February 12, 2022, two shows, a few miles on foot, in heels, lugging stuff. 8:00 AM call time. I will not do justice to describing the great deal of work that this really is. Work. Satisfying, thrilling, joyful, amazing, but it is work.
Here I am in my outfit for the day in terms of getting from one place to another, one outfit to the next. I had to get up early and get my makeup done. I have learned one thing to be true, no one, not the highest paid makeup artist, does my face better than I do. No one. I have had hundred dollar makeovers by Las Vegas MtF specialists, they left my neck all red and make a spectacular photo shoot less than it should have been. I have had movie makeovers, I have seen flaws in all of them I know this and got confirmation by a MUA on site at the show who was asking me for tips and she was very good!
Mr. Debonair, our genial host, went over everything about the show. We practiced single walks, double walks, flows, everything! Then we got fitted by various designers. We were assigned two designers, but after that it’s a free-for-all for us to get other pieces to walk. I walked five outfits.
The dressing area is a sight to behold. We are all walking around in various states of undress. I myself was naked on a few occasions. Now understand, I wasn’t prancing around naked. Bra off, panties on the floor, outfit right back on. You have to be respectful but cannot be modest. We are who we are. The models came in every shape, size, color, ethnicity and age. Tall, short, and everything in between.
Here is a shot with two of my peeps, Rita and Danae!
The dressing room was sweltering as it was an unseasonably warm New York day. One of my friends was going through menopause, she was fanning herself constantly. I made friends, renewed acquaintances and felt like such a fabric of this community. Really, really special.
I spent a great deal of time consulting other girls on their outfits. I did this a few times with Lena, back in her room. Throughout the weekend, she would ask what would go with this or what would go with that. I helped Danae decide what to do with her hair, how and with which outfit (I suggested she wear the tail down and not in a bun with the outfit at left). I zipped others up, unzipped, said no don’t wear that, go with this. Pretty awesome!
As of the time this post is being written, I have no photos of me on the runway (still don’t). We have no control over that unless you have a friend or family member in the audience. I will keep looking for those and bring them to you as I am able.
Tomorrow, the outfits I walked and allow me to tell you, I was not modest or shy about anything! And I was very, very well received by the audience.
Hey, an update! Looks like I have secured my first real job (part time for now) as Kandi, warts and all! I look to be working for the Cleveland International Film Festival. If this happens (it hasn’t happened until it happens, end of March), it will be the culmination of a goal of mine. It will only be for a few weeks, but it will be Kandi, working, as a woman, in front of real people, at a job, collecting a paycheck, being accepted as the entirety of me…..