I have felt a little bit lost of late, creatively speaking. Musically I feel spent and somewhat abandoned. Solace seems to be coming from my Secret Poet project which excites me but deep down I know it is not the ideal way forward. Thinking I could fit in with the cabaret set was perhaps a misguided notion. Sure I am capable of a certain degree of glamour but my act isn’t even a proper act and it’s entertainment value or wow factor is perhaps non-existent. This became clear to me as I took to the stage as Anna for the first time. As fun as it was I always tend to be my harshest critic and like with my music performances I believe I may have been the least interesting item on the menu. I’m not sure how I can enliven it as jokes and banter are not especially easy for me. I did consider early on in the planning process that I could end on a song. Be it an extremely random cover version or some funny little ditty I have yet to compose. Having spoken with my wife and another friend I’ve came to realise that I rushed my performance. That’s normal I guess – I always remember the very first gig I did with my band when I was 17. We did our half hour set in 20 mins!
I have another week to prepare for it and at least this time I have more poems to choose from so I can be picky. I wish I had more like ‘Stuck in a dress’. It was pointed out to me that that is my pivotal work ie the one that goes the best with my image. I’m a guy getting stuck in a dress and isn’t it usually women who get stuck in dresses…oh the hilarity. Most of the other poems could be told without the hair and make-up as my normal self but not that one. I should think about it more over the next while.
I’m really looking forward to the gig as it’ll be a chance to hang out as Anna in a cool place with arty and open-minded people. In the back of my mind I’m also planning to get to take some pictures (posed of course) whilst there. Sick of taking the same pictures in the house so the Art School should provide a good opportunity for that. I took some new photos last weekend actually and some of them were rather good. Here they are below, the red dress and the blue dress are new purchases. Both from charity shops – I can’t resist a bargain 🙂
These outfits are older but I was able to still find ways of enjoying them. For this part of the session I donned a trusty waist cincher and hip padding to lend a more feminine shape. It’s required especially for the sake of the bodycon dress which just goes up and down on my manly frame.
Hello there! I do hope you are all well, I’m all sore from a gig last night. Not a poetry one sadly but a solo guitar and shoutin’ style gig. It’s been a busy old week rehearsing for that one so I’ve been more or less taking a break from the soul searching poetry nonsense. As I sort of hinted at in my last post regarding my Youtube channel, I did a special session last Friday where I filmed the remaining 7 poems that weren’t up so you can now view my full repertoire such as it is. It was a fun session and I really got into it as I haven’t really had much physical practice. It’s mostly all been going on in my head. A bottle of wine was consumed in the process helping me relax and fueling me to read all my remainder (I had only intended on reading my brand new one ‘Huff’).
Yesterday I also got to see the pictures my friend took. I look pretty awful in a couple of them but it’s because I’m in the zone mid sentence and so on. Also I really should have brushed my hair before I went on lol! So courtesy of GAK Photography here they are…
Next time I’ll probably wear a different wig! Not sure when that will be but I hope to arrange something before the summer. There are loads of spoken word nights in Glasgow so I’m also thinking of infiltrating one of them but the matter of where to change would present a minor problem 🙂 In the meantime I’m just going to hunker down and expand the secret poem book as best I can.
One of the other things I did was join Instagram last weekend. I’ve met some colourful characters on that I can tell you! I really had no idea that you could send messages over it and so far they are the most irritating aspect. I’ve had to do a whole lot of blocking and declining I can tell you. I can be found under annasecretpoet – what else I guess?
Lastly I got a nice new camera during the week, a Canon DSLR. A rather complex beast but one I’m determined to master. Hopefully that means I can now provide high quality imagery in general from now on. The zoom is INCREDIBLE! I finally got to take a picture of the moon the other night and you can even make out the craters on it…
I must fly now as it is nearly lunchtime and a mighty hunger has descended upon us!
After my last post I feel I was able to describe my newest idea more adequately to people and set about pitching it to various people. Not just people who I know could make it happen on a venue level but friends as well. Hearteningly nobody has said ‘don’t do it!’ yet. A couple of days ago I bought a flowery notebook to house the poetry. I have been trying to visualise various small details like that other than just how I shall look. That has also fired my imagination! Character is very important and so I’ve decided she’s a kooky and neurotic librarian with delusions of grandeur. That’s not to say I’ll deliberately let her read awful poetry.
On Tuesday I had a ‘fitting’ for my outfit and tried on 4 of my recent dresses though in truth I don’t think there’s a contest. The winning dress is a grey one I bought for a couple of pounds out of British Heart Foundation. This one is originally from George.
I may team it with glasses as in this next pic but I’m not certain. What do you reckon – too stern?
Although you can’t see I’m also wearing my new red point toed pumps. I’ve decided they should be the only colour in the ensemble.
The other dresses I got included a fetching purple one which is probably more night out than librarian but I like it anyway. It is from Dorothy Perkins originally.
This other one is lovely but made me a bit sad when it didn’t zip all the way up. I really like it though so am going to look into getting it taken out. A first for me. It’s from Marks & Spencers (good god of course that’s not where I got it) and other than the dots it’s principal selling point was the original price tag still being on it. It read: £49.50. I got it for a fiver so I was delighted.
The origin of the last one escapes me. It is longer than I’d normally like but feels so nice on. I reckon this could be another contender for the librarian as it has a floaty summer casualness to it. Real fashion people do forgive my relative ignorance in describing female attire in general. I’m still learning – it is all dead complicated 😄
With the outfit more or less sorted I can now think seriously about content. I have already been pondering possible banter and gags to compliment the poetic content. I’m no comedian sadly but I do want there to be humour. Not of the acerbic kind but daft and occasionally surreal humour. By far my favourite kind. I truly cannot wait to get a date sorted which hopefully is a good sign. Maybe that could give me something to write about…or perhaps I may just share another poem. It’s possible I may end up with a few spare in the coming weeks.
An idea has taken hold of me. That’s often the way it is with me and ideas. I wonder if everyone else is the same. As well as being a prime example of pure inspiration I’m extremely surprised I hadn’t thought of it a whole lot sooner. Drag Poet!
Let me explain, for some time now I have become increasingly dissatisfied with my music. In particular the way that I have not found an audience in the 20 or so years I’ve been doing it. Creatively speaking it is wearing me down. I have had the honour of playing at a couple of cabaret nights in Glasgow in the past year and have been struck by the diversity of talent on show. It’s made me feel normal and relatively uninteresting when at heart I know for a fact I’m anything but normal. I’ve seen poets, magicians, burlesque dancers, boylesque dancers, bizarre comedy routines and da da-esque singalongs to name but a few things and I want to join in! Up until now I’ve been unsure of how. In late 2013 I began to sneak crossdressing into my stage attire (sneak perhaps id too subtle a word…) albeit without hair and make-up and it’s mostly went down okay. My last solo gig in particular was brilliant – because I did 2 sets I got a costume change and found a willing and extremely open-minded audience. This combined with my recent Twitter explosion and reminded me of the fact that I’m Anna Secret Poet and perhaps a poet I should be. A poet in drag! It was one of those ideas that arrived fully formed and I even know what poetry I would recite. Dubious poems, daft poems, modified song lyrics like what I have shared on this page in the recent past. My look would be easier still as I already have a look. Bookish, trying for elegance and only vaguely succeeding. My best comparison would be Tommy Cooper who was seemingly inept but had flashes of genius. I guess I should be concerned with discovery etc but I’m not overly worried as I’d be doing this amongst arty and open-minded folk in arty open-minded places. Who knows, the first time may be an abomination and there may be no further ones.
A purely selfish upside could also be that it would fulfill my social desire for a couple of hours as the set itself would only be 5-10 minutes at a guess. It has almost been a year since my inaugural outing and I have wanted to recapture it. In fact I feel sure I’d be able to top it which I admit wouldn’t be hard. Finding willing participants for a secong outing has been difficult, not only that but I know it would probably not go down well at home. It’s a pity as I know I’d be careful. The last one was planned with almost militaristic precision. Anyway with regards to my idea I would like to try it regardless. If it works then great but if it doesn’t then at least I’ll know or be able to revise it. I wouldn’t want it to be one of those notions that gets buried away like so many others – some deservedly some not. Being a confirmed overthinker it’s likely I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering what it could’ve been like. I’m going to ponder on it some more and perhaps run it by some of the cabaret people I know. Also I’d like to reassure you it won’t be a piss-take!
Sometimes I wish I could write something a bit more meaningful than this. I got the chance to dress up today for a few relaxed hours and I had a really nice time. Simple stuff. No new outfits as it wasn’t pre-planned though I did get a new dark brown wig with a fringe the other day. Impulse buy, it was relatively cheap. So I dug into the wardrobe and pulled out a few old skirts I haven’t worn in ages and some tops to match.
The black skirt I’ve had for ages and the
houndstooth top is one of my favourites though it does make my boobs look a bit too big!
The black top and grey skirt are old ones too. Rather tight fitting!
I am liking the new wig though – it is rather tight though and hard to know if I have it on right. It’s also a bit darker than I would normally go.
Hope you’ve all had a lovely Thursday! Let the clean-up operation begin (sighs)…
Recently I discovered that my old MySpace is still there. I have no way of deactivating it as I no longer have access to the e-mail address I set it up with. It had been quietly sitting there gathering virtual dust all this time. I’m guessing it was around 2010 since I last logged in, the time of the last purge. Familiar faces greeted me from my Friends list but all posts and comments appear to have disappeared. I wonder what all those people are up to now and if they’ve abandoned their profiles for dead too. The reason I logged on was to have a look at some of my old pictures to see if they were still there. Indeed they were. I no longer have copies of them you see, having been overly careful down the years I would delete pics off the hard drive once I’d uploaded them. An idea I have been thinking over for some time is to sort out my Anna photo archive properly. From 2011 onwards I have a pretty comprehensive collection but the years prior to that are decidedly patchy. I had thought of maybe starting a Flickr account too. So I have somewhere to keep a back up but also have them on display for anyone who would appreciate them.
As often happens when you start looking at old photos I was transported back in time and thus lost track of it. I copied a fair few of them – not all though only the ones that looked okay. Some of them I had forgotten about and I cringed at some of the outfits and poses…
I began to think again about why as crossdressers we photograph ourselves as we inevitably don’t get to share them much (god bless the internet). I suppose it’s not too odd because really as people we photograph everything we see, especially these days. We like to chart the progression of our lives and we like to remember. I’m particularly pleased with my archive, it’s pretty much a decade’s worth.
Pictures can also be incredibly powerful, funny, moving, thought-provoking and obtuse. Sometimes all at once. I happen to think the best ones are not always posed. I really like the pictures where the subject(s) are not necessarily aware that they are being photographed. No one else has ever taken a photo of Anna and I think I’d really like that. It would be terribly interesting to see how that would turn out. I’ve often wanted to ask my wife but have been too shy. When we did the now traditional Halloween Anna evening last night I wanted to ask but couldn’t find the right opportunity. I suppose I’m also a bit worried because when we were discussing my last post she remarked how I seemed to default to ‘sex kitten’ in them. It was a good point but that’s probably just because o my wardrobe choices. Put me in a cute skirt and heels I automatically bend or point my knees and turn my head to one side. I can’t help it 😄
I did take a few pictures before we settled down to watch a film. Ended up in that green dress I bought a couple of months back and I even accessorised!
Hope you all had a great Halloween too! If I sort a Flickr out I’ll let you know X