Tag Archives: Barcelona

The taste of success

“El éxito no tiene sabor ni olor y cuando te acostumbras es como si no existiera.”

The Past

At the very beginning I had the luck to kickstart my aerial and burlesque career at the LBF in 2009. I achieved a whole lot more of a praise that my skills were to take me to.

I was very successful for a “beginner”

Until 2012 I could really not enjoy or live any of the success. It was a struggle of survival, until I could make it all work by the end of 2012.

2013-14 were years of progress and work and some failed dreams and friendships.

Conclusion is, that at an early stage you don’t even realize what you have.

Fast forward to now

For the first year of my son’s life I was planning to do an average 1-2 shows a month, and as a matter of fact I succeeded in that…

Yet I consider this last year a very hard one professionally…

When I got pregnant I had to cancel 3 months of work and events 5 months from the date, I can say I was on top of my game, working a lot and becoming a considerably “OK” (strong upper mid-level if you please) aerialist…

I did expect it to be physically hard to get back, but I did not expect it to be so professionally miserable.

I explain.

I’m terrible at selling myself, I am full of doubts, I cannot watch a video of myself without rolling my eyes and I cannot finish a show without at least once saying how SHIT I was.

I also did want to switch scene and focus on bigger shows instead of gigs and burlesque related productions.

And obviously, I did not expect the burlesque scene going to shit on the meanwhile either.

Visibility on festivals

There comes a time in your life, when doing burlesque festivals for less than free just don’t make it… but let us be honest… I said to myself, let’s try other festivals (not Lbf, which was a safe application process always), than you get the ‘oh thank you, but…’ message…

You, established, good performer… being explained how Kittiey Mc Tittishaker (lets hope nobody owns this name yet), a two year VETERAN of the scene, entrepreneouer daredevil extraordinaire with a hiper original signature classical tribute act has a bigger ‘IT’ factor when it comes to performing… classic burlesque…

So according to facebook and the scenario, I keep being the backstreet circus chick of the show… you know the one other performers are not eager to take selfies with… yet the one to mostly finish off the show as the “strong plate”…

It felt quite unsuccessful, all this.

In reality… with the one show a month I make more money than I did with various years before…

By chance or by luck I landed doing the Barcelona Burlesque Festival, which happens to be a paid thing and goes by invitation… (and I hope they keep it that way)

By conclusion I landed a half year contract with the theater.

This is the real success.

It was hard work, performing, pulling my acts back together, even making them better. Million email, proactivity, and all.

Does it feel like bathing in champagne already?

It is great, yet I only dare to whisper it…

I am the resident aerial artist of El Molino theater…

Feels like it just disappears the moment you say it.

Now, I did not substitute someone on a gig, I did not do a couple of parties or the Festival, noo! Im there and to stay.

Yet, does the burlesque scene cares?

I tell you what, if I feather up my bio and explain it… maybe… but in reality, no shit.

And this is how success feels in the “scene”.

Even if you make it, you need to fake it.

In the city?

It is a great reference, everybody knows it, I have a two page spread photo of myself.

In reality?

I see my osteopath almost every two weeks.
I juggle a baby, a household and my sleep deprivation.
I lost 10 kgs, since baby. (I do have some killer abs, though)

Altogether, I think I am at the right track.

The Struggle

I am a very booring person.

My topics: art, my struggle with art, baby, training.(or the lack of time for it)

I am also tiring with it, constantly analyzing, writing, thinking.

Alltogether it folds out to be some kind of a never ending struggle with the limits of my body and time.

I will never be the best aerialist of the world, in fact being the best in anything is getting impossible by the day.

So at this point I want to calm myself and set out reachable goals and stop eating my soul out with unreachable expectations.

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Performer stories vol. 1.

I decided to share my experiences as a performer, so with every performer story entry I will share two stories with you, a bad and a good or maybe just an interesting one.

I think it is important to see the two-sidedness of the industry and understand, that it is really not about you, when you think it is.

Bad story

Me and the major theater

This topic surfaced the other day in my kitchen between me and the Baby daddy.

I was suggesting that it might be a good idea contacting the theater for a possible contract after the baby, because they did contemplate having me as a regular piece of the show back in 2013, but the whole dealing just did not end right. He got pretty outraged and asked me why on earth I would wanna be in a shitty show, that nobody goes to watch, with all my international fame and feathers. That I would be lowering too much with it, etc., etc. Baby daddy does love me on all levels.

My points were, things have changed, as a mother I wanna do my best and that includes the longest breastfeeding period I can possibly afford this future little man.

The story itself

I was approached to take part of the first Barcelona burlesque festival, needless to say in 2011 I was in the clouds, so happy. This, recently reopened mythical theater wants me in a line-up next to Catherine D’lish, Ursula Martinez, Jess Love and all the others, woowww.
Especially regarding the fact, that a year earlier I left Bcn very disappointed with performance as a whole. (Discrimination? Yup, hon, if you’re not catalan and hipergay or willing to sleep with whomever you need to, just bury yourself)

Festival was pretty much the best ever I attended to this day. Show was dynamic, the line-up was over the top. Even the competing newcomers showed very high skills.
(So far, the festival is a blast every year, I still recommend going to this event)

Downside, no fucking proper rigging… My ahh so prepared silks act had to be modified into an improvisation on hoop… absolutely not bad for that year though.

Straight forward 2013.

I just jumped off a plain with an aerial hoop and a suitcase, ready to take back my city! I had the first shows nailed with a producer I used to work very well, looking for contracts, decided to rent a place in the forthcoming months.

First job right in mentioned theater. Great! Now they installed a truss, 9 meter high rigging point, supersweet!!

First technical check.

The owner walks in. We met briefly, but I never thought she remembered me or anything (my humble side).
Straight to me, she was very happy to see me back, was I staying for longer. I told her I was moving back.

Booom! How would I feel about a steady contract, all legal, insured, etc, 7 shows a week, would I be cool to learn some coreographies in the show etc. I should come down and see the most recent show, invited.
Anyways, office gets the papers done will call in 2ish weeks.

I literally left the place with tears of joy in my eyes…

Just to get them turned into real ones in about 2 months.

Nothing is done until it is done. – never forget that. Don’t get too excited.

So, a girl from the office was to call me. I had this funky feeling about her from the beginning… (hush, don’t listen to your instict, she must be lovely, blabla – said my conscious mind… while the unconscious said, trouble ahead)

3 weeks pass.

Nothing.

I kept doing the parties, so I was all around the theater every other week. Nothing.

I got my ‘manager’ (*khm* – best friend and occasional assistant) to call, erh-umph excuses, they would be in touch…

Another one or two weeks pass.

You see, at this point I was a full-time performer (like always as not for pregnancy), so I needed to schedule my shit in order to do anything.
So on a last attempt I dragged my ass up to the office to clear this up.

There was ‘my gal’ and it breaks down to the fact, that the owner never said, what she said, the offer was rather to have me a couple of times, if needed (wtf???) for certain events. The festival? Most likely yes, but they would contact me anyways…

Yuppi fucking yaaay!!! and thanks for making me loose about 2 months with excitement about nothing.

Life goes on, story does not end still. If you were to think that was not humiliating enough, you were wrong.

So the festival approaches, the way I actually get to know I was not in it? You bet. The promo video comes out.

Classy…

Then the Festival is on. I GET A CALL. omg, with suspicion… I hoped it was not the dragging around for nothing again….

They want me to go in for a rehearsal, the coreorgrapher needs to see me and try me.

Now this sounded more professional.

I’m there, the ‘world famous’ coreographer 3 meters in front of me, his assistant running up and down, every communication going through 4 different people’s mouth (I am not exagerrating here!!).

Nothing. Could I come back tomorrow, the corepgrapher is way too stressed to deal with anything else, than the rehearsals… Sorry for dragging you around so much.

Evening, invited to the show. I went alone, going to say hi to my gal, I see her talking to the one single ‘performer’ I would never share the air with.

And

Kabammm!!!

She was there for the very same reason!! Apparently the coreographer (remember so ‘world famous’ that he could not communicate only via 4 messengers?) would choose, based upon ‘PROFESSIONAL’ measures… (like skills, dance skills, you know, maybe a casting????)

Nooo!!!

No casting nothing. The decision was already made.

She took the deal for a 100 euros a night, that is 25 euros per number, two weeks contract.

I never got to be offered a price, and believe me I was not about to accept this.

She won. I lost.

The news were full of how the theater was on the verge of bankcrupcy. Now I could see. I met the dancers, that left that time, half of them, after 3 months without being payed.

The theater survived, I did two more gigs there, than I never returned.

Loosing against a better competitor is something you can take, inspires betterment.

Loosing against a joke of a ‘performer’ is simply soul draining.

Strange detail as well, while on the verge of bankcrupcy, they did get to hire Bambury Cross, and I do doubt she was to be anything cheap. (getting her from London, renting a place, etc.)

Bottom line, you cannot be a prophet in your home country or pseudo-home country either.

And now:

Good story

Turkey

A.k.a Wonderland.

Story begans in 2010.

The resraurant was called Joke Circus.

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Do you remember myspace? I do.

So one day, shortly before the 2010 LBF, I get a message written in the shittiest English ever, the kinda you wouldn’t even answer so bad. Let along through myspace.

It is a Turkish dude interested in hiring me, Chaz recommended me. Scattered, language barrier, not even the dates were very fixed… Altogether, something you would never take seriously, but I thought harm it cannot do to answer anyways.

It was for Istambul (superexciting!) for a brand new place. So, I decided if they agree to pay the trip upfront, then my, at the time maybe escalated (I thought, while I was still underpricing myself) fee, I was good to go.

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It took up until almost last minute to close the deal, I was to go almost straight after LBF, since I was already confirmed to appear there, it was the Icelandic vulcano year, so shit got pretty complicated all the way.

At the closing night of LBF, I remember Velma asking for my availability the next weeks and me being sorry for being booked right after… we either suspected that we were to meet withing the next week at the other far end of Europe 😃.

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LBF, with all issues, shenanigans, travel problems, etc., went off. Some major housing drama back home. Limbo between Budapest and Bcn started. Drama with icing on top.

(Additional relationship advice: you know these partners, with whom everything turns into major drama? Yup, ex-hubby was one of them, get the fuck away from these people, when it starts, without further waiting, because it will only get worse)

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So by the time I was to catch the flight to Istambul, I couldn’t even think of being worried about the what ifs. The proper Turkish airline flight with food and all was so soothing, after days of saving my stuff out of my own former (and actual) home and literally being homeless for days, that I could just not expect anything.

I arrive, I get picked up by a shoffeur, cool, excitement setting in.

It could be the best and the worst experience, anyways, two weeks in the exciting land of where my actual not artistic name comes from.

I arrive, cute little 4 starry hotel…

I get the suit!!!! WTF? Great. Relax. Unpack. Stretch. I was to be picked up every evening for performance, soon to meet Anji and Mert. (the dude with funky english)

I think we had technical check in the afternoon. The restaurant was lavish, luxurious, I swear each fork was to be over 4000 euros of worth. I guess in the west we miss some point about luxury… and hospitality.

Do I know Velma? She is here too. That was the beginning of a friendship.

I was also introduced to the other restaurant, where our daily lunch was to take place… on the top floor of a shopping mall, if can imagine delicious turkish food! I asked for the daily turkish meal every day.

I repeat, the west has serious things to learn about hospitality from the Turkish.

I enjoyed every bit of my stay, the sushine, the city,the food, all of it!

My mom came for visit too, hotel and food payed for her, too.

What else can you ask for?

I was more than lucky, yet it took me years to realize the importance of all this. To have this all sink in. The luck. The blind luck I had.

I also realized I could have asked for the double of the fee I was asking… beginner, I thought… (yet, I was very well payed)

Secong chapter was Cyprus last year.

Altogether.

Dream job.

Fin.

The difference between what there is and what we perceive

My titbit.

I was deeply depressed at the time of the Turkish contract, constantly being paranoid about my artistry.

I was a very insecure performer, especially as a circus act. They had 3 Mongolian contorsionists, and a Ukranian multiskilled yougster fresh out of circus school. Needless to say, I felt like shit.

What was I doing there? I was obviously below the level… I thought.

The fact that everyone had a longer contract also confirmed my feelings…

Yet, 4 years later I was called, because I was a great act and they did love me back in 2010.

So don’t beat up yourself, you might as well be a lot better than you think you are.

^.-

The zero waste experience, how society makes you feel batshit crazy

Apparently among all the bio, eco, healthy, crossfit, zumba, fitness trends society still works the very same way…

Driven by sheer ignorance and self-contentness.

So, I pose the questions…

Bitch!

You really think that by being a vegewhatsotarian you are doing shit to save the world? Whereas you double bag even the garbage?

Donating to a huge corporation helps the planet? And you are all done and can tap your back happily?

Yes, I am somewhat pissed.

I talk for Spain, because thereis, where I live.

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?

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, lot less gluten, 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?

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 action 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, being 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 by the loads.

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.

Instead of 3+ landfill bags a weeks, I take out a small bag (3kg-ish) of pure compostable every second-third day (and am devastated how Barcelona has the brown containers literally empty – as you see recycling is not obligatory here)

and the recycling bags are one or two in one two months, as of plastic and paper, maybe one jar a month as for cristal.

Without additional people in the household it got a lot easier, for sure.

I still struggle with limited material sources, with a baby on the way you think twice about buying anything for any other reason.

Titbits

The donut and the croissant

Yes, the cravings. As cheatmeal as it gets. I eat 2-3 a week, butter croissant and sugarcovered donut, all fresh from the bakery.

Now those are greasy! So textile baggies? Nope. (while great for an occasional bread).

Right now I use recycled paper bags, I guess later I will get those is smaller tuppers, like little sandwich boxes.

Cosmetics

I guess stopping to use cosmetics in excess is the key.

We use bio soap bars, aleppo soaps. It is already a great step, a tiny cellophane pack vs. The plastic bottle of shower gels.

My multiuse, skin/haircare product is coconut oil. Sometimes aloe vera for skin. (The leaf cut in half)

Coconut oil does miracles to pink hair.

We, finally use ayurvedic toothpaste, I’m about to get our first compostable toothbrushes. So with the toothpaste I do generate recycling garbage, but I had an epic fail on doing home made, grapefruit oil flavoured was no good. Will try again.

Excess water

Also bio dishwasher for now. I still need to try home made natural recipes. (the washnut brew seems like an option to try)

So, stop dishwashing in flow water, tap opened to max. Foan the things and then rinse. Tadaa!

Detergent

I cannot believe I had not discover washnuts before!!

For now, all baby related stuff and our underwear will be washed with washnuts and a drip of essenctial oil for scent.

Jordi’s supermegahiperdirty work clothing with cheap detergent. (jabon de marsella), which comes in a paper box.

(I can’t even remember when and why I started to use liquid detergent, I mean it is just stupidly unnecessary garbage once again, so I switched back now)

Special foodies

Rice oat and coconut milk are obviously not sold by the litre anywhere. Rice cream either. (I am lactose, or whatever milk ingredient intolerant – massive allergy testing is expensive if you were to ask, especially to find out, what I already know)

Protein powders. (I take none while pregnant)

Hemp seed (although I think I just found a place to buy by weight) or other superfoods that requires to be ordered online. I am saving up for bigger buys of all these.

Quality or packaging?

So good honey in a jar or shit honey by the weight in an overpriced hipster store?

Fair trade chocolate or chocolate by the weight?

Facing ignorance

Bafff. The hardest of it all.

People. Are. Idiots. Just jump back to the beginning of my post.

Start doing this and you will trip on the general stupidity around.

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.