Archives for posts with tag: Fairy Princess Diaries

The Fairy Princess would like to talk a moment about Diversity in Casting.

Yes, it seems odd, given that this blog tends to be about Women who love Gay Men who love them back just as much, but one must have outside interests, and I did state at the beginning, that I would perhaps sound off on this issue.

To give a brief background on my particular tiara and wings, my heritage is Chinese, Irish, and Welsh and I am a dual citizen of the United States and Australia. I am married to a (straight) man who was born in Korea and came to the USA when he was 8 years old. I have traveled to countries that include Turkey, Greece, Australia, Ireland, Canada, China, Japan and I plan to add Europe in general when my son is a bit older. My point is, I’m well aware of what the world looks like – would that Musical Theater looked the same. Broadway is not where one goes to find much diversity in casting. For example, I, (see me, I’m posting a photo of me as well as a little performance done for the 50th Anniversary of Flower Drum Song )

This is me, Erin Quill

This is me, Erin Quill

am not going to be called in for a lead in some of these shows currently on Broadway, shows like Once, Memphis, War Horse, Book of Mormon, Clybourne Park, End of the Rainbow, Evita, Fela, Porgy & Bess, Ghost the Musical, Harvey, Jersey Boys, Mary Poppins, Nice Work If You Can Get It, One Man Two Guvnors, Streetcar Named Desire, Peter & the Starcatcher…I would make a fierce Elphaba, and who would know what I look like, but to my knowledge there has never been an Asian American Elphaba, and it was only recently they had the first African American Elphaba, Saycon Sengbloh, so…I’m not holding my breath. I could go into Sister Act as a Nun, but it is closing, and I have not been asked…I could go into Mamma Mia as Rosie, but that part is currently being played by Lauren Cohn

That’s Lauren Cohn…on the right…doesn’t look like me, does it?

So with all the opportunities currently available to Asian Americans on Broadway, ahem, imagine how excited I was when I learned that La Jolla Playhouse is going to produce a new musical by Duncan Sheik & Steven Sater, creators of the hit show, Spring Awakening! What? It is going to be directed by acclaimed New York director, Moises Kaufman, who helped create The Laramie Project. Awesome!  It is called The Nightingale, and it is based on a Hans Christian Anderson fable about AN EMPEROR IN CHINA WHO IS CONFINED WITHIN THE WALLS OF THE FORBIDDEN CITY AND THE BIRD THAT CHANGES HIS LIFE.

CHINA!!!! Well, I happen to be CHINESE! Which would mean, in a perfect world, that I should get a call…or other Asian American Musical Theater friends should get a call – because it’s set in China.

Please read that last sentence again –  China. In Feudal China. The play is set in Feudal China. Guess who is playing The Emperor?  Not living legend  Chinese American Actor Extraordinaire, Alvin Ing, the man who holds the record for the MOST Flower Drum Song appearances, EVER. Nope. They went with  This guy:

Jonathan Hammond, The Emperor of China

Now, this story has a Young Emperor, he’s the one who falls in thrall with the Nightingale, and let’s face it, I’m Eurasian, my Daddy is white, so let’s give them a second shot at correctly representing those who might actually rule Feudal China….

Bobby Steggart, Young Emperor of China

Oh…my…ok, WELL…let’s take a look at the casting notice from Tara Rubin’s office. Aha! There is an EMPRESS DOWAGER! Which means that is the ruling Emperor of China’s Mom. What do they look like? Let’s find one – oh HERE’s one…Imperial Empress Dowager, aka Dowager Empress Cixi…

Imperial Dowager Empress Cixi

If I were to think of who might be fabulous as the Empress Dowager, I might call in Jodi Long who was on Broadway as Madame Liang in Flower Drum Song

Jodi Long, Extraordinary Actress

OR perhaps Amy Hill

Amy Hill, Amazing Actress

OR Christine Toy Johnson, who is not LA Based, but who did the National Tour of Flower Drum Song and is a longtime NYC Stage Actress

Christine Toy Johnson, NY Actress and active AEA Committee member

…….but here’s who they went with for the Empress Dowager of China:

Charlayne Woodard, Dowager Empress of China

You are probably sensing my frustration…and if you are not, your name is probably Moises Kaufman. Now, I have read that La Jolla Playhouse is calling the casting of this show “A Rainbow”. Here’s the funny thing about rainbows – the color yellow is rarely in that rainbow when it falls on other shows. Also, diversity has a time and a place – it’s usually an unnamed place in the future, in a multi-racial world, or set in modern times – it’s not in Feudal China. Let’s get one thing straight about Feudal China – diversity was never an issue.

But here – take a look at the article from Broadwayworld. It’s a little perturbing to see that only Kimiko Glenn has been cast in a show set in China, Feudal China – and for those who may not have picked up on it, Kimiko is  a Japanese name – I don’t care, happy she is working, I’m just using it to point out – there are NO CHINESE PEOPLE IN A SHOW SET IN CHINA.

This is not, Folks, like the time a Texas Children’s theater did an All Caucasian Production of HAIRSPRAY and you can claim, as they did, that they had no African Americans around to cast – this is a professional theater with a budget and access to any and every Asian American Actor in the country. It also boasts a Director of International Fame (a New York City based Director) and a Writing Team that have won TONY Awards – all they had to do was say, “Hey, this show is set in China, let’s cast some Asians up in here .”

OR, if you are simply going to use the concept of the fairy tale, just do not set it in China, Feudal China!

Let me be clear – I do not have any thoughts on the talents of the Actors hired, I have worked with some of them and they are ALL great – ALL! Actors have no power in terms of Casting, they are brought in, they sing, and they wait. This Diversity Debacle I lay directly at the door of the Creative Team – at ANY point, someone in the process could have stated the obvious, that if no Asian Americans were to be Cast, perhaps the setting should change from China, Feudal China.

So five spanks with the wand to Moises Kaufman, he is the Director, the buck stops with him and…looking at his past castings, doesn’t look like he would ever hire me anyway, as I AM MY OWN ASIAN AMERICAN!

And Moises can Kiss my Fan Tan Fannie!
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

UPDATE: I posted this in comments, but there are a lot of comments, and so I will post it here as well, as not everyone wants to scroll all the way through:

Hi All,

As you know, the initial objection that I had and wrote about on this blog – this post – stirred a lot of people and as the objections grew and were written about, La Jolla Playhouse decided to have a talk back to discuss the casting. Over 19,000 people have read this post, for which I thank them.

There were many articles written on what started as my own annoyance, and I am going to post the links here, in case you want to read them.

I would hope that the people who wrote anonymously and bitterly of the notion that Asian Americans would and should speak up, would pay particular attention to the fact that both the Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse and the Director of the play itself, Moises Kaufman, apologized. Also in the audience but not on the panel was the writer, Steven Sater, and the Composer, Duncan Sheik.

I also ask you to consider this – just because you may be a member of your own minority group, it does not give you a co-op experience and permission to use your own minority status to devalue or denigrate this issue. Your experiences are yours, and mine are mine. It does no good and a great deal of harm to decide that because you are a particular ‘kind’ of man/woman that you have the right to decide when and where Asian Americans belong. I take issue with that. Many of the more objectionable comments were prefaced with “Well, as a ____ man, I think…”

It is not cool to use your status to keep ours where it is now, which is barely visible. We are only doing what scores of people have done before us. When my Grandparents, my IRISH Grandparents came here, they were faced with signs that said “Irish Need Not Apply” – this is much the same thing. And Bravo to Moises Kaufman for his comments in Part 2.

Here are 2 small videos from You Tube – it is supposed to be 1-7, but I have only found 1 and 2. In 2, we have ‘our’ apologies:

Part 1: http://youtu.be/NN3ilkvnZ7I
Part 2: http://youtu.be/uz6-uODcSKU

And here is a video I was sent by Pun Bandhu which is the whole talk: http://vimeo.com/46243248

Article from Playbill.com
http://www.playbill.com/news/article/168285-Facing-Criticism-for-Lack-of-Asian-Artists-in-Musical-La-Jolla-Playhouse-Hosts-Panel-Discussion

Article from Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19/nightingale-asian-american-actors_n_1686270.html

Article from International Business Times, I am quoted twice, not by name, and called a ranting blogger (which struck me as odd, but…the writer apologized for that when I called him on it)
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/363035/20120714/la-jolla-playhouse-asian-actors-sterotypes-colorblind.htm

Article on Talkback from U-T San Diego:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jul/22/forum-on-plays-cast-evokes-harsh-criticism

Article from LA Times on the Talk Back at La Jolla:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-heated-exchanges-at-la-jolla-playhouse-over-nightingale-casting-20120722,0,6438118.story

Article from LA Times hearing from Prominent APIs in Theater:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-asian-american-nightingale-la-jolla-playhouse-20120718,0,7027101.story

Article from LA Times on Controversy
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-la-jolla-playhouse-asian-casting-nightingale-20120717,0,2686930.story

Article from LA Times’ Critic’s Notebook, which I emailed a response to, and I will post the response I sent: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-critics-notebook-la-jolla-playhouse-nightingale-20120723,0,4429707.story

Dear Mr. McNulty,
It was with great interest that I read your article about the controversy at La Jolla.It was because I am the person who wrote the original blog that started all this hubbub
It struck enough of a nerve that as of this writing, my blog has has over 19,000 views and it is only 2.5 weeks old.My name is Erin Quill, I was an Original Bway Cast Member of Avenue Q and I have been reviewed in the LA Times for my work in the play, The Mikado Project
http://articles.latimes.com/2007/apr/27/entertainment/et-stage27
, also for my work in the musical, Closer Than Ever,
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/08/theater-review-closer-than-ever-at-gtc-burbank.html which was produced by Lodestone Theater Ensemble.I am a Graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. I am also one of the screenwriters for the feature film, The Mikado Project, avail now on DVD, which was reviewed in The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-heymont/the-mikado-project-troubl_b_851865.html

I only mention this because I am trying to show that I am a legitimate stage Actress whose work has been covered BY the Times and yet, when it was time to cast a show that could have API performers, my phone did not ring. And, should you watch the video of the talk back, you will see that the CD will say that this show did not have a proper audition process, they made calls and offers. My friends who are API performers did not have their phones ring either.

While I would never deign to tell a Director or Creative Team who to hire, I will (and did) point out the ridiculousness of their casting choices. Not because the Actors were not fabulous – I fully believe in the talent of the Cast, but because they set the show in China.

China is not a mythical place. China is a real place with a real people. Our history looks a specific way. The titles Emperor and Dowager Empress mean something when said in China.

It is not for other minority groups (I only say that because you brought up your own status) to decide for other groups what is their ‘place’, what they are allowed to comment on. Moises Kaufman himself pointed out that usually in debates of this kind dealing with underrepresentation, that he is the one clamoring, and during the controversy he realized that he was doing the same thing that had been done to the GLBT community to Asian American Performers. He said we were right to protest, and he apologized.

The debate for us was not multi-racial casting. It was not to infringe on a Creative Team’s right to choose the cast they want, but the costumes, the sets, and the names of the characters were all Chinese. That we were asked, that all the audience was asked to please accept 2 Caucasian Emperors of China. Not a ‘mythic land’, it was CHINA.

If this was Porgy and Bess, and the leads were Caucasian, you would not think to write
“underserved communities need to recognize the right of artists to establish their own conventions of representation”

You would be scared to, even with your own minority status that you established.
You would know that using your own status and including the above quoted sentence to African American Artists would be looked upon with dismay, distrust, and anger.Yet you have used them to the Asian American Acting Community.I ask you why. It is met with just as much dismay, distrust and anger as if you said it to someone African American or Latino. Asian Americans are angry. We are angry with the co-opting of our heritage and then being told that while our heritage is useful, our talents are not wanted.We have a right to be heard, and we have a right to not receive a ‘scolding’ from a Critic who is held in high regard.We do not need someone to tell us how to listen to the excuses of why we are not asked to be a part of a world set in OUR world.

In that audience, there was Drama Desk Winner, Deborah S. Craig, there was API Theater Luminary and the man who holds the record for most Flower Drum Songs ever, Alvin Ing. There was Tim Dang, Artistic Director of East West Players – a theater that always ‘somehow’ manages to cast with Asian Americans. Cindy Cheung who was on the panel has been in several Feature Films and Christine Toy Johnson is a staple NY Theater Actress.

There were many more with just as nice a resume and yet a Caucasian lady stood and asked if there was an Asian American Acting Talent Pool. There are API Drama Grads from Yale, CMU, Julliard, NYU, Northwestern – some of the top programs in the country, and yet here is this Caucasian Lady telling us that she ‘doesn’t see color’ and asking why we are complaining that the Emperor of China is Caucasian.

It is because when there IS debate, there is always someone, such as yourself – held in high regard, that expresses the opinion that we should ‘listen‘ or ‘stop making hubbub’. And by doing that, you are ensuring that people who are uncomfortable with APIs protesting have an excuse to dismiss WHAT we are saying – that we want to look onstage, at a production where the setting IS CHINA, and see Asian American faces.

The Nightingale is a fable, and thus, children are being taken to see it – what does it say to Asian American Children when they see that it is acceptable to make the Emperor of China a white man? It tells them they do not count.
I am a long time supporter of the GLBT Community, with fundraising efforts for The Matthew Shepard Foundation, BC/EFA, Desert AIDS Project, the LA Gay and Lesbian Center, The Trevor Project, I sing regularly at Musical Mondays in WeHo…I live and work in the GLBT Community, and yet I would never say “well, I know what it’s like to be a Gay Man”. Because I cannot. Do I know TONS of Gay men? Yes. They are my closest and dearest friends. And Always Will Be– but I cannot know what it IS to be a Gay Man. Just as you cannotknow what it is to be an Asian American Performer.I thank you for your coverage of this issue, but I was dismayed by the end of your article. Truly. And, do I think that there will be more API’s when this show continues? No, I do not. I think they will just move the setting from China and then still cast exactly the way they want.Which is totally fine. Because in a mythic land of Far, Far Away, it can be as multi- cultural as they want it to be – but they cannot have China without Chinese people. They cannot portray China without Asian Americans.

Thank you for your time,

Erin Quill

Silver Fox – Anderson Cooper

Oh Anderson….Anderson, Anderson, Anderson – this Fairy Princess congratulates you on your exit out of the closet – not that we all didn’t know, but perhaps some didn’t – people in Nebraska maybe. They obviously have never seen you in Hell’s Kitchen eating at 5 Napkin Burger just one table away with your Main Man, whereas this Fairy Princess is omnipresent and always on the lookout for a big Gay reveal. Let me break it down for you, Folks:

My Gaydar could bring down Sputnik – if Sputnik was a Drag Queen from Moscow who came over during the Cold War.

That being said, in a “Perfect World” it would be exactly as Mr. Cooper himself stated, that simply because you lead a public life there are things you are able to keep private. Lest we forget, he is a journalist who travels to places where being Gay is punishable by death, keeping his sexual preferences private is a safety issue – not just for Mr. Cooper, but also for people he travels with.

He came out because he felt he could no longer be content with NOT coming out, given the rise of bullying facing the Gay Youth of today. That is a great reason to come out – not because of gossip rag taunting, nor because of trying to ‘control the situation”, or because he touches massage therapists inappropriately and they sue – he came out because he thought it was the right thing to do. He came out to help kids who may take this information and hang on one more day, who may look at his face and find that bit of inspiration that changes their lives internally enough so that they are one day able to change it externally as well.

(Anderson Cooper Laughing Fit VIDEO!)

And let’s face it, his Mom is Gloria Vanderbilt…like Gloria Vanderbilt probably didn’t tell him he was Gay when she caught him watching Poor Little Rich Girl over and over on Betamax!

For allowing his personal life to possibly inspire and save kids, Anderson Cooper…I grant you 5 waves with the wand, and send you many good wishes. (Although if we had met in college, I probably would have thrown you out of that Lion, Witch & Wardrobe...not, as I have stated before, that I advocate that. Fairy Princesses EVOLVE People, we EVOLVE!)

Five Wands Up Mister Cooper – I would hang with you any time!

Wigs, Weaves and Whatever….

Many women wear wigs, either because of illness, or fashion or they watch too much Bravo and they ordered a Kim Z special at a weak moment.

Some women think you just jam a wig on your head and off you go. FAIL. You need a ‘wig cap’ underneath – even if you are bald. Your head sweats and you do not want to sweat in your wig, because they it smells and you need to wash it, it’s a pain in the ass.

I have worn tons of wigs because I have been in period musicals and they needed my hair to look sort of like Imelda Marcos in 1975, and I didn’t have enough hair or energy for that. Who does?

A wig cap is a small piece of stocking like material, they sell it at wig stores – it looks like someone cut the foot off of panty hose (some people do use panty hose as a wig cap). You need a wig cap and pins. Bobby pins AND Hair Pins.

  1. If you have hair that is going under the wig cap, you need to pin curl your hair, depending on the length. What this is, is taking small sections of hair and twirling it so it becomes a spiral and goes close to your head, where you then pin it with bobby pins.
  2. After your head is entirely pin curled, place the wig cap on, pining it securely to your hair underneath – if your wig cap goes, so goes your wig – it’s like France in WW2.
  3. When your wig cap is secure, place your wig on top – you want to go and duck your head, carefully putting the back part on first, get your head really in there, and then adjust the front.
  4. You will then use HAIR PINS – not bobby pins, HAIR PINS that they sell at the drug store, to secure your wig. You pin the wig to your HAIR, through the wig cap. Get it – through the wig cap to your head. Do not skimp on the hair pins. Once it’s on, shake your head, HARD – if it doesn’t come off or move, you are good to go – get your Harajuku Girl on.
  5. Falls and Fake pony tails do not usually require a wig cap, but they do require hair pins and pulling your real hair back and putting on the fake ponytail OVER your own. Falls are the same, they go OVER your own hair so that you look like a Kardashian.

Extensions come in various lengths and styles, and it’s only in the last couple of years that Caucasian women have really started investing in good extensions, African American women are waaay ahead on the art of fake hair. In general, Asian and South Asian women aren’t that big into extensions simply because – it’s our hair they are using for the extensions! In general, if Asian women want full heads of hair, they can grow their own.

There are two kinds of extensions that I will discuss, because I am not a Hair Stylist, and because they are always advancing – clip ins, and sewn in. My friends that have had them done with glue, generally have had a problem. I know that there are always exceptions to this rule, your Stylist may be great with a  glue gun, but I am of the opinion that ‘crafting’ and hair are two completely different situations and should be treated as such. Glue on your scalp is a huge no no, and can be very damaging.

If you purchased a celebrity clip in extension, you should totally be able to handle it – and they are fun for the weekend,  or a show – and that is about it – I call those your “Party Hair”. They can be really cheap, or really pricey. What makes the difference is the quality of hair – is it real hair, or synthetic? I say, you pay what you feel comfortable with – and no one really looks that closely.

When you get extensions ‘sewn in’ to your hair, you want to get ‘real human hair’ and you need to go to a high quality place to have them done. I have not heard of a high end extension job costing under $500 in a major city. You want to spend the money on the high end for a few reasons:

  1. lasts longer – at least six months
  2. with your very experienced stylists, you will have less permanent follicle damage’ because they will know how to do it without ruining your scalp.
  3. there will not be telltale ‘bumps’ where your extensions are attached
  4. your color will probably be better matched than with synthetic, and possibly, if you are going uber-fancy and the color does not match, they can dye it to match if it’s real hair.
  5. Your hair always looks like what you paid for it, always. You can’t get around it, much as certain shampoos and companies say you can. They lie. It’s advertising.

There you go, a few lessons from you to me, Pinky Lee…wasn’t GREASE a crazy movie? I mean, now we have 50 year old teenagers on every television show, but THAT movie set the bar! Ah…BLESS…

Hiding Yo’ Junk, Punk!

(a)   Drag Queens know the power of the second pair of panty hose. Yes, you heard me, hose over hose will keep you tucked in better than almost anything. If you wear Spanx or other kinds of cantilevered underwear – and we all do – try one pair under the Spanx and one over. Yeah, you’re going to sweat like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News, but sometimes those Spanx ride up on the thigh, so the hose give the rubber on the Spanx something to grip. Or, you can do the two pairs over the Spanx – see what works best for you, since you are not tucking, either way should be bearable.

Whichever way you do it, remember, the hose smoothes it all out – no VPLs (Visible Panty Lines) for Fairy Princesses, EVER. It offends me.

(b)  Nothing is off limits if you have an area you want to disguise, you need corsets, body stockings, and steel girders under your clothes – ALL GOOD GIRL, ALL GOOD!  Do NOT be ashamed to go into a store and ask for what you need. (Actually, don’t be afraid of that in any aspect of your life) In my experience, if you ask the more experienced Sales People in a department store, they will know EXACTLY where to find what you need, they know their territory – yes, Virginia, just like in MUSIC MAN and if you are VERY lucky – your Salesperson highlights as a Drag Queen. But Grrl, do not forget that second pair of hose!

(c)   If you wear fish net stockings – wear nude or black stockings under them – it will save you from looking like a mermaid who got stuck ashore when you go to take them off, and it will keep the fishnets where they are suppose to be – on top of the leg, creating illusion, not sinking into your skin creating train tracks.

(d)  Petals – if you are wearing something that does not allow for a bra, go get yourself some stick on petals to hide your necessaries. Petals are basically band aids shaped like a flower that you place over your nipple to prevent yourself from becoming Janet Jackson, they are self adhesive.  Believe me, if your boob pops out, if there is a petal over the nipple, it is not half so embarrassing. Ask Tara Reid, she knows. All of that could have been avoided with a good petal!

Hey Girl!

Everything is better with fake eyelashes,

Elphaba gives good lash – just kidding…kinda

but not everyone puts them on correctly. Which is why they fall off halfway through the night leaving you looking like your Gays turned on you before you picked your Red Carpet outfit.

She said her toddler chose it, and by ‘toddler’ she meant “Twink who picks up my laundry for his showbiz internship’

(We always say that, when we see a bad RC…Her Gays Turned on Her!)

Tilda is wearing “The Snow Queen Cometh’ inspired by her Dynasty loving Gays who lied and told her Joan Collins is still a trendsetter, and Rose “Bridesmaids’ Byrne is a bit ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie Oy VEY” when she was told everyone was coming as their favorite Studio 54 flashback

Pick up the lash carefully and place a very thin line of eyelash glue on it, THIN Girl – if it’s too think, it’s going to move around. Now, after you put the glue on, you have to WAIT – don’t try and stick that on right away, it will run like a Republican caught in a men’s room with a glory hole while the press is outside.

The longer the lash, the closer to DIVA!

One trick is to put on your eye shadow FIRST, and then glue the lashes OVER it, that usually gives the glue enough time to get tacky without getting rubbery. You have to leave a small, non eye makeup lash sized line where the lash goes, in order to get the glue to stick to the lid if you put the eyeshadow on first.

These look like lashes that would go with Cher’s Half-Breed Ensemble

Why wait till the rest of your eye makeup is on? You don’t want your lashes to look ‘dusty’, leave enough room for the lash to be applied, put on your eye makeup, and THEN apply lashes – DUSTY LASHES ARE BUSTED, GIRL!

He’s always been Divine, but Girl, these lashes are BUSTED

If you cannot get the hang of putting eyelashes on last, then do put them on first, but take a piece of paper and place it over the added lash when you do apply the eyeshadow, again, so it doesn’t get ‘dusty’. If you get eyeshadow on your lashes they sort of ‘fade’ in their effectiveness, the pop is not so great if they are more a grey color from your contrast color than the diva black that was intended.

Here’s a tip a lot of women do NOT use – CUT the lashes. Yes Girl, you can cut the lashes if they don’t fit your eyes, which makes it glam and not like you have been rooting around in your Momma’s old Mary Kay tackle box.

Don’t hate the lipstick, love the lashes!

Yes, I know you went full tilt boogie for Halloween and bought the expensive ones from the MAC store with the feathers – I still say, CUT THEM so they fit your lid. Be smart about it, not in half – you just hold it up to your eye, without glue and see if the edge of the lash comes more than a 1/4 inch past where your lid ends. If it does, unless you are doing a stage show, you cut them. (And here’s a shout out to my Asian sistas – Girl, it is a momentary slip from being a sexy vamp out for a night on the town, to being thought of as a ‘Lady-Boy”, so watch the lashes and that base that doesn’t match your skin tone. Talking to you, K-Town, you heard me! And while we are at it, STOP dying your hair red! Do brown highlights for heaven’s sake, your hair is black!)

You want the longer lashes at the end of your eye, which will open it up and make it dramatic. To be honest, I have been having a lot of success with individual lashes, but they are harder to put on, you need a tweezer and double the time. However, if you have an extra half hour or more to kill, putting on individual lashes will make your look pop but in a more natural way.

OK, I digress, the glue is tacky enough now to apply the lashes -you should look straight ahead and apply them if you can, not pull your lid down and put them on, because they will have the wrong angle. Don’t close your eyes, press them on your lid and pray – this ain’t church. You gots ta LOOK at what you are doing! EYES OPEN! LOOK STRAIGHT AHEAD INTO THE MIRROR! NOW PRESS THEM ON! HOLD AT LEAST 30 SECS!

What I like about this is, it’s subtle….

How’d you do? Well, it takes practice, just like Carnegie Hall. Make sure you don’t wait till the big night to practice putting on those lashes, get a few cheap pairs from the drug store and drill them like they are scales and you are Lang Lang.

Practice, practice, practice

Some of the best people in my life are Drag Queens. A Drag Queen is a man who dresses like a woman, and creates the illusion of a woman, on stage.  Usually, if you go to a Drag Show, you’ll see men dressed as some of our culture’s favorite Divas and they are on stage either doing comedy or lip synching to a famous song, or both. Some Drag Queens walk around in 1/2 drag all day, some only do it for performance. Some Drag Queens are Impersonators, and some are Originators – there is a hell of a lot of talent in pulling together a successful Drag look – there’s creative concept to ‘see’ it in their heads, sewing the outfit, makeup, and of course, ‘tucking’. Tucking is…look at the Gay Glossary in the back, but it’s sort of self explanatory.

I think there are lots of lessons to learn from Drag Queens as women, because to create the illusion of being a woman, they have studied women. Not just Divas, but real women – how we talk, how we hold ourselves, in fact, the best Drag Queens are better women than I could ever be – and their foundation makeup is flawless.

Here are a few lessons that I have learned from the Drag Queens in my life

Compassion

My Cousin from Australia was coming over to see me for two months – her Parents were going through a Kelsey/Camille divorce and she was an emotional wreck. Her dream was to be a makeup artist, and she had been taking courses at school, but she needed practical knowledge – which was why her Parents sent her on an impromptu trip to Los Angeles to stay with a Cousin she had not seen since she was six years old. Ahem.

The first day, we had a bit of a breakdown that happened when she told me about what was going on at home, and it was clear that she had not been taking care of herself emotionally or physically.

Anyway, as a stage performer, I know a lot about makeup, but I do not consider that I am a makeup artist, so I looked around for things for her to do. One of the best things I thought of was to take her to a Drag show that one of my friends, Calpernia Addams has every week at Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood. After the show, we went backstage and she met DeTox Icunt, Willam Belli, Miss Barbie-Q, Shangela. When I introduced her, and she talked to them about what she wanted to do, they all fell in love with her a bit, and they all offered to help her learn makeup. On various nights, they would come to the theater early, without makeup, so she could watch them put it on. Willam even allowed her to come to his house, and enter his amazing closet (it was a bedroom) so that she could see what he did. Also helping me out was my dear friend, Danny Cassillas, aka Ms Freida Laye from Chico’s Angels and my pal, Celebrity Makeup Artist, Brett Freedman.

When she went back to Brisbane, she was a changed girl. She was confident, she was a B.I.T.C.H. – Broad In Total Control (of) Herself! Cuz RuPaul is exactly right – If you don’t love yourself, how in hell you gonna love anyone else? Give that man in six inch heels an AMEN!

One of my most important rules is that Fairy Princesses do not, I repeat, do NOT go to Circuit Parties. If you are reading this and thinking, “SHE IS NOT TALKING TO ME” –  YES. I. AM.

Now, if you are wondering what is a Circuit Party, you are a beginning Fairy Princess, or you’ve done so many drugs, you’ve blocked it out.

A Circuit Party is a party that extends for a number of days, involves very little clothing, drugs, dancing, all kinds of scandalous sex and NO WOMEN! Unless, they are lesbians – and even then, I don’t know too many lesbians who go in for Circuit Parties that are the non Dinah Shore ones.

This is not a time to cozy up to your Best Gays and tag along. Sometimes there are events where you, my dear Fairy Princess, are not welcome – and Circuit Parties are such events. No one at a Circuit Party will want to have sex with you – and people go to meet and have sex, ergo, you will just be in the way. (Unless you have been invited by the Promoter to perform your hit song from your Reality Show, don’t do it)

A discerning Fairy Princess floats around the scene and knows when and if she needs attend something, and is confident in her choices to not attend events.

Circuit Parties, however, are something you definitely need to know about, if only to figure out where all your Best Gays have disappeared to every so often. Be advised – if they have gone off to The White Party, or the Black Party – you are not going to hear from them till they get back. If you do not hear from them within a week after they get back, then you panic – but not before. You can stretch that to 10 days, realistically. Do NOT call the Police if someone goes ‘missing’ after they tell you they are going to a Circuit Party for at least 24 hours. Most recently a Mother in San Fran called a massive search for her ‘missing’ son who, as it turned out, was out ‘celebrating’ with someone he had met and his cell phone battery had died…ahem, they make you wait 24 hours to report someone missing – in most cases, they will turn up within those 24…if your friend is someone responsible and is not known for careless recreational drug use, just breathe, he’ll show up.

Circuit Parties started on Fire Island as an offshoot of Tea Dances – no, not Tea Parties! This was before FOX News started scaring everyone and telling us that Gay People having equal rights would lead to the fall of our society. Originally Tea Parties were social mixers were there was no alcohol served, then there was alcohol served, then they became larger events hosted by Drag Queens, then came Gay Pride,  so obviously, they grew. Circuit parties generally have a theme and are professionally produced by Party Promoters and DJs. Sometimes they give their admission price to charity, and sometimes they don’t.

The larger parties are:

  1. The White Party in Miami, FL – oldest & largest
  2. Black and Blue in Montreal, Canada
  3. White Party in Palm Springs, CA (don’t call it “The”, you see the difference)
  4. The Purple Party in Dallas, TX
  5. Southern Decadence, New Orleans
  6. Hellball, San Francisco
  7. Gay Mardi Gras, New Orleans
  8. Volcano Party, HI
  9. Dinah Shore Weekend – for the Ladies, the Lesbian Ladies – NOT YOU
  10. Winter Party, South Beach, FL

PRIDE TIPS

  1. Wear shoes you can walk in all day – try and stay away from flip flops,

comfy can also be “hot”
be “hot” and comfy at PRIDE

(a)   they are not sanitary, Fairy Princesses should not have dirty heels.

(b)  they have no arch support, which you need for a long day on your feet

(c)    Leather Daddies can break your toes if they accidentally stand on your foot with their boots, those boots   are made for toe stompin’

(d)  flip flops do not go that easily from street fair to dance club or bar.

   MORE TIPS

  1. Charge your phone, and make sure your Best Gays are wearing some sort of pants where they can button their phone into the pocket. There is a lot of celebrating at Pride, people can get sloppy, so make sure the keys and the cell phone are buttoned in there, so they don’t fall out.
  2. Put an ‘emergency’ $20 in your bra. Because things happen. Say it: “ER $20!”
  3. If you have a huge ring of keys, pare it down for PRIDE, carying around that big ring all day is annoying. Just have your car key, and your front door key.
  4. If you are going to drive there together, make sure if you are going to cut out early that there is public transport or that you have a number for a cab company with you. I prefer to drive myself, because then I can always leave when I’m ready. Nothing worse than wanting to end the night, only to turn around and find your Best Gay in mid-flirt and unwilling to leave. Yes, he knows it’s 4a.m.: he doesn’t care. He could get laid.
  5. Do not bring your dog unless you are reasonably able to hydrate the dog, and you can take the dog home after an hour or two. Big crowds and dogs are not a great idea. Some open areas now don’t allow them because of the whole ‘pooping’ aspect, so it’s best to call the dog walker, and not stress out your pet.
  6. In wallet: cash, ID, Health Insurance card, ATM and 1 Credit Card
  7. Put your address on a small piece of paper that you can hand to a cab driver in case you do the elementary Fairy Princess move and wind up ‘overserved’ and unable to figure out where you live. This is a rookie move, but I know most of my friends have done it at least once. No – I have not, but I did come back so late to a parking garage that they had locked it and I had to cab it home, and then back there the next day. Grrrr. This is where ER $20 comes in.
  8. Check the weather. This sounds so easy but not many people do it.
  9. Bring a purse you can wear easily – if you need it a bit larger so you can put purchases in it, fine, but remember, you are going to carry it around ALL DAY, possibly into the night, so keep that in mind.

Be safe. Have fun. Live, live, live!

This past weekend marked the start of New York City’s Gay Pride – and what better way to celebrate Drag Queens bitchslapping the Popo, than with the start of my new blog – The Fairy Princess Diaries!

Ian Paget, Erin Quill, Raymond J. Lee (from Left to Right)

What, you may ask, is this blog going to be about? Well, likely it is going to address things that tick me off – and most everything does these days because I recently gave birth, which makes you irritable, but what irks me MOST is the unschooled-ness of the new Fairy Princesses running around WeHo or Chelsea, who are giving Fag Hags a bad name.

Of course, me being me, I will likely sound off on things that I am also somewhat of an ‘expert’ on  – Musical Theater, Pop Culture, and People Who Parent Badly in Public, but mostly, it will be me being me, which means I’m going to teach you how to be a better Fag Hag aka Fairy Princess aka Fruit Fly.

What, you may ask, is a Fag Hag? Well, in old school parlance, a Fag Hag was used to denote an unattractive somewhat clingy woman who only hung around with Gay Men who seemed to be under the delusion that if she stuck it long enough, one would see the error of his ways, and fall madly in love with her, “Just as you are….”. But then Bridget Jones started singing Adele songs and a new world order was born.

I have been called a Fag Hag since, probably…well at least to my FACE (NOT THE FACE, YES, the FACE)…I would say college – and I both embraced it and resented it – and here’s why….
1. I never thought my Gay friends would give up the sexual member of both our choices and fall madly in love with me
2. I never hung out ONLY with Gay Men, although yes, the majority of my time was spent with Gay Men, it was likely because I was majoring in Musical Theater Vocal Performance…as in Real Estate, it’s ‘Location, location, location”
3. I had female friends – Straight ones, Gay ones, even Republican ones…& I like my Gal Pals
4. I felt that the term “Fruit Fly’ was more apt for me, because I kind of buzzed in and out and around the scene and I always dressed cute and wore makeup.

I think I was focusing too much on the “hag” part of the title…it just screamed “Witchy Poo” to me, come to think of it, she was always chasing after better looking unattainable mates she could not have…(OMG, I just outed Witchy Poo as a Fag Hag….God will get me for that, Stanley….)

Now though, I embrace it – it’s who I am and I would be lost, lost, LOST, without my Gays. I would have no one to complain to about how awful the TONY Broadcast was…again (WHAT is up with the sound issues? It is Radio Damn City Music Hall and no one can get through without subbing in a hand held mic? WTF!), no one would stage an ‘eyebrow intervention” (“You are coming to my apartment every three days until that mess is FIXED and there is no debate about it, Quill!”), no one would offer to beat someone up after a particularly bad date (“Give me his address…now), and I would have a rainbow shaped hole in my heart. They have been ‘there’ for me in every aspect of my life, including most recently, the delivery room, where, during a particularly bad 26 hour labor, my friend John, the nurse, talked me down while I was semi-hysterical because I could not feel my legs for several hours. They walked my Sister & Mother down the aisle at my wedding, they helped my Husband with the wedding proposal, they have given me love, support, and a career….I would be adrift without them. My friend Dennis once said to me, “We lose most of our Girls when they get married, but you’re still here”, to which I replied, “What’s the saying? You dance with the one what brought you?” Yeah, it’s like that.

Yes, Virginia – Fag Hags can get married!

I think, what it really comes down to, is that people like to tell me things, and I listen. I have had more Gay Men come out to me than an Open Call at an Ice Capades Audition. I used to joke that Fag Hags in WeHo should have special parking priviledges, and when asked why my cell phone was pink, I would respond ‘Because every time it rings, it’s a Gay Emergency.” In my younger days, I admit, I may have helped shove one or two out of their Lion, Witch, & Wardrobe (I do not advocate that now), but I have been the recipient of much love along the way. I am constantly amazed at the things I get told, why, today I was at the diner with my Husband, and the waitress wound up telling me how she had terrible Post Partum Depression. I turned to him after she left and said, “What was that?” and he replied, “It’s you. It’s just you, this is why you should blog, people just tell you stuff.” so if you don’t like it, blame Chil. No really, he’s on Twitter – @ChilKong send him stuff, he can take it, he’s tall. I’m on the Twittah as well – @EQuill – I do not have a separate twitter for this blog yet, and to ask me to double tweet when I have a newborn is redonkulous, I won’t do it – you are not the Boss of me….

My point, and I do have one, is that  I respond a proud YES when asked if I am a Fag Hag, or a Fruit Fly, OR a Fairy Princess – it’s all a YES – I like Princess best, because let’s face it, I’m not Kate Middleton and every girl wants a crown once in a while – whether or not you are willing to stroll through a Gay Mardi Gras to get it, is up to you.

They say to ‘write what you know’, well THIS is what I know – and before you make some crazy judgements based on what is previously written, I’ll let you know a few things that may surprise you:

1. I’m married, to a straight man (though he did coach Beauty Pageant Contestants  once upon a time)
2. I sing Show Tunes for a living, and my dresses are as glittery as any drag queen would want them to be.I was an Original Broadway Cast Member of the musical, Avenue Q, I was in the 50th Anniversary Production of Flower Drum Song, I have been in front of the camera and behind – having written 2 screenplays that became films (The Mikado Project avail on DVD on Amazon.com & QWERTY which is in ‘post’). I have worked in Casting, Commercial Production, as a Director’s Rep, written on Diversity issues, and…before people “Watched What Happens Live” 5 nights a week, I did a talk show Pilot for Bravo with Andy Cohen, which you must admit, ups my Fairy Princess Street Cred quite a bit. I also have friends who are very fancy and they run Broadway and Hollywood, no, I mean really, they REALLY run Broadway and Hollywood – so….I might have a few insights along the way that you might appreciate.
3. I have a kid, he’s a newborn, but he counts…ok, he doesn’t actually count or even talk yet, but his very existence means I am writing this at bitch in the morning in between feedings
4. I am ‘thanked’ in 5 Gay Books in the credits, what can I say? I’m a Muse – yes, JUST like Sharon Stone – however I am very fond of Filipinos, particularly Alec Mapa 🙂
5. I advocate and support the GLBT community and this blog is all in fun with a grain of truth – I’ve helped raise $$$ for Broadway Cares/EFA, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, Desert AIDS Project, The LA GLBT Center, The Trevor Project, and so on and so on…
6. I am writing this because I have noticed as I get older that…well, them young’ens do not seem to have been taught Gay Community ettiquette – and there is just NOT enough of me, or some of my equally strong minded Fairy Princesses to go around..we’re busy, we have lives, so this is, if you will, a road map on how to be a good friend – a good friend who probably has only one or two straight men in her phone. (I have 7, straight men in my phone…none on speed dial except the Husband).

AND SO IT BEGINS…..