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

2016-08-08

Dollypalooza NYC is September 3rd, Here’s How to Get a Free Dolly for President Poster

Dara and I have been so hard at work expanding Dollypalooza, the epic fan tribute to Dolly Parton I started in 2014.

dollypaloozagroupsingLast year’s big finale! All photos by Ves Pitts for Dollypalooza unless otherwise noted.

First expansion: we moved to a bigger venue in NYC and doubled our capacity! We sold out last year and hope to get even more Dolly fans in the door. Tickets are on sale now for the September 3rd show (Labor Day weekend) and if you buy them by August 10th (Wednesday) you’ll get a free Dolly for President poster! Pick it up at our merch table, it will be under whatever name you give when you buy your tickets.

Second expansion: we added an LA show! October 29th, we’re calling it “Dolloween” because we hope people will dress like Dolly or related Dolly characters/country cuteness. Tickets are not yet on sale, I’m still booking it out. If you know a performer in LA or willing to come to LA, send them the online form to apply! I especially want to curate a diverse cast, so folks of color, queer folks, older folks and folks of size are highly encouraged to apply. I cast drag queens, burlesque artists, performance artists, tap dance, puppetry, anything campy or fun and in the spirit of Dolly Parton. Application deadline is August 23rd.

ladyquesakimberlydarlindaLady Quesa’Dilla, Kimberly Clark (who played accordion with Doll Parts last year!) and Darlinda, Just Darlinda.

Here’s all the good stuff about NYC:

This is the first year we’re having a photo booth! My incredibly talented artist friends Ryan and Matt are driving in from St. Louis to install it with 40+ props! Including Dolly wig cut outs, boobs, quotes and other memory makers. One of my favorite queer photographers, Shoog McDaniel, is taking portraits!

We added a trivia component! I always wanted to play Dolly trivia so I am putting it together. The webmaster of the longest-running Dolly fan website, Dollymania.net has agreed to write the trivia. The winning team at trivia will get a basket of Dolly goodies to divvy up between them.

The performers are amazing as always.

♥A full 45 minute set by the very fun and gifted Dolly Parton Tribute Band, Doll Parts. The enthusiasm they play with is from the hearts of people who love Dolly at level 10.

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♥My hero/friend/legendary burlesque super star World Famous *BOB* joins me again as Femmecee. Dollylujiah!

♥Sequinette you’ll remember from the Double Dolly act and last year’s epic Backwoods Barbie/Dolly signature cape act.

sequinettedollyback

♥ Lady Quesa’Dilla, teacher of the children and much like Dolly herself, a charming storyteller.

♥Darlinda, Just Darlinda, a fabulous cutting edge burlesque star, producer and teacher at the School of Burlesque.

♥NathAnn Carrera joins us again as Dolly DJ and will serenade us with 60s era Southern Gothic Dolly tunes and gossip about Dolly and Judy’s moonlight naked runs on her estate.

♥Not on stage but a very talented performer herself, Camille-Bettina Atkinson is my wildly indispensable stage manager. If you know her, get her to belt a few lines of “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.”

camille

New this year to the NYC stage:

♥ I am very excited to bring Sweetie–a legendary New York City drag queen (drag mom to my friend Glenn Marla). This article from Paper Magazine about Sweetie is great, I especially love how she talks about how things are opening up around age, femininity and size in the gay community due to the Bear movement.

sweetiePhoto from Paper Magazine.

♥Tammy Cannons!!! I always wanted to bring a small town gay bar drag superstar to Dollypalooza and Tammy is a bright, passionate light and the kind of glitter beard Queen who makes you rethink your ideas about gender.

In addition to our marvelous performers, we have a fan costume contest! I highly encourage folks to dress as Dolly or as a related character (Carl Dean, Burt Reynolds, Judy Ogle), a country queer, or HIGH DOLLY FAN EXTREME whatever that means to you. You can win a cash prize based on audience hollerin’!

nathannNathAnn.

A big part of the show is the benefit for the Imagination Library, Dolly Parton’s early literacy charity that sends books to kids in need from age 0-5 every month. We have some merch for sale (Dolly for President posters and buttons, Dolly Mint reiki infused tea) and some raffle prizes in addition to our silent auction.

Last year we raised over $7,000 and this year we’re aiming for $10,000! We have Dolly fan art from all over to go to the highest bidder, in addition to a trip for two to LA for the LA Dolly Parton show at the Hollywood Bowl, and trips to Dollywood!

Do you have fan art you want to donate? Do you have airline miles you want to donate to help us make awesome silent auction prizes? Do you want to be a matching donor? We would LOVE to talk to you about it. Email me queerfatfemme at gmail and we’ll coordinate.

For both events I have the honor of working with Jessica Scarlett for graphic design (she’s amazing, I’m having her work on Bevin’s Tea as well!) and my friend Bridget Sweetz for web and branding work (also amazing). I love doing work and getting to collaborate with my talented friends!

Here’s the Facebook event

Sign up for the Dollypalooza email list!

Purchase tickets here. Get ’em by August 10th to get your free Dolly for President poster.

dollypalooza_pc_backweb dollypalooza_pc_frontweb

2015-10-02

How I’m Leaning into Decluttering

A couple of years ago I had my first full reading with my astrologer, Katie Sweetman of Empowering Astrology. She told me that I should be decluttering. It was a big spiritual thing I needed/wanted to do but because of elements of my chart I don’t remember, it was also something that was hard for me. Both a struggle and something that I needed to happen for my spiritual growth.

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In the Earthly realm I can tell you straight up why decluttering is hard for me–I moved 13 times by the time I was 13 years old. I had a working class single mom, so between financial uncertainty, divorce stuff, and moving towards the best public school district she could, we were on the run a lot. As a kid, coming home from summer camp to a new place is jarring. I have a thing with wanting to feel settled in a space and I think having stuff is part of that. It’s also from a place of having been really poor/broke in my life and wanting to make sure I can be safe and have the things I need. I’m a pantry always full just in case kind of person. State of emergency and stores are closed? My house is where you want to be.

In the past couple of years I’ve been leaning towards late in life minimalism. Well, my version of it, which, compared to how I used to be, will appear way more simplified. (I love glitter, accessories and flamboyance too much to truly ever do minimalism.)

As someone who has come to faith in my thirties, part of paring down is actually trusting the universe. If I get rid of these crayons, can I trust the universe enough that when I need crayons again I will have the means to buy them or borrow them? If I get rid of these clothes can I trust the universe that I will be able to get clothes that fit me when I need them? It’s hard to do that when you’ve had the experience of a weight change and not been able to afford work clothes that fit. (This is why a lot of work wardrobe pieces for me accommodate size changes.)

notesDecluttering old files meant I found a weird stash of personal archives from earlier this decade. I found a postcard from a friend, a note from an old lover, the card I got from the first time I met World Famous *BOB* in person before we became friends, a coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond I still intend to redeem.

The universe works in mysterious ways and somehow, just after I lost my day job in 2008 and set out as an artist/freelancer, I met someone who now invites me over every time she does a closet purge and it’s almost as good as having a personal shopper–her taste is impeccable, we’re about the same size and she loves shopping but is a picky outfit wearer and rarely returns things. Her generosity has kept me in cute clothes through a LOT of financial tough times. Her Tumblr is also amazing, lots of rad fat stuff, sex positivity and feminism.

Katie’s astrology reading was right, I can feel the internal need to simplify and to open up energy. In some ways I’m very excited about moving across the country because it forces the question “Do I love this? Can this be replaced?” for literally everything I own. I appreciate the nudge to do this thing I’ve been doing slowly for the past couple of years.

mailingstackI’m getting really intimate with the post office down the street. My next task is to figure out when the line is the shortest.

When Dara lived with me for a couple of months during chemo she hired my friend Miss Mary Wanna to come be my personal organizer and organize my bedroom. She was really helpful, both knowing my aesthetic and needs as a showgirl (no one can help a performer declutter like another performer), but also being a firm nudge to get rid of the things I really needed to get rid of. It was right after I had lost a bunch of weight and it was helpful going through my clothing. I have a small rubbermaid tub of vintage that fits at a different size because those are items I love and will come back to, and I let go anything that wasn’t something I loved.

(Miss Mary Wanna is a great personal organizer and if you need someone to help you do a project like that, you should get in touch with her.)

meandjoeyI actually really hate the process of sorting through things and decluttering, but I really love putting love out there. It was sooo fun to make a care package of craft supplies, toys and costume pieces my nieces Joey and Etta will love. It definitely helped me forget how much I hate going through stuff.

That experience was great training and I employed the idea that I wanted to really be able to see and use my home better and in order to do that I needed to continue to pare down what I had. I am a longtime follower of Fly Lady (FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself) and her free systems of organization and philosophies that help folks who are not born organized get some control over their spaces. She’s the person I heard “Do you love it?” from long before everyone was talking about the Tidying Up book.

ettaI love what a weirdo Etta has become, and how princess oriented she is. I made sure that in my costume pieces for her that I put in some balance–a bridal veil I had kicking around as well as a pink suede tool belt. And plenty of really weird toys and crafts. And a lot of glitter.

I began the plans for my impending move in earnest a couple of weeks ago, getting moving quotes (why it takes as long as shopping for insurance to get a simple moving quote is beyond me), and realized that Mercury is in Retrograde and I should just plan to finalize the HOW of moving once October 9th rolls around. I thought it might be helpful to know how much space we have to move before I started packing, but it’s this weird dance of how much I can get rid of versus how much I want to take.

Since Mars is in Virgo I’m using that glitterdone energy towards the organization of the move and it feels great to be taking huge steps forward.

I’m actually learning a lot about myself in this process of decluttering. It’s helping me really think about how I use my time and how it relates to my values. Going through my stationary reminded me how important the written word is in general–I think handwriting is an amazing tool for harnessing energy. Sending random love notes to my loved ones used to be something I spent a good amount of time doing. Doing the decluttering showed me that I want to get back to that.

But I don’t need all of my Girl Scout camp counselor stationary to do that, I can get by getting rid of 70% of my stash and just stick to my card file box. (It’s a great organizational tool for being thoughtful, having cards sorted by occasion and ready to go ahead of time, so all you have to do is remember to go into the card file and pull one out to mail.)

victoriachristmascardIt’s never a bad time to tell a friend that you love them, even if it’s through your 2014 holiday card you didn’t even get printed until February 2015.

I had a friend, Tammy Cannons, tell me she was interested in getting all of my leftover stationary and office supplies and would pay me the shipping. So I had a great time curating an amazing box of old stationary (I said, “I hope you like Winnie the Pooh and Babysitter’s Club”) and threw in a ton of accessories, too. Decluttering + care package is such an amazing feeling.

I’m putting a lot of time and energy into ensuring my stuff goes to great homes. In the past, when I’ve dropped stuff off at Goodwill and Salvation Army I have been told by them that my things would be all sent to the trash. When someone tells you that, you start not trusting the NYC donation monster. Also Housing Works has told me before that they get so much great stuff in NYC they don’t want pedestrian donations. So I’m working on being mindful about how stuff goes away. Since I am intentionally doing my move with a lot of lead time, we’re moving on faith instead of for a job or in a panic, and I’m actually working on how to do this the least stressful way possible.

bevinandtammyI had so much fun putting together Tammy’s care package, too!

I can sort things and do it differently, so I’m going to. It’s helpful to have folks willing to come pick up stuff (also great way to have tea with friends who I don’t see enough) and it’s helpful that my apartment building has a magical “free bench” with a pretty successful turn around. I dropped off my huge stash of craft paint the other day when I went outside to walk Macy and it was gone before I came back into the building. And the stuff that gets donated for real is going to go outside of the city someplace where they have more space and less population density and hopefully things will go to good use.

I’m instagramming a lot of my process at the hashtag #bevinanddaragowest and it’s also a great way to find stuff I’m offering out there for the cost of shipping. This creepy joyful monkey lamp (I bought when thrifting with Mackenzi) was snatched up right away by my friend Lo Lo from DC who will now add it to their a full of monkey ephemera!

creepymonkeylampjoy

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