Monday, August 25, 2008

Frida to GO

OK so I will be in the SFMOMA Frida show with about 20 other Fridas. We spent all day on Saturday at rehearsal which was utterly disorganized (I was beginning to loose faith after the giant clusterfuck that was Outside Lands). I am curious to see where this goes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

UPDATE: Frida Be You and Me

I just got a call back for the SFMOMA Frida show - round two audition on Saturday! GULP!

Ruby "Frida O'Kahlo" Fuerza

More Frida-Rama

Photographer Stephan Zielinski just posed the pictures he took at the Frida audition on Saturday:

Shoot! I really do look like I am missing something when shown alongside the other Fridas!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Frida Be You and Me

After several near misses I finally made it to the Frida look-alike auditions (thanks to a heads up from Tiffany) for a show at the SFMOMA to coincide with the end oh her exhibit there. I decided to go with a literal interpretation of her 1941 Yo y Mis Pericos - fortunately trusty ole Party City, Daly CIty now boasts four different types of parrots in its inventory (mainly in the Pirate and Tropical Luau sections).

When I arrived for my audition there were a handful of other Fridas awaiting an interview. I had my camera on hand to snap some pictures but none were too friendly. I did exchange info with the photographer so hopefully I an post those too as there were several wonderful impersonators. I had a long conversation with the director during my turn, mainly about his vision for the show and how I might fit into it. I think it went well but I can't be too sure. Stay tuned!

Here is the inspiration followed by my interpretation:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Girls in Print

I am buying a quarter page in the Tease-o-rama program book. Katie whipped up these three prototypes - I ultimately chose the maracas option:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Washington, DC: Ruby Wins!!!! (sort of)

GUESS WHAT?!? Just as I was blubbering on about wanting to get my glitter back I got an email from the organizers of Tease-O-Rama 2008 notifying me (who me?!?) that I was selected to perform la Frida at the opening night, "Meet and Mingle Dance Party and Showcase" at the Rickshaw Stop on Thursday, October 2nd. Though Thursday night is not the most coveted spot (the "burlesque celebrities" perform on Friday and Saturday) I could not be more excited/proud/hoot-hooting because there were a record number of applications this year. To boot there are a minimum of slots because Zumanity is also taking up a chunk of showtime.


I still have to kick my act up a notch in both the dance and glitter department but it is a welcomed challenge.

Above are photos from our photo shoot at Miss Exotic World in Las Vegas. Photo credits to Randy Johnson. I am wearing a vintage silk dressing gown that belonged to Living Legend+TOR'08 performer Satan's Angel (on loan from Lady Borgia).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Burlesque Birthdays//Getting My Glitter Back

Sigh, since I've been back from Cuba I haven't been feeling like my showgirl self, not to mention that I have been on the road a lot (NM, NY, now DC).

Nothing like Homeland Security to suck the sparkle outta ya!

Anyhow, this past week I had the lovely opportunity of celebrating the birthdays of two fabulous women in my troupe. Thursday night at Zeitgeist to fete Tiffany aka Milkshake with cold women and warm beer. Then Friday at Epic Roasthouse on the Embarcadero for Heather aka Tiger Von Claus's posh affair with an excess of local TV and radio personalities - she's in the "biz."

Spending time with my fellow performers, many of whom I have not seen in over a month, has reinspirited me to get working on a new number - as the fact stands that I haven't even booked booked a show for August. I haven't taken a class from Betty in a few months so I should get on that too. Seriously, it's only been a few months since my debut so there is really no excuse for crying BURNOUT(!) Life just gets in the way but enough is enough.

Mamma M'bola; RF and Milkshake

Pretty Toni (My Antonia); kiss kiss Laura

Sneak a Peek Sally, RF, Randy Johnson, Sassy Hotbuns; RF goes all vintage ala Albuquerque

The roast of Tiger Von Claus; Sassy, Betty, and Larry

RF+Sally; Sally and her favorite TV personality (the channel 2 weather guy?)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hey look - we're in the paper!

Photographer just fwded me this clip from Brooklyn Paper:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New York, NY: Dreamland

I caught Jordan and Glynis for lunch on Saturday then met with Lauren to troll around for wigs and glitter until we made the protracted journey to Coney Island for Lola Staar's Dreamland Roller Rink party in the old Childs Building on the boardwalk.

We met Talia and her friend Heather, and then my Heather/Plummy and strapped on our skates. I had envisioned skating glamorously around the rink with a fat pink cocktail but I shortly learned that no booze is served on the compound. This soon was all too clear. By the time we stepped onto the portable plastic roller rink (arguably not the best surface for novice skaters) it was apparent that some of us would not be skating very far. Keep in mind that Lauren, Heather and I were each in particularly flashy costumes, thus amplifying any minor tumble or major spill - so it was not unreasonable to bow out gracefully before anyone ended up in the hospital.

A few of us gave it out best effort for a little while, all though at a very slow pace. The Icarus death wish was easily tempered by the sheer challenge of stumbling along faster than a shopping card with a broken wheel. I even got an unsolicited lesson from a local pro. We left after an hour and a half having enjoyed the experience but sobered to the reality that none of us are the Apolo Anton Ohno of the Linoleum that we thought we were.

I do recommend giving the Dreamland Rink a whirl. The rink open earlier this spring when Coney Island fixture Lola Staar (nee Dianne Carlin) won a make-your-dream-come-true contest with Glamour magazine. She has since been working with the city and the owner of the Childs to keep the rink open during the summer months. Staar is a part of the Coney Island movement of artists (burlesque dancers included) and activists fighting the area's redevelopment. This is a true example of a pocket of the old guard New York City tradition of political and creative organizing that is thriving today - its no surprise that this community only exists now on the very tip of Brooklyn. Plus, the Childs Building is a beautiful relic of Coney Island's better days.

Our group met up with Glynis and Leslie then took the train back to mainland Brooklyn. Lauren, Leslie, Heather and I went to a massive multi-rooftop party in one of the old warehouses converted-into-comfortable-hipster-residences. I won't lie, the party was fun and we danced our asses off once DJ took over after the self conscious rock band.

Yet there is something about this face of Bushwick that feels empty. Maybe it was the contrast of Coney Island fresh in my mind. Maybe it was all of the kids trolling for coke or the tired fashion. The atmosphere amid the industrial district is completely inorganic. Everything is without context. It is unoriginal, without a sense of humor, and heavy with a use-it-then-loose it lifestyle. Contrary to many of the critics of this (sub)culture, I don't think it is the force that is sucking the creative life out of New York. But it is a symptom of the problem, an off shoot of a crisis of affordable housing, access to education, "guerrilla" marketing. I don't blame this demographic for having fun, for their contributions to the present urban fabric of New York - I just don't identify with it.

When the party died down we went to a bar around the corner then hitchhiked a minivan back to the Metropolitan area bars to meet Talia and her friends. Lauren and I dragged our asses back to Manhattan under the dirty morning light.

Nathan, you dog!; Childs Building on the Surf Ave. boardwalk

Roller rink

A lesson from a local; Heather answers the call of the costume

Bushwick rooftop; Leslie, Lauren, Ruby

I swoon for ILGWU shirts!; apocalypse in Bushwick

Some UP summer fashion; this man asked us to douse him in glitter

Roller skates = pasty popsicle legs

New York, NY: Back in Action

I flew home to NYC on Friday morning for the annual convention for my job's staff union. Colors hosted the afternoon meeting where we went over different issues facing staff and discussed upcoming contract negotiations with our employer. A major contribution to my high quality of life is the lucky occurrence that union employees are themselves, on occasion, represented in a union. It's an utter phenomenon among jobs in labor movement but I suppose that rant is best saved for a different audience.

Once the convention ended Bill, my co-worker out of New Mexico, and I walked from Astor Place around Alphabet City and LES. I often feel a certain sadness for the recent trajectory of the parts of New York that I grew up with and love, especially now that I live in California and mostly keep up with the city through blogs and papers that highlight this deterioration: New York isn't what it used to be. Over-commercialization coupled with the growing concentration of wealth is apparent to anyone whose compares the city to what it once was, even only ten years ago. So much of the grittiness and raw flavor has been erased by Pinkberrys and condos. Why is that five entry level i-bankers stuffed into a two bedroom apartment in Murray Hill are only people moving into Manhattan these days?? This struck me when we passed Chipotle on St. Marks Pl. and saw De La Vega selling $10 stickers at his downtown gallery.

Despite this doom and gloom/buzzkill factor I can't help but feel a sense of hope when I return home, that SOMETHING IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN AND IT'S GONNA BE BIG. There was something beautiful about the verdure of the trees in Washington Square Park. It is the boiling atmosphere of summer in New York. Or maybe I was just a little bit more "chin-up" after Bill and I had a few cheap pints at Nurse Bettie to the sound of Kill Rock Star's Greatest Hits.

I met JuliaH for arepas in the area then hauled back to UWS to get my money's worth of $0.50 beer at Bourbon Street with Allegra, Lauren, Ales, Amanda and company. I am not proud for patronizing this bar in all its meathead glory. The good news is that if you look freaky/chic/not-party-top-wearing (are these all the same??) enough, the yambos will leave you alone and let you guzzle in peace. You only have to put up with the music selection, which stands somewhere between Thats What I Call Music 27 and the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

We hustled down to Chelsea to try to catch JuliaH at the newly reopened Frying Pan but got lost finding it. The Frying Pan is a rusty old tugboat that is docked on the water off the West Side Highway. It was home to the infamous WEF anti-globalization protest in that freezing February of '02. We also used to go there a lot during the dirtbag years until someone got shot in the face shortly after SeanR's birthday party on the top deck. Nowadays, the boat is the same, but all of the booze mongering is relegated to the adjacent dock. This detracts from the novelty of offshore crapulence but does leave more space to sit on the deck. We even spotted a happy hour yuppie passed out in the hull. Scary.

At around closing time we ended up at the Rusty Knot where I promptly left my ATM card (again!) Then in true form of the "Midnight Society of the Blunts and 40s Club" we capped the night at Arthur's place followed by dawn dinner at City Dinner, Upper West Side style. At this hour I usually start feeling too old to be in that position - but back home, with familiar places and faces, old habits die hard.

Ahoy from the Frying Pan; glug glug at R.K.