It’s not what you Think

October 21, 2014

When I tell people I work with a burlesque company, I get a few reactions. There’s the long stare down, in which I tell them I don’t dance, I stage manage. There’s the, “Oh, cool!” and of course the “I have no idea what that is” Every once in a while I get the “isn’t that immoral?” from some of the more conservative people.

Honestly, when I signed on to work with Gorilla Tango, I had very little idea what I was getting myself into. I had seen a production of Boobs and Goombas a few years before, but that was it. I knew the company did nerdy themed all girl shows that involved stripping, but that was it. I walked into the Skokie Theater for my first Holy Bouncing Boobies performance almost completely blind about two years ago. I had no idea how much I was going to learn in the past two years.

Sure, burlesque is stripping, but it’s so much more than that. It’s comedy, it’s confidence, it’s talent, and most of all, it’s focused on the female body as something beautiful no matter what size, shape, or color you are. All women have body image issues, if you say you don’t, you’re lying. These woman though know they’re more than their bodies. These women that I’ve worked with over the years are some of the most confident people I know. Their confidence to show who they are, ALL of who they are, has rubbed off on me. Personality and confidence is so much more sexy and attractive than anything else. If you’re proud of yourself, that’s all that matters.

Sure, all I do is help with their quick changes and make sure props are where they’re supposed to be, but I feel I’ve grown so much as a person because of the wonderful ladies I work with. I’ve become more Ok with my weird personality (because I realized I’m not that weird after all) and I’m more ok with how I look. Now, if only I could move like them! (When I say I’m clumsy, I mean it, how do I have all my digits and limbs???)

Don’t think of burlesque as a strip club. Don’t think of it as some terrible immoral thing that will damn you to hell. Think of it as art, just like any other theater performance, because that’s what it is. It’s a beautiful art that focuses on beauty, confidence and humor. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, you don’t know what’s behind it, you may be surprised what you find.


Best Thing I Could Do

October 10, 2014

13 years ago, back in 2001, I started dating my very first boyfriend, Chris. He had been doing a lot of different things and I wanted to be around him a lot, as you do. He was in band, which is where we met, and working backstage at the theatre. I decided to join the theatre for him. He ended up slowly fazing himself out, but I fell in love with the whole rush of working backstage.

I graduated and went to Ball State, thinking I was going to be a high school band director. The entire time, the only thing I could think of was being backstage. I started working for Sursa Hall, but that wasn’t enough. I picked up my first opera as an ASM my sophomore year. We did Madame Butterfly in Emens and that rush came back. After another year in the music education program, I knew I needed to get back into stage managing. I changed my major from music education to B.S of General Studies, music performance and technical theatre. Five years later, I still know I made the best decision I could have. Am I going to make a ton of money? No, probably not. Am I happy? Oh yes. Do I work way to much? Of course. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve never really been able to sit still for very long. My brain always has to be working and I really need to be moving. When I was in school, my leg would be shaking if I was sitting down. Being a stage manager keeps my brain thinking about a million different things and it’s nearly impossible to be seated for an entire show, even if I’m in the booth calling cues. There is a rush knowing that I’m helping create the magic that is happening on stage; every quick change, every hard sequence of cues, every emergency that I have to solve makes me feel amazing.

Life is never really what you plan it to be; I got a lot of resistance when I made the decision to change my major. But the future is not something you can plan out. Ten years ago I didn’t think that I’d be living in Valpo, tending bar to pay the bills while I stage manage nerdy parody burlesque in Chicago. It doesn’t matter though, the path that I’ve been following has led me towards some amazing people and experiences. If I hadn’t followed Chris all the way back in high school, who knows where I would be. I probably would be here in Valpo with a group of amazing friends, and I know I wouldn’t be working with Gorilla Tango with some of the most amazing women I could ever hope to know.

My life isn’t conventional, but I don’t think I’m a conventional person. I can’t see myself being more happy with my life than I am right now. I feel like I am the best person I could be, doing the best thing that I can be with my life. Screw conventions, my life is fantastic.


Deep Breath

February 10, 2013

I went to my parents’ for lunch today, and afterwards my mom asked if I wanted to go see my brother. I hadn’t been back since the day we buried him; I had been avoiding it. Even though I still get weepy every once in a while, I had been doing really well. We weren’t there for long; mom put more skittles out for him (skittles were his favorite) and I just stared at the stone. I didn’t actually tear up until I got on the road up to Skokie and heard a song by the Lumminers, I can’t remember the name, but the words brought tears to my eyes. The song talks about when they were young, and I’m pretty sure that’s what got me. I love music, but I hate sometimes that it brings out more emotions in me than anything else.

Today, Matt gave me my Valentine’s present, mainly because he got his early. He got me a lot of Spongebob candy, a DVD, but most importantly, a necklace with a little black cat on it, for Batman. Even though Matt didn’t say much when my brother died, everything he did showed me he loved me and was there for me. The biggest thing being bringing me Batman. I remember thinking that day that I had wanted a kitten pile, and he brought me the closest thing possible. These past few months would have been much worse if I didn’t have that snuggely, furry cat near me. Even though life isn’t perfect, the little things Matt has done for me has made it livable.


Radio Silence? Woops

January 31, 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, I know. I’ve been mostly writing in my food blog and haven’t really felt the need to emote on here, I suppose. I was going to write the normal New Years post, but never got around to it. The past year was crazy and then really awful, and then got a little better.

I’ve been feeling a little out of shape and unhealthy lately, and I keep on wanting to go to the gym, but I can’t ever get myself to do it, for some reason; which is awful because I live so close to my gym. I’ve been thinking a lot of about doing yoga again. My last semester in college I took a yoga class twice a week, walked everywhere and took the stairs on campus. I was in the best shape of my life, and I want that feeling again. I’ve already tried eating healthier, I basically eat unhealthy when I’m with Matt, and the past two days not even. I had Italian Beef yesterday (and late night Mcdonald’s, that was the really bad thing) and today I had a salad and one of Fazoli’s “healthy” options, not sure if the under 390 calories was correct, but it was a smaller portion and WOULD have been fine if I hadn’t eaten 5 of those bread sticks. Anyway, on my days without Matt I’ve been eating a lot of whole grains, beans and I bought some quiona to try out. I’ve been drinking a lot more water than I normally do, also.

Well, after sitting on the couch for about a half hour thinking about yoga, I just decided to do it. If that’s what started me on the health kick before, it will jump start my going to the gym again. I only practiced it for about a half hour but I already feel better. I had a headache before I started, but I don’t anymore. I forgot the great feeling I get when I stretch like that. My goal is to start doing it a few times a week.

Everyday I ‘m reminded how much Matt loves me, he’ll bring me things from work just because he knows I’ll like them. He makes me so happy and I’m glad we’re together. I couldn’t imagine my life with any one else.


Crazy Fingers!

November 16, 2012

It’s been a while, I know, but life has been kinda weird in the past few months. Matt’s been working midnights and even though I still get to see him, I feel like I don’t get to see him as much as I used to and I miss him. I’ve been working quite a bit myself, and I picked up a burlesque show that I’m having so much fun with. (Mom hates it, but I don’t want to get into, I’m tired of fighting about it with her.) Over all though, I’m actually really happy. Every once in a while I think about Johnny, and I start tearing up, and it always just happens to be at work (Of course, right?)

For the past few weeks I’ve been participating in NaNoWoMo, which is National Novel Writing Month. Basically, you try to write at least 50,000 words in one month, which is about 1,600 words a day, give or take. I’ve been going crazy on my days off and I’m almost at 30,000 words. If I finish this book, I may try to self publish for e-book. Parts of it are really good, but I feel like some of the parts are just crap. Who knows though, when it’s done I’ll have friends read it and help me edit before I try and go any further. I’m not expecting much if I do publish, but it will be exciting to publish.

Every day I’m more in love with Matt. There haven’t been many people in my life that I can be myself around and tell everything to. He’s one that I can, and I’m glad for it. He actually listens to me when I talk to him, but yet he still has a backbone. He doesn’t just do everything I ask him to right away, I hate that in a person. If you don’t want to do something, tell me, and he does. But he loves me so much, and that’s what is important to me. I can’t imagine my life without him and I can’t wait for the rest of my life.



September 19, 2012

It’s crazy to me that a year in, I’m still really happy with Matt. Normally about this time I start getting bored with the relationship, but not with Matt. I find myself thinking more and more about the future and how life is going to be and I get excited. It feels great to be with someone who I consider to be my best friend. So many people who have been happily married for a while have said things like that, so I know I’m on the right track. I know I can be myself around him, and that’s hard for me sometimes. I also know that I don’t have to be perfect because he doesn’t care about that. He just loves me for me. How lucky am I? Sometimes I forget, but I know I’m lucky.


One Year?!

September 10, 2012

A year ago today Matt and I became official. And we’re celebrating it the same way we started, I was at work and I’m pretty sure we were both sick. It’s been a great year, I actually can’t believe it’s been only a year, it feels like longer. We fit each other perfectly. We have almost the same personality and sense of humor. He shows me he loves me in the smallest things. Like, if he makes pasta he knows I want to snack on some, because I love cooked pasta. He includes me in everything. We’re perfect together. Now hopefully we both feel well enough to get Kelsey’s tomorrow, I’ve been wanting that for a while now!


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