Friday, March 30, 2007

Pamela Moore - New & Improved Blogging Speed!

Blogging has been challenging for me over the past year and a half. You see, I have an antique iMac at home and I cannot yet afford a new Mac laptop. My little iMac hasn't made it possible to put links and photos on my blogs. I love the computer, but it's about ten years old now and struggles to keep up with the DSL speed we have available at home.

I have done much of my blogging and editing at work. I would take the first fifteen to thirty minutes of every day to update the ol' blogs, or I'd take time out in the middle of the day. The only problems there would be people coming into my office to talk to me during my scheduled blogging time, and I'd have to take time off my time card to do it. I don't know about you, but I go to work to work. I don't want to spend too much time in the office when I'm not making money.

We had a computer with a crashed hard drive. This was a computer I got as my office computer in 2002. It's been sitting in my office for over six months with a crashed hard drive. I told my boss I was taking it home on Wednesday. He bought a new hard drive for me since I'll be using the computer for some work while I'm at home. I only had to pay for a monitor and mouse. This means we can blog with photos, edit video and finally burn and post the John Mayer bootlegs. Huzzah!

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Tuesday Night Affaire

We had the ceremonious reading of Andrew's play, Torrid Affaire, Tuesday night at Write Act. I love this show and I really want to do it again, so I rolled my attention into producing a great event that people would want to attend so that we would get the feedback (and votes) we needed to get the show produced. We had wine, beer, soft drinks, chips and cookies set out in pink dishes on a pink tablecloth. (It was a "Torrid Affaire" party, after all. Had to make it look good.) We also had a raffle for the "Sexy Sack," a goody bag with show-themed treats -- hot chocolate, a scented candle, guitar picks, Altoids and an airbrushed book of positions from Borders. We had people enter with their stripper names (first pet's name and mother's maiden name) to make it even more fun.


The reading went well. It took about an hour and fifteen minutes, which is about what the show runs without someone reading the stage directions and without people rushing through lines. There were lots of laughs. There were some lines and references that could be scrapped that I hadn't caught before. (As a side note, I don't feel bad saying there were some things in the script that could be tweaked or cut even though Andrew wrote the script. Part of our relationship involves one reading the other's work and saying what works and doesn't. Love's a beautiful thing.) What was fantastic was that the show still felt fresh for me.


In the Q&A after the reading, we got a great response. There were some nice suggestions for the area that Andrew felt was the weakest. No one had any off-the-wall criticism of the show. They all followed it easily and enjoyed the dialogue. I felt it was very productive. Andrew was showered with compliments. We don't get the feedback forms until the producers have met and finish discussing them. I think that based on the verbal feedback, we stand a great chance of getting the show up later this year or early next year.


(Photo of Andrew in his "writer/director" sweater and Gregory Crafts who played Jonah in the reading.)

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Infomercial Veteran

Yesterday I did my fourth infomercial. The first was Dianetics (life changing book - highly recommended by me), but I don't know if I made the final cut for the infomercial. The second was Youthful Essence by Susan Lucci. You can see me in the audience for a couple shots in pearls and a sweater (not my usual get-up). I didn't have to give a testimonial for that one -- I just had to listen and applaud. The third was Flirty Girls. That was the one that gave me the free pole that still stands in my living room. I danced with my classmates for part of the infomercial package, and I gave a testimonial. I' ve enjoyed the product from all of these things, but Dianetics was the only one I did just for the love of the product -- no gas money, no free anything, just a couple hours out of my day to tell others about my experience.

Number four was Malibu Pilates. I got the gig through my pilates teacher at Soma. She sent an email to a handful of her students and teachers that we could get a free class on this awesome pilates chair and get a chunk of change as gas money. I signed up right away. I love pilates, I love the chairs, and I love money. Oh, and infomercials are a guilty pleasure for me.

I used this chair which is similar to what Joseph Pilates originally intended with his workouts, using "bedsprings" for resistance. It was an awesome workout. I used the chair once in my mat class and I felt the workout the next day. Today I feel a little stretch in my neck and hamstrings. Since I dance so much and I survived the tissu class, I think I'm in pretty good shape and it's not surprising that I'm not in pain.

The day went well. I had shrimp sushi for a snack, a great lunch of grilled chicken and salad, a free workout on these awesome pilates chairs, and I got paid. I also got the tank top you see in the picture and a pair of walnut colored capri pants as part of the deal. Infomercials = w00+!

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The Big Bra Adventure: Part One

My belly dance troupe is performing May 1st at Dar Maghreb Restaurant in Hollywood. We discussed getting troupe costumes, but there's nothing available at the best website for a reasonable price that we all like. So my teacher decided we'll all wear black and silver like we did for our recital and showcase in December. I didn't do a solo at the showcase, so I didn't dress up very much. This time is different. This time I need some bling.

I decided to start construction on my first belly dance bra. It's not supposed to look like underwear, so there are alterations that have to be done. I got the bra for cheap from Frederick's a few months back, but I wasn't sure what color I'd want. Looks like it's going to be black. As promised, I'm documenting my experience here.

First I had to cut off the back where the straps meet the band. The closure will be replaced with something a little more sturdy, like a big hook and eye. I didn't cut the band off at the cup because I like the little stretch that the bra sides give. I folded under the excess fabric and stitched it so it's ready for 1" cotton twill tape for the closure. I also removed the straps completely since I'll probably turn it into a halter so I don't have to worry about straps sliding down my shoulders.

For my next step, I have to get that cotton twill tape and some black fabric to make the back and straps and cover the bra. After that, I get to decorate. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

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Friday, March 23, 2007


Persona


Last night in class we talked about our burlesque stripper persona. We also talked more about costuming for our final. I figure Andrew will pick out something for me to wear, pick out my music and I'll rock the house. Of course, this doesn't necessarily decide my "stripper persona."
So who am I, as a stripper? Am I really a nice girl? I always figured that with the pirate language and great belching skills that I wasn't really a girl next-door. I go to the nude beach, I curse, I like wearing jeans. But I'm fairly light on my feet as a dancer, and I'm a very conventional girl. I usually vote the same as my husband. Am I a pearls-wearing, martini-fetching kind of girl?
This is a little scary to consider.
OMG. I think I am a nice girl.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Strip Master

I started the newest round of pole master classes last week. Each session we work on something different. We spent one session on go-go dancing and ATL, another session on music video choreography, another session on dancing to Broadway hits. This round is burlesque. My class is bigger than it's ever been. There are probably ten or twelve girls, all learning how to striptease.

Right before classes started, I rented a documentary about striptease through Netflix. A lot of the dancing was bad, and there wasn't much tease to it. You'd be surprised how many of the strippers back in the day were nowhere near hot. It looked like most of them weren't dancers and weren't even interested in what they were doing. For shame!

My teacher is presenting us with aesthetic moves so we can do an old school striptease with all of the good stuff and none of the bad stuff I saw on the video. We're learning walks, how to strip like in the olden days (but looking good while doing it), and incorporating suitable pole tricks where we can. I had to buy thigh high fishnets and long gloves for class. At the end of the session, we get to perform for the class with the stripper persona we create wearing things we find in our closet.

I keep coming back to slutty schoolgirl. Is that wrong?

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Affaire Continues?

Remember this? We may do it at Write Act. We did a dry run for our reading, which is scheduled for next Tuesday. Andrew has made a few tiny edits so the show is a little different. We're presenting it to the company to see what they think. Maybe it will have a place in the show season. It's an easy show to put up and it has great roles for chicks. We'll see what happens.

Of course, I'm always happy for any opportunity to say "standing around with my dick in my hands."

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Pulling a Dance From My . . . You Know

I'm little more than a month away from the belly dance showcase at Dar Maghreb. I promised a solo back in November. What was I thinking?

I'm a better pole dancer than belly dancer. The movements come more natural to me, and I've been doing it longer. I usually have no problem improvising with pole. Throw on a song and I'll go nuts. Different story with belly dancing. I always find myself thinking "What next?" I also introvert because I can't think of moves fast enough so my transitions are crap. Throw on a song and I'll make Forrest Gump faces for a minute before I start moving around.

I had to start getting myself in gear for the upcoming showcase. I feel good about the group numbers, but the solo was haunting me. I finally selected music on Friday. I tried dancing around the kitchen to it on Saturday, but I made a lot of Forrest Gump faces as I tried to figure out what to do next. Sometimes it feels as if I only know two moves. I went online to find help.

I found some great articles here. The one on improvisation saved my life. There are specific rules about reprinting, so I thought it would be better to send you there for a look. The improvisation article can apply to any kind of dancing or music. It's very cool. I read the article and my dance started to take shape. It's not nearly done, but I actually have some ideas now.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

ROCK!

I love live music. Our Police tickets came in over the weekend, so we're all set with our crappy seats for the reunion tour at Dodgers Stadium. That's pretty exciting. So is the fact that we get to see Foo Fighters at the same show. Rock!


John Mayer's summer tour was announced about two weeks ago. Tickets go on pre-sale to fan club members for certain shows this Friday. This means that in June I'll see John Mayer at the Hollywood Bowl, then see Foo Fighters and the Police two weeks later. Rock!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Best Kiss Off Ever

I didn't get the lingerie gig. It would've been fun, but at least I had a great audition and I was seriously considered for a lingerie modeling gig. I also got the best kiss off letter ever.

Pamela,

Thank you so much for coming in last week for the Host position on our pilot, "[name deleted]."

You have a great look and a wonderful personality, but we unfortunately decided to go in a different direction for the host of the show. Again, it was great to meet you and I will definitely keep you in mind for further projects! Thank you again!

Sincerely,
[name deleted]
Producer

Too bad most rejections aren't this awesome!

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Hard Pretties

I survived my first tissu class on Friday. I was surprised that I wasn't hurt more, especially since I went into it with an injury. Pile that on top of the fact that I had a rotten Friday and it's even more amazing.


It took me an hour and ten minutes to get to the school from Studio City. The 405 totally sucks, I took a wrong turn when I exited the freeway, and there's not a sign on the school. When I arrived, we did some random stretches for about half an hour. That's when Gabrielle arrived to learn climbing with me. Climbing was tough since it required a lot of upper body strength and you have to keep your foot flexed so you can hold onto the tissu. Dance classes tend to train you to point your toe so it looks prettier. Not here.


After we worked on the first climb for a while, we learned how to wrap one foot and then get free. That was easy enough since there wasn't a lot of climbing involved. That's when the teacher had us make "candy canes." I'm doing candy canes in two of these photos. It's called a candy cane because you have the tissu wrapped around one ankle and part of that leg like stripes on a candy cane. The first time was easier than the second. It takes a great deal of arm strength and it put a lot of pressure on my ailing ankle. The second time I did it, I felt like my arms were going to give out on me and when I got in the air I felt like I was going to vomit. Maybe my body was trying to get rid of the gummy worms I had earlier in the day. We did one more move similar to what we do in pole, then we ended for the day.


The class is made up of all levels. It's a little dusty on the floor and you have to go barefoot, so I washed the black funk off my feet before I put on my socks. It was worse than pole class in that regard. There's one teacher for up to twelve students (there were only eight students that day), so you have to monitor your own safety so you don't hurt yourself. They did have some thick, soft pads on the floor under the tissu to help break the fall if needed.


It hurt a lot the next day. If I was more out of shape, I don't think I would've made my belly dance rehearsal yesterday. I've heard it gets better after the first time. I may just try again this week at a location in Hollywood, a little closer to the path I normally take from work to home.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Studious

I'm about to leave for my tissu class. Sure, my ankle is a little sore and my pole teacher suspects I have a stress fracture based on my symptoms. But I don't have time to delay life because of some cranky little injury. I'm off to get tied up and twisted in cloth. I hope I'm able to take a pic or two.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Choreography

I ventured into choreography for the first time last week. I'd choreographed little numbers for myself before, like when I was getting my performance badge as a Girl Scout. I'd collaborated before where someone else did most of the work and I threw in whatever ideas I could. When I dance in the living room, it's all very organic. I had to come up with something for other people to dance at an audition.

It was really challenging. First, I didn't know what skill levels would arrive for the audition. I didn't want to come up with something too difficult and scare off the handful of people who would be in attendance. Of course, I didn't want it to be too simple either because it would have to hold their interest. Second, I didn't know what the plans were for the actual show. I had no idea what the intentions were for the final product and if what I did would actually be part of that final product. All I knew is that people were planning on auditioning for this fundraiser and there was no one available to give them a dance piece to use for the audition.

With these unknowns, I had to take whatever stable things I knew. I know how to dance like a stripper. Since poles are not an option, I put together a simple and sexy chair dance. I created it so that it would be easy to learn in the time available and wouldn't be so trashy that the dancers would leave. I used some slow music and left the fan kicks, rolls on the ground and slithering out of the equation. I threw half of what I had out the window on Saturday afternoon and reworked it so it would flow better for the Sunday auditions.

I enjoyed teaching the dance, and the two girls who showed up did nicely with it. It looks like the plan is to have a jazz number, so I don't think I'll be choreographing on that. It was a nice little win putting something together in a really short time period, teaching it, and then seeing the finished work. I think it made me a better dancer.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

You Want Me to Put a Dollar Where?

Last night we went to a belly dance showcase at Dar Maghreb in Hollywood. This is where I danced in December and will be dancing again in May. My teacher puts together a dance showcase the first Tuesday night of every month, and the dancers are always different. If you make special reservations for the showcase, you can get a great Moroccan meal for $25 a person while watching live dancing. Since I'm performing a solo (eek) and two troupe numbers in two months, I thought I should go, show my support, and steal whatever moves I could.

What I found particularly interesting was the tipping aspect. These dancers work hard and deserve tips. They have lots of places to put them - arm bands, bra straps, fancy belts. What was funny was watching men tip them. It was as if they were uncomfortable that they'd have to touch a strange woman's flesh to give her a dollar. If they tucked the money too awkwardly then it would just fall out onto the floor. In their defense, the dancer is shaking and gyrating and sometimes playing hard to get while the man is trying to tip. It's actually really cute to watch.

For all you dance patrons out there, here's your lesson. Fold your bill (or bills) lengthwise. Tuck them in a strap or belt. Belly dancers aren't trashy, so leave the boobies alone. If the dancer plays hard to get, dance along with her and tuck the money when you can. She's trying to entertain you, so let her. Also, tip her nicely. Not everyone can move like that.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Blown Away

I'm mostly self-taught as a guitarist. Andrew has shown me some things here and there, I have some books that I skim for tips, and I've watched a DVD for dummies. I need to learn about soloing, so I rented the House of Blues blues guitar DVD from Netflix many months ago. Andrew watched part of it, loved it, and we bought it. I just sat down to do a lesson from it on Saturday evening. I always watch these things from the very beginning to fill in any holes in my education.

I've always had trouble with barre chords (or, as I like to call them, cheater chords) even though they're supposed to be the easiest to play. While watching the DVD, I learned that my left hand grip on the neck was wrong. I used to use my thumb to push my fingers around so only the tips would touch the strings. I would get wicked hand cramps. I discovered that I could just relax my hand and let my thumb rest. I was able to play a barre chord as soon as I matched the picture. Dude! I noticed that my hand actually was big enough to wrap around the neck. Maybe one day I'll be able to use my thumb in playing like John Mayer does.

This DVD is amazing. I recommend it for any guitarist who wants to improve technique. Andrew has learned a few things from the DVD, and he's been playing for years.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

New Pretties

I'm about to reveal something that I may not be at liberty to discuss, but I'm going to do it anyway. My theatre company will be producing A Midsummer Night's Dream this year. I met with the director last night to see how my pole skills might be of use to the production. The fairies will be a major part of the show, and they'll be very organic. Based on the communication I've had with the head of our little theatre family, I was under the impression he was going to use stripper poles and harnesses. Nope. He plans to use tissu.

I have no experience with tissu. I've had an interest in it since Gabrielle mentioned she took a class years ago. I need to take this class so I have some familiarity with what he's trying to do, and I need to know if it's safe or even possible for us to implement this aesthetic choice. And I want to take the class anyway. So it looks like next Friday my pole pal Jana and I will be attending our first tissu class in Inglewood.

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The Best Job Interview Ever

Yesterday I auditioned for a pilot for a lingerie makeover show. The idea is that they take a deserving person who needs a confidence boost and give them lingerie for three occasions - day-to-day, sexy and super sexy or special occasion. This is an idea I can really get behind. With the work I do in stripper parties and the experience I had with the infomercial, I know that giving someone confidence makes them sexy. I also know that when you feel good about yourself, it shows.

I was called in to audition for the role of the host. This means I would talk with the women, and it means I would have my own segment to model some lingerie from the sponsor. Of course, I had to audition in my bra and panties so they could see what I had to offer. I spent a lot of time hunting for a matching bra and panties. Most of what I have doesn't match, has a thong bottom or is sheer. Andrew picked out this blue Triple X bra and matching boy shorts from Frederick's, and there's a little sheer blue thong beneath with a lime green butterfly at the top of my crack and cute little blue bpws on the front. I was dressed for success.

I expected there to be tall, willowy blondes who were taller than me and had fake boobs hanging around. Nope. They were just regular girls like me! I spent some time chatting with the girl who was scheduled after me and she was a real person who wasn't a Hollywood puke! When I was called in, the male director was there with a male session director. They were older than me but not creepy at all. They talked to me like I was a person, taped me reading the sides, then had me go into a makeshift dressing room to change. I stripped down to my drawers, came out and we just talked before they taped me some more. Again, not creepy! Last time I auditioned in my underwear the guy was creepy. They sent me to get dressed, asked me a few more questions and thanked me for coming.

I would love to get this gig. Even if I don't, it was a fantastic experience. I was flattered that they thought I had the look of someone who could model lingerie. I was also pleased that they were professional and respectful. I'd gladly drop my pants for them again.

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