Between Facebook updates, costume buddy icons, and gchat status updates, I’ve been a tad . . . single-minded for the past few weeks. Adam instant messaged me. “Wow. You are super excited about this show.” I un-wryly informed him that it was literally the coolest thing I had ever done in my life, like ever, for all of time, and that maybe he could understand one day when he waltzed topless onto a stage in front of nine hundred people of all ages, races and genders and the entire room boomed with the thunder of their applause and cheers.
Talk about seriously a-freakingfirming.
Fembots are programmed to document your panties. (Full album: Backstage at the Slutcracker.)
It was freezing cold in the backstage hallway where we would stand barefoot and draped in gauze, waiting for our cues. The Arabians wrapped their veils around my shoulders for warmth, a drag king waited ready with my wig for a quick change. Every time I wondered if this would be the time that I would run my tiny Chinese-steps onto the stage only to freeze in horror, staring into the layered abyss of faces and realizing wait, something is missing — oh that’s right it’s my clothes.
But between scenes I would stand alone at the bottom of the basement staircase, while girls touched up their makeup and changed stockings in the adjoining dress rooms. You could hear the audience from this quiet island of cement, their howls with laughter, their screams and clapping and infatuation with everything from the pattern on Fritz’s socks to the gigantic plaster genitals whose base I had hot-glued with wrapping paper and tinsel four hours before our opening performance. It nearly brought tears to my eyes, hearing so many people happy like that.
“This crowd is amazing,” our director would say. “They’re getting jokes that I didn’t even know we put in there.”
I realized one evening, as my eyelids were painted with a thick coat of gold glitter and Ron Jeremy on speakerphone was telling us all to break a leg, that all throughout junior high and high school, theater was where I went to meet and hang out with my favorite people: it formed my entire social life, introduced me to writing, technology, hammy senses of humor and sewing machines. Then college came around and it suddenly seemed serious, something to major in — a high school sweetheart I should give up before we got married. I promptly dumped my people and moved on.
Full album behind the scenes of this sexy freaky holiday zeitgeist spectacular here. (I’ve flagged three of the photos as “moderate”. If you want to see them, you’ll need to be logged in with a flickr account, and your privacy settings set to “safeSearch: off”. If you don’t want to see them, don’t log in, or make sure your privacy settings have the default safeSearch on.)