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This Is Me

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

Hey friends! And welcome to Thank You 10.

 

Photo By : Blue Swan Boudoir

 

I’m guessing if you’ve found your way here, you may have seen me perform on stage, have taken a gander at my Facebook or Instagram page, or maybe, just maybe you stumbled in on complete accident. Which would be pretty fitting for me — since that’s kind of how I found burlesque.

Burlesque was not my first passion in life. It definitely found me, not the other way around. After college, I worked as a corporate graphic designer, and was leading what would be seen as a pretty standard life: Married, career, two dogs and I think there was even a fence. But damn that was going to change. And not fast … the buildup to burlesque took YEARS and I didn’t even know it was happening. But man when it did it took off like a fucking rocket.

Maybe you’ve heard this story before : girl gets divorced, girls tries something new, girl gets new life. Well, that was all definitely part of it. And then on some random day sitting inside the walls of my gray cubicle, working on yet another cardio campaign and dancing in my chair — because chair dancing was happening long before chair dancing was happening — my coworker popped in. And somewhere in between the bitching about this and laughing about that, she suggested I try a pole dancing class. By the end of the work day, I was signed up for my first lesson. Within a week I think I had taken 3 classes at 2 different studios. Six months into pole, I had my first competition and at 8 I was getting certified to become an instructor — but I still knew nothing of burlesque.


Fast forward : May 2018 and a pole performance that left me in tears. Literally, it was me, crying on stage as I hit my last pose. It was the start of something real in my dance. And I like to think the whole room felt what I was feeling in those moments. It was a night that changed how I perform and how I live my life. It was that night I decided to explore burlesque.


A local instructor happened to be in the audience that night and in a conversation we had after the show had wrapped, while poles were being torn down and performers were packing their bags, she said to me, “I’d love to see you try burlesque”. And it was like this whole new world offered itself to me that night and without hesitation, I dived right in. That was night Belle Folle was born. And on November 16, 2018 I made my burlesque debut with "Read Me My Rights" performed at a show called, Streetlight Cabaret.


Since then I have been lucky enough to be the first cast member of Five Star Tease: Wisconsin's Only Weekly Burlesque Show, participate in burlesque festivals across the country, as well as, hold the title of Wisconsin Burlypicks Champion for two year running (2019, 2020). Most recently I won the title of Master of Bump + Grind at the 2020 Burlypicks World Championships in Ogden, UT.


In addition to burlesque, I have also started exploring the world of drag and made my king debut as Cash Johnson in June of 2019. Performing as Cash allows me to combine drag and burlesque and has given me a whole new perspective on stage. And while I continue to pole, it's done more on a personal level these days.


This is Me, beautiful and crazy. They are equal parts … on stage you have the sensual, poised beauty. Backstage, well, it’s a crazy fucking mess. But all of it is what makes this life of mine so uniquely me. Thank You 10 is a place to show you “Backstage Belle” and all of the behind the scenes madness that goes unseen by most. Only a few really get to see what I’m like off-stage. Well, until now anyway.


I hope I've enticed you enough to come on this crazy journey with me. I'll be heading down memory lane to relive all of my most memorable performances — and disasters —before diving into what I'm working on now. From concepting to choreo and costumes to call times : It's a crazy process that I'm sure all creatives can relate to and anyone else will surely be entertained by.


 

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