Monday, July 27, 2015

My Response to a few comments

I think this comment says it all for me. I also find it  humorous that people still waste their time to go out of their way to either insult me or to "prove their point" when in fact no one cares. There is more to my life than burlesque, just accept it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why I am no longer with the Columbus Burlesque Collective

Most people know me and the exceptionally "nice" person. Well that is going to change...drastically. I think I am so nice to people that they take advantage of it to the point where they feel they have the ability to treat however they please and I would bend over backwards for them. That time is over. Recently, I ended my connections with the Columbus Burlesque Collective. It was something that was in the making and the most recent events are the cherry on top of everything else that has happened. My "relationship" with burlesque has been a turbulent one, a relationship which has lasted just three years now. My first troupe experience the troupe leader was very emotionally and verbally abusive towards myself and other performers. The amount of harassment and verbal abuse/bullying (if you want to call it that) has been out of control for quite some time.
  So now, I am a "coward" well I am going to explain how all of a sudden I am now a "coward" according to the Columbus Burlesque Collective.
  One: They are blaming me for shows and the inability to get bookings at different venues other than the one monthly show. Yet,   out of the almost 40 members of the Collective, I was the only one who stepped up and produced It's Boob Thirty for the past 6 months. I wasn't even asked if I wanted to do it, it was just plopped on me by Stephanie and Michelle. I only kept doing so because at the time I thought Stephanie and Michelle were friends and people I could look up to as performers and learn more about the business. I don't profess to be better than anyone when it comes to performing; I just wanted to learn what I could from people whom I thought were good at what they did. What people didn't see was members of the Collective literally sabotaging shows, refusing to help out, commit to perform then back out last minute. Most of them would even refuse to attend or promote the show if  was producing it...out of spite. They are not mentioning the fact I put  my OWN money...maybe over $600 worth or more into making flyers, keeping the site updated, spending my OWN money to advertise for their shows, all while working 12 plus hour shifts at a hospital.  Not one single person from the Columbus Burlesque Collective offer help or support while I am putting my own time, effort and money into producing their show.
  Two: The blog, "It's Not Always Glitter". I know most of them hate me because of that blog because it does in fact expose them for the horrible people they actually are. I do not know how anyone would believe that they are the "victims" knowing and seeing proof of all their actions and comments towards not only me but others as well.
  Three: hypocrisy. The entire mission statement of the Columbus Burlesque Collective as since they are promoting support and love induced environment towards other burlesque performers. One of those is refusing to book Collective as a whole at certain venues because of what they promote and supposedly majority of their members being "banned". Well this upcoming weekend shows are being booked at the very foresaid venue and coming to find out that most of them have been in talks with the owners for quite some time.
    This past July, was the breaking point. I asking  several times "hey, we needed performers" and for almost a month one member  knew and had performers and neglected to tell me. Her  response was, "oh we were waiting to confirm " about the show.  Now, I have been producing shows WAY before burlesque you do NOT go to a venue with no performers and try to produce the show only to back out later. It's looks unprofessional. What do they do? Of course, make drama out of it.
   Any attempts of communication with most of the members of the Collective has been futile in that most of the responses are bitchy, snotty, rude and just unprofessional; honestly, I am glad to finally be rid of the Columbus Burlesque Collective. I was given advice some time ago and was advised that even if I wanted to continue performing burlesque to distance myself from the Collective and various other local performers. They are all so negative and stressful to the point where it is affecting my health is a bad way. The stress from them constantly harassing me, and my friends to the point where they no longer have social media accounts.  
  They're bitter because they are all aging and their burlesque careers are coming to an end. In fact beginning to wonder if they even had burlesque careers at all. They all have been asked not to return to most venues outside of Columbus, if anything most people and other performers complain to me about them, their egos and their unprofessionalism when dealing with shows. Why they act the way they do towards me will never understand, if anything I wish them some kind of peace in their lives. They're all angry and bitter maybe because their lives didn't turn out the way they had wished accept it deal with it.
  People want to whine about this and that going on in their lives but recently two of my very close friends have been in the hospital and a family member is terminally ill with cancer. I am focusing on those close to me and my own life and making it better as well pursuing my own dreams...I am entitled to that too. Be adults, most of these women are pushing 50 if not 50 years old. Accept responsibilities for the actions for their own lives and just deal. I honestly feel sorry for them all, but I also refuse to allow them to keep me from being positive and giving my talents to others and trying to use that to empower women.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

A New Chapter on Burlesque

Many who follow this blog are familiar with me as a burlesque performer. That is fine, but at the same moment being a "burlesque dancer" is not what defines me nor has it truly has. A few were shocked by my decision to depart from the Columbus Burlesque Collective, and honestly it was something I had foreseen for several months.
  Burlesque has its moments where it can be seen as very beautiful, glamourous and can provide someone with joy and creativity: but it is also filled with a negative side and know it has been discussed many times over. "Bullying" as many talk about happens more often than we realize in burlesque. I mean, performers are turned down from gigs because of their body size or how they look...and I am no exception to that.

  I began performing burlesque because as most my age physically ballet and modern dance becomes harder. Even though I am in my early 30s most professional ballet dancers retire by my age. Professional dance ( and I mean professional, ballet, modern, etc) can be grueling to one's is no exception to this. One of my favourite films "The  Turning Point" there is a scene where an aging ballerina says, "when you're young your body is subjective, but as you get older it starts to revolt in many ways". I know that feeling.
  For me, ballet is even more difficult because I minored in dance while attending college as an undergrad. My junior year in college I was in a horrific car accident which left me with injuries to my hip, back, shoulder and knee. I still suffer from migraines from the accident as well hip/back issues. I never discuss it or talk about it because I refuse to allow things to hold me back in life; I was taught this by my parents and as my Dad would always say...push through it.
  At the time I was friendly with other burlesque performers and always frequented shows until one day I was talked into trying it out. I should have been more aware considering I have been in the performing business professionally since the age of 16 and grew up in a performing family...think I would recognize it, right?
   I was wrong....very wrong.
    Sure, it was okay when I first began performing then things started changing. I was with my troupe at the time and you know things went really bad...really quickly. I started receiving messages with threats, had costumes tampered with, and the list could go on of all the things I experienced while performing.
   I was even told by the same former troupe leader that I wouldn't be able to perform unless I wore waist cinchers while on stage because of my body. Now, I am 5'11 and I still wear junior's clothing and most women's clothes are too large for me. Granted, I am not in fantabulous shape and not going to pretend to be. But if burlesque is such an accepting environment of all body types why is it so many women are so emotionally abusive towards one another?

  I was also "forced" to change as a performer. I was told I was too much a dancer and basically wanted more "slutty" and "trashy". I remember other performers telling me, "well, you need to improve" and I am thinking, "stage presence"?, costumes? no it was too "good girl" for majority of them.
   Looking back on it all does it hurt? Yea, a little bit. It also to an extent anger me when people tell "just get over it". Healing is a process and people heal on their own terms and in their own time. They tried to take away and destroy my self esteem because of their own insecurities. I know I am not a perfect person no one is, but at the same time no one deserved that.
   I think this was the issue with the Collective. One: too many egos. I think too many people wanted to be in the "spotlight", you know too many "stars" and not enough sky. And even though many people say it isn't personal it almost always is.
  Now the question is, where do I go from here? Well, I am devoting time back into my non profit and going back to giving lectures about female body image/bullying...think have plenty of experiences now as well my animal rights activism. I want to channel my energy into more positive experiences than worry about the negativity that burlesque is.
  I think very few become really successful in burlesque and I can understand why and how now. Almost have to be strictly an independent performer and not affiliate with any troupes/groups of that nature. But women, we need to start respecting ourselves and each other a little bit better.