I was scouted on memorial day in the park while I was walking with Jenny. I gave the producer and the art directors (none of whom, I later learned, were actually connected to the client company, they just produce ads). They called me in for a model casting on Wednesday.
At the casting I was incredibly nervous. The other people there all had modeling agencies, and portfolios. The two art directors were there, they're from France. There was a really nice woman there, a stylist, I guess, for the campaign. She told she thought I was really cute. The two French directors said I looked like Lou Reed. They took a few photos of me wearing sunglasses and sent me on my way. I did not expect anything, but they called back a few hours later saying they really liked me and hoped I could make the shoot.
It gives a certain specific thrill, model casting. It's like, they like me for my face. My look. Something I have little control over, and do almost nothing to maintain, got me a job. With, in fact, a lot of money. Ok.
The first day of shooting involved make-up and styling, and trying on different outfits. I met the photographer, a hotshot Swedish man who speaks French with the directors. As soon as he saw the very sweet stylist putting acessories on me, he said to the directors "Ah. Je l'aime beaucoup son visage. Sans lunettes, c'est cool, ah?" which was encouraging. One of the directors did, for a moment, telll me to suck in my stomach. Other than that, everything went pretty smoothly. i was worried, initially, that I'd be found out as a fraud, that everyone would laugh at me, when i realized that they were not paying so much money for people to humiliate me: you can do that for free. They don't want me to feel bad, they want to take a goodd picture. Everyone seemed happy with my posing, walking around Brooklyn and leaning on walls as directed. I was afraid that I'd have to act a bit more butch, but they enccouraged me to go off on my model machinations, limited in the past to walking around my bedroom in my underwear. I did get a bit of a sunburn, but that's fine.
The second day of shooting involved packing six models into a 40-foot big black tour bus to take us to a set upstate, about an hour and a half. We arrived at a parking lot in a park, next to a specifically chosen 12-foot high hill. The concept for the shoot was, apparently, hipsters rolling down a hill. We have only some vague knowledge of where these things will end up. They may end up as silhouettes. I don't know. They're making, apparently, composite shots of hipsters in weird clothes and records and boomboxes rolling / falling down a hill.
At the set, we all got cchanged and styled while a team of assistants set up a craft services tent, a PA system for listening to music, and a photo tent at the base of the hill where the director and photographer would take our photos, giving us directions through a loudspeaker. Another team manicured, raked, and generally "set-up" the hill for us.
We had some basic training with a stunt coordinator, who set up big puffy mats for us, and met the on-site medic. The other boys, much tougher than I am, rolled down the hill doing backflips for hours, while I made good friends with the caterers. "Are you a model? That's so cool." for my shots, I was paired with a beautiful european girl model who couldn't have been more than 80 pounds. We were instructed to roll down the hill together, but after a few shots of me riding the poor girl down the grassy slopes like a bobsled, they decided to shoot us seperately and composite them together. The bad news is: I'm all banged up and I think I may have broken a rib.
The goood news is: there's nothing you can do for a broken rib and I am supposed to get $400 for each othe days we shot and I'M A FUCKING MODEL.
Saturday I went with Bobo and Lazarus to a party thrown by Meli's friends from work. I had never in my life been around such beautiful people at a party. Ever. I danced sexy with strangers and they made jello shots and a girl felt too hot in her couture jeans so she walked around in her undies all night. It was crazy.
Sunday I met up with Jiddy and Bobo in the West Village to clear my head. We ate ices and walked around I went to dance rehearsal with Graphic Glory (the Dance Band). We made a dance movie to a particularly poignant mid-90s ballad. Get really actually excited.
Richert and I went to the first Summer BBQ of the season at the Metropolitan. Crowded but not full of enemies, as I expected. We lived real FAG CITY when Richert, Hunter, La JohnJoseph, Dan Fishback and Joseph Keckles all came back to my house to hang out on my room and talk about girls. We all went out for Mexican food at midnight. Francine and I ate excellent vegan burritos and then I ate excellent dairy dairy dairy chocolate canolis.
Yesterday I met up with Hunter, La JJ, Isabelle and Emma and had a picnic with my room mates in the park. While walking our friend Daisy's chihuahua with Jenny, a guy stopped me to ask if I was interested in modeling for a jeans line owned by the two European men following him. They wore all black and dark sunglasses and took photos of me with their iPhones. Speaking in French about what could they possibly have me wear? I heard the word 'hoodie'. Went to a bbq on our friend Sara's fabulous roof. At one point, all of the Soft Butches were sharing our house business in front of friends and starting, I guess, to annoy folks.
Then our landlord called to say that they're raising our rent. I mean, it's been a long time coming. We haven't had a lease since August of 2006, when our admittedly fabulous 4-bedroom williamsburg heaven was going for well under $2500. So: I get it. Rent increases suck. It ruined my afternoon, briefly. Walked home with Jenny and Jamie, decrying the rent, trying to figure something out. I don't want to move, I love my house. I guess I need to make more money.
Today at work, worked out that my last day of this, The Best Job I've Ever Even Heard Of, will be next Friday. It still hasn't really sunk in yet. I'm getting back in touch with my old temp agencies. Yuck. Researching unemployment benefits. I've been called in for an interview at a Gallery, as well as an audition for the modeling gig for the jeans company. Both appointments would be happening this Thursday and Friday, during the all-day panel meetings at my current job. Note: the only reason this fabulous organization hired me, really, was so that I'd be at the panel meetings. Ouch. Everything happens at once. I need to get a few much higher-paying jobs, and pronto. Much higher-paying.
And Mercury is in retrograde. So all of this is subject to revision. Which makes me want to totally flip out. Last night after our landlord called, the Soft Butches and I started going into dark places. I found my dark place at the bottom of a tub of guacamole. My friend Rebecca patted me on the shoulder and said "Now, just because you're rent's gone up, that's no reason to give yourself indigestion." Which is true. Okay. Let's try to keep it together.
And I just know we'll have a good time.
This morning I have plenty of time, I guess. To fume. And fumer.
Taking a shower and listening to Janet Jackson until I start to feel better.
- 1960s purple space mushroom table lamb
- giraffe-shaped but zebra printed statuette
- papier-mache red bell pepper
- 16oz bottle of florida water
- japanese gardenia incense
- set of hot pink rainbow-striped vera neumann bedding
- good coffee
- a pot of daffodils, blooming
- a 1981 album of French outer space rock
I'm shaking the feeling that everything I put out into the universe is gonna be stolen, taken from me. The second I make something to enjoy, someone comes and nabs it. I'm an older sibling: I should have learned how to share! But I don't know how. Not really.
This is all to say that everything that constitutes me, which i define as anything having to do with me or my thoughts/feelings/blog, because they constitute "me" are therefore off-limits.
I really do want to be an island. Did you know I'm from an island? Alameda, California. Look it up. It's also a superfund site, because the Navy left weapons there. So Nuclear Island. Mutant powers of distinction. I am a superhero of isolation!
Basically: stay out of my room.
Have the day off. Sit-ups.
Speaking of DJs, here is one of my favorite (and criminally unreleased) Lady Kier songs performed live "Me... And My Records, Baby":
This gives me hope about nightlife and playing records and Lady Kier. Showbiz, generally.
I really want to start a band, I've decided. I want to maybe play an instrument or something. Ideally I want to be a lead singer and pop star, but this is no small feat. I generally don't like to collaborate with people on music, because the conversation usually goes like this:
Friend: Hey! I've heard your music! I like it! Let's make music together!
Me: Okay, great!
Friend: Okay, so I want you to make me a beat that sounds like (insert adjectives and band names here)! And I'll sing over it! Awesome, thanks!
Me: (Shoots self in face)
The point is: I'm kind of a diva. I need to be in something where I feel engaged, and writing melodies for other people to sing over isn't so engaging. Maybe I could change this, but I am not (shall we say) good at lending focus. I need to find a new way.
I have a little cough and I'm worried about getting sick. This is a big weekend. I'm going to a lot of things. I'm getting increasingly scared about what I'm going to do for work in the coming weeks, but I can only accomplish so much right now.
Mercury going into fucking retrograde: looking over my shoulder, going through my phone book, coughing up thick black goo. Same old stuff, under a new microscope. I think I'm going to title my new piece: THE HORRIBLE TIME (YOU TRIED TO KILL ME). It's sort of going to be about elements of a Mercury Retrograde, about rethinking personal narratives. I really only ever have the concept of writing in a specific tense, or the sense of a setting. Then, I get some sentences or phrases, images. Then I kind of put it all together to try to make a narrative. It's sort of weird. Before moving to NYC I thought of performance art as coming from the conceptual art world, the punk art world. You know, wild, non-linear, non-entertaining stuff. Mean performances. Audiences complicit in something complicated, difficult. That the viewer has a responsibility to the narrative and to the "action" of the "piece" because of their presence. Now in NYC all these performance art folks come from more of a theater tradition and it blows my mind. I never, ever, ever think about that kind of thing. And as a result, whenever I measure my work by those conventional standards, I come up empty and stupid. I really enjoy this kind of work, but I keep forgetting that I don't really make it. Like OH YEAH I'M NOT A PLAYWRIGHT. Not really.
I think I wanna be in a band. But I also think I'm a dancer, in the sense that I use my body to show you things when I get on stage. A big of using my body, though, is language, i guess. Trying to put a language into my body. Or to describe things. I'm thinking of using visual projections to help tell a story. PowerPoint is ubiquitous and silly, but I think it could bode well.
I feel anxious. So many things are falling in and out of place. I feel like a receptionist to my own life. Like "Oh hello. Libido? Yes, hi. Can you hold for just a second? My self esteem has JUST left for the day No, you can't call him at home. If you'd like, I can connect you with the self-destruction department? Oh! I'm sorry, they're busy with drugs. Please hold."
Anyways. Weekend. Here I come.
Woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of mosquitoes buzzing in my ears. Terrible itching pain from where they bit me: right shoulder, left foot, left wrist. Fell back asleep and dreamed of smoke and falling. Woke up to a rainstorm and a foul mood. The swelling went down, I couldn't convince anyone that there had been mosquitoes at all.
Growing a banana tree in the house. I see good spirits when I want to. I feel very uneasy and I do not know why. don't much feel like seeing other people today.
I have some things coming up. I'm performing at Sarah Lawrence on Saturday. In a few weeks I'll be go-go dancing again, then there's a party for Tommy's zine which I am included in. Then there's the big fabulous news: La JohnJoseph, heart of my heart, is included in this year's HOT Festival at Dixon Place, and asked that I perform on the same bill. It's totally thrilling to me that i get to perform for this festival, especially after having been very formally turned down by DP (who pride themselves on a reputedly all-inclusive programming schedule). SO, I'm writing a 30 minute piece from the Scorcher texts, called either BILLY CHEER or FAG CITY. We'll see. I'm so lazy, generally, about getting my performances together. I think I'm going to do this one without singing. Maybe try to steal the narrative from Lover, Ferocious. I've also been bandying about the idea of putting together a show, loosely based on my own life, called A Particular Bitch or Miss Thing, Interrupted about getting sick or something. I basically have a lot of slogans and names and a lot of insecurity. What I need to do is shed the shame and accept the fact that slogans and names are totally valid and part of a larger beautiful thing. Right? Right.
Printed more copies of Scorcher but I have to start charging for them. You can send $3 to me via paypal (e-mail me I'll tell you how). Also I've put togther a Mix-CD, which is also $3 but if you want to buy it along with the zine I'll get it to ya for $5. What a Steal!
BLOOMING: a billy cheer mix-tape
1. Eurythmics – Revenge
2. Dot Allison – Strung Out
3. Solex – Solex All Licketysplit
4. Angie Reed – Hustle a Hustler
5. Dub Narcotic (with Lois) – Ship to Shore
6. Big Maybelle – 96 Tears
7. Poison Girls – Ideologically Unsound
8. Utah Saints – Something Good
9. Pash – Morning Sun
10. Santogold – Your Voice
11. Malcom McLaren – Hey DJ
12. Nina Hagen - Zarah
13. Amerie – One Thing (Siik Remix)
14. De La Soul – Magic Number
15. Max Steele and the Party Ice - Moody
Anyways. Feeling the sunshine. Yes?
Billycheer@gmail.com if you want it.
JUST GIMME ONE NIGHT.
she finds herself in her bedroom on a friday morning blasting music sitting on a pile of shoes.
he won't be a boy no more. young but not a child.
there she is!
Last night I cleaned my room, cooked plantains and miso salad dressing for dinner, listened to reggae and painted my toenails purple while I watched the Chung King Express. My room mate Juneefuh brought home coffee ice cream and we ate it and played with the cats until midnight.
Woke up this morning to a brilliant day. Went to the gym, now I'm off to the DMV to get a new ID. Maybe Ikea later. I have the day off. Tonight the man in my life is cooking me dinner. i ccan't stop listening to "Your Voice" by Santogold. It might be the only song that really matters right now. An Idea.
much love always
And a little grumpy because there's never enough time to do the things I want to do: clean my room. Get rid of old clothes. Go shopping. Cook. Read. Write. Practice. Make long-distance phone calls.
I spend my time largely thinking about how I feel, smoking rolled cigarettes, and listening to Sonic Youth's Bad Moon Rising. Petting the cat. Watching cartoons.
Glamorous life of an arts administrator. Wearing all black and running around Soho, worrying about budgets and work samples. I feel chic and terrified.
Another bad mood morning. Let's go to the gym after work and cook soup. Vacuum the bedroom and reitre early, okay? Do a facial masque and comb your hair. Feel better, babe. (Advice to self)