Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Upcoming shows: Tuesday Tease and Nerds in Technicolor

I've been helping with the 2017 Texas Queerlesque Festival, and Tony Fo-Hawk wanted to get involved.  Tonight he'll be performing in the Tuesday Tease fundraiser.  All proceeds will be going to festival so please come and out support this show!

I've mentioned Nerds in Technicolor before, but tickets are live now.  Click here to purchase them and check out all the beautiful POC geeks taking over Fort Worth in February!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Producer's Perspective

Max Bialystock: "The two cardinal rules of producing. One: Never put your own money in the show."
Leo Bloom
: "And two?"
Max Bialystock
: "Never put your own money in the show!"
- The Producers

Before I get started, I want to give mad props to my fellow performers who marched this weekend and stood up for rights of ALL women.  I wasn't able to attend the one in Dallas, but I'm fighting in my own ways, one of them being participating in the Legislate This! fundraiser.  As a reminder, it's this Friday and you can get tickets here.  Check out this teaser video of all the performers you'll see.

Now onto our regularly scheduled programming. As I've said before, I never wanted to be a producer.  I knew how much of it was like herding cats, and I've always been more of a loner than a leader.  The idea of curating a show to fit a theme of my choice did appeal to me, but I also knew my tastes differed from what was easily marketable.

Everything changed when I joined the Tuesday Tease Team.  I saw an opportunity to elevate the visibility of both queer and POC performers, especially those with out-of-the-box visions like my own.  It would also let me be more active in the queerlesque community .

Being roommates with college theatre producers helped prepare me of the job at hand.  Lillith Grey and Vivienne Vermuth were great mentors and co-producers to help me get started, and Friskey Business and Tasseled Squirrel offered invaluable support as stage managers.  It's so important to have a crew that you can rely on.

Tuesday Tease: Dawn of the Nerd cast and crew
Photo by Brandy Lynne Photography
Last September was the first show I produced solo, and it was a big one for me.  We had two out-of-town guests, Amber Ray and Rosa Lee Bloom, who were absolutely spectacular.  The theme of classic burlesque and drag allowed me to go back to my roots of learning classic while simultaneously teaching me more about drag.  I had some very new performers in the cast, who did extremely well.  I hoped they took something away from sharing space with veteran performers.

Although my burlesque aspirations are still centered on opportunities to tell a story with my body, I've developed a love of producing.  It's nice to hang back and appreciate the work (because when you're performing, you're focused on delivering for the audience).  We do have to keep both the audience and the cast in mind when developing so I can't have all of my wacky ideas come into fruition, but I've learned how to make it work—like turning an idea for a cultural showcase to a night dedicated to songs in languages other than English.

Tuesday Tease: Tease Around the World cast and crew
Photo by KWN Design
There's been some difficult moments, and I know I could be more assertive and proactive.  Those are opportunities for education and growth though.  Being a producer carries a lot of responsibilities beyond just getting an audience and making your show goes off without a hitch.  You have power away from the stage, and when you are part of a group like the Tuesday Tease Team, you have to remember that you are representing the values of an organization.  It's easier said than done.  Nevertheless, I've come away from all of this a better person in burlesque/drag, in my professional life, and in general.

I've also learned how to stage manage.  In our case, it's not too different from stage kittening; we just are in charge of organizing the set-up and herding the cats.  You can get me in that role at tonight's Tease show.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Upcoming shows: Tuesday Tease and Legislate This!

Tonight is the return of PokGAYmon!  This time, we don't have an election to ruin things.  I may have also persuaded Tony Fo-Hawk to make a guest appearance.  Hope to see you at Sue's!

I also have the pleasure of participating in Legislate This! A Planned Parenthood Fundraiser.  My fellow performers and I have been upset about the recent attacks against women's rights by the current state and new national legislatures.  Having donated before, I'm excited to find another way to raise money to Planned Parenthood.  Click here for tickets.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 in photos

Every year, I do recap of some great moments of the year on Tumblr with a picture representing each month.  It was hard hard to pick just one a month because I'm doing more and more.  Now that I've pushed myself to step outside my comfort zone, I think I can work on honing the new skills I learned and be a better performer and producer.  Check out my Tumblr post here: part 1 and part 2.

It's interesting comparing my selection of photos with my Instagram Best Nine of 2016.  It's a little bittersweet because none of my performance pictures made it and my #2 is a show that didn't get to happen.  However, my "Fuck Trump"/"Fuck Pence" selfie made up for the latter.  I do appreciate the variety as well.
Although I resolve to be better about updates, my Instagram (hanaliburlesque) is still the best place to get the latest pictures.

Finally, as I mentioned previously, Tony Fo-Hawk will help kick off a new year of Tuesday Tease tomorrow.  It's a very special show, our first one with an all-POC cast, so please try to come out!