Surprisingly for an art event in Baltimore, the bar was packed almost exclusively with strangers. I ended up paired with one of them, John Shepard, a photographer who recently moved in to the city from the suburbs. Unfortunately for John, I came into the project with a pretty clear idea of how I wanted to dress for my portrait: in drag, as the geisha lady on the billboard from “Blade Runner” (I am obsessed with that film, and I have a weird love of video billboards because they will forever remind me of that scene). After our first attempt at fulfilling this fantasy at John’s house, he confessed, “I had absolutely no idea how difficult shooting men in drag and/or clown makeup could be.” I probably should have warned him that close-up flash photography is not a good look when someone has two inches of grease paint matted over stubble and drawn-on cheekbones. But because John has the patience of a saint, we ended up re-shooting with less-harsh lighting a few weeks later. All the makeup in the world can’t make my boxy face (in drag slang: a brick) into a geisha supermodel, but our second round of photos at least came out just creepy and not flat-out terrifying. We even made an extremely creepy GIF of me eating candy, but that sadly can only be played during road closures for legal/safety reasons (true story).