I will be blogging really significant parts of my journey...
Today i got the net stockings, Went to Kohls to grab them and they seem pretty sturdy- I cut them from the top bands and then slide them up and then put these nude hair bands on them to hold them up and it gives that "Butt Shelf" some of the girls have so far so god.. am getting antsy- It seem to fit just fine and the rest of the costume does too.. just pretty nervous.
rediscovering what you body feels like against fabric is thrilling but at the same time nerve racking!
Well Here it goes.. more soon!
With love - B
My 29th birthday is getting closer... December 2nd, 2013- Jesus it's been a year really it has.. giggles- Up Downs and All Around-
Some of you have asked me for a wish list and well here it is, top 10 things i want for my birthday! All 10 items are things i really want and could help me go a couple of extra miles with costuming make up and such.... Everything i get or do comes out of pocket so if you really want to here is a set of things i really really want for my b day! Some of these will be based on hobbies and geekness - that is a word! giggles
E-Gift Cards Electronic Gift Cards that require no shipping :)
1- - Shipping Address Contact Requested
Joann Fabric Gift Cards
5- Ebay Gift Cards- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
When i started burlesque there was nothing around me to coach me thru my beginnings as a burlesque artist, to tell you the truth all the research i did was online and via books and that could not have prepared me for my debut performance in Akron, OH.
What was i to know? I was not aware that 11 years later i will be sitting on the other side of the looking glass. Teaching has not been an easy task to take based on the fact I'm so passionate about what i do. The first few time i taught was to my troupe mates and that it self was a overwhelming task to provide the guidance that was necessary for them to hit the stage. In time i spoke to another studio (B Studios) and then other workshops thru the ohio burlesque festival those gave me the tools needed to develop my teaching method and after years of trying methods and ideas it finally came. My own brand of teaching.
I asked my self what i wanted to put out there for the masses to learn and the question was simple but the answer was not, After soul searching and researching with peers i understood that burlesque teaching was a calling to more then showing people how to unrobe to a room full of people but it was more about learning about our selfs, our bodies and helping those people develop their own brand of burlesque.
With the Cleveland Burlesque Academy fast approaching, I have been hard at work making sure the core learning curriculum is comprehensive and exciting. I want the people that attend the workshop to know the important parts of burlesque and the stage as well as in all seriousness the fun that it came come to give one, The fulfillment it can give to ones soul and heart.
I'm well aware i have touched many lives in my time as a producer/performer/teacher and other, but this time i don't just want to touch that life i want to to plant a seed of bravery that i help nurture in time. Many say they want to learn just to have fun and that is great but i want you to learn because you are ready to unrobe to your self. This is not going to be a step ahead to just a performance oh no... This is a step ahead to a very loving amazing journey you will start with your self and your body, to embrace... love and believe in your sensuality.
The programing at the school took me a minute to figure out but being that i have at my fingertips some of the best teachers, i just can't wait to reveal all the full time programing for the drop in classes we will have special guest. The drop in classes require no reservation nor pre registration these are fun exciting cardio driven burlesque work outs that will sass your skills up, not to mention belly dance, make up tutorials, sensuality seminars, sexuality ideas and him and her workshops.
The 14 workshop is a full burlesque beginner to intermediate extravaganza with 14 weeks of full on burlesque training classes to help you develop a complete character, act, stage persona and more like history, dance, parade-pose and peel and costuming! as well as the fun parts and business of burlesque. That is alot to learn but well work it.
So if you want to come and be part of something new and fun.. come and just enjoy a dance class or a full workshop.. Consider this over the holiday season.. our programming is scheduled based on the holidays so not to worry you will still get to do everything and then some!
See you soon
Headmistress - Bella Sin
There was always something holding me, I guess when it comes to my burlesque career my body image has been one that i make sure is in good representation on stage. When i first started panty hoes and my corset never came off my body, The world did revolve around my corset and stockings. I never wanted to show too much or to little.
<--- That's me at my first Akron Show in 2004.
I have never just not worn it, It has become something i became dependent on wearing and after 11 years, I thought of ways to not wear it with no success. To be honest i have been surrounded by body positive woman and men that have gotten me to embrace my body a little more. Yes! I like every one else in this planet have body image issues, It's not that i do not like my body.. I actually love it and think my curves are amazing but it still something i wear because i like it. In my resent trip to NYC there was alot of discovery !! I stayed with the ever so wonderful Matt Knife as i was performing in Stonewall Inn that week, He and i spoke about boylesque alot and what his thoughts were on it and that was lovely. He has a fitting coming up with Cheeky Cheetah and i knew who she was. She owns Glorious Pasties and she makes amazing panties and bras as well as pasties. So i contacted her earlier about and order, There we sat and talked about my insecurities and she showed me this panty she made and told me she could make it to were it would suit me and my needs and have it be G String Bare in the back like i have always wanted. So time went by and i finally got this pantie... I have to say our communication was flawless she really cared about what i wanted and i needed.. She was not trying to do a sell but she was trying to help me get to the place i needed with the security i needed to have.
The Arrival of The Pantie!
When they got here i was soooo excited but scared... I did drop my pants in my living room and put them on they were fitting me like a glove in all the right places. To tell you the truth and this is very personal. I did cry - Why because this was a long journey for me to arrive to and for me to move ahead with this decision was not an easy one...
The Pantie was build to be sturdy, The elastic was glittery in gold and the rhinestoning pattern was just about as amazing as it could get Simple elegant and it really impressed me the attention she paid to the pantie. When i called her she mention that she hoped the elastic was good and it did not cut into me. I send her pictures and she was as excited as i was. This put me over the moon!
What am i putting these with? Some one asked... I said with my number "A Pretty Girl Blue" No one in Cleveland has seen this number yet but for sure you have seen the costume construction. It debut as my headlining number at The First Annual Michigan Burlesque Festival.
Where am i making my body debut?
The Great Southern Burlesque Exposure Pageant in Charlotte North Carolina November 29th and 30th at The Visulite Theater. This year i will be competing just like last year am up for multiple categories but am hoping that this debut around my burlesque family will be the debut needed for me to finally step out of the body stocking and step into my new performing life. In all honestly there will still be times that i will use it, I like it but i don't want to depend on it or expect it to be there all the time and like many others. I do embrace my imperfection with my body, I never wanted a supermodel body let alone to be 120 pounds. The standard of my beauty will always be what i like to see and feel... for me and that personality and grace and confidence will go out to all others when they see me on the stage and off the stage.
Also- Dec 2nd 2013 at The Beachland Ballroom - I will perform the same number for you all with out the body stocking :) Just saying :) Seasons Teasing Doors at 7pm Show at 8pm
With love.. Here goes nothing- Bella
PS Follow My Journey from My costuming alteration to the stage via Instagram - Bellasincle my facebook fan page is Bella Sin Just Click
If you want your very own Cheeky Cheetah Design Check her out!
You will often see images like this in my Instagram account (bellsincle) of me chilling at home or doing everyday things like living with my cats and or spending time with my friends or love ones. Most often is making costumes, behind the scenes of shows that make up the circle that is my life.
Some times they are images of sadness in my life, Let me tell you a secret... Being in the public light is a challenge more then any thing to keep a smile on my face and keep the glittering show going for another day.
After large shows and productions, festivals or tours there is some thing that happens to the best of us and is post show depression. Our lives are difficult when it comes to doing a the every day things every one takes at for granted. Spending time with friends and family becomes more of a very well orchestrated juggling act.It's really hard to explain to some one why you are tired all the time and why you just need to push your self to the point of no sleep to make sure everything is set for the days you have to perform or travel tours. It sucks explaining why you really need to miss it and how you will make it up later. We are public and on 24/7 and even on days off is hard to keep a lid on emotions that are running high due to the stress we put our selfs thru for the sake of our art.
Social media being a popular medium of communication some deal with liking or sharing your journey, A text message or a call some times becomes a relationship and its a true strain on ones mind to miss some one on a daily basis and only being able to have one of the things above to comfort said loneliness. To tell you the truth, This month has not been the easiest what so ever... with the loss of a family member, a surgery for my mom, my shows, my costumes, my friends, my boyfriend and my job I push my self to the brim of exerting my mind, body and emotions more often then i like to admit. I'm a human after all and some times being alone is the most far thing from my mind. Im always surrounded by people and the relationships i keep are important to me... It's 3:15am right now am sitting in my living room having tea and listening to music as i write my blog that it self should tell you what hours i keep and what sleeping i get.
I feel is important to share my ever lasting battle with depression as some of you might know i keep a facebook account and i update it alot with anything really... but some times those anythings are feelings i need to let out. This week i saw a showering of support for my family specially my mother after her very public battle with cancer (i posted alot of it ) many people keep up with her well being and send her prayers and good wishes and every one knows she is my everything but i have also felt guilty for not being with her. I don't seem to understand how i juggle it all and i hear it all the time "How do you do it?, Your always going!, I see your updates on facebook all the time how do you have time?"
I know am not normal!My life is out there to the world to see because when I'm happy i share it with 10, 000+ people the same thing is when am sad. My depression started when i was young dealing with it has not been easy... I fall apart and i know well what sadness is - I have become really good at not dealing with it. I'm a suicide survivor and proud of it, I also have lost friends to it. I do not lose people well (I have loosing people) I'm not every one am me.. Im different ... I have been thru therapy and all the things i can do i have done but the best therapy for me is pouring my sadness into creation of a new act, a costume or even a journal... I do keep them. Once i was told "You have everything, your loved and admired and you can have any thing or any one you want? Why are you not happy?" Well .... that statement is not true.
Work- You have to put yourself out there daily answering your own emails for bookings that will get you feed and your rent paid..Producing shows is stressful and not for everyone and managing your time wisely is a trick i have used to make it happen and at that heading a team of people and learning to delegate is the harder task to learn. We are all employees to some one and being my own boss means if i dont feel like working i dont eat.. or make costumes. Regular jobs are hard since you are requesting time off to do what you want to do and they at times dont even know about your night life and some of them dont approve. Dual Lives can be really hard to keep.
Loved Ones- I have missed alot of their daily lives... Shows come in on weekends and so do parties to celebrate everything. Having a calender helps but i will always miss some thing for friends.. The last times i went to a movie theater was to see ... I cant even remember. I have missed soooo much and social media keeps me up with them but tell you i forget to text and or call and hang out.. since am always tired, working or traveling.
Relationships- NO ONE is lining down the front of my door waiting to date us, We are a mirage every one wants us when on stage but that is not us 24/7, We are people with real life issues and some of us dont keep a boyfriend or girlfriend due to our lifestyle. Everything is a dance to us. We trip on each other at times and we make it work as best we can. Jealousy and Trust is two big ones. Alot of times our bf/gf joins us on stage, helps us with our bags, our numbers, bookings, websites, music, graphic designs, inspiration, home life and they are the ones that open the door of the car after you get home from tour to embrace you and take you home feed you, bathe you and cuddle you in bed when you are just barely waling strait since you did so much. That goes for families too.
We Don't Get What We Want- If i got what i wanted let me tell you life would be good, but we dont we work for it and we are lucky to have people that support us along the way and give us help. A friend knew i was going thru hard times and re stocked my make up and helped me with costumes.. I will never forget that EVER! Some times people think you were given everything and that is not true. Some of us are really lucky and people show us kindness and that to me is ever lasting gratitude. I do not take advantage of it and i will never.. I make sure those people (and you know who you are) are said thank you and if i can return the favor with anything i will.
Friendships - Making new friends is easy .. for me at least but i always keep in mind that some of them are looking for some thing from me.. more then often is the stage. I have made really good friends and i know i love the ones i have and they understand me and keep up with me and tell me NO. I have lost so many friend on the most stupid things and some are valid but i have to say that this business really shows you the true colors of people and what they want from you. Some times we cant help things that happen, I care not to recollect but im rather thankful for the ones who stuck around... I will go to the grave for them!
Balancing a life in stage and keeping normality (in a way) is very difficult that is why performers of any kind are a hard shell to crack and understand. We try and really do try to keep you happy and entertain and give back when we have the time. If it was up to me i would never be sad.. i would like to never be sad again... crying messes up my make up .. giggles... Sadly am no super human or void of feeling... I embrace every handshake, every hug, every picture and every smile from every one warmly and openly let people see my life as what it is... A Really Good Story-
This week i signed a 2ft by 4 ft poster of my self the girl was thrilled and so were her friends taking pictures and getting to met me was a thing that made their night.. She also got burlesque class.. I remember her eyes lighting up and her smile getting bigger. That makes me happy.... My family and friends saying I love you- That makes me happy.. My boyfriend and Dr Who makes me happy.
This week some people said.. "I have been following the progress of this costume for days" "I have not missed one of your shows" "I remember watching you on stage when i was 18" "You inspire me" "You are Beautiful" "Im proud of you" all these things that were said humble me and keep me going... If you are still reading... YOU keep me going.. YOU give me hope, YOU give me a smile, YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU! I LOVE YOU! I CARE ABOUT YOU.. To my faithful readers.. Thank you for being here.. even do my english is horrid (hahaha)
Ill leave you with this.
"In life the hardest thing to accept is loosing some one or some thing, As humans we want to keep everything close but this teaches us to love everything more and take nothing for granted because tomorrow it maybe gone... "
with love - B
"What is Your Worth?"
In burlesque we have the relationships like in any other world, These tend to be nurtured and produced by the stage. No one ever thinks what it takes to actually produce, manage or organize a show, Some of my travel have open my eyes to this very fact. Not all Producers, Performers or Show are Equal but we might use the same equation.
Local to International groups are facing the overly popular problem with the growing recognition of burlesque, That is good in my eyes but it grows this bubble that comes into a great big issue.
This has become a very lucrative avenue of business of course that depends on your ability to become a business minded arts promoter. This comes with some challenges!
These are the working conditions that can be thought of from local to international
Limited Resources (Venues, Sponsors, Print Media or any kind of Marketing)
Level of Community Support (City Officials, Fans and Promoters)
Production Value Varies ( From Novice to Pro)
Under Pricing Production Cost
Under Cutting becomes more popular (Even Acceptable)
Different Levels of Presentation
Drama between troupes (internally and externally)
Bullying and Exclusion of Performers
Local Business taking advantage of the "trend"
Inadequate performing facilities
with anything art related the value can be very subjective, It maybe a hurculian task to explain to people why your art is worth money specially if there is no basic understanding of what you do. (I.E Perception) This statement came from my roommate Internationally Known Goth Industrial DJ Nemesis.
I must confess my self trying to market a very niche market is having to reinvent your ability to be able to promote your business with tools of the real world, After all your performers want paid and your audience wants a good show.
Production is not for every one, Being a producer means (your it) You are responsible for the whole show so if anything goes wrong you have to be able to answer questions and have a back up. You have to be an event planner, promoter, social media marketing wiz, computer nerd, internet hashtag guru and never be away from work via your phone with all your sync apps to be able to produce more then a show but and audience.
A producer has to answer all questions and manage the ever so amazing A Team of people to make them flow and sync together and make it a glittering time for all around... does not sound to hard? right?... sings "I want to be a producer"- Remember that movie... The Proceeders! Ahh Those are the days of the rose colored glasses!
Let's Flip This-
"Once i was told by a very savvy Drag Queen- You are an Entertainer First and Foremost you are here to Entertain, This is a job not a hobby for me this is my job"
That brings us to the Entertainer point of view -
Often times people think that as a burlesque entertainer you are making the big bucks and living a fancy life, part of the allure for new burlesquers is the "Life Stye" that seems to come with the stage. Burlesque is a very very very very pricy career and let alone hobby, Some people at times don't understand why i do prefer not to have Monthly productions, Theme Shows, Low Door Admission, Poor Entertainment or Over Book A Cast Show.
It's hard for to understand why some girls "Pay to Play" If you think about if you know your costume is not going to be even covered by (Pay Out) that can rage in some cities form nothing to $300.00 is you are very lucky, Your Costume is your running over head but you have to start counting The hairspray, Bobbie Pins, Tights, Stockings, Shoes, Safety Pins, Make Up, Eyelashes, Pastie Glue or Tape, Wigs, Perfume, Glitter (it gets expensive), Props, Hair decor, fake nails, rhinestones, trim (to decorate that last bit of your costume), music, cd's or ipods to put your music in, rehearsal time, promotion time, getting ready for the show, (shoot i broke a nail) nail glue, gloves, garter belts, fringe (fabric or beaded)..... I get dizzy thinking about it. Oh Time this 2x since you are doing two numbers. Knowing your expenses is a way to track you profit.
I recently heard the expression "If your doing it for fun or as a hobby ... why should you get paid?" Valid point? Yes but there is two sides of this You are getting paid for your work and "exposure" but when you are looking at it in a way you are not getting paid you are nearly re investing on your hobby. For those of us that consider this a living undercutting is offensive and disrespectful but we are all different like producers "Not Two Show Girls are Created Equal"
In general we all have a common denominator and that is the art it self, We have to respect that denominator and understand that we are all in one way or another impacting each other with what we do and how we do it.
But what about the audience!!!!!
After all they are the ones that make these shows happen, What you think that it would be fun to perform to a room of 2....? We need to give them a show and by a show some of us mean a high energy varietease! Our audience like to see different things but in general they develop tastes and those we have to be catered too, Respecting your audience and teaching them to respect you is a world in it self. You should be very thankful they came to see you and they should feel special that you worked so hard to put 203484 rhinestones on your costume for the night just for them to see it and have fun! Honestly giving things away at shows is nice (raffles) have become a way to make extra income for shows but think how much they are getting hassled (Tip Bucket, Bar Drinks, Tipping Bartenders, Service Fees, Parking Fees, Food, Wait Staff and Vendors) Giving them something just for the showing up is nice! Discount cards, random pictures, conversations making your audience feel connected to you is the key to everything!!!
PS If you have attended one of my shows and or follow me (THANK YOU SO EVER MUCH SMOOCHES)
WHAT ABOUT THE TEAM OF KITTENS (Stage Hands, MC, DJ and Sound Manager)
It would be rather tacky to pick up your own clothing, Play your own music, and cue your own intro would it not? The kittens are paying their dues or helping the show cast as hired help, It never seems to amaze me how this job gets looked down upon so often when i the single most important job in the show! Having a kitten that is well versed in the stage management skill of clothing pick up and stage prop set up is crucial for us all to survive, They are the unsung heros of burlesque and stage production. They work from entry to exit and i know my kittens are the best people in the world to me and so is my production team, but some times no one does them justice. Remember they are priceless! Having a good team is imperative to a good production, The DJ sets the tone for the room, The MC gets the energy flowing, The sound manager keeps tabs on levels of music, sound quality and volume. These people are incredibly important and they are worth so much more then you can think of!
Other Important people- The sponsors, media write up, event writers, vendors, social media, friends, family, vendors, graphic designers, printers, flyer team, location allowing you to hang flyers, friends of friends and your burly family!
IT TAKES A VILLAGE PEOPLE!!!!
Now - This should get you thinking about YOUR WORTH as an Entertainer and YOUR WORTH as a Producer, YOUR WORTH as Show Staff and YOUR WORTH as an audience member and Importance as a show supporter.
Flip a Coin at this point point of time - Remember if all fails the one to blame is THE PRODUCER!
With love - B
An element that creates and destroys but does manage to be swayed by other elements to alter their form. The ever lasting light of bravery and the most likely reference of recreation and renewed hope or reinvention just like the Phoenix it seems to come to mind today that there is lessons that i still need to learn. What are they? don't know....
It seems at times that you might see so many things around you lighting up but it's truly your self setting a blaze and renewing you self.
Once i was told - "Stop beating your head against the wall, Stand back and see it crumble before you by the sheer fear of your will"
Passion is a drive that i have had since i was young, regardless of what stood in my way, I got the goal that i set for my self and even do that is hard to believe in many ways form where I'm currently sitting. I have grown and succeeded to become that i once dreamed about.
Tonight, I seem to be restless and with an impending loss upon my head - I seam to be blaming my self for such events in my life that i had no had in but i wonder .... Did i learn my lessons? I'm i indeed still beating my head on the wall? Might explain the headache* sigh*.
I feel a fire with in...I know i fuel it.. I know i control it... but will i allow it to consume me and let it give me rebirth? Let it wash me from all these memories that lay slumbering in my the back of my mind.
"Iron Will" used to describe me and tonight the word compassion was used, I guess am trying to see what others do so i can understand Who i became and Why am i not embracing the change thrust upon me. I strive for challenge and innovation.. travel and adventure but in all i crave the home life and creation that comes from it.
Ancestors light my way
Burlesque Performer and every day glitter seeking glamour lover!