Long time no blog. Biggest reason? Lotsa shows. And straight-up, I'm a glowy-ass bitch because of 'em, not gonna lie. I can't really say that there's anything I'd rather be doing: fresh staging', a little traveling, striphopping, writing new lyrics, laughing with my homies and geeking out something heavy... especially online, as per usual. What can I say, I'll always be that (digital) zine obsessed grrl. :) Although I have to say I'm pretty sad about the recent deaths of some my faves. Tear. MISSBEHAVE is probably the one I miss the most... FAAACK always such a good read. Click here link to read what I feel is a great article about its demise. I totally feel like that. It's like, hey... I respect all women's choices... but stop getting knocked up and leaving awesome publications, you selfish bitches!! AT least leave the fucking website up. Like, really. I super miss Michelle Baldwin at BUST too. Although those Charlie Sheen cross-stich patterns are pretty cute. BTW, who's dick do I have to suck to get my hands on a hard-copy of that mag in Vancouver? I can't. Find it. Anywhere. Not even Satan's Library (ie Chapters) has it. SUPER weird. I better not find them all under Stephen Harper's fucking bed. Just sayin'.
But yeah, busy month. Headed up to Whistler to unleash some Sweet Soul wrath on the cuteness that was the crowd at the GLC... pretty sure I busted a stomach muscle when Tristan (Little Miss Risk) pulled an ENTIRE string of pearls out of her pussy, dropped them in a glass and poured champagne all over them. Chug, chug, chug. The snowboarder screams were deafening. TOTALLY busted someone trying to steal the glass afterwards too. Always attracting the crazies, that one. Totally nuts, and totally brilliant. She's one of the bestest friends I've ever had.
So when Tris recently busted out her blog chops again (check it HERE, it's amazing), I decided I better get back on the train. I always have lots to write about but at the same time I feel like shit is happening wayyyyyyyyy faster than I can type. Last month I was stoked to get to do 12 shows, including a stint in the arctic for Rendezvous Festival. I laid vox for my first track with Woodhead, practiced the 5 more I have ready for the studio and wrote new lyrics for three more (woohooo!!). And I also juried over 100 submissions for the 6th Annual Vancouver International Burlesque Festival and chaired a bunch of production meetings for it... which by the way is gonna be THE DOPEST EVER. Unfortch some of the changes we're making this year were a little more difficult to put into practice than I was expecting but you do what you have to I guess... I'm including a public statement about that I made last week at the end of this blog. As John Woods of The Wet Spots quoted from Woody Allen immediately following the statement's release: "Part of show business is business. Otherwise they would have called it show show."
But yeah. If you factor in the need to make time for dancing, goofing off, drinking extra tasty cocktails and watching sci-fi movies while gluing crystals to shit... less blog. I guess to be honest I just still always feel like I need to write these huge long FINISHED edited, photo-accented story blogs that take 3 sittings and 8 cups of tea to perfect. What's up with that? Total bullshit. Sometimes I gotta slap myself and remember that I can do whatever the hell I want. What if I did some longer, more complete stories like my usual steez AAAAND ALSO some shorter, more abstract shit more often? More links and videos, random thoughts... pix. Why the fuck not??? One of my bigger goals for this month is to get my full site back up and running so it can have lots of little nooks and crannies to cram with sass. The Sweet Soul Burlesque website is getting an overhaul as well. Gonna be stepping that shit up a notch. Sloughing off excess... tightening things up. Inside and out.
Speaking of tightening, that crazy Tristan bitch is also getting me back into waist training, that peer pressuring little hussy. As a part-time corset fetishist and admitted occasional sub I must say I do quite like the bound-ed-ness, and as far as body-mods go, corset sinching has always appealed to me because it shapes the body without a huge focus on weight loss. And although I've definately been stepping up my fitness game these days, I'm always gonna be a curvy bitch... and corsets just amplify that whole steez. Nothing wrong with that. Since Tristan is actually going so far as to measure and record her progress, I was thinking it might be fun to do my own corset training progress blog alongside hers but like, the way a NOT totally insane person would do it. Because um... that bitch is nuts. 14 hours a day?!! Fuck that shit. Puhlayyyyyyyse.
So yeah, expect to hear about that. Also I gotta say that my affair with bass is more serious than ever. You're gonna hear about it. I so so miss those dark damp days in the basement of Redgate or at Secret Location (both underground Van spots where CP got her rave on when dubstep broke out)... still love discovering the latest mind-shattering 50 foot waves.
I'm really obsessed with Kryptic Minds at the moment. Gonna leave you with one of my favorite tunes by them:
0.2. Kryptic Minds . One Of Us by whisperd33
Oh yeah, and here's the statement for the Burlesque Fest below.
Kisses n' kuffs,
(posted March 2nd)
My Esteemed Tassled Colleagues...
I just wanted to say a few things around the intention behind the burlesque festival’s changes this year, namely, the application process, the production cast caps and the reduced number of spots in the showcase.
I understand that this shift is a bit of a shock. For years the Vancouver festival has been extremely inclusive and the application process for VIBF fairly relaxed in comparison to other festivals. I think up until now, this has been totally appropriate and consistent with past years’ primary focus of uniting a very large and very eclectic community. We wanted to help everyone join forces, encourage each other, inspire each other, share ideas, create allies… to acknowledge and bridge each groups’ efforts by sharing one large stage.
I think this has been an enormous success. I mean, OBVIOUSLY there will always be differences, but that’s also kind of the point. Vancouver has an astounding community that is extraordinarily diverse, yet it remains largely connected and supportive. It’s one of the biggest burlesque epicenters in THE WORLD, for eff’s sake. It rules. We know this.
Having said that, at some point I think it’s important to understand that the festival has another purpose, one that I would argue is now actually more important than trying to provide stage time for everyone. Because the truth is that most of us are getting some form of stage time out there at this point, and I mean veterans and newbies alike. Haven’t you noticed the influx of new productions, and regular monthly / weekly nights around the city? It’s insane (and amazing). Straight-up though, I think it’s pretty safe to say that if you put some reasonable effort into getting involved and learning the ropes, I’m pretty sure you can get yourself onto a stage. Which is truly fabulous. Productions and opportunities to get onstage aren’t lacking at all. What we really need to keep all these amazing productions going – and growing - are AUDIENCES.
The festival is a key opportunity to put collective energy into drawing NEW AUDIENCE MEMBERS to burlesque shows… people who have never seen any of us before. Total strangers. New ticket buyers. People who hit one show a year that we hope to turn into regular burlesque-goers. Because the more ticket-buyers to go around, the more shows keep getting to be produced, the more talent gets stage-time for (hopefully) better fees… and not to mention the less competitive we all need to be year-round in terms of promotion. And although our current crowds are so so crucial (and appreciated), I do believe that we need to sustain a genuine interest in burlesque that goes BEYOND our beloved friends, colleagues and current supporters. We need to draw from a bigger well. WE NEED MORE PEOPLE IN THOSE SEATS at every one of the productions in town. I really believe that THIS is what that will keep the scene alive, healthy and growing.
This is why we’re doing the night at the Vogue. It’s not just so we can all perform on a fancy stage. We made that choice because it’s in the MIDDLE of Vancouver’s major entertainment district and will draw major attention from tons of new people. And if we could afford to all three nights there, we would. Hopefully next year, we will be able to.
So think about it for a moment. Say we get a bunch of new people into this festival show (which we hopefully will because the theatre is MASSIVE and costs one billion dollars). These people don’t know us. They don’t care about the politics going on in our scene. They don’t care that so-and-so has been involved for this long or did this favour for so-and-so. They don’t get inside jokes, and they don’t know whether we have an absolutely 100% fair representation of each crew. They aren’t going to appreciate or understand why we would have super long sets of often VERY similar numbers in order to be inclusive to those who applied, and they are not impressed if they see a number that seems under-prepared. None of these things are going to to help us get them into burlesque show seats again. I’m being straight-up here. it’s not. People are picky and broke these days. They need more than that.
What WILL encourage new audiences to check out more shows is because they remember a good variety of quality acts for THE ENTIRE SHOW, feeling genuinely entertained, inspired, surprised and impressed. They want to feel like they got their money’s worth; that it wasn’t too long or repetitive, that preparation went into the pieces, that the vibe was great, the production smooth and that they had a great time. THIS is what will hopefully draw them back consider on a regular basis. Maybe year-round. Maybe to a show starring you.
So now hopefully it is starting to make sense why we are asking people to be specific about which exact numbers they want to do, submitting videos to gauge their capacity for preparation and professionalism, and who exactly they are planning to include with no substitution. Because at same time of tightening things up, we are also still trying to present a cross-section of troupes, performers and performance styles. SO maybe Dancer A & B both submitted amazing fan dances… but we only pick Dancer B because we know for sure that Dancer A is in a group number with her troupe. And so forth.
As for the cast number caps: this is HONESTLY based on safety standards and the need for smooth backstage production. The downstairs dressing rooms at the Rickshaw have been renovated and divided since last year. The Vogue’s dressing rooms are smaller still. These caps were not given to us as an option after last year. It is EXTREMELY unfortunate that this does not allow for the large group numbers as some troupes are accustomed to. I am honestly upset about this. Hopefully next year this can be considered and planned for by everyone. I sincerely apologize that more advance notice could not have been given around this. But that's just how it went down this year.
So. THAT’s the big picture. THAT’s why the focus of the festival is starting to go towards a tighter production AS WELL AS making efforts to represent all corners of the community. It’s about polishing up things up onstage and backstage, presenting a cross-section of our very best work, puffing up our feathers and saying to giant crowds of new people: Hey!!! Guess what? We’re strippers and freaks…. but we have actual entertainment value that's on par with going to the movies, theatre or concerts! Artistic merit! Political relevance even! WE DESERVE YOUR MONEY. Come back and give it to us, year-round, so we can keep doing this. And do it more. And make it better.
My longtime hope is that we all collectively continue to grow, and that we will steadily increase the visibility, representation, and integration of REAL grassroots burlesque groups in the mainstream media and entertainment industry. This I think would make many people very very happy. We need to represent, especially in the wake of so much hype and mis-understanding around what we do these days. And at the end of the day I really hope that for most of us, the burlesque movement isn’t just about each of us getting to dance around on a big stage so we can get clapped at. For me this is wayyyyy bigger than that. We have the power to change the way people look at women (predominantly although men too), at stripping & sexuality, at DIY culture. This is what drives me to do this still after all these years... because I see it happening. And it's astounding.
So yeah. I really hope that people understand that there is a method to the madness under all this. And if you were not selected to perform at an event this year, this DOES NOT MEAN you are not an important part of the community or that you are deliberately being snubbed. It doesn’t. AT ALL. Please try to remember the big picture and that (we hope) it is all part of our eventual WORLD DOMINATION. In banana suits. And ass tassels.
That’s all I wanted to say.
Thanks for reading all this.
With huge love & true respect for each of you,
President, VIBF Board of Directors
Vancouver International Burlesque Festival