Reflections: Eastside Queer Stories Festival 2016

Henry Alexander Kelly, Miss Barbie Q, Rosa Navarrete, Sujey Elena Gonzalez, David Reza
Photo credit to Aurelie Davis 
Backstage games and playful tunes resound within the recently spiritually polished Little Casa Theater. We were preparing for the opening of our performance, not too long ago, and we were off to a good start. Actors look through the costume rack to make sure it's all there, powder their noses, and grind against the fold out chairs while lip syncing to Diana Ross or some 1980s pop music. This is how we got ready for "Eastside Queer Stories Play Festival 2016." Nights behind the small stage in the black box theater started like this. Cramped in the back part of the theater where 8 to 10 people at a time -- entering and leaving the space. We wore futuristic outfits, and early pilgrim dresses for various scenes. The writers would be in the audience watching us go in and out of multiple stories and changing our characters before their eyes, all to give truth of the story.

It was an absolute blessing to be in Eastside Queer Stories Play Festival. And now that's it's over, I can look back and think about the wonderful memories backstage, and amazing people I met in the process. This show was made for the LGBTQIA+ / SOGIE  community, and managed to also make a dedication video for those who lost their lives in Florida. It was an absolute honor to be part of it. The performances gave me my first stage kiss, my first offsite photo shoot experience, my first -- wear this by the designer experience, and a taste of good ol' Los Angeles adventurera fun.

Be on the lookout for the plays in this show to pop up in other venues. Additionally, the festival returns next year in 2017 with brand new plays, writers, and actors. I am proud to say I was one of the lucky souls to be part of the inaugurating cast of players. To learn more about Eastside Queer Stories Play Festival, the creator -- Ana Bernal, or QYouth Foundation, please visit: or CLICK HERE to Like the page on Facebook.