Tag Archives: neoburlesque

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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The Femme Fatale in me, or daring to do classic burlesque

Well. This one is going to be pretty personal.

One needs to admit, I cover myself with all the tingly, twirly, acrobaty stuff and am terrified of doing ¨just¨ burlesque.

This is a layer of ice that I am just intending to break, finally.

It´s kinda funny how I can absolutely spend entire days in the circus, hours after hours, days after days, etc. This has been going  on for the last 5 years and especially the last year, where I decided on a serious upgrade. BUT! But, I can hardly get myself to get through the burlesque choreography part of my acts, like once.

Don´t get me wrong, dance, I loooove dance, I love dance classes, ballet, jazz, contemporary, partner, even hip-hop… On an amateur level of course. And still classic burlesque has been my weak point. To make it clear, I get more nervous doing a fan dance in heels than going up 8 meters in the air. I don´t need to say it is a ridiculous thing about me, pointed out by too many, first and foremost the Ex (the Hubby). Also regarding that too many (and pretty professional) opinions proove that burlesque is really my thing.

I can tell anyone how to do a good burlesque act, coreograph, etc. I even can do a perfect burlesque in the damn kitchen using a a pair of pants instead of a boa, and still I get absolutely crazy and messed up doing a classic burlesque… or at least I feel so.

I spent time thinking about it. Why? How? Is it fear? Is it lack of talent? Is it the fear of lack of talent?

I mean I can run, so why would I be afraid of walking?

After thinking and thinking I realized that the answer is really not that easy.

To begin with it has a lot do with one`s inner self rather than learned movements.

Woman-ness.

To do classic burlesque, I believe, that you need to feel being a woman, a real bad-ass woman, in fact. You need to feel that femme fatale power in you. It took me almost 28 years to get to feel it and now I know why the back in the day beauty ideals were not 20, but 30+ because that is woman, not the 16-20 year-old, peach skinned and size o (or rather photoshopped and starved) beauty ideals of today. (That is a point I find that most critics of today`s beauty ideal get completely backwards, it really is not about the figure, but the something that lies within, in my view).

But age really is not all. It is not automatic, you are near 30 then puff! You are a woman now! No, no, no. Sadly some of us are just conditioned to achieve this woman-ness a lot harder than others. This comes from education or maybe the lack of, psychology, background, or even just an ongoing bad relationship.

In my case it was a mix of it all. I always wondered how could it happen that I was told how pretty I was and I felt all my childhood otherwise. Now I know, that this came from my overtly possessive and controlling mother, I never felt in control of anything in my childhood, how could had I felt in control of my beauty or myself? Then came the teenage years, there I felt absolutely not enough, since big boobs just seemed to be the most, and finally came the punk years, where I just stopped giving a shit about anybody´s opinion and there I started to find myself and discovering, that I was a beautiful girl.

Stripper self-esteem.

Woww, well, all about a strippers insides… Hmm. Now, I believe that to be a good stripper, as nightclub stripper you just need an extremely easy going, or rather anything goes attitude, a lot of social skills and psychology or just, quite the contrary being plain dumb.

On the other hand, showgirlness is a completely different thing. The simple night club stripper has nothing to do with the seductress of a showgirl. A showgirl lives on stage and not on the laps of men. She is the unreachable and the untouchable, the desired perfection. And therefor, it takes years to learn to become a showgirl. You obviously need a basic set of dancing skills as well.

In my story, learning to be a showgirl was the hardest part. You see, I started stripping at age 18, a month after my birthday, I was dreaming about becoming a stripper since I was 16, I had my first stripper boots at 17 already. Then I started my journey of becoming a showgirl back in 2006 at age 20. I was very insecure, but I had a very defined style and great ideas, yet I had a lot learn to become a real showgirl.

Poling came somewhat naturally, I tried, I fell, I tried again. It was the self-esteem that was the hardest to pick up for me.

Cry.

We need to face and experience failure to grow. I remember my biggest failure, I cried so hard and I cried all night that night. My friend was one of the dancers of the notorious Bailen 22, the place for the best showgirls in the town of Barcelona circa 2006, got closed down during the first months of 2007. She, with all her good will, pushed me into doing an audition, that I was not ready for. One of the worst nights in my life, but a lesson well learned. We all need to cry, we all need to experience this hard moment of failure, because it frees our minds.

My legs shaked, I could not look up, the show went to shit, and I could not do, not even the easiest pole trick. I knew I was not ready and I failed big time.

That night, drowning in my tears, alone, I decided that I won´t stop till I become one of the best.

I was still light years away from success. I started to work on my act, working at smaller clubs and cabarets, where I got less money, but more space to practice and improve, but I was all too caught up with the technique, I though once my pole work would be good all would work out, and I was wrong…

Jealousy and the your perception of it.

Don´t get jealousy let you down. I was treated like shit all the way. Everywhere, I really mixed with the wrong people for such a long time. My biggest muse, she prevented me from becoming one of the best for a long time. I considered us friends, I guess she did too, but she could never get over the fact that I improved, for her I was the girl who could just never be good enough. I really admired her with all my soul, and maaan she did shit to me and a lot… I was so looking for her approval that I completely disregarded that already everyone else approved and admired me for my work.

Until this day, I have no explanation, why? Why did she treated me like that?  In fact, she is still trying to cross the line every time she intends to work with me, yet it is already clear that I am something very special, but I just feel that thing in her voice, that I will never be as good as she was or is… So, if you cross with person like that just keep going, and never think why, people are fucked up and it was her issue and I was dumb to make it mine. Hard lesson, but well learned, again.

Relationship.

Yes, a bad romance can just take away your self esteem forever, I`m pretty sure almost all of us goes through this, destructive, unloving or even abusive relationships. If shit is not right back home, it is not easy, if not impossible to perform well, and show a fully on woman on stage. Once I made one of the hardest decisions of my life and left my biggest of bad romances, I started, slowly and eventually, feel the woman inside of me.  It is not something that can happen one day to another, but once you feel it has started you just know you are on the good track. Now, I walk by men and I can feel their eyes on me, I see the mesmerized crowd watching my show and it feels great. I really recommend flirting, it boosts the whole thing to perfection.

Happiness.

You need to be happy. Frustration comes through to your public. Obviously we are not bubbly happy all the time, but an inner, calm happiness in just necessary to work well on stage, at least that is what I see on my very successful peers. Things can be bad, but you, inside must feel well, disregarding all the circumstances.

You need to know that less is a lot more.

I really keep trying to fill my acts with something more, I know it is really unnecessary. You don`t need to jump  a flic-flac or jump down into an middle split, just to proove  you are special. Burlesque is the exact art form, where less is a lot more. I find a good classic burlesque act a lot more entertaining than the demonstration of the hardest dance combos stuffed in an act. (HaHaHa, I`m really talking against myself right now.)

Perfection lies in the detail.

What I see with many others, especially circus and pole dance-wise tricks over tricks, over tricks. Once one trick is done, you just cross it out from your list.  

Really, is it that easy? Like the more tricks you do the better you become?
I`m afraid not.

I was on that track, too, I`m not denying it. In 2012 I returned to Hungary, started to take private classes of aerial silks, and I messed everything I learned until that up. I started to only care about doing the trick and forgot about the how. If you look at my first silks video and second, you`ll see a downfall in details and precision. I decide to stop that, in the circus I keep learning new things, but instead of trying the deadliest drop, in a however way, I rather work my ass off the perfection of the details.

And we see how I do applying all this on my own acts.

I`m pretty sure I will edit this post with other thoughts.

Artistry – Ego tripping

I somehow believe that the way to become a good artist is going through the dark forest of artistic crysis. I also consider this as a positive thing, because this way you question your own work constantly, you look into the mirror and inspect. There is always place for improvement. I met lots of other artists on my way, most of them have left some great impressions and taught me something good, yet some others only taught me the way how never ever to be or behave. In this category fell the company I decided to end my collaboration with in 2013, and yet I learned the most about how to lead a company well, while seeing the flaws of this one. The examples however might come from other real  life situations I have been involved in.

Ego tripping?

I don’t even know if this is a proper term in English to start with, but if not let just start using it, as we do in Hungary. We obviously know that people having the urge to stand in front of an audience have some ego tripping going on, shall we say, they are mostly narcissistic and self-centered, otherwise they would not seek the spotlight and the attention of others. Yet this can be perceived in many ways. Self-consciousness is a great help for the artist just as much as body awareness, yet on the other hand attention-seeking, or better say attention-whoring, or self-contentness are quite big setbacks on the way forward. I like to believe that we create some kind of an energy on stage that we share with the audience. I even believe that we create this same energy just training, too.

Are you the ¨best¨?

You can never believe you know the best.

Because? There is no such a thing as “a” best. No best as a single artist either, a best way to do something. I, for one hand consider myself a new-circus artist, this implies, that for me nothing “old-school” will just make it. So if your music is Harem and your act is all about the technicals, most likely I won’t even watch further than one min.

On the other hand my circus sister is seriously in love with the classic overtly technical things, so the best for her might be the most cliché for me and the best for me might just be plain freakish for her or too mixed with other genres of performance art, because she is a purist. It is all about tastes.

The story here actually, is about this dude, that though all his friends and himself were the absolute bests, yet he treated new people with a hidious disrespect and everyone who were the friends of others. So hey, this dude from “insert city” that is just the best, yadda yadda, I learned how to throw 3 balls from him. (Feel the importance?) This girl, the best silks, hoop, trapeze etc., and even if it is true it just doesn’t make it right to simply ignore others that are not his friends yet, or rather will never be, as his ignorance will get into the way. Right, here’s this other dude, once again, amazing, worked with soleil (in this context would be the equivolent of pretty fucking great), you don’t know about him yet. Well instead stucking your head in the sand, that is of ignoring and pretending that only the people you discover and make friends with can be good, do your background check and just say, “oh, I didn’t know him, but wow his work is impressive, happy to get to know him” or such.

Other story, stripperworld, man, strippers just love to believe they are the goddamn bests. So you were big 10 years ago, because they knew you in 5 stripjoints? Great. What do you do now? Believe that you are still the best and screaming the producers or directors head down, because you believe the other girl is just not as good as you and she should get less money as you do? Professional…

Training methods?

Well, here it goes even broader, because for everybody a different training works well, let along lifestyle and diet and even beliefs.

Acrobat, contorsionist or WTF?

Calling yourself an acrobat without anything to show for or a contorsionist without having your ass on the floor doing a split, just doesn´t make it for me. Also contorsionists are in my view the highest on the rank, so I get extra offended from statements like that.

I loved this recent situation, I was doing a job outside my general field of work, dressed to the neck (so my circus tattoos were all hidden), so I find myself in this conversation, after seeing this girl trying to do something acrobaty with everything and trying to hang herself on anything: ¨I was a competitive gymnast all my childhood, it was my life…¨ ¨Oh wow, it must be hard to be an acrobat, you must rehearsal and train a lot, how many hours do you train daily?¨ ¨None¨ I just smiled under my moustache… So I believe any of us breaking our bones 4+ hours daily in the circus know the meaning of this statement…

On the other end of the situation, I´m still a little shy to call myself a circus artist or acrobat (that especially, because my floor skills are still below 0). So for once, I attended my new guests as an airbnb host and they asked me what I did, so I dropped it, and guess what? Two of the boys were the acrobats of Limbo, absolutely amazing acrobats, I got pretty blushed and admitted that I wish to be that good one day. 🙂

I was a great circus artist all my life, but got injured…

Really you got injured and lost the flexibilty in your back and legs at the same time and the skill level as well?? And the basic way of carrying yourself as well? I just can`t believe all of that at the same time, sorry. Yup, I am a snob, but I can spot a professional, and I appreciate honesty and hate liars. Having started circus at a late age is no shame, I only have 5 years of it, and instead of trying to mask my shortcomings in fairytales, I´m happy to tell how hard or not, how much I sucked and how much effort or fun it all is or was.

Success?

Earning money and having jobs makes a good business person not a good artist, in fact some of the most amazing artist are a mess with business and absolutely bad artists make a hell of a career in the spotlight.

Why lying to yourself?

As time goes by memories are prettier, for some, for others, memories just straight up change entirely. Story. Dubai, the magical Dubai. I heard these marvellous stories about these dream 5+ star jobs, where they were the stars of the night. He could get me a superstar job anytime, just a phone call away. Well, that phone call never happened, as you bet. It came to my attention that he has never even been close to a stage in Dubai ever, just the general rip off juggler/clown work we keep stumbling upon all the time in a mall. There is no problem with taking these jobs, but why lie? I had great and shit jobs, I keep having them, we all do, no shame.

Why exagerrate?

So she is the most smashing aerial artist on the planet, that have worked for Cirque du Soleil and she does aerial silks on 40 meters, right? (40 meters is a 10 storey building, just sayin’)

Umh, vampires, thiefs and copycats?

These are people seeking to steal skills and ideas, or using other artists’ talents to get further. I’m not sure if I get to explain this well, though. I don’t believe skills can really be stolen, if you learn them they become yours, and even if you deny teaching them to someone, they will find someone who won’t. Therefor I never minded teaching my little knowledge with the few interested and thank God, the people I happened to ask, with considerably higher skills, either. Yet there are some very crooked minded ways to suck your skills out of you. One is promoting things with you, while actually aiming to sell another person.

Copycats, never ending story in the burlesque end of my world. Thank God, I was not involved in any situation as of lately, but at the beginning I was pretty bummed to recognize my own moves in the routine of another performer  and the very same idea I offered for a show, that decided not to hire me, but to ¨use¨ the offered idea of mine. Well, such is life. I recommend anyone to do the same I did, I was furious back then, boiling over it, but a friend just told me to ignore, so I did, I`m a lot happier, it was a waste of time, people like that will always be around.

Alpha females?

The alpha females with a lack of emotional intelligence and overflow of jealousy. These are the very dangerous ones, while men fight for their place in a straight up way (hypothetically), these crooked-minded sweethearts sleep their way into many places, regardless their talent or skill level, that is they might be pretty good ones on stage.
Shit people, ok I understand why, but I still wonder why people with amazing skills choose this easy path of getting further. Then comes manipulation and jealousy, calling names etc. Whore me down, but can you actually show a man around who you haven’t had a something with? Because as for me I only had a beer with some friends and the next day I was openly attacked on my own facebook page by this someone, who a day before pretended being my friend.

Attention-whoring?

If you are an amazing performer, acrobat, etc. Do you really need to call the attention in 15 year-old stupid bitch look at me I’m kissing my girlfriend kinda way?? There are times for everything, call me a snob, but I call fun times once work has ended and that still doesn’t include me going down on my best friend on top of the bar after 3 shot. These behaviours just take away a lot of credit in my view.

Backstage manners?

Same here. I get completely bummed in the burlesque world how mega divas some of the girls are. I mean, I rig, I need time and space to warm up and stretch before every show, I need a calm moment to reflect as I can even kill myself any day on that thing I hang myself on. I try to do the rigging fast, and the rest as well as I can. I have no time to chat around before my show, neither can I sip champagne, but I do my best to not molest and not being a pain in the ass. Then you see these girls screaming with the technician about the lights and being full blown divas backstage and spending more than an hour placing a damn table on the stage. And then you ask. What the fuck is wrong with them? or me? I think we need to proove something on stage, nowhere else and no other time.

With it all, inside and outside, affiliated or not to artistry. The real inspiring amazing talented people I have the luck to know, are humble, friendly, they never judge and they honestly help, even if they truly are one of the bestest of their field.

My way to becoming an artist – beginnings

So I started figure skating, I could not explain what was that I loved about it, but I surely thought the world would fall into pieces if I had to quit. After 5 years of devotion and hard work it was me, who decided to end it all. I left the sport so disappointed and feeling so betrayed that I did not return to put on my skates for over 7 years after my last competition. This experience also prevented me from getting involved with other sports. I was 13, I did not return to sports until I was 21.

I thought the cause of my depression was the age, but now I know that it was the lack of physical activity. My body was trained to be used, not only used, it was trained to be pushed to its limits. So when I stopped doing this I just got swallowed into this swamp of emptiness.

Obviously this was not that dramatic, I did great in school (as far as a very bright, but very rebellious artsy girl can) and I became a self taught dressmaker and very genuine punk sweetheart, which for me, rather than anything else means being true to myself. Oh, and after leaving terrible small town high school, where I was claimed stupid and deemed a failure it was discovered that I was a language genius.

Let’s fast forward to age 18. Figure skating did me very good, I had some kick ass muscles even 5 years after I quit.

One month after my birthday I started working in a strip joint, not a sport, but I had a hell of a muscle ache after the first day, so I gotta say those stilletos do the trick. Meanwhile I figured out I wanted to stretch. That has a funny story. While figure skating I was not stretched much as I was not amongst the lucky and talented ones, I guess the coach just considered us the filling behind and top couple, so nothing really happened that you personally did not push yourself into. I started from the point from I could only wave hello to my toes from the distance. Why did I start? I met my future (now past) husband, one morning he decided to stretch. I was outraged, I could not handle that a man was to be more flexible than I was! Even if it was nothing unexpected, regarding my inflexibility. So I started to stretch, just by myself, no methods, no classes. Me on the rug just for myself and my pride.

Age 20. Spain, another strip joint. Strippers, well no!!! And no!!! Pole dancing showgirls. Moves I could not even comprehend. I felt like a little girl in a funfair, actually I still do watching fellow performers. I’ve been training for 6 years now, but I still stop and stare mesmerized when others do their entire choreography rehearsals in any of the circus training spaces. I was surely warned to not talk to that “Romanian whore” that had a fame of beating up Hungarian girls, well, I went straight over to her and asked, and contrary to the beliefs of the other girlies, she did not beat me up or anything, she was sweet, helpful and showed me how to do my first move on the pole. From there it was all looking out for videos trying to learn the moves by ourselves. (This was a time when climbing the pole upside down was to be considered almost impossible) That same summer I ended up working in Ibiza in the legendary Blue Rose… (another story)

Somehow over the years I started to nurse an idea of going to a circus school, I have no explanation, again… I had no idea of it all. I have hardly ever been in a circus, my mom was so terrified of it, she hardly took us.

I mean, if I knew how hard it was to be, if I think about how hard it really is, I still have no explanation how I get up in the morning and go and do it, but it makes me very, but very happy.

I believe I somehow knew it would help me to improve my pole work, at this point I already knew I wanted to be one of the best, that surely never happened and won’t, but I am pretty content, because I have pushed my limits a lot further than I ever would have thought.

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