Last weekend I stage-managed and performed in a show called "Cabaret at the End of the Universe", a hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy themed burlesque hour. This was the fourth production of an annual birthday celebration that I co-produce with my dance-partner-in-crime Hurricane Velour (seeing as both of our birthdays are near the end of June). Every year, the Stripping Away the Years show gets me all misty and emotional for two reasons.
The first and most obvious, is the outpouring of love and enthusiasm I get from the cast and crew that are part of it. They always go the extra mile and dance and/or work their asses off. I get to see snippets of what performers are passionate about, I get to support my friends (emotionally and often monetarily) and it just warms my frickin' heart!! I am reminded of how privileged I am to be friends with people who are that talented and professional. I can't say enough how grateful for my sparkle family this show makes me feel every. single. year.
The second, slightly less obvious reason, is that the first ever SATY was actually the night of my first ever burlesque performance, thus the SATY show is my burlesqu-iversary every year. I remember that first year so clearly. I was a bundle of nerves as I waited to perform my first number: a striptease to "Material Girl" in which fake money fell out of my corset, bra and gloves as I took them off. I struggled to glue my store-bought pasties on with cheap eyelash glue and ended up having to borrow tape. My costume was about eight layers because I was terrified of not having enough to remove. I made eye contact intently with as many audience members as I could. I was barely dancing, after all, I didn't really know anything about choreography, but I tried to eye-fuck the audience hoping it would distract from how nervous I was.
Every year I find myself using this show as an opportunity to reflect on who I was when I first took to the stage and who I am now. I feel extremely overwhelmed thinking about the mistakes that I have made, the love that I have shared, the things that I have learned. However, amid the chaos of reliving years in a few days, there is one thought that I have every year and I can never shake: I love burlesque and I have never felt more at home doing anything else in my entire life.
I realize that I am one lucky, glittery badass nearly-naked lady and it feels good.
(Pictured from left to right: Perse' Fanny as Marvin the Paranoid Android, Reverend Spooky LeStrange as Deep Thought and Nymphadora as the Dolphin)