To (mis)quote Ms Gaynor, Gloria not Mitzi: “I have survived!” (Though, Mitzi was a survivor, too…)
Yes, Mr. Strangeways survived the production, hosting and performance (barely) at our first ever variety entertainment, “The Goodtime Summer Funtastic Variety Show” held at Re-bar last Friday night, July 22 with an all-star cast of Seattle’s finest performers. Here’s some of my thoughts and memories from the event and some lessons learned. And, many expressions of gratitude to the participants.
1) Singing with a microphone is hard. Singing in public, on a stage with a microphone is very hard. Singing in public, on a stage, with a microphone when you have little singing talent is foolish…never again. Thankfully, the awesome Alex Berry, our videographer was a tad late to the event and didn’t film my opening number. Normally, I might be tad irritated that he was a tad tardy…instead, I am very, very grateful that no video proof of my trainwreck exists. Thank you for the “tadness” that you missed my “badness”.
2) Thanks YOU, Darling Boys, James and Kerry for being my back-up for both my numbers (you saved my fat ass) AND for backing up TWO other numbers PLUS doing your own number, for a total of FIVE numbers. James & Kerry Darling are the hardest working men on the fringe theater/man-lesque circuit. Bless their zexy little hearts.
3) Hosting is hard work but I did enjoy it, though the spot light is blinding and keeping track of what microphone to use is maddening. And, I think we should start a fundraising campaign so Re-bar can get some wireless microphones…it would be a godsend to have them.
4) Re-bar is beyond awesome and I meant every word I said on stage: “If Seattle didn’t have Re-bar, we’d be as exciting as Spokane…” (no offense Spokane, but you ARE a bit dull when it comes to arty/fringe theater…) Lots of love to the Queen of Re-bar Ms Carla for letting us into her amazing Clubhouse of Fun, the entire wonderful staff and most especially, to A/V guru, Ms Luying for running a tight ship and making the show run so efficiently. She’s a treasure.
5) Also, a big thanks to the audience that showed up; you guys were amazing and kind and generous with your applause and approval. Yes, attendance was lower than we had hoped; it always is, but it was a great first show for us. And, the lesson I’ve learned is, NEVER schedule something against Capitol Hill Block Party (unless you have Lady Gaga coming). Not because that many queer folk GO to Block Party, but because so many queer people and allies LEAVE town during that weekend to avoid it. CHBP isn’t queer negative, it just doesn’t have that much to offer the arty/draggy crowd and a lot of folks avoid it. Live and learn.
6) A lotta love and thanks for our behind the scenes folks. The aforementioned Alex Berry for filming; the lovely Rachel and Dan took photos; our new BFF’s Danielle and J.D. who helped set up/take down/run lights and help with the door. HUGE thanks to Ms Sylvia O’Stayformore and her awesome “Italian”, Rob for advice, support and a shoulder to whine on and apologies to Mr. Rob for not listening to your sage advice…you were right, we did have it under control! Big, big kudos to our “New Queer on the Block” the always delightful Mr. Brian Peterson for his amazing stage managering…he impressed everyone, including Re-bar, with his mad skillz…Huge thanks, Brian. And, a big personal thanks to Mr. Sterling for all his hard work and putting it all together, especially the wonderful opening credit sequence. Mad thanks, mad love, mad appreciation.
7) Big thanks for all their support to Gay City Health and Robert Roth for showing up and being a champion of not only Seattle Gay Scene, but all of Seattle. Also, our dear friends at Three Dollar Bill Cinema and the wunderkinds from Collide-O-Scope. And, to Chris Diani for the Furry Suits…you all rock our world.
8) And, finally, massive amounts of love for all the performers for being part of the magic and allowing us to play in their world of glitter and glitz (and hard work and passion.) Without the talents of Ade, Anna Rexia (with the wonderful puppets of Elizabeth Westermann and Puppet This!), Cherry Sur Bete and her backup crew, “Double-O Sexy”, James & Kerry Darling, Jean du Jour, EmpeROAR Fabulous!!!, Mark “Mom” Finley’, Jinkx Monsoon, OtterPop! and DJ Tony Burns, the night would have consisted of me floundering on stage like an old dried up piece of salmon. Much love and appreciation for your skills, dedication and talent. If you didn’t go to the show, you missed some amazing numbers including the first ever duet from Ms Monsoon and Ms Finley. It was epic.
Will we be back for another show? To be determined. But, I’d love to do a “Halloween Special” and a “Christmas Special” and an “Easter Special”….
Love and Thanks to All,
PS: More photos to come!