Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Roxy's Rendezvous - On a Night Like This 22nd August 2010

The venue for this show was The Talking Heads in Southampton, with it's friendly ambiance and rustic charm. Once filled with an audience of regulars and newcomers to burlesque, the atmosphere from a performers point of view was encouraging and filled with energy generated from their responsive feedback. Tickets were for both seated and standing, with a vip area included.
In preparing for this show as a performer, I was consideringthe idea of a burlesque show themed around the music of Kylie Minogue. Do themed shows restrict creative expression or do they stimulate an artistes creativity? My perspective was also slightly altered by my taking part in the show.
At least, Kylie provides a popular, well-known output of music which is familiar and above all entertaining - and the audience clearly responded to this. Paired with a variety of performance styles, a fun atmosphere was generated and people seemed thoroughly entertained. It was however, extremely difficult to single out a favourite act of the evening as the performers were of a consistently high quality.
The leading lady of the night was Roxy Twirls who made a spectacular showgirl entrance in her blue beaded fringed costume and ostrich feather plumes making a fitting visual tribute to the queen of pop.
On the whole this was a professionally produced, well organised show which I would thoroughly recommend. Being a fan of Kylie was not a pre-requisite!
I award 5 stars *****

Friday, 27 August 2010

Happy Burlesque Birthday to me…..and THANK YOU!

I am sure every burlesque artiste remembers their first ever performance, I certainly hope to be no exception. My debut took place on Sunday at “Roxy’s Rendezvous” in Southampton, with a very friendly group of people who instantly made me feel welcome.

Under the guidance of my teacher, friend and mentor, Divine Destiny, I had been choreographing and rehearsing my act for several weeks leading up to this event, whilst sourcing my costume on a budget from charity shops and E-bay – It CAN BE DONE! I didn’t work with lots of props, just a pair of silk veil fans in red with black tips. You can’t go wrong with the classic red and black colour scheme, in fact I didn’t choose the costume, and it seemed to choose me when I saw it in a charity shop! I feel as though it was put there for me by fate. Together with the fans, underwear and stockings from Ebay and my old faithful dancing shoes, gloves and own made red-rose pasties, I felt ready to present myself to an audience. I was so aware of other performers’ tales of costume malfunctions and ill fitting items so it was a bit of a learning curve as I continued with my first experience of preparing and performing in a burlesque show.

It’s not me, it’s HER! – Introducing Miss Helene Bach ….

I only had a slight concern about stage nerves. In fact, it doesn’t seem real - it is almost as though the whole thing has happened to someone else – my alter ego took over! Turning points for me were the times when I first showed my routine to someone else, then the time I rehearsed with Roxy and the Rockets, getting ready in a dressing room with other real, experienced performers, and of course the stage performance itself where I faced a live audience comprising of people I didn’t know and people I had only just met.
The whole time, I’ve had this really weird mental block – that’s the only way I can describe it, where I was thinking “It’s okay, I’m covered!” When I say this, I am referring to the pasties that we wear in burlesque. I can only compare them to a kind of armour that stops a girl feeling quite so naked. It was a very strange sensation indeed which extends into the stage performance (for me anyway), I can only describe it as similar to having a sheet of thick clear glass between you and the audience.
Even though I was nervous, (well it’s only natural) nerves didn’t get the better of me and I managed to look directly at some of them, when I thought I would struggle with picking people out and giving them the eye. Somehow though, the alter ego takes over and you manage to turn it on on the night, becoming somebody else for three minutes or so. Knowing the routine inside out helps you do this. I am a firm believer that an audience can somehow tell if you are ad-libbing too much, especially if they are regulars at burlesque shows and they have some knowledge of the genre.

As I was staying over the weekend, I saw much of the hard work behind the scenes that goes into the production of a burlesque show, the work which largely goes un-noticed by the majority of folks who attend these shows. There is far, far more involved than just turning up, swanning around onstage and then going home at the end of the night. If it wasn’t for a stable, core group of helpful people like this, it would be nigh impossible to stage an event such as this.

It is so important that they are thanked with great sincerity from my point of

To Roxy Twirls and Mr Peter Vert for their kind hospitality and the opportunity to debut at this prestigious event.

Kris Head (DJ Trash) for making my music work so beautifully and right on cue.

Stage maid Truly Scrumptious for her calming influence backstage and superb organisational skills.

Burlesque Artistes Lotte Lovin and Cherry Rocks (who I spent the most time with) Thank you both for being a friend to Helene Bach!

All of the other “Rockets” including Alabama Love, Cookie Noir, Dolly Sparkles, Violet Delight, Kitty Loveless, Cinnamon D’Lacey, Voulez Vous, for being so friendly and making me feel so at home.

Miss Beulah Bell for lacing me up!

Cherry Pop for sporting my tassels so wonderfully.

Jodie Nicola Parker for her cheerful willingness to help anyone in need.

Claire from “The Talking Heads” for helping look after my tassel stall while it was unattended. Also thanks to the guys at the venue who lit the stage to perfection. What a nice friendly place!

And finally…
Thanks to my lovely husband Glenn for selling so many sets of tassels and putting up with all the glitter! Love you xx

Also great thanks and respect to my burlesque teacher, mentor and friend, Divine Destiny (Miss Maggie Palmer) whose help has been invaluable.
Show review coming soon.....

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Sequins, stage nerves and slip-ups!

Well, its finally here....the last few days before Miss Helene Bach makes her stage debut. It's been said before, but I will say it again; people do not realise just how much effort is put into creating a burlesque performance. Lots of artistes make it look easy, but believe me - it's not!
Rehearsals are going well, and I now know where my feet should be, the timing of the peels, and all the technical stuff - I think! What I am still working on is how to put the character into the routine. How do you "be sexy" in front of an audience of mostly strangers? All at the same time you are remembering your choreography, making sure things "come off" without getting hooked on anything, and then on top of that, you are supposed to smoulder!
Well I'm sure I will pull it off in the end (pardon the pun).....

Friday, 6 August 2010

Helene Bach as show vendor.

Just a quick post today, to show some of the new designs I have come up with, ready to sell on my stall as I take my products to the people! I will be appearing as show vendor at:

Black Country Burlesque's EXTREME show at "The Public" in West Bromwich on 13/8/10,

also at:
Roxy's Rendezvous "On a night like this" at The Talking Heads in Southampton on 22/8/10. (Where I will be making my stage debut.)

Here are a few of the new designs I have created for sale at these events. I will also be writing show reviews. I look forward to seeing some of you there!

The famous flying eyeball logo has been transformed into a pastie design!

Some variants on my juicy cherry designs, very pretty and vibrant.

A nude effect pastie, made from ivory satin topped with black lace and a sequin spot border.

Monday, 2 August 2010

It's all in the eyes.....

With rehearsals for my stage debut going well and only three weeks to go, I haven't really had time to feel any nerves yet. On friday I will be revealing my first routine to my burlesque teacher and mentor, so maybe the nerves will kick in then? I don't know. I'm interested in finding ways to cope with stage nerves as I will probably be a nervous wreck on the big night and don't really want to rely on alcohol to get me through it.

Friends of mine who have never even been to a burlesque show have even tried advising me on how to play it! Apparently it's "all in the eyes" - of course, I have had a good teacher so I already kind of know that. Thanks for telling me anyway, but I think it takes more than "eyes". Until you have tried it, believe me, you do not realise all the work that goes into burlesque....still, it's fun.

Apart from my hair needing a trim, and the tan lines needing a little help, I am more or less kitted out for the event. This week I can recommend these pretty lashes that I bought from, believe it or not, my local market!
Made by a company called QVS, this is the "Bedazzled" lash duo, a day to night lash kit. They are easy to apply and remove, the case is superb to store them in - and they come with glue and tweezers. As you blink, the gems give a subtle sparkle which looks great. I have bought some other lashes which are more like caterpillars, but which might look good onstage as I do a bit of fluttering! After all, it IS all in the eyes!