Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Naked Snake Revealed

Sigint: "Snake, what's up? Why are you naked? I know there's a 'NAKED' option under 'UNIFORM' that lets you take off the upper part of your uniform. But without a shirt on, your camouflage sucks, and your stamina goes down faster. You don't get any advantages whatsoever."
Naked Snake
: "Sure there are."
: "Like what?"
Naked Snake
: "It feels good."
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Back in August, I finally got to perform an act that has been brewing in my head since 2013.  Yes, it existed before "Black Glasses", which I chose to focus on because I wanted my solo debut to be more representative of me.  I even blogged about working on it.

When I became familiar with nerdlesque, Metal Gear Solid popped into my mind.  I had seen my brother and one of my friends in college play through Snake Eater, and the theme song was on Karaoke Revolution (a game I did play a lot).  It was sultry and dramatic, which just screamed "burlesque" to me.  The game was full of femme fatales, but I thought it would be more interesting and entertaining to portray the uber-masculine protagonist, Solid Snake.  Or since I'd be referencing Snake Eater, which was a prequel, his predecessor Naked Snake—yes, that is his codename.

AnimeFest 2015
Photo by Julio M. Photography
Since I approached the costume from a cosplay, rather than a striptease, perspective, I wound up getting real BDUs with the exact same camo that Naked Snake used.  They were not easy to work with, and I have to thank my friends Ramon and Radha, as well as The Companion, for helping with the construction.  I had more costume pieces and gags in the initial concept, but they just distracted from the performance.  Plus the most recent Metal Gear Solid heroine's lack of clothing gave me inspiration—and motivation to give Snake the same treatment.  I did keep the cardboard box though.

The act kept getting put on the backburner, but I never stopped thinking about how I could make it better because the opportunity would come one day.  And it did—with Tuesday Tease.  We decided upon a Super Smash Brothers video game theme.  Vivienne Vermuth helped me co-produce so that I could perform as well.  One thing you have to know, however, is that The Companion is a competitive Smash Brothers player so I did have to put a lot of work into the rest of the show.  It made me glad that I had most of my Snake act ready to go.  The Companion took time off to go to the show and invited his friends.  I was happy to get the support since Snake is not the most popular of characters.  I loved the reactions I got when I came out with the box and then revealed myself from underneath.
Tuesday Tease: Super Smash Tease
Photo by KWN Design
This act was made for a geeky audience, but I still wanted to reference classic burlesque in my choreography.  I'm constantly finding this balance in many of my acts.  It's tricky, and doing this a couple months later at Oni-con made me realize that I need to be flexible with my numbers.  In any case, I am really grateful for the opportunity to make Naked Snake a reality and show it off to two different audiences in two cities.  Hopefully those weren't the last missions for Naked Snake.

I've got a completely different mission this week: help produce the last Tuesday Tease of the year.  It's also our farewell show for Alissa, who has managed the bar and been our liaison with the higher ups.  So come join us for this special evening!

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