Thursday, July 2, 2015

Dying On the Inside

"But you know that when the truth is told, that you can get what you want or you can just get old" -Billy Joel: Vienna

Ok, I realize that song is about not rushing through life but, out of context, those words really resonate with me.

It's happening this year. I'm turning 30. I'll officially be dead in ballerina years, not that being one was ever in the cards for me. And while that isn't anything to be ashamed of, sometimes I wonder what if I've squandered my youth working too much. If you know me personally, you'd know that I work A LOT. Usually everyday, sometimes 17 hour days. It's almost an obsession. I work, work, work and save, save, save but I really have no end goal, no game plan. If I was working towards getting a house or my dream car, to take care of my family, it'd make perfect sense. That's really not the case. I'm by no means rich but I won't starve any time soon either. I've come to the conclusion that I work too much and I do nothing for myself ever. That's a half truth. I sometimes perform in musical theater shows, which are very fun, but still a lot of hard work.

Anyway, in the spirit of being young, I'm going on an adventure. I'm saying "Say┼Źnara, Florida" and peacing the fuck out of here for the Summer. I'm taking a sabbatical. Seven weeks off from work, stress, and responsibilities. And for no reason other than to live my life.

So where am I headed, you ask? Like that's even a question I'd dignify with an answer.

1. Find an apartment
2. Cash in those JetBlue points
3. Sign up for something fun
4. Pray not to get fired.

And the good news is... DRUM ROLL PLEASE.... Everything worked out. Seems like for the first time in forever, things are going according to plan. Life has funny ways of fucking me every one in a while so I never fully let my guard down. But for now all is good and we're going with it.

1. Found an awesome subletter in Brooklyn.
2. JetBlue is the greatest airline ever. I highly suggest signing up for their American Express card. If you're financially responsible, obviously.
3. Registration for Coney Island Burlesque Masterclass is under way
4. My job was amazingly understanding with my One/Third-life crisis. (That's a thing, right? Like a mid-life crisis. Get it? Yeah, ok).

So, with all that off my chest....

Greetings from New York City!

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Fresh Start

In the beginning of last year, I was determined to really kick off my burlesque career come Hell or high water. I started the year guns blazing. I entered burlesque competitions and did  really well. I went to "Florida Burlesque Society" meetings soaking up every bit of information and advice up like a sponge. I started building costumes and props for future performances. I started a blog and signed up for every social media site with the mind set that I'd get myself out there no matter what!
   Then what always seems to happen, happened. I get busy, I lose focus, things get in my way and, as usual, I lose my fire. Don't get me wrong, the passion is still there, the flame is just a bit dimmer.

   A lot happened in 2012. Good, bad and ugly. Maybe more like good, sad and ugly.

The Good <3
2012 started the way most years begin, with a goals list that could reach the moon. And I was motivated. My first order of business was going to be an amateur competition at a local lounge. I picked a song I loved, I put together a costumes, rehearsed my routine, contacted loads of friends to make sure they'd be there cheering me on, and did it. Best part? I won. I had a confidence that buzzed like a thousand little worker bees. I was so proud of myself, the work I had put into taking care of my body, and just having the gusto to go out and do it. I had done "burlesque" (I'm putting that in quotations so you can imagine me using finger quotes) before but this was a new burlesque.

Going off topic (but feel free to skip the next paragraph and come back later if you prefer sticking to the script), my old troupe and I often laugh about how bad our acts were back in the day. I always say we were just a glorified jazz team. And the last thing we were, were strippers. Sure, we'd take off clothes, but under that clothes was dance tights, then our fishnets, 2 pairs of panties, our bras and corsets. And while that is still sexy, it was a lot of clothing to end up in by burlesque standards. We each had our reasons for not baring it all for our audiences. The group reason was we worked with kids. My personal reason was a raging insecurity. As much as I had always dreamed of being a glamor gal, Burly-Q queen like the ladies of the past, I was not confident in my own skin. I'm still not. But back then it was much worse. I hated my body. Still do. And though I've always been a dancer, I've always been slightly over-weight (at least in the dance world). Not by much but just enough to hate yourself when dancing next to taller, thinner girls with legs for days. I think all dancers hate their bodies. Between the full length mirrors and the fluorescent lighting, there's no way to love yourself in pink tights and a skin tight leotard.

Alright, sorry, back on subject... After that smaller competition, I entered a National burlesque competition in Tampa, Fl. Ok, it wasn't exactly "national" in the Miss Viva Las Vegas/BHOF scale, just in the anyone in the U.S. can enter kind of way. Many of the girls were more local but performers did come out from Texas, California, and so on. That time around I came in 2nd. Not too shabby considering some people had to take a plane to get there. Best part about that one? My whole family was there. Yes, it's a little weird stripping for your mother, grandmother, cousins, etc., so thank god we're the artsy type.

The year also brought a new job in the hospitality industry. The good thing about working at a resort? The perks! My first vacation in over 6 years. Yes, I paid for everything but thanks to special rates I said "fuck it, let's go!" And by "let's" I mean just myself. I took my happy, adventurous, single, sassy self to my favorite city in the world, New York. Cue Frank Sinatra. I had an amazing time. I auditioned for shows (which I didn't get into), caught a burlesque show, watched Newsies on Broadway, saw an old friend and learned that I'm ok being on my own.

Upon my return, I learned that my grandmother was very sick and in the hospital. I went to visit her and all she talked about was how proud of me she was for going to NYC alone. With a crazy mom who called me possibly 500 times while I was there, my grandmother wasn't worried. She knew if anyone would be ok, it'd be me. This is when we move on to...

 The Sad:
A few days after I returned from vacation and 13 days before my birthday, my grandmother passed away. She was a spunky woman and I take after her a lot. She was always proud of me. Even after the Tampa burlesque show, she told me with tears in her eyes how beautiful I looked and how great it was that I was doing burlesque. She even got a little catty and told me the other girl didn't deserve to come in first. She said she had always wanted to do stuff like that when she was growing up. And I believe it. She was never shy in a crowd and loved to flirt.

She wasn't the first loss of the year. And while the loss of a grandmother in no way compares to the loss of a pet, but it's a loss nonetheless. My adorable little doggy, Galinda, too had been sick. She needed an emergency surgery which forced me to sign up for some carecredit card thing in order to afford her hospital visit. The worst part? She died 2 weeks after I spent a couple grand trying to fix her up. Oh, and the irony? I'm still paying off her hospital bills.

The year closed out with one more loss. My grandfather (not related to the grandma who died) passed away. Nice, huh? And on New Year's Eve. Cue Frank Sinatra (No, not that one. "That's Life" is my ultimate sad time song. Ask my brother, if it's on loop, it means trouble)

The Ugly:
While I'd like to keep a lot of the ugly to myself, I'll touch on the most important and that's the loss of my spirit. Which is the main reason I'm writing in the first place. It's hard to lose hope. It's depressing when harsh realities set in and you realize you've failed. And not only that you've failed but that some things probably aren't in your cards. I'll elaborate more on this later. I promise. I am and have been in a really dark place for some time now. And while I know it won't always be bad, I don't want to hear "there's always a reason" or whatever crappy positive advice people want to spew at me. I am, however, grateful for the wonderful friends I have that support me through my crazy.

 There were other good, sad, and ugly moments but I touched on the most significant.
So here we are, a year after I launched my original blog, and I don't have much to show for it. I feel as though I have failed. I don't actually know where I'm going with all of this. I guess that just makes me lost in more than one sense of the word. I reached out to a performer who I look up to recently asking what I can do to regain my confidence. It's funny, I asked her not to share that I asked for help but here I am pouring my heart and soul out for the world (or my 5 readers) anyway. When I figure things out, I'll keep you posted. I guess this is my declaration to start from scratch and do whatever it takes to succeed. We'll see how that turns out. But for now, I'm sleepy and delusional. Goodnight, dolls. Thanks for reading.

xoxo, Trixie 

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Little of Everything

I'm such a bad Blogstress. Again, busy = forgetting to post. So a few things I'd like to talk about this week since I've been meaning to catch up. Don't mind if I'm all over the place.

First things first... The Florida Burlesque Society. It's the brainchild of Vita DeVoid, the Queen Mother of the VaudeVillains Burlesque Co. And what a brilliant child it is. Essentially it's a collection of Burlesque performers, go-go dancers and Vaudeville acts brought together to discuss everything from marketing, networking, styling, performance art, bookings, and even a way for show directors to post paid gigs and auditions.
Their Mission Statement: To bring together a strong, tight community of talent!

I went to the first Orlando meeting and soaked up everything like a sponge. I'd share what I learned but, hey, that's what the meetings are for. There was something for everyone to learn, no matter how long you've been in or how new you were to the business.

That same night I went to a burlesque show and got to hang out with girls who I have been watching perform for years but didn't really know. It was nice getting one on one insight into the business.

I find the idea of this Florida Burlesque Society so inspiring. I say this because often there is such an animosity among performers in the same field. Especially when it involves a large group of women. It's so refreshing to see so many people coming together to help each other out.

Moving on... I have to say that I'm really annoyed about something. And that something is irresponsibility. I hate when people don't follow through with things or at the very, very least, communicate the issues.

THE STORY. Not too long ago I was going to audition for a burlesque group. The notice had been posted on our beloved Facebook for a while. I had slaved for a few weeks creating a new routine, making my costume and props, editing my music and practicing my choreography. When the day came, the manager from my "real people job" called and asked if I wanted the day off. I needed to work but figured they already had enough employees that day so I might as well stay home and prepare some more. I checked the posting frequently to make sure nothing had changed.

Finally the time had come. I left my house, drove an hour in I-4 traffic (the 5 o'clock kind) and still managed to get there a little early. I hate being late. I get into the audition space and the owner looks at me like I'm lost. Apparently, it was canceled. Um, hello? Why wasn't this communicated to those who had confirmed their attendance. Not only did I waste an hour of my life driving there for nothing, I had to waste an hour driving back. Not to mention gas and mileage. AND more importantly, good makeup, hairspray and glitter. These things don't come cheap, people. All in all, the day and the experience was a total loss. I missed out on making money at work only to waste even more resources for a bum audition. Let's just say I was not a happy camper.

Last order of business... MAY-HEM!!! On more than one occasion, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned how much I love conventions. Spooky Empire in October is my absolute favorite and it's baby sister, May-hem, takes place in May. Get it? May-hem. Yeah.

As usual, I had so much fun. Met celebrities, shopped, people watched (and judged), and had an overall great time with my best friends. Best part about it was meeting some of the original Addams Family members. Not sure if I've mentioned it, but I'm a HUGE Addams Family fan. All versions of it: TV show, movies (my fave), the Broadway musical, cartoon strip, etc. That Saturday, I put on my Wednesday costume, paid an obscene amount of money, and took a photograph with John Astin, Lisa Loring and Felix Silla. Eventually I'll put the picture up here. Till then... 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

City Beautiful

Hello my darlings! First off I'd like to apologize to my four readers out there for being a terrible blogger. I get so busy I forget to post. Anyway, since 3 weeks ago I mentioned the New York shows I had researched, I figured this time around I'd mention the ones in my very own home town: Orlando, Florida. Some of these revues I've seen, some I've been in, and others I've seen a few of their performers at other venues.

The Stardust hosts 2 main shows. Their Amateur Burlesque takes place the first Wednesday of the month. Each month a new dancer is crowned (figuratively) and in November, all the performers compete again for the title of Amateur Winner of the Year.
Peek-A-Boo, the third Wednesday of the month, is the Stardust's main revue. Hosted by the sassy and also raunchy Baby Blue, this show has a variety of fantastic performers ranging from classic style burlesques to more modern style acts.

Stardust Orlando

A few Saturdays ago I finally checked out the Big Bang Boom! Cabaret. I enjoyed that their show had an overall theme (I'm a total theme junkie if you couldn't already tell from my Doll Dizzy photos). Each month, the group picks a concept and the whole show revolves around it. The show I just saw was Burlesqueland (a play off Disneyland) which seemed appropriate being that I'm talking about Orlando. This troupe performs the last Saturday of the month at Taste Restaurant. The show was a neo burlesque style and a collaboration of a few dancers from different groups and their main girl, Gams Dee Vyne.

Big Bang Boom Cabaret on Facebook

The Kittens have 2 regular shows, First Fridays at Caboose and the 3rd Saturday at Bombshells. They are also about to launch a monthly dinner theater show at Bombshells. Great idea right? They're all about is burlesque in its most classic form. Dancers Daisy Day and Lexi Katt make up this dynamic duo. I've never seen Miss Daisy in action but when I spoke to her she said they pulled from "50s American museum." I've seen Lexi perform at several events around Orlando (including Big Bang Boom) and she they definitely keep it old school.

Kitschy Kittens on Facebook

I don't know anything about Skill Focus except that they're Florida's only Nerdy Burlesque. They also just performed at Fringe and are preparing for a big show at Star Wars Celebration.

Skill Focus Burlesque

I'm sure there are a few more I can post about (and will update later) but I'm running out of interwebs time so this is good for now. Enjoy. And hopefully I'll be seeing you around town.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

The City That Never Sleeps

On top of being a freak for all things vintage and anything creepy, you may or may not know that I'm a huge musical theater nerd. I love watching and performing in plays and even have planned to set my next few routines to show tunes (sexier ones of course). Because of this love, I think that I want to take a trip this summer to the center of the theater world: New York City! During my vacation I'm planning on watching some Broadway shows, checking out some of my favorite comedians and going to see some burlesque revues.

Since this is a pin up and burlesque blog and I'm sure you don't want to hear about how badly I want to see Disney's Newsies on stage, I've done some research about several burlesque shows in NYC. I haven't been to New York since before I would have even been allowed to see one of these Burly-Q shows, so I'm going solely on my internet explorations.  

First up is LE SCANDAL!
I love anything side show related so this revue seems right up my alley. It's New York's longest running burlesque variety show and runs every Saturday night. The cabaret features live music, comedians, jugglers, dancers, contortionists and an array of fun variety acts.

Next in line is the WASABASSCO BURLESQUE.
According to their website they're "the greatest burlesque show in the world." I've never seen it for myself to confirm but it does appear to be full of promising and notable performers. Wasabassco has a weekly show at a set location as well as various shows around the city throughout the month.

If you love burlesque and/or are interested in being a performer, you've probably heard of Jo Weldon, author of "The Burlesque Handbook" and Headmistress at The New York School of Burlesque. Every Friday and Saturday, Jo and other NYSB instructors strut their stuff in Duane Park's classic, glamorous burlesque dinner show. They didn't have a commercial type video but here is burlesque dancer Tansy performing at Duane Park.

Here's just a few more sites you can check out of shows around the city.

Starshine Burlesque

Nurse Bettie

Rhinestone Follies

Sugar Shack Burlesque

Red Hots Burlesque

Sweet & Nasty Burlesque

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pinup Burlesque Fest/ Happy Easter!

I'm a few weeks behind on blogging but I have been busy, busy, busy....

As I had mentioned a few weeks earlier, Pin Up America was hosting their 1st Annual Pin Up Burlesque Fest in Ybor City. It was a 3 day event all about rockabilly, classic cars, tattoos and of course pinups and burlesque. It was held at the Cuban Club and I really loved the venue. It was the cutest little old school theater. The first day was pin up pageant which my darling little cousin, Alexis von Rump, entered. I signed on as her assistant which was more fun than I would have imagined. I honestly expected some crazy "Toddlers and Tiaras" moments full of freak outs and bitchy banter but, for the most part, all of the girls were really nice. The majority of the ladies competing had never done anything like that before and conducted themselves with so much class. There were 4 categories: casual, talent, swimsuit and evening. The contestants could fashion their outfits after any pre-eighties era. The 40s and 50s remained the most popular throughout the competition  but I do want to mention that Alexis looks pretty stunning in her 1920's style evening gown. I'm so proud of her. She didn't place but she won in my eyes. All of her looks were fabulous, her talent was adorable and she was definitely one of the most well spoken/ confident girls there.
Alexis von Rump in her casual outfit (Gian-Foo-tography
The contestants in their swimwear with pageant host Judy Pop (Sean Neumayer Photography)
Alexis von Rump in her evening gown (Gian-Foo-tography

Now I know you can't have a reality show without drama so I'll take off my Miss Universe filter for a moment to say that some of those girls shouldn't have been there. I don't really enjoy being a jerk, so let's say my critiques are coming from from a professional stand point. I love the art form, have been performing all of my life and have been a dance teacher so I know how to give a solid evaluation. First off, I'll give any girl her props for just having the confidence to go out there and do it but seriously? It's the little things that count. Stand up straight. Look at the audience or who's talking to you. Speak up. These things should be a given, even if you're nervous. And as for talent, it's all about presentation. No matter what you do: SELL IT! Even if you have a quirky skill that may not fall into one of those main categories (singing, dancing, etc.) you need to have a personality. And on that note, if you don't have the talent, at least stick to the theme of the event. Okay, catty girl hat off, Miss Universal smile back on...

Wait. Does that make me seem insincere? It shouldn't. I'm a really nice girl I just have strong opinions sometimes. Oops.

Now on to my favorite day! I had such a blast competing in Saturday's burlesque competition.
I have to say that I'm in love with all of the performers I got to share a stage with. In situations like these, speaking from experience, I'd expect performers to be jealous of each other and not try too hard to hide it. Everyone was extremely professional and very welcoming of each other. And I am being totally sincere. Everyone was so much fun to talk to backstage and fun to watch on stage. I spent the majority of my day chatting up a storm with The Lady Satine from New Orleans.

The competition went great but definitely had its bumps. I guess that's the nature of burlesque. One girl had trouble with her dress and had to pop the zipper, one couldn't get her boobie to light on fire, and I almost flashed the audience my hoo-hah when I couldn't separate my real panties from the ones I was supposed to strip off. My large prop was also too far downstage so I had to change up my choreography when I realized I didn't have enough room for what I had planned. But that's my life on stages. Something is always going wrong. Overall I came in 2nd Place. I think I should have won 1st because my routine was adorable and extremely entertaining. And I'm not trying to be arrogant, but let's be honest, you don't enter a competition hoping to place 2nd. So I stand by what I say. The girl who did win first, however, did a good job. Her name was Iris and she flew in all the way from Texas. She did the same routine she submitted on the website if you want to check it out. Reigning in 3rd was my new buddy for the day, The Lady Satine.

Anyway, it was a great experience. Although I didn't win (yes, in my brain 2nd doesn't count) I enjoyed the time that I spent at the Fest. I also loved that after the show a lot of audience members and even some of the judges let me know that I was their favorite performer. It felt good to know that I made an impact on some people there. I worked hard on my routine and costume (as I'm sure everyone had) and loved that it was appreciated. I'll add more photos as soon as I can get a hold of some.

For more photos from the Fest check out:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Doll Dizzy Flashback

A few weeks back I was reminiscing with a girlfriend of mine about how much fun it was to be in a burlesque troupe. Every month we would perform at an event called Doll Dizzy. Our specialty was frantically trying to put together six dance numbers in one week. We would have choreographed/ costumed our routines earlier but we all worked full time while teaching dance at the same studio part time. I guess that meant that we burlesqued part part time? The best part of the whole experience was sharing it with a group of women I truly respected as artist and friends. Our name was Les Femmes Rouge (The Scarlet Women). After a while we realized our name was too difficult for people to look up. Lesson learned. Anyway, I found some cute photos from our old Doll Dizzy performances to share. 

 "I Want Candy"
 "Sara Lee"
 "Ice Cream Man"
"Working 9 to 5"  
 "The Riveter"
 "The Painter"
"The Brothel"  
"Monster Mash" 
Unfortunately I don't have pictures from all of our performances but I do have this one from my very first burlesque dance. Can you tell which crime fighting detective I'm playing?