Posts Tagged ‘sideshow’

Photos from the Last Sideshow

November 16, 2011  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

After Cheryl died, the reading series she and I co-created took a hiatus. July 2011 was the last performance, and Syd London took amazing photographs.

Readers were Ellis Avery, Samantha Barrow, E Charles Crandall, Kestryl Cael Lowrey, Morgan W., Renair Amin, & Ashley Young.

I think it really captures the vibe of the series … diverse and wide-ranging, joyous and emotional, community building and hook-up space (did you see all those super hot people?!).

I miss doing that every month. I’m hoping to revive it in 2012, but I don’t have all the details worked out yet. Will of course let you all know and shout it from the rooftops when I do.

The Last Sideshow is Tonight

July 12, 2011  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival
Tuesday, July 12th
at The Phoenix
447 East 13th Street at Avenue A
Free sex toy giveaway, 8pm. Reading, 8:30pm
Free! (We’ll pass the hat for the readers)
RSVP on Facebook

The Last Sideshow, July 12th

June 23, 2011  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

I’ve learned a lot over the last year and and a quarter of coproducing and cohosting Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival. I was seeking a place to regularly perform in New York City and combined with Cheryl’s reading series expertise, not to mention her own sparkling spoken word talents, Sideshow was born and bloomed.

It’s been an incredible experience. I loved each one.

The last few have been hard. When Cheryl was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in November, we weren’t sure what would change. For a while, nothing did. Then she went into the hospital in April, and she spent three months there, missing the last three shows. They were hard—not just because it was a lot of work and effort, but also because she wasn’t there.

I can’t imagine doing Sideshow without her.

So July will be the last Sideshow. I’ve put the call out to all of those who were scheduled to read through the summer and fall, and if they can they are invited to read at the July event.

I don’t know if there will be more in the future. I do know I have edited an erotica anthology which comes out in the spring, so there will be events for that. I’ve learned a lot about event production, and I do want to continue doing readings, putting people together, bringing audiences to hear queers tell great stories. But I’m not sure I will be running another monthly reading series.

I loved doing Sideshow at the Phoenix. I love the seedy bar, I love that there are only bar stools and no actual folding chairs, I love that there are guys picking each other up in the background, I love the clink of glasses behind the bar, I love the seedyness. It’s different than reading in a bookstore or a queer arts performance space, and I like the differences. I will really miss having a place to read my work every month. I will really miss Cheryl, especially every time the second Tuesday rolls around.

Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival
Tuesday, July 12th
at The Phoenix
447 East 13th Street at Avenue A
Free sex toy giveaway, 8pm. Reading, 8:30pm
Free! (We’ll pass the hat for the readers)
RSVP on Facebook

Cheryl B.

June 19, 2011  |  journal entries  |  13 Comments

photo by Syd London

Cheryl B. died yesterday, Saturday morning. I’m not sure what I can say yet. A couple other people are able to be more articulate than me: Sassafras Lowrey at Lambda Literary.org, Kathleen Warnock at Too Many Hats. Edit: Here’s a few more, Anne Elliott on Ass Backwords, Rachel Kramer Bussel on Lusty Lady.

We made a little video for Cheryl at April’s Sideshow.

Sideshow Loves Cheryl from Sinclair Sexsmith on Vimeo.

I’d like to post some videos of her poetry soon. I miss her.

Second Annual Butch/Femme Pride Sideshow! June 14th

May 23, 2011  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

Join us at Sideshow on June 14th for our second PRIDE month celebration of butch and femme. Readers include Rachel Kahn, Alicia Greene, & Maggie Cee from Boston’s Femme Show, Susan Herr from DapperQ.com, and Grace Moon from Velvet Park Media.

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eshow: The Queer Literary Carnival
Hosted by Cheryl B. & Sinclair Sexsmith
Tuesday, June 14th
at The Phoenix
447 East 13th Street at Avenue A
Doors, 7:30pm. Reading, 8pm
Free! (We’ll pass the hat for the readers)
RSVP on Facebook

Rachel Kahn is a freelance writer, poet, and performer, but spends the vast majority of her time pretending to be a therapist. Her work has been heard at a variety of venues, including the Apocalypse Lounge, the Ear Inn Poetry Series, and The New York Writers’ Coalition ‘Writing Aloud’ series. She has performed at the HOT Festival at Dixon Place in New York City, and makes trouble on and off stage up and down the East Coast. Rachel is not ashamed to tell you that she wrote a young adult novel, but will never let you know what name she used.

Alicia Greene has been a performance-loving, femme dyke diva since she was 10 years old. Spoken word, dance, comedy are some of the stages you may have seen her on. She trained at Kansas State University, the Improv Asylum, Improv Olympic and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts-NYC to just to name a few. Some past performances include: The Chicago Improv Festival, Montreal Fringe Festival, Company One, Big Moves dance troupe, street corners, comedy clubs and open mikes near you. She has also been an announcer for the Boston Derby Dames Roller Derby League as “Lady Oshun-The Announcing Orisha” since 2007. www.bostonderbydames.com

Maggie Cee is an artist, activist, and teacher committed to community, social change, and wearing things in her hair. She is the founder and artistic director of The Femme Show, a ground-breaking touring variety show about queer femme identity. Publications include anthologies Girl Crazy and Second Person Queer and journals Gertrude and Common Ground Review. www.thefemmeshow.com

With dance, spoken word, burlesque and performance art from award winning artists, The Femme Show is the country’s only ongoing touring show exploring all aspects of femme identity. This is queer art for queer people, with a variety of diverse perspectives on femme identity that can be thoughtful, sad, funny, sexy, and fun. The Femme Show is available for performances and workshops at conferences, schools, and community events. www.thefemmeshow.com

Susan Herr is a 48-year-old butch dyke who founded dapperQ.com to build transgenderational bridges between her ilk and younger genderfabs. What will all the photos and videos and narratives contributed by pioneers transgressing men’s fashion — building on the work of folks like Mr. Sexsmith — it’s working! She used to be mad butchphobic and now she can’t get enough of the magic conveyed by simple swagger. Can you?

Grace Moon is the editor in chief of Velvetparkmedia.com an arts and culture social media site for queer women. Moon is also an exhibiting artist and professor of fine arts. She is currently working on a compilation of her columns to be published in an upcoming book.

Biggest Sideshow Yet! Genderqueer Tantra! So Much To Do

May 9, 2011  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

This month’s Sideshow: Queer Literary Carnival is the biggest yet! We have three poets, three comics, three guest judges, one musical guest, and one host who will be joining us on Tuesday—tomorrow night!—and telling dirty jokes and funny poems for your pleasure.

If you didn’t see Cheryl B.‘s previous reading series, Poetry vs Comedy Variety Hour, you’re in for a treat!

Join us at Sideshow on May 10th for a special revival of Cheryl B.’s previous reading series, Poetry vs Comedy Variety Hour! PVC is not a typical poetry slam nor a regular stand-up comedy show. PVC is a battle of wits and Rhymes where the stanzas and the stand-ups collide.

Performers include Kit Yan, Molly “Equality” Dykeman, Sinclair Sexsmith, Paul Case, Emma Willmann, and Jessica Halem. Celebrity guest judges include Shawn Hollenbach, Livia Scott, and Amanda Goad, Esquire. Hosted by Carolyn Castiglia, this special PvC features musical guest Leibya Rogers!

Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival: POETRY vs COMEDY
Hosted by Cheryl B. & Sinclair Sexsmith
Tuesday, May 10th
at The Phoenix
447 East 13th Street at Avenue A
Doors, 7:30pm. Reading, 8pm
Free! (We’ll pass the hat for the readers)

Now, that’s on Tuesday.

On Thursday, there is a very special Lesbian Sex Mafia monthly workshop, which features my tantra mentor.

Genderqueer Tantra with Alex Jade
Thursday, May 12 8:00pm
LGBT Community Center
208 W 13th St, New York, NY
RSVP on Facebook

Tantra is a school of thought and spiritual practice that allows us to explore the multi-dimensions of spiritual energy in our bodies. Though it often emphasizes the relationship between masculine and feminine, Genderqueer Tantra allows us to PLAY with masculine and feminine energies without getting caught up in rigid gender limitations. Join Tantra and SM practitioner Alex Jade for an interactive workshop that will introduce you to the basic Tantra concepts and invite you to deepen your sexual experiences, increase awareness of the body and mind using sensations from subtle to bold.

Alex Jade, MSW is an erotic educator, sacred intimate, psychotherapist, and student of Tantra. She is on the faculty of the Body Electric School and she has produced and taught independent workshops in Seattle for over 15 years. She has mastery in clothes-off hands-on experiential erotic education and the use of ritual as a healing tool. Alex’s specialties are gender exploration, classical Tantra, SM, and exploring with an open heart and mind.

This coming weekend, after these two (HUGE) events, I will be off in the mini-mountains of the Hudson Valley exploring some shadow through some bdsm and erotic energy play. I’m really thrilled to be doing another erotic energy retreat, and so glad it has come together. It is ever hard to get people to come out to events! Women especially, it seems.

I have more to say about that, and about a dozen other topics, but my brain is kind of fried with these events. They are so time consuming. More writing soon.

Poetry vs Comedy Variety Hour at Sideshow May 10th

May 2, 2011  |  miscellany  |  3 Comments

Well folks, Sideshow time is rolling around again—the next of my monthly reading series that I co-host and co-produce with the lovely Cheryl B. happens one week from tomorrow, on May 10th.

This one is a special one. Cheryl is still in the hospital, where she’s been for almost a month now, and we’re not sure if she’ll be able to attend next week or not (I would guess it is unlikely, but I know how badly she wants to be there!). But this show is a special revival of Cheryl’s former reading series, the Poetry vs Comedy Variety Hour, which was a genius combining of both poets and comics in a hilarious “competition” where the top poet and the top comic go head-to-head in a bonus improv round. Of course, the winning is not the point (but it didn’t stop me from being extra-nervous when performing in this series—I guess it brings out my inner competition that I try to keep managed).

I competed in Cheryl’s series three times, and won twice! I was the first poet to ever win, too—usually the comics were much more of a shoe-in. (But not this time, right Kit? We’ll give ‘em a run for their money!)

I dug this photo out from the shoot with Syd London when I was making the graphic for this event, not sure I ever shared it with y’all (unless you went through the Flickr set).

photo by Syd London

I miss Cheryl’s company. I visit her as often as possible, but it’s not the same as kicking around for a day at a coffee shop in Brooklyn and talking about our lives and writing and girlfriends and sex and jobs and goals and whatever. I don’t know if I would have undertaken this Sideshow project if she wasn’t at the helm with me, and I’ve been so grateful for her guidance and help with this show.

So while we’ve been planning this special Poetry vs Comedy Sideshow for a long time, I’m also glad it’s coming along now, and it’s become a bit of a tribute to Cheryl as a community organizer, reading series host, poet, writer, and performer. We’ll be donating what we collect to Cheryl, and hopefully we’ll have someone there videotaping the evening in case she can’t make it. She is doing MUCH better (which is such a relief), but she still has some rehabilitation to go through, and some care and healing for her poor lungs.

I’d really like to rally and send some good energies her way during this difficult healing time. I hope, if you are in New York City on May 10th, you’ll come.

Join us at Sideshow on May 10th for a special revival of Cheryl B.’s previous reading series, Poetry vs Comedy Variety Hour! PVC is not a typical poetry slam nor a regular stand-up comedy show. PVC is a battle of wits and Rhymes where the stanzas and the stand-ups collide.

Performers include Kit Yan, Molly “Equality” Dykeman, Sinclair Sexsmith, Paul Case, Emma Willmann, and Jessica Halem. Celebrity guest judges include Shawn Hollenbach, Livia Scott, and Amanda Goad, Esquire. Hosted by Carolyn Castiglia, this special PvC features musical guest Leibya Rogers!

Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival: POETRY vs COMEDY
Hosted by Cheryl B. & Sinclair Sexsmith
Tuesday, May 10th
at The Phoenix
447 East 13th Street at Avenue A
Doors, 7:30pm. Reading, 8pm
Free! (We’ll pass the hat for the readers)

POETS

Andrea Alton aka Molly “Equality” Dykeman has performed her poetry/burlesque and comedy all over New York with appearances at Comix, The PIT, Arlene’s Grocery, The LGBT Center, The Knitting Factory, Dixon Place, The Bowery Poetry Club and The Stonewall Inn. She’s also performed at The Chicago, DC, San Francisco and Toronto Sketch Comedy Festivals as well as at The Miss Fag Hag Pageant (a benefit for The Harvey Milk School) and Murray Hill’s Miss Lez Pageant. Molly’s play The F*cking World According To Molly was just accepted into the New York Fringe Festival and will be premiering in August. www.mollyequalitydykeman.com

Recently Featured in the HBO Documentary Asians Aloud, Kit Yan tell stories through slam poetry from the lens of a transgender Asian American from Hawaii now lost in the big city of New York. Through touching love poems, dirty sex accounts(optional), and comedic tales of his childhood –Kit takes you on a journey that is raw, real, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable. New York Magazine describes his art as “knockout spoken-word” while Curve magazine says “incredible slam poetry” and Bitch magazine states that: “The eloquence of Kit’s spoken-word delivery lies in the anti-racist, anti-homophobic, gender-inclusive, language that ties his lyrics together.” Kit’s work has been taught at universities coast to coast, from San Francisco State to Harvard. He spoke to over 200,000 from the stage of the 2009 National Equality March, performed on the San Francisco Pride main stage, and earned a spot in as a top three finalist at the National Queer Slam. Kit Yan is the reigning Mr. Transman 2010, the first person to ever hold this national title.

Sinclair Sexsmith really loves sandwiches, daisies, spiral notebooks, and bourbon. She has performed in dyke bars, libraries, community centers, college campuses, and once, topless in a burrito line. She co-hosts and co-produces Sideshow with Cheryl B., and writes at Sugarbutch.net.

COMICS

Called “bawdy and brave” by Time Out Chicago and “Righteous and Chipper” by the Times-Picayune, Jessica Halem was raised by hippie Jewish artists from the East Coast which was anything but normal – or easy – in small-town Ohio, but did help to foster this very funny “on-your-face” comic who puts her queer spin on everything from Sudafed to Feminism to Glory Holes. Jessica Halem was trained in femme queerness at Sarah Lawrence College; earned her chops as a social justice activist working for Bella Abzug; and as a LGBTQ health guru running the Lesbian Community Cancer Project. Jessica Halem performs at every college, Pride, and bathhouse where she can help find the funny in even the toughest of times.

Originally from rural Maine, Emma Willmann began performing comedy in late 2008. In 2009 she was a finalist in Catch a Rising Star, and in 2010 she won first place in The Boston Comedy Riots. In 2011, she was featured in The Women in Comedy Festival, a finalist in Mohegan Suns Funniest Comic in New England Competition, and became a regular at The Broadway and New York Comedy Clubs. When not doing comedy, Emma is getting a Masters in Media Studies and Entertainment Management at The New School, where she also co – host’s the radio program, “That’s My Theory,” on WNSR New School Radio. Tweet with her @EmmaWillmann.

& special guests TBA!

JUDGES

Actress, comedian & character powerhouse Livia Scott was recently named “One of our favorite 53 comedians” by The Huffington Post. Credits: Honesty on Comedy Central, 7 different characters in National Lampoon’s Dirty Movie, Law & Order and Conan. Currently you can see her on Atom.com playing Courtney Love in the web series Saving Love.

Shawn Hollenbach is a stand up comedian, actor and the gay next door. Shawn is the producer of Closet Cases, a Critics’ Pick from Time Out NY, a Homo Must in HX Magazine and can be heard on Broadcastr. You may have seen him on VH1 or on Gayest Week Ever on Logo’s NewNowNext.com. He’s also been featured on two episodes of Hot Gay Comicson the here! Networks and you may have seen him as the host of Busted, a celebrity gossip podcast. He’s also creator and co-producer of the Miss Fag Hag Pageant. featuring such talents as Caroline Rhea, Leslie Jordan, John Cameron Mitchell, Michael Musto and Hedda Lettuce. Shawn is also a contributing writer for 365gay.com

& special guest TBA!

MUSIC

Mindy Raf (BUST Magazine, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival) is a writer, comedienne, and musician out of Brooklyn, New York. She will be performing music as her popular alter-ego, chick rocker, Leibya Rogers. Mindy is currently finishing up her first novel which is set to be published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin. http://www.mindyraf.com

HOST

Carolyn Castiglia is a stand-up comedian, writer and hip-hop superstar. You may have seen her on Comedy Central’s Atom TV, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Nick-at-Nite’s Funniest Mom in America 3, The Maury Show, ABC World News with Charles Gibson and heard her on Sirius/XM Radio. She is best known for her appearances on VH1/ego trip’s The White Rapper Show and Miss Rap Supreme as the lovable and hilarious Miss CKC. Her funny freestyle has won her numerous championship titles at The BEATdown, a monthly showcase at New York’s UCB Theatre.

What’s Happening In April

April 8, 2011  |  miscellany  |  4 Comments

I started this over the last week of March, but this week has been so nuts that I couldn’t get it done.

In sum: April is busy! Lots of events! The most exciting of which is a week-long trip to Minneapolis, Madison, and Milwaukee toward the end of the month, as well as a return visit to Drew University, and the one year anniversary of Sideshow!

Events with Mr. Sexsmith

Thursday, April 7th, 8pm The Gay Ol’ Opry: Queer Country Music Festival! I’ll be in the DapperQ Fashion Show Public Assembly, Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY

Tuesday, April 11th, 8pm Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival: Siblings with Anne-E. Wood, Katie Liederman, and Kay Ulanday Barrett at The Phoenix, 447 East 13th Street at Avenue A in New York City

Tuesday, April 19th, 8pm Cock Confidence at The Tool Shed 2427 N. Murray Ave, Milwaukee, WI

Wed, April 20th, 7pm Workshop at UW Madison (TBA) Madison, WI

Thursday, April 21st, 4pm Radical & Responsible Gender workshop Hamline University, Minneapolis MN

Thursday, April 21st, 8pm Spoken word performance featuring some of my most requested pieces, including “Butch Poem,” “How to Survive Your First Year in New York City,” “Me in a Nutshell,” “For the Record,” and others Hamline University, Minneapolis MN

Friday, April 22nd, 8pm Cock Confidence at Smitten Kitten 3010 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN

Wed, April 27th, 8pm Advanced Gender & Kink Through Feminism (a new workshop!) Drew University, Madison, NJ

I’ll update this if any other events get added.

I’m still booking some spring events! I am mostly planning to be writing in May and June, but I do have some travel days possible if you would like to bring me to your college or organization. And I’m already beginning to book some of my fall travel—I’ll be working at home and writing through May and June, and then doing more travel in July, August, and September, including some travels to Seattle in early July, the Butch Voices national conference in Oakland in August, and Dark Odyssey Summer Camp in September. My schedule is kept up on mrsexsmith.com/appearances if you want to see if I’m coming your way.

I’d love to post other community events happening this month, but I don’t even know what’s going on aside from my own events, since the month is so busy. I’m sure Queer Memoir and Red Umbrella Diaries are happening, and Ruckus is a new queer reading series and looks amazing too.

I do have tickets to go see Girlyman at City Winery along with Coyote Grace, I’m thrilled about that. It’ll be a great peaceful date event in the midst of a lot of travel and chaos. I’ve never seen Girlyman live but I adore their live CD and I’ve heard they are an amazing show. And have you seen their music video for Young James Dean, directed by Margaret Cho? The song is described as “a meditation on butch identity” and the video is full of queers, some you’ll probably even recognize like Amos Mac, Rocco Kayiatos, Ian Harvie, Madison Young, and Tomcat. I really love Doris’s voice though, here’s one of her songs:

Doris was recently diagnosed with leukemia, the same month that Cheryl was actually, and she’s been writing about it in a separate blog from the Girlyman site. Sending love her way, and I’m thrilled to be able to see them all in concert.

Last but not least, here’s my 2011 workshop offerings in a PDF so it is easy to download, you can also download my one sheet PDF or high res photos in my press kit). Get in touch if you’re interested in booking me, you can contact me directly—mrsexsmith(at)gmail—or my booking company, PhinLi, at bookings(at)phinli.com.

April 12 is Sideshow’s One Year Anniversary!

April 5, 2011  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

Can you believe it’s been a year since Sideshow started?

Cheryl & I have done quite a lot in that year, including having some incredibly well-known authors come through our little stage at the Phoenix, and Cheryl being diagnosed with hodgkin’s lymphoma and her first reading with a shaved head, and the announcement of my first anthology. We have video from one month, October, and we hope to do more of that in this next year. We’ve still got some fantastic line-ups coming your way this summer and fall!

Since it’s my birthday show, there will probably be some other goodies there also, some giveaways or some baked goods or both. Still cooking up those plans, you’ll have to wait and see.

Come on out for the anniversary show on April 12th where we’ll be exploring the theme of “siblings,” chosen or from your family of origin, featuring writers Anne-E. Wood, Katie Liederman, and Kay Ulanday Barrett.

Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival: Siblings
Hosted by Cheryl B. & Sinclair Sexsmith
Tuesday, April 12th @ The Phoenix
447 East 13th Street @ Avenue A
Doors, 7:30pm. Reading, 8pm
Free! (We’ll pass the hat for the readers)

About the Readers:

A CAMPUS PRIDE 2009 Hot List artist, Kay Ulanday Barrett is a poet, performer, educator, and martial artist navigating life as a pin@y-amerikan trans/queer in the U.S. with struggle, resistance, and laughter.  Based in NY/NJ, with roots in Chicago, K’s work is the mix of gritty city flex and Midwest open sky grounded in homeland soil. In Mango Tribe and in solo work, K. has featured on stages nationally and internationally; from the NJ Performing Arts Center to the Chicago Historical Museum, Brooklyn Museum to Dublin’s Lesbian Arts Festival, K’s bold work continues to excite and challenge audiences. Honors include: LGBTQ 30 under 30 awards,  Finalist for The Gwendolyn Brooks Open-Mic Award, and Windy City Times Pride Literary Poetry Prize. K. turns art into action, as a dedicated activist who works with LGBTQ communities and was recently showcased at Res Artis as an international panelist/performer in Montreal, Quebec. kaybarrrett.net

Katie Liederman has written for Nerve, GO, Curve, Rap-Up, Velvetpark, Penthouse Forum, V, V Man, Lumina, Looserecord.com, The Archive, The New Gay, and was a resident blogger on Showtime’s Ourchart.com. She received a Bachelor’s degree in English from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Anne-E. Wood’s stories have appeared in Tin House, Agni, New Letters, The Chicago Quarterly Review, Other Voices, and Gargoyle among others. She has an MFA in Fiction from San Francisco State and she teaches writing at Rutgers University and the Gotham Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Brooklyn and is at work on a novel.

What A Lovely Way to Burn: Spring Fever at Sideshow

March 2, 2011  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

It isn’t quite spring here yet, but it’s getting close. The light is changing. The snow has been mostly washed away by the recent rains. I’m hoping by next week the light will be even higher in the sky and full-on spring fever will have sprung, just in time for this month’s Sideshow theme.

The sad news is that Fran Varian can’t make it up from Durham this time, but rest assured! She will be here to perform her kickass work another time. Meanwhile, you can learn more about Lyme disease and help heal Fran over at her website, and you can buy some of her books if you were dying to hear her work (and I know you were).

While Fran is a fan of the Peggy Lee version, I am really into Elvis lately, so here’s a little something to get you in the mood …

Join us at Sideshow on March 8th with readers Arianne Benford, Beth Greenfield, Genne Murphy, and LOVE the Poet.

Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival – Spring Fever
Hosted by Cheryl B. & Sinclair Sexsmith
Tuesday, March 8th @ The Phoenix
447 East 13th Street @ Avenue A
Doors, 7:30pm. Reading, 8pm
Free! (We’ll pass the hat for the readers)
RSVP on Facebook
See the bios for the readers.