Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Quick Hello!

The Aussies have a saying - It's all on for young and old! How apt this is for my life right now. So much happening, some I can't share as yet (but soon!), but mostly I am trying to deal with it through a bleary fug of the Lurgie.
It's a horrible permutation. Unlike the usual "I'll just start in your head and move down to your chest in a couple of days" this one has taken my entire respiratory system by storm simultaneously. It was a gift from my lovely husband too, which is quite good really as he is already OK so I know I technically only have two more days of this to go!
Yesterday we had an afternoon cabaret which was about getting good video footage of the acts, with some audience for ambience. I was very moved that my mum and dad and dear friend Pam came to see it - Mum loves a good show but late nights are not her thing any more. Also excitingly my stepdaughter Sarah and her fiance and his parents all came to Wellington for the weekend and decided to come to the show as well, after a morning at Weta Cave. So really it was a family affair!

My makeup game was great yesterday and I had five costume changes, and two hair changes. I think I win the pro award too because my mother didn't realise I had the lurgie! She has such a radar for that kind of thing too. Ah, the slap that transformeth the face and fooleth the world.

Photos will be forthcoming as the ever amazing Ngahuia was present along with Andrew the video magician. He had cameras on tripods set up on tables all over the place. Should be interesting!

In closing here are two very bad selfies of my makeup mid application. Warning: eyes designed for huge lashes before lashes are applied look seriously weird!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Outtakes from the 'Hood!

People I carefully selected the first round of photos, for glamour. This one I've selected because they are silly. And not always flattering. I love these kinds of photos.
 Bah, I'm getting cramp in my left leg!
 To know me in real life is to understand that my tongue is a mobile and offensive weapon.
 Our gate. I love this pic but not the way my bolero has parted company with my shoulders. So vain!
 An interior shot at the laundromat. Nga and I are both generous souls and we carefully thumped and leaned on this washing machine to make sure it was strong enough to take my weight. It coped very well.
 I just love this photo for its perspective. These old shops at the top end of Cuba St were all relocated from when the new bypass was put in, so it is charming in a new and 'put together' way that the original ramshackle hodge podge wasn't. I am a little sad about that, actually. But I am standing outside a wonderful jewellers, his name is Jeremy and he is a total sweetie.
 Another from inside Marthas. I call it "Pretending to be interested in hats" which from my hairdo, I clearly am not.
 Through the window of Marthas. I was actually pretending Nga was paparazzi and trying to shoo her off but I look like a prisoner trying to hail down a potential saviour!
Oh dear. The one setting I had planned was me draped seductively on the concrete couch outside Comfort Hotel. Made by Weta Workshop, it is heated and looks so comfy. IT IS CONCRETE. IT IS NOT COMFY. I could not find a position I could hold for more than 10 seconds without pain. This was the end result. It's the only one where I just look like Jabba the Hutt, instead of Jabba the Hutt giving birth.
But please don't take that a the voice of upset - I love it, it's the hilarious side of photo shoots and why I can be bothered with them, because that's what makes them fun!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Hanging in my neighbourhood.

On Sunday I got a bit Frida Kahlo sans monobrow, and headed out with my favourite photographer Ngahuia from Ataahua Photography, to get snapped in the Cuba St quarter of Wellington.

 This is in my building, on the exposed walkway. I cannot reach my foot, no surprises!
 At ground level, the very dark shape in the distance behind me is the rubbish skip. Such a glam life!
 One of the many muralled walls in the area. To my left and up a floor, some students were drinking tea in their flat and sending encouraging waves to us.
 I don't know who lives there, but I felt the need to get in!
 Perching on a working washing machine in the laundromat. Oh the shame of being caught!
 Taking a break in Martha's Pantry, a delightful tea shop en route. The staff were very enthused and lent me a fan and a tea service. Isn't the light in there just delicious!
 This is Doc. He turned up on his bike and asked to be in the photo with me. He used to live in this place and assumed I now did. Such a honey!
I love this shot. It is outside the Salvation Army's headquarters on Cuba, with these big pillars, so great to lean on. 
It was such a lovely afternoon. We got as far as the Comfort Hotel and stopped for coffee and noms before traipsing back the three blocks covered to my place.
I love my city! I mean this larger than life woman in a FULL ON sequin dress, on a super sunny day so totes dazzling, and crazy drag makeup just wandering around being photographed, and everyone is beaming and saying nice things! I felt like a star!
It's also nice to have some great photos of this dress. It has been a bit upstaged since I discovered the strapless dresses and the peacock thing, but really it is divine. Isn't it?
And my lovely friend Kate gave me these earrings, the last of several gifts of fantastic earrings by jewellery designer Colleen Toland, from the 90s. They are huge and showy and just perfect for Constance.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pavlova Paradise

Happy Easter!! This evening we have family and friends coming for dinner - in New Zealand Easter dinner is traditionally roast lamb and a mighty leg of some poor wee fluff ball is roasting in the oven as I type, with sprigs of rosemary and slivers of garlic inserted into its flesh.
It is also an excuse to make a pavlova! Long term readers will know that I love making pavs. They are a teeny bit show offy, and very cheap to make so that's got to be a good combo.

 Here's an action shot of the Kenwood making light work of whipping up the pav mix.
 This is it just out of the oven. I must say it is one of my best - kept its height even after cooling.
 Here's the omega plums just out of the oven. Cut into eight slices each, sprinkled generously with coconut sugar and roasted. The delicious, thick jus I drained into some poached rhubarb to serve on the side.
And here it is! Cream on just over half of it, the plum slices now chilled, and blueberries. I love red and purple together as we all know, and in food as in life. ;-)
A smoked warehou pate for starters and we're all ready to go. Just waiting for the guests to arrive.
Happy Easter!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Je Suis une Rockstar

More show photos!  I am actually making a real dress for me and have several other projects on the sideline but it may be a couple of weeks before there's anything to show you. So, in the meantime, sequins it is.
At the March Burlesque Baby show, I was emcee again (did the March show last year) and I decided to get down with the cool kids and be a bit of a pop diva.
I love this look - hot pink fall and strapless dress - but the song really wasn't me (Get the party started). This show is a bit like an open mike though and the place to try new things. So, good choice eh!
 This dress is RTW!!! I stuck rhinestones all over the bodice to give it some more glitz. I love it though - the same cut as the LBD. 
 A Dusty Springfield moment.

 The skirt is draped at the sides and comes in at the bottom. This shape does wonders for me.
 Also wearing the black sequin bolero, because I like the line.

 Also breaking out the long gloves for a bit of audience participation
 Peeling gloves like a big ham to the delight of the audience.

 In the second half, I wore the dress that won the internet. And different hair.
 The curtain call - me, Miss Phoenix Rising, Courtney l'Amour our producer, Visha Vulpe, Penny Scott our stage momma, Amber de Luze, Victor Victorious and Kapi.
All photos were by Paradox Photography

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Celebrating 30 years

In 1986, the Homosexual Law Reform Act was voted into law with a majority of five. Thirty years later, NZ is celebrating that victory, plus all the necessary changes to the law to acknowledge gay relationships, marriage and legal rights. We have come a long way in 30 years.
Celebrations opened at The Beehive,  NZ's seat of Parliament. Here are some photos I nicked from Amanduh's Facebook feed - to be honest I went to the Martinborough Fair super early in the morning and fell asleep in the afternoon, and only woke up 40 minutes before we had to leave to get to the event so I had no time to get the camera, or even put on my false eyelashes!

Amanduh La, Kevin and me. Amanduh told me to wear this outfit. We are both in love with it! Plus we were so bad, we were up rather late the night before drinking tea and putting the world to rights. I love her dress - I didn't make this one but I wish I had. We are in front of an enormous rainbow flag.

 Fran Wilde, the Labour MP who sponsored the Bill. She is an extraodinary woman and I have immense respect for her, even though she wants to change our flag to the hidjus teatowel proposed in the referendum (If you are not a Kiwi and don't know about our tragic flag change debarcle, I just Can't Even....)
 Grant Robertson our gay (Labour) MP for Wellington Central. People can we just take a minute to think about this. Wellington is the seat of government -Wellington Central is heavily populated by civil servants. It is always Labour. This is because those who work in the machinery of Government know which party provides the most stable, rational governance. Because civil servants see everything. Really.
 A Kapa Haka group opens the evening in the Ballroom.
 My darling friend LaQuisha St Redfern. 
So this afternoon LaQuisha aka Conrad and I sat on his deck in the sun and planned an appearance we are making together late in May. A drag queen who is a woman and a drag queen with a beard and a hairy chest -we are the odd balls of the city, so it stands to reason we should do a show together.
Should be jolly!

Anyway, I for one am proud to have done my bit to support the HLRA back in 1985/1986, and t was a happy day when the Law was passed. I had may gay friends then as I do now and the very idea that their love should be illegal was absolutely intolerable to me.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What a week!!!!

 Well, I ended up doing four shows this week. For someone whose day job is 6 days, this was a bit OTT, but every single one of them was a fantastic opportunity I didn't want to turn down for a range of different reasons and so, I did them all! Why wouldn't ya!

 Saturday 6 Feb was The British are Coming. I opened it with Mary Poppins - this photo is of my second appearance when I mussed up my costume quite a lot to reflect poor Mary's deteriorating state. Sugar is a dangerous substance, be warned!

She was replaced after that routine by Queen Victoria, who turned out to have quite a dirty mind. Who knew those Victorians were so kinky?

The second half of the show was opened by a jolly Britannia in Union Jack patterned Greek robes. but she only had a minute to enjoy Rule Britannia before someone changed the radio station to Wheels on Fire!
And underneath, she was Edina Monsoon. Looking a little People of Walmart, if I may say so myself. And Patsy - isn't she fabulous?!

Wednesday 10th Feb brought the last fundraising show of J'Adore La Whore. Here's a shot of us all looking tres glam after the show:
left to right - Ellie Kat, Harlie Lux, Constance, Amanduh La, Marcella de Tella and Debbie our fabulous stage mumager. I am wearing an LBD and a sheer coat in black and gold borrowed from Amanduh.
A half time shot of us all  - Harlie, Amanduh, Marcella, Ellie and me at the front. Don't we look like an outtake from The Great Gatsby! My flatter, wider hair do was to accommodate Mary Poppins' hat in the first half. Can I just add that Harlie is the sweetest, kindest, funniest guy but he is so nervous whenever anyone gets a camera out he can't smile! So he comes across as an ice queen. We'll learn him!
Friday afternoon produced a bonus opportunity to sing at my friend Tina's retirement party at the local College of Creative Arts. It's really hot here and afternoons are the hottest so I went with a new look, spesh since I had less time to get ready. I love the idea of scraped back hair that goes crazy curly at the back, and had a go with some new hair pieces, lots of flowers to hide things, and quite like the effect. The outfit is the LBD with the peacock embroidered net in a simple mumu type garment over the top, OVER THE TOP is right!
 Tina and I - I am leaning down and she is standing on tippy toes! No wonder we're laughing!
Funny story - I wear a corset with this outfit that I cannot do up for myself, which posed a problem getting ready at home at 3pm! Luckily our new neighbour Dan was in, and agreed to help. He was very gentlemanly, and I managed to arrange myself before calling him so he would not be embarrassed by any importunate glimpses!
This last one is a weird photo lighting wise and I am not smiling! David took it with my phone and, well, not his forte. This was before I headed out for the last show of the week, Queen vs Duke. The shiny cheek is a gold star - as I was singing Dream a little Dream I wanted to look dreamy and starry. I love my hair now!!! i managed to get it up more at the top, built it more evenly at the sides, and I used the organza flower necklace Mum made as the head piece.  Always learning! I also bought an eyeshadow palette of warm browns and bronzes and had a go with that instead of the purple or blue I usually do. Same outfit, I am in love with this outfit!!!

So, it's been a week of It. I got some good leads for both by businesses, had lots of fun, and now I am drying my newly washed makeup brushes, tidying away all my costumes which have been strewn across the living room for a month now, tidied away the makeup, and generally set my life up for normal for a few weeks until the Next show on 19 March! Assuming I don't get called on before ;-)

And what will I be doing until then? Making some dresses for ME!!!!