Wednesday, September 26, 2007

2007: Year of the Dance

I realized last night that most of my creative juices have been used for dancing this year. It's not a bad thing. It's just been less of an actory year than others.

I have five more weeks of Midsummer if we don't extend. The pole recital is scheduled for December 1 and many of the rehearsals will take place on Thursday nights, so I'll be back in class as soon as the play is over. I'm going to start attending on Sunday nights the first weekend of October and then on Tuesday nights the following week so I can learn the routines. I know one of them but will probably do two more and a burlesque number. Guess I better spend some time working on that.

They changed the link to the Midsummer trailer. Here's the new one.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Theatrical Makeup

I like makeup. I really do. I enjoy street makeup and theatrical makeup. I had a great time hitting Frends Beauty Supply in Valley Village for spare eyelashes and other goodies for this show. I don't enjoy the breakouts that come from several consecutive days of wearing theatrical makeup, and I don't enjoy having to scrub with four different compounds to remove the multicolored stuff from my face.

Our makeup artist, Katie, has to help me cover my exposed skin with yellow makeup and black "feather" markings. During dress rehearsals, she did this. Saturday night she wrote "Pam Rulz" on the back of my neck. It was awesome. The great part is that my hair is mostly down so it makes the skin that might be exposed look birdified.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Another Opening . . .

We opened the show Thursday night. It's an amazing show. After weeks of rehearsals, I find myself still interested in watching through the curtains by my entrances or on the monitors backstage.

My dancers are phenomenal. They take direction easily and have really bonded with one another. I hope they're able to maintain the relationships they've developed once the show is over.

I've done a number of shows with Andrew, and this is the one show where he and I have very little interactions on stage or off stage during the course of the show. Of course, we have twenty-some people in the show and I'm responsible for nine of them. In addition, I'm covered in fairy birdy bits and makeup that rubs off easily so no last minute smooches before either of us goes on.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

My New Commercial

Never before have I been part of a play that had a commercial. Lo and behold, one of the members of my theatre company was inspired by some footage of my dancers to put together a commercial for the show. He brought in a cinematographer and we had an editor in house. This is their creation. It's online only, but it's fantastic promotion. You can see my dancers dancing. I'm dressed as a bird.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bird Blog

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here's me in rehearsal last night in all of my birdy glory. I promise longer posts soon. Tonight is opening night.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Little Fairies

This is a photo of all of my fairies but one. I'm in the purple and red at the bottom. The show opens Thursday so I've had little time for anything else.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Old Friend

I've been busy dancing my summer away. I've had fun, but I've been negligent with an old friend. I think we made up today.

The last time I played my guitar was March of this year. That's too long. I took a break from playing last year after Holly passed but I've always had a passion for guitar. I grabbed my Ovation this morning and it was mostly tuned. I checked my basic chords and I hadn't forgotten them. I hunted down chords for "Not Myself" from Room For Squares. (I've really been grooving on vintage JM lately . . . vintage meaning 2001.) I could still play! Huzzah! It's in my blood. I'm hoping to fit in more guitar time. I've missed it.


Friday, September 14, 2007

More About Camp

(I've been working days and rehearsing late nights so I've barely been able to get out of bed to go to work in the morning, much less blog. I promise I'll be back up to snuff after this show opens on the 20th.)

In the afternoon of the second day, we had a lesson in stocking and glove removal from the lovely and talented Jo Boobs. I really wanted to study with Jo. She had become a bit of a celebrity in my household since I got her e-book and Andrew started reading her blog.

Jo is as amazing as I hoped she would be. She's a very skilled and patient teacher. She showed us how to slowly peel a glove or stocking and really tease the audience with it. I learned to slow down the difficult things (like crouching, removing tough shoes or sitting down on stage to get comfortable). I also learned that everything in garment removal must be deliberate. It looks better that way. Jo showed us how interesting tension looks in clothing removal, so I now spread my fingers as I peel gloves so it looks cool.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Caw Caw Caw

Yesterday I had my makeup lesson for the show. All of the dancers are animal-like, so we have animal elements in our costumes and makeup. I'm a birdy. Check out this fantastic makeup design by Christopher Payne. My makeup has several steps and takes a bit longer than some of the other fairies, but I also get these wicked awesome green feather eyelashes. The makeup will come down to meet the edge of my bodysuit, and I'll have some feather headdress on so not much hair will show. I'll also have to get the black all up in the pink parts of my nose.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Great Choreography Experiment of 2007

I've mentioned before that I'm choreographing A Midsummer Night's Dream that opens September 20th in Hollywood. I just got back into dancing (and learning how to dance well in styles I enjoy) last year, so this year I've tackled showing eight other dancers how I want them to move. It's actually gone incredibly well.

The director is a hoot. He communicates well and really works to get his vision. These are photos of us working during rehearsal.

This first photo documents how he told me the girls needed to get even closer to each other with the dancing.

The second photo shows me on the floor, ready to perform. He wanted to see different levels when the dancers were on the floor, so I'm about to demonstrate what they're doing for him.

Here I look like I have strings attached to my feet and he's pulling them. We're talking through something the girls can do to make things more interesting.

Finally, he's telling me how to have everyone exit less dancer-like.

I'm so swift that I go to the girls, mention the correction (that they already noticed needed to be fixed while they were dancing) and the change, we walked it through twice, ran it once and it was perfect. Not only do I rock, but my dancers seriously rock.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Camp Showers

When I was a Girl Scout, we never used the showers at camp because they were just plain scary. When we'd walk past them, someone who had never been to camp before but knew someone who had would tell stories about the horrible poisonous spiders that infested the cold water only showers. I never verified any of this because it sounded too horrible. The showers may have been spider-free and had plenty of hot water.

At this camp, I had to shower. I spent my Thursday in airplanes and airports and I really needed to be clean. We were staying on someone's private property, so I had no idea what the showers would be like. For all I knew, they were sheets of plastic surrounding a suspended garden hose.

Alas, I was wrong. The showers were in an outdoor almost room on a hardwood deck. There was plenty of hot water because there was a small hot water heater nearby. There was a giant tub sink and two mirrors for grooming just outside of the shower. Plastic stair steps for sitting or leaning and shaving, metal soap holders and a detachable shower head made up these luxurious outdoor showers. What was really great was that there was so much shrubbery between this property and the next that there was no problem grooming on the deck and wandering back to one's accommodations in a state of partial (or complete) undress.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Back to Day Two

The afternoon of the second day of camp was warm enough for me to take a shower. I still wasn't acclimated to Washington weather when I left. Mornings were too darn cold for anything less than long pants and a sweater, and our shower pavilion was outside.

After I was nice and clean, I put on my pasties and some frilly knickers. Other girls started putting on pasties, and then it was the perfect time for tassel twirling class. I'd learned a little about tassel twirling from Miss Indigo Blue's lesson on Princess Farhana's burlesque DVD. This was a thorough hatting on twirling. I learned how to make them go one direction, how to spin from inside to outside, from outside to inside, and even how to make one spin at a time. It was awesome!

To those of you potential twirlers out there, this will build up your shoulder muscles. The trick is to not look down while you're twirling or you'll get a double chin, kind of like I did while I was trying to angle the camera for a photo. You can see my black tassel going in the photo.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Lessons from My Second Day of Camp

I still don't have a lot of pictures I can share. I apologize for that. I can post photos of myself with wild abandon, but since I was holding my own camera most of the time I don't have many photos of just myself. I'm hoping (as is Andrew) that some of the other girls will send me photos soon.

As I mentioned before, the first day was a time of settling in. We did a meet and greet with each other, heard some selections from burlesque biographies, sat around and ate cheeseburgers and s'mores. It was a nice calm evening for me after the flurry of activity leading up to the trip. Of course, my first night of sleep was not as restful as I had hoped. All of the doors weren't closed completely on the cabinets in the airstream, so every time someone rolled over then doors would rattle. Ugh. At least I was warm.

The second day of camp started with a nice stretch and balance with Jo Boobs. I'd really like to get into the habit of stretching every morning so I don't still have things cracking in my body at noon. We did some good stretches before breakfast, being careful to really warm up our necks and backs since they're easily injured. We also learned how to test our balance so we can do it every day in life and before every performance in the shoes we'll wear in the show. I liked doing this, especially since there are days when I feel totally off balance.

After breakfast, we had a class on posing, posture and walking with Miss Indigo Blue. We started out by learning to walk in high heels. The technique we use in pole class is different. In this technique, the knees are kept bent so the weight of the body is still on the heels. We worked on poses for a bit, using each pose to show off our "costumes" or assets. Then we worked on different kinds of burlesque walks.

What came next? Stay tuned.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Badass Bachelorette Party

My friend Janna is getting married today. She and I met in pole class over a year ago, and we've been hamming it up in class ever since. You may recall Janna's debut on my blog from the Holiday Shake last year.

For Janna's bachelorette party, Gabrielle and I hosted a pole party for her on Thursday night. It was a wild night with lots of lap dancing, pole tricks and champagne. I had so much fun that I barely noticed that it was after 1 AM when I got home to go to bed. I was so worn out from the wild times that I didn't bother washing all the body glitter off before going to work on Friday.