Dr. Klutz/Mrs. Monstrous

There are a few days every month I am a little more sensitive, a little more likely to take offence, a little less myself and a lot more some crazed blonde with an axe to grind. Listen, I’m not going to admit that I transform into a totally different persona, Jekyll and Hyde style, though I may casually imply that my dark-side overshadows my good doctor and Mrs Monstrous takes control…for a few days. See, I could write it off as purely hormonal, which is part of it; but by the end of every month I realize how much time I’ve wasted. I can count how many days I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to, the calendar never lies. And that makes Mrs Monstrous angry. And you wouldn’t like her angry. As the end of this month draws nigh, I feel a tug of knowing; my to do list just keeps growing, with less and less time to check everything off. So, what do you do when the list starts to pile up on top of you and weigh you down, transforming your joie de vivre into a big green shirt splitting monster? Well, there are a few suggestions I can offer to those of us with multiple personalities and the inability to say no.

Tools to Defeat the Monsters

  1. BREATHE- the brain is the most important organ in the process of getting anything done; without oxygen the brain is useless. Breathing is the best and most effective way to focus yourself and quell those todo list demons, if even for just a few sweet deep breathes.
  2. Re-evaluate- not all the items on your todo list have the same level of importance. There are varied timelines and due dates. A calm reevaluation allows you to reorganize the tool that is supposed to keep you organized. I also find it helpful to create drop downs within my master list. By laying out the various steps needed for each task they become bite-sized and easier to digest.
  3. Ask for help- this is a big one. If you are working with others you are more likely to complete all duties without things falling through the cracks. No one person is able to focus on the big picture AND all the minuet details. Now, not every todo list item is a group effort, but don’t think that you’re ever alone in the feeling of “too much to do with too little time”. Sometimes just talking to another person is all the help you need.
  4. Acceptance- no matter how much control you want, there will always be factors beyond your ability to change. Acceptance is key. Once you’ve accepted that sometimes life can take on the shape of the monsters you feared so much, you just might learn how to defeat them.

I am a firm believer that there is nothing new. That everything has been done before but it’s up to us to figure out our own way of doing them. Now, that may sound like a huge downer, but c’mon doesn’t it also take some of that “everything’s gotta be perfect” pressure off? Honestly though, at the end of the month when Mrs Monstrous comes stomping around, it’s nice to remind her that things could be worse- plus she’s a good worker. Her people skills however; well they could use work.


Spin Gracie Spin

Once upon a time there was a happy little burly gal named Gracie. Now, she was no ordinary girl. She was a little off kilter. Not in a sad or embarrassing way, but in a never know what you’re gonna get- chocolate kinda way. And lately she’s been feeling a little nuts. Mind you, that’s way better than feeling sherry-cherry filled, which is just gross.
Now, this beautiful little disaster has been a busy little body, trying to juggle all her different lives and loves. She’s usually pretty organized, but lately she’s been close to dropping plates, balls and spilling milk all over the place. Which stinks, cuz she doesn’t have time to replace any broken dishes from the matching set of 12 or cry over the milk? Not Gracie, that’s who.
Gracie is a girl on the move with many irons in the fire. And the craziest part is she’s constantly looking for more to do, more places to be, more costumes to be made and more…well, just more of everything. In the coming months Gracie is undertaking and overstretching and happy to do so.
I guess the moral of the story is: If you’ve got a problem, yo, She’ll solve it. Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it. And if you ask this chocolate covered-milk spilling- iron firing- nut nicely enough, I’m sure I can fit it in somewhere. Or just throw it to me on the count of three and then don’t move, cuz all this juggling is making me dizzy.
Thanks for the lovin’,
Gracie in the Middle

Gracie In The Mist

So, last night I premiered the most daring and accidentally sexy Gracie Klutz act ever. And man, was I sweating; literally and figuratively. It was hot, and I was clad in latex…Oh how the sweat rolled. Also, did I mention that there was a documentary crew? A crew that followed us from awkward street clothes to glittered sex goddess. Now- sex goddess I use here as a blanket terminology, but even haphazard  me sexed it up…Gorilla style and I think people were scared and aroused. At least I was. With painted nails and black hair I took the stage under veil of monkey. And it was captured by all angles in moving pictures.

I remember growing up and looking at my grand-folks photo albums; black and white whimsy, stuck stiffly for all eternity…But ladies and gents, today we have video. Every device can capture every movement our bodies make.  There is no chance for second chances. Sometimes your wig will fly off because your top wouldn’t untie. Sometimes your shoe will get stuck. But just the left one, so I can hobble around the stage for a minute, only to catch myself and then begin again. Then you’ll walk off the stage with fore-arms swinging, to rushed side stage accolades; pushing naked through compliments. You’ll find yourself covered in sparkles and hair, stepping in a puddle of unidentified basement water and think to yourself-Gawd I’m hot and sweaty and happy and done and still nervous. And then, when you’re at your most honest and vulnerable, you’ll have a documentary crew ask you the perfect “Office” soliloquy question, and you’ll realize why documentaries are so important. At that point it is my job to be me.

I named this blog entry Gracie in the Mist for many Good-all reasons. I got to feel what it’s like to be studied. To be watched and learned from. I got to be a study in life, love and burlesque. Now, Miss Beans (my pet gorilla) well, she’s a cheeky monkey. She’s an anthropological study of basic instincts, and that’s a fact. Through Beans, Gracie gets to dance sexy and live banana to banana, without thought to consequence or threat of failure. That makes my brains buzz.  Life and burlesque. Human and animal. The duality is what intrigues me. And being caught on tape from Gracie to Beans and back again, well that’s a documentary I’d like to see…If I do write so myself.

Thank you for the kindest words and the silent treatments. I loved them both.

Go-Go Gracie Superstar

It has long been a problem of mine, that I don’t know how to say no. I just like being asked to help, perform, work etc ad nauseum so much, that I just agree to everything. It’s also on account of my fear of being left-out. A residual emotional scar from childhood I’m sure. Honestly though, I freaking love being busy.

I can remember my Momma scolding a lazy bones little Gracie. She would tell me a Body at rest stays at rest; which is a tough concept for most 8 year olds. If I wasn’t doing something, I would get assigned tasks. These tasks typically included chores that no 8 year wants to do, especially a teeny showgirl. So, I would motivate myself to create. I mean you could find me at the dinner table surrounded with construction paper, glue and shiny sharp silver scissors. Or I’d be in the basement rocking out to George Michael still too young to get that Father Figure could mean something other than an actual Daddio. I’ve always been a busy body, but I find it keeps my mind occupied.
I am already on the road, without plans to stop until late tonight. And I’m glad to have things to do. Tasks I’ve assigned myself and absorbed from others. But it feels like happy; you know that feeling? when you’re not left to your own devices to wrought and worry. Today feels like the flood gates have opened. I feel a release back into the fray. These next few months are gonna be a wild

ride and I can’t wait to get swept up in it.

The Plan: ROCKtober!

Smug GracieWell, well, well, October my old friend we meet again. Can I just tell you how much I love October! Love it. The air has a gentle nip, the apples have a crisp and the best of all, it’s my birthday and Halloween. Amazing. But enough about Rocktober, here’s the real deal. When I started this little foray into the burly-world, I told myself that I would be ready to perform in October. It seemed ideal for my Burl-launch, just far enough away that I would be able to prepare myself: Emotionally, physically, burlesque-ly. That was my plan in May, I was planning for October. Well, we all know things didn’t go down like that.  My plan took on a life of its own and had me performing in August. And that, ladies and gents is today’s lesson. Sometimes the best laid plans are just that, plans.

A plan is a super great tool for motivation. It can keep you on track, marking your progress as you work towards your goal. Now, I always recommend starting any new endeavour with at least some semblance of a plan. The bare bones of an idea give shape to an otherwise erratic and lifeless, well, for lack of a better word, performance skin.  At least by having those bones in place, you can rattle them as you go. (Ew, that was the worst metaphor. But I think you know what I mean, despite my attempt at spooky literary devices) The plan is what keeps you on track, the action is what gets you there. But it’s your ability to use your funny bone that will really keep that skeleton dancing. It’s easy to be blown off course by a pirate wind; hijacking your motivation, passion and even pleasure. It’s common to be distracted and disconnected from a task half-way through…Thank you smart-phones. Also, I’ve found that if you give yourself too much time you’ll never be ready. But if you have a plan, there is always something to fall back on.

Now, what I don’t know about life could fill the encyclopedia Britannica from Dumbass through Nincompoop, but what I do know is that most of the time, the important part is just doing something. All too often people give themselves permission to fail, simply by not trying. And regret is a tough thing to fix later. But by having a plan, you have made a promise to complete the task at hand. It doesn’t matter if the plan is to clean out your storage unit or sequin a matching set of under garments. It is the plan that begins, the action that motivates and the ability to roll over, around or through obstacles as they arise that will have you reaching higher heights. In my case, I’m revving up to break neck speed and holding on tight to my weapon of choice: a glue gun. So, as October officially launched yesterday, I wanted to congratulate myself for having a plan, setting it in motion and achieving (in record time) the goal of getting myself out there. I also wanted to inspire others to create their skeleton plan, if nothing else, it’ll make a great Halloween costume.