Forrest takes a Journey!

#RRBC #WritingCommunity #iidentifyasapoet

Welcome to October-Ween Book, Blog and Trailer Block Party!!! Presented by #RRBC

Today’s giveaways for a few special visitors (total of three winners):

$10 Gift Card for Amazon

1 paperback copy- “Journey to the Rainbow’s End”

1 paperback copy- “BOUND”

Congrats to the winners for the October 10, 2019 Block Party

(1) $10 Amazon gift card – Wendy Scott

(1) Paperback copy of JOURNEY – D. E. Howard

(1) Paperback copy of BOUND – Gwen Plano

Today’s Presentation: “Where did I get my start?”

Journey to the Rainbow’s End Book Trailer
Produced by 4 Wills Publishing

I began writing when I was twelve years old after experiencing one of the most depressing times of my life. The summer of 1987, I attempted to end my life. I struggled with a great many things, such as identity and traumatic stress caused by events that occurred in my childhood; however, in the fall of 1987 I was lucky to have an incredible English Teacher by the name of Mrs. Carr. Our school was not the prettiest or the fanciest, but, we were lucky to have fantastic instructors who were truly passionate about teaching.

Mrs. Carr often commented on my writing style and one day during a one-on-one session she asked if I’d ever thought of becoming a writer when I grew up. I fell over in my chair laughing. Although she had a great sense of humor, she made it clear she was being quite sincere. Apparently she saw great potential in my writing style, and with everything I had gone through in my life, she suggested it might be quite therapeutic for me. I told her I would think about it. I was quite resistant to the thought, as we were in the impoverished East San Diego region called “El Barrio Logan.” The school was in the middle of the gang and drug infested ghetto. Anything artistic would be considered “abnormal” in this part of town.

The day after Mrs. Carr and I had our conversation, she decided to spring what she called a “pop writing challenge.” She would present these “challenges” with passion and great hype. The challenge was to write a poem about our past summer vacation and she implored us to make them lyrical. I remember her words to this day, “I want you to tell me a story through your poem… I want to laugh with you, if it was a funny event… I want to cry with you and feel your pain, if it was a sad event.” She liked playing music during these challenges and that day she played “Moonlight Sonata”. I was frozen for the first five minutes. My summer was filled with a rollercoaster of emotions as I stated earlier. I let the music fill me and I was able to write my first poem. The name of that poem was titled “Freeze”.

My teacher liked to showcase our work to the rest of our peers, so the following day Mrs. Carr did her usual, passionate speech on how impressed she was with each of us, but stated a few of us stood out. The poetic works ranged from romantic, or as well as romantic as a 12-year-old could be, to extremely humorous. The last poetic work she read was “Freeze”, however she did not disclose my name to the class. “After I read this poem, I will leave it up to the author on whether or not they want to share their identity,” she explained. She tearfully read my poem as if she was in my soul and was feeling the pain I endured. My peers were in awe, while making comments like “I want to give them a hug whoever they are” and “The poem should be published.” After the tears from my peers – and continued statements – I slowly stood up. This is how this author was born.

Fun Facts with History:

One thing that has come up many times throughout the past year is my gender identity, which has caused confusion for some of my readers. The picture on the cover of my book “Journey to the Rainbow’s End” probably did not help with these perceptions. Yes, I am a semi-retired drag performer and performance artist in the Pacific Northwest.

The art of drag is older then people can imagine. There are various stories of how the term “Drag Queen” came about. Some say it is related to actors during the Shakespearean times wearing oversized dresses, which had to have two-by-four boards attached to them so that their dresses would drag behind the actors appropriately. This was a time when women were not permitted to be in the theater, whether as a worker or a performer.

Another story I learned was from an old theater professor who specialized in Shakespearean Era and Grecian plays who stated it was more directly related to stage directions and scripts. Recently, I was able to find this on google: “A folk etymology is that drag is an acronym of “Dressed Resembling A Girl” in description of male theatrical transvestism.” In the character references there would be a notation next to the characters name for example, Juliet (DRaG): “RomeoRomeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” etc.

Drag is different than gender identity. Drag is an artform, where most performers are men who are celebrating the art of female impersonation. I identity as a man; I say this because I have received many questions regarding my gender identity since I became published. If you have further questions regarding this artform, please ask in the comment section below.

Pictures of my Drag Character, Victoria Eyesli
2001-2002 Miss Debutante #8
2009-2010 Miss Gay Tacoma 09-10
2016-2017 Imperial Princess 38
2017-2018 Empress 39

How did I start in this wonderful world? I grew up in the theater. I was in musical theater from the age of six and began studying opera at the age of nineteen. I was classified as a lyric baritone voice type. I even had the honor of being under the tutelage of voice and linguist coach, Tricia Strauss. I was fortunate enough to have studied music of all types my entire life.

Throughout my life, I had to learn to be accepting of all of my unique and eclectic glory, this included my writing.

Pictures of the real me
1979-
check out the leisure suit, 1987 I played the trumpet for almost 10 years,
1994- my first professional headshot for singing and theater, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2019, 2019

Thank you for stopping by today and joining me for the

#RRBC Presents

October-Ween Book, Blog and Trailer Block Party!!!

Hope to see you on the next stop of this amazing Block Party, just click here!!!

Happy October-Ween Everyone!

51 thoughts on “Welcome to October-Ween Book, Blog and Trailer Block Party!!! Presented by #RRBC

  1. Russell Miller says:

    I absolutely am in love with your work I relate to it on so many levels. It’s such a comfort knowing that I am not alone in my struggling and life experiences thank you so much for your willingness to help our community

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My goodness! Thank you Russell. I appreciate that. Thank you for visiting today.

      Like

  2. ~Mar says:

    I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to speak with you about your writing and your books. This post is even more evidence of the inspiration you are, Forrest. 🖤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marlena,
      You are such a sweetheart. Thank you for your post and for stopping by. Your support means the world to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ~Mar says:

        Nothing but honesty. 😘

        Liked by 1 person

  3. D.E.Howard says:

    What a great post – it was great to discover more about you – and loved the photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dawn for stopping by today. I’m glad you enjoyed my page.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. John Fioravanti says:

    Thanks for the great explanation of Drag as an art form. Fascinating stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you John for stopping by. I appreciate your support.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wendy Scott says:

    Wow, Forrest – I had tears reading about your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Wendy, it was definitely a therapeutic experience. The poem is actually in my “Journey to the Rainbow’s End” collection. Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

  6. What an open and honest post. Thank you for sharing it with us all. I’m sorry you had a tough start in life and thank goodness for such an amazing teacher who saw your potential and encouraged you. Have a great party today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lizzie and thank you for stopping by. as the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes as stronger.” Hope you have a great day as well.

      Like

  7. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I love to read about the members of our group. I see faces, read the books, but I like to know the person behind the words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Susanne. I agree. We are fortunate to be members of a wonderful club that encourages us to engage and learn from one another. Thanks for stopping by today!

      Like

  8. Wow, Forrest, you do have a story to tell! I liked your first definition of “Drag” better. I remember that era, too, when women were not allowed in the theatre. Good luck with your tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Joy! Yes. The art of drag has been around quite awhile. Thank you for stopping by today.

      Like

  9. A.M. Manay says:

    Thank you so much for this peek into your soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you were able to stop by today Ann!

      Like

  10. Isn’t it incredible how just one person can turn your life around? I am grateful that your teacher accepted you and inspired you. I am enjoying learning more about you and your journey. 😊

    Like

    1. Thank you Yvette for stopping by and for your continued support. I bet you are comparable to Mrs. Carr as a teacher. Look forward in talking more.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

    Thank you for sharing more about you while educating us at the same time about your world. You identify as male? So what is the problem? If I may ask.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not sure what you mean by “what is the problem?” If it is about my performing drag versus my identity, I think it is pretty simple. I am a biological man who dresses up once in a while for charity events all over the country. It’s not much different than performing as a character actor if you think about it. To me, performing in drag in theatrical presentation only.

      Like

      1. Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

        Forrest, I don’t know why you wouldn’t know what I mean. You have been pouring out your heart about the gender crisis or gender identity you have had and how conflicted and depressed you have been. I’m just trying to understand you as I have not known anyone close enough like you that can explain it. Maybe I’m not saying the right words, but that’s because it is confusing to me. You are gorgeous as a male and you identify as one. There are people who are male that identify as female. Now that would be a problem and that’s where I thought you were.

        Like

      2. Hi Shirley,

        To clarify, my struggle during my younger years was related to being gay and having attractions to men. I was never confused about my gender. I hope that clarifies the difference. Orientation is different than gender identity.

        Like

  12. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    What a blessing to all of us you had that teacher. We need more like her!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Denise. I was blessed to have that teacher, as I had another teacher later in high school who stated the opposite. It took me a long time to mute that other teacher’s voice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. D.L. Finn, Author says:

        I understand I had the negative teacher in high school, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Mary Adler says:

    Your story touched me, Forrest, and tears did well as you described your classes’ reaction to your poem. I am sending you and that little boy a virtual hug and am heading over to acquire Journey to the Rainbow’s End. I so want to read Freeze and your other work. Your teacher was an angel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary, thank you for stopping by. It is definitely filled with emotional poetic work from my entire lifetime. I hope you enjoy it.

      Like

  14. Jan Sikes says:

    Forrest, the story about your teacher really touched me. I hope she knew what an influence she had on you. I love your openness to sharing your eclectic life. Yes, it’s different, but so is mine and everyone else I know. You are an inspiration and your honesty and frankness are refreshing in a world where people are afraid to speak their truth! Thank you for that! Great blog!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jan! You are very kind and are always a support to me. I appreciate you.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Gwen M. Plano says:

    I loved your photos, Forrest, and your honesty. It is refreshing and enlightening to share as you have. All the best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Gwen. I have lived a very interesting life, but I think many of us have. I thank you for stopping by today.

      Like

  16. young2013 says:

    Another wonderful post, Forrest. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bernard, my mentor and friend. Thank you for always being a support to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Rhani D'Chae says:

    Forrest, another informative post. You are so open about your life. I am always proud of my heathen kids, but I am especially proud of your willingness to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rhani, I would not have pursued publishing if it was not for your guidance, assistance, and kick in the butt. Thank you for the constant push.

      Like

  18. In my travels looking for myself, being a Drag Queen was one the wonders I experienced. While Alexis Bardeaux no longer lives in the physical world she is always a part my soul and I will never forget what I learned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its amazing what we learn in that artform isn’t it? I started drag when I was seventeen. It helped me express my artistic side and eventually it helped me learn to accept myself more. That was almost 30 years ago. My goodness how time has flown by. Thank you for stopping by my friend.

      Like

  19. jhawker1969 says:

    Having Mss Carrs in our lives is critical. The teacher who pushed me into writing was Mrs. Gooch. A funny name, but a magnificent heart. All of us need a Miss Carr or Mrs. Goolch in our lives at one time or another. Great post, Forest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ron! I completely agree. If it wasn’t for them, we may have not pursued becoming writers or tried to make the world a better place in our respected professions. Thanks for stopping by today.

      Like

  20. beemweeks says:

    You are a unique individual, Forrest. I am glad to call you friend. Wishing you the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beem. I appreciate your continued support. Thank you for stopping by today.

      Like

  21. Sorry, I’m late to your post, Forrest. What a great display of your uniqueness. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi John, In situations like this, I am reminded from one of my favorite quotes by Julie Andrew’s. “One is never late for the party, everyone else are simply early.” Thank you for stopping by. I truly appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Forrest.

        Like

  22. Congratulations to the winners of the October 10, 2019 Block Party giveaways.

    (1) $10 Amazon gift card – Wendy Scott

    (1) Paperback copy of JOURNEY – D. E. Howard

    (1) Paperback copy of BOUND – Gwen Plano

    Like

  23. Wendy Scott says:

    Thanks, Forrest – I do love winning! Especially when I can buy more books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I am accurate, you one the gift card on 10/2 as well! Yay for book buying! Lol

      Like

  24. Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

    CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS AT THIS STOP!

    Like

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