One of my favorite things about burlesque is that you can be anyone and anything you can dream of. Dont dream it, be it is a burlesque truth. That freedom was one of the biggest draws for me to burlesque as an art form. However, fully understanding what that means and what it means to me has been quite a journey.
After years of existing in the theatre being who "they" wanted me to be I really didn't know how to be who I wanted to be or who that even was. I was told in school I should lose weight, not have tattoos and piercings, keep my hair neutral, cover up my cleavage, watch my language, that bisexuality is not real, that I should not laugh so loudly. You know, not sparkle. Not revel in all of the gorgeous deliciousness and messiness that is me. And I started to hate it all.
When I started burlesque, I had a great sense of who that new, authentic person could be. But my vision got cloudy quickly when I was presented with the notion that thin, classic, Swarovski covered humans were the ones getting booked for gigs that made money to pay the rent. In addition to that, I also had so many voices in my head telling me to stay malleable in case I ever wanted to act again. It was a mess. Slowly but surely, over the past 7 years I have allowed the parts of me I was told to hide to come out and shine.
These days, even though I still have moments of doubt, I am very happy with what I see and what I feel coming out to play every day. And this week I was smacked in the face with the realization that when the time to act comes again (and frankly, I really hope it does in 2019), the shows and roles that are right will find their way to me and will be enthusiastic to take what I have to offer: tattoos, bright hair, chubbiness, queerness, loudness and all.
It is true that those productions may not look the way I dreamed about them looking 10 years ago. But it is also true that I don't ever again want to be a part of anything that does not want me to show up and be 100% my authentic self every damn day. I have worked too damn hard to get here. It's time to sparkle. 📸 @laphotographi.e