This project was originally supposed to be about burlesque in the Connecticut River Valley. I reached out to The Majestic Saloon and 10 Forward and ended up meeting with the owner of 10 Forward, Ang Buxton. They were immediately open and interested in my project and after talking more with Kayla Abney, the owner of The Majestic Saloon, it became apparent to me that these two venues were integral to the queer community in Western Massachusetts. I decided to focus the documentary on The Majestic and 10 Forward, and through that got to attend some incredible events and meet amazing people. Derek Milz 007 Wanzo and Mz. October May Lay offered an incredibly valuable perspective as Black members of the queer community carving out space for BIPOC of all ages to express themselves. I feel strongly that everyone present in this documentary are integral and irreplaceable community members deserving of recognition.
Thank you so much to Ang Buxton, Kayla Abney, Mz. October May Lay, Derek Milz 007 Wanzo, Priscilla Porcelain for allowing me into your spaces and being so willing to participate.
Thanks to Yaz and Aaliyah of The Majestic Saloon for always making sure my friends and I had everything we needed and were comfortable each time we came to film.
Thank you to Nina Diaz for helping me film this project, and all friends who offered their time and support.
Thanks to Zoë Jacobs Feinstein at Amherst’s Center for Community Engagement for all that you do for this course.
Lastly, thank you to Professor Engelhardt and the 2023 class of Soundscapes of the Connecticut River Valley!
About the Filmmaker
Victoria Thomas is a sophomore at Amherst College double majoring in English and Film and Media Studies. She focuses a lot on BIPOC and queer studies in her work. This was her first semester experimenting with filmmaking and was drawn to The Majestic Saloon and 10 Forward in her own search for queer community in The Valley.
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