With the year winding down I decided that this year, unlike years past, I would book a burlesque performance to close out the year. Enter the lovely Burlesque Right Meow team! I’ve worked with Sally Stardust, Murphy Lawless, and Scarlet Starlet independently but this with the first time under this banner. The host, Ego Von Hubris is also someone I’ve shared a stage with and like the co-founders, also a lovely co-performer! New co-stars Nadira, Angelina Sophia, Ellie Quinn, and Santobella Spark made the backstage area fun and interesting with their stories and good humor.
I brought both my Hotel California Act (affectionately nicknamed “My Cat’s Quinceañera” because of the over the top and flowery costume) and my fan dance, “Who Wants to Live Forever.” The brewery has a charming tradition of dropping a large hop instead of a ball and toasting with some of their lovely brew instead of champagne.
I ended the show with my fan dance, which is a very emotional act for me and I was astonished by the standing ovation as I exited the show… truly a wonderful way to wrap 2017/ start 2018!
As always, Strangeways Brewery featured delightful craft brews that even my lovely date, E enjoyed, for all that he rarely drinks.
Today we will be exploring how to write a performance contract!
Many of us belong to a troupe which usually has an already set standard of rules and guidelines for working together. Sometimes, however, performers, for whatever reason, decide to work independently or freelance. Working for other performers and burlesque producers can be intimidating at first but having a good contract can be one of the many ways to assure both yourself and a producer of what, exactly, you are bringing to the table for a performance.
Contracts can also be useful for doing whatever taxes your burlesque work might need. While the legally binding nature of contacts can be vary from situation to situation, knowing how to write and read a contract is an important skill for any performer.
This link should help get you started.
Today we will be exploring how to make glittery heels!
Every costume seems to need a new pair of shoes (if you wear shoes for the act, that is) and of course the pair you already own is a few shades off! While we would all love to strass a pair of shoes that perfectly fit every costume we own, for most of us it simply isn’t practical, either monetarily or time-wise. A good solution is to glitter an inexpensive pair of heels that fit and wear well to match whatever costume you might need.
This link is but one of many different ways to DIY a pair of your own customized glitter heels.
Today we will be exploring how to make a basic bralette!
Bras are some of the most ornery lingerie items to make at home. While panties are relatively simple, any of those of us who have ever had to go bra shopping can tell you exactly how tedious getting a bra to fit for daily use can be. Add in routines that can vary in flexibility and energy and you are looking at an even more daunting task. However, there is hope! The basic triangle bra is a standard for classic burlesque costumes.
In this link there is a bralette tutorial can give you a good place to start!
Today we will be exploring how to wear and secure pasties!
While the size, shape, composition and color palette of each individual performer’s pasties will change based on personality, costume, law, and the phases of the moon, one thing we all have in common is that somehow you have to get those adorable nip-hats to stick to your, well, nips.
While the weather/time of the year can change how each adhesive might work for you, the basic types of adhesive remains pretty standard: tape, glue and spirit gum. You can read more here!
Today we will be exploring how to make a garter!
Garters are a sweet note in a costume that can be used to make a look a little more retro or to help keep up a wandering pair of stockings (although more modern thigh highs have an grippy backing that makes a garter unnecessary). While not necessary, -and really, it is quite difficult to have a standardized list of “must haves” for burlesque costumes- many of us enjoy having detailed lingerie for our final reveal in our bigger acts.
Garters can be personalized to match each costume and are really very easy to make!
Today we will be exploring the stocking peel!
One of the most easily recognizable moves in burlesque, the stocking peel, like the glove peel, has almost endless variations that an individual dancer can utilize. The possibilities for creativity and unique expression can, therefore, be seen as the icing on the personalized cake that is a burlesque routine. There are, for instance, many different tips and tricks to extend the time on a peel (such as tucking a little of the stocking between your toes). Stockings can even be used to hide very small props, like a surprise release of glitter, to enhance the theatricality of an act.
The esteemed Jo “Boobs” Weldon’s blog contains a “Top Five” stocking peel videos that show the sheer diversity of stocking peels!
Today we will be exploring craft adhesives!
As a follow up to last Teaching Tuesday’s post, this time we will be exploring the sometimes fraught world of craft adhesives. Some of us will swear by Gemtac and others prefer E6000 for adhering rhinestones, but what about other adhesive needs? It can really be an overwhelming topic!
This link contains a dictionary of brands, types and areas of use for a large sampling of craft adhesives.
This marks my third year at Festival of Legends, the fairy festival that J owns and produces. I was the Naga character again, something that amuses me to no end because I usually get mistaken for a mermaid, despite the fangs. This year the theme was “Dreams” and our logo was a dream catcher with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Native American Defense Fund, this year’s charity. You can read the full address to the public on the Festival of Legends website.
This year was hot, hotter than hot, pretty much one of the hottest days in NC that month. It was right up into the 90s for both days, sunny and beautifully clear. It was the perfect beach weather but really a test to how amazing the participants of FOL really are! They were troopers, making sure everyone had enough water, looking out for patrons and cheerfully enduring like they have done with winds and torrential rain before.
I had a booth for the first time this year! I was selling my bath bombs, my whipped body butters and scrubs as well as my custom costumes. My two boothies, M and D did a wonderful job and I spent most of my time running around after Jeff and checking the festival. It rained EXACTLY at closing gate time on Sunday, which neatly cleared the grounds. We went to the same post-weekend restaurant as last year, which was amazing as usual. I cannot stress how amazing this group is. The core group of participants that we have are a tight knit family and work wonderfully together every single year.
The largest show I do every year is Frolicon. This year was no different! Two shows and five classes kept me busy all weekend.
First up was Secret City Burlesque, my home away from home. We opened the convention with a Thursday night show dedicated to all things dreams and nightmares. I built a new act around the concept of a seer that included a floor length gown that was leopard print with a burgundy lining covered in eyes. I performed the entire act with a lace blindfold on and a chain lead that I whipped around to great effect. This is the kind of crowd I can really let loose with and, being a fetish convention, they were very appreciative of the realism when I performed self flagellation. The bruises lasted for over a week but the reaction was well worth it.
After that there were five classes on Sensory Bottles (used for anxiety attacks, ADD and children on the spectrum, but in this case I have found them to be very useful in aftercare), earring building (I used the lock and key combo because of our specific setting), a class on fascinator building (this time it was black ostrich, peacock eyes and red roses), found jewelry assembly (where we used a ton of broken and mismatched jewelry pieces to build new pieces), and a class on basic pin up makeup (and let me tell you, teaching that puppy after a night of partying when you’re still at least a little drunk on a model who is in the exact same boat was a Herculean effort).
My show with Subterranean Cirqus was an amazing amount of fun as per usual. I love working with them so much! I am the only burlesque performer usually, but it’s a return to the roots of sideshow that makes me feel like I am really stretching my art. This year I brought on my bestie on stage once again, this time in a far more active role. We revamped my tongue in cheek tribute to Doms everywhere but this iteration with D as the submissive and myself as the dom. It was a lot of fun and he did so well! I actually used live steel on stage for the first time in a while. I usually don’t because of the risk to myself, despite my ability to use a knife in a knowledgeable way, and more importantly the risk that an uneducated performer might decide that the idea of using live steel on stage is an easy thing to incorporate into an act without a lot more experience and care. But the act went wonderfully! Next up I did a new Prince song (I just can’t seem to stay away from them!) to Darling Nikki, a shorter one but still following the basic pattern of my Prince numbers: throw all the choreography out of the window and fuck the stage. It just happens. I’ve learned to work with it over the years.
It was a wonderful weekend made even better by the addition of our pack girlfriend, who is a very spunky, kickass individual from LA who attended her very first Frolicon with us this year.