Friday, September 16, 2011

Chasing Cornelius

Fall breezes creeped into our spaces and just in time for that next Entergy billing cycle. Controlling the weather and all that comes with it is a favorite past time of many but I just try to roll with it as it comes. No mater if its too hot or too cold, I just adjust and dress accordingly. I've found that thought process also works well for me otherwise in my daily living. I have heard such adages as "take life as it comes or you never know what life will bring you," that have comforted me for the past five decades and hopefully into the future. And now we go Chasing Cornelius...

End of an Era: A Final Bow

I am a Carol Burnett fan for life and always loved how she ended her show with "I'm so glad that we had this time together," theme. It was a simple tune that not only had lots of heart but said so much in a few words. With that in mind, I am bidding farewell to my alter ego, Cassaundra Manchester who has tipped in and out my life for at least two decades and will take her final bow this Saturday as I conclude my reign as Miss Diamond State Rodeo Association. The art of female impersonation didn't cross my radar until I got wrangled into it via some then acquaintances. I thought at that time it would be a creative outlet and most likely harmless. After all, I wasn't a "drag queen" and this was to be a campy fun thing to do plus I didn't even own any costumes or wigs, not to mention no name. Viola, it happened and I was that years Miss Valentines complete with a $20 cash prize and box of chocolates. Little did I know that I was off and running with a new persona that would take me places, allow me to meet various people and engage the good, bad and ugly about being a performance artist. I haven't written a lot about this experience except a posting a couple of years ago. But the memories are still vibrant, often give me pause and other times are just a good reason to laugh out loud. I thank God that I was able to continue to navigate the highs and lows of that choice while continuing to move on with living my life. What a balancing act and I'm so proud of it even as I close the chapter on being "Cassaundra," I will always have a fondness that perhaps I entertained some you, made a few of you proud, raised dollars for charity and demonstrated that a true beacon of excellence never takes themselves too seriously. But rather shares the spotlight with others and discovers avenues to empower, educate and inform those who he touches. Being your "authentic self" is so important no matter if you are the performer type or just the person hanging out. No matter the slings and arrows that have come my way, I can say that I never stopped believing in "me" and trusting that no matter the circumstances I would survive. And so that time has arrived and I welcome it with open arms and will always remember what I've learned and uncovered as Cassaundra Manchester. Come check out the final bow, An Evening of Royalty and Charity, 9.17.11, Triniti, 9 p.m.

1 comment:

Miss Dolly D said...

You forgot to mention that you were Miss Gay North Little Rock Emeritus. The one and only!!!