Things Could Always Be Worse

I got up this morning without an alarm, which is alarming since I have to be up at sparrow fart. (Sparrow Fart: A time so early in the morning, the birds are just waking up themselves. Stretching their wings and releasing the gas from yesterday’s worms) So, there I am listening to the sounds of nothing in the early morning darkness, wondering what the day will hold for me. Especially, since it’s only just begun and there’s a lot more to go. Then it began.
I banged my head while getting clean undies outta the dryer. I mean BANGED, goose egg steeze. I got a sliver in my sock, which scratched my foot. I missed 2, count them, TWO busses. And when I finally did get to the subway, it was an old car without a ceiling bar for those forced to sway shoulder to shoulder. Where I spend my commute apologizing for my infamous lack of balance. When I get to work, I develop a blister in boots I’ve worn for 5 years. The stiff and starched crotch seam of my uniform pants start becoming intimately aquatinted with my delicate lower lady parts. And on top of all that, I need a haircut so dang bad, I mean I look like Mr Muggs. Blonde bangs covering my blue eyes. The only benefit is that I can blow them up with a cartoon sigh of exasperation. Which I’ve done quite a bit today, and it’s only 9:15! Good news is: it’s only 9:15, and I hope to change today for the better. Which, fingers crossed, I can because there’s still a long way to go. So whether you’re having a great day or the friggin’ worst, I hope you have the courage to change the one thing you can, which is YOU! Happy Fri~Yay to everyone!

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Get Show Ready With Gracie

Now, I’ve had a few showgirls ask me what my pre-show regime entails. Well, to really explore this, we have to start at the beginning.

One month before the show:  This is usually when I get booked. So, with nearly 30 days to prep, I think to myself how lucky I am to have so much valuable time. Usually at this point I have pitched a song for the act in question. So, I listen to it on repeat, until I feel like if I hear it one more time, my ears will start bleeding. And I think: What would Gracie Do? Then I come up with a story arch for the song. And plant some joke seeds.

Two weeks and 3 days before the show: I write up my Iva Handful inspired musical spreadsheet. It details all the musical hits, when they happen, what the lyric is, and what I expect to happen. Don’t be fooled- this is tedious work. It takes a lot of listening for flute solos and drum hits; being in touch with how the song naturally makes you move. But it pays off when you step away and actually start working it. A strong foundation is very important when you’re building your dream act.

Two weeks before the show: My costume is designed. Notice the italics. This means that I’ve picked the pieces. And made a list of those missing elements & necessary embellishments. Then I spend 2 days straight stitching, pasting and forcing all these parts into a cohesive costume. Then my Hubby gives me a lecture about how all the crafting items don’t need to be strewn across all the flat surfaces in our condo. I sigh, cuz I’ve heard it all before; put my headphones into my ears, and listen to that song again…and again as I clean and tidy. While I’m focused on the swiffer and wiping the mirror, I imagine my costume coming apart just right. **NOTE: This step has to happen a lot sooner for Showgirls relying on the kindness of strangers to build their costume. Luckily, I am a crafty little dancer.

One week before the show: Everything is ready, except me. I have run my act according to my spreadsheet. Now, I mod it. Of course, there are moments that just don’t work. Writing something down in Excel and executing it in real life are two very different things. The confines of time and space are the natural enemy of the dream act, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goal another way. Modifications are a showgirls’ BFF. And I still have time to rejig all those moments to fit. This is also when costume flaws are fixed. The music I’d started hating has become my theme song. And I find myself running choreo at the bus stop and giggling when I realize another joke I planted has grown strong.

Two days before the show: I decide that this is the worst concept I’ve ever come up with. That nobody is going to understand it, let alone like it. I hate everything about it.

The day before the show: I wake up early stretch and figure that yesterday I was wrong about everything and that I couldn’t be that bad, and even if everything goes horribly, horribly awry, I’m Gracie Klutz…and that’s kinda my thang. I give everything a once over. This is my last chance to get that shit tight. I make sure every stone is stuck. Every seam is sewn. And then I run it 4 more times -in show shoes-, before packing my showgirl bag- with checklist- in costume chronological order. ( Meaning from bottom layer up: ie: panties & pasties, stockings, bra..etc)

SHOW DAY: I pretend that my tummy is upset cuz I drank too much coffee. I pace and mark it in my mind. I tear my showgirl bag apart and  re-pack it. Then double check it again. Again. I leave early for the venue cuz you can’t rely on TTC to be timely. I arrive way too early. Run tech. Then I wait. There’s this long time between getting there and going on, so I pretend to be totally fine as I pace backstage. And I wait some more.

Performer Before Me: I hear the audience and think I can’t match that reaction. And forget how to breathe for a minute.

During My Intro: I stand in the wings. Straightening myself again and again. I hear my name. The host runs past me and I am alone and dizzy.

My Music Starts: Then I lose myself for 3 mins. I make myself laugh. I move through my dream act. With those movements and emotions I’ve planned. And maybe a few I didn’t.

The Music Ends: Then it’s over until next time. Unless you count working the crowd as part of your act, but I like it too much to think of it as work.

Rinse, Repeat to FADE or Infinity: I plan, pitch and proceed with my next act.

So, that’s how I do it. Did that help anyone, besides me and my OCD Showgirl brain? I sure hope so, cuz that was the plan. And I like to execute my plans. So, consider this plan on death row. And see you Feb 5th @ The Rivoli- Toronto*

*Side note: Throughout this entire process, I am promoting my show on all my social media- like a good little showgirl. Cuz what’s a show without an audience?

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.

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.

On Your Mark, Get Set, GRACIE!

Ladies & Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I introduce the Sweetie Pie to the Face, the Beautiful Disaster, Queen Humblebee: Ms. Gracie Klutz.

Since I am performing tonight, I thought I might take you behind the curtain. Or maybe even inside the showgirl bag. So, without further adieu, I present for your reading pleasure: The Showgirl Checklist

Things Packed for Everyshow

1. A Billion Bobby Pins

2. One Hundred Safety Pins

3.  Glimmering Body Shellac

4. Boob glue/Tit tape

5. Oodles and oodles of fancy dancy Showgirl paint- AKA Lipstick and blush

Things Packed for “The BooBoo Act”

1.  Pink Knee-highs with Pink Satin Bows

2. A Pretty Little Blue Dress

3. One Stretchy Pink Belt with gold latch

4. Pink Panties & Brazier bedecked with blue Flower

5. And 6 Itsy Bitsy Secrets- which are of course, the hardest to pack

Things I Never Leave Home Without

1 thru 100. A Smile

As I work my way down my checklist, packing sparkly bits and joke bobs into my showgirl bag, each piece reminds me: I am a Showgirl. Finally.

And you should come watch me tonight- if for no other reason than to learn my 6 itsy bitsy secrets:)

Click for Tickets!

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.