core there is space. At the cross roads of this show, the fulcrum we spin around there is mystery and I don’t know what it is but it speaks to me and I will continue to wear a fucked up cheap blonde wig and roll around til that mystery takes me over and I learn how to describe it with clarity voice and passion.

I’ll come clean. It’s a ritual. The entire play/dance/performance piece is a ceremony to honor those who have come before us and have passed on. The score of the show is designed to be as much a performance for them as it is for you, the audience. It is inspired by some bright shining stars of the queer aesthetic lineage. It is inspired by the grief and loss of countless due to patriarchy, war, HIV and ignorance. It is inspired by the history of silence being broken one aggressive, unpolished, confrontational, beautiful, awkward performance piece at a time.  It is a celebration of the simple fact I am able to explore and create a sense of self beyond a male/female paradigm. It is a celebration of bodies containing not only a sense of ones self. (singular) But also the memory and mystery of all those who shaped us… a pluralism of identity. If we all come from the countless representations of our fathers and mothers…are we not all of them? And then there is mystery… Queers. We are born from bodies coming together. We are not a reaction, we are a gateway.

Ok… I think the fever is peaking…

See you soon…

 

 

 

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From → Rehearsal Notes

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