Shirley Gnome - Singer/ProvocateurThursday, December 13, 2012
My Mother's Red Shawl - El Rebozo Colorado
Shirley Gnome - Singer/Provocateur
Y'know, I used to be a "real" musician before this dirty crap I play now. But I took my joke songs to a comedy night in East Vancouver, just to get a free glass of bourbon, and my "bird," or whatever the fuck you want to call creative success, soared. That was a year ago. In August I won $20,000 in Patrick Maliha's The People's Champ of Comedy contest, because people liked my whorish mouth more than the seasoned vets of comedy.
Now I have to play these goddamn comedy shows. I'm playing near-empty restaurants on Tuesday nights to make strangers laugh while I try to hock them my CDs (when they could easily go home and steal my music for free). I am paid one fucking drink ticket for this opportunity. So, I guess, dreams can come true.
Now stop. If I had read that story out at a comedy show, people would have been inclined to take that in as funny. But did you? I actually did improvise this on Tuesday night to a near empty restaurant. Those who were there laughed. Quite a bit. And that's great - it's a joke, after all. But without stupid facial expression, timing, vocal inflection, etc. (delivery), it seems like the line between bitterness and joy gets washed the fuck out. So… uh… have I really given up being a musician? I mean, what the hell am I doing?
I've been told I'm too funny for music nights. But I've been told I'm too musical for stand up comedy. Then I've been told I'm not burlesque enough because I don't hang my tits out. I've also been told I'm too offensive to play fundraisers. And yet I've found a place in each one of those worlds in some way, crossing over them in ways that can be very disorienting, perplexing, fascinating, exciting. But as I traverse these different scenes and shift my performance focus over and over, I'm glad to have the chance to do my thing in so many different capacities. Belonging to a lot of different creative platforms feels like a privilege, and a reflection of a past full of different artistic ventures. Comedy is one avenue that has been very good to me. I might be a niche, and I may hit or miss, but I like my vantage point.
So, Tuesday I did two comedy nights. This Saturday, I'll be performing a few bits at the Neverland Burlesque show. On Sunday, I'll host a giant Awkward Christmas Party with a focus on music, complete with backup singers. Monday I'll likely sleep, maybe rub one out, y'know, the usual.
My songs are about sexy, silly, dirty things - like choosing to masturbate instead of eat breakfast when you only have time for one. Or, in a desperate attempt to fill the void left by a departed lover, filling up on pornography to the point where nothing shocks or arouses you anymore. Or, finding the joy in small penises. Also, saggy old man balls. Did I mention anal sex? I call it dirty c*untry. But I still strive to write good melodies, song structures, and chord progressions, while laying my vocal range softy yet firmly all over them. I still want the songs to be well written, beyond the dirty lyrics.
So is this comedy? Burlesque? Music? Performance art? I can't really be the one to tell you. I can tell you what I'm trying to do, not what I've accomplished. I'll have to let the songs and the shows speak for themselves and you can be the judge of whatever it is the fuck I am doing. I'm certainly not for everyone, but I'm definitely for some. So for you some, this is for you, however you like me, baby. Oh yeah. Now take off those pants and show me that fat ass.
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