Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hurdles

There are certain hurdles to performing out of town. My first hurdle was actually being accepted to perform at the Boston Burlesque Expo. I didn't even think about how much it would cost me to go when I first applied.

I just jumped my second hurdle - airfare. I usually fly to the South so it doesn't cost that much when I travel. (I say it doesn't cost that much but a flight is still around $250.). I bought flights on Jet Blue this morning for a grand total of $490. That's quite a chunk of change. I know it's a good thing for me to travel, but I thought I'd be able to get a flight for about $350 this far in advance. Oh well.

Next I have to finalize my accommodations. I can stay with a friend, but then I won't have ready access to my room between classes and events. I think the only way I can afford a room is to split it with someone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Take Me to the River


We spent a little time at the L.A. River on Saturday. Sam of L.A. Burlesque has some incredible photos of the river folks and transients in Los Angeles. To keep the day adventurous, he took us to the river. These are photos Azul took of that adventure.

You can't tell from this first photo, but there's quite a steep incline down to the level area that's river adjacent. I'm decked out in showgirl clothes, Sketchers and Azul's flasher coat. I had to walk at an angle, use Andrew to support me, and run a hand along the tagged wall to work my way to the level area. It was a lot easier walking up the incline when we were done for the day. When I was a kid, I would've ran down the hill. Of course, I was wearing a lot more glitz than I ever did as a kid.

This second photo is of me and Andrew standing on the opposite side of the wall we had to hop to get to the river. The wall is about chest level for me. I had to have help hopping it both ways. If I was wearing jeans, I would've had an easier time shimmying over the wall.

We were in a place that would've really made my grandmother worry, but it was so incredibly safe. This city is full of stories and interesting places. I'm glad I was able to visit this one.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

How I Get By


This is another behind the scenes photo from the calendar shoot on Saturday. I had so much fun shooting for the L.A. Burlesque calendar because everyone attached is a good time. Azul shot the behind the scenes photos I'll be sharing with you. (I hope this builds up plenty of excitement for you, dear reader, so you get your copy of the calendar as soon as it drops!)

The glamor girl lifestyle would be absolutely impossible for me without Andrew. He hauls things to and from venues for me, drives when I sometimes konk out on the way home, hot glues things together when I run out of time. He edits music, makes props, and even performs. And Saturday he was a champ. He hauled my case of crap like a dutiful mountain goat to the first location. He handled my flyaway hairs. He adjusted my fans. All this just because he's a good person. How cool is that?

I think this photo really gives you a glimpse into the personal life of the Snappers.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Calendar Girl


I'm going to jump around in time a little bit here. I have a little more birthday celebration stuff to share, but I wanted to give you a post with a photo.

Yesterday I had the incredible fortune of shooting for the 2010 L.A. Burlesque calendar. We shot in two locations. I think the second location is the one that might actually make it into the calendar. This is a shot Andrew took from his camera phone of the event. In the photo you can see Anthony Bravo of BravoFoto with a camera up to his face, Azul (standing) and Sam (squatting) of L.A. Burlesque. We hiked a mile to this location, which is lovely because you can see the city behind a bunch of greenery. The second location was also a hike of a different kind, but I'll keep that one a secret until the calendar is released.

I had so much fun doing the shoot. I was really tired afterwards but I had a show in Anaheim last night. I stretched out a little before the shoot, which made my life a bit better. It was also nice getting the exercise and seeing some new places. I'm glad I was available, and I'd gladly do it again.

I don't know where I'll fit into the calendar. I may be a particular month or a front page or back page. Who knows. I do know that the 2010 calendar will be available in April, so there will be plenty of time to get a copy and get it signed by as many dancers as one can find in time for Christmas presents. Funds raised from calendar sales benefit AIDS Healthcare Foundation. If you'd like to donate toward the production of the calendar, go here. Calendars will be available through the website once they're ready!

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Birthday Celebration: Day Six

Performing is always a celebration (unless I'm freezing near to death, but more on that in a later post). Victory Variety Hour was back in Hollywood on the 12th, and I was happy to be part of it. I did my sperm number again, this time rigged for no malfunction. Of course, I wound up shooting whipped cream all over one side of the stage and onto two tables. Oops! And there's nothing quite like dancing for friends and folks who've been watching one for a year.

I'm blessed because in this career I can be someone different every night. I'm not stuck to just one persona or one aspect of a personality. I did classic burlesque Monday, crazy comedic burlesque Wednesday and Thursday, and more variety followed. It's nice not to be pigeonholed.

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Birthday Celebration: Day Five

I always love performing in a new venue. It's nice having places that feel like a second home, but I do like the challenge of a new space. It keeps my dancing fresh. We took Victory Variety Hour to Tarzana, a totally new city and venue for us.

The nice thing about pioneering is that you get more freedom as a result. Our regular Hollywood crowd wasn't at this gig, so there was room to explore since the locals didn't have expectations. I did my sperm number so there's not a lot of room for exploration with that, but I did frolic through the audience, something that's not possible at the other venues.

I also got another little birthday party. Yay! The burlesque community is exactly as presented in Minsky's - warm, loving and tight. I've gotten so much birthday love from these folks, including a photo shoot from Crazy White Lady Photography. How cool is that?

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

"If just one person believes in you ..."

This is the way one of my favorite songs from "The Muppet Show" starts.



I had so many people throw their weight behind me for the Viva Las Vegas semi-finals. Even though I didn't get in (thankfully, since it's been drama ridden this year), I appreciate each and every vote. As I mentioned in my earlier post today, competitions can legitimize a performer.

I'm proud to announce that I've been accepted to perform in the Main Event at the Boston Burlesque Expo on April 11th. I'm performing a classic fan dance, the one I created for Pin-Up Girls. While it would be cool to win a title, I'm thrilled about the chance to just perform in this show. One of my incredible teachers from the East Coast will be there. One of my good friends from Los Angeles will be there. And my college chum, Andy, lives there. How cool is that? The weekend is filled with classes and seminars and networking opportunities. Holy cow!



So, here's my challenge. I've cut my hours at work in order to return to school three afternoons a week. I can make it work I'm sure, but it's going to be a challenge. First I have to get a flight there and back, then a ticket for the extra events, then accommodations. (I can stay with Andy, but I would like a hotel room on the night I perform so I can get ready there and not have to use the subway that night.) This means money. So I'm panhandling online. If you can kick anything my way to help me with my trip, I'd be very grateful.





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Legitimacy

I like conventions and gatherings but I'm not a big fan of competitions. It's not the competition itself that's annoying; it's the crap surrounding the competition. Unfortunately, winning some sort of title from a competition gives one a certain legitimacy in the eyes of others. I liken it to having an agent's name on an actor's resume. Sure, the actor is just as talented without the agent but having that name on there says that someone believes in the actor's talent and would vouch for the person when the jobs come around.

The Viva Las Vegas first round wasn't as fun as I hoped. It was a pre-selection of performers for the actual dancing competition done by votes. It was complete with mudslinging and accusations and high school drama, all about "a sash and not enough cash." One of my friends won last year, so I thought it would be a fun competition if I actually got in. By the end of the month of voting, I was so tired of the drama that I didn't want to be backstage at the competition itself. The voting system was screwy for the first week or so, which meant the contestants voted in four wild cards who were guaranteed a chance to perform. After the drama, I left my name off my voting list and I was relieved to see I wasn't voted in to compete. I got an email from the producers this week that said they were investigating vote fraud, which meant some people might be booted out of their competition slots. I thought we were done with the VLV drama. So, not a fan of competitions.

But then there's that legitimacy factor. Even though it doesn't change one as a performer, a title tells other people that one knows what one is doing. So I'm entering festivals and competitions this year, hoping that the drama will be mild to non-existent since the other opportunities don't have a voting contest. I also want to perform for peers to get my name out there.


This year I'm entering the Miss Exotic World competition as a duo, me and Andrew. I don't care if we get into the competition itself. I just want to perform. We have a solid number that people love. I have to fill out the application in the next couple weeks. Exotic World is more of a convention, but there is that competition aspect to the whole thing. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the judges will like us enough to let us perform.

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Birthday Celebration: Day Four

One thing I forgot to mention about day one was that I desperately needed to see my chiropractor before birthday weekend. When I told him my birthday was the following day, he gave me a free adjustment. He said it was in lieu of a birthday card since postage rates have skyrocketed over the years. A free adjustment is way better than a birthday card!

Day four was High Jinks Burlesque at Monday Night Tease. It's the same show we did after the Saturday performances of Pin-Up Girls, but there were two added acts. I love doing funny, rock & roll acts, but it's a delight to do the classic stuff. All of my girls did wonderfully in their first professional burlesque performances. I was very proud of them. I've been performing at the Tease for a little over a year now, so I've gotten to know many of the patrons and performers very well. It was like a birthday party with my second family.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Birthday Celebration: Day Three


We met up with friends at Disneyland on Sunday. We had so much fun when we did "Burlesque Day at Disneyland" that we found the best excuse we could to go back as a group. This is a photo of Jim, me, Chris and Andrew on the Matterhorn, taken with Jim's camera phone. We checked out the new Toy Story Mania at Disney's California Adventure (best ride there) and played all day and into the night. We met up with our pals Kimmy and Teo for dinner at Blue Bayou, then rode a couple more rides before returning home to sleep it off.

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Birthday Celebration: Day Two

Saturday was my actual birthday. I initially had a photo shoot scheduled for the morning, but my photographer buddy was seriously under the weather so we rescheduled. Andrew and I started the day with a breakfast meeting with his burlesque comedy partner, Mr. Buddy. We then distributed fliers for the Monday night burlesque show we helped produce. I also put out fliers for the new show I'm doing this Friday. This may not seem terribly exciting, but it's a great way to get exercise and promote.

We also saw The Reader. I like WWII films. It was really good. I highly recommend it. We then stayed home for the rest of the evening, sucking down some raspberry cake (that actually tasted like cotton candy) and watching some movies online. I fixed my feather fans so they'd be ready for three shows this week. It was a relaxing time, which we needed before the excitement continued the next day.

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Birthday Celebration: Day One

My birthday was this past Saturday, but I've been gluttonous and am celebrating as much as I can. I kicked off day one of my birthday celebration by hitting MAC in Hollywood. I just stopped to drop off an application for a pro card (meaning discounts on makeup since I'm a performer) and to get some mascara. I left with a new foundation and correction creme that are gel based and some flashy pigment for my eyes. I also stopped at Frederick's to pick up a pair of panties for a possible photo shoot on my birthday. (Same style as the photo but with a crotch.) The panties were too sheer for the photo shoot so I blew a wad of money on other stuff. Yay for me.

That evening we had tickets to Minsky's, a brand new musical. Because of our involvement in the burlesque community, we were able to see a preview of the show a week before and were able to get tickets to opening night. This show is an absolute delight and I would gladly watch it again and again. The music is catchy, the performances are incredible and the costumes are out of this world. We crashed the reception after the show for free cookies and crab cakes. I also almost ran into Noel from "Felicity" in the lobby after the show. It was a great time.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Keeping My Fool Mouth Shut

I'm a very trusting person. I'm also a very open person. I tend not to gossip and I try to treat people as I would like to be treated. I'm far from perfect, but I do try.

I find that I've judged some folks too harshly based on what others have said about them. It's one thing to have firsthand experience with a person and disliking them based on that. It's quite another to form a negative opinion based on what another relates. When I actually deal with the people I disliked, I form my own opinion and often find I had no reason to dislike them in the first place. I expect everyone else to be truthful and speak without bias, or at least be overt about their biases.

I'm a bit like my dad. I like helping people and sometimes make offers of help without thinking. I really would benefit from keeping my fool mouth shut. I usually shut my yap and just observe when I'm new to a crowd, area or situation. But when I think I know people, I open my stupid mouth and offer things that I regret. I really need to work on that this year. I also need to use all of my people training so I trust the right people

Now With Wi-Fi

I can now blog from my iPod. Sure, I can't post photos with these blogs, but I can share things faster (theoretically). Perfect for office blogging!