Confidence in Burlesque: Faking It Until You Make It! by Katie Angel
Angel Burlesque’s motto is “real is sexy” but that’s just because “highly stylized version of yourself in which you artfully highlight the parts you love and carefully conceal the parts you don’t is sexy” is just a little wordy.
When you’re performing burlesque, you’re not presenting your“real” self but a highly stylized version of yourself. Do I walk around in sparkles, false eyelashes and fringe all the time? No. (If I were cooler I would. Sometimes I wear fairy wings or a tiara tothe grocery store to cheer myself up but I digress.) But, I do believe real is sexy…the heart of that is; YOU are sexy, just as you are right now. Not in 20 pounds. Not after that boob job. Right now. You are sexy, valuable and worthwhile. There’s a confidence that needs to be fostered so you can shine as a human being onstage or off.
Read more: Confidence in Burlesque: Part One
I know there are a lot of people out there who would cringe at the idea of letting their teenager be around a bunch of people who take their clothes off for fun. It sounds obscene or wrong doesn’t it? Well I have to be honest…I just don’t agree with that.
I started my burlesque journey in January of 2014. I was depressed and unhappy on many fronts and I wanted something bold and artistic to do. I had a void inside me that needed filled by something. I wanted to stand up and make a difference somehow. I really don’t know how I decided on burlesque. It might have actually been my daughter who pointed me in that direction. She has always had a variety of different interests that most teenagers don’t.
I ended up getting involved with a show called Miss Honey B’s Bourbon Boylesque. It was a fundraiser for Indiana Equality Action. When I tried out for this show, my daughter was 14. It was scary as hell trying out for something like this, and then I was asked to be a kitten. I had desperately hoped to be an actual part of the show and was really bummed to just be a part of the crew. My daughter was sitting with me on the couch when I was talking about how sad I was that I wasn’t a part of the show. She had kind words and comfort for me. I was sitting there watching my daughter be so supportive of me and she knew how hard it was for me to put myself out there. That’s when I made the decision to make the best of it. I told her that it was ok that I didn’t make it in right now. No one starts off at the top. They wanted me as a kitten so I was going to do the best I could at doing this job that I possibly could. And I did do a good job as a kitten. And by showing up and being there and being reliable, I also managed to weasel into a number and I got to perform on stage! That’s where it all started for me. I was able to show my daughter that no matter what, hard work and a positive attitude pay off!
Read more: Selina Prince: Why My Teenager is Exposed to Burlesque