Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tacos and Popcorn: San Antonio Burlesque Festival and A Film Strip

"It's a battle between body and mind.  Sometimes you have to make yourself slam once, even if you fall pretty hard." - skateboarder Andy MacDonald

The past couple of months have been a rollercoaster, and I'm still on the ride.  However, I wanted to take a bit of time to write about my experiences.  July was spent doing Tuesday Tease and rehearsing with Fuego Danza Company.  We were accepted in the San Antonio Burlesque Festival's Saturday Night Spectacular.  Because it was our first festival as a troupe and we were competing, we spent time tightening the choreography and making sure the new line-up got all the steps down.  Everything went well for me until the week before the festival.  I pulled my left hamstring…putting on dance shoes.

Photo by Sheridan Original
It sucked.  Taking inspiration from the X Games (which was probably not the greatest idea since I later paid for this decision), I made up my mind that I was going go all out even if I would have to hobble off-stage afterward.  I tried to take it easy before show time, but we had a few rehearsals left. 

As I said, it wasn't the best move, especially with our hectic schedule.  However, I still had a great time.  I got to bond with the troupe and see the friends that I made last year.  The workshop with Miss Indigo Blue on facial expressions was invaluable.  I even incorporated part of her lesson to my performance that night.

Unfortunately fatigue reared its head at the worst time: I blanked in the middle of our performance.  Although I recovered and the crowd loved us, I was still bummed. I tried to not think about the competition because that's how things become not fun.  All the performances were so awesome that it wasn't hard for me to just sit back and enjoy the rest of the show.  Fuego didn't take home a taco award, but that's okay.  Everybody worked hard, and I had fun.

Photo by Miracle Bennett
When we got home, I didn't have much time to rest.  I had to start rehearsing for A Plumb Askew Revue's Popcorn and Pasties: a Film Strip.  It was the first time I'd be performing my O-Ren Ishii act after I made some changes.  I had received some helpful critiques from La Divina after my Evil Queen performance, and I had tried to make revisions for the Dallas Burlesque Festival.  It wasn't quite there yet so I kept working on the routine.  Again, Indigo Blue's advice came in handy.

I improved a lot, but something felt off.  With a better sense of my identity as a performer, I'm not sure it fits my vision.  I won't put O-Ren to rest for good, but I’m going to have to think on this act some more.  Despite all this, I had a blast at Popcorn and Pasties.  It was fun geeking out backstage with friends, and Vivienne Vermuth did an amazing job on my make-up, which alleviated some of the frenzy.  I enjoyed watching how different movies inspired my fellow performers.  There was something for everyone at this show, and I'm glad I was a part of this diverse cast.  Check out the video by Lisa Loving.

I have at least one more post to write before I'm caught up.  In the meantime, I'll share more of Miracle Bennett's photos on my Facebook page.  Also you can catch me with Fuego this Friday at ¡Ritmo Caliente!  No samba group number this time, but I'll be debuting a new act.  Click here for tickets.

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