That is what happened to me on Sunday.
In the weeks leading up to the show last weekend, I was scared to death. Not only had I not been on a stage since June, but I was debuting two new acts. So the potential for EPIC FAIL was high. Add to that the fact that I have been pretty depressed, so I have been eating poorly and being lazy…so my body was not really in prime sexy shape. And as always, that little issue of stage fright….so yeah, I was a wreck anytime I would think about the upcoming show.
Pasties were rhinestoned.
Jameson bottles were spray glittered.
Acts had been practiced around my house.
The fight with the false eyelashes had been won (somewhat).
It was time!
I got to the venue early (as I do) and was killing some time at the bar waiting on my Redbull when I noticed people coming in. People that I knew. Non burly people. People who were there….to see me!
Now, I am not sure how other people who are performers deal with the audience or if they want people they know there or not, but for me…I LOVE IT! If I am going to do something, even if it is something that could require me making a fool of myself, I always do a better job at it if ‘my people’ are there to see me do it….and to potentially tease me for it when I am done. So…I said hello to the people that had showed up early and went down to the basement to finish getting ready.SHOW TIME!
As I was standing in the back of the venue, watching the first performer, I started to look around the room. The place was packed…and more of my friends had made it down. Looking at everyone, in that moment, my nerves were gone. Why?
Because my friends were there.
These people had left the comfort of their warm house on a Sunday evening, braved the rain, traveled downtown, paid the cover at the door, got a drink….and settled in to see a show…all because I had asked them to. In support of me, and knowing how important this night was for me….they were there.
I also knew that half of these people have seen me make a fool out of myself a million times before, so doing it on stage was not going to be an issue!
My first act was not perfect…I know this. I know that I need to hit some marks a bit better and use the stage more, but for the most part, I think that it was pretty good. I do wish I would have thought ahead to plant a camera in the audience with a friend so that it could have been taped, so that I could really see what I looked like, but oh well! I had fun with it…and I like how that felt.
I don’t know if it was the vibe of the night or the fact that I was wearing flannel jammies during the intermission of the show, but something else hit me….if I am going to do this burlesque thing ever again…I am going to stay true to myself and be goofy and funny and not try to be the classic sexy type of performer. That is just not me and I think that I was thinking that I needed to play up this sexy side on stage…and that was stressing me out!
So when my turn to get up on stage came around again, this time, there was no fear, nerves or stage fright. Again, was it perfect…no. Far from it! I still have many more stages to get on and strut around before I will be any good at this….but the act was fun. I had fun. The audience had fun. And when I left the stage, with pretty much nothing more than pasties and my Jameson bottle, I was not shaking. I did not feel like I wanted to barf. I had a smile on my face and for the first time in a long time…..I was proud of myself. Truly and honestly proud of something that I had created. That is a great feeling.
Thank you to everyone that came out Sunday night. Just by you being there, you gave me the courage and the strength to get up on that stage and have fun and I owe you more then I could ever put into words on this blog.
And to the other performers who I had the honor to be on stage with, you continue to inspire me and welcome me. You are truly turning into my burly family.
Oh…and Zora. It was your voice in my head telling me I could do it as I sat gluing rhinestones night after night. And your hugs I felt when I got frustrated working out the routine and tripping over my own two clumsy feet. You continue to push me. You constantly encourage me. And above all else, have faith in me when I have none in myself. How do I ever thank you for that???
Oh….and sorry for the heckler!