Do What Ya Can

I was just updating the events sidebar and noticed that I hadn’t really written anything new for almost a year, yikes!  Certainly not for lack of activity.

I have so many ideas about what I’d like be doing and where I’d like to be performing, and I can see the big vision already, and it is BIG!  But sometimes I must remind myself that THE BIG SHOW is only accomplished through hard work on a series of smaller, but ever growing, shows, classes, etc. and long days networking and updating online stuff.

I’ve been so much more focused on improving myself as a performer and dancer, that the online stuff hasn’t received much love, and to be honest I’ve become OK with the fact that 1071256_10152064337208613_1485784628_oit might no get it’s full due for a little while.  My boys are growing fast and I’m sure soon they’ll be in school longer and with friends more so I’m focusing on the stuff that seems most important to bringing amazing performances, and one of those things is spending special time with my guys, rather than in front of a screen.

Soooooo, if you want to catch up, come see a show, follow me on Facebook, Twitter (@evadluscious or @bubblyburlesque), Instagram (#evadluscious) or join me in a class — tonight I’m attempting my very first aerial silks at iCandy Pole Dance!

Why Don’t You Like Me?

So much has happened in the last four years since I started performing Burlesque that life is beginning to become BB (Before Burlesque) and AB (After Burlesque).  Most of it has been wonderful and made it clear that I’m on the right path.  And then there are the not so fabulous things.

Many people will tell you Burlesque is a welcoming loving family that is the wind beneath HiddenLola your battered wings.  And this has mostly been my experience. However, it’s also true that performers can be sensitive and jealous and not entirely introspective and thoughtful of people around them.

I’ve likely been on the giving end of this without realizing it, not maliciously of course but sometimes you just get so into what’s going on for you that you can’t see how that affects other people. Goddess, help me change that!

And then other times you’re on the receiving end.   I think it would be catty to share the details of my experience publicly.  What’s more interesting is the process this forced me to go through to uncover freedom for myself.  Freedom from the compulsion to be liked.

Aside from the lack of professionalism that showed up, I was personally hurt and upset that I felt like someone else didn’t like me.  I felt like my 4th grade playmate had suddenly declared she was taking her Barbies and going home.

At first I thought, “I should call this person and share my feelings and try to learn why they are upset with me so I can fix it.”  I marinated on this for a while and talked with a few close friends about it.  And then I did probably one of the best things I could have, and just sat with the idea for a while.

As I sat with it and thought through the possible ways I could have wronged this person and caused them not to like me, I grew calmer about it.  I realized I had been kind and ethical in my actions and that whatever was bothering this person, if there was actually anything, was a lot more about them than me.

I also checked in with the energy surrounding this person, how being with them made me feel, and began to question if it was worthwhile engaging further.  Was this a person I could have an honest conversation with and come to a mutually satisfying understanding?  Or was this someone who might become vindictive or worse tell me everything was good and not show that in action?

After sitting with the situation for a while I decided further engagement wouldn’t create a positive result or be good for me.  It may seem like just throwing my hands up and walking away, but for a person who wants to be good with everyone by nature and nurture, this was truly agonizing.  I don’t think I’ve ever willing walked away from a relationship without at least some sharing of feelings.

But in this situation, I had done all I could to be a good person and I could exit Stage Left feeling clean and good about my actions.

It took a while, but rather than being upset or wishing this person ill when their name came up or I thought about it, I wished them compassion and the hope they would treat other people better.  After a bit I stopped thinking about it very much at all.

I am still a bit sad about the situation, especially since Burlesque is a small community; and at the same time I love the freedom of not worrying so much about people liking me.

I realize that no matter what I do some people may just not be on the same vibe with me and may not want me around.  No judgement about what’s going on for them, I feel the same way about some folks too.

Another bonus is the freedom I feel in my onstage performance.  Of course I consider the FreeLolaexperience I’m brining to the audience, but I’m also creating a better balance of considering how I feel in an act and which boundaries I would like to push, not what might be expected or desired.  Hot damn, is that great for authenticity and innovation!

I’m going to continue being the best me I can and growing my capacity for compassion. And revel in this freedom to be more me!

Photos by Freak the Mighty

Don’t Dis the Dancers

I was feeling super high after Cabaret de Caliente’s Burlesque Valentine to Led Zeppelin — a show that was special to me because Zeppelin is one of my all time favorite bands and I gave what I felt was a tremendous performance after a lot of hard work and rehearsals.

I received props from fellow performers and audience members and felt like I had achieved something really special being vulnerable, sexy and exciting on stage and producing a show so fabulous people walked out glowing and posted their thanks days later.

And then I saw this comment about a pic of me posted after the show:

“Is that a girl or a man in drag? Most flat chested exotic dancer I’ve ever seen…”

Photo: Jessica Aquistapace

Photo: Jessica Aquistapace

I’m a 39 year-old woman with two sons, old enough to know better than to trash talk other women (or anyone)!

Initially I chose to take the high road and instead of calling this woman out, I invited her to come see a future show so she can appreciate the sexuality of all types of people.  But honestly, that hurt!

Perhaps she thinks it’s easy to take your clothes off and entertain a room full of people?

I can’t begin to fathom what would motivate her to publicly post something negative about a complete stranger.  Experience has taught me that words like these stem from insecurities and I’m tremendously thankful that I’ve had the love and support of friends, family, fans and my children to work through many of mine and show my true self onstage.

It breaks my heart when women do not support eachother, there are enough barriers to happiness in the world.  It may seem small, but this insensitivity supports a culture comfortable with stereotypes and segregation.  And that is straight not OK with me.

So here it is: if you have criticism that could help improve my performance, connect deeper with my audience, excite them more, send them home with shivers, etc., please drop me a line or say it to my face.  If all you have to say is something negative about my body that gives you the illusion of superiority, you can stuff it.

I love that Modern Burlesque celebrates people of all body types, performance backgrounds and sexual orientations.  Perhaps you were an Exotic Dancer in a time where there was less flexibility and freedom, or you just plain think bigger boobs are sexier.  I hope that you can be happy for growth in culture and Burlesque that celebrates the sexuality of more types of people — the more positive sexual energy in the world the better for all!

Eva's Temptation at Hubba Hubba, Photo Belle Arts

Eva’s Temptation at Hubba Hubba, Photo Belle Arts

Even if you don’t think my body is sexy (which is fine, really), plenty of men and women find both my body and my dance very sexy.  They’ve told me so and continue coming to my performances, hooray for variety!  To be clear, live performance is my art form – please do come see my show before you offer up any criticism, and I hope to Goddess that at this point in your life you know the different between criticism and cattiness.

If you do come to Cabaret de Caliente, please keep in mind two of our very important rules:

1.   Be Open to New Ideas

2.   Don’t Bad Mouth Performers

 

And if you have not yet reached the point of maturity to respect these rules, I hereby invoke Dr. Bob: “Be nice or leave!”

 

 

Don’t Just Say “Thank You,” Show It!

My Mother and her parents are from Texas (yes, The Republic of, thanks) so polite is kinda like breathing.  And though I’m sure my younger self rolled my eyes at all the reminders to say “Please” and “Thank you” I now teach my children the same, and realize being polite laid the groundwork for the importance of being grateful.  And recently I became quite clear of the importance of expressing gratitude through action.

Not to say the I haven’t been doing this, I’m a Virgo and I think we’re hard wired to be of service to others and keep things running – I think Virgo is the most common astrological sign at Burning Man because someone’s gotta keep the party on track.

I ignored my own advice to be quiet in Wintertime, blew out New Year’s Eve and came down with whatever nasty bug is freaking the CDC out this year.  While I spent 5 fevered days in bed capable of doing very little, my fabulous husband did ridiculous amounts of laundry, took the kids to play dates and birthday parties, went grocery shopping, cooked meals, brushed little teeth, and still managed to give me a couple massages.  Yes, I do realized how blessed I am!

When I felt better I thanked him for stepping up so much.  I could tell he appreciated the acknowledgment, but he just said “No problem, honey, you do it all the time.”

He was returning a lot of care and love I’ve given my family, but he wasn’t just saying “thank you,” he was showing it.Gratitude

Could have been the forced bed rest, but it just became really clear to me how important it is to show people you appreciate them with your actions.  Saying “thank you” is very important of course, but perhaps you cold take your gratitude a little further by doing something thoughtful for someone?

Maybe you could send their event announcement to a couple extra people, even if you can’t attend.  Find a creative way to share their new business endeavor.  Make them a card from an old photo.  Send them a picture of you enjoying the fabulous gift they sent. Bring them some lemons or apples from your yard.  Give them a really, really good, long, hug.

All these extra actions build community and good will and the icing is that you will likely receive some of this goodness back.  Our world certainly could use more community, caring and giving, and this seems like a simple way to push the good vibe.

So what will you be doing to Show “thank you”?

Uncovering The Gift of Sexy

I had been a Mom for several years and even though I took dance classes through both pregnancies, I missed performing for a crowd as I had done a large part of my young life.  I decided to pursue Burlesque specifically at Tease-O-Rama many years ago, but it wouldn’t be until 2010 that I would start classes with Bombshell Betty, put on my first pasties and show them to the world.       68154_150331825017813_8364737_n

It wouldn’t be until almost three more years, that I really uncovered The Gift of Sexy.

Not long ago I realized part of the reason Burlesque appealed to me, aside from my visceral reaction to shiny things and feathers, was the desire for my true self to be appreciated.

Wiping dirty butts and scrubbing dishes is often thankless, or the gratitude is far between so getting up onstage and hearing “Ohs” and “Ahs” is immediately satisfying.  Not to mention the major shift in body image that goes with two pregnancies.  Anyone who has had quick shifts in their physical appearance with weight gain or loss, surgery, injury, whatever, can relate to the challenge of just getting comfortable in your own skin again.  Smiling people cheering for any revealed body part is quite helpful!

But over time a fabulous change took hold.  As I worked to create more interesting and stimulating acts for myself and my audience, I was forced to explore my authentic feeling and expression of sexuality.  The best way to draw my audience in was to express real emotion and excitement, which is very vulnerable and damn hard to do onstage or in front of a single person.

I had been slowly stepping into a closer relationship with The Goddess so it felt natural and safe for me to begin this process by offering my performances as dedication and prayer to her, in hopes of sharing this energy with my audience.

Not long after my dedication I met CocoLectric and Isis Starr, two fabulous Burlesque performers and Goddess celebrants.  I had lovely and real conversations with each of them about the importance of moving and grounding sexual energy. I was on the right path!

I was accepted to perform at The Bachelor Pad Magazine Party at Tiki Oasis in August and felt it was time to attempt a classic Glamour, uber-sexy act.  The fabulous hosts Jason Croft and Dr. Shocker assured me that they enjoyed my performance and the audience cheered, but I didn’t feel like myself onstage and personally felt like it was an act that    622515_440569755987449_547563066_o would never see stage lights again.  I was still working out how to be true to myself and super sexy, not there yet but their purple shrouded stage certainly pushed me in the right direction.

My journey continued with a powerful class taught by Kristina Nekyia, “Bring Sexy Back”  at Dottie Lux’s School of Shimmy.  She encouraged us to throw away the idea of a perfect sexy tableau in performances and instead invite our audiences to take a journey of sexual discovery with us.  Wow!  Someone just told me to be real on a Burlesque onstage.  Considering all the fake eyelashes, glittering costumes, succulent make-up and hair products, this is a BIG deal!

My performances took on a whole new level of excitement for me, and thus for my audience.

My first performances were tongue-in-cheek or cute and sassy sexy.  Perhaps because the sexy I was trying to emulate is the ideal of ads and glamour magazines.  So not me. I  shower and brush my hair on a good day, it’s major if I put on more than leggings and a t-shirt and certainly a night out or job interview if make-up is involved, but Marvin Gaye can be on my backing track at any moment.

Classic Glamour acts didn’t initially feel real because I hadn’t discovered my voice in them.  Doing super pretty for the sake of pretty isn’t me.  I need a thought provoking message in my acts because that’s how I roll in life.  Finding the way to make that sexy, as in “Let’s hit the sheets NOW,” not just “Hey I’m getting more naked” — blew my world open.

I still feel that the world is missing a grounded, safe connection with personal sexuality.  The power of Life Force frightens many into thinking it must be controlled or contained, but I don’t see that doing much good in the world.

I invite you to dump all that shame and feel good, really good, about being sexy wherever you are, whatever you look like, RIGHT NOW.      378261_336576233092448_1185942779_n

And then the most wonderful piece of my journey so far fell into place.  I felt a lot more sexual energy flowing in every day life.  My Gift of Sexy had arrived when I learned to become vulnerable and real with my energy.  So funny I needed an audience for that!

And now with the encouragement of the ladies at iCandy Pole Dance and the best Playa Ground Score ever, Rono & Sierra of LifeStylized, I have found a way to share my gifts further through stories like this and Burlesque classes and workshops.  I have received appreciation from so many people for the work I’ve just started that I can’t imagine doing anything else.

So there it is my friends, being truly appreciated requires being truly vulnerable and sharing your expression of life with the world.  May you find the strength to open to your gifts and share them!  Blessed Be

PS — If you find this helpful or inspiring, please do share this with friends, this message needs to be heard!  Thank you

 

Why I Dance

I’ve shared this with a few people verbally, but feels like time to put something more permanent in the world.

There comes a time when every artist must ask themselves why they are doing their particular thing. In my case I wondered: “why am taking my clothes off for other people?”

The answer goes something like this: I’ve always felt that you can tell anyone just about anything, if you make it entertaining. And what I would like to tell everyone is that the flow of sexual energy is incredibly important to our world.

Eva's Temptation at Hubba Hubba, Photo Belle Arts

Eva’s Temptation at Hubba Hubba, Photo Belle Arts

In the most basic way, this energy IS life force. It is was brings new lives into this world. That same energy creates new possibilities, generates new ideas, drives people to do amazing things (and some crazy too!). It is the most powerful energy humans can create and share. Think about how charged you feel after the best sex, do you feel like you can take on the world and make it The Garden of Eden?

Sexual energy must flow!

Please do note that I am not suggesting anyone should go about having sex with anyone and everyone possible. Spread yourself thin and wide and your power diminishes. Rather, be aware of this powerful energy and choose how you direct it — I sincerely hope you will send it out with love!

There are so many ways to help this flow, but I don’t want those to be expensive, or intellectually challenging, or practices that take years of training. Each of us has the power to generate this energy, and to release it and share it in the world.

Seems to me that the major roadblock is the shame our culture has heaped on our sexual energy.  In ancient times, Goddess cults would dance to invoke and embody this energy. I dance now to bring in that power and to encourage people to celebrate and explore their own sexual energy.

Peace, Love & Burlesque! Mwah!

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New Website Launched!

Welcome to the new improved, more sparkly version of my online home.  Special thanks to  Rono of LifeStylized and my inhouse tech support, Will Longfellow, for making this reality!  In the coming months I will bring you stories and observations from the Glittering Alleys of Burlesque, and perhaps some Deep Thoughts by Eva D’Luscious.

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