Photo Credit to Malcolm Clark Photography
Well, August was a month! I’m struggling to find the words to describe the whole Fringe experience, as I’m still processing it all now, and as with most of the challenges I am moving swiftly on to the next one -so I think I don’t think I’ll even have the luxury of time to reflect too much! If I sat down and took the time I could probably fill a book with things I learned from the whole experience, but right now I’m struggling to find the time to write a page. Not that I’m complaining, as the reasons I’m struggling for time are all very positive and exciting in their own right. This week I am setting up my first classes as a Burlesque instructor in the Scottish Borders, and it has been absolutely brilliant fun. At the weekend I am doing a 10k muddy obstacle course, and then preparing to give a talk and a burlesque session as part of my work’s ‘learning at work’ week.
I loved the whole Fringe experience from the moment I got my ‘performer’ lanyard! It was nerve-wracking, tiring and stressful at times, but what an absolute blast! The first night I performed there wasn’t a face in the audience I recognised, and that threw me somewhat as there was no telling if the crowd would take to my act or not! In contrast for my final performance, I had almost everyone I had ever met there-including my boss and my Doctor. I can’t decide which was more intimidating, but at least I didn’t have to see any of the first night’s audience again-it was quite unnerving going into work the day after all my colleagues were there to see me stripping down to my tassels. I describe the feeling as like being the person who got embarrassingly drunk at the office party.
I loved almost everything about it in the end. Getting to be on stage at the biggest arts and entertainment festival in the world is without a doubt a dream come true for me. In addition to being a great confidence boost personally, I really loved seeing how empowering and enjoyable it was for all my burlesque sisters also. There was a great deal of support and encouragement between the women performing throughout, and it felt great for me seeing my friends coming off stage buzzing from their own performances as much as being greeted by their excited faces as I came off stage from mine.
Creating a safe, fun and supportive environment for everybody who wants to come along when I start up my own burlesque classes is going to be absolutely key for me. The Fringe experience has solidified for me the belief that burlesque is absolutely for EVERY body, to echo our Sassy School of Burlesque core motto, and I look forward to supporting my dancers on their own personal journeys- whether that takes them from the back of the class to the front, or all the way to the stage at the Fringe.