SHE WORKS HARD FOR.. AIR CONDITIONING? Why I needed a pill to get through the awards...
By Demanda Dahling
Sunday night at Arena, where the Pill Awards were held, an employee forgot to turn on the air conditioning. Or perhaps they were not aware the place was going to be filled with drag queens, trannies and pretty boys, all with caked-on makeup. Or perhaps they did know and wanted to play a cruel joke. Whatever the reason, I was melting five minutes into the event and not a happy camper. So was Clover Honey, who ferociously fanned herself with a copy of Next Magazine while she interviewed VIPs for her Under the Pink Carpet television show. "My dress is going to slide right off me," quipped comedian and author Robbyne Kaamil looking as if she just stepped out of a sauna. "One whoosh and my girls are out!" Too late.
Leaving puddles wherever I went, I nestled down next to Dina Marie, dripping with sweat but smiling nonetheless. "I'm presenting the Sexy Pill award, but my name was somehow omitted from the list of nominees."
I wish I could tell you what went on at the Pill Awards, but I was so bored I could barely keep my eyes open. It may have been interesting if I was nominated--or I even knew what the Pill Awards were--but I wasn't and I don't. That being said, the event brought out everyone in nightlife, crammed upstairs in search of missing bottles of gin. "I watched them bring the bottles up here, but now they've disappeared." confirmed Francis Legge. "Help me look!" Nominated twenty-seven times--four against himself--Legge said he just wanted to win Best Director. He did, so apparently everything is right in the world. I'm also guessing he never found those bottles of gin because later he was seen surfing for abandoned cocktails at the Asseteria After party. (Alas, I was too, sigh, but at least I brought my own straw!)
Sitting upstairs, guzzling my usual iced V, I felt an unusually cool breeze on my neck. Turning around I was delighted to see Vanity Society. "I wish all I had to do was throw on a green dress and call it a day," he whispered in my ear, referring to hostess Hedda Lettuce. "It would save me so much time, but I just so love color." And color he wore, with a huge corsage of faux flowers attached to his right shoulder that knocked into my hat every time he turned. Earlier in the week, at BonBon, he told me about his brush with death at Vandam where fellow partier Ricky Jones Jr. attempted to take out his eye with a folding fan. "It was not pretty and now I need to wear spectacles wherever I go." Last night he shared of his scuffle at Barracuda where a bouncer told him he couldn't stand in the doorway to make a phone call and must go outside. "I was dressed to the nines--and you know how I dress to the nines dear--and he wanted me to stand in the cold! I was appalled! Absolutely appalled! And that's why I never go there." Watch out Rawhide, you may just have a colorful new addition to your happy hour.
Also on hand was Kyle Quandel, returning from "school" (read: rehab), to present an award for the evening. By his side was recording artist and songwriter Heather Leigh West who had, in turn, her dog by her side. Noticeably absent from the event, however, was Lee Chappell, who allegedly was not allowed in because he arrived with two 18 year olds to the 21 and over venue. But that wasn't the only mix-up at the door. A high profile DJ, who spun at the official after party, was also heard yelling at bouncers to "move the ropes [and] fucking let me through!" Tsk tsk diva, no one wins with that attitude!
Sometime during the evening, Eric Halliwell won a Pill Award the right way--by doing tricks for Acid Betty and Anarexia Hurls in the bathroom. (Austin Young, you can try to reclaim your Best Short Award if you wish, but I'm pretty sure Halliwell is holding it hostage).
Attempting to sneak out, I literally bumped into leopard print clad Angel who greeted me with a kiss of her juicy collagen lips. "May I offer you a bit of advice," she asked, my ears perked up because, quite frankly, the woman is feisty and always has something on her mind. "Never, ever, EVER eat rice before you go out. I forgot and now I'm all bloated." She frowned, I laughed. I had rice for dinner too, but remembered to wear a corset. That's my advice sweetheart.
Leaving the awards a bit early because it smelled worse than a bear bar, we headed to Alphabet Sundays at Arrow Bar (ironically, the former bear hangout Big Lug) to hear good friend Seth Clark (PhDJ) play some jams. The party, which pitted amongst hotspots Vandam, Hiro and now Amnesia, has had a poor turnout, but last night the place was more crowded than usual. "It's getting better and I'm having a lot of fun," Seth Clark told me. I was having a lot of fun also, especially after Drew Zailen, the party's promoter and bartender, greeted us with a lovely round of delicious libations. Outside, King Ralphy, Matthew Heresy and myself served as a welcoming committee and hosted the stairway into the underground bar. Among the crowd was Spicky Hilton, spending her $300 from a well-deserved win at this week's F Word Drag Off where she beat out Britney Houston for the cash prize. "That queen worked hard for those bills," Eric Halliwell told me. I was, well, a bit too inebriated to fully remember the evening, except that Francis Legge pulled yours truly into some scandalous video shoot with go-go guy and boy toy to Amanda Lepore, JR, that will probably cause my mother to gasp when she sees it. It will cause me to gasp when I see it.
Our next stop was downtown at Vandam, where our group immediately took over the VIP Lounge upstairs. Holding court on both sides was tranny versus tranny, Dina Marie and Tiana Reeves, with every character imaginable in-between. Fresh from his debut performance as a lesbian drag queen at Barracuda's Divas night, Kyle Brincefield admitted that he doesn't see how us girls do it in our heels. "I was so self-conscious.. and the shoes are killing me!" Honey, those kitten heels are for kids. Wait till you play with the big girls.
Downstairs, I ran into Malik, representing for the House of So Chic, donning a leopard fez with a matching scarf. "I'm going to be in L.A. next week working on some interesting projects. Stay tuned." I asked him if there's any truth to the rumor he may be doing a reality show, but the boy wasn't talking. I found this surprising as he was talking a bit too much Tuesday at BonBon. "I can now leave happy," he said approaching me. His voice dropped several octaves. "See that boy? He kissed me on my neck and I am going to have some real fun when I get home thinking about it." Oh, words I never needed to hear from Mr. So Chic. Actually, perhaps it's better he keeps his mouth shut.
Upstairs, I sat back down and had a cocktail with my buddy for the night. "I'm so fortunate to work all the time," Dina Marie smiled at me. "But I appreciate everyone who comes out and supports me. Some of these other promoters, you can tell they don't care. You're just another person to them. I care about everyone I meet." She gabbed my ear off all night, which I enjoyed because we won't be hearing much from her in the coming weeks. "I'm beginning vocal rest this week," she said, as she heads in to record her album the beginning of February. Promising to the well worth the wait, and with a slew of new parties on the horizon, it's clear that Dina Marie isn't going anywhere soon.. and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Attempting to leave, I was manhandled by a tranny chaser who grabbed my arm and pulled me onto his lap. "You're so beaa-u-ti-fer," he slurred at me, licking his chapped lips and wagging his tongue at me. Unimpressed but polite I thanked him and tried to release myself from his tight grip. "I like nice calves. You have nice calves. You are coming home with me." He started feeling me up and down. "No thank you sir!" I snapped, wrestling myself free. Being a lady, it requires a bit more than a compliment on my legs to take me home. Demanda cocktail first, then we'll chat.