The Fierce! Queer International Burlesque Festival and the Pennsylvania Burlypicks brought me to Pittsburgh for 5 days. There's something odd about spending time with a completely different crowd of people in a place that used to be my home. It's a little surreal to visit the places that built so much of my life, almost unattached from the experiences that meant a lot to my formative years.
|I'm from here.|
During these events, I had the chance to examine aspects about myself both as a person and a performer, specifically my limitations.
A major limitation for me right now is physical. My heart wants to do the splits and learn aerials, to flip and jump, to make it through a full hour long class of dance with a legendary teacher. But the truth is that I can't, not at this point. I've spent the last several years in a job where I am sitting all day, and I rarely get up to stretch because I become hyper-focused and engrossed in my work. The stress level that comes with it leaves me wiped out at the end of the day, barely able to function some days. As a result of this, all of my once-flexible muscles are tense and in knots, I have poor balance, and quite frankly, I often feel physically weak. As I performed over the weekend, and on reflecting on those performances and viewing video, I could see how these limitations detracted from my numbers. Something that I could make into a signature piece is dampened by them. I know none of this is sexy, it's not something I am proud of, and it's hard for me to talk about this in any public way. I've known I have had these limitations, but this week really put a fine point onto it.
|It does not impede my ability to eat glitter however|
|This sass face is a lie|
|This fire saw some things|
|"why am I like this" - me to me|
So where do I go from here?
First off, I am determined to spend more time practicing burlesque moves and techniques as well as building my strength. I have a tendency to want to do those things, but when it comes to making it a reality, I often fail. I'm actively looking for a rehearsal space, because I do not really have one. This goal is my top priority. The number one thing that's said to me, especially from other performers, is that they love my costuming. While it's nice to hear that because I've dedicated so many hours to my costumes, it also is sometimes the only thing I hear. So I will be working on leveling up my moves, choreography, and polish. I'll be spending the next year less on developing new acts, and more on the aforementioned polish of existing numbers.
|I'll be neglecting you a bit, babies|
On the last topic...I am not sure how to fix it. I need to spend more time in introspection about why I have this block. Advice is welcome here.
Overall, I've come away from the experience feeling a sense of relief in these realizations. I'm so grateful to have been included in such an incredible festival and to have made new friends along the way. I'm certainly looking forward to next year. Is it 2018 yet?