Thursday, August 15, 2013

Clever Girl, Wonder Girl, and Vampire Girl

I finally have a break from shows, lab work, and geek stuff to catch up on blog entries so we’re winding the clock back to the end of June, when Clever Girl Cabaret had their Drawn This Way comic- and animation-themed show.  Nerdlesque is right up my alley.  I’m a cosplayer, and I love the idea of both paying homage and satirizing the things I’m a fan of.  When I got the chance to stage kitten for Clever Girl Cabaret, my brain ran wild with cosplays I could adapt for the burlesque stage.  It went a little too crazy, as the common sense to ask Angi B. Lovely and Black Mariah, the producers, what they wanted didn’t kick in until two weeks before the show.  Whoops.

“Superhero” was the key word.  Despite being a comic book fan, I suddenly became stumped.  I wanted the perfect costume, but I knew my limitations.  Thankfully my partner suggested that I go with Wonder Girl since Black Mariah was known for her Wonder Woman routine.  The man is brilliant!  Before I knew about cosplay, I wanted to dress up as Wonder Girl, a.k.a. Cassie Sandsmark, from Young Justice.  Back then, she wore a black wig that resembled my hair and had goggles, which I thought was cool.  That version of Wonder Girl became my inspiration for the costume design though I did draw from her later costumes to make the outfit sexier.

Wonder Girl
(left picture from
Here’s where I make my big confession: I don’t know how to do sew.  On top of that, I hate making mistakes so my cosplays were mostly put together by sheer luck and parents.  Again I thank my partner for helping me out so much because he came up with the ideas and sewed most of the costume.  He also kept me sane when I was ready to cry because the outfit was still not complete hours before the show and things were not coming out right on the first try.  Somehow we finished in time for me to pack up the costume and take it with me on the rail trip to The Quixotic World.

My favorite part is the shoes.
A couple of days before the show, Black Mariah asked me if I wanted to participate in Coco Lectric’s Vampirella act.  Hell yeah!  If there’s vampires involved, I’m definitely in.  I didn’t know what the role would entail besides being “bitten” and covered in some blood so I just grabbed bra and panties that I wouldn’t mind getting soiled.  When Coco was explaining the act, which involved me and a fellow kitten trying to capture her only to have the tables turned on me, my contact decided to remind me that it’s there in my eyeball.  I wear rigid gas permeable lenses, and while I’ve gotten used to them after years of wear, sometimes it feels like I have an eyelash in my eye (and sometimes that turns into a more painful sensation).  I felt bad about appearing like I wasn’t paying attention.  Luckily, I got to run through it with her during tech rehearsals so I had a better idea of what to do.

Seeing the dancers tech not only gave me an idea of what to expect in terms of set-up and pick-up, but it also made me even more excited for the show.  There was just so much talent and creativity being showcased.  With the way The Quixotic World’s backstage was set up, my fellow Renee Holiday and I wound up stepping out of the curtained area in order of watch all the routines (it also helped us track down items).

Vampirella closed the show, and I had to rush to change into what I dubbed my vampire hunter outfit.  It’s a little embarrassing to see how mismatched the bra and panties were, but hey, practicality sometimes trumps glamour.  I’ve had to be a corpse before for theatre and have wound up twitching so avoiding that was what I was thinking about.  I can be extremely single-minded so I had no idea why all the dancers were extremely stunned and Coco was apologizing for being rough.  I thought the blood was what made people speechless, but after curtain call, Mariah and my partner explained what had transpired on-stage.  I still think it was business as usual.

Photo by J. Bouton

Photo by J. Bouton
For the first time, I put extra thought into what I would wear after a show.  I decided to pay homage to Neil Gaiman, who was in town earlier in the week, with an ensemble inspired by Death from Sandman.  My top was low-cut, and I proudly displayed the fake blood left on me.  I’m surprised I didn’t get more stares when a few of us went to Velvet Taco.  This was the first time I had gone out with burlesque dancers so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  When the stage names were dropped, I was a bit caught off-guard.  Even now I’m not sure what I should call the performers with whom I’ve become friends.  I enjoyed getting to know the ladies behind the persona though.  There was a nice balance of geekiness and wild antics that would be expected from nerdlesque dancers going to a late-night taco joint.

post-show pic with Coco Lectric
Stage kittening for Clever Girl Cabaret was a wonderful experience, and I had fun being Coco Lectric’s vampire convert too.  There's definitely a rush that comes with performing, and it's making me excited to continue to work towards my own solo act.  While I might not have conquered my arch nemesis of sewing, I’m encouraged by my costume to try it again.  In the meantime, I can't wait to be a wonder kitten again for the next Clever Girl show.

For more photos, check out my facebook page and my Tumblr (click here and here). 

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