Category Archives: Clara Johnson

That was the day, my friends

Well, hopefully a few of you at least have been eagerly waiting for the report from Friday night. If you werent, you’re getting it anyway! 😛

Beyond a few moments of, err, entertainment on the last section of the journey, from Preston, to Blackpool, in truth the journey was relatively unexciting. The ‘entertainment’, some very loud children, and the fact that we had 2 wheelchair passengers, as opposed to the train designed 1, caused some fun. But in truth, we arrived pretty much on time.

The hotel was pretty much standard budget hotel, with thin walls which we noticed overnight (people talking outside the room), and though in theory we had a second bed, it was so designed that neither of us, in perfect health conditions would have been able to get out, and besides, we had no bedding for it anyway! Survey comments done, lol! But fine, thats not what you want to hear about, is it? So after a meal together, Eric went back to the Trams, I went off to the Winter Garden, and through the time travel portal. Fine, not literally, but you get the drift? After an early false start, the staff worked out where we needed to go, and lo and behold, I was soon in a lovely, and short pink flapper dress. Fine, I wasnt going to care about length for one night, but more on that shortly. Thing is, flappers werent designed to have boobs, or big shoulders, and the zip wouldnt do up properly at the back. Anyway, as you will see shortly, I was quickly changed into another dress which was longer, with no zip issues, perfection! Well, I was flashing someleg, but…

Oh fine, like this!

Me in Blackpool

There is a better one of me, but it has someone else in the picture, and I’m loathe to use that without her permission. I suspect she wouldnt care, but to be on the safe side… If she grants it in hindsight, I will add it to the posting. So if you come here in 6 months time, see 2 photos, and are confused, you know why!

The evening was great fun, lots of lovely people that I was working with, equally a lot of nice people in the audience, including 1 wonderful gentleman I talked to for a while, who had originally come from Bradford! However, having flirted as an Usher prior to performance, stood on the stairs, we eventually got told that part of our work was done. I decided to give the film, Some Like It Hot a chance, but it didnt grab me much, so after an hour or so, I headed back to the refreshment area, got myself a coffee, and started chatting with a few others, until it was time for part 2, getting those who had paid for it, to the party upstairs.

All went smoothly, then a few of us went up to the Balcony, put on a bit of a show (very tame dancing, by Flapper standards, I suspect) for the guests for a while, then I, and a few others went back and changed into modern life again. One treat I had for a while, was to do something I’d never done before (and no, it wasnt to dance the Charleston), which was to wear a pair of those long gloves that go up to your elbow, and maybe beyond. I’d seen pictures of them, always wanted to wear them, and now I have!

End result, everything, and everyone was so lovely, I’m already planning on going back next year, however crazy, and unpractical that is. Might be a different era, but as long as it doesnt mean wearing something as revealing as what my past life self, the chorus line dancing, Clara Johnson had to wear, all should be fine. But no, I’m not going to suggest 42nd Street, or the like, just in case, lol! But beyond that, I’ll definitely be back. Fine, if it is that, I will probably still go back!

The journey home by ‘modern trains’ was a bit more entertaining. The train from Preston, back to Manchester was very crowded, but ‘Queen Bitch’ soon pushed a way through for me, and Eric, to our reserved seats, and someone was already sat in them! Yes, they got moved, probably not my most diplomatic moment of my life, but hey, its principle, and neither of us could have stood, anyway!

Then we get back to Manchester, running late, so going to be a tight push, or no go for our booked train back to Huddersfield. Only…I looked at the departure board, it had been cancelled! So anyway, the next train was going to be very crowded, (2 sets of passengers, plus loads of football fans), but I lined Eric up roughly where I thought the doors would be, and we grabbed 2 seats very quickly!

After that, out last night, with Ella as well, for the birthday meal. I wore the same dress as last week again, so I stayed in Flapper mode for the weekend. Oh, should I mention, this was all done in lots of snow!

In theory I’m back to work tomorrow, but if it had been today, I’m certain it would have been a ‘snow day’ off, with my physical issues. Tomorrow, who knows? Hopefully its better in the morning, I must say. Not just because I’m due back, but because I need to learn something for the following week, which I will probably relate later in the week, but until then…?

Yes, I hurt, partly because of Friday, partly because of the current weather. When (or strictly at this point, I guess, if) I do this next year, I’ll pace it better, all that travel, on top of everything else, in 1 day, was just too much now. Go down the day before, build to it, and have a day off afterwards to recover, before coming back, far wiser! But hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Video, big clue in title. The frightening thing for me, this song is 50 years old, and I remember it being released!


Life begins at 60?

Well I’ve heard that 60 is the new 50, which might just about be believable, given that the average life span is more than when I was young, but I pass at the optimist who said that 60 is the new 40! The way my back is now, its more like 60 is the new 70 lol! 😛 Either way, I’ll find out tomorrow, I guess?

Yes, I’m getting started early, on the first day I can use one, I’m using my senior railcard, to get me to, and from Blackpool, over the next 2 days. This is the last time I will be publicizing the show at the Winter Gardens tomorrow night, the film weekend, with Some Like It Hot being shown, with me as one of the 20’s flappers hostesses! Yes, I know, flappers were young women, but unless I can find a friendly ‘mad scientist’ to make me young again, they will have to settle for me being a little bit more elderly lol! Mind, if I can, darlings, just watch me go!

Funnily enough, its not the first time I will have used senior privileges for something. The recent, and relevant one was an amusing happening back in November, when 3 of us from work went to the Amateur Dramatics at Cookridge. Somewhere up near Rawdon, the 3 of us met up, and went for a meal at a very nice fish and chip restaurant. Now, the menu was fine for me, but there was a Seniors offer, for people aged 60 or over, and I was only 4 months short of that landmark, so I went for it! That strictly was my first time as a true Senior, though I’ve had senior meals before (about a decade ago, in fact) at some US restaurants, where the portions are huge, the senior portions less so, so I’ve asked nicely, and they let me have senior meals. (Definitely Dennys, I think IHOP too?) Now, this year, I’ll be able to do it legitimately, assuming they havent raised the age to 65?

At completely the other end of the scale, when I was in my late 30’s, and paying a visit to my mother, we went out for the day to a shopping center across the Medway Towns from us. Anyway, she had a senior pass, got on for free. Me, I got ready to pay the full fare for the trip, but the driver insisted I was still a half fare, in other words, under 19! Now, I might look reasonably young for my age, but that was crazy.

Given that I had no idea what the fare was, I just paid him what I was told, and yes, he’d issued me a half fare return! No, I didnt have any issues going back, but I dont think that driver checked my ticket that closely!

Sadly, nowadays, my cut off for the free off peak travel on buses is the same as the pension age, so I wont get that for another 6 years, assuming I last that long of course. I’m sure I will, but…? Who knows? No, I have no plans, even if it is 60 to get anything in the US to prove my age, as I rarely visit the same state again very quickly. I suspect you’d have to prove your address, so that would mess me up anyway!

Equally, tomorrow, I might find an obliging mad scientist, who turns me back into a twenty something flapper, with all of Clara Johnson’s dancing skills, and then, especially if I can find that time travel portal, well this might be the last blog from the 21st Century, darlings! No, not going to happen, but I can dream for a few hours at least! Wouldnt that be fun though?

Right, video time. Lets just say I wanted to find something filmed in Blackpool, ideally at the Opera House, or Winter Gardens, and lo and behold… Title fits aptly for my wish for the flapper girl makeover lol!



A Need To Dress Modestly

So fine, lets go from the sublime to the ridiculous! Last posting, I was suggesting going full flapper for an evening, probably showing some leg, and even in all likelihood, some knees too. Fine at 20, but at 60, should a lady be more modest in her style? Which leads on to this…

In truth, I couldnt afford to buy clothes at Marks And Spencer, way beyond my budget, and in truth, was even before I had to cut back to a 4 day week! So no, until I saw this article today, I didnt even know they had what they call a ‘Modest Clothing’ section nowadays. Would be great for me, if I could afford any of it, but seemingly, for others, the title seems to be an issue.

Maybe I’m too easy going, and open minded, but I dont see the issue with it, and to say that means that everything else is immodest is just plain crazy. But fine, there are some crazies about, so…? Personally, in the middle of British winter, I appreciate clothing that covers my wrists, and ankles, it helps to keep me warm! I cant vaguely imagine in this country (other than in certain religious groups, maybe?) that people who want to wear respectable, but not figure hiding clothing shouldnt be free to do so, they should be! And lets face it there is a whole difference between dressing like that, and not dressing modestly, in my opinion at least.

I know, maybe in ‘everyday’ mode, I am fairly modest in my clothing looks. Probably comes from my nature, and more so, my age, and also the desire to look neat, and pretty (well, as much as I can!) in what I wear. Oh lets make no bones about it darlings, in my time, I’ve worn short skirts, I’ve worn leather numerous times, and even latex on occasion. Thats all before you start on what I’ve worn when acting, and some of those outfits were definitely weird! No, not saying, not without a huge bribe lol!

Lets be fair, this line isnt aimed at youngsters, and twenty somethings, is it? Lets be honest, Marks and Spencers works to a more mature, generally reasonably wealthy market, and they are probably more modest in look!

So no, sorry, most of their target market wont see it as regressive and wrong, lets face it. And no, modest ladies, please dont take this as an opportunity to say that Ann Summers (and the like) clothing makes women look tarty, because then we’re just as bad as the people complaining about this. Each to their own, I say.

Me, generally I verge on modest, but I do have my moments, boop, boop a doo! Short flapper dress, anyone, for me to wear? 😉 Think I’ll pass on latex clothing nowadays lol!

OK, a video treat tonight, in more senses than one. Who used to wear less than modest clothing in Hollywood? Why the chorus line dancers, of course! And who was one of those, why, Clara Elaine Johnson. Tonight’s piece is actually from Strike Me Pink, one of her 2 credited films, this one as a Goldwyn Girl. Oh, and the girl, with Cantor, at 4:13 on this video, well…? 😉 Yes, Clara is definitely less than modestly dressed lol!


Getting back to someone’s youth. Not mine!

Well, in a date sense at least, because if this works out, I might really be the flapper girl, though for one night only! Sadly, unless Clara wants to pass me some of her dancing talents, I wont be doing the Charleston, or anything! Oh, and I must give thanks to ‘Rebecca’ for finding this for me in the first place, as I’m thrilled she did.

Right lets start with the issues as to why this might only be a might. As you can see from this link the event is in Blackpool, which is a decent distance from me, even more so when you’re a non driver like me! So yes, given its ‘until late’, its safe to say I’d need to stay the Friday night in Blackpool, afterwards as well. Also, as you might note, it would involve a second trip to Blackpool as well, to transform me into a cute young flapper, for fitting, discovering about the venue, and my role, and in theory, learning about the film, which fine, I might already know! 😉 The other thing I suspect is that as hidden above, they might be looking for young flappers to party, and I’m well, 60! Get my hair properly bobbed, well, maybe…? 😉

Yes, that might end up being the other big snag for me actually doing this, it is actually on my 60th birthday! Thats not saying it wouldnt be the most perfect birthday present for me, doing something like this, and the night away having ‘flapper fun’, but others might have plans that I dont yet know about, given its a landmark one! There is also the cost issue, given I can now only work a 4 day week, but for something like this, I might decide to just ignore that fact! Would be so much fun letting my inner ‘Clara Johnson’ loose!

I only wish this was nearer, or on almost any other date, because ‘genuinely’ playing a flapper for a night would be fantastic fun. Its an era I’ve always loved, so to play the role, doing something like that would be a dream. Fine, would be so much more fun if I was in my twenties, so I looked the young flapper, but hey, if they say yes…? I know, you dont have to be an actress, but I cant see that being an issue, I’m not a diva, darlings! Besides, its been a while, so…

But yes, Bradford, or Leeds, please note, a repeat of doing this, later this year, would be very much appreciated!

Still, I have applied, and well, who knows? 😉

Video time. I was looking for the original version, from the movie, but I assume its been removed from You Tube, for copyright issues? But I’ve still got a legend, Angela Lansbury performing instead. Please note, she’s 42 when this was filmed! Have to be young, to be a flapper, hmm? 😉


Fairytale In New York

So, lets get to the last 4 months of the year now, when a few things might have happened!

To do it in strictly in chronological order, the first new experience in September, was being wheeled through an airport in a wheelchair! In truth, I possibly could have survived the security experience at Manchester Airport (especially as I would have got Fast Track routing as a premium economy customer), but there was absolutely no way I was ever going to stand in the Immigration queue at Boston, I went with the ‘full in’ option. So fine, at Manchester it didnt quite work as planned (twice, but more on that later), as I got wheeled through security, and to the gate, but no one ever appeared to take me to the gate! So in the end, I managed to get myself down, and aboard the plane, but ironically that meant I was last on, not first! Boston end, it worked perfectly, and I can safely say I have never got through Immigration so quickly in my life, even if you allow for the time I waited on the plane before I got off!

The first few days on Cape Cod was a delight (Saturday night in Boston, went down there on Sunday) with Kate, just relaxing, and giving my back a wonderful break. Then, on the Thursday, we both headed back to Boston, Kate to head off somewhere with her partner, and me to head to Mahopac, NY, via Stamford (c/o Amtrak) to go to a friend’s wedding. Initially I’d assumed I would be going as a guest, then told I was a bridesmaid, only to find out I was Maid of Honor! Thankfully for all the others there, I didnt catch the wedding bouquet lol! It was an amazing experience, thanks go to Stacie, and Eric for the honor of doing that for me. Also thankfully, I was relaxed enough over those last few days that I managed to lay off the painkillers for just long enough to be able to drink at the wedding reception. Fine, I made up for it that night, but anyway…

Flying back afterwards was entertaining. Firstly, for some reason best known to themselves, the airline staff at JFK started boarding people, before boarding me in a wheelchair. It seemed they realized pretty quickly, and sent me through, but it was an interesting journey through all these people who had no interest in giving way to a passenger in a wheelchair!

On arrival at Manchester, chaos ensued. As had shown at JFK, I was the only person who had booked a wheelchair. Therefore, on arrival at Manchester, one wheelchair arrived, for me. Thing is, 5 people suddenly decided they needed a wheelchair, and one woman (who had the physical strength to push me out of the way!) decided she was taking it! Anyway, in the end, after a bit of a delay, a few more wheelchairs arrived, though only 1 extra pusher, and we eventually got through, but after quite a delay, obviously. Not helped by the fact that one person clearly didnt have the right paperwork (not sure if she was from my plane, or a holdback from a previous flight?). In the end, I sort of got up, collected my case, and struggled through on foot (someone pushed my case, thank goodness) to where I was being met! I only hope Manchester Airport does better next May, we will see!

After that, its fair to say that the year settled into LGBT mode at work. A presentation to just over 100 people on working as a Transgender person in my Civil Service Department, and gaining a position on a committee dealing with LGBT issues within said Department are 2 of the delights that followed. Oh, and on top of that performance, was of course, the performance as an Elf very recently!

Lastly, on Christmas Day, on Facebook of all places, someone posted a picture in one of the groups, of a young lady, in Christmas mode, of an event that happened nearly 90 years ago (1929). Yes, an unknown lady, at a pre-Christmas event in Los Angeles, way back when. Except…she looked familiar to me. Comparison to a few pictures taken about 5 years later, and agreement from a couple of other people on the matter, that lady is no longer unknown, to a few of us at least. Yes, 99.9% certain its a certain Clara Johnson! Talk about dream Christmas present, especially as in total, there were 3 pictures! Oh fine, here’s one of them, of her, at 24!

And thats about it! Two more working days in 2017, Friday all day, and a half day on Saturday! Not expecting anything major to happen, but we will see?

The video, big clue in the title. A live version of the song, from 2012, which means no Kirsty MacColl, but the woman gives a decent, if clearly rather starstruck performance

Tomorrow, a look forward to 2018, and what might, or will happen


Another May in LA

Now, normally when you do a review of the year, and you’re splitting it in two, you’d do two spells of 6 months, right? But when I looked back on my year, it took me about 30 seconds (if that long) to work out that apart from one event in May, not much happened for the first 8 months, then a hell of a lot happened in the last 4! So to avoid a 500 word blog tonight, and a 3000 word one tomorrow, I’m doing this on an 8/4 basis this year.

In truth, the highlights of the first 2 months were getting the news I’d passed probation period at work, and getting my first passport in my new name, and gender. I know, I’d lived about 7 years as a woman before then, but all the same, that was a special moment when it was made official. Oh, and around the same time, my first moments of DWP fame, in a transgender sense, with an interview from work, about life as a Transgender woman in the Department. Which of course led to something that will be mentioned in Part 2, but for now…

No, diplomacy means I’m not mentioning a certain event that happened in the US, in January, but you all know what I think of him, and his actions, so lets leave it there.

Of course, my first flight as a woman, was in May, going back to Hollywood, or more strictly, Los Angeles. Lets just say the whole apartment thing this time around wasnt the success of the previous trip, both in the sense of initially booking an apartment, and then the landlord deciding he wanted to decline the booking, because he hadnt put in his price rise for the New Year. Fine, I thought, until he told me it was done, and suddenly the price had risen by over 20%, nearly 25% in fact! So I started again, thought I’d found somewhere decent as a replacement, but it didnt live up to all its claims. Dont get me wrong, it was nice enough, just didnt have all the facilities it claimed it had.

The funniest moment was a delightful Thai takeaway I had found 18 months earlier, and the lady still remembered me the moment I walked in, despite that. Its sad to think that by the next time I visit, she will almost certainly be gone, as it will be a few years before I get there again (unless I get a role offer), and I doubt she was that young this year, so…but she was amazing!

The other big highlights that will stick with me, would be 2 Louise Brooks silent films, viewed at the historic Egyptian Theater, a guided Hollywood walk given by a wonderful lady that I like to see as a friend, a ‘better than I would buy’ seat at a Dodgers game, thanks to another friend, with the added bonus of it being a game that Kershaw pitched at! Lastly, there was a wonderful Harlow display at the Hollywood Museum, which was a delight to see. Oh, and thanks to the Metro, getting to Santa Monica far easier than ever before!

In truth, I have no idea when I’ll be back, unless I get an offer, which I would have to say is pretty unlikely. But never say never… Certainly, due to something that will be mentioned shortly, walking up the hill to where Harlow rests at Forest Lawn would probably be beyond me now, but anyway…

In July, 2 things happened, one good, one bad. The good one was, that knowing that Clara Johnson’s middle initial was E, and finding a few images of a chorus line dancer/Goldwyn Girl, and putting two and two together, when you find a dancing match, named Elaine Johnson, who has a career that seems to tie in to Clara’s, well I jumped on the issue, and joy, actually found 3 pictures of her from a credited movie promotion shoot. Of course I cant be 100% sure its one and the same, but enough coincidences for me to say it is. In fact, as you’ll find out tomorrow, this isnt the end of that story! Yes, a few new pictures, wow! I’d still love to find her married name, so I’d have a chance of paying my respects if, and when I get back to LA.

The bad thing, my back, after giving me support for about 59 years, decided it had had enough, and snapped. Quite literally, though not in too severe a way, fingers crossed. Yes, osteoporosis had taken its toll on me! Painkillers, and other meds (been tweaked a couple of times) keep it bearable, but yes, its fair to say old age is beginning to catch up with me. It eventually led to me cutting back to 4 days a week at work, with which I can just about get by financially, but holidays will need to be cut back on now, for sure.

August marked 1 year in the new job, and in truth, apart from a dream acting offer, I cant see me leaving before I get to retire in just over 6 years time. Yes, I really am that old lol! The rest of the year, and a few landmarks, tomorrow!

Right, the video. One of the few modern groups I have much time for, are The Killers. I now love them even more now I know that each Christmas, they record a song, and give all royalties to charity! This is the 2013 song, which is apt given where I was in May, and even more so when you see something I post tomorrow!


Give A Little Bit

No, dont panic, I’m not expecting you to pay me any money or anything to read this, or even look at the pictures. However, I was sort of collecting at work yesterday for breast cancer charity for doing this, and did consider setting something up for people to donate from here, but seriously, by the time Go Fund Me (or whoever) took their share out of what is likely to be a tiny sum, I cant see any point! However, if the amusement of this leaves you so inclined to do so, then feel free to do so directly to the relevant charity in your Country, they’ll probably get more money that way. If you dont want to do it for your own charity, for whatever reason, then send it to a UK one. If you want to say Harlean sent you lol…?

So yes, yesterday it happened, and I must admit, it was great fun dressing up again, this time as an elf. Oh, photo? Fine…Behave, girl!

Before you ask, 2 donations already, plus 1 more tomorrow, so…if you wish to add? 😉

There were 2 other wonderful people who also got dressed up for the day, so I didnt just have the idea to my(s)elf about this. I’m sure they wont mind me posting this, but if they do, and in years to come, this blog doesnt make sense, you know why!

Will I do it again, given the chance? You bet I will! Seeing theaters, and other media people arent rushing for my services nowadays, it will probably be the only way I do!

As for today, back as a human all day…

In recent months I got a couple of vouchers for various rewards, one for being a clever golf tipster (not mentioned before), and one for the transgender presentation I did for work (mentioned before). But being a practical Yorkshire lass, I hadnt got around to spending them, until today…

Given the old creaking bones nowadays find going out to work hard enough, the thought of going into town looking for things, especially at this time of year holds no appeal for me. So, I was limited to sites I could shop from online, that I could use through my ‘One4All’ reward card. So I looked at a few sites, suitably unimpressed, and then saw TK Maxx was available. So, checking it out, I found this and bought it! Put it this way, I certainly wouldnt buy it at the so called normal price, but at that price, of course I did!

I then went for the work voucher, which I put on Amazon to spend, and had a look around. After much looking, and trying to decide what to do, I ended up taking a different course to plan. I was hoping to find a ‘long’ flapper style dress for about the £25, but no joy. Then again, lets face it, young flappers were looking to show their legs, not hide them! But fine, I’m not young, so…I did find a nice, maxi length one, but it was about £40, so no… In truth, I do own 2 flapper style dresses, both above the knee, and never likely to be worn by me outside of home!

So what did I do, you ask? Well, of course I now know of a second movie that Clara Johnson appeared in, so I’ve added that to my collection. ‘Strike Me Pink’, supposedly starring Eddie Cantor, but for me, featuring a certain Miss Johnson will shortly be winging its way to me. I also went on a silver color clothing hunt, and found a silk skirt, with elasticated waistband, so got that instead. Both wont arrive until New Year, movie from US, skirt from China, but at least I’ve now finally spent the vouchers!

Oh, and the blog title, nothing to do with the charity campaign, and everything to do with some ghastly Amazon adverts! Guess what, the video is that song, only sung decently by original Supertramp member, Roger Hodgson


Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Well, here we go, now into the final week of build up to the big day, and in truth, if you believed the TV, and especially the adverts, its all about presents, and not the more significant event on December 25! I know, its a big time for the retail industry, and all that, both in shops, and online, but seriously, it almost feels like some significant event has been forgotten from what I can see!

You know the joke about all the sales running into each other? Well, a site I’m unlikely to ever buy goods from (due to the hassle of importing, and postage costs from the US) have been running various 20-25% off offers ever since the beginning of the summer, if not before! Yes, considering the NFL is meant to be a multi billion dollar industry, they seem to wish to inform you of these sales by email, about 3 times a day, minimum! Mind, at the grossly over inflated prices they sell stuff for, even with 25% off, they are probably pretty pricey, even if you live in the US! Bah, humbug, lol! 😛

Not that any of the other major sports dont also rip you off on the costs of items, but they seem to be the one who push it the most into my email box.

What would I like for Christmas? Being honest, beyond the one thing I know is coming, which is a pair of winter boots, who knows? Not sure I do, in all honesty, so grateful I didnt have to come up with a long list of ideas for people, in truth. I could come up with a whole load of unpractical ideas, like a new back, or a flying spacecraft, so that I dont have to pay air fares to the US, or even a full new body, a la young Clara (Elaine) Johnson, but none of those are likely to happen, lets face it. Neither do I seriously expect to be offered a movie, theater, or TV role of any note, under the circumstances, but thats still more likely than the 3 previous suggestions!

Talking of Clara, I’ve just noticed that a color picture I’ve found of her is actually available on a poster, reduced at the moment, at what I thought was a reasonable price, and then yeah, add on a third again, minimum, to get it to me! Still, if anyone wants to spoil me, ha ha…?

1935 Color Print Elaine Johnson Goldwyn Girls Movie Musical Strike Me Pink YCF1

Not that I know what I’d do with it, but anyway… I will have to see if that movie is available on Amazon at some point, at a sane price! Not sure when I’d watch it, but…

Well, tomorrow is Elf working day, which will be fun for sure, though the outfit is above the knee, so even with tights, at my age… hmm? No, only wearing it at work, not for travel, definitely not in weather at present! Yes, Secret Santa day, when you dont know what you’re getting, and technically, who you’re getting it from! I’m sure there will be pictures, and if I get some, I will post them for your, err, delight.

Still, funny to think, this time next week, all the fuss will be done with, for another year!

OK, video time. In truth, I’d assumed I’d used this here, but cant find it, so the Christmas choice for tonight is a song made famous by Steeleye Span, though this is the far more recent Erasure version. In truth, despite the element of modern synthesizer, it probably has a similar sound to medieval times!


Well, I guess this makes me a pro?

Firstly, let me go back to events yesterday. Yes, Julia went on stage at York, and from what I’ve seen, was brilliant. Yes, I’ve seen the film via Facebook, cant yet find it on You Tube, so you will just have to take my word on that. Hopefully, at some point…?

Yesterday also ranked as the weirdest day at work I’ve ever done, and given thats a 43 year period, that takes some doing. I did consider whether a very wintry day in the betting shops, where there was 1 greyhound meeting that survived, and we took 12 bets all day might top it, but I doubt it.

Basically, the system was down for the day, so there was a message on the phone system advising prospective callers of this, and advising them to ring back during the week, but we had to have a few of us in, just in case people ignored that, and came through to us, so…I got 1 call all day! Day not wasted though, did lots of my apprenticeship stuff (yes, I know, at 59, but has to be done, so…!), also applied for a pathway course to management in Civil Service as well. Yes, diversity candidates desired. I’m not sure, I’m going to be 61 by the time the course ends, and even if they dont give in on retirement age, I’ll only have 5 years to go, so…But yes, I needed to do something! Did some practice tests, seemed to go OK, but anyway…

The other thing I did, technically, was become a professional performer. Yes, I got ‘paid’ for my presentation last week. Oh fine, technically it was a reward payment for doing it, but yes, I’m an actress with a mischievous sense of humor, so I’m saying that makes me a professional performer. No, I dont expect that to create a rush of offers from Broadway, Hollywood, or even small professional companies, but you never know, lol! Professional speaker on LGBT and Transgender issues, hmm? No, I doubt that very much either!

Oh, my fee? £25, but seriously, thats the first time I’ve been paid to perform, ever! Well, that I remember, anyway…? Treated myself to an Amazon voucher (email version), but have failed to find a controlling robot suit at any price, let alone £25 lol! 😛 Question is, if I find a stylish (ideally full length) flapper, or 30’s style dress, does that count as a business expense for an actress? 😉

Lastly, lets get this mentioned on the right day of the year this time around, its Nancy Carroll’s birthday today. She would have been 114, so you wont be surprised to hear she died over 50 years ago. But…? I have a friend in Australia, named Diane, who uses a picture of Nancy on her Facebook page, which leaves me wondering if…? No, I’m sure she didnt really time travel, just before her death, move to Australia, and…? 😉 All the same, she’s a lover of movies from that era, so…hmm? Yes, she probably will kill me for this, or would if we werent on opposite sides of the world!

Lets see, video time. Well Nancy Carroll was a fine dancer, as was my past life self, Clara Johnson. Indeed, they may well have worked together, who knows? Thing is, last year, I used the best video of Diane, sorry, Nancy dancing, and its possible Miss Johnson was there too. So lets do something different tonight instead. This was a hit in the 1970’s, recorded live at the start of this year. Very good it is too, and its what both young ladies did


That casting couch moment

Well fine, as a small part actress, in modern times (and lets face it, supposedly I was an actor back then), I’ve never actually encountered that casting couch moment. I know, what a surprise, not!

However its a well known fact that back in the ‘Golden Age’ of movie making, and before then, the casting couch wasnt only something that was hinted at, it was reality! Back then, its fair to say that more than a few actresses, either trying to get that break, or to move up in the standings got there by more than acting talent alone. Though in truth, on the whole, they were given little choice in the matter, if they wanted to make it. Yes, I wouldnt be totally surprised at some point if Clara Johnson had to go through the routine herself, to get her big chance. I mean, you only have to look at the fact that prior to 1933/34, and her promotion to Goldwyn Girl status, that she’d been around as a humble chorus girl for a while, and then suddenly…hmm? Maybe it was just hard work, who knows, but the cynic in me still wonders, all the same?

Given that the book I read it in, is factually tarnished, many times over, I’m prepared to tread carefully on this, but allegedly Jean Harlow was sought (and not for her movie skills) by high ups in many studios, both male, and indeed, female for other purposes when she first broke through seriously into the movies. True or not, she married 2 ‘senior’ staff at MGM, who werent logical marriage partners for her, but hey, it does seem she had a yearn for older men, so that could be totally wrong assumption, especially as one of them was pretty much proved to be impotent!

But yes, back then, the whole casting couch thing was part of the movie industry, in those less than enlightened times. But if anyone thought it had gone away, oh my, how wrong can you be? In truth, the only question that needs to be asked about the whole Harvey Weinstein thing, is why its taken so long to come out? The answer, my dear, of course, is power. But of course, with anything like that, once one domino falls in the pack, every other domino quickly tumbles over as well. He thought, because of his position, that he could get away with it, but now, finally, thankfully, it has caught up with him.

Is he the only one? I very much doubt it. In truth, I’d be amazed if he was. I suspect a few more will follow now, but we will have to wait and see on that. I think its safe to say that a trans woman actress, fast approaching 60 is not likely to be a casting couch target for anyone lol! Especially given my back wouldnt be up to anything adventurous anyway! But yes, hopefully, now, a number of younger actresses may manage to avoid this fate. But I suspect, there’s always someone, so…

Oh fine, the video. This might sound like its from the 1920’s, but its actually from 1961. Yes, still delightfully ancient for most, but…there were 9 members of the Temperance 7, a play on the term ‘one over the eight’ which definitely wasnt a sign of temperance lol! There was a major revival of the group about 10 years later, which lineup I have featured here in the past. Sadly, the only film I can find of the original lineup singing this, is of pretty poor quality, so lets go with this, which looks like a scene that Clara Johnson, and other chorus girls of that era would be very familiar with!