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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Drag Wars 2018

 

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So recently I found myself back in my old university town of Cheltenham when I attended two out of the three shows of Drag Wars 2018 completion. Unfortunately I was unable to go to heat one due to being at Pride. This was the first Drag Wars I’ve attended, or any drag competition to be honest. The competition is a spin off from, Felicia’s Drag Race, done by my friend, Miss Felicia. The competition is run by Misty Monique. A Drag Queen with a unique and literally out of this world look who won Drag Race in 2015.

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So heat two consisted of serval acts for whom we had to use our tickets to vote for. To be fair every act was not only good but very different to each other. Some were just a bit weaker than others. Among them one shone out to me, Ophelia Cox, Gloucester’s youngest Drag Queen. A fantastic act with a few little tricks up her sleeve (or more to the point down her dress) and she has a great classy look. I was definitely impressed by her style and I loved the dress she was wearing. I was able to talk to her afterwards to find out the make and where to get one from. (Which I promptly did with a view of doing a Jessica Rabbit style photo set sometime soon.) So that was one of my votes used before I even saw the rest.

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Another of my votes went to Hevvi Flo, young, energetic, memorising. The show she put on was like nothing I’d seen before. The moves that she did on stage was amazing. It was clear early on that she was definitely a favourite to go through to the next round. The judges voted highly of her.
My third and final vote was harder to cast. I was torn between a few of the acts. True I could have cast a second vote for Ophelia but felt I should spread my vote. In the end my final vote went to Semi Colon, a woman that not only gave a good show but put across a message about accepting yourself. Ultimately and rightly (IMO) it was Ophelia and Hevvi Flo that went through to the final.
So a few weeks later I find myself back to watch the final. Sadly Hevvi Flo had to pull out beforehand due to illness, a shame as she was a favourite to win. There was also an act brought back, Astro, from heat one, who gave an enjoyable performance. Ophelia gave another good performance although it felt a little less snazzy then the first. There were still a few surprises in her performance however.
They were followed by the two winners from heat one, Ravenna Slayshon and Sage. For me personally Sage didn’t hit the right spot for me but the act was good and very emotional. You could tell it was very personal and I couldn’t fault it. Then there was Ravenna. Wow. This Queen knew how to put on a show. Dragged to the stage on a blanket pulled by four guys who then helped lift her up onto stage it was an amazing performance. For a little pub in Cheltenham it was almost like a show by Madonna or Gaga in a stadium. Her performance was faultless. Sadly, for me, her performance was overshadowed by a rather large and very vocal fan base.
So when it came to voting it was a no brainer. All three of my votes went to Ophelia Cox. Sadly however it was Sage and Ravenna who were the clear winners going thorough to the final stage of the competition. This then left me with a dilemma as it was hard to choose who to vote for in this round. Both were very good. Both deserved the vote. I held off for most of the voting time but eventually (maybe wrongly) my mind was made up by Ravenna’s own fans. Their antics and attitude towards the other acts had annoyed me and so Sage got my vote. Ultimately though Ravenna was the winner and to be fair she is going to be fantastic but hopefully many of the other acts I saw will go on to have great success. They certainly deserve it.
So that was Drag Wars 2018 and I loved it and look forward to Drag Wars 2019. There was an incredible atmosphere at both shows, and presumably heat one, with the place packed out. The final finished with the acts, judges and hosts performing Lady Marmalade. A fitting show stopper.
Already I have tickets for Misty Monique’s next show at Christmas, Oh my Drag – An X-rated Xmas.

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It’s going to be amazing and I’m looking forward to because like Drag Wars it will feature a Drag Queen who has become one of my favourites. No not one of the acts but Luna Lakes, Misty’s cohort and pre show host. She performed for the opening of the shows as well as throughout and was brilliant. Ok, I’m happy to admit I may just have a little crush on her. Her look is amazing as well as the persona and she just blew me away. The interactions between here and Misty make for a great double act. Even a live Facebook feed that they did together out of drag just shows how much chemistry these two have.
So not only did I enjoy the show but it’s also made me question even more where I want to go with myself. I’m still not sure if I’m Trans or just enjoy becoming female for a little time in an artistic way to take photos. I do want to get better with both my look and how I model myself in the photos. At present out of two hundred photos maybe only five or six I’m happy with. It may well be that I could be happy in doing drag. I already have a stage name in my head. Cherry Ade, cool yeah? (Well I like it). So this is something I’m going to look into. It’s not the first time I’ve considered it. Many years ago when in College I thought about doing drag but never did. Drag Wars has certainly proven inspirational.
So I have plans to get some professional help with make-up and to talk with Miss Felicia for some tips and I’ll see where I go. I’d love to have a look like Luna and Ophelia, except unfortunately older. Maybe sometime it’ll be me up there on stage trying to impress the judges and the audience without fainting. And I don’t think I’d even be that worried about winning. I’d just love to have the courage to have a go and hopefully not suck. All I’ve got to do is develop some talent first and judging by the acts I saw I’ll have some hard work ahead of me.

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Photos of Ophelia Cox and Misty Monique used with kind permission. Links to their Facebook site below.

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

https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheOpheliaCox/services/?ref=page_internal

Plus links to Miss Felicia and Luna Lakes

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbowfest, Worcester

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So last night (22/9/17) I went to my first LGTB event. I had planned on going to Gloucester Pride earlier in the year but family commitments clashed. As it was my first time I had no idea what to expect and despite my enthusiasm to go I had reservations. The fact that it took place on a Friday and I couldn’t get the day off work meant that I would be arriving late as the event started at four. So it wasn’t until I left work at half five that I decided to change into the clothes I had brought with me and actually go. Even on the way up it was still a case of thinking that any moment I may just turn back. There was friend inviting me out for a few beers locally and having to drive to and from Worcester meant that I wouldn’t be able to drink at the show.
Never the less I carried on regardless even though my Sat Nav itself seemed by universal force trying to stop me by playing up and trying to take me to different places to the one I wanted to go. The song ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’ playing on the CD as I try to reset google maps again never seemed so apt.
But I did get there eventually. Even if it did take an extra twenty minutes driving up and down a street trying to find the club. “You have reached your destination” claims my phone. “No this is someone’s house” I shout back and continue driving up and down roads. Finally the Sat Nav gives in and takes me to the right destination. I’m there, I park up in the car park. I sit there looking at the build watching various people come and go. I stay sitting there contemplating weather to go in or not.
I get a message from another friend who also lives in Worcester. She’s seen the Facebook message I’ve posted about getting lost on the way to Worcester. She wants to know what I’m doing there. I mention going to a club without going into details. I’m not ready yet. I tell her I’m not sure about actually going in or going home. She offers for me to visit if I back out, even a bed for the night. A second social invite. I’m in demand and here I am sat in my car undecided. My friend is five miles away by car. There is another problem looming. I need the loo. Really need the loo. Even if I was to take my friend up on her offer five miles is too far at this present time.
I take a deep breath and get out of the car. I make my way into the club. It’s just like a normal bar. There are a few people drinking, a couple playing pool. Some tables from the earlier events are now packing up. The show I’m here to see is in a function room next to the bar. After using the facilities I buy myself a pint and ask about tickets. I’m directed to a table by the door and I buy a wristband from the guy sat there and go in.
It’s not a packed event. There is maybe two dozen people there. I go to a table looking around as I do. Some of the guys there are really dressed up. Make up, dresses the works. They look amazing. I’m wearing gender neutral clothes, the only thing standing out on me is a pair of small double heart earrings I’m wearing. It’s good enough for me, I feel comfortable as I am.
There is a tent on one side of the room. Stood by a woman dressed only in bra, knickers and fishnet tights. A sign saying Roulette is there. £10 a go for anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes. Cuddles, Kisses, champagne and chocolate. Over the night I see a couple of guys go with her into the tent. I’ll admit I’m curious even tempted but hell I was nervous enough to come into the club, let alone into a tent with some girl no matter how cute she looks.
Either way I know the next day I’m likely to regret not going for it but also that if I did go into the tent I’ll probably regret that the next day. Life is philosophically screwed that way.
I watch the drag act on stage. It’s the main one I’ve come to see, the person is someone I know. Miss Felicia. I even get a wave when I get spotted sitting there. Miss Felicia does a couple of songs and that’s that act finished. Bloody sat Nav making me half an hour later than expected has made me miss most of the act. I’ve also missed the other act that I wanted to see. That had been on earlier. The banter from the Drag Queen who is the compere for the show is funny. The atmosphere in the room is very relaxing. Most of the people there are either acts waiting to go on stage or connected to the acts in some way so it seems a very disappointing turn out. Overall it seems very low key and the changeover between acts seems choppy. I get another drink from the bar, a soft drink this time. I enjoy the other acts that are on stage. The show goes on to eleven but I don’t plan on staying that long knowing it will take about an hour to get home. I give it until half nine then use the club’s Wi-Fi to input my route home. With regret I pry myself away and leave the club. I feel a bit gutted that I’m not staying to the end.
I race home. Luckily one I’m on the main motorway I know the way as my Sat Nav once again wants to take me off on further wild adventures indicating I should get off at every exit all the way down the motorway. I ignore it. I get home ten minutes earlier then google maps predicts. On a whim I text my mate. He’s still out so I think a few drinks are in order. We meet up and I end up having several cocktails, some shots and a short. It ends with pizza then bed. Overall it’s been a fantastic night.
But would I do it again? Going to a LGTB show I mean. Cocktails I will do every chance I get, no question about that. But yeah I would love to go to a show like that again. Hopefully the next one will be bigger and better but It was fun, it was relaxed and maybe something small like this is just what I needed to dip my toe in the water. No one gave a shit about what someone looked or dressed like. This is how life in general needs to be. I envy those people who are confident enough to get up on stage to do what they do. I envy those friends of mine that don’t care what people think and go with the style that they want. Even if I don’t like the look I’m jealous that they don’t worry about what people will think. I definitely worry too much. I look forward to Gloucester Pride next year, I’ll hope there is some other show that comes up sooner. Diversity in life is great and anything that celebrates that in such a fun way is great. Maybe one day I’ll have the confidence to go that little bit further in expressing myself. Maybe one day I’ll have the confidence to come out of that closet a bit. Maybe even the confidence to go into that tent.