Getting Ready

Dear Constant Reader,

Here’s your daily reminder to nominate The Boston Babydolls for Best Burlesque. You can vote once per day per email/IP address. Thank you.

It’s been a while since I actually told a tale of how glamourous my life is. The Boston Babydolls are currently performing The Bod of Avon at Naga. Naga isn’t a theatre; it’s a nightclub. This is important.

You might expect that before a show The Babydolls retire to their private dressing room to nibble delicacies, sip champagne, and make ourselves gorgeous at dressing tables with those mirrors with the lights around them.

Here’s the reality. We (performers, tech crew, ushers & other volunteers) show up at Naga about 3 hours before the show. The space is in nightclub mode with padded benches and low cubes they use as drink tables all over the main space and stage. There are huge leather couches in the VIP area at the back of the room.

We clear everything off the stage, except one bench that we’re using in the show. We move the biggest couches onto the floor. We move all the white cubes up into the VIP area and line them along one wall under some light fixtures — that’s our makeup station. We sit on the floor & use little personal makeup mirrors.

Someone unlocks the basement in the building next door and we start hauling our stuff out and bring it over. (Did I mention it was snowing last night?) Stuff consists of everyone’s personal gear (makeup cases, dance bags, hat boxes, &c), 2 trunks and one box of costumes, a small table (a set piece), a clothing rack & hangers, props that are too large to fit in the trunks, microphones for the performers, headsets for the techs, pipe and drape, and probably more that I’m forgetting.

Then 75 chairs and half a dozen cabaret tables. This all goes up a flight of stairs, down a flight of stairs, over to Naga, up a few more stairs, into the venue proper.

Some people set up the chairs, couches, benches, little drink tables, and cabaret tables, wondering how the heck we are going to squeeze so many people in and make sure they have a good view. (I believe the venue exaggerated their seating capacity, but we sold the tickets so we’ll make it work.) Some people set up the pipe & drape in the VIP area to make us a dressing room and make sure all the costumes and props are organized. During all this Hunter is setting up the audio, video, and lights.

Once that is all set up, then we can warm up on stage, do hair & makeup, have a little snack (the folks at Moksa, the restaurant attached to Naga, have generously been providing some scrumptious light refreshments), and be dancers instead of roadies.

After a normal show, we hang out with our fans, pose for pictures, and hawk merch. These shows we have 30 minutes to reverse everything we did a mere few hours before. Fortunately we have some of the Naga staff to help move the seating around and schlepp the chairs back to the basement. We performers pack up the dressing room and dismantle it. You’ll hear cries of “Act One packed?” and a chorus of “Yes!” followed by the trunk latching or “Everyone dressed?” with a positive response means that the pipe & drape starts to come down. We bundle into street clothes and start hauling all our stuff back to the basement.

Then the drinking begins.

Tomorrow I shall tell you a bit about the show itself. I know you’re breathless with anticipation. I might also have a special treat for you.


Published in: on 4 February 2013 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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