So another year has begun and boy what a year we leave behind! A year that a lot of people are glad to see the back of where politics and international and national happenings are concerned. Not a great year for a lot of reasons.
However as you may have noticed I am ever the optimist and for me 2017 has had it’s ups and downs but I can’t help leaving it feeling proud, positive and hopeful for the year ahead. 2017 was my first year as a fully self-employed artist and I feel proud that I made it this far and have actually lived to tell the tale.
I’ve done so many fun jobs around the country and each one has taught me something new, built up my confidence and given me the inspiration to plough on through.
As I haven’t blogged for a while so I have lots to share with you all. I will begin with this little experiment. I used my mobile phone to make a very short film about a day in the life of a dancer, it’s a bit of a slice from my inner thoughts and feelings too as I don’t really have a single day that is the same.
At the end of September I took on a bit of a new challenge and added a new era to my repertoire. I was commissioned by ARC Stockton to create a 10 minute Music Hall Act. Being a Huge fan of Marie Lloyd (one of the most famous Music hall singers in Britain) I just had to pay my tribute to her.
The performance was very different to what I’m used to, I chose to perform completely authentically without voice amplification which was scary at first but very freeing physically allowing me to venture into my audience, which I loved! So I thought I would share the video with you all because I am seriously thinking about adding this era as one of my regular acts. Enjoy!
Since my last post and after filming ‘Made of Glass’, I was so nervous about the consequences of doing it and what people might think, seeing the finished footage was making me very anxious to say the least. But as soon as I seen it all I felt was pride, that no matter how imperfect I may have looked, that was me and I was brave enough to do that! So, I can not show you the actual film yet as it is entered into some film festivals, however if you are desperate to catch a bit of flesh take a look at this video below which has a glimpse, it’s my show reel!
Since that point I have really felt better about myself and my body than I have in years, even though I am probably at my most heavy! I have been strength training but not focussing on my weight too much, although that is still something I need to address, I have endeavoured to be the person that I want to be without desperately NEEDING to loose that extra couple of stone or be a size 10 (UK). My new way of thinking is that photographers, casting directors, choreographers/directors can simply take me as I am or not at all! This has given me a kind of freedom just to be myself instead of trying to be the person I always thought I should be in order to be successful.
So life at the moment is pretty sweet, I’m in a really progressive state of mind after receiving some great support from loads of lovely people generally involved in my life but also some un-expected people which was a great surprise.
Unfortunately I have had a bit trouble getting together another research group to talk with to help me with my new choreography project. So if you are reading this and really fancy talking about your body confidence and how other peoples opinions and the media effect that, please feel free to comment below and tell your story or let me know your interested.
I have always been a lover of cake and all things sweet, it makes me feel better when I’m sad it makes a great day even better! I have, all my life rewarded myself with a sweet treat when I have been extra amazing and drowned my sorrows in a double chocolate chip muffin when I have had the worst day. It’s safe to say my relationship with food is one of an unhealthy love bordering on obsession with a definite emotional attachment and the relationship with my body in return is that of a love and hate tug of war at times, with some breaks of cease fire and calmness, oh but then a remark is made a dress doesn’t fit a bad picture is posted to Facebook and the whole rigmarole startsagain. Being a professional dancer this has never worked in my favour, the fight to do what I wanted to do for a living has always been very real.
I have been told I am too fat to be a performer in so many ways by so many people it’s unbelievable. Luckily I am the most optimistic fat dancer you could meet and that is what has seen me through to this point and hopefully beyond. I have been denied many opportunities because of my weight and even more so because of my self consciousness that my body is not worthy of those opportunities.
Since I decided to make a leap of faith with my career leaving my safety job in a shop and going full time as a performer and creative, coupled with my ongoing ageing which I am still getting used to, I have decided to use this huge part of my life as an opportunity for discovery and hopefully some art. I want to study the relationships people have with their bodies particularly women.
I want to know why I am like this, when did it start? why did it start? why can’t I dance as a fat girl? Would people want to see a size 16 girl dance? Why should I wear spanx? Why are some girls more than half my size and twice my beauty even less confident in their own skin? Why do people want the perfect skin colour by tanning or bleaching or whatever other methods there may be? Why shouldn’t I have hairy legs or armpits or god forbid a hairy Mary? Why do I need long hair on my head but not on my big toe? What is a beach body? Can I model clothes even if I have a spare tyre (or two)? Why are there such strict rules on what a woman can do with her body? Why do women judge other women so harshly? Why do people think it is their business to tell other people they do not look ‘right’? Why do we have columns in magazines and TV programmes specifically to tell people how bad they look and that they need to change? Why are female prime ministers legs spoken about on the front pages of tabloid newspapers rather than their politics?
I want to know it all and more. So I am embarking on this year of self discovery as well as hopefully learning a lot about my fellow humans and how we are obsessed with our outer form and the relationship with our inner being and how we can bring balance and learn to love ourselves for who we are and not what we want to be, who we want to be like or what other people think we should be like. Simply for the form both inside and outside that we take at this very moment in time.
So I’m going to finish off by saying I want to talk, If you have issues I want to talk if you don’t have any issues at all I want to talk. I want to hear from people who have answers to any of these questions or questions to pose of their own! It’s all in aid of what is to be hopefully an art piece based around movement and dance to begin with but who knows where it will go!
You can comment below with anything you feel you want to share or alternitavely, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message via my facebook page.
As of November 2016 I have been a fully self employed performer/ all round creative person which has so far been the most scary and satisfying experience.
I previously worked a 24hr a week job alongside all of my commitments as a performer, teacher and choreographer but it was making me desperately miserable and I needed to get out.
I spoke to my boyfriend on many occasions about the possibility of going back to university or other opportunities which he was happy to support me with and so I decided to say ‘Fudge it! I am going to do it’ (or words to that effect) I handed my notice in and began my life as a free woman. Which after dreaming about it since I started working at the age of 16 seems like forever.
(photo credit to Ben Martin)
In the past 5 months I have done everything from clowning to starring in a horror film (which may be the same thing for some) I feel like I have come so far learning about myself aas I go along.
I am now officially a cabaret performer with one act under my belt and another in production.
(photo credit to Martin.J. Baty)
I can’t wait to see what comes next, a part of what comes next will be this blog. I want to use this as a platform to connect with other performers and give an incite to those who are interested in the life, pleasures and interests of a girl like me trying to make it in the performance industry, as a not so springing chicken (I’m now 28), curvy size 16. I know it’s going to be tough but I can’t help but be positive because I know how much I want it.