Jack’s other half-brother is visiting us from the midwest so we took him out to see the Gritty City Sirens at Jazzbones last night. My new friend from church joined us.
The Gritty City Sirens are a new-ish burlesque troupe in Tacoma. I saw their ad in our free weekly paper and the show was free so why not?
Oh my fucking gawd…
It was FANTASTIC!!!
Took forever to start, and the emcees were pretty lame. But the burlesque dancers themselves were so much fun to watch! All 4 of us (and really the entire audience – which was pretty diverse actually) had huge grins on our faces whenever they came onstage.
They were having a good time and working it the whole time! And they basically stripped down to pasties and panties. But it was totally campy and stylized – more like Gypsy Rose Lee style stripping. High quality entertainment.
But here’s the best part…
These were NORMAL SIZED WOMEN
These were not perfect little stick figures. All but 1 of them had a huge back tattoo. But they were glamorous and confident and rockin their bodies.
I had a huge grin on my face the whole time. So did everyone else in the whole place. Everybody was having fun.
We left during the 3rd intermission (the girls had to get re-dressed you know…) because this really loud, highly irritating band came on to fill time.
Because my friend had had a few beers (she had driven separately), we decided to bring her home with us to play some poker with Bro-Ham. Watched some Comedy Central (I still <3 Jon Stewart in a deep, viceral way. He is my dream man. And my hero. All at once. the end). Took my friend back to her car a couple of hours (and many many laughs) later.
But that confidence is stuck in my mind. These really were sirens. They were beautiful and confident and sexy – without regard to their body size, type, shape or otherwise.
That’s the kind of courage and confidence I want. Not that I want to take my clothes off in front of an audience or anything. Not that I want to spend hours doing hair and makeup and outfits. Ever. But I want to feel that confident and sexy and courageous.
Yesterday morning I finished another amazing “self-help” book – though I wouldn’t really call it that anymore now that I’ve read it. It’s called The Gifts of Imperfection. Anyway, in the book, Brene Brown talks about shame a lot. Partly because she studied shame for 8 years before beginning this project, but also partly because it’s a large thing that gets in the way of happiness and joy.
When I was watching those mostly naked women rock out (1 of them did a strip version of Flashdance – all the way from the welding mask to the water on the chair, but they used glitter), I realized that I would be ashamed of my body. I kept thinking to myself about the tattoo coverups, the spray tanning and the toning that I would need to do to feel sexy enough to do that.
And then I realized that I wouldn’t really have to.
Not for anyone’s sake but mine, anyway.
It’s like when Jack & I went to Portland and this rad Greek restaurant they had. They had a belly dancer in full garb who came around to all the tables doing a dance. She had a bit of a pooch sticking out and was hippier than most. But she was totally rocking the belly dance! She was having fun, being sexy, accepted tips in her waistband, and then she taught a tween from one of the tables a couple of belly dancing moves. All with a huge grin on her face.
I want that confidence – that lack of shame. All of these amazing performers were grinning and having a great time. And working late at night for tips. (The Sirens passed a box around the audience a couple of times. If you put money in you got a Hershey Kiss – get it?) But they were clearly doing it more for the sheer joy of it than to actually get paid for doing it.
Some people say to do what you love and the money will follow… I guess I need to figure out what makes me feel that way…