I'm in California. It's home, or at least one of the places I've come to call home. My husband moved here first, for work, a year and a half ago, and I've been back and forth ever since.
I have my first performances this week on this coast. I did do California Burlypicks last year, but that was an improv-- I'm scripted this Thursday. I'm at WTF-lesque and Tito Bonito's Pansy Craze Peepshow... those both seem like the slices of Manhattan and Brooklyn I need on this side of the country.
It's not that I waited; it's that these are the first folk who expressed interest. (I gratefully accepted and consider myself lucky as a scoundrel that my first 2 will be these) Starting "over" is hard. I'm just one of several cat's pajamas in NYC, but I've made a career there, am pretty recognized at least that I exist, and I have a lot of people who like me. West Coast, I know three or four people by name. Daunting, terrifying, and if I let myself relax, freeing and refreshing.
I'm in the middle of several projects, as ever, even as I'm not actively stripping-- besides the Rockbar show, my favorite thing, which is now 1st and 3rd Wednesdays in Manhattan, I've also got my podcasts: WEBurlesque the interview series, and a new one called 2 Night Stay that revisits old thoughts and meanderings in White Elephant Burlesque's past. More about that later.
Going from weekly to 1st and 3rd for WEBurlesque at Rockbar is a mixed blessing. Jason's support has been wonderful through these 4 1/2 years. He's seen us ebb and flow, as I have with the bar. There are so many shows these days, and casts of performers who are fractured. Again, mixed blessing: we can afford to have performers not get along with each other and still work cuz there are -that- many shows.
But with that influx, it's a little harder to be special, and while WEBurlesque held a niche for a bit (some folk call it the Kitty Nights spot, which Fem Appeal helped develop so brilliantly) as the weirdos have taken over the asylum. There are a bunch of quality neoburlesque shows out there, getting voices heard, getting bodies seen, and splitting the ever-shrinking buck of the public. It also increases my own booking, so I can't really complain -- and i wouldn't, anyway.
But 4 solid years of weekly got comfortable. Perhaps too comfortable; I know it's easy to get lazy, to get entitled, and to lose sight of what we're doing. 1st and 3rd also means that when I'm in California (or wherever), I'm not missing as many shows. When the burlesque nights are dark, sure there is other activity, but I'm not actively away from a show I'm producing and paying for. Saves some bucks (necessary at this time), some FOMO (ever-present), and keeps it interesting. Don't take shows for granted, folks.
A few years ago, a colleague suggested that I check out another show, and I said "well, it's in my time slot." "You can miss one Wednesday." "what... no I can't." I was incredulous; what a bizarre thing to say.
But I've done it, I'm doing it, and ya know, it's happening. & it means I can be here in California and do 2 shows in L.A. for the first time. and that's neat.
I fear impermanence, I suppose. If I'm away, am I making sound in the forest, this falling tree that is Viktor Devonne?
Well, I've got additional forests to explore.
Terrifying. but great.
♪ Prince -- "When Doves Cry"