So after a fun week of photography and what not, yesterday I was booked to perform at a private party in Coventry. It turned out to be a most peculiar booking.
I was booked by the organiser of Dr Sketchy's in Coventry (who had seen me perform at the first Dr Sketchy's in Birmingham) to do a gig for a private birthday party using the Dr Sketchy's format of a performance and then about half an hour of poses for sketching.
I made the journey down and my other half came with me so I would have company on the drive. When we arrived (after taking an accidental detour through a winding, tree covered country path) I was a little unsure that we were at the right place as I saw a little girl in a party dress running into the venue - a nice village hall. However, we assured eachother that it was probably a venue with multiple function rooms and that the girl was from another party. When we got there it turned out that the child was not from another party and that the event was the birthday of the matriarch of a nice Russian family and that she was celebrating with her (grown up) children and also a host of (definately not grown up) grandchildren! Outside, my OH asked me 'Is this what your gigs are usually like?'!
At this point the promotor from Sketchy's had not yet arrived (I was very early for fear of getting lost) and my OH and I were a little concerned that perhaps the party goers did not know what sort of act they had booked and I discussed with the daughter of the birthday girl (who seemed to be in charge) that perhaps it would be better if I did not remove my bra in case little eyes (who in theory aught to be in another room with a bouncy castle - but you know kids!) saw more than they should.
When the promotor arrived and a CD player was located things started to go more smoothly, I felt a lot more calm and I got into costume. I was still a bit worried that my act was not going to be the sort of thing they were expecting but at least the promotor was there to take control of the running of things.
When I got on and did my act the audience were very quiet and applauded politely at the end and I was concerned that they had been confused by my act or thought it was innapropriate but when we got onto the drawing part lots of them gave it a go and they even let the kids (most of whom had been peeking in round the door - good job the bra stayed on!) join in. The atmosphere seemed to warm up and everyone relaxed a bit. For the last turn the lady whose birthday it was asked if she could pose instead and it was really nice to see everyone having so much fun (plus it meant I got to do a bit of drawing). At the end the daughter asked me if I had another performance I could do as people had been asking for me to go up again. I was suprised as I hadn't thought people liked my act that much but sadly I had to decline as I had only brought the music and costume for one act.
In the end what began looking like it was going to be a bit of a nightmare gig ended up being a lot of fun, although still the strangest gig I have done so far. The family dynamic reminded me a lot of my own as my family are Polish on my Dad's side and there seemed to be a lot of similarities and the whole thing was unusual but friendly.
Perhaps I should try and persuade my relatives to get a burlesque performer at our next family party!
'Til next time