So I will kick off this blog by writing a bit of about my Voodoo Queen act.
One that has been in progress for a while... I've worked on it hard and long, trying to figure out who I am as a burlesque artist and what I want to show with this number.
Here is its story...
It all started 2 weeks before Halloween 2014. Jade, my good friend and artist "Miss Harley Quinn" (check out her http://harleyquinnburlesque.tumblr.com/) , who owns the fabulous bar Blatte, organized an event for the 31st of October.
Even though the deadline was horrendous, I thought about doing something new... After
what seemed like a brilliant idea, I found out, after research, that the particular Halloween THING (clue there ;) had been done several times already. Note: I think it is important to research ideas, as even though they might be totally uninspired by anyone else and totally original, you don't really like the feeling when someone comes up to you to say "Ohh just like X or Y's act". It also forces you to dream up ways that make your own act unique!
So I was lost again and in a pissy mood. I randomly turned on some music and after a while, Save my soul by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy came on Itunes. I always loved the song and I suddenly got the Image of myself in a striped costume, as a cabaret dancer in New Orleans. It seemed so natural... I always was inspired by the mystic and have been crazy about all things witchy poo and voodoo.
Of course Voodoo has been done time and time over. And how to make it mine? Well I already had a special connection with it, but thought that it needed a sexy ritual feel about it!
I wanted this to feel like you're in a Cabaret in New Orleans, watching this sensual curvy lady, and it turns out she's the voodoo queen! So I thought, rituals... and rituals meant fire! I was really excited to show what I had learned with Red Sarah in London the previous summer (http://www.thefireschool.co.uk/)
I drew the costume, which had a huge bustle skirt and a top hat. And then came the shopping... I went to a fabric shop and immediately found the perfect fabric (some things are just meant to be), found a top hat at claire's, and old bra and a crinoline skirt to make it all huge!
I sewed for 2 days straight and made a matching bra and skirt, pimped an old corset and then time flew so quick it was already D Day.
I was sort of happy and had a natural high from my performance but thought that my act still needed a whole lot of work!
I focused more on the choreography, bettered the costume and performed again at the Lido at a Pinup School Show (where I now teach).
So this is how it looked like after a couple of performances.
Something still felt wrong and I felt like I had missed the point of my idea... I tried rummaging, found everything wrong with my choreography and costume, and had no idea how to go forward. But I still believed in this act! I wanted to make it special and unique!
But I needed help! I lost myself and sometimes, you do need someone to put you on the right track. I knew what I wanted to change but not exactly which route to take. By browsing the internet, I randomly found that the Legend herself, Satan's Angel, did private courses through Skype and that she was available to critique acts. (http://www.satansangel.com/)
I had read so much about her, watched many videos and admired her for a while so I was really excited to get this opportunity!
I booked a skype date with her which changed everything! She has on hellufa personality and is certainly not afraid to be blunt is the least that I could say. But I was really wanted an honest opinion which is exactly what I got!
She destroyed my costume saying that it did nothing for my figure, which in hindsight was probably right XD But sometimes you get so obsessed with an idea, you kinda never feel like letting it go. She gave me a few dance pointers and several other suggestions.
I changed the music to her suggestion which I immediately fell in love with : Koko Taylor, Voodoo woman! Though I still opted for my favorite Jimi Hendrix "Voodoo Child" instead of some other music she gave me ;) I wanted critique, sure! But it was still my act. If my hips don't move to a beat, might as well dance to car honking. I tested out several ideas, and finally put a real choreography into place, destroyed my costume and started nearly from Scratch. Bought 17 yards of sequined lace which I handstitched during hangovers and drinks at friends' places. Practiced and practiced, danced and danced, got all the tweaks sorted out and voilà. My new and improved Voodoo act was ready!
That's the sass I wanted in my Voodoo Queen ;)
And that's the sex:
And maybe a last one for the road, the heat ;)
Although I'm finally satisfied with this act, I'm kinda thinking about making a darker version so I have two kinds ready for any kind of night! We'll see what the future holds...
I made this post to show you the evolution of an act and how I think it's important to keep an open mind about change and how to get better all the time! A wise woman once said, your acts grow and evolve with you! And she sure was right .