Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Plot It Out in Black & White

I've been working on my five year plans and goals for the past few weeks, and it has kicked my ass!  It's an intense and wonderful challenge to plot out a career instead of seeing where the wind takes me.  I did six month goals for 2014 and 2015, quarterly goals for 2012 and 2013, monthly goals for 2011, weekly goals for January 2011, and daily goals for today through January 7.  In doing this, I realized that I have to keep my nose to the grindstone and get something done on my dance career every day if I want to reach those five year targets.

I suggest you get out some paper and give it a try.  And prepare to take breaks because it is intense!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

100 Crunches

A few years ago I worked out four to six times a week.  I weighed 101 lbs. of pure muscle.  Then I gradually returned to a life of gluttony, drinking beer on occasion and eating as much when I was working out once a week as I did when I worked out far more.  I had a couple injuries that kept me from being as active and gained a little weight.  I don't want to drop down to 101 lbs. again, but I would like to lose five to ten pounds and gain some muscle back.

For the past three days, I've made a point of doing 100 crunches.  It takes maybe three minutes to do 100 crunches, and it's easy to vary them so it's not boring.  I do at least twenty reverse crunches for my low abs each time.  It's easy to get into the habit of 100 crunches a day.  I recommend you try it if you're feeling a little guilty about holiday eating.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 10 Challenge: Chair Dance Workshop

Class 6 of 10:  My last chair class in this series was Sunday.  It was a great series and I highly recommend you study with Gabrielle if you get the chance.  I got inspiration for my next chair dance, and I was reminded of how sexy performance can be when you take it slow.  In Los Angeles, we're generally limited to an act that's four minutes or less.  There's not a lot of room to take it slow in four minutes.  This class reminded me to find places to really tease.

My hope is that I can take more classes with Gabrielle in 2011.  She really is an amazing teacher.

December 10 Challenge: Vixen Hop

Class 5 of 10:  I ventured over to Evolve Dance Studio with dear friend Evie Lovelle on Saturday for another dose of Vixen Hop (sexy hip hop).  (I suggest you find a friend who is up for accepting challenges with you.  I took an aerobic Bollywood class and yoga with Evie, she's taken Fosse and this class with me.)  We were the white girls in class, and it was quite evident in the "dance fight" the teacher had us do with the choreography we learned in class.  To put it politely, we got served.

This class is fun and gets the body warm and sweaty, but it's not a technique class like the ones I usually take.  A number of the moves don't have names, and the warm up is high impact.  I suggest you warm up your neck and shoulders slowly before class starts so you don't cramp anything like I did.  Wear tennis shoes and prepare to sweat if you take this class.  I'll probably take the class again since it is a fun workout, and so Evie and I can work on our electric boogaloo.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thanking Your Audience

I love the rituals of dance.  One of the important rituals that is forgotten too often in burlesque is the bow.  Too many performers run offstage at the end of their numbers without acknowledging the audience and saying "that's all folks" with a bow or final tableau.  There's a wonderful article on the history of the bow and the tradition as a gesture of gratitude here.  (Even though Dance Spirit Magazine is directed at an audience of preteen to college age dancers, every month has some wonderful tidbit or other.)

Bows are important.  You can bow as yourself or as your character, all depending on how the piece ends.  If a bow doesn't seem to fit your number, hold a final tableau past the end of the song while the audience applauds wildly.  If there is a curtain call at the end of the show, take the time you're given to express your gratitude to the audience by bowing.  It's part of the ritual. :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 10 Challenge: Swing I

Class 4 of 10: Tuesday night was our last swing class in the series. I sported an Ace bandage on my right hand from a video game-induced case of thumb tendonitis. Mr. Snapper had a sore knee from wearing a fake splint for several hours the night before. While I usually don't mind changing partners in class, I decided to stick with the mister for this class. He would be considerate of my injury and I would work with his bum knee.

A wonderful thing about this class is that we missed the previous week and were able to catch up because she reviewed the prior lessons. We learned two new turns, etiquette of asking someone to dance, and how to finish a dance with a dip. It really enjoyed the series and the chance to exercise as a couple. I plan to return for the next round of swing in the new year if our schedules allow.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

December 10 Challenge: Chair Dance Workshop

Class 3 of 10:  Last night was my second of three chair dance classes at Aphrodite.  Most of the new section of choreography dealt with floor work.  It was a reminder to me to bring knee pads to her classes (she has spares).  Knee pads are a smart addition to any student's dance class bag.

Gabrielle is a wonderful choreographer.  Her moves create wonderful tension for the audience, and I'm glad I'm back studying with her after my three year burlesque journey.  It's nice to return, pick up some new moves and have more aesthetic judgment than when I started studying with her in February 2006.

Monday Night Tease! presents Stripplepalooza

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Monday Night Tease! presents
An evening of way too many performers doing amazing things to help raise money for our resident “Stripple” Ms Lili VonSchtupp.

Come out for a night of entertainment and help raise cash for Lilii’s knee surgery bills.

burlesque and variety performances by:

Anastasia Von Teaserhausen
Olivia D'Hellion
Dizzy Von Damn!
Prix de Beaute
Iza La Vamp
Iona Vibrator
Isabella Star
Dia Blow
Jersey Sure
Ali Oops
Patrick The Bank Robber
The Cholo Magician
Scot Nery
Buster Balloon
Mr Buddy
Mr Snapper
Lee T. Killer
Funny Eddie Dot Com
Red Snapper
Estella Detroit
The retirement of “Bad Knee”

and a special guest performance
by Burlesque Legend Ms Satan’s Angel

Bar Opens: 6pm 
Seating Starts: 9:30pm 
Show Starts: 10pm 

Cover charge for December 13, 2010
$15  (all funds go directly to Lili’s medical bills.)

Bring cash for our merchandise area, fun prizes and new Monday Night Tease! and Stripple shirts.

Ask about our Sino Tequila drink specials!

3 Clubs 
1123 Vine St. 
(Vine at Santa Monica) 
Los Angeles, CA 90038

No photography. Performers subject to change without notice.

21+, full bar.

Need help?
Email Lili with any questions: lili@burlesque411.com

Follow us on twitter: @MNTease
You'll get updates and flyers for discounts.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Goals & Plans, or 'How I Melted My Brain'

My husband is taking a film business class while I'm in dance history.  Over the past few weeks, they've been discussing five-year goals and the plans to attain them in the industry, and the discussions have followed us home.  I've considered the long-term when deciding to end relationships and pursuits of certain activities, taking into account if I really saw myself enjoying the time I spent on those things in a few years.

I'm in burlesque for the long haul, but I haven't figured out my long-term goals.  (Here I am, brutally honest and vulnerable on the internet again.  At least I'm dressed.)  I'm reading "Long-term Creating," chapter 15 of Creating by Robert Fritz; Mr. Snapper brought it home from class for me.  It's pretty intense.  I highly recommend it for anyone to read.  I'm sure I'll spend a couple hours this weekend tackling my long-term goals in this field and how I can reach them.  Every decision I make in my career should contribute in some way to reaching those goals.

I'll have to make sure the Doodlebug is nearby while I tackle this so I have someone to keep me from getting too serious and stuck in my head.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 10 Challenge: Vixen Hop

Class 2 of 10:  I took my first hip hop class yesterday.  I popped over to Evolve Dance Studio for their vixen hop class.  When I saw the energy and body of the teacher, I knew I needed to hit my inhaler for my anerobic asthma; I'm so glad I did.

This was a high energy, aerobic class that gave me an intense workout.  I was drenched from head to toe for most of the class.  It was challenging and interesting and fun.  I know my body is trained for pointed toes, turned out feet and pretty fingers; hip hop has flexed, parallel feet, bent elbows and fists.  I knew I would look like an awkward dork in my first class so I didn't look at myself in the mirror.  I watched the teacher in the mirror instead and tried to duplicate her moves.  My body is very sore, my abs are very worked, and I look forward to returning.

December 10 Challenge: Chair Dance Workshop

Class 1 of 10:  I'm going out of sequence on this.  I took my first dance class of the month yesterday, and I'll blog on that one later.  I'm just so darned excited about this chair dance workshop with Gabrielle of Aphrodite Pole Dance Fitness Studio.  You see, Gabrielle was my local teacher for the pole infomercial.  She was such an amazing teacher I continued studying with her for two years before my burlesque schedule became too hectic to continue classes.  I was delighted to see her offering a three-class series of chair choreography at a time that worked for me.

Gabrielle's classes are very good for me.  They give me permission to let my hair down (literally) and give into the music completely.  There is specific choreography, but it's not as technical for me as other classes where I absolutely must see myself in the mirror to be sure my posture and placement are correct.  She's a great teacher, very encouraging and brilliant with nurturing students to demonstrate sexiness.

We learned the first minute and a half of the choreography today.  It was quite a workout for my abs and legs, but I think I felt it more because of yesterday's hip hop workout.  It's a sexy routine.  I look forward to learning the rest over the next two weeks.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sass, Class & a Spray Tanned Ass

TI got a spray tan two weeks ago for Monday Night Tease's "A Night at the Strip Club" show. I'm a pasty white girl, so I thought the spray tan would add another layer of dimension to my Motorbutt routine. (I hope to have more photos to share. For now, this snapshot backstage photo bombed by Ali Oops will have to suffice.)

I wanted a good spray tan since I had four shows between the procedure and the time it would likely be worn off. I went on Yelp and found a makeup artist who airbrushed me in 15 minutes. What she didn't tell me was that I needed to dress like I had a sunburn -- in loose clothing that barely covered my body and super loose shoes. I had a consultation an hour after my tanning so I dressed for that, and I had to go home and change. There was also spare tanning stuff that I couldn't wash off for a few hours. That stuff rubbed off onto my clothes and pooled below my boobs. It did wash off evenly, as promised.

The tan looked good while it lasted. I got the full body tan, so my vagina looked like it had basked for a while in the warm California sun. I would be willing to do it again.
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Thursday, December 2, 2010



When Peepshow decides to do a holiday show, they do it big. Join us as we bring you a risque burlesque stage adaptation of the classic holiday tale that will have you screaming, "Oh, Dickens!". In the first of TWO shows we are doing in December, we bring you A BURLESQUE CHRISTMAS CAROL!

...PATRICK THE BANK ROBBER as Ebenezer Scrooge
MR. SNAPPER as Bob Crotchit

With Burlesque Performances by
MISS ANGIE CAKES as The Ghost Of Christmas Past
DIZZY VON DAMN! as The Ghost Of Christmas Present
SCARLETT LETTER as The Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come
RED SNAPPER as Mrs. Crotchit
KATE FOX as Fran Scrooge
ISABELLA STAR & PINKY PETITE as The Lamplighter Vamps

with our 29th 'Peepshow Pin-Up'
SCARLET O'KELJUS as Jackie Marley

A special guest performances by

Special Guest Star

and MORE yet to be announced!

Featuring a live music set from SOPHYA ST. JAMES
(formerly of the L.A. based neu-wave band NEW COLLAPSE)

You've never seen a burlesque show like this one. There will be a full bar, a burlesque merch booth, and prizes for lucky audience members!

901 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Full Bar / 21 & Up, Doors open at 9pm
Music starts at 9:30 / Burlesque Show at 10:15
Please arrive early for best seating for this special show
Admission: $10 (cash) at the door

For more show info and performer bios go to:

Bookmark http://www.peepshowmenagerie.com/ for special updates and add our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Peepshow-Menagerie/44966662778

OC Weekly Slideshow

Photo by Mary Bell.  You can see more shots from last Wednesday's Uncommon Burlesque here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November 10 Challenge: The Wrap-Up

As you can see from my posts, I only made it through 7.5 of my November 10.  With heavy academic work early in the month, I knew I was challenged.  I tried to fit in three additional classes over the Thanksgiving holiday when things slowed down in my life, but most studios that I frequent were closed for the entire weekend.  In fact, I prepaid for a class on Saturday at a studio that was open and was called a couple hours later and told the class was canceled for low attendance.  (That studio gave me an additional class for the hassle of not giving me four hours notice.  I have to use the three classes I now have on account with them this month.)

The main obstruction to my ten classes this month was professional dancing work.  I had so many gigs this month, and I had the two "flash" mob appearances added into the equation requiring rehearsal, recruitment and coordination.  This is the best reason not to hit my student goal since I was out actually doing.  My performances this month were more vulnerable than usual, giving more personal expression and working for more audience connection.  While I was in the field, I was still learning.

I don't know that the educational process will ever stop for me.  I finish my law & media and dance history & appreciation classes at the local college this month.  I also finish my swing series.  If everything pans out, I'll get through those three prepaid classes, a prepaid flexibility class, an a chair dance series.

Wait, that's seven classes.  Can I do a December 10 around my finals and long days of day jobbing?  Hmmm.

November 10 Challenge: Swing I & the Half Class

Class 7 of 10:  Last night was my fourth swing class.  I'm not counting my steps as much, my dance frame is better and I'm not trying to back lead as frequently.  Last night we worked on our triple step basic and I partnered with two students I hadn't before.  It was lots of fun, and I'm sad that I have to miss next week but I have a gig.

Class 7.5 of 10:  I ran out of time to do my 10 classes this month, so I decided to work with a dance instructional video Monday night to boost my count.  I pulled out a beta video from when I was part of the Flirty Girls infomercial test group four years ago.  (I still haven't received my videos for my participation and it's been four years with emails going to the production company from several of the 30 women who participated in the Los Angeles test group.)  I put on the chair dance video with choreography I learned in 2006.  What I noticed was that as a dancer I need choreography given by counts and not by the lyrics.  I can follow when lyrics match choreographed counts, but I need the counts to match the duration of the move.  If a leg extension takes place over six beats, don't count to three or four when you're trying to teach me the move.  I'm very aware of that as a teacher and choreographer, and it makes me nuts as a dancer.  I could only deal with 45 minutes of the video, which is why I'm only counting this as a half class.