Bristol's Badass Burlesque Show
Saturday night in Bristol was humid, the air was heavy and skin was sticky. I was piled in to a dressing room in a dis-used church in St. Paul’s filled with semi-nude glitter strewn women.
The crowd was great and I performed my first act without a hitch, swirling my gold lamé lined dashiki around me to create a breeze and stop the metallic fabric from sticking to my skin.
I made my way backstage again, the air was warmer still, filled with the heat radiating off dancers now flushed from bump and grinding across the stage. I wiped a towel across the back of my neck, peeled off my pasties and applied a new pair of tassels. Standing in heels and rolled top stockings, I pulled on fringed bikini bottoms and put on my halter top, tying the tasseled straps in a bow at the nape of my neck. I put on my peacock feather headdress and waited to hear the MC announce me.
On stage for the second time, I hit the Wild Magnolia’s beat as hard as I could.
Bump and grind, booty bounce, gloves are peeled, skirt is removed and swished around, time to remove that bikini top. I reach behind my back and pull the tie, I feel it slip through the bow and loosen and then…nothing. Ok, the knot’s tightened. I turn, booty, pull, nope. I catch a friend’s eye in the front row and give her a big grin to say, “Girl, this is about to get interesting.” Thinking I could slip the knotted tie over my head, I removed my headdress, which weirdly got my biggest whoop from the audience, stroked it up and down my body like a feather fan and tried the tie again. Nope again. I then realised that in the humidity, my hair had curled as tightly as possible around the tie.
Well, here we go. I reached for the clasp at the back of the bikini, which graciously released with out hindrance. I flung the bikini to one side, the audience hollered out in relief that I was finally free. Going full steam now, and on the brink of laughing my ass off, I danced and twirled my tassels, with the bikini firmly attached to my hair, swinging behind me like some sort of demented tail. I swung the bikini around to the front and held it up proudly to display it, leaning back and popping one hip, I started to swing the bikini around in time with my tassels.
It was awesome and funny and a little scary. I always want to present a flawless act on stage, but I think I’ve learned that you never really know what kind of performer you are until it goes wrong. I survived, through the good humour and generosity of the audience , a little creativity and one trusty little clasp that was willing to release at the right time.