I'm really excited to be in this show this Saturday night, you guys. There are two performances on Saturday, at 7 and 9:30, so hopefully anyone who wants to come can come. I'm really so thrilled to be included in this. I only hope I can live up to it.
You Like Me: An Evening of Classic Acceptance Speeches
Saturday, March 1 at 7:00PM & 9:30PM
Ars Nova Theater
511 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019
Created by Rachel Shukert & Michael Schulman
Directed by Peter James Cook
Music Direction by Brad Garder
Featuring: Mike Albo, Justin Vivian Bond, Eliot Glazer, Roslyn Hart, Perez Hilton, Jackie Hoffman, Erin Markey, Michael Musto, The O’Debra Twins, Molly Pope, Mo Rocca, Max Steele, Michael Urie & Varsity Interpretive Dance Squad.
Spend Oscar Eve with some of downtown’s funniest performers as they reinterpret classic speeches from award-show history, from Meryl Streep to Angelina Jolie. No celebrity is safe in this merciless send-up of self-congratulation!
A sort of fun blur, this 'everything running together' feeling. I feel like I'm always late for everything, but I know that can't be true. Everyday I'm hustling, it feels like. Everyday I'm hustling and it is also, each and every day, a winding road.
Nice color palette resonance there, eh?
This past weekend was pretty great. On Thursday night I met my friend at Mattachine at Julius' Bar. It was so much fun, like it always is. I saw so many familiar near and dear faces, I had three measly cocktails on an empty stomach and I feel like I was hungover all weekend after that, just chasing down enough booze to make the headache dissipate. That sounds worse than it really was, actually.
Friday I had that reading at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division to celebrate the release of FUTURE PERFECT.
The reading was really wonderful. I read along with Andrew Durbin (who edited Future Perfect), Justin Allen, Pamela Sneed and Juliana Huxtable. Everyone was fucking amazing. It reminded me how much I like doing readings. Pamela Sneed, especially, was really inspiring. So many nice people came, including Walter Cessna, who I love very much and haven't seen in a long time. It was a really nice night. I had some white wine and birthday cake, because it was Donnie from the Bureau's birthday. It was a pretty perfect Friday night.
Listen, this book is really special and features so many amazing writers including: Penny Arcade, Felix Bernstein, Stephen Boyer, Lonely Christopher, Nicole Eisenman, BDGRMMR, Bruce Hainley, Ed Halter, Juliana Huxtable, Ted Kerr, Kevin Killian, Wayne Koestenbaum, Rachel Levitsky, Trisha Low, Stephen Motika, Eileen Myles, Trace Peterson, Luther Price, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Pamela Sneed, Max Steele, and Laurie Weeks). As of right now, it's only available in real life at the Bureau in the LES (83 Hester St.) but I'm told it will soon be available online.
Saturday I had a meeting with the other BAX Artists in Residence, to discuss our recent Works in Progress showings. I feel so recharged and excited every time we meet. I'm a little scared and a lot excited to be making this new show at BAX, MAPPLETHORPE.
As a reminder, I'll be performing this new show, which is a kind of cabaret or nightclub act, at Brooklyn Arts Exchange on May 2nd, 3rd and 4th. You definitely have to come. You can see the interview I did about the project with Helix Queer Performance Network here.
Okay so after the artists meeting, I hustled on up to Printed Matter, for the launch party of Queer Zines 2.
It's edited by Philip Aarons and AA Bronson and is a follow up to the previous collection from a few years ago. I remember when that came out, and thinking sort of wistfully that I hope some day I make something that could be in a book like that. So it was with total surprise and utter glee that I was contacted this past summer about Scorcher being included in the collection. I'm really, really, really really happy to be part of Queer Zines 2. I bought a copy at the launch event (not entirely up to me but happy to do it). All I ever want, really, is just to be part of the conversation. It's so fucked up. I was talking about this with my shrink last week-- I don't want to be famous. I don't want to be powerful. I think those things are like narcotic addictions, they never satisfy and you can spend your life chasing after them. I don't want to be the best. I don't want to be an iconoclast or an inspiration, I don't want to be a conscience, I don't want to be a scapegoat or a doormat or a disposable friend. I just want to be part of the conversation. I just want to be included. It's hard to overstate how much it means to me, really, to have my little Scorcher included in the book of so many other really amazing zines. It's so strange and exciting and really weirdly emotional for me to have my work taken even a little bit seriously. Even just being seen as worth describing, it means a lot. SO: this is all to say that you should buy this new Queer Zines book.
And also to say that I am really putting out a new Scorcher very soon.
I met up with my good old pal Steven at the launch event, then we went for a drink down the street. So much fun to have known someone for so long. We met through a Missed Connection (seriously). It's so nice to be grown up and to know people and to get to see them become the things they become. it's nice to be part of that conversation too, I guess. I think showing up is the whole thing.
Then I high tailed it to Brooklyn to see Nadia Tykulser/Spark(Edit)'s show at Triskellion on a bill with Katie Dean. I had seen an early version of Nadia's piece in rehearsal a few months ago and was really excited by it, and I was totally stoked on the performance I saw on Saturday. I'm not sure if I can do it justice, really. The piece is, to my mind, a lot about social structures; how we understand one another and ourselves, how we understand the dynamics of place and isolation. But it's also about three alien space creatures who's revelation and articulation is the content of the show. As they reveal themselves to us, emerging from their "nest"-like space, they literally figure each other out and so we figure them out too. In terms of dancey-dance, the piece was subtly enervating. I sometimes felt like I lost track of the flow of a dance, only to have it kind of snapped back in my face. I was so happy to see this performance. It was the perfect end to a very sweet day.
On my way home I got Hana Food like I always do, and crashed early. Jiddy No-No was visiting Paps in the apartment downstairs so I got to visit with her for a second.
Sunday I woke up early to go to the gym and listen to Evelyn Champagne King. I came home, cleaned the house a little, went to the studio for what felt like an excruciating and unproductive practice session (oy!), then went back home to get my head right. I got dressed up then went over to the Rusty Knot for Scissor Sundays, the dance party JD Samson throws. This week the special guest DJ was Johanna Fateman. I forget how much fun that party is! It starts at 4pm and some of those folks definitely avail themselves of the 4pm open bar. By the time I rolled through around 8, the place was rocking. I got to see deer heart babygirl angel Colin Self, who is now bartending at the party as well. He gave me a special shot called a Cuntry Lass. It was so good!
I could only stay for one quick drink though (a shot is a quick drink) before heading on to Joe's Pub to see miss Erin Markey's FANTASTIC show on Sunday night. I've been to almost all of her Joe's Pub solo shows this year, and I never get tired of seeing her. She did a couple songs from the project she's making in her residency at BAX, and those were highlights as well. She introduced one number by joking "Okay, who's ready for another intense one?" And something sort of clicked for me. I'm totally biased, okay? I'm lucky enough to count Erin as a friend, but I'm also a die-hard fan of her work. Something about her cavalier reference to intensity clarified something for me. Erin's work (her songs, performances, and of course the writing that makes all this possible) is about, in a way, intensity. Not about being hilarious and gleeful and hysterical, but about how we measure, locate, and experience intensity of emotion. Her work is about how we grapple with understanding other people, and the awful, terrifying, but exhilarating experience of coming to understand something about yourself. The experience of her work is when someone asks you a question, like what do you want to be when you grow up, who do you have a crush on, what's your biggest fear, some kind of open-ended question, and you just say what first pops into your head. And as soon as you say it, you realize it's totally true. That wide-eyed excitement of things suddenly making awful and immaculate sense; that's the experience of Erin's work. Sunday night was a revelation, a masterclass in performance. I mean it. I am so proud of her. I slept deeply and dreamed of road trips. I was transported.
And then finally, last night was really the end of my epick weekend when I got to go see my homegirl and soul sister Tommy Pico read his work at the Poetry Project, on a bill with Christopher Schmidt. It is both a big deal, and perfectly appropriate that Tommy read at the Poetry Project. I was absolutely blown away by his reading, and by his new poems, which are going to be released in a poetry app he's finishing up called Absent Mindr. I've had the supreme honor and pleasure of getting to see Tommy's work develop over the years, and it's like having a favorite sports team or movie star or someone who is separate from you but who's work you are deeply invested in. I'm rooting for Teebs and I'm rewarded with his excellent efforts. His new work is both leaner, quicker, easier to laugh with, and also much more poignant, sharper, deeper, more resonant. He's building an emotional vocabulary that keeps revising itself; keeps adjusting, evolving, renegotiating. One of his poems talks about inheriting a sense of direction, and this is a hallmark of Tommy's work. The occasional vocal fry or meandering listicle are red herrings. Tommy Pico plays with play, he jokes about humor and pretends to effect a kind of searching. If he says he's lost he's lying, to make a point. The utter joy in Tommy's work is when he reveals that he did, in fact, know, all along, exactly where to go next. It was the highlight, the cherry on top of such a great weekend.
I came home and ordered take-out and watched "Unsung" like I always do when I don't know what else to watch, and I went to bed feeling so lucky to have such inspiring friends. I tried to get up this morning at 5am to go to the gym but I flaked. I did crunches and push-ups this morning, a feeble compromise. But there are more mornings coming up, there's never a lack of opportunities for being ambitious.