Last night was a wonderful experience, playing wonderful music with a decent orchestra in a good venue to a full audience, who could ask for more? Well, me that's who! The more I ask for is to be able to do all this as Paula, and last night that ambition was fulfilled. In many ways the overall concert went better than I expected, most outfits play better in the rehearsal than in the performance, last night LGSO did it the other way round. I will admit that I was not faultless, but then A/ that's what live music is all about, and B/ that's why I'm an amateur.
On a more personal level I was more nervous than I have been before a performance for ages, of course most of this had to do with how I was dressed, and how I was presenting. usually I am just another guy in a dinner jacket at the back of the orchestra, last night felt so different. It was my turn to be the glamorous one in the short dress and high heels, I think everyone in the orchestra was aware of my sartorial choices OK they have only met me as Paula and it will stay that way, but none the less it does have to be said that I was the most dressed up of all the girls. Indeed quite a few wore DJs and nearly all trousers, practical, warm but no fun at all.
Although the orchestra is there to serve the whole London LGBT community I think that I am the first to represent the T, and it has taken them a while to work out just how I fit in. The first few rehearsals I barely spoke to anyone outside my section, but then at the last rehearsal I joined others for a drink after we finished and was very well looked after, then yesterday I found that I was much more in the company of the other girls. I spent a very pleasant afternoon in the company of a few ladies before getting changed. I had to have a couple of goes at this as the slip I took to wear turned out to be just a little too long and showed below my dress, I had anticipated this and took along a teddy as well, just in case. While I was in the "Ladies" just in my tights and teddy putting on my make up one of the ladies came in; I apologised but was told that it wasn't necessary, but that I should hurry up before the audience arrived. I am glad to say that I was ready in time.
I always get a little nervous before going stage, and last night was worse than usual, I was very cheered as we were going on stage when one of the ladies told me she thought I looked great, and followed up with "shame you are sitting behind me". At most of concerts I play I am looked at the girls in front of me, checking what they are wearing and in particular their shoes, I think this was one occasion when others were doing the same to me.