Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Voyeurism is Participation

shortbus

Back in 2005 I was an extra in the movie "Shortbus" by John Cameron Mitchell. Being an extra in an independent movie doesn't sound too impressive but to me it felt like a dream come true. You see, I spent a good chunk of time in Florida back in 2002 watching John's first film "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Not in my wildest dreams would I have known that I'd find myself three years later on a movie set next to mister Mitchell himself.

I remember it was a chilly morning in May when John sat next to me. I was dressed in drag and looking almost as tragic as Hedwig herself. We quietly watched the crew setting up the shot. It was the scene where Jay Brannon's character is talking to a former Mayor regarding why people come to New York. How appropriate that I had made it to New York and here I was on a movie set, next to a filmmaker I admired, about to watch this scene be filmed. I was on cloud nine.

As John sat quietly next to me, I thought, "I simply have to say something." So with a bit of hesitation, I turned to John and asked "So you recently had a birthday, how was it?" John and I had never spoken before, but I have this thing where I MUST know everyone's astrological sign. I knew John's birthday was two days after mine and being that it had just passed I simply had to ask. John slowly turned to me and smiled. "It was nice, I spent it with a few friends," he said. "We're ready," said the PA, and just like that John had to go back to making a film.

I find that sometimes it's the little moments in life that are so thrilling. It's as simple as sitting next to and sharing a smile with someone who has inspired you. It can set you on a high. Not because of the "status" of the person or all the superficial stuff, but because you find yourself LIVING in the middle of YOUR DREAM. You simply can't put a price on that... although I did make a whole $25 each 12 hour day I was on the set. I walked away with a total of $50 and my dreams fully alive ;-)

There is a great line in "Shortbus" where Justin Bond's character says "voyeurism is participation." As the GenderFun youtube channel reaches 5000 subscribers I can't help but to find that quote to be true. My videos have been watched over a million times yet only a small fraction of viewers ever comment on them. There is a large number of silent participants watching my videos and reading this blog. I think of them a lot... because, there is something that tells me we have plenty in common... like birthdays ;-)

Thank you for taking a little time out of your day, during my birthday today, to spend it with me.

big big hugs
-A

Take it away Hedwig