Two months?! What happened?
The simplest answer would be this: in New York City’s Chinatown, before hitting the road for my East Coast fieldtrips and performances, I discovered the most phenomenal beef jerky I have ever torn into and fell into a food coma so deep, I am only just emerging.
A more nuanced answer, with slightly less magical realist leanings would be this:
0. Debuted a segment of the show as a performance artists at the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival
image courtesy of Kelly O for The Stranger
1. Traveled to Vermont to visit Juli at work at a small mid-state slaughterhouse.
2. Performed with Rogue Burlesque at the Middlesex Lounge (including the first public screening outside of dress rehearsal of the short film “Honeysuckle’s BBQ” by Morgan Elizabeth and Debora Spencer)
3. Christened the new space for queer performance venue “Collect Pond” along with Julie Blair in Brooklyn, NY with the full-length solo show
(image taken by Honeysuckle during NYC show)
4. Performed the full show in DC’s oldest lesbian bar, Phase 1, just after they celebrated their 40th anniversary. Writer/Performer Natalie Illum opened that show, and her performance gave me permission to take content deeper and to engage the audience from the start.
DC preview coverage/interview
DC show review
(photo taken by Honeysuckle during DC show)
(Phase 1 minglers)
5. Moved my life from Seattle to Southern California (with show set and costuming in the trunk in case I needed to stop along the way!)
6. Considered buying a cow (for slaughter) at the Del Mar, CA County Fair. His name was Brick; he was a sweetheart and the teenage boy who had raised him (his first steer!) was so eager to show him, and a bit sad to see him go.
“Menu” motif signs were used to identify cows at the county fair
This cow was licking his stable mate over and over–cleaning or cuddling or scratching an itch?
Sexy nurse imagery being used to sell deep fried butter gives meat-woman imagery a run for its proverbial and literal money.
And in the last two weeks, though less well photo-documented, some exciting beef run-ins:
7. Sampled two varieties of homemade beef jerky (and witnessed the preservation process of one variety) made by one of my favorite lesbians in San Diego.
8. Considered buying many pounds of local beef through a groupon.com deal of the day.
9. Considered buying many pounds of local beef from a man driving around in a truck who stopped me in an alley to sell frozen steaks.
10. Found that the local meat vendor at my farmer’s markets makes jerky…ordered beef jerky…daughter forgot to remind dad to bring it…got a slim jim-like preserved meat stick (which looks wonderful!) instead.
11. Considered researching the impact the BP oil spill will have on the economics of beef jerky; decided to focus energy elsewhere.
12. Received beef jerky in the mail for my birthday.
The experience of taking the show on the road, connecting with new and extremely varied audiences, and getting more meat-learning and slaughter-smelling under my belt (figuratively) has been one of the most moving experiences I’ve had as a performer and artist. Blogging is weird. It is a strange way to report and semi-interact when the cultivation of a certain type of authenticity and artifice in live performance is the medium and the message of this work.
AND some of these images, interviews, conversations, and video clips seem worth sharing. I plan to eat enough jerky to have the beefy balls to backtrack through my archived material from this adventure and share more of it. And hey, if you’re reading this, I would love to hear some questions you have–what would you want to see or hear more about? What is most compelling or confusing?
As far as the show itself, the cross-coastal tour is not entirely over. Conversation is currently in progress with Producer Paula The Swedish Housewife about a summer/fall show in Seattle, and there have been offers to perform in Palm Springs, CA and elsewhere in the middle and the western parts of the country. Stay tuned for more…