A Promise for 2019

 

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Last year I was tempted to write a blog post about why I don’t do New Year resolutions. It’s mainly because sometimes when I set goals, especially time sensitive ones, I find it puts added pressure on me to complete, taking away some of the pleasure and taking short cuts. However I decided to write this based on a Facebook post I wrote for Christmas Eve.
You see a couple of weeks ago I received some bad news. Someone I knew had died. Someone I had once been close to many years ago but had moved away from. Recently we had reconnected on a friendship level, had meet up for a drink and a catch up. It was planned to do so again before Christmas and a date was set which, due to some selfishness on my part, I pulled out of. Maybe unsurprisingly I didn’t hear from my friend and had planned to rearrange for the 22nd. However that week I saw on Facebook she had died. I was shocked. It was out of the blue. It’s not the first time it has happened, many years ago another friend of ours also died suddenly.
But this time it felt different because this time there was a level of guilt. Because I was due to meet up with her and didn’t I missed that chance and now there is no second chance. So in my Facebook post I wrote about how we should always try to make time for the people who are important to you. Don’t put off that meet up or chat thinking I’ll get around to it in a week or so. Because you’ll never know when that chance might be taken away from you. But that wasn’t my main point of the post.

What I wanted to point out was life can be short and that we should grab it by both hands and just go for it. This is going to be my aim for the New Year. As mentioned there are things I’m working towards. To finish editing my novel and push to get it published as well as continue work on my other novel. To maybe work towards becoming a Drag Artist. Yes I have to find a way to get over my lack of confidence in order to get up on stage and a lot of work to do before I even have the look I want. Hell I even need to find some talent for something. The same as with the Trans issues I have and moving towards HRT. And then there is still the fact I want to get a different job.

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I’m procrastinating. I know this. I have been told this many times by many people over the last couple of years. I may lack confidence but I quit my job and went to Uni and actually got a degree. I went on this very blog from thinking I’d never post an actual photo of myself to one in full make up. And this was after going for a full make over and photoshoot. I need to get out of the comfort zone I’m in. Yes it’s scary and yes I might fail, fall flat on my face and get laughed at. But if I don’t try then I’ll end up wondering what if. A few people have told me not to worry about what people think. Be who you want to be and fuck them. Do what makes you happy.
So firstly to anyone reading, please don’t put your dreams and goals on hold. Work towards them and getting to where you want. But also help those friends of yours that are also struggling to make their dreams come true. Just having that bit of support behind you can make a big difference.
Secondly my own promise because this time next year I want to look back on this post and think yeah I went for it. Maybe I won’t transition but I’m going to head towards that way and see what happens. The same for drag. I need to buckle down and really learn how to do my makeup. To work on more confidence and find a way to try it. And there is a few other things I want to try out. On top of this is my writing. After Misty wanting me to write a review of her drag show (which she loved by the way) I want to do more. I’m going to be doing a review of the photoshoot for Trans living magazine. I want to get more articles and reviews published so it’s another road I’m looking at going down.
So Trans, drag, writing, job. Four main goals as well as a few minor ones and all the time working towards getting more confidence. Finding a way to express myself and who I want to be.
To my friend Elaine, This is my promise. RIP. To any readers. Happy New Year and may it be full of hopes and dreams.

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OMD – AN X-RATED XMAS

“IT’S CHRISTMAAAAAAAAAAAAAS.”
And that means one thing. The event I have been looking forward to for months even more then Christmas dinner with my family. Yes it’s time for The Luna Lakes Show.
“Wait, what?……… Oh right. Ok sorry. It’s time for….

MISTY MONIQUE’S OH MY DRAG PRESENTS – AN X-RATED XMAS SHOW

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Back in Cheltenham at the Frog and Fiddle for this amazing show starring five great drag artists. One of the best highlights was that Miss Felicia was added to the line-up after I’d brought my ticket so for me it’s was a case of icing on top of the cake. On top of this Misty actually asked if I was going to write this review as she had loved the last one. I had already planned to but it gave my confidence a great boost to be asked so thanks Misty. We’ll get to the acts in a minute but let’s start at the beginning of the night.
I needed to drop a present off for Miss Felicia, she has been so supportive of me with things over the last year I needed to say thank you. I had hoped to give the present to one of the staff to take through for me. No, Instead I actually got taken backstage where Felicia introduced me to the rest of performers. Suddenly being in the presence of so many artists that I admire, I must admit I got a little tongue tied and probably bright red which is not the best when you have ginger hair. So much for that new confidence. However it was one of the highlights of the night and just a note to future me… ‘If you are ever asked to hang out backstage again do it you bloody moron.’ Anyway back to the show.
Whereas Drag Wars allowed some of the drag artists who were judging the competition a little time to perform it was mainly about finding a new Drag Queen, tonight we got full sets out of the artists involved and Misty had put together a line up where every artist was different to each other. Let’s start with Isabell End, last year’s Drag Wars winner.

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She performed a little at the final of Drag Race but tonight I felt I was seeing the real Isabell End. She is what I would consider a traditional Drag Queen taking us through some familiar Christmas tunes even if the words were different and, how should I put it, not exactly child friendly. Ok they were as blue as the Tardis on my Christmas jumper. And I’ll never be able to look at my R/C Dalek in the same way again after what she did with one on stage tonight. But she got the crowd singing along, was extremely dirty and above all very fun to watch. The first part of her act she was very Kate Bush so it came as no surprise that one of her numbers was Wuthering Heights, a brilliant performance.

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Now let’s talk about my friend, Miss Felicia. Of course I’m going to heap on the praise here but rightly so. When I told her that I’d be writing this review I told her that she would be fabulous tonight and or course I was right. Her style is very much in line with Lady Gaga only with a bit more humour thrown in. Vary adaptable to any hiccups that comes along and very quick with the retorts as well. But she also did two rather nice and meaningful songs that were very personal to her. A slight insight to this performer that it just made my estimation of her raise up a few more notches.

Oedipussi Rex. I just don’t know what to say here. Ok I’ve seen a few drag artists but I have never seen an act like this. The first part of the act was a pseudo magic act, swallowing light up fire wands and blowing glitter over the audience and using fairy lights in a way I’d never imagine. Having travelled all the way from London to do this show I felt we were in for something special and I wasn’t wrong. The barbarian show that she did for her second act was funny, inventive and as far as I know totally original.

So that’s the guest artists out of the way lets go for our two hosts. Of course we have the talented and gorgeous Luna Lakes.

 

At one stage during her act she came up close to me, I felt like a rabbit caught in headlights and I forgot how to breath. She’s hot (literally apparently as Misty says she sweats more than meat on a barbie during a heatwave)
But who can blame her with the amount of energy she puts into her routines dancing around the stage. All joking aside I love her act. She has great comic timing, her lip sync is spot on. Her look is flawless. Luna as a character is so believable. If I could become a drag artist myself I’d probably be in the same vain as Miss Felicia, Isabell End and Msdemeamer. That’s the type of personality I have but in my heart I would love to look and perform just like Luna.

As for the chemistry between Misty and Luna, which I mentioned in the Drag Wars post, it truly is something special to see these two together. If Dec ever follows Ant out of the jungle then these two should be the new hosts of I’m a celebrity. No scratch that. If the rumours of Ru Paul bringing Drag Race to the UK is true let him stay in America and let Misty and Luna host it. Watching her and Luna together performing Santa Baby was definitely high on my list of favourite parts of the night.

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Finally let’s talk about our host then. The equally talented Misty Monique. She has a fantastic presence on the stage weather its introducing the acts or performing and it’s not just down to the outfits she wears. But that’s not the great thing about her. This is the sixth show she has put on this year and three of those would be Drag Wars which in itself must be a phenomenal amount of work. She has to put in so much time and effort into this. Tonight’s show was on the whole amazing. Yes there were a few unrehearsed moments such as the final number of Last Christmas with all five artists. You’d think one of them might actually have known the words to the verses. But really this just added to the fun of the night. Add in a quick lip sync battle between three of the audience about half way through, of which I was too terrified to volunteer then jealous that I didn’t (bear in mind a, I was on soft drinks and b, probably would have emptied the room)
I can’t level one bit of criticism at this show. The audience loved it. I loved it. The atmosphere was great and if I do nothing else this Christmas I don’t care because this was the best thing about Christmas this year. And the artists are so friendly, the nicest people on this planet.
Not only can I not wait for next year’s Christmas show but I can hardly wait until February for Misty’s next show. I’m hooked. Happy Christmas everybody.

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Ok I think that’s good enough, Can I get some free tickets now Misty? Misty? Misty?

Links to these fabulous artists because they deserve recognition. Also I must make a small correction to the above. I have since been informed that Isabell End is also a residential act and not a guest. Which is great cause I’ll get more chance to see her perform again.

https://www.facebook.com/themistymonique/?ref=br_rs

https://www.facebook.com/Miss-Felicia-215562955978/

https://www.facebook.com/delunasional/

https://www.facebook.com/BellEnd17/

https://www.facebook.com/oedipussi.rex.9

 

The Photoshoot

 

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For a couple of months now, still in a bid to discover myself I have been looking into doing a more professional makeover and a photoshoot. After a bit of research I went for Girls are Us situated in Bristol, run by Jenny Wave, a qualified make-up artist.
As she offers both make up lessons or a makeover and photoshoot I was unsure which option to go for. I really need some more help with doing make up but the chance to have a proper makeover to see what was possible was too big to miss and I definitely wanted photos of the day so with a quick conversation with Jenny we went for the latter option. I figured if all went well I could book lessons in the future.
As this was my first time I had no idea what to expect and I admit to being nervous. Jenny however was very friendly and as we chatted over a cup of tea I felt my nervousness quickly dissipating. She was very good at putting me at ease. Jenny is really friendly with a good sense of humour. The tea wasn’t bad either. She gave me a quick tour and then allowed me some time to change into some of the clothes she has. After choosing a nice dress and a pair of shows I fell in love with, and that she was lucky to get back at the end, I was ready. A complement from Jenny on my choice of style really boosted my confidence.
With this done Jenny began on the make-up. This was understandingly a long process which much more time and effort going into it then I had ever done myself. Jenny explained the different processes as she went on. At times there was moments where I had to stay still, something I was very bad at but Jenny has plenty of patience. The worse part was when she had to apply the eyeliner. I have never been able to do this bit myself and am very sensitive around that area. All the time I was sat there I was not allowed to look in the mirror. This was left until the very end.
The result was a bit of a shock as well as amazing. I had an image in my mind on how I look after doing my own makeup. What I saw in that mirror was a completely different person. I was totally lost for words and it was a moment I’ll never forget.

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After this it was time for the photoshoot. That was a lot of fun. Jenny has a room set up for this complete with backdrop and lighting. Several shots were taking from different angles. I also, under direction, was able to try and different poses with Jenny being able to give me tips on what works and what doesn’t. Time flew by with a costume and wig change during the shoot. It just didn’t seem like two hours had really past. We had a quick look at the photos at the end of the session, after I had changed back to my own clothes, and I was pleased with the results. To have more time for photos I elected to travel home without removing the makeup. That in itself was a nervous but freeing experience. It’s not the first time I’ve driven in full make up but not that early in the day and in busy traffic.

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All in all it was not only fun but very eye opening and certainly something I was glad I went through with despite my nervousness. I picked up a lot of tips as well as learnt more about myself. It is an experience I would recommend to anyone thinking about it and I would certainly recommend Jenny.
A few tips then for anyone thinking of booking a session with Jenny.
1) Communication. Make sure she knows what you are after so that the session can be tailored to suit your needs.
2) Enjoyment. You are going to get out what you put in. You’re paying for this time so use it. So remember to enjoy yourself.
3) Deodorant. Use some or take some with you. Jenny does have some on hand but you may prefer your own. It gets warm during the makeover and Jenny has to work very close to you.
4) Anticipation. Definitely don’t be tempted to take a sneak peek during the make-up session. That reveal at the end is an amazing experience by itself.
5) Above all preparation. Make sure you are ready for this. Being clean shaven on the morning of the session is a must. As is taking a memory stick with you in order for Jenny to send you the photos (luckily I had one spare in the car) Taking your own clothes is allowed so make sure you take anything you wish to wear if you have an outfit in mind.

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So after all this did I find what I was looking for? Not quite. As amazing a job Jenny did when I looked in the mirror it didn’t feel like me. I think however this was more down to the wigs, when I wore my short red wig home I felt more like me. But I do want to go back again. I still want the lessons and I do want another photoshoot now I know what to expect. If Jenny is willing I’d love to try out an eighties style look and maybe a bit more on the drag side.

 

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