Take Two: Couples Striptease

Attention Los Angeles couples!!

Looking to start your Valentine’s festivities early? Join me on Feb 10th, 1-2:30pm at Fit and Bendy Studios, for Take Two: Couples Striptease! I’ll be teaching this exciting new workshop for the first time in Los Angeles! Bring a friend, partner or lover and learn how to tease and tantalize each other using the art of burlesque. You will learn a full choreography involving boas, robes, bras, button down shirts and ties.
Please bring your own items of clothing. There will be some boas available to borrow if you do not have one. All clothing will be worn on top of your workout clothing. All are welcome! No experience necessary. Fun and playful attitudes required!

Registration includes a glass of champagne and chocolate!

 

 

Big Reveal Anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of my Big Reveal:

It has been a life changing year. I have moved to Los Angeles, a place where image is everything and truth is the exception, not the rule. It has been incredibly freeing, but also scary, to live as my true self and not hide of apologize for who I am or what I look like. None of this has been easy and I still struggle with this at times when my self doubt and insecurities run high.

I was open about this as a child and in highschool, but this has been the first year that I have been open about this as a burlesque figure. Burlesque is so rooted in image and glamour. Yes, it’s empowering but it can be hard to see and feel that sometimes when you’re backstage or perusing Instagram. Just like you, I can get lost in the portrayed perfection of another and I can get down on myself. I start to feel insecure and wonder if what I’m doing will be accepted. In the midst of those feelings, I still step out on stage, because in the end, I will always believe that beauty is truth. I have taught that to my students for over a decade, but I think it’s always harder for the teacher to teach themselves. Well, trust that I have been in class every day, showing up to learn new lessons and even learn the same lessons over and over. Repetition is key!

On the health note, I’ve had some hair growth and I’ve also had some loss. I feel like I’m only allowed a certain number of hairs on my head at one time. If one spot grows in, then I will lose hair some where else. It’s like whac-a-mole. While it is still frustrating and I still get down about it, I have more good days than bad, emotionally speaking. What’s strange is that my hair style is so on trend. I’ve NEVER been on trend or even cared about that. I see some ladies with the same cut as me and a lot of dudes! It’s kinda funny. Who knew alopecia would be so hot right now?!

Thank you for an incredible year of support and love! Can’t wait to see what this year brings!

 

 

 

2018: Year in Review

I’ve been struggling with how to sum up this year. It’s been a big one for me and I have learned so much! I feel like I’m in an emotional puberty. A growth spurt for the soul. Definitely feeling some growing pains, but also feeling very excited and open for the future.

In 2018, I began the year with coming out about my alopecia. It was a burden to me for so long. A source of shame, embarrassment and insecurity. Those feelings have lessened considerably, but they are still there. While I will continue to try to rid myself of them completely, I’m still doing what I do in the face of these feelings. I’m not letting them hold me back. You have been amazing in this whole process and I have learned that I have the best fans on the planet! Your support is so touching and beautiful and I am forever grateful for that.

I continued on to new beginnings in 2018 with a big move to Los Angeles. This has always been something that I wanted for myself and was finally able to make it happen. I have been traveling to LA for years, but living here is surpassing all expectations and also providing some serious reality checks. I am incredibly inspired here. There is so much stimulus and there is so much talent. I have the opportunity for opportunity and the hustle is strong. This city is not one for the faint of heart. You need to be very strong in yourself to be here. Everyone here is beautiful and everyone here is ‘doing it’ or putting on the appearance of ‘doing it’. In my darker times, I wonder if I’m ‘doing it’. I also find it ironic that I’m going through this incredible life transition in a city that is so image obsessed. I am the burlesque dancer with the shaved head that comes out and performs in Hollywood. How strange and unexpected! The expectations of women and sexuality is something that I am constantly fighting, but trying to fight with love instead of anger. I will admit, that it has been really challenging for me to perform sometimes. While I might feel fine walking around on a daily basis, my doubtful devil begins to get louder when I am backstage with the ‘pretty’ girls. The ones with the perfect hair and the boobs and the corsets and ‘the look’. I can get really inside my own head and start to question everything. Now, you might be saying, ‘Well, just put on a wig and everything will be fine.’ Not really. I’m not anti-wig. I will wear them sometimes. Part of my mission, and it has ALWAYS been my mission, is to portray an authentic sexuality and sensuality. Honesty is rare these days and I want to provide the most sincere experience I can in my art. I can do that by going out there as I am and make a statement in a loving way. I will always believe that your vulnerability, or your perceived vulnerability, is your strength. Just think of your favorite superhero and embrace your own power.

I’ve also developed the idea of Gl’amour, the truth behind glamour. The concept of glamour is something that I’ve always struggled with. I can’t decide if it is the ultimate truth or the ultimate mask. Where does that line begin to blur? This is a concept that I’m excited about exploring further this year.

As for resolutions, I don’t have any. Growth is my only goal. I want to grow as an artist, as a teacher, as a spiritual being, as a lover and as a friend. I am passionate about deep dives into yourself where you can find what is lurking in the shadows, no matter how uncomfortable.

If you are struggling with resolutions, perhaps realizing that time is not linear will help you. There doesn’t have to be an end date on the old self on the 31st. If you need to naturally transition to something healthier, do that. Maybe that happens Jan 15th. Maybe it happens in February or June. Your new year can be whenever you want it to be. Remove the pressure from yourself and listen to what it is that you need in the moment and honor that. (Does it sound like I’ve been taking a lot of yoga in Hollywood? Yes, I have.) Let’s have a year where we compare ourselves less to others and get excited about what we have to offer to ourselves and to others. I’ll do that if you do that.

I hope to see more of you in Los Angeles, Chicago, and wherever else the tease may take me this year!

Beauty is truth.

Happy 2019!
ml’

Truly Naked

Since my Big Reveal in January, I have been through a LOT of transition. I won’t get into the nitty gritty details, but it all culminates with me moving to Los Angeles. I have wanted to be out here for a long time, since high school actually. From not getting the encouragement that I needed at the time, to building up quite a business in Chicago, it didn’t make sense for me to leave, but there was always that pull. Things are still great in Chicago and I still work and produce there but I came out west to keep pushing myself. I’ve never done a move so big before, so there is a lot to get used to, but so far, I am loving it.

In addition to transitioning to a new city, I’m also transitioning to a new performance life. I have a new perspective on things and I’ve been performing more and more without my wig. I feel my best when I am able to be myself. I know wigs are just an accessory and you can still be yourself with them, but for me, they carry something different. They make me feel inauthentic. I know this feeling is due to my bad experience with them as a child (hair falling off during a rousing game of duck-duck-goose) but I can’t shake it, and I’m not sure I want to.

I’m enjoying this new freedom but it’s also hard to navigate in a city that is so image conscious. Sure, walking around as I am, people seem to dig the look, but then it’s time to perform. Things run through my head like, ‘will they accept me like this?’ ‘do I need to meet their expectations?’ ‘what about my expectations?’ ‘what about the producer’s expectations?’ and so on. It’s kind of a spiral of indecision and self doubt that starts to well up right before a show.

The thing is that I know I can sell the shit out of this look if I’m doing a hard edged act. It make sense. Where I start to panic, is in the selling of ‘glamour’. Can I wear feathers and sparkles and still be ‘burlesque’? What does it all mean?! (I have much more to say on these topics but I’ll get to those in another post.)

I want to share with you the first time I performed without a wig. This was at Lucha Va Voom in Los Angeles. It was also the premiere of a brand new act, so, ya know, no pressure!

Please enjoy ‘Leatherette’.

Well, that made me feel GOOD! That was back in February and now it’s August.  I just recently performed with Lucha again and this great article came out on Blurred Culture.

I think that you are ready to accept me. And Los Angeles seems ready to accept me. The only question is if I am ready to accept me. The answer is yes. I’m ready.