[Written on this day in 2004.]
Parking in Newark: $11
Roundtrip Path fare: $3
Spending NYE in a place where I felt I finally belonged: PRICELESS
Since I had failed the first time around, when I was asked if I could come and volunteer at the Palace of Variety, I did not hesitate in saying yes.
Got out of bed at eight in the morning to cleanse and rid my face and neck of hair dye stains. The next hours were spent tediously constructing my face. Rocked that new green eye shadow that I recently purchased, blending it into a soft pink with black eye liner on the top lid, metallic pink on the bottom lid and bright blue on the inside corner. Symmetrical eyebrows [also in black, which I haven’t worn since the last time I had black hair] were then executed; pink glitter accenting gently blushed cheeks and pink parts of the eye shadow. Lips were lined with the same metallic pink mentioned above and then I filled in the rest with coconut scented lipgloss in a sheer pearlescent type color.
Human hair extensions [wefts] were applied to front of my hair – they are about 10 inches in lime green, neon pink, blonde and black, layered from bottom to top. The hand dyed colors really came out brilliantly and together they pop really nicely. While I thought it might be a bit much with the blonde, I really dig the blended effect all four colors have. The rest of my hair was styled in the usual fashion – pulling the sides away from my face by hair spraying and blow drying into oblivion, curling side locks and slicking them into place with a thick coat of gel, then applying hair spray to everything else while zapping it with the blow dryer and ensuring it stands on end.
My outfit consisted of that new Illig skirt I also recently purchased, black Lip Service shirt with zippers, black [somewhat faded] jean jacket, complete with safety pin decorated collar and cuffs, neon pink and black striped socks, neon green and black striped hand warmers with neon green/black/neon pink stars, and my super comfy silver and black New Rocks.
My mom complimented me before I left, which does not happen very often. To her, most of what I do is “silly”, so it was nice to hear her being sincere for a change.
While I was not in a complete rush to get to the venue, I did want to show up in a timely fashion, due to the celebration that would be happening only a block away. The ride on the PATH was rather long, but I enjoyed my nine block walk to the Palace. It is a fantastic place, and shame on me for not having gone there sooner. [Then again, I only recently found out that it even existed and then immediately felt I had been missing out on something spectacular.] The walls are plastered with great photos, sideshow banner art and other awesome random things.
As soon as I arrived, I was put right to work – there was much to do before the show that evening. Noted here that the woman I have been corresponding with via e-mail is someone I know from the sideshow over at Coney Island. It took her a moment to realize who I was, but she remembered me from the sideshow school and all that other times I went to see the shows there.
Everyone was so incredibly wonderful that I cannot possibly put into words just how great they really are. It was so refreshing to have been among such friendly people in what honestly felt like a family atmosphere. To see all the hard work that these people put into their performances gave me a better understanding of what it takes to make something like this happen, and I feel I am going to learn a lot from just being here.
Spent some time chatting with the other people present, getting to know them while we completed various tasks. At one point we were notified that if we needed to go out and get anything, take the opportunity to do so. Apparently the blocks surrounding Times Square were going to be barricaded to keep everyone in a specific zone. To say there were large crowds swelling outside would be a severe understatement. The Palace was completely packed for that evening’s performance. Tyler Fyre was in attendance as was the lovely miss Katzen. Had a few moments to chat with Tyler, but didn’t get a chance to say hello to Katzen.
The show itself was just incredible. Have not seen it before, but I was very impressed, enjoyed the variety of the acts and can’t really pick a favorite. My position was behind the bar, which was just perfect for me since I don’t like dealing with large quantities of people. Ellie and I kept the beverages flowing, which were free for staff and crew. There was also free munchies which I nibbled on from time to time.
After the show, everyone who had performed or volunteered that nite gathered together on stage and we counted down to the New Year, toasting with champagne. Assisted with the clean up as much as possible, but wanted to get back to Jersey just to make sure my car was safe. However, I mentioned that I would be back on Friday and there was much verbal expression in appreciative of my help. It was my pleasure and an honor, not to mention fun as hell.
Before I left, I occupied Stephanie for a moment to thank her for allowing me to come in [as funny as that sounds] and have the chance to work at such a wonderful place. Wound up gushing, as I often do [it might have been the champagne], but I meant everything I said. Which mainly consisted of telling her how much I enjoyed the show and being alongside wonderful people. She told me that when I come back on Friday, she will give me some free tickets for an upcoming Bindlestiff Family Cirkus show.
Did not get paid, but I made decent money in tips. To be honest, I went because I have nothing but time on my hands and figured that it would be best spent doing something I enjoy.
Mad props should be given to NYC’s finest, who were out on the streets when I arrived and were still there twelve hours later as I was walking back to the PATH station. They really worked hard to allow everyone to have a fun and safe New Year, and they should be given credit where it is due.
My car was where I left it, safe and sound. By the time I came back here, I just fell into bed and went to sleep.
Have to say that this is certainly an experience I will not forget. It also confirms that this is type of thing I want to do with my life.