Deep Concentration

As a performer in the neo-burlesque revival, I’ve performed in some interesting venues. I’ve prepared for my performance in even more interesting prep areas. You may have noticed that I didn’t write the word backstage. That’s because a closet or a bathroom is not a proper back stage dressing area. As a performer, I crave/need a proper prep area. The main reason for that is to have a safe space for deep concentration.

The first time that I want any audience member to see me in costume is when I take a step out onto stage. Being stopped by a stranger to marvel at my costume before I perform when I’m prepping for the stage is a huge distraction. (So, if you are that stranger, just be cool and keep walking.) Without a secluded area to prepare, there’s no opportunity for me (or the dozens of women) to be naked and patiently prepare.

Recently, at a venue in Oakland, our backstage area shared pedestrian traffic with audience members en route to the restroom. As I paced the hall, wearing a silk robe and headphones, rehearsing my lines, a gentleman passed on his way to the restroom. My inner monologue begged, “Don’t talk to me, keep walking. Don’t say anything to me, just keep walking!” Just then, he blurted out, “ARE YOU PERFORMING TONIGHT!” I barked back at him, “I’M BUSY!” I was pissed and I don’t apologize for it. If you ever see someone pacing the hall in the basement of a club while barefoot, wearing a silk robe, wearing headphones, and reciting lines, think before you speak. It’s a safe bet that they’re in deep concentration and a really safe bet that they are performing that night. Don’t be a dumb ass.

Producers: I know that you didn’t design the venue, but do what you can to secure backstage space with a volunteer to guide muggle traffic away from/around the performer’s naked space. Let the performers know if the backstage area is open to foot traffic. (Mention it in your pre-show form letter.)

Performers: Read social cues from the people around you. If you’re backstage with someone that is focused on prepping for their number and they’re wearing headphones, leave them be. Whether you call it method acting, show mode, or deep concentration. Give your fellow performers their space to prepare.

Goals: What Gets Us Out Of Bed (Energy For A Busy Life, Part 7/7)

This series comes to a close with the most important element of motivation, goals. Perhaps on an interview or a first date you may have heard the question, “What gets you out of bed in the morning?” No matter what your response, there’s a strong chance that your answer focused on one of your short or long-term goals. It’s been said that the most successful people in the world have their goals written down and visible in order to see them every day. Staying focused on short and long-term goals is an easy motivator, or at least it should be. Staying focused on goals can work against you when they’re toxic (e.g. revenge). “Success will be the best revenge.” and “I’m doing this to prove my haters wrong.” are just two examples of toxic goal setting.

The common mistake that I see in the fitness world is people coming in to the gym and working out without clearly defined goals. This is made even worse when they hire me and they just “want to get in shape.” Without a clearly defined goal your moves in the gym and in the world are often without purpose or direction. Therefore, it’s challenging to keep moving forward without a specific destination. “Just drive Southeast from Frisco and you’ll reach Barstow some day!”  Where are you going? How will you get there? When you know what you want, it’s an easily renewable energy source. When I get tired and I want to just say, “fuck it” and sleep in, I have to ask myself a simple question. “Why am I doing this?” “What gets me out of bed in the morning?” That’s when I lean on those goals of mine to giddyup and get after the day.

I once had my goals written on poster-sized paper in my apartment for all to see. People often spoke about how it inspired them. The important thing was that those goals inspired me. I’ve taken them down because I needed to focus on school, but in my recent search for intangible energy, you know fire of the spirit, I’m going to get back to that form of clear goal setting. If you try the same, tapping into your goals as a source of energy, you just might surprise yourself.


Special Sauce

Sorry for being away so long. Life, Finals (at school, not the sportsball type), and other things have taken my attention. I’m back on it! Here’s a quick and easy recipe to make if you’ve become bored with the condiments that you have in your kitchen. Mix them all together! Okay, maybe not all of them, let’s use some common sense here. You’ve been eating flavors long enough to know what goes together, right. Well, put that well trained palette to use. A few years ago, my housemate complained of being bored with her condiment choices (and that was her reason for buying so many more that the shelves were overflowing). So, I began taking 2-3 of them and mixing them together. Here are some pics of a recent mixture that I found particularly tasty. I hope that you try/enjoy it.


Sounds weird when laid out together, right?


Scoop into strong blender and use rose water as a rinse to get the last bit out.


Whip it good, until it’s smooth.


I like the Smoothie setting for this one!

Attitude = Vitality Level: Energy For A Busy Life, Part 6/7

Hello, Friends! As promised (weeks ago) here is part 6 in the 7 part series about keeping up a high level of energy to keep up with a busy/full life. When was the last time you put your attitude in check? Well, I try to do it on a weekly basis.

Before I type any further, I want to send respect, compassion, and love to those humans out there battling depression. For those that face depression daily, they are often told to “stay positive”, “cheer up”, or to change their attitude. Suffice it to say, it’s just not that simple when someone is depressed.

In my daily efforts, I try to be the person that I needed when I was a kid. As a young un’, I watched so many of the 80’s movies about the coach/teacher/janitor that inspired random kids to win big games and whoop the asses of bullies that I thought that person was real. I believed that one of my teachers/coaches was going to inspire me to great heights. But, that shit never happened. When I was in high school, there were Baseball tryouts. I went to the coach, before the tryouts, and asked him, “what if I’m not sure if I can play, I’ve never played.” He just laughed at me and walked away. I never went to those tryouts. Not because I was afraid to try, I didn’t go because I didn’t want that asshat as my coach. Over the years, I’ve accepted the fact that such a teacher/coach/janitor is a myth (or at least a rare occurrence). So, I decided to become the coach that inspires. In my efforts to boost people up, my attitude must sing in the key of positivity. I’ve found that doing so keeps my energy levels up. Because I’m human and my attitude isn’t always positive, I’m able to feel the significant difference when I have a bad attitude. I’ve spent enough time in Anger Management to know when I’m swimming in a bad attitude and splashing that gasoline on the humans around me.

So, how is your attitude affecting your energy levels from day-to-day? I could write about it or you could read about what’s been written about 100 times over. Read here about the science of happiness.

Tune in next week when WhoTF knows what I’ll post about! Just know that part 7 in the series is coming sooner than later. (Spoiler: It’s about goal setting.)