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A Queen’s Sabbatical

A Queen’s Sabbatical

COMO’s art director explores different roles at True/False Film Fest

For the last few years, my True/False experience has been all about Queening. I love seeking out and making new costume pieces. I love being in the center of the action. My 80s-loving, bossy-pants, extroverted self gets to go full throttle.

Boy is it exhausting.

Last year, I submitted a T-shirt design for the merch booth and they accepted it. That was really rewarding and encouraging. I loved being involved in the fest in another way. My mom and my aunt (who always comes up from Corpus Christi, Texas for the fest) were so excited and each bought several T-shirts. I queened as usual, burned the candle at both ends, and lost my voice by the end of the fest.

Still, it was the most magical weekend of the year.

Sometime this past fall, True/False’s production manager, Duncan Bindbeutel, suggested I submit a proposal for an art installation. I’d never done anything like that before. Duncan kept encouraging me, and I eventually submitted a proposal for a vending machine that dispenses origami fortune tellers.

When I got the email that they had accepted my proposal, I knew I was in trouble. Ha! Now, I actually had to make the dang thing. So, I started sourcing secondhand vending machines and used magazines. I started writing fortunes. All the creativity I usually poured into my queen costume went into my Divination Dispenser.

And then, my cousin Katy decided to join my mom and aunt at the fest. I decided to take a sabbatical from queening.

It was a totally different experience. I saw 13 movies! “Crip Camp”! World premiere of Hannibal Buress’ new comedy special! I got to go to Gimme Truth with my family. I got to watch people interact with my machine and the fortune tellers I designed.

I missed being in the center of all the fest gossip and I missed the staff I always work with at Ragtag, but it was lovely to experience the fest in a new way.

I’m so grateful that my humble little Missouri town provides opportunities for me to boss people around in costume, design T-shirts, and develop myself as an artist.

I can’t wait to see what we do together next year.

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