I Rise like a Rainbow High

What it feels like for a girl? I Rise like a Rainbow High!

I don’t know how to start writing here. This video was definitely the biggest challenge on this journey to meet Madonna so far. I just remember having my legs shaking before to go on stage. After my performance, I cried a lot. I thought about my homeland, Brazil, that the thing that my mom was most scared of was me being gay and dressing like a woman. Actually this is the first thought that crosses the thought of most of the parents when “they fear” that their son is gay: “OMG, my son is going to dress like a woman”.

I must tell you that I didn’t feel anything different, dressed like Madame X. During the last years, I’ve been working a lot on myself. And I must tell you that I am cured. I am healed of any kind of reminiscent prejudice that I had from my past. Actually, the worst thing of being a drag queen was walking on high heels. My feet were bleeding later. It took almost 3 hours for having my make up done. The drag team of Haus of ThomTom, in Nijmegen, here in The Netherlands, was amazing. What those guys do is art: lots of time with rehearsals, preparing clothes, make up and also dealing with prejudice.

We got lots of positive reactions, while recording on the streets of Nijmegen. But we also got quite bad reactions and I must tell you that our team was also a bit sadly surprised: some people passed by and spit on our direction, threw beer cans out of car windows onwards our direction, verbal harassments…but we were there. We were rising, despite any kind of intolerance that we could face. And the funny fact it’s that the Netherlands is one of, if not, the most gay friendly countries in the world.

I first thought about this video like one year ago. Last December, during a dinner with my friend Willem (the drag Miss Meggie), I shared with him that I would love to make a video dressed like a drag, but I didn’t know if I would have the confidence and courage. So, back to Madame X times, we’ve all heard that apparently Madonna has recorded a video with a team of Drag Queens. My inspiration came back and I couldn’t find a better opportunity to bring the message of “I Rise”. In the end of the month, I’m going to be 39 years old and I can proudly share that I healed most of my gay traumas before my 40th year of life.

And the best of all of this, it’s that nothing in this video would be reality without the support of my angel, my prince, my love, my boyfriend Daniel. I also got dazzled how people could help me on this video FOR FREE. I’m out of budget and I don’t even know how I am going to manage to buy Madame X tour tickets, but my friends were so wiling to help me, they got so infected by my enthusiasm, that I could only cry after seeing the final result of this drag masterpiece.

Finally, I’d like to share the credits of my team of almost 20 people HELPING ME on my dream to meet Madonna, spreading her message of equality, tolerance and love. THANK YOU A LOT!

Xtra special thanks to Haus of ThomTom  @hausofthomtom

Drag Queens:

Madame X: Fábio Viana 
@iwillmeetmadonna
Miss Meggie: William 
@peggiemeggiepegmeg
Tom Tompuss: Tom van Zitteren 
@t.tom.puss
Lexie-Lolli Pop: Sander Konings 
@lexi_lollipopp
Titt McPfeiffer: Kevin van Zundert 
@tittymcpfeiffer
Drag King: 
Justin Alfa: Lizanne Silvertant 
@lizzie961

Drag X:
Mx Flo: Floris van de Bulck

Visual Effects: Lugão Naretto

Cameras:
Brandon Schepers
Daniel Schepers
Emily Salvia
Leon Wesdijk

Boyfriend:
Daniel Schepers

Makeup:
Tom van Zitteren
Sander Konings
Pascal Boerboom

Costumes/Accessories:
Miss Meggie (“Rainbow High” coat and headscarf)
Fabrícia Viana (socks)
Fabiana Viana (bra)
Daniel Schepers (Madame X short paints)
Fábio Viana (all the rest)

Shoes:
Tom van Zitteren

Assistants:
Gérard Platenburg
Leon Wesdijk
Pieter Tigelaar

Props:
Fábio Viana
Phil Gaster

Choreography: Fábio Viana

DJ ThomTom: Gérard Platenburg

Creative Producer: Fábio Viana

Editing: Fábio Viana

Post-Production:
Fábio Viana
Lugão Naretto

 

 

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1st STEP GIVEN: THANK YOU MADONNA (AND THANK YOU EVERYONE!)

OMG! Madonna shared on her Instagram/Facebook stories my “Medellín” video on May 1st 2019. This is a HUGE accomplishment on my campaign and the first step to make my dream come true!

I should write about this because I’m still without believe it. For some of you, maybe this is not important, because you might have taken a picture with her, met her on stage or are even friends with her – but for me this IS SO IMPORTANT. This is the first time that Madonna reposts a video of mine. It has been 7 years and one month of campaign, with 47 videos and every time I make a video is a way to escape my reality. I would better say: a way to relieve our reality. This is what is to be fan is about. Now I am going to share a bit of my story with Madonna:

Since 1985, she has been inspiring me when I was only a 5 years old child watching that stunning girl singing Dress You Up. Back then, I was living in Brazil, and Madonna, Cindy Lauper and Nina Hagen were THE 3 superstars. But Madonna had always caught my attention. She was the one with real attitude, with a message. I remember growing up in a homophobic society and watching Madonna with short hair on Papa Don’t Preach video. And for me, as a 6 years old child who was already aware that was gay, it was a relief, a signal that girls don’t need to have long hair and guys can also have long hair (vide La Isla Bonita). That simple short hair of Madonna showed me that I could be myself. She has no idea of how that short hair was important for me.

Years later, when I was 9, I was almost exploding the speakers of my sister’s “micro-system” listening to Like a Prayer and when I first saw the video: WOW! That confused child who thought that being gay was something forbidden, a sin, could see that this whole thing of sin has to do with people’s heart. Sin for me is violence and hate. She was my hero! She could kiss a black guy without prejudice. She could burn crosses, but not to burn other people faith, but to give them HOPE, as she did with me.

One year later, she came with Vogue, and even if I still don’t know how to dance, I saw myself locked in my room trying to repeat her movements and I felt FREE. I so remember watching “Truth or Dare” secretly, without my mom noticing it, and looking at the dancers kissing each other like this was supposed to be a normal thing, and it was! I was 11 years old and even if I was still a child with no sexuality developed, was still important for me to see that there is nothing wrong with kissing a guy. Again, that there was not something forbidden! Some months later, I saw it again, on Justify my Love. She was my MADAME X teacher, teaching me that I should follow my heart! I remember that at the age of 13 I managed to see some pages of “sex” and instead of getting confused, I was learning how to open my eyes.

In 1993, she came to Brazil, I was only 13 years old and it was her first time there. I just remember of how frustrated I was: first, because I used to live in a city (Fortaleza) at least 3 hours, by airplane, far away from Rio or São Paulo. Second, because I was too young and even if I would be allowed to go to her concert, I wouldn’t have the money to do so (I come from a family of 5 siblings and my family’s priority was to pay our studies). Still, I was watching every little thing on Brazilian TV about her and was recording it on the videocassette recorder borrowed from my uncle.

When she released Secret on the year later, it was my jam. And with Take a Bow, I dreamed about having a love as the one I have now 🙂 I remember discussing with my uncle which CD case was the most beautiful one: Bedtimes Stories or Something to Remember. They were both unique and stylish back then, with cyan and white colours. My favourite one was Bedtimes Stories 🙂 I remember that I got as Christmas gift 3 Bedtimes Stories CDs and every Christmas I was getting the same Madonna CD more than once 🙂

When Madonna released the soundtrack of Evita, I was learning English with the lyrics of “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” and “You Must Love Me”. I remember once a teacher stopped the programming lesson (I was also studying computer science back then) because I was singing “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” while trying to solve an algorithm. I thought that I was singing for myself – but then I realised that I was singing for the whole classroom.

There is also another episode at school that I’d like to share. Back when she released Ray of Light, on March 3rd 1998, I hadn’t managed to assemble the money to buy it. I was a 18 years old student with no budget at all. All of my classmates knew how in love I was with Madonna. So I remember asking for each of them (almost asking alms) 1 Real (the Brazilian currency). So, the CD costed 17,50 Reais and I managed to collect this money from 18 classmates 🙂 I was so not shy to do that and when I went to the shop, the saleswoman, who was already my friend due to endless Madonna conversations, gave me a huge smile and the teaser poster from Ray of Light! I remember having goosebumps when I heard the first notes of Drowned World! And so fell in love with The Power of Goodbye. Skin, Sky fits heaven, Nothing really matters were also stuck on my head.

I also remember when a Brazilian journalist interviewed her back then and Madonna was fucking impatient with this woman pretending to be the smart one. I was recording it on the VCR from my uncle again, and so her performance at the Grammys in 1999. When Beautiful stranger was released, it became one of my favourite Madonna’s songs – if not my favourite, together with The Power of Goodbye, Dress you Up, You’ll see and so many others.. I remember forcing my sister to include Beautiful Stranger on her set list (she is a singer as well) and the audience was just sort of feeling it strange (she was singing in a restaurant for old people who were expecting grandpa Brazilian classic music).

2000. At the time, I was already at the university studying journalism. I remember that in every semester I had my notebook personalised with Madonna pictures. Once, 2 guys saw me walking with the notebook (the real notebook to take notes) and called me from all the possible bad names for gay, such as faggot or something worse. They asked me if I was not ashamed to have Madonna on the cover of my notebook. I replied that I was ashamed of them, communications students, with prejudice. Every little semester after this episode, I had my notebooks covered with Madonna. And at the end of my course, in 2003, I made my thesis about Madonna, and I graduated with honours for my bachelor degree, analysing Post Modernity through her videoclips, as a case study. The thesis’ title was: “Saint, pornographic or violent? the analysis of Madonna identities through videoclip”. The audience was huge for my presentation. And there I was showing fragments of Like a Prayer, Erotica and What if Feels like for a girl. Back then, I also wrote a review about American Life for the main newspaper from my city 🙂 I remember saying that it was one of the best Madonna albums – and I still think like this.

In 2001, Madonna went on tour. Unfortunately she didn’t come to Brazil and I was following everything on Internet. I even made a Brazilian friend who is also an Iconer: Alessio, who lives in LA, and he was reporting every concert he attended to me. I felt frustrated because I had no money and was living far away, but I knew that my time would come some day. On the year after, it was the first time I kissed a guy and guess which song I was listening to? Die another day!

In 2004, again I felt frustrated because I couldn’t attend the Reinvention Tour. I had no budget at all and again Madonna didn’t come to Brazil. For the Confessions Tour was initially announced that she would come to Rio, and back then I was living there. I was dazzled with the opportunity to see her finally live. But she cancelled it.

Now some drama begins. Back to 2008, I was already living in Europe, in Rome. I remember that I had bought a Golden Circle ticket to the Sticky and Sweet tour in Berlin, because I was afraid that Rome would be too crowded and I’d like to experiment Madonna for the first time in a more quiet atmosphere. Unfortunately, I got seriously sick and went to the hospital. I’ve been there for 10 days and I missed the concert. It was one of the saddest moments of my life. I moved back to Brazil still sick and Madonna finally confirmed presentations in Rio and São Paulo. But I was still sick and my doctors forbid me to attend the concert 😦 I don’t need to tell you how miserable I felt.

I felt so frustrated that I promised to myself (while crying and listening to Miles Away in December of 2008) that when I would be healthy again, I would do something remarkable and that she would notice me. That’s how I started the “I will meet Madonna” campaign. Initially, I thought it as my PHD project, since I was without a job here in Amsterdam and I should keep myself busy. But later on, I managed to get a job and come back to my promise to continue with this project as a personal one. I decided to follow my dream, to maybe one day meet her and say face to face that she has always been my life hero.

So the rest of the campaign you guys know… UFF! This has been a long testimonial and I still didn’t manage to share everything I would like to. But my message is that everything I’ve been doing so far regarding Madonna (and also in other fields of my life) is with LOVE. And I am so happy to have found my love. My boyfriend, who is in this video that Madonna shared, saw how sad I was for some things that I’ve been facing lately and he wanted to put a smile on my face. He was the one who actually suggested me to make the video and he was living the lyrics of Medellín while dancing with me.

PS: he doesn’t know how to dance, neither I, but we were just loving each other.

I really thank all of the fans I met here and I won’t give up! Thank you to all Iconers who have been supporting me, instead of wishing the worst for me. Love generates love. And I believe in love. And I believe I WILL MEET MADONNA.


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NEW VIDEO: Medellín in Amsterdam

The idea of making this video came after me sending my submission to the MTV contest to see Madonna in London today. Unfortunately, I wasn’t selected and I must confess I felt frustrated. I don’t think I am better than any other Madonna fan, but in the last 7 years my campaign has been an original way to show my love to her and to express myself and using my creativity to bring smile at least to me and my boyfriend.

I can tell you that this is the most beautiful video I ever made. Everything there is real, is LOVE. So, I was really sad and my boyfriend came to me asking me to iron 2 white shirts so we could record a beautiful video in a professional way. The whole video was recorded this weekend. We started when we woke up, dancing unpretentiously. So I decided to wear my “uniform”,  my I WILL MEET MADONNA t-shirt and started to rehearse with my boyfriend at the terrace in front of my room (that actually looks like a tropical jungle, a bit Medellín :). Those footage shouldn’t be in the video. Initially, I thought in just using the footage from Museumplein, here in Amsterdam, where I live for the last 8 years.

After recording 4 times, and sometimes even feeling embarrassed because he couldn’t be able to dance as good as he would like, my boyfriend got a bit upset. I told him, that me, myself, I am a terrible dancer. And everybody reacts with surprise for this statement, because I was born in Brazil. I know I can’t dance. But I love to dance! And I love to dance with Daniel, just ignoring the rest of the world and going deep in our love.

This video is also a manifest against this outrageous law in Brunei for stoning gays to death. I feel blessed and lucky to be Dutch (I’m not Brazilian anymore – that country is a hell for gay people, especially with this homophobic president), so I can be myself here. I can hold the hands of my boyfriend without shocking people. And at any time, I can dance on a bridge with him. Here “I took a trip, it set me free”.  And finally “forgave myself for being me”.

 

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Where is Madame X going next?

The Madame X era has finally begun! I must confess that I was a bit scared of Madonna following somehow the trend and going for reggaeton, especially after it was announced that “Medellín” would be the first single.

So I opened my heart and forgot about everything that Maluma has made so far (I like Sim ou Não with Anitta and Chantaje with Shakira, though) and waited the whole 17th until 6pm to hear “Medellín”.

I love the song! It has some Ray of Light vibes and I love Madonna’s voice. AND it is a MADONNA song. Sorry Maluma, but you are a feat.

Some minutes its release, Madonna.com launched a contest to see Medellín’s premiere in London. I must confess that I sort of freaked out, because I should be quick and come with something creative. Guys, I never made a video that quick. Madonna is time to meet you after 7 years and 47 videos. Time to cha cha cha together with me!

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New video to celebrate 7th year of campaign!

Now it’s time to celebrate the 7th year of my campaign. If seven is a lucky number, I hope that I can finally have a proper meeting with Madonna. And to celebrate in the best way, I give you this gift: my 46th video! It has been one of the most difficult videos that I’ve ever made. And I speak from experience1: I’ve been through trouble at the Vatican, Wailing Wall, Red Light District, while paragliding, with a tiger in Thailand… even getting stoned for the first time! But this one was really hard because I couldn’t even hold my boyfriend’s hand while I was with him in Marrakesh.

Article 489 of the Penal Code of Morocco criminalises “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex”. Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Morocco and can be punished with anything from 6 months to 3 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 120 to 1,200 dirhams. In total, 72 countries and territories worldwide continue to criminalise same-sex relationships, including 45 in which sexual relationships between women are outlawed. There are eight countries in which homosexuality can result in a death penalty, and dozens more in which homosexual acts can result in a prison sentence, according to an annual report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

Is it a crime to love? Was I being a criminal for loving my boyfriend? And the funny thing is that I saw lots of straight men holding hands and hugging each other, but this was allowed because is a demonstration of fraternity between straight people. And what about a demonstration of love?

The problem is not just with muslim societies. Everywhere religion has a huge influence has these kinds of issues. I am Dutch, but I was born in Brazil. If I hold my boyfriend’s hand in Brazil or kiss him in a public space, I will be watched with disgusted faces, or in some places can be attacked or even killed. This is the reality: Brazil is reported to have the highest LGBT murder rate in the world, with more than 380 murders in 2017 alone, an increase of 30% compared to 2016.

I thank my boyfriend Daniel for the love and support. Actually he was the one who asked me to be part of my video. And this was the best, because every little demonstration of love in this video was real. I thank my sister, who was great again, after being an amazing guest on my “Frozen” video. I also thank Diego, who played “Isaac” marrying me and Daniel. Diego is also a Madonna fan and can be seen in lots of videos of this campaign: Dress You UP, Love Spent, Papa don’t preach, Sorry and Deeper and Deeper.

Finally, I thank Eugenio (Diego’s husband) for his patience and also for being one of the witnesses of my wedding in the video. And of course special thanks to my unicorn witness, my friend and roommate Phil 🙂

Coming back to the video, my sister represents the Snake, the Temptation, the one who calls me to the Forbidden, according to the Bible or in this case to the Koran. You can see me running away and being chased, because I’m a criminal for being gay. But mostly you can see the celebration of love, despite any kind of punishment or condemnation.

In the end, God is (and has always been) LOVE! Amen!

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Madonna Snapchat Craziness

If you follow Madonna on Instagram, you’ve probably have seen her playing with lots of snapchat filters. Some fans react that she is becoming childish on doing this. But, come on “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” We all love to play with those filters and see the crazy effects they make on our face and voice.

That’s why I decided to make my most recent video with a compilation of some of my favourite Madonna songs using Snapchat filters. I tried to find for every chosen song the best convenient filter and the result is what you can see above.

And I don’t give up! Next year, it’s going to be the seventh year of my campaign that up to now counts 45 videos. I am already producing at least 2 new videos and I can’t wait to share the Final Cut with you.

In the meantime, you can also follow me on Instagram, where I publish never seen footage, uncut videos and pictures with Madonna team and fans. And if you haven’t liked my Facebook page, please do it too 🙂

Finally, my channel on Youtube is the main source of videos (only my version for Heartbeat is blocked there, but you can check it on Vimeo).

Merry Christmas and I wish a 2019 full of health, joy and happiness!

Fábio

#iwillmeetmadonna

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Happy New Year! Happy New Video!

Happy New Year to everyone! After almost one year without posting a video, I finally managed to post this video that took me 1 year and half to be done. My idea was to assemble all bullfighter themed Madonna videos in one and it happens to be also a mix of my favorite songs 🙂

This was not my first social experiment video but it was indeed one of the most difficult ones. In that summer day in Madrid, the temperature was reaching almost 40ºC (or 104ºF) and I was without shoes most of the time (only with black socks). However, the heat was not the biggest problem: most of the people were refusing my roses because they thought that I was a bullfighting supporter. And I’m not at all!!!

This video was my way to, at the same time, spread love and criticize bullfighting. I was a “lovefighter” and in the end of the video you can also see the reason it took me so long to post a new video – last year was the year I finally discovered real love 🙂

So now I was more inspired to publish it, also to celebrate today the 9 months I’ve been together with my love 🙂

I just hope you can love this video as I do.

About bullfighting:

Each year, thousands of bulls are barbarically slaughtered in bullrings around the world. Over the centuries, bullfighters have found countless ways to rig the “fight” in their favor. Bulls have been weakened with drugs or by having sandbags dropped on their backs. Their horns have been shaved to keep them off balance, or petroleum jelly has been rubbed into their eyes to impair their vision.

Never attend a bullfight or any other attraction that neglects animal welfare. The bullfighting industry relies heavily on financial support from curious tourists – don’t be one of them.

More info:

http://www.stopbullfighting.org.uk/
http://peta.org
http://www.worldanimalprotection.org/

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