I Stan: Nicki & Vivvy

The time has arrived for me to express my gratitude for two individuals who make my relationship with San Francisco sweeter, day by day:

Nicki Jizz

and

Vivvyanne ForeverMore

Not one individual has showered me with more love, booked me for more gigs, and publicly expressed their admiration for my work, than these two lovely ladies. And it is no doubt, because they love and respect themselves, they are able to do the same for others. Neither gains anything from showing me so much love, and yet my life is enhanced each moment I am near them, and for this, I am forever grateful.

I have only ever dedicated videos to these lovely ladies and I would like to take a moment to expound on the choices I so specifically made to honor them.

Vivvyanne forevermore

@vivvyanne_forevermore

There is no soul in San Francisco who has a better grip on wit and sarcasm than Vivvy. Her command of humor casts a shadow so great, that for half the year, San Francisco is cloudy and gloomy. Her humor is often at her own expense, which only someone of great humility is able to succeed at. It is for this reason, I decided to elevate my number for Vivvy to a place of high regard; The Opera. Vivvy also has booked me for Drag Alive so frequently, that I owe my success in the city to her and the platform that she gave and continues to give me to share my love with the world.

The background for this video is actually an image of The Academy of Music, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. About a decade ago, I began work there as a silent actor in numerous operas. And because Vivvy has a background in performance that lives far beyond “the bar”, I thought it an appropriate location to both honor her and pay homage to my past experiences on the stage.

About a week before I began work on the video, I re-watched the 1948 film classic, The Red Shoes. It is easily one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces ever. In the film, we are reminded of the role of The Maestro, something that I was able to see first hand both in school and in my time working with Opera Philadelphia. It is for this reason, I decided to include this character throughout the entire video.

The song choice may seem obvious, “Gimme More” for Vivvyane ForeverMore. However, allow me to elaborate on this choice. The song, “Gimme More” is one of the greatest pop songs ever. Period. Thank you Danja and Britney Spears for the work you did on this one. And Vivvy is one of my favorite people ever. Period. If one listens closely to the lyrics, it becomes clear, that it discusses one’s relationship with the outside world. When people see you in your natural habitat, being your authentic self, they often become so enamored with you and what you are doing that it “feels like the crowd is saying, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme. MORE!” It can initially feel rewarding, the attention. But, with time, the crowd begins to believe it has some ownership over you and it transforms from a request, to a demand. Vivvy, for about a year, was doing what I consider to be a public service, by providing us with Drag Alive; an opportunity for artists to focus on their work in a time when focusing on other things, may not have been so healthy. At the same time, giving the crowd something to talk about. After all, there’s only two types of people in the world; the ones who entertain and the ones who observe. I imagined that Vivvy was beginning to feel the “gimme gimme” of the work she was doing and so, I wanted to express that. At the same time, there was a bit of blatant negativity from one or two places, I was experiencing about my work. They will remain un-named, but the general feeling in response to my work and it being celebrated, was “big deal, who are you? stop taking yourself so seriously.” And at the time I felt, oh, “if they want more, well I’ll give them more,” as a response. For these reasons, I chose the song.

The mix for the song, I also made. It is a combination of 3 versions of the song “Gimme More” and a ceremonial Indian song. The initial idea behind the mix, was a community summoning the spirit of Cleopatra, who they felt deserved a second go at it, if you will. The first minute of the song, is the ceremony; Shamans beating the ground and sacrificing themselves, using this energy as a portal for her to come through and set them niggas straight, which she does.

nicki jizz

@nicki_jizz

I have yet to meet a person who lives as authentically as Nicole Paige Jizz, Ms. Jizz if you nasty (you are). The first time I saw her, I was visiting San Francisco from Mexico City and she stood out…. BY FAR. I needn’t explain, but her energy, the looks, the butt drop! No one does it like she does it. Her personality is bigger than life, but what is even more surprising is the general feeling of Love and the sweetness I feel from her. In a WORLD OF PRETENDERS, in THE AGE OF POSERS, she is THE REAL DEAL. Aside from that, in 2019, she asked me to perform back up for her on the mainstage at Pride. She could have asked anyone, but she asked me. I remember setting the intention to be the greatest shadow for her, that I could be. And in a scene where most queens aim at casting shade, it was a privilege to choose to be the shadow for someone shinning so brightly.

I am blessed to have something in common with Nicki. You see her tagline;

Hoe is not a phase, Hoe is…..

LIFE!

Can be heard echoing wherever she goes and HOE happens to be the acronym for Heaven on Earth. And I will never forget the first time she used her own tagline to shine the spotlight on me, H.O.E., after one of my performances. So I decided to make the ultimate H.O.E. remix for her birthday show, something she and I could share. When I think of Nicki, I think of an honest expression of feminine sexual energy and so I went for Lil Kim. The original Queen B. The original Hoe. The Original. But, it wasn’t enough to do just that. So, I decided to root the song, “How Many Licks?” ft Sisqo (Drag King for days) in its own reference, the Tootsie Pop commercial from 1982, to give it a classic feel, like many rap songs do (a la Drake and Kanye). And because Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott is the only other artist that expresses her sexuality so eloquently, it seemed like an obvious choice to use the instrumental for “Minute Man” to enhance “How Many Licks?”

I could have easily made myself as pretty as possible for the video and been half naked, but I didn’t want to put all the focus on myself. It was more interesting for the video to be centered around both Nicki and the mix. It is for this reason, I decided to wear one of her “Jizz” shirts throughout the entire video. I also covered my own face, but used the classic Heaven wig to do so, so one is always reminded that I am there. The makeup for the scenes that do show my face, were modeled after Kali, a Tantric Hindu Goddess. I thought, “how great would it be to connect rap, with the gods”. It helps the shallow mind think deeper about what Lil Kim is saying and the power of her sexuality. A power I see in Nicki.

“Designer pussy; my shit come in flavors. High Class taste, niggas got to spend paper”

Sounds a little different when you imagine the voice as a goddess, doesn’t it?

There is even more symbolism in the video, but I will spare you the details, or we would be here all day. But, because Nicki is so special, I decided to go into my abstract pocket, to make it feel more like an Art Video, which it is, as opposed to… some video. And it was my honor to dedicate this video to her and to have something that eternally connects us.

Both these videos were made as birthday gifts, which I believe also served as an energetic offering to The Universe to enhance their legacies.

Thank you ladies, for the privilege to do so.

-Heaven on Earth

One Person’s Naomi, is Another Person’s Omi.

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. You’ve heard it a million times. I just had an experience that reminded me of this. You see, I really enjoy watching No Filter with Naomi, mostly because I enjoy and learn from the love with witch Naomi meets each guest. She seems to know them all so intimately and it touches my soul. I continue to learn how to be a good friend and I will learn from anyone, I have no prejudice.

Seeing examples of friendship from the privacy of my own bed, unseen, allows me to safely reflect on how I am with others and how I would like that to change and I am grateful for the example Naomi provides.

Ms. Naomi Campbell recently shared a compilation video of some of her dearest friends wishing her a happy birthday and it warmed my heart. It is so easy, at times, to think, “me, me, what about me?” that sometimes we forget that we can easily do something lovely for someone else who may be feeling similarly.

Now, I feel I have a much clearer vision for how I would like to interact with the world from this moment on and it came from this video:

And interestingly enough, upon completing this video, I made a decision to be more present for and celebratory of my friends and then it was I who was met with the kindest words from a dear friend of mine. Thank you universe.

Remember if you don’t like something about your life, change.

Embody Love. You too can warm someone’s heart today. Who will it be?

today

Heaven on earth

today i called an uber and when i approached the uber to get inside, the driver locked the door, rolled down the window and asked my name

this was an opportunity not to make assumptions as why this was happening, to not take it personally and to not make up a story about the driver, but to meet him with love.

can i keep this up?

today a woman was selling bags on the street and out of habit, I said, “no thank you” but, I thought about it and realized I was about to get groceries and it would probably really help the woman if I bought something from her. so, i went back and asked her how much. she said 150, i gave her 200 and asked for change, she then said it cost 250. i told her, she can keep the bag, but she continued to hustle me for more. I told her keep the bag and the money but she kept arguing. finally, she realized and said thank you and took the bag back.

this was an opportunity for me to remember that if you keep your mind stuck in a negative reality, you won’t be able to see when someone is actually helping you. it reminded me to have compassion, because you don’t know people’s state of mind. and it reminded me that i don’t have to mirror the behavior of others.

can i always be this present and aware?

today i let my thoughts lead me to a feeling of lonliness

this was an opportunity to remember that the space between the notes in the music are what make the music, otherwise it would just be jumbled sound. And right now, I may be experiencing a space in being surrounded by people that love me, but that is what makes the moments of love so beautiful. i remembered to be grateful for all i have and i am never really alone, because i am always in good company when i am with myself.

can i stay this grateful and focused on what is woking?

today i did my best

more

Pop music means more to me than what one might see on the surface. It is a 3-5 minute expression of feelings that are often judged as superficial or trivial, and yet are feelings and experiences, none the less. The limited melodic format of pop music, combined with its repetition makes it intoxicating. And when the recording artist fully emerges themselves in the moment, it gives life to inner experiences that society would like to judge you for.

The producer, Danja, is a shooting star. He layers pop music in an almost operatic manner. His vocals are layered throughout the song, pulling you up, haunting you, leading you into a mysterious and intriguing place. The untrained ear may not even notice, but their effect is ever present. And the music itself…. talk about layered. I could strip the song and listen to each piece on its own and be mesmerized. Combine that with Britney Spears, who, regardless of the perception that has been given to you (because i doubt you have formed one on your own), gives herself over to the song completely. She is the song. You believe she is the moment. And one thing that makes a Britney pop song a Britney pop song, are the adlibs she adds throughout the entire song. Have you ever noticed that? She is one of the only artists whose background vocals and adlibs sometimes are what give the song its cherished tone. Anyway…. I can go on forever.

When my dear friend, Vivvyanne ForeverMORE asked me to produce a video for her birthday, I was more than happy to and because I respect her so much, I chose to use one of the greatest pop songs of all time; Gimme More. A song that I never bore of, a song that instantly changes my mood, my personality, my person.

In my early twenties, I was a silent actor for Opera Philadelphia and I so cherished being part of these large productions. Singers being flown in from all over the world, performing in the Academy of Music. It was a dream come true. And being there allowed me the opportunity to see what it would be like to have a concert, opera, show, whatever… of that scale.

One of my favorite things to do when working with popular songs is make new mixes to them, so I took Danja’s isolated background vocals, Britney’s isolated vocals, portions of the album version instrumental, and a concert version of the song from one of Britney’s tours and mixed all of that (even adding a completely different song for the intro, a song that had a similar mysterious and ominous tone) and made this operatic mix. I love the chants of “More!” that enhance the song. As she sings, “feels like the crowd is saying…”

And I put myself, Heaven on Earth, on the stage of the Academy of Music. Just before making this, I rewatched the film, The Red Shoes, and it took my back to my opera days. The Maestro leads the opera, they are behind the steering wheel. Silent and ever present. They are… The Maestro. And watching The Red Shoes I was reminded of this and how necessary they are and yet how much the general public, perhaps does not think of or respect them anymore. So, I thought, The Maestro should be a character in this video. What fun.

The song for me, also represents a resurrection of Cleopatra. Don’t ask me why, it’s just what came to me. If she was forced into suicide and the world, still till this day, can’t remove her name from their lips, why wouldn’t the powers that be grant her a return? They want more!

And why not through Britney Spears?

This video was also dedicated to Britney Spears because it was the performance of this song at The VMAs that began a change in perception of her. People were unkind to her, someone who literally dedicated her entire life to entertaining the world. And like spoiled, ungrateful children, people said what they said. Britney deserves more respect. More. More. More Honor. More. More. And so, I decided to get on the stage of The Academy of Music and thank her for her contribution to Pop Music. To Honor her energy. To give her…

more

Heaven on earth
heaven on earth – more

today

today the car I called arrived on the other side of the street

my ego wanted to say, “hey! the address is across the street”

then I remembered, life is not about you. what is happening for this person? at least you have the car.

can i remember not to think of myself as so important in the future?

today a man was playing the trumpet in the park

i wondered about his life and how beautifully he played and all the time it took him to learn

so, i sat there and listened to every note he played, so grateful to be able to hear a piece of his life.

can I remember to always be so grateful and present?

today my friend interrupted me when I was speaking, and seemingly changed the subject

i thought, “this has nothing to do with what I am talking about, but whatever

then i realized that i am not the center of the universe and maybe he needs to speak and i need to hear what he is saying. be grateful you even have a friend in this world.

can i remember to listen as much as i speak and that every person i meet is my teacher?

today i was focusing on a particular part of culture that I like to avoid, that doesn’t resonate with me

i said, “i have to avoid people who think this way, because i don’t want to be like them”

then i remembered that another perspective is that i am grateful to have this awareness and that i would like to instead focusing on that gratitude and how i can contribute to the world and help others, instead of avoid them.

can i remember to get the fuck off my high horse and that, essentailly, I am no one?

today i remembered that i don’t know what my parents went through and that they treated me the way they did because they were hurt and they were doing their best

i thought, “i have no idea the pain they have and i am at least grateful that they provided me with a life that was privileged enough that i could focus on improving my state of mind and connect to my higher self

i remembered that i am standing on the shoulders of people who struggled and i was able to learn from their struggle, and the lessons i learned are their gift to me

can i remember that everyone is doing their best and to meet them with love and gratitude?

today i remembered to be grateful

yesterday

yesterday, I text my mother and said,

“I think if I were more of a conformist, you would celebrate me more”

how do you think she responded?

yesterday, I text my sister and…

she did not respond

how do you think i reacted?

yesterday, a boy text me,

hello” and I reciprocated and then he said nothing more

how do you think i felt about that?

yesterday, a photographer said,

“covid covid, covid, covid” and I said, “I’m not interested in talking about this.”

how do you think he thinks about me now?

yesterday, I had food delivered and,

I tipped over 100%

how do you think they spent the money?

yesterday, a boy asked me to hang out,

I said, “sure”, and then at 6pm, he just asked how my week was.

how do you think that came to be?

yesterday, I matched with someone on tinder and after 10 minutes they said,

would you like me to be your bottom? – I said, I don’t know – he then unmatched me

how do you think he thinks about that?

yesterday,

I did my best

how do you think that helped me?

THOUGHT HE HAD YOU (FUCKED UP)

THOUGHT HE HAD YOU FUCKED UP HEAVEN ON EARTH
THOUGHT HE HAD YOU FUCKED UP HEAVEN ON EARTH

WATCH THE PREMIERE ON YOUTUBE: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2020

CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE AND SET A REMINDER FOR THE PREMIER.

Heaven on Earth is a creative project by actor and performer, S. Cummings.When Quarantine began, it became clear that the choices and frame of mind chosen in these months, would influence a great deal of the future. It is for this reason that S. chose to do all the things he had previously wanted to do, including producing and recording music and filming music videos… all on his own.”THOUGHT HE HAD YOU (FUCKED UP)”  reminds us in moments where we feel that someone or some situation is our enemy, that we are the true gatekeepers of our perceptions and reactions, and that it is our responsibility and our responsibility alone to manage them. What power we hold!

CAPTURES FROM THE VIDEO

THOGHT HE HAD YOU FUCKED UP HEAVEN ON EARTH