The Femme Show is a revue of smart, sexy, interactive performance about queer femme identity that features film, dance, literary readings, burlesque, drag, and performance art from award winning artists
Johnny joined The Femme Show for their premiere in October of 2007 in Jamaica Plain, MA. Since then, ze has toured with the delightful cast to Portland, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Emerson College and the True Colors Conference.
Inversation is an improvisational dance piece created in collaboration with Jake Wise, performed only at The Femme Show premiere. The dancer and clarinetist interact both musically and physically, at times clearing following each other, and at others seeming to ignore each other. Overlaying this is a recording of Johnny’s voice, a parody of the self-critique of which improvisers are constant victims. The comments are selected semi-randomly by a computer program, and sometimes includ instructions that would affect the dance, or self-criticisms about Johnny’s gender. “Does it look silly to wear a dress with a butch haircut?” was the line that sums up the image of Johnny improvising this dance in a red satin dress, petticoat and fauxhawk. The piece ends with the self-negation building to a crescendo as Johnny’s dancing and Jake’s playing become equally frenetic. The piece is intended to be a humorous comparison between a dancer’s inner monologue and the doubts of a genderqueer person attempting to fit into a community that expects hir to maintain a consistent gender presentation.
New Dawn is a simple, elegant reverse-striptease that demands, “Do not assume to know what I am wearing underneath these corduroys!”
Check One Please was created in the fall of 2008 for The Femme Show. The first part creates a simple visual metaphor for the dilemma faced daily by trans, genderqueer, and other gender variant people: which box do I check? The second looks at the tendency of communities to demand “proof” of one’s trans identity and history as a transperson. Both sections use humor, props, and vibrant physicality to position Femme as part of a larger, complicated identity.