Kelindah Schuster is a performance artist, radical educator, community-connector, and maker of queer theater who grew up in Singapore and Indonesia and is ever-reckoning with belonging as a white transplant in Brooklyn. They perform in queer nightlife around NYC as their nonbinary drag/neoburlesque character “Theydy bedbug.” Theydy fuses clowning, puppetry, poetry, and acrobatics to explode gendered stereotypes and unsettle the limits of identity. Kelindah teaches drag, drama, and visual art at Brooklyn Arts Exchange and trusts that art education makes space for problem-solving, imagining anew, and expressing differences with joyful authenticity. Kelindah and Theydy both believe that by empowering consent language, destigmatizing sex work, and detangling our internal and imposed conceptions of gender identity in performative art and sensual spiritual practice, we awaken accountability and heal communal wounds.
Drag Your Gender
Femininity and masculinity belong to no one, and yet binary notions of gender are imposed on us immediately, frequently, violently. What happens when we relinquish their grip, and explore the spectrum of gender variance with playfulness, celebrating that which we have access to, performing that which we desire? In the childful joy of free expression we strive for collective liberation. Using ensemble games, clowning, lip sync, and comedic caricature, we imagine a world in which gender is a playground. Through introspective writing exercises, we notice how gender shows up organically in our bodies, to contrast the ways in which it is systematically imposed on us externally. Through embodied movement, collaborative choreography, and sensual clothing removal, we highlight our unique sensuality. We experiment with performative eye contact as connection to the audience and connection to the self as a genderful, and/or gender neutral being. We will not explore the role of makeup, hair, nor costume in-depth beyond what we’ve brought and what we are already wearing. We will not discuss mainstream drag culture at length, or the long history of drag, other than to frame us and acknowledge the roots we stand on and the branches we reach to.
Sensory Wax Play
Candles are a powerful spiritual tool that have deep potential for corporeal healing when used in personal practice and partnered play. In this session, participants will learn the basics of sensual wax play practices regarding safety, consent, and connection. We will focus on how candles can be used for somatic healing, affirmation, and intention-setting, as well as foreplay with partners. We will explore both receiving and giving, and expressing needs, desires, and limits around wax. We will also practice removal of wax through massage and edge play with metal instruments. I believe consent is inherently sexy, and offer demonstrations on connecting with your wax bottom, interpreting physical cues, name-calling, grounding your bottom, basic breath work, making space for trauma and holding space for the spiritual intentions of your bottom. Depending on the group’s desire, we may touch on combining candles with other forms of impact play such as spanking, edge/knife play (no blood), scratching, squeezing. If the group is more interested in the artistry of wax play than the sexual potential, then we can explore how performative play can build human wax sculptures.