Friday, 12 November 2010

Costumes at Last!

It's been somewhat silent on the blogging front for me recently as I've been breaking my neck to get three costumes and accompanying choreographies ready for Women of Mass Distraction's first ever paid gig. That was last night, and whilst there will no doubt be an extended post-mortem, I can finally take some time to think about something other than 'what comes after the earthquake shimmy?'

Official pictures will be some time yet, as our fabulous photographer also moonlights as Ruth Distractions's husband and therefore has many other commitments, and the venue was too dark for everyone else's camera.

I did, however, inveigle my own husbeast into taking a few shots of me in my last costume once we got in. The piece I'd been dancing to was a burlesque fusion, and I'd leaned more towards the burlesque side in the costuming- my husband threatened to tell anyone that asked that he'd hired me for the evening.

Skirt is a double-layer of satin and lace. It's sort of hand made, in that it started off as two size 14s, and ended up as one size 20 and some leftover bits. Top is a black vest sewn with lace rose trim. Future iterations of this costume will definitely involve my underbust corset, as I was really not loving my shape in this, and the dance is easily adjusted to take out the torso isolations.

As I said, we got paid for this night- not a massive amount, but enough to cover expediture on parking, petrol, costume bits and bobs (as you know, I make do and mend, so those are never very much for me) and leave us in pocket. We weren;t expecting to get paid- the event was part of the LGBT arts festival here in Birmingham, so when we were approached by the organiser, being a bi chick myself, I was all for it. Turns out that the organiser had applied for a grant to help fund putting on the event, and this had factored in paying performers.

Frankly, I'm not sure we were worth it. We did three sets of one song each, interpersed with the other act of the evening, an awesome band called Drag. Unfortunately there was no MC, and the sound dude played two tracks before putting on our song each time, so it was kind of tricky for the audience to know when the background music stopped being background and became performance time!

We were also underrehearsed on two of the songs, and it showed. I hadn't practised enough in my heels before wearing them, so I stumbled a few times during the second set, and during the last piece I was out of time as much as I was in. It was a fun learning experience though, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The crowd were politely supportive, if a little confused (did I mention we were also dancing at floor level, not on a stage. It really did look as though three members of the audience had suddenly decided to get down with their bad selves. We also had to evict people from a large squashy sofa at the back of the room before dancing).

As performances go, for me, I'd rate it about 6 out of 10. Really happy with the costumes, moderately happy with the caliber of the perfomance (we've had worse, oh boy, have we had worse. At least this time my knickers stayed up), and learnt a valuable lesson about the need for introductions.

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