Why do I do what it is I do in regard to the half of each year, I spend, putting together performing arts festivals and series. Well, the simple answer is that Ed Sullivan and I share more than a birthday. Like Ed, I was a journalist from the age of 22 to about 40. IN fact the main reason I thought to adopt the pseudonym of Quinn Cox was because I wanted to keep my journalistic world—editors and publishers and the subjects I wrote about—separate from what might or not be a success as an astrological duo which has affectionately come to be known as Starsky + Cox. But you see paradoxes began to spring up. Like my Libran brother Oscar Wilde said, and I paraphrase because I’m too lazy to look this shit up: Give a man a mask and he’ll reveal his truths to you. Okay I’m going to look it up and see how close I got. What he actually said was: “Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth.” Which is much simpler and better but I was close.
People do not know me and that’s been okay. I think I’m getting ready to reveal myself in teaspoonfuls. The fact is that back around 2005 I thought Stella and I needed to take to a stage, something we had only done together, rarely, in acting classes where, at HB Studios, we were labelled “the Lunts” which, I won’t lie, I loved. I had a sort of rock-bottom epiphany where I thought, hang on, our book Sextrology came out last year and it has been a success, so we should take to the stage and somehow combine comedy and astrology with some music thrown in. At a place called (under) Elmo in Chelsea, which one tried to convince oneself was a boutique version of Fez under Time Cafe which had recently closed down, we launched our first “Cosmic Cabaret” to a full house of wonderful people we knew personally and periferally. Lots of fashion people—Zaldy and Ruben and Isabel Toledo and John Bartlett—as opposed to performer folks. And, I have to say, after another decade or so “being” with performer folk, I much prefer the people in the fashion and design world, despite the fact I was so utterly convinced, in 2005, that I wanted to stop hanging around with fashion folks whom I did at the time find fatuous and enter the “real” world of performing artists who were down, dirty, honest and true.
Performing artists, who had been down, dirty, honesty and true for the whole time I dipped in and out of their circles, for the past 20 years since I made my way to NYC, but when, in 2006, I began to seek their company, they were on their last gasp of genuine experience. Now, first, let me say, there is no downtown. And I say this as both a journalist and a downtown denizen who more dabbles in performance. I have said this for a decade now: Round about 2007, “downtown artists” began emulating some hybrid breed of Upper East Side Socialite and opera, indie-movie and/or rock star. Quite a leap, I know; but one felt, downtown, that one should speak in a mid-Atlantic accent previously reserved for Rosiland Russell and garb oneself from head to toe in outfits that were spontaneously ready to pass, if pressured, at a Met or Whitney Event.
Suddenly the creme de la creme of the downtown scene used words like creme de la creme. Though they might still live in apartments where the bath tub was recently or still, in the kitchen, they thought they should no longer have to pay for meals or makeup or plastic surgery because they were iconic, and they were. Some still are although that particular brand of enchantment is wearing off and, dare I say, thin.
And I started to miss my friends that worked at magazines that no longer existed. I started to miss the art directors and fellow writers, like myself, who live such solitary lives that it takes a proper poking or, at the very least, a more gregarious partner to stap you into interaction. But what I missed most about living life as a more anonymous character was the ability to move on a dime, to travel, undetected, without needing to be any one place on any certain date….
Typos happen—I don’t have time or an intern to edit.*
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