POSE S2 Episode 1: Acting Up
POSE S2 EPISODE 1: ACTING UP
“What are we doing here?!”
It’s POSE Season ✌🏾 of course.
The ballroom cultured hit series produced by Steven Canals and Ryan Murphy, returned to FX Networks, this week and once again they’ve opened with a ground shaking “time piece” in a period when life was loved ❣️, lost 🙏🏾 and left 💔 to celebrate 🎉.
Blanca and PrayTell travel the ⛴shores of 🗽NYC to an off shore location used as a burial site, which once housed a toll in deaths due to tuberculosis.
The search for a dearly departed black queer life. 😔
“I’m not settling for this Pray.”
Arriving to the construction site views of 🚜 backhoes (type of truck), dirt ⛰ piles and men covered head to toe in white suits fearful of becoming contaminated 😷. The AIDS virus had yet to have a cure and society had yet to care primarily the government 🏛. Noticed when handing over travel map to Blanca and Pray Tell how the desk clerk made mentions of keeping the death by virus (AIDS) individuals (infants to adults) away from the others burial grounds by being quarantine to stop potential contamination as she doesn’t know what this thing could do… and that they did not know of as the history the rapport isn’t perfect.
In the beginning the gay-related immune deficiency was known as GRID when first mentioned in a 1982 New York Times article. The use of the term would soon define stereotypical labels that of being a “gay cancer” or “gay plague” until GRID was renamed the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, in order to halt the marginalization of queers bodies in regard of health and illness.
Unnamed and marked queer bodies boxed ⚰️⚰️⚰️⚰️⚰️⚰️ like their favorite Barbie doll, but the looks aren’t ones of a Dreamgirl... only by number.
“What do we do?”
A weary 👩🏽🦱Blanca says looking to 👲🏾Pray Tell for a great solution to solve the problem.
He simply replies.
Faith without action is dead, as the action is set in place for Mother Evangelista and it’s time for a 🏥 check-up.
“Hey Blanca wanna come in? ”
Nurse 👩🏼🦰 Judy return (played by actress, Sandra Bernhard) brings a new refreshing insight to the series with her perspectives as a care taker and health professional working in the AIDS Crisis. Inviting Blanca in they began the updating process.
She informs Nurse of difficulties in 📅 scheduling an appointment and translating her lab work 📊 results.
Lab work💉 = Blood draw💉 and tested 🧫 for updates 🗂
“See there you go again speaking that clingon”
Nurse Judy shares the number of blood cells and T-Cell🧬 counts taken from her labs.
“What does that mean”
“So I have AIDS now”
Blanca has learned on the health numerical 🌡scale she has now been placed in the AIDS category due to the progression of the HIV virus spreading to enhance its enablers.
For individuals effected by the virus the goal is to increase the T-Cell numerical count.
“It’s the same thing every time”, Blanca realizes as life flashes before you, however, Nurse Judy’s solution to her denial:
“You either get busy living, or get busy dying and you have a lot to live for.”
She hands Blanca medicine taken from white rich queers, who have given to them medicines and other needs to the unfortunate or less-wealthy queers, after the death of their loved ones.
If wondering why?
The color and cost don’t add up to sufficient health care.
“Give me a smile.”
Angel is posing for the frames... Polaroid that is and serving it to the sounds of Madonna’s “Vogue” playing through the 📻📻📻 and hitting all airwaves 🎚 even to nail 💅🏽💅🏾💅🏿 salon where Ms. Blanca is rejuvenated for a revolution... a ballroom revolution!
🗣🎤 “The category is runway model effect”
The competitors hit the runway as the ladies hit the bar for cocktails 🍸🍹 and conversation. Blanca shares her excitement of what is coming for us, as the focal point is becoming the new dance craze: VOGUE
“Your vision must be ⛅️ cause shit ain’t gonna change for us”, Candy 👩🏾🍫 stands firmly.
“Show us your face baby”, demands Pray.
And shows us she did as Angel came down the runway in an animal 🐆 print dress 👗 with matching 🎩 and accessories 👛 plus tiddy shakes included! 😝
“I mean look”
As the fierce 👱🏽♀️👩🏾👩🏽🦱👩🏾 four look upon the crowd of voguing victors and a Grand 🏆 Prize for Angel Evangelista.
Side note: when Elektra mentions the Iconic Crystal LaBeija in regards to the film, The Queen (1968), in which she accuses the hostess of rigging the process for a white queen, Rachel Harlow.
This scene alone #EPIC
Don’t let RuPaul deny you of your #HERStory 😉
Got a 🚬
Need a Light 🔥
“Hey baby” Angel 👠pumps👠 to a 🚖 cab window. “Girl I thought we talked about this”, Blanca gags her at the local Pier hot spot.
“I like being my own boss”, Angel says as she isn’t built for a traditional 9-5 and not a model, after Blanca shares her reason for the pop-up.
“Yes you are!”
Mother B reminds her daughter of the bright 💡 inside.
The New York Sanctuary Service with tacky 💐 , flaming 🕯 and homos.
“Funerals are bullshit”, according to LuLu as Candy became such the songbird and saint wanting to have a head count before she dies including the abilities to defend herself. 👩🏾⚖️ “Give me my 💐 when I can smell 👃🏾 them”, LuLu insist however even HARD hoes sho’ have to show respect.
“What’s your head count”
Nurse and Pray exchanging funeral numbers, embrace the room to realize Funerals are new cruising spot with no morality and the Flamingo 🕺🏼 outfit and make up 🎨 were terrible choices on the honoree... and they were! #SendMyRespects #SueMeBitches
A death marked as so young to 790 funerals ⚰️⚰️⚰️ to go until toaster 🍞 the two leave together entering a room chants of 🗣 “Act Up, Fight Back, Fight AIDS!” The Act Up 👥👥👥 meeting highlights fundraiser 📈 goals and Sunday’s peacefully impactful protest at St. Patrick cathedral ⛪️ for a global 🌎 conversation on sexuality, HIV and AIDS. The stance would be against the Catholic Churches for their thoughts on condoms, HIV/AIDS and abstinence.
“Damn all these girls look the same”
An observant Papi says in a room full of pretty potentials and an original 🌟 of ballroom.
“You think I pass?” Angel questions her realness.
“You can do this on your own Angel... just be your self”, Blanca reassures her.
Walking 👠👠 Down
Red Velvet Ropes
Camera 📸 Snaps
“So what have we here... Angel, 22, the Bronx” says the 👩🏼💼 model scout head honcho.
“Instant camera... Impressive”, she says while viewing the Papi lead outtakes followed by, “Professional 💰 Pay dues before paying herself.”
Angel becomes discouraged about having the look and unfortunately not the loot!
Me: 🗣 GIMME DA LOOT‼️
“You can vogue like the new Madonna sing”, the woman asks of Angel as she embodies the dance moves in reply.
Semi-Finals… Here We Come!
“I did it, I made it to the next round!” she happily informs the fam.
🌙 Nightfalls and truth be told...
Isn’t Oregano and it’s Ragu 🍝 bitch”, as the family is all in toll at House of Evangelista.
We hear from an impatient yet loving Damon 🧑🏽that Ricky 🧑🏾 will be back 🏡 soon from touring with Al B. Sure.
“We are on the cusp of a revolution”, Blanca exclaims to the dinner 🍽 table, but Pray quickly shoots it down with memories the dying days of Disco and Studio 54 which resulted in Blacks and homo hating White boys down at the ⚾️ stadium 🏟 to blowing 🔥 them up.
Transrella✨ quickly showcased her Godmotherly skills once announcing to the table Angel is a Fresh faces semi finals. She even unbeknownst signed up Damon to start putting his dance talents to use in form of Vogue Dance Class. Blanca continues to stir her conversation of encouragement including the press wanting to invade the ballroom scene, but Pray paraphrasing this isn’t a scene it’s their lives.
“You’re late Elektra”
Strutting in to the facial disgust of Flea Field and Savage, Elektra is covered in the finest fashions 🧥👚👗👠👡👢 and furs.
Once questioned about her tardiness and income she insist Elektra doesn’t:
(or… COOK) 🥘
Blanca informs everyone of the protest on Sunday.
“I’m not posing for a mug shot”, Elektra replies before Blanca firmly says, “The ball is at the ⛪️ category is standing up... and all of y’all are going.”
Sunday is here and Blanca can’t work newly added clients. After an exchange with the nail 💅🏽 salon owner she suggest Blanca quit for not complying as she does. Leaving out the owner says how “Ladies like their 💅🏽 done by ladies”, but a very vocal Blanca let her know what time it is and when she returns it’ll be to buy out her business.
Entering the ⛪️ we are reminded to rejoice and mend ways in the love of God’s fellowship.
The House of Evangelista follows the rising crowd of Act Up members filling the cathedral.
Pray Tell walks row to row handing of packets of papers to pass 📃 along.
They walk down the aisle and lay down the long runways like bodies dumped in composite boxes.
“Can everyone here please stand and 🙏🏾”, request the Pastor, but Angel screams out “abstinence is the eraser of our sexuality” and more in hopes of the church opening their closed minds. “Stop killing us!”, chants filled the room while 👮🏼♂️👮🏻♀️ whistled to file in and carry them out. 🚔
Protest like these during this time we’re more prognostic in the call out on churches, communities and companies in their handling of sex, queer lives and health care.
“Clear the room!”
The photographer 🧑🏻 enters the room to see a model undiscovered. After formal introductions and quick talk he soon reveals, “I seen you at the piers”. A surprised Angel is stunned yet defiant in her confident response, “I do that stuff anymore”, asking what he would want in return due to cost of takes... Private Shoot for trade.
The Photo Shoot commences as 📷 click, click, flash. 📸
Black Bathing Suits
“3️⃣, 2️⃣, 1️⃣... Yes-yes!”
Awkward Silence strikes the room.
“What do you want?”, Angel asked the photographer
“Take that off”, He replies.
Angel looks around scared
Slowly undresses and covers 🤲🏾 herself as the gown drops down to her ankles.
Camera 📸 Snaps
Next... her panties
She refuse 🙅🏾♀️
And then he ask her again to and...
Unafraid he says “Touch it”
Referring to her private area
And she sadly complies
Camera 📸 Snaps in #FESTISH.
🗣🎤“Category is runway bring it like a French Revolution”
IJS this episode was nothing,
but RUNWAY the entire night,
so nobody wanted to walk other categories at the ball
“We have much to fight back against children!”, Pray Tell reiterates.
The Mothers of Ferocity hit the floor.
Candy 👩🏾🍫 and LuLu 👱🏽♀️🍭 serving us THREE things:
Pray Tell continues to read the ladies for filth from French baguette 🥖 and pitch fork to 🖐🏾🐟 and three loaves 🍞.
But Candy quick with responds, “Your 🐴 mouth 👄!”
After a back and forth battle of bitching the scores are:
“House of ferocity ain’t so ferocious!
Who’s gonna be next in here”, screams Pray Tell.
Ms. Elektra serving it up an in effect, as the one and only Marie Antoinette.
A 👸🏾 who does nothing for her kingdom 🏰.
Let them eat 🍰 with “the carrying”, as she bring forth a production, a story...
And off with her head ⚔️ 😵
Bravo! 👏🏾 Bravo! 👏🏾
Pray Tell takes reign of the glory, “I must admit that was very well done. Is that where you were...” , he continues to rip into Elektra for not setting an example as a leader and heroine 🦸🏽♀️ of the community 🏳️🌈.
“What’s your problem Pray Tell?” , she questions.
“Elektra Abundance Grand 🏆 Prize week before that week before that... here here take your 🏆”, he grabs the trophy and slams it on to the runway floor.
“Bitch you better get me a new 🏆 so I can shove it up your ass”, Elektra says.
“I’m a lay it out for you one time.”
Pray informs Elektra how the community needed her and she decided to work her shift... the night shift.
A bunch of fags holding 🤝 hands screaming into the wind💨 is surely not Elektra’s thing to do, but for the 111 that did including the House of Evangelista it what was right. Elektra feels it’s realities of the now and her personal desires that matter such as Trophies and Legendary Status over Governmental support.
and they don’t give a shit…
WAKE UP !!!
Pray Tell overwhelmed calls out and takes an early exit. Ballroom’s commentator, 🎤 Jack Mizrahi, himself, comes out and calls the rest of the categories.
🗣🎤 “Category is Runway… Bring it like the booked Black beauties in Vogue”
Runway sensation and ballroom’s youngest legend Diva Davanna blesses the screens as Grace Jones in her garbage bag sponsored by Glad effect. “Anybody else walking... the Imperial Ms. Angel.” Jack says to the entrance of the illuminous one.
Papi smiles at the scenery’s 💎.
Our girls are selling a fantasy in actual print as it’s another win in the bag for Angel. Taking her winning on the way to legendary the commentator personifies the Structure, Beauty and Poise, as she has all the makings of a cover girl.
The crowd cheers on
Angel looks unworthy...
Running 🏃🏽♀️ to stairs weeping
Papi and Blanca come to comfort
“What’s going on mama?”
“I’m never gonna be a real model”
She cries out to the two before revealing a heavy truth next.
“I gotta tell y’all something. The photographer clocked her from The Pier.”
Heavy breaths fill the room with Angel sharing that due to her lack of financial gain she had in exchange took explicit photos. Papi is ANGRY!
“He saw everything! Dirty transsexual for the rest of my life.” screaming out in disappointment.
“Hell no!”, says a mother who won’t allow her daughter to suffer.
“Where are the negatives?”
Papi and Blanca have Angel lead them to the photographer to 💥🥊handle the much business to retrieve those photos.
“You don’t know what it took for me to get here. I want a shot a real shot!”
Angel speaks out in clarity.
“Absolutely beautiful”, says the Model Head Huncho
We are all... exhales
Floor scrubs 🧽
And a sneaky Angel
Creeping up on Blanca
“Ain’t no dirt on that floor!”
She reminds Blanca who’s been cleaning 🧹🧼 to keep herself busy since quitting.
“Dream💭 small or not at all… die with dignity intact.”
Blanca reveals her T-Cell count is low and she’s been feeling morbid.
“How low?” Angel asks.
Backs to 🧽 Blanca goes without response.
Angel takes off 🧤 and puts hands on face to announce Top Ten.
It’s 8️⃣:0️⃣0️⃣ PM 🕗
Dinner 🍴 time
Gathering around the table to cheers Angel for the ride of her life followed by kudos 👏🏾 to Blanca referring to her as a fortune teller. #DionneWarwick. Small talks of Sue Simmons, Reporters and Drag queen with 5 O’Clock shadows are quickly interrupted.
“Why is it so hard for you to be nice”
Elektra wonders while being questioned by Mother B, Pray and House members about her access and recent Queen of the Nile looks.
“I don’t owe you an explanation… I am not a slim 🐀 like the rest of you whores!”
Frustrated, Fierce and Fucking over it!
Pushing the table Elektra quits the House of E leaving with a threat to eat Blanca alive on the floor.
NEXT STOP... FEROCITY!
“How is everybody feeling tonight?!”
Dip (🗣 ITS NOT A FUCKIN DEATHDROP)
Pray Tell gives the History of Vogue with story of Paris fashion and Black-Brown Queer liberation in the expression of a art form: dance. The Vogue dance section was spearheaded by one of the original Madonna Vogue dancers, Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza.
And the CROWD goes crazy!
“I told you everything is changing this is just the beginning”, Blanca projects.
The episode ends with a simple message:
Silence = DEATH
-ACT UP ♦️
The new season of Pose, I believe is going to transition through a time and period when ballroom and livelihoods collide in ways never seen before unless you lived the life of the black and brown queer lives. I sense already the many discussions and multiple topics able to unfold in health, drug abuse, sexual encounters, fraud, equality and more. I don’t want to give all my thoughts in one episode on how things may play out, so until we meet again in the back of the runway…