Sunday, October 19, 2014

Upcoming shows: Villains and Villainesses Burlesque

Big news!  I will be competing in the Texas Burlesque Peepshow's Evil Queen of Burlesque competition.

Other contenders for the crown include: Blaze, Femme Vivre Le Rouge, Goldie Candela, MayMay, Pashionata Fair, Siren SaintSin, and Vivienne Vermuth.  There will also be performances by the Dallas School of Burlesque Dancers, Pistolettes a Go-Go, and Iris Le'Mour as Maleficent.

Click here to purchase tickets.  You don't want to miss this!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Finding My Fire at the Latin Burlesque Festival

Joining Fuego de Samba was a happy accident.  One day I decided to try samba class at the Dallas School of Burlesque.  It was fun, but due to scheduling conflicts, I couldn't return for a while.  A month later I found myself with some free time and dropped in again, right in the middle of rehearsals for the Latin Burlesque Festival.  Suddenly I was a part of the troupe.  I felt like an interloper at first.  There was a lot of catching up to do, and I wasn't sure I could embody the fiery spirit of the dance.  However, Lily LeCroix put her faith in me and I pushed myself to master the fast footwork and convey more confidence.

After weeks of rehearsal and hours of costuming, we made our unofficial debut in the 2014 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade.  I say unofficial because not all of the troupe was present and we didn't perform.  We were in full costume though.  It was good practice for getting used to the headdress and the feathery bustle.  I had a lot of fun in the parade, but I still had apprehensions about doing the troupe justice.  And the Latin Burlesque Festival was only five days away…
Fuego de Samba
By Samuel Hsu
To make things worse, a sore throat threatened to take hold of me that week.  I couldn't figure out if it was allergies, an on-coming cold, or too much exposure to E6000 (it's not fun being a perfectionist sometimes).  Thus performance day got off to a rough start, and work kept me later than intended.  As if that wasn't enough stress, I had a freak-out moment with my contacts that wound up being a lens needing more rinsing and my eyes more moisture.  On the plus side, I got some last minute make-up inspiration from a Sephora e-mail.

Thankfully everything came together for the performance.  Fuego de Samba was the surprise opener for the Latin Burlesque Festival, and everybody loved it!  The routine never felt exhausting until we were finished, and with adrenaline rushing, I was a bit winded.  Ali and I didn't have much time to chill or celebrate since we were the stage kittens for the night.

By Mr. Photopix
Unfortunately, that was when my bad luck caught up to me again.  I got a bit of glitter in one eye just as we were going to pick up for the following act.  As much as I tried to ignore the pain, it was too intense (any discomfort you get from having something in your eye is magnified 100-fold with rigid gas permeable lenses).  I rushed to the dressing rooms while Black Mariah stepped in.  The timing could have been worse, and I'm thankful I was able to fix everything without missing too much.  The rest of the night went smoothly, and it was such a pleasure to help out all these amazing dancers, including the legendary Kitten Natividad.  She was so sweet and humble. 

By Musico Roots
After the show, several of my troupemates were hungry for pizza so The Companion and I drove MayMay and Jay Scarlet to meet with everyone.  This little pizza join wound up getting a late night invasion of burlesquers.  Even though most of us changed into casual clothes, we still had our stage make-up so it must have looked odd.  After lots of laughter and nerdy discussions, we called in a night and prepared for Night Two.

I had wanted to take a couple of the workshops on Saturday, but that specter of a sore throat reared its head again and I opted to stay in.  Since The Companion had gone to a video game tournament, Jay was my seat buddy for the show.  It was competition night, and the judges had their work cut out.  I predicted that Eva Strangelove and Justin Credible's bullwhip paso doble and Fat Bottom Cabaret's energetic group number would get recognized because they're impressive no matter how many times you've seen them.  Then there was our dear MayMay who took drag to another level in an Addams Family duet with Buck Wylde (I look forward to more duets from them) and her Pan's Labyrinth solo routine.  That Faun costume blew everybody's minds.  I had no idea who was going to be Queen because everybody was on point.  It was cool seeing different forms of Latin dance be reinterpreted for burlesque from both competitors and the headliners.  In the end, Tiny D was Queen of the Latin Burlesque Festival with Bianca Dagga as Princess—double win for NYC!

After another night of celebrating with all the dancers, I thought about how fortunate I was to have stumbled into samba, as well as burlesque.  I was honored to be a part of something really important for the burlesque world.  I'd been going through a rough month where my insecurities got the best of me.  I'm more awkward and serious than wild and sassy, but I've learned that I can make it work even in a flirty, energetic samba number.  Now I'm starting to think about how to add some Latin flavor to my brand of burlesque because I definitely want to submit something to next year's Latin Burlesque Festival.

For more photos, check out my facebook album.  Also, if you think that cupcake looks delicious, you can usually find them at the Texas Burlesque Peepshow performances.  All proceeds go to Rowdy Rory's surgery fund.