A character I've never played

Though I've long had a crush on Vega from Street Fighter, I just found out about this new character Cody, and I feel like he and I kind of look similar:

Versus, like, me in that leather jacket, right?:

Cody's more muscular than I am. And he's also in chains. Is he a criminal? I think I could look like that if I worked out more. I don't know about him, he's a character I've never played.

On Thursday night I went out to Mattachine at Julius' Bar, such a fun night. So many cheek kisses. So many really great records. It was hella crowded though. I danced to some deep funk, an early BeeGees song was dedicated to the delightful miss Molly Pope. They played Hole's "Olympia" and cleared the dance floor, but I stayed and danced.

Friday night I came home from work and had B0DYH1GH band practice. We have two new shows coming up: 6/8 for Enid Ellen presents "Lilith Fairy: The Reawakening" at Joe's Pub, the Lilith Fair tribute show that is also an ACT-UP benefit, and June 14th at Macie Gransion with Skirt. These are very special shows for us. The 14th is also the release date of our newest mythtape: LILDED GILLY.

We haven't practiced since January, but we sounded pretty good, and I'm very excited about these shows and these new songs. After band praxis PLDD and I went over to Miss Jill Pangallo's special palace in the East Village. We braved a total rainstorm to get there, thunder and lightning and all. Jill made us special smokey lemon margaritas with frozen fruit in them yum yum, and special toast with ricotta and honey and black pepper. And her house is gorgeous and we watched some sad/scary part of an 80s teen movie, took photos of Miss J trying on wigs, it was pretty cool. We gathered ourselves together and Jill donned a look and we went up the street to see Witch Camp DJ at Nowhere. They are the best DJs and I am so excited that I live in a city where I get to see Amber Martin DJ two nights in a row, you know?

They're such good DJs, too. They played that Can song above, and, like, I'd never known anyone to play that at a dance party, but that's the kind of funky shit I like to dance to, you know? Jill was looking glam and Pailo snapped this shot of us, saying we should be in a band. What would our band be called, he asked? We said MANGO SMOKE.

I seriously want to be in a band called Mango Smoke though. I think that should be a real band that happens. Amber and Nath-Ann also played this record, which was the first time I'd heard it, and I'm obviously so obsessed:

Andrea Fucking True. You guys. How did I not know? It's so perfect. We stayed out dancing for a while, in the rainstorm.

On our way out we saw MXJVB, a lovely sight as always. I came home pretty early and woke up extremely hungover. I had been alternating tequila and beer, thinking that would somehow make me less drunk. I see the error there. I danced so hard and for so long, I forgot that not a lot of other people were there dancing. It wasn't like a nightclub, I was just really feeling the tunes.

Saturday I went to the gym, and then went out for a smoothie at that juice place I like. No cute boys this time, but a very chic hippie lady who strolled in, seemed not to have even ordered, they just made her a wheatgrass shot, and she walked in and drank it and slammed the glass down, all while talking on the phone. It was like the way people drink booze. She was a regular. I went to the Phresh Produce pop-up shop in the LES, it was so cute! There are so many really awesome things for sale there, it was dangerous. Very special BCALLA looks and SAFE HOUSE USA accoutrements, among lots of others. It was still raining tho. Me and Max B. went to Williamsburg and ate at Vanessa's Dumplings, where he'd never been but where I go all the time (I kind of want to go back but it's only been two days).

Later on that night MB and I had a nice little gossip session chez lui, with mister Elite Yelp Brian reviewer joining us. They are probably the only long-haired men in my life whom I really deeply respect. Both of them. It was super fun. I got kind of drunk and sneaked home.

Sunday I woke up early and I went to the studio to rehearse ENCOURAGER, which I'll be performing 6/6 at Subculture in NYC with so many amazing people, on a bill called YOU TIME. You really need to check this out and get tickets ASAP. Kind of weird to re-learn my own material though, I will say. After rehearsal I came home, then went to the Metropolitan BBQ. They were out of veggie burgers and I was pissed BUT I ran into Nath-Ann and they were not out of margaritas and I bought cheap cigarettes from the cheap cigarette place. Nath-Ann told me the story of Andrea True, how she came to put out her debut his single "More, More, More". She had been a porn star and then she was working in commercials (for, like banks?) in Jamaica in the 70s and made all this money, but then because of a political crisis, people couldn't take money out of Jamaican banks, so she used her Jamaican money to produce that song and then she became a star. It's great. Nath-Ann is a deep record nerd, like Amber Martin, that's why they're so great, they really love it. Erin and Thee Irish Horse came and PLD came and we all hung out at the BBQ, among tons of gay men none of us knew. We went out to Mexican food around the corner, it was pretty good. I had Horchata which was really great and felt important to me. Then we went to a goodbye party for a couple of Ryans at Coco66. It was low-key and fun. We took a green cab home, it felt kind of fancy.

I've been smoking a lot and drinking a lot and spending a lot this weekend. I suppose it is a holiday after all. The weather's really warm today, and I need to get my act together. I went to the gym and I watered my plants and I wrote my horoscopes already. On my agenda today are buying a fashion magazine and a new lighter (a nice one) and working on interview questions for an exciting interview I'm doing. And grocery shopping. And I need to go up to the Botanica up the street to get more candles to meditate in front of. I normally sit in front of yellow candles, but then on Thursdays I do green. Maybe I should branch out. Are botanicas open on Memorial Day? I guess we'll find out.


I'm in a really bad mood today!


Earth Sign

After work on Friday night I hustled down to Park Slope, for the first of two blessed birthday celebrations I went to for arty Taurean geniuses, both of whom have names that start with J. There are certain times of year when I find myself wishing a lot of people Happy Birthday, and this is one of those times. I love my Taurus friends. I love going to parties. I love physical pleasure, the Earth, etc. All this Taurus shit. Standing your ground. Being patient and persistent and stubborn. Neutral colors. The whole thing, I love it.

I also love exhausting myself. I went to the first party and I ate delicious cake and drank Prosecco (it's only champagne, after all, if it's from Champagne). I hustled back home to Williamsburg to get changed, and I ate a piece of pizza just so I wouldn't have an empty stomach. I headed into the city for the second birthday party of the night. By that point it was really raining, really pouring. Cats and dogs. I made it to the fete and saw tons of friends and lovely people. And they have the best snacks, really the best snack spread I'd ever seen. Tons (literal tons) of guacamole and limes for cocktails. As Baby Genius Sam pointed out, limes are quite rare right now, so this was a real treat. Avocados are historically difficult and expensive to find here in New York, so I do like to avail myself of them whenever I can. There's bad cholesterol and then there's good cholesterol and when you find some good cholesterol, honey, you have to stuff it into your body as fast as you fucking can. Took lots of smoke breaks and gossiped a lot. Called it a night fairly early, felt pretty responsible and lovely about that.

Saturday I woke up early and cleaned my room in advance of having my photo taken. Ana from Adult Magazine came over to to a little feature, called "Mornings After" which they do with folks in their bedrooms. You can see the feature on me here. Then what? Oh, errands. You know I'm changing up all my room mates. I had to get the internet service switched to my name, which necessitated a trip to the cable company. They had these cool video fishtanks. At one retro and also kind of practical. A little mean-spirited, maybe more ecological. A video fishtank seems an apt metaphor for my generation. Digital video, I mean.

Came home and slowly got ready for the Scorcher zine launch at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division. It was a real fucking blast, I must say. So many lovely people came out and hung around and bought zines, and I had some of my absolute favorite people reading with me: Sam McKinniss, Anthony Thornton, Kayla Morse and Tommy Pico. I'm so happy and relieved that the new issue is out, and I want everyone to see it! If you live in New York, please support the Bureau by going to buy a copy at their store.

If you live outside of the City, you can order a copy of the new issue of Scorcher online HERE. After the reading people all decided what they wanted to do with themselves. Some folks went to various parties. I tried to convince miss Jiddy No-No to come to a housewarming party in Bushwick with me, but I couldn't convince her to come past Beverly's where we met up with my new room mate a Texan Lady. Jiddy begged off and we took a cab to Bushwick to go to a Gay Poetry housewarming party which also featured new room mates friends. The world is at one small and large. How lovely. I got kind of really drunk, it was great. Took a car home with some new acquaintances. I love sharing cabs. They obviously continued on to their destination. I had a lot to drink that night.

So much so that on Sunday morning I felt like a real wreck. Really terrible. Really bad. I went to rehearse for a bit at BAX, which did kind of make me feel better, but there was a street festival going on outside, and the noise, and crowds of drunken parents and unsupervised children was overwhelming. I've been chain-smoking for a few weeks now, and starting to feel the effects of that. Today so far I've had no tobacco and don't anticipate having any until Thursday night. After rehearsal I ate a slice of kind of gross pizza and took a tiny nap and then hustled over to the Delancey for the Pussy Faggot 5-Year Anniversary party. I helped out my hero Jill Pangallo by pressing play on the videos of her performance, an updated version of her solo show Hope is Expensive, at the start of the night. She is amazing and hilarious and horrifying and touching and makes me want to watch more art and make more and better art. I just loved it. Penny Arcade hosted the evening, Joey Arias made a performance cameo, I sang my reggaeton Laura Nyro cover. Someone told me afterward that the bass was so loud as to be unlistenable. That was not something I was aware of, the sound guys are in charge of that, but I was pretty pleased. I've never been told that the bass for one of my performances was too loud. That's a first. Gay Bass, it's a thing I've often wanted.

The show was great, but I begged off early because I had work in the morning. A wonderful but exhausting weekend. I am looking forward to new projects at a slightly slower pace. My ipod broke and so I'm getting it fixed, it's a real bummer. My sunglasses broke too which also sucks, since those I can't get fixed. Last night I went to the gym for the first time in like a week and it felt amazing. I ordered takeout and did a little research project with baby Bobo, and I wanted bad TV in bed and ate a popsicle and slept very hard.

Tonight I have to pick up my iPod, pick up my laundry, buy groceries. Then I'm going to eat dinner, try to wrangle my parents on the phone so I can plan a trip home, and go to an art opening in Clinton Hill. Can I do it all? I'm going to try. Oh-- and then I want to meet folks at a bar to celebrate another birthday.

But I think it counts as being Gemini now? Or maybe it's just, right-- today we're on the cusp.


Sad Solange Scotch Bonnet Sphere

Yesterday I came home from work and went to the grocery store and came home and felt weird. I felt like I was sad, or something, but I don't know why. Like there was something I forgot to be sad about. Or the forgetting was making me sad. It was a weird feeling.

I think maybe it was the stuff about Solange. Not the actual story or whatever. That's none of our business. I think jokes are fun and funny, but I do feel sort of creepy that the surveillance footage got out. The thing of there being rage or violence or whatever in a showbiz family. Is that news? Everyone has fucked up families. It just seems so mysterious and so plain, too. Like, of course they fight. Everyone fights. To my mind, inside an elevator seems like a pretty perfect place to fight, actually. That's where those fights should happen. No, what's making me sad about it is, I think, that it inspired me to listen to that Solange EP again. And that song, "Losing You" which always causes me to have such a powerful reaction:

I don't know why. I feel like I first heard this song, really, for the first time, in Berlin when I was there last summer. I was hanging out with La JohnJoseph and Stevie at a bar called the Sharon Stonewall. I think we went there because of the name, and because it was sort of near the apartment in Mitte where we were staying. The bar was mostly empty and just OK. They were playing Dolly Parton concert videos with the sound off, and there were huge wall-sized murals of Whitney Houston and Sharon Stone. The Whitney one, we assumed, must be new. The Sharon Stone one, I don't know. That could easily have been there before the Wall came down, right? But I was buying expensive drinks and lusciously smoking indoors (the best!) and that song came on. "Losing You". Of course La JJ knew it, she knows all about all the hit records all the time, from both sides now. But that song totally ripped me up. I remember being really sad about it for a few days afterward. Why? I think it's that thing of, the song is about that feeling where you kind of know it's over, but you and the other person haven't totally admitted it yet, for whatever reason. That thing of, like, wanting to believe that your hunch is wrong, that it's not necessarily over, but knowing on a gut level that it is indeed over, and  you have to face that truth. It's an awful feeling. It took me back to a time in my life that I have thought about many times but not in a while, when I was going out with someone but we were kind of just fighting a lot, and not admitting that the fighting meant we probably shouldn't be a couple, or something. I hated that feeling, it was the worst. That song makes me so sad, and I've been listening to it nonstop for the last two days.

On my way home from work yesterday I bought bell peppers and broccoli and scotch bonnets from the produce stand with the weird slogans about Jesus. I thought, okay, I feel sort of sad, I'll make really spicy food. Sadness, Solange, and Scotch bonnets. I chopped them up really small to put into a stir-fry, and I thought I had been pretty meticulous about washing my hands, but my fingertips still kind of burn a little bit. I suppose there are, in fact, microscopic cuts on my fingers which the peppers irritated. The food was good though.

Feeling sort of weird. A lot of changes right now, a lot of deep feelings about the past and the future. I can't tell if I'm upset about some circumstances or if I'm just using the circumstances to project my feelings onto, if that's just how I'm able to understand things. The past two nights there's been a group of younger kids who hang out on a rooftop around the corner from my apartment, but through the interior courtyard I can see and hear them. They've been getting drunk and kicking bottles off of the roof. I'd call the cops but I don't like the idea of calling 911 and I also don't know the address of where they are, so even if the cops did want to come, I don't know how I'd direct them to the noisy people. Anyway yesterday they were back on their rooftop, playing a boombox and kicking bottles, and so I decided to go up to my rooftop to watch the sunset.

I never go up on my roof anymore. It's not really safe. It's kind of gorgeous though. At least right now, with all the trees in the projects blooming. That made me feel nice. I came back inside and ate dinner and watched a movie with the windows open. I've been working my way, slowly, through the Sharon Stone filmography. My friend Max has been telling me for months how great she is in Casino and I finally saw it last week, and she was, duh, totally great. Last night I watched this sort of shitty, sort of funky sci-fi thriller called Sphere which stars Sharon Stone. She's one of three women in the film, the other two are played by Queen Latifah and Marga Gomez.  How, I thought, had I not seen this movie starring three women I think are rad?

Oh, right, it's actually not such a fantastic film. It's kind of like a deep ocean version of Event Horizon, but not quite as terrifying. I don't want to spoil it but it is a lot about projecting your subconscious thoughts, about manifesting your fears. So it was kind of appropriate and kind of awful to see. I feel weird. Uncertain.

I forgot to mention that last weekend at Spank we met these guys, one of whom I had met before, they were these nice, sort of fancy-seeming young gay dudes. They had distinctive names Oxnard and Chervil but I've forgotten what they actually were named. They were part of this group of people all hanging out and then going to the Spank party together, and when we got to Spank, PLD ordered a beer because it was cheap, ui guess, and he gave me a sip and they looked at us like we were crazy. I don't normally like beer. But sometimes I like the convenience of beer, the normalcy-- that there is even a normal thing to be drinking. I like that. The dumb comfort of beer, right?


The Look for Tonight

Forgot to say that yesterday I also went to Reena Spaulings, to see the opening exhibition of Jutta Koether's new show, Champrovent, which I liked very much. The F train was super duper slow in coming which made me kind of frustrated when i walked in, but Koether's new collection was a kind of tonic. This is smart art, for intellectual people. But it's also, you know, accessible, chromatic, appealing. You don't necessarily need to have a strong opinion about Balthus or Lucian Freud in order to appreciate the show (Goddess knows I don't) but it might help. I've seen bits and pieces of Koether's work over the years in a few different places, and I've always found it interesting and work checking out. It's cool, it's smart. It's pretty and kind of ugly, sometimes. It's formal and it's also pretty wild. Definitely capital A Art. Definitely academy-damaged. Dinged up by being dragged through the library. Well-worn like a good book that's been shared. It's not necessarily elitist or anything, but it is something considered. It's art for self-selecting art viewers. Kind of art about making art. Questions about how we ask questions. Pictures of feelings you might have in your studio (the place to make pictures). Absolutely worth the trip downtown. Fuck an art fair.

I've been thinking a lot about this notion of being an "artist's artist". It's kind of snobby, right? But also kind of humble? I feel like I am an artist's artist, or I'd like to be. I want the people who see me to be other artists, who have their own ideas about what they want to do, and to evaluate my "art work" in that way. I want to be a writer's writer. I don't know if I think that mainstream, widespread attention is necessarily successful. I think it's really easy to be misinterpreted, if you're speaking to the broadest possible audience. I guess I haven't made up my mind. But sometimes I see stuff that's like, art for artists, and not in a snobby inside-joke way, and it's so inspiring. I think of, like, Lydia Davis or Mary Heilmann-- these are people who are kind of artists' artists, you know? I want to be like that. Cole made a cute joke on twitter that resonated with me: I want to be a top's top and a bottom's bottom. I guess I so often feel like a weirdo, a freak, and yet am told that in some ways I'm not-- I'm always obsessed with that perimeter. I'm so into the context. I'm always wondering: What's the look for tonight? I mean, I guess that's my semi-stupid way of understanding or expressing this anxiety. I think lots of us have it, right?

SO you guys. There's a new issue of Scorcher and it's out this Saturday May 17th. You can see information about the event on Facebook here.

Bureau of General Services-Queer Division
83A Hester Street, New York, New York 10002

Celebrating the release of Scorcher issue #7 (“Valedictorian”), published by Birdsong Micropress, please join Max Steele at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division for an evening of readings by: Max Steele, Tommy Pico, Anthony Thornton, Kayla Morse and Sam McKinniss.

The new issue has been three years in the making, and features contributions by Julia Norton, Danielle Rosa, Anthony Thornton and Kayla Morse. The new issue will be available for a special discounted price of $4 at the Bureau on Saturday. Otherwise, it's $5 a pop, and for those of you not in NYC you can purchase the new zine online here.

You can read the title story from the new issue ("Valedictorian") now on Lambda Literary. You can also check out an excerpt from "Woodstock", another new story, up now on Adult Mag.

I haven't really had the chance to really pump this event the way I normally would want to, so I really hope people come! I'm very proud of the new zine, and it's always funny for me, to think I've been doing this for so long. That there are people out there who only know me as a writer. It's fun. I'm reading on the 17th, so is everyone else, it'll be kind of a great time, I think.

And then on Sunday 5/18, it's the Pussy Faggot Five Year Anniversary blowout at the Delancey! I'm very excited to say I'll be singing a little number at that one, along with Penny Arcade and the rest of the PF Luminaries, including homegirls Potpurri of Pearls and Jill Pangallo, among many others. Tickets are only $5 if you buy them ONLINE. You can see the full line-up HERE.

Maybe I should send out a mass e-mail this week. Who wants a mass e-mail?

The weather is getting nice and I am feeling optimistic and romantic. Tonight I'm going to go grocery shopping and go to the gym and I feel pretty, I dunno. Okay. Rolling with the punches. But yeah, some things I wish were happening more intensely than they are. Let's... work on that?

Here is a movie my awesome friend Caroline Contillo made on 16mm film, featuring yours truly. It's a little premonition of a cool event that will happen very soon in June and as soon as the details are all confirmed I'll tell y'all all about it, but for now check out the cuteness.



Just got back form the Upper East Side, where I went to the opening of Hugo McCloud's Put in Place at Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld. It was definitely gorgeous, and much more toothsome than I expected. I thought it'd be pretty and petty installations, but there paintings were surprisingly striking, bracing and pert, like when you forget that you ordered hot sake instead of cold. I was getting my homegirl Nancy Spero, I was getting a lilting political (poliltical?) take on space, time, class, on place. The context of the Upper East Side residence is overwhelming, but McCloud's use of the space, the gallery as such, was smart and forthright.

I mostly went because it was a gallery opening and it was on the UES. I want to live there very much someday. All this talk of moving; I've been interviewing potential new room mates all weekend. I just want to be settled. But the building is gross and old, so although the rent is very cheap, there is the palpable sense of impending doom. But I feel like I feel that everywhere, that impermanence thing, right?

Last night I went to go see Erin's new show, A Ride on the Irish Cream, at BAX. She's so fantastically smart and hardworking; a real inspiration to me. I can't be biased at all; she's a friend but I'm also a huge fanboy. I love pretty much everything I've seen her do, even stuff she's not super excited about anymore. Her new show is really ambitious and complex and narrative and funny and sad and fucking brilliant. The scenes she wrote for her co-performer Becca Blackwell were a highlight. There're a bunch of new songs, they're all totally gorgeous and catchy and fucked-up. I was really impressed. Dumbfounded, you might say.

After the show I went to Gio's house to hang out for a minute before going to SPANK. It was at Drom in the East VIllage, in the space that used to be Opaline, which was my first experience of nightlife in New York. In the summer of 2005, Isabelle lived on 1st and 9th and we'd get drunk on, like vodka we had to have someone help us buy, and diet coke, and we'd put on brightly colored underwear and go to the Rated X at Opaline, which was DJed by Michael T and Theo from the Lunachicks, and which was hosted by Peppermint Gummybear. It was there that I saw go-go dancers for the first time. People who, I was flabbergasted to learn, just got paid to dance at parties. It's a very special place for me. SPANK was fantastic as usual, but I didn't stay super duper late. I went to Hana Food on my way home as normal and watched bad TV in bed.

Friday night I went to Julia Norton aka Jiddy No-No aka Ewok Vixen's MFA Thesis show. I can't believe she's graduated! Again, I'm a big fan of her work, and similarly with Erin it's been so cool to be friends with this person because I've been privy to their work developing over the last few years. Anyone could see this, though. Julia's work has deepened and changed in unexpected ways. It's more cerebral and it's also kind of coquettish. There's a newfound but troubled sensuality in her new work. She used to make pictures of uninhabited places, impossible-to-reach utopias, castle estates buried in jungles, perched on mountaintops. She's also been making pictures of obstacle courses, almost like maze architecture. Her new work is dense, lush, tactile, inviting and overwhelming, but at the same time it's restrained, veiled, taut and chewing on it's leash. I am so excited for what comes next.

After her exhibition we went to an after party, and then I walked to the train with my friend Joey Kipp. He's, as you know, a very talented performer and choreographer, and has been super busy as an actor lately. We were talking about how it's fun, but a problem, a fun problem, to be so busy doing the things you ostensibly love.

Today I ran into someone who said he saw me perform, and thought "wow this guy cannot sing" but he was intrigued so he looked me up online (hi there!) and saw an interview with me where I spoke about being a bad singer, about not being a good singer, and then he said he thought I was brilliant. I was dying to know-- which show did he see me sing at and thought I was a bad singer? Definitely for MAPPLETHORPE that's part of what the show's about, but also, you know... for many years in New York and in other places, and still, I plan on continuing to do this, I performed music just as Max Steele, and I sang. And I was kind of trying to pass for a not too bad singer. This new show was like, I'm making art about this gesture, this reality. But in my real life I do feel like it's a political thing. The thing of not being a good singer. You know who else isn't a good singer? Bob Dylan. Whoever you're into. Who is a good singer to you? You know? Adam Levine? Whatever. I thought it was funny. This makes me feel like Lynda Barry, and her thing of calling out when people say her isn't art because it doesn't happen in the highly controlled official art world. She's like, that's classism. Maybe this is different. It's also that thing of being super scary and painful. That fear of, like, "What if people think I'm not a good singer? What if everyone is muttering to each other about how bad I am?" That's a real fear, for me and for other people too. And it's kind of my way of facing that. And that's cool too.

I just got my thai food and I'm going to watch a Sharon Stone movie.


Just a Minute

Ugh you guys. I just got back from the last Artist in Residence meeting at BAX and there were lots of feelings. I got home and now I'm so sad. It's the post-show depression, and it's also the post-arts-residency depression. It's the post-institution depression. It'll pass, I know, and I'm mostly really happy, but still. Oof.

I'm glad I gave myself so many things coming up to look forward to and keep me busy. On May 17th, the new issue of Scorcher is coming out and I'm having a release party at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division, featuring readings by me, Tommy Pico, Sam McKinniss, Anthony Thornton, and Kayla Morse. The new issue is three years in the making, and is titled/themed "Valedictorian". You can read the title story now up on the Lambda Literary Foundation blog. I'm thrilled, but I can't even really process that it's finally happening.

Then on June 8th B0DYH1GH is playing at Joe's Pub, for Enid Ellen presents Lilith Fairy: the Reawakening, a Lilith Fair cover show, which is also a benefit for ACT UP NYC. It features performances by Enid Ellen, M Lamar, Brett Every, Nicholas Gorham, Amber Martin, B0DYH1GH, Greg Potter and Erin Markey. It's going to be epick.

ALSO in June, B0DYH1GH and Skirt play a special show at Macie Gransion on 6/14, and I will perform part of ENCOURAGER at a special Manhattan evening which will actually be so special. And then also B0DYH1GH has a mythtape waiting in the wings. There's a lot.

And I'm sort of ready to write again, some more. And then an out of town show at the end of summer.

I feel good, I feel vindicated. I think my hunch was right. I feel a little crestfallen though. I'm also getting new room mates. I'm like, "Should I move? That's not really an option for me right now or ever." Not like in a way where I'm afraid of change, but in a way where it's like, where do I begin and the universe end, you know? Nowhere.

It's so weird to not be going to rehearsal every night, and to not know when my next rehearsal is. That's not true, I have some more rehearsals, just to fuck around and get ready for things.

Boy I sure am glad I'm going back to analysis this week. See? That's another thing to look forward to. Going to a fancy performance tomorrow night which I'm quite excited about for a number of reasons. I made this salad but didn't assemble it, so that I could bring it to work tomorrow. Because I was going to take myself out to dinner for being sad, as a treat, but I can't-- I'm waiting for someone, it's annoying.

I also bought myself a shirt as a present for getting through the last few weeks. I also let myself chainsmoke. The shirt doesn't really fit, or look too too amazing, but I can'r return it. For credit only. I should have sussed that out better. But it wasn't at all expensive or anything, it's just weird. I also got these new shoes a month and a half ago and have been waiting to wear until I feel like I deserve nice things. So I wore them today, they're white. And they're too big but they also weirdly chafe, so when I got to work this morning they were stained with blood from my heels, where they rubbed me so badly that I bled through my (new, beige) socks. Feeling a bit... like, frustrated at things that don't exactly fit. Or don't exactly fit right off the bat. I get so frustrated not having everything I want, perfectly, all the time. Doesn't everyone? It's a thing of remembering that nothing is always perfect forever, and that's why anything can ever be perfect, I suppose. It all takes getting used to (and getting rid of) so if you see me limping around in a pair of blood-stained white creepers, with a very tight but very long low-cut CdG shirt on and a crooked grin, you'll maybe know why.



THANK YOU to everyone who came out to the performances of MAPPLETHORPE this weekend, and to everyone who helped me through this process over the last year. I am totally overjoyed, and kind of in shock with the crowds that came to the show, and the response I got. I feel very, very lucky. Very grateful, very humbled and very happy.

A few people asked me about the original versions of the songs I sang in the show this weekend, so I've made another little playlist with those:

There's one song missing, because the famously litigious artist who wrote the song (titled "Still Waiting") doesn't allow their music on YouTube, so you'll need to look elsewhere for that.

I wanted to make something sort of like Sinead O'Connor's famous stunt on Saturday Night Live. In a way, this show begins where her performance ended, ripping up a picture of the pope. Not literally, but the act of virtuosic irreverence, as the place to start, was important to me. The first line of the first song is "I'm the one." The last line of the last song is "I'm your puppet." I'd been thinking a lot about Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly's band Throwing Muses, and their album "House Tornado" which Hersh describes as circular, the final chords of the last song echo the first chords on the album opener. Donelly's later band Belly had a song about puppets, "Gepetto" and is a reference as well. I'm your puppet and you are the puppet-masters. The drums to "Malibu" in the show were lifted from the Muses song "Him Dancing".

I had originally began working on this show because I was obsessed with Teena Marie, and the myriad of feelings I had around someone who was so famous as a white lady soul singer. The idea of loving something, even though it was, to use a now-exhausted description, "problematic" was interesting to me. I ended up mostly abandoning Marie, but I wanted to find a way to work that queasy anxiety into the show. I wanted to make something that was hard to love, or hard to love the right way. Something that, if you decide to like it, or listen to it, or participate in it, might make you feel a little bit gross. Because that's what it's like, I think, so love someone else. It means dealing with the inevitable disappointment of getting to know someone, or even yourself. I'd been toying with the idea of performing as a character named Mapplethorpe, mispronounced on purpose, for a few years. At least since 2009 or so. Originally he was going to dress like a leather daddy or something, but I moved away from that. I'd often been styled that way in photo shoots, and I often felt like such a phony, and I wanted to make something out that feeling. And the thing of getting history wrong on purpose. Of amnesia.

I had a lot of ideas about this show and I wrote many dozens of drafts, and I discarded 99% of everything I wrote. I was trying to cultivate a kind of grace; of making one joke hit all the weird things I needed it to hit. And sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn't. But I wanted my struggle to do something so nuanced to be part of the experience. I want you to see the sweat. I feel really gratified that people saw what I was doing, so THANK YOU, EVERYBODY.