Bevin's Blog I'm blogging the relentless pursuit of my joy

2012-07-23

Summer Update and Magic Mike

When I embarked on the journey to write a memoir this summer, stepping out in faith with no book deal lined up or anything, I swore I wouldn’t end up like so many of my favorite bloggers who sort of disappear when they are writing a book. And then I did it! I disappeared. When you pour yourself into something 1,000 words at a time and it’s a lot of hard stuff you don’t necessarily want to look at or think about it gets really difficult. So it’s all, write, self-care, write, live a new adventure over here.

Me, serving Aerosmith groupie @ Rebel Cupcake 27: Classic Rock Cupcake. Photo by @morganirene our Cupcake Princess.
Me, serving Aerosmith groupie @ Rebel Cupcake 27: Classic Rock Cupcake. Photo by Morgan our Cupcake Princess.

It was also a bunch of preparation for all the events I’m doing this July. The Sarah McLachlan Fumbling Towards Ecstasy tribute show was incredible–the acts were so vulnerable, tender, funny and profound. We believe we called forth the spirit of Sarah Mc’s stalker as the microphone spontaneously started moving around after the band Hellmouth sprinked a circle of salt around the lead singer during a Buffy fanfiction reading/performance over “Circle.”

Backstage at Fumbling w/ @jessicahalem
Backstage with Jessica Halem.

Rebel Cupcake was also electric. Truly a gift to hear the haunting black mass of Coven by Nath Ann Carerra with Elizabeth Koke. And I met a bunch of blog readers! One from Portland! Next month is August 16th, if you find yourself in town.

During my writing days I’ve been doing what I can to take good care of the well from which I draw my creativity. This means morning pages and artist dates, tools I picked up doing The Artist’s Way (I highly recommend doing the book with a group or a life coach, as I did with rockstar and writer Lynnee Breedlove from Tribe8.)

One of my favorite artist’s dates to go on is going to the movies by myself. And the other day I found myself during matinee times passing a theater where Magic Mike happened to be playing.

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Masculinity!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m a Kinsey 5.5 and I live a life that puts Femmes at the forefront. I don’t have a lot of masculinity in my life and I feel pretty great about it. I love the masculine of center folks that are in my community and in my life, but considering I live in the Haus of Femmespiration, work for myself and collaborate with Femmes and limp wristed fellas, I just don’t really do a lot of masculine studying. I don’t think about it that much, so it takes a special moment for me to focus my attention on that kind of spectacle.

And Magic Mike is nothing if not a celebration of masculinity.

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I will be honest, I really love Matthew Mcconaughey. He is one of my favorite fictional lawyers and I enjoy his soft Texas accent. He’s why I went to go see the movie. I also really loved Channing Tatum in The Vow, so he was a win. And I didn’t realize Alseed from True Blood was in Magic Mike and was pleasantly surprised.

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The movie is essentially conceived of an all male revue of super buff dudes gyrating on stage for throngs of excited women. The dance acts are great, pretty well-choreographed and conceived. In fact, as a former drag king performer who studied the way men walk and talk and wear facial hair, etc… I think this movie is a great study tool. Each performance was basically the same as an apolitical drag act I’d seen once or twice before. Or, in the case of “Pony” by Ginuwine, three times before. It is always hot when performed well. (Channing Tatum can dance. Who knew?)

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The plot is loosely structured around a new kid in town and the more successful thirty-year-old stripper showing him the ropes. Maybe a little bit Coyote Ugly mixed with Showgirls. The plot is barely there, clearly not well-developed and hard to follow. The main love interest is boring and has one expression on her face the whole time. But it doesn’t matter how terrible the plot is, the male revue is so fun to watch! Let’s go back to the club while there are dollar bills being thrown around!

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If I had a Women and Gender Studies paper to write for undergrad I could really rip this movie up and sideways. I had an emphasis on cultural representations of gender while in undergrad and I was great at movie deconstruction. But I have a memoir to write! So if you’re taking a WGS class this Fall, go see this movie and take lots of notes.

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Anyway, I highly recommend it as complete eye candy. Especially if you enjoy or are attracted to masculinity or are or were a drag king performer. Just watch some of the gifs on tumblr. You’ll know what I’m talking about.


Patriotism would be a whole section of my paper. I could get 10 pages easily.

I’m 25,000 words deep into my memoir (my goal is 50,000 by the end of the summer, when I will start taking the taffy draft I have and choreographing the sentences better) and have lots more to blog about as things keep surfacing. Why is it that I hear more often than not that folks “just aren’t interested in Femmes” and how can I learn to let the love in? So much to think about.

2010-10-30

My Intention Behind Art & Soul

A few weeks ago the director of fun at CultureFIX, this new art gallery/bar/store space approached me about producing a low-key queer night. A friend of hers had been to Rebel Cupcake and suggested my name.

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I went to visit the space and it seemed like a great spot. It’s well-lit like a coffee shop and there is cool art on the wall. The exhibit will change every month. The bar itself has a really cozy vibe and the gallery has couches, chairs, tables with flexible arrangements which makes it perfect as an event space. The bar serves beer, wine and has a menu of nice food. I immediately thought, “This is the kind of place I want to hang out with my friends.”

Rebel Cupcake has been wonderful and I am going to keep putting it on, but it is still very nightclub and harder to meet new people unless you’re comfortable doing the bar scene meeting new people thing. Art and Soul is definitely going to have a different vibe. I’m hoping late 90s inclusive feminist bookstore coffee shop.

And to bring it a little feminist bookstore coffee shop realness, I’m doing a short queer artists’ salon at 8:30 where some of my favorite writers, singers, poets, whoever happens to be in town will be presenting works in progress. For the inaugural party here’s the line-up:
*Glenn Marla, downtown tranny superstar “Girl you couldn’t mess up my pronouns if you tried.”
[http://www.glennmarla.com]
*Kit Yan, the reigning Mr. Transman 2010, sweetheart and incredible slam poet.
[http://www.myspace.com/kityanpoetry]
*Bevin Branlandingham reading from her memoir in progress on coming out into size acceptance, queerness and love found and lost.
[That’s me. It helps me to have benchmarks when I’m doing a big project like a memoir.]

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I love that Kit Yan always dresses in theme.

As for the music, I was high off the fumes of the recently amazing Hard French NYC party. This incredible SF based afternoon party thrown by a group of amazing queers including my BFF-in-Law Devon Devine decided to go on the road and bring their magic to Brooklyn. And they brought it hard, I haven’t had that much fun getting day drunk in a long time. (Called “the country’s best gay party”.)
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Me and Devon at Hard French NYC. They promise to come back in the Spring.

Hard French is all soul music (which I LOVE to dance to) so I decided to hire SF DJs Carnita & Brown Amy to make the playlist for Art & Soul. (The one draw back to the space is that the dj booth is not so dj booth.) Plus, playing vintage music means y’all can wear vintage outfits if you want. People really brought the vintage gorgeousness to Hard French NYC.

If you’re in town I would love to see you at Art & Soul! Tell your friends!

Oh yeah, I totally named the party after this amazing 80s song.

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