Bubblybrunette's Blog

Bubbles, burlesque and all things fancy

The Courtesan’s Curriculum

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I’m finally getting started on my next (and long-imagined) project – The Courtesan Curriculum.

I’ve been fascinated by courtesans for a long time. They were women with power during times when women had no rights. Men fought over them, lavished fortunes on them and created incredible works of art in their honor. They had freedom and autonomy that was unheard of for women in their eras. And they captivated most who met them.

Courtesans, as they were, no longer exist. And, in this day and age, women no longer need to use men to gain power. But I’ve long believed that the these women still have something to offer us today.

My dream is to put together a multi-week workshop to help teach the courtesans’ secrets to women who want to re-ignite the spark in their lives – not just in their relationships, but within themselves. Because, ultimately, our truest seduction is with our own spirit. Then, using what I learn from working with women in these workshops, I’d eventually like to write a book.

I’ve already seen glimmers of it with my burlesque students – and it’s no surprise, since body confidence is one of the first secrets. But each week, they stand a little taller, their eyes seem a little brighter and the spark in them re-ignites. They tell me stories of buying beautiful lingerie for the first time or surprising a partner with an intimate dance, and their whole being lights up. It’s wonderful to see! But I think I can offer them so much more.

I’m excited to see where this takes me.

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January 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm

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Lady Grace on Television

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My Honey Bunny Lap Dance class was just featured on local television program, “Mirror, Mirror.” I was nervous to see how it would turn out, but I’m really happy with it. I think they did a good job of capturing how much fun we have in class. I’m also a huge dork, but I think that comes as a surprise to no one 😉

You can see it here: http://livewellhd.com/video?id=7573602

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July 26, 2010 at 12:10 am

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A night without champagne is like …

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Just a really sucky night. Seriously. Nothing more needs to be said.

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February 3, 2010 at 11:15 pm

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Busy week ahead

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I’m feeling under the weather today which is probably a good thing since it’s giving me a chance to rest up for the coming week. I’m teaching my Exotic Essentials on Tuesday, then Thursday is “graduation day” for my first group of Burlesque Basics students. They’ve been amazing, and they totally rocked the hand fans last week. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of gals to work with for my first go round with this series.

On Saturday, I’ll be offering a free “sampler” class for the first time. It’ll give me a chance to introduce the Lady Grace Academy to women who may still be on the fence about taking classes. I’m looking forward to it. Finally, Sunday will be my photo shoot in Dallas with Shoshana at Through the Looking Glass Studio. I’ve seen her work online and am excited to get the chance to have my pictures taken by her. It was actually supposed to be today, but I feel so rotten, she was gracious enough to allow me to reschedule.

It goes against my instinct to be busy and do new things yet, when I do, I find that I really enjoy it and feel far more fulfilled than if I had just sat at home and did nothing. Here’s to a week of new things! 🙂

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January 24, 2010 at 10:39 pm

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Holiday bubbles

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So the blog has been a little heavy on the burlesque as of late, and quite light on the bubbles. I’ll attempt to remedy that today. I found this picture on my iPhone that I took right after Christmas. These little beauties were my Birthday/Christmas/New Year’s present to myself:

My holiday haul of bubbles

The Tasting Room had their annual half-off champagne sale, so (using the birthday money I got from my parents) I stocked up with 6 bottles. By the time I got to TTR, they were running pretty low on supplies, but I managed to get a bottle of Schramsberg Brut Rosé, Pommery Brut Grand Cru, Perrier-Jouet Cuvee Fleur de Champagne 1999, and three bottles of Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top. They were all delicious (it’s hard to go wrong with good champagne/sparkling wine), but I have to admit that the two most expensive bottles, the Pommery and the Perrier-Jouet ended up being my least favorite of the group.

I think the Perrier-Jouet, which I drank on New Year’s Eve was almost too delicate for my taste. I prefer yeasty, full-bodied champagnes and salmon-hued blanc de noirs. While ethereally beautiful, the Perrier-Jouet just didn’t have as much heft as I would have liked. The Pommery was lighter as well and ventured a little too far into the citrus territory for my liking.

On the other hand, I was really pleasantly surprised by the Schramsberg Brut Rosé. It was nicely astringent and had a rich flavor that was obviously influenced by the wonderful Pinot Noir grapes grown in the northern California coastal region. I would definitely go for this one again. And already having tried (and loved) the Blue Top, I savored all three bottles. The beautiful little bubbles, creamy texture and rich, yeasty taste make this one of my all-time favorites. I could very happily drink this every day. And one day, in my perfect world, I will 😉

Cheers!

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January 19, 2010 at 9:53 pm

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Ten things I learned from my first burlesque performance

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Last night I gave my first burlesque performance in front of a sellout crowd of 300 people (including my husband, sister, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, friends and supporters). I was just one act in a three-hour long show, and I spent less than four minutes on the stage. But what I learned will stay with me for a long time. Some is applicable only to burlesque performers, but most are valuable lessons for all of life:

1. SMILE. Yes, you’re in your underwear. Yes, there are drunk men yelling “show us your box!” Yes, your feet are killing you. Yes, your false eyelashes are itching like crazy. Yes, you’re trying to remember to stick out your chest, suck in your stomach AND all the steps to your routine. And, yes, the spotlight is like a solar flare aimed directly at your retina. NONE of that matters. You’re the one on stage, and the audience wants to know you’re enjoying yourself. So smile dammit and thank your lucky stars that you get the chance to be up there!

2. You can never have too much glitter. Never. If you’re not sparkling like a human disco ball then you’re not wearing enough.

3. Be polite to everyone – audience, performers, the people working the concession stand – everyone. This is applicable in daily life, but even more so if you’re performing. You can never be sure who you’re speaking with and what role they might end up playing in your life. Be gracious, and leave a good impression.

4. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t beat yourself up. As a first-timer, I have no doubt I was the most unpolished performer on the stage. And as I watched the more seasoned dancers, I made a nearly endless mental list of things I could do better during my next performance. But, at the same time, I gave myself credit for what I had accomplished. Less than 10 years ago, I was an agoraphobic who barely left my house. I didn’t drive a car for two years, and I was so self-conscious I couldn’t speak to strangers. Now, I was dancing onstage in front of a few hundred people. Of course it could have been better (and, in time, it will be), but the very fact I did it at all was cause for celebration.

5. A glass of champagne before the show is okay – a bottle isn’t. There’s nothing wrong with a little liquid courage, but no one wants to pay to see a drunk girl dancing. You can get that for free in any club 🙂

6. Do as much prep work as possible. You never know what kind of dressing facilities are going to be available at a venue (there were 10 of us crammed into an office barely larger than my bathroom). The more you have done ahead of time – hair, makeup – the less you’ll have to stress when you get there.

7. Practice, practice, practice. Yes, it’s a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a very good reason. You want to know your routine so well that you can do it in your sleep. That way, once you’re up on stage, no matter what happens (lighting problems, monitor issues, stage fright, drunken catcalls, etc …) you’ll know – at the very least – you can hit your marks, do the right steps at the right time, and look as professional as possible. It also allows you to …

8. Improvise as necessary. Paradoxically, the more polished and rehearsed your routine is, the more it allows you to go with the flow and adjust your performance to suit the mood of the audience and your own desires. When you know your dance like the back of your hand, straying from it isn’t so scary.

9. Bring a cheering section. Truth be told, I didn’t intend for anyone I knew (except my husband) to be at the show. That way, I thought, if I screw up big time no one will know about it. But, as word of the show got out, people I knew began to find out I was in it. By the time I got on stage, I had family, friends, students and acquaintances all there cheering for me like the home team at a football game. And it felt great! Instead of simply trying to not make a mistake, their cheers spurred me on to do my very best.

10. And, finally, feel the fear and do it anyway. The most courageous person isn’t the one who isn’t scared. The most courageous person is the one who feels the fear and still goes through with it (“it” could be a presentation, a performance, a job interview or a first kiss). When I was standing backstage and the emcee began reading my introduction, I honestly thought I was going to faint. Getting from there, up the steps and into the spotlight is still a blur to me. But I did it. And that’s what’s important to me. No matter where I go from here, I’ll never have to regret not attempting to perform because I was too afraid.

So there’s my list – I’m sure it’s different for every performer. But, as life experiences go, this was right up there with the best of them. I’m eternally grateful to have had it and am already planing for more. What a wonderful place to be!

Vid capture of my first public performance


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January 18, 2010 at 5:34 am

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Preparing for my first show

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This is where I'll be on Saturday (I'm Grace, BTW).

This Saturday will be my first chance to perform burlesque for an audience. I’m still not quite sure how I managed to get asked to participate, but there was no way I could turn it down! The show is produced by the Jigglewatts of Austin and is a tribute to pin-up icon, Bettie Page.

I’ll be performing a classic black-dress-and-satin-gloves striptease to Ruth Brown’s “5-10-15 Hours” – a sweet little early rock song from the mid-fifties (Bettie’s era). I had originally contemplated going with something flashier, but to my mind the Vegas showgirl style just didn’t seem very “Bettie.” I’ll save the red sequins for another day.

I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to get my first performance under my (garter) belt, pay tribute to an icon AND meet some of the lovely ladies of the Texas burlesque scene. What a fantastic way to start the year 🙂

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January 14, 2010 at 4:35 am

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