For as long as I’ve been planning this event, you’d think by the time Sunday morning rolled around, I’d be relaxed and ready to go. This indicates that you don’t know me very well–if I’m not cursing and furiously working on something up until the very last minute, it means I didn’t set the bar nearly high enough. As it was, there were a few things I would’ve liked to get done that were eliminated from the mix, but as they were decorative touches and not absolutely necessary, it wasn’t going to bring the party to a crashing halt.
The one thing that WAS necessary that didn’t get taken care of, I didn’t have any control over. I apologize to anyone who showed up and had to pay for their own food; that was not part of the original agreement. It was sprung on me as I walked in the door at 5 to begin setting up, and at that point, it’s not enough notice to get a large amount of food from anywhere. However, no one starved to death on my watch, and that’s the important thing.
The first order of business was getting my decorations up. I decided that I wanted to paint a bunch of cloth banners like the ones they hang outside of freak shows at fly-by-night carnivals; originally I wanted to do one for every performer, but the pictures I got from Pure Cirkus didn’t show most of their faces very clearly, and I didn’t want to offend anyone as I’m not exactly the greatest artist. Also, I just plain ran out of time.
As you can see, I painted myself in as a flaming pole-smoker.
I pushed for people to show up at six, but most people were running behind; we ended up pushing the start of the show back until seven in order to give the bellydancer time to finish getting ready, and hopefully have a few more people for her to perform for. In the meanwhile, conceptcanibal‘s mom, Jodi, read tarot cards for those who wanted them read.
After one of the members of Pure Cirkus kindly offered to run sound for the show, Sephira took the stage. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but she was covered head to toe in glitter, which made her glow onstage in a particularly captivating way.
During one of her dances, she danced out into the audience and draped a red scarf onto me and gave me a card that was tucked into the front waistband of her outfit. In the dark, no one can see you blush!
While the next act got ready, some Pure Cirkus performers wandered out on stilts into the audience, juggling, and interacting with the guests.
Here, my flash has blinded James and Katy. I also blinded Mad Mat, who dropped his lemons. I have a whole series of ‘Here, my flash blinded _____’ pictures. I may have to make a coffee table book. Next up were some acrobalancers, whose act I didn’t see as I was in the back having my cards read. Stayce grabbed my camera and got this shot:
After they were done, it was time for the first burlesque dancer.
Next came Phoenix, the contortionist; the MC observed that just watching her throws his back out on occasion. Please do not attempt this at home, thanks. Or if you do, don’t blame me when your foot goes flying across the room in a horrible accident.
After Phoenix in the lineup came Inga Ingénue, the ‘Little Blonde Bomb’ and one of the founding members of Sinner Saint Burlesque.
At this point in her act, she paused, and the music paused as well. From the back, reliable George piped in with an ‘AWWWW c’mon!’, which set everyone laughing. jimhark later remarked that it was the funniest thing he’d heard in the club for weeks. George claims that he was into the music and was upset they’d paused it, but I believe you and I can agree that’s a total lie. After her act, the MC came back on and laughed that George was just acting as an advocate for the rest of us, which seems to fit the situation a little better!
When Inga left the stage, it was time for more acrobalancing. Watching this act made me sad I’d missed the first round!
Wrapping up the show was Mad Mat, the Indestructible Man. Even after I blinded him, he bravely forged ahead and went through with his act.
First, he climbed a ladder of swords.
Next, he bent some steel rebar using the hollow of his throat.
Earlier, he’d approached me and asked me if I was still relatively sober; he wanted me to walk on him wearing NAIL BOOTS. However, he was concerned that I’d hurt MYSELF by twisting an ankle or something. I was way more concerned about stabbing him through the gut with 100 nails, frankly, so I’m sort of glad they decided against it, once again, out of concern for MY safety. (I emphasize this because it blows my mind).
To demonstrate that the bed of nails didn’t retract, Mad Mat had audience members throw apples at the bed, which promptly stuck. This was a *nasty* bed of nails, folks. Sharp AND rusty. The MC claims Mat gets a tetanus shot every 6 weeks or so; I don’t disbelieve it.
Before one can go to bed, however, one must dress down appropriately. Mat? Prefers to sleep in lace underwear with garters.
Afterward, Mad Mat gave himself what’s known as a ‘steel vasectomy’ by bending steel rebar around his junk.
And then she walked over to me to pull it out. To pull it out of her head.
This trick is called the ‘Sword Guillotine’.
After nearly getting his head chopped off, Mad Mat then proceeded to catch a bullet; Xavier passed the bullets around allowing anyone who wanted to inspect them to look and touch them to ensure they’re real bullets. He then called me onstage to watch him load it into the gun.
It’s a tense moment.
Moments later, Mat presented the bullet to everyone. I figured that was the zenith of the evening. Oh no. Mat had one more trick up his sleeve for everyone.
Xavier locked him into a restraint belt with multiple Master locks on it. This restraint belt was hooked to a winch, which pulled him toward a contraption with four swords and two running chainsaws on it; if Mat didn’t free himself in time…well, it was hard to watch. (He’s wearing one of my little mustache buttons!)
The outcome? Here’s another ‘video’:
As you can see, he cut it really close. After he freed his arms, he pulled a bobby pin out of his mouth to pick the locks; by the time he finished picking them, he was within inches of being chainsawed to death. You can also see that toward the end, Xavier started to lean over the machine to (I’m guessing) know if to activate a safety mechanism to keep Mat from being chainsawed to death. No one wants a violent chainsaw death at their birthday party!
Afterward, Xavier rounded up everyone so I could get a photo taken with them:
Given that it was a Sunday night, hardly anyone could stay very late, so I didn’t get too many pictures of my friends, unfortunately. Also, unfortunately, very few people grabbed cake before they left, so I still have half of girlpirate‘s mustache man:
I like that people took pictures in my amazing gloryhole wall, though!
It also makes me laugh to see Nicole checking out the painted chick’s boobs.
During the caking and drinking hour (during which I am thrilled no one choked to death on the Swedish fish in my FeeJee Mermaid shot), I put on a second mix cd I made–you know those natural lulls in conversation where everyone stops talking? This–and I couldn’t have timed it better if I planned it–is exactly when Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ started playing. That’s right. I RickRolled EVERYONE. And then we all shared a moment of dancing like Rick Astley.
I wrapped up the evening chatting and laughing with v1c1ous, Ryan, Iva, Tristan, and Sean’s friend whose name is either Amanda or Jessica but I can’t remember which because I am a terrible person.
So many wonderful people made it out to my party; lots of people I never expected to attend, even. When I think about it, it almost makes me want to cry. It’s hard for me to believe that only a few short years ago, I really didn’t know any of them. Thank you to everyone who came or called or sent cards…you make my world a much better place by being in it.
I spent the last few minutes of my birthday walking Napoleon, with my headphones blasting, and dancing like a jackass. No fewer than three people saw me do this. I may be a year older, but as far as being wiser goes, nothing at all has changed.