Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wanna Fanta?

Tonight was my last dress rehearsal before my Saturday night pole show. I had two of my beloved fairies from Midsummer come in to help -- one as stage kitten and one as pick-up artist. One of them snapped pics of me during the rehearsal. (I would've gotten more pics of the other ladies but I know I can publish photos of myself on my blog.)

I wear this outfit during "Big Spender." We started working on this number back in May. We took some time off from it and made some changes when we started preparing for the show. Gabrielle gave us a variety of costumes to choose from for this number. She found things that would be flattering for every body type. Nurse Janna and I selected the trashy Fanta girl outfits. She wanted purple. I was torn between red and orange. The orange one was too similar to the purple one so I got red. I tried one on in the dressing room of a shop right before Halloween so I'd know what size to order. I did some of the dance moves in the dressing room so I would know that it worked.

Yeah, the outfit is cute and looks great when I just pose. The problem is that the skirt crawls up. When we get on the floor, the skirt hangs out around my waist. You can see my little white boy shorts peeping out while I'm doing some upright moves. Of course, there's nothing more distracting than a dancer who is uncomfortable in a costume and keeps tugging at it. I decided downstairs to just let it ride, but when I was dancing Gabrielle told me to pull the skirt back down. Oh well. The number looks great and the dress looks fantastic when I stand still.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Alone Time

I'm alone in my office. I had a very late night last night and an ice-blended mocha for breakfast. I don't like wearing shoes. I have loud music going.
This is a recipe for sock-footed, crazy dancing disaster. Yes!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pamela Moore: Creative Genius

It's funny to toot your own horn, but I am creative and I am a genius.

Andrew Moore is directing a play that opens in Hollywood this Thursday. He was asked to direct this play because the producer wanted to see it done with puppets. Of course, after the last two large cast shows with huge sets and crazy costumes, most of the folks in the theatre company wanted to take a break. This left our hero without a costume designer, set designer, sound designer, puppet designer and lighting designer. He had a weary but dedicated stage manager, a graphic designer and his own wits. He's managed to attract a costume designer and lighting designer, but he's absorbed most of the other duties.

Enter Pamela Moore, former scene shop foreman and daughter of a carpenter and painter. I didn't want to do the entire set design because I'm boob-deep in a pole show and have some burlesque shows for which I'm developing numbers. I just finished a huge commitment to the last play. I didn't have the time to put legs on platforms and paint chairs. Nope. But I did volunteer to design and paint the stained glass windows for the show. There are five total. I spent my weekend with my lovely painting assistant and former fairy Jenn painting these windows. (I also got help from former fairy Jessica on Saturday.) Andrew put the "lead" on the windows and they were hung last night.

I'm really pleased with how the windows turned out. We used acrylic paint with soft gel medium on vinyl with muslin tacked behind it to diffuse light. They really look incredible, and I think I saved Andrew Moore some worry by handling this project for him.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Pammy a Go-go

I'm dancing go-go at a burlesque show next week. This is the showcase produced by one of my burlesque teachers, Lux LaCroix. I'll do a full burlesque number at this monthly showcase sometime next year, depending on when other debuts are scheduled. I'm hoping to have a naughty and new number ready for that show. In the meantime, I can be a go-go dancer in their show and make a little cash while doing it. Yay!

I have to wear something fun to twist and pony in, and fringe always exaggerates the movements. Lux recommended I visit Iguana Vintage Clothing on Hollywood Boulevard. The fabulous part is that it was a block away from the Metro station so it was easy to get there. I'd never been in this store before. It was fabulous! Tons of vintage and vintage-inspired clothing. I got my purple fringe dress (one size keeps your boobies from popping out the top) for $35 and the headband was $2. What a deal! Last year I paid more than $40 for a flapper dress I found online that wasn't as comfortable or flattering. They had so much stuff. One could visit this store just to find inspiration for burlesque acts. w00+!

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Updating the Snapper Suit

I made a few more updates to my Red Snapper costume. Let us first take a look at the new panties. In truth, they're the old panties -- really old panties. I bought these from Victoria's Secret when I was in college and wore them maybe three times before I decided I needed cotton only next to my most sacred bits. They've been in a drawer since. (Ignore the white boy shorts with black trim beneath them as best you can. I didn't bother with nude safety panties for rehearsals in the living room.) I used some rhinestones on the front before. They just weren't flashy enough so I used the same trim as on the bra around the waistband. I also took some of the beaded trim and glued the swirly trim on top of it before hand stitching a little noisy trim band around each leg opening. Now they make lots of noise when I shake them. I think this is my favorite new feature on the new costume.

I also added a real skirt. The elastic skirt I had before was more of a temporary solution. Without a running car, I haven't been able to go to the fabric store to pick up some shiny fabric. Instead, I took my belly dance skirt that had the same fabric that the bra once had as a covering, and I shortened it. It's above my knee now. I removed the zipper and added ribbons to tie it closed. I trimmed the hem and little tease slits with the same fringe as I used on the bra. It's easy to remove and has nice movement when I shake my tush.

Something that's been really useful in this process is rehearsing in the costume pieces I plan to use for performance. I've had time to work with each piece, make mistakes with it and improve it. I'm so familiar with my costume that I'm very confident that I'll pull of this performance Saturday.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

In Short

As always, I've been quite busy. With the Saturn's issues unresolved, we've posted it on craigslist. We're hoping to get back most of the money we've spent on it since we got the car almost two weeks ago. Keep your fingers crossed for us that it sells by Friday. In the meantime, we've been using the Metro and local bus lines to get around and hitching rides with friends where possible. It's not bad, but it's not as convenient as having a car. Andrew and I are both so exhausted by the end of the day that we pass out for the few hours we have before we have to do it again.

Andrew's rehearsals are coming along. Our spare moments on weekends have have been spent between car issues and building puppets and "stained glass" windows for his show. We're both relieved that the show opens next week. That will afford him a little more time for his writing projects and probably a little more attention to direct at solving our car problems.

My dance rehearsals are going well. I was practicing a move in the living room last night and got really frustrated, but I think that was the low point. The process has been fun and I feel good about all the work I've done. The show is next weekend. I still plan to rehearse the numbers I'm doing in my living room a few more times before we gather for our two dress rehearsals next week. I have to finish my skirt for my burlesque number but that shouldn't take long.

My dance classes are going well. I'm conceptualizing the number I'm doing for graduation from my burlesque classes in January. I have some costume ideas but it's not complete yet. I may do the same number for my debut at another venue in February or April (whichever month is available). Our Christmas card this year may be burlesque inspired since that's been a large part of the year for us. I'm sure Felicity would be happy to eat some feathers and rhinestones for the photo.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Everything Old Is New Again

As I mentioned a few days ago, I've made some changes to my first burlesque costume. In fact, there have been so many changes that you could probably call it my second burlesque costume except that I never really performed in the first costume.

I'll start with the changes to the bra. The bra had the same trim at the top (squiggles) and rhinestones. I removed the back strap and shoulder straps and gave it ties for the back and a halter. It's easier to untie clothes and let them fall off than it is to fidget with those tiny bra hooks. I then added fringe and beaded trim to the bottom half of the bra cups. I recall hearing in one class or another: "If you think you may have gone too far [with costume embellishments], do more." The bra is now a heavier but more glorious beast than before.

The corset I had before was unmanageable. I didn't want to spend $50+ on a beautiful new corset with laces to embellish. Let's face it -- I've already spent a handful of dollars on costumes for the pole show. I don't need to spend that much more right now. Instead, I went on eBay and found a cupless bustier with a zipper on the front. I took my $1 package of black sequined trim and glued it to each of the stays. I put Swarovski crystals on the lace on the front. I took the trim from the bottom of the other corset and put it on this one, leaving the zipper free and clear. It looks great. If I have too many cookies, I have a hard time zipping it up. Guess I'll have to lay off for a little while. I used the same trim on the tops of my gloves to fancy them up a little more.

More costume bits to come.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Good Things

I know my blog postings lately have been a little gloomy. They've also been without pictures. Let me make it up to you.

My pole showcase is December 1st. My first routine in the show is with my teacher and Nurse Janna. Since we have mad skills, Janna and I have been the most regular students in the master class and we've both been teaching assistants for parties and special classes, we get to do a tough routine with the teacher. This is the one with the tricks I was very anxious about. Janna and I are wearing these skimpy little schoolgirl outfits as shown. (There's a black sweater that ties up with the white shirt, but I didn't want to get white dog hair all over it when I was dancing in the living room.)

Anyway, last night I bested the tough trick at the beginning. I watched a couple of pole videos and figured out how to do it. It doesn't even hurt that bad. The later trick I was worried about isn't as hard now since we don't have to spend as much time sitting on the pole. I did the tough trick about five or six times in the living room before I called it quits for the night. Huzzah!

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Monday, November 12, 2007

And the saga continues . . .

Andrew managed to get the part that the Saturn mechanic message boards suggested was the problem. The part cost about $14. We had lots of hope tied up in that $14 part. It was secured in a part of the car that isn't easily reached with human hands, but Andrew managed to put it on. So what happened next? Nothing new. That wasn't the real problem. Is it the ignition module? Is it the fuel pump? The alternator? A little gremlin under the hood?

On a brighter note, I rediscovered how wonderful it is to live in such a large city as Los Angeles. I used public transportation all day. I'm still figuring out when to alert the driver that I need to get off. (I pulled the cord three blocks before my stop thinking he'd need that much warning. He pulled right off and I had to walk those final three blocks. Oops.) The ride isn't bad with a charged iPod. I did get nauseous at one point on the Metro, but I think that was because it was almost 5 p.m. and I'd only consumed about 300 calories. It wasn't nearly as frustrating as driving in traffic in the afternoons and evenings. I took three buses and two Metro trips today for $5. That's not bad at all.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

All I Want for Christmas

My temporary car is giving me problems again. Andrew did some great little repairs and gave me the keys to drive to a friend's house to deliver a belated wedding gift of a lap dance lesson. As I was cruising along the interstate, the engine lost power. I pulled to the side on the I-5 and tried to get the car to start so I could drive back to Andrew in Hollywood. That didn't work so well. A Metro service truck came by, checked my fluids and offered to call me a tow truck since he didn't know what exactly was wrong.

The Metro guy said to expect to pay between $100 and $150 (gulp), but I didn't really have a choice. The independent towing agent arrived and started loading my car up before talking price. He told me to wait in the cab of the truck while he loaded up the Saturn. As we drove off with the car in tow, he told me it would be $158 just for the tow and $78 for mileage from Glendale to Hollywood. (This is where my heart stopped beating for a good ten seconds and I felt like I was going to vomit. Remember, dear reader, that this car was a solution to a problem.) What was I to do at this point? Hope and pray that when he unloaded the car that my debit card would be approved so tomorrow I can scurry around with banks closed for Veteran's Day (and no car) to cover the tow. Great.

So, what I want for Christmas is AAA. It can be the cheapest membership they have. I had two people after the tow tell me that AAA has saved them before. I could've gotten a free tow instead of an anxiety filled ride where my fingers were crossed on behalf of my bank account.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Ch-ch-changes

I worked really hard a few months ago on my Red Snapper costume. The goal was for it to be my first performance costume and become something of a signature piece. I had to slap it together because I needed some sort of costume for burlesque camp back in August. The bra was a challenge to unhook and the corset was laden with problems. While I made it from scratch, I didn't use stretchy fabric so it didn't fit like it needed to. I also had to add an extra panel so I could close it since the finished form was so tight. The boning would poke out and scratch me. It was lovely, but I needed something else. My little ruffle skirt has an elastic waist and isn't as easy to pull off as I need.

I decided to do some revamping. A couple classes with burlesque costumers taught me to put ties on the bra so it's easier to remove. I bought an underbust corset that zips up the front (also for ease of removal). I have a wrap-around skirt to bang out some time this weekend so I can cover my tail but easy removal. I'm removing the trim from this outfit and I've taken the rhinestones and already put them on the new get-up. In one class, I was told that if you look at the costume and wonder if you've decorated it too much, then it's time to decorate it even more. I used the same bra, gloves and panties but they're embellished with fringe, beads, ruffles and rhinestones. I'll post new pictures as soon as I can take them.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Woe Is We!

Today started like any normal day in the life of the Moores. We packed up our lunches, kissed the dogs and headed out the door to earn paychecks at the ol' day jobs. Of course, that's when our car decided not to shift its automatic transmission out of first gear. This is the car that we're one large payment away from owning. We struggled to get it back the two blocks we drove before it freaked out. Fortunately, I have some work I could do online for my job while Andrew hunted for a solution to our problem.

Fortunately, I was paid yesterday. Of course, that money was supposed to go to other bills. Oh well. Can't really pay those other bills if I don't have a way to get to work. Rebuilding the transmission will cost about $2500. A rental car for the week it will take to fix the car will be $210. They only finance folks with awesome credit, and that's just not something we have. I read something a gal posted online about paying the mechanic $20 a day for storage because she couldn't afford to pay to take the repaired car home. Hmmm. Our decision was to take my pay to find a temporary car that we can drive around until after Christmas. By that point, we should have the big car payment handled and maybe have the money to fix the transmission. We would also gain that second form of transportation that Andrew was so desperate to have.

He's on his way to check out a car now. Worst case scenario would involve us taking public transportation until something miraculous happens. At least we got a day of adventure!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The End

This is the last night of my play. It's a great play, it's been fun, the cast is great, but the show was over for me last weekend. I kept forgetting that we had a show at night this week and started making alternate plans. Oops. I'm ready to stop wearing the bird unitard that can't be washed because the dye rinses right out of it (even in a swishy sink of Woolite water). I'm ready to stop stuffing my pores with black pancake makeup.

Most importantly, I'm ready to get on with my career. I didn't submit myself for jobs that might interfere with the show I'm not being paid to do because I felt like they wouldn't know what to do if I wasn't there. I know there are other people in this cast that want the show to continue, but other shows can't happen until this one is gone. This isn't the only awesome theatrical experience to be had. I have a pole show in under a month, the play Andrew is directing opens in four weeks, and we have other shows we want to do. The show has to end, and I'm relieved.

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