Burlesque with a Band 2/3/22

Dear Constant Reader,

We had our second live music show at Flying Embers this past Thursday and it was more exciting than we expected…

The weather was kind of terrible, and Scratch told Ava and me that we were going to start a little late. The audience was trickling in (we were almost completely booked up) and not all the band members were here yet. That was fine. We were happily ensconced backstage with some snacks provided by the lovely bartenders. I had my latest embroidery project and Ava’s good company. But it got later and the drummer was still stuck in traffic.

The band started playing without him and Scratch said as soon as he got here we’d jump right into the burlesque and do a tightened-up set. Great. We were all ready for that and waited some more.

Then Scratch came backstage one more time with the fateful news. The traffic had been caused by an accident so bad the highway was now closed. We would have no drummer that night.

There was some good news, however. The drummer hadn’t been available for our last rehearsal, so he pre-recorded his tracks for the songs that we were running that night and the band had them. The bad news was they had Ava’s songs, but not mine, as I wasn’t at that rehearsal. Scratch said I could use recorded music for my acts… Hell no! We had a band — I was going to dance to live music!

The plan was to run the burlesque acts basically back to back with a little intermission between for the hard-working band to have a break and for Ava to have time to change costumes.

My first song was “Three for the Show”, which does have quite a bit of percussion. The other musicians did their best to fill in on the fly. I got a little lost in the middle — thank goodness Betty ran all those improv drills, so I had a plan until I got back on track.

My second song, “Harlem Nocturne”, was a little easier, as it’s heavy on the brass (trumpet in our case) and the drums are not as vital. However, because I can’t do anything the easy way, I was using new fans. Well, old fans that had been refurbished.

I had sent my white fans to Donna Touch to be converted from bamboo to aluminum staves and have another row of feathers added. The fans arrived that afternoon, so I only had a few minutes to practice with them before deciding I would use them at the show.

Slightly different music, new fans, what could go wrong?

As it turned out, nothing!

My hands aren’t used to the fans yet, but I managed. No, more than managed — it was as good a performance as I’ve given with the old set. It just took a little more thought and my hands were a bit sweatier than usual, given the circumstances. I’ll give a fuller review of the new fans in their own missive.

Here’s a little taste of the evening. Photos by Scratch.

Ava 2-3-22 Mina 02-03-22

The audience was great, really supportive of the situation. We were also lucky to have Betty Blaize in the audience. Instead of Ava and I acting as stage kittens for each other (the original plan), she jumped in to handle pick up, so we could concentrate on getting changed for the next act.

We’ll be back on February 17 with a special treat. It’s my birthday! I’m told there will be cake! I’m not performing, so hang out with me and enjoy the evening. Make a reservation because seats are limited (it’s free!) .

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my 14 Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.