Palm Springs Pride 2016 in Review

Palm Springs PrideAnother Pride in Palm Springs down for the record books. The annual festival began on Friday, however, it’s super gay in this city every day so that’s that. Saturday I ran downtown to check out the stage we were performing on and to support my fellow entertainers. The sunshine was coming down from the skies above so I knew to dress accordingly for our show on Sunday. Afterwards I ran over to a last rehearsal with my dancers and then back home to pull together ensembles for my gigs. I don’t have a ton of people knocking down my door to perform so I create these opportunities for myself. Here’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Palm Springs Pride '16

After fighting all evening with rhinestones and e6000 glue on Saturday evening, I opted for a few lower-key casual show pieces to wear since I’d be sweating out of them anyway. For November, it was rather hot. I spent a few hours on my gig’s final details and whatnot. After gathering together my things for the festival, I had a snack and called it a night! We stayed in the house most of the weekend considering I had dealt with plenty of gay boys and Muscle Mary’s at the gym all week. I was fine by doing so.

Steven Michael

Sunday I woke up to the texts beginning, coffee brewing and the feeling of fabulous pride throughout the Coachella Valley. I was reminded of past Pride weekends in past years, so many memories, wonderful and otherwise. I’ve seen a few in my day! If you’ve never marched (or walked) in a parade or rode on a float, that’s a bucket list thing! Everyone needs to feel that sense of involved community unity once. Do it! We caught the majority of the parade while I perched in the shade making entertaining commentary to people I didn’t know. Palm Canyon was packed with spectators and everyone was in a great mood!

People ask me if I get nervous before a performance and the answer is a very fast “no.” When I compete for contests I may have a deep breath here and there of the realization it’s happening but I never get that chewing-nails type of anxiety. I love the stage and each time feel more comfortable on it. Even at 48, I still find new footing onstage in front of my audience as it happens and I will continue to evolve as a performer even in these “experienced” years. Yesterday was that day where I was on my game and confident beyond many times before. As Beyoncé says, I was” feeling myself!” It ranks up there with the top moments I’ve had onstage. It wasn’t that I twirled super hard. It was that I felt more in control of that stage than I remember ever having before. It makes me proud of me.

Sheena Wolfe - Steven Michael

After putting on a day face for the stage, I prayed it would stay on. (cue canned laugh track) I knew we’d take a few photos during the day I can’t rely upon others to dust them off to my standards for sharing. (laugh track should be louder now) So, with the help of Joe Blasco cosmetics and some serious setting powder I hoped for the best. I’m such a Queen. (please notice the capital Q) Overall, successful considering the solar rays and dancing two numbers… and tons of blotting with napkins during lunch, in between.

Jacques made reservations at Zin for us and we sat right on the boulevard and enjoyed a quick brunch while I settled down from the sweat and strain of my recent first number. I performed a mix of Nick Jonas music I created on Garage Band while living out my should’ve-been-a-DJ dream one night. I was on my performance. Fearless. I came out slow like a panther, girls screamed, I smiled nice and big showing 108 white teeth knowing I had this one. I strutted around the stage, walking dead-on my beats like my sister Ashley Kruiz would do, giving hip-rolls to the left (inside dancer joke) the house down and overall feeling it. It was one of the better moments onstage in my many years of doing this. Again, each time I’m up there I feel something different and learn more about myself. A performer has a ton of power with the crowd’s attention in their grasp. I love it. I’m not afraid of it. Thank you James A. Cesena/iMiJ Factory for use of the photos below.

Steven Michael - Palm Springs Pride

After lunch I met the dancers back up at the location. The fabulous Bella Da Ball shared her stage once more with my Steven Michael’s Dance Machine. While sexy shirtless boys mingled around Tahquitz @ Palm Canyon waiting for us to go on finding their way from the parade, we quickly got ready and ran through a few last minute changes. The stage was a bit different than what we had practiced with, so through a few steps on fellow dancer feet and smacking of other’s hands as we twirled, we made it work. Overall I’m very happy with it! A few flubs and blunders but with crazy schedules and having lives we had a good handful of rehearsals and rolled the dice.

PS Pride '16

There was a great response from the crowds and that’s all you can ask for. It all happens so fast it can be surreal almost out-of-body. Bella gave me the mic and after introducing the cast and encouraged everyone to please vote on Tuesday, we did a group selfie on the stage with the audience which I’ve always wanted to. Drag superstars Marina Mac and Sheena Wolfe joined us, as well, while super flaggers David and Jon gave bright colors and fabrics flowing throughout the performance. Visually it all worked. I had a great day!

Steven Michael

When I choreograph something I try to take in consideration who I’m working with, where it will be shown and other variable factors. I gave my guys moves that tested their limits of masculinity and they fearlessly gave me exactly what I wanted. I wanted them to be themselves. I’m so thankful for each and every gear of my Dance Machine: Shaun, Dennis G., Dennis D., William, Doug and John. They are individually unique, super talented and kept me on my pointed toes. Bravo!

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