Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Surprise Gig

I made my debut on the 3 Clubs stage at Monday Night Tease. I love this venue. There's a decent thrust stage, good lighting, and the backstage area (kitchen) was filled with dancers only.

After our curtain call Monday night, I wound up talking to everybody. I met someone who is making a burlesque documentary and wants to speak with me. I met someone who took tons of photos of the show and will make sure I get my images on CD. I also met another performer who was producing a show Tuesday night and needed another dancer.

This means I spent part of last night doing "Everlong" at a different venue. The stage was decent, the lighting was good and there was plenty of room for patrons. I danced between bands.

Of course, it didn't go off without a hitch. I was there about a half hour before the producer. It took them a full minute to start my music once I arrived on stage. It seemed like there were eight people with professional cameras shooting photos and only one asked for permission to use the photos. At least I'll get a copy of them. I wasn't able to watch the bands. I left a stamped envelope for the producer to mail me my pay since I had to pick up Mr. Snapper from school. We'll see how profitable this venue was.


Monday, January 28, 2008

New Promo!

Here is the new back for the Burlesque-A-Go-Go flier. This is one of the living room photos that we shot to make it look live. (It really is a shame that none of the live photos from "Monkey Wrench" turned out.) I think the color in the photo shows up a little strange. When I viewed the original back, we were all people colored.

I've been busy putting finishing touches on my costume for tonight. I'm also working on my birthday costume and routine. That's taken up a bit of time. But once I perform this one tonight, I'll be on to the next one with full force.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Picture Time

One of the producers is putting together new promo for Burlesque-A-Go-Go. She's putting photos of the four featured dancers on the back. Last week she asked us all for action shots. All I have right now are action shots, but none of them quite fit into the layout.

This means we had to fake it. I have a show Monday that recycles the costume you see in the photo. (Most of the parts from this costume were worn in last year's Holiday Shake.) I put on the costume, touched up my makeup, added false eyelashes and we started shooting photos. I did parts of my routine in slow motion so the camera would catch more than blurs. My biggest problem was trying not to look into the lens.

The producer loved the pictures. I'll post the final choice once she has the editing done. Go ghetto photography!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No Mo' Mojo

I've been so tired lately. I've really fallen down on my blogging as a result. I think part of it is the stresses of work. This January has been a bit more difficult than other years at this job. I'm waiting for my financial ship to come in, complete with many doubloons (bonuses). I expect that to happen any day now.

Waiting for the financial ship to come in at work adds stresses and strains at home. I've had to be more careful with my money and think more about futures. ('If I spend $6 on this cake today, then how will I get a little bag of dog food tomorrow?') The positive part is that it's enforcing greater responsibility with my pocketbook. The negative part is that I really like to spend money.

It's also been difficult to afford some of the things I need for my art. I have two costumes that really need to be trimmed, but $9 grosses of rhinestones and $3 yards of beaded trim really add up. Considering the fact that $10 gets me little more than a quarter tank of gas, I have to be sure I spend wisely. I haven't been able to get Foo Fighters tickets yet either.

Of course, the great thing is that I haven't been able to afford as much take-out or convenience foods. I've lost the five pounds of holiday chocolates and fairy cookies over the past week. I really like that part. But I must admit, I'm really looking forward to going out and being really irresponsible with a good hundred dollars or two and coming home with an armful of sweaters, makeup and Swarovski crystals.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I want to clear out my house and make some money. My closet is full and some of the things I never wear. I also have a house full of knick knacks. I love buying and looking at knick knacks, but I really hate dusting. This means I'm not really a knick knack person.

Andrew and I have tried to sell a couple things on eBay before but we had no luck. Maybe we were asking too much. Whatever. I listed a dress and a Hummel figurine last night. The Hummel sold at my "Buy It Now" price within three hours of listing. Maybe it sold because of the lower price. Maybe it sold because I gave a little story in the description about where I got it and why I don't need it any more. Either way, I sold it and I am awesome.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Sick Day Ten Minute Makeover

I had butt flu most of the day today. I still managed to work. I got some things done when I got home, but illness tends to make one more indolent. That's when I decided to do a ten minute makeover.

We had a makeup artist in my Saturday burlesque class who gave us some handy tips on corrective makeup and stage makeup. The picture to the right shows me after a long day of work and butt flu -- runny eye makeup, surprise blemish showing and the true pasty nature of illness coming through. The Tigger sweatshirt completes my frumpy homebody look.

I did a fresh coat of liquid foundation to make me look less pasty. Then I mixed yellow corrective stick in a dish with some concealer and applied it to those lovely bags (and runny eye makeup) under my eyes. (Note: The packaging for the colored corrective sticks said to apply the color to the area in need of correction first. Then one was to cover that with concealer after the color was neutralized. In my experience, the color was never neutralized doing this. The makeup artist gave us the tip to mix a little of the colored corrective stick as I did and apply it like that. The shade that is mixed by doing this should still be fleshy.) I mixed green corrective stick with the concealer and applied that to the surprise blemish. After a little powder, my skin looked flawless.

I explained my next burlesque number to the makeup artist on Saturday to get her feedback on my makeup styling for that piece. In addition to highlighting my brow bone and cheekbones with glitter, she advised me to use pink and white glittery eyeshadow. (I have neither so I faked it with champagne and blush.) I didn't apply any eyeliner or false lashes since I didn't want to have to peel them off before hopping in the shower. I put blush and a pink, glittery highlighter on the apples of my cheeks. I darkened my brows a little. The final touch was making my lips overdrawn. (She told me to use pink liner, lipstick and gloss for the show. I only have nude lip liner currently and my lipsticks are not really pink.) The look will be fabulous on stage, but it looks a little strange in person. Of course, everything is exaggerated on the stage.

I do look a lot healthier with a fresh coat of makeup. I learned a lot from Eva about doing stage makeup and even having flawless daily makeup. And I managed to keep myself distracted from the butt flu for ten minutes.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Place for my Stuff

This is an artistic (meaning underexposed) photo from my debut at The Scene. It's a fun place to perform, but the stage lighting is lacking. I had to perform in a small area on the stage where I could feel the light on my face, and if I moved slightly then I was unlit. It's also an action shot. I should take a sports photographer along since I shimmy so damn much.

This is a number I'll perform again and again. However, I don't have any plans to pull it out again until March. This means I have to remove the creeper from my car and find a safe place to store it. I also have the wrench, grease can, and several costume bits. My closet isn't big enough to hold all of this stuff unless I get rid of some things.

I have two complete costumes now. I still have all of the bits from "Baby, It's You" that I performed at the Holiday Shake. I may alter the skirt, but I won't be performing this number until March at the soonest. I have these pieces hanging in my closet (pasties eaten by Felicity so replacements are in progress). The problem with hanging them in the closet -- besides the space issue -- is that pieces can easily fall off the hanger.

I have space issues for my clothing. (Yes, I recognize this is a problem for most girls but let me finish.) My lingerie for hosting pole parties fills an entire drawer in my dresser. I have a box full of costume bits from dance shows that's overflowing. I don't have my costumes for my next two numbers completely pieced together. I have boas and fans overtaking my home office and pasties on my desk.

Maybe I should go to Ikea and get another dresser or two.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Much Happiness

I know I complain from time to time about having a day job. I'm pretty happy with the job I have. Sometimes it's really challenging, sometimes it's nice and boring. (Right now it's a little frustrating, but I there are definite positives.)

My Christmas present from my boss was the new iPod Touch. It holds music, video, photos and can link up to the internet if I can ever stop at a place with free wireless and figure out how to connect up. I got it in the mail last Friday and I've had so much fun with it. I ordered a leather carrying case for it today so it doesn't get dinged up. It's a great alternative to the iPhone, especially since I just signed up for two more years with my current cell phone provider and I hate AT&T.

I can't wait to add more videos. In the photo I have "Who Did You Think I Was?" by John Mayer Trio playing. My plan is to load up my old iPod Nano with tunes and mail it to my dad. He'll be the hippest old coot on the block.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Getting Back in the Game

I haven't been as busy as an actor over the past several months. Part of it is that I don't want to work for free any more. I no longer submit myself for roles that don't pay, even if they say the pay is deferred. I worked on that one skater film a year and a half ago and was supposed to be paid but never got a check. Why borrow trouble?

I had one headshot left just before Christmas so I went out and got more. This time I got smiley pictures reprinted. I met with a manager in November and he suggested I use a picture that's a little less serious. Done. I still need to pay to upload it to my casting websites, but I have hard copies. (At least I have something to take with me to auditions.) I've been more active on my submissions. There are a handful of jobs out there, even though the writers' strike is hardly over.

Last Friday I actually had an audition. In fact, I got to audition in my underwear for some burlesque/James Bond girl thing. They're shooting Friday so I figure that if I hear nothing by tomorrow then they just didn't want such a white girl. I learned from the session director that they didn't see very many girls compared to their usual casting calls. He said that always happens when they ask for auditionees to come in wearing only their undergarments or swimsuits. Boy, did I learn a valuable lesson. ALWAYS be willing to audition in my skivvies.

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Monday, January 07, 2008


I have a burlesque graduation performance on January 28th. Before Christmas, my plan was to do energetic "Monkey Wrench" by Foo Fighters for the January show at The Scene (done) and a more classic routine for Monday Night Tease graduation at 3 Clubs. I was going to do a gown, glove and stocking removal to "Black Coffee" by Julie London, then at the end do a tassel twirl to "No Decaf" by Nineteen. I got a lovely blue gown through eBay on Monday that was supposed to be part of this routine. Of course, I didn't start collecting undergarments, gloves or rhinestones because I wanted to be sure my colors matched.

Well, either I ate too many chocolates for the holidays or this dress is made for someone much smaller than me. The zipper stops budging once it reaches my second rib. Nuts! I've been eating my veggies so perhaps it will fit by the end of the week. If not, it's going up for sale on eBay. Since this was going to be part of "Black Coffee," I have two choices: 1) Find another blue gown and be sure it fits before I blow another $20+ on it; or 2) Do something else.

I've been trained by experts in glove and stocking removal. Let's not forget that I went to burlesque camp late last summer. This is something I can do well. I'm afraid that the other girls in the graduation performance will do classic burlesque -- meaning glove, stocking and corset removal. I don't want the audience to get bored by the time I arrive on stage. Besides, I'm probably the most experienced of my graduating class and I can think with the art form.

I just spent about twenty minutes in the living room dancing to "Everlong" by Foo Fighters. The song is four minutes and ten seconds, perhaps a bit long for a burlesque routine. I was able to fill the entire song with something. When I do this number, I'll use a chair. I can still do stocking removal but the stockings will be the cute white ones I wore in the Holiday Shake and I'll wear them with Converse tennis shoes. I'll wear my pink schoolgirl skirt and a hoodie, and the rest will be easy. I'm leaning toward doing this since no one else will probably do something as whacky. I can always do a classic number later. I've emailed my classmates to find out what they're doing so I can get started on the other costume bits.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

My Debut at The Scene

Thursday night was my burlesque debut at The Scene in Glendale. My frilly knickers were displayed in the last post. I go-go danced at there in December. There were three totally new but equally loud bands that played this month.

I was the first dancer in the last set. I got there a half hour before the promoted start time so I could test out my mechanic's creeper on the carpeted stage and so I could find the best lighting before my performance. This meant I had plenty of time to hang out with friends before I had to get ready. It seems like the bands always play longer than their allocated 30 minute sets, so I had more than enough time to dress and add extra glitter before going on. I had three copies of my music in case anything went wrong with the CD for the show. I had my diagram of my "set" for the go-go girls to set up along with a list of the bits they'd have to collect at the end. I even had napkins handy to clean up the frosting "grease" after my final reveal. I was so well prepared that there wasn't a bit of nervousness.

My number went off without a hitch. It was fantastic fun. Andrew had the camera but the flash was off and I moved so damn fast that the shots are all dark and blurry. But we wouldn't end the night without a photo. Since Andrew and I didn't get a photo together after the last Holiday Shake or after my go-go dancing, we popped into the photo booth at the bar and shot this strip of photos to commemorate the occasion.

I'm dancing at 3 Clubs on January 28th to a totally different song, then I'm back at The Scene for my birthday on February 7th. I'm trying to conceive a number that incorporates birthday cake.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Monkey Wrench Costume!

I've finished my Monkey Wrench costume (as much as it will be finished before tomorrow night's show). I'll share pics and costume secrets with you.

The idea for this number was the offspring of my Tilt monkey hat (pictured) and my love of the Foo Fighter's song "Monkey Wrench." The rest of the idea blossomed from there. My outer layer is a coverall with some of the same trim you see on the bra and panties. I wear moc Crocs from Target (cheap) and mechanic's gloves when the number opens. I may post photos of those on another day.

The bra was from Target. It was about $10. I bought it because we were going to have a craft session in my burlesque class. (This was started with one teacher who blew town and has been kindly taken over by a few local burlesquers who want to properly apprentice the orphans left by the other chick.) We didn't get around to the crafting in class so the bra and matching $6 panty sat on my desk for a few weeks before they found their purpose. I bought the trim at Michael Levine downtown. There's beaded fringe along the bottom of the front. I covered the top of the fringe with some fuzzy, sequined trim. The top of the bra back has $2 a yard fringe that moves nicely when I shimmy and shake. The tops of the cups have a row of $3 a yard beaded fringe that's not as heavy as the bottom fringe and seems to reflect more light. The cups are decorated with Swarovski crystals in two sizes and shades. I decorated bits of the trim, the bra straps and the clasp with extra crystals. I think the bra is the most expensive part of the costume just because of all of the trim and crystals. Some of the bits were attached with hand stitching, others with Fabri-Tac or Gem-Tac.

The panties don't have any added trim along the top. Instead, I made a cheap shimmy belt out of double-sided satin ribbon, $2 plain fringe and $3 a yard beaded fringe. I layered and glued the fringe on and embellished the ribbon with Swarovski crystals. The great thing about a shimmy belt is that it can be used with other costumes. It ties up in a nice little bow in back. (Note: Blue long-sleeve tee and pink "safety" panties shown are also from Target.) I pin the center front and back bow to the panties so it doesn't shimmy right off.

Then we have the panties. Since I have a rockin' ass, I have the junk in the trunk to carry off a fully panty onstage with ease. I took two strands of $8ish a yard beaded fringe and attached them to the center front and center back of the panty. They drape nicely over my legs and add more movement when I shimmy and shake. I took the pink bows from a pair of stockings I got for the Holiday Shake that stained when I washed them (the stockings, not the bows). I stitched one on each hip, put a rhinestone in the center of each one and another rhinestone above. I stretched out the back of each leg and machine stitched some $3 a yard beaded fringe on for added oomph. I think this really makes the panty. I also put some rhinestones on the front in an effort to dress it up a little more. Of course, I didn't have the panties on so I put them a little too low to see them in the photo.

I keep getting better at making costumes for myself. What will the end of January hold?

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