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The pastie talk

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You go to class. (for years)

You get your costume. (fitting for years)

You learn your make-up and hair.

And the day comes and it is your very first show and you find yourself face to face with

THE PASTIE PROBLEM!!!!!

What???

I bet nobody told you how it won´t be that easy!

There are a lot of blogs on gimmicks and dressing room etiquette, but

WHERE CAN I LEARN TO PUT A PASTIE ON or better say STAY A PASTIE ON?????

Fear not, young unicorn!

You are at the right place.

For the Spanish speaker I put my goofy face and useful info in a video blog, attached at the end.

Sticky back pasties

It is a lie!

So if you don’t want to end up with one pastie flying in one direction and the other flying in another 5 different directions, you better use another method.

MASTIX a.k.a. SPIRIT GUM

My first and best recommendation, but you need to learn how to use it effectively.

If it gives you allergies, do not use it!

First advice: BUY THE REMOVER AT THE SAME TIME.

It comes in a nail polish like bottle with a brush. The nail polish size is quite long lasting, I bought a bigger bottle like 5 years ago, still would be using it, if I had not lost it during my last show…

This is a pro glue for theater, for wigs, beards and mustaches. It is strong. (As strong as I would never put a beard on with it)

I paint the outer perimeter of the inside of my pastie with a common sense as for amount. I try to avoid having mastix on my nipple, because it can burn and is not easy to take off.

It needs to dry to be effective.

I would say 10-15 min.

So to be able to go on with your life get a bra or sport top, (one which you would not mind getting the glue on, just in case it happens).

Use a mirror for symmetry when you put the pasties on. I generally put on the bra, pull it up or down, get the pasties in place, and while still holding it in place pull the bra over without moving it away. This way I can keep on preparing.

DO NOT FORGET TO LET IT DRY!!! It will fail if it cannot dry properly.

GETTING IT OFF

Pull the pastie off slowly.

This is the tricky part with mastix, it is insane hard to get it off. So get the remover and have patience.

If you FORGOT it, get the pasties off and get a hot shower and slowly without insane rubbing feel off the remaining pieces.

In a worst case scenario pure alcohol also works as remover.

But if you want to use this on  a regular basis don’t rub like crazy and do not leave the glue on overnight.

So with the remover and the warm shower after all should be fine.

Downside:

With the need of time to dry, it makes 3 pasties changes in a 40 min show very difficult.

What if I CANNOT USE MASTIX???

You get very bad skin reactions?

I was pretty icky with mastic when I was still breastfeeding my son, I was terrified by the thought of him getting even a bit of that shit in his little body.

Two sided tape

First, it is not made to be put on human skin, you have no idea what it may contain. Also each roll is different as for stickiness, so you might buy one that works wonders and the next time your pasties go on outer space mission with first move.

Second, I don´t like it, as it is not really good with intense movement of any rubbing effect. (Ya´know, I do aerials and pole in pasties)

If it works for you, then great, use it.

And now comes the surprise guest

Medical Adhesive Tape

It is by no way my idea. I learned it in the El Molino theater from the dancers. It is fast, skin friendly, easy to remove.

So make little tubes with the tape and use it as it was a two sided tape.

The downside is that it might look a bit elevated from the boob. Yet, with practice it can look quite flat.

I would use 3 or more pieces, you can pretty much make the perimeter of the pasties with it.

This worked very well with aerial hoop and little time to change for me. AND BRESTFEEDING!!!

Here is the spanish video.

With the queen of goofy talk and funny voice herself. Myself.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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.

 

 

Interdisciplinary

Amongst all my many disciplines I always thought how one scene could learn some little thing from the other so here I specify that…

 

Burlesque

Well, burlesque has a lot to learn, I mean let´s just start with dancing. Learn  to dance, go to class, don´t just put it in your bio (professionally trained dancer). I wanna see burlesque DANCERS, not graceless chicks trying to sell the smoke… Learn from strippers, seriously, and then have the minimum of decency of not calling a million year-old strip club move your signature trick/peel please.

Other skills too, although I was quite a sinner with this myself, I debuted after solely 3 months of aerial hoop classes, but I kept on going and almost ten years later I am a solid professional, so learn your skill, don´t just walk around with a fire stick on your hand.

Interpretation, well let´s just do something more than generic pouting and pin-up face please, I hate to see the same faces, especially if it does´t even fit your face structure… (the reason I avoid pouting by all means, really, I just get that terrible porn/blow-up doll face)

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Circus and dance

Learn to be glamorous. Yes! The unfitting costume bought from the fetish store 20 min before the gig just doesn’t quite make it… I mean maybe you don´t need to invest 5000€ in every G-string, but a couple hundred in a single costume that you will be using for years on end pays off. We are professionals in the end.

Make up, please use it.

Pole dance

The ART, the interpretation, please!!! We are getting too technical, too fitness, too competitive. I mean in pole dancing there is always some trends around, but honestly speaking it is only every now and then that I see acts that truly touch an artistic level of  interpretation I wanna see, or a conceptual act, the majority is a very technical display of the pole dance skills. I also blame this prudish approach of trying to dismiss all stripping from it, I mean you need to be in almost underwear, so if you wanna interpret Marie Antoinette you are in quite a trouble without taking off one thing or another…

Pushing towards how much SPORT it is… DUHHHHH!!! I mean we are at a point where we try to call circus ARTISTS athletes and all, and how in the old days these great athletes were not recognized properly… bullshit!

Don’t you dare calling me an athlete, I do ALL the training for my art, thank you very much.

If these great artists we athletes there would have gone to the Olympics and not the circus, end of story.

Fin

Burlesque scene or drama class?

Finally publishing a piece I wrote like a year ago…

Whatever happened with theee good old days when you only had to deal with your arch enemy getting all the shows by sleeping with whomever she needed to sleep with??

Yeah, I am starting to miss that time.

I broke up with Facebook, because I could not any more with allll the drama, lies and frauds of people going on in this “scene”…

The UK mod, khm I mean scene

Did you notice, that if you are not from or working (burlesquing, as I wonder to what extent we could call hardly payed gigging work) in the UK, you literally like as if you did not exist?

The bandwagonism

Like stoning in the middle east must be like. One starts and then comes the gang of the fans… So much for forward thinking and own opinions and ideas.

Self promotion like nothing else

The best, the most, the biggest, the brightest, the veteran (this term I love so much, that actually I use it my pole dance bio), the most glamorous, and so on… I mean sure, a press release is a very professional asset, but if I call myself the queen of England will that make me?

Lack of true criticism

2017. and still none can call shit by its name, and none can deal with even the shadow of criticism…

The “Fantasmas”

This is the way we (Spanish speakers) call people who seem to be it all online…

Festivals, Awards, etc.

Nothing to do with celebration of anything for years, I think it was as early as 2013, that I started to feel pretty hostile from application processes to dressing room behavior. (See awards in an older post of mine.)

Pornification

Lou on the Rocks mentioned this first in her blog, I just add, that when it gets too much tits and ass in that good old siliconed and porned up way, I hit the unfollow button fast.

Overcomplication

A femme representing cis-woman… In a discourse about gender issues it is a completely fine specification, but in general use, girl, why the need?

I could or even might go into further detail on another post, but here I just had to let the steam out.