Saturday, September 06, 2008
So I'm sitting here at my computer, doing nothing productive.
I have several things I need to get done, and can't bring myself to do them, though I would feel so much better if I did, and I know that ultimately what I have left to do is nothing compared to the vast amount of work I've already put in. But what I have left to do is finish it, make it done, and as much as I want it to be over, that means it is final. No more changes can be made, no more improvement.
With a burlesque act, or any performing art really, one can always make changes. Very few of my acts are unchanging. Over time I revise costuming, timing, dance moves, sometimes even concept. Yes someone might videotape it, and that version is thus recorded, but that fact doesn't inhibit further changes. I still have control over the act and can always revise it to correct flaws, make improvements, or just because I'm bored with the way it was after doing it that way for years. It remains mine in the sense that I retain the power to alter it.
Writing is different. Not writing on a blog, where I have the option to edit again and again, even after "publication." But articles, papers, applications etc. are very different. Once I submit this I have to let go of it, admit that it is done and try not to see the flaws and weaknesses that still exist. It is one of the reasons I hate to look back at things I wrote long ago--I see my mistakes but there is nothing I can do to change them. The writing becomes frozen at a point in time and is no longer mine to alter. Although they are my words they are no longer mine to control.
I find that kind of finality difficult. It seems false in a sense; unrelated to reality and the world, where we can and must constantly change and revise ourselves. To be fixed in a certain form, unable to alter it, learn from experience, develop new interests is a horrifying thought for me, and I hate my words to suffer the same fate.
Labels: change, finality, work, writing
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I have a lot of shows coming up in the next month or so. I wanted to highlight a few that are more in the special events category as opposed to the usual weeklies.
So without further ado...
I'm very proud to once again be part of Low Life at the Howl Festival! Sunday September 7th from 5-7pm in Tompkins square park
LOW LIFE CITY was inspired by the seminal LUC SANTE book "LOW LIFE: The Lures and Snares of Old New York." It continues a body of work born at JACKIE 60 a decade ago, with past editions in London, Minneapolis and of course, last year's HOWL! For the show's producers, East Village residents for over two decades, this annual show is a Valentine to the neighborhood's past, present and future stars.
This year's superb cast is now complete - MCs PAUL ALEXANDER (of "The Ones") and HATTIE HATHAWAY, Bowery Belle DEBBIE HARRY, icon JOEY ARIAS with master puppeteer BASIL TWIST, burlesque supernovas DIRTY MARTINI, MISS DELIRIUM TREMENS and JONNY PORKPIE and NASTY CANASTA of PINCHBOTTOM BURLESQUE, GOON SQUAD featuring MISS GUY, drag divinity SWEETIE, butoh ensemble VANGELINE THEATER, WORLD FAMOUS *BOB*, LOGO song star ADAM JOSEPH as The Irish Tenor, slapstick drag duo DUELLING BANKHEADS, sister act ACID BETTY and EPIPHANY, sensationalist AMBER RAY, members of THE PIXIE HARLOTS, Bay Area artiste FAUXNIQUE, BLACKLIPS eminence POISON EVE and New Bowery treasures TRINA ROSE, HEATHER LITTEER aka JESSICA RABBIT DOMINATION and TIGGER!
I was part of this last year, and it was a blast. I've been involved with Chi Chi since back when Mother still existed, and am proud to still be working with her a decade or so later.
On September 11th Starshine Burlesque will be doing a special show titled "I Pastie NY"--a night filled with love letters to our wonderful city.
http://www.starshineburlesque.com/ for information and tickets!
I will be debuting a brand new act, and its a killer lineup, so don't miss this show!
I'm very excited to be making my debut at Kitty Nights! at BaronA the following sunday (September 14th). It should be a great cast and a fun time. It is also an important day for me, personally, as it was my father's birthday and he would have been 90 that day.
So if you love me, do come, I think I might need a bit of extra love that evening!
http://www.kittynights.com/ for information.
As an added bonus, the host that night is Schaffer the Darklord, and I think he's fantastic!
My other major upcoming events are the 5th Annual New York Burlesque festival--september 18th-21st http://www.thenewyorkburlesquefestival.com/
and Tease-O-Rama in San Francisco in October:
However, those will keep for another post... And of course I will blog about each of those events after the fact as well.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Sometimes I am compelled to apologize to others for things, when really, the person who deserves the apology is myself.
I was sitting here, staring at this window on my computer and trying to think of what I wanted to write. The first thing that came to mind, and which I initially typed, was an apology for being such a bad blogger this week, complete with excuse (too busy with real non-burlesque work!) for why I hadn't been posting. But why? I don't write this blog for the readers (I don't even know if it has any), but for myself. So why do I need to apologize--I know my reasons for not writing.
When I was a child I often tried to keep a diary. I was never very good at being diligent about it, so often, days, weeks, even months would go by with no writing. Entry after entry begins with some variant of "Dear diary, I am so sorry I haven't written in so long...!" and clearly there was no entity out there reading it. It too was an apology, a plea for forgiveness, from me to me.
I have never really thought about why I ask others to forgive me for things when the person who needs to forgive me is me. I'm not saying that I've never owed anyone an apology, I have, have given it, and meant it. But it is much harder for me to forgive myself for my failings, despite knowing I have many.
So, if you hear me apologizing to you over and over for something, after you have said it is ok, that there is nothing to forgive even, understand that while you may have forgiven me or not seen it as something bad, I'm still struggling to forgive myself for it. Because ultimately, most of the things I apologize for have hurt me far worse than anyone out there. You may forgive me for acting like an ass, but it is very hard for me to do so.
I believe in taking responsibility for one's actions. I am responsible for the things I have done. But I need to learn to stop resenting myself for my failings, let go, move on, and not repeat the same mistakes.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
More pondering on honesty and certainty
I'm still not sure that I think honesty always works, or is always possible. But sometimes, even (especially?) when you think it might hurt, it feels incredibly wonderful. It is liberating, freeing you from stupid fears and suppositions.
The reality of something is rarely as bad as we anticipate. This is why people prefer the reality of a bad test result to the uncertainty of one that is inconclusive. I am much happier when I know something for certain, as opposed to not understanding a situation. Certainty allows you to plan a course forward, even if it is not in the direction you anticipated or would have preferred.
Accepting ambiguity is much harder. I've gotten better at it in the last year, but it is more difficult to be at peace with it. Of course things never stand still, and they will always become muddled and ambiguous again with time. And that is fine. Too much certainty might be easy, but life wouldn't be nearly as exciting without change and development.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Peace and Calm
I've had a very turbulent year.
As I've mentioned earlier, I have been trying to figure out what I want and who I truly am. Not that I was oblivious to these things, but I'd been floating through life rather than living it to the full.
I want to experience life at a deeper level, but to accomplish this, I first had to be more introspective than I'd been in years. It seems somewhat counter-intuitive that to truly experience life out there, one must first understand the internal depths, but if you don't know yourself there is no way to fully interact with anyone or anything.
What one needs to achieve is sort of like the medieval notion of the vita mixta
. In medieval understanding there were three modes of life--the contemplative life, the active life, and the mixed life.
There are advantages to all--contemplation certainly can bring rewards, as does living life in an active way. But the vita mixta
advocates a combination of active--going out and doing, and contemplative. To me at least this is the best path. Activity loses all meaning without contemplation, and contemplation without activity is, excuse the expression, purely masturbatory.
Sidebar on medieval theology aside, I finally am reaping some results for my efforts. I do not mean I have the answers, for myself or for anyone else, but I've reached a place, at least for now, where I feel incredibly calm and peaceful and happy. And the happiness isn't because of any one thing, I just think life is rather beautiful and that no matter what comes, I can deal with it. That I can feel this way when I have so many things I could worry about, and normally would
worry about, is an amazing gift, and I gave it to myself. It is easy to be happy based on the actions of others or based on events, but happiness that is internal and manifesting itself outwardly is a rare thing in my experience. And it makes me feel that life is good.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Golden Pastie Awards
A more burlesque-related post! As I've now added this blog onto my website, I will try to get some sort of balance between more introspective posts and more directly burlesque-related ones.
Every year the New York Burlesque Festival gives out awards. They range from flattering to downright silly. I would love it if you would nominate me for some (preferably the nice ones!). Please take a few minutes out of your day and nominate all your favorite burlesque performers!
To nominate your favorite performers for select categories below, copy and paste the categories in to an email, fill in your nominees for individual categories and then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org - PLEASE ONLY NOMINATE ONE PERFORMER PER CATEGORY
Biggest Media Whore
Best Booty Shaker
Most likely to win on Survivor
Most likely to go Gay in 2009
Most likely to turn their name into a unpronounceable symbol
Labels: Burlesque, golden pasties, New York Burlesque Festival
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I have been thinking a lot about the concept of honesty. How it is linked to the concept of truth--and how these things, which seem so absolute, mean different things to different people. They are slippery, altering as our consciousness does. We can convince ourselves of various truths. We convince ourselves that we are honest, but what does that mean? As a character in Star Trek once said, "Nefarious characters never think of themselves as nefarious."
Someone once told me that if everyone is open and honest no one gets hurt. But that is simply not true, at least not in the world I inhabit. It is naive and beautiful as an idea. But honesty often IS painful. And what one person sees as honesty may be total obliqueness and vagueness to another.
Not discussing things is not honest. Not letting someone know the score is not honest.
Honesty is not easy. And sometimes I am not even sure it is always advisable.
People cause their own destinies but not alone. We all get trapped in never-ending circles of action and reaction. If we refuse to own our own part in things, we not only are not being honest with others, we are not even being honest with ourselves