The Crowd Pleaser

Every event has its own outfit. Every outfit contributes to the show. I didn’t learn this from a fashion magazine, I learned this from a grown man wearing an arrow through his head!

Courtesy Tumblr user tucec9

Steve Martin wants to get you to dance the King Tut? He throws on a Pharaoh’s crown. Needs to prove to you he’s a normal (crazy) guy? Steve Martin pushes on bunny ears! He doesn’t do it to feel complete; he does it to engage his audience. In person, he’s quiet, introverted, and even distant, as I read about him years ago. Kindred I feel, and thus, do my best to emulate.

Given the choice of sitting on a couch listening to talented storytellers, or, standing under spotlight to tell a tale, I’m likely to be in my baggy sweats, legs curled under me, rapt in attention. But, there are moments when the crowd becomes the crowd pleaser. My most recent event found me wrestling with that discomfort: while I enjoy writing and I love my stories, I’m worn out from stage life and the spotlight. However, if I’m trying to profit off my art, I gotta do the arty thing and get on stage with it! Yikes.

For me, it’s not a nerves thing. It’s more of a fun-ed out thing; the more time I spend reading completed art, the less time I’m spending on incomplete work and I’d rather invest my time at the computer screen. So, when I find myself wrestling with the duality of solitary writer/crowd performer, I settle my nerves with a simple question: WWSMD?

Steve Martin would coat, shellac, paint, tighten, sculpt, mould, highlight, tweeze, press, scald, twist, puncture, squeeze, and freeze spray for SpookEasy! Here’s what two solid hours ended up with at my vanity:

Nothing 49 coats of mascara and a set of Spanx can’t fix!

Since I read from Night Walkers, a Horrified Press anthology featuring ‘creatures of the night’, I dressed as a glamorous gangster, and introduced myself as ‘Queen of the St Pete Underworld’ before launching into my short fiction, “Tokyo Rose,” a story of a woman’s slow, terrifying downspiral during an evening at a martini bar. I am actually not sure when the book will be released, but I imagine if you visit their Amazon page, you’ll be able to find it eventually. See?? Proof that I’m not into the marketing end of things!

You do performances to keep people abreast of your art, but you be a writer – you exist as a solitary individual ensconced in the deep folds of imagination, preoccupied with hours upon hours of unrelenting play, to create what brings you joy, and, maybe, develop that creation into a format worth sharing, should you choose to do so. Being is so much easier than doing, but doing can be a delight!

Here’s a few pics with me as The Glam Gangster, courtesy of Community Cafe’s Facebook Page:

SpookEasy host Monika sharing her 2012 short story. There’s me, stage right with Meg, another performer for the evening.
Performed Tokyo Rose, then ‘Stopping By The Master’s Grave,’ then switched ‘Ode to Three Birds Tavern’ to ‘Ode to Community Cafe’ en homage to Ms Mandy, the cafe’s owner.


The glam breaks through the darkness. 🙂

Also went ahead and got some head shots taken before the eyeliner seeped into the crow’s feet! 😀 I’m using this one as my new Avatar. Ya like??

Von Simeon as Queen of the St Pete Underworld





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