Your Cure For the Mondays – Burlesque: A Day in the Life
I felt it fitting to start off and christen my new blog by writing a bit about a fantastic show that I was lucky enough to be a part of this past weekend. This was SLO Tease‘s third of (hopefully) many Burlesque shows to come and continues to have a massive impact on audience and performers alike, though often in very different respects. For the audience it’s typically a mixture of seemingly endless anticipation, uncontrollable excitement, and being witness to mesmerizing moves, though not necessarily in that order. Not to be confused with stripping, Burlesque focuses on the art of the tease, anticipation, and the leaves the question of “wow, what else?!” on the mind of the entire audience. More often than not, it also tends to inspire a number of girls (and boys!) to come up after the show fervently asking how they can sign up to perform in the next one. A fraction of the
eager fresh meat potential performers commit to a future show, but those that do are always a fabulous addition!
Not so surprisingly, I was one of the fresh meat initiates after the first SLO Tease show and got to experience firsthand the fun and empowering transition from audience to troupe member. As far as prior experience goes I had about 15+ years of musical training, but as you can imagine that does little to nothing in regards to choreographing a dance with the happy balance of incredibly seductive yet non-trampy. Whenever I was at a loss, the troupe came to the rescue and helped in any way they could, even if that meant helping to dispel self conscious worries by enacting every school boy’s fantasy and comparing various body parts during rehearsals… Keeping true to the “tease” of burlesque I’ll let you interpret that as you will.
With this being the second show, I was no longer fresh meat… maybe medium rare with a little seasoning, but it was a world of difference. I unfortunately did not get to make the early rehearsals where you would often hear “sorry guys, no pasties” before having the dancer spin around and shake her stuff, but it did allow me to become more self reliant on choreography as well as reaching out to other girls for help when I needed it. Having a couple of half-dressed girls at my house every week was admittedly a good time, but also let me get to know some of the members on a more individualized basis.
Not every rehearsal actually ended up with us rehearsing which was a welcome break to the constant slew of practice sessions leading up the show. I have to admit that Tuesday before the show was a much appreciated distraction of drinking, singing, and dancing everyone else’s number but our own. But then again maybe burlesque just brings out the fun-loving lush in all of us. Or maybe it brings together a confident group of sexy empowered women. Either way, booze or empowerment, the end result is the same: sexy dancing and fun ladies.
Even though the intense rehearsal schedule, often self inflicted, is always loads of fun it is always bound to affect some other aspect of life. I can’t speak for all of the other ladies, but it was my gaming schedule became severely cut short. Rehearsal nights were also table top gaming nights and as the show grew nearer, sacrifices had to be made. I traded dice for garters and spent the past month or so watching my character sheets collect dust. While airing my grievances, another of the dancers chimed in:
“Yeah I hate it when stripping gets in the way of gaming.”
“Serious, I’ve been wanting to play Borderlands 2 SO BADLY.”
Like I said, we have an awesome troupe here.
Despite the social sacrifices, the increased liver abuse, and the neglected gaming groups, the show came at us faster than a train on ghost rock. Before we knew it the seats were sold out and the stage was prepped, the lights were up (once again by the wonderful Ethereal FX crew), and it was showtime! Even though we knew not only our own, but everyone else’s numbers by heart, the excitement in the air permeated the venue and crept backstage as well. That’s when nerves always hit. And someone inevitably had to use the loo. Luckily for us there’s always someone to lighten the mood, whether it’s with wardrobe malfunctions or inappropriate jokes, which (not-so) surprisingly enough are always appropriate in these situations! As the MCs (Masters of Ceremonies) prepped the audience for the start of the show, we were prepping each other for our acts. Prepping ranged from listening to songs on iPods to laying out costumes, helping people put pasties on straight to having someone flit around like a caged, half naked butterfly. We lead tough lives.
Then came the acts. Just by listening to the music we knew where in each act the dancer(s) was/were in their number, and with each smoldering look and/or piece of clothing hitting the stage we could hear the audience roar. Suddenly the adrenaline rush hit and I was suddenly on deck for my number. Having done the numbers so many times the actual moves didn’t need concentration. What really needed concentration was a couple of things, mainly: 1) not laughing at people in the front row’s faces, 2) not tripping while being blinded by lights, and 3) hearing our music and cues over the hooting and hollering of 100+ of our closest friends.
With pounding hearts, adrenaline pumping through our nervous systems, and the giddy pride that can only come when hard work has paid off and been validated, the show was over before we knew it. Clothes had been put on and taken off more times than we cared to count and audience members had been subjected to mind-blowing feats of body control and seduction the entire night. During curtain call you could hear the hoarseness in all the voices from overuse over the past couple hours of heckling the dancers in return for scintillating teases. As an audience member you know that you’re coming into the show to get your mind blown. As a performer you are part of a multi-month whirlwind of music, dance, lingerie, creative collaboration, community, and shenanigans that culminate all at once for hundreds of people to witness.
If you haven’t been to these shows, or even one in your area, do so. You will not only witness phenomenally sexy ladies and gents who are there to show you how much fun they have on stage rocking out to their favorite tunes, but you’ll see the culmination of the past few months filled with sweat, blood, and sacrifice. They’ve poured themselves into (and out of!) everything up there on stage and want to show you everything they’ve got! There’s still one more chance to see the show next weekend (check the Facebook page) but tickets a going fast! Speaking of sacrifice and the culmination of events… I do believe it’s time to blow the dust off the dice bag and pull out the handbooks in the anticipation of some freed up time-slots…