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The Big Reveal

Submitted by GingerBlackstone on March 1, 2010 – 10:47 pmComments

I’m addicted to bearing my soul.  And my boobs. Onstage.

I perform burlesque strip-tease. What does that mean? The answer to that is simpler than most women make it.

It’s a strip, a slow, theatrical and often comedic removal of clothing to expose lingere, body paint, or the buff.  After 2-4 minutes of dance or a skit to music, during which clothing is teasingly removed, the performer “reveals,” herself and the audience goes wild.  Its a simple, fun, liberating act, unless moral judgement enters, and calls on one to justify or downright lie about what happens on stage.  Some justifiers say “it’s art!” and refuse to hear any talk of stripping, while others, usually veterans of the form, call themselves both performers and strippers interchangeably, and slink through their days with more confidence in their little pinky toe than I have in my right leg.

One of my teacher’s at the New York School of Burlesque states that the variation between stripping in strip joints and stripping as burlesque is the audience.  At a strip joint the performer interacts, to varying degrees, with the audience.  In burlesque, the audience is controlled by the performer, who rarely interacts with them during a show.

As I hear her, though, I realize I don’t need this distinction laid out clearly on white bedsheets, nor do I need to fear the word “stripper.” I am not doing this to be safe.  I am not doing this to avoid labels.  I am doing this for two reasons: sheer, unabashed enjoyment, and to break the mold I’ve grown into, a mold of mindless rule-following, towing the line without examination. Fear is the only scandal I need to purge from my life.   I live for today.  I tassel twirl for money.

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