mardi 28 mars 2017

About all this...

About all this...

WARNING!
This post is about feelings, politics silly humour all in a broken english. You'll probably have to stop your reading now if you're not in the mood, not open minded or just if you don't care... 

Are you still there? 
Yay let's talk!

Soooo....I'm really sad to see how people write aggressive and violent comments on the social medias lately. 
Something wrong happened in Toulouse a few weeks ago, and from there i have the feeling that it had evolved in an extreme that i can't follow anymore...

See, i understand that a blackface is not acceptable, of course. I think that as a performer, you're responsible to inform yourself about a subject you'll bring on stage, and that whatever the subject is, do it with respect, knowledge and passion... I wasn't there in Toulouse, i didn't see the act in question, but if some performers i know and trust for years were there and left the venue, i know it was for a good reason, and i support their brave decision. A blackface is not acceptable

But then, i got confused....I saw more and more people commenting and arguing with each other  about their acts and cultural appropriation... Ok... 
Over sensible subject, a bomb! Woops sorry not sorry! I thought first that if i talked about it it would be not professional, that i'll better shut my mouth... and just observe in silence...But i guess after a while i can't just stay passive with something that is touching me.

There's a lot to say about it, and to be clear i'm not trying to minimize anything here but i'm going to stay on a personal level first.
Lovely people, i'm half japanese and half iraqi born in Switzerland. I can speak french, english, a little bit of japanese and lately a tiny bit of italian....
I was very lucky to travel a lot since i was a child, as my mum was a touring musician and my dad had art exhibitions all over the globe as well. I grew up with 3 cultures, which was very interesting in the good and the bad, it always showed me that we have to stay open minded...
So.... honnestly when i see a good performer doing an asian inspired act, i'm actually happy!
I'm happy to see that part of my culture inspired an artist, as long as it's respectful and that i can feel some kind of celebration on it... Like when Van Gogh had his "japonism" influences, it gave a beautiful mix and vision of it. I love it!  I never really liked to keep things in boxes, i love when we mix boxes together to create something new, otherwise isn't it always the same thing? I'm a "mixed box" myself haha! 
I think that there's a big diffrence between giving a tribute to a culture as a loving celebration or a subject that you love from all your heart... and an act with an unacceptable blackface... 
photo by Verena Gremmer

And then i mean, sorry but as a half japanese and half iraqi born in Switzerland, what does it mean? What am i "allowed" to perform to stay "correct". Ok so i shoud do belly dancing (iraqi) in a geisha costume (japanese) on a folkloric swiss music like Heidi? Because that is my culture??? Haha you see my point? 
And going in that logic, am i allowed to do classic burlesque? I'm not caucasian, is it culural appropriation? Honnest question...!

I have a huge respect for all the cultures i bring with me on stage. I always inform myself about all the contexts and also talk to a concerned person or community about it, as i'm very passionate about it. For me it's so logical that i never really mention it...

photo by Neil Kendall

Can you imagine that all this social medias comments took me to these questions to myself disturbing me on focusing on work on my costumes and acts? Isn't it a bit too extreme my dear burly mates? Again is it the social medias that make everything bigger than it is, as it's so easy to attack and write something from a smartphone or a computer? I don't really know but i felt sad, and angry to see some comments lately...Because we don't have the same opinion doesn't mean we should agress each other, really... Can we please stay polite and civilised and not take such things as an excuse to insult others and masturbate our virtual ego...? Please...?

You know what? Call me a damn hippie i don't care but:

The burlesque i love is open minded
The burlesque i love is clever
The burlesque i love is happy
The burlesque i love is provocative 
The burlesque i love is innovative
The burlesque i love is human
The burlesque i love is tolerant
The burlesque i love is strong
The burlesque i love is inspiration 
The burlesque i love is free
The burlesque i love is me and you
The burlesque i love is soooo many beautiful things...  and most of all it is big celebration!

photo by Marco Kasco

So let's not forget this and focus on the good! Go back at looking forward to the next show you will go to see! 
Performer, go back to that act rehearsal or costume you have to finish or adjust, do it with all your heart, and i can't wait to see you rock the stage next time! 

With all my love
Lou on the Rocks


vendredi 28 octobre 2016

Maybe your are a burlesque warrior

Maybe you are a burlesque warrior if...





-you woke up with a cold and fever at 6:00 in the morning to go to catch your early flight to perform the same night. (You had eventually a 8 hours travel the day before)


-your flight has been delayed of 3hours and you missed your connexion train to the city you're about to perform in, but you managed everything buying extra train tickets that are later as long as you had the wifi


-your flight is actually 5 hours late and you missed even the next train but you managed to book the next one with free wifi from a coffee shop.





-when after landing in the opposite terminal than the station to the center, you're able to run with your 23kilos luggage to the other terminal and make it to train to the center that will maybe make you on time for the last train to the city you will perform.


-managing the rush hour with your 23kilos luggage in the underground of one of the busiest city of Europe. (Without elevator, of course) 


-finally being on that last train


-understand that your train will make you arrive 15 min before the show starts and manage to start your make up in the train in the rush hour


-have amazing producers that in the meanwhile arrange to make you perform a bit later than expected.


-managing to do your make up when the guy next to you stares at you: critical eyeliner moment, critical eyebrow moment, critical lips moments all managed when train is moving (in the middle of sneezing... you have a cold with fever, remember?)




-being hungry as hell (in the rush, no time to stop to buy food) but luckily you took protein bars


-arrived at the venue, took a big breath, put your costume on a time record, and rocked the stage.



At that point you can call your self a Burlesque Warrior, or even a Burlesque Hero, because...well you probably need it and deseeve it.


Ps: never take cheap flights the day of your show... oh and also never EVER EasyJet! 


Love


Lou on the bed


❤️






mercredi 14 septembre 2016

From light to shadow, and from shadow to light

From shadow to light and from light to shadow

Because shadow needs light, and light needs shadow.

As a performer, you are asked to shine on stage, and that's fabulous.

Stage has this magic to permit you, after long hard work, to make you shine.

It's strong and powerful, transcendantal and magic. It's being one with your soul, body and the audience... Yes, very close to an orgasm but in a completely different dimension...

Being able to do that means being really connected to your art and your technique. Which is asking a very intense amount of energy and emotions.


So everytime you shine, it can happen to go back to the shadows. Being on stage is beautiful but it's also exhausting. 

It happened to me to feel guilty after amazing shows to be in a dark place the day after. It actually happened a lot. I wasn't able to explain or to assume it. " I should always be happy living my dream" "it's because i'm not strong enough for this job" "others are or seem always happy". Again i guess social medias are not really helping. I mentioned it on one of my last post about body shape "how you're supposed to look like", but it also work on "how you're supposed to feel"... social medias are really not healthy when you start to compare to each other. It's really nice when it permits you to connect with others, but i think we should be aware when it's starts to actually disconnect to ourselves.  Always be aware that almost everyone is posting "the best of themselves" and that therefore that's not reality :)


Lately i finally started to talk about my feeling of going in the "shadows" after intensive weeks of shows to other performers and friends, and they all insured me that it's very "normal". Especially when you have to travel a lot, that you can't really recover with good sleep all the time, and also when you're a sensible person. And well lots of artists are, i guess, sensible people. It can sound stupid but really...i forgot that. And so now, i'm trying to find my way ro recharge my batteries when the stage drained me too much. Closer to the nature and taking care, pampering myself...


Sharing this made me feel much better, and also made me able to embrace and assume more "the shadow" side of my performing path. That's why i thought that it could be a good idea to share this here, with my weird english full of mistakes! 

Because your shadow needs your light and your light needs your shadow, as a balance...so embrace it!!! 


Love


Lou on the Rocks



vendredi 9 septembre 2016

About Body Shape in the Burlesque Industry

Warning, this is a very long and personal point of view, i almost wrote a book! It's probably full of english mistakes as well! Sorry i'm not sorry!!! I hope you'll enjoy the reading and i'm really looking forward that you'll tell me what you think about it :)


A few days ago, i was having breakfast and I remembered telling to myself that i had to be careful on what i'll eat that day and should go more often to the gym.
THIS. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about! 

Yes, time to openly talk about this very sensible subject. It's been too long that i'm holding my thought back with an unspeakable fear of sharing this. I was really happy to read some posts of other performers talking about their feelings on body shape and self confidence lately, and i think it's the right time for me to share my thoughts as well.

When I started to be interrested on burlesque it was because it was an art that seemed to express a real freedom. Something that i really didn't find in the acting/theater industry where i used to be.

Performers seemed to share their vision of beauty, in their glamorous, trashy, poetic, political ways. The body shape, sex, ethnicity really didn't seem to matter. I remember watching videos of the Velvet Hammer, watch vidoes of Dirty Martini doing her thing and feel something like "Woaa that's a lovely punch in the face! It's kind of a "Fuck you" to the diktat of our society but with glitters and being awesome, fabulous, and not angry" for the little punky girl that i was. I felt a big YES blooming in my heart. Finally the positive revolution that i expected to see and be part of came on my path. 

Was it because i was looking at all this from the outside? Maybe yes, but it was 8 years ago, and I really can see that things have changed. Everything changes, evolves, that's natural. I just didn't expect to see it evolve in this way. 

The fabulous Dirty Martini

My vision of burlesque is kind of punk because it's a rebellion on what society dictates you to do and be like. To me, evertime a performer is going on stage, she/he is bravely sharing her/his vision of beauty and being fabulous, as an individual artist. Everyone of them are beautiful in their unique way...

I loved that the audience was giving love back and applauding the courage of each artist to show themselves to the world. That was making the real difference between a striptease and an artistic performance. The difference between an audience for who the end of the performance matters, and an audience that enjoys from the beginning to the end.

An oasis in the middle of a sad uniformisation world.

Soooo back in my kitchen a few days ago...!
WHY did i start thinking i should be careful on what i'll eat and go more often to the gym? It could have been for the fun of it, because i wanted to be more healthy, for putting out some stress... but you know what? No, i catched myself not being confident because i've put a little bit of weight...
This is where i could just stay focus on "the initial message of burlesque". After all, this is exactly where i should put in practice all i've learned and loved about it.

Reality is not that easy...
Burlesque is also an industry with a pretty fierce competition. Especially when you're a full time performer. So yes, there's a looot of contraditions here. 

When we say that it's a celebration of every artist as an individual... I don't understand then why there's so many awards and competitions in festivals... That's already one contradition. I tried once a competition in a festival. I didn't like it. Because then, there's not really space for celebration. Instead there is more space for comparaison, which can bring really bad vibes, trust me, from others but also on ourselves.
I'm not saying that there shouldn't be any competitive energy, of course not. Healthy competition keep us creative, and productive. Happy to discover more about others creations, and happy to share our creations. 

Theeeen there's the producers that will only work with caucasians, or not tattooed or only skinny performers, only big breasts, etc...
Yes, then we get more more far from the initial message, right?

Theeeen there was the movie "burlesque"... Haha! Yeeek i don't have the energy, sorry...

The list is long on the contradictions...

Then there's the social medias that is really not helping to stay neutral and just enjoy and be happy for each others as performers. Come on let's be honnest... Lately i don't go as much as before on social medias as i know that even if i can be very happy and enjoy some posts, opinions and pictures, at some point it can also bring me a feeling of comparison and competition and all the nice package, you know? The one that you'll especially feel right through your face on a bad day...! It's a shame when it comes to disturb you.

To me, maybe it's because i didn't want to see it 8 years ago... But there's more and more uniformisation on the body shapes. I see more agressive sexual images than before on pictures, but also in shows. Something that is flirting very close to the porn industry, that basically have a very different message than "my"burlesque... It's not good or bad, it's probably only a subjective observation. It's just images and feelings that are getting far from what made me love burlesque, the initial message that made me feel so good. 

That's just an evolution, maybe a trend, maybe not. Things have changed, I probably have changed too. But it shouldn't make me forget about what i felt 8 years ago. This is a treasure. That Positive Revolution...It was so beautiful that it gave me a kick in the butt to start being the performer I am today. 

So i'm keeping my vision of burlesque close to my heart, and i'll still make it bloom in my own way...

Sooooo again, back in my kitchen, when i've left all these thoughts go through my notebook. 
I just focused on the initial message that made me love burlesque. I saw my little muffin top, and thought. Hey little thingy! You're here because of all the years of performing, travels, work, hapiness, bad moments, crazy unstable rythm of sleep and eating. You lived all this with me and that's why you're here. You're part of me and my adventure, so i love you too. 

Ps: i didn't go to the gym that day :p

dimanche 3 janvier 2016

Ursula, my burly companion


Ursula...
May i introduce you my companion since now almost 3 years. Ursula the purple suitcase. She was able to carry all i asked her to: from feathers, veils, tiki mask, confettis, heavy shoes, makeup cases to coyote headress, fabrics, calendars, promo pictures, glitters, robes and aftershow dresses,... 

I even customised her with a few stickers from shows, festivals or performers i met on the road.

She was put on the back of planes, vans, cars, buses, metros,...
She's been rolling her 4 weels in 3 continents, from the pavements of London and Berlin, Paris, Helsinki to New York, Montreal, Tokyo and more...

As Lady Lou from Berlin already wrote something about it, we have a loving-hate relationship with these particular companions...
Love because of all I mentionned before, but you know, even if she's carrying all your stuff, well it happens that you have to carry her too. 

When i travel light with my costumes and make up, i have approximately 20 kilos for 2 acts, 28 kilos for 3 acts... So i let you imagine these moments when you arrive in a venue with no elevator at the 4th floor and nobody to help you... 
Or even the smaller things like getting on the train, these damn 3 little steps... but still when you have to lift 28 kilos alone and then again to get out the train these steps are like a hill. 
We usually develop a technique with the escalators when we have 2 lugguages, you know, like a sort of yoga posture but instead of being healthy for your body, it's just twisting your spine in the wrong way, and tickling your sciatic nerve... 

So yes, Ursula helped me many times but there was also some moments i wanted to leave her, throw her on the stairs or escalator that was not working. I can even say that sometimes i was coming back from shows with very early flights with only a few hours of sleep, exhausted arriving at the metro station almost home: "Escalator not working" made me cry a little... 

But anytime I was hating her on my way to the airport, being sometimes worried about her on the plane (is she travelling safe with the same plane?) then I was so released to find her at the lugguages claim at the arrival , ready to give her a hug and to say how sorry i felt to hate her a few hours ago...

Since a few months, one of her weel started to make some troubles, and Bam! Last week, her weel was definitively gone... Poor Ursula had to get back home for the last time. Our last travel together was on a train in Germany.

At that moment i just realised all the adventures and crazy trips we went together. I was many times travelling alone, so Ursula was a bit my travelling buddy... I got attached to her even with this loving hate relationship.
So thank you my lovely bitchy Ursula for all these travels together, thanks for being part of my Lou on the Roads adventures
:)


mercredi 18 novembre 2015

Two years later - Grateful

Oh dear what a long break without writing on my blog...
2 years! Shame on me...!
But with the tragedy of this week end in Paris, and getting mad about social medias, It took me not so long to come back here, in my free space.


These last 2 years I went through tsunamis of difficulties, doubts and sadness but also tempests of joy and excitement.
Most of all big changes, i should say HUGE changes in my life.

In 2 years i've been growing a lot as a performer, i've been touring almost all the time,
almost every week end, I was out of home for shows.

 taboo Barcelona

Royal Burlesque Revue, Milan
 Paris Burlesque Festival
Amsterdam 2013


I produced a show in Geneva at the Palais Mascotte, at la Taverne de la République where I was really happy to work with a supportive and loving team, I've met amazing performers, amazing human beings, but also I've been disappointed, sad and even angry sometimes to see the reality of what it means to be a performer and producer...

by Dam von Schmock


by Aline Fornier

That's Fabulous flyers


I always wanted to give myself the chance to live only by performing burlesque and let my tattooing work on the side for a while. This was not possible in Geneva Switzerland. The rents and costs of life in general were not really made for an artist like me...





So while my marriage was falling apart, I decided to move. To give my self the chance to be in a place where i can afford to be only a performer, and also where i can live a fresh start.
2014 was the most hard and the most beautiful year of my life...





Accept a failure
Renounce on all my comfort
Depression (yes, I was afraid to say it but it touches everyone from time to time)
Restart in the total unknown with 3 luggages in a small room
Growing more as a performer
Fabulous encounters
Finding Love


So yes, everything was extreme, strong, good or bad...

Since I've moved I was able to live a full year only performing.... With all what it means. The amazing feeling of doing what you love. The bitter reality of hard work for a sometimes very unfair financial situation. Passion becoming a real job, accepting that it can't be as magical as in the beginning every time, including when you have 40 degrees of fever and need to show your sexyness. Hating your 30 kilos luggage seing the elevator is not working (that would be anther topic I'll talk about in another post.) Having more than 347 hours of sleep needed because of all the late shows and early flights/trains or buses, back pain and health problems due to such a unhealthy rythme....

by Jérémie Fontana

Perform in magical stages with amazing audiences, but also performing in terrible places with audience that you have the feeling to bother because they are talking. Seeing producers making huge money on performers that will go in red to perform for them... Seeing instaed amazing producers taking risks for performers to get paid in a fair way....Egos talking to egos.... Getting closer and good friends with performers that you admire deeply as artists and human beings...













I've been disappointed, happy, angry, then touched. But also.... I've cried from seeing amazing performances on stage... And it made me understand what really counts.... To transmit something important to you to the audience, not to talk on social medias... just talk with your art, with your talent on stage.. and expose it with all your heart...

If i'm there writing after these 2 years, that means that I had the time to digest all this tornado, that I finally can sit and look back, in the calm. I'm very tired but I'm grateful. I chose to be surrounded by inspiring and loving people and I feel very lucky to meet them on my path. I understood a lot about the burlesque scene and industry, and also a lot about myself. Even if its hard to stay passionate with all what goes around,  I'll keep going,  I'll keep sharing here my opinions, i'll keep supporting good work from producers, and will keep work harder on my acts, costumes and creativity with love... <3

Lou on the Rocks





vendredi 3 mai 2013

A little sweetness....




Photos by Aline fournier

London burlesque festival is almost there... 
I still can't believe that I will be part of this huge event....
sharing the stage with all these talented artists from all around the world... 
I can't wait to be there, but I'm also very nervous...!!!
Good stress makes me work, lets me being creative, 
so it's a good thing, but still.... hell guys it's the LBF!!!
Everything went so fast for me since last year...It's a beautiful gift and I feel very grateful...
That definitely means something to me... 
Always follow and listen to your dreams, your heart, 
work hard, and then don't forget to feel grateful... 

<3 <3 <3

Have a nice week end!

Lou