I’ve just arrived in Toronto after a loooong day of driving. Kristen and I are staying visiting for Unholy Harvest, and sticking around for a few more events and to visit with some friends, including Mr. Gray at Aslan Leather. I’d never seen Niagra Falls before, it was a thrill this afternoon! As per our usual style, Kristen and I had some good big-picture talks about life, love, and the Sugarbutch Empire on the long (10 hour!) drive up. She made some disco mixes (including lots of Jessie Ware, who Kristen is pretty into these days) and we generally amused ourselves.
The reading series Between the Covers at Happy Ending Lounge is featuring writers from Say Please and The Harder She Comes: Butch/Femme Erotica tonight. If you’re looking for something to do, go on out and say I sent you. (That & $10 will get you a stiff drink.)
We’re putting the spotlight on Cleis Press, long-time publisher of sex-positive erotica. How? By welcoming editor D.L. King and contributors to The Harder She Comes:Butch/Femme Erotica and Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica to the mic. Joining host Lori Perkins this month with their seductive, steamy stories, with D.L. King, Xan West, Aimee Herman, Elizabeth Thorne.
REMEMBER: Doors open at 7:00 so come early and socialize. Reading begins at 8:00 pm.
Enter our Dirty Word Draw at the reading for prize baskets filled with books, ebooks, and sundry kinky items! For your chance to win, write down your favorite dirty word and initial it (because great perv minds think alike). We’ll toss it in our basket and then it’s the luck of the draw!
Oh, hello June, I almost didn’t see you there. I’ve been kind of out of it since the retreat, though I finally feel like this week I am actually catching up and getting ahead of my to do list. Finally.
So—June is pride month! And as such, there are thousands of things going on in New York City and elsewhere. Thankfully, most of them are NOT things that I am doing, and I am attempting to get my loose ends tied up such that I can take as much of the summer off as possible and do some serious writing.
I am also really stoked that Kristen’s and my Community Supported Agriculture share is starting this month. And … if you promise not to make fun of me, I’ll tell you that I have tickets to see The Monkees in concert on June 16th. People seem to have mixed reactions to my coming out as a Monkee fan, which I am … we had all the good episodes from the MTV marathons in the ’80s on VHS and my sisters and I would watch them over and over. In fact, my sister and her boyfriend are coming with me & Kristen to the show. I’m really excited. I have quite a few tracks on my “if I ever do drag” playlist, and She is at the top of that list. I always liked Mickey best.
My favorite pride event, thus far, aside from Sideshow’s epic Butch/Femme Pride, was hanging out in the air conditioning, drinking my perfected white wine sangria recipe and ordering take-out. I hope to replicate that this year.
Also! I am now booking fall events for colleges and traveling nationally. I’ll be working at home and writing through 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.
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).
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!
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
KinkForAll is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people of the kink, queer, sex-positive and related communities to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, presentations, and interaction from all participants. It is inspired by and based upon the BarCamp community.
I don’t know if or what I’ll be presenting on exactly. When I signed up I wrote that I might give a presentation about “gender theory, identity development, butch/femme identity, presentation, and dynamics, strapping on & sucking butch cock, how to fall in love without losing yourself … and probably a bunch of other things …” but it’s also really possible that I’ll just be there as a participant. I mean, look at all the other amazing people who have great ideas about what they can present on?
What: A no-limits sex-positive gender and sexuality unconference. Why: To inspire a creative, interactive and open environment where everyone feels comfortable talking, learning, and being inspired by all kinds of sexuality. When: March 8, 2009, Sunday, 10AM to 5:30PM Where: LGBT Community Center, Room 310 at 208 West 13th Street, New York City Who: Everyone How much: Free (as in beer as well as freedom)
KinkForAll is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people of the kink, queer, sex-positive and related communities to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, presentations, and interaction from all participants. (It is inspired by the BarCamp community.)
ANYONE WITH SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE OR WITH THE DESIRE TO LEARN IS WELCOME AND INVITED TO JOIN. When you attend, be prepared to share with others. When you leave, be prepared to share it with the world.
A KinkForAll is a special kind of gathering because there are no spectators, only participants. Attendees must give a talk or a presentation, help with one, or otherwise volunteer/contribute in some way to support the event. This is called sharing and we like it. All presentations are scheduled the day they happen—there are no pre-scheduled presentations or keynote addresses. The people present at the event will select the presentations they want to see.
Anyone can present, on any topic related to sexuality. You do not necessarily have to teach a new skill or idea. You might share an experience, review a product, or read a poem. The goal is to start a discussion, make connections, and exchange knowledge. Presentations promoting specific commercial products or companies are discouraged.