Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lana Del Rey & the Downside of Chair Lifts.

I can't help it... my heart goes out to the trending Miss Lana Del Rey today following her unfortunate world debut on SNL as a live performer. I'm a HUGE fan of her recordings & videos and I can't imagine how she must feel. There's nothing worse than knowing that you disappointed your fans at a huge show; I can't even fathom it at this magnitude. I can't even post it cuz it's so painful to watch and I feel like a bad person for spreading the awkward. You can google it if you really want to see it or you can just trust me: it was bad. Actually maybe don't google it on second thought. "Blue Jeans", my fave song... oh. I had to pretend it didn't happen and then put the album recording on my iPod like 4 times in a row to cleanse my brain of it.

I guess the lesson is this: if you're gorgeous & have a lovely voice & insane connections & you get signed to interscope & breathe into a hot neumann & have slick production & get your name changed & perfect your steez & have expensive sha-nay-nay & gansta nail techs & agents & management & whip-smart promoters that slice quick cuts of beloved cultural icons in your videos on YouTube, you can get really famous pretty damn quick. (btw, I'll take one of all of those k? yay k thanks. Yahhh!!!)

But no one can shortcut to getting their stage chops. You gotta earn 'em over the years like everyone else.

Not sure how that fact got lost, and at SNL to boot. I mean even Britney, who is arguably the most contrived and marketed pop star ever, had been onstage for 10 years straight before she broke out at 16. I just don't understand how anyone could book a singer who's barely ever sang live for the most-watched live weekly broadcast on the continent and expect it to go well. It makes no sense. It's ridiculous. As anyone who has tried will tell you, singing onstage is like being in another dimension. You have to focus on a million different things... time feels different. Lights are in your face blinding the shit out of you. A lot of time you have trouble hearing yourself. People and noises in the crowd are distracting you. You have fellow performers and musicians onstage to be mindful of (rhythm etc). You have aware of your position to make sure you stay in the light, hear your monitor, don't feedback, be aware / control your expressive movements & choreography, watch the mic angle & distance, remember all the lyrics & melodies, breathe in the right places, bring up the energy in the room, figure out a way to evoke emotion and response, and also, make sure your hair doesn't get stuck to your lipgloss (sooo annoying). And I haven't even MENTIONED battling nerves yet. Etc etc etc. It's not the same as recording AT ALL, and it's not easy. You can't just expect someone to be able to do it well right away.

As far as all the hurtful (albeit fairly true) comments online about Lana Del Rey's performance, it's a textbook case of the hype trap. When hype builds, the danger is that makes people very critical. It feels too good to be true, and so people wait for the other shoe to drop. Lo and behold. Are we really surprised? We might be in the digital age but this isn't the Matrix. You can't download skill sets like that.

It reminds me of something really important though, which is the whole reason I'm writing this blog, and that is to take a moment to appreciate the slow climb. Because even though I probably would have denied this even a few years ago, I really think the slow climb to fame has SO many advantages over getting catapulted there overnight. #1 - you get good at shit. I feel that if Sweet Soul ever did get a chance to perform on some high-profile show like SNL, I think by the time we got there we would FUCKING MURDER IT. Ya know? BECAUSE of the slow climb. #2: you have time to get wise to fact that fame is the strange bullshit part and that really, it's just a tool to put more art into the world, which is the real part. I know this might sound like lipservice cuz I'm a performer and it's instinctively in my nature to love attention, but honestly, "being famous" has never been the goal for me. Traveling the world doing what I love is. I guess one facilitates the other in a profession such as mine, but fame could never be an end unto itself.

Just like in the Wizard of Oz (best movie ever) or the Hobbit, the journey is always where the story happens right? How shitty would it be for us if they were like, "...and then we took a helicoptor to Mordor." THIS IS LIFE, right now. I would much rather look around, breathe the fresh air, see the alpine flowers, celebrate the milestones and enjoy the company than hop on a chairlift, race to the top and miss everything (nevermind that chairlifts aren't open in the summer, don't ruin my fucking metaphor). Yeah. So even if it makes me sweaty and gives me leg cramps sometimes, I am grateful for the slow climb.

As for Miss Lana Del Rey, all I can do is wish her strength. I also really hope that she will get back up there, because it's the only way she'll get better at it. I also hope that this doesn't keep her from making more music because I really love her songs.

Hearts
xoox
CP

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fiery Dones Does It & Thoughts on A Shrinking Sasspot

Hokay hokay. 2012!!! Year of the dragon, year shit gets happening, year of sass.
As far as any of the Mayan calendar shiz, I feel this illustration pretty much encapsulates how I feel about all that:



Yeah. Well. What's it gonna do, be never ending? They'd still be carving the damn thing. At one point you just need to put that shit down and go kill a tiger or whatever.

As far as resolutions are concerned, I'm just gonna be honest and say that I'm gonna keep working on the 10 I made last year. I'm cool with that. They were pretty ambitious, as they should've been. I'm proud to say I've crossed a few off the list. And I'm gonna go ahead and also recommend that before people get all launchy with their own resolution plans, they should take a fucking hot minute to acknowledge the shit they've actually accomplished this year and in recent years past. And for the love of sass, pay no attention to assholes who say that having a moment with yourself to acknowledge a job well done is tacky and indulgent. Mama Sass says that's outdated psychotic conservatism. It's IMPORTANT to do that, especially if you're about to set out doing some new stuff. It increases... what do they call that? Morale. Which basically means to feel sassy, which I endorse doing about 80 thousand percent of the time.

So you know, I got a some shit I've been working on that I feel pretty good about. Not just career stuff (which you'll see soon, trust me), but personally. I've got DJG's URB podcast on (so good) so I'm ready to throw them down. Readdddyyy???

Drumroll for the biggest one by far: I quit smoking. Well, I still smoke if I'm trashed, let's be honest. But like one or two smokes every week on average compared to half a pack a day three years ago??? BOOOOOOOM. I obviously deserve like, 8000 blowjobs. My lungs & voice agree.

I exercise regularly now. Honestly, I actually fucking do this. Imagine, this weird habit that makes you feel awesome and gives you energy... that ISN'T cocaine! Whoaaaaaa!!!! AMAZING. So how, you ask, did I manage to get on this train and successfully combat my acute CLD (chronic laziness disorder)? Well, I've been putting all that extra smoking money into yoga & kickboxing sessions. I know, I know, I don't NEEED to do that, but I find that for regular exercise to work for me, I need to rely heavily on the "social-shame" factor of going to group classes. By this I mean that once you show up, you can't really stop or leave without looking like an asshole. Since social anxiety is a much more developed quality in me than self-discipline, I find that this works like a charm. Try it out. And if you have trouble getting to the classes themselves, pick a friend that you hate bailing on and make a regular date with them. I picked Tristan Risk, who is pretty and scary at the same time.



See? You wouldn't really want to fuck with her, nor would you want to miss a chance to see her all sweaty. I'm telling you, it works. And before you get into the whole "so expensive, why don't you just download exercise videos" thing, yes it's expensive and yes I HAVE downloaded those exercise videos before. But, not gonna lie, I sometimes end up just watching them and eating chips. Like that HipHop Abs shit? Um, yum. That guy is fucking HOT, even if he's definately gay. Carmen Electra is another one of my favorites. Cheesy as fuck but wow. OK I'm gettin distracted here. Moving on.

I also changed my diet pretty intensely, which was needed. I'm not gonna name any names, but there used to be some bitch walking around in my apt that liked to make a box of instant stuffing as a snack. I'm not saying I'm a crazy raw food vegan now or anything but I'm definitely hanging out in veggie land more often now. It's not so bad. Turns out there's lots of different kinds! And some of them are cute! Brussel sprouts, for example. Ohhhh... like tiny cabbages! Also mini corns! And I discovered that yellow wax beans chilled kind of look and crunch like french fries. Sort of. Especially if you're high.

Ok here's the real kicker. Recently I discovered that wheat & cow dairy are no longer my friends via a series of homeopathic tests I underwent to identify what's been causing my chronic allergy symptoms. This was totally traumatizing for me. I know a lot of people would argue wheat & dairy are no one's friends anyway... but let me tell you something motherfuckers, cheese was my fucking FRIEND. Ok? Cheese was always there for me. It didn't judge me or berate me or stand me up or let me down. Ever. It was my friend and we had a really intimate relationship for a long, long time. I'm being totally serious. I fucking. Love. Cheese. But as with all relationships that are super physically satisfying yet inherently unhealthy, it was time to face the stupid fucking truth (sniff), have one last hunk of swiss, and then say goodbye. Because fuck it. It's not worth it. Lord knows if I could dump the so-hot-in-bed-dude who finally admitted he thought burlesque was "tacky" in my 20's, I can damn-well kick the cheese that's making me sick in my 30's, right?

At least I live in the fucking hippie tra-la-la capital of the world where I can find goat & daiya products up the ying-yang of every corner of Commercial Drive.(I'm actually still not entirely sure what Daiya is, but apparently it melts, so it gets my support). Plus there is a ton of non-wheat shit out there now too. I mean half the frickin' planet is full of people that don't even have food. So I'm just gonna shut the fuck up and eat these vegetables and daiya shit and carry on. Plus they make goat brie now, and I can have that. Everything's actually fine. Honestly.

Now as you can imagine (and as I've mentioned in a few previous posts) this combination of events has resulted in a bit of a recent weight loss. And I imagine that this weight loss won't really stop until my body settles at the weight it naturally wants to be when I am, shock of shocks, eating properly and exercising regularly. You know, so, acting like a normal person who respects her body and shit.

This seemed to me like a good thing until I got a series of facebook messages along the same lines as these:

"You better stop shrinking."

"That was good, but I like you curvier better."

"Just don't get too skinny."

Or my personal favorite, which went like so:

"You're not gonna turn into a skinny bitch, are you? Think of all the people you'd be disappointing".

Uh...

Now normally I wouldn't give a fuck about random comments hurtled towards my body size (trust me, I have endured everything from kiddie insults to the much-worse "but I think I'm just too superficial for you" heart-smushing guy rejections). These ones stuck out though because I really do care quite a bit about the people who come to my shows, read my blog, watch my videos, etc. You could say I feel endebted to them, to say the least. So it didn't really make me feel very good when I started getting approached at gigs with people saying the same things, essentially, over and over... and not to be complementary. Certain acquaintances and even a former employer started poking criticisms at me for "shrinking" with evident disdain. I had some sad face. I tried to ignore it but it kept happening.

I realize that it's not every day you see a performer my size confidently prancing around in outfits smaller than postage stamps, and I'm grateful that I've been able to help "round out" the conventional beauty standard in my industry a bit (so to speak). But I'm a little confused by these reactions, because I kinda thought that the whole point was that my dress size didn't define my ability to entertain an audience. It didn't when I was auditioning for TV roles in my late teens, and it doesn't now. And I should very much hope that my curviness isn't the only ENTIRE REASON people enjoy my work!! I mean, after officially doing this for ten years, please, oh lord please, please also let it be because I'm KIND OF AWESOME?? Maybe? Hopefully? A little even?

Also. This may come as a giant shock, but a lot of "skinny bitches" are my best friends. If we are going to stop allotting social value to how much a person weighs, IT CAN'T BE A DOUBLE STANDARD, ummkayyyy. So stop with the skinny bitch routine, I'm not into it. I'm also not into being labeled a BBW, so straight dudes, stop pushing me into a porn category or asking me where my black boyfriend is. Seriously. I've dated all kinds, including crazy hot girls, couples, and dudes who have dated me AND skinny supermodels... so SETTLE DOWN. Also - and this is a controversial one but this is how I personally feel about it- producers. Please stop asking me to do shows that only feature bigger women. Meh. It's even worse when they call it "real" women. NEWS FLASH: We are all "real women", size 22 or 2. We stand together. That's how this works. It's the only way it CAN work, in my opinion.

So I just wanted to respond to any concerns of my gorgeous and much-appreciated show peeps who may be speculating about what's up: I'm still the same human and I stand for the same things. I didn't lose weight to be accepted or to conform then, I'm not doing it for "acceptance" now. To do that would be going against everything I stand for. And while I'll always be curvy (I'm never gonna disappear, trust me darlings... I wasn't built for that), I am gonna take care of myself. I wanna be around to do this for awhile. I have to be.

So yeah. Exercising, breaking up with cow cheese & calming my vices has been fucking hard, but I did it... well, for the most part. And by gosh I'm gonna take a minute to pat myself on the motherfucking back. And don't you forget to do the same thing ummmkay. Or I will eat your fucking daiya when you're not looking.

Just so you can see what I mean, a pic from a few years ago...


and a newer one from this past year....




Wanna to be able to do a giant show every night you know? That shit takes stamina mothereff's. Did you know Mick Jagger still runs 12 miles a day to keep up his stage endurance?? What the fuck. What the FUCK. No wonder he managed to bone so many chicks. That alone sounded pretty physically demanding, not gonna lie.

Wanted to leave you with a vid of Warrior's Performance where I deliberately accentuate my thighs. Thunder thighs of power! I used to giggle (and obviously be sad back in the day) when people called me thunder thighs because I was like, "uh... as if that doesn't sound like a super power, dumbasses".



And ps, if you're going to get on the movement train may I shamelessly recommend any of the extra sassy fun classes at Vancouver Burlesque Centre and specifically, Brenda Holmes' Yoga class. She's the best yoga instructor I've ever had. Ever. Seriously. Super warm vibes, knowledgeable, clear and has the sickest music during class. If these rates are still too pricey for you e-mail me & I will let you know about a karma class that she does.

Oh man. I am so so full of excitedness about this year I can barely handle it.
Trust me when I say this... you ain't seen NOTHING yet.

Huge love,
xoxoo
CP