Sunday, August 7, 2011

My First Burlesque

A few weeks ago, I contacted a local(ish) burlesque troupe to inquire about getting involved with this sexy, classic, sinful, underground art form.  Involved, as in participating.  Yes, that would be me, down to my knickers, possibly less (have you seen the pasties??) up on stage for all the world to see.  Yes, I know I was shy in high school and yes, I know, I know...I know!  But, I think I'm up for it.  At least, I wanted the chance to see.

The troupe is called Purrrlesque, and, true to what they say on their website, they were open to accepting inquisitive, would-be starlets.  The fabulously flirtatious Tiger Roxxx corresponded with me back and forth a few times, offering to let me "kitten," a show, which is, essentially, playing the roll of cute stage hand for the evening, getting acquainted with the down-and-dirty side of burlesque.  It ain't all glamour and sequins, gals!!

So, off to the lingerie boutique I went, searching for the perfect outfit.  I found what I thought was a corset, but what someone with more, ahem, experience, shall we say? recognized pretty instantly as a "merry widow," (that is, a corset with garter attached) and a tiny, poofy tutu, which I completed with a pair of thigh-high stockings and ballet flats (I would've worn heels, but it was pretty clear that I'd be doing a fair amount of running around, picking up "peels," which are the (mostly cute, frilly) clothes that the girls shed during their skits.) 

(This was my outfit.)
I was so nervous about getting there on time, and being ready once I got there, that I put on my corset, stockings, and Victoria's Secret Outrageously Expensive Black Lace Cheeker Panties (more about those later), and wore those for the two hour drive to Greensboro.  M drove.  I left off the black tutu (didn't want to crush it), and wore a pair of gym shorts over my stockings, and a flannel over my corset.  Because we don't have a Red Robin here in Hell, and I love it so much, and there's one very near Greensboro, we stopped over at Red Robin on the way to the venue - I walked in, sat down, and ate a bacon cheeseburger and fries in a corset.  I still had my gym shorts on over top, and, so M wouldn't be embarrassed, I put a pair of jeans over that.  I was literally stuffed, several layers of me and of my clothes in fact, not just the fatty layer, into my jeans.  I'd had greasy food.  I was on my way to a Very Nervous Event. 

We arrived at the location at 7pm, and there was just the bartender and the band setting up.  Finally, a few girls came in that looked like the belonged with the troupe.  I greeted them and they were so welcoming, and beautiful, even before putting on their Burlesque Face (I was full cat eyes and lip gloss - I'd even retouched after the bacon cheeseburger...brought my Whole Damn Bag with me).  Before I knew it, I'd gotten a copy of the set list (more up to date than the one I'd printed), I'd met the other kitten for the evening, and we were going around to the members of the troupe and the guest performers for that evening, collecting their cues and directions - things like "chair center stage," and what small props they wanted, etc.  I was nervous, but starting to feel more comfortable in that "I think I can do this, I think I won't make too big of a boob of myself" sort of way.

We were in a sort of gang-bang harem of a dressing room where the performers were gathering and dispersing, in various levels of dress and undress, putting on make-up and preparing for the show.  One performer, the delectable and delicious Just Jingles, called out "So, who wants to rape me?"  Before I knew it, I acted on instinct, held up my hand and said, "Right here."

She went on to explain that she was going to be performing to the song "Roxanne," (the version from Moulin Rouge) and that she would need someone to stand behind a screen and, at a certain cue in the music, wave money from behind the screen, beckoning her toward them, then, when she went behind the screen, make loving, sexy movements toward her at first and then, when she resisted, fight her.  Essentially, I was to play the roll of a John. 

Okay.  I can do that.

So, rather late, the burlesque part of the show got started, and I was diving for strips of clothing, breathing as best I could, relishing the moments, returning clothes to their erstwhile wearers, wondering if my Outrageously Expensive Cheeker Panties were showing when I bent over on stage (and hoping that they were), and, generally, enjoying myself all to hell.  I could definitely do this.  I could definitely, definitely do this. 

The performers were all amazing.  One of the guest performers was a drag king, which I was surprised and delighted to see.  Just seeing the girls in their outfits - the care and skill and time they took to prepare for, not just this show, but for all their shows, for the entire Thing of Burlesque, was fascinating and inspiring and got me really excited to be a part of it.  The theatrics (one of the troupe members had described the group as "a bunch of theater kids"), the humour, all of it was just great.  I could see that it was all just outside of my comfort zone in a challenging way that is not a No Way, I'm Not Jumping Out of This Plane sort of way, but in a, Yeah, I Think I Could Do This With A Few Deep Breaths kind of way. 

I was anticipating the skit with Jingles, excited but also nervous.  I got up on stage behind the screen, struck a pose that I thought I could manage to keep during the two minutes before my interaction with her started.  I wasn't sure how clear of a silhouette the audience was getting.  I heard my cue in the music, I took out a dollar bill from my front right breast pocket (like, literal breast pocket - it was a pocket made of my breast and the merry widow), held it out from the screen, and started waving it in a (I hoped) seductive way.  I waved the bill for about thirty seconds, then suddenly there was Just Jingles, live, in the flesh, dazzling and glittering and oh, boy here we go, show is really on. 

I started touching the side of her face, then let my hand go down her chest.  There were hoots and hollers from the audience.  I was supposed to improv with her, which, honestly, was better than if we had planned every move, because, if we had, I think I would've been nervous about making a mistake, even more so than having it be improv'ed. In improv, mistakes are quickly turned into part of the act.  If you make a mistake with a planned move, it tends to throw you off.  But anyway, there she is, and I'm looking her in the eyes and touching her behind a screen to the hoots and hollers of the audience.  Then she starts fighting, and I grab her arms, start flinging her arms this way and that, trying to keep in mind that we are behind a screen, and I don't know how much of a silhouette they are getting, so I'm trying to make exaggerated movements so the audience gets the idea.  If you'd seen it from our side, it just looked like silly play fighting. 

This is Jingles' show, I am essentially another prop, though a live one, so I'm trying to follow her unspoken lead.  She turns around and hits all fours, then I am on the floor too, and there's her rear, and well, I work with what I'm given.  (I had asked her beforehand if it was okay if I grab her ass during the skit.  She graciously allowed it.  You know, for show business.)  So, there she is on her knees with her bum toward me, and I'm supposed to be the John grabbing at her, so that's what I did, I grabbed at her butt, tried to pull her toward me, and she kept moving away.  I wasn't grabbing so much as massaging at one point, because, well, I was trying to make it look like I was grabbing her without being really rough with her, and again, I wasn't sure how much of a clear silhouette the audience was getting.  That part was a bit weird, but then she crawled out from behind the screen to perform the rest of her skit, and I stood, the now jilted, paying lover behind the curtain.

You know.  I don't remember what happened to that dollar I beckoned her with.  Huh.  Seriously.  Did I put it back in my breast pocket?  I think I did, because, I remember, I gave it to her in the harem dressing room after the skit. 

Soon after our skit, there was an intermission.  I said good-bye to a friend who had come, but couldn't stay for the second act (the show really did get started rather late).  I got M to buy me a drink (Midori Sour), took a few sips, then got back to my duties and tasks as a kitten.  This included collecting tips from the audience, along with peeled-off clothing (that from the dancers only, not the audience....well....and'll see).

At the end of the show, we all went on stage.  It was lovely. 

After the show, as I was gathering my own clothing and M to leave, a woman walked up and asked me if I was wearing panties.  Horrified, intrigued, I said, "Yes, barely."  She then informed me that her friend wanted my panties.  She explained that her friend was going to Aruba, and it was some sort of "Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties" scenario.  I asked her if said friend would take a picture of my panties, in Aruba, and send it to me, and agreed to shed my underpants if so.  She went tripping and giggling over to her friend, brought her friend back over, and then the woman and her friend stood, excited, elated, and begging to take them off of me themselves.

That was a little too far, and I said as much, so they stood there, nearly squealing, I have to say, while I stood in the middle of the place and quickly shimmied out of my panties with my little tutu as an ass-cover.  M, ever the practical voice of reason, handed me my gym shorts to cover my shame. 

It really was a fun evening.  The bug has bitten. 

(That's me on the far right.)

Thanks to M for buying my false eyelashes, driving, and taking pictures during the show.  Also, for the Midori Sour.  ;-)

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