Here’s what’s up. This year I have really pushed myself to excel and grow in my performance interests and practice, collaborate and connect with amazing artists and friends, and gracefully sustain my commitments artistically. I am proud to say I am at the tail end of a very busy year filled with opportunity, growth and some amazing moments.
I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing artists and individuals this year:
Linda Austin, Stella Maris and the Ravenna Ravine gang, Tahni Holt and the Culture Machine gang, Ordo Virtutum and a truly magical cast of immensely talented vocalists and performers.
Being part of the Miss Thing Pageant, winning in May (thanks Gagadonna gang!) and getting to really cultivate and curate performance art/drag while watching the pdx punk drag scene POP! *Thank you Raijah, SMB, Robert Tyree, Tahni, and Maria
Competing and winning Homos-Got-Talent and feeling like a superstar! *Thanks Lillian, SMB, Robert Tyree, and Maria!
Feeling like I was taking over Portland ( until Chichi and Chonga showed up 😛 ) and holding many strings and many kites in the air simultaneously.
Peepshow with Artemis Chase and Pandora Boxxx and the multitude of PDX talent!
Headlining Blow Pony for the gay pride extravaganza and seeing Portland erupt in celebration and pride. *Thanks SMB, Robert, Lillian, and Claire.
And putting myself out there as a gogo-dancer for Blowpony which taught me a lot about self-image and the performance of sexuality…
To all of you who I have worked with, who have worked with me and those of use who WERQUE! thank you, YOU INSPIRE ME, MOTIVATE ME, and keep me on track. YOU are beautiful and the beauty this world needs now.
I learned how to juggle this year, and juggling multiple shows, jobs, commitments and responsibilities have a cost. Today Oct 21st 2010 will be my first day where I don’t have rehearsal/work in 20 days. And before that it was something ridiculous like 35 days… in a row… sometimes working 6am-12midnight for multiple days in a row. I remind myself over and over that I not only asked for this, I CAUSED this. I am blessed by this. But I did not necessarily understand some of the finer points and logistics of taking that big of a bite.
Some of the repercussions involve: a severely sprained ankle…from not taking a day off. Three intense head contusions involving my face and concrete, bicycles and some cognitive ridiculousness. *Note I performed AND won homos-got-talent with a semi-concussion and black eye with some vision loss…
Producing and performing and directing in some cases mean you stay longer, work harder and reach higher. I sacrificed a lot of friend and community time to be able to offer my friends and community my passion. I literally didn’t have time to process some of the personal moments, which inevitably arise.
For example, my father dying the same day I judged Miss Thing June… and not finding out about it until 3 days later when I was performing with Linda Austin for 2 shows and THEN the same night headlining Blow Pony. I could have been a diva and not shown up to these shows, but that’s not something my father would respect and that’s definitely not something I would respect in myself. Also, his passing is not in my control…my reaction to his passing is and I chose to sublimate my grief into doing something I cherish, spilling my guts on stage.
Now, as I reflect about his passing I see his passing really serves as a symbol for the other important benchmarks in my 25th year around the sun. I see my current way of pushing myself is unsustainable. And, to improve the health of my body and self I have decided to take a break. Recently I wrote a manifesto of sorts where I stated my intention and purpose for my artwork in Portland OR. Part of it says. “My passion is to lead the queer community by offering myself as a dynamic force supporting the cultivation of new and exciting works.” It is in the spirit of that intention that I step away from the onslaught of production and take inventory of my accomplishments, failures, surprises and unexpected moments of glamour.
On NOV 21st I am leaving PDX for 2-6 months to reflect, heal, and enter into a period of development leading into a transformation. Not to mention ADVENTURE TIME! I am very fortunate to be able to do this and I am excited to take this opportunity to take inventory about what I have gained, what I will let go of and what I will plan next. What does taking a break look like for Kaj-anne Pepper? Well…let’s just say I get to lie on the beach near the equator and go absolutely mad with nothing to do for over 3 weeks…
I will also use that time to inquire on the health and reality of queer communities around me. I will also use that time to take care of some business (future website maybe?) And while on this grand adventure I will also use that time to remember who the Kaj-anne Pepper is behind Kaj-anne Pepper ya dig?
BUT! Before I run off I still have 3 more shows I’m excited to present! For your chance to see me perform some of my last shows in PDX for up to a year come see
:Shorn “Cuts, Guts and Glamour…” at Half/Dozen Gallery OCT 30th. Installation 3pm-6pm Interactive performance 6-8pm LIVE PERFORMANCE 8pm sharp!
Sissies. Queer Artist lecture series with Wayne Bund Nov 7th at Valentines 6pm.
and of course the BIG BLOW OUT (just 36 hours before I leave)
MISS THING the FINAL PAGEANT! FRI NOV 19th at the Fez Ballroom
*trust me you don’t want to miss this year long competition of some of PDX’s most stunning and original queer performing drag. and what I’ve got in store for everyone will be my most visually stunning drag performance to date.