The Haus of Gaga is basically Gaga's closest group of friends. They are all creative types and they assist her with everything she does - making her outfits, designing her stage, deciding what element of performance art to play with next, and generally inspiring her music and art - but Gaga emphasizes that these are her closest friends, from back in the day when she was just little ole Stefani Germanotta. Here's a clip of her explaining it in an interview.
The most elusive truth about artists is that no artist can work alone. Every artist over the course of history - whether a poet, playwright, painter, dancer, musician - has had a group of people around her who inspired her work and helped her be the best artist she could be. While I have only recently realized that I would like to think of myself as an artist - for a long time I found the term "writer" sufficient, but lately I've been wanting to devote my entire life to creation and art - I've had a Haus for a long time. I haven't been fully aware of it the whole time, but I started building it more than five years ago. Or, more accurately, the universe started building it for me, and now that I have a clearer idea of the things I want to do with my life, I could not feel more fucking blessed. I want to introduce them to you.
Christine is my BFFFFFF. She came into my world five and a half years ago - which is really hard to believe - when we lived next door to each other in the dorms freshman year. We seemed like polar opposites - I was really girly and wore a lot of pink and big hoop earrings and my blonde hair in stupid ponytails - and she was sort of punky and loud, with a really short haircut and a rather unique sense of style. But we were drawn to each other for some reason - I had never met anyone like her - and we quickly became really good friends. She's easily the most amazing person I know. She's unique and creative - she writes haikus and designs pillows and decorations for her house and stuff - but she also has one of the biggest hearts I've ever encountered. She's a social worker, so she spends all her time trying to improve the lives of those less fortunate than her - which is obviously very inspiring in itself - but beyond that, she treats every person she comes into contact with with an incredible amount of respect and love. She's the least judgmental person I know. She inspires me because she reminds me of the best parts of myself, even during the rough times.
Zac has been my BFF for almost three years now. For the longest time, we worked together at the student newspaper in college but were not friends; I never really talked to him because I was shy and weird, resulting in him thinking I was a huge bitch. But once I broke the seal by coming to his birthday party in August 2006, we slowly became friends, gradually building until the spring of 2007, when we became really good friends and I started to realize that we probably had the same brain. We would finish each other's sentences and sometimes say the same thing at the same time, and in the fall of 2008, after an epic dance night at a trashy gay club in Jackson, Mississippi, we realized we were dance soulmates and our relationship was basically cemented. He inspired the original name for Hautey Toddy, as well as being my co-conspirator on the Bloglossary, which (BTW) was born way before this blog in the fall of 2008. (It's still a work in progress, of course.) He continues to inspire me every single day with his biting sense of humor, incredible intelligence, and fearless pursuit of his goals. He reminds me all the time of why I'm in New York.
My friendship with Jenny was born a little later than mine and Zac's. Zac and Jenny come as a pair, basically, but right after the three of us got close she moved to New York and left Zac and me to fend for ourselves in Oxford (bitch). She and I didn't talk that much (or at least not nearly enough) the year I was at Ole Miss with Zac, but after I moved up we swiftly became BFF again. She is easily the most successful of the Haus. While in college she was the photo editor at the student newspaper, and she shot all the production shots for the theater department. Since then she has worked her way up to photo editor at Broadway.com, where she regularly shoots lots of broadway shows and famous people on red carpets. She also shoots a lot of stuff on the side, always working to create beautiful new images and improve her craft. In addition to being an incredibly talented photographer, she is one of the sweetest people I know. I have recently decided she is like my mom in New York, because she always hugs me and kisses me and makes me delicious food. She honestly doesn't have a mean bone in her body, which is something you can't genuinely say about many (most) people.
Una LaMarche is literally the singular reason this blog is what it is now (um, sort of good? or all right at least?). I met her through work, and discovered she had a blog after we became friends on Facebook. I can remember last September, sitting at work on slow days and reading every single post she had ever written. That is not an exaggeration. I saw myself in her, and quickly realized that she's the person I want to be when I'm 29. Her amazing voice - hilarious, truthful, nerdy, at times awkward - helped me to find mine, and was the catalyst for taking BtoA from a journal-y type personal blog to a broader conveyor belt for the human experience, at least as I encounter it in New York. She is a brilliant writer. Remember her name: U-n-a L-a-M-a-r-c-h-e. She also writes for the Huff Po. You will see her name again, if not on the next big sitcom or semi-reality-mocumentary-but-it's-actually-fake television series then on the cover of a bestselling book over a somewhat awkward photo of a child with a unibrow.
Jessie is without a doubt the most go-get-'em writer I know. She's the creator and writer of 20-Nothings, a blog dedicated to the sometimes-funny-sometimes-really-fucking-sad trials and tribulations of single/dating 20somethings in Manhattan. Since I've known her, she's written several plays, penned at least 12 monologues, and published a book based on her blog. So she's a blogger, a playwright, and a published author. What the fuck? Oh, and she's 26. Oh, and she also got her blog optioned to be turned into a television show at some point. Oh, and she has an "agent." I don't even really know what that means. Bottom line: the girl can write, and not only that, but she knows how to make shit happen. She is one of the main reasons I was inspired to write a play based on one of my blog posts, the production of which (PS) is still TBD.
Hannah Miet is my blog soulmate. I discovered her blog randomly last August, clicking on it from another random blogger's list of favorites. I quickly realized this discovery was not random at all, but something along the lines of fate: the first things I learned about her were that she lives in New York, she's attracted to women in addition to men, and she loves Beyoncé. Um, duh. I stayed late at work one day and read through post after post after post, and realized we had too many uncanny things in common. I e-mailed her that we should meet for drinks, and we did, and we got drunk, and we talked about love and life and writing. Since then we've met for drinks an additional time, and kept in touch via twitter and e-mail and all that. She inspires me because she openly dabbles in the darker sides of life and New York, and because, of course, she's a brilliant writer. She's inspired me to explore parts of myself and my writing that I probably would not have otherwise, and to be open about my feelings on my blog. Her words also helped me through a tough emotional time, and I still sometimes recite them to myself when I'm having a hard time of things (true story, Hannah). Remember her name too. You will see it in black and red someday.
Brittany is another fellow Ole Miss graduate, but we weren't really good friends in college since she was a year above me and I didn't really run with most of the theater kids. But we've gotten close since I moved to NYC, and I feel confident saying she's a total, hilarious, crazy mess. An amazing actress, she can distort her face like no one else I've met in my entire life. You scoff, but it's really fucking impressive. Oh, and she can rap. Like legitimately, she could have a rap career if she really wanted to. She has also been known to cry whenever Empire State of Mind comes on in the bar, which just means she has a huge heart and she loves this city just as much as I do, if not more. She wholeheartedly believes in her dreams and in her craft, and for these reasons she is truly inspirational.
Last but most definitely not least is Susan, the amazing lady who gave me my first-ever paying magazine job (read: internship) in the city last March. We worked together for a few months before I got hired full-time in June, and now she's moved on to bigger and better things with a kick-ass job at The Knot. Since she left my company, we've gotten closer as friends (weird how that happens) and I've grown to like her more and more as I get to know her better - an extremely rare and therefore meaningful experience for me - and I learn that she is hilarious, quirky and painfully honest. Yesterday, she sent me the following text message: "I just bought two trays of Vday cupcakes because they were BOGO. New low??" To which I responded: "Girlllllll. You are seriously my soulmate." And anyone who knows me knows how true that statement is. I kind of owe her everything about my life in New York, because if it weren't for her I may still be - shudder - unemployed. And if I were unemployed, I would be spending all my time on Craigslist instead of writing blog posts and plays and going to staged readings of my friends' monologues and posing for photos and shooting video and generally living an amazing art-filled life. So thanks, Suz.
Love and art,