Sunday, January 25, 2015

Firsts and Lasts at the Lakewood

Phew, it's been a hectic couple of months.  I spent much of November and December working on improving one routine and creating another for two auditions.  On top of that, I was cast in Viva Dallas Burlesque's DC vs. Marvel show.

It was the last live performance (that we know of) at the Lakewood Theater, which had changed owners.  I had attempted to put together a new routine for that show early in the fall, but I didn't have much of a costume at all.  Maybe next time…  The producers, however, loved "Black Glasses", and thus I got the opportunity to step foot on the Lakewood stage.

Allan Hayslip Photography
The first time I was in the theater was in February 2012.  Back then, I had not even started burlesque classes and was just nurturing a love for watching it.  I went to that Viva show, Gadgets and Gobstoppers, because my friend's band, Marquis of Vaudeville, was performing.  Despite being a newbie, I was inspired by all the performers I saw, but I never expected to be on the same stage.

A year of doing "Black Glasses" had cemented the routine in my mind so I focused on the auditions until they were filmed.  I am thankful to have opted out of some holiday festivities so that I could improve on the routine (which will always be a work on progress).  However, even if my mind was sharp from repetition, the time gap and holiday stress left me a little out of shape.  Lesson learned: don't let school breaks and costuming projects keep me from working on my strength and flexibility.  I also discovered that I probably shouldn't go to the chiropractor the same day of a performance, particularly when I'm still new to the procedure.

I tried to stretch as much as I could backstage—in between chatting with the dancers.  I enjoyed working with Janie Slash again, meeting Shan de Leers, and having all sorts of great conversations with the entire cast.  It alternated between silly nerding out and discussing serious issues like body positivity and the need for more diversity.  I really admired Shan de Leers for challenging the norm when it comes to body hair.  You know what though?  She was so awesome on-stage that most people probably did not notice.  She made me want to work harder on my dancing and my confidence.

All of my castmates made me want to improve on my fitness and skills.  I enjoyed seeing everyone's unique take on a superhero, and the crowd did too.  I couldn't have asked for more enthusiasm.  

By Ben Britt

Later in the evening, I talked to two ladies from Women Who Write Comics about my inspiration.  I was stoked that they recognized that it was a challenge to the concept of the "fake geek girl" (who can't be both nerdy and sexy), as well as a parody of some sexist tropes.  Yay for all the feminism!

For curtain call, I decided to wear my Death cosplay.  It was my personal compromise with the DC vs. Marvel showdown since I read Amazing Spiderman on-stage.  All the past Viva Dallas Burlesque performers in crowd joined us for a toast.  Even though this was my first time performing, I felt the same pride and joy at them moving on and sadness at the end of an era.  I wish Shoshana the best on working towards a new chapter, and I hope I can be a part of it.
By The Naked Lens

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2nd Annual Vintage Life Expo

This Saturday, I will be at the Vintage Life Expo helping promote Ladies of Power.  I'm working on a new cosplay for the event.  It runs from 11 AM to 5 PM with Singapore Slingers headlining and costs nothing.  Click here for more info.

Don't forget to stop by the paper moon photo booth by Bright Bytes Studio.  This is a picture The Companion and I got with them last year.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 photoshoots and recap

I'll get to making a proper post after my Viva performance on Friday (click for ticketsthey're almost sold out!).  Instead I'll share links to the photo recap I did on Tumblr: January-June and June-December.  I hope you check them out.

As a bonus for following this blog, here are some more photos from the shoots that I did.  I already shared some from All-con with Neither Noir and a preview of the Ladies of Power cosplay calendar by shot HendrixXHunter Photography, but here are the shoots I didn't get to cover in my blog.

In February, I met Hell or High Water Photography at Sci-Fi Expo, and she took pictures of my Sailor Mars cosplay:

Then in October, I did a burlesque shoot with Tanya Forno (who also did the make-up):

Finally, Charles Nguyen took some promo images for the new troupe I'm a part of, the Dallas School of Burlesque Cats.  Hair and make-up was by May May.