Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

“Ohayoo Ohio” Music Video Contest Entry

Eleven months ago CJ and I launched the plans for my 40th Birthday celebration at the stylish, Mid-Century resort: The Century Palm Springs. Taking our favorite band’s festive inspiration, and our plans to imbibe cocktails aplenty, we named the weekend “Pink Martini-Land!”

Fast forwarding to one week before our departure, CJ made the very happy discovery on facebook of the Pink Martini music video contest. When I saw that “Ohayoo Ohio” (“Hello Ohio”) was one of the options, it was clearly kismet (I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio). The stars had aligned, and we heeded their creative calling!

We hope you have even half as much fun as we did creating it! And now, we cross our fingers and hope that the judges get swept up into our world of muumuu runway shows, gleeful synchronized swimming, swingin’ faux percussion, “Mrs. Groper” (CJ as a baked Mrs. Roper-type) and more!

My 40th Bday in Palm Springs: Pink Martini-Land!

My head is still a bit in the clouds, after an unforgettable 40th birthday celebration in Palm Springs, entitled “Pink Martini-Land!”. It was our second time at The Century resort, and I already can’t wait to go back. My friends made it so very special, *sigh*! Wanna stay there yourself, or see details, go to www.centurypalmsprings.com

The Century garden and poolside, with a perfect view of the San Jacinto Mountains.

Me and my $9.00 muumuu!

See more fabulous desert chic photos —>

Is Kristi Yamaguchi Jewish?

On our way to Palm Springs we discovered a wondrous thing: the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame Kristi Yamaguchi relief sculpture portrait and placard. It deems her “one of the most electrifying skaters in the modern era.” That’s not a word I would associate with her…perhaps “consistent,” “committed,” “graceful,” “inspiring,” “smooth”?

I mean no disrespect to Kristi, but as you can see, this portrait bears as much a resemblance to her as to the love child of Tracy Gold and Joan Rivers. On that note, a friend noted that she looked Jewish. Maybe she is?

But, judge for yourself…

“Pink Martini-Land!”

I’m off to the second installment of my 40th B-day festivities, entitled:

Toodles for now! Meet me at poolside!

“Halestorm”: a Masquerade for Denise Hale

Lucky me that my 40th B-day landed on the same day as one of the most fabulous San Francisco parties of the year: Halestorm.” It was a masquerade hosted by Ken Fulk at his SOMA interior design/staging studio, in honor of socialite Denise Hale. It also marked the creation of the Denise Hale Fund at the SF SPCA.

The entire cast of my current show “Pearls Over Shanghai” was invited to attend, in costume. (Perhaps Denise’s attendance at our March performance was research?) Other attending luminaries included the Newsoms, Michael Tilson Thomas, Ann Getty, Mark Leno, etc.

It was an unforgettable night, highlit by the yummy “Halestorm” cocktail (vodka, lime juice, thyme sprig+), and the parting gift, a breakfast McMuffin-sort of sandwich, wrapped in a branded wax paper sleeve. Perfection!

Entertainment included jazz singer Paula West, “Pearls…” cast member Connie Champagne, as well as faux queen Fauxnique. Upstairs we showed our moves on the dance floor.

Here are some of the priceless pix from our fun in the “Dressed to Kill” photobooth! As you can see, Chang gets luckier and luckier with each photo…but, by the end looses his seat to Russian femme fatale Petrushka (Veronica Klaus):

See More Changtastic Photos —>

The Fine Art of Plate Portraiture

For my 40th Bday (last saturday) I commissioned some of the finest artistes in the Bay Area to create a distinct portrait of me or other luminary present.

(Translation: A bunch of friends drew a face on a plate.)

Here are the results…from brilliant, to f!@#$d up, to amusing:

Me as Chang, in Thrillpeddlers' Cockettes' "Pearls Over Shanghai." (Won "Most Creative.")

Me as Chang (Back, same artiste; Depicting my backside, revealed through satin boxer trap door!)

Cro-magnon Paul (Won "Most F!@#$d Up!" Created by artist without looking down at plate.)

Fuzzy Paul (Very impressive symbology in the ex-Zillerating linework.)

Continue Viewing Stunning Visual Displays —>

My Drag Name: Lost & Found!

Well, my over six month search for my drag name has come to an end. I (think) I found the pot ‘o gold at the end of that rainbow! But, the fun of getting there is worth sharing.

You  may remember last October, I included an online poll here on jcm to help make the selection, and some of you weighed-in. At that time, I was most tickled by the more jokey, lower-common-denominator names. Well, I’ve come to my senses, and have more recently been drawn to more ownable names, more directly linked to me or my name in some way. I also realized I wanted a name that was adaptable, and wasn’t going to be so specific it pigeon-holed me, should I want to get her on stage (but, of course!). She WILL have a private debut in Palm Springs next weekend!

Here is the short-list of names I toyed with, and then…the final pick! (They’re listed here by what they’re based on.) Enjoy…

My First Name


Paulie Girl
Paulyanna
(yes, I can tend towards rose-colored optimism and idealism at times)
Paulie Baby
(ala a childhood nickname)

My Last Name


Zillernelli (ala Farinelli)
Zildo (a one-time, h.s. band-camp nickname I hated, but considered reclaiming)
Agnes DeZille
Killer Ziller
Zilleratura
(ala coloratura)
The Great Zildini (via Woody)
Phyllis Ziller (via Jef & Val)
Zillbinetta

My Hometown


CinCin (Italian for cheers, usually pronounced cheen-cheen. In japanese “chin” is slang for dick.)
CinCin Addy
Cincinasty
(ala one of the cities nicknames: Cincinasti)

Opera/Musical


Turandon’t (via La Cieca, thanks to a Parterre blog post title)
Shamneris! (via Gil)
Hella Longaria! (ala Eva Longoria, via Paul…I think)
Ariadne auf Nachos
Holleratura
(via Heidi)
Fannie Girl
(ala Funny Girl)
Elektranny
Zerbonetta
Arabella Strauss

Soignee River (ala “Swanee River;” soignee = polished, well-groomed; showing sophisticated elegance)

Misc.


Moniker
Faboo (a word I made up, short for fabulous!)
Sham I. Am (a nod to Dr. Seuss, and me being a ham)
Ham I. Am
Demi Monde
(demimonde = mistress, on the fringe of society, a wealthy lover)
Tuck (ie: what does a drag queen do?)
Giggles (something I do a lot of)
Pop Tart
Vanity Schmanity
Esoterico
(a collection of items of a special, rare, novel, or unusual quality)
Toots E. Pop
Addy H. Dee (from ADHD)

After much ado, I now give you…


Faux Paul (as in faux pas, or “a violation of accepted social norms”)

Bonus: (My Partner) CJ’s Drag Names


Edamame (food)
Ana Constance Diet
(food!)
Hella Dee Lish
(food!!)
Boniva Selexa Viagra
(prescription drugs) his final pick!

Giddy With #OperaPlot Nods & Early Booty

Wow, the pleasing aftershocks of #OperaPlot have proven to be just as fun as the contest itself. Here’s my latest happy news!

Short Lists & Nods


#OperaPlotter extraordinaire, and former winner muzicbizkids posted Highlight Reel, featuring his favorite “top 3%” on his blog ambling with i am. Two of my entries were included:

Her name was Violet, she was a call girl. With camélias in her hair & consumption in the air. At the AH-PRAH! Don’t fall in love!
[La Traviata]

My head says Turandon’t! But my heart says Turando! [Turandot]

Then, musicvstheater posted How to write an #operaplot, on his blog Music vs. Theater. It’s a fascinating “semi-scholarly taxonomy” of entry trends and categories. My above “Copacabana” Traviata entry was included under “The Lyrics.” I jokingly told him that I’m really a dramatic coloratura trapped in a lyric’s body.

MMmusing has created a genius audio version of my winning entry, using text2speech.org. Thanks MM!!!

Premature Booty & Glory


It only gets better!

Next, blogger opera-toonity announced her top 4 results from the #OperaPlot Don Giovanni entries. I was thrilled to discover that my Right Said Fred entry received 2nd Place:

I’m too sexy for amor—too sexy for Seville. I’m a charmer—I shake my lil tush on the piazza. I’m too sexy for this opera. *burns*

Finally, I fell off my chair when Decca sprang a surprise on the eager proceedings, and offered 5 early, unexpected prizes. My “Copacabana” entry landed Best Pop Culture Reference,” and a copy of Jonas Kaufmann’s latest CD (Thanks Decca and Miss Mussel)! Just a CD, you ask? Well, it’s more about the glory and pleasure of winning than the prize itself. ;-) Boy, I’m going to owe a lot to Barry Manilow for this!

Or, perhaps being chauffeur for 3 different Violetta’s, including Anna Netrebko in SF Opera’s Traviata last season rubbed off on me? What a wonderful way to start my 40th birthday festivities! The fun of it all was alone worth the participation, but I’m no closet competitor, so this has me positively giddy. It looks like pop references might just be my calling card.

[UPDATE: Jonas has spoken! His picks have been announced. Congrats to all the winners! No more glory for me...but I'm not complainin'. Til next time!]

Weir & Lysacek Immortalized

All the recent Weir/Lysacek mud-slinging, via the media is so silly and meaningless to me, I won’t even detail the ongoing bitch brawl here (and you likely already read it elsewhere). Clearly, they’re milkin’ this opportunity to increase their media presence (ie: “No press is bad press”).

BUT, when I came across this photo, I felt it said it all. They are in a sense forever linked, in their “rivalry,” and burgeoning off-ice, celebrity careers. So, what better way to to forever immortalize them as yin-yang/brothers/lovers/
soulmates (take your pick) in a fabulously flashy, fey, artistic portrait, ala Kings of 80’s Cheese: Hall & Oates?!

I’m not sure if NoMad Blogger created it or not (it appears not, as she included the zimbio.com credit), but I take no credit for this masterpiece. If you know the source (perhaps Toller Cranston?), please provide it, and I’ll gladly update the credit.

I now give you…

Weir & Lysacek, ala Hall & Oates (Image courtesy of zimbio.com)

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