Monthly Archives: December 2018

Burlesque and I

It has been a long term relationship.

Burlesque picked me up when nobody would have given a broken penny for me. Gave me a marvelous and full time career and the opportunity of becoming a professional circus performer. (A lot more than what I can tell you about my parents.)

And ten years on, in a limbo of life, she forgot about me completely, without a formal notice about our break-up.

I tried other relationships. But nothing felt so true as my relationship with burlesque. (Ok, circus is an ongoing one, though)

The box, the drawer, the bag, the tag

7S7F

I  have got the sickness. I am the “aerial act”. Nobody cares if you are good or bad in burlesque, because if there is no rigging point you won’t get hired…EVER. Nobody believes you can be just as good of a performer as any of the other girls without any formal training of anything theater or dance related…

The new

Which I am not. I honed and worked my acts for years, and believe me in circus it is a bit more than rhinestones and a couple of rehearsals.(sarcasm) And what do I get? “Do you have something new?” “Can you do this ´theme´ act?” It feels quite insulting, as they literally ask me to NOT do my bestest.

The newer

So I see everyone who just started doing aerials get all the works (which is awesome, I also started there), while I get bleak responses from producers about why they don’t even bother to consider me, or not even that… It is a puzzling sensation of insecurity and self-doubt. I wonder if the older acts than myself felt the same with myself and the other like minded newer-girls.

The change

I always wanted to do “just” burlesque, but I guess as the wind was quite in my sails I was OK not pushing harder that much on that front.

Local scene

I have always been an outsider. I think I was already born an outsider, so it was also just natural to never really be that active at the local scenes of Spain.

Polesque

Going back to my true roots. Yet it does still feels that it will be greatly despised by the burlesque scene, as it is too close to stripping. (a billion waddafucks there, yes sir)

– another post on that one to be…

Final conclusions

So you guess…

I am going to do floor based acts, with a lot less technical stuff, and push to get those acts booked as well.

I am going to to polesque.

I am already a lot more active on the local scene.

We are vitalizing the Barcelona burlesque scene!!

 

Fin.

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Do you really need a gimmick?

Seriously, at the next “You gotta have a gimmick” blog/article I am just going to poke my eyes out and drop them into vinegar. (Wrote this like a year and a half ago, lol)

And the other overused topics popping up and up in Burlesquilandia.

How about doing your shit right?

Working the detail?

Working that skill a bit more?

I am starting my blog series about how to be a good solo act, nitpicking any and all that comes up in my mind performance-wise.

Thanks to Nino Barbier, my boylesque wonder, who have actually prooved that I indeed can teach and do have a lot to teach in the burlesque genre.

So what do you actually need rather than a gimmick?

First and foremost you need (although I would not rank anything)

Stage presence

The power to lit up a stage with the sheer look of your eyes.

It is not something you are born with, it can be learnt (and it can fail on any bad performance day, even in the top times of your career).

“I don’t know where she ends and where I begin
The girl with green oily skin, she ends where I begin”

– Hannah Fury

Each and every one of us needs to find her persona(s) and channel that from head to toe. You need to transform into another being to your core when you are on stage. I say that to contrast to the generic pin-up face making. Pin-up is great if it is your thing, but forcing that pouty face on everybody can turn out quite blow-up doll like and fake…and boring.

I encourage anyone to think and try different moods and personas.

Who do you want to be?

Because it is not who you are.

What color is the inside of your soul?

Because performance reflects a lot of that color.

Eye contact

Something pretty important. You need to make the public feel that you see into their souls and that they can do the same.

Yet, eye contact with the public is something a 100% fake. If on a stage with stage lights, you need to look over the public finding a higher spot so it does not break your posture and you don’t get blinded by the stage lights.

As for me it is the angry and evil personas that work the best or a sensual sexy kinda thing, or full on classic burlesque glamour.

I also “stick my eyes out” a bit more for crucial eye contact moments.

Poker face

I call this the face you have when you do difficult shit, when you are suffering on the inside, when your corset got stuck, or your heels are slipping. The difficulty you suffer cannot be seen, so practice your game face and make sure it is a good one.

Focus

Well, seeing someone with their eyes fixed on the floor, their hair constantly in their entire face or just showing their back is not pretty, unless your number is based on the movie “Circle”…

Stop to look at the public.

And FOCUS!

Stage time relativity

Well, time rushes a different paste on stage. I find that while in the rehearsal room I hardly get myself arriving to the music, on stage I can rush like 5 times faster.

So, I count, slowly, very slowly.

If you are very nervous count to 5 to hold a pose.

If you are just regular nervous count to 3.

And if you can count the music, like a real dancer (unlike me), then do that.

Dance skills

Not to be only included in your burlesque bio. You don’t need to be a “professionally trained dancer”, but a couple of dance classes never does harm. (unless you break a leg)

The signature move or peel

I understand that “signature move” is not something you actually had to invent, it is just something that you do, but the simple tagging makes it sound like you pretend to own it. Me not like to use the term. Just saying´.

To be continued…

The gimmick

If you do have a killer gimmick, I’m not saying you should bag it up and hide it. Rather I say that working the whole of your skill set would be seriously more important.

 

The End.

For now…

 

Historietas de burlesque

 

Empezé un serie de posts para la pagina de facebook Burlesque Barcelona, al ser posts cortos también decidí juntarlos aquí.

Hoy empezamos un serie de posts que se publicara cada viernes sobre las Reinas coronadas del burlesque.

El titulo es “Miss Exotic World” y por exelencia ese ha sido y sigue siendo el titulo mas prestigioso que una bailarina de burlesque podia y puede conseguir.

Tiene mas de 25 años de historia, organizada y respaldada por el museo de burlesque Burlesque Hall of Fame, hoy en dia localizado en Las Vegas, Nevada.

Empezado por Jennie Lee de su colección privada de artefactos privados de burlesque y luego llevado por Dixie Evans ya llamándolo “The Exotic World Burlesque Museum”, que luego creció gracias a piezas de donación para preservar la historia de burlesque.

Los primeros festivales hayan sido organizados para recaudar fondos para el museo y para poder ayudar las viejas estrellas de burlesque que lo necesitaban.

El concurso empezó en el año 1991 bajo el nombre “Miss Exotic World Pageant”, primero como un encuentro pequeño en el desierto donde se encontraba el museo antes de mudarse a Las Vegas.

Aqui os dejo con los enlaces del museo y del festival.

https://bhofweekend.com

http://www.burlesquehall.com

1991: Toni Alessandrini

La primera reina coronada como “Miss Exotic World” ha sido la californiana Toni Alessandrini en el año 1991.

Empezó su carrera inspirada por la película de Natalie Wood sobre la vida de Gypsy Rose Lee llego a ganar varios títulos incluyendo Miss World Burlesque en 1980.
Ha salido en varias películas entre 1980 y 1996.

Me ha costado encontrar videos de ella, pero aquí la tenéis con su tributo a Dixie Evans.

 

1992: Catherine D´Lish

Una “Miss Exotic World” realmente excepcional, porque no solo ganó el año 1992, pero en el año 1994 también.

Os presento a Catherine D´Lish.

Una auntentica veterana, mejor amiga y mentora de la mismísima Dita von Teese, diseñadora de vestuarios exuberantes y artista aun activa y divina hasta el día de hoy!

Lució en el escenario de teatro El Molino de Barcelona en el 2011 para el primer festival de burlesque de Barcelona.

 

1993: Alexxx Marvel

El titulo de “Miss Exotic World” en el 1993 se lo llevo Alexxx Marvel, tristemente de ella se sabe bastante poco, no he encontrado ni fotos, ni videos…

Así que avanzamos al año 1994, cuando de nuevo ganó Catherine D´Lish, según fuentes este año Dita von Teese se retiró de competir al enterarse de que Catherine iba a competir.

 

1995: Pillow.

La reina coronada es Pillow.

Empezó su carrer en 1976., una chica de Alaska,luego conocida en circulos de body-building como “the She-Beast” era una verdadera pionera del genero.
Contribuidora de la comunidad y el museo hasta el día de hoy. y una de las primeras artistas de contemplar el sub-genero “nerdlesque” o “geek burlesque”.

Os dejo un video mas viejo, pero por youtube podéis ver videos mas nuevos también.

To be continued…

The inside of it all – impostor syndrome and the constant self doubt

I am all support and good words when I teach, I tell you there is no impossible, just go on try and be persistent…

BUT…

Inside of my head lives a voice, a very cruel and crazy kind of a voice.

A voice that with the passing years only gets louder and louder, telling me all kinds of things.

I am a rare breed of girl, that has no problem with her body or her looks, nobody can touch me with that, I am beautiful and my body rocks, it is my honest opinion, just like that. Kaboom, I know that since age 14 and 3/4…

Yet, if it comes to skill and talent and art…

I hate myself deeply, so deeply, it makes it terribly hard to work with me sometimes, or it used to be, because I learned to cut the crap and shut up and only leave a side comment about the fact I am NEVER content with my performance.

I get off stage and the first thing you hear is how shit I did, how floppy my feet was, how I might have skipped a move, or did not extend enough my knees.

At best I watch my videos and I nitpick my “cara de culo” face expression…

What do I think about my career??

That I was just very lucky, that people hired me before figuring out how untalented I was…

That when I began I was ignorant enough to not know how terrible I was, because if I knew…

That nobody is banging on my door for bookings, because they saw me being terrible and would never give me another chance to proove otherwise.

That my flexibility is shit, I am blind to see any of it.

That an aerialist who cannot do a “lavadora” or the kind is just worth nothing.

When I was in the Molino I had days, when a single facial expression unraveled in my head like this:

Woah, the señor must be a retired circus genius and gives this face thinking, “god what does this girl do here!?? She has floppy feet, shit face and bad technique, her acting is terrible, while other artists are without work and are a million times better…” and go on and on…

When a professional friend comes and says it was lovely and clean, I think she is being too nice and just doesn’t want to sink me to the bottom of depression, but really thinks how I should not be on that stage. Yet, when I get a comment about bettering my act I get deeply depressed and full of doubt about everything.

I cannot see my marvelous stage presence, I only see shitty facial expressions and bad port de bras all over, half moves and awkward positions…

Oh and btw, Im over 30 so I am old to even begin with don’t even mention being a mother.

Every success is drop of nothing while every fail is a mountain falling over me.

Right now I struggle to even create a sequence for a video of pole dance.

I am blinded by the perfection of the instagram fake.

My April pole competition was an epic kind of a fail (Exotic Generation Italy), I literally froze and every obstacle just made it worse. I cannot stand being judged and compared like that.