Passions & Personal Interests
My Story: The BeautifulUgly Girl
I live, like - the coolest life! Few people own more impassioned interests than yours truly. I sometimes create a higher purpose & expanded vision for my impassioned interests and they evolve into life-long projects or quests - like art collecting & magic performances.
You will rarely meet another person with more intensive personal passion projects than moi: such is the dilemma of the neurotic OCD persona. Still…a wonderful benefit to finding and pursuing passions? My life is never boring - even when alone: there’s always another costume to finish or a favorite magic routine that needs more improvement.
Following is a summary of my impassioned interests and their role in my ever-evolving personal journey.
DRAmaGic...a lifelong dream comes to life
I started performing live magic at the age of twelve: remained a part of my life since. Having once served as a DRAG artist, I developed a vision of oneday combining those two. DRAmaGic is a new, branded live entertainment comedy performance that combines a magic act with a DRAG show - into a singular fun-filled experience. The exciting and exhilarating aspect of this combination is that it transcends the core appeal of each by synergizing the best entertainment attributes from both - through a combination of impressive magical effects plus playful DRAG routines & high-quality costuming. The show is adult-themed but not vulgar like many traditional DRAG acts.
I hope to create a decent following for the DRAmaGic brand that can eventually be expanded into a nationally touring act plus larger Vegas-styled / off-Broadway stage format.
I will launch the preview versions of DRAmaGic in December, 2013. Hopefully, I’ll find an ideal “home” for this act in Atlanta in early 2014.
ReneeReyes.com...and my role in the gender community
I'm dedicated to making ReneeReyes.com one of the best free places for anyone to begin their trans-journey from each of the core “beginner participants” in the transgender community - first-time crossdressers, new admirers, and transsexual women that are just starting their transition.
I never imagined my web site would become this large. I consider my continued work in this regard to be one of my most worthy life endeavors. Additionally, since I always identified as an “outsider”? I'm forever inclined to embrace beginners and make them feel extra welcome. I'm likewise dedicated to being a constant reminder that we're all in this together - and that every member of the community has more in common - than not.
|I uploaded a lot of new content in August 2013. I wrote and published the first version of ReneeReyes.com in the 1990’s. It’s been up since and many people found it useful. Knew I needed to majorly update this site with better lessons and insights: just never found time.|
A year ago, I faced a big health scare. As I reflected upon my life during the week I waited for potentially deadly test results? There was only one bit of unfinished business that bothered me: I failed to share all I learned and knew from my transgender struggles. Weird: that was my primary concern when facing death. Thus, when I received good news regarding my health? I made a commitment to complete this project. As we all share important lessons, the next generation of trans-women will leverage success more rapidly.
The side effects from transsexualism impacted every aspect of my existence for almost half a century. I’m forced to admit much of my lifespan is defined from being transgender. However, I’m pretty much over that! Now that I’m almost completely past trans-issues in my life? I’m trying to get on with my life. I hope by my end - my new accomplishments will turn the trans-aspect of my life journey into more of a footnote.
Other than this website, I’m almost completely disconnected from “trans-world”. My only remaining goal is to help finance important causes. We have many skilled activists and voices but few internal resources to fund their projects. If I can stay focused and accomplish my next goals? I think I can help bridge that gap.
Having lost control of my life for a decade, I finally embraced the mentality I’m n longer “behind schedule” on any of my projects: rather, everything's fresh as a part of my new existence. Still? I’ll relish a special joy when I finally publish my art web site: artburglar.com. I'm not sure when this site will go live: next year - or years in the future - but when it finally does? I’ll have a big smile.
As with my gender site, this project's a lifelong labor of love. The number of hours invested is staggering: countless nights & weekends writing and organizing plus years of passionate art collecting.
My collection and its related web site is designed to teach beginners how to affordably acquire world-class art. You know me…I love helping “beginners”. In today's world of on-line auctions, web galleries & immediate world-wide access? A person no longer has to live in New York City, etc. in order to assemble a first-class collection of art on a budget. You can reside in the sort of town I grew up in - Owensboro, KY...and amass a breathtaking array of works.
Every piece in the collection teaches at least one unique lesson about affordable art collecting. Most pieces demonstrate two or three such insights.
There's a little bit of everything included. On a really tight budget? Got that covered. Dream of chasing after an undiscovered masterpiece? This site shows you how. It also reveals many of the pitfalls relating to on-line collecting - fakes, forgeries, scam artists - even nightmares with shipping...and how to avoid these hazards.
I share favorites from my collection in my art collecting photo gallery.
I made certain to include a wide variety of styles in hopes each readers might find at least one piece that moves their soul.
How's it coming?
Getting there...but it's a huge project. I drafted about 500 pages of original content and I estimate the final site will include about 2,000 pages. Ouch!
Not sure when I’ll find time to finish this project. In the mean time? The art adorns the walls and speaks volumes to me in ways I can't explain. A passion I relish - that beautifies my home and results in real dollar value - combined with a dream for the future.
My passion for fashion
Perhaps my most relished personal passion is fashion. In it's purest form, fashion - is body art. I delight in mine like a gladiator savors his armor. Being transgendered - I found it important to present myself better than expected. I learned that central insight from an older black male advisor who found a way to succeed in business amidst the extreme racial prejudice of the 1960s & 70s: he never went anywhere without a necktie - regardless of temperature or circumstances. As he once told me: “If I’m in a shirt and tie: I’m always a ‘black man’. Without it, I’m often considered much less.”
I agree with that precept: “clothes don't make the person”. However, they do make up about 90% of what people see of us. Since lots of people are initially challenged getting past my transsexualism in the world of business, it's beneficial to divert their attention to a classy ensemble.
A running joke amongst my female friends is I'd be worth marrying just for unlimited access to my closets. *Laugh* Most women only think they have a ton of clothes & accessories: until they visit my closets. Took years to assemble my wardrobe and as any trans-gal knows: with our unique size issues? Developing first-class ensembles is a tough proposition. Naturally, being the inherently cheap-bitch that I am, I bought 99% of it second-hand from eBay. I could never afford this array at anywhere near retail.
I include photo examples of some of my favorite outfits in my fashion favorites photo gallery.
Uniquely to most clothes horses, I actually wear every single garment that hangs in my closets or I dispose of it through charity or eBay. Like the good little obsessive compulsive I am, every complete ensemble is recorded in a Word document with a coded system for when I last wore it & how well it was received. My wardrobe remains a source of pride & an outlet for creative expression - I relish “shopping in my closets” to develop versions of this season’s hottest trends. Let’s face it: I never got to play “dress up” when I was a young boy / girl - making up for lost time.
Belts remain my biggest fetish: I collected over 1,000 different designer examples and personally modified a few to better suit my tastes. I notoriously break into a sweat around a vintage Judith Leiber that's caught my eye.
Cosplay and Costuming
My final but perhaps most fun pastime is “costuming”. The greatest challenge with a costuming fetish? “Storage” - as many of the associated pieces & parts are fragile & bulky. If you’ve never explored costuming as a part of your social fun? I think you’re missing out: it tests your creativity & it tends to manifest alternative attitudes & persona’s that we all quietly harbor. I call it DRAG…for straight people!
I include example photos from my costumes closets in the costuming section of my photo gallery. Steampunk is probably my all time favorite genre because there’s nearly unlimited possibilities for expression. My regular Super Hero character costumes are Red Sonja, Silk Spectre and the Invisible Woman whereas my best gaming characters are Jade from Mortal Kombat and Serah Ferron from Final Fantasy. There’s also my regular celebrity knock-off - Marilyn Monroe - plus a wide range of DRAG & Mardi Gras-based combo’s and themed combinations ranging from a sexy indian maiden & pirate to dominatrix & school girl.
Costuming and Fashion are extra special since neither includes a “higher purpose” plan: like with magic, art collecting & gender related projects. In other words? Gratification is quick and I steer clear of ever making it more than it is: lots of fun!
What else am I into?
My work is indeed a source of passion. I’ve been entrepreneuring since I was youngster. I love, I’m good at it and in many ways its a source of personal expression: even art!
Also, I go camping about once a year: nothing quite like awakening to cool, crisp air on a fall morning & cooking over a fire: continued this tradition since childhood. Oh please: did someone forget I grew up a boy? LOL
I love music: music video’s? Even better. Own a massive library of music video’s and my favorites can pull me from most any funk.
I was once an avid collector of antiques and piled up a ton on unneeded “stuff” in that process. Subsequently, I endured the shame & related trials of being “homeless” and selling a lot of those pieces in order to survive. I now carry a different outlook on the pleasure derived from comforts of home & related possessions. I’m not remotely driven to create a palatial residence in my future.
However? I still adore period French furnishings.
P.S. : Do I have a fun life, or what? I might have gone through some rough and bad patches. However, I’m certainly making up for it now!