AND NOW FOR SOMETHING
Photos by me
“Sharai oozes sexy.” A guy friend of mine shouted this statement to me, matter-of-fact, over the noise of an art auction this past winter in Vancouver. He stopped a passing waitress, grabbed a shot from her tray and pointed his chin towards Sharai while he swallowed. She was prancing through a crowd of Vancouver suits in animal-print stilettos toward a piece of art she just bought. We watched as she handed her iphone to a friend and posed beside it. Sharai has this way of Betty Boop curtseying almost anyone/anything she stands next to, including a five foot high, pink, multicoloured skull head with feathers protruding from its ears.
“Pleased to meet you Mr. Skull Head!” (I made this part up in my head and inserted Sharai’s voice while I watched her take her iphone back).
I looked back at him.
“I know.” Then I shot back the last of my drink.
Sharai is one of my top girl crushes of all time. Sienna Miller comes first and Sharai is a close second… and this, my friends, is a big deal. Especially after her 30th “Party like a Rock Star” birthday where Vancouver’s Sweet Soul Burlesque girls (girl crush crew for many) performed a Sharai tribute. She watched from the sidelines, pelvic thrusting and temporarily embodying White-Snake-Cinderella-Glam-Poison on one of the GLC speakers – a true vision of crimped mega-hair and metallic coned bra fractals. I went home at 4a.m when the party just began and sighed in my pillow at the profundity of her rockstarness.
To be frank, I have no clue how to summarize who Sharai Rewels really is. I have a feeling not many people do and neither does she really, nor would she ever want us to. Sharai is a quirky intangible enigma. Like a rainbow, there’s no point trying to figure out where she starts or begins. Her voice sounds like a cartoon character who just bit into the tang of a Granny Smith apple. Her wardrobe consists of more accoutrement than comfort. She throws annual parties like her Pink Taco all girls fundraiser just for the sake of fun, frills and bonbon titillation with fellow tacos. She [almost] convinced me to wear black lacey Madonna-Material girl gloves with my bridesmaid gown during our best friends wedding. She [almost] convinced the bride that it was apropos to show up as a Frenchmaid rather than a Bridesmaid. She was the star roll, playing a ditzy lesbian vampire during Whistler’s B-Grade Horrorfest that had people doubled over laughing and applauding. She is an annual muse for local filmmaker Conrad Schpansky. One Sharai story, of which I had to confirm details on, reflects her willingness to do almost anything for her friends. She reportedly peed on the lawn of a friend’s Adversary while Said Friend threw eggs. Just a few of them. “I even liked the person.” [of whom the lawn she was peeing on], but hey, when your friend is seriously upset, you gotta do what you gotta do to ease their pain in the moment. A true soldier. Her last name is an encoded one, kinda like Marilyn Monroe but not really. It possesses far more of a bang-for-your-buck-in-yo-face-subconscious! that sometimes arrives years after knowing her (well, maybe just me, it took two years and then asking her best friend, Dana to confirm). It’s a last name gifted by friends in passing of her ability to…yes…quite literally, Rule-It. And when discussing her capabilities in what is truly the end point of all things Provocative, her man to whom she is affianced, replied once and once only in his quiet, deadpan kinda way, “Have you ever tried to fuck lightening?” Woah_____________________ insert mandatory contemplative silence.
Sharai, however, is more than a professional partier and sex kitten, albeit she is one of the best. She recently pulled the plug on slingin’ beer and having men take photos of her ass while she turned to help other tables. “NO MORE!” was her psyche’s proclamation, a concoction of 100% Pure Love with a twenty four ounce twist of DONTMESSWITHME voracity – the equivalent of sling shooting her apron into the high alpine. Miss Sharai, this past spring, bravely hopped off the service industry platter and onto the indie magic carpet ride of entrepreneurial artistry. She will be joining a steam train of what has increasingly defined the population of the Sea to Sky Corridor in the last ten years: incredibly talented female artists, pioneers and visionaries. She will be refining and stepping up both of her passions: as a Jackie-of-all-trades/ways kinda actress and Chozn, her clothing line that intends to mash together versatility with edge this coming season. She also just began a blog, The Last Unitard, that follows local trends and the why’s, who’s and the interests of local fashion.
Since my words are limited in describing Miss Pro[vocation/miscuity] I asked her to answer some important questions for more insight into her proclivity towards the provocative and profound.
*Being the editor, writer and founder of this site, I had a meeting with myself and refused to edit any of the below*:
Me: Most importantly, what is your favourite color?
Sharai: In elementary school I refused to wear anything but black, white and red. Black Chuck Taylor Converse or those little white tennis shoes Jennnifer Grey wore in Dirty Dancing. My outfits were variations on this theme: one red slouch sock, one white slouch sock, black leggings and an oversized sweatshirt with black/white and red motif. Also, a scrunchie in whichever of the three colours needed accentuating was added with proper discretion. Surely, these were my favorite colours! However, I was chastised to learn:
1. Black is the absence of color (and is therefore not a color)
2. White is the blending of all colors (and is many, therefore, not one). You might think this would narrow it down to red by process of elimination but I became so exhausted with the whole debate that I settled on purple and it remains, to this day, my fave.
Me: Time of day?
Sharai: Witching hour. I wish it was sunrise, noon, or some time less macabre. There is such a solace in the quiet night. It is, in fact, when I’m writing this to you. It’s when phones stop ringing and the hustle and bustle hushes down. It’s nobody’s fault for not doing the dishes or going for a jog – they would seem absurd “At this hour??!” And so this is when I feel free from the shackles of trivium. My imagination can run wild and creativity peaks.
Me: Fabric choice if you had to be on an island with only one smock to wear for a year?
Sharai: Although I adore the way satin feels and lace is my favorite for looks, I would have to choose jean for durability, with integrated stretch for wear-ability. If it was a unitard in lieu of a smock? High grade Spandex, fo sho!
Sharai: Pasta. I love the way it chews. Almost like edible poetry. Although I don’t allow myself to eat it often. Followed closely by cheese, bread, hot sauce and chocolate.
Me: Odd solo past time habit?
Sharai: Booty dancing to gangsta rap in my underpants. Although, that’s a fairly standard practice in our group of friends, so perhaps not that odd. Also, I’m burdened with an Imelda Marcos-scale shoe obsession. I wear high heels at random times throughout the day, like while brushing teeth or folding laundry.
Me: In the morning what do you typically wake up thinking about?
Sharai: The immense adventures I’ve been on in my dreams.
Me: Biggest distraction?
Sharai: Ugh. Facebook, email, Instagram bla bla blaaaH.
Me: Favorite book?
Sharai: Face Book. haha jk. Salmon Rushdie’s, Satanic Verses, or Philip Pullman’s, Dark Materials series.
Me: One movie, if you had to watch every day (most friends and passing acquaintances of Sharai will know this one, lets chime together, “Last Unicorn!”)
Sharai: I definitely had Last Unicorn on repeat when I was a kiddo. And I watched Amelie almost every day of 2002. Two other movies I viewed borderline obsessively are Royal Tenenbaums and Grand Hotel, an Oscar winner from 1932. Right now it’s Wild at Heart with Laura Dern and Nicholas Cage… seriously, everyday isn’t even enough.
Me: How about scary movies?
Sharai: Worst. Best. Worst. Best. I get really REALLY bad nightmares sometimes. I used to get them all the time when I was wee. Funny scary like Evil Dead and B-grade grindhouse shit, I can handle. Ultra-gore from Tokyo is seemingly fine and I even find some zombie/ walking dead type gruesome drama enjoyable. Sicko slasher psycho thriller style that started with Jason and turned into SAW turn my dream life into a melting pot of gore, horror and unspeakable evils. Yuck.
Me: Have you ever seen the movie Ice Castle?
Sharai: No. I’m googling it right now. Is it good?
Me: Favourite icon that is dead.
Sharai: HST. I’m extremely upset that I didn’t get to meet him.
Me: Favourite icon but alive?
Sharai: Lady Gaga- I find her oddly fascinating and Noam Chomsky is such a brilliant intellect.
Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Sharai: Happy. And graceful.
Me: When I say the word happy what do you think of?
Sharai: Puppies! And strangely enough, Rob’s armpit, or that arm part that cradles my head just right when snuggling. I guess that’s the pit part. Cuz I like the smell of him too. So yeah, puppies and armpits.
Me: How bout sad?
Sharai: Pandas! Where did that even come from.. South Park? Injustice makes me really really sad. Ignorance makes me sad and angry too. I am working towards not thinking of Death as an injustice. It still makes me sad though.
Me: Favourite city on the planet?
Sharai: Dunno, haven’t been to too many yet. I’m guessing I’ll really like New York. Black Rock City was the best so far.. does that count?
Me: How about provocative? Since this is the title.
Sharai: Right away I think of burlesque. I guess in a way the Sweet Soul Girls are my idols. They had the Dollhouse, threw costume and themed rave parties and have the metaphorical balls to get down to their nudies in front of a loud, rowdy crowd. One day maybe I’ll can grow a pair and dare to bare. I always get provocative and evocative mixed up.
Let’s see…pro·voc·a·tive. Adjective: Causing provocation, esp. deliberately: “a provocative article”. Arousing sexual desire or interest, esp. deliberately.” Haha. That reminds me of years ago when Feet Banks compared me to “a cat in heat, rubbing against everyone’s legs mewing and purring” Geezus, not uber flattering, but still a bit proud to be anything worthy of a definition by Feet. I tend to be flirtatious with the world around me. But it’s not a sexual power in the way that we Westerners know the term. My friend Meyrenie explained it as a form of Tantra – the way to communicate with an energy that transcends words. It’s a talent notably honed through working in the service industry (longer than I’d like to admit). I will even “flirt” with a table of 75 year old ladies in the restaurant. It’s about being able to read and reciprocate subtle energies to create your desired effect.
Me: If you could choose your ideal acting role what would it be?
Sharai: Any ass kicking chick in a Quentin Tarantino movie OMFFFFG yes! Otherwise maybe portraying an artist in a gritty rock n’ roll rise, apex and fall career drama. Like Icarus to the sun (but with titties and whisky) resurrected as a phoenix from the ashes for redemption. Or maybe a Game of Thrones style fantasy character. Who am I kidding? Bad ass, ass kicker all the way.
Me: Fave acting so far?
Sharai: Ditzy lezbo vampire zombie killer.
Me: What do you wish the world did more of?
Sharai: Loved. Cared. Danced. Shared.
Me: How about your biggest pet peeve?
Sharai: Farts in the shower. (It’s like an amphitheater in my nose! Terrifying!) Sirens in songs when I’m driving (freaks me out man), wet socks (off with them!) and poor grammar (their, they’re.. geez figure it out).
Me: Why do you dance?
Sharai: To shake off the shackles of physical restriction. To expand my Soul’s knowledge of my own extremities. To remind myself that I am a whole and energetic being. To release and redirect my energy currents in new and exciting patterns. To inspire others to do the same.
Me: What do you feel embodies you when you move?
Sharai: Dance trance! Part cardio high, part pure love and contentment to be in that moment of movement.
Me: Weirdest moment ever…. Or one?
Sharai: Curiouser and curiouser…I need a little more guidance for this one, Miss. There is a deep dark well of bizarre occurrence in my repertoire.
Me: What do you deplore most about yourself? (I love this question, totally thieved it from Vanity Fair).
Sharai: Messiness, smashiness, obliviousness to time and space. I almost immediately forget the names of people I meet. I’m lazy and cowardly at times. And I have a tendency to overeat, over drink and generally become easily addicted to almost anything.
Me: What do u love most bout yourself?
Sharai: I’m really good at giving presents.
Me: What did you promise yourself as a kid that you would always do in adulthood? (The answer to this one is my favorite).
Sharai: Once I saved my nickles and dimes enough to buy an ice cream. My first lick knocked my precious treat off the cone. Gutted and in tears, I returned but the shopkeeper refused to reimburse me. I believe I even said to her, “When I grow up I will NEVER be like you!” And so I buy someone a drink if they knock a full one over and comp their meal if they genuinely don’t like it. Once a man found his wings too salty – I offered to pay for them anyway. I took them off the cheque and he tipped me $100. In your FACE mean ice cream lady!
Me: What do you find beautiful?
Sharai: The Universe. Nature. In macro and micro, it’s undeniably limitless in unparalleled beauty. In humans, confidence and honesty. But superficially, I find the strangest things beautiful like the part in someones hair or flecks of colour in an iris. Sometimes it’s the shape of their fingernails or curl of a lip.
Me: Most beautiful woman you know? (I’m partial to this answer as she’s speaking about our shared love for a best friend).
Sharai: Dana Friesen Smith. She has wonderful bone structure and a gorgeous soul that shines through it.
Sharai: My beautiful man, Rob Cook. He has a gentle soul and a kind heart without compromising his strength and manliness.
Me: Name your five favorite words. (I had no idea what cerignola was, had to Google it. It sounds even better in Italian):
Sharai: Eloquent, cerignola, galaxy, sativa, mew
Me: What five words would your friends use to describe you?
Sharai: Creative Eclectic Electric Boogaloo Gogo
Me: Favourite element?
Sharai: The fifth element – leeloo and water. I like water. The fluidity. The ability of state shifting into snow and ice. The incalculable depths of the ocean and the way it swirls and froths around the bow of a boat.
Me: Your idol?
Sharai: Billy! ha! I do look up to those sassy sweet soul babes. They live in sequins and are business smart to boot.
Me: Your mentor in life?
Sharai: Currently taking applications for this position.
Check out Sharai’s adventures at: thelastunitard.com