Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2013-01-31

Upcoming Events in February, Yes Ma’am Dance Party Feb 2nd and Rebel Cupcake Underwear Dance Party Feb 14th

There are two really exciting dance parties this month that I’m really excited about.

First is Yes Ma’am, our triumphant return after New Year’s Eve. This month’s raffle is totally boss.

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey

As with every month, we have a houseboy raffle where you could win 2 hours of service from the volunteer houseboy for the evening. ALL of the raffle proceeds go to a hurricane Sandy relief effort. The last couple months (and this month) we’ve been donating it to Home/Made, a lesbian-owned restaurant in Red Hook that was devastated by Sandy.

Picking up the gift certificate from the pleasure chest for the Yes Ma'am raffle! Win $100 towards your sex life on Saturday! Featuring @laura_the_babe behind the counter

In addition to the houseboy, we also have $100 gift certificate to the Pleasure Chest!

And a $20 gift certificate to use at the LunchBox! The queer freelancer working event that I mentioned in this blog post.

DJ AverageJo just promised to play me some Digital Underground on Saturday, I hope you’re able to make it!

Saturday, February 2, 2013 * Brooklyn, NY
Bevin Branlandingham, Nicky Cutler and DJ Average Jo Present
Yes Ma’am
10PM-2AM Dancing * $7
($2 off admission if you are on our texty texty list)
CASH BAR
886 Pacific Street @ Washington, Brooklyn, NY (Enter through Gureje store, the party is speakeasy style in the back)
Prospect Heights (2 blocks from Clinton/Washington C train, 5 blocks from 2/3 to Bergen)

More info here.

Rebel Cupcake No Pants No Problem

On Valentine’s Day, February 14th, I’m throwing a very special Rebel Cupcake with the folks from Canada’s NO PANTS NO PROBLEM party–yes it’s an underwear dance party!!

It’s going to be dope. Kissing booth, spin the bottle, amazing music, great performances and sexy queers dancing in lingerie, underwear, goofy outfits.

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What sold me on combining forces with NPNP was this quote about the party they did in DC.

“Beyond this NPNP is a place where people get together and build/bridge communities, to challenge binary sexual and gender norms as well as constrictive inner dialogues about body image and self esteem.” It’s also part of the event’s peculiar charm that it was started by Jessica Whitbread, a queer HIV positive woman, in a community largely represented by gay men, she points out.

Rebel Cupcake will still be in full-effect, with party favorites Miss Poison Ivory and Drae Campbell, and yours truly Femmeceeing.

Also the pants-check is not mandatory but you get in for $5 cheaper if you take ’em off and RC regulars know it’s a safe space to be as flamboyantly yourself as you want. And, of course, I’m encouraging folks to wear lingerie if that’s your gender. It’s February, after all!

Here’s the info… more info at the Rebel Cupcake page

Thursday, February 14th, 2013 * Brooklyn, NY
Bevin Branlandingham & NO PANTS NO PROBLEM Present
Rebel Cupcake 34: NO PANTS NO PROBLEM
10PM-2AM Dancing; show 11ish * NO PANTS: $5-$15 sliding scale WEARING PANTS: $10-20 sliding scale
Proceeds benefit AIDS ACTION NOW! and VOCAL NY
Late night dancing til 4a
Sugarland: 221 N 9th St @ Roebling, Brooklyn, NY
(3 blocks from the Bedford L subway stop)!

2012-12-27

Bringing Woo to Nightlife: Group Solstice Ritual

My friend Mackenzi told me once “You really bring the woo to nightlife.” She is totally right. I think if you have humor and sincere intention you can easily create something very meaningful in nightlife. It may seem counterintuitive, nightlife is often perceived as very shallow, looks-oriented and perception of people without depth. (And, honestly, how deep can you go when you can’t really talk to people over the deep thumpathumpa of the music?) I pride myself on creating events that help people connect, together with my spirituality and deep lez inclinations, every so often woo finds its way into my productions.

I like queer dance parties because it’s a place where the community comes together to celebrate life. I think dancing is a really spiritual act, especially to pop icons like Nicky Minaj (“Moment for Life” anyone?). There’s also a lot of Goddess iconography in pop, as pointed out by my bestie Rachael.

There was a great article about the Mayan calendar ending on Solstice 2012 from the perspective of actual Mayan elders and I really appreciated the following quote.

Go to the sacred places of the Earth to pray for peace , and have respect for the Earth which gives us our food, clothing and shelter. We need to reactivate the energy of the sacred places. This is our work.

Rebel Cupcake is certainly one of my sacred places. One of the best compliments I’ve gotten about it is that the person felt like this was the place they felt they could most be themselves in queer nightlife. The December 20, 2012 show being the night before the Winter Solstice I wanted to make it extra special. I put together six acts–four more than I usually book–at the intersections of the theme of Muppets, the end of the world (as we know it) and the darkness transforming to light that the solstice represents. I also adapted a group solstice ritual for use on the stage. The following is what happened.

All photos by resident Rebel Cupcake photographer, Kelsey Dickey.

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The cupcakes were Mexican Hot Chocolate flavored (with dark chocolate and tequila) by Cupcake Princess Morgan, who said if it was the end of the world that’s what she’d want to drink.

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Our first act was Miss Poison Ivory, with a fallen angel burlesque act to Alanis Morrissette’s “Uninvited.” It was really moving and beautiful. (It also made me recall Alanis Morrissette’s role as God in Kevin Smith’s Dogma.)

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Our second act was the first public musical instrument act by spoken word phenom, Kit Yan. It was so tender! He began with a poem about Kermit and Miss Piggy that involved a lot of Muppet voices and then a really sweet, soft and tender version of Rainbow Connection that invited audience participation. It was so heartfelt!

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Next up was a burlesque act by Rebel Cupcake virgin Abby Fantastic, who was top of her class in burlesque school. It was to Rihanna’s “S&M” with an underlying Mad Max and the Thunderdome theme. The crowd went wild!

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Damien Luxe brought the next act. A performance art piece as an argonaut who had just landed in her pink spaceship with a message from the future. Her message was about the qualities we will need during the apocalypse. It was hilarious. I need to learn how to build a log cabin.

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I did an interlude with a Solstice ritual I had prepared to be shared by the entire audience. Fancy Feast, our wonderful Stage Kitten, was my Spirituality Bottom. I had her walk through the audience in a circle with burning sage to cleanse the energy, because the first part of the ritual was a cleansing. Part of the power of Solstice is the letting go of the darkness and moving toward light, which is also what the prediction for the Mayan Calendar ending, a changing of the world towards a more humane civilization.

I based the ritual on a group releasing ceremony on this website that I had done with some friends around a bonfire last Solstice.

Ritualizing release is a way to “bind the medicine” of moving beyond the past, the pain, the obstacles, the resistance, the old traps, the excuses.

The premise is that we release those things that no longer serve us by writing them on a piece of paper, binding the list with string, and burning it to transform them into light and then ash.

I knew that as a group we could do something together with our energy. So I had everyone focus their energy with the things they wanted to “write” to leave behind in the darkness of 2012 onto a piece of cupcake stationary. I took the paper and rolled it up, gave it to Fancy to hold, and tied string around it.

I set it aflame from my candle and burned it in a bowl. Fancy then took a dream weed and burned it in a circle around the room to encourage us to have clarifying dreams about our future and what we want to manifest for the new, humane world order.

I really like this ritual for groups as well as individuals. It also doesn’t only have to be during Solstice, I think anytime you have something you want to let go of, writing and burning is really good for an energy cleanse.

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Bikini Thrill brought a burlesque act to “Revelations” by Yoko Ono and Cat Power. She stripped out of a cloak and handed out stars to the audience. It was so touching and felt as though Bikini Thrill was performing more with her energy than with dance or stripping. It was incredible.

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Now, our last act was the third annual holiday act by Ariel Speedwagon. She asked me if she could bring a band of unicorns to do a dance and present a Solstice ritual to the Rebel Cupcake crowd. There were flashlights, silver capes, horns, and passing out candles and lighting them throughout the audience.

It was a really wonderful way to end a very moving show. I am so grateful to all of the artists for bringing their acts and energy, the crowd for being such a great audience–they were rapt! Fancy Feast for always being willing to be an all-purpose bottom for whatever performance creativity need I have. For DJ Bryan Black who was on fire all night and celebrated his last Rebel Cupcake after two years of being our resident DJ. For Morgan and the insanely delicious cupcakes that happen every night. For Kelsey Dickey and all the amazing photographs she takes. Hana for running the door, Nicky for holding down the coats, Laura Delarato, our incredible videographer who also celebrated her last Rebel Cupcake.

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I hope everyone is having a great Solstice/Christmas/Gaywitchmas/New Year and you are able to release those things that no longer serve you and welcome in new and exciting ideas.

2011-07-05

Hey Brooklyn! Dirty Dancing at Rebel Cupcake on Thursday, July 14th!

Remember that scene in Dirty Dancing where Baby carries a watermelon and ends up in this magical, steamy, sweaty dance party?

And then Johnny Castle teaches her how to dirty dance?

I have always wanted to throw that party, and now, in the heat of July in an air-conditioned gay bar I am recreating it!

All the info is below, I am super excited about the show and especially the sweaty dance party to follow!

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Thursday, July 14th, 2011 * Brooklyn, NY
Bevin Branlandingham Presents
Rebel Cupcake 15: Dirty Dancing
10PM-2AM Dancing; show 11ish * $7
($2 off admission if you are on our texty texty list)
Late night dancing til 4a
Sugarland: 221 N 9th St @ Roebling, Brooklyn, NY
(3 blocks from the Bedford L subway stop)

Rebel Cupcake: a flamboyant queer dance party for all shapes & flavors!

*Sugarland DJ Bryan Black spins slow jams & riot grrrl favs to get you going, dance beats all night to keep you moving at a house party level–perfect for dancing and mingling! The dance party is soul music, the songs that inspired the iconic movie Dirty Dancing, are steeped in history and make sweater summer nights unforgettable.

*Performances by:

*Jessica Halem as Frances “Baby” Houseman
Comedian and hot Femme in the role she was born to play, she’ll also be doing a comedy set!
[http://www.jessicahalem.com]

*Heather Acs as Penny
Magical Femme performance art wildflower, she’s directing the Dirty Dancing vignettes and performing her new work about star dust.

*??? as Johnny Castle

*Amelia as Dirty Dancer
Our flamboyant go-go will get you in the mood for dirty dancing!!

*& More!
*Nogga Schwartz ready to decorate your facebook page with antics from our wild photo booth!

We’ll have chairs out during the performances and there is a lot of seating available in grottos and at the bar. This is a great party to be loungey and social or dancey. The show will be over by midnight so earlybirds can make it home–the show is about 30 minutes long.

As always, free cupcakes while they last! Vegan & gluten free sometimes available. This month we’ve carried a watermelon instead of cupcakes!!

Accessibility notes: The stage area and bar are wheelchair accessible. Coming into the venue is a little narrow but there are no stairs to enter or to get to the main seating area for the show. Lots of street parking available. (Please let me know if you need any accommodations!)

Check out the photos from past Rebel Cupcakes at the facebook group! The most stunt-ridden and flamboyant photo booth in queer New York City.

2011-04-09

NYC April 14! Queer Performance and Dance Party Rebel Cupcake 12: I Love Lucy

Rebel Cupcake 12: I Love Lucy

Booking for a monthly show is so heartwarming. I get to share some of my favorite artists with my crowd and create a special alchemy of performances to fit certain themes and, always, leave the audience feeling good and ready to dance, mingle and let their lights shine. Sometimes I day dream about who I would have at a show if I had a big budget and could fly someone in every month.

Serendipity often has a hand in determining the line-up for my show, and this month’s Rebel Cupcake she really came through. Not one but two of my favorite out of town beauties are in town for Rebel Cupcake–I hope if you are near NYC you’ll come out!

The photo booth is black and white in honor of the I Love Lucy theme. Optional dress code is to serve Ricky, Lucy, Ethel or Fred. Save $2 off the door by signing up for our texty texty list (promise no spam).

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Miasia is one of my favorite people in this world and she also happens to be a world-famous belly dancer. She lives in Washington, DC so I don’t get to see her very often, but luckily she happens to be in town and will be gracing the stage of Rebel Cupcake once more!

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“Miasia is an extraordinary dancer. Of all the thousands of women I
have taught, she is the best of the best. Her stage presence is
intoxicating and her joy is infectious. Miasia’s technique is flawless,
but a true artist must be more than that. A master technician must be
warm and engaging. Miasia is what I call a heart, gut, soul dancer.–Artemis Mourat”

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Miss Mary Wanna was introduced to me on a blind performer date for the Zombie Queer Cabaret I did in October 2009 and I am so grateful for the introduction! She has a one-of-a-kind shimmy and real comedic presence. She is going to go far in burlesque.

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This sassy southern creature of the night has been knocking over trash cans, causing hiiiigh-jinx along the east coast, and has once again found her way to the magical streets of New York City. She currently builds her den in Philadelphia, bumpin and grindin in the name of brotherly and sisterly love with other DIY queens and kings alike. Whether she’s peeling away fur or feathers, Miss Mary Wanna is certain to blow your mind and get you high!

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Photo by Quito Ziegler

What can I say about Glenn Marla that I haven’t already said sixteen times? His tag on my blog is one of the most often-used (almost as much as Femme, Community, and Dating!) because he is brilliant. I am lucky to have him in my life, to call him my friend, and have named one of the peacock feathers in my new tattoo after him. He is a world-class performance artist and does some extraordinary work. Since this night is all about 50s showbiz, I requested his act “Put a Little Mascara On.” You’ll love it.

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The Portland Phoenix calls Glenn Marla’s work, “performance art that pushes the envelope without pushing the audience away,” Time Out New York Calls Glenn a “downtown prophet” and The New York Times calls Glenn “an obese transvestite in tights.”

Fancy Feast comes to us from right here in New York City. She’s a fresh bottom and Rebel Cupcake regulars will recognize her as my trusty stage kitten. She’s under the hot lights this month ready to do some comedic burlesque in the style of Lucy hi-jinks!

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When she first started stage kittening for me her name was Boob Radley and I was really hoping for an act involving her dressed as a ham.

As always, free cupcakes while they last! Vegan & gluten free sometimes available.

Accessibility notes: The stage area and bar are wheelchair accessible. Coming into the venue is a little narrow but there are no stairs to enter. Lots of street parking available. (Please let me know if you need any accommodations!)

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