Monday, February 20, 2012

Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler

I have performed at Renaissance festivals off and on for more than 20 years, internets, and I tell you this so that you will appreciate how much experience this gives me in the parade department. (If you've never been to a RenFest—which is what regulars call it—there's always a big midday death march parade so that all the characters and shoppe owners (the extra letters give it authenticity, don'tcha know) can show off their wares and exercise their patron harassment improvisation skills.)

All this is to say that know a thing or two about parades and the doing of them.

After this weekend, I can honestly say this is a Schroedinger's Statement—both true and untrue at the same time.

The Bishop Arts District in Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood is a fun, funky area. My dear friend is the owner/producer/director of Delish Films and got me and several friends to krewe the parade entry in the 3rd annual Bishop Arts Mardi Gras parade. (She has a long and illustrious history of getting me to do wacky things; sordid details to come in subsequent blogs. Probably. By which I mean not really.)

This parade experience differed from my RenFest experience in several key ways in that I was not:
1) walking;
2) wearing 25 extra lbs. of clothing (including a corset);
3) overheating due to 100°+ heat index;
4) entirely sober.

These things made it alternately easier and harder in equal measure. The not having to walk 35 acres (or the Dallas street equivalent) was better, as was the ability to wear a t-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes. Also, it was a balmy 60° so hooray for all of that!

But when you have hordes (and I think over 11,000 attendees qualifies as "hordes") of people screaming for beads, and you've theoretically had half-a-dozen Jell-o shots, a couple beers, and a giant to-go coffee cup of Jack Daniels (Hi, Mom! You realize blogging sometimes involves fiction, right?!? And remember LE Bean's Exaggeray?), untangling strands of cheap beads and flinging them with impunity can be... interesting (in the Wash sense of things).

On a related note, people will go nuts over cheap trinkets as rewards. I've seen it in my career in corporate training—seriously, a room full of grown bankers competing for a sticker?!—and the parade hype is no different.

It was kind of a heady, powerful feeling, internets. They wanted my beads, and I made 'em work for it! I demanded that they holler and make noise; my minions the crowd did just that. (Except I was a sucker for cute little kids. There was one beautiful little girl in a tutu that looked like peacock feathers and I lost. my. damned. MIND. I'm not proud, internets; it happens.) I wanted them to jump? They jumped. Dance, monkeys, DANCE! Muahahahahaha!


I learned lots of other things, though, besides this rather disturbing tendency of mine that should have probably been forced to remain latent for everyone's safety and well being.

For example, internets, did you know that it's possible to make a giant king cake out of a foam egg crate mattress, some satiny fabric, a lot of glitter and enough spray-on glue to get the 1996 starting line up of the Dallas Cowboys wasted? True story.
 (This is the work in progress, but it's still pretty awesome for all its lack of glitter.)

I also learned that once you start gluing sequins to your face, everyone will want to join in (though, sadly, I didn't have time to give everyone an awesome YouTube-inspired makeup Mardi Gras mask like mine).
 (Me and my BFF Buffalo Gal)

But really, it was an incredible day spent with some incredibly talented, creative people and I am already looking forward to next year.

My liver, however, is dubious.


  1. well NOW you've done it...

    guess who'll be hitting the TUBE to find her own mask to wear to the festivities this evening...

    yeah, yeah, yeah... I can't help it! I've got all the awesome purple sparkly makeup in the world just DYING to be used... and some leftover sequins too...

    shuddup... I wanna be just like you when I grow up!

    1. Dude, there was one video of a mask based on Kevin (the giant female bird from "Up") that completely rocked my world. And she gave me the lash-glue-rhinestone-attachment idea. Brilliant! Though I really need a better shade of purple...

      ... I know. We have problems. PLURAL.

      And besides - you're the one who showed me that the world of YouTube holds so much more than music videos, kittens, and guys getting hit in the junk!

      (Plus, anytime I can talk makeup and quote early Tim Roth? Best. Blog comment. EVAR!)

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