I learned a life lesson many years ago. A friend asked me to be in a band he was starting and I said, no. I'd never done it before, I was scared and intimidated. They got another girl to sing and the first time I saw them play I was crushed with jealousy. A few weeks later a different friend asked me to sing for a thrash band he was starting and having learned my lesson, I of course swallowed my reservations and said yes. Good choice. Even though I eventually got the boot thanks to a drinking problem and loads of bad behavior I got to
sing for a band, tour the country, and put out a record. And my life got better because of it. Now if anyone asks me to embark on a strange journey in life or participate in a potentially out of character activity I try to always say yes, though I can safely say that I say no to genital electro-torture and amputee three-ways. Taking this life philosophy to heart, I said YES when Anjali Suneja recruited me to play a small role in the finale of a four-part exquisite corpse performance piece. The results aren't in yet, the performance is Saturday and the nature of an exquisite corpse is that the people involved in each act are unaware of what is going on in the previous ones aside from a vague story arc directive. What I can say is that I get to puke glitter while wearing Victorian garb and do a crazy dance with a light-up ring from Party City. There is a live band directed by Roger from the greatest band you will soon to hear of, The Nasties. This is happening in an abandoned convent in Greenpoint. That's right, there is an abandoned convent turned art space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I previously wrote about my experiences participating in my first ever performance of this nature with Micki Pellerano, which was a serious, spooky, ritualized affair. I sprained my ankle on my second kill as a destroyer goddess and limped around for a few weeks, but the trade-off of fame and fortune was so worth it. This time around me and several girls gathered in the chapel of the convent for a couple of rehearsals. There is something delightfully sacrilegious about drinking Pabst and eating pizza in a convent. When another performance went over their allotted rehearsal time, we were forced to start ours outside on the sidewalk. Unfortunately they were filming an episode of the Dennis Leary FX fireman show Rescue Me just down the block, so the entire street was full of lighting equipment and staffers. The craft services table was right next to the convent so we got a lot of attention from curious dudes dressed as firemen. No, we weren't having a pre-Halloween party, we told them, we were rehearsing a play. That was apparently an invitation for them to gather and watch while a seemingly endless stream of bewildered PAs wandered past, jumping at the screams that were coming from the sidewalk next to them. Alas, our inadvertent mind-fuck didn't reach the star of the show--Dennis Leary was nowhere to be found, but a few of my castmates wondered aloud whether they could score with a real fireman that night. After freaking out the TV people we finally got to do a proper rehearsal in the chapel. Seeing how it's an exquisite corpse and my part is small and I'm barred from providing any spoilers, what I can say is that it will be bonkers, fun, weird, and different than any of the other crap going on in New York this weekend. I can only speak for the finale, but when your director tells you, "All I have for you to puke up is a bag of plastic dinosaurs, but what I really want is glitter," you know you are working with the kind of hilarious genius visionary who is worth trusting and vouching for at all costs. And in her words, you can expect a "sumptuous visual spooktastic feast." AKA there will be butt padding, a Halloween mask, and lots of sequins. And glowsticks. Oh yes, there will be glowsticks. Here is all the info you need if you want to see for yourself. If not, just remember, if you live in New York City sometimes the best things are the small things. The things that happen in out of the way places. And if you get asked to participate in one of those things, you should always, always say yes. Bonnie Pipkin Presents: By Virtue Guarded and Manners Graced Saturday October 24, 8:00-10:00 @ St. Cecilia's Convent 21 Monitor Street between Richardson and Herbert Brooklyn, NY Some drinks will be provided but feel free to BYOB (again, getting drunk in a convent, fun!). If this wasn't enough, there is going to be a secret second performance at midnight at an undisclosed location. You have to work for your fun.