Well, things have certainly slowed down quite a bit since Madame Kiki’s 3-day debut. This week (10/23 – 10/29), I’ve got a full clinical week ahead of me before attending a couple of Halloween parties as Madame Kiki (one of which I’ll be performing for a lip sync competition!).
Also, I’ve had a gd poppy seed stuck in between my two front teeth and it looks like I’ve got a slight gap now. I’ve tried getting it out every which way I know how but it’s still there! It’s been a week already!!
Oh yea! Check out one of the videos for the pizza promo I did a while back! (idk how to embed fb videos)
I spent all day recovering from the 3-day debut for Madame Kiki. I didn’t get out of bed until about 3pm! I felt a bit run down from it all, but I was still so energized from the experience. I’ll have to be more resourceful with my time and energy if I want to sustain this second life. For instance, my sleep schedule is altered from Thursday through Monday because I stay up later, either for drag or Lyfting.
Then, I only get a few hours of sleep before my body naturally wakes up and is no longer sleepy, even if I’m fatigued and lethargic. The excitement from this whole adventure is enough to keep me up and alert, but the depression and anxiety that I live with on a daily basis is equally enough to zap my internal resources so that I’m barely functioning everywhere else. I gotta get accustomed to this new lifestyle before it adds more stress than it does reward!
Ideally, I’d like to get the new queens I’ve met over the past few weeks to join me on a few endeavors including: 1) photo shoot, 2) documentary movie/podcast episode, 3) music video, and 4) talent show. All of these things require more than just me. I want to highlight and showcase others in my community, particularly those who are regularly marginalized and oppressed for their intersecting identities and self-expression.
These queens have some remarkable stories, and it’d be more meaningful and impactful for them to share their stories in order to humanize themselves in a world that misunderstands and stigmatizes them. I aim to break the old narrative associated with the queer and trans population. I intend to write a new narrative, one that’s inclusive, accepting, understanding, affirming, encouraging, and growth-promoting.
Also, I had last minute dinner plans with my drag mother, Buffy Adams, and my Quangel at this wonderful mediterranean restaurant called Palm Palace. They have some of the best tasting food I’ve had in Ann Arbor, so it’s become a spot where I treat myself every once in a while. It was so lovely connecting with my friends, even though it was cold and raining.
It also helps that we all live about 15 minutes away from each other. I also love these spontaneous adventures with friends. It keeps things exciting and helps me to let go of this need for control and certainty. I enjoy their company very much, so I look forward to the next opportunity to spend with them.
Improv S2, Class 3
Our old teacher, Ms Lit, came to sub for us today. It was so lovely to see her! She certainly has a different style than our current teacher, Adira. Both are highly trained and qualified folx who understand the ins and outs of improv and how to apply it on stage but also in our everyday lives, which feels really comprehensive and whole.
Today’s lesson was about acceptance. We gotta work with what we got out on stage. We learned how to apply this lesson during two new games called “Superheroes” and “Sentences.” None of us liked the “Superheroes” game because it felt weird, idk how else to describe the experience. I was assigned as “Meteor Mittens” that needed to save the Earth from a comet with three of my superhero friends.
I think we have to play this game during our showcase, which we’re not excited about, but maybe there’s a chance for us to boycott that game and do “Sentences” instead. The video below demonstrates this game from Who’s Line is it Anyway?
We loved playing “Sentences” because it is a classic improv game where the audience writes sentences on pieces of paper that we have to incorporate into a scene. The point is being able to radically accept – even if we don’t like or agree with it – the sentence, and to sell it – with confidence – so that it seems like the random sentence could be a natural response in the dialogue. This was so much fun because of how wacky and creative these sentences were. It made all of us laugh and we just had a better time all around. We’re hoping to include this game in our class showcase instead of “Superheroes,” so mtbr…
Also, I checked in with Mr. Green Googley Eyes about what polyamory means to him, but then our instructor was like “GTFO I have to lock the door,” so Mr. GGE and I made tentative plans to grab a drink after class next week to talk more about polyamory. I wanted to learn more about poly relationships because this relationship orientation is popular among the population that I work with as a clinician.
I’m also curious for my own experimentation and quest for finding a submissive or a slave. I realized through Mr. GGE that power is important to me in a relationship, especially over a man. I’m not sure what it means just yet, or if I’m going to carry through with any of this, but it’s intriguing as hell and I kinda wanna see where this goes. Another improv classmate introduced me to a friend who’s involved in the poly/kink scene closer to Detroit, so mtbr on that…
After improv, I went to see my drag mother, Buffy Adams. She’s been going through some shit and is in need of support and safety. I’m worried for her, to be quite honest. I’m not gonna air her business, but I will say that she deserves better. I genuinely hope that her circumstances change in her favor and that she experiences some stability and peace of mind soon.
I’m pleased to be there for her in a time of need. It feels good to show her that there are still decent people out there who care and don’t have a hidden agenda to harm her. I want her to feel safe and accepted in my tribe, and I want our relationship to be mutually rewarding, challenging, and healing.
Full clinical day and I’m not in the mood, so ’nuff said.
Cultural MisAppropriation (CMA)
General Disclaimer: Below is not a reflection of the field of professional psychology. Below is a personal conviction that’s subject to change, which doesn’t have much value in the grand scheme of things. It’s just an opinion about where I’m at right now in regards to what CMA means to me and how it applies to my understanding of life and the world as I know it, which means I’m still learning and growing. If anything I’ve revealed offends in any way, I’d be pleased to connect with you so that we can have a productive exchange and grow from each other’s feedback. Thank you!
Cultural appropriation is a hot button topic in today’s day and age. Actually, CA has been monumental in contributing to the evolution of our collective culture and diverse world, I mean think about where we got our idea of numbers from! There’s also been push back from people who’re exercising their right to participate in different cultures. Plenty of folx are “eclectic” or “worldly,” and I identify as one of them. This means that we adopt and integrate certain elements of different cultures throughout the history of humanity so that we can pay homage to and preserve the most meaningful parts of said culture throughout our own life story. This cultural impact is a beautiful thing because it feeds my curiosity, intuition, wisdom, peace, love, and compassion.
However, the word we should be using is Cultural MisAppropriation (CMA), meaning that elements from a minority culture are taken by the dominant culture and used in a disrespectful manner. For instance, it’s becoming more well known that folx can’t dress up as different cultures for Halloween (e.g., Black face; Native American Indians). Society is better at calling out people who’re transgressing, like White celebrities for profiting from wearing cornrows or dreads. We’ve become more hyperaware and courageous to hold each other accountable. We have every right to experience anger when a transgressor disrespects our culture, however we would fare better to deliver feedback that’s more grounded and tactful.
Simply put, CMA means colonialism. It means erasure of an oppressed group. It goes beyond not appreciating/giving credit to the symbolism behind cultural artifacts/ideas. CMA is generally discriminatory and exploitative. When CMA is accurately caught, then it’s our shared responsibility to address it. However, we should be intentional about “calling in” the person’s attention about the offensive behavior and do our best to approach them with curiosity and compassion while also showing kindness for creating an opportunity to understand, connect, grow, and change. It would be more helpful and effective to educate and include the transgressor rather than shame or belittle them.
This link shows a 3 minute excerpt of what cultural appropriation means to a self-identified Indian female: https://content.jwplatform.com/previews/05xIkABS-avTupidD
Contrary to popular belief, not all things are considered CMA. It’s important to check the facts and reflect on the accuracy of what’s legitimately disrespectful to another’s culture. What might be offensive to one might not be offensive to another. Actually, one of the criticisms I have about today’s day and age is the hypersensitivity to what’s perceived as CMA and the aggressive attacking towards the transgressor.
For example, I know plenty of non-Indians who wear henna on their hands and sometimes it has nothing to do with Indian culture. Just a couple months ago I came across a White lady charging $15 a person for 5 minutes of henna. Should I get mad that White girls are doing/wearing henna because it’s cool and profitable? (This will be an unpopular opinion but it is mine and mine alone, but) No. How is getting angry helpful?
I might take it less seriously as an act of CMA because it’s not like she was drawing dicks on their foreheads. No, she was being respectful enough by drawing traditional henna designs (mind you she’s not Indian herself and she was making a profit from it). There’s such a thing as people from different cultures sharing some kind of connection to another culture, which goes beyond cultural exchange but rather cultural integration into their identity. This quote perfectly sums up my point:
“At my house, getting dressed is a daily act of cultural appropriation, and I’m not the least bit sorry about it. I step out of the shower in the morning and pull on a vintage cotton kimono. After moisturizing my face, I smear Lucas Papaw ointment—a tip from an Australian makeup artist—onto my lips before I make coffee with a Bialetti stovetop espresso maker a girlfriend brought back from Italy. Depending on the weather, I may pull on an embroidered floral blouse I bought at a roadside shop in Mexico or a stripey marinière-style shirt—originally inspired by the French, but mine from the surplus store was a standard-issue Russian telnyashka—or my favorite purple pajama pants, a souvenir from a friend’s trip to India. I may wear Spanish straw-soled espadrilles (though I’m not from Spain) or Bahian leather sandals (I’m not Brazilian either) and top it off with a favorite piece of jewelry, perhaps a Navajo turquoise ring (also not my heritage).” Reference Link
Still, even if one disagrees with what’s considered CMA, we don’t want to invalidate the experiences of those who are offended by the act. A great real life example is when I received (colorful) feedback from a client who identified as Native American and was offended that I had a dream catcher hanging on the front door to my office. Never mind the dream catcher being a gift from a former client who self-identified as Native American. Never mind my intentionality of showcasing artifacts from different cultures to make my office more worldly, safe, and inviting. It was still painful for her, and that was enough to offend.
That experience was memorable only because I learned a great deal from the shame and guilt that arose from being “called out.” Now, granted I didn’t know much about CA or CMA because it wasn’t discussed in my doctoral program or professional training. After this interaction occurred, I consulted with a trusted colleague to debrief and then went home to do my own research, but not before crying my eyes out from the shame to have caused her pain.
The next morning I consulted with a self-identified White female colleague who specializes in working with Native populations and who herself has numerous artifacts in her office from the Native cultures. She gave me a book to read about Native populations so that I can increase my awareness of the history of ancestral trauma, the symbolism of dream catchers, and the most culturally sensitive and informed manner of interacting with a client who identifies as Native.
Through my own research, I learned that hanging a dream catcher on my door was an act of CMA because it was not being used for the intended purpose (e.g., dream catchers are hung over your bed to catch bad dreams/spirits). Nor was the dream catcher made by Natives themselves (e.g., it was likely bought on Etsy), which is another component of CMA. I immediately took the dream catcher down and locked this experience into memory for future reference.
CMA is accurately identified if the transgressor does not acknowledge or respect the cultural origins of what’s being borrowed, or if the transgressor misuses the cultural artifact in a disrespectful manner (e.g., using dreamcatchers as an accessory, like earrings). Some have compared this act of CMA to someone wearing an unearned purple heart.
Why do I bring this up? Because I came across an article arguing that bio- or faux-queens (aka cis-gendered females who impersonate females and call themselves drag queens) are practicing CMA. As would be expected, I had a strong reaction to the author’s commentary. Here’s an excerpt:
They sum it up as a form of experimenting with “extreme femininity”. I was confused as to why cis women would choose to identify as drag queens when all they are doing is putting on dresses and makeup, which is something within their gender norm. I discussed this odd occurrence with some non-binary individuals and one of them quickly pointed out that this can even be considered homophobic.
So, let me get this straight (no pun intended)- if I identify as cis-female and queer, then I’m not entitled to practice drag because apparently I’m homo/transphobic or disrespecting the craft?? Help me understand how this makes sense!
For me, drag is not just “putting on dresses and makeup” – that is insultingly reductive and denigrating. Drag is RECLAIMING what I BELIEVE is my QUEER and FEMME identity within the CONSTRUCTS of FEMININITY according to a CULTURE that is shaped by PATRIARCHY and MISOGYNY. Ya feel me?
Drag is not just about performance, it’s about FEMININE expression – whether you’re a gay male, trans, queer, or something else. No one “owns” drag because no one “owns” femininity. We get to reclaim what femininity looks like through this platform, and we get to resist cultural conformity to the patriarchy.
So, please don’t dismiss or invalidate my experiences as a queer cis-female of color who has found her true authentic voice and self-expression (self-actualization) through the permission, safety, and freedom that being a femme-queen generously and humbly provides.
Additionally, CMA is considered “bad” when it capitalizes on the aspects of another’s culture without proper recognition or compensation (i.e., exploitation). It’s also “bad” because folx from the dominant culture (who borrow or adopt elements from the minority culture) are assumed not to experience similar discrimination that’s regularly endured by the minority culture. This is a valuable point to make in that CMA does not recognize the suffering of a vulnerable population being exploited for profit (i.e., colonialism).
When cis women perform as drag queens, they are dipping their feet into the performance of it, this being the positive experience, without receiving any of the backlash of stepping out of their gender norms and being discriminated against for it.
To clarify, everyone should have the freedom to explore their gender, meaning they can practice their own gender roles, as well as “the other” as much as they want. But, cis women in dresses and costume makeup should not be labeled “drag queen,” as they are simply practicing things within their own gender norms. Drag is supposed to shatter gender norms and cis women calling themselves “drag queens” can have a damaging effect on the legitimacy of the movement.
Drag could be reduced to fun dress-up, while individuals who continue to be treated with prejudice and discrimination will go ignored. Additionally, the history, the traditions and the culture of drag will be reduced to a mere afterthought, along with the true meaning of dressing in drag.
See, this angers me. I don’t appreciate that this author is categorizing my form of self-expression as an act of CMA, or in other words discrimination or violation against the queer and drag community. That’s painfully offensive because: 1) I’m connecting with and learning from the experiences of other queens in the drag community – not exploitation, but community building, 2) I’m not capitalizing on this journey whatsoever, 3) I experience prejudice and discrimination on the daily for identifying as a QUEER FEMME OF COLOR, and 4) I’m stepping into power and celebrating my truth, which happens to be in the form of drag. Drag gives me what being my intersecting identities cannot. It gives me the permission to be my full authentic self. I feel safe to share my story through self-expression in hopes to inspire and embolden others to do the same. What’s wrong with that? Also, I am starting to believe that everybody is Queer in their own way.
As I’ve stated in a previous blog post, drag is a form of art. Anyone can embody art, just like anyone can embody drag and femininity. It doesn’t “have” to measure to your standards or expectations because it’s not about you, boo boo. It’s about the individual safely expressing themselves and feeling ACCEPTED, INCLUDED, and AFFIRMED that who they are MATTERS and is WORTHY of love, connection, and belonging. It’s about resisting conformity and it’s about freedom from oppressive cultural constructs, like colonialism, the patriarchy, and misogyny. It’s about reclaiming the essence of one’s self by stepping into one’s own power.
I’m also choosing drag as a platform to influence a socio-political and cultural shift towards inclusivity, justice, advocacy, equality, and liberation. I’m planting seeds when asking folks to share their stories of how they survived adversity as a message of resilience, connection, and hope. I want to openly talk about mental health within the queer community because there’s too many of us needlessly suffering and I wanna do something about it.
It’s not enough for me to write in professional journals as a (limited licensed) psychologist. I want to make a difference in this world, and I wanna do it by being me. Being a femme queen and a psychologist gives me the unique opportunity and perspective needed to decrease discrimination and stigma, and to increase connection, acceptance/love, and individual agency for change. It’s about rewiring our brains and rewriting the socio-cultural narrative for generations after ours.
I enjoy going out and meeting qu-angels and queens in the community. I’m adding members to my new tribe here in Ann Arbor. I’m calling it: “Madame Kiki’s House of QuAngels and Queens.” This is what I’m going to call the house. By me being receptive, patient, deferent, and bumble, I’ve been gaining the trust of my community. I’m educating myself on the history of queer/trans people of color (QTPOC) in the drag scene because it’s important for me to understand the origins (traumatic) and symbolism of the craft.
It’s important to honor the lives that were lost (murdered) throughout history (e.g., QTPOC), which brought our society to where we’re at now (e.g., homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism). I’m curious and compassionate about the experiences of others, and I’m working towards building a safe space for my community (QTPOC); I’m careful and respectful about adopting and integrating drag into my life; and I’m willing to speak up for the queer/trans community and out against discrimination as a (limited licensed) clinical psychologist. In other words, being a femme queen is my version of activism.
Case and point, I found another article that could be a response to the first article mentioned above:
Scriver’s thesis is that when “biological women” take on the exaggerated femininity of drag, they are pioneering a novel form of resistance against the expectations placed on women by society’s predatory male gaze. The entree of “biological women” to the world of drag, according to Scriver, newly renders drag a queer phenomenon of resistance, an act that is now political where it was once merely performative.
I’m already feeling heard and seen. The author added:
Actually, women have always been doing drag. Trans women, cis women, queer and gender non-conforming folks of all identities — all have been deeply embedded in drag communities since the development of the North American drag landscape.
I’m unexpectedly comforted by this realization in history.
Thus, while it may seem that Scriver’s “bio-queens” are underrepresented, this understanding overlooks a long history wherein the femininity of members of the drag community have been repressed and oppressed, as Black women, as trans women, and others. Drag offers them a chance to speak to their own experiences in a space specifically marked off from society’s predatory gaze. What Scriver is suggesting is to offer cis women a chance to take the stage and reaffirm their own experiences as natural at the expense of the femininity others articulate through drag.
Another article’s excerpt differentiates between the words bio- and faux- to describe female-identified drag queens and illustrate sensitivity about language and identity:
In order to talk about female drag queens, though, there is a linguistic minefield to navigate. For a while, female drag queens were known as “faux queens” or “bio [biological] queens”. Some find the “faux” offensive because it implies a falseness to the performance, as if their drag could not possibly be real drag. Some find “bio” offensive due to the implication that a woman is only a woman if she was born with a vagina; some prefer it and choose to identify in that way.
Just last Thursday I learned that the proper term to identify myself is “femme queen.” Femme is more inclusive, and it most accurately represents who I am and what I stand for.
A simple of definition of “femme” is a queer person who presents in a feminine manner, but being femme is different than being feminine. … (You shouldn’t describe yourself as femme if you’re straight, though, as you’d be misappropriating the term and contributing to femme erasure by ignoring the inherent queerness of this identity.) – Reference Link
Both Miss Malice and Holestar are adamant that doing drag is absolutely, fundamentally, a celebration of femininity. “Drag allowed me to confront a world telling me that femme was weak, that femininity was frivolous, silly, not to be taken seriously. That smart or feminist women don’t wear long nails or lipstick,” says Miss Malice.
Holestar says she had to fight against those misconceptions from men and women, particularly when she started out. “I had a lot of commentary from ardent feminists and certain lesbian groups going: ‘Well, you’re just catering to the male gaze,’” she says. “No, I’m not. Just because I’m wearing lipstick and being ridiculously camp, how is that sexualising my gender? I’m having fun with it, I’m excited about this. Questioning that so negatively is completely baffling.” – Reference Link
To further illustrate my point, here’s a video of femme-queens from the UK: (and then I’ll be done talking about this… for now)
This whole experience is just interesting to me. It’s like, when I try to find my voice and self-actualize, there’s always gonna be someone who disagrees or who’s gonna “call me out” for being offensive or uneducated. Well shit, I’m human and there’s a likelihood that any one of us can make a mistake, but let me be very clear – my intention is to do no harm and take no shit. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the queer community or drag culture. That’s not my role, nor is it my character.
That being said, it’s important for me to practice humility and to show respect to what was originally created by gay men of color in New York (watch the documentary Paris is Burning below for an understanding of the drag culture and community in the 80s). My heart and spirit are open to the learning and integration processes of becoming a psychologist and queer femme queen. I’m even more excited to actualize my next dream of opening and hosting “Madame Kiki’s House of QuAngels and Queens” for QTPOC youth in Ann Arbor (aka my tribe). (mtbr…)
I’ve been discussing with Kasian about how to make Madame Kiki into a business. I just signed up for an Instagram account (mx.madamekiki) with a new email address (email@example.com). We’re thinking of branding the business MTBR (More To Be Revealed) into an LLC, and to request for grant money to open and run a safe space for QTPOC youth. I envision using the home my boss bought that was built in the late 1800s/early 1900s because it’s already an established safe space for queer folx.
My idea is to have boarding rooms for folx who’ve been kicked out of their homes or who are in need of refuge from interpersonal violence, to have therapy offices and case managers, as well as large spaces for support groups, yoga/zumba, improv and talent shows (for self-confidence and social anxiety). Kasian may connect me with the mayor of Ann Arbor who’s also a lawyer and who might be able to help me with this business venture. mtbr…
Another full clinical day. Just watch the video below to catch up.
I will just say that the seeds I’m planting as a clinician and femme queen is rooting itself. More and more of my family/friends are acting on the courage to be vulnerable and live their truth. I can’t tell you how good that feels.
Another full day of clinical work, ugh. I’m just fatigued and wanna take a nap. I’ll be increasing my hours very soon, so I gotta suck it up, buttercup. What’s really cool is that I was talking with a colleague who’s gonna connect me with her friend who runs a vaudevillian show (IMAGINE THAT), so she may be able to help me with my dream of hosting a talent/variety show. mtbr…
Group Be Gone
I also told my group members that I’ll be taking a hiatus from group because I can’t afford it anymore and because Drag Wars is on Thursday nights and it takes 4 hours for me to put Madame Kiki together. I got some interesting feedback from the group that I shared in the snapchat video below if you’re interested. I’ll be sad to go, of course, because these folx have helped me get through quite a challenging year and I’m sure I’ll miss them. I really do hope and wish the best for them, I’ll be curious about what’s going on in their lives.
At the same time, I’m ready to move on. I’ve got my support system and adequate coping skills to get me through hardship, and Mr. A is always a phone call away. Though, I may regret leaving because I got so comfortable with this tribe and I liked having a weekly space to work through some shit. At the same time, I’m just really tired of carrying the group along. I heard feedback today that validated my observation of me being the only one “in the arena” and being vulnerable to do the work. I have been purposefully leaning into my discomfort and diving into the depths of my psyche to figure shit out, and I need a goddamn break!
I don’t always feel that my efforts are reciprocated, or when it is, it almost feels forced or empty? I know my group members accept me enough, and I know they care enough about me to give feedback if I’m being annoying or something. They want to help me better myself, however when it comes to them and their problems, it’s almost like they get to hide behind “shyness” and it seems like they’re just avoiding doing the work. It’s becoming more of an issue for me, mainly because I’m admittedly impatient, and to be frank, I’m not too interested in figuring all that out right now. Who knows if these thoughts will change a week from now.
Rehearse To Compete
I invited the new queens I’ve been in Ann Arbor to join me tonight at the dance studio to rehearse drag choreography, but I only heard back from one and she’s my drag mother who had some other shit come up. So I used this time to prep for a gig this Saturday for a Halloween party that Mr. Funny Bonez is hosting. I’m excited because it’s a lip syncing battle/competition, which is excellent practice and exposure for getting my drag persona on stage and performing. This is different from Nerd Nite because I won’t be talking, lol.
I don’t consider myself a competitive person because I don’t like how competition can cause separation between people, but this separation is intentionally hurtful because of the dichotomy and differentiation of power between the winner (superior) and the loser (inferior). There’s so much associated with that, it just doesn’t seem worth it. I’m competitive with myself such that I need to exceed my own expectations and out-do myself. It’s the ultimate compliment if I can impress myself.
There’s a real chance I can impress myself with my song of choice that I find so clever, mysterious, and fun. I think this song combined with my choreography will wow the crowd, for sure (listen below). I’ve got a beautiful outfit planned, but I’m still figuring out my eye makeup situation and eyebrows. It’s always a process, and I’m happy to say that practice makes perfect (drag is an art form that I’m allowing myself to be “moderately” perfectionistic about). Unfortunately, I didn’t get any of my performance on snapchat, but fortunately, Mr. Funny Bonez will be recording the event, so I hope to have a video to showcase soon! (mtbr)
It was super weird… after the dance studio, I spontaneously ran across the street to visit a tarot card/palm reader’s business. I wanted to learn about her experiences, kinda like method acting for my role as a fortune teller/gypsy. She’s Romanian and has been doing this work for 20 years. Little did I know that she could read me up and down like a book. She called out my energy (ambitious and tenacious), and she validated that my true identity is in drag, not who I am as everyday-Kulky. She gave me her card and encouraged me to call her tomorrow so that she can tell me about my past and future lives, so we’ll see what I’ll do. The only condition she said is that I have to come back in drag. (mtbr)
After meeting this tarot card lady, I hung out with my drag mother, Buffy Adams, and we recorded a podcast episode, however I’m very nervous to publish it just yet and I don’t know why. In fact, I’ve got about half a dozen episodes like this where I’m recording a colorful and noteworthy conversation with my friends but then I opt at the last minute not to post. Idk if I’m embarrassed or if I’m scared, it’s a mystery to me right now and I’m not in any particular rush to figure it out.
All I know is that Buffy Adams’ two tuxedo cats are my absolute fave, and I now know how to freshen up a matted up wig. I also read tarot cards for the both of us, and it was eerily accurate to what we’re both going through in our lives. It also gave us the best strategy we need to be intentional about if we want to create a more favorable outcome. She and I are gonna hang out again tomorrow for a Halloween costume contest at a local nightclub. (mtbr)
I had a late start today. I’m tired! I knew it was gonna take me a couple hours to put Madame Kiki on for tonight’s Halloween party. I got my hair wig-cap ready at a salon for 20 bucks because I’m not good at doing french braids in my hair and I wanted it to be secure enough for the next two days. I was very excited to wear this new outfit that I had bought from Ragstock a couple weeks ago and some new jewelry/accessories to help with the gypsy glam aesthetic of Madame Kiki.
I hung out with my drag mom, Buffy Adams, and she introduced me to new friends. Omg I met a big fluffy cat that I just fell in love with. Everyone else was hanging out in the kitchen and I was over in the dark ass corner tryna touch a cat. That’ll be me at any party, I DON’T CARE!!!!
Unfortunately, it was so crowded at the club, my friends and I stood in line outside for over 45 minutes. It was nearing 1am, so I decided to Lyft back home so that I could get in my car and make some $$ Lyfting. I actually met this very sweet and attractive Lyft driver who just couldn’t get enough of my look and my new life endeavors. The attention was nice to receive because I don’t often let it in, and he felt safe enough to start.
Anyway, I made about 100 bucks after ~4 hours of driving, which was totally unexpected, but it was raining pretty bad so I figured people weren’t out. I got a lot of interesting reactions dressed as Madame Kiki. There was one guy who was a little tooooo creepy about it, so I just had to practice my “kind but firm” attitude and get that boy to his destination, STAT. Plus, folx might be reserving their energy for tomorrow’s football game. Also, I drank a Redbull around 1am to sustain the hours of Lyfting but then I couldn’t fall asleep until 730am! I don’t know what I was thinking! This lifestyle is very different than what I’m used to, so I may even change my therapy hours in the late afternoon/evening so that I can sustain this routine.
I never called that fortune teller lady, btw. I was thinking about her all day but I just didn’t pick up the phone. I think I’m actually very nervous to learn what she has to say about my past and future lives. It sorta confirms for me something that feels intuitive already, and like.. dark. Idk, I think I’m on borrowed time after surviving that car accident as a teen. We’ll see what happens, I may visit her another time. I haven’t forgotten about her though, so mtbr…
Cool, so I didn’t wake up until noon. I went out and did some errands while wearing a new rainbow wig. I knew I was gonna glue my eyebrows down, so I need at least 4-5 hours to put the whole look together. The video below shows the stages and transformation. I’ve gotta keep practicing with the eye makeup and eyebrow shape, but I’m getting better at the lip shape/color and contouring on the cheeks and nose.
Contouring is like adding spice to a meal, you go mild and then add little by little until it tastes just right. I’m gonna add a bit more spice next time around because I’m looking for a more dramatic look, although I prefer to soften the contouring edges so they don’t look so sharp. I also got this colorful glitter eyeliner that is just so much fun! I’m excited for the next photo shoot because I’m learning better ways of actualizing my aesthetic. Tonight took me nearly 5 hours to put together. I didn’t have an actual meal, but I did get a fruit smoothie to hold me over for a few hours.
The Halloween party, called Halloweenapalooza, was a lot of fun. First of all, the fucking house was magical. It reminds me of the second office location of the private practice I work for. It was built in the late 1800s/early 1900s, and I just totally belong in a house like that. Also, the halloween decor really helped set the ambiance. There were so many details, it was pretty impressive, actually. I complimented Mr. Funny Bonez on his talent and even invited him to join Madame Kiki’s glam squad as the stage production dude! We’ll see what comes of that, but either way, the dude needs to get connected with theater or special effects makeup. That’s where his skill level is at.
I preferred that tonight was an intimate crowd, and I knew maybe about a handful of people from previous outings with Boldy Lock’s and Mr. Funny Bonez’ crew. It felt really good to be so well-received, although I do still feel socially anxious and awkward at times because I wonder wtf ppl must think of me. I used to walk into a group of people and think that ppl must think somethings wrong with me. It’s not as bad now that I’m 32 and should be over it, but every once in a while it flares up initially. I just gotta breathe through it, make eye contact and a firm hand shake, listen, and respond with my heart.
I’m glad I practiced my routine and memorized my song all week. It really paid off because I won the award for “best lip sync”! It was exactly the vibe and reaction I was going for. I am really proud of myself because just two months ago this was all just a dream. It feels good to give myself a pat on the back for making all this happen. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without having the courage from the folx in my inner circle to enable my insane grandiosity. I wasn’t the only one who one.. Boldy Locks won “most sexiest lip sync”! She danced to Queen Latifa’s “Mama’s Good To You” from Chicago, and she fucking nailed it! I danced to “The Witch Song” by Aurea, and I also fucking nailed it.
I loved that this group of people like to host theme parties, dress up in costumes, play characters, dance/sing on a stage, and consume good drink and food. The plan was to meet up with Kasian and Buffy Adams to go to another huge annual Halloween party, but I dropped the ball on sending Kasian the Facebook invite to the party I was at, and something came up for my drag mother that delayed her getting ready, so none of us met up. Either way, I came home more than buzzed from winning the lip syncing contest and drinking bourbon all night.. I just hope I don’t regret this tomorrow!
Ohhh so much regret. Too much bourbon. Body aching, head pounding, throat hurting, stomach growling, bowels moving. I’m definitely sick, and it fucking sucks. I hate being sick. And that’s a really shitty attitude to have when you’re sick. So, now I’ve gotta deal, and it’s all just terribly inconvenient and it’s too frustrating to put up with. I get that this is my body’s way of telling me to slow down because October has pretty much been a sprint this entire time. Hell, the last 15 years of my life!
I was supposed to go to Bunny Beans’ house for a pot-luck brunch with other improv friends, but I was so fatigued and coughing so much that I had to cancel. I don’t like missing out on all the fun, so I was feeling a bit bummed about that. I could have also finally watched IT with Meekachu, but I didn’t know she was with Mr. Ohio, her new boyfriend. So, I figured I could just spend today writing this blog post and recording a new podcast episode. Of course, if it’s not procrastination then it’s developing a fever. I did briefly hang out with Kasian, and I was gonna join her at her studio to do some work, but my throat started irritating me to such a degree that I couldn’t bare being out any longer. I just drove my ass home and slept.
I also got a very enticing Lyft opportunity: if I can give 64 rides from Monday to Monday (starting tmrw), they’ll give me $895. If I hit that number but don’t make that much, then they’ll pay the difference. Let’s see how long this sickness will last and what my energy will look like next week. Luckily, it’s slowed down quite a bit, so I’m looking forward to the stillness. I realize that I need that stability and grounded-ness if I’m going to sustain this lifestyle. I’m still figuring things out, but until then, I’m just taking it one day and one step at a time.
Well, Madame Kiki is officially out in the world. She’s got her own Instagram and gmail account, and now she’s getting herself filmed for gigs (e.g., Nerd Nite, Halloweenapalooza) to add to her portfolio. There’s so much ahead for Madame Kiki (e.g., photo shoots, documentary, music video, talent show). There’s also a few more opportunities ahead like my improv showcase is in a few weeks, and I’ll be co-hosting the 30s themed New Year’s Eve party with Boldy Locks. I may or may not go home to Cali for Thanksgiving, or maybe just Chicago. I gotta make those plans soon. Good thing I’ve got some Type A tendencies to pull me through the depression and anxiety.
I’ve also got a shit ton of adulting to do, like follow up on medical insurance stuff and figure out some finances because of all the money I’ve spent these last few months. I haven’t cleaned my apartment in a hot minute, need to do laundry and get groceries and toiletrees. I’m really far behind on reading this book for work, and I am no where near touching my gd licensing exam. I’m having a fucking blast doing it all because I’ve got the support system and fan base to inspire and motivate me to keep thriving and shinning.
Let’s see what’s yet to come on moretoberevealed.org. Until then, continue exploring the unknown with a curious heart and a funny bone.