Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two Important Things

I'll try to do more updates over the next day, but these are two very important things I have to share with you.

#1 - I'm running for Miss Viva Las Vegas 2009. I posted about this back in October, and voting starts tomorrow. There are 42 chicks at the moment who have thrown their hats in the ring. The six with the most votes plus one wild card get to compete for the title in April. This means I need to get a lot of votes in January so I can compete in April. I really want the opportunity to perform for 800+ people at once, and I want to make all of my teachers and loved ones proud of my performance. Go to http://www.vivalasvegas.net/ and vote Red Snapper, and encourage your friends to do the same.

#2 - My little cake from last week AND the photo of Felicity made John Mayer's blog. Go see it. It's a proud moment for everyone in our home. John Mayer loves the Doodlebug cake!

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Creative Claim

I made most of my own costumes. I was talking with some friends about costumes and acts the other night. One makes costumes for other people. Another has a costume piece made by someone else. The discussion came around to costumers claiming creative rights to a dancer's act just because they made all or part of the costume. There's also the dancer feeling that it's not totally her act because of that one made piece.

The costumer who was there makes wonderful specialty pieces for people. She owns that she made those things, but she doesn't try to make dancers feel ineffective because they didn't make the pieces themselves. She also doesn't lay claim to any of the acts as her creative property. I've heard that this happens with other costumers sometimes. Because she's good at what she does and because she's not claiming credit where it isn't hers, I'd gladly recommend her and have her make pieces for me as needed.

I have had costumes made for me by Augusta for her shows. She's taken two numbers I've performed in other costumes and put together new pieces to fit in with one of her theme shows. She doesn't lay claim to my acts as her creative property but she does appropriately take credit for the costuming. She's also good at what she does and she doesn't claim credit where it isn't hers. I endorse her fully.

In regards to the play, our costume designer was given very lots of creative freedom. For my fan dance costume, she was told that I was doing a fan dance and needed to look nearly naked. Since this was her first time to costume a burlesque dancer, we told her that it had to be sturdy enough that it could land on the floor multiple times without falling apart. As she put together the costume, we figured out that everything had to be removable with one hand because my other hand was holding fans. She selected the colors, hand beaded the pearl strands on the shimmy belt, and did some embellishing. I created the dance and completed the embellishment. As poorly as our relationship ended with her, she never laid claim to my creative work just because I wore a costume she made. (Since this is a Myspace photo, you can't see all of the embellishment and work we both did on the costume.)

I guess the lesson here is to make your own stuff or have stuff made by people who won't try to lay claim to your act where it's not theirs to claim. I know Leg Avenue doesn't say they made my act because I wear their fishnets and ruffle panties.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Home Life


I was inspired by a John Mayer baking contest to make this cake. It's a cherry chip cake with sour cream frosting. Tastes pretty good.

I haven't done much baking since we moved into this house. Everything I make has to fit into a crock pot or a convection oven. I don't own a microwave any more. There's a gas stove in the house but only the stove top works. The oven has a strange gas fitting so we would have to replace the entire oven, and that's not an expense I'm willing to deal with right now. I can't remember the last time I baked a cake before Sunday.

The theme for the contest was the holidays. I shot a candid photo of Felicity last weekend. I bought her the stupidest looking Santa hat from the store up the street. (She really likes to play with Santa hats.) I put it on her head when she was wrapped in a blanket and was almost asleep. I didn't have any of the awesome cake decorating supplies that I had as a teenager, but I did really well with what I could find in the kitchen.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Indecent Exposure

I went to Old Navy this evening to pick up a couple greedy gut gifts ($6 long sleeve tees and Andrew picked out some new pants). We were greeted with this at the checkout.

Merry Christmas!

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Baby Snappers

For my Elton John "Crocodile Rock" number, we were really going for doing something special and over the top. Our audiences expect something wacky from me, and we had to have a puppet in my number because I'm married to the puppet guy.

We figured that we could take it over the top if we made little crocodile hand puppets for the audience to "sing along" at the appropriate points in the song. We had some leftover fabric from the giant croc, the birthday girl's custom Kermit puppet and some other croc-looking scraps. We decided to make twenty puppets.

Since we were giving them away and had plenty of costume and puppet stuff to do anyway, we created a pattern based on an oven mitt pattern we found online. They had to be simple to make so we could get them all done. It was three pieces per croc: top of body, bottom of body and mouth. They were so simple to cut that I wound up cutting 36 instead of 20. We still had more fabric to make them but Andrew made me stop so we could eat dinner.

Because we didn't have all the time in the world and because we were giving them away, we hot glued the bodies together. It took a couple hours to get all the bodies and mouths done. We then turned them inside out so the seams were hidden. We glued a little tag inside each one so people knew they could take them home, and so they'd have my Myspace address. (Always trying to make fans, right?)

We started giving them features that night. To keep costs down, we only bought googly eyes and white ric rac for the teeth. The rest of the decoration for the crocs came from our fabric scraps and from Andrew's puppet box. We got a few decorated and took the rest to craft night.

Craft night, or "Stitch & Bitch," is the one night a month that the local burlesque people get together to work on costumes, props and bond. I think that craft night makes us stronger as a community. You get to know other dancers, find out what other people are doing, learn what not to do, and spawn new act ideas. I've booked shows directly from my craft night participation. You can take your own projects to work on or help a friend.

We took glorified oven mitts with teeth to craft night. We gave everyone an opportunity to participate in the snapper madness and decorate a croc. Some made several. They were all so lovely and creative it was hard to pick a favorite. If I spent any more time with them, I wouldn't have wanted to give them away. I did pick one out to send to my nephew, so we only gave out 35.

I would love to do this number all the time because it was so fun, but I'd have to schedule it around a craft night so I could enlist the help of the troops on the crocodile embellishment end. The puppets were very popular. Everyone participated as if it had been rehearsed. No snapper was left behind at the end of the night. The crowd took them all.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Not Something I Do Often


I picked up our holiday cards this morning and drove past Krispy Kreme. I was going to hit the drive through for a donut or two and a beverage. I drove in the wrong hole and wound up in the parking lot.

I discovered inside that they have mini donuts. One or two of those would be plenty for me. I get up to the counter and discover that you have to order them in boxes of twenty. Fine. I'll take them to the office and share with whoever may decide to stumble in today. I asked for six glazed, six chocolate iced, six sugar and two white iced with sprinkles. You see what I got. (I ate a chocolate iced and glazed in the car.)

I'll probably wind up taking most of them home for Andrew and the dogs. I really wish she hadn't given me the chocolate iced with sprinkles instead of the sugar donuts I ordered. They had the sugar donuts so what was the damn problem? The dogs can't eat all those chocolate iced with sprinkles.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Card


As per usual, we did a crazy little photo shoot for our holiday card. It's always fun to dress the dogs up in something and chase them around the house so they settle in at the photo location. I was the one who hit the button on the timer again. This photo is a little teaser of me and Felicity so you can get an idea of what we did. Let me give you another hint: cheesy.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Muppet Review!


The show I did last night was reviewed by L.A. Weekly. It was a fun show. I'm sure I'll share some crazy tales of the preparation for this show. I didn't get the same awesome blurb I got as an actress (and under my real name at that), but I did make the paper. Look at me now, Ma!

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Get the Net!


I had a gig last week that was supposed to be outdoors. The stage was set up so we'd be facing a major street when we danced. There are decency laws in Los Angeles and while it would be artistic, I didn't want the law to be interpreted in such a way that I would be labeled a sex pervert by the law. Instead, I made a net bra to wear.

The net bra is nothing special. It's a stretchy, sheer cup with elastic to tie it at the neck or in the back. The cups are triangles that are rounded at the bottom. I zig-zag stitched the sides of the fabric so they wouldn't fray and made a channel at the bottom for elastic. If you futz with it a little, you can turn it into a front closure. I also made net bras for the Theatre Unleashed dancers since I'd gotten a message for them to be less risque at a gig they did last night.

I was advised to attach my pasties with tassels to the outside of the cups, but stitching them on was an absolute nightmare. Instead, I put my pasties on as usual. I removed the tassels since they're on fishing spinners, cut a tiny hole in the net to poke the spinners through and reattached the tassels. It worked fantastically. I still need to treat the hole with clear nail polish so it doesn't fray. The Theatre Unleashed dancers wore them last night and said they worked perfectly.

Funny part of the story is that we were moved inside Saturday night. I didn't even need the net bra. It was just more hassle to remove it than to just leave it on.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Oooo That Smell

I have a confession to make that I probably made before. Unless I get really disgusting, I don't take a shower between a late night show and early morning work. I leave the hairspray in, the body glitter on, and I usually have some leftover eyeliner I try to neaten up for the work day. Last night wasn't an especially disgusting show for me.

Let me back up. (You're learning a lot about me if you didn't know it already.) I hate to shave my armpits two days in a row. There's not enough stubble to really get a clean shave the second day. I wind up with armpits that look like ground beef in places. Yuck. (Andrew assures me this is why men hate shaving every day.) I shaved my pits around 5 pm Saturday before heading out to the John Mayer concert. I showered on Sunday but didn't shave my pits. I knew I was performing around 11 pm, but I figured the 30 hour stubble wouldn't be too horrible. I put on my deodorant and left for my show last night.

When I got to the venue, I was a little worried that my fresh prickle would show. I put on some natural deodorant that doesn't really work as a deodorant at all but more as a waxy coating for my pits. Then I applied translucent powder over the deodorant. I put on some other deodorant at home (all natural stuff that works well for me) so I wasn't worried about smell. My pits felt waxy all night but I wasn't too worried about it. I got home and used baby wipes to remove the glitter and powder/deodorant combination then crawled into bed around 2 am.

I put on the usual deodorant that actually works before heading to the office today. Everything was great until about a half hour ago. I smelled chili dogs and no one was in the office. Yuck. My pits felt waxy. That stupid deodorant from last night is like anti-deodorant (or 'odorant'). It counteracts the positive effect that the other stuff has. I find myself in the office, stinking up the place, with no deodorant in my desk drawer. I search the office and find some cucumber scented antibacterial hand gel. You'd be surprised at how well that stuff works! I figure I should carry some around for those venues that don't have hand soap or for days like this. I should also throw out the emergency 'odorant.' Ick.

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Wardrobe: John Mayer Shirt #13


This is my third hoodie. I got this in Irvine as well. I've worn this hoodie almost every day since I bought it. It's very comfortable - made from organic cotton. The drawback with this hoodie is that the fabric isn't as tightly woven as it is on the other hoodies so it gets thread snags. It doesn't stop me from wearing it, even if it's the only thing I wear. I think this is the one I wore as a costume substitute during Pin-Up Girls rehearsals.

I have to confess, I feel like a grown up when I drop over $100 at the merch booth. I do. I find things I want, I know I'll make the money to refill my bank account with what I've spent, and I buy those things. I could only get one shirt at my first John Mayer concert. Heck, we couldn't even afford for me to have a t-shirt at my first concert ever. It's awesome getting what I want.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

My Seventh John Mayer Concert!

  
Last year was the John Mayer's second annual charity show at Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A. I couldn't go to last year's show because some dumbass (me) scheduled the office Christmas party for that night and found out about the concert after getting everyone else to clear their schedule for the party. My transmission was screwed at the time anyway, so I was getting around in a rental car on the weekends. I also knew that show would be filmed and watch it regularly.

Last night was just John Mayer. He didn't have any band backing him up but his four track recorder/effects machine that he'd program and run himself. I spent most of the night watching him on the big screens since our orchestra seats weren't as close as we hoped. He was about the size of a finger from where we were sitting. I could've been sitting in the nosebleed section and the show would've been just as awesome. (As a sidenote, I tried getting tickets through the fan club presale at the end of the first day and they were sold out. I had to borrow my boss's American Express card to get tickets through that presale, and the closest seats I could get were at the rear of the orchestra section. I hate the way the fan club presale works.)

Anyway, this show was so fulfilling. Andrew and I talked beforehand about the shows we hoped he played. He wanted covers ("Little Red Corvette" and "Crossroads"). I wanted new songs (didn't get any) and songs I'd loved hearing live before ("Comfortable," "St. Patrick's Day" and "Not Myself"). I also wanted to hear some things solo that he usually did with a full band or the trio ("Something's Missing" and "Who Did You Think I Was"). I think he covered every song from debut album Inside Wants Out, even if it was just one verse. We got so much music. I'm so glad I took my digital recorder because this was a concert I really want to share with others.

It could've been called "John Mayer: Keepin' It Real." He was the same babbling guy with the wry stories and charming life lessons from Any Given Thursday. He was very real, very vulnerable, and very eager to share his music with the fans that got him to where he is today. I don't know how anyone could leave that concert and not dig the guy a little bit more.

The experience is made whole by other factors - the venue, who you're with, the audience. The venue was beautiful and had great acoustics. I think this bootleg will sound cleaner than the others. They had a good selection of bottled beers and some menu options beyond hot dogs and nachos (not that we ate any of them). The audience was interesting. I stood for the whole show and so did a guy two rows ahead of me. Then there was a sea of people sitting in the ten or fifteen rows in front of us. I was beside the best girl friends, one of which was apparently moving away so they kept talking but at least sang along and danced at times. Andrew was beside the couple that apparently didn't have their own place to make a sexy time because they were down each other's throats for a chunk of the show. Of course, Andrew is always a good time at concerts and I think he gets almost as excited as I do about JM shows (which is pretty damn excited). It's great to share something you love with someone you love.

I do have two complaints but they're about the location. We paid $20 to park in a lot manned by surly people. In fact, there was a big hole in the chain link fence that was maybe supposed to keep rapists out of the lot. At least it was easy to drive out of the lot, right? Second, the Nokia Theatre is part of this L.A. Live thing that is supposed to be like Los Angeles's own Times Square. When we walked toward the venue, I felt like I was supposed to have a seizure from all the damn flashing lights and the noise. It was overkill. It was also impossible to get free stuff at the booths in the plaza outside the venue because it was so loud and flashy and psychotic. (You know I like free concert booty.)

But back to my main point. John Mayer rocks just as hard by himself as he does when he has a band backing him. I know we're fans for life.

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Wardrobe: John Mayer Shirt #12


I'm back on track in my timeline now. I bought this at the show we saw in Irvine earlier this year. It's a very comfortable cotton tank. I considered buying a "City of Angels Love" tee that night, but I thought the tank might be a better choice for me. I dance at concerts and dance in life, so this would keep me cooler.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Wardrobe: John Mayer Shirt #11


I can't believe I didn't put this one in sooner! I just noticed that I've only blogged about one hoodie and I'm hoping to get my fourth one tonight! Wow.

Felicity loves my John Mayer hoodies. In fact, she sucked a hole in the pocket of this one within days of its arrival. I expected to find this navy hoodie with Triumph script at the Hollywood Bowl show, but they only had black hoodies with "John Mayer" across the front. I held out until I could buy one online. I think this is the hoodie I wore for the first dress rehearsal of our show since my costume wasn't quite ready. I still wear it from time to time. Warm and comfortable.

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Wardrobe: John Mayer Shirt #10


I love and hate presales with the John Mayer fan club. I hate that they don't release all the seats they have at the same time, so there may be no tickets available at 10:02 am right after the presale starts but then someone gets pit tickets twenty minutes later. I hate their system. I love that I can sit near fellow fans. I also love the presale merchandise. You can't get these shirts at the actual shows. You can also spot other members of Local 83 because they're wearing the presale shirts.

This was for my third JM concert in Irvine. I like the shirt but I expected it in the lighter blue that was shown on the website for the presale. The "John Mayer" on the front in blue is hard to read on a navy shirt. It's organic cotton and very comfortable. I got Andrew his own in the presale so we could be twins at the show. This is the second presale shirt I got for him and I think it's the second matching shirt.

I effing loved this concert. This was the one with "Panama" and "Crossroads" and a couple new songs. Of course, this was the one where I decided not to take my digital recorder like a dumbass.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

I Have a Shirt!


My pal Sebastian Kadlecik designed this Red Snapper stencil for me. It's based off a photo by Dan Hendricks from my "Everlong" number back in January. Check out that killer stocking peel! It's a fantastic design. I'm so excited to have my own shirt!

To celebrate my official shirt (and to shamelessly promote myself further, especially since Viva Las Vegas voting begins in January), I'm giving away shirts in January (or before if I get them ready before January). Email me your size and how to get it to you. First ten people to email me referencing this blog get a shirt. (You may have to get clever if you don't have my email address, but I am pretty easy to find.) They'll probably be white tees with this groovy design.

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