2020 in Review

Dear Constant Reader,

2020 was a very hard year, as it was for all of us. There were a few bright spots, here and there, but mostly it was one challenge after another. I’m going to try to focus on the positive.

Scratch reintroduces Taste O’ Burlesque, a burlesque “open stage” and light-hearted competition. The troupe  bookends the competition section and I get to do my David Bowie number. The show goes over so well, the venue suggests a monthly event. Scratch wisely counters with every couple of months.

On a personal note, I make a close to last-minute trip to see my mother for her birthday (and see her in a play). In hindsight, I’m so glad I insisted on coming down, because my planned trip in April for my father’s birthday will be canceled.

We perform a Valentine’s Day show at Deacon Giles. It’s so much fun, as usual. Little do I know it’s the last time I’ll set foot in the Speakeasy Lab until the last day of December.

My doting mother and Scratch team up to give me the most amazing Broadway birthday celebration in NYC.  Looking now at the dark theatres, I am beyond grateful to have seen two remarkable shows that day.

We open the month with the second installment of Taste o’ Burlesque. I give Guilted Lilly a basket I made for her woodland frolics and she gives me a big hug. I don’t realize at the time, but it’s the last hug I’ll have from someone outside my household.

Then the world shuts down. I close B.A.B.E. for the rest of the month. Brown Paper Tickets stops paying anybody and owes the Academy a bunch of money. The Expo team tries to figure out what to do about the event, which is supposed to happen next month. The inaugural RVA Burlesque Festival, at which I was to perform, is postponed a year.

I record a reading of The Masque of the Red Death for my Patrons.

I re-open B.A.B.E. virtually, offering the March and April students their lessons on-line. It’s a learning curve, both technologically and pedagogically. I also start offering free mini-lessons on IG Live. And I record another story: Dracula’s Guest.

We release our first virtual show Live(ish) from Deacon Giles (sort of)!. It’s weird, performing at home for a camera. I also appear on Booklover’s Burlesque reading a selection from a just-published novella written by a friend of mine.

I am very quiet in June. Too many things bigger than burlesque are happening.

I am running (and mostly teaching) workshops twice a week at B.A.B.E. It’s kind of exhausting. Also I dive deeply into a bit of forgotten burlesque history and make some exciting discoveries.

We release The Underwear Academy. B.A.B.E. takes a break. I spend a lot of time helping set up a museum

The American Burlesque Collection opens! 

We release H.A.U.N.T. (Here’s Another “Unprecedented” Night of Theatre), our Halloween show. I sit for a virtual photoshoot with La Photographie. My editing skills get so much better as I struggle though making a video about cooking this mid-century delight.

It’s BurlyCon time! I teach (and create a recorded version of one of my classes), take classes, participate in a master-level scene study and some community events. I miss seeing people. I miss traveling.

I appear in three shows! All of them virtual… The BeauTease Holiday Special is filmed at The Manor and we have a lot of fun. It’s almost like a party, even if everyone who’s not on camera is masked and keeping their distance (it’s a big house). I also appear in two shows on Velvet Revue.

In a year of turmoil and tragedy, I felt stuck and stagnant. It’s good to look back and see some accomplishments.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.