… is Femme Letale

18 December 2013 | , ,

I have been going through a crisis. These things are sometimes necessary and I am not complaining. I am just taking the time to get better. As part of the therapy, I have been trying to simplify. This does not mean to reduce, or to get rid of stuff, or to do less. Instead, it has meant finding out what is important. Facebook is not important. It demands a coherent image of myself I cannot quite give. When I cannot give it, it results on a barrage of comments asking (dare I say demanding) answers. I feel better having shut those voices, at least for the time being.

Being a performer, I question whether the issue is that I try to present myself as myself when, in reality, it is but a performance, a role if you want. For weeks, since starting reading Kate Zambreno’s Heroines, I have toyed with the idea of autobiographical non-fiction novels, fictionalised autobiographical blogs and any combination of the above jumble of words. Difficult to explain, I know. I am trying to find the fiction in non-fiction, the performance in the everyday. In her website, Zambreno has a blog called Frances Farmer is My Sister, which part of her book is based on. I think it is easier to assimilate something when it has a name, when it has a title. This blog’s title is Laura Gonzalez–Blog. How lame is that? Thinking my burlesque name was part of the process of coming to terms with something and I think it made me a better dancer. When I am La Canelle, I am La Canelle. Un point c’est tout.

Years and years ago, I started a blog on Livejournal, under the name of Femme Letale. I still use that name on twitter, ebay, and other platforms where the rather boring lauragonzalez has already been taken. I am thinking about being Letale a little more of my time, perhaps even here.

Who is Femme Letale? Her beginnings go back to 1990, when Pedro Almodovar was filming ‘Tacones Lejanos‘. Diva Becky del Paramo has twisted problems. Judge Dominguín is investigating the death of her son-in-law, also her former lover. But Dominguín is not what he appears to be. By night, he mutates into a drag queen, singing Becky’s songs on playback and falling in love with her daughter. This drag queen’s artistic name is Femme Letale.


She is not a fatale or a fatality. She is lethal, a police officer, and enforcer. You do know that one of my favourite films ever is Die Hard, right? Letale ventriloquises Becky, she borrows her voice like I borrow many. Her choice is to perform. She is a gay icon, yet, not homosexual herself, complicated, incoherent in melodrama, which makes it all coherent. She overacts, but she also investigates. She can be hysterical when she wants, dress up, wear wigs. She is an introvert extrovert. Both. Yes, both. You can see how she can be therapeutic.

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