The Reviews!

Earlier in December I performed the role of Christian in Moulin Rouge for the press, followed by a one week preview.  Harry (the company’s first hire for the role of Christian) did, too. And because my husband is the sort who thrives on competition–and wishes I was the sort who thrived on competition–Marc collected the reviews and tallied the results.

Harry was ever just so slightly for the win.

I must be honest–I was relieved.  Marc scowled at me, but really, I was.  Harry trained for this in life.  He’s always been an actor.  He’s perfect for the role and he’s still young enough, and new enough, to need the validation.  I’m thrilled for him.

I’m also quite interested by the variation in our reviews.  I find myself learning about what it is I did well, and what it is I’m still missing, by reading about Harry’s triumphs on the stage.

Here’s one of my favourites I thought I’d share:

EJS plays naive so well, we almost believe he’s a nobody.  That makes his snap transformation into jealousy and manic anger in the second act all the more horrifyingly, wonderfully obscene.  We don’t expect a man with a grin that shy to engage in a game of ownership, and the question lurking there–but is he?–cuts deep.  We are touched by Christian’s grief, but uncomfortable in its oily origin.  Is this the tale of music and love, or of misogyny and lust?

Harry Jensen on the other hand plays the fragile arrogance of youth all the way through.  We see him falter along the way as he meets love, innuendo, and outright lies, and we watch him remake his facade over and over, overlapping versions of himself, one on the other.  We see the edges ripple and shimmer in his feverish eyes and vibrating energy.  We know the whole time he’s heading toward a pit, and that we can’t pull him back from the edge, as much as we want to.  And you’ll want to.

So, in the end, Smith is a consummate storyteller who is more dangerous than he seems, and Harry reads like a broken poem.  Both will rattle you, as the director intended, but if you can only see one, then here’s your choice: A man who loved and lost? or a man who lost his love.

This reviewer is narrowly for the latter.

It’s true–Harry is so coherent, and such a slow burn.   I felt itchy the first time I watched him in the role, and he brings out a special sort of panic in Char, who plays Satine, because she can see what she’s doing to him, and what he’s doing to himself.

With me, she plays a bit more startled, a bit more reactive, perhaps a bit more truculent, which she’s told me she finds equally interesting.  In fact, she said she’s enjoying having two Christians to play off of immensely, which is good.

But I will admit to the fact that my initial abrupt shift, although rewarded by the director, was a bit of a happy mistake on my part, haha.  I’ve enroled in acting courses for the spring so I can make more of my happy mistakes into brilliant intentions.

Also in 2018: More auditions! I’m loving this theatre business again, I really am.

And much more, but that’s for a different post.

For the moment–a Very Happy New Year, and now I’m off to the Toronto Drag Ball with my husband.



Ghost Baseball

Earlier in the summer, the Toronto branch of Haunting Club made with a few new members from the states.  Among them was this freckled, tan, blonde, too-cute-to-be-straight, dripping-in-a-southern-drawl, tall cowboy version of my first husband.  The new bloke’s name?  Kanga.

Well, he’s not really named Kanga, but we call him that on account of his name is Joey, and he bounds about with excessive energy as Americans often do.  (Whoever happens to be his girlfriend takes on the moniker Roo….)

Anyway, I immediately developed a crush, because of course I did.  And while I was head over heels, I allowed Kanga to cajole me into playing the most absurdly boring game in the entire world.


Fuck me.

Just to be clear, ghost baseball is not at all like vampyre baseball.  There are no excessively powerful swings, no waiting for thunder claps to hide our strikes, no climbing of trees to catch balls.

There was however a pinched-faced, grumpy British bloke pretending to be an American for a while, and it wasn’t R-Patz, this time.


That is the face of a man who regrets the majority of his most recent decisions.

Now, imagine my dismay when I figured out the mechanics and hit a home run at our first…bout?  Game?  Go-round?

It’s really not even that hard.  I mean, you just swing a bat until you hit a ball.  If you have properly aligned your ghostly form so that it mirrors accurate alively musculature, (as opposed to presenting a good facade with an amorphous internal composition), then everything works as it would in life.  Your shoulders torque, you connect with the little balled-up energy projectile, and it obeys the laws of physics, in accordance with the by-laws of ghost league baseball.  No shenanigans.

To my horror, Kanga presented me with a “Toronto Taps” t-shirt—bearing a maple leaf so unfortunately dripping in syrup—thereby inducting me onto the team.

Hideous all around.

Excepting I do look cute in a baseball uniform with the ¾ sleeves and cap with my curls poking around it.  Marc thinks I’m adorable, and loves watching me swing the bat.

So, I went with it.  I joined the damn team.

I had to meet them all, of course.  Marc and I were a little suspicious of the event—drinks at a sports bar on a Friday, and not a single other gay bloke on the team.   What do you even wear to that?

But it went well.  I fell back on my days as a boxer and had a few pints and a few laughs.  Marc, who hates beer, bought top-shelf wine and bonded with two of the player’s wives—Himiko and Didi—because they all cried at Wonder Woman.  Everyone was completely dear, and rather fun, to be honest.

By the end of the night, Marc and I realised this was actually about the best thing that’s ever happened to us, as far as team sports go.

All of our attempts to play sports together have ended in disaster.  Either, one of us fails to comprehend the parameters of the sport—Marc can’t ice skate worth a damn, which is, it turns out, rather necessary for hockey; I refuse to get on a horse to play polo.  Or Marc…um…over-participates.  Like that time he tackled a bloke a bit too hard and accidentally scrambled his energy to the point that we were ejected from the rugby league.

This baseball thing, though…

Well, it’s still the worst game ever invented, but I’m good at it.  Marc likes watching me be good at it, without any impulse on his part to join in.  Rather like when I watch him race chariots.  And that works for us.

He gets to be the rich husband who shows up with a jug of margaritas and does the player’s wives nails while he shouts encouragements and makes thumbs up and down motions.  I get to strut around looking hot for him and then smash pints with cute bros.

Wins all around.


There was a bit of a kerfuffle when Marc tried to leave the house in two extra gold chains, a t-shirt so tight it could be a tourniquet, and a pair of trophy-husband, bright-white jeans, which I burned in the kitchen fireplace.

[He thought it was hilarious.  He happily proclaimed he would wear a toga instead, like he was attending a gladiatorial battle, adorned with all the things he’d stolen from Egypt and Gaul.  ‘I am wear thing I am steal from Eeeeegypt. I am wear thing I am steal from Gaaaaul, I am wear all of thing I am steal.’ ]

[Consequent that conversation, I asked if the ring he gave me for our engagement was stolen.  ‘I am non know where Uncle Cato is get ring. Is ruby, babe, just enjoy have ruby.’]

[Consequent both conversations, Marc has promised me he doesn’t plunder things anymore, and that he was actually more respectful of conquered souls than his devil-may-care attitude would imply.]

[I digress.]

I’m also still growing used to the appalling method of Canadian-American celebration.  I hit a tri-run-thing and everyone shouted at me.  It was alarming.  Very ‘FUCK YEAH YOU HIT THAT BALL’ and less ‘good show chap’.

Oh, and I called a practise a ‘rehearsal’ once, so now that’s a thing…

But yes, overall, a good time.

Host Guest Post

This isn’t really much of a guest post.

What actually happened is that Elliot messaged me while he was off  filming a commercial in Ghost World Rome and said, “please won’t you post an update about where I’ve been?? I feel bad. I don’t think I’ve missed a month of posting before.”

Turns out he has–November 2016.  But I’ll go ahead and post an update anyway, because I’m nice like that.

Nice enough to let Elliot (and Marc) run off to the Mediterranean, where Elliot has been wearing designer suits, eating at fancy restaurants, and kissing male models, while getting PAID to do that, and Marc has been accepting gifts from townsfolk as though he’s some sort of demi-god (he’s not…he’s just a priest…but he’s still collected a full flock of thirty-eight chickens, as well as a cow, enough braided altar cakes to feed an army, and six silk shawls to wear when he conducts state-religion ceremonies).

Nice enough to let them run off to New Zealand after that, to go ghost off-roading with Teddy (much more dangerous without the consequences) swim around in tide pools, and adventure in primordial forests with their darling children.

Nice enough, overall, to even enjoy the fact that they’re enjoying themselves…sigh…I suppose they deserve it.

But I’ll be glad to see them come home.

New posts from E in August.







Last year, for our fifth, Marcus and I threw an enormous party full of friends and family, yes, but also photographers, acquaintances, fashionistas, and journalists.

As a consequence, this year we decided to dial things back as far as possible…

We spent our actual anniversary with the children–Mira made us a lovely salmon supper, which we ate off iron plates, imparting wisdom and strength into the next year of our marriage.  J made us dessert (a pile of marshmallows covered in chocolate syrup and sprinkles) and drew us a portrait.  After supper we cleared things away and snuggled the hell out of them both while Mira practiced her reading skills on a selection of love poems.  Perfection.

After that, Marc and I O. Henry’d each other.

We do this every. year. without. fail.  Our gifts always cancel each other out.

For instance, this year Marc made me the most beautiful dressing gown I’ve ever seen.  It’s grey and silver and charcoal with dusty rose quilted silk for an interior lining, and the whole geometric exterior is covered in the golden moons of Minerva, as our anniversary falls on Quinquatria.

But I, knowing my love hates to be cold, bought two days of privacy at the tropical resort we haunted back when we were fledgling, unknown ghosts, newly venturing from our host and learning the energetic joy of afterlife intimacy.

Not exactly the place for a dressing gown, the tropics…

Even though I had to leave the housecoat at home, though, we had a lovely time of it.  We paid off the staff at the resort, set up a security detail to keep telephoto lenses out of our business, and found our original slip of beach with the little cabin in the dunes.  We didn’t see a single soul for forty-eight hours.  Bliss.

After that we ventured into the nearby town, sunburnt…sandburnt…and exhausted, and had the most delicious coconut-laced meal.  Marc told everyone we were on vacation for our Sexy-ennial–*eyebrow waggle*–and yet I still love him.  In fact, I almost think it’s funny, such is his ridiculous influence on me.

…alright, it’s funny.

Now it’s back to the real world again, for another year hand in hand with my husband.  We sat down over wine and made out a list of relationship goals, things silly, sexy, and serious, and pinned them to the bedroom mantle.

I haven’t taken off my dressing gown since I arrived home…I’m torn between sleeping in the thing or hanging it and brushing it out every night like a valet.  I love it so much.

Marc says I look like a wizard in it.

And so goes the sixth anniversary.  On to year seven.

Fashion Recap: Spring 2017

There is nothing quite like coming down off of fashion week.  Marcus and I always take the kids to Paris for a night, followed by a night of our own, and then I gorge myself on cheesecake and ale whilst I watch the reviews come in and do my personal print/video assessments.

It was an odd year–political, on account of its American location and resistance from the arts.  Oscar de la Renta pulled his line last minute, and had all his models, Mira included, walk in black robes.  And Marie, who never participates in American fashion weeks (on account of her revolutionary era grudges), staged a competing couture show in France during the closing ceremonies.

I participated in the French show, of course, and I received especial praise for my role in the line, which Marie crafted around the life of a storm, from gathering clouds, to break, to reel, to clearing.  I represented the moment directly following the wrath, where the clouds depart, and the sun makes its reappearance–my courtly ensemble was black and purple with hints of gold and silver and lilac.  And apparently, I pulled off the transitional piece rather well, with ‘lingering truculence’ and ‘an expression half nostalgia, and half relief’.

I also…uh…I fell.  I finally fell.  Well, I wobbled.

Thankfully, it happened during Marc’s line.  Not that any of my designers are arseholes, but if I’m going to fall, I’d rather it happen in my husband’s show.

No worries, though–Ghost Buzzfeed polls determined the mishap to be ‘charmingly British’ with 75% of the vote.

So, what’s next?

Well, over the summer, Marcus is taking on at least one collaborative work–a partnership with a young designer, Lulu, who wants to create a pantheon of Roman gods and goddesses with a particularly modern, comedic flare.  We’ll also be doing a bit of travelling to check in on the JS franchise locations and nail down our fabrics for our next autumn line (to show in Spring 2018).  Marc wants to find the perfect pieces to line the coats he plans to make–long flippant dusters based on our daughter’s likes.

I shall be taking on two new models for mentorship–Chauncey and Jerome are successful in their own right, now, and happily taking on private rooms outside of the townhouse.  I’m thrilled for both for them, and I’m pleased as hell that my aid and instruction launched their careers. I definitely had concerns going into coaching, given that I was a bloody terrible voice teacher in life…

Gertie will be staying on at the house to act as a sort of manager of the space and voice of reason–models can be rather volatile, and Gertie’s combination of sweet androgyny, ephemeral calm, and sharp wit should keep everyone at peace while I’m away.  He’s taking on a small salary for the trouble, mostly to fund his own charitable efforts, as he, too, is perfectly successful on his own.  Rather my most successful protegee, I’d say.

I’ll also be co-starring in a promotional film for Richard’s line, to be filmed throughout July in the Mediterranean, and…I could not be more delighted, haha.

It’s going to be a romance story, with two narratives: a straight Don Juan gallivants his way through Italy, showing off Richard’s swaggering style; a queer side-kick of sorts, lounges about the beaches and villas oozing charm and giving Richard’s look a more laid-back air.

I’m to play the side-kick, hah!  And I’ll be wooing another model on Richard’s line, Lucius Fox (self-named after his favourite in the Batman franchise, despite looking nothing like the man).

Marc is so irritated by the whole thing.  On the one hand, he’ll get to spend plenty of time at our villa during filming. On the other hand, he knows that Lucius and I already flirt shamelessly, and now we’ll be snogging each other on white-sand beaches.  So, Marc’s convinced that he won’t be able to enjoy any of his time, brooding thing that he can be.


Pictured: Infidelity

I argue that my husband is a nutter if he thinks I’d wreck our fabulous marriage over a crush, however lax my attitude toward monogamy may be.  I promised Marcus I’d be his alone, and despite my tendency to fall in love six times a day, that’s that.  If anything, this opportunity will be safe outlet for my amorous nature.  And besides, Lucius is terrified of Marc…mate won’t be trying anything funny.

Other than that, we’ll be resting and recuperating and seeing friends and snuggling the hell out of J and Mira.

And as for the rest of our fashion crew: our PAs, Danny and Fleur, shall be taking some highly deserved time off, as usual, and joining us for some of the time in the Mediterranean; Marc’s co-designer, John, will not be taking time off, as usual, and plans to spend his summer in the basement of the JS offices surrounded by leather and metalwork and polished wood, which is not nearly as exciting as it sounds; Lucas, Danny’s assistant, will be manning the offices while we’re all away, and hopefully either quit or develop a personality beyond ‘generally affronted.’



Updates to ‘The Players’

Just wanted to pop by to note that my work on the site these last weeks encompassed a complete overhaul of ‘The Players’ page.  You’ll now find that it’s divided between my Ghost World companions and compatriots and my Victorian, and that it’s completely filled in at this point.


My next task will be to link each biography to posts I’ve written about its person-of-interest, creating a sort of clickable extension file for each of my friends and family.  I believe tags do something similar, but I like the idea of manually building out the biographies, and linking particular interests, adventures, and personality traits to their related posts.

But in the meantime, have a look.  Find some new friends.  Have fun.

Deja Vu and Baby Queens

You may have noticed a few internet memes, as of late, in which people seem to be comparing presidents, politicians, and social circumstances from the 19th century to those of today.  The memes point out the worst that happened in prior years as if to suggest that the world lived through it all once and can live through it again.  Or they argue that there is nothing new under the sun, and we should all just accept Trump’s administration as a conglomeration of things come before.

And I’ve really just about had it.

Making comparisons to the 19th century as a way of assuaging fear is a truly ridiculous coping mechanism.  Truly.  Because the 19th century was, by and large, rather terrible.

Bloody terrible.

Besides, we are supposed to be moving forward, folks, not pointing to the past for a sense of misplaced consolation.

Anyway, I started a whole rant about it, and then I deleted it because it really does no good to throw further vitriol out there, and also my host’s blood pressure, and then I went on a hunt for something to cheer me.  And I found this…


Good god, would you look at Millie Bobby Brown.  She is a fierce baby queen.  Her sneer could carve a man like a turkey.

If she decided to form a government of one and rule by sheer force of feminist potential the entire world would put on tuxedo pants and glitter shirts and march to the beat of her weird, lovely drum.

She is already so sick of everyone’s shit.

I know, because I’ve seen the same look on my daughter’s face.  That is the look of boredom with the status quo.  It is unapologetic ownership of personal successes and steel determination.  And it is not to be trifled with.

Young women are not to be trifled with.

Here’s to baby queens who refuse to put up with bullshit that belongs in the 19th century.

March on.

A Slight Refocussing

After some consideration, I’ve determined the central problem with my little blog here–missed posts, scrambles for topics–is not actually a problem.  It’s merely a symptom of my slightly-off-target original intention.

The original intention: to share with you the ins and outs of Ghost World and provide glimpses into my former life as a Victorian.

The new intention: to do more of the same…but not by picking discussions at random.  Instead, I shall be pulling more obviously from my day to day, with journal-like entries orbiting my family and friends, and with a heightened chronological or narrative feel.

The reason?

I was essentially doing this anyway…and then stopping myself at the pivotal moment.  Instead of owning up to my familial inspirations, letting you know what conversations and events stoked my topic choices, I edited heavily in the attempt to take the view-from-nowhere, to write brief essays on ghost world and Victoriana without locating them.

[This view-from-nowhere essay hodgepodge is undoubtedly consequent my training at Fraser’s Magazine in the 1840s.  I did a bit of digging and uncovered a set of issues I actually worked on (a  bit of a shock to see them again).  You can view them here, if you want to see what I mean about disjointed bits and bobs.]

But now, I shall be providing the map through my meanderings.  I’ll simply talk about what is important to me–my family, my friends, my work–and consequent such things being a part of Ghost World, you will learn about Ghost World.

Simple really.

And of course, I will continue to divest information in tangents on energy, ghost pets, ghost telly, Victoriana, the like, but I’ll do so when those topics are necessary to the conversation, not the whole of the conversation.

I hope this approach feels more holisitic and honest to you, as a reader.  I’m quite excited about it, because I am, in my heart of hearts, and unabashed family man with a mobile full of pictures of his children and husband and mates.

So, up next?  In two weeks? Probably something about preparations for fashion week and JS office dynamics.  But who knows; something more biting may come up.  And if so, I shall share it with you–guilt-free–instead of keeping to a predetermined schedule of posts.

Ahhhh….feels nice.

Hope you enjoy.

Returning 2017

With November fashion week and December holidays, I’ve not had much time to post here.  I’m also reconsidering my intentions with this site, and I shall be back in 2017 with renewed vigour and purpose.

All best – E

On Religion and Romance

Fall comes early in the Pacific Northwest, and all the swirling leaves, dropping temperatures, and drizzly mornings have put me in a romantic state of mind.  Very much reminds me of my Geoffrey–those were his moods and colours.

And I’ve also been rendered more romantic than usual by my attendance at the vow renewal of two very good friends–Ben and John Smyth/e.

I have to say, I did not head into their renewal expecting to be romanced.   The men are Puritans, and I had an admittedly prejudiced vision of what their ceremony might look like.

But it was gorgeous, as is their story, and so I thought I’d share some of it here (with their permission) in the hopes of combating my own atheist tendency to write off all things religious.  My empathy for the church-going can always use a bit of sprucing up.  If they believe in a God who brought them together, then who am I to scoff?

In any case…

It turns out that the little wooden meeting house in the Toronto countryside, where the ceremony took place, has been John’s church home for just over 200 years.  He came to Canada from England in the early 19th century looking for a new start and he was taken with the quietude of the congregation and, more particularly, with the pastor, who goes simply by Christopher.

I can see why.  Christopher, is a truly lovely man who genuinely wants everyone around him to be happy–I could tell from the moment I shook his hand.  And he is always willing to test his own faith life, and the faith of his congregation, by creating inclusive spaces for “all manner of God’s children.”

He is, in fact, a liberal puritan.  Of all possible things.

And it turns out that inclusiveness really started to define his theology when John came to his congregation–a deadly handsome single man with a household and trade, who remained single year after year after year…

A few decades in, Christopher finally asked him why, and John admitted that he didn’t think he’d make a very good husband to a woman, and that he worried for his soul should he take up with a man, even though he knew that was the way of his heart.  He asked for penance for speaking the desire aloud, poor thing.

Christopher thought about it and decided that he liked John too much to uphold teachings that would force the man to continue to live alone or live a lie.  Instead of penance, he opened counselling with John, taught him self-compassion, and after a year or two, convinced him to broach the subject with the congregation and broaden his net of empathetic friends.

About a quarter of them left.  John still feels terrible about it.

But the three quarters who stayed opened their arms to John, and apparently started trying to set him up, to his utter embarrassment.  Puritans, he says, mean very well, but have a rather indelicate handle on what it means to be gay, haha.  I can only imagine.

So, anyway, John continued on in his single ways until one afternoon service, while he was administering a reading to the congregation, Ben wandered in and sat in the back of the church, looking forlorn and tired and six different kinds of overly modern–we’re talking late 1970s/early 1980s club culture.  He refuses to show me pictures. And John ‘for some reason known only to the Lord himself…’ fell in love at first sight.

Christopher apparently saw it on his face and sent him over after the service to invite Ben to attend a picnic they had coming up.  (Oh to have been a fly on that wall.)

Ben said he might show up.

The congregation took this to mean ‘yes, I will definitely be there, and you should all match-make the dickens out of John and I because obviously I am gay, I’m wearing eye liner for crying out loud’.

So they did, haha.  The congregation spent the next few months putting the two of them together in as many situations as possible.  Ben’s demeanor softened, John grew a bit bolder, and they finally went out for supper and were Committed within a year following–recognised in the congregation as a married couple.

Both of them talk about the first five years of their marriage as a time of massive growth.  John is staunchly 17th century in manner and dress, right down to the linen shirts and antiquated language.  Ben felt very comforted by that after years of wandering around the world looking for highs.  He stepped back into ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ at home, asked John to teach him to pray again, and purified his lifestyle.  But he also needed John to work on allowing pieces of modernity into his worldview.  Agreeing to disagree on some things, qualifying the occasional bottle of wine as ‘pure enough’, attending the country dances the congregation indulged in.

Obviously, though, they made it.

Ben is still the more outgoing of the two–it was his idea to publicly celebrate their 35th this last week, exemplifying Godly love to the LGBT youth they now minister to.  John is still the stalwart–he agreed to the ceremony, but only if it was quietly incorporated into a regular Wednesday night service and congregational supper.

But the strength of their bond–the way their differences support each other–is actually rather inspiring.  As John said, ‘When I look at thee I see an exploration.  I feel it keenly both in the planning and the execution.  Thou art a vast adventure. And I want to know thee better, as I also crave thy mystery.’

And the steps they have taken to live outwardly in a faith known for its restrictions are beyond courageous.  I am in such admiration of their bravery, and of the way they have reached out to other LGBT Puritans.  Simon, in attendance at the ceremony, has an apartment, a job, and a live in boyfriend because of their work with him.  And Prid, their newest boarder, is on his way.

So, the next time I find myself rolling my eyes heavenward over some such religious nonsense or another, I will remember that there are those in the world who fiercely believe there’s something up in those heavens, and who use that belief for good.