Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Most Naked A Stripper Will Ever Be... in front of a group of students. At 1pm in the afternoon. In a dance studio situated next to a pilates exercise center, a cobbler, and a "finishing school" for young ladies.

Luckily for me I have EIGHT eager new students, all waiting to bust out of their clothes--and that's exactly what we did today.

My Intro to Boylesk Class is geared towards learning the basics of baring it all in a striptease number that is 1) well orgazined, 2) entertaining, and 3) ultimately the student's own creation.We have seven classes to create these numbers which are then produced in a student showcase (mark your calendar's, April 22nd!).

Besides introducing the students to the strict school uniform (which would be underwear), we also specifically examined making an entrance onstage emphasizing economy of movement, eye contact, and individual audience interactions and moments. So instead of teaching the beginning steps of making a pie crust, or say, sewing a button (ah, speech class) I instead instructed this fresh crop of strip teaser's and pleaser's on the importance of maintaining eye contact while suggestively rotating your hips.

 (Sure, kind of like that.)

We also discussed creating a stage persona or a stage character. The students' first assignment (and yes, even strippers get homework) is to write out a monologue of who they see themselves as onstage. Without diving too deep into the aesthetics of performance (this is a post after all), I asked themselves to consider either developing a stage persona, or, a stage character. Its my personal opinion that the former term is more of an extension of one's own personality amplified for the stage where the latter is perhaps a more extreme personality that may or may not share the performer's own thoughts, values, let alone habits of walking, talking, or dressing. For example, singer Beyonce Knowles, an already well established, somewhat wholesome pop culture persona created "Sasha Fierce" as a more wild, exotic character to inhabit onstage.

As part of the class, I'm going to be posting examples of current, amazing burelsque and boylesk performers, especially those living and working in NYC. Which brings me to the videos posted below. Bradford Scobie and Tigger! are two fantastic veterans of the NYC burlesque, theater, and downtown performance scenes, Tigger! being recognized as the King of Boylesque as well as the first ever Mr. Exotic World, 2006. On top of their already dynamic stage persona's, Scobie and Tigger! also have created a plethora of stage characters to the delight, amazement, and (many times), fear of their audiences. Below are two examples, the first with Scobie as "Moisty the Snowman" and the second with Tigger! as "Tawny the Tigress." Enjoy, and continue to follow the class as we explore the A-Z of the G-String.

Moisty the Snowman

 Tawny the Tigress