Tag Archives: cross-dressing

Marquez Studios Photoshoot, Feb 2019

In the Glasgow cabaret world, one of its finest documentors is a lady called Amy Irene Marquez and I’d been dying to work with her for ages. She has been responsible for some of the coolest portraits I’ve seen these past few years and I finally got the chance to work with her in February. I confess I was a bit shy, as I still am around photographers. I guess I’m so used to taking photos by myself. It is different on my own especially as I hold back less. We got on very well though and we managed to get some really nice photos in such a short space of time. I hadn’t really thought of a concept as such but I had brought along a few things in my bag, namely my ukulele, a replica human brain and my portable cassette player with headphones and a couple of tapes. Sadly we didn’t factor in the brain but if there is ever another time I get some photos done I plan to include it.

You can check out her work on Facebook and Instagram ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anna Claus

This week has seen possibly the best 2 shows I’ve done in a long time if ever. I’m my own harshest critic so I rarely think I’ve done well but I got lucky with audiences on Monday at Spangled Cabaret and Saturday at the 13th Note.

Monday was very special indeed as after a few songs people started dancing and by the end the words were being shouted back at me! Awesomely exciting stuff. It was videoed as well by a friend called Jon the Hat of Haufcut Video Productions. The full set can be viewed on Youtube via this link –

Anna Secret Poet Live at Spangled Cabaret 3/12/18

Action shot by Ruth Booth

I got to wear one of my newest purchases which is a lovely wool-effect Mrs Claus dress from Primark. I coveted it last year so leapt at the chance to own it this time round. Yes I fully realise I’ll only get to wear it a few times a year but it was so worth it. In a few spare moments today I posed for a few pics in the house. It got a bit cheeky ๐Ÿ˜‰

An early Christmas treat for you ๐Ÿ˜˜

I also videod myself singing a Christmas song I wrote at the beginning of this year specifically dealing with the aftermath. I call it ‘Coming Down From Christmas’ โค

The gig last night was even better. I was invited by The Red Lite District to join a bill at the 13th Note – my oldest surviving stomping ground. It’s a lovely big vegan cafe in Glasgow’s Merchant City. One of my favourite places, especially when it’s busy! The first time I was there was in April 1999 to see Biffy Clyro and Aereogramme. To have seen them in such a tiny venue was amazing in fact they impressed me so much that I felt like giving up music all together. When I got home I wrote a song inspired by their ‘Hope for an Angel’ which included the same quiet/loud bursts, gentle riffs and high singing voice. I called it ‘Hollow’ and it became a live staple for my teenage band at the time called ‘Guavara’.

‘Hollow’ by Guavara

There were 4 bands in total. The Limbo Scene, myself, The Red Lite District and The Performance Enhancing Suppositories. I was on second which turned out to be the optimum time to go on and I probably had the densest crowd. That made it magical. I reckon I played pretty well. Possibly I played it too safe with my set but I’ve not had much chance to practice recently. I’ve been hoping to add a few new tracks into the set but hopefully I will next year.

Action shot by Pat McGuire @ PMG Photog

I’m still peddling my new album. You can also now stream it in its entirety on Youtube from the following handy link…

Anna Secret Poet – Party on, Papillon! (Full Album on Youtube)

I’m also hoping to do a few more Christmas shots next week when I have my last show of the year. Drag-Opticon at the Britannia Panopticon – I cannot wait! I may even bring 2 costumes this time ๐Ÿ˜„

In the Garden of Eden

I’ve been super busy since I last posted here and I’ve been meaning to update for over a month. At the start of June I went to Eden Festival again, this time to perform with the Well Happy Band and as Anna which was very exciting. I was there from Thursday till Monday so it was tiring but well worth it. On the Thursday, Alaine and Janine who inaugurated the band were running an open mic spot at the Melodrome Mobile Stage. This stage was where I spent most of my time. It’s in a beautiful forest clearing off the main track but worth the trek if you find it. The band closed the night but I actually got to do a few songs as myself which technically I haven’t done for a long time. I went by the name Chairman Cow which is a persona I have all but ditched by now.

L-R – Colin Syme, John & Tricia Gordon and me

That’s me playing bass on the far right!

It wasn’t till after midnight that I got to pitch my tent, under a tree in an area behind the stage. The Melodrome folk had their own private camping space with a kitchen and chillout area so I wasn’t alone. In the morning I had a shave and got all dolled up. Short blonde hair and denim shorts – oh yeah!

I took these as I wondered the site on Friday morning. My bandmates were probably still sleeping at the time. I took the opportunity to take photos with my digital camera too around the perimeter of the Melodrome.

I got to spend the whole day as Anna – possibly the longest I’ve ever spent. I had 2 slots at the Melodrome (plus one with Well Happy in a place called Bob’s Back Passage). There aren’t many photos that I know of as yet but Beverly Pearson took some and I’d like to share them here.

I look like Kurt Cobain lol!

This is another one that Beverly took and the man on the right is my best and oldest friend Colin Syme. He’s the keyboardist in the legendary ‘Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5’ and was the bass player in my first band Guavara and my last Les Grandes Horizontales. I miss playing music with him!

After my first set I had a costume change, a mustard vest top with giraffes on it and a denim skirt…

Much better! It was so warm so it was nice to get a bit of a breeze. Also this marked the first time I was outside with a skirt and no tights. It was brilliant ๐Ÿ˜Š My second set went okay but it less well attended than the first one. I hung about afterwards to catch ‘Donut! Formerly known as Eating Disorder’. They were fantastic, marred only by the constant attack of midges. I had so many bites on my arms, torso, legs and bum come Monday! ๐Ÿ˜„

On the Saturday I was due to make another appearance at the Melodrome as part of Spangled Cabaret. Also on the bill were Paul Puppet who was hosting, Dharma Geddon, Alana Duvey, Gabriel Featherstone, The Great Aziz, the Golden Empress and Luki.

Photos courtesy of Paul Puppet โค

I had my TARDIS dress on and I posed for one or two photos backstage before the show although only one of them was useable…

I was billed last so patiently waited around enjoying everyone else. When my time came I found we were running behind and I could extend my set. The joys! How it was not to be โ˜น One song down I started ‘Tits of Steel’ only to have the plugs pulled shortly after. A massive thunder and lightning storm had necessitated the power being shut off for the entire site. As we were in a wooded area we had to evacuate immediately for safety reasons! Massive bummer…it put me on a downer for a few hours as I wasn’t able to go back on. I got changed back into man clothes which I reget now as that meant Anna’s festival was over. The upside was that the remaining 2 nights were spent in relative comfort. Gone was the tent and into Alaine’s comfy motorhome I went. Hopefully I get asked back next year!

Status: Woe

‘Status: Woe’

 

My face hurts from smiling

My tongue hurts from lying

My eyes hurt from crying

My hands hurt from trying

 

My ears hurt from listening

My brain hurts from thinking

My liver hurts from drinking

My heart hurts from sinking

 

My feet hurt from running

My knees hurt from jerking

My soul hurts from working

My pride hurts from lurking

 

My conscience hurts from telling

My moods hurt from swinging

My throat hurts from singing

My nose hurts from mingingโ€ฆstill, youโ€™ve got to laugh!


 

Doubt sets in

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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.

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The Poet Ponders Her Next Move

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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…

 

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I must fly now as it is nearly lunchtime and a mighty hunger has descended upon us!

Take it easy xxx

Getting Into Character

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.

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I may team it with glasses as in this next pic but I’m not certain. What do you reckon – too stern?

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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.

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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.

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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: ยฃ49.50. I got it for a fiver so I was delighted.

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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 😄

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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.

Not so Secret Poet

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.ย 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!

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Thursday Morning Dress Up

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!

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The black top and grey skirt are old ones too. Rather tight fitting!

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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.

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Hope you’ve all had a lovely Thursday! Let the clean-up operation begin (sighs)…

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Anna xxx

Raiders of the Lost Pics

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…

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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!

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Hope you all had a great Halloween too! If I sort a Flickr out I’ll let you know X