Skip to main content

Yes, but a lot of post- Wigstock events were lame too. I know that nothing is ever as good as the original, but this was way too different. It wasn't like going back to the "roots" original ways like it claimed to be. We can only hope it grows into something better.

But I like being mixed in with the kaki-clad and wall streeters. It makes you feel more unique. Just like when you're naked and around clothed people, you feel more exposed than you do when everone is naked.
I thought Lady Bunny was the most funny thing I saw in long time, would someone tell me PLEASE, if or where one can see her perform regularly in NYC? Does she have some kind of show or something? How come I never herd of her before, when she is so funny?
Last edited {1}
I had a great time at Wigstock. I performed in an amazing number, it was a beautiful day, I had lots of friends around me. But, I must say that as I milled about the backstage at Wigstock and looked out into the audience, I felt that there was a certain vitality missing. Not having been at a Wigstock before, I can't really know that anything was missing, but I could feel a gap where a power and strength and purpose once existed. NONETHELESS, I thought it was a great day and even more great that the event actually happened. If it is a revitalization and a resurgence that we are looking for, we won't find it or be able to create it if there is no medium for it. First we bring back Wigstock, then we collect and feature the new and existing Wiggies who have the voices of change we need. And, although I found myself thinking, "this is another example of how the East Village is not what it used to be," I must remind myself that progress often backtracks for years before it can go farther than it has gone before.

I do believe there is something to be done here, and I think HOWL was momentous in marking that. I don't believe that Howl was a museum tour through a relic of the East Village. I believe it was a forum for the new to meet the old-- and not in a boring, meeting-style discussion. It was a forum that happened in action, on the stage, on the screen, in the streets. I attended the final event of HOWL last night. It was a film screening that brought together veteran and amateur filmmakers, and asked that they describe what the East Village means to them in a 5 minute, digital video piece. The pieces ranged from documentary to fiction created by such filmmakers as Bill Morrisson, Alex Meilier, Roland Legiardi-Laura, Nick Zedd, Richard Sandler, Ilya Chaiken, Steve Buscemi, and others. Watching these contemporary images of what is still being felt in the Village made me realize that vitality still exists under these streets, but we are needing ways to tap it into our daily lives, into a community. Steve Buscemi's piece, "Luna Macaroona" about The Alien Comic and the Full Moon crew, was not a sad remembrance of what was; it was inspiration for what could be. Nick Zedd's episode of his "Electra Elf and Fluffer" series had Electra Elf bringing to life all of the little, multi-colored haired, toy trolls to run out all of the zombie-cloned tourists!! Ryan Kelly and I were just talking about how we are starting to see more and more living art on the streets: crazy art-o-mobiles being driven around town; loony, lady Midwestern transplants walking down the streets lifting her skirt and showing off her cooch to all the zombie tourists.

OK, maybe I'm just excited because I've never before performed in front of so many people as I did at Wigstock... WHAT A FUCKING RUSH!!!...,
OR, maybe I'm just naive...
...but I swear something is happening. Fluffernutter, I'll meet you on the street.

(and, thank you Sweetie for that experience. It was truly amazing!)
Last edited {1}
funny, what everyone is saying is that the people really have changed and some have moved on. of course the neighbor hood has changed...... and so have the intertainers.

it's a new crowd. at the same learning curve we all were umteen years ago when each of us arrived on the scene, except our trail has left a legacy that includes wigstock, jackie60, 12west and this renewing legend called NEW YORK, that begs to be tried by the newlyborn amongst us.

hell, merlin remembers sabrina's first night at mother fully birthed and ready to roll. merlin remembers the first time scotty the blue bunny came around. merlin remembers when merlin was ...... well, yes young and new to all of this.

it's their turn in a way, the tangles, and tailors , the brandans and garet's turn also. they gonna do it their way, all we can do it show them what we did and let them go.

in love with each new wave,

the merlinator
Wigstock was wonderful and not just the Lady Bunny...everyone was great and the whole event was very coordinated. Hurrah!

I am not sure if it is all about acceptance though. Didn't that already happen?! Drag is accepted! No one is afraid of drag queens anymore. Lucky Cheng's, Stingy LuLu's, RuPaul on MTV, Miss Understood even does Bar Mitzvahs.

Drag Queens have worked very hard over the years to show everyone that they are NOT evil, child molesting freaks. They have finally made the world realize that they are fun-loving entertainers. They succeeded, we should all be proud and take note.

It seems as if it is no longer politically correct to be offended by drag!

That being said, I don't think wigstock is just about acceptance. I think Wigstock is a corporate event sponsored by the nightlife underworld.

Perhaps we would all be pleased if it was just promoted as such.
Maybe you mis-understood my point...

Acceptance goes beyond us being accepted by them, it transends to us "accepting" them at one of our events. Like I pointed out in my prior post, there are times when people aren't repectful, as was my experience at the exotic erotic ball, but last Sat. they were respectful and as such we should accept their presence at our event.

Beyond that, combating ignorance is an ongoing battle. To think that any group, gays, lesbian or transgendered is secure against discrimination because it's politically incorrect to bash them "publically" is naive. Thats why it's good to continue having pride weekends, marches and wigstocks, so that poeple know we're still here and having fun.

That being said your points on the restaurants are valid, but lets take a look you're audience...
Lucky Changs East Village
Stingy's East Village
Lipp's West Village
Trannie Rest. on the Upper East Side 0
Trannie Rest. on the Upper West Side 0
Trannie Rest. in midtown 0
Trannie Rest. in the Wall Street District 0
Trannie Rest. in the Flatiron District 0
Trannie Rest. in Tribecca 0

Ru Paul was on VH1 not MTV, which is great and certainly constitutes progress...but that progress doesn't translate to blanket acceptance.

I'm not being sarcastic..maybe someone really should open a Rest. uptown. Merlin and I will operate the one on the Upper West Side.

I think we should bring Wigstock North next year!
I think many of you here have been hitting on an important point, -the balance between providing a way for the performers to present their work to a wider public while still feeling that the event is controlled by our interests yet still 'open' enough, just enough, to the straight world so that the khaki arrivistes feel secure about attending and getting some exposure to the 'underground'. This is a real old American cultural tradition that goes way back to the founding days of New Orleans and manifested later famously in places like the Cotton Club in Harlem. Mainstream people want to feel this sense of 'really living', which is had by rubbing elbows with the demimonde.
The Howl festival is too new to have all these questions and conflicts worked out. If the overall organizers were veteran producers and had a more focussed mission things could have been more pointed. But maybe that is not what should happen afterall, in the vortex of diversity that is the EV. That is the anarchy element, each presenter had the opportunity here to make the festival be what would be best for their own work, their own art, their own vision. I don't want to sound politically corny, but that is a kind of cultural democracy.
Last edited {1}
Yes, it could be said that New York City and it's Cultural events will always change. Wigstock should not and could not be an exception. Times Square is the perfect example. Nothing else in the history of the City has changed so much in such a short period of time. At least Wigstock and the East Village hasn't changed so drastically. At one time, Times Square had lots of Drag / Tranny Bars and now they are all gone and replaced with Disney-esque theme venues. One change for the better is the City's annual Fifth Avenue Easter Parade. At one time it was for the Elite to show off their expensive clothes and hats. Now has become more of a fabulous showcase. And every year, I see more and more Drag Queen and Trannies parading their fabulous costumes and showing the Tourists and the Media just how beautiful and extraordinary they are! It really is turning into a midtown Wigstock
Well said Seven.

And yes B.B. Times Square did have trannie bars. In fact I think Sally's Hideaway was one of the scariest and most seedy places I've ever been to. I think it used to be in the Carter Hotel, a scary place in it's own right. I loved it!!

Wow, can you imagine Wigstock on Easter! That would be cool!

[This message was edited by Colleentv on 08-28-03 at 02:07 AM.]
Last edited {1}
Hatches, I'm sorry to hear that skinhead beef acted like that even to performers. Mad That day, I could check in as press and an event staff escorted me to the area in front of the stage, but right after he was left, a security kicked me out saying I didn't have a press sticker on me. I wasn't given it somehow so tried to explain about it to him, but that beef just kept barking "Out! Out! Out! ... ", and it took me for a while to get back. The atmosphere of the backstage was like that of boot camp rather than that of Wigstock indeed. Frown

During the event, I was very much overwhelmed by the situation that I could be so much close to the stage of Wigstock for the first time in 10 years, so didn't realize or even care about the audience or atmosphere of it. On the next day, I went to see a documentary film "Wigstock & Pyramid Videos (1984-89)". It was really fascinating. There was EV that my heart always bounced every time I walked down the street. So, I think I know what you meant.

And Colleentv, there is one restaurant I saw trannies're dining comfortable in midtown east. It's not like tourist or theme restaurant like Lips...
I have just read these posts starting with Hatties "review" for the first time today. As someone who was fortunate enough to perform in many WIGSTOCKS and who has worked hours upon hours on cheesy costumes and silly dance steps and lyrics and hairdo's. WIGSTOCK this year left me with a very melancholy, bittersweet feeling. We do NOT live in the East Village that I ran to once upon a time in my life. I WAS A KHAKI CLAD PREPPIE just dying to taste the many colors the East Village's palette had to offer. The egg cream store next to ODESSA now serves ONLY NON FAT FROZEN YOGURT!!!!! I don't need to say anything else about the EAST VILLAGE. I am sickend at the sterility of a community that like TIMES SQUARE had a magical, dangerous, hedonistic, free for all feeling that attracted so many of us to New York in the first place. WE ARE NOT 20 any more and WIGSTOCK is not some big statement anymore. DRAG QUEENS are a dime a dozen, and who gives a fuck if you have a mohawk or a tattooed face or a cat hanging out of your ass. We have seen it all!!!!!!! We have done it all!!!!! WE are a stinking pot of JADED, DISILLUSIONED,AMAZINGLY BLESSED, CHARMED LIFED LIVING, FOREVER YOUNG, CHILDREN just looking for our next thrill. The fucking WORLD TRADE CENTER crumbled before our eyes, we walked the streets in a daze, never thinking it could happen to us. Another notch on our belts? Another "thrill" to live thru? Personally I am soooooo saddend that our city has become this stifled pool of creativity. 15 years ago I could go out into the night and be absoulutely mesmerized at a thousand different things going on in the city on any given evening. Now like a bunch of war torn relics we huddle close to each other in our very "in" club nites and NEVER see anything AMAZING. We can re-do things that made our eyes bug out, sure because after all queers are suckers for nostalgia, but NOBODY is making any noise anymore. Sure we will bitch, moan, and complain........but who is really stepping up to change it, to make a difference, to take the fucking risk.......NONE OF US, thats who. WIGSTOCK was "nice". In its absentia I never heard ONE PERSON discuss another festival of its magnitude.......... think about it.
Sweetie- I think you're right. We may be experiencing a lull. That may be part of the lesson- or maybe even the point- of the HOWL festival as a whole.
But still – I saw so much cool shit!!
It was kind of amazing that for day after day you could just walk around the East Village and see all this legendary underground art. But legendary and underground are basically contradictory, right? Or are they? Think about it- how many of us in the underground really think of our ˜underground period' as something that happens before some sort of a rise to prominence- whatever that may be? Is that radical? At all?

But when it actually happens to people- especially now that seven years seems to constitute a generation of art- when people actually get ˜prominent,' they often seem to spend their prominence looking backward to their more authentic days in the underground- six or seven long years ago. (All of which is really silly- a stage is a stage is a stage, right?) I saw a little of that at Wigstock I guess. But I still did get to see some REALLY COOL SHIT! "It's fun to think about it!"

There were some important and glaring exceptions to the rule on the day's bill. Taboo was deeply satiric psychedelic brilliance with a piece that was PURE "self promotion." She even returned to the stage after the curtain call to present an endless looping (and drunken) "promotion" of the fest's Webster Hall after party -with "Little Kiss!?" The Dueling Bankheads chided the possibly underdressed crowd, calling them "Pride Part 1." Murry Hill was concise and articulate as ever, enduring Lady's repeated pronoun flubs with class and restraint (like the gentleman he is.) And Sweetie- who I gather has never rested on a laurel in her whole life- turned it out in a new number with dancing and theater and live miracle healings, and most importantly a big gang of freaks and artists from her parties. The symbolism was not lost on me.

So take heart Sweetie. As long as we have creativity and magic, and inspiration from the likes of you, then I think there'll always be more noise to come.
Bohemia always rises again.

Overall, I think this whole conversation is fascinating and awesome- and I invite everyone to come engage further this Friday at never never Party with VIDEO footage including Wigshots from the 23rd. (How's that for self-promo? Hallow!)
Hope to see you there!

Peace & love,

[This message was edited by Pumpkin on 08-28-03 at 10:21 PM.]

[This message was edited by Pumpkin on 08-28-03 at 10:23 PM.]

[This message was edited by Pumpkin on 08-29-03 at 01:38 PM.]
Last edited {1}
Pumpkin is still fairly new here and totally enthusiastic - please dont jump on people, a simple pointing out of board lore will do..

The Motherboards are certainly a place where people plan and promote parties, arrange to go out, find out where to go, discuss last night's party, whatever. They are meant to be a place where people giving the parties could interact with their crowd, and have certainly succeeded at that beyond our wildest dreams.

But the Motherboards are so much more, and as this very topic illuminates, we talk about so many other things, which are in the greater world more important than any one night or event. Often someone who came on to promote their party ends up becoming part of a discussion on politics, or transitioning, or gentrification, et al.

But some people through the 2 1/2 years of the boards have come on like gangbusters, just peeing on everything with their party promotion, and it really turns people off. Sometimes the flames themselves get really funny - check the Best of the Motherboards "Studio 54" topic for more.

So that in a nutshell is why pretty may have jumped on you - its a cumulative thing that you wouldnt have experienced yet.

End of lecture -

Now back to this scintillating discussion..
Thank you for articulating what you saw thru your eyes and not the eyes of some time ravaged git. ( I resemble this remark) Big Grin I am glad that you were inspired by the festival. It means it did it's job on some level. I also really believe in your volition and your spirit and your NEED to contribute to this community. Get out there and mix it up, turn things upside down, make people whince then make em' whinny. I am hoping to make it to your party tonite. BY THE WAY..... I am appearring at the Lake Tahoe Conga Room from Sunday til Tuesday........BAH!!!!!!!!!!
Big Grin Wink Big Grin Wink Big Grin Wink
Two of the recent points talked about here; underground vs. prominence for an artist, and Sweetie's luscious bitching about the 'demise' of the EV as a kind of freeforall zone: both have to do on a certain level with adversity. I think there is a not so subtle imbalance now that has to do with a kind of, how to say, 'expiration date'. Intitially people who ran the spaces in the EV were committed to being way underground but the mentality about this has changed quite drastically with the newer artists who are very much oriented to publicity and visibility on the scene. Lois Griffith from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe read a very poignant and tough poem in the park specifically about what she said were the "outlaws" who really used to characterize the neighborhood in her view of it. People who thrived on and actually contributed to their own adversity, and whose art was defined by it. Now what makes the EV more difficult to live in is exactly what Sweetie rails against, its being so washed out and cleansed, yet that too, for me at least, as a creative person, is another form of adversity that really leaves me, perhaps in, yes, a perverse way, smiling and quietly saying to myself a sarcastic quote from Aesop, "Please don't throw me in the briar patch." I profoundly miss the very healthy collection of scrappy, defiant venues and their populace that were here. However, I have not had any trouble staying underground, non-prominent, saying with my creative activites exactly what I want, to the extent the prominence-givers and publicity outlets are scared to deal with it. I never really had much interest in the deep aesthetic resignation that has a creative person cop to making the mainstream happy, the pessimism that is selfish, lighthearted entertainment that will just have one become a puppet in the White Order's zoo. I think the whole festival showed a heavy ambivalence about just these points. Wigstock this time may have been the lesbian/gay/trans artists throwing a bone to the audience but bite my ass if I'm wrong, a lot of it was offered up with the wonderful smirk about how this was just a mere pale taste of what one could have had if you weren't so naive, stultified, and just plain late. Oh, and by the way, my next gig will be on the uptown F train platform at the Second Avenue stop sometime this weekend. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Last edited {1}
Yes, yes, things used to be this and that, but let's not exaggerate things. Go spend a day in the stripmall ravaged culturally deprived Levittown Long Island (my home town)and you'll be kissing the sidewalk of Avenue A when you get home. Most of America is so awful, the East Village a lovely oasis. It's just an oasis with a Starbucks. Think of all the interesting friends and aquaintances you have, that you bump into here and there. It's still a special place.

The parties are smaller, but they're still there. There is definitely a "New School" of genius performers: The Dazzle Dancers, Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz, etc. I think the underground just went back to being a bit more underground, but it's certainly still there. I think that rather than whine it's better to create.

As for the Wigstock bashing, it's been going on for years. I always hated when people would complain about how big it got. Well, if something's good, people will want to come. It's not Wigstocks fault. Things evolve. that's life. It's like complaining that your favorite singer turned 50.

Then these dumb fags would complain about Wigstock, saying it's not the same, no one dresses, etc, as if Wigstock had let them down. Really, it was that fag that has a normal job now and doesn't dress up and go. Don't blame Bunny. She's looking better than ever. Wigstock still came through. That fag just grew up, got boring, and blamed Wigstock for his vanishing enthusiasm.

So things are smaller, big deal. That's what non conformism is all about. Stop complaining and go dye your hair, make a painting, put on a show, throw a party, get naked, sing a song, pull ribbons from your pussy, and enjoy your freedom while it lasts...which may not be for long.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.