Sunday, February 21, 2010

What truly matters

So far throughout my process I have been so blessed to be supported by so many of my friends and family. It isn't easy to choose this path. There is NO MONEY in this line of work and no real firm career but it is such a draw to me as an art form. It isn't easy to bare yourself in front of others, to bare yourself not just to them but for them. To peel off the layers of the self and reveal what is underneath in all its flaws and perfections.

It is a medium which I feel I can perfect and excel in with so much support from those around me and with the opportunities that have sprung up before me from luck as much as focus. I'm really lucky and I want to say thank you to everyone who is helping me in this endeavor. Teachers, other dancers, friends, mentors, parents, and other performers in other genres who are as thrilled and titillated by my adventure as I am. I applaud you all and am thrilled to have such an awesome crew at my back in this.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Lil' Dixie Rising is on the rise... moving onward and upward. It occurred to me in the last community class I took, that I am very VERY serious about this jazz. I have the capacity to be quite a good performer and the dedication as well. So when Jo "Boobs" Weldon's email came round from the New York School of Burlesque I knew it was time. I applied and made it in to the March Essentials Series of which there are only 10 slots. I was so excited I nearly burst! I've got a name and a mission and now guides to get me there. So watch out because the last weekend in March/First Weekend in April, Miss Dixie Rising will be making her debut. Sometimes all it takes is elbow grease and commitment. Let the work begin...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thoughts on the art form

I have come up with some concepts for numbers. I'm getting mixed reviews upon sharing them BUT most of the thoughts are positive. I have learned that the word "Burlesque" actually means "an artistic composition, esp. literary or dramatic, that, for the sake of laughter, vulgarizes lofty material or treats ordinary material with mock dignity."

I really want to use this medium to express how different people or situations are from what one would assume upon first look. I want to stretch the audiences' mind and maybe bend it a little so that next time they look at the receptionist at the dentist office they say, "hmmmm, I wonder... could she be a freak?"

I think people get hindered by the boxes that others put them in. Whether it's a significant, or a parent, or a friend, or a boss. People make assumptions everyday about what they think is the norm for the people in their lives and in their surrounding environment. We constantly judge those around us, but what if... what if we got to see what was underneath. What if their deepest, darkest truths could be revealed. What if they are a thief, a liar, homeless, depraved, sadistic, an alcoholic, a sex addict, or any other number of strange combinations. What if the mean woman at the DMV likes to be tickeled with feathers? What if that power-crazed policewoman really wears pink satin under her kevlar? What if that pre-school teacher paints herself in black liquid latex at night...

What if I could show you these things in myself and in the people who surround you everyday? Would you mind if I took off this sweater? It's getting a little hot in here...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dixie is Born

For several months I have been toying with an idea derived from a long standing desire, to become a burlesque dancer. I have always wanted to be one, though I wasn't ever really aware that that was what it was I truly wanted. I've been an actress for over 10 years and a dancer for most of my life. Pursuing acting has been a downhill spiral with very stressful results... especially here in New York City, but the one thing I am a virtuoso at is reinventing myself. So, a few months ago, it happened. I went to a burlesque variety show at Fontana's here in NYC, a show called Honi Harlow's Hideaway, and as I sat there I realized, this was what I had wanted, this was what I was equipped for. Dancing, comedy, and acting all in one, expressed through the body to music for the benefit of the audience. To tantalize and delight. To bring joy. I went to several more shows. Blown away each time, noticing the styles of the different performers, the nuances that made them who they were and the subtleties in their performances.

My appetite was now engulfing my entire life, everywhere I looked were girls dancing and expressing all sorts of things! Now, my mind made up, I went trolling the Internet to stumble across the New York School of Burlesque. There were two prerequisites: 1. pay $15.00 and 2. Come up with a name no one else in the performance industry had. I enrolled. That following Thursday I found myself in a studio with a red headed bombshell named Gal Friday in leopard print pants. Feeling a little conscientious I decided that my new dancing identity would not be able to feel this unless it was part of the act so I walked to front of the room and put on the brightest, reddest lipstick I owned. My Southern roots reached deep into the earth while I steadied my hand tracing my lips with the angled tip of my Benefit "Frenched" red. I heard her name rise up into my mind. Dixie Rising was born.