Experiences.. Iowa Burlesque Festival…
Hold tight, this is going to be a long one and most likely a big jumbly flow of consciousness from my own perspective.
As a 2.5 year old performer (with most of my performances being only in the last year) I have been given great opportunities this year. All of which has made me a more humble human being in all aspects of my life. Without persistence and without asking – you are setting yourself up for failure as a new(er) performer. I have heard a few people say “No one is asking me to perform!” – guess what? That’s not how it works. You have to show you’re working hard, you have to ask and ask and ask, even if you don’t get an answer – be persistent..not annoying.
If you don’t put yourself out there, if you don’t ask, if you don’t submit to festivals or shows – you will never know the answer. Do not be intimidated by anyone – there is no point. Intimidation is a sign of weakness!
This year one of the festivals I submitted to was the Iowa Burlesque Festival. At first I was very hesitant because.. IOWA, but when Dannie pushed me, I did, and I got in. Well, I was wrong about Iowa (damn close-minded Canadians!:) ). What a fantastic fucking place full of fantastic fucking people and fantastic energy. I felt like I had come back to life.
I am a very resourceful person so I was able to not only perform on the Friday night, but assist with Minnie Tonka and Iva Handfull for the headliners night on Saturday and volunteer for other little things like doing a coffee run, helping other performers get into their outfits, etc, etc, etc. Volunteer, people! It does you a world of good. You get to learn the ins & outs of how a festival can be run (smoothly), how things can wrong and how they get fixed.
When I walked into the dressing room on Friday night – we all welcomed each other with love and openness. I have never felt so comfortable being naked and getting ready in front of so many beautiful souls. We had Moxie Rhodes making us laugh our asses off, which took away the nervous energy for a little bit, Cherry Pop Pop Poppins burping her little heart out and everyone else just being their wonderful selves. No drama, no negativity – just encouragement, laughs and naked hugs!
Because this was a competition – there was some judging done! 3 judges on each side of the stage – The Baron (Simon Cowell), Lou Lou D’Vil and Minnie Tonka on one side.. The Maine Attraction, Athena Burlesque and Iva Handfull on the other side. They all gave their critiques to the Queen Category.. and the rest of us were safe from public judging in our categories 😉 I took the opportunity to ask Minnie and Iva for feedback – I wanted their honesty and I received it. So thank you – both of you ladies have my wheels in motion already..
I am very thankful for the opportunity to have been on the stage at the Adler Theater in Davenport, Iowa. I’ve made new connections and friends for life. Thanks to all the Colby sisters (you are all amazing and generous!) – the crew and security and all the volunteers and performers.. thank you for making this Canadian feel so welcomed and loved. I bow to all of you.
What did I take away from all of this? Don’t be afraid, don’t second guess yourself, welcome criticism from those that have much more experience than you do, love your fellow performers and HAVE A FUCKING GREAT TIME.