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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Suppervision Pride

With the beautiful and talented Gary Lutes before our June 26th Suppervision performance of the last movement of Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time

Suppervision Pride was my third and final gig this past weekend, and the only one I got any pictures from, which is a shame because I raided my middle-school classmate Eric Glaser's drag closet, and Jupiter rearranged my drag and make-up for my second show Thursday night. Where are the paparazzi when you need them? In any case the first show at Supperclub was a success - I was the first dinner-theater act in history to perform Schnittke, and the dining room went gratifyingly silent for eight minutes. The second was at Tingel Tangel where I played the same music and it was a fiasco. I knew, walking into the jampacked bar, that the Schnittke wouldn't register, but decided to muscle through. It was much worse than I'd thought, thanks to amplification ugliness and a persistent non-drug-related hallucination I had that someone was walking around the stage behind me fucking with the mikes. Oh well! The reason I muscled through was for the boot camp concentration exercise (did I really just write the words camp concentration?), and in that sense it was a success, as I got through the piece, which I'd only committed to memory that week.

backstage at Suppervision with a friendly neighborhood little slut and $50 worth of Kryolan make-up, which I just remembered I still haven't gotten off my chin rest

dance party in the dressing room

I love this picture by Tom Schmidt despite the fact that it doesn't convey the extreme precariousness of the stage. I was on a three and a half foot ledge above a 15-foot drop and was so nervous walking out at the beginning that my knees almost knocked and I let my elbow scrape the wall for support. The keyhole-shaped projection is video of clouds passing over me. Gary played piano on the stage below.

In honor of our impresario I glued this rhinestone "III" to my head for the bow. After performances, there was dancing, and after dancing, there was the after party, and after the after party was the after-after party, and after that I walked home and was in bed by 8 a.m. Saturday morning and managed not to lose my violin or anybody's drag.

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Paul Festa’s first film, Apparition of the Eternal Church (2006, 51 min), captures the responses of 31 artists to the apocalyptic music of Olivier Messiaen (with Justin Bond, John Cameron Mitchell, Harold Bloom; screenings: Grace Cathedral, Barbican Centre, Library of Congress; “Remarkable”The New Yorker; “Stunning”Chicago Sun-Times; “Sublime”Globe & Mail; numerous awards). Festa performs the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, opposite members of the San Francisco Ballet and The Cockettes, in his award-winning second film, The Glitter Emergency (2010, 20 min), a silent-film drag ballet comedy (“Enormous visual and musical inventiveness…full of pleasure and joy...Festa gives a bravura performance."—Film Threat). He produced, wrote and edited, with director Austin Forbord, and was chief archivist, for the Emmy-nominated documentary Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco (2010, 80 min: with Robin Williams, Bill Irwin, Peter Coyote; screenings: Geary Theater, KQED; “Intriguing...entertaining...a valuable record”—Variety). Performances as violinist and actor: ODC Theater, Center for Performance Research, Kunst-Stoff, TheatreFIRST, North Bay Shakespeare, Albert Fuller's Helicon Ensemble (Merkin Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall). US, Boston, NYC, SF, LA and DC (Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress on the “Betts” Stradivarius) premieres of Messiaen’s Fantaisie for violin and piano. He is the author of OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever, based on Apparition of the Eternal Church, and several anthologized essays, and has written for The Daily Beast, Salon, Nerve, and The New York Times Book Review. Current projects include a novel and Tie It Into My Hand (2014, ca. 80 min), a documentary feature that has screened as a work in progress at the Cannes film market and at ODC Theater in San Francisco (with Alan Cumming, Gary Graffman, Peter Coyote, Mink Stole, Robert Pinsky; "A fascinating exploration of the artistic life, as rollickingly entertaining as it is insightful and stirring."San Francisco Bay Guardian). Education: Yale (B.A.; prizes, honors, distinction), Juilliard (Cert., Adv. Cert., scholarships). Residencies: Yaddo, MacDowell, ODC Theater, Centre des R├ęcollets.