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Atlanta’s Doctor Q Presents the New Mechanical Masquerade
Created by PdLaton on 10/13/2010 4:09:44 PM

Paloma del Latón talks with Doctor Q about the Artifice Club, a steampunk social organization, as well as their first event: the new Mechanical Masquerade.


By Paloma del Latón

As most ladies and gentlemen of good breeding know, the city of Terminus (or Atlanta, as it is now called) is well regarded for its retro-futuristic community – in common parlance, the steampunk scene. In that firmament, few shine brighter than Doctor Quincy Erasmus Quartermain – Doctor Q, as he is known to friends and fans alike. Recently, he has assumed ownership of the legendary Mechanical Masquerade from the previous proprietors. The first event under his aegis will be held on Saturday, November 6th at 7 o’clock in the evening at the Academy Theatre in Avondale Estates.

 

Doctor Q modestly describes himself as “a guy who likes to dress up and inflict my eclectic taste in music on unsuspecting ears.” He is well-known in Atlanta and around the South for his DJ skills and sartorial splendor at such events as Dragon*Con and AnachroCon, as well as many local venues both large and small.

Doctor Q’s vision, however, extends beyond the Mechanical Masquerade. He has founded the Artifice Club, modeled after the gentlemen’s clubs of old London, “but without the stodgy gender discrimination,” as he puts it. “The Artifice Club was founded as a way for retro-futurists and like-minded enthusiasts to gather together and share stories, trade maker tips, and enjoy light entertainments while perusing wares and enjoying local artists and such.” The Club will present events throughout the year to appeal to the varying tastes of its members and friends.

The upcoming Mechanical Masquerade, however, is a true masquerade ball – throughout the evening, a secret panel of judges will observe the masked participants until midnight, when the King and Queen of Steam will be crowned. The evening will feature the music of the Bonaventure Quartet, voted the best local jazz band for three years in a row by Atlanta’s Creative Loafing. The famed burlesque artist Talloolah Love will perform, as will the Salome Cabaret, a splendid vaudeville and burlesque troupe from Knoxville. In between sets, Doctor Q himself will do what he does best and AnachroCon’s own Sabrina Pandora will be serving as MC.

In addition to performances, the Mechanical Masquerade will include a number of demonstrations: from a blacksmithing exhibition, to workshops on both ladies’ Victorian hairstyles for the modern mod, and a course on bowties and men’s attire from a modern gentleman. The Venusian Pirate Airship Company will present the Engineer’s Experimental Laboratory, where participants can craft their own masks, weapons, or accessories. For those who are all thumbs, a number of vendors will be offering their wares for sale.

Doctor Q explains that future Artifice Club events will depart from the Masquerade template, offering new delights to the Club’s members. The winter event, a Neo-Victorian ball called the Gaslamp Gala, will be held on Friday, February 25th as part of AnachroCon, the steampunk and alternate history convention now in its third year. Memberships to AnachroCon will be available at the Mechanical Masquerade at a reduced rate. Doctor Q has hinted only that themes for future events include The Clockwork Carnival and The Weird West Saloon.

Admission to the Mechanical Masquerade is $15 at the door, $10 for those dressed in steampunk or masquerade dress. Membership may also be purchased online at www.TheArtificeClub.com, securing the discounted rate for those who purchase in advance regardless of attire. For those who wish to experience the true elegance and sophistication of the soirée, the Elite Membership offers reserved seating for oneself and a guest. The highest level of participation, the Noble Membership, features a private table for four and a gift from our host. Regrettably, this option is sold out but is expected to be available for future events.

 

Paloma del Latón is a contributing writer and among the senior staff of the Southern Steampunk Symposium, AnachroCon.

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