I love learning new things. It’s been quite a hobby of mine, actually. Since I left full-time education I have taken a rather mixed-bag of courses and workshops in subjects like garden design, darkroom techniques, corset making and burlesque, plus have obtained two A-levels in business studies and photography. One of the many good things about evening/weekend classes is the people you meet on them and, if they’re like-minded and fun, this can often spur you on to keep up the good work.
My friend Cicci and I signed up for intermediate burlesque classes with Burlesque Baby earlier in the year and got chatting to a few of the other girls towards the end of the course. A small group of us arranged to meet up for a drink and ended up planning a burlesque photoshoot… which somehow lead to the forming and naming of a troupe, and us organising our first show!
We arranged it as a private party so that for our first time on a real stage we could have our nerves soothed by friends and, in some cases, family. The venue was the basement of an Art Deco bar and the place was absolutely packed out. Our fabulous compere introduced the newly formed Rebel Rebels and warmed up our crowd before the girls each gave an individual performance, and then we ended the evening with a wonderfully comical burlesque adaptation of Cinderella (for which we have the endlessly inventive Cicci to thank!) that was met with an extremely warm reception. I played the Fairy Godmother and never before have I received such a cheer for doing so little. Poor Cinders must have looked very sad indeed.
Once the initial nerves wore off it was a fantastically fun evening, so I am very much looking forward to our next performance. So far it’s only for a bit of fun though and will help boost my confidence with strangers, at least when I’m in character – just an excuse to dress up and be the centre of attention for a few minutes really. I wonder what that says about me?
Images of The Rebel Rebels, Miss Lolly Pops and Honey Schnapps taken by Jon Topper.