Monday, May 18, 2015

17 days until BHOF...

I have been writing for the last hour and lost everything. I am fighting the urge to cry over this, especially since the theme of this post was to be on self care. I am using all the tools in my possession not to get frustrated with this whole project and just give up. Feeling like a failure every time I log in. But giving up is not an option. It's true that this has not gone the way I wanted, but at the point where I am feeling my most vulnerable, I have to push through. Yes, I am exhausted and if I don't take a step back, I may fall apart. Now, more than before, Its clear that it's time to shift my focus. The rest of this journey needs to be about protecting myself.

My goals will not be achieved over night. I need to stop waking up every morning hoping to see a different person in the mirror. I want my body to react to all of these changes. And while I'm sure that it is, it's so hard to stay motivated when I am not seeing results. I am trying to refocus my attention to how healthy I am feeling verses how heavy I am feeling.

My body is broken. It has taken a beating and I am trying to heal. I am attempting to add more recovery based workouts into my program. Stretching my muscles, rolling out knots, working my range of motion and focusing on my overall mobility are the only things that will help me to get my body back.
 Self Care
It is totally acceptable to ask for help. Being disappointed that my request for help are being ignored is not useful. While my feeling are hurt, the truth of the matter is that no one else cares about my goals. Not to say that I don't have supporters, I absolutely do, but everyone has their own life. While important to me, its never going to be as important to anyone else. 

I am doing enough. Just because I am not doing everything I planned, it does not mean that I'm not working hard enough. I know that the my goals are hard to reach, I just have to keep reminding myself that I actually deserve the things I am working so hard for. Giving up now will only prove that I am still that B+ person, too scared to reach for the A. But I also have to remember that, at the end of the day, whatever will be, will be. 

 In 3 days I will be getting on a plane to St. Louis for the Show Me Burlesque and Vaudeville festival. I am hoping that I will leave there feeling inspired. I hope I make friends. I hope I have fun. It's going to be a lot of work for me to fight my hermit tendencies and socialize. It's so draining and I barely have anything to offer right now. Hopefully I will be in a better place by the time I land in St. Louis.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

21 days until BHOF...

Current timeline update:

Birthday - 1 day ago
Show Me Burlesque and Vaudeville Festival - 7 days away
Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender - 21 days away

OK... not much time to work with here, but I am feeling more optimistic today than I have in the recent weeks. I'm not sure if it is a post birthday glow, but things are looking more manageable again. But before I get into that, I want to take a moment and thank each and every person who wished me a happy birthday. With hundreds of Facebook post, multiple calls, emails, text, and IRL moments, I have to say that this was one of the best birthdays I have ever experienced. I got to spend the morning with the love of my life, Alex, opening gifts of vintage wonder, followed by an afternoon of pampering myself. Then I got to perform with my Wasabassco family, in one of my favorite shows, to my new favorite act. If that was not enough, I got to have an encore performance at The Slipper Room, performing along side some of New York's best burlesque artist, including the incomparable Julie Atlas Muz. And to top it all off, I got to partake in, what could only be explained as the most fun moment in my entire life, the naked pie fight. Sharing my birthday with the stunningly beautiful Harvest Moon was the icing on the cake.

I got to see all of my closest New York friends, honored that they came out to celebrate me, see me perform, and tip me their hard earned dollars. It was really the most wonderful day. Finally winding down in the wee hours of the morning, after hours of snacking and laughing with my bestie, Dolly Debutante, and my fiancee, I could only feel like the luckiest woman in the world, to have spent the day surrounded by so much love. Thank you everyone!

Today has been extremely productive. I spent the morning cleaning with the help of Dolly, followed by getting the rest of my household chores done. I even managed to order groceries today. I took some time to do some good for my body by doing the Daily Burn Total Body release video, twice. My body is still all jacked up and in pain, but at least it is feeling more range in mobility. I got a lot of computer stuff done, including making significant updates to the wedding website, and even started researching a band! I plan to spend the rest of the night relaxing, recovering from yesterday, hopefully doing some research on this performer I have to interview, (this is causing a lot of anxiety for me) and going for a walk with my two loves, Alex and Homer. 

Tomorrow will be a busy day, as I am pulling another double header, for like the 3rd time in a week. But it should be a good time. I broke my fans last night because I was whipping them around as if they were indestructible, but since I do  have to use these fans in the very near future, including at BHOF, I think I will spend a part of the morning repairing those. 

Alright, I'm about to get out of here. I am currently pumpkining, as my brain and body are in need of a shut down. I am not really in the mood to post photos from last night, so instead, here is a link to my tumblr. There you will find pics and clips from my night, including the naked pie fight. Enjoy!! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

23 days until BHOF...

**Warning... this post is being written under high stress, so I have not idea how it will translate. I don't know if by writing this, I will be left feeling better or worse. I don't know if reading this will bum you out or if it will even make sense. I don't know, but here goes.

WHAT THE FLYING FUCK? Where have the last few days gone? To say that BHOF is rapidly approaching is an understatement. I am having a very hard time keeping up, feeling like I am not getting everything done that I wanted to accomplished by the time I got to Vegas. My upcoming birthday and trip to St Louis are not helping.

Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that my birthday is tomorrow. I also love the fact that I will be going to St. Louis for the first time, especially to perform. But these wonderful events are just markers on how little time is left. There are no words for the amount of stress that I have been feeling over the last 3 days.

I wish I could say that I have been resting, trying to get my head in the game, but between meetings, costuming, shows, travel... there is just no time to get it all done. What I am attempting here is a conscious decision to let it go. I need to be a little easier on myself. I know this. But it's so hard to break the patterns of beating myself up for not achieving the impossible goals that I have set for myself.

I want to feel like a winner more than I actually desire to win. Is that a thing? Does it even makes sense? I don't know. But I often tell myself that when looking at the finish line of any project, I would feel worse about not giving it my all than for not winning. That to me, the winning is in doing everything I can to prepare so that I am my very best. But, in all honesty, this type of thinking only sets me up to be disappointed in myself because there is no way to measure "everything I can."

I have high expectations of myself. When I think about all of my potential, I get frustrated in myself for not living up to it. It creates this cycle of constant disappointment in myself. I don't know why I have decided that I am not doing enough. I cannot remember the last day that I spent not working, in some capacity. I have work meetings to deal with, emails, research, the list just goes on an on. I try to make list and find some joy in checking things off, but at the end of the day, I keep adding things to the list. Sometimes adding more things than I was able to accomplish for the day and it leaves me feeling more overwhelmed that if I had never started a list in the first place.

What am I suppose to do? I still have to make list. I still have all of these fucking things that I need to do. I'm currently feeling guilty for taking time out of my busy day to write this fucking post. I could be putting rhinestones on my dress right now! The only thing giving peace of mind about this is that I had the unreasonalble goal of posting daily. Then I think... well.. I have failed on that too, because I have clearly missed 3 days. OK... I didn't have the time. There really is only 24 hours in a day.

But then what about my birthday? I have so much that I want to do for the TWO shows that I am in tomorrow night. I would love to spend the day pampering myself, but I don't have time because I have to practice.

Everything cost money. I have no money. Everything takes time, I have no time. All I want is peace of mind and I am completely loosing mine. I have to work out, I have to work on my split, I have to rhinestone this corset, I have to deal with these medical bills, I have to finish putting my laundry away, I have to research a performer for 21st century burlesque. I have to send out my information to every fucking person who is expecting something from me. I need to book a flight, I need to figure out what the fuck I am wearing to this wedding on Saturday, I need to steam these fans, I need to order groceries. I have to fix this zipper, I have to finish these shoes, I have to solidify these 4 "8 counts', I need to create a mailing list. I need to send out invitations, I need to hire a band, I need to make a video, I need to pick an act for Friday, I need to contact a new client. I need cry, I need to eat, I need to give myself a break, I need to tell myself that it's going to be OK.

Today, 23 days until BHOF, is a very hard day.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

27 days until BHOF. Actually... it's 26

OK... It's pretty clear that I missed a day. I had every intention to post when I got home last night, But by the time I made it in the door, I practically fell into a coma. So... here I am with an update on yesterday and my plans for today. Now, yesterday was pretty productive as far as BHOF is concerned. I made a trip to my neighborhood rhinestone dealer, Stockholm Philly, and made a few purchases that will be added onto my performance costume.

 It was quite funny because it really felt like we are doing a drug deal. In a way, It kinda was because isn't glitter and rhinestones considered the crack of a burlesque dancer? I may be wrong, but I am sure I have heard that before.

 I also went out to watch the opening night Teaser Party of the 
4th Annual New York Boylesque Festival. 

Talk about inspiration!! I got so see some many of my good friends perform at The Knitting Factory stage, and saw a bunch more in the audience. As my first time at a Boylesque Festival, I was quite impressed with all of the creativity. Sometimes, at a traditional burlesque festival, you can see the same elements in an act, back to back to back. And as a classic performer myself, It can be difficult to figure out a more creative way to take off a gown and 2 gloves. Attending the Boylesque Festival last night not only inspired me, but gave me a few ideas that I can incorporate into my own performances.

Yesterday was also the final day of my juice detox. 

Thanks be to Stripper Jesus. I love being health, but the juice got less and less flavorful each day. By the end, I was forcing it down. I'm glad I did it though. I think it gave me the kick start I needed to start making better food choices. Hopefully I can keep this momentum going for a while.

To change the direction of this post for a moment, I have been thinking about positivity vs. negativity. I have always considered myself to be a positive person, choosing to look on the bright side of thing, see the glass half full... you know. But, there was a time in my life, shorty after moving to NYC, that that wasn't the case. I was a big ol' ball of sadness. I considered myself the ultimate victim, moving across the country to start over, after all my original plans went to shit.

I started hanging out with a lot of photographers and would often pose for them when they were working on a project. You would be surprised how many times one of those photographers asked me is things were OK with me. I guess the negativity and sadness that I was carrying around was pretty obvious to others. This was only magnified when I went to see a psychic, (yes... I'm all into the woo woo stuff) and she told me that I had a dark could of negativity following me where ever I went.

Most people would not take this psychic very seriously, but I did. I had never been looked at as a negative person and the idea that I was becoming one really bothered me. So I went on a quest of gratitude. I frantically sought out and focused on all of the things in my life. I had some pretty incredible friends who listened to me and encouraged me to keep my head up in my lowest moment. I thought about how, no matter how little money I had, that there were people in my life who loved me and would never let me live on the streets. I think about those friends and family members who refused to allow me to move back home to California when I didn't think I could survive in NY. Clearly these people were seeing something in me that I did not see. And instead of assuming that they were all bullshitters, I decided that maybe the shit I was telling myself... 
 "I'm not lovable, I'm not happy, I have no one," was the real bullshit.

I spent a lot of time focusing on self care. Every time my brain wanted to take me on a negative path, I had to fight to change my focus back to something I was grateful for. It took a long time, but seeing the positive side of life finally started to come naturally to me again. And because of that, the quality of my life started to improve. I made more friends, I started working in an in industry that was fulfilling and creative. And most of all, I found the love of my life. I honestly believe that if I didn't change my way of thinking, then my life would still reflect the attitude that I had then. I believe in the laws of attraction. More now than ever before.

What does this have to do with BHOF or burlesque? Well... quite a bit, I think. There seems to be an issue in my community where performers feel entitled to gigs. I have no idea where this is coming from because I come from belief that nothing is guaranteed. But there are definitely performers out there who, whenever I interact with them, it's just a shit show. Everything sucks for them. No one books them. Every horrible thing that happens in the world always seems to happen to them. I'm sorry... but with an attitude like that, I am not surprised. 

First of all.. no one is guaranteeing you anything. If you want more gigs, you got to work for them. No.. this is not just about becoming a better performer, although, in some cases, that's exactly what its about. But for the most part, I think its about becoming a better person, that people want to be around. If you are a negative Nelly all of the time, people are not going to want to be around you, bottom line. It really does not matter if you are the best performer. If you always are walking around with a stank face and a bad attitude, people are going to reject you.

My point is... maybe instead of always pointing the finger at someone else, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if all the problems you are having is coming from within. Yes.. I know that life is hard. I know that there are challenges and hardships everyday. The key is to not allow those hardships change you into a toxic person. As a person who has been there and fought like hell to get out of that dark place, I can honestly tell you that things are much brighter on the other side.

OK... I'll leave you this this quote. Its simple, but it is so true.

 I am currently in upstate New York to spend the weekend with my amazing future in laws and I don't plan to spend a moment of this beautiful mini vacation in a negative mindset. Love and peace and happiness and positivity to you all. 

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

28 days until BHOF

Today is hard. Straight up. I'm not going to sugar coat this thing. My entire body hurts from from yesterday's workout, which I am to repeat again today, but my body is screaming NO!!! I attempted to do the workout, but had to stop after the warmup because I had a visitor, who is having an extra bad day. Like... really bad. So I had to take some time with that. I am going to try to get the work out in tonight after dinner. I know it will be late, but I am detirmined not to get behind on this. Stripper Jesus... I'm calling on you!!! I am going to go for an hour long walk this evening after a show I'm attending.

As far as my diet, I am on the second day of my juice detox. 

I gotta say, the flavor of the second day juice is leaving a lot to be desired. I am finding it incredible difficult not to snack. Luckily, I'm on my last glass of the day and I am very much looking forward to making dinner. 

Today I had to submit my music for BHOF. I used the time to also send out
 important info for a few other festivals that I am going to be appearing in. 
Later this month, I am so excited to be traveling to St. Louis for the first time to perform in 
the Show Me Burlesque and Vaudeville Festival!

I will be bringing my "Girl With One Eye" act... which is wonderful as I have not had the pleasure of taking that act to a festival since the Hollywood Burlesque Festival back in December of 2013.

This summer is also taking me to Denver for the Colorado Burlesque Festival. 

I will be bringing my "Let's Burn" act. 
This festival takes place in July, so BHOF will be over. 
Hopefully the act will do well there and I will be able my intro will be extra sparkly. 
*Fingers crossed*

AND!!!! I will be performing internationally for the first time ever at t
he Toronto Burlesque Festival. 

I will be bringing my "Let's Burn act to this festival as well. 

OMG.. looking at this is getting me over whelmed. But... I have to remember to take it one day at a time. At the end of the next 28 days, I will already have had another festival under my belt, and hopefully a bit more confidence as well. 

I think that is it for now. I have to finish this dreadful glass of juice and get ready to see my good friend, (and wedding officiant) Peter Aguero in his show, Daddy Issues. Look him up if you don't know who he is. I made it easy for you. <3 Wish me luck on getting this workout in!!! Positive messages always welcome. 


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

29 days until BHOF...

Alright guys, I'm 15 hours in and so far, it's going well!! I'm referring to the 72 hour juice detox. 

I made woke up first thing and went to the market to get containers for all of the vegetables that has just been delivered to my apartment. I mad my juice, enough for the whole day, so it has been super easy.

I honestly have to say this this juice is delicious. I am not surprised by this because I have been juicing on and off for a while now. And it really is all about the ingredients. I purchased all organic, and I feel like it can taste it. I have about 2 more glasses to go and then I get to eat a dinner of lean protein and vegetables.I have not decided what that will be yet, but I'm super excited to chew something. 

I am happy to announce that I completed my workout for the day. I took my dog on a 30 minute walk this morning and did the first video in my Daily Burn Tactical Body Weight Training program. That shit was hard. But I think its exactly what I need at the moment. The workouts are designed to improve mobility, flexibility, strength... basically everything I need. The program is 28 days, so I should finish the day before I head to BHOF. I'm excited to see how my body to react to this intense plan. Hopefully I will regain a lot of my flexibility that I lost from an injury.

While these things are not directly related to the Burlesque Hall of Fame, I do feel they it is vital to get my health and body in shape so that I feel like my best self when I step on that stage. This is not about loosing weight. It's about attempting to unlock my full potential. This is about changing my life and using my desire to do well at BHOF to motivate changing my entire life for the better. My birthday is a week away. And while I'm not expecting to look into the mirror and see a change on the outside, I'm hoping that being a week into this plan will help me feel better about my insides.

Education is important to me. I miss being in class, learning new choreography and performing it in front of the class. Feeling like I was going to vomit and not caring because I loved it so much. I have decided to take at least one dance class a week until BHOF, and hopefully carry it out into the summer... maybe the rest of the year. Who knows? But dance class is not the only thing I am into. I am so excited to have signed up for a stage/drag make up class at the New York School of Burlesque. Taught by Kitten LaRue, a world renowned burlesque performer who is no stranger to the BHOF stage.
Mod Fantasy, c. Jaimin Zhu

I would love for this to be a super in depth post, but I am a busy lady and have to get ready for a concert! 

Until tomorrow..

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

30 days until BHOF...

Posted on my Facebook page,, on March 30th, 2015, approx 24 hours after receiving the biggest news of my burlesque career:

"Long post, but worth it. <3

2012- I make my burlesque debut. I had just started performing at the end of may and a week later, everyone disappears. I find out that everyone is in Vegas for Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. What?? What is that?? Later that Summer, I watch the movie Exotic world. **Mind Blown** I knew Burlesque was something special, but I had no idea how much until that Movie.

 2013- As a gift for my 30th b-day, my wonderful fiancee, GF at the time, purchased us VIP passes for BHOF that year. I finally get to see first hand what all the fuss was about. HOLY SHIT!!! I could not believe the acts on the stage!! After the First show, I needed more. After the Legends Showcase, I knew I would never be the same. And the Competition.. FIERCE. Icons and All stars night, NO WORDS. Just tears.

 2014- Encouraged by my friends, loved ones, and a strong nudge by Holiday O'Hara...

At the 57th annual Titans of Tease Reunion Showcase

Photo of Holiday from 70's

...I decided to apply, although I knew it was a long shot. No big surprise, I was not accepted. Truth was, I was devastated. Not because I didn't get in, but because I thought that meant I could not go at all. I was wrong. My fiancee made it happen. It was everything I had remembered from the year before, AND MORE!! I also had friends by this time, so it was extra fun.

2015- I almost missed the deadline this year. But with the help of my amazing support system, I got my application in on time. I applied with an act that I am proud of, as my FOREVER QUEEN OF BURLESQUE, Perle Noire helped me to develop it. 

 Perle Noire (2008 Best debut, 2009 Most Dazzling)
 and I at the 2013 Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender

Group Shot from the 2014 Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender

And then all I could do was wait. Yesterday morning I received the notification email while packing up and I immediately collapse into the fetal position.
After removing myself from the group, crawling up the stairs and safely getting into bed, Alex by my side, I log in. I can't believe it... I'm still in tears as I write this post. I am thrilled to finally announce that I have been accepted to compete for BEST DEBUT at the 2015 Burlesque Hall Of Fame Weekend. Thank you ‪#‎StripperJesus‬. Thank you everyone who helped me or encouraged me in any way. This is an absolute dream come true. I am honored. I am so grateful. I am still crying."

 Midnight Martini. Reigning Miss Exotic World

There is really only so much excitement you can put into one post. But I think most people had a good idea of what this news meant to me. I received 259 likes and 66 comments from close friends and burlesque all stars alike. To say that this is a big deal is an understatement.

This was 36 days ago. And since then, I have worked to improve my act by upgrading my costume... which never feels done, as well as re-working parts of my act that didn't flow. I have contacted people who have been on the stage before hoping to get some input and have even sent out my videos to get critiques on my number. But for some reason, I feel like I should be doing more. 

Almost immediately after getting congratulated, people began giving me advice. "Don't want it too much, just have fun!' seemed to be the number one piece of advice that people have told me. And I get it. I do want to have fun. I want to live every moment on that stage. But the thing is, I do want it. I want to win. Is that so bad? I know the importance of not wanting things so bad that you would be devastated if it didn't work out, but I don't think this is the case for me.. at lease not yet.

I know myself enough to understand that I could never feel disappointed if I knew that I gave it my all, but it didn't work out. If I worked as hard as I could to prepare for a competition, and I lost, I could only tell myself that it was not my time. I've been in that place before. And the next year, I came back and took home the trophy. Yes, I was disappointed that I didn't win the first time around, but I was not defeated. That was by best performance of that act and I still use the video to submit to festivals to this day.

When it comes to the Burlesque Hall of Fame, a festival that I have been attending since I started performing almost 3 years ago, (Yes.. I know it's not long, but still significant for me) I have dreamed about performing on that stage. And on June 6th, 2015, I get that chance. If I had to get on that stage today, I know I would not be ready. And I honestly feel as though the last 36 days could have been used to serve this goal better. But thankfully for me, it is not over yet. I have 30 days before I step off the plane in Vegas and I plan to use the most of it. That is what this blog is for.. to hold me accountable for the next 30 days. 

My Rule is that I have to post at least once daily about my progress. This is something I MUST do. Even if I have nothing to show for a day, I have to write that I wasted my time. I will write about my workout plan, because being physically strong on that stage is very important to me. I am a member of Daily Burn. I have not been using it, although I have been paying for it. I need to start getting my money's worth. So I am starting the Tactical Bodyweight Training program. It is 30 days.. exactly the length of this journey, and is something I can do on the road, as it requires no equipment.

 Promo Photo from Daily Burn website

I will write about my eating habits, including the 72 hour juice detox that I am beginning tomorrow. 

(Don't worry. it's not the master cleanse, just juice and healthy dinners.)

I will write about how I'm managing to juggle my travels, upcoming birthday, shows, and festival that wills come about over this 30 day journey. I know it will be hard, but I am so desperate to not feel disappointed in myself after my performance on June 6th. Who knows what will happen, but I am ready to do the work. Terrified, but ready.