Tag Archives: performance

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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Award winning and critically acclaimed!

image

I would like to start my post with this quote from this great man. (thanks facebook)

This post has been festering in me for quite a while. I am one horrible critic, and I do not spare myself either of it, also I am way too harsh in my expressions.

Award winning

Award winning is something more of a tangible thing, yet critically acclaimed is harder to grasp.

Award winning suppose an actual award to exist and suppose that the person actually won that award, prize, title, etc.

Obviously in London/Britain each and every performer has won some kind of an award, even being a part time performer not to mention bad performers, yet on the mainland we performers hardly ever get an award, even if we maintain ourselves by our art.

Then you can go and make shit up… distort information and such.

In my home country we have a lady, that a couple of years ago decided that pole dancing, stripping, aerials, and whatnot belonged to her personally. So she made Tv appearances and claimed to be a world champion stripper… Well, great, but there is no such title as is!
Obviously people in the burlesque scene would refer to the Burlesque hall of Fame and the Miss Exotic world title, but she never even competed there, so nope. Then in “stripping” (as of butt naked, or more sexual stripping – no shame, just specifying) there is a million and one competitions, with a lot less art involved.
Anyways this fair lady won a Miss Nude Canada and returned home as a world champion stripper… you see the contradiction here. (Later on she surfaced in a far away burlesque festival as well, you know just because…)

So what is this all about? Marketing! Shameless marketing…

But, at least she makes a damn good linving out of it! She is a major celebrity and even has quite some contacts and shows internationally…

So, I get it!

Yet, I cannot understand people who does this without any apparent benefit… being “famous” with nothing… getting attention, only… that is quite a trainwreck attitude… (at least for any of us trying to make a living here…)

Anyways, turning back from general shittalking about others to the point in the burlesque industry…

Award winning…. all new awards and titles and competitions popping up and guess what?

Bumm! It goes mostly to the very same people, who already had some…

So either you are a newcomer and may win something in that category or straight up forget about it, if you do not already own a couple of well polished awards up your award shelf.

Critically Acclaimed

By whom?

We all know about the marvellously written press releases, right?

I mean, you know, written by your best friend or a payed writer to put the best quotable line out there about you…

Then, let us be honest with ourselves, there is no negative criticism our so beloved community, it just cannot exist… Even when we express negative opinions we wrap it in pink so carefully, making sure we don’t burn up the bridges behind us and don’t loose precious contacts in the scene…

Nobody wants to be the troublemaker

Also the faux-positivity surfaces, as you are the badguy, when God forbids you name the person who ripped an act of yours off, because say something nice or don’t say anything at all…

You see a shit act, and nobody dares to say it out loud, you see a rip-off act and hardly nobody dares to say it out loud, yet everyone thinks the same.

All the critical good words I have out there are from LBF, and are mostly blogs…

Why?

Because, who the fuck cares about the chick from the other end of Europe, while we can review the well-known, friend of many friends local performer?

So the conclusion is that while there is not a panel of official critics that do need to review everything they actually see, and by what they actually see, this is also just another dead end street in burlescalandia.

What is success?

We jump back to the basic fact, that life is on social media. Nowhere else, but…

Or really?

Performance art is live art, and sure we can tape it, but it will never ever be the same, as it is live. In my view it looses somewhat 80% of it’s poise and energy. Therefore it is very hard to convert or to translate it into social media terms.

And here comes the tricky part, how social media gets to distort the skills a performer might have.

Well, in the world of circus, skills rule the scene, and that is hard to fake, even a photo is showing a whole lot to another professional, so evaluation is easier, there is less playing around. Surely there are differences between the success of same skill level artist with different talents in the artistic side or plain marketing.

But with burlesque, it is just insane what have been going down in the last 7 years! (read my post on the burlesque top 50… from over a year ago, yet just NOW, bigger names start to pick the topic, carefully wrapped in pink schiffon, of course, because saying it is all bollock would be too harsh…)

To answer the question.

For me, success is being able to be a full time performer, earn over 80-90% of your income from performing. Preferably performing, what and where you actually like.

Then again it is not all. Now, I absolutely can see the benefits of stepping back from full timing in order to better as an artist.

We are professionals

Never let yourself cornered by the “we are professionals” flagline.

I guess this happens during the first years of a performers life, when people want to push your prices down because you are new, not “good enough”, not skilled enough, not cirque du soleil enough, but mostly just not confident enough.

But let’s face it we will never be good enough…

Without self-esteem, self-respect and integrity, we go nowhere. (not only in performance art, but in life either)

My experience came on many levels, I was, and maybe still am sometimes (fucking saa-a-aad) the idiot to take advantage of.

Nevertheless, on the professional level, is where I could face and cut this problem the best.

Whatever and whenever I started I faced and am facing this problem.

Advices like and comments like:

“….you’re new you should set your prices below the other dressmakers around here to set up a costumer base…”

“…you say you’re an established performer, although we have never heard of you, but XY was on the cover of… magazine”

“…we get established British pop stars for less and you should consider this as a vacation…”

“…you still have a lot to learn… hoooney…”

“…you’re not much of a big deal…”

“… I don’t think you’ll ever create something truly original…”

Etc.

Not made up, all said to me.

So woahhh, where does all this disrespect come from? What is wrong with people?

Be clear. People saying any of these, are the ones just a wee too eager to cover their own lack of the professsionelle…

Let say, you do two weeks of aerial training and then apply to whatever famous company. Well, I really doubt that a truly busy and succesful company would have the time or the energy to personally go out their way of creation and shame and humiliate you for the sake of it…

Surely artists lifes are hard, filled with disappointment and rejection. (and art, beauty, inspiration, creation, magic, sparkle, glitter, sunshine etc. To avoid being all tragic)

The fellow

The owner of the best and worst advice. Here you need to carefully choose whose advice you ask from and derived from there whose advice you take, as there are jealousies going a lot farther than you think.

Better take advice from your elders (not necessarily by age), rather than fellow beginners. Fellow beginners might have all the good will, but just not enough knowledge and experience.

The “boss”-es

“Yeah, but how about 80 euros for 5 aerial numbers a night? I mean our dancers only get 50 euros…” – Good for them…

“So you could actually make the costumes as well, that way you could earn a little extra (dinerito)…” – before or after rehearsing 10-12 hours a day?
The next time anyone says “dinerito” heads will roll for sure in Melittalandia.

The never to be costumer

So why inquire for a quote, if you are unwilling to pay anything over the price of a double cheese burger and are from the other far end of the globe?

The producer with no idea

“Can you do an hour long aerial act?” – Sure no problem….

” I would like to hire your burlesque act for my children’s party…” – I made this up, but I guess you get it.

Family and (not so) romantic partners

Unsupportive family is one thing, but a romantic partner, who does not support or respect your art is just devastating.

“… I don’t think you’ll ever create something truly original…” – this comment marked the beginning of the end of a marriage… with other things, but this burned deep into my skin.

All those thinking they know better what fits you

They think this or that music, style would fit you, etc. Unrequested, but thank yoy.

Go and find your own style.

Integrity

Wikipedia

So tell me, which is better, telling the truth by saying you never got payed for that job, which was also a disaster on all levels (hearing “Oh babe, how negative…” from the background), or telling everyone how all was fine and dandy and a lovely experience (just because you were on all fliers and admitting that this “peak” of your career was plain bullshit?)
Who is the professional here? Who has integrity?

Have morals and ethics.

Self-respect

If it feels wrong, humiliating, cheap, abusive, most likely it is. Get out of there. Now, on the first quirky comment that pushes your buttons or at latest the second, because there will be a third, a millionth of it. Then deeds. Then regrets, of you not leaving earlier and wasting time.

Listen to your gutt. Respect yourself.

Self-esteem

You need it, desperately, we all do.

Look in the mirror and see who you are as an artist, better to overvalue yourself than to undervalue.

Final conclusion

So be careful, screaming professional does not always mean being professional.

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…

 

The Voliére experience – Reality checks in – vol. 2.

8.30 we took the bus to arrive at 10 am, taken directly to the venue to start rehearsals. We were screamed and yelled to start fast, cuz there was a short timeframe and too many coreographies.

We were not asked if we needed water up until 12-13 pm, let alone breakfast or lunch.

No warm up time either.

Rehearsals in 30-40 degrees celsius, 10+ hours of dance rehearsals daily, on a half done stage with our decoration artist working with supertoxic materials next to us, including finishing the stage itself.

Personal drama lovepack:

My Mr. was given a barman job a month before, he had been cancelling the works of his own company to be able to come and work with us. He had a funky feeling, se he talked to the directorissima various times to reassure the thing was not a set up. He also made it clear that he was coming for me and in desperate need of a job.

Needless to say, it was a set up.

So, in her car she drops between two giggles, that ohh hon, the job of ya boy, well, giggle, I dunno, gotta talk to Fernando, cuz it kinda looks like it is not happening.

Woahhhh!! My mouth open of digrace.

First of all, my Mr. is a first class bartender, worked at the poshest places in Bcn before, second, nobody asked no favour, he sent his CV, they fell in love with it, they choose him. Supposedly.

I obviously call my man, who happens to get mad and send tha bitch back where she belongs along with the half pimp of the boss.

We had a serious relationship crisis that day, he literally told me I needed to leave the job or else… he didn’t give a fuck and would even payed me to stay at home… (Surely he calmed down later, apologized and all good)

I was between two sides, responsible towards my friends that I dragged into this shithole and towards my relationship. I knew that I did not want to loose a guy like him over a stupid bitch’s wrongdoing. (Talking about the expecting father of my child, the best, ever, caring loving relationship)

Anyway, I was useless by day two. Then Fernando, tha boss, came up asking me what was up, I told him straight up. This was in no way correct from them. I bet he did not know many things until that conversation, for example that I pulled the whole company together, either that we won’t be able to make weekly changes of theme. That working with your body needs days off… He was sold a dream on crack.

I surely told the bitch too. I guess she remembered a more submissive little girl from years before. She really thought she could get away with all.

Surely, truth was, once again, her shit, promising something without nailing down with the boss, lying on both sides.

I think her plan was to get my contacts and come up with a sorry excuse to sack me during the first weeks of rehearsals… Making me feel like shit of not being a professional dancer, since we know I am a aerialist, that excuse kinda never was to work.

Note: Know who and what you are!! The works of a chef and an aerialist does not overlap and for a reason. Dancer and acrobat maybe, but if you were ever near performing, or watched Step up (haa, bet you did) then you know how is it to ask even dancers to shuffle their style and learn another style.

So, yes, you might or might not dance as an acrobat, but expecting you to be a licensed dancer without you ever stating anything near that is abusive.

Or once again, if pro dancer-acrobat needed hire one.

(Clear up: I consider myself a pole dancer and a burlesque dancer, my dance skills are not bad, but the demand here was exhausting even for the professionally trained dancer)

I was stupid, I thought maybe she was feeling some guilt for the shit from years before, so this way she wanted to somehow make it up to me, and to karma… haha! Idiot I was.

Sidenote: do not karmatise too much. There is no need to look for karma in fart, as more spiritual peopld say.

I was about to leave the first week, it was too much, too little, too bad. So, my friend (more about her soon) talked me into staying, we are in this together, we will make this fun, and it is only one person that causes my troubles, etc. “Oh look at her, what is she compared to you” “She just wants to badly make it and not know how.”

These two became best friends in two weeks term, just to state the obvious.

There was an original agreement of the 6, that we would stick together as a real company if shit was to go down. Well, in this conversation she made it clear that she was not leaving even if they lower her salary or leave her in unlivable conditions, because she badly needed this job, I had to understand…So much for loyalty.

I was the public enemy from day one, as you see.

Why? Because I opened my mouth. I have been an international performer since 2009, stripper since 2006, I have seen way too many places, worked way too many gigs and festivals to see something was desperately wrong here.

Tha Diva

Good excuse the directorissima came up with. I was behaving like a diva. Why? Because I asked for water while rehearsals, I told we needed warm up time. We needed time to practice solos, which never happened. I pointed out things in general. She needed to stop smoking while walking around on stage, she was a constant threat with her cigarettes to us. You know burned thighs are not cool on dancers. Also stop being high on weed the whole day.

But, I was tha diva, the unprofessional, the one that causes the problems.

Constant psychological abuse

“Carino, you really have a lot to learn as an artist” mean tone, mean eyes… was like the friendliest of her comments, the first week was loud of her exclamating my name. Calling me out to “special talk” every hour. I was the weakest spot in the dance (which I was not), because I could not make perfectly the coreographies at first try. There was 5 more in the same situation, though, that is just normal, we were under lot of pressure, but I, out of 3 acrobats and 3 pro dancers, I had to be picture perfect upon the first try.

It was not personal…She said. Wasn’t it? The bash down mixed with skizofreniac changes to friendly, how she understood I was no dancer (belittling, belittling).

Also coming up and correcting a coreography without being able to do it the same way twice herself. Correcting something then correcting it back as it was, telling us we were wrong all the way.

On the last of my patience, one day, there was a sudden change. The bitch calmed down, she became friendly. She backed off from our rehearsals and let the coreographer work his magic.

I got to know weeks later from Fernando, that he saw what was happening and tripping over how someone can behave like her, so she got a higher call to calm the fuck down otherwise she would be out of job soon. (I mean, if we can believe a man, who fails to pay the salaries of 10+ people 6 months later)

And we were still at the first week of rehearsals…

Housing

Was a granny smelling, literally filthy old. 8 m2 room with two bunk beds for the 4 of us, in an old house. No locks on rooms.

The only beauty was the garden and the view.

Kitchen as filthy as possible, and with a continous food disappearance, that is by the end of the dag you had nothing of the food you left in the fridge in the morning.

Bathrooms the same, one day even my towel was stolen, let along all shampoos and shower gels.

Meals

20 euros per day for food in an extremely expensive village with no supermarket at a walkable distance. Best for special diets or any heathy eating, the nearest veggie and food shop was a 20+ min walk with prices tripling the Bcn ones.

There was no way of actually having groceries since by the next morning everything were gone as the construction workers and the gogo dancers and the bar staff was also accomodated in the same house.

We were supposed to get dinner once “real work” started. Well, that started off with fried chicken breasts salads and rice, hardly fulfilling after 10 hours of dance…
As days passed by the amounts were less and less, vegetarians(2) were left with the same fried veggies every day, the quality went down to pre-made half done half still frozen, half rotten salad served the second day in a row… Reaching the wonderous heights of unedible/wonderifitspoisonous.
Until one fine day we were just left without dinner without any notice…

Then some days later dinner appeared again in a wee better state…

I could actually state that we were almost starved (or without almost.)

We fed off protein shakes, protein bars, tuna salad, microoven rice and sandwitches, when we could actually slip out to the bar next door.

It surely is fun to have to spend a considerable amount on not starving to death of your already way too low salary.

Transportation

The lodging was a good 40 minutes walk on the roadside (oh so very safe) or a 5 min car ride. We were told, that there would be a minivan to get us to and from work every day…
That ended up in car rides in the car of the directorissima with two contorsionists in the trunk…

Or most of the time walking down if you wanted breakfast.

We were living in the Voliére.

To sum up nothing was as it was agreed upon or promised.

So you wonder why on earth I stayed?

With people you trust you can trick yourself too much. As everyone acted as if this was normal, I was always the odd one out, the uncontent, the rebel.

We were drifted very far from reality.

The main attraction of our show said these places are all over the islands and it is the same deal, abusive and shit, but at the end of the season you go home with good money… I came to realize this was just as much of a lie as anything else she said.

I kept going, because I believed in the 5 friends I was with, I thought we were like family (stupid thought of a circus girl), I was very, but very wrong.

I also believe that the weekly or twice a week visits of my boyfriend got me not to break out. (We had a friend’s house left for us in the next village every time he came)

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.