Bad Girls Need Love Too 2/14/20

Dear Constant Reader,

This Friday was our Valentine’s Day show at the Speakeasy Lab at Deacon Giles Distillery in Salem. We’ve been performing there for three years at this point and at this point we’ve got a system to our set up. Want to know what happens before a show? Well, I’m going to tell you any way.

We drive into the distillery itself to unload our gear. I cannot emphasize how convenient this is. No schlepping from distant parking lots or making multiple trips or hauling stuff up stairs. After unloading, we need to set up both the backstage (in the distillery) and the theatre (the tasting room). Everybody helps out.

The guys at Deacon Giles are good enough to build us a stage. It’s two pallets stacked with a piece of plywood on top. It’s very sturdy, great for tap dancing on, but only 4′ x 8′. We’re used to working with those size constraints now — we used to have a space the same size taped off on our dance floor for rehearsals. We’re not stuck up there, however, we can go down on the floor or into the audience if we want.

We also set up some striplights behind the stage and a follow spot up near the door at the highest point in the room. The spotlight operator also runs the video camera. Sometimes we even get decent footage. We also set up the music and microphone for Scratch. Fortunately, there’s a house system we can use and don’t have to bring our own.

We set up our merch on and near the drink rail over by the stage and then set out tip envelopes throughout the audience. They have a slip of paper and a wee pencil inside, so the audience can leave us little notes if they like.

Backstage there’s already a table and some chairs for us, which becomes the makeup/snack station (Devastasia always brings snacks). We set up a clothing rack and hang up our costumes. Any set pieces (like our boudoir bench) get assembled and props set out. The glass door between the backstage and theatre is propped open and we put up a curtain rod and two curtains in the door way. We discovered early on that if the door is shut, you can’t hear anything backstage and it’s heavy to open — hard if you’re carrying something, like fans. We cover the glass walls with our banners. There are convenient hooks already in place and we just use some binder clips at the top of each banner.

Then Scratch has pizza delivered and we do hair and makeup in between warming up our numbers on the stage up until doors open — 30 minutes before the show starts.

We’ll do two shows because we can only seat 35 people. We get an hour break between the shows as people from the first show finish their drinks and close out their tabs and then the second audience is let in. We use that time to reset costumes, re-tape pasties, fix makeup, etc.

During the second show we’re also breaking down set pieces, packing costumes, &c. as they are no longer needed and generally getting as ready to load out as possible, so we don’t have to do it all at the end when everyone just wants to have a drink and relax before heading home.

Well, that was a lot about the behind-the-senes of a show. Here’s a short list of the acts, just for posterity:
Betty Blaize: Betty, It’s Cold Outside
Devastasia: “All For You”
Ava Fox: “Feelin’ Good” (a tap dance)
Mina Murray: “I’m in the Mood for Love” (a fan dance)
Scratch: Magic
Betty Blaize: “Sweet Child o’ Mine”
Devastasia: “Sunday Kind of Love”
Ava Fox: “The Man I Love”
Mina Murray: Whole Lotta Mina

One thing we tried for this show was that every ticket got a cocktail from the special Valentine’s menu. I don’t know how the other drinks were but I had the FWB mocktail (pineapple, hibiscus, lime, and maraschino) and it was amazing. I should have taken a picture of its beautiful purple foam.

Our next show is Taste o’ Burlesque on March 8th! I don’t know if I’ll be performing or not yet, but it’s going to be a great show no matter what. See you there!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page. Or you can just tip me if you liked this.

Published in: on 17 February 2020 at 11:15 am  Leave a Comment  

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