Or for an even more involved question: How do you feel when performing?
This is a question brought to my attention a year ago, and my answer is still the same, and I think it’s different that other burlesque performers.
I assume that the correct answer is “Yes I feel very sexy and beautiful when I am performing”. After all, burlesque is a combination of glamor, humor, and that element of sexyness that is different in everyone. How can you not feet sexy wearing something lovely on a stage with a lot of colorful lights, all that lovely glittery make up on and everyone clapping for you?
Sure burlesque can be about all those things, but I also see it as involving a little bit of illusion. Corsets are illusions, rhinestones shimmer and dazzle and almost blind you in shiny light, fringe can make you look like you’re moving more than you are, and maybe you portray the illusion of ease, when performing really involves a lot of practice and/or choreography and trial and error and work.
Maybe I’m doing it wrong, or maybe I’m just doing it different, but I do not feel sexy when performing. I’m honestly pretty scared when I’m up there. I’m scared I will mess up, I’m scared I will forget what to do and blank out. I am freaked out for I am in a level of high-concentration. I feel exhausted and sometimes a little gross with all the grip stuff I apply to *make sure* I don’t fall or slip. I practice my pole routines a whole lot in an attempt to familiarize my body with the movements. When I’m performing I am constantly processing what I am doing and what it coming next and I always try to have my poses face the audience. And most of all, when I am performing, I am reminding myself to smile once in a while. No matter if I am in pain…ah…smile!
So why bother performing? Well its a personal challenge, its takes guts to do it and hopefully I will become a stronger person as I continue. It keeps me in a process of constantly achieving little goals, both physical (pole moves, sewing, shopping/acquiring costume items) and mental goals.
Do I feel sexy when I am performing? I do not feel sexy when I am performing. I am sweaty and sticky with pole grip aids, I am out of breath, exhausted, and my muscles are shaking…but it really is so much fun and I just keep on doing it.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adlais/2353154024/