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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Nearly 10 months now...

April 24th is a day I look back upon, as it was the day my German Grandmother, Meta, passed away on back in 2007.

 

This year feels special though. I have gotten myself to Germany, I've been here for nearly 10 months now. I have been discovering my roots, finding out more about where my family had come from. I am using the German language on a daily basis. I am rediscovering what my families heritage has meant to me, and how it's influences on me as a child has shaped who I am now.

I am seeing the eyes, faces, and mannerisms of my relatives in the people here. I'm seeing their history, realizing what their lives might have been like, and getting to fully experience the cultures they once lived.

It's beyond inspiring and enriching for me here :-)



Last Friday night was pretty fun. I went and checked out my friend Josh's band, Socalled, at the Privatclub in Kreuzberg.




Touring around Europe, all the way from Montreal, they put on a very fun show for the Berlin audience.  A man after my own heart, Josh ended the show by stripping down to his underwear and played his accordion in the crowd. I'm always pro-"No Pants Party!" at shows. That, and some tasty Hühnerhaus 36 BBQ chicken at 1am.



I had shared this above photo with a friend, who made a joke about not getting 'yourself' pinched in the bellows. This reminded me how dangerous an accordion can be. 

THIS IS TRUE. The bellows can totally pinch you. Nicer set ups on accordions have a piece of padded matting/cushioning attached to the back, keeping you protected from the bellows. My nice accordion I've got with me here has that, but the beater I used for my time with Mickey Mouse did NOT. 

My costume there was generally restrictive, so I found that I preferred to not wear a bra to be as comfy as possible. My dress was polyester, along with a crinoline under-skirting, that all hung down to my calves, and had large poofy sleeves that gave me an extra workout when pumping my box...

No bra is totally against the costuming code, but I was a naughty little Feminist rebel from a West Coast hippy culture, and did it anyways 90% of the time I performed. Plus, how can you even tell if I was or wasn't???????


I remember a day where I definitely pinched myself hard. It's always been a joke to not play the accordion naked, but wow, now it's dangerous to just be bra-less!

Another factoid, as I know you kids love my Disney stories... there was a day where I ran out of my stash of dry performance panties. "Performance panties" is the nickname for the underwear you bring in to change into because you sweat SO HARD in the summer that you MUST change your underwear. I found I needed to do so at least twice. I'm talking at least 35'C weather, plus humidity, RIVERS of sweat running down the back of your thighs, sunscreen streaking down your face and neck, someone-stick-a-fork-in-my-eye HOT out.

One particular day I realized I only brought one change of underwear. Not wanting to wear wet underwear, for obvious reasons, and nothing to change into, I went commando. Two shows were done this way. It was a strangely comfortable and secretively hilarious moment for me. No bra, no performance panties, no problem :)


Okay, alright. Remembering loved ones, talking about going commando, what else...

Two shows are coming up quick here. If you're in Berlin, please come out!


Event:
Immigrantenstadl - Comedy-Mix-Show Mit Lustigen Einwanderern

Miss Natasha will be performing with Miss LaLaVox
 
Tickets:

When:
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 @ 8:30pm

Where:
Kookaburra Comedy Club
Schönhauser Allee 184, 10119 Berlin, Germany

For more information:

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Event:
LA FÊTE FATALE NO:12 - The Burlesque Underwater Voyage

Miss Natasha's Nautical Naughties (Miss Natasha, Lorelei Vanora & Hedoluxe) will be performing at this upcoming wet and wild adventure :)

Tickets:

When:
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 @ 10:30pm 

Where:
Schönhauser Allee 176 a, 10119 Berlin, Germany

For more information:


Tschüß!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Human


I'm going to admit something, that every performer goes through at one point or another, and it's this: I'm frustrated with my stage confidence.

I've somehow temporarily misplaced my ovaries, and lately on stage I feel so awkward and I know it's because I am not performing enough.

Then, I feel like the compliments I get afterwards are just out of a pity. I know that's not true, but that's how it feels at times. Ahhhh... the performance life.

I went from performing all the time with my bands, or solo stuff, or theater work, then Disney was 5 shows a day/5 days a week, and then back to Canada doing several 30 minutes to 3-hour gigs every month, and now I perform a song or two every couple of months. It's so uncomfortable! It's kind of like riding a bike - or something less pure - but doing it only once a year, and not being warmed up enough. I need my gig to give me a massage or make out with me first ;-)

Certain things like not having a proper sound check, not feeling comfortable with the mic or monitors, can totally throw you off your game as well. "Can you hear me okay?" goes through my mind. Sometimes performing for a huge room of strangers is much easier than a smaller crowd of people you know. Sometimes it's the nicest feeling to look out and see all your friends smiling up at you. Do I really know or remember the lyrics? Or the notes!? Or the script? The choreography? Oh great, my hand won't stop shaking and this cold is giving me a weird inner ear echo thing...

Doing a song or two doesn't give you much time to warm up, but then a gig I recently did that was 30 minutes also wasn't enough. I could have used another 15-30 minutes to have felt natural. Or maybe... I've mutated into a robot performer, and what I'm experiencing now is all too human for me. Pumping out shows (no pun intended) day after day, or for several hours has your muscle memory working for you, and your mind is at ease to be playful with the crowd.

I crave that feeling I've had so many times in the past where I can get lost in the music and relax and not have it be so much about being a 'personality', and that my persona will just form from the music I'm enjoying while producing it live. Performing solo is tricky too. On one hand, you have total control, on the other hand - you're all alone and it's all on you. Wah!


I have some gigs lined up to perform with a friend, and I look forward to this. Performing with others is quite nice, except for when they're late for the gig and don't remember the songs, or are too stoned or drunk to perform.

On the flip-side, I find this all very strange since I have absolutely no problem taking it all off to pose for life-drawing classes. But then again, it does make sense. I literally have nothing to hide, it's just me, this is what I have to offer. Performing a skill like playing an instrument, or singing, or acting, sharing your creation leaves you feeling more vulnerable than having no clothes on. Crazy, no?

This comes and goes for me. I wasn't nervous at all when I first arrived in Berlin. I'd say this didn't really start happening until right before my gigs this past March. I had this pretty bad back in Canada, after returning from Florida, but it went away with just the usual, common 'minutes leading up to the moment of' type of nerves.


The important thing is to just keep going. Immer geradeaus - Always straight ahead. Push through it, because of course it's there inside, we just all have awkward patches to fight through and work out. Human.

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