Where you from?
But you live here?
For how long?
Since when’d you arrive?
New Years Eve.
Standing on the dance floor after the 5th
Feeling the bones.
The muscly mind.
Leigh's eyes when we danced.
Looking in her eyes a little too hard.
Dilated pupils flashing with fear.
Like a dying horse.
He was just a modernist.
Figuring it all out.
Walsaw. Oh Waslaw.
Sing to me O muse of passion.
O muse of light and darkness.
Of God and all the other shit.
How you sing my blood like serpents.
How it dances in the veins.
The ribs dropped and the organs expanded.
The underside was felt.
The foot pedaled anew.
The music penetrated differently.
The trochanters wrapped.
The breath moved independent from mind.
The music got better.
So did the dance.
What was he so afraid of?
What are they all so afraid of.
Witchy witchy witch witch.
Witchy witchy witchy witch.
Which way witch.
which way, witch?
David was at Kit Kat when that guy died last week.
“I’ve been in the Israeli army... we see a lot of deaths,’ he said
Dean came as I was sitting with David between my legs.
Dean’s special eyes.
His body food.
eyes closed, everything edible.
a stynesthesic sensuality between fits and bouts of sleep.
And then Emmas vagina boiling hot.
Her leather mask glittering with chains.
You could still see her eyes
Her body easy to love.
Her mouth small
She pushed me against the wall.
I asked my rib to release.
My hand moved over my throat
The techno thumping thumping
third eye raging.
ribs dropping organs expanding, compressing over and over again.
the weight going down, the lungs down, the diaphragm down down
Talking with Jeff.
Feeling so maudlin.
Feeling so warm.
A smile peaking at the back of my head.
The cranial sacral sweet spot.
The occiput opening.
I feel something
something that makes me want to jump in your cells and dance there slowly.
Feeling each muscle, each bone shift monumentally
Why does skin have to be so thick?
So perceptibly separate?
Why can’t it all just be one universal blob?
I don’t want to kiss you.
I want to be you.
To decorate myself with your veins.
To coat myself in your juice.
Your feet to be my socks and your hands my gloves.
Why can’t the column collide with mine?
And my feet be the floor?
Why do we have names for all that is nothing?
I want to become a monk.
No more ecstasy.
No more drugs.
No more highs.
No more lows.
No more techno.
No more friends.
No more boys.
No more sex.
No more faking.
No more fashion.
No more heart.
No more fades.
No more visions.
No more spells.
No more magic.
No more porn.
No more color.
No more deaths.
I want the room to be clean and consistently
How to land in this body?
How to land in this body?
How to land in this world?
How to land in this universe?
How to land
How to land When your house is a business.
When your food is a business.
When your pet is a business.
When your phone is a business.
When your electric is a business.
When your vibe is a business.
When your bed is a business.
When your sleep is a business.
When your mind is a business.
When your thoughts are a business.
When your water is a business.
When your books are a business.
When your body is a business.
When your walls are a business.
When your lights are a business.
When your hair is a business.
When your eyes are a business.
When your heart is a business.
When you are a business.
When you are a business.
When your spirit is a business.
When your love is a business.
When your world is a business.
When everything’s business.
Here's my response to the uprise of mental illness dialoguing in response to Robin William's recent death and a more detailed explanation of my status from yesterday ["How must we call for critical change in the industry when an actor like Heath Ledger is found dead on his floor, an actor like Phillip Seymour Hoffman overdoses, an actor like Robin Williams takes his own life, ... ?]:
I’m feeling deep empathy... I'm feeling that I can absolutely relate to these actors and I have a strong feeling I am not alone. I understand why “illness” has been chosen to describe what artists/people like Robin Williams are dealing with and I think that I agree with this usage, that is if by illness we mean something that is contagious and practically inescapable.
Recently I read an academic article called “We Are All Very Anxious” (here's a link if you’re interested: http://www.weareplanc.org/we-are-all-very-anxious). I feel very moved by this work, which states that anxiety is a public secret... something we all feel but continue to define as a lonely experience that’s essentially “our own fault.” The article asserts that this is the newest mode of capitalism, a pulsating structure which, in 2014, breeds competition at a hyper techno speed and that at one time or another we all struggle to keep up with.
Although this is not just affecting artists, artists, especially actors in the public eye, are often the first to be working through or seen working through shared sickness and, for Williams, Ledger and Hoffman included, can result in something heartbreaking. This is why instead of generalizing my call to arms, I confront a microcosmic force that is probably the most responsible for reflecting and representing society: “the industry.”
I understand that the industry isn’t necessarily at fault for its own (as described by Stephen Sondheim) “blob”-like consumption, but I think it’s bullshit to apologize and beat ourselves into submission for a money-hungry corporation which, more often than not, cares more about box office revenue than the quality of a production and its players/performers. Yes, I’m sure I’m oversimplifying in some way... I also don't mean to invalidate the reality of mental illness, a reality that reporters mention Williams experienced. I’m also sure that I’m not interested in being a ne’er do well with my nose in the air.
I’m simply asking what needs to change? How can we say “enough is enough” in order to slow down and reevaluate our health and wellness as a public? I don’t know the answers, but I know artists increase awareness and awareness is the seed of change. So why shouldn’t “the industry” (which I wish I didn’t even have to call an industry), which prides itself on employing artists, step up to the plate? Asking this question on facebook is at least one way I can personally be responsible for change as a collaborator and consumer of this institution. Simply by asking, I hope to begin a conversation.
Have you seen, even heard of “Bike Porn?”
I myself had not, until I was invited to an event called Bike Smut in Philadelphia.
At the beginning of the event, a video was projected onto a large screen with a man riding on a bicycle through city streets, naked. The host stood in front of the screen and announced, “Ladies, gentlemen and the great people of Philadelphia. Start pumping your pedals. We’re in for a wild ride!” He was right.
“What exactly is ‘Bike Porn?’” one might ask. I would define Bike Porn as pornographic materials including, showcasing, or about bicycles. “Could something that strange be entertaining, sexy or artful?” one may continue. The answer is yes.
Bike Smut was comprised of about twelve short films covering a vast array of genres and styles in bike pornography. Several sexual appetites were accounted for, including, but not limited to homosexuality, heterosexuality, pansexuality, bisexuality, even hair fetishism and, of course, “bike-sexuality.” The collection represented an international body of filmmakers, with most of the pieces coming from North America and some from Europe (Germany and Switzerland). The Porny Express, the group who produces Bike Smut, is touring this work throughout North America and has been doing so for the past seven years.
What has sustained the Porny Express and their cause? Furthermore, what makes “Bike Porn” a burgeoning cultural phenomenon? Maybe it has to do with the significant history of bicycles.
Bikes were introduced in Europe in the nineteenth century and ever since, biking has become a global pastime. Most importantly, they transformed the way people traveled, making transport immensely swifter, but bikes also revolutionized fashion, especially for women.
As early as 1894, women began documenting their changing fashions for bike-riding. In one article from that year, a long skirt with ankle-buckles was advertised for safe, easy pedaling (Lewis, Jone).
Although the costuming was still quite modest (with heavy wool to cover most parts of the body), this trajectory in anatomically revealing fashion continued, and today has resulted in tight, spandex costuming for all sexes. This fashion showcases the curves and splendors of the human body, exposing its inherent sexuality. Bicycles only exaggerate that sexuality, causing legs to exhibit athletic prowess while, possibly, stimulating erogenous zones that meet the seat. Therefore, the invention of the bicycle, shifting our fashions and agency to travel, has been a leap towards liberation.
There is also a reference to Futurism in witnessing bicycles intermixed with sex, a movement which also fetishizes machinery. Yet in most of these films, bicycles, rather than recalling sleek, sterile fascism, revealed effervescence and youth. After all, as the films in Bike Smut were not shy about reminding us, one must be at least somewhat fit and agile to ride.
As previously noted, there were a plethora of styles represented in the screening. There was the romantic film where two men meet through checking out each other’s bikes. There was the Western with its classic John Wayne soundtrack underscoring three women stripping and grinding on their bicycles. Two films took place in a bicycle repair-shop, one with a classic, gay hard-core anal sex scene, the other with a hair-fetishist buzzing off a tied-up customer’s long hair, and at least five films included a group of women engaging in bike-sexual foreplay.
Regardless of each film’s style, there was something laugh-out-loud funny about all of them. In one stand-out film, a woman masturbates and uses her vaginal secretion as bike lubricant. In the gay, anal sex scene, one cannot explode into laughter when the guy being penetrated from behind begins turning the pedals of a stationary bike in front of him. The comedy in each film made up for a lack of professionalism in the production values, making the do-it-yourself nature of the event that much more charming.
Although some might classify an event such as this as obscene or artless, I beg to differ. Oddly enough, something brilliant happens when bicycles meet sex. Bikes, when used in these films most effectively, gave way to the playful side of sexuality, reminding viewers what great joy can be found with the release of endorphins while bike-riding.
On a personal note, Bike Smut allowed me to recognize the absurdity and wonderfulness of sex through my laughter. I can honestly say that not only have I seen “Bike Porn,” but my understanding and appreciation for bicycles has grown that much deeper. Therefore, I strongly believe in these films as an artful force for good, encouraging us to connect with our earth, each other, ourselves and our bikes. Needless to say, what a great way to encourage exercise!
Learn more about Bike Smut and see when it's coming to a location near you!:
Lewis, Jone J. "The Bicycle And Health (1894)." The Ladies' Standard Magazine Apr. 1894:
n. pag. Print.
On Sunday, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival came to a close after 3 weeks of non-stop theatre. I was lucky enough to have been a part of Nature Theatre of Oklahoma’s episodic series Life and Times and even luckier to have received an artist pass, which entitled me four complimentary tickets and an opportunity to see any show for $5. Over those three weeks, I partook in the mad dash to see as much theatre as I could and therefore saw nine productions (I think), which, to be honest, were troublesome to count because half of them were so lack luster. There were exceptions of course, but we won’t name names for the sake of patting some people on the back and not others.
From this and other recent experiences, I’ve been formulating a critical and unsettling question, one that dares to stare in the face of my BFA in Theatre Arts and betray its honor. The question I’m talking about: Why see theatre?
So to preface my speculation(s), I want to consider three different experiences I often have when viewing live theatre performances, which, for all intents and purposes, will not include cabaret, burlesque or nightclub acts.
Reaction 1: I enter the production with an open mind and open heart and between 1/3 to half way in, I am either bored, upset or horrified I came to see such rubbish.
Reaction 2: I find issues with a production, but am able to see the good and come away with a few positive remarks.
Reaction 3: My jaw is wide open during much of the piece, or there is a grand “AHA!” moment and I am, for the moment, stolen away from my ordinary life into a state of catharsis and/or ecstasy.
Obviously, these reactions are not hard and fast. My experiences in the theatre are also based on my expectations, my day, my taste and all the other details that affect one’s viewing of a piece.
What also seems obvious is that what I consistently hope for, what brings me back to the theatre is Reaction #3. It’s a feeling that piques my awareness to new heights and allows me to sense magic is happening. And those moments are magical! Time is transformed and space is re-imagined. If you’ve ever sat with me through Reaction #3, I’m either gripping the arm rest for dear life or you! But the moment of magic arrives and then it’s gone. Theatre is ephemeral. It’s fleeting. And alas, form me therein lies the problem.
Besides wanting to feel R#3, some will assert other reasons why one might attend a theatrical event. One might say that seeing theatre live is a great way to feel a sense of community. But let’s be honest, when have I ever gotten anything from strangers sitting in the dark at the other end of a theatre? All too often, I’m annoyed because someone tall is sitting in front of me, playing on their phone and opening a candy wrapper. Needless to say I don’t usually find the sense of “community” all that enlightening.
Some might say it’s to see the theatre space itself. There are some houses still, but not many (especially in the states), that are a work of art themselves. If possible, I recommend seeing these houses during day time hours rather than buying one of those pricey tickets for the often terrible shows they house. Although people-watching in these spaces is always fun and is a theatrical event in its own right, again, I recommend practicing this art when and where it is free.
So I’m gonna go with R#3 as the reason why I have dedicated most of my life to live theatre. It's in those rare moments that I can project myself onto the action before me and gain perspective about life itself. But why go to have my hopes and dreams for theatre's immediate potential fulfilled when regardless if they are or not, I will most certainly be left high and dry, forced to face reality once more?
I have a dream that good theatre can be life-changing. That it can print itself in the gut memory that we’ll carry for a life-time. And I believe theatre can perpetuate presence and a regard for the now that we need more than ever. But how?
I leave the Philly Fringe still hungry, still yearning, still wondering how theatre can fulfill its radical potential. As a result, I’ve been investigating forms such as cabaret and burlesque to see how they function differently. I think there’s something in them, and something important about how subversion can reinvent what live performance can be and potentially do. But that’s another topic entirely.
So essentially, I think I continue seeing theatre to figure out what to do with it. It’s a process that will take a long, long time, but I’m up for the ride. So see you at the next show?
I sit here at the computer listening to Mozart's Piano Concerto No.23 In A Major, K 488 Adagio. I'm house sitting. It's a luxurious Philly apartment with an upright piano. I'm sitting at one, listening to one, but not playing one.
I'm sitting here writing what's flowing from my mind. "What will pop out?!" I think to myself. I want to start talking about myself in the third person. So I will.
Stuart is sitting at the piano, writing but not playing. He wishes he was writing music similar to Mozart. Similar to Joanna Newsom. He tried learning Baby Birch this morning. To what success who knows. One day he will sing it. And play the ukele. In drag. But not like Taylor Mac. But exactly like Taylor Mac.
The day is beautiful in it's wishy-washy grayness. Stuart has a view of the city skyline. West Philly's skyline to be precise. It's kind of boring, but gorgeous in its dullness.
What to write? What to think? What to do while listening to Mozart? Shall I repeat the song when it's over? It's always an attempt to hold onto the moment gone by. But it's gone. So there's that.
"So" is in fashion for beginning sentences. Did you know that? So "so" is really in right now. Stuart's avoided using "So" to begin sentences, but has also made an effort to consciously use the in-vogue tactic for speaking.
Articulation is key. For everything. So if you have something to say, say it with grace. And say it clearly.
What the hell is he trying to say writing these statements?? And who will read such a thing?? And is it a thing of the past to inquire these things in a self-conscious essay?? Is this even an essay?
Fuck third person.
I've been reading Tim Miller's work because I found 1001 Beds in the apartment. It's kind of brilliant. And also not. I'm into it.
(Just hit replay for Mozart's adagio. Will I do it again in 7 minutes?)
The editor talks about Miller being at the Whitney. I really like the Whitney!! I was there on Thursday, where I fell in love with Georgia O'keefe. Her work is breathtaking. I've always had something against Georgia. But it's not about Georgia. It's because when I was little, we had to mimic her work in art class. I hated drawing those fucking flowers. But Georgia didn't. I guess.
At the Whitney, I also fell in love with queer art. Again.
When I was driving home from Brooklyn, exhausted from my trip as usual, I discovered how scrunchy my face was. I noticed I was stopping and starting like crazy, partially because of traffic but also because my eyes were beady and focused solely on the car ahead.
But what if I move my eyes to the horizon? What if I soften my gaze and just look forward? So I did. And my stops and turns became smooth. And I thought of it as a metaphor for life. Heart, soften for the now and gaze into the future with wide eyes. #stream.
Close to a year ago I moved to the Philadelphia area, leaving behind my college life in Boston. On a mid-summer evening around that time, I was walking in Center City Philadelphia wearing jeans and a tee shirt (a nautical Jean-Paul Gautier piece to be precise) when someone walked past me and loudly muttered “Faggot.”
It took me a second to register the passerby’s statement, but before I even had a second to digest the morbid moment, two guys in a sedan drove past, also throwing “Faggot” at me. Their words dripped in hate and hit me like a ton of bricks.
I hadn’t really experienced this kind of out-right homophobia since I was in high school (In Boston, everything’s more under the surface). I was stunned, scared and terribly sad. In the middle of Center City? Really? Is this just the beginning of another repressive year?
Aw Hell no.
“So what do I do,” I thought to myself. And then I manifested the gayest year of my life.
To be honest, I struggled with being gay in college. I’m flamboyant and effeminate. Loving that part of myself was difficult. I dug my head into books and theory to make sense of all that I was and could be. I fell in love with gender outlaws and revolutionaries, artists and critics who transformed our contemporary understanding of bullshit binaries. And all of these people and things helped, but I still felt shame. Sad and sucky shame. It was only once I graduated that the true revolution, the one within, could take place.
In October, having been far too fed up with staying away from dresses and drag for fear of hurting others, I finally got my shit together and grabbed a wig, some makeup and a pair of heels. Witnessing the final transformation reminded me of the scene in Gypsy when Louise looks into the mirror and sees herself as Gypsy Rose Lee. Only it wasn’t, “Mama... I’m pretty!” It was, “Damn... I’m hott.” Needless to say it was amazing.
Soon after, I found myself cast in a dance opera in which I performed in drag and had my first-stage kiss with a man. And I was getting paid to do it! (Is that legal??) During that time, I also started to make friends with an array of awe-inspiring queer people. These new friends were defying gender norms and teaching me that seeing change in the world means being that change.
This led me to performing in a queer night club act with a group of hyper-fierce queens I admire immensely.
Then I produced a queer dance theatre fantasia with (literally) the help of a village.
And two nights ago, I stood on stage next to my friend, mentor and sister-brother, Annie Witch-Way, as Av’ry Witch-Way, my new gender-queer drag persona, in a night of queer experimental performance that I co-organized. I danced, I sang, I twerked and it was magic.
I feel proud of myself for being brave. Really proud. And I feel lucky. Lucky to have friends who love being unique and love me for being so, too. And I feel blessed. Blessed to have community. Qommunity. Absolutely blessed. This is the kind of bravery, love and pride we need to spread round in the world. Lord knows our family overseas needs all that they can get. Yes, I can still grow and change, but I'm on my path, and it's fabulous, a little scary and terribly beautiful.
It wasn’t until later that evening that I pieced together the significance of the event, this year and my gay growth.
My sisters and I were walking along Broad Street in Philadelphia, still in full drag, when we decided to pause for a photo shoot. As we made a move to walk forth, a black car full of men drove past us. They peaked their little heads out of the windows and yelled “Faggots!!!”
This time I quickly registered what was happening. I shot them a huge smile, yelled “HEEEEEYYYYYY!!!” and did a little twerk walk. #shameless.
It's Saturday afternoon and I'm thinking/stressing about my solo, On The Rocks (#plugitin). Thoughts are running through my mind a mile per minute. What about the fundraising? The marketing? The facebooking? And it goes on and on and on. I'm definitely checking my phone more than once a minute and consistently feeling a static shock of disappointment 90% of the time when nothing changes. What's new?
Somehow, I break my eyes away from the four screens (mirror included) giving me a technological tizzy and run outside to get the mail (#whatsmail). There lies a TIME magazine (my Dad's) with the headline "The Me Me Me Generation" and a tagline: "Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents... Why they'll save us." Who the hell are these people?
I run upstairs and proceed to swallow the article whole. Words such as "entitlement" and "narcissism" pepper the page while phrases like "self-involvement," "unmet expectations" and "jobless & still living at home" spread like wild-fire. Now wait just a minute... am I a millennial??
Born between 1980-2000: Check
Ballsy regardless of status: Check
Addicted to my phone: Checking
Secretly Facebook obsessed: It's not a secret anymore.
So here I am, sitting in my parent's house while agonizing over a post for my new, possibly self-involved blog while reading an article telling me I'm a bonafide millennial narcissist? Damn.
But what's author Joel Stein's message under all this shade? That we're gonna save the world! That we're game-changers galore. And hell yeah, Shmoel Jein, we are. In fact, Imma say I'm one of 'em.
Like my fellow millennials, I'm an optimist. I mean... a kid can dream (I'll maybe call myself an adult when I'm 40). Therefore, allow me to hypothesize that maybe all this social media-ing and twitter touchiness is actually a ploy to connect more. It's a way to own our identities in a homogenized wasteland. It's even a way into trusting our inner-spirtuality (#Ireligion). Yeah, we're not perfect, but we're trying. I'm trying at least... trying to be the best version of me. To be so specific about what I can give to the world that I can actually give it (whatever it is). I'm trying to be my most present self on May 13th, 2013 (#treal).
After much internal drama and debate about whether or not to seal this blog with a second post, I'm sealing it. So bare with me as I "narcissistically" sift through all this shit in an attempt to be led closer to the meaning of life. Excuse me. My life. And hopefully we can start some conversations about how we're totally different. Or how maybe we're just the same :) Let's follow Brent Roberts lead and start saying "It's Developmental Me, Not Generation Me."
I'm owning it people. but can we own it together?
What do you think about this millennialness?
Check out the article in TIME: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2143001,00.html
But since you can't read it all unless you subscribe (#whohastimeforthat #whohasmoneyforthat), read Elspeth Reeve throw cool shade in response: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/05/me-generation-time/65054/