Monthly Archives: February 2015

The problem with the alpha-femaleness

Lately there are just way too many blogs and articles popping up getting into how fearless, kick-ass, empowered, alpha, rocking, self-sufficient, etc women are, or should be.

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I find it problematic, moreover confusing.

If I was to be one of the above do I need any article carassing my ever so healthy self esteem?

Giving me a list of my ‘longcomings’ (yes, I just made this word up) and brilliance? (point 1-5. Check! awww, shit 6. Ain’t me, urghh better make it then??WTF?)

Let’s take this clear and face forward. Belonging or not to any of the above, not so defined cathegories.

We all want to belong there.

Why?

What 21st century woman wants to be any of the opposite?

We have the bar set up pretty high, and with it we, women, once again got to score a goal against ourselves.

We gather in little hordes of girlfriends, mostly single, desperate and insecure to the bone, to fuel that little self esteem we hide to face the big bad world all alone…

So what we really have is loads of half-way successful (mostly never succesful enough by default) little girls trying to fill that big girl pants society and/or family and/or partners (oh yes, love, yes) entitled them to wear.

In result, we are a generation raised by seriously dameged goods as parents.

I see our parents as grown old children, who only saw the aim of growing up to being able to pay all the damage done by the authority of society and family upon them straight back to the next generation. (This is a simplified take)

They flew from under the wings of their parents straight into marriage and parenthood without ever facing their shortcomings, and there they started to pay it all ‘back’.

Do you still get relationship advice, if not straight obligations from your mom, who have not had a sexual relationship for years, not even with your father, who she lives with?

Career advice from your life-long stay at home mom?

Advice from dad to tone down the boogie in your feet and be calm, stay at home do nothing at age 16-20?

And examples can go on forever.

They are damaged goods raising another generation of damaged goods.

We need to break the cycle.

Become who and whatever we actually are. Not only superhero, self-sufficient, lady crossfit wonder woman types.

I would be lying to say I do not consider myself a strong woman, but I did a serious internship with life, my own life! Not, what mom and dad wanted or my boyfriend or my husband, or society or what other else outer force.

I learned, the hard way, I was damaged goods, doing all the fuckups damaged goods do.

Was I superladywonderwoman when I was married to a full blown psychological abuser (shadow man, as coined here: http://kellymarceau.com/sexy-conscious-awake-women-shed-light-on-unconscious-shadow-men/)?

No way, but I had shit to put in place in my head and I did.

Now it is over, not over yesterday, but over years ago, and I still am cautious about what I go around advising others in a similar situation.

What I see now is little girls fiddling in their enormous big girl pants, reparting life advice like candy without the leastest of ideas.

And I, need to admit, am one of the causes. I self-trained many of these girls, suprised by people’s abilities of twisting shit around, let that be example or advice.

And now, car crash.

I did spent hours helping a friend set up her local performer prices, just to see her 6 months later doing low end gigs for 25 euros a night at a place, that is only taking her to a mental institution.

I set another friend in the direction of aerial arts just to listen to her talking to a cirque the soleil aerialist, selling herself as the most professional aerialist, while she haven’t touched an apparatus in a year.

I was a personal psychologist, big sister, half mom, flatmate and whatnot to another friend, just to be asked to carry suitcases in my 4th month of pregnancy, not being able to clean my ass in the toilet without her talking, complaining and self assuring, and then after all, she leaves with a days notice, leaving us flat bankrupt with the rent to be payed in 2 days. She, the one now giving relationship advices, as a good alpha female, without being able to hold up a healthy, not abusive relationship in the last 5 years… Leaving the stage all hurt and victimized, but getting onto the wild as the aplha queen of the universe, whose life is so exceptionally hard…

Whose fault is all this?

Mine!

Why?

You cannot train alpha females!!

It is not an english language course. So here comes the uselessness of all articles about how one is like or should be.

Because the real ones are a million other way… here would come the punline of and they give no smokin’ sh#t about your opinion… but not even that, they might even do, if you are someone worth listening to.

Find your own way and personality please and forget about these self assuring articles.

We are human, we all need to learn.

Xxx

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One by one, the story of an act – The abandoned bride

The most well-known and if necessary to choose my “signature” act.

This act was born back somewhere around 2006-2007 as a striptease act, at that point the dress was nothing like it is now, was more like a gothic lolita striptease act. (whatdoyouknow)

I remember being very excited about the idea, when other strippers told me it was waa-aaay overused and I shouldn’t do it, cuz it won’t be cool…You bet, I did it anyway.

Music choices went evolving (from White wedding to Rob Zombie), and I found THE WEDDING DRESS in a Hungarian second hand shop (Ruhagaléria rulez!) for 40-50 euros approx back in whichever year.

By 2009 it was one important act of mine with the biggest costume I had, performed on pole.

Then came the 2010 London Burlesque Festival, which I took as an opportunity to showcase something new (a skill) and renewed (this number) and challenge myself.

I added a Bibian Blue corset to the already huge dress and a lingerie like silks dress (which I changed for a better one later) and made one huge decision.

Create an aerial silks piece…

You might have noticed that my main discipline is aerial silk, this is where it all started.

During the first year I was not inspired by this apparatus at all, I saw similar tricks and it just never got to me.

Yet, I decided to change this pole act into a silks act to vary and challenge.

Silks are harder than you would think, but 3 months later I had the initial act.

First time performed at LBF 2010.

Here is the video:

I never decided to retire this video, as I believe it was a fairly good performance for only 3 months of silks training.

There I realized something.

Silks take away my enormous fear of heights.

(on hoop I consider myself still quite limitated as of height – more on this in another post)

Needless to say, this act was a blast, is a blast, it is a great act. The public loves it, I love it, it is me inside and out. My darkness of the soul in it’s simplest form.

Clear and just enough stereotipical to be digestable to everyone, yet not too much of an only burlesque topic.

Over the years I kept doing it on pole, mostly in Barcelona and in the Palais Mascotte, and sometimes due to lack of high enough rigging on aerial hoop.

Here is another video from the 2011 Barcelona Burlesque Festival, where lacking proper rigging at the time, I had to improvise the whole on the hoop.

(I was to omit this part due to too personal, but I guess the whole artistic process is already is too personal)

Well, at that point I hated every move of mine, but looking back  it was not that terrible. Still I was so tangled up in my shitty relationship, that it took over a year and a break-up to focus and pull my ass together and train harder and better.

By 2012 summer I decided to pull my head out of my ass and also watched some of my videos (oh yes, do that!!!) to realize that instead of creating new I should clean up my skills and style.

Then came break-up and drama and just vomiting it on Facebook for a while, bitterness, blablabla.

BUT! On the meanwhile, I worked my ass off saved up money and decided to take some months off and start training hard.

So from 2012 November up until about 2013 March I was not performing, just training and figuring out what I wanted next.

In 2013 I had another break-up, now with the new circus company I was with and from one day to another I decided to move back to Barcelona, because Budapest was a dead end.

To start with I was renewing my Black Clown act, so by May, when I performed in LBF, this act was still and sadly improvised as I had no time to finish the two new choreographies…

Here you see, too improvised, off the music and crappy, and obviously the only time when I constantly tangled with the silk… (The curse of the video)

You might ask why I did not stick to the original choreography… good question, I guess I wanted to show off new tricks and did not think too much…

After seeing myself, I was terrified, I did not like what I saw at all once again.

Back to training, fixing, practicing…

Until November, when the World Burlesque Games were on… (more in another post on “competing”)

I was so ready, it was so on the music, I was feeling it so much… Crowd going crazy, etc. (If I was to see I would surely think otherwise)

I made sure a friend come to film Tish von Devil, but he could not stay for the second show, then I thought OK, surely there will be an official footage (Saw the dude filming in the middle)

Then the curse of the video worked its magic!!!

YES!!! No fucking video!!! No fucking way!!!

Then I was arranging for a proper video with big height and by the time I could have done it… I got pregnant!

Now I guess is the new time…

 

Dressmaking – ranting it

We live in an utterly fucked up world.

Where we are happy to fight in defence in our own rights and own wellbeing, but close our eyes and look the other way, when it is about somebody else’s.
In fact, we even try to force a beneficial injustice for us whenever we can.

Let get back to me the dressmaker.

I started to make custom made pieces back in 2008, when I failed big time…

Wanna know why?

I believed what my costumers told me.

“oh, but XY costumier does this whole thing for me for less than 200 euros. ..”

Talking about: a fake leather g string, bra, corselette, shorts, big tull skirt, a head piece and a jacket. Designed, sewed and lavishly hand decorated….

So she wanted better than that, but for less money.

I started my piece in question and realized how I will hardly make the price of material out of the sum.

Then, another, a seemingly simple lycra piece… have you ever sewn lycra? Could you do it for 30 euros? Well only the material needed surpassed 20 euros. (long dress)

The patterning? The labour? The machinery? The knowledge? Queeze that in 10 euros, cuz y’know, a poor little stripper getting at the time 120+ euros per day cannot afford paying you more than 2-3 euros an hour?

And now, back to 2015.

I started my new project out, with the massive input from my baby daddy, who is responsible for the purchase of the industrial machinery I own, so that his little preggo momma wouldn’t be bored at home.

What goes into a dress?

Design.

This part surely has no monetary value, just ask any fashionista…

Pattern.

Obviously, we just eye measure and hand draw and kabooom. Magic happens.

Hours.

After this sudden sparkle of magic, this pattern just multiplies itself into different sizes, flies and sticks on the textile and cuts itself.

Fabric.

If you see 0.2 m2 of fabric approx of a dress then it obviously means the pattern was made out of 0.2 meters of fabric, right? We all know, that you can buy a 20cm x 20 cm square at the textile shop, right?Which must be something dirth cheap to get out there, even, must be something you find for free on the street!

Then you sew this all together in less than 5 minutes.

Knowledge.

You were born with this talent, you could just handle industrial machinery by nature and from the age of 5. (Apart of having slipped out fearlessly from your moms womb in an oversplit position to also become an effortless circus artist)

Let’s start this again, shall we…

Design

People get degrees in this field, although I’m against the whole educational system, but still then, you need basic drawing skills and fantasy of the tonload. (you can also copy, why not? It’s good for you…)

Pattern

Someone has to make a pattern, draft the sizes and cut them out.

Pattern making is at least a two year long school, or without schooling, still massive hours inverted in self education.

Also: space for a table, paper, markers, french curve (the f**k is that you ask….)

At the beginning you just use the living room floor, so I did at age 12, or I do whenever the piece is bigger than my table.

Hours

Once you have your little dossiers of patterns set up (that never mix up, never get lost and never get teared, so you never have to redo then, obviousity here).

You just cut them….

Erh.

You draw or pin them (forget this on lycra or thin material) on, cut one by one, or two by two, at the bestest of strength I would stop by 3 pieces of fabric on top of each other at once. (or cutting machine… which is another investment)

If you draw, you cannot write “FRONT” and “BACK” with a marker in the middle obviously. You want to draw so that once sewn no drawing is seen.

Fabric

Patterns don’t just mash up on the textile. They have a direction that needs to be followed. So you might push a piece 20 times next, on top and all over the fabric, but most likely once cut out 19 pieces sewn will end in the garbage or stay for personal use, as are not sale quality.

So in any case a surplus of fabric has to be counted for mistakes, because people still make mistakes.

And now you sew all together, carefully, so you won’t cut the pattern into half with the serger, many times with elastics you need serious pinning before passing it with the machine, to avoid distortion of the pieces, pinned so that it won’t show pin marks once you are done.

So here goes the done in 5 minutes bubble.

Knowledge

Apart of taste and talent, it obviously includes knowledge.

Oh and knowledge of the machinery, that brings in a costy detail, the specialized mechanic, who might as well charge half of your kidney to figure why a stitch skips…
(I’ve been fighting my kansai coverstitch for about 3 weeks and I am giving up, will need to call a mechanic)

Competing with the sweatshops

Have you ever researshed this topic? Do you know what you wear? Where it comes from?

Yes, a top in big brand shops is dirt cheap. Made in a questionable country under questionable circumstances, and by, well, not so questionable almost slave labour.

If you ask me, I rather buy a 30 euro cloth diaper made by a young mom in the north of Spain, than 10 euro made in China piece, cuz it’s cheaper… (In this case for the benefit of a baby bum)

Costumers

Please stop being %@##&%%^!

You want it all! Bigger, better, shinier, comfier, more durable, but cheaper than the underwear in a chinese store…

I’ve just been around trying to sell my shit here in Bcn, good God, people, I already desire the end of the world to come.

So here’s this (terribly done zigzags, awful pattern, etc. Let’s call it a dress)

Can you make it cheaper than…?

Wtf?????

I offer quality here. Quality, that calls someone’s attention from the other end of the room to come take a closer look, just like that.

Not wanting quality is not taking yourself seriously on the first place…

What does a sex-shop bought factory made unitard say about an artist?

What does a garnment so not well done, that others wouldn’t let their kids going to a Halloween party in it, tell about you as an artist?

Or on a sport championship?

It says CHEAP!!!

Do you go into Zara or Mango and say ‘hey, this dress is pretty, but can you sell it to me for the half of the price, since it’s only serves to out a fancy evening, so I won’t be using it that much.’

So, this is how that ‘I cannot afford spending so much on a piece I will be putting on once or twice sounds like in a different context…

Durability

I own yoga stuff from the chinese, they are good for 6-12 months, then cleaning cloth, or at best undone seams all over the place….

The pieces you get from a quality costumier are in most cases bulletproof.

The individual producer vs. The factory

Remember history class? Industrialization?

Craftsmen -> Manufacture -> Factory?

The costumier is a craftsman not a factory.

A factory has material by the ton, machines equipped and calibrated to only do the tiniest detail, if necessary. Workers only doing one single task, like a machine only to sew the necklines of the T-shirt.

Rollers, pullers, binders, overlocks, different coverstitches, the people, they just pass the product on and do their detail.

Whereas me and my kind we do it all by ourselves. We need to change machine settings, set up the thread, handsew, cut, decorate, measure, pattern, etc.

Plus.

Buy the materials!! That can take hours of our lives, and nope, it is not fun, it is work.

And once again, the fact that I like my job doesn’t mean it should not be payed.

So, after my negative hate the world rant.

Please appreciate other people’s work, let it be of an artist, a costumier, or your regular cashier in the supermarket.

Xxx

Why Barcelona?

Out of my many references you can deduce how Barcelona is not the right city for the average burlesque performer. How much I tend to agonise as the artist whose talents has not fully been recognized just yet. Between function and fashion, as you know…

So the question arise, out of what intolerable perversion do I live in Barcelona?

As a burlesque artist, full timer, I would most likely choose another city, and country.

As a circus artist I would choose no other city, than Barcelona.

To begin with, I surely had to end up here. This place made me fall in love with pole dance and aerials, and at their time was the finest place to start my journey in both fields.

In 2006, this was the European city for pole dancers, that did not shame stripping with the dancers of the infamous Bailen 22 on Tv every week and on posters around the city. Strip-art.

Circus was booming in squats forever, but it took me until 2009 to pullmy shit together to do it.

The circus scene

I seriously get to see the most original and inspiring stuff… in squats and hippie places. Full house cabaret, loads of people, yet, when performing we split and get 20-30 euros each. Which nobody cares, as we don’t do it for the money. I still should do more of these shows.

The training

I was an everyday goer to “La Nave”, and I am sorry for not contributing to it, before it closed.

Now… not now as pregnant, but in general I train at La central del circ. Superpro place, 9 meters, pro as pro it can be. Great ambient to train in. Clean, warm, nice.

The cheapest city

Well, I tell you, for me it is cheaper to live here than in Hungary.

Food

Fresh, lots of bio stores and markets for fresh everything.

Rent

Is not that cheap thought, if we consider room prices. Entire flats are Ok, yet here I scored again, I rent and renovate 200 m2 studio, home and future workplace.

Textiles and accessories

The Encantes, Ribes y Casals, Teixits Donna, etc. All you might want. Cheaper than in Hungary, a lot. Lycra prices in Hungary are outrageous to be honest…

For accessories nothing can beat the chinese stores, literally on every second corner. Buying skin colored fishnets 20 minutes before going on stage next to the theater and cheap is just priceless.

On the way of less and one day maybe zero wasting

Here I come with another marvellous idea of mine.

We are done with healthy eating, mostly paleo, but almost veggie diet, (say pegan would be the politically most correct diet) with loads of straight off bio stuff, as much as our budget lets us.

Half way through to all natural cosmetics, and beginning with cleaning products.

Paraben and aluminium free deodorants.

Cloth diapering to come.

Recycling.

Etc.

But! Have we ever thought about the waste? Cool, we recycle, ehm, mostly… but what is up with the random water bottle? Everything that comes in a paper box, inside 20 plastic covers, inside the tea in teabag and detergents?

When we forget our baggies on the way to the veggie shop… that 5-6 plastic bags per shopping to be out there… (here we have only one veggie and fruit shop in the nearby, that offers also paperbags, which happens to be the most posh, aka expensive…)

We are all hypocrites. We think we are zen, bio, etc, but actually there are way too many things to consider for a better future, not only for us, but our children…

Veggie friends look down on you, because you eat meat, but they take plastic and plastic and more plastic bags at every single shopping…
Harsh looks when you munch that occasional sugary muffin by the crossfitty ones…

Once I was on track with diet, I turned my shampoo plastic bottle around and I was like why so many ingredients? If so far my magical hair care product, oil for cookies, anti-stretch mark agent, best thing found for ekczema is the one and only coconut oil.

I am starting to inform myself and see how I can get our households waste to minimum, since in a city I quite find zero wasting impossible, but let’s see.

These blog entries will turn into spanish, because there are way too many options in english with proper shops to go to, but here, I see that I need to find my own way.

My first steps.

Since Jordi’s parents (my baby daddy) live in Premia de Mar, we go every Sunday to the market and then have lunch with them. (Funnily I got to know about this after a friend of mine posted her groceries on instagram. From the next week on I was out there)

I made recycled textile baggies for fruits veggies and all. I save the universe from 5-6 bags a shooping. Yes, you need to plan shopping or always carrie some with you.

I find this site quite useful:

http://www.zerowastehome.com

But we don’t live in the states, so none of the information can helf much about shopping.

And! We don’t eat dairy from cows, either much gluten.

I’m doing my own research.

First thing.

Before you think, oh yes, so easy for you… nope it is not.

I am a pregnant girl juggling a fragile weekly budget of food, so it’s not like I can spend hundreds of Euros a week on bio shit in the poshiest bio store in Gracia.

Zero wasting is a new concept for most.

When you talk about it, each and every body poses as someone, who is well informed, explain how they recycle, etc.

Lovely, but it is a lie.

Posing.

Sadly, not too many have read about this, let alone do anything about it.

Yup, I recycle… sometimes… like once a year? One bottle?

Back at the beginning of the year, I had it clear. (after two years of paleo already)

I want clean eating for my family, not necessarily die hard paleo, but fresh unprocessed, sugarfree, as for me lactose free, etc.

Then I wondered, what about cosmetics?

I turned my shampoo around and was like WFT?

Will my baby need all that shit on his skin?

This will be another post.

Then soon the recycling thought was sinking in.

I was always pro recycling. My dad is one of these crazy dudes washing the yogurt cups to recycle and having monthly trips to the nearest recycling park to drop the more special pieces if any.

He has his own grocery garden, he composts for about 30 years, which as a little girl I found pretty gross.

So yep, jump down my throat and tell me how recycling is a monopolized industry etc. Owned by the goevernment, whatever, but!

Do you know anything better?

Yes.

Generating less or no waste.

But the people with this argument are not the ones doing it. I get this argument from people throwing everything in the landfill. And I’m harsh, because Baby daddy came up with this argument.

Until we had flatmates, making the concept into aaction was quite impossible.

We had two triple bagging die-hard vegetarians (one of them ate meat once a week, so her standpoint was pretty questionable, if not phoney, that even cleaned their potatoes with dishwashing liquid before desinfecting them… and never ever considered recycling as a serious thing.

2-3 bags of landfill a week. Maybe a tiny recycling, like water bottles, that nobody else but me bothered to take down…

Then we ended up, bejng us, Jordi and me and baby to come.

Life changed!!!

As for common costs.

No 5 rolls of paper cleaning wipes per week, not a huge pack of toilet paper used either, no unnecessary cleaning products, etc.

And this…

So, I am a happy owner of some very useful recycled textile baggies for groceries, first thing I did.

Smaller ones serves you better.

I have gotten to reduce our garbage making more than considerably. Without additional people in the household it is a lot easier.

I still struggle with limited material sources.

To go straight all the way you need shitloads of money. (even of you don’t fall for all the supercute glass dispensers you can buy)

Expecting a baby, in a currently one income household does not equal shitloads of money.

I had some help by friends sharing their finds and experiences. (here I give credit)

So let’s look into this.

Veritas.

Bio it is, but other than dead expensive veggies all goes bagged.

I still buy some things, but with all bio stores, you just cannot buy everything at one place, because you would go bankrupt.

So I keep buying my rice cream for cooking still there, and sometimes the honey. (the thick one really is worth it, because it lasts the double), coconut oil.

Caprabo

Fucking forget it, triple bagging ignorant idiots.

Lidl

I’m just gonna drop it. I love Lidl. It’s my number one store, and yes sorry, I will keep not supporting the Spanish economy until the shops I can choose from are dead expensive (Mercadona, Bonpreu, Caprabo) or plain shit with stuff already gone bad before purchase (let’s say with a catalan name with discount in it… ehm…). Many criticize Lidl, but its not bad at all.

Anyways. These places does not help you generate less waste, but to buy these few products one can live with them.

Rest and most comes from the market and the family meat shop on the corner (they still cutely smile at me, when I come with my little recycled tray, but still put the plastic on top, until I figure better, which will be a tupper with top) , and now as pregnant an occasional fresh pumpkin seed bread from the corner bakery.

And here starts my journey to discover, where to buy bulk and cheap in Bcn.

Be back in spanish the next time.

Note: I’m juststarting this journey, so take me not as an expert…

The Voliére experience – The job of an artistic director – vol. 3.

The job of an artistic director

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artistic_director

There you have it, what it should be or could be.

So who was she, our “artistic director”?

Let’s be politically correct and skip my personal opinion on her personality.
(+*&^%$@@4?/®÷×_<{± and so on, as you guess)

It was her big chance of making something now, something to show for before retireting and trying to have a baby…
(These ladies that think a baby can make up for their unfulfilled lives *sigh*)

Stating the obvious, she has hardly seen a theater or variety inside, not even as an audience member, least as an artist.

She promised a picture perfect broadway show with cirque du soleil class circus in it to an equally ignorant owner (he owns whorehouses otherwise)

She had no idea what her job was and she failed it every corner of the way.

She was spiced up with all imaginable insecurities, numbed back down with weed and alcohol.

On rehearsals she was more occupied of trying to show off with the pole or on the hoop (she never hold one before) than doing her actual job.

Her way of treating people was plain abuse downwards (which should never be, not even with an animal) and mad ass-kissing and pretending upwards, also showing off with other people's merits.

Let’s see the job closer

From what I saw from the past, rather than qualifications, you need a sense, talent and taste, but most of all hard work to do this job.

In burlesque the artistic directors I mostly work with are also performers, and performers of the same genre. Outside of their genre, they let themselves guided by the ones who areprofessionals, that is, they understands the needs of a burlesque artist, while they carefully consult over rigging with an aerialist or safety with a fire performer, etc.

Running order

They do not put a show together just sucking the running order out of their fingers.

People need to change, warm up and cool down, drink a sip.

In the case of most burlesque shows and variety style shows, the individual numbers are linked together with a compere, there is not necessarily a written plot.

If the show is theatrical play like, there might be plot or a storyline built up.

In both cases, if you work with a limited amount of performers, that have reoccuring roles on stage, you need to plan the timing according to the needs of changes (for example: character or costume) to be made during the plot.

Other consideration should be variety (in the strict sense of the word), so not put two numbers of the same or similar style after each other.

Well, here we were supposed to leave the stage to change costumes (thigths and gloves included) and get back on in 20 sec, just having finished our aerial duo. We obviously could not make it…oh, did you ask? No, we did not have people helping us dress.

Was she a director?

No, not by profession, either by talent.

Was she a coreographer?

Same negative answer, I think my grandmother would have been more effective teaching a coreography than her. She was constantly yelling, instead of counting we got “plass plass and bumm”s. Correcting and recorrecting the same thing back again. Not being able to show the same move twice same way either, but yelling if we didn’t get it right.

Was she a dancer?

There is a difference between having skills to dance and selling that you have skills to dance, in the second option you might also lack the actual skill or only have some.

I need to admit, I had her raised on a piedestal in the past, but memories tricked me, I saw her now and there was nothing of that divinity. Not because she lost it, but rather because it has never been there. She was trash, she was insecure, she was eager to proove she could, but she could not.

She was a graceful stripper, great pole dancer as of 2006 (when pulling an aysha was OMG!) Once she did rythmic gymnastics. Fact.

My glasses of the wannabe stripper fell, and I could see the reality.

Big dreams
(Too big)

She dreamed big. She visioned a broadway show cirque du soleil crossover.

She dreamed aerials, aerial hoop, aerial silks, trapeze, spinning pole, aerial hammock… All high quality, spiced with motorised movements and flights… On a height of 4.5 meters and 5 m wide stage… (For the less circusy reader, that would leave you with hoop and pole, as other disciplines need more height, if we talk quality)

She dreamed a weekly change of theme of 4 different themes. Namely cabaret, flamenco, circus, futurist.
Cabaret, because she saw Cabaret, Victor Victoria and Chicago once.
Flamenco, because it was a tourists’ must, not her choice.
Circus, because we were circus artists, but she had no idea of this theme.
Futurist, because she saw Step up wichever, with the glowing ballet dancers and the coming out of the wall body paintings.
As you can see, all original, all new ideas on a brand new take, innovation up your ass…

She dreamed a team whose superhero powers doesn’t require days off to rest. Neither regular hidration, nor proper food.

She dreamed two, two hours each of shows a night.

All this paying a casual gogo dancer’s salary to the acrobats a day. 120 euros, underline! (and slap me in the face if I ever consider this sum acceptable ever for aerials…)

She dreamed wild success and a job offer in the 3 upcoming months from El Molino Barcelona or such.

She also dreamed that for all this she just had to sit back and light her pot acommpanied by a daiquiry.

She made everyone else do all the aspects of her supposed job. That mostly me, at the beginning then after that our coreographer.

Costumes

Generally the last rehearsals should go with costumes, any fucking where, (except for a burlesque show, where performers already had that about a 1000 times, one would suppose…)

The costumes arrived, like 2 days before premier or less.

She asked us to provide our own dance-skin type tights, white and black tight with all matching black and white garder belts, black and white, black frilly underwear for “mein herr”, big holed fishnet thigh high black stockings, plain black fishnets, etc.

All this being told during the last week of rehearsals, with no free time and no shops selling these items in the nearby.

Surely, a “real professional” should have all this already.

I was to have most of it, providing two frilly undergarments even, but still, white fucking garder belts? White over the knee tights? Last minute?
Obviously a single pair does not work, because to begin with we were 3-4 girls needing each item at a time, so that would go by buying 8 pairs.

Bcn is cheap, but fishnets go around 3-5 euros, frilly underwear 6-8 euros, tights 3-10 euros, garder belts 5-10 euros all depending if you get lucky to buy it in your corrner chinese store, because buying in a higher end store means having to spend 3x more.

So you start the work with min. 30-50 euros loss in material you might never ever use again (fishnets in burlesque is quite a generally accepted nono)

The made costumes were not matching anyone, since noone ever asked for our measurements.

Some were unusable, like our “By-bye blackbird” coreography jackets. These were jackets bought at any sale store, with a badly sewn in velcro in the back. Taking a proper 1.5 size down. So whenever we opened our arms the jacket opened wide open on our backs. No time to fix anything, no sewing machine, either anyone to do it. (At this time I was still hand sewing and fixing what I could, until the directorrissima thought, that instead of thanking me, telling me to shut up and stop critizing our very professional “costumier” was something suitable, so I stopped.)

Shoes

In the middle of dance school show season, we were sent to try shoes the weekend before. Well, no shop had the matching 5 pairs of black dance shoes already, including 3 pairs of 36 and one of 41 size, which was the hardest to find, and did not happen.
Best moment was calling the directorissima and passing her on the phone to the shopkeeper lady, she requested giving us the shoes without paying and that in two days the boss would come and pay for them, on the basis of youknowwhoIam, which they had no idea of.

Technicals

Motor. Failing. All. The. Time.

The so called motor was life threatening to us. Hitting the floor was a constant threat. Start and stop had more movement and shake than the length of the actual rope involved.

Professional aerial arts motors are somewhat costy, so they got cheap industrial ones. These get jammed, are not licensed to hang people from them. (In Spain nobody gives a damn)

Million and one cheaper solutions, pulley? Or fixed rigging?

Oh, did I mention that the structure to begin with either was quite made for this.

We ended up having 3 stage managers including the her, but still no stage courtain got to open and close when needed, no motor working when needed, and we were requested to collect our clothing ourselves. Glamurous that is.

Lady, and others with a smoke in their mouth on that 4 m2 behing the stage and between the dressing room, that had a single curtain to protect itself.

4 circus artists, no actual m2 to stretch, or warm up. Sure, we solved this too.

And after each and every show she came on stage with us to take her bow and collect the applauses of a puzzled mini audience, who wondered who the hell was her…

One by one – the story of an act

The Evil Queen

Snow White and the seven dwarfs, and her evil step-mother is where the story began.

I debuted this act, as my very first aerial hoop act as well, on the 2009 London Burlesque Festival.

As we know, my journey as of an “international” performer began there, and the slight change of genre went from being called a stripper to be a burlesque artist. I pretty much did burlesque from 2006,
it was just not called that way that time in Spain.
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(Wtf with that look?, circa 2009)

I believe this act to be born out of my many inspirations from Mierkoles. We spent endless hours making up new shows and new costumes in our head, mostly stripper themes, but with a little of our darkness to it.

At the beginning I was more the lot less sinister of us two, so I could truly embrace the whole idea and fine styling of burlesque. I was called to do burlesque themed gigs already.

Aerial hoop came into the picture after long years of harvesting the circus ambitions in me, although at this point I never expected to become a full-time circus girl, mostly because I never thought I had this much in me and being a stripper involved way too much pot, and that really numbs you away from training.

So by the time I applied I knew what the act was to be, and I had 3 months till april to make something out of it.

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The first version of the act was, that the Evil queen enters the stages gives out her apples to the public, then has her encounter with the mirror, that tells her she was not the fairest, and so great reason to strip and hang on a hoop, come down and die.

Since my music cutting skills were none, I chose a version of Summertime of Artie Shaw, which has an interesting suspense tune in it. So no music cutting.

Sure, this version was shit. Looking from now. Amateur, low hoop skills, etc.

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(yup, as beginner as it seems)

The stage part I made it up on the go, really, I went on an international stage without ever rehearsing my steps, only the hoop part had a “coreography”, but you bet, that is mostly how I roll up till this day. I guess I was more stupid than brave. Oh, and never tried the tiny corset on the hoop (FAIL) and I still saved it, actually I think my legs and splits saved the act.

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(that split)

For my great surprice, I was full of bookings right after the festival.

There I realized, this would not work with an audience that was further away, I mean apples are pretty hard to be hit in the head with…

Later I tried a version, where I was poisoning the apples with green poison and needle. Changed the music to Jill Tracy’s Fine art of poisoning. Yet here I realized that in a bigger theater noone would see me doing the needle thing, being way too little of motion, so there went the music choice with it…

I needed something strong and evil as of music. I also wanted to make sure that the audience gets, who the hell I represent.

I wanted to cut the actual sound of the mirror in my act. Here, I had more skills in garageband.

I got a nice black cape, with the high collar, that eventually turned into black isis wings.
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(2014, LBF)

The aerial hoop turned into aerial hammock. And the music changed totally.
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(2012-ish, Hootchy kootchy roadshow)

Now it has a first part with isis wings, then the sounds of the mirror and the queen and the aerial hammock part. (also a fully aerial free version).
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I still wanna fix a free hanging ikea framed mirror (you know the one in every tattoo shop), but still have not got to it.
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So here I leave you with a link to the aerial free version. (from minute 14.)

London Burlesque Festival Allstarts

(yes, there is a lot to criticise in this act, I know…)

Pics by Joanna Kor from the 2014 London Burlesque Festival:

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