So many people in the performance arena are aware that you have to work your way up from the bottom to enjoy the cream at the top. Burlesque is no different. As a new performer you need to be mindful of other dancers that have been doing this longer than you have. That means being helpful, respectful, and out of the way (i.e. if you aren't performing- don't block the mirror/light/or dancers from changing)... and above all, if you don't know a dancer's name or haven't heard of her, DO NOT point that out to her. Just because you may have no clue who she is doesn't mean the rest of the Burlesque world does not and it may also mean that you don't attend enough shows. If you are working or performing- BE ON TIME. I have learned that this early in the game you have to put a lot of work into networking, listening, watching, and just plain good old fashioned being pleasant. This world is about women supporting each other, which quite frankly, doesn't happen as often as it should.
With that out of the way, let me share an amusing moment from when I was working Honi Harlow's "Harlow's Hide-A-Way", which is currently every Thursday at Fontana's on Eldrdige between Broome and Grand right here in New York City. It's August so audience can be fickle, so I was tickled 12 shades of pink when I walked into Fontana's last Thursday and saw about 60 people in the bar and Chandlelier room. Upon my arrival I also discovered that there were bands performing downstairs. As the people in the bar began to funnel between our show and the bands performing in the basement, I was charged with the task of separating and directing them where they needed to go based on what they were there to see. For about 5 minutes of this, it seemed that everyone was headed to the basement and becoming tired of that (I love music too but stripping women dancing to music vs. bearded sweaty men standing around listening and bobbing their heads... hmmmmm) I decided when a delcious quartet of men walked up to me to try to persuade them to stay upstairs.
So I asked them,
"Are you guys here to see the Burlesque show?," as brightly as I could,
"Or the Bands downstairs?" and I was 50% less bright with that last question.
All four started laughing at me and one cute one (out of the other four devastatingly handsome men) in a plaid shirt looked at me and smiled,
"We are the band."
The hilarity of this was not missed on me so I thought, oh sweet now I can hit on all them! Which I proceeded to do. Some of the banter continued as follows:
Me: "Oh well, you're gonna miss all the gorgeous naked women!"
Band: "How about we play and when we're done we'll come up and see the naked women."
Me: "By the time you're done playing all the naked women will be gone. We are a fleeting thing you know. We don't stay naked forever."
Band: "Are you sure? We love naked women and would love to see them but we have a show."
Me: "Well that's what happens when you put music first. All the naked women dissappear."
The slightly bearded, blue-eyed, dream boat in the plaid shirt threw back his head and laughed. "That's the truth!"
Then the fabulously handsome foursome made their way into the basement and for one brief moment watching sweaty bearded men play instruments was overwhelmingly appealing. Then Honi walked up in her fantastic red dress with a gorgeous rhinestone necklace. The sparkle from it called me back to the land of half naked women and glitter. Whew! That was a close one.