Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why you don't buy a GPS from Tony Soprano...

Picture, if you will, an innocent night out. An unfamiliar location. A GPS, gone....MAD! This is the chilling true story of The GPS That Tried to Kill Them. Or tried to kill two people. That were we. Or us. Crap, now I've forgotten both which person I'm writing in and proper grammar, apparently. Great. Hey, I went to public school when George W. Bush was governor of Texas. It's a fucking miracle I can write or speak at all. Anyway....

After a rousing night of watching hot chicks in fishnets try to kill each other (i.e Roller Derby), we were on our way to a bar for a couple of drinks. I guess I should have specified that the hot chick were on skates. That would have made the "i.e. Roller Derby" more obvious. As it's written I could have been talking about Foxy Boxing. Which also would have been awesome. But I digress, as I am wont to do...(this one time...No!) So we're in Sellwood. Which is not an area I'm that familiar with. So we take out our trusty GPS and plug in the address. We're driving along, chatting, having some laughs when I realize that we have followed the GPS into a, shall we say deserted, area. By a river. Near some woods. What next? Is the GPS going to tell us to get out of the car? Maybe walk a little further into the woods? It will make us feel safe and comfortable. Maybe offer us a drink, ask how the family is. Then accuse us of squealing to the Feds! No, no we'll protest! You've got the wrong guy (and girl)! It was Jimmy the Snitch that talked, I swear!

GPS: Make a right in 25 feet.

Me: Where? Into the woods? Ok, whatever...

GPS: Exit the car. Take GPS receiver with you.

Me: Wow. This better be a great bar. I don't even see a parking lot.
(walking through woods. dark, dark woods.)

GPS: Did you really think you could get away with it?

Me: What? Huh?

GPS: You shoulda known better than to rat on me!

Me: Well shit. I knew we shouldn't have bought this from that mobster. Fell of the back of a truck my ass! This is why you get a warranty!

Of course the GPS didn't really kill us. We got to it first....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Burlesque and the art of LOOK AT ME!

I am in LOVE with my Burlesque class! The kind of love that frolics with unicorns in fields of flowers under perfect blue skies. Yes, that kind of love. Let me re-cap the two classes I've had so far... We have four amazing instructors and 10 (including yours truly) eager students. We spend a lot of the first class talking about the history of burlesque and just getting to know one another. We talk about how we decided to leap off of this particular bridge and a little about what we hope to gain from this experience. (world wide fame and adoration)
The students are mostly in that 25-35 year old range, normal Portland gals, different body types, different backgrounds...and then one somewhat older woman. She seems nice enough, kind of has that earth goddess, granola, patchouli vibe goin' on. She's talking about how, in her search for a creative outlet, she recently "came out as a clown". Um. Ok. Do clowns "come out"? Out of where? I really hope not a closet. Cuz' that's pretty disturbing scary fucking terrifying creepy. Maybe they come out of a clown car...

In class two we talk about the theatrics of burlesque. It's not all about shakin' your tail feathers, there's a lot of acting going on. We practice conveying different emotions and personalities using body language. Seductive vs. innocent. Flirty vs. cold-hearted. The way you walk, the way you make eye contact or don't, the way you set your arms, shoulders, hips. All of this can change the mood of a routine. This is the first time we're having to really DO anything in front of the class. Right away I'm noticing how almost everyone gets super shy and embarrassed all of a sudden.
(not me, I love an audience)
Our Drama Queen instructor, Sadie, sits us all down for a Drama Mama chat. Her point is that everyone has issues that come up in these classes. Body, self-esteem, shyness, the list goes on. Getting past all of those things is part of the reason people are here. She also makes a good point about how so many women grow up with all of that "seen and not heard" bullshit. It's time to stand up and shout "I deserve your attention!" All of these are good, valid, pertinent points. Personally though, I have no idea what she's talking about.  That's not entirely true perhaps, but I mean, come on, I'm a Leo and an only child for cryin' out loud. I was BORN an attention whore. If anything I have to constantly remind myself it's not always about me. It should be though. What? I'm NOT the center of the universe?
I have body issues and insecurities. I still get nervous before karaoke. But I love that spotlight way more than I'm scared of it. And I don't embarrass all that easily. I think that has something to do with the fact that I do potentially embarrassing things pretty much on a regular basis. You make a fool out of yourself enough times and I think you get desensitized or something...

Our next class is hair and make-up. So stoked for that one! I went out and bought a pair of super glam false eye-lashes. I'm just glad I'll be trying them for the first time under professional supervision. It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So I'm taking my clothes off....in public

The glare from the stage lights. The sparkle of rhinestones. The hush that comes over the crowd as the music starts. The bump. The grind. This is burlesque, and this is fucking awesome. I have always had an obsession a fascination with retro style. (Come on, who isn't turned on by Dita Von Teese) The elaborate hair, the swoopy eyeliner, the seamed stockings. And all the pretty, pretty, PRETTY underthings. Those of you who know me are aware that I don't put too much effort in to my appearance. It's not that I don't like to get dressed up, but I don't wear heels and I don't even own mascara. But I wish I did. So here I am on a Saturday night. Sitting in a packed auditorium watching a parade of gorgeous women take their clothes off. It's like a Vargas gallery come to life. And I love it. I wish I looked like all of these women. Confident, graceful, bedazzeled within an inch of their lives. I want to do that. So I'm gonna.
(Pause for shocked gasps)

Starting this Thursday (as in tomorrow, eep!) I will be attending a six-week course at the Rose City School of Burlesque. Topics include the history of burlesque, creating a burlesque persona and various acts, music, hair and make-up (thank god), and dance. Then at the end of the class we all take our new found sexy skills and have a performance. In. Public. Well, the public of our friends and whoever we want to invite. But still. Public.

I said before that I felt 2010 was going to be a good year. Part of that, for me, includes a certain amount of re-invention in my life. Yeah, yeah there's the old stand-by of lose weight, eat better, but I want more than just that. I want to do something that I've never done, but always wanted to. Something that scares the shit out of me, but is so unbelievably exciting as well. Something that allows me to buy corsets off of Ebay like a mad woman.

So tune in faithful readers for a running account of how to be a burlesque beauty. Look forward to intense discourses on proper corset fitting. A treatise on pasties, perhaps. A composition on false eyelashes. An ode to the stocking.
At the very least, I'll finally learn how to walk in heels.

And now for your viewing pleasure, a video of the wonderful Holly Dai who started the Rose City School of Burlesque and is one of the instructors. The red-head announcing her is Sadie LeGuerre, also a well-known performer and instructor.