Blowpony vs Kaj-anne Pepper was a gritty and graceful cut-up of glamour, grease and With luck and some strategic planning I postponed my leave date so I could have a good Thanksgiving at home and have another much needed week to tie up the loose knots and settle some affairs before I left. Funny thing is I confirmed my booking just as I was packing up my make-up and drag. It wouldn’t have worked out to unpack and then re-pack my kit. So I decided to ride that Pony bareback with very little if any of my own make-up, costumes, or technology.
I love a self-imposed challenge.
Being the resourceful queen I am I decided to improvise and call on my support. I am very thankful for all my team this time because we had basically a ½ a day to make this happen. Due to some technical problems I met with my amazing sound guy Thomas Thorson the day of the show. We made a cut-up of 7 of my favorite songs I’ve been working with. Knowing I loathe repeating the exact same number twice we decided to mash the new songs together a section of my Missthing performance. We did this in 2 hours and it sounded fantastic.
Next I ran over to Rotture to tech my piece and have our only rehearsal. My dancers Lillian and Richard are pro’s and worked with me for the Missthing pageant and know how to work with my direction…my directions being detailed instructions for improvised choreography or “If you could just thrash your head a 1/3 less I’d love that…”
Then we ran to Fred Meyers to buy my costume…cellophane, packing tape, some baby powder, mascara, and some lipstick. and some gloves. Since I wear the same pair of shoes for almost any drag performance and they were already packed by then I thought barefoot would be appropriate. We then dropped me off on Burnside so I could run into Spartacus leathers (who I’ve been shopping with for years) and buy fishnets and admire their floggers. They circled the block picked me up on their way around and we ran back to my house for a drink and a shower and a final movement rehearsal.
We showed up to the venue, it wasn’t quite packed yet and held camp backstage. Backstage at Blowpony is my favorite place, because you have just enough space to stretch and move around while being surrounded by a constant flow of naked or ½ naked go-go dancers who may or may not be penis pumping, shit-talking, eye lash gluing in mid-coitus, or engaging in other nightlife activities. Having been a go-go dancer there I felt at home in the sweaty sexy piss-in-the-bottle-in-the-corner, come in arm’s flailing requesting a zip up of your corset cause YOU FAVORITE SONG JUST CAME ON environment. It’s just too bad they only have one 12-inch square mirror I had to hog. I only had an hour to work with these items:
Fancy Italian Carnival Mask
1 construction light
1 extension cord
3 or four left over blonde hair extensions (which I glued myself)
1 pair of striped circus shorts
2 pairs of fishnets (one for my legs and one to split for the dancers faces)
3 packs of rubber dish gloves (Pink for me Yellow for my dancers)
1 Bottle of baby powder
1 giant fan
1 DVD –
1 Music CD
And of course drink tickets.
Some last minute decisions were made…
I’d start on the banister by the coat check with the construction light doing a live intro of “Horses” by Patti Smith
Process with Blowpony go-go crew through the crowd to the sub-woofer and then perform to my friend Ren’s song “The Queen of Noise is Dead” WHILE the video projection from my Missthing performance played on top of me.
Then process onto the stage where I would twitch jerk and lip-synch for my life to a re-mixed track by my friend’s band I CUT PEOPLE
Go check out his website ICUTPEOPLE.com
From there on we ran through some cuts of Sonic Youth (I love you, I love you, I love you…What’s your name?)
Robyn (I’m so bored in this town…take me away from here)
PLUTO (the Thorson/Pepper rave til you drop mega-mix)
It’s a shame the lights are so hot you can’t see my face in the video but I think it’s beautiful to see myself a shining orb of rawness and glamour. Note to self…when videoing at a club don’t’ push lights to full…
I didn’t expect the crowd to love on me as much as they did, nor did I expect the show to go as smoothly as it did. Sometimes when I am onstage a part of me ‘check’s out and the artist/split second decision maker takes over. This final PDX show was really all about trust and reliance. Trust that what I’ve planned will be entertaining and interesting to my standards, and reliance on my dancers and foresight to let my body take over. The only thing I really remember from start to finish is the smell of baby powder and the feel of wind underneath my wings…(where did I get those) and then this joyful twitch at the very last moment right before I fell into someone’s arms off stage…”It’s done….”
I’m not like other queens in the sense I muscle through these elaborate and often last minute performances instead of doing any number of glamorous low impact drag numbers. I really feel we deserved our screaming high five chest bumping high kick double kiss celebration moment back stage. I feel I deserved a bottle of Bullet and a crown. I felt satisfied I went out with a bang.
Afterward I gave lots of kisses and flirted while looking like a cross between Lady Gaga, Courtney Love and Jerri Blank… very becoming I’m sure. This one particular cute Latino boy was all over me, for a while… he could not stop touching my hair and I couldn’t stop telling him he had the nicest ass in the room. I passed by a lot of friends and folks getting increasingly more intoxicated. I also got lots of gawkers. Now, I’m used to that when I’m walking around Stark street or really anywhere outside of PDX…but this is INSIDE Blowpony….land of the roaming unicorn-clown…the ChupaBarbara…boys in jockstraps and nothing else…followed by boys on leashes in even less…
In fact, outside the club some meaty clean-cut drunk took one look at me and say “Wow you’re frightening!”
I replied “Why thank you…did you realize you’re partying at a QUEER PARTY? What exactly IS frightening you… my beauty or my beard?”
He was non-plused and I thought he was gonna punch me til he stumbled with his friends to go puke in a gutter somewhere (the highlight of his evening).
I took a ride home with a lovely boy in a kimono and jockstrap outfit and considered inviting him to my hot tub…but thought better of myself and decided to lay myself to sleep, alone, crusty and content.