February

Sometimes it would be such a blessing to just forget, but I never do. I never can. Instead I sit and replay, dwell, linger over every hurtful word and every broken moment.

It doesn’t help when that bitch Winter really takes her time, slowly and cruelly, before she lies down to die. With her last remaining gasps, her claws gouge hateful curses over ice, shit, and snow, while we hide, huddled inside and curled into blankets, waiting for it to end, hoping just to endure.

February can suck it. Good riddance.

New Year’s Eve

I’ve never been much of a Christmas person, but I’ve always had an interest in New Year’s Eve for some reason.

I’m not quite sure why it is — possibly because of the promise of self-reinvention that seems to accompany it, or perhaps because of that old adage I heard years ago that however you spend your New Year’s Eve is indicative of how you spend the rest of your year.

That last part is so delightfully “When Harry Met Sally” and it appeals to the romantic in me. If I could only design the perfect night, with the perfect person to smooch at the stroke of 12! Guaranteed bliss for 2013!

But life doesn’t always work out quite that cleanly. When I look back to last year, I spent New Year’s Eve stressed about my job and commuting to St. Louis to perform with the phenomenal Beggar’s Carnivale. The man I kissed at the stroke of 12 didn’t end up being the Harry to my Sally, and later on we parted ways. I lost many people I hold close due to death and it hardened me for awhile.  I got a new job midway through the year, and I began pursuing new leads and branching out to work with new dancers and learn new styles.

I learned a lot, I endured a lot, and I emerge at the end of this year a little battle-worn and scarred but pleased with the work I’ve done so far. I feel much more focused on what I want, and more driven to create the year I want to live.

I go into this New Year’s Eve negotiating contracts, trying to be a smarter and more driven dancer. This show will be the largest show I’ve performed in and is proving to be a lot of work — in addition to belly dance, I’ll be dancing back-up for Bollywood celebrity, which is a bit daunting. But I’m so ready for the challenge.

I’m going into this year prioritizing my health and my training. I’ve been working hard these past few months, and I want to enter the new year with momentum as opposed to getting the ball rolling beginning January 1.

And I can’t really afford to NOT prioritize these things, since in the first three months of 2013, I already have I have 3 out-of-town dance trips planned, 15 Chicago shows confirmed and 2 being solidified, and a TV appearance on the docket.

It’s gonna be one hell of a year…

On the Horizon…

Fate has a funny way of comin’ ’round.

I’ve been working as a Leasing Agent for over a year, and I was getting burnt out. I had to work every weekend, which interfered with my ability to travel and perform, where my heart truly lies. I had tried unsuccessfully to move around to a different position within the same building I worked in, and got overlooked for a promotion every time. I was surly, burnt out, and questioning what I wanted my life to look like and wondering why things were unfolding the way they were.

As soon as I put it out in the universe that I wanted weekends off and time and money to pursue what was important to me, then all of the sudden, a job opened up at a different building within my company. Before I knew it, I had raced through two interviews and landed a sweet Monday-Friday position at a new building right by Navy Pier. And interestingly enough, it was more lucrative and better work than any of the other positions I applied for in the past.

With this new change, all sorts of doors open. Finally I think I will have the time and money to pursue the lifestyle I want. As a result, I’m pouring myself full-force into my upcoming shows, and I’ve already begun booking for 2013 for both myself as a solo artist and also with my dance partner Jessica Beuckman. Look out for us at the following shows:

October 26: Performing “Mehbooba” with Jessica at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, IL

November 17: Performing an all-new piece that I’m pretty excited about and a repeat of an old choreography TBD with Jess at the Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, IL

November 30: Traveling with Lady Jack to perform at the Holiday FEAST of FANCY Burlesque Dinner Show in Rochester, MN

2013: Trips in the works to Columbia, SC and Washington, D.C.!

Please contact me if you’re interested in booking me or Jess for 2013, and I’m looking forward to completing 2012 with a bang!

Hires, Pliers, and Nose Rings

She screwed her eyes tight, shutting out the light, trying to shut out
the realization…

SNAP.

“There. Take a look.”

She opened her eyes.

Blue eyes she didn’t recognize stared dully back into her own. It was
a cleverly painted face, individuality concealed under a thick
shellack of conservative pale foundation, Feminine and Sexy all
covered up with non-offensive and subtle tones. Nondescript earrings
and a slick, severe bun, meant to be noticed and then promptly
forgotten… Gingerly, she fished the broken half of her nose ring from
her face. The empty hole glared at her.

Her eyes dropped to her suit: pressed, starched, crisp, corporate
and fresh from its plastic garment bag. She didn’t know the child in
this costume, this bland business face…

His arm around her shoulders jolted her out of her reverie. “You look
so grown-up!” he said with a proud laugh, his smiling face appearing
behind hers in the mirror.

She turned to her father, holding the wire cutters in his hand and the
other half of her nose ring.

Déjà vu hit her in the form of another face, another tool, another
state, and another state of mind…

***

A dusting of freckles lay sprinkled across her tanned nose, and her
face was screwed up in a look of intense concentration, willing the
pliers not to slip…

There.

She stepped back to survey the results. She turned her head from side
to side, examining her nose ring that she had just pinched closed, her
uncontrollable curls fanning out in all directions. It was July in
South Carolina, and the heat hung on the air like a shroud… any
attempt to control her hair was simply an exercise in futility.

She sighed and smoothed her vintage apron over her cloth skirt.

Kind of a wild outfit, but what the hell. Fashion is negligible, I’m living amongst a damn circus, she thought wryly.

The thought made her breath catch in her throat for a moment.

I can’t believe I’m here, I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m so lucky. I’m so
damn lucky…

***

“—Lucky.”

“Huh?”

“Spacing out already, nice. Try not to do that in your interview,” he kidded.

“Sorry,” she said, forcing a grin, “I was a million miles away for a
minute there.”

“I said, ‘You sure are lucky.’ I can’t believe you got an interview
in Chicago in a field you’re not experienced in,” he said, shaking his head. He clapped her on the shoulder. “Welcome to the working world.”

With a teasing grin and another shake of his head, he headed for the
garage, wire cutters and the twisted metal remnants of a gypsy
identity she knew and loved in hand.

“I just wish I knew what I was working toward,” she said to the empty
house and the warring factions of her mind.