Boulder Burlesque

A List of Linky Linkishness

It’s been a while since one of these, eh lovely lurkers?

A Critical Praising of Sex in the City

As the S.O. said, isn’t this story begging for a movie?

Boulder Fringe Fest Artist Lineup 2017

A History of the C-word

Denver Comic Con 2017 (yes, I’ll be presenting there with Page 23)

Seriously, Should a Woman Play Hamlet?

And, finally, an image and a video clip of Boulder Burlesque’s pre-show performance from the Allen Ginsberg birthday bash the other day. Please to enjoy.

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How surreal is this? The ol’ perv would’ve approved, methinks…

 

Upcoming Theatrical Event

Funny that I’m not performing either with Band of Toughs, or with Naropa’s poets, but with Boulder Burlesque. An odd group to find as part of the lineup for HOWL: A Ginsberg Birthday Bash. We will be performing a standard piece for them: “Welcome to Burlesque,” but it’ll be with a live jazz band, so. That’ll be pretty cool. I asked Band of Toughs what they were doing, and all they coyly told me was that it involved skulls. So yeah.

Those of you who remember me and my work from grad school will recall how many parallels we all joked and wrote about between luminary Anne Waldman and me (remember that summer when I was her PA?), and this summer, with my hair dyed black again, I’m starting to question my midlife crisis sitch…

Anyway.

Tickets for this amazing sounding variety show are only, like, ten bucks. So I’d recommend it.

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Not that I’m on a break now or anything…

…but the peeps that are finished with their semesters, I have finished as well. Finally. As I said, lots and lots and lots (and lots) of research papers. I just might (might, mind you) have a half a handle on the new 8th edition of MLA format at this point. Might.

18582290_10155432990898028_6479972419694655595_nWhat else is on my plate? Well, I presented at the Teaching and Learning With Technology conference over at Front Range yesterday, which was pretty fun. Had a good, inquisitive audience that had more questions afterwards and cornered me at other sessions and stuff too. It was called “Video Killed the Paper Star” and covered a few innovative ways that assigning videos to students in lieu of papers can be a fruitful endeavor. I may do a little mini-article about it here, so stay tuned. Anyway, got to share a bunch of those grammar videos you’ve seen here, and some old reading responses in video form, especially Nate’s old ones from Advanced Stage Combat back in the day. His were so creative and thoughtful and it made me miss all you Stage Combat Club guys: Nate and Scott and Nick and Chris, Paul, and Geri, and the others that came in and out…(sniff)…

I also went to the opera recently with The S.O. and I was amused to find that I knew exactly where all those swords were from, and mused that they all needed a little coaching as far as handling them went (fight scenes though there were none). I also was shocked at the rust that has somehow coated my Schmooze Nozzle, which I guess goes to show that if you don’t use it, you lose it. So I’m polishing my charisma these days. If you run into me, force me to give you an  elevator pitch or something, would ya? Help me get back in shape.

Writing wise, I’m still doing stuff for YourBoulder.com, mainly their weekend round up thingies. It’s a fun gig, and a paid one, so I’m happy about that. The other blog I’m writing with The S.O. is also a very fulfilling project–it’s a style of personal writing I’m not super familiar with, but the pieces there are really, really good. It’s nice to have a quasi-journalling habit again, and him being such a good writer himself, it’s also nice to have a high bar to have to live up to. Write up to. You know what I mean…

Now I do have one breath before the new wave of stuff begins. During that deep breath, I will still be working closely with DU folks on their Capstones, and also working with a new batch of Regis peeps too: Children’s Lit, Editing Fiction, and Editing Non-Fiction is on my platter there.

After I take the breath, it’ll be time for summer at FRCC (two Comp 1 courses) and at Boulder_FringeMetro (an online Staging Cultures class). It’ll also be time for the first summer theatrical gigs to begin: early June I’ll be dancing with Boulder Burlesque, mid-June I may be dancing with Bronze Fox Burlesque, and late June is Denver Comic Con, where I will be presenting The Fight is the Story again, but I’ll keep you up on those things when we get closer to time. After that, I’ve got stage combat at the LDT and burlesque at the Fringe Fest to look forward to, amidst who knows indeed what else will pop up.

So there you go: the update on the workload. Now back to it.

I’m Such a Bad Blogger You Guys

…seriously though, it’s because of my busy life! Wanna hear what I’ve been up to, instead of blogging here?

Well I have been contributing to another blog, under a pen name, with my significant other. Some really great personal memoir type essays, and it’s writing I’m proud of. Not going to share it here publicly, but if you know me well personally, ask me and I’ll give you the link to that.

The FRCC comp 1 students have just handed in their research papers, and the Comp 2 students have just finished their rough drafts of theirs. Topics for these include: Farming, steroid abuse, censorship in music, arts in the schools, the innovation of the electric guitar, police discretion, free speech on college campuses, trans rights and health, immigration, damage of video games and social media on youth, and the cruelty of zoos. Lots of important things, my students are writing about.

My Regis Capstone student is sending me big chunks of her high-Fantasy novel, set in a world where the sun is destructive and there’s all kinds of well written political intrigue and a telepathic power that certain people possess, and really cool ninja-like warriors, and. It’s a good piece, and I can’t wait till it’s published and I can share it with you. I also have seven Capstone students in DU’s seminar course who are entering proposals and getting their big projects nearly to the midterm point. Some really interesting projects there, too.

But. You can see why I haven’t had much time to write here, lovely lurkers.

In performance news, I have performed burlesque for Bronze Fox just this Wednesday, and will be appearing onstage for Boulder Burlesque’s upcoming Spring Fling Kink party. I’m having a heckuva lot of fun doing this particular movement hobby, and if you’re interested in keeping up with that stuff, follow Valkyrie Rose on Facebook.

I’ll write to you again on the other side of grading. When will that be? Who knows…

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The group curtain call at Wednesday’s Nearly 4/20 Bronze Fox Burlesque show. A stellar group.

Upcoming Events and Other Things

Golly, it’s been awhile, lovely lurkers. Sorry bout that. See, it’s around midterm time at schools one and two, it’s the end of one class session and the beginning of another for school three, and for school four, I’m behind in having my updates for the complete course shell up and ready to go. All that, plus my computer dying on me yesterday means not only are there wrenches being tossed in my machine, but several of them. Which I needs must juggle. Anyway.

That’s not counting the intense personal stuff happening right now too. Sheeeez you guys. And no, as usual, buy me a pint in person and maybe I’ll tell you a little about it. But there’s a little blog out there in the online world now (that’s very well written), on which you can see some of the story unfold. I won’t direct you there, to protect the not-so-innocent, but it is out there.

But hey! There are two events happening this week, in both of which I will be performing. One is an author’s reading series, on Thursday at Front Range, and the other is a politically themed burlesque show in Boulder, called Pussy Grabs Back. Either or both should be a lot of fun, so come one, come all…

Reflections on the Dregs of a Semester Past…

I’m reclining on my Sherlock chair, a cat taking a bath on me, writing this on my phone, lovely lurkers, so forgive any overlooked typos or autocorrect’s odd mistranslations.

As I (the holidays having passed) finally pick up my color-coded calendar to look at the overview of Spring semester coming up, I needs must tie up the loose ends of my thoughts on the events which colored the end of last semester.

Many many research papers abounded for me, work-wise, of course: both Comp 1 & 2 at Front Range and Staging Cultures at Metro all conclude with research papers, all of which took me the better part of two weeks to take care of. Topics included: all sorts of discussion of marginalized cultures and theatre; medical care for trans people; always a couple about gun control; a few about use of LSD for mental health treatments; the CRISPR gene; the beneficial effect of music and playing it; arts in the schools; the benefits of a mandatory minimum sentence; and the dangers of climate change. Apparently some of my Comp 1 students got me a tshirt that has “It’s on the syllabus” emblazoned on it, which I must fetch from them soon before the new semester begins. Such a sweet (self-aware) gesture!

Professional artistic endeavors ended up very satisfactorily–as you’ve seen here, I’m quite happy with how the fights from Outrageous Fortune turned out. What I haven’t had a chance to talk about, though, is the absolutely stellar production of Hand to God, which I was so impressed with, especially acting-wise, and would have been even if my fights hadn’t appeared on the stage. Meaningful, gripping, funny, and a frankly virtuoso performance by a brilliant young actor named John Hauser. You know your fights turned out well when, as the first blow falls (w/perfect angle and sound), the audience collectively catches its breath: “Ooo!” 

How would you choreograph a man smashing his own hand to a pulp with a hammer?


Being a part of both these productions was helpful in the healing process of the continuing stress of my domestic life but especially the most recent heartbreak, which occurred on opening day of OF. (Nope, not writing about that here: buy me a pint or two and we can chat about it if you like)…

But perhaps the most life-changing professional/artistic endeavor has been my experiences with Boulder Burlesque. Since joining the training program in October, I’ve had the happy opportunity to choreograph, perform, and slumber party with these amazing women (and men); and also work the enlightening (to me) and super-fun Kink Carnival. This last event has contributed to my continued growth in my sexual exploration and expression, as I am sort of starting from where I left off in my 20s in that area. For more about that sort of thing, Facebook-friend Valkyrie Rose, my burlesque persona. I may do simple things here like share basic events, but if this subject matter and my journey thereinto interests you further, you’ll find more of my musings about it on that profile.

That’s about it, lovely lurkers! I should be much more frequent a poster here now too, and stay tuned for another musing upon the upcoming semester. It’ll be a busy one…

I’m still here…

Hi lovely lurkers. I’m still here, never fear. In fact, I’ll be bringing you a review of Curious Theatre’s Hand To God before long. But I’m overwhelmed by emotional upheaval and also by the work that entails the end of the semester. I’ll see you at Winter Break.

This pretty much epitomizes my work these days: garters, grading, and beer.

Current Theatrical Projects Update

Those of you who know me personally know that in my advanced age I have taken to performing less and less. Well, less, that is, than when I was a young woman, which was CONSTANTLY. My main reason for this is that live theatre: a) sucks up every last nanosecond of one’s free time, and b) doesn’t pay. Or if it does, the compensation isn’t balanced to the workload. So I have been doing only fight direction gigs, and operating under the rule that if I do appear onstage, it needs to be at least one if not all three of these things: 1) a paid gig; 2) a very important project to me, dream role, that sort of thing; 3) not a crippling time commitment. I Miss My MTV was 1 & 2, The Five 5ths of Labyrinth was 2 & 3… You get the picture.

I now find myself involved in three theatrical endeavors, lovely lurkers, and I’d like to take this blog post to tell you about them, especially for you local lurkers who might want to come see!

The first is a play that I am both acting in and choreographing fights for, called Outrageous Fortune. It’s a show all about tragic Shakespearean characters in group therapy. I am playing a valley-girl-like, gum-smacking Desdemona. Also I recently choreographed the second largest fight scene I ever have, for the culminating scene of this play. It’s being produced by Viva, a theatre company in connection with the Society For Creative Aging, which means the very large cast has a wide range of age. Which is a particular diversity not often seen. This goes up in late November, for just two weekends, at the Dairy Center for the Arts here in Boulder. This play is a 3.

The second is a play I coordinated all the violence and blood for, at prestigious Denver theatre company Curious Theatre. It’s a play called Hand to God, and is one seriously fucked up dark comedy about puppets at a Sunday school. Sex, puppets, possession, and lots of blood packs. This show opens in early November and closes in mid December. This project is 1, 2, and 3.

The third project is a longer term thing, of which I’m now in training. It’s t

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That’s what this audition was for. I got in. Thanks for the good wishes.

he beginner troupe of Boulder Burlesque, also known as Conscious Burlesque. This is an art form I’ve long been interested in, but never found how to join it, barring some gray-area sexiness on trapezes in Frequent Flyers back in the day. So now I’m in several weeks of burlesque training, culminating first in a semi-private performance  November 11th, and then a public performance in February (around Valentine’s Day, natch). I’ve been gently self-mocking that this endeavor is my mid-life crisis, but in reality it’s something I’ve wanted to do for many years now, and the fact that they’re all Naropa-y and empower-y and therapy-y and stuff just makes it that much better….

So that’s that, and those are those. Hopefully I’ll see some of you in some of these audiences, eh?

 

BIFF Review #2: Love and Loss

Fringe Fest Review #2: Love and Loss

Review by Jenn Zuko


The audience files in, quietly, taking in the beauty of the church sanctuary, admiring the peaked, mullioned windows and the propensity of warm wooden surfaces everywhere: floors, wall sconces, pews. The audience spaces itself out in said wooden pews, knees resting inches from Bibles, hymn books moved aside to have room to sit. After a brief pause, as the congregation admires the near-sunset sunshine, streaming in from the translucent windows, a lean, lacy-legged woman strides out onstage in impossibly high heels that tie up her leg, and awkwardly cracks a whip down center. Smiling easily, she tries another couple of times before getting a really satisfying crakk! sound, and the audience shows its approval with startled but delighted applause. She greets us, and remarks that it always takes a few tries with those things…

The woman is Madame Merci, the emcee of Boulder Burlesque’s evening called Love and Loss. She serves as an anchor of sorts throughout the hour of sexy dance pieces, and though she does perform a couple of times herself, is more the travel guide for us through the journey of powerful sexuality, sensuality, beauty, and exploration. A strip club this is not, as the evening as a whole stays under the theme of the title, Mme. Merci narrates for us in between each piece (between autobiographical anecdotes, brief performer bios, philosophical ruminations on the burlesque arts, and more), and the dancers are both less nude and more sexual than you’ll find at a strip joint. 

Things that stand out about this group include Merci herself, as she opens the evening discussing the fact that we are in a church, that in some countries doing such a thing would be punishable by death. To be reminded of privilege is a very good thing, and Merci proceeded to give the audience permission, for many things, throughout the evening. The performances were lovely, with ladies and gentlemen of various body types and shades, which again was nice to see: a much wider spectrum of real sexy beauty than one would normally find in a strip club. What was missing a little for me was the high level of dance ability I (for some reason) came expecting. Sexy and fun, lovely and creative they all were, but technical excellence in dance I didn’t find. Thing is, that’s really not the point of this show. At all. 

And there was audience participation. Not only the catcalls and applause, which were much whip-encouraged by Merci, but in one group dance, any audience members that felt the impulse were allowed up on stage in whatever state of undress they felt comfortable in, to join the dancers in one very tribal piece. 

Overall, I recommend Love and Loss wholeheartedly. It’s a lovely, sexy, fun, heckuva time. 

RATING: 4.5 stars out of 5

For more performances and tickets, visit the Boulder Fringe Festival website.

P.S. You may be asking yourselves, lovely lurkers, if I went up onstage myself in that group/audience piece. Do you need to ask, really?