RADAR (hearts) Writers (heart) RADAR: Daniel Levesque
I met Daniel Levesque, aka Danny aka El Lute through a friend in the 90s, when Sister Spit was performing close to his native land of Woonsocket, Rhode Island. You know how sometimes you can meet a person, a person who claims to be a writer, and within fifteen minutes of conversation not only do you believe that YES this person is a writer but you feel in your very bones that they are quite possibly a GREAT writer? That was the powerful vibe I got off Danny, strong enough for me to have him not only be Sister Spit’s special guest performer (in spite of A. never having heard him and B. he’s a man, man!), I gave the OK to him hopping in the sacred space of The Van and hobo-ing around with us on the East Coast. Some daring decision making, but I was a far more generous person in those days.
You know a person is a dedicated writer when they have writer tattoos, and Danny has a Cookie Mueller tattoo. I love this writer and John Waters acolyte enough to get her name tattooed on me, too! (I mean I haven’t, but I totally would!) As I suspected, Danny’s story about suffering through Beauty School in shitbum New England, as a sensitive yet crass fag, was the stuff DREAMS are made of! My dreams, anyway. It was totally amazing to have Danny join our gang, and worth fighting with the angry les who told me she ‘didn’t come to Sister Spit to hear men make fun of women.’ I was shocked that that was what she heard – I’d heard a misfit queer making fun of the soulless townies trying to crush his spirit. But we all bring our SELVES to ART, do we not?
Danny’s last jaunt on Sister Spit was a bit unofficial, so I am super psyched that he will be an OFFICIAL part of the Spring 2013 Sister Spit lineup, reading from his new book, Hairdresser on Fire! I wonder if any of those old New England beauty school stories made it into the novel, the story of a boy who really wants to be a clown but grows up to find himself snared in the beauty industry, learning about hair at a cult-like establishments whose beauty standards are impossibly cruel. I don’t know, but here are some things I do know-
The book is gonna be GREAT. I know because I heard him read from at at The RADAR Reading Series.
I know because I heard him read from it at the Radar LAB Writers’ retreat, where he got the Hardest Worker Award (and still managed to crack an illegal baby turtle-hatching ring and become besties with the beach’s enigmatic Turtle Doula. Jealous!)
I know because he came home, finished the book, sent it off the Manic D Press and in about a week had a publishing deal, the book fast-tracked for early publication.
Danny is a perfect RADAR specimen. We exist for writers like Danny, queer writers with an underground voice who need a reading to get them motivated, a writer’s retreat to give them the time and space to really connect with their book, a national tour to build a readership and sell books. We are super proud to have supported him in all these ways and to get to be part of his story’s story! But allow me to shut up and let’s hear it straight from the source:
Help RADAR help queer and underground writers by donating to our Firstgiving Fundraising Campaign, and by joining us on October 28th for a Polka-Dot Cocktail Party, a RADAR Benefit featuring Jonathan Katz.