Holy fucken shit, what a week!!! (10/16-10/22) Madame Kiki had a 3-day debut, which was so well-received!! I didn’t expect it, honestly. But it felt so good to be welcomed and embraced into the community and to feel the support and encouragement from my new tribe of friends here. While it may take my brain to catch up to what I’m doing, I’m centering myself on trying to maintain a sense of hopefulness, curiosity, and compassion as I courageously step into my light and power and into the unknown.
My new friend, Ms. T-Logo (I forget what I nick named her in a previous blog post but she’s the one who’s a therapist and a graphic designer who’ll now be referred to as T-Logo bc she made me a t-shirt with my logo) helped me design a logo for Madame Kiki, which is very exciting. If I want to get these t-shirts for my glam squad in time for the photo shoot this Friday, I gotta put an order in today! It’ll cost a pretty penny because of expedited shipping, but it’ll be worth it when Madame Kiki has her debut with her entourage wearing the glam squad shirts.
These are the designs that Ms. T-Logo and I collaborated on. I went to the screen printing store today and selected a royal purple t-shirt with shimmery gold lettering. Ms. T-Logo did such an amazing job at reflecting the vibe for Madame Kiki. I wanna give her credit but I need to check in if she’s comfortable with being marketed on my blog. Anyway, I’m stoked for the shirts to arrive! mtbr…
Improv 2, Class 2
Boy, is it an intimate crowd. It feels like some of us are still awkward and uncomfortable while others (like myself and Mr. Blue Eyez – see img below) are gung ho about jumping into the ring. Our instructor, Adira, does a great job trying to encourage us while also coaching us on improv and theater terminology. So for what it’s worth, we’re learning quite a bit and are starting to understand the importance of connecting with your scene partner with eye contact, playing with your heart not your head, and using emotion to fuel the dynamic and establish a relationship.
The main lesson we learned today was called invocation. It’s basically “heightening,” or building on the moment to its climax, and using the emotion and body language (embodiment) when speaking with conviction (to build confidence or to help “sell” the material). It’s broken down in four parts:
- “It is…” (physical/conversational)
- “You are…” (emotional/relational)
- “Thou art…” (abstract/metaphorical)
- “I am…” (Godly/spiritual)
This was a hard game for me! Mr. Blue Eyez checked in with me and was wondering why I didn’t jump in like I would usually. I told him that I was in my head for over half this exercise because I was still wrapping my head around the rules. I was also really nervous for some reason, like I was having difficulty thinking outside the box when Adira would give us an object to improvise on. I was afraid of sounding stupid without trusting that I knew the rules well enough. My fear of being inadequate held me back and I missed an opportunity to experiment with my fear and grow from the feedback through observation. I eventually jumped in but I wasn’t very confident in my contribution. At the end I was just glad to have jumped in at all. I let the rest slide off my back and I sat in my seat thinking This was hard and although I’m not a fan right now, I’ll show up and try again next time.
Anyway, these objects ranged from seat, to shoe, to money, to pencil. So like, for pencil, step 1 would be something like, “It is yellow and made of wood.” Step 2, “You help me record my thoughts.” Step 3, “Thou art the mighty vessel for human thought.” Step 4, “I am your voice.” And then at the end, the whole group line up says “I am __(pencil)__,” and fill in the blank whatever object. We stay in each round or step until we’ve exhausted all of our ideas, and we had to do this by checking in with one another with non-verbal communication through eye contact.
Also, I’m not getting any weird or creepy vibes from Mr. Green Googley Eyes, in fact, he’s no longer googling me! Well, not as much.. but still, an improvement is an improvement. A couple of my friends who regularly read this blog have given me feedback that what I did was incredibly courageous and compassionate, which affirms that the work in group therapy and intentionally practicing mindfulness self-compassion is effective towards healing and transformative growth. I have never been able to speak my truth like that to an intimidating male figure while standing my sacred ground and connecting with his humanity for resolution and harmony.
Our show is on Thursday 11/30, which is only 7 weeks away. Next week our old instructor from Improv 1 will be subbing, so let’s see what she’ll have in store for us then. mtbr!
Today was a medium loaded clinical day. I weirdly felt very energized today, like no yawning or droopy eyes. It was actually a really nice day out, and I’m very thankful that my office has a window because nature and sunlight are like necessities. However, it’s super fucking cold in my office because it’s an old ass house and it can be drafty. Anyway, I also wore this beautiful shirt, which matched my new glasses that my friend Boldy Locks has (I totally copied her – she knows; she encouraged it). I felt really femme for dressing as a therapist. It’s an instant mood booster.
Separate Note: I am freaking out because of the lack of preparation for my gig on Thursday. I’ll be dressing in drag for Nerd Nite and I’m legit procrastinating from feeling overwhelmed. Another vicious cycle! I invited the glam squad, co-workers, and other improv friends to the show, and I’m trying to not give any credit to inner thoughts that tell me You’re gonna make such a fool outta yourself! Why would you invite other people to watch you fail? You’re such an embarrassment, like you want attention so bad I’m embarrassed to know you. Fucking harsh, right???? That’s the voice of my tormentor, ladies and gents. It’s a fucking dick butt.
I had to quiet this voice down because it gets very overwhelming and then I can’t think very well. Earlier today at work I typed out a simplified version of the ppt outline and started rehearsing non-stop. I needed to make sure the presentation was 20 minutes, and I knew that there was so much information crammed into that thing! I have a video from my first time presenting on this topic in July, which was the very beginning of this whole journey of podcasting, improving, and dragging because the venue wasn’t able to record. Luckily they’ll be recording this Thursday, so it’ll be interesting to see the two videos back to back. The first one coming out as a fat and tattooed queer woman of color, and the second one coming out as a fat and tattooed queer femme queen of color.
I had to take a lyft to work because I mysteriously got the flattest tire of all flat tires overnight somehow. I have AAA in CA, but apparently it doesn’t work in MI?? That’s annoying af. Luckily I had a last minute cancellation at work so I could lyft back to my apt and drive my car *very slowly* to the nearest Firestone. Only thing is that the tire was so incredibly flat that it just wasn’t safe. My lyft drive drove behind me so that he could take me from Firestone back to work. When we turned the corner in my complex, a swarthy rugged man with a cigarette hanging from his lip yelled out “Need some air?”
He motioned to pull over, so I did and then noticed that this dude was one of the construction workers who had been repairing the roof of our apt complex. This dude, penis bulge and all, just inflated my tire and fixed the hole in like 15 minutes. He saved me a trip to Firestone so I gave him 20 bucks for his help! I felt very cared for, not only by this tire fixer but also the Lyft driver who was patiently waiting without the fare on! That’s some good karma right there! Someday someone is gonna be there for them or their loved ones when they need it most. It’s an all around good feeling, tbh.
I used the extra time before lunch to get some necessities from Ulta before going back to work. There’s such a thing as corrective concealer, fat eyeliner, bronzer, white eyeliner.. umm I forget what else I got, but all for Madame Kiki. I got help finding the best neutral shade of lipstick and the best brushes to contour more precisely. I was excited to draw out this new lip shape of a cupids bow and small “bee-sting” lip. It seems to compliment my face, especially if the lipstick is a dark matte. Crafting Madame Kiki for her debut is quite pricey and detailed, especially if I wanna make her look good. I’m not ashamed to admit that aesthetics are important to me. It doesn’t help that I’m a perfectionist, if you couldn’t tell, but I do it all for art! What I love about drag is that it is queer art.
Luckily, I had some unexpected free time at work, so I rehearsed my Nerd Nite presentation. It’s really fucking hard to get it under 20 minutes! I’m also trying to perform it how Madame Kiki’s character would. I have no idea how I’d like to move or sound as Madame Kiki, so Nerd Nite is just gonna be this giant experiment that I hope unfolds something more congruent with my authentic self. I don’t know many people who could do what I’m doing, and sometimes I question why I’m doing what I’m doing. I picture Madame Kiki as this sassy old broad who’s poking fun at all the things wrong with the world and celebrating all the good things about people. She’s got an energy that’s classy, sexy, and wild, and she moves with grace, comfort, and ease.
Still, I can talk about this idea all I want but I can’t really predict how I’ll be or what’s gonna come out once on that stage. I don’t wanna look like a fool, that’s for sure. I’m afraid of humiliating myself. I mean, who wouldn’t be?? It’s incredibly nerve-wracking to come out as a cis-gendered queer femme of color, as a drag queen. I’m afraid of offending other people and I’m afraid of disgracing my family. I can’t help but think I’ve already done that just by the life path I’ve chosen- which is so far off course from what is expected of me. I carry my name and my own character with me where ever I go. How will I let that part of me aside so that Madame Kiki can step through? This is what improv is teaching me- to get outta my fucking head and just speak from the heart and follow my instinct. We’ll see how that strategy goes, mtbr…
These clinical days are becoming easier to tolerate- as far as maintaining my energy throughout the day. I gotta say that I’ve been too tired to prep my lunches so I’m just eating frozen dinners with some healthy snacks. I’m trying to drink water throughout the day, and I’m giving myself some time to walk around or stand and bend my knees for a couple minutes. I’ll be bumping up my hours within the next week or two, so I’ll need to get better at prepping the night or Sunday before. It’ll just be really helpful if I did that for myself, I would appreciate it if I could take better care of myself in that regard. I’m also interested in increasing my body movements somehow, but I’m still a bit scared to “work out.”
I skipped the dance studio today because I came home to get ready for Nerd Nite. Luckily we didn’t have group therapy today, so I used the full 3.5 hours to put together the very first look for Madame Kiki. I found this vintage dress for $70 bucks at Luna and Tanya’s boutique, Muse, which just fit me like a glove. It was very cute, and I wore these black fishnets with rhinestones with these beautiful ankle chains to ordain my heels. I also wore this body chain with an epic lace neck piece that just added an unexpected twist of sophistication. What put the look together was the jewelry accessories, the new multicolored curly wig, and the makeup color palate. Even my lyft driver was commenting on the artistry of my look, which felt validating and rewarding.
Even though I had invited a lot of folx from different pockets in the community, none of my friends could attend last minute. Surprisingly, I wasn’t as affected by that than I thought. I sat in a booth near the exit and rehearsed my presentation by looking at the ppt on my phone while gluing my nails on. I remembered that I had forgotten to have my left over Jimmy Johns sandwich while getting ready earlier, and I was drinking bourbon to get me loosened up before my time on set. I was going up third, so I took my time coming in fashionably late. The organizers of the event also scheduled me last because they know that I’m probably going to go over 20 minutes because the material is so good and I just get carried away on stage.
I brought a prop with me to show and tell on stage. Boldy Locks gave me her vintage vibrator a couple weeks ago, so I figured why not use it for this presentation? The crowd got a kick outta it, so it was totally worth it. Upon reflecting how I did that night, I realized that my mind wasn’t really with my body, like I was 50% dissociated from the experience. It sometimes felt as if I wasn’t part of my body, or that I was watching from behind myself. I know that sometimes my depression can manifest dissociative symptoms, but this is the first time I can remember from anxiety. Actually, now that I think about it, part of my trauma response as a child was to dissociate, which was really the consequence of extreme anxiety. Naturally human.
I did have moments of connecting with the audience the best way I could. I had rehearsed to a point where I felt good about going up on stage, but as soon as I started, my nerves kicked in and I stalled. It just hit me that it was LIVE ACTION NOW. You can see my panic in the video, so don’t miss that. I picked up my notes and then my memory flooded back to me. One thing that was different about this performance compared to the first time I performed on this stage, I wasn’t holding the microphone this time. Also, this microphone was incredibly sensitive and I couldn’t talk any louder than a soft toned voice because it sounded like I’d blow out the speakers.
I didn’t feel like myself at all. Plus I was hungry and feeling the bourbon, my mouth was dry and my freakin’ wig kept sliding off where you could see my roots. It was so embarrassing! A couple times I turned my back to the screen to pull my wig down. When I took my wig off later that night, my wig cap was completely off. This is the thing we use to keep the wig secure. I didn’t do a great job flattening my hair to my scalp enough, so I know this is an area that I need to practice for the wig to fit comfortably without shifting around. I don’t know if anyone noticed or not, but I just felt very foolish suddenly up there. At the end, I got many new fans expressing their praise and compliments, which obviously felt reassuring, but I knew in my heart that it wasn’t up to my potential whatsoever, and I left feeling a bit disappointed.
A Douche A Dozen: Also, there was one guy who had to come up to me afterwards and tell me that he was Catholic and that I was “man-bashing” the whole time. Instead of getting defensive (at first), I asked him to explain himself and he had nothing to give me other than that I was man-bashing. I responded by saying that he missed the point if all he heard was man-bashing. The topic was heavy enough in itself that humor was required in order for the performance to land on the audience well. In fact, a few times during the presentation I paused to reflect on the immense grief and sadness from how women were treated in the olden days and to mourn the loss and legacy of women throughout history. I had to lighten that shit up so you better believe I’m gonna poke fun at the dudes responsible for influencing society, culture, politics, medicine, science, and religion to have authority over female psychology, health, and sexuality.
I met up with Kasian and her new boy, Mr. AJ, who came back to the venue for Candy Bar, queer night at LIVE music venue, for Drag Wars competition. I finally met the woman Kasian has been trying to introduce me to for the past two months! Her name is Luna and she’s known as the burlesque queen around these parts. She’s gonna help me with choreography and might even give me an opportunity to be Madame Kiki in one of her burlesque shows. That’s very exciting because I’ve always wanted to be part of that! More like Queen Latifa in Chicago. Mr. AJ also spoiled the surprise that Mr. DJ, his friend whom he and I had connected with (he taught me how to play Euchre a few weeks ago) was driving up from Chicago to celebrate my photoshoot tomorrow. It’s hard to believe that he’d drive all the way up for me. But whatever, that went outta my mind as soon as folx started rolling in for Drag Wars.
Before Drag Wars started, I introduced myself to DJ Selena (Zoe), she’s the wife of Luna. Kasian’s been trying to introduce me to her for months as well. It was nice to finally meet both individuals because they’re gonna help me with Madame Kiki and they’re welcoming me into this sub-community of Ann Arbor. It felt really nice, and it was lovely getting to know Luna a bit more. Eventually Kasian and Mr. AJ left, and then I was lounging by myself. Oh yea, Mr. AJ believes that I’m a lesbian because I identify as queer. So there’s that. This is not tru, btw- my queer identity does not define my sexuality. I still hadn’t eaten anything and I was my third drink in to the night. At this point I was feeling pretty good dancing to the music from DJ Selena.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my drag mother, Buffy Adams walk onto the dance floor. I was so pleasantly surprised to see her! She’s such a delight to be around.. idk why but my heart swells, like I have so much love for this girl it’s not even funny. She got me out on the dance floor and had me feelin the music and myself. I bumped into more people whom I’ve seen out and about the night life in Ann Arbor. The folx I met while waiting in line of Necto Nightclub to see Trixie Matel were also there. Perry Dox competed tonight and absolutely slayed it (it was also her birthday today)!! I also met a new queen, Tweedy (see below), who’s performance is distinct in that she is zany and cryptic, it’s entertaining and artistic af. Something that truly inspires me and the way I’d like to perform on stage. I spoke with her briefly between sets to compliment her, but I think I may have weirded her out, so I’m gonna give her more space before approaching her again.
I also met some new fans that were asking me about Madame Kiki’s Instagram but I didn’t have it ready for my debut! This was a huge oversight and it was kicking I was myself over! Some of these fans were more friendly than others, as in, they would follow me around or just couldn’t stop staring at me because the aesthetic is truly captivating. Of course it’s hard not to look because the artistry is so damn beautiful! Hello!? I would know! One girl was so drunk I thought about calling the police to send her home or to the hospital or something. She wasn’t in danger, she was just annoying. Obsessive fans are something I think I’m gonna have to get used to if I wanna be more of a public figure, especially in a small town.
I feel like the more I’m out and about as Madame Kiki the more I’ll just slip into a character that feels the most responsive to the crowd. I wanna make people feel good after interacting with me. I also wanna be able to endure feeling overwhelmed by the intense energy. At a certain point in the night I started getting very tired and the hunger was kicking in. I was actually feeling nauseas and having heart burn from just having liquor in my stomach. I lyfted home and took about 45 minutes to deconstruct Madame Kiki before eating that left over Jimmy John sandwich and going to bed around 3:30am. I knew that I had to do this again for the next two days, so I laid awake worrying about how I was going to get my rest. Eventually, I passed out from exhaustion.
Today’s the big day! I woke up a bit later than I wanted. I did a few errands including picking up the t-shirts and some packages for tonight’s photo shoot. I had been waiting for this customized handkerchief skirt that was layered with black lace. It looked like it could be part of a witch’s wardrobe. This was what I needed to complete the look for tonight. Originally I was going to wear a lace body suite with nipple pasties and have the gypsy/belly dancing belt around my waist to hide my privates. However, after finding this skirt, I decided to pair that with the black mesh crop top with velvet boob panels. I used the body suit as tights, wore my peacock blue statement necklace over a black crow feather shoulder piece. I rocked my curled midnight blue bob with a black glitter styrofoam crown, my rhinestone heels with ankle chains, and these epic purple nails that tied the whole look together.
I was supposed to meet Meekachu at 3:30pm to hang out for an hour before heading to the studio. She was snagged at work a bit later than expected, so I took a brief power nap and then took a quick shower as soon as she came over. I gave her one of my new wigs to wear for tonight while we packed all my stuff and headed downtown towards the studio. I noticed that she wasn’t going the route that we’d normally take and I figured that it was because she wanted to either avoid traffic or knew something I didn’t. We eventually landed on a main street in downtown Ann Arbor near campus and suddenly I saw my Quangel standing with my drag mother, Buffy Adams, and my friend Kasian.
I was shocked seeing them standing all together a few blocks away from the studio and I figured maybe they had met up before hand and were walking towards the studio together. Then Meekachu shouts “get out, I’m gonna park, I’ll meet you inside.” Before I knew it, Quangel is running across the street with Buffy Adams and Kasian yells “Surprise!! Happy birthday!” It was the sweetest surprise I’ve ever received in my entire life. The entire glam squad had conspired against me to surprise me for a birthday dinner at a Korean BBQ called Tomunken. They had been corresponding for a month on this! Boldy Locks eventually met up with us for dinner.
I felt so incredibly loved, supported, and cared for. It was overwhelming, I was doing my best not to cry. I’ve never felt such a feeling from a group of friends. I just let myself absorb and melt into this immense feeling of gratitude and joy. I gave myself permission to feel good about this, and I felt deserving and worthy of my friends. I felt even more inspired to continue cultivating my tribe in this community, including all people who are open, accepting, supportive, encouraging, and compassionate. It also helps if you’re queer or queer aware, and if you understand a dark and twisted sense of humor every now and then. I loved that my friends were corresponding with each other, like the fact that each person could easily call another up for lunch or help confirmed that this configuration of people is very special and valuable. We’re adding new folx already! For instance, Buffy Adams invited her new friend, Ms. Book Lady, whom I had met just the week before. She’s a lovely self-identified trans woman who’s seeking the same queer and femme friendly safe spaces as me, and she had expressed feeling safe in our queer friendly space. It’s a win-win.
This surprise lifted my spirits and made up for the decades of a dozen relational betrayals. I felt grounded and supported by my tribe, which was just the right amount of life I needed to feel confident and courageous enough to step into my power and light as Madame Kiki. Now, while I wouldn’t trade that expeirence for the world, mainly because it was very affirming and healing, the time I had to get ready had been pushed back by nearly 3 hours, which is a lot of time! It took me nearly 4 hours to put the complete look together, and I was feeling a bit rushed and stressed towards the end, so my Meekachu had a stiff drink ready for me to ease my nerves a bit. While I was getting ready, the glam squad wore their t-shirts and had a good time mingling and dancing to an epic play list from Kasian’s friend who’s one of the best DJs in Ann Arbor. I was watching from the mirror and I remember feeling so proud that my friend group was so happy to be with each other. I knew that I had collected a strong group of people, each of whom had a unique back story and who have big ass hearts of gold.
It was nearly 12:30-1pm before Kasian was photographing me. She and Meekachu (with the help of Mr. AJ) assembled this beautiful backdrop of a “living wall” of moss and hanging flowers with fairy lights. It was absolutely stunning! I felt like a goddamn bad ass bitch in the outfit I was wearing. It looked like I was the ice queen witch, it felt so empowering I could feel the energy radiate through my eyes and into Kasian’s camera. I’ve always had this thing with cameras.. like I can see right into its soul, if it had one. It’s like nothing else in the room matters. Everything gets quieter and slower. It’s a feeling that I feel so incredibly safe and powerful in, an internal experience that I think the camera can capture. I’m looking forward to seeing how these photos turn out! mtbr!
Posing for the camera was completely natural because I just sunk right into it without any effort. I moved very slowly so that Kasian could capture each shift. I didn’t even mind that Mr. AJ and Mr. DJ had joined us at the photo shoot! (something I had originally requested that they not show up to because the photoshoot was vulnerable enough with just my glam squad but it had gotten so late that they didn’t want to keep waiting to hang out). Well, whatever, at this point, people were getting restless so we went out on the town.
Kasian called her friend Kevin, the owner of the pedi-cabs (I took my Bumble Boy ABJr on our second date), to get three pedi-cabs to take the entourage to from State St to Main St. It was as if I had my own mini parade! It felt really good to see the looks of people on the street. It really started to feel like Madame Kiki’s debut to Ann Arbor. I was greeting these fans with appreciation and charm, using sass and charisma to absorb the love and share it right back in return to lift the mood and spirits of others. It was fun to play with that energy because I could tell it was making everyone else feel good!
We bounced around about 3-4 venues before calling it a night. I felt bad that my Quangel was getting tired, bc at this point it’s about 2am and poor thing doesn’t drink and is hungry af. I managed to move around in these giant ass high heels all night; I was super proud of myself! I was surprised that my makeup was flawless throughout, and I had no wardrobe malfunctions, except I did have a thumb nail pop off, so I asked Meekachu to take the cap off the super glue only it was stuck, so Mr. DJ opened it for me instead. I thought that was a sweet gesture of him. I also asked him if he could get me a glass of water from the bar, which he gladly did and was something I also appreciated of him. I had a few moments with him where I gave him some compliments about what he was wearing and shared my thanks for his support and encouragement. In the meantime, several fans were coming up to me so I had to keep channeling Madame Kiki’s persona.
Just less than a dozen people had stopped to engage with me throughout the night. I got compliments on the look and requests to follow me on Instagram (I didn’t have enough time to create an account between yesterday and today- kicking myself yet again!). I also took the opportunity to connect with them by asking them questions and revealing more about my mission. I was very well-received, which felt so incredibly good because it was telling me that none of this is just for kicks and giggles, there’s a huge impact I can have on a crowd, and one that I want to be for good. It reaffirmed that I have a presence about me that can be alluring, so I need to be responsible about that kind of power and effect on others. I seemed to also attract some creepers.
For instance, one guy who didn’t speak at all was trying to grab my arm to the dance floor but Boldy Locks took my hands and said to him that we were with each other. The guy wouldn’t give up and each time Boldy Locks would say “I’m with someone” louder and louder to a point where she was shouting it loudly. The guy eventually backed off, but then he made a fatal error and fucked with Boldy Locks when she was asked to take a group photo of people. He had the nerve to snatch the phone out of her hands to take the photo himself. I hit Quangel’s arm to get their attention of the ordeal and we watched as Boldy Locks zero’d in on this dude with a type of rage.. we thought the whole building was gonna collapse. She snatched the phone back and smacked his arm away from her. It was quite a sight to see. The dude kept making it worse tho, he didn’t know when to leave her alone. So this was her response: hairspray and a lighted candle.
Ah.. I’m so proud to be this chick’s friend.
The night eventually ended when I drove Boldy Locks back to my apt where she could sleep off her fun (she had quite an eventful evening, but that’s not my story to tell). I wasn’t drinking too much throughout the night, and I hadn’t eaten since dinner, but I was sober by this time to drive us 5 minutes home. I didn’t go to sleep till about 5am because of the time it took to take off the look and wind down from the buzz of the evening. It was quite a successful and memorable event, not just the photoshoot, but the debut of Madame Kiki and the support of my tribe/glam squad (the surprise dinner added a cherry on top of the whole experience). I’m so excited to see how these photos turned out, and I’m even more excited to see how this experience opens up other opportunities for Madame Kiki and my tribe/community.
Whoa, I woke up feeling sore as all fucking hell. Those rhinestone heels from last night really had my feet feeling kinda numb. Mostly my toes because I had forgotten to cut my toe nails and they were being pushed up against the inside of my shoes. My nails felt bruised, actually. I also woke up feeling anxious for some reason. I reflected on maybe feeling a natural dip in serotonin levels because of the epic past two days and that waking up alone was enough to spark some anxiety. I was immediately comforted when I saw that Boldy Locks was still asleep on my couch.
Soon, we were both up talking about the night before. She asked me if Madame Kiki would want to go by gender neutral pronouns, which is a very good question and something I am seriously considering. She also gave me feedback that my friend group, this new tribe that I’ve cultivated, is one of the most open, welcoming, accepting, and supportive groups of people she’d ever met. That felt even more comforting to know that my tribe has this kind of impact on others, and that each individual contributes to this sense of safety and love. I was proud of my friends for being who they are.
Boldy Locks left to prep her house for the Seance birthday party tonight for Mr. and Ms. Funny Bonez. I was supposed to pick up my makeup and other gear from the studio after last night so that I could get ready for the Seance tonight, but Kasian wasn’t responding, so I hung out with Meekachu at the mall in the meantime. We went to Sephora where a makeup artist showed me several kinds of lipsticks suitable for my skin tone. I’m proud of myself for not bying anything! I left with knowledge about color theory instead! For instance, if I’m already wearing cool color clothing then my eyeshadow and lipstick should also be cool. Same goes for warm colors. Seems like a no brainer, now that I think about it. Still, I’m always learning something new!
Meekachu and I visited Hot Topic because they were having a sale, so I got myself a couple of things for Madame Kiki at a fair price. We ate Chipotle and caught up about life. Since both of us have been busier than ever before, it’s been a minute since we were alone as friends. It felt good to connect, laugh, work through some stuff, and just feel this overall sense of peace and contentment. I consistently feel energized and fulfilled after hanging out with Meekachu. There was an instant where I delivered some feedback about feeling hurt that I wasn’t invited to a get together she hosted with her co-workers and new boyfriend a couple of weeks ago.
After hearing her rationale for thinking of inviting me but eventually deciding not to, I felt even more confused and hurt. Meekachu and I have the kind of relationship where we can express our hurt feelings, validate them, take accountability for how we had an impact on each other, and explore different perspectives for growth or alternatives for next time. But just because we are emotionally available for each other to do this work, it doesn’t make it any less difficult to show up and be seen in each other’s vulnerability. I didn’t realize how butt hurt I was about being excluded from the event until we started talking about it at lunch, but I’m glad I said something because otherwise she wouldn’t have known and it’d be easy to feel resentment if this remained unaddressed. We were able to move through it with grace, which felt relieving and comforting knowing that we can have these uncomfortable conversations with curiosity and compassion for each other and the situation.
Soon after, I read Meekachu’s tarot cards to prepare for my role as a Tarot Card Reader during tonight’s Seance party. Let me just say how creepily accurate this reading was! I’ve never done tarot on anyone before but I understood that I needed to be respectful and sensitive to the cards and I needed to open myself up to the process of how tarot is done. I quickly googled some stuff, but ultimately Meekachu encouraged me to trust my intuition and go from there. So, I shuffled the deck while thinking of love, safety, and openness. I believed touching the cards with this intentionality “charged” them.
This is the Celtic Cross Spread below that I googled, except when Meekachu said to follow my own intuition, I changed the meaning and the order of the cards. Also, I read the cards based on my view of the spread, so if a card was upside down, then I’d read the “reversed” interpretation of that card.
- Card 1: Where I’m at right now/Who I am
- Card 2: Challenges that cross me (what gets in the way)
- Card 3 (top): Attitudes and beliefs
- Card 4 (bottom): Root causes/distant past
- Card 5 (left): Recent past
- Card 6 (right): Focus on suggested approach
- Card 7: Factors influencing me
- Card 8: External influencers
- Card 9: Hopes and fears
- Card 10: Final outcome (potential future)
I then guided Meekachu to ground herself and to give herself permission to let go of expectation and judgment, to honor her intuition, and to be open to the messages needed to be received today. I then asked her to cut the deck, so now her energy and intentionality is associated with the tarot card spread. Even though I had to check google for the meaning behind the cards, each one eerily pointed to major themes and challenges Meekachu has been and is currently experiencing. What’s even better, the cards gave her a message of strategy for what to focus on in order to actualize her destiny and meet her fate.
Eventually Kasian and I met up and went to the studio before I dropped her off at the beer garden. I received feedback through her from Mr. AJ and DJ that I was “bossy and high maintenance” last night as Madame Kiki. Of course, I got defensive af. They knew what they were getting themselves into, regardless if you’re not here as the “glam squad,” you’re here for Madame Kiki’s debut. And if I need help opening up nail glue and you don’t wanna do it, then I suggest you find another party or find someone who will help me. I was getting animated from how ridiculously irritated I was about this feedback. Now that I think about it, I didn’t have to have such a strong reaction because now I feel kinda foolish. I see what she’s saying from their perspective, so now I’ll just have to be thoughtful about who’s around when I’m Madame Kiki and I can’t assume that others will help me out. I’m still appreciative of their help even though they didn’t want to.
I ended up staying with Kasian way later than I expected to. I needed at least 4 hours to get ready for the Seance party if I wanted to get there by 7pm, but it was already 5pm by the time I got home. So, I scraped the idea of gluing down my eyebrows. Luckily, my hair was already in tight braids and pinned flat to my head so that I could pop on a wig without any trouble. I was excited to wear this new dress and witch shoes with a body chain and a headpiece. I didn’t have time to put my fake nails on, but I figured my poor nails needed a break from the glue. And god forbid a nail popped off and I asked a good citizen to help a mama out.
I got to the party way too late. They had already done their Seance and tarot readings. It was fun in fantasy. Apparently there were no ghosts, spirits, or demonic presences when sitting hand in hand in a circle with candles and a pentagram and a Oijui board. Oh yea, they weren’t kidding around! I wish I was there for that, though! I could totally see myself being a tarot card reader because it’s essentially using the energy in the room and within each other to make sense of archetypes, which is very psychological (Carl Jung talked about this) and creative (how do we apply this to their lifestory?). Who knows, I might just become well versed in tarot rather than my licensing exam to be a psychologist. Maybe it’s just another gesture of avoidance.
I hung out at the Seance party for about an hour before I drove back to Ann Arbor. I took a lyft to meet Kasian at the beer garden where Mr. AJ and DJ were hanging out. I also met a few new friends, one of which is this woman that Kasian works with and who I vibe with incredibly well. My drag mother, Buffy Adams and her best friend also met up with us at the beer garden before we walked to a night club called Aut Bar. Our friend Nicole was DJing, so we went to support her. Apparently, she’s one of the best DJs in town! I don’t doubt that at all because she had the club dancing and grooving the entire night. Not one song was lame or made people want to take a break. She also gave us this killer playlist for my photoshoot yesterday, so I made sure to compliment her on her talents!
Even though I was having a good time meeting new people and flirting with the patrons who couldn’t get enough of my aesthetic, I took the time to check in with Mr. AJ and DJ so that I could take ownership and apologize for coming across as bossy and high maintenance and so that I could express my appreciation for their support and help anyway. It was weird, somehow I intuitively knew that this was the last time I would see them both. Turns out, it was true. I’m not gonna get into the details of that, but let’s just say that they aren’t around the tribe anymore, which is a relief because it’s one less distraction. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted!
Side Note: my new queen, Tweedy, whom I met on Thursday night at Drag Wars, was also there at the bar! She wasn’t dressed in drag, though. We vibed really well, too, and we exchanged numbers and talked shop about drag and all these cool fun events for the queer and trans community that Madame Kiki is going to host. I invited her to join me on Thursday nights at the dance studio to rehearse for our drag shows and to possibly choreograph a group routine for a music video my friend is interested in shooting. It feels good to recognize and be recognized by folx in this community. I don’t feel like a stranger, I feel welcomed and like I belonged. It’s an intoxicating feeling that I never want to lose.
The night took a turn after I took a hit off of a joint. It was very strong and it had an interesting effect on me after drinking bourbon all night. I was super cross faded, it felt like the silliest and loopiest high ever! We eventually lost Mr. AJ and DJ, so Kasian and Buffy Adams, along with two other new friends, chilled back at the studio. We had some girl talk about boys, and talked shop about drag and potential new events for Madame Kiki. I was feeling very happy and peaceful. I decided to cocoon myself in the wall backdrop of flowers that Kasian and Meekachu built for my photo shoot. I took a shit ton of amazing pictures.
Look at how much fun I was having!
Seriously, I slept until about noon. I am so incredibly beat after three days of partying as Madame Kiki. I’ve never done that before, not even in college! My whole body was aching in pain, my feet hated me, my eyelids were swollen from the eyelash glue, my nails were weak from the nail glue, my scalp was sore from the tight braids, and my throat was sore from drinking three days in a row. It was so much fun, I don’t regret a thing!
Boldy Locks bought “madamekiki.com,” and I created my gmail and instragram account for Mx. Madame Kiki. Now I have an online presence, even though it is way past due! This is gonna amplify my persona and solidify my commitment to being Madame Kiki. I want to do big, epic things. I want to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of individuals in my community, and I want to create a safe and welcoming space that allows others to let down their guard and tap into their vulnerability and connect with others’ humanity. I want everyone to feel loved and worthy and that they matter and they have value and that they belong.
This week was incredibly eventful. I finally debuted Madame Kiki, and I surprisingly didn’t feel as stressed or anxious as I had expected or anticipated. I knew that there was too much going on so maybe I also knew that I couldn’t afford to fuck it up with my nerves. I also felt incredibly calmed and reassured by my glam squad and by the lovely people of Ann Arbor who gave me such a warm and welcoming reception into the drag community. I learned that I’m not a bio-queen or a faux-queen, I’m a femme queen, and there is a difference. Now, for some much needed rest before next weekend’s two evenings in drag. It is halloween weekend after all! Maybe I’ll even take drag out to make $$ lyfting. mtbr…