Monday, 24 September 2012


WARNING: This post might get a little personal. I try to not be overly personal on my blog and focus on horror, but I think this is something I really need to share. Something I want to convey about the effect heroes have on us. That even though they are just people, with flaws of their own, they are also like living muses. Sharing their vision, their dreams, their fears with us through art. Connecting us all for just a mere moment to the collective unconsciousness, or if you prefer, the human experience.

As an artist/writer myself, I strive to achieve the same thing. Because there's more to living than just existing.

My voice is shot, my ears still ringing, my body is in INCREDIBLE agony...but damn it, I had the most WICKED WEEKEND EVER! There are no words qualified enough to describe how bad ass it was. But I will try. Because I think moments like these need to be immortalized. Over time they fray around the edges, become duller and burn less brighter, but you never forget how you felt when it happened. I have been privileged to meet several of my heroes who helped shape me, who saved me from self destruction, who gave me a voice when I was voiceless. Who showed me I wasn't alone, that they too felt something greater in the universe and wanted to capture it through creation. I've met my writing heroes: Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman. (Still haven't met Anne Rice, but I hope to someday. Hey, she was my childhood vampire-writer hero!) I've met rock stars like Lacuna Coil, Bif Naked, Joydrop, One Eye Doll...and now...I've met my all time favourite metal chick: Otep Shamaya. If there was a holy trinity of rock stars that effected me profoundly in my life, she would be Queen of that trinity.

Going to the Destroy to Create concert last night was life altering. When Otep says her performances are like rituals, she means it. Before she started her set, she had the drummer come on stage and wave incense over it. It set the tone, even though I was already pumped thanks to the other performances of the night. (One in particular I enjoyed the most other than Otep was One Eye Doll. She was spectacular!)

Me with One Eye Doll
Once Otep strutted on stage I was on fire. I felt it roll over me as she sang, like tidal waves of emotion. Each one searing me to the core, over and over. Reminding me who I was, who she was, what this was all about. And when she looked at me, saw my V mask we shared an awesome moment. A shared smile of, "Yeah, you get it. You get me. Fight on battle sister!" and I was content to just have that. To have that acknowledgement from someone who's music told me that she understood my struggles, knew what it was like to be beaten so badly down you are barely human anymore. To know the rage and the sorrow and the darkness that boils in me sometimes when the demons come to visit. To know betrayal in ways you'd never wish on your worst enemy.

I was content to have that one moment. But she gave me so much more than that.

Later on during the show she turned to me again, as I waved my V mask like a offering. One I didn't expect to be noticed, let alone taken...and given back. She not only saw my offering, but later on waved it at me, asking to take it, and so I gave it up. She put it on her face and talked to the crowd, sending messages of defiance against those who would oppress you, telling them all to fight back. To not be silent. That we ultimately deserve to be treated better. Then she put it on her mic stand, and it was stuck there for the rest of the show. I got high fives from everyone around me! People patting me on the back! People took pictures, and my offering was in them. I didn't get any, I was too emotional, too inspired. Too struck dumb with awe. What little pictures I took cannot even convey what I saw, because I wasn't nearly focused enough to try and make them catch the moments. But I got a few.

And that wasn't all...
My mask: Kissed by One Eye Doll and signed by Otep 
As I watched her sing like a fury, I almost cried. I roared lyrics right back at her until my voice gave out. Her voice still echoes in my ears. She met my eyes several times on stage and I knew she saw me. We shared a moment beyond rock star and fan. And I never asked her for it. Never demanded. Just showed her an offering of me, that I understood her message, and that it mattered to me.

I didn't expect to get it back. I brought the mask in hopes she'd sign it. So I could have a unique token to remember this night. I didn't expect to buy a personalized note book she doodled on, and later signed...nor did I expect to get the moment at the booth I had with her after the show.

Lord Bearington got my mask back. People from the crowd were asking for it after the show, as the roadies broke things down. I almost lost it forever. Gone to someone else who didn't put as much love into that thing as I had. And I put more than my Otep love into it. I first bought it for my V for Vendetta costume, because the message of V is so profound to me. So deeply important and personal. But my husband, my wonderful Bear, got the thing back and I was ecstatic! I brought it and the personalized notebook with me up to meet her. With tears threatening the edges of my eyes I said to her the only thing I could think of, "Thank you Otep. Thank you for saving me."

I didn't know what else to say. I didn't have time to convey how I felt when my GF at the time played one of her songs and said, "You have to listen to this Kweeny. You need this woman's music in your life. She's like you." And when I heard the song, My Confession, it shattered parts of me. For once, I wasn't alone. For once, someone was as fucked up, hurt, angry...Ooooh so beautifully, powerfully angry about all the injustice in her life, all the abuse, the fear and the pain she had to endure in her life that it woke me up. And from that day forward, I was hooked on her. Every time I felt hopeless, every time I was angry and couldn't vocalize it, every time I needed motivation to get beyond the past, the hard times, the darkness, I played her music. So in a way, she did save me. Saved me from self destruction and the loneliness that comes from being so wounded. From the days where I am not a pillar of strength. When I loose sight of my goals. I tried to convey that all in one phrase to her. 

And she knew. There was a pause and with a genuine smile of pride she said to me, "No honey, you saved yourself."

Yeah. That's heavy. And she's right. But she did give me a voice for it all. And in that way, she did help me to save myself.

Then I told her with such gratitude I thought it would explode from my very pours, "You made me fell less alone."

She hugged me then. A fierce, warrior hug, and said to me, "You're not alone."

It was the voice of a fellow sister of the school of hard knocks telling me that.
 Otep and I!

I walked away from that table shaking, moved, restored in a way I didn't know I needed. It was such a real, personal exchange, a genuine moment I had to write it down. I got so much more than I ever expected from a concert. So much more. It's going to take me a while to process it all. But while it was fresh, while my body aches from well earned pain, pain that for ONCE I got doing things I loved all weekend, I had to record this. This is why Otep is so important to me. While she is just a woman, for a moment in time, she was more. And so was I.

Now I go into introvert mode to recover from the sheer ferocious WIN I have experienced. I'll be back in a few days readers, to get back to more Horror goodness.


  1. What an incredible experience! I feel so happy for you!!

  2. Amazing post. Thanks for sharing a very personal experience with us. I'm not familiar with Otep, but I'm going to check out her music. (And I am SO jealous that you got to meet Bif Naked! I got to see her in concert just once in downtown Vancouver, but it was fabulous. For years I used "I Love Myself Today" as an anthem -- so I know how music can shore you up.)

  3. I can't even imagine how empowering that must have been, you make me so proud girl! I definitely could take some notes out of your book, as I would have blended in with the crowd. Would have loved the concert, no doubts there, but you made awesome into INCREDIBLE and I bow at you. Rock on pretty lady -- Trish


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