Last week I got to do a really fun photo shoot with my friend Drew Ritter. Drew is really into photography and was looking for a model to add to his portfolio. I've never said "No" to having my picture taken, so we were well matched.
Speaking of "well matched," Drew is in my life because he's going to be marrying my best friend from childhood, Jessie. We made poor Jessie hike into the woods, NATURE, GUYS! She was fucking awesome; she kept the wine flowing and was a real sport about my flailing around making pouty faces at her fiancé.
About an hour into our shoot the sun went down and the woods got dark. NATURE, GUYS! We were just a bunch of kids hanging out in the middle of the woods by an abandoned water tower, drinking out of solo cups, and listening to country music. Not the setup for a horror movie at all!
I like to be scared but I think Jessie was getting nervous. Which is hilarious, because most of our childhood consisted of me making Jessie scared. (Sorry, Snugs.)
The real fear was the giant field of poison ivy we were standing in. Skin rashes are much worse when you spend a lot of time naked on stage.
I've been part of a few awesome photoshoots since I started doing Burlesque and I find that I really enjoy doing them. I remember being really nervous for my first shoot and I think it's evident in some of the photos. It's hard work being a model.
Yes, really! Standing in weird positions, under lights, in a rashy minefield, yeah, it's hard! Why are you so judgey? You got something against fake red heads? Too bad! I will murder you!
Here are some things I've learned about having my picture taken:
4. I guess I should lightly touch on the subject of money. If you're working for a professional photographer, you should get paid for your work. How you work that out is your choice, but make sure that shit is CLEAR before you go in and that you have some sort of contract. I'm not a professional model (See Example A) so I don't feel qualified to give you precise advice on this. The arrangement I have with Drew is Time for Print. Meaning that I model for him and he gives me license to use the photos he takes. Isn't that nice? Now you get to see the forest mermaid, and the awkward handjob shot!
5. When posing I try to remember these things:
a) Know where your light is. Tilt your face toward it and try to elongate your neck to create some contrast. At this nighttime shoot, I kept putting my face in shadow by holding my arm up over my head. Be aware of the shadows your body creates.
b) Listen to your photographer. If they tell you that when you hold your arm like that it blocks the light from your face, then, you know, don't do that....
c) My body creates a more interesting image when I stick my hips out and create negative space between my limbs and my body, that's kind of an obvious tip...but standing stock straight is something I avoid
d) A lot of model "tips" will advise you on tricks to appear thinner. I'm not interested in appearing thinner. That being said, I try not to squish my arms against my sides because it can create uneven "squishidge" making one arm appear larger than the other. You know when you see a photo of a bunch of girls out at the bars in Faneuil Hall and they all have their arms on their hips- that!
e) I try to be conscious of my hands and how I'm holding them. Sometimes I forget and get this weird fish-hand look, or I twist them around too sharply (see my hand in the forest-mermaid-rock- photo above)
f) Relax, yo. If I'm not relaxed I become mayor of Awkwardtown. I need to let go of those feelings of insecurity and just GO with it.
g) It helps to remind yourself that you're fucking fierce !
I've posted the edited photos from the shoot here. Check them out, and remember: I was listening to Taylor Swift the whole time while they were being taken... no! Don't remember that! That's a very embarrassing secret! Shhhh!
It's almost summer time and things have been heating up in the Boston burlesque scene.
This last weekend was jam packed with shows. On Friday I participated in the Bizarro Ball: A Fundraiser for Alternatease 2014.
Alternatease is a Neo-Burlesque festival and this will be its second year. Last year I was the administrative assistant and got to perform with The Glitterbombs in the opening show.
This year I applied and was accepted to perform in the TA-TA's which is the the Alterna-TEASE Awards Spectacular (Friday Night, August 15.) It's not a typical awards ceremony in that the awards are tailor made. It was an amazing show last year, and I'm preparing to BRING IT to this year's show.
Jonathan Beckley took these badass photos of my Wolf in Peep's Clothing performance on Friday night:
Saturday night I got to perform in The Old School Game Show's John Hughes-A-Palooza and it was rad!
I was a Cubic Zirconia Dancer and had my first speaking part as the Mother of the Studio Audience. I got to send the Studio Audience to prom! It was hilarious and such a fun show.
One of our numbers was an 80's medley and included, not only the dance montage from The Breakfast Club, but also this epic move stolen from Say Anything:
The theater was decked out for prom and included a photo area manned by awesome photographer Laura Hajar
You can check out more photos from the show: HERE
Sunday night I attended MASCULINITEASE: A Burlesque with Balls. The show is put on by Sirlesque, Boston's boylesque troupe.
I smiled and cheered so much my face hurt. There were fantastic special guests: Allix Mortis, Fem Bones, Maggie Maraschino, Gypsy Lux, Rogue Burlesque, and more! They added some badass lady-ness to the show.
Belle Gunz and I decided to dress in drag for the show and we looked so friggin handsome. It was the flattest my chest has been since 5th grade and pretty goddamn liberating. I think my drag persona will be making more appearances in the future.
My favorite number was Allix Mortis's. She did a powerful piece about the verbal abuse she's faced by depicting the words on a projection screen. It was tough to read and intense to watch her build more and more tension on the stage. She reclaimed some of those words so that they became words of power, and she honored #YesAllWomen. She got a standing ovation and brought tears to my eyes. It was a fantastic piece.
The finale of the show moved me in a different way.... jumping out of my seat because the dudes from Sirlesque did a tribute to the The Backstreet Boys that had my 90's-child-self losing my shit!
*Fun Fact: I'm fucking color blind and no one noticed my facial hair was purple until I left my apartment. It's an unintentional homage to Prince! *
As for when you can see me next:
REVENGE OF THE ROBOT BATTLE NUNS!
Guys, this show is going to be INSANE.
We've been in rehearsal for months, we've been toiling, we've been costuming, we've been finding the perfect mixture of ingredients to create the most realistic looking vomit....don't fucking miss this!
Announcements and musings!