I’ve taken awhile to write this post for several reasons. One, BHoF weekend is such burlesque overload that I needed to take some time to let it sink in before I could find the words to describe what happened and what it meant to me. Two, I wanted to make sure that what I wrote was not a basic recap of all the events. That’s everywhere already. And there, It’s not the easiest thing for me to find the time to sit down and write, as you could probably tell from my sporadic posts. As it is, I’m writing this down in a notebook on a plane coming back from the Hawaii Burlesque Festival, and yes, that will be a separate post, but back to BHoF.
There are two things I want to focus on. One, that moment in a career in which you will know, with or without fancy titles or certain festival experience, that you have succeeded as a great entertainer. And two, the utter confusion I left with after watching this weekend. When I began burlesque I had minimal dance experience, minimal theatre experience, and minimal stage experience. I had never taken a class, a workshop and definitely fumbled my way through this entire process. Come to think of it, I have no idea why in the hell anyone let me go on that stage to entertain an audience. The one thing I did and still do possess is a passion for what I do. That has been my driving force through every one of my performances.
Every performance I watched at BHoF had so much passion, joy and dedication that it shined brighter than any rhinestone or sequin on their costume. One act did stand out the most to me though and not just because of the stellar performance that she brought to the stage, but because of the moment that ensued after she took her bow. I am of course talking about the “Powerhouse of the Midwest,” Jeez Loueez. Having seen her perform for Miss Viva Las Vegas where she took the title, I already came in with high expectations, of which she blew out the water. Jeez created an act that was original, her own brand of dance, and a mixture of her own talents that if anyone else tried to do, would still read as hers. I sat there screaming my head off like an 8-year-old on a roller coaster, and we were only two acts into the show! Trust me, I wasn’t the only one having a seizure in my seat. The whole audience was captivated by this woman. As soon as she finished, everyone jumped to their feet in a standing ovation and chanted, “Rufio! Rufio! Rufio!” The crowd loved her so much they knew not only her name, but the name of her fucking act! Mind Blown. She did not walk away with a title this time, but in those 4:15 minutes she taught me what real success is in this business. It’s not a title, a festival, or a score sheet, it’s a moment that you share with an audience and how they will remember you.
So at this point you are probably wondering why I left BHoF confused. Or maybe you are tired from my block of text about the lovely Jeez Loueez. Either way, I am going to tell you. Burlesque Hall of Fame, and especially the Titans of Tease left me thinking, how can I do my part? So many of these women are in constant need of help every now and then as we’ve seen from various kickstarters and funding projects online. It is our job as a community to make sure we take care of our legends. The problem I am facing is how? I’m not a producer, and even if I was, with a young daughter producing would be a timely and costly thing that I’m not sure I could focus on right now. In my head I would love to create some sort of non-profit organization that would benefit our legends in need. I haven’t figured out how on several different levels, so while I search for the answer, I would love to put it out into the universe that maybe, if you have a similar dream, or even experience, we talk more so that this seedling of an idea could grow into something unexpected. You can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now after that novella, I will let you get back to your lives and finish processing the glittery goodness going through your minds. Thank you for your continued love and support, and till the next time! xoxo