Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry XoXo-mas & the Happiest of New Year!

To my friends, foes, lovers, & haters alike -

I send you huge holiday hugs.
May your cup always be half full - if not overflowing, your heart warmed with whiskey - or whatever your preferred poison, and your hands held by the ones you love - unless your palms get sweaty, take a break.

I do not make resolutions other than promising to be the best self I possibly have to offer the world; to continue on the path that I'm so enjoying the struggles and triumphs of.
Explore new adventures, taste new dishes, and drink new drinks. Make new friends, call your old ones, and let some go.

I'm off to enjoy/attempt all of the above & I hope you are too!

With an abundance of peace & love...Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and yours.

Ciao for now,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Research is Sexier Than Yours!

Phew! I am exhausted.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much boobage -that wasn‘t my own- in my life! Last night I finished my end of 2010 Burlesque Research Binge! (Although I’m now thinking I might see a couple more shows post-xmas, pre-new year!)

My first Burlesque-esque (ha!) activity was Bikini Boot camp (BBB) on Wednesday night. It was SO much fun. I wanted to dress up but I was running late in the morning to work so I just grabbed leggings and some heels. Yes, heels for an exercise class. Usually the first half hour is an aerobic workout and the second half we learn a cute little routine. The overall goal while doing the dance is to love yourself and your body “as it is right now”. I loved hearing that. It makes the fitness part truly feel like it’s about health and not merely a get-thin goal. So I ended up wearing my heels most of the class. It was actually great and made my workout a lot harder sometimes. For my sassiness, I won some OPI Nail Polishes that were released to promote the Burlesque movie. Hooray for Cher & Xtina! Booo for a movie whose name is misleading!
Come Friday, I started my burlyQ weekend. I had emailed Lefty Lucy (as advised by Jo Boobs) about performing in her monthly show Drive-Thru Burlesque. Produced by Lefty and Sizzle Dizzle, they always love letting new graduates from NYSB perform. I also added that’d I’d be at the show on Friday to check it out. The next day the girls wrote and asked if I’d like to work the door … um, duh I would!

So I wore my newest corset, under my newest dress and headed out the door. It’s held at the Parkside Lounge, which I had never been too but heard it was awesome. It is in fact, this great little rock bar that has this secretly cool back room with a stage and tables. SO CUTE! I loved it the second I walked in. The show is great and works as a 3-parter. For $10, you really get 3 shows, over a span of 5hrs!

Saturday morning I reluctantly headed to BBB again, I met Charlie Gun & MK there. I have to admit how proud of myself I was for actually going. I did have to slap myself in the face and say “Tina, get up lazy & go!” Not to say I’m some totally transformed being, but an older version of Tina would have pressed snooze and pretended to over sleep. That night I took myself to a free show at the Toro Lounge. Produced by my fave gal Calamity Chang (I‘m turning her into my friend because I just love talking to her!), Tails & Feathers made it’s second stop at this venue. The place was really beautiful and glamorous like most sexy NYC hotel lounges. My $13 rum & coke, helped me keep my 1-drink-only promise to myself because I was meeting friends afterward. My fellow graduate Sincerely Yours met me there! It was the first time I saw Clams Casino perform and the first time I heard Shelly the Singing Siren. There was a great diverse crowd that, in my opinion, weren’t too schooled in burlesque which is always exciting to see how people react. No one screamed anything in appropriate (I don’t think) and I’m confident to say people tipped fairly well!

Ugh, Sunday, I was so ready to curl up in bed and say “forget it!” I got in the shower, put lipstick on my lips, and headed out the door for a $10 show I will never forget. The Sunday Show, after 2 years, was on it’s last night. With an “American Dream” theme, we celebrated the holidays with an amazing span of performers. I finally saw some fire eating by the sexily stripped down Coco La Pearl, a glowing hula hoop act by Justina Flash who also stripped while hula-ing? Hooping? I dunno. Also I got to see Legs Malone and her 34 ½” inseam do a classic number. My girl Calamity was there again and I finally got to enjoy her, not-to-be-missed Asian Hooker act. Google it. I can’t even talk about how much fun it is. Of all the acts my favorite new-to-me performer was Grace Gotham. I fell in love with her face and the sweet & simple tassel twirling act she did!! Before I wrap this up, I have to express my deep, newfound envy of & love for Kiki Valentine. She was the MC and producer of the show. She was so on point and adorable and hilarious and spontaneous and just the kind of stage presence/host you want have & be. In love.

Oh! Also I won an It’s a Little Hat by Little Stormy - YES! My second custom hat by her! It carried the show’s theme with a picket fence and red Volvo…ha!

I wrapped my exhausting but wonderful weekend up with Monday night’s free show, Original Cyn Burlesque in my very own neighborhood, thank god, at Lucky 13 Saloon!

I’ve been dying to check this bar out and when I heard there was a show held there I was pumped to see both! I met one of the producers, Joe the Shark, at Drive-Thru on Friday and told him I definitely wouldn’t miss it. The less-than-a-stage and more like a platform area was perfect. I loved the dingy, dark, metal bar that also had a pole on the corner of the counter top. I drank a coca-cola, sans rum, for $2 and put $5 in the tip bucket. Got to see a new friend, Franny Fluffer, perform along with Stormy Leather (best name ever!). It was Rosie 151’s birthday and send off performance. I have to say, her body was amazing. She was probably 1 or 2 sizes smaller than me but her stomach was flat and cute and her thighs looked smooth as silk. How does she do it?! I really couldn’t keep my eyes off of her none-existent belly, Yowza! My favorite act was co-producer, Mary Cyn’s, Grinch who stole xmas & my clothes performance! On the bar top she struggled with the “Grinch” (a guy dressed up haha) as he took her presents, teddy bear & eventually her gift box bow pasties. I think the bar let out an “OOHHHH” as the bows were ripped off her nipples. Ouch. Ha!

Omg. This is so long. I hope it was as fun to read as it was for me to recount my weekend. It was worth the energy, time, and money. Going to shows is a great way to obviously show face and introduce yourself to performers and producers and even more importantly, to see the different venues you could possibly perform in. I saw 4 different ones and all 4 I had never been to. Wow, I actually just realized that, so cool! I love calling it research because in fact it is. The more performers you see the more you can start to form your identity in the community. Knowing what’s available or seeing which acts inspire you, or even classic moves that you can make your own. I thoroughly enjoyed every show because they were all very different and new to me. If you’re interested in seeing a show, I try to promote them as much as I can on my FB page even if I myself cannot make them.

I hope in the new year I’ll be able to write about performing in some of these particular shows & venues. We’ll see what happens!

I hope you all have a gorgeous & fulfilling holiday season and I wish you happiness, health, & success.

Ciao for now,

PS: How much do you love these names? I love telling my roommates stories because it sounds like I'm high and living in a cartoon, but on the contrary good friends, THIS IS REAL LIFE AND I LOVE IT!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Showtime!

Be there an hour early, bring a robe, don't forget your music. THAT'S IT! Those were our last instructions. *bites nails*'s the video.
Each time I press play and hear my friends chanting I've started to cry ha! I am incredibly overwhelmed by the support  including that from those who couldn't make the show. 

Friday was AMAZING. My fellow classmates left me speechless:
Charlie Gun - like her here
Evelyn Vinyl - like her here
Raven Twin - like her here
Sincerely Yours - find her here
Iris Explosion - find her here
Our Gorgeous Stage Kitten & fellow performer: Franny Fluffer - find her here
Our Co-host & fellow performer: Jonny Porkpie - like him here
And last but most d efinitely not least, our head mistress, hostess with the mostess: Jo Boobs Weldon - LOVE her & her book here

All day I was fine until I started having a stomach ache due to nerves.  As I've said many a time, I haven't performed anything in years. Especially not solo. (That was probably a piano recital when I was about 11years old.)  We did a quick run through on stage to make sure our music was working and to get a feel for the space. I forgot my routine and could barely hear the music. OMG! I was so  freaked out that my concentration was off, this only put me in more of a panic.

I ended up being the 2nd to last performer. I think it was a good thing because by the time I had to go on my hands stopped shaking and my heart calmed down. My friends were there in abundance, which at first worked against my angst, but eventually kept my spirits high as hell! I felt good on stage and didn't want it to end. My left boob refused to twirl backstage, I'm pretty sure it had a mini-stroke, by the looks of the video though it seemed to wake up just in time for twirling! That made me feel SO good! I obviously take pride in my twirls haha!
After each dancer was finished Jo Boobs had us come back on stage and chatted with us a bit. I thought it was hilarious walking out in hot pants and tassels "out of character". A friend of mine, JT (not Justin Timberlake ha!), asked on my facebook page, "...was it more nerve wracking to dance or to stand there at the end and chat in not much clothing?" I immediately answered to chat and she had assumed it was because of my lack of clothing in comparison to the over dressed audience. It definitely wasn't the nudity. 
I've become more (and am still becoming) comfortable with that part. Frankly, every morning I've been making it a point to enjoy my nude body in morning lite streaming through my sheer curtains (yum! what a scene I've set up for you..) I look in the mirror and think "god, I look really good to hold." (does that even make sense? hahah) I shit you not. It's that whole positive affirmation thing. It helps - try it out asap! Take at least a few minutes daily to enjoy you & only you.
So, as I said above, it was walking back onto stage as regular ol' Tina wearing a funny costume. I immediately answered the question with a joke because I was too nervous to be serious. Nervous in the sense that my heart was pounding post-performance, and I was feeling shaky from the adrenaline. I've never really been scared of public speaking but I'm pretty sure I lost some of that courage along the way too.

Jo's first question for each performer was, "what inspired you to be here?" In a past blog I've said that one of my biggest fears is being taken seriously and that following and fulfilling dreams is terrifying. I'm not sure why. It's partially a fear of rejection & partially a fear of what happens after you reach a goal.(silly, right?)
I wanted to tell the audience that for most of my life I've been dying to be on a stage but just couldn't keep my chin up in the pursuit. If in the middle of my high school career, you would have asked me where I saw myself at 27, I would have quickly replied I'd be living in NYC and working on Broadway...I'm half way there? ha!

Well now it's over.
In addition to feeling relieved, I'm excited to get working on a new act. It was gonna be my first but I was so overwhelmed I couldn't go that far. I was too scared, but now I'm ready!! Full speed ahead...I'll have to work on getting booked. Going to shows, looking for castings, anyway really to get my face & name out there.

It's only been 2 days since my only show and I feel like I've been doing it for years..not because I have a big head about it but because it just felt SO good to be back out there. I hope to parlay this energy & rising confidence into other auditions. I know I'd love to do hosting gigs. I think I'd be great at it after a couple of goes and it'd be a perfect way to give pseudo stand-up comedy a try too!  *Fingers crossed*

Before I go, I want to be completely are being posted from the show, I too am sharing them, but I will not pretend that it's not tough looking at them and not comparing myself to the other girls around me. My boobs are triple in size and therefore tripled in weight. My one thigh is the size of Jo Boobs' entire body. Blah blah blah. I'm doing my best to look beyond the photo and reminding myself what a wonderful, much needed experience the classes & show night were. Phew! I'm glad I got that off my chest.
My favorite part(s): Being on stage FINALLY! And in close 2nd is being backstage with ma girls!
The hardest part(s): Feeling 100% ready. Confidence is KEY to a good performance, I know for sure I have it in here somewhere I just need to find it!!
What I learned: To fucking werk. it. out. and enjoy every second!

I have another Burlesque Bikini Boot camp class on Wednesday and am looking forward to sweating! Stay warm readers <3

Ciao for now,

PS: Here I am as a snowlady at the Holiday Bazaar sporting my It's a Little Hat by Little Stormy! I had to wear pasties (homemade out of coffee filters btw, shhh) so I didnt offend anyone ;)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Busy Life for a Poor Girl

So I’ve had a really great past week & have a really exciting one ahead! My title says it all. I am confident to say I'm in the "paying dues" phase of my career. I know more things are to come & *fingers crossed* paychecks will accompany them.

 On Monday, I put the finishing touches on my costume for the upcoming showcase. I added some sparkle where it was lacking and finished making my bra into what I need it to be.  Aside from being annoying at times, building your own costume (even if only manipulating store bought pieces) adds a hint of ego to the performer. Well for me anyway. Even though, pieces stay on for mere seconds during your routine, it gives you much pride in the end knowing you designed it.  If you’re like me you enjoy feeling as if you’re the only one with certain shoes, or dresses, or anything. You know it’s not true but tricking yourself feels great! So when you make your own costume, you cannot help but feel like there is no other one out there like it and frankly there might not be!
I will not lie though either, when I can afford it, I will buy my costumes and have things made to order. That is the princess fantasy!

On Tuesday I got to shoot with my gorgeous & talented friend Doron Gild. (check out his phenom work here) He made it clear that it would be a combination of the Tina Tassels physical with the Doron Gild photographic. That said, I wasn’t allowed to smile much and I found it extremely hard! I whined about it but he was being serious and professional and not giving in, booooo! (ha! Jk jk.)  By some miracle, and by that I mean knowing the right people, we were allowed to shoot in the Beauty Bar. Which I was ECSTATIC about. I love that place. If you’ve never been there, check it out. Many a tourist & locals alike, spend their nights there. It has a wall lined in old hair dryers, another with old barber chairs, and a back room that I prefer to call the disco lounge. I am honored that I have had, this early in my career, the opportunity to shoot there. Also a shot out to my OTHER beautiful & talented friend, Krista Pruent, for her awesome makeup skills & hair support! (see more of her work here)

This is my favorite of the day. 
(You can check out my other pics here, and there are more to come!)

Thursday, through Twitter, I saw that The Wendy Williams Show was having a casting call for 2 friends or siblings to be her red carpet correspondents for Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden. I am never one to pass up a possible chance of being on TV or a talk show or any contest really. ( I almost won 3 cars a couple of years back!) After debate over my PIC (partner in crime for you nOObs), I approached my friend LM (whose yummy brunching blog you can read here) thinking no one else would be interested.  A lot of people think I’m silly or reaching too far when I enter such things, but she had already beat me to the punch with her bff! I was so psyched to hear that friends were trying out too!  After this I told (not even asked) my great friend, who is well on his way to being a huge singer/song writer, AD (whose beautiful sounds you can listen to here and buy on itunes). He laughed a bit and then gave in. I submitted a picture & a blurb about who we are, how/why we’re friends, etc…and A PRODUCER CALLED ME TODAY!  We have a meeting on Monday, we’ll see what happens. I think the red carpet is dying for two people like us!

Tomorrow is my first class of Burlesque Bikini Boot camp (read about it here). We will be mixing aerobics/yoga/pilates AND burlesque style dance moves! Um….perfect!  Two friends will be joining me: shy girl (from my SOB class) & MK, the brave girl who came to our pasty making party and twirled for the first time!  I think we’re gonna have a blast while burning some calories, I cannot wait!
My good friend JT (whose paper work you can check out here), is hosting her annual holiday crafting party on Sunday. Since I’ve got too much to worry about I’ve decided to work on my event costume instead. I am being a snow-wo-man so it counts!  For the Holiday Spirits Event I felt the itch to order a custom hat and on Monday I will be able to pick mine up by Little Stormy. She has become a sweet interweb friend and I cannot wait to put it on!! (see her hats here)

I am happy to say my anxiety has subsided and I’m feeling great. A little nervous, but nothing abnormal nor that I can’t handle. I know Friday will be here before we know it so I’ve really gotta practice A LOT this week. Holy shit. Aw and my mom wants to come “if you’ll have me there” she said. I told her I’d understand her absence because on Fridays she works a bizzillion hours and the last thing she needs to do is drive in alone from South Jersey for a 9pm strip show. In all honesty it’d be great to have her there but I don’t want to pressure her too much so I played it cool. Nice daughter. Ha!

I made my first ever macaroons today, they are SO good. Tomorrow's batch MIGHT have some chocolate drizzled on top. (weird the TV just said "drizzle" as I typed it, that's a sign for sure!)
I wish you all a great weekend with warmth & holiday spirit in the air - baby it's cold outside!

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