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

2013-07-31

August Party Agenda

**FYI this post has been edited, the August Yes Ma’am party date was changed to Saturday, August 31st**
Hello Brooklynites, New York Citians and other folks who might be in and around Brooklyn and wanting to hang out with the nicest, funnest, awesomest body positive crowd in New York City queer nightlife!

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Photo of me, Nicky and Jo by Grace Chu.

Yes Ma’am has two amazing parties this month we’re stoked to share with you!

Yes Ma’am’s WHAM BAM, our afternoon party (goes from 4pm-10pm) is so much fun! It’s like the Noxema Commercial you never realized you were dreaming of until it came true. DJ Average Jo plays an ecclectic mix of oldies, reggae, motown, 90s hip hop, and Hall & Oates. There are beer specials and a burger special at the upcoming WHAM BAM on August 18th! All of the info is on our Facebook page.

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Photo by Kelsy Chauvin.

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Photo by Kelsy Chavin.

Yes Ma’am’s flagship party is happening at the mansion in Bed Stuy on August 31st! Saturday night, great dance jams and really hot people. The mansion is air conditioned but we’re also bringing in tons of box fans to add to the windswept Dirty Dancing dance party vibe (it’s very “I carried a watermelon” and I might get Jacqueline to mix up a fresh watermelon punch situation in that spirit but I haven’t talked to her or Jo or Nicky about it so this is between us, readers). All the info is on our Facebook invite!

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Photo of Al by Grace Chu.

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Photo by Grace Chu.

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Photo by Grace Chu.

See you in August!

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.

2012-06-15

Bevin’s New York Pride Guide 2012

Gay Stamina Month is upon us! And there are five weekends in June this year! So much time for homo revelry! I had a reader email and ask what was going on for Pride and my answer is “everything” but here’s what my Gay Agenda looks like for the next week and change.

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Photo by Amos Mac

#1 Rebel Cupcake
It’s my party so it goes first.

THURSDAY, JUNE 21st!! Kicking off NYC Pride Weekend. The theme is Let’s Get Physical, in honor of Crystal Light Dance Aerobic Championships from the 80s.

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 dance party for all shapes & flavors! WINNER of Go Magazine Awards for Best Emcee (Bevin) and Most Eclectic Crowd!

Performers:
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*Axon D’Luxe
Electrotext wordsmith and performance artist teaches us how to reclaim our bodies from trauma through aerobic exercise.
[http://www.axondluxe.com/]

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Photo by Jeep Wheat
*Afrotitty
Ferocious Burlesque Glitter Baby Supreme

*Bevin Branlandingham
Your Femmecee reclaims the President’s Physical Fitness Test
[http://queerfatfemme.com/]

More info available on the Rebel Cupcake page!

#2. Fuck You Dad! A Femme Pride Event
SUNDAY, June 17th, 7PM @ a Private Brooklyn Residence.

My fabulous and smart roommate Damien Luxe is producing it and it is going to be really amazing. I’m performing a piece from my memoir, not about my Dad (who, ironically, I have made a lot of peace with over the last couple of years) but about a Daddy Top I once had a scene with.

“Daddy is a fabulous sexuality … and ‘dad’ is a problem! Ya know it’s true. So on Sunday June 17, come to a variety show, ritual to celebrate femme pride & end patriarchy, backyard hangout & birthday party on the theme of Fuck You Dad!
// Show @ 8p *sharp* //”

Performing artists include:
Bevin Brandlandingham
Damien Luxe
Heather Acs
Jessica Halem
LeRoi Prince
NathAnn Carerra
Princess Tiny Meats
Shomi Noise

More info on the Facebook event.

#3 Queer Pride Party presented by Ellie
FRIDAY, June 22, 11PM in Manhattan.

She’s been doing Choice Cunts for 6 years and she is retiring from nightlife production! Come see Ellie off with a performance from Trans Hearthrob Rocco Katastrophe!

More info at the Facebook event.

#4 BACON BOOBIES presented by WOAHMONE and The Spectrum
SATURDAY, June 23, 10PM-4AM in Bushwick at the Spectrum

I went to my first Woah Mone party last week and it was spectacular! Full of feminine focus from all gender presentations. I felt my inner lesbian heart burst for joy while dancing to an overlay of “Mother Maiden Crone” during a classic rock song. Also Bacon is in the title. And boobies. How can this be wrong?

More info at the Facebook event.

#5 Everybooty Pride Extravaganza
SUNDAY, June 24 Noon to 10PM, Dekalb Market in Brooklyn

That’s right, it’s during the NYC Pride Parade. If you want to avoid that hustle and bustle for a different, less intense hustle, this is the party for you. Vendors, performances. It’s going to be an epic day. I might go, but probably will be at the beach.

More info and presale tickets at their Facebook event.

#6 Queer Pride at Riis Beach
Sunday, June 24, Whenever
Point yourself to Jacob Riis Beach and to the first Bay on the far left. You’ll find the queers.

This is the big alternative to Pride day shenanigans. Just the ocean and some homos. Likely what I will end up doing as a mellow end to the Gay Agenda.

More info at the Facebook event.

#7 Dyke March
SATURDAY, June 23 at 4PM, Bryant Park

It’s put on by an all volunteer force. Check out the Facebook page and the holey army being put together by Coral Short.

#8 Trans Day of Action
FRIDAY, June 22 at 3PM, Washington Square Park

“We call on our Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) community and on all of our allies from many movements to join us for the 8th Annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice. We as TGNC People of Color (POC) recognize the importance of working together alongside other movements to change the world we want to see. We live in a time when oppressed peoples including people of color, immigrants, youth and elders, people with disabilities, women and TGNC people, and poor people are underserved, face higher levels of discrimination, heightened surveillance and experience increased violence at the hands of the state. We must unite and work together towards dismantling the transphobia, racism, classism, sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia and xenophobia that permeates our movements for social justice. Let’s come together to let the world know that TGNC rights will not be undermined and together we will not be silenced!”

More info at the Facebook event!

2011-07-26

Hey Brooklyn! August 11th Rebel Cupcake Sad Songs Say So Much!

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I really love sad songs. It’s fun and indulgent to listen to a tragic torch song. I’m a super glass half-full Pollyanna optimist, but I do acknowledge that sometimes queers get so caught up in the “We have to show how happy we are all the time” act and sometimes it’s just plain hard to live a marginalized identity. It’s really lonely sometimes. Especially for those of us who maybe don’t have families around the holidays or who date emotionally absent folks.

With this in mind I curated a sad songs Rebel Cupcake. I’m not afraid to go there at a dance party cabaret. I tapped my pal Kit Yan, amazing slam poet, who is about to give up his crown to the successor Mr. Transman on August 28th at Murray Hill’s pageant. Kit knows how to write a heartbreaker of a poem. He’s also doing a kickstarter pre-sale of his new album, check him out and support queer art!

The infamous Taylor Black is a really talented singer and guitar player and knows the plight of the tragic homosexual.

And to top it all off, Miss Mary Wanna returns with a sad burlesque number. I just told her “Work it out onstage, girl.” I can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

After the show we’ll dance to songs about heartbreak!

I’ll be back from my sojourn in the woods and I might sing an off-key version of Vision of Love if the mood feels right. More info on the show here!

Remember to get on the texty texty list to get in for $5!

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