You already know about a special, almost indescribable quality that comes with being gay. Now a local film shines a spotlight on LGBT Atlanta performers to investigate that phenomenon. We get in on the ground floor of the movie called “Queer Moxie” with a benefit set for Wednesday night.
“Queer Moxie” uses interviews and performance clips by LGBT performers in Atlanta to examine “the importance, evolution and daring spirit of queer performance art,” according to the filmmakers.
The movie by locals Heather Provoncha and Leo Hollen, Jr., is well on its way, but the creators need your help to complete it. Rather than just ask for your good will and donations, they’re throwing the Queer Moxie Cabaret on Wednesday at Jungle to show you what they’ve got.
The upcoming film has been shot and it includes several gay Atlanta favorites in multiple disciplines – from drag and comedy to burlesque and spoken word. So does Wednesday’s cabaret. Both will celebrate what it means to have “moxie,” Provoncha tells Project Q Atlanta.
“Moxie means grit, determination, spunk, mettle,” she says. “It’s a revolutionary act for a member of a marginalized group to get up on stage and proudly take up space, and theses folks do it fabulously. This is not a film about coming out; It's a film about showing out. By showing out and dreaming big, queer artists have entertained and inspired audiences once not able to see themselves onstage.”
Your $5 entry fee to the cabaret directly benefits the completion of the film. In addition to film clips, expect performances by the likes of Brent Star (photo), Heather Daniels, Devin Liquor, Drue Lingue, Julie Osborne and Nicole Paige Brooks. The event is hosted by local gay comic and “Queer Moxie” subject Ian Aber.
As you settle in to help the cause, we settle in with Provoncha for some insight into her look behind the scenes at queer performance and the surprises she found about the artists themselves along the way.
What motivated you to do the movie?
I love the queer performance art world. I want to celebrate it and acknowledge its importance and impact in the lives of queer folks who watch, participate or see themselves represented on stage.
Where are you at in production of “Queer Moxie,” and where do you need to go?
I have been doing this film since 2009. Five years, over 100 hours of footage, hundreds of performers and no money. Leo Hollen, Jr., joined me in 2013 with amazing screen writing and editing skills. We are now in the final writing stages and completing the first broad edit. We will release two teaser trailers at Jungle and two more leading up to a full trailer and Kickstarter launch.
We will complete the film this fall/winter and plan to premiere it in Atlanta early 2015. Funds raised at the cabaret will go to converting various types of footage, editing and post production costs, then for marketing, film fest costs and anything else that will help get the film to the people.
What is the big lesson you learned through your subjects that you didn't see coming?
I am continuously amused by all the stage names I have heard and amazed by all the reasons artists get on that stage. Also it has been interesting to see just how many of the "loud" performers are quiet or introverted souls. It's amazing what a spotlight and a character can do for self expression.
What advice would you give to young queers who have a dream?
Art happens moments at a time. Movements happen at the same pace. Make the art. Participate in the movement. If you keep doing that, there will be a time when you stand still and see that you and others are indeed looking at or living your dream. Also, one thing I have learned from myself and the performers I have filmed is that if you have a dream or a passion, you are going to be unable to do anything but strive for it. The key is to remember in the minutes between the moments that you are not lost.
What else do you want our readers to know before they hit Jungle on Wednesday?
This film is also my thank you love letter to this wonderful community by which I have been inspired.