Mary Birdsong
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  • September16th

    Come to Sit n Spin this Thursday @Comedy Central Stage.

    (I’m telling a story that includes two grown-up black dudes named Bunny and Lambchop.)

    and it’s freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    Weeeee! (will be expecting you)!
    Weeeee (will be expecting you)!

     

    All shows start at 8pm at The Hudson Theater in Hollywood

    Limited seating, so be sure to call (323) 960-5519 for reservations.

  • September5th

    I was lucky enough to get to meet Joan Rivers once.  In a little club in NYC. Here’s how it went:  

    This actually happened.

    And before that I even got to share a stage with her- at New York City’s “Town Hall,” though I doubt we even spoke to each other the night at Town Hall. Benefits by their nature are always chaotic, and this one was no exception.  There must have been at least ten drag performers, and… let me put it this way: Wallace Shawn played the butler.  Okrrrr?

    Wallace Shawn as "Dreggs" in Screen Door.

    Wallace Shawn in Screen Door.

    The Divine Charles Busch

    The Divine Charles Busch

    Between the feathers, the false eyelashes, the wigs, and God knows WHAT else we were contending with that night, it’s a miracle someone snapped a picture of Joan and me together. (I so regret that they didn’t get Charles Busch in this photo, though. He was one of the stars of the show, and he remains one of my big influences, right up there with Joan – a brilliant & hilarious man.)

    937ebd5ba093626

    From TWEED’s “Screen Door”- a benefit at NYC’s Town Hall, for God’s Love We Deliver. (front, l. to r.) Me as Judy Garland, Blaine Trump, Joan Rivers, and Sheila McRae. (back) The brilliant Kevin Joseph, as his drag creation “Flotilla DeBarge.”

    At the time of my appearance on Conen O’Brien (see video below), I was performing in my first Broadway show with another great comic legend, Martin Short. I played many different characters, including Joan Rivers.  I taped this interview in between performances of that Broadway run.  And now I think I know why they call it a “run.”

    Because on a two-show day, the moment I got my costume & wig off from the matinee performance, I was literally RUNNING, on foot, to Rockefeller Center (where Conen taped) from the theater (on 48th street I think). I got back just in time for that evening’s performance. I was in my 30s. But that little DIY, “heart stress-test” didn’t even come close to the kind of energy Joan Rivers was STILL putting out in her 80s.

    By giving us allllll of HERSELF on stage (especially the nasty bits, which were some of her best) she gave a lot of people (women especially) the courage and the permission to be all of OURSELVES- both on stage and off.  And of course… as is often the case with performers who play “mean and nasty” so well ON stage, she was very warm and very sweet OFF stage.

    Thank you from the bottom of our nasty hearts, Joan Rivers, for all you gave. And gave. And gave…

  • August30th

    Buddha takes up the #icebucketchallenge after Mary Birdsong calls him OUT!  

    (If you don’t wanna do the ice bucket thing, you can donate instead, to the ALSA.org website, to help fight Lou Gerhig’s Disease.)

  • August13th

    Feeling down?

    Hopeless?

    Like nothing’ll ever change?

    I feel such despair over my despair that I am in despair about it.

    Ohhhh, despair, thou art a cunning C-word! (Pssst! hey, if you like the creepy drawing above, you might also like the blog where I post my drawings of what I dream each night.) birdsongdreambook.com

     

     

    Sure, we ALL DO!  But in light of some very recent (and very tragic) headlines, can you blame us?

    Hayyyls no!

    Nevertheless… being in despair is no fun. So if you’re in despair over the fact that you’re in despair, don’t despair! I think I’ve come up with something that COULD give us hope…

     

     

     

         

         

    T    H    E          H    A    S    H    T    A    G  !

    Helloooooo there, HASHsome.

    Think of it- the humble hashtag is the poster child for the phrase “Don’t quit before the miracle.”  Did this little tic-tac-toe wallflower even exist before 2006, when Twitter was invented?  Yyyyyyeahhhh… I guess so.  But she sat out almost every dance of all the cool, popular, tip-tap-typing fingers.  Fingers who barely noticed her sitting on her numeral 3 key, fourth from the left. 

    “Oh, yeah!  Hey, look- there she is!  (What’s her name again?  ‘Pound Sign?’  Yeesh!   Who names their kid ‘Pound Sign??!’  Hippy parents I guess.

    You know- she’s no ‘Forward Slash,’ I’ll grant you that, but she wouldn’t look half-bad if she’d maybe just… put on a little make-up? Some bronzer?

    So there she sat… poor little Pound Sign- in her out-of-date dress in the top row of keys, (well, unless you count the “function” keys, which … I mean who does these days? No one in respectable circles, I can tell you THAT! )

    Pre-2006, if we interacted with her at ALL it was (at best) using her for the occasional customer service voicemail system request. She’d stop by at the end and sort of seal the deal.

    But the  post-2006?  Hubba hubba!  Everyone’s clamoring for her attention.  And yet- she didn’t suddenly go blonde, or join a gym, or get fake boobs.  I think she just stopped caring if she was cool or not.

    And lo and behold… though she couldn’t get arrested before,  NOW look at her!

    Hashtag Hannah  (f/k/a "Patty Poundsign")

    Hashtag Hannah
    (f/k/a “Patty Poundsign”)

     

    Hold onto that thought tonight, dear reader. If your self-esteem is in the toilet and you’re feeling a little too invisible for your tastes?  Hang on.  Anything can happen.  Just like that.  Without you lifting a finger.

    This blog post started out as a tweet.  With a hashtag. If you liked this post, please go to the tweet (see link, below) and REEEEEEEEE-tweet it.  Or just post somewhere that you liked this blog, and subscribe, and….

    Or it’s fine if you do nothing at all.  #Really.  Just get some sleep.

    –Mary

    Twitter / marybirdsong: Feeling down? Hopeless? Like ….

  • August10th

    Okay, let’s get this over with.  I need this awful joke/pun out of my system, for which I will probably be doomed to eternal hellfire.

    “What do you get when the US military airlifts tons of Jamaican weed to the Yazidi people in the mountains of Iraq?”

    BAKED YAZIDI!

    (I’m sorry.  I’m just…  I’m just so sorry.)

    NOW….

    What a gorgeous photo of Yazidis. (Taken by Rob Leutheuser)

    And what a gorgeous photo of baked ziti!  (This one NOT taken by Rob Leutheuser)

    I do not envy the plight of the Yazidis. Persecuted by the “IS” (aka ISIS) in Iraq, they’re being forced to (literally) “run for the hills,” facing starvation & death. There is much confusion surrounding this people that no one (myself included) ever heard of until a couple of days ago. Many people of competing faiths in the region believe the Yazidi religion is “devil worship.” To add to the confusion, it incorporates many elements from both Christianity and Islam. Wikipedia says it’s linked to Zoroastrianism (although these days, even Wikipedia can’t be counted on for things of the true-ish nature.  And I admit I get a juvenile rush of delight when they are taken to task on some falsehood.

    When Wiki wrong? I be all like, “Ooooh, snap! You so stupid, Wiki!” And then Wiki, he be all like “Awwww, nahh!!  Oops! My bad!”

    My hero: Rachel “Dee Dee” Jeantel. I summon her spirit whenever I have to bring a snooty white dude down a notch or two. Okrrr, SIR?

    Thankfully, what started out as an obsessive need to scratch that “pun itch”  led me to actually learn a few things, most of which was gleaned from a fascinating BBC.com article on the mysterious religion.

    Okrrrrr?     POP QUIZ!

    True or Cray?

    1) The Yazidis are devil worshippers!

    2) The Yazidi religion is linked to Zoroastrianism

    3) They pray to a peacock five times a day…

    4) … Because they worship the NBC television network

    5)  Alison Moyet (lead singer of 80′s super-group “Yaz”) recorded their first album in a Kurdish cave with several high ranking Yazidi clerics on woodblock, large rusted pot, & harp.

    To learn the correct answers, you’ll have to click HERE,  (a genuinely fascinating BBC.com article by Diana Darke).

    I wanted to do that cool, fun thing they used to do in Highlights Magazine:
    where they print the T/F answers upside down at the bottom of the page, but my typing is for SHIT when I’m standing on my head.
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