Thursday, July 31, 2008

A "Honeyed" SoHo Art Premiere

I've always loved the Arts so I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to curate and produce a Visual Art Gallery show for the Fresh Fruit Festival at the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation in SoHo, Manhattan's famous Art district. The Show was titled: Strike A Pose! Gender 2008 and ran from July 18 - 25. It was a multi-media group show with images of people who express Gender in non-traditional ways including Transgender, Drag Queens/Kings, Cross-Dressers, Radical Faeries, Gender Queer and others. In my many years as a Drag performer I became acquainted with many artists who see the creativeness and beauty in Drag and Gender expression, and use it in generating innovating Works of Art. The participating artists included: Zen Browne, Pamela Camhe, Alicia Colon, Nicolas El-Khoury, Fernando Espinosa, Keith Gemerek, Luc Georges, Nikki Johnson, Elizabeth Josephson, Lois Lazarus, Daniel Malisky, Dick Mitchell, Jack Millet Mosher, Rick Odell, Alina Oswald, Evan Schwartz, Sabrina Scott, troyboydesigns, WilsonModels, Dana Witford and Ryan Janek Wolowski. Also on display were artifacts including rare Drag vaudeville sheet music and vintage photographs from the collection of renowned Historian Dr. Joe E. Jeffreys.

The opening night gala turned out to be one of the most exciting and populated premiere events that So
Ho ever had with over 600 people attending! Drag performers, Artists, Media/TV/Newspaper Reporters, Politicians, and Prominent people from the Transgender Community came by to see the show. It was truly an overwhelmingly exhilarating evening that created a huge buzz in the NYC Art Scene! I've already been asked to bring the show to two other galleries!

Seen: Media/Press – columnist Michael Musto and photographer Andy Kropa (Village Voice), Barbara Mac Adams (Art News), Stephanie Butler and Robin Cloud, (Under the Pink Carpet TV), Ryan Wolowski (Out and About TV), Samara Riviera (Viva La Riviera TV), Peter Hemmel and Troy Dunham (Glamour magazine), Jeff Eason (HX magazine), Trenton Straub (NY Blade). Drag Personalities – Epiphany, Sherry Vine, Peppermint, Agnes DeGarron, Milan, T Boy, Mistress Formika, Jem Jender, Justina Gladiola, Huckelfaerie, Cleopatra Queen of Denile, Rita Petite, Rebecka Miller and others. Burlesque Personalities – Dirty Martini, Vera Wylde, Darlinda Just Darlinda, Victoria Twirls and others. Artists – Richard Rodgers, Regis Cebrian, Evan Laurence, David Slone and others. Plus - Pauline Park (NYAGRA, New York Assoc. Gender Rights Advocacy), film maker Casper Andreas (A Four Letter Word), film maker David Finkelstein (Lake Ivan), film maker Lovari (Shore Thing), Veronica Vera (Miss Vera’s Cross Dressing Academy) with some faculty and students, members of the NYC Circle of Radical Faeries and CDI (Cross Dressers International).

Below are two fascinating images that received a lot of attention. Birthing Epiphany by troyboydesig
ns and WilsonModels is an image of Drag Personality Epiphany giving birth to herself as a man out of Drag. Mr. Clover and Lady Clover Honey by Rick Odell is an image of me - as a man out of Drag - playfully feeding my Drag Persona a muffin.

O69? Center BINGO

Raising funds for The LGBT Community Center of NYC by having a BINGO game has never been more fun or glamorous!! On July 25, Center BINGO took place with fashionable Drag Divas, sexy go go Boys, TV network Reality stars, magazine photographers, a cable TV Transgender reporter - and a birthday celebration!! Center BINGO manager Danny Brook celebrated his birthday at BINGO and he looked so sharp and handsome (as always) wearing a regal Birthday Crown. We surprised him with a birthday cake and yes, he blew out all his candles!! Church Lady helped me make the event fabulous in her fierce polka-dotted 50s frock. I wore a 60s Pucci gown with a Gucci purse with jewelry by Susan Lucci. Adding some masculine Yin to my feminine Yang was my co-host for the evening, Sterling. At one point we stitched hats and glasses and I ended up wearing a home-boy cap and glasses while Sterling donned my chic pink hat and specs. My friend and colleague Samara Riviera stopped by to produce a publicity report for her TV show Viva La Riviera. Photographer Jeff Eason (Wilson Models) also came by and took a few pics that ended in up the fabulous HX magazine. Model Tass, heated things up by wearing only a speedo, sunglasses and a whistle. Tom and Terry, the Gay couple who were featured in the CBS TV Reality series, The Amazing Race also stopped by and played BINGO. Columnist Mark Schulte had beginners luck by winning (in a tie with another player) the final jackpot prize on his first time at Center BINGO.
Photo Credit: Wilson Models (first 2 photos); Danny Brook (last 3 photos)

Cavalcade of Fruits

The annual Fresh Fruit Festival, a celebration of LGBT Arts and Culture kicked off its sixth season with a showcase of Fruites (Festival participants) from the Past and Present performing their unique talent, offering a peek at what will be offered at Fresh Fruit 2008! The event took place on Friday, July 11 and I was the hostess and MC of the evening and was delighted to be reunited with some of friends and had the chance to meet some new creative individuals. The show took place in a theater in the Lincoln Center Barns & Noble bookstore. We were treated many wonderful performances including music by David Brown, comedy by Kelli Dunham, jazz performances by Rome Neal and Nhojj, scenes from Chip Deffaa's musical comedy Theater Boys with Tyler Etheridge and Tyler Watkins. Plus, we saw a scene from Linda Ann Loschiavo's play Courting Mae West with Yvonne Sayers as the title character. Also the gorgeous Snahal Desai showed us some of his one-man performance of Finding Ways to Prove You're Not An Al-Quaeda Terrorist When You're Brown (And Other Stories Of The Gindian).

The next evening, I MC-ed the Festival's Open Mic at the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe in the East Village where old friend Brian Masefield did some comedy and Jesse Archer from A Four Letter Word dropped by to see the show. Raven Hall co-hosted the evening and Sue Ellen Rubin, Carol Polcovar and Maggie Zarillo-Gouldin read some of their musings!

Drags & Dolls Burlesque

I always though of my particular type of Drag performance as a tribute to Femininity. The Lady-like mystique has a sensuality and a glamor like nothing else. Drag Queen/Female impersonation performers as well as Burlesque artists honor the beauty of the Goddess like no others. I was thrilled to be in a show that was called Drags and Dolls at the End Times Underground at Gene Frankel Theater in NYC. It was an intimate performance space where I shared the stage with a bevy of female beauties. The performers were not all born female, but we all knew how to strut our stuff like true dames. I love an excuse to show off my long, luscious legs with stockings and garters. Vera Wylde hosted the celebration of Femininity through the arts of Burlesque and Female Impersonation. The wonderful audience had fun tying to tell who was a GG (Genetic Girl) and who was a TG (Trans Girl). Weather the could or not, they sure were responsive and had a great time! I was glad to finally be able to perform with dear friend Alexia, who although born female, loves being a Drag Queen, sometimes called a Bio Queen. Other performers were Apathy Angle and Jezebel Express! We had so much fun in the backstage dressing room, not to mention the fun being on stage, teasing all the Guys with our sexy moves!
Photo Credit: Syd London

Gay City News frontpage

My photo appeared on the front page of Gay City News, America's Largest Circulation Gay / Lesbian Weekly newspaper! The wonderful newspaper wrote an excellent two page article about the annual Fresh Fruit Festival, a showcase of Queer Arts, and placed my photo on the front page and on page 30. They mentioned the shows and themed evenings the Fresh Fruit Festival presents. I hosted the Calvacade of Fruits, a showing of past and present festival performers at Lincoln Center Barns & Nobel and the Open Mic. night at Nuyorican Poets Cafe. I also appear in the Drag Show Video Verite and am curating a Drag Visual Art gallery show called Strike A Pose! at the prestigious Leslie / Lohman Gallery in SoHo. Gay City News is a wonderful resource for News and Arts listings in the NYC area.