Bearded Lady

FONT’s first Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel 

Music By Sophia Lucia of Freak Show Cabaret
Art by Bethy Williams
Text By Dia VanGunten

Hey, Lovers! Welcome to “For Our Next Trick.” In the first Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel of 2023, we enjoy a song by a reader, by a contributor, and that feels right. Ya know? In the spirit of Cream Scene, the gospel is taking this opportunity to celebrate our growing community. 

Bearded Lady

A Song By Sophia Lucia of Freak Show Cabaret

In this issue, in coming issues, we will explore the artistic experience. Who are we? Where are we? What can we do to better the world? Consider this a call to arms: create, communicate, imagine, reimagine, build, destruct. We are masters of deconstruction, uniquely suited to revision, so we must surface from our hidey holes. We must use our talents and find meaning. These gospels have recently been focused on art, on community, on revolution. Because that’s what we’re doing here, right? We’re rabble rousing. We’re erecting tents and doing the old song and dance. It is our purpose, within society, to make a scene. 

In a series of photos by Sophia Lucia, we glimpsed the tension that is a distinct element of the artistic experience. The world moves through us, but we are both conduits and outsiders, we are seers, we are seen. As artists, each of us is our own one-suitcase circus

Once upon a time, Cream Scene was just me, a one-woman show. The approach we’re taking here is based on my old game of pretend. Here’s my little art feature, and here’s my little TV piece, and here’s the weirdly long article about baby Jesus butt plugs that’ll be sure to get me fired from a real job. Oh! Do I have an obligatory confessional where I embarrass myself, don’t forget that, the readers love that. And definitely don’t forget the Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel.

For several years there, this weekly gospel got the best of me, even before people tuned in. It was cathartic to write about spirit and music, love, punk, and how it all intersects. Let’s be honest, it was cathartic to write at all, because I was having a colossal snit. I was hidey holing. I had bailed on my lit career and I was avoiding fiction, which means that I was actively suppressing myself as an artist. It was a mess and I don’t recommend it.

On the subject of shamanism, Arnold Mindell said that the shaman who refuses the calling is beset with chaos and illness. They stub their toes. Their cat goes missing. They drop their dinner and fight with neighbors.

The shirking shaman is a real shit show.


Woe to the artist who neglects their vision. Maybe they’ll make a buck, out there in the real world, but they’re paying an enormous tax. The energy it would take to make the art, that’s still an expenditure, yet it’s a total loss. It’s gonna eat your time, wreck your heart or make you feel things, but you won’t have any art to show for it. You’ll just be a boat with a hole in the hull, taking on water. 

“And what do you doooooo?”
“Wells, when I twirl my beard, I make ’em wiggle-giggle and they gimme gin. “
“They give you what now?”
“Nuttin. I am a pretend magazine, m’am.”

The mag’s not so pretend any more, yet, here I am, running my mouth, still talking about bearded ladies and circus characters, wigglin’ and gigglin’. And here you are: creators from 20+ countries, 13 team members, a growing readership, and an energized community. 

If I know anything about energy, it’s that you gotta use it or lose it. Wield it like a tool and hone it like a craft. Befriend it and tame it, or it goes rogue.

Since it seems we’re doing this thing – together – I’ve decided to open up The Punk Rock Gospel for guest gospels. I know someone has some hope and music to share, some heart to impart. Go deep: tell us who you are and why you love the song you’ve chosen. Tell us why WE should love it.

What does it all mean, Mr. Natural?

Here, I’ll go first…I offer this Hirsute Lady artwork by Bethy Williams and this Bearded Lady song by Sophia Lucia, because I like both of these pieces a whole damn lot. Plus, these two artists are part of this circus and I like us. A whole damn lot. And I’m always a sucker for the bearded lady. 

This one, aww, look at her botanical print maxi dress, look at her folded hands. She wants to tell you about the coupon for electrolysis, which she burns. She doesn’t need it, because she has found a circus where she can be herself. She advances her craft. She attends to the details. She works hard. It’s nothing to respectable society, but she’s got no respect for respectable society.

She doesn’t make much, but she make’s em wiggle giggle, and that’s the gin. The energy of creation. The satisfaction. The sweet high of doing it. C’mon. You know you crave that buzz: the cathartic rush of letting the artist surface. 

an unleashed werewolf of love.

Sophia Lucia is ‘Freak Show Cabaret,” a one-woman variety show of theatre, poetry, dance, performance art, music, and miscellaneous. 

Thank you for tuning in
We are open to submissions for guest hosts of the Punk Rock Gospel, especially for Mayday, which has a strong uprising theme. See Positions if you’d like to join the circus in any other capacity, making no money, but plenty of gin.
See more of Sophia Lucia in Suitcase Circus

About Sophia Lucia

Sophia Lucia is an experimental writer, performer, and musician. She is based out of Chicago & Paris. She makes conversational and surrealistic Punk-Cabaret/Rock & Roll Americana music. She writes and produces a one-woman show entitled, ‘Freak Show Cabaret!’ which is a variety show of theatre, poetry, dance, performance art, music, and miscellaneous etcetera. 

About Bethy Williams

Bethy Williams is an artist, an autodidact, an arrangement of information in spacetime, and a native and permanent resident of the Milky Way galaxy. She is the creator of the ongoing webcomic The Adventures of Siân and Errol (And Other Stories). She lives and works in Wilton, New Hampshire.

About Dia VanGunten

Dia VanGunten is a writer, the OG Carnie and Editor-in-Chief of Cream Scene Carnival..

2 responses to “Bearded Lady”

  1. […] Suitcase Circus, a second series by Sophia Lucia & Dorothee Sarah; or Bearded Lady, a punk gospel featuring Lucia’s song (Freak Show […]

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