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If you live in New York City and had the chance to see The Femme Show perform at Bluestockings last month, then you had the opportunity to see an amazing array of performers with a diverse set of backgrounds and identifications. What struck me most was how inclusive the show was regarding gender and sexual orientation. It reminded me of the kind of inclusive environment we try to foster here at Babeland! So I asked Johnny Blazes, a performer from the show, to answer a few questions for us regarding femme identity and sex positivity in the show.Sarah: How did The Femme Show start, as a concept? Johnny: The Femme Show was started by Maggie Cee in 2007, to serve a dual purpose. First, it was meant to create visibility for Femmes in the Boston queer scene, and second, it was designed as a space for people to create work that did not find a home in traditional venues and concerts. Maggie was tired of showing up at Queer Night at our local bar and being repeatedly ignored or mistaken for a straight window-shopper, and she was sick of being told by straight choreographers and critics that her dance didn't fit into their concerts.Sarah: Describe the mission of the Femme Show. Johnny: The Femme Show exists to entertain and educate audiences about the vastness and variety of expression that femme identity can take. We make queer art for queer people, meaning that we often rely on stereotypes, trends and icons that have more cultural heft within queer communities; however, we strive to make our work accessible to as many different types of people and audiences as possible. Now that we have been doing this show for three years, our art has moved past a simple plea for visibility, and has come to address, in depth, the many intersections of our identities (e.g., sexuality, class, race, body size), and how these other identities and their intersections interact with our femininity.Sarah: What does "sex positive" mean to you? What aspects of the Femme Show do you consider sex-positive?Johnny: I take "sex-positive" to mean viewing and portraying all types of consensual sexuality as healthy expressions of our humanity. The Femme Show often includes performance pieces that explicitly explore a variety of sexual practices and inclinations. Particularly when we do smaller, reading-based shows, we will often include the smut writings of various members and guest artists. We have had content dealing with bondage, role play, spanking, gender-play and more.� One of the particularly strong pieces in this arena comes from performer Myl�ne St. Pierre, whose monologue ?How This Fat Femme Fucks? deals with the layers of being a kinky, poly, fat Femme - spanning the journey from being non-consensually eroticized to finding the perfect dildo to span the ?grand distance? between two fatties.Sarah: What has the Femme Show meant for you, as a performer and an artist? Johnny: The Femme Show has been a home base for me, and a safe environment to take risks onstage. From the beginning, I knew I never had to able to define what genre my performance fell under, nor did I have to create work that would ?sell? or make people love me. Instead, I could create work that inspired me, and that stretched me to use all of my talents. I took my first leap back into using spoken text as a performative tool with The Femme Show, and through the course of the past few years learned a lot about my own relationship with femininity and femme identity.Sarah: What do you look for when choosing performers for the Femme Show?We look for performers who make work that is intelligent, well-crafted and well-performed. We want to work with people who are interested in developing themselves as artists, who give and take constructive criticism well, who want to work on ensemble numbers, and who are willing to pitch in with the dirty work of booking, promotion and production. In essence, we want our cast to be a community! We aim to represent lots of different identities in our shows, soliciting artists of different sizes, races, genders, ages, abilities, classes, levels of education, and backgrounds.Sarah: Congratulations on finishing your recent tour! What's in the works for the next one?Johnny: Thank you!� It was a wonderful tour! Over the past three years, we?ve played more than 100 shows in cities ranging from Portland, ME to Washington, DC to Chicago, IL, usually on small weekend trips, occasionally staying on the road for up to 9 days. We?ve done intimate readings in bookstores and enormous ballrooms at the True Colors Out Youth Conference (without the smut, of course!). We?ve also had our eyes on Montr�al for a while?Want to see an ALL NEW show this weekend? Check out the debut nights:October 7 and 8, 8:00 PMCambridge Family YMCA Theatre,820 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, MA.$11 advanced, $15 doorAnd find out more about Johnny and the other performers of The Femme Show at their website.p with femininity and femme identity.Sarah: What do you look for when choosing performers for the Femme Show?We look for performers who make work that is intelligent, well-crafted and well-performed. We want to work with people who are interested in developing themselves as artists, who give and take constructive criticism well, who want to work on ensemble numbers, and who are willing to pitch in with the dirty work of booking, promotion and production. In essence, we want our cast to be a community! We aim to represent lots of different identities in our shows, soliciting artists of different sizes, races, genders, ages, abilities, classes, levels of education, and backgrounds.Sarah: Congratulations on finishing your recent tour! What's in the works for the next one?Johnny: Thank you!� It was a wonderful tour! Over the past three years, we?ve played more than 100 shows in cities ranging from Portland, ME to Washington, DC to Chicago, IL, usually on small weekend trips, occasionally staying on the road for up to 9 days. We?ve done intimate readings in bookstores and enormous ballrooms at the True Colors Out Youth Conference (without the smut, of course!). We?ve also had our eyes on Montr�al for a while?Want to see an ALL NEW show this weekend? Check out the debut nights:October 7 and 8, 8:00 PMCambridge Family YMCA Theatre,820 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, MA.$11 advanced, $15 doorAnd find out more about Johnny and the other performers of The Femme Show at their website.