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Archive for November, 2010

I Remember and I am Grateful

Posted on November 25th, 2010

I remember when I first started my Burlesque journey about three and half years ago. What started as an excuse for me to perform on a stage again soon became more than a one-off or a hobby but a passion and a lifestyle. I don’t know if I could ever fully articulate all the ways in which I love Burlesque and how it changed my life and me for the better. How the names of the boys I’ve dated have changed but my love of Burlesque and its love for me have never wavered. How I am the best performer in all aspects that I ever been, how I have met so many of the most amazing, creative, kind and talented people. That I have a community and they are my family. How I am constantly inspired and challenged. How my confidence and self worth have grown so much. How I have had so many opportunities that I never would have had otherwise like touring Canada, performing in Vegas, and choreographing for and performing in “legitimate” theaters. How when my Dad passed away this summer, that I had an outlet, I had support, and I had more projects than I knew what to do with to keep me going. Despite anything and everything, Burlesque has been the one constant that has never let me down. And I have alot of people to thank for that- I am so so so very grateful to them.

After Screaming Chicken, the people who are have been very directly responsible for so much of my growth and inspiration are Burgundy Brixx and the Purrfessor. I have been in awe of them since they first arrived in Canada three years ago. I couldn’t believe that I even knew people that had resumes like theirs let alone that they talked and were nice to me. I was so impressed and inspired that they had performed in productions like Stomp, that Burgundy was a former Rockette, and that they had so much successful experience in all aspects of performing.  And to top it all off, they would compliment me and encourage me and book me for their monthly turned weekly Kitty Nights. That these people who I admired so much, had faith in me!!?? It meant so much. So very very much. I keep track of gigs that I’ve played. More of a personal satisfaction resume than anything else- but I just counted and I’ve played Kitty Nights 16 times since early 2008.

Kitty Nights was always a fun place for me to challenge myself. I always would try for one if not two new numbers to showcase. Usually I only had to come up with one solo act with Taboo but I needed two for Kitty Nights. I used this opportunity to try and develop numbers that I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable with but wanted to try anyway aka being serious and sexy. Burgundy always would tell me what a good job I had done (even if I have doubts about that) and it always meant the world to me to have her respect and encouragement. I have always had so much fun at Kitty Nights and the fact that it was produced so well meant I never had to stress or play to less than a packed and appreciative audience. That it was one of my first paid gigs helped elevate me to a professional status that gave me the confidence to believe that my skills and abilities were worth something and that I should keep trying. They always had time for me and they always treated me like a friend as well as a professional.

They also were instrumental in helping the Vancouver Burlesque Festival evolve into one of the biggest Burlesque events Vancouver has ever seen. That festival was also one of the major highlights of my Burly career. Watching Burgundy has been a source of constant inspiration for me. She is just SO talented and SO creative! I have never seen her do a bad number. Ever. Her roster of Burlettas is so impressive and she just keeps them coming!!! I aspire to even be half as talented as her. I always told her that I don’t have very many role models. Coming from a small town where everyone’s big dream is the picket fence and to breed, I don’t know that I ever did. But she is one of mine. And when a host can honestly make or destroy a show, the Purrfessor is a cut above. Always hilarious and always able to warm the crowd up perfectly. They and Kitty Nights are both a huge reason for Burlesque becoming as big as it has in Vancouver. They employ more dancers than anyone- my story is not unique. Many dancers in Vancouver have no other steady gigs than Kitty Nights or owe alot to and are inspired by Burgundy and the Purrfessor.  They work harder than anyone I know. I cannot even fathom how they are able to produce an amazing show WEEKLY!?  They are so passionate about Burlesque. They are really great friends and mentors to most everyone is our community- and its a pretty big community. I don’t know what we are going to do without them..

Burgundy Brixx and The Purrfessor’s work permit renewals have been denied and they have been asked to leave Canada by December 2nd.

If you enjoy Kitty Nights, the burlesque scene, and everything fun that they’ve been bringing you every Sunday night, PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO SIGN THIS PETITION NOW:http://www.gopetition.com/petition/40811.html to help keep Burgundy Brixx and The Purrrfessor here in Canada so they can continue their devoted work making “no-fun city” as fun, vibrant and artistic as possible by bringing you shows like Kitty Nights and helping performers all over the city in their quest to be working artists by providing ongoing paid work opportunities for them. We are hoping to persuade MP Libby Davies to provide us with an MP intervention in the government’s request.

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Burlesque The Movie Does Not Represent Burlesque to Me

Posted on November 9th, 2010

How I Feel About The New "Burlesque" Movie-BLAAAAHHH

“The funny thing about this burlesque in the movie is they sort of reinvented it in a way that Europe already knows it. Americans kind of associate burlesque with stripping, which is not what it is at all. Burlesque is actually sort of a funny, wonderful, playful tease.”

-Kristen Bell, star of the upcoming “Burlesque” movie-

That movie. We all know what one I’m talking about. Don’t we? Oohh yes we do. That “Burlesque” movie. With Cher. And Christina Aguilera. That one. Ugh. I’ve rewrote this several times and its so hard to get into it without ranting.  I think the best way I’ve heard it put as to why exactly the whole thing is so unsettling was from Madame Mae I, a wonderful Vancouver performer and producer. In her feedback on one of the first rants I had written, she wrote to me about how she felt:

with all the variety in the world of true burlesque – in shapes, sizes, personalities, styles, music preferences, presentations, use of props, senses of humor, etc – the most offensive part of it all is that this movie is claiming to define what Burlesque is without making any reference to all that they have left out. “

THAT IS EXACTLY IT!!! This combined with the very obvious intentions of selling the movie to the same target market of thirteen year old girls who buy Christina Aguilera and Pussycat Doll CDs is leaving a very icky taste in my mouth.

From what I can tell, the feeling in the community is one of distrust, apprehension, and general outrage. Pretty sure no one is happy about this. Being misrepresented on such a large scale is pretty frightening. So what do we do!?

As the release date approaches, I’m FINALLY seeing some dialogue about this. First step, lets keep that coming! If we don’t say something about it, how is anyone going to know we don’t want to be identified by a glorified music video.

Secondly, lets look at this as an opportunity to draw some attention to ourselves! Hello coat-tails!!! Now I’ve thought about this. My first ideas were abit too, erhm revolutionary. I basically wanted signs and pasties at every premiere and probably Steve Antin’s head on a pike. Oh April. So Lord of the Flies. I’ve since rescinded into thinking there must be an easier and better way. Stay with me here… but what about Facebook? We’re all on there, and we’re all on there all day, every day. If the global community and all our supporters were to band together- the media takes note when 100000 people do anything. That includes joining a group on a social networking site. I’m obviously up for any other suggestions. If anyone can think of any other Wacky Publicity Stunts to get our opinion any exposure without coming across as the bad guys, please, please please- Suggest it, Dialogue it, Do it! I know I have been waiting for someone to say or do something. I don’t know if people just don’t know want to do or if we just don’t want Cher to be mad at us- but I think its important to stand up for what we believe in.

If Burlesque the movie does not represent Burlesque to you, please join my Facebook group and voice your concerns and disappointment.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_163698530330190&ap=1

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