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Televised Play Piercing Demo

When Matt approached me and asked me to be his model for a live television play piercing demo I knew I couldn't say no. So, I rearranged my schedule and we went ahead with plans for the day. Matt told me that he would be piercing me with his feather wings. I wasn't surprised because it's creative, easy to see from far away, and even people who are a little freaked out by the idea think it's pretty. Generally, the wings are just a crowd pleaser.

On the day of the show I met up with Matt, the piercer, Cornucopia, his assistant, and Courtney the registered nurse. I was relieved that Courtney was going to be there. I've never had a problem with fainting on stage or anything, but it's still reassuring to know that there's someone on hand that can take of you if you need it. We arrived at the studio about an hour early while "Mr. Hollywood" (the host) was still doing sound checks and stuff. We sat on some couches and I drank a bottle of orange juice and ate a chocolate bar. I had been eating regular meals all day, but I figured a boost of sugar wouldn't hurt.

Matt cleaned my back with Technicare and marked where he was going to place all the needles. Courtney set up the feathers and corks on a tray covered with a new dental bib. The feathers had already been glued into the hubs of the needles and separated for the left and right sides, depending on the curve of the feather. Matt and I got on stage and figured out the best way for me to sit so he could pierce all the way down my back without running into problems.

Before long the show started and we sat through a couple minutes of rough jokes ("Cheney's Got A Gun"...? Isn't that an Aerosmith song?), and then Matt did his interview about play piercing and his job. During the commercial break Courtney and I took the caps off the needles on the tray and Courtney doused the ends of the needles with Technicare. I really do mean doused too- she and Matt love the stuff!

We came out onto the stage and I straddled a folding chair angled away from the audience. Courtney was sitting offstage, directly in front of me so we could keep eye contact and I could signal her if I started feeling queasy. She was also in the perfect position to take some really nice pictures! Cornucopia stood beside me and Matt leaned over me, took the first feather from the tray and pinched up the skin on my upper shoulder. He pushed the needle cleanly through the lifted skin and then took up a piece of cork and pushed it onto the end of the needle to prevent the needle from falling out, eliminate any chance of needle-stick injuries, and allow him to position the feather appropriately. He pierced the highest mark on the opposite side of my back and continued like that working his way down moving back and forth between the two sides.

The piercings went smoothly. Some pinched a little more than others but the pain from 22ga needles is not very intense. I love being play pierced because even though it hurts a very little bit as the needle enters and exits, you just feel it gliding under your skin. Having my back pierced always sends little tingles down my spine and out towards my shoulders. It's a fantastic sensation.

We were only doing twenty needles which isn't usually hard for me to handle but about halfway through I noticed that I was trembling. I'm not sure if this was because of the adrenaline rush, or what, but I could feel my feathers quivering slightly. My head and stomach both felt totally fine though. I have enough experience with this stuff to know what I can take and when I need a break and twenty 22ga needles wasn't going to knock me out! Courtney kept up her eye contact and we were able to silently communicate quite well. I assured her every few minutes that I was just fine.

It took about ten minutes in total to throw all the needles and position the feathers correctly. Once Matt finished he stepped back and I "flapped" my wings. Because of the way the needles are positioned I am actually able to move the feathers by moving the different muscles in my back. This is one of the reasons I love the wing piercings so much. The fact that I can move and feel the wings just makes them seem so real- as if they really did spring out of my back. Moving the feathers creates a sort of tight burning sensation. It's not painful... I wouldn't even call it uncomfortable. It's just a pleasant burning feeling, almost like a really mild rug burn.

Once we got off stage I went directly to my bottle of orange juice. I still felt fine but I wasn't going to risk crashing. I don't need to look tough in front of anyone. I did a little tour of the room demonstrating how I could move the wings, posing for pictures, and grinning like mad. People tend to ask the same kinds of questions (ie. Did it hurt? How many needles did we use? How often do we do this? Are the piercings permanent?). I don't mind answering questions, or posing one bit. My only problem is that no one ever wants a picture of my face!

After I wandered through the building we were in showing off my wings and posing for Courtney's camera, Matt decided it was time to pluck my feathers. This is always the hardest part for me because I hate to have them taken out. I know it sounds silly but I have such an attachment to these piercings. I sat on the table and Matt and Courtney took turns pulling needles, each working on one side of my back. As they removed each needle they would apply pressure to the area to stop any bleeding. I have never been a big bleeder but this also helps reduce bruising, which was important to me because I had a non-piercing related photo shoot the following day. Matt cleaned me up with more Technicare and then they safely packed the used needles to transport to Matt's sharps container. As always Matt gave me the feathers to bring home. I have a whole collection of feather bundles from the different times we've done these piercings. It's a fantastic reminder of how it feels to be an angel.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 May 2006
in Ritual

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Artist: Matt+Cottrell
Studio: +
Location: Ottawa%2C+ON

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