I don’t know about you, but I am totally the kind of person who sometimes casually glances into windows when I walk by a house. Not in a creepy way. It’s not like I stop and cup my hand at my brow with my nose pressed to the glass, it’s just a turn of the head and keep on going. You know? I’m just curious to see how other people live. Besides, I kinda feel that if you have your drapes open at night with all the lights on then you don’t mind people occasionally glancing in at you. As a general rule in my house, unless its Christmas and I want you to see the lights on my Christmas tree, the drapes get closed when the sun goes down. I could never understand how some can live without any kind of curtains in the windows at all. Maybe that’s because as a kid we always had something up at every window. My mother would even hang a flat sheet in the window if for some reason there weren’t any curtains up (like when they were in the laundry or we had just moved).
I also look at other people out in public and try to guess (to myself, of course) what they’re thinking, what emotions they are feeling, where they are going, what music their listening to or even what their name is. You’d be surprised how much you can read in a persons eyes as they speed walk by you.
What do passersby see when they look into my eyes? Is it a never ending list of things I have to do? Is it a slideshow of some past performance? Is it a parade of wig heads with hairpieces I want to make? Is it happiness or melancholia? Kindness or a resting bitch? Gratitude or thoughtlessness? Can they tell when I’m listening to Fantasia or Purcell or a recording I just made?
Oh, yeah, I’m certain it’s easy to tell when I’m listening to Fantasia (whether I’m mouthing the words or not)! Overall, I think it’s very easy to know what’s going on behind my eyes. Whether you are talking to me or passing me on the street, you can immediately tell that my “drapes” are way, way…..WAY open. I tend to be too open, too trusting. I’m also a terrible liar. My closest friends know that if you want to know how I really feel about something just look real closely at my face. My eyes give it away every time.
I never really liked my eyes because they are so dark, like unchanging puddles of ink. I have always wanted some kind of color in them, any color. I can’t tell you how many pairs of baby blue, jade green, wolf grey or honey hazel contacts I have purchased over the years: Drapes. And when it comes to sun glasses, I like them big and jet black: Drapes.
I remember my first stiletto like I remember my alter ego’s childhood Easter outfits. I had shopped around for weeks trying to find exactly the right style and color. When I finally got them, I would stare at them in the closet and just couldn’t wait to step out in my fly new gear.
I was 24 years old and had only been dragging for about 1 year. Up until that point I had 1 pair of brown boots and 1 pair of black lace up platform boots that I wore with EVERYTHING! They were the largest of their sizes on a sale rack at Payless – no shame. But, at that time, I was discovering drag all by myself. I wouldn’t have drag mother for a while after that and my aesthetic was focused on looking “real”. The idea of “drag spectacular” wasn’t even on my radar.
When I decided that I needed to upgrade my shoe collection, naturally I went online. I searched for extra large shoes and stumbled on a website geared to strippers. I was done. I had never seen shoes like these before and no one was gonna tell me I couldn’t have them. There were kitten heals, high heals, high-high heels, stiletto’s, mules, sling-backs, vintage, platform, boots and pumps in every material, color and variation you can imagine. My mind was blown. I was like a kid staring at the world largest Easter basket full of candy.
After days of deliberation, I finally picked out the shoes that would be my very first pair of stiletto heels. They were black lacquer, lucite and clear pvc mules. They featured a 2-inch platform in the front and a 5 inch gold heel that was crowned by a ring of red crystals. And, I paid full price! My first performance in them was a lip-sync number to Queen Latifah’s version of “Lush Life”. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t hot as Hades when I hit the stage in them. Hindsight, however, being what it is, they were the tackiest kicks I could have strapped to my feet. If I were to come across them now I wouldn’t buy if they were free, but I will always think of them fondly.
So, it’s winter and leaving the house is painful. I actually can’t complain too much because here in Philly winter has been quite mild this year. We got dumped on with 2 feet of snow for 1 weekend, and then it all melted. If that’s the extent of the cold stuff, I’m a very happy girl. Still, I don’t like going outside when it’s cold. Winter sports are not my thing, unless I can watch them from my living room with a tall, hot, chocolatey beverage.
What the winter is good for is brainstorming. Being in the house so much gives me a chance to acknowledge and sit with every passing thought I might have. So many other times of the year my schedule is extremely busy and I just can’t think extensively about anything other than the project I am working on at that time. I spend lots of time crawling around my favorite inspiration generating website (vogue.com), I listen to and try on lots new music, and I write. Its like putting my ideas in an incubator to be nurtured, allow them to develop without interference, and let them hatch when the time is right.
This year, the heat in my head must have been turned up a little bit because ideas were growing like mad and I just can’t wait to share a few of them with you:
For the spring, I’m developing a “story-telling” salon called Under the Covers with Cookie, a one woman show based on the life and works of a LEGENDARY singer (sorry, not ready to reveal that one yet. hee-hee!) for the fall, and a Christmas show! There’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m really excited about it and have gotten many green lights already. Keep an eye out for my future adverts and if you are in the Philly area, come check one or all of them out!
One thing I can share with you immediately is the above featured image that I took this week while I was shooting a video and trying out some new music for Under the Covers with Cookie. Hope you like it 🙂