Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"You've Redecorated! I Don't Like It..."

Well, it was about time this place got a lick of pixel-paint, wasn't it? Anyway, in switching over to the new streamlined template, I've finally gotten rid of Blogroll's (*hack**spit*) diabolical listing of blogs. Which, ah, means if you want a link to your own effort, leave me a comment in the box below and I'll take a look. And I will judge you. Oh yes, I will judge you. And if you make me laugh, or experience any other of those 'emotion' things, I will add you to the list.

Just think of it as a missing episode of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' without the excessive soft-focus. I mean really, for those final numbers I thought I'd suddenly developed catteracts...

Honey, What's This..?

Megan Mullally was in town all last week performing her one-woman show, meaning that Soho was pretty much a ghost town for much of it. Of course I got tickets, darling: you get a special discount for being a fairy. Simply present three tokens from the back of any Nivea variants with an extravagant hand gesture and you were swifty shown to your seats. Although I must not have sashayed correctly as the Boy and I were placed in the very back row in the very back of the theatre. So when Megan came on stage, if you squinted she looked like Tina Fey. Clearly it was a two-for-one deal on gay icons this week.

Mullally appeared nervous when she took to the stage, not even acknowledging the audience until she'd sung two songs, possibly in case she was worried there'd be a mass bellowing of "Do Karen..!" from the Stalls. I'd had her first album for years, purloined in a divorce from a more tuneful ex, so I think I was more prepared than some in the audience. I don't think it was really fair to refer to this as the 'one-woman show' some reviewers were calling it, more 'Megan Mullally In Concert'.It would have been nice to have got more chat from her - the few thumbnail sketches of stories she threw in while she was lining up her lyrics were wonderfully blase' about including Mick Jagger and living downstairs from the woman who played the villain in 'Superman II' - but clearly she's more comfortable with a coterie of Hollywood writers around her. As would we all. These few insights were completely charming, but the juxtaposition between this quiet, almost nervy lady and the outlandish character she is more well known for was a little too much in the audience; two rows in front, some shrill queen whispered sotto voce "Is she going to sing all the way through?" I didn't hear his friend's reply, but the first responded back with a rather minty "Well I can tell you this now, we're not staying for the second act."

Meanwhile I was preoccupied with the Gentleman Who Can't Catch sitting to my right, the one that my dear Boy referred to as being the kind of person who wears loud shirts in lieu of a personality. Oh dear reader, I knew him. He was the ex-boyfriend of a very good friend of mine who, due to a misunderstanding between myself and his ex where we were discussing decorating plans for his bathroom and his desire for one of those enormous metal Victorian baths at the same time as discussing his then-boyfriend, the descriptions of both got muddled. Hence this ginger ex of his being referred to as the 'roll-topped, free-standing, clawfooted ex-boyfriend' from then on in.

As you can imagine, we didn't embrace each other with long-lost friendship gone, just made sure that we didn't nudge each other on the armrest thus invoking any kind of acknowledgement. Perhaps I should find this behaviour odd in retrospect: we had enjoyed a dalliance on the sofa once. Well, I say 'enjoyed' - he'd found me in his front room on the pull-out sofa bed, woozy from sleep and the steaming hangover that you can only get from a night on the tiles with my friend, and decided to stick his hand down my boxers and have a fiddle about. By the time I'm opening my eyes, he's opening his bath robe; my thought process was pretty much 'Ah, well. It'll get rid of the morning horn before I get to work...' and the next thing I know, he's mopping up using the sleeve of his robe, the premature and classy cow. I wonder at this point - are heterosexuals like this in general? In regards to the stigma of sex, I mean: here's someone who I'd had what some would consider passion (what other would consider 'a fiddle and a diddle') and we're not even acting like friends. Or even passing friends. I know girls who can count their partners on one hand, yet most the wendy men I know have had more pricks than Helen Keller during her stint in an inoculations clinic. Are we all just whores through circumstance?

I've just read that back and it all sounded very Carrie Bradshaw. Perhaps I should take to writing these things in a sequined turban on an Apple Mac with a post-it over the Apple logo on the lid.

Anyway, as we left the theatre, there was a pointed non-look at each other as we exited the row of seats from opposite ends - before fate brought us together once again at the exit. We didn't make eye contact, but then we didn't make eye-contact way back then, either. Ce la vie.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Up The Back of the Wardrobe

And so, my ongoing - and frankly ridiculous - brush with fame.

Now you may know from infrequent visits to this dastardly pink site is I do like a nice, beared man in the same manner of some gentlemen like a finely turned ankle, or how a serial killer likes a power tool sale at Home Depot. So when I was approached by the lovely Tara in that burger place to be an extra in a film because she liked my beard, it never occurred to me that I'd then be surrounded by handsome young things with glorious facial topiary. And when I called in for my costume fitting, I would, at one point, be shown to a room with a plethora of semi-undressed gentlemen of a movie-star level of beauty, all in their pants. I was like Kubla Khan tipping up over the rim and seeing the crystal pleasure dome Xanadu. Or, darling reader, I was like the lion in the pit of Daniels.

I was introduced to the costume department, all glorious, who then proceeded to strip me down to my underwear and spend two hours having clothes thrown over me like a student bedroom floor. Now, if you've never been dressed by anyone, it is a strangely intimate yet sexless moment, hands smoothing here and lifting there, followed by a stepped back appraisal before removing an item of clothing and handing you another. And yet after an hour of this, you seem to forget that this is going on about you, like you've left your body. I remember reading an interview with Alice Krige, who played Star Trek's Borg Queen, saying that in between takes at least five people came over and started touching up her make-up, fixing the suit and whatnot, and you just rise above it. I didn't believe her, but it's true. You do forget that people are pawing over you, all these hands everywhere. Although I was more moved by the following quote that said she wasn't able to be taken out of the suit to go to the bathroom whilst filming. She initially dehydrated herself, but this didn't work out - so the costume team cut a slit in the base of costume's foot for her to use as an 'outlet'. Yes, a multi-million dollar movie, and here's one of the stars having to piss herself while standing over a drain.

After two hours, we'd settled on a look: dark tweed trousers, braces, waistcoat, Gladstone collar, grey/yellow cravat, and top hat. It is, frankly awesome. A very beautiful costume. I think I would like to go shopping in it. And I was told that I would be attending the gavotte scene. Well fancy! And as I'm feeling educational (it was the Gladstone collar), I'll tell you a gavotte is a mid-tempo French folk dance - which I hope I'll just be watching as my coat is very tight. Worryingly so. I think I'm going to be ram-rod straight in my chair. Otherwise I'm going to be fluttering my fan on the sideline, standing up, my button will pop off and hit Robert Pattinson in the ear, and my trousers will fall down just as the French vicar walks in. All very 'Carry On', not really Period Drama.

Something else: on each room I went into, I kept hearing a low whisper on my entrance that went something like "...something-something-something Richard." Clearly my vain head was thinking 'my word! I have a character name!' At this point, I'm plotting my motivations for being at the gavotte; I'm thinking I'm a gentile excommunicated from my family, who's taken an interest in seedier parties - and needlepoint. Weeeelll, I'll need a subject that I can at least blag a conversation in, won't I? But despite all my fanciful thinking, I was later overheard in make-up (Make-up! How hilarious!) that I was actually taking over the position of an extra called Richard who'd traitorously buggered off to do some background stuff on the new Harry Potter - hence the dark tone whenever his name was mentioned. So out went my preprepared character and in came my title of Gavotte Attendee #111. Ah.

With costume sorted, it was bagged and tagged with my number, stored on the rack ready to be transported to the location - which I still don't know, and don't even know when we're filming. I just have to wait for a text message to summon me. And with that, I was tossed back into real life.

As I walked out the door, the charming assistant functionary grabbed my arm and steered me towards his desk. "You get £35 for the fitting," he said, handing me a form to sign.

£35 to dress up in front of strange men? Well, if I'm being honest, back in my heyday, I was used to far less money for doing exactly the opposite...

Friday, February 05, 2010

Mind the Gap

In the seeming ongoing quest for my boyfriend to play 'Enry 'Iggins to my Eliza Doolittle, we went to the opera on Monday. So far his attempts to educate me have been subtle twists in established routines: swapping my viewing of Star Wars with some French arthouse film (I only noticed when the subtitles were not about Han owing money to Jabba the Hutt, but how without you, today's emotions would be the scurf of yesterday's). To the side goes my Garfield books, in comes copies of 'Vile Bodies'. Which, to be perfectly honest, I didn't take to: I understand a book has a point about reality intruding on the lives of the fabulous, but when your main drama is a side character not being able to take a hotel room because she's wearing trousers, your interest does waiver slightly. Waugh, huh? What's he good for - absolutely nothing. Say it again.

So this opera. I didn't catch the title, but it was something called 'Rick's Prolapse' and I willingly misheard it as that for the whole night. I've had limited sucess with the opera in the past; being plonked in front of 'La Boheme' during my teenage years and not being able to understand why this enormously fat diva in the gorgeous dress is dying of not being able to afford the medicine for her catch-all consumption. For one, if she'd hired the dress out to the Boy Scouts they could have held their jamorees in it and she'd be quids in for some Beecham's.

Anyway, 'Rick's Prolapse'. Gorgeous staging, terrible music. Nasty nasty tunes that veered far too close to being a few notes away from Andrew Lloyd-Webber's seminal work 'The Phantom of the Opera' (I use the word seminal because, yes, it was a load of old wank). I did mostly enjoy it, although much more hanging around the bar at lunch time to hear campy old women drinking gin complaining about "her aria sounding like she was shouting it out from the scullery" and all the young men there thinking it was cool to now be dressing like the Eleventh Doctor.

One thought did cross my mind while I was watching it, though: 'You know, I could be watching Glee right now'. I think I know my level.