Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Everything I need to know about being a lady, I learned from Patrick Swayze

Ah, the Swayze. That mysterious unicorn that graced the earth with his presence for a short while to be the ultimate example of masculinity AND femininity. Mr "Pain Don't Hurt" Dalton and Miss "I'm stripping you of your princess points" Vida Boheme. The only person I believe my bf would potentially leave me for, if it were possible.

First things first, before I begin my little rant: Updates.

1. I finished up two different runs - one show where I dressed as a giant rabbit; another where I was a quiet Cheyenne. Both were very special experiences. Rapunzel and the Rabbit with Birmingham Children's Theatre and August: Osage County with City Equity Theatre.  In a few weeks I begin rehearsals for To Kill A Mockingbird with Virginia Samford Theatre and, as always, I am out auditioning for various theatres outside of Alabama whenever I can - one audition as soon as next week! Fingers crossed, all.
2. I turned 30. Thirty. Three and Zero. Blegh. The actual day was kind of a bust, as I was nursing a grown up hangover and we attempted a last minute party that was over in under an hour and only 2 friends showed up to. However, the best part of the day was a very sweet card that I received from Mike. It was nice to know I was beginning a new era of my life with not only my best friend, but with someone who loves me as much as I love him. Mush mush. Kiss kiss. Barf barf. (but really, it melted my heart into a pile of goo)

So, back to business! If you are totally lost as to why I would make a man's man my female idol, then stop everything. 
Making dinner? Stop it. 
Working? Stop it. 
Giving birth? STOP IT. 

Stop everything and watch To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.

Not only is it a great little film and a fantastic story, it has possibly some of the best performances ever by a sweet ass cast. Wesley Snipes! Patrick Swayze! John Leguizamo! Chris Penn! Blythe Danner! Melinda Dillon! Stockard Channing!! Holy moly, you can't lose with these guys!

I saw it when I was a young lass of 15 and I have carried in my heart ever since. Never had I seen ladies with more grace, sass, and fearlessness than these three gentlemen. But Patrick, man. Patrick's character touched something in me. Here was a human who carried herself with such confidence and elegance and a strong desire to bring beauty and life to everyone she met. A real "Lady". I don't know if I have ever met a woman as fully developed in her female identity as Miss Vida Boheme. 

I know you must think I am being facetious, and I have to clarify: I have never been more serious about my feelings about Ladyness. 

Women are blessed to have so many amazing role models - but Ladies... Ladies are lacking in fully realized "Ladymodels". That is why today, even though I realize the irony in my ladymodel being a man, Miss Vida Boheme resonates so strongly with me. Perhaps it is because she is technically a man portraying her ideal woman, her "perfect" woman, this creature of love, beauty and generosity is such a strong role model. 

So that is why, with a minor tweak, I am sharing the 

Four Steps To Becoming A Lady 
(Originally presented in To Wong Foo as the Four Steps to Becoming A Drag Queen)

1. "Let good thoughts be your sword and shield." 
There is a lot to be said for cynicism. It keeps us from being completely unaware and from being totally self involved in our own lives and happiness. That being said, it also makes you perpetually the mean asshole at the party who is just "keeping it real". Whether that cynicism flows from you or others, don't let it overpower you! A cynical nature can often stop you up short instead of allowing you to be daring enough to go further than you imagined!

2. "Ignore Adversity."
There is only one person you can be on this world: you. It doesn't matter if someone disapproves or tries to belittle what it is that comes from within you. If someone feels they have to change what makes you uniquely you in order to be a part of your life, then they are not deserving of the human being that nature intended you to be. 

3. "Abide by the rules of love."
Ugh, such an important step! And not just one that refers to romantic love, either. One of the amazing aspects of being human is our ability to love. When you treat that gift like a dumpster for all your hang ups, narcissistic needs and selfish desires, then you piss all over one of the most important aspects of humanity. Ladies. We do not piss on things. We tinkle. 

4. "Larger than life is just the right size."
In short, go for it. Life grows with us, so go go go, girl. Or, as one gentleman once told me at a dinner where I was being presented an award for drama:
"Grow. Go. Girl."

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