Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Spectacular Lessons with Penniless Writers and Pink Feathers

My recap of Texas Burlesque Peepshow's Moulin Rouge- inspired show actually starts two months before the show.  That was when I decided to put together a routine.  Plenty of time, right?  I failed to realize that my "Black Glasses" act had been brewing in my mind much longer than the month it took to put it together.  There was also the issue of making a complicated costume, which I couldn't have done without the help of my wonderful friend Mandy.

This is the face of a tired
penniless writer.
The premise of my act was inspired by Christian at the beginning of the movie and "Nature Boy".  While I liked the song, I thought I would go with something less obvious and more adaptable.  I'd been wanting to dance to "Hurricane" by MeByMe, an old music project from a college acquaintance.  That must have been a strange facebook message for him to have received.  With the time crunch, precise choreography, and monster of a costume, I started to become distracted from other aspects of my life.  In a way, I was turning into my character with the frustration and lack of sleep.

When I first considered performing, I read a lot about needing to have a thick skin.  I've never handled rejection well, but being a writer and constantly reminding myself that I was doing burlesque for fun steeled my soul.  Nevertheless it still hurt to learn that I wasn't cast.  What really got me was knowing that I could've done much better had I not procrastinated.  To regroup, I decided to put that routine to rest for now, but I did continue to go to dance class.  There, another opportunity presented itself.

Black Mariah had been putting together a fan dance for Spectacular Burlesque!  Since I wanted to focus on my solo act, I wasn’t sure about joining in.  However, the routine, which was set to Valeria's "Rhythm of the Night", was too irresistible to not learn.  It gave me a chance to work on my fan dance technique, and I finally was motivated to buy proper ballroom shoes.

Las Tentadoras Plumas Rosadas

I was stoked at how our routine had come together by show day.  We had different experience levels with both the dance and performance in general, yet we all came together on-stage and backstage with putting on costumes and make-up.  I did almost have a meltdown two acts before ours because one of my false eyelashes had started to fall down.  I had been struggling with them all day and with another pair the night before.  Since there wasn't enough time to reapply, I ripped the other one off and got ready to step out.  With all the gorgeous fans and even more beautiful ladies, I don't anybody noticed.

I think the false eyelash failure was a sign that I'm not really classical at all.  That's not to say they're not a staple for all of burlesque, but I had struggled to come up with a pink and black costume too.  Then there was the realization as I watched the other performances that the routine I submitted really did not fit in with the show at all; that is, my vision of the Moulin Rouge— the free, bizarre Bohemian spirit— wasn't the vision of Spectacular Burlesque!  Although I've had the inkling for a while, I didn't want to pigeonhole myself as only a neo or nerdlesque dancer.  Now I know I shouldn't force things to happen.  Group numbers can be where I get my taste of classical, and I have an idea of how I can improve my writer routine.  At the after-party, Jay Scarlet did a Tarot reading for me that told me to stick to my guns with whatever I'm working on.  I think that summed up the major takeaway from this experience pretty well.

For more photos, visit my facebook.

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