|In my Velvet Hammer Burlesque heyday, late 1990's|
Dedicated to the cast of The Velvet Hammer Burlesque
Noon: Stumble out of bed, wiping last night’s glitter from your eyes. Wake up with a pot of insanely strong coffee, liberally infused with Half ‘n’Half, Down a pint of bottled water. Shower and drink more coffee.
12:28 PM: With a head full of curlers tied in a chiffon scarf, barefoot and wearing a vintage black slip, cook a huge breakfast full of protein: two organic dark-yolk eggs over easy, covered in grated Parmesan, sitting atop a ground chicken burger, small side salad of spinach, one container of Fage full fat Greek yoghurt. You need a big food base to carry you through your day and night! Drink at least two pints of bottled water.
2:36 PM: Pack costumes, chain smoke cigarettes to alleviate hunger pangs. Drink more water.
3:18 PM: Cave to hunger pangs. Chop up a small Persian cucumber into pennies and consume greedily with two rice-stuffed grape leaves with plenty of hummus on the side. Lick the spoon! Smoke more. You are still hungry but can’t eat any more carbs, cause you will look bloated onstage if you do. Guzzle water in lieu of food.
3:31 PM: Get a double espresso con panna (make that heavy on the panna!) to take to the venue. The extra whip cream is ok…you’re a dancer, you need the calcium! Sip it in the car, alternating with slugs of bottled water, icy cold, and straight from the freezer.
3:45 PM: Rehearsal hasn’t started yet cause some people are late.
4:22 PM: Rehearsal is about to begin. Grab a giant handful of raw almonds and walnuts backstage to keep energy up while you dance. The Omega 3’s are great for sore joints, and once again, you can’t be eating carbs. Dream of Macaroni And Cheese while you run your number. More cigarettes, more water.
5:00 PM: Time for make up! As you apply your faux lashes, indulge in the backstage vegetable tray, say to hell with it and dip into the room-temperature Ranch Dressing …cause it’s too close to the veggies to ignore! Feel guilty for being so weak-willed.
6:49 PM: Tech Check: Mix up a Showgirl’s Cocktail: In a plastic or paper cup (basically whatever’s handy) two shots designer vodka, mixed into a glass of water with a packet of Emergen-C With MSM. This is good for your joints, and also helps immensely to take the edge off any pre-show jitters! Stagehands drink Red Bull, but dancers don’t: there is too much sugar and carbonation and, like practically everything else on Earth, it’ll make you look bloated onstage! Argue with the lighting designer about your cues. Chain smoke onstage because the house isn’t open yet.
7:15PM: Doors are open! Obsessively check out the crowd through a slit in the closed curtains, squeal over costumes with the other dancers, and finish applying body glitter. Go into the alley behind the theater with a few other performers and smoke.
8:00 PM: Showtime! Oh wait, the curtain is being held so that the crowd has time to get good and wasted.
8:16 PM As the show begins, the performers start trotting out the bottles of booze hidden in their dance bags. Mid-range champagne is always a good choice, because it goes down smoothly, and since everyone shares, it’d be foolish to buy anything expensive! Drink from plastic cups with a straw so you don’t wreck your lipstick. The sound of champagne corks popping almost drowns out the strains of the opening number.
8:46 PM: Since everyone backstage is now just a little bit tipsy, the “No Smoking” ban in the dressing room has been magically lifted!
9:13 PM: Draft an embarrassed (but extremely happy) stagehand to take some impromptu scandalous photos of all the dancers who are backstage, while the comedians in the cast look on wistfully. Sapphic and decadent are operative words here.
11:00 PM: Somehow, the show finished on schedule. Down a pint of water, and it’s time for the Post Show Mingle With The Audience… graciously allow them to fawn over you and buy you cocktails.
11:50PM: The suitcase that was so diligently organized when you arrive at the theater now will hardly close. Cram still-damp lingerie, one high heel, make up bags, sewing kits, boas, corsets, stray lipstick, curling irons, and any random costume or cosmetic articles you find on the floor into your bag haphazardly.
11:58 PM: Rush to the craft service table backstage along with the entire cast and eat anything that is left over straight from the package, including but not limited to: cookies, corn chips, dried out doughnuts, soggy sandwich wraps, potato chips… even industrial-sized containers of coleslaw and potato salad that have been sitting out for hours. Don’t worry about the condition of the food; the flasks of Personal Stash alcohol being passed around will kill any germs. Continue to smoke as you stuff food into your face- but be careful not to smear your lipstick!
1:00 AM: Frantically look for a parking space near The After Party.
1:13 AM: Drag all your costumes and props inside The After Party because you are paranoid about leaving them in the car, in case they get stolen.
1:48 AM: There is plenty of food here, a nice spread, actually… but nobody cares- because there is also plenty of booze and plenty of blow. It’s almost like Thanksgiving, but with controlled substances!
3:30 AM: Wonder vaguely if you should leave The After Party before the sun rises, but don’t move cause someone has once again put out fat rails. Begin chain smoking in earnest.
3:52 AM: Drink almost an entire liter of water before spilling a martini into your cleavage. More rails, more smoking. Eavesdrop on five conversations while simultaneously telling stories of your own.
4:19 AM: Even though you don’t smoke pot; take a healthy hit off the joint that’s just been handed to you. You don’t want to appear rude…and it’s not like it’s going to matter at this point!
4:39 AM: The blow seems to be all gone, so you prudently decide to leave The After Party, congratulating yourself because it turns out you will not be needing the sunglasses you thoughtfully slipped into your purse before you left the house! Consume half a pack of Sugarless Gum to alleviate hunger pangs- they’re baaaack!
4:56 AM: Look for a drive through… any drive through will do!
5:17 AM: Eat in your car with no thoughts whatsoever of preserving your make-up. Notice that the other cars surrounding you are all full of drag queens and hookers also scarfing food with no regard for their make-up. Finish the pack of sugarless gum while smoking.
6:12 AM Your make-up, eye leashes, body glitter and pasties are off, your contact lenses are out, your teeth are flossed and brushed and you are slathered in night cream. Wonder what happened to your other shoe while you chase 800 milligrams of Ibuprophen with a pint of bottled water. Cross your fingers that the scary drive through food won’t make you look bloated onstage tomorrow.
6:14 AM set the alarm on your phone for noon.
“SHOWGIRL CONFIDENTIAL: MY LIFE ONSTAGE, BACKSTAGE & ON THE ROAD”
ON SALE FOR $14.99 NOV. 30-DEC. 2, 2013