Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ashes Ashes

We had fires all around Los Angeles County last week. Since I live in the city limits, there wasn't a lot of brush to catch fire so we were okay. I texted my pals in the fire zones regularly to check on how they were doing. Everyone made it through okay.


The yucky part of living in Los Angeles is that the mountains trap stuff in the air. The sky looked really nasty during the day. At least we had pretty sunrises and sunsets. The smoke and ashes hovered all around the Southland for several days. It was so bad that I couldn't stop sneezing on Thursday and Friday. I even had to look smart on Saturday so I could give my contact lenses a cleaning and give my eyes a rest.
We're promised another rain tomorrow, so hopefully all of the irritants will be washed away completely. I don't mind being smart, but I prefer looking dumb.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Nurse Janna Says . . .

This is a photo of me and Nurse Janna twirling tassels at her bachelorette party.

Nurse Janna is very helpful. For example, she advised our class to not wear panties unless absolutely necessary so we can keep our happy parts aired out. She's Janna-on-the-spot when someone is injured and does her nursely duty to be sure they are set on the path to healing.

Nurse Janna also knows how to do the tricks I'm struggling with. She's in the number with me and Gabrielle. Tuesday night she worked with me on my handstands during rehearsal. I've been doing three to five handstands a night just to try to get a feel for the mechanics of the thing in my body. I was able to do handstands as a youth, but it's been many years since my days of walking on my hands in the grass in the front yard.

Anyway, Nurse Janna told me that she tries to get her butt to hit the pole and goes from there. Last night I was doing handstands against the wall in my living room and I worked on getting my butt to hit. I think that might just make it easier, especially since I'll have to hug the pole in my good time so I can raise up for the rest of the trick.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nerves

I usually don't get nervous before I perform unless I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I'm starting to get nervous right now.

We've been rehearsing a special number for the December 1st pole show (me, Gabrielle and Janna). Since Janna and I are the assistants, we get to dance with teacher in a routine that really shines. Two weeks ago we rehearsed and I had successfully wrapped my mind around that choreography. Last week they changed a lot of it while I was at a wedding.

This number is going to be awesome. The first couple minutes are loaded with tricks. In fact, the first trick is much like the one I was working on in January. It's called the layout. It starts with a handstand then pulling the torso up to a V-sit position on the pole. I banged my Achilles tendon really bad on the pole one night during class while trying to do the handstand that leads into the layout, and it hurt so bad that I couldn't wear shoes with heels for two months. (Gabrielle suspected I had stress fractures.) I hadn't worked on that trick until tonight. Yikes. This means that I'll be working on that trick every night in my living room until I get it, then working on it some more so I keep the new skill. I'm going to admit right now that I'm nervous about doing this trick, especially doing it in heels. Gulp.

The second and third tricks are easy. The fourth trick she wants us to do involves riding down the pole and pedaling. I wasn't very strong with this the last time I tried it. I guess I'll be working on that one in the living room. Gulp.

The fifth trick will either be a barbershop pole (which I haven't mastered), a propeller (which I haven't mastered) or a trick yet to be determined. Gulp.

At least I'll feel comfortable in the trashy little outfit I'll be wearing, even if I am nervous about the tricks. Gulp.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Allergic to Feathers?

I was sitting at my computer at home looking at my feather fans and boa. I started wondering what someone would do if they were allergic to feathers and they wanted to use a boa in an act. That's when I saw my fuzzy green scarf that I knitted a couple years ago. I used fringe yarn and fuzzy yarn to match to make this cute little scarf. It's a little heavy for some of the tricks, but a scarf knitted from just the fringe yarn would be the perfect weight. The yarn has floaty tips that would catch the air a lot like feathers.

I haven't figured it out for feather fans yet. Anyone want to test this theory on fans?

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Friday, October 19, 2007

3:22

I spent my Wednesday night working on my burlesque number for the December 1st pole show. I was running into some new and interesting issues, and I still hadn't put on my wig.

The song I've selected that I think will best fit into the evening's music is three minutes and twenty-two seconds long. That's not a lot of dance time, but I'll be in at least two other numbers so I'm not worried about not getting my fair share of stage time. I was going to do pole tricks during the number, but the other two numbers I'm in have pole tricks so I probably won't -- just to give them something different to watch.

3:22 isn't much time to strip off nine items of clothing and do much dancing or twirling. I started with two shoes, two stockings, two gloves, a skirt, a corset and a bra. I cut out the shoes and managed to get undressed on time, but I didn't have as much time to dance as I wanted. I also used a chair for ease of stocking removal.

Last night I found myself wanting the shoes back to be worn over fishnets. This means no stocking removal and no need for the chair. This means five garments to remove and more dance time. Of course, I'll have to test to see if it works. Then I'll have to break out the wig and see if it all goes together.

And with all this work, this is one of the best parts of my week.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy New John Mayer Hoodie Day!

That's right, folks. After a little over a year of dutiful service, my light blue John Mayer hoodie with the hummingbirds on the front and writing on the sleeve has officially been retired. This hoodie saw four different John Mayer concerts from my back. In addition, it's been with me almost every single day since its purchase. It's a bit of a woobie blanket. I get cold all the time, and the hoodie was the perfect weight.

Alas, this is my new woobie blanket. It's dark blue so it won't show stains as easy. There's no writing on the sleeve, but there is the same J. Mayer logo on the back. It's warm and cozy.

Life is awesome again.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Meltdown

I've been really busy at work and outside of work. Also, I hurt my right paw doing hours upon hours of data entry. This meant no pole tricks at the show this past weekend. This also might mean no pole tricks at rehearsal tonight. I've been wearing a brace on my wrist at work.

I bought a chocolate cake and boxes of chocolate for my boss's birthday last week since he loves chocolate. Five minutes after I put the sweets in his office, he got off the phone and said his doctor said no more sugar or carbs. Great.

I came to work Monday and my work email was down. Great.

I came in today to discover I had a phone line down. After three hours of troubleshooting, I discovered the problem and slapped a band aid on it. I also realized I forgot to cut a check for a co-worker. Worst of all, my new John Mayer hoodie did not arrive.

It's days like these that make me want to go home and crack open the bottle of champagne in the bottom of my refrigerator just to see how fun the world can become.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tricks for Boa Treats

I decided to take out the lush boa I got from the fashion district on Labor Day and give it a try. The last time I played with it was in the store. I needed to feel inspired, and the boa really helped.

When I was in class playing with a boa, I realized that I might be able to use some belly dance veil tricks with my boa to good result. I popped Princess Farhana's veil dvd in and tested my theory. A lot of the tricks can be used with a boa. Huzzah!

Felicity and I had a bonding moment when she tried to eat the ends of my boa. I dragged her limp pink boa out of her toy box and she decided it made a good bed.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Pammy Hits the Strip Club

My pole teacher came to see my show Saturday night. After the show, she and I went to a strip club with some of my dancers and Andrew. Upon advice of a friend, we hunted for a club that wasn't fully nude because there would be more actual dancing. A Google search gave us the website of what was acclaimed as "the best strip club in Los Angeles." I thought we would see some new pole tricks, especially since there were four vertical poles, horizontal poles and rings for dangling and tricks. It sounded like we'd see some great dancing.

Boy, we did not get what we anticipated. The dancers looked disinterested. We saw maybe four pole tricks in the hour we were there, and only one of them was something I didn't learn yet. Most of the dancing consisted of booty clapping, butt slapping and ass shaking. There was no aesthetic to it. The art form was missing. Of course, these girls didn't have to do much dancing to earn money because the dollar bills were being thrown on the stage and stashed anywhere on their persons that hands would allow. Why dance when you can earn rent money by just smacking your fanny a few hours a night?

I guess I prefer the glamour of the film and television strip club.

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Broken Fairies

This is the third weekend of my show. We've extended the run by one week. This is good news, right?

Yeah, there's a small problem. Actually, there are a few. One of my fairies has a torn ligament and fluid in the wrong places in her wrist. Another one bruised the bones in her knee and has fluid in the wrong places. And yours truly awakened yesterday with a great deal of pain in the right wrist. It subsided, but my hand and wrist have been a little sore all day. I iced them earlier in the day. If I can make it through the show tonight without incident, I can rest it part of the day tomorrow before I return to work Monday to go back to typing.

Sigh.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Fairy Love

My fairies got together and got me a gift card to Frederick's. You can tell they were paying attention in strippy class to know what I like. This is the big thing I got with my fairy love. (Of course, the black dance shorts weren't part of the package. I can't show the bottom on my blog.)
This is the perfect top for a strippy teacher/burlesque dancer going on the town. The top is stretchy so I can breathe and the "bra" is attached to the corset at the side edges so I don't have to worry about any peek-a-boo when I sit down. Yay fairies!

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Pammy Teaches Pole

I taught a guy in my theatre company and play (he plays Demetrius) a pole trick as a prize from a drawing at our meeting. Check it out.


Check out this video: The Pole-Dancing Lesson

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Monday, October 01, 2007

My Newest Dance Class

I keep taking dance classes. They're more fun than trips to the gym to work off the Ben & Jerry's that I love so much. (As I'm typing, I'm eating Sutter's Formula cookies from Trader Joe's right before bed.) I like my pole class with Gabrielle and I've enjoyed the belly classes I've taken. Pilates still kicks ass but I haven't been able to match my schedule up with the teacher I love. For now, I'm taking burlesque classes as time allows. They're fun and some of them have a performance opportunity at the end.

Two Sundays back, I started studying with Lux LaCroix. Sunday afternoons tend to be dead for me (unless I'm in acting class), so this worked out perfectly. Her class is very welcoming for students at all levels. It's great for the ambitious performer-type and the person who doesn't want to feel so awkward in life. Two Sundays ago, we worked on body isolations and spins. This Sunday we did some go-go dancing and kicks. It's perfect for drop-ins, but I signed up for the whole series of five classes since my Sundays will accommodate it. I highly recommend her class for any student who would like to know more about burlesque at any level.

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How Do You Polish a Turd?

Sorry for slacking on the posts. I've been really busy.

I'd like to take this opportunity to discuss a deep concept - turd polishing. This comes from the saying "You can't polish a turd!" This means you can take something that's not so great and try to make it look better. Urban Dictionary defines it as:

The act of trying to make something hopelessly weak and unattractive appear strong and appealing. An impossible process that usually results in a larger, uglier turd.

She tried to look more attractive by getting plastic surgery, but let's face it, you can't polish a turd.

So, following this logic, a turd is a turd is a turd. As an artist (and a member of the human race), lots of opportunities seem to present themselves for polishing turds. One is ambitious and excited about some pursuit or another and sooner or later winds up with a turd in one's hands. The source of said turd doesn't necessarily see the turd for the turd it is, but the receiver knows it's a turd. (Let's face it -- none of us is blameless in creating and flinging a turd into another's open hand.)

My question is what do you do with the foreign turd in your hand that someone expects you to polish? The turd could be a project at work, a script, an enforced relationship with another artist, a crappy design, a friend's kid that you have to give a job to cut them a break, etc. Do you drop it like it's hot? Do you try to polish it in hopes it will become a gold brick instead of a turd? Do you polish it, all the while knowing it will be nothing more than a shiny turd? I want to know YOU deal with turds. Email me at t.polisherATyahoo.com and tell me, America. I plan on being an artist for a good, long while and I need to figure out how to deal now.

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