Truly, the last 2 days have been a blur. I can report that two days ago I performed twice - once I AM ENOUGH at the Diversity Center in Santa Cruz and then later that same day HOMO!sapienism on the UCSC campus for a very small, but exceedingly appreciative audience. Then yesterday, we left Santa Cruz at 7:15 am — drove to San Francisco where we had breakfast with an old dear friend of mine (who was only available until noon) - then to the hotel room that was being gifted to us by a huge supporter - the Holiday Inn @ Fisherman’s Wharf - a two hour nap and then dinner at a fantastic restaurant where the main attraction is their highly alluring and beautiful gender illusionists who dance atop a runway down the middle of the restaurant.
Now I am 3 hours north of San Francisco in the Anderson Valley in Booneville, CA which could not be more removed from where I had dinner last night. It is serene, bucolic and peaceful here. I am here for just under two days and will retreat here to my heart’s content, before getting back on the road.
There won’t be any pictures from the show at the Diversity Center, Santa Cruz’s Pride Center, because we need permission to post photos of the youth and even though a bunch are from behind the youth’s heads, I don’t want to risk exposing them in a way that would make them uncomfortable. The show was early, 1pm, and although I was awake and ready to go, it just felt odd to be doing a show that early (mind you I have one on Wed at 11:30 am) — so, I think the show went less sharply than past shows, but those who were in attendance, the youth, the organizer, my dearest friend Ryan and his friend and Kristen, seemed to feel the show was potent and effective and moving and inspiring and that it went like a shot - top to end.
This was one of the youngest audiences I have performed for 12, 13, 15 year olds watching me, drinking me in. I think I’ve said this before, but there’s such a difference between doing this show for that age group and doing for 18-22 year olds. Maybe partially, it’s the exposure to live theatre. But maybe it is the lack of maturity - understanding that things can be funny even in a serious setting. There was one youth in this crowd who was SO enthusiastic - each time I said something they appreciated they were smile so big or clap very fast. It was endearing and lovely.
The youth program organizer said that this time of the year is not the best for getting a big audience of youth. And she recommended my trying again next year. She offered to get in touch with the 13 GSAs around the Santa Cruz area and see if they couldn’t have me out sometime next year. That was very encouraging and positive. She said how important this work is and that she’s very glad I got in touch with them.
Some comments after the show: “You’re amazing. Thank you!!!!!!” and “I really liked your show.” and “I was suicidal two weeks ago and I called a hotline, the national one, and they weren’t helpful, but your show was so helpful and showed me how much I can do.
I let the organizer know what that youth disclosed to me and then went on my way.
Lunch. A walk around downtown Santa Cruz and up to the Recital Hall at UCSC for a semi-private performance of HOMO!sapienism. The audience consisted of my dearest friend Ryan, and three people he handpicked for this show. He had invited more people, but they didn’t make it. I was SUPER tired, but I gave the show my all. These amazing human beings hung on my syllables like they had nutritional or even fiscal value. I heard “Huh’s” and “mmm’s” at points in my pieces that had never been “Huh”ed or “Mmm”ed at before. It. Was. Delightful. To get that they were getting what I was saying and I was getting them getting it. Tremendous. It was such a fun performance. I can’t emphasize enough that it is never the SIZE of the audience, it is always their openness and willingness to go for the ride that matters. Thanks to Ryan, Jason, Allen and Nina for a great evening!
My evening in San Francisco. I was treated to a hotel, aperitifs, dinner and a show by one of my biggest supporters and life long friends. He wishes to remain anonymous, so I will just call him Alex. Alex read my blog back a ways about how things on tour are not all they’re cracked up to be and how I was eating a lot of Subway. He messaged me, “I’m taking you out when you come to town.” And did he ever. The restaurant is called asianSF and it featured GORGEOUS women - trans* woman - as waitresses and entertainers, dancers, lip synchers. They were phenomenal and soooooo sexy and super fun. I had unknowingly sat in the HOT seat — the seat closest to the runway stage. Two of the women crouched down to me during their sets, grabbed a maraschino cherry and fed it to me seductively.
**Waves herself down** You couldn’t pay me to believe these women weren’t biological females. Holy moly. It was a true, one of a kind, San Francisco experience. Thank you, Alex, so very much for the hotel, for the dinner and the amazing experience - plus, it was fabulous to catch up after so many years.
Finally, I’m writing to you from one of the most peaceful places that I know of on Earth. The people I credit for raising me to be an artist live on a large piece of land in Booneville CA. They have their house, a garden, two art studios (they’re both fine artists) and a guest house. Here are some photos of the property.
This is the land and this is the house and the art studio behind it.
This is the guest house they have, which I'm staying in!
It’s beautiful. And they are so chill. I got here, we had lunch and now it’s time for rest. I wanted to get this out to you before too much time passed, but now, indeed, it is time to rest. ’Til next time.