Last night I had a wonderful show with the Cat’s Pyjamas Collective, and it was my last ever show.
Yep, I am the latest in a long line of performers hanging up their assorted costumes.
There are a lot of reasons why I’m quitting, and here are some of them.
-It’s not making me as happy as it used to. Actually, I started to realise that performing was making me feel bad about myself. A lot of was the negative competitive side, which nobody likes. It’s always been there, but these days I feel less inclined to put up with it and more inclined to leave it behind. Maybe it’s an age thing. I just want a peaceful life!
–I’ll never be as good as I want to be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, but I’m just not skilled enough to do the things I want to do as a performer. I would need to do some serious performing arts training just to stand a chance. And when it comes down to it, if I have to pile my money and energy into something, it’s going to be the PhD and fiction writing. Long term, I reckon I have more of a future in these things, and stand more of a chance of excelling in these areas.
– I’ve done everything I wanted to in burlesque, and more. I’ve achieved my burlesque bucket list and then some, and I just don’t know where else I can go, unless I got a hell of a lot better at performing, which is unlikely.
– I want more money. I can earn a living as a full time performer, but it’s not excatly a generous living. Hand to mouth comes to mind. I’m in my 30s now and at some point I want to be able to have holidays, have a car, pay off my debt etc. That aint happening on my performer’s wage.
– I don’t want to be away from home all the time. I think this was when I realised that I was actually getting old; we all know that feeling before going on stage…’why am I doing this? I could just be home watching TV!’. Of course, we never really mean it, because we love performing, Except this year, I started actually meaning it. I wanted to be at home with my wee family, and I didn’t want to be swanning around the country all the time. I’ll be taking up gardening soon, just you wait and see!
So, last night was the last gig!
I’ll still be around; in September my PhD really kicks off and it is about burlesque! There are a lot of you that I would love to interview for it, and will be in touch about that at some point! I’ve also found a renewed enjoyment in watching burly shows; now that I’m not performing I can have fun with it, rather than dissecting it from a professional point of view.
I’m not saying I will never perform again in my life ever, either. There are some shows that I love and could always tempt me back- but I won’t be actively hunting work or promoting myself in that way anymore.
All in all, I feel quite sad about it, but in a sweet way. Performing has made me who I am, taken me to more wonderful places and given more more amazing experiences that I ever dreamed I would have.
To end with, here are a tiny few of my burlesque highlights!
2007: First performances ever at the Slippery Belle Burlesque, being part of a troupe, the Sugar Licks, and starting the Sugar Fix Burlesque Social!
2007: Retro Burlesque, Liverpool: First performance in a theatre (theatre lounge but still) and using a proper mirror with lights!
2008: Hull Rock Soc Ball: First ever paid gig and got put up in a hotel too!
2009: Tease Mafia, Ireland: Flown to Ireland, wonderful folks, b&b with a free Rocky bar!
2011: Burlesque Garden, Italy: One of the best weekends of my life, this! Two nights in an art deco beach front venue, and riding a float in a the second biggest carnival in the world!
2011-2013: High Tease, Komedia and Lowry: Cabaret locusts and Schwarzenburgen. The Burlesque Show Tour: Cabaret street picnics, grumpy techs and glorious techs, drunken Glaswegians, terrifying night time drives.
2014: Crazy shows on ice and on a boat in Switzerland
And finally, this, always this.