The 14th Annual Edwardian Ball in San Francisco was like walking out of a time machine into Moulin Rouge in 2020.
Preparing for The Edwardian Ball is half the fun, not only as a participant, but even more so as an entertainer (there really is no difference between the two at this event, for EVERYONE is a star!). This is the second year that SHAKTI BLISS has been on the line up, and I was beyond ecstatic for the show!
Half my closet was on the floor of my bedroom in San Diego before I finally decided on the perfect, simple costume that would represent my character for the weekend, inspired by the artwork and stories of Edward Gorey.
My flight to San Francisco was smooth, dragging along a HUGE roller bag full of costumes for the weekend and my ridiculously heavy vintage suitcase loaded with my DJ gear for my big performance in the main ballroom on Saturday night. (See PHOTOS of the event HERE!)
We arrived at our hotel after quite an exciting adventure through the city taking trains, trolly’s and walking a mile in circles with my luggage. It was an unfathomable 70 degrees and sunny in San Francisco in mid-January, so there were few complaints about the extended journey. The weather felt surreal, delicious and out of this world.
I decided to take it easy and stay in my hotel room for the afternoon, surrounded by my handmade hats, vintage dresses and lace bustles, while I worked on the final touches of my DJ set for the evening. Last minute doubts ran through my head: Are these tracks too dirty? Too vintage? To avant-garde?
Honestly I was a bit nervous, for in a few hours I would be playing in a huge ballroom to thousands of people!
Our Uber taxi, a luxury black sedan who’s driver was begging for a ticket to the SOLD OUT show once I explained what it was all about it, dropped us off in front of a line wrapping around the Recency Ballroom. A steampunk whistle blew in the street and pierced the air with excitement, steam rising from a huge contraption parked along side the theater. The buzz of anticipation was tangible, dapper queens and kings in every direction looking absolutely FABULOUS.
This event is completely redunklous! And I haven’t even gone inside yet.
Luckily I slipped through the back stage door, elbowed my way through the crowd past Shovelman playing his handmade instrument in the packed entrance hall, and into the grand ballroom to find my dressing room upstairs behind the main stage.
As I climb that ancient staircase I could only wonder what other timeless vaudeville performers and musicians once played a big show in this same theater. Ghosts whisper memories in my ears and I take the last narrow metal walkway up to my private waiting room shared with my fellow DJ’s extraordinaire and bohemian brother’s from another time and space, Delachaux and The Klown.
The cats from The John’s Brothers Piano Company were in the room next to me preparing for their stage performance. One poured me a glass of fine Scotch to calm my nerves, which now that I had finally set down my heavy gig bag and found my temporary home for the evening, I gladly accepted. This loosened me up for a few fun backstage photo opportunities:
Having a few hours to spare before stage call, I retreated to the basement and mingled around the mind blowing artists, fashion designers and vendors while listening to the upbeat electroswing sounds of The Speakeasy Syndicate. Not wanting to miss the rest of the show, I wiggled my way back upstairs and spent the rest of my time sitting in the VIP balcony taking in the shenanigans from above. The ballroom was packed, the live music with Rosin Coven was off the hook fantabulous, the theater itself a timeless relic of history. Then my timer beeped: IT’S SHOW TIME, SHAKTI!
Waiting in the DJ booth for my cue, I was able to have the best seat in the house for the headlining performance of “The Curious Sofa” by Vau de Vire Society, a must see at this event! The stage manager prompted me to play a few filler tracks while the production staff was looking for a lost clown backstage, then Fou Fou Ha came on and bedazzled us with their antics, concluding with a pie in the face for Mama Fou’s Birthday. I was still in the middle of laughing at the chaos on stage when I heard the announcer say my name: “SHAKTI BLISS!!!!”
I cued my first track, a vintage blues tune from the early 1930’s, and rocked it out until 2:30am. BEST. SHOW. EVER! xox ~ Shakti Bliss
P.S. See you at the Edwardian Ball in Los Angeles on February 8th, 2014!
Shakti Bliss Music: www.djshaktibliss.com
Flapper Dapper Boutique & Vaudeville Lifestyle Blog: www.shaktibliss.com
The Edwardian Ball : www.edwardianball.com