This year I was chosen to be a featured performer for Bisbee Pride. The experience was amazing, and I feel like I made a difference in the lives of a number of audience members while learning a lot myself. Not only that, the organizations that played a part in giving me this opportunity were ones I already respected and admired. I feel really honored by the opportunity I was given, and I want to dedicate a number of upcoming posts to the experiences I had there.
The first group of posts will be about the trip itself, then I’ll post a new poem I wrote while there, and last, I want to write a bit about the organizations involved in making me a part of this year’s Bisbee Pride. They have not asked me to do so, but I value their missions and want to make sure those missions are heard. Links to all other completed sections of these series of posts will be at the bottom of each.
Without further ado, Day One!
Bisbee Pride, Day One
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
I left for Bisbee on very little sleep Wednesday afternoon, picking up food, fuel, and some of a friend’s instruments on the way. I had to make a few stops to walk off the tired, and being my book-obsessed self, I made sure that one of those stops was at a Bookmans in Tucson.
Bookmans is a local used book store chain that also carries music, comics, magazines, games, and video game systems, including vintage ones. It is also quite possibly my favorite place to shop in the state. They even allow dogs and provide wifi, along with holding various music, game, and cultural events. Even though I couldn’t afford to buy anything just yet, I wandered for over an hour, letting books inspire memories and feeling surrounded by love.
Eventually, though, I had to return to the drive, and I arrived in Bisbee a few hours later and checked into the Gym Club Suites, where I was to stay the first two nights.
The room had a vaulted ceiling, full kitchen, and more floor space than my entire condo and its three porches combined. The staff guided me by phone through the maze of Bisbee streets, provided me a number I could reach them at even when the office was closed, and replaced a light bulb I noticed was out right away even though the office was already closed when I saw. I unpacked, showered, then went next door to the Central School Project (CSP)’s theater, where my first performance would be.
I met Venus DeMars, the other performer for the next night, and one of the students who would be performing with her. Venus had been in Bisbee for two weeks, preparing a performance art set with local students on identity, and my performance the next night would be their opening act. Then I sat down to discuss preparations with Pete Goldlust, CSP’s director.
When I finally went to bed, I was thrumming with excitement.