Tag Archives: lgbt

Performance Anxieties

It has been a little while since I last did what I term a ‘proper post’. In my case that would be one which includes insightful sentences and isn’t just a pretty list of everything I’ve done and places I’ve been. Truth is that’s all I’m mostly able to do these days since taking Anna beyond the comfort and relative safety of the house. A nice relaxing session at home is rare and I would like to do that again sometime soon, away from natural light, sweaty bars and the uncomfortable scrutiny of strangers.

Since my last dialogue, discounting the two poems I published recently, Anna’s had four more outings and I would say they all went rather well. I’ll briefly share some imagery from them here.

These are from when I played Nice n’ Sleazy for the Spite House/Queer Theory takeover. It was a fantastic night! Some truly awesome acts played – too many to mention. The top image was one of three taken by my wife whom I enjoyed a fun date night with once I came off stage.

These two pictures were taken the next morning when I had an hour or so to myself. I was trying out another new red wig I had purchased the week before. Out of speed my makeup was minimal.

The pics with the houndtooth skater dress are from the middle of April when I returned to Allsorts Cabaret after nearly a year. That was a brilliant show too, hosted by the marvellous Markee De Saw and featuring Daiquiri Dusk, Innocence Bliss, Wild Card Kitty, Sharrow, Miss A. Tique, Ann Phetimine and MC Hammersmith. That last chap was particularly impressive with his polite freestyle rapping. He performed at Spite House too and he was able to do a whole rap where he encouraged the audience to hand him whatever they had about their person and he would include them in the lyrics. I handed him a bit pipe I found backstage! 😆

A week or so later another new wig came, this time in a shorter style so that I didn’t eat it whilst singing or get in my eyes (it does both as a matter of fact).

Later that day I headed off to the Bungo in the southside again to play with The Creative Martyrs, Haystack Monolith and Dasa Fon Flasa. I had a great night there too, Haystack and the Martyrs were on fine form. Haystack’s Slovakian friend Dasa was brilliant too – he did a great rendition of ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ in his native language. I have no performance videos or photos but I did take a few reference shots beforehand as I always do.

The next gig on the calendar was an interesting one. The first instance of Anna and The Well Happy Band being on the same bill. This happened at McChuills last night as part of Yellow Movement Sundays. It was billed as a jam session but that didn’t really some to pass as the turnout musically speaking wasn’t as great as hoped. I was on before the Well Happy Band so after I finished I crossed to the other side of the stage and picked up my bass. I was rather broken by the end of it. This is the only useable photo I took – which is a pity as you can’t see my cute skirt. Someone was taking photos so hopefully I can see them and share them at some point.

I called this post Performance Anxieties because I wasn’t sure what else to call it. I still get them big time but for a variety of reasons. Nervousness varies wildly depending on if I know the venue or crowd well enough. My main worry is my material. I always feel like I never have enough new stuff particularly in the song department. Happily I was able to deploy a new song last night called ‘Why won’t cheerleaders come near me?’. That seemed to go okay but I aim to get more soon. I’ve begun planning a new album for Anna. The last one was hastily compiled for giving away at gigs but I think with time and effort I could come up with something stunning, funny and hopefully musically awesome. I want to call it ‘Tits of Steel’. It was from a comment my friend Mercury said to me after my first ever gig, she told me I had tits of steel. I thought that was hilarious!

I also worry about not having enough or having too many gigs. Having a busy homelife makes it tricky to justify them sometimes and I know my wife does feel left out a lot of the time. I’m not sure I’ve balanced it right but sometimes it is hard to say know when people you admire offer you the chance to perform at one of their nights. Social media makes it harder as well as I see a lot of shows advertised where I think I’d love to play that night, I’ve never done it before it looks fun. You contact them but you get no reply and you think (well, I think) oh shit I must be rubbish because they don’t want me. I hate thinking like that but it’s difficult not to. There was an instance last month of one of my gigs being cancelled, and this was one I’d been lobbying for for nearly a year. I know deep down that it’s very unlikely I’ll be rebooked for another one and that chance has gone.

I’m playing again tonight, back again at my spiritual home Spangled Cabaret. Probably ditching the poetry as I have done on a few occasions. I wonder if anyone would notice if I stopped doing them altogether?

Arty Anna

It’s been a funny few weeks since the Drag-Opticon gig. I think it’s because I have a lot on in March that I may be becoming anxious about it. I pulled out of a gig the other week at the last minute. It was after work and I’d just finished getting changed to go to the venue and upon looking in the full length mirror I did not like what I saw. Cue a massive crisis of confidence which culminated in me clambering back into my drab clothes and sitting on the floor propped up by the door. I don’t know if it was my choice of outfit, the hair and make-up, my loss of faith in my material as it was a comedy night I was appearing at. It could have been all of the above. Suffice to say the homing instinct kicked in and home I went. I only managed one picture from that session and here it is, I don’t like it that much but I guess it’s relevant to this particular situation.

Matters improved for my next appearance which was 4 days later. This performance took place at ‘Dr Sketchy’ in Stereo, Renfield Lane, Glasgow. It was unusual in a number of respects, the first being that it was at 1 in the afternoon, it was a paid gig and that it involved life drawing! Usually they have burlesque dancers and folk like that and the idea is that you do your act then you pose for the audience to draw you. Tremendous fun but also challenging. I’m not terribly great at staying still but I managed fairly well. It was so warm under those lights. I think I did 4 poses in total; one where I stood holding my guitar, one sitting down reading a book, one with me holding an opened umbrella and another where I lay on a blanket propped up against the back of the stage.

I think Nicola, the lady running the show took this one during my first pose. Here are a few pics showing how I actually looked. If I do say so myself I reckon I looked a lot better than my previous attempt.

Sadly I never got to see any of the drawings, I was hoping people would share them to the Dr Sketchy Facebook page but to no avail. It was also a first in that I shared the bill with a pair of life models. A married couple from the USA who seem to be travelling about the place, seeing the sights, appearing naked in the basements of bars for strangers to draw them. If I was wearing a hat I’d take it off to them! I had brought a sketchpad with me so I could join in so I relished the opportunity to give it a try. They did 6 poses I think and I drew them all but only one or two turned out well enough to share.

I’ve never drawn naked people before. I always prefer drawing animals or things as I find the human face particularly difficult – lips especially. Luckily the lady had wild hair that more often than not cascaded over her face and made it a bit easier. I’d definitely love to go again sometime!

A new wig arrived last week too so that was more than a bit exciting. It’s very close indeed to the shade of red I’ve been seeking for several years. For the benefit of non regular readers of this blog I shall briefly explain that I have long been trying to find a suitable replacement for my first brilliant wig. A gorgeous long auburn one with prominent bangs. This one doesn’t have the fringe but the shade is almost the same.

It’s bloody tight though haha! I must have a big head though to be fair. Next gig is ‘Ashes to Ashes’, a cabaret tribute to David Bowie at the Polo Lounge on the 1st of March. I’ve been asked to provide a special Bowie poem which I have been dutifully working on for the last while. It’s more or less done and probably just needs a wee touch-up. Here is the poster for it, it’s very smart indeed!

Dick Pic

‘Dick Pic’

Sometimes my inbox is a scary place

Sometimes there are pictures – but not of a face

Or kittens or vegetables or castles or palaces…

But raging stonners and laughable phalluses!

A dick pic is not going to win my affection

I don’t care if you can achieve an erection

Everyone’s braver behind a mobile phone

I doubt if you’d be so cocky if we were alone

New friends, outfits and gigs oh my!

I have had a busy bunch of weeks since I last posted. Visitors to the web edition of my page will notice that I got the hang of ‘widgets’ and now my page looks a lot more interesting. Also, two more gigs under my girly belt! Of varying quality it has to be said. I’m speaking of my own performance of course – I can be pretty harsh on myself a lot of the time. The one I did a couple of weeks ago was superb. That was the one where I said the dress code was: Fierce. I panicked and dug out a little black dress for the occasion. Sadly I haven’t seen any pictures from the evening as the lady running the night is on holiday but I looked a little bit like this…

I had a whale of a time and was especially happy to be able to hang out with Talullah Belle and Gabriel Featherstone. A dancer and a surreal comedian respectively. Also on the bill were Innocence Bliss, a very lovely lady indeed with a cracking sense of humour, the band Reality TV, who were a nice bunch of chaps and their fanbase were very kind towards us too. I found out afterwards that I’d missed a photo opportunity with the ladies in their entourage as I’d got changed back too hastily. It was ran by a lady called Yasmin who was really lovely too and compered by a drag artist called Diana Fire. Things got quite tense during a part of her act when she produced a knife and cut her tights off…also slicing into her shin. Twas a fierce looking wound to be sure. We were assured once some whisky was doused on it and it was bandaged up it’d be fine but I’m still not convinced.

After the gig Talullah was able to put me in touch with a lady who runs nights in the bar she works in. A rock bar in Partick called Rockus. I’ll be appearing there on Wednesday the 14th of September so I’m really looking forward to that too. I seen Gabriel again on Thursday last as I was appearing at his cabaret night in The Blue Chair called ‘The Boiling Dolphin Cabaret’. That was a good night too but I don’t know if I was on top form or not. I only did songs eschewing poetry as I wasn’t in the mood. I wore my trusty polka dot dress that I’ve had for a couple of years now. I felt dead pretty in it! As there is only one toilet there I had to get changed in work again but I’m cool with that now, I’m starting to enjoy it. I had my first ‘windy dress’ incident on the way to the station which made me giddy for a short while after. Arriving well before everyone else I had the chance to relax and have a meal. There weren’t many other people there so I wasn’t hassled and was able to converse with the owner. A Tasmanian lady called Lorelle – she was a formidable person indeed. Her brownies were outstanding!

I shared a stage with Amelia Bayler and Donald Henderson, 2 very funny comedians. I was taken with Amelia in particular, such confidence. Also there was a close-up magician and mentalist called Paul M Distefano. He was amazing! Amusingly one of the people he chose to do a trick on turned out to also be a magician (apparently they didn’t know each other). The gig was sparsely attended but I’ve come to enjoy those ones more. The intimacy is brilliant fun plus no one can hide or talk haha! 😄 (or eat nachos).

Outfits have been on my mind recently too. I needed some new ones and as well as purchasing some nice dresses myself, a good friend of my wife passed a few onto me. Pictures will follow…oh yes.

These are two that I have purchased at charity shops over the last fortnight.

I’m very excited about the next three I’m showcasing! These are the donations from my wife’s friend. The one at the end is especially fabulous 🙂

Isn’t that peach one exciting? It’s got stage written all over it! Can’t wait to wear it out (once I’ve solved the VPL problem lol).

Hopefully I’ll have some more things to write about soon. Definitely enjoying bringing Anna to life in more social situations these days. There may be opportunities for nights out in the next couple of weeks. I won’t say anymore incase I jinx them!

Have a fab weekend everybody X

If you haven’t heard from me, I’m probably dead

If you haven’t heard from me, I’m probably dead

Though it may not have crossed your mind

My lack of communication

Is cos I’ve left my body behind

Maybe you think I’ve moved on

And have made some new friends

‘Moving on’ could be correct

In a suddenly non-living sense

If you haven’t heard from me, I wouldn’t worry

Probably life’s got in the way

I’ve been juggling it so awkwardly

It’s in such disarray

What was the last thing I said to you?

I bet it was as innocuous as hell

And you’ve probably forgotten

That’s why you don’t want to tell!

If you haven’t heard from me, I’m probably dead

It’s not like I’d be able to say

We don’t even know the same people

So you can’t find out that way

Don’t even know if I deserve tributes

Let alone ones I’d likely never see

So let’s share our feelings now

Me to you and you to me

Enjoying it while it lasts

I don’t know if I can truly class my last gig as a success. I did have a great time as I often do and this time my wife accompanied me. The main thing that spoiled it was my choice of hair – a dark red number to go with my cherry skater dress. It was a bit too wavy for its own good and had a rather eager willingness to get in my mouth when I was trying to sing ha ha!

The other acts were brilliant! There was a lot of rapping going on – Scottish rapping and there was even a female punk duo. I managed to get a bit drunk and spill beer in my handbag resulting in the ‘back’ button on my phone not working anymore.

Please excuse the low quality images, once again it seems I was passed by in terms of photography. It was superb to get to play The Classic Grand though, it’s a lovely big space. Apparently it used to be a porno cinema in its heyday!

A week later an opportunity arose to get some time in the house to try outfits and take pictures. Videos too. It felt odd shaving at home and taking my time getting ready. There were a couple of dresses in particular I was wanting to try out for future usage. Obviously I have tried them on but it’s just not the same until you do the hair and make-up too.

That one I really like but it has been pointed out that it’s a bit on the short side!

That dress is a cracker and I feel so good in it. I tell you what though it’s a bugger to get on and off! Both the dresses are from charity shops and were both under a fiver.

I like this top and skirt combo too, it’s a bit more down to earth. You don’t see it properly in the pics because of the failing light. I intend on wearing this for my gig on Friday as it’s comfortable but suitably feminine and I have to travel in character there again. 

Angry at Shadows

Hello there! Don’t worry unduly, I’m not actually angry. That’s the title of the poem I plan to sit at the end of this post. I realise I didn’t write about my last gig – I wasn’t too sure if anyone’d be too interested in stories about gigs now they’re normal occurances. It was fun though sparsely attended. An audience of 4…who incidentally all had four letter names! I wore my favourite teal skater dress and poemed and sang as per normal. Here are a couple of pics from just after I got changed.

I was a guest of The Creative Martyrs at their monthly cabaret entitled The Sinister Wink. They amongst my very favourite performers and I was suitably honoured to be sharing a stage with them. Also performing were Jack Squat (whom I cannot do justice to describe with mere words) and Luna TikTok who was an awesome burlesque dancer. She wowed us with a routine inspired by Vampira and ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space’. It was a very intimate evening and I really enjoyed the show. I didn’t however enjoy the heat…which will become a recurring menace for the next batch of gigs I think. I wouldn’t normally choose to crossdress in the thick of the summer but now I absolutely have to as I’ve accrued some commitments 😄.

Last week marked a new first for me as it happens, I was attending a cabaret as Anna but not performing. It was also the first time I ventured outside in daylight and boarded a train to the gig. My debut Anna performance doesn’t count as the evenings in February are dark and therefore not daylight. Nothing untoward happened (apart from the damned heat ruining my carefully applied eye make-up). It was great fun! I got a chance to speak to a bunch of people and network as well. I met up with a couple of ladies who I’d briefly spoke to at the last All Sorts night Deborah and her friend Bea. Also I won a prize in the raffle which I sadly must have left at the venue. It was a scented candle as I recall 😯.

That last pic was taken by Deborah, she sent me a few but this was the best one.

I had a gig on Thursday night which I discussed in my last post. It was a real poetry and spoken word night so it was rather different to the cabarets I’m used to. I got changed in work again and damn me if it wasn’t even hotter this time on the train. Luckily I wore sunglasses this time so I didn’t look as messy. I had gotten myself really nervous this time but it turns out I needn’t have worried. It was a very interesting evening. Very inspirational indeed and I came away brimming with possibilities again. I was put on first which was fine by me as it meant I could relax and enjoy the remainder of the evening. I did a few choice favourites plus my equality poem which went well. My whole set did well luckily. There was laughter in all the right places! There was no photography on the night but I took a few snaps before ‘normalizing’.

It all got me really fired up for next few gigs. I’ve managed to infiltrate a night at the Classic Grand in Glasgow next Thursday called ‘Jamfest’. It’s not like a normal gig, there is a line-up but there’s also the bonus of being able to cross pollinate and jam with each other too! I fully intend to try a song out by recruiting a bassist and drummer on the hoof :). Including that show I have a total of 5 to look forward to up to November when I play the Burlesque Festival. Definitely shaping up to be an exciting few months!

So I shall end on a wee work in progess called… <br><br>
‘Angry at Shadows'<br><br>
Happily stealing

leftover feelings

scrape them away

like potato peelings

words are for writing

and sometimes igniting

the fire inside

when it’s time for fighting<br><br>
The syllables mounting

practically shouting

no virtue is made

of the facts they are doubting

geniuses fading

once were so laiden

with fantastic ideas

they’re no longer parading<br><br>
Movement is lyrical

moonlight is cynical

the risk of opinion

is swapped for a miracle

my temper forgot

it happens a lot

he has such a shit memory

of what he’s been taught

💋💋💋