Saturday, 5 April 2014

15 Seconds

These are the most significant 15 seconds from my childhood.
My destiny was sealed when, at two years old, I saw these 15 seconds for the first time.
These 15 seconds are the greatest 15 seconds in film history.


Sunday, 2 February 2014

"T Minus 5": A New Podcast

I've started a new (mini) podcast called "T Minus 5." Basically it's me ranting and offering hilarious commentary on an any given subject. Each episode will be five minutes or less. It's perfect for the gal on the go! Here's the first episode, enjoy!

Friday, 31 January 2014

The Diary of a Tranny Comedienne

Last night was my first comedy performance of the year and it was great. I'm trying to be a bit more improvisational in my work on stage, and based on last night I think it's a good direction to be heading in. The show took place at a wonderful, warm, artsy little cafe in Montreal called Cafe Aleatoire. The audience was a bit on the mellow side, but they were hip and fun. Here is my set... enjoy!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Going Down to Sandyland: A Review of Sandra Bernhard at Joe's Pub

When writing about Sandra Bernhard, it's all too easy to fall back on superlatives--amazing, brilliant, magnificent, incredible--but as true and accurate as those words may be, they do not begin to do the complexity of Ms. Bernhard's work any justice. Sandra's shows are always a multi-layered affair. It's such a thrill to get lost in the webs and tales she spins, it's like getting lost in Paris, or some other fabulous, foreign city, and stumbling onto the coolest places and people. In some instances, experiencing Sandra on stage is like taking a step through the looking glass. "Sandyland," which is the title of the new show, is very much a Wonderland for the 21st century.

From December 26th to the 31st, Sandra performed "Sandyland" at Joe's Pub for her always eagerly anticipated annual holiday residency. This year's show was more personally revealing than anything I've seen Sandra perform before. It was a journey into La Bernhard's private world, which began with a mystical rendition of "If You Could Read My Mind."* Her world is a dizzying trip... one minute she's in France exchanging e-mails with Andre Leon Talley, Sandyland's very own Mad Hatter, and the next she's getting hugged by a strange lady in the lobby of a sketchy Sheraton hotel. In a nutshell, that's what "Sandyland" is all about: contrast and irony--the irony of an accomplished, legendary, iconic performer who, for better or for worse, has remained an underground artist.

The musical highlight of the show was a medley of Roxette's "Listen to Your Heart" and Heart's "Alone." Sandra has a unique, magical ability to transform the corniest songs into profound, substantial emotional moments. Only Sandra could make Roxette sound like Oasis. She manages to unearth a life and poignancy in these songs that no one else knew existed.  As she repeated the words "listen to your heart," the lyrics suddenly became a mantra, a plea... a plea for people to look inward and to reconnect with what really matters. It was Sandra taking a stand against the mediocrity and shallowness spawned by social media... It was a moment of spirituality and serenity amidst the very noisy, chaotic times we're living in. When Sandra was singing, you could feel this sense of warmth and unity in the room. It was a moment I wanted to hold onto for as long as I could.

The last stop on the "Sandyland" journey was an outrageous, unforgettable rendition of Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball," which Sandra mashed up with Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." What a moment that was. For the song, Sandra donned a white tank top and a white pair of men's boxer-briefs. The expression on her face was one of mock defiance. When Sandra came on the scene in the late 70s, she came in like a wrecking ball, changing the game and what it meant to be a woman in the entertainment business. What have the current ladies of pop--Rihanna, Miley, Katy Perry, Gaga, etc.--done for us lately? Absolutely nothing. And that was the whole point of Sandra's "Wrecking Ball" performance. I saw it as an attack against the instant fame—born from reality TV and social media—that has dominated the pop culture landscape of the past few years. To drive the point home, Sandra even pretended to take a "selfie" with her tongue sticking out a la Miley midway through the song.

Sandra is everything today’s crop of insta-celebrities is not: she’s authentic. And she’s a star. A real star in the same way Bette Midler is a star. Stars like that don’t really exist any more. All we have now are celebrities on instagram. And that is precisely why Sandra’s work is more important than ever (and I mean that sincerely, without the slightest bit of exaggeration). After 30 years in the business, Sandra is still very much the wrecking ball she was when she first burst onto the comedy scene. Now she’s tearing down the bullshit, superficiality and emptiness of our culture and, in their place, offering work that is challenging, deep and provocative, as she always has. It’s the kind of work that could potentially save pop culture and pop culture is in desperate need of being rescued. If anyone can do it, it’s Ms. Bernhard.

*Note: Streisand covered "If You Could Read My Mind" on her Stoney End album, and last year at Joe's Pub, Sandra opened the show with a cover of "Stoney End"--there's nothing coincidental in Bernhard's work, and I loved the continuity of this year and last year's opening numbers.

A dream come true: Sandra and me.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 In Pop Culture: A Review in One Liners

Robin Thicke is a douche bag, but given the chance I'd still probably blow him.

Miley Cyrus is not worth talking about.

It didn't change the world the way I was hoping it would, but Cher's album was brilliant and the best pop album of the year.

Hearing Bette Midler as Sue Mengers call Barbra Streisand a cunt was the greatest moment in live theatre of 2013.

My ears were so relieved Rihanna did not release a new album this year.

Lady Gaga officially sealed her fate as the new Cyndi Lauper.

Apparently Celine Dion is still popular.

Nothing was more devastating this year than "selfie" becoming a real word.

The new Goldfrapp and Pet Shop Boys albums were the only other albums worth getting besides Cher's.

Anna Wintour became even more powerful this year as she became artistic director for Condé Nast--all hope of Vogue becoming relevant again has been lost.

Madonna proved she has lost all touch with reality as she tried to change the world through art with something called "Secret Project" that nobody cared about.

Beyonce is an incredible business woman and I respect how she's maintained her dignity despite her enormous fame... she has not turned her private life into a spectacle for the sake of entertainment, which is so rare these days, but I will never understand how anyone can listen to her sing for more than 10 minutes straight without getting a migraine.

Instagram has taken the concept of "keeping up with the Jones'" and consumer greed to a whole new, horrifying level... we are living in dark, mediocre and superficial times.

I sincerely hope in 2014 people put down their smart phones, wake the fuck up and get reconnected with reality... I know, I'm a dreamer.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Tranna Wintour 2014 Calendar

It's finally here... my official 2014 calendar! Let the glamour into your life! This is my Christmas gift to you and you can easily re-gift it! Just download it, print it and gift it!
I'd also like to take this moment to thank everyone who has been so supportive of me this year as I pursue my dreams. I hope you all follow your dreams in the new year, as corny as that it sounds. I wish you all lots of love and happiness. Merry Christmas, baby!

CLICK HERE to download the HQ calendar PDF for 8.5" by 11" paper!
CLICK HERE to download the HQ calendar PDF for 11" by 17" paper!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Bringing The Glamour

Fashion is such an important part of what I do on stage and who I am as a person.
Fashion is the opportunity to make fantasy a reality...
here's what I wore last night...

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Disco Aesthetic

My favorite fashion era is, without question, the late 70s--disco! It was a time of pure, unashamed glamour. The looks, defined by Halston, were super sexy but incredibly chic. That time period has been the greatest influence on my own personal style. Anything I buy has to be at least a little bit disco. Basically what that means is that any ensemble I put together must contain at least one of the following: sheer material, sequins, feathers, a giant slit, or a bat-wing sleeve. I was watching some of Amanda Lear's old performance videos from that time period, and I came across an ensemble that has all the elements I just listed. I had a total fashion orgasm... it may be the greatest thing anyone has ever worn.

Monday, 11 November 2013

A Brief Review of Lady Gaga's ARTPOP

I'll put in as much creativity into this review as Gaga put into ARTPOP: the album is an uninspired disaster*. The end.

*with the exception of "Sexxx Dreams," which is pure pop perfection.

Upcoming Shows

Help! I've been turned into a mannequin! (The same thing happened to Kim Cattrall in 1987). Please come to one of my upcoming shows and help me break the spell! I want to be human again!

Nov 22nd, Genderblender, Cafe L'artere, 7000 Parc Avenue, 8:30pm
Nov 27th, Peopl's Comedy, Club Peopl, 390 Notre-Dame, 8:30pm
Dec 18th, Comedyworks, 1238 Bishop, 8:30pm

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Autumnal Glamour

These lips were made for comedy...
(and this hair is from the fabulous Vivica A Fox weave and wig collection)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Upcoming Shows

I love making flyers almost as much as I love making top 10 lists...

Wed Oct 23rd, Comedyworks, 8:30pm, 1238 Bishop
Fri Oct 25th, Gender Blender, 9:00pm, Cafe L’Artere - 7000 Park Ave
Sun Oct 27th, Comedyworks, 8:30pm, 1238 Bishop

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Live at the Peopl's Comedy

Here is a little LQ footage from my performance at the Peopl's Comedy last week. In it, I talk about the importance of Mariah Carey in my life and who I blame for the heterosexualization of homosexuality. Enjoy!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for my beautiful friends and family... I adore you. I am thankful for red lipstick and hot men who love to take their shirts off. I am thankful for the work of Sandra Bernhard and John Waters. I am thankful that--at least for now--record stores still exist. I am thankful to be performing, to be living out my dreams, as corny as that may sound, and I am so thankful for everyone who's been supportive. I am thankful that after everything she's been through, Liza Minnelli is still alive and still performing. I hope today finds you thankful for all the good things in your life and surrounded by lots of love.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Upcoming Shows!

6 shows coming up in Montreal!

Friday Oct 4: ComedyWorks, 1238 Bishop, 8:30pm & 10:30pm
Sunday Oct 6: Le Belmont, 4483 St-Laurent, 8:30pm
Wednesday Oct 9: The Peopl’s Comedy: Free Speech, Club Peopl, 390 Notre-Dame West, 8:30pm
Sunday Oct 13: Montreal Comedy Competition at ComedyWorks, 1238 Bishop, 8:30pm
Wednesday Oct 23: All-Star Show, ComedyWorks, 1238 Bishop, 8:30pm

Monday, 30 September 2013

Me, Myself and I

I was interviewed by comedians Jeff Schouela and Paul Baluyot for their fantastic podcast, "2 Pints In." They told me they interview extraordinary people, so how could I say no? Jeff and Paul are great guys and we talked about so many different things: my childhood, my inspirations/muses, my thoughts on gender identity and sexuality... Pull up a cuppa and have a listen!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Closer to Cher's Truth

Finally! Cher's new album is out! We must celebrate! Rejoyce! Cher's last studio album, Living Proof, was released in November of 2001. I bought that album the day it came out and used to listen to it every day... who could have ever guessed it would take Cher 12 years to release its follow up?

Cher's new album, Closer to the Truth, hasn't come into being without its share of problems. The album was originally supposed to be released almost 2 years ago and kept getting pushed back--it was driving me crazy! I've never been so desperate to have new material from an artist. And I don't think I've ever been more excited for a new release than I've been for Closer. When I held the album in my hands for the first time yesterday, I almost wept.

I am so relieved and happy to report that Closer has been worth the painful, agonizing wait. And I can confidently say it's the best album Cher has ever released. That statement is most definitely influenced by my current state of new-Cher euphoria, but if you ask me in a year from now, I think there's a good chance I'll still be saying Closer is Cher's best album, and there are a few reasons why.

First, let me say that musically Closer has nothing innovative to offer. It sounds very much like it could have been released in 2002 (but then Cher's music has never been particular groundbreaking or cutting edge). In that sense, the new album isn't actually anything new at all. However, what sets Closer apart from all of the diva's previous releases is the stunning vocal performance. Cher's vocals on Closer are nothing short of miraculous. There is an emotional depth in the vocal delivery that I've never heard on any other Cher recording... and I think that's saying something since Cher's vocals have always been gorgeous. The vocals elevate the entire album. Sung by anyone else, I think the songs would feel a little mediocre and underwhelming. But that's always been the magic of Cher--she breathes so much life and personality into everything she does.

Cher's discography is one of the most eclectic of any recording artist. What Closer does so brilliantly is tie the best elements of what Cher has done in the past into one cohesive, flawless opus. The new album is the summation of everything that Cher is as an artist--a dance music diva with a folk singer's soul. Cher's albums have been consistently patchy, but there is not a weak moment on the new one. This album is the culmination of the trial-and-error musical exploration that has been Cher's recording legacy, including all its ups and downs. Closer to the Truth feels like the album Cher has been wanting to make her entire career. And it's definitely the album fans have been waiting for and the fact that we can finally hold it in our hands--or at least the people who still understand the beauty of buying physical formats can--is cause for celebration.

Friday, 20 September 2013

The Top 10 Gayest Albums of All Time

It goes without saying that gay audiences have always had the best taste in art, film, literature and especially music, which is why I find it funny when people use the word 'gay' as an insult. Being called 'gay' is the highest acclaim any artist or any piece of work can receive. All of the albums in this list have been loved and embraced by gay audiences, but I have chosen each of them for different reasons: some were chosen based on the artist’s importance in the gay community, some for their undeniably queer themes and others because they’re just so wonderfully camp. Each of them provides a different kind of magic and each of them is monumental in their own right. This list could easily have been titled “The Greatest Albums of All Time” but who am I to make that claim? I’m just a tranny on a budget who spends all her money on records and who truly believes in the power of pop. 

#10 Once Upon a Time by Donna Summer
Both the title track and the poem in the album’s booklet begin with the line, “Once upon a time, there was a girl,” but it should read: “Once upon a time, there was a gurl.” I’m positive that the heroine we follow through this album is a trans girl who wants to be a star. Once is a concept album that Ms. Summer conceived as a Cinderella story, but the album’s themes go way beyond fairy tale dreams and happily ever after. Thematically, the story that runs through the album is about the struggle all queers go through to achieve self-acceptance. The album is divided into four acts, and all Donna and disco fans alike would agree that Act Two is the best: an electro odyssey as our heroine transforms from diner waitress into drag queen goddess. 
Gayest track: "Queen for a Day"

#9 I Love Men by Eartha Kitt
The title speaks for itself. Eartha Kitt’s I Love Men is a celebration of men and what makes them great—charm, good looks and money. The lead single, “Where is My Man?” became Eartha’s biggest hit, 30 years after the release of her first recordings. Like every track on the album, “Where is My Man?” is camp disco at its very best. Eartha even made videos for all of the album’s singles and they are the greatest music videos ever made. I say that with some irony, but seriously, they are fabulous. There’s a great scene at the end of the “I Love Men” video where Eartha is performing in front of an adoring crowd of gay men—it perfectly sums up how much the community adored this legendary figure, and how much she loved us back.
Gayest track: “Where is my Man?”

#8 Supermodel of the World by RuPaul
RuPaul’s debut album is a celebration… It is the bible according to Ru in musical form and the message is LOVE. It’s about giving and receiving love. It’s about coming out of hiding and most importantly, it’s about self-love—learning to “color with all the crayons in your box.”
Gayest track: “Supermodel (You Better Work)”

#7 Results by Liza Minnelli
In 1989, Liza Minnelli teamed up with the Pet Shop Boys—an unexpected and unconventional collaboration that yielded one of the most interesting, hard-to-describe albums ever released. I believe Results is the most criminally overlooked album of all time. The album is unlike any other... it's dance meets Broadway, pop meets cabaret, basically Liza meets the Pet Shop Boys and together they make an unequaled, daring, glamorous, dramatic album under a dark and moody atmosphere. And the David Lachapelle imagery created for the album is absolutely stunning.
Gayest track: “Don’t Drop Bombs”

#6 Without You I’m Nothing by Sandra Bernhard
Recorded live at the Orpheum Theater in New York City, this is the one-woman show that made Ms. Bernhard an icon—a legend for all times. I don’t even know how to fully describe this show because there’s never been anything like it, before or since—it’s punk-rock, it’s comedy, it’s cabaret, it’s Broadway, it’s a sleazy strip club at four in the morning… it’s everything. Through spoken word and music, Sandra makes a powerful statement about culture, relationships and sexual identity. Though it was recorded in 1988, it is as fresh and important today as it was back then. 
Gayest track: “Mighty Real”

#5 Light Years by Kylie Minogue
Jake Shears was dead on when he described Kylie Minogue as the Glinda to Madonna’s Wicked Witch. Kylie is pure sparkle and love and her album Light Years is the summation of everything she is as an entertainer. The album serves as a pseudo-history lesson in gay culture. Light Years references everyone from ABBA to Donna Summer; it’s part Broadway, part Studio 54 and part Ibiza beach party. In short, Light Years is a fantasy come to life… a pop utopia.
Gayest track:
“Love Boat” 

#4 Gold by ABBA
I don’t think this choice requires much explanation… This greatest hits collection is essential to every music lover’s collection. It’s almost 80 minutes of the gayest, most well-crafted, most flamboyant pop music ever made. ABBA should have titled the album Hot Pink instead of Gold.
Gayest track: “Fernando”

#3 Very by Pet Shop Boys
Very is very gay, very intellectual, very multilayered, very danceable, very glossy, very theatrical, very ironic, very funny, very heartbreaking… very Pet Shop Boys. Very essential.
Gayest track: “Go West”

#2 The Divine Miss M by Bette Midler
Most gay icons were adopted by gay audiences, but the gays gave birth to The Divine Miss M aka Bette Midler in the Continental Baths of New York City in the early 70s. Of course Bette went on to have one of the most incredible, successful, international careers, but there’s a little “Bathhouse Betty” in everything she’s done. Bette has always honored and stood up for the gay community and her performances are the gayest performances anyone could hope to see. She is an electric live performer who strikes the perfect balance between comedy and tragedy. The Divine Miss M, her debut album, was recorded live to capture the magic of what she’d been doing in the bathhouse and the album is a masterpiece.
Gayest track: “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”   

#1 Judy at Carnegie Hall by Judy Garland
Judy Garland is the original and the ultimate gay icon (that’s not up for debate). Gay men love her more than they love anal sex, or at least gay men of a certain generation or level of taste do. Gay men have always delighted in seeing a diva unraveled, the reason why is irrelevant. It just is what it is. And it’s a love that continues today: look at the way young gays worship Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan. Of course the difference between Judy and the pop stars of today, who have been falsely identified as icons, is talent. Judy was one of the greatest talents of the past 100 years, possibly the greatest of them all because she never held anything back. She gave every part of herself in everything she ever did. Even when she had very little left to give she still gave it all. Judy at Carnegie Hall is the proof. The show is a thrilling, emotional rollercoaster ride, a moment of divinity captured in time and song. When you get down to it, it is the greatest live performance ever and thank God someone thought to record it.
Gayest track: “You Made Me Love You/For Me and My Gal/The Trolley Song Medley” 

Honorable Mention:
Erotica by Madonna
With the release of Erotica and her book, SEX, Madonna positioned herself as a sexual terrorist at a time when AIDS had made middle America not only scared of homosexuals, but scared of any kind of sex that went outside their heterosexual/missionary box. Erotica made a bold statement about sexual freedom, fantasy and diversity. “In this Life,” a ballad in memory of the friends she lost to AIDS, is the most vulnerable Madonna has ever been on a record.
Gayest track: “Deeper and Deeper”