Friday night was my second burlesque performance. TL; DR – IT WAS AWESOME.
It started last weekend when I signed up for a workshop at Studio L’amour to learn a routine to (a shortened version of) Thriller. Funnily (to me at least), I’ve performed to Thriller before, in high school on the dance team. This routine was a little bit different. There was a lot more shimmying and a lot less clothing. And my parents weren’t invited to the performance (maybe next time).
The workshop was an hour and a half, during which we learned all of the choreography and ran through it a few times. We were given the choice of performing at Wiggle Room on October 24 and/or 31. Since we already have Halloween plans, I opted for the 24th. We had a second rehearsal (in, er, costume) this past Tuesday. And that was it. Which is a bit quick for learning a number that will be performed in public. So I practiced a lot at home. Tested out my pasties to make sure they would stay in place. (I bought two pairs off of Etsy and the pair from this shop, uh, fit me better. Also, I discovered eyelash glue will keep them in place … makes sense that it would.)
Our call time was 8pm (show started at 10pm) so we could run through the routine a few times, including a couple times on stage. We were performing in the Everleigh Social Club (link probably NSFW), which is an intimate space, meaning the stage is just big enough, and the audience starts literally where the stage ends. Hello, new friends. What do you think of all my glute stengthening?
Our number was the final one in the show, so given the 8pm call time, and the 10pm show time … we had some time to kill back stage (in Studio L’amour, which shares and front and back hallway with the Everleigh Club). Luckily, the studio is a nice space. I was starting to get a little stir crazy though.
My fellow zombie friends. We opted not to go for “scary zombies” with our make-up.
Selfie with waxy Michelle L’amour. (You can see some of the zombie cheesecloth we wore for the first half of our number.)
We were able to hang out and watch the show if we wanted to, but the Everleigh Club was getting a bit warm with all of the audience members and performers. I have a history of fainting, and I know what can set it off. I was worried that I wouldn’t react well to hanging out in a hot room for an hour and a half before performing, so I spent most of the show in the studio where it was much cooler (and I could sit down, touch up my make-up, or we could run through the routine a few more times).
When it was time to head over for our number, I was still a little bit nervous about the heat. I figured this routine includes a lot of crawling on stage (we’re supposed to be zombies), so worst case scenario, if I felt faint, I could crawl off stage, yes?
However … as soon as I got on stage, my nerves were gone. I WAS PERFORMING! It was like I flipped a switch. Nerves were replaced with pure excitement and it was so. much. fun. I had no costume snafus, and I didn’t mess up any moves. I know I can still work on my face, but as long as I looked good from the neck down, I was happy. And with the way we were staged, I was pretty close to “Michael Jackson” (aka Michelle L’amour – pic from a previous show) and her famous Ass that Goes Pow (NSFW). Not many people can get that close to it. It was an honor.
Anywho, after being kind of cooped up backstage for over 3 hours to perform for 3 minutes … and feel like it went really well … I was all keyed up after! I got dressed (threw a dress and boots on over my “costume”), found my husband and friends, and was ready to bounce off the walls. They weren’t, and I was also pretty hungry (didn’t eat much before the show to keep my stomach settled and not feel bloated), so we grabbed a bite, had some good conversation, and called it a night.
Hopefully after the holidays, regular burlesque classes will work for our budget and I can get back to the glittery bump and grind.