I find it increasingly frustrating to see self obsessed individuals ‘make it’ off the back of P.R. skills and an ability to kiss the arses of the right people while lesser known, clearly more talented people not so adept at promoting themselves miss out. There are incredible people out there paving incredible new concepts in art, music, performance and fashion but because they don’t go to the opening of every envelope or suck up to promoters, journalists and star makers, they miss out. I know I sound cynical but don’t like to see the talent go unrewarded or unacknowledged.
As for me, I know I’m not the greatest artist/singer/DJ out there but confident that I’m better than some of the dross. I’m a long way off from being old mentally or physically (though my Hyper Mobility Syndrome is getting worse and restricts me doing certain things) but I’m not going to chase jobs by schmoozing and going out in a look every night just to be seen. I’ve more than paid my dues. Yes I use myspace and the like to promote my wares but I’d like to retain a little dignity.
I’m far from perfect but it can be disheartening to be overlooked for jobs when I try my hardest at everything I do. This is an admission of vulnerability that a strong woman like me perhaps shouldn’t make on a public blog but I’m human under the façade.
In December 2007, I was listed as one of the Sunday Times Style magazine’s favourite celebrities, wedged between Anya Hindmarsh and Roberto Cavalli. While it’s flattering to be mentioned, it’s not a reflection of what my life constitutes. I shop at Lidl (great fruit and veg but their bread is shit), the only Mercedes I travel in is a number 73 bus and checking my bank balance is pretty scary. For the most part I’m very happy with my unconventional life of being an artist with little money, structure or routine but having to consistently chase random gigs here and there is tiring. I don’t want fame; I want to work and show people what I can do…….And perhaps maybe just a little recognition.
I learnt a lot about my work and myself as an artist in the last few months. For some time I’d been trying to force my Tranny with a Fanny guise (which was originally a concept piece that took on a life of its own and still regard it as human sculpture ala Gilbert and George) with my art practice but it never quite gelled.
Once I admitted that I’m vulnerable (difficult but incredibly cathartic) and human, my work has developed in an area I didn’t think possible.
My current work is delving into my biography and my final video installation was about a tree in Dinedor Wood where I lost my virginity, a humorous piece about a regrettable memory. I’ve spent years forcibly not going down the biography route as so many female artists do (and I didn’t want to be compared to Tracey Emin) but have realised that this is where my artist strengths lie and sod the possible comparisons. I’m only 31 and have a far more varied biography to work with.
I did a Masters to get a toe up my arse. I left my BA in Photography in 2001 and went to Vienna to be an artist (on a mere whim…it seemed a decadent idea at the time).
I needed some discipline in my work but didn’t really get that from St Martinis, an institute so laid back its almost horizontal. College alumni has a large list of successful artists but the teaching is pretty sloppy and seems focused on getting international students paying huge amounts to study there. The final show was really badly curated with hardly any staff around to assist during the putting up of the show. I could go on…
When I’d finished my ND and BA I may have been pissed off with certain members of staff (probably because I spent most of my time stubbornly fighting to be an artist and not a commercial photographer) but I left elated with what I’d achieved during my time there. I leave St Martins feeling disillusioned, disappointed and well…a bit naffed off.
We have been let out into the big wide world with no safety net. What happens next is ultimately down to the individual. They’ll be interested when a graduate wins a big award or is exhibited at some major event so they can boast yes, that’s one of ours. Finishing the course isn’t the high I’d anticipated.
Since completion, I’ve spent the last few weeks doing very little which is unusual as I don’t like being bored and always seem to be doing something.
I’ve wrote an article for Gazelland Magazine (Art Issue, due out in November), popped into London Fashion Week (a gross time when the nicest people turn into self important pricks), saw the Damien Hirst auction at Sotheby’s (more of which in the Gazelland article), watched John Waters live (funny but I wanted more gossip and didn’t really learn anything new), Francis Bacon at the Tate (sublime…almost made me cry), Eurobeat-The Musical (camp Mel Giedroyc is incredibly camp…very silly good fun…Poland were robbed) and loads of other art from the White Cube to the ICA (some great, some utter inane pretentious crap it amazes me how some of it gets commissioned/bought).
I’ve DJed a few times (all went quite well. No matter how empty the dance floor starts, I always get it going by the end. Very stubborn y’see), judged the first heat of London’s Next Top Tranny which was hilarious (Jeannie Dee was my winner and went on to win the final….well done Tranny) and nearly fell over on cake at Scottee’s Birthday do.
Actually that’s quite a lot considering I gave myself time off to do nothing!
So now what? I’m planning a new show which might be a variation on an old one and a few more DJ gigs (something I’ve done on and off for 14 years. I’m not just another wig playing CDs thank you very much. I love music too much to sit at home listening to it on my own). I’ve a few art people to chase and need to start applying for grants and exhibitions.
I might be a bit disillusioned with the MA but need to use the momentum I’ve got to keep creating……while trying to get work in these “not what you know but who” times. But more about that another time…
Straight after, the London 2012 Party on The Mall is now on.
It being hosted by the BBC, they’ve chosen some of the most mundane, safe British acts to ‘showcase’ British talent; The Feeling, Will Young, Scouting for Girls, Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins (whose screeching goes right through me), James Morrison and Heather Small will no doubt be wheeled out soon.
London is one of the cultural capitals of the world and we’re going to have the world’s eyes on us when we host the Olympics in four years. We’re not going to have the budget the Chinese have spent on their amazing opening and closing ceremonies but are we going to play it safe just so we look nice and respectable? Who actually organises the acts for these things, the same people who book the acts for The Royal Variety Performance? Nice, middle of the road acts that Grannies and middle class suburbanites approve of?
Where are the edgier British acts? Wiley, Estelle, and Dizzee Rascal have spent time high in the charts recently, where are they? Probably too ‘urban‘. What about Girls Aloud (too sexy), Amy Winehouse (too risky), even Radiohead or The Klaxons (too experimental).
Sending Leona Lewis (who yes has a great voice but is blandness personified) over to Beijing sums it up really. Nice symmetry that she’s from Hackney (the hosting borough for London 2012) but does she really represent British creativity and talent? She doesn’t write her own material, performs paint by numbers ballads and came from a televised talent competition which typifies how talent is cultivated in Britain right now. Athens closed with Bjork. Nuff said.
Come 2012, I hope that London is able to show the world that we’re not all nice, safe, manufactured and dull.
The Olympics has already destroyed the warehouses in Stratford where many creatives lived and worked, Hackney galleries are going down and the regeneration going on in the area is forcing poorer people out of the area to make way for fancy apartments and soulless shopping centres.
I hope not but I feel we’re losing the edgy diversity that brings artists and creative’s from around the world to London in the name of a three week event that might end up embarrassing us.
For now, lets cringe to Scouting for Girls doing ‘London’s Calling’ and The Feeling performing Bowies ‘Heroes’…..
Getting the validation of the press is not on my agenda but if the Sunday Times have listed me as a celebrity (something which I certainly am not...yes I ride a Mercedes on a daily basis...it's the number 73 bus), surely a little mention in the queer press wouldn't go amiss.
As I don't aim my work at a singular demographic (in an aim to appear accessible to all regardless of sexual , gender or cultural predilection), I guess it's tricky to 'pin me down'. I'm a mistress of many trades, endorse non conformity, fabulousness and not an artist revelling in "wimmin's" issues or a singer/songwriter warbling about an ex, cats, Birkenstocks and mortgage payments...
Anyway....g3 magazine (a free monthly lesbesian publication) finally came 'round and asked me to write an article of my choosing. I decided to write about sexuality. Its in this months issue on the penultimate page.
Defining and labelling sexuality can be a tricky affair. It took me a long time to come out to myself. I spent years trying to be conventionally heterosexual and despite being in the Army where there were gay girls a go-go I denied my lust for the ladies out of fear.
After leaving, I rethought what I wanted and decided to live my life for me by not conforming to anyone's ideals and have done ever since with my career, lifestyle and sex life.
Most of the time, I identify sexually as 'queer' or simply 'sexual'. I don't want my sexuality pigeon holed as I consider it to be undefined. I don't consider myself a lesbian. I may currently have a female partner but would never rule out being with a man again. I prefer candy floss to lollypops but why exclude any types of candy at the sweetshop? Unfortunately I've known women who identify as lesbian be rejected by their community when they have an affair with a man; their gay gold club card ripped up and are booted out of the sisterhood.
Calling yourself bisexual is less definite but can raise mistrust from both hetero and homosexual communities. The term suggests that who you are having sex with is temporary and you'll eventually revert to the other gender, so that label doesn't suit me either.
I believe as human beings, we're bisexual by nature. How far we slide up and down the scale of gay and straight as a lifestyle is down to personal choice or social conditioning. I've heard gay men and women say they'd never, ever go with a member of the opposite sex as if the suggestion is repulsive but it's hard to know if this is because of genuine preference or sexual politics.
I applaud and support those who continue to assert gay rights and equality and am grateful that I live in a time where I can pretty much be who I want yet perhaps its time for a new 'ism' to describe indistinct sexuality. A term that says "I have sex with people I fancy and want to, not by what is expected by my lifestyle". But then again, should it be necessary to define ourselves for others?
I'm very out about my ambiguous sexuality and by being so, can hopefully encourage young people questioning their sexuality that it really doesn't matter who you let near your nether regions. You don't have to conform to stereotypes or rules and you call yourself whatever you want, just be safe and ideally happy.
(Click to enlarge)
I finally handed in my Masters thesis two weeks ago. Its title, 'The Insanity of Modern Celebrity' is named after a series of shows I've performed about the subject of celebrity culture (next part, 'Deluded' premieres at Bistrotheque on Tues 17th). Celebrity culture is something I've spent the last two years critically studying so think I'm well placed to have an informed opinion on it.
Last night I was 'Wardrobe Mistress' for the dressing up box at Smash N Grab night at Punk which is known to be frequented by celebrities. (I must here make the distinction between a star and celebrity, the former often being known and celebrated for their talent or achievement, the later for lesser accomplishments).
Early in the evening, a group of tourists came over to have their photo taken with me ("Ooooh Tranny!" It makes for a 'look what we saw in London photo' I guess) and later in the night one of them slid up to me and the conversation went like this;
Drunk tourist girl: Where are all the celebrities?
Me: Excuse me?
Her: Where are the celebrities?
Me: Is that why you came here tonight?
Her: Yes. Where are all the celebrities?
Me: Hun, I find it really quite sad that you came here just for that.
Her: But where are theeeeeeey?
Me: Probably at home, avoiding people like you.
So rather than go out with the intention of having a good time and enjoy London with her friends, she went to the venue just because she thought there was a chance of rubbing shoulders with someone who appears in the press. Wow.
Model Agyness Deyn was in the club, having a boogie and night out with her mates. For some reason, some people were heckling her. Just because she is a famous, isn't she entitled to have a knees up like the rest of us? At kick out time, she was a little worse for wear and the paps outside went into a frenzy, shouting and snapping away. A TV camera turned up out of nowhere, two mopeds chased her car and the whole spectacle was quite unnerving.
In my drunken state (I'm not much of a drinker but free drinks make it too easy), the whole thing made me angry and shouted "leave her alone, get a job or a conscious you fuckers". How butch.
Photos of her leaving the club appeared on the front cover and inside today's The London Paper (a daily free paper whose centre pages feature celebrities). It's bizarre to witness something quite inane being published as so-called news.
The abundance of celeb based media seem to focus on a core group of London party girls at the moment; Lilly Allen, Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn, Kelly Osbourne, Peaches and Pixie Geldof, Kimberly Stewart (two of them models and the others famous by association) and of course Amy Winehouse (who certainly has talent but its sad she's doing the Billie Holiday/Janis Joplin model of destruction). Kate Moss used to have a mysterious air about her but seeing her so often in the press in these celebrity obsessed times, she and those like her loose their sparkle and what makes them publicly interesting in the first place.
Of my least favourite professions, the paparazzi are up there with traffic wardens and those people who check peoples tickets on the bus (who gang raid London's bendy buses and appear to take great pleasure in pulling people off who haven't swiped their Oyster cards. It's ridiculous how many police they have with them. Their services are required elsewhere, not standing around bloody bus stops). It could be said that they are only just doing their jobs but they have a choice. I studied photography for five years and no amount of money could persuade me to hang around outside clubs and hunt celebrities for the possibility of getting 'that' shot bought and published by the press.
I was photographed by the 'razzi once in Vienna, they are such hateful and rude people. A gang of them aggressively tried to make me pose in ways that suited them so I walked off. I don't mind posing for photos but not when I'm barked at.
Why anyone would aspire to be papped and famous for merely being famous, without any kind of achievement baffles me. But as the new series of Big Brother has just started on Channel 4, it's obvious that there are many fervently wanting just that.
I've got so many opinions on all this but I just wrote a damn thesis about it and this rant is starting to turn into a prologue to it!
If you're in London on Tuesday (17th June), come down and see my new show 'Deluded' as part of Under Construction 3 at Bistrotheque. I'll lip synch, act, do costume changes and maybe sing for you!
DVNO is a great pop song and though its no longer seen as cool to like Justice because they’ve gone a little mainstream, I still think there are one of the best and most exciting musical acts of the new millennium. I find people jumping the Ed Banger boat just because they are reaching more people ridiculous. I guess its down to the nature of how music is shared these days, its so quick that there is always a new bandwagon to jump on. Gone are the days of trawling through record shops to find something months before it became ‘big, now its just right click and save.
Regardless, I remain faithful to Pedro Winter and his stable of fine fillies.
The main reason for filming was intentionally about the performance artists who stand on boxes on the South Bank and Covent Garden. I intended to go down and ridicule them somewhat but found once I was there in drag, I had a new-found respect for what they do (and hell, they make a lot of money so good luck to them). I wanted to concentrate on the audiences response to my presence and not me but this was difficult to get as once they realised they were being filmed, would act differently so I decided to refocus on me and did a series of vogue poses and cat walks.
Filming in tourist areas was a little 'safe' as there are many people dressed up and acting ridiculously so my being there wasn’t particularly fascinating. I suppose I should do it in places where folk like me aren’t typically prancing around, like Tumbridge Wells or Dalston market. Then again, I should probably go back to ‘her’ birth place and do it there, Vienna.
Holestar the artist has been around for about 10 years now but Holestar the Tranny with A Fanny (I should trademark that) is a mere 5 year old.
When I came up with and starting developing the idea, it was all about gender exploration and subversion, but ‘she’ became a fully formed character and took on a life on of her own. I refer to her in the third person as I, Holestar the artist is the Dr Frankenstein to my drag personae which is my monster, my creation, yet she is me and I her. She as a piece of work isn't specifically about gender for me any more. My initial intention was to question and play with what is seen and perceived yet the audience naturally still view my creation as a gender study which it is but not as much as it was (am I making sense here?)
Anyway...I've got a busy summer coming up; festivals, performance art, live gigs, an interesting new night that I'm involved with and finishing my Fine Art Masters. I'll keep you posted no doubt.
PS The public and private responses to my blogs are surprising. Its just me sat here spewing my brain out and is flattering that people actually read my nonsense so thanks!
I love men. Ever since I was 3 and befriended Spenser next door, they've always been my favourite gender to be friends with. On the flip…they are the worst when it comes to intimacy, relationships and sex.
I term my sexuality as queer or metamorphosexual (big nod to Annie Sprinkle). I don't wish to define my gender output ("I'm not a woman, I'm not a man, I am something that you'll never understand"…cheers Prince) or sexuality. I've known too many women who have been rejected by hypocritical lesbian communities when they have decided to have it off with men. I find this abhorrent and actively support anyone who wants to play with their sexuality as long as its safe, sane and consensual.
I guess society finds it easier to judge if you label yourself as one thing or another and while I tend to lean towards women sexuality, I wouldn't rule out a bit of boy fun.
Then again, I haven't had sex with a man for 7 years. I've enjoyed sex with men in the past but yet to find one who really does it for me like a women can.
I recently came out of a relationship and not looking for another at the moment but seeking a 'friend with benefits'. Someone that I can have a laugh and hang out with but not commit to and be able to date others. This seems like the perfect arrangement because if you set this out from the beginning, nobody gets hurt (unless one falls for the other and its not reciprocated).
For the first time in a long time, I find myself fancying a bit of man sex. Unfortunately, men and women are different creatures and messages tend to get mixed.
I had a fumble with someone recently that I probably shouldn't have and while in that kind of situation (and despite my Dominatrix day job), I tend to get a bit cuddly and slushy (I'm crippling the illusion that Dominatrix's are bitches all the time…truth is, none of them are. Sorry for destroying the fantasy ). This was read as me being more emotionally involved and wanted more when in fact, my loins were screaming out for a seeing too and they were the most available person that I trusted.
Men who have set out for a one nighter often get frustrated with women who get clingy after they've had sex, but they forget that for a large percentage of women, there is a biological thing going on where they feel attached to someone they've been intimate with even if they don't rationally see a future in a relationship.
I may be out of line here but men do generally think with their dicks. I believe that to be biological and not something to blame them for…just the way it is. Its there hanging around out front all the time…it's a matter of control.
Gay men have the casual sex situation locked down. The cottage/cruising/sauna culture allows men to have nameless, faceless sex without emotional connection. Unfortunately, the same doesn't exist for women (and I'm not particularly keen on places like the Candy Bar…I don't want to be forced to listen to RnB and funky house to get laid).
It makes perfect sense for people have sex with their own gender; we know our bodies quite well and are more likely to be able to handle someone's body that is similar to our own. Just because men and women slot into each other doesn't mean its going to be any good, we're different creatures.
I guess we all just want to be loved at the end of the day and sex is always better with someone you love but if you are able to have that at home with someone who understands that you want random (and safe) sex elsewhere, all the better. (Saying that, I've always been monogamous when in a relationship, doesn't mean I haven't thought about it though).
Now then…the reason why I initially wanted to write my own 'sex tips for boys who have sex with girls' was because of my own past experiences and a slight hope if any boys read it…they might go out and service my sisters better. A lot of men think they are the hotness when it comes to sex but a few tips can't hurt eh boys?
1 - Its always awkward to bring up in conversation beforehand but don't act like it might be more than a one nighter if you have no intention of seeing her after just because you're hard and want to get it on. Try and engage the brain for just a little while or it might be more hassle later.
2 - Kissing. Getting it right is a major bonus. I've often got more out of and have a better memory of a really good passionate snog than full sex.
3 - Do not put the girls hand on your crotch when you have a hard on. We're not stupid, we know you are excited, we'll get to it eventually. Only slightly worse than this is the clumsy pushing of the head to the crotch. Urgh.
4 - Some girls like a good hard shag. Some girls like it soft. Some like a bit of both. (I'm more of the later myself). Ask or work it out from her reactions.
5 - A large majority of women reach orgasm by stimulation of the clitoris. This is fact so learn how to use it. Biggest tip I can give you here is to read The Hite Report by Shere Hite. I've convinced quite a few folk both male and female to read this book and all have said their sex life has benefited. It should be taught on the international curriculum. (Hell, I didn't know my body was capable of 9 orgasms in one session until I read it.)
6 - You can ask her to do something differently if its not working for you. Unless she's a complete cow she'll respond to it and probably learn from it.
7 - Those women in porn who are screaming through mere penetration are being paid to put on a convincing show. Look at the close up, she's probably dry down there, ie she's not actually enjoying it. Get her steamed up before entering all guns blazing.
8 - Most woman don't care about the size of your knob as long as its clean. The G-spot is only a few inches inside so size doesn't really matter except aesthetically.
9 - Good personal hygiene is a must (unless you are planning to score with a crack head). BO or a cheesy knob is a major turn off. (My own are also ear wax, really smelly feet and bad teeth).
10 - Make some noise and not just the ceremonial grunt at the end. It reassures us you like what we are doing. Some girls like dirty talk, some don't but we all want to hear you are enjoying yourself. And if she compliments you, say something nice back, its only polite.
11- No matter how gorgeous she is, most girls have hang ups about their body. If you want to keep her perky and she’s uncomfortable about you touching her stomach/bum/tits/whatever, don't and aim for something else.
12 - Always play it safe and use protection even if she's on the pill. A trip to the clap clinic isn't fun and does sod all for anyone's self esteem.
13 - Don't roll over and go to sleep/get up and go home as soon as you've come. After working as a Domme for over 8 years, I've watched in fascination how quickly men change after the money shot (though not by my hand. I don't do any sex acts with my clients though they are welcomed to shuffle themselves at the end). Feeling regret or awkwardness after you've got jiggy with it is all good and well but behaving like a twat after makes the girl feel like shit and karma's a bitch.
14- We don't all want to marry you (though some girls do get a bit psycho). If we want a cuddle afterwards, its to reassure you still like us.
15 - If you are contacting her through a web site, sending pictures of your knob, calling her a slut, how you want to make sexy with her or using txt spk might not get you far. Men who are looking for casual sex out number women tremendously (you only have to go to a sex club or see the casual relationships section on gumtree.com to see by how much) so you need to make an impression to stand out from the other pussy hungry boys out there. A good head shot, some witty banter and interesting info about you is more likely to get a response.
16 - Girls who want casual, no strings attached, consensual sex are not slags. Social conditioning tells us that women are either whores or wives but this is a pile of outdated, defunct biblical arse and is unjust. Women are entitled to a good seeing to as much as men. Unfortunately, a common label doesn't exist for a man who sleeps around but plenty for women.
This is a new millennium and as long as people are playing safe, keeping it consensual and nobody is getting emotionally screwed, just physically…I can't see a problem.
I'm probably going to get a barrage of abuse but this is not a definitive list. And if you're offended and don't take this as the friendly bit of advice its intended to be….well you probably have a porn collection so vast that the idea of having sex with a real women scares the be Jesus out of you.
Right, I'm off to find a 'friend with benefits' and I don't care what it has between its legs!
I’ve never been a girls girl. My friends from a very young age have been predominantly boys, I find them more straight forward, less bitchy (though they can be terrible, straight and gay), direct, don’t play mind games and fun.
However, I consider myself a feminist. But a future forward thinking one.
I’m thankful and have the utmost respect for my sisters before me who paved the way for the liberation of women (though we still have long way to go for complete equality) but I don’t hate and chose to get on with things and go so far to elaborate, celebrate and intensify femininity in the way I dress.
I’d consider myself a street feminist. I’m more down with Paglia than Dworkin and McKinnon.
I like gutsy, ballsy, get on with and ‘be it’ women. Those who aren’t passive, personally or in the work place. Those who breed because they want to not because they are expected to, inspirational women who work in whatever way to make the world a more interesting place and those who don’t hate men or other women because of politics or jealousy.
Unfortunately, I don’t like around 60% majority of women I meet. I might be one, but I just don’t understand them. Maybe this is because I choose to surround myself with men. Maybe its because I fancy them and see women and see them in a different way. Who can say?
Despite this, I hate to see women getting treated badly. I’ve jumped in between a man aggressively arguing with a woman on several occasions. Sometimes thanked, sometimes getting a mouthful from the abused woman leaving me thinking ‘why should I bother?’
After performing at The Dirty Red Ball on Saturday (which went really well…see footnote) and walking towards the bus stop in Angel, I saw three young men verbally abusing a woman waiting for the bus. One saying he was going to punch her, another saying that she really wanted his cock and would love it, the other calling her a lesbian. I decided to sit next to her for moral support.
Once they started to move on, I asked her if she was ok and commented that they were childish idiot boys with brains in their pants.
She retorted by saying “Well if you’re going to do something, go and smash their faces in. Don’t just sit there”.
I didn’t know how to respond to that. I was just trying to be ‘sisterly’ and ended up getting a mouthful.
On Sunday I went to a photo shoot in Finsbury Park so decided to pop into the drag emporium that is Paks. I placed a can of hairspray, three pair of lashes, a comb and some wig caps on the counter and a voice behind me said “Why the fuck are you buying black products?”
I turned to a young mixed race girl and said “Pardon? Are you talking to me?”
She ignored me and then said it again. I asked her who she was and why she was giving me grief? She responded by saying “I bet you’re a middle class rich girl, got loads of money yeah?”.
Again I asked what was her problem, who the hell she was and would she please get out of my face.
She started muttering something and then started shouting “Yeah but no but” until the startled guy behind the counter told me to ignore her.
I was is shock and oddly disturbed when she walked off shouting “Yeah but no but” (chunky I may be but I’m no Vicky Pollard).
First off, since when is buying goods from a wig shop ‘black’? I’ve thought a lot about this and could write plenty but its just too much of an astonishing and ridiculous statement to question or argue.
Secondly, I come from a working class background. We were quite poor. Family holidays were spent camping in England, our first car was a second hand Morris Minor and we lived in crappy army houses. Who the hell she is to judge me and what difference does it make anyway? Finally, it isn’t anyone’s business what I buy. In my baseball cap and jeans, I don’t come across as a show girl but this isn’t anyone’s issue if I decide chose to use them myself or shove them up my arse.
After the shoot, I popped over to Shoreditch House to see Jonny Woo do some new material. I decided to keep my makeup on but put my ‘day clothes’ on to travel.
I got on the first train and a woman opposite stared at me with distain and tutted loudly. When I got a wig out of my bag to play with it, she snorted and moved further up the carriage, occasionally looking over and shaking her head.
Fuck the sisterhood is all I can say.
This is not representative of women of course. I just had three rather tedious run ins with women over the course of a weekend which tainted my view of them.
Women are generally envious and judge each other, something I believe to be naturally inherited. For the breeders, they want to appear the most attractive to get the most attractive mate to spawn attractive children so it makes sense that they are competitive with other women who may coax their potential mate away. But to be outright bitchy and unsupportive of each other, is it any wonder I’m not a fan?
I guess I’m a straight, gay man in a queer womans body if that makes any sense.
I don’t understand women, neither do most straight blokes but I’m flamboyant and camp like many gay men are. Yet I’m like any other woman. I bleed, am emotional, get a buzz from finding bargains when shopping etc
I get energised and excited when I do meet amazing women because I find them inspirational and stand out from so many dull, submissive, manipulative and annoying women who either tow the line of what is expected of their gender or are overtly aggressive about it. (I dislike hardcore feminists as much as I don’t like anyone who is aggressively fanatical about any form of religion, philosophy or movement).
Women are amazing, beautiful, intelligent complex creatures but generally and unfortunately, I’m not down with my own gender.
The Dirty Red Ball was very much a female affair, you could smell the oestrogen and despite the above, was a great night. I performed in the cabaret room which without being biased, was the best room in the building. Jonny Woo, Dusty Limits, Barefoot, John Sizzle, burlesque routines and me.
I did a piece based on my recent break up with my partner. Very cathartic.
Started off with my entering the stage to find a letter saying “I’m breaking up with you” and breaking into the Thelma Huston version of Don’t Leave Me This Way (even though John played it just before I went on during the fire alarm going off…everyone loves a reprise eh?). This then mixed straight into The Supremes’ Stop in the Name of Love where I altered some of the lyrics to make them personal to my situation, then Kelis’ I Hate You So Much Right Now while tearing off the heads of flowers with my teeth and went into comedy hysteria. Through all this, the lyrics change from please don’t leave me, stop before you screw me up, anger and finally absolution. I’m heartbroken but its going to be fine and I’ll move on. So the last track of the piece was Doris Day’s Que Sera Sera. Nice to see arms swaying and joining in.
Really glad with how it all went and got a surprising amount of positive feedback.
I’ve told my ex about it and she found it fairly amusing. Yes we are friends and for that, I’m glad.
Writing and performing it has made me has confirmed that things do eventually get better after a break up and to quote myself ‘time heals everything’.
Just because I‘ve written it from a personal point of view, heart break is universal and anyone who has been through it can relate to it and hopefully, get a bit of strength from it.
Like always, I’ve a few things in the pipeline but I really must concentrate on my finishing my Masters daaaahling.
Holestar ND, BA, MA, (pending) DISCO
PS This is stuck to my wall. Funny but so so true.......
(Though next January and Feb I’m planning on going to Southern India. Anyone fancy it?)
I’ve been keeping my gig schedule low because I really have to knuckle down at college. I still not sure why I’m doing a Fine Art Masters but something in me is starting to make me realise why. St Martins isn’t the most disciplined of colleges and I find it hard to get motivated (though when I do, I tend to work like a workaholic beast…apparently a Capricorn straight) so I’ve had to kick myself up the arse and things are looking better.
I had feedback for the first draft of my research paper and was shocked to find it was good (and I quote from the report);
"This is a very satisfactory first draft! You write exceptionally clearly and with style and flair. Well done. You have potentially a very important piece of work here."
Shocked, yes!. I left school with a D in English and I’m probably the most least academic student on the course. I can’t get my head into thick theory and discourse (which probably reflects in the pop nature of my work and lines of creative enquiry). I try but tend to get bored after a few pages.
I personally can’t see the point of using flagrant words (which I see as pompous, pretentious and patronising) to discus or explain something when putting it simply is far easier to access. It may work for others but not for me.
I guess this is my gripe with the art world in general. I want to make art accessible but the language used to discus work and gallery texts are often written exclusively. Using jargon that is flowered with adjectives and nonsense that only the well read and artistically educated understand. What about thickies like me who appreciate and love art but don’t want to be made to feel excluded because we’re not up on our art philosophy and theory?
I performed as part of ’Lift and Separate’ at the V&A Museum. Yes, the V&A!!!
It was complied by Kat Heath and Eleanor Wdowski based on a play by Victoria Worsley about disgruntled underwear models. As I played ’Black’, I could be as snarly and pouty as I wanted. Ace!
The performance consisted of five ’models’ holding various vogue posses in a tableau for 15 minutes before breaking into a looped dance routine with a mixed classic and electronic soundtrack complied by Kat.
During the routine, we had the chance to break out of the line and walk about. I looked around at people in the space with distain and walked right into peoples faces. Was amazing that people stayed to watch the show and be engaged in it for the whole 30 minutes. We repeated it three times and glad to say, went well and was well received.
I shall be working with Kat and Ellie on another project soon and look forward to it.
I DJed at FOR3IGN! the following night which was fun. I had wanted to push the music in a direction that the kids might not have been familiar with but this proved not to be of particular interest so stuck with pop, bootlegs and remixes. Hey ho..they still danced and for a DJ (well for me) that’s what you want. I may not be the most technically gifted (though when I play on my decks at home, I can pull off confident smooth mixes that rival Sasha….) but I play good tunes. For me, that is what makes a good night on the tiles.
After the disco delights of Hoxton, I popped down to my good buddy DJ Tom Oke’s monthly night ’Edit’ at The Prince in Brixton (Tom deserves props. He’s very skilled technically and tops at tune selection….mixing up classic 80s pop and disco into the dirtiest French electro without missing a beat equals party satisfaction).
We had a rather bizarre experience at the Rex Club after which ran into the early hours. The main feature was being holed up in a hotel room with one of the most obnoxious people I have come across. Classic post party gossip fodder.
I popped up on ITV on Sunday in Inspector Morse spin off Lewis that me and my NYC Downlow chums did last Autumn. (Note: we are confirmed for Glastonbury and Lovebox Festivals this year….say bye bye to Lost Vagueness for your festival after-hours…….)
They cut a whole night shoot I did with the lovely Pia (cold…but was whisked to and from Oxford in a nice Mercedes so not all bad) and where we spent a whole afternoon having to shout "LOVE IS NEVER WRONG". So much money wasted on these things. Incredible.
The show itself was a dull two hours to sit through, just to see my ridiculous face for a few seconds. Every gay stereotype exploited to its extremes which was quite insulting. Maybe that’s why a lot of the ’gay’ was cut.
The end with the transsexual (played by Rachel Stirling who played a lesbatron in Tipping the Velvet…..not much of a departure in a related way) blowing herself up was quite hilarious though.
What else, ooh I had a call from The London Paper wanting quotes about self portraiture. I thought I’d be ’in’ it, not just quoted. I’d said something different to what was printed but I guess journalists have to alter to cater to their audience.
I’ll be performing at the Dirty Red Ball at Finsbury Town Hall tomorrow which should hopefully be full of lovely ladies wearing very little so I can have a good perv.
I’ve re-worked some classic songs about heartbreak (very cathartic) and turned it into something positive. I’d better go and learn the text I’ve re-written then.
Feeling better after my recent woohaas thanks. Getting back into it all is sorting me right out.
I'll be performing in 'Lift and Separate' at the V&A Museum (ooh check me!) as part of their Theatre Design exhibition.
The piece I’m involved in requires me to do a tableau and dance routine, be dressed in black leather, heels and to act like a pouty bitch…that I can do.
Friday Late: Collaborate at the V&A starts at 6.45 and we’re doing the show in the foyer at 7.30, 8.30 and 9.30. And its free!!
There’s loads of other stuff going on so should be an interesting evening.
V&A South Kensington
London SW7 2RL
'Lift and Separate', an audio visual performance installation by Eleanor Wdowski and Katharine Heath in the foyer. An installation with live DJ inspired by Victoria Worsley's play of the same name and the museum itself exploring contorted ideals of feminine beauty through a clash of period fashions and gender performativity.
Saturday, the very first day of March….I’ll be DJing some choice tunes down at FOR3IGN! In Shorebitch and comparing wigs with Scottee and Jodie Harsh. I’m on 12.30-2
And its also….FREE! But its worth making an effort to get past the delectable Dean on the door.
Bar Music Hall
134 Curtain Road
Living with a 5’ Stella swigging alcoholic is quite amusing (if a little tedious having to listen to her repeat the same things again and again. She's now clapping at Channel 4 news, twittering on about John Snow and that I could probably eat my dinner off my laptop.....)
Tip for the day-Don't do the "3" internet dongle thing if your room is in a basement flat despite them telling you "yes it will be fine down there". It doesn't. You will end up having to sit in your lounge listening to an alcoholic clapping at Channel 4 news……
PS Just as I’ve finished this, she’s screamed “cunt…bastard” into the air. My life is many things but it certainly isn’t dull eh?
December brought up personal and professional problems which was affecting the way I work but they managed to get sorted.
Unfortunately a new girl moved into my flat who had just come out of jail (I live in a housing association as I was homeless for a bit when I moved to London) who caused endless problems from day one.
Shady goings on, the smell of crack wafting through the flat, the banging of doors all day and night, fights and stealing my stuff. Then another moved in.
She is a prostitute (not that I judge what with my other line of work) with severe mental health problems, body dysmorphia, smokes heroin openly and is a former crack addict. Well she said former.
They both know each other and argue constantly, except the one time when I heard them doing a punter together while I was having a bath by candlelight…not for romantic reasons but because they had fucked up the light in there.
The first one (who shall be know known as Evil) bullies the other (Nutty) until she is a screaming mess, throwing things around the flat, breaking property and stabbing doors and walls with a knife.
I went to the olds for Christmas, Fuerteventura for my birthday and New Year and have stayed at my partners (more of that later) place since January. On the occasional night I have stayed at the crack den, it has been hellish.
One night they were slamming doors and screaming at full pelt from 10 until 3am in the morning.
They have no respect, empathy, consideration, manners or care for anyone but themselves. They have 7 kids between them, lord only knows where they are, poor things.
I first asked my housing association to move me in mid December and my Doctor wrote a letter backing it up. At first they wanted me to make an official complaint but I refused on the grounds that I feared my safety from Evil, Nutty and their dodgy cronies. It is now nearly mid February and its only now that they’ve started to take it seriously as apparently the neighbours have made complaints and police are involved.
I would leave the housing association but I can’t afford to rent in the private sector and if I stay in the system a little longer, more likely to get my own place.
I’ve tried to get on with my college work and had to do the colleges interim show at The Bargehouse (I got a nice little nod btw http://londonist.com/2008/02/_we_really_didn.php ) but with running all around London, having my computer in storage and feeling like I'm going crackers, haven’t achieved much.
On Sunday, I split up with my partner during our anniversary break away. I’ve never spoke much about her on here as that is part of my life that I wish to remain private but I’m devastated, on top of everything else.
I retuned to the crack den to find it a filthy mess, all my crockery, coffee table, glasses and mugs broken, my framed ‘Like A Virgin’ album stolen and the washing machine fucked.
I bought some milk and wrote “Fuck off and get your own yeah?” on it…being pretty fed up with anything that wasn’t nailed down being wreaked or stolen.
So when Evil finally arose from her pit with one of her chums and saw what I‘d written, she started a barrage of abuse and when I told her I wasn’t interested, to get out of my face and closed the door on her, she stood outside my door screaming and threatening me for another ten minutes. I can see why Nutty throws stuff around when she picks on her. Pure evil.
Luckily I’m staying with a friend for a bit so at least I’m safe.
Though I wouldn’t mind if Evil was bumped off. One of the nastiest, most selfish, ignorant, dishonest and ugliest people I’ve had the displeasure to meet. What sucks is that she has more rights than me.
The system and overt PC idiots help fuck ups like her who contribute nothing to society.
Nutty has just been allocated a council flat. They told me I would have to wait for a few years at least.
I sound like a Daily Mail reader but fuck em, I’m not a intentionally bad person and have remained crime free for most of my life (ok so I dabble in the occasional use of recreational illegal substances…though only twice since last summer) but reasonably decent folk like me don’t exist.
When I asked my Doctor recently if there was a way of getting subsidised massages (for my fucked up back), she said the only way was if I was a drug user or alcoholic. Nice.
So yeah…I’m feeling pretty down and have cried more in the past two months then probably 7 years (I’m not usually a weepy type). My Doctor yesterday suggested I go into the psychiatric unit at Hommerton Hospital but decided not to, those places make you worse, not better.
Mental health problems are something that people are often afraid of admitting to.
Having a broken leg, appendicitis or Hyper Mobility Syndrome (which is something I also have) are things you will probably tell others about but saying you have problems with depression is still quite anti social and taboo despite the trend of life coaches and therapists.
I was diagnosed with Dysthymic disorder after I had a breakdown and spent time in a mental health unit for nearly four weeks when I was 19.
Its something I have learned to live with for 16 years now (after having ‘episodes‘ since 15) and was told I was born with a chemical imbalance in my brain and that I’d often have periods of depression.
I have had some rocky patches ever since but have done my best to deal with it. I left home at 16 and have fended for myself pretty much ever since, I’ve dragged myself out of many a hole, learned coping mechanisms and been on and off the happy pills for a long time but sometimes being strong and necking drugs no longer works.
Those very close to me know about this but like I said, its not something one usually publicly broadcasts. My depression often hits regardless of circumstances (was very happy with everything last summer but had a brief woohaa then) but with all the above going on…I feel pretty shocking.
And I’m still expected to write a first draft of my Masters thesis in 16 days.
Yes there are always people a lot worse off than myself and at least I’ve got one friend who is willing to put me up for a bit. I’m a tough old bird and I know I’ll look back at all this and laugh, or use it for inspiration for something creative (seeing Evil on a crack buzz, moping yes moping her carpet while topless was pretty funny) but for now, its pretty damn shite.
I don’t want sympathy. I don’t know if anyone will have even read this far, I’m just sounding off and oddly feel a little better for writing a lot of it down.
Now I’m off to try and start that thesis.
PS Thank you to all the lovely people out there who have sent messages of support. Really appreciate it.
I showed a video piece called 'The Show (Inter-view 1)' where I interviewed myself. Quite complicated but it was a recording of a projection and live action of an interview between my drag character and a new persona (a mix of various TV presenters and subconsciously, my sister).
During the preview, I sat next to the video and dragged myself up. From creator to creation and sang every now and then, not addressing the audience.
I filmed the audience and was interesting watching them bemused, not knowing whether to applaud or what was performance. Something I'm going to play around with.
I invited a plethora of my contacts and the Londonist.com came and reviewed the show. Unfortunately, I agree with their comments about theory over substance.
I got a nice nod at the end...all good!
Read review here Londonist.com
I keep getting asked when my next show will be and at the moment, I've not got anything planned. I really need to concentrate on my Masters degree.
I've a few projects in the pipeline and will be back back back soon. Promise.
Oooh and the crack head situation is finally getting sorted...I think
Was a judge for the Trannyshack Drag pageant (really need to work it out this year ladies…) then it was over to perform with Jonny Woo, Ryan Styles, Booby Tuesday and Russella at Ministry of Sound for some performance art at ‘Nude’ which was conceptually brilliant and one of my favourite performances of the year.
March saw me premiere my show ‘The Insanity of Modern Celebrity’ at Soho Revue which was well received and glad to say, packed out. I repeated the show for ‘Bastard’ at ‘The Macbeth’ and sang a few songs. Different crowd but still went down well.
Upon returning, DJed on the main floor at Heaven, performed at Egg, MCed with the Pirate Soundsystem at Nude and played Dr Hannibal Lecter in Suppositori Spellings fucked up version of The Silence of the Lambs and continuing the man drag theme, competed in the Trannyshack Drag King pageant with a character called ‘Later Ho’s…geddit?)…and won.
DJed the final set in the main room for Button Down Disco at 93 Feet East (scary but had them jumping throughout..yay) then it was off Glastonbury Festival with NYC Downlow which was an amazing weekend of mud, Shirley Bassey, being shady in the Vogue Ball, disco, Ring Them Bells, zopoclones, photo ops, one in one out and working with one of the best group of people a girl could ask for. Devastating!
Had to pull it together to recontextualise and shoot ‘The Insanity of Modern Celebrity’ piece for the Left of Centre exhibition (you can see the dark bags under my eyes in the video) which ran until December.
Came runner up in the Bistrotheque Tranny Talent final with an edited down version of ‘Insanity’. Amazing how so many people can get rammed into that small space.
The Downlow regrouped for the Lovebox festival and a bit of Bassey action for Gay Bingo and then I promoted and hosted the Gazelland Magazine Nude issue launch party at Soho Revue which had a huge queue of chic freaks outside and had a packed dance floor until the lights went up. Hard work but a very good result.
I then had another party I’d organised on a boat for the GYBO 5th birthday party and managed to get an array of bootleg producers/DJs from past and present (Freelance Hellraiser, Osymyso, Soundhog, Cartel Communique and many more pirates of audio).
Back again with my Kamikaze Tranny sisters for a bit of TV work, a sing song at Turnmills and the True Grit festival, an interview on BBC radio London, Red Death at Battersea Arts centre, Studio Neon, early morning quick costume changes at Trade and a quick holigay with Dusty O to Spain.
December was a whirlwind of corporate gigs and of course, the Bistrotheque Tranny Panto ‘The Xmas Factor’ under the direction of Jonny Woo. It was tough run but taught me a lot about myself as a performer.
Christmas was a quick jaunt to the olds before going on holiday with my partner to
I finished the year by appearing in the Sunday Times Style magazine. Under Anya Hindmarsh and above Roberto Cavalli. Non too shabby. I’m writing my review of 2007 in my partners flat above a pub in Stockwell instead of my flat in Dalston because said flat has become a Crackney gritty reality and an unbearable place to concentrate, sleep and live. Annoying but hope to be out of there soon.
I’m writing my review of 2007 in my partners flat above a pub in Stockwell instead of my flat in Dalston because said flat has become a Crackney gritty reality and an unbearable place to concentrate, sleep and live. Annoying but hope to be out of there soon.
I’ve not got a lot booked for the early months of 2008 as I really have to concentrate on finishing my Fine Art Masters degree at St Martins as I’ve neglected my studies somewhat over the last few months and really need to get back on track…but I’ve some exciting projects in the mill and will be back. Oh fuck yeah!
Happy New Queer!
Pep Magazine (Hungary), GIB Magazin (Austria), Gazelleland (USA), Sunday Times ‘Style’, Love It!, QX interview, Boyz and QX front covers, BBC2, BBC London, ITV, Nuts TV and other bits and bobs.
Daft Punk at 02 Wireless Festival (Video)
Justice (saw the live sets thrice but the second time for the launch of D.A.N.C.E. at LA2 was the best)
Prince at 02 (second time better despite Chaka Khan not turning up)
Justin Timberlake – My Love (Original and Diplo mix) I know it was released in '06 but this was the year I loved it. The production makes my ears melt. I know its unfashionable to like Timbaland but the man is the poop.
Justice – Phantom 2 (Original and Soulwax Mix) All about the drop
P Diddy and Christina Aguilera – Tell Me (Switch Mix) Little on the Diddy-which is a good thing
LCD Soundsytem – North American Scum/Get Innocuous
MIA – XR2
Fergie – Glamorous (Space Cowboy Mix) Hate to have her name on the list but it’s a bloody good remix and the vocals are minimal
Voodoo Chilli - Look What You You've Done To Me
Kanye West - Stronger (A-Trak Remix)
Chromeo – Tenderoni (MSTRKRFT Mix)
Mr Oizo – Transexual/Patrick 122
Herve - Cheap Thrills
Go and support Ed Banger and BUY the album. A bit patchy (what the hell is Valentine?) but also my album of the year. DVNO should be a single BTW.
Ed Banger (natch)
Mr Oizo, Timbaland, Switch and Herve
Fuchsia. It’s lovely.
The Ed Banger party at Moonlighting. Dance dance dance!
Kavinsky EP release at Sin a close second
Hand slammed in door at Cafe Rouge=loss of finger nail for 6 months
Slip on banana and shaving foam at Egg=concussion
Dad’s Christmas Beef Roast
Parrots Restaurant in Sitges
Black and white sequined dress from Dalston market that I’ve yet to make a public appearance in.
Anthony Gormley at The Hayward
Fucking crack heads...
after a rather stressful December, I went away and had a rather nice Christmas and then on holiday to
Standing on a balcony watching fireworks in warm weather drinking pink champagne with someone you love beats fighting to get to the bar and avoiding wankers who want to pull your wig off in the city.
Had a very good time but our hotel was robbed when we went for a drive to the north of the island. We think it was staff as there was no sign of a break in and when we reported my partners phone missing, they said the last calls were made to Brazil and there were Brazilians working in the….fuck we can't assume anything but it's bloody annoying non the less.
Popped to see my olds after getting back (got lots of new gaudy frocks for a pound, love the charity shops of
There's been theft and violence going on and I can't stick it anymore so going to leave.
I've nothing against recreational misuse of drugs but having one 'flat mate' smoking heroin like its Golden Virginia and the other ex-con smoking crack with very shady company creating havoc is beyond what drugs, for me are ultimately about; having fun.
I lost too many mates from my rave years that ended up on smack after the criminal justice act ruined the party and club land went commercial. Crack and smack are selfish, anti-social evil drugs and do nothing but destroy the lives of the user and everyone around them.
I had heroin once and enjoyed it so much that upon waking the next day and wanting more, sat bolt upright in bed and shouted to myself 'never ever again'. I can see why people get hooked. Too nice but too fucking destructive.
My computer, decks and valuables are in storage thank fuck and I'm staying with m'lady for a bit so won't be online as much as usual.
Haven't had chance to return thanks for Birthday greetings (for those who remembered), college work (no gigs for a while as I'm concentrating on writing my Fine Art Masters thesis), upload new photos or fannying about on the net (haven't downloaded any new music for a month. I have severe withdrawal).
I'm a tough girl and will get through it but this year has been pretty shite so far, let's hope the bottom end of it is better eh?