Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Latest Wig


Here's my newest wig. I'm doing a Sixteen Candles dance this Saturday. I had to get the right wig for it.

You'd be surprised at how difficult it was to find this craptastic wig. I stopped at this fancy wig store not far from my day job. They have tons of fake and real hair, but they didn't have any short synthetic hair in anything close to red. I then stopped at a wig shop on Hollywood Boulevard. They had some "make do" hair (meaning not perfect but I could make do with it if the price was right). Some of my classmates bought hair at this shop and they talked about the deal they got. Yeah, $50 is too much for "make do" hair. I got this sucker at Hollywood Toy & Costume for $30. After a wash, dry and sloppy style, I think I've captured the look.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

High Jinks Sneak Peek


One of our successful actions with Pin-Up Girls last fall was the Saturday night burlesque shows after the play. It was a great fundraiser for the theatre company, fit right in with the play, and it gave the "dancers" in the show a chance to experience the life for themselves.

This is a shot of me from the High Jinks show by my ol' pal Chris Beyond. For those of you in Los Angeles, we're reprising the High Jinks show at Monday Night Tease on February 9th. It's a pretty exciting thing. You get to see things at the show that you'd never see on the internet. It's a lovely evening of 1940s-style burlesque. For those of you who aren't local, this will just have to suffice. :)

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Rapid Transformation

I did a photo shoot Thursday night. It was more of a mini-shoot since we were just taking a few pics to accompany an article in a really cool magazine. They just needed one photo, but my friend Chris Beyond went above and beyond (ha!) the call of duty; he shot just under 100 photos.

Anyway, I didn't have a great deal of time to prepare for the shoot because I had errands to run after work. You see me here in a boring sweater I wear to work because I try not to draw attention to myself there. Because it's a 60s-themed magazine, I did big hair -- big fake hair. I pulled most of my hair into a bun on the top of my head and slapped on the half-wig with a little paper to fill out the crown. I threw on more makeup, really concentrating on the thick eyelashes and red lips. I was ready pretty quick because of the fake hair. No wasted time with hot rollers.

I also threw a flower in my hair. Nothing says glamor like a hair flower, right? This flower is courtesy of Split Poizon, a California company that sponsored a couple shows I did this month. Their stuff is really affordable, and they're super nice people.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Leftovers


I've been meaning to post this for a little over a week. You remember this, right? How I went on about how much fun I had doing the "Laugh-In" show as Goldie and how I had body paint all over? You see that little purple heart?

I'm usually a lazy showgirl. I tend not to shower between a night show and a morning at the office. In fact, I usually shower the night following a performance so I look and smell fresh for my life activities (and not my day job activities). With all this body paint, I had to shower when I got home from the show. The color rinsed right off, but the eyeliner used to outline the shapes took a lot of scrubbing. I mean a lot of scrubbing. I scrubbed before I went to bed in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. I got home and scrubbed again on Tuesday night. I scrubbed on Wednesday and Thursday. I discovered this Friday morning.

I think it's finally gone - nearly two weeks later.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Domestic Issues

The water in Los Angeles is not good. One of the first things I was told when I moved to town was to drink bottled water. I've been buying $1 water jugs or 25 cent refills for seven years to cover my cooking and drinking needs. I've also been giving the dogs regular faucet water because I didn't have the energy to get two gallons of water for them every day.

Yesterday I broke down and bought a Pur filter for our faucet. I spent more than I expected since the employees at Target put them in the $19.99 slot instead of the $45.99 slot. In the long run, it's going to save me money. The initial expense was just a little shocking.

We installed it last night and promptly tested it with the dogs. After they gave it satisfactory marks (wags), we tasted the water. It's actually pretty good. Now I can go back to drinking from the tap like I did as a kid.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sewing Successes

I got back to building my own clothes in 2008. There's something very satisfying about making something to wear with your own two hands. I've been sewing since I was eight. I'm not some master craftsperson, but I do a workman-like job. Here are a few projects I completed last year.

This is a photo of the first dress I built in 2008. It had been a few years since I pulled out my sewing machine. The pattern was simple but it took a lot of fabric for the full skirt. I don't have a table for proper cutting of massive amounts of fabric, so I had to spread it out on the carpet. It's a cinch to remove, but its unconventional construction always pleases and surprises the audience. This is a great shot by Jim Knell of the dress flying through the air.




This is another vintage repro pattern. It's the second dress I undertook last year. I found this crazy orange and red fabric that I had to use for something. I love the dress, but the fabric frays so the inside seams have fuzzies from wearing the dress. If I have the time and patience, I may just use some fray check on the raw edges since pinking shears did absolutely no good. The dress also builds up static cling when I wear it with fishnets, so I have to go bare-legged when I wear it. This photo was shot by Don Walker in Las Vegas. (Blogger refuses to publish the photo with the proper orientation no matter how I change the orientation of the original image. Grrr.)



I started this dress in early 2007 but had no idea what to do with it so I put it on the back burner until last fall. The brown top you see peeping underneath is part of a costume by Penny Starr, Jr. This dress is the only contemporary style piece I built last year. It's essentially a prom dress. The overskirt is somewhere between seven and sixteen yards of tulle. (I can't tell on the pattern which one it was that I made.) I know I bought a bunch of tulle but I didn't have one continuous piece that was large enough for the whole overskirt, so I think it's the sixteen yard version. Anyway, the tulle alone gave me a challenge, but I'm very pleased with the dress. This photo was taken by Dan Hendricks just a few weeks ago.

Most of my costumes last year were store bought pieces with alterations and embellishments, but I do like pulling out my fifteen year-old sewing machine to exercise my seamstress skills. This year has already provided two vintage bra and panty sets. I have another vintage bra and panty style to tackle soon, a vintage crop top and skirt, and a handful of other patterns I'd like to play with. Of course, none of these little projects have a purpose . . . yet.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Time as a Flower Child

I was tickled pink to participate in Lili VonSchtupp's "Laugh-In" birthday show at Monday Night Tease. The caliber of talent in that line-up was incredible. I was painted, wigged and got to go-go dance most of the night as Goldie. Here's a photo from the show of me and Patrick the Bank Robber.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Too Much Fun


Our Disneyland trip was so much fun. We're all still basking in the afterglow a week later. (This was a shot of us at the Snow White wishing well. Photo by Chris Beyond. You can also see how I'm in the tiny tag on the upper right corner.)

Since it was so fun, I'm going back the day after my birthday and inviting along any of my buddies who would like to join in the fun. I'm sure I'll have some "me time" (read me & Andrew) while we're there.

Acting Class ... Of Sorts

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of taking a class on creating a larger than life burlesque persona from Tigger! of New York. Tigger! is the kind of performer you hear about through the grapevine for his full commitment to his work and wild stage antics. The grapevine builds him up to be fun, intimidating, frightening, exciting and very charismatic. This was a class not to be missed.

Tigger! comes from a theatre background. He's all about totally commiting to a role and playing once you're there. I dig that about him. The class entailed lots of advice for burlesque performers in creating a character, and all of it was relevant for actors. It was incredible.

I try to commit myself fully to every role I play. I figure that's what got me accolades as Helen in Pin-Up Girls. I also try to bring that to my burlesque shows. I like to think it made me a good Alex in A Clockwork Orange for "Kubrilesque," and that it worked when I played Goldie Hawn at Monday night's "Laugh-In" show. I think that full commitment is more entertaining for the audience, and they're the ones that paid to see me on stage.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sign of a True Showgirl


This was my character shoe, barely 14 months in use, after dancing last night. I hear real dancers go through this all the time.

Wait, does that mean I'm a real dancer now?

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

How I Spent My Tuesday


I went to Disneyland with a bunch of burlesqueteers! It was nice getting to know people better. And Andrew and I actually didn't spend so much money that we had to panhandle to get home!

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Funny & Cute

We'll start with funny. Last night was a great show. I danced, Andrew and Phil performed, we had an incredible audience and got paid nicely. My friend Scarlett gave me a gift that went along with the act I was performing that night. Part of the gift included body jewels that I promptly used to encircle my navel ring. It was a wild and crazy night that got me home from the gig close to 2 AM and in bed around 3 AM.

Halfway through my day at work, my belly button was itching uncontrollably. I lifted my shirt to find this:
Oops.

Now we'll cover cute. We made 36 crocodiles for the number I did two weeks ago. We gave 35 away to the audience and sent one to my nephew. He's been at his dad's house for the past couple weeks. He arrived home today to his little snapper. Isn't he cute? And note that his little snapper is chomping on the Snapper postcard.

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Little Miss Seamstress


A costume designer bad mouthed me on the internet in the past year, most of the complaint being that I was impossible to fit and impossible to satisfy. Reader, by now you know that I'm pretty laid back. My motto is "Why borrow trouble?" and I really try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Anyway, it was said that my body was oddly proportioned and that I couldn't fit anything. It was said that costumes could not be built for me because I was so oddly proportioned. This costume designer spent many hours trying to create the perfect mock-up of a vintage bra and panty set for me and later scrapped it because of her own dissatisfaction with the outcome.

The internet blasts and bad mouthing were accepted as more of a challenge than anything for me. Having made many of my own costumes last year, I decided to buy some vintage patterns and see if I could make a vintage bra and panty set for myself. How impossible to fit am I really?

I got a 1945 replica size 16 pattern for the bra and panty. (Mega thanks to Amy for hunting it down for me.) I knew part of it would be too big and I don't have a dress form yet, so I'd have to do alterations on the fly. The pattern came with instructions to make a mock-up first since the original pattern may have been altered. This mock-up took me about five hours to cut, stitch, finish and alter. It was a pretty simple pattern. I know that when I make the next one it'll be much faster.

Lesson: I'm not that impossible to fit. Also, I am awesome! (Felicity likes the puppy print fabric.)

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

T-Shirts!


I picked up my Red Snapper stencil (created by the amazing Sebastian Kadlecik) the Monday before Christmas. I offered free tees to a limited number of people on different sites. My plan was to use cheap 3- or 5-pack men's cotton tees as the base, spray paint (yes, spray paint) and the stencil to crank out a bunch of shirts over Christmas. I wound up getting more done last Saturday and Sunday than over the holiday proper, but they're all done. I have oodles of shirts to give to those who responded, and I'm packing in a little pin-up photo and some tiny Viva fliers to hand out to others. Andrew helped me with the shirts (of course). Don't they look great?

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