Light Up My Life
When the sun goes down, the birds find their nest, the squirrels squirrel away and the hookers hit Jarvis. The big city lights come about to illuminate the streets of the gay village and I rise from my coffin and head off into the illumination. And yes, I first brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack!
I am a night owl, as it’s been termed, and as a drag queen that may not sound too surprising. We’re known more or less for being creatures of the night, avoiding the day light and activity, damned forever to a schedule of late night rocking and rolling. Not true for everyone, but in my case, I am the quintessential stereotype.
This has been a huge portion of my life, dawning gowns and gadgets into the wee hours of the night, calling into work sick (with the Labatt Blue flu hehehe!) and stuffing my face with celery and lettuce desperately trying to replenish my fluids. Not that Keith Richards isn’t a character I’m willing to portray in face and voice, but I would at least like to permit myself the alternative!
I’ve always been a fan of all things strange and unusual, both visual and audio. It’s what I call the curse of the Aquarius. Aquarians like Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres, David Lynch and Babe Ruth have amazing gifts and birth rights at hand and have shared it so effectively and constructively, some even unwillingly.
When I was growing up most of my hero’s seemed to be Leo’s and Gemini’s. Madonna, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Bjork and a mad obsession for Annie lennox. Don’t even get me started on Carol Burnett! For a gal like myself living in a material world, in a world of stage and song, these idols have been of great influence and impacted my way of perceiving entertainment value.
You on a budget? Get down those curtains, rod and all and get on with your arrival Miss Scarlett! I very much wanted to be Madonna in my teens. Saying ridiculously provocative things and styling myself in the fashion of high glam street couture sure seemed like fun. It didn’t occur to me I didn’t have her wealth and mansion to hide away in and recover afterward, hehehe! But I used the multitude of rubber bands on my arm as Wonder Woman bracelet’s to repel put downs and criticism. I had too. I had to both wear that and defend myself and everyone else for some higher purpose. I was openly gay and openly fabulous.
My mouth was open and all sorts of forbidden things would come out. I also learned from Madge that being an original and paying tribute to the originals is absolutely everything. There is no greater joy for an artist to have his or her references recognized, heightening the feeling of intellectual artistic contact. If you know names like Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, Pamela Coleman Smith you have a friend for life!
They were surreal artists and had the most incredible imaginations. Sure, I’ve screwed up and over stepped boundaries on stage, my imagination has gotten me into trouble! I can see that more now as I’ve grown a bit older and become more aware of my surroundings and found my inner consciousness, to put myself in someone else’s shoes instead of moving full force ahead in my heels.
That’s a journey I’m happy to be on. The rewards of thought and patience are much more rewarding than being rash and intolerant. That’s sometimes tough because I often feel alone in this, to try to turn over a new leaf when people are so adamant about being perched on nothing’s branch. That the meaning of “taking risks” really means their are consequences to actions and they will be unwavering.
That makes me question what and who an artist is, who I am and where and when it’s appropriate to interfere with the words and vision, both my own or someone else’s. Picasso was in deep shit quite a few times with the landlord for drawing on the walls of his dwelling but when you think of it, that’s was what Leonardo da Vinci did repeatedly and found acclaim. Picasso drew furniture on the walls so it would not appear so empty, he was looking for a home to be a home and he used what he knew to go about doing just that. It’s all about when and where.
“The interruption of the journey because of right and wrong”. It’s best to obey the laws of the process with patience and understanding. If you find the words and vision of an artist disturbing you might only imagine what the host who shares these dastardly burdens might be thinking or feeling, what they’ve witnessed. It’s all so damn interesting!
The numbers I’ve done have been sick and fabulous, most I still adore to no end and I play over and over again the reactions of the crowd, and in Carrie’s mom’s own words,” I liked it! I liked it!”. The diarrhea explosion in my Christina Aguilera “Dirrty” number (tre gross!), the “My Birth” painting reveal at the towards the end of my Frida Kahlo art installation.
I was hoping to influence the people who were watching me like Madonna did, like Shirley and Annie so fearlessly have done. Also you can blame those damn delicious empanada’s at El Convento Rico’s for the Aguilera number, ha! These people have paid high prices and been to low places for taking steps into the unknown, but they’ve always given birth to freedom of thought, freedom of speech and freedom of action for others. It’s all just a little bit of history repeating.
This is an artists blog, an artists playground and a crazy fun place where you will see and hear a variety of things, both unknown and celebrated. These big city lights shine on all sorts of things, and it’s here where you will find them in all their glory. Into the nightlife! xox
Photos by: Donnaramma
Featuring: Michelle Ross, Farrah N Hyte, DJ Quinces and Brooke Lynn Hytes
About the Author
The beautiful and legendary Donnarama has graced the stages of T.O with outrageous costumes and comedy skits, and there is never a dull moment! A scene queen and Canadian drag staple, her dedication, pioneering originality and uniqueness have scored her numerous awards, bar titles and visits to therapy. Visit Donnarama on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/donnarama.italiana