Monday, June 27, 2016

Love Triumphs Over All, Including Storms and Forgetfulness

"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot." - Morpheus, Sandman
I saved the freaking out for the stage.
Photo by KWN Design
The beginning of April was uneventful, which gave me to time to focus on producing my next Tuesday Tease and get a handle on the effects of my medication.  I've struggled with anxiety for a while but only started pharmacological treatment recently.  The meds caused drowsiness and disrupted my sleep patterns, making me sluggish and scatterbrained.  I had one of those weeks where I just kept forgetting things, and unfortunately that happened with the week of my two shows at Tuesday Tease and Glitterbomb.

I'm sure stress was a factor, particularly with Tuesday Tease.  Lillith was more hands-off this time, but I knew that going in.  The theme was comic books, and everything ready to go a week ahead.  Then scheduling conflicts popped up.  I learned my lesson with Dawn of the Nerd and immediately started contacting back-ups.  I also ran through "Black Glasses" in case I needed to step in last minute.  It turned out I did.

Since I had made Plans B, C, and D, I wasn't too worried the day of the show.  However, a severe thunderstorm that could potentially develop into a tornado decided to hit.  I kept my eyes on the weather report, and the cast decided that the show must go on.  Every member of the cast and crew (including our photographers) deserve so much props for making it out.  I also have to commend the small but dedicated crowd of Tease fans and comic book geeks (as well as some newbies).  It was fun to meet people who hadn't seen "Black Glasses", and I don't think anybody cared that I forgot my Hulk shorts.

Cast and crew of Tuesday Tease: Queer-oes!
Photo by Brandy Lynne Photography
The same week, I was to perform at a special Glitterbomb show that also doubled as the wedding ceremony for my Academy of Queerlesque classmate Cheyenne and her partner Nephenee.  Our mutual friend Melanie was kind enough to give me a ride, allowing me to do the show and attend the wedding.  However, I managed to forget part of my costume again.  I felt really bad for missing part of the ceremony to search.  At the same time, I wanted to pull off a good performance, and I needed to be ready.  It turned out that I had forgotten to transfer the things to another bag because they were in a separate bag (I put shoes in a plastic bag so they don't get my luggage and clothes dirty).

Despite that stressful moment, I was very moved by the words exchanged between the brides, and that helped clear my mind.  I improvised the missing bits and used this as an opportunity to see how I could work the crowd without relying on anything but my body.  The Glitterbomb audience loved my "Ring Ring Ring" act, and I was honored to be a part of this special show, especially after learning that Cheyenne had introduced her wife to this blog.  It's great to have people champion your work because while I've learned at a young age to rely on myself, supporters give you that extra push to try even harder and go that extra mile.  I hope Nephenee and Cheyenne are doing well in Canada!

I'm happy to say I haven't been as forgetful as I was that week… at least with burlesque (I still sometimes have to go back to lab to put something up).  Both shows reminded me that even if I primarily dance for myself, I do have an audience to entertain.  On the flipside, that also means I have supporters.  They may not come to every one of my performances or be very vocal on-line, but they are there.  So thank you all for taking the time to watch me, follow me, and read my writing!

For those of you who are available, Tony Fo-Hawk is performing at tomorrow's Tuesday Tease.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Upcoming shows: Glitterbomb and Texas Queerlesque Festival

I was going to make a post about Orlando, but like many in the LGBTQIAP community, I'm struggling to find the right words.  Glitterbomb had a different theme this week, but we decided it would be best to celebrate us and our pride.  Therefore instead of just having Tony Fo-Hawk do two numbers, he and I are going to share the act that got us through some tough times.  Because sometimes we need a little rage.

The other act is still a solo from him.  If you're a fan of Hamilton, you don't want to miss it.  The show is tonight at Mable Peabody's.

I suppose now is a good time as any to announce that I have been accepted into the first-ever Texas Queerlesque Festival.  I'm performing in the Friday night Sequins and Sass Showcase.  It's going to be an amazing weekend, and if you want to volunteer, vend, or sit on the producers panel, please click on the link above for more info.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Familiar Stomping Grounds: All-con and the Tarantino Show

"Audiences know what to expect, and that is all they are prepared to believe in." - Player King, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
As you've noticed, I have been quiet lately, both here and on the stage.  I really burned myself out in March but couldn't stop going until the end of April.  Add in some changes to my health, and I've had to readjust my overall lifestyle.  It's a work in progress.  Oh and my photo editing program died on me (which is pertinent as you will find out later).

Inspired by one of my favorite BMX riders Scotty Cranmer, I attempted to start making video for Youtube.  However, my daily life isn't that exciting, and both lab and backstage have aspects that are off limits.  So it's back to writing, which better fits my skill set and technological resources.

By Neither Noir
I did seven panels at All-con this year.  Although I enjoy talking about all of the topics, that's a lot to handle.  Thankfully, and unfortunately, Vylette La'Pairadoux and I decided to put Ladies of Power on indefinite hiatus.  There are other cosplay charity groups and panels about social issues, and both of us are more focused on burlesque anyway.  I do have a new panel idea that I would like to submit next year, but I have to make sure I don't overdue.

Despite my exhaustion, I had a great time.  Ben Dover joined Black Mariah and me for the nerdlesque panel; it was cool getting a drag perspective.  As you may have seen with an earlier post, I got lots of wonderful photos by Neither Noir, including some of my new Flannery cosplay with The Companion as Flareon (both from Pokemon).  I even got to talk skateboarding with the guys!  Unfortunately I forgot to lint roll my shirt so I have to do some editing to get rid of Flareon's tail fluff. 

Shortly after All-con was the third Quentin Tarantino tribute: Burlesque Is a Basterd.  I debuted my O-Ren Ishii act at the last tribute so I was excited to show off the revamped version.  However, I initially did not feel as well-rehearsed, but I hustled during the days leading up to the show and focused on the areas that needed work.  Then my sword broke the night before the show.  The Companion was kind enough to make a late night run for glue and my dad has since then helped me reinforce the blade, but I'm thinking I need to scrap a particular move that I don't always execute successfully anyway.

By Firebird Images
Regardless of that and my panic about being late as a result of my late work schedule (I should take show days off but it disrupts the lab a lot), this was probably my best performance as O-Ren.  I may not have gotten all the moves, but I really felt in character.  Practicing only the facial expressions has helped a lot.  I also added fishnets to the costume and realized how much they flatter my butt.  It makes a huge difference when you don't have much junk in the trunk!
By Firebird Images

The cast and crew consisted of people I'd met from different shows, which was cool.  The crowd was awesome; one guy even recognized me from All-con!  I've been thinking about what I would do if I decided to bring a new routine to the next Tarantino tribute.  Honestly I haven't seen too many his films so I don't know.  I know Gogo Yubari is the obvious answer, but I'd have to learn how to spin poi (and make a less spiky weapon) to do her properly.  It's too early, and I'm only just feeling good about O-Ren.  Perhaps it's better to focus on continuing to improve the act.  It's sort of like my History of Burlesque panel at All-con.  Every year it's always popular (okay, not so much this year due to the timing and location), and it's got good content so I keep doing it.  Old and familiar isn't necessarily bad because they might not be so for others.