Sunday, August 26, 2012

me kissing against malaria

 So tonight, Grace Lutheran Church had a fundraiser variety show, proceeds going to the ELCA Malaria Campaign. The show was called DragNet Follies. Grace is in the heart of Montrose, the traditionally LGBT neighborhood of Houston, and they knew they would have several drag performers in the show. Since they were raising money for mosquito nets, they hit on the idea of DragNet. Clever, no? I thought so.
Since this little blog has had some popularity, I offered to do kisses for tips to add a few more dollars to the total for the night. I mostly ended up kissing performers and friends who came out to see the show (some of whom I've kissed before). I also relaxed the rules a smidgen and let a couple of people kiss me. For charity, rules can take a hike.
  I'm not identifying the people in these photos. For one thing, I didn't get my usual permissions to do so, mostly because the evening was a little fast paced for all that and I announced I wouldn't in hopes of encouraging some shy folks to kiss against malaria. (For a drag audience, they were a little reserved. Well, many were my people---Lutherans---so there you go.)  So I invite those kissed to identify themselves in the comments below.
 Or, if you kissees prefer, I'll be glad to re-post your photo as an individual post. For tonight, it just felt like this group belonged together, recognizing all these folks who came out to support a good cause.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

may light perpetual shine

This is the sort of post I hadn't predicted that I would write when i started this little kissing project.

I'm writing on a Sunday. Just last Thursday, I kissed Jeremy Choate and posted it here. Last night, while waiting at a red light on his motorcycle, a driver rear-ended him. This afternoon, he died.

My Facebook news feed is a torrent of shock and grief. As I posted just three days ago, he was a common denominator between so many theater, dance, and music companies in Houston. The entire performing arts community is rocked. (To add anger to the grief, the driver fled the scene of the accident---on foot---instead of rendering aid. Senseless . . . )

He was a talented light artist. What's more, I've never heard anyone say anything bad about him. It seems we all admired him for his artistry, but he was much beloved for being Jeremy.

I didn't know him that well. We were in the same room at the same time on many, many occasions, but I can't say I really knew him. I have the post from last Thursday only because he saw another post about this blog on Facebook, wherein I said I'd kissed many of the dance community and was starting in on the theater community. He asked how he'd been missed or did I only kiss girls. I said I kissed boys and the next time I saw him, I'd have my camera ready.

And so I did. I wrote Thursday that I felt lucky to have had that moment of his reflected cool. I still feel that way only multiplied by and unnameable number.

He was 33. He leaves behind 2 little girls. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve the loss of their daddy.

Friday, August 10, 2012

me kissing Brit

It's a little bit shocking that I'm only just now kissing Brit Wallis. She's one of my favorite dancers in Houston. But don't tell her that. As you can see from that pose, she already has a little bit of an attitude.

I've seen her dance for Toni Leago Valle (who was my first "me kissing you" kiss). She's danced with Frame Dance (I think I've kissed close to all the dancers in that company---hence my shock that I'm just now getting to Brit). Here, she's just come off stage from a lovely evening in Hope Stone's Lemonade Stand. Those are the companies I know of for sure. It's too late tonight to go researching all the companies she's danced for and you wouldn't have time to read it all anyway.

I will say just a little bit more. She has an angular way about her. I'm not sure I can describe better than that. She's also a precise dancer. In Frame Dance Productions show a few months ago, Context, she has some quick movements to make, choreography that could have easily become visually muddy, but her angular precision made it breathtaking to watch.

Yeah, I don't know why I'm just now kissing Brit. I love to watch her dance. That attitude and all.

me kissing Jeremy

I'm going to employ a little bit of that old standby literary device known as hyperbole.

If there is a Higgs Boson particle of the Houston performing arts world, it just may be Jeremy Choate.

To much? Okay, maybe he doesn't hold the whole thing together, but he may be the common denominator to a good many theater, dance, and music companies. If there's a light booth in Houston he hasn't been in, I'd like to know about it.

Of course, I know Jeremy best through his work with dance companies. He's not simply a lighting designer, he's a light artist and dance especially lends itself to his gift. Go to his website and check out the photos. He definitely works some magic on the human body.

He also does light installation work. He's had shows in museums and galleries on each coast. Sadly, I've only seen pictures of them, but hope to see some "live" some day soon.

All this and he looks so chic in yellow-framed sunglasses. Not everyone can pull off that look. Jeremy makes it super cool. I'm lucky to have this moment of reflected cool.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

me kissing Lucy

Here I am kissing Lucy. Honestly? I don't know Lucy all that well. We run in similar circles, though and we have several people in common. I suspect as time goes on, we'll get to know each other better.

Lucy is an artist and works in an arts supply store. The first time I recall meeting her was when I bought some art supplies from her. Then I found out we had some mutual friends through Fieldwork and we run into each other regularly at dance events (as we did here, at Hope Stone's Lemonade Stand).

I just realized---even when I'm not kissing a dancer, there's a good chance there's a dance connection.

Anyway, one our mutual friends---Donna, who I kissed back in February, I think---brought up this blog tonight before the house went dark, and gave Lucy some time to think about being a participant. Hooray for me! She decided to be kissed.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

me kissing Sari

So, I'm cooking up this project for the spring, a performance installation that will need large screens of fabric. I'd been to one fabric store, looking at stuff and really, I don't know much about fabric.

Then it hit me. Sari Frey is a textiles artist. I'd actually met Sari only once, well over a year ago, but we've been Facebook friends for a couple of years. My friend Misha Penton, who I kissed a couple of months ago, introduced us in cyberspace.

So I messaged Sari and asked if she was interested in a project. She said she was. We met at Inversion coffee to talk about it and depending upon all the chaos that life brings, it looks like we'll collaborating on this thing come spring.

But all that is nearly beside the point. We had a good visit. Besides this project, we talked about vocation and art and other frustrations and joys.

And then as we got ready to leave, I kissed her.