The title of this post brought to you by one of the best compliments I received from a dear friend for my return to the burlesque stage this past weekend. Processing all of this weekend is going to be a gigantic task and I thought I could wait a day or two, let it all marinate, and then process it closer to this weekend, but it’s all just pushing at the sides of my brain and heart until it feels like it’s coming out of my pores. Since my brain wouldn’t shut the fuck up, I figured I’d start trying to get some of it out now.
First and foremost, holy SHIT, I went back up on stage. It’s been 3 years, to the event and though there were myriad reasons why and I ultimately think it was the right decision at the time, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and the life push to get back up there. My husband kept telling me, throughout the past three years, that he couldn’t wait to see me back up there. He would suggest songs for me to do. He hated the fact that I didn’t allow or ask for a final show when I retired and would suggest songs to do if I ever tried to have one. And after the show, all he kept saying was that he was so proud of me and that I was beautiful. In fact a friend and person in my department snapped the most adorable pic of my husband watching me that just melted my heart. The joy and pride are visible on his face and I’m so grateful.
Then there was the endless stream of coworkers telling me how wonderful the performance was. I had no idea so many were there. I told people selectively because A) I didn’t want people to feel pressured to go because we were all also working, B) in case anyone got called away to do something worky, I didn’t want to pin my hopes on anyone but my husband and a few select others being there. But apparently word spread and just about the entire staff was there, as was the hotel staff (though since they’re technically not allowed to be with the masses, they watched from a hidden place in John Malkovitch’s head.), and also previous members of White Elephant, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years. It was just the best confluence of old and new and wonderful as I could possibly imagine.
And performing felt so damn good. Especially to reclaim things after that interaction I had which I allowed to hamper me for so long, which I wrote about in this post. And even more especially since the person I spoke of was AT Wicked Faire. All kinds of reclaiming for me.
There were points where anxiety almost got the better of me. I second-guessed a few things, almost changed something very large but thankfully, with an expert assist, decided not to. My garter belt broke about 30 minutes before I was supposed to go on stage and I had to tell myself to just keep going so I said “fuck it”, took off the garter belt, and went without stockings. Just meant you could see more of my lacey panties. 🙂
Another way I also went “fuck it” was that this was the first time on a public stage that I went completely topless. I mean, artfully so, but still. No bra. Which terrified me until I did it and turned around to face the audience…who ROARED with applause. It’s the best pop I’ve ever gotten in my career on stage and it was exhilerating. To have that positive and immediate feedback for something that I’m very self-conscious of was absolutely incredible.
There were just confidence boosters all weekend: the love and support of friends and family, being welcomed back to the stage with open arms both backstage and on stage via the audience, glowing feedback I received, the many assists in costuming and makeup that lovely friends/family new & old provided, and through it all, my husband, who kept telling me that I was going to be brilliant every time I got nervous.
And I have so many ideas now, for new numbers, for some interesting future collaborations, and this whole resurgence of feeling sexy, excited, and confident again has led to other doors opening to me which were also part of my “things I want to improve in the New Year” post. Which leads me to part 2…