Balancing my expectations of normal life, and the freedom I feel in drag life, has presented me one of my biggest challenges while Amber continues to grow. I find I become increasingly frustrated by the constraints of my 9-5, and grow ever more envious of those with more creative freedom.
I often feel like Dorothy when she opens her front door for the first time after the twister when I’m in Drag. The wig and the costume and the makeup transport me to Oz, and coming back to “me” feels so desperately dull and boring, like returning to Kansas drenched in heavy sepia. I wonder if this is how performers feel after a huge performance – the come down must be so harsh.
I sometimes chalk it up to having almost no issues in drag, it’s an escape from my real life into a persona with no hang ups, or baggage. Perhaps if this small career goes any further, Amber will begin having issues of her own, and Oz will come crashing down around me, but until then I can live completely strings free, covered in glitter.
I feel like I can breathe, like I finally LOOK LIKE something, or someone, reputable, beautiful, someone who knows what they want and knows they look good doing it. Someone who commands attention, says yes to opportunities and isn’t shy, because they physically can’t be. And I realise how fucked up that is, I should be able to inhabit all these qualities within my daily life, I should be bringing these qualities TO Amber, but sometimes you need to see things from a different perspective to realise you have these things all along, you just need something to bring it out of you – like a good wine in a risotto…right? I don’t know I don’t cook.
The separation cannot be healthy, and after months and months in lockdown, where the only light has been Amber, this point has proven itself. I am miserable as “me”, and yet opportunities for Amber have dried up – festivals cancelled, motivation shrivelled, opportunities missed and gone. But truth be told, I’ve been a bigger saboteur than the virus. I’ve been slowly infecting everything I love because I believe it’s not good enough, or not worthy enough of existing because I can’t do a good job of it.
I’ll wait while you all find your tiny violins. Oh hey! They sound great all playing together, you should start a band!
But now I want to end this way of thinking. Though I say this every few months, but my counsellor says my depression is cyclical so…that could have something to do with it but
I moved to Brighton to give myself a better chance at a career, both in my chosen marketing career but also within drag and performance. I can’t let this chance go to waste, I’ve already taken the biggest step and relocated. The rest, I can do.
If you take anything at all from this absolute dumpster fire vent of a post, it’s to not let yourself negate all of your achievements by focusing on your mistakes, or future possible mistakes. What hasn’t happened yet, hasn’t happened yet, so don’t focus on it. And without past mistakes, you could never grow – it’s not a failure if you learnt from it.
When I say I did nothing in lockdown and that I wasted so many months, it’s such a total lie, based on comparisons of what other people did. But I learnt embroidery, I performed in a digital cabaret, I almost doubled my Instagram followers, I bloomin’ well upped sticks and moved. Think about the little achievements you’ve made this year, and congratulate yourself for it. Hell fuckin’ yeah!
Opportunities are there for the taking, but they don’t come to you. You have to go out there and find them – life is too short to wait for things to happen to you, by then the only sure fire thing to happen is death. And I won’t let it take me alive!Make a change – cut that hair, dye it purple, find a new job, paint that wall, clip that one hangnail that’s been hurting you for ages – stop biting at it!
Things are moving at so fast a pace these days that what was once a year’s worth of news can happen in a day, so if you feel like you’re not keeping up, remember that literally no one can. 2020 has given us all whiplash, and I’m ready to click my heels three times and wish for Oz again.
Say it with me now:
There’s no place like 2021. There’s no place like 2021, there’s no place like…