Mr. & Mrs. Klutz

Yesterday marked my 2 year anniversary. Two wonderful years married to my superhero, my biggest fan and my best friend- no offence BFF:) And I am happy. I couldn’t have asked for a better man than my Hubby. A sometimes grumpy (Commish), but always supportive and understanding new OS of the man I fell in love with. His generosity and self-confidence help to keep me grounded and logical, well, as logical as I can be; dreamer and do-gooder that I am. We have been together since before Gracie took over my waking life. And he doesn’t mind sharing us with the world. Mostly.

Now, I love calling my Hubby: Mr Klutz. At heart I am a laid-back feminist. I think anything they can do, I can do better, I can do anything better than who? and it doesn’t matter if you’re a gal or a broad or a dude. It’s about doing it, and doing it, and doing it well. I like that calling him Mr Klutz, implies that I took his last name, but knowing that he took my last name, but what’s in a name anyways? Even if it wasn’t a made up name, it’s who we are. We are the Klutzes. We spill and squawk and squeal. We love and live and laugh. We are the highest versions of ourselves. The selves we’d both love to be all the time, if the world would just let us. I ❤ being the Klutz family.

Our married life is simple. We live covered in glitter, sequins and full of that untamed wild performing arts spirit. These lives may not be easy to navigate but we don’t need to make sense to be happy…though if you want to give us something, we need some things really badly. Including but not limited to: more sequins, glitter and time, if you’ve got any extra laying around, we’ll take it. I remember from my school girl days that sharing and being a team player are important to becoming champions. But I never realized that being married to a man who really gets you, is the best team you could find yourself on…except a dream team that includes 2 Harlem Globetrotters- specifically the dunk king and the long distance basket baller, but what do I know, I don’t play peach basket ball.

I ❤ you Mr. Klutz, thanks for catching me when I fall. And helping dust me off. And cover my bruises. And carrying my heavy stuff. And laughing at my jokes. And protecting my virtue. And all the things that make you Mr. Klutz. I am delighted to be your Gracie.

The Craftey Burly Girl

Now, I have been a crafter fo’my whole life. I can decipher any crafting quandary. I rely on my resources and resourcefulness to overcome every crafty obstacle. This is a helpful trait for a burlesque lady who is also hindered by budget- ie: yours truly. I don’t want quality to suffer just because I can’t afford it. So, I have honed my craftiness to serve my needs to keep up appearances. You know, as any power hungry dark-lord might.

So, as I’m running around trying to gather the bits and bobs I have left to complete my Babes in Space (Aug 25&29) kittening costume, my spooky Halloween number, my winter wonderland number, festival applications, personal branding and all on the budget of an unemployed actress. I’m lucky my craft drawer recently had babies and that most of my craft-drawer stuff suits my needs…and I need them to go the distance.

As a resourceful crafterpreneur, it gives me a sense of pleasure that I can think logically, fiscally and responsibly- while still plotting Burl-domination.  Burlesque can be hectic. It can be expensive. It can be a pain in your act. But for me it’s worth the reward. At least I think it is… So, as I head back in to my crafternoon resort, I think the force is strong with me. I mean I force the force to be strong with me. That could happen right?

Klutz: Vintage Style

There is something inexplicable about vintage. The way it feels, almost like it chose you. The way it smells, the special way it lays. It’s impossible to decide if it’s because the garment has been loved by another. Love by someone who must’ve loved it as much as I do if it’s still in such great condition. Maybe it’s the fact that these classics feel like they’re alive with memories. Or is it that they may be the last piece like it left anywhere in the world. Well, no matter the reason I will always love clothes that are older than I am.

Just by walking through the door of a vintage shop, I am transported. I find myself drifting back to the heyday of glamour and prestige. It seems like I can remember evening gowns at the theatre and crystal droplets dangling from Motown crooners. When I find a piece I love, it makes me feel as if I can travel back to those times. And if those dresses, gowns or slack suits can look great at their age and it’s way over 50; then I can too.

Vintage as applied to burlesque, well that’s tricky. The delicate fabrics and unique finishings can challenge even the most accomplished vintage enthusiast. While performing in vintage, there is little room for error. Co-ordination and accuracy become the only thing between your reveal and an unplanned seam split. The act of bejewelling becomes a delicate game of plan and scheme. Exhausting every idea before finally attempting one. Always test your planned moves to ensure the fabric’s malleability, or lack there of. And be prepared to reinforce or release seams. But the extra effort is worth it. By investing in a special vintage piece I force myself to be meticulous and measured; 2 traits Gracie should get used to. And I would like to use my garment enthusiasm to my ad-vintage.*insert Fri-Yay eye roll.

If The Pink Shoes Fit

Last year when I expressed interest in purchasing a pair of pink Doc Martens, I was teased by a coworker. He asked me what could I possibly wear pink docs with, he asked me wasn’t I afraid people would make fun of me? I was shocked, who has time to make fun of the girl in the pink boots. Also, if people are going to make fun of me, it might as well be for something I chose. And I will always choose pink shoes.

It all started with pink rubber boots. They were the first pair of shoes I bought as a grown up. I tromped around on rainy days, getting compliments keep in mind this was over 10 years ago, before rain boots were cool. Those boots made me feel like a rainbow. Then came the pink winter boots with the light grey fur; warming me up from the inside out. Then my second pair of pink wellys, having completely worn through the first pair. But these boots are limited to inclement seasonal use. And I want to feel this way everyday. For as long as I can remember I have loved shoes. I love walking about feeling beautiful. It’s a sickness that my Hubby hopes to one day cure. I know I have struggled with it my entire life. Here’s how it started.

I have always been what you might call “dramatic”. Not in the gossipy-backstabbing-mean girls way. More the I-like-to-get-my-way-or-the-highway kinda thing. This has been obvious since day one. But let’s start at age 4. Now, I don’t remember this, but my Momma told me a story. One day we went to the local shoe store- Bruno’s, to buy me new shoes for daycare. Being the sensible woman she was and continues to be, Momma chose a pair of sensible brown mary-janes. Of course, she knew I would grow out of these shoes within the year and she wanted to get her money’s worth. I, on the other foot, did not want anything to do with a boring pair of brown-BROWN- mary-janes. I wanted the Princess shoes I saw in the window, glimmering and sparkly, red like Dorothy’s. Now, Bruno was old for as long as I can remember. His white hair and brown paper box wrapping, were all the proof I needed…This was a sensible man. When he brought me the box with the brown mary-janes, fitted them to my teeny feet and asked me how they felt…well, let’s just say little me suddenly developed a limp, complaining that my toes were squished working myself up to big-fake-crocodile-tears. The faces of these two sensible people dropped; they were not fooled by the childish antics of this 4-year-old. It was Old man Bruno’s suggestion that we try the Princess shoes…just to see. Upon stepping into them, I began dancing, spinning, twirling, extolling the virtues of these insensible shoes. But that joy didn’t change the fact that the budget was set, the shoes had to be used for everyday, and ruby slippers just weren’t gonna do it. No matter how many times I clicked my heels together.

As a grown up, I have realized that being happy is of the utmost importance. And it shouldn’t matter where you find it. If you can find happiness in a pair of pink shoes, wear them. If it’s burlesque that tickles your fancy, do it. Life isn’t as easy as it seemed when you were little. I remember thinking I can’t wait to grown up, now I wish I hadn’t wished that. Ah, the sweet sting of hindsight. So, as an immature grownup, I have made a promise to myself: I am gonna to party like it’s 1999, I am gonna run free and I am gonna wear pink shoes.

Side note: It is my goal to wear pink shoes every single day by the year 2015. But by then we’ll have hover shoes, which will only come in pink, translucent and hyper-colour…right?

Aww Geez, You Guys…

Well, that was so much fun. I had a really really fun time with you all. I watched everyone laugh at blue comedy, spilled by an over-sprayed blonde wigged nightmare. Illusions and shimmies. and all the glitter. And a free drink. Did I mention all the glitter everywhere. My showgirl bag has exploded all over and glue sticking to the insides of my clothes. Now, I am laying on my cluttered couch, and I don’t even know what to say.

Can I say thank you? I should say thank you. It’s always polite to say thank you upon receiving a compliment. And I am a polite lady. My Momma raised me to always say please and thank you. A little sugar goes a long way. Thank you Hubby, thank you BFF, thank you Momma, thank you tables of screaming girls. The Fergus mating call has been created. And those hugs! Let’s talk hugs. They were amazing. We should do that more often. All of us:) all the time.

Now with that said, I have blog series I’m writing with the working title: How to clean up after burlesquing, cuz there’s a way you’ve gotta do it; otherwise it’s everywhere. Yay! OCD meet little Ole’ Gracie: a beautiful disaster.

Oh yeah, and THANK YOU!!!

Reveal Me: It’s Today!!

This morning my alarm clock rings with the bells of change, excitement and nerves. Today is the first day in the rest of my life. Tonight, my first act takes the stage, in public, with everyone watching, as a burlesque performer. I shy away from the terminology dancer, as that would quite honestly overstate how I move…which is spastic to say the least. To say more, it’s awkward, warped and barely to the beat, but I think spastic will does nicely.

Folks around town have been asking me; “Gracie, are you nervous?”, Nah, I say…though I am not entirely sure I mean it. They also say, “Whoa, that was fast.”; which is true. It was greasy lightning fast. Then they say,”I’d be so scared.”, which isn’t great for someone who’s brain runs wild, but at least it’s honest.

The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of gemstones, glue and gritted teeth. When I first started out on this lark, which is what it was, a lark, I gave myself until my birthday in October to have my first act on stage. I was going to take my time. Plan, scheme and procrastinate. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans; they usually sprout wings and fly out the open window, and no matter how much you offer as a reward, you know they’re never coming back. Okay, I know, that wasn’t a great analogy, but let’s pretend together shall we?

So, as I sit and fret over 2 mins and 36 seconds of my life, I find myself elated. I feel happier and more productive than I have in a long, lllooooonngg time. It’s amazing how right burlesque feels, it fits like a stocking or elbow length glove. I can almost hear the clapping and clambering of my Spa-friends, classmates and colleagues; cheering me on to what feels like victory. But that’s not what it is. There has to be a word for the happy-scared-nervous-jittery-glittery execution of a new burlesque act by a new burlesquer, but if there is I don’t know it. So, the show is tonight and people are talking. I have been getting notes and motivation and support. Hubby wants me to take it slow and easy. BFF says she can’t believe we didn’t think of this sooner. Momma wishes me a broken leg every time we chat, and this is all before anybody knows just how much of a disaster I am… or how possible a broken leg might actually be.

Go to the show:
Reveal ME @ the Rivoli

Blogess Seeking Amusing Muses

Howdy ladies, dames and broads! I know we’ve probably never met but  I want to get to know each and every one of your pretty little personas.  And all the voices in their heads.

While sulking in my T.O. condo, watching the rain…again, I thought it would be so nice to have a place where I could research all you inspiring Burlesque babies from Toronto and beyond. Kinda like a dame database.  A stage-lady catalogue, or maybe even a weekly woman calendar.  Okay, so what is it I’m proposing? Proposing!!?!! Well that was sudden.*insert eye roll at obvious Dad joke* Well, what I want is if you’re a Showgirl, drop me an email, I will send you a questionnaire that you fill out and fax it*too soon for another eye roll?* over to me, then I’ll create a post with links to all your info on my blog, which goes out on the intra-web via fancy twitters and promotional FBPs (FaceBook Posts, obviously. Then your information gets sorted alphabetically and by cup size into a streamlined online file cabinet.  This could grow into wiki-lesque or burl-wiki, I know those stink, I have yet to finalize the name. That’s a work in progress.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking: ‘That sounds like a lot of work, Gracie.’  But let’s really think about it…It’s free advertising for you, great if you’ve got an upcoming show or something to say. And by say I mean flog shamelessly. It’s awesome for me and my readers to get to know a new face every- get this- A Muse Monday.  And it’s a great way to start the week. Trust me, it’ll make getting out of bed a bit easier. What d’ya say ladies? Will you let me riddle you this?  Prettiest of pleases…?