Monday, 31 December 2012

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Where does the time go? This year has flown by so fast, I can't believe we're in 2013! It's been a year of spectacular highs and crushing lows, with so many ups, downs and changes that my head is still reeling from it all!
I have been fortunate enough to spend so much time during the year with so many wonderful people - gorgeous friends and supportive family, and meeting new friends too.

Looking back over 2012:

First picture on this blog!

Snowed in at the theatre ** With Joe Black and Vendetta Vain!

First show at Proud Cabaret ** Burlesque Show on Tour

First Burlesque Night Out!

Burlesque Show on Tour!

Filming Coronation Street ** Going Blonde

Beautiful Theatres

Newborn Kittens!

Favourite Photoshoot ** Voltini Wedding

My Birthday!!

My first festival - Nova

Second Festival - Milton Keynes

Burlesque Show on tour to Jersey

Edinburgh Fringe Festival ** Filming for The Old Vic Theatre

Moving to London!!

Loads of shows and loads of coffee!

Filming Cabariot

Halloween Shows ** Photoshoot for the book 'Behind Burlesque'

A visit from the Grandparents

I became a Godmother!

Attending a film premier! ** Filming 'Burlesque 3D'

Learning Fire ** 'Vintage Life' feature


It truly has been a year of great adventures!

NEW YEAR 2013:
So what will 2013 bring? In January last year I made this blog my New Years Resolution and it's probably the only time I've actually carried a resolution through the whole year, so I'm very proud of myself! 

In 2013 I have a list as long as my arm of things I would like to achieve, professionally and personally. There are so many fabulous shows in the UK and abroad I would love to be part of and I am going to apply for international festivals this year too! 
I would like to write more - the articles (rants) and interviews I've done as part of this blog over the year have been well received and I enjoyed writing them so I would like to do more for a wider audience, whether on-line or in magazines. 
I want to do more singing and acting and would like to get an agent again (my acting agency broke up several years ago) for film and theatre work.
2013 is also the year of new skills! I began learning fire performance in December and I am going to practise and practise! I am going to go back to dance classes - ballet and jazz, and maybe even challenge myself to try a new dance style too! And I'm also looking into taking horse-riding lessons - it's something I love that can be completely separate to everything else in my life as it's not performance or work related and can be totally for myself.

So, raise that glass of champagne, toast friends and loved ones: it's a new year and a new start - anything bad from last year can be forgotten and left behind, and we can face the year ahead with our heads held high and hopeful!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Burlesque Bullying

A topic that has been on everyone's minds recently is the subject of bullying within Burlesque. The most common accusation appears to be that groups of people form cliques and then attack others who are not members of their exclusive group.

I don't think so-called cliques are the issue; People naturally gravitate towards each other, forming friendship groups based on mutual interests, similar personality traits or simply geographical location, at any point in life. There will always be some people you get along with more than others, and to expect that everyone should be one big happy family, simply because we are all Burlesque dancers, is unrealistic and idealistic. That's not to say that we can't all get along and be pleasant to one another, because what's so hard about that?

However: Bullying, unfortunately, also occurs anywhere in life. It's not nice to admit, but most of us will remember being picked on in school, whether that was down to our hair colour, weight, intelligence, appearance, sexuality etc. A bully notices in others what is perceived to be a weakness, and exploits it. Bullies also surround themselves with sycophants, supporting their behaviour – this both reinforces the bullies supposed power and guards those in the group from becoming objects of bullying themselves. This, I suppose, is a clique.

The problem in adult life is that it's more difficult to say “I'm being bullied.” Maybe it's because we presume that by this point we should all be past school-yard name-calling, or maybe we feel that by admitting to being bullied we feel that we have failed somehow? That we are the ones in the wrong because why else would we be picked on? Or because, who, as an adult, do we tell about it? There are no teachers to run to for protection and guidance so we suffer in silence, simply strengthening the bullies supposed power, and increasing the likelihood that they will bully others.

A new issue has arisen in the last couple of years – cyber bullying. By having the anonymity and protection of sitting at a computer in their own front room, bullies are becoming more and more prevalent as they do not have to directly face the consequences of their actions.

Something that is common to all bullies at all stages and in all formats is their reluctance to admit to bullying: when called out for their actions they will deny any wrongdoing, often claiming that they are the ones who are being victimised. And as with all bullies, their little circle will back them up, telling them they're right; they are the innocent ones and everyone else is against them. Over time this causes massive amounts of resentment and hatred towards anyone outside of the bullies clique (the same trait they despise in others!), making the bullying worse.

The reason so many people are afraid to pull bullies up on their actions is for fear of becoming objects of their ire themselves. Friends of mine who have brought others to task for their words on-line have then been mercilessly pulled apart by groups of bullies, hiding behind the Facebook 'block' function so the victim can't even see what is being said about them. Maybe this is better, but I know it would drive me insane knowing people were spewing vitriol about me without giving me the opportunity to defend myself.

Bullies often feel that the world is against them; that they are the disadvantaged ones; that to restore balance they must bring others down to their level. This is a deep, psychological issue that the bully has themselves, but because their protective bubble reassures them that they themselves are fine, it's everyone else that has the problem, it's unlikely they will ever admit that they are the problem and simply go on feeling unjustly discriminated against and taking out their deep-seated dissatisfaction with themselves out on others who they feel do not deserve their success, beauty, intelligence or happiness.

I feel a deep pity for those who bully. My grandma always told me “They only bully because they are jealous.” When you are the victim, you may think 'what on earth have they got to be jealous of?' but with the benefit of adult understanding and hindsight, it usually proves to be the case.

Don't stoop to the level of the bully by rounding up your own friends to go on the offensive. Simply ignore the hostility and treat it with the pitying disdain it deserves. We are all way past the playground now.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Showgirl

Another busy, busy week here!

On Friday I travelled to Bath - the most beautiful city, and one of my favourite places to perform as a large proportion of the audience are regulars to High Tease so there's always an amazing atmosphere!

Christmas Tree by Bath Cathedral

The show was more 'Party' themed than Christmas, which worked well as I was looking forward to performing my newly re-costumed 'Shake it Doll' act - a showgirl striptease with a rock and roll edge!

New costume goodness!

This month was hosted by the wonderful Tempest Rose and featured a fabulous line up of fabulous people:

Mirror Picture! With Elan, Tempest Rose, Frankie Lynn, The Great Voltini, James Malach, Kittie Klaw, Elliot Mason and Nurse Electra

Elliot on stage ** Tempest on stage

Christmas dinner pre-show ** Dancing at the disco post-show!

Saturday was a rare treat for me - I was performing as part of the Flaming Feathers Burlesque Show in Bath that evening so I had the entire afternoon to myself to wander around the beautiful city, do a little more Christmas shopping and shelter from the rain in quaint coffee shops!

Pretty coffee

The show went fabulously well - unfortunately since we had separate changing rooms I didn't get chance to take any pictures! However here are a couple stolen from others on Facebook :P



On Sunday, back in London, I indulged in one of my favourite pass-times; vintage shopping! After a lovely lunch at Goode and Wright in Portobello (it's delicious, you all must go!) I unearthed some fabulous and unusual vintage furs - Christmas present to myself, obviously! I adore vintage shops and markets for the weird and wonderful things you can find:

Taz with life-sized brass skeleton! ** Ken and headless Barbie...

A hectic, yet fun Christmas Eve soon arrived - dashing around, shopping for the last few bits and bobs, running out of wrapping paper and gift-bags, wrapping and packing until I was exhausted! However a steady stream of Christmas movies (Muppet Christmas Carol and Nightmare Before Christmas are firm favourites!) kept me going all along!

It has been a truly lovely Christmas season - spent with family and dear friends, eating far, far too much delicious food and drinking far, far too much delicious booze!