Saturday, August 24, 2013

Maus box

I've been reading some articles lately about shitty burlesque, and class wars in burlesque, and what you should be doing in burlesque. I'll be honest, I couldn't get through the entire article about class wars in burlesque. I have a very short internet attention span. These articles have got me thinking. Yikes! I should be gluing rhinestones to things, not thinking! But here I am, thinking. These articles say so many things. Don't work out your body image issues on stage. Work it out onstage! That's what burlesque is for! You don't need to be trained in dance or drama to be on stage. You absolutely must be trained in dance or drama to be onstage. It leaves me wondering what to think. When I get down to the meat and potatoes of it, I just want to be entertained. I mean, really. I've been saying this a lot in the last few days. It's burlesque, nobody is gonna die. I don't mean to dismiss anyone's feelings about burlesque or their performances. But why did we get into this in the first place? And why do people pay to see the shows? I don't care if you are working out your body issues on stage, or you've never danced a day in your life. ENTERTAIN ME. Connect with me. Show me that you care about me, the audience member, because ultimately I'm selfish and I want you to perform for me, not for yourself. Even if you are, which I am, when I'm performing. But a big part of my performances are connecting with the audience. I hope, I've never been in the audience while I'm performing. Heh. While I'm on this thought train, lets talk about body issues. Just a little. I only have a little something to say about it. We all see these memes on Facebook about how much you should like thick women, or curvy women, and we see these photos of women who are not the "norm." They are basically the same picture. Just larger or smaller. Big hips, small waists, big boobs. Of COURSE we love women who look like that. Why can't we post the pictures of women with small boobs, small waists and big hips? Or women with big boobs, no waists and stomachs that aren't flat? To me, these photos are saying love your hourglass figure! That's ok! It doesn't matter how big your hourglass figure is, as long as it's hourglass. I also recently saw that plus size pin up thing that was going around. Did anyone else notice that almost none of those photos were in an actual pin up pose? The model was posed in funny ways, like chasing chickens, or fishing, or chasing her papers that had blown away in the wind, making her look like she was stupid. It's ok to be fat, as long as you're funny. I'm not overweight, and I'm also sensitive, so I probably have no right to talk about this. (Actually, according to the medical definition of obesity, I am overweight. So there.) So I'm just saying, go ahead, work out your body issues onstage. Start doing burlesque despite the fact that you've never taken a dance or drama class in your life. Just entertain me. That's all I want. If you feel differently than me, that's great. One of the beautiful things about the human race is we all feel differently about things. Your opinion is correct, but so is mine. I love you all no matter what! So that's that, I'll step off my Maus box and get back to gluing rhinestones on things. Love and Cheese Danger Maus

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Yes, there is burlesque in Alaska. Along with most other things. Not ALL other things. Just like those other things, burlesque is more difficult in Alaska. I wrote about this in a previous post, that everything we are today, we've earned. We pretty much taught ourselves everything we know. When we started in 2005, we tried searching for burlesque on the internet, and we came up with some scanned newspaper articles and one poster for Tease-O-Rama. We also had some old Betty Page and Tempest Storm VHS videos. So we made it up as we went along. And it was HARD! It took me awhile to realize that underwear isn't a costume. (GASP!) Unfortunately, to get the stuff I wanted to put on a costume, I had to look at our very limited craft and fabric stores and look online. We all know that online shopping, while fun, isn't the best way to buy fringe. Sometimes it's the cheap stuff that wrinkles easily and doesn't move as well, and other times it's the good stuff. Sometimes you order it from one place and it's great, so you buy it again and it's not. Or different colors are different weights. And to add insult to injury, you have to pay double to get it up here, because it's not in the continental US. Or they won't even ship it up here, which you don't find out until you have it all in the cart to check out, and after you put in your shipping address it says the company doesn't ship to AK. Hawaii, are you feelin' me? However, in Hawaii, you don't have to keep your snow boots in the car so you don't break your ass by walking on ice in your heels. Canada, are you feelin' me? So when you see our costumes, know that not only have we worked long and hard to sew them, but we have worked long and hard to find the supplies. Add that to rehearsal time, and you've got yourself a full time job. Not only do we work hard to find costuming supplies, we have worked hard to get ourselves out of the state to experience what burlesque is like out there. It costs a good $500 to do that, but it's worth it. I wish we could host more out of town performers, but when people see the prices of plane tickets, it's pretty daunting. But it's worth it. Don't mind my bitching. Living in Alaska is a choice I made and intend to stick with. Along with the difficulties, there are many more good things that balance it out. Like no traffic. I can drive 20 minutes in any direction, park the car and go for a walk completely alone. If I go out on a weekday, I can successfully not have to talk to anyone. I look out my bedroom window and see only trees, not neighbors or cars, and I live in the middle of Anchorage. I get 19 hours of light during the summer and 19 hours of darkness in winter. I love both. I can drive 2 hours and get world class skiing. I get to perform in front of some of the most wonderful and appreciative audiences. Not only do we not have mainstream craft/fabric stores, we also don't get mainstream entertainment. That being said, when we do get entertainment, our patrons are incredibly supportive and welcoming! I recently read an article about things to expect at a concert (burlesque show) in Alaska. The beard clubs and the shared marijuana are a given. But everyone is just so excited to be there enjoying themselves, that no matter what everyone has a good time. I love that. So yes, living in Alaska is a choice, but one I will never regret.