It’s The Long Freakin’ Weekend

It’s Thursday night, which is actually my Friday, so I partied; then suddenly I realized I am on the streetcar rolling home, and I haven’t written my blog. Now, as a blogger who writes 5 days a week it feels weird. I’ve written rants, acts, ideas and obsessions.  But right now, I am looking forward to a long weekend. I haven’t had a vacation since Disney and I’m taking 3 days off. Cuz Monday is the holiday yo! It’s Canada Day! And what kinda Canadian would I be if I blogged the holiday Monday? Really?!? Other than earning time and a half…which would be great!

So, with that in mind, please know, I am still constructing my Vixen 102 class presentation costume and act with the help of my loving Hubby. We’re working for free; building my act and loving every minute, mostly. But he doesn’t like to share all the wondrous and magical things that are Gracie. We are sticky, sloppy and squishy…but being married to a Klutz, what else would you expect? Thanks Commish for letting me express these Gracie-whims. Nobody does it better.

Happy Canada Day!

There are so many photos, updates and fodder to follow. So, follow me…

On Twitter or Instagram @GracieKlutz  -a beautiful disaster…that you can’t stop watching:)

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Gracie, You Crafty Little Vixen

Gracie Dress

Tonight didn’t go as planned.  I was supposed to work tonight, I was offered a cherry job only to have it yanked from underneath my two left feet.  Which left me weeping into my edamame, in turn getting coarse sea salt in my eye.  I cried, I’ll admit it. I felt sad.  So, I decided to show them…I got out my costume for my first Gracie Klutz act. Oh yeah, and I sequinned, hot glued and glamourized the beejeebus out of it.

First, I made a list of all my showgirl ideals and what I needed to achieve them. A showgirl list is very helpful.  Especially, when you get distracted by sparkly things.  Next, I called in the BFF for opinion reinforcement; she’s got great style and taste and she’s an advocate for taking advantage of your support system.  I’d be stupid not to take her advice on all accounts.  Before starting I laid all my bits and pieces, taking notes of all the facets I could do in one sitting.  Of course I forgot that sitting on the floor cross-legged for hours on end may not be in my already achy muscle’s best interest.  But I did it anyways.

Gracie Shoes

As Hubby and BFF watched a silly movie, I sat on the floor hunched over glitter, burning myself with a glue gun.  I spaced out the sequins I had planned to enhance my feminine lines and stuck them on accordingly..after knocking a few off, more than once.  To the left is the dress before I began my adventure, to the right are my nearly completed showgirl shoes.  The finished product will be revealed in a few weeks when I present my final project for level 2 at The Toronto School of Burlesque.  I mean I’ve got to keep a few secrets…right? It’s tough though if you know me, all I want to do is show you everything.  But I guess that’s gonna happen soon enough.  It is after all burlesque:)

hugs and crafty clutter,

Gracie

Building Character: Gracie Klutz

I have been a character forever. I have always been a little clumsy. I have never had a filter. I bruise easily and often. But I haven’t always played myself. When I learned what takes good writing-to-great writing, it all boils down to 2 rules: 1. Write what you know and 2. Honesty is the key to funny. And I now know it’s time to get honest.

Gracie KlutzAs a child, I was a mite dramatic. I would breakdown, sobbing uncontrollably about the memory of a story my Momma told about a childhood accident she’d had. I mean I didn’t cry when she told me, I cried a few days later at my Grandma’s; leaning against a pillar like a debutante who with the vapors. Then there’s the time I screamed at the top of my lungs because a bumblebee flew past me…but really I screamed because I was tired of waiting for my folks, who were too busy chit chatting with adult folk, that’ll teach’em. I have never been what anyone expected; an innocent looking blonde haired, blue-eyed little devil. I regularly shocked, performed for and showed off around all the adults I knew. Nobody was safe from my antics, I targeted my teachers, my friend’s parents, extended family and neighbors. My folks simply shrugging my over the top behaviour off; having grown used to expecting the unexpected, and occasionally being entertained in the process.

If you know me, and if you’re reading this, you prolly do; you know I love slapstick comedy. I love a funny lady- like Babs or Carol. I love The Pink Panther…even the way Steve Martin does it. I love Steve Martin. Oh, I prefer to travel by silly walk, sloppy swish or in Gangnam style. I watch stand up, fall down and webisode comedy. I like funny. I like it a whole lot.

So, if that’s what I know and those are the things I love, it’s likely that they’re what I should try forcing together in a hurricane of perfect harmony. A fall down-funny, screaming good time. *No pressure. And it’s not that I don’t like being serious, it’s just that we all gotta start somewhere, and comedy is so easy…wait, not easy, honest…it’s good to be honest. It is with this in mind that I have slowly started letting out my inner Gracie. Plus, honesty is so hot right now.

Collateral Burlesque Damage

I have always been an understated glamour puss. I love sparkly vintage clip on earrings.  I love the shine of a new pair of shoes.  I love glitter and fringe and everything sparkly. Lately though, looking around my almost teeny weeny Toronto condo I see just the kind of damage a showgirl can do. Every corner is jammed with feathers, sequins and webs of glue. A sewing machine here, a feather boa there.  I’ve sprayed the glamour I try to exude throughout my living quarters. It’s just too bad it’s all over my condo and not all over my burlesque act.

As I survey the damage my new glamour puss lifestyle has had on my living quarters I am surprised. I’ve always been a crafter. Stringing, crimping and collaging are my forte. But now I do it to stockings, pasties and panties. Bedecking them to within an inch of their structural integrity. Gluing sequins, affixing studs and painting glitter; I am merciless. And it shows. I am glamorizing this shabby apartment rental to within a glimmering inch of showgirl wonderment. But is it fair to the other occupants?  Jill Bean and Bucy Goose are happy to be sparkly. Their coats glimmer with the shine and sheen of two happy healthy animals. The couch that glitter was spilt upon is now more glamorous than it could’ve imagined. My Hubby on the other hand is sad to be sparkly. The odd sticky shiny sparkler shining on his face, body and brawn. .. Call me crazy, but I like it.

Everyday we are forced to walk through a not so dreamy life. We make choices that aren’t fun or beautiful. We grasp at the glamour. A glamour that can be found in the sparkle of a few sequins. Groping at the ritz and regal lifestyle saved for how the other half-lives. I think that the little bit of loving life left on the couch and kitty are a great reminder of the way I want to live. Striding towards the feathers, fringe and folly of the stage. So, I must say to myself, and you. My house is a disaster. A beautiful disaster that tells a story of who I am, what I want to be and what I’ve been doing to get there. Yeah, it’s messy. Yeah, that mess isn’t going anywhere. But it’s all over and I love it. So, how could I be anything else? A cluttered crafty creation. And a beautiful disaster.

Tonight On Dancing With The Cloths

My Hubby caught me doing something a bit strange.  Well, strange for most people.  He caught me dancing in the kitchen with a white dish cloth.  And that was what I did last night.  For a grand total of 2.75 hours I tossed, lobbed and flung that cloth around for all it’s worth.  Under the loose cover story of practising a useless skill that might come in handy later… Though I have no idea why. Transforming it from headscarf to bikini top to panel skirt then tossing it through my legs.  Hubby wouldn’t stop laughing at me.  Until I laughed so hard I tooted, and then we laughed harder.  Which brings me to this… I am trying to convince Hubby to come on this digital journey with me.  I have asked him to start a weekly blog, loosely based on the Commissioner his level-headed alter ego.  I would love to hear his Dancing with the Cloths reviews and whether it’s stage ready or not.  Keep your eyes peeled for a shifty looking guy hanging about, he’s probably a Narc.  Please comment if you love this idea:)

I’ve Been Stinkin’

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I am sitting in my den…well, my Hubby’s den…promoting this blog, listening to my puppa’s puggy snores and she stinks.  She stinks like wet dog cuz it’s been raining forever.  Her blankets stink. Her breath stinks and I don’t like it.  I want the world to smell like vanilla, brown sugar and lavender.  That doesn’t seem like such a tall order. But enough about her stinkin’.  Here’s what I’ve been really stinkin’ at.  I haven’t been posting the “1000 word visual essays” I find myself a part of.  So, I gonna stop the stinkin’, I pinky swear.

A #wishywash Gracie poses for beginners-burlesque class presentation photo.  The #epicfail that passed with flying colours. I wish there was video of that beautiful disaster.   Someone should tell this Gracie to hang on to her head scarf, things are about to get messy.  To follow along with that story click me.

I will be more vigilant with the images and random thoughts.  You’re welcome?

Saving Gracie

I am currently a junior at Toronto Burlesque high. This doesn’t mean much, except I’m graduating soon and have to start thinking about which Burlesque Universities I want to apply for. With over 20…did I just say 20? years of performing experience I am starting to hoe a new row. The Burlesque world is as unique as the performers on stage. Each act choosing music that makes’em shake, shimmy and grind. Cloaking their goods in layers of glitter, fringe and fabulousness. Choreographing their stories and showing off. It’s revealing. It’s scintillating. It’s sparkly. What’s not to love? It’s an adventure I look forward to sharing.

Last year I was struggling to find where I belonged professionally. I’ve been a struggling actor for as long as I can remember. I mean I struggle with many things, but nobody struggles like an out of work, under-appreciated and all-around disappointment of an artist. I had set goals for myself that I had no power over achieving. With fingers crossed I auditioned for a tv series glimpse, a movie moment or commercial soul sale. I got none. I begged. I avoided. I flirted; all without result. Well, I guess there was a result…it just wasn’t the one I wanted.

I’ve seen peers around me dropping into real estate, settling into joe-jobs, and saying see-ya later to the biz. All the glitz and glamour, all the fame and fortune. Of which there isn’t enough to go around. I stayed. I dug in my heels, fingernails and teeth. My determination almost tangible. Of course I always had a string of Joe jobs myself (the list is too long for this particular blog, but I am sure we’ll get into most of them at some point); but the Biz was my main stream of income. When that changed.

It was then I noticed a shift. I didn’t feel like an artist anymore. When the artist’s internal motto shifts from “What’s next?” to “What do I do when I can’t do what I’ve done for as long as I can remember?”, it is time to reevaluate. My career was seized by a fight or flight reaction. It was time for action. So, what I did for a while was nothing. I was a nose flaring rabbit scared frozen, hoping that the future had T-Rex vision. And as long as I stayed still, I would be unharmed. Sadly, the future waits for no woman, and like a T-Rex, it has an amazing sense of smell.

I remember a plaque in my childhood bathroom: Give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Written in scrolled lettering. Well, I read that every time I went to the washroom. Each time expecting to truly understand it. I understand it now, it’s an addict’s tool, reminding them they don’t want to be an addict. And I am a performance junkie…and I have the strength to change. This is where burlesque comes back around.

All my life I have loved the Million dollar mermaid. Lusting after the rhinestones and refinement of the spectacular showgirl. I’ve longed for the whispery Monroe tones. The pin-up culture. The vintage vibe. It’s all in my wheelhouse. Add to that my stand up experience, my dance training, showomanship and a pair of big beautiful bouncy…well, you get it. I am stacked in my own favour. I took a breath, took my Hubby’s hand and signed up for a class. And now as I approach my final presentation at the junior high burlesque level, I realize this might just be where the warped, weird, wonderful me wanted to be the whole time.

Now, I have the control to choose my work. To pick through the piles and plan an act I can be proud of. I am now my own casting, choreographer and creative genius; working all the ways I work best. Against my mirror self and with the music. I’m not crossing my fingers to win a crown and title anytime soon but it’s nice just to be in the game…well, training for a game at least. And it’s a game I can’t wait to play. You should get ready to fall for this Klutz, she’s a beautiful disaster.