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...

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