Happy Pride Month!!!!!! Yes this is the month when the social calendar is jammed packed for all queers and our allies. This month starts off with some great events so scroll down after my hilarious interview with Manish to check them out!
Manish Vaidya [MV]: I like to believe I’m from a land where peacocks and unicorns roam free. But I was born in a town in Massachusetts where everyone was some kind of sick from industrial pollution. I grew up in a tiny town in New Hampshire and a region in Pennsylvania big enough to have a big Klan presence. It was a rockin’ good time to be a crip queer femme South Asian Hindu boy in Catholic school. I started cracking jokes to survive. I still do.
[MC]: What was the catalyst, for you personally, to take this journey towards activist comedy?
[MV]: I came to the Bay ten years ago for a grad program in activism–seriously. I can’t make that up.–and started organizing for prison abolition, worker justice, immigrant rights.. I tried performing spoken word on social justice themes and noticed I was way more effective on stage with a microphone than I was at a march with a megaphone. People were tired of going to yet another rally to hear yet another person give the same guilt-inducing, gloom-and-doom message in the same boring tone. And I wanted to do something to try to heal some rifts in activist communities. I wanted to use my snark to help people heal and connect and build some beautiful community together, to imagine possibilities for peace and justice.
But here’s the thing: So much comedy, especially stand-up comedy, just reinforces tacky oppressive bullshit: It makes fun of trans folks, fat folks….When I’d go to stand-up shows, I kept hearing stuff like rape jokes. Because the funny thing about rape is…nothing. There is nothing funny about sexual violence. I thought, what if I can write comedy that helps survivors heal? What if I can write comedy that looks deeply at racism, not just to validate the experiences of people of color, which is cool, but to…hmm, let’s say, suggest ways people of color and white folks can actively challenge white supremacy? What if I could reach that person who wouldn’t think to come to a protest but who’d totally be down to come to a night of comedy?
Plenty of folks work on changing politics; I want to change culture. I want to do more than open the door a little wider so a few more people can come through. I want us to cut new frames together so all of us can walk, roll, scoot, dance or prance through.
In 2010, Mangos With Chili gave me my first big chance to try out activist comedy. It was such a rush! I started performing wherever I could. I launched Peacock Rebellion in 2012 as a QTPOC arts group focused on using comedy to create culture shift for social justice, with an emphasis on healing from trauma. We had our first cabaret show Agen(c)y: Nonprofit Dreams + Disasters in 2012; Tenderfest: A QTPOC Community Love Extravaganza in 2013, and now Brouhaha, a social justice stand-up comedy training series. Micia Mosely and Nia King have been working with an amazing crew of QTPOC activists for the past few months; Jezebel Delilah X from Peacock Rebellion’s Artistic Core runs the program. I can’t wait for the comedians’ activist-comedy debut. It will be hilarious.
[MC]: As you have taken this journey what has been the most revelatory thing about it or about yourself?
[MV]: Writing and performing social justice comedy is fun, for sure. But it’s real work. It’s cultural work. It’s healing work. It’s transformation work. We make people laugh but we’re seriously committed to peace, justice and collective liberation. No joke.
[MC]: Why do you think comedy is important to the LGBTQ community?
[MV]: Oh goddessa. Haven’t we been through enough? Enough drama, enough violence. Comedy is everything. Comedy can heal. I think our community needs more laughter, more joy, more play, more healing. I think comedy is a critical part of the healing process. But there’s no good reason to punch down at someone to lift ourselves up. So I think healing comedy, social justice comedy, is especially important to gift to our folks. Comedy that attacks, destroys, hurts,…that, not so much. [MC]: What would you like people to take away from the shows this Thursday? [MV]: I want those deep belly laughs, the ones where you laugh so hard it unlocks a part of you that you’d forgotten about. And you start crying, and a part of you softens because you are seen, really seen for the beautiful being you are. And you laugh again cuz you just got skooled on something you didn’t know about, and you smile cuz you realize that for the first time, it isn’t a lecture or someone talking down to you; the comedian’s on your side. And then, knowing you are held, you just let go. And then you fart.
The Cha Cha Files
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
2868 Mission St., SF
Join us for a night of faggotry, pageantry and poetry at The Cha Cha Files, a multi-media performance extravaganza and book release! Bay area Guatemalan-American cultural worker, educator and poet Maya Chinchilla celebrates her cultural and political muses in her new impassioned book of poetry and stories. Featuring Central American feministas, Long Beach rockers, and the glitter, fluidity and heartbreak of joteria, machas y mariconadas, in honor of this must-have book for students of the struggle, women of color and femmes all over. Exploring queer femme Chicana and Latina identity through poetry and multidisciplinary performance, The Cha Cha Files features Maya’s work along with special guests including San Antonio based “bearlesque” performer and author of When the Glitter Fades, Dino Foxx and California desert flower and songstress, Liliana Herrera. More than your average book release, this is a night of performance art, a celebration of triumph, a glimpse into heartbreak and a realization of all emotions in between. Buy your tickets now! http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/668131
420 14th St, Oakland
Doors open at 7pm
And the show starts at 8. All ages welcome Wristbands provided for people over 21. “When one door closes another one opens”. Please join us for the grand opening of the new premiere open mic in the Bay Area, A.M.P. Wednesday June 4th. A.M.P. (Art, Music & Poetry) is an open mic & showcase series inside Club Vinyl in Downtown Oakland. We showcase: – Poets/Spoken Word Artist – Singers – Photographers – Painters – Dancers -Comics The hosts for the evening will be the nationally recognized spoken word collective Fiveology. Spinning on the 1’s and 2’s will be Bay Area’s very own DC. So come on out this Wednesday.
Rape jokes, fat jokes, transphobia: Most stand-up comedy just replays tacky oppressive bullshit. This spring, activist comedian Micia Mosely and comedy teacher Nia King trained a crew of hilarious new queer and trans comedians of color to fight back.
EARLY SHOW: Doors 6:30p Show 7p-8:30p * pre-sale tix for this show sold out. We’ll have about 30 tickets for sale (/ no one turned away for lack of funds) at the door.
LATE SHOW: Doors 9p Show 9:30p-11p http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/670064 As of late o’clock June 2nd, we have ~35 pre-sale tickets left for this show. We’ll have ~20 tix at the door. Brouhaha: QTPOC Activist-Comics Rise Up Hosted by Micia Mosely
featuring: Cassandra Falby Jaq Victor Jasmine Le Blanc Laurene Francois Lisa Evans Mahfam Malek Sabaa Westbrooks Sis Nau~T The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins
Queer, trans and two-spirit, black, indigenous, and people of color bodies are vessels of knowledge holding oceans of sacred and profane memory. Stories of surviving the Atlantic slave trade, Indigenous removal, resisting colony, medical experimentation. Legacies of love making, death-defying transformations made on $20 and a hairpin, creating new family, making new origin stories, forging new spiritualities, feeding new ghosts, and reclaiming body when all seemed lost. In Blood Story, Bone Memory, Skin Legacy, artists explore the queering of ancestral memory, navigating these living moments mapped in our bodies, in queer blood and bones. Bearing witness to the stories held in our queer bodily experience, we heal and transform through the power of embodied truth.
SOLIROSE SORAYA JEAN-LOUIS MCELROY ASKARI GONZÁLEZ INDIRA ALLEGRA JUBA KALAMKA LANDA LAKES NICO DACUMOS CHERRY GALETTE With Special Guest ADELA VASQUEZ
California Wildflower Release Party
Oakland Surf Club
337 14th St, Oakland
6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Now is the time to celebrate all Queens of every caliber! Queens D.Light and Tia Nomore will be providing a cosmic performance fit for royalty on June, 6 at Oakland Surf Club. Hosted by the every so illy Ciara Swan. There will opportunity to get a physical copy of the album as well as some custom made California Wildflower t-shirts. Everything limited edition so come get yo life while its available
* CASTING CALL *
Dyke Central, an Oakland-based queer series currently in its first season, will be shooting episodes 6-10 in July & August of 2014. Previous episodes have screened at several film festivals (including Frameline, Outfest, Inside Out Toronto, Fusion) before going online, and will continue to screen throughout 2014. More info: dykecentral.com
Casting dates (Oakland):
- Friday June 6, 4-7pm
- Sat June 7, 10am-1pm
Union status: Both SAG & NON-UNION ok.
Payment: Secondary roles are $100/day. Minor roles are unpaid.
We are holding auditions for the following characters:
VANESSA (mid-20s’ – late 30′s)
(cis) Female, any ethnicity. Falls anywhere “feminine of center” in her gender expression. Queer, poly, good communicator. Sexual situations (explicit nudity not necessary).
UMA (mid-20s’ – late 30′s)
Trans woman, any ethnicity. Low-femme, earthy, somewhat shy, but has a quirky personality and a good sense of humor.
HANNAH (late 20′s-late 30′s)
(cis/trans) Female, outgoing; musician, activist. Tattoos & ability to play an instrument a plus.
Minor(1 speaking scene; potential for future expansion)
TERESA (late 30′s – early 40′s)
Female actress, latina.
CASTRO GUY (late 20′s – late 30′s)
Male, any ethnicity. Attractive. Implied nudity.
LYNDA (40′s – 50′s)
Female, any ethnicity. HR of social services agency.
Email email@example.com with headshot & resume for an audition appointment. Please specify what part(s) you’d like to audition for.
AMOR ETERNO • Tattoo and Art Space
1227 18th Avenue, Oakland
7pm – 11 pm (Show starts at 8:30pm)
21 & Up
BALIKBAYAN \buh-leek-buh-yahn\ adj. a Filipino returning to the Philippines, especially after having lived overseas for an extended period of time n. a corrugated box containing itemsand/or gifts for family and friends back in the Philippines This summer, GABRIELA SF members will be going back to the Philippines for an exposure and a community integration trip so help us make it happen!
Come kick it & groove with us at Amor Eterno for amazing live performances by Kuttin Kandi, Astralogik, DJ Celskiii, Kat Evasco, DJ Roza and special guests. We’re also celebrating DJ Calalo’s *30 something* birthday celebration so to add to the fun, come thru with your snapback and show off your tattoo(s) and you can enter to win a raffle for a FREE 1-hour tattoo session with Chamuco of Amor Eterno, along with other goodies:
* Snapbacks * Sunglasses * Diwang Pinay Limited Edition poster T
here will also be yummy food and beverages (wine & beer for our 21+ friends) available for donations, to benefit GABRIELA SF’s fundraising.
We are accepting the following items for additional donations. Kindly place in our Balikbayan box at the venue. • Pain killers (i.e. Tylenol, Advil, etc.) • Vitamins (i.e Women’s One-A-Day, Centrum) • Cold and Flu (i.e. Robitussin, Dimetapp) • Contraceptives (i.e. Condoms, Lubrication) • Hygienic products (i.e. Toothbrushes, Pads, Tampons) • Digital blood pressure monitor and other equipment used for getting vital health signs; • Ointments/medicines for skin diseases. • Other basic medical needs such as first aid kits, latex gloves, bandages, alcohol wipes, etc. So join us, have fun and learn more about our trip to the Philippines on June 7! For more info visit: www.gabusa.com
Brown Boi Affair
5000 MacArthur, Oakland
Brown Boi Affair is here! Bring your villainous persona, whether through full regalia or a fierce villainous attitude, to a night of dope music, great energy, and FLY people.
We will be celebrating the misunderstood, dark and mysterious part of our true self! VIP $25.00 Regular $10.00 ————————————————————————
VIP ticket includes entrance (no waiting in line), private seating, mingle with DJ’s and performers, treats from Simply Bliss catering, and special VIP door prizes.
Music by OmeDJ (Pinche Peligrosa Set) & Deejay LadyRyan Special guest performance by La Reina de Aztlan & Micah Domingo
1741 San Pablo, Oakland
FREE b4 5pm with RSVP
WE ARE SOULOVELY OAKLAND IS SOULOVELY Y’ALL ARE SOULOVELY
This month we are proud to announce a very special SOULOVELY experience featuring EDAJ of the infamous MANGO party in San Francisco! Let’s get together and celebrate our love for this special lil Town called Oakland
EVERY SECOND SUNDAY
*** Starring *** Aima the Dreamer, Lady Ryan & Emancipacion
♡Birthday Celebration of our favorite Gemini, DJ Emancipacion♡ yummy food catered by Wanda Cuesta Kruda Rincon De La Prima a sassy, soulful daytime outdoor Oakland party. Come get your groove on with the the Soulovely family, we’ve got everything you need to make your Sunday a Funday