After submitting a video of Sirlesque performing our "OMG BSB" group number at Lucky Charming's show "Power Strip" last summer, we were pretty ecstatic to find out that we'd be performing it on the main stage at B.B. King's in midtown Manhattan. So far, it's the biggest-scale performance gig any of us have ever booked.
|In case none of you believe me.|
In my mind, that's not a good thing. Not having other dudes to look at gives me little else to compare my performance style and skill level to. In a small pond, it's easy to feel like the biggest fish. I figured that if I got to spend a weekend with other dudes from around the globe who didn't necessarily have the same logo emblazoned on their clothing like Laverne DeFazio, I might get a chance to learn a few things and maybe get inspired to create and perform on a higher level.
|Though she would absolutely approve of our personalized sweatshirts.|
On our way to New York, the Sirs were trying to solve an ongoing problem about what underwear we were all going to wear for our our performance on Saturday. Cue NYC-based Mr. Gorgeous, a 6-foot-5 marble sculpture of a man who not only performed on Friday, but was selling an entire rack of custom-made underwear. We pounced on him immediately, as it's not often a problem's solution appears out of nowhere and presents itself (and in a variety of colorful styles!). We all ended up wearing a pair of his expertly-crafted merchandise the next evening. I really dig the ones I got, they were zebra striped. Because obviously.
|Just try to tell me that this doesn't get you hot under the collar.|
I knew I recognized some of the faces backstage. I had a severe open-mouth-insert-balls moment when I casually approached Ray Gunn and asked if he'd ever performed at Burlesque Hall of Fame. Because I've evidently got the social competence of a beached tadpole, he chuckled a bit and informed me that he was crowned Boylesque King 2013--and I immediately realized that I had read an article about him last year in which he gave a ton of commonplace anecdotal advice.
Welp, guess I'll go hide in the corner while pretending I know how to put on eyeliner and hoping my tears of embarrassment don't make it run too badly.
|It's okay, bro. It's not like we can't use it in an act we're planning.|
(PS - You can read the article here!)
The after party was pretty amazing as well--more performances from dudes like Seattle-based Waxie Moon, who did a whole act where he was handcuffed, stripped, and then un-handcuffed himself with a hidden key (guess where?) and then re-handcuffed himself after he was entirely stripped down. It was fun chatting with Toronto-based Dew Lily and James and the Giant Pasty, especially since it's been implied that they're our Canadian doppelgangers. I learned from them that most male burlesque is performed by gay performers or involves drag or gender-bending, neither of which accurately describes Sirlesque--confirming that we are as novel in our field as we can get.
Still, that status didn't feel all that unique after Tokyo-based Gilbert de Moccos told me that burlesque really isn't a thing in Japan. How would it feel to be the only one you know who does burlesque?
All in all, it was a fabulous weekend and I am definitely hoping to go back next year. It helped me to refocus on what goals I have as a performer and to learn what habits other successful male burlesquers have. And I made a lot of new friends in the process.
|Small-scale fame? Check.|
|Too many fantastic people? Check.|
|Pancakes? I'm certain I left that restaurant with Type A diabetes.|