Ok, a few things you need to know that makes this group special and quite different than most companies: we are one of the few troupes in the nation that uses and original, live orchestrated band with original songs composed by a group of talented musicians from Chicago and Grand Rapids. We get together once a week, mandatory to keep a communal bond and stay on top of our variety acts.
We also hand-make our own pasties and earrings, as well as original songs tracked and locally produced ready to sell so you can enjoy and sing along with the songs, like you would with any musicians work. And that takes money, time, blood sacrifice, and tears. (Ok, maybe not the blood sacrifice.) So, when you go to a show, any kind of show, and see a merch table, remember that, selling stuff helps pay for your entertainment. Without putting time into slaving away at making pasties and clomping around in 6 inch heels to make a rediculous music video and have people invest in the product (i.e, buying our shit) we can't do much. It's the basic form of crowdfunding and in the flesh. We've branched out from selling merch just at shows and through emailed requests. We now have jumped on the Patreon bandwagon and have been doing very well given that Mr. Happypants was a bit hesitant about it. (That's the head honcho's name, by the way.) But man, it's going to be stuffed with awesome content.
I actually just shot my first music video yesterday with this group, and could not be more terrified and amused at what is to come. It might make it up on Patreon, it might not. But if you want to see it, along with all of the shenanigans we get involved in (live streaming rehearsals, uncensored videos, surreal and sexy photos, the Comic Book Diary, Merch, and even free admission to shows -- depending on how much you donate) I am reaching out and asking you, my dear reader, to click on this link and become a patron. It's only $5 a month, which is one glass of really, really, good craft beer. And don't you drink at least 4 of those when you're out? ;)
Here is the link, click on it, view the video, and become a supporter of one of the most unique, nationally known and touring Burlesque Show, which I am proud to say I am now a key player in.
------>>> Click Here <<<------
...I'm really scared and happy of the experience, but I was totally unprepared to sing, thinking we were going to cover the tracks when we record vocals for the CD. Soooooooo, after touring and being on the road for 5 days, I was a little raspy. Maybe that'll help with the rebellious Janis Joplin tone? *pause* (hoping I was in key)
We did a few more too, but I don't want to ruin any more surprises. ;)
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So, our tour started at the Waiting Room, in Omaha. Great raised stage, good sized venue -- we were all excited and relieved to be off the road and ready to rock. May I remind, that we had been on the road since 6am. The crowd filed in, we started the show, and immediately had a surprise audience member perform fellatio on one of our members giant dildo -- we were pleasantly shocked and happy to learn later he was also a part of a local Burlesque troupe. Hats off to him on advertising!
The great thing is, every performer is different -- we're not all glamorous glitter kitties that take off diamond dresses and gloves. Some of us are amazing acrobats, some are more punk, some can sing and perform, but all of us have at least this in common: we have absolutely no shame in being up on stage, performing our numbers and ending up in pasties and a thong. And shoes, sometimes. And all the while, making people laugh and smile, opening and broadening their minds to a different glimpse in the world of this genre. It was a successful first show. We even got to go to the Omaha Zoo the next day as a treat of our success.
Icon in Souix Falls. We pull up, and there is a great big chalkboard sign that says "Friday Night is Fuego Salsa Night!" And, inside, was a huge band setting up. The space was open and large. We started second guessing where we were, until a younger gentleman came over and asked "Are you guys here for the other show?" We nodded, then looked at each other with the "what the fuck was that" eyes and followed him to the other space. It had comfy squishy cocktail couches and chairs as well as floor seats.
The stage, was tiny. And rickety. Let's put it this way: it was meant for an 8 piece lounge band. NOT a 15-piece traveling Troupe, of all shapes and sizes; jumping and rolling around. Of course, we made due. And to our delight, the stage did not collapse. We did lose a few audience members after a very amusing and most likely, offensive, number. It was in a conservative area people-speaking so it wasn't surprising seeing a few empty seats by intermission. It's almost expected. But it was still a good-sized crowd. After the show there were lots of photos taken, shots downed, posters signed, hugs offered, stories told... the connection with the people --I felt right at home. Back to a different hotel room to get 4 hours of sleep before leaving.
The Aquarium in Fargo-- How do I describe this place... it was a floor above a regular bar. Our dressing room was the stairwell, in which a few people thought it was ok to walk through a bunch of naked glittered-up performers, as if nothing was going on. ..... We did have a few local acts come out and be a part of the show -- very fun to watch new talent do their thing. The stage was small, raised up, like you would see at a music dive bar -- but it was PACKED. And they loved us. After I finished my number, a girl a couple rows back looked at me, and raised a rose in the air towards me. I looked around and mouthed "for me?" And she nodded, with a very cute but shy smile. I asked her to come forward, as she gave me the rose, I kissed her on the cheek, took her face in my hands and said "thank you".
It was my first flower given to me onstage.
I haven't had a boyfriend in years give me flowers.
This was, a beautiful moment. One I will always remember.
It's hard not to go into details about all the different variety acts, so you'll just have to come see the show.
Lefty's in Des Moines...
Oh fuck. Well, to sum it up -- they didn't advertise the show, and 8 people showed up. Did we cancel? No. It was one of the most fun moments, we had a guest act there too, and she was a riot to watch. We scratched the entire set and went with an extended version of the White Wig Butoh Saran Wrap Orgy Number.
They loved it.
I can't find any footage yet but phones -- all 6 phones -- were out filming us. We had an absolute ball. We also had several free rounds of shots given to us as a token of their apologies for not having a crowd. But, it was a Sunday night and a new venue. Also our last show, so we had fun. Since it was such a short show, we quickly packed up, and decided to save some money by making the trip, all the way back to Grand Rapids, that night.
Everyone looked dead when we got home. I am very thankful for everyone who drove us safely back. God knows I can't drive a fuckin bus unless it was in Mad Max.
Cuz those vehicles are amazing.
Of course with sharing such intimate spaces, hotel rooms, showers, tables, dressing rooms... drama ensues. Mental breakdowns are in order. People get pissy. Shit gets lost. But for the respect of my fellow performers, that information is classified.
Did I have fun? FUCK YES. It was a good soul-searching experience, it helped me open up to performing on stage again. Since my breakup, singing and performing, has been depressing to think about. For a while. I would have flashbacks of having such passion on stage with my lover, we'd be lost in ecstasy in the music and the chemistry flashing in each other, for each other.
It was heart-wrenching to see couples on stage, being happy. I knew what that felt like.
I'm getting over it.
Cuz now I'm with a bunch of people, and we get to have so much fun and crazy together. Like a fucked up, dysfunctional family. My respect for them has grown, and if my intuition is correct, I may have made a group of friends as well as 'co-workers' (I mean, it's a job, not a 'normal job' but yes, we do get paid so it's a job)
WHAT THE HELL IS NEXT you ask? We have a show this Friday in Muskegon, then in Lansing on Saturday. I also have rehearsals and start filming the Western Short -- hopefully getting to go to a shooting range to get to know my big guns better. But, for now, it is a beautiful rainstorm which is making me want to do yoga and enjoy the Zen of the day.
My cats woke me up at 7am for no reason other than to walk all over and only on my body, as if the blanket was lava or something.
Enigmas. So, to leave you in the mood, here's a lovely cat photo.
PS- please scroll back up and click on the Patreon Link, check it out, support the Arts!