Take This Moment And Love It

I love burlesque. Period. Full Stop. I love the people. I love the glitz. I love the gussied up giddiness. And the unexpected…well, you never know what it’s going to be. Burlesque is about breaking down the 4th wall. It encourages the audience to participate. The whole room engages to unite for 3 and a half minutes of togetherness. And for that fleeting moment we are all connected with music, movement and momentum. Burlesque is about the Power of NOW!

With roots firmly planted in the past and boas reaching toward the future, burlesque is a timeless art form. The only limit to what you can create are the laws of time and space. And the possibility of someone having already created it;) As an artist, that is an amazing power to wield. But with great power comes great responsibility, at least that’s what my Uncle Ben always said. I have met Burly girls and boys from all walks of life. The elements that unite us are the desire to drive our own art forward, to have creative control and put on a great show. And sometimes we exceed our own expectations.

Burlesque is an art form that thrives on an audience. It is by it’s very nature exhibitionism. Now, definitions of this word vary from simply wanting to attract attention to a compulsion to expose body parts not “normally” exposed. Obviously, burlesque incorporates both of those definitions, but it is not pigeonholed by mere words. It can challenge and charm. It tantalizes, teases and taunts. It can be political, polite or poppy. Burlesque lives in the moment, and it is the hope of this Showgirl that an appreciative audience can see through the definitions. And that we will exist together for an electric moment, and we will finally be happy.

Tick Tock Time

Rush. Rush. Rush. Busy is the new good, and all that. And that, is terrible. Can you remember when you didn’t feel constantly pressured by ever looming- seemingly- life or death deadlines? When the time allotted to a project was uninterrupted by the tinkling alerts of a smartphone? When you were focused on the task at hand? Yeah, me neither. It’s as though being busy has replaced being productive. But who am I to complain? I am a busy-body*. I am a work horse. I have a hard time saying No, and I tend to stretch myself thin; in all the wrong places.

Gracie finds herself circled by stacks of acts.

Gracie finds herself circled by stacks of acts.

On a (nearly) daily basis, my Hubby vocalizes how my time management skills affect our lives. Specifically our living space. There are piles of ongoing projects on every flat surface. The sad stacks of half-cocked ideas and nearly done nonsense, litter our tiny Toronto condo. Unlike many of my burlesque colleagues, who have a dedicated space to tuck their wares away; my open concept living quarters display my disaster for all to see. Now, I could blame this on architectural inadequacies, but honestly, if I didn’t have a to-do pile, nothing would ever get done. I am naturally drawn to disarray. It is a nature/nurture flaw/foible that I acquired from my ever lovin’ Momma. She too is a busy-body*. The house of my youth was stacked with all the diverse distractions she loved/loves doing. Then once a month, when those oh so special hormones would kick-in, she would hit the roof and callously cleanse the house…And by that I mean, fill the junk drawers and hide the evidence. I too have this monthly habit, although I don’t have a junk drawer, I have a serious collection of over-stuffed Ikea organizational elements. So, those projects remain. Stacked. Taunting me.

I submit this blog into evidence as exhibit XXX. I get pleasure from writing it. I receive pleasure from those reading it. But I often find myself with hands full, unable to type or afford a typist. So the ideas sit, stagnant in a doodle diary; until their interest for me expires or the topics become outdated. The time for action has disappeared but the pile remains and I am still too busy to finish it. But with what am I filling my time? My over active imagination has had me convinced that my piles could animate themselves. Becoming paper monsters that haunt me. And I’m scared. So, what does one do when they don’t have enough time to be so busy? Well, my little lambs, that is a question for the interweb at large. So, if anyone has a meme that clarifies life, I’d love to see it- especially if there’s a baby animal involved.

*Busy-body in this context meaning a hustler, a go-getter, a do-gooder and just an all around fun-time-seeker & joiner

This Is Not A Drill

Last night my fire alarm went off. Not in the, “I was busy over baking chicken fingers” kinda way, more of a “The Toronto fire services have discovered a fire on level P3” fashion. So, Hubby, forced me out from under my sewing machine and into the cold dark night, with dog baby in tow. (We left the Puss, cuz I think she’d prefer to stay and roast than have to deal with society…I know how she feels) So, we took to the stairs with our neighbours, who are also strangers. I hrumphed the whole time, wearing two sets of gloves. We stood outside watching the firemen, who know it’s a faulty alarm in a new building, mill around, until someone turns off the alarm. I was day dreaming about how beautiful and dangerous fire is, and what it would look like dancing. When suddenly it dawned on me: I hadn’t grabbed anything. My house is on hypothetical fire and I was more upset to lose the time working on my costume. I seriously didn’t grab anything but my keys. Keys to a house that is potentially on fire. I guess the point of this antidote is that when the mythical fire was burning my condo to the ground, it was all just stuff. And if I’m really honest, I could use the insurance money.

But all was safe and sound. I am blogging from underneath the sewing machine again. And I am on fire.

Dear Friend

My Dear Friend,
I know it has been quite sometime since I have sat down to this computer to input all the things in my brain, and that perhaps you may have missed my mentalities. But have no fear, John Cleese and Woody Allen have set me straight. I know what you’re thinking; “Gosh, that girl has friends in high places!”. Well, take comfort in the knowledge that you too could know them as well as I do, if you spent way too many consecutive hours trolling the internet; instead of actually being productive. But no matter the medium the lessons remain.

Let us begin with Johnny-boy, I can call him that, cuz he’ll never read this. In a recent column for Cracked, he reminded me that anything worth doing is worth doing for free, until you can convince someone to pay you for it. That little by little is the only way to consume an elephant. Oh, and there was also something about how getting what you want might be a lot harder than you ever thought it could be, but that doesn’t change the fact that you want it.

On the other hand Woody Allen’s reputation and repertoire speak for themselves. His work ethic is unparalleled. With over 75 movies under his writing, directing and starring belt, he is proof that if you make it, they will come. A true testament to the fact that, no matter what you do, if you like it, if it makes you laugh, think, cry, ache, it will affect another. Period. Full stop. The only thing stopping people from loving your body of work, is that you haven’t created a body of work.

It is with those ideologies, that I launch myself back into cyber-space. I challenge myself to keep growing as an artist. A writer. A performer. A beautiful disaster. And I hope that you will re-enlist as a reader. A cheerleader. And all out fanatic…though, I’ll have to earn that last one. But I’ll take that bet, and roll the dice, and go all in, if it means someone will appreciate my body…of work that is.

Hearts and Stars,
Gracie

Captain of her Destiny Ship