Report Back: Summer Nights at Amuse

We had our first social of 2018 at Amuse Cafe in Linden on Tuesday night… and what a night it was. For those who couldn’t make it, here is some information to fuel your regret.

The night was billed as a Summer Nights Social. The idea was to provide gender non-conforming people in Gauteng, regardless of how they identify, with an opportunity to meet up, chat and generally just socialise in an informal, friendly and accepting environment. My good friend Anna from the Emporium of Delights and All Things Nice kindly agreed to bring some of her costume jewellery stock with her, so there was something to do if the conversation got a bit boring.

We had started advertising the event just over a month ago and there had been quite a bit of interest in the event, but you never know how many people will turn up on the night. I was expecting somewhere between 10 and 15 people based on the interest levels we had, but we have had events where we were expecting 20 people and only a handful arrive, and we have had events where we were only expecting five people and then 15 arrive on the night. I was therefore very pleased that in the end 13 people arrived over the course of the evening. This is a very good turnout for a weeknight and we were very happy. A big thank you to everyone who turned out to support us. Organising these events takes a fair bit of effort and we literally make nothing out of the event, so events that are poorly supported can be very soul destroying. When we get a decent turn out, my heart literally sings.

As usual, I had some dressing ‘challenges’ of my own to overcome (you can read all about them in a few days’ time at Daniella’s Ramblings if you so wish). I was somewhat unsure what to wear. Should I be casual (Amuse is a fairly casual venue) or should I glam it up? Or what? I settled on a pair of skinny jeans, my new off the shoulder pink top, beige cowboy boots and some accessories. Luckily Irene had some spare time and was able to do my makeup for me. I think she did a fantastic job.

 

HPIM0009cropped

After dressing, makeup and a few errands (for more details please read my personal blog), I arrived at the venue just before 6 as I wanted to make sure that I was on time and be able to assist Dirck (from Amuse) with information (or anything else) should he need it. I was sitting at the table Dirck had reserved for us (thanks Dirck), sipping a coke and responding to WhatsApp’s when someone walking past asked me (very politely), ‘excuse me, but are you Daniella?’ I looked up and saw someone, a good looking young man to be sure, standing in front of me. I had no idea who they were. I looked blankly at him and said that indeed I was. He could see that I was at a complete loss and said, ‘you may know me as Heidi’. OMG it was my Facebook friend and local drag queen Heidi van Kleef. I had only met Heidi in real life once before, at a show of hers and I had never seen her without her glitter, hair and heels before. The presence of a beard also threw me off the scent to be fair. We were able to spend some time catching up on the outdoor veranda (it was a very pleasant late summer evening) and actually talking to one another in person. It was lovely.

Soon some guests started to arrive. Heidi had been asked by Dirck to stand in as host(ess?) for the evening as he had to attend an urgent meeting. Anna was the first to arrive and she joined us, and we celebrated Heidi’s recent promotion at her day job with her. Then Nicole arrived. Anna, who lives so far in the East of Johannesburg that we have to check the time zones before phoning her, had never been to Amuse before. She seemed quite taken by the charm of the place. Then she noticed the sculpture of the naked male torso. She felt compelled to touch it and I managed to get photographic evidence before dragging her away from it.

 

HPIM0022
Anna fondling the art work.

Clearly it was time to move in doors… Claire, Liza, Grizelda and Irene all arrived in quick succession and soon we were all happily chatting away. The service was good as always and our throats were soon lubricated. After a long day hard at work most people were hungry, and I think almost everyone ordered something to eat. The food was up to the usual standard and one of the things I really like about Amuse is the portion size. Many restaurants charge a lot more for a plate of food and they seem compelled to compensate by giving you far too much to eat. Amuse follows a less aggressive pricing strategy and their portion sizes are smaller, but I find this preferable. It is a far more ‘European’ model (as opposed to what I have seen at North American restaurants) and I think it sets Amuse apart. It also makes an evening out far more affordable.

After everyone was finished Anna opened her box of tricks and a number of people sampled her range of accessories that were on offer. It seems she was happy enough with the amount of stock she sold, so thanks to everyone who supported her.

I really enjoyed myself and it was fantastic to meet so many people new to the scene in Johannesburg. And of course, it was fantastic to catch up with old friends and talk with people who we seldom get to interact with face to face. I particularly enjoyed meeting Michelle in person. We have been on line friends for a very long time but had never met in person before and seeing all the other new faces made me very happy too.

I hope everyone had as much (or more) fun as me. As to all of you who would like to come to one of our events but have not been able to, all I can say is that you are missing out. There is no need to come en femme if you are too scared (although there is no reason to be scared) and nobody will judge you for what you wear. We would love to meet you all in a fun, relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Hope to see you at the next one (watch this space for details).

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who came out and I hope to see you all again soon. Thank you to Anna for providing us all with an opportunity to acquire more bling and of course thank you to Dirck and the rest of the Amuse team for being professional and so welcoming to our little community. Finally, a big thank you to Irene who did people’s makeup on the night, was such a good hostess and who helps and supports me so much!

 

Advertisements

Priscilla’s Evening Out: Summer 2018 Details

Hi Everybody

Please see below details for the Social to be held on 27 February 2018.

Where: Amuse Cafe 34 5th Street Linden
Time: 7 pm to 10 pm
Date: 27 February 2018
Entry: FREE
Dress: As you feel comfortable… en femme, en homme, glam or casual… You will be welcome and accepted.
What: A casual and friendly evening. Amuse has a kitchen serving a selection of light meals including vegetarian options and has a fully stocked and licensed bar. My good friend Anna will be there with a selection of accessories, jewellery etc from her Emporium of Delights and All Things Nice. So come hungry, thirsty and with some cash to purchase a ring, earrings or that pendant that is to die for!

Whether you are a casual crossdresser who does this once in a while for kicks, or a transgender person looking for a friendly ear and some insights, please come along for the evening, have a meal, a drink and a natter… we do these things simply for you to meet up, find a friend or two and generally meet like minded people in a safe, accepting and friendly environment.

There is no need to pre-book and as the event is FREE there is no need to pay, but it would be nice to know if you are planning on attending, so please drop us a line on the contact us page.
Please remember that if you want a place to dress before the evening, need help with makeup, wardrobe etc Irene is available to assist, but please do book early!
We hope to see you all there.
For more details, or if you have any questions, concerns or queries, please feel free to contact us and we will gladly assist you in any way we can.

emprium
Anna’s Emporium of Delights and All Things Nice https://www.facebook.com/groups/344227055996103/

 

 

Happy Clients Make Us Happy

We were recently  privileged to host Liza in our studio. Liza is an out of town girl who sometimes travels to Johannesburg on  business. She likes to take advantage of the time in a different city to get out and about en femme as much as possible. She has all her own clothes and is an accomplished applier of her own makeup. She really only needs a friendly place to sleep where if she is spotted she will not feel judged or unsafe. She has therefore only ever used us for accommodation in the past as she has little need of our other crossdressing services.

She was visiting us last week and we were, as ever, very happy to host her. She mentioned that now that she is a more mature lady it was taking her longer to get ready as she has to work harder on her makeup. I reminded her that Irene was on site and would be happy to assist.

As her schedule was tight she said she would give it a go as at the very least getting the makeup done would reduce her time taken to get ready thus allowing more time for fun. Irene obliged and we were very happy to see just how good Liza looked and more importantly how happy Liza was with the result.

I would say Irene took 15 to 20 years off her and in half the time it would take Liza to apply the makeup on her own. She looks really feminine and happy.

Liza said : ‘Irene of Pricilla’s Services in Jhb worked this magic with her amazing make over! She turned an aging trannie into an attractive woman with the brush work of an angel Thank you sooooooo much!!!!’

We always feel so privileged when we have helped one of our clients to feel like the beautiful woman that we always knew was hidden away inside. Look forward to seeing you again soon Liza, hopefully we  can synchronise diaries better so that we can join you for some time out and about next time.

August Newsletter

Hi Everyone

Oops! We seem to have missed the July newsletter and we are already into the last third of August and I am only now writing the August newsletter. As you may have guessed we have been rather busy.

As usual I would like to welcome all our new Priscilla’s clients and of course thank all of our existing and loyal clients for their ongoing support. We are really enjoying getting to know you all so well.

We had a very successful vintage clothing evening at The OPC and I hope all of you who came along share our sentiments. A big thank you to you all for your support of Priscilla’s and The OPC. Of course, a big thank you to Llewellyn, Zoe and Lesley for their amazing hospitality and service as well. You were all amazing. If you want a full review of the evening, you can read it here.

We are thinking of doing similar events at The OPC on a more regular basis, perhaps with themes. The next one we are planning is in September (once it is a bit warmer) and we were thinking that you may want to replenish your spring wardrobes? Please let us know what days you would prefer. We were then thinking a Christmas themed event (in November) could also be fun. We would love to hear your thoughts.

We noticed that there was some confusion regarding the cost of our services, especially in relation to a full transformation. We have therefore introduced an all-inclusive transformation package that should simplify things for you. Also, please note that you do NOT have to be a member/pay for a package to benefit from our services. All services are available on an ad hoc basis and you are more than welcome to use them as such. The membership packages do however offer fantastic value for money should you wish to use the services regularly.

Our storage facility is filling up rapidly so I would suggest that anyone wanting storage should contact us soon to avoid disappointment. We have been able to scale up the available space in recent months, but space is not limitless and we are starting to get very full now.

We were very excited to book our first international client in July. She came all the way from Europe and enjoyed our transformation package as well as an accompanied outing to Beefcakes. Unfortunately for her, Irene was away on holiday and she was therefore stuck with me. We would like to thank the very talented Carla for assisting us by coming and doing makeup for us. My skills are simply not up to the job and I was relieved to have a professional who was willing and able to assist me.

In addition to the planned events at The OPC in September and November, why not consider joining us for one of Amuse Cafe’s weekly quiz nights. I went along to one in mid-July and it was really a lot of fun. I was on my own and Dirck was obviously an impeccable host, but the rest of the crowd were all super friendly, accepting and fun. I had a ball! I have even laid the ground work by starting a new team, the Freudian Slips, so we are all ready for an influx of transgender know it alls. Now all we need is YOU!

I would also like to remind you all about Slutwalk. Slutwalk is an international movement that takes place annually in each city. The purpose is to protest sexual assault, victim blaming and challenge the notion that anyone can ever be ‘asking for it’. It promotes safety, women’s rights and consensual sex. Those of us who have never been out and about en femme may not know this, but it can be scary out there. I have taken to carrying pepper spray with me when I am out because I have just had far too many close calls. I am therefore a big fan of Slutwalk and hope that some of you may want to join us (whether en femme or en homme) this year. The event is on 16 September and takes place in Greenside. Anyone wanting more information can contact the organisers via their Facebook page or you can of course contact us at any time or for any reason.

Some sad news, pone of our regular haunts (Trouble Bar) has had to close. I believe there is still a bar in the same premises, but please note that this is no longer Trouble and I cannot vouch for your safety should you go there. There is some good news though. The owners of Trouble have started a new venture in Fourways. The club/bar is called The Frat House and it is open every Friday and Saturday night. As it is run by the same people that ran Trouble you will be welcome and as safe as you can be in a public place. I have not yet managed to get there so I cannot tell you much more about it, but as soon as I do, I will review it.

In exciting news, Daniella has been rather busy of late. Her blog Daniella’s Ramblings was named one of the ‘Top 100 Transgender Blogs on the Web’ in August, by Feedspot. You can see the full list here. Daniella’s Ramblings came in at number 57 if you want to save time scrolling. Daniella was also interviewed by Huffington Post. So, as you can see we really have been rather busy!

Finally, don’t forget that Halloween is just around the corner. Halloween is an excellent opportunity to get out en femme in a safe manner. If any of you are planning on going to a party please remember you can make use of our facilities. We have some Halloween type costumes for hire. Our range is limited, so you may want to buy/hire a costume elsewhere and come to us for all those other accessories (wigs, shoes, jewellery etc) that are much harder to come by and explain. Also, we would be happy to help with your makeup and of course give you a safe place to dress if that is required. Feel free to contact us for more information or even to make a booking.

Looking forward to hearing from you all and please let us know if there is anything we can help you with. We are here to make your lives easier, safer and happier.

Regards

The Priscilla’s Team

January Newsletter

Hi Everyone

Happy new Year! We hope that your holidays were restful and not too eventful (ours were eventful enough with snakebites and monkey attacks), we also trust that 2016 ended well and that 2017 is being kind to you all.
If it is, then a celebration is in order. You should treat yourself to an experience at Priscilla’s Services?
If things are not going as well as you would like, then you should have a little holiday from your problems. Book yourself a Priscilla’s Experience! You will find yourself recharged, exhilarated and ready to deal with life’s little tribulations.

The big news is that we started renovating the venue in December. Work stopped for the Christmas break but has now resumed and the venue is well on its way to being ready and we hope to be ready for you by some time in February.

The venue consists of a dressing room, which can also double as a lounge area, an en suite bathroom (shower, toilet basin) and a small kitchenette where you can make a pot of coffee, enjoy a light meal etc. The venue is therefore perfect for all your needs. You can dress and go out, dress and stay in or even do a bit of both if you like.
We have moved some of the doors and windows around so you will have privacy.
The venue also has WiFi and cell phone coverage.Irene is busy selecting the fittings and we are already considering the decorations. So things are moving along swiftly.

Due to the Christmas exodus from Gauteng, we did not organise any socials in December. January is already nearly half way through, so I doubt we will be able to get anything ready for January, but I am sure we could get something happening in February. Please let us know what you would be interested in doing? Maybe a visit to a restaurant for a meal? A trip to the movies? A Saturday night party  at Trouble? Taking in some local music at Amuse or maybe an evening of wine and song at one of Trouble’s karaoke nights? Or maybe something entirely different? Please let us know.

At the end of last year we thought it would be a good idea to have a ball. No, literally a ball as in ball gowns, canapes, dancing… You know a ball! Other countries have some pretty amazing, big annual ‘events’ for the transgender community. In the UK there is the Sparkle weekend and the Sparkle ball. The USA has many different events, conventions, balls and other social occasions for the transgender community. The Detroit Invasion which is organised by my Good friend Samantha is one such event. In South Africa we lack these big national level events. Our socials tend to be small scale, local affairs. It would be fabulous to meet people from all over South Africa, form relationships with people beyond our little world and also start increasing the profile of our sometimes fractured community. What do you all think? Would a big ball be something you would be interested in?
We are aiming for September/October. We could arrange for a block hotel booking, arrange transport etc for out-of-towners (and any locals who want to make use of that as well). The venue we choose will depend on the up take, but I think this could be quite an exciting event, glamorous gowns, fabulous decor, delicious eats, gorgeous cocktails. I am getting excited. It would be especially cool if we could make it an annual event! Please let us know what you think.

We have not had any feedback regarding the idea of a mass outing to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert when it comes to Johannesburg in April. Is this perhaps just too public an event for everyone? Please let us know.

As previously noted, storage/rental fees have increased from R250 per month to R350 per month. and we are now offering membership packages in addition to the ad hoc services we offer. These packages offer considerable value. We are pleased to offer an ‘early bird’ special. If you sign up and pay in advance for a package before 31 January 2017 you will get your first month’s membership free. Please see below a selection of membership packages on offer:
Package: Meryl Streep
Benefits
1 x photography session every second month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
5% off all other Priscilla’s services offered and
1 x shopping service every second month or
1 x makeover every second month
Value: R787.50
Monthly Fee: R335.00
You Save: R452.50

Package: Sharon Stone
Benefits:
1 x locker per month for storage and
1 x photography session every second month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
5% off all other Priscilla’s services offered and
1 x shopping service every second month or
1 x makeover every second month
Value: R1 137.50
Monthly Fee: R480.00
You Save: R657.50

Package: Julia Roberts
Benefits:
1 x photography session every month and
1 x makeover every month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
5% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R1 150.00
Monthly Fee: R490.00
You Save: R660.00

Package: Sophia Loren
Benefits:
1 x locker per month for storage and
1 x photography session every month and
1 x makeover every month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
7% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R1 500.00
Monthly Fee: R645.00
You Save: R855.00

Package: Marilyn Monroe
Benefits:
1 x locker per month for storage and
1 x photography session every month and
1 x makeover every month and
1 x shopping service every second month and
25% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
10% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R1 875.00
Monthly Fee: R800.00
You Save: R1 075.00

Package: Grace Kelly
Benefits:
2 x lockers per month for storage and
2 x photography sessions every month and
1 x makeover every month and
1 x shopping service every month and
100% off entry to all Priscilla’s events that are charged at less than R150 and
12% off all other Priscilla’s services offered
Value: R3 850.00
Monthly Fee: R1 650.00
You Save: R2 200.00

Please check the pricing page on the website for more details.

Now that Irene is at your full disposal, it should be easier to arrange bookings. Especially once our venue is fully operational, but don’t let that stop you, we have contingency plans in place and can assist you with your needs at any time. On that note, we have received a lot of feedback at how excited everyone is about our service and that is wonderful, but now that Irene is full time at Priscilla’s Services, we really would appreciate a little more revenue (we have bills to pay), so please do not hesitate to make some bookings!

We value your support and want to help you in any way we can.

All the best,

Priscilla’s Services

 

Karaoke!

We have finalised a date for the planned karaoke evening at Trouble.

The details are as follows:
Wednesday 30 November 7-30 pm to late.
Trouble Bar 4299 Knoppiesdoring Road Randpark Ridge (that is the entrance, but the bar overlooks Beyers Naude). It is a block north of Lifestyle Nursery on Beyers Naude and is thus easily reached from the highway.
Entry fee is R75 which gets you a complimentary drink (on presentation of the ticket) and additional discounts. Contact us for details re tickets.

Priscilla’s staff will of course be available to assist those of you who may need help with shopping, makeup etc before heading out to Trouble. Please book any services you may need.
Please check out our latest newsletter for details regarding membership options as well.

There is a Facebook event that you can take  a look at as well.

In the interests of transparency, please note that access to Trouble is FREE the R75 ticket charge is a fee that is being levied by Priscilla’s, NOT Trouble. This is being done to defray some of the expenses that we at Priscilla’s Services incur when organising these events for you our valued Priscilla’s clients. Frankly if we do not make some money out of these events it is simply not worth our while to organise them and then we all lose. We have therefore charged a smallish fee and are giving value back in an effort to make this financially worthwhile for us and to ensure that we can continue to offer these events that so many of you quite clearly want.
Anyone is welcome to attend the karaoke evening at Trouble (whether a Priscilla’s client or not) and as I noted there is no cover charge at Trouble this is a Priscilla’s fee. So you can attend the karaoke evening as a guest of Priscilla’s and pay or attend on your own and not pay a cent other than the drinks you consume. This is your choice.

So why should you pay the fee, I hear you all ask?
Well, we are offering a complimentary drink as well as additional discounts on the Priscilla’s services you may use going forward which equates to the same value as the cost of the ticket on the evening.  If you would rather not pay the fee, that is your choice, but then you do not get the value that we are creating through the ticketing process.

The ticketing system is also a way of us confirming numbers, seeing that people who say they are attending actually attend and ensuring that this becomes a financially worthwhile exercise for us.

Sorry for the long justification but it seems some people out there think we are trying to extort money from people. This is not our intention at all. We are simply finding ways of making this economically viable for us and meeting the needs of our clients.

Looking forward to seeing you all at Trouble on 30 November.

Reminder Cocktails and Dresses

This is a reminder about the Cocktail Party on 22 October at Mantopia.
The venue opens at 7 pm but the party starts at 8 pm until late.
The venue is at 128 Richards Drive, Allendale Junction, Midrand.
We (Priscilla’s) will be available for makeup/makeovers and help with dressing, either at the venue (there are private rooms for you to dress in) or off site (allowing you to arrive at the club en femme)

Please note that this is at a closed club and it is by invitation only so there is no chance of bumping into anyone who is not themselves a crossdresser/transgender or the partner of a CD/TG person. This means your privacy and security are guaranteed.
This is therefore the perfect opportunity for the shyer members of our community to get out there and socialise with other people.

The entry fee of R250 gets you in and includes the snacks that will be on offer.
Use PS Mantopia to get a 10% discount.
You can pay at the door.
There is a cash bar and dancing may happen. Be warned!

Please feel free to check out the Facebook ‘event’ page that we have created. It would be good to RSVP there as well if you can (privacy etc notwithstanding).

Please remember to pre-book with us if you want to make use of makeup or other services so that we can plan ahead.

We have already received a number of bookings so please let us know if you want to come along and join in the fun.

Looking forward to seeing you all!