Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hard-Earned wisdom #1

Hard Earned Wisdom: Here's where I share the advice I wish I'd gotten when I was twenty. Or I got it but I totally ignored it. Whatever.

Let's talk about high heels. I read some fine advice in Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex.

She says something to the effect of: Wear Heels, Bring Flats.

I'm a huge fan of high heeled shoes. Heels are attractive, elongating the leg, making your bum sway when you walk... Even the pain can be sexy. You know those guys who hang themselves from hooks as a spiritual practice? I know how they feel.

It doesn't make sense, so don't even try. It's beautiful, and sometimes that's reason enough. Many, many things have been destroyed in the name of beauty, and baby toes don't have any real purpose anyways.

All the same. Bring flats. At the end of the night you know what's not sexy? Hobbling. Hobbling is sexy to only a select few weirdos. Hobbling is for pussies.

Or worse, STAGGERING. Like if you've had too many mojitos and all of a sudden your balance has gone the way of Michael Jackson's career? The dicks you attract at this stage of the night will be dicks of your own design. Don't go sneering to your girlfriend, honey, 'cause it's all you.

Even WORSE - and then you just say "FUGGIT" and take off your shoes and dance your dirty-ass feet down 2nd Avenue. That might be cute and when you're twenty. Drunk-ass-skank-foot at thirty-seven? NOT. SO. MUCH.

Hard-earned wisdom #1: Wear heels. Bring Flats.

Schadenfreude! Men in Heels!

My friend Stephanie just posted this on Facebook: If you want to see some true female Schadenfreude, watch the video and read the comments on this page:

What It Feels Like For A Girl: We Challenge A Man To Walk A Mile In Our Heels

This video is laugh-out-loud funny. The premise is that the gals from Jezebel challenge Gavin McInnes from Street Carnage to walk a mile in their shoes, in this case, a pair of white 3" stilettos. There's so much wrong with this video it's right.

Let's start with the shoes. White. 3". Stiletto. There's absolutely no reason for anyone to wear white 3" stilettos for anything other than irony. If you're wearing shoes for ironic purposes, you're just not trying hard enough. They were ugly in the 80's and they're ugly now, Louise.

And if that's a stiletto, I'm Grandma Moses. Anything fatter than a crayola doesn't count.

And then there's Gavin. Bearded, makeup wearing, surly, Gavin. This delicate flower walks like a footballer and drinks like one too. His descriptions of nails being pounded into the balls of his feet are spot on. My favourite part is when his wife comes to pick him up in the mini van.

His female companion gives some advice that's really shady, too. Just watch the video through and then come back.

OK, I'll tell you what she says: She says "You know what helps with the pain? Drinking. Like when you drink a lot and you don't feel much pain? It's kind of like anal sex."

I hope she's kidding, or I wouldn't want to be her asshole.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just a little post about me.

I'm Cass King, and I am a diva. Sometimes. I have a bit of a Clark Kent / Superman thing going on. I'm a thoughtful, shy, kind of nerdy Canadian with a longstanding obsession with all things glamorous. But not trendy Mariah Carey kind of glamour. More like Old-Gay glamour. Marlene Dietrich. Busby Berkeley. Bob Fosse. Theda Bara. Alan Cumming. Hedwig... you get the picture. Vamps, tramps and trannys. Glamour with teeth. Glamour that will leave you nursing your welts in a puddle of your own sweat. Glamour from the Old Cunty.

When I was really little I used to just sit and stare at the picture of Liza Minelli on the cover of my Mum's Cabaret album. The shorts with the sequins on the crotch, the halter-vest, the stockings, the boots. The voice. The star power. I wanted to be just like her. Of course the character of Sally Bowles is an alcoholic, self-absorbed liar but we'll get to that later.

I was a ham from an early age, always wanting but never getting that lead role in the school musical. There was a little problem... auditions. Any time I'd try to sing in front of people I'd be overwhelmed with self-consciousness and I'd just start to cry. Not like sobbing, but ... leaking. I had excruciating stage fright. I was assigned to the chorus, where people wouldn't notice if I leaked.

In retrospect, choice of material might have had something to do with it... I don't think anyone wants to hear "I don't know how to love him" sung by a twelve year old. But inside, I knew I could sing like Helen Reddy. You nearsighted bastards.

As I grew into my early twenties I was fascinated with Cabarets and Sideshows and Carnies and Fetish balls and all manner of sleaze. I still am.

I also started writing, just a little bit, for fun. And I read some poetry on some open mic stages and gradually I got the bug. And I worked out my stage fright. Eventually I got really involved in the Poetry Slam and took 5th place in 1998 at the National Poetry Slam in Austin, TX.

I was also a Cigarette Girl (probably one of the last!) at the Blue Lizard Cocktail Club in Vancouver. This was during the lounge and swing revival of the late 90's. From there, I became the emcee and hostess. I wanted to sing out, Louise! So I sang, briefly, with a great band called the Jazzmanian Devils.

In 2001 I met my partner John Woods and we embarked on this project known as The Wet Spots.
We sing sophisticated sex comedy songs. I get to be as glamorous as I can possibly be. And I travel a lot in the burlesque and variety circuit worldwide. Life is a cabaret. I have authored my own reality.

And when I'm out of costume people don't recognize me on the street. I am Clark Kent.

I think that's why I've started this blog... to explore what that power is... the power in the costume... the lights... the rehearsal... the act. And to explore the creative and destructive power of the Diva.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

On Diva-Dom and why the eff would I start a blog about it?

Let's just put it out there - Diva is not a great word. Diva is conflicted. It implies greatness and selfishness, talent and egotism, mastery and bitchiness. Diva is an imperfect word. It's a Janus.

What's a diva, to you? A diva is by definition a woman who is recognized as at the top of her class in the entertainment arts, usually a singer. The origin is Latin diva ("goddess"), female of divus ("divine, divine one"). The word also has connotations of egotistic self-involvement and manipulative behavior. A person who seems to think that they are better than those around them and who believes that the rules that govern mere mortals do not apply to them is known as a diva.

Interestingly, one of the traits most associated with the diva is one of having exceedingly high standards and the expectation of having them met. That makes sense if you think about the primary definition... wouldn't you have to have high standards for yourself and the expectation of meeting them if you were to become the best in your field? Wouldn't you have to be one fierce bitch? And further, I think that the diva has consciously decided to own her power. The power and the ability to wield it comes from within, from a self-determination that comes from having seen it, having done it, having practiced like a motherfucker, and having made it. And a woman who has the willingness to own it like that, and the goods to back it up, is what I call a diva.

Now, everyone knows that there are divas who are divas without being fucking divas, if ya know what I mean. There are good divas and there are bad divas. But let's not call them bad divas. Let's call them divas-with-issues-that-behave-in-ways-that-make-you-want-to- carve-out-your-eyeballs-with-a-melon-baller-just-so-you-don't-have-to -look-at-them-ever-again. Perhaps you know such a diva. These are not bad divas. They are divas with behavioral issues. They are just testing you, to see who is the dominant bitch. Dogs do it all the time, it's nothing personal. It's just ... well, don't let her hump you and steal your chew toys unless you want to be the submissive, for-EVER.

So this is a blog for and about good divas, bad divas, wannabe divas, and how-to-be a diva.