Lead a modern girl to Hollywood, and she’ll strive to be a starlet. Lead Lenae Day to Hollywood, and she’ll school you on the history of a city steeped in decades of scandal—all while rocking a handmade wardrobe and a range of meticulously crafted characters.

Ms. Day’s “Remembering Priscilla Prescott,” presented last Friday at Skylight Books, is a performance art piece sponsored by the fictional Prescott Picture Society that reinterprets a Los Angeles history that most of us natives take for granted. Her appreciation and understanding of a range of former leading ladies puts our generally accepted culture of celebrity obsession to shame. With “Remembering,” Day slaps your silly tabloid right out of your hand (yeah, we know you were just looking at it for the clothes) and shows you how real it used to be, through hilarious fake film clips, magazines, stills, and costumes—all researched, crafted, and performed on her own. At the end of all her hard work, Lenae Day preserves the heart of gold of a city that long ago gave it away for a gram of coke and fifteen minutes of fame.


Evoking the elaborate, female-centric compositions of Cindy Sherman, Day costumes and portrays every one of her many characters, from the titular Priscilla Prescott, to her outlandish sisters, daughter, many husbands, and her numerous on-screen roles. Day’s performance last weekend drew a refreshingly large crowd to Skylight Books, where, under the guise of a memorial presentation, Day—in character as Prescott’s enthusiastic archivist, Phyllis McGillicuddy—narrated her extensive study with “vintage” stills, film clips, and her thorough reimagining of period tabloids with her publication, Day Magazine. Perhaps most impressive, however, was the ease with which Day incorporated humor into what is, for us, a matriarchal tribute to the tough-as-nails, eccentric women of decades past—for those of us mourning the void in today’s Hollywood circuit.

Written by Taylor Yates
Wednesday, April 16 2014

Check out one of Day’s shorts from Prescott Pictures below, “The Virgin Terri.”