What to wear? What to wear?!

So all I’ve been talking about lately is this trip to Canada to perform. I was really excited about the costume I asked my friend to make for me. She makes amazing dance wear and designs for a lot of go-go dancers. Her costumes are amazing because they move with your body like they’re part of your skin. I usually only ask her to make costumes for me for special, big events so I hit her up for this. She said she would do it a couple of weeks ago and then Saturday night she texted me and said she didn’t have time to do it.

I panicked. Part of the thing that I feel makes my performances so special is my crazy costumes. I usually design what I’m going to wear and have someone make it for me if I can’t do it myself (the hot glue gun is my best friend).

And for a brief moment, I cursed myself, said, “Well, this is all your fault because you don’t sew. Why in the hell  don’t I sew, anyway?” This question was followed by flashbacks of all the awful catastrophes I faced in sewing class and the voice of my ugly, mean, conservative, sewing  teacher telling me I would never be able to sew, my poor sewing machine that kept breaking because I sewed with a heavy foot,. getting tangled up in a measuring tape with numbers bobbing around in my head. Sewing is not my thing, although these days, with all the bookings I have, I’m starting to think I should try to make it my thing again…but that’s a tangent for another day.

So I put a shout out on Facebook beseeching all my friends in the tri-state area that could help me out to please come forward and help me find something to wear so I wouldn’t have to show up in a fugly costume. The problem with costumes for fire shows is that they should mostly be made out of cotton. Sure, I’ve tempted fate in the past by wearing things that weren’t as safe as they should be (and some downright dangerous and stupid stuff on the most daring of occasions). For the most part, however, I try to wear fabrics that are no less than 90% cotton when handling fire because I had a close call years ago when I had a pair of pants go up on me in a flash (that were labeled as cotton but weren’t) and luckily, I had jeans on underneath them. If I had not, I probably would have been burnt very badly but I was completely uharmed thanks to the jeans, which were made from cotton. So I learned 2 very important lessons that night. 1) DO NOT WEAR SYNTHETIC FABRICS 2) COTTON CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE.  And   ever since then, I don’t fuck around with fabrics. The problem is finding cute costumes made from cotton, which is why I wanted to throw down money for a really nice, safe, sexy costume. T

Luckily, my friend, Rachelle, who makes costumes for Foxy Shazam, (her fiance, Daisy, is in the band. He’s a friend from high school who swore he’d grow up and become a rock star and he actually did it) jumped on board so I’m super psyched to have a costume made by her. Her costumes have been in MTV music videos and worn on world tours so I think it’s fitting that she’s making my costume for an international gig. I sent her my design, which is a stupid sketch but it got the point across. We’re working via texting and Facebook which is a little difficult but I’m confident it will turn out OK. My only real concern is that I took my measurements and they’re way different than they were 8 months ago so I’m praying it fits me. If not, I’m not too worried because a friend in Montreal said her mother is semesters and can help me with any costume emergencies I have while I’m in Canada. I don’t want to have a costume emergency part II but if one does happen, it’s covered.

But other than the costume catastrophe, everything is going smoothly. I’m so thankful to all my friend who are helping make this possible! My friend Brandon, who edited my song, my friend Eve, who is driving to Canada with me, my friend Laurel who helped with redoing the wick on my fans, my friend, Rebecca, who sold me her old fans because I needed a new set of fire fans, my friend Marvis, who helped out with smoothing out my choreography, my boyfriend, Adam, who has supported me and of course, Rachelle, who is making my costume. I’m so lucky there are so many people who have helped me put this piece together so I can go represent Louisville, United States and every other fire community and every teacher I’ve had  at this competition. It’s pretty exciting.

I’m staying pretty calm about everything. I worked for about 2 hours on my choreography tonight, ironing it out and making sure it all looks great. I need to get my car checked out and do some final warping things up before I leave Thursday so a To Do list needs to be made. And I need to go to bed now.

As I’ve said before, I don’t expect to win anything but it will be a lot of fun. I’d like to win but I know that there is going to be a lot of talent there so I’m focusing on the exchange of ideas and meeting new people and appreciating all the awesome art I’m about to witness so I can bring that inspiration home with me.

Right now, I’m praying for a safe journey, a smooth performance and all the nice, extra blessings that will come my way as little surprises. I pray that there will be no complications and the entire trip will be filled with happiness, love and peace. Blessed Be.

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Gearing Up

I’ve been really busy putting together a routine for the show in Canada. I was sort of banging my hoop against my head for a while because I had bad choreography block. I couldn’t think of a song to use or even come up with a concept. I think part of the problem was I’ve been really concerned about the money it’s going to take to get there but in the end, I decided that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and that I need to take up the invite and go up there and see what kind of networking I can do, see what people are up to with fire arts, see how my act is received and maybe even land some more shows.

The thing is, I was actually invited to go work in Dubai for 2 months performing. I would be in Dubai right now if the deal had gone through.  I started a troupe in 2007 out there and my buddy took it over. When things with money got rough here in my corner of the world, my buddy generously offered me a job with the troupe again but somehow, some way, it all fell through. I’m not entirely sure what happened…all I know is that the deal didn’t. So after that, I decided that I’d do the Canada show since I would no longer be going to Dubai.

But over the past few days, the dancer’s block was lifted and I’m successfully getting my act down. And thanks to a lot of help from my wonderful friends who help me make the art that I make, I have a custom costume that I designed in the works, an edited version of the song I want to use, a burlesque star helping me refine elements of my choreography and friend to travel up North with on a road trip adventure. 

The one thing that makes me feel really happy about being back home in the States and performing is that it’s really very easy to get people to help me achieve my artistic visions. If I call someone up who is an artist in the community and I say, “I’ve got this project and I was wondering if you wanted to be part of it?” I have a super awesome group of artists who jump in headfirst and help my vision happen. Sometimes I have problems getting help with really technical stuff like special effects because that’s one area that I lack with production help. But when it comes to costumes, photos, videos, music, concepts, props, fixing fire tools, etc., I can usually find someone to help out. 

I’m starting to really look forward to this event as it all falls together. It’s going to be a very good thing and I’m very excited 🙂

Link

The Fire Masters

Really excited to be performing at this at the end of the month. It looks like there’s some crazy talent that will be appearing at this competition. I got invited to participate so I thought, “Why the hell not?” I was looking at pictures from last year and these people have some crazy fire toys. I don’t really build toys or props. I just have basic fire tools. But for me, it’s all about dance and the theatrics. I’m going for the experience and to meet some Canadian fire spinners and network. My good friend and I are driving up so it should be a very interesting adventure indeed!

Save the date!

I’m super excited to announce upcoming events! Stay tuned for more details!

3/16-3/17 Roots of Awareness Psychic Fair at Matrix, a place of Change. Louisville, KY.

3/21 Monthly Vintage Burlesque Show with the Mavens of Mischief at Meat Bar. Louisville, KY

3/30 Performance in Montreal, Canada

4/12 The Fools: A Circus Tarot Story at Alley Cats Theater. Louisville, KY

4/16 Valet for Silvio the Psychedelic Super Star

5/11 Hellapalooza. New Port, KY

Little Red’s Big Bad Ball

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Party Flyer

On Friday, February 22, 2013, I performed at Little Red’s Big Bad Ball at The Louisville Palace Theater. I was really excited when I got the offer for the show because The Palace is a historic  venue in Louisville known for it’s preserved classic movie house look.  It’s an absolutely gorgeous venue and many famous artists have performed there. A quick run down of what was to be expected at the show.

Red’s Big Bad Ball:
A wicked rock-n-roll fairy tale come to life at Louisville’s Palace Theater: Please join us in swingin’ style as your naughtiest Little Red Ridding Hood and Big Bad Wolf!
18+, Music, Full Bar, Swing Dancing, and a fantasy makeup booth…
*Vice Tricks
*Trophy Wives
*Woodrow (Woodrow on the Radio WFPK 91.9FM)
*Athena Prychodko’s ‘Make it Up’ special FX and fantasy makeup

Costumes encouraged: contest at 11 pm with prizes – Oh My!

18 and over, Free swing dance lesson at 8:30. $10.00 at the door.
So when my hair dresser messaged me on Facebook (the best way to book me. Look for D’arcy Decadence!) and told me that her friend and organizer of the event, Verity, was looking for “talented performers”, I contacted Verity of the band Vice Tricks and a mean bass slapper. Verity  was nothing but welcoming and helpful with everything I needed in order to do my act. She even offered to stage kitten for me if I couldn’t find someone. I knew instantly that I was working with people who run a tight show and those are the best kinds of people to work with.

As for my act, I got stumped on it for a minute. Of course, because it was Red Riding Hood themed, I thought it would be cute and sexy to be Little Red Riding Hood and have a wolf chase me around. But I thought it would be kind of silly to run around with my hoops. True, it would have been fun to fight the wolf, but I wanted to take a different angle and decided that I would start out as Granny and strip down to the wolf. I thought that would make a lot more sense for a striptease and be a lot more amusing than Little Red trying to avoid molestation by stripping off her clothes and running away into the woods.  I decided to use the song, “Big Bad Wolf” by Duck Sauce and ended up creating one of the best concept acts I’ve created yet. The story was very there and very in place. I like telling a story with striptease to make it more about art than about looking at my body and “transforming” acts are always the best because it gives you a reason for getting naked. There’s a sort of death and rebirth feel to it, like you’ve “become” something or someone else and I think this idea really reinforces the whole meaning of burlesque.

FYI, the music video for this song is very funny but it’s VERY inappropriate, not professional and not work friendly (although, this blog certainly isn’t  work friendly either… but I’m trying!) so please find it on your own time if you’re interested in watching it (trust me, you’ll laugh). I  decided to use the radio edit because 3 minutes is the perfect amount of time for a number. If you go past 3 minutes, you start losing your audience. They get bored and start fidgeting, their eyes glaze over, and no matter how awesome you think the song is in its entirety, most audience members can’t stay engaged for that long. The only exception, IMO, comes with go go dancing to DJ sets that is more about keeping the audience moving and the dancers or the background, or Opera and ballet, that tell very elaborate stories with movement and music.

The costume I put together was also really funny. I love faux fur like the tacky, eccentric that I am so putting the wolf part of the outfit was together was pretty easy. I embellished a tail and some ears I bought, threw on a nightie, a robe and a hat along with a creepy mask and I was ready to play the wolf that played grandma. Now I needed a Little Red to be my stage kitten. I ended up roping in my fellow Mavens of Mischief member, Foxy Freija 9 and the act was set.

I do have to give it to the organizers and to Palace Theater, they treated Foxy Freija 9 and I very well. We were allowed to come early and check out the venue, rehearse a little (although we really talked it through more than anything else), had access to the luxurious, spacious VIP lounge and had more than enough space we needed to change and store our stuff. The staff of The Palace was very friendly and helpful as well as Variety and her band. I enjoyed working with everyone involved. The event itself was fun too. It was fun seeing so many interpretations of the three main characters in Little Red Riding Hood– Little Red, the Huntsman and the Wolf. I liked watching the swing dancers whirl around the room with big smiles on their faces as they danced to the live bands, who I also enjoyed. All and all, it was a very nice event and I was very proud to have been asked to perform at it. big bad wolf

My act itself was on main stage right before Vice Tricks. I had told them that I wanted to perform at the smaller stage but there ended up being only one stage and it worked out better that way. My act really got the crowd moving and  I loved watching the mixed reactions of the crowd as the story unfolded.  I surprised a lot of people with the whole piece and the mischievous side of me loves the looks on peoples faces who aren’t familiar with burlesque, hooping or burlesque hula hooping. The younger people in the crowd were dancing and singing along. There were older people in the crowd who looked shocked but were smiling as they picked their jaws up off the floor. There were lots of smiling faces and lots of dancing feet. I was also really happy Foxy Freija came with me. She wore a very cute costume she made and gathered up all my clothes after the act so I didn’t have to worry about who was going to bring them back to me.

The act got rave reviews so I hope I’ll be invited back to The Palace to perform again.

Yea for good, clean fun with happy people. I couldn’t have asked for a better night 🙂