At My Place

The story behind the TV Times quote.

This happened while Anna and I were living in Hong Kong.  I was recommended by a friend to a professional photographer, Jeff Le Clare, who was about to launch a new late night private members meeting place/bar/bistro in the Lan Kwai Fong area of the island.

Jeff was looking for something different and at that time close-up magic was very different (I was the only person in the whole of Hong Kong performing close-up for a living). 

His establishment was called My Place and all members received a key with a key fob engraved with 'My Place', the advertising campaign was built around inviting people to meet at 'My Place'.

Inside it was state-of-the-art techno design, there were monitors behind the bar with consoles on the bar so that members could enjoy a drink while playing their favourite video game (this would have been about 1988).  The idea was to encourage people to interact with each other and encourage strangers to chat while playing against each other.  All in all it was a very vibrant and exciting place.

I was engaged to perform close-up then to do a cabaret act at about 1.30 am on the opening night.

By no-one had shown up, not even the press and Jeff made a decision to go next door to a well known gay disco and invite people in.

They came in, in droves, and soon it was alive with chatter mixed with the unmistakable sound of drinks being ordered.  I got stuck in immediately with some close-up and it was a blast, these people were out to enjoy themselves!!!

At first they weren't too sure what to make of my cabaret act, things were going alright then I spotted a couple of guys holding hands across a table; it was one of those moments when you get an idea and just run with it.  The tables were so close to the small stage that I was able to step off onto a table and I walked across the tables until I got to the table with the couple of guys I'd spotted.  I very politely said "stop holding hands, this is a family show" - there was stunned silence then everyone started to laugh which is what I was expecting to happen.

Once I was back on stage I was camping it up for all it was worth and I hadn't realized how camp my act could be.  I was doing a thumb tie and got in lots of references to fetishes and sado masochism and by the time I got into my straight jacket escape I was almost deified.

If I hadn't taken a chance and walked across the tables I may not have been able to get the full attention of a very boisterous crowd who were already drunk and high before they came through the door.

I went back a few times during the week to do some close-up work when suddenly it was closed down (I never did discover why), I had a great time but never got a penny for my hard work - such is life!!!

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