Making it through last weekend really was a feat in itself. Starting from Thursday right through to Sunday, every minute of my weekend was accounted for.

The first of December was World AIDS Day, with buckets and ribbons being shaken and sold all over the city and it was comforting to see how many ribbons and bands were being worn out and about. Many of you know that I am the first to raise my hand to help out with charity work. I feel if you’re working in an industry that gives you a voice it is a duty to help and spread the good word. So you can imagine my shock when I received criticism over not being able to make myself available for one of the many charity fundraisers over the weekend. I am not going to say which one or who it was but I hope to shed a little light on some of the other things that need to be considered.

I am only human; the only two people I know who seem to be able to live in drag for weeks on end are Mitzi Macintosh and Claire de Lune. Both are like charity-working robots, working for the community to an extent that seems to be not humanly possible. Yet they do -“ we don’t know how but they do.

With so much going on while we’re trying to actually make a living, it seems some charity organisations feel they have to resort to guilt or outright demanding to get us to lend a helping hand. I am sure I can speak for most showgirls when I say, if it’s possible, please be assured that yes is going to be the answer.

If I was to have said yes to everything that was asked (or expected) of me this past weekend, my weekend would have gone something like this:

Friday: get up and rehearse for opening of new show, three to four hours. Then off to rattle a bucket and sell ribbons in the afternoon. Home for more rehearsals, then get ready to perform for the Red Party at Stonewall.

Saturday: more rehearsals and finalise costumes for opening night at Stonewall later that night. Rattle bucket and sell ribbons in the afternoon. More rehearsals! Open the show at Stonewall, then down to the Midnight Shift to support the G.A.Y. girls for their summer party.

Sunday: perform at the Luncheon Club party during the day, then home for a rest and a working bee for the opening of my next new show. Put another face on and perform at Arq’s charity night also.

I don’t want to sound like I am whinging but I just hope some of the organisations out there can understand that as performers we promise we are going to help out whenever we can. But sometimes it is just physically impossible. I understand that just buying a ribbon is not going to cut it any more, but negative vibes might just force some of us into thinking that is all we need to do.

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