Trumpet of the Swan: Short Story Review: Miriam

by Katharine Elizabeth Monahan Huntley

Almost a decade before Truman Capote introduced Holly Golightly to literary society, he created eerie Miriam, the titular character in a short story published in A Tree of Night and Other Stories, 1949:

“Her long hair was the longest and strangest Mrs. Miller had ever seen: absolutely silver-white, like an albino’s. It flowed waist-length in smooth, loose lines. She was thin and fragiley constructed. There was a special elegance in the way she stood with her thumbs in the pockets if a tailored plum-velvet coat. . . . She touched a paper rose in a vase on the coffee table. “Imitation,” she commented wanly. “How sad. Aren’t imitations sad?”

Next to Truman Capote’s unique writings, imitations can only pale.

Click on the link to view: “La Côte Basque, 1965”

To Kill A Mockingbird: Dramatica Story Analysis

by Katharine Elizabeth Monahan Huntley

 “I ain’t cynical, Miss Alexandra. Tellin’ the truth’s not cynical, is it?”—Dill

The events in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird are told from the point of view of six-year-old Scout Finch, as she witnesses the transformations that take place in her small Alabama town during a controversial trial in which her father agrees to defend a black man who is unjustly accused of raping a white woman. The narrative voice, however, is that of a mature woman, looking back on these events from the perspective of adulthood. Her story depicts the gradual moral awakening of the two children as they come to appreciate their father’s courage and integrity in resisting the pressures of small-town bigotry and injustice. They come to realize that things are not always what they seem and that the individual must sometimes be willing to defend unpopular views if he believes that he is doing what is right. (Angyal, 1986, p. 1677)

The boy next door to main character Jean Louise (Scout) Finch in Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird is Charles Baker (Dill) Harris—a character based on Harper Lee’s childhood friend, fellow writer Truman Capote. Dill comes to Maycomb each summer to visit his Aunt Stephanie Crawford. Scout describes Dill as “a curiosity . . . his hair was snow white and stuck to his head like duck-fluff; he was a year my senior but I towered over him. . . . We came to know Dill as a pocket Merlin, whose head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings, and quaint fancies” (Lee, 1960, p. 8).

Scout’s impact character, the “Boo” next door, is shy recluse Arthur Radley:
“The Radley Place jutted into a sharp curve beyond our house. . . . The house was low, was once white with a deep front porch and green shutters, but had long ago darkened to the colour of the slate-grey yard around it. Rain-rotten shingles drooped over the eaves of the veranda; oak trees kept the sun away. The remains of a picket fence drunkenly guarded the front yard . . .” (Lee, 1960, p. 9).

In addition to fulfilling the sidekick role, Dill serves as an echo of Boo’s loneliness:

“Why do you reckon Boo Radley’s never run off?” Dill sighed a long sigh and turned away from me. “Maybe he doesn’t have anywhere to run off to . . .” (Lee, 1960, p. 159).

Yet unlike Boo, Dill can entertain a hope of escape:

“I think I’ll be a clown when I get grown . . . there ain’t one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I’m gonna join the circus and laugh my head off” (Lee, 1960, p. 238).

Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, counsels Scout: “You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them” (Lee, 1960, p. 308). The following Dramatica througline synopsis and act order describes Boo Radley’s storyline, the “mockingbird” in Lee’s masterpiece, where Scout ultimately discovers “. . . just standing on the Radley porch was enough” (Lee, 1960, p. 308).

Arthur (Boo) Radley’s Throughline Synopsis
As a young boy Boo Radley fell in with the wrong crowd causing his father to shut him away in their home. Boo is not seen or heard again for fifteen years until he coolly stabs his father’s leg with a pair of scissors, causing fresh scandal and contributing to the neighborhood legend of the Radley house of horrors:

“You reckon he’s crazy?” Miss Maudie shook her head.” “If he’s not he should be by now. The things that happen to people we really never know. What happens in households behind closed doors, what secrets . . .” (Lee, 1960, p. 51). The children of the neighborhood are equal parts fascinated and terrified of Boo, but as time goes by, they come to realize he is only a gentle soul who has their best interests at heart.

“I sometimes felt a twinge of remorse, when passing by the old place, at ever having taken part in what must have been sheer torment to Arthur Radley—what reasonable recluse wants children peeping through his shutters, delivering greetings on the end of a fishing pole, wandering in his collards at night?” (Lee, 1960, p. 267)

Throughline as it relates to Manipulation
Boo Radley must maneuver within the confines of the way people think about him. Keeping Boo hidden away creates a mystique fueled by ignorance and fear to surround Boo, undermining his efforts to function in the outside world.

Concern as it relates to Developing a Plan

In order to make friends with the children without frightening them, Boo comes up with the idea of leaving them gifts in a tree.

Thematic Issue as it relates to Circumstances
Boo Radley is very unhappy with his environment. He is a recluse, and the implication is that is it is not by his own choice. He makes several attempts to alleviate his lonely state by trying to befriend the children. He eventually is able to make a positive impact on the children, Scout in particular; they come to understand he is not a monster, and the circumstances surrounding his life were and are beyond his control.

Thematic Issue Counterpoint as it relates to Situation

A reasonable evaluation of Maycomb finds Boo Radley as only one of its many eccentrics.

Thematic Conflict as it relates to Circumstances vs. Situation
Boo’s living situation is desolate, which leaves him emotionally deprived of friendship.

Problem as it relates to Desire
Boo’s drive to befriend and protect the children is a problem for him because, in the Radley family way of doing things, his older brother wants him to keep to himself. As an example, after discovering Boo has been putting gifts in a tree for Scout and Jem, Nathan Radley fills the knot-hole with cement to stop him from continuing.

Solution as it relates to Ability
When the children are in danger of being killed, Boo is able to save their lives, which enables him afterward to come forward and meet them, “He turned to me and nodded towards the front door. ‘You’d like to say good night to Jem, wouldn’t you, Mr. Arthur? Come right in'” (Lee, 1960, p. 305).

Symptom as it relates to Projection

The probability that Scout will never meet Boo is a problem for her, as she will never learn to accept him until she does:
“But I still looked for him each time I went by. Maybe someday we would see him . . . It was only a fantasy. We would never see him. He probably did go out when the moon was down and gaze at Miss Stephanie Crawford. I’d have picked somebody else to look at, but that was his business. He would never gaze at us.” (Lee, 1960, p. 267)

Response as it relates to Speculation
Scout spends a considerable amount of time fantasizing about ever meeting Boo, as she looks for him each time she passes by his house, “‘You aren’t starting that again, are you?’ said Atticus one night, when I expressed a stray desire just to have one good look at Boo Radley before I died. ‘If you are, I’ll tell you right now: stop it'” (Lee, 1960, p. 267).

Unique Ability as it relates to Circumstances
Boo must carry Jem back to the Finch’s for medical attention. These circumstances result in Scout, in her own home, to literally confront her personal problem—the man she has prejudiced herself against.

Critical Flaw as it relates to Senses
Boo has been made an invisible being by his family. As no-one can see or hear him, his efforts at making friends are blocked.

Benchmark as it relates to Changing One’s Nature
As Boo overcomes his shyness toward the children he is able to envision ways to make friends with them.

The Impact Character Throughline Act Order:
Impact Character Signpost 1 as it relates to Playing a Role

Boo Radley appears to the townspeople to be:
“. . . a malevolent phantom. People said he existed but Jem and I had never seen him. People said he went out at night when the moon was high, and peeped in windows. When people’s azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because he had breathed on them. Any stealthy crimes committed in Maycomb were his work.” (Lee, 1960, p. 9)

Impact Character Journey 1 from Playing a Role to Changing One’s Nature

Boo’s impact on the children changes from them looking t him as being a horror locked away from the light of day to becoming a strange and curious friendly spirit:

“‘ . . . he’s crazy, I reckon, like they say, but Atticus, I swear to God he ain’t ever harmed us, he ain’t ever hurt us, he coulda cut my throat from ear to ear that night but he tried to mend my pants instead’. . . It was obvious that he had not followed a word Jem said, for all Atticus said was, ‘You’re right. We’d better keep this and the blanket to ourselves. Some day, maybe, Scout can thank him for covering her up.’ ‘Thank who?’ I asked. ‘Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at the fire you didn’t know it when he put the blanket around you.’ My stomach turned to water and I nearly threw up” (Lee, 1960, pp. 79-80)
Once Jem realizes Boo is the one leaving gifts for the children, he is able to overcome his fear of Boo and decides to write him a thank you note to continue this new line of communication, “‘Dear sir,’ said Jem. ‘We appreciate the—no, we appreciate everything which you have put into the tree for us. Your very truly, Jeremy Atticus Finch'” (Lee, 1960, p. 68).

Impact Character Signpost 2 as it relates to Changing One’s Nature

Although the children still think of Boo as a frightening phantom, his actions have transformed him into more of a friendly ghost than an evil apparition ready to cause harm.

Impact Character Journey 2 from Changing One’s Nature to Conceiving an Idea
As Boo becomes more human in the children’s eyes, they cannot conceive of why he has remained in what must be a miserable existence:
“‘Why do you reckon Boo Radley’s never run off?’ Dill sighed a long sigh and turned away from me. ‘Maybe he doesn’t have anywhere to run off to . . .” (Lee, 1960, p. 159).

Impact Character Signpost 3 as it relates to Conceiving an Idea
The children spend countless hours devising ways to meet Boo Radley:
“Dill had hit upon a fool-proof plan to make Boo Radley come out at no cost to ourselves (place a trail of lemon drops from the back door to the front yard and he’d follow it like an ant).” (Lee, 1960, p. 159)

Impact Character Journey 3 from Conceiving an Idea to Developing a Plan

Up until Scout and Jem are really in danger, the ideas Boo has come up with to make friends with the children have left his identity ambiguous. Once he sees Bob Ewell terrorizing them, he devises and implements a plan to save them, that in turn reveals to the children he is the man who has watched over them for many years.

Impact Character Signpost 4 as it relates to Developing a Plan
Boo has the idea “his” children are in danger and comes up with a way to protect them, that ultimately saves their lives.

Sources Cited:
Angyal, A. J. (1986). To Kill a Mockingbird. In F. N. Magill (Ed.), Masterplots II (pp. 1677-1681). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Salem Press
Lee, H. (1960). To Kill a Mockingbird. London: Mandarin.

Paper Weight

by Katharine Elizabeth Monahan Huntley’

“Elizabeth Brown
Preferred a book
To going on a date.

While friends went out
And danced till dawn,
She stayed up reading late.”
— The Library by Sarah Stewart

Brace Yourself: Interview with a Thirteen Year Old Girl

by Katharine Elizabeth Monahan Huntley

“Elvira: ‘You are really lucky not to have a mother . . . the questions she asks! Morning, noon, and night. Where are you going, and who have you met? And are they cousins of somebody else of the same name in Yorkshire? I mean, the futility of it all.’

Bridget: ‘I suppose they have nothing else to think about.'”—At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie © 1963

Thirteen-year-old Nichole Alexandra Lopez’s braces are pink. Far from shy, she laughs when boys get red, yet if she witnesses peers making fun of geeks, she says: “Omigod, don’t.” As we chat in a local bowling alley / arcade where she is babysitting little sister Jacque, the junior high student alternates between touching up her flawless face, flipping back her highlighted hair, and rolling her twin glims at any mention of the parental units’ rules and regulations. We are both wearing identical sterling silver hoop earrings. I ask to borrow her Clinique.

Nichole: Which one?
Several Clinique products appear from out of her black Volcom purse: pressed powder, lip gloss, make-up brush.

Nichole: I learned how to put on make-up from my cousin, Amanda. She’s sixteen.

WBTL: Where do you clothes shop?

Nichole: Abercrombie, Billabong, Forever 21.

WBTL: Or, as I like to call it—For Over 21.

“For Safety, Swim in Supervised Area.”
Nichole is wearing an Encinitas Junior Lifeguard tee that drops to her knees, flared size 0 jeans, and sneaks.

WBTL: Why is your shirt so long?

Nichole: My dad made me wear it.

WBTL: What about at school? Doesn’t everyone change clothes? I remember keeping an extra set in my locker.

Nichole laughs and pleads the fifth.

WBTL: Entertainment?

Nichole: Music, TV. Like, mostly MTV. America’s Funniest Home Videos. Fear Factor.

Jacque: Courage the Cowardly Dog.

Nichole: There you go. Cartoon Network.

WBTL: Music?

Nicole: Snoop Dog. Ludacris — “Stand-Up,” Lil Jon, & the East Side Boyz’ “Get Low” is my favorite song of all time. Right now 50 Cent is in my CD player. Ever heard of Chingy?

I laugh and plead lack of hip.

WBTL: You’ve always attended private schools. This year’s your first in a public. What’s it like?

Nichole: You learn more about the outside world, like . . . like fights and cussing out people. Not as much attention to academics. Sometimes I mess around with my friends and forget to do homework. More people to choose from. More talking about guys. Yeah, and people asking you to ditch school.

WBTL: To go where?

Nichole: Starbucks.

Nicole’s mother inserts an anecdote about her daughter:
“On Thursdays, Nicole’s school starts at 9:00 o’clock instead of its usual time of 8:00. I drop her off at a church where she is supposed to stay until 8:30 and then she is to walk directly over to school. One Thursday I was sick. I brought her to the church then went to Rite Aid for my prescription. Afterwards, I drove by the church and saw her running out the door with her girlfriends. Naturally, I decided to see where she was going. First, they went into donut shop. Then as they walked back, her friends took a turn towards Starbucks. Nicole hesitated for a moment, and then went on to school. The next Thursday I gave her extra money, and said ‘why don’t get a couple extra donuts today?’ She looked at me, shocked.”

Nichole, of course, is savvy enough to know answering certain questions will only lead to more questions — the bane of any teenager worth her mad text messaging skillz.

As we continue the interview, Nichole pretends to ignore the two sixteen-year-old boys watching her.

Nichole: That’s Kort and his friend. He walks here all the way from school. I don’t know why.

WBTL: Oh, I know why.

Nichole: Their numbers are really high up there.

WBTL: How many people go to your school?

Nichole: There are about 1500 in the 7th and 8th grades. At one point traffic came to a standstill in the halls. I know a lot of people. A group of us eat lunch in the amphitheater. One of my friends went up to this guy and said “Omigod, you like Nichole, right?” And he’s like, “Yeah, okay, now go away.”

WBTL: Have your heard about the movie Thirteen?

Nichole: I know about it. It makes you think about drugs and how you react to that. You think about friendship and how you have to stop that. I would tell . . . I would probably say no. I don’t need to show off or copy.

WBTL: Your parents are strict. Do you wish the situation were different?

Nichole: Yeah . . . like, I’d like to at least go out to the mall by myself—with my friends. [Sigh] Maybe when I’m sixteen.

WBTL: Jacque is seven. What advice will you give her when she’s thirteen?

Nichole: Don’t follow your friends.

WBTL: Do you think she will?

Nichole: Yeah. She’s already doing it.

Nichole and Jacque jump onto Dance Dance Revolution Extreme to the tune of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” executing the steps gracefully, and in sync.

Swimming Pool “I was thirteen the first time. I haven’t stopped since,” is the insouciant line mystery writer Charlotte Rampling’s publisher’s daughter drops in this sensual thriller. Wade in, this isn’t your mother’s Agatha Christie.
Thirteen Director/writer Catherine Hardwicke and her teen-aged co-writer Nicki Reed present a modern day Go Ask Alice with this high wire act between self-esteem and the ages of 11, 12, and 13.

Elephants Script & Stage Directions

by Emily Figueroa + Katie Royal + Maxwell Trautmann

Click on above image to meet the authors!

kTVision Presents

Elephants Fall From the Sky

On Stage: Podium on Stage Left

Lights on

Audience Lights Shut Off

ENTER: Andrew- center stage with mic

Emcee Andrew’s Introduction:

Elephants Fall From the Sky is a performance art pastiche of little deaths and vita transcendence.  Stories told bold with Gravitas and Levity.

Don’t look for Veracity. 

Check.  Check.  Check the Poetry.  Read it then Shred it.

Katy (peeks through curtain):  Yeah, I Said it.

Wallie (backstage):  You Said wut?

Lili enters/ Lili Taps! (20-30 seconds)

CUE Music:  Rebel Rebel (Song length TBD.)

  • Ariana and Brie enter from audience
  • Rebel Rebel performance – Lili and Emily enter during song
  • All dancers exit

Change light to pink

ENTER: KATY center stage with mic

Katy’s Spoken Word:

Title:  The Boys Are Back in Town

“Hell no.”  said Topcat, as she took a drag.

“Hell no to those in the know.”  “Fuck.”

Fine.”  “Somebody pass me a mirror, cuz I ain’t got much time.”  Where the Hell’s my Wine?”

Catty chimed, “We look better now than we did back then, and aren’t you curious?

“Isn’t that what I just said?”

Topcat lassoed the twins, Fran and Rick, along with Scott, Valvur, and Neuner.  We fixed up in the Upper Room:  The Ruthless, “addition.”  Some would consider it an eyesore, a ramshackle shack detached from the rambling main house.  These days had seen better days.

70s party paradise.  Peter Jacuzzi lived down the road.  Yes, that Jacuzzi.  “You’re soaking in it.”

Flash in the past.  Fifteen minutes of fame.  Parade of charades.  We didn’t care, we didn’t wear underwear.

At the High School Reunion, The Smoker’s Corner Crowd sparked up ciggies outside the banquet hall.  Tennys Duffy walked our way.  “I’ve always loved the way you smoke cigarettes.  You make it look so Kool.”  With a K.

Tennys never gave the time.

Neither did Charlie Vance.  Nor Topher.  Or the Oddone brothers.  Had they not been so hot, the spelling of their surname . . . odd ones undone.

Devin, the original Kingsman, married Homecoming Queen.  She’d just published a Top Ramen cookbook and popped out a couple of kiddles.  Both 23 and harried.

Flirt alert!

Catty batted her Maybelline burnt match lined lashes (velvet black) and smacked her “Lips to Match Your Mood” lip balm.  2 kinds:  “Are you a Virgin or a Slut?”  “. . . Moisturizes and protects cheap, chapped or just plain overused lips.”

Topcat, the twins, Valvur, and Neuner jammed out for the Grand Slam.  Reminiscing about their junior high Physics teacher, Mr. D., in a Denny’s back booth one Friday night lights out.  Making out w/ a glam gal.  No wife in sites.

Feeling British, Scott and Catty drove up to Orinda Downs on the wrong side of the road.

The “Julie Holbrook Let’s Just Be Friends” boys were throwing a kegger.





Andrew’s Poem:

I heard a rumor today about you


They said you were wrong


You gotta stop acting like that


I know we’re friends but you don’t have much more


You walk funny


Let me teach you how to walk normal


You also wear your pants wrong

Let me show you


See now you look normal

Now we should practice what you say to people


When they ask you what you did this weekend don’t say “like” or



So now I can feel good about defending you because before it was hard for me.

You don’t realize the pressure you put on me.

It’s like I’m the only friend you have that actually cares about you.

You don’t realize what I’m teaching you is to make the school like you.

It’s not as if I don’t like you.
I just find it hard to walk with you

Talk with you

Shop with you

Eat with you

Play with you

Skate with you

That one time I wanted to smoke with you, you said no like it

was bad for you.



SET STAGE: (45 seconds)

  • Stagehands bring on coffin
  • Five ladies enter with own chair
  • Extras enter
  • Boys enter


Stage lights up

KATIE ENTERS- begins narration

  • Ladies pay respects during initial narration
  • Ladies sit by time Katie says XMAS lights

Men exit with coffin as narrator says last line

LINE: “and made their way to Luz’s party” – LIGHTING BLACK OUT

Luz enters during blackout with beach chair and cooler midstage right

LIGHTS ON: Optional blue and pink light to set scene for party?

Scene continues

LINE: “not even him, but us, together” BOYS EXIT – Luz takes chair and cooler

Katie’s finishes narration

LINE: “It was Christmas in July” LIGHTS BLACKOUT

Dancers ENTER, Katie Exits to AUDIENCE


Transition to: FAME
Music:  Fame (Song length TBD.)
Katy & Wallie’s Spoken Word:

Andrew:  From the west to the east, these ladies are never the least . . .

Katy:  Who are you calling a lady?

Andrew:   Ad lib Title:  Memoirs of a Matriarch:  It’s All Fun Until You Break a Nail

Katy:  Pivot turns and past burns, too-toos in full effect.  Matriarchs on a mission, Christmas afoot, ripping and zipping through the aisles.  This diva guided me, as I did her.  Cooking up pork, handing me a fork.  Serving up knowledge and strive.  I took the dive.  After New Year’s, she dressed me in gold and sent me on my way.  Which way? 

Up, of course.
Wallie:  It was like . . . the theme music to the Wicked Witch of the West bicycling.  Driving the jeep, raving, from store to store, buying up the Christmas chore.  No time to settle the score.

Waking up from sleep.  Shhh . . . Don’t make a peep.

She’s the Veep.  It was like falling into the deep.  Being touched by Meryl Streep.

Sins on your soul will seep.  What you sow is what you’ll reap.  And we weep.

Bleep.  Or, we write memoirs.  We are matriarchs of course.

Title:  How a Trans Girl and  Divorcée Came to Slay

Fox and I walked from The Federal to “The Social,” an apartment complex located within North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts’ District “Pizza Slice”—the triangle of Vineland, Lankershim, and Camarillo.  Fast cars drag race late nites over the hill to Hollywood–flashing by the red neon signs of Johnny’s Auto Body and the Colony Inn, rife with sin.  It bills itself to tourists as the “Hotel Near Universal Studios.”  To get to Little Toni’s from Idle Hour you jaywalk.

The Social’s Penthouse #6 is a study of geometry in motion.  Rooftop parties jammed with revolving roomies ranging from Jr. High mates to ill-fated spoilt baby rock stars.  Balconies occupied by tween actors and Tik Tokers are in hip-hop distance of each other.

Levi Ponce’s mural, Baby Buddha, Bob Marley, and Jimi is painted on the backside of Big Boss Records studio.  They keep a watchful eye over Huston Street, the strip that perpendiculates Mr. Patel’s no tell motel from Ponce’s “Soliloquy,” protector of the wholesome, homeless, hoes, anything goes.

The elevator sighs, “Fourth Floor,” and opens up to the front door where Wallie and I live and go live with our podcast, “At The Four Twelve:  Cocktails and Conversation with the Heyy and Divorcée.”  Wallie had originally roomed with my eldest son, MacGuinness, one story up at the PH6.  At times, various “Socialites” take part in the revolving apartment art installation.  My younger son, Killian—Gaelic for “strife,”—has occupied three.  Wallie’s trans mother, Raquel Starr, resides in the #409.  We are a biological and logical family.  Progressive.  Nonaggressive.

Music:  Playground Love (Song length TBD.)

Excerpt from The Virgin Suicides

Lillye Hope (6:00)/Lili Hardy (8:00)  “We could never understand why the girls cared so much about being mature, or why they felt so compelled to compliment each other . . . We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colors were together.  We knew that the girls were our twins, that we all existed in space like elephants with identical skins, and that they knew everything about us though we couldn’t fathom them at all.  We knew, finally, that the girls were really women in disguise, they understood love and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.”

Wallie’s Interview:

Music:  I’m Every Woman (Song length TBD.)

Andrew:  Wallie was tragically born a male and is sheroically transforming to female. Named after a cousin who was killed in a woodchipper, her father, Jose David Cruz, promised his sister, Mori—Hebrew for “bitterness of Yahweh,” —that he would name his first-born child after the original.  Fargo, right?

Wallie:  “As a child growing up in Philly, I knew I was different.  I liked certain things that other boys didn’t.  ‘Why do you like girl music?’ ‘Why do you dance like a girl?’  I always felt like a girl.  As I got older, the mirror was telling a different story.  You assimilate, especially when you are in terror of your parents finding out.  You do not want to be your parents’ disappointment.

Andrew: She found willing support from her Kindergarten teacher, Miss Campbell.

Wallie:  “Playing dress-up; feeling pretty.  I was frolicking in an 80s cocktail frock that puffed out.  It had a cinched waist six sizes too big for me, and when I spun around, it opened up into a complete circle.  I  fought with the girls over the black and white garment.  I told my teacher, ‘Miss Campbell, I love what you’re doing, but we need, like a wig or a clip in ponytail.’  She brought in a pink bag from the beauty supply store.  In it was a little bob brown wig but I wanted the flirty pony.  Now I had two things to fight over.  A teacher’s assistant snapped a picture of me, and I begged her not to show my mother.”

Andrew: They kept her secret.  In 1st grade, however, Wallie told her  mother, from the shower, that she wore dresses.  Wallie’s mother asked . . .

Wallie:  “What else have you done?”

Music:   (Song length TBD.)

Title:  Run to You

Wallie:  “In the fall after high school, mom bought me a $1000 dollar hoop dee car with a push start button that would always fall out.  I started cosmetology school.  Kits, mannequins . . . I excelled as I had been doing hair since I was eight years old.

Andrew:  After graduating Florida’s Aveda Beauty College, Wallie moved to L.A. with Jason, a  recording artist boyfriend with a contract.  Still . . . evictions, surfing from couch to couch—homeless for two months.  Wallie was hired at an upscale shoe shop, took a second job at Forever 21, and was doing hair on the side.  ALDO shoes and accessories is where Wallie met me.  One of my roommates would come to lunch, and Wallie wondered . . .

Wallie:  ‘Who’s this little white boy with swag?’

Andrew:  The “little white boy with swag” was MacGuinness.

Wallie and Jason’s relationship was shot, and during a fight, Jason called the police.  Wearing boyfriend jeans and a pink sweater that said, “Hooked on You,” Wallie grabbed her new six-inch platform boots and ran out of the house.

Wallie:  “I didn’t even grab my toothbrush.  I called Andrew, who told me to . . .

Andrew & Wallie:  Just go to the PH6.

Katy:  A year later, Wallie was standing at attention in military lineup fashion with the other Socialites, when I walked through the front door of the PH6, a toothbrush in hand and both sons at my back.

Cheetah Girls Cinderella Song

Wallie:  “Looking at Disney, I would see myself as the girl, Chuchi, from the Cheetah Girls.  It was a rude ass awakening to me that I wasn’t.  Looking in the mirror, I didn’t see what I saw in my head as a twenty-three-year-old.  I was just listening to music, getting older, and having to do the best with what I had.  There was always something happening with my hair, every version preppy, edgy, long hair, short.  I was never satisfied.  Up until I started meeting other trans people and seeing how beautiful they are . . .”

(Raquel’s Burlesque Moment)

“I heard about Raquel Starr from another girl, Jesse.  She said, “I have a girlfriend who lives in this building; she actually lives right down the breezeway from you.  Jesse said she was this and she was that—all that.  I’m not the kind of gal  impressed by the hearsay.  Let me see, let me meet her, you know, that kind of thing?”

Andrew:  Wallie finally met Raquel at her birthday held at Cobra. 

Wallie:  “She’s in a skintight dress made from pink snakeskin leather.  I walk up to her, ‘So, we live in the same building.’ I realized I had seen Raquel in passing at Evita, way back with Bradshaw.   Long ginger hair with a gold chain link dress.  Glistening, floating through the room.  She stumbled upon our bottle service, offering party favors and taking shots of tequila.  She wanted me to do the wig for her Viper Room performance.  The wig was terrible.  I made it not terrible.

And just like that, Jessica Rabbit became my drag mother, and I, her drag daughter.”

Andrew:  Incrementally, the inevitable millennial guyliner led to an enviable mug of glamour; tucks and Spanx under slips. 

Raquel comes in and sits at the vanity.

Wallie:  “I was visiting family in Florida.   had just come back from shopping, and since it was the weekend, I  already knew Grandma and Grandpa were sipping whiskey and milk.  I rushed to their suite, where they offered me a drink.  Grandma pulled me aside, ‘I’ve got something for you that helped me, and it will help you.’

Goes to the second drawer of her dresser and takes out a zebra print lace push up bra and told me to put it on, so I did.  Pushed up the A cup girls.  Grandma said, ‘There.  Now it looks like we have something.’

I felt like a little kid, foreign.  I pushed them up, and as I sat and drank with her, she would make comments like, ‘It needs to be a little tighter.’  And as much as I tried to pull on my fat from back through my armpits, it wasn’t going to happen.”

Raquel: Once I got my body, it was the end for all the other bitches.

Wallie: “I decided to delay my return to NoHo, and take the necessary steps to slay.  My mother, Hurricane Jacqueline, went with me to Miami.  She took care of me while I recovered from my boob job along with a few other sumpin’ sumpins’.”

Andrew:  So Wallie, how can allies support?

Wallie:  Become informed.  Get educated.  Realize the evolution.  Complacent cis girls always feel the need to comment, and make it seem so unobtainable.  You were born a girl, use it to your advantage.  I couldn’t play with my mother’s makeup.  You had the time.  You also act like it fucking happens like magic—the drive and wanting to do something. . . .  putting your best face on and handling.  The more passable you look, the safer you are in society.  It can be death  for those that can’t get surgery.  . . . And, why the intimidation, why the reluctance to accept trans sisters? 

(And why isn’t my bang working?)

Cis women shouldn’t feel competition; they know what they got.  When Audrina goes out with her cis and/or gay friends, and a straight guy is paying attention, it’s always the jealous friend, girl or gay, that feels compelled to point out she is trans, which can lead to a dangerous situation.”

Andrew:  “How do you feel when you look at cis girls?”

Wallie: “I look at them with pity.  I just feel I need new friends.  Friends that make me sweat.  Why should you be in sweats while I’m in heels?”

Music:   (Song length TBD.)

Title:  Baby, I’m a Starr

Raquel Starr’s Interview

(Narrator to be determined)  “Barbara Walters:  You don’t have to look like this.  You’re very beautiful.  You don’t have to wear the blonde wigs.  You don’t have to wear the extreme clothes, right?
Dolly:  No.  It’s a . . . It’s certainly a choice.”—Dolly Parton:  Here I Am


Katy:  Story told gold.  She don’t care if it’s pretty shifty, or gritty.  The urgency . . . the agency.  Authentic expression overtakes the fake.

L.A. long drives, long cons, what could possibly go wrong?

Toys boys blank blondes vacuous vapid stares parents unaware, no care.

Starry eyes.  Lies between thighs.

What’s a girl to do?  Go ask Alice or become Jessica Rabbit?

Raquel:  There was an ugly fight with my father.  Because I have a sister, because I wanted to discover myself, I ran away.  I left Monterey, Mexico, just shy of eighteen for McCallum, Texas. 

Running lost into the wild, and, honey, I find the wild.

I worked in a mall candy shop.  All I knew was music.  Always singing in Spanish.  A friend heard me sing and invited me to a casting for a band to perform at quinceañeras. 

Identifying as gay, I met an amazing transgender woman, who invited me to perform in drag shows.  Give me a microphone!

Katy:  What did you sing?

Raquel:  “Bésame Mucho.”

Katy:  Reaction to the action?

Raquel:  Compliments, “You’re so pretty, you’re so pretty . . . Coming from . . . not a broken home, but a home that definitely had troubles, and at the time the trouble was me.  I thought I had to fix myself.

Katy:  I see . . . you turned to the audience for acceptance.  Go on.

I received an amazing amount of love from all these people.  Not to mention the tips!

I started performing in different venues; after the restaurants closed, I’d play at the gay bars.  Out of the blue a club from Houston hit me up.

I didn’t know anything about make-up.

I didn’t know anything about padding.

I didn’t know anything about wearing a bra.

Yet, once I started,  I just didn’t want to take off the drag.  It became my second skin!

Fuck it.  Time to move to Hollywood.

I just turned 21.  I had enough money to stay in a West Hollywood hotel for a week.  . . . when you take off your clothes, make the night count to make the day survive.

I did the show, and people liked me.  A friend in the exotic adult film industry introduced me to a producer.  He liked me for who I was and wanted to move fast.  I wanted to move slow.  I moved in with him after a week.

I had my boobs done as a rite of passage, then went back home to Texas to recover.  Family judgement faded away.  My father said, “Human beings are not meant to travel alone in the world.  You have a family, and I’m sorry I didn’t see the beauty in you.  I see you.”  And for the first time, I felt seen.

I became a Mother to Nikita Dragun, and now Wallie.  I have love for the upcoming generation and wish to share my stories so they may avoid the same struggles I faced.


Once upon a time, me being a little boy, daydreaming about becoming a star . . . I didn’t have a path; I didn’t have a plan.  Opportunities came my way, and I evolved.

. . . And . . . I’m here.”

And (hands up), I’m here!

Twinkle fingers down.

Lili Taps!
Music:  Heroes (Song length TBD.)

Bows & Acknowledgments!