Monday, November 22, 2010

Elephant in a Tutu

BEFORE CLASS: I’m feeling nervous. My fear set in late last week but I thought it’d disappear so I didn’t mention it in the last blog. Being without a doubt, the biggest girl in my class I feel I have to work extra hard to accomplish what I want in my performance; to be laughed with and not laughed at, to be cheered for and not mocked.  I don’t need words of encouragement here (or maybe I do, who knows?) I just need to verbalize or in this case writerize (ha!) what‘s going through my head and heart.  And I know that I’ve already gone on and on about how accepting and welcoming the Burlesque audience is, but I’m having “naked big girl in a room full of naked small girls” anxiety. I cannot stop chewing my nicely grown nails. Yuck! And all of this is where my title came from - it's what I've been feeling like lately.

AFTER CLASS:  There’s no turning back, not for Tina Tassels!
We had our 3rd class today: Fan Dance, Strutting, and Walking. The amazing, gorgeous, and hilarious Jezebel Express (whose blog you can read here) was our instructor. I am sad that I am yet to see her perform but I’ve been following her for some time now.  Seeing a girl with a bigger rack and ass than mine teaching us how to showgirl walk was nothing short of exactly what I needed. (I say this all with love Jez!) It wasn't because I was smaller it was because how beautiful and graceful she looked. She said we could stalk her with questions of any kind and I insisted that I probably would because I’m filling up with fear about my size. She had the kindest things to say (including that she’s read my blog, OMG!) and totally made the rest of my day.  Thanks girl! <3

Ok…Fan Dancing = hard. Until you are used to the weight of them, your arms and hands go numb. Until you get used to when to twist your wrists and where to face your hands, your fans will be uneven and you’ll probably hit yourself in the face - which I did.  The fans were so beautiful though and we learned an entire routine! There were only 2 pairs of large ostrich feather fans available so we were learning with smaller ones. After learning the dance, start-to-finish, 2 of us at a time danced for the class using the large ones. It was so great to finally get a feel for them (I‘m not sure about the others, but I definitely hadn‘t held a pair before). In my opinion the fans took up a lot of my attention so I wasn’t pointing toes or smiling as much (except when I was laughing at myself for messing up).  They did though, feel super soft and sensual on your skin. I should probably own a pair soon.

We also learned a few different types of walks. It was important to be shown what an impact a little knee bending and/or a pointed toe can do for the length of your legs. This was a good tip for me! We also strutted around in mock high heels (we aren’t allowed to wear shoes in this particular space).  It was cute kicking our heels up and I shared how I felt like the ballet dancing ostrich in Fantasia, so dainty and feminine! I loved the Left-Right-Bump walk. Having big hips comes in handy here and makes the walk look so much more womanly...hubba hubba!

December 10 is creepin up so fast. Today after class a few of us girls got together and made pasties and worked on our costumes. My good friend and NON-SOB student, MK,  joined us too and put pasties on for the first time (well, I think it was her first time!). The clock is ticking and we’re freaking out, in a good way, but still freaking out! Red wine, sequin trim, and topless girls make for a great Sunday night!

My favorite part(s): Walking with Jezebel.
The hardest part(s): Getting my hands to face the right ways with the fans in em! Booo!
What I learned: How important your face is! If you look bored, nervous, or confused (naturally vs. unintentionally) the audience is also gonna be bored, nervous, and confused. Smile, pout your lips, do something to prove that you're enjoying yourself because hopefully you are!

I just got back from LA and am exhausted. I cannot wait to put my head down. In the coming weeks I have intense costume planning/making to do, I have to get my props together, some routine choreography finalization, & just chill the fuck out and do this!

Ciao for now,

Dec 10 9p-11p $15 - more info here
Student Showcase: where us newbies strut our stuff for the first time!
Coney Island, Sideshows by the Seashore
Dec 11 4pVIP/5pmREG-10p $25VIP/$20REG - more info here
Although I won't be performing, I'll be a "Special Guest" - hooray! Come enjoy some new cocktails & good company.
Brooklyn, The Green Building

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